Monday, January 29, 2007

Free to or Free from?

I have to admit something to you. Something shameful and embarassing. I have never read a thing by Margaret Atwood. Nothing at all, not a short story, not a novel, nothing. One of Canada's foremost authours, and I could never be bothered to read anything by her. Well, that changed yesterday. I was bored, and I've read every book in the house at least 3 times, so I went off to the mall and bought myself a book (or two). I've always been curious about "Handmaids Tale" so I figured, what the heck, stories of dystopia have always fascinated and thrilled me. I'm halfway through now, and all I have to say is holy crap. Seriously, if you haven't read the book, you really really ought too, unless you're easily frightened by uncanny and terrifying visions of the near future. Really, the most terrifying thing about the story is watching or thinking about current news from the USA. Anyways, I'm having a hard time putting the book down, I suspect I'll be finished some time this afternoon, though it will take me a while to digest what I've read. Goody, if you haven't read this book, I seriously reccomend you read it, and then move to Canada as quickly as you can.

While I was at the mall yesterday, I got a headache, again. So, I decided, to hell with it, and I went to my favourite hair salon to see if my favourite middle eastern male hair dresser was available. He is a fabulous hairdresser, and the way he talks to me makes me laugh. Anyways, I went in, told him that my hair was giving me headaches and I couldn't bloody take it anymore, but I haven't got the time to devote to a short haircut. He took that as a challenge, and about 10 minutes later I was missing several inches of my hair. He cut my hair short, and it's fantastic! It looks good, doesn't make my face look too round, it's incredibly easy (so far) to deal with, and best of all, no more ponytails or headaches! When I got home, Ian said that I wasn't allowed to go out alone anymore, but I think he likes it.

I spoke with a speach language pathologist today about Miss Mary. I may be paranoid, I don't know, but I'm really starting to worry that Mary still doesn't speak English. She has her own language, she can make her wants and needs known quite clearly, and I'm pretty sure that she understands every word I say, but she still seems to be a whole lot behind where she ought to be at this age. I've tried very hard not to spend the last two years comparing Mary to other kids her age, or what the books say she ought to be doing, but I am worried about this. She will mimic what I say to a point, but there are some words that she just won't say, when she mimics them, it comes out as something different, even though she is determined that she is saying exactly what I said. It's strange, and my little brother had horrible speach issues when he was a wee one, so I figured I'd get it checked out now, rather than waiting until it's really a problem. Anyways, the SLP thought that it was something to be concerned about, so she has put in a referral for Mary to officially be seen by someone for an assessment. It sounds like they will check for things like Autism also in this assessment, which I thought was funny. Thanks to Raven, I know a bit more than the average bear (though really not that much, to be honest) about autism, and I'm relatively sure that's not it, but it'll be nice to have some sort of idea of what's going on Marys language development.


Ahmed said...

Just stumbled upon your blog. A Handmaids Tale is a great book. I read it back in highschool than recently purchased it for my collection and its still great...haven't really got around to reading any other Atwood stuff yet though...anyways, have a good day.

J.S. Magruder said...

Oh yeah, I've read it. Things are just swell down here in Gilead. The book that really scares the pants off me is "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis, because, uh, actually-it is happening here.

I know it won't make you worry any less to hear me say it, but once Mary starts talking she will never shut up. It will probably go something like;

"crayon mummy? Red crayon! Red red crayon mummy, cat, blue crayon juice cat mummy? Mummy! Mummy! Blue crayon, cat juice, WHY NOT? Daddy said I could. When?! Blue crayon mummy, hungry cat cracker uh oh potty in bed, cat! Cat! Cat! Cat DID IT!"
(break for air)
"poo poo mummy? Blue crayon cat ring rosie posey cat juice uh oh, pooped in toybox, cat! Cat! Cat DID IT!"

-just wait.

Jenn said...

Of course you've read it, the minute I hit post I realized that I was silly to think that you hadn't. You're one of them edumakayted folks.

Mary said...

I looooooved Handmaid's tale. I think I've read it 4 or 5 times. so freaking creepy.

J.S. Magruder said...

They learned me real good at da univeristy.

Cori said...

I loved a Handmaid's Tale. The movie is very different (and of course hollywood-ized), but still pretty entertaining. But the book was a revelation when I first read it, and I've loved dystopias ever since.

Lulu said...

I saw Marge read from The Handmaid's Tale when it was first published back in the '80s and afterwards, she took questions from the audience. Someone asked her if she envisioned the events of her novel actually happening, and she said, in her dry witty way, "It's already happening in the States. And in Canada, it could only happen in Alberta."

For Christmas, I received her new novel, Moral Disorder, and I am trying to find time to devour it.

I worship Marge. Try reading Life Before Man. It's one of her earlier novels, but it's the one I cut my teeth on.