Friday, January 3, 2014

Pix & Portraits!

Hello, everybody!

I am going to use my 196th post to announce a Very Important Thing (V.I.T.).

A NEW BLOG!

Elise and I created Pix & Portraits, a blog where we post photo edits and logos.  Go check it out at pixandportraits.blogspot.com!

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.



Elise and her family came over on New Year's Eve and left a couple minutes ago.  We had a really blessed time, and I really enjoyed everything!

We kicked off their visit by a magnificent dinner feast (Asian fried chicken, Korean BBQ) and afterwards enjoyed lot of treats in front of the TV.  We watched Despicable Me 2, laughed at the mini minion movies afterward (I loved "Puppy"), and watched the ball drop on Times Square.

It was an amazing time, full of sugar highs (they got me hooked on this incredible thing called "snicker brittle," which is basically snickerdoodles minus a cup of flour), TV, and Bananagrams!

The next day, New Year's, was a nice, peaceful day.  I had another killer feast at my grandma's, then went home to have another killer feast (pizza) with more friends.  Our parents went out to eat (deciding that because we were older, there was less of a chance of the house burning down), while we kids stayed home and watched Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs and the end of Facing the Giants.  

Food, fun, friends.  What more could I ask for?

My dad had to work the night shift, so, to let him sleep, my mom took us to the park, where Elise and I Ripstikked and swung on the swings.  Afterward, we went to the library (the best part), and snagged some books.  We came home and immediately started reading.

There were a bunch of different books, but a couple that stand out include Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase and a book that I'm not quite sure of the title because it's so long.  It's something like 33 Minutes Until Morgan Sturtz Kicks My Butt.  

**BTW, I read most of Lockwood & Co. and the beginning and end of 33 Minutes.  So my opinion's not going to be the best.  I'm writing more like the hazy impression I got from the little of it I read.  (This is NOT a book review, because I didn't read enough.)

Lockwood & Co. and 33 Minutes are about as different as different can be.  Lockwood & Co. is about these ghost-hunter-meets-Sherlock-Holmes guys who defeat some really bad ghosts and solve a mystery while they're at it.  33 Minutes is about a middle school kid who's afraid of his best friend kicking his booty.  Lockwood & Co. is dark.  33 Minutes, no matter how much fear of your gluteus maximus being kicked the author might try to invoke on you (go back and reread that phrase), is not dark AT ALL.  

I would even venture to say that Lockwood & Co. should be a YA book.  It was okay-good--I loved the authentic writing, the bickering between George and Lucy, the very real horror the author instills in you--but it was about ghosts.  Like, scary-scary-scary ghosts.  Not the friendly ones; these ones can kill you with a spurt of their special "plasm."  It doesn't say mention the stuff stemming directly from the occult and Satan and all that, which is good, but all the same: it's creepy, and while the writing is good, the content ranges from dark gray to medium black.  I don't care for the concept, but I adore the characters.  Lucy is spunky and impulsive, Lockwood is incredibly smart and a good actor, and George--while he doesn't seem like an asset--is

I read about 2/3rds of the book, planning all the while to skip to the end (and never doing so).  But finally, I flipped ahead about fifty pages and landed to the confrontation part.  (By the way, Lockwood is a living genius.  Sherlock Holmes material and all that.)  And yay!  It ended on a melancholy note, however.  

I only formed the haziest of impressions of 33 Minutes, but all I could think of was how it was unique and heartwarming, ironic and funny at the exact same time.  It was kind of like Diary of a Wimpy Kid (which came out with another book, strangely), but it was a little better.  The narrator (Sam) was a little more mature.  (Scratch that; a lot more mature).  My impression was that the lesson was good (about good-byes) and funny.  

Today Elise and her family left.  We're probably not going to see them for a couple more months at the least, but, in the meantime, sit back and enjoy the work we're doing on Entertaining Reads and Pix & Portraits.


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