Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book Review: The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man & the Sea. By Ernest Hemingway

Time for a book review!

I haven't actually read that many books lately. Not novels anyways.

As you know, I am on vacation! and I found this book in our beach house by my night stand. I peeked at it and thought, you know, I feel like reading a classic. I'm on the beach and here is this book about the sea. I should read it. And so I did.

It was a quick read, which I liked. It has no chapters, you just read the book. But it felt good to read it. The language isn't difficult by any means. It's simple. But for some reason the story has stuck with me. Simple yet powerful. I'm sure many people would say the same.

"The Old Man and the Sea won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and it likely cinched the Nobel Prize for Hemingway in 1954, as it was cited for particular recognition by the Nobel Academy. It was the last novel published in his lifetime." (from Spark Notes)

You know how I like to post pictures, so I Googled The Old Man and the Sea and found a ton of beautiful pictures. The hard part was choosing the ones I liked best.

I looked up the Spark Notes for this because, especially with classics, I like to know the significance of certain things.

Here is an example of why I enjoyed the book so much: "Hemingway’s strength and mastery lies in his ability to render concrete but still poetic images using familiar words and simple vocabulary." There is a scene where the Old Man has to kill a fish and he hits it on the head, "but for kindness"... "Hemmingway described this technique as the “iceberg principle,” for he believed that the simplest writing, when done well, would hint at the greatest human truths, just as the tip of an iceberg hinted at the terrific frozen mass that rested underwater." And that's definitely true. I got a clear sense of the characters even when they weren't explained in detail. 

The copy that I found was similar to this in style. Although it had no picture. Old looking. Very cool to hold in my hand and read by the sea.

And that is all. I would recommend it.

I found this little Youtube short video. Check it out:  The Old Man and the Sea

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Beach Time! Time for vacation!

I see other people's blogs and I keep thinking 'I could do that!' but I just keep on not doing it. I've found that it's hard for me to do things. haha

I took a month of work to come down to Cape San Blas Florida for a month to spend with my mom and other friends and family down south. It's been really wonderful to take the time off work and relax and just spend relaxing time with family.


I've been going a little crazy with the pictures but that's what you're supposed to do on vacation right?
I haven't had a REAL vacation since high school... well, I guess I did get some vacations in college too.. but it was harder with having a job and all that stuff. So I've been saving my hours and I took a whole month! It's been so incredibly wonderful. I'll post more soon. I've seen some really fun animal life here that I'd love to share. The internet here isn't always working so hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures. These were the ones I've managed to pull off facebook.

I've been doing more than relaxing however. I've been working out! Yes sir Yes ma'am! I've been doing Shaun T's Focus T25 workout. I'd been debating whether or not to get it just because of the price but I decided to just go for it. And I'm glad I did. I love it! For only 25 minutes you get a great workout. I can't find any excuse not to work out for 25 minutes a day and I feel like I still get my butt kicked so I don't feel like I wasted my time. I did Insanity and TapOut and I've done a few of Shaun's Assylum workouts that my friend has. Insanity is my favorite besides T25. It's just SO long!

My problem has been that I work out and eat really well for awhile but then I start slacking and for some reason I just give up and go back to eating poorly again. Every time I feel like this time I'm gonna do better but it never sticks. I hope that this time it does. I hope that with T25 I can stick it out and keep going til I get back this annoying phase I'm in and over the hump.

There are a lot of things I want to share on here. I'm still learning a lot about healthy eating and living and what our bodies need and crave in order to thrive. It's something I'm working on organizing. I have a lot of things floating around in my head but I seem to have a problem putting them down on paper or onto a computer screen.

Here's a lovely kale smoothie pic on the balcony at the beach :)



Monday, July 29, 2013

We Are Funding Society's Violence

I have returned from MTYC - Montana Youth Conference. I wasn't able to attend the whole event this year due to work, but I still enjoyed the time I spent there immensely.

At this very moment I am finding myself incredibly frustrated. I really do love my job but many a time I find that dealing with others is difficult. Yes, the kids are difficult, but that isn't what I'm referring to. I'm referring to the people I work with. Without getting all whiny and specific I will just say that everyone knows best and knows everything. It's hard to stay centered on what is important when my mind is full of annoyance.

I hoped that if I could get on here and talk about some really GOOD things that maybe my dark cloud would lift for a time.

