a vestige of thought...

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Book List

I've been slacking on my posting here, especially when it comes to those book reviews I said I was going to write. I did write a few, but they are on my home computer, and I am not at home. Anyway, here's a list, accompanied by a rating of two thumbs down to two thumbs up.

1. A Long Way From Chicago, by Richard Peck (Newberry Honor)- two thumbs up
2. A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck (Newberry Award)- two thumbs up
3. Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale (Newberry Honor)- one thumb up
4. Hope Was Here, by Joan Bauer (Newberry Honor)- two thumbs up
5. Rules of the Road, by Joan Bauer- one thumb up
6. Best Foot Forward, by Joan Bauer- no thumbs either way
7. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle (Newberry Award)- two thumbs up

I think I'm forgetting one. If I remember, I will make note of it later.

Currently reading: Criss Cross, by Lynne Rae Perkins (2006 Newberry Award)
posted by Christy at 4:18 PM 0 comments


If I wanted M&Ms or Snickers before, I don't now.
posted by Christy at 3:53 PM 0 comments

Monday, June 26, 2006

Musical Memory

For the past week or so I've been doing a lot of copying and pasting things into a spreadsheet for several hours a day. Since this doesn't require a lot of brain power, I've been bringing my iPod to listen to while I work. Listening to so many songs has made me realize how strongly I associate music with events, people, and even smells. Exempli gratia:

~Bethany Dillon's CD Imagination, especially the first track, "Dreamer" make me think of Physics. Specifically it makes me think of driving to Physics in the fall with that "fall" smell in the air and my windows down. This is probably because, for whatever reason, I listened to that CD to and from Physics the entire fall.

~Several years ago I listened to Ginny Owens's CD, Without Condition over and over again while driving through the Great Smoky Mountains and again on that same trip while waiting for laundry to dry in a laundromat. I always associate that music with the sights and smells of those places.

~Blessed Be Your Name, by Matt Redman brings back fond memories of Rich's van in New Mexico and Phillip changing the lyrics. ("Blessed be your name / Where the seeds of abundance grow...") It also reminds me of Caitlin because we talk about that all the time.

~The Father's Song, also by Matt Redman, was one of my favorites at SOS when I went to the Vineyard and makes me think of the prayer room there.

~Close Your Eyes, by James Taylor, reminds me of Dad because he used to sing it to me when I was little.

~More Than You'll Ever Know by Watermark reminds me of Carly. There was a specific reason five years ago, but I've forgotten it now and just know that she comes to mind every time I hear the song.

I've been working on this for several days, adding to it whenever I hear a song on my iPod that evokes a memory. I could go on doing this for a long time, as I've got a lot of songs I've not gotten to yet, but I'll spare you. The moral of the story is, if you want me to remember you for a long time, somehow associate yourself with a song in my brain.
posted by Christy at 12:08 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Number the Walk Two Moons a Long Way from the Banks of Plum Creek

Somewhere around the time that I was ten or eleven, I decided that I wanted to read all the books that had won a Newberry Medal. I never made it. In fact, I think I read one or two of them before moving on to other things. Periodically I have tried to pick it up again, but my tendency to go through a book every day or two meant that I often ran out of Newberry books on hand and would often start reading something else that distracted me from my goal once again. Eventually, when I started buying and reading classics from the thrift store, I stopped going to the library altogether.

Yesterday I happened to pick up one of Lisa's books and start looking through it. Before I knew it I was 50 pages in and figured I may as well read the whole thing. When I finished it last night, I started on another. Further, I discovered that such books are excellent for ten minute work breaks, while it's difficult to get into the harder books I'm used to reading in that period of time. So, I have decided that now is as good a time as any to catch up on my children's literature. I will try to make note of the books I read here, along with a quick review based not only on its value for children, but its merit for older readers as well.

Yesterday I read Counting On Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop. I originally picked it up because the picture on the cover, a young girl in a cotton mill, intrigued me. I did a report on child labor a few years ago and the topic has interested me ever since. The nice but not terribly unusual story tells of a 12-year-old girl and her friend who have to leave school to work in a cotton mill. Winthrop's intent to inform the reader about the history of child labor in America is obvious, but I didn't learn anything that I (or anyone else who has had a good high school history course) did not already know. As a result, the story is perfect for its intended audience, but doesn't reach any further.
posted by Christy at 10:07 AM 0 comments

Sunday, June 18, 2006


posted by Christy at 3:47 PM 2 comments

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Chatter Boxes

Ways in which AIM is superior to iChat:
~AIM shows how long each user has been online
~AIM gives you more than eight or ten lines to write your buddy info (poems that I stick in there have to be cropped in ways quite unfair to the poet)

Ways in which iChat is superior to AIM:
~Everything else (I really like the speech-bubble format for chats)
posted by Christy at 10:36 AM 0 comments

Chatter Boxes

Ways in which AIM is superior to iChat:
~AIM shows how long each user has been online
~AIM gives you more than eight or ten lines to write your buddy info (poems that I stick in there have to be cropped in ways quite unfair to the poet)

Ways in which iChat is superior to AIM:
~Everything else (I really like the speech-bubble format for chats)
posted by Christy at 10:36 AM 0 comments

Monday, June 12, 2006

Favorite Poem Project

Take a look at the Favorite Poem Project website, especially the video section. It's really cool to hear people talk about why certain poems are their favorite and then to read or recite them. My favorites that I have viewed so far are Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost (which happens to be one of my favorite poems as well) and Sonnet 29, by WIlliam Shakespeare.
posted by Christy at 11:11 PM 0 comments


Before leaving home I promised myself that everything I bought while on vacation, with the exception of an occasional edible treat, would be something that I planned to buy anyway before leaving for Asbury. We did some shopping after mini-golfing (I was only 11 strokes over the total par) and I bought a pair of sunglasses and an insulated coffee(/tea) thermos. The thermos is from a very cool little store called Duck's Cottage Coffee and Bookshop. I could have spent all day there, but the rest of the family got a little impatient. Although their wifi is rather expensive ($4.00 for 20 minutes), their chai gives Panera a run for it's money. I'd love to have regular access to that stuff.

