Monday, May 30, 2011

meet me NEXT monday...for the meme....

Due to the Memorial Day holiday, Java, the hostess of the regular MeetMeOnMonday meme, is spending the day with her family and there is no meme for us to do today.
I was going to try and find something else but, I have to admit that I'm tired and I hope to get to bed before midnight tonight. 
 Yeah, I know...good luck, right? (^-^)

I hope that you all
(especially those of you celebrating the Memorial Day weekend)
are having a good one. 
I hope that you are with your family and friends and celebrating what is
Please be safe.
And please....don't forget to give thanks
to those who gave the utmost of sacrifice
so we could have the freedom to live our lives the way we want.

*all images borrowed from GoogleImages....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Meet Me on Monday.....with Debbie

It's that day of the week, my friends....Java, over at NeverGrowingOld, has posted her
questions for the weekly meme she sponsors. 

1. What is your favorite bagel flavor?

OOh....I do love me a good bagel, but a cinnamon-raisin one is probably my 'bagel of choice'.
And....if you throw on some peanut butter and maybe a little honey?
Oh yeah. That'll do just fine.

2. If you had an extra $100 right now, what would you spend it on?
As the incredibly wet and grossly humid 'rainy season' is soon upon us,
I'm in dire need of a new
i would take that $100 and treat myself to
a cut...maybe a perm....possibly a whole new style.
3. What is the last thing that you felt guilt about doing?
There were three very small cookies left over from the ones I had made the other night for 
youngest son's undokai (sports day/ field day) yesterday. 
They were peanut butter-chocolate chip cookie bars.
They kicked some major cookie butt.
when i came home....
it was was raining...I dropped my bag outside in the water...
and I realized that most of the mini-tomatoes i had bought were well on their way to going bad and really did what any deserving mom would do...
I ate the cookies.
Before dinner.
Without anyone else noticing.
I just realized that I don't feel guilty at all about this.
Next question!! 

4. Soft serve ice cream or hand dipped?

Hand dipped.
Hands down.
5. Are you allergic to anything?
I've never had any kind of allergy testing done....and
other than the usual pollen sniffles and sneezes I get on occasion....
I can honestly say that
there is only one true thing I do believe I'm allergic to....

What about you?
Have a great week everyone.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'm A Gettin

A banana with Jesus on it in honor of May 21st rapture.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weekend Reading

I am ashamed to admit that I just read this novel. Yes, I am like a year behind the times. I know all the craze surrounding this book has already died off, but they are releasing a movie of it this summer, so I thought hey, might as well offer up a review for anyone who didn't read this book last year! For those of you who don't know, there was a lot of controversy surrounding this book... it ranged from praise (it is a New York Times bestseller) to hatred (some people feel it is racist.) I thought I'd offer up my honest opinion in case anyone in the Sassy Banana world wants to know! So here goes:

Yes, this novel has faults. The biggest one being that the black maids speak in a very heavy dialect. Personally, I think this was written well and feel that author Kathryn Stockett allowed us to "hear" their voices. Some people feel it is too cliche and contrived. However, the white women in this book speak perfect grammatically correct English with not so much as a hint of Southern slang. I felt this at times to be a bit distracting and a bit unbelievable. That being said, the plot and characters and emotion behind this novel far outweigh any of the negatives.

This book takes place during the Civil Rights movement in Jackson, Mississippi. The story is told through the eyes of two African American maids--Aibileen and Minny, as well as the white "heroine" of the story--Miss Skeeter, a young college grad who is grasping to find her place in the world. Through the eyes of these three women, you are witness to the daily lives of Southern maids and their dealings with their white women employers. Skeeter bravely decides to write a book written as a series of narrative accounts of black maids and what it is like for them to work for these white women. The story progresses as Skeeter begins to build relationships with Aibileen and Minny as they tell her their stories, and as she simultaneously loses the friendships with the white women that were once her best friends.

There are brilliant moments of truth throughout this novel--my favorite scenes involve Celia, a young married woman desperate to fit in with the high society clique but simply cannot shake her poverty roots. Another moment that really made me think is when Skeeter tells her fiancee about the book she is writing. His response is: "I don't understand why you would do this. Why do you even... care about this, Skeeter?" That line really put the whole novel into perspective for me. It wasn't that the majority of the white characters were racist (although some definitely were), it was simply that they didn't care to change anything. The apathy of them all is what was the most disgusting.

