Sunday, January 31, 2010

When In Rome

In When In Rome, Beth is unlucky in love.  On a quick trip to Rome for her little sister's wedding, she steals coins from the local fountain of love.  Back in New York, her suitors aggressively pursue her, including Nick, the best man from her sister's wedding. By stealing the coins, she has taken the coin's owner's wish for love into her own hands and now has too much to handle!  Of the five very unique suitors, Beth finds herself starting to fall for Nick.  She discovers that one of the coins is a poker chip that matches Nick's set.  She resolves to return the coins to the men and rid herself of these men, including the one man that she may actually love more than her job.

This was a better movie than I was expecting it to be.  It was incredibly funny and, judging from the unanimous bursts of laughter, everyone in the theater enjoyed it.  Kristen Bell is a really good comedic actress.  I was worried going into it that it may be more of the disgusting shock-value humor of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but it had none of the same jokes.  I think it is in her facial expressions and sense of timing.  But those same facial expressions made you hurt for her later in the movie.  She did a great job.

The on-screen chemistry between her and Josh Duhamel worked really well.  The only disturbing thing was the serious gap in their heights.  Either she's freakishly short, or he's freakishly tall, because even with her in heels there was more than a foot difference.  

The supporting cast was really good as well:   Angelica Houston, Danny Devito, Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Will Arnett, to name a few.  I didn't particularly care for Dax Shepard's character.  Jon Heder did a fantastic job, as he always did.  Brittany and I had to do a fist-pound when he showed up on screen.  Danny Devito was super cute.

I was kind of annoyed that Angelica Houston's character was another overbearing "dragon lady" type of business woman.  I am beginning to become disgusted with that stereotype.

I really liked the song during the opening credits: "Kickin' With You" by Jason Mraz, who I think is a fantastic musician and lyricist.  The rest of the soundtrack is pretty good.  I've downloaded about half of it already.  "Ave Maria" was one that I skipped.  It is one of the cliche wedding songs that makes my eyes roll every time I hear it in a wedding scene.

Overall, a great girl's night movie, spent with some of my favorite girls. And one I'll probably add to my collection when it goes to DVD.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cowboy Breakfast

The San Antonio Rodeo is kicking off this week, beginning with the 32nd Annual Cowboy Breakfast.  The event holds the Guinness World Records for Largest Free Breakfast and Largest Coffee Event.  Only in San Antonio will thousands of people brave cold and rain for free tacos.

St. Phillip's College Culinary Arts program receives a $20,000 scholarship from the event.  In return, our Chef-Professors encourage volunteering to help prepare the food.  Since my day job doesn't involve wearing a hairnet, I took the opportunity to get more experience in food service.

Long post guys, courtesy of lots of pictures from my iPhone, mySA, and WOAI.  

My day at the Cowboy Breakfast started at 2am at one of the grills used to warm up some of the 150,000 tortillas. I worked with a family of a father, three daughters (Mariah, Erica, and Mandy, left to right), and one boyfriend (Jeremy) there.  The girls were really cute and had a great relationship with each other.  They reminded me of me and my sisters, which started my day off on a really good note.

We received logo bandanas for volunteering and Jeremy took the opportunity to transform to "The Tortilla Bandido."

Unfortunately, about two hours into it, Erica got really bad burns on her hands after a stack of tortillas fell on her.  This job is dangerous, folks! So they all left to take her to the hospital.  I love the way they all banded together to see to her safety and I know I would have done the same thing. I don't know how she's doing, but I hope for the best.

When the family left, the grill was taken over by culinary students.  On my half of the grill was Genado, who was awesome to work with.  Really efficient and had a good humor.  The other half was very disorganzied and had a bunch of people who obviously didn't care about being there and it showed in their work ethic.  I'm glad none of them are in my classes right now.

