The Stretching of Our Days (And Dime)

October 18, 2019 at 1:47 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

I don’t remember exactly when it was I discovered Scribd, or how for that matter. I know I was trying to figure out Audible, my kid eats audiobooks for breakfast and we have a tendency to need more immediate access than we currently have with our library. Having the *time* to go to the library frequently enough is truly the issue… we just don’t have time. I say that un-ironically, as we have lounged about the house today for nearly eight hours, listening to music and audiobooks in between reading paperback books as well.

But we need those eight hours. We need the time to lounge and read the books. Yes, it’s a luxury many don’t have, but it’s a priority for we homeschoolers (kiddo) and introverts (me). There was co-op yesterday (The Atrium) and swim and music theory class this morning, a birthday party tomorrow. Eight hours to recharge and prepare–in the grand scheme of things–isn’t nearly enough.

Still, here we are, me wrapping up a book and mentally preparing a review, typing a post; kiddo, in her pajamas, playing play dough, listening to Wings of Fire Book Two on Scribd.

For years I lamented, “We have Netflix for television, why can’t we have a Netflix for books?” Lo and Behold! Scribd. It’s Netflix, for books, basically. And I’m smitten. We primarily use the audio function, as we have plenty of paper books lying about and don’t like to read on screens if we can help it. But audio… that allows us to close our eyes, do crochet, or build with legos or play dough. It’s also less expensive than Netflix, and when you share with your friends, you get free months.

Check out Scribd – the membership for readers! Use my link to sign up and you’ll get 60 days free: https://www.scribd.com/ga/7adrgu

Since finding Scribd, we’ve discovered all sorts of books we didn’t know we wanted, and were able to listen to books in our craft and downtime that we would have otherwise been too tired to get to, books the library doesn’t even have available. I was pleasantly surprised to discover my own published works available on Scribd! That excited me to no end.

So far I’ve listened to a vast range of John Piper, C. S. Lewis, Bernard Cornwell, Ann Hood… kiddo has indulged in Karen Cushman, Neil Gaiman, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Beverly Cleary, and the 39 Clues series. Titles like Becoming by Michelle Obama and Educated by Tara Westover were available almost immediately. To my great delight, I was able to listen to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks when the bookstore had completely run out of copies due to school’s required reading lists and I had missplaced my own copy. It’s been a wonderful year (or more) with Scribd in our lives and we look forward to more options as more people discover the app and more publishers add their inventory to the selection.

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It’s a Keeper

November 7, 2015 at 1:06 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

keeper-front-revTitle: Keeper

Author: S. Smith

Genre: Middle Grade/ Young Adult Dystopian Fiction

Length: 200 pages

Many moons ago, it seems like forever now, S. Smith sent me a copy of Seed Savers, the first of her young adult series set in an America where growing your own food has become illegal.  Children were being taught about seeds and produce gardens in whispers; collecting, saving, and planting seeds a prison-worthy offense.

The story couldn’t have come at a better time for me.  It was the summer of 2012, I had a small daughter at home, my husband was out of work, and I had just started spending more time and care actively growing more of our groceries.  On top of that, I was beginning to learn how to forage and was focusing my daughter’s future education on as much regarding sustainability and self-sufficiency as possible.  I wanted taking care of ourselves to come as naturally as literature does for me.  I wanted finding edible grapes in the forest to be as simple as knowing that 2+2 = 4.  Then Seed Savers happened and it felt like the stars had begun to align.

Several books later (Seed Savers, Heirloom, and Lily), we finally have the fourth installment of S. Smith’s world.  The girls, Lily and Clare, have done a lot of growing up.  Siblings Dante and Clare have received a lot more education during their stay in Canada.  Rose is being indoctrinated… bad guys are getting closer and closer to turning everything upside down as rebels have begun starting riots in the street.  Soon, all four kids find themselves in Portland, Oregon, where Seed Savers headquarters has been stationed under a forested park in the city for years.

More and more, the series is resembling the fast paced action political drama of the Divergent series – without the killing, and with the added fun of things like Dandelion syrup being discussed.

Although I was sent an advanced reader’s copy of Keeper, I still made a point to pre-order a final copy for my kindle.  The book is a keeper in every format, and it’s just worth it to be as supportive as possible of this story, help it get told.  I’m looking forward to the day Smith gets a movie or mini-series deal.  Better yet, the homeschool mom in me votes for it to be a Netflix original.

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Young Adult

January 10, 2013 at 10:06 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

Confession:

indiefilms

I have an illness.  I see an indie film and no matter how awful it looks, I feel the urge to give it a shot.  It’s an indie film, which to me means it’s an underdog, and who knows, what if it’s a hidden gem of awesomeness?

Take that and a love for authors, books, stories about authors of books, and Charlize Theron in all her hotness – how could I pass up Young Adult on Netflix?  I just couldn’t.

youngadultposterOh dear God, give me that hour and thirty-three minutes of my life back.

