Happy Banned Book Week 2011!

 

If a book is controversial, it’s often worth reading. That’s one of the reasons why I love Banned Book Week.

So, without further ado, I give you:

The Top 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2010

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  3. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, and sexually explicit
  4. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  6. Lush, by Natasha Friend
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  8. Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich
    Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, and religious viewpoint
  9. Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie
    Reasons:  homosexuality and sexually explicit
  10. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
    Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence

Of these books, I’ve read Brave New World, The Hunger Games, Nickel and Dimed, and Twilight.

Brave New World and Nickel and Dimed were required reading for school. The former was required for honors English in high school, and the latter for Intro to Sociology in college.

I don’t recall either book being inappropriate. My 15-year-old self thought that Brave New World paled in comparison to 1984 and was disappointed, but not scarred for life or anything. (On the other hand, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, another book required for that class, scarred me for life. I almost died of boredom reading that thing! I never voluntarily picked up a Hemingway novel after that…)

I enjoyed Nickel and Dimed and finished it a couple of weeks before everyone else started the book. What can I say? I was looking for something to read and it caught my interest.

And of course you know my thoughts on Twilight and the Hunger Games.

What’s your favorite banned book?

Click here to read last year’s post for Banned Book Week.

On Writing…

I’m not a writer because I went to journalism school, did writing internships, or spend an insane amount of time writing about electronics recycling and the environment. I’m a writer because I can’t imagine not writing.

For me, it’s a form of sanity. We’ve all had those nights when it’s impossible to sleep because there is just too much to think about. For me, writing is one of the few things that lets me stop thinking. Once I’m in the “zone,” the words just flow and I don’t have to think about it too much. Maybe that’s why I do my best writing at 2 a.m. when I’m sleep deprived and just a little insane . . .

Google+: My Thoughts

Wow, what’s that? I’m actually writing a brand-new social media post and not a meaningless ramble?

Anyway, this new thing called Google+ came out and if you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably heard of it. And if you do live under a rock, I envy you sometimes. But I digress. . .

What is Google+?

Google+ is the new social networking site that’s going to take over the world. It’s like Facebook, but it has LiveJournal-esque filters. (Remember LiveJournal? Those were the days . . .)

What Google+ Does Right

Google has done several things very right. The Circles make it easy to keep the various parts of your life separate. You can have a circle for Internet Friends, a circle for Good Friends, a circle for Family Members You Are Obligated to Friend, and a circle for Coworkers. You can sort of do this on Facebook, but it’s not as effective.

There are also Hangouts, which is like a group video chat. I haven’t actually tried this, but it’s an interesting idea. I’d like to see how it works.

Google+ has another thing going for it: exclusivity. Social media geeks had to join the site because it’s cool, it’s exclusive, it has to be amazing because it’s Google. It will be open to the public at the end of the month and it will be hard to feel special when anyone can join.

Google+: The Current Problem

The current problem with Google+ is that it’s dead! I guess exclusivity has its downsides . . . There aren’t many people to talk to because most people haven’t joined yet. And a social network needs people in order to fulfill the social aspect of things.

Hey Look- I’m On Google+

I scored a super-exclusive invitation from my sister and got to join the site last week. If you want an invite, send me your email. (Whichever one you want to link the account to.)

I’m right here if you want to add me!

Late Night Ramblings

I haven’t blogged in months and I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been off living this glamorous life.

In reality, it’s a combination of things. I’ve been busy at work, seeing friends, with life… I’m tired when I get home and I can’t blog at two in the morning unless I want to be exhausted the next day. But the biggest reason why I haven’t been writing is that I want to take this blog in a direction that I can be proud of, but I don’t know how to do it.

Anyway, I was just about to go to bed and I realized that I had to post something or I’d never do it. So I’m sitting here at 1:00 AM writing. Like I used to. But I’m not going to edit this post like I usually do.

So here’s my post… I have no fabulous explanations or grand promises to offer. All I can say is that I have no plans to abandon this blog and I truly love writing.

If you’re still reading my jumbled up thoughts, thank you for your patience.  Like I said, I think that if I stopped to edit this, I wouldn’t have posted it.

Quick Grammar Tip: The Interrobang

‽‽‽‽‽‽‽‽ 

 

What is it?

I’m sure you’re wondering, “What the heck is an interrobang?!”

  • An interrobang is an imprecise punctuation mark used to express disbelief or ask a question in an excited manner.
    • This is an interrobang: ‽
      • If you don’t have a fancy keyboard (or don’t want to copy and paste), you can do this: ?!

