Saturday, December 25, 2010


Merry Christmas everyone! I haven't written in over a month, mostly due to the fact that I have been trying to get as many books read as possible before the end of the year. Needless to say, I won't reach my goal for this year, but the new count will start again on Jan. 1st. Hopefully, I'll be able to start reading books before September since I won't be constantly catching up on magazines. So on behalf of myself, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannakah, Happy Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year! See you in 2011!

Peace and Love

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two Documentaries

So last night I decided to check out a couple of documentaries that I had in my instant queue on Netflix (which by the way is one of the BEST investments that anyone can make who enjoys watching movies, tv shows, etc. We pay $9.16 a month for unlimited dvds - we can only get 1 at a time, but as many as we want in a month as well as unlimited instant views, which we can watch on the computer, or on the tv - people can use it through their xbox 360 or wii).

The first documentary I decided to check out was called "Modify". It was about body modification, in many forms, some of which I had never categorized as body modification before such as plastic surgery and body building. It also explores tattooing, piercing (a lot of piercings - all over the body), plugs in ears (which is stretching of the earlobes), branding, the splitting of the tongue, and suspending (which is when people suspend in the air by hooks in their back - kind of shocking to see. This documentary will open the eyes to those who haven't seen a lot body modification in its extreme forms. I wouldn't recommend this movie for young children as genitals and blood are shown. Overall, I thought it was an interesting documentary, but nothing that really changed my views, since I am pretty open minded.

The second documentary that I watched was called "Super High Me". Kind of based on the premise of "Super Size Me", Doug Benson (a comedian - who is known for smoking pot) decided to go without pot for 30 days and then smoke all day, every day for 30 days. He explores the pot industry, especially California, where marijuana is available for medicinal purposes thanks to proposition 215. It shows the dispensaries where people can purchase pot, in all forms - some people can't smoke it, so they have topical sprays, pills, and even lip balm. Unfortunately, the federal government still views all marijuana distribution as illegal, even though California does not view it as such for these dispensaries - so the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) invades a couple of these places, completely removing everything - all the pot products and the computers where patient information is stored. But the people keep fighting back and the dispensaries are re-opened. You see Doug do his stand up and take several tests including the SAT, a psychic test, and a memory test, as well as checking his sperm count both without and with the use of pot - which provided some interesting results. Overall, I thought it was a highly interesting documentary that I wouldn't have though of watching before, but offered a lot of information that I wasn't aware of and opened my eyes to the world of pot.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Cove

So today is one of those days. I love that it's rainy and cloudy - something most people hate. But I'm kinda missing my Dad. He lives in Georgia and I haven't seen him in three and a half years. Really sucks. I have a great relationship with him and sometimes, I just miss him. Blah.

On a more positive front (I guess), I watched the Cove last night. What an impactful movie. Little known fact about me: Dolphins are one of my two favorite animals (with Tigers). I have always wanted to go swimming with dolphins and think it would be an incredible experience. I still have that goal - only now I would rather do it in the ocean as opposed to some place where they are living in captivity. This movie completely shined a light on places like Sea World and aquariums where dolphins live and perform in captivity. These intelligent creatures were not meant to be "show ponies."

But the main focus of the movie takes place in Taiji, Japan, in a small cove where dolphins are sorted out. The "best" dolphins are taken to be placed in these aquariums while the rest are moved to a hidden lagoon where they are slaughtered. No one has ever been able to see what goes on in this place, and these people were able to set up secret cameras in order to be able to capture the whole thing. To actually see what happens - it's horrifying and sad. This is a movie that EVERYONE needs to see. We need to stand up against this horrible act of violence. We need to do whatever we can - contact the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, the government of Japan, the IWC (International Whaling Commission), EVERYONE. We need to stop this before it continues to get worse.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Calvin and Hobbes

I just finished reading the entire collection of one of my favorite comic strips of all time: Calvin and Hobbes. Compiled into three books (each of which is HUGE) is the entire works of Calvin and Hobbes created by Bill Watterson. I have read a couple of the smaller books before, but had never really read everything that I had been published in this collection. Luckily, I found a library that sent over the entire collection to my local library so that I could read these books and I was no disappointed. The creativity that this comic strip includes is truly genius, and the artwork is pretty incredible. I feel that kids Calvin's age truly are becoming quite that smart and he was definitely ahead of his time, but nonetheless, I smiled throughout the entire time I read these books. My ratings:

1. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes: Book 1 by Bill Watterson
2. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes: Book 2 by Bill Watterson
3. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes: Book 3 by Bill Watterson = A+!

