Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Something Fun To Do

I just discovered something amusing.

I am reading Bless Me Ultima, which is about the most boring book I've ever read. I remember being pretty bored when I read the beginning of it in high school, too.

The group leading our class discussion asked how we would have felt reading it when we were younger, and I told them I didn't like it and couldn't relate to it, and that even though I took Spanish in high school, the frequent Spanish words made it hard for me to connect with the story.

Well, it was true, and I remember none of the rest of my class liked it either, but this class cares more about diversity than I do. They think it just excellent. And relating to something that we can't relate to teaches us even more than reading about white people. It teaches us that we have things in common with other cultures. Because all cultures have myths and we all care about culture prejudice and self-discovery. And wandering through a boy's dreams and stuff is deep and inspiring to them.

I am insensitive, I guess. But there are more interesting ways of bridging the cultural gap, I think.

So to feel better about it all, I Googled "I hate Bless Me Ultima" and read things other people had written. I am not the only one who thinks this book is boring.

AND THEN! I had a brilliant idea. I started reading the ONE STAR reviews on Amazon, right here in class. Okay, I agree that there are some nice things about this book, but reading bad reviews made me feel much better about not just loving every page.

Here are some of my favorite parts:

1.0 out of 5 stars Slow, slow, slow, December 18, 2008
By Dr. John Laughlin (Glenn Dale, MD) - See all my reviews
This is a rather long work tha plods along like a melting glacier about the story of a youg boy, his family and his attachment to a healer known as Ultima. You expect the book to pick up steam on the next page only to contiue in this slow, endless march through blandness and bordom. How it won awards is beyond me.
John, author of Reading Thomas Merton

1.0 out of 5 stars WORST BOOK EVER WRITTEN,
June 30, 1999
By A Customer
I'd have given this book negative five stars if it were an option. This novel has a mind-numbingly boring storyline, with almost zero plot, characters you couldn't care less about, unrealistic scenes, cheap symbolism and dumb 'plot twists'. Why anyone would want to read about a stupid little boy who follows an old con artist around 'curing' people with 'curses' that are probably nothing more than the flu is beyond me. I found it difficult to care about Tony's family and their problems. I felt that it was a quasi-noble effort to represent a struggle between good and evil, considering that no one in the story was pure good or pure evil.

1.0 out of 5 stars Let me wake up from my deep sleep,
December 10, 2001
"Bless Me Ultima" was a story that always put [m]e to sleep. If I needed a nap, this story never let me down. It took me hours to read just a few pages. I would sit down to read the book and then after a few minutes my eyes would get heavy and dry and the story never helped me wake up. I would rather sit around looking at the ceiling and counting how many holes there are in it. Or maybe even see how many fibers I could count in the carpet. Any of those things were more interesting than "Bless Me Ultima".
Another annoying thing about the book was the frequent use of Spanish throughout the dialogue. I don't speak Spanish so this put a real hamper on my pleasure of reading the book (if any at all). The Spanish always ruined the mood of the events happening. It made you stop and think, "What is this person trying to say."

I was waiting the whole book for it to get interesting, but it never did. There started to be a little bit of action towards the end of the story, but then it stopped with the end of the book.

Another thing I didn't enjoy was the frequent use of symbolism. I am not a fan of symbolism. I wish that writers could just tell it as it is without having to show it as something else.

The only reason why I gave this book one star was because that was the least that I could give it. If I had a chance to, I would rather give it no stars. I guess you could say that that one star was for giving me long nights of great sleep.

Thanks everyone for hearing me out.

1.0 out of 5 stars badnews, March 8, 2002
By STEVE (Walla Walla, WA USA) - See all my reviews
there is no adjective in the english language to describe the horrors of reading this "book". PLEASE, don't fall victim to reading this atrocity.


Weren't those great?!

I should probably finish this post and start paying attention to class again...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another craft.


How am I so crafty?*

I made a fall wreath. Do you like it?

I've never made a wreath before.

Michael's is having a huge sale right now (50% off all of the leaves and stuff, plus grapevine wreaths are $1.99 instead of $3.99), so I went and bought a bunch of stuff. I didn't really know how much I would need. I just looked at the pre-made wreaths and picked stuff that I wanted, and kind of combined it all. (I think I got about 3x as much stuff as I needed. Oops.)

It was pretty simple. It took about 1 hour to make it. It has nice big leaves, smaller leaves that have glitter on them, big flowers, small flowers, little leaves that don't have glitter on them, and then a few gourds to add something. Plus a bow and then I used the same ribbon to tie it to the hook thing on J's front door. (His front door needed something because it is actually a back door, so I think the wreath will help people feel more like they are in the right place, instead of at someone's back door.) (I am also making him a sign with his last name on it, to put outside near the glass door that people need to go in to get to the back-front door.)

Now I want to make a wreath for every month and decorations for every season. Also, AUTUMN letters like Jessica's SUMMER and SPRING ones.

(P.S. I rotated the picture and saved it, soooo, not really sure why it's still sideways.)

* I'm not very good at being crafty, actually. Not yet. I decided I would use the glue gun to keep the ends of the bow from unraveling. You know, kind of like nail polish on nylons. So I put a line of glue on the bottom of one of the ends, and pinched my thumb and middle finger together and pulled them along the bottom, to spread the glue out in a pretty line and make it absorb into the ribbon and also remove the excess. Of course, right? Just like nail polish. Exceeepppt, hot glue is hot. So it HURT. And I peeled the glue off of my finger as soon as I could so that it would stop burning, excepppt, my finger came off with the glue. Ouuuuch! And gross! So I didn't pull the glue off of my thumb. I just left it on. And when it finally came off, it had a big blister beneath the glue. So no wonder my finger came off when I pulled the other glue off. I'll get better. I will. I'm learning.

Monday, September 14, 2009

*-cRaFt NiGhT!!!-*

J and I keep having SO SO many cRaFt NiGhTs, it's hard to even keep up with my blogging!


We've had this problem lately, which is, the roof leaks. J was thinking he needed to have the roof re-$loped, but we ended up deciding that the real problem is not actually the valley between the front and back of the house. [Actually, it's that the flashing (metal stuff) around the chimney is totally not up against the chimney right, so water can get in. (SOLUTION: put tar inside and use a special drill bit and special screws and uh, I forget what else, to reattach it better.) It's kind of confusing, but it will be wayyyy cheaper than having the roof re-sloped. We can do it.]

And then we had ANOTHER problem, which was, part of the skylight over J's part of the house flew off the roof a few days ago. (Whoops!) It's just the extra covering, but the actual skylight is cracked, so it is important.

So, it's not that big of a deal unless it rains.

And it's September, so no problem, right? Right?

We were on our way to church yesterday (on time!) and it started sprinkling. Like, sprinkling
big drops, though. So I said a prayer while J drove us back to his house so that we could put painter's plastic up. (Faith promoting story: It stopped raining right after I prayed for time to protect the roof! Neat. After we had the plastic up we went to church for the last two hours, and sometime during church it started raining again.)

We put plastic over the skylight and plastic around the chimney. We thought the whole thing was pretty funny. It looked pretty bad.

And then later in the afternoon, we replaced the skylight cover (because it's supposed to rain more today.) J mostly did that. I re-tarred the roof. I'm going to go back and finish it up, but I got a good start. There were a few cracks in the sealant they had used before.

We were up there for a little while, so Paley came up on the roof to check things out and see what we were doing.

Sometime later I'll blog about our FeNcE ~~~cRaFt NiGhTs!!!~~~