Thursday, December 09, 2010

Still Alive in Cold, Cold Illinois

We're still here even if it averages -10F in the morning when we leave the house. Last weekend I had a whirlwind trip to Los Angeles to visit with Deb, Anthony, and little David (as well as a few other friends). I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I would have liked. I think that had a lot to do with Common Rotation not playing a show after Thrilling Adventure as they would have at the old venue. At least we got to have vegan noms at Chili Addiction pre-show.

I did take some videos of David and a few pictures of the Santa Monica Pier at night. That was nifty.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

It's Winter!

I owe a million updates, but for now here's one. What have we been up to? It feels like a lot! Really, it's been the normal stuff plus planning for lots of travel.

I am finding it very challenging to write up the Rally weekend post without turning it into a novel. It may just have to be a novel. Since the rally, I voted, the results were what they were, we hung out with our awesome, local vegan friends, I made plans to go to LA and Florida, I cooked and baked, we volunteered at the local humane society, we had a long Thanksgiving weekend with family, and now it's December.
Crosby at the Champaign County Humane Society. Adopt him! So cute!

Oh, and I committed to a trip to Ireland. (Yes, I finally clicked the button that said, "You are going to leave the country in 2011 like you said!")

Let's jump back to Thanksgiving. See, we brought home a lot of leftovers. We are the only vegans in the family. Heck, if we were just vegetarian, we'd still be the only vegetarians in the family. So, as the rest of the family was planning the food and decided I would "bring a vegetable dish," I let them know I would likely be bringing three or four dishes and a dessert since there was no way I was letting our Thanksgiving consist of one dish.

I made Moroccan Lentil Soup, Biscuits & Gravy, "Sausage" Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Crust-Free Pumpkin Pie, Green Bean Casserole, Aztec Corn Salad, a Field Roast loaf, and Coconut Whipped Cream. I received compliments on the mashed potatoes from one person, and I think a handful of servings were taken by family members of everything else, but for the most part what we didn't eat those three days with family came home with us. We easily had five days of lunch of dinner covered by the food I made that was not eaten by others.
Everything is pictured except the Coconut Whipped Cream and Field Roast loaf.

I don't think I was bothered so much by the leftovers so much as I was bothered by something much more basic. How many dishes of mashed potatoes did we have? One? No. Two. Why? Because apparently vegan mashed potatoes are so radically different, that we have to make non-vegan mashed potatoes, too. This really struck a nerve. I said a couple of times that we really didn't need to make two versions, but that fell on deaf ears. I have to say I was surprised by the one family member who sought out my help in making an unusual recipe and making sure it was vegan; one of my uncles. (My mother did email about a recipe, but it was for a salad, and even though The Boy likes salad, I wasn't going to make a salad for Thanksgiving.)
These were darn good mashed potatoes, and I am thankful for my supportive aunt, too.

So when it came time for family pictures on Saturday and the photographer wanted to take some outside since we had fifteen people, what happened? "It's too cold, we can do it outside." Immediately vetoed even though the topic had been tossed around as a possibility the entire weekend. In fact, the photographer called about 30 minutes prior to our appointment time, and it was a 15-minute drive to either location, so it was pretty inconvenient. The weather was sunny and above 30F; a veritable heat wave in an Illinois winter! So, we are going to end up with studio photos in front of the same backdrop for every shot. I didn't let it ruin my day, but I also didn't pretend to be happy with the decision.

(I didn't realize how annoyed I still was until I started thinking about this post while doing the dishes, which included the finally empty containers from our Thanksgiving food. Letting it go and moving on!)

Over the next four months, starting tomorrow, I will be traveling to Los Angeles, Florida, and finally Ireland. Needless to say, I am extremely excited. While out in LA, I will be catching up with Deb and her little boy, catching a Thrilling Adventure show with guest star Nathan Fillion, and zooming back home in under 36 hours. Our Florida trip is to spend Christmas with The Boy's father's family. It's been a while since we spent a good amount of time down there, and I won't mind the break from our weather. Then, it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to our trip to Ireland. Fantastic.
As fantastic as these vegan chocolate-mint-peanutbutter cupcakes? Maybe.

Monday, November 01, 2010

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed (In Deed)

I have a friend who probably doesn’t know how special she is to me. (She will now!) Sometime over the last decade, she has grown from a friend of a friend into someone I care for and cherish. The past year especially brought out the care-giver side of me, which I (sarcastically, of course) consider a rare event for a Taurus such as myself. The exact timing of events may be blurred in my mind, but what it boils down to is a first child and the loss of a mother.

