About Me

My photo

I recently became a stay-at-home mom.  I have an amazing husband and a gorgeous baby girl.  The transition from working mom to SAHM has had it's ups and downs.  Everyday is an adventure as I learn what it means to be a good mom and watch my little girl grow up.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

If someone were to enter a debate saying that John Green is a bad writer they would lose.  Although An Abundance of Katherines may not be my favorite of his work, it is undoubtedly a well written story.  Quite frankly I think the main reason I'm not completely in love with this book is because I'm not a math person and I have never been dumped by someone I loved.

Colin, the main character, is a fairly likable nerd. He is a child prodigy with one friend, and a dream to leave his mark on the world that will elevate him from the title "prodigy" to that of "Genius".  Although it is completely unbelievable, the scholarly Colin has managed to not only date girls named Katherine, but he's managed to date nineteen of them (technically eighteen).

Green does a wonderful job with the characterization of Colin, and is able to leave his physical appearance mostly to the imagination.  Other than a brief mention of his "Jew fro" and "green eyes" one would assume that the child prodigy is not completely unfortunate looking.  I mean how else could a socially awkward kid manage to date nineteen girls?  At first when Colin is devastated that Katherine XIX has just dumped him, I felt bad, but eventually he just got annoying.  He literally obsesses over her.  He feels like he lost his identity now that she doesn't want to be with him.  I suppose this is relatable to anyone who may have just gone through a breakup, but for everyone else, it's like listening to a little kid whine.

His insecurities, obsessions, and mathematical rants would have been more difficult for me to stomach if not for his best friend, Hassan.   Hassan, his portly, witty, Arabic sidekick, brings a sense of adventure to the story for sure.  In my mind he is the epitome of a great friend.  He is spontaneous, fun, caring, and loyal.  There were several parts in the book that Hassan made me laugh out loud (an example of Green's brilliance).  Colin's character definitely became more appealing because of his relationship with Hassan.

Green incorporates footnotes into the story which makes it a bit more interesting.  Either John Green is a fountain of useless knowledge or he did a lot of research for those footnotes.  I did skip a handful of them because, and this is to quote Hassan, I found them to be "not interesting".  Speaking of skipping, I actually skipped several parts in the book where Colin explains his latest ideas on creating a mathematical theorem that can predict the future of all relationships.  To me that is definitely not interesting, especially when Colin figures out at the end *spoiler alert* that you can't predict the future.  Gasp!  He really is one of those cliche smart people who lacks common sense and has little social awareness.  It makes me wonder if John Green is this way, or if he is just a genius at creating characters.  I'm betting on the latter...

Okay, so what do I rate this book?  I'm going to give it 3.5 stars.  I preferred Looking For Alaska, and there is no doubt that I envy John Green's ability to tell a story and create some amazing characters, but this book didn't fit my personality.  I know there are millions of people that would find this book a great fit, I just wasn't one of them.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Notes From The Sub

I've been substitute teaching a lot lately and the funny/strange stories have been piling up.  That's why I've decided to share a couple of things with you before I forget them.

The first, and probably most comical, happened recently while I was subbing in a Kindergarten classroom.  For someone who is not used to teaching kids under the age of twelve, I always get a bit nervous knowing I'll be the only adult in the room with twenty or more five-year-olds who sometimes pee their pants or worse.  I love hearing the things that come out of the mouths of babes and that day during "Morning Meeting" was pretty classic.  I had gathered the class to sit in a circle on the mat and the kiddos were taking turns sharing something from their weekend, that morning, where they were going on vacation when they turned six, or how their dog pooped in the kitchen and their mommy stepped in it.  You never know what will come out of a little kid's mouth.  While I pretended to listen to a riveting tale about legos, little Johnny (obviously a name change), interrupted the speaker to ask a very interesting question.

"Is it true that hot girls get pregnant easier?"

Well who wants to hear about legos after a question like that?  As fun as it would have been to entertain  an answer, or start a debate, I explained to little Johnny that a good friend doesn't interrupt when someone is telling a story about legos.  Nice diversion right?  That would have been one heck of an interesting conversation.

