Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Sundays with Gage – Photo Fun

Gage has had a good week.  He’s been acting like himself, fussiness and all, and I’ll take it!  He has a few more tests this week and then we may know more about what caused his hospital stay.  I’m praying they don’t find anything bad and can give him a clean bill of health.

Since my parents were up this week we decided to go to our local Portrait Innovations and have some family pics taken.  I am not happy with any of the ones I’m in, but I’ll share a few of the others…

  

So, at 4 months old you can see he’s not exactly smiling on demand!  And the fourth one is the last one and how we knew our time in front of the camera was done.  It was fun and I’m glad we have some fun photos of Gage and the family.

Hopefully next Sunday the post will be full of good health news for Gage.  Positive thoughts and prayers are appreciated 🙂

February 27, 2011 Posted by | Gage | 21 Comments

Testimony, by Anita Shreve

Cover ImageFinished 2-19-11, rating 3.5/5, fiction, 305 pages, pub. 2008

It was a small cassette, not much bigger than the palm of his hand, and when Mike thought about the terrible license and risk exhibited on the tape, as well as its resultant destructive power, it was as though the two-by-three plastic package had been radioactive.  Which it may as well have been, since it had produced something very like radiation sickness throughout the school, reducing the value of an Avery education, destroying at least two marriages that he knew of, ruining the futures of three students, and, most horrifying of all, resulting in a death.

first lines of book

There is a video that has hit YouTube and come to the attention of the headmaster of a private school in Vermont.  In it there are three boys and a fourteen year old girl, all students of the school, performing sex acts while drunk.  The headmaster tries to keep it quiet, but that is not going to happen and the media descends on the school to pass judgement.  No one is left unscathed.

The story is told from multiple viewpoints, from the headmaster to the students to small players like the man who sold the kids the alcohol.  Not only were there too many perspectives to keep track of but the timeline jumped around quite a but making it a bit confusing.  I didn’t think it was too confusing, I actually thought it was fresh and interesting for the most part, but for me the story didn’t exactly hold up.  There was a good mix of characters, some sympathetic, some not, which made the story seem real.

It is very timely in the fact that so many kids are using media, like YouTube or Facebook, to put bad behavior on display.  It is an interesting topic, but I wish it had been dealt with a little more depth.  Kids are behaving badly and broadcasting it, some hoping it will get them attention or make them famous (hello, Kim Kardashian) so the fallout from it didn’t seem to fit the crime in my opinion.  I liked the twist at the end. Even though I saw it coming, it was still  powerful and a solid end to this cautionary tale.

I have loved the other Shreve books I’ve read, but this was one was a bit of a disappointment to me.  It actually took me quite awhile to finish it even though it read fairly fast.

This is from my personal library and was chosen by Marce, Alessandra, and Mystica.  Here’s what Alessandra had to say… “A sex scandal at a prestigious boarding school in New England has dire consequences on a whole community.”

February 23, 2011 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | | 15 Comments

Is There a Doctor in the House? Quiz – Guessing Closed

Many of you already know why there was no quiz last week (post here) and there is no surprise what inspired  this week’s quiz.  See if you can guess these fictional doctors.  Each one is worth 10 points.  You have until noon on Friday to submit your answers, they will be hidden til then.

A few rules…No cheating.  No googling or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system…Your first answers will be the only ones accepted…Have fun!

This round for every participant I have (currently at $27)  I will put in a $ for a B&N gift card or a Babies R Us gift card for the winner. Even if you play only once you are eligible to win the second prize (something special I pick out) and you will be adding money to the kitty for the winner.  

Answers to the last quiz Footballers Can Act  here.  Quiz Leaderboard here.

