Sep 25, 2010

Read a Banned Book!

Sept. 25 through Oct. 2 is Banned Books week. You can read my post from last year's BBW to see how I feel about society induced censorship as well as a list of books you can read. But this year I wanted to share an interesting article I read about the 10 most surprising banned books--included on this list is "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see."

Check it out and read a banned/challenged book this week!

Sep 21, 2010

The Strange Case of the "Misplaced" Quotes

Yesterday we got a newsletter in the mail from some dentistry office. As an editing minor and someone taking a design class, I had to make fun of it. Here is just a little of what was so great about the newsletter:

We Specialize in Quality, Affordable
and Comfortable Dentistry Right in
Your Neighborhood. You Won't Find a
"Friendlier Staff" Anywhere Else!

Except the words quality, affordable, and comfortable were all underlined as well (Blogger won't let me for some reason).

And, apparently, you can get a "Free" implant consultation as well!

They also ask you to not "be a 'afraid' to ask!"

I read through this and laughed, but also wished that they had at least hired a freelancer designer/editor for this newsletter because I'm pretty sure they want to be taken seriously. Got to love that you don't have to be "afraid" of their "free" help and "friendly staff."

Sep 14, 2010

The Long Awaited Review

Well, I finally read The Hunger Games series. I know some people who I talked to were interested to know of what I thought of it, so here is my review.

To be honest, I don't know if I liked them. That's not to say that I didn't like them--I read them in a week and probably would have gotten done with them faster, but I had to wait five days to get the second and third books--but I can't see myself ever reading them again. Why? Because they present such a horrible world, full of people finding entertainment in children killing each other, and while I am glad that I read them once, reading them again would mean getting back into that world, and I just don't think I want to.

That isn't to say that Collins didn't present and intriguing story, because she definitely did. I read Mockingjay in a day. Here are some of the things I liked about the books, and Collins' writing:
*All my predictions were wrong. I like that. I don't want a story to be easy to guess. Her curve balls were amazing! Never would have guessed.
*She was able to use the present tense very effectively. I don't think it would have been as intriguing to read if we weren't learning and being exposed to everything right along with Katniss.
*That leads me to the next thing I liked--the first person narrator. Katniss was a complex character who had a general distrust of people, but at the same time has a great love for a few select. She is exactly how I think a person growing up in that kind of society, and having gone through those kinds of things would behave. And yet, she was aware of her faults and wanted to be different in some ways. She was able to learn and change.
*The books aren't necessarily dark, but they do deal with some serious issues which I think are handled in a such a way that adolescents will be able to read without getting too disturbed, but they will also come away with a new way of looking at life.

Collins is a great storyteller, which lets me know that she deserves everything that she is getting from the writing of these books. Fame, New York Times bestselling author, and probably quite a bit of money. But, that's not to say that there weren't things I didn't like about the books.

*My biggest thing was the Capitol people. This is kind of a silly little complaint, but every time I was given a description of someone with dyed skin and hair and ridiculous tattoos, I felt like it gave the story a little flippant air. The only time I didn't was in Mockingjay when they meet Tigris, because that was just sad. I understand that it was an exaggeration of shallow, appearance obsessed people who never really grew past adolescence and it was effective in showing how different they were from the rest of the districts. But still, every time I read a description about someone's green skin and purple hair, I just rolled my eyes.
*There wasn't any good place to stop. Just about every chapter ending with a small cliffhanger, making it almost impossible to take a break. That might have been her intent, but chapter breaks are meant to be able to give even a slight break for the reader, even if they intend to go on reading right then. It bothered me that I was feeling manipulated into keep reading, even when it was getting late at night and I just wanted to go to bed.
*Sometimes I didn't understand the characters motivations. The biggest example I can see of this was


in Catching Fire when they were at the Quarter Quell with all the other victors. After the shows of unity that the victors showed during training, their interviews, and after the interviews when they all held hands, I didn't understand how they still were going to fight each other in the arena. I would have thought (and again, this just goes to show that my predictions were always wrong, though it would have been okay if this one were right) that they would have banded together and refused to fight each other. All the victors seemed willing to defy the Capitol, but they still fought each other. I think it would have still made an interesting story of the victors having to deal with the gamekeepers trying to kill them or make them fight each other. It would have been a different story yes, but I would have liked the characters a bit better I guess.
*Speaking of characters, sometimes Katniss did bother me, though I liked her voice. She was defiant, and that was necessary, but she completely refused almost all advice and help given to her. She alienated her family and friends. She seemed almost completely self-centered, never seeing the other persons point of view and struggles if it didn't coincide with how she thought things should be.

