Why 100?

Last year I set out to read 100 books, but I ran out of time and only read 75. So this year, I will read one hundred books. And you're my witness :) The only thing stopping me this year is 9 seasons' worth of Seinfeld episodes- wish me luck!

Friday, December 24, 2010

97. going greek??

Beginner's Greek by James Collins
There is something so intriguing about love stories that never really work out the way they planned, leaving both parties horribly depressed and alone throughout most of their lives until they realize that the only thing they ever wanted- for person A and themself to get together (finally!), is actually happening.  it sucks for all other parties involved- mother-in-law, dead husband/bff, torn lovers who are instrumental in small pieces lining up in order for fate to signal to the (finally!) happy couple that they are *sigh* meant to be.  i ate this up with a spoon, and then licked the bowl.  in this analogy, i liken Beginner's Greek to the best BEST bread pudding i have ever had, with just the right amount of rasins, and rum sauce, but not so that it becomes too sweet, just eggy and moist and nice and absolute perfection in my mouth for a few seconds as it slides down my throat easily and deliciously.  mmmmmm now i want bread pudding.  damn.  today is christmas eve day!  where is the hustle and bustle and warm comforts?  still asleep, i believe it's only 6:35 in the a.m.  too early to keep my eyes open much longer to also write about book 98. 31 Bond Street.  But i guess there really isn't that much to say about it, otherwise than what a good period writer, what a bad mystery writier.  nothing made sense in the way that mystery/action novels are supposed to all twist and tie together. perhaps i'll write more on 98 later.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

96. thinking on paper

Thinking on Paper by V.A. Howard, Ph.D., & J.H. Barton, M.A.
very technical.  very boring.  but useful.  i have no further comment. :p

Saturday, December 18, 2010

95. the other woman

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
Historical fiction is always sort of a middle ground for me- i love it, especially the weird details from that time period and how scandalous some things are in the past decades that people wouldn't even think twice of now.  historical fiction also borders on boring 95% of the time, and this was one that just fell right over that edge immediately and never came back.  i don't enjoy perspective writing- especially when it is really repetitive and doesn't add anything to the plot and intrigue.  mary, george, and bess are repetitive and besides telling the basic events that shape the stories, they talk about the same thing every single chapter.  because of that, this book was sort of frustrating to read.  i don't remember The Other Boleyn Girl being as boring (although it could've been much sexier, like The Tudors, the very sultry Showtime series.  mmmmmmm....  that's how i like my 16th century historical fiction- nice and sexy.  jonathan rhys myers.... yummmm)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

94. middle eastern conflicts

i've been working on this book for a while.  it read like a textbook, albeit a very interesting textbook, called The Modern Middle East by James L. Gelvin.  i finally learned the background of all the things that people talk about- *warning: i am about to show you just how ignorant i really am* i now know more than the location of the palestine/israel conflict and how yasser arafat ties into that.  i already knew a bit about the iranian revolution, but i got some background on that, too.  and i also learned what rentier states are and how some forms of defying westernization are actually just imitations of what western cultures do (just don't tell the head honchos that!).  i was really frustrated after i read this book.  they spoke about how globalization may either help lessen the tensions and open more of a pathway between middle eastern nations and the rest of the world, but it is also possible that access to all of this information can be what ultimately gives those in power more power because they control it (as seen in saudi arabia).  i was also really frustrated with how the west had meddled with that part of the world.  why do our cultures have to intervene into everyone elses?  yes, sometimes we actually help those parts.  but if you look at how westerners drew up the boundaries of iraq- with little regard for the sparring cultures that they trapped within those boundaries- it is little wonder why there are so many problems there.  and it is even more frustrating because they used to have a lot of the cultural freedoms that we have here today- like secular government (or no real established overall government) and nationalists, westerners and islamists saw that they were going too far and then established strict new rules that threw those nations into the religious state of affairs that people struggle with today.  i'm not really on anyone's "side" at this point, after getting some of the facts, because everyone has screwed up when it comes to what should be done in the middle east.  they really need to be left alone to develop their own culture and allowed to govern themselves, but it is too late for that because they already established corrupt governments to combat other nations meddling in their affairs.  so what to do?  i have no idea.

Monday, December 6, 2010

93. "God bless us, every one!"

i needed a little incentive to get into the holiday spirit.  i am having an especially difficult time this year for some reason- i've tried forcing myself to listen to christmas songs on the radio, i make myself go into the decorating section of target (where everything sparkles!), and i put in the extra mile when i was wrapping gifts for my loved ones.  but i'm still having a hard time.  first of all, it feels like january outside already.  snow, bitter cold winds, and icy sidewalks= january to me.  second, christmas this year means i'm not going to be with all my loved ones; my habibi's birthday is christmas day and he will either be in a town 6 hours away or on his way to the other side of the planet (literally).  i'm afraid christmas will just magnify the feelings of missing him.  thankfully all of my friends will be at home over this break, so i will have them to lean on. 
anyway, in the effort to get in the christmas spirit and cross another number off my list, i read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  I had never read it, only seen it (most recently in Muppet format :) yay) It was great.  I was surprised by how easy it was to read Dickens' writing.  I thought he would have written in ancient, crotchety Olde English, but that was not the case at all.  And *spoiler alert* Tiny Tim lives to see the Christmases Future, and Scrooge lives happily ever after.  what a lovely story.  *

Sunday, December 5, 2010

92. murderers and rapists oh my!

reading this book was a little like hearing the svu soundtrack through the bedroom wall..... people were being hacked up left and right and there was a rapist stalker on the loose.  spooky, but Micheal McGarrity's Hermit's Peak wasn't too scary and was pretty good.  i do like a little more mystery, though.  there really wasn't a whole lot of suspense and there was absolutely no "whodunit" element.... because the author tells you and makes the connections for you early on.  i prefer to guess until the end, and then have the connections spelled out.  because of this, i was not on the edge of my seat, reading in suspense.  i did get through it pretty quickly though because i wanted to know who was going to get cracked down next.  the love story was pointless and totally unrealistic.  that was unfortunate. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Notebook

91. tear jerkers

when i realized that i could read books for free on my droid phone, i was very excited.  this must have been why i opted to add Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook to my "Shelf."  i'm not saying i regret the decision to read this tear-jerker, but i will say that i didn't appreciate having to hold back the tears on the bus this afternoon.  someone gave me a funny look- i think he thought i was choking or something.  nevertheless, i liked it.  i recently watched the move from beginning to end for the first time (and sobbed like a baby.  then my roommate walked in at the end and had to leave the room to avoid sobbing like a baby)  but in a good way.  which makes me wonder: why do women enjoy making themselves cry?  i don't enjoy crying all the time, in fact it is usually unwelcome as it pops up in unfortunate times and places for very strange reasons- sadness, frustration, happiness, going too long without eating.... you girls know this list all too well, i'm sure.  but i will admit, as will most of the females that i have spoken to in my life, that i enjoy tear-jerker movies, books, tv shows, conversations, etc etc a little too much.  why do i want to make myself blotchy and sniffly?  it's kind of sick really.  although i once read an article that said studies have found that tears actually are one of nature's ways to rid your body of negative toxins.... i wish i had written down where i read that, but it was a legit source and there were many studies done on the positive effects that crying had on the body.  do girls have more toxins to shed or are we just more weepy because of the estrogen?  or maybe guys secretly cry just as much as girls do, they are just ashamed and hide it verrrry well.  anyway, the notebook caused me to choke up in a good way.  one of sparks' books that i give a thumbs up to.  A Walk to Remember is also a good one that causes readers to weep for pages.  in fact, that was one of the first books to make me legitimately cry.  bellissimo.  sometimes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

