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!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

no books today

I'm bored.  I'm waiting for the set of nails on one hand to dry so that I can paint the others (and wait again.... then start all over with top coat).  I haven't talked to my mom on the phone today, so I don't know how the dog is doing.  I have felt like I'm forgetting something major for the past 4 days, and I don't feel like reading.  I want to talk to my man friend on the phone or on line or something, even though I'm not really in the mood for talking.  I just feel like I need to output.  I have been input all day with stuff- TV, books, textbooks, websites, facebook, shopping, cooking, more tv, putting the trash out..... but no output.  its kind of strange.  i feel all bottled up but i have absolutely nothing to say.  i really never do.  but i say it anyway.  but tonight is different.  maybe its because im on edge because of the whole 'feel like im forgetting something' scenario.  but what? WHAT AM I FORGETTING????  somebody please tell me, b/c i don't know.  obviously.  that was a dumb statement.  blah bleddy bloobedy so i call my friend.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

#15: my dearest john, you suck

i am usually all for the sappy, ill-written, mass-produced sob fest books created for sappy romantics and teenage girls..... but this one :

Dear John, by Nicholas Sparks, was gayer than Brokeback Mountain. no offense ("not that there's anything wrong with that!" -my dearest friend, Jerry Seinfeld) i know it is "politically incorrect" to indicate how lame and wrong things are by referring to them as quote-unquote "gay", but i have no political qualms. and this book was very gay. let me just say that a book written in first person perspective, from a MAN's point of view, should not dwell quite so much on these sappy, annoying feelings and emotions and state it in such a 'this is how i feel and this is why i feel and blah blah blah' we get it, you're fucking in love. with a girl that u spent a week with on the beach. while you were on leave from the army. how fucking original, nicholas sparks. man up and find your balls, dude. this is not the way bestselling authors are supposed to sound. at least add something unpredictable, some grit, soCheck Spellingme real story-telling. and i did not cry a single tear. because the story was lame. the writing was lame. and life is a lot worse than this horrible wanna-be sob story.... i wasn't expecting realism from this author, but i was expecting something a lot more compelling than this crap. yuck. i know you can do better, mr. sparks, i have read 'a walk to remember' and sobbed in all its sappy glory.
but has anyone seen the movie? i bet they can make it a lot better than the book. one of the few cases. even though the story sucks, i will probably cave and see it anyway at some point in my life. after all, a girl in my lit class said she cried harder than she has cried at any other movie, so it can't be too bad, right? what a skewed sense of reality i have......

Saturday, February 20, 2010

#14: lovely lovely

Something Blue, by Emily Giffin

That's right, i have read another book in only ONE day! needless to say, i had to brag about my impressive ability to read and complete disregard for time spent doing "productive" things. i read an entire book and chatted on the internet today. what did you do? :)

i feel warm and fuzzy. not to say that this book wasn't totally predictable, but im a sucker for a great ending.

most of all though, i am enjoying basking in my room. it's 12:30 on a friday night, or saturday morning, depending on your point of view, and i have enjoyed countless hours wrapped up in my quilt, snuggled up with pillows and ensconced (yeah, i went there) in the nice pinkish glow of my lamps and christmas lights. last i saw, it was snowing puffy, swirling snowflakes outside and i am more than happy to be doing absolutely nothing interesting this weekend. i love my room, which is a really good thing, considering how many hours i stay holed up in here. i wish i could share my room with more people, but then again i don't, because it's my room and nobody could appreciate it like me, as it is entirely my taste and catering to my liking. i feel like a beach boy, but i really could go on about my room for a while, which would be quite showy, and i don't like to be showy. but tonight, reading about the misfortunes and joys of darcy and ethan and rachel and dex, i came to realize just how happy i am to be here. i hope you are happy too, wherever you may be. :)

*peace and love*

and, because i couldn't get too sappy on you, here's a little somethin' somethin' from my favorite movie-film friend:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