Intermittently, the sky would open up and we would have a downpour for a little while. There was a leak in the tent in a place perfect to drip on my shoulder.  It didn't take much to start a river underneath our feet.  When we happened to drop a tortilla, it almost immediately floated away to somewhere else in the tent. 

One of the guys at that end of the grill was interviewed by a couple different reporters and I might have ended up on WOAI this morning.   I'm the face in the very top left corner in this WOAI picture.  Does this count towards my two seconds of fame? 

After that, my Chef pulled me off tortillas to work the filling for the chorizo and egg tacos.  There were a few other guys at that grill that were hilarious.  One was making up his own theme song.  They were really fun to work with.  But, I am ashamed to say, the old cowboys working the grill next to us showed us up.  They worked like they had been doing this for thirty years.  Who knows, they probably have.

There were a couple guys there that were very interesting characters.  The first was Herb who sported an eye patch handsomely.  He was kind of our supervisor at the tortilla station.  He reminded me a lot of some of my uncles.  Then there was Dickie who was responsible for keeping the fire going and providing all the grills with hot coals.  I love this picture of him from  The best part is the reflection of the bonfire in his glasses.  Both he and Herb had the weathered leather-looking skin that comes from years of long days working outside. They were perfect caricatures of a classic cowboy, but still uniquely themselves.

I had a blast. I a lot of expectations and hopes for the event, but I wasn't disappointed.  I haven't done much volunteer work like this since college, and I'm really glad I did.  A lot of the guys took breaks to chow down tacos, but I kept going.  Even after being there for five hours on my feet I was pumped.  It might have something to do with the two Red Bulls I had, but I think the adrenaline of it all was the real reason.  Even now, reliving it, I feel like jumping around or dancing.  Or doing it all over again.

I love being in my chef's coat.  Similar to putting on a uniform or costume, it changes my persona.  I love how easily I can direct people and how most people respond positively to my direction.  Even a week into my kitchen class, the other students look to me for instruction, and I'm a newbie just like them!  It's a leadership style works better in this format than it does at my day job.  My classes and experiences like this are great outlets for me, and I gain so much from them.

This was a great way to start the day.

Monday, January 25, 2010

January Race Report

Race: Judson High School ROTC Resolution Run
Distance: 5K
Goal Time: 40-42 minutes
Actual Time: 37:50

This past weekend I squeezed in a 5k in the midst of an already very hectic weekend.  I'm really glad I did.

The race itself was atypical of the ones I normally do.  It was a fundraiser for the Judson High School ROTC put on by their boosters. This probably was one of the first times that this group had ever done a 5k.  I'm not sure the people running it had ever been to or participated in a 5k before.  They had few enough people preregistered that they were calling out names to pick up numbers.  That was awkward. They had no chip timing, which wasn't a big deal since the event was promoted as a fun run.  There were no refreshments other than water, which is fine for a 5k course, but I was really glad I thought to pack some before I left home that morning.

Included in this event was supposed to be a guidon challenge for the JROTC groups. Except I didn't see any flags, or groups who were running in sync.  There definitely were a greater percentage of high school kids there than I am normally used to.  I didn't stay to hear the results, so I don't know who won that.  I just know I didn't win. Anything.  But that's not unusual.

When they were giving race instructions, the guy on the mic said that this was the "flattest, fastest course in the world!"  I think the only reason that's the case because I live in one of the flattest cities in the world.

There were two very cool seniors (as in senior citizens) that I chatted with at the beginning.  One was a old black man whose pace was barely more than a shuffle, but he was really good spirited and friendly.  He fell to the back of the pack almost immediately after the start.  I waved to him at a switchback in the course and he was still smiling.  The other was a grandmother with a super cute outfit (in the fluorescent green) .  We chatted for a little bit at the before the race started.  She left me in the dust at the start line.

I wish I got a picture of it, but a little girl and boy had homemade "Go Mom Go!" posters.  They were super cute.  What wasn't super cute was different mom telling her two kids that they couldn't be passed as I came up behind them.  We leap-frogged for a little bit, but then I won.  Take that!

