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Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I am not even kidding you when I say that a 4th-grader came into my work wearing a cut-off halter top with tight jeans with the BUTTON UNDONE AND FOLDED DOWN.


Holy shit.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book: Seven Wheelchairs: a Life Beyond Polio by Gary Presley

Seven Wheelchairs: A Life beyond PolioSeven Wheelchairs: A Life beyond Polio by Gary Presley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Still oddly fascinated with polio, I searched for books written by people who have experienced it first-hand. I saw this book on the library catalog and inter-library loaned it. It was pretty good, but I found it to be slow at times.

This book is about a man who reflects upon his life and how everything changed for him and his loved ones when he gets polio at age 17. He shares with the reader the difficulties he faced as he learns to live again after becoming wheelchair bound just when he thought his life and independence was beginning.

I have to admit that I'm always a bit skeptical when it comes to memoirs, because, oftentimes, they're written by those who aren't regular writers. I become overly critical of parts that seem slow or repetitive, because, to my mind, the untrained author is simply filling space to meet some type of page requirement set by the publisher. Although Presley has indeed had articles included in numerous publications, I found myself becoming annoyed with that feeling of slow pace and repetition.

That said, there aren't many books written by those who were struck with polio, and since I'm still amazed that such a horrible disease existed such a relatively short time ago, I don't have much room to be picky. So, in that case, thanks to the author for sharing his story.

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Train kitty

A week and a half or so ago, I was having oatmeal in the Caribou Coffee near my work when a coworker bursts in and says, "I'm glad you're here. There's a cat on the railroad tracks." I was struck dumb for a moment, but then I headed out with her to see and, sure enough, there was a kitten on the tracks, a bit off of where pedestrians cross the street.

By this point, there was a small crowd just looking at the poor thing, who was meowing a hoarse meow and was soaking wet. I went closer to it to let it sniff me and after a second it tried to dart under the tracks, so I grabbed it. It was so small--I was guessing about four months, because it was the size that our two kitties were when we adopted them.

I climbed out of the tracks area with the kitty and people backed away--one lady offered a plastic bag (wtf?!) but I ignored all of them, upset that all they could do is watch but not actually do anything.

At this point, I wasn't sure what to do, but my coworker suggested bringing it to the nearby animal vet. As good idea as any, we headed that way. The poor thing was meowing hoarsely and trying to get down, but I kept my hold and we finally made it to the vet.

I'll just quickly sum up our experience there:
-someone took the kitty and said they thought it was a boy but couldn't tell and that it had a cold
-doctor pretty much refusing to do anything until my coworker paid them $100
-us asking what we should have done if bringing it there was the wrong thing to do; they didn't have an answer
-the doctor saying that he was on the board of the Humane Society (which doesn't make him sympathetic to hurt and scared animals rescued from the train tracks?) and saying it would probably end up there and that we should take it (we were blocks from work and didn't have car keys--we were on break!)
-us leaving upset

I kept thinking that maybe my husband and I could adopt it, but after calling him and telling him about it, he was right in saying that our two kitties (which are over a year old now) would probably hate it and that our place isn't big enough for another cat. All true. But I was afraid that they were going to kill it or something.

But the other day I looked online at the Humane Society's website and I think I found the kitty. Everything in its description makes sense and I hope that is the one, because that means that it's in good care (it's a no-kill shelter) and that it has a chance of finding a home. I need to stop checking to see if she's (it's a girl, not a boy--stupid mean vet assistant!) been adopted yet.

Well, even if she isn't, at least she isn't sick and meowing on the tracks.

One of the most upsetting things about this whole situation is that so many people were just looking at this cat, who was clearly saying "Help, I'm scared!" but no one cared. The other upsetting thing was the vet's reaction, like the kitty was some horrible monster that they didn't want to deal with until they got paid. How awful.

I hope I don't have to experience anything like that again. :(

Book: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This is a really good book! Yeah, it's for kids, but I totally recommend it. I just got the audio book version of book two, called Catching Fire. Book three is released on August 24. I hope Collins can keep up the good writing for the entire trilogy, as sometimes does NOT happen with these types of books.

Well anyway, here's my review:

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In this future society, there is no more United States; instead, Panem is divided into twelve districts, each of which must hold a drawing once a year to see which boy and girl will compete in that year’s Hunger Games. The Hunger Games were designed to remind the people of Panem that the Capitol has complete say over what goes on everywhere and that fighting back is futile. So this is why, every year, 24 adolescent participants kill each other off in a Capitol-made arena until there is one participant left—the winner.

Katniss’s name is drawn as that year’s female participant, while a boy she hardly knows named Peeta is drawn as that year’s male participant. Before she can truly grasp what has happened, she is saying goodbye to her mother, sister, and best friend, then being whisked away on train headed to the Capitol, where they provide her and Peeta with all the luxuries one could ask for before being left to fight for her life in the arena.

This is an excellent book that had me hooked from the beginning. The Hunger Games is the first book in The Hunger Games Trilogy. I can’t wait to find out what happens to Katniss and Peeta as they move forward from the terrifying experience of the Hunger Games. For those who enjoyed reading about the fight for survival in a futuristic society, give the Exodus trilogy (Bertagna) a try.

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