Interweb Finds: Puppy prints, YA fiction’s bad rap & more

William Wegman print

I love William Wegman. Every year, my godfather gives me signed William Wegman calendars for Christmas, because his son works with him. How wonderful is the print above? It’s exclusive for 20×200. I want it.

The other night, I had a dream I was running around in Paris (where, sadly, I’ve never been), and I was very agitated. Everywhere I went, I kept forgetting my camera, and there were scenes left and right that I was dying to capture. Clearly I didn’t learn from my dream, because on Friday, John and I went to check out author Ken Foster talk about his book, I’m a Good Doga photo-filled testament to the innate goodness of pit bulls. The talk and signing took place at Atomic Books in Hampden, which is a pretty photogenic part of town. And in the store was a man with an enormous beard, pierced ears, tattoos on his neck, and camouflage pants. In his arms, he swaddled a brand-new pit bull puppy—rolls of fat, sleepy eyes and all. Not only did I want to steal the puppy from his arms (THE UNBEARABLE CUTENESS), but I so wished I could’ve taken his picture. The tough exterior this guy possessed was in total contrast to his new-father manner toward this tiny, innocent creature, and it would’ve made for a beautiful image. But alas, I did not bring my camera, and instead I just stared at him and his dog like a crazy person. Still kicking myself.

Anyway, onto this week’s collection from the webz:

I can’t get enough of dogs. There’s a reason why—they’re better than therapy. Aaaand while we’re on the subject of puppiez, this book sounds like a good read, too.

Don’t you love when characters on TV live in places they wouldn’t be able to afford in real life? Here are five NYC apartments from TV and the real cost of rent.

It feels good to help other people. Why volunteering can make you healthier.

Here’s an article that’ll make you think—partly because the title is misleading. From NY Times, “Why I am Pro-Life.”

Whether you’re happy Obama won or bitter that Romney didn’t, this should make you laugh. Photos of Mitt Romney looking longingly at people.

THIS is what I’d like to make my cross-country trip in. And when I get to California, THIS is where I’d like to live. Thank you very much.

As the daughter of a YA fiction author, I have always enjoyed books geared toward teens. But the genre unfairly gets a bad rap from some critics. This blog post defending YA literature hits home.

Speaking of books and reading, these vintage photos of readers (pre-Kindle era) are fascinating. I love how for many, reading was a group activity.

 

Hope you had a great weekend!

In which Cassie is a high school field trip chaperone

A couple days ago, John and I took a free ride on a coach bus up to New York City to spend the day browsing museums like the MoMA and the MET. We took lots of great pictures, enjoyed a New York slice of pizza (not from Sbarro’s), and got some exercise walking to and fro. In exchange for this free endeavor, we volunteered our services as chaperones for a high school field trip. You read right– this 21-year-old was a chaperone to a bunch of 17-year-olds. Perfect set-up for awkwardness, hilarity and headaches? #makesforalongblogpost

John’s sister is in high school, so she was the one to suggest we tag along. Luckily, I can honestly say that what I’m about to say doesn’t apply to John’s sister, so I can say what I’m about to say: high school kids be crazy.

Now, being only 21, I’m fully aware that, in terms of years since, I’m not so far removed from high school. And I know I, too, had my own version of retardation throughout my high school years that would bring me to shame now. The boys I spent too much time thinking about, some of the clothes I thought were cute, and the amount of eyeliner I wore at the time are all reminders of how much I’ve changed in just a few short years. Man, am I glad for that.

Of course physically, I share many more similarities with high school kids than I do, say, with parents. So as we approached the bus at quarter to six in the morning, I was just WAITING for a fellow chaperone to get all chaperone-y and order me onto the bus with the rest of the kids. Luckily for them, no one mistook me for a student, but John and I definitely stuck out like sore thumbs. This was exacerbated by the fact that we were late, the last ones to get on the bus, and had to kick some girl out of the coveted back seat so we could sit together for the three-hour trip. Sorry, Molly.

