charliesmum: (Book Kermit (Slammerkinbabe))
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My favourite place to read a new book is where ever get the chance to open it. I started reading Bridget Jones' Diary queuing for my lunch at a Philadelphia McDonalds. And got funny looks when I LOL'd at the line 'if your name is Mr Darcy you shouldn't stand around looking snooty at parties'.

A couple of weeks ago my BFF and her family visited with us at my fiance's house, and her daughter brought The Hunger Games, so I started to read that. Then her daughter took it away, because she was still reading it. So now I am waiting impatiently for her to finish the damn thing so I can finish it. Have resisted buying it, since I'm already part of the way through it, and its not that long a book. My BFF's daugther isn't the quickest reader in the world, unlike her mother and myself, so I'm considering hitting a Barnes and Noble, grabbing the book and a cup of coffee, and finishing it in the shop. *shifty eyes*
charliesmum: (Default)
Charlie has a summer reading assignment, and I find this annoying on so many levels.

I'm fine if they say 'read a book over the summer and you will get credit for it' but to tell him to read specific books is counter-productive. Let him pick a book he's interested in; show him reading can actually be fun, but don't force him to read a 'school book' in the flipping summer time.

Worse, this is the book he is supposed to read: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Which is a 'Newberry Winner' so you know it's grim and depressing. I read the synopsis and ya know what? I don't want Charlie reading it.

I mean, this is apparently how the book ends: Meanwhile, T. J. has become a rogue, a known thief, and he hangs out with two trouble-making White teenagers, Melvin and R. W.. One day, they bring him along on a murderous rampage and manage to frame him. Papa and L. T. go to stop the lynching that follows. Almost as soon as they leave, however, the cotton field catches fire, as if it was struck by lightning. The lynch mob and the local black farmers must band together in order to stop the fire. It turns out that Papa started the fire in order to stop the lynching.

T.J. has been arrested and will probably be killed for 'his murder'.


What is Charlie supposed to get out of that? People are horrible, and no one can get out of the life they're in because the world is so horrible, so why even bother? And I'm sure the book has good bits in it; but Charlie has issues with abstract concepts at the best of times, I'm not sure he'd get that out of this book.

I always hated books and stories that take such a grim view of the world. Yes, racism was bad; it still is. Why not a book that shows people overcoming it? Sure it may be fantasy, but maybe by showing kids 'how it can be instead of how it is will inspire them to make it so.

As a bonus these are the books he can also read:

Slake's Limbo - A homeless boy who lives in a NY Subway
Kim/Kim - WWII Japanese Internment
Mischling Second Degree - Childhood in Nazi Germany
charliesmum: (Default)
Charlie has a summer reading assignment, and I find this annoying on so many levels.

I'm fine if they say 'read a book over the summer and you will get credit for it' but to tell him to read specific books is counter-productive. Let him pick a book he's interested in; show him reading can actually be fun, but don't force him to read a 'school book' in the flipping summer time.

Worse, this is the book he is supposed to read: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Which is a 'Newberry Winner' so you know it's grim and depressing. I read the synopsis and ya know what? I don't want Charlie reading it.

I mean, this is apparently how the book ends: Meanwhile, T. J. has become a rogue, a known thief, and he hangs out with two trouble-making White teenagers, Melvin and R. W.. One day, they bring him along on a murderous rampage and manage to frame him. Papa and L. T. go to stop the lynching that follows. Almost as soon as they leave, however, the cotton field catches fire, as if it was struck by lightning. The lynch mob and the local black farmers must band together in order to stop the fire. It turns out that Papa started the fire in order to stop the lynching.

T.J. has been arrested and will probably be killed for 'his murder'.


What is Charlie supposed to get out of that? People are horrible, and no one can get out of the life they're in because the world is so horrible, so why even bother? And I'm sure the book has good bits in it; but Charlie has issues with abstract concepts at the best of times, I'm not sure he'd get that out of this book.

I always hated books and stories that take such a grim view of the world. Yes, racism was bad; it still is. Why not a book that shows people overcoming it? Sure it may be fantasy, but maybe by showing kids 'how it can be instead of how it is will inspire them to make it so.

As a bonus these are the books he can also read:

Slake's Limbo - A homeless boy who lives in a NY Subway
Kim/Kim - WWII Japanese Internment
Mischling Second Degree - Childhood in Nazi Germany
charliesmum: (perfect moment elucreh)
Do any of you remember reading Ruth Chew books?
She had a whole series that usually involved 2 children having magical adventures. These children, sometimes brother and sister, sometimes cousins, sometimes friends, almost always lived in a "Brownstone" in Brooklyn, as I recall, and there was much metiononing of locations like Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Zoo and the Brooklyn Zoological Gardens (assuming I am remembering the names correctly).

