Saturday, January 01, 2011
This year my local library gave out gift cards that said "Take Time to READ. Card value: Relaxation. And on the back it says "Permission Granted". I put them in the books I gave as gifts at Christmas and I kept one for myself. Here is a virtual one for you!
For fun, I am sharing my summary from our Read 50 books a year challenge. I just finished my 55th last night! I added s to a few of the best and for the top three: Cutting for Stone, Let The Great World Spin, and Wolf Hall.
55. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Fiction. I just finished this on New Year's Eve and it might be my favourite book of 2010. Fabulous writing. Characters. Plot. Locale. Subject. It has it all.)
54. The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee (NF history of cancer. Good)
53. The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean (NF. Enjoyed this, especially when read in conjunction with the beautiful book below:)
52. The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray and Nick Mann (NF. Gorgeous, seriously!, book with photographs of the elements. Read w/#53 above).
51. The Last Days of the Incas by Kim MacQuarrie (NF. How did 160 conquistadors conquer 10 million Incans? Now I know.)
50. Shakespeare by Bill Bryson (NF. We know SO little. But Bill + Bard = A great history anyway)
49. Around The World in 80 Days by Michael Palin (NF. He's my favourite Python.)
48. Monster III: 511 Kinderheim by Naoki Urasawa (Manga, continuing story. Dark. Good.)
47. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (Entertaining & enlightening. Listened to the audio read by author...a plus)
46. Little Bee by Chris Cleave (Good)
45. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (lives up to the hype; I started it before Oprah picked it. Promise! I want to read Corrections now.)
44. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (I may or may not recover from this read. It's more intense than a thriller because it's so realistic. Brutal subject matter. I couldn't put it down.)
43. Monsters II: Surprise Party by Naoki Urasawa (must keep reading to find out what happens! Manga series)
42. Tinkers by Paul harding (LOVED it. Beautiful writing. Marked my copy up, so glad I bought it.)
41. Monster Vol I by Naoki Urasawa (my first Japanese Manga. Excellent.)
40. My Dog Tulip by JR Ackerley (The movie is just out. Check out the trailer...you'll laugh:
39. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (NF)
38. Bruegel by Wolfgang Stechow ('nother NF about my fav painter)
37. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Neil can do no wrong. Period. LOVE him.)
36. The Iliad (compared translations...like Lombardo)
35. Ape House by Sara Gruen (not worth hardback $$!)
34. Mad Men Unbuttoned by Natasha Vargas-Cooper (nf; life & culture of the 60s)
33. The Lovers by Vendela Vida (ehhh...barely good enough that I finished it)
32. The Go-Between L.P. Hartley (good old fashioned Brit Lit. Set in 1900; written in 1953. Excellent. 1st line: "The past is a foreign country: They do things differently there".)
31. The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst (Part mystery/part family saga. Enjoyed)
30. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (Great trilogy. Sad that it's over and there will be no more.)
29. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (Quirky, but I really enjoyed this novel. Many, many literary & movie references...)
28. Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro (For fans of very dark short stories). 27. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Excellent; sad to think this was the way things really were!!??)
26. The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins (It's true..it IS the greatest show on earth. Made me feel connected to everything on the planet.)
25. The Man In The Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam (Companion book to Old Filth. More Jane for me!)
24. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (Short stories that all have Olive in common. Thumbs up.)
23. Peter Bruegel the Elder: Artist of Abundance (Loved it)
22. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding & The Meaning of Things by H.Arthur & Mina C.Klein (NF. Fascinating! Horrifying! Just discovered we have a family member who fits the bill and had to read up on it.)
21. Old Filth by Jane Gardam (loved it)
20. Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian (WWII story. Sad & haunting, but I highly recommend it)
19. Hotel at the Corner of Bitter & Sweet by Jamie Ford (More of a Jr. High level read, but a very good story about an awful time in US history)
18. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister (The similes were populous, like a New York City subway. But a good plane read)
17. Worstword Ho by Samuel Beckett (3 stories, each one gets more abstract)
16. How to Read and Why by Harold Bloom
15. Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann (Excellent)
14. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris (Fun in a wicked way)
13. If The Buddha Married by Charlotte Kasl (Great for any relationship)
12. The Vagrants by Yiyen Li (Grim, but very well written)
11. In the Woods by Tana French (Dark mystery)
10. Masterpieces of Japanese Prints: Ukiyo-e by Rupert Faulkner (Art book)
9. Loving Each Other by Leo Buscaglia (Good old-fashioned advice)
8. Under the Dome by Stephen King (One of his best)
7. Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake (CS Lewis was a fan; me too)
6. Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell (Fiction. Funny. Fast. Foul.)
