Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quote It

"Do act mysterious, it always keeps them coming back for more."
— Carolyn Keene (Nancy's Mysterious Letter)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Does My Head Look Big in This? (Book Review)

Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full- time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.

Putting on the hijab isn't the end of the journey.  It's just the beginning of it.  p.333
This was a great exploration of one girl choosing to show her beliefs to the world and the consequences that come with those big decisions.  Amal is cool and cocky and definitely 16.  She has a typical relationship with her parents and has some great friendships at school.  She attends a prep school in Australia so when she first decides to wear the hijab she doesn't know how it will go over there.  But she works through that obstacle and a few others.

The novel is in first person and that sometimes threw the tone off for me.  Some books I don't notice it, but I was always aware of it for this book.  It made some of the conversations stilted for me.  But it was nice to be in Amal's head and see how she viewed others.  Sometimes she was paranoid that strangers were judging her and sometimes she was right and sometimes not.  There were many interesting parallels drawn to her situation and that of her overweight friend and to the Greek next door neighbor and to her Japanese friend and to some of her extended family who pretend not to be Muslim.  There was a great message of tolerance and remaining true to your beliefs and yourself.  And I learned a little about Islam and a lot about what the hijab means.

cross posted with The Little Bookworm 

ETA: corrected 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gidget (movie)

Gidget is irrepressible tomboy who sees no reasons to hunt down boys and go on dates... until the day she is saved by Moondoggie, the gorgeous surfer.  Gidget is determined to learn how to surf and snag Moondoggie while she is at it.  But he only sees her as a little girl so Gidget sets out to change his mind.

First, I'm a HUGE fan of old movies.  I love them.  And Gidget is one of my favorites.  I love Sandra Dee and how cute is she.  I love the clothes they wear and  James Darren is so very good looking.  He is the only one of the original cast to play his character through three movies.  There are two other movies from around this time, Gidget Goes Hawaiian with Deborah Walley (who is in one of my other favorite movies, Summer Magic with Hayley Mills)  and Gidget Goes to Rome with Cindy Carol who is my least favorite Gidget.  Gidget is very excitable and funny and innocent but only annoying in the Rome movie and that has a lot to do with the way Carol plays her. 

Anyway, this was the first movie and one of the first "beach movies."  There are only two songs, both sung by Darren, so it doesn't really count as a musical.  It does always surprise me how much innuendo there is in old movies, but the humor is so clean compared to what we watch now, that it is just funny and cute.  The close ups during surfing scenes are laughable.  But it is a very fun movie.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Believe Dat!

After an nerve-racking game during which my husband and I expressed doubts to the Saints ability to win, they actually won!  This is obviously an unprecedented event in Louisiana history and there was much excitement and jubilation in neighborhoods across the state.  There were even fireworks in my parent's and in-law's neighborhoods.  And it was impossible to make a call or send a text.

It's hard to explain why this means so much.  We just don't get nice things here.  (Well, except for LSU)  Everyone stills talks about Katrina and what the Saints have meant to that city.  And it's a lot for sure.  But down here Katrina is a hard thing to mention and the sadness and desolation of that time is still with everyone.  Even the people not from New Orleans had to deal with the fallout of that storm.  I can't begin to describe the heartbreak I went home with everyday after helping the people who made it out and had no home, no anything anymore.  And things never really picked up from there.  It's just one thing after another and the politicians of our state, well, there's not a lot to say, or maybe there is too much, I don't know.

So we are use to disappointment around here.  And the Saints haven't made it easy.  We've all hung in there with them and have gotten use to not being winners and then they started winning.  And it was amazing.  Our team just kept going and winning and suddenly everyone was talking Super Bowl but with caution because we've been disappointed before.   And then they won!  And it was freaking AMAZING.  The most nail biting game ever.  I will freely admit that before this season I hadn't watched much football and I became interested because they actually had an all-around good team this year.  But my dad has been a fan forever and I grew up with it.  It wasn't the prettiest win, but it was a win.  And the Saints are going to the SUPERBOWL!  So to everyone saying we don't deserve it, we didn't win it.  Well, we did and we are going and we deserve it more than you will ever know.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

If you're happy and you know it...

