Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: Oliver Twist


Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens



Many thanks to Tyndale Publishers for providing me a complimentary copy of Oliver Twist on CD.

It took me awhile to pop it into my CD player in the car for unknown reasons. Once I did, I was riveted. It was so good!! Usually the "books on tape" I get are of a college professor lecturer's voice droning on and on and putting me to sleep. Not this dramatization! It was like a movie developing in my mind. There were different voices each playing a different character. The dialect and accents were spot on and the music sequences were really good at getting you to feel each scene.

I had heard about Oliver Twist and people's love for Charles Dickens but had never actually picked up the book. I don't know why! This work made me really appreciate the brilliance of his work as a writer and how it propelled storytelling to the next level.

Poor Oliver Twist, an orphan, stuck in terrible situations with awful people. He just can't catch a break. It's horrifying really. Then one day he makes a break for it. You think it's going to be great, but alas, more troubles, more woes beseeches this young fellow until by chance he meets a man who shows him mercy.. kindness. A series of unfortunate events still won't let go of him and you wonder if this will out okay. Poor kid.

This story gave me a glimpse of England way back when and really helped to understand the attitudes and discretion my own family used. The country I was born in was a British colony. Some of the  language and customs were adopted throughout the generations and culminated into present day. I can see where their cynical nature came from. I can see why overall they mostly believe in man's heart of darkness. I think they lived Oliver Twist's life and passed down the attitudes to our generation.

I really enjoyed my long drives. If you've ever driven in Houston, you know that is a laughable statement. Believe me, it was worth all the drudgery of traffic, all the bumper to bumper rush hour mess just to sit and listen and let this story come to life.

I got a feel for what it was like back in the day with no televisions and people listening to the radio to the "soap operas." So exciting to catch a glimpse of the past.

Will definitely be keeping my eye out for more Focus on the Family radio theater productions.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Home


Growing up in my house was like living in a museum. There was not a spec of dust anywhere. ANYWHERE.

It was immaculate.


Saturdays were spent shining the brass until your fingers were green. Walls were wiped down. Everything must smell of Pine Sol or bleach mixture. The austere quietness was like being enslaved behind white brick walls. Shoes must be taken off, no walking on the carpet and you must never EVER sit on the couch! Everything laid in perfect order. I couldn’t wait to leave that place.


That institution. Beautiful home but no warmth. Lovely things but no friends. God forbid you should cough or sneeze in there, she’ll spray you down with Lysol (true story).

 

Now that I have my own place to call home, I would rather let the dishes sit in the sink, let the dust pile, let chaos reign. Until one day it gets to be annoying then I clean like crazy. I’d rather spend my time with the people I love, the books that give me escape, music that spins my soul into a dance.

 

My father came to visit once. I almost panicked at the evidence that a toddler resides here; that this a home where people actually live. I looked around and realized, this is my home, not a museum. This was me, all around. He’ll either accept me now or never. And as we said our goodbyes, he smiled and said, “Nice house!” I was overwhelmed with joy. I was enough. I was accepted. It was a beautiful feeling.

 

Seve and I get into some crazy moments. I can’t stand the clutter by his many piles, he can’t stand dishes in the sink. I can’t stand unruly carpet stains, he doesn’t like folding clothes. It gets crazy managing the upkeep of the house, but I always remember that one moment and it sustains me.

 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Review: Anna Karenina

Movie Review: Anna Karenina

I ventured out to see this film with my local book club. I had gotten through part one of the novel. It's a daunting read... no... it's exhaustive. Ridiculous amount of detail.

The movie brought the book alive. It was awesome. Everything in my senses were stimulated. Delicious feeling. Just the vivid colors of the costumes and scene changes and the scenes themselves were exquisite. Lots of attention to detail.

 
One of the few movies that made me really satisfied intellectually. Lots of movies these days do the work for you. This one, you had to infer, extract data and then come to conclusions. Beautifully done.
 
