It Gets Better…

September 25, 2010 at 12:15 am | Posted in Acceptance, Activism, Allies, Bisexual, Bullying, Cool, Dan Savage, Depression, Discrimination, Dyke, Equality, Fag, Friends, Gay, GBLT, Hate, Homo, Homophobia, Homosexual, Hope, Kids, Kristin Bell, Lesbian, Mental Health, Protest, Queer, Same Sex, Savage Love, Self-Harm, Self-Injury, Shame, Suicide, Support System, Surviving, The Stranger, Trannie, Trans, Violence | Leave a comment

Get Salted!

September 10, 2010 at 4:33 am | Posted in Books, Cyprus Hardwood Salt, Kristin Bell, Mark Bitterman, Powell's Indiespensable, Recipe, Salmon, Salt, The Meadow | Leave a comment

Do you like salt? Well, I don’t so much, but salt is everywhere and it is in everything practically. I was happy to get this preview/recipe from my Powell’s Indiespensable subscription, even though I don’t like fish or salt. Anyway, I thought I’d share. It sounds fun to make. The special Cyprus Hardwood salt is available from The Meadow a company in Portland, Oregon. If you try the recipe, be sure to let me know. I’m going to wait for my mom to catch a salmon so she can try this! Click on the recipe to see a larger version that is easier to read. :)

Polly McKean Bell’s Book

September 10, 2010 at 3:55 am | Posted in 1880's, Bell Family, Books, Christmas Traditions, History, Kristin Bell, Mince Meat Pie, Oregon Historical Society, Pioneer Stories, Polly McKean Bell | Leave a comment

This is a wonderful little book that was written by my dad’s stepfather’s mother about life in the 1880’s in Astoria, Oregon. The story is very charming. I haven’t scanned the whole story, but I thought I’d include a few pages here. The title is “Evergreen Boughs and Mince Meat Pie.” It is a very sweet story about Christmas time traditions just before the turn of the last century! Be sure to click on the pages to see an enlarged version of the page!

UPDATE: Just found this great story about Polly’s aunt Eliza and Uncle Hustler! http://files.usgwarchives.net/or/clatsop/bios/hustler1188gbs.txt

Review: Devil in the Details-Scenes From an Obsessive Girlhood

September 4, 2010 at 12:10 am | Posted in Anti-anxiety meds, Anxiety, Anxiety Attacks, Autobiography, Books, Brain, Buspar, compulsion, Compulsive, Humor, Kristin Bell, memoir, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Psychiatry, Psychology, Religion, Scrupulosity | Leave a comment

“Devil in the Details: Scenes From an Obsessive Girlhood” by Jennifer Traig will tickle your inner OCD child if you have one. I’m not a full blown OCD person, but I can relate to some of what Traig writes about, and she shows us with much wit what a full blown disorder is like. It is great that she has such a wonderful sense of humor about a disorder that is so crippling to her and so many millions of people like her. For those who don’t understand Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, this gives a good glimpse into a life that is severely train-wrecked by it. I give this four stars instead of five, because I found the ending a bit weak compared to the rest of the book that kept me enthralled. My only unanswered question is: am I the only one who noticed that the candies on the cover of the book aren’t COMPLETELY straight???!!! haha. (  )

Review: The Shiniest Jewel-A Family Love Story

September 3, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Posted in Adoption, Art, Books, Cartoon, Families, Family, Graphic Novel, Illustrated, Kristin Bell, memoir | Leave a comment

“The Shiniest Jewel: A Family Love Story,” by Marian Henley is a graphic novel that you won’t want to put down! The story of adoption, life, love, etc. told in adorable cartoons. If you have never read a graphic novel, you should start with this one. You won’t be disappointed. Maybe you are thinking “I’m an adult, I don’t do cartoon books! I need small type, 500+ pages and footnotes to believe I’m really reading.” haha. Don’t be silly. Really, you don’t need to prove to anyone how serious a reader you are! Indulge in some chocolate here! Besides, this book IS serious!

Review: Major Problems in the History of American Families and Children

September 2, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Posted in Academic, American History, Books, Children, Civil War, Families, Family, Frontier, History, Immigrant, Kristin Bell, Major Problems in American History, Native American, Orphans, Primary Sources, Race, Slavery, US History | Leave a comment

“Major Problems In the History of American Families and Children” edited by Anya Jabour is one of the books in the Houghton Mifflin ‘Major Problems in American History’ series. The book is a tremendous resource of both primary source documents and academic writings on the subject of American families and children. The book helps to train college students to look for primary sources and how to evaluate those sources by providing examples of discourse related to many of the primary sources in the book. The primary sources in the book are interesting and provoked further exploration of topics which include families in bondage, Native American, Victorian, frontier, Civil War and immigrant families to name a few. It also tackles the case of orphans, families of the 1950’s, the welfare system and late 20th century family politics. An example of what a good textbook should look and operate like. Bravo! (  )

Review: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

September 2, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Posted in American, Autobiography, Books, Kristin Bell, memoir, Race, Slavery, The South | Leave a comment

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is Maya Angelou’s memoir of her life up until about her early twenties. Mostly set in the South, she tells of a semi-impoverished childhood in an early 20th century America that is still reeling from the legacy of slavery. Perhaps what is most striking about this memoir is that it was written in the 20th century, but the life she describes is very different than what people experienced even a mere 50 years later. The story is engrossing and at times horrifying, but always interesting. The only reason why I give this book four stars instead of five is that I felt the ending was a bit of a let down–perhaps because I wanted to read more. This book is well worth your time and effort and is an example of why Maya Angelou is so renowned. (  )

Review: The False Friend

September 2, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Posted in Books, Fiction, Friends, Kristin Bell, Memory | Leave a comment

“The False Friend” by Myla Goldberg is a novel about friendships, trauma and memory and how we can be betrayed by all three. The main character is a young, professional woman named Celia who goes back home to disclose her truth about what happened to her best friend, Djuna, in junior high. The writing was pretty good, but it seemed the novel lacked some depth. I did enjoy reading the book, but was a bit disappointed by the ending. Not my favorite book of all time, but I have read much worse. If you are in the mood for a light read with a fairly interesting story, then you might like this book. (  )

Review: Packing for Mars-The Curious Science of Life in the Void

September 2, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Posted in Astronauts, Astronomy, Biology, Books, Cosmonauts, Kristin Bell, Mars, Moon, NASA, Physics, Science, Space Travel | Leave a comment

“Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void” by Mary Roach will probably make a wanna-be astronaut out of you if you aren’t already! Simply put, this book is FANTASTIC! I fell in love with the idea of space travel all over again. Roach’s writing is top notch and very humorous. This book was a joy to read and it makes me want to have a bake sale to help fund space missions or something. People often ask “why go to space when there are so many problems on THIS planet?!?” and I think that Mary Roach has an answer for them. Get this book and read it! I can’t imagine anyone not loving it! (  )

Review: The Shallows-What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

September 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Posted in Anxiety, Bibliophiles, Biology, Books, Computers, Computing, Geek, Internet, Kristin Bell, Psychology, Technology | Leave a comment

“The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” by Nicholas Carr is a terrific and fascinating book. I couldn’t put it down. It would be easy to dismiss Carr and say “oh yah, whatever, the internet is making us all dumb, riiiiiiight,” but his case is compelling and hard to dismiss. He isn’t even so much saying that technology is bad at all. His point seems to be that we should be more mindful of the impact that technology has on us. Only Carr talks about it with interesting and thought-provoking examples from ancient history to current psycho-biology! You’d do well to read this book in print and NOT on an ebook reader too!

This book is engaging, well written and thought-provoking. If you really believe you are getting so many things done by doing 100 things at once, you should pick up this book and think again. Well worth the thoughtful contemplation time. (  )

Review: Understanding the Borderline Mother

September 2, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Posted in Anxiety, Books, Borderline Personality, Counselor, Depression, Eating Disorders, Kristin Bell, Self-Harm | Leave a comment

“Understanding the Borderline Mother” by Christine Ann Lawson is an interesting book, but I felt that it focused far too much on the negative aspects (yes there are many) of the Borderline Personality. If you pick up this book, but didn’t know anything about Borderline Personality Disorder you would probably think that people with the disorder are pure awful with no redeeming qualities. The book does have some good aspects and is compelling to read, but it seems too one-sided and lacks any understanding of any of the pain and suffering that might motivate the behavior of a person with this disorder. Borderlines are often difficult patients and difficult people to understand, but many times it seems they are completely misunderstood in therapeutic situations. This book does not really attempt to “understand” the Borderline, but does describe some of the behaviors that are often times seen. (  )

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