A Short Rant

The Youth Media Awards were announced this week. The book Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly won the Newbery Award. I saw one person on Facebook comment that the one review of the book mentioned that the r word is used a lot in the book. I don’t now what review that was, but I found one on Amazon with the same complaint. Is the r word used in the book? Yes, but you have to look at context. It is used multiple times by the bully against a kid who goes to the resource room for special help. I know that we would rather not see the word, but if you are writing realistic fiction you have to be realistic. I guarantee you kids are still calling other kids retarded no matter how many times we tell them the word is hurtful. It is real for the bully to use the word. Nothing about the book makes it seem this is OK.

In the fall there was a big controversy over the book The Black Witch. There was a review online that pulled several racist comments out and used them to say the book was hurtful and should never have been published. People piled on and posted negative reviews on Goodreads without ever reading the book. I read the book. What they fail to comprehend is that those racist statements in the book were said by racist characters. Some were said by the main character, but the entire point of the book was to see the growth in a character who was raised to believe her race was superior only to realize how wrong that was once she goes to school with other races. Context matters. It was a very good book.

I keep seeing over and over again how books are being pulled from schools because parents complained about language or other content without thinking that this language and content is what makes the book real. Why do you want your kids to read sugar-coated realities? Why are we judging books on a few words instead of on the entire content of the book? Why can’t we read challenging and difficult stories anymore?

Also – there was another school shooting today. We seem to be more active in removing “dangerous” books from schools than we are in keeping actual danger out. Maybe we could fix that?

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While My Face is Numb…

I am home after a trip to the dentist. I am still partially numb. I had some gum lasered off and a tooth filled. I am afraid of what my mouth will feel like when I am no longer numb. I’m hoping it won’t be as bad as I think.  While I am killing time watching women’s luge some random thoughts that aren’t enough for a full post:

The 2018 Youth Media Awards were announced today. Click here to see the winners. I’ve read The Hate U Give and The Long Way Down. Both excellent books. I’ve checked the Newberry and the Printz winners out and will read them soon. I’ve placed holds on several of the Alex Award winners/ This is perfect timing as I was about to finish the last book I had from the library. I’m looking forward to some good reading.

I stopped at Target on the way home today but bought nothing. I stopped to look at some products like facial wash for men, beard balm, generally things that aren’t necessary but might make me feel a little better about myself. I looked at prices and didn’t buy anything because I wasn’t sure it was worth the money. Basically, that I am not worth the money. Some day I will learn to not walk away from buying something for myself. Today was not that day.

Continuing my bad sports year. Braves were bad. Ravens were bad. Kentucky basketball is bad. Libraries on the are where the Braves play might close, possibly because they wasted so much money on a stadium when the existing stadium was fine. I can take a bad team if they are lovable losers. I loved watching the bumbling Braves of the 80’s These teams are not lovable losers. It’s not fun to watch.

Now I’m off to walk the dog and hope that my face doesn’t start hurting. Happy Monday!

 

 

Ice Ice Baby

Due to the threat of impending inclement weather my library closed at 1 today. I also had a free sandwich at Mission BBQ that expired today, so on the way home for my surprise free afternoon I also got a free sandwich. It was the perfect storm of good fortune. I did underestimate the traffic that would already be out at 1PM on a day when many offices and schools closed early.  I also underestimated the level of stupid in the other drivers. Also, I might have a slight issue with road rage.  Anywho, this means that I have time to write a rambling blog post about random stuff instead of reading my book.

We watched the Golden Globes last night. Well,  I watched most of the Golden Globes last night while reading my book. Well, I watched a good portion of the Golden Globes last night while sleeping with my book in my lap. I did see the Seth Meyers monologue and thought he did a good job. I have not seen most of the nominated movies, so I can’t really comment on those awards. I also have not watched many of the TV shows nominated. I was happy to see Aziz Ansari win. I love Master of None. I slept through the Oprah speech, but I will say that I am anti anyone from the entertainment world being our next president. If we keep going this direction, we might as well change the process and make it a reality show. On the plus side, if it was a reality show more people would probably vote. Maybe I’m on to something here.

As I write this, my daughter is watching Friends over and over again. I don’t get the binge watching thing. I can watch a couple of episodes of a show and then I’m ready to move on to something else. I get bored with the same thing over and over no matter how good it is. I need variety. I seem to have lost control of my TV. That’s unfortunate. I guess I will read my book with Friends as my soundtrack.

Happy ice day!

Too Much

I keep trying to decide what to write about, but there’s just too much going on right now to settle on a topic.

Do I write an angry post about Trump? His attack on the first amendment and freedom of press? His threats to pull FEMA out of Puerto Rico? The fact that he is, in fact, a moron? I feel like I could post every day about him and his poor decisions.

Do I write about Harvey Weinstein and the years of people covering up his crimes? Do I write about the fact that too many powerful men(and plenty of men with little power) think this is OK behavior? Do I write about how we elected one of these men president? Do I talk about how sad it is that some men can’t seem to not grope or otherwise assault women and that this is a sign that we need to do a much better job in raising our sons?

Do I write happy news that the Nats once again imploded in the playoffs and will be sitting at home the rest of the postseason? Have I mentioned how much I despise that team?

Or do I go with the option of boring you about my personal stuff? If I do this, do I try to find some funny or do I go with the deep, introspective type of post?

Maybe I can just write a post with a bunch of questions about what I should write about. No, that would be stupid.