1. Theodor Geisel went by another name and published 44 children’s books.  What was his most famous pen name?  Dr. Seuss

2. This doctor in children’s books preferred animals over his human patients.  Dr. Dolittle

3. This doctor and poet tells the story of the Russian Revolution in this novel by Boris Pasternak.  Dr. Zhivago

4. Sherlock Holmes’ assistant and roommate in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories.  Dr. Watson

5. Thomas Harris wrote several novels featuring this psychiatrist and serial killer, played expertly by Anthony Hopkins in the most famous movie of his work.  Dr. Hanibal Lecter

6. This professor of religious iconology and symbology has been on the bestseller list and top of the movie charts.  Dr. Robert Langdon

7. In which of Joy Fielding’s books did the doctor ‘take care’ of his amnesic wife?  See Jane Run

8. Stevenson’s doctor became synonymous with a split personality.  Dr. Jekyll

9. This doctor spent 18 years in the Bastille in Dicken’s historical novel.  Dr. Alexandre Manette

10. I wish I’d had him for Gage’s diagnosis!  Dr. Gregory House

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Quizzes | | 40 Comments

Sundays with Gage – Ventilators, ICU, Medical Mystery, and a Miracle

Watching four doctors, three members of the ambulance team, and more nurses than I could keep track of  surrounding your 3 month old son trying to insert a breathing tube will change you.  Watching them fail three times will probably stay with me for the rest of my life.  The fourth attempt was successful and then came numerous failed attempts to put in a second IV before getting us in the ambulance to transfer us from the pediatric ER to the Cleveland Clinic downtown. 

As I sat in the front seat of the ambulance with Gage in the back racing toward the Cleveland Clinic where Jason and my Mom were waiting it was hard to have a coherent thought past the overwhelming fear that had taken over my body.  Just that morning Gage had been smiling and talking to me and Grandma, but he started vomiting  a few hours after I fed him.  We went to the doctor’s office and then straight to the ER .  He hadn’t stopped throwing up and he was so lethargic I was scared.  The doctor tried to reassure me, but the fact that she wanted to transfer us said enough.  Once we arrived downtown he was taken directly to ICU.  This was Monday. 

They did two CAT scans, an upper GI test (he already had an ultrasound and body x-ray from his last trip to the ER), EKG, 24/7 heart monitoring and blood tests done.  He had teams of doctors, neurology and GI consults and yet no one could tell us why he had stopped breathing.  On Tuesday they took Gage off the ventilator and it took him six hours to wake up.  On Thursday they moved him out of ICU as he started eating on his own.  By this time he had been on so many drugs and stuck with so many needles I was sure he would never be the same.  But babies are resilient.  On Friday Gage was acting like his old self, but there was still no answer as to what had happened. 

The hospital’s best people tried to take blood from Gage and only two were successful enough to get any blood and that is not enough to run all of the test they want.  We have a few tests pending, but the doctors think that they are long shots.  And if I want to have all of the tests run I’ll have to have them try to take more blood.  Watching them try to insert a breathing tube multiple times was the most difficult thing, but watching three doctors try to get blood from our boy on Friday with no success was a nightmare too.

So, they don’t know what happened or why and on Friday they want to send us home.  I am terrified of leaving without an answer.  If I don’t know what caused it how do I know how to avoid it?  What if it happens again?  When I realized that even another night in the hospital would not answer these questions I agreed to take him home on Friday night.  Gage, Jason, and I had not left the hospital since Monday, but as we drove home it seemed like a month.

I am so thankful for Gage’s recovery.  So many people were praying for him and I choose to believe that our prayers were answered and the reason that they can’t find anything wrong with him now is that it’s been fixed already by someone more powerful than a team of doctors.  But those are only in my most positive moments.  The rest of the time I am in a state of worry and panic.  My mom will be staying with us this week and that is a huge help.  It is nice to be home with our son who seems to be more recovered than I might ever be. 

Yesterday Gage was home for his four month birthday and he enjoyed spending time with his grandparents.

This has been the hardest week of my life and although Gage is doing better I cannot say the same for myself yet.  I am hoping one of the tests may tell us something, but there is the very real possibility that they won’t and  that is going to be difficult, but that fact that Gage is home and doing well is enough for me.

