Saturday, January 29, 2011

January: How to Make Crayons

Today is the debut of the first LONTEM Project video! It's really rough, because I collected my video material over the month of January and then pieced it all together pretty quickly. Next month might be better, but I can't make any promises. Also, sorry the video is so freaking long! But I hope you enjoy it any way!

If you know how to say "I Love You" in a language other than English, German, Spanish, or French, I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment with the phonetic pronunciation or a link to a video with you saying "I Love You" in a different language. I will credit you at the end of next month's video, I promise.

Links from this video:

Thanks for watching and reading!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blog Hops and Follow Fridays!

The Blog Hop is brought to you by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books and Follow Friday is brought to you by Parajunkee! I love both of these memes. They're quite fun!

This week's Blog-Hop question:

What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011? Why are you anticipating this book?

According to Amazon, it's been published already, but that doesn't lessen the intrigue. I'm kind of excited to read 'Across the Universe' by Beth Revis, even though I've read mixed reviews on it. If anyone knows of a good website where I can see books that are about to be published, I would love it if you left that web address in the comments as well!

This week's Follow Friday question:

What is/was your favorite subject in school?

I like this! We just finished our first semester in school, so I can give some different answers than before!

English: I always love to get an in-depth view of books that I would never have thought to read outside of the class. It's a lot of fun!

Band: This year it's Wind Ensemble and it's extra fun because we get all of the good opportunities such as the better, more challenging music, the music tours (Chicago), and just a chance to make beautiful music with wonderful people and musicians!

Government/Economy/AP Human Geography: Quite a combination, yes? I liked Economics and Government more than I thought I would and Human Geography is quite interesting, even though we just started it. I have good feelings about it!

French: Ever since freshman year, my love for this beautiful and romantic language has grown and I feel like it will only continue to do so. I've even dreamt in French before, which was an interesting experience in and of itself.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my answer to this week's question! Feel free to leave a comment below with your blog address in it and I'll try my best to return the visit!

Have a great weekend!


Book Blogger Hop

Desert Island and a Ton of Updates on Everything

I am in the middle of a reading an writing desert.

It really sucks. I feel like I'm wasting away on YouTube and in my basement because I have little to nothing to do when it comes to the two of the things I love the most.

When it comes to reading, a lot of things that I picked up from the library aren't piquing my interest enough to follow through with them to the end. Well, there's one, but I haven't had very much time to read it at night.

I'm really trying to get through one audio book. The walkman is working better, which I'm happy about. It's also nice, because then I can take notes without stopping the story (in preparation for the post that will eventually come after I actually finish the audio book. But I have nine or ten CD's to get through, so it'll be a little bit).

Writing. I tried to start something on the bus, but then another girl with a humongous back pack and a giant violin sat down next to me and I could barely move, so I had to stop, though my mind kept running. Yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses...

I hope I find my reading and writing oasis pretty soon. This kind of sucks.

That's enough of the explanations.

Today, Senor Jack and I got tickets for the dance that is coming up in my school (I'm so excited!!! There'll probably be pictures beforehand, knowing my family...).

We have a couple concerts coming up, including what my school calls the Pops concert where we get to play a bunch of well-known and-- you guessed it-- popular songs. We're definitely playing Wicked, but then we're going to test-drive a whole bunch of other songs like Forest Gump and maybe the Muppets. Everyone's really excited!

Also, tonight, I find out where I'm going for a summer trip. I'm hoping for California, or New Mexico, or the East Coast (that is, if we even stay in the U.S. One year, I think a group went to the British Virgin Islands or something like that, but I kind of don't think we'll go that far... but then again, you never know!).

Alright, I'll be sure to have a review up pretty soon, since it's been a while. Until then, have a good day!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

WNYC's Radio Lab

Something that I like to do when I'm not reading, writing, or watching movies is listen to Radio Lab. They cover a variety of topics and everything they talk about is so seemingly ordinary but very interesting and eye-opening.

If you're interested in listening, you can listen to Podcasts that you can find via iTunes. Just go to the iTunes store, search 'WNYC's Radio Lab' and you'll find a list of podcasts. They're all completely free, so if it turns out that you don't like what you hear, the only thing you'll have wasted is time.

I'm not a really big science person, but even I found these radio shows really cool and interesting!

I hope you all enjoy them as much as I have!

Thanks for reading!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Some Minor Complications

As part of my 2011 blogging resolutions, I committed to one of my first challenges-- the 2011 Audio Book Challenge.

