Sunday, January 24, 2010

Reading Goals for the Coming Week

So far in January I have read three books. I know that it is hard to put that in perspective, but this time last year I had read at least double that amount. I am having such a hard time getting into books this year. Last year I was working at the library and everyday someone was asking for book recommendations or wanting me to tell them what a certain book was about. This year I am at a new job and I work with first graders. They don't really care about the newest Maureen Johnson book. I could read a hundred kid's books, and I do read with them, but it isn't the same. I knew when I left the library that I would miss connecting with people about the books that I read. I still have contact with my old co-workers and even a few of the teens that I worked with, but it isn't the same. I miss talking to people about books. That is one of the main reasons that I started this blog, to talk about the things that I don't really have people to talk to about in real life. It isn't really meant to be a review type blog, mainly because there are few books that I genuinely hate. There may be books that I wish I hadn't purchased, but honestly it is rare for me to find no redeeming quality in a book. I love books. I love them in a way that doesn't make sense to a lot of people. To be able to sit down and submerge myself in another world is incredible. I love that. I love bookstores. When I was in college and would be at the point of a stress induced breakdown I would get in my car and go to the local Barnes and Noble. When I visit new places I find the bookstores and visit them. Books are my friends and my first love. Not in a creepy I don't talk to people and never exist in the real world kind of way. But more of a I am so fascinated by the ability to weave tales that I can't help but absorb them. I'm not a writer. I am excellent at research, and I wish that I could be a storyteller, but I can't. However, I am always aware of the fact that you can't have storytellers if there is no one to listen. So, since I am in a reading funk and can't seem to actually get through a book right now, feel free to leave me suggestions. I read books of every genre, although I generally am drawn to YA and books about faery. I think my biggest problem is that I have a ton of books checked out from the library, I got a ton of books for Christmas, and I bought a bunch of books right after Christmas in all of the huge online/in store sales. I am suffering from too many excellent books! My plan is to return all of the library books, even the ones I have been wanting forever and reading some of my own books for a change. I actually have books that I bought last summer and still haven't even picked up! I may have a slight addiction =D. Hope you all have a fantastic week! I am hoping the kids I deal with aren't insane since we had a snow day on Friday and a half day on Tuesday.

OH! I almost forgot! I started watching Lost (again) from the first season. There is no way that I will be caught up by the time the new season starts, but I am making an effort. If you love Lost (or good music) you should check out The Oceanic Six, a band made up of three YouTubers/Wizard Wrockers. They are incredible!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In Which I Blog Instead of Doing My Work

It's bright and early on Sunday morning and I'm frantically trying to complete the insane amount of paperwork I have left to turn in on Monday before I go to the school. So, what am I doing instead? Well, I'm listening to songs by The Oceanic Six, a band that sings about Lost, and blogging. At least I'm avoiding a book! That's good, right?

Anyway, the reason for the post is that I'm feeling somewhat distracted and maudlin. Sure, good music helps, but so does talking about your feelings. Right? Anyway, my family is gone and I'm pretty sure talking to yourself just makes you seem nuts (and I really don't need help in that department.) Moving on. Here is a little backstory about me. Not really that I share with people on a regular basis, but it is relevant to my current mood. Okay, when I was in college I met a guy. Things were good with this guy, not perfect-we had plenty of ups and downs, but they were good. I fell in love. He fell in love. We finished college and planned to get married, but then we didn't. I don't actually know what happened because I never got an explanation, but it was horrible. It was one of those events that shapes your future. So, I haven't been out on a date in a year and a half. A lot of that has do with the fact that I just enjoy my family, I live in a small town, and most of my friends are in relationships so I'd have to fly solo on a night out. It also has to do with the fact that I don't really know if I am interested in being in a relationship again. I'm very much a traditionalist and I don't really do casual relationships. Mainly because I'm busy and I don't really have time to invest in something that is going to go nowhere. Also, because honestly I want a family and I'm goal oriented and I don't see the point in being part of something that has no future. That's harsh, but it's how I am. I can't really help that. A large part of it also has to do with being hurt so badly. I've had other relationships, and some of them ended horribly, but never left me so broken. That sounds really dramatic I know, but it is the truth.

So now the dilemma is this: all of my friends are in a relationship. Now, this doesn't mean I think I need to be in a relationship, but it does mean that they think I should. Last night my cousins girlfriend had some sort of "Eureka!" moment where she realized her cousin is perfect for me!!! The problem with the perfect cousin? He lived thirteen hours away. However, I'm apt to believe that long distance could work better. Things are more exciting when you only see someone once in a while. I know this because epic-fail-relationship was semi-long distance. The reason distance is an issue is because of the things I miss about being in a relationship. I miss having someone to hold my hand, someone to drive to town if I don't feel like it, someone to decided chicken or pasta, little stuff. I don't know. This whole post is kind of BLAH, and I'm sure it wasn't what you were expecting. I'm going to set on the perfect cousin info and see how I feel about it. I have to think things through. Impulse is not my friend! Hope you guys had a great weekend!

