Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Holiday Adventure

Howdy, Blogverse!

(Seriously, people, I know you're out there - I have a counter on my dashboard that tells me that you've been reading so you can hide in the darkness of the Internet all you want, I know you're there.)

Anyway, I hope everyone had a lovely 4th of July (almost a month later, what is wrong with me!?), celebrating the fact that none of us have British accents or a real royal family by blowing shit up and eating disgusting amounts of food. I stayed in, cleaned my house with the AC blasting and only ventured outside to watch the fireworks from the alley with my neighbors because drunk people in the park is not my idea of fun.

ANYWAY. The "fun" part of my holiday was a real adventure (kinda? There were no bad guys with guns, car chases, or mega mysteries to unravel) in our own town! I've lived in the LA metropolis area my entire life, even lived in the city itself for 3 years, but only did a handful of touristy things in that time. SO last friday (July 5) my parents decided it would be fun to go on a historical tour of old Hollywood/Beverly Hills/Los Angeles. I'm thinking old buildings, film trivia, classic films and how El Pueblo de Los Angeles became the big bad LA we know and love.

We were so. wrong.
File:Pantages Theater, Hollywood, LA, CA, jjron 21.03.2012.jpg
The Art Deco facade of the Pantages Theater. Photo by John O'Neill from Wikipedia Commons

Meet us on Hollywood Blvd., a mere two blocks west of the Pantages Theater. The Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theater, The Egyptian Theater, "Hollywood & Vine," - you get the idea? So we're walking to the meet-up spot (this adventure was so ghetto in a hilarious way, I'm not even kidding), and we're passing all these HOLLYWOOD SOUVENIRS shops. You know: cheap t-shirts, postcards (yay!!!), ugly trinkets, key chains, and the creme de la creme, miniature Oscars. Cheap, plastic, made-in-China, miscellaneous sizes of those fancy Academy Awards that look like somebody's Uncle Oscar.  We passed one with a huge display of this tourist trap fodder and my dad turns to me as we prepare to cross the street and says, "We should buy a bunch of those, and distribute them to opposing experts after their depo or trial testimony."

What you need to know is a) my dad is an expert witness in trucking litigation, b) he has several specific other experts against whom he regularly testifies, and c) some of them (I will not be naming names) tend to stretch the truth a bit to the point where if it wasn't so funny they'd be outright liars.

So he suggests we start handing them Oscars after their "performances"?  I started laughing so hard I almost didn't make it across the street. (Maybe it wasn't that funny and maybe you had to be there, but I thought it was the funniest thing I'd heard in a month.)

Moving right along. We get there early, are told to come back in 20 minutes. We go in search of smoothies. Smoothie fail. Smoothie success, then running to catch our fancy, double-decker tour bus. No. No no no no. Janky, craptastic, not-enough-seatbelts, broken awning, open air, van/golfcart. To carry 12 people and a seeing-eye dog. I wound up scrunched between my youngest sister and a large man who was very kind but fell asleep halfway through the tour. I was also asked repeatedly to take iPhone pictures for the vision-impaired woman sitting in front of me. But the dog was very well-behaved. He sat on the floor in the front seat very patiently.

The van/bus/cart/thing starts moving and we dart in and out of traffic on Hollywood Blvd., and head to the Hollywood Bowl and the 101 (apparently these are tourist attractions?) and up to Mulholland Dr. for a decent view of the city and the Hollywood sign. (There were a number of European and East Coast tourists who were bitching about "all the smog" when in reality it was the marine layer that was keeping us cool combined with some low cloud cover because it RAINED a bit later that day... Oh well, maybe they'll leave sooner.) Then it was a tour of the Hollywood Hills and guess what: Celebrity houses. I got to see Nichole Richi's house (sp?), Eddie Murhpy's abode, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel's pad, JLo's place, and so on.
NOT our bus. Shamelessly stolen from TripAdvisor
So I'm thinking, This is not history, this is a TMZ tour.  Then we passed a very swanky open-air van which actually WAS the TMZ tour. Uh-huh. Then we went to Beverly Hills! And drove around the 4-mansion complex that makes up the Playboy Mansion. And saw Paris Hilton's home. And Wolfgang Puck's house, and Jackie Chan's mansion, and made stops at every place Lindsey Lohan got arrested or caused a scene. We drove by the Coffee Bean where celeb blogger Perez Hilton has an office. (That's right. He has an actual office in a Coffee Bean near Rodeo Dr.) We drove up Rodeo Dr. and past Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie's favorite restaurants. We drove by Michael Jackson's house and the hospital where Whitney Houston died. NOT a historical Hollywood tour. 

