Confessions of a Shopoholic by Sophie Kinsella

Title:  Confessions of a Shopaholic

Author:  Sophie Kinsella

Paperback:  350 pages

ISBN:  0440241413

On Monday morning I wake early, feeling rather hollow inside.  My gaze flits to the pile of unopened carrier bags in the corner of my room and then quickly flits away again.  I know I spent too much money on Saturday.  I know I shouldn’t have bought two pairs of boots.  I know I shouldn’t have bought that purple dress.  In all, I spent… Actually, I don’t want to think about how much I spent.  Think about something else, quick, I instruct myself.  Something else.  Anything’ll do.

I’m well aware that at the back of my mind, thumping quietly like a drumbeat, are the twin horrors of Guilt and Panic.

Guilt Guilt Guilt Guilt.

Panic Panic Panic Panic.

If I let them, they’d swoop in and take over.  I’d feel completely paralyzed with misery and fear.  So the trick I’ve learned is simply not to listen.  My mind is very well trained like that.

-Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, page 154

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella lends a comedic voice to an all-to-real problem plaguing many today.  It’s a story told by the main character, Rebecca Bloomwood, as she struggles to gain control of her shopping addiction.  From the private thoughts and justifications, like the item’s on sale so buying two saves more, to the terror when seeing the credit card bills in the mail.  At times I heard a few of my own thought processes echoed in Bex, lol.

Miss Bloomwood tries to get her spending under control, even going so far as to work through a self help book… unfortunately, though, she ends up spending a lot more money than she did without the book, as well as stinking up the apartment with the smell of defeat and bad curry.  Her father offers the advice that she has two choices:  Cut back or make more money.  Obviously cutting back was a bust, so she tries the MMM approach.  Her short-lived career in retail ends in disaster when she learns the hard way that hiding clothing from the customer will get you fired.  She also finds that she is NOT the craftiest person and the “make money at home” thing isn’t for her.  Nor can she force herself to fall in love with a millionaire, no matter how much her friend might want it.  It would seem that she is destined to retreat to her parents and regress from adulthood, and even there she can’t escape her incompetence.

Can this shopaholic make it?

Just then the post plops through the door, and I go to pick it up.  There’s a handwritten letter for Suze and a postcard from the Maldives.  And for me, there are two ominous-looking window envelopes.  One from VISA, one from Endwich Bank.

For a moment, my heart stands still.  Why another letter from the bank?  And VISA.  What do they want?  Can’t they just leave me alone?

-p. 155

For the most part, I enjoyed this book.  It was funny and truthful.  The scene in the store with the customer wanting the pair of pants Becky had been planning to buy after her first day of work had me rolling.  And the romantic tension between Luke and her is quite delicious.  I did, however, find her mildly annoying after awhile.  Honestly, there were points toward the end where I was yelling at the book, “For goodness sake!  Just tell the truth!”  For shopping is not Rebecca Bloomwood’s only vice, lying seems to be her native tongue.  Sometimes, she even lies for no apparent reason.

All in all Confessions of a Shopaholic is a bit of fluff that can be a quick escape from the more serious books, and I’ve been holding off on watching the movie until I’ve finished the book.  I suspect this will be one of those examples where the movie is better than the book…. then again, after watching a trailer for it, I realized NONE of the movie is what I had remembered the trailers before the book (I thought Amy Adams played Rebecca and Chris Noth Luke Brandon!), nor is it very much at all like the book.  Ah, well!  I give Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella 3 out of 5 stars.

Fruits Basket Volume 3 and 4 by Natsuki Takaya

KYO KYO!!!!Title:  Fruits Basket, Volume 3

Author:  Natsuki Takaya

Paperback:  200 pages

ISBN:  9781591826057

Challenges:  Manga Challenge

The third installment of Sensei Takaya’s delightful manga series that gives the reader a window into the life of the cursed Sohma family and how Tohru Honda, a sweet and naive young orphan they’ve taken in and with whom they’ve shared their secret that some in their family are possessed by the vengeful animal spirits of the Chinese zodiac, features the rebellious cat-posessed Kyo Sohma on the cover.  Kyo is probably one of my favorite characters, he is certainly one of the funniest, and this book introduces another of my favorites:  Hatsuharu, the bull.

