Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Geek

So, I think I mentioned somewhere that Henry is now a driving young man. My own trepidation at the thought of him cruising the highways of Los Angeles aside, he's also now the ecstatic owner of a used car, a humble vehicle that apparently carries some clout in its used-ness. I caught him on Friday night, just before my salon, outside actually washing the windows with water and soap. I don't think you need to know that he has never, and I mean never washed a window of a car by hand. The boy has many strengths but that sort of thing -- hand-washing a car's windows -- has never been seen in this land. Today, he bought a chirping bird that he will place on the dashboard of his sacred vehicle. I raised my eyebrows when he showed it to me, suggested that if it were Oliver who had made the purchase, there would be no end to the carping about how obnoxious that is! You're such an idiot! You're so weird! etc., to which Henry just smiled and proceeded to show Sophie, who, as you can see, completely appreciated it.

What I love about parenting is when your kids are unwitting geeks, when the self-conscious adolescent thing disappears, and they're just delighted to be alive.

Geekiness doesn't fall far from the tree, as they say. This morning I scrolled through Facebook and came upon a rare recording of one of my favorite writers, Flannery O'Connor,* reading her famous short story A Good Man Is Hard To Find. My friend Tanya Ward Goodman (inimitable writer herself, most recently of Leaving Tinkertown fame) had posted it, so I clicked and clicked and opened and settled in Sophie's purple beanbag chair and just about died from happiness.

Here's the link to the audio part:

And while you're listening, you can open up the short story and actually read along.

If you're even the tiniest bit like me, you will feel overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness, lulled by the soft Georgian accent of that titanic woman and entirely blown away by her sinister story.

Pray tell what your Sunday is looking like.

*And here's a little thing for my fellow geeks who love Flannery O'Connor and probably hate Ayn Rand -- something O'Connor wrote to a friend about Rand:

I hope you don’t have friends who recommend Ayn Rand to you. The fiction of Ayn Rand is as low as you can get re fiction. I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail. She makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky.


  1. The bird, the dog, the serious look on Henry's face, the light in Sophie's eyes. I love all of it.
    As for A Good Man is Hard to Find, I stumbled onto that recording a while ago. The juxtaposition of that sweet voice and the story--yikes. It gives me chills just to think about it again.

  2. I adore all of this but most especially that perfect sibling photo, Sophie's grace, and your meditation on parenting. Ah!

  3. My last day in pajamas...I don't think I've spent a full day in real clothes in a month. Back to school/therapy/work tomorrow. So today, I'm relishing in being lazy one more day.

  4. I love the photograph so much. Knowing it goes in the sacred vehicle makes it all the more loveable. I remember listening to that story when someone posted it on Facebook, but I want to listen again. We are so lucky to have access to all these things. The computer takes up so much of our time, but there's much that is valuable we can access. When I was reading her in college and walking the streets of Iowa City she walked (time and again past her apartment and over to the park where she fed the peacocks), I never would have dreamed I'd get to hear her voice reading one of my favorite stories. Nor could she have imagined all of us listening. Thanks, Elizabeth. Also, great quote re Ayn (ugh) Rand.

  5. Knowing the BIRD goes into the sacred vehicle. Not the photo. Sorry!

  6. Yes! To every bit of this. Especially the Ayn Rand parts.
    God. What a fucking bad writer/idiot she was.
    Your kids are gorgeous by the way.

  7. Oldest kids. Driving. Here we go!

    He is a gem, that boy.

  8. LOL -- I love that quote. I'll listen to this story when I get home. Flannery O'Connor's stories are always so creepy.

  9. I know what you mean by getting through the geekness and into the comfortableness. I do agree with Flannery's assessment of Ayn.


  10. "Delighted to be alive." I love that.

  11. so, what kind of car are the kids big on these days? In my day (early 70s) it was Chevy Novas from the 1950s.

    I feel the same way about Rand's writing -- how nice to know I am in great company!!

  12. I am loving having teenagers - they are just so interesting :) - and geekiness abounds here too - we all strut it

  13. So glad O'connor hated Rand's fiction, too.

  14. that's a nice metamorphosis to look forward to - do you suppose it will also morph into washing the house windows as well? :)



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