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Archive for October, 2010

TSS: Rally to Restore Sanity

Posted by Caitie F on October 31, 2010

My husband and I headed to DC on Friday to go to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear hosted by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. We got stuck in traffic on our way there (big shock!) and didn’t get to our hotel until about 8 and just went to Chili’s for dinner. I was hoping we could head to Alexandria or Georgetown for dinner but it just didn’t work out.

We woke up early so we could get breakfast, check out of the hotel, and get to Pentagon City to park and take the metro. We only had to wait for one train, it was full, but we got on and were able to get to L’Efante Plaza without too much difficultly. We got there around 10 and were only about 100 yards away from stage, and if you saw the pictures of the mall, it was pretty close!

Right after we got to our spots, they started showing all the clips from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report leading up to the rally. It was really cool to see them all together, especially since we don’t watch The Colbert Report. It kept us entertained for a couple of hours while we waited! We also saw some great signs/

The middle sign was the best of the day!

They were timely

And there were quite a few pro-Prop 19 signs too.

At noon, The Roots came on and we spent 35 minutes waiting for them to be over. As were most people in the crowd. They are an okay group, but why have THEM open up? They have had one hit song?

We were really excited when the Mythbusters guys came out. I hear it was underwhelming on TV, but it was a lot of fun being there! Jason’s foot was bothering him, so he didn’t jump, but felt the ground shake when everyone else did.

After they were done, Jon Stewart came out and the crowd went nuts.

Stephen Colbert was in a “bunker” under the stage because he was afraid no one came then came up like the miners did.

One of the coolest things was when Jon Stewart had Cat Stevens (now goes by Joseph pronounced Juseph) to sing Peace Train.

Stephen Colbert would have none of the peace though, so he stopped Joseph and got booed like crazy. Until he brought out…Ozzy Osbourne who did some of Crazy Train.

They went back and forth until they both walked offstage. They found a train they could agree on and the O Jay’s came on sang Love Train.

We really enjoyed the Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow song – how appropriate for the rally!  The different awards for fear and sanity that were given out were really funny and entertaining! I couldn’t believe that all those news organization did not let employees goes to the rally. It is ridiculous!

The best part was at the end when Jon Stewart got serious and talked about how the media over blows everything and with everything being scary, we can’t see the things going on that are scary and are important. He also talked about how we all need to work together at it happens everywhere other than Washington on what we see on TV. I know he was preaching to the choir, but it made me think we could actually do something.

Overall, we were glad we went We watched some of it on TV (we recorded it on our DVR) and it was WAY better being there. It was great and something we will remember forever!

What a great time!

Posted in Editorial | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

I Am Messenger Winner!

Posted by Caitie F on October 31, 2010

I used Random.org to pick a number and it was 6 which was

 

Melissa!

 

She has been emailed and has 72 to hours to respond! Congrats!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The Best Part of Halloween!

Posted by Caitie F on October 28, 2010


My favorite thing about Halloween was trick or treating. Not for the costumes or going around the neighborhood, but for the candy. I have a sweet tooth, so it was always fun. My parents were good about making us ration it out and not pig out in a couple days, so it would usually last until right around Christmas.

We had a great time trick or treating. I grew up on a dead end street, but on the other side of the dead end street was a moderately wealthy (and large) neighborhood and we would go there. My mom would usually go with my older brother and I house to house. Once we hit middle school and brought friends the parents would wait at the end of a street, let us do the street then walk with us to the next one.

I stopped trick or treating once I hit high school, and since then I hit up Target and CVS 5 days after Halloween to get all the leftover candy on super discount sale.

I thought I would talk about the best (and worst) of the candy in my opinion at least.

Bit O Honey and Mary Janes – Let me just get it out there, these were the WORST. No one likes them. They would always go straight into the garbage at our house. Why would anyone give these things out? Maybe it is the whole “give out things you don’t like so you don’t eat it all” but I think it was just mean.

Twix: The holy grail of candy for me. How can you not love Twix – it is a cookie + chocolate+ caramel therefore it = bliss. Only a few house ever had these, but they continue to be my favorite candy bars.