 
Anna Karenina is played by Keira Knightley. who definitely brought her A-game to this role. It's like she was born to play it.
 
 
Jude Law plays her husband, Karenin. He is amazing. The movie brought something else to the character. I think I sympathized more with his character than the one I read about in the book. He brought a humanity.. a softness to the role I hadn't expected.
 
 
 
Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays Vronsky. That's all I can say on that. I don't think the character was built to be likable or memorable in this case. Anna is the focal point and takes the stage front and center.
 
 
 
 
To say that I enjoyed it is a total understatement. I can't wait to own it and watch it over and over again.
 
 
At the end, there's a cryptic message that makes you actually want to get the book and read it. Any movie that can do that gets top honors in my book.
 

 
 
 


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thank You

Today's Five Minute Friday prompt:

Thank You

The only thing that comes to mind, is this song..
Might as well just copy it since it will be playing in my head for days now..





I'm nothing special, in fact I'm a bit of a bore
If I tell a joke, you've probably heard it before
But I have a talent, a wonderful thing
'cause everyone listens when I start to sing
I'm so grateful and proud
All I want is to sing it out loud

So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me
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Mother says I was a dancer before I could walk
She says I began to sing long before I could talk
And I've often wondered, how did it all start?
Who found out that nothing can capture a heart
Like a melody can?
Well, whoever it was, I'm a fan

So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me

I've been so lucky, I am the girl with golden hair
I wanna sing it out to everybody
What a joy, what a life, what a chance!

So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me

Songwriters: ANDERSSON, BENNY GORAN BROR / ULVAEUS, BJOERN K. / KORTNEV, ALEKSEJ ANATOLEVICH

 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Stay

It's Five Minute Friday!

This week's prompt: Stay

I want my little boy to know his Hindustani culture. Just give him a sense of where my roots are.. where his roots lie. Just a sense.

Diwali was coming up and I suggested some things we could do to celebrate. All practices had an allusion to celebrating the pagan gods and were vetoed quickly. How can I give him a sense of myself in his American house?

When the teachers at school asked him what he was thankful for, he said "Maji!" That's his nickname for me. I'll never know  where he picked up that word from. We sponsor an indian child named Majji but I don't think I've really ever said her formal name. Her informal name is Laxmi which is what we've always used. I was googling something one day and then I saw it: Maji means Mother in Hindi! WHAT? How is it possible that he knows that! So sweet. I don't really have to teach him where he comes from.. it's within him. It'll be there. Always.  Somehow that will stay with him regardless of how I influence him.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quiet

It's Five Minute Friday..
Yes, I realize it's Sunday!

Five Minute Friday

Today's prompt: Quiet

In our last episode of FMF, we talked about roots. I longed to reconnect with my childhood heritage at times. To my surprise, there ARE happy memories. There ARE moments of splendour and fulfillment. Why it takes 20+ years to see that, I will never know. I saw this post from my favorite DIY bloggers, John and Sherry. It reminded me of a Hindu holiday we called Holi. It brought me back to such happiness. I remembered our small poor village gathering to celebrate. We threw water, powdered colors, white powder, even mud on friends, family and strangers. We cleaned like crazy. We cooked like crazy. It was a feast. We shared with the neighbors. We smiled, shared our thanks, gave our best. Once I saw the info on the Color Run,  I knew I had to be a part of it. As luck would have it, they were having one in my hometown. I was blessed to participate today with my man. It was AMAZING. The mass amount of people from all walks of life. People brought their kids in strollers, guys were wearing tutus, everyone was having a blast. During the run, I had some great moments of reflection looking out at my city skyline.

There were some small still quiet moments to close your eyes while random people threw colored powder and filled the air, your eyes, ears and mouth. The colors were splendid. The energy was electric. I've come full circle.
I cannot wait to do this again next year!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Roots

It's another Five Minute Friday!