Thus far, it has been an interesting experience. I have found that my attention span is incredibly short when it comes to sound.

Let me start at the beginning...

When I signed up for this challenge, I thought that it would be an easy challenge to accomplish. After all, I only need to listen to someone else read the books that I would normally read myself. There's nothing terribly demanding about this.

Within the first week or two of this month, I moved my radio out of my window (which my parents are happy about. My room is now warmer since the storm window isn't the only thing between my room and the rest of the world). I moved it right by my bed so that it was next to my head and I could listen to a chapter or two just before I drifted off to sleep.

The thing about this set up is that I hear a lot of other noises. The swish and gentle creak of my oscillating fan as it spreads cool air to different parts of my room; some kind of scratching sound that comes from who know where that astonishingly hasn't returned for a while; the squeak of Sullivan's squeal in the middle of the night... there are others. On top of that, the speaker isn't the loudest of talkers. That makes it very easy to a) lose track of what's happening in the story and/or b) get distracted by the other noises.

So this challenge will be just that: a challenge. I think I have found something to use to solve some of my problems though. When I was younger and when we (being the rest of my family and I) had to go somewhere far-- as in a couple hours away-- in the car, I would pack a bag full of my CD's and then also my WalkMan music player. Incidentally, I still have all of those CD's and my WalkMan, so I'm utilizing it again! It's easier to pay attention when someone is talking in your ear.

Any way, just a brief update on this challenge because I really haven't said anything about it since the day I announced that I was participating in it.

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend! I'll have some pictures and tales to tell you in the next few days. I'll keep the topics a surprise though. You'll just have to come back and see!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Just In Case You Wanted to Know...

This isn't terribly new, but I've started using my Flickr more. I've been trying to keep my work organized on the various sites that I'm apart of. Flickr for photos, DeviantArt for art and poetry (it's a real mess involving everything), Figment for longer bits of writing, YouTube for video storage. Why do I bother doing this? Because a computer hard drive can't handle everything.

I've put links in the left sidebar if you want to check out the aforementioned things. I'll link to my Flickr photo stream HERE and up there though.

Thanks for looking and reading this! We'll return to more literary-related matters sometime after this.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Review of 'The Martian Child' by David Gerrold

"'Oh. One more thing: Dennis thinks he's a Martian...'

Soon-to-be parents are instructed to "expect the unexpected." Good advice, it turns out. Especially for the anxious or apprehensive parent who is considering adoption.

How can one know about an adopted child?

All David Gerrold knew for certain was that he wanted to be a parent. As a single gay man he thought adoption would be the most direct route to fatherhood. But he soon found out-- to both his joy and dismay-- that the emotional route to fatherhood was anything but direct. In fact, it was a roller-coaster ride that changed his life forever.

When he first saw the picture of eight-year-old Dennis beaming up at him from the photograph in the adoption book, David knew this was the boy for him.

But these were the facts: Abandoned as an infant by drug-addicted parents. Documented abuse. Shuffled from one foster home to another. Deficit hyperactivity disorder. Ritalin to control his violent emotional outbursts. For his antisocial behavior: desipramine. The conclusion from experts: Dennis was "hard to place." A polite bureaucratic euphemism for unadoptable. It was a depressing assessment that David could not-- would not-- accept.

He needed Dennis. And he believed Dennis needed him. It was that simple. Until the reality of single fatherhood set in.

A searingly honest, funny, moving, and heartfelt portrait of the joys and perils of parenting, 'The Martian Child' is David Gerrold's valentine to the redemptive value of love... in this case a father's love for a son. A son who thinks he's a Martian."

I'm not a parent (and I don't plan to be for quite some time) but this was an absolutely brilliant read. So brilliant, that I spent the entire day reading it. I couldn't help it, I really wanted to know how everything would turn out! Just when I resolved to put the book down for a mini hiatus, David Gerrold would say something new and interesting and I would get through the next ten or twenty pages and the cycle would begin again.

I have attempted to write stories about orphans (what aspiring writer hasn't at least tried it though?) and I never truly realized that the system of adoption was so... complicated. But it makes sense. You don't want to "give out" children to incapable people.

This book was chock full of pure emotion. You could feel David's apprehension, his unconditional love for this little boy who was initially labeled unadoptable.

Dennis had his good days when he was the cutest kid you could ever come across. Then he'd have his less than desirable days when he'd throw tantrums in public settings such as the mall or a supermarket.

'The Martian Child' was funny, sad, touching... it was beautiful.

I give 'The Martian Child':
Thanks for reading!


I Dream of Dancing to These

White Houses-- Vanessa Carlton

Dream-- Priscilla Ahn

Eet-- Regina Spektor

Hallelujah-- Rufus Wainwright
(Sorry for the Spanish lyrics)

You Picked Me-- A Fine Frenzy

I'm a romantic at heart... there is no cure.


Oh My... An Award for Me?

I have been honored with my second Stylish Blogger Award! Thank you Jessica at ::Musings + Teen Librarian:: and also to Liz H from Tangled Web of Me! (I highly recommend that you take a peek at these blogs if you haven't already).

There are some things that I must do in order to accept this award. They are as follows:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award (check)
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award this to some of your newly discovered blogs
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

Easy enough... So here we go!


Seven More Things You Might Not Have Known About Jude Rosenberg

1. I pack my lunch before I go to school because school food is slightly gross.

2. Last night, I had about three old dreams thrown into one, and they weren't good ones...

3. I always check out library books in bulk (between 10 and 14), regardless if I end up reading them or not.

4. I've always wanted to learn how to ride a unicycle and swim with manatees.

5. I hate spiders and box elder bugs with a passion.
6. I really don't think Minnesotans are human... it's so freaking cold in the winter and blistering hot in the summer, I don't know how we brush those facts off.

7. Before I die, I want to hold a Koala bear, pet manatees and wombats, travel to Europe and Australia, be a published writer, and meet Regina Spektor and Jack's Mannequin, among other things.


Great! So now that that's done, I get to pass this award on to some other bloggers! They are as follows:

(P.S. You should definitely go and check out these wonderful bloggers if you haven't had the chance to already)


Sorry for the short list this time.

Thanks for the award and have a great weekend, everyone!


Friday, January 14, 2011

A Review of 'Matched' by Ally Condie

In The Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly an price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and story-telling with the resonance of a classic.

I was in Barnes and Nobel a couple weekends ago and you could say that this was my impulse buy. I wanted to wait until I had read it through the library, but it was right there on the shelf and I just had to.

Almost immediately after I head that this was a dystopian novel, I though of ‘The Giver.’ Classic dystopian example. That was my expectation going in.

What I discovered as I read further into the book was that it wasn’t entirely like ‘The Giver.’ It was a more relaxed version of the novel. ‘Matched’ had formal dating, hand-holding, feelings… The Society is like ours, but with more structure, rules, and regulations.

I found quite a few interesting things in this book. The first one is how death is handled. Within the first few chapters, Cassia’s Grandfather dies. The part that is so fascinating about this is everyone dies on their 80th birthday (I won’t say how, because that’s a major spoiler, but they die at this point in time to avoid diseases that occur in the chronologically gifted… I definitely just quoted one of the guest directors of the band ensemble that I’m in). There’s also a sort of ceremony that goes with dying. Your family brings you presents, you get to speak to everyone individually, you have your final meal… if you’re lucky, you get the chance to preserve a part of yourself with the possibility of being revived later. Your family stays with you the whole day. Death is like a big show.

Another thing that I found interesting was that no one is brave enough to fight back. The people in The Society are afraid of being labeled as Aberrations or worse, Anomalies. They are afraid of getting infractions or citations… the various punishments that are hovered in front of their noses so they never forget what could happen. This seems typical of dystopian novels, but it always gets to me when I see that people can really become that afraid.

What was a little sad for me to read was as Cassia became more involved with Ky, Xander, her match, sort of faded into the background and he only appeared again when Cassia needed him for something or to stage a ray of hope that maybe, just maybe, Xander actually stands a chance. He doesn’t deserve that. He seems like a good guy.

Overall, this was an excellent read. I give ‘Matched’:

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Genres and Non-Humans

Book Blogger Hop

Happy Friday! Hopefully everyone had a good week, and if you didn't, well, it's behind you now. Everything is good!

Today (technically Thursday) is awesome because I just went to a concert and everyone was great. There are some talented musicians at my school! I also went with my best friend in the world, which made the experiences even better.

The Blog Hop is brought to you by Jennifer @ Crazy for Books! This week's question is:

Why do you read the genre that you do? What draws you to it?

What a spiffy question! I read a variety of books and I choose those books because of their beautiful covers and excellent descriptions. Most of these turn out to be Young Adult novels, Dystopian, or Fantasy/Paranormal.

I like Young Adult because a lot of those books go through things that I am familiar with as a junior in high school (raging hormones, love, difficult decisions, loss, etc.).