Imagine if you will your first pregnancy coinciding with the discovery of cancer eating away at your mother, who is still a spry 52. Toss in some feelings of uncertainty about treatments and seemingly positive results, and then experience the birth of your child. Oh, and add a few states in between your home and your mothers so visiting is not very accessible. Now, absorb the knowledge that the treatments will not work and your mother will soon be gone from your life. She will only briefly know your first born child. Put all of that weight on your shoulders, and then release it with her death. Only, you now have to add on the weight of her absence and all of the responsibilities that come with the loss of a close family member.

Deb on the ferris wheel, April 2009.

I guess this is my long way of saying I wanted to help. If it were only her nervousness at her first pregnancy, I was ready to be there at every turn. (I am a single mom going on 13 years now, though she does have a partner. I just felt connected to everything happening then.) Adding in everything else? I wanted to be there at every turn. (All contingent on her preferences, of course. We all saw Phoebe try to prove there is no such thing as a selfless good deed and fail, right? Like most people, I, too, get a good feeling when helping a friend. Instant karmic vibes perhaps.)

Capuring "Pre-Boba" moments, September 2009.

In the past year and a half or so, I traveled to Los Angeles to visit with her half a dozen times. (I also live many states away.) It had been at least six months since my last visit, a record, when I asked about visiting over the long Halloween weekend. Her birthday also happens to fall on 10/30, so it would be a doubly good weekend to visit. Not to mention, she shares her birthday with her mother, and this would be the first without her. All signs pointed to “Go” until one Jon Stewart made an announcement and she found a cheap (and direct, no less) flight to D.C.

Trio, March 2010.

“I am in the middle. I can go east just as easily as west.”

The trip was still on!

Of course, there need not be turmoil in her life for the friendship to grow stronger. I will always admire her wit, eloquence, free-spirit, and love of others. (In fact, her eloquence usually makes me feel like a monkey pounding a keyboard, but I endeavor on, as the saying goes.) Certainly, these are her qualities that cemented our friendship prior to any strife and made it that much easier to extend a hand when life was a little less friendly.

As quickly as this year has gone by, October seemed to take forever to arrive and dwindle away. Finally, finally, the weekend of sanity arrived. (To be continued …)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Lion's Share T-Shirt Giveaway

Even before I became vegan, I envied bloggers who traveled extensively. Oh, how I wish that were me. When I do travel now, I plan to use all the tips and tricks I acquire from the lovely folks at Vegan Backpacker. An extra special bonus for following them is knowledge about other awesome vegan people, their products, and occasionally the distribution of their products for FREE.

That's right. Contests. For free stuff. Free, vegan stuff. We're pretty awesome people.

Right now, you have a little while longer to enter a contest for a free vegan t-shirt from Lion's Share Industries. From the contest post:
  • "Lion’s Share Industries is a Seattle-based t-shirt company that’s created a special art and fashion experiment made possible by many talented vegans and friends-of-vegans all around the world."
All you have to do to be in the running is comment with your favorite t-shirt design from a handful of choices. (Hint: They all rock.) If you are so inclined, you can do a few other activities and comment again for bonus entries. So hurry over there and enter the contest!

    Sunday, October 03, 2010

    Rescues & Soup

    The title would suggest all I have been up to the past few weeks is being a super hero and making (or eating) soup, but the reality is I have been going about our ordinary activities with just a few acts of super heroism and soup (making and eating) tossed it.

    On Friday, I spent a few hours over at some friends' house for some vegan fun and games. It was a good time with delicious food, new friends, and a hilarious game of pictophone (or telenary). You play the game by taking a long piece of paper divided into ten or so sections and pass it around the room alternating writing a sentence or drawing a picture. The goal is to have the last sentence resemble the first sentence as closely as possible.The first person writes a sentence, any sentence, then passes the paper to the person on their left. That person must draw a picture representing the sentence, fold the paper down so the sentence is hidden, and then pass the paper to their left. The third person now starts with the picture and must write a sentence representing the picture, and so on. Each time, the paper is folded so the new person has just one sentence or picture to work with. You can see how it is a combination of pictionary and telephone, yes? Much hilarity ensued.

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Dinner: Vegan Yam & Carrot Curry

    I was quite proud of myself for the lack of laziness I displayed in the kitchen tonight despite our long day and my lower back pain. (Yay for being a girl! Not. (I am helping Shawn Spencer bring it back.)) Yes, I did just double-parentheticize. Which is a word.

