Friday, September 21, 2007

Sorry it has been so long since I have written an entry. What a couple of weeks it has been. I drove over to Greenville last Thursday for our Library Science Program retreat on Friday and since we had meetings on both Tuesday and Wednesday I stayed in NC. Worked out well as I forced myself to spend the entire weekend and Monday in my office getting the handouts ready for the YA Lit Preconference at AASL in Reno next month. I am printing out the 27 page "booklet" as I type this. One last editing go through and it can go in to the AASL office on Monday. I am going to let it sit on my desk until Sunday to edit it as I am terrible at catching my own errors. Not a problem catching my students' errors, but own - forget it, at least if I try to edit right after I write. I try to tell my students to get someone else to edit for them if they can. We are our own worst editors.

The drive home Wednesday was a killer. I didn't get in until about 1 a.m. Thank goodness for audiobooks to keep me focused and alert while I drove. The last hour into Lexington was tough as all I could do in yawn, even after drinking Diet Coke all the way over. I finally got in to the chiropractor's for a massage and adjustment this morning. It hurt so good! The vertigo had come back while I was in Greenville and I was having balance issues again. Seems to happen when I drive for the long stretches like I did. We'll see if today's adjustment took enough pressure off the nerve so I will quit feeling like I am going to fall over when I try to bend over.

Had a great time at the ECU Pirates football game on Saturday night. Jami, one of the other LS professors, invited me and I wasn't sure what to expect as I had never been to a college football game before. It was great fun shouting "ARGGH!!" and making a hook with the pointer finger and thumb when the Pirates got a first down. So I told Steve we need to get tickets for the UK football season next year. It is a lot more fun than going to the Texans games - we had seasons tickets the first two years. I spent as much time people watching as game watching at those games. The ECU game was sold out and the stands were filled to the brim, with one whole side of the stadium taken up by student seating.

Haven't had much time to read but I did listen to two really good audiobooks. I collect Mary Higgins Clark's Christmas books so I know what her writing is like and enjoy her mysteries. No Place Like Home was no exception. Can you imagine a young girl shooting her mother by mistake while trying to protect her from an abusive stepfather and then being called Lizzie Borden because she shot him several times. The sleazeball didn't die and made it out to be that it was premeditated murder by Liza, who in reality was so traumatized she didn't speak for months. Liza was adopted by a distant relative of her mother's and was raised in California, but returned to New York to go to design school. She was a well know interior designer, the widow of a wealthy older man, and the mother to a young boy when she was courted and married again. She had promised her dying husband that she would tell no one of her past as it could hurt his son's future. So, Liza does not tell her new husband and he ends up buying her the very house she shot and killed her own mother in. And, she is getting threatening notes. It is a great car trip book as you keep listening to find out. I had a pretty good idea who the culprit was but there were a few surprising. I think older teens would enjoy it as they could relate to Liza as a child. Will need to download a few more Higgins Clark to listen to in the car.

Also listened to Ursula Hegi's Sacred Time. At first I had a difficult time getting into it as although the narrator was supposed to sound Italian, he sounded Jewish to me. But, I did find myself getting drawn into the story of a close-knit Italian family where the protagonist's mother does not fit in. Although the narration switches between Anthony, his mother, aunt, and other characters, the story revolves around the day in the kitchen when Anthony convinced his mouthy cousin that she could fly. What happened that day changed all of their lives forever and no one trusted Anthony, especially himself. Anthony punished himself more than his family did and doesn't find redemption until years later when his 80-something year old mother, who is feisty enough to be taking self defense lessons, convinces him it is time to let it go. Will it be too late for his own marriage and his relationship with his son? The story is set in the 1950s, in the Bronx, so it has a flavor all of its own. Not sure teens would be interested in this book and there are some adult sex scenes I made sure my windows were closed when I listened to them. :-/ I am pretty careful with that after sitting at a stoplight with my car windows open while listening to a Stephen King audiobook - that's when I realized how many times the f-word came up in a matter of a minute or two! For that reason there is no way I would listen to Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Even though it is a YA novel and is an interesting book about two older teens who find each other while trying to avoid old flames, they can't utter a sentence without profanity in, mostly the f-word. I ignore the profanity when I read, but it is hard to ignore when listening to an audiobook.

All for today. The weekend is almost here and I am actually going to "play" this weekend instead of working 10 hour days. Steve wants to go down to a festival south of us so that should be fun.