Thursday, February 28, 2008

Book Review: Water for Elephants

"Water for elephants" refers to the job of carrying water for elephants in the circus. We find out right away that this was never actually a job, because that much water would be way too heavy to carry...

This book charmed my socks off. We learn about life in the circus during the Depression-era through the eyes and memories of Jacob Jankowski. He's a spunky resident in a nursing home, and the book alternates back and forth from his current life as an old man losing his independence, to when he joined the circus as a young man.

The circus-life is filled with drama, romance and lots of interesting characters...and of course, Rosie the elephant.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

a 150 pound baby giraffe...

was born at the San Francisco Zoo today!



Finally some good news from the zoo. Perhaps it will overcome it's tiger troubles?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Movie Review: Fast Food Nation

I admit it, I didn't read the book Fast Food Nation. It was definitely on my list of books to read, I just never got around to it.

So when the movie came out, I figured I'd just watch it rather than read it.

I almost fell asleep the first half of the movie. The actors are certainly not going to win any awards. The dialogue is dry, and the script sounds as if they just ripped a page out of the book and read it. It's too bad that boredom sinks in, because the message of the movie is powerful. The meat industry is looked at from the perspective of a Burger King-like franchise that finds poop in the meat (ack!), and from a group of Mexicans who cross the border illegally looking for work. And the best work they can find---of course, is in the meat-packing industry.

There are many gross-out scenes of workers standing in assembly lines cutting up sections of cow carcass to be served as food. But the movie saves the best for last---the final scene is of cows being herded to their death (a gun to their head). Death doesn't happen quick. The de-skinning of the cows and the chopping off of their limbs is so heartbreaking and gruesome and vomit-inducing, I couldn't get the scene out of my head for days. And I felt equally bad for the workers who have to witness this every day, and are certainly traumatized.

I was a vegetarian for about 6 years, and haven't eaten red meat in a very long time. Due to health reasons, a couple of years ago I started eating chicken and eggs again. The extra protein definitely helped my health and my overall energy. I certainly don't plan on going back to red meat though. I know everyone has strong views on being veggie or non-veggie, and I don't judge people on their choices. But do check out the movie, or read the book, so that you're educating yourself and making choices based on information.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Another tiger escapes!

This time in Honolulu, Hawaii.


It really can be a pain in the butt to remember to lock those pesky doors...

If you don't recall, a tiger escaped from the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Spring is here...

My daffodils have given birth!





Oh, and I got another hummingbird feeder. I like the little guys. They get very territorial when they're feeding, so I put the new one at the other end of the yard.



Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Book Review: In Defense of Food

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, has done it again! For a review of his first book, click here.

In his second book about how to eat, he keeps it simple with the motto: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." He talks about how processed our diet has become, and how adding vitamins to processed food is simply not the same as eating nutritiously. 17,000 new food-like products hit the shelves every year, and we get further and further away from real food. In comparing diets from around the world, the Western diet is simply killing us. We're fatter than other countries, with higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

This book is a quick read, and I definitely recommend it. I went out and bought two cookbooks after I read it, and I'm more inspired than ever to eat healthy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Book Review: Prep

My friend recommended this book to me, about a wealthy and prestigious prep school. It's told through the eyes of a student who's there on scholarship and never really fits in. We follow the main character, Lee, from her freshman to senior year, and are often in her head. A typical teenager, she often says and does the opposite of what she is thinking---it's teen angst at it's worse!

This book can be slow and tedious at points, but I was intrigued enough by Lee to want to keep reading and see what happens to her. It's interesting to see what high school kids are up to these days...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love Rat



A love rat.

For Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Farrah Fawcett



This is Farrah's head.

Farrah came into my life in 1999.

We're going on 9 years!



Farrah is looking better than ever.

She is currently perched atop my TV.

I used to have her in my office, but I think she frightened some people away.

When I bought her, I bought two other heads and gave them to two friends.

I like to think of Farrah heads randomly farrah-ing throughout the world.

I love my Farrah head.

Don't you wish you had one, too?

Monday, February 11, 2008

knitting, part II

I've made some progress on my hat.



When it's done, it will roll up at the bottom, hence the roll.

It took me about 2 hours to knit about 2 inches.

This is a great photo, because you can't see all the holes:)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

knitting

So, I'm taking a knitting class.

Learning how to knit is not easy.

Here's my first attempt:



Not bad, huh?

Here's my second attempt:



We had to knit and purl. If you don't know what that means, clearly I don't either.

And now we're attempting to knit a hat. Here's what I have so far:



I thought knitting would be a fun hobby to take up. So far it has not been fun.

Stay tuned for the finished product.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Red Cap Cards



I love these silly but cute cards. You can find them at http://redcapcards.com/.

There's even a little lamb card:

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Garden update

We've been getting a lot of rain, but spring is just around the corner. My daffodil bulbs are coming up.






Other flowers are getting ready to bloom:


And here's my new backyard Buddha, presiding over the scene: