Tag Archives: reading

I need a hobby

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I am seriously bored. Bored, bored, bored.

Not like I don’t have things I could do. Things I should do. I’ve even been cleaning like crazy, and that is so not like me.

I just miss my daughter so dang bad! I am realizing that she is my “go to” person for most of what I do. Shopping, movie watching, etc. Which some would say is bad or co-dependent or something… I just say she is one of my favorite friends and we have a lot in common and a lot of fun together. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.  However…

Maybe I need to branch out a bit more. Strengthen some of my other friendships. Join a book club or a crafting group. I don’t know. I’d have more to  do if I had my own home… I mean, first because there is always something needing doing if you have a house, and second because I had all my supplies to do projects in, and that was always the first thing I’d pile into when I had a spare moment. Still – I find that although I am enjoying the quiet of my daughter being away, I don’t know what to do with myself. And since she will eventually move away for good – and in fact, in this coming school year she will probably find more friends of her own to hang out with rather than just mom – I better find something to occupy my time!

I hate to admit this, but…. I like The Hunger Games. Books and the movie.

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My husband started reading the series as well. Got involved to the point that we didn’t want to wait to get the book from the library (I was about 200-something on the waiting list for book 2) so we ended up buying the boxed set of books.  Yeah. We are that crazy.  I ended up reading the last book in one day – I got so caught up in it – not to mention it’s pretty stressful to read – that I just wanted to be done! I liked books 2 and 3 better than the 1st; not sure if they’re better or if I was just hooked.

Then we went to see the movie. Opening night, midnight premier, of course.  With Kiki and friends all dressed up like characters from the books. Of course.

The movie is exhausting. The way they filmed it really sets the mood. I found it hard to watch, but good. Actually the book series was exhausting as well, in my opinion. Because it’s a really dark story.  But one that needs to be told. All in all, I’m glad I got sucked in.

Trying to re-read “The Hunger Games”. Still not loving it.

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The movie premier is next week (well, here in Idaho at least) and of course we already have our tickets (you know, ’cause it’s my daughter’s current obsession) so I thought maybe I would re-read the book. To see if I like it any better. After all, we watched the L.A. premier deal last night – that is, the actors showing up and getting interviewed (remember – obsession – ) and so many people went on and on about what a fabulous writer Suzanne Collins is… and I thought maybe I didn’t give the book a fair shake the first time around since I just am not thrilled with the whole premise of the story.

 Nope. So far I am pretty sure I was correct the first time around. Not that it’s not an interesting story…it is. I can see why teenagers like it (especially girls, since the heroine is a girl, and there is a romantic storyline in it) It’s just poorly written as far as I am concerned. Technically speaking, that is.  But I guess that doesn’t matter?

I am going to try to finish reading it before we go see the movie. Maybe. We’ll see.

Book Review ~ My thoughts on ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins

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The short review:  Did I like this book?  Meh.

                                             Will I let Kiki read it?  Yeah.

The long review:

So, I read the book. I tried really hard to read it with an open mind (because to be honest, I hated it before I ever started it. The whole premise of the story is just something I didn’t care to read.) I found that it was a good story in that it sucks you in… you find yourself interested in the characters, you want to know how it works out. So in that respect, I guess I can understand why it’s a popular book.

However. Technically speaking, I think it’s a very poorly written book. Did this author never take a grammar class?  Did she take one but fail miserably?? She doesn’t seem to be able to write a decent sentence; they are either 27 word run-on sentences, or mostly, they are fragments. Oh dear me the fragments!!  I would say they account for about 80% of the book, and that drove me absolutely crazy! Now, I don’t mind a fragment or two, heaven knows I use them a lot here in my blog… but, well, it’s a blog… not a novel. I wouldn’t even mind a few in a book,; sometimes they just work – but she takes it to ridiculous extremes. Urgh.

Then there is the main character, Katniss.  I don’t really like her.  She’s sort of – emotionless in a way, I guess. Clueless.  I can understand why I suppose, but that doesn’t make me like her any more. And tho none of the characters are really fully developed, she just seems really flat.

