Friday, November 30, 2012

An epidemic...

Has anyone noticed how prevalent cursing is now?

There's a new radio comedy station here that I'm somewhat addicted to.  Since Stephen hasn't started talking, I don't really have much conversation during the day so the comedy station gives me an opportunity to listen to adults talk.  The major bonus is that I laugh ridiculously hard.  

However, while driving around today (Stephen was not with me when this happened), I was surprised to hear the comedian say "bitch" and it wasn't edited out.  He wasn't using it as the technical term for a female dog but as the derogatory curse word.  

Now, let me be clear.  I am not innocent of cursing by any means (ask Erin).  In fact, and this is not something I'm proud of, I've been cursing since middle school.  Frequently.  Like a sailor.  In fact, I think I've said things that would shame a sailor.  Again, this is not something I'm proud of.

Maybe that I'm getting older.  Maybe it's because I'm a mom and I'm becoming much more aware of the words that people are using, how they use them and in what tone.  Whatever the reason, I find it a little sad that cursing has become such a blase aspect of society now.  Most people don't bat an eyelash when "bitch"/"shit"/"damn" are thrown out.  Fortunately, the almighty F-bomb hasn't made its way into prime time television.

So what gives?  Have we really lost all touch with any form of eloquence or intelligence that we cannot find better words to express ourselves?  George Washington said:
"The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing, and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it."

Although I can't say that I whole heartedly agree with this statement because there are times when the curse word just feels right, I do think there is some truth behind it.  As parents, should we not teach our children a vocabulary that is strong and vast enough to thoroughly express themselves without curse words?  

Did you know that the word nice at one point in its history was considered utterly offensive?  

Considering that, is it possible that curse words are going the route that nice has taken?  Meaning, will "curse" words lose their offensive power altogether at some point in the future?  

Either way, I'm starting to believe it is time that I expand my vocabulary.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


In honor of Thanksgiving, I'm posting a list of things that I'm thankful for.  Brought to you by the letter X because it's awesome and the number 4 because that's what time I woke up this morning...and no, I haven't been watching too much Sesame Street.

  1. I'm thankful for my ridiculous collection of fonts on my computer.  I love them.  They're pretty and fun and help me to express when I'm feeling whimsical, scary, enchanting, etc.
  2. I'm thankful that Eric discovered the 24/7 comedy radio station.  There's nothing better than driving home from dropping Stephen off and choking on my biscuit because I'm laughing too hard.
  3. I'm thankful for having parents and in laws who help out so much.  We realize how much harder things would have been over the last two years if they hadn't been here to help.
  4. I'm thankful that Stephen has such a sensitive character.  It's incredibly touching.
  5. I'm thankful for my collection of books and that I have a husband who indulges me in that.  I could have a husband who flipped out every time I bought another book.  Instead, he buys them for me, he laughs when I talk about my collection, and he thinks it's cute (at least, I think he does).  Let's see what he thinks when I take over his workshop in the basement...
  6. I'm thankful that I have a larger kitchen to cook in now.  Seriously.  All I want to do is bake/cook/saute/whatever.  
  7. I'm SO thankful for my volunteer opportunity at the school of theology.  It's SO cool!  I feel like I should be wearing gloves in there sometimes.
  8. I'm thankful for a local friend that I have a ridiculously strong connection to.  
  9. I'm also thankful for my friend, Erin.  Because regardless of how inappropriate, silly, ridiculous my text messages may be to her, she still responds and still talks to me.
  10. Finally, I'm really thankful for coffee.  Without it, I would not be able to function at this moment.
What are you guys thankful for this year?  I don't care how silly it is!  :P

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Different Kind of Normal

A Different Kind of Normal by Cathy Lamb

Will no one read Cathy Lamb's novels??