The book begins with a school race, which the highly-competitive Kyo sees as an opportunity to beat his ultimate rival and cousin, Yuki Sohma, the rat.  The pictures had Maggie and I laughing out loud in public places, trying to keep ourselves under control but often not able,   class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=””>Kyo with his cat ears, fangs, eyes and tail with electric energy swirling around him as he focuses on thoroughly trouncing “That damn rat Yuki” in the race was hilarious.  It’s during the race that Haru shows up and challenges Kyo to a fight, during which Black Haru comes out and makes sexual innuendos about what he’s going to do with Tohru.

Valentine’s Day happens in this book, as well, which brings Kagura back… much to Kyo’s displeasure.  Hatori, the Sohma family doctor, is introduced and Momiji makes another appearance and invites Tohru, Yuki and Kyo to the Sohma family spa for White Day.  Momiji, the rabbit, is another one of those funny, slightly naughty, characters who likes to look pretty.  The trouble is, though, the dress-wearing, fingernail-polished, blonde is a BOY.  Also, the interactions between Kyo and Momiji is reminiscent of the baby brother tag-a-long and annoyed older brother.  Kyo often noogies, pinches and restrains the over-zealous Momiji, who cries and whines loudly to any who’ll listen that he’s being abused by Kyo.

The final page of the book still makes me laugh, and I’ll often repeat it back to Mags, who will break out in groaning laughter and rolling her eyes.  Shigure shows Haru the little cosplay maid outfit he’s bought for Tohru as his White Day gift saying, “I can’t wait for her to call me Master wearing this.”  To which Haru replies, “Just Make sure you don’t get arrested, okay?”

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ShigureTitle:  Fruits Basket, volume 4

Author:  Natsuki Takya

Paperback:  216 pages

ISBN:  9781591826064

Challenges:  Manga Challenge

Fruits Basket, volume 4 begins with a new year at school and the addition of Haru and Momiji as first years at Yuki, Kyo and Tohru’s high school.  Akito, the abusive, frightening, mercurial head of the Sohma family visits the school, specifically to see Tohru.  He tries to come off as being kind, but it’s even scarier than when he’s his normal evil self.

Tohru is meets another Sohma in a shocking way when Yuki’s older brother, Ayame, crawls into her clothing in his snake form.  Ayame’s visit is an attempt to get closer to his brother, but Yuki seems to dislike and resent him.  Ayame’s visit also brings a reunion  of the Madubachi Trio (The nickname of Shigure, Hatori and Ayame as a group in high school) and stories of their escapades when they were in school.

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As a series, Fruits Basket is fun and light, with a bit of sexual humor and the occasional homosexual undertone.  Ayame owns a dress shop that may be a  “>cosplay store, and may or may not be in love with Hatori.  Haru also makes a comment about Yuki being his first love.  There is also violence, some amount of mysticism and Tohru’s ancestor worship with her mom’s picture… a Japanese thing, I know.  But, all in all, the story, writing and artwork tickles my funny bone and Maggie loves reading it with me, which is one of the best thing about them :-)

Fruits Basket Volume 2 by Natsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket volume 2 by Natsuki TakayaTitle:  Fruits Basket volume 2

Author:  Natsuki Takaya

Softcover:  200 pages

ISBN:  1591826047

Challenges:  Manga Challenge

From the back cover:

A family with an ancient curse…
And the girl who will change their lives forever…

Ever since Tohru Honda discovered the Zodiac secret of the Sohma clan, her eyes have been opened to a world of magic and wonder. But with such a great secret comes great responsibility. When her best friends Hana-chan and Uo-chan come to the Sohma house for a sleepover, Tohru has her work cut out for her keeping the “Cat” in the bag and the “Dog” on a leash.

