Monthly Archives: February 2013

My Reading’s in a Bad Spot.

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I’ve been struggling getting a post out lately. As a former roommate of mine would say “I’M REALLY STRUGGLING HERE!!!!!”. That’s funnier if you were there. I miss her. I miss college. Anyway, I’ve started a couple posts but they just didn’t feel right and they felt forced and maybe I’ll come back to them one day and flesh them out and make them make sense, but not now.

I realized that it takes a lot for me to radically love a book. Out of 430 read books on goodreads, there are 10 that are a perfect 5. There are quite a bit that came in at a 4, but they just weren’t quite there for me. Maybe I’m a little cynical, but I just haven’t been getting the, I love this book feeling lately. I’ve been reading but I haven’t been reviewing because it seems like every book I’ve read lately is crap. So I haven’t been reviewing lately.

There’s been the Outlander Series and Charlotte Bronte and, yes at times, Jane Austen that I’ve been radically in love with but it’s been a long time that I’ve had a book capture my heart. We can add a man to things that haven’t captured my heart too. My last date was a year ago. I’m on a dry spell, I know. LOOOOOOOOOONG dry spell. Sigh. That’ll change one day. I’m determined. Both in books and my datelessness. BTW, my friend that I used to debate who was better Bronte or Austen just Facebooked me and told me her 12-year-old loves Jane Eyre. I feel like I won the best prize ever. She’s trying to get him to read Jane Austen. I’m convinced he’s going to be a Bronte forever. Because that’s how I was. That’s going to happen right?

The sad thing about my list is that it can be broken into a few main categories. Classics, Y.A. and Historical Fiction. There are a few other genres I’ll pick up. But it isn’t often.

Anyway this is a plea for some really super good suggestions on what I can read and fall in love with. These have to be AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH-mazing. Because I’m a little critical of books.

P.S. If there’s something you’d like to hear me talk about/read about, period, doesn’t have to be about books, let me know. Get me out of this rut I’m in.

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I’m a little Irked.

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I talked yesterday about how I started reading I kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. I was reading reviews on the book at GoodReads. I came upon a certain review written by an atheist. I can understand atheism, I’m not an atheist, but I try not to be judgmental or hateful or try to “sell my faith” or even bring up religion around atheists. I’m not going to hide my faith however. If an atheist wants to bring it up and have a respectful and calm conversation about religion or faith or something, I’ll gladly have that conversation. I’d actually like to pick their brains a little too. Just out of curiosity.

A few months ago, I talked about bad reviews and how they are important and should be taken seriously and respectfully. This review by the atheist kind of got under my skin. This person might have been having a bad day or just has had enough of Christians pushing things on them. This person’s daughter is 19 and an atheist and was given this book by a Christian friend of the family. Then this parent read it and called the book weird. I can get that. Some of the ideas do seem weird for a non-Christian. I get that. That was the start of the review.

I feel like this review wasn’t a review, it was a rant. I may be reading way to much into this or be reading this wrong but leave your opinion to yourself and say you didn’t agree with the author because he didn’t offer enough scriptures for you or because you had a hard time agreeing with the theology or the opinion of the writer. DO NOT say someone else’s belief system is mythology (which the writer of the review did). That is offensive. I do not call Hinduism or any other faith mythology, I expect that in return.

The writer ended with saying that the daughter was no virgin and has no intention of selling off the daughter (that ties into something else that was brought up, which was historically based but the way it was put was…..well, I wasn’t a fan). Why would you put it like that? Why wouldn’t you say that your daughter isn’t the most innocent or not inexperienced and you don’t want to sell her off. I get that you know your daughter isn’t a virgin but if I were the daughter, I wouldn’t want my parent to announce that I wasn’t a virgin. That’s a private matter in my book.

There was also a comment on the author himself and how he needed an arranged marriage. The way it was put, I won’t go into details because that would take time and space and I don’t want to, didn’t need to be put in that way. Be critical of the book, subject matter, writing style, things like this, but attacking the author personally isn’t something I would do. But I guess that’s part of reviewing and publishing books, you’re going to come under fire.

There is a section coming up in the book about courtship. Which does work for some people but not everyone. This person wasn’t a fan of this portion either saying how courtship doesn’t prevent sex. Which is true but I’m sure it helps a little. If only a little.

