The Lovely Bones

A few years ago I read the book The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. It was one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read. It is narrated by 14 year old Susie Salmon who is raped and murdered by a pedophile in her neighborhood. Despite the horrific circumstances surrounding Susie’s death, I found the book to be quite gentle. It is set in 1973, a more innocent time in America’s suburbs. A time when people trusted their neighbors. A time when little girls could walk home from school through a cornfield without any harm being done to them.

Susie narrates from heaven the effect her disappearance has on her family. Her body is never found, just her elbow joint. Her fractured family tries to put back the pieces of their lives while they recover from Susie’s murder. Susie is with them in spirit and wishes she could heal their pain. At other times Susie tells the audience what her heaven is like. She asserts that everyone has their one version of heaven. It is a beautiful peaceful place where she gets to do everything she wants and makes friends with other spirits. Susie’s only regret in her life is not being able to kiss the boy she likes. Eventually, Susie’s family moves on past their grief, and Susie moves on into her heaven. Her killer moves on and away from the neighborhood, never to be caught.
After I read this book, I read Sebold’s memoir, Lucky, about her rape in college. A few years later Sebold came to my college and did a book reading. It was so cool to hear her read the first chapter of The Lovely Bones. I had her autograph both of my books. I’ve reached out to a few of my favorite authors via email before (can I tell you how cool Sarah Strohmeyer and Jacqueline Mitchard are?), but I’ve never met one in real life. You can have your famous celebrities, your Paris Hiltons, give me an author any day. Authors are rock stars to me.
Friday night I went to the see the movie version of this book. The movie was a lot different than the book, but I’ve come to accept that about movies and not get to irritated by it. I have to say, Peter Jackson interpreted Susie’s world in a really unique way. However, there were two things that distracted me from the movie. One was Mark Walhberg playing Susie’s father. I just kept seeing Andy Samberg’s impression of him on SNL, (“say Hi to ya mutha for me, alright?”).
The second thing that distracted me was the actress playing Susie looked a lot like my daughter. A lot. Her hair was a different texture and color, and her eyebrows were bushier, but they have the same light blue eyes, pale skin, freckles, long face, shape of their mouths, and their facial expressions. Fast forward 6 years and I think this is what my daughter will look like. Normally the scary parts (there are two scenes that are really heart-thumping) of this movie would have gotten my heart pumping, but seeing this girl who looks like my daughter just hit me on a different level. I wanted to race home and just hug her. In fact, I got home and immediately went to her bedroom, checked on her sleeping, and kissed her on her forehead. I couldn’t even allow myself to go to the place of empathy needed to feel the parents in the movie’s pain.
I don’t know if I can see the movie again. It would just be too traumatizing a second time considering the how much Saiorse Ronan looks like my daughter in this movie. I will probably read the book again, it’s been a couple of years, just so that I can replace the images in my head with people that look nothing like my family members. Those of you who know my daughter, you can see from the picture below what I’m talking about.

Saiorse Ronan from “The Lovely Bones”

Let’s get Depressed because it’s Wintertime

My super-cool SiL, Emily, wrote something funny on her blog. Usually when you see a list of tagged question it’s all about likes or favorites. This one was about dislikes. Since it’s cold outside and that makes me super grumpy, I thought I’d follow suit and that some complaining was in order.

Foods which disgust the crap out of me:

Cottage Cheese. I don’t know why…it just freaks me out. Probably because it looks like curdled milk that I just threw up.

TV show I loathe:

Anything on Spike. I find that channel incredibly sexist and misogynistic.

Movie I loathe:

Please see this post for a complete list of all the movies I hate 🙂

Music genres I loathe:

Polka music really gets on my nerves.

Magazine which annoys me:

The boring ones they keep at the doctor’s office.

Makes me cranky at restaurant:

Bad service, longs waits, rude customers.

Makes me cranky in public:

Public in general.

Makes me cranky in general:

Elderly drivers who drive slowly in the left lane. Hello Grandpa…the left lane is for passing! There should be an age where people have to surrender their driver’s licenses.

Pisses me off at home:

Kids who don’t shut off the bathroom light and leave behind messes that they think I’m supposed to clean up.

Pisses me off in general:

People with entitled attitudes.

Makes me impatient at home:

Children who don’t listen to me.

Makes me impatient in public:

Slow drivers, incessant price checkers who hold up the line in grocery stores, long waits, long red lights, inconsiderate people, the stupid parents who pick up their kids at school and think they’re the only ones, etc. ad infinitum.

Celebrity I hate:

Donald Trump. Why are you famous you pompous ugly-hair havin’ douchebag?

Music artist I hate:

Barry Manilow (he writes the songs that make me wish I was deaf), Journey, the “On the Wings of Love” guy, any horrendous soft rock that came from the 70s, the guy who sang “If you get lost between the moon and New York City.” I want to dig out my earballs when I hear these horrendously awful people sing.

I could care less about:

Data chip processors and sports.

Annoys the crap out of me weekdays:

Getting up early. Homework.

Annoys the crap out of me weekends:

They’re not long enough.

Blogger’s habit that annoys you:

Bloggers who can’t spell, use correct grammar or sentence structure, and lack basic editing skills. Call it the English minor inside of me and I’m seriously anal about it. I spell check my texts! Bloggers who personally attack you on other sites because they disagree with you. What happened to a good hearted debate? Trolls and asshats in general.