Mags and I started to read just a chapter or so last night and, before we knew it, there was one lonely chapter left.  The clock read 12:30 am, and we had church to go to, so we saved those last few pages for today.  Okay, the cover has Yuki Sohma on it, aka Prince Charming, Prince Yuki, Rat Boy and Damn Rat (the last one is Kyo’s pet name for him), and Maggie’s lip marks have permanently tarnished Sohma-kun’s face.  She’s eager for us to finish with book three, which has Kyo on the cover, so she can kiss all over him, too, and then make book 2 and book 3 fight over book 1.  What a deal, not only do we get books to read, but they’re dolls and action figures, too.  LOL!

So book 2 picks up after Tohru’s been staying… or shacking up as her aunt and cousins call it… with Shigure, Yuki and Kyo, and in this book her two best friend’s Hanna (she has electrowave powers) and Uo (who used to be a Yankee, which is like a gang girl, I guess) come for a sleep over.  This can prove disastrous if the guys aren’t careful, since an embrace from the opposite sex, accidental or on purpose, can cause them to transform into their zodiac animal.  Also in this book is a cross-dressing Yuki, a half-German boy who likes to wear girls clothes (Yuki was coerced, Momiji dresses that way because he likes to look pretty), New Year’s banquet, and Tohru is summoned to the Sohma estate to meet with Hatori, the one who erases people’s memories when they find out about the Sohma family curse.  Lots of sugar and love from Tohru and lots of animosity and rancor back and forth between Yuki and Kyo, with a smattering of perv-ishness from Shigure.

Oh yeah… and a herd of cats.

If you want to watch the whole vid, it’s cool. The song’s great, Mags and I will randomly sing it without realizing it… occasionally at the same time, weird. But the parts I’m after is from 2:29 to 4:58, OR for an even shorter snippit, 3:29 to 3:46 for just the “Kyo and the herd of cats” part.

Friday Fill-Ins ~ If We Get Dee-vorced, Is We Still Cousins?

Serendipity
Graphic courtesy of Tonya!

And…here we go!

1. She had a great uncle who was married to his half-cousin who was the daughter of her uncle who was the brother of her mother until they were divorced, and now the entrance to the family reunions are guarded by a metal detector.

2. My left hip is by my side, always.

3. I know this: Shellacked moose turds are NOT my idea earring and necklace pendants (They really sell them in Alaska, my sister showed me some).

4. I got up to go to the bathroom, stopped to check if the Friday Fill-Ins were up yet, and I have to pee still.

5. These words apply to me: inca, dinka, doo and nee… but I turn down their application because they make absolutely no sense.

6. The sun was shining on the sea, shining with all his might: He did his very best to make the billows smooth and bright– and this was odd, because it was the middle of the night.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going to the library and watching Inkheart, Sammi getting leaving to spend July with her dad, me going to Maggie’s VBS program, finishing Water for Elephants and writing the review, tomorrow my plans include taking Mags and Gwen out to lunch and finishing reading Something Beyond Greatness and Sunday, I want to go to church (we missed last week) and vegging out in front of the TV… or doing what our Pastor always says, “Fellowshipin’ with Pastor Pillow and Sister Sheets… can I get an ‘Amen!’ :-D!

Viral Video Wednesday ~ LOST

 

Welcome to Viral Video Wednesday, May 27th :-)  For anyone who noticed, last week’s VVW was skipped because it coincided with my book blog tour stop of They Plotted Revenge Against America, and I wanted to give the book the whole day.  But we’re back this week, and this week’s installment topic is LOST.

I am a Lostie, for sure… though not quite as much of one as some people.  I keep acquiring, but haven’t read any of, the books that are mentioned in the television series LOST.  I guess since the next season won’t start until FEBRUARY OF NEXT YEAR :-( , then I have time to read said books, but my point is that I’m a middle of the road Lostie.  I do my best to watch every episode, I’ll probably be working my way through the whole series to date between now and the next (and final) season, and trying to get caught up on a lot of the theories floating around.  I’m not so much of a fan that I’m going to build a SIM for it on SecondLife (they already have one, btw, been there… not much going on at the time), nor am I going to make a fan site, change my username to FRECKLES629, or start hiding in the bushes whenever I see a puff of black smoke nearby.  But, I do enjoy the show. :-D

So, in honor of the shows recent season finale, I’m dedicating my VVW to some of the fan and funny LOST vid clips.  I’d love for you to share your favorites, too, either leaving a link in your comment or posting a VVW on your blog and linking up :-D  So, on with the vids!

