Tuesday, May 24, 2011

No. 14 - The Moon is Down

Finished my unread Steinbeck last week with The Moon is Down. I looked it up on Wikipedia. Very interesting.

[The Moon Is Down, a propaganda novella sponsored by the OSS and written by John Steinbeck, and for which he received a medal of honor, was published by Viking Press in March 1942. The story details a military occupation of a small town in Northern Europe by the army of an unnamed nation at war with England and Russia (much like the occupation of Norway by the Germans during World War II). A French language translation of the book was published illegally in Nazi-occupied France by Les Editions de Minuit, a French Resistance publishing house.[1] Furthermore, numerous other editions were also secretly published across all of occupied Europe, including Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Dutch and Italian versions; it was the best-known work of American literature in the Soviet Union during the war.[2] Without naming the occupying force as Nazis, references to 'The Leader', 'Memories of defeats in Belgium and France 20 years ago' clearly suggest it. Written with a purpose to motivate and enthuse the resistance movements in occupied countries, it has appeared in at least 92 editions across the world, proving its popularity.] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moon_Is_Down

If you haven't read it, I would suggest it. Especially with this interesting history.

And now I'm finally doing it. I'm tackling a big project for the summer. I just started No. 25 - The Silmarillion. My brain already hurts but I so want to finish it!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I am in the process of growing out my hair. For most of my childhood and teen years, I would grow my hair out super long, then chop it, then grow it out, chop it, etc. But in 2005, I cut it from waist-length to chin length, and with a short (no pun intended) stint at shoulder length in 2007, it's been varying levels of short ever since.

Now that I'm trying to find a longer style, I find myself drawn to short styles more than ever! Styles I would never even be able to pull off, but still love.



Here are some that I love. I could never pull off Emma Watson short, but I still love looking at it.

I need a good longer style to keep me excited about growing it out. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

No. 3 - Cannery Row

I think I may have read my favorite John Steinbeck book. The flap says: "Steinbeck's tough yet charming portrait of people on the margin of society, dependent on one another for both physical and emotional survival." And it is just that. This beautiful piecework of portraits; depicting life for the people of Cannery Row. I loved that the story centers around Mack "and the boys": a hodge-podge group of bums who become a family, but in the meantime, Steinbeck adds chapters that tell the story of one or two characters, completely unrelated, never spoken of again. Such good writing.

Two quotes stuck out to me so much that I underlined and wrote them down.

"Socially Mack and the boys were beyond pale. Sam Malloy didn't speak to them as they went by the boiler. They drew into themselves and no one could foresee how they would come out of the cloud. For there are two possible reactions to social ostracism -- either a man emerges determined to be better, purer, and kindlier or he goes bad, challenges the world and does even worse things. This last is by far the commonest reaction to stigma."

Isn't this so true? I've even seen it in cases of deep hurt or sin. We get sucked in to ourselves and then we choose how we get out of it. My pastor says it like this: we can get better or we can get bitter. My prayer is that we all choose "better" and make the hard choices to find complete healing in Jesus.

"It has always seemed strange to me," said Doc. "The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism, and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second."

Insightful, is it not?

I'm finishing up all the Steinbeck left in my Unread Library, and I'm working on No. 14 - The Moon is Down right now.

Friday, May 6, 2011

No. 20 - The Pearl & No. 22 - The Red Pony

One more entry for my Unread Library! These stories were printed in the same book and both are rather short, so I read them pretty quick last week.

I love Steinbeck. I always feel like I should see more depth in my everyday life when I'm reading him. That there is beauty to be found in even the most common actions. But what is interesting to me about Steinbeck is he presents it in a solemn, almost cynical, way; one where you feel reverence for the situation but realize that it actually happens every day. And that is great writing.

I'm working on No. 3 - Cannery Row right now; I figured I'd keep reading Steinbeck since there were 2 more books on my list.

Do you ever come back to an author and remember how much you love their writing?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Someone Who Gets Me

The following is a text message conversation I had with one of my favorite people:

(mind you, this is a Thursday)


Me: You're crazy wildcat

Jesse: in awhile crocodile :)

Me: Ditto

Jesse: I love pokemon! :D

Me: Bakugan!!!

Jesse: What??? Yugio is way better!!!

Me: Downward dog

Jesse: purple??

Me: Purple drink

Jesse: sometimes!

Me: Monday night football

Jesse: its tuesday!

Me: Expelliarmus!

Jesse: When you said bakugon, mom read my text and thought you said bad cougar! hahahaha

Jesse: Avada kedavra

Me: bad llama, lol

Me: That's Unforgivable!

Jesse: hahahhaha

Jesse: only on tuesdays

Best littlest brother ever!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

No. 28 - My Life in France

I'll admit, I didn't know much about Julia Child until the movie Julie & Julia came out. I remember thinking her voice was funny as a kid, but that's all. So I'm very much jumping on the Julia Child bandwagon.

My Life in France is written by Julia Child and her grand-nephew Alex Prud'Homme. I have never been to France, and from what you can see on this blog, I'm not that great of a cook, but there was something so inspiring about Julia's memoirs. This book was extremely entertaining but it also made me want to get passionate about the things I love to do. To love my life and my life's work with an unquenchable love and excitement. It also made me hungry. ;)

If you don't know French and you're going to read this, I'd grab a French dictionary or Google Translate for a few quotes and phrases.

Non-fiction that reads like fiction is fun because you can get caught up in the story and then realize, "that really happened!" and that's awesome.

Friday, April 22, 2011

It Is Well

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.