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Visited the Museum of One Street

The Museum of One Street in Kiev, Ukraine is exactly what the name suggests--a museum devoted to the history of one street, Andreevsky Spusk, and the people who have lived on it. Most of the museum focuses on the early 20th century, but exhibits discuss other aspects of the street's history as well. The context is very much the lives of the people who lived there--writers, rabbis, priests, musicians, upper-class ladies--and the labels are in a mix of Russian and Ukrainian, but combined the museum gives a fascinating glimpse into the history of street and the city as a whole.

Walked for 36 minutes this morning

It felt good to get up and out before the sun was up.

I made this cute flamingo.

I enjoy showing it off to everyone.

Made a yummy stir fry with veggies, tofu and brown rice

Baked mini rainbow cakes in jars!!

I mostly followed a recipe that I found on tablespoon.com to make these personal-sized cakes, but I used smaller jars and slightly different color mixtures than the ones recommended on the website. As a long-term fan of all things bright and colorful, this recipe, and my results, were very exciting to me! :) Now I just have to frost the cakes and then share them with people. If anyone wants to try making their own, here is the recipe I used: http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/rainbow-cake-in-a-jar-recipe/2/ Two hints: they have oddly specific instructions for how to create the colors, but because I didn't have all the food dye colors that they said to use, I just improvized and they turned out fine. Also, smaller jars work much better than the Mason jars they recommend. I did four small jars and one large Mason jar, and the Mason jar didn't cook as well and turned out kind of lumpy and ugly, whereas the small jar cakes look tasty and pretty!

"Traveled back in time" to Jonestown

A few months ago, I started looking into what happened at Jonestown. I found it all incredibly interesting and spent time online listening to recordings of Jim Jones and looking at pictures of his project in Guyana. I wanted to learn more, and hearing that Seductive Poison by Deborah Layton was a good book, decided to give it a try. This was honestly the first time in what seems like years since I found a book that I couldn't put down--I got the book on Friday, and despite many other pressures in life, finished it on Sunday. It was a beautifully-written account of Layton's experience with the Peoples Temple, and provided me with a ton more information that I'd previously known on what happened. The book also provided me with a lot of insight on various motivations for people joining the church and explanation of how things escalated. There was also a very suspenseful section at the end detailing Layton's escape. Seductive Poison was an incredible book that I would recommend to anyone, though I would also warn that it includes a lot of dark, sad subject matter. After this, I started to read A Thousand Lives by Julia Scheeres. I am currently 100 pages in. It is nearly as gripping as Seductive Poison, and provides even more information on the workings of the Peoples Temple and Jonestown. Because Seductive Poison was just one person's account of what happened, it didn't have nearly as much information on the church as a whole as A Thousand Lives, which was written by an author who did a lot of research and interviews to get information for the book. So far I like this book and would recommend this one as well. It's quite a page-turner. I'm glad that I read Seductive Poison first, though, and would encourage others to do the same. And after this, I watched Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, a PBS documentary. As films often do, watching this documentary, which included a wealth of photos and video clips from the Peoples Temple itself, helped me to really visualize what being in Jonestown/the Peoples Temple would be like. I don't recommend this quite as strongly as the two books I read. I believe the two books would be a very fascinating read for anyone, but I think this documentary would only really be interesting to obsessive creeps like me. Speaking of obsessive creeps, I am now watching "Guyana Tragedy," a poorly made TV movie from 1980 where actors portray Jones' life, starting from when he was a young boy and ending with his death. I have too much time on my hands as you can tell. I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone. It's awful. I had a bad feeling about it during, literally, the first second of the movie when the narrator accidentally said "Lindiana" instead of "Lynn, Indiana" like he should have, and on the screen, the word "November" had an extra R in it. So, without going into too much detail on this terrible moving, I will just conclude by saying that no one should ever watch it. I hope that this review turns out to be useful to people (or at least that they bother to skim through it, which I doubt). I hope that Jonestown can captivate others the way it captivated me. Like they say, those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it, making learning about Jonestown a worthwhile endeavor. In addition, having a lot of information on this and reading perspectives of people who were actually involved in Peoples Temple is definitely a good thing because while almost everyone has a basic knowledge of Jonestown, it wasn't until I read Seductive Poison that I understood that the people who joined what would later be known as a cult were fairly normal people. The main difference seems to be that their optimism--they believe the world can get better and they can help it to do so--and altruism--the mission of the Peoples Temple was merely to help people as fully as possible. People devoted their lives and all posessions to the Temple so they could try to end poverty and discrimination. tl;dr: Read Seductive Poison; you'll be glad you did.

Read Dog Heroes

I saw the movie Moonrise Kingdom

It was very charming. Later in the week I checked out and listened to the original soundtrack from the library.

I drew a picture earlier in July!!!

I drew a picture earlier in July. I love art but I think i'm really good at drawing girls, specifically teenage girls. It might sound wierd but I think it's exciting to draw their hair and makeup and clothes. I'm not sure if I should enter it in the Manga Drawing Contest 2012 thingy or not. Yeah, thats how good the drawing is. At first I was going to draw myself but it turned out totally different. Anyway, the drawing took hours but the hours were well spent. I don't like to rush when I draw...I erase things a lot and i'm very picky. I didn't color my drawing because it looks more realistic and cool just the way it is. I hope that I get the opportunity to learn more art techniques and I hope that I become a more skillful artist in the future... :)

Saw the Titanic exhibit at the Henry Ford

It's really something — everyone should see it before it's over. The picture is of me and my family on the grand staircase.

made ice cream

I made an ice cream at the library this morning. First, I put it in the cup. Then I changed it to the bowl. I thought it makes me feel good. It's melting so quickly. But it's still yummy. I had fun!

Went to Cupcake Station in Plymouth

I got a PB&C cupcake - a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting, topped with a peanut butter cup. Delicious!

searched among the lackluster, dry plants in my garden

And found the first gladiolus of the season.

Made my own flour tortillas

They're easy to make and taste much better than store-bought! I made them last night so we could load them up with taco fixings.

Hot Summer, Cool Kids

There are lots of fun ways to keep cool this summer and earn your Connect Your Summer Badges too. Read a book about an animal under a shady tree and earn your Make Tracks Badge. Or make a cool treat, and earn your Chow Down Badge. Go see a movie in a chilly theatre and earn your Curtains Up Badge. You can even go swimming in a lake or pool for your Go Wild badge, and read a favorite book on a raft.

Finished re-reading "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky

...in anticipation for the film adaptation coming out this Fall!

I spotted several Sandhill Cranes

As we drove across the upper peninsula my friend and I spotted five "dinosaur birds" that I later identified as Sandhill Cranes using the book Birds of Michigan: Field Guide.

Ate at the Omelette and Waffle Cafe

This restaurant is in downtown Plymouth. I've been there many times and always enjoy it. This morning's trip was no exception. Their food is fantastic! Many different types of omelettes to choose from, great hash browns, waffles and pancakes. I highly recommend going there.

Walked around the Plymouth Art Fair

Made sure to go down every street so I wouldn't miss anything. It was very hot, but I enjoyed perusing  all the arts and crafts.

Enjoyed the outdoors

These black-eyed Susans are growing behind the library near the pond. I walked back there during my lunch hour to take some pictures.