If you have never had the opportunity to read the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, I guarantee that you will not be disappointed if you take the time to check it out.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Get in the Game

So, it's November 6, 2010 and I have only read 14 books. I'm not confident that I am going to be able to reach 75 books before midnight on January 1, 2011. But I'm still going to try. In fact, I recently finished two books.

The first book I read I have read before - last year I believe. It is called "Get in the Game: 8 Elements of Perseverance That Make the Difference" by Cal Ripken, Jr. This book is an incredibly inspiring book about the things that Ripken has learned throughout his life and have been applied to his life since childhood. He discusses his baseball career and his personal life, where he has come from, and what he has learned along the way. There are so many lessons that can be applied to anyone's life - no matter who you are, where you are from or what you do for a living. This book has inspired me to keep fighting when I feel that I have nothing left. This books gets an A+ from me and I highly recommend that everyone read this book.

The second book that I just finished is called "I'm With Fatty: Losing Fifty Pounds in Fifty Miserable Weeks" by Edward Ugel. You may have noticed that this is the same man who wrote the lottery book that I finished a little while ago. This book seemed to hit a little more at home for me though. If you have followed my blog, you know that I have sleep apnea and have been trying to lose weight to see if I can get rid of not only that, but my migraines as well. Since the end of February, I have lost 13 pounds, which doesn't sound like much at all. But I'm proud that I have done that so far. Anyway, this book (which I had heard nothing about and was published this year) was like reading about myself to a degree. When Edward found out that he had sleep apnea and had to wear a CPAP mask, he absolutely hated it. I dread the idea of having to wear one. That fact inspired him to lose weight in order to not have to wear one anymore. He enlisted the help of a nutritionist and a trainer (neither of which I would be able to afford), and really started to change his life. He loved fried foods and Asian cuisine. He considered himself a "foodie", which I love. He was considered the cook in his household and he had to completely change the way that he lived his life. It was inspiring to read his story, which was not only informative, but humorous as well. He told of his experience with his first colonic and going on a cleanse, his meltdown where he binged on bad food for a week while his family was out of town, and how he realized that this was something that wasn't a short term project, but the way he would have to live the rest of his life. This book deserves an A+ and will inspire those who read it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Money for Nothing

I just finished a book - it's been a little while since I've read one since I've been catching up on my magazines, but I finished it. It's called "Money For Nothing: One Man's Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions" by Edward Ugel and I must say, it was an incredibly interesting read. Based on the title, you would probably think that it is about a guy who won the lottery and in a way, he did - but not in the traditional sense that you would think. This book is about a man who worked in the lump-sum industry. When a lottery winner decided to get annual payments (since not all states offer lump-sum choices when they win) and spends all the money and is strapped for cash, they can sell some of their payments to a lump-sum company. Edward was one of the salesman in the industry who would negotiate for those payments. While in theory it sounds like they are doing the winner a favor (by being able to help them out when they are strapped), the winner is getting screwed out of some of their money. These salesman are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars - which in the case of some of them, was comparable to winning the lottery.

This book completely opened my eyes to a side of the lottery industry that I never knew existed. I had always thought that if I was ever lucky enough to win money (which is only possible if you play, which I don't), I would be able to take care of my boyfriend and pay our bills, as well as paying off my school loans and maybe being able to go back to school. Coming from someone who worked on the other side of the equation, I began to understand why some people who had won the lottery wished they hadn't.

I love reading autobiographies and non-fiction books. There is something about reading about real people and situations that opens my eyes to so much more that is outside my own little world. I think this book is definitely worth reading and I would definitely give it an A+, five stars, whatever you want to rate it as. It is a book that I may not have initially been attracted to, but coming from me (someone who will read just about anything), I'm glad I took a chance and read this book.

Peace and Love!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Take me back...

I've been gone for far too long. I don't know if I have ever mentioned it before, but I am a horrible blogger. I either seem to totally forget about it or think that anything I could possibly write about seems stupid or redundant. But in this case, I don't care if what I am saying is either of those things.

So being bored out of my mind and wanting to listen to some music tonight, I decided to go back in time (I guess) and listen to some music that I haven't listened to for a very long time: the Backstreet Boys. That's right - I said the Backstreet Boys. When I was in middle school and high school, they seemed to be all the rage - and I listened to both them and N*SYNC, which (if you know me) means that my musical taste is spread out all over the place. Sometimes, I think listening to something as old school (and somewhat comforting) as music from my past makes things better, even though it doesn't really change anything that is going on. Music just seems to have a way of making people feel better or bringing out emotions in us that have been suppressed for a while. In my case, I think it is more about remembering what my life was like before medical issues and bad decisions. It takes me back to a place where I didn't have a lot of responsibility, thus not leading to disappointing a lot of people. Here I go ranting again. Oh how things change...

