Saturday, January 4, 2014

The state of books, books, books

Apparently I am never going to become one bit more tech-savvy than I am now, which is enough to become frustrated at the things I think I should be able to do but can't.  I took this picture by using my car mirror so I could center my face, then I emailed it to myself and saved it to my Mac....except that something so simple became very complex as I started this blog.  In fact, I have a new gmail account and I couldn't even FIND my old blog account.  Seems that is the way of it.  I tend to complex my life up with over-obsession or over working a thought...multiple email addresses that are supposed to make my life easier have, well, not.
I want to talk about reading this time around.  After all, this is what I have proclaimed my blog to be about.  This summer I "read" a book I purchased through Amazon as an audio read - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harald Fry by Rachel Joyce.  I drove to my dad's in Clarkston and then to my sister's at Palmer Lake, and I wanted an engaging story I could listen to.  Funny, I rarely select a special occasion book easily; I always want the perfect read. Harold Fry was a delight and I loved hearing it from the melodious British Jim Broadbent.  I know, I know, it is my own ignorant American ear, but I thought Broadbent sounded so much like Jim Dale (the narrator of the Harry Potter books).  Maybe it's because they are both Jims? What I find interesting though is that I don't think my brain differentiates between my reading the story or hearing the story; it's all muddled in there together. I read several books on my OOOOOOLD Kindle and on my phone via Kindle App.  Believe me, you have to really WANT to read if you are going to read a book on my tiny phone screen.  Kindle reads included I Love Yous Are For White People, a Vietnamese-American retrospective by Lac Su and a brilliant short story book by David Vann called Legend of a Suicide plus a slew of mysteries and some of my favorite books with reoccurring characters like Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock and Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson ( I love, love, love them).   I read hardcover books for my classroom - which is an unfortunate state of education, but something I can't tackle today - current reads are Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt and The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie. I am so grateful that I love to read. According to this article, brain function elevates and remains elevated for days after reading. Reading for Brain Boost
What is the best way to read a book? When I listen to a book, I can't linger over it or delve into the figurative language the way I can when I read a book.  But sometimes the sound of words are so amazing that they MUST be heard out loud; they must be shared with someone. I find with Black Elk, I am forced to slow down and re-read and spend time with the words.  With so many of the books I read, I rush through them, intent upon the story so much that I often forget details in the book.
Will we always have books?  Many of my students don't read at all, unless forced.  They clamor to watch the movie, if there is one, of a book or story we are reading.  Reading makes them impatient. Will there always be reading?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blogging for myself

Yeah, I'm trying to "Smize" or "Smeyes" which is what Tyra Banks says is smiling with your eyes, but I'm afraid she might tell me not to quit my day job. I have decided not to be offended with the world for not following my blog. I haven't been a regular blogger and friends who hoped that I would post often when I first began writing some three years ago were disappointed time and again with my lack of interest in the blog. I like the idea of putting my thoughts out into the world, rather like a message in a bottle, but the world has moved on to Twitter and Facebook and my blogging is not as relevant. I suppose blogging is somewhat arrogant after all. I read part of someone's blog the other day and I was so bored by this person's musings that I wanted to scream. If I wasn't so polite (yes, I think I am too polite even though my family fears to take me out to dinner just in case a foolish waiter makes a mistake on our order) I would have posted on her blog how BORED I was reading what she was writing and that she should just GET TO IT.

So, I've decided that since no one is reading what I am writing that I should just be able to say whatever I want and that my cool picture should reflect my new, carefree, abandoned attitude. To be frank, I am not very honest in my blogging. Oh, I try to be candid, but I don't really write about the deep stuff, the stuff that matters most. Ho hum, this is my opinion on books: Read them. Yawn, these are my thoughts on education: Parents are a critical component to success. Tap, tap, tap with my foot, foot, foot: Honesty is disguised as earnestness.

So here goes a few impolite truths for your reading pleasure:

1. I am fed up with whiny teenagers and most teenagers fit this category - in and out of my church. Good night! I give a cheery word to every dang teenager I encounter and I get back a lot of grunts and sighs. Get over it teens! You have food and a home and clothes; you should be thanking my generation for your unearned prosperity. Many of you act entitled and spoiled and I am OVER it. Next time I'm naming names.......

2. Dieting sucks. I hate not being able to eat without gaining weight and I hate being overweight. I suck at dieting. As soon as my brain tells my stomach that I am dieting, they both get in cahoots to sabotage me. Yesterday, I just decided to finish the peanut butter so that it would cease to be a temptation. Yeah, I know, I could have thrown it away, or put it away, but you don't get a butt my size without justifying a few things along the way. I'm not huge and I'm not skinny - I'm just average. Ugh.

3. My husband is going to be really sad with me, but most world news bores me to tears. Ok, not Japan and the earthquake, but Europe definitely and Italy especially. Berlusconi's antics annoy me beyond reason and I'm about as impatient with him as I am the sullen teenagers. France's Burqa bans make me want to scream and the whole European Union makes me uneasy.

Ahhhhhhh what a breath of fresh air. Maybe my new blog title should be, "Ask Linne what she really thinks."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lazy writers; avid readers

Maybe this describes you too. I am a "someday" writer with lots of ideas but no stamina for actual production. Oh, I know I have lots of excuses. Today I graded College Prep English "How to..." papers that were supposed to include cultural revelations, 7th & 8th grade Reading papers from Sign of the Beaver using constructed response, and Leadership papers on ideas for giving speeches to 6th was a looooong afternoon. Sigh. Oh, and I wrote a VIP letter of recommendation for college application. So, yeah, I am busy, but I am always busy, so I think I have to rename busy and just call it not so interested in writing. In my head I am going to be a published writer someday, but in reality I'm not working very hard to get there. Somehow, that doesn't bum me out nearly as much as it should. I'm content with someday. It is kind of like the thought of a lovely dessert at the end of a great meal. I'm just working through it.....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Good grief, how can I be so old?

So, here's the deal. I have basically ignored AGE. Yeah, I know it's around, lurking over my shoulder, taunting me with its evil wiley ways and manical laugh, but I thought maybe if I gave AGE the silent treatment, it just might pack up and go bug some other middle aged woman who is trying to grow old discretely. In some cultures, I could be somebody's Great Grandma, for goodness sakes, and in some other (CRAZY) cultures, I could be having another child......why do I have to be a slave to some number? ........I guess I just hate that my number defines me. There is an expectation that goes along with every age, right?
We tell people to, "Act your age!" and we are quick to jump on someone's behavior when it doesn't meet our age appropriate standard. However, there are certain stereotypes we put on age that are starting to resemble me.....The day after my birthday, I got an invite from the AARP. I worry that I will start to lose my "relevance"as I get older. Yeah, yeah, I know the stories about the artists who produced great works at substantial ages, and I'm certainly not as old as I hope to be, AND I realize that the alternative to growing older is not living, but really, 50?