February 20, 2011 Posted by | Gage | 30 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Money

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Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME

This week’s movie topic is all about Money…Share on your blog movies that focus on making money, finding money, losing money, stealing money or spending money.

 
 
Saving Money Outsourced (2006)  A manager is sent to India because his company has outsourced jobs there to save money.  He’s in for culture shock, disappointment and love.

Inheriting MoneyBrewster’s Millions (1985) A has-been baseball player must spend $30 million in 30 days without telling anyone to inherit $300 million.

Finding MoneyA Simple Plan (1998) Two brothers and a girlfriend have found $4 million in a downed plane and decide to keep it.  Good luck with that!

Earning Money Pretty Woman (1990)  The world’s oldest profession gets star treatment in this movie that needs no description.

Having No MoneyThe Grapes of Wrath (1940) How did people survive during the Depression?  A stark look at the realities of life.

What about you?  Do you have a favorite movie about money?  Visit the Bumbles to participate or read what movies others have chosen.

February 14, 2011 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | | 11 Comments

Sundays with Gage – Trips 1 & 2 to the ER

I took this picture on Wednesday as Gage was waking from a nap in his crib and I was going to write a post on the very slow transition from bassinet to  crib, but that will wait for another day since Thursday saw us head to the doctor because he had been throwing up after I changed his formula that morning.  I wasn’t worried, I just wanted to make sure he was okay since Gage does not throw up (well, only one other time at the doctor’s office).  But when we got in to see our pediatrician she was worried.  She didn’t think his getting sick had anything to do with the formula and after a test to check oxygen in his blood (?) she panicked a little and almost put him on oxygen, which would had required a trip in the squad.  But a second test showed a normal result so she told me I could just drive Gage to the ER.  Now, I’m starting to get a little worried since she didn’t even want me going back home or stopping anywhere.

Once at the Peds ER we waited almost half an hour for a room and another hour after that to see a doctor.  I’m glad they didn’t consider us a red alert emergency, but still.  After having blood drawn, an x-ray, ultrasound, and an IV with fluids we were sent home 7 hours later with the diagnosis of a stomach bug.  Gage was a trooper and I was very proud of how well he did.  He had much more patience than I did!

Then Friday I called the nurse with a question and she told me to go back to the ER.  I thought she was completely overreacting. I mean c’mon, we were just there!  She was concerned about dehydration.  I was concerned with getting Gage to eat, sleep and stop crying.  I did not take Gage to the ER.  Then a few hours later, the HEAD nurse from the doctor’s office called because she was “concerned for Gage” and thought I should take him to the ER.  I explained that he had just been there and had not been dehydrated and had even been given fluids, but she didn’t want to hear that.  She wanted me to call her back in an hour to give her an update on his eating and diaper wetting.  She was starting to get on my nerves, but I did call her back to tell her he had eaten and wet a diaper.  Should have been good news but she still wanted me to go to the ER because he was so young and even talked to another doctor in the office who thought the same (our pediatrician wasn’t there).  So, I call Jason, head back to the ER, valet the car (again) and get put back in the same room with a few of the same nurses as the day before.  And do you know what happened when the doctor checked him out less than an hour later?  Nothing.  No dehydration, Gage even smiled at the doctor, like he got the joke.  And they sent us home with an expensive bill (I’m guessing) that I plan on forwarding on to the nurse who wouldn’t quit making me feel like I was endangering my kid if I didn’t take him to the ER. 

The moral of the story is that you should always trust your mother’s instinct.  But I’m so new at this that I didn’t completely trust mine and a needless trip to the ER was had by all.  Gage is doing better and has been smiling, talking and playing with toys (such as it is).  Here’s a picture of the small bruise on his arm from the IV, his only lasting indignity of the hours in the ER.

