Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Child Called It

A Child Called “It”: One Child’s Courage to Survive  by Dave Pelzer
Weight: 3.2 oz
Method of Disposal: Donating

I think I am going to kind of skip out on this one.  I have wanted to get rid of it, but I have not because I cannot figure out exactly what to say about it.  I know there is some controversy about the validity of it, and I have no desire to get into all that.  I do not want to claim to know what abuse someone did or did not endure.  I have no desire to deny someone their past and their pain.  I also do not care for the arguments against his profiting off abuse.  Who are we to judge if someone makes money from something horrific they endured?  I will tell you now that I have always felt that it was unfair that I had to pay out so much money to the emergency room and for therapy after I was raped, and that my rapist never had to pay a dime for anything.  If I could put that experience out there in a way that would help other people and not hurt others, while also making money, you bet I would.  Why not get something beneficial out of a truly horrific experience?

I can say that it was an appalling read, as it details some pretty extreme stuff.  I did not read any of the books that followed it in the series.  The Lost Boy, A Man Named Dave, The Privilege of Youth.  By avoiding these I might have missed out on the inspirational component.  I have heard that it was groundbreaking in the way that it was a firsthand account of abuse when there were not many of those.  I do not know anything about that.

Anyway, this book is going in a box and is being taken away by the AKF tomorrow.  If you want it you better let me know fast.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Thief Lord

The Thief Lord  by Cornelia Funke
Weight: 1 lb
Method of Disposal: Donating

On August 16, 2002 Michael Jacobs wrote a letter to booksellers, thanking them for reading and promoting The Thief Lord, and giving them a free book.  One copy landed in my hands, despite the fact that my manager really wanted it.  She reluctantly gave it up with a snarky comment about how she actually wanted to read it, presumably unlike me.  She would read it whether it was free or not.  I really did want to read it, but only if it was free.  I was being a brat.  9 years later, I listened to it on cds checked out from the library.  I never opened the book.  Damn.

It was an alright story.  I enjoyed listening to it while I cleaned kennels at the shelter, but it did not get me as enthusiastic as some of the big name books like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter.  There was nothing unusual or unique about it.  I did not feel wrapped up in the character’s lives.  I could not relate on any level, and, somehow, don’t we all find some emotional way to relate to these books even if it seems highly unlikely?  I read Harry Potter going into college and found some fun parallels.  The Hunger Games invokes that fear and heroism only dystopian novels can.  We can question who we would be, who we are.  I had no questions, no proclamations, limited feelings about The Thief Lord.  I am afraid it will blend in the memory banks until it is forgotten or woven into other stories by accident.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Atlanta Pride

Our Rights Your Rights Human Rights Atlanta Pride Festival 2007: The Official Guide to Atlanta Pride
Weight: 12 oz
Method of Disposal: Recycling

I realize this is a cross between a magazine and a book, but I have kept it on the bookshelves like a full-fledged literary work all this time.   I did intend to keep it.  I am getting rid of it now and writing this to remind everyone that Atlanta Pride is this weekend.  I will not be in attendance.  I am consistently disappointed by it, though drawn to it every year.  I am not falling into that trap again.  However, for some reason, I think you should.  I will live vicariously through you.

I will say that I have had some positive Pride experiences, but I have never had them in The ATL.  I miss the country dancing and bondage tents of the one Long Beach Pride I attended.  I need more than booth to booth shopping.  

With the right crowd, ATL Pride can be fun, and I am sure the late night parties are fabulous, but I am not going to figure it out this year.  I already have too much baggage.  For the rest of you, have fun!  Gay it up.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I Took the GRE for the First and Last Time

Kaplan GRE Comprehensive Program 2007-2008 Edition
Kaplan GRE Exam 2007-2008 Edition
Kaplan GRE Premier Program 2008 Edition
The Princton Review Cracking the GRE With DVD
The Princeton Review Math Workout for the New GRE 2nd Edition
The Princeton Review 1,014 Practice Questions for the New GRE 2nd Edition
Weight: 12.5 lbs
Method of Disposal: Selling or donating two revised editions and recycling all the rest since they pertain to the old test

It would seem, if you looked at this list, that I was well prepared for my GRE.  You would also wonder why I had so many books that were so similar.  I inherited the 2007-2008 editions from several people.  I purchased the two New GRE books and a couple of vocab drills for my Kindle.  Yes, I have a Kindle.  I really did not study a lot and there are still a lot of untainted drills if you need a few study guides.

The GRE was not as painful for me as it is for some other people because I did not go in with a score in mind that I had to get.  I did not go in there with the knowledge of which grad schools I really wanted to go to.  I was just trying to take the baby step in the grad school direction.  I even enjoyed the absurd security measures.  They make you sign a statement, in cursive, about their policies.  Then, they take a picture of you, have you pull out your pockets, use a metal detector wand on you, get you to sign in and out with your id, and every move you make is filmed.  I felt like I was doing something of the utmost importance.

Of course, with great relaxation and little worry comes a price.  I did not do all that well on my almost 4 hour long exam.  I will not take it again.  I feel like I got the same score on the practice tests before I ever studied anything.  I could not see an improvement, and I will be happy to never see another math problem again. 
I was and am feeling a little hard on myself but, luckily, I have an amazing friend who dropped me off and picked me up at the testing center.  She took me straight to a whiskey and a coke where we made “friends” with a married, childrened man “desperate for adult conversation.”  When that got old and the third person to our party arrived, we left for Flux.  

I was just glad she was there, my most influential cheerleader, so that I did not have too much time to dwell on my scores and over think what they mean to my life.  Thank you, Friend.