Friday, October 22, 2010

More Segments

My book list is growing slowly, but it is still growing.

20 Outliers – November book club book. I hated it. I wanted to like it, I wanted to get the point and I wanted to understand it. What I got was that there is a general trend to “geniuses” and it is made of a bunch of factors. The person who has all factors will be successful and I think it is garbage. I think my problem is that he is making a point about the “outliers” those that don’t fit the standard, but instead he just says that they do fit a pattern. That combined with the lack of women in the book and I thoroughly believe the last chapter is not about his mother, it’s about himself. I have many other thoughts, but I will try and save them for bookclub

21 Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) – This was a much better book than the first one. It’s not that I didn’t’ like the first one, but I liked the second one better. There was more action, but less fighting, less misogyny.

22 The Secret Life of Bees – I loved this book. It has the key to gaining my love, a subtle, underlying mysticism and an actual plot.

23 Lolita – My attempt to read some so called classics. Lolita is disturbing and yet in some weird, strange way I actually enjoyed it. The prose is amazing and walks right up to the line between wordy enough to convey and too wordy so it gets in the way.

What have you read lately? What should I read next?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ToT - What's in my Freezer

1) Black Beans – I cooked 3 bags of dried black beans a couple weeks ago. Once they finished cooking I split it up into plastic bags and stuck it in the freezer so that I can add it to dishes, hoping to stretch food with little $
2) Blueberries – We picked gallons of blueberries when they were peaking and froze them. Jim now gets yummy blueberry muffins all through the “off-season”
3) Chicken –
4) Ground flax – for my superhero muffins
5) Ice – I almost never put ice in my drink so this is mostly for ice packs that we use in our little cooler or on wounds
6) Jam – I’m down to my last container of freezer jam, but I will enjoy it
7) Fries – All varieties steak fries, tatter tots, etc Jim loves fries
8) Snow peas – from the garden we’ll use it for stir fry this winter
9) Eggplant Lasagna – Jim makes a great eggplant lasagna and then splits it up so I can take it for lunches during the week. Saves money, and keeps me from buying the most calorie filled item from the nearby cafe
10) Frozen peppers - we had so many peppers this year so jim chops and freezes them so that he can use them in fajitas, enchiladas, stir fry, etc

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ToT - How to Have Fun on a Long Car Ride

Every summer my family took a road trip from western Oregon to eastern Idaho and/or Utah so long car trips were a part of my life. That did not make this topic any easier

1) Sing along with the radio- Tupperware made a cassette tape called Tupper Tunes and while google will not help you find information about this tape, it did in fact exist. The best song was the first one. My little sister and I call each other to sing that song even now because we are awesome and a wee bit silly.
2) Books – I am not sure how many books I actually finished on these trips, but most of the reading was done in the car on the way to or from home
3) Cards – war is perfect, solitaire, kings in the corner
4) Sleep – Vans are perfect since they have long back benches where you can lay all the way down. Of course I had to fight with sisters so there was no laying all the way down on our trips
5) Follow the Scavenger Hunt – my dad would list a bunch of things we were going to pass on the trip and we had to check them off as we passed them
6) Argue – don’t touch me, don’t breath my air, etc
7) View the scenery – LEAF PEEPING!!!
8) Stop for food – if it’s a long trip there should be no drive-thrus, that is not enough of a break
9) Knit – right now it’s a double-knit scarf
10) Take a picture. I specifically take a picture of my feet on the dashboard of my car. I don’t know why, I have done it since Jim and used to spend every weekend getting lost in New England

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Spectator

Tradition: Watching Sports
Story:

I grew up in a family with a handful of children and we were encouraged to participate in all sorts of activities. Community service, sports, religion, music, fine arts and we all took advantage of these opportunities to some extent. This means I went to many of my own piano recitals and recitals for my siblings. I’ll be honest playing piano in front of people was awesome, I loved it, I was nervous, but confident and I remember attending state something or other (invitational maybe?) where I played Jungle River Flowing and thought it no more difficult than getting up to give a talk, speech or presentation. I loved it. I was a horrible spectator at similar piano recitals where my sisters were performing, but I attended because that was all part of being in my family.

Sports are another story. I played t-ball, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse and even did track for a bit. I was bad. I was not good, I was not average I was bad. I lacked (and still do) any and all grace and while I conceptually understood what is required to shoot a lay-up left handed there was no amount of practice that made it a reality. Even with my lack of skills I had fun playing sports and being active. I had even more fun watching those games that I didn’t play in. I could cheer for my little sister swimming the length of an Olympic sized pool for the first time and have more fun that swimming that length myself. I can absolutely watch football for an entire day every week, I can enjoy baseball for 9 months of the year and the Olympics are awesome. I am a natural spectator and I am good at it.


Last week my friend had a last minute ticket to the Patriots vs. Bills game. I jumped at the chance to attend my very first regular season NFL game. I had tons of fun and while it was a bit windy it wasn’t bad weather for football. When my dad was here last May we went into Boston to watch the Boston Marathon*. It was awesome! So after my dismal performance at the Race for the Cure last weekend I decided I am going to take a break from participating in races and go back to my real calling as a spectator.




I didn’t have to wait long. Jim decided that he wanted to run another race soon and by soon he meant Saturday. I gladly tagged along to watch. It was a small, local race that zigzagged through a local community college campus, a neighboring road and a connecting trail.


My only complaint is that the race wasn’t chipped so while times were close to “true” they weren’t exact. This means that Jim’s time was about a second slower than what I timed. I wouldn't expect them to chip such a small event, but maybe if it gets bigger. The event was very well organized; in fact it almost felt like there were as many volunteers as racers. Even with such a small race Jim got a little goodie bag with coupons and the like.



*If you are in a big race put your name on your arm, your leg, your shirt, whatever. The spectators want to cheer for everyone, but they often only know the name of the person they are specifically there for, give them some help.

ToT - Reasons to Love Fall

1) It's cold enough to pull out jackets, gloves, mittens, but not cold enough to need long underwear
2) Hot Apple Cider
3) Cold Apple Cider
4) Pumpkin Butter (mixed with cool whip and cream cheese)
5) Pumpkin Carving
6) Jumping in a pile of leaves
7) Apple butter on a bagel or muffin
8) Cool nights, all the better for snuggling with your favorite pal
9) Football
10) Leaf Peeping