Thursday, March 26, 2009

Map of Me Last Night

I'm using this idea from Cuileann

This is a map of me last night:

Eyes: closed, stressed

Hair: wet, tangled, relaxed

Feet: exhausted, bare, cold

Thoughts: where is my Agatha Christie?

Want to play?

What points would you plot to locate yourself, to map a moment? [Feel free to use points different from mine, e.g. toes, eyelids, notebook, et cetera...]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bookshelf Meme

The rules:

1. Tag 3-5 people, so the fun keeps going!

2. Leave a comment at the original post at A Striped Armchair, so that Eva can collect everyone's answers.

3. If you leave a comment and link back to Eva as the meme's creator, she will enter you in a book giveaway contest! She has a whole shelf devoted to giveaway books that you’ll be able to choose from, or a bookmooch point if you prefer.

4. Remember that this is all about enjoying books as physical objects, so feel free to describe the exact book you’re talking about, down to that warping from being dropped in the bath water...

5. Make the meme more fun with visuals! Covers of the specific edition you're talking about, photos of your bookshelves, etc.

I was tagged by my sista, Marie at Fireside Musings, but everyone I would have tagged she already tagged, so if you were tagged by her, then I tag you too! But that does not mean you have to do it again or anything, just that we tag you together.

I had to rearrange my bookshelf for this one. After a while, all the books get pushed to the back and you cannot see them. Also, I had an *(ahem)* obsession with a series that took up over half of my bookshelf. Removing those books left more room to put more of my favorite books. All I needed was a little update and I am good to go.

The No-Longer-Messy Bookshelf:

Just for fun: (left to right) *school requirement **not read yet

-The invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
-Farewell to Manzanar, by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston*
-The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, by Sean Covey*
-The Children's Homer*
-The Cat that was Left Behind, by C.S. Adler**
-Webster's Dictionary
-The Secret of Chimneys, by Agatha Christie**
-Warriors: Sunset, by Erin Hunter
-The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom
-The Star of Kazan, by Eva Ibbotson
-White Fang, by Jack London**
-The Wright 3, by Blue Balliett**
-Bound, by Donna Jo Napoli*
-The Seven Dials Mystery, by Agatha Christie**
-The Starbucks Experience, by Joseph A. Michelli
-Warriors: Dark River, by Erin Hunter

Well here goes the meme...

Tell me about the book that has been on your shelf the longest:

The Cat that was Left Behind has been there the longest. It has been opened and re-opened for a while now, and It sitting there just because of it's beautiful cover. Though it is a little worn out faded (I bought it used), I love it because it reminds me of myself. Just what I would do, I thought, when I picked it up at the library sale. For $1, I thought I would try it out. I adore cats, and I love reading about them, so I was excited about this one. I hope to read it all the way through sometime soon, but until then, it is staying on my bookshelf.

Tell me about a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (i.e. a person, a place, a time, etc.)... :

Farewell to Manzanar is my pick for this one. It reminds me of the summer on the lake. Since it was a requirement for school, I had to read it before the year started. This was my Freshman year, I believe... When we got to the lake house that we were staying in, I never thought I would get to this book. I had so much on my mind then, that I did not want to think about reading, I just wanted to swim. But after all the swimming was over one day, and the showers were finished, I was not allowed back into the water. It was that warm night, that I dared take it out and step onto the dock to read. I have to say that it was intriguing. A very nice pick for the English department that my school has.

Tell me about a book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used book store, prize, etc.)...

This book is not on my bookshelf, but others in the series are. Not to long ago I mentioned a series that I had to take out of my book shelf. Well, speaking of the devil, this is it. Warriors: Fire and Ice is the first one in the series, and I got it from my friend, Christy. The author (who is actually three authors, with one name), Erin Hunter was visiting her school, and she got me one of their books from the series. I did not read it for a while, but then I found out that another friend of mine was reading them too. That was when I picked it up for the first time, and I loved it. There are about 14 more books to the series now, of which I have read likely 12. I stopped when everyone around me was annoyed by my obsession. But I still have my favorites, and I re-read them every once in a while.

Tell me about the most recent addition to your shelves...

The two Agatha Christie books that I have are the most recent. They are not mine, they are from the library, but I have them currently, and am about one quarter of the way through The Secret of Chimneys. I cannot wait until I finish it, and start on the second one. Not to mention they are due in a week. :]

Tell me about a book that has been with you to the most places...
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is the one that has been with me to the most places. I never sat down to read it, I just carried it around so if I had a spare moment or two I would crack its pages and turn a few. As you have probably heard, it is a very fast book, even though it has 500+ pages. So, it did not take too terribly long to finish, but a very good book overall.

Tell me about a bonus book that doesn't fit any of the above questions...