I talk a lot about baby names and future second children.  We really would like to have another one soon and were planning on this year.  But it looks like that plan has been paused for a year.  Between the cost of daycare and my lack of vacation time and the fact that we are happy right now just the 3 of us and the dogs, it doesn't seem to be the right time.  We'd like to wait till Bub is older and closer to kindergarten and will be happy to have a little sibling.  It just seems the right thing to do.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Quote It

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction."

— Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry

Friday, January 22, 2010

Old MacDonald had some designers (or "The Fashion Farm") EIEIO

So everyone is excited or disappointed by last week's challenge.  Heidi gives some vague instructions and then they all go to a farm.
Challenge: Create a party look from a burlap potato sack

The models are the clients and they will wear the outfit to an industry party.  The models get to pick the designers.  The models mostly mostly stay with their designers.  There is some minor upset.  It is a one day challenge.  There is a lot of embellishment to choose from.  Emilio is happy to have immunity.  I can't blame him.  I must say this is one of the more interesting challenges in recent history.  After the last two seasons of pure blah and repetition regarding the challenges.  At least, they are throwing some a little new up.  Anyway, Tim comes around to give the side-eye and the "worrieds" and so on.  Jesus might be in trouble, especially if he doesn't listen to Tim.  Mila can't get over Alexis changing designers. I don't know how I feel about Ping.  She irritates me for some reason and her dress is worrisome, to borrow a Gunnism.

Judges: Heidi, Nina, Michael, Lauren Hutton (wow)

Anthony - red, strapless, short dress, very cocktail, pretty
Ping - burlap dress with a fitted top and this skirt that flares at the hips and OMG her butt HANGING out.
Ben - red, short dress with one shoulder and a poofy skirt, pretty
Mila - very tight, silvery dress, very short with a nice detail down the front and back
Anna Marie - greenish (?) knee length almost sundress with potato prints all over that looks textured
Jesse - pants outfit, lined in pink with a button up top, sort of jockey like
Seth Aaron - short dress with a hood and a modish feel
Amy - did a petal like skirt that she dyed the edges of, with a cowl neck top
Janeane - grey and red cocktail dress
Jay - feathery type skirt, v neck top, cute
Emilio - knee length fitted cocktail dress, burlap interlaced with red and leopard (?) stripes
Jesus - green ribbon skirt, brown burlap top, pretty but no real burlap there
Jonathan - slip like dress with black lace
Maya - I don't know
Pamela - short blue strapless dress, NO

Top Three:

Jay - made burlap look expensive
Mila - gaps but looks good
Amy - love it all around

Bottom Three:

Pamela - too short and too tight, not sophisticated
Ping - yeah, her butt is hanging out
Jesus - something cooler, younger.  Heidi not happy about the lack of burlap

Winner:  Jay (!) (His was the best, I agree)
They kept Ping.  WHY?!
Out:  Pamela (aw)

Models of the Runway:

The models are ultra-impressed with Lauren Hutton.  Heidi is not comforting.  Hopefully that girl won't wear that dress because it looks trashy, but she does.  Some of the girls don't understand what mingling means.  There is a lot of mixing up which is unusual and it comes down to Seth Aaron who picks Sarah leaving Elzaveth or whatever to go home.  She was nice but not a strong walker.  Of course, she was modeling Ping's crappy dresses.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

YA Faves and why you should read them

The other day I followed a link to YAnnabe where the blog author talks about her favorite YA books that you haven't read and I was intrigued.  Of her 7, I've only read 2.  So following her directions, here are my 8 (because I don't do things in odd numbers) YA favorites that I've read recently and are possibly underappreciated.

1. Between Mom and Jo - Julie Ann Peters:  Profoundly touching and occasionally heartbreaking look at the dissolution of a lesbian marriage and how it effects the child of that partnership.  Be prepared to have your heart warmed, then broken.

2.  Libryinth - Pearl North: A science fiction book about a giant labyrinth library and the Libyrarians who live and work there.  Includes a good commentary on the importance of communication, tolerance, and reading.

3.  Tantalize - Cynthia Leitich Smith:  I don't know what it is about this book.  It is so tasty, sensual, and sexy.  A very nice take on vampires and werewolves involving a world where those things actually exist.