90. thurber carnivals

The Thurber Carnival by James Thurber
When I first saw this book, in my mom's costco shopping cart, i thought i recognized the name james thurber.  i thought that surely this was one of those books about an author's crazy tales or life from the perspective of another author with creative licenses..... but no, this is thurber's self-made little carnival.  before i picked it up i thought "that thurber guy must be pretty whimsical to name his collection of short stories after a carnival."  i was correct.  he is whimsical, indeed.  while i can't say i understood any of his little "comics," his short stories were great.  i especially enjoyed the one about their childhood dog that bit people because he was in a bad humor.  i love this author!  he writes about dogs as if they are humans and captures their personality quirks perfectly.  how can you not like someone that is able to do that?

Monday, November 29, 2010

89. making me hungry for pizza

Playing For Pizza by John Grisham
When someone wakes up in a hospital bed from the worst concussion in the world with an entire city that hates them, apparently they go to italy to play football there!  i hesitated to pick this one up, but my mom insisted that it was "a kinda cute ending," so i gave it a shot.  i'm glad i did.  it was a nice little novel to conclude my interesting little weekend.  and i think i am going to keep the weekend alive by -gasp- skipping my class today!  oh no!  but, with the exception of finishing Playing for Pizza, i am actually going to get some shit done.  and thats a promise. 
Grisham surprised me with his detailed portrayal of both food and football in this book- not a law firm, a football field in italy.  i reccomend that he do this sort of food writing again, because it was making me drool.  and isn't that, after all, the sign of truly good food writing?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

86, 87, 88. seem too good to be true?

.... it's not.  since this weekend was thanksgiving weekend, infamous for time spent around the house doing absolutely nothing except being around family, i took full advantage and read like a mofo.  Peony in Love by Lisa See came in at spot 86, and i really enjoyed it.  i liked how see worked around the plot line of the classic Chinese opera (i'm assuming it actually exists: The Peony Pavilion.... if not, it was still cool) and molded it to her character, while still throwing in some crazy twists and turns.  it managed to be a bit depressing at times, but overall the message of despair was overcome by love and family yada yada yada.  there was also a lot of reference to the intricacies of literary analysis and early female writers barging through the male dominated politics and improprieties.  i liked that.  this would be a good read for any female literature student.  not to be sexist, but it was quite girly and girl-power centered, so yeah. 

number 87: I'm Down by Mishna Wolff
another memoir piece.... its interesting how these are soooooo popular right now.  i'm even writing one for a class (in fact, i should be doing that right now instead of writing this.....) this was one of the more light hearted ones that i have read and i actually laughed out loud at some points.  it was ridiculous.  but enjoyable.  and also really easy and quick, which is an important quality in books i read these days.  mishna is a completely white child that is part of a completely white family but they live in a predominately black neighborhood in seattle that her dad grew up in and therefore identifies more with the african american culture than anything else.  so mishna tries to fit in and "be down" like her dad and little sister but has troubles.... hilarity ensues.  blah blah blah  this would make a funny movie (not as funny as borat though)

number 88: The Bad Girl's Guide to Getting What You Want by Cameron Tuttle
an oldie but goodie.  i read it every time i need a pick me up that makes me feel less guilty and more excited to be alive and do good bad things.  if you haven't read this book, definitely grab it.  again though, more of a women's book.  and it is a little corny, but it tries to be, and its soooo good that it cancels out any corniness.  sooooooo great.  read it now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

85. Writing Makes Perfect

This was an interesting book.  I have to do a "book talk" on it with a partner for a class, so i don't want to spend too much time on it here, but it was a worthwhile read.  it is definitely in the pile to keep for future reference, and i think i will actually reference it at some point, which is saying something.  gallagher has an innovative perspective on actually customizing your teaching to include as much writing as possible and also to cater to what the students need at that moment in time.  for instance, if you notice a lot of students are having issues with run-on sentences, teach about run on sentences then and not later on as a book or curriculum dictates.  also, something i didn't know before, don't make notes to correct every little nitpicky thing..... that wastes your time and they don't even look at it if there are marks everywhere.  i totally didn't know that.  instead, note only a few things that pop up in that students' paper several times and let them fix it.  ah the things i am learning..... i'm learning about learning! ha!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

84. magical realism inspires magical procrastination

I think books are my crack.  I really do.  Instead of facing my blasted homework as I should... finals week is looming closer and closer, I said to myself, "i'll just finish my book, then i'll feel better."  if that isn't an addict's statement, i dont know what is.  I am nearing the end (as in 30 pages away) of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and it was an interesting, albeit confusing read.  I think I can see in this book the style that must have taken some part in inspiring the strange salman rushdie.  while it is confusing and sometimes grotesque, magical realism is the bomb.  the author describes a normal person's day, in an average portrayal of the world, then BAM! somebody just floats up into the air into infinity while they are helping someone fold a sheet in the courtyard.  you never see these instances coming, nor do you really know what has happened while you are reading it, but then you think "wait a second..." and re-read a few lines and realize that the book is crazy (in a good way).  there were gypsies (give me your tears..... oh borat, how you slay me), flying carpets, massacres, butterflies (yep, rushdie had definitely read this before becoming a writer) that appeared around one person and their memory, 200 year old people, glowing gold, and my favorite so far, a pool filled with champagne!  so delightful.  i have no idea what surprise awaits me in the next 30 or so pages as the book ends, although pretty much every one of the family members has locked themselves up in some form of solitude and died (or lived for hundreds of years)*sorry, but this wasn't a spoiler, if you haven't read it, you definitely know that most of the characters will die at some point.  and, as i still have 30 pages, not everyone has died.  so there.  i will disagree with the critic who said that this book should be required reading right after the book of Genesis, though.  that's kind of sacrilidge.  not cool.  nor did i think it was that over-the-top required reading fantastic.  but what do i know? 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

