February 27, 2008

On 'One book that...'

I got this from the Burnside Writer's Collective blog and decided to put it on my own. Feel free to leave your own list in the comments or on your own blog.

One book that changed my life: The Christian answer would be the Bible...but we're excluding Christianese answers from this. So I'd say Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Why, you ask? Because it inspires me to do what I want to do more than anything--write great children's literature.

One book that I've read more than once: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier It's haunting and wonderful and intriguing and has the greatest first sentence and the perfect last sentence.

One book that I'd want a desert island: Les Miserables. It's like four books in one! I'd need a highlighter, though, so I could highlight all the great lines.

One book that made me laugh: Dogs Don't Tell Jokes by Louis Sachar (He's my second favorite children's author, second only to Roald Dahl).

One book that made me cry: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I won't say why in case you haven't read the books (go read them NOW). But I cried like a baby for the last three chapters. But I must also mention that I cried when I read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. It's an amazing book and I only wish I were half the writer that Foer is.

One book that scared the he** out of me: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Word of caution--don't read this late at night, especially if you live alone or in the middle of nowhere. And especially since you can't tell yourself 'it's just a book.' But it's a great character study.

One book I wish had been written: Jane Austen's memoirs

One book I wish had never been written: Any Jane Austen 'sequels.' Can't people come up with their own characters?

Two books I'm currently reading: The Shack by William P Young for book club and Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell.

One book you've been meaning to read: There's a lot of them...but just one would be anything other than the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. I'm not so good at reading non-fiction.

Your turn. Any good books you'd recommend? Make your own list!

February 22, 2008

On Bringing up Baby

Illustrations on how to take care of your baby.

I only wish the rest of the site were in English. And I'm not so sure that playing chess with your baby is a bad idea--the baby looks pretty intense and ready to take on his dad.

February 14, 2008

On Not Hating Valentine's Day

The United States can be divided into two types of people: Those who celebrate Valentine’s Day with gusto and those who don’t (The latter group might still celebrate, but not with gusto--usually just out of obligation). This is one of those instances where a person can actually move from one group to the other. The switching happens most often to women and it usually depends on whether they’re single or not. Let’s face it—the majority of single ladies only hate Valentine’s Day because they don’t have a significant other to spend the day with. They’re all about the holiday when they’re with someone.

I, however, am okay with V-Day. I think it’s nice to spend a day focusing on romance and love. Sure, we should do this every day, but how often do we actually do that? I have heard my fair share of people complaining about the commercialization of Valentine’s Day and claiming it’s just a holiday made up by greeting card companies and florists. First of all, why are you angry at them? That’s their job! They’re supposed to sell greeting cards and find ways to get people to buy more cards and flowers. If people buy into the belief that Valentine’s Day is the only day of the year to be romantic, don’t blame The Man. They sell cards and flowers year round that people are allowed to buy.

Here’s my main point: I like Valentine’s Day and hope to someday have someone to celebrate it with. Because here’s the thing, the couples I know who treat every day like Valentine’s Day and don’t save romance for one day a year also celebrate Valentine’s Day. The people who complain about Valentine’s Day and say it’s a cop-out and you shouldn’t have to be told when to be romantic—they aren’t all that romantic the other 364 days of the year. They’re only romantic on anniversaries or birthdays or when they feel guilty about something.

So I say embrace the holiday and take advantage of all the flowers and chocolate that are on sale. And if you think every day should be Valentine’s Day, then treat them as such.

February 7, 2008

On Another Ridiculous Website Ad

I saw the advertisements below on the Newsweek website while reading an article about Super Tuesday (you like how I threw in that political reference--now you know I'm smart...heh).

I'm not really sure what to laugh at first. The guy on the Huckabee campaign who thought "Hey, let's put a tiny ad on Newsweek's site! That will give us at least one, maybe two new votes!"

Or maybe the poor soul who accidentally clicks on the link below it and inadvertently finds out when they'll die--but only after promising to buy 24 magazine subscriptions and to put their name on a mailing list for every 'cheap prescription' website in America.

Or maybe, just maybe, I should feel sorry for the person who named their website superdeluxe.com. Oh the imagination reels with the possibilities.

February 6, 2008

On Beating the Boys. Soundly.

Scene: A game of Cranium

Setting: The Strayer’s living room on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Boys (Daniel and Sean)
The Girls (Amanda, Bekki and Tiffany)

Act I, Scene 1:
The card explains that Tiffany must act out a movie without making any sounds or using any props. Her teammates, Amanda and Bekki, must guess the movie’s title before the hourglass timer runs out.

Tiffany looks at the card and has no idea how to act out the movie without words. She throws her hand to her forehead, showing the drama and exasperation of the movie’s main character.

Amanda: Gone With the Wind!!!!

Tiffany: [Staring blankly at Amanda] Yeah. That’s it. How’d you do that?

End scene.

Time elapse:
3 seconds.

How did she get it after only a hand to the forehead? Because we’ve known each other since the seventh grade and our minds meld together when we play games.

What are friends for if not to help you soundly beat the Boys Team at Cranium. With the help of a lawyer, counselor/mind reader and editor, we made women all across this great nation proud. It was a day that will be remembered for years and talked about with our children and our children’s children (also called grandchildren).

Our next mission: Beat The Boys at Trivial Pursuit.