Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Fowl incidents

Why do I do this to myself?

I set aside another book I was reading so I could eat up Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, the second book in Eoin Colfer's series.

I feel similarly disappointed as after reading the first Artemis Fowl adventure. The action bores me. I'm not convinced that the book needs the Fairy People to be Fairy People (and not just regular human supervillains and talented vanquishers of evil). Yet I really want to know more about this mysterious boy genius criminal mastermind. Why is he a genius? Why is he a criminal? How does he relate to his parents? What makes him tick? The whole series seems to be built on this tease of a character, yet he's practically dispensable to the plot.

Aurgh. I should know better than to be reading books intended for 9-year-olds.

Helena and I spent more than three hours at the park yesterday. Thank God today is dark and damp and not conducive to wandering out of doors.

It was a bit chilly for the wading pool, and Helena seemed bored with the playground, so we were off in search of ducks. Around the lake and over the bridge and back again. Quack, quack, quack. My, how they've grown.

One old man was alternately feeding the ducks and throwing inedible, heavy things at them. He bore a remarkable similarity to Ian Holm portraying Professor Seagull.

Helena climbed up on to and down off of about a million park benches. We circled back to the playground.

One little boy was very polite about asking me if he could get in the fire chief's car with Helena. He took care not to bounce too fast for her. And then he sets about to engage me in conversation. He was utterly charming. How old is Helena? What's her name? He is six years old and in the first grade at St. Joseph — do I know it? If I didn't know better, I'd swear he was trying to pick me up. Figured Helena was a little young and not vocal enough, so he'd try for the mom. His French was far better than mine. I know enough to know he was speaking French well, like a grown-up — no childish inflections or simplistic syntax. A smooth-talking, clean-cut kid. Probably holds a steady, sensible job and season opera tickets.

J-F, when I told him about this interaction later: Did he give you his business card with his lemonade stand address? You didn't give him your phone number, did you? Will he be calling to invite you over to his place to play Lego?

Some things I've finally learned about Helena: If I'm cooking them, she likes her carrots steamed (any other cook is allowed to boil the hell out of them). She loves broccoli, but only if I prepare it, very lightly steamed. And only papa's pasta will do.

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