Go forth and spread joy throughout the land now that I’ve brought you down 🙂

I have changed….again

I was really sick of looking at my blue daisy background and picture of the dead daisy in my header. I put that dead daisy there when I was really depressed about something and then forgot to take it down. I also changed the name of my blog because the old name sounded dumb and contrived and something I came up with last minute.

I decided to change the name to “Iron Daisy.” One, because daisies are my favorite flowers. Their beauty is in their simplicity. Two, because with this newfound blogging world, I’ve had to put on an armor, so to speak, to deal with all the negativity that comes your way when you talk about yourself. It’s really easy to say mean things to a person when you’re anonymous and on the internet. I need to learn to be tougher not to take those things to heart because they’re not truly reflective of the person I am. And three, I like change. I thrive on change. I get bored easily.
So there you go…new blog, new title, new backgrounds, new pictures. Same old Risa.

Library Books

I just got an email from the library saying I have 4 books on hold there. I have to pick them up by Saturday. I already have 5 books checked out from the library that I haven’t read yet. Why do I do these things to myself? I also have 2 books that I’ve bought recently (one was a forced purchase from the library after they said I “damaged” the book) called The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I’ve started reading it already and it is fantastic. The other I bought so that I could get free shipping from It’s another memoir written by Jeneatte Walls called Half Broke Horses. If you haven’t read her first book, The Glass Castle yet, get thee hence to a library.

One book I’m really excited to read that I have checked out right now is the new Pat Conroy book, South of Broad. I love Pat Conroy. His book, The Prince of Tides, is one of my absolute favorites. The language and words he uses are so beautiful and touching. He’s made me fall in love with South Carolina and I’ve never really been there (besides just driving through). He is a masterful storyteller. I’ve heard him called “The Prince of Words.” He really is. (side note: Do not see the movie, The Prince of Tides…it will ruin it for you.)
I also have a Jennifer McMahon book in my library bookbag. It’s called Dismantled. I’ve read one of her other books, The Island of Lost Girls, and it was so engaging that I couldn’t put it down. If I can ever get to this book without renewing it for the 19th time, I hope that’s it’s just as engaging as the first.
I really enjoy reading young adult literature. Karen Cushman is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read every book she’s ever written. After I read The Midwife’s Apprentice in one of my college English classes (i.e. Children’s Literature), I immediately went to the library and checked out every single book of hers that I could. I am beyond thrilled that she has a new book coming out this April. What I’m trying to say is don’t discount a book because it’s young adult literature. Just because a book is geared toward young adults, doesn’t mean it isn’t very well written. A Single Shard, The Devil’s Arithmetic, Number the Stars, and of course all of Cushman’s books are some of the best books I’ve ever read. So it’s no wonder that I decided to check out 3 young adult books after perusing the shelves. I got Across the Grain, A Coming Evil, and The Octopus.

With all this reading to do, I better get off the dang computer, stop blogging and start reading!
“Some of my best friends are books.” -Author Unknown

The Rules of Blogging

Yesterday I was reading my favorite blog, Feminist Mormon Housewives, and one of the perma-bloggers, ECS, wrote what she has learned in the last 5 years of blogging. I’ve only been blogging for 2 years and so I’m not as far along in my journey. One of the rules she wrote really helped me yesterday.

“3) Walk away because you’re done, not because you’re angry. Over the years, I’ve allowed fellow bloggers to get under my skin. In fact, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I’ve been upset for DAYS over something someone had written….Since then, I’ve learned to follow the old adage: illegitimi non carborundum (don’t let the bastards get you down).” –fMh

I think it’s obvious why it helped me. Reading this reminded me that my worth is great and is not caught up in what others think of me. Especially evil trollish people who like to exact mean-spirited psychological warfare on others for simply disagreeing with them. I can’t control evil people like that. What I can control is how I react to them. Yesterday, I didn’t react too well. Thank you to Chelsi, Reb, Holly, and Amanda for reminding me that I have beautiful, wonderful, kind people in my life.

Also, I was reading the infamous blog c jane enjoy it. She also had a blog about blogging. She had received a particularly nasty comment on her blog. I love what she says:

“But yesterday this horrible comment shows up and I read it first thing in the morning. I thought, yikes!Because the notion that someone could hate you so badly is always shocking. Like, blood drains from your limbs shocking. I mean, so someone doesn’t particularly like my flavor of narcissism, why hate me over it?” –c jane enjoy it

I really needed to read the words on these two blogs yesterday. They helped me get over myself . What I was really missing was the back-to-reality-emotional-grounding advice of the hubs. He reminds me that internet life isn’t real life and that I have lots of wonderful people who love me. And even if I didn’t, I’d still be one amazing chica. That’s why he’s the love of my life.

So yeah, I’m a person who takes things to heart, I internalize criticism too quickly, and I wear my emotions on my sleeve. This is what makes me who I am. Am I going to change? Probably not. But I am learning and growing. I’m developing a thicker skin. I’m a human being with real thoughts, real emotions, real loves, real disappointments, real hurts, real tragedies, and real triumphs.

Behold my Awesomeness…..