|Nomadic SA Chick||
From the winner of the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Prize—comes the extraordinary, unexpected debut tale of three generations of Chinese-American women in a San Francisco family who must confront their past and carve out a future.
The Kong women are in crisis. A disastrous trip to visit her "home" orphanage in China has plunged eighteen-year-old Ari into a self-destructive spiral. Her adoptive mother, Charlie, a lawyer with a great heart, is desperate to keep her daughter safe. Meanwhile, Charlie must endure the prickly scrutiny of her beautiful, Bryn Mawr educated mother, Gran—who, as the daughter of a cultured Chinese doctor, came to America to survive Mao's Revolution—and her sister, Les, a brilliant judge with a penchant to rule over everyone's lives.
As they cope with Ari's journey of discovery and its aftermath, the Kong women will come face to face with the truths of their lives—four powerful intertwining stories of accomplishment, tenacity, secrets, loneliness, and love. Beautifully illuminating the bonds of family and blood, The Year She Left Us explores the promise and pain of adoption, the price of assimilation and achievement, the debt we owe to others, and what we owe ourselves.
After reading that description I was hooked on this book and knew I had to read it. It sounded so good. What I found in the book was quiet the disappointment. It was a pretty weak story about a young woman, Ari, who is unsure of who she is. She knows she has a mother, aunt, and grandmother that love her. She has friends who can relate to the anxiety she has about being adopted from China; they were as well. She's smart and beautiful, and has a bright future ahead of her, but she's not sure that's what she wants. She travels to China the summer before she is to start her first year of college. Once there she helps her best friend's mother bring Americans with Chinese adopted daughters back to China so they can experience heritage tours to help the young girls understand where they came from. Ari ends up chopping off her pinky finger, just because, and has to go home. She decides she's not going to college and wants to return to China to find herself, but doesn't have the money so she travels to Alaska and hides out there.
This was boring. There is no other word to properly describe this. I was expecting a story that would be about a young woman who was lost and was trying to find herself. Instead it was about a bratty young, privileged woman who is unhappy about everything, not depressed, just a miserable human being who's sole purpose is to act out and be a bitch to those who love her. It was a pathetic and whiny tale when the stories were told from the perspective of Ari. More than anything this was confusing because stories kept getting retold for the perspective of four different woman, but there were rarely any cues or tone changes so you could fully understand who's perspective you were reading from. This was a waste of time.
I give this a 2 out of 5.
Today I had an appointment with a dermatologist. I was going to get some moles on my face checked out. Some of them have been changing colors and shapes recently and my OBGYN referred me off to have a specialist check them out. I made my appointment weeks ago, but in the last week I started to have this rash pop up.
If you remember a few years back, my first spring in Huntsville, AL, I had a rash pop up. The doctors had no idea what it was. At one point they thought it was scabbies, but the treatment didn't work and the doctors realized it wasn't that, but had no answers to give me, and said that it might be allergies. They sent me home with a new cream to use whenever there was a bad flare-up; it was supposed to help with the itching, but would not cure it. It did help with the itching. Eventually the rash cleared up on it's own a few months later, and I have not had issues with it since. That is until last week. It's back, and with a vengeance. My arms, legs, feet, stomach, and chest are covered in patches of rash that itch, and I've mindlessly scratched until I've bleed. Since I was going to the dermatologist, I figured I might as well have it checked out, right.
ALL THE MOLES!
If you've met me in real life, you'll know that I have a bunch of moles on my face. I've had them since I was a little kid. They're not pretty, but they're a part of me, and they have never caused me any real problems. I have a cluster of them on my left cheek. This is where a majority or the color and shape changing have happened. When I met with the dermatologist she recommended that I have all of them removed. I thought she meant just the four I was coming in for, but she wants all 17 from my face and neck, 3 from my chest, and 2 from my arms removed. Her rational for this is that if these are already starting to change, it is only a matter of time that they all start changing, and eventually the clusters will grow into each other. She said if I'm going to have some of them done, I might as well have them all done. Since a majority of these are on my face, she is referring me to a plastic surgeon. I am waiting for them the plastic surgeon to call me back to set up my consultation with them.
WHAT ABOUT THAT RASH?
The dermatologist also checked out the rash. I told her the history of it, and she asked if anyone has ever used the term "Eczema" with me before. No one, that I can recall. She prescribed me a cream to use on the patches. She believes this is Eczema, and if it is this cream will treat it. There is no cure for it, just treatments for flareups. So, I'll start using this cream tonight and we'll see how it does.