81 and 82 classroom research

as i have come towards the end of my education studies (YES!), i have come to the realization that not only is my spelling, grammar, and ability to think going downhill, i have also not read nearly enough young adult literature to help any future student out.  which is why i hit the AWFUL college library's young adult/children's section.  it is horrendously under-represented for such a vast and unimpressive library,  and books are only available for 7 day check out, but i will not use this space to air my grievances with the university library here.  i will just say that 81 and 82 were my own form of research, and the book i am in the middle of right now is too.  Dangerous Skies and The Chocolate War kept me company last week, and i can now say that i have no idea why they speak so highly of Cormier's The Chocolate War.  There is a lot of random inferences to "jacking off," as they most commonly refer to it, and really weird boys' school dynamics, but i suppose boys would like it.  i can never see reading this as a classroom though, it'd be pointless.  and Dangerous Skies is my own pick, not something frequently discussed in class, but i thought it'd be worth a chance.  It might be a good introduction to racism in 50's/60's south for 5th or 6th graders.  we'll see i guess, if i even get that chance.  other things are happening, and i hope to sit down with Lois Lowry's Number the Stars tonight and wrap it up.  which would mean 83, in case i don't get to writing it. because i am too busy rushing to the library within 7 days to return it.... don't get me started.
ciao (look how rediculous i am tonight.  crazy weekend results, eh?)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Between love and madness, lies xenophobia

Sunday, November 7, 2010

As 80 approaches, a summary

A summary of what I have read thus far, a count of 79:
1. Ten Days in the Hills, Smiley 2. Who Moved My Blackberry?, Kellaway 3. Girls of Riyahd, Alsnea 4. Dragonfly in Amber, Gabaldon 5. Teaching Poetry in HS, Somers 6. Neither Here nor There, Bryson 7. Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire, Esquith 8/9/10. Bad Boys in Black Tie, Foster, McCarthy, and Leigh 11. The Map of Love, Soueif 12 T.E.T., Gordon 13. The Giver, Lowry 14. Something Blue, Giffin 15. Dear Joh, Sparks 16. Engaging Readers & Writers, Wilhelm 17. Deeper Reading, Gallagher 18. The Moor's Last Sigh, Rushdie 19. Mediterranean summer, shalleck 20. the road, mccarthy 21. second helpings, mccafferty 22. classics in the classroom, jago 23. split second, baldacci 24. you are what you eat, browne 25. little lady agency, browne 26. joey pigza swallowed the key, gantos 27. white noise, delillo 28. the treasure, johansen 29. reading native american literature, goebel 30. sunburned country, bryson 31. the phantom tollbooth, ,juster 32. blogs, wikis, podcasts, richardson 33. the help, stockett 34. room with a view, forster 35. moscow rules, silva 56. little lady, big apple, browne 37. even cowgirls get the blues, robbins 38. little lady and the prince, browne 39. ellen foster, gibbons
40. the scarlet letter, nathaniel hawthorne
41. love the one you're with, emily giffin
42. queen of babble, meg cabot
43.smitten, janet evanovich
44. the secret of lost things, sheridan hay
45. goodnight nobody, jennifer weiner
46. letting go!, mara fox
47. a thousand acres, jane smiley
48. a journey to the east, herman hesse
49. the lost symbol, dan brown
50. everything is illuminated, safran foer
51. pretty little liars, sara shepard
52. fourth comings, megan mccafferty
53. the kitchen god's wife, amy tan
54. vanity fair
55. charlie and the chocolate factory, roald dahl
56. leaf man, ehlert
57. voyager, diana gabaldon
58. is it done yet?, barry gilmore
59. the language of baklava, diana abu-jaber
60. native son, richard wright
61. the love songs of sappho, sappho
62. how to stop worrying and start living, dale carnegie
63. of mice and men, john steinbeck
64. teaching visual literacy, nancy frey and douglas fisher
65. persepolis, marjane satrapi
66. nose down, eyes up, merrill markoe
67. winter in the blood, james welch
68. Jesus, deepak chopra
69. skeleton man, joseph bruchac
70. friday night lights, w.h. bissinger
71. sizzling sixteen, janet evanovich
72. vision in white, nora roberts
73. drums of autumn, diana gabaldon
74. the hidden life of dogs, elizabeth marshall thomas
75. shakespeare's sonnets, shakespeare
76. literacy in the digital age, r.w. burniske
77. the maltese falcon, dashiell hammett
78. the associate, john grisham
79. the legend of sleepy hollow, washington irving
80. the secret, rhonda byrne

oh my gosh, i totally forgot to count a book this summer (a hefty one, too)- a thousand acres, by jane smiley!  so i'm at 80!  yaaaay! happy weekend!!!

77, 78, 79 i know, unbelievable, right?

i've actually been working on some of the books i've been finishing lately for a while- some sat on my desk, collected dust on my bookshelf, or got tossed around in my bookbag for a time with a bookmark firmly inserted somewhere near the middle.  so the winners of this weekend's lottery are.....

77. The Associate by John Grisham (hmm. funny, i remember this plot in two other Grisham books....)
78. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving -a classic-
79. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne -potentially life-changing: i am definitely impressed with the content of this book, although the format/writing could be improved, but i am so overwhelmed (in a good way) with the statetements in here that I don't even know where to begin thinking about how it effects life and religion.  we are all made of energy that has been in existence for the span of mankind and will be in existence once we leave.  that doesn't sound like a lot, but think about it: there are so many spin-offs of thought in this one profound little statement from a book:  does that mean reincarnation exists- if our energy is just transferring to the next generation then aren't we somehow transferring to the next generation?  the power from God is energy which He created us with and the universe with, so we are actually part of God, which makes me wonder if Jesus was God's son, but also an allegory for all human kind that realizes this because in reality we are all God's sons/daughters.  this could totally blow the lid off of why Christianity differs from Judaism and Islam in that Jesus was God's son, whereas he only exists in other religions, but it not God's son.  but if this were English literature at its' finest, then Jesus could be real but also the biggest, most powerful allegory or metaphor of all time!  think about it for a second, because i'm not just raving right now, nor am i blaspheming, in case you were wondering.  I have total faith and belief in God and Jesus, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  don't get me wrong, but i also happen to have a lot of background in literary analysis and it is really getting the most of me, but what if i'm on to something here?  read The Secret and think real hard while you are reading it- it'll blow your mind.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

75 & 76!

well, this is shaping up nicely.  so far, i've read/finished two books this weekend and i am well on my way to finishing off two more- yay extra hour for daylight savings time!!!  ha ha actually, i will probably be enjoying sleep during that hour, but you just never know with me.  i woke up at 5 am this morning ( a saturday, mind you) with every single light on in my room- because i had passed out with my hand on the phone at 11:15.... i must have been tired to sleep with all the lights on for that long, eh?  but don't worry, i promptly went back to sleep until 9:30, appropriate saturday morning time (or really, any morning for me.... damn school getting in the way of my sleeping in!) 
This book about literacy in the digital age was a lot of hooey in my eyes.  It mentioned a couple of good websites, but really its full of a lot of stuff that a teacher would never have time to do and that students would never want to do.  whatevs.
as for the american crime novel classic, the maltese falcon, it reminded me of an old smoke and mirrors black and white movie.  im not even sure what that means.  it was also a whole lot of hooey, but at least it was entertaining- i was on the edge of my seat wondering who would be shot next and whether or not brigid was innocent.  it was kind of racy for the 30s when it first showed up, but according to my standards, not nearly racy enough to accomodate the old school pin-up image of the damsel in distress/deliciously evil and crafty woman... i would have liked that to come into it a bit more.  she was not nearly as attractively described as i would have liked.  no, i don't like women, but i do like a good description, especially in a crime novel where that could come into play later on.... 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