Another issue I have is that there is not nearly enough background to the story, and there are things that happen that don’t make sense – things that couldn’t happen. Things that simply wouldn’t work.  Like little silver parachutes falling at just the correct moment.  Uh-huh. Explanation, please, on the timing of those?

I suppose that much of what bothers me is completely overlooked by the young kids who read this, and after all, they are the target audience… not middle-aged moms. I asked my daughter, and the things that annoy me about this book, she didn’t even notice until I brought it up, and even after I pointed these out to my daughter, they don’t bother her. I also spoke to 3 teen girls who have read this book, and they all think the main character is this awesome, brave, strong girl. As I said, I am not the target audience, and I suppose Suzanne Collins must be quite thankful for that!

As for letting my daughter read it, I decided that it would be alright. Though it’s full of killing, it’s not gratuitous. There are lessons to be learned, like not letting governments get out of control… or that whole “when good people do nothing” business and all that. There’s no sex, and to a parent of a teen, that’s good! There really isn’t much of a love story even… very mild.

I don’t know if I will read the rest of the series. On one hand, I kind of want to see it through to the end. On the other hand I’m not sure it’s worth the time and effort – after all, there are so many good books out there to read!

Parenting is painful if you want to do it right

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I. Am. Going. Insane. 

Kiki wants to read “The Hunger Games”.  Any book she wants read, I read first, to make sure it’s acceptable and appropriate.  Generally, I don’t mind this.  I love reading, and usually we like the same… genre?… I guess.  I have had no desire at all to read this set of books (there are 3 in the series). One of my nieces read them, and I had checked into them a bit back then – the storyline is nothing I am interested in at all. 

In case you haven’t heard of this book – although how could you not, since it’s being turned into a movie as we speak! – the premise is some post-apocolyptic America where every year 20-some teens have to participate in a televised fight-to-the-death forced on them by the government because of some long past rebellion.  Yeah. Yee-haw for fun reading, right?!

Kiki’s never been one for doing something because everyone else is, (she didn’t get into Harry Potter or Twilight at all)  but for some reason she is really interested in this book series.  Well, today Alan went to the library for a book he wanted so he looked for the first book for me – yeah, there are like 200 people on the waiting list!  So, this afternoon I was at Target, and they had the paperback on sale so I bought it.  So far I have read just 9 pages and I hate this book.  Even if I look past the whole stupid storyline of the book, I really dislike the main character so far.  She’s…. heartless.   Despises her mother, tried to drown a cat, killed a lynx who befriended her (she “almost regretted it”). 

Here’s my deal:  Life is hard. Sometimes, life sucks. If I am going to invest my precious spare time reading a story, I want it to be NOT life -ie: uplifting, hopeful, happy. I am pretty sure this is not that kind of story!

I am going to read this book.  I really don’t want to.  But, I will. And then I will tell Kiki she can’t read them.  HA!!

I can do that, ’cause I’m the mom.

Musings and mutterings… and fry sauce

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Having spent so much time sick and laying around, I’ve had a lot of time to think.  This isn’t always a good thing, depending on what sort of direction my thoughts take.  But I’ve had good and bad.  I’ve been thinking how weird it is that I am at the same time happy and content and yet depressed and stressed.  Okay, I’m not really depressed – been there, done that – this is more, uhm, feeling blue I guess.  A little down. 

Part of it is probably being sick.  It’s been more than a month and I am still just utterly exhausted.  I don’t feel up to doing much of anything (and haven’t been doing, at all). I did strip the paint off of a vintage vanity I am going to repaint and sell… but now it’s just sitting there… waiting…      Mostly I’ve been reading.  I am reading the “Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency” series.  I love them; light reading, fun, and gives a little insight to life in another country.  I feel guilty, though, since my parents are 80 now and do so much more than I do – especially my mom, who is like the energizer bunny.  My sister and I inherited absolutely NONE of that trait from her – how is that possible??

