Sunday, August 28, 2011

Quitter

Quitter


Quitter

This book could not have come at a better time. In the final 2 days packing for a week long cruise I had one last errand to pick up this book so I could read it on the cruise. I actually paid full price for this one, so you know that it really HAS to be good because I don't tend to pay full price very often.

Jon Acuff starts the book off introducing us to the types of jobs he had, what he did there and then why was he quit or get fired. Then he moves on to the next "not forever--low commitment

Sing You Home

Sing You Home: A Novel

Sing You Home: A Novel
Finished another Jodi Picoult book and I was glad to see that this one focused on relationships that aren't 100% mainstream. Picoult is one of my favorite authors, her stories are always entertaining and since my family is all from New England I like that the majority of the stories are from places up there. I can always pick up a Picoult book and get out of any reading slump that I'm in at the time. The books always remind me of Grisham, just instead of lawyers stories in the South, they are medical stories set in the North. I don't think either will win the Pulitzer but they are always easy to read and entertaining. Since reading is a really great form of entertainment I don't really care if others aren't huge fans or if they aren't very high brow. Entertainment is entertainment!

On to the story. Picoult tackled the controversial issues involving gay marriage, lesbian relationships and the latest fertility treatments out there. Zoe Baxter is a music therapist who goes into schools and other facilities to use her music to help as a way to get through to people. Zoe and her husband have been trying to have a baby and in the process end up with some extra frozen embryos that they won't need. Years later when there are new relationships everyone's opinions of what is right and wrong is put out there for judgement when a couple wants to use those "unwanted" embryos. I don't know anyone personally in that same situation but it has definitely made me think about what position I would take. I used to be so closed minded about things kind of because of the way I grew up, since I didn't have a lot of experiences with people that weren't similar to me. It kind of sucks that it takes until I'm an adult to have my eyes opened like this but its better late than never! Reading this book opened my eyes to some of the other relationships people might be in and to the struggles some couples have with fertility. I'm becoming more compassionate and open minded each day, and I hope thats something everyone has the chance to do. It will make for a more peaceful existence :)

The idea of a music therapist was also interesting to me and was glad to see some of things they do mentioned in the book. I don't know anyone who is a music therapist or who has worked with any but the idea seems like it could really work. I know that when I'm stressed or someone's hurt my feelings that I have a sort of soundtrack for some of my moods and it gets me through whatever is on my mind. I didn't have the easiest childhood and I probably could have benefited from having access to someone like that when things were at their lowest. Either that or if iTunes could have been invented then LOL That would have been much easier than me sitting next to my radio with my tape player trying to record songs of the radio. I wish I had some of those tapes now, I bet they'd be a hoot to listen to now. Definitely one of those "listen once and burn" sort of things probably. Knowing me I was probably either singing (badly) along with it or talking to my cats. I think there *may* be one tape that I saved and its a doozy, 27.5 times of To Be With You by Mr. Big. Seriously? Mr. Big? That is so 80's, I love it! Its still my all time favorite song and I do here it from time to time on the radio and it always sends me right back to 3rd grade. I love it!

Here is a link if you'd like to read more or to purchase a copy for yourself


Sing You Home: A Novel


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fallen Friend

Look at this amazing thing that happened recently at a military funeral. The dog's owner who was a Navy Seal died and when the dog was at the funeral he walked up to the casket and laid down beneath. That is so sad but also very touching that the dog had some sense of what was happening.


Loyal Dog

Hurricane Frances

With the impending wrath of Hurricane Irene expecting to travel up the East Coast this weekend I dug out my favorite photos from when Hurricane Frances was here in 2004 (or 2005?). If you have to pack up your stuff and head out you might as well have a little fun before you leave!



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Anne Hathaway Raps about Paparazzi

Amen Anne! This is awesome, she's got such a fun personality


Hollywood's Real Bodies

I beat myself up sometimes about what I look like and how my body has changed so to see some REAL bodies in Hollywood for a change. Reese Witherspoon and Julia Roberts are beautiful but seeing them in their bikinis makes me feel a little better. Parts of them look like parts of me!

Julia on plastic surgery

"The elegant A-lister plans to age gracefully. "It's unfortunate that we live in such a panicked, dysmorphic society where women don't even give themselves a chance to see what they'll look like as older persons," she said. "I want to have some idea of what I'll look like before I start cleaning the slates. I want my kids to know when I'm pissed, when I'm happy and when I'm confounded. Your face tells a story... and it shouldn't be a story about your drive to the doctor's office."