73.-74. shakespeare and dogs

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas' The Hidden Life of Dogs and a book of Shakespeare's sonnets..... 26 more to go in ooohhh let's see... 8 weeks.  how will this happen????  3 or 4 books a week!!!!  luckily i am in the process of reading like 4 others right now for school and i have a semi-free weekend this weekend.  The Hidden Life of Dogs was cool, but not as interesting as I thought it would be.  Marshall Thomas is a crazy woman- she spent thousands of hours following her huskies on walks to see where they went and how they reacted to certain situations like traffic, other dogs, different neighborhoods, etc.  But she left so many questions that I would've liked to have known at "I could never figure out the reason for this.."  I would like to know the reason for this, that is why i'm reading your book: go find the reason or back it up with other instances of other dogs doing something like this!  oh well, it was still a quick and interesting read, plus I enjoy almost anything dog-related, so i enjoyed it overall.  also, i read shakespeare's 152 sonnets for my literature class, which, by the way, is kicking my ass.  we have to read so many poems a week that they all get filtered through the system as if we haven't read them at all, then we are tested on nit-picky details.  thanks a lot, lady.  i'm really learning from your class............................... NOT.  "This suit is black not."  -Borat (a way more entertaining fellow than shakespeare- yup, i said it, I, and english major, said it. borat is more entertaining than shakespeare)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

72. should count as 3 books

Another diana gabaldon book.... i think the fifth one maybe. 1000 + pages is too much for me this late in the game- rookie mistake but im plowing thru it all. Too bad the habibi and the school is so distracting. Im finding it all to be a little much but im happy :) and i will make it to 100 if it kills me.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

71. no pants night continues

the excitement never stops here at mi casa.  no-pants night continues on.  i have finished off the last of another book this evening: Vision in White by Nora Roberts.  Let me just say that was a whole lot of fluff in a whole lot of large-fonted, big-margined pages..... but it works.  the end result made me smile, which i suppose is the point of reading these fluffy nora roberts novels.  i am dissapointed to have finally read one of her books and realized it was so shitty, though.  she produces a lot of books (according to wikipedia, over 165)  she has also been in the number one bestseller slot for over 100 weeks combined with all of these books.  why?  this writing is crappy (no offense, nora, i am ultimately impressed with your skills- i am, after all, the one sitting at home alone on a friday night blogging about your book rather than writing my own....) and the sex scenes aka the entire reason to read one of these shitty romance novels are not good at all.  they are super fake and there arent' enough details to result in lady wood, which is what we all want from these graphic and corny descriptions of loooovvvve making.  so frankly, i just don't get it.  but i can now say that i have read one of these nora roberts stories.  and next time, i will pick up a harlequin blaze novel instead.  they are really graphic and corny and there are more of these looovvvee scenes than there are of the will they- won't they? drama.  VERY NICE! GREAT SUCCESS!  let me sum up my no-pants  night ramblings:
Nora Roberts= bad
Harlequin Blaze series= deliciously bad
*wink wink*

69. and 70. sha-wing

alright, i am a bit behind, i know.  i'm working on it.  i'm also working on several large projects and papers and presentations.... the list goes on.  BUT, i am enjoying everything (as of right now, when i have optimism towards the opportunity to do homework that will pop up all weekend long; talk to me on sunday night) i am liking the process of doing all the menial tasks involved in the GRADUATION process.   yes, graduation.  in seven months, i will have a degree.  from a college, not just my dinky high school diploma.  oh yeah that's right.  it is a little hard to see the forest for the trees right now, but eventually i will remember how glad i am to be so close to that time when i no longer have to look at my clock and think "if i miss this class, how much will it really matter?"  damn i'm going to miss it.  but right now, let's just focus on how much i do not like school.  it is sucking up all my reading time.  naughty naughty school.  but i have managed to squeeze in a few here and there- Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger was a keeper of a true story (no "based on a..." b.s. here) and Sizzling Sixteen, the latest Janet Evanovich novel.  also known as the easiest 309 page book to read found out of the children's section ever.  but it was mildly entertaining, which is all i can ask for in a sea of floppy-backed books about teaching writing for insightful students blah blah blah.  but on another note, i think i may read a little tonight, too.  it is friday, after all, and i have to reward myself for going to class this morning- it's reeeeally hard to make myself put on real clothes and makeup and wait for the bus for 50 minutes worth of class.  i spend more time getting ready and waiting for transit than i do in class.  it's a time issue with me, not a laziness.  ha.  but i did!  then i came home and took some nyquil sinus! yaaaay! then i wrote the first half of a rationale for a midterm project due in like 5 days that i just now started and then i took a nap and watched modern family!!!!!!  it's been a day of excitement for me!!!!!  ha ha ha!!!!!!!  alright, i'm done with the exclamation marks.  so tonight, this monumental night, i am going to be thankful for two things, rather than look at the unpleasant side of them (which i totally could, but i'm not going to): 1. my roommate is too hung over to invite her friends over to drink beer and watch weird crappy godzilla remake movies in our living room, so i can use my kitchen to eat and drink whatever i like without judgement and 2. i have declared tonight a "no pants night."  that's right, i have shed my pajama pants and gone hog wild.  well, not so much hog wild, but i am going to pretend i don't have any pants for the evening, as i once did in the comfort of my private dorm room so many years ago.  while i would do anything to have my boyfriend here to hang out with me, i am going to enjoy the fact that i can go sans pants and enjoy his XL t-shirt without having to look pretty.  which is nice because i'm pretty sure i'm lookin heinous right now, and lookin pretty would  be a lot of effort at this point in time.  i have couch lines on my face from my nap, for instance.  foundation cannot cover that shit up.  trust me, i've tried.  so look- i have a glorious night on my hands.  and the whole weekend to do everything i've ever wanted and everything i did not want to do: homework, presentations, writing assessments, reading ,watching netflix, sleeping, eating, cooking, cleaning, getting coffee...... i know, i'm super exciting. no need to tell me twice. 
p.s. friday night lights: good, but too long-winded
sizzling sixteen: decent, but nothing like to good old days of stephanie plum

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

67 & 68

i'm at school right now so i have limited time until my next (unfortunate) class.  i can't wait to have someone tell me my opinion of a piece of literature is wrong again, as it is every week.  just kidding.  i in fact am not looking forward to this class and this rude teacher.  and shakespeare.  blech.  so i read two books since i last visited my blog.  Jesus by Deepak Chopra and Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac.  Both interesting and easy to read.  I have to write a "multigenre" paper about Skeleton Man, which should actually be kind of fun.  our assignment is to write a paper but to also incorporate artistic bits such as song lyrics, poems, pictures, newspaper articles, etc. into the writing to create one real full bodied piece.  it should be interesting.  i think i'm going to emulate one of my favorite books from when I was in third grad that i can't even remember what it was called but it was american girl and the pages of the book looked like notebook pages because it was a simulated journal of this girl whose name started with an a.  and i remember specifically this one really cool part where there was an envelope pasted in and you had to pull out the letter that her friend wrote her and i thought that was A-MAZING.  so i'm gonna somehow pull that baby into this paper and wow and amaze my teacher at my three dimensional abilities. i'll let you know how that goes. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

66. winter in the blood or something....