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During the first half of the series, they showed some silly Lost parodies. So I had to go on YouTube and see what other people were doing. The Fine Brothers have quite a few really funny ones, and they remind me of when we were kids playing with an incomplete set of toys. Barbies, He-Man toys, and Star Wars figures would fill in for whatever character we were lacking, and as kids, we never batted an eye. But, as an adult looking back, sometimes they were funny or even bizarre substitutions. The Fine Brothers make that very point:

Star Trek meets Heroes meets Lord of the Rings meets LOST meets Bill and Ted meets Matrix meets Back to the Future (in other words, just like the season finale :-D ):

I loved reading Mad Magazine when I was a kid, and loved it when they made a TV show. Here’s MadTV’s LOST, guest starring Jeff Probst from Survivor

And The Bohemian LOST Rhapsody, with a Weird Al Yankovic touch:

Jimmy Kimmel’s also a Lostie, and he likes to visit Hawaii… so he decided to combine the two and visit the set of LOST:

And I’ll end my VVW with this LOST clip from fellow Hoosier and Lefty, David Letterman (btw, I sat through all ten… you’ll get that if you do to ;-) ):

So, what’s your favorite thing from the show LOST? Who’s your favorite character? What’s your favorite LOST memory?

OR

Do you hate (strongly dislike) LOST and wish people’d just shut up about it already? If so, What’s wrong with you? Why do you dislike the show? :-D

Next week’s VVW topic is: I didn’t make it on American Idol, and look at me now!

Friday Fill-Ins ~ The Jeffersons Sing-Along at the Indy 500!

And…here we go!

1.  Well, we’re moving on up!  To the East-side to a dee-luxe apartment in the sky-i-i. come on, sing it with me! 

2.  If a hotel needs to post the following sign:  We guarantee all our rooms are BED BUG free!  I don’t recommend staying there ;-)

3. My best quality is my sense of humor.

4. The devil is in the  details.And he goes to church every Sunday, GUARANTEE he’s in Congress, and I think he works in the kitchen at Wendy’s… which is probably why I get sick every time I eat there.

5. In nearly 10 years, 9 years, 364 days passed.

6. The power to freeze time is what I need right now!  Oh, think of all I could get done and all the books I could read if I could stop time!  I think that’s how S. Krishna gets so many books read ;-)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to finishing Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and watching the BBC series on Netflix, tomorrow my plans include finishing The Sandman, volume 1, also by Neil Gaiman,  and watching Stargate: SG1 season 2 and Sunday, I want to listen to (and later watch… sux living within 75 miles of the Speedway!) the greatest spectacle in racing, The INDIANAPOLIS 500 (okay, I’m geeked up now :-D!

Viral Video Wednesday ~ Stalkers!

STALKERS!  We’ve all seen stories on the news about them.  They stalk celebrities, some delusionally believing they have a relationship with the object of their obsessions.  Even Queen Elizabeth had one!

Wikepedia has this to say:

Individuals characterised as stalkers may have a mistaken belief that the other person loves them (erotomania), or have a desire to help the other person. Stalking consists of a series of actions which in themselves can be legal, such as calling on the phone, sending gifts, or sending emails.