    Back. Pain.

    I really wanted some curry on the drive home, and I successfully resisted stopping at a restaurant (which would have cost $30 with tip for just The Boy and I without appetizers or drinks). Since I made it all the way home, I decided I owed it to myself to make some curry. The other day, I picked up some Garnet Yams from the co-op after seeing them advertised on sale, and I was curious how they would be different from yams and sweet potatoes I had had before. I did a search on a vegan potato curry and decided I could whip something together pretty easily.

    Our dinner tonight.

    Vegetable Oil
    OG Yellow Onion
    OG Garnet Yam
    OG Baby Carrots
    Red Curry Paste
    Coconut Milk
    Sesame Seeds
    Chia Seeds
    (Over OG Long Grain Brown Rice)

    I had two recipes up to compare their ingredients and decided the simpler recipe made more sense. The more complicated recipe was going to turn out spicy, and The Boy is not a lover of the spicy stuff. (I am, but I can take one for the team.) This was my first time using coconut milk from a can. I was quite surprised by all the fatty goodness at the top of can! Who knew?
    The Boy patiently waits while his plate is captured.

    If I had to change anything, I would be more careful about the oil used for the garlic and onion. It was too much. (I tend to eyeball the ingredients to most of the things I cook.) It kept the dish from being farther on the creamy side from the oily side. It was still delicious, though, and we have three solid servings tucked away in the fridge for meals early this week (if it survives tomorrow).

    It even received the stamp of approval from The Boy who immediately said he'd rather not eat it when he saw it on the stove. I gave him a small bite, and he was converted. Here's hoping we don't wake up orange tomorrow.

    Happy Hybrids & Photography

    Last night I attended a fundraiser event for the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization, and there was a silent auction. Two of the auction items caught my eye.

    First, there was a photographer (Virgina Pinkston) who and a picture of an old truck on her business card. I was so excited that is was the same truck I found on some back roads that I started telling her about it, but it turns out her truck was in Michigan, not Illinois. Here is the picture on her site. Below are some shots I took of my truck.
    1941 Chevrolet pickup truck.
    Obviously, I was wrong as my truck is much older than hers, but in my defense it was a teeny-tiny picture. :-) Still, there is some resemblance.
    1941 Chevrolet pickup truck.
    (I have a group of pictures from our back road adventure you can see on Flickr.)

    The second auction was a basket of adorable creations by a company called Happy Hybrids. I saw two ladies getting their picture taken with the basket, so I asked if they were the creators. They were, and I asked them about the materials they used. It looked like they repurposed some Halloween gloves and wool. It turns out, I was right. Not only that, but everything they create uses recycled products, and it's locally owned/run. I hinted (pretty heavily) that they might be a good fit for selling their creations at B. Lime in downtown Champaign, and I hope they contact the store.

    Visit their web site or the Happy Hybrids Facebook Group to see the super cute creations!

    Saturday, September 11, 2010

    More Cheering at Sporting Events!

    I was pretty bummed that we had to miss the first soccer game of the season this morning, but it is a park district team (versus a school team) so cross country won out. The meet started at 9:30am (the bus left at 6:45am), and the game was at 8:30am, so there really wasn't a way to make it work. The opponent was our old coach's new team. The league is so small though (four teams) that we will get to play them again. Our new team lost (by a fluke goal according to one of the opposing coaches), which I am hoping will knock down some of the egos I have seen on the new team. Is that wrong somehow?

    Back to cross country: I love watching these kids run. I take pictures of the entire team (when I can catch them going by), and usually there are one or two favorite shots. I won't share those of other students here, but I can share one of The Boy. :-)

    I think this is my favorite shot of him from today. It was a grey, drizzling day, so I spent some time playing with the manual settings on my camera to make sure they came out, and they did. Win! (Sometimes I get so frustrated that my camera can't focus quickly enough or on the correct runner in the pack, but I am still attributing that failure to myself until I learn a few more tricks.)

    I can't believe my camera did what I wanted!

    Vegan Chocolate Doughnuts

    Since picking up my blog again, I've made more of an effort to read the blogs I am following (and to follow a boat load more). I actually open Google Reader almost Every. Day. It's amazing the information you acquire when you follow-through on reading saved blogs and articles. (And it just feels good to be reading something that fits your interests and having yet more options at your fingertips if your brain needs a break from your own life.)