Snickers: Now I have never been a fan of Snickers, but I liked getting them on Halloween. How does that make any sense? Well they were one of the ultimates for trading with my brother or other kids at school. Most kids loved them so I could get some of my favorites in return.

Reese’s: The awesomeness of Reese’s really depended on what kind they were. The small individually wrapped in foil were meh (but as an adult, they are my favorite). The one cup package was good. The Reese’s pumpkins were by far the best. So much peanut butter goodness. I try to find a store that sells them individually each year just to enjoy one.

Bite Sized candy bars. Again, as a kid, these bugged me since they were so small (though people usually let you have two). Now, I love them. They are one of the first things I look for in my post-Halloween shopping because I am trying to be healthy (but still need my sugar!)

Caramel Apple Pops: Have you ever had these? If not, you are missing out. I got one of these the last year I ever trick or treated and I thought they were delicious. I sometimes buy them when it is not Halloween!

Tootsie Rolls: Lots of kids I knew didn’t like getting these, but I enjoyed them (as long as I didn’t get 40). They were small, but delicious and you could make them last a while.

Blow Pops, Tootie Roll Pops, and Dum Dums: Lollipops were another favorite of mine. They lasted longer and had so many different flavors. There weren’t any bad flavors that everyone hated, so you could usually trade for your favorites.

The Special houses: You know the ones I am talking about. They have the different stuff and different in a good way. One house had full sized candy bars. The people who owned a local potato chip company lived in the development and gave out bags of chips. The first house we hit in the other development had something special depending on the weather. If it was a warm Halloween, they would be passing out ice pops. If it was cold, hot chocolate or cider (and they always gave some to the parents too).

Our street would also have special candy since we were such a small street. Well, there would be two containers. One would have regular candy to give out to kids that didn’t live on the street, but there was another with specially made bags for all the kids on the street that had the really good stuff.

What is your favorite candy? What did you just toss out? Let me know in the comments!

 

Posted in holidays | Tagged: | 8 Comments »

Fright Fest: What Scares Me

Posted by Caitie F on October 27, 2010

Frights Fest is being hosted by Jenn’s Bookshelves. Go check out all the spooky posts!

It is almost Halloween so I have been thinking of all the creepy things that scare me,,,and I am a wuss!

Scary Movies

I cannot watch scary movies. At all. The scariest I can handle is Sixth Sense level, so more suspense than really scary. Anything more than that and I can’t sleep. The worst are the things like Paranormal Activity or Saw. Things that could actually happen.  I know myself enough to know that I just shouldn’t watch it! Name a scary movie, most likely I have never seen it. I am not scared of the slasher films, but I saw 10 minutes of one and it made me queasy so those are out too!

Zombies

Of all of the creatures, zombies creep me out the most, especially if they are the kind that can move fast. The slow ones, ok as long as there isn’t a zombie apocalypse, maybe I could handle them, I do know to aim for the head, but they are still freaky. They freak me out so much because they are people you know who have lost their humanity and just want to eat your brains.

That said, i just finished Zombies vs Unicorns and I may be Team Zombie just because the stories were cool. Not to say the Unicorn stories weren’t cool, they were, but Maureen Johnson and Libba Bray wrote zombie stories!@ Go read the book, it rocks.

Bugs

I know this fear is COMPLETELY irrational. They are teeny tiny little things and almost ll of them don’t mess with us, but they all creep me out. I don’t like how they crawl on your skin sometimes. I shudder just thinking of it.

Vampires

I don’t get why people think vampires are sexy. They aren’t, they are scary. They have super human powers like speed and strength and can kill you really easily. They long for one of the main things that keeps us alive! That said, I can handle vampire genre better than others because they always try to tell us they aren’t as bad as humans (aka True Blood but I am a season behind). Still, I don’t get the appeal and find them so scary that we can’t watch True Blood at night.