And lists the following types of stalkers:

  •  Rejected stalkers pursue their victims in order to reverse, correct, or avenge a rejection (e.g. divorce, separation, termination).
  • Resentful stalkers pursue a vendetta because of a sense of grievance against the victims – motivated mainly by the desire to frighten and distress the victim.
  • Intimacy seekers seek to establish an intimate, loving relationship with their victim. To them, the victim is a long-sought-after soul mate, and they were ‘meant’ to be together.
  • Incompetent suitors, despite poor social or courting skills, have a fixation, or in some cases a sense of entitlement to an intimate relationship with those who have attracted their amorous interest. Their victims are most often already in a dating relationship with someone else.
  • Predatory stalkers spy on the victim in order to prepare and plan an attack – usually sexual – on the victim.

We’ve all felt rejected at one time or another, and “bumped into” the person more than chance would allow.  Or, had a crush on someone and rearranged our schedule just so we could be where they would be… taking the long way to our destination, for instance, so we could drive by their house. 

Come on… Don’t tell me it’s just me…  I saw you in that bush last week, so fess up!

lol…  But do STALKERS have an anthem, a theme song?  And if they did, what would that song be?  Well, this first video is proof I should update my bookmarks more often.  ORIGINALLY… I had Morrissey’s creepy-as-HELL video of The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get for this spot, but UNfortunately… some bigwigs somewhere threw a fit about the use of Morrissey’s song and all that, and the vid’s now muted.  So… I had to sub in this 1995 Mickey Mouse Club version.  *sigh

Pay particular attention to the lyrics:

I will be
In the car
With my hand
In the spots
I am now
A central part
Of your mind’s landscape
Whether you care
Or do not
Yeah, I’ve made up your mind 

The more you ignore me
The closer I get
You’re wasting your time
The more you ignore me
The closer I get
You’re wasting your time

Beware !
I bear more grudges
Than lonely high court judges
When you sleep
I will creep
Into your thoughts
Like a bad debt
That you can’t pay
Take the easy way
And give in
Yeah, and let me in

Was that a young Jamie Lynn Spears intro’ing the vid?

Yeah, Morrisey’s is definitely creepier than the teenie-bopper one.  PERHAPS, that’s because we expect, or at least forgive, teens to be obsessive.  Morrissey, on the other hand, is a grown and already-mildly-creepy man and should be able to understand reality and have some amount of self-control.

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Until I saw and heard the Morrissey video, the next song was what I considered the theme song for stalkers everywhere.  Ever since I was a teenager, The Police’s song Every Breath You Take has seemed a bit stalker-ish to me.  AND the following video proves that I’m not the only one to think that! Listen to the lyrics:

 

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And then there is FRED. Poor Fred! He can’t help it that he’s in love with Judy, even though she’s such a BRAT! She won’t IM him back at all, so what could he do? Of course he had to sneak in her house, sniff her perfume, go through her drawers, and such. But he’s NOT a STALKER!

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Paula Abdul’s stalker, Paul Marturano, auditioned on the 7th season of American Idol with his offerings of his obsessive love for the F in the AI mfm party.

So, now it’s your turn. Post a link of your fav stalker video in the comments here, or better yet… Blog your own VVW and leave a link in the comments!

Next week’s VVW topic: Sing it loud! Sing it proud! Sing it WRONG… Misheard Lyrics.

The Sunday Salon ~ Guaranteed Job-Winning Interview

The Sunday Salon.com

I’ve been travelling through space and time a lot this week.  I’ve been to the desert planet of Arrakis, 8000 years into the future.  I’ve been to late 19th century England and Narnia (again) to watch the world’s beginning and the entrance of evil before it was even 5 hours old.  And now, I’ve just returned from a frightening not-to-distant future United States.  Oddly enough, they have more in common than just time.

In all three books, Dune, The Magician’s Nephew, and Fahrenheit 451, there is oppressive rulers and the reaching into the minds of people to control their very thoughts.  With Dune, the Bene Gesserit wish to control who gets knowledge and sight, who marries whom, and even what sex a child will be.  The Harkonnens and Sardukars viciously hunt and kill the Fremen in a pogrom, because the Fremen are independent and refuse to kiss the perverse butts of the disgusting Harkonnen “rulers.”