The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks



I'm not even finished with this book but I am really liking it. The whole story is fascinating. I'll say more later when I finish!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Couch to 5K-- Week 2, Day 3



I'm not sure how many states participate in "Sales Tax Free" shopping periods for back to school items but Florida has done this for a few years and I always try to make my purchases during this time. After the Week 2, Day 2 run my feet were killing me and I knew that it was time to purchase some actual running shoes. When I ran track and cross country in high school I bought my shoes from Track Shack in Orlando and learned that it does affect your running if you are wearing the wrong shoes. I did not go to Track Shack this time because it was too dang hot to sit in the car for an hour. I thought about going to a more local running shoe shop thats just outside of Daytona but I wanted to check out other stores in the mall so I decided to check at the mall first. Luckily, in Rack Room Shoes they had a lot of really good deals and I was able to score the shoes in the photo above for about $35, which is much lower than their $59 normal price. And you know I love a bargain...

So, on to the shoes. No, these were not chosen especially for my feet but I have had probably 8-9 pairs of Sauconys when I was in HS and knew that they worked really well with my narrow heel. I tried a few different pairs of Sauconys on yesterday and picked the shoe that felt nice and lightweight and which also had a narrow enough heel to keep my foot in place. Plus, they were the cutest AND the best price. I love pink sneakers and this was a nice, subdued pink design.

I wore these shoes tonight and they were awesome! My heels were held in place and I didn't feel like the front half of my foot was sliding everywhere. My feet were a tiny bit sore from when I did my Week 2, Day 2 run but I could tell that there wasn't any new areas that felt sore. Tonight's run felt fine on my feet and I was really happy that I didn't feel any sort of knee pain so I consider the new shoes a success. Two things I did learn though were that I should not have had a few spoonfuls of ice cream and that I notice a lot less of the leg/butt jiggle when I wear my spandex shorts. I didn't do that tonight and I was much more aware of how my legs didn't look or feel as toned when they weren't stuffed into spandex ;)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Couch to 5K-- Week 2, Day 1

5 minute warmup, then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking and ten a cool down


Stats for today's run:
2.40 miles
Time 36:37
Average pace 15:13 per mile

Tramp Stamps

Awesome Tramp Stamps!

Ok, out of the 20 on this list there are some REALLY funny ones. The tramp stamp tattoo photos had me actually laughing out loud when I saw this link. Here are a few of my favorites





The Lake Shore Limited



I didn't love this book but I thought it was an enjoyable book for the weekend. I really like Sue Miller's style of writing, its easy to read and I don't ever seem to have any trouble getting into the story. This book was entertaining but it did start out a little slow for me because there were so many characters to remember. I felt like I might have needed to make a list but once I got them figured out the story picked up.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

10 Most Hated Americans

America's 10 Most Hated People - Photos - WESH Orlando

Saw this online tonight and thought it was interesting to see who topped the list. Some of these people don't even really register on my radar anymore so I'm guessing these are just overall hatred and not necessarily recent people.

10. Howard Stern--Um, haven't thought about him in a "hate" sort of mode for a loooong time

9. Heidi Fleiss--Same as above, although I don't know if I ever hated her.

8. Paris Hilton--I've never hated her. I'm not really a fan but never a hater. She doesn't really do anything though so I don't know how you could be a fan or a hater

7. Jesse James--I'd say maybe a 6 out of 10 on the hate scale. Sandra Bullock came out with the Oscar and a baby so I'm just happy she got away from him

6. Levi Johnson--He is a young punk so no real hate here either

5. OJ Simpson--All I can say is Bravo! to his legal team. I think he's guilty for sure

4. Octomom--I feel sorry for her. Thats all

3. Jon Gosselin--How did he end up on here and not Kate Gosselin? She's kinda in that evil shrew category so I can't blame him for anything he did.

2. Spencer Pratt--Oh please, please stop talking about the two of them! We've been doing good keeping them out of the news lately, lets not screw it up.

1. Casey Anthony--Now that she's out of jail I wonder what its like to read stuff like this online about yourself? I think she is guilty too. Its a shame that little girl is gone but I believe in the end Casey will get what she deserves





The Confession



I think I'll always be a John Grisham fan, even though the books don't really stand out to me as much as they used to. My favorite will always be A Time to Kill, I think I've read it probably 10 times now. The Confession, I probably won't reread but I did enjoy the story line. I liked how the guy on death row actually was innocent (not a spoiler). I think I was expecting Grisham to make him out to be a bad guy in the end so it was a nice surprise there weren't any twists that the kid was actually a serial killer or something.

Right after the Casey Anthony not guilty verdict this was an interesting time to read about someone young on death row. I don't know how I feel about the death penalty for some cases but this book did make me think about my opinion and how I feel about this issue.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Secret Kept



I read de Rosnay's earlier book, Sarah's Key and really enjoyed the writing and the story so I was really looking forward to her new book, A Secret Kept. It didn't quite suck me in as Sarah's Key but it was a really enjoyable book (I do tend to like stories about the Holocaust and that was a big part of why I think the other book really sucked me in so much). de Rosnay is really skilled at describing settings to make them seem so magical or romantic. I really want to see the places she's describing because of the way they sound.