Monsters

Any monsters that are out to get humans scare me quite a bit too. Whether it is the monster from Frankenstein, or the creature from the Black Lagoon, I think it is scary. If it goes after people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, I think it might be the scariest of them all. You don’t have to do something wrong or associate with the wrong people/beings. You are just taking a stroll with your sweetheart on a sunny day on a lane and it gets you. How is that NOT scary?

What are you afraid of? Let me know in the comments!

 

**On Halloween I am going to do a post about what I am truly afraid of, the things that don’t go bump in the night. Well, maybe Sunday. We are going to the Rally for Sanity on Saturday, so it may be late**

Posted in Editorial, holidays | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Posted by Caitie F on October 22, 2010

Title: The Duff
Author: Kody Keplinger
Hardback: 288 pages
Publisher: Poppy (Little, Brown)
ISBN:  9780316084239
Rating: +++++

Summary (from goodreads):

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “Duffy,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Note: This is labeled as YA, but I think it is best for girls who are comfortable enough with issues of sex and are smart enough to know that this book isn’t saying everyone should go and have sex. It has important issues that I think teenagers need to think about, but if someone cannot handle it, they should not read it. If you hate swearing in books, it is also not for you. It is not just there to be there, it is only used when it fits.

Review:

This book is about more than just being the “Designated, Ugly, Fat Friend”. It is about friendship, love, female empowerment, family, and not letting others dictate what or who you are.  This is not really going to be a traditional review, so I will let you know that it is a great great book and you should go read it. That said, I want to talk about a couple of issues with females in the book.

Duff is used throughout the book – first as an insult, then as a nickname, and then as a term for bonding. I think seeing it transform says a lot about words and insults in general. Wesley first uses it to downgrade who she is by saying he is just using her to sleep with her friends. I was really happy when she dumped the Cherry Coke on him after that. Then, they start sleeping together and he uses it as a nickname, and every time it gets to her. It really demonstrates how people don’t get that what they say bothers people. He really doesn’t know and when she finally yells at him for it he apologizes and makes sure he does not use it again. If someone is hurt by something, they need to speak up. I kept wanted her to stand up for herself earlier, but that would not have fit her character. Finally, her friends start using it to take away the sting of the word. I liked that a lot. It shows that none of them are comfortable with themselves and brings them closer together and reminds them that it is okay to not fit their “ideal”.

The other terms that get thrown around are “whore” and “slut”. They are thrown around by Bianca and her friends, other kids at her school, and her father. Wesley says it best when he says that it is something used by people just to try to make women feel bad about themselves. Bianca needs a way to escape, to forget about all the bad stuff going on in her life and makes the choice to have sex as that escape. She is careful about it, so why is that so wrong? She isn’t doing it to gain confidence or because men pressure her, it is HER choice of what she wants to do with HER body. There isn’t anything wrong with that. No one should judge her for it and women need to stop judging each other and attacking each other with degrading terms.

Like I said above, it isn’t for all teenagers, I know not everyone could handle it. I also know there would be parents who would have an issue with their daughter reading about something with swearing and sex, but I think the ideas in the book are great and are things that all young adults can relate to even in college and beyond.

 

Posted in Review | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

Posted by Caitie F on October 21, 2010

Title: Losing Faith
Author: Denise Jaden
Paperback: 377 pages:
Publisher: Simon Pulse
ISBN: 9781416996095
Rating:++++

Summary (from goodreads):

A terrible secret. A terrible fate.
When Brie’s sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie’s world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.
As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don’t line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night…a secret that puts her own life in danger.

Review

I thought this was a very good YA book that tackled faith and death in an interesting way. It is also a great mystery that is intense and exciting mixed in with boys and high school drama.

Faith: the thing, not the girl. This book takes a very interesting look a faith. And it isn’t bashing you over the head, it is subtle and in the background, but it is there. Even though Brie does not have much faith anymore, it is a big part of her life because her parents are so involved in the church, so there are touches on religious faith and what happened when you lose it. Her parents handle things very differently, her father jumps back in and uses his faith to guide him, while her mother shuts down.

As much as it is about religious faith, it is also about faith in others. Brie and her sister were not close, but she knows her sister would not have killed herself. She has to use her own brand of faith to start to trust her new friends and let them help her, when everyone else is keeping their distance.