Five Minute Friday

Today's prompt: Roots

---

As a child you would always find me in a small secret compartment behind our closet. When I found it, it was like Narnia opened up to me. It was just the perfect place for me and my dolls and our adventures. I spent lifetimes in that little room. I was running away. I was ashamed. I didn't like being different. I wanted so badly to be like my American friends. I had so many restrictions because I was a girl, because of my religion. I desperately wanted to sever these ties. I abandoned everything associated with my culture, my heritage and immersed myself in being something else. Something better. Every so often... I look around and wonder if I belong anywhere. I've moved here and there and floated from place to place never actually staking claim. Somedays, even though I detest and abhor my past, I wished I had learned more about where I came from.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Voice

Five Minute Friday

"No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
It started because I’d been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. And I figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing."

So here's my best five minutes on:::

Voice…



Diana Krall - A Case of You

This is a very appropriate prompt today as this song has haunted me for the last couple days. Yes, it's on repeat. Yes, I DID listen to it all day. It happens like that for me sometimes. Something consumes me, calls to me, and I become... enchanted.. err.. OBSESSED!!!!

Songs, lyrics especially do this to me. I think I remember creating mix tapes of NOTHING BUT ONE SONG OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

It's a sickness.. must be.

Diana's voice, interpretation is soooo compelling to me. The whole ensemble is remarkable actually. Songs like this remind me that human nature... even with all our pitiful traits and imperfections... we are so very close to the heaven we desperately crave. We are so close to the creator. We are... one.


Ophelia by John Everett Millais
 
"I remember that time you told me you said
'Love is touching souls'
Surely you touched mine
'Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time
"

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My life so far

1978: HELLO!
1979-1982: No recollections. Stories captured: Father was in the armed forces in South America. We moved around a lot. He decided to flee the socialist government and when he was successful, he coordinated our travel to another country.

1982-1986: Small still memories of living in Suriname , now Dutch Guyana. I liked my dolls and imitating my mother. She was not very amused most of the time. She was never really happy. I don’t remember smiles or laughter.
1986: Traveled on a plane to come to America . I wore a pretty blue outfit with eyelet designs. Stayed with my aunt and uncle. Then moved into an apartment across the street. Discovered TV. Been hooked ever since.
1987: School. Lots of kids that are clean, pretty with nice matching clothes that don’t smell.
I realize
I don’t fit in.
I hate myself.
I hate my family for putting me in this position.
1988: My grandparents come to America and live in the same duplex. My aunts are so fun and so beautiful. Home life rough. Parents always fighting. I run away to my grandparent’s place. They let me know very quickly I do not belong. I am not welcomed. What is wrong with me?
1990: I am smart. Very smart. I get sucked into the world of books, reading and studying. So happy and joyful. I live so many lives in my books.
1991: Moved into a house.. A HOUSE!! WOW!! Not an apartment with just a hallway for my room. WOW!! I have a room.. with a door and a lock!!! WOW!
Start at a new school. Not sure what’s happening to my studies. I’m becoming average.. normal.. no longer excellent. I struggle to keep up. I am drowning.
I meet my best friend. I start high school
1992 - 1994: Still struggling with school. No one cares though. It’s no longer fun to accomplish high marks. Now it’s expected. That’s the thing about perfection. You have to continue and keep up with it. It’s really hard. Lost motivation. Music is my only escape. Most days are go to school. Come home. Watch TV. Eat dinner. In silence. Starved for attention. Need affection, comfort. Love. Boys seem to like me. They think I’m pretty. Obsession. Got the internet. Met him. He showed me true love. He helped me understand how unique and special I was. He pulled me out of depression. Parents found out about him. Forbid me to talk to him. Spiral back down. Mother is overhearing and cruel. I can’t listen to her tell me how much she hates me anymore.
Suicide attempt.
Mother kicked out of the house.
Can’t wait to go to college. Decide to choose the one farthest away.
Parents divorce for the last time.

