November 27, 2007

Movie List: Zee's Must See Holiday Movies


Here they are folks, the movies I must see each and every Christmas season. This is as necessary as breathing air to me. Some of the movies are just plain entertaining. Some of them are family favorites and remind of my younger childhood days when Christmas was truly magical. And some of them just make me laugh. Here's the list, in no particular order.

November 26, 2007

Library Program: Make Gocks!



I kept hearing that teen librarians were making gocks (aka gothic sock puppets), and wondered what the fuss was all about. Well, let me tell you, this program is hot! Usually, the same group of teens come over and over again to my events.

I even had a walk-in older male teen enter the programming room when he heard the announcement, a risky move in a roomful of teenage girls.



The program originally ran in VOYA magazine. You take ordinary socks, any pattern, although plain black or funky patterns work the best. Then, use hot glue to apply hair, googly eyes, facial features, and you have a gock.

November 23, 2007

Movie Review: Into the Wild


When Christopher McCandless graduates from Emory University, his parents are sure he will follow the path they have set for him and become a lawyer. McCandless wants nothing to do with that. He has grown up watching his parents choke on the American dream. They seem terribly unhappy.
Instead, he wants to break out of the trap, give away all of his money, take only the most essential possessions on his back, and work his way up to his ultimate adventure: surviving alone in Alaska. He left home in summer of 2000. By April of 2002, he was ready to walk into the wilds of Alaska.
On September 6, 2002, McCandless's malnourished body was found dead in a bus he had survived in for the past several months. What lead him to this fate? Dying alone is no man's dream. Primary source material for this movie and the book it was based on are the journals McCandless filled while he was on the road.

November 13, 2007

Book Review: Jinx by Meg Cabot


Jean is known by her family as Jinx because bad luck seems to follow her wherever she goes. It is back luck that has lead Jinx to move to New York. She is running away from some trouble she believes she has brought on herself. Is it just bad luck or something else?

Jean moves in with her aunt and uncle and cousins, including similar-aged Torry. Jean remembers Torry as being a fun childhood companion, but this new Torry looks and acts completely different. She dresses all in black, takes drugs, and is convinced she is a witch. After Jinx saves the life of hot neighbor Zach by pushing him out of the way of a car, Torry believes Jinx is also a witch. But that's ridiculous, right?

When Jinx refuses to join her coven and catches the eye of Zach, who has been a long-time crush of Torry's, it starts a war between the cousins.

November 10, 2007

Book Review: Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff by Jennifer Holm


Ginny Davis and her 7th grade year of school is the subject of this book, which uses notes, report cards, newspaper clippings, birthday cards, and other miscellaneous texts to tell her story.

This is one of many books that has come out recently that uses a multi-media approach to storytelling. One look at the cover, which sports meatloaf and tater tots, is enough to make anyone quote Napoleon Dynamite: "Give me your tots."

Holms is successful in telling this tale. I found myself smiling at Ginny's misfortunes. She lists people she could babysit for, the last one being Tiffany Kurtz, who bites. Of course, it is Mrs. Kurtz that ends up calling Ginny to babysit.

But the story isn't all humor. Her older brother, Henry, gets into some serious trouble. And at one point, Ginny's grades drop noticeably from almost all A's to C's.

This is sure to be grabbed off the shelf often. The audience here is clearly lower middle school. My library classified it in children's fiction instead of young adult, which I am not sure I agree with.

Six Ways to Get Over Being Sick Quick


No one enjoys being sick, but once you get sick, what should you do to make it end as quickly as possible? I don't get sick very often, but it does happen on occasion. Usually, when I get sick, I get a cold, including a sore throat with chills and sometimes a stuffy nose. I don't usually get a fever or temperature, so keep that in mind when reading this article. Hopefully, by following these six steps, you will get over being sick quick.

November 09, 2007

Movie Review: Lars and the Real Girl


If anyone had told me I would one day be crying during a movie about a man and his blow-up doll, I would have called them a liar. But, here I am, going through at least 3 Kleenex even after the movie is over. Lars and the Real Girl is a touching, quirky film that is a lesson in why people do the things they do. Anyone that is interested in social work, counseling, psychology, or ministry should watch this movie.

Lars is a quiet young man (probably 30s) who does not like to be touched. He works in a cubicle in some random office. Currently, he lives in the garage of his childhood home. His brother, Gus, and new wife, Karin, live in the connected house and are expecting a child soon. Karin puts a great deal of effort into trying to pull Lars out of his shell. Gus, on the other hand, thinks Lars is happy how he is. It's his choice to spend time alone, isn't it?

The status quo is shaken up, however, when Lars brings home a new girlfriend. Her name is Bianca, and she is a blow-up doll.