Friday, June 26, 2009

So It Begins!

Shortly, I will be dashing out to get my children from their half-day of school, so we can begin enjoying their summer vacation! Teacher gifts have been lovingly distributed, hugs and kisses have abounded, and playdates (for me as well as the kids) are in process. Whoo hoo!

I'll talk about books next posting, and an asshat I came across on YouTube. Keep posted.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Thrilled, n'est pas?

Cutie Pie graduated Kindergarten yesterday! I have no more babies. Sniffle. But it's not about me; it's all about him. He ROCKED his first year in full-on school, and I couldn't be more proud. If only first grade knew what was coming for them in September...

I will say that the ceremony was even more psychotic than usual, with the parents acting more horribly than the children. Crawling over one another, standing en masse in other parents' way so that they could get a shot of their child - I was fuming, and not very silently. When I saw one of Cutie's friends, shifting uncomfortably in his seat and I realized it was because the poor kid couldn't actually sit back in his chair because a parent was balancing her elbow there in order to hold her videocamera steady, I blew my stack. Luckily, being a member of the PA Board, my friend noticed me and brought me up to the front row, but that doesn't change anything. Rude is rude, and this was mortifying. Do we have to act like this in front of our kids, folks?

I turned in my second paper today, and got another 10/10. I cheered out loud, and then started looking up when the next paper is due. This class is great, but it is truly a trial by fire. It looks like I've got two weeks to work on this next one, but I'll make sure to devote some time to it every night. I've managed to stay pretty current with the readings and the writings, and I need to stay on track.

Knitting - still working on the Cirque sock; I go to it as stress relief between papers.

Reading - Finished Friends Like These - hilarious and perfect, as I mentioned before, for the Facebook generation. I am tempted to go get more of Danny Wallace's books, he's so accessible as a writer. In the meantime, I'm reading lots of great articles on the history of the library and the image of women in the library, for my paper.

I also finished another good book for the clubs; this one's Hungry by Crystal Renn and Marjorie Ingall. Crystal Renn is a model who started out "straight size" (amusingly enough, that's what they call 'regular' models); she suffered from anorexia for several years in her teens before finally deciding to go the plus-model route and found huge success in doing so. The fact that size 12 is a plus size, especially on a 5'9" woman is just unbelievable, as is the assertion now that size EIGHT women are modeling plus size. An eight?! I'm 5'3" and aspire to getting back into my size 8s. Clearly, the fashion industry is more delusional with each day. Anyway; Renn has revolutionized plus-size in that she does high fashion modeling in addition to the Lane Bryant, mainstream stuff. I even went so far as to Google Image Search her, and she really does have some beautiful stuff in her portfolio. She's even walked the runway for Jean-Paul Gaultier - maybe people are starting to finally wake up in fashion? Doubt it.

Okay, next book. I'm still reading Warriors by Erin Hunter, and Heartbreaker's waiting patiently to discuss it. He's reading book two in the series and just finished a Cornelia Funke book - Ghosthunters and the Gruesome, Invincible Lightning Ghost, which he really enjoyed. He's also working his way through the first book of Secrets of Dripping Fang; it appears he's inherited his parents' choice of fiction.

I'm also sneaking in chapters of another Jennifer Lancaster book, this time, Bitter is the New Black. I'd read Such a Pretty Fat by her last year, and am still laughing. I was kind of surprised by some of the hating going on when I read through her reviews on Amazon, even Publishers Weekly. Yes, she's self-centered; yes, she's brash and a bit shallow - but it's part of the character she's portraying. It's funny, people! Lighten up and laugh, we don't need to be the Greek chorus for everyone. Sometimes it's just funny.

Monday, June 15, 2009

One down...

After much ado about... well, something, I finally turned in my first paper of the semester. And got an A! Well, a 10 out of 10, to be exact, but that's an A, isn't it? To say I was relieved is an understatement, since I'd been beating myself up about whether or not I really belonged in graduate school. I could hug Nancy for letting me use 3 years' worth of Book Links issues so that I could get it done. Next paper is due this Friday; I'm researching the Catholic Library Association this time.

Off to run the kiddies to school for now; more later.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Okay, keeping up with the books - finished Listen to the Animals, by a vet named Dr. Bruce Coston. He runs a small veterinary practice in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and the book is his journey from childhood to becoming a vet and his life as a vet and the people he's come into contact with as a result. I'm not normally one for the sappy side of life, but I loved this book. Dr. Coston just comes across as a good man who loves animals and people, and he wants to do everything he can to help everyone he comes into contact with. He didn't go for the cheap sob stories - although be warned, there are some good ones in there - and he's not afraid to laugh at himself, or some of the wacky animals and humans they love.

What am I reading now? Well, take your pick. I've got my trusty Foundations of Library & Information Science for school - and yes, thank you, it is good reading. I'm also reading Friends Like These, by the guy who wrote Yes Man. It's the perfect read for the Facebook Generation, which I include myself in at the moment. Danny Wallace is on the verge of turning 30 (horrors!), and receives a box of stuff from his parents - a bunch of stuff left over from when he was a kid. He finds an old address book, and wonders what his friends are doing these days. And proceeds to go all around the world to find out. So you mean I'm not the only one looking up old St. Bart's associates? Love it! Check out the little video on the Amazon UK site from the link, too.

Heartbreaker's teacher has set goals for him - yes, now the DOE is making sure kids have goals. I thought getting a good grade on a test and not having your parents scream at you was an admirable enough set of goals, but no. One of his goals is to have a family book club, since he's very active in the class book groups. I decided it was a good idea, so I took out a book on his say-so. He's gone completely bonkers for a series by Erin Hunter called Warriors; I'm reading the first book, Into the Wild. It's a series about cats in the wild - not housecats who've run off, feral cats, with clans and a mythos and hierarchies. So far, it's very good; I'm enjoying it. It kind of reminds me of one of my favorite books as a kid, Pyewacket by Rosemary Weir.

You've never heard of Pyewacket? Not surprised; I've yet to find anyone who does. (Nancy?) It's a great book - I think my own copy may have been handed down from my cousin, actually. Anyway, it's a book from the points of view of a group of cats - all residential cats, but who gather together outside - who are the pets of the residents of a group of row-houses in what sounds like a run-down area of town. The houses are going to be demolished, so the people have to move and the cats have to decide whether they're going to stay or go. Pyewacket is an alley cat, no human for him; he's kind of the leader of the group. God, I wish I could find a copy of that book again. I loved that book.

I'll talk more about school next time; I've blathered on enough for now. More tomorrow.