James Welch, author of Fool's Crow, also wrote Winter in the Blood.  i'm going to forget it as soon as I drop it off in the library return slot.... no dishonor to welch, but i just didn't get into itt.  "Remember the Titans," on the hand, I am watching right now and I haven't seen it since 7th or 8th grade, but it is still amazing and i remember all amazing bits of it.  this is one thing im somewhat looking forward to writing a lesson plan around.  dee-lightful.  winter in the blood, not so much.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

64. and 65. what a productive weekend (for reading at least)

since i have spent so much of my weekend reading things that i didn't necessarily need to read for school, i do not have much time to write out my thoughts and feelings on Eyes Up Nose Down by Merrill Mekoe, and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.  Persepolis was actually for a lesson plan assignment for my media literacy class..... apparently "graphic novels" are the next big thing in teaching.  I think i would have hated having to read and dissect this sort of thing in high school.  i don't do well with comics and graphic reading- there's too much going on.  give me the words and let me picture it on my own.  although i will admit that the graphics were pretty um word word word... i can't think right now.  it's a sunday morning and i'm distracted by the fact that my room is (still) a disaster.  and i also am upset that i didn't do this homework last night when i was motivated.  granted, its not due til wednesday, but i feel that i will be much relieved the more i get done today.  i, as of yet, have no misconceptions about how much will actually get done today though.  i have played this game many a sundays before.  im no stranger to the procrastination game (as you can clearly see- i am writing about what i have read this weekend in lieu of actually doing anything....) persepolis was kind of scary and im not sure how appropriate it would be in a classroom because of the violence, anti-government critique, religion, and curse words in it.  they say fuck a few times, which stands out a lot more in a "graphic novel" than in a regular novel because there are fewer words.  anyway, it was a good history lesson for me at least.  i had no idea of how or why or what went down in the islamic revolution of iran.  now i have some idea.  yay me.  i don't regret spending my saturday nigth reading this book and would recommend it to anyone because it was sort of intriguing.  i also liked the little veiled women pictures.  they reminded me of a darker side of madeline picture books. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

63. yep, i finished another one

To be fair, half of the books that I am finishing this week have been in the process for the past month.  but i would still like to recognize the fact that i am finishing them all!  :)  This was an interesting read for future english teachers..... there were some new ways of explaining the importance of alternative media such as comic books and political cartoons.  this would be great if you ever have to give a solid reason why you are using the particular medium in a class to a nosy parent or principle.  i'll copy a few lesson plans out of here.  i will not, however, be reading story books to my older students.  i mean really?  reading the leaf man did nothing for me, even though i am trained to pick up on literary cues.  i'm just sayin'. 
Teaching Visual Literacy, Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Yeah, that's right, I read Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men last night between writing about Cargegie's book and going to bed.  SHWING!  and i was worried about not reading enough books quickly enough.  well, i can.  and i will.  no doubts about it.  i'm going to read read read today (homework, but still) possibly going out to the park to do so.  All I will say about this "classic" american literature is that it is really sad and i am glad that i don't have to live during the depression and the dust bowl and be a migrating worker and yada yada yada.  thank you God for letting me live in an age where i can read about what this was like and then get on the internet and learn how to make a recipe and all the while watching a wedding on live tv (today show.  man i love it)  congrats to the happy couple- the dress was beautiful.
can't wait to take care of my own mouse killer and walk down the aisle in the beatimus white dress..... lacy and silky and -sigh- beautiful.  although my mouse killer does so on purpose and doesn't keep them in his pocket to pet.  and he doesn't kill puppies.  killing puppies isn't okay any way you swing it.  because they look like this. so cute. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

61. a book that will change my life

I am really astonished at the way this book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale Carnegie, has blown away my freakish need to worry and fret over every little damn thing.  If you can believe it, i was worried a couple of weeks ago about EVERYTHING (actually, you probably can believe it if you have been reading along with my literary journey..... i was a little shifty this past month as far as moods go).  i was so freakin stressed out about stuff that i was worried i wouldn't finish my 100 books this year.  first of all, why worry about that?  it is a personal goal, that i happen to be writing about to an audience of, oh, i dunno, one person, maybe two (or  none?  who knows?).  second of all- who cares?  if not now, i will get to a 100 a year some day.  but i'm not saying this to talk down about my goal.  i really am invested in reading a hundred books this year.  and blabbering about them endlessly on the world wide web to whomever feels like reading about it.  that's why i've busted my butt to read 61 books so far.  in case no one noticed, thats a lot of books.  if you figure that each book i read had an average of about 300 pages, that's um..... (i'm no math expert here, clearly, as my nose is stuck in books 24/7).....18,300 pages i've read in that past 9 months.  and that's just the books i've read in full.  what about those articles, cookbook instructions, magazines, newspapers, textbook entries, websites, emails..... the list goes on.  i'll stop being heady and just leave it at the fact that i'm no slouch when it comes to digesting words.  but this book was really fibrous.  this book stuck to my insides and sloshed around in my brain.  its going to take me a while to digest this puppy and i'm glad.  i just might go back to it again and again, as the handsome devil who gave it to me does (by the way- thank you!) and all the people who have bought it to keep it in print since 1944 probably have.  (i know! 1944!)  it hasn't lost an ounce of relevance.  and you know what has really sunk in and gone into the bloodstream since i have started reading it?  chill out.  deal with what comes at you day by day and enjoy what life has to offer.  pray and leave your worries to God.  appreciate the good things and do what you can immediately to banish the bad things.  
DUH!!!!!  i had to smack my head a couple times while reading this to say "no duh!  why were you stressing out about shit that you have no control over?  why did it take a book from the 40s to make you realize you have an AWESOME life and an AWESOME God?"  but it did take a book to bring this to attention and there were many other lessons that i still can't begin to process because i'm still too busy realizing what an idiot i 've been in my worry and stress and anxiety.  chill out.  be a good person.  -sigh-  thank you, Habibi and mr. carnegie, for making me realize what an idiot i've been.  and i say that with no irony or self deprecation at all- i mean that.  no need to be snarky tonight :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

