Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Leisure Reading

On our coffee table, you'll currently find a heaping scoop of news consisting of The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, TIME, and The Economist. With a continuous supply of news magazines and newspapers, it's quite difficult to keep up with them. I finally got around to reading a 2 week old edition of Newsweek which covers what we should be reading now. Within the cover story is an opinion essay on the guilty pleasures of re-reading favorites. Since I've been home, I've read 3 novels and am on my 4th, 3 of which I'm re-reading: Middlesex, The Memory Keeper's Daughter (first time), Great Expectations, and Jane Eyre (currently). I love the comfort of re-reading books, but often feel I should be reading something new, which I do, but not often enough. Part of my reason for re-visiting some novels is that many of the classics I was forced to read in high school I either never read or don't remember. So I've been trying to (re-)read many of them and have found myself loving them now. For instance, I hated Pride and Prejudice, I just couldn't get past the banter of the first 20 pages, but now I love it and re-read it every year. That's how I felt about Great Expectations this summer, its a great novel (if the picture doesn't make sense, you should read the book!).  I'm not as an obsessive repeater as David Gates, author of the article, but I do enjoy re-discovering characters and all the themes that I may have missed the first time around. To those who say repeating books is a waste of time when you could be discovering something new, try repeating a neglected novel on your book shelf and you'll be surprised by how much there is still to discover. 

(The more appropriate question for me right now is when I'm going to put down the leisure readings and get back to 'serious' development readings) 

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Snap, Crackle, POP!

Fireworks: enjoyment or pollution? I enjoyed the display last night, but I also hated it when I thought about all the cities across the nation popping crackers increasing the harmful pollutants in the air.  So many contradictions in life, loving and hating things, people, ideas, etc. Is it ok to have such contradictions or should we all either love or hate? Put it that way and its very black and white. In most cases I always see the spectrum of grey in between, but maybe for such cases as these it should be black and white...fireworks or not, simple as that. Hmmm something to ponder. Any thoughts?

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Zoos & I

I started my relationship with the zoos when I was around 10 and my mom and aunt took me to my first zoo in Atlanta. I loved it and still do, went this morning with my mom to the Houston zoo. I try to go to a zoo as often as I can. I know critics of zoos say that the animals should be roaming free in the wild. I also feel that pang of guilt when I see an animal behind bars so that I and so many others can enjoy seeing them. But, there is another part of the story. Many of the animals are endangered or have been rescued and are being protected by the zoo. Also, zoos are a great educational experience on the importance of respecting animals and their territory and of course the all important need for conservation. And on top of all of these reasons, it opens up a world that would otherwise be completely shut to most of us, the animal kingdom. You can read about the Association of Zoos and Aquariums commitments here. So all in all despite that pang of guilt (especially what I felt after seeing the monkey above), I'm not breaking up with the zoos anytime soon
: )