Sunday, December 28, 2008

literary surprises

Sometimes I'm surprised when books that are hailed as being great actually are good reads. Right now I'm reading The Color Purple and am really into it! I'm also reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and like it too. Actually, Huck is a little harder to read because the dialect switches. And for some reason I was under the impression that Huck was black for a good 50 pages until someone told me he wasn't. I obviously never read Tom Sawyer but I thought part of the story of their friendship was that they were different colors back in those days. Goes to show ya what I know.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ignorance be damned

It's well after 2am and I can't sleep. I am frustrated with the ignorance and selfishness of people around me, both known and unknown.

First, I would like to applaud Seattle for not using salt on the roadways. Here are a couple of arguments for using salt:

1. "Puget Sound is salt water" um...even so, is Lake Washington? Lake Union? Green Lake?

2. "A little extra salt isn't going to hurt anything." seriously? Are we just adding a dash of salt? Would you go up to your friend's salt water fish tank and shake the salt shaker into it? I think you'd lose a friend. Puget Sound is laden with pollution for the entire region and salt is certainly going to cause a problem.

3. "We use salt all the time on the East Coast and there are still fish there." This one made me laugh out loud. When was the last time this guy looked at species decline in whatever region he was living in? I even wonder how many of the fish he's thinking of are native.

So anyway...that's really grating on my nerves. Today I also got into an argument with my own father about global warming. The man can't cite any sources nor is he willing to look them up for me. He can't explain to me what he means when he spouts off some 'fact' without using a whiny sarcastic voice (and then he still doesn't answer my question). I actually yelled, and I mean yelled, at him when he pulled that on me. This all started when he swept his arm about to indicate the snow and said "This was all caused by global warming." I responded, "Actually, we should expect to see more precipitation in our region whereas the interior of the country will see far less." Here are some other quotes:

"We're in a two year cooling period"
"We're in a warming the 1600's..." Don't think he ever finished that bit about the 1600's but I heard it brought up a lot.
"What are we going to do when we find out they were wrong?" Um, rejoice? Enjoy our cleaner air and healthier bodies?
"Al Gore is an idiot."
"There are lots of scientists who don't believe it." like whom? and I can guarantee it there are a lot more who do.
Something about "humans can't alter the environment." At that point I reminded him that we're animals and look at the crazy shit we do. We build cars and buildings that can regulate heat, we make machines that let us talk to people on the other side of the world. Thought that might lead into a theology argument but it didn't.

Oh, I think I remember one of the 1600's statements. It was something about what did I think people thought when there was a cooling period in the olden days and people's crops couldn't grow. I said, so straight faced I was so proud, I said "they probably thought they were smited by God." Booyah! And he couldn't argue.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Goal

In addition to reading books my students are reading so that I can recommend books to them and bond with them on reading, I also want to read as many books from this list as I possibly can.

Banned Books List

It's so interesting. On Wikipedia's list of banned books, this line stuck out to me immediately:
Black Beauty Anna Sewell
Was banned in South Africa in 1955 because of the use of the word 'black' in the title
And I was reading about a kid who spear headed a campaign to ban To Kill a Mockingbird because of the racial slurs. He even wore a t shirt to school with those words written all over it and was told to cover up the offensive terms. I can't remember if the school ended up banning the book but I think they at least considered it.

That doesn't make sense to me at all. The book is a snippet of history. I think it's good he read it and was offended. We should always remind ourselves of where we came from as a society in order to continue on the better path.


*edit* I've just noticed that both of these goals force me to read Harry Potter next.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Ahh...the shopping is shopped, the shipping is shipped and the exams have been examined (A- in PE? pff whatever!). Now I get to read and knit for leisure. Time to enjoy the holidays and the lackof work and school involved.

Monday, December 08, 2008


I started reading Holes this weekend and it is such a good little book! So much better than the Twilight series.

I grabbed Holes on my way to the gym. I've never tried reading and working out at the same time. As long as I'm on a stationary bike it works quite well! I went longer on that dang bike than I ever have all while reading. Very enjoyable work out.

Monday, December 01, 2008

let down

I read Jurassic Park when I was about 13. I remember how tense and scared I was as I read it in my upstairs bedroom on the farm. A couple years later, I read The Vampire Chronicles at the house in town. Again, the suspense made my heart beat fast and my chest tighten.

I haven't experienced that kind of immersion in years. What happened? If I read those same books today would I find them as vapid as the other things I'm reading? Was it just my youth?

I am so tired of authors making characters so dumb! If your protagonist isn't supposed to get something, I sure wish you would write it so the reader doesn't get it either.

sigh, I'll go back to reading Eclipse now.