You may know that I have a lot to say about Hollywood and the "Illuminati". I've not always felt the same way about it. Previously I had the idea that it was up to the parents to watch what their kids are exposed to. I still hold true to that idea. And I still think that parents are ultimately responsible. However, I am coming to the conclusion that ...

if society wants to complain about how violent the world is becoming they need to stop glorifying the violence.
It's a constant topic of discussion. The world is becoming increasingly violent and selfish. We all realize this. Atheist and Christian alike. Both parties admit that there is a lot of violence and negativity in the world today. There's a lot of disease and pain. We all complain about it, but then march our happy little butts to the theater to watch Saw 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7!
We complain about sexual immorality. Men and women are increasingly promiscuous and blame each other for it.
I just watched a movie the other day (Dark Skies PG-13). A scary flick about this family who is terrorized by an unseen force... All of the obvious negativity just mentioned aside... one of the things that really struck me was this; there is a scene where a young boy is watching a movie. The boy is about 13. He watches this scene where a boy about his age grabs another girl's boob. Of course when you see this it zooms right in on it as if it were you watching the movie yourself. What disgusted me the most was this whole aspect of the movie had absolutely NOTHING to do with the plot. It was just thrown in there for good measure; just to have sexuality in the movie. And it's not geared towards adults, it's geared towards adolescents. Barely teenage kids.
I don't understand why parents allow their children to watch these things. Oh wait... Yes I do. It's because they themselves have become desensitized to the sexuality and violence.
We need to stop complaining about the violence in the world and then funding it!
There are people who say that watching sex and violence on tv doesn't affect them. I beg to differ.
"Here is a key principle of the Christian faith – beholding with open face the glory of the Lord, we become changed into the same image. As we behold Christ, (John 1:29) as we feed upon Him, (John 6:51) meditate upon Him and consider Him, (Heb 12:3) we receive of His Spirit (John 15:26) and we become like Him in character"
Even Non-Christians have the same things to say about what we put into our minds...
Buddha says - "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."
"Change your thoughts and you change your world." - Norman Vincent Peale
"A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes". Mahatma Gandhi
It seems clear to me that when our minds take in this sexual content and violence we become changed. WE CHANGE. Psychologists talk about it and if I had more time and energy I would look it up.
"It is a law both of the intellectual and the spiritual nature that by beholding we become changed. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is allowed to dwell. It becomes assimilated to that which it is accustomed to love and reverence".
That is all I have to say about that for right now. I kindof went off on a tangent about media and that was not my aim, but it's what happened. I started talking about focusing on GOOD things and ended up talking about sex and violence. I guess you know what's been on MY mind lately! haha.
I am going to take some moments to think about my Kinsman Redeamer and what He has done for me :)
On a sidenote that's not really a sidenote I'd like to share an article that Stephen Bohr wrote about going to see movies in the theater. Here it is..

Thursday, June 20, 2013

God's Theater of Grace

Ok I know I said I was gonna write about Health & Behavior but I went to SDA Camp meeting in Bozeman last week and I acquired some excellent reading materials and I'm just so excited about some of them that I had to share it first.

I'm only on chapter 2 of Abandon Ship? by Ty Gibson, but I am seriously enjoying it. Have you ever had a thought enter your mind and it's so complicated that the more you think about it the more confused and enlightened you get at the same time? That's how I feel about the Bible. Sometimes reading it is so confusing. I think it's so fantastic that there are people out there that can explain the themes of the Bible without taking anything away from it; without making things up themselves. Because that's important. It's important not to decide for ourselves what the Bible is saying. THE BIBLE INTERPRETS ITSELF! That's one of those thoughts that makes my head spin.

But that's not what I desire to write about today.

As I said, I'm only on chapter two so I can't yet speak for the whole book, but let me give you a little overview about what this book is about.

Have you ever wondered about organized religion? Have you ever been frustrated with it? Been frustrated with the way people treat each other in the church and wonder WHAT'S THE POINT? This book speaks to those frustrations. Specifically in the Seventh Day Adventist church; because Ty Gibson is a Seventh Day Adventist. I suppose that makes sense :)

I've often thought to myself...

If God can see the future and he knew sin would be found in Lucifer and he would become Satan and Satan would deceive the world and as humans we would suffer tremendously, why ever would God even go ahead with creating us?!?!

