I wanted to do one last post on my lovely Solitary Confinement before I jet off to DC tomorrow. Last night I had a wonderful dinner with my parents at Styx, and we were joyously entertained like small children by the hibachi chef's mad skills. I really do feel like a little kid at those things... so easily entertained! Mom and Dad were even brave enough to try a bite of my sushi (Bagel Roll... delicious in my belly) after I convinced them it was not raw fish. Mom's face was pricelss, and I regret not having a picture. She even cracked a funny, when I told her I had ginger on my plate. "Well, if you feel bad, then you'll have a ginger ale." Oh Deena, you're such a clown.
I finished a wonderful book by a University of Alabama author, Kathryn Stockett, called "The Help." Wow. I cannot say enough about this book, and I encourage everyone to read it. Borrow mine if you need to. Being born and raised in the South lends itself to a more insightful ear for the book, and it's words resonate with feelings and accents we've heard all our lives. It's almost like curling up with an old friend as those words tinged with such rich, Southern dialect leap off the page and embrace you.
I also wanted to share this article in the New York Times that I happened upon online today: "Race in the South in the Age of Obama" spotlighting my hometown of Cullman, Alabama. Reading it literally made my cringe and sink down in my office chair. It's an 11-page article, so it's no short read, but I do encourage you to read it. It was probably worse for me to read, because I knew the majority of people mentioned in the article and can recall some of the themes and events written. Read it if you have the time and catch a small window into my hometown.
I love Cullman and its people, but there is no escaping its reputation in our state. I once had a high school English teacher who told us to be the best representative of Cullman that we could be. That people would always have assumptions about us being from Cullman, but to change it by being an articulate, well-spoken and well-meaning representative who has not stuck in its past. (Thank you, Mrs. Hopper... those words have always stuck with me!)