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On reading

Posted on: October 12, 2008

Maybe it’s the time of year, but I’m reading more again. Last night after work, I turned on the iPod, made some dinner, and sat down with The Historian. I started reading this a year ago and wasn’t that interested. It happens. So it went back on the shelf and I moved on to other things. Last week I thought I’d try it again. I’m hooked. It’s hard to put it down even when I know I need some sleep.

Books have had that allure for me for a long time. Ever since I can remember. There was a question on Friendfeed about the book that started your love of reading. I really can’t remember which one it might have been for me. I do remember loving the Anne of Green Gables books as a child. Even as an adult, I’ve searched out other Lucy Maude Montgomery books because of my early delight in her writing.

My mom was instrumental in turning me into a reader. There were always books available in the house. When we got our book order forms in grade school, she usually let me order whatever I wanted. The other kids laughed at me when I brought home a box of books when the order arrived, but I didn’t care. I was bringing home a box full of adventures, new friends, and interesting places to travel. How could you beat that?!

Like most readers, I have favorite genres, favorite authors, and favorite books. I don’t think you’ll find a prevalent theme because I have fairly eclectic tastes in books. But if I had to pick favorites, I like suspense and historical fiction. One of my current favorite authors is Paulo Coelho. One of my favorite books is The Little Prince. See what I’m saying. Eclectic.

The only problem with reading and books is that I won’t live long enough to read everything I want to. *laugh*

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Withdrawel

Posted on: October 5, 2008

I can tell it’s past time for my weekly recharge of DH and dogs. I had to work this weekend. Usually I’d take Thursday and Friday off, but I decided not to go back on Thursday since I had a meeting and was planning to attend a conference in Wichita on Friday. (I didn’t get to the conference since I ended up being sick with a migraine on Friday.) So, I’m overdue for some home time. DH is off tomorrow, so it’s a bonus! Maybe we’ll get some golf in if it doesn’t rain. If it does, we’re thinking about bowling instead. Then it’s back to work for two days and I’m off again on Thursday and Friday since I’ll be working next weekend again.

Got a rejection on a book proposal a colleague and I put together. It was for a book about distance education. Not too disappointed about it since it wasn’t directly related to librarianship. There will be other opportunities I’m sure. And according to those who matter, I’m doing fine with my tenure requirements and shouldn’t have any problems meeting them. (It’s almost review time for me already.)

Watched a few good movies this week; Mrs. Dalloway, The Fountain, and The Painted Veil. I can safely recommend any of them. The Fountain was a particularly beautiful and moving film. Mrs. Dalloway was nice although I imagine the book is richer. I should probably read it, but I’ve always had a hard time reading Virginia Woolf. I loved the scenery in The Painted Veil. The ending was very sad though. Our public library doesn’t have a huge selection of movies, but there are some very good choices. And I upgraded Netflix to get 3 at a time again. Not having a cable is fine with me.

At some point I need to update my books on the blog. There hasn’t been as much reading this month now that I’m busier with other things. I finally checked out The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. The one thing I’m having a problem with is dealing with the books descriptions of Sitka and my personal experience. It’s a very fictional Sitka and quite colorful. I have to keep reminding myself it’s fiction. *grin* Other than that, it’s okay. I’ve also been reading Light a Penny Candle. It took me a bit to get into this book, but now I’m finding it hard to put down.

And although I’m not knitting as much, I’m still knitting. We were digging around in the basement a couple weekends ago and I came across a project that I’d started over a year ago. I ended up having to frog it and start over, but now I’m almost done. It’s a string grocery bag. It should end up small enough (when not in use) to carry in my purse. I also offered to make some mitts for someone and am deciding which pattern to use. I’ll likely end up making myself another pair for work. And I have plans to cast on this week for a felt pumpkin now that I finally got the needles I needed. You’d think with all the knitting needles I have now I’d never need to buy another pair. *laugh* I also still need to finish my second pair of socks. I’ve turned the heel already and am ready to start working on the gusset. The weather is finally cooling off enough that I’ll be comfortable wearing wool socks soon. Yay!

I’ve been finding some good vegetarian recipes. This week I had a good dish made with spaghetti squash. I also tried a stuffed pepper recipe. It was pretty tasty with beans, corn, and tomatoes, but I think the next time I make it, I’ll just cut the peppers and saute them with the tomatoes and garlic and serve it with rice and shredded cheese. (I kind of ended up with something like that anyway.) A whole green pepper was just a bit much for me. Now I’m anxious to try some things with eggplant.

One amazing thing I’ve discovered since cutting out meat is that I can drink milk with no problems. Interesting! In general, I also feel healthier and have lost a few pounds. Nothing drastic, but it’s a start.