Death: This handles death really well. I felt sad for the family’s loss, especially when I realized that none of them really knew her. It did a great job of showing how true that is. Brie’s fickle “friend” said something along the lines of “your sister who you didn’t even care about until she was dead”. So much of the time we don’t get to know someone or show them we care while they are around because we figure we can do that later and they will be around forever, but they aren’t. We tend to realize it too late and this book reminded me to get to know my family a little better. I actually called my older brother that day and had a great conversation!

High School: It also made me think of how mean high schoolers can be. Once her sister is gone, no one is really interested in her anymore. Her boyfriend acts like a jerk. Her best friend doesn’t care and betrays her. People show their true colors when times get hard and it is always tough, but the sting in high school can be even worse. Luckily, people show who they really are in a good way too

Boys: I couldn’t get interested in the romance. I mean, I liked Alis, he was a cool guy and sweet and everything, but with everything else going on, I just didn’t care. I liked their friendly interactions, but I felt that it took away a little from the other relationships in the book that were told better (Tessa, her parents, etc).

Mystery: Do not expect a fast paced mystery with this book. A lot of figuring things out was done slowly and over time in order to develop some of the other issues that I have discussed in the review.

Overall, I really enjoyed it and look forward to more of her books! I am interested in reading other YA mysteries, I forget how much I like them until I read one. Do you have any suggestions? Let me know in the comments!

 

Posted in Review | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

Posted by Caitie F on October 20, 2010

Title: The Unidentified
Author: Rae Mariz
Hardback: 336 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
ISBN:  9780061802089
Rating: +++++

Summary (from goodreads):

Kid knows her school’s corporate sponsors not-so-secretly monitor her friendships and activities for market research. It’s all a part of the Game; the alternative education system designed to use the addictive kick from video games to encourage academic learning. Everyday, a captive audience of students ages 13-17 enter the nationwide chain store-like Game locations to play.
When a group calling themselves The Unidentified simulates a suicide to protest the power structure of their school, Kid’s investigation into their pranks attracts unwanted attention from the sponsors. As Kid finds out she doesn’t have rights to her ideas, her privacy, or identity, she and her friends look for a way to revolt in a place where all acts of rebellion are just spun into the next new ad campaign

Review:

After a few eh werewolf books, I have read a few excellent YA books, this one included. This is a case where you should not just toss this book away for its description because you think it might just be trying to be The Hunger Games like my husband did. It isn’t that at all. The Game in this book isn’t something set up to punish people, it is because the government can no longer fund schools, so corporations are now in charge. They use this power to monitor the students every move and use it for their own research and marketing. Kids can get branded, which means they get special privileges and free stuff – a whole new level of popularity.

They are not just monitoring what kids are wearing or what they are talking about, but also every conversation they have so they can try and control the kids that don’t toe the line. They control every single kid in the country and have enough influence over the government that they make being part of the Game is the only way they can socialize (most stores that aren’t controlling the “schools” won’t let anyone under 17 in). And if anyone who works there shows any disagreement or tries to actually help students, they are automatically fired.

And there are people who want to privatize all schools.

The story is great and kept me interested, so much so that I couldn’t put it down. The world that she built is fascinating, mostly because I could see it become reality. Kid never bought into the branding an popularity, she was just a level-headed teenager who appreciated the friends she had and didn’t need to seek out anything more. Her take on being in the VIP group was really different and enlightening. In contrast her “best friend” wanted it all – the brand, the popularity, the power so much so that she lets her jealousy take over.

It also featured an interesting relationship with her mother. Kid’s mother is very protective, so much so that she won’t even let her Game Card be connected to the metro. At first it seems overbearing and annoying, but later in the book I started to understand that it was more about wanting her daughters life to be better than her own. I wish this relationship had been explored a little more, but I thought it was very realistic and believable.

If you want a story that ties up nicely in the end, this may not be the book for you, but it is a reason that I liked it so much. It isn’t about whether Kid lives happily ever after because it is about more than that and it is fantastic

Posted in Review | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak & Giveaway!

