Well, I’ve gotten back from another weekend at my parents’ and have to say that it was pretty nice. I’m up and searching for jobs right now. I’ve already been called twice and had them stolen, but I still might pick something up for today. I think everyone is just poised to snatch them up considering it’s the day after Easter and most people would think there would be subs needed.

So, to go over the high lights, we got there late Friday afternoon having left directly from Mary’s doctor’s office. Doctor says her problem is most likely stress. I could have told her that. Regardless, it was nice to have the medical confirmation to move forward with. So, we got in the car and headed down to Springs, and I slept most of the way. Wish I weren’t driving….

Just kidding. I finished Siddhartha shortly after we began and started Lord of the Flies. Since the end of the month will have me at a job fair for teaching, I’ve been re-reading several books I’d like to teach in a class so that I can put together a sample lesson plan. I love both of those books so much. Keep an eye out for quotes from the former in the next few weeks, as Herman Hesse is brilliant in so many ways. I had also forgotten how incredibly powerful Lord of the Flies is. William Golding has such an incredible command of the English language, and combine that was some of the most amazing visuals I’ve ever read. Such prodigious skill with symbolism, and he’s managed to craft a story that is not only exciting, but important. The key scene between Simon and the eponymous Lord of the Flies, leading to the dance with the hunters, was so well-written that I felt like having a cigarette when I was done. I wish somebody would make a good film of that book, as opposed to that stupid thing with the boy scouts that didn’t really have any purpose other than to show small children be violent to one another.

Friday night was a nice way to start things. Mary and Kal went out shopping, so my mom and I watched Happy Feet. First, we were surprised to see a preview for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the beginning, and my mom made me play it three more times before we could get on with the film itself. It was just as good the second time as the first (Happy Feet, not the Potter preview) when I saw it in theaters months ago. They put together a fantastic film that was both entertaining to children and adults, and had a point to it. I still feel that the writers barely managed to escape writing themselves into a corner at one point in the movie, but it was a satisfying conclusion. By the time we were done watching that, my father had come home, so we put on Borat.

Now, I hadn’t seen that one in the theaters, so this was totally new to me. I don’t think it’s nearly as brilliant as everyone made it out to be, but I’ll admit that I enjoyed it. It was so nonsequiter at times that I couldn’t help but laugh. My mother didn’t really like it until she found out that only Borat was staged, and the people he was interacting with were real people actually reacting to his behavior. Suddenly the film became interesting to her.

Saturday was nice as well. I broke out my resistance bands and used those to work out while watching television or hanging out during the day. I got up reasonably early and went for a walk. It was really relaxing just to go out and walk around my parents’ neighborhood, listening to music, enjoying what was almost perfect weather. I went down to Betty Stradling Park and took a couple of laps around there. It was like watching a movie. Fathers playing baseball with their sons, a couple flying a kite, parents with children by the playground. Add a soundtrack of Elton John on the iPod, and you have a really pleasant day. For a minute I thought I could stop by Publix and pick up some of the stuff we needed while I was just across the street, but by the time I had called and asked what we needed, I realized that I didn’t bring my wallet with me, and had the strange suspicion that they wouldn’t extend me a few minutes’ credit while I walk the groceries home.

I went over to spend some time hanging out with Scott when I got home. We talked for a while, which is always an enlightening and helpful activity. The thing that I like about hanging with Scott is that he not only listens, but has plenty to say without sounding like he’s trying to pass on wisdom. He told me something that I’m going to meditate on as I walk this morning: Guilt is just doubt, and doubt is an obstacle to what you want. Some of you know how guilt has been coming into my life lately, so this has given me quite a start and a lot to think on. We then watched the beginning of The Departed before I had to go home for dinner. Really enjoyed what I saw of that film.

That night we hung out with Heather and her new fiance Kevin. I’ve only met Kevin a handful of times, but can say that I like him quite a bit. He’s a straightforward guy, honest, funny. I can respect him and think he’ll treat Heather well. They came over that evening and we played Skip-Bo for a couple of hours. One hand of Skip-Bo for a couple of hours. It’s a reasonably fun game (it’s no Phase 10, I’ll tell you), but it took forever to play. Mary was getting upset that by the end we were having as much fun mock-complaining about how long the game was as actually playing it. They eventually took off, and we made some desserts and whatnot for Easter dinner the next day.

Easter itself was pretty nice. I got some wonderful gifts since we decided this year to not do a lot of candy. As much as I like candy, I don’t eat nearly as much of it as I used to. I still have stuff from Christmas, and while I occasionally have a mini mint chocolate KitKat, my candy consumption has gone down tremendously since I’ve started trying to lose weight (duh), so there’s no point in getting a bunch of sweets that will only go bad or attract bugs. Instead, I got stuff.

From my parents I got a copy of Casino Royale on DVD. Now, I should mention a few things about this: first of all, originally my mom was going to get me Eragon, since she knew how much I loved the book. Since I hadn’t seen the movie when she suggested this, I asked her to get me the new Bond film instead, seeing as how I knew I liked that one. Since I watched Eragon this weekend and discovered that, while it was ok, it wasn’t really fantastic, I’m glad I mentioned this. Also, not only did I get the movie, my parents got me the 2-disc special edition that comes with two decks of Casino Royale playing cards. Normally I get the stripped down, no special features, movie-subtitles-scene selection version. This is not because my parents are cheap, but rather because they don’t understand the advantage of extra features. They’re still trying to remember to look for widescreen format. I was really surprised by this particular version, and pleasantly at that.

I did get a little bit of candy, my own copy of Phase 10, two new Old Navy ringer t-shirts, a copy of The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewert (Arthurian fiction with a historical basis), and a copy of the 15th anniversary edition of Reservoir Dogs. All in all, I’d call that a pretty good Easter haul. Dinner was delicious (and more like lunch because of the time), and we hit Cracker Barrel on the way back home to put something in our stomachs about 8-hours later. Spent most of Easter watching Italian soccer and Braves baseball with my dad, which was wonderful. Something interesting about Italian Serie A football right now: they aren’t allowed to have fans at games. Basically, the officials in charge have gotten sick of the violence and riots, culminating in one a couple of weeks ago in Sicily where a police officer was killed, so they’ve banned people from attending the games until the teams put certain measures in place to make them safer, such as turnstiles, more security, etc. So while we were watching the Roma v Catania game, my father asked if I could hear the players shouting to one another, which was clear as a bell. He then tells me, “That’s because there are no fans in the stands. Look.” and sure enough, the stadium was empty except for the players.

That’s about it for now. Still waiting on that thing, but it’ll come. In the meantime, I’m dealing with the consequences of not having it. I have to think more on what Scott told me, because I think that may be the key to this whole mess.