Friday, September 30, 2005

In honor of Banned Books Week

Through my weekly book-y newsletter (The -- if you like books at all, sign up for their weekly newsletter -- it's wonderful!), I learned that the last week of September is Banned Books Week. This is not a week where we burn books because they offend W -- it's a week where we celebrate the fact that we have the freedom to read what we want to read, even if others (even W) find it offensive.

The following is the list of the Top 100 Most "Challenged" (from "A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.") Books.

I was shocked at some of the names on there, but not as shocked as I was that Scott doesn't even know who Shel Silverstein is. But, that's another blog.

Read one of these this week if you can, I know I am going to try to!

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit by Derek Humphry
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
Guess What? by Mem Fox
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Carrie by Stephen King
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

More on my weight

(You don't blog enough, whines the person whom I hadn't heard from since my dad died. Um, well -- you could write me...)

I had my first weight gain since my Weight Watchers journey. And as slight as it was (.4 -- whyyy did I not pee before I got on the scale??), it was still depressing. I mean, I was not "good." I ate pizza with my cousin and had 2 beers -- and they were not light beers. I had some pot roast on Sunday. I had some of Scott's burrito stuff this weekend. I haven't been exercising. It adds up. I should be grateful it wasn't more of a slide, but I guess since I really try to be SO careful in between those downslides that I just take for granted that it's okay to slip.

And it will be, once I lose some more of this 75 lbs.

I tell you I am more and more impressed with people who really use all of the 16 hours they are awake a day. People who exercise and go to school and work (sometimes more than one job) -- these are people who are just fucking up my excuses that it's not possible! I mean, am I supposed to go to the gym when the Gilmore Girls are on??

I jest. Of course I am supposed to and I do not.

But, too, I am tired of beating myself up for all of the things I don't do. All of the mistakes I make and all of the error. I am generally eating better than I have in my life. I eat fruit and/or vegetables at least two or three times a day. That is two or three times more than I was before. I drink milk every day. I really try to think about the things I eat. Fried things rarely touch my lips anymore.

So, I am going to start working on thinking about those things. Focusing on the positive steps I am making in my life. If I never lost another pound in my life and continued to eat this way for the rest of my life, I would be better off than I was before.

Anyways -- this is the real reason you don't get regular posts from me, Captain. Because they would either be about all of the weight I wish I was losing or all of the exercise I wasn't doing or about all of my school crap. (Just 5 classes away and a computer CLEP from an Associates. Never thought I could be this proud of having a lousy 2 year degree, but it's 2 more years than a lot of people, eh?)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Coach Big Daddy!

Recently, Scott's been talking about wanting to shoot hoops. I have no idea where this is coming from, but he is talking about it all the time. "I wanna get a basketball and go down and shoot some hoops!"

What are you, 10? Where is this coming from?? But, I really try to get enthusiastic about anything that might get us out of the house and off of our asses. I mean, Lord knows I can't really motivate myself to do that on my own -- I really need help. But, we have a strong ass-couch attraction on our house. Hello, we're Americans and if we weren't fat and lazy then the terrorists will have won.

But, I digress.

So, we happened upon a basketball when we were moving out the furniture from the condo. The last tenants had left behind a basketball. It was a souvenir one and not regulation size, but I managed to convince Scott that it would do for now. (Doesn't take much to convince him not to spend money, bless his heart.)

Long story short -- too late. We go down tonight to shoot some hoops. And it was great! I had a lot of fun and we got to spend some time together outdoors and teasing each other and just having fun. Then, he starts giving me pointers. And, totally not in some obnoxious guy way -- like, let me show you how to do that again because clearly you're just not getting it. It was just so sweet and supportive. Getting me pumped up about making easy shots, and then he was actign like it was so unusual that he was making all these shots. But, Heather you look like a pro! Totally stroking my ego, but in this amazingly supportive, noncondescending way...

And this was when I had the epiphany. Scott should be a school coach! He laughed this off -- he said he didn't know anything about sports. But, then started calling all of the parts of the basketball court and teaching them to me. Showing me the mechanics of what makes the shot good.

I am telling you all -- it was amazing. I just couldn't stop thinking about how many kids' lives would be better off with him in it. Just infinite amounts of patience and this perfect ability to push you without even realizing that he is doing it. It was like I saw him for the first time. Not because I had never witnessed this behavior in him before, but because I was just now really seeing it and appreciating him for who he is.

