Monday, September 29, 2008

Read a Banned Book or two this week

This week is Banned Books week, September 27-October 4 this from the American Library Association-
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW's 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).

I feel that it is VERY important this year especially after all the ruckus that has gone on about Sarah Palin and her interest in banning books from the Wasilla library. Here is a list of the most challenged books of 2007;

The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2007” reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:

1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language

4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint

5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
Reasons: Racism

6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7) "TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8) "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit

9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10) "The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

If the above titles don't give you enough options here are some more;

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books in 2000-2007
1 Harry Potter series- J.K. Rowling
2 Alice series- Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3 The Chocolate War- Robert Cormier
4 Of Mice and Men- John Steinbeck
5 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou
6 Scary Stories- Alvin Schwartz
7 Fallen Angels- Walter Dean Myers
8 It’s Perfectly Normal- Robie Harris
9 And Tango Makes Three- Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
10 Captain Underpants- Dav Pilkey
11 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- Mark Twain
12 The Bluest Eye- Toni Morrison
13 Forever- Judy Blume
14 The Color Purple- Alice Walker
15 The Perks of Being A Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky
16 Killing Mr. Griffin- Lois Duncan

17 Go Ask Alice- Anonymous
18 King and King- Linda de Haan
19 Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger
20 Bridge to Terabithia- Katherine Paterson
21 The Giver- Lois Lowry
22 We All Fall Down- Robert Cormier
23 To Kill A Mockingbird- Harper Lee`
24 Beloved- Toni Morrison
25 The Face on the Milk Carton- Caroline Cooney
26 Snow Falling on Cedars- David Guterson
27 My Brother Sam Is Dead- James Lincoln Collier
28 In the Night Kitchen- Maurice Sendak
29 His Dark Materials series- Philip Pullman
30 Gossip Girl series- Cecily von Ziegesar
31 What My Mother Doesn’t Know- Sonya Sones
32 Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging- Louise Rennison
33 It’s So Amazing- Robie Harris
34 Arming America- Michael Bellasiles
35 Kaffir Boy- Mark Mathabane
36 Blubber- Judy Blume
37 Brave New World- Aldous Huxley
38 Athletic Shorts- Chris Crutcher
39 Bless Me, Ultima- Rudolfo Anaya

40 Life is Funny- E.R. Frank
41 Daughters of Eve- Lois Duncan
42 Crazy Lady Jane- Leslie Conly
43 The Great Gilly Hopkins- Katherine Paterson
44 You Hear Me- Betsy Franco
45 Slaughterhouse Five- Kurt Vonnegut
46 Whale Talk- Chris Crutcher
47 The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby- Dav Pilkey
48 The Facts Speak for Themselves- Brock Cole
49 The Terrorist- Caroline Cooney
50 Mick Harte Was Here- Barbara Park
51 Summer of My German Soldier- Bette Green
52 The Upstairs Room- Johanna Reiss
53 When Dad Killed Mom- Julius Lester
54 Blood and Chocolate- Annette Curtis Klause
55 The Fighting Ground- Avi
56 The Things They Carried- Tim O'Brien
57 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry- Mildred Taylor
58 Fat Kid Rules the World- K.L. Going
59 The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things- Carolyn Mackler
60 A Time To Kill- John Grisham
61 Rainbow Boys- Alex Sanchez
62 Olive’s Ocean- Kevin Henkes

