Blackfish Blues

On Friday, I watched the documentary “Blackfish” on CNN. “Blackfish” chronicles the story of Tilikum, an orca that has killed several people during his time in captivity, most recently and notoriously the trainer Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010. The film also reveals the shocking irresponsibility and greed of the sea-park industry.

Growing up during the 1980s and ’90s in Northeast Ohio, I felt so lucky to have a Sea World so close to home. My family and I went every summer, and I remember just being mesmerized by the beautiful creatures there. I had a Shamu plush that I carried everywhere for a few years. For a while, I even wanted to be a marine biologist so I could one day work with Shamu.

I never gave a thought to where the whales had come from and I certainly believed that SeaWorld really cared about the animals and provided the best possible care for them.

Now I feel duped and angry. HOW DARE YOU, SeaWorld? How dare you show so little respect for human and animal life? How dare you market yourselves as family-friendly when all you do is rip families apart?

Oh, I know. It’s all about the almighty dollar. I have a conscience, so I’m not capable of understanding people who can make any sacrifice for money.

The sad part is that while it seems like there’s an easy solution – set the orcas free – it probably is not the answer. Take a look at this New York Times Retro Report about what happened when people tried to release the orca from the film “Free Willy:”

So if the answer is not release into the wild, then what? The answer is most likely a long battle for change. The official “Blackfish” site has more information about how you can take action:



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2013-08-09 19.22.02I’ve had Google Chromecast for about two months now and love it. I ordered it from Amazon the day it was announced and was told it was on back-order, but it didn’t take long to arrive.

  • Cost – $35 + content, which would be Google Play rentals/purchases, monthly Netflix fee, etc. Buying through Amazon got me three months of Netflix for free.
  • Installation – it took me less than 10 minutes to plug the “dongle” (their word, not mine) into my TV, set it up on my wireless network and start “casting” my first show.
  • Quality – great, IMHO. Content loads and plays quickly, no buffering issues. Haven’t had any connection issues. Easy to pause and restart.
  • Negatives – the only downside for me right now is that you can’t cast from Amazon Prime. I hope that will change at some point.

Not only have I used it to watch TV shows and movies, I now cast a YouTube playlist to my TV while I work out. That has kept me more motivated than anything else I’ve tried in some time. In short, I’d recommend Chromecast for sure.

Happy casting!

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My Mind Is My Weapon…


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October 7, 2013 · 7:00 pm

Resisting Fall

I love fall. I really do.

But this year, I’m resisting.

I didn’t get enough summer. Not enough time in the sun. No swimming. I didn’t even run through a sprinkler!

So, while everyone is excited about pumpkins and sweaters and leaves changing colors, I’m holding on to summer for as long as I can.

I am refusing to wear socks. At my last pedicure, I went with a summer color.

And normally at this time of year, I’d be switching my playlist to fall/winter tunes. Do you do this? For example, Beastie Boys = summer. Judas Priest’s Heading Out to the Highway = summer. Priest’s Sin After Sin = fall/winter. Dio = fall/winter.

I’m still fightin’ for my right to party while I head out to the highway. For a few more weeks at least.

I want more summer!

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Time to “Gut Up”

In World War Z, there’s a scene in which Brad Pitt’s character is preparing to field dress a soldier’s wound. His command, “Gut up!”

This reminds me of a story told by one of my college professors. She and a colleague were on a similar life path – working toward tenure, writing and publishing research, having families, taking on leadership roles. The colleague ended up breaking down and spending time in a hospital for patients with mental illness. She also became obsessed with my professor, wondering how she escaped the same fate. Her doctors arranged a meeting so she could ask my professor how she avoided a breakdown. Her response, “I never thought I had the option.”

I heard that story at a time when I really needed to hear it. “I don’t have the option” became my mantra for quite some time.

But for the past while, I’ve been letting life get the best of me instead of the other way around. I’ve given in to pain and fatigue instead of pushing through them. I’ve even indulged in some self-pity.

No. More.

It’s time to gut up, so look out!

I’m back:-)

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Not to Be Trusted

I'm not to be trusted in a bookstore with a credit card.

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Reading + Pinning = Awesome

Screen shot of Pinterest board

“My Love of Books” board on Pinterest

About a year ago, I blogged about my new obsession with Pinterest. I’m still obsessed.

Above is a screenshot of part of my “My Love of Books” board on Pinterest. I have found some fund book and reading-related jewelry and clothing, as well as bookshelves and libraries to envy, plus witty quotes and sayings about books and reading.

I pin other things as well, but I’m mostly on the lookout for pins that relate to my love of books.

Are you pinning?


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