Current music: "Sweet Baby James," James Taylor
Goodnight you moonlight ladies / Rockabye sweet baby James / Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose / Won't you let me go down in my dreams / And rockabye sweet baby James

I'm not exactly sure how or when that song found its way onto my ipod, but I rather like it. It's been stuck in my head all week.
posted by Christy at 5:12 PM 0 comments

Sunday, June 11, 2006

This afternoon we decided to go to the beach around 3:00. Since I had already showered I didn't put my bathing suit on, thinking I would just sit and read. Before settling down with my book I went down to the water to get my feet wet. However, thanks to a big wave that came when I wasn't paying attention, I fell over and soaked myself completely. Since I was already wet, I figured I might as well get in, clothes and all. It was fun, but swimming in the ocean is nearly always better in a bathing suit. The moral of the story is: If you're going to the beach, even if you don't plan on getting wet, wear a bathing suit anyway.
posted by Christy at 6:05 PM 0 comments

My Scriptorium

Technically a scriptorium is a room set apart for writing, as in a place in a monestary where monks copied documents, but for now I shall pretend that it is a notebook. After all a notebook is a place where I write, just as a room is a place where I write only in a different sense.

I bought a cute purple striped notebook at Walmart yesterday after realizing that I had forgotten to bring a notebook of any kind other than my journal. The reason that I forgot to bring one was that I had gotten rid of very many of my old notebooks with only about 10 pages left that hadn't been ripped out in my cleaning frenzy and my good notebooks were hidden away in a desk drawer. So I bought this fresh new one and I (ambitiously) hope to fill the entire thing this week. I have been in a writing mood for weeks, but lacking in time to write myself out. This week I'm going to have at it. : )

There is nothing on TV on Sunday mornings except infomercials and self-promoting preacher people like Joel Osteen. That man disgusts me. I hear he's signed a huge deal for a second book. His first book was Your Best Life Now, so I'm curious what his second one is going to be. Oops, I forgot to tell you this one other thing you can to do to make your life the best: Buy my second book so I can have more money. Pshaw.

What is so special about Egyptian cotton? I've come to dislike it because every time I see or hear the words I get that obnoxious song from Uptown Girls stuck in my head. "Na na na na na na na na na... sheets of Egyptian cotton!" Blech.

I think I'll go enjoy the sea breeze from the upper deck.
posted by Christy at 8:07 AM 1 comments

Saturday, June 10, 2006

"Behold, I am doing a new thing!"


I'm not God, but I decided to do a new thing too. Since I'm at the beach this week, I thought this template would be appropriate. Plus, I was getting a little tired of the same old green background that a lot of other people have. More people probably have this one, but I haven't run into any yet. Maybe someday I'll learn to make my own.
posted by Christy at 6:58 PM 0 comments

Thursday, June 08, 2006


We live in boxes.
Boxed in rooms
Boxes on wheels,
Office boxes
Soul boxes.

Walled off from others
Cubed inside the building
Blocks of society
Towering high above
Town squares.

Our balance is off.
We twist and bent in
Fluid wind.
The fall will break our
Live-in boxes.
posted by Christy at 8:40 AM 1 comments

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Literary Depression

I hate finishing a good book. You know, the kind of book where you get completely caught up in the story and completely lose track of time. The world around you vanishes completely and your eyes can't pass over the words quickly enough. And then, suddenly, it all comes to an end. You turn the page to discover that there is no next page and close the book. The world around you comes back into focus with all it's comparatively dull and unexciting colors and sounds, sucking away the thrill that the book created.

And then I sit in front of my many bookshelves and none of the books look at all interesting. So I just sit, depressed, and wish my last book hadn't ended.
posted by Christy at 5:41 PM 0 comments

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Measure of a[n Average] Man

"The average person will spend two weeks over their lifetime waiting for the traffic lights to change."
~"Forgettable Fact" from the Northminster student newsletter

I read this random fact after dinner this evening and it sparked a brief but lively discussion about the veracity of such statements about "average" people. Mom said that was an unfortunate waste of time. Lisa commented that on the Disney Channel they had said three weeks. Dad believed two weeks to be too short a time.

I want to know how the "average" person is determined. A literal statement beginning "the average person" should be about the average of all people all over the world. As in, "It takes the average person seven minutes to fall asleep." I don't know how this statistic was determined, but I find it more likely to be true of people all over the world than the statement above. According to some random website that came up when I googled the topic (which may or may not be completely accurate), only 18% of the world population own a car. Even with the increased amount of people that ride in cars but do not own them, I would think that the 82% of non-car owners would dramatically bring down the average time spent waiting for traffic lights to change. Another googled website tells me that 92% of American households own one or more cars. I do not find it hard to believe that Americans spend two weeks waiting for lights to change. I also suspect that "the average person" should be read "the average American."

On a completely unrelated note, I am rereading Christy by Catherine Marshall because the first time I read it and Marshall's other fiction book, Julie, I liked the latter better. Laura insists that people always like books best when the main character shares their name and that I was ruining her theory, so I needed to read Christy and Julie again. I think that, upon second reading, I do like Christy better, though not because she shares my name. Shortly before my first reading I saw several episodes of the show that is based on the book. The actress who played Christy drove me crazy and I think her image spoiled the book for me. As it has been a long time since I saw any of the show, I am now whole-heartedly enjoying the book.
posted by Christy at 7:07 PM 1 comments