Peace and Love

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ted, White, and Blue

So I have been horribly slacking on keeping up with my blog. It has been almost a month since I last wrote. Things have been keeping me occupied. I just saw my neurologist about my migraines (I have to try yet another medication) and have been getting my fantasy team ready for the NFL season, along with watching my beloved Twins and Nascar racing as well.

I have also been trying to keep up on reading, and while most of what I have recently read has been my usual magazines (it always seems like I am behind on those), I have recently (as in 5 minutes ago) finished a book. I just finished "Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto" by Ted Nugent. This book was incredibly different from "God, Guns, & Rock N'Roll". In this book, Ted gets incredibly political - in fact, the whole book is about his beliefs and they all seem to tie into his political beliefs. He is a conservative man with a lot of opinions that I don't agree with, and a few that I do. The book was written/published in 2008, before Barack Obama became President, but he clearly states that he doesn't like Obama, would not vote for him, and basically doesn't agree with any of his opinions. He does make a few good points throughout his book, but at times, I got bored with it. I have never really read a political book before, and this one kind of verified why. While I am open to listening or reading other people's opinions, this book almost seems to be a "shove my opinions in your face" kind of book. If you enjoy reading political books, you should enjoy this one. If you enjoy reading Ted Nugent, you may want to check this out. He has a lot to say and at least he is honest about his opinions and not afraid to share them with anybody.

I would give this book a C, simply because it wasn't the greatest reading experience for me. I want to be engaged in a book or learn something new. I have to admit that I did learn something, which is why I am not grading it lower. Of course, these are simply my opinions and I still encourage anyone to read these books because you may end up liking something that I don't simply because we all form our own opinions based on our own experiences.

Needless to say, it is September 13 and I have only read 11 books so far this year. It is going to be incredibly difficult to achieve my new years resolution (from the beginning of 2010) to read 75 books, which may either have to be lowered or stay the same for next year. As always, if you have any recommendations, comments, questions, etc, let me know!

Peace and Love

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reading List

I have finally done it. I have finally compiled a list of the books I want to read - well, I had actually done that before, but I am more excited now because I have now alphabetized it by the author's last name. I know... I sound like a total nerd to be so excited about this, but it means that I finally have a list that I can go off of. The thing is, this list is going to take me forever to get through. As of right now, August 17, 2010 @ 8:53 PM, I have 876 books on my list. 876...that's an incredible number of books - and to think that I want to read all of those and I will continue to add books to that list. Just a few of the books that I have listed and where they are on the list:

Selling Hope by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb (No. 834)

Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith (No. 798)

Naked Came the Manatee by Elmore Leonard (No. 548)

The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell (No. 159)

Magnificent Desolation by Buzz Aldrin (No.12)

Those are just five of the 876 books that are on my list. If you have any books that you think I should check out or read or if you have anything else you would like to share, feel free to let me know!

Peace and Love

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Smithsonian's 40 Things

So I just got done reading an issue of Smithsonian (July/August 2010) that had a cover story stating "40 Things You Need to Know About the Next 40 Years." Smithsonian Magazine is now 40 years old and offered the 40 things that we should know about what is going to or could happen in the next 40 years, which would culminate in the year 2050. There are some very interesting items that we should note and the one that struck a chord with me was item number 40: "Reading will be more athletic. It will seem weird to read without moving your body."

This article talked about such things are how reading will become something we do less often with actual books and more often virtually on a screen. This thought, while it could be true, saddens me because I love to read actual books. There is something about turning a page as opposed to touching a screen or scrolling down. Plus, reading from actual materials doesn't affect our eyes as much as staring at a screen does. The thought that books as we known them could be gone makes me not want to use the new technology of the Amazon Kindle or the Barnes and Noble Nook. The Internet is always going to offer things to read online, but I'm not a huge fan of using other things in order to read books as well. I may just be a purist when it comes to reading, but I'd rather buy hardcover and paperback books any day.

Peace and Love

Friday, August 6, 2010


So I just finished reading the last of the PostSecret books - there are now 5 of them. In chronological order they are:

1. Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren
2. My Secret: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren
3. The Secret Lives of Men and Women: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren
4. A Lifetime of Secrets: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren
5. Confessions of Life, Death, and God: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren

I have skimmed through a couple of these books before and I get a set of some postcards in my inbox on Sundays to look at, but reading these books really makes you think about the fact that everyone has some sort of secret. Everyone goes through something that they keep a secret that someone else has in common with them. Everyone has doubts, fears, and troubles that bring us down. But these books show just how resilient we are. These books could probably be considered an easy read, since it's easy to get through them quickly, but I wouldn't consider them an easy read - while the reading part is easy, the thinking about the secrets hits a little deeper than that. Instead of just skimming over words on a page, these words have a deeper meaning. These words have a story behind them.