Just for the record, I’m not sure if I agree on everything the author says either. I just choose not to attack. I choose to be respectful about how I put things. I would be the same thing with the an atheist author. I know I was a little hard on Augustine a few posts back but I never called his belief system mythological. I was kind of nice to the guy compared to this review.

So writer of the review, (if you read this) I don’t have much respect for you until you can explain some of your comments to me.

If you have opinions on this one way or another, let me know. Am I overreacting? Am I being a hormonal female and just taking this all to personally? I admit I kind of am but when I feel that a belief system (of any kind, even if I don’t necessarily agree with it) is being attacked, I get kind of grumpy.

I understand this is kind of a rant, I apologize.

Anyway, there are nicer ways to put a bad review. Be tactful. Don’t be offensive. Moral of the story, right there.

A New Book Has Been Started

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I talk a lot about my singleness and relationships on this blog. Way more than I should. But in my defense, it’s what comes to my mind when I sit down to write, it’s something that is going on in my life. So I write about it. If you go back you’ll see that the books that I have a definite opinion on are books with religious aspects. That’s how our culture is now, we have an opinion on religion, unlike in the past where you were just supposed to accept what you were told. Now we’re let to form our own opinions.

These two are things are two separate ideas that are marrying today for this post and probably at least one other post in the future.

Today I started reading I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris with a foreword by Rebecca St. James. Big sigh. This was published 1996/1997. Meaning I was 7 or 8 when it came out. I obviously wasn’t dating or even thinking about dating at this time. I have heard about this book off and on through the years and have always thought it would be a great book to read and then it would be put back into some storage unit in my head. The other day, when I was looking for my birthday present to myself in my library’s book sale room, I stumbled upon this book. I picked it up, turned it around and looked at it, and said “what the heck, it’s a quarter, it’s my birthday present, I’ll buy it”. I started it today.

As a single female, I’m intrigued by it. I wish I had read this in high school. I think that it would have given me a lot more confidence in being single when I was in high school. Let me be clear, I wasn’t completely single through high school, but it was close. I’m only through the first part of this book (there’s four) and it makes me think. As much as I would have gotten out of this in high school or when I started thinking about guys, I’m getting a lot of this now at 25.

At this point of the book (a quarter of the way through), I’ve started making an opinion. Harris likes making lists as much as I do. Harris isn’t bad as a writer. I do wish that he wouldn’t use so many examples. It seems like everything that he touches on, he has an example. I do understand why he has them though. I think that this book is geared for teens who are starting to get into relationships. Not that non-teens won’t enjoy this book or learn something form it but that’s who is learning a lot about relationships, the fastest. The examples are there for people that need them and I have to admit, they do help a person grasp his concept. There just has to be a different kind of way through that example.

My favorite thing that he talked about, so far, is that he had a friend that had a dream before her wedding. In this dream, throughout the wedding, these girls kept coming up and standing on the other side of her husband. When she asked him about it, he said these are the other girls I’ve been with. I thought that was interesting. You always hear that, with sex, you’re with however your partner’s with but I never put it together with dating. And it’s true, the people you’ve dated, shape who you are.

I’ll probably talk about this book more in the future. This is just a starter post to get people up on what I’m doing with my reading life. If you’ve read this, what did you think? What are your opinions on the subject period, if you’ve read the book or not? Let me know.

Last Birthday Post for the Year.

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I will be reviewing books again, one day, when I read something worth while. I’ve been reading some crappy books lately.

Like I said in my last post, yesterday was my birthday. I went out to the Mexican place in town with my friend R and I’m pretty sure I ate way to much and it was a lot of fun. Then I called home. Highlight of the night was this phone conversation.

First niece and nephew sang happy birthday. Then I had a great conversation with my dad about how now that I’m 25 I creek and ache and now I need trifocals. Obviously, I couldn’t keep my dad’s attention and I ended up talking to my nephew. I haven’t talked about the nephew in a long time. If you’ve forgotten, I freaking love this kid. When I started this blog, he was 2 1/2 and now he’s 5 and starting kindergarten in the fall. It makes me panic a little. But we’ve always been friends. We understand each other.

Is it sad that I understand a 5-year-old that is my nephew?