Two hours later (and severe suspected whiplash - the driver was a freaking maniac), it was over and we were dumped back onto the sidewalk from whence we first embarked. I mean, it was funny and amusing but distinctly not as advertised. So we wandered back to the car (as it started to rain, WHAT) and decided that Chinatown was our destination of choice for lunch. (This was at 2:26 - we left the house at 10:36. We were operating on what was left of our 11:56 smoothies. Yes, I actually remember those exact times for things. There were lots of sixes.) Mom kept going on and on about how she and Dad used to go to Chinatown all the time, and since I have no actual memory of going with them (which she also insisted happened more than once), determined that it had been far too long. Certainly at least 20 years since they'd been there.

So to Chinatown we went. And got lost along the way, because Los Angeles. But we finally got there and found a place to park and were looking for a place to eat. We thought about going to Joe's Italian Restaurant, because a big Italian restaurant in the middle of Chinatown is a little too fantastic to pass up, right? We couldn't find the entrance. Not even kidding, the front door wasn't a real door. It just looked like a door. That wouldn't open. So we kept walking.  A few blocks down we saw a sign for "Chinese BBQ & Seafood." Seemed safe enough, so we ambled over and let me tell you. It was just like you imagine wandering the back alleys of Chinatown would be (I? Am I the only one who imagines these things?). The outside of this restaurant looked tiny and dark and dingy. It was called Hop Woo BBQ. (I can't make this stuff up.) We walk in, and it's brightly lit, huge, and lovely. We sit at a big table in the middle of the room and get a big (okay, little) pot of green tea (which was fantastically delicious, by the way) and are left to peruse the menu. I had to remind my little sisters that this was actually Chinese food, not Chinese take-out. And M--- (ever the picky one who won't eat fish) searched for orange chicken while the rest of us debated the merits of shrimp in lobster sauce over some other thing I couldn't pronounce.

In the end, we got amazing food, including the best, most delicious shrimp and asparagus I'd ever tasted. I could rave for weeks about how fantastic that shrimp and asparagus was. As in, for my birthday next year, we're going to Hop Woo BBQ so I can have the shrimp and asparagus.

Also, as we were leaving, we passed a lady on the corner selling 2 aquatic/marine turtles for $7. In a tiny aquarium. My sisters and I almost talked our parents into getting 2 or 6, but when the turtles get bigger we would need to put them in a bigger aquarium and that's a lot of work. I'm still holding out hope for an alpaca, though. (The alpaca thing is a WHOLE other blog post...)

My very own solar-powered Luck Cat!!!
Then we wandered around because on our first pass, we walked through a little shop and I saw a LUCKY CAT. Sherlock fans, you remember the Lucky Cat Shop!? THEY ARE A REAL THING. And I wanted one. I also wanted postcards because I have penpals to send postcards to now. After I explained to my mother the significance of the Lucky Cat, she (in a very rare show of good moodedness) made it her mission to secure an arm-waving Lucky Cat for me.  We went into that first shop and my sisters looked at embroidered fans and my dad looked at giant paper lanterns and my mother looked at sake sets and I, dear readers, went straight to the back of the shop to the Lucky Cat display. They had little, one inch high ceramic ones for a dollar, but I didn't see the larger, arm-waving, gold colored style I wanted. But there, on the register, was a solar-powered, gold colored, plastic Lucky Cat! The shop owner was so nice and pulled a boxed one from under the counter and even checked to make sure it worked. He then engaged in a conversation with my dad about how his shop was featured in the Nancy Drew movie that came out a few years ago.

My sisters and I got a bunch of postcards and a few fans, I got a set of real chopsticks and they each got a tiny lucky cat. Then we went into a plaza place and looked in a few other shops, took some pictures,  wondered what the heck the Ooga Booga Store is, looked at a giant bronze Bruce Lee statue, and threw pennies in the most interesting wishing well I've ever seen. It was set up like a waterfall/pond water feature, with a few statues of Buddha and other deities I'm not familiar with, and it was tiered. On the different tiers there were bowls and signs like "Luck" or "Wealth" or "Love" and other things that people might wish for. It was really lovely, and there were dragonflies, honeybees, and butterflies and tons of flowers all around it, and kids throwing pennies and adults sitting on benches and it was almost like I was in Munich again, discovering beautiful little things in unexpected corners.

