Category Archives: imported blog posts

The Help

The Help

By Kathryn Stockett
This book was amazing.  It’s the story of three women living in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962.  The story intertwines the lives of several young white women, and the black women who have raised them and their children.
The story is easy to read, intriguing, and felt very real to me.  As someone who wasn’t alive during the civil rights movement, this book allowed me to see how it might have felt to be there, to experience the pain and sadness of knowing good people were being mistreated and abused, and to see how the actions of each person can have a great impact in the lives of others.
I waited a long time to read this book.  I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it, and the topic of a book centered around the beginnings of the civil rights movement just didn’t seem appealing to me, but I am so glad that I read it.  
This book should touch your heart.  You might smile, and you’ll probably cry.  In the end, hopefully you, like me, will feel motivated in some small way to make an impact in the lives of others, even if it’s just something as simple as a kind word to someone less fortunate.

Eating Animals

Eating Animals

by Jonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of one of my favorite books, Everything is Illuminated.  When I saw that he also wrote this book, and that it’s both a memoir of this struggle with vegetarianism and also an investigative piece, I couldn’t resist reading it.
After my dog died last year, I read The Animal Manifesto, and made the decision to finally take the leap and start eating 100% vegetarian.  While I don’t feel that The Animal Manifesto was the tipping point (for me, it was more about honoring the memory of Comet), it was interesting to read but largely felt anecdotal, and more snippets to show how all sorts of animals can and do feel pain.
Eating Animals, however, has completely different take.  This book focuses on the US animal farming industry, and presents facts that have really opened my eyes.  I’ve always felt guilty about eating animals, and that I was doing something that was not quite right.  I know that not everyone feels this way.  People are carnivores, or omnivores, they’ll say.  We’re supposed to eat meat.  Sure, sure, but that doesn’t mean we have to.  No other species raises other animals for food.  No other species treats their food so inhumanely, all in the name of a “nice dinner”.   
Personally, the decision to not eat animals (including fish) was in part because I feel that eating animals is wrong, but also because of the way they are raised (more like mass produced) and slaughtered, not to mention the impact that this has on the environment.  The atrocities that go on in the animal farming industry are appalling, and it saddens me to think that animals have gone from being farm raised and cared for as the livelihood of the family to being products produced for profit.
Some statistics:
There are many more statistics that are equally shocking, appalling, and horrifying.  As Foer concludes in Eating Animals, most people are able to live with their decision to eat meat because they simply don’t know (or ignore) the facts of the animal farming industry.
I challenge you to read it, and then tell me that you’re still comfortable eating animals.

Indy!

David and I decided to get a puppy.

His name is Indy, and he’s a maltese.  He is just the sweetest little thing (less than 4 lbs right now!).
Here’s a picture:

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More pictures, videos and posts coming soon!

Running

So, I’ve been trying to get in shape lately (really, the last YEAR).  My goal was to be able to run a 5k in 30 minutes.  I started out on the treadmill at our old apartment and progressed to actual running outside.  Often, I was only going 1.25 miles (one loop around the apartment complex) and even that was not very often.

Recently, I decided to get back into it and set a goal to run an actual 5K early next year.  And then my co-workers all signed up for the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 5k.  And they somehow convinced me to sign up too!
Three weeks to train (less now), and even David is going with me.  I ran about 15 miles in the last week and that’s about as much as I ran in all of September and October combined! 
We’ll see how I do… I still can’t actually run for an entire 5k without walking, but I can do about 1/2 and my times are getting better.
At least it’s an improvement over sitting on the couch all the time!