I felt really good during the race. I was worried with all the warm weather that it would be gross, but it cooled down overnight and there was a nice cool breeze that morning.  I did a pretty good job pacing myself and ended up with a pretty even effort throughout with enough left to pass one more person before the finish.  And I didn't have to peel myself off the pavement afterwards!

I'm really happy with my time.  I blew through what I was expecting, and that makes me look forward to the next few weeks of training. It means I'm in a better position than I thought I was and that the year-end goal of a full marathon isn't going to be as hard as I had imagined.  It's still going to be really freaking hard, especially since I usually do better on 5Ks than I do on longer races.  I used the time on this race to predict my full marathon finish time, and it comes in well under what I'm shooting for, so at least that's a good sign.

Don't know what February's run is going to be at this point, but I'm looking forward to it!

Official Race Results

Sunday, January 24, 2010

San Antonio Symphony Presents John Williams

Since I've graduated college, I have changed my involvement in the arts to one of being a patron, since that is something those particular industries need. I made another resolution for 2010 to remedy this: to do one artsy-fartsy thing each month.  For January, it happily coincided with my decision to take Mom to a San Antonio Symphony Pops presentation of John Williams music for her birthday.

I was reminded of how much I enjoy the symphony.

The concert was preceded by dinner at Rosario's, which was the first time Mom has been there.  It's in the King William district and on the main route for the First Friday art exhibits. I had the Pollo con Mole though I opted for the sauce on the side.  It comes "smothered" by default, but the smaller amount was very enjoyable. 

The venue was different than the previous concerts I attended, this time at the Municipal Auditorium. It was a beautiful facility in an art deco style and one of San Antonio's historic sites.  It appeared to seat more people than the Majestic Theater where I've been before.  Most of the floor seats were occupied.  There were a lot of school age kids there, which is a definite difference from the what I perceived to be the normal crowd.  Added bonus: more knee room than the cheap seats at the Majestic.

The concert was very good.  I knew almost every one of the tunes, which made the concert fly by.  I think my boyfriend was embarrased by Mom and me bobbing our heads in time with the music.  They played a lot of the memorable themes from Star Wars, Jaws, E.T., Superman and Harry Potter.  Everybody knows those, right? They also played the theme from NBC news, which was much more beautiful in its full form than the sound bytes that you normally get.

Two songs from my high school band career stand out in my mind as incredibly fun to play.  They were both John Williams tunes and they both made the program: Cowboys and 1941.  Both of these were written before Star Wars and his catapult into legend.  I remembered how much it physically hurt to play those tunes during rehearsal and I felt bad for the horns and trumpets who had to play a whole two hours of similarly ranged music. 

There were two solo pieces.  The first on the program was "Viktor's Theme" from The Terminal which featured a clarinet solo.  It was an amazing piece.  The principal clarinet did a fantastic job with it.  It makes me want to watch the film again so I can listen for the theme applied in context.  The second was the theme from Schindler's List.  The piece is both moving and haunting, but I did not love the concertmaster's performance. There's something about fast vibrato that irritates me whenever I hear it and I especially don't think it worked for this piece.

This was my first Pops concert, so I wasn't expecting their "special effects."  They had characters in costume acting onstage intermittently throughout the concert.  It seemed really hokey and detracted from the experience.  But they weren't for me.  They were for the little kid sitting next to us who pretended to be the conductor and then totally geeked out when Darth Vader took over the podium for the Imperial March from Star Wars.  And for him, it rocked. 

Again, I was inspired by a symphony concert.  Listening to classical music always fills me with all the best hopes for myself and my future, with my shooting star dreams.  And best of all, it gives me a whiff of courage to continue towards those things, no matter where I've made it on my journey thus far. 

