A description will appear someday. I promise.


I'm moving.

Okay, kids. I've had it. Blogger sucks my butt.

I'll be at bookshelvesofdoom.blogs.com.

It'll be a little while until I'm totally up and running--I'm manually moving all of my book reviews--my personal stuff may or may not make it over. We'll see.




This bites.

So, my template continues to do horrible things. I think I might take my blog elsewhere before I lose everything on it. Favorite blog software, anyone?

Beastly Blogger.

My template got erased, so I need to re-enter everyone's blogs and stuff. If I miss yours, let me know.

Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence -- Paul Feig

Fans of Freaks and Geeks will find a lot of the stories in this book familiar. Remember the stuff that Sam and Neil and Bill went through? The creator of the short-lived best-show-ever lived most of it--and in most cases, even more painfully:
More laughs exploded, and I knew that I had just witnessed the birth of something horrible. It was bound to happen and, in all honesty, I don't know why it didn't happened sooner. The word "fag" had started to float around on the outer fringes of my peer group right around the fifth grade. But I guess that in grade school, a fig-filled cookie was funnier that a cruel term for something we didn't understand. However, as I was about to find out, junior high was where the term flourished, and I had just been dubbed the Keeper of the Flame. As Mr. Parks tried in vain to quiet the class and regain order, I sat in the stunned realization that I had just seen the next several years of my life laid out for me.

Fig Newton was dead. Long live Paul Fag.
Oddly enough, at points, it really reminded me of the Wonder Years--but never syrupy and often excruciatingly painful (and funny--don't forget that it's hysterically funny!). I've always considered my middle school experience to be pretty miserable, but I'm not sure if I can really claim that anymore--compared to Paul Feig, my 5th-8th grade years were all sunshine and daises. Read it, cringe and laugh. Then watch Freaks and Geeks again.


I saw this over at Canuck Librarian.

Asteroid named after ‘Hitchhiker’ humorist

In related news, have you seen the cast of the Hitchhiker's movie? La la la... Sam Rockwell is playing Zaphod--for those of you who don't know the SR formula,
Sam Rockwell X 2 = blissful swoon.

People really do believe junk like this.

So, I hadn't even bothered to post about the SpongeBob thing because I thought it was so silly. Don't these people remember how stupid Falwell looked when he denounced Tinky Winky?

Yesterday, I heard a kid tell a bunch of other kids that if you watch SpongeBob, you're more likely to "end up gay". Sigh.


Running with Scissors -- Augusten Burroughs

To everyone who recommended this book to me:


I loved it. I marked so many pages (with bookmarks, I hate dog-eared pages) that I finally had to stop because I ran out of scrap paper. I read so many passages out loud to Josh that he went to work the next day talking about the book I was reading--not the book he himself was reading. I laughed so hard and so often that I had to put the book down at points. I LOVED IT.

Tracy, what was it that the people in the book group objected to? Was it the sex? Because, damn it, there was only about 6 pages of it. Out of 304! Granted, it was graphic, sketchy, and disturbing, but come on! Or were they upset about something else?

For the uninitiated, Running with Scissors is Augusten Burroughs' memoir of his childhood. Things start out semi-normally, with his parents on the verge of divorce:

My father's face grew red as he added a splash of tonic water to his glass. "Deirdre, will you settle down. You're hysterical, just hysterical." Because he was a professor, he was in the habit of repeating himself.

She stood up from the sofa and walked slowly across the white shag carpeting, as if finding her mark on a soundstage. "I'm hysterical?" she asked in a smooth, low voice. "You think this is hysterical?" She laughed theatrically, throwing her head back. "Oh, you poor bastard. You lousy excuse for a man." She stood next to him, leaning her back against the teak bookcase. "You're so repressed you mistake creative passion for hysterics. And don't you see? This is how you're killing me." She closed her eyes and made her Edith Piaf face.
You may notice that his mother is a tad dramatic. Well, don't get the idea that the father lacks drama--a few pages later, he chases her around the house and tries to brain her with a fondue pot. Shortly thereafter, they split up and Augusten's mother decides that she can't handle the strain of raising him--so she gives him to her psychiatrist. Keep in mind that this is a man who believes that he's receiving messages from God through his own poop.

What about Hope; would she ever get married? "See all that corn? Hope's going to marry a farmer."
The house is filthy, filled with the psychiatrist's many children, his aptly-named grandson Poo and quite a few of his patients--former and current.

