Monday, September 26, 2011

Since I have nothing to write about...

For the last couple weeks, I have had a plethora of blog ideas. I usually think of them as I am driving home. Upon sitting down to type, I would realize that none of them work out as well as I had anticipated.

For example, I went to Hawaii (Maui) with Adam for our one-year-anniversary. It was fabulous. Absolutely fantastic. But, as my friend's mom informed me at a wedding shower, "nobody wants to read about how wonderful your life is." So true. Plus, I lost the cord to download pictures from my camera, so I would not be able to post the stellar photo of myself, surfing...

After thinking it over, I was planning on writing not necessarily about my great time visiting the 50th state, but a blog comparing Seattle to Hawaii. I know what you are thinking-that sounds odd. It was, so I have yet to post that entry.

There were other possibilities but, in the end, none worked out the way I had envisioned in my mind.

Since I LOVE to read, I decided in the end, this entry would be a list of my personal favorite books.

Here it is. A list of the best books I have ever read.

1) Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

This is a memoir about a boy's miserable childhood in Ireland in the 1940's. His family is dirt poor, and cannot even afford shoes. To make matters worse, his good-for-nothing father spends the little money they do have at the pubs. Oh, and they keep having more children. And half of them die before the age of three. Sounds depressing, but McCourt writes in a way that makes it almost humorous.

2) Jemima J By Jane Green

This is one of my favorite "chick lit" reads. A girl living in London wants to lose weight and get a boyfriend. She meets a man (who lives in California) online and leads him to believe she is thin. Jemima does lose the weight right before she takes off on a journey to Los Angeles to meet him. I know this plot sounds dumb and cheesy, but trust me, it is incredibly well-written. In fact, I literally devoured it in one night!

3) 19 minutes by Jodi Picoult

Most people are more familiar with Picoult's book, My Sister's Keeper, but in my opinion, 19 Minutes toally blows it out of the water. This book is told in multiple points of view (which I LOVE) as they unravel the events leading up to, and following a school shooting. Picoult's uncanny ability to develop many characters is amazing and a difficult task, and she nails it!

4) Sex Wars by Marge Piercy

Before you start raising eyebrows at me, this is NOT a book about sex. Not really anyway, although there is certainly a lot of it in the story. It is an historical fiction novel set in the time of women's suffrage, and showcases some of the era's well-known figures-Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Victoria Woodhull, and Cornelius Vanderbuilt...and the villain, Anthony Comstock (famous for his laws banning porn and birth control). I actually learned a great deal while reading this, and also was completely enveloped in the story.

Other recommended reads (because I am too lazy to write anymore reviews, this is just a list). Again, these are all books SO outstanding, I have read them multiple times:

5) Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah (have Kleenex ready)

6) The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (long, but a fast read...I promise)

7) The World without End by Ken Follett (the sequel to Pillars.)

8) The Help by Kathryn Stockett (better than the movie...and I thought the movie was fairly decent, as far as movies modeled after books go...)

9) Harem by Dora Levy Mossanen (Great historical fiction read about life in a Sultan's Harem, and I learned a great deal about Eunuchs as well)

10) Courtesan by Dora Levy Mossanen (follows a woman's life as, well, a Courtesan)

11) The Queen's Fool by Phillipa Gregory (can you tell I enjoy historical fiction?)

12) Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi (great read for guys too! Learned a great deal about the man behind the racket, including some interesting bits about his hair!)

13) Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner (again, not a sex book! She has many other great reads too)

14) Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult (because everybody likes to read about Amish community)

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Since my mind is way too exhausted to come up with a clever post (the first two days back at school have wiped me out, I decided to just observe things in my day-to-day life. Some are funny, others annoying, and some just...well, random.

Here are some (random) observations, made by me, over the last few days:

1) Socks should NEVER be worn with Capri pants. Particularly if they are knee-high bright pink socks. And especially on a day where the weather is in the high 80's.

2) There are many people who choose to double-park (in the best spots) in the QFC lot by my house. These are not people with big cars...but average to small cars.This is confusing to me, and annoying when I am attempting to find a place to park. Either people in Edmonds cannot park, or are inconsiderate.

3) Apparently the new craze is to light fireworks on labor day. At least in the Lynnwood/Edmonds area. I was not aware of this and may have to check into purchasing some fireworks of my own next year.

4) Every single year I have been a teacher (7 years now), the person with the job of predicting enrollment is terribly wrong. And, I might add that they are paid A LOT of dough to be so consistently incorrect.

5) It is always hot the first week back at school, even if the summer has been cold. Not fun in a school with no AC and over 30 middle-schoolers in one room. Some of whom who are unaware they need to start applying deodorant.

6) Painting a room looks much easier on those home remodeling shows. You know...the ones where they finish painting an entire room in under an hour and make it look super-eary? Well, it took me over an hour to paint a minuscule bathroom, and I was left with spots that needed to be touched up, and paint all over my arms and face.

7) There are an increasing number of people who use the self-checkout for a full cart of groceries. Surprisingly, there is no limit on the number of items in these lines. It is agonizing when you get stuck behind them. Even more so if all you are attempting to purchase is a single pack of gum, and a bottle of water.

8) Speaking of water...the price of water at my work (out of the vending machine) has gone up this year. Currently, it is at 1.50 for a small bottle. Hmmm...perhaps it is time to start remembering to bring my own?

9) Yet another observation from the vending machines is the fact that "Rockstar Energy Drinks" have been added to the options. Seems ironic as all soda/energy drink items are not allowed for students. I guess somebody thinks teachers need even more caffeine. The coffee is no longer enough to keep us trucking through the day.

10) I noticed that 80's styles are back. Since I was not not old enough to dress like Madonna when it was "in" back then (I usually sported the leggings with big shirt look), do you think it is acceptable to wear these clothes now? There is an unspoken rule stating you should not partake in a trend you already wore growing up. What I am wondering, is that since I was just a kid in the 80's, do I get a free pass to rock a "Like a Virgin" outfit?

11) Justin Timberlake is actually a decent actor. I typically doubt the acting chops of pop stars/singers (Miley Cyrus, Jessica Simpson, etc.). After viewing "The Social Network" and "Bad Teacher" I would have to say...the former N'Sync boy band member is fabulous in movies (and SNL skits).

12) I used to think the commercials for the microwave meals that cook in one minute (rather than 3 minutes) were silly. After all, can't we wait 3 minutes to eat? Is anybody really in such a hurry they cannot wait the extra minutes for a delicious processed meal? Today at lunch, when ALL microwaves were occupied (and I was in a huge hurry) I started to rethink my prior opinion. Or maybe, I could just start making a sandwich....

13) And lastly, a FINAL observation made today regarding fashion: Nobody should be allowed to wear the combination of sandals with socks. The only exception is if you are a senior citizen... otherwise, it just hurts my eyes to look at. If it is chilly enough to pull on the socks, slip on some shoes!