 Then we headed home, happy and full and chatting about our adventure, already becoming a happy memory in which the rough parts are smoothed over with hindsight and the happy parts are made more special but less clear.

But do you want to know the best part of the whole day, reader? The best, most precious part that I'm almost afraid to speak out loud? The whole day, from leaving at 10am to getting home at 5pm, we didn't fight. My mother didn't snap at my sisters, my father did not complain to my mother, my sisters and I laughed and joked together and my parents and I did not clash. Not once. The only time we grouched was when we had smoothie failures and when we were getting on the van/golf cart/bus thing. That was it. But we weren't upset with each other, we were upset with the circumstance - circumstances which we were able to look back and smile on only hours later.

It was an adventure, AND it was someplace I'd never been before. Which means that in one day, I was able to cross TWO things off of my New Years' Revolutions. Isn't that wonderful?

In other news, Gary comes home next Friday, I have some book reviews coming (finally, I know!), and my newest penpal in Missouri is quite a lot like me and writes deliciously long letters.

See you soon!

 My lucky cat waving goodbye. He usually sits on the windowsill where he can get lots of sun, but he's hard to photograph there.

Have you ever been a tourist in your own town? Ever gone on an adventure that started out awful and ended up awesome? Ever had the best shrimp and asparagus of your life after a day of NOT fighting with your family? Tell me all about it!

**Unless otherwise noted, all images in this post are copyright Whitney Miller. If you wish to re-use one of my shitty iPhone photos, please e-mail me via my Contact page 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Letter Writer

A few months ago I watched this movie called The Letter Writer on Netflix.  It's really cheesy and ultimately rather predictable (like most Hallmark-esque movies), but I still enjoyed it. You can get the full synopsis anywhere on the internet. Basically, a teenager named Maggie who has daddy-issues and basically all the trauma involved in being a teen receives a mysterious, handwritten letter in the mail from a stranger who has words of encouragement for her.

She takes the initiative to track down the Letter Writer: an old man living in a nursing home. She ends up spending time with him and all of his friends in the nursing home, and finds in herself that she has a great deal of potential.  It's a cookie-cutter Hallmark film and bears little to no resemblance to real life, but I liked that this man took the time every day to write letters of inspiration and encouragement to people picked out of the phone book.

A Bunch of Journal Writing Prompts

I did some googling about and came across the Letter Writers' Alliance (seriously, click on the link. Kathy and Donovan are two seriously rockin', letter-writing ladies). Basically, they are dedicated to preserving the art of letter writing for future generations.

I took this from their Mission Statement:
"In this era of instantaneous communication, a handwritten letter is a rare and wondrous item. The Letter Writers Alliance is dedicated to preserving this art form; neither long lines, nor late deliveries, nor increasing postal rates will keep us from our mission."
 Obviously, I joined the Letter Writers Alliance immediately, and upon receiving my membership packet I wrote in to join the Pen Pal Swap. I now have 4 new pen friends who are just as into writing letters and receiving good mail as I am.

What I really love is the thrill of going to the mailbox after work every day in the hope that perhaps, among the bills and past due notices and adverts there could be something small, colorful, and handwritten, just for me. The idea that someone over a thousand miles away is interested in my daily life, in the thoughts in my head, and takes the time to put it on paper and stick it in a mailbox is thrilling.  It's actually uplifting since (as a shitty 20-something) I get the feeling that nobody really cares anymore.  I like being proved wrong.

Write on,


Monday, July 1, 2013

Sore Throats, Evil Blenders, and the Roaring Twenties

Yes, I've fallen off the wagon with minimal posting since February.  I want to write a novel but I can't even keep up a blogging schedule; who am I kidding? Honestly, I've spent the last 4 months tired, frustrated, and lonely.  and after the strange, familiar heartache of my birthday last month, I've kind of figured something out.

I'm in my 20s.

I'm 23, I have mild depression (a far cry from my prior diagnosis of "severe") and social anxiety, and I don't know what the fuck I'm doing.

Pinned from

And that's okay.
(follow the jump for more)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Corpus Christi: The Body of Christ

from, accessed 06/05/2013

Corpus Christi!!! Corpus Christi is a Latin phrase used in reference to the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ.  We celebrate this feast day on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday and it is not a holy day of obligation (except when it is celebrated on a Sunday, which, in the US, it usually is).  This is one of those holidays that I wasn't really aware of until I began paying attention to our liturgical calendar when I started teaching Catechism.