We talked about how strong bricks are and what he did at day care and we played guess what A had for breakfast, and what he was doing at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Best part of this conversation was when he asked me if I was a kid at Grandma and Grandpa’s once. I told him yes, and that I lived there for 18 years which is longer than he’s been alive. He goes “Wow, that’s a long time”. That was funny to me. Why?……………… Great question to which I have no answer to. Then he goes “Grandma’s staring at me”. I replied “Stare back”. I’m the rebel of the aunt world. I’m going to be his best friend when he’s a teenager. I promise I will.

Then my niece wanted to talk to me, it didn’t last long. She’s more of a runner, no I take that back. She’s a year and a half younger than my nephew and she just doesn’t stand for talking on the phone much in her life.

Book reviews comings soon-ish. I promise.

It’s my Birthday and I’ll Complain if I want to.

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For my birthday, I invested in some books and movies. Actually I got four books for a dollar and 3 movies for like $23. I know, a bargain for my birthday. I am amazing, if only for this one day. Oh by the way, it’s my birthday today. I’m officially 25. Go Me!

Anyway, one of the movies I bought was “Romeo and Juliet”. The one with Leonardo DiCaprio when he got popular. Why…..why? Was DiCaprio and Claire Danes the only reason this movie was popular. (let’s face it, Claire Danes was just a bonus, everyone went to see Leonardo. And she’s blonde now. I don’t want her blonde. I don’t like it.) I texted my sister that I had watched “16 Candles” before that because that was appropriate the night before your 25 birthday and then I asked her why that movie was popular. Let’s face it, I think it came out in like 1996 and I was 8 then. What did I know about movies. Her excuse, heart-throb and the music. Eh. The music is okay. I do like that it was the original language, or the exact prose that it was written in. I just don’t like some of the camera techniques that they used. The 1968 version of this is way better.

My English teacher in high school had it so when we read something, we would watch the movie as well. I watched “Gulliver’s Travels” with Ted Danson, (I know love him as he was in the late 80’s, early 90’s) “Much Ado About Nothing” with Denzel Washington, (sooooo funny) and “Moby Dick”. And we watched both the versions of “Romeo and Juliet” that I mentioned. We watched other movies to, those are just a few. I also watched “Gone with the Wind”, “Roots” and I think we watched, if only part, “Wizard of Oz” in history class. (Don’t worry, I held it together, quite well.) And on free days in band, whoever was seniors made everyone watch “Saved by the Bell”. And one time I got to watch “Family Feud” in study hall. It sounds like I watched a lot of random stuff in high school and I didn’t. Really. I got a good education in high school. I promise.

Side note. I was looking up something on IMDB, like “The Princess Bride” (inconceivable, right?), and I was surprised how tall some of those actors are. Mandy Patinkin, especially. I thought he was a short man. No, no he’s not. I enjoy him by the way.

That’s all I wanted to talk about today. P.S. I’m still single. Someone want to give me tips?

Little bit of a Confessional Today.

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The movie, The Wizard of Oz, creeps me out to no end. I think I’ve talked about this before but let me tell you why.

When I was growing up on the farm, my grandmother lived in a trailer on the home place. There were 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, one my grandmother’s and one was my uncle’s when he came back. One night when I was about 5, my sister (who was probably about 11 at the time) decided to go use my uncle’s bathroom. Well, being the creepy kid that I was, I followed….and made her tell me the story of The Wizard of Oz. She got to the part of the flying monkeys and I looked at the door that led to my uncle’s room and decided that was enough. I got scared of the movie. Ironically, I also got scared of the bathroom to. I didn’t use it until I was like a senior in high school. Anyway, to this day, I’m scared of The Wizard of Oz. No, scared isn’t the right word. Maybe, creeped out is. Yeah, I’m creeped out. It still gives me dreams of flying monkeys and funny looking guards with weird hats after I watch it. No idea why it still has this weird hold on me after so many years. (it gets worse after a few drinks)

Now, get this. I still watch the movie. I own it. Why? I don’t know. But I don’t mind it if I’m watching the commentary of it. It doesn’t creep me out then. I know, I’m a complex creature. Marvel in my weirdness.

