Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone can be a very polarizing book. You have the people who will tout it's greatness and marvel at one book's ability to get children to read; and then you have another group of people who will do nothing but bad-mouth this book, stating that it is nothing more than a tool to teach children the art of witchcraft. The second group has probably never read this book, or any children's books of any merit, for that matter. If they did, they would see the wonder that lives in these stories. Most children do not want to read. It is a skill that is mastered slowly; and honestly, most children are too impatient to really get there. That's why books like this are so wonderful. The story is one that (almost) every child can relate to.

Harry has his eleventh birthday and finds out something wonderful about himself. He really is special and his family really is just the most boringest of the boring families ever. What child doesn't want this? He gets to leave his boring life of being picked on by bigger kids and ignored by his family and enters this fascinating world of magic and wizards and mail-delivering owls and chocolate frogs that actually jump. He makes new friends rather quickly, despite being one of the most famous wizards of his time.

But Harry's new life is not without bullies and bad stuff here. There is Draco Malfoy, whose only goal in life seems to be making Harry Potter miserable. Professor Snape also has a dislike for Harry that would almost be understandable, if Snape didn't try to hard to make it obvious that he hates Harry.

Harry Potter lives through a lot of the trials that normal children face every day. Mean teachers, bullies, super hard exams, and learning new sports. Just because he does it while at a school for magic doesn't make it any less real for children. If anything, children are more willing to believe in Harry's trials and tribulations despite the magic. It almost makes it harder for him. Not only does he have to get through all the same things they are dealing with, he has to learn how to be a wizard on top of it all. And someone is out to get him.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Book Review: Geek Love

This book took me FOREVER to read. I did not enjoy it, at all. I found myself reading the same paragraphs over and over again, lost in my thoughts that were no way related to the story. The characters were unlikable and I didn't care about them. The narrator, Olympia, was passive and never did anything because SHE wanted to. She did what other people around her TOLD her to do. No thank you.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Update Time

I'm behind on my reading, again. I am finding it very hard to really get into the book I'm reading at the moment. It's not a terrible book, I just don't care about any of the characters the way I normally do. But I'll keep on trudging through it.

In other news: tomorrow I'm getting a haircut. My first one in almost a year. I'm terrified. Of haircuts. It's true. They scare the bejeezus out of me. I know I'll feel better once it happens, but I'm going to work myself into a frenzy just thinking about it until then.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Review: Labyrinth

I thought I did the review for this one already, but apparently not. Well, it's Friday at work and that means Jeans Day! and I really don't have much else to keep me occupied. So, I'm going to catch up all my book reviews/thoughts from the last few I've read. I'll start here.

Labyrinth was disappointing. It had such great potential. I thought it would be an archaeological mystery where someone stumbles into an old important historic site, finds something of importance and the mystery surrounding that item or site would come out, detractors would also find themselves out in the open and maybe even a love story would blossom. But No. This was not what I got out of this book at all. It was more of a historical fiction than anything else, and I don't really like historical fiction. Especially not books that focus on the Crusades and the lack of importance that women had and the importance of religious persecution.  I'm not saying that those aren't important topics, but they were not handled well within the constraints of this story.

It started off fine, but quickly devolved into a sort of mock-feminist escapade that lost its luster quickly. There were too many story lines that started at roughly the same time and when the story would jump back and forth between the present and the past, I found it very hard to keep up with what era we were currently experiencing. Especially considering the characters names were disturbingly similar. I never knew what was going on 100 percent of the time. I think I just fumbled through this book hoping it would end much more quickly than it did.

 2 stars. No more.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Review: Inkheart

I am not ashamed to admit that my Mom was the first person to tell me about this book. We often trade books because we tend to like the same things in our literature: fantasy, magic, other realms, time travel, etc., so this book was perfect for us to share.

Meggie and Mo are both book lovers and they have such an endearing relationship that I can't help but squee internally every time they are on the page together. Dustfinger, as much as he plays a minor villain, is also lovable, in a discrete fashion. You could never tell Dustfinger that he was your favorite character, but he would appreciate it just the same.

The novel feels like it is one long prologue, honestly. As much as I loved the book overall, it took far too long to really get into the "meat" of the story.

It is really a story for and about book lovers. And anyone who has ever wished they could live inside their favorite novel. Or even those people who want to bring their favorite characters to life. This book serves a kind of warning about what would happen if you could. It also takes you on an interesting ride along the way.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Review: Ender's Game

I loved this book. I'll admit that it took me a few tries to really get into it, but I was completely absorbed once I got past the first few pages. Ender is not a typical child, by any means. His siblings are also not typical children. None of the children in this novel would be considered normal. They are all in the Battle School for a reason and that is a hard fact to face when you consider their age. They are there to fight and to train and to win a war.

Ender is singled out and separated from the very beginning of the novel, almost in a pure outsider role. He is going to be the best at what he does and his teachers and trainers see this very early on. They make his life difficult in trying to make him the ultimate victor.

The games the children train with are not the most inventive of strategy games, but they are constantly pushed to their limits with them. I think this is a key theme in the novel. Ender quickly realizes that doing something a hundred times the same way and expecting different results will never work out. He knows that you must try new things to get a new outcome.

Ender is also kept in the dark about a lot of the dealings at the Battle School. The teachers purposefully withhold information from him because they don't want to see his demeanor change or see his spirit break. They are using him as a pawn in their war against the Buggers and as much as Ender knows this, he also avoids directly dealing with this information. His day to day survival is more than enough for him to deal with.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mini Rant


how does one go about finding a new job WITHOUT using their current boss as a reference.

backstory: i work as a receptionist/hall monitor for a not-busy-at-all national brokerage. i literally get paid to sit at a desk for 9 hours a day and read reddit, kr, cnn, whatever else it hasn't blocked that day, and answer the phone maybe 5 times all day. i'm not complaining, but dear jesus, i am bored. BORED. so bored.

ive applied for several jobs recently, even had a first/second interview with one but when it came time for the reference check, my current boss was on vacation that week, so she never returned their call. which in turn makes me look like an asshole. job 1. lost due to ineffectual manager.

ive applied for several positions with the company im currently working at (we are a contract position. i work for a staffing solutions at a large firm that does not handle their own office automation.) the problem here lies that the firm im applying with would be required to pay a "finders fee" for stealing me away from my current company.

well, i called my manager today to find out the logistics of that, specifics of my "contract situation" and whatnot. and was promptly told that "switching jobs like that just looks bad on your part. you havent even been here a year yet." so i told her that "yeah. i know. the last 3 jobs on my resume are all for less than a year" the response to this is "good to know"

DEAR manager, you hired me. you saw my resume previously. you made the decision to bring me on, knowing that i am highly overqualified for this position. i hold two bachelors degrees and am doing a job a retarded one armed monkey could do blindfolded. im over-fucking-qualified for this position. stop acting like a petulant child who was just told you cant have cookies for dessert and help me get the fuck out of here. i mean, you cant fault me for wanting to better myself, can you?

but, the real reason she's being this way is that it took a year to hire me. no one wants this job. its boring. she just doesnt want to be forced into find a replacement receptionist. one that everyone in the office will like. it's harder than it sounds. i work with a picky bunch of over-privileged insurance brokers. im the lowest paid person here and definitely not the least intelligent.

this just pisses me off. how can i get a job or even put in an application if i cant list my current manager as contactable? this looks AWFUL. and it is awful. i feel like im being forced to stay in a job im not happy at, that she's told me i seem unhappy in, because of sheer ineptitude. i dont make 25,000 a year in gross wages. i am disgusted with this entire situation right now.

i will clean up the formatting later. im about to leave work for the day.