I highly encourage anyone to attend an arts event in their city if they haven't in a while.  Our cities are filled with creative and talented people who need an audience.  I know I'm going to go back for more as soon as I can.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Leap Year

Anna comes up with a plan to propose to her long time boyfriend on Leap Day as prescribed by an old Irish tradition. On her way to meed up with the boyfriend in Dublin weather forces her to take a detour through the Irish countryside.  She enlists the help of an innkeeper in order get to Dublin in time.  But the trip makes her question if that is what she really wants.

So I called in a lot of what the boyfriend refers to as DKP when I forced him to take me to see Leap Year. Basically all my deposits for doing nice girlfriend things have been withdrawn. 

If you watch the trailer, you know what is coming.  It's your typical chick flick.  Very predictable plot, very typical characters, and very pretty people to carry it.  The Irish accent from Matthew Goode wasn't great, but considering he's British, it's not bad.  He's very easy on the eyes, so it's not hard to forgive him. The very cute Amy Adams helped the boyfriend make it through the movie.  I'm totally jealous of her wardrobe, but I definitely would have chunked the heels after just one day of travel.

There are a lot of vista shots of the Irish countryside, which were very great.  I don't think I appreciated them enough while watching.  I was distracted by a feeling of deja vu.  In Chasing Liberty, Matthew Goode follows Mandy Moore on random country roads, and he's doing the same in this movie. 

Overall, it's not the best movie I've ever seen, but it was a decent night out. And I liked Chasing Liberty better.

Congrats to Meryl Streep for winning the Best Actress Golden Globe for Julie and Julia. Absolutely loved the movie and she was fantastic in it.  Her performance made me want to read a biography of Julia Child.  Very much deserved!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Heart My iPhone

I only got an iPhone late last fall.  I definitely was late on the uptake, but since I am definitely an addict.  I now can look cool when everybody in a group stops talking and commences playing with iPhone apps.   And I don't have to "borrow" an iPhone from someone else to get my fix.

These are my go-to applications that I use multiple times a day.
    • Twitterific - Mainly just an app to have a connection into Twitter.  First one I've tried, but so far it has made me a fan of Twitter where I didn't think I would be originally.
    • - Huge fan of, and this as a mobile version. The website it much easier to use than the app, so I just use this to check in on account balances.
    • Sudoku - The numbers game is my favorite way to pass time waiting for whatever.  I like playing at different difficulties depending on my mood.  I use the free app by
    • Water Your Body - As a runner, I know I need to stay hydrated.  And I'm notoriously bad for going days without drinking anywhere near enough water.  This app has so far helped me stay on top of how much I'm drinking, including the trending so that I know if I've had too many days in a row where I haven't had enough. 
    • Weight Watchers - Like the app better than the website! But there are a few things that I wish it would do better.  Overall, it's a much easier way to keep track of what I eat. 
    • iFitness - Got this as an app to use in the gym when I'm doing New Rules of Lifting Routines.  So far I like the trending and the automatic calculation of one-rep maximum weight.
    • Grocery Gadget - My boyfriend and I use this as our grocery list.  You can sync up multiple iPhones or use the website.  I add the items, he checks it against what we already have, and he is in charge of checking off items at the store as I run around picking things up.  His only complaint is when I pick up things that aren't on the list.
    • Nike+ - As mentioned in my post below, it's a great way to geek out on my running stats.  I especially like that the iPhone 3GS version has the ability to calibrate each run instead of having to do a one-time setup on the iPod Nano. I'm glad that my distances and paces are finally accurate.
    Here are other applications I like, but don't necessarily use them every day.
    • IMDb - To nerd out at the movies.  I also use it to see what's coming out.
    • Fandango - Easiest way to check showtimes in the area at my favorite theaters.
    • Barnes and Noble eReader - Automatically syncs up with the nook as to what page you read last.
    • Shazam - Great way to "discover" the good songs on the radio and get them with iTunes later.
    • Pandora - When I don't know what I really want to listen to, or want to find more songs in the same genre.  I listened to the Christmas station for about three weeks straight during the holidays.