#14: the giver

guess who just read The Giver by Lois Lowry in less than the amount of time since writing my last post? that's right- me. SUCK ON THAT, SCHOOL! I remember reading this in the 6th grade, but i'm glad my teachers are making me revisit it, especially after taking my philosophy class- the one about good and evil and utopias and dystopias and right and wrong.... well, you get the point. The Giver is very reminiscent of Ursula Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas." An entire community lives a life of happiness without pain at the expense of one person who contains the suffering for them. This isn't exactly the case with The Giver because that one person that is "honored" with all of this knowledge is also given emotions such as love, joy, and true happiness.... as well as the feeling and sight of sunshine, sky, and, of all things, colors! can you imagine living in a place with no sky? no COLOR? i can't even comprehend it. then of course, you have to wonder how this all relates to God.... is Le Guin's story a fable that criticizes/examines the story of Jesus? How He suffered for our sins on the cross? Then how does Lowry interpret these thoughts into her much lighter version, created to be non partisan reading for children to make them think.... think about choices, and life, and emotions that we can feel.... and to question- what is there that we can't feel? what lies are we being fed? for our happiness or is it some other person's idea of happiness? it's hard to imagine the world we live in as a utopia, but is it a utopia to someone or some group out there?

#11, 12: 2 for the price of 1

Hello there! This week I read TWO books- not one, but TWO! The first was for a class, and i was highly UNimpressed. All of this 'educator's education' is really making me think how badly i do NOT want to be a teacher. then i have to do a lesson plan and i realize it's all going to be worth it- not only do i have the power to make my students read books that i can select, but i can also make them analyze it in a fun way, not some drab, blecky way that some of those stiffies in high school made us do it. plus, lesson plans are just to-do lists with big fancy wording and "learning objectives".... and we all know how much i love me some to-do lists! :) So this book, the 'T.E.T. teacher effectiveness training' is just so much bullshit.... i can't handle listening exercises and if i hear one more person say 'use "I" messages' i'm going to fly off the handlebars. i realize there is conflict and management issues in every classroom but i think dealing with them is all about intuition and learning from experiences. because if all else fails, i can drop out of the whole teaching game, write a string of super trashy romance novels and aim to marry rich. or just marry someone handsome who loves me and loves dogs. that'll do too, i suppose ;) as for being "an effective teacher," well, i have had enough of that and I'm only one semester in to the school of ed. uh oh. it's going to be a long ride isn't it?

T.E.T. Teacher Effectiveness Training by Dr. Thomas Gordon
"Now revised and updated, T.E.T. can mean the difference between an unproductive, disruptive classroom and a cooperative, productive environment in which students FLOURISH and teachers feel REWARDED."
well isn't that nice.

Now for the main event.... or at least, the much more enjoyable event.
The Map of Love, by Ahdaf Soueif

This was certainly interesting, but i feel like some of it went flying over my head. for instance, what? Soueif was up for a Booker Prize on this one, but i can understand why she didn't get it. it may be that i am a little dense, and wasn't paying close enough attention to what i was reading (hey, it happens...) but i feel like the stories didn't really come together as they were supposed to. the whole premise is based on these two friends who may or may not be related and the story wraps between two eras and england, egypt and new york.... the whole story was just a little much to take in. and i know i missed something important, i just know it. don't you hate when that happens? especially when you are reading something fun.... i don't mind missing school stuff. hahahahahahahha oh man oh man. i did feel like i took something away from this confusing little (well, actually not so little- 515 pages. too many, although it went fast) number was that love spans not only between people but between time, family, continents, cultures, war, politics, babies.... making me believe that maybe- just maybe- regardless of who i find to love, or who my friends find to love, we can make things work wherever we go and wherever we are from. air force, foreign exchange..... anything is possible

Thursday, February 11, 2010

#8,9,10: not getting ready for school

so valentine's day is almost upon us. i have decided to up the level of horniness and read a delightful, 3 in 1 romance novel entitled,