Seriously, I've recommended her to countless people and not one of them has taken my suggestion.  This is a little concerning because my taste in books is excellent really good decent ... fine.  My taste in books is all over the place.  If you saw my personal library, you'd completely agree.  But that is beside the point.  Lamb has quickly become one of my favorite authors and that should be fairly obvious since
1) I own all of her books.  ALL OF THEM.  There's six.  Be impressed.
2) I've READ all of her books.  ALL OF THEM.  And not like "eh...I'll skim these 400 pages for the good parts" kind of reading.  Cover to cover, every single word.  And every book has made me laugh, cry, gasp, exclaim profanities.  EVERY ONE.  But let's look back at the opening line of this numbered point: "I'VE READ ALL OF THEM".  You may be thinking, "But are the world's greatest book nerd.  If there were a world record for being a book nerd, you'd win.  So why is this a big deal?"  Here's why, dear reader.  Because in my home, I currently have 523 524 books.  That does not include text books or kiddie books for my little guy.  That's right.  It's not a joke.  I have a catalog on my phone so I know exactly how many books I have and which ones I have.  In my in laws' home, there is roughly 200-250 more books waiting to be moved here.  In my parents' home, I believe there might be another 20-30.  Out of all of the books that I own, I may have read about 30% of them.  This means that out of the 524 in my home, I have probably read about 150 of them.  Not so much if you think about it.  However, I own ALL of Lamb's books and I've READ EVERY SINGLE ONE.


That is logic that cannot be refuted.  She is obviously very talented and writes excellent novels.  THerefore, you should all go out and purchase or borrow or download...whatever...her books.  Do it now.  I'll wait...

And for those of you that disagree with my logic stated above or disagree that you should read her stuff, consider yourself disowned.

Okay not really.

But I may make it very difficult for you to get a library card to borrow from my personal collection.

I know the owner.


Alright enough of that.  On to the review!

A Different Kind of Normal has a beautiful female protagonist as its star.  Jaden.  She's the mother of a teenage son, Tate, and you are quickly informed of 2 important details:
1) He is not her biological son.  He is the son of her drug addict sister who gave him up a couple of days after his birth.
2) Tate has a serious condition that he was born with.  He has a shunt in his head that goes down into his heart to pump out extra cerebral spinal fluid.  This also means that he was born with an oversized head and one of his eyes is larger than the other and placed higher on his head.  Needless to say, he doesn't look "normal".
Jaden also works as a hospice nurse and the scenes with her patients are both entertaining, endearing, and emotional (like all those e's?).  I cried for the first time by page 12, and was in love with Jaden and Tate by page 20.

There is no way to NOT love Tate.

He's not your average 17 year old.  His condition and physical description aside, Tate is incredibly smart, witty, and sensitive.  Lamb's description of his character is played out in various scenes with a variety of people.  He is incredibly attached to his young cousin, Damini, who lost her leg and wears a prothesis.  He also enjoys making Jaden groan over his jokes about how women can't control their hormones around his sexual prowess.  I guarantee you: Tate will make you laugh.  Several times.

For instance, Jaden, Tate and their extended family went to meet Tate's doctor, Ethan (a.k.a. Dr. Hunkorama according to Jaden), for a rafting trip.  Unbeknownst to them, he would have a woman with him for the trip.  She immediately showed disgust and perhaps a bit of fear for Tate because of the way he looks.  Rather than be dejected and hurt, Tate turned the tables on her quickly, making jokes about how it was contagious.  The whole family joined in with Caden (Jaden's brother) proclaiming that he was certain his head had started to grow more with the condition.  Damini informed the poor woman that she lost her leg to the disease and perhaps the lady wouldn't lose her leg but her "boobies" (which were described as rather large).  The scene ends with Tate and Damini chasing her around shouting that she couldn't catch it unless she got hit with some "spittle".

It's not an easy life though.  Jaden is facing trumped up charges of malpractice and neglect from one of her late patient's sons who is just a pissed-off-Napoleon-complex-overcompensating prick (my words, not Lamb's).  She's also struggling with the fact that Tate wants nothing more than to try out for the basketball team but she's terrified that he'll get hurt and possibly die (that's not nervous mommy issues...that's because of the shunt in his head).  Tate also wants to meet Brooke, his birth mother.  And to make things just a little bit more hectic, Jaden is in love with Tate's doctor, Ethan.


I cried.  Seriously.  I cried so much.
I also laughed.  A lot.  Tate will forever be one of my favorite characters.

Lamb did it again with this book.  She sucked me in, tied me up in these characters lives, and made me wish that I was a part of their chaotic yet lovable clan.  I finished this book two nights ago and I want to go back and read it again just so I can reunite with the characters.

Get it.
Read it.
Get it now.
Here on amazon

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