Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's in your bag?


Lost Boy and I did some collaging a while back.

It was hard to find stuff I really actually carry.
I did get some good stuff though:

LG Chocolate
Books
Chapstick
To Do Lists
Girl Gear
Keys...


So, what's in your bag?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Learning from the scriptures

One of the ways I like to study my scriptures is by photocopying a topic from the Topical Guide then systematically looking up the scriptures listed and pondering them. I did this with "Faith" before I served a mission and now I am working on "Forgiveness."

Reading scriptures like this brings some things into focus for me because I'm staying on one subject and reading about it in different contexts. Sometimes the verses all seem to say the same thing and after a while I finally get the message in a way I never would have if I hadn't read them all together. Sometimes I find things that aren't exactly related to the subject I'm studying, but enrich my testimony anyway.


I wanted to share a little gem I found in Psalms today. If you look really close at my photo copy you can see a little star next to Psalms 103:3.

In Psalms 103 King David is talking about the Lord's "benefits". I think he means the benefits the Lord gives to us.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; (Psalms 103:2-4)
What does the Lord do for us? He forgiveth, healeth, redeemeth, and crowneth. I have a richer comprehension of these words now than I did when I was younger. I can't find a word big enough, lovely enough, or profound enough to express the feeling and comfort these words in this contex give me. I almost have an inkling of what David meant when he said "My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning..." (Psalms 130:6)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jazz by Walter Dean Myers

I recently read a children's book called Jazz by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Christopher Myers. It is a collection of poems about jazz. It has a great glossary of jazz terms and a brief history of jazz in the back. I think it's a great introduction to jazz for the newbie, but it also has something to offer the more experienced jazz listener/musician.

Here is my favorite poem from the book:
Session I

Bass thumping like death gone happy
Souls dancing in 2/4 time
Lady leans against the upright
Breathing sounds and tasting the rhyme
Of her song

A shaved reed tongue is crying
In the blood dark studio
Drums add bark and grumble
As a trumpet blares something rude
"Let's get it on."

It's a field-holler melody
Dressed in a three-piece suit
A lifetime of could-have-beens
Sliding throught a silver flute
It's our song

I really like the alliteration, the imagery, the three-piece suit, and the flute.

ISBN: 0-8234-1545-7

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Standard Hero Behavior and the little decisions

I recently read Standard Hero Behavior by John David Anderson and particularly enjoyed the following quote.
"In the bards' songs, everything was pretty clear-cut, almost predestined. The heroes rode out of the gates determined and rode back in victorious. Motives were clear: good and evil, right and wrong. Heroes didn't sell boots. Swordsmen didn't take naps. Bullies didn't wear dresses. There was no such thing as a shortcut. It almost seemed as if there was no such thing as a choice. There was SHB*, and everybody stuck to it.
"Outside of the songs, however, there were decisions, which were irritatingly always accompanied by consequences."
(pg139)
At this point in the story, Mason and his friend Cowel have encountered a retired-hero-turned-shoemaker, a narcoleptic swordsman, and a cross-dressing giant. The boys have not had much success on their quest so far and are feeling a little frustrated. I felt impressed with the depth of their complaint. While the clear motives exist, life doesn't often hand us clear decisions or answers. The little in-between choices that make up our minute-to-minute existence are the building blocks of our characters and dictate the success of our quest,

...whatever it may be.


*Standard Hero Behavior

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Graceling

Graceling Graceling by Kristin Cashore

My review


I loved the story up until the two protagonists discuss the possibility of marriage and decide not to make the commitment, settling on becoming lovers with no long term commitment.

Early in the story the female protagonist gains the strength to be true to herself and to stand up for herself. I liked the model this gives young women. However, when the protagonist discovers intense fears about marriage and the complete commitment it requires and chooses to settle for a less demanding intimate relationship I was seriously disappointed. The feelings the protagonist feels are real and many young women will probably feel them, but the reward for facing those fears evaporates in this story, as does the potential and substance for the symbol and meaning of a ring that influences the plot toward the end of the book.