I'm drawn to Dystopian novels because it allows me to have that weird experience where the world I know is turned on its head and everyone is forced into an almost vegetable-like state where they're told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it (this applies to who you love, what kind of job you have, how many children you can have, and other such situations).

I love the paranormal/fantasy genre because they present subjects that are bigger than me and sometimes my mindset. I like reading about things that I can't see or physically touch.

Follow Friday is brought to you by Parajunkee. This week's question is:

What makes up your non-human family?

I love talking about my animals :)

I have four in all. Louie, the beagle that has been with us for at least two years now. Quincy, the mouse-catching cat (hurray for stereotypical cats!) and Sophie, the cat who hides in the basement. Sullivan, the dwarf Siberian hamster who lives in my room, actually knows how to run on the exercise wheel (my late gerbils were not smart enough to figure this out), and loves these little hamster treats that resemble chocolate chips, but they're yellow and they're supposed to taste like cheese (they don't. I tried).

Now you know.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave a comment below with your web address and I will try my best to come by and visit! Happy Hopping!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snap Shots of My Existence

I have more photos to share with you! Don't worry, we'll return to our regular program in no time at all.
I've always appreciated the colors in the sky. This is the first time I've photographed it, however.
It was one of those rare clear days/nights today, so the moon was out.
I think I said that I play piano somewhere. This is me pretending to play the piano (this time) and experimenting with lighting.
The opposite direction of the first sun set picture. Edited with Picnik.
Mah feets :) Typical Facebook/Myspace shot, but I have a "secret" soft spot for them. Feet are beautiful. Moreso without shoes (other people's feet, not mine).
The one thing that I appreciate about every church is the beauty inside it.
That's me in the picture. I was experimenting with dramatic lighting and angles.
My sister and Louie
Up close and personal with Louie

Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm Just a Figment of Your Imagination...

Alright, so I created a figment account!

Some of you might know that on top of reading books and writing this blog, I also like to write fiction. I have part of a story buried on this blog, but searching for it would be a little bit of a task... if you searched manually, that is.

If you're interested in reading what I write in the form of fiction, you can click HERE and you'll be taken to my page where you can see what I have created thus far.

I'm only proud of certain parts of my writing. I really want to get better and improve my writing. If you have constructive criticism for me, I'm all ears! Reviews and comments are more than welcome.

If you yourself have a figment account and you want me to visit/review/comment on your pieces, leave a comment below with your web address and I'll make my way over there.

Thanks for reading! And visiting, if that's what you decided to do.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Soap Opera Beagle

I don't know... can't you just see this puppy saying something really dramatic in a serious way like, "Lucinda... I might just be the father of your puppies," or "Molly, how could you betray like this?"

I'm loving my new Nikon. Just saying...


I Done Got An Award!

I'm so excited! I have been honored with a second award!
Thank you, Janine @ Me The Booknerd! If you haven't already, you should definitely check out her blog.

So, there are some things that I have to do in order to fully accept this award. They are:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Award to fifteen recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

Seven Things About Jude Rosenberg
1. I'm a Junior in high school

2. My favorite board game is Life

3. I play these instruments actively: Clarinet, piano, and some guitar; I have attempted to learn these instruments: Violin (which was fun) and bass guitar (which I miss)

4. I'm very competitive when it comes to games (of the virtual or real-life variety)

5. I love Tim Burton's movies. They're so creepy and wicked cool!

6. I like reading books about death or life after death. It probably sounds like I have a bit of a problem, but I don't. I just find those kinds of books fascinating.

7. My favorite type of school assignment is project because it involved little steps to come up with one big and beautiful results. I don't feel like I'm wasting my time with projects.

I'm passing this award on to:

You guys are all amazing :D

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Script Frenzy

It doesn't take place until April, but I didn't want to forget to sign up and therefore botch up my April goal of successfully completing an entire script.

So if you're joining in the Frenzy this April and you want to be writing buddies, I'm very open to this!

My Username: Mooseface

Leave a comment below with your username and I'll either go to accept your buddy request or to search for you!

You can go HERE to sign up for the Frenzy (no cost but a month of your devoted attention!). I have never written a long script before, so this will be an adventure! I know that my script will be meant for a screenplay, but I don't know who the characters are, what the plot is, where the whole thing takes place... I know nothing. But like I'm going to do for NaNoWriMo this November, I'm going to cheat and start preparing so that I can do nothing but write for the entire month of April.

Hope to see you there!


I Feel So Cutting Edge...

