Sunday, February 28, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I just got finished reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I really loved it. You can check out my full review by clicking on my Goodreads icon on the right-hand side of this page.
It takes place in the near future when, after a series of global and environmental disasters, North America is divided into 12 distinct and oppressed Districts. As a way for the Capitol to keep the Districts under control and submissive, a yearly “game” is held where one female and one male teenager must compete in the Hunger Games. The 24 “tributes” are placed in an arena to kill each other, because only the one surviving person can leave the arena.
I know this sounds macabre and disturbing, and it is. You’re reading about kids feeling and doing these awful things, but it’s not the gruesomeness that stays with me, it’s the portrait of human nature. The main character wrestles with her complicated feelings for a fellow contestant, needing him to survive but also knowing that they inevitably would need to face each other down.
Why do you read? Do you read non-fiction to learn about real things and people?
I read because I love feeling new sensations. I love a book that, after reading only a few sentences, you are there in the story. The Hunger Games was like that. I couldn't really read it before bed because I became so tense and anxious (just like the main character) and couldn't fall asleep. Are you ever so into a book that you start to imagine things that aren't even written out? Like you imagine the background noises, even though there's not a single word to suggest it? Or you're convinced a character spoke in a Cockney accent only to later find out that there was never an indication of this, and suddenly you feel just a tad insane? No, just me?
Don't you love the way that books can let you live through extraordinary experiences that you'll probably never actually face? I would never want to face the things in The Hunger Games, but it’s still interesting to see and feel them. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite literary work. (That and, obviously, the Harry Potter series. I'm sure both are considered on equal standing in the scholarly world. Did you ever see the Friends episode where the friends are playing a group trivia game? The guy's team is asked "What does Rachel claim her favorite movie is?" and they say "Dangerous Liasons!" "What is actually her favorite movie?" "Weekend at Bernie's!" That's what I feel like when I list my two favorite books.) Anyway, I love Pride and Prejudice. Obviously because of the epic love story, but I can't be too jealous of that. Anyone that heard Michael's vows at our wedding knows that I've got my own Mr. Darcy. (Do you think Michael would approve of Fitzwilliam as a first name for our future children? I think it works for both male and female.) I will probably never be able to wander the English countryside in long skirts and petticoats carrying a basket of newly picked wildflowers. I might never get the chance to utter such things as, "She is the handsomest woman in my aquaintance" in context without getting some strange looks. But I can live those things, do those things, say those things while I read Austen's work.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
We started out at the big cats section. I feel a psychological connection with tigers because I was born in the year of the tiger, did you know? I think Remi and I really connected with this Bengal.
I had a great chat with a baboon. He was a better listener than you would expect. POP QUIZ: How fast can you run? I can run 11 miles per hour. Wanna know how I know this? I know, I know, my butt looks humongous. Don't judge.
At the orangutan exhibit, Cole decided to break out his banana to taunt the poor great apes.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
b. I told my friends I would
c. I wouldn't know if object 'h' in the previous list would happen unless I actually went out there and checked it out
d. I love soccer
Let me take a minute to tell you why I love soccer.
Soccer was my first true love. And let me tell you, soccer is one fickle lover. Out-of-town tournaments while staying in a hotel room with friends. Scoring the game winning goal. The sound of the whistle ending the game after holding off a team while you’re up 2-1. These were the times when soccer and I were madly in love. There were also times when soccer wasn’t so good to me. Going to Club practice after finishing a two-hour high school track workout. Missing a free kick. Saying goodbye to one team when I left to join another one.
I feel that there are not enough opportunities in life to experience glory. We read books with enchanting tales of sacrifice, war, adventure, clashing forces and victory. Growing up, by day I was a quiet and well-behaved student and daughter. By night I was a wild and powerful competitor with only my skills and muscles as my swords, and a pair of tiny shin pads as my armor. It comes down to what one team is physically capable of against the abilities of the foe. And when it’s a one-on-one, or a race down the sideline after a free ball, it is the strengths of your body and mind against those of another person. I know that it sounds silly, and that my imagination runs away with me, but soccer was and still is my chance to go to battle and feel the rush of the glory of victory, or the clammy grip of the agony of defeat. There have been times where my team was dressed in our whites, and the other team was all in black, and I was convinced that we were about to engage in a ninety minute battle to tip the scales of good versus evil.
Don’t believe that soccer can make you feel all this? Don’t believe that after an hour and a half of exerting yourself in every way imaginable can leave you emotionally bared? What else could inspire such raw emotions as these?
Last night I went and I played. It was cold outside. I pulled out these old friends for another go.
And while I might not have experienced quite the level of exhilaration as I once had while playing a championship game, it was still lovely getting to play. It was like a night of catching up with an old friend. I think I’ll do it again.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Sorry for all the exclamation points, but I'm just so excited.
My gift to Michael for the big 3-0, we decided, is going to be an upgrade to a balcony room!
This means I have five months to get one of these:
Thursday, February 4, 2010
1. Michael is a chubbs and decided to eat all of the gummi bears since the last time I snuck (sneaked?) some
2. Michael is on to me and has since moved the bears to a more secure location
The preliminary search of the homestead has revealed no bears.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
My question to you is this: What do I do about the gummi bears? Option 1: Call him out on the secret hoarding of sweet treats. Option B: Continue sneaking gummi bears without letting him know I've found the cache. Option 3: Move the secret stash to another location and wait to see if he'll ask me about them. (Please give me your opinion in the poll box on the right hand side of this screen.)
I realize that if he reads this blog the jig will be up. You could call this an experiment for me to find out just how often Michael does read this blog.
Moving on, Michael used the word "isthmus" in correct context the other day. I'll leave it up to your imagination to think of how the word "isthmus" was used, but it was lovely. What a lovely word, don't you think? It got me thinking. Don't you think that some geographical features have truly lovely sounds to them? I'll give you some examples.
(Do you think there's ever been an older Southern gentleman who's looked upon a really magnificent butte and said, "Yep, she's a beaut!"?)