coffeesnob318: (Default)
Love, love, love, love this season so far. I also love that it's on Hulu, so I can actually watch it.

I don't even know who my favorite is. I have about seven. Seven of them are my favorite.

And I'm excited that they've opened online voting. Excellent.

*happy dance*
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Hate is a strong word. Accurate, but strong.

I am pretty sure that this makes me a traitor to my generation, but I just don't care. The day the music died? The day Nirvana sold their first album.
coffeesnob318: (Default)

I have no idea who my favorite band is, but Nickel Creek is definitely top ten. And this is my absolute favorite song by them.
coffeesnob318: (Default)
Originally posted by [ profile] kylecassidy at The Wall Street Journal Nonsense about YA Literature
It's kind of like robbing a bank that keeps its cash in an unguarded shoebox in a public park to say "I'm going to take on the Wall Street Journal's commentary on YA Literature, "Darkness Too Visible" penned by Meghan Cox Gurdon" whose inbox, no doubt, like the illustrious Journal's is probably filling up with incredulous and angry comments from people more eloquent and informed than I. But Gurdon provides extremely low hanging fruit that it's really hard not to swat at, beginning with the proposion that Young Adult Literature is: "all vampires and suicide and self-mutilation ... dark, dark stuff"

Which is sort of like standing in a mall parking lot and shouting "ALL CARS ARE RED!" One hardly need point out that Julie of the Wolves, Island of the Blue Dolphins, the Phantom Tollbooth, The House With the Clock in its Walls, the Chronicles of Narnia, and hundreds of other classics of yesterday are still YA literature, and are still on shelves. It also ignores modern classics like Ysabeau Wilce's Flora Segunda which has neither vampires nor suicides, but a daring young heroine who would be excellent role model material for any daughter I had. On top of that, it ignores the fact that some of the greatest works of YA literature, like Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird are ... well, dark at times.

Gurdon goes on to make the bizarre claim that "...40 years ago, no one had to contend with young-adult literature because there was no such thing", claiming, somewhat incredulously, that it began in 1967 with the publication of The Outsiders, this of course discounts not just Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, perhaps the two most widely known books written for a young adult audience in the English Language, but also books like Kidnapped and Treasure Island which adolescents were reading for generations before Outsiders author S.E. Hinton was born. On my shelf right now I have a book called Six Girls by Fanny Belle Irving published in 1882 -- I haven't read it, but I can assure you it's audience is teenage girls who might also be reading Little Women or Jane Austen. (In fact, the article's own sidebar recommends the 1943 novel A Tree Grows In Brooklyn for kids.) All this serves to suggest that Gurdon doesn't have a clue what she's talking about -- that she hasn't even taken the time to read the Wikipedia page about the topic she's writing on, and that carelessness suggests that we should take everything else she has to say with a grain of salt.

Gurdon then goes on to criticize a series of books individually, she takes time to specifically complain about Jackie Morse Kessler's book "Rage" which involves a girl who turns to self injury after being the victim of "a sadistic sexual prank". When we live in a world where teenage girls cut themselves at prodigious rates (and this is nothing new, it's been happening for hundreds of years) The Wall Street Journal thinks that we shouldn't have books for teens that discuss it. Gurdon takes to task an editor who laments having to cut language from a book in order to get it in schools as though it was a conversation never held between Mark Twain and his editor.

But this is simply the history of books and literature, it is the way things progress and regress and progress again. In the late 1800's Arthur Winfield began an extremely popular series of books for young readers called The Rover Boys. [ profile] trillian_stars and I scored a complete collection of these a couple of years ago and found them so offensive, so sexist, so racist, so classist, as to be nearly unreadable -- the best-selling morality tales of the late 1800's and early 1900's were all about making fun of the poor & underprivileged, those with accents, or dark skin, or those not able to get into the same prep school. The Rover Boys play vicious pranks on their school mates who are fat or who speak with a lisp, and they succeed and persevere because they're rich and they're entitled to and, hey, it's all in good fun.

I realized while trying to read these that YA literature reflects the times as they are and that they will also, occasionally, attempt to grasp the times that Aren't Yet and pull them closer. If there's a glut of vampire books on the market now there may not be in fifteen years. Of these, many will fade into obscurity and some, the ones that strive, will remain -- Darwin will police the stacks -- and in the meantime, the literature will evolve. Things people look at as taboo in one era (women wearing pants) don't warrant a second glance in another. YA literature is one of the mechanisms by which children learn what types of adults they will become. They likely won't learn to become vampires, but they may learn that they're not the only teenage girls who have a compulsion to cut themselves, or that they're not the only boys who are attracted to other boys, or they may learn how to build a house in a tree if they ever get stranded on an island.

There are many YA books out there -- some of them good, and some of them bad. Some of them I'd be happy to let my (theoretical) children read, and some that I think would be a waste of their time.

I feel compelled to quote Heavy Metal Rocker Dee Snider who, when called before the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Comission) in 1985 by a very clueless Al Gore to testify about the harm rock music caused teens, schooled the Senator in parenting in one of the most one sided smackdowns since Lloyd Benson told Dan Quayle that he was, in fact, "No Jack Kennedy".

Senatore GORE: [Should a parent have] To sit down and listen to every song on the album?

Mr. SNIDER. Well, if they are really concerned about it I think that they have to.

Senator GORE. Do you think it is reasonable to expect parents to do that?

Mr. SNIDER. Being a parent is not a reasonable thing. It is a very hard thing. I am a parent and I know.

I don't know what's more embarrassing, that Congress would waste tax dollars on such a farce, or that the senior Senator from Tennessee got his ass handed to him in a debate by a guy who appeared on his album cover wearing shoulder pads, spandex pants, and pink lace-up boots waving a bloody soup bone.

I'm not sure why the Wall Street Journal would bother to print such nonsense, I can only hope it is a result of laying off so much of the editorial staff over the past few years rather than policy.

In summary:

  • Being a parent is not supposed to be easy.

  • It's not the publishing industry's job to decide what to print based on what you like to read.

  • Not all books are good books.

  • Every single book that you liked as a child you can still get for your own kids, if not from your local bookstore, then from ebay.

  • Good literature stays around, the bad stuff is transient.

  • At some point your child will probably read a book that you don't think is good that will change their lives in a good way.

  • Ranting to the Wall Street Journal that YA literature sucks when you apparently know nothing about YA literature is a sad attempt at making a shortcut to responsible parenting.

  • Ask a librarian, they're there to help.

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coffeesnob318: (Default)

I couldn't think of any song that made me sleepy, so I borrowed [ profile] ravenluvslex's sleepytime music. :)
coffeesnob318: (Default)

Someone actually bet me a drink one time that 1) I didn't know the words to this song and 2) even if I did, I wouldn't get up on stage and sing it for karaoke. Yay, free drink!

I would like to thank my mother for being obsessed with Shirley Temple.

P.S. Someday, I'll make real posts again. I'm just having so much fun with these.
coffeesnob318: (Default)

This is the song the band plays at kickoff at my high school's football games. You hear the Rocky theme song? I hear the Bobcat theme song.
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This song reminds me of Christ Fellowship. It's the only place (well, besides my own house and car) where I've ever heard it, and I still hear Erin and Conan singing it (and much better than the person singing it here, in my opinion). I remember when they had Ben and Robin Pasley (who wrote the song) over for a house concert. I've always considered, of all the songs that we sang, that this was most likely our theme song as a church. My hope is that it still is true for us, even though we're no longer together.
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I don't know why; it has always made me sad.
coffeesnob318: (Default)

This is such a fun song. I like the whistling part.
coffeesnob318: (Default)

Because even cartoon rodents sound better than Ke$ha.


Jun. 2nd, 2011 02:00 am
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I've been kind of lax with the whole Happiness Project. I think it takes more time than I have. Also, other things have come up. But I have a focus for June - music.

I have always loved music. I suppose I love music in the same generic sort of way that everyone loves music, but it was always a big part of my life growing up. I took private piano lessons for ten years, and I've sung in choirs and substituted on worship teams, so I have a bit of a background. And I don't quite know how to explain this, but some of you will get it - I think like a musician. The mindset that it takes is how my brain works. I just haven't done anything recently (i.e., for the past couple of years). And I miss it. As soon as I read one Rubin's goals with her children - "Sing in the morning" - I ached for it. It's the same ache I feel when I hear certain friends sing or when they played recordings of Mr. Currie's piano arrangements at his funeral or when I hear someone play the piano in the Union. So much of my early identity was wrapped up in music that when it's not around, it leaves a hole that nothing else can fill.

