The Kite Runner: A Review

I had heard a lot of hype over this book and since the movie was coming out, predictably I made a huge effort to get this book read. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was not what I expected. For some reason I was expecting a more politically minded, look-at-how-the-Taliban-has-changed-people type of book, but in fact, all of the main characters who stay in Afghanistan stay remarkably the same (except they get older and a little ragged around the edges). The Kite Runner is a well written book with a nice story behind it. It enlightens you on life in Afghanistan before and after the Russian occupation (and then the Taliban liberation... and then the Taliban occupation). It is a sad story about the fall of a friendship and the fall of Afghanistan.

Truth be told, I really didn't know much about the history of Afghanistan, and I sure did learn a lot from this book. That might be my favorite thing about the book. There are many nice things about this book. It has some really beautiful moments and scenes in the book. The description of the kite running was, of course, the most beautiful and interesting. The story of the friendship between the boys was interesting, but got a little old after a while. Overall, I felt like all of the relationships in the book end up coming off dry in the end due to being beaten into the ground. Okay okay, I get it, the father was distant from the son! How many more little examples do we need? I guess this is the product of a story being told in flashback, if it's taking place in the present then you don't feel like the character's just continually rehashing the same point over and over again.

The "Big Scene" that took place early in the book that haunts our narrator was disturbing and sad, and there were other scenes that definitely got to you and disturbed you. While I was interested enough to keep reading and find out what happened, many of the plot twists seemed a bit too convenient to me and just cheapened the emotion of the story. I thought the ending was a little quaint and anti-climatic (following the over-dramatic near ending, if that makes sense). The mood of the book just didn't feel consistent to me.

The inelegant point I'm trying to make is that while the book had some powerfully written scenes scattered about here and there and while the story was interesting, it just didn't grab me and it didn't stick with me after I was finished reading it. I was just kind of like, alright, it's over. Next book. So I guess I was disappointed with all the raving and ranting people had been doing over the book because all in all it was just alright.



One Mango Tree.

I've been meaning to blog about this great project, One Mango Tree, for a while.  What's truly amazing about it for me personally is that I know the great girls behind this project because they're from the amazing group that I visited Uganda with!  The project is to empower the women of Northern Uganda and I couldn't think of two better people to facilitate this project than Halle (the US Coordinator) and Kate (the Uganda Coordinator).  And the products being sold are just awesome!  I know I have a bunch of purses and skirts that I'd had made in Uganda while I was there and I just love them and it's so great that now you can get these unique and beautiful items online!  I'm about to buy me a yoga bag!  You can read a lot more about the coordinators and the Ugandan women creating these products on the website, One Mango Tree.  To read an interview of one of the Coordinators, check out this link.  

And please, go online and buy buy buy!  Your money couldn't be going to a greater cause.

You'll be empowering women and helping people who have truly been through atrocious times.  

And plus, the stuff is sooo cute!  Great gift items too!  Isn't Valentine's Day coming up?


At Least I Know I'm Fertile.

According to the Chinese Zodiak, people who are born in the year of the Pig are extremely fertile. This belief and the added belief that babies born in the year of the Pig will benefit from the pig's image of being fat and happy has made this past year on the Chinese calendar a baby boom in China:

Chinese hospitals have been submerged in recent months under a tide of pregnant women; newborns are arriving in droves; and companies that manufacture diapers are upping their advertising budgets.


Since time immemorial, prospective parents have been told, children born under the pig's patronage will benefit from the animal's image as fat, happy and prosperous. Now, couples who schemed to have their babies in these blessed times are hoping for good fortune.

"My family already has two pigs, including my father, and I want to add one more pig," said a pregnant 28-year-old Beijing secretary who identified herself only as Ms. Lian.

Well this is good news to my family who are absolutely desperate (so it seems by the constant hounding) for me to have children... immediately. I am a proud Pig, but I've never heard of this extra perk of being a Pig until now. Maybe this fertileness will work out in my favor since I want to wait a bit longer to have children, so when I'm an old and decrepit thirty years old (which is Way too old to start having kids according to my family) I'll still be fertile enough to pop out a couple of kids.


