Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thoughts From Nowhere and A Couple of Presents

My 12 year old brother came home a few weeks ago complaining about having to do yet another book report. That got me thinking to how much things change over the years. That's basically what I do in my spare time, only now I do it for fun. I would've never thought at 12 years old that I would be willingly writing book reports at 25. It's funny how life changes. How you think you have it just so bad until you grow a few years. I often find myself forgetting that in counseling. I think, I wish I had those problems to complain about. Then I have to remember that at that age, I did have those problems and they really were a big deal to me.

We often forget about this these days. It's so easy to just tell kids "just wait until you're a grown up if you think it's bad now," and "I'd trade places with you in an instant." But what we often forget is that getting reamed at our job is pretty much the same thing as a kid getting an F on a paper. There are numerous different ways of looking at the world, and most of us experience these differences in viewpoints. But we forget about the ones that came before our current status. This is one of the best things I've learned from counseling adolescents. There are some universal things that affect all of us equally, but we learn and grow and have to remember where we've come from. It's important not to dismiss a child's complaint. Something trivial to us can be quite traumatic to them.

Ok, not entirely sure where all of that came from, but on to the presents! I decided to buy myself two presents today:

The first is J.R.R. Tolkien's newest publication (I just can't call it his new book), Children of Hurin. I can't wait to read this one and yet another challenge book will get pushed aside for it. But it can count as a bonus for the Once Upon A Time Challenge. Endicott gave a great synopsis of it on their blog. I just found out about this a few weeks ago, so it was nice to not have to wait in agony for so long like I'm doing with Harry Potter. The book is beautiful. It looks like something you'd pay $60 for through Subterranean Press. It's illustrated by Alan Lee and the paintings and sketches are amazing, many of them in full color. There's a great map in the back done by Christopher Tolkien. This one's going to be next after Slaughterhouse-Five. If you're a Barnes and Noble member, it's under $14 with the coupon. Can't beat that!

The second is Nine Inch Nails' new album, Year Zero. It's great so far! I've only gotten about 4 tracks into it, but I'm definitely digging it. I've been a fan of NIN since 1994. They've always amazed me and Trent Reznor is always at the top of his game. Not to mention their live shows which always blow me away. I was hesitant about this album because it is so political in nature. I'm usually not a big fan of political albums. But then I started thinking that NIN has always had something controversial to say. This album's surely no different, but the music is just great as always. It's a very modern album, defining the direction of industrial/modern rock as NIN has always done. However, the great thing about this album is that their are hints of Pretty Hate Machine in it (their first album from 1992). It's pure genius to be able to blend the past with today and get an amazing sound. Recommended for fans of NIN. Comes with a notice from the "U.S. Bureau of Morality" that reads "consuming or spreading this material may be deemed subversive by the United States Bureau of Morality. If you or someone you know has engaged in subversive acts or thoughts, call: 1-800....Be a Patriot-Be and Informer!" Very Brave New World.

Anyone else buy themselves anything fun today? Or did someone else give you something fun?

13 comments:

Carl V. said...

"Anyone else buy themselves anything fun today?"

Funny that you should ask, as I just finished another post for today (2 in one day?!?!) that shows just what I bought today. I think you may recognize it. ;)

And you are totally correct...we are writing book reports, aren't we? Hilarious!

Dark Orpheus said...

I always found book reports the easiest school assignments. Now however, it's getting harder to write on books I've read - more life commitment than I did as a kid.

I'm still apprehensive about "Children of Hurin" - is it going to be good or just another "Dune" ripoff like those of Brian Herbert.

Do share what you think when you finish reading "Hurin". I'm cynical about posthumous publication. Still, may give it a chance one day.

Chris said...

How ironic, eh Carl?

I was somewhat cynical as well, but this was supposedly all Tolkien's writing compiled into a book. We'll see. Hope it's good!

Carl V. said...

I was a bit cynical too, probably still am, but the pricing and illustrations were alone worth the price, and I am very, very happy with Christopher Tolkien's editing on The Silmarillion.

Quixotic said...

Hee, I have Children of Hurin on the way in the post too. Can't wait, hopefully that will give me a bit of a boost.

Chris said...

I hope so Quix! I'm looking forward to this one.

Kailana said...

I have always liked book reports, so it is likely fitting that I now review most of the books that I read. :)

Robin said...

Oh dear...and I'm that 6th grade teacher that assigned those book reports, only I tried to make them more fun than the drudge I used to have to do myself in 6th grade. The best ones of the year were always the ones they got to post on the school website.

I'll be interested in how you like Children of Hurin. I decided to wait until I'd heard from people who have read it before I buy it, although the illustrations are worth the price of the book.

Chris said...

Kailana, I never really minded them, but they still bugged me because it was something that I HAD to do. I was just one of those kids. I love reviewing them now though!

Robin, We need those 6th grade teachers! Even though kids may despise book reports when they have to do them, it's people like you that open a child's mind up to the wonders of reading. I started reading novels around that age. In fact, I read Stephen King's Misery in 6th grade (not for school of course). What was my mom thinking letting me do that?!

Bookfool said...

I hadn't thought of it that way, but yeah . . . book reports is exactly what our reviews are. Funny. I'm like Kailana; I didn't mind them at all. I loved your thoughts; it's always fun reading about your job and what you learn from clients.

Did I buy myself anything fun? Well, yeah, dirt. LOL Okay, not just top soil but something to put in the ground. I got some French lavender to plant in the herb garden - it smells heavenly! - and some very exciting bath salts with lavender scent. I'm a fool for lavender. :)

Chris said...

Bookfool, buying garden stuff is always fun! We're just waiting to see our veggies start sprouting.

Literacy-chic said...

Children of Hurin is likely going to be great stuff like all of the other Tolkien backhistories. But it's definitely stuff for the serious Tolkien "scholar"--amateur or otherwise--rather than the casual reader. So this is more of the Silmarillion--or deeper--rather than more of LOTR or The Hobbit. Quality stuff, but I don't expect it to be easy reading. I can't wait to get our copy!!

Chris said...

Cool N, I thought about y'all immediately when I heard about that book. Can't wait to hear y'all's thoughts.