Bad Boys in Black Tie

by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, and Morgan Leigh

yes, 3 authors because there are 3 books within this book. So far i have read 2, "Good with his Hands" and "Miss Extreme Congeniality." I plan on finishing "Last Call" today, making this a very appropriate time to count off how many i have read thus far in the year. This, according to my still-half-asleep counting (aka correct me if im legitimately wrong), would be books number 9, 10, and 11. deeeelightful. Let me just say that "Good with his Hands" has been my fav so far- in the words of Zack of Zack & Miri Make a Porno fame, he "eats the pussy." while this isn't necessarily my favorite activity in real life, its the best in trashy romance novels such as these. both hilarious and sensual at once! how can it get any better? oh, perhaps it is how they finish multiple times, within seconds of touching each other, then fall, gasping for breath, into each others arms, with the girl thinking 'oh my goodness, he's such a bad boy, and i know he doesn't feel this way for me, but i think im in love,' and the man thinking, 'im so in love she's so beautiful i cant believe this gorgeous babe let me grace her precense long enough to make love to her. do u think she feels the same way too?' this is where the obvious flaw is in most of these romance novels. they are all OBVIOUSLY written by females. because in reality, the situation goes more like this, boy meets girl, both are intrigued, rip at each other like wild animals, then fall to the bed. girl thinks: 'wow, how's my breath? that was amazing. how many girls has he done that with to know to do that? i wonder if we will have pink roses at our wedding? will it be in my hometown or his? when is it appropriate for me to get up and put my clothes on- my fat is jiggling all over the place...." meanwhile, the boy thinks: "fuck yeah. oh im spent. fuck yeah. shit im sweaty. will she get pissed if i pass out and sleep for hours now? is it worth it? yeah....0fffuuuucccckkkk...."
alright, that may have been a simulated thought process.....whatever, im avoiding getting dressed to go out into the real world. yuck. although the snow is gorgeous right now, which is cool. literally.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

#7: more education

Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire, by Rafe Esquith

-sigh- i may be a cynic, but this book just seemed sooooo unrealistic. yes, inner city children can behave like well-to-do, cultured upper class adults, but a whole classroom of them? year after year? just because of this teacher, Rafe? Perhaps it is possible. While kids are indeed monsters, they can be civilized too, but they just seemed to be losing out on their childhood in this classroom. i am about to write a 1 to 2 page response paper to reading this, so forgive me, but i need to let loose all of my negative opinions about this book so that i can suck it up and "appreciate" it in my paper. lol i just felt like the entire book was him trying to sell his reader something- and i don't know what, which left me feeling very confused. maybe he wants contributions and charitable donations for his "hobart shakespeareans" group- children and that not only memorize and act out a shakespeare play in its entirety (these are 4/5th graders....), they also form a band to play accompanying ironic music- a little piece of me died when our author talked about great musicians of history, some of my favorites, like Jimi and the Stones, and paired it so "humorously" with scenes out of MacBeth or the First Wives Tale (okay, i know that isn't an actual shakespeare play, but i keep thinking about the first wives club and laughing a little, so i thought i would just write what i was thinking. as per usual, this may have been a mistake) please PLEASE don't tell me your kid orchestra/"rock band" is ruining great works of music by pairing them with horrific shakespeare plays. blech

As for the rest of the tale, i just didn't really give a shit. this may be a poor reflection on my future as a teacher (but let's face it, i'm here for my MRS degree, as are half the girls in my classes, if they don't already have that particular degree). but honestly, don't give me a self-help, tell-all be-all to teaching fifth and sixth graders. you're just making the rest of us look bad. keep it for the teachers and teachers-to-be who care.

and with that extreme cynicism out of my system, i feel i can now properly write a clear, cheerful response paper to 'Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire.' delightful.