Fortune Cookie.

How did I celebrate Chinese New Year, you ask? Well other than going down to visit my folks this weekend (traditionally we Do celebrate Chinese New Year for 15 days after the new moon), today Hubs and I got food from our favorite Chinese restaurant and my hubby got this curious fortune...

Every man is a volume if you know how to read him. :)

And yes, the smiley face Was in fact at the end of the fortune. Hmm, a volume, like a novel? Is it trying to say that men have a lot to them if you can learn how to read them since they don't say things directly? And what does it mean that a man got this fortune himself? Maybe it meant something else by "volume" and we have a case of Engrish.

And speaking of Engrish, I was recently enlightened to this amusing website, Engrish.com. Meanwhile, my brother got some Engrish in person while he was visiting China. I'll definitely keep my eye out for some while I'm in Hong Kong this summer...

Picture courtesy of  my brother.

Happy Chinese New Year!


What The Giants Did To The Patriots.

And yes, that is my actual dog getting humped by my friends' actual dog. Poor Vladdy...

I Should Have Been a Guy.

As I do every year around this time of year, I'm beginning to feel a bit down. Not because it's the winter and cold and dreary (especially not that since it's 60 degrees and beautiful today here in NC!) and not because the Holidays are over... but because football season is coming to a close.

I'm excited about the Super Bowl party I'll be attending tonight, but I truly, really, seriously hate the Patriots and I'm not looking forward to seeing them make history. I'm a Steelers fan through and through and if any team's going to make history I want it to be Mine and none other. Plus, I just can't stand the chauchiness of Tom Brady and the sleeziness of Belichick. I wouldn't say I'm a Giants fan whatsoever, and up until the Giants' recent run, I've been less than impressed with Mr. #1 Pick Eli Manning, but the Giants are the lesser of two evils at this point and time.

After the Super Bowl, I do have the Pro Bowl to look forward to, especially since Ben is finally be recognized for his amazing season. Although I'm still extremely annoyed that the Steelers team decided to award LB James Harrison, who had one amazing game and a solid season overall, the team MVP award when other than that one Monday night game against Baltimore I wouldn't say we won or lost a game because of him. Meanwhile Ben had his most amazing season ever, was the second best QB in the whole league, second only to Tom Brady who broke the TD passing record, and Ben pretty much carried the team through a multitude of injuries AND behind a sorry and struggling O-Line and his team doesn't even recognize him? Not to mention that he has stepped up as a leader on the team. That irks me, but I suppose that's the Defensive minded Steelers for ya...

The draft is always fun to do some research on and prepare for, but then after that is the slow slow days of summer and no football. Depression. What's a gal to do with herself?

I've come to the realization recently that I should have been a guy. I've always gotten along with guys better than girls (girls are so catty after all!) I used to play football during recess with the boys when I was in elementary school, and played with some of my guy friends when I was in high school (full tackle too, and boy could I lay a guy out!) I wanted to play hockey when I was in junior high. Of course I lived in Minnesota so that wasn't too unusual, but we couldn't afford the start-up equipment. Most of the times I don't mind being a tom boy, but around that time of month (god, I don't Need that drama) and when my hubby's guy friends invite him out to boys' night out which includes something I really want to do (like watch football, go to a hockey game or a monster car show, etc.) I get annoyed. I don't care if he goes out with just his guy friends, but couldn't they just go out and get wasted like normal guys? Why do they gotta do cool things that make me feel left out? All I get invited to do from my gal pals is shopping, and while shopping can do a heart good, it's nothing like drinking some beer and watching a game! Let the testosterone fly! I think I've scared my father-in-law while watching a football game with him. Hey, girls have testosterone too, maybe my levels are just a smidgen higher.

Anyways, I'm off the the Super Bowl party and I sure hope the other girls at this party won't be yapping my ear off while the game is on! God I hate that!

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