Why am I bringing these up, you may well wonder. Well, part of my job involves putting together layout packages that include maps, and one of the places in which I do this is Brooklyn.

Every time I am working on Brooklyn maps I think of these books that I loved, and smile at the fact that Brooklyn, in my mind, always equals magic.
charliesmum: (Default)
Do any of you remember reading Ruth Chew books?
She had a whole series that usually involved 2 children having magical adventures. These children, sometimes brother and sister, sometimes cousins, sometimes friends, almost always lived in a "Brownstone" in Brooklyn, as I recall, and there was much metiononing of locations like Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Zoo and the Brooklyn Zoological Gardens (assuming I am remembering the names correctly).

Why am I bringing these up, you may well wonder. Well, part of my job involves putting together layout packages that include maps, and one of the places in which I do this is Brooklyn.

Every time I am working on Brooklyn maps I think of these books that I loved, and smile at the fact that Brooklyn, in my mind, always equals magic.
charliesmum: (love is timeless)
Remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted about The Penguin Book that had a few people in an uproar because it was about two penguins who were male and a couple, and got to raise a baby?

Well, I bought the book on Amazon, I thought to give it to Charlie, as we've been to the Central Park Zoo, but it is a bit more childish than I thought it might be, and I've decided to give it to my niece, Maya, instead. She apparently likes penguins.

Anyway...I just thought I'd tell you, for the record, that it is an absolutely adorable book. It's about families more than anything. Here's some brief exerpts:

But children and their parents aren't the only families at the zoo. The animals make families of their own.

Every year at the very same time, the girl penguins start noticing the boy penguins. And the boy penguins start noticing the girls. When the right girl and the right boy find each other, they become a couple.

Roy and Silo are introduced at this point. Roy and Silo were both boys. But they did everything together. They bowed to each other. And walked together. They sang to each other. And swam together. Wherever Roy went, Silo went too.

They notice that the other penguins are starting a family, and they make their own nest, and sit on a rock in hopes it will hatch. Fortunately, there was another penguin couple who had two eggs at once, and as those penguins had a history of not being able to tend to more than one egg at a time, the zookeeper gave one of the eggs to the boys. They sat on the eggs (apparently penguins take turns tending to the offspring) and evenutally the baby was born. We'll call her Tango," Mr Gramzay (zookeeper) decided, "because it takes two to make a Tango."

It ends with this: At night the three penguins returned to their nest. There they snuggled together and, like all the other penguins in the penguin house, and all the other animals in the zoo, and all the families in the big city around them, they went to sleep.

I believe it was [livejournal.com profile] slammerkinbabe who mentioned this proves, rather than disproves, that homosexuality is a part of nature. Remember the swans in Boston?

At any rate, it is a very sweet book, totally appropriate for children, and that it caused any sort of contraversy is a reflection on the fears of narrow-minded people, not becausethe book is contraverial.

/soapbox
charliesmum: (Default)
Remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted about The Penguin Book that had a few people in an uproar because it was about two penguins who were male and a couple, and got to raise a baby?

Well, I bought the book on Amazon, I thought to give it to Charlie, as we've been to the Central Park Zoo, but it is a bit more childish than I thought it might be, and I've decided to give it to my niece, Maya, instead. She apparently likes penguins.

Anyway...I just thought I'd tell you, for the record, that it is an absolutely adorable book. It's about families more than anything. Here's some brief exerpts:

But children and their parents aren't the only families at the zoo. The animals make families of their own.

Every year at the very same time, the girl penguins start noticing the boy penguins. And the boy penguins start noticing the girls. When the right girl and the right boy find each other, they become a couple.

Roy and Silo are introduced at this point. Roy and Silo were both boys. But they did everything together. They bowed to each other. And walked together. They sang to each other. And swam together. Wherever Roy went, Silo went too.

They notice that the other penguins are starting a family, and they make their own nest, and sit on a rock in hopes it will hatch. Fortunately, there was another penguin couple who had two eggs at once, and as those penguins had a history of not being able to tend to more than one egg at a time, the zookeeper gave one of the eggs to the boys. They sat on the eggs (apparently penguins take turns tending to the offspring) and evenutally the baby was born. We'll call her Tango," Mr Gramzay (zookeeper) decided, "because it takes two to make a Tango."

It ends with this: At night the three penguins returned to their nest. There they snuggled together and, like all the other penguins in the penguin house, and all the other animals in the zoo, and all the families in the big city around them, they went to sleep.

