Monday, May 23, 2016

PDX rainbow

taken on the drive home from school / spring 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016

Book forty-two: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

We started this book over a year ago, got about halfway through before Hen lost interest, and came back to it again a few months ago, rereading the first bit a second time. Hen was rapt the entire book, ready and willing and sometimes even begging to read one more chapter. Even the more cerebral moments illustrating the teenage angst Hen and his cohorts were experiencing didn't dissuade him from continuing. This is, of course, what I hoped for. It is so enjoyable to watch his enjoyment in the books and the story as it unfolds. He is old enough to get most of the jokes and he laughs heartily when anything funny takes place. (Or when his papa accidentally-on-purpose mispronounces the names of the characters.)

He still so wants to believe that magic is real, and I am okay with that. He is appreciating the magic of storytelling. What more can a person ask for?

As for myself, this is my fourth or fifth time reading The Order of the Phoenix. I know what is going to happen and when and to whom and yet I can still be surprised and laugh out loud and feel immense sadness. This speaks of the power of Rowling's series. You can know it front and back and sideways and there is still something to be gleaned from the text the next time through it.

42 down plus 10 books to go!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sleepover 2016, Elliot edition

This is a copy of the email I sent to Elliot's parents, Amy and Christian, when he spent the night last Saturday.
Good evening. 

Here's what the two yutes have done so far…

1. played two-touch ball in the hallway
2. made ice cream
3. made props for movie trailer
4. fake woke up with raptor claws 
5. discovered there was a bomb threatening the city*
6. used their enhanced raptor powers to track down bomb and save city
7. returned home (we were fortunate to catch most of that on film, thank goodness)
8. changed into warm, dry clothes
7. started watching Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

For dinner the boys are having oven roasted salmon with fried potatoes and corn.

So far, so good. :)

Elliot is a great kid. Thanks for trusting us with him. 

take care-christie & darren

*For any government surveillance alarms that may have been kicked off by the use of the word "bomb", don't worry. No real bombs are or were threatening the city. Two eight-year olds wanted to make a movie trailer where they save the city with their raptor powers. 

The boys went to bed around 10pm, woke up around 5am, and spent their morning together playing Minecraft and eating pancakes. Plus, we were able to view the new trailer for yet one more movie Hen hopes to make someday with his friends. Of course, I've got that right here for posterity's sake...

Raptor Boys movie trailer from Christie Glynn on Vimeo.

Methinks fun was had by all.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Book forty-one: Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt

Loved it!

Part of me is thinking I should go the whole year and review books with two words only. Loved it! Hated it! Decent read! It'd save me a bunch of time.

Jules and Sylvie lost their mother. They live with their father on land that borders woods with a river. There is snow. And a search by the neighbor's kid for the alleged catamount. There's a fox den where newborn kits are growing accustomed to their surroundings. And there's an accident. But you'll have to read it yourself because I am not giving it away.

41 down plus 11 to go.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book forty: A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Egan's book had me hooked from the beginning. A kleptomaniac at therapy discussing her many adventures in stealing? Sign me up! It gets extremely more convoluted after that. I did lose track and have to go back to refresh the old memory when I couldn't remember the connections between characters. But I digress.

I've come to realize that, for me, what ultimately decides whether or not I like a book or think it's "good" is if I enjoy it. I do try very hard to complete every book, no matter how bad things are going and how little I actually desire to finish. It's my nod to the authors for the very hard task they set for themselves.

Back to Egan's book - it's odd and disjointed but the individual moments are wonderfully constructed. While I may not understand why this received all the fame it got, I certainly liked it.

40 down plus 12 to go!

Monday, May 09, 2016

Beautiful bloom

extreme close-up of Mother's Day flowers in bloom - the smell is as wonderfully beautiful as it looks

Adventures in haircuts, Henry Finn edition

The yute hasn't had too many haircuts in his 8 year old life but yesterday Hen finally decided a cut was necessary. A few too many people mistook him for a girl when we were out on our spring break adventure and it began to bother him. Hen was polite about it but I did catch him muttering, "I'm a boy," under his breath a number of times. With a nickname like Hen and long hair with enviable natural highlights, well, you can't really fault folks for the mistaken gender identity.

There are surprisingly few salons open on Mother's Day but we found one after trying three other locations in the area. So, if you're ever in the need on Mother's Day and close to Sellwood, try Bishops. They're probably open. 

Of course there were pictures…
iPod shot - hence the quality or lack thereof

another poor quality iPod shot

Later with a wardrobe change, better lighting, and the old DSLR

I expect I'll hear ZZ Top's Sharped Dress Man in my head for a few days every time I look at the lad until I get used to his more mature hairstyle. I am a bit curious to know why the stylist chose to part his hair against the natural cowlick. His hairs are already protesting the change and refusing to stay where she put them.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Book thirty-nine: Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

I had super high hopes for this novel because DiCamillo is amazing and her books are fantastic. I can't say that I was extremely disappointed or even minimally disappointed, really, but it wasn't as good as I was expecting. (Since my expectations for DiCamillo are very high this might be unfair to her.)

This story features a young girl named Raymie who is looking to win a beauty pageant so that her picture will be featured in the local paper, her father will see it, and he'll find his way back home. (At the beginning he's left Raymie and her mother to be with his dental hygienist.) A farfetched plan? Yes. But totally reasonable for a pre-teen to think? Absolutely.

Raymie meets two other girls, who have their own reasons for being in the competition, and the threesome end up becoming reluctant friends. The conflicts or obstacles each face are different - Raymie has been abandoned by one parent, Beverly's single mom is negligent if not downright abusive, and Lousiana Elefante (my favorite character with her Luna Lovegood-esque mannerisms) is an orphaned child living in poverty with her grandma, who probably shouldn't be allowed behind the wheel of a car. (That one part with grandma driving the car with the girls in it is particularly harrowing.)

There is a lot to love about this story, it features all of those themes that usually make stories so awesome - love, loss, redemption, solidarity, friendships, strength, etc. But when I compare it, perhaps unfairly, to The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, well, it just doesn't measure up, and maybe it isn't supposed to. I own that. My own reaction to this book is less than it was to that book with the bunny. This does not mean the Raymie Nightingale isn't excellent.

39 down plus 13 to go!

Book thirty-eight: Ravenous by MarcyKate Connolly

A girl's brother is taken by an evil witch in a chicken-legged cabin. (Yeah, I said that right.) If she wants to see him again she has to find the cornucopia and bring it to the witch. Can an evil witch be trusted to keep her word? What can the girl do when no one believes her and will help? When she is captured by those kept secret by the forest, will she be able to convince them to not only free her but assist her so that she can save her brother?

All will be revealed in this enjoyable, fast-paced, adventurous novel. It was totally worth the $2.10 fine I got for not returning it to the library by the due date. I already have Connolly's Monstrous on hold, which I believe shares some characters with Ravenous.

38 down plus 14 to go.