Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

It's weird to think that 10 years ago, September, I started high school. I remember having my first real "boyfriend" the summer before high school and deciding to dye and cut my hair and have him freak out. I remember deciding that I wanted to join the wrestling team and to do theater. I remember being freaked out because it was HIGH SCHOOL!!!
Me and some friends at the end of my freshman year. I'm the one with purple hair.

I also remember feeling like I didn't have a group. I didn't know who to hang out with. In 7th grade I hung out with the 8th graders, who all went on to high school and left me alone. In 8th grade I hung out with a few kids but they started getting into drugs and other things that I didn't want to be a part of. When I started 9th grade I wasn't sure where I fit in and I hated that feeling. Luckily I had the drama kids and I found Carolyn relatively soon after that but still.. it was scary.

Thirteen Reasons Why  is getting a lot of press lately, mostly because it deals with some really difficult subject matter. Suicide. While I'll admit it was difficult to read, I found it to be really thought-provoking. Basically, it Asher writes a story of a girl who commits suicide and then sends narrative tapes to people who are on her list, people who she felt treated her wrongly or contributed to her ultimate demise. I think the difficult thing abotu this book was realizing that our actions have an effect on others. Our teasing, our jokes, our laughter can really hurt others even if we don't mean it to. But the opposite is the same as well, our smiles, our hugs, our encouragement can bring people up, even if we don't realize it.

Reading Thirteen Reasons Why made me more aware of my actions and feelings towards others. I remember my first week of high school sitting in the gym with my P.E. class (which I was only in for a week before I switched to wrestling). There was a kid in my P.E. class who looked so sad and so down and so alone and I was afraid of him. I was afraid that he was going to be a kid who did something bad. I talked about how I remember Columbine and I'm sorry to say that I thought he would be a kid like that. He just gave off that vibe to me. So I was nice to him, I smiled at him, and I made sure that every time I saw him in the hall I said hello. If he was going to blow up my school, I sure as hell wanted to be on his good side. Now, of course, that sounds horrible to say, my motives were totally whack! But I know that the kid appreciated my kindness, he told me so in our senior year. Anyways, enough about me.  Thirteen Reasons Why is a good book, if anything maybe it will make kids think a bit more about their actions and words and how they affect others.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The King of Zor he called for a war...

Have I ever told you about my love for the Monkees? That's right.. that 60's made for TV band, I love them! I've seen their members in concert 14 times. Which, when you think about it, is a lot considering their TV show was on from 1966-1968 and I wasn't born until 1987.

Ugh! Just so darn cute!
 See! There they are in all their 60's glory. I can tell you from this picture that it was taken after the 1st season of the show. Why can I say that, you ask? Well, because Micky's hair is longer. They made him straighten it in the first season, but in the second he was allowed to go all hippie and grow it longer and curlier.

In the Summer of 1997 Nick at Nite added The Monkees to their block party summer. It didn't last long and half-way through the summer it was replaced with Green Acres, but that's okay. It didn't matter I was hooked. I went online (AOL!!!) and found a whole wealth of knowledge about the Monkees and a ton of Monkees fans. Including some that would tea. I already explained what teaing was here, and also how I met my best friend, Carolyn, online while teaing. I remember finding out via her AOL profile that she lived in the same city as me and while chatting we realized that she was friends with my soccer coach's daughter. I remember being at practice and her coming to visit but I was at practice and we never met.

In November of 1997 the Monkees gave a concert at the Universal Ampitheater in Los Angeles. It was my first concert and my mom took me. We had 4th row seats, off to the left, but it was so awesome. I was one of the youngest people there but it didn't matter. This was the tour right after their 30th anniversary tour and album which they did with Mike Nesmith (the guy in the green hat), unfortunately Mike hasn't toured with them since that album so I've never seem him perform live.

Just pretend Mike isn't there. He's the one on the left.

I then saw Davy Jones in the Summer of 1998 with Peter Noone (from Herman's Hermits) and Bobby Sherman at the OC Fair. I saw both shows. I remember going with my friend Marissa and going straight to the fair from girl scout camp. Dedication I tell you!!

After that it was a while before I saw any of the Monkees live again.  I saw and met them in 2001 in Arizona. My parents drove me there to see them and participated in a charity auction that allowed me to meet them and get a signed guitar. I'll have to get up to my parent's house soon and take a picture of it.

Carolyn and I finally met in high school at auditions for a theater production. We bonded over the Monkees, the Ramones, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Slayer, The Velvet Underground, The Beach Boys, The Who and more.

Davy and Micky played a few shows while I was in high school and Carolyn and I went. We were only supposed to go to the early show because we had class the next day but we were having such a good time that the people at the venue invited us to stay and watch the second show. Our parents were cool enough to let us stay and we had a blast.