This is completely unrelated, but one of my favorite passages was about smoking:

Smoking had become my favorite thing in the world to do. It was like having instant comfort, no matter where or when. No wonder my parents smoked, I thought. The part of me that used to polish my jewelry for hours and comb my hair until my scalp was deeply scratched was now lighting cigarettes every other minute and then carefully stomping them out. It turned out I had always been a smoker. I just hadn't had any cigarettes.
LOVED LOVED LOVED it. More than David Sederis. Much more, actually. So, again, thanks for the recommendation!

Educating Esme: diary of a teacher's first year --
Esme Raji Codell

November 3

Assembly today. National anthem. Oh, no, I thought. Will they...?

"...land of the free and the home of the brave!: A small group of voices enthusiastically added the postscript. "Play ball!"

Mr. Turner stepped up to the mike. "All right, who did that!" Nobody peeped.

They had no homework today, as a reward for showing good judgment when it counted most.
Apparently, Miss Pointy in Sahara Special is not a fictional creation. She IS Esme Raji Codell. The book was a riot--I laughed out loud on a pretty consistent basis, and kept interrupting Josh's reading to read him parts, which is always a sure sign of greatness in a book.

It chronicles her first year teaching--a fifth grade class in Chicago. She deals with a horrible principal, very little funding, a major lack of enthusiasm on the part of many of the volunteers and other teachers, abused kids, a book thief, as well as the regular teacher stuff. Add to all of this the on-going war with the principal about whether or not she's allowed to have the kids call her Madame Esme:

"The ACLU?" His eyebrows draw up fearfully. "Is that the teacher's union? You didn't call the teacher's union, did you?"
A lot of people that reviewed the book at Amazon seem to think that she's really conceited, too hard on her co-workers, etc. She didn't strike me like that at all, she seemed more frustrated than anything--and if you can't vent in your diary, where can you vent?


A guy who posts at Somethingawful.com created some of the Calvin and Hobbes snow art. Way cool. (There are lots more pictures at the site--you need to scroll down to see them).  Posted by Hello

Meet Me in St. Louis

A warning to anyone who hasn't been unfortunate enough to rent this movie.


I swear. There's that horribly annoying St. Louis song that they sing 3 billion times, NO plot, some wretched children (The kind that try really, really hard to be cute. Yuck.), and Judy Garland looks like a MAN. A MAN!!

Oh, wait. There was a plot. They just introduced it about 15/16ths of the way through the movie.


Finally. Someone on the side of sanity weighs in.

Two Pleasant Valley parents are challenging the decision to restrict the use of a book with a gay character in the district’s elementary schools, saying the decision violates constitutional protections for teachers and students, the process was not as open as it should have been, and the board violated its own policies.

The Starlite Drive-In -- Marjorie Reynolds

This book has one of the best first paragraphs that I've read in a long time:

I wasn't there when they dug up the bones at the old drive-in theater, but I heard about them within the hour. In a small town, word travels like heat lightening across a parched summer sky. Irma Schmidt phoned Aunt Bliss and delivered the news with such volume that her voice carried across the kitchen to where I was sitting.
This book reminded me of Lone Star. Without the incest. It was hot (Indiana summer, not Texas) and it started with old bones being discovered, then switched to flashback. Okay, other than that it wasn't really similar. Although I could picture Chris Cooper in a movie version.

Callie Anne lives at the Starlite Drive-In with her parents. Her dad runs the place and her mom hasn't left the house in five years. Then a drifter named Charlie Memphis comes to town.

The weird thing about the book was that even though it's marketed as a YA book, and it's about a YA... it didn't really feel like a YA book. Maybe because the story is told by Callie Anne when she's grown up, in her mid 40s?

Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

I'm so immature. But c'mon. It's really, really funny.

Police in Germany are hunting pranksters who have been sticking miniature US flags into piles of dog poo in public parks.

Trying not to hyperventilate.

Not succeeding.

Chris Crutcher. New Book. May 2005.


I need to go and find a paper bag to breathe in.


I have a backlog of ten books to post about. Crap. I need to get the internet at home. But first, I need to make my computer work.


A proud moment.

We're reading The Blue Sword in one of my book groups right now, and one of the girls is totally in love with Corlath.

Aw yeah.