I believe it was [livejournal.com profile] slammerkinbabe who mentioned this proves, rather than disproves, that homosexuality is a part of nature. Remember the swans in Boston?

At any rate, it is a very sweet book, totally appropriate for children, and that it caused any sort of contraversy is a reflection on the fears of narrow-minded people, not becausethe book is contraverial.

/soapbox
charliesmum: (Space - you are here)
That book is based on a true story. The penguins actually exist and live in the Central Park Zoo! The two boy penguins mated with each other, basically, and then put a rock into a nest, hoping it would hatch out a baby, so the zoo put a fertilized egg in their nest, and they got their wish.

I bought the book for Charlie as a Christmas gift. I can't wait to read it.

In sadder news, although still speaking of same-sex parents, the foster kids are officially gone. My friend said she was okay until a kindergardener saw her and said, "I know you! You're Amber's Mom!"

Thanks for all your kind words on their behalf. I just pray that the kids will be okay.

And, just to lighten the mood, a quick Charlie story:

The other night he was talking about wanting this wall mural of the view of Earth from the moon. (I just spent way too much time trying to find it online, and couldn't. grr).

I told him I wasn't sure he had the wall space to do it, then I said it could maybe go behind his dresser with the mirror. He misunderstood, I guess, and thought I was saying we'd take down the mirror, so he said, "How will I be able to see how handsome I am?"
charliesmum: (Default)
That book is based on a true story. The penguins actually exist and live in the Central Park Zoo! The two boy penguins mated with each other, basically, and then put a rock into a nest, hoping it would hatch out a baby, so the zoo put a fertilized egg in their nest, and they got their wish.

I bought the book for Charlie as a Christmas gift. I can't wait to read it.

In sadder news, although still speaking of same-sex parents, the foster kids are officially gone. My friend said she was okay until a kindergardener saw her and said, "I know you! You're Amber's Mom!"

Thanks for all your kind words on their behalf. I just pray that the kids will be okay.

And, just to lighten the mood, a quick Charlie story:

The other night he was talking about wanting this wall mural of the view of Earth from the moon. (I just spent way too much time trying to find it online, and couldn't. grr).

I told him I wasn't sure he had the wall space to do it, then I said it could maybe go behind his dresser with the mirror. He misunderstood, I guess, and thought I was saying we'd take down the mirror, so he said, "How will I be able to see how handsome I am?"

Some icons

Oct. 4th, 2006 05:09 pm
charliesmum: (Dr Who Smiling)
I'm still making icons in my own, primative way. Thought I'd share.









Yours, whoever may want them.

In other news, I'm still watching Series 2 of Dr Who with the 10th Doctor. cut for vague spoilers for Series 2, tenth doctor, mostly episodes 9 and 10 )

Oh! Almost forgot. I got my copy of Wintersmith yesterday. Hurrah for new Pratchett.

Off to take the boy to soccer.

ETA: Added detail to spoiler announcement.

Some icons

Oct. 4th, 2006 05:09 pm
charliesmum: (Default)
I'm still making icons in my own, primative way. Thought I'd share.









Yours, whoever may want them.

In other news, I'm still watching Series 2 of Dr Who with the 10th Doctor. cut for vague spoilers for Series 2, tenth doctor, mostly episodes 9 and 10 )

Oh! Almost forgot. I got my copy of Wintersmith yesterday. Hurrah for new Pratchett.

Off to take the boy to soccer.

ETA: Added detail to spoiler announcement.
charliesmum: (QE1 Byee (by Wolfma))
I was at book club today, and we'd read this book called "Namesake" that has to do with a family originally from India, and the woman who hosted was actually from India, so she wore a sari, and served Indian food and gave us all bindis to wear.

Anyway, we were discussing the difference between arranged marriages and marriages for love, since the mother and father were from an arranged marriage and seemed to really like each other, and someone pointed out that in the book it states the husband would never have thought to bring flowers to his wife. Well Rebecca said something along the lines of how flowers aren't everything, and left and came back with a wooden box in which were 12 2 inch discs made of ivory, and on the front were beautifully rendered pictures from the Kama Sutra. She told us that it had been a gift to her mother, and was over a hundred years old.

Thanks to my Cash in the Attic addiction, however, my first thought was, "I wonder how much that would go for at auction." and I wished Jonty or Paul were there to tell me.

Sad, no?

And a quick Charlie story, I just came home, and still had the bindi on, and I showed it to Charlie, and told him what it was. "It's from India," I said.

"Oh," he says in surprise. "Did you go to India?"

"No, just book club."

"That's good. India's probably far away."

