Cannonball Read IV book 4: A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

Books, Music, Art, Movies

Do you remember the big news story from the Summer of 2009 where a woman, kidnapped at 11 years of age, was found 18 years later  living in the backyard of her captor’s Antioch, California home? I do. I also remember when this 11 year old girl, Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped in Lake Tahoe in 1991. Everything about the story was horrifying. Yet the fact that she was found was great news.

Her memoir crossed my desk on Saturday at work. I checked it in and decided that I wanted to read it. I brought it home, curled up in a chair under my electric blanket and dove right in.

“As I cross the road at the bend I lose my train of thought and start to daydream about the summer…As I am walking I hear a car behind me…to my surprise the car pulls up beside me. I was so lost in thought that the unusual behavior of the driver didn’t register with me. I stop walking as he rolls down his window. He leans slightly out of his car and starts to ask me for directions. His hand shoots out of the window so fast I barely register that he has something black in his hand. I hear a crackling sound and I feel paralyzed.”

I was drawn into her story.  This particular scene really got to me. One minute she is daydreaming about summer, the next she is stunned with a stun-gun and thrown in the back of a car. It gets worse. So much worse. The abuse this person had to endure was terrible. Worse than you could imagine.

This book gave me nightmares. It made me depressed. It completely affected my mood. I wondered why I was even reading it and putting myself through this. I still am not really sure about that.

There is a small section of journal entries that are incredibly moving. She writes about the most mundane things like how she wishes she would lose weight and how she needs to watch what she eats. She also writes about how she feels resigned to her fate, being captive to her kidnapper. Yet she also had hopes and dreams. One of the journal entries is a list of things she wishes to do in the future and one of those things is travel the world. She writes about how she felt the need to get out of her situation but didn’t feel she had the power to do so. Reading these entries  broke my heart. On the one hand I can relate to her wanting to eat healthier, travel the world, and lose weight. My God, I have written of those very things in my own journal. I can even relate to that feeling of being stuck somewhere and feeling like you can’t get out. But she had this extra layer of absolute horror added to her problems that isn’t really mentioned in the journal entries.

I found myself sobbing when I read about her reunion with her mom. Even now, thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. I loved reading about the moment she revealed who she was to the authorities. When she wrote her real name down on paper (for the first time in 18 years) she said it felt like breaking an evil spell.

I can’t say whether or not I loved this book. On the one hand it was very difficult to read. But in the end, am glad I read it. I feel like I can have more compassion for those who have endured such terrible suffering having read Dugard’s story.

Fun with Polaroid

Photography

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I bought a vintage Polaroid Camera last year from my friend Tyson.  I got it for a really good price and was super stoked. However, it has been sitting in my camera closet ever since the day I received it in the mail. I’ve been itching to play with film lately, including Polaroid film. I want to get a Polaroid attachment for my Holga, for example, and try my hand at image transfer. In the meantime, my husband picked up the closeted Polaroid and thought he would order some film for it and play. He searched online and, holy crap. Polaroid film is expensive. Completely out of the question expensive. He did a bit more searching and found Impossible Project Film.

This is all new to me but it is an interesting story. From what we were told by the people who sold us the film, Polaroid stopped making film for their cameras and they are not revealing the chemistry behind the film  so the The Impossible Project‘s goal is to reverse engineer the chemistry. It is not perfect and sometimes, as you can see in the photo above, you get weird spots on the image. I’m not sure what causes that.

Impossible Project Film is much less expensive. But it is still rather spendy.  Each photo is $3 a shot. Is it worth it? I don’t know.

Cannonball Read IV Book 3: Totally Joe by James Howe

Books, Music, Art, Movies

I hated that the soldier doll had my name. I mean, please. I didn’t play with him much. He was another Christmas present from my clueless grandparents. One time when they were visiting, my grandpa asked me if G.I. Joe had been in any wars lately. I said, “No, but he and Ken got married last week.” Every Christmas since then, my grandparents have sent me a check.”

Joe Bunch is one of the group of four from The Misfits. Joe’s teacher has assigned an “Alphabiography” in which his students have to write a biography, each chapter starting with a letter of the alphabet. Joe is a gay pre-teen and is very accepting of himself. However, he has to deal with the jerks around him who are not as accepting. The story takes us through the months of October through March of 7th grade and the story of his first relationship with another boy, coming out to his parents, and really coming to terms with who he is.

I didn’t like this one as much as I liked the Misfits but, still, I thought it was good.  Howe is really good at character development. I grew to really like Joe when reading about him in The Misfits, (from the perspective of  Bobby). It was really wonderful to see the world through the eyes of Joe. I would recommend this book to kids in 5th to 7th grade.

I took a picture of a garbage can.

Photography

Had a great time knitting at Happy Knits today with Preita! I found out her latest sweater pattern, Outlaw, is getting really good traction on Ravelry. The last time we check it was the number 3 sweater pattern over there (and 9th most popular overall!)! I am so happy for her!

While we are hanging out she took photos of me modeling her latest design, Assassin’s Creed. It was very difficult for me to give her back the sweater. I fucking LOVE it and am so going to knit this myself!

I brought my Holga and new flash so look for some color Holga shots soon.

And, yes, this is a photo of a garbage can. Taken in Portland in the alley behind Happy Knits.