60. the love songs of sappho

i am too antsy to read or even to sit in this damn chair right now.  frankly, i'm not sure how i'm doing it.  all i know is that class is going to be hell at four.  3 hour class and i'm like this right now?  no way.  i may have to go run around in the halls while i pretend to be getting a drink of water.  i don't care.  at this point i really don't.  reading groups to edit papers?  nah who cares?  district curriculum units to create?  no thank you.  sit in the chair and listen to people who annoy me?  i'll pass.  but i can't because i have to because i can't completely fail these classes.  that would be a dishonor to my so far pristine history with the college of education (ha!).  anyway, i'm just fucking around.  i am really damn antsy and like my head feels like its full of gunk right now.  so i'll write out some of my favorites of sappho's mini poems and leave you on that note for today. 
The Love Songs of Sappho, translated by Paul Roche
 (from 45)
Here where the waters trickle coolly
Through the apply boughs, and ground is shady
with roses, down from the leaves that shiver
         Sleep drops slowly.

At Last
you have come
and you did well to come
I pined for you.
and n ow you have put a torch to my heart
a flare of love-
o bless you and bless you and bless you:
you are back...
we were parted

open your arms
Pretty One, I'm yours again:
far too long apart

the black trance of night
flooded their eyes

I Saw Love
come down from heaven
and fling off his purple cloak
keep your honey-bee
and keep your honey

no, children, do not delude me.
You mock the good gifts of the Muses
When you say: "Dear Sappho we'll crown you,
Resonant player,
First on the clear sweet lyre..."
Do you not see how I alter:
My skin with its aging,
My black hair gone white,
My legs scarcely carrying
Me, who went dancing
More neatly than fawns once
(neatest of creatures)?
No, no one can cure it; keep beauty from going,
And I cannot help it.
God himself cannot do what cannot be done.
So age follows after and catches
Everything living.
Even rosy-armed Eos, the Dawn,
who ushers in morning to the ends of the earth,
Could not save from the grasp of old age
Her lover immortal Tithonus.
And I too, I know, must waste away.
Yet for me - listen well-
My delight is the exquisite.
Yes, for me,
Glitter and sunlight and love
Are one society.
So I shall not go creeping away
To die in the dark:
I shall go on living with you,
Loving and loved.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

59. a paper on 1940s racism

“Her head lay limp in the crook of his arm and his hand reached for the hem of her dress, caught it in his fingers and gathered it up slowly…He kissed her again and at once she spoke, not a word, but a resigned and prolonged sound that gave forth a meaning of horror accepted..’Bigger… Don’t!” says Bessie, Bigger Thomas’ ‘girl,’ as he forces himself on her in his flight from the police. (Wright 198) Is this the excerpt that a parent might choose to use as evidence to keep this book from a classroom or school library? It is one of many questionable quotes and subjects that Richard Wright’s novel, Native Son, arises to the surface. This book was much more questionable when it was originally published in 1940; however the subjects of racial inequality, rape, murder, and the death penalty are still hot button topics. Native Son was one of a long list of most commonly banned books in schools and libraries. Recently, more sexually explicit and graphically violent books have come to the front line of books not allowed in children’s library collections. Some Christian and religious groups have attempted to censor and take away the freedom to access books with homosexual undertones or with vivid descriptions of such things as masturbation or magic. But where is the line drawn between cautious parents and violation of students’ constitutional rights? While slightly outdated, Wright’s Native Son is a great example of how controversial text can be used to teach history, showcase different writing methods, and initiate discussions, among other things. Literary experts against the censorship of books say that “parents are entitled to voice their views and concerns, [but] in the end the task of selecting readings for the curriculum properly belongs to professional educators,” which is an argument that any teacher could get behind in the context of broadening students’ horizons. (Bertin 18) However the other side of the argument, namely the parents of these students, has a valid point as well that cannot be forgotten in the fight of book censorship. Books such as Harry Potter attract critics that “have called the books anti-religious and demanded that they be removed from public and school libraries.” (Scales 535) Teachers need be careful not to be disrespectful to others’ views, so it is important to pay attention to these complaints.

There is an element of truth to the arguments of those for the censorship of books. Once upon a time, I was a young adult, browsing in the library for a juicy weekend read. I stumbled upon Go Ask Alice, by an anonymous author about the perils of drug abuse. It was a harrowing read for me. I felt that the content warranted that it be snuck into my house and read in secret because my parents were, and still are, quite conservative and protective of their darling daughter. They never would have approved of this book, and, to tell you the truth, the book was a little much for me to handle at that age. I didn’t understand sex, rape, drugs, or runaways; and I had been exposed to them in one of these challenged books, which is exactly why these books need to be read within the guided constructs of a classroom or under the watchful eye of a parent or librarian. Experts agree and say that “when children are exposed to books on disturbing or sensitive topics in school, the experience can open lines of communication with parents, teachers and peers.” (Bertin 19) Youth will most likely find and read these buzzed about books on their own, as I did, and it is best to equip them with the tools to face the content matter. There is validity behind the argument for banning particular books; however that just doesn’t seem to be the right action to take in the face of these touchy novels. The books under fire should become teachable moments, regardless of personal opinion.

Take, for example, Richard Wright’s Native Son. This book covers several topics that are very touchy, such as race, rape, sex, segregation, and murder, just to name a few. Native Son is written from the perspective of a young black man living in 1940’s Chicago. Rigid segregation laws have hardened Bigger Thomas, the main character, making him bitter and utterly hopeless. As he and his friend watch an airplane in the sky, he says “I could fly a plane if I had a chance,” and his friend replies, “If you wasn’t black and if you had some money and if they’d let you go to that aviation school, you could fly a plane.” (Wright 14) The restrictions that the white world has placed on him make him prefer stealing and acting out in violence than working hard for minimum pay and accepting poor treatment. This book is hard to read because it reminds the reader of the pain of segregation when aftereffects continue to affect our nation today. Race is a difficult but necessary topic to discuss in classes, especially in the context of American history and social studies, both of which impact an English classroom. Parents may bristle at the thought of discussing the way white people used to treat African Americans and how it is comparable to the current race relations. Wright uses the word “nigger” several times throughout the book in ugly ways that may be offensive to some readers. This, however, is not the main controversy in Native Son. Bigger takes advantage of his ‘girl,’ Bessie, in a moment of vulnerability. He also has sex several times with her before her murder, and even though it is consensual the first few times, Wright describes it in a way that may not be classroom appropriate. He also writes several graphically violent scenes depicting gruesome murders that would be hard for some readers to digest. Bigger murders Mary, his white employer’s daughter, and then throws her body in the furnace to burn the evidence. In order to fit her body in the furnace, he “whacked at the bone with the knife. The head hung limply, the curly black hair dragging in blood. He whacked harder, but the head would not come off.” (Wright 79). This appalling detail was yet another issue that was brought to the front of the table when concerned parents asked for this book to be removed from curriculum and school libraries.

