Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Friday Five on Tuesday

Ok, so I made a promise to myself that I would blog at least once a week, but I don't have anything remarkable to say. Packing, looking for an apartment, working, going out, the usual...

Listening to: Corwin's Going Out Mix
Reading: Terry Pratchett - Feet of Clay
Watching: Must Love Jaws!!!

And because I can't think of anything to write, A Friday Five:

1. How many places have you lived in your life?
16 residences.

2. Which was your favorite and why and what street was it on?
Silverdale, Washington. I love the mountains. NW Westridge Court

3. If you could live anywhere for the rest of your life, where would it be?
Probably, Seattle. Likely, I'll stay in Raleigh, though.

4. What would your ideal home have in it?
A bed with egyptian cotton sheets and a goose down comforter. Um, and maybe Edward Norton...

5. Can you describe your current crib?
Split A-frame. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. TREES!!!!

and maybe one more:

1. What type of mood are you generally in on a rainy day?
Mostly a rainy day seems like a perfect excuse for pjs, a book, and lots of naps.

2. What are your favorite things to do when the weather is gloomy?
read, sleep, generally be slow.

3. Have you ever been kissed in the rain?
certainly. ;)

4. After the rain stops, do you continue what you were doing, or do you run outside to do something else?
Depends on what I was doing.

5. What is your favorite drink/food to have when it's raining outside?
Why, a pina colada, of course!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Magic For Beginners

When I was working on my list of books to read for 2006, I came across this quote from Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link:

This is the thing she likes about backwards, You start out with all the answers, and after a while, someone comes along and gives you the questions, but you don't have to answer them. You're already past that part. That was what was so nice about being married. Things got better and better until you hardly even knew each other anymore. And then you said good night and went out on a date, and after that you were just friends. It was easier that way - that's the dear, sweet, backwards way of the world.
From that quote, I was hooked and really wanted to read this book. The funny thing is, I thought this was a novel about life going in reverse. In actuality it is a collection of very bizarre little short stories. Initally I was disapointed, I thought I had picked up the wrong title. To my amusement, I didn't realize the story I was looking for was part of the collection until the very last story.

The stories are very strange, but well-written and interesting. I'm not sure I understood a lot of the stories, but K. says that's just reason to read them again. I mean, how can a book with a story called "Some Zombie Contingency Plans" be all bad?

I wouldn't necessarily say you need to run out and buy this book now, but it is worth a read, and if you're interested, let me know and I'll loan it your way. I'd love to have someone to discuss it with.

Monday, May 22, 2006

My Roommate Rocks...

I am used to cooking for other people. I have done it a lot. I am very good at it. However, sometimes it is awesome to have someone (especially someone who can really cook) else make dinner.

This is one reason why my roommate, b. rocks. Tonite when I came home from work, she made us shrimp and grits for dinner to eat while we watched the season finale of 24. It was delicious. I am very fat and happy now. My roommate, she rocks.

This was the second time I've ever had shrimp and grits. Being half-Yankee, I've kind of avoided them (grits) my whole life. I thought they were gross. It was then pointed out that I love polenta, so wtf? Finally, at the Red Hat Holiday party last year, I gave in. I'm so glad I did.

She also makes better spinach dip than me. Even though I use the exact same recipe, her's always tastes the best. Sigh.

Ok, just needed to share that. Now I'm going to go return to my carb-induced fog.

Curacao!



I've been meaning to write about my recent trip to Curacao, but I didn't want to do so until I had at least some of the pictures up to view. I've gotten the first batch up, I'm still kind of editing, but if you'd like to see them, they are here. I'll keep working on them for the next couple days.

My long weekend in Curacao was amazing. The island is located roughly 30 miles off the coast of Venezuela about 12 degrees from the equator. It is part of the Netherland Antilles in the Southern Caribbean. The temperature was hot, 90 degrees and sunny every day, but the tradewinds are constantly blowing and this keeps it actually quite comfortable. The island is very dry and a desert with large cacti growing all over the island. (This was very different from my experience in St. Thomas last year, which was quite tropical and lush.) I didn't realize just how much more powerful the sun is there, I got a very bad sunburn our first day down there and I was reapplying SPF 40 every 20-30 minutes.

We spent our first day lying on the beach, having fruity blue curacao drinks and swimming in the blue, blue sea. When we got tired of the ocean, we went swimming in the pool, and then I realized that I was sunburned. The next morning was a little rough, so we decided to stay out of the sun and visit the aquarium next door and then visit Willemsted, the capital.

Willemsted is divided into two cities, Otrabanda and Punda. Both areas are crowded with shops and restuarants, and there is a floating open air market. Remembering that this is a Dutch island, I was quite pleased to find lots and lots of Gouda. Mmmmm, cheese... The city, like the entire island, is strongly influenced by the Dutch, and this is evident everywhere you look. From the architecture, to the food, to even the language. The official language of the island is Dutch, however most of the locals speak a Pidgeon language made up of English, Spanish, Dutch, and Creole, I believe. Language was occasionally a problem, as I know no Dutch, but eventually understanding could be reached. Next time I'll listen to my Dutch language tapes before I go.