The Scream by Edvard Munch
1994: Victimized by a family member. Went off to college. Freedom. Finally. I belong. Father is getting married. She’s pregnant. I have been rejected/replaced. I was the draft version of his life.
1995: Boyfriends, partying, probation. Father cuts me off from college funding. Forced to drop out. Have no skills to figure out how to do it on my own.
1996-1999: Move in with a friend in Alexandria, VA. Eventually find my own place. Couple different jobs. Lived with boyfriend. Landed the best job in the world at an airline company. The world is my oyster. JOY.
September 11, 2001 – The day was mass confusion, heartbreak, fear. The world is ending. I lose my job 2 weeks later. I move to Houston with friends. I decide to rebuild my life and start praying.

June 2002 – Met the man of my dreams.
September 2003 – We join a church.
May 2004 – Married the man of my dreams.
September 2006 – Land a job that I could really make a career.
February 2007 – Mother passes away tragically in a fire.
March 2008 – Purchased our home!

April 2009 - Completed a 40-day fast. The Lord revealed himself to me in so many glorious ways. I was changed forever. Reset.
February 2010 – Gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.
2011 – Contemplate my career, my life and pray that I am doing what’s right for my son.
2012 – Received acceptance from my father. Learned to finally accept and love myself as I am. Once I loved myself, love came pouring in from everywhere. Peace surrounds. My soul… opened up.

The Annunciation by John William Waterhouse
 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades Freed

Fifty Shades Freed by E L James


My most favorite parts of this book:
(no spoilers edition)

"Stepping back into the bedroom, I hurl the hairbrush at him, turn, and leave -- though not before I see his shocked expression and his lightning reaction as he raises his arm to protect his head..."

"And it's not just the allure of his fine, fine face and his body that has me spellbound. It's what's behind the perfection that draws me, that calls to me...his fragile, damaged soul."

"I'm grateful for his intervention, as I don't wish to discuss menus or butt plugs with Mrs. Jones right now."

"But I'm sure we'll be fine as long as you keep your hands off my husband."
    She gasps.
  "Otherwise, you're fired. Understand?"

"Surprise!"

"I'm intrigued. I'll come find you.
Be ready."

----

Personal Reflections:

Fifty Shades Freed reminded me of the beginning of Act 2 of Into the Woods.

We left off Fifty Shades Darker when Ana broke the spell that held Christian captive. They are happy. OH! They are so happy! It’s endearing, enchanting even… sweet.

It could end right there – but alas, no.

There are consequences, danger looms.

Ana’s plays the part of Little Red Riding Hood, she ventured into the woods, was consumed by the Big Bad Wolf and managed to change Christian’s fate. He is liberated by her insistence that he must deal with his demons.

Ana also plays the part of Cinderella in some scenes trying to cope with so much luxury.

Christian also plays the part of Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk in his first relationship with a woman. Ana still has trouble contending with his previous life. Oh goodness girl, get over it! He wouldn’t be your Fifty Shades without her!

Okay, so the honeymoon is over, reality sets in. Love isn’t enough. They play the blame game. Sacrifices must be made and then BOOM! – The giant has fallen. She reveals something to Christian that sets him off and all I can say is WOW!

Then the action starts to heat up and it feels like a James Patterson novel. Hairs are standing on end, fear has stopped my heart and..and… there are no happy endings. Are there? ARE THERE?

Cinderella says to the prince, "My father's house was a nightmare. Your house was a dream. Now I want something in between."

Does she get her wish?





Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker by EL James


My favorite parts:
(there are soooo many more, but...they would be spoilers.)

"His magic is powerful, intoxicating. I'm a butterfly caught in his net, unable and unwilling to escape. I'm his...totally his."

"He stares at me blankly, and there it is, his problem in a nutshell - empathy or the lack thereof."

"And I don't know what possesses me, but I suddenly hear my own voice ringing out clearly over the throng.
   'Twenty-four thousand dollars!'"