February 13, 2011 Posted by | Gage | 37 Comments

This Book is Overdue! by Marilyn Johnson

This Book Is Overdue! by Marilyn Johnson: Book CoverFinished 2-9-11, rating 4/5, non-fiction, 261 pages, pub. 2010

In tight economic times, with libraries sliding farther and farther down the list of priorities, we risk the loss if their ideals, intelligence, and knowledge, not to mention their commitment to access for all-librarians consider free access to information the foundation od democracy, and they’re right.  Librarians are essential players in the information revolution because they level that field.  They enable those without money or education to read and learn the same things as the billionaire and the Ph.D.  In prosperous libraries, they loan out laptops; in strapped ones, they dole out half hours of computer time,  They are the little “d” democrats of the computer age who keep the rest of us wired.

Chapter 1

This book pays homage to librarian hot shots, like Judith King who launched Banned Book Week, to everyday librarian bloggers.  It’s all about how the role of the librarian is changing but just as important in this new digital world.  Libraries themselves are changing.  Johnson mentioned one library in particular that checked out laptops and GPS systems.  How cool is that?

The most inspirational chapter to me was the one about the four librarians who stood up to the FBI and the Patriot Act (Relevent since today the House failed to extend it. Score one for the librarians).  These librarians were bullied by the government and could have easily caved and gave them the information they wanted, but patron rights were important to them.  The FBI wanted to know the name of the patron who was using a specific computer at a certain time but they did not have a warrant.  I applaud these librarians who represent the best ideal of librarians.  My local library now forces us to use our library card to log into internet time which makes me mad.  Can there really be no privacy any more, anywhere?  And the name the FBI wanted?  Someone who had sent an anonymous tip that was no longer relevent.  And yet they still wasted years of these librarian’s time and the court’s time.

Anyway, I also loved the behind the scenes look at the New York Public Library.  It’s amazing what is there and how they face the same budget crunch as every other library.  It almost seemed a little sad at how much it is changing to try to draw new patrons, but that is the future.

I worked for a year at the reference desk of a local library, so this book was preaching to the choir.  I love libraries and do think they serve an important purpose in a free society.  I think they are too often given cuts in poor economic times when people need their services the most.  I briefly flirted with the idea of going back to school and getting a Library Science degree, but ultimately chose not to.  This book has reminded me of how important a job it is and how fulfilling it can be and now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t go ahead and look into that degree.  Time will tell.

A few of the chapters had me skimming a bit (I really did not care about the Second Life online game which got a lot of attention), but this is a must read for any library user. 

This book was sent to me as part of the TLC book tour.  Visit the other bloggers who read and reviewed this book.

Tuesday, January 25th: Reading Through Life
Thursday, January 27th: Library Queue
Monday, January 31st: 1330v
Tuesday, February 1st: One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books
Wednesday, February 2nd: Man of La Book
Monday, February 7th: Boarding in My Forties
Tuesday, February 15th: Books Like Breathing
Wednesday, February 16th: Proud Book Nerd
Friday, February 18th: A Fanatic’s Book Blog

February 10, 2011 Posted by | 4 Star Books | , | 14 Comments

Footballers Can Act Quiz – Guessing Closed

With another Super Bowl behind us I thought we’d visit some NFL players who have gone on to have acting careers.  I wanted to make it about books, but not surprisingly, I found little connection between ex-football players and literature 😉  Good luck.  Each one is worth 10 points.

You have until Friday noon to submit your answers as a comment.  I hide your answers until then.

A few rules…No cheating.  No googling or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system…Your first answers will be the only ones accepted…Have fun!

 This round for every participant I have (currently at $27)  I will put in a $ for a B&N gift card or a Babies R Us gift card for the winner. Even if you play only once you are eligible to win the second prize (something special I pick out) and you will be adding money to the kitty for the winner.  

Answers to last week’s Pictured Title Quiz here.  Current Leaderboard here.

