Thursday, May 27, 2010

About page

I was recently reading a couple of blogs and I noticed something that they had that I don't: an About page. You know -- the page where it says a little bit about themselves and what their blog is all about. Since I do not have an about page, I thought that I would just give you the lowdown in a regular blog post.

I had originally started this blog with the intention of writing about my love of books and reading, hoping to connect with others who shared the same interest. But soon after starting my blog, I realized that this particular hobby of mine is only one aspect of who I am. I started thinking about how I couldn't just put one side of myself out there - I had to open up myself as a complete person. I have been writing mostly about stories, articles, or books I have read and sharing my thoughts on a variety of subjects, but I have yet to really discover completely who I am, which is what I thought this blog would help me do. I figure that if no one reads this blog, at least I am learning something about myself anyway.

I have listed a few interesting facts about myself on my blog already -- at least under the about me section. But since it was such a little space, I didn't want to overload everyone with too much information. So here is a little bit more detail about me --- or at least what I have learned about myself thus far in life:

I absolutely LOVE thunderstorms. I'm not just talking about the regular thunderstorms that people have. I'm talking really dark clouds and a pretty windy day. Thunder and lighting crashing all around -- maybe a complete downpour here and there. That is an incredible day. In fact, my boyfriend tends to make fun of me because I like cloudy days like that more than I like sunny ones.

I LOVE to watch sports. I am a HUGE Minnesota Twins fan and an equally HUGE Green Bay Packers fan. I also like NASCAR -- Kasey Kahne would be my favorite driver (I've liked him since before he was a big name) and when they are on, the Olympics are pretty sweet as well. But for the most part, my heart belongs to two of American's favorite pastimes: Football and Baseball.

As you may have guessed from the title of my blog, I LOVE to read. Reading has always been one of my biggest hobbies - I used to spend basically all summer after school got out reading books. I can't not read each day - whether it is a magazine or a book or a blog. I don't think I could function without reading. That's just how much it belongs in my life.

Those are just three things in my life that matter to me -- as you can probably tell, I'm not a very materialistic person, except for books - because many of my favorite things cannot be bought and kept on to. Books, on the other hand, are my weakness.

So moving on, I posed a question last week: If you could own a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve and what would you call it?

Answer: If I could own a restaurant, I would serve good ol comfort food. If you have ever seen the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, that show is exactly what I would like to do -- have my own little diner where locals and tourists alike could come and get an incredible meal, ranging from diner favorites, to more upscale cuisine as well, but without the outrageous prices. I would probably call it something like "Home Away from Home".

My question for you this post: Do you judge people based on their taste in music? How has musical taste enhanced or detracted from your relationships?

Enjoy the weather --- Peace and Love

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Interesting story...

So I have been continuing to catch up on my magazines and I recently came across a story in the March 22 2010 issue of Time. It was a story about Navy Captain Holly Graf, and her conduct with her subordinates while at sea. This article, which is entitled "Sexism and the Navy's Female Captain Bligh", was an incredible eye opener to what can happen when most people don't pay a lot of attention. As for a summary of this article, here is goes:

Holly Graf grew up wanting to be in the Navy - her Dad was in the Navy as well as her sister. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985 and was soon doing several tours, including doing work for the Pentagon and at Villanova University, where she later earned one of her three Master's degrees. She also has been active in the Iraq war, where she earned several medals. In 1997, she was assigned to work on the U.S.S. Curtis Wilbur, which was a destroyer, as a executive officer. The Captain of that ship said that being on that ship with her, was "the worst time in my life." In 2003, she became the first female to command a destroyer. She had received several complaints about her demeanor and was relieved of her duties after 22 months. She was promoted to Captain in 2007 and in 2008 assumed command of the U.S.S Cowpens, which meant that she was the first female to command a cruiser. During her time aboard, she treated her crew to verbal assaults, such as putting a Master Chief, who was highly respected, in a time out where everyone could see him. She also continually swore at her crew, which on the bridge was very rare. The Navy did do a six month investigation into her conduct, which gave her boss the ability to relieve her of her duties again -- this time, after seeing a 50 page report of the investigation. Many people wondered if she was relieved of her duties because she was a woman - which the Navy has noted as saying that "she acted like a man, and now she is being punished for it." Many also wondered why it had taken the Navy so long to look into the situation.

Ok, so my summary might be a tad bit long. But I wanted you to get the gist of the article, which you can also read on the Time website. It was a story that just happened to fuel my fire as to why someone would feel that it is okay to treat others the way that she did. It's no wonder that no one liked her.