It's February 16, and like every February 16 before this one, and for (hopefully) many more to come, I have celebrated my birthday. Today was also President's Day; my favorite non-celebrated holiday, because politics and junk. I can't say anything really special happened, but I spent my day with some really amazing people, and that's what made it so great. My student worker got me my favorite Starbucks drink before she came into work this morning, because she's awesome like that. Ben, Mallory, and Tyler took me out for sushi at lunch at Ronnies 2, and it was delicious! I don't remember the name of the roll I ordered, but it was huge and had some soft-shell crab in it. Later tonight I met up with Brian and we saw Jupiter Ascending and then grabbed dinner at Thai Kitchen (this may be my favorite restaurant in Anchorage).
Jupiter Ascending is awesome! The writing isn't great, and is actually pretty laughable in places, but the action scenes are spectacular, and beautifully done. I was also pretty impressed with Channing Tatum in it. I'm not a fan of his, and do not find him to be a great actor, but there was something about him in this film. It might have been that the script was just so bad it was something he could do. Eddie Redmayne is an awesome villan!
Thai Kitchen wasn't anything but the usual. We split some Crispy Tofu (fried tofu served with peanut sauce), and I ordered the Tom Kha Soup with Tofu. My boss introduced me to this back in December when I had a terrible cold, because it is supposed to help clear colds, and this is now my favorite dish. I order it nearly every time, cold or no cold.
I received a lot of texts, FB, Twitter, and IG messages, as well as a few very early morning phone calls with loving birthday wishes. These were the best gifts I could have received today.
People > Things
I talked to my parents; mostly the mother. She was sad because she had ordered flowers to be delivered on my birthday, but this place called Amy Florist cancelled the order too late in the day for her to do anything else. I told her that it was no worry to me and that it was more important just to talk to her.
So yeah, nothing super special, but it was good. Anyone who knows me very well knows that I don't make that big of deal about my birthday. I hate special attention, so I treat my birthday as another day, though I might do something special with just a few select people.
In the words of Ice Cube (and a running joke with some friends):
"Today I didn't even have to use my AK. I got to say it was a good day".
-Ice Cube, Today Was a Good Day
A mysterious circus terrifies an audience for one extraordinary performance before disappearing into the night, taking one of the spectators along with it . . .
In a novella set two years after the events of American Gods, Shadow pays a visit to an ancient Scottish mansion, and finds himself trapped in a game of murder and monsters . . .
In a Hugo Award-winning short story set in a strangely altered Victorian England, the great detective Sherlock Holmes must solve a most unsettling royal murder . . .
Two teenage boys crash a party and meet the girls of their dreams—and nightmares . . .
In a Locus Award-winning tale, the members of an exclusive epicurean club lament that they've eaten everything that can be eaten, with the exception of a legendary, rare, and exceedingly dangerous Egyptian bird . . .
Such marvelous creations and more—including a short story set in the world of The Matrix, and others set in the worlds of Gothic fiction and children's fiction—can be found in this extraordinary collection, which showcases Gaiman's storytelling brilliance as well as his terrifyingly entertaining dark sense of humor. By turns delightful, disturbing, and diverting, Fragile Things is a gift of literary enchantment from one of the most unique writers of our time.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~ ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I really enjoyed this collection of Gaiman's. There were a few stories that I felt they cut off too short, and that he could have gone further with the story (though some of them he did in full length novels). With any short story collection there were some that I dearly loved and was happy I read them, and then there were others that I felt neutral about them. overall this is a great collection, and is Gaiman at his finest. Must read!
I give this a 3 out of 5.
I picked this recipe because I thought sweet potato fries sounded good. I liked this recipe when I found it, but after making it it was not the fries I was expecting. They were still good, and I liked them a lot, but I would never call these fries.
This is basically just a grilled cheese sandwich with mozzarella cheese and tomato into it. It was good, and I'll probably do this instead of just a traditional grilled cheese. It was good, especially when using artisan french bread. I served this with baked sweet potato slices (recipe above), and a cup of tomato bisque soup (Costco).
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers. To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change. Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the center of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control. But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
I wanted to like this. I waited weeks for this to finally release and finally that day came 2 days ago (2/10/2015). I eagerly picked up my per-ordered copy and started to tear through the most boring thing I have read since Peter Hamilton's Pandora's Star.
Picture reading The Hunger Games, but the story is backwards, the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale is poorly developed, and you're not 100% sure why Panem has ended up in the state it is currently in. Oh, and picture the people in the capital are born with special powers, such as element manipulation. This is Red Queen.
This story just drug on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on (you get the point, right?). Sound familiar? It shouls, because that is exactly how I described Pandora's Star. They seem to have something in common; they'll bore your to death.
By page 15 you will be able to guess exactly how this story is going to play out and end. Aveyard disappointingly uses every cliche and predictable story line that you find in a YA Dystopian story, and she does it poorly. Add a sparkly vampire and this would have been the trifecta of a YA novel.
There is so much disappointment with this. The sad thing is that I will probably read the future books just to know how the series ends, and what she does. I can only hope that she gets better in the next book. We'll find out next year, I guess. Stupid predicable cliff hanger.
I give this a 2 out of 5.