Friday, January 15, 2010

In Which Chelle Has the Craziest Work Week EVER

So, this week my job has been CRAZY! I work in a first grade classroom with kids who have behavior issues. This means my job is crazy every day really, but this week has been worse because we have had so many snow days. School started back here on January forth but we have only gone five days, and those days we were delayed. Let me be the first to tell you that lack of routine is terrible for small children. So all week I have been running around, chasing kids, and them coming home and just vegging on the couch. I watched Idol this week and meant to post on it. I always love the audition episodes, they tend to be hilarious. However, I wasn't really impressed with all of the backstories that came with the auditions. Basically, everyone has problems and I don't really need to hear about all of the sorrow. It also bothered me because if the person was great then their backstory was poignant and touching, but if the person had no talent then they were made fun of.* I loved Posh spice as a guest judge, but didn't really like Mary J. Blige at all. I thought that she was rude and mean, even worse than Simon. I am excited to see the rest of the season, mainly to see how Ellen does. I don't know if I love her as a judge or not. I think she's hilarious, but I think that if you are judging a music show that you should have musical talent as well.

Anyway...after an insane week, my plan for tonight is to hang out with my cousin and watch a Just My Luck. The rest of the weekend is full of me doing paperwork and such, but I hope that I will have time to read a book! I'm really behind from last year. I hope that all of you have happy weekends!

*Case in point, the poor guy that almost died like three times. They had the horrible "dramatization," made the frame shake whenever he was walking, and Simon said he had nine lives. Come on Idol, he is still a person who has feelings. Give the dude a break!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday 1/12/2010

So, Teaser Tuesdays? Pretty fun concept. Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that you don't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
So, here's my Teaser from The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

"Before anyone reading this thinks to call me a slut-or even just imagines I'm incredibly popular-let me point out that this list includes absolutely every single boy I have ever had the slightest little any-kind-of-anything with. ... Doctor Z is my shrink, and she says that for purposes of the list, the boyfriends don't have to be official."

Enjoy! For more Teasers click here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In Which Chelle Watches the Lord of the Rings Movies

Okay, Nerd Girl confession. Until last week I had never seen the LOTR movies. *cringes* I know! It really doesn't help my nerd cred. To make it even worse, I haven't read the books. Well, that isn't exactly true...I read The Hobbit when I was in high school, and then again the on one of my summer breaks during college. I started the Lord of the Rings series then as well and I read The Fellowship of the Ring as well as part of Two Towers. However, due to a full time college load, work every weekend, and trying to maintain a (doomed) relationship and a GPA that would get me into grad school, the LOTR (and all pleasure reading) fell by the wayside. I've always wanted to read the entire series and see the movies, but I'm one of those strange book people who are always hesitant to watch movies based on books, because usually I don't enjoy them. However, in an effort to convince my male cousins (ages 13 and 10) that I really am cool (even if I am a girl) I have embarked on a journey through film. It started last summer when the younger one told me about this really cool movie he had seen. The conversation went like this:
Him: It's about this dude who like history and stuff and had that guy from Even Stevens, ya know
Me: Indiana Jones? Yeah I love Indy!
Him: Um, Chelle, you're a girl
Me: Yeah...
Him: You watched that movie?
Me: Yeah, I've seen all of them, my favorite one is Raiders.
Him: ...uh...are you kidding me?
Me: No, I own all three of the original ones, wanna stay here Friday night and watch one?
Him: Sure...

So from there we have been watching many different "guy" movies. I still have my girlie nights with the two girl cousins, but more often we have action/adventure movie nights. We recently finished the X-Men trilogy and I suggested that we watch both the LOTR trilogy and the Star Wars saga (all six movies) and they agreed. So last weekend we began our nine hour journey through Middle Earth,and thanks to snow days we were able to watch them in a week. I was bombarded with questions throughout the movies such as "why are wizards so old," "why did a hobbit have to carry the ring," and "how did the ring even end up in the shire?" After telling them that they should read a book once in a while I answered their questions as best I could. From my grandmother, love her heart, I got "do you ever watch normal movies? None of this makes any sense!" She is not a fan of fantasy. I loved the movies. I love the fact that it gives me a chance to be with the people I love most. I'm aware that most twenty-six year old girls don't spend their weekends at home with their grandmother and four kids under the age of fourteen, but I love it. I love sharing something I love, epic fantasy, with them. True, three of the four of them will probably never read the books, they don't share my intense love of literature, but we still get to share the experience. They are reminded that I like the things they like, that I will hang with them whenever, and that we love each other dearly (without being super mushy.) They get to laugh at me for becoming way too emotionally involved-they love the fact that I cried during each of the movies. We get to argue about who is the best character (I remain torn between Strider/Aragorn and Legolas, but maintain that Samwise Gamgee is the person we should all admire the most), which fight scene was most epic, and how creepy Gollum is. I spent the entire second movie yelling at Eowyn to back up off of Aragorn, they spent the second movie laughing at me. All in all, it is an experience that I always enjoy.