Posted by Caitie F on October 20, 2010

Title: I Am the Messenger
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Knopf
Paperback: 357 pages
ISBN: 978037583667
Rating: +++++

Summary (from goodreads):

Meet Ed Kennedy—underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That’s when the first Ace arrives. That’s when Ed becomes the messenger. . . .

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?

Review:

Wow. This book was amazing. Absolutely amazing. I loved everything about it. I loved Ed. He was such a flawed, scared guy not doing anything and watching him transform was amazing. He got courage and purpose and strength. He saw more in the world around him and became a better man. He was more aware and more interested in people. He was the perfect character for the message to be a part of.

I loved how the plot progressed. He started helping out complete strangers, but then saw that people he was closer to needed help also. He didn’t realize so much about the people around him because he did not bother to ask, did not bother to care. Once he feels like he needs to as a mission, he changes lives and the journey he goes on in amazing to read and witness.

I have heard there are mixed feelings about the ending, especially with who gave him those playing cards with the missions. I won’t give it away, but I loved it. I thought it was brilliant writing and story telling. It really said something about the process and what authors can do.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book is that it made me feel like shit. I don’t do much to help other people even though I could do the small things he does in the book. There are people in my community who needs something, people at work, even my friends, but I don’t know where to start. He gave a family hope by giving them new Christmas lights. I wish I knew what I could do because if we all made what Ed did our mission, the world would be a whole lot better. I am going to start with something simple – I am going through all my clothes and giving two bags to a local charity.

I want someone else to be able to read this book, so I am giving it away to one lucky reader. This contest will go until October 30th.

To enter
+1 for a comment with what you can do to help others around you.
+1 for following
+1 for tweeting/facebooking/linking to contest

Please put all of your entries in one comment and good luck!

Posted in Contest, Review | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »

Final Interview on Rach Writes

Posted by Caitie F on October 19, 2010

The final part of my interview on Rach Writes has been posted. Go and find out…

– the specific things that agent interns report on when assessing queries/manuscript submissions for a literary agent, plus more about queries

Check it out!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Why I Want To Be An . . . Editor

Posted by Caitie F on October 19, 2010

To see what this series is all about go to the introduction post.

So why I want to be an editor is pretty easy. This is the “Holy Grail” or the publishing program. On the first day of the introduction class we went around saying what we wanted to do in publishing. All but two people said an editor of some kind. Everyone wants to be an editor, at least when they start. By the end of the class, many people had opened up their minds to other parts of publishing that they enjoyed more.

I am interested in being an editor for many reason.

1. Working with authors. Authors are great people. They do something that I could never do. They can be difficult to work with, but they are brilliant people. I want to help their brilliance shine. Their works are their babies, it is hard for them to see what is wrong or what can be done to make it go from good to great and I really want to help them. The editor is the person at the publishing house with a relationship with the author. Editors are also the champion of the book and try to get everyone else as excited as they are.

2. Working with all parts of the process. Editors get to have some input on everything. They look at the big picture for a book from the beginning and work with everyone else. I like thinking about the big picture and not just if commas are used correctly, though that is important too. They can give overall direction to the different departments and help along every step.

3. Something different every day. Since editors are working on different projects, they really do something different every single day. They could have a board meeting one day, trying to convince everyone that their book needs to be published. Later that day, they are reading a manuscript and making comments to send back to the author. The next day, they could be hopping on a plane to go to a conference where they get to look for new talent.

4. Setting trends. Editors get to tell people what the next big thing is and set the trends. If it wasn’t for editors, vampires would not be taking over the book shelves, TVs, and movie theaters. Okay, that may not be the best example because vampires bug me, but now you know who to blame :-D. They also decide when a trend is over and has run its course. *hint hint on the vampires and werewolves here*.

Those are just four reasons I would love to be an editor. I could write at least four more.
What do you think would be most or least appealing about being an editor? Let Me know in the comments!

Next week, I will talk about why I want to be in Marketing!

 

Posted in Editorial, Publishing | 1 Comment »