This Past Week

Oh hey, it’s been a whole week since I last blogged. Sorry about that. I know that so many of you are just despondent when you check my blog several times throughout the day only to discover there is no new material.

I’ve actually been meaning to blog all week, but I got caught up in a new book series and ended up spending all my spare time (sometimes into the wee hours of the morning despite my better judgment and the fact that I had to go to work/church the next morning). And the fact that I could immediately download the next book on my kindle only fed my obsession. So what is this new series? Well, I’m not sure I want to recommend it to everyone because I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But if you are interested in books about a pair of ghost hunters with an intense (not always healthy) relationship and with lots of swears, I have the series for you. But now I’ve finished the series (until the next book comes out), so I have more free time on my hands.

Free time to make some rainbow cupcakes! At work, we have sprint meetings every three weeks where we plan for upcoming projects. I decided a few months ago to bring treats to every meeting. It gives me a chance to try out all the recipes that I pin on Pinterest.

I mixed up a little white cake mix, separated it into six bowls, and dropped in the food coloring.

Then I took a teaspoon of each color and dropped them into the cupcake liners. So pretty!

I baked them for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile I whipped up some buttercream frosting. And the final product was just lovely.

Sadly, the all male team of developers I work with weren’t too impressed. They were happy to have cupcakes, but none of them mentioned how colorful and cute they are!

I love that Leap Day comes just once every four years. I really wanted to take the day off work and spend my time doing whatever I felt like (read: going to the movies), but I am saving up all my time off for a big trip in the fall. (It’s really hard for me to plan so far in the future.) So I went to work, but I did participate in two great things today.

First, I linked my photo of the sunset over at the Busy Nothings Photography Club. My friend, Kristy, created this monthly linky party, and I love seeing all the photos that people submit. And look at this cute little button she created for the photography club.

Second, I decided to participate, in a small way, in the Ethnic Studies Read-in happening in Arizona. Maybe you haven’t heard about this, but recently the Tucson Unified School District has eliminated its Mexican Studies Program and banned many books used in its curriculum. Here are some sources where you can read about it:

And here’s an excellent editorial about it in USA Today.

I am completely appalled at this move by the Tucson Unified School District. To purposefully remove the literature of an entire population is the 2012 equivalent of giving them small pox infested blankets. (If I weren’t so out of practice with academic language, I could probably say a lot more about this.) To show my support, I spent some time tonight reading one of my favorite books — one that was on the list of books “removed” from the schools in Tucson — called The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.

Have you read this book? If not, I highly, highly recommend it. And I recommend it to everyone without any qualms. It is absolutely beautiful and poignant. Remember when I taught high school in New Orleans? (if not, that’s ok. I barely remember it too.) Well, I brought this book in one day and read one of the short stories to my class. This is a class where they wouldn’t listen to anything I said and thought every activity I had planned was the dumbest activity in the world and it was way more important to text their friends rather than listen to me. But when I read from this book, they listened. And we actually had an amazing discussion about it.

When I was in AP English, one of the practice tests we took had a short passage by Sandra Cisneros. It was the first time I had read any of her work. We had to write a timed essay about the passage. Usually the passages are so forgettable. In fact, we did tons of those practice tests and I can’t remember any of the other passages. But I remembered that one because it so clearly captured something about human nature that resonated with me, despite any difference in our ethnic/social/economical/whatever backgrounds. And this is an author whose books are now banned? In 2012.

Another amazing author whose books are banned is Sherman Alexie. How could you ban this guy?

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Sherman Alexie
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

(The video isn’t embedding very well. Just click a link above or click here to see it. You will be happy you did.)

He is hilarious and smart. I’ve seen him read from his books twice, and I’ve read several of his books and loved them. I even took The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven with me to New Orleans as I thought about books that I could share with my students. But if I lived in Tucson that book would have been banned.

Usually I don’t discuss stuff like this on my blog, but this is something I feel passionate about. I don’t expect that just writing about it here will do any good, but maybe. At least it gets the word out just a little bit.



  1. collecthemomentsonebyone · February 29, 2012

    the cupcakes are so cute! If we worked together and you had given me a cupcake, I definitely would have remarked on how cute they are 🙂

    • katie · February 29, 2012

      haha.. Thanks! I would have greatly appreciated it. 🙂

  2. krisgal · March 2, 2012

    Kate, you truly are the best of friends! Thanks for the nice shout out for my photography club! Love you babe!! xoxoxo
    Oh, and clever ol’ Miles made the button for me. Isn’t he the bestest?!

    I’ve just added your book recommendation (House on Mango Street) to my Goodreads must read list. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. english · March 24, 2012

    That Sherman Alexie quote is great! (Ay, que Arizona. sinverguenzas.)

    You probably saw this?

    (libro traficante. pretty campy, but the saran wrap, and that rooster at the end really bring it together.)

    • katie · March 25, 2012

      No, I hadn’t seen that. It was great! (And I didn’t even notice the saran wrap the first time. I had to watch it again to see it. perfect.)

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