63 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest- Ken Kesey
64 A Day No Pigs Would Die- Robert Newton Peck
65 Speak Laurie- Halse Anderson
66 Always Running- Luis Rodriguez
67 Black Boy- Richard Wright
68 Julie of the Wolves- Jean Craighead George
69 Deal With It!- Esther Drill
70 Detour for Emmy- Marilyn Reynolds
71 Draw Me A Star- Eric Carle
72 Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury
73 Harris and Me- Gary Paulsen
74 Junie B. Jones series- Barbara Park
75 So Far From the Bamboo Grove- Yoko Watkins
76 Song of Solomon- Toni Morrison
77 Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes- Chris Crutcher
78 What’s Happening to My Body Book- Lynda Madaras
79 The Boy Who Lost His Face- Louis Sachar
80 The Lovely Bones- Alice Sebold
81 Anastasia Again!- Lois Lowry
82 Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret- Judy Blume
83 Bumps In the Night- Harry Allard
84 Goosebumps series- R.L. Stine
85 Shade’s Children- Garth Nix
86 Cut- Patricia McCormick
87 Grendel- John Gardner
88 The House of Spirits- Isabel Allende
89 I Saw Esau- Iona Opte
90 Ironman- Chris Crutcher

91 The Stupids series- Harry Allard
92 Taming the Star Runner- S.E. Hinton
93 Then Again, Maybe I Won’t- Judy Blume
94 Tiger Eyes- Judy Blume
95 Like Water for Chocolate- Laura Esquivel
96 Nathan’s Run- John Gilstrap
97 Pinkerton, Behave!- Steven Kellog
98 Freaky Friday- Mary Rodgers
99 Halloween ABC- Eve Merriam
100 Heather Has Two Mommies- Leslea Newman

Out of 3,869 challenges reported to or recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, as compiled by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom does not claim comprehensiveness in recording challenges. Research suggests that for each challenge reported there are as many as four or five which go unreported.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another missed day of work

So here it is a day and a week since my last post and yesterday I awoke with a migraine like someone had driven a railroad spike though my left temple and was piercing my right temple with it. I couldn't see straight it was very difficult to focus on the phone to see the numbers to dial but I knew I had to call out. Apparently I was not the only one out yesterday, there seems to be a nasty head cold going around, and everyone else has it. I have been told that I have to be there tomorrow because I am it. One woman is on vacation and the other who works nights has this damned cold, so I think I am working with the boss or his son tomorrow.

Today I am exhausted and in lots and lots of pain. We bought a new bed this spring and it was wonderful at first but the pillow top has died and I could not get comfortable last night and my back was screaming all night and all day today. I barely did any real work tonight but that means I need to make up for it tomorrow.

I have worked there for a little over a month and have called out 3 or 4 times that is unreliable in my book. I just don't know what to do anymore I need to find some ambition to exercise more so I can be ready to have surgery this winter while the store is closed, so I don't miss all the recuperation time. I just don't have any motivation, or gumption to do anything. Not even to finish this post in one sitting as it is now the 29th and I am just getting back to it.

So I still haven't gotten any real sleep my back is in constant pain. I am working an extra day this week cause one of the women is on vacation and another is out with the hand, foot and mouth virus.
However, I still had my Sunday off yesterday to spend watching football. I am leading in my own little bragging-rights pool and I just found that I am ranked 1st out of 217 in the WVII channel 7 Bangor area pool, 1,317 out of 122,987 nationally, which I think is AWESOME.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

medically unreliable = disabled??

As I have stated before I suffer from a spinal issue called Spondylolisthesis I also suffer from frequent Migraine headaches. Oftentimes I am unable to report for work or if I can go to work I am not at my full capacity and not able to function to preform all of my duties. It was suggested (by a medical provider) that my unreliability may make it difficult to stay gainfully employed and have I considered applying for SSDI? This was last week that she suggested this and now I can't stop thinking about it. I am afraid to become a "welfare case" again, I grew-up that way and don't want to go back to that life.

However she has a good point, if I were my employer I would not keep me on staff because you just never know when I am going to call out or show up unable to pull my weight. So I am torn, I don't know what to do. Part of the reason I am so up in the air on this is that, I do know that at some point in the not to distant future I am going to have to have an operation for by back that will lay me up for anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months!! How do I survive during that time?

Here are some MRI images the left is mine and the right is a normal spine. Note the L5 S1 area (which I have marked) see the difference between the two??