"Christian stares at him impassively, but he's amused. All eyes are on Christian. What's he going to do? My heart is in my mouth. I feel sick.
    'One hundred thousand dollars,' he says, his voice ringing clear and loud through the tent."

" 'There is poetry of sailing as old as the world,' he murmurs in my ear.
     'That sounds like a quote.'
     I sense his grin. 'It is. Antoine de Saint-Exupery.'
     'Oh... I adore The Little Prince.'
     'Me, too.' "

" 'I was Mrs. Taylor yesterday.' I grin at Taylor, who flushes.
   'That has a nice ring to it, Miss Steele,' Taylor says matter-of-factly.
   'I thought so, too.' "

Personal Reflections:
Getting to know Christian, Mr. Fifty Shades, was exhilarating!
I actually made some parallels in my childhood and was able to piece together some extraordinary insights.
I do believe this book might have saved me thousands of dollars worth of therapy!
It's very rare I sacrifice my sleep for a book. This was an exception to every rule. It was a love affair, an exciting adventure. I was actually a bit disappointed when I was getting close to the end. I slowed the pace a little and prolonged the experience. I have never done that.
EL James gives good read.
Oh.. so good.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Grasp


" On Fridays around these parts we stop, drop, and write.
For fun, for love of the sound of words, for play, for delight, for joy and celebration at the art of communication.
For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not."
Five Minute Friday
Today’s prompt: Grasp





 


I was 16. He was 29, a family member. I was curious, he was evil. The serpent. Taking advantage of the situation. Tempted in an old abandoned dirty garage. Mind and body soaring someplace else. One kiss and I was addicted. One touch and no longer the same. Drunk on the forbidden. Lines crossed. I set into motion a series of events that have held me captive. It’s inescapable: this prison I hold myself in. I’m only now starting to see the blood on my hands. The venom- it’s in my touch, in my words, in my mind.


Miranda The Temptest by John William Waterhouse




Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's been too long...

I know you haven’t heard from me in too long.

What I’ve been up to lately:
·         Trying to find time to memorize 2 songs and play them well before my piano lesson. If I don’t practice and put in the time, it’s the most miserable hour!

·         Reading Anna Karenina for book club

·         Reading 50 Shades Darker well past midnight

·         Doing Colossians Bible Study with Good Morning Girls.

All of this in the midst of diapers, dishes, caring for a messed up shoulder, trying to stay connected with my man, and sleep… Sleep..haven’t seen her in a long time.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Review: Man in the Blue Moon

Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris



Many thanks to Tyndale Publishing for providing a complimentary copy of Man in the Blue Moon. This is one of those books I would have never picked up at the book store.
I'm so glad to be a part of this program which exposes me to different pieces.
This is a jewel of  a book and I'm so glad I read it! I've found a new favorite author.

My favorite parts from this book:

"Kicking the guilt until it balled at his feet, he fought the demons that had driven him to extremes."

"Evil was pumping through his body, he was sure of it. It was the fury of his bloodline that scared him. A tortured beast he could no longer harness."

"A chill snaked down Ella's system and settled so deep that not even the spring sun could thaw it."

"She pictured the fear that had become a constant tormentor as a black mushroom clamped to the side of her brain, a deformity of sorts that she had begun to accept as her lot in life."

"Starting tomorrow, he would display the photograph and explain to the unrefined that the smear of the man walking in the corner of the image was representational of a celestial being standing watch over the brokenhearted woman..."

" 'Is my friend in some sort of danger?'
      The sheriff touched the end of the pencil to his long tongue and steadied his hand on the paper. 'Depends on how fast you can spell.' "


Personal reflections:

This book was like a movie unfolding in my mind. The imagery was vivid and crisp without being too wordy. The main character Ella is the heroine that anyone can relate to. I felt her fears, her pain, her joy and anguish. Life just threw every obstacle in her course. It was awful. She's an orphan raised by her late aunt, has children and a husband who ran off chasing his unfortunate addiction. She develops into a massively strong character. An inspiration really.