This story follows the family as they retrace steps in order to figure out the truth of who they are and more to their story. To celebrate the 40th birthday of his sister Melanie, Antoine takes her back to the place they vacationed as kids to help possibly stir up things that they might have forgotten. After remembering some crucial details while driving, Melanie blacks out and runs the car off the road and lands herself in the hospital. I won't give the rest away but I will say it does leave you with a few questions.

Check out her earlier book which is currently being made into a movie which I will definitely see:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Couch to 5K-- Week 1, Day 3

Today I felt like a runner and got over my little self doubt party 2 days ago. I really think that I can do this. I had some knee pain but overall I felt ok.

Stats for today's run:
2.42 miles
Time 38:55
Average pace 16:05 per mile

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Couch to 5K-- Week 1, Day 2

Today I felt pumped up and ready to run when I got out there. The only bad thing is that its so freaking hot in Florida so I ran at 8:30pm and that was a little bit too late. The area where I finish my run is pretty dark and its not my favorite place to be when its that dark. I'm not afraid of people but I would rather not run near snakes and frogs when I'm running. I don't feel like getting my ankle bitten by a snake or feel a frog squishing beneath my shoe. I know its silly but I got so distracted thinking about that since I've already seen a snake and 2 frogs in the two times that I've run.

Stats for today's run:
2.39 miles
Time 40:34
Average pace 17:00 per mile

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Piece of Space Shuttle Columbia Found in Texas



Growing up in the Central Florida area I've gotten to the point where stories about the Space Shuttles don't really make an impact. Every day its something about the people involved, layoffs, new projects, rockets being launched, etc so you really get sort of desensitized about the whole thing. Today, however, a story on the news tonight caught my attention. Apparently after 8 years of being submerged in a lake a very large portion of the Columbia was located because Texas is in the middle of a serious drought.

In the picture above, it shows all the pieces from the Columbia laid out in a grid to show where each piece originated. At the time of this accident I was employed at the Space Center so I was able go to this hangar to view all the wreckage. It was really fascinating and somewhat sobering to know that the package of perfectly intact light bulbs survived the re-entry but the lives aboard did not. Looking at this photo does not do it justice, the place was enormous and the size of each piece of wreckage found ranged from very small pieces all the way to a lot of pieces that were quite large. We were quietly walking around pointing things out along the way but one thing that everyone commented on was the smell. It was very, very strong and I'd say it was somewhere in the range between wet ashtray and leftover campfire. Its something I won't forget seeing or smelling.







Piece of Columbia Found

Too Skinny






It amazes me that LeAnn Rimes defends her weight, saying that she is at a healthy weight. Being this skinny is, I think, beyond the point of a normal, healthy weight. This just isn't flattering, no matter who you are.

LeAnn defends weight on twitter

Monday, August 1, 2011

Couch to 5K-- Week 1, Day 1

Its amazing how hard it is to run 60 seconds without stopping when you are out of shape! I started the Couch to 5K program again today and I feel good for starting it but I know its going to be hard. I probably should have started it earlier in the year though, August in Florida can be pretty miserable but with August 1st starting on a Monday I figured it was a good time to begin. One other motivator is that this is a 6 week program and my birthday is 6 weeks from now. If I can make it to the end then I'll hit 33 a little bit healthier than I hit 32.

Couch to 5K is a great program that starts off really easy and gradually increases intensity so you don't do too much at once. Week 1's workout is a 5 minute warm up, which I tried to do a brisk walk which is then followed by a 60 second run and then a 90 second walk. Then it alternates running and walking for 20 minutes and then there is a 5 minute cool down.60 seconds sounds easy, doesn't it? Well, in theory it is. If you are out of shape or have never ran before then 60 seconds may be tough, but it IS still doable. There is no requirement to run as fast as you can or to sprint, a simple jog is all that you need to do and that is why this program works. In high school I ran cross country and track and OMG I wish I had stuck with it, but I'm trying to at least be more healthy now since I can't go back in time.

So, tonight's run wasn't too bad. It was a little difficult but my overwhelming feeling was that I felt glad that I was actually out there doing it. I run with my iPhone and was using the Couch to 5K app as well as the Run Keeper app so I was able to track my mileage by GPS. The only thing that bugs me is that my average pace isn't really correct now since most of the workout was walking. I overestimated my route and ended up spending a lot of time walking back home after I did the run and the cool down. For the next run I was contemplating finding a shorter route but hopefully I'll progressively get faster so I should probably stick with that same route to see how far I get in that amount of time. Eventually I should get closer to home when that 20 minutes is up and my average pace won't look so slow when there isn't so much walking

Stats for today's run:
2.38 miles
Time 40:05
Average pace 16:48 per mile

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