Guess I have said enough. This book is a very quick read (I finished in one weekend) and whether you agree or disagree with the author's authority and knowledge to write such a book, I promise that it is a guaranteed page turner. Check out more about the upcoming film here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Curiosity

My dog looking out of the car window. Photo taken May 17 on my way to work.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fair Trade

Go Bananas for Fair Trade
When it comes to protecting the environment, there's a reason why fair trade bananas are the best with @benandjerrys

[Photo source: here]

Meet Debbie (and others!) on Monday...

It's Monday evening here...the house is quiet and I think that Dr. House is about to start so I'll get this week's meme from Java over at Never Growing Old up and on its way.
If you want to answer the questions, please do.
Getting to know each other is what makes this whole blogging thing just a
little bit better.

Here we go:

1. Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?

*and really....we have this tub, right now, in our's the one we jokingly refer to as
"the jar as big as Koji's head"  jar of peanut doesn't come
any smaller at CostCo.*

2. What is your favorite color Rose?
Though roses of yellow or pink will make me happy,
sterling ones? Yeah. they make me swoon.

3. Do you remove your shoes when you walk into your home?
Do not take this sarcastic, but...hello?
I live in Japan.
In the 20 years I've lived here, I can honestly tell you that maybe...maybe ...I've left my shoes on less than 10 times. I was probably wearing lace-up shoes and I had left my coffee or cell phone on the table, I always said an apology to whatever Gods were standing over me.  But, as I'm pretty sure they understood how I feel about my coffee and cell phone, I've been let off the hook.
The entrance way in our house....

4. What is your favorite season?

5. Approximately how many hours a day do you spend blogging?
The answer to this question varies.
My family will say "too many"....and sometimes, I think, "not enough".
Actually....these days, I've become a bit of a slacker, so it's probably closer
to an hour or so a day.

Have a great Monday....and may it be a sign for what the week will bring.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday Snapshot - Beach Town Drama

I love taking Bella to the dog beach. We have a great time. This weekend the weather is supposed to rain. Darn it. This photo was taken just last Saturday.

Today (if you are reading on Saturday, May 14th) is a big homecoming for a local American Idol hero, James Durbin. So sad he got the boot off the show - shocking (at least to me, and no reason to watch the show any further - patooey!)

Don't you think that one guy remaining looks like Howdy Doody and GWB mixed?

photo courtesy topidolblog

Speaking of AmHairIcan...
My niece is opening up a hair salon. We've been trying to come up with catchy names. I think the name Am-HAIR-I-can I Doll is catchy though really, really dumb.

If you have any suggestions for hair salon names, post in the comments. I hope I get more comments on the salon name than I got on my Wordless Wednesday post concerning dog slobber. *snort*

Friday, May 13, 2011

Weekend Reading

So... I was a bit hesitant to suggest this as weekend reading because I am still not quite sure how I feel about this novel. My husband no longer wants me purchasing books as we have nowhere to put them and I haven't made the switch to a Nook or Kindle because the thought of them still breaks my heart. I was left with one option--the local library. I really wanted to read Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, but alas they did not have it in stock. So I settled for Look at Me.

The concept behind this novel is really intriguing. Charlotte, a 30-something fashion model living in New York, has a horrific car accident and her face is reconstructed. She is nearly unrecognizable to even her closest friends, which is obviously upsetting to someone whose face made her famous. The second major plot line is that of a teenage Charlotte, the daughter of the model's former best friend, and her relationships with her crazed uncle obsessed with the Industrial Revolution, and a mysterious older man that she ends up in a relationship with. There is a detective/mystery feel to the story as the two Charlotte's lives start to intertwine. All of that makes for a fascinating read... however... I am still not sold. There are a lot of extra characters in the novel that just kind of seem to be there. They get a lot of time/words/action in the story but I feel like there is no depth to any of them. After hemming and hawing as to whether to blog about this novel, I decided I would, in hopes that someone else has read this and can offer up their opinion as well.

As a side note: I just started reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett and it is amazing! I will be sure to offer up a review next week!

For Your Weekend Breakfast

Banana Sour Cream Muffins with Pecans

photo and recipe courtesy of Lemon Drop.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Banana Cream Tiramisu

Image courtesy of Heather's Dish

An afternoon (here in California) pick-me-up.

Tiramisu with bananas or Banana Cream Tiramisu.