My family is unique and crazy and wonderful. I love spending time with them and I never take it for granted. There was a large portion of my past when I didn't appreciate what I had, and while I never came close to losing them-because they would never let me go-I did have to suffer a pain that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy to be reminded of how much they all love me. So, maybe I'm not the normal twenty-six year old, but I can promise you that I had more fun Friday night with a 82 year old, two thirteen year olds, a ten year old, and a seven year old than I had in a year of Friday nights when I used to go out.

**DISCLAIMER-Since watching the movie, I've dug out my copy of The Hobbit and ordered the LOTR trilogy, so that I can read them now!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Book-to-Movie Review: Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging

The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series of books by Louise Rennison is one of my favorite YA series. The books are so fun and lighthearted, but they still ring true. I mourned the end of the series (even though I loved how Rennison tied up all the ends) and I occasionally look at my copies of the book and think "soon Gee, you and I will meet again."* Yesterday, the movie Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging played on Nick. As my grandmother and I settled in to watch the film, I hoped that the movie would be as fun and funny as the book series it was based on. Moments in I had plenty of thoughts and feelings**, but no real complaints. The cast was really good. There were a few issues (Tom and Robbie are brothers but Robbie is older, I pictured Wet Lindsey as gawky with long arms and legs, Ellen wasn't clueless enough, Georgia seemed a little young, there was no Sven) but many of the cast was right on. Georgia's mom? Wonderfully cast and acted. My grandmother actually said "well, she has no problem at all letting her boobs hang out," which I thought was a great kudos to the film makers since all Georgia talks about in the books is how her mother has no shame and always wears low cut shirts. I also realized how living with a twenty-six year old has influenced my grandmothers language, but that's another blog post! Slim was also well done (even though she wasn't really in the movie very much.) Robbie was okay and Dave the Laugh was excellent and so dreamy. I thought that the Ace Gang had great chemistry, I could see the four of them sitting in the back of class passing notes and getting into all kinds of trouble. My grandmother loved Angus*** and laughed every time he was on screen. I wish there had been more Dave the Laugh, Libby, and Sven because they are the craziest characters and they always bring the laughs. I wish that the film makers hadn't made Georgia's relationship with her parents all gooey. In the books it is obvious that she loves her parents, but she is always very embarrassed by them. In the movie she is more affectionate and forgiving. Many of my favorite book scenes were well represented, and though there were some deviations all the important stuff was there. I think this movie adaptation was a huge success.

If you haven't read the books what are you waiting for? They are so wonderful. If you are an adult, don't worry. As I read the books I can remember being a fourteen year old girl and I laugh at how caught up I was in life. It is fun to be able to look back and remember how simple things were, even if I thought they would never get more complicated than they were right then. Having to choose between three fantastic guys?**** I wish that was the biggest issue in my life now, but it is so refreshing to read things from Georgia's point of view. She definitely would have been my pal when I was in high school, and she is one of the funniest characters in YA lit today. The books are just full of laughs though. There are plenty of life lessons for teens: first love, lost love, self-discovery, the true meaning of friendship, and many more.

So basically this is my consensus: Read the books! They are fun for everyone of every age. Watch the movie too. I would recommend you do both! If you are a hardcore Georgia fan, don't worry-the movie isn't going to disappoint you. If you have never picked up one of the books the movie will send you to your local library or bookstore looking for them. Either way, you will not be disappointed if you make a date with Georgia Nicolson.

*What? You don't talk to your books?
**Georgia's flat is really nice, Jas is really annoying, LOL olive costumes, *sigh* Dave the Laugh, that kissing scene was kind of gross, "Really Robbie, that's your guitar solo face? Really?," why isn't Rosie Georgia's bff-they make more sense.
***"That's a cat?!?!?! Good Lord what a cat!"
****Three fantastic guys? I have always been Team Dave the Laugh. I thought Robbie was kind of a tool, albeit a dreamy tool, who wanted Georgia to be someone she wasn't. (Girls-you never have to change for a boy! Be who you are and at least you'll like yourself, which is more important that whether others like you. I promise it doesn't always seem like it, but it is true!) Massimo was an idiot with an awesome accent who was way too old for Georgia and cared more about the band than her. D the L was her pal who always liked her, regardless of how she looked or the less than nice way she acted. However, I won't tell you who she picked, because I don't want there to be spoilers!