by Marinka on June 20, 2012

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

You know how sometimes you’ll visit a pregnant blogger’s site and she has one of those countdown widgets in the sidebar, like how many months/weeks/days/hours until the baby arrives?

I love that shit.

Because it gives you something to look forward to and it must be very rewarding to know that in X months/days/hours, you’ll have the baby in your arms. Assuming you’re into babies, obviously.

So since my kids have been out of school for two and a half days now, I decided to check on my daughter’s new high school’s website to see if they have one of those countdown widgets in the sidebar until school starts. Because after the birth of your precious baby nothing is more exciting than when they get to go the hell back to school.  I was hoping to find out that we were a mere 300 hours or something away from that beautiful day, but instead I found some nonsense about Summer Reading.

So I don’t even understand this because how am I supposed to know that shit is posted there? If it weren’t for my looking for the countdown widget, I’d have no idea.  I think the principal should make a home visit to every student’s home to explain how the website works. And maybe mention how many minutes until school starts while he’s at it.

But whatever. I reviewed the list– they are all science books and there’s a star next to one of them (not a six point yellow star, indicating mandatory summer reading for Jewish students, although the way things are going I wouldn’t have been surprised). So the starred book, The Hot Zone,  has a  Content Warning! next to it and then some drivel about how due to the mature theme, language and situations, parents are strongly encouraged to preview the book.

This is pretty much the last thing that I need right now, but I comfort myself with the fact that there are six other books to choose from, with enticing titles like The Beak of the Finch and Napoleon’s Buttons and The Future of Life that appear not to require any parental involvement whatsoever and therefore should be on every short list for the Pulitzer.

But of course, OF COURSE, my daughter chooses The Hot Zone because “I’m really into Ebola now!”

I don’t even want to know what that means.

And now she’s reading it and says that it’s really good and when I asked her what some of the symptoms of Ebola are because I’ve been feeling a bit ebolaish lately, she looks me straight in the eye and says “literally everything, mom.”


But I got the book yesterday and am reading along.  Which is a huge sacrifice on my part because due to my extreme hypochondria I can’t even watch medical dramas on TV.  It’s a good thing that my 13 year old daughter is reading ahead of me to answer any concerns I may have about the mature theme, language and situations.

One year ago ...

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

June 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Greetings from the hot zone, honey! I can’t believe I haven’t made my teens read that yet. Just ordered it from paperbackswap – thanks!

And I ALWAYS feel ebola-ish – is hypochondria genetically linked to Russian/Ashkenazi Jews?


Annie Coppock June 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm

We’re so old we didn’t even have sidebar pregnancy countdown widgets back when we were growing babies and blabbing on pregnancy.com (or whatever it was)! At least we had each other (and thank goodness we had the internet to bridge the gap between NYC and Arkansas)! So glad that you have survived ebolaishism thusfar and that I have survived several 24-hour brain tumors recently. Your writing is spectacular and it takes all my strength not to eat my heart out with jealousy — which I would do if I didn’t just ADORE you! Thanks for the amusement and brain stimulation!


Suzy Q June 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm

If she likes The Hot Zone, get her The Demon in the Freezer. That changed my affinity for Ebola right on over to smallpox, while also scaring the shit out of me. Hemorrhagic diseases are interesting!


Deb June 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm



June 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm

No Fifty Shades of Grey on the summer reading list? How else will the children learn about S&M?


Arieloser June 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

Baha! I love this!


Marinka June 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Alaina, I firmly believe that S&M education belongs at home, not in the schools. I’m very old fashioned that way.


the mama bird diaries
June 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm

It’s so cute that kids still read books.


Deborah J June 20, 2012 at 10:46 pm

If I had a blog, which I don’t, I would be very jealous of anyone who got to use the word Ebola as the title for their post.
I love the way you interpret your world..such a fan.


anna see June 20, 2012 at 10:51 pm

let us know when you start bleeding from the pores.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes June 21, 2012 at 7:35 am

Ever since I have friended my 13 year old neighbor on Facebook I’m convinced that the average 13 year old knows more about mature theme’s and language than I ever will.


June 21, 2012 at 8:09 am

Kid’s reading is so mature these days. Whatever happened to Sweet Valley High?


annie June 21, 2012 at 10:01 am

If you do get it, stay the hell home! Don’t be bringing it this direction!!


June 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

You know there’s a movie based on that book, right? It’s like you’re not even TRYING.


June 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

I’m looking forward to the book report on Ebola that I hope you write.


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