Friday (and now Saturday) Foolishness

It’s Friday and I can barely construct a coherent sentence at this point, and I feel like rambling about some things that caught my attention this week.

Angelina Jolie

You might be astonished to know that I have a girl crush on Angelina Jolie (no judgment!) and after her right leg developed a mind of its own at the Academy Awards, I wrote a silly little letter to her. I’m not sure why I wrote it at BlogHer instead of here, but it might amuse you. Or make you think less of me.


On this week’s Roundup at Stirrup Queens, Mel posted a link to an article on Little Libraries, and I LOVE that idea!  Instead of a lemonade stand in the summer time, I envision Daniel and I setting up a tiny library by our mailbox.  I can share with the neighborhood my love for historical romance and Da Vinci Code knock-offs bought for 50 cents from the annual library book sale.

I juxtapose that article with an essay I read by Leon Wieseltier on the inefficiency, yet beauty of having a large, messy personal library.  To paraphrase Lord of the Rings, my books are my friends, and I suspect Wieseltier feels the same way.  I recently had to box up a lot of books and agonized over which I had to say goodbye albeit temporarily and which had the privilege of staying.  My books are double stacked on my shelves.  It’s messy, but yes, beautiful to me (not so much to Jimmy).

In the Kitchen with Preschoolers

I mentioned in my review of Bringing up Bebe that one idea that resonated with me was the idea that small children of capable of doing more than we give them credit for.  Along those lines, I read an article in Slate on cooking with preschoolers in which the author details how she cooks with her 3-year-old.  It turns out there are cookbooks devoted to helping small children learn their way around the kitchen!  I’ve vowed that we will make the yogurt cake mentioned in Druckerman’s book this weekend.  Wish us (me?) luck.

Great Posts

I’ve read a lot of great stuff this week, but two posts I read yesterday stuck with me:

  • Beth Anne at The Heir to Blair wrote about her thoughts post-Blissdom and realizing that while it’s not happening the way she thought it would, everything is coming together for her and she’s going to own it.  I was struck by her post because of how epiphanies are amazing at changing how you see things, especially your life.  I also liked it because I contrast it to where I am now and how I am feeling: I need that epiphany
  • Law Momma at Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) wrote a beautiful post about the death of her dear friend.  She used to wake up every morning to a text from her friend and wonders if she can keep texting her friend.  I loved it because we’re having similar thoughts in our house not 2 months after the death of Jimmy’s grandmother.  Almost nightly he comments, “I wanted to pick up the phone and call Mum…” and we still include her on emails we send of pictures of Daniel.

Other Randomness

  • I realized that my oldest pair of shoes is 12 years old.  They are Doc Martens that I bought in 2000 for a work trip to Memphis.  I love those shoes but they are heavy and huge and make my size 10 feet look even larger. That’s ok though.
  • I found an awesome conference on blogs and social media that’s in Ireland this year.  How did I not know about this conference last year when I was writing my Master’s paper on social media usage among manufacturers?  Probably because I was writing my Master’s paper on social media usage among manufacturers.  New goal:  present or at least attend this conference one day.
  • We quit preschool last week and I toured a day care yesterday.  More on that to come next week.
  • Great article from Paul Ford in Slate on his and his wife’s attempt to figure out what to do with their leftover frozen embryos

How was your week?

Banned Book Week

ALA banned book week poster

It’s Banned Book Week, the week in which the American Library Association informs the public of censorship attempts in libraries and schools.   As a (very recent) graduate of the UNC School of Information and Library Science as well as a voracious reader (pre-Daniel at least), I felt compelled to post about it out of fear that  my library card and degree would be taken away if I didn’t.  Pretty sure there’s a law about it somewhere.

Did you know that almost half of all book challenges were initiated by parents?  When I look over the list for each year of the top 10 most frequently-challenged books, I see a lot of friends there:

  • Harry Potter
  • The Color Purple
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • the Alice series (Phyllis Reynolds Naylor)

Reading was my everything as a child.  I grew up in a rural area, and all of my friends lived “in town.”  I wasn’t a social misfit or anything, and it wasn’t Little House on the Prairie, but I read a lot.  Books sustained me.  I read and still do read everything: popular fiction, non-fiction, history, classics, magazines.  I’m in no way a book snob.

I thought I was going to be a high school English teacher, and I remember in one of our teacher-prep classes, a professor asked what we thought our students should be reading.  This professor was elegant and a world traveler.  She was married to a British man (the peak of sophistication!).  I think we expected she was thinking of the classics, educating the next generation on the Western canon (or what some refer to as “Dead White Men”).  She surprised us.  Instead she said:

Anything.  It could be a cereal box, but as long as they are reading something, it’s a good thing.

Censorship is awful, but there seems something especially pernicious in censoring books.  Books represent new worlds, new ideas, new points of view and telling someone they can’t have access to those things seems morally reprehensible.  Who are they to judge where an entire group is developmentally?  Who are they to restrict information from groups based on morals that only they may share?

When J and I were expecting Daniel, we wanted two things: J wanted him to enjoy cuddling and loving stuffed animals like they were a member of the family.  I wanted him to be a reader.  And Daniel is both. He loves cuddling his stuffed menagerie and  he loves books.  My friends threw me a book shower to start his library.  In the two years Daniel has been with us, I think we have doubled his library.  He loves books.  He is at the age where instead of immediately bringing over a book for me to read him, he will study the book on his own, figuring it out for himself.  I told J last week that I would never, ever deny Daniel a request for a cuddly (as we call his stuffed animals) or a book.  At night, we read him 8 or 9 books.  Last night, he amazed us by supplying  many of the words in The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

I don’t want a stranger dictating what my child reads.  I want that to be a conversation between the two of us.  No book – even the Twilight series (ha ha) – is off limits. There may be books that I prefer he wait to read until he is a bit older, but that’s our decision.

Is there a book you love that is on the banned/challenged list?