Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Books on the Shelf

Book 8: As Simple as Snow
by Gregory Galloway
Finished  February 13th

I was recommend this book by one of my 8th graders.  She told me it was her favorite book and said I should read it.... before Thanksgiving.  I finally purchased it from my Christmas money, and got it in the mail.  I set to work reading it.  This book is full of mystery and oddities.  It is about a girl who moves into a small town, and starts writing obituarites about everyone who lives there.  It is told from the point of view of her new boyfriend, and town native, a character whose name is unknown.  The girl, Anna Cayne has a strange way to communicate, with letters of random information and things found on the street.  On the weekend of Valentine's Day, Anna disapears under mysterious circomestances and her boyfriend spends his time trying to figure out what happened and trying to communicate with Anna from the other side.  The book ends leavng questions unanswered, leaving the reader with a feeling of the unknown.  It was an entertaining book and an enjoyable read.

Book 9: Red Badge of Courage
by Stephan Crane
Finished February 20th

Finally buckled down and read this classic.  It has been hanging out on my shelf for about 3 years.  I can tell why this book is called a classic. Imagery, moral conflict, character building, and hero making filled story.  I liked that the title of the book just popped up on some random page before too much had happened.  I also enjoyed the fact that the hero is a flawed man.  I guess that is the point.  It is a coming of age book for during a war inflicted era.  Henry enlists as an optimistic teen boy, and through is journey with war and developing his character, becomes a man.  Definitely belongs on the classics to read list.

Book 10: The Outsiders of 19 Schuyler Place
by E.L. Konigsburg
Finished February 21st

I loved this book!  The underdog rallies to save the day! Or in this case, the towers her uncles built.  This girl, Margaret Rose Kane is left at a summer camp, and rebels.  Her rebellion is to refuse to participate.  Her response to everything it "I prefer not to."  I love this response.  She also hums or sings "God Save the Queen" to make her statement. She gets kicked out of the camp, but in the process, becomes friends with the camp handyman.  That friendship blossoms (hehe) and helps Margaret save the towers.  This is a feel good, happy ending book.  Unlike the last two books (numbers 8 and 9).  Margaret engineers a committee of unexpected people to help overcome the snobish neighbors who want to disassemble the towers.  She even engages in a sit it passive protest.  Margaret Rose has all the makings of up and coming activist.  E.L. Konigsburg is one of my favorite children's writers, and I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style and story telling.  Everything from her character building to her foreshadowing, was witty and entertaining.  I don't want to give too much away as it is a read worth book, so I will end here.

one last randomly selected book....

Book 11: Maximum Ride: School's Out Forever
by James Patterson
Finished February 26th

So, I am not a fan of the serious books because I get so sucked in and can never get out.  I usually find that as the book number increases, the interest and storyline decreases.  This series, however, is not written this way.  I feel like the story was written, and then chunked for each book.  In other words, it is like one continuous story with the next chapter in the next book.  I enjoy the characters, and it is great to have a familiar feeling to them.  I did like that there was only about a paragraph of recap from the last book.  I hate drawn out retelling of the previous book.  Ek!  Anyway, I'm rambling.

The story continues with the flock of mutant bird-kids enrolling in school before they are discovered and have to flee.  The same enemies are here, with a few twists and still the same question of who is on the side to save the world.  A big of teen love drama is thrown in to stir things up and test the bonds of the flock.  As well as a short visit with crazy family.  Then end still leaves you questioning what will happen and leads you back to the shelf to pick up the next.  ( I don't have the next one, so we will see when I'll get to it).  It is a good old teen adventure.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lois Lowry

So,  three of the next four books I've read have been written by Lois Lowry.  I looked her up because I enjoyed the books so much.  They are all so different, but have something trying them together.  I just couldn't figure out how to sum up what it was. This is what she said about her books on her site, which you can check out on your own ( "My books have varied in content and style. Yet it seems that all of them deal, essentially, with the same general theme: the importance of human connections."  I read this, and I was like "Duh! That is it!"  I got interested in Lois Lowry while I was working at George Kelly and the 8th graders there were reading The Giver.  I decided to read the book all these 8th graders were enjoying and loved it.  It inspired me to go out and buy some more of her books. (To be fair, it doesn't take much to give me an excuse to visit a book store and spend some money.)

