Saturday, January 30, 2021

Sunday Synopsis


The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1)The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this book. It was good; don't get me wrong, but there are just a few things about it that bothered me.

The main character is Starr Carter, a 16 year old junior at Williamson, a preppy private school. Her mom enrolled her and her brother there after Starr witnessed her ten-year-old best friend get shot and die in a drive-by. Mom figured that going to a better school would be safer than going to school in their neighborhood, Garden Heights, aka the hood or the ghetto. Starr is into sneakers and basketball. She has a white boyfriend, Chris, and a few good girlfriends, Hailey, also white, and Maya who is Chinese.

Starr is hanging out with her neighborhood (black) friends and goes to a party she really doesn't want to be at. While there, she starts talking to Khalil, a childhood friend whose life has taken a different path. Someone at the party starts shooting, and Khalil and Starr make a quick exit. He agrees to drive her home.

On the way, they are pulled over by police. Instead of standing still like he was told to do, Khalil opens the door to ask if Starr is okay, reaches for his brush, and he is shot. Dead. The death of an unarmed black man at the hands of the police makes national news, and many people are calling him a thug and a drug dealer. At first, Starr denies knowing Khalil, but in the long run, she finds her voice and takes up the cause for justice. This will cause her some trouble in the neighborhood.

One of my thoughts about this book is that the author tried too hard to write "black." For example, she writes, "Bazooka Joe Nike Dunks that I haven’t added to my collection. Kenya always wears fly sneakers." I just think it sounded unrealistic.

Her writing is also extremely inconsistent. Sometimes she will have a character say "ain't" and sometimes "aren't." Sometimes she writes "out of" and other times "outta." Instead of characters saying "gonna" they say "gon."

Another inconsistency is that sometimes a character might say, "Mrs. Pearl say" meaning "Mrs. Pearl said," but other times it's written correctly. There are other errors in verb tense. "Everybody call him that," is occasionally written, "Everybody calls him that." It's just inconsistent which makes me take it less seriously. I also got completely tired of hearing the dad and a few others say, "A'ight."

Grammar aside, the author tries to include another point of view, but isn't very successful with that aspect. Starr's uncle is a police officer who lives in a nice, suburban, quiet neighborhood while Starr, her mom and dad and 2 brothers live in the "ghetto." What she does include about the more affluent people and the police, even the uncle, is mostly unflattering.

Something else is her inclusion of the translation of "Thug Life," according to Tupac. "The Hate U Give Little Infants F****s Everyone." Thus, the title of the book, technically, is THUG. This bothered me because, in my estimation, this is supposed to be a young adult novel, and I just didn't see the appropriateness of it. This novel I wouldn't want my tween or young teen to read this due to the seriousness of the subject matter as well as the language, not to mention, it's long at 447 pages.  But this book was given to keep in my 7th grade classroom, and I think that's too young for it.

I applaud Ms. Thomas for tackling the hefty topic of police reform and injustice and for providing diversity in literature. But without spoiling the book, I will just say that the author basically perpetuated certain stereotypes instead of addressing how to overcome them.

View all my reviews

Friday, January 29, 2021

Friendship Friday

The Friendship Friday Blog Hop is a week-long blog party where you can share what's unique about your blog, including your favorite features, favorite posts, projects, and more. Join the chat in comments.  You can find Friendship Friday Blog Hop at Create with Joy.

If you're new here, I'm Forgetfulone!  Nice to meet you!  I'm really not all that forgetful, either.  Just sometimes.  Like when I'm looking for my phone while I'm using it, or when I can't find my keys.  You know how it is!

I like participating in blog hops and "memes." (Random Tuesday, Happy Tuesday, Image-in-ing, Wordless Wednesday, Thursday Thirteen, (click the Thursday Thirteen link to learn a lot about who I am) and now this one.  I like posting random nonsense, photos, and book reviews.  If you're a reader, check out my Sunday Synopsis posts.  I retired from teaching about a year ago.  Our 3 girls are all married (last one got married Nov. 2020) and one has a baby now, so I'm a Grammy, and I love it! Here she is at 8 months.  She is 11 months now.

She's precious, if I do say so myself.

Here is my first post from back in December of 2005.  I had no idea what I was doing!

I'd love to know more about you, so please leave a comment!  I have made some great friends in real life who were blog friends first.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Thursday Thirteen


Today I'm going to tell you about a few things that I like or enjoy.

1.  Coloring.  I love putting my spin on an artist's rendering, especially those that contain positive affirmations.

2.  Taking photos.  I would be interested in taking a class on photography from our local community college, but I have never done so.

3.  Writing.  I would love to write a novel some day.  I've started one, but it's daunting.  I have written short nonfiction pieces and poetry, but never published anything except for my blog.

4.  Scrapbooking.  This is my absolute favorite!  Take the photos, journal some information, and add decorative papers, flowers, tags, ribbon, washi tape, crystals, lace, and so on till I make a beautiful page.  I also enjoy making cards and other crafts.

This is a diaper cake I made one of our daughters for her baby shower.

