Saturday, July 28, 2012

Life of Pi Movie

Oh my gosh, they finally turned this book into a movie!  I first heard that it was a possibility years ago, but when nothing really came of it I figured that the idea had been pushed aside by other projects, but now it has a trailer.

I read the book many years ago when it first came out and I absolutely loved it.  I've read it three times and even used it for a research paper in college.  This is one of my all-time favorite books and I am so excited to see it turned into a movie.  I'm incredibly curious to see how the ending is handled.  If you don't know why, go read the book.  I can't recommend this book enough.  If you do pick it up, I realize that the beginning is slow, but stick with it because the second part of the book is absolutely amazing. 

Here's the trailer.  Check it out.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Clearly I Should Not be Left Alone

This weekend my husband went away for a guy's weekend.  His best friend is getting married in September and they're having his bachelor party.  While I wasn't really looking forward to a weekend spent alone at home, I didn't really think it would be too bad, but evidently I was wrong.

I woke up on Saturday feeling pretty good about being by myself for the weekend.  I decided to put food in the hummingbird feeder because it was empty again (they finish off our huge feeder just about every day).  For the first time ever it was actually an easy process.  That should have been a sign that something would go wrong.  I think I managed to pull the hanger off the hook because when I let go the whole thing crashed to the ground.  Somehow the glass survived the drop, but the plastic part is in a million pieces now.  In the process I also managed to get myself covered in sugar water as well.

Later I decided to drive into town to get a few things.  On the way home my air conditioner crapped out (which is so much fun when it's 95* outside), which it's been doing because I thought it just couldn't handle the giant mountain that my car has to climb to get home.  Then when I got home I looked at my dash to see that my car was majorly overheating.  Thank goodness I made it home because otherwise that would have been terrifying.

I know it could have been a lot worse, but it still sucks and none of these sorts of things happen when my husband is around.  Probably because I would have had him refill the hummingbird feeder and we would have taken our other vehicle to go shopping, but still.  I think he's just not allowed to leave me again.  Or maybe the next time he leaves I'm just going to lock myself in the house and hide.

Oh, I also had to kill my own spider and it was huge.  Finding that thing right before I went to bed was not good for me.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

This is Just Wrong

I was checking out Cupcakes Take the Cake this morning and searching for some yummy inspiration when I happened across their blog post on this baby. 

Photo from
Seriously?  This just seems way too lazy.  I will be the first to admit that I'm a bit of a cake snob and I prefer scratch cupcakes over anything from a box (and don't even get me started on canned frosting), but this just seems like absolutely no effort whatsoever.  "Just add water?"  Really?  What about eggs or oil?  What's that going to taste like if all of your fats (which are supposed to hold the cake together) are made from some sort of powder?

I can see the benefits if you have a last minute cupcake emergency, but in general it doesn't take very long to mix up a quick batch of cupcakes.  This reminds me of that pancake batter in the bottle.  That freaks me out too.  I just don't trust foods that are that easy to make.

Out of curiosity, if there's anyone out there who has actually tried this stuff I'd love to hear about how it worked and how it tasted.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Let's Pretend This Never Happened

I recently read Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, who you might also know as The Bloggess.  If you've ever read her blog you know that she is unbelievably funny and that holds true in her book.  I loved this book.  In fact, it might just be one of my new favorites. 

It's a collection of stories about some of the crazier things that have happened to her from asking people to identify their penises while working in HR to having wild animals around her house as a child.  Her stories will make you laugh out loud.  Because of that, I don't recommend reading the book in public unless you want to get a lot of looks.  As it was, I read it in my own house and my husband still looked at me like I was insane a few times.  Her book does include some not-so-funny parts, but she still manages to write them beautifully. 

The book also includes the story about how she got Beyonce the giant metal chicken, which is one of my favorites.  I read it when she posted it on her blog last year and laughed all over again as I read it in the book. 

If you need a good laugh, I highly recommend this book. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why I Hate Pop Culture

A few weeks ago, I saw this on Pinterest:

At first, I just laughed at the sentiment.  My husband and I have had the conversation many times about the difference in female characters (and male characters too, but we're focusing on females) in the awesome sci-fi shows we watch versus some of the more popular shows on television.  This pic has stayed with me over the last few weeks and it honestly makes me a bit sad now.