He was half asleep at the time, but it was still pretty funny.
charliesmum: (Default)
I was at book club today, and we'd read this book called "Namesake" that has to do with a family originally from India, and the woman who hosted was actually from India, so she wore a sari, and served Indian food and gave us all bindis to wear.

Anyway, we were discussing the difference between arranged marriages and marriages for love, since the mother and father were from an arranged marriage and seemed to really like each other, and someone pointed out that in the book it states the husband would never have thought to bring flowers to his wife. Well Rebecca said something along the lines of how flowers aren't everything, and left and came back with a wooden box in which were 12 2 inch discs made of ivory, and on the front were beautifully rendered pictures from the Kama Sutra. She told us that it had been a gift to her mother, and was over a hundred years old.

Thanks to my Cash in the Attic addiction, however, my first thought was, "I wonder how much that would go for at auction." and I wished Jonty or Paul were there to tell me.

Sad, no?

And a quick Charlie story, I just came home, and still had the bindi on, and I showed it to Charlie, and told him what it was. "It's from India," I said.

"Oh," he says in surprise. "Did you go to India?"

"No, just book club."

"That's good. India's probably far away."

He was half asleep at the time, but it was still pretty funny.
charliesmum: (Labyrinth - surrender (by starbrite))
It's taking quite a bit of my willpower not to start spending money on iTunes. "It's only .99 cents!" my ego argues, "That's nothing!"

"But," says my brain, "It adds up quickly. I'm pretty sure you could live without Bowling for Soup's 1985 on your iPod."

"But I want it," whines the ego. "And I want other songs too. I'm bored of our CDs. I want new songs. I want Coldplay. I want to hear songs that were written in this century, for heaven's sake. And don't tell me we have Sting. He doesn't count."

"We can't afford to start buying stuff like that." says Brain, sensibly. "We'll lose track and before we know it, we'll have spent $20 on songs that we don't really need; money we don't really have."

Ego pouts, temporarily stymied. But browses iTunes anyway.

Charlie slept for 12 hours. That's pretty unusual for him. I think he was still a bit under the weather yesterday. At 8:30 last night he told me he wanted to go to bed. He's chipper now, though, bright as a penny. So that's good.

By the way, my brother in law lent me three books at Christmas, and I highly recommend them. They are Bubbles Unbound, Bubbles in Trouble, and Bubbles Ablaze Mystery stories along the same vein of the Stephanie Plum books, and as addictive as potato chips. I spent some of a gift card to get the fourth book, after reading the first three in as many days. I highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys a good mystery mixed with humor and great characters.

Must go start the day now.
charliesmum: (Default)
It's taking quite a bit of my willpower not to start spending money on iTunes. "It's only .99 cents!" my ego argues, "That's nothing!"

"But," says my brain, "It adds up quickly. I'm pretty sure you could live without Bowling for Soup's 1985 on your iPod."

"But I want it," whines the ego. "And I want other songs too. I'm bored of our CDs. I want new songs. I want Coldplay. I want to hear songs that were written in this century, for heaven's sake. And don't tell me we have Sting. He doesn't count."

"We can't afford to start buying stuff like that." says Brain, sensibly. "We'll lose track and before we know it, we'll have spent $20 on songs that we don't really need; money we don't really have."

Ego pouts, temporarily stymied. But browses iTunes anyway.

Charlie slept for 12 hours. That's pretty unusual for him. I think he was still a bit under the weather yesterday. At 8:30 last night he told me he wanted to go to bed. He's chipper now, though, bright as a penny. So that's good.

By the way, my brother in law lent me three books at Christmas, and I highly recommend them. They are Bubbles Unbound, Bubbles in Trouble, and Bubbles Ablaze Mystery stories along the same vein of the Stephanie Plum books, and as addictive as potato chips. I spent some of a gift card to get the fourth book, after reading the first three in as many days. I highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys a good mystery mixed with humor and great characters.

Must go start the day now.
charliesmum: (light saber (by aramley))
There's a new book out about "pop, the glib, snappy language that has pervaded our culture in the Information Age"

It sounds interesting. Nothing new, really, people have been reinventing language forever, but it always fun to see what phrases have become household words.

[Poll #608047]

I personally think the minute mass media gets a hold of slang it ceases to be hip, (Or cool. Or groovy. Or whatever.) but does become a part of our culture. Like I'm sure all the cool kids were using the new phrase 'strange bedfellows' after Shakespeare coined it, causing the parents to go, 'wah?'

And speaking of phrases Shakespeare coined, I highly recommend Brush Up Your Shakesepare. A really fun read.

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