Thursday, June 28, 2007

New update

Nick is home. This weekend we are having guests too! Alyssa and Kaylin are going to stay with us for the weekend. I'm so excited! I got new glasses as well, which, sadly, is also very exciting. And I picked up a travel guide to Finland. Totally cool! We might get lucky and get to see the Aurora Borealis, although in June it's a little out of the normal season. That's if we can go of course. Flights are kind of expensive. Am applying for graduate degree programs again. Two different subjects but they go hand in hand, and I'm almost sure of what I want to do, but still a little shaky, so no more talking about it until I'm positive. I've finished The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and I TOTALLY LOVED IT!!!!!!! I can't wait to read it again and I just finished. That's very rare in a book. I can't wait to start reading more on that subject. It makes so much sense; so rational; the book just to use a sad cliche, it just spoke to me. Well, that's pretty much it. I'm so glad Nick is home. Still hoping some of the jobs I've applied for pan out. That's all for now.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Have I mentioned that Nick is in Canada this week? So I'm missing him again, after having him home for only a week and a half. Of course, the reason he's in Canada is because he got that scholarship to a week long immersion in information science. And he says that the place is beautiful and we should totally move up there and get a house on the island. I'm all for that, as I've always loved water and islands, and of course, whales! Not that he's seen a lot of them, since it's not yet that season. But that's my latest update. We're now planning some kind of trip for next year. I'm really excited for the days when we have real salaries, so we can use them for traveling. We both want to go to so many places. The top choices for next year are, of course, Berlin and Prague, or a cruise to either Alaska or Belize. But it's actually pretty affordable to go to Istanbul, which would be so awesome! We were looking at a guidebook. It's such a historical city, and who doesn't love Byzantine culture? Anyway, the only update for me is that this week is slow for working, although next week (once he's back of course!) I have a heavy schedule. So I'm basically sitting at the apartment or in the park, reading through some of the books that I need to "read before I die." Kay, how far have you gotten? Anyway, that's just an update; sorta boring.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sometimes being an adult is great

Being an adult and living on your own has its downsides: bills, work, worries, etc. But right now, I'm doing something that only an adult can do: I'm eating a chocolate malt for lunch. Now, I don't normally do this. I have good, healthy food in the kitchen. But I just really wanted a chocolate malt. So I said, "to hell with it" (Also something you can do when you're an adult) and am eating one. It's yummy. It's bad for me. And I don't care.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Do any of you remember reading, Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? Well, the author, Judy Blume, did an interview and I wanted to re-print it. It's kind of interesting.

Meet Judy Blume
by Amy Bryant

For nearly 40 years, Judy Blume has been writing books for young adults about the ups and downs of puberty and the initiation of sexual activity, among other things. Her work has been translated into 28 languages, and she's earned millions of teenage fans over the years.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America Board of Advocates member took time out from writing to talk with about how fiction is a place to explore the realities of growing up, sex, and relationships.

Why do you think your work continues to stay popular with generation after generation of teens?

I guess I'm lucky. From what young people tell me, they identify with my characters. First experiences, whether a first kiss, first period, first wet dream, first sexual relationship — these are the moments we never forget. I write about the real world — about families, friends, school, about changing bodies and changing relationships. These are still the most important things in my life, too.

In Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret and Then Again, Maybe I Won't, you look at how young teens of both genders deal with physical and emotional changes. Why did you decide to write such brave and honest books at a time when these subjects were largely taboo?

I had no idea I was writing brave books, but I did set out to write honest ones. I was wildly interested in puberty as a child. Even though I was envied for having a warm and loving father, one who claimed I could talk to him about anything, I never actually asked him the questions I had. I waited for him to tell me. And then I didn't always understand what he was saying. I was so curious about sex, I looked it up in the encyclopedia but all I found were pages and pages of plants and how they reproduce. I never found characters in fiction that I could identify with. Looking back to the young woman I was in my 20s, when I began to write, I wanted to write the kinds of books that weren't there for me.

In your groundbreaking book Forever, teenager Katherine loses her virginity with her boyfriend Michael. Before Katherine and Michael have sex Katherine spends time thinking about whether she's ready for sex, and she also visits a health center. Why do you think so many teens relate so strongly to this story?

At the time I wrote Forever, I had a 14-year-old daughter, and she was reading a lot of books about young love. But in every one, if a girl succumbed to having sex with her boyfriend, she would be punished — an unwanted pregnancy, a grisly abortion sometimes leading to her death, or she would be sent away by her family. The boys in these books had no feelings and took no responsibility. My daughter said to me, "Couldn't there be a book about two nice kids who have sex and no one dies?"

I hated the idea of feeding young people the idea that sex is linked to punishment. Sexuality is a healthy, normal, and natural part of life. And in real life, boys can be hurt, too. And so I decided to write Forever...

I certainly never thought of the book as groundbreaking when I was writing it. I was just telling a story about two seniors in high school who fall in love and decide to have sex. If there's anything groundbreaking about it, maybe it's that they're sexually responsible. Or maybe it's that Katherine enjoys her sexuality. There are still people who are bothered by that today.

How can fiction play a role in answering teens' questions about sex and relationships?

It's often much easier to talk about characters in a book than to talk about yourself. If you have questions you can use Katherine and Michael, or Margaret, or Tony, instead of making it about you. This works if an adult you trust also reads the book. When it comes to sex and relationships, it's important to talk about the emotions of first love, to think about the consequences of first sex. Will you be able to handle it if it doesn't last? How will you feel if he/she ends it?

Why is it important to present sexually active teenagers in a realistic, mature way?

It's important to me, as a writer, because I'm interested in kids who take responsibility for their own actions. I hope it helps young people make their own decisions, understand that it's okay to say, "no." But only if they have the facts can they make those decisions wisely.

What advice would you give teens who are thinking about having sex for the first time?

Don't just listen to your hormones. There are other ways to be sexual together besides having intercourse. And remember, the safest sex of all is masturbation. So, get the facts first. Think about it. Too many kids jump in and have sex without thinking. Adults need to talk with them about sexual responsibilities, but too often, don't. I hear a lot of kids say they wish they had read Forever before they became sexually active. They might have waited.

What are your views on sex education?

A comprehensive sex education program can really help. Some adults think sex education means "the talk." But that's not it. It's an ongoing discussion — whether at home or at school, or both. Kids need answers to their questions before they're sexually active.

Despite rave reviews and millions of fans, some of your books have been censored over the years. Why do you think this is?

Some adults have a desperate need to control everything in their children's lives. These individuals believe if their kids don't read about it, they won't know about it, and if they don't know about it, they'll never do it. These parents are often the same ones who can't (or don't want) to talk with their kids about sex. They send out the message that sex is a taboo subject. It's really about fear, and fear is contagious.

Amy Bryant is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY.