25.4.11

Anyone got a Magic 8 Ball?

There are things going on in my life that have me pondering the future... decisions that need to be made... and the biggest one is: how do I make those decisions?

Think of all the options:  A Magic 8 Ball.  Rock-Scissors-Paper.  Throwing darts at a list of options.  Finding a friend and talking it all out over dinner and a bottle (or so) of wine.  Having my cards read. Leaving it all up to the last minute and panicking.

I'm sure there are other ways.  Which should I choose?  Which would you use?

15.4.11

A bad Friend

There are a few people in my life that I love deeply, a great many that I really like and even more that I'm just apathetic about.  And then there are a few that I really... I guess hate is the right word.  When their names are mentioned or our lives intersect, my reaction is visceral.  I try not to waste that much energy on these people, but it's difficult.  I am trying to be a good Friend and to see that of God in everyone but some people?  There isn't a microscope powerful enough for me to see it in them.

Recently one of those few got what's coming.  It's not schadenfreude, just deep satisfaction that things did not go well for them.  And I feel a little guilty about that.

Luckily, Meeting is just around the corner and I can try to let that bad energy go.

13.4.11

Small Meme from Small Pond

Per Cam: Put these things in the order you've done them

Get drunk for the first time.
Graduate high school.
Start college.
Meet who you hoped was your significant other but wasn't.
Graduate college.
Move out of parents' house for good. (assuming boarding school and college don't count as "moving out")
Become gainfully employed.
Meet significant other.
Get a cell phone.
Get married. (fun Lazy fact: the faux SO performed the ceremony!)
Get divorced.
Buy a car.
Buy a house.

and in the never gonna happen category

Have kids.

11.4.11

Book semi-rant

I recently read a book, The Borrower, that disturbed me. Not in a good way (as Drought did for several students I loaned my ARC to), but in that angry way that made me feel that some of my time had been wasted.

Why? Because I just didn't buy the premise. An English teacher friend said that fiction only works if you buy the premise, believe the world created. For example, Ethan Frome didn't work for me because the idea of suicide-by-toboggan just isn't credible. That small – but critical – part of the book ruined the rest of it for me. Anyway, I just couldn't believe Lucy's character. There were several reasons:
  • She firmly believes in the First Amendment. This is stated several times, and she argues that this might be because she isn't “really” a librarian, not having a MLS, which somehow means she's not covered by the Library Bill of Rights. Now, I'm not for censorship (I was raised by parents who, for better or worse, allowed me to read virtually anything I wanted – Jaws being a notable exception, one I'm still puzzled by over 30 years later). But working in a school you learn that you need to understand your community, and if a book's not appropriate, it's not appropriate. I wouldn't put a book like Lolita in a Lower School library, but if a parent wants their 4th grader to read that book, they're perfectly free to buy or borrow a copy elsewhere. And if a parent says that they don't want their child to read a specific book, I can ask why or discuss it, but I won't go behind their back. Lucy does, vis-a-vis Ian. All the time.
  • Her love of the First Amendment does not extend to the Second Amendment. This is something I've noticed elsewhere (Pastor Jones, are you listening?!). If the reason a book is off-limits to a child is because it doesn't fit with the family's religious leanings, who am I to say that their religion is wrong? Years ago, one of my students told me she wasn't allowed to read Harry Potter because of the magic elements. Could I help? I suggested she ask her mother what exactly the objections were – there are similar elements in the Narnia books, there are no magic 'recipes' for students to follow, and the themes of good v. evil and standing up for/with your friends were central to the plots. She talked to her mother and was allowed to read them. Had her mother not changed her mind, I would not have helped her circumvent her mother's wishes.

Those two elements, contrasted with her passivity in all other areas, just made her a completely unbelievable character.

This isn't just a rant, it's a question: can one character or event ruin a book for you, too? Or is it just me?

6.4.11

It's just war...

At MPOW, one class explores the concept of “just war”. Which, of course, leads to the question of Libya. I can't say it better than Jon Stewart, so...go watch the video, ok?  I'll wait.

I've argued elsewhere that there's little in their backgrounds to separate Presidents Bush (43) and Obama... and as the 2012 election season opens, I reiterate my statement. I'm still waiting to feel the frisson of inspiration that others seem to feel about Pres. Obama – every time he has an opportunity to inspire, to lift his rhetoric to the level of Rev. King, President Kennedy and others, he fails. He lectures, he explains, but he doesn't inspire.

It's going to be a long election season, and with the addition of Libya to our problems, it'll seem even longer.

3.4.11

Notes from Mt. Bookpile

Even for me, this was a banner quarter: 71 books read. Reviews over on Killin' time reading...

Biography
Children's/Young Adult

Fiction/Literature

Horror

Mystery

Non-Fiction

Books on Mt. Bookpile: 336
Added: 93
Net gain/loss: Treading water... I think...