Sunday, May 30, 2010

We Visit the Madison Arboretum

Mom, Joe and I went recently to the UW Madsion Arboretum to see the blooming trees. The Arboretum is one of my favorite places in the world. I have spent many happy hours there and it is entirely free! As a matter of fact there is a guided lecture walk On Wednesday evening. Take an advantage of the quality of information here!

Events & Classes: Tour (Longenecker Gardens)

  • Conifers

    Wednesday, June 2 • 7 pm – 8:30 pm

    If you are confused about telling a spruce from a fir, a walk through the Garden’s spectacular conifer collection with curator Dr. Edward Hasselkus should clear up much of the confusion.

Here we have Mom and Joe (what a cut-up)!

Here is a gorgeous Lilac Tree.

I have been knitting a stole of a lovely lace weight merino in the Print O' the Wave Pattern.
Free pattern and interesting construction. I am looking at it as a learning piece. I am really enjoying the center portion so far.

Just finished reading Going Bovine by Libba Bray.

Cameron Smith is an apathetic kid in high school. He is a doper, uninterested in college. He also has a perfect, perky sister that makes him look even worse by comparison. That is, until his uncontrollable movements and hallucinations are diagnosed as Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases, AKA mad cow disease. This disease is a prion (mutated protein) that pretty much pokes holes in the brain. It's incurable and fatal. He is spurred by a cute punk rock angel named Dulcie to go on a quest to save the world (and find a cure to his disease) along with a hypochondriac dwarf named Gonzo and a Norse god turned lawn gnome named Balder. Along the way, Cameron battles evil with a legendary jazz musician in New Orleans, narrowly escapes from a crazy happiness cult, helps a group of scientists with an experiment, and goes to Disney World.

Libba Bray has created a hugely unique retelling of Don Quixote. I thought of it as a modern version of the hero journey in mythology as illustrated by Joseph Campbell. Although the book is almost 500 pages long, I was completely sucked in and read it in one sitting. All of the characters were striking and original.

Cameron was initially not a very likable character. He is rude to his friends and family and was just generally uninterested in engaging. From the initial diagnosis to the end of the novel, he undergoes a transformation with every person he meets and every crazy situation he encounters. He slowly turns into a true hero. He gains appreciation for music and develops close relationships with the people around him. The things he revered in his old life are revealed to be shallow and meaningless in the new one. The journey was largely an internal one for Cameron. It can even be debated if the journey actually happened at all or if it was just the product of a deteriorating mind.

This isn't a typical young adult novel. It's one of the most unique books I have run into recently. I really enjoyed this novel.

Hey hope to see you or talk to you soon,

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
- Aristotle

No comments: