27 February 2009
21 February 2009
I also finished a book for the World Citizen challenge: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson. I've never read any Bryson before and i found him funny, poignant and random, in a good way. It's about his travels through Australia, during which he dishes gobs of information: explorers, parliamentary procedure, massacres, botany, tourist traps, biology. He visits lots of the big tourist attractions, as you'd expect, but also these small, unknown places. He goes to see the box jellyfish, stromatolite formations, tingle trees (giant eucalyptus..i think), parks and bars and used bookstores. He goes to places I'd go to see. His Australian friends and acquaintances are all charming, with amusing anecdotes on how they almost gotten eaten by a crocodile that one time. I've learned TONS! I had no idea how FAR away it is, nor how big, nor deadly. They've got shells that can kill you! The movie Open Water was inspired by events there. And I'm still not sure how Uluru (the big red rock) got out there. Hmm, wikipedia... So i'd love to go to Australia now. A 6.
randomness: Bryson mentions several times how Australia is just so out there that it is forgotten. when i went to the dewey decimal classification on wikipedia to find out if this book counted as history or memoir or culture/sociology i discovered it is technically under Geography and Travel: Other areas. as in, other than north america, south america, europe, africa and asia.....they didn't even give a whole continent it's own designation!
18 February 2009
17 February 2009
once i get through some more of my own books i'll start on the Ephemera books by the same author.
Currently reading: library books, duh!
15 February 2009
So i am begging for money for the Tennessee Repertory Theater. In this economy their funding is dropping and donations from both businesses and individuals have fallen off. If they raise $100,000 they've got someone who will match it. I've donated $20. I bought tickets to Sweeney Todd last fall and enjoyed it immensely. I'll be seeing Darwin in Malibu in May because they sent me a free ticket voucher (unrelated to the donation, i got that before). So if you're a TN resident with a couple extra bucks donate! Or, in other states, consider checking out if your local art/theater/symphony needs a bit of help.
Currently: wanting to leave work!
11 February 2009
This morning i got up too late to make it to yoga class but i did manage to plant 3 trees in Haiti. I did it after breakfast (bagel and coffee) but before showering. How so?
I went to mokugift and donated $3. Mokugift is an Official Partner of UNEP's Billion Tree Campaign. The idea is to plant a billion trees a year. Planting all these trees will help sequester carbon, increase reflectivity from the ground to shoot some rays back into space, and also create more clouds which are also reflective and make rain to help with droughts. Mokugift doesn't just plant trees around randomly. They target rainforest areas, especially low income or So they're working on reforestation, erosion control, local food systems and global warming all at once! I picked Haiti because in the book Collapse author Jared Diamond describes how bad off this country is, especially in comparison to it's island sharing neighbor the Dominican Republic. Mokugift has an awesome little widget; you get a little animated island that shows the trees you've planted as well as those your friends, and your friends' friends, have planted. So, click over on my sidebar if you plan to go through this site. Help me fill up my island!
Want to get involved more locally? If by local you mean your own yard, UNEP's site tells you how to plant a tree. Pick something local to your area! For restoring America's forests in general, try the American Forests site. They also offer a dollar for a tree program and you can select specific campaigns, like Katrina ReLeaf or California Wildfire ReLeaf.
Currently: thinking about spring.
10 February 2009
From BoingBoing by way of R.
So i am already hating the new shift. let's see, after 8 last night we had several minutes between our calls and after about 9:30 it stretched to 15 minutes or more. Look, i know i like it to be slow but the fact that it is so slow is proof that RP screwed up. meaning they don't need so many people that late at night. meaning they've messed up my lifestyle for no reason. errggggg.
I'm going to pimp for R for a moment. Visit his Etsy shop! Buy some lovely pictures of Nashville! Support small businesses!
My resolution about bread making is going wonderfully! Made a perfect loaf today, with which i made the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. delicious!
09 February 2009
One book you’re currently reading: The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
One book that changed your life: The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan
One book you’d want on a deserted island: well, logically i should say some sort of giant field manual/how to guide/etc. but i don't think that's the point of the question. I'll go with The Complete Sherlock Holmes.
One book you’ve read more than once: By The Sword by Mercedes Lackey
One book you’ve never been able to finish: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (it's been about half way finished for over a year now!)
One book that made you laugh: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
One book that made you cry: The End by Lemony Snicket. yeah, i promise.
One book you keep rereading: All the Harry Potter ones.
One book you’ve been meaning to read: Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky
One book you believe everyone should read: hmm, how about The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King.
Grab the nearest book. Open it to page 56. Find the fifth sentence: A book of collected Poe is the closest to me. "Do I not distinguish that heavy and horrible beating of her heart!" from Fall of the House of Usher BTW.
08 February 2009
We follow Katniss, a girl from District 12, who actually volunteers for this so as to take her 12 yr old sister's place. Katniss is a hunter, forager and all around cool kid. Peeta is the boy chosen, son of the town baker and, because this is YA lit, he's got a massive crush on Katniss. Which comes out in the story as their handlers decide to play up the "love story" angle. Can Katniss return his feelings? Can either of them survive the arena?
I liked this one, even if parts felt like I've read them before. Several of the Amazon reviews reference The Running Man but i really felt like it had more in common with The Long Walk. Both involve young people, forced into awful situations against their will, with a bit of madness coming out in places. Several scenes from The Long Walk still stick with me, while i can't remember anything about The Running Man except that the ending is way different from the movie. Overall, The Hunger Games gets a 6. Part 2 comes out in September.
BTW, Becky reviewed it much better than i!
So tomorrow i start my new work shift which is going to really, really suck. I'm going to be stuck at work from 3:30 pm to midnight. Ugh. Ugh. I can only hope that 1) it gets super slow after 9 pm, 2) i get some awesome scores and my ranking goes up and 3) the powers that be really screwed up on how late they need the cancel department open and we do another shift bid in a few months. i am definitely going to TSU this week to see about applying for that program.
07 February 2009
I read Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano. Or, really thoroughly skimmed it. I think it's a really good overview book. She gives a bunch of information about how to be green in your home, beauty routine, food, transport and entertainment. I thought it was an solid book with a range of tips from crazy ridiculous simple (kids don't need tons of plastic toys to have fun? clean with cloths instead of paper towels?) to pretty serious. The sections involving the chemicals to get rid of were great because i've never seen all of that listed specifically in one place. I do think this is a book more for girly girls. Shopping fiends, makeup collectors, etc. My friend D would love it while I, being a bit more crunchy shall we say, would get less out of a purchase. So for me, a 5.
I also finished Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku. He's a big time physicist, one of the ones that is always on the Discovery or Science channel programs. He takes these difficult physics concepts and shows how they do, or do not, allow all sorts of "impossible" sci-fi things. He separates the impossibles into 3 categories: one we can't do yet but don't violate our current known physics, ones that are at the edge of what we currently understand, and ones that violate the known laws of physics. I thought it was incredible that only precognition and perpetual motion machines are the only things in that last category. Based on current trends, Kaku feels that teleportation, AI, and invisibility may be within our capacity in just decades. I learned about parallel universes, nanobots, space elevators, rail guns, dark energy and gravity waves. Really fascinating stuff, especially if you like sci-fi books/movies/tv, as Kaku demonstrates many concepts through their sci-fi source. a 6! Also, this book counts for the Science Book Challenge.
Which leads me to something else. I finally read the Kaku book because someone personally recommended it to me. Someone I've met and, umm, started Talking To. In that I've started Talking to Somebody, i feel like i should decide if he gets a letter? On one hand, i'm hesitant to give him a letter because i don't know when/if i'll ever actually have to reference him and i don't want to jump the gun on this one. On the other hand, someone I can talk to for literally 3 1/2 hours straight (and I'm not in high school) might be a person i'm going to be doing activities with in the future, which i may blog about, so why not give him his proper letter now? hmmmm. Decisions.
06 February 2009
First. I watched Hellboy 2 and liked it. Not awesome, but more fun than Hancock. I want to read the comics. A 5.
Second. Postcards! I am pretty sure I've not posted any of these.
So from the top left these are from: Papendrecht, Holland; Portsmouth, Great Britain; Budapest, Hungary; Cologne, Germany; Lithuania; and Budapest, Hungary again!
Third. I have new glasses!
Also, i am goofy.
Lastly. Had a yummy dinner.
Stuffed salmon from Trader Joe's, parmesean noodles, salad (eaten before picture taken) and Black Lager. mmmmmmm.