Book 4: The Silent Boy
by Lois Lowry
Finished January 30th

The book is pretty cool how it incoporated real pictures and ancestors.  It totally got to me, seeing as I am a huge historical fiction fan.  I really enjoyed the story told from a little girls point of view.  It is set in the early 1900's in a farming community.  Katy, the girl, is the daughter of a doctor and tells of her experiences with another boy in the community and his family.  The boy is "touched" and has a special way of seeing the world and handling animals.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.  It definitely displays how we are all interconnected in our community.

Book 5: Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
by James Patterson
Finished February 3rd

This book is a teen adventure.  It is kinda one of my secret obsession.  I love teen adventure.  It is adventure without the foul language and usually has some underlying message.  This one is about a group of children that have been genetically altered to have the bones and wings of a bird.  Or course, there are the typical bad guys, and an evil nemesis.  It has them exploring the country for their family history and purpose for exisiting.  It is the first of a trilogy, which I did not realize when I started.  If you are not interested in starting a trilogy, don't read this.  It leaves a lot of items hanging at the end of the book.

Book 6:  Gathering Blue
by Lois Lowry
Finished February 6th

This book has probably been my favorite I've read so far this year.  It is about a primitive like community that rids itself of their weak and young that have flaws.  Although, there are few exceptions, the story is told from the point of view of one of those exceptions.  Her name is Kira, who has had a twisted leg since birth, and was allowed to live.  She has extrodinary talent in weaving, which saves her from banishment when her mom dies from an unexpected illness.  I don't want to give too much away, (I could talk for hours about this one), but it has a couple of surprising turns in the story, and well worth your time.  It is also a book that has a theme of human connections.  Lois Lowry is a genius.  Also, according to her website this is the second book in a trilogy with The Giver.  Their stories are not related to the extend that you need to read one to understand the other.  They share no characters, but... I think it is a trilogy due to the similar setting and theme.  Read it.  You will love it.

Book 7: Gossamer
by Lois Lowry
Finished February 7th

If you are a dream junkie, you will enjoy this book.  It is about how these fairylike creatures collect memories to give us dreams.  The story centers around Littlest One and her experiences with an older lady and the boy that is staying at her house.  Of course you are encountered with this relationship between the lonely old woman, and an angry, hurt boy.... and the dog.  It also connects our dreams with the strength we need to deal with the challenges each day.  The book goes in a full circle, from Littlest One's first day of training, until her last day of training when she meets the newest dream maker.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Year, New Books

Happy New Year! Yeah, I know I'm over a month late, but it is one of my goals this year to keep my blog updated. This morning I was contemplating what I could do to get myself motivated, or what I could write about. Then I remembered that I also have a goal to read one hundred new books this year. I thought I could do a Julie&Julia thing here. I'm going to try it, so here goes. I am going to blog about each new book I read. I am about 7 books behind at this moment. I will try to catch up. :)

Book 1: Inkheart
by Cornelia Funke
Finished January 10th

I got this book because I saw the movie. I saw the movie and enjoyed it. Like most movies written from books, I figured the book must be better. I will have to say, some parts of the movie played better for me then in the book. Although, in both the book and the movie, my favorite character is the little boy read out of From the Thousand and One Nights book, Farid. This book is fanciful and imaginative. It is a good book to read out loud to children. I think my nephew would love it. Hum, I should lend it to him. I do think he could relate to the martin. Mischievous.
How crazy exciting would it be to met the characters you have created. I think if I knew that could happen, I would try my darnedest to become an author. I don't know what kind of character I would want to come out of a book.