5. The Reserve by Russell Banks (So so)
4. Handbook of Graphic Reproduction Processes by Felix Brunner (Art book)
3. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (Brilliant)
2. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Excellent)
1. The Ultimate pH Solution by Michelle Schoffro Cook (NF)
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
In order to follow my thought processes yesterday, I am writing this up in a blog. Herewith:
I was originally scheduled to do three kick-butt workouts last night. A power class, a groove/dance class, and then a 3-mile run with a group (see previous blog "I run!"). However, the opportunity to view not one, but TWO, films that are marked "Must See" at the SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) presented itself. I chose the films over the workout. My rationale was that since I was giving up all that exercise, I will skip dinner. I have had some success thanks to the great input from my people at the 2010 Un-Challenge in learning to live with hunger once in awhile. A couple of times lately I have been able to eat lightly and then just live with the hunger. Really FEEL what it's like to not be full. Use the time to think of less fortunate people who do this daily out of necessity, not choice.
So, during film #1 I successfully dealt with my hunger. Not a problem. Wonderful movie!!! I had hoped to get a nutritious snack in between films because I realized I really hadn't eaten much ALL DAY, let alone skipping dinner. However, the line for movie #2 was around the corner when I got out, so I just blew that off. Movie #2 began at 9:15 p.m. I ended up in the front row because of my location at the back of the line. About an hour in, I realized that I did not feel well. I was beyond hunger. I was sitting, but felt the need to lie down. OH NO! I'm on the front row! This crowd will stone me if I leave. No matter, I finally had to get up and walk up that long aisle out into the lobby where I fell onto a couch.
Someone brought me a banana. .
Someone brought me a glass of water .
After the cold sweat went away and the banana kicked in, I had just enough strength to get to my car and drive home to my .
I'll never know how the movie ended (most likely it will never be released in the US).
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I just posted this thought in my favourite team challenge thread. But it felt like it should also be a blog.
One of my favourite 'feel-good' movies of all time is What About Bob. There is a scene where Bob, who has psychological problems (to put it mildly) is attempting a new activity: sailing. At the end of the scene, the boat goes by with Bob at the front of the boat shouting: I'm sailing! I'm sailing! I sail!
On April 13th I signed up for a group class at my local gym called "Wanna Run". I just want to add some new cardio to my routine so I can drop these last few pounds.
My first assignment was walk 1 min, jog 1 min x 3 miles. It wasn't that easy. It wasn't that fun. I did it. Next week walk 1 min, jog 2 min x 3 miles. Better, it helped that I had gotten new shoes. Finally last week I attempted the whole 3 miles and was pleased that I did it, though I still wouldn't say it was enjoyable DURING the activity. More of a feeling of accomplishment. I also added a mid-week 2 mile jog through the neighborhood.
Last night, I brought my iPod with my new playlist of tunes and was again assigned the 3 miles (some of the others are already doing a 5 mile loop). The sun was out, the tunes were great, maybe I just ate the right food all day. But I RAN. I felt great! I passed all the other 3 mile people!!
I run! I'm running! I'm a runner!
Next week: 4 miles.
I'm looking forward to it!
Monday, March 29, 2010
As many of you know, I just returned from a wonderful week in New York City. I went with my daughter and we enjoyed much: Walking the neighborhoods, cathedrals, The Met, The Cloisters, met a SparkFriend... to name a few of our activities. At the end of each active day, we went to one, two and sometimes three pubs/bars. Some of the names:
The Pizza Pub
and many more.
My favourite name was: Molly Wee pub.
All were great. However, the one I won't forget is McSorley's Old Alehouse est.1854.
You get TWO choices: light beer or dark beer. Then they bring you TWO mugs of said choice of beer. There is sawdust on the floor, pictures everywhere, it's a wonderful place.
We paid $12 (drinks are $5 each) and received our first round at the bar. Then we took our drinks to a table in the corner that opened up. My daughter ordered one more drink from a different person, which again came in 2 mugs . Meanwhile some nice British guys came to our table and ordered more drinks. So after a bit of time there were MANY mugs on the table. We left another $6 to cover her 2nd drink and went in search of our next pub (we needed to find one with a soccer TV playing the Seattle Sounder's game, Nevada Smith's to be exact).
After we had gotten 3 blocks away, a man went running past us and I recognized him as our bartender. He stopped us and I was smiling and said "Hey! We know you!". He then proceeded to tell us we HAD NOT PAID FOR OUR BEVERAGES! He said..."Look, it's written right here, 2 D and 1 L.". All this bar sells is D and L, and we had paid for our portion of D&Ls. In fact, my daughter had paid for them with her own hard-earned money. He did not believe us. "You owe me $15!!!" No way were we going to pay again. We offered to go back and talk to the the girl behind the bar or the British guys or ANYTHING BUT PAY $$$ we didn't owe. He did not want that.
I want him to know that we did not try to steal drinks from the oldest tavern in New York City. I hope he woke up in the night and had an "aha!" moment and realized his mistake.
If anyone reading this finds themselves in McSorley's...tell them the mom & daughter that were there on March 25th @ 6:00 p.m. paid their tab.
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