Oh, yes! The Webster's Dictionary. How boring. But its there just because I need it sometimes. Like who knows the meaning of
hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (the fear of long words)? Ha. Even spell check didn't know that one. :]

Thanks for holding on through this extensive meme. And if you do have
hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, good luck to you. ;]

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dictionary Days - B for Baal

Not only did I grab the dictionary off the shelf to look up the Webster's definition, I also grabbed my bible off my desk. The story of Elijah vs. the worshipers of Baal is actually my second favorite bible story, right behind the talking donkey. The picture below is one of many interpretations of Baal. But first of all, Webster's Dictionary:

n. a false deity

Short and sweet, it means it is a fake god. And why? It is because of the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel, and this amazing story:

Elijah on Mount Carmel

1 Kings 18:25-39

25. Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire."
26. So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
27. At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened."
28. So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.
29. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time fof the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
30. Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the alter of the LORD, which was in ruins.
31. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, "Your name shall be Israel."
32. With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs *approx. 13 quarts* of seed.
33. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood."
34. "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time.
35. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36. At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Issac and Israel, let it be known today that you are the God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.
37. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts bakc again."
38. Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39. When the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD-he is God! The LORD-he is God!"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

For the second time this year I am wondering why people make such a big deal out of Friday the 13th. Everyone says it is bad luck and all that, but is it really? For me, the day is not unlucky at all, but rather, it is completely normal. Or even possibly filled with good luck. But I cannot drag my mind far back enough to remember a Friday the 13th that was ever unlucky for me. Just by saying the 13th is unlucky makes me want to have a lucky day just to prove that wrong.

But I wanted to find out why it was considered unlucky, and I found out that it was not because of the number 13, but because of the number 12.

Twelve is considered to be completeness. Here are some reasons why:
  • 12 months of the year
  • 12 signs of the zodiac
  • 12 hours in a clock
  • 12 tribes of Israel
  • 12 Apostles of Jesus and
  • 12 gods of Olympus
And the only reason why 13 was considered to be unlucky was because it was irregular and right after 12, the lucky number.

Just to show that people are overall pessimists. They should stress Friday the 12th as the lucky day, and not emphasize the 13th as the unlucky day. But that is just my perspective.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

~The Star of Kazan~

-by Eva Ibbotson

Received as a graduation present, (8th grade) I made up my mind to read the charmingly covered book as quickly as I could manage myself to read. But a 405 paged hardcover is not an easy task to handle "quickly". I had to take it slow. Something I loath. But it was worth it.

The book was hard to get into, and I had put it down for good one time because I had become disinterested. About a year later it fell into my hands again as I was looking for a good book. I read it from the beginning again, and it was wonderful.

I didn't remember all the detail that was inside when I picked it up again for the second time, but I was immediately engrossed. It is packed with the nitty-gritty details that I have fallen in love with.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dictionary Days - A for Aardvark

Okay, this is how it goes. I love reading about things that no one ever thinks about and are really random. You know, trivia question topics. So every other Friday I am going to have a dictionary day. I will take the first noun of the letter of that week. I will start with A the first week, then move on to B the next. Once I get to Z, I will go back to A and choose the 2nd noun. This way, it is not a lot of A's, and i never get to any of the other letters, let alone B. I mean, do you KNOW how many A-nouns there are? Any way, to start off with, since A is first, the topic will be... Aardvark! I know, what an awkward way to start this off, but it was first noun, and I just couldn't bear to skip it.

To start off, a brief summary of an aardvark that I took from the Webster's Dictionary:

n. animal resembling the ant-eater, found in parts of Africa

As I was looking for pictures to put up, I realized how ugly they actually were. In the cartoons that you always see aardvarks in, you cannot tell, but in real life pictures they are not at all like the typical pet.

Aardvarks are very interesting even though they are not that appealing, because they are so unique. They are nocturnal animals, and in some places are called "earth pigs", even though they are not related to them at all. Actually, elephants are more closely related to them than pigs.

The most common characteristic of an aardvark is its teeth. Instead of growing more developed teeth as they grow up as humans, and mostly other animals do, they are born with canines and then lose them only to get replaced with cheek teeth as an adult.

The aardvark's appearance is what makes it different. It has an arched back covered with coarse hairs. Their front feet unfortunately do not have any thumbs. Their back feet got spared
the humiliation and have a full count of five toes. Each toe has a flat nail that acts like a shovel and is "classified" between a claw and a hoof. Their ears are long and they have thick tails at the base and eventually tapering to the tip. A long snout, nostrils, and their small mouth with a tongue that helps their sense of smell are mounted on their short neck which makes up the head. Aardvarks are actually a yellowish-gray, but the soil stains their thin tough coat to a more common reddish-brown.

Shortly after sunset, aardvarks leave their home and go in search of food. They swing their long snout from side to side trying to pick up a scent of any ants or termites. Then they dig into the ground and lick up the insects with its sticky tongue. Any bites from termites or stings from the ants do not hurt the aardvark in its quest for food. Their tough tongue prevents any injuries. Awfully fast they dig, but overall, aardvarks are very slow movers. Ants and termites are the main course for this animal, but aardvarks also eat a fruit called the aardvark cucumber, which is pictured on the left.

Moving from place to place is slow going, but the aardvark is not satisfied easily with its home. On a regular basis, they move out of their burrow and make a new one to accommodate their eating habits.