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Showing posts from 2016

A Book to Read and Love:Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis - A life by Donald Spoto - Summary & Review

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A short summary of the book Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: Poise during a public tragedy.
Questions I pondered while reading Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: Why do we require public figures to share so much of their life?
How does one develop that type of poise?
My thoughts about Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: Jackie is the queen of "Keep Calm and Carry On"




A Book to Read and Love: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua - Summary & Review

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A short summary of the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother: Parenting done strict.
Questions I pondered while reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother: Do we demand too much or too little from our children?
Is it possible to enjoy what I can't do well?
My thoughts about Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother: Controversy-free books are boring.
Do we really have any right to judge?
I don't think I was the parent of the year either.



Cucumber Salad

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I made a major haul at the farmer's market this weekend, and then of course realized I bought a whole bunch of cucumbers.

Rather than just add them to tossed salad, I perused one of my favorite historic cookbooks - The Women's Institute Library of Cookery, published 1917- and found a recipe for a cucumber salad.

The original recipe says to cut 3 cucumbers in half, hollow them out and use them for serving (little cucumber boats).  I am neither that talented nor to I have enough patience.

The recipe also called for an unspecified amount of "salad dressing" and a pimento.   I didn't have a pimento, but I did have a gorgeous reddish purple bell pepper that I also picked up from the farmer's market.

For the salad dressing I used plain old ranch, adding 1 tbsp at a time until the salad was "dressed"

So here is my interpretation of the Cucumber Salad:

3 cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 cup diced tomato (I used cherry tomatoes)
2 stalks celery
1 bell pepper

A Book to Read and Love: Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy - Summary & Review

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A short summary of the book Prince of Tides: What Tom learned about himself during his sister's breakdown.

Questions I pondered while reading Prince of Tides: Is creativity the cause or the result of a mental illness?

Is it possible to completely recover from a tragedy?
My thoughts Prince of Tides: Dysfunction makes good stories, not happy ones.



A Book to Read and Love: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - Summary & Review

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A short summary of the book The Grapes of Wrath: The humanity of abject poverty.

Questions I pondered while reading The Grapes of Wrath: Are there more opportunities for the poor now?
Are the poor still as dehumanized?
My thoughts about The Grapes of Wrath: People shouldn't go hungry.
Wages should be fair.
It is wrong to take advantage of your employees.





A Book to Read and Love: 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup - Summary & Review

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A short summary of the book 12 Years a Slave: The title says it all.

Questions I pondered while reading 12 Years a Slave: Where exactly did this slavery b.s. start?
Why is brutality so effective in dehumanization?
My thoughts about 12 Years a Slave: Harsh read.
Important read.
Read it so it doesn't get repeated.

A Book to Read and Love: Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum - Summary & Review

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A short summary of the book Those Who Save Us: WWII from the average German woman.

Questions I pondered while reading Those Who Save Us: What would I have done?
Can anyone survive a regime without damaging their soul? My thoughts about Those Who Save Us: Since no one knows what they would do or how they would act, judging others is dumb.





A Book to Read and Love: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb - Summary & Review

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A short summary of the book I am Malala: My fight for an education.

Questions I pondered while reading I am Malala: How can we encourage education?
How can we end disagreements without violence?
My thoughts about I am Malala: A brave young woman.
We need more brave young women.
We need to value the brave young women we have.



Locker Room Behavior

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I had a first - at least I think it was a first, perhaps I have experienced this 100 times and didn't pay attention until this once.

I entered the locker room at the same time as a woman with an Adam's apple.

There was a brief moment of what do I do? (I am quite disappointed with myself that I even hesitated).

A trans-gender girl is just that, one of the girls.  No need to run screaming out of the locker room, that would make everyone uncomfortable.

But what happens if the woman is say "pre-surgical"?   To which I answer, ladies - who hasn't seen a penis?

Besides, proper locker room etiquette makes a "pre-surgical/post-surgical" question irrelevant.

As a refresher, proper locker room etiquette is as follows:

1. This isn't your home bathroom, don't act as if it is.
2. There is no need to wave your bits about.
3. Do not ogle other people's bits, you either have them, or have seen them.
4. Give everyone personal space to change without feeling…

A Book to Read and Love: The Immortals by Tracy Hickman - Summary & Review

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A short summary of the book The Immortals: Internment camps, virus style.