The trip itself was exhausting. Everyone was really energetic for 6 a.m. I know it’s exciting to be hanging with your friends! On a bus! In the dark! But I really wished everyone could be excited quietly. John was nice enough to share his headphones with me for awhile, but eventually I gave up my earbud so he could drown out the noise. Why should we both be miserable if only one of us needs to be? A movie was put on in an obvious attempt to stifle the volume level and create a point of focus, but that, too, was maddeningly loud.

When we arrived in the city, we spent a good 15 minutes trying to assemble groups so everyone could go on their way. New Yorkers angrily pushed past us as we continued to block the sidewalk entirely. A boy who was eventually put in our group looked at us curiously and asked, “Who are you?” A coffee-less John, with his hood up and sunglasses on, responded with a nod in his sister’s direction: “Her brother.” This seemed to set the precedent for the rest of the day.

Rather than going to the MoMA just five steps away, the group somehow decided that walking ten blocks to start at the ICP would instead make more sense. I remembered my own mindset from high school and how chaperones are, in fact, held in lower regard than substitute teachers. So we pretty much had no say in the matter. Once we got to the museums themselves, the kids roamed freely and we finally had time to ourselves. As long as no one died or got pregnant on our watch, we were doing a good job. We came pretty close to disaster when someone walked into traffic, but we otherwise avoided any major incident.

The museums were great, with the MoMA being the highlight of the day. I saw some Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Warhol and countless others. I got me some culture, and it was not unlike the following Ferris Bueller montage:

I even got to see the Seurat painting Cameron so pensively considers. I kept staring at it really hard, hoping someone would get my reference. If they did, no one laughed.

As the day wore on, however, we became very tired once more. I felt ancient when every body part that could hurt did hurt. The energy the high schoolers had in the morning had yet to wear off by mid-afternoon. To them, a walk in the snow-dump that was Central Park sounded like a great idea. Do high schoolers not get cold? I don’t think I was ever immune to the cold. And I certainly wasn’t on Friday. But I heard no complaints from them. I’m leaking snot-cicles and they’re taking pictures of trees.

We had to be back on the bus by 5:45 p.m. to get home, so at 5:25, John and I decided to grab $9 beers as a reward for our physical exertion before our departure. It was totally worth our having to sprint to the bus and be greeted with looks of indignation from the chaperones and curiosity from the students. (Upon hopping onto the bus, John explained our tardiness: “MapQuest took us on a really crazy route.”) That’s right– we were late for the second time of the day and both times we got the back seat. WHO’S AWESOME?! Well, you know Molly doesn’t think we are, but the difference between me and Molly is that I can legally drink a $9 beer AND take her seat.

Our momentary success (celebrated with high-fives) was quickly met with even greater auditory abuse than previously, as the children were pretty wound up and delirious from their day of fun. As we slowly made our way out of the city, the girls in particular (which the group consisted mostly of anyway) found it necessary to read EVERY SINGLE WORD THAT APPEARED WITHIN SIGHT. They were talking over one another just to point out the next funny thing!

Panda King? What does that even mean?

Yum Yum. Yum Yum 2! OH MY GOD, GUYS, there’s a Yum Yum 3! Like, how did they decide that they should make a Yum Yum 2 and what makes Yum Yum THREE even better?!

A stripper pole! (All, in unison:) STRIPPER POOOOOLE.

Oh my God, that guy is walking so fast!

That guy’s smoking! (Ali, Stop judging!) I’m not judging, I’m just observing that he’s smoking!

EL CENTROOOOOO!

There’s a liquor store! And a laundry store! And then a restaurant! How convenient!

STARBUCKS!!!!!

Maybe the weirdest part about all of this madness THAT CONTINUED FOR A LONG TIME was how hysterical they all thought reading words was. It felt like John and I were being pranked.

Eventually, they all died down and were once again distracted with a movie. And hours later, after many attempts at nodding off, the occasional drooling, and the readjusting of limbs, we awoke to find ourselves back in town, just minutes from home. We passed the Melting Pot, and I noticed “melting” was not illuminated on the sign out front. In our sleepy stupor, John and I simultaneously muttered, “Pot.” And then we giggled like high school girls.