July 06, 2006

Lisa: he always leaves ME satisfied and smiling

I have never known TV love like this before. Dean is nothing to me. Adam Brody's show has become an unwatchable mess. Topher isn't even on TV anymore, although he does look hot in the Spiderman 3 trailer. Wentworth Miller may sing a capella and have graduated from Princeton, but his middle-distance stare is losing its charm. Angel--as much as it pains me to say it--was overrated, and Agent Booth...well, he hasn't been showing up on my TiVo this summer and I have to admit I haven't really missed him. But...Jim? and Jim and Pam? Some coherent analysis may be in order but I am finding it hard to type while in puddle form.

July 10, 2006

Lisa: bedroom

The painting adventure continues! This time I painted the master bedroom a dusky purple color. I love it! Here are a few before and after pictures.




After (Obviously, there is a lot of supernatural activity going on here. I might need to call the Deans.):



Again, one of my favorite parts is seeing the colors in one room from another room. Here's the bedroom wall against the yellow hallway:

July 11, 2006

Sarah: A Little Healthy Competition is Good for the Soul.

My junk email presents a Deathmatch Match-Up: "Olive Garden vs Red Lobster 7/11." Although 7/11 combines convenience with Slurpees, it cannot cancel out the supreme evil that is Red Lobster. I have watched Disney movies enough to know that the good guy always wins, and so I did not need to open the email to know that Olive Garden would fight with the sword of truth and prevail.

July 12, 2006

Sarah: 22

This morning I woke up to this:

Thank you for the beautiful flowers, Jessie! It was great to wake up to flowers (man, when was the last time I got flowers?!) and it was so thoughtful.

Also thoughtful was Lisa's and Blake's recognition of Birthday Week. Lisa sent me funny emails (a Monk E-Mail and an e-card from The Office) and Blake gave me a Birthday Pie. It's been a very exciting week.

I gave myself a gift and this morning I got the greatest gift of all: Nicole's and my favorite grammar mistake:

Happy Birthday, indeed.

Sarah: He's a ghost, and he talks to us.

On Monday night, Jessie, Mallory, and I had an impromptu hang-out. This evening would turn out to be a very fond memory, thanks in large part to Hollywood Video. I have not been a frequent visitor to this store as of late for a variety of reasons, but mainly because they do not have the same No-Late-Fees policy as Blockbuster Video. With the exception of the unfortunate Now I Own That Copy Of House of Wax Because I Can't Find It experience, this policy has probably saved my college funds from utter destruction. However, when the DVD player at my apartment broke, Blockbuster let us down in the VHS department.

This is where the genius of Hollywood Video comes in: they have a wonderfully complete VHS selection. Not just new releases or just old classics. ALL MOVIES. Think of a movie. Got one? Yeah, THEY HAVE THAT ON VHS.

Mallory, Jessie, and I decided that going old school format should also mean old school material. What did we watch when VHS tapes were at their peak? Why, we watched Goosebumps, Ghostwriter, and Fraggle Rock.

I. Know.

We saved Fraggle Rock for another day when we were with the full group (us plus Lisa and Marci), since Marci is a big fan, but these two were too good to pass up. They were everything we could have hoped for.

The acting in Goosebumps was pretty terrible, but I think Mallory was still a little scared. This particular tape told the story of a girl whose father turns into a mad scientist and nearly becomes a plant. It is interesting how easily your memory can be triggered: I didn't think I had ever watched Goosebumps as a kid until I remembered exactly the introductory sequence. I didn't just watch Goosebumps. I enjoyed it thoroughly. And it scared me.

Ghostwriter is another thing. I've expressed my love for Ghostwriter before. This show was on tv at a very formative point in my life and Team Ghostwriter perfectly represented all that I wanted to be. How could they not?

While watching the video (the tape was in the wrong case: we didn't find out who burnt Mr. Brinker's store, but watched the pilot episode instead), I remembered that I used to tease my side ponytail in an attempt to reach Gaby's beautiful volume. Her older brother Alex was one of my first crushes, and when I looked him up on IMDB today, I was a little disappointed to see he had not appeared in any films recently.

I have added a Ghostwriter video to my Amazon wishlist because I simply cannot explain how much I loved watching this show. It must be experienced.