Book 2: Old Magic
by Marianne Curley
Finished January 18th

This book was an adventure. It took you though time and magic. It starts like a typical "I'm different" book. Outsider girl is drawn to new boy who displays a curious talent. The ideas inside are all magical; witches, curses, transformations, time travel, love, etc. It does talk of strong family ties and heritage. I bought this book as Amber's Christmas gift. It is not the kind of book I normally go for, but I thought, Why not? Pretty good. Definitely an Amber book.

Book 3: 'Till We Have Faces
by C.S. Lewis
Finished January 26th

I LOVED this book! As it says on the back of the cover, it is a myth retold. Which myth you say? The one with Psyche and Cupid. Although, sometimes it doesn't seem it, the story is full of all types of developing love. It reminds you of how selfish ones views can get when they are filled with misconceptions and misunderstandings. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I don't want to give too much away except that if you love mythology you will love this new twist on things. Well, not really new, but you will love it. I don't know what else to say, but read it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ed Rooney

Guilty Pleasures

Reality TV
Barnes & Nobles

Irrational Fears
The Dark
Driving Alone
Deep Water
and many, many more....
Childhood Career Aspirations

Honestly, I secretly wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. I also looked into becoming a Florist. I want to go back and get my certificate for that kind of thing and open my own shop. However, this was not a childhood aspiration. I didn't want to do this until I was in High school, so I don't think it counts.

Most Desired Travel Destinations

Prince Edward Islands

Favorite High School English Reads
Tess of the D'urbervilles
To Kill a Mockingbird

Funnest Halloween Dress-ups

Emo Punk


Favorite 80s Movies
Breakfast Club
Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Art of Participation

I went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on last Monday. It was just me and a couple girls from work. One of the exhibits was the Art of Participation. It had videos and displays of art starting in the 5o's where the art only worked if people participated. That part alone was pretty cool. They had a piano there with blank music sheets on the wall and a video of John Cage's score being performed on the streets. Only he didn't play the piano. The focus was not on the instrument but on what the audience would do and the sounds they would make. If yo want to see more about John Cage and 4'33" you can click on the link here:

They also have display of photography entitled The Gift. It is pictures of normal people displayed on a huge wall. They rotate the pictures throughout, but the cool thing is that all the pictures are of people who have come to the museum. They had a photostudio set up and you volunteered to get your picture taken and then it became part of the art. It was so cool.

The best was that there were ones that everyone could participate. I got to be in several art pieces. I talked in a microphone that talked back, be a lady on the computer that could fly, take a survey about a series of photos, and more. My favotrite was when we got to put together sculputures from the items. We were supose to follow the posted directions, but we didn't see them until the security pointed them out because we were playing fruit hockey and doing other things instead. This is what we were supose to do:

Instead this is what we did:

All in all, it was a fun day. We spent all day there and still didn't make it through the whole museum. The Art of Participation was only two floors of the museum. We also got to see some Diego Rivera, Jackson Pollack, and even a Pablo Picasso. There was an exhibit of photography that was way interesting. Besides the Art of Participation exhibit, my favorite was the 1000 journals project. This project is where someone put out 1000 blank journals all over San Francisco and asked that if you found it, add to it and then post it online. If you finished the journal, you were asked to send it back. They had several journals on display. It was so interestng to see what people wrote. If you found a journal that you were to add to and then the public would see it, what would you include. I found it so intreguing what people decided to write. I am just curious about people and what makes them tick. The journals were sent out in 2001 and some are still out there. Many have ended up in foriegn countries. I love to see how creative people were. If you want to check it out, they have a website for the projects, and even have made a documentary about it. You can check it out at

Monday, January 5, 2009

Disneyland! Disneyland! Disneyland!

This year has been "A Year of a Million Dreams." I have visited Disneyland 3 times this year and have enjoyed every single second of it. I have had a bunch of amazing experiences -- too many to share all. I decided that I should at least share some of the best ones, so here goes.