5.  Sewing.  I learned to sew in 7th grade and took classes until 10th grade.  A couple of years ago, I started a part time job at Jo Ann and the sewing bug hit me again.  I've made baby towels and baby dresses, nightgowns, pajamas, pillows, headbands, and more.

I made this cute apron my one of our daughters.

6.  Eating chocolate ice cream.  I don't do this every day, thankfully, but I wish I could, especially if the chocolate also has peanut butter flavor.

7.  Decorating.  I helped one of our daughters do some decorating in her new home.  I'm definitely not an expert, but it's fun!

8. Making people laugh.  I'm not a comedienne, but I love silly songs and jokes.  My humor tends to be corny, probably due to teaching middle school for 31 years.  I once wrote a song for our 7th grade daughter (who is grown now) to remind her to get her lunch in the morning and to make her laugh.  It was set to the tune of The Brady Bunch, and of course, it began with, "Here's a story... of a girl named ____."  I don't remember if she remembered her lunch better after that, but I made her smile.

9.  Reading.  I even read on the stationary bike or the treadmill.  Here's what I'm currently reading:

10. Watching true crime shows.  There's Dateline, Snapped, Twisted Sisters, Web of Lies, 48 hours on ID, and more.

11. Learning to cook new dishes.  Since the pandemic began, I have really upped my game.  I've learned how to make chicken parmesan, Caesar chicken, roasted cauliflower, tons of different sauces such as hollandaise, and even 2 kinds of risotto.  But I don't necessarily want to do this every day.  Just when the mood strikes me.

Mushroom risotto

12. My family.  Of course I love them!  And I love spending time with them!  And now, we have an 11 month old grand-baby.  It's wonderful!

Here she is at 8 months.

13. My cat.  I just lover her.  She's so beautiful and soft and sweet!

Click the link to hook up with some other Thursday Thirteen lists!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Photo Wednesday

All flowers today.
An orchid from my daughter

A lily from a bouquet my husband bought me.

A rose from... probably my husband, but I'm not positive.

I'm linking up with image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday.  
Hop over for more photos!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Happy Random Tuesday

 I'm linking up with Sandee and Stacy  today.

I hope your week is off to a good start!  Mine started with taking mine for an oil change, and tomorrow, after I pick up groceries, it's going in the shop.  It's making this weird siren-like sound when I accelerate.  I've searched the internet for possible causes, but I'm going to let the experts take a look.  I hope it doesn't cost an arm and a leg!

When my dad used to watch.

I have been watching SWAT on Hulu lately.  It's been in my list for a long time, so I decided to try it.  I wasn't sure if I would like it, even though I like cop shows, because I thought there would be too much action.  But there's not.  I like it. 
The one I'm watching now.

The theme song takes me back to the 70's.  I'd hear it when my dad was watching TV.  I wasn't into it at that young age, but it only lasted from 1975-1976.  I'm watching the new one that started in 2017, but it's the same theme song!  Really brings back memories.  I miss my dad.

On this day in 1788, a British captain with a fleet of 11 ships sailed to Australia.  Captain Arthur Phillip was tasked with establishing a work camp for 700 British convicts. The 8 month journey resulted in 30 deaths. You can read more about it here if you are so inclined.  January 26 is recognized as Australia Day, so happy day to all of you out there from Australia.

And now...

The closest you'll get to politics on my blog if I can help it!

Childish, I know... but I laughed.

More childish humor.  Makes me giggle!

Isn't this the truth?

This doesn't happen in my house!

~Some kind of magic going on here~

Last, but not least,

Awwwww.  So cute!

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Sunday Synopsis


In Cold BloodIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the first Truman Capote book that I have read, although I'm sure I read his short stories in my American literature classes in college. I don't know what I expected from this book, but I have to say I'm a little disappointed, similar to when I finally read one of Agatha Christie's novels. At first, I was enjoying the easy way he narrated. It reminded me somewhat of Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath at first. It also reminded me of some of the other Southern writers such as Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, and (Capote's childhood friend) Harper Lee. That's good, right? Well, yes, but it changed.

The further I went in the book, the more the reading became almost like a chore. There were far too many sentence fragments - not fragments for effect. I understand using those. I would frequently see something like this, "Under the circumstances." and "Thus the morning." He probably thought it was charming. I didn't. He also frequently used the phrase, "who shall here be known as Mrs. Frederic Johnson." After the second time, it began to annoy me and reminded me of Lemony Snicket (which here means...).

Frequently, I would not know who was narrating. He seemed to use mostly third person, but I would be reading and come to a part with "I" that was NOT part of dialogue, and I wondered, "Who is I?" The retired English teacher in me notices these things.

Last of my criticisms, and what made it a chore in certain places, was Capote would use letters, doctor's diagnoses, statements, court documents, personal recollections in their ENTIRETY which I thought was unnecessary. A good author doesn't want to bore the reader but will pick and choose the necessary parts of these documents and statements to get the point across. Here is one such example of such tediousness: "The murderous potential can become activated, especially if some disequilibrium is already present, when the victim-to-be is unconsciously perceived as a key figure in some past traumatic configuration."