The small town mosaic was very typical. Comical- but not really since it's so true.

The story was riveting. There was shock and awe at every chapter. Just when I felt we were coming to the end and everything is going to be okay, BOOM! The story gives me total knock out and I need a day or two to recover.

Something which strikes me as curious, bear with me on this one:
Before finishing Man in the Blue Moon, I read Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, roll your eyes and get it over with.

One of my favorite quotes from Fifty Shades of Grey was:

“I gasp, and I'm Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he's the serpent, and I cannot resist.”   

Then in Man in the Blue Moon, I come across this where Brother Mabry is addressing a massive crowd:

"Don't be like Eve. Don't be taken in by the serpent who deceives. Hear me now: gaurd your hearts and minds. The devil strikes the hardest where the Lord is working. And make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen, He is working here. The footprints of God are on your very soil."

This is one of the those moments that I KNOW are not a concidence. God speaks to me in various ways throughout my day. Usually he speaks to me through song, a dear friend whose advice I trust most or through his Word. These days he speaks to me through stories. I think he's ALWAYS been speaking to me through stories, this is one of the few times I couldn't ignore.

So what is he telling me in this message? Am I Eve being tempted by something I cannot resist? Is it a warning of things to come? Or.. Am I the serpent? Have my selfishness and pride gotten the better of me?

This will be a book I can come back to always find something new and telling. The only other book I that gives me that experience is To Kill a Mockingbird.

Yes, it was that impressive.








Thursday, September 6, 2012

Waiting

waiting

n.
We’ve circled back here. Pain and illness have tied the relationship in a messy, inescapable, tangled, knotty web. Constricting, cutting off circulation slowly killing me, killing us. Hard to see the end. The air is sucked out of me every time I walk in the door. I resign and give up again every day, hoping, praying, needing to return to a normal life. I was elated and joyful when we were married. I thought I’d never be alone again. But here I sit, in the dark, with the glow of the monitor as my only warmth.

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James




Superlatives:

Most random line
(that has NOTHING to do with the story, there were quite a number of these)
“... when the door opens and a tall, elegantly dressed, attractive African American man with short dreads exits. I have definitely worn the wrong clothes. 
   He turns and says through the door, ‘Golf this week, Grey?’”


Most profound quote:
“I don’t subscribe to luck or chance, Miss Steele. The harder I work the more luck I seem to have. It really is all about having the right people on your team directing their energies accordingly. I think it was Harvey Firestone who said, ‘The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.’”

Most likely to have nothing to propel the story forward:
“’I’ll take some coveralls. Heaven forbid I should ruin any clothing,’ he says dryly.”

Most laugh-out-loud-funny-part-that-will-shoot-liquid-out-of-your-nose:
“He smiles.
‘Okay bag out of tea. Sugar?’
For a moment, I’m stunned, thinking it’s an endearment, but fortunately my subconscious kicks in with pursed lips. No, stupid- do you take sugar?”

