Monday, July 21, 2008

Try Darkness

We had a wonderful time on Saturday night. Jesse's cousins Johnny, Tina, Bonnie, Erik, and Julie all came over, along with Johnny & Tina's son, Tyler. Tyler and Mia spent the evening running around outside chasing the dog until it was too dark to see and they were as dirty as they could possibly be. Inside, the adults had brats, chips, dip, and lots of soda. The conversation never drags with this group. I was quickly accepted into this close group when I started dating Jesse almost nine years ago, and the night rarely ends without every laughing so hard we cry. I truly love spending time with them, because we can go from completely inane subjects to the hard, deep stuff like racism and abortion.

We don't get together nearly enough, mostly because I've been ill, and the gathering place has always been our home. With Johnny's diagnosis of cancer, it's made us all realize how precious true friendship like this is. Johnny was on his fourth course of chemo treatments this weekend. On Friday, he's given a pack that they connect to the port in his chest, and he gets the treatment the entire weekend. It means absolutely no cold food or drinks, and he feels miserable. Each treatment has been more difficult than the last, and he has eight more to go. Please include Johnny in your prayers. For him to have the strength to handle these treatments, physically and mentally; for the cancer to be gone, and for his white blood cell count to stay up, because if it's too low, they won't give him the chemo treatment until it goes back up, and he just wants this done.

Try Darkness by James Scott Bell is the second book in his series starring lawyer Ty Buchanan. Ty has been through the ringer: his fiance murdered, accused of murder himself, and then the loss of his job. He's restarted his life living near a Benedictine convent in the hills outside of L.A. and picking up legal cases out of his "office" is a local coffee shop. A young woman approaches him to help defend her and her daughter against an illegal eviction. But as Ty starts to press the case, it quickly becomes complicated, and then the woman is murdered, leaving Ty to look after her six-year-old daughter Kylie who quickly steals his heart and peace of mind. Sister Mary Veritas, basketball champ, is back stomping Ty on the court as well as on his heart. This series reminds me a bit of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. Ty is quick with the one-liners and the punches, and you have to love a book in which a priest gives lessons in street-fighting, and there are dead-on caricatures of Charlie Sheen and Donald Trump. Bell captures the spirit of L.A. with its quirky characters and a sheen of celebrity. I'm not sure if Ty is moving closer to faith or just to Sister Mary, but either way, I'm along for the ride!

Today's pic is from a party at my aunt's house last night. My cousin, Paul, just got married and visited from Washington to show off his new bride. Mia decided to try out the hula hoops. It looks like she wasn't doing too badly!