Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I read a lot. I find it relaxing to “fall into” a good story and forget about all the stress in my life. Occasionally, a great movie will have the same effect. Commercials during television programs prove to be distracting and I start to fret again. Thus, I am a regular patron at the local library.

Since unlocking the mystery of letters strung together and their meaning, I have enjoyed reading. It was difficult because I have mild dyslexia which turns and jumbles letters. Plus, learning was hindered by the application of the ITA Reading System instituted in first grade. It relied on phonetics, so I memorize the phonetic spelling and it still trips me up all these years later. After one year of abysmal test results, our school district dropped this confusing system. My mom dedicated numerous hours of flashcards with me until my brain was able to understand. I can read very well but it is difficult to spell at times. Thank goodness for spelling and grammar checking computer programs. I usually think about ten words ahead of what I can articulate, which is bad for speaking too.

Here are a few of the books that I have read this year. Their ranking is behind the name.
“Water for Elephants” four and half stars; written by Sara Gruen
“Their Eyes Were Watching God” four stars; created by Zora Hurston
“Half Life” four stars; authored by Roopa Farooki
“The Help” three and a half stars; composed by Kathryn Stockett (I hope she writes an autobiography.)
“Baking Cakes in Kigali” three stars; developed by Gaile Parkin
“Aloha Quilt Camp” two stars; quite predictable
“Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch” one star; profoundly predictable
Five stars is the highest ranking. I recommend reading those books that are three stars and more.

One of the perks of unemployment is the time to read. There are several other books that I started but did not hold my attention (less than one star). I can usually finish reading a book in a day or two. I sit on the porch with the new kitten, Tillie, and keep her from chewing on its pages.

I heard that the movie of Elephants is in production. I was disappointed that the stars are much older than the characters in the book. The youth of the characters is a key element of how well the story works. It is better when the movie echoes the brilliance of the book, like “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
© 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Show that you support in the First Amendment of the United States of America and purchase a Koran, which can also be spelled Quaran. Read it. Learn about the Islamic faith, which has the same roots as Judaism and Christianity. Take classes. You don’t have to convert. Just open your mind and heart that other religions have a right to exist. Learn about other organized faiths, shamanism, agnosticism, and atheistic views.

People who sought religious freedom founded America. Freedom for all. I personally find some specific practices and philosophies of various faiths not meshing with my personal viewpoint. I don’t think that any specific religion is evil or should be eradicated because it doesn’t agree with my ideas. Faith is a personal choice. You can practice whatever you want as long as the basic tenet of “Do no harm” is followed. Per example, perhaps you worship a special rock. Go ahead. Just don’t use the rock to hit any person, animal, harm nature or yourself. Repression is a form of harm, as is burning holy text (though symbolic).

If you are Muslim, celebrate the First Amendment by purchasing a holy book from another religion and learn about other faiths. As you gain knowledge about other religions, you see that they are profoundly similar. We are human beings, first, before we learn any religious philosophies. Humans celebrate each other’s freedom to practice religion.
© 2010