Old family photographs make me sad.

Like this one. This one makes me really sad. (Sorry about the quality. Reflections... arg.)
Though yellowed, it's been carefully preserved. Someone clearly spent time blowing it up, taking it to a framer, having it matted. It was meant to be kept.

I bought it at Goodwill this weekend for $5.99.

It caught my eye because the lady on the right (I think of her as the grandmother) reminds me of my own grandmother. I'm sure I have a picture of her with that exact hair-do, wearing that exact dress, those exact pearls.

But that's not what made me buy the photograph.

What made me buy the photograph is how sad it is.

Look at that family! Look at all those kids. Sisters and brothers, maybe. Cousins? Those dogs. Only half of the people in the photo are even looking at the camera. The grandfather and the boy on the left are laughing. The little girl in the middle looks stern. The boy on the right is staring outside the frame. The baby is sucking her thumb. The girl in the fore - the pretty girl with the pageboy - is doing exactly what's required of her. I image she was the responsible one. The elder sister. The good daughter. The adult-child.

They look like a happy family, don't they?

And it's terribly sad.

I want to know what happened. What happened to that family? What happened between them? What happened to cause this photo to end up in a bin at the Goodwill instead of with one of them?

I bought the photo and brought it home. I guess that's a strange thing to do, but I did it.

So that's that.

In other news, I bought a stack of fiction as well. Been on a reading kick lately (hence all the book reviews on the Review blog). I love Goodwill for books. It's just so much easier to take a chance on a story when it only costs $2.49. Of this stack (shown) I started with the one with the green spine - Peter Rock's My Abandonment. I loved it. Going to have to blog about it. Maybe later in the week.
Anyway. That was my weekend. How was yours?
I've fallen off the blogging wagon.

This happens sometimes. I get busy. I can't think of what to write about. Global events depress me and leave me with nothing to say.

It'll pass. And when it does, I promise I'll be back to posting like a madwoman. Promise.

In the meantime, let's all take a moment to say goodbye to winter (which has its moments) and hello to spring (which leads to summer):
That's me, by the way.

See you soon, friends. Again, my apologies for the hiatus.
Mondays are so often depressing. I start to feel them coming around noon on Sunday. If I'm not careful, I can find myself dreading Monday as early as Saturday night. And it's weird because I actually like my job. Beginning a new work week isn't so dreadful. I think my Monday dread is a combination of something inherited and something from a long time ago. I've had a lot of truly horrific jobs, you see. And once upon a time, I dreaded Mondays like an agoraphobic dreads a trip to the mall. And for good reason. But those reasons expired a long time ago. Yet still... I dread.

To some extent, I think Monday dread accounts for a lot of the moodiness of this blog, which I tend to produce on Sundays. The other blogs (the chic blog and the reviews blog) have a distinctly lighter tone. But those I tend to produce near week's end, when the looming weekend fills me (and most people, it seems) with a sense of relief.

Anyway. Nathan and I actually had a lovely weekend. We didn't do anything particularly special, but somehow, the weekend turned into a wonderful, relaxing thing and I forgot to dread Monday.

On Friday night, we headed out to a wine and cheese party hosted by my friend Emily, which was nice because Emily has a million friends and a vast network of changing acquaintances, very few of whom I know and fewer still who know each other, so her get-togethers force me to exercise a social muscle that might otherwise atrophy. And that's a good thing. (I'm a natural hermit, you see.) I'm always nervous about parties before they happen, but then I go and end up feeling sort of self-congratulatory and pleased with myself about the whole thing. Like I do when I take my vitamins or go to the gym.
Another hermit: Jeff Bridges in The Door in the Floor.
With the rain pouring down and social butterflying out of the way, neither Nate nor I felt a need to leave the house on Saturday and we spent a glorious day watching movies in our pyjamas and eating antipasto with our hands. We saw The Door in the Floor and To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, both of which I'd seen before, but Nate hadn't. They're beachy and grey and depressing, but very good in their own ways. Both based on literature. The Door in the Floor is an excerpt from the John Irving novel A Widow for One Year, while To Gillian is a David E. Kelly adaptation of a play of the same name by Michael Brady. In the interim between the films, Nate watched a basketball game and I reread about half of Michael Chabon's book Wonder Boys, which is also a movie, by the way, and I'm now hankering to see it again, too.

It was a very literary weekend, all things considered. I guess life gets that way when you're surrounded by writers. Nate's mom recently finished the manuscript of her latest book, and I read that last weekend. It left me crying for a good half-an-hour, so I'd say it's pretty good. And Nate, after a couple of years of uncertainty, the loss of one publisher and the finding of a new one, is now closing in on the publication of his own first book, so we spent a little time this weekend trying to get a half-way decent author photo for the back cover.

Here's one of the outtakes from our back steps:
Nate has a tendency to tense up at the sight of a camera. As a result, he's often captured with the frozen smile and dead eyes of a serial killer. (You should see his passport. Scary!) So we had to take several shots, but I think we got at least one that works.

Anyway. Like I said, it was a damn fine weekend. On Sunday, we had a volleyball game, a big birthday dinner for a friend, and some ridiculous five-pin bowling. And somehow, everything came together and obscured my usual dread, and Monday arrived, sunny and fine and full of possibility.

Did you have a nice weekend?