Book description from Goodreads
"Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight; she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.
She never expects to fall in love [...] She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace--or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away. . .a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone."


View all my Goodreads reviews.

The Little Red Fish

The Little Red Fish The Little Red Fish by Taeeun Yoo

Book description from Goodreads:
"A little boy enters a library with his grandfather and his little red fish at his side. But when he awakes after falling asleep amidst the library shelves, his fish is missing."

My review

The story is sparse, leaving lots of room to tell your own story about what is happening in the pictures. Lovely book.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

the Unwilling Pearl

"She felt like a fool, let loose, however involuntarily, in a highly organized community which now wished to organize her too: like the grain of sand that gets into an oyster's shell. What if the grain doesn't want to become a pearl? Is it ever asked to climb out quietly and take up its old position as a bit of ocean floor?"

-- Harry Crewe

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, pg 83


Sometimes I don't think I want to be made into a pearl either. Sometimes I just want to be left alone to the quiet rambling thoughts in my head and I don't want to have to be responsible or participate with the world. But when you compare the grain of sand to the pearl, which one is more interesting? Sand may look interesting under a microscope, but a pearl has more of a story to tell. The beauty and rarity of the pearl compared to the grain of sand is incomparable. The sand may be contented to have been left alone, but the pearl's joy is fuller.

As I become a "grown up" I struggle with whatever it is that makes us into pearls. I want to be a lovely, white haired old lady with interesting stories and a sound understanding of humanity and life, but I don't like getting my little grain of sand rubbed so hard sometimes. I know if I get out of the oyster I'll never become who I want to be, so I make an effort to engage. After all, Harry Crewe became Harimad-Sol who was more than she ever thought she would be.

Do you sometimes feel like a grain of sand? Do you see the pearl you can become?

Social Media Deposits vs. Withdrawals

I saw this tweet via @stargardener and have been learning that this is the case on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs.

"RT @WorkingArtMedia: @MackCollier Think of Social media like a savings account, you have to make deposits before you try to make withdrawals"

I think deposits are things like
  • commenting on someone's status, photo, post, or tweet
  • liking (FB) or retweeting (twitter) things
I think withdrawals are things like:
  • advertising your product or a sale
  • asking for a response (E.g. asking a question, asking someone to click on a link, or asking a reader do an action from clicking to spending money that they wouldn't do if you hadn't asked)
What kinds of actions do you think count as "deposits?"

What kind of actions do you think count as "withdrawals?"

YMCA e-Waste Fundraiser

My nine year old upstairs neighbor is participating in a fundraiser with his YMCA. Their goal is to send kids to jujitsu Summer Camp. When I found out what they were doing for their fundraiser I nearly burst out of my skin with excitement. They are doing a free e-waste collection! I have a box of electronic stuff that just doesn't work anymore. I can't take it to DI or Goodwill, but I haven't figured out where to recycle e-waste or how much it costs. Then, my neighbor knocks on my door and tells me all I have to do is give it to her (the mom) and she'll take it the YMCA. Hallelujah!!!

If you live in the Sac area I encourage you to take advantage of this de-junking opportunity!

Here's the info:

Free E-Waste Drop-Off
Saturday July 11th
9 AM to 1 PM
Northeast YMCA Parking Lot
3127 Eastern Ave
For more info call the YMCA at916-483-6426

They are accepting:
Monitors, TVs, Computers, Laptops, VCRs, Stereos, Speakers, Keyboards, PDAs, Cameras, Telephones, Cell Phones, Printers, Copiers, Scanners, Fax Machines, etc

For your security, all hard drives will be shredded by CEAR Inc. at their secure facility. Visit www.cearinc.com

The are not accepting:
Large appliances (washers, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc), Furniture, Hazardous household waste