Thursday, September 30, 2010


The last few days, I've been going through some old boxes of mine. It's kind of exciting--like opening a pack of trading cards when you're little. You kind of know what to expect, but not completely--will you get that special foil card? That really rare card? Or will you finish off a collection?

I found a treasure!

I think I should start out by admitting that I'm a pack-rat. It's a tendency I'm trying to overcome. But I'm so glad that I found these--old school papers from elementary school. The big, bulky, construction paper-enriched crafts. Math tests, math papers, social studies papers...and writing!

Oh, my gosh. What did you write like, when you were little? Or what did you write about?

I'm pretty sure we were given pictures and were told to write stories about them. I was hoping mine would be fantastic and show how I was a writer at a young age, but alas, they weren't. There were some misspellings--I was just freshly seven, having had my birthday right before school began. But they were such treasures. Interesting views into my mind, in fact. I wrote a lot about kittens and blond girls named Lisa (I wanted to be blond, though I'm definitely not, and I wanted my name to be Lisa, though I love it as is). I laughed, and laughed, and I'm so glad I found them, and I'm so proud of them, whether or not they are well-written. I packed them away, but drawing on my memory:

If I found a dinosaur outside of my house, I would: ask my Mom if I can keep him and then I would keep him and I would call him farad. (I think that was supposed to be Fred. It wasn't capitalized in my "story," either.)

In the summertime: We wear three types of clothes; skirts, shorts and swimsuits. If you are a boy, you can only wear two. If you are a girl, you can wear all three. And you can play with the garden hose.

One Christmas: Everyone forgot, except for a little girl named Lisa. But she didn't know anyone forgot, so she didn't tell anyone. She left him (Santa?) a gift on Christmas Eve. (I assume that's the only gift given, and if you really want to think into it, Santa forgot, too, so he didn't even get his present...but oh, well.)

Oh, sometimes it's annoying to get prompts, but sometimes it's a lot of fun. So, I challenge you to tell me your own stories--what happened in the summer? What happened one Christmas? And what would you do if you found a dinosaur outside your house?

Or, you know, just enjoy my sad "stories." I did. :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blogging it... for almost three years

Well, readers, this is post number 80!

I've noticed my posts are getting higher in number. This makes me remember when I first started my blog. Many of you will remember when I started to pop up around the web site...but actually, though still somewhat of a newbie, I started blogging just about three years ago.

Here's the difference between then and now: I had no idea what I was doing.

You want proof? Here's my first-ever entry. With such a clever name...(insert eye roll here). (I still like to use dashes and ellipses, by the way.) I wrote one more entry that year, and then didn't write again until--March of 2009. Then another in May. My friend Amalia found out about my sad blog sometime around July, and since then, mostly because she keeps me in the blog circles, told me about some good blogs to read, first told me about blogfests, even mentioned me from time to time--because of all that, I am still here. With 80 posts under my belt!

Well, these 80 posts later, not a lot has changed, but at least I have a better idea of what I'm doing.

I'm sort of thinking, too, that maybe I should host a blogfest on my 100-post marker. Or something just for fun. Of course, many fantastic ideas have come and I'll have to try to be clever (which always works oh-so-well) and come up with something clever and fantastic of my own. And that means I'll have to figure out how to use that Mr. Linky form...and people will have to spread the word...

But then again, that's twenty posts from now! An eternity! Or so it seems.

Eh, but what the heck. I've just about decided. In fact, I have decided. This is a go.

Within the next few posts, I'll discern the theme. And then...on November 16--my three-year anniversary of joining, and if I'm lucky, sometime close to my 100 post-mark--I shall have a blogfest.

An emdash blogfest! No, totally joking. I wouldn't do that to you. We don't want too much of a good thing!

But we do want...something. (Ominous music in the background.) (Maybe with some flashes of lightning for dramatic effect.)

 So...beware. It's coming....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Review: Toy Story 3

Okay, so maybe I was about the last person in the world to see this movie, marking it as a Toy Trilogy, by the way--and, may I add, one of the greatest trilogies since Star Wars (the original episodes) found their way into the world.

So, if you can't guess from that, this is going to be a glowing review.

I don't know how Pixar does it. How they tell a story so phenomenally three times in a row, with similar tendencies, similar problems, and yet make three completely different yet connected, fantastic films. Each one is sparkling and new. Each one is beautiful. Each one packs a message without walloping you over the head with it.

And this one made me cry.

Okay, so if you were to ask my brother, he'd say that's not very difficult. But it made my cousin cry, too. We saw it together. She and I loved it. I laughed and laughed--it was so stellar! So--Pixar!

My one complaint is that Bo is in this photo I found, but is not in the movie (although she's mentioned. Thanks, Pixar!)

The thing about this movie is, we've grown up. Andy has. His sister has. Most of the toys are gone. Have been, for a while. But the special ones are left. (Hey, I've still got Polly Pockets--the old-school type--and they're sticking with me. You know? I totally understood.) They were about to go into the attic--all but Woody, whom Andy was going to take with to college. But through a mistake, they end up going to a day care. And as usual, they have to fend for themselves, find their love, and live (as toys) again, somehow.

We meet some new toys and people, and mourn the loss of old ones. We laugh ourselves silly over Ken--oh, my gosh, KEN! just have to watch it for his antics, alone. We feel our hearts break and mend, faster than you can pull dry play dough out of its tub. (I'm grasping at metaphors, here.)

