Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Friday, October 28, 2011

When I was a kid...

Photo credit: Lauren

1. When I was a kid I wanted to be a professional ballerina when I grew up.

2. As an adult, my dream job would be a travel agent... or a professional ballerina :) .

3. When I was younger I wanted to be just like my cousins .

4. The childhood Halloween costume that I remember most was when I was a Honker. Remember those things? From Sesame Street.

5. My favorite childhood toy was my swing set. I spent all summer out on it .

6. The time I got into the biggest amount of trouble when I was a kid was when I didn't listen to my mother. That covers a whole range of things, which is a bit of a cop-out because I can't remember a specific incident.

7. I get daily inspiration from bloggers, books, nature, the world around me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game" by Michael Lewis

The Blind Side: Evolution of a GameThe Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was not at all what I expected it to be, but I ended up being completely ok with that. After seeing the movie trailers, I was expecting your typical feel-good, slightly mushy athlete story. This was far from that. This was a quality piece of journalism by a writer I greatly respect and admire. This story reads like an extended profile in the Sunday sports section -- a very extended profile. Lewis balances the heart-tugging story of the birth and rise of Michael Oher with in-depth analysis of how the entire world of football has evolved over the last 30 years, leading the reader to realize those evolutions that enabled Michael Oher to become Michael Oher.

As a football fan, I found both sides of this book interesting. I certainly learned quite a bit about the left tackle position and how it developed over recent years. However, I will admit that there were sections that dragged a bit for me. I really wanted to just read about what was going to happen to Oher at times and leave all of the game-changing history to another book. Both sides of the story are critical, though, as the reader realizes in the end, and I think Lewis did an excellent job tackling this story.

I would definitely recommend this to any football fan or lover of a great journalistic non-fiction piece of work.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Peeking into Houses

I have always loved exploring houses, whether they belong to family and friends or complete strangers present or past. There is something about peeking into rooms where people live their daily lives that fascinates me. I try to imagine how they use the rooms, what they do in there, who they spend the time with, what their decor inspiration was. Most of all, I think I like to imagine how I would live in that space.

So, when The Travel Belles asked today what my favorite museum is, I knew immediately.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
(Sorry for the awful picture quality.) This is The Breakers mansion in Newport, RI -- a place I visited many times throughout my childhood. As a kid, I always told my parents that someday I would live in The Breakers, not understanding the hold the Historical Society of Newport has on the place.

This was the summer "cottage" (yes, that is what these monstrousities were called) of the Vanderbilts back at the turn of the 20th century. They would travel from New York City up to Newport in the summer months to relax and socialize with all of their fellow New York elites. I can't remember how many rooms are in this residence, but suffice to say, it's a lot, including rooms with gold-leaf accents. Oh, and let's not forget the life-size doll house for the young Vanderbilts or the carriage house down the street. The myriad of acreage is astounding (what did they do without ride-on mowers, let along gas-powered mowers???), and the backyard overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, where the waves break on the rocks far below (hence The Breakers).

If you are ever in Newport, I highly recommend visiting The Breakers and a few of the other mansions down there. The admission can be pricey, but I like to think of it as my contribution to preserving these giant pieces of American history. They also did away with the live tours -- tour guides always have unique and interesting stories to share on their tours -- in favor of a self-guided audio tour, but still check it out.

While this is probably my favorite because it's so local, I love these types of museums anywhere I go. When I visited Key West, FL, for a day on a cruise, the one item on my must-see list was Heminway's house, and it was amazing.

Do you like to peek into other people's homes -- past or present -- and imagine how they live? What's your favorite museum?