4.  The Dust of 100 Dogs - A.S. King:  Actually this was listed on the 2010 BBYA list so maybe it doesn't deserve to be here.  But it is one of my favorites about a reincarnated pirate girl and the buried treasure she misplaced 100 lives ago.

5.  Ash - Malinda Lo: Lesbian Cinderella story with a nice twist on the fairy godmother and the abuse the Cinderellas has to take. The whole book is a twist on the fairy tale, but it doesn't lose that fairy tale tone.

6.  Another Kind of Cowboy - Susan Juby: A boy would rather ride dressage than Western style meets a girl who'd rather make trouble than anything else.  It's a nice coming out and growing up story.

7.  Dirty Laundry - Daniel Ehrenhart: A actress goes undercover to learn about a new part and takes part in solving the mystery of a missing girl.  The sense of humor is great in this book and I love the double layers of the story.

8.  Nothing Pink - Mark Hardy:  I just read this the other day and was very moved by this little book.  The main character experiences the joy and pain of his first love and coming out in the 70's.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

King Cake

Mmmm...yummy King Cake.  It only comes around once a year but it is so good.  I'm a big fan of plain cinnamon, but the cream cheese filling ones are pretty good.  Sadly with the new diet regime going on at my house I won't be having a lot of these this year.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quote It

"A quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself."

A.A. Milne

Friday, January 15, 2010

Welcome to the Runway (or "Back to New York")

So it's back to New York for this season.  Thank God.  Maybe it won't suck this season, especially. since Michael and Nina are back full time.
So we are introduced to Seth Henderson who wants to be a fashion icon and has a star tattoo on his neck, Janeane Ceccanti who cries at the thought of Bryant Park and can't work a revolving door, Ping Wu who is a physical therapist, Ben Chmura who went to school for comic book illustration which is very cool, Anthony Williams who is from 'Bama and wants to be pageant designer a la Kane and I'm pretty sure is made of win.  Next up is Jay Sario who has nothing interesting to say, Pamela Ptak who used to be in advertising, Anna Marie Lynett who reminds me of Jewe Strait look wise, Jonathan Peters who reminds me of Nick and uses the phrase "gritty meets pretty," Jesse Lenoir who used to be Jack Sparrow and then became a designer.  Then we meet Mila Hermanovsi who is a costume designer for TV mostly, Maya Luz, Christiane King who is from the Ivory Coast, Jesus Estrada, Emilio Sosa who is a costume designer, and Amy Sarabi.   All the designers go up to the roof to meet Heidi, who is pregnant in this season with little Lou, and Tim Gunn.

They go to Central Park where they are tons of fabrics laying around.  They have to design a representative look and have three minutes to grab what they want.  Then they have to select five fabrics from what they grabbed.  Wow, they get flat screen notebooks.  That's a serious upgrade.

It's so cute how they are still fresh and haven't been worked to the bone yet as they will later.  We meet the models, but we will have a bigger introduction later.  I don't know if I'm going to watch the Model show.  It was ridiculously boring last time.  Anyway, Tim goes around and corrects everyone.  There is some freaking out.  Some of it looks really nice.  Some, not so much.

Judges: Heidi, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, Nicole Richie who is also pregnant but with little Sparrow

Jonathan - short black dress with belt and some detail around the top of the bust and shoulders
Seth - short black/white checked dress, sort of funky and hipster-ish. I think it is cute.
Jesus - long brown crocodile skin dress with one shoulder and a collar and a train
Ben - short orange sequined dress with weird shoulders
Jay - oh no.  Short strapless dress with GIANT rosettes hanging off of it
Pamela - hot pink short dress with short bell sleeves and a v neck.  It's very pretty.
Emilio - short purple/white large scale print with criss-cross pieces.  I can't describe it but it is very pretty.
Jesse- knee length houndstooth (I think) off the shoulder dress, but it turns out to have a jacket with a very red shirt underneath which makes it better
Ping - I don't know.  I just can't.  Hideous is a good word.
Christiane - pretty blue short dress with a print wrapped along it
Amy - short black/white bubble dress with a corset top that looks unfinished
Jeneane - long frumpy dress black at top white on bottom, meh
Mila - A suit like outfit with a square patterned top, a short skirt and a blue jacket.  It's like it's too many pattern
Anthony - black flower print dress with a huge ruffle on one side
Anne Marie - short gold dress with peach accents
Maya - gold dress with a giant ruffle on the shoulder

