Monday, October 31, 2005

Rant Advocating Not Advocating

I read this article on the MSNBC Web site today, and I can't believe it. Apparently, a Wisconsin Catholic school cancelled a fashion show -- to raise money for the school -- because some of the clothes would be modeled after the American Girls series dolls. And apparently, the American Girls series supports abortion and lesbianism. Now, from what I read in the article, it seems that the American Girls series supports Girls Inc., which is an organization that provides scholarships and education (including sex education), and promotes growing and learning and all that good stuff parents want for their daughters.

First of all, I feel bad for any girl in that area that happened to grow up loving the American Girls series. Anyone who has read them has to realize that those books make girls feel good about themselves. It also helps kids to realize that they have the same problems that kids 20 and 30 years ago had.

On top of that, I am so sick of these organizations that pick up one little detail and ruin things -- events, children's books, etc. -- for everyone else. Even if the organization does something as silly as providing girls with correct information they might actually need one day, like information about safe sex, or supports her right to make her own decisions, especially those about her body, who cares?! Do any kids really research the publishing companies and supporting organizations of the books they read? No. Hell, most adults don't.

I think that some advocacy organizations need to back off people who disagree with them. Some organizations need to back off people who AGREE with them. I don't understand why people can't just sit around and talk to each other about issues that concern them. I don't want anybody shoving any cause down my throat.

Here's the article site, for however long it's still up:

Friday, October 28, 2005

Steph's (Lonely) Book Club (1) -- Read These to Join. Or Don't. Whatever.

My recent and current reads and thoughts:

A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey -- Excellent book. I didn't want to put it down, and now that I'm finished with it, I want to know more. What did James do after the last scene in the book? What did he do yesterday? What did he eat for breakfast this morning? The book was so detailed that I'm actually feeling at a loss because I don't know the answers to these questions. Go out and read it. Now.
P.S. - I took the "Oprah's Book Club" sticker off the book before I read it, out of principle. I wanted to read that before Oprah made her Everyone-Read-This declaration. (Although if I had been in her audience and she personally had bought it for me, I would've left the sticker on.)

The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion -- Bought this last night, read the first couple chapters and I can't wait to leave work and read more. The story is heartbreaking, and I'm only hearing it for the first time. Didion is a writer I've always meant to read, but forget about constantly. The plan is to finish this book (and love it, I'm sure) and then pick up the rest of her collection and be able to point out (to myself) the motivation for sadness in this piece or that, etc. I'll let you know how that goes.

The Liars Club, by Mary Karr -- Started this awhile ago but put it down in favor of A Million Little Pieces. I think that was the right decision. I like this book, but now that I've finished Pieces, The Club is looking pretty sad. (Although, how many books can compete with painfully honest drug addiction and recovery?) I'm getting back into it now, but, in the back of my mind, I keep hearing professors talk about how she couldn't possibly remember all this -- from age seven -- as clearly as she writes it, and she makes no attempt to say, "This is how I remember it, but I could be wrong" or "So-and-so supplemented my memories with facts." I kind of resent that kind of writing. I would have much more respect for her if she had told me from the beginning that she could be making up a lot of the story, or if she inserted "I think" into every chapter or so. I'm way more into random thoughts. (Duh.)

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis -- Started these awhile ago, too, because I saw a preview for the movie, and I won't see it until I've finished the books. I should have read them when I was a kid. It's tragic, really.
So I'm on the third book (The Horse and His Boy) and I really enjoy them. Again, the series got put to the side for Pieces (talking animals vs. crack addicts?), but the books are quick reads and, I say, fun for all ages. I sound like a commercial.

Now I Can Die in Peace, by Bill Simmons -- I'm not actually reading this, but I feel like I am because Bill (my fiance, not the author) reads aloud to me every five minutes. Which I love. I've been trying to get him to read to me since I met him. Then there's me -- I read aloud bits of anything I get my hands on. I think it's because I like my voice so much. (Ha!) But anyway, this book is by an ESPN writer and it's a collection of his past columns about the Red Sox. I think. But he has a whole bunch of footnotes where he ties other stuff (like weddings) into sports and he's really funny. I'll probably read it when Bill's finished (my fiance, not the author).

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll do this more in the future, so that's why I numbered the title. Happy reading.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

"Z, as in zebra..."

It's really inconvenient that nobody can ever spell my last name. I call people and leave them messages to call me back with information -- when we both know that it would be easier for them to just e-mail me -- but it's virtually impossible for me to leave my e-mail address on a message.

"OK, it's S-Z as in zebra-U-L-T as in Tom, etc., etc." Most of the time people think my name starts with an 'S' or a 'C' and that's only the beginning of the real misspelling.

And it won't get any better once I get married. Then it will just turn into "Pavlov-like the dogs-but with a 'U'"...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My Sunny Commute

This morning I had to get up at 5:30 a.m. in order to be at work by 8:30. I slept at Bill's last night, and decided I was going to swing by the deli and get breakfast sandwiches for some of my coworkers. So, with one 20-minute stop at the deli, it took me two hours to get to work. Which actually isn't so bad, considering that day I had the almost-doctor-appointment a couple weeks ago (that they made me reschedule once I got there), it took me three hours to get to work.

Anyway, the point of what I'm saying here is that I actually had a nice drive this morning. And I think it was so nice because when I first got on the road it was dark. There's something really relaxing about driving with the sunrise, watching the clouds move.

Until the fucker in front of you slams on his breaks for no reason and you have to scream at him.

Monday, October 24, 2005

PETITION: Autumn Promoted to Year-Round Season

I am so cold I can't even stand it. What happened to my autumn? Where did the walk-through-the-park-in-a-sweater days go? Where are my crunching leaves? This year, the leaves are either still green or totally gone. Where is all the color?

I want to know who I can talk to about getting fall weather promoted to year-round weather.

Bill and I are getting our engagement pictures done next weekend, and if there isn't beautiful fall scenery in the background, I'm gonna be so mad. Livid, even.

Friday, October 21, 2005

"Thanks. They're fake."

Another reason I shouldn't speak to people:

This morning, a woman I work with told me she liked my earrings. (They're long, dangly, very 80s.) I responded with, "Thanks. They're fake. They make my ears itch."

Now, that just sounds ridiculous. And was there any question that they were fake? They don't sparkle. It's not like they could be confused with diamonds. And why does she care whether or not my ears itch.

Everyone asks why I'm so antisocial. It's because, when I actually do talk to people, I sound like that.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

First Post

First post. What do I say?

Well, first of all I hate when my fiance's little brother says that blogging is stupid. It's not an I'm-a-teeny-bopper thing. It's an I'm-a-writer thing. For me, being a writer -- whether or not I actually write -- is all about wanting to tell everybody everything. So here we are.

This is going to be an outlet for all my random thoughts while I'm at work.