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because I haven't done one in ages...

 A meme from the flist!

Ask me my Top Five [Whatevers]. Any top fives. Doesn't matter what, really! And I will answer them all in a new post.


if you cared enough for the living

Michael Jackson's memorial (especially this) was beautiful.

His life was a tragic tale of a man who never grew up. At least after his death he will be remembered as what he was... a master musician and an American icon. Maybe if people had seen him like that near the end of his life, he would still be here today.

RIP Michael.

Harry Potter

I started rereading Harry Potter today, since the movie is coming out soon (Yay!) and because this is something I do every year (granted, it's usually just before a book release...). I'm not even half-way through the first book (probably my least favorite) and I've already remembered why these books have been favorites of mine since I was eight, and why I will probably continue to love them for years to come...

do i still need to cut for spoilers?Collapse )

Back to the book... I'm sure I'll have more to say later.

what's going on?

Michael Jackson's death was very sad (though not completely unexpected), and, sure, that first day it was BIG news. But what's going on now? Why is Michael on EVERY news channel/website/paper, STILL? What about Iran, where the election has been "officially" called? What about Iraq, and our troops coming home? What about North Korea? The economic crisis in California? Why do I have to search carefully through the newspaper to find ANY of these while Michael Jackson has been on or near the front page for the past week? I was watching CNN just now, and 3 of their top 10 stories were on Michael (who gets custody of the kids? interview with the doctor! Michael going back to Neverland?).

People have been saying the news is going to hell, but I haven't really believed it until just now...

mda camp

I got home from camp a few hours ago, and I am TIRED but I had a great week!

I was a counselor at a camp run by the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The camper-counselor ratio is one to one because many of the kids need a lot of assistance. In muscular dystrophy (there are a few kinds in varying severity, but they all work in a similar way) the muscles of the body slowly deteriorate. Most of the youngest campers (6-7) can still walk or even run, but by the end (the oldest campers are 17) the vast majority are in wheelchairs and have lost almost all mobility. The life-expectancy in around 30 for Duchenne (most common- and severe- form) and most people die of heart failure (the heart is a muscle, after all).

I was working with an 11 year old boy, and our cabin was made up of fifteen 10-11 year old boys. They were SO much fun!! We played A LOT of chess, and a lot of them were SO smart (my camper was learning algebra from a book he bought, and was excited to start on calculus!!). There were a few with mental delays (different forms of the disease), but most were physically affected (mostly Duchenne or Becker).

I love how much fun this camp is. The kids get to forget for a little while that they're different from other people and be like everybody else, because they're not the only ones with little baggies of meds delivered at every meal, or the only ones riding around in power wheelchairs, or needing help in the bathroom. I did get a few questions about the differences in campers ("he's older than I am, but he can still walk. why?"), which didn't really happen last year (though it's different with girls), and the kids did compare some medical stuff ("I bet I had the most recent muscule biopsy!"), but even that is something that the kids never really get in other places- other people who understand what it's like to have this disease.

Muscular dystrophy (mostly speaking of Duchenne, because it's the one I know the most about) is a horrible disease. It drastically shortens life expectancy, takes away things one could previously do, and affects children at a very young age. But the kids are so, so great, and going to camp is a wonderful experience. I hope I am able to go again next year, but I am not sure because of school... I guess time will tell.


So, when "How I Met Your Mother" needs guest stars, do the casting people just watch old Whedon shows? Because it sure seems like it. I watched two episodes tonight, and I noticed Andrew, Inara, and the Mayor (Ted's step-dad... heh!).



SCCCollapse )

Also, how did I not know that Tamora Pierce's new book, "Bloodhound", comes out this month?!? This is so not okay!

*runs off to reread "Terrier"*

Book reccs

Lately, I've been reading books very much outside of my usual sphere, which feels kind of odd. I usually stick pretty close to fantasy or YA and romance books. But this has been very educational.

First, I read Boomsday, by Christopher Buckley (author of "Thank You for Smoking", which I never read or saw). It's a political satire about a young woman who, with the help of a PR-guru and a US senator, tries to push through a bill that would encourage the baby boomer generation to "voluntarily transition" (aka commit suicide) at age 70 in return for tax breaks. This would, apparently, fix the social security problem. The book also has a murderous priest, a crummy father, and some really great humor. I'm not super-political, and I still really enjoyed it!

Next, I (started) Tender is the Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I bought this book for $0.75 after falling in love with The Great Gatsby last year, but never got around to reading it. Basically, it's the story of a married couple. The first "book" (section) is happy (kind of) and energetic and it went by very fast. The second is... less happy, and I'm reading through it much slower (though it is still amazing). The Great Gatsby is a much easier read because the feelings and the message are buried much deeper under the Roaring 20's vibe, but I really recommend both books, and definitely TitN for anyone who love Gatsby (or vice versa).

I am also currently reading is Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. It's a non-fiction book about happiness, imagination, and our perception of the future. He theorizes that we all tend to imagine, instead of predict, the future, and we generally do it very unrealistically. It's a very interesting book, and there are a lot of things in it that I have never thought about before. Very... enlightening. And though there are certain psychological/scientific concepts in it, they are written in a way that makes them easy to understand, so it doesn't read like a text book or anything.


Dr Who

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