Best kiss:

~~~Too hot to post!~~~

“The elevator stops, the doors open, and he pushes away from me in the blink of an eye, leaving me hanging…My heart rate is through the roof, I feel like I’ve run an uphill race. I want to lean over and grasp my knees…”

Best use of hands:
“'I see.' Paul looks positively crestfallen, stunned even, and a very small part of me resents that he should find this a surprise. My inner goddess does, too. She makes a very vulgar and unattractive gesture at him with her fingers.”

Best email:
“… Frankly I’m in awe of you, that one so innocent would be willing to try. That says more to me than you could ever know. You fail to see I am caught in your spell, too… My reason vanishes when we’re together- that’s the depth of my feeling for you.”

Best foreshadow:
"And in this quiet moment as I close my eyes, spent and sated, I think I’m in the eye of the storm. And in spite of all he’s said, and what he hasn’t said, I don’t think I have ever been so happy.”

Best Song:
I’m on Fire, Bruce Springsteen

Biggest Eye Roll/You’ve-Got-To-Be-Kidding-Me Moment:
“I gaze at my mom. She is on her fourth marriage. Maybe she does know something about men after all.”


Vocabulary:

gamine

n.
- a neglected girl who is left to run about the streets.
- a diminutive or very slender girl, especially one who is pert, impudent, or playfully mischievous.

edifice 

n.
- a building, especially one of large size or imposing appearance.
- any large, complex system or organization.

jodhpur
n.
- riding breeches cut very full over the hips and tapering at the knees to become tightfitting from the knees to the ankles.
- Also called jodhpur shoe, jodhpur boot . an ankle-high shoe for wearing with such breeches, having a strap that encircles the ankle and buckles on the side.

phlegmatic

adj.
-not easily excited to action or display of emotion; apathetic; sluggish.
-self-possessed, calm, or composed.
-of the nature of or abounding in the humor phlegm.

somnambulant

adj.
-walking or tending to walk while asleep  

in-situ
adj.
-Being in the original position; not having been moved or transferred to another location;

castigate
v.
- To inflict severe punishment on.
- To criticize severely.

------------
This isn't really a vocabulary word, but I thought it was interesting:

Anastasia:

n.
Resurrection
-----------------

Personal reflections:
Can't wait to read book #2!!!

Slow SLOW beginning. Bedroom scenes are HOT! Amateur writing. Not prose. Very entertaining though.
I enjoyed the literature references and was intrigued by the choices of music..
Be still my heart! There's a playlist!!!
Where IS that repeat button!





Monday, August 27, 2012

Herodotus

I finally found it.
I was on vacation, at the beach.
We stopped by a quaint gift shop.
I always end up in the back with the dusty musty bookshelves.
Always.
And there they were.....
 
A complete volume of Herodotus.
This collection was beautiful... no magnificient. The books were weathered, old, the covers completely fallen apart. This was what I've been looking for.
Such a precious treasure. There was history in these pages. There was a soul that lived inside it.
It had stories to tell me.
We would spend the years together ships passing in the night for decades.
Then when the house has quieted, and I've retired, they'll be waiting for me.
We'll spend long nights by the fireplace.
It will be splendid!

I brought volume one up to the counter to ask for the price.

I died.

I dare not publish how much she asked for it.
It was way too expensive.

Alas. Another day.. another time.. another life..
.. till we meet again.....




Saturday, August 18, 2012

Book Review: Mockingjay

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


The best parts of this book:
(Actually there are a TON of my favorites but they would all be spoilers.)

"'Oh no, It costs a lot more than your life. To murder innocent people?' says Peeta. 'It costs everything you are.'"

"The damage, the fatigue, the imperfections. That's how they recognize me, why I belong to them."

"And suddenly, it's as if there's no one in the world but these two, crashing through space to reach each other. They collide, enfold, lose their balance, and slam against a wall, where they stay. Clinging into one being. Indivisible."

"I am Cinna's bird, ignited, flying frantically to escape something inescapable. The feathers of flame that grow from my body. Beating its wings only fans the blaze. I consume myself, but to no end."

"All around the dining hall, you can feel the rejuvenating effect that a good meal can bring on. The way it can make people kinder, funnier, more optimistic, and remind them it's not a mistake to go on living. It's better than any medicine. "

Personal Notes:
This was amazing. I see some disturbing similiarities in our world. Overall, I feel like I'm a better person for reading this book. I would have chosen a different path...but I think Katniss chose well also. Sometimes there's no right, there's no wrong, there just is. Compelling piece of literature.