They even played at the Grove of Anaheim and filmed a concert DVD at that show. Carolyn's dad was even seen in the DVD. Which come to think of it.. I don't think I own! I must fix that. :)

Davy and Micky also played 6 shows over three days at Disney's California Adventure  in 2002. I went to every show and got to the park as soon as it opened in order to get good seats. Carolyn and her family met me for some of the shows, and I think my mom even came to one.

The marquee at the Greek

Mommy and me!

And finally my mom and I went to a show last week, for their 45th anniversary tour. It was a blast. They played for 2.5 hours and played songs that I didn't think they would play live. It was great, they still got it. The show was filled with fans of all ages and every seemed to be having a blast. I wouldn't consider myself a huge Monkees fan anymore, but I still love them a lot (much to the annoyance of my older brothers). They were/are fun, zany, silly music and it's part of my childhood. It connects me to my best friend and they were my first real "obsession" (if only it got better as I got older, my obsessions have just gotten weirder).

Hey hey we're the Monkees!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The First Rule of Book Club is...

About a month and a half ago my friend Dawn posted on Facebook that she wanted to start a book club. Being the librarian in training that I am, I was extremely excited and of course signed up. I also forced my co-worker ASL (who has been featured in stories before) to join with me. We all have a weird connection.

I've known Dawn for almost my whole life, she's my older sister's best friend. Well, maybe not my whole life, I think they met when they were freshmen in high school, so they were 14, and I am 8 years younger than my sister..... so I've known Dawn since I was 6 years old. Wow! Anyways, Dawn actually knows ASL because she went to elementary school and high school with her. So ASL, Dawn, and my sister (Tina), all went ot high school togehter and graduated the same year. I was working with ASL and finally realized that they all graduated together and everyone is now all reconnected yay!

So back to the book club, we decided to read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. You'll see it on my list over there ---->.  None of us really enjoyed the book, but we did have a great time chatting and eating all the yummy food that was brought, but the centerpiece if you will was a lemon cake! (Hah bet you didn't figure that was coming). Dawn made it was it was really tasty, my favorite part was the frosting. I love frosting. :)

I can't wait to get together with these girls later this month. Oh! And the best part? Dawn's adorable baby Peanut. He's literally my favorite baby, if I ever have kids I want one in this model. For reals.

All photos graciously stolen from Dawn. Go look at her cute kid.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thoughts? Opinions? My little secret..

I'm concerned that I won't hit my 100 books in 2011 mark. I was going full steam ahead there for a while and now I've seemed to plateaued a bit. It's not that I'm not reading. I am reading! I'm just not reading books, perse.

Since the whole ending of Harry Potter thing happening and all of my emotions regarding it, I've been reading fanfic. Fanfic being short for fan fiction, which is fiction about characters that fans write. There is fanfic for anything and everything, movies, books, TV shows, you name it. And to be honest while I've never written fanfiction myself, I used to "tea" when I was younger. "Teaing" was like role-playing. Basically a group of people who log onto an AOL chatroom (remember those) and role play their favorite characters. It was like collaborative play writing. My "teas" of choice were the Monkees. Yes, that's right, the Monkees. You know, those zany guys from the 60's TV show? That weren't really a band but then became a band? I would role-play them with my friends online for hours on end. I did this starting when I was about 10 and ended when I was about 12. It was really fun, we were all Monkees fans and I had a group of people that were my "friends" from all over the country. In fact I met my best friend online "teaing". It was weird when we found out that we lived in the same city (it wasn't a very big city). And even weirder when we met in person my freshman year of high school (her sophomore year) at a drama audition. We've been friends ever since (minus a year...we call it the Dark Times).

Anyways, so no fanfic for me, but I do appreciate it because I think that it's a great way for them to express their love of the characters and worlds that they admire. And as long as no one is profiting from it then I see no harm. So back to me reading all the Harry Potter fanfic... I used to read other sorts (WWF/WWE, Monkees) but stopped for the longest time, but then I realized that it would allow me to continue to experience new dimensions to the Harry Potter world and I liked that idea.

But.. I must confess I've become a shipper. Specifically Hermione and Snape. It's weird, I know. But it's been a blast to have the characters I love so much have more life in them. It's fun to see different stories and alternate universes and non-canon characters and characterizations. So recently that's what I've been reading. Harry Potter fanfic. Some of these stories are over 100,000 words. They are books in and of themselves but can I count them to my list? They aren't published, they aren't professional, but I can spend hours reading them. And I do. All night long (I'm awake at night and asleep during the day.. it sucks).

So, do you read fanfic? Do you have an opinion on it? Tell me about it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You know what bothers me?

Non-eletronic job applications. I don't see the point of them. At. All.

I've been applying for jobs for a good month and a half now, knowing that I will need to be doing SOMETHING by the time September comes around. I love my job at the public library but it is only 20 hours a week and I can't live on that pay check. So I need to be do something in addition to that job, so I've been applying and applying. All the jobs I'm going for are library related, as I don't really want to be doing anything else, obviously if it comes to it I can and will work somewhere else I just don't prefer it so I'm not really pushing myself in that direction yet.