On mine the L5 juts to the left on the normal it is in a nice line. Also the form is badly compromised on mine, those two vertabra are totally different shapes than the ones above them or in the normal image.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On being a New England fan

I am a New England fan I like the Red Sox, the Celtics and the Bruins but the Patriots are my favorite. They are a great team made up of wonderful men and Bob Kraft has been a simply amazing leader. The players while many of them could be "Super Stars" are not. Even the boisterous and often times annoying Randy Moss seems to have grown-up, matured and found a home in the Red, White and Blue (and silver). Hell he is even the receivers captain this year!

Now having said that I am a New England fan I know heartbreak I have seen our teams clench defeat from the jaws of victory way too often. I lived in the midwest for a short team and overheard someone in the electronics department of Wal*Mart describe a ball falling between two helpless outfielders as a "Red Sox moment" I looked at the screen they were gathered in front of and found that the Sox weren't even one of the teams playing!!

But suddenly the Pats have won 3 Super Bowls, the Red Sox have 2 World Series titles, even the Celtics are World Champions! The Bruins well they will get back to being great I am sure, they still are the 2nd greatest NHL franchise in the USA as far as the number of Stanley Cups won (5 for those of you keeping track the Detroit Red Wings have 11, the Montreal Canadians are the best overall with 24 one of which is pre-NHL).

So anyways last Monday everyone was sure that Tom Brady's injury is going to hurt the team, I say that they are a team and they will play as a team. They are the Patriots with Tom Brady, not the other way around. Yes he will not be on the field in uniform and playing but I bet he will be on the sidelines calling plays and mentoring the team the same as always. It is now kickoff of the 1o'clock games and we will see what happens.

Note the "old school" Pat Patriot at the top of this post and please sign the petition to restore it as the official emblem.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What an amazing race...

This whole campaign has been interesting, to say the least. I have changed my own opinions and choices several times. When there were like 90 people trying to get the Democratic nod, I liked Kucinich, and Edwards and sort-of Richardson (sort-of until I saw the LOGO network forum thing and he said he believed ones sexuality to be a choice). All of these guys fell from the pecking list one by one.

There was also this other guy on my radar, this senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, an African-American, he seemed really cool and impressive but will America elect a black man? Will his running increase Hillary's support? I don't want Bill anywhere near the top again. Don't get me wrong he did some great things when he was in office but he did some pretty nasty stuff too. (and I am not at all talking about Miss Monica.)

So the race came down to a woman and a black man, and we all know that now it is just Barack Obama left. I have had a Obama for ME! bumper sticker on my truck since March. I wear an Obama for ME! t-shirt with pride. I believe that he is the best chance that this nation has to start to did out of this hole that the Bush/Cheney clan has thrown us into. I am not a christian by any means but I do know my bible stories and I feel like Daniel being thrown to the lions.
I mentioned my bumper sticker, I also have one for Elsie Flemings for state representative. One to re-elect Dennis Damon to the state senate, and one for Tom Allen for US senate. There are also a Boston Red Sox "B" and the old New England Patriots logo, and a magnet that reads "Don't shop, ADOPT" with paw prints on it. It is an American democrat's truck trough and through. I feel we NEED the democrats to take control EVERYWHERE that they are running. I drive Elsie around once a week so she can canvas door to door in the community and get to know the independents and republicans and try to win their votes too.

I work in a small "mom and pop" shop and we sell newspapers and so there is always something about the election on the front page. The majority of folks are supporting Obama there are only three that I can think of that have openly expressed support for McCain. I am still in awe to even hope that this rings true across the nation, and that we don't have another Bush vs. Gore bullshit outcome.

So here it is people; I ask you to please, please, no I implore you to do your democratic duty and VOTE on November 4th. Not registered to vote?? Not an issue simply go to and register there. Then spend sometime and really think about where this nation is right now, we need a change in Washington and that change is Barack Obama.