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Spring Training

    This week started my spring training.  Right now I'm not training for anything specific other than general stress relief and overall fitness.  My work and school schedule made it really difficult last year to do much more.

    I've been running for a little over two years now, but I'm still a solid back-of-the-pack runner. I haven't improved much.  I still run around 12:45 min/mi for 5ks and 14ish min/mi for 10 miles or half marathons.  I started with a lot of run/walking and now can run nonstop for over an hour.  The little gains are what improving as a back-of-the-pack runner is all about.

    And making my Nike+ Mini do the electric slide. Isn't she cute?! Nike+ is a great way to have fun while geeking out on stats.  I'm trying to make it past 1000 miles this year.  Any iPod or iPhone runners should use this app!  And let me know your Nike+ ID so that I can finally have friends on there!

    One of my favorite workouts came from a Runner's World article. I run a majority of the time on treadmills and I live in a relatively flat city.  So the Indoor Hills workout (#3) is my go-to hill interval workout.  I think this workout is what got me to improve my fitness enough to get a 4 minute PR (personal record) and be able to tackle New Hampshire hills.  My previous PR was 3:17:09 at the 2008 Rock'N'Roll San Antonio.  I then got a 3:13:10 when I ran the 2009 CHaD Half Marathon with Beth in New Hampshire.  Actually, I was pacing her most of the way and could have probably gone faster, but it definitely was one of the best running experiences I've ever had.  New Hampshire is a really beautiful place to run!

    "Hill training is almost as effective in building aerobic power as track interval training," says [Chris] Phelan. "And it's far more effective in building strength."

    The hill workout could easily be modified for other machines, I think, but I've never tried it.  I go pretty slow and the workout kicks my butt every time, but I feel like I have accomplished something afterward.  It was really rewarding to be able to speed up the workout over the course of a few months.  Before the CHaD Half Marathon I think I got it up to 4.5mph, but this week I couldn't even make it through the workout at 4.0 mph. 

    Even with the difficult run, I felt awesome after I was finished.  Sweaty and tired, but awesome.  And I felt the same after yesterday's long (5 mile) run.  I seem to forget when I have a busy day or week or month how much my body likes to be worked. 

    My body also loves to lift weights.  I was filling out hours in my final semester at Texas Tech and took a weight lifting class.  I looked the best of my life at that point.  I have two weight lifting days in my spring training plan which will be following the New Rules of Lifting for Women workouts. I started this program before, but ended up so sore after the workouts that I could barely move the next day.  So far this past week has been rewarding without the awkward post-workout movement.

    I think I'm going to try to run a full marathon at the Rock'N'Roll Las Vegas at the beginning of December. I've heard great things about the race and it's a location I can convince my entourage to follow me to.  And it's Vegas, Baby!  I hope everything I'm trying to cram into 2010 cooperates and I can finally do a full marathon!

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Chalice by Robin McKinley

    The demense is in unstable times, only having just survived seven years of disrule at the hand of the late Master. Mirasol comes to the position of Chalice during these trying times. A new Master comes to the Willowlands, the younger brother of the previous Master. A priest of Fire has never returned to live among humans before. The land speaks to Mirasol of its pain. But what can she do to heal the land when she doesn't even know how to be Chalice yet?

    This is the first Robin McKinley book I've read. She wrote one of the pep talks for NaNoWriMo in November. I was excited that Kristin Cashore and Tamora Pierce were writing pep talks, but others who loved those two ladies' work also were really excited about McKinley's contribution. So, she went on my list of books to read.

    McKinley is more noted for her two young adult books based on the Beauty and the Beast story and her adult vampire book Sunshine. I picked up this book and Blue Sword when I was at a NaNoWriMo write-in and these were the ones that the store had stocked at the time. So perhaps it wasn't the best first exposure to the author.

