Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I thought the Kite Runner was powerful, and so is this novel. A Thousand Splendid Suns focuses on the lives of women in Afghanistan and how they were impacted with each take over of the country in modern times. The novel ends hopeful as Afghanistan rebuilds after the Taliban is forced out of Kabul, but the war is still happening, and their latest election is speculated to be rigged. This story was very powerful to me, and makes me grateful to live in a nation that sees women as a partner, even though we have a ways to go in America. It is nothing like life under the Taliban. It also made me see what extreme religion and beliefs can do to a society. The Taliban is an example of religion gone bad. They see the words in the Koran, but they do not see God behind them. This is a good read, greatly recommended.

Since my last entry, life has changed quite dramatically. In a few weeks, I'll be back in Texas, living with friends and trying to find a teaching job and obtain my certification. After my dad lost his job last week, we can no longer afford to stay here, and the 9% unemployment rate is not helping us find jobs. Since I've been here in May, I've had one substitute job and maid $80. In 6 months I've made $80 bucks. It's just awful. Arizona is not the place to be right now. The news always reports that the economy is looking better in other parts of the country, but not here. I think that's our cue to get out.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Just don't know what to think!

My recent posts have been about books and films that I've seen, which is what I want this blog to focus on. However, I also want it to be a place for me to vent, or voice my opinion on things. Since my life has been relatively boring as of late, books and news events keep me entertained.

I awoke to news that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Although I voted for the guy and believe he will do good works, I asked myself, "Why did he win this award? What has he done?" Besides being the first African-American President of the free world, I don't get it. Bin Laden is still hiding somewhere in a cave, the 8th year anniversary of the war in Afghanistan just passed us and the outlook is still bleak, more soldiers are being sent to Iraq, Iran is making WMDs and won't admit it, North Korea is still a huge threat, and Darfur/Sudan/Congo are still a huge genocidal mess. So far, Obama has increased funding for stem cell research, for which I applaud him, but that's it. Maybe if he won this award after fulfilling his duties in four or eight years it would make sense. But now, it's anything but sensible.

I'm reading Scott Russell Sanders' "Hunting for Hope" and really finding it inspiring at this point in my life. I realize that I'm still young and can't know the answers to all of life's questions, but it's still weird to me how much people can change; morph into something that you have never seen before, nor saw coming. Maybe I'm still naive when it comes to love and loss of love, but it makes me sad to be on the losing end, still. However, the good thing about this change I've noticed is that I no longer can feel tied to that person, and the process of moving on is getting easier. I'm not there yet, but I know I'm in the right direction. Someone said, "You never really move on until you meet someone new." I think that's true, but I also know that I won't be able to forget my first love. Love is something truely special and amazing, and when you find something like that, it's hard to forget.

On a funny note, I remembered this afternoon that I had a dream last night about eating an entire bag of chocolate chips and it was AMAZING! Ha, at least I can indulge in my dreams if not in real life! :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"A Million Little Pieces" by James Frey

This book is intense. I don't really know the specifics of the controversy surrounding it besides the allegations that some of it was fabricated, but either way it is a powerful story. Stylistically, it fits the mood and tempo and insanity of the story very well, and it is a very quick read. I read the first 100 in pages in the first sitting alone, which is a big deal since I'm a slow reader. I must warn, though: this book is not for the faint of heart and discretion is strongly advised. However, I do not feel that the need for discretion took away from the book in any way. It is worth the read, and worth the thoughts about our brain and addiction and how we treat our bodies and our souls.

Speaking of bodies... I'm still training for the Race for the Cure that is now only a week away! I got my time down to 27 minutes, which means a 9 minute mile- I haven't done that in years! I hope this week with the cooler weather I can finish a little faster. 8 minutes a mile would be great, but I don't want to push it and get frustrated and give up, like I usually do. This is something I want to stick with!

I'm now starting to read "Hunting for Hope" by Scott Russell Sanders. My friend Jenna read it for a class at TLU and gave me an extra copy after she lost hers and bought a new one, then found her original one! She loved it, and Sanders actually spoke at TLU, so I'm finally getting around to reading this book.

Also on my "To Read" list: 1) Blue Like Jazz [I liked "Searching for God Knows What" so I'm going to check this one out, too] 2) The Lost Symbol [Dan Brown's new Robert Langdon saga] 3) and a few Jane Austen novels, since I loved "Anna Karenina", maybe I can finally start to like English drawing room novels. (I do like "Jane Eyre", though, just to clarify!)

When did 82 degrees feel so cool? The desert must be driving me crazy...