So... I jumped on the bandwagon today:
That's right. Today, when I was out with my mother (going first to an excellent art store where I was like a kid in a candy shop and then to Barnes and Noble) I saw this, not realizing that it had come out already (I'm so behind... it's embarrassing...). I got really excited! I have read so many very good things about this book on a number of different blogs. I paced in front of that book shelf so many times that there's probably a hole there and some two-year-old going to the kids section is going to fall through it back down to the first floor and then they're going to have to come upstairs again... it'll turn into a vicious cycle, I just know it.

Any way, I found it, several rows of copies just staring at me-- "Jude! Take us home and love us!" I bit my lower lip and reminded myself that I haven't yet read this book. I'm not going to buy it. I tore myself away and went looking around the other bookshelves looking for titles that I have never heard of before (I have an entire list of books in my bag. I need to transfer my findings to my Shelfari).

Then I came back to that fateful section of 'Matched' books. They're still calling to me-- "We know you're having second thoughts, Jude... take us home and love us!"

So, I cracked. The talking books convinced me. I picked up a copy of my very own, never looking back.

It was only after I checked out that I remembered why I never buy books or CDs in down town. I'm a poor teenager with no job and everything in down town is so darn expensive...

I also picked up these lovely findings:
'Going Bovine' by Libba Bray
I got my ACT scores back (they're not completely official, since I got them online and that's what they told me). My score was fine, but it's nothing to brag about. I did very well in English and Reading (the areas I wasn't worried about at all). I got the same score for both Math and Science. You might be able to guess, but those were my lower scoring areas. So I picked up a study book, because I figure my SAT is going to have a similar result, minus the science.

Today was awesome because I got to spend time with my mom!

Thanks for reading! I hope your day was great as well!


P.S. You can expect a recipe sometime tomorrow. I haven't done one of those in a long time, so I'm really excited to be starting this again!

A Review of 'Water for Elephants' by Sara Gruen

"As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival."

I had heard many talk about this book before, but my interest only peaked when my mom had to read it for her book club. While she was reading it, she would be next to me and she would read me the parts that were interesting to her. Whenever she would find a word that was foreign to her, I would look it up and she would keep reading. So before I even began to read this, I had good thoughts and memories for this book. Now that I've actually read it for myself, I can attest to just how good and wonderful it it!

The book starts off in a nursing home. Jacob Jankowski is remembering that incident that changed his life and The Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth forever. After that, we start at the beginning of everything that happens to Jacob. He is in college when someone tells him that his parents are dead. One of the townspeople had driven them off of the road and they fell to their deaths. Jacob is in Veterinarian school, just a few days from passing his exams and getting his degree.

I don't want to give it all away, so push-comes-to-shove, Jacob snaps, he runs away and he jumps a train that happens to belong to the Benzini Brother's Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

Almost right away (by this, I mean after the train stops) he meets the beautiful Marlena, the Liberty Horse woman, her husband August, and his new carmate, Walter-- Kinko the clown.

Jacob is brought on to the team as the Veterinarian. He is witness to August's extreme mood swings, to the magnificent shows, to the not-so-great shows, to the way everyone is, to the separation of the workers from the performers.

That was one thing that I found terribly interesting-- how the performers we raised above everyone else that worked on the show. They were the ones that got paid when there was enough money to do so and the ones that got the nice train cars. The performers were like the gods of the circus along with the bosses and Uncle Al (he runs the entire circus).

I liked the relationship between Jacob and Marlena. Not that I find this position to be desirable, it was just interesting how they ended up coping with it. There comes a point in the book where you know Marlena and Jacob are in love. You catch hints and nudges and you think, "Maybe..." but then there's that time where you think, "Oh absolutely!" They don't ignore each other, but they just kind of exchange glances and a few words in passing before something finally happens. Relationships like that are interesting.

Jacob's relationship between Walter and himself is interesting as well. Walter starts off hating Jacob and demands that he be called 'Kinko,' his show name. Only friends call him Walter. Then after that wild night with the "Cooch Girl," he's sympathetic to Jacob and even lets him call him Walter and read from the books in his crate of books. Jacob tests their bond several times, but Walter never falters, though he does get irritated several times.

In summation, 'Water for Elephants' was very-well written, it grabs your attention and never lets go. The characters were well-developed and they interacted with everyone else superbly.

I give 'Water for Elephants':
Thanks for reading!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Thank You ^_^

Dear Readers/Followers,

Sometime last week, I reached a milestone on my blog. I have surpassed 50 followers.

