Archive for September, 2010

Book review: Harmonic Feedback

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

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Author:Tara Kelly
Reading Level (Conceptual):Sophisticated readers
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 12 and up
Year of publication:2010

I really liked this book: it's told from the perspective of a girl diagnosed with Asperger's and ADHD.

Her biggest challenge in the book was realizing that the labels "normal" and "abnormal" are nothing more than labels, and that nobody is the same, so "normal" is subjective.

I found that her mental journey to that realization was very well put together and really hit home.

Note: High school level: drugs, sex.

-- Fizzy

If you found this review helpful and/or interesting, consider supporting our book habit: Buy this book!: Harmonic Feedback

9/11/2001 and beyond

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

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I commuted to NYC (Jersey City PATH train to WTC or Amtrak to WTC) daily for quite a while. And for a while I worked in a building with windows facing the WTC – watched the window washers swaying on the upper floors with fascination and dread.

WTC was really a very unpleasant building to be in. At the subway level, and the level of the shops just above, it stank of urine and the homeless who lived there were in terrible shape.

And yet that absence on the skyline tugs at my stomach every time.

On 9/11/2001 I woke up to NPR re-broadcasting the planes heading into the WTC; spent the whole day hoping our younger one hadn’t heard anything about it at school, but of course she had.

I didn’t even try to get hold of my many friends in NYC until Sept. 12 and when I did the phones were all down and emails were not returned, sometimes until weeks later.

One friend, Tom, FedEx-ed me, at my request, the black-covered New Yorker magazine that I for some reason desperately needed to read. My friend, Elizabeth, told me of the terrible filthy smoke and the smells that persisted for weeks.

Now I see that this terrible event has been used to justify all kinds of other really inexcusable incursions into our rights and the rights of others around the globe.

So far, I see very little good that has come out of this and that makes it all the sadder.

In the words of one of my Twitter pals, @pourmecoffee:

Let’s all remember to honor America [on 9/11] by dividing it into groups and being openly hostile to the ones we’re not in.

Or, commemorate @markos birthday and Sept. 11, 2001 in a meaningful way by buying @markos book: American Taliban

Some of my favorite reflections on 9/11:

Song reflection: Out There by Dar Williams

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

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Freaky lyrics in this Dar Williams song.

Are they about loss of memory or just about getting to the point in a relationship when you forget all the good things that you enjoyed together?

Even after the anger, it all turned silent
And the everyday turned solitary, so we came to February
First we forgot where we’d planted those bulbs last year
And then we forgot that we’d planted it all
Then we forgot what plants are altogether
And I blamed you for my freezing and forgetting
And the nights were long and cold and scary, can we live through February?

And February was so long that it lasted into March
And found us walking a path alone together
You stopped and pointed and you said, “That’s a crocus”
And I said, “What’s a crocus?”,
And you said, “It’s a flower”
I tried to remember, but I said, “What’s a flower?”

Full Lyrics