With The Magician’s Nephew, the Witch destroyed her own world in a bid to control it and take the throne from her sister, using the deplorable word to kill all life except the one who speaks it.  Then she tries to take over England, but without her magic, she’s just a violent nutter on a thieving rampage.  Once in Narnia, however, she’ll hide and bide her time… then make the move to enslave and opress the land for her own pleasure.

Fahrenheit 451, though, is the one I’ve most recently finished, so the thoughts about it are still tumbling around.

The fun thing with Fahrenheit 451 is that it’s been on Mt. TBR since before there was a Mt. TBR, way back when it was just an “I’m gonna read that soon” pile, when there were maybe 20 books on that pile.  I have NO idea how many books are on Mt. TBR now. Library Thing says I have catalogued almost 1000 books, but some of those are books I’ve read, or books I’ve mooched away and NOT read.  I have tagged 493 books either unread or TBR, but I’ve gotten lazy and haven’t been tagging any of the books I add, so I’d say Mt. TBR is well over 300 books (simply “unread” don’t count as TBR books).

So, some of my thoughts on Fahrenheit 451… 

One of the things that Guy Montag has to do is to decide which book he’ll sacrifice.  Captain Beatty knows he took a book and tells him if he turns it in within 24 hours, it’ll be forgiven.  Montag’s not sure if Beatty knows he has one book, a hundred books or which title, so he figures if he brings him one book, any book, he’ll pass without suspicion.  But how can he choose?  He decides not to turn over the last known surviving copy of The Bible, which was a funny moment with his wife, who asked him:  Which is more important, me or that book?  Der, easy answer… 

*SORTA SPOILER ALERT*  After running from the police, Montag finds a group of men hobo’ing who have memorized a chapter of a book, or even entire books, and burned the hard copies, and now wait for a time when society will return to it’s senses and want literature again.  They half-jokingly introduce themselves as the particular book title, i.e. “Hi!  I am Plato’s Republic, and Simmons is Marcus Aurelius.”  Knowing how the statement “I am” is an affirmation, and also that the more you say it, the more it takes hold and becomes a truth about you,  I wonder who they’ll be in 20 years.  Their personalities, and such.

In Fahrenheit 451, Mildred, Montag’s wife, is very attached to her “family,” the people on the television.  These “relatives” yell at each other, call each other names, act the fool, and are otherwise “entertaining”.  They have a device that allows the owner to hear their own name in messages and shows, and the picture is even adjusted to make the actor’s lips appear to say the name.  So that for her, the announcer says, “Mrs. Montag, wouldn’t you love to try Denham’s Dentifrice?”  And their living room, or parlor room, has wall-sized screens (remember, this was written in the late 40′s – early 50s), and when you had all 4 of your wall-screens installed, it would be just like being in the show… surrounded by your “family”.  Creepy!  and sad…

Clarisse McClellen is the oddball neighbor that sets Montag’s feet on the road of awakening.  She tells him of how kids her age frighten her.  They enjoy killing each other and themselves and destroying things.  They go to the “amusement park” and break windows in “Vandalism Town” or drag race legally, as long as they have enough insurance they can destroy whatever they want. 

One of Mrs. Montag’s friends tells how she thinks it was nice having kids, and she does her best to accommodate them the 3 days out of a month she has them (the rest of the time they’re away at school… grade schoolers, btw).  She just plopped them down in the parlor with the “relatives” as soon as they got home from the hospital.   But, she doesn’t know why they hate her.  Hmm…

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And now for something completely random and different  (because the vid clip I wanted to post is embedding disabled).

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So, If you had to sacrifice one of your books to save the rest, which one would go into the fire?

I’d be tossing the Babysitter’s Club ones… maybe the stray Captain Underpants one I think’s somewhere around here. The Reader’s Digest condensed books could be chucked, too… if they’re still here.

If you were one of the books (which was the vid clip, btw… Montag meeting the Books), what book would you be and why?

It’s a book I’d re-read mentally and recite every day… it’d become a part of me and eventually I’d become that book to an extent…. I think I’d pick the book of Proverbs (Montag was the Book of Ecclesiastes) because it’s wisdom. Everything you need to know about dealing with people, living life, psychology… everything…. is in Proverbs.