    My first reaction to the story is that it was slow moving and heavily descriptive. But then, when your main character wields her powers through honey, crisp action scenes probably wouldn't fit too well. Most of the "action" in the book comes from the range of emotion the heroine experiences. She is a quiet and isolated woman, so dwelling in her emotion would be normal for that type of person. A small complaint: sometimes I had to reread passages when it went back and forth between flashbacks and present.

    McKinley connects the people to their demense through something called "landsense" which is heavier with some families than with others. Both Chalice and Master have a deep connection to their homeland, which is one of the biggest drivers to their actions. After seeing Avatar, it feels a little like an environmentalist theme of trying to heal the plants and animals around them. So that made me roll my eyes a little bit.

    One thing that bothers me personally is the definition of people by what they do: Chalice, Master, Talisman, Clearseer, for example. Once they take the named position, they are no longer the person they were. There is a lot to being called to a specific purpose and feeling a duty to perform in the position. But I've never felt so confident in my life's work to want to be defined wholly by my employment. But then again, it's young adult and high fantasy, so what are you supposed to do?

    I did love how there are different honeys for different purposes. I love how different honey tastes depending on where and what kind of flowers it comes from. Current favorites are local wildflower and clover honey. It's amazing the character it adds to the foods you add it to. I'm currently stealing my sister's breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries, cinnamon, and honey. I love the way even a little honey adds an earthiness to the oatmeal and how the blueberries make it taste bright. Sigh. Your basic squeezy-bear honey just doesn't do it for me anymore.

    Overall impression of the book is that there isn't a whole lot of action. So if that's your thing, you probably won't enjoy it. A worthwhile read, but not something I'll permanently keep on my shelf.

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Women, Work, and the Art of Savoir Faire

    Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don't Get Fat, and French Women for All Season, relates the experience she gained as a senior executive for Veuve Cliquot to young women starting out on their careers.   It's a mouthful of a title, but it was a good read. This is most likely because I am a poster child for the target demographic: twenty something female employed in an office environment.  I didn't learn anything knew, but instead finally understood business sayings that those of us in the corporate world have come to live every day.

    One example is the old adage, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."  Guilliano spins it a little differently, calling women to "be their own brand."  As a senior executive for a luxury goods company, she became a visual indication of the business.  She was expected to physically represent her company at all times, whether jet-setting to overseas meetings or picking up weekly groceries.  For people who haven't made it to the corner office yet, the idea is to present the best possible form of yourself at all times.

    I likened her pitch to a concept I see recommended to writers, published or unpublished: get yourself an platform.  You need a following to help you market yourself.  When you do any amount of face-to-face business interactions, your physical appearance is part of your platform.  It has to match with what you're pitching with your words, spoken or written.

    Another phrase I heard over and over again was the about the "80/20 Rule."  The rule states that 20% of your workforce is responsible for 80% of your results.  I hadn't understood it quite that way, but looking back I can see it applicable in context.  It puts a spin on some of my past experiences on the job that makes me want to face-palm.

    Overall, the concepts were repeats from a myriad of venues over the course of my career thus far: meetings with my management, corporate training, and the common catch phrases floating in the office ventilation system.  Guilliano's style makes it feel like a mentor whispering industry secrets in your ear over a glass of wine. I would recommend this book to other up and coming twenty-something women who are in the first stages of their career.

    Anyone want to borrow it?

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    2010 Book List

    Books read in 2010.

    1. Terrier - Tamora Pierce
    2. Women, Work, and the Art of Savoir Faire - Mireille Guiliano
    3. Chalice - Robin McKinley 
    4. Angel Time - Anne Rice
    5. Twelve Greeks and Romans who Changed the World - Carl J. Richard


    In Daybreakers, an outbreak of vampirism has spread across the world, leaving the little to no humans left.  The vampire population is on the brink of starvation.  Edward Dalton is the Chief Hematologist for a corporation who manufactures the available human blood.  Ed is charged to come up with a blood substitute that will reduce the demand on human blood.  He unexpectedly finds a group of rogue humans surviving underground who give him an idea on how to cure vampirism altogether.