I meant to write this thank you note last week when this event happened, but life got in the way and I just didn't get around to accomplishing this. But since it's the start of this weekend's Blog Hop and Follow Friday, I figured this would be appropriate any way.

Thank you so much for deciding to follow me! I love reading your comments-- that's right, I read each and every one of them that comes in-- and my heart flutters and I have to do a happy dance every time I see that Follower counter increase by even one number.

I never would have expected this. This blog started with no plan or any kind of structure. I became a book blogger because every blog that I saw that reviewed books made it look like such a great time. And it is!

So thanks for stopping by when there's a Blog Hop/Follow Friday and whenever there's a new post. I am eternally grateful.

Jude Rosenberg

P.S. Welcome new Followers from this weekend's Blog Hop and Follow Friday! I'm glad that you could join us :)

Blog Follow Friday Hop!

Hello there!
Once again, it's Friday, which means it's time for the Blog Hop to return after its short hiatus and time for Follow Friday!
Follow Friday Question:
What book(s) have you discovered lately from someone's book blog?
I have found a couple good-looking books from the other book blogs that I follow. The only problem is, I haven't really gotten around to reading them just yet. I'm drawing a blank when it comes to the names of the book bloggers, but a few titles come to mind...

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
(after adding it to my Shelfari shelf, I was also compelled to add a large number of books by the same author to my To Be Read pile)

Going Bovine by Libba bray

The View From the Top by Hilary Frank
That's just to name a few of them though. I really wish that I could read at lightning speed so that I could get through all 575 books on my To Be Read pile! So many good books that need to be read...
Blog-Hop Question:
What book influenced or changed your life? How did it influence/change you?
What an excellent question!
The book that comes to mind straight away is...

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Besides the fact that I simply couldn't put the darn thing down, I started to look at life in a different way. One part of the book that I can remember is when she was dropping pennies on the ground. The boy she was walking with asked her what she was doing, or he tried to tell her that she was dropping all of her loose change and she replied something along the lines of, "I don't need them. But someone else might." I just thought that that was one of the coolest things, that Stargirl would think of others like that. That inspired me to try and think of others before myself more.

Book Blogger Hop

Thank you for stopping by my blog! Feel free to leave a comment and the address of your blog below and I'll try my best to stop by and visit you as well!
Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!
--Jude Rosenberg

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Shock to the System (But Not Really)

You might have noticed that there's something a little bit different about this page...

Yes, I have changed the style of my blog! I kept the background picture, because as I soon found out, picking a new one that fits perfectly without tiling the background is a humongous pain. I made everything lighter. It seems happier now, doesn't it? That's up for debate I guess...

Any who, tell me if you like this. I'm test-driving backgrounds, so if you see it change several times in the next few days, do not be alarmed.

Thanks for taking a peek!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rantings: On Banning Books and Censorship

A few minutes ago, I was skulking around my Dashboard page on Blogger and I saw that my friend Ezra had made a post with a very interesting title: Censorship of Huckleberry Finn.

I started to type a comment at the bottom of her post, but then I realized that I had a lot to say about this. So I'm moving here and I hope that she'll see it (I'm pretty sure she will).

First of all, on the subject of banning books. I don't agree with this practice. I once read an article about something similar. Perhaps you've heard about this too. This woman's eleven-year-old daughter was reading this book with her classmates. Soon after they started reading, she began to have nightmares regarding this book. Her mother goes to the school board and tells them that this book is inappropriate for her child and for the other children in that class. First of all, who is she to say what the other kids in the class can handle? Yes, the fact that twenty-four people between the ages of twelve and eighteen are supposed to kill each other is disturbing and inappropriate, but that's the point of the book. Katniss and the others see how disturbing this practice is and that's why they begin to plot against the Capitol so that this madness can stop and the Capitol won't have complete reign over the twelve districts of Panem. Suzanne Collins meant for her audience to experience feelings like this; shock at what the people in the Hunger Games are having to go through, disturbance, etc.

Just to stir up some sort of reaction to this, don't you think that this is a good thing that this woman's daughter reacted the way she did? Nightmares aren't fun, we know this. But the fact that she had this strong of a reaction to this book shows that she isn't desensitized and a lot of people aren't desensitized about this either. I'm sure there were plenty of hearts pounding while reading this book, because it was powerful.

Returning to the general subject of banning books...

