Thursday, July 11, 2013

Rainy day rambling

It's been raining, on and off, for a couple of days now. Actually, it's not really rain -- full-on rain -- but more like a sprinkling, and the air is hot and sticky and I'm reminded of the east coast and I just don't like it. I'm not fond of rain, really, ever, but I especially don't like rain in July in Los Angeles. Sophie doesn't either. She had at least five big, big seizures yesterday when she came home from summer school, and I'm going to blame it on the rain and humidity. Reader, if you have a child or young adult with epilepsy, do you see changes in seizure activity with weather?

On another note, one of my favorite cousins is visiting (that's her, above), so we've been busy talking and catching up. My cousin is intense, so we're sort of exhausting one another with conversation, but it's the good kind of exhaustion, the stimulating kind. She's a bit older than me, and when I was a child and she was a teenager I idolized her as a radical hippie who didn't shave her legs and wore maxi dresses. She might have even worn flowers in her hair. She wore out all the grown-ups, I seem to remember, with her hippyness, but even then I imagined her as my people. Now I'm all grown up, and we have so much in common. If you can believe it, she's considering the purchase of a van/recreational vehicle to wander the country and visit friends and relatives. I told her that I might call her to come by and pick me up one of these days, take me away.

I don't have much else to tell ya'll about. I'm finishing three different books -- Country Girl by Edna O'Brien and Transatlantic by Colum McCann are both great reads, one a memoir of the Irish writer and the other a brilliant novel by an Irish writer. To balance things out, I've begun Madame Bovary by Flaubert and translated by the great Lydia Davis. I read it in college in French and remember only the labor and agony of it all, but my god it's incredible reading now. I'm not sure if it's the thirty years that have passed and the cumulative life experience or the actual brilliant translation, but wow.

Read this incredible article in The Village Voice.


  1. You do still look rested! Thanks for linking to that VV article. I'll park it in the nightmare section of my brain, though it's already so crowded there...

  2. Madame Bovary is the one "college read" that I couldnt't put down. (As I Lay Dying.....blech). My English 2-0-whatever copy is well worn and lovingly dog-eared from all of my re-reads.

  3. Did I read Madame Bovary? I think I did. Or maybe not. Should I?
    I am glad you have your hippy mentor, your lovely cousin. She looks intrepid. Like you.

  4. Love Madam B.
    It's been gray here. No Rain. Just fog. And no wind--warmer than usual. Air like silk. Beckoning you for a visit.

  5. That's a good kind of tired ... From too much talking :)
    I still haven't made friends with the rain after all these years up here - you would hate it

  6. I like the new header picture of Sophie in pink. It looks like Sophie loves your cousin! I too live in L.A. and always have and I can't remember a time of such humid odd weather. It is hard to want to do much at all in this, except maybe read. Sweet Jo

  7. i needed some book recommendations, now that I'm close to a library for a month!

  8. Might it be a Vanagon she's thinking of buying? I cannot tell you how many people say, "Me, too!" when I tell them Wil is obsessed with Vanagons. Who knew???

  9. I came new to M. Bovary a few years back, little gilt-edged red-faux-leather edition, which was a treasure to read and to hold. (Ashamed at not having read it earlier in life.)

    And Edna O'Brien! Ain't she a gem, now?!!


  10. I am stunned by the new header picture of the blog, the picture of Sophie is absolutely a classic!

  11. loved madame bovary when i read it just ten years ago.

  12. I love the rain, but I don't like that it gives your dear girl more seizures. Glad, though, that you are getting to enjoy your cousin, and she, you.

  13. I miss rain. Here in Seattle, it has been sunny for nearly 14 days straight and if I don't want my plants to all wither and die, I'm going to have to turn on the hose soon. We don't generally have to do that up here. That said, I don't like sticky, humid rain and it somehow makes perfect (although inhumane) sense that seizure activity would increase when the weather is like that.

    Have a lovely visit with your cousin, talking and reading. I hope she does swoop by one day and take you for a joyride in her hippie-van (our NW word for a VW Vanagon).

  14. Your cousin sounds great! I used to want a motor home to roam around in, so I can see the appeal of that.

    I'm impressed that you're reading Flaubert. I have never read anything by him. I don't have much experience with French lit. I probably ought to read more in that genre.

    Interesting article. I'm glad the Village Voice is still capable of doing good journalism, though I fear those days are coming to an end.

  15. As you know, Nicholas was also diagnosed with epilepsy, so I wanted to comment on your observations with Sophie.

    Nick's Neurologist is quite certain that Nick suffers from some form of seasonal affective disorder. Winter months with less sunshine cause him noticable increases in sickness, depression, sleep issues and weight gain. Come summertime and sunshine, Nicholas is like a whole new child. He is more focused, relaxed, happy and sleeps better.

    After speaking with our Neuro, I was fascinated by his thoughts. I did some looking and found several research studies on the effects of sunlight on the hypothalamus/ANS, circadian rythms etc. There seems to be a complex interaction between these neurological processes and the environment that scientists still don't fully understand.

    Not living in sunny California, I have actually purchased a light box for Nicholas. I will let you know our results.

    Oh yes, and happy reading dear friend.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...