I will admit that I don't recognize the first three woman on the geek culture row (I'll get there, I'm sure, but there's only so much tv we can watch in a day), but the last two are both well-known to me as they come from two of my favorite shows.  Those two woman are great role-models for young girls.  Both of them manage to be completely brilliant while managing to also be kind, beautiful, and just generally good people.  They are not sexualized, despite the fact that they are gorgeous.

The women in the top row are largely famous for doing nothing more than exposing themselves to the public and allowing their stupid decisions to be broadcast to the entire world and yet I'd be willing to bet that most people could identify more people from the top row than from the bottom. 

I think about my four-year-old niece and the types of female characters she will grow up with and likely idolize as many children do.  She will see these women and perhaps think it's normal to show off her body to everyone or spend all of her time partying.  I wouldn't have a problem with it if these women were also intelligent and were showing off their bodies while also explaining astrophysics.  I think Jeri Ryan's Voyager character, Seven of Nine, shows that it can be done.  And certainly the women in the geek culture line-up also happen to be gorgeous.  I mean, Terry Ferrell used to be a model and Amanda Tapping, at 46, still looks stunning, but the characters (and in every case I've seen so far, the actors as well) are very intelligent women who don't use their looks to get what they want.  I think those are the types of role models little girls need (and little boys as well).  This idea that being stupid is fun or funny and that being intelligent is only for losers needs to change.  It's not science fiction to think that women can be both beautiful and smart and I'd like to see some better role models for my future children.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ape House

I recently finished reading Ape House by Sara Gruen.  I picked it because Gruen wrote Water for Elephants, which I loved.  I enjoyed this book, but not as much as her first novel.  Ape House is about Isabel Duncan, a researcher who works with a group of bonobos.  When there is a bombing at the lab where she works and the bonobos live, she must work to figure out where they are and get them back.  She turns to a reporter named John Thigpen for help. 

The book is interesting, but it seemed like there should have been more to it.  The book seems like it's missing something.  I think part of that might be because there seems to be foreshadowing of certain events that never actually happen. 

Outside of that, the book is interesting.  Gruen seems to do a decent amount of research for her books and it shows in this one.  She clearly researched both sign language (which wasn't entirely necessary, though it did make it more interesting for me) and bonobos. 

The writing is wonderful and flows really well.  It was easy to get lost in the book and suddenly look up to realize I'd read nearly half the book.  While this book wasn't as wonderful as Water for Elephants, it was definitely worth the read and I look forward to more books by Gruen. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

I hope everyone out there has a fun and safe 4th of July!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Forgotten Books

In creating the list of books I've read (which you can find here), I realized that I left a few books out.  I read all of them while I was recovering from surgery so I'm not all that surprised that they were passed over.  It has nothing to do with how much I enjoyed them, though.

First I read Just a Geek by Wil Wheaton.  It was a Christmas gift from my husband and, while I started it on Christmas Eve, I quickly stopped.  I realized that I was going to fly through it because of how easily the book flowed so I decided to save it for my recovery.  I loved it.  It's Wheaton's story of how he created a new career for himself by writing and also about learning to be honest with himself and with the fans who read his blog.

He uses a lot of his old blog posts to illustrate not only his thoughts and feelings at the time the posts were written, but to show the evolution of his writing style and his story-telling abilities (which are fantastic, by the way).  I'd recommend any of his books.

Secondly (and thirdly, and fourthly), I read the Tenebrea trilogy by Roxann Dawson and Daniel Graham.  Dawson is well-known for her role as B'Elanna Torres on Star Trek: Voyager.  She was one of my favorite characters on the show and I loved the episodes she directed so I decided to give the first book, Entering Tenebrea a shot.  I figured that if it was awful I didn't need to buy the other two books.  I ended up ordering Tenebrea's Hope and Tenebrea Rising when I was only about half-way through the first book.  I knew that I wouldn't want to wait to see what happened to the characters.

The story is about a young woman named Andrea who witnesses the murder of her husband and daughter.  She is taken in by an alien named Hal K'Rin who trains her to be part of his personal army called the Tenebrea.  Under his command she infiltrates a planet of humans who manufacture clones and ends up helping with a clone rebellion.

These books are so well-written.  They move quickly and have very vivid descriptions as well as great characters and an intriguing plot.  There are more than enough twists and turns to keep you occupied.  I rarely say this, but I would read these books again.  I can only say that about a handful of books that I've read so it really means something.  If you have any interest in science-fiction at all you should read them.  Even for the non sci-fi fan I think these books would still be enjoyable.