A Monday meme on Tuesday because Blogger and Debbie's computer were conspiring against her all day Monday

Since the hostess of our usual meme was taking a very well deserved break on Mother's Day, we were left to our own devises on what to do.
I hadn't done a photo meme in such a long time and found one that I tweeked a bit liked and figured it would be good to do. 
If you do this on your own blog, please  link it in your comment so we can go and see what you did.
That's the fun part of memes....finding out about your "friends".

1. Type your answer to each of the questions below
into Google Image Search (my photo place of choice) or some type of search engine for pictures
2. Using only the first page of results pick one image that best fits your answer. You cannot search forever for a certain image....pick one from what they have on that first page.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
**funny enough...this really IS my high school!!!
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
if i'm drinking one with alcohol, then.....
but, non-alcohol type drink would be this....

hot or cold....i do both, but....and here is where i'm a bit of a 'green tea snob'---
no sugar. no citrus. no additives of any kind.
and please...if you use a tea bag, it's one you have put in the loose green tea yourself.
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
**that's 'comfortably rich', by the way!!
10. What is one word that describes you?
Have a great week, everyone!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

weekend reading

I just finished reading Colm Toibin’s novel, Brooklyn. It's a coming of age novel about a single woman named Eilis who leaves her working class home in Ireland in the early 1950's to emigrate to America. She emigrates not so much because she wants to but more because the rest of her family thinks it's a good idea.

The young protagonist takes a job in a Brooklyn department store and a room in a boarding home for single women. Lonely and homesick, she struggles to fit in with her motley crue of fellow boarders. Eventually she meets a man. A relationship ensues but is it love she is feeling or escape from lonliness? A crisis takes Eilis back to Ireland where she is forced to make a decision that will forever alter the course of her life.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this concise and finely tuned story. I love reading about immigrants, their years of transition, the origin of various customs and values, their contribution to America's ever evolving melting pot. And for some reason I'm drawn to the Irish culture, in part, I suppose, because of several close friendships with Irish Catholic girls during my high school and college years.

In Brooklyn, it's easy to root for the heroine, Eilis, and identify with her uncertainty in trying to decide between first love and friendly affection. At times she seems a little too passive, however. I felt frustrated and at times incredulous at Eilis' lack of self advocacy which builds into a potentially ruinous situation. It felt a little bit like watching the heroine of a scary movie doing all the wrong victim-y things. Don't answer the door! Why are you running deeper into the woods? Calamity so easily avoided, at least that's the angle from the cheap seats.

At the same time I could relate to Eilis' indecision, her naive hope that a sticky problem, with a bit of denial, will go away on it's own . I could also see how the central conflicts in this story were a product of the traditional female role and expectations placed on women throughout history. Women not in full control of their destiny or, at least, not taking control. Women who place the feelings of others above their own only to discover the flaw in this reasoning when it's too late.

banana time

We run on banana time.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice Recipe Blog: Index of Banana Recipes

Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice Recipe Blog: Index of Banana Recipes

"Banana Date Smoothie Banana Maple Walnut Muffins Banana Pecan Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Banoffee Muffins: Toffee, Chocol..."

Monday, May 2, 2011

meet debbie on monday (with java...the person AND a cuppa, if you have it!)

Good morning, everyone.
Java is back with her weekly Monday Meme over at Never Growing Old....
it really is a great way to "meet" people.
Come on and join me...
here we go:


1. What is your favorite kind of muffin?
Not too terribly difficult to answer..unless, there are also zucchini or poppy seed ones to choose from.
Blueberry, baby....give me the blueberry ones!!!
2. What was the first car you ever owned?
When I was 16, I baby-sat and cleaned offices and did whatever I could to pay for my
baby blue VW......she had a tan rear end and a green back, left fender...
her name was Besty....
and I loved her.
(and she looked pretty dang close to this one!!)
3. Which TV Show were you sad to see end? many shows I have been sad to see end over the years...but (other than M*A*S*H, which had to end because, well...the war was over) , probably the one I hated to see come to an end most was
St. Elsewhere....I loved that show!!!
mmmmmMark Harmon!!
4. What is your lucky number?
Hmmmm....haven't really thought of that one....
I'm not even sure I have a lucky number.
I have other lucky things, but, number.
5. Pretzels or Potato Chips?
Oh, Lordy.....chips.
And if you really want me to be happy....
give me some of these, please:
And if you really wanna show me some love?
These will work even better......
*yeah...i know...chocolate AND potato chips??
If you like both of these delicious things, then...really...
you need to try them together.
You'll thank me.

Have a great week everyone!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011