These books get an five star rating and an A+ for how incredibly impactful they are. I have not sent in a postcard, but I have seen my secrets on the pages of those books and I have felt relief.

Friday, July 30, 2010

God, Guns, & Rock'N'Roll

I just finished the first book that I have read in a long time - "God, Guns, & Rock'N'Roll" by Ted Nugent. Now I know that I probably don't sound like someone that would read a book by Ted Nugent, but I have to admit, I really liked this book. Based on the fact that the word guns is in the title, I knew that he would be talking about guns. Not only does he address guns, but a lot of what he talks about is hunting, something that I know barely anything about. But I've got to hand it to him - his writing really changed my mind on a lot of things.

I have never really had an opinion about guns, other than the fact that I am terrified of them. It may be because I have never taken a gun safety course, or because I don't know anything about them, but I have never been a huge fan. Not only that, but I never saw a need to have a gun since I don't hunt. But Ted Nugent managed to change my mind. After reading this book, not only would I like to learn how to shoot a gun (and maybe even own one), but I also would love to give hunting a try. He and I are both on the same page when it comes to enjoying nature and that may have played a key part in his ability to write so beautifully.

This book is not only for those who hunt or use guns, but is a great book for those who do not. I never thought that this book would have any sort of message for me since I didn't hunt or shoot for fun, but I was completely wrong. Not only did the book get me interested in those things, but it taught me more about discipline, family, adventure, nature, food, and passion. I definitely give this book an A+ for not only opening my eyes and the wonderful writing, but for being a book that almost anyone can relate to.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Since I was a freshman in high school, I have had a fascination with quotes. I'm not sure what it is about quotes in general - the way they can make you feel, the way they can empower you or lift you up, and the way they can inspire you is probably what I like about them most. They can make you think about things you normally push aside and they can come from any source.

When I was in the 9th grade, my English teacher had a bunch of quotes that she was trying to get organized. I knew that she needed help with that, so I volunteered to help her with it. I would sit at her computer for a couple of hours after school and type quotes into categories and whatnot. Of course, I would read the quotes as I was typing them into the computer, and it just made me feel inspired and thoughtful. It really brought out a side of me that I didn't know existed: I was hooked and now had a passion for all things "quotes."

I do have some favorite quotes that I thought I would share with you:

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."
- Martha Washington

"Learn something new. Try something different. Convince yourself that you have no limits."

"Success isn't permanent, and failure isn't fatal." - Mike Ditka

"Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder." - Henry David Thoreau

"In the end, what we regret the most are the chances we never took."

"A kiss is a nice trick devised by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous."

And probably my all time favorite one (at least for now) is:

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

If you've got any quotes that you enjoy, go ahead and share them. We can always use a little inspiration.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Oh life and all its glory. Have you ever spent time just completely absorbed in the sounds of nature or the beauty that surrounds you? I know that I have a habit of taking things for granted and how beautiful the world is just happens to be one of those things. It's gorgeous outside today - 80 degrees F with a slight breeze, partly cloudy, not too humid. I should probably be outside enjoying the weather, but since I am not feeling 100%, I am inside with my back door open enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. I love that sometimes it doesn't make a lot of noise, but every once in a while, I will hear a car drive by or the sound of a child calling to her friends. Sometimes in the distance, I will hear someone mowing their lawn and the sound of the rustling of the trees is magical. I must sound like I am on some sort of drug to feel so in tune with nature, but it's really one of those things that I love about life. I think we all go through life not really paying attention to the world around us because we are so busy dealing with the problems and situations of our lives. But sometimes, all we need is a few moments of solitude to look around - look outside and appreciate the beauty of the world.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 vs North Carolina Department of Revenue

First of all, I am not from North Carolina. But I recently read about a case that is currently being dealt with in which North Carolina wants to audit to make sure that the customers in North Carolina are being taxed a certain way. That in itself sounds fine. The controversial part of the case: The North Carolina Department of Revenue wants information that includes the names of all NC residents who have purchased from since 2003, their addresses, and what they bought. All NC needs to be able to audit the situation is the items that were purchased and how much was paid for them. The personalized information of the customers is NOT necessary. This case has spurred debate that should not have to provide that information and even has several plaintiffs in this case. Many people (in theory) are not ashamed of what they purchase, but for some people, they may purchase