Monday, September 14, 2015

First Hints of Fall

My fall schedule is now complete, with the start of yoga class this morning. Now I just have to get used to the schedule of activities -- yoga Monday morning, children's choir and choir rehearsal Wednesday night, ballet Thursday night. I really hate the Thursday ballet because it interrupts the possibility of long weekends, and that's why instead of registering for the whole semester, I got a punch card for a certain number of classes. Then I don't pay for classes I don't take and I don't feel so bad about skipping classes. In a nice bit of luck, it turns out we won't be having a yoga class the Monday after FenCon, so I'll have recovery time.

I had a reasonably active and social weekend. I went with some friends to a festival and antique car show on the town square. I felt rather old when there was a "classic" car on display that was newer than the one I learned to drive in, but there were plenty of really old cars, like the Fords from the 1920s with rumble seats. Of course, going to any event on the town square requires going to the old-fashioned ice cream parlor on the square.

It's getting to be the time of year when it's cool enough to go outside for festivals and things like that.

I watched a movie Sunday afternoon because there was a nice bit of scheduling on HBO. My library is doing some events around The Book Thief this fall, and I plan to read it, but the movie was on one of the HBO channels Sunday afternoon, so I watched it because I'm the weirdo who likes to see the movie before reading the book. That's because if I loved the book, the movie is very likely going to disappoint me. But if I like the movie, the book will probably be even better and is sure to include lots of extra stuff, so it's like getting the special extended edition director's cut of the story.

It's hard to describe this story in a way that at all reflects it because it's a pretty simple story about a young girl taken in by a childless couple in a small town in Germany in the late 30s and how they're affected by the war. The girl loves books, a love her adoptive father encourages, and during the deprivation of the war, she sneaks into the well-stocked personal library of the mayor to borrow books to read. But it's really more a story about the characters, not so much how they develop but rather how they unfold as we get to know them better and see them in difficult circumstances. And the whole thing is narrated by Death. Since I've been reading a lot of Terry Pratchett lately, I kept thinking of this being the same Death, so I kind of expected to find a skeleton in a robe having a curry.

I definitely want to read the book now and see what the movie inevitably had to leave out. It actually kind of fits into some preliminary research I'm doing for a planned future book that takes place in a totalitarian society. There's not a lot out there about ordinary people in that regime -- not necessarily running a resistance movement, but also not party members -- and that's what this story focuses on. There's the fear from every knock on the door, the worry that neighbors are watching and might inform on you, sometimes for no reason other than spite, the indoctrination in schools, the fear parents had of their own children who had been indoctrinated and the uncertainty of whether the school's teaching or the parent's teaching would win out.

And now that I'm feeling all virtuous for starting my day with exercise, I have to get to work.

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