    Most often, I find myself tagging and starring posts with recipes I will want to try someday. The other day, one such post appeared and was immediately starred, flagged, tagged, and printed. If I could have done more to remind myself about this post and recipe, I would have. (I guess I did. I put it on Facebook, too. Ha!) What inspired this fit of over-bookmarking a recipe? Well, the Happy Herbivore referenced her post from last summer for Vegan Chocolate Doughnuts, that's what! (Now, these are on the healthier side for a number of reasons - not the least of which is that they are baked, not fried - but they are still yummy, scrumptious doughnuts. Mmm.)

    Of course, plenty of people bookmark/tag recipes and probably never get back around to them. Myself included. Or, you make it once and then it gathers dust in Google Reader (or my brain). However, I had a good reason to make something soon. I joined a local vegan Meetup group a few weeks ago, and I thought the doughnuts sounded like the perfect (odd) choice of food to bring to the next potluck. (I posted the link on Facebook and received a thumbs up from one of the organizers, so they can't be too odd of a choice.)

    With vegan baking, even though I am pretty confident in my skills, it is always best to serve something that you have tried your hand at before. So, I spent an hour last night conducting a trial batch. Like a lot of vegan baking recipes, they are super fast to put together, and you can clean up as they are baking in the oven. Easy as pie. (Mmm, pie.) The recipe only makes around nine doughnuts, so I will have to double or triple it for the upcoming potluck.

    The results? Good! I think the main improvement I would make is adding just a bit more of the liquid ingredients to hold off any of the dryness. (It's possible I didn't measure my dry ingredients very well ... eyeballing it counts, right?) I also needed to make a bigger batch of the icing that the recipe instructs. That's no big deal. The best part of making the batter - aside from any taste-testing that may or may not have occurred - was not having the crushed any vegan chocolate chips. I was across town when shopping for the baking supplies, and I went into a Schnuck's I haven't visited in five or more years. Guess what I found there. Ghirardelli mini chips I never knew existed! Perfect!

    Enough with the babbling. On to the pictures!

    The batter in the pan. I really didn't know how full or smooth to make it. Not a big deal.
    Out of the oven and iced. Mmm.
    Ready for a taste test? Yes!
    P.S. Thanks to Quigs78 for the loaner on the doughnut pan. I will definitely invest in one of my own.

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Mango Masala Panini

    Mango Masala Panini

    Perfect for a power lunch or gourmet dinner, this panini is protein-packed, cholesterol-free, and heart healthy!

    Ready-to-Go Ingredients:
    4 panini rolls
    ½ cup spinach
    Salt and pepper (to taste)

    Spiced Chickpea Masala
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 onion, finely chopped
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    masala spice mix: 1 teaspoon turmeric, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, 1 large pinch cayenne
    2 cups cooked chickpeas
    2 tomatoes, diced
    ¼ bunch cilantro, minced

    Saute onion with oil and salt until soft and browned. Add garlic and spices and cook for a few more minutes. Add chickpeas, tomato, and ½ cup water. Adjust seasoning to taste and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool and pulse in food processor. Mix in cilantro.

    Roasted Cauliflower Curry
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 onion, finely chopped
    curry spice mix: 1 tablespoon curry powder, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
    1 cup cauliflower florets
    1 potato, peeled, cooked and diced
    2 teaspoons lemon juice

    Preheat oven to 400° F. Toss cauliflower with ¼ cup olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 30 minutes or until florets are fork tender. In the meantime, saute remaining onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil with a pinch of salt until soft and browned. Add spices and cook for a few more minutes. Mash cauliflower, potato, and lemon juice into the onion mixture. Adjust seasoning to taste.

    Tamarind Mango Chutney
    1 mango, chopped
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    1 teaspoon tamarind paste

    Combine all ingredients in sauce pot with a splash of water. Cook on low for 10 minutes. Pulse in food processor and refrigerate.

    Layer the 3 components on panini bread with spinach and press. Get it while it’s hot!

    Wednesday, September 01, 2010

    Watermelon Popsicles

    A yummy sounding recipe from the Common Ground newsletter.

    Local Food Recipe: Watermelon Popsicles
    Jessy Ruddell, Produce Manager

    Watermelon Popsicles? Indeed!

    1 cup sugar
    Mint leaves, cut into narrow ribbons
    Juice of 2 limes
    1 small watermelon, cut into chunks
    (Optional: blueberries)

    Popsicle molds OR paper cups, wooden sticks, and foil

    Place sugar in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Pour into a heatproof container and add the mint leaves. Refrigerate.