The magic all started with my first trip where we won the dream fast passes. But it didn't stop there....

We also got to be captains of the Mark Twain Boat... TWICE!

I got scared by the witch from sleeping beauty - she did not offer me an apple (feww).

I walked down main street one night holding hands with Mickey to get his picture. We had to find a photopass person because our camera had died. He only took pictures with us, and then we got to escort Mickey (well, it was mostly Kelsey) back and he left.

Oh, and did I mention, we got VIP seating to the show Aladdin. In line we enjoyed a hilarious chat with Roz who ended up being the Geanie's mom. Because of this, we sat with her during the show and got to do a meet and greet with the cast! I met all my favorite Aladdin characters that you don't usually get to meet. Iago, Geanie, the magic carpet, Jafar......

I also got to ride the new Toy Story Mania ride...I love it! I love that in the line you can talk to Mr. Potato head. I got to see the High School Musical 2 Parade, and the new one for the Senior Year movie. I rode space mountain about a dozen times and Screamin' about half a dozen. We even got to ride Tower of Terror in our own elevator.

I've met all the princesses and even some odd charaters here and there. Cruella is hilarious to talk to her. All she does is insult people. I got attacked by Scully who almost didn't take a picture with me. I was also able to be a junior fire fighter this last trip. well, actually I just got a sticker saying I was because we rode the fire car. Kelsey and I danced infront of the Fire station when the band was out and we recieved a free pin. It is of tinkerbell.

All in all, I've had an amazing time this year at Disneyland. It ended with this last trip where we got to meet Christmas Mickey and Minnie, who we got pictures with together. We got to see the snow fall (soap spuds) and the light show on the castle. Nothing could hinder my trip, even when I was in as splint because of my broken finger and it rained like cats and dogs on the second day and we had to wear ugly ponchos.
The only disappointment has been that when we wrote dumbo, I didn't get to hold a feather.
But we don't talk about that.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Showing you the finger

Yesterday was our ward's turkey bowl. I picked up Natalie and Adam and we drove on over. We had an awesome Hawaiian lunch. Afterward, we split up for teams to play flag football. Natalie and Adam watched from the sidelines as I tried to win some fans with my playing.
On one such event, I was grabbing for Phil's flag and got his shirt instead. I looked down and realized that something wasn't right with my finger, so I walked off the field. Natalie asked me why I stopped playing and I told her that I broke my finger. Bishop was there and said I probably just dislocated it. After building up courage, I pulled my finger to relocate the joint. It didn't work. I could still feel the joint out of place. So.... we headed off to the hospital. On the way out Brother Sherrill asked me why I wasn't crying. I told him I have a high tolerance for pain. I was wrong. I could feel the pain because of the adrenaline. I felt, correction, feel the pain.

We got there and of course waited. Then I headed on back. Th nurse asked me a bunch of questions and then said that the doctor would look at my x-rays and then come talk to me. I informed her that I had not gotten x-rays yet. The doctor came in next. I guess there was some hold up at x-ray. He looked at my finger, then bent it. That hurt so so bad. I finally got x-rays and the nurse showed them to me on the computer. Then the doctor came and told me the bad news. I had indeed broken my finger. I had broken off the part of my bone that my tendon was connected to. This is why I could not bend my finger. He then informed me that to fix this I would have to have surgery. The first thing that popped in my head when he said this was "No Disneyland." For those of you who didn't know, I had planned on going to Disneyland for Thanksgiving. I almost started to cry. I love Disneyland and I wanted to go.

Believe it or not, it is even more purple and colorful

So there you have it. After 26 years of a clean record, of no broken bones, it all comes to an end with this; My First Broken Bone. I do want to say that if Natalie and Adam were not there, I would have been a total wreck. They made me want to be more optimistic and happy at the outcome. I think I just didn't want to cry in front of them. Thanks for being there and sticking around. Adam even helped me with my jacket. And without Natalie, there would be not pictures of this event.