On the flip side, I do like reading about true crime, and this crime was abhorrent. Having southern roots, I also enjoyed the setting. I admire Capote's descriptions of people. Here is one example: "tall people with weight and strength to spare, with wide hands, square and calm and kindly faces—the last being most true of Mrs. Meier..." That is good writing. And Capote doesn't leave the reader with his own opinions but shows both sides of the matter allowing the reader to choose with whom his or her sympathies lie.

Will you enjoy the book? It depends on what style and subject matter appeals to you. I liked and disliked several things about this book, but I'm glad I read it.

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Thursday Thirteen


This post is brought to you by words that begin with the letter "C."

1.  Chocolate - I love chocolate!  I would say, "Who doesn't?" but I have relatives who don't like it.  Strange to me!  Chocolate ice cream is my favorite followed by chocolate milkshakes.  I also like chocolate cake and Reese's.

2.  Calendar - Up until last year, I bought a new calendar every year.  I liked making it neat and pretty and filling it with birthdays and other special events.  Now that I'm retired, I don't really need a physical calendar.  I just use Google calendar on my phone.

3.  Crime - I watch a lot of true crime shows and read a lot of true crime books.  My most recent true crime book was In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.  I also read fictional crime books and watch crime drama.  My favorite used to be Criminal Minds, but I've also watched every episode of Law and Order and Law and Order SVU multiple times.

4.  Classic Rock - This is my favorite music genre, although I like a few other types.  Some of the bands I like are Aerosmith, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, you know, the rock gods!

5.  Coca-Cola - If I had the money, I'd decorate a room with Coke memorabilia.  I love it!  I also love to drink it, but as I've gotten older, I have cut down to one-a-day.

6.  Crafting - I love making anything crafty, painted wood, scrapbooking, sewing, creating with my cricut.  Crafting makes everything better!  It feeds my creative side.

7.  Carrabas - Great restaurant!  I love the rigatoni and the fettucine, but mostly the steak marsala.  I love their house salad, but the best thing is the bread!  Those seasonings with olive oil are incredible with warm bread.

8.  Cauliflower - I just recently discovered that I really like cauliflower.  I used to like it when my mom made it with cheese sauce, but now I prefer it roasted.

9.  Camera - A few years ago, my husband bought me a Canon DSLR camera.  I'd love to use it all the time, but it's not super portable, so I only take it out when I know I'm going to want to take good photos.  Usually, I just use my phone.

10. Children - I love my children, as I'm sure most of you do, too.  I always wanted to be a mom when I was growing up.  I have 5 children, 3 are my husband's and 2 are mine.  Twins. They are all grown up, and I'm getting to be a grammy now.

11. Coloring - I spend a lot of time coloring.  It's something else that feeds my creative side.  No one every sees my coloring, but it's fun to do.

12. Cabinets - I've been cleaning out cabinets lately and finding an assortment of goodies like binoculars, some sheers for the windows, wine glasses, and new toothbrushes.  I've also been accumulating various items to donate.

13. Cats - I think cats are adorable, and I happen to believe that mine is extra-special.  She has beautiful green eyes and is so soft!  She's the best!

Link up and join the fun at Thursday Thirteen!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Happy Random Tuesday

 Let's link up with Comedy Plus and Stacy Uncorked.

I FINALLY finished reading Truman Capote's true crime book In Cold Blood.  (More on why it seemed like it was taking me a long time in my upcoming Sunday Synopsis.)  The reason I bring it up now is the characters (real people, not just characters) spent some time in Olathe, Kansas, and when I was checking on a gift for my husband's birthday later this month, it shipped from Olathe, Kansas.  Huh.  Funny how that works.  You've never heard of a place (or a word, or anything, really) then it appears twice in the same day.  Weird.

I recently started using Olay Regenerist moisturizer because, let's face it (pun intended), I'm no spring chicken.  I'm not old, necessarily, but I'm getting there, and I care about my skin.  The problem is, I have a blemish on my chin, and I'm not used to getting them anymore, so I'm wondering if it's the product.  ???

You've all heard of Lizzie Borden, right?  Well, the old rhyme about giving her father 40 whacks - it wasn't really 40, but it is assumed she killed her father and step-mother although she was not convicted of the crime. 

Her former home is currently a museum and bed-and-breakfast. (shivers!)  The owner is retiring and has listed it for sale.  Strange home... built with no halls except for the landing on the second floor. Guess what?  You can buy the home in Fall River, MA, for 2 million dollars.  I, personally, don't have 2 million, but even if I did, I'd take a pass on that.  The website offers this tidbit for a possible new owner...

"Picture yourself serving fun hatchet cookies," the listing reads.

Hmmmm.  Seems a little twisted!

And now...

That would be my answer!

We need to start teaching spelling again!

Why aren't we still teaching these?

This is ME at the grocery store!

I know we're officially out of 2020, but this is how it feels still.

And last, but not least...

Have a great week!


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