    Meanwhile, place watermelon chunks, seeds and all, into a blender and puree. Strain the juice through a coarse-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Add lime juice. Strain cooled syrup into the watermelon mixture.

    This makes a delicious beverage (especially over ice with a slug of tequila), but I like to make it into popsicles. If you have official popsicle molds, use those. If not, lay out some paper cups on a tray. If you're using blueberries, place a few in the bottom of each cup. Fill each cup 2/3 full of watermelon mixture, cover with foil, and poke a stick into the center. Freeze for at least 8 hours.

    Grandma Dorothy

    A copy/paste is all I can manage at the moment.

    Grandma Dorothy

    Thank you for all of your condolences. As much as I wish she was still here, she knew her mind and her decision. Respecting her wishes and being at her bedside was the least we could do.

    Jack wanted to be with her, with us, and so we had a late night last night. She was gone around 10pm, and we came home to Champaign around midnight. Needless to say, I am not making him go to school today. He got to cry and tell her goodbye. He didn't want to let go until he knew absolutely she was gone. I know death is hard, but being excluded can be harder, and I am glad he was allowed to be there.

    Her five children were all in the hospital with her, along with Mary B., Bev G., and David Lucas. Everyone was in her room with the exception of Uncle Dave who had said his goodbyes already (and Mary B. who wanted to respect any wishes Grandma may have had about others seeing her at the end). He has had his share of seeing someone go with his father and a good friend, Larry, and his siblings understood. We made sure to ask him multiple times just in case so he didn't have regrets. David Lucas was there as well. He said she was the closest to having a mother as he had had in a long time. I am glad Mom found him.

    Today Jack and I will spend our day at home. I don't know that we will get up to much. The cats are wondering while we haven't relinquished the house to them for the day, but they will just have to deal with it. :)

    Thank you, Grandma. For your love, acceptance, and baking. For your afghans and cards. For your hugs and phone calls. For your stories and smile. I will do my best to prod my horrid memory to hold onto these things into the future.

    Grandma and four of her children.
    Grandma, The Boy, Aunt Amy and me at the park.
    Grandma and me in Spokane (1994).
    Nana and The Boy (2006).

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    Recent Grub

    Grilled tofu (co-op) on organic salad (local farm) with fresh
    bread (Strawberry Fields).
    Organic tomatoes (my house and a local farm), organic salad (local farm),
    organic avocado (co-op), and Annie's dressing.


    I think if you asked anyone I went to school with if I was a cheerleader, they would immediately and emphatically answer "No." I don't mean a cheerleader in the traditional sense, but just a student/person who lived for the school games and knew at least a few of the players by number and statistics.

    Despite that, once The Boy started team sports (at my insistence after he showed very little interest all the way up to 5th grade), I have loved every minute of cheering him on and his teammates at games and meets. With soccer, it was almost as if you acquire a new, extended family. I liked knowing all of their names and cheering them on specifically. Perhaps the boys thought it was odd that someone not their mom was cheering them on, but I didn't mind. Now that The Boy is in his second year of cross country, I am going to make an bigger effort to learn their names as well. With 60 teammates, as opposed to 15, it will be a little tougher, but some I already know, and I am sure I will get the rest as well.

    The boys after a muddy game.

    I find it immensely enjoyable to watch these kids push themselves, acquire new skills, and achieve their goals. I don't think it makes me yearn for my days of youth, but rather I feel proud and excited for them. They have so much left to do, and this is just one achievement. They are forming friendships that could last forever. Even if they don't realize it yet, team sports can play a significant role in their development. (Sadly, the Park District's current practice is to reshuffle all of the soccer players every two grade years which means all of that bonding gets disrupted. *sigh*)

    The varsity race begins.
    I don't subscribe to the parent-coaching from the sidelines. I like the idea of letting the coaches do their jobs, but that doesn't mean parents should never hang out at practice or only show up to the convenient games/meets. Think of it as an opportunity to be an outsider to your child's life, if just slightly. Observing them from this perspective is a rare opportunity to view them as the individual they are, in their little microcosm of the world. It can be pretty neat. (Not to mention watching them change over the years.)

    The boys in 2010.
    The boys in 2009.
    So, if you are at any park district soccer games or cross country meets with Unit 4 schools, and you see a mom taking pictures and cheering on what appears to be her dozens of children; that's me. But I just have the one Boy. (Though how much do I love that his games and meets give me the chance to practice my photography? Tons.)

