Monday, November 27, 2006

Back home, in my favorite place - working in bed with my laptop. :-) BRRR!! 48 degrees outside this a.m. It is supposed to warm up to the 60s though so I am not complaining. Warmer than Key West was! Spent yesterday doing laundry and catching up on email and grading. Was a lazy Sunday a.m. with the newspaper. My favorite day of the week in that regard. Was so lazy I didn't even go to the grocery store like I should have. I am down to two Diet Cokes so a trip to the store today is essential! Spent the afternoon and evening grading and half watching Christmas movies on TCM. I love White Christmas. I watch it at least once a year if not more. Attending the Christmas lighting and fireworks ceremony with Steve's daughter Monica and the girls in the Plaza on Thanksgiving evening in KC got me in the spirit. Well, actually I was already in the spirit due to the lights Steve put up on the balcony in Key West. He isn't crazy about Christmas, but smiles as I indulge in my love of the Season and even left the radio on Christmas music while we were in KC. Friday night, before we left KC, we went to dinner at Steve's favorite Gate's barbecue (which I like but makes my lips burn when I eat it!) and on the way there and back he drove through areas with lots of lights. I was like a little kid. :-)

I have to write about the book I read while on vacation - Tripping to Somewhere by Kristopher Reisz. Wonderful, wonderful book about friendship, finding home, and accepting who you are. Sam and Gilly became fast friends from the moment Sam stepped in to protect Gilly from the lesbian taunting she let her "friend" pummel her with. Gilly doesn't hide her sexual preference, but she doesn't stand up for herself either. Now Sam, she stands up for herself and for Gilly, with profanity laced comebacks. Sam's home life with her mother and too friendly stepdad gives Sam a hard edge as she tries to protect herself from what she cannot control. Gilly is in love with Sam, but Sam makes it clear that their sexual relationship, to her, is a perk of their friendship. But Sam truly does care about Gilly and when she decides to find the Witches' Carnival, she knows without a doubt, even though Gilly doesn't, that Gilly will go with her. Gilly throws all caution to the wind and steals the dirty money her cop dad keeps hidden under the master bathroom sink. The girls can go far, in style, with $50,000. They do find the Witches' Carnival and Gilly falls in love with one of the women. Her infatuation takes them as far as London, with fake passports, as they try to prove to the witches that they belong with them. But only one of them can become part of the Witches' Carnival. Who needs this escape more - Sam or Gilly? I was with Sam and Gilly as they chased what most believed an urban legend - a group of witches (one being Christopher Marlowe) who can travel the world by writing their names on a piece of paper and using it as a passport. I could go on and on about this book but if I do I will give too much away for those who haven't read it yet. If you work with older teens and/or just want a fantastic read, you must read Tripping to Somewhere. Yes, it is laden with drugs, profanity, sex, rock music, but it all fits and does not distract from the "real" story - the relationship between two friends and what one is willing to sacrifice for the other. Give this fantastic "reading trip" to the teens who love Tithe and Valiant by Holly Black. Can't wait to booktalk this one. :-)

Much more fun to talk about books, but I have to try to finish up some grading before I head for campus.