For me, the highlight of the trip was a day long snorkeling trip off the side of a huge schooner. The schooner took us to several different coral reefs where I did some of the best snorkeling of my life. I think after this snorkeling trip I've half-decided to sell all my stuff and move to an island in the Caribbean with my dog and teach snorkeling lessons for the rest of my life. There are certainly worse fates, right? At the very least I have decided I am going to learn to dive before my next island adventure, as I'm becoming more dissatisfied with only being able to stay on the surface. I want to see more!!!!

Sunburn aside, it was a crazy adventure. I would recommend the island to anyone who wants to experience a very European flavored Caribbean. It's a very unique place. It's also a good place to go if you want to spend time with very few fellow Americans. We probably saw less than a dozen Americans during our trip. (Snorkeling excursion aside.) The people are wonderful, the food is great, and best of all - you are surrounded by the most beautiful cobalt blue sea.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I love my shoulders...

We spend too much time focusing on our buddha bellies or skinny legs or whatever.

So, here is something I love...

Why I love my shoulders
  • Because they are strong.
  • Because without them I could not carry anything.
  • Because the stronger they get, the better posture I seem to have.
  • Because they are not too big or too small, they are just right for me.
  • Without them, where would my arms be attached?
What do you love?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Book Meme

Via Kat using Bascha's key.

bold
= read it
italicised, but not bold = a book I want to read but haven’t yet
italicised and bold = a book I’m currently reading
bold and struck through = a book I tried to read and have formally abandoned out of disinterest
purple bold = a book I love
purple bold italics = a book I love so much that it is always current reading

Then add four.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter 6) - J.K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) - J.K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) - J.K. Rowling
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter 5) - J.K. Rowling
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Book 1) - J.K. Rowling
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) - J.K. Rowling
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Ender’s Game (The Ender Saga) - Orson Scott Card
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert
The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
The Nature of Blood - Caryl Phillips
Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules - Ed. David Sedaris
The Last Continent - Terry Pratchett
The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice - Laurie R. King
Persepolis 2 - Marjane Satrapi
The Sound & The Fury - William Faulkner
A Wild Sheep Chase - Haruki Murakami
The Bridge of Birds - Barry Hughart
Foundation - Isaac Asimov
Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman
Gravity’s Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L’Engle
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Illusion - Paula Volsky
To Reign in Hell - Steven Brust
Pattern Recognition - William Gibson
Tailchaser’s Song - Tad Williams

My four:

Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis
Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
The Stand - Stephen King

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Catching Up

So, as per my usual, I've not been posting. I think about posting, but I'm apparently too slack to do much more than answer the Friday Fives. So, I imagine most everyone who reads this knows what I've been up to, but just in case...

First, just to get this off my chest...The new NC Lotto is not making me very happy. Because I smoke and I have an addiction to the Diet Coke, I very often have to make a quick stop at the gas station. Since the onset of this wonderful new lottery, my wait time at these convenience stores has increased dramatically as I must now wait in line behind all the people paying the math tax to buy their Scratch and Wins. People, believe me, trust me, you aren't going to win. And if you do, it will really, really not make up for the money that you throw away buying those things. Ok, just needed to say that.

What I've been reading:

Cook-Off - Recipe Fever in America - Amy Sutherland
Good in Bed - Jennifer Weiner
So Many Books, So Little Time - Sara Nelson
Book Lust 2 - Nancy Pearl
Veronica - Mary Gaitskill
Case Histories - Kate Atkinson
Guards!Guards! - Terry Pratchett
Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett
Feet of Clay - Terry Pratchett
Magic for Beginners - Kelly Link

What I've been watching:
24, The Shield (Poor Lem), too many bad horror movies to mention, CSI, reruns of Law and Order.

What I've been up to:

Trouble?

The Hospitals of Virginia (in March). Dad was having some complications from his open heart surgery and ended up in a couple hospitals for a week. All is well now, possibly another procedure, but things look good.

The Lake: Made two trips up to the lake. One with friends to help out my Dad with cleaning of boats, working on the sun room, and cleaning up the trail. Second trip was for Easter and the first boating adventure of the season. I'm really looking forward to spending some quality time at the lake this season and very much looking forward to an over the lake Hot Air Balloon ride in July.

Working: Work has been madness of late. Lots of regular work, plus some new projects keeping me busy. I am ready for vacation.

Vacation: Woo! Getting ready to leave for Curacao with a friend from work for a long weekend. It's a total impulse trip, and kind of crazy, but who can complain about leaving the country and lying on some beach for a weekend.

Still mad for the DDR. I think I am causing my roommate's ears to bleed.

Hanging out with friends, Running around.

So, that's the update!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday Five

Some old Friday Fivers:

1. What do you normally eat for breakfast?
Toast with cheese or yogurt.

2. Are you more likely to drink coffee or tea?
Tea.

3. Would you consider yourself a good cook?
Yes.

4. What is your favorite meal?
Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes.

5. Green eggs and ham: would you eat it?
It depends on why they were green.


1. Are you timely or always late?
I'm either really early or really late, but not usually on time.

2. Do you wear a watch?
No.

3. What is the most important event you have been late for?
My cousin's wedding, for which I was maid of honor.

4. What kind of system you have for keeping track of your bills?
Spreadsheet.

5. What is your favorite time of day?
Late afternoon, early evening.