Top three:

Ping! (What the hell)

Bottom three:


Winner:  Emilio! YAY I really liked his dress.
Out:  Christiane (aw she seemed nice)

I can totally see Heidi as a mom FYI.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Leelou Swag giveaway

Leelou Swag is giving away a Custom Header/Background from Leelou Blogs! That's a $50.00 value folks!

I personally love all the stuff from Leelou Blogs.  I use their desktop calendars every month and they have the cutest layouts.

It was like that one time when I wanted to sleep and no one would let me...oh, wait

Last night when everyone went to bed, I stayed up to beat the game I've been playing (MySims Agents) and it turned out I was almost done so it didn't take long.  I went to bed drowsy and was ready to fall asleep.  AND then my husband kept tossing and turning so that every freaking time I was about to drift off, he would wake me back up.  And then the littlest dog, Java, started whining to go out so BT got up to do that.  Finally everyone settled down and I got to sleep.  Then Java started flipping his bowl at 2:30 AM wanting to eat.  We have never feed the dogs in the middle of the night so I think Java might have lost his mind.  I got up and flick him on the nose and took his bowl away and went back to bed.  So this morning I was/am very tired.

Other people are doing good things so I guess I should try to.  Let's see: Yesterday: playing with Bub, writing on his chalkboard, fajitas made by BT, walking 8000 steps, beating my game

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We'll have fun, fun, fun

Every now and then I think that I don't spend enough time doing stuff with Bub.  Usually we come home and watch TV and eat and then go to bed (not necessarily in that order), but we don't play.  Sometimes we take a walk (we are doing that more since BT and I are trying to get in shape), but we don't do stuff until the weekend.  So last night I decided to stop the boy from watching too much TV and we played.  We played dominoes, and we colored, and played with play-doh.  And it was fun and I know he enjoyed the attention from me.  Although he has hit the questioning phase and so everything is a question like 10 times in a row. But he has become interested in writing and reading and wants me to write everyone's name out and then he "copies" it.  So cute.  I guess we will start working on the alphabet now.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dat's good, yeah

So it's been cold down here and that inspires some warm food.  Last Thursday my husband made a gumbo, Saturday we had boiled shrimp with potatoes and sausage.  And Sunday we had red beans and rice with cornbread.  These are all traditional Cajun foods and I love 'em.  Now BT is from the North, specifically Massachusetts, but that boy can cook, yeah and he makes some fine Cajun food despite being a Yankee.

So he learned to make his own roux, which is the base for gumbo and some other Louisiana dishes and he takes pride in the fact that he makes his own roux.  He has also learned to save the ham bone for his red beans and rice so that in addition to the sausage, it adds some nice ham meat.  Mmmm, c'est bon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Another one of my Christmas presents (this one from my mom) was a Roku.  It's a small box that will stream Netflix movies onto your TV.  And it is the neatest thing.  We are building up our instant watching queue from Netflix and we can watch all kinds of things on it.  I have a couple of seasons of Dora saved for the little man and BT added some movies he likes and I have some shows that I like.  Not everything is available for instant streaming which sucks but then I don't really expect everything to be available.  This is the one present that I got that I think everyone in the family likes the most.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Well, I got a Barnes and Noble Nook for Christmas this year. And, of course, I personalized it right away. So behold Deep Thought.

It is really cool and I love it.  So far I've only downloaded a couple of free books (A Little Princess, Suite Scarlett to name two) and I added an e-book I had bought a couple of months ago (Cleolinda's M15M Wizards) with no problem.  I'm planning on buying very carefully and starting with the free samples and if I like what I read then I will buy it.  I wish my local library would get Overdrive e-books or something and then I could check out books from them.  But anyway, it works really well, though there is a little lag time in changing pages but nothing that bothers me.  And the battery lasts a long time.