Your turn! What book would you sacrifice? Which would you be? Why?

Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank by Celia Rivenbank

Title:  Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank:  And Other Words of Delicate Southern Wisdom

Author:  Celia Rivenbark

Hardback:  262 pages

Date Published:  September 2006

PublisherSt. Martin’s Press

ISBN:  9780312339937

When my daughter announced her class was taking a field trip, I involuntarily shrieked “No!” but then had to realize that it was doubtful the kindergarten classes were going to prison or the dookie factory.

Indeed, it was the zoo.  This would be safe and fun, I thought.  Animals frolicking – what could go wrong?

Well, for starters, the baboon, who was frankly obsessed with amorous activities that didn’t require a partner.

“What’s he doing?” a few of the kids asked.

My husband, who was the only man who had come along to chaperone, decided he would deal with this question, and deal with it he did.

“That’s just the traditional baboon way of waving hello,” he said, sounding remarkably poised and knowledgeable.

“Oh,” a little boy in the class said.  “Should we wave back?”

“Oh, God no.”

Next up:  the “desert habitat” where an ancient camel proceeded to amuse the children by leaning down to eat his own shit.  Without even moving his legs, the giraffe savored every bite as if it were the Christmas ham.

Oooh, icky gross! I think I’m gonna hurl!

“It’s just nature,” said one of the kids, trying to comfort my husband.

-Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank by Celia Rivenbark, pages 53-54

I first heard about Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank by Celia Rivenbark on the April Books Brought Home Library Thing thread (the discussion starts going around message 174).  It created quite a stir, as everyone passed around their “bad parents and monstrous children” horror stories.  With the conversations circulating, as well as it’s hilarious-but-shocking title, I knew I wanted to read this book.  So I clicked on over to BookMooch, entered the title in the search bar, and voila! mooched the only copy available. 

When it arrived in the mail on Saturday, I cracked open the book and just glanced at the title of the first chapter:  There’s Always Tomorrow(land):  “If You Really Loved Me, You’d Buy Me Pal Mickey”.   The chapter’s about Celia planning and taking her family to Disney World.  Before I realized it, I was at the end of the chapter, ripped envelope still in my lap, and bladder barely holding its ground after all the laughter.  The whole book is like that, and you just about have to tear the book from your hands to put it down to make dinner, sleep or even go to the bathroom (okay, I admit it… Celia went there, too).

With the charm of a Southern Belle, and a snarky, sarcastic wit, Miss Celia expresses all that it is to be a mother/wife/career woman/person with the sense God gave a goose in this day and age.  She tells of her experience trying to buy size 7 clothes for her six-year-old, and only finding outfits that’d make a Vegas showgirl feel naked.  Later, she points out that grown women in character-embossed clothes need to grow up, which points out the Topsy-turvy nature of the American culture today:  Children dressing like sexually mature adults and grown-ups dressing like school kids at play.

Each chapter’s title both encompasses its contents, while being surprising and tongue-in-cheek.  A few examples of this are:

  • Yo Yo Yo!  Where Can a Sista Get a Cowgirl Outfit?:  Holidays Make This Mama Wanna Get in Your Grille
  • Weary Mom to Uppity Teens:  At Least I Know Where the Continent of Chile Is
  • Field Trip, Fornification, and a Shit-Eating Giraffe:  Who Says School Can’t Be Fun?
  • Montel’s Smoking Weed:  (But Will He Share With Sylvia the Psychic?)
  • Reality Bites:  Super Skanks Lewinsky and Hilton Are Fun to Watch, but Those 100-Pound Toddlers Rule!
  • The Butcher’s Great, the Baker’s Suffering:  But How Is the Anti-Carb Frenzy Affecting the Candlestick Maker?
  • The Paradoxical Male:  Smart Enough to Find “Me Time,” but Dumb Enough to Get Stuck Buying the Tampons
  • If It Ain’t On eBay, It Ain’t Worth Having:  (Whoa!  Is That Willie Nelson’s Face in Your Grits?)
  • Politicians Serve Up McValues:  (With Extra Cheese on the Side)

Amidst the humor and anecdotes, Rivenbark manages to slip in facts and evidence that support her position, but  you’re too busy laughing and enjoying her company to realize “Hey, there’s serious journalism going on here!”

