Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Are You a Bibliophil?

One of my goals this year is to read a book a week--except for when I finally dig into Bill Clinton's autobiography. That might take awhile longer!

A few months ago, some friends turned me on to this site -- which is an awesome way to keep track of my personal library and look to see what books other people recommend. If you sign up (it's free), you can request me, LeFemmeMonkita, as a buddy. Plus, I love the "100 Most Frequently Challenged Books" list.

Right now, I'm halfway through The Terezin Diary of Gonda Redlich. I'm so glad I found this book. I think I learned more from this man's journal than I did visiting Terezin last year. It's great information for my book, which the first draft, by the way, is nearly complete!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Knowing When to Say When

I'm mortified by the news of a 66 year-old woman giving birth in Romania. My God, the woman is a year younger than my own mother--who, thankfully, quit having children at 30. As much as I love The Nana being Mr. Na's nana, I couldn't picture her having a baby, for chrissakes.

Apparently the woman went through numerous infertility treatments before having a successful delivery. She delivered twins, however, one was born stillborn.

After I read the story, my first question was why didn't she adopt one of the 84,381 orphans available in her country? Especially since Romania banned foreigners from adoption.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

I should have been a boy

It dawned on me today, as I was reading about the Allied air attacks over Germany during WWII, that I should have been born a boy. Girls don't like history--especially World War II history. It's icky. It's boring. It, like, happened so long ago.

I love it. I can't get enough of it. I mean, there's just something so cool about studying that time period. There are still so many lessons to be learned from everything that went down--yet our world leaders choose to ignore it.

I'm one of those weird women who enjoys watching the History channel. Yesterday, I got so completely psyched when I was channel surfing DirectTV and learned that we now have The Military Channel. Cool! Now I'm hoping they'll have a European Theatre Marathon!!!

Keep in mind, I'm not a patriotic war buff or anything like that. I think my love for learning about WWII reaches far deeper than singing about the Halls of Montezuma. It's more about figuring out how some psychopath brought all of Europe to its knees and managed to bring the world to battle. And how the entire world turned a blind eye to the extermination of 11 million people.

I always say that if I ever decide to go back and get my Masters it'll probably be in history...or nutrition! But for the sake of this discussion, I'd love to be an historian!! Maybe I can be both---an historian who eats well!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Soundtrack of My Mind

Quick. Without thinking too much about it, what song is going through your head right now?*

For me, it's "Some Kind of Wonderful" by Joss Stone.

I don't like Joss Stone, nor do I like "Some Kind of Wonderful" but the song got lodged into my head from my aerobics class abs routine (ok, it's Jazzercise. Shut up.)

All things considered though, it's a pretty palatable song to have in my head compared to half the shit that gets trapped there. 90% of my day is focused on listening to kiddie TV so I'm constantly listening to "I'm the Map" or the Lazytown theme song (at which point I usually meander back into the den to check out Sporticus <---- and I KNOW you Mommies out there are doing the same thing. Ya know how many people come to my site because they Googled "Sporticus"? Try 20 in ONE day!!!!) Anyway, so if it has to be Joss Stone, so be it.

Don't you hate, though, when someone tells you the song that's in their head and then, like some freakin virus, it crawls into yours? My husband does that to me constantly and it pisses me off because they're usually songs that are in heavy rotation only in, oh, Michigan, for example. Just this morning, at breakfast, he told me he had "20th Century Fox" from the Doors stuck in his head; but to make matters worse, he made words up so that instead of the normal version, I had "She's a 20th Century Ots" in my head all day long.

"Ots"? You ask? "Ots" is the nickname of a stuffed Polar Bear named "Wilson". I dunno how Mr. Na got "Ots" out of "Wilson" but there you have it.

The first time I saw Dave Matthews in my gym, he was singing along to Andy Gibb's "I just Wanna Be Your Everything" (just the nauseating Bee Gees falsetto part, though). So when I came home and told the hubby, he broke into his (very good) Dave Matthews impersonation and sang "He's a Seattle-ite". Somehow those two merged together and camped out in my head for almost a full week. It sucked.

It finally went away when we spent the weekend laying new floor tile in the kitchen and had several CDs on in the changer--one of them being Dave Matthews's "Under the Table and Dreaming." My darling husband began to sing along (and I must say he has a fine voice...he even sang to me at our wedding); but of course, in his true fashion, he changed the lyrics to "A Typical Situation." The normal lyrics are:
"It's a typical situation of these typical times...too many choices..."
My husband's version was: "It's a typical installation of these typical tiles. Too many choices..." So of course, I'll never hear that song the right way again.

Which reminds me of one of my very favorite websites that specializes in misheard lyrics. I'll have to add the "Typical Installation" lyrics.

Meanwhile, I'm stuck with Joss Stone in my head...until something better (or worse) comes along.

*If your answer is "nothing," can you kindly tell me how the hell you can turn off your soundtrack?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Poops and Guffaws (aka Shits and Giggles)

If you haven't read Jon Stewart's America (The Book) yet, I strongly urge you to make it one of your "must reads" for 2005. I laughed my heinie off with the turn of every page (which is good because my heinie got a little bit bigger over the holidays...all that food, ya know).

The book is fashioned after any of the lame-ass classroom history books we, the bored out of our minds American students had to suffer through during our young lives, including discussion questions and suggested classroom activities at the end of each chapter. I was particularly fond of the following question from the "Congress: Quagmire of Freedom" chapter:
"Remember that old Schoolhouse Rock cartoon about the bill who sings a song about how he becomes a law? Hey, and what about the Snorks? Remember them?"
Or this suggested classroom activity, in the "Judicial Branch: It Rules!" chapter:
"Make a God's eye from popsicle sticks and yarn, then teach your students about the one true Judge: The Lord!"

Over the weekend, news sources cited two counties in Mississippi (yes, I sing it so I can spell it correctly) banned the book from its libraries because of its offensiveness--specifically the page of the nine Supreme Court Justices--all nude. On the opposite page, there are nine robes which readers can cut out and "Restore [the dignity of the Supreme Court Justices] by matching each justice with his or her respective robe; but on Monday evening, members of the Library Board reversed the ban. You can read this article to get more of the details.

Funny thing is, as Stewart pointed out, there are quite a few more tidbits in the book that could be deemed far more offensive than some cut and paste silly-ass nudies. Things like, oh, the mention of teabagging a prostitute or perhaps the quote from the Third Dutchess of Kent who, in response to the Boston Massacre replied, "Fuck with a motherfuckah's tea and the shit be on."

Either way, I'm sure glad the folks in Mississippi can now enjoy a few good shits and giggles.