Seriously, it sounds a little crazy but I just wish I could talk him into it. No, it wouldn't be a great big salary or get us the vacation of our dreams every year... But, you know the saying, "you do what you love..." So, if you never work a day in your life, then who cares about money and vactions?"

Don't you think we want those things because we think they will bring us some elusive happiness that we just can't seem to achieve?


Didn't think it was possible to blow smoke that far up one's own ass! Who knew??

All I am saying is that the world needs Coach Big Daddy -- fuhgeddabout over-analyzing why!



ps -- Watched one of my favorite movies tonight I, Robot. It totally enravels me in the meaning of the universe and the great philosophical questions that I like to ask over and over. I turn everything into the meaning of life.

How fucking pretentious and silly is that?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Theories on disengagement...

While there are many issues associated with the engagement process, there are equally as many surrounding the disengagement process. Disengagement meaning those toxic situations that you just can't seem to get yourself out of. Or even when you DO get out of, can't seem to get over and just put behind you.

I think that most of us have had some form of toxic relationship. I had a former marriage that was toxic and didn't even learn my lesson then, because I followed that with a few toxic relationships or entanglements.

What is it that draws us into those situations? I'm not talking about the typical guy situations that we moan about -- the occasional flights into bad boyfriend behavior -- I'm talking about men who are incapable of treating you with anything resembling complete respect. Men who get into your head and live their rent free and then trash the place. BAD. Men that you convince yourself are right for you and overlook the majority of their flaws as an excuse.

And why? What is the reason? And how do you disengage?

All I can do is tell you what worked for me. First of all, you have to accept that you do not actually LOVE this man. Because loving someone doesn't come with but's. And you will hear yourself saying but I love him or I love him but. Nope. People have flaws. Treating you like crap is not a flaw, it is simply unacceptable. Lying to you, talking down to you, being unfaithful to someone to be with you, forgetting important personal accomplishments in your life, expecting you to do all of the work and not putting any effort in -- these are NOT flaws. This is a serious lack of character that you are deciding to associate yourself with. Why? Because you do not think you are worthy of better.

But, let me tell you something -- you are. You are worth more than that. You have to decide that, you HAVE to believe that, and then you have to believe that anyone who does not treat you with the same amount of respect that you treat him is not worth your time. Do not return his phone calls. Do not answer his emails. Do not send him any form of mail. Do not give him the time of day. Because you are undermining your value as a person each and every time you give someone value who makes you feel like anything less than you are.

If you went to a restaurant and your waiter did not bring you water or provide you with any service or even pay attention to you, would you consider that acceptable and reward that waiter with a BIG tip?? Because if the answer is no, then why would you reward with someone with pieces of who you are and information about you that he will only use to get into your head and hurt you more? Where is the sense in that??

It's not easy moving on. You've got to talk to people about it. Friends who don't accept your bullshit about he's a good person, but... If you don't have friends like this, then you need to get a counselor. You need to listen to a lot of music that is not going to make you sad and weepy and thinking about all the good times you had. You didn't have good times -- you just don't want to be alone.

Get over it.

Being alone sucks fucking ass, I'm not going to candy coat it. You hear empowered women telling you that to choose to be with a man is just a cop-out and that you don't need a man. Well, of course you don't need a man -- I myself have often used the phrase about women needing men as much as fish need bicycles. But that doesn't mean it isn't nice to have one around. BUT, that is where your thinking has to stop. Because while it's nice to have them around, you don't need anyone toxic around. You don't need them in your head, you don't need them in your bed.

The truth is that being in a successful relationship is actually a little boring. Because there is no drama. That's how you really know it's right -- you're a little bored. If you're not a little bored and you're tired of fighting all the time, then get out. Move on. It's not right. You're not getting any younger.

And, if you are already out, but you can't get him out of your head -- talk him out of it. Don't forgive him his trespasses. Don't forget his sins. You need to remember those things.

Disengage, my friends -- it's the only way to save yourself.

Friday, September 09, 2005

We found Julia...

...she was strung out, smoking a hookah in a Pakistani brothel.

It took 5 guys to remove her, but that was mainly because she kept performing on the hookah...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Theory of Engagement

Inspired by the tale of a recently engaged friend and a conversation said engagement sparked between my husband and me. This story is intended in a light-hearted manner and yes, everyone knows that as a free-thinking, independent woman of course you are not thinking about or waiting to get married to anyone ever. Not on purpose. But, just in case, you happen to a woman who is inclined to want to get married...