One thing is for sure--Pixar knows quality, and they know how to take chances. I respect them, and their stories. They've made me fall in love with them, all over again.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Yes, Haiku--Part Two!

The longer I participate in this Haiku ordeal, hosted by Stephanie Thornton, the cornier my jokes/blog headings are getting. But I love it. Who knew?

You can read my haikus from yesterday down below this post--and here are a few more, because, apparently, I can't get enough!

Starting with a more serious one:

When the air is crisp
Why doesn't it crumple? I
breathe; it stays intact.

Ok, that's enough of that. One I shared with a friend yesterday:

Sometimes, the in-laws
Are really more like out-laws.
It's good they aren't armed.

And now there's just no stopping me!

Spidey shoots web while
Superman flies. DC or Marvel:
Who best wears spandex?

When she learned the states
Stella just had to wonder
What did Delaware?

Pink slides and brown mules
Lie on the ground. He and she
Kiss in the tree!

Wind blasts the tall grass
Till it looks like verdant waves.
Where are the starfish?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Haiku! Don't you?

I was quickly commenting on my friend Amalia T.'s blog, when I saw that she had posted a winning haiku in Stephanie Thornton's totally awesome Haiku blogfest! What the heck? How did I miss this! I'm not poet--not at all, though I wrote a totally awesome, rhyme-contrived poem for my dad one year, entitled "Mr. Fix-It." Don't expect it to ever hit this blog.

So, I entered my name just now, and came up with this.

I just shook your hand.
I wish I knew why I can't
kiss your palm, instead.

And suddenly was like, "Ooooh! Haikus are fun!"

So, I think I'm going to do a few more. Read what you want. Take part! Have fun, is all. And it's for two days! Score!

Haikus, I think, are
Sweet as thick, orange marmalade.
But beware! They bite!

Ich liebe dich, he sighed.
I gazed at him and whispered,
"I do not speak French."

She walked into wind
And fog, and snow, and ice, but
She danced in the rain.

She longed for a frog,
But soon found that a true friend
makes for a better prince.

Okay! I am done
For now, at least, with this fun
..Till I think of more.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Review: The Thirteenth Princess

I love, love, love to read. I haven't read a new book front to end in a long time--I've just been too busy with other things, or I figure I ought to write instead, or--well, you know. But I saw this book, by Diane Zahler, and I was just taken by the cover and the premise; it is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale.

Let me explain one thing right here. I love retellings. My Dad used to tell me fairy tales from various points of view of the other characters, and I think that might be part of the reason why. The wolf could speak for himself and was maybe an innocent bystander in Little Red Riding Hood, but oh! Let me tell you, that lumberjack had a good tale to tell, as well. And it wasn't just that one--the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson either rolled in their separate graves, or rose in spirit with the new life we breathed into those tales. I love how things are explained, how characters are developed, or how sense can be made of what we otherwise would not have understood, set down as they are. So, I love retellings. And fairy tales, in general.

Back to "The Thirteenth Princess." I found a commercial for this book, by the way, which you should watch--it's pretty terrible. It's overly dramatic, and does not at all make me want to read this book. I'm glad I didn't see it beforehand. I probably wouldn't have read it. It's definitely a middle reader, but does that really matter in the grand scheme of things? If a book is good, then it's good!

However, this book was average for me. Granted, I was up until 3am or so, reading it. On a weekday. When I had to work at 8 the next morning. Ouch. But that was because I had just hit the meat of the book. The really good parts. And where this book is good, the writing is crisp and descriptive, and you're sucked in. However, there's a bit too much that is not quite there, for me.

The story follows our red-haired protagonist, Zita. She is the thirteenth princess, born last to a queen of failing health (who then dies), and to a king who wanted a son, who spurns her, forces her to live with the servants, while her twelve Barbie-blond sisters live in splendor. Magic is banned here, but of course that is just a recipe for magic to occur. I'm not entirely convinced of the plausibility of magic being banned so easily, anyway, but maybe I'm not supposed to, so I am okay with this point.

Zita is supposed to live up to her red-haired description. In the beginning of the book, I do not think she does. She wheedles, she is baby-ish, she is never just strong, though she is told she is different--a Princess who can cook! Well, what else was she supposed to do? She was living in the kitchen, after all!

The sisters, too, often annoy me. They all have names beginning with "A", and they are all almost too perfect, though I respect that the oldest, accurately named Aurelia (Golden), wishes to find a husband who will accept her as Queen and not want to rule. (You go girl!) I just wish she had more backbone--or even that I could tell the other princesses apart. True, they are under an enchantment, but still.

I didn't get into the book until the sisters started to get sick, and Zita had to find out why. She starts to show a little bit more character in that part, as well. Yet I can't get over the fact that I knew who was casting the enchantment, a big mystery in the book, by the time she first realized someone actually was enchanting them, and began to wonder who it was. I had about four or five chapters on her. Nonetheless, Zahler pulled off the reveal with some interesting revelations I wouldn't have necessarily thought of, so I felt satiated by the way the pieces matched up.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I'm glad I read it. There was some very lovely writing here...but it was not a book I feel like I'll be raving over or even insisting that my friends read. It's worth a read, especially if you're into fairy tales, and it's quite fast to read...but I found some character traits wanting, and felt the action came a bit too late. So, from a self-proclaimed fairy tale aficionado--it wasn't bad. Just don't let that terrible "book preview" link I added above keep you from giving it a shot!