The Feast of Corpus Christi began with a beautiful story.  A young nun, Juliana, had great love for the Blessed Sacrament - the Eucharist - and longed for a celebration of it outside of Lent. (Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, is the celebration of the Institution of the Eucharist at Christ's Last Supper.)  She had a recurring dream/vision for almost 20 years of a beautiful white full moon, with one dark, black spot on it. Jesus later revealed to her that the full moon represented the Church calendar, and the black spot was the missing solemnity of His presence in the Eucharist.  She went to her priest who went to a bishop and it took a lot of time (and for dear St. Juliana, a great deal of ridicule and suffering) but eventually it was included in the liturgical calendar as a feast day.

Many countries celebrate this feast day with processions, wherein a priest will bear the monstrance at the head of the crowd around a city or parish church.  Our own parish celebrated with a procession on Sunday and a surprising number of people stayed to participate.

What I love about Corpus Christi is that it celebrates on of my favorite aspects of Catholicism: transubstantiation. I know that's a big word, but it's a BIG deal. As Catholics we believe that, by some miracle of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ is actually, physically present in the form of bread and wine when we celebrate the Eucharist at mass every single Sunday. His essence is miraculously transferred into these hosts - they host his presence - which we then consume. To encounter God so intimately every Sunday is such a rich blessing.

At our parish we are especially blessed to have a Perpetual Adoration Chapel right next to our church. Inside, a monstrance holding a consecrated host - the Eucharist itself, Jesus' real presence - is displayed for adoration and prayer.  It's a wonderful place to visit and pray and spend time with Jesus in His presence.

Wishing you all a blessed week - tune in later for a roundup of some saints!



1. NewAdvent, Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Feast of Corpus Christi accessed 06/05/2013
2. Wikipedia article on Corpus Christi, accessed 06/05/2013
3. TimeandDate article on Corpus Christi, accessed 06/05/2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Review and Introductory Post: The Catholic Home

When I first started paying attention to the liturgical year (around the time I started teaching Catechism, so September of 2012), it was because I realized that there was a wealth of Catholic feasts and traditions that I didn't know about.  As a child, we only did the major holy days: All Saint's Day, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter and Christmas.  Of course we observed Lent and Advent, but things like Michaelmas and Pentecost and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception were celebrated only by pre-Vatican II Catholics - the ones who still wore chapel veils and attended mass in Latin. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, trust me. I have developed a deep love of the doily-wearers and the beauty of Latin. I'm talking about me as a high school student who had no desire to be Confirmed. More on that later.)  But in preparation for my new role as a Catechist, I sought advice and information from the great thinkers of our day: Bloggers. I cruised the Internet looking for Catholic blogs, and found a treasure-trove. But the one that really got me going was Carrots for Michaelmas, and I discovered it from this post which I re-blogged here. Anyway, Carrots was a gateway blog for me. I kept reading and reading and Googling things and going into Wikipedia and black holes for hours digging up information.

From Barnes&
Eventually all of my searching led me to Amazon where I wanted a book that offered the basics on practicing Catholic traditions in the home. I knew how to do an Advent wreath, but I knew from my Internet reading that there was so much more. I finally stumbled upon this lovely little book, and ordered 3 copies - for my mother, myself, and the host mom of my Catechism class. While it is by no means completely comprehensive (and not nearly long or detailed enough), this little book offers a great beginner's guide.  It offers not only the historical context of many Catholic celebrations, but it explains a variety of ways to celebrate them. That was a big selling point to me. Not just what our traditions are, but how we can bring them into our modern lives on a daily basis.  It also has info on ways to celebrate the various sacraments as a family.

I also really like that it includes recipe ideas for what to eat and how to decorate. There's so much going on in this book, I love it. I've only had it for about 2 months and my copy is pretty well loved.

There are a few things I wish this book included, like more information on how to dress a home altar on different saints' days or how to observe some more obscure holy days (like Corpus Christi or the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus), but it serves as an excellent base.  The appendices are also very helpful, including places to go seeking other information.

Other places I went:

Better Than Eden
Fish Eaters
Catholic Online (I especially like their A-Z Saints & Angels)
2013 Liturgical Calendar (*Note: This is a 43 page .pdf but totally worth the download and printout.)

