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2009!

Idea borrowed from canadian_turtle , this entry keeps track of stuff that occurred in 2009 - books read, movies watched, trips taken, etc :)
Clicky clicky for the goodness that hopefully was 2009Collapse )
     
To all my lovely LJ friends, a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope you all have lovely days, full of love, joy, peace, and good food!  Stay safe, and have a wonderful time :)

I know there are people here who don't celebrate Christmas, so I hope you also enjoy/enjoyed your holiday as well!

Lots of love to you all!
Jill :)

:)

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!! <3
<Pictures deleted since no one could see them but me!>

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Hey Everyone!!

I'm sure most of you know about this, being my very intelligent LJ friends, but for those who don't, Earth Hour is upon us again!  

On 28 March from 8:30-9:30pm (your local time) turn out your lights for an hour to save energy & help the earth! 

More info here: http://www.earthhour.org/home/

Some ideas for what to do during that time (stolen from a reminder post at the environment community):

- Light some candles, lay back, and meditate quietly. This lowers blood pressure, and helps you to center yourself (which can give you positive mental and sexual energy).
- Use candlelight to rifle through an old photo album and remember some good times. Don't forget to laugh at your goofy hair and clothes from way-back-when, as laughter is the best medicine.
- Do some calming yoga or light stretching for the hour. This keeps you limber, and helps your heart.
- Catch a up on your sleep by going to bed early, and keep those wrinkles and dark circles at bay! Sleep is restorative.
- Prepare a nice meal in advance and sit down quietly to enjoy it by candlelight. You'd be surprised how underestimated a quiet, unrushed dinner can be.
- Prepare a hot bath before its time to shut everything down (maybe throw in some foo-foo bath products which will soothe with their scent), then light some candles and lie back against the tub in peace while the lights are off. You can get a good 20-40 minute soak this way, which will help relieve tension.
- Play dress up with the items in your closet (again, by candlelight). It's fun, and it'll allow you to really look at your wardrobe, so you can decide when/if it's time to purge (a secret organization opportunity!).
- Tell a funny story or a ghost story to your kids by flashlight or candlelight. Add hand puppets if you have them. Never underestimate the precious value of one-on-one family time like this.
- Spend some time with a loved one doing "loving things," if you catch the drift. You know what this is good for.

Let your friends & family know! :D

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Recommendations for Music & Books?

I used to listen to a ton of music.  Then for some reason, I haven't listened to much in awhile.  Some old stuff, but a lot of stuff on the radio nowadays shits me.  However, I just seem bored of a lot of both old & new music.  But I want to get back into it, so any recommendations by people?  I'm pretty open to various types, though not a huge fan of rap or techno/trance.  And if you want to be totally awesome & upload any of your fave albums/songs/artists, I'd love you (even more than I already do!)  But no need to upload if you don't want :)

Similarly, I'm looking for book recommendations.  What is YOUR favourite book & why?  I want something that'll inspire me, I need something that'll inspire me!

Thanks everyone!  Looking forward to your answers :)

Books in 2008!

As I did in 2007, here's a list of books that I read in 2008!

NumberBook and AuthorDate StartedDate CompletedComments
1Iran Awakening - Shirin EbadiDecember 31, 2007January 8, 2008 Interesting & educational about a remarkable woman - 8/10 
2My Friend Leonard - James FreyJanuary 9, 2008January 22, 2008 Enjoyable follow-up to "A Million Little Pieces" - 7.5/10
3The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark HaddonJanuary 23, 2008 January 30, 2008I'd heard a lot of good things about this book, but I was a bit disappointed.  It was a decent read, but not fantastic - 6.5/10 
4The Road to Somewhere - James DodsonJanuary 30, 2008 March 9, 2008Better book than the length of time would have you believe, it was a cute story of a father & son travelling in Europe - 7.5/10 
5Neuromancer - William GibsonJanuary 31, 2008 March 21, 2008Took forever to read, it's Stuart's favourite book, but I didn't overly enjoy it.  Somehow, I just couldn't concentrate on it & enjoy it - 5/10 
6Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar NafisiMarch 21, 2008 April 9, 2008One of the best books I've ever read, definitely the best so far this year - 9.5/10 
7An Open Swimmer - Tim WintonApril 10, 2008 April 20, 2008I got it as a Christmas present from my dear friend Megan, and the author's from Perth.  It was an easy read, and some parts were good but overall, not a fantastic book - 6/10 
8The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philip K DyckApril 20, 2008May 10, 2008  Borrowed from Stuart, it was entertaining though a bit confusing at parts - 7.5/10
9You Shall Know our Velocity - Dave EggersMay 12, 2008 June 2, 2008Not as good as his "What is the What" but still pretty good.  I didn't realize how much I enjoyed it till the end though - 8/10 
10Prodigal Summer - Barbara KingsolverJune 2, 2008 June 22, 2008A bit of a slow read, but enjoyble - 7.5/10 
11Long Way Gone - Ishmael BeahJune 23, 2008July 20, 2008 Hard to read at times, but excellent - 8/10 
12Brave New World - Aldous HuxleyJuly 21, 2008 August 12, 2008A bit weird but interesting - 7.5/10 
13Holding Up the Sky - Sandy Blackburn-WrightAugust 12, 2008September 4, 2008 One of the best books I've read in a long long time, loved it - 9.5/10 
14Cloudstreet - Tim WintonSeptember 4, 2008 October 3, 2008Took me awhile to get into it, but in the end, I did enjoy it - 8/10 
15Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth GilbertOctober 4, 2008 October 20, 2008I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, really made me think about how to be happy - 8.5/10 
16Water for Elephants - Sara GruenOctober 21, 2008November 1, 2008Very enjoyable, though a lot of people said it was one of their fave books, it wasn't one of my faves but still really liked it - 8.5/10 
17My Sister's Keeper - Jodi PicoultNovember 1, 2008November 13, 2008 Sad but good, another book I didn't know how much I would like but I did - 8/10 
18Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourtNovember 14, 2008 December 25, 2008Good though a slow read (plus read the book below at the same time) - 7.5/10 
19The Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius - Dave EggersNovember 19, 2008 December 4, 2008Not bad, though I found it a bit dumb compared to his other books - 7/10
20Notes from a Big Country - Bill BrysonDecember 26 2008in 2009 sometime... 

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Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty

As part of Blog Day 2008 (http://blogactionday.org/) the theme is “Poverty” to write on. If you're reading this today (or likely even later you can!) I recommend checking out the website and maybe writing a few words about it yourself. :)

And I realize that I'm technically writing this “the next day” in Perth, but it's still the 15th in most of the world, especially back home where most people will be reading this.

There's a lot of things I could write about, but to be honest, I don't really know about poverty much. I've never had the misfortune of poverty – I've never been rich, but always been comfortable with enough food & a roof over my head.

However, over the past 2 years, I've gotten much more interested in other cultures, particularly Africa through my experience in Engineers Without Borders. It's opened my eyes a lot, particularly to poverty. It always seems so unbelievable how little some people have – a lot live on less than $1/day. It's so sad.

And yet, some of these people always seem so happy, so much happier than those of us who have more than enough. From what I've heard, they're very kind & hospitable too, and will offer up a meal or a bed to a visitor, even if they have barely anything.

It really makes you think, do we really need all this? We certainly don't, but I don't see many people willing to give it up. I don't think I could, but that's got to be a result of growing up in Canada. I would like it though if we did have the kindness & happiness & hospitality now.

I've felt guilty previously about things I buy, that I may not need b/c why do I? I was talking to Stuart about this the other day, how I know I don't need some stuff (ie more clothes, etc) but I still want them. He suggested that I do something like for each piece of clothing I buy, I give $X to charity. I think that once I get a job again, I may do that – give like $5 for each piece of clothing, or $1 for each coffee I buy, etc. Not sure the amounts, but definitely something I might do :)

I'm not sure how poverty-related this is for Blog Action Day, but hopefully it'll make people think. And I do recommend considering to write yourself for today on poverty! :)

2007 Book List

This is for me to keep track of what I read this year, as I think it'd be interesting :)

NumberTitle & AuthorDate StartedDate Completed
1The Green Mile - Stephen Kingearly DecemberJanuary 2
2For One More Day - Mitch AlbomJanuary 2January 14
(3)Wuthering Heights - Emily BronteJanuary 14 Gave up January 17
3Disclosure - Michael CrichtonJanuary 17 March 8
4Race Against Time - Stephen LewisFebruary 18 September 1 (with a 6 month break in the middle!)
5The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon - Stephen KingMarch 8 May 3
6Show of Evil - William DiehlMay 3 June 8
7Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone (re-read)June 9 June 11
8Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (re-read)June 11 June 14
9Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (re-read)June 14 June 18
10Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (re-read)June 18 June 27
11The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
June 21
 July 20
12Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (re-read)June 27 July 8
13Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (re-read)
July 8 July 19
14Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsJuly 21 July 27
15Algernon, Charlie, And I: A Writer's Journey - Daniel KeyesJuly 27 July 29
16The Jester - James PattersonJuly 29 August 6
17The Lost Heart of Asia - Colin Thubron
August 6 October 26
18The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim EdwardsAugust 14 August 25
19Blink - Malcolm GladwellAugust 26 September 3
 20In a Sunburnt Country - Bill Bryson September 9
 September 26
21The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara KingsolverSeptember 27 October 26
22Middlesex - Jeffrey EugenidesOctober 27 November 14
23A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled HosseiniNovember 15 November 24
24What is the What - Dave EggersNovember 25 December 12
(25)Shake Hands with the Devil - Romeo DallaireDecember 12 Put on hold December 16
25A Million Little Pieces - James FreyDecember 16 December 30
26Iran Awakening - Shirin EbadiDecember 31In 2008 sometime...

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Finally finished Harry Potter!!  Only took 6 days (compared to between 6hrs & 2 days that it took most other people!)  And on happy news, I managed to avoid all spoilers this week :D  I know some people were disappointed by the book, and while I didn't like a few parts, I enjoyed it overall!

Btw, I know some people did reviews of the book, so please link me to your thoughts, so I can go back & read'em :)  Or post them in a comment here (although write a warning at the beginning, in case someone else on here still hasn't finished!

I've apparently been having problems with my entries showing up on people's friends pages (even though I've only written one) since my post-dated one earlier this week.  So hopefully this'll show up - please let me know that you can see it (if nobody else has yet :P)

Hmm...what to read now?  I'm not overly upset about the series being over, as I wanted to see how it ended & I have lots more to read, but I've been re-reading HP for the past 6 weeks or so (all 7 of them!) so now I need to decide what to read next :P  Oh well...I'm sure I'll figure it out ;)