My Weird, Rambling “Live” Weekly Wrap Up

Two weeks ago I decided I would start a post each week called the weekly wrap up. I would schedule it to post on Friday and throughout the week I would add my thoughts on things that happened.  Like pretty much everything else with my blogging, I failed. I didn’t start a post this week and didn’t jot down any thoughts on anything.  So, for this week I will try a “live” type of weekly wrap up.

It’s been a crazy week. We had a weekend of Nazi’s and white supremacists marching in Virginia. A woman protesting them killed when someone drove a car in to the crowd. We have a president who refuses to outright condemn the Nazi’s. On the personal side of things, work has been a crazy week of eclipse glasses hysteria. We handed out our first supply Monday morning and were out 3 minutes after we opened the doors. Most of our calls this week were people calling to see if we had glasses. We are handing more out tomorrow. I’m happy to say I won’t be there for that. I’m also happy to say that I decided a couple of months ago to take Monday off as well. I also got word early in the week that my brother was in the hospital with a “cardiac episode” that turned out to be a heart attack. He has been released from the hospital and says he is feeling good. Not the greatest news to wake up to. So, in summary, I submit that I was way to distracted to do a proper weekly wrap up this week.

Instead of some stuff I was going to write about being irritated with people who tend to post “stop talking about the stupid statue debate” and then proceed to talk about it constantly because what they really mean is that they want people to disagree with them to stop talking about it(I lied. I did write about it) I will end with this – Life is short. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow. Don’t live a life of regrets. Don’t live a life filled with hate. Make the most of every day. Love your neighbors. Make the world a better place. Take the time to spend time with friends and family. No one will say on their death bed that they wish they spent more time at work or that they wished they had spent a little more energy on hating people.

Tater’s Weekly Wrap Up 8/11/17

#YATwitter: A friend shared this article about the toxicity on Twitter regarding YA literature. It is a long, but fascinating article mostly dealing with the backlash about the book The Black Witch by Laurie Forest. There are so many things wrong with what’s happening there. Demanding a book be pulled and/or giving it bad reviews without actually reading the book. The attitude of “if I don’t like it no one should have it.” The anger at people who disagree with them. It’s all just so ridiculous. The new favorite American past time is being offended.

The End is Near: Two nations with nuclear weapons. Two countries with nuclear weapons and stupid leaders. Two countries with nuclear weapons and stupid, possibly insane leaders. Two countries with nuclear weapons and stupid, possibly insane leaders in a pissing match. What could possibly go wrong.

Music: I bought a new car in May. The new car comes with a 6 month free trial of Sirius Radio. My wife has a subscription, so I knew about the 80’s station, Hair Nation, and all of the other classic rock type stations. With my subscription I discovered Underground Garage and 1st Wave, but also a station that plays 80’s and 90’s country and the Garth channel. I’ve discovered that I have missed my country roots. More often than not when scanning through my favorites I end up stopping on the country.  I guess it’s the Kentucky in me.

Ravens Game Frustrations: Last night was the first pre-season game for the Ravens. I take light rail in to the games. Every year there is at leat one game(usually more) where light rail is so messed up that it takes way too long to get to the city. Last night was one of those. I finally got to the stadium right as they were singing the national anthem. unfortunately, I still didn’t get in easily. The security lines were long and slow. Even the side entrance I use had a very long line. I watched as person after person had to stop for a bag check. I am apparently one of the few people who does not feel the need to carry a bag to the game. Why don’t they have an express line for me? The security people were very slow clearing people and once the people were cleared it seemed to take them forever to move out of the way for the next person. I got to my seats about 20 minutes after the game started. I will need to adjust my timing for the rest of the games if this is the new normal.

MC Tater Leaves His Comfort Zone

I am not someone who enjoys speaking in front of other people. I’m somewhat OK talking to a group of teenagers, but add any adults to the mix and my anxiety kicks in. Add several hundred adults(including our CEO) to the mix and I feel the need to vomit. That is where I am at the moment. I will not sleep well tonight and I envy the people who can just look forward to a day out of the branch tomorrow.

It all started two years ago when they needed someone to help with a skit at our professional development day. They needed someone to make very boring announcements. I make boring announcements at least once a week at work, so I was perfect for the job. I am about as boring as you can find. The role made for me. So, I went on stage and made some really bad boring announcements. People who don’t work with me thought I was acting. People who know me know that it was not an act. I really am that boring.

The next year rolls around and they need someone to take over the emcee duties. They remember that I was dumb enough to say yes to going on stage the year before, so they assume I am still not smart. They are correct.  I’m possibly even dumber than I was a year ago because I say yes even though I hate public speaking. What was I thinking? I wasn’t. Not thoughts at all. It’s completely empty up there. So, I am now committed(or should be) to speaking in front of several hundred coworkers, including the CEO. I muddle my way through and don’t screw up to badly. People are nice and pretend they enjoyed it so now I am invited back for a second year. I’m thinking maybe I should be really boring on purpose(be myself, I mean) so they won’t invite me back, but I’m afraid that no matter what I do, short of insulting the boss or using inappropriate language, I am in this until I retire. I don’t know who I feel sorry for the most, myself or the people who have to listen to me. It’s a toss-up.

So, now I am less than 24 hours from being on stage and I already feel sick. Why did I do this to myself? Why are they subjecting my coworkers to a day of me again? Why did I ever say yes in the first place? Why do people pretend I’m good at it? So many unanswered questions.