The copy I own is an anniversary edition and it also has on it a made for t.v. movie on L.Frank Baum’s life. (author of the books) I remember watching this movie. It came out in 1990, when I was 2, but I think it was on t.v. a few years later and I watched it and there’s parts where Baum is telling the story of Oz and he goes into this dream-sequence like thing and let me tell you, it creeped me out. Are we seeing a trend here? Because we should be.

I decided to watch The Wiz on Netflix. It has Diana Ross and Michael Jackson in it, it’s a Motown version and it came out in 1978. Any guesses how I reacted? It wasn’t pleasant. No, it wasn’t. It might be creepier. I’m still cringing from some of the images in my head. It’s like a horrible flashback. This is probably a great movie to someone other than me but, let’s face it, I can’t handle this.

I kind of want to read the book. The original book, the one that started it all. Not the Wicked series (I’ve tried reading those and just couldn’t get into it) or any other spin-off series. The original series. My question is, am I glutton for punishment? I don’t know. I’m leaning toward yes. I want to know what other people think about me reading this book. Yay or nay.

P.S. My birthday is this week. YAY!

My Valentine’s Rant

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This is kind of a rambling. Enjoy.

There is a few times of the year where I’m insecure about being single. They mainly revolve around holidays. Now with Valentines Day I was originally not going to say anything or post anything about it but I can’t get it out of my head.

The older I get the more Valentine’s Day bugs me. IF you would have asked me in high school at 25 I would be married to and madly in love with a guy I met in college and we’d be pooping out babies like nobody’s business. Instead, I’m single without any options in front of me. (There’s always options, they’re just not visible, slap-me-in-the-face visible. Did I mention I saw church boy a few weeks ago? I’m disenchanted) Now don’t get me wrong, I like being single. I like the freedom of coming and going as I please, not having to discuss how to spend money, not having to cook for 2, no facial hair in the sink. What I want is my best friend, someone to talk to/bounce ideas off of, someone to cry on their shoulder, a companion. (and I really do like facial hair, I’m kind of attracted to it on some guys. I just don’t want to clean it out of the sink) You might be thinking “just get a roommate” Not the same thing. I don’t want to fall asleep with a normal roommate. A boyfriend/husband I do.

You know, I really haven’t really dated on Valentine’s Day. There’s been guys I liked, but never dated. But then again, it’s been a long times since I dated period. But Valentine’s Day seems like a lot of work when you have a relationship. So at this point, I’m okay with being single.

One thing that’s been nice, is that my family hasn’t really pressured me about dating. My mom did ask me once if I had met any nice guys at bible camp right before my senior year. But that’s the only time that I remember anything. Everyone is relieved that I have standards. I’m the baby of the family/protected one so whomever I do bring home has a lot to live up to. I like that they don’t pressure me, it makes life easier when I go home. But I do wonder at times why they haven’t asked me why I’m not dating.

I looked up the origins of Valentine’s Day. According to history.com there’s several possibilities, all running with the same theme of course. The one I kind of remembered from the past was back a few years ago in the Roman Empire days, the government thought single guys were better for the army so they outlawed marriage. This guy named Valentine married people in secret and he was martyred after he was found out. So Valentine’s Day isn’t just about a romantic love. It’s about love. Period. End of story. So I’m going to love people in general today just because I can. I started with myself and got coffee this morning.

Side note, I do realize that the right guy is out there and will show up at the right time at the right place. It’s the waiting that sucks.

If I sound pissy, whiny, etc. I apologize, but what do you expect from a single girl on Valentine’s Day? Instead of a date tonight, I’m working in my Paleontology lab with 3 other women and I’m going to work on Sarah, my triceratops horns and frill.

Funny story not related to this. I turn 25 next week (yes, you will hear about this through my birthday). One of my volunteers stopped in the other day and was talking to the other employee and she looks at me and goes, “So there’s going to be a big party here next week, right?” I was confused. I was really involved with what I was working on so I thought she was talking about the meeting that we have on my birthday in our back room. So both my employee and myself go no. She goes “well aren’t you turning 25 next week?” Oh yeah, I forgot. Sorry. This volunteer and I are 60 years apart in age. We figured it out. My parents knew her from her Gelbvieh cattle days and her husband was going in for cancer treatments the day I was born. Does that mean she’s known me all my life and just didn’t see me/forgot about me for 22 years?