Friday, July 22, 2011

Update...I'm Exhausted

Well I've certainly been sucking at blogging. This whole "no internet" thing is a real pain, but on top of that I have been so darn busy I'm not sure when I'd have time. Last week, I was busy helping with high school girls' basketball camp! It was such an amazing time. I love basketball and I really enjoyed helping out the girls and getting to know them. They are our future and I want to try and make a positive impact in their lives in any way possible. It was also fun playing basketball again. Just as I was getting in shape...kind of...the week was winding down. The first day kicked my butt with basic scrimmaging. I ended up with a pinched nerve in my neck and bruised knees. I was definitely showing my age...I felt so old at 22. I won't have the time to be the official assistant coach but I hope I get a chance to help coach them again sometime.

This week has both flown by and dragged on. Monday, Tuesday and last night I had meetings and events in the evening. I'm so excited it's the weekend and I'll get to relax a little bit. It was so great to get almost 2 inches of rain last night even though it completely ruined my community clean-up event. In Western Kansas you learn not to complain when you get rain; it's always welcome. Over the last couple of weeks I've finally made some friends, one of them being of the male sort. He's pretty amazing...such a gentleman, which I feel is a very rare find. It's so nice to not feel so alone in my new world. I've also had a couple of really exciting things happen to me professionally but I can't really share details here. Let's just say I'm loving life!

Next week is our community's fair. I'm going to try and blog about it everyday, but we'll see how that works out. From what I've been told it's one of the few things that occur here where people all band together to make something great happen. There's going to be fair events like a rodeo and a parade, a carnival where all the rides and games are only 25 cents and everything is community owned and operated, and of course I've been told about all the delicious food such as bierocks, pies, pancake feeds, and cotton candy. I've volunteered to work four different events so I'm excited for a chance to be a part of this huge community event!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Book Review: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Disclaimer: I want to start by saying I'm STILL trying to figure out what the purpose of this blog is. I decided I really enjoyed doing restaurant reviews in DC so maybe I'll try my hand at a book review. I like a lot of things so I'll blog about a lot of things.

Okay, so back to the book. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. About the time the movie, Water For Elephants, was coming out my mom bought this book. I couldn't wait for her to finish so I could read it. I'm the kind of person who usually likes the book better than the movie about the book and I prefer to read the book before seeing the movie so I don't "taint" my creation and interpretation of the characters. That being said last weekend I was very excited to go home and see the book waiting on the bed for me to read! I started it Tuesday and finished it last night around 12:40 AM. It was certainly one of the best books I've read in a while. I spent two nights in a row reading till past midnight. It was the type of book that made me laugh, made me cry, made my heart race and I couldn't put it down!

Set in the 1930s on a circus train, the main character Jacob Janoskowski has his life before him, as he's almost set to graduate from Cornell as a veterinarian. Then a tragic event completes changes his plans and he takes off in the wilderness. He jumps onto a train and finds himself in the middle of the Benzini Brothers circus. The book flashes between him in the 30s telling about the circus and all he encountered including Marlena the beautiful horse girl and an elephant named Rosie, and his current situation, where he sits in a nursing home and is made to feel like he is worthless. He befriends a nurse whose name is Rosemary and she is always kind to him bringing him food that isn't mushy and "old people" food.

There were times I'd laugh out loud imagining the situation described. There was an instance that as I read tears were flowing down my cheek before I realized it. I may be an unusual reader as I really engage in the words and let them take me somewhere else, but I think that's what readings for. I sometimes wish I read more books that taught me things but everytime I try, I am almost put to sleep. I also really liked this book because it was interesting to see how historically accurate it was regarding the Great Depression.

If you're looking for a good book that takes you away and really allows you to connect with the characters, if that's your sort of thing, I would reccommend reading Water for Elephants. I would give it 4.5 stars out of 5, just because well that's what I feel like doing.

Have you read Water for Elephants? If so, what did you think of it?