My personal belief is that if you have a problem or some sort of hang-up with a particular book, that should just mean that you don't have to read it or finish it. If you're bothered by excessive swearing or sex scenes of all types or different ideologies, you don't have to read it. No one is making you. If you're reading a book for school or for class that you're offended by, you should ask your teacher about the reasons for picking this book or asking if there is an alternative. Just because you don't like the book for whatever reason doesn't mean you should keep other people from being able to read that book. You don't know those other children. They have had different experiences than you and they can handle things better than you [or your kids].

On that note, I'm thinking about that poor little eleven-year-old girl... what if the kids start making fun of her for being afraid of certain things in The Hunger Games? What if they start attacking her because her mother spoke up and demanded that the book should be banned? I feel bad for that girl... kids are cruel, especially to each other...

Back to what Ezra was talking about though...

The article she was referring to said that Huckleberry Finn was being banned because of the excessive use of the "N" word (a total of 219 times, according to that article).

This probably doesn't sound very good coming from a white girl, but I don't believe that they should have done that. Huck Finn is set in the Southern United States, where slavery was legal until 1865 when the 13th Amendment was passed on January 31. Before and even after that time, people used the "N" word. by taking out this word, you are removing a certain amount of authenticity, which doesn't seem quite right to me. By taking this word out, you are denying that there was a certain hatred towards a very celebrated group of people. Without that word, you are cutting the intensity of this hatred that many people felt and future generations-- my children, my children's children-- aren't going to know just what it was like to live in a society that was once this way. Words are powerful weapons are now you're just going to say that this never happened? I'm interested in seeing what the replacement word is...

Now I defend my integrity...

I do not believe that it is ever okay to use the "N" word or any of it's variations. It's offensive and just plain cruel. I'm always confused when I hear someone who is African American say those words. It hurts me, even as a Caucasian. It's like saying "That's so gay" or "retarded" as a synonym for stupid or dumb or something along the lines of that. It's not okay and it never will be, because every time you say that, you're offending someone out there, whether they hear you say it or not. I do not say these words or phrases. Not even when I read them somewhere.

One of my favorite holidays is Banned Books Week (September 25 to October 2). Okay, so it's not a calendar-recognized holiday, but it definitely should be. This week celebrates our freedom to read what we will, so banned or challenged are showcased and celebrated.

Some of my favorite banned/challenged books:
Forever-- Judy Blume (excessive sex scenes)
The Bermudez Triangle-- Maureen Johnson (Gay/Lesbian themes)
Jane Eyre-- Charlotte Bronte (I never found out just why this book was challenged or banned)
And of course there are others...

Hoo... Okay, so even though this was a really long and passionate speech up there, this was still a lot of fun. I think I need to respond to articles more often. I won't make it a weekly thing, but whenever a really interesting article comes up on the internet or in the newspaper.

Thank you so much for reading! Also, I'd love to hear your thoughts on anything mentioned above. Thank you Ezra (<--Clicky, clicky!) for bringing this to my attention, I don't think I would have posted otherwise :) If you haven't checked out Ezra's blog, I highly suggest that you do. She's a fun person and she talks about the most interesting things!

Thanks again.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Just thought that I would write an update on my resolutions... You're welcome to skip this post if you want, it won't be terribly interesting.

LONTEM: I have the first part of it filmed. I could recite the directions to you if you asked. But I won't, because that's for later. There's one more thing that I want to do, but I don't know when I'm going to be able to get to that. Well, I have until the end of January, so I think I'm good.

2011 Reading Challenge: As you can tell, I haven't made a lot of progress on this. I'm reading, just not finishing any. That's also okay. It's only four days into the new year (it feels like a lot longer... how odd...)

Audio Books Challenge: It doesn't look like it, but I have made progress on this! I cheat and I go to my library's website and reserve books so that I don't have to go look (I only do that if I have a quantity of reserved books under ten). I reserved three and their counterpart books so that I may get the full experience. I'm rather excited! I think I'm going to have to move my radio so I can listen at night.

Little Things Scrapbook: This is going a little bit like NaNoWriMo 2010 went... I had a good start, but then I started to get behind. Lucky for me, I don't have to write 1,000 words a day, just take at least one picture for every day. I can easily make this up. I'm only two pictures behind.

That's it for my update! Thanks for reading if you did!


Les Morts et Les Partis-- A French Soap Opera

I now present my group's French Soap Opera project!

"Les Morts et Les Partis" means "The Dead and the Gone" (inspired by Susan Beth Pfeffer) I'll edit this post later with the translation of everything. For now, the subtitles are in French, because this is a school project.