That's one of those mind-bending things I think about. The answer, to put it simply, is Love. And I know that doesn't make sense because why would God allow us to suffer if He loves us so much? I know. It doesn't make sense. However, if you desire to find the answer to this you can. And it DOES make sense.

In a nutshell, we, humans, on planet dirt, are basically on display for the universe. God would have no credibility if he chose to just not create us in the first place. That would prove nothing except that He has ultimate power and that He is a dictator. Which is not how God is! Yes He has ultimate power, but he does not force anyone to worship Him. Oh it's so complicated! I cannot explain it fully. I can only wonder at how amazing and interwoven it all is.

Basically, God is waiting for "the Grace of Christ to mold our entire being". "it's triumph will not be complete until the heavenly universe shall witness HABITUAL TENDERNESS of feeling, CHRISTLIKE LOVE, and holy deed in the character of the children of God." (from Abandon Ship?).

God is the head of the church, the church is the body. As the church we are supposed to be the head's hands and feet and be the ACTION of the mind of God. Wow! We are on display, in a theater if you will, to act out what Christ does in the the lives of the people God created. To PROVE that Satan is wrong! That God is NOT a forceful dictator. What an honor. No wonder we suffer. Satan is trying his hardest to make things difficult for the church & it's people.

I feel as if I have come to a sufficient ending point in this entry. I know that I didn't explain things very well but  it's one of those things that is difficult to explain. Elizabeth Talbot wrote a book called "Surprised by Love" and it does a great job of explaining some of these things. If you click the link it takes you to the free audio book.

May your mind continue to spin with the amazing things that you can learn from the Bible!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

...aaand I'm a slacker!

I am such a slacker. If you know me at all you probably know that when things are sticky I tend to disappear, or at least I stop putting my feelings out there publicly... except for the usual sarcastic snarky facebook post from Somehow they always know how I'm feeling :)

This time I'm not even gonna bother promising to write more. I'm just gonna write when I feel like it.

So... updates... I can't remember if I'd moved since I posted last. I think I had because I was listening to The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite on drives to and from work and I remember driving on the road I live on now as I listened. I'm still in Hamilton, living in quite an awesome location in my opinion, although I'm a little nervous about fire season this year. :/ ... work is the same; ups and downs... of which I cannot post because I wouldn't want the wrong person to read it and think I were talking about them :) I have enough drama in my life. But work is going well overall. ... I've made some new friends, lost some as well. Still single.. calm yourself!

My walk with the Lord has taken some wrong turns of late. It really quite frustrating. To go from walking so closely to really struggling. I realize that it's all me. I'm the one who has turned away. The prince of earth (aka Satan) has done quite an excellent job of making this world a very distracting place to live. I could blame him entirely but I am the one with the brain and the ability to make my own choices. Fortunately God is longsuffering and eternally patient. No doubt He is frustrated with me however.

So here I am, pondering life and love and work and friendships. I have nothing more exciting to write about. I'm not even reading any...... no wait.... I did read some pretty good books actually. I'd forgotten about that. I read one about Health & Behavior... I'd been planning to write about it. I don't have my notes with me, but it will be my next project on here.

Being called weird is like being called limited edition, meaning you’re something people don’t see that often. Remember that.
stay tuned!
and here's a funny for you grammar nazis...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite

'Deftly captures the era's sense of frenzied invention and seductive promise' - The New York Times

'Full of suspense, this is an all-feeling novel, seductively and dramatically told' -- Daily Mail

“She tried to smile but her face,she noticed with a jolt,was one that 
had been configured for tradgedy.” 

I just finished this book, The Glimmer Palace. I didn't read the reviews before I picked it out. But, as usual, I listened to it on audio; driving around in my car. I don't know how it would've been to read it. Some books are better than others and should be listened to instead of read from a book... at least in my opinion. This one I think would've been just find to read from a book but I adored the narrator. I thought she was superb.

The book was written by the UK author Beatrice Colin and that is the reason for the two titles. The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite was it's UK title. When it came to America it was re-titled The Glimmer Palace. Isn't the cover pretty?!

I got the feeling that this book was impeccably researched. It was the perfect blend of history and fiction; so much so that after awhile you start wondering if more of the story is real than fake.