Some fun facts to entice you:
-Spike Lee has a glow in the dark Ghostwriter sticker! You can too if you write for one before 1994. Oh wait...
-Are you a fan of Samuel L. Jackson's early work? ARE YOU REALLY? Because if so, you should know that he plays Jamal's dad.
-Remember Jamal? Played by Sheldon Turnipseed? He was in Mo' Better Blues with Samuel L. Jackson. And, incidentally, Spike Lee. Maybe that's when they all met. It's New York-tastic!
-I dare you to read this site and not get a craving for Ghostwriter. Go ahead. Pretend that you don't want to see the Box of Serenity.

I think my next craft project may involve a stencil made from this image.

Maybe I can somehow create a patch for my denim jacket.

July 19, 2006

Lisa: freezer paper stencil

Sarah sewed me a tote bag for no other reason than that she is super nice. All that was left to do was add a decorative element. I decided to try out the freezer paper stenciling Mariko mentioned, and I used some screenprinting ink Sarah bought for another project (because I am just a moocher like that). In keeping with my current Office obsession, I decided to use am image from the show's credits. I figured only fans of the show will know what it is from. Linds20 helped me find a screencap of the image, which I just cut out of the freezer paper with scissors. I'm not too skilled with X-Acto knives. Once I had the design cut out, I ironed the freezer paper to the fabric, stippled the screenprinting ink on with a brush, let it dry a bit, and then peeled off the paper. Then I heat-set the ink with the iron, so it should last through washings and stuff if necessary.

Here's the bag:

And here's a closeup of the stencil/screenprint:

I love how it turned out. Thanks, Sarah!

Lisa: Grizzly Man

You would think a documentary about a man who gets eaten by a grizzly bear would be exciting enough to keep Sarah and David awake. You would be wrong.

July 21, 2006

Lisa: waiting for people to die

Last week I attended my third children's literature symposium at BYU, and as usual came away energized and more excited about my job. Seriously, they are geniuses to send us to these things.

Shannon Hale, local author and Newbery Honor winner for her book Princess Academy, was my favorite speaker. Her subject was 'reading for pleasure.' She talked a lot about high school reading curriculums (curricula?) and how people often feel obligated to read the classics, which can make reading more of a chore than a pleasure activity. Shannon had a ton of energy and was hilarious. Here are a few of her points that I jotted down:

  • "Dickens was paid by the word. SUM UP." That reminded me of an interesting idea from A River Runs Through It that has stayed with me much longer than it probably should have. The father of Brad Pitt and NotBrad gives NotBrad a writing exercise. When he completes the exercise, BradDad makes NotBrad cut out half of the words he used, and then cut out half again.

  • High school reading lists are not going to change as long as people with certain attitudes are in positions of power. "What can you do but wait for these people to die?"

  • Literature is about options. We need to allow ourselves to explore many different types and styles of books.

  • Adults need to overcome their prejudice toward young adult literature. Shannon recently wrote an adult book (which she said was "much sillier and shallower" than her young adult titles), and after one rewrite her editor told her they were good to go. She said she was shocked, as she was used to rewriting for a year. Shannon said that adult readers are less discriminating--they are willing to overlook typos, and probably will read the book only once. Younger readers will read a book over and over, analyzing every detail.

  • She had us all take the following pledge: On this day, July 13th 2006, Shannon Hale, the famous and beautiful writer, told me I never have to read a boring book for fun again. Whether I have read 15 or 50 pages, if it is still boring, I can put it down. And if someone tells me that what I'm reading is too young for me because it is a picture book or a comic book or Captain Underpants or too short, I will tell them "You're wrong, thank you very much."
  • Other quotes heard at the conference...

  • "Never trust anyone who writes more than he reads." --Samuel Johnson (I think)

  • "Libraries are the repositories of our will to be free." --Leonard Everett Fisher (or at least the quote was mentioned in his introduction. Mr. Fisher himself is unfortunately a pompous ass.)
  • Nancy Farmer was really fun to hear from too, and I was so excited to get P.J. Lynch to sign my copy of Melisande (now out of print in hardcover)!

    In other news, I have accepted a job at a new library. I am sad to be leaving Whitmore, but I think it's a good move for my career. Wish me luck!