Archive for March, 2010

A Marvelous Adventure of Hide and Seek

(March 24th, 2010) Dear Planet Earth,

It was deafeningly bloodcurdling having to put myself through Richard’s conversations with the white men in Black Boy. Having to pick out his sentences word-for-word, I was anxious of the possible consequences that would come into effect if Richard had slipped on a single syllable during his conversation with Mr. Pease. I was enraged with fury in my mind with the shattering of such a bright, innocuous day when Richard had inadvertently forgot to complete Mr. Pease’s surname in a sentence and had dismally retreated from his employment. Such tension between the blacks and whites will draw in any reader to the treacherous conflict in this novel. Richard’s struggle to control his speech leads to a feeling of a profound sympathy for his pitiful predicaments.

Richard’s curiosity for going against the strong current in life is something that any free-thinker can relate to. His grandmother consistently bogs him down with religion, which is portrayed as a metal cage, sucking him into the crowd of Christian believers and drawing him away from his desires. She yells about how he is going to burn up in hell after he reads Bluebeard and His Seven Wives, alleged to be “work of the Devil”. Richard has a strong grasp on what he believes is right. By sneaking slowly into the dimmer side of society, he starts reading about new ideas, such as the ones formed by H. L. Mencken: a man who colored everything he saw, heard, and did. A vivid transformation takes place: he finally feels the throbbing heartbeat of life and aspires to be more rebellious. Richard in Black Boy will surely appeal to the majority of youth, since this book wraps around the obscure phase of discovering who you are inside.

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Reading

(March 23rd, 2010) Dear Planet Earth,

Wild, exotic, adventurous, and vastly descriptive. I’ve caught myself in a pretty captivating adventure book called The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear. It had stood out to me greatly at Borders and I wanted to give an adventure story a shot, since this genre is completely unfamiliar with me. The book reminded me of all of the picture books I’ve read when I was little — expanded to appeal to the adult audience. The story follows a blue bear that is trying to find a place to fit in with society. The book starts out with Blue bear on a boat in the middle of the ocean and continues with a variety of random events and adventures. Any person can connect Blue bear’s development to the development of their own childhood, because just like a human, Blue bear eventually is taught how to speak by talking waves in the ocean, learns early life lessons from a mysterious island that lures him in with desire, and is shown the world on the back of a flying dinosaur. He has formed a couple strong bonds of friendship with many of the characters he has encountered, while in the meantime has been strongly betrayed. Blue bear consistently is cast away from the communities that he grows to be apart of, and so it is a little saddening. At the same time, I find it to be probably one of the most descriptive novels I have ever encountered, since it spends such a large number of pages just to describe the physical characteristics of the ever changing landscape or the many species of creative characters that the author, Walter Moers, has formed. Blue bear’s journey is throughout the land known as Zamonia, which was supposedly a continent formed millions of years ago and had been in the middle of the Atlantic. I would recommend this read to anyone with lots of time on their hands and open to a captivating journey of adventure.


Donut Holes!

Donut holes: simple and spherical little morsels that every simple cook ought to make at least once. I was so excited when I had found out that we would make them in cooking club one week, so I decided to take a couple of pictures. The little donuts turned out to be pretty tasty, and I thought that I might share our success with them to the world. The process is pretty simple. Here is a list of things needed to create a batch:
* 1 canister of Pillsbury biscuit dough
* vegetable oil
* crock pot
* cooling rack
* large spoon that can strain liquids
*optional: granulated sugar, cinnamon powder, cocoa powder, any fruit jelly. These would be used for the toppings.
1. Start by preheating the crock pot to 350 degrees and fill the basin with vegetable oil: enough so that the donuts can fry in it later.
2.Open up the canister of biscuit dough. It should already be divided into sections. Divide each section into four equal parts and roll into balls.
3. Once the oil is hot in the crock pot, drop in the balls of dough and begin to rotate them in the oil so that they are cooked on all sides. Once they are golden brown, pick them up with the large spoon and let the oil drain out
4. Let the donut cool on the cooking rack, but still let it retain some heat so that toppings will stick to them.
For a chocolate glazed donut, mix granulated sugar with cocoa power in a small bowl and roll the donut hole in the mixture until it is completely coated. The rough surface of the coating will start to melt and become more of a glaze
For a cinnamon donut, mix granulated sugar with cinnamon powder and repeat steps above.
For a plain glazed donut, simply roll the donut hole in granulated sugar.
For a jelly donut, dip the donut into any fruit jelly of choice.

Donuts leave you with such a clear slate, so you can basically dress them up any way that is most desired. Be creative with your batch of donuts!




The Less Taken Path

(March 12th, 2010)

Dear Car Riding, Gas Guzzling, Ignorant Planet Earth,

I’d like to make every day a day open to adventure. One where the eyes shift around the diverse landscape in every direction, admiring all of the earthy colors and natural architectural masterpieces.  And one breathes in the aroma of the trees and the after-effect of a rainfall to be fully enveloped in the real world. The world that we are provided, not one constructed solely by man. I’d like to step inside a consistently shifting world that shines a cheerful expression at the coming of the following season. In order to fully appreciate such a majestic world, it is really as simple as opening your eyes. What I mean is, opening up to the world around you and using all of your senses to admire it. This, I fear, is something left out of a busy work day: the simple ability to be conscious of your surroundings. A contemporary worker is droned out under the barbaric noise of a Blue-tooth headset or trapped inside a car: such an object that shields oneself from the outside world. As for myself, I feel that almost every day I can manage to catch a mighty breath of the outside world. I walk about 1.67 miles every day to get home from school. This type of activity has given rise to questioning of some students that I am familiar with. They are so used to driving from place to place in the nick of time or at least catching a ride from their friend. I do agree that driving would make the process of transportation largely smoother, but without my daily walk I just feel like a large part of me is left out of each day. As a person strongly opposed to any sort of athletic sport,  I do believe that walking is enough to get myself into shape. Physical education just forces people to do activities that they don’t want to do, so there is little, if any motivation. On my walk, I just feel so alive since I am in touch with what is around me. Walking just leads to this feeling of strength and power.  I feel as though every stride that I take has meaning towards something great. Some days I eventually feel like running to release all the strength I have accumulated from this path, this winding sidewalk that I follow for 1.67 miles. I take it all in: the trees, the grass, the sky, and I feel something that others may not experience on a day-to-day basics. I look at the cars zooming past me and I just ignore it. Not once have I felt any sort of jealousy that they could get to where they are heading faster. I look at them and see all of their suffering. I watch them wait in traffic and I can just feel the negative vibes flowing from their automobiles. I feel like smiling, I feel as though I’m doing the right thing by getting exercise, by not wasting gasoline, by taking in my surroundings. People in the cars that zoom past think they have all the power, but they are wrong. I know there will be a day, though, when I follow in their footsteps. When I get my license and my walking days would just flow out the window. Poof! All of the memory lost. I cherish it now because I am young and I know that at heart I am the champion of the sidewalks.