Questions I pondered while reading The Immortals: When have internment camps ever been a good idea?
Shouldn't important decisions be based upon more than a tweet?
My thoughts about The Immortals: This could so happen.
We need to research media posts.
Internment camps are always and forever a NO GO.



Criticism Gracefully?

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Criticism happens.

As a photographer, I occasionally get evaluations of my work.

Recently I got one that stung.

After a view indignant rants (in the privacy of my studio and without an audience). I then took a few Zen moments, collected myself and looked again at this latest analysis of my work.

I reminded myself what  Nita Leland wrote in The New Creative Artist 

 "A rejection doesn't necessarily indicate a piece is bad, only that the standards used for evaluating the work are different from yours"

I could see where his points of complaint were,  I complemented him on his eye and thanked him for his feedback.

I would like to point out my displeasure in the tacky manner in which I received the assessment.  Les Giblin writes in The Art of Dealing with People the rules of a successful criticism,  the first rule being, do it privately (versus a public comment in an online gallery, attached to the very image itself).

For that transgression,  I am using the retort of my be…

A Book to Read and Love: Gentleman's Agreement by Laura Z Hobson - Summary & Review

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A short summary of the book Gentleman's Agreement: Exposing bigotry by pretending.
Questions I pondered while reading Gentleman's Agreement: Should silence be considered bad manners?
Why do we fear what is different?
My thoughts about Gentleman's Agreement: How often was I silent?
I won't be again.



The Dreaded Gravy/Sauce boat

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I had just recently attended a luncheon where there was a sort of etiquette crisis.

Our luncheon consisted of a couple of sauces and our table noticed it  next to impossible to successfully pour out of a gravy/sauce boat and not leave a dripping, soiled trail.

We chatted about this, the entire table somewhat stumped about this particular problem.

It is quite uncomfortable when you are unmannerly, particularly in public.

After the luncheon I  dove in to research, specifically with the question "how exactly to pass around a sauce boat and not make a dribbling mess around the table."

This question appears to be the conundrum of many, and most suggestions were "do the best you can" or "try tilting it to the side as you pour"

In other words, sauce boats are horrid things and no one has any idea on how to save the tablecloth..


Not one to quit, I kept digging, finally finding the book "The Butler Speaks" by Charles MacPherson.




Ta Da! A Gravy/Sauce boat…

A Book to Read and Love: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher - Summary & Review

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A short summary of the book Wishful Drinking:
Hi! My name is Carrie and I am an addict with a mental illness.

Questions I pondered while reading Wishful Drinking: If one in four people have a mental illness - why are they such a secret?
Doesn't everyone have at least one vice?
My thoughts Wishful Drinking: It takes courage to put hats on your skeletons and invite them to dance.
Bonus points to Carrie for making the dance funny.



A Book to Read and Love: Hidden In Plain Sight by Andrew Thomas - Summary & Review

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A short summary of Hidden in Plain Sight: Theoretical physics for everyone.


Questions I pondered while reading Hidden in Plain Sight: Do we really need to learn how to "do" science to learn it?
How do we encourage more smart people to write guides like this?
My thoughts about Hidden in Plain Sight: I have science envy but not science talent.
I always wanted to "get it".
Now I "get" more than I did.



A Book to Read and Love:The 39 Steps by John Buchan - Summary & Review

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A short summary of the book The 39 Steps: Espionage and assassinations, British style.


Questions I pondered while reading The 39 Steps: How much would I do for my country?
Does a story need to be plausible to be entertaining?
My thoughts about The 39 Steps: Spies!
Drama!
Brain-Candy!







A Book to Read and Love: The Beautiful and The Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Summary & Review

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A short summary of the book The Beautiful and The Damned: Drinking until disinheritance.

Questions I pondered while reading The Beautiful and the Damned: The Fitzgerald question - What does one do with oneself when one has nothing to do?
Does self-absorption cause laziness or vice-versa?
My thoughts The Beautiful and the Damned: The fun of rich people problems.
Miss Gloria is a girl after my own heart.  I want to lay around, read and dream and think while an imaginary servant brings me lemonades and tomato sandwiches.
I just want my own money too.