Little Bits

Posted on: October 1, 2008

I wrote my first book review for the local paper. It should be published Oct. 10. Yes, family types, I’ll get a couple of copies and send it along. It’s really not anything spectacular, but I enjoyed doing it. The hard part was deciding which book to review. I chose Augusten Burroughs latest book, A Wolf at the Table.

Currently I’m reading Kevin Brockmeier’s A View from the Seventh Layer. It’s a beautiful collection of short stories. There is even a choose-your-own-adventure story! I love his writing and am very impressed so far. Highly recommend you grab this at your local library.

So far this week, I’ve not watched any movies. Television isn’t really an option since I don’t have cable. I’m rediscovering how incredibly relaxing reading and listening to music can be.

I’m working on increasing my meditation to 3 hours a day. Means I do some over my lunch hour. Almost three weeks since the retreat and I’m noticing a difference in meditating in the real world with distractions and noise. But I will persevere because I also notice how I’m dealing with life in a more productive and peaceful way. That’s a huge thing for me!

And I’ve been doing the vegetarian thing for a month now. It’s hard to find good fresh produce (and a good selection of it) here in LittleUtown, but I’m determined to stick with it. Overall, I do feel healthier and am still able to get all the nutrients I need. I found a great cookbook at the public library and am looking forward to trying out different recipes. DH might even find that he likes the food. *grin* He’s been great about this change in lifestyle. Just means we have to eat veggie or cheese pizzas on the weekend instead.

Life will be a bit crazier for the next few weeks. I’m working the next three weekends and have a few workshops and conferences coming up. Seems like it comes in spurts.

And the weather is starting to cool off. Still in the 70’s this week, but it’s lower 70’s. Means I can wear light sweaters and jeans. I’m ready for 50’s.

I have finished knitting the heel flap on Sock 2 of Pair #1. (Sorry no pictures yet!) I will be turning the heel – maybe tonight. After getting the gusset done, it’s pretty much smooth sailing/knitting to the toe. Depending on how busy/tired I am this weekend, I will probably have a complete pair of socks by Sunday night.

Time to wind the next skein of sock yarn. It also might be time to stop by the LYS for some thicker yarn for warm winter socks.

Can you believe it’s mid-August? Looking forward to sweater and wool sock weather.

In moving news, I’m almost moved into my studio. Actually slept there on the air mattress last night. After that I’m really looking forward to having a regular bed! I’ve been unpacking things as I bring them over and am fairly settled already. One great thing about a small space is you have to be very selective about what you have. There is a large outdoor light outside my sleeping area window and I’m considering getting blackout curtains for that window. It’s nice having my own space here. I am sitting with my decision not to get cable, so I’ll either not watch tv during the week or I’ll watch movies.

Our Walmart now has a Redbox in it and I’ve rediscovered the joy of renting $1 movies. While I still like Netflix for those hard to find things, I like being able to drive over to Walmart and grab a movie quick. Seems like a decent selection of fairly recent stuff. And you can reserve online. (Okay, I’m starting to sound like a Redbox commercial.)

We did 14 tours for international students today at the library. I was responsible for organizing all of this and I’m very pleased with how smoothly it flowed. I’ve already shown you the brochure I designed. In addition to that, they also received 50% off coupons for the library’s coffee shop. I was glad we got to participate and hope that this will continue. There are some other follow-up things that I’m planning, but I’m sure that it will be less students than we saw today.

Tomorrow, I’m off to pick up a gift book collection for the library. Between all the teaching and everything else this fall, I’ll have another gift collection to process. It’s going to be a busy fall around here.

My roommate at Ref Renaissance was kind enough to pass along her copy of Odd Hours, the latest installment in the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz.

As usual, it didn’t take me long to get through the book. I’ve really been enjoying the series. Something about a person who sees dead people interests me (for example, I also enjoy watching Ghost Whisperer.) However, I’d have to say this was not one of the better books. But you almost have to read it to understand whatever is coming next because he introduces a couple of new characters. In fact, it’s the existence of one these enigmatic characters that left me deeply dissatisfied with the book. Koontz really doesn’t need to do this to sell more books. So, now all of us loyal readers are left hanging until the next Odd book comes out. *laugh* I guess I’ll survive somehow in the meanwhile.

…is a great used bookstore, The Dusty Bookshelf. It’s dangerous to go in there because I usually come out with a stack of books. But yesterday I was good and only bought an Edward Gorey postcard.

While in Denver, I took the opportunity on Tuesday night to visit The Tattered Cover. If you are ever in Denver, GO! I’m sure people thought I was strange wandering around snapping pictures, but I just had to share. I also got three great bargains. When I get back to Denver, I’m going to carve out a whole afternoon or morning to spend in this place.


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