Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bright spots, book review, and other assorted stuff

Bright spots this second week of September:

  • Several beautiful sunsets featuring the waxing crescent moon and Venus shining like a jewel in the western sky.
  • The very beginning of the trees changing colors in my neighborhood, and the feeling of fall approaching as the days grow shorter and shorter.
  • A weekend off coming up! I had originally planned to have my Mid Autumn moon party this weekend. Since the party has been called off, I've decided to spend the weekend doing things for myself that I'll enjoy: shopping at the farmer's market, cooking and baking, planting some fall flowers in containers on our patio, and spending quality time with Gregg and our pets.
  • A cleaner-than-usual house. I originally requested an extra day off this week to do housework (for the party) and so that's just what I did. I cleaned for hours yesterday, so now my weekend off can be spent doing fun stuff without guilt!
  • My perpetually happy dog and our daily walks with her.
Also: I've recently read a wonderful book. It's called Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.

It's the story of a 14 year old girl dealing with the death of her beloved gay uncle during the height of the AIDS epidemic in 1987. She strikes up an unlikely friendship with her uncle's grieving partner, a relationship she must keep secret from her family, who hate and fear the man they believe killed the uncle. June and Toby are both lonely, both outsiders, and both grieving the loss of the person they loved best in all the world.

 The story resonated deeply with me. I was 12 years old in 1987, and I vividly remember the fear and misinformation about AIDS that was prevalent then. The author's insight into the inner workings of an awkward adolescent girl dealing with a terrible loss was nothing short of amazing. This story was so beautifully told that it broke my heart a little bit. Tell the Wolves I'm Home was a completely unexpected pleasure, bittersweet and lovely.

One other thing I've been enjoying for the past few days is a new app I purchased for my tablet called Distant Suns. It's an astronomy app that gives you an up to the minute view of the night sky from your location. You can look up all sorts of information about stars, planets, galaxies, and deep space objects as well as meteor showers, eclipses, and other space phenomena. Technology is such a wonderful thing!

That's been my week in a nutshell. Have a great weekend, everyone!


  1. I remember that AIDS panic so well. If we even imagined someone was gay we held our breath when passing by. Then we had 'don't eat eggs, and 'don't eat beef', and recently 'all meat is horse meat'. Scare mongering never ends!

  2. I also remember being terrified of catching AIDS as a girl. And the urban myths about sociopathic people with AIDS deliberately passing it on to innocent victims. Crazy. Thank goodness those days are over.

    Another reason the book resonated so deeply with me is that I lost a good friend to AIDS not too many years ago, a smart, funny, kind guy named Michael. We were the same age, born in the same year. He was 30 when he died. Had he not been poor and uninsured (and therefore unable to afford the expensive treatments for HIV) he might well still be alive today.