Tuesday, September 29, 2009

About right now I wish I had McKinley's pigtail hat! BRRR!! We are looking at 40s tonight and high 50s tomorrow. I actually turned on the heat in the house a bit ago as it got so chilly in here. I am bundled up with a heating pad on my knee and an afghan and I hear the heat kicking on again. YES!!

I am now over my snit after a not so great news appointment at the orthopedic surgeon's office today. Not only did I have to sit in a waiting room full of sniffling and coughing fellow patients I also sat for way too long in a freezing cold examing room. The knee surgery was a bit more complicated than cleaning up a meniscus tear due to a growth that was impacting the kneecap and had to be removed. Between that and the slow healing normal for a fibromyalgia sufferer, I am looking at another month of physical therapy along with limited walking and standing. So, I won't be taking a long walk through the neighborhood to enjoy the Autumn color as the leaves will have fallen before I get the possible go ahead in late October or early November. At least Steve and I can take a relaxing drive along the backroads down to the KY river to enjoy the Autumn colors.

I took my first "big outing" since the surgery yesterday and attended a writer's workshop lead by Ellen Hopkins, YA author of Crank, http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Crank/Ellen-Hopkins/e/9780689865190/?itm=1&USRI=crank+hopkins Glass http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Glass/Ellen-Hopkins/e/9781416940913/?itm=1&usri=g and the not yet published final book about her own daughter's meth addiction.  She was very open about her daughter's addiction and how it has impacted the family. It was heartbreaking to listen to her talk. Mic died in hiking accident and I thought I would die for a long time. I still miss him every day of my life but I cannot imagine watching my child kill herself a little bit at a time each day. She asked us to do a bit of writing of our own and I actually got the writing bug again as I used to write poetry before I began teaching at the university level and writing professional materials. I even bought a small spiral bound notebook to try writing poetry again. Don't know if I will have much time to write poetry as I am always behind with work due to my inability to work the long hours I used to. Brain stops working so much quicker these days.
We all received signed copies of Tricks http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Tricks/Ellen-Hopkins/e/9781416950073/?itm=1&usri=t written in her signature poetry style, that tells the story of a group of teens who find themselves selling themselves into prostitution. I have read about 1/2 of it already - I stayed up last night until I couldn't keep my eyes open as it is so good. I am feeling maternal toward these teens and would like to give their fictional parents a piece of my mind! I took a picture of her with my cell phone but I haven't figured out how to get it onto my laptop yet.

My students have been emailing me about the second Suzanne Collins title Catching Fire http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Catching-Fire/Suzanne-Collins/e/9780439023498/?itm=1 which I don't seem to have a review copy of it or I would have read it immediately as I loved Hunger Games http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Hunger-Games/Suzanne-Collins/e/9780439023481/?itm=2 I enjoyed getting to know Katniss, a strong a fiery female character living in a dystopian world that should scare us all silly.
With that book in mind I went looking for my copy of Margaret Wild and Anne Spudvilas' Woolvs in the Sitee http://www.amazon.com/Woolvs-Sitee-Margaret-Wild/dp/1590785002/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254270204&sr=8-1 which is one of the creepiest dytopian futuristic picture books I've ever read/viewed. The stark illustrations draw me back to them over and over again. They portray a young boy who fears the wolves in the city, who aren't the 4 legged kind who roam the woods, but the ones who stalk the remaining humans when they venture into the city streets. He writes on the walls in phonetic spelling that often takes some thought to decipher. The boy's upstairs neighbor, an elderly woman, rushes out to get him when he thinks he sees bloo sky that, instead, turns out to be a painted wall that is quickly turning black. The old woman then disappears and he goes in search of her, leaving the reader to only imagine what happened to both of them. This is one of those picture books you would never give to a child as it is more horrific than any scary tale about a folklorish witch.

Which, of course, brings me to Arthur Yorinks' The Witch's Child illustrated by Jos. A. Smith. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Witchs-Child/Arthur-Yorinks/e/9780810993495/?itm=1&usri=w This is the book that sits next to the above YA level picture book.  Again, another picture book I would not share with young children. Upper elementary, yes, but not little ones. They'd be scared silly that a witch would turn them into thorny bushes! Smith's illustrations are beyond creepy in detail and nature. Let's just say the ending to the witch is similar to the Hansel and Gretel folktale with the witch's child being adopted by the little girl's parents. A little girl brave enought to enter the witch's house and try to mend the witch's child, a child of straw and leaves that even a lonely witch could not bring to life, but the love of a little girl could. There is a reason these two 2007 titles are still sitting on my bookshelf - they are ones I could not bear to give away. Nor will I!

My NCIS is over and Ziva is back home where she is supposed to be so all is right in my TV world. I have not decided if I like the California version with Chris O'Donnell yet. One week wasn't enough to draw me in but I plan to give it a chance. But it doesn't have Mark Harmon so how could it match up? :-)
Spellchecker is not available tonight for some reason so bear with my typos.