Monday, February 8, 2010

YouTube - ‫جديد شيرين - كتر خيري‬‎

YouTube - ‫جديد شيرين - كتر خيري‬‎
i might be tripping on ambien- i should have actually gone to bed for like the last hour, but whatever, i'm here nbow and this music video clip is just incredibly beautiful right now and dreamy and sleepy and ethereal. so many cultural things mixing and mashing right now in my head and on my computer..... hummm yeaaaaaaaaahea
f.y.i. she is singing about her 'habibi' which means 'her love' <3

Friday, February 5, 2010

#6: Hello Friday. Hello Hangover. Good bye Europe. Hello Adventures in Molly-Land.

alright, i didn't actually say good bye to europe, but i finished Bill Bryson's book about it:

Neither Here Nor There; travels in Europe by Bill Bryson

this was a great book. i wish today, the day that i finished this book, was as great. it was only interesting. let me just say i drank a wee bit too much last night, threw up half my weight, woke up today with a stomach ache and the worst heartburn/acid reflux i have ever experienced. luckily i was at the end of the book, so i didn't have to hear too much about bryson's drinking experiences, but the other days i have spent reading this, i really enjoyed it. he goes back today and retraces a journey he took as a young, wily 20 something in the 70s across europe. he starts in norway and makes his way through many touristy spots and other exciting and less touristy areas such as aachen, sofia, istanbul, paris, amsterdam, italy..... you get the point. it was witty and funny (not as funny as the office, which i have spent NUMEROUS hours watching today as i was a worthless piece of shit today. so much for grocery store and post office and campus blah blah blah..... oh well, no use fretting about it now) bryson has a funny take on life that i wish was more universal, as we would all be a bit more companionable. is that a word? sometimes people are too serious. some others aren't serious enough. he is a good mix. very snarky. very enjoyable. ooohh fuck my heartburn is really killing me, and i feel like i need to shower and then watch more office, however i am getting extremely sick of my bed (u know i have been on it all day) this past week has been an interesting week and i like to think of it as my own little 'travels in molly-land' ah the joys of being me. people i haven't seen, nor talked to very often since august, randomly text their way back into my life, then ask "what r u up to?" then "is it cool if i swing by?" ummm i dont know, you tell me weirdo. 20 minutes of awkward conversation with the office in the background, they left, saying "it was good to catch up" and giving me a hug. also happening in molly-land, i seem to have disregarded any sense of "i have to do homework and/or anything of value and importance." so we'll see how this goes. and now i am off to shower, watch the office, and convince myself that i do not, in fact, have enough money to order a pizza and/or italian food. well alright then.

p.s. the link i have included has clips from a show i watched this morning, "America's Cutest Dog." i shit you not, that is the actual show, and it is indeed filled with cute dogs. i almost lost my mind, and my favorites (bulldogs on the trampoline and border collie aerobics) are both on here. best waste of time EVER (well okay, for today)

Monday, February 1, 2010

does this count as a book? it should, it reads like one, with about as many complexities....

it just occurred to me, as i was sitting here in my pajamas, listening to Porcelain by the Red Hot Chili Peppers at full blast, eyes closed, reminiscing about the first time i heard it and how much i still love it and the intricacies of such a beautiful song yada yada yada that if i were to teach it, as part of a poetry unit, not only would i risk ruining the song for myself, as it is one of those musical sanctuaries of mine that i can cry/laugh/fall asleep/smile/close my eyes and hum/etc... to. first of all, if this was taught as a poem (which it should be- it is truly beautiful and endlessly complex), would it be considered "classic rock" by my students? would they have ever even heard of it? will only those students schooled in great 90s rock even know who the red hot chili peppers are???

anyway, i'm supposed to be getting ready for school, but i needed to let that out in the world, lest i let these thoughts loose in our classroom discussion later on and get pegged as the class space case that may or may not be on drugs.

here are the lyrics, in case you were wondering. and the image from the cover of the CD (yes, i have the cd- and i prefer it that way, no mp3 bullshit for me i want a solid copy in front of me, to play in my car at full volume and share with my friends.)

by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Are you wasting away in your skin
Are you missing the love of your kin
Drifting and floating and fading away
Do you smell like a girl when you smile
Can you bear not to share with your child
Drifting and floating and fading away
Little lune
All day
little lune
Do you carry the moon in your womb
Someone said that you're fading too soon
Drifting and floating and fading away
Are you wasting away in your skin
Are you missing the love of your kin
Nodding and melting and fading away
Little lune
all day
little lune