Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Animal Welfare Reads for Weekly Geek

Weekly Geeks is an awesome blog for book lovers! Each week there is a different theme or prompt that invites anyone to participate--  and they're all fun and book-centric (like showing a picture of your bookshelves, or writing the alphabet using your favorite authors for each letter).

I've been waiting a few weeks for the right time to join up with Weekly Geeks, and this week's topic was irresistible for me! Here are the directions:

Choose a political or social issue that matters to you. Find several books addressing that issue; they don’t have to books you’ve read, just books you might like to read. Using images (of the book covers or whatever you feel illustrates your topic) present these books in your blog.

The social issues that matters most to me are the rights and welfare of non-human animals, all over the world: in the wild, in our farms, in our entertainment, in our homes. The following books are either books I have read, or are meaning to-

And directly linked with animal welfare, is the vegan movement, These are all books that I have enjoyed or want to incorporate into my recipe repertoire!

Planting a country herb garden (for my parents)

Step 1: Get a container (the older and rustier the better!)

Step 2: Fill it with dirt (this dirt is called 'Mendo Gold' oooooh...)

Step 3: Plant your favorite herbs (we chose cilantro, mint, basil, chives & parsley) 

Step 4: Enjoy!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy 10 by Ben

1.  It all starts with friends and family. I didn't just get here; I had help along the way. Kind of a vague and obvious thing but still important to start with it.

2. Public libraries. A public space for citizens to come and read, think, reflect, learn, and interact. There cannot be civilization without a public library.

3. Shared home-cooked meals. Hard to say which I like more: being cooked for by a loved one or doing the cooking with/for loved ones. The best is when there's a large party of friends and family being hosted and we're all helping out and pitching in for the meal. After all this bar exam stuff is over, hopefully I'll have more time for dinner parties.

4. Cartoons. Calvin and Hobbes. Peanuts. The Far Side. After a long, difficult day at law school it's nice to come home and just laugh.  Laughter is the best coping mechanism.

5. Reading. Goes with public libraries. The thinking, the reflecting, and the emotions involved---there's nothing like it!  Good ol' fashioned stories, a philosophical allegory, a book that tries to reflect the truth about the human condition---all these things expand the mind and the heart. Intelligence and empathy are the result.

6. Writing. Something I'm very new too and don't feel qualified to write about but here I go anyway. I love the freedom involved.  There's just me and the blank page. What comes is up to me.  No reason to hide. I gotta be honest with myself and with the world, and tell it like it is. What results is pure, free self expression.  This requires very careful contemplation, thinking, feeling, reflecting, and living.  After that, you gotta put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.  And then there's the jig-saw-puzzle-esque problem solving of how best to express those thoughts and feelings and reflections.  But the point is, as a writer, you are truly free to be yourself and figure things out for yourself. Go for it!

7. The Big Lebowski. The dude abides. That movie always lifts my spirits with a good laugh.

8. The Great Gatsby. That book always reminds me that there's poetry in all things, even in tragedy. You just have to know how to look for it.

9. Paper pads and pens. I like having those things with me so I can physically write down my thoughts as they come to me.

10. Love. Relates back to the first thing on my list but its also broader than that. Love between people, love for people, and love for what I do.

Thanks Ben, for sharing a wonderful list of happy things!  
If you want to share your Happy 10 list, read this post to find out how.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Soapbox Derby

Los Angeles is pretty different than most cities, in that the downtown area is not really the main heart of the city. On many Saturdays, downtown is something of a ghost town. The offices are closed which takes away 90% of the hustle and bustle. Lots of shops and cafes don't bother staying open. Sure, there are a few busy pockets here and there- like the public library (still very popular, so don't take away it's money!). And come nightfall, the hot restaurants and the best bars are terribly crowded. My point? You never see very many people hanging out for a day in downtown. Except last Saturday, when hundreds of thousands of people did just that.

Grand and 5th streets became the course for the Red Bull Soapbox Derby. Contestants built there fastest, most decorated soapbox cars and raced them down Bunker Hill. The even was energetic, loud, and a bit crazy, but lots of fun. I checked it out alone, since Matt had to go to work and I was a little overwhelmed. I mean, how to short people maneuver crowds at all? I am almost 6 feet tall and I felt like it would swallow me up! Regardless, once I found a good viewing point, I was thrilled and amazed to see what people will ride down a hill! Some of the cars were darling, and some a little bit raunchy. Most everyone involved dressed up in some amazing costume. I think next year I'll have to arrive early and stake out a good spot next to the railing so I can see better-- or maybe I'll have to try my hand at building and racing my own soapbox. Yes! I already have a theme in mind :)

Photos are from KROQ- my photos were pretty terrible, considering I was about 15 people deep from the action... next year I'll have to sweet talk my way onto the media platform!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Greta and her ball

Barbara Birds

Watching the birds at the refuge in Santa Barbara made me really happy. And the birds looked happy too, especially the fussy, hungry, little ducklings!

I took a little movie of these ducklings swimming and having a mid-day snack. It's about 90 seconds long, and not much happens, but the last 30 seconds or so cracks me up!

Breakfast with Blue Bird

A story told in photographs:

Thank you White Jasmine Inn, for a delicious breakfast. And thank you, Blue Bird, for delightful company!