16 April 2010

the best books

A thought for today-the importance of reading good literature. Yes. I'm an English major. What can I say?

"It is only through literature that one can put oneself in someone else's shoes and understand the other's different and contradictory sides and refrain from becoming too ruthless. Outside the sphere of literature only one aspect of individuals is revealed."
-Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran

"I choose to write about my experience not because it is mine, but because it seems to me a door through which others might pass. . . I want to speak directly out of my own life into the lives of others"

- Scott Russell Sanders, "The Singular First Person"

As the summer is fast approaching, I am starting to get excited to have a bit more time for personal reading. If anyone has suggestions for me, PLEASE tell! I'm always excited to hear what other people are reading!

A few suggestions from me to you:
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
Solar Storms by Linda Hogan
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Hunting for Hope by Scott Russell Sanders
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones
Paradise by Toni Morrison
By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
The Kite Runner (and) A Thousand Splendid Suns byKhaled Hosseini

“seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom”
Doctrine and Covenants 88:118

15 April 2010

lovely . . . dreams


The sun was shining
The birds were chirping
The flowers were blossoming on the trees
and filling the air with the sweet sent

It was glorious.

It was also FINALS.

Sometimes I'm not a fan of irony.

photos fromweheartit

14 April 2010


There is a reason I don't watch TV. . .

It has to do with the fact that I don't want to be obsessed...
and it is oh so easy to get caught up. At least for me.

Last night we watched "Glee" in my apartment. And I liked it. And the music was quite good. But then...

Today I found myself wondering what was going to happen to Rachel, and if she would figure out that this evil James kid was a lying jerk, and if she would date this other boy Finn (I think that's his name).

I was actually worried about a fictional character on TV.

I am not okay with this. I love to be enveloped by stories--that is one of the joys of reading good literature. But TV is different-

it pulls you in and then. . .
you are a slave to its time schedule
and you buy the seasons
and watch them over and over
and then your brain turns to mush!

I've seen it happen to too many people to fall for that trap!

ok. ok. that may be a slight exaggeration, but I still don't want to get sucked into the world of TV series. I escaped it after two seasons of "The Office" and I will escape "Glee" too. The truth is, I just don't have the time. There are just too many other things I want to do!

08 April 2010

The advantages of an onion

A delicious addition to spaghetti sauce
or quesadillas, fajitas and stir fry.
An essential for soups and stews.
Quite useful for feigning emotion
or bringing an entire room to tears
or perhaps blinding an enemy--you never know when that might come in handy.

For some reason I had the sudden urge to buy an onion today. They just seem so practical and delicious! Seriously!

It has been years since I have really cared much for onions, but there was a phase in my life when I ate them all the time. I loved to put onion on sandwiches and in salads. I habitually cooked onions and ate them with almost any meal--I especially loved onions cooked with zucchini (my very favorite veggie!). But then onions lost their appeal. Suddenly they seemed too strong; too potent and harsh. My delicate palate could only handle them in small doses hidden amongst other foods. Then I came to college and started buying food for myself, but dear old onion never made it into the cart. And slowly, he was forgotten.

But that is about to change. On my next trip to the store the onion will have a place of honor in the front of the cart. I have great plans for this pungent friend--oh the miraculous meals that I will make! I am so very glad to have my eyes opened once again to the advantages of this oft misunderstood root.

In honor of this joyous occasion I shall share with you a poem I read a few years that speaks of this dear vegetable in much more elegant words I can summon. . .

by William Matthews

How easily happiness begins by
dicing onions. A lump of sweet butter
slithers and swirls across the flow
of the sauté pan, especially if its
errant path crosses a tiny stick
of olive oil. Then a tumble of onions.

This could mean soup or risotto
or chutney (from the Sanskrit
chatni, to lick). Slowly the onions
go limp and then nacreous
and then what cookbooks call clear,
though if they were eyes you could see

clearly the cataracts in them.
It's true it can make you weep
to peel them, to unfurl and to tease
from the taut ball first the brittle,
caramel-colored and decrepit
papery outside layer, the least

recent and reticent onion
wrapped around its growing body,
for there's nothing to an onion
but skin, and it's true you can go on
weeping as you go on in, through
the moist middle skins, the sweetest

and thickest, and you can go on
in to the core, to the bud-like,
acrid, fibrous skins densely
clustered there, stalky and in-
complete, and these are the most
pungent, like the nuggets of nightmare

and rage and murmury animal
comfort that infant humans secrete.
This is the best domestic perfume.
You sit down to eat with a rumor
of onions still on your twice-washed
hands and lift to your mouth a hint

of a story about loam and usual
endurance. It's there when you clean up
and rinse the wine glasses and make
a joke, and you leave the minutest
whiff of it on the light switch,
later, when you climb the stairs.

"Onions" by William Matthews cited from The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry Second Edition edited by J.D. McClatchy (2003). Vintage Books: New York. Pages 491-492.

07 April 2010

More Mason. . .

"Ballad For My One True Love"

Sleeping in a cherry tree
High above a monastery
Where the bells are ringing slow
To say farewell when hours go
And all the while I'm dreaming of
The ballad for my one true love
Searching for the perfect way to say
I love you
Sweetheart, this is my dream come true
And god bless the babies that sleep in you
God bless the babies that sleep in you

Sleeping in a motel room
Underneath a silver moon
With the windows open wide
I can hear the stars go by
And all the while I 'm dreaming of
The ballad for my one true love
Searching for the perfect way to say

I love you Sweetheart, this is my dream come true
And god bless the babies that sleep in you

God bless the babies that sleep in you

Beautiful. This song makes my soul so so joyful!

06 April 2010

oh the distractions...

Don't you just LOVE "That Thing You Do"? Here's a little taste...

I'm pretty sure I've been in love with Guy Patterson and wanted to be Faye since the first time I saw this movie! I can't help it! Here are a couple great scenes...


And for those of you who, like me, are getting a little bogged down with the end of the semester and finals prep, I hope this abbreviated version is just enough to lift your spirits so you can hit those books with a smile. Or at least it gave you an excuse to procrastinate, right?

sometimes i'm a hippie

which might be why I love this song so much!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

05 April 2010

News in the blogosphere...

So, news to me, there are actually things called Blog Awards, and the charming Bree kindly introduced me to this concept with the Purple Fairy Award. As she passed it on to me I'd like to spread the love to just a couple of my favorite blogs as well...

Sweat, Tears, or the Sea
always a source of inspiration in writing and in life

all you need is love
who wouldn't love the spunk and cleverness of this fine woman
and I know she already received this award, but I think she can have another)

que sera, sera
always full of lovely thoughts and photos

Sentiments and Dreams
here is the evidence of beautiful soul

the rest is still unwritten
this gal is just a genius (plus she is a great runner!)

I should be deserving to be to mars
this brilliant woman is hilarious and an incredible writer

To all of my Purple Fairy award winners--thanks for writing great blogs that I love to read! Keep up the good work :)

02 April 2010

the tree with the lights in it

Last winter I went to an Ansel Adams photography exhibit in the Tucson Museum of Art.

This lovely photograph, "Aspens," recalled for me the glory of Annie Dillard's essay "Seeing." I'd like to share the joy with you...

I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance. The flood of fire abated, but I'm still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells unflamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck. . . The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam.

photo complements of AnselAdams.com
For more of Annie Dillard, read her essay 'Seeing' or the book it is also part of,
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (among others).

01 April 2010

make you feel my love

love LOVE LOVE this song!

Though storms are raging on the rollin' sea
And on the highway of regrets
Though winds of change are throwing wild and free
You ain't seen nothin' like me yet.

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the Earth for you
To make you feel my love.