Slice of Life Challenge #12

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All week, we have been planning our Friday night dinner.  We normally eat out or get take-out on Friday nights because I tutor from 6-7pm.  It’s just easier when I know I don’t have to do the cooking and the clean-up.

Earlier this week we found a local coupon book that had somehow slipped our minds.  The coupons expire on April 5th, and we do hate to waste them.  ;)  We flipped through the booklet and determined which ones we could reasonably get through before the expiration date.  One of my favorite restaurants was included- La Rosa’s Chicken.  It’s like a hometown Boston Market with delicious comfort food.

This evening I finished tutoring and was very excited. After driving up the street and ordering the meal, we brought it home and set the table.  The warm smell of chicken drifted out of the bag and filled the kitchen.  I scooped a large spoonful of rich, creamy, decadent macaroni & cheese and sighed contentedly.

Is there anything better than a meal full of comfort food……..that you didn’t have to cook yourself?

Airhead by Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot’s newest series will debut in June 2008. The first title in the series is Airhead and I just finished reading the ARC.

It’s difficult to summarize the novel without giving away the elements of surprise in the plot. The story follows Emerson Watts, self-proclaimed outsider at Tribeca Alternative High School. A brainy tomboy, Em’s best friend is the video game loving Christopher. When Em and Christopher are forced to chaperone her younger sister’s day at a mega-story grand opening, tragedy strikes. After a horrible, tragic injury, Em wakes up in the hospital a full month after being hurt. As she begins to emerge from her coma, she comes to the realization that her worst nightmares have come true. Through a sci-fi-type surgery she has become Nikki- the seventeen-year old supermodel who has taken the world by storm.

The story started off a little slow, but picked up in the middle. I really enjoyed this book! Em is a character who is easy to relate to- she is very much like I was in high school. I also enjoyed the secondary character of Lulu. As the story moved forward she became less like a caricature of a society heiress and more like a sweet, fun-loving girl who just happens to have all the money in the world. The story was humorous and thought-provoking, which is not an easy combination to work with as a writer. However, Cabot makes it work! I am already dying for the sequel, because I want to know what happens next! The story isn’t left as a cliffhanger but it does leave you wanting more.

I would consider pairing this with The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson. Both novels offer a glimpse at teenage girls struggling to figure out who they really are. They also have that slight sci-fi edge to them, adding more mystery and intrique to the story. I think the struggle to define “who they are” is something many teenage girls will relate to, so I plan to recommend Airhead to a few of my students when we get back from spring break.

Children’s lit on TV?

I am watching “The Return of Jezebel James” because it is the only show on TV right now.  Imagine my surprise when I realize that the main character is a children’s book editor!  I think I caught Harper-Teen at one point, so she seems to work for Harper.

And hey, it’s not a bad show, either!  I’ve been laughing a little.  And there are some nods to children’s lit!!!

Poetry Friday

Today’s Poetry Friday theme is Bob Dylan and his music. I was poking around, reading lyrics from some of Dylan’s songs and discovered some that really struck a chord with me. The song is “Clean-cut Kid”. It weaves the tale of Vietnam vet.  I met with my literature circle group that is reading Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam today and we were discussing Vietnam.  My kids are loving Cracker’s story, and they are learning a lot about the war in Vietnam.  This song tells the tale of so many young men who went over to Vietnam and had no idea what to expect.  Read it over and just picture the images that Dylan creates….

  Everybody wants to know why he couldn’t adjust
Adjust to what, a dream that bust?

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

They said what’s up is down, they said what isn’t is
They put ideas in his head he thought were his

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

He was on the baseball team, he was in the marching band
When he was ten years old he had a watermelon stand

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

He went to church on Sunday, he was a Boy Scout
For his friends he would turn his pockets inside out

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

They said, “Listen boy, you’re just a pup”
They sent him to a napalm health spa to shape up

They gave him dope to smoke, drinks and pills,
A jeep to drive, blood to spill

They said “Congratulations, you got what it takes”
They sent him back into the rat race without any brakes

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

He bought the American dream but it put him in debt
The only game he could play was Russian roulette

He drank Coca-Cola, he was eating Wonder Bread,
Ate Burger Kings, he was well fed

He went to Hollywood to see Peter O’Toole
He stole a Rolls Royce and drove it in a swimming pool

They took a clean-cut kid
And they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

He could’ve sold insurance, owned a restaurant or bar
Could’ve been an accountant or a tennis star

He was wearing boxing gloves, took a dive one day
Off the Golden Gate Bridge into China Bay

His mama walks the floor, his daddy weeps and moans
They gotta sleep together in a home they don’t own

They took a clean-cut kid
And they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

Well, everybody’s asking why he couldn’t adjust
All he ever wanted was somebody to trust

They took his head and turned it inside out
He never did know what it was all about

He had a steady job, he joined the choir
He never did plan to walk the high wire

They took a clean-cut kid
And they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did


Copyright © 1985 Special Rider Music

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