While these are valid concerns, it remains to be seen that these are all issues that are topics of discussion among students. At such a vulnerable age, rape, race relations, and sex are important items on the discussion docket. There are a lot of conflicting viewpoints and even laws about these particular subjects that need to be addressed in order to turn students into responsible citizens before they are let loose in the world. A classroom is a safe environment to start a running dialogue about topics that matter for students. Books remain an invaluable starting point for such discussions.

It could be argued that Native Son could be used in an English classroom as a study of writing styles and the effect of grammar usage and dialogue alone. Native Son is a great instance of realist writing. To quote an article on Native Son’s literary style, “[It] is a realist text that does effectively critique American class and race relations, in ways that would seem to baffle the charges of reaction and conservatism [that] more contemporary critics would level at the realist mode.” (DeCoste 130). Good examples of particular writing styles are hard enough for a teacher to find, much less ones that cover interesting topics that students will show passion about in discussion and writing. The addition of the controversial subject matter makes this an especially enticing read for young adults. How many titles on the top banned book list are bestsellers? How many of these titles shot to the top of the bestseller lists after they were under fire for censorship issues? Attempting to ban books often calls more attention to the scandalous nature of the book, circulating the main idea that is so troubling to those trying to censor it in the first place.

So is it worth it to ban access to certain books? Or is banning those novels only making them more prolific? It is hard to say whether or not banning a book will actually keep it out of children’s hands, but it is easy to see what the children will be missing out on when certain books are taken from curriculum. The National Coalition Against Censorship agrees that “literature not only sharpens language and analytical skills but also allows young people to explore the world vicariously and better understand the world around them.” (Bertin 19) The lessons found in hot button reading are irreplaceable. If a classroom was robbed of Native Son, lessons about America’s racial past and the hardships of the death penalty would certainly not be properly introduced and it would not inspire thoughtful discussions that may not have been introduced otherwise.

Well, what grade do you give it? 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

55, 56, 57, 58. what is a stump in the road that costs a lot of money? school.

I have been a wee bit busy lately, and nonetheless, quite QUITE full up of information.  There are still remains of my not-so recent move on my floor, school supplies and vitamins randomly hang out on my desk, and my pile of books has somehow exploded (and grown- thanks so much, teachers, for making me buy more things that i don't really need).  what i'm trying to say is that i don't have a ton of things to say (about my reading, at least), but i want/need to record the books that I have recently read before I entirely forget about them and lose count of my year thus far.  which would be a shame to lose over a few silly essays and a bad hangover, right?  those mean nothing, this is my goal for the year, whatever else may happen.  just kidding.  sort of.  on that same line of thought, do you think i will make it?  i'm not even to 60 and it's almost the end of september, with more deadlines and papers than i think i have had all my life and less required reading in whole book format than i have had thus far in college.  but as soon as i get this application in, and the first round of real papers out of the way, i'm sure i'll return to my completely apathetic state of mind as far as school goes and get down to the important stuff- the reading.  anywho, i have much to say about my four books (well, two of them at least) but i'm about to retire for the evening - can anyone guess what the last book i read was?  i'll give you a hint- it was set in the 1700s!!!!  and now i am writing like a wee lass.  can't wait to see how these papers turn out this weekend.  alright, drumroll please and my four books are:

The Language of Baklava, Diana Abu-Jaber
Is It Done Yet?, Barry Gilmore

Voyager, Diana Gabaldon

Leaf Man, Ehlert (you caught me- this one is indeed a picture book for children, but i have to write a literary analysis of it and i had to go to the library to check it out, so i'm counting it)

The Language of Baklava freakishly mirrored my life/future life and i loved every bit of it except for the beginning when they kill the lamb.  but they felt bad about that, so i'll let it slide.  the recipes in it were some of the habibi's favorite and it was really fun learning about another culture through the memories of a child, then the eyes of that child as a grown-up.  more later on all of these books, if i get a chance.  perhaps not until next year, once my reading goal is completed ;)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

53.& 54. charlie's literary chocolate factory and a vat of vanity

if i were a literary prick, like many of the people in my literature classes, i would tell you how i re-read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl because of the deep, second layer of meaning that Dahl origiinally intended for an adult audience of this youthful tale.  i would tell you that i read to capture the essence and meaning of the westernized child and how they have become spoiled and wrotten by today's society in a way that is irreversible.  if i were a know-it-all future literature teacher of america, i would tell you i re-read Charlie to gain another insight into the chikl psyche so as to better understand how they take in early literature and compare my reading today with my interpretation of yesteryear.  BUT I'M NOT a literary prick, nor am i a know-it-all future literature teacher of america, so i'm going to state outright that i read this book because it is one of my favorites, even if (probably because) it is intended for a younger audience.  my brain needs a break sometimes, and i like to imagine willy wonka's magical chocolate factory with its pink candy boat soaring down a chocolate river.  who doesn't want to imagine something so fanciful and amazing?  i love roald dahl for creating his fanciful yet somehow realistic worlds for me to imagine as a child and again as me, as i am right now.  literary analysis as they do in college classrooms is bullshit.  it doesn't do a damn thing but give us more to blabber about and get/give grades on.  sometimes you just need to read the damn thing for enjoyment.  i am so sick of college because of these pricks and know-it-alls (who all have way too much to say on EVERYTHING) and their high horses.  they are ruining my school experience, not enlightening me.  if any of you people reading can identify with these bastards that commandeer classrooms, i'm asking you right now to please knock it off. 

on a lighter note, i also read a magazine that had as much verbiage as a book, and was just as thought-provoking and informative, so I am counting the August 2010 issue of "Vanity Fair" as my number 54.   this is also on the same brain wave as literary pricks and high horses, however i like to think of vanity fair as high brow.  i felt so classy buying this magazine rather than that trashy crap (that i love) that i usually buy.  i also learned a lot from this issue: for example: frank gehry is a famous architect who used a fish as a model of movement for inspiration; angelina is thinking of giving up acting (yeah right); saudi arabia is an interesting place for foreigners- hard to penetrate, but once in, very welcoming; and finally, betty white's 'most treasured possession' is her golden retreiver.  i only wish they had told me what his or her's name was.  i would like to know what betty white names her dogs, i think they would be amusing and cute.

Monday, August 30, 2010

52. in the kitchen with God's wife...