After I read a book that I really enjoy I like to look up the research behind it. Unfortunately I couldn't find an interview with the author Beatrice Colin about this book specifically. But I found some other things. Like this interview where we find out that her great-aunt Nina, who carved out a career in the German film industry between the wars, was a guiding spirit behind The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite. 

Beatrice Colin is a UK writer. On her main author website she explains what it feels like to write - There are dozens of analogies of how it feels to write but to me it feels a little like trying to walk through a dark room with my arms outstretched. You stumble across things you weren’t expecting, and as you grope around in the dark take two steps forward in any direction and then one step back again. It can be either frustrating or exhilarating, but this is where I feel I’m most creative, and I usually come up with scenes or situations that I had never imagined before.

Towards the end, I start to speed up, almost finished, but this part is also the hardest. All those choices I made so casually earlier on in the story have consequences. I am now the grown-up left to tidy up the mess of a very messy adolescent...

The story is about Lilly Nelly Aphrodite who is orphaned when she is only two years old. She lives in a Catholic orphanage in Germany and her life takes a turn when she befriends a girl who has more life experience than she should. Lilly's story twists and turns and you never know what is going to happen next. She goes through many different hardships, all the while just trying to be happy and safe. She eventually falls into the film industry and then things really start happening!

early Germany film industry
The actress Pola Negri was mentioned several times in this book... here is her picture. It gives you an idea of what actresses during that time looked like.


And of course, since it was an audio book that I listened to, I must mention Justine Eyre, the narrator of this fine novel. 

Take a listen and see if you don't think her voice is divine & perfectly matched to the story...

If you like historical fiction this book is for you. If you are interested in World War 1, Nazi Germany and early cinema this book is for you. If you like plot twists and beautiful language this book is for you. If you like to be entertained, well, this is the book for you!

I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think you will too.

Check your local library. That's where I got mine!

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 3, 2012

What makes someone love a book?

What makes a book review and what makes a book enjoyable or not enjoyable? I know what my opinions are.

I recently saw a review where someone rated Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen as one of their all time favorites. Now, I read the book and I enjoyed it. But as an all time favorite? I didn't think that was possible for anyone. I put off reading it for years because of the somewhat negative reviews of it. One of them said that Gruen knows how to write about the relationship between human and animal but not so much the relationships between people; that critque rings true in Water for Elephants.

And I just looked back through my blog to see if I'd reviewed and I noticed that I have not. Oh well. Here it is now. I thought the story was fun and intriguing; it kept you guessing. So overall it was quite good. However!!! I am fairly picky when it comes to my books and I did not come to love the characters. I didn't really miss them when I'd finished and I felt like they were sortof whiners and I hate whiners unless I'm supposed to hate them as characters and then I love it! The best part of this book was the ending, and I don't mean that it was the best because it was over, but it was just a very excellent ending to the story.

I guess it just surprised me that someone would claim it as a favorite of all time where for me it doesn't even come close.

It's a good thing we don't all have to agree! As my mother would say, that's why God made so many different kinds of people :) hah. Well go figure. And if you feel like this book sounds interesting to you, please read it. It was a very good story with a great plot. And not only that, but she researched elephants for the book. If you read the book go to the back and read the part where she talks about the research she did on these two real life elephants. Fascinating!

I always like to look into the research and inspiration behind a book. That always makes it better for me.

While I'm on the topic of favorite books of all time, I'll mention a few of my own just for good measure.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (which I have not yet reviewed on here)
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (which I have also  not reviewed)


and here are two Honorable Mentions that come in very close to being on my top top list of books...
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson - a new author with a very interesting voice. Great story.

A Long Way Gone; memoirs of a boy soldier - by Ishmael Beah ( I think every teen boy should read this book. It has easy language but it is a true story and the author is alive and telling his story today! Amazing!)

There are many many other books that I love dearly but they do not pop into my head right now, and I've also not written reviews about them. But rest assured, I shall review again! But that list of four right now has yet to be beat. Although I did like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn...

And by the way, if you're looking for a good book reviewer I do recommend Farmlanebooks. She is the one who loved Water for Elephants, but I still think she writes pretty good reviews overall. And she's got a lot more than me.....

What makes you really enjoy a book?

What books are are you list of all time favorites and WHY!?