This week Kiki has been in theatre camp.  She got a pretty big part (the Wicked Witch; they are doing Wizard of Oz) and last night was the first show.  I was really proud of her, as she remembered all her lines and was one of the few who I thought really “acted” as opposed to just saying their lines… she was good!  The only part she needs to do better is her one solo song – she sings beautifully, but waaaay too quietly for “theater”….  couldn’t hardly hear her.  She has two more shows today; we will see if she can pull off a bit more volume.  In dress rehearsal, Dorothy hit her in the forehead with the heavy wooden bucket while she was pretending to douse her with water, so she has a big ol’ lump on her forehead.  At last night’s performance (not yet knowing about the bucket incident) I thought they’d given her a “wart” on her forehead, lol!  Kiki was not amused.  She’s pretty nervous today even though last night went so well.

I think – okay, I know – I am really stressed about my life.  We have now lived with my parents for a year.  (we had figured 3 months, 6 months tops) That is insanity waiting to happen, don’t you think?! I NEED my own home, and now. Yet I don’t see that happening for… ikes, I don’t know.  As I am tottering on the brink of becoming 50 years old, I wonder if I have ever accomplished anything in this life that counts. 

It seems strange to be on both sides of the fence at the same time…. how is that even possible?  Happy and sad?  Fine yet completely discontent?  Maybe I am just coming unhinged and don’t know if I’m coming or going… that is totally possible.

Then there is the weight loss.  I have now lost 50 pounds.  You’d think that’d be a good thing, and it is.  Yet, when you have as much to lose as I do, it’s a drop in the bucket… I mean, to lose that much poundage and still be obese is just wrong, y’ know?  I feel great that I’ve lost all that weight, yet I look at myself and think “crud….still fat”.  I am not exaggerating… I still can’t buy clothes in the regular section of a store – yesterday found me at Lane Bryant once again.  There is a list of reasons I hate having to shop there; not the least of which is that it is too freakin’ expensive.  A regular old shirt is like $50.!  Stupid. I bought 2 things off the super-marked-down rack, and only because I was told I have to wear nicer tops to work… boss doesn’t like my t-shirts, I guess.  Sheesh.  It’s hard to find fat-lady clothes that don’t scream “look at me, I’m fat”… “and old”.   In my opinion.  I have to keep telling myself “I am 1/3 of the way there”… and when I put on last summer’s shorts and they practically fell off… well, that was a happy moment!

I wish at some point in my life I had done something…. big.  Run off to Paris.  Had a wild fling.  Joined the foreign legion.  I don’t know.  Something… interesting.  I’m too much of a goody-goody girl.  It’s buried so deep in my DNA that I will probably never do anything like that.

Fry sauce.  I love fry sauce.  I’d nearly forgotten, being over in Virginia where they’ve never heard of it.  Then being on a diet where french fries are kind of a thing of the past.  But!  Yesterday after the play, Kiki wanted a milkshake.  We drove thru a little local joint we’d never been to before (the theater is on the opposite end of town from where we normally are) and not only did we get milkshakes (hers, Oreo; mine, chocolate-peanut butter; YUM!) but we decided we’d also share some fries, and the girl asked if we wanted fry sauce – heck yeah!!  SO-STINKIN’-GOOD!!  happy happy happy

Arts and crafts ~ handpainted Narnia purse, Reepicheep the mouse

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This is a canvas bag I handpainted for my daughter, the Narnia fan.  The cute little guy (although he’d be quite offended if he knew I was calling him that!) is Reepicheep, leader of the Talking Mice of Narnia.  Noble, brave, and maybe a little full of himself!  I painted this with fabric paints, then added some glitter, as my girl and I are all about the sparkle, lol.  On the back of the purse I wrote with permanent marker a quote from C.S. Lewis’s book The Last Battle, which is the final book from the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series.  Reepicheep is calling the others to come into “Aslan’s Country”, which is Heaven.  Reepicheep entered Aslan’s Country without experiencing death at the end of Voyage of the Dawn Treader.