So how do I get restarted?

1. 30 Day Song Challenge. Several of my Facebook friends have been doing this, and I've enjoyed hearing the things that they post. So I'm jumping on the bandwagon. Yesterday's prompt was "Your Favorite Song," so naturally, I chose this:

2. Seek out the music of others. This is where being at UNT will come in handy. There are hoardes of recitals and concerts, and most of them are free. It's summer, so there may not be as many around, but we have a great local music scene as well. I originally planned to do this in March, when I was going to spend a week in Memphis, but I think having a less busy month will make it easier.

3. Find a way to play. I don't have a keyboard, and it's going to be a while before I can afford one. Also, I am super shy when it comes to playing in front of others, especially now that I'm so out of practice. But there has to be a solution. My goal this month is to seek it and find it.
coffeesnob318: (Default)
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My perfect meal basically is appetizers. I love antipasti nights. A few friends sharing a bottle (or four) of wine along with a spread of different kinds of breads and crackers, a cheese plate, some prosciutto, stuffed olives, roasted peppers, a simple bean salad or two, and tomatoes. For dessert, we'd have something light (because we certainly don't have much room left for anything heavy) like some kind of cookie with coffee.

I think I need to have an antipasti night soon.
coffeesnob318: (Default)
1. May Pampered Chef Show - a portion of the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society

2. Our summer conference schedule is so easy this year. I think it's going to be a pretty smooth summer. All of our high-maintenance adults got shipped to another hall. Excellent. I reserve the right to eat these words later.

3. I feel the need for something bad for me for lunch. Of course, I've been feeling the need for something bad for me a lot lately. Eh, I'll cook this weekend. For now - crap food!

4. I'm re-reading Harry Potter. I am reminded of why I wasn't in a crazy hurry to read the last one when it came out. I'm in the fourth book. Yesterday, Adam misread it and called it Harry Potter and the Giblet of Fire. We got jokes out of that all afternoon. The jokes were more entertaining than the book has been.

5. I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend. I have plans for breakfast with Natalie on Saturday...and that's it.

6. I've just gotten an email about plans to remove a bee colony from one of the buildings on campus. It's shutting a whole section of campus down during the process so that they can safely capture the bees and move them. The bees have lived on campus for 18 years, but they're being moved to a local beekeeper because they've been showing signs of aggression. This makes me a little sad. It also makes me less scared to visit that side of campus once the terrorist bees are gone (dive-bombing bees and allergies make for a bad morning).

7. Annoying phrase of the day - "One bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch." While I agree with the sentiment behind this cliche, the statement itself? Not true at all. Fruit rot spreads and spreads quickly, fella. One bad apple will take down the whole barrel.


May. 11th, 2011 07:54 am
coffeesnob318: (Default)
“When I cannot bear outer pressures anymore, I begin to put order in my belongings….as if unable to organize and control my life, I seek to exert this on the world of objects.” - Anais Nin.

Word, Anais.

Today, I have made an extensive outline, detailing the work I will get done on my apartment this morning.

You know what I have not done today?

Grade spreadsheets.

Ah, avoidance, my old friend. Welcome. My house always gets so clean (okay, let's face it - less dirty) during finals week.
coffeesnob318: (Default)
Oftentimes, I hear people in management advising others to give bad news in what they call a "love sandwich," referring to the practice of starting the conversation with a positive comment, making the negative statement, and following it with another positive comment.

This bothers me.

Not because it sounds kinda dirty in a threesome sort of way, and I think that that is inappropriate for the workplace. That apparently doesn't faze me at all.

I dislike it because it's somewhat of a misnomer. Love Sandwich. It makes it sound like the love is what's in the middle. And it's not, unless it's tough love they're referring to.

It's like calling a ham on rye a Rye Sandwich.

*shakes head; wags finger*

I would take a Meanie on Nice Bread. Or, as Maggie suggested, a Negative on Pleasant Toast. Or even an Oops! Sandwich.

But not a Love Sandwich. Just no.


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