Despite my few qualms, I'm glad I read them. I haven't been so intrigued by a book in a long time. Interesting, though horrific, story, and a satisfying but not all "happily ever after" ending. Like I said, I don't think I'll read them again, and they probably won't be on my bookshelf in the near future. I would recommend that people read them, even though my feelings for them are unsure. A good story, a good read, and a good lesson.

Sep 10, 2010

Snippet of a Conversation Between Missionaries

One missionary is standing outside the hall where the bathrooms are located in the Creamery. His companion comes out.

Companion: I almost walked into the girl's bathroom!
Missionary: (laughs) Looks like you made it into the boys.
Companion: Yeah, I thought you were in there so I was talking to you!

. . . In Your Dreams!

Last night I had a dream about going back to London. I was going on another study abroad there and I was so excited to spend the next four months and my last semester in my favorite city!'

By the time I got there, I started having doubts which were crowding out the excitement I felt on the plane (sidenote: planes are always much cooler in my dreams), and seeing a bunch of people that I went to London with before also going to London (because, you know, why wouldn't they be there? A girl I knew in high school was also there--that part was weird.). I started thinking about the fact that I hadn't moved out of my apartment, and therefore would still be paying rent. And then I started worrying about when I would be able to move out of my apartment.

Then I started thinking about the classes I was enrolled in at BYU and how I would complete those. Because I need to complete them to graduate this semester, but how was I going to learn InDesign and Photoshop without anyone showing me about it.

And it didn't help that the London Centre was in a part of town that looked suspiciously like Herriman.

But I wasn't going to let that bother me, because I was in London!

And then these evil skeletal guys showed up and it was all downhill from there.

Sep 9, 2010

I Am a Competent, Single Young Woman!

I have had a few experiences this past week that have helped me become confidant in my soon to be approaching life on my own.

First, I woke up Tuesday morning and walked into the bathroom only to see a big creepy spider in the bathtub! Seriously, it was, like, this big. It took some pep talking myself, but I eventually got a cup and a piece of paper and transported it carefully outside. (I don't know why I didn't just kill it, but what I did was much braver.)

Second. At work we have a basket that we put French bread in, but the price sign is always falling off of it. I got the pliers out and fiddled around some, and fixed it (only temporarily, but it was still fixed!).

See, I can live on my own and take care of myself. No need to worry about graduating now! ;)

Sep 5, 2010

The Day Nothing Happened in Rye

Today is the Day Nothing Happened in Rye! This is the plaque that tells us that nothing happened in Rye on September 5, hence the reason we celebrate.

The rest of my first week back at school went pretty well. I decided to drop a credit that I was taking because it didn't seem like it was actually going to do what I thought it would, so I'm just taking two classes. I am surprisingly enjoying my computer class, and am a little worried about my editing class, but I have made it through four years of college already so I know that I'm going to be able to make it through this one.

On Wednesday at work the fryer blew up. We think there might have been some water or something in there, but it made the morning pretty exciting!

I don't have class on Friday (which is awesome! Why haven't I ever done this before?), but I did have a party to get ready for, so after work I went on the bus to the dollar store. I had ordered some martini glasses to be sent to the Dollar Tree, but I wasn't expecting the box to be so big! I had planned on going to pick them up and then go to the grocery store and then home. Well, with this big box full of breakable glasses, I knew that wasn't going to happen. As I was walking from the bus stop back to my complex, all hot and sweaty and tired, I was just thinking how much I wish I knew someone with a car that I could ask to take me to the store. I was not looking forward to having to carry heavy bags of groceries to the bus stop and back. As I was walking past the far stairs, a wonderful priesthood holder in my ward was coming down the stairs. He talked to me a bit and it came out that I needed a ride to the store. Even though he was on his way to run some errands himself, he very graciously told me he could take me. What a great guy!

I watched Camp Rock 2 that night, which I have been looking forward to all summer (I know, I'm such a child). It was much better than the first one, a lot more seamless and natural.

Saturday I had to get ready for my Day Nothing Happened in Rye party! I had made the mini cheesecakes the night before, but I needed to clean the apartment and the glasses and platters I had bought the day before. Being the efficient person I am, I got it all done with enough time to read some of my book and get ready for my writer's group. After writer's group I made the cucumber sandwiches for the party and then I just had to wait a little bit. I got all dressed up and set out the food.
I was so excited!

Well, 8 o'clock came around. And it was 2 of my roommates and me. So we started drinking our "martinis" and eating the cucumber sandwiches. By 9:15 we decided that we were going to go over to the Cannon center where our lovely ex-roomie was still working. We walked across Helaman halls in our dresses and heels, carrying our drinks and some of the snacks for her. Felt so silly and strange, but it was such fun!

We convinced her to come back with us while she waited for her husband to finish his work on campus.

And today is the real Day Nothing Happened in Rye. So, have a good one everyone.