That’s not fair, the movie is good for what it is.  It is well done.  It has a bit of wit to it.  The director of photography did this brilliant thing with a cassette tape and player and the beginning that I totally loved.

But I really don’t think it is possible for a character to stress me out anymore than Mavis Gary just managed.  I mean seriously, what was wrong with that crazy lady?! Everything! That’s what!

She is an alcoholic who drinks way too much diet coke first thing in the morning – out of the bottle.  She is chronically unsatisfied, sleeps around, divorced, 37, at the tale end of writing glory (she was a ghost writer of a young adult series that is a few years past its prime selling years), and oh yeah the most important part: she’s chasing down her married ex-boyfriend who just had a baby with his wife.  It’s a pretty ballsy role for Theron, and she pulls it off brilliantly; I just want to strangle the whole demented story, if strangling a story could ever be possible.

Patton-Oswalt-young-adultThe best part, the part that does make the movie worth a damn, is Patton Oswalt.  I sort of love him.  A lot.  He is an awesome supporting actor that shows up in everything, but I know him best as Joel Mynor in Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse.  He is Mavis’ voice of reason in this little fiasco of a man hunt/coming of age story.  Can you call it a coming of age story if the protagonist is 37? I think not, but I promise you, it fits.  And in the end when the Patton Oswalt’s on-screen sister asks to go back to the Mini-Apple with Mavis, I desperately wanted her to say ‘Can’t I’m taking your super awesome brother.’  Of course, that didn’t happen because despite the Esmeralda/Quasimodo dynamic, Young Adult’s own Quasimodo character was way to good for the likes of the star beauty.

Oh dear God give me that hour and thirty three minutes of my life back – except don’t.  Even though it was kind of painful to watch, it resonates a bit.  Check it out.  Let me know what you make of it.

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Coffee Dating and Honey Shacks

January 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm (In So Many Words) (, , , , , , , )

The Coffee Date

Love Coffee by Ahmed Rabea

I’ve been watching a lot of comedians on Netflix lately, and inevitably each one will have a few minutes devoted to dogging the Coffee Date.  Women will comically lament: Shouldn’t a man spend money on dinner? What’s with only shelling out a few bucks for coffee? Men talk about how it’s the worst idea ever because you’ll both have bad breath and diarrhea.  And so on.  I always laugh, because I see their point – kind of, and of course, they say it in a way that forces one to laugh – which is why they get paid to do what they do.  But when all is said and done, I think: I love coffee dates.  I loved them when I was dating, and I love them now that I’m married.

See, the coffee date is the perfect date.  You just met someone; you don’t know them well enough to know whether you’d like to suffer through dinner.  You can dodge out of a coffee date 10 minutes in, and its no big deal, you only met for coffee after all. Not so with a dinner date, where you have to at least wait for the bill to be dropped off, or you’d be considered an absolute jerk.  Or, if things are going well, you can sit for hours and no one cares, you can have intimate conversations in typically comfy chairs in a very cozy environment.  And with most coffee shops, if you get hungry while you’re there, its easy to order something to snack on for a bit without gorging yourself on food.  It also offers the easiest chance to turn coffee into something more than coffee: We’ve enjoyed this coffee, let’s take a walk.  After dinner walks tend to be a bit awkward and anticlimactic.  You’ve already eaten too much,  your outfit doesn’t fit the way it did when you got in, and you’re more likely to have to pee halfway through the walk, because you already sat through dinner and now you’re digesting.

I find coffee dates exceptionally more interesting and better for ‘dating’ than even the movie date.  The movie date, to me, is the worst kind of date.  This date is the date that says, ‘I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to know you, I just want to put in two hours of time so I don’t look like a slut when I make out with you.’  It says: I don’t put much time into thinking, and just want to sit with you in a dark room, where I can cop a feel.  It says: my thoughts on dating haven’t progressed passed high school.  Movie dates are for married people, who don’t need to talk, and just want to get out of the house for a change of pace, not for people just starting out.

But if you’re truly trying to get to know someone, which is what ‘dating’ is supposed to be, getting together for coffee is awesome.  It’s possible that it’s just the book nerd in me, and we tend to be coffee/tea folk, but I just really feel like half ofAmericalooks for the wrong thing when they date. ‘How much money is he spending on me?’ is just not a suitable date night criteria.

 

Side Note for My Tea People

Image from http://www.dreamstime.comI was contemplating this blog rant on my way home from church today when I stopped at my local honey stand.  As a huge coffee and tea drinker, I go through a lot of honey.  What’s tea without honey?  And in doing so, I’ve chosen to “support my local bees” as Bob’s sign proudly announces at the bee shack on Kuykendahl and Spring Cypress.

The bees are from A.C. Bees, here in Spring, and the stand is Bob’s Local Honey.  The honey is the best you can buy, and when you bring his glass jars back, he’ll give you a $1/ jar cash or towards a purchase.  My family goes through tons of this stuff, so I wanted to share.  He’s there at the stand Tuesday through Sunday and his phone number is 713-628-4774, call if you have any questions.

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