My only real problem came on Christmas day when it fell off the desk it was charging on and the metal part of the power cable broke off from the rest of the cable.  And since it was over Christmas it was impossible to find someone to help me.  So when I finally got to the right department, the guy was like No problem and they had a new USB cable at my house the next day.

But anyway, now it is fine and I like reading on it a lot.  It's not like reading on a computer screen.  It actually looks papery.  So far, it's been a worthy investment.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Princess and the Frog

I've seen The Princess and the Frog twice now.  Once I bought the little man to see it and my mom came and then the second time, we went with my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law.  I enjoyed it both times though I think Bub got tired halfway through the second time.  Of course, it was naptime.
I thought it was really well done and I enjoyed all the characters.  I know there was controversy about her being the first black princess and all that it entailed, but I'm not going to comment on that.  Although I will say that instead of the princess being saved, she was the one doing the saving.  But it wasn't so overt and in your face like some movies try to do.
It is a shame that she spends so much time as a frog though.  I enjoyed her character and I liked that both main characters needed to learn lessons before they could get out of their predicement.
And since I'm from South Louisiana, I will say that the Cajun characters were extremely awesome.  I liked Ray the firefly a lot.  Some of the stuff he says is so dead on and most of the accents were perfect.  It is so rare to find a movie with good Louisiana accents (with the exception of Charlotte.  I loved her character, but her accent ... not so much).  There are a couple of jokes that I don't think people will find funny though outside of Louisiana and some things that are very regional.  New Orleans and the bayou are amazingly drawn and dead-on.  My MIL, who is from New Orleans, said it looked like NO she grew up in, not how it looks now.  And the music was so great.  It's not classic like Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid, but it fit the tone of the movie really well.  The zyedco number was wonderful.  So all in all, a great movie.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New seasons of my favorite shows

So Lost is premiering next month on the 2nd and Project Runway this month on the 14th. I'm going to try and do my "thoughts" posts that I was doing before. I really enjoy doing posts like that for some reason. Especially on Lost since it helps me keep my thoughts and theories clear and I can check back later.

In other news, I think Psych is coming back soon and Gossip Girl too. Now that I've finally caught up on it, I can watch it with the rest of the GG fans. I have all of the current (and last :( ) season of Dollhouse saved and I need to get around to watching that some time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Social Justice Challenge - Month 1 - Religious Freedom

So I joined the Social Justice Challenge last month.  This month is focusing on Religious Freedom.  I'll be joining at the Intern level this month, read or choose other media and do an action step.  I'm going to read Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah.

Here are the questions they are asking this month

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of religious freedom?
I would say the ability to practice your religion without fear of persecution or judgment by others who are not of your religion.  I think religious tolerance is important.  To learn that it's okay for others to not believe as you believe.  Personally someone's beliefs do not affect what I believe.  I respect your right to believe as you choose/are taught just I expect others to respect my beliefs.  Everyone should have the freedom to worship or not as they choose.

What knowledge do you have of present threats to religious freedom in our world today? I'll be honest, I'm not really one to pay attention to "issues" or really current events of this nature which is why I joined this challenge.

Why does religious freedom matter to you? It sounds idealistic, but I truly believe that everyone should be allowed to believe in the God of their choosing.  But I do not believe in harming others especially in the name of that God.  Violence leads to nothing good.

Monday, January 4, 2010

MOAR names

So every now and then I like to talk about baby names for the imaginary second child that we will have next year one day.  New names have been added to the list.

For a boy:  Nathaniel William, which is really long I know, but I have my heart set on William for the middle name.  We would call him Nate.  My top favorite is still Calder though.  BT suggested Caleb but I knew a very bad boy named Caleb once and it's not one of my favorites anyway.

For a girl: Charlotte Rose or Anne, which I like a lot, maybe more than Juliet.  We could nickname her Lottie or Charlie, but I would want call her Chuck myself.  Though I think Lottie is a very cute name.  I liked Evangeline, but that was nixed by BT. 

Sophia is out since it was the number 7 most popular name in 2008.
Oh and check out this site, The Baby Name Wizard.  It lets you chart names and does cool things.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all!  I hope that 2010 is great for everyone!