Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

My fiance is a “first year”

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

In light of the penultimate Harry Potter film being released in November, Jason and I have assumed the task of reading through all seven of the novels (I’m reading aloud to him because he’s a slowpoke). Jason is….somewhat of an anomaly. He has never read the books, he has never seen the films, and amazingly, he knows absoluely none of the plot twists or spoilers. Jason, by some miracle, is stepping into the world of Harry Potter all innocent and brand new.

This is fantastic most of the time. He laughs at all the right moments and is, after just finishing Chamber of Secrets, getting attached to characters. Neville is currently is favorite, and he has a soft spot for Snape. I’m absolutely loving how these books are enchanting him as they did me when they were first released. The excited look on his face at the beginning of each chapter, or when he makes a connection (“OH MY GOD, VOLDEMORT’S IN THE TURBAN!!!!”), is not unlike the blissful and triumphant expression of an infant who just discovered that he can reach his feet to his mouth.

The problem, of course, is that we’re slowly inching out of “kids books” territory. We’re planning on spending tomorrow on Azkaban, the last novel everyone gets out of alive. Characters he cares about are going to get hurt, some lower blows than others, and I’m feeling terrible that I’m going to have to put him through the heartbreak we all experienced. I know they’re only fictional characters….but who doesn’t want Hagrid or Luna or whoever to be their best friends? Who on earth didn’t want a Weasley sweater and some treacle tart on Christmas morning? That’s just as good as them all being real people, and I don’t know anyone who didn’t cry in books 5, 6, and 7. It’s going to break his poor heart, and I wish I could save him…but we all lost characters we love, and we soldiered on.

On a lighter note, we’ve watched the first two films, and he’s just as indignant as I was about all the changes and deleted scenes. He’s almost as annoyed as he was when Cyclops died in X-Men: The Last Stand. Rather adorable, really.

Almost forgot–J keeps mentioning how much he loves Scabbers. I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he finds out about Wormtail!

How I will spend my summer vacation

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Done with school for the next two weeks, and I’ve decided that I am very much overdue for some ‘me’ time. Finals were a easy as pie, with the excpetion of my two hour essay final for Medieval Lit. A bunch of us didn’t finish, and we all wanted to claw our eyes out by the end of it. But I survived. That is enough for me.

I’ll be working, thought not as much as I’d like…I could really use some extra hours, and I generally like being at the restaurant. With only one exception, all of the servers are very sweet and helpful. They take good care of the other hostess and me.

Aside from that, though, I’m very much looking forward to Disneyland (!!!) and finally reading a book that doesn’t require a six page analysis due at midnight to Jason’s trading me his Starcraft series for my extra copy of The Princess Bride. So excited! He started reading part of one of them, Nova, to me last night. Have I mentioned how much I love being read to? It’s amazing. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and safe, like a kitten wrapped in a blanket and surrounded by teddy bears that are eating cotton candy. It is that awesome.

I will, I will, I WILL start going to the gym again. That is also on the list of stuff I want to do over break, because it really is just as much a matter of want as it is of need. I know how good I feel when I work out. Someday I would like to trade my gym membership in for pole classes, but I think that’s going to be a long way off.

Last weekend brought a whole bunch of bittersweet. My dear friend Myra and her husband Kurt are moving to Oregon…I think they already left, actually. The three May Revelers are spread out quite a bit now, but I will definitely keep in touch with Claire and Myra, and hopefully I will be able to reach Joanna. I don’t have such a tight relationship with many women. I never thought having close girl friends would be something I ever wanted. Now that I have a few, though, I can’t believe how much I was missing out on.

Nothing dramatic or epic to report. The biggest thing going on right now is the 1 vs 100 live game on XBOX 360 that Mom 2.0 and I have become completely obsessed with. I had forgotten how competitive I can get…apparently Jason was unaware as well. Oops! just one of those things, I guess, still getting used to each others little quirks. It’s fun, though. We make a good team.

The IP School of Gooder English

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Alright, I’ve suffered in silence….quasi-silence….long enough. I can’t take this anymore. The seemingly endless amount of poor grammar hurts my soul.

Before we begin, I’d like to note that I am not going to slam people who speak in LolCats. That is meant as a joke, and is generally used sparingly. If someone starts abusing their “I can haz?” privileges, have no fear, they will be drawn and quartered, and then I will sell all of their belongings on Ebay and use the money to buy the 80th anniversary edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.

First lesson: there, their, and they’re.

“There” refers to a location. Where is the book? Over there. For a more abstract use: There are only a couple ways to use the form “there”, so stop screwing it up.

“Their” is a possessive. You should know what that means, but just in case you were too busy passing notes in your middle school English classes to pay attention, that means “their” is used when the noun in the sentence belongs to someone. That delicious, mouthwatering, nearly-orgasmic sushi is (unfortunately) theirs.

“They’re” is a contraction. That little tick mark between y and r? That isn’t decorative, amazingly enough. It really does have a purpose. It’s called an apostrophe, and it takes the place of an extracted letter, in this case the a in are. So, if we replace the apostrophe with the a, “they’re” becomes “they are”, and we all know how to use that phrase, yes? Please? For the love of all things holy?

