Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Simple Pleasures for a Serious Nerd

I've been away for roughly a week and a half.  I spent a divine week with my mom, sister, and her delicious new baby and the adorable older siblings.  Seriously one of the best weeks of my life.  (THIS is where I'll put the picture of me being the favorite aunt...if I ever get a copy.)  Some day I'm gonna be a Grandma and play that game some more, in a more glorified role.  It was the funnest thing, EVER!

Then, I returned home for about one day, and left on an impulse trip to Boise with a couple of my kids.  The house was remarkably clean and orderly when I arrived from the first trip, but sadly it resembled the after-math of tornado wreckage from a 3rd-World country when I arrived home last night.
I'd started the Boise jaunt exhausted, and then driven an extra few hours around forest fires, survived some really late nights and a goodly amount of emotional distress and was somewhere beyond all that this morning as I surveyed the damages around me with dismay.  It was difficult for me to gird up my loins and dig in to the to-do list.  I was also wound-up and strung-out from some facets of my 2nd trip, which will only be recorded in my personal journal.  (But I did have a really great time with Princess and Caboose.  I'll hopefully blog about that later.)  Anyway, I was weary. 

It was in that state of mind that I opened the mystery package that arrived in the mail around noon.

Hot Diggity Dog!  OH, BOY!  I about hyperventilated in my joy.

The nice folks at Amazon sent me a book. Remarkable. 

And not just ANY book!  Oh, yes...A SCIENCE book!  About GENETICS!!!  By the guy who wrote the Disappearing Spoon!  (About the Periodic Table.)  Author Sam Kean!!!  ( I never would have thought of myself as this kind of person.  Really.  But the first book was just so darn enjoyable.)

I'd forgotten all about my pre-order spree.  I should have been breathlessly counting down the days until it was released, but I'd been distracted by the stupid minutia of real life.  

Suddenly the sunshine broke through the clouds, an angelic choir burst into, "Laaaa!"

All my troubles melted away as I locked myself into my study (OK, the bathroom) and made that first satisfying crack into an unopened book.  Like Charlie (from the Chocolate Factory), I read a page...just one tiny bite melting on my tongue, and then flipped reverently through the entire book, the anticipation of great things to come making my hands tremble.  

  "The Violinist's Thumb and Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius as Written by Our Genetic Code"  All the pieces of my disorderly life came together in one small UPS package.

Sanity restored.  Truth went marching on.  God bless America!  Don't worry, be happy!

I'm so delighted, I'm giddy.  Listen to this paragraph in the introduction:

"And yes, I'm writing this book despite the fact that my father's name is Gene.  As is my mother's name.  Gene and Jean.  Gene and Jean Kean.  Beyond being singsong absurd, my parents' names led to a lot of playground jabs over the years: my every fault and foible was traced to "my genes," and when I did something idiotic, people smirked that "my genes made me do it."  That my parents' passing on their genes necessarily involved sex didn't help.  The taunts were doubly barbed, utterly unanswerable."  (Kean, Sam; The Violinist's Thumb p.3)

In spite of hours of laundry and other stupid chores, I've managed to read to page 33.  It doesn't disappoint.

Not only that, but my little surprise package served to remind me that I've also pre-ordered the next Flavia De Luce mystery...Will wonders never cease?  

My life is so good!  

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