Monday, March 30, 2009

This Video Brings Me Joy

I never get tired of watching this video.

I know it's been around a while, but I thought it was worthy of putting it in the forefront of my blogging world today. Enjoy.

Thing I'm thankful for: a healthy, happy family. They mean the world to me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Modesty is the Best Policy

Okay, maybe the saying is that honesty is the best policy, but in my book, modesty is, too. Apparently, it's catching on. Modest clothing retailers in Utah and other western states are not only surviving -- but thriving -- in this economic recession. Read more in Modesty Makes a Comeback.

Also, check out my favorite modest clothing companies (too bad they don't have shops on the East Coast):

Happy modest shopping!

Thing I'm thankful for: sorting cards at my parents' house. It's fun!

Time Travel to 1989

We're organizing mom's greeting cards in the gray bins, listening to oldies music, and Lexi's wearing her Oklahoma t-shirt. And we're all periodically yelling and snapping at each other. I feel like I'm 8-years-old again. It's an odd feeling . . .

Thing I'm thankful for: having a job in the midst of layoffs. I'm one lucky girl.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

To Read or Not to Read?

That is the question that has been swirling around in my head for some time now. I began reading East of Eden several years ago; about 100 pages into it, I stopped. I picked it up again a year later and subsequently put it down again after I was about the same amount of pages into it. I decided to finish it once and for all last year. So I read. And I read. And then stopped after 200 pages.

I've never had such a difficult time finishing a book, especially when the story is so . . . well, to be perfectly honest . . . It's gripping. Steinbeck's characterizations are fantastic, as usual, and maybe even more so in this particular novel.

So why couldn't I finish the book? Why haven't I finished the book? Part of me hates to even bring it up because it's a book, for crying out loud. A book. If I wasn't an observant Christian, I might worship books because they're my favorite things in this world. That's why I was so confused with my behavior.

After my last attempt to complete the reading, though, it occurred to me that East of Eden's morality was in question for me. Although the story is fascinating, I began to wonder whether it was also pornographic. "Is this the kind of book I should not read?" I wondered. "Is this why I haven't been able to finish it?"

This may not seem like a big deal to a lot of readers, but again, I love books and literature and stories and well-written prose. I respect Brooks's and Lexi's aesthetic opinions and am interested in what they're interested in, and they were interested in East of Eden. They both highly recommended it. Oprah did, too. Surely, the book isn't that bad.

Maybe it is, and maybe it isn't. I don't necessarily want to get into the details of that particular story. I mainly wanted to address the notion of not reading a book based on moral sensibilities. Most of the time, I think it's ridiculous when I hear about people banning books. So when I felt like perhaps I shouldn't finish reading the book, it was an odd feeling. I still don't know if I'll finish it or not, but I wondered, readers, whether you have ever been in this predicament. There have been books I'd never read again because I thought they were so bad, but I've never felt so ambivalent about one.

Have you? Where do you draw the moral line, in regard to literature?

Thing I'm thankful for: quiet evenings at work. But only sometimes. :)