Master and Commander

By: Patrick O’Brian
Aubrey-Maturin series Book 1
Fiction
1970
Rating: 3/5

Master and Commander book cover

I suppose I had heard the term before, but I didn’t realize I was reading a classic when I picked up Master and Commander at first. One day, my father asked what I was reading and I told him, and he immediately looked at me and said, “Ahh, Russell Crowe.” When I gave him a blank stare, he said, “Sara, his face is on the cover. It’s a great movie.”

So, if you’ve seen (or heard of..) the movie, you’re already one step ahead of me. Continue reading “Master and Commander”

Travelogue Pt. 16

The Travelogue series recounts a seventeen-day-long cross-country road trip I took at age 21 with two college friends. We started in Charlotte, NC, and ended up two weeks and 8,000 miles later in Los Angeles, CA. The following is taken verbatim from a handwritten journal I laboriously kept on the trip. Names have been changed, but the rest is absolute, 100%, unedited truth.

*****

June 17

Woke up this morning around 7:30 in Mountain Valley. Brianna was in the living room trying to get us to play with her. Kevin was leaving for work, but we had breakfast with Melissa. Cinnamon bread, eggs, bananas. We wanted to run laundry so we hung around for a while.

Drove into the city on the 280 to avoid traffic. Minor incident where I had to pee really, really, really bad so made them pull off on the next exit which of course was a fairly bad residential area. So we tried a market, nothing. A cafe, nothing, and all the big scary guys at the counter turned and stared at me. Were going to try a church but it didn’t look promising. At this point I was almost crying. Right before we reentered the interstate, saw a much bigger restaurant and figured it HAD to have something. Pulled in and there was actually an outdoor restroom. Perfect.

Went into the city. Drove through Chinatown and parked off Broadway. Walked down to Fisherman’s Wharf. So touristy and expensive but being right on the water like that is hard to beat. Saw the sea lions. Saw Alcatraz from a distance. Jess kept saying it’s much smaller than she thought, but for me it was much closer than I had imagined. Continue reading “Travelogue Pt. 16”

Travelogue Pt. 15

The Travelogue series recounts a seventeen-day-long cross-country road trip I took at age 21 with two college friends. We started in Charlotte, NC, and ended up two weeks and 8,000 miles later in Los Angeles, CA. The following is taken verbatim from a handwritten journal I laboriously kept on the trip. Names have been changed, but the rest is absolute, 100%, unedited truth.

*****

June 16

Writing from Mountain View, CA.

This morning woke at Kyle’s in Folsom. Had breakfast there. Katherine was already gone but Cody came out awkwardly right as we were leaving. He’s not a morning person.

Went to downtown Folsom and met Jonathan. Walked around. He took us around and showed us the historic turnstile from when Folsom was a gold town. Took us down to the river and this really old bridge with a funny sign about not driving more than 50 cattle or 200 sheep across at one time. Continue reading “Travelogue Pt. 15”

Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

By: Pema Chodron
Nonfiction
1994
Subject Matter: Spiritual life; Buddhism; China; Tibet; Doctrines
Rating: 2.5/5

Start Where You Are book cover

I’ll start by admitting that I have NO IDEA how Start Where You Are got on my “To Read” list. None.

I am not a Buddhist; I know nothing about meditation; and I’ve never so much as heard of Pema Chodron. I’ve learned a few words from the like four yoga classes I’ve taken in my life, but that’s it. Continue reading “Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living”

Travelogue Pt. 14

The Travelogue series recounts a seventeen-day-long cross-country road trip I took at age 21 with two college friends. We started in Charlotte, NC, and ended up two weeks and 8,000 miles later in Los Angeles, CA. The following is taken verbatim from a handwritten journal I laboriously kept on the trip. Names have been changed, but the rest is absolute, 100%, unedited truth.

*****

 June 15

Started out this morn in Arcata, CA. Slept in til 7:45. Breakfast at hotel. Left around 9:45.

Didn’t see much of the coast. Went to Avenue of the Giants, an incredible stop Uncle Justin recommended. It’s about 30 miles through the Redwoods. Just phenomenal. The first stop was a 2 mile hike that we did about 500ft of. The forest is just ridiculous. The trees are incomprehensibly large. We kept trying to take pictures but you can’t come anywhere close to capturing it. You can run along the fallen trees; they’re bigger than a runway in width. But just breathing it in, it was impossible not to be incredibly giddy. It’s so dense and just an honest to goodness forest. It wasn’t too touristy but it’s also a Monday. All in all definitely a good stop, but it took a while so we didn’t have time to then drive along the coast.

The rest of the drive was through the inland. First hit these yellow mountains covered in dry yellow grass contrasted against a blue sky and dark green trees. Looked like how I imagine parts of Africa. Then we drove through all of the irrigation farming. No rivers but bridges over river-sized irrigation ditches. Dusty roads with clouds kicked up from farm machinery. Orchards and crops. Kind of hard to watch. Continue reading “Travelogue Pt. 14”