This is a real thing–I promise!

 

How to use it

  • As the definition indicates, use the interrobang either to express disbelief, or ask a question in an excited manner.
  • Don’t use it too frequently. It lessons the impact.
  • Don’t use the interrobang multiple times at the end of a sentence. (i.e. ?!?!?!)
    • This is considered poor style in formal writing.
  • Consider your audience before using the interrobang. Although it works well for informal writing, it’s not the best option when writing a formal paper or a business proposal.
  • The question mark is commonly written before the exclamation point, but there is no universal rule about this.

 

Ask me your grammar questions in the comments below!

Excuses or Good Intentions?

I’ve officially failed the Post a Day 2011 challenge.

I can make excuses: I just moved. I didn’t have internet for a week. I write all of the time at work…

But you know what they say about excuses. Or was that good intentions?

I will continue to post under the tag so I can see how well I end up doing, but I know I can’t maintain the challenge. (Unless, of course, you count the blog entries I write for All Green.)

Excuses, excuses

I feel like I’m stuck between idealistic and realistic. I honestly planned to do a post a day here, but at the same time, I don’t think that’s very realistic. As you might know, I already post 5 times a week on my company blog while doing other work for them. I try to write posts on the weekends and evenings, but I don’t always have the time or energy to.

I’ve also been sick–first with a cold, and now an infection. And I’ve been packing up my childhood room and shopping for my apartment. I move on Saturday, so I expect I”ll be quite busy until then.

I have some planned social media posts and book reviews, all I need is time.

Maybe it’ll be easier to jump back on the bandwagon once I move. I can be an idealist sometimes, right?

 

But it looks like a pomegranate, right?

Somebody saw somethin’ and they said hey, it looks like a pomegranate, and I don’t know why they call it a pomegranate, but it looks like a pomegranate, right? It became, no matter what language you spoke it in, the syllables are frequencies. It’s the world of creation in vibrating strings, which is sound.

I’ve loved Bright Eyes ever since I was 15 or 16. The lyrics are lovely and poetic, you can find a song to fit almost any mood, and Conor Oberst is just nice to listen to.

Anyway, the first Bright Eyes album in about four years came out yesterday and I’ve been listening to it ever since.

Even though the part I quoted wasn’t spoken by Conor Oberst, it made me smile. Doesn’t everyone wonder these things? Or maybe it’s just people like me, who love words in general.

Do you ever wonder how words like this came to exist?

By the way, the song is called Jejune Stars if anyone is curious.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here’s the thing I hate about Valentine’s Day: It’s assumed that if you’re not dating someone, you’re depressed and bitter about it.

Why must that be the case? Can’t you be single and fine with it?

Now this blog is not for my love life so this is a one-time deal (for the record, my love life, or lack thereof, is not for sharing on the internet. I don’t even keep a relationship status on Facebook).

Anyway, I’m single and fine with it. Valentine’s Day is just another day for me, no reason to get depressed and bitter. Well, I take back the part about it being just another day–my parents usually buy me See’s chocolate, which makes it slightly better than the typical day.

Even when I wasn’t single, I felt the same way about Valentine’s Day. I think I fail at being a girl– I don’t go for all of the romantic, mushy stuff. I’d rather watch an action movie than a romance. (Would you rather watch stuff blow up or people make out? Yeah, I thought so.) Mushy Hallmark cards make me laugh. Flowers are pretty and I do like them, but they die quickly because I have the opposite of a green thumb. And all of those terms of endearment just annoy me. Why must they sound so condescending? Oh and the color pink? No thank you.

I’m not against love or romance, but I believe you should show your appreciation and love every day, not just on February 14th. I also think that the thoughtful gestures are the most romantic.

Have you ever lied about your age? Why?

Have you ever lied about your age? Why?

To be honest, I’m not at a point where I have to lie about my age. I look younger than I am, but I’m old enough to do the things that I want to do.

When I was 16, a couple of weeks before I turned 17, I saw an R-rated movie with my friends. They were all 17 at the time. I was so afraid that I was going to get caught, but no one carded me and I got away with it. For the record, the movie was Wedding Crashers. I told my mom when I got home, and she was okay with it. She did the same thing at my age.

Actually, I’ve only been carded for an R-movie twice: Once when I was 20, and then once a couple of weeks ago at age 22. Both times I was baffled, but then realized, “Oh yeah, they actually card people for these things.”

People rarely guess that I’m older than my age– the only time it has ever happened is when I’m in a room or a class with people who are all slightly older than me.