When friends get engaged, it generally will cause Scott and I to talk about our own engagement and some of the circumstances around it. Depending on the nature of the friend's situation, the aspects of this conversation are varied. But, generally at some point the topic will waiver to the state of shock he was in, and just how crazy I was. For my part, I couldn't figure out why he asked me to marry him if he didn't understand what exactly that meant. I mean, you're asking the question? This is a signal that you want to spend the rest of your life with me.


And that is what I"m talking about. I already knew I wanted to spend my life with you! I have spent plenty of time sitting next to you or near you watching tv and just hanging out. I have seen you at your best smelled you at your worst (in places even I am too polite to mention) and I have figured out that, yeah, you are the person I'm going to be able to handle sitting next to or near watching tv and just hanging out for the next 25-50 years. I agree with you here, Scott, we're doing life.

So, since I already knew this, I was basically just waiting for you to figure it out too. I can see the pros and cons, and the fact is that there aren't a lot of people too willing to put up with either one of our asses (just take a look at our track record). And, the best part is, that we ARE willing to put up with each other's asses and have proven it. These are really the two most valuable key aspects in picking out a mate, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Meanwhile, in your side of the world, you are slowly starting to think that it's not that bad having me around. Sometimes you get your feet rubbed, sometimes you get other things rubbed, and while I do nag you a bit, you don't completely mind because this just gives you something to give me shit about and tease me. This is your favorite thing. You're thinking I'm the kind of person you could sit next to or near watching tv and just generally hanging out for the next 25-50 years. You use the question as a declaration of staking your claim as the sole possessor of the boo-tay! Let there be celebration and joy and quietness for days and months on end while you praise me for this decision! The decision is made, I have decreed it thus, now I want to go to sleep.

(This is much how you feel after you give him a really good show in bed and then he falls asleep right at your curtain call. If you do not understand this reference, then you are a lucky woman.)

This is what I realized after talking to Scott -- asking the question to them is the end. They have hit the climax in the show. What else is there? We get married -- ta da!

And meanwhile, the woman is standing there like, "Oooo-kay, welcome to the party so glad you could join us even if it is late." I mean, honestly -- once you are with someone for a certain period of time, don't you just know? I can't believe I am alone in this. Well... I guess the thing is that it goes back to the age old difference between boys and girls: we mature faster. We're ready sooner than they are to make the big leap.

And honestly, I'm not just talking about marriage. There's a lot to be said in even picking someone and committing to them that they are the one. I think the reason that I like marriage so much is that it just dresses up that commitment. Puts it in a prettier package.

But, I digress. It was just so funny to hear that men think that asking the question is the end (in a way) rather than just the mere beginning. I just get this funny picture in my head of Scott asking the question and then running down the mountain like the frickin' Sound of Music chick singing, "The hills are alive with the sound of music..." The weight of getting the asking done rising off his shoulders like little cartoon blue birds... I've asked and now she will be quiet about wanting to ask... Fa laaaa!


Friday, September 02, 2005

Queen of the World

It's amazing how proud I am of myself for losing 5 little pounds. So proud that I really hate to diminish the accomplishment by calling them "little." After all, pick up a bag of flour -- that's what I lost this week.

I can't help but think that if I feel this good about losing 5 pounds, how good am I going to feel when I lose lots more??

I really hope it stays around, because I am feeling sassy! I haven't felt sassy in a long time, baby. The way I sashay around, you really would think that I had lost 25.

And the best part is that when something comes up and I say, "Ohhh, I can't have that" I don't even really feel that bad. I feel good that I can't have it and don't feel like giving in.

The flip side is that I'm thinking about the points and how to spread them out all the time. And because I rarely think anything on the inside, I'm talking about the points all the time. The good part of this is that I work with someone equally obsessed, but the bad part is that we don't sit right next to each other. The good part is that we've been talking about it so much around the desks of our coworkers that we inspired another one to do it herself. Yay! More people keeping track of points means more people giving me ideas of things to eat.

Actually, that's not really the challenge yet. The biggest challenge is keeping enough food in the house to eat. My next strategy is working out some sort of meal plan to make it easier to pack my lunch and such.

Anyways, I'm still excited. Week one going smashingly!

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