As always, my answer to last post's question: In three words, describe what is currently running through your mind, and if you would like to, explain what each word means.

Answer: Disgust, relaxed, and comfortable. I think of disgust from the article that I had read about Holly Graf and her desire to treat people with such disrespect. I think of relaxed because, as of right now, I am enjoying watching a Twins vs. Brewers game and I don't have anything planned for the day but spending time with my incredible boyfriend. I think of comfortable because I have my back porch door open, and while it is a tad warm outside - mostly because of humidity - but the sky is nice and overcast and I have a fan blowing a very comfortable breeze on me. In fact, the fan I own is called an Aloha Breeze, which seems pretty fitting right now.

My question for you this post: If you could own a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve and what would you call it?

As always,

Peace and Love

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bright Sunny Day

Hello all you wonderful people. It's a gorgeous day outside (at least where I am) and baseball is on tv. Grilling will take place later today (my first attempt at barbecue chicken) and maybe even a walk. But the weather is not what I wanted to address today (although I did think I would let you know how beautiful it is outside). I was recently reading an interview that I got in a newsletter from October - I am always far behind in my reading it seems - and the interview was with Audrey Niffenegger (the author of "The Time Traveler's Wife"). In this interview, she was talking about her newest book entitled "Her Fearful Symmetry". She was also asked whether she had seen the film adaptation of her book "The Time Traveler's Wife". She stated that she had not and that she didn't really have an interest in seeing it. At the end of the interview, people left comments about what they thought about that decision and what they would do. It in turn made me think about what I would do if I had a book published and then made into a movie.

First of all, I'm not sure that I would want my book to be made into a movie. I believe that when books are read, we create our own picture in our mind of what things look like and what the characters are like. I think that seeing a movie adaptation would wreck my imaginary world that I created in my mind for the story.

Second of all, I have noticed that in many interviews with authors that they claim that the movie didn't follow the actual story, but decided to change things around, or add things to the story to try and make it more mainstream to a point where it would draw a lot of people, which would draw a lot of money. Not only are some authors voicing their opinions about this subject, but a certain football player made a statement when a movie was created about him and his family. The movie was "The Blind Side" and the person that was portrayed was Michael Oher, who has an incredible story to share, but there was one thing in the movie that wasn't true. In an interview with Oher shortly after the movie came out, he stated that there was an inconsistency in the movie. In the movie, Michael Oher is portrayed as not having played football until high school and had to be taught to get that toughness that was portrayed so well in the film. As stated by Oher himself, he knew how to play football before high school and he was taught at a much younger age. That is one great example of a movie changing some aspect of a story in order to bring in a bigger audience.

So I propose this question to you: If you were an author, what would you do? Would you allow your work to be made into a movie, and if so, would you see it?

As always, I will be answering my last posts question and proposing a new one to you. My question from my last post was: Do you ever check out any sites that are devoted to books or reading? If so, what sites do you look at?

Answer: I do look at some sites that are devoted to reading. is a great site as is These sites allow for people to not only join in a community of book lovers, but it allows people to experience new books from new writers.

Now for the question I am posing to you this week (you get two questions since I gave you the one above as well). In three words, describe what is currently running through your mind, and if you would like to, explain what each word means since it is running through your mind.

Peace and Love

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Smithsonian March 2010

So I recently finished reading the Smithsonian Magazine from March. It had an incredible amount of interesting articles and I would like to share a couple with you. There is an article called "Welcome to Barrow, Alaska - Ground Zero For Climate Change". This was an incredibly eye opening article that takes place in the U.S.'s most northern point. Since Barrow is located close to, if not within, the Arctic Circle, they are seeing the climate changes firsthand, and at what seems like a faster rate than the rest of the world. Scientists have flocked to Barrow to set up buoys in the water to track water temperature changes during certain times of year and changes in the temperature of the sediment based on what it is supposed to be. These scientists are doing as much research as they can on the wildlife, the ice, everything. An example of the rapid climate change happening in Barrow -- the Northwest Passage (which goes from Baffin Bay on the eastern side of Canada, and zigzags its way above the continent over to Alaska) used to be so covered in ice, and thick ice at that, that it was an impassible way to get to Alaska. Now, boats are able to travel freely through the Northwest Passage. Many Eskimos in the area are worried that with more people traveling in the area (usually shipping boats) that it is going to have an affect on the wildlife that they eat. It's noted in here that "Packaged food is available, but costly. In one town I saw a 16-ounce jar of mayonnaise for $7. A gallon of milk cost $11." Climate change could change the lives of the people in and around this town forever.

Another interesting article that I found was titled "Going Home Again" by Joyce Carol Oates. She is a novelist that has written many pieces of work including "Expensive People", "You Must Remember This", "The Tattooed Girl", and "The Gravedigger's Daughter". In this article, she talks about the idea that home is "the repository of our deepest, most abiding and most poignant dreams, the landscape that haunts us recurringly". She talks about how home for her is where she grew up, in Lockport, NY. She talks about her childhood and how she became hooked on books. It's a wonderful, beautiful article that really made me think about my "home".

As always, my answers to last weeks question: What is the legal drinking age where you live? Do you think it should be higher, lower, or remain the same and why?

Answer: The legal drinking age where I live is 21. I think that in most places in the U.S., the legal drinking age is 21. I know that it used to be 18 back in the late '70's, early '80's. I don't know exactly when it was changed. I personally think it should just remain the same. I definitely don't think it should be lowered, because the even younger kids would be drinking. The way it is right now, there is quite a bit of underage drinking that takes place, so that might be a reason to lower the drinking age. But then I wonder if kids even younger would begin to drink. I don't think that it should be higher, because people already look forward to turning 21 to go out and party. I think that it should just remain the same.

Now my question to you all this week: Do you ever check out any sites that are devoted to books or reading? If so, what sites do you look at?

Peace and Love

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Obesity Rehab?

So I haven't written in a couple of weeks, but I have been trying to catch up on as much reading as possible - although most of this reading has been in the form of magazines, since I have so many of those that I need to catch up on. I recently read an article from the March 1, 2010 edition of Time Magazine entitled: "Does Obesity Rehab for Kids Work?" This was an incredibly interesting article about a place where kids grades 8-12 can go for schooling and to lose weight. It's basically like a boarding school that costs almost $7000 a month (with a requirement being that a student be there at least 4 months) where students eat 3 square meals a day that are prepared fat free and equal no more than 1300 total calories for the day. The exercise and stretch in the morning and walk 10,000 steps a day (it is noted in the article that 10,000 steps is about 5 miles). Most students lose quite a bit of weight, but once they go home is the real challenge because you don't have someone preparing your food for you and you have to have willpower to continue the changes that you have made in your life. This got me thinking - if there is a place where kids can go to get healthier, shouldn't there be some place like that for adults as well? It seems like these days that most of Americans are overweight or obese, and there is only a small majority who can afford to send their kids to this school. Shouldn't there be an affordable place for adults, kids, or families to get healthy together? Let me know if you have any ideas on this...

I have been struggling with my own attempt at getting healthy. I was doing okay for a while. About two weeks ago, I started lifting 5 lb hand weights for weight training (I started with those weights because I have not lifted weights in a very long time and I don't want to do too much too fast. Plus, I've heard that in order to tone muscles, it's better to do more reps at less weight) and alternating that with walking about 30-40 mins. I would do one or the other every day, usually alternating them as weight training on Mon, walking on Tue, weight training on wed, etc. I did good, for a whole week, which for me is a tiny celebration in and of itself. Last week did not go as well. I had a doctor's appointment on Monday - which was fine because I took my walk when I got home. I had another doctor's appointment on Tuesday in which I had blood taken from my right hand and a shot in my upper left shoulder, which not only stung, but made my muscle feel incredibly sore. I was supposed to life weights that day, but with my sore arm, I figured it would be better to not do that. I could have taken a walk instead, but of course, I didn't. The next day, I took my scheduled walk as usual and then lifted weights the next day as usual. I thought to myself that I was getting back on track, only to not exercise at all for the rest of the week, unless you could going up and down three flights of stairs exercising. Today, I should go for a walk - I know that it is something that I need to do and my boyfriend has even said he would go with me. But my mood is completely depleted -- I'm just not in a great mood at all today. I know that I should take a walk and maybe I will muster up the energy to do so. We'll have to wait and see.

Now as for my answer to last weeks question: Do you collect anything? If so, describe you favorite collection, past or present.

Answer: I used to collect beanie babies. They were these little stuffed animals that were stuffed with beans. I had a ton of them -- I was constantly looking for them and they were pretty popular there for a while. I still think that I have a few of the most rare ones. Something that I think I collect now are blankets -- I love blankets because I feel that you can never have enough of them, much like my collection of books, which I guess is another thing that you could say that I collect.

My question for you this week is: What is the legal drinking age where you live? Do you think it should be higher, lower, or remain the same and why?

Peace and Love