Edit here: Holy crap, I fail at life. I could have sworn I typed ‘contraction’ when I first posted this. Thank you, Angela! You are wonderful :)

Second lesson: loose versus lose.

I can’t even begin to understand how these two words are confused; they mean completely different things. However, I’ve been seeing this mistake for a few years now, and it’s not getting any better.

“Lose” means to misplace/get rid of something, or it is the opposite of ‘to win’. As in, I hate when I lose my pens because then I have to buy more, or My dad’s volume reaches ungodly levels when the Red Sox lose.

“Loose” is the opposite of tight. My pants are loose; I must have lost some weight! Also can be used as a slang term when talking about those who are sexually promiscuous, i.e. “loose woman”.

My hand to God, I will brutally maim the next person who switches those two words around. Public school education is NO EXCUSE.

I have a few other more generalized gripes. Run-on sentences, comma splices, apostrophe errors (it’s versus its), lack of capitalization at the beginning of sentences….look, people, these are things that can be fixed easily and will help you be perceived at least as intelligent as fifth-grade GATE students. Please, go forth and try not to suck at this. It makes the rest of us cry like starving Ethiopian children.

One last thing: if you use ’2′ for to (or too) or you spell “what” with a u, just give up now. There is no hope for you; you have lost your soul and you will probably spend eternity in the circle of hell that also houses those who don’t take advantage of deodorant and those who write Snape/Hermione (or Sirius/Lupin) slash.

I started reading Twilight

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

And my eyes want to bleed battery acid.

To sum up the first five chapters:

“I hate Forks and the cold and the snow, and I’m going to pontificate about how I don’t fit in, and Edward’s pretty, but I think he might hate me, or maybe he likes me, I’m going to stare at him some more. Pretty pretty Edward.”

Honestly and truly, I went into this thinking that maybe I was being too hard on Myer and her fangirls, and that maybe I’d actually get into the story. I was prepared to swallow my pride and admit that I liked the book. And maybe something will change between chapter 5 and the end. I could still be wrong. Maybe it’ll stop sucking more than a disease-ridden crackwhore.

Look at me being Miss Optimistic with sunshine and rainbows coming out my butt. I blame all the May Revelling.

Reeding: Ur doin it rong

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

I don’t think I’m a racist person. I really, really don’t. I chose to attend Cal State LA because I wanted to be in an environment with different people from many different cultures. When I’d walk to my car from the gym, even after dark, I would be wary of White, Black, and Hispanic men…regardless of race, they’re all bigger than I am. I mostly stay away from the immigration debate, because I think it is very easy to slip further into racism than I’m comfortable with, and because I can’t begin to think of a halfway decent solution. I certainly don’t think a giant wall or fence or whatever will work, nor do I feel comfortable with angry and armed citizens patrolling their own little bits of the border without any kind of government supervision.

Right now, the biggest bone I have to pick with the illegal immigration debacle is the way it’s affecting education. For grade school, I went to Skyblue Mesa Elementary, right up the hill from our ‘rival’, Cedercreek Elementary. Cedercreek was named as a California Distinguished School before I graduated to junior high. Five years ago, the student population was 80% Caucasian. Now, however, the demographic has changed to 20% Caucasian and almost 80% Hispanic, and Cedercreek has become the first school in the Saugus Union School District to be up on probation for not meeting the standards put in place by the No Child Left Behind Act.

Tell me that’s a coincidence.

A girl I babysit is in second grade at Cedercreek. Once a week, her teacher is taken out of the classroom so she can be taught Spanish. Many of her students don’t speak English. Six of the children in that class are only ready 20 to 30 words per minute, when they’re supposed to be reading at least 90 per minute.

I don’t have a problem with kids being given equal opportunities in terms of education. But when illgeal parents are sending their kids to school when they can’t read, can’t speak English, and can’t catch up with the other children in their classes, that takes away from the education of the children who are up to standard.

While it was originally my intention to focus only on children of illegal immigrants, this doesn’t just apply to them. Plenty of children who come from English speaking homes are falling behind, because the parents don’t take the time to teach their kids to read. Kids don’t generally just pick it up on their own. Teaching a child to read is HARD. It isn’t always fun. The child will get impatient, and frustrated, and distracted; more often than not, you’ll want to shake them like a box of Shake N Bake. But because you brought the small and helpless creature into the world, that means it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure it has the information it needs to survive. I was sounding words out when I was two-years-old, not because I’m some prodigy, but because my parents put the time and effort into teaching me.

On the other hand, because I started reading so early, I’m now a big English Major geek. So, if you don’t want a child who can’t imagine a better present than a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or one who brags about translating Old English, maybe you should just give them another copy of Grand Theft Auto.

From the mouths of babes

Friday, January 16th, 2009

I can’t believe I’m a month late in seeing this (thanks for telling me about it, Chels-face)

How to Talk to Girls

It might seem odd to think that a child would be an authority on dating an relationships…but maybe he has a clearer view of it than any of us. A nine-year-old doesn’t know about mind games or power plays or ridiculous rules of conduct. It should be as easy as saying “hello”, at least at the beginning. Why do we make these thing unnecessarily complicated?

“If I say hi and you say hi, we’re probably off to a good start.” I could not agree more.