Friday, August 17, 2012

Book Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The best parts of this book:

"I hunt. He bakes. Haymitch drinks."

"I tell him everything. About the president's visit, about Gale, about how we're all going to die if I fail.
   His face sobers, grows older in the glow of the red taillights. 'Then you can't fail.'"

"We manage the darkness as we did in the arena, wrapped in each other's arms, gaurding against dangers that can descend at any moment."

"I ball up the front of my shirt, stuff it into my mouth, and begin to scream. How long this continues, I don't know. But when I stop, my voice is almost gone."

"Now a new confidence is lighting up inside of me, because I think I finally know who Haymitch is. And I'm beginning to know who I am."

Personal notes:
Sequels usually don't live up to the original. This one does and exceeds all expectations.
Remarkable work.
Again.. BRAVO!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Book Review: The Time Traveler's Wife

Book Review: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger


"She looks up at me, holds out a piece of paper, and says, 'Look, Henry, she wrote me a poem.' As I sit beside Clare and read the poem I forgive Lucille, a little, for her colossal selfishness and her monstrous dying, and I look up at Clare. 'It's beautiful.' I say, and she nods, satisfied for a moment that her mother really did love her. I think about my mother singing lieder after lunch on a summer afternoon, smiling at our reflection in a shop window, twirling in a blue dress across the floor of her dressing room. She loved me. I never questioned her love. Lucille was changeable as wind. The poem Clare holds is evidence, immutable, undeniable, a snapshot of an emotion. I look around at the pools of paper on the floor and I am relieved that something in this mess has risen to the surface to be Clare's lifeboat. "

This is one of the FEW books in which I come back to and reread.
It's an amazing piece of literature. AMAZING!

The only other book I reread is To Kill A Mockingbird. For me to allow another book in this realm is a cosmic shift in the universe. To Kill A Mockingbird is sacred, hallowed ground.

Every so often, my mind is scattered, rendered useless. I gravitate toward something to read to stabilize me. The other day I picked up Time Traveler's Wife again and I was riveted all over again. So much detail. I was Clare. Sometimes I am Henry. Everytime I stop by for a visit, I find a new jewel such as the quote above and my soul is restored.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: God on the Streets of Gotham

God on the Streets of Gotham:

Many thanks to Tyndale Publishers for providing me a complimentary copy of:

God on the Streets of Gotham by Paul Asay


The best parts of this book:

“The images we see affect us in ways both overt and subtle, and we might not ever notice that these things are influencing us at all.”

“He is a product of a fallen world even as he strives to rise above it.”

“I wonder sometimes if the reason why some of us hate to be still or alone is that in the quiet of our own thoughts we find ourselves facing the darkness within- unmasked, inconsistent with the person we wish to be.”

“Our God is a storyteller. And the best stories often don’t make sense to readers until the very end.”

“And when we love, we leave ourselves open to the worst sort of loss.”

“He simply knew what he had to do… and did it.”

Personal Reflections:

I can always tell when the enemy is thwarting me from God’s will.
In the midst of reading this book, I was riveted, intrigued, had many AHA! moments.
The next day, it seemed my brain got all cloudy. I knew I needed to finish reading this book, but there was always something else to do. At times the book was left at the office or it was too much work to get it from the car. The minute I thought about reading I would suddenly get tired and listless. I knew the enemy was working. It was a difficult battle to finish reading.
What I gained from the experience was a powerful understanding of the great mind we’ve been given.
The creative force that can drive us.
When the mind is focused, no evil, no matter how strong, can extinguish its power.
My mind these days is scattered. I never know what to do next. So many lists, so little time. It makes me an easy target. I am easily swayed by the opinions of friends, emails I read, images I allow in my brain.
I have goals, no drive.
Fear has left me bereft of everything good.
Nothing propels me out of bed in the morning.
Focus is key.
Something that will fire me up.
Passion.
This book gave me some great feedback of what I am lacking through the use of Batman as an analogy. It was a good running start.

Now.must.focus.

I am batman.

(Sorry, couldn’t help it).