ugly, ugly, very ugly

October 31, 2008 at 10:50 pm (Uncategorized)

This is a quote from a fun kid’s book — Stephanie’s  ponytail. and that  was  my response to my blog today — the theme disappeared and it it almost unreadable,.  Hoping it gets fixed soon.

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Hidden Talents

October 28, 2008 at 11:44 pm (book review, library, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Thanks to Unshelved I read another great book.  Hidden Talents by David Lubar is an instantly  engaging book.  First line: All I  needed was a pair of Handcuffs.  This is our introduction to Martin,who is on his way  to Edgeview Alternative School.  Edgeview is full of kids who have reached the end of the road.  However, some of the kids don’t seem bad, maybe  just a little odd.  Actually, some of  the odd kids seem to have some unexpected talents.  Like setting things on fire  without matches…  And then there seem to be some other problems at Edgeview, of the more  mundane sort.

The narrative is peppered with scraps of  letters, pieces of homework , and reports and evaluations.  There are elements of SF, mystery, and the YA problem novel.  Although the ending is happy, it isn’t overly neat.  There are lots of ways you could approach this novel in a book discussion  group.

When I  flipped the book over, it said that it was recommended for ages 10  and up.  Well, not the ten year olds in my book clubs.  Not that they wouldn’t like it.  and not that I wouldn’t tell them not to read it — there wasn’t any thing ‘too old’ for them.  However, most of  them lead a  more sheltered lives.  We read one  book ( Hoot) where there was a bully as a major character.  Some of them  had never encountered a real bully.  They  understood that bulling was wrong, but they never quite understood the fear.  I don’t think they would get the book.

So how do I pick books for them.  Lots of action is a must.  That way  you can ask questions like favorite part, or funniest scene, or would a different  ending be better.  Then I look for a book where motives are clear, if not obvious.  And finally, I  look for one character that  they can imagine as a friend.

I  think if my  book clubs read Hidden Talents, they would find friends.  However, I’m not so sure they  would get that  far in the book.  Actually, I ‘d say 12 would be  a better age.  Mostly  because I see a lot more kids that are willing to  understand that are different ways to look at  the world.

Bonus post:  book review and book club  talk

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no on 8

October 27, 2008 at 1:00 pm (niles, politics, Uncategorized) ()

I went to a party  thrown by  a neighbor where we raised over 3000.00 for no on prop. 8 . This was a great positive political  experience.  So many  people that  understood that this is a civil rights on prop 8 .

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October 26, 2008 at 2:56 pm (domestic life, garden)

This is not really a complaint, just astonishment.  It is not supposed to be so hot in October that gardening in the afternoon  is sweaty  work.  It is supposed to be just warm enough so that if feels good, but not so warm that you  have to give up and go inside.  Honestly, if feels like the high 80’s out there.

In  good garden  news , I have a mini forest of radish plants  that  need thinning.  Plus my  beets  have come  up.  Very  exciting.

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boiled peanuts

October 25, 2008 at 12:24 pm (domestic life, food, fun) (, )

I almost forgot that I  wanted to go to the farmer’s market today.  Our  friend D is the youngest  member of a local jazz group , and I wanted to hear  him  play.  I am  extra  glad when  I  saw  the piles  of  raw peanuts  for  sale.  I  love  boiled  peanuts  and I usually  only  get  them in SC when we visit  my folks.  But one  of  the joys of CA  is there are  so many different cuisines– so  you can  find almost  anything.  I have  no idea  what anyone else  does with raw  peanuts, but I  make southern  style  boiled  peanuts.

I know  they  boil for awhile – but I had to look it up.  There is a wikipedia article on boiled peanuts.  I liked  this fact:

The process of boiling peanuts also draws antioxidants from the shells. The boiled peanuts have four times the antioxidants of raw or roasted peanuts.

a yummy excuse for eating yummy  peanuty salt goodness

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October 20, 2008 at 7:25 am (domestic life, fun) ()

the gargoyle on
the sink says ‘row. row-row”. Time
for the morning feast

edited: I can’t count before coffee

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