So basically, there is tons of information available on Catholic home traditions and ways to celebrate feasts and holy days. Really, though, it's about realizing and acting upon the realization that our feast days are more than their commercial counterparts.

This post is acting as a spring board for a few new features on this blog.
- This Week in Liturgy, where I will keep you updated on what kinds of feasts/holy days/liturgical seasons we're celebrating
- This Week in Saints, where I will *TRY my hardest* to update weekly with saints' days and feasts of saints. This feature is primarily for my Confirmation students, who need to pick a saint, but I love researching and sharing about the heroes of our faith, so I'm generally really excited about it.
- The Little Blue Box. This feature is also primarily for my students. When they have questions (related to our faith or not) that are not immediately relevant to class discussion, rather than let them forget a probably-interesting question, I have them write it on a slip of paper and submit it to my Blue Box (I'll share a picture of it later). These can be anonymous or not, but I do my best to answer them at some point during the year. The ones I don't get to (or the ones I feel should be shared with all of you), get posted here.

That's all for now - post on Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ) on Sunday.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Reading - The Life of Pi

(If you are on the e-mail list and are receiving this a second time, apologies. I accidentally hit "Publish" when I meant to hit "Save" while drafting this, and you received an incomplete version.)

Image from Indie*Reader. It's got a great article on this book.
The image shows what my cover looks like.

# of pages: 319
Publication date: 2001
Publisher: Harcourt (Originally published in Canada by Random House)

This one was in a bag of books my bff V------- got me for my 19th or 20th birthday, all from some lovely secondhand bookshop.  I never read it - never thought I would. I'd heard a lot of great things about it, but I hated the cover (before you people jump all over me on it, this strategy has worked zillions of times for me) and it just didn't look interesting at all. Nothing about it said, "Brilliant story about a boy and a tiger but it's also about faith and the perseverance of the human spirit." That was nowhere on the back cover. I looked.

But one day back in January while I was cleaning, I picked it up.

When I clean - particularly when I'm dusting or vacuuming in the living room - I drift over to my bookcase and have a conversation with my books. Some I haven't read in ages, some I haven't read at all or haven't finished, etc. I run my fingers over them to say hello, see how they're doing; I pick them up and flip through them and see if anything jumps out at me.

So I picked up Life of Pi and generally didn't like the back cover or front cover or inside covers. Started reading the prologue/preface and became intrigued with the author's story of how he was in India working on a novel that didn't work out and then started looking for another story to tell. This search led him to Canada and a man named Pi Patel, who grew up in the Pondicherry Zoo in India. Dusting forgotten, I sat in my great-great-grandmother's rocking chair and started reading. Then I had to get up and find a pen so I could basically underline the entire first 10 pages.

I don't often read books with religious themes, overtones, undertones, etc. I kind of quit that after my first year of high school. (I have recently gotten back into religious literature, but with a more discerning taste.) But there was something about the clarity, the honesty, the simplicity of Pi's religious experience that was so poignant to me.

Here are a few of my favorite passages:

From page 6:
"The reason death sticks so closely to's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can.  but life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud."
From page 12, talking about the zoo:
"It was a huge zoo...though it seemed to get smaller as I got older... Now it's so small it fits in my head."   
See the hint of magical realism there? SEE IT!?

From page 28:
"I was more afraid that in a few words thrown out he might destroy something that I loved. ... What a terrible disease that must be if it could kill God in a man."
From page 47:
"We are all born like Catholics, aren't we -  in limbo, without religion, until some figure introduces us to God?"

From page 50:

"Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat-wearing Muslims. ... First wonder goes deepest; wonder after that fits in the impression made by the first.  i owe to Hinduism the original landscape of my religious imagination, those towns and rivers, battlefields and forests, holy mountains and deep seas where gods, saints, villains and ordinary people rub shoulders, and, in doing so, define who and why we are."
I truly wish I could hand you my copy and let you flip through the pages and see all the beautiful imagery I underlined, more passages about his understanding of God in the universe and the world and nature and the ocean. I'd love to share with you all the illegible little things I scrawled in the margins and all the dog-eared pages of my well-loved copy. You'll have to make do with this slap dash review instead. Sorry. 

