Battleship and my Imaginary Bookshelf

Yesterday evening my boys went on an outing with some of their friends for about three hours.  I dropped the boys off and my friend's husband asked "are you going to do anything fun with Rick?"  I was wearing pajama pants and a t-shirt (but I had showered-- go me!), so I just looked at myself, laughed and said "Nope.  Just gonna eat dinner with Rick and hang at home."  But it really was a fun night.  To me at least.

Before Rick got home, I got to play the piano for a solid 45 minutes without interruption.  Usually when I start playing, the kids sandwich me in, and start playing with me on either side of the piano.  I actually don't mind that much.  I think it's cute, plus I figure it's giving me a stronger ear to keep it up with a chaos of notes surrounding me.  I remember feeling this way as a kid.  I grew up in a house that was really loud sometimes (six brothers and usually at least a handful of neighbor kids running around-- all in a pretty small house), and so I think I got used to reading, studying, playing, and sometimes sleeping, with noise all around me.  It's probably why it hardly even phases me when my kids are acting like wild monkeys.  I always remember preferring to study in college in the busy student areas.  I felt like I could focus much better if I was surrounded by busyness and noise.  It felt like home to me.  :-)

But it was nice to play in a quiet house too.  Really nice.

When Rick got home we ate a gigantic sandwich from Capriotti's.  Have you seen their sandwiches?  A small is probably as big as a foot long at Subway.  Anyway...they were delicious, and it was nice to eat with just the two of us.

Then we played Quirkle:

I already had it out from playing it earlier with Vaughn.  I fun colorful game!  Vaughn is getting old enough now to really enjoy a lot of games with him.  I've had this for a while, but he's just started to love playing it with me.  His favorites are Uno, Candy Land (I'm so sick of Candy Land!), and Rory's Story Cubes.  I love the story cubes because we can all enjoy that one-- even Mason (his stories are hilarious.  I really need to capture one on video some day).

Then we played one of Vaughn's other favorites that we had out from earlier, Battleship:

Way more fun to play with Rick.  I didn't have to remind him twenty times that he'd already guessed that spot.  :-)  Although Vaughn is getting better, and I do enjoy having one of my ships sunk playing with Vaughn because he gets a huge proud grin on his face.  I stacked all my ships into the top right hand corner with Rick-- a risky move, but it payed off, because he didn't figure me out until the very end of the game after I started laughing uncontrollably, and right before I found his last ship.  It was too late by then though.

Then we watched the Olympic swimming trials-- so awesome.  I love watching the olympics, and I love that I've been married long enough that I have memories of the past Olympics that we've watched together.  Olympic athletes-- and any of the ones who are trying to get a spot on the team, are so inspiring.  To give up so much of their time and life for that one chance.  It's amazing to me, and so exciting to watch.

After our kids got home, all happy and tired out, and were tucked in for the night, Rick and I sat in bed and read and visited for a while.  He was just starting to go to sleep when I started thinking about our recent camping trip up in the Sierra Mountains.  On one of the days I drove down the mountain into a small little town nearby, Bishop California, to a great little book store they had there, while Rick explored the camp site with the boys.  He made fun of me a little for being in the mountains and wanting to go to a book store, but I love spending time in book stores, especially if I can spend as much time as I want.

My favorite book stores are usually small, have lots of comfy seats, and include used books in with the new ones.  I also love the little sections that feature books that the workers of the book store recommend.  Often, I find myself getting so excited over a worker's  recommendations, and wishing I could meet them and chat with them for a while.

(I realize I'm really a geek).  So last night, I got all excited thinking about me working in a book store, and what books I would recommend.  It's a hard thing.  I couldn't recommend some of my favorite books or authors of all time (Kafka, Vonnegut, Dostoevsky, Wolfe) for fear that customers would come back to the store and clonk me over the head with a volume of Kafka's asking me why in the heck (they'd say that if we were in Utah) I recommended this book.  There are also a bunch of favorite books that I'd always recommend that I'm pretty sure most people have read or were at least exposed to in school (To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice).  It can't be too difficult of a read, but I would also never recommend a book at a bookstore that wasn't really well written.  It would have to be a very readable and enjoyable book.

I woke Rick up (he wasn't really asleep yet-- but almost there), and talked his ear off about which books I would pick and what books he would have on his shelf.  He was a good sport and listened patiently for a while, gave me three answers, before telling me to leave him alone.  :-)

I love that Rick likes to read too.  We have very different tastes in literature, but we almost always spend an hour reading before bedtime, and like to visit about what we are reading.

So here are our imaginary book store shelf recommendations (because I know you're just dying to know).

Jane's recommendations:

Watership Down, by Richard Adams
Travels With Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck
The Shadow of the Wind  by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
The Princess Bride by William Goldman

All awesome books that I loved and would recommend to others, and not fear (too much) getting clonked over the head with them by angry customers.

Rick's recommendations:

The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler, by Thomas Hager
The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime, by Thomas Harvey
Smile When You're Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer by Chuck Thompson

So there you have it.  How Rick and I spent an evening at home together.  Battleship and imaginary bookshelves.  I'm glad I have someone to enjoy the simple pleasures with.