I enjoyed Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank by Celia Rivenbark  immensely, and am going to buy a new copy from Amazon and have it shipped to my mom for Mother’s Day (don’t tell her, or you’ll ruin the surprise!).  All the way through, I could just hear my mom’s voice in Rivenbark, and I know she’ll enjoy it as much as I did.  While the book won’t stay with me as far as remembering specifics, the feeling of fun and laughter will live on, and I’m sure that when I re-read this review a year from now, I’ll remember specifics in the chapters mention, and laugh again.  For the joy it’s given me and will give to my mom and myself in the future, I give Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank by Celia Rivenbark 4 iout of 5 Krispy Kreme donuts :-D

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In this video clip, Celia Rivenbark opens up a book signing by reading an anecdote in an email from a friend.

VVW ~ Kids Say the Darnedest Things!

Hello and Happy Hump Day!  Woo-Hoo!  And who doesn’t like a good hump?  Today’s Viral Video Wednesday has a few new things about it.  First, we have a button!  WooT!  I’ve got a few other pics to turn into buttons, and if you’ve got one, lay it on me! :-)  Second, if you look at the bottom of the picture header of this blog, you’ll see a Viral Video Wednesday tab.  I’ll be keeping the current week’s VVW there, and you can add your blog in the comments so I can check out your VVW posts, too :-)  The third change to VVW is, at the end of my post and on the VVW page, I’ll let you know what the subject of next week’s VVW so you’ll have a week to hunt down some fabulous vid clips for your own VVW posts :-D

And now, on with the vids!

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The famous comedian W.C. Fields once said, “Never work with children or animals” and the reason for his sentiment is clear:  They will upstage you and steal all the laughs!  If you’ve ever tried to have a conversation with the pastor at the carry-in, only to be interrupted by your four-year-old, “Mommy, Pastor Bill does TOO have a watch… See!  It’s right there on his arm!  Pastor Bill, did you buy that at the dollar store with the $3 Mommy put in the offering last week?” then you KNOW that kids can chime in was some really hilarious stuff every now and then.  So this week’s VVW is dedicated to all those darned funny things the little whipper-snappers say!

Poor little Colin suffers from two things endemic to childhood…  Like most children, he absolutely adores being the star of the home movies, and he struggles with the correct pronunciation of some words more than others.

I first saw the following video on “The Ellen Degeneres Show”  It’s always funny to watch a child when they realize where they’ve gone wrong in a conversation… that little “A-ha” moment when they take one step closer to understanding their world.  

The next video brought back memories of my oldest daughter’s trips to the dentist.  An utter dentophobic, she had to be given the red liquid sedative (Versed) AND the piggy-nose (nitrous oxide) to get her into the chair, then she had to have a TV headset playing Powerpuff Girls to keep her mind occupied while the dentist did anything inside her mouth.  Even routine teeth cleanings could disolve into a puddle of tears on the 5 foot overstuffed Pooh Bear in the waiting room.  So I completely understand David’s behavior.

What do you get when have an adorable little boy with big brown eyes telling Knock! Knock! jokes? Well… I have girls, so maybe that’s why I never got this…

And I think I’ll end here with the following video.  Before you slip that DVD of Jackass Unlimited into the DVD player, remember that little pitcher sitting next to you is taking it all in, and will recount the whole scene to Pastor Bill at the Mother’s Day after-service dinner a couple weeks from now.

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Do you have a favorite kid vid?  share it with me in the comments, or better yet, post your own Viral Video Wednesday “Kids Say the Darnedest Things!” at your blog and leave the link in the comments so I can visit!

Next week’s Viral Video Wednesday topic:  Stalkers

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