    I'll start by saying I'm an Ethan Hawke fan, in particular Gattaca and Before Sunset, so that was a drive to see the movie.  With all the popularity of heart throb vampires, I was looking forward to this story that had a different take on the idea.

    I wasn't disappointed.

    The photography of the film was very intriguing, especially seeing color come into the film as the story progressed.  The story itself was also well done, an original story with a well formed plot.  Hawke did a good job with his character, as did Willem Dafoe.  I was most impressed with Michael Dorman, an Australian actor that played Ed Dalton's brother Frankie.  I liked that it dealt with the darker themes in vampirism.  And while some of those darker themes were expressed in pretty gory scenes, it felt like they were necessary to get the point across.

    I'm not usually one to see a movie repetitively in the theaters, but I'd go see this one again, definitely!  But I'd probably opt out of watching the gory scenes again.

    Monday, January 04, 2010

    Terrier by Tamora Pierce

    The first book in the Beka Cooper series brings fans of Tamora Pierce back to the world of Tortall. This book is set prior to Pierce's other Tortall series. It is written in a journal format from the eyes of Rebekah (Beka) Cooper as she goes through training to be a police officer, or “Dog,” for the Lower City district of Corus. Beka has interesting talents as being able to talk to ghosts and dust devils. She uses these informants and others to discover who is responsible for the murder of her friend's child.

    The journal format put me off at first since I was so used to Pierce's prose, but it faded into the background as I got further into the story. I enjoyed seeing how Beka grows out of some of her isolation and shyness. Watching her making friends and challenging her fears of speaking in public was a delight.  Beka is a notable addition to Pierce's many strong female characters. 

    Overall I liked the book, but not as much as I enjoyed others by Pierce. If I was to recommend a Pierce book to someone who had not read one of hers before, it would be Trickters's Choice, and not Terrier.

    P.S. This is my first book review!  Please leave me comments below!

    Saturday, January 02, 2010

    To Be Read

    I find I do very well with lists, charts, graphs, and numbers. Basically anything I can nerd out on, like my running or writing statistics, it makes me much more interested in how I can make the numbers move. My home-grown spreadsheet for my NaNoWriMo novel was how I got through the last couple weeks of the challenge.

    So now the thought is to have some order to what I read. I was inspired mostly by Amanda's "Fill in the Gaps" post on her blog. I think I may have single-handedly increased her hit count for that. I started my own list, starting from what I already have on my shelves, mixing in some recommended business reads, some classics, books I should have read as a kid, and recommended reads from one of my professors last semester. I'll add to it as more recommended reads come my way or other ones catch my eye. So far I have just over 80 on the list.

    I got a nook for Christmas, though it's backordered until the 15th. The Barnes and Noble eReader for iPhone has been quite a nice little app. I'm reading my fifth eBook using the app now. It's really not that bad, even for the tiny amount of screen real estate. Nonetheless, I am still very excited to be getting the nook.

    I should be starting with the books I already have on hand instead of purchasing more. Here's that subset of the master list, for your perusal.
    A Midsummer Night's Dream - William Shakespeare
    Angel Time - Anne Rice
    Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
    Chalice - Robin McKinley
    Marley and Me - John Grogan
    Plato, Not Prozac! - Lou Marinoff
    Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
    Sanctuary - William Faulkner
    SuperFoods Rx - Kathy Matthews,Michael Stroot
    Terrier - Tamora Pierce
    The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley
    The Penelopiad - Margaret Atwood
    The Shack - William Young
    This is Not Chick Lit - Elizabeth Merrick
    Twelve Greeks and Romans Who Changed the World - Carl J. Richard
    Wicked - Gregory Maguire
    Women, Work, and the Art of Savoir Faire - Mireille Guiliano

    Any recommendations on which to read first?