The second story I have for you isn't as funny as it is perplexing.  I don't want you to think I'm making fun of this kid when I tell this story, so I'd like for you to get in the right frame of mind before I go into detail.  Think back to when you were say, eight or nine.  What did you look like back then?  Did you have a super cool haircut and awesome 80's or 90's clothes purchased by your mom from the kid section at Sears?  My clothes, size 6X corduroys that fit me for three years because I didn't grow, were actually from the same J.C.Penny where I had my bangs permed.  That's right, just my bangs.  Before you go picking on my mom, it was my idea, and against her better judgement she caved.  Anyway, do you have a rough visual of what I looked like when I was nine?  Kelly green cords, a white turtleneck, black and orange high tops, and kick ass permed bangs.  I rocked the fourth grade.

Now fast forward 21 years and I'm a substitute teacher taking attendance in a fourth grade classroom.  Not much has changed in terms of nine year olds being awkward.  What has changed, as I discovered during roll call, are names. Apparently unisex names have been trending with parents these days.  In this one class of nineteen, there was a Bailey, a Mason, a Peyton, and a Hunter.  Before you say those are all boy names, think again.  Bailey, Mason and Hunter were all definite girls.  Peyton however...  I still don't know.

I went the entire day waiting for Peyton's friends to utter a simple pronoun.  Nothing.  What did the kid look like?  Well, with short hair and clothes that could go either way, let's just say the physical appearance didn't give anything away.  I literally have no idea.  Have you ever seen the movie, It's Pat?  Well this was real life and I was/am equally perplexed.  The kid wasn't funny looking.  I'm honestly not making fun of the child.  During recess Peyton played with one boy and two girls.  When I talked to Randsome about it he asked about the voice.  "Girly voice," I said.  But honestly, how many nine year olds have masculine voices?

I'm sure if I spent more than seven hours with the kid I'd eventually figure it out.  I also may never figure it out.  I substitute teach in over fifteen schools in four districts, I may never see this kid again.  I may always wonder if Peyton is a boy or a girl because his/her parents decided to give their kid a unisex name, cut his/her hair short, and then dress him/her in clothing that could go either way.  Think about that before anyone gets offended by this post.

Okay, let's end this with a joke provided by a fifth grade boy.  It went like this:

Q.)How do you make a tissue dance?

A.)You give it a little boogie!

Kids are hilarious.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lloyd Christmas

Happy post-holidays.  Since I didn't update What's New during the month of December I wanted to share something random from my Christmas season.  I have this friend, who years ago, I nicknamed "Connie".  She brings out the dryness in my very sarcastic sense of humor.  We don't see each other often, so instead we email every once in a while to check in.  The following is an excerpt from a pre-Christmas email I sent to her.  It's a response to her question asking if Cakes is old enough to know who Santa is.  

Cakers does not understand the concept of Santa.  We do have an Elf On A Shelf named Lloyd Christmas.  Randsome and I hide him on one another.  We tell her Lloyd is watching her when she throws her food on the floor, but she doesn't get it.  Last night I was picking peas out of the Christmas tree.  Maybe she's protesting because I named the elf on the shelf and technically the child is actually supposed to name it.  "Oh well Cakers, Mommy's better at naming toys than you."  I named her giraffe, Henry, and she named her stuffed cat, Kitty.  Amateur.

After rereading the email 'I got to thinking.'  Am I a weirdo because I name all my kid's toys?  It bothers me that until she can talk, her toys will remain nameless.  Is it selfish of me to take away the future opportunity of allowing Cakers to flex her imagination muscles?  I don't care about most of the toys, but Henry (her giraffe) has been with her since she was a newborn.  I didn't want him to remain nameless for the first two or three years of life.  How sad and lonely is that?  As for the Elf on the Shelf, I wanted to give him a funny name.  I admit I was scared she'd grow up and give him a cliche, Christmasy name like Snowball or Happy, so I pulled inspiration from one of the best movies of all time: Dumb and Dumber.  I mean come on, the name Lloyd is funny.  Don't ask me why, it just is.  Maybe it's the two L's.  Another reason I chose the name is because Randsome and I are constantly dropping movie and t.v. quotes.  What I hope happens, is for someday Cakers to tell her Kindergarten teacher her elf's name, and for that person to get the movie reference.  The teacher will instantly think Cakers has a fantastic sense of humor.  Well, if the teacher is anything like me she will.