The Kitchen God's Wife, by Amy Tan
this was a heartbreaking book.  men can be truly horrendous (that's all i got from this book.... just kidding).  i honestly had a really cool insight into this book last night, but i was so close to finishing it that i thought i would wait to write about it until i finished it.  big mistake.  because guess what? now i've forgotten what it was.  if i remember, i'll be back, don't you worry.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

51. Fourth coming

The fourth in the Jessica Darling series, Fourth Comings, by Megan McCafferty

this is appropriate to record my reading of Fourth Comings today of all days because i am precisely in the mood of neurotic, over-thinking, over-analyzing jessica darling.  i just want to know where he is.  what he is doing.  but most of all, if he's okay.  i have spent my entire summer spending no less than 12 hours a day by someone's side and the second day after my car drives away from that home, we stopped talking.  not because we are angry or over each other or anything like that, but because i had limited availabilty to talk to this bf who my parents dont know about as i was at home to celelbrate my father's bday.  so i called and left him messages- his phone was turned off, i'm assuming because the power was dead.  when i pulled out of my hometown, i ccalled- the phone was on, but no answer.  i left messages.  i kept trying to call (like an insane person, but he knows im not, and he sometimes does the same thing, and we love each other so we know it is out of love not insanity that we keep hitting redial).  nothing all day yesterday.  fine- he was (and still probably is) busy.  nothing all night.  no answer at any time.  he hasn't been online since the day i left, according to skype info.  and he still hasn't called back.  nor have his friends replied to my text asking if they'd heard from him (i know, i'm crazy..... forgive me).  i just want to hear his voice and talk to him and see how he is doing/what he's been up to lately/ how ramadan is going.... you know, the usual.  i can barely focus on anything.  it's kind of sucky.  plus it's already one of those sucky saturdays where you lay around in your own filth too late, and eat crap that doesn't belong in the breakfast section of your diet, and take an afternoon shower, and do nothing even though it is nice outside.  maybe that's because i don't have anyone to do anything with.  where are you babe?  i miss you so much. 
and thus ends my jessica darling-esque freak-out.  damn i am still freaking out.  what if something happened to him?  i just need to take a deep breath. maybe watch some more office?  maybe go on a walk (by myself)?  damn, this town sucks right now.

Monday, August 23, 2010

50. pretty little liars

49. everything is illuminated in the dark

Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated
I am always intrigued by how much darkness amplifies things.  Waking up from a scary dream in the dark is much more terrifying than waking up in light.  The sounds you hear outside and inside are much louder when it is nighttime.  Even your sight seems to increase in the dark- little things you never noticed during the daylight are much more noticeable when they are ensconced in shadow.  Feelings seem to also seem much more intense in the night hours.  But is that because the rest of the world seems to be asleep (or wide awake when you want to be asleep.... aka the partying neighbors)?  And there is less to think about because you are left to your own devices?  I am currently left to my own devices and I am a little upset.  I should be snuggled up and snoozing right now, but i am not.  do certain things, like darkness, illuminate other aspects of life?  Does the past illuminate the future (or vice versa)?  Does the absence or presence of family/friends/loves illuminate our own selves?  In my mind this is what Safran Foer was trying to ask.... maybe I'm wrong. 
Good book, though.  The past and the future and the friends and the family and the lightness and darkness and absence and presence of sound illuminate ourselves and our true identities.  And there is nothing we can do to change that.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

48. The Lost Symbol

Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol
Creepy, but cool.  Lots and lots to think about.  I wish I would have sat down and written about it right away, but I didn't, so I'm working from memory here.  Luckily I scribbled down some brief thoughts on the book right away, so I'll just transfer them here (they might not make a whole lot of sense, but we'll see....)  while this book had some definitely creepy shit in it, it was a fascinating read.  dan brown is kind of sick to think up some of those cultish, murderous things that happen in this thriller, but he's also some kind of genius to be able to piece together ancient mysteries like this (i liked the da vinci code too).  anywho, here's my chickenscratch on the book that i just found:
if God is man- then He is not fair becaues humans can use the power of knowledge for good or evil.  If God is man, who says what "good" is?  Man can literally materialize things with their minds- the created becomes creator.  literally.  all religions encompass the idea that mand and God are created by each other....

*what does this mean?  i have no idea, but run with it, i'm curious to see what we all come up with here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

friday the 13th

i dont want to think a lot tonight, which is a moot point anyway, because i think i am incapable of any sort of coherent thuoght.  all i know is that i am a woman estranged.  on friday the 13th.  m y bouy (yes, i meant to misspell boy for buoy, because he really does keep me afloat) has gone rafting.... otherwise knkonw as party the night before, hungover splashed in the face with glacial water the next mornign.  i hnope that he is driving safely as we speak.  he is my buoy.  my safe harbor in the storm of life = he keeps me afloat.  there are weird noises coming from outside and i do'nt like being left alone, do you? does anyone?  isn't our purpose on this earth to make something of ourselves so that somone can see that and join it and just love one another.  why all this co-creating.  people are co-creating houses, children, apartments, food, wardrobes.,,,, when did we ever create our own and put oour own personal stamp on it before the requirements for approval became "we" stamps.  not that there's anything wrong with the we stamp ..  i love slinging them out on friends and neighbors- we like such and such or on coworkers, we have plans to see this tonight and then stay up late a grope.  ha ha just kidding i would never say that to a coworker.  or really anyone outside my close perrsonal group of friends (you know who you are)  i am in love with him and we love each other are like the two best zingy couple comments i can make right now,,, except there are nutritional myth busters coming at me from my computer from someplace that i truly cannot locate the source, but i am enjoying these debunks.  anyway, see you later.  we are going to bed.  except that we are not- we are going to bed in two separate places which makes me a little sad :( i will miss my habibi this evening) love u baby! 
**goodnight world!**

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

47. a journey to the east

The Journey to the East by Herman Hesse
I sat down and read this book cover to cover in an hour and a half at the library.  It was fairly little, with big print, so I picked it up, recognizing the author's name and going for a quick classic.  It was one of those books that seems to have some kind of bigger meaning that you know you aren't picking up on because it is so basic. Instead of relating my boring anecdotes, I will just type out the (lengthy) but cool quotes:

"I agree with Siddhartha, our wise friend form the East, who once said: Words do not express thoughts very well; everything immediately becomes a little different, a little distorted, a little foolish.  And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another."

"The whole of world history often seems to me nothing more than a picture book which portra7s humanity's most powerful and senseless desire- the desire to forget.  Does not each generation by means of suppression, concealment and ridicule, efface what the previous generation considered most important?"

"I imagine that  every historian is similarly affected when he begins to record the events of some period and wishes to portray them sincerely.  Where is the center of events, the common standpoint, around which they evolve and which gives them cohesion, something like causality, that some kind of meaning might ensue and that it can in some way be narrated, the historian must invent units, a hero, a nation, an idea, and he must allow to happen to this invented unit what has in reality, happened to the nameless."

"Brother H. was led to despair in his test, and despair is the result of each earnest attempt to understand and vindicate human life.  Depsair is the result of each earnest attempt to through life with virtue, justice and understanding and to fulfil their requirement.  Children live one one side of despair, the awakened on the other side."

So what am I missing?