Life of Pi movie review
The ocean at night. From this review.
The stories of Pi growing up in India were definitely my favorite part of the novel. Unfortunately, they were also only at the beginning. I'm not the world's greatest fan of survival, man-vs-nature adventures. I really enjoyed the beginning of this one, though. Granted, the narrative of the shipwreck was a bit rushed - the pacing gave me whiplash and I had to read it several times to fully understand it. But the rest of it, the tidbits about the nature of wild animals in a lifeboat, the attempts at training Richard Parker, the survival information about water, the details about the fish and sharks and sea turtles and currents... All of that was extremely well-written and some of it even incorporated aspects of magical realism which made my inner lit theory nerd squeal in delight. 

But after a few (hundred) pages that got a bit dull. And in a way I understand that maybe he was trying to convey the absolute never-ending boredom of being lost at sea in a lifeboat with a tiger, I dunno.

The island, though. The cannibal island. Just, wow. WOW. I loved that part. I actually accidentally flipped ahead and read that whole section after I read the first 3 pages, but when I got there in "real time" (reading all the way through like a proper person), it was still brilliant and fresh and incredible. And terrifying.

But then it got boring. Or I lost interest. I'm not really sure. I just remember he was in the ocean for a long time and then washed ashore in Mexico, was taken to a hospital, then to Canada.

The part with the Japanese investigators, though. Where he changed the story. It broke my brain. On the one hand I loved it, but on the other...It devastated me to think of what kind of mental state he must have been in to believe he was with a full grown Bengal tiger if he wasn't. Or was he?

The theme driven home by that part is the idea of our lives being stories, and we should make them good ones. Pi asks the Japanese investigators (this is fiction, folks, he was using an interview as a plot device to structure a frame narrative) which story was true: the story with people, or the story with the tiger. They chose the story with the tiger. "And so it goes with God," he replies. Because our stories are good. Stories with God are better. 

Pi sees the Universe. From Empires and Mangers
The movie: The movie was actually a really, really well done adaptation. There were things in the beginning that were different, and a few things toward the end that were left out, but all the main stuff was there. All the things that made it such a great story. The cinematography was great, and the part where he sees the entire universe in the ocean... The way they portrayed that on film was so beautiful - just the way I imagined it when I read it.

Recommended Reading Level: 14+ (Only because some of the religious themes might be difficult to grasp for younger readers.)

3.5 out of 5 Stars - The beginning was brilliant and most of the imagery is fantastic. It loses points because after a while the ocean was boring and the author's voice is incredibly annoying. The narration by Pi is perfect and wonderful, but when the author starts talking or doing his little side narrations, I wanted to smack him. He comes off as pompous, arrogant, pedantic, and irritating. Like Draco Malfoy in the first 3 HP books - just a snotty toerag. But his narration as Pi... It saves him.

Who I Recommend it To: People who like stories about faith, people who like stories about human beings surviving nature's brutality, people who like a bit of magical realism, people who like fantasy adventure stories, people who like stories about India or even Canada, people who like stories about animals, people who have stronger stomachs than me and can handle reading about a tiger almost drowning without crying thinking about their silly house cat because I'm pitiful like that.

Overall, read it. The rich imagery alone is worth it, and I dare you not to get caught up in Pi's mind, in his history. Let him light a match in your dark head.



Sunday, January 13, 2013

13 Things - Places I've Been

This month's 13 on the 13th is my top favorite 13 places I've been. I've been so blessed to have seen so much of the world at my age, and (almost) every trip has been an incredible adventure (there have been occasional roadtrips that had me pulling out my hair, but thankfully I'm a bit past that now). So here are my top 13. 

1. London
Pinned from here
2. Venice
From Google Images, via

3. Rome
From Pinterest via Wiki Answers
4. Florence
From Pinterest, via Tumblr, photo by Andy McGarry
5. Paris
From Pinterest via
6. Munich
From Pinterest, via Flikr
7. Neuchwanstein
Pinned from here
8. NYC
From via Google Images
9. Philadelphia
From via Google Images
10. New Hampshire
Photo by Rebecca Williams, via PreservationNation
11. Salem
Bush Gardens, my favorite spot. Photo from

12. Portland
Most accurate description of a city, ever. From
13. Los Angeles
The greatest city in the world, my beautiful LA.
Photo from Wikipedia

Okay, so I've technically lived in Los Angeles and the surrounding suburban area my entire life, but there are so many adventures to be had in LA and it's various parts (West LA, South Bay, Hollywood, Westwood, the beaches, etc.) that I really can't resist loving it.

That's all for now, tune in next month for more 13 on the 13th!