The Devil in the White City book review

"The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson

*** out of ****

This is a brilliant non fiction book about the Chicago world fair in 1893...'92? Wow, I just finished the book and I can't even remember the year the fair took place in. Well, that should show you how well I retain information. ^_^ Anyway, whenever the fair was, that's when the book takes place. It alternately chronicles the construction and running of the fair and the exploits of H. H. Holmes, a notorius serial killer.

Most of the time I don't particularly like historical non fiction, but my dad lent me the book so I decided to give it a shot. I was more than pleasantly surprised. I find most historical non fiction dry and boring, but Larson is anything but boring. There were a couple segments that seemed to drag on, but most of the time Larson keeps you completely sucked in. Larson spends less than half the book on killer Holmes, making the book more about the fascinating aspects of the construction of the fair than sensationalistic true crime, which I thought was really nice, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

One of the things I loved most about the book was the way Larson would sneak in passages about famous historical figures. He'll write a paragraph or two about when they visited the fair, or something they said, before revealing their identity. It never failed to make me smile. ^_^ More nice touches were the excerpts from letters written by people figured prominantly into the book, menus from society dinners, and even a list of ailments that the hospital at the fair treated patients for. More interesting factoids were all the various things that were invented especially for the fair, like Pabst Blue Ribbon beer! XD

Well worth the read!


More composition notebooks

Here are the last two:

Interestingly enough, the first one I did and the last one I did are my least favorites.

So that's it for the freaking awesome composition notebooks, for now anyway. ^_^ I've still got a few uncovered notebooks lying around so I may be posting more photos soon. ^_^ AND I have a really exciting post coming chronicling my trip to the Point Defiance Zoo with Andrew last Saturday.

Sharks, tigers, and reindeer! Oh my!


From composition notebook to FREAKING AWESOME composition notebook

So, I was talking to my mom the other day and she told me about this amazing idea for a project that her friend had started doing: taking scrapbook paper and other odds and ends and covering composition notebooks. I thought this was probably one of the coolest ideas I had ever heard, especially since I love comp notebooks so much. I have quite a few that I haven't even written anything in.

I'm not much of a craft person. I draw, and that's pretty much it. But this idea sounded so cool that I had to try it out. I went to Michael's and bought a ton of paper, various adhesives, stickers, ribbon, and... those thingies... I can't remember what they're called. But they're neat. ^_^ To my delight this project required a minimum of labor and time to create something that's actually really cool.

First, take a look at the original, unaltered form of the Composition Notebook:

Now, behold: My first attempt.

This is pretty boring. I liked the sober paper paired with the bright, slightly glittery smiley face stickers, which are actually brighter and glittery-er than you can tell from the photo. Anyway, it was the original experiment that I did in about five minutes so I could get a feel for what I needed to do.

Now, behold: The first REAL book.

I wanted to do something very simple with contrasting colors. The sticker says "beauty".

Now, behold: (I promise I'll stop writing that! ^_^) The second real book.

Letters! I like this one.

Two more to come later. Blogger is messing up or something, I'm having some trouble uploading images.


Snake on a Plane movie review

Snakes on a Plane
**1/2 out of ****

So, there's this movie called Snakes on a Plane.


No, I'm serious.


Actually, this movie was better than I expected it to be. Amazing, I know. Although I guess when you have the mafia, a plane, twelve million snakes, and Samuel L. Jackson all in the same movie it's hard to go wrong. ^_^

Basic premise: Kid witnesses mafia boss kill someone. FBI agent Sam Jackson makes him fly from Hawaii to L.A. to tesitify against mafia boss. To kill the witness, mafia smuggles snakes onto the plane. Samuel Jackson saves everbody. Well... sort of. He saves some people.

Taking the ridiculous plot into consideration, the movie was a lot more intense than I expected it to be. Those snakes were not happy. And when you think about being stuck in a plane with a legion of poisonous snakes surrounding you, it's a little alarming. And I'm not kidding, this was a legion. Not a couple here and there, this was like... lots of snakes!

The movie didn't try to take itself too seriously, so the bad script and acting were fine. It's not like you go see a movie called "Snakes on a Plane" looking for Oscar material, ^_^ It was really just a hilarious, somewhat gross, campy horror flick with some intense moments.

I'm trying to think of more to say about the movie, but I'm really not coming up with anything. It wasn't like it required any deep thought or explanation. Just... snakes. On a plane.

With a badass Samuel L. Jackson. ^_^