Monday, August 22, 2011

I Heart Faces - It's Pet Week!

I Heart Faces has weekly photography contests for amateur and professional photographers.  I definitely fall into the former category.  I don't enter their contests very often, and I really don't do it to win.  Although, I have heard that just as many amateurs win as pros.  When I do enter, I do so for the fun of it and because I want my photo to have lots of exposure.  You can bet that any photo on their website gets viewed... a lot!

Each week they post a theme and at least one human face must be visible in the entered photos.  Some weeks they don't require a face.  This week is one of those rarities.  It is Pet Week!  That being said, I am entering this photograph of my beloved dog, Leiua.  She is a full-blood American Pit Bull, but is the complete antithesis of the Pit Bulls you hear about in the media.  Leiua (short for Hallelujah, but a bit blasphemus, probably) is the sweetest, most docile dog you will ever meet.  Leiua is actually the poster child for "America's Nanny Dog", which used to be the nickname for Pit Bulls before cruel, unethical dog fighters came into the picture.  In fact, Helen Keller, who was deaf, blind, and mute for the first several years of her life, had a Pit Bull named Sir Thomas.  Pit Bulls are also commonly referred to as the clowns of the dog world.  They are just plain goofy, as you can see in my photo below:

Have you ever seen such a big smile for the camera?  : D

Thursday, August 18, 2011

goodreads and "The Help"

If you haven't checked out, you are missing out!  This is a major book review website.  It includes numerous authors, librarians, and readers.  Anyone can join and anyone can post reviews.  It is a wonderful way to check out books before you check out books (from the library).  haha  It's also a great way to make sure that your children are reading books appropriate for their age. 

That said, here is my review of The Help by Kathryn Stockett:

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Help is an excellent book that allegedly accurately portrays race relations in the South in the 1960s.  This is from the perspective of black maids and their white employers.  While I was a little concerned with a white person writing black dialect, it didn't seem stiff or "put on".  The interactions between the various maids and employers were entertaining.  The book showed the hopefulness of the black community for acceptance and equal protection/equal rights under the law, as well as the stubborn backward-glancing of some white characters who would have liked nothing more than to perpetuate the separation of the races through any means, including violence, misinformation, and outright lies.  Some of the people in this book are not likeable at all, but others shine for their honesty and the clarity of their vision.  This is a MUST read.

(I did notice one glaring error in the book, however.  When discussing Medgar Evers' murder, book characters state he was bludgeoned to death.  A quick internet check by Stockett or her editors would have quickly revealed that Evers was killed by an assassin's bullet.  To make such an error is nothing short of lazy and is deeply disappointing, given that the book is truly about the civil rights movement.)

If you join the website or are already a member of goodreads,
feel free to add me as a friend! 

[NOTE (added 08-21-11):  I saw the movie version today.  While the writer corrected the mistake about Medgar Evers' murder, so many things were changed from the book that it made me sad.  Now, I know that when you translate a book to a screenplay, lots of things usually have to be left out.  That's not what I'm complaining about here.  Several of the changes didn't seem to have any rhyme or reason.  One change in particular - the reason Constantine was no longer the maid for Skeeter's family - made it look like her mother was way more vindictive and wrong for what happened than it did in the book.  I don't know if they were trying to soften the responsibility of other minor characters, but they certainly left Skeeter's mother looking more like one of the horrible employers Skeeter and the "colored domestics" were exposing in their book. If you ask me (which you didn't), you can see the movie for the performances, some of which were pretty good, but if you are going to see it, read the book afterward.  I think you will be disappointed if you read the book first.  I know I was.]