1. Did he really retire?  Did he mean it this time?  What movie is this Brett Favre cameo from?Favre-560.JPG There’s Something About Mary

2. Carl Weathers played for the Raiders before turning to acting.  He is best known for his turn in the Rocky movies I-IV, when he was surprisingly killed off.  What was his character’s name in the Rocky movies?  Apollo Creed

3. Dan Marino played himself in what early Jim Carrey movie?  Ace Ventura Pet Detective

4. Terry Bradshaw, former Steeler, bared it all in what 2006 movie featuring Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey?  Failure to Launch

5. Bubba Smith, after 9 years in the NFL turned to acting. He is probably best known for his role in what 1980’s movies?   Police Academy

6. Who is this NFL player who made the 1991 movie Stone Cold?  Brian Bosworth

7. Ed O’Neill, was signed by the Steelers in 1969 but cut during training camp.  He’s starred in several movies, but it’s his turn as Al Bundy that we remember him for.  What current television comedy does he star in?  Modern Family

8. Another casualty of NFL training camp, this athlete turned actor is most famous for portraying Superman on the small screen.  Who is he?  Dean Cain

9. This NFL Hall of Famer, has starred in many movies (The Waterboy, Shaft remake, Any Given Sunday), but this month he had to register as a sex offender and start serving 6 years probation.  Who is he?  Lawrence Taylor

10.  And what football list would be complete without NFL’er turned Naked Gun Hertz guy, turned famous murderer, who is currently serving time in prison for numerous felonies.  Who is this man named after a breakfast juice?  OJ Simpson

February 8, 2011 Posted by | Quizzes | | 32 Comments

Sundays with Gage – Super Bowl with my Super Boy

Gage is ready for his first Super Bowl.  It comes at a good time since in the last week or so he has been watching tv with Mom and Dad and enjoying it.  It’s actually quite cute to see him studying the screen.  Now we need to start paying attention to what we watch!  As much as he likes tv I’m pretty sure he’s more excited about the commercials, especially the ones with his peers, than the game, but isn’t that at least half of the audience?! 

As for Jason and me, we’ll watch, but at this point I don’t know who I’m rooting for.  Just because I don’t like Big Ben does that mean I have to root for the Packers?  The Packers also have 4 Buckeyes on team so that has to count for something.  Okay, I’m sold, Packers it is.  But I do reserve the right to change my mind as the game progresses…

What about you?  Will you be watching the game or the commercials?  And who will you be rooting for?

February 6, 2011 Posted by | Gage | 13 Comments

January 5 Word Movie Reviews & Invitation

If you’ve seen any of these movies leave me your 1-5 words in the comments and I’ll add them to the post.  Or, if you are feeling ambitious and want to do this on your own blog leave me a link in the comments and I’ll add it to the bottom of the post.   Commenting is always appreciated even if you don’t want to participate 🙂

A woman's face with. The word 'SALT' is in the center, below it the question "Who is Salt?"(2010. Cast-Angelina Joli, Liev Screiber)         Grade B

Totally Ridiculous Spy But Fun.

Over the top roller coaster. (StephanieD) Grade A

Angelina rocks. Flick’s just okay. (Nolatari)

Unbelievable Jolie as agent. Boring.  (Heather)

Suspend belief and enjoy ride.  (Teddyree)

Angelina is an action hero.  (Tony)


 (2010. Cast- Queen Latifah, Common)                  Grade C

Average Romantic Comedy.  Love Latifah.

 


(2009. Cast-Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler)               Grade C

So Outrageous But Mostly Watchable.

Gerard…Need I Say More (Jo-Jo) Grade A

Loved a LOT, Gerard HOT.   (Teddyree)

But you’ll wish he weren’t.  (Tony)


(2009. Cast- Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Kristen Bell, Jason Bateman, Kristin Davis)   Grade C-

Kept Waiting For More Laughs.

Cute yet serious comedy (Jo-Jo) Grade B

 Typical romcom. Laughs, sappy ending.  (Heather)

Corny, cheesy, cringe-worthy laughs.  (Teddyree)

Will make you retreat, too.  (Tony)

February 4, 2011 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews | | 12 Comments