Questions? Comments? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for watching!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Abandoned Books and Soap Operas

Picking new books on a budget is how I imagine adopting a child would be like.

This Christmas, I received a book that I already owned and a shirt that was too big. No big deal, I could still take those items back and switch them out for something different. So tonight, my mom, my sister, and I went to Target and I got to find items to switch the book and the shirt for. Lo and behold, I found myself in the book isle.

I was in heaven just being there.

So I was walking up and down the aisles. And up and down again.

I couldn't decide! There were so many books that looked good! I wanted to pick a book or two that I had already read or I knew that I liked the author. That helped a little bit, but not much.

I felt like I was abandoning all of the other books that couldn't come home with me.

Well, eventually I found these two books (above and below). That's right, I indulged in the romance genre and I'm very happy about this. It's almost Valentine's Day (not really, but it's one of the upcoming holidays) so I find this to be appropriate.

I don't think that I've reviewed these two books yet, so you can look forward to those in the future.

Today, I started school again after two weeks of winter break. My French group is almost done with our Soap Opera. As soon as we film part three and I get it edited, I'll upload it to YouTube and then post it here. I feel like it has turned out quite well, considering how much we procrastinated...

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 and The LONTEM Project

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Hurray! It's 2011 and everything is new and swell!

Well, I suppose I should tell you my final decisions for my "Learn One New Thing Every Month" Project. I think we should abbreviate this in the future... from now on, it's LONTEM Project.

January: How to Make Crayons

I love crayons so much!

February: Say "I Love You" in 10-15 languages

Languages are quite fascinating to me, and this just seems more interesting than learning all of the swear words.

March: Yoga

My strange 10th grade English teacher (my initial English teacher) taught us how to relax through yoga. That was the one thing I enjoyed about English class the first half of the year.

April: Write a Script

It's Script Frenzy month! Plus, I've never tried it before, so why not?

May: Plant a garden and keep the plants alive

I've planted plants before, it's the keeping them alive part that I can't seem to grasp.

June: Juggling

I've always wanted to do this. I heard that it's best to start practicing when you're outside, so this month might be a good idea.

July: Snorkeling

First I have to find a snorkel. Then I have to practice breathing through my mouth. This will hopefully get me practiced up for when I swim with manatees.

August: Play a song on guitar

I cannot guarantee that the song I play will be good or if I will sing. If I do sing, I can't guarantee that that will be pleasant either.

September: Read Palms

Sounds interesting. I've never actually thought about learning this before, but I saw it on someone else's list and thought that was a cool idea.

October: How to cook something that isn't bakery related

You know, expand my horizons a little bit...

November: Successfully Write a Novel in One Month

There's a lot of cheating going on. For one, it's NaNoWriMo and for another, I'll be practicing for this throughout the year.

December: Build an Igloo

I've built the sides of one before, but the roof always caves in and I end up using an umbrella.

My plan for each month is to research, learn the subject, and then make a video including all of this information in it and posting it here. Fair warning: I reserve the right to change the subject of learning for the month and to switch a couple subjects around. This must be done before the start of that month.

Great! Now that that's done, let's move on to New Years...

What did you guys end up doing yesterday and today?

I went to my boyfriend's house where he, his family, and I played Wii (I got a chance to play Just Dance 2 and win lots of times again!), played board games (Clue, Mancala, Connect Four, Sequence, etc.). We also watched District 9 (very cool and interesting. I might do a review of it later, but we'll see how my mood is). We watched the ball drop in New York and then watched it again at midnight our time. I got kissed at midnight and then we watched the various musical artists play music that I mostly wasn't familiar with, but then there were a couple that I knew, but just barely and I didn't care for a couple. The cast of 'American Idiot' performed some snippets of their songs, My Chemical Romance was there, Avril Lavigne, ummm.... La Roux, Ke$ha (we were very confused as to whether the Ke$ha that was there was actually Ke$ha, because the one that was there looked really masculine, which I hadn't noticed in the real Ke$ha), Ne-Yo, Drake, Little Wayne (Lil Wayne? I'm not quite sure what "Lil" means... it's not a word, it's a nickname, like in Rugrats, or a lazy pronunciation of 'little.'). After the performances started to trickle to an end, I was taken home around 1:30 or 2:00 and now I'm here, writing to you and catching up on the slew of YouTube videos that were submitted while I was absent.

It was a really great night! I'm really excited for what's to come in 2011.

Happy New Years! I really need to get some sleep... I shouldn't be awake at 3:30 in the morning still...

Thanks for reading!