Most of the jobs I'm applying for use the same electronic systems to recieve their applications. In fact all of the jobs except two. One is a private school (which I get), but they at least let me e-mail the application and information in. The second one is a huge community college district and yet they want me to print out the application (which is a pdf that I can type into thankgod!) and a whole bunch of other paperwork and MAIL it to them. In an envelope. By Mail. MAIL!!!! ugh. Who mails things these days? Why can't I fax it to them? Or e-mail it? It would make my life easier and I'm positive it would make their life easier. Who wants to actually have to go through all that paperwork? I mean if it's eletronic you can set a computer to find keywords or other things to weed it all out. I like that idea much better.

Anyway, this community college district has two openings open and of course I applied for one, and then the second one came up. And I didn't save or make a copy of my first application so now I have to re-type the entire thing. Ugh. Stupid paper applications...

Monday, July 18, 2011

The end.

I'm sure that my wide mass of followers has noticed that I haven't posted on here very much. Hahaha I don't even know who reads this but if you're reading this.. well thanks! :)

I've been busy. I moved, I'm unpacking (still), I went to a few concerts (MONKEES!!!), and the last Harry Potter movie came out. I have so many emotions about that book series that it's not even funny. And it's definitely difficult for me to put them into words but I am going to try.

I remember my mom telling me about this series of books that was beginning to become really popular, looking at the dates now I realize that it was in 1999. It was the summer after 6th grade and I devoured the first three books. I can remember being in my old house, staying up late in my bedroom reading and re-reading the books waiting for the 4th one to come out. I was hooked. Somehow, Rowling was able to take me away from my mundane life and transport me to a world where magic was real and children went to boarding schools to become witches and wizards and I wanted so badly for that world to be my reality.

The next memory I have is going to the Borders in Triangle Square for the midnight release of Goblet of Fire. It was released the night before I was leaving to go to Australia and my friends and I were having a sleep over. I remember there not being a whole bunch of people in the store, we were just waiting around until midnight when they could actually sell us the book. I read the entire book on the flight to Australia, which is a good, long flight.  That was in 2000.

I don't remember going to the midnight release for Order of the Phoenix. For Half-Blood Prince I went with some co-workers after my shift at Jamba Juice in 2005. It was one of the best times. There was a party at Barnes and Noble and I remember going home and reading the whole book straight through and crying. I was so mad and so sad and my world just totally turned upside down after the end of that book. I think it was then when I realized that I was really enamored with the series.

For the last book I went with friends and my boss at the time. I was working in libraries at that point and was surrounded by people who loved the books and characters as much as I did. It was so heartbreaking to know that this was the end. I remember having to drive all the way back to my house  (a good 1 1/2 hour drive from the book store I went to) and just wanting to pull over and read. When I started it, within the first 50 pages I was tearing up, I don't think I ever stopped. It was so hard to read about my "friends and family" fighting a "war". It was so difficult to see them die. It was so heart-breaking to know that it was over.

But it wasn't. There were the movies and I loved the movies. I remember going to midnight showings with my ska friends. I remember going to midnight showings with my friends from high school and my junior year boyfriend (that must have been Prisoner of Azkaban). I remember going with my senior year boyfriend (Goblet of Fire) and with my best friend and her boyfriend (Half-Blood Prince). I remember going to see a showing with people from work at Jamba Juice and people from Suburban Legends one year (must have been Chamber of Secrets). I remember going to this last one...I'm going to remember crying and sitting with friends and knowing that all the people around me understood why I was crying and didn't judge.

And now the movies are over. Harry Potter is over. But is it really? I know that I haven't explained why I'm so attached to these characters and these books. I don't even understand it myself. All I can say is that 12 years ago I started reading a book and I felt a connection. A connection with the words, a connection with the world, and a connection with friends. The story may be over, but my love for it won't be. I think it says a lot for me to feel as in love with the books as I was when I was 12 when I'm 24 now. That's half my lifetime that I've been a part of this world and friends with these characters. Some people may laugh and some people may not understand it. Some people may not think the writing is great or the stories are bad, but I don't care and you know what? Neither do my fellow Harry Potter fans. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,  Snape has a conversation with Lily Evans and as lame as I feel quoting it, I feel that it really sums up Harry Potter for the fans.

"...It is real, isn't it?"

"It's real for us," said Snape. "Not for her..."

Harry Potter and it's world is real. It's real for us, for the fans, for me.

And just so you know, "it's real for us" is a tattoo I have in the works. People may judge me and say it's stupid. But honestly, I don't really care. Harry Potter has been part of my life for so long and for that I think it's worth a tattoo. Even if I end up hating Harry Potter (doubtful but possible) I can't deny that I spent a good portion of my life loving those books.