Monday, November 15, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week

"Light My Fire" by Hans Zimmer ("The Holiday" Soundtrack)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Self Realization #5

I like to use parentheses. (A lot.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christmas Slay

I was discussing Thanksgiving fun with one of my students, Akiyah, on Monday afternoon. She's seven.

I asked her what her favorite food was at Thanksgiving, and she said "I like the turkey." I told her to guess what my favorite Thanksgiving food is* and she said "...Chicken salad?"

Hm. Nooooo...

Then we started talking about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and I said "You know, the Santa Claus at the end of the parade? Well, he's the real Santa Claus!"

She looked completely astonished. "What?" she sputtered.

I nodded. "Yep. My parents told me that it's really his only public appearance during the year." (They really did tell me this.)

For some reason, she just looked horrified. "You's the real Santa?"

This was not the reaction I had expected, and I said "Yeah, the real Santa."

She drew in a long, shaky breath and said "So...he doesn't spray pepper spray in everyone's eyes?"


"Pepper spray?" I asked.

She nodded solemnly. "Yes. My daddy told me that if I try to stay up to see Santa on Christmas Eve, and he catches me, he'll spray pepper spray in my eyes. That's what he does to kids who try to sneak around and see him."

Oh my Lord. I didn't know what to say to that. I just sat there for a minute and said "Well...he doesn't spray pepper spray at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade."

She whispered "Ok," but I'm pretty sure she wasn't convinced.

Well. That's one way to keep your kids in bed on Christmas Eve.

I wonder if her dad also told her that the Easter Bunny carries a machete, and the Tooth Fairy wields an AK-47...

*For the record, it's the dressing. The best part of dinner.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Big Red Bow

In "Sleepless in Seattle," Meg Ryan and Rosie O'Donnell talk about how they both teared up during a refrigerator commercial ("...the big red bow!"). I've always laughed at that scene, but never identified. I've never cried at a commercial.

Until now.

How cool does the dude with the guitar look and how appropriate was their choice of song for him?

And how does that woman who's mimicking the violin during "At Last" get that high? How, Mariah Carey?

But the little girl crying at the end just gets me, and I can't help but happy cry.

It's my big red bow.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week

"I Feel It All" - Feist

Book #31: The Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

This is the best book I've read this year.

I know I've said that before, but this really is the best book I've read in 2010. I kept stopping while I was reading it and saying out loud "This is the best book!"

The story centers around David, a little boy living in England during World War II, whose mother has just died. He's extremely depressed, and turns to the books his mother loved for comfort. Before long, he realizes that he can literally hear the books speaking to him - calling him. Suddenly, David is catapulted into a fantasy world, battling for his life and the lives of those he loves.

I can't begin to convey the magic of this book. It so reminded me of a grown-up version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (which is honestly my favorite story ever written). The closest I can get to categorizing it is if The Chronicles of Narnia and "Willow" got together and made a new story.

It's a dark fairy tale, to be sure - Connolly isn't afraid to kill off likeable characters, and some of the scenes are downright spooky (The Crooked Man gave me the heebie jeebies like no other evil character ever has). But oh, it's just such a lovely, lovely story.

This may sound silly, but when I reached the end of the book, I actually teared up. It was just so perfect that it made me cry.

This book definitely goes on my favorites shelf - it's the kind of book I hope to pass down to my children and grandchildren.

Book #30: Death in Holy Orders

Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James

When I was in high school, I devoured Agatha Christie books. My favorite was And Then There Were None - it's such a classic (and classy) British mystery.

P.D. James reminds me of a slightly - I say slightly, because the lady turned 90 this year - more modern Agatha Christie. There aren't any huge thrills in this story, and the culprit was fairly easy to figure out, but it was satisfying. I'll be reading some more James soon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Book #29: Everyday Absurdities

Everyday Absurdities by Tyler Stanton

This video pretty much sums the humor of this book up. It's basically random vignettes of pet peeves, mostly all of which I completely identify and agree with.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week

"Here We Go" by Joshua Radin

Sorry this is a long intro - it's the only usable video of this song that I could find. But doesn't he remind you of Dermot Mulroney (from "My Best Friend's Wedding")?