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Ten Days

    It has been ten days since my last post. It felt like there was nothing happening that I needed to post about, so I didn't. Here's a run-down of what's been going on that keeps my mind occupied and procrastinating about almost everything else.

    My grandmother in Peoria has been in either the hospital or a rehabilitation facility for about four weeks now. She started off in the hospital due to problems breathing, and when they moved her to a rehabilitation facility to regain her strength she acquired an infection (c. difficile). As a result of the infection (and medication, IMO), she was nauseous, not eating, and losing whatever strength she had managed to build, so it was back to the hospital she went.

    The challenge right now is with communication. Mom is doing her best to make sure everything is taken care of, including bills, insurance, and changes at home so Grandma can eventually return to an environment clear of smoke remnants, but she lives in Springfield, so it has been up to my aunt and uncle who live in Peoria to take care of things when Mom is not there. Taking a situation like this at face value and ignoring any other influences that might be at play, good communication is key, but it doesn't always happen. Things have been better since Mom took up my suggestion of sending frequent updates via email to all concerned parties. It is a venue where everything can be documented, and everyone has the opportunity to "reply all" if they choose to take it. So far, not many have, but the updates still serve their purpose. Mom has been driving between Springfield and Peoria nearly everyday, sometimes multiple times a day, and I can only say thank goodness our highways are about getting between two large-ish cities and not about getting around one massive city like some or I might not be able to stand the sympathy driving angst I feel. (Keep in mind, that distance and time is city to city, not house to hospital, as Google sees it, so add some more time and mileage to get an idea of the real drive.)

    Due to the infection, Grandma is more isolated and stricter measures are taken with hospital staff and visitors to prevent the bug from spreading. Apparently, this is one nasty bug. With school and sports starting up, we haven't been up to visit her in two weeks now, but I plan to be up there Saturday after The Boy's first cross country meet of the season. Hopefully, Grandma will be able to go home soon. One of her doctors says it can take 4-6 weeks to kick this bug, but the results are more positive this morning than they have been all week, so I am optimistic. This weekend is supposed to be crammed packed with events (cross country, 15-year class reunion, Epiphany Farms tour, vegan potluck), but I may skip them everything post-meet. (I can't miss or pull The Boy from that!)

    Grandma and I in Spokane, WA on the way to Pullman, WA before my first year at WSU. (1994)
    In other news, the moon was beautiful last night, and I braved mosquitoes by the lake to get a few pictures. Depending on your monitor display, you may not be able to see the lake and tree line in the picture, but it's there. I ♥ my camera.


    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Forever Young Adult

    I forgot to mention in my New York, New York write-up about a little subway adventure. On Saturday when I was on the 6 heading from the Metropolitan Museum of Art back to the hotel, there was a girl reading a Percy Jackson book on the bench. I tried to resist talking to her about it, but in the end I couldn't.

    You see, my friend Erin is a part of the wild antics and random capitalization over at the site Forever Young Adult. Recently, she and her cohorts were interviewed for the Huffington Post. This being fresh in my mind, I wanted to connect to a fellow young adult female who appeared to enjoy (and, I predicted, primarily enjoys) Young Adult books.

    I asked her if it was her first time reading the Percy Jackson books, and she said yes. I then scrounged through my memory to recall The Hunger Games and insisted those should be her next books to read. She said a friend had been telling her the same thing for the last few weeks. She mentioned another series that I had not heard of (Egypt, Kids, Something Happens to the Parents - help me out?), and I lobbed back James Patterson's YA series, Maximum Ride.

    We talked about how I read almost all of the series that the boy reads, and she commented that she was glad to hear that some parents are staying in touch with what their children read. (She works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and talked about the tours they have with Percy Jackson information tied in and specifically geared towards the kids. Very cool, non?) She laughed a little about she and her friend enjoying YA books so much, so I instantly shared the existence of Forever YA and let her know she is not alone in the world. ;-) (She said, "So, it's a place for people like me," and laughed guiltily, to which I said, "Yes!")

    This all leads me to the most important link of all. If you have been reading the Hunger Games and Catching Fire, if you are eagerly awaiting Mockingjay, then you need to get up to speed on the Great Peeta vs. Gale Debate over at FYA.

    This is Important Stuff.

    The Hunger GamesCatching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) - Library EditionMockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset