Monday, July 16, 2012

Bibliophilia 2012: Books 33 - 41

33: Tao of Pooh and 39: Te of Piglet

I try to read The Tao of Pooh once a year. Why? Well, it makes me laugh and think about the important things in life - a perfect combination. Benjamin Hoff is able to describe the Taoist principles in clear and entertaining examples, and the beliefs and ideas make sense to me. Plus, I love all of the Pooh characters. I read The Te of Piglet less often; it is equally interesting, but it doesn’t jump off the page quite as much as The Tao of Pooh. The books always inspire me… this time reading the books, they inspired A Walking Meditation.

34: Scar Tissue

I have always enjoyed the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but in my younger days, I absolutely loved them. I’m pretty sure that aside from my Beatles obsession, I didn’t listen to much else than Blood Sugar Sex Magik in the 8th grade. It was pre-Eddie Vedder/Pearl Jam, and I remember watching the Under the Bridge video over and over again (I had taped it – VHS style). It was different from everything I had ever heard; the music was amazing. I was completely mesmerized by Anthony Kiedis; I loved his tattoos, long hair, and the way his face looked when he was running shirtless and all funked out.

A couple of months ago, I was reading the Wikipedia page about Anthony Kiedis and was floored at his life story. I noticed that he had written an autobiography, so I bought it. For the first 25% of the book, I was pretty mad at myself for buying it; he had a severely messed up childhood, and I found his nonchalant attitude towards the crappy things he did to people really revolting. However, as the book progresses, you can tell that he went through some serious hell and he seemed to progress and grow in the book. It gave me a new respect for him and a new interest in the awesomeness of Flea.

I am a little weirded out that my favorite RHCP song, I Could Have Lied, was written about Sinead O’Connor. It is still not as weird as the Alanis Morissette/Dave Coulier bomb.

35: We Bought a Zoo

I’ve written about this book a bit (Finding some inspiration…) because I loved both the book and the movie. I like to read stories about people learning and growing, but I also learned that I really love to read stories about people’s interactions with animals. This book is sad in places, yet funny and beautiful. Although the movie’s storyline is different, I felt like Cameron Crowe did a wonderful job of transferring the story, with all of the feelings and important bits, to film. Only problem is now I really want to go to England and visit the real zoo.

36: Eat to Live

While on vacation at Universal Orlando (Universal Studios Orlando), I met a lady who told me about Eat To Live. We were discussing being vegetarian/vegan, and she suggested that I might want to check out the book. I wrote it down and completely forgot about it. 

Well, I have been eating horribly lately (eating crazy amounts of sugar and processed foods), which has made me feel awful and gain a bunch of weight. A few weeks ago, I got frustrated and happened across where I had written down the book title. As I read the book, things clicked in my head and it all started making sense; the main premise is that to be healthy we have to eat nutrient pack foods (vegetables, fruits, and beans) and it will heal our bodies. I started eating according to the plan, and only two weeks in, I’ve lost six pounds and am feeling tremendously better. I have more energy, I’m not hungry all the time, and my body is seems really happy.

37: Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes

I bought this cookbook awhile back because I was interested in how a lot of vegan recipes sweeten food using fruit. Turns out that most of the food in the cookbook is perfect for my Eat to Live eating plan, so I’ve been using it for inspiration and trying all kinds of recipes. Apparently, my interest in veganism (although I kept denying it) was because I knew where I was headed.

38: Bridget Jones's Diary

I have read this book many times. It makes me laugh in that obnoxious, uncontrollable, out loud way that makes people look cross at me like I'm making fun of them. I love that Bridget is bumbling, impractical, hypersensitive, imperfect, and completely inappropriate. She is real and that’s what makes me cheer her on.

40: PS, I Love You

As with the movie version, I enjoy the concept of this book. It’s a love story, but from the opposite end of the spectrum. Usually, the story is about how people meet and finally bumble together, but this story is about saying goodbye and learning how to move on. Life is a constant up and down, so it was refreshing to read about a character who is doing her best to successfully pulling herself back together.

41: The Witches

As a child, I always loved Roald Dahl books. He was blessed because he was able to hold on his childlike imagination and relate to it. It allowed him to remember what it was like to be small and to create bizarre, oblong worlds. I remember a teacher reading us this book in class and feeling like it was so hysterical and inappropriate. It made reading fun and interesting. It is the same for all of Dahl’s books.

Monday, July 9, 2012

"Ripple in still water..." (Grateful Dead - American Beauty)

I bought American Beauty a few weeks ago. Because I had heard it was so amazing, I wanted to wait for a special time where I could listen to it without interruptions. Then, during my vacation, I watched Magic Trip, which only made me more curious about the Dead. (Also, I learned about Acid Tests, Ken Kesey, the insanity of Neal Cassidy's ups, and that my longing for a time machine back to the 60's is still alive and strong.)

Saturday night, I finally made the time and mental space for American Beauty. I was up late, working on my family tree; my house was dark and quiet, so I turned it out and turned it up. It was emotionally beautiful and serenely melodic. I was instantly in love.

Specifically, I am in love with Ripple. There is something about this song that gets into my head, mellows me out, and reminds me to be Pooh (A Walking Meditation). I want to sway to the music, close my eyes, and smile. I wish that I could bottle the warm and peaceful feeling that it puts in my heart and share it with others. Suddenly, I feel like I'm really starting to understand the Dead Heads. 

I don't normally include full lyrics, but this one is far too beautiful to not share.


If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,
Perhaps they're better left unsung.
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone,
If you should stand then whos to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ringo Starr

Part of my love of the Beatles is rooted in the countless hours that I spent watched A Hard Day’s Night and Help!. There was one week where I watched Help! around 20 times in a row (yikes... my poor parents!). In both movies, the main story line is focused on Ringo, which has always endeared him to me. He is always sort of bubbling, adorable, and sweet.

Last Sunday, I saw him perform with his 13th All-Starr band at Ruth Eckerd Hall. It was my fourth time seeing him, and as always the concert was consistently entertaining and kind of amazing (See my previous post: With a Little Help From His Friends). Ringo is a great ringleader and does an amazing job of performing and amply sharing the spotlight with a great collection of musicians. This year’s musicians included: Steve Lukather (Toto), Gregg Rolie (Journey, Santana), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Todd Rundgren, Mark Rivera, and Gregg Bissonette.

As always, it was a fantastic night and I had my moment when I realized that there before me was Ringo Starr, very similar to those movies that I always loved. So, because it always makes me laugh, here are a a couple of fun Ringo moments from The Beatles movies.