Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Guru Told Me...

The other day my boss said something kind of profound to me and I asked him if a guru told him that.  He laughed and said that it sounded like the title of a book - "A Guru Told Me..."  Later it made me think of this nifty feature on my Kindle, where you can highlight part of a book and it stores it as your "clipping".  I've been highlighting passages I like and thought I'd share them with you.  They are what a guru told me.  Forgive me for not sharing what book or author they come from.  It would just take too much time.

"Love ain't got no business happenin' to the young.  Only the old be wise enough to treat it right."

"By remembering that what you cannot undo, you must accept."

"It is a blessing as well as a burden to love so much that you can hurt so badly when love is gone."

"'Desire urges me on, as fear bridles me.'  Doesn't that explain everything that happens in the world?"

"There comes a time when you either embrace who and what you are, or condemn yourself to be miserable all your days.  Other people will try to make you miserable; don't help them by doing the job yourself."

"Some choices you make with your heart, some with your head, but when in doubt choose head over heart - it will keep you alive."

"Of course, not meaning to did not make it hurt less."

"All mindless hatred comes from a root of fear."

"A flower may be beautiful all on its own, but a person is never truly beautiful unless someone else's eyes show him that he is beautiful."

"No name calling truly bites deep unless, in some dark part of us, we believe it.  If we are confident enough then it's just noise."

"There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds."

"Looking back wouldn't make me feel better.  Looking back would simply make me want to ask for help.  Some things you have to do yourself."

Hope you've enjoyed a little bit of what speaks to me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Neighborhood Update

I know everybody is anxiously awaiting an update about my neighbors, so here it is!

There's a new stoner roommate downstairs.  I don't much like him because he smokes in the hallway.  It's bad enough that their smoke is permeating my apartment from below, but now I have to smell it in the common areas, too.  Kitty doesn't seem to like him either.  She seems to be running away a lot lately and they're always calling for her and bribing her with food to come in.

The young Indian couple next door seems to have had a baby.  I didn't even know she was pregnant!  I honestly don't see her very often and she dresses in long flowing traditional Indian dresses, so it's not that I'm completely unobservant!  I don't know how the three of them are living in a one-bedroom apartment.

My upstairs neighbors have found the love again.  And I have to hear it.  A lot.

Across the complex is where Boagey and his owner live.  Boagey is the Labradoodle that Lucille LOVES.  Okay, I love him, too.  I would steal him if I could.  I hadn't seen them in forever until the other day when I was walking Lulu.  I went over to introduce Lulu even though I knew she wouldn't enjoy the situation.  Boagey was so excited to see me that he peed.  As expected, Lulu isn't Boagey's biggest fan, and she hid between my legs the whole time.

The leaves are finally coming out and the grass is finally turning green.  Maybe we'll see more doggie friends out and about and meet some new neighbors.  There's got to be some more nice people here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What I'm Reading

A Discovery of Witches:  A Novel by Deborah Harkness

This book is so good I could barely put it down once I got into it!  I got back to my vampires and super-natural creatures with this one (obviously!).  This follows Diana Bishop, a descendant of the great Salem witch Bridget Bishop, who was the first woman executed in the Salem Witch Trials.  Diana has determined that she is not going to use magic the way her ancestors have.  Though she hasn't turned her back on it completely.  She limits the number of times she uses magic in a year and this year it's her fifth time (using it to help her get a book off a shelf) that gets her noticed by a 1500 year old vampire, Matthew Clairmont.  Diana and Matthew are scholars, scientists, smart people.  In fact, the author, Deborah Harkness is a history professor.  All of that is evident in this book and those are the parts that were hard for me to get through.  I am really not good at history, don't understand alchemy or mitochondrial DNA, and I'm not intimately familiar with Oxford.  Most of the book is set in Oxford and since I couldn't understand or picture what the author was describing, I was at a disadvantage. 

The author is incredibly descriptive and paints beautiful pictures for the reader.  Sometimes you really just want her to get on with it, though!  I think we could've gotten more of the story told if she was a little less descriptive, but then this book wouldn't be what it is.  What I didn't expect from this was the suspense.  That's what kept me reading - what's going to happen next?!?  It's definitely part romance, too, with Diana and Matthew inevitably falling in love, something that is forbidden given that they are different "creatures".  Then there's the super-natural part.  In Deborah's world, there are three types of "creatures" - witches, vampires, and daemons.  And nobody likes the others.

One thing that keeps the book moving is the forbidden love between Diana and Matthew.  The creature council, made up of three members of each creature, wants to keep them apart.  Besides the fact that cross-creature love is not allowed, they also don't want one of the most powerful witches and one of the most powerful vampires pairing up.  There's also the long lost manuscript that explains the origins of all the super-natural creatures.  Diana is the only one that has been able to unlock the manuscript in hundreds of years.  Everybody wants to use her to gain access to it.

The one thing I didn't like was Diana's evolution.  In the beginning of the book she is an incredibly strong and independent woman, a runner and a rower, a tenured professor at Yale.  As her love affair with Matthew progresses, she seems to become more fragile and dependent upon him and others.  Although some of her trials warrant this, you still want to shake her a bit and say, "Do it yourself!"

I kept looking at how much of the book was left to read, thinking, "There is no way this can be finished in the next 50 pages.  There's no way this can be finished in the next 15 pages."  And it wasn't.  I was left wanting;  there will obviously be a sequel.  Which is wonderful because I can't wait to read more about these characters.  But it also sucks because I know I'm going to have to wait forever!  This book just came out, so I know I'm in for a long wait while the author thoroughly researches everything in her next book.  I think I'm going to jump back in and read it again.  I'm sure there's something I've missed!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lulu's Been a Bad Dog!

For some reason Lulu has a serious oral fixation.  She licks things constantly.  Her own body, the sofa, my feet.  Whatever.  Or she has to have something in her mouth.  She will actually fall asleep with a toy in her mouth.  At night if I don't bring a toy to bed, she will gather up my duvet cover and munch on it for a bit.  She hasn't done much damage lately, but Monday night she chewed a big hole through the duvet cover and down into the very expensive down duvet.  ARGH!  I think an especially pokey feather caught her interest.  When her licking finally woke me up, she knew she was in trouble.  She moved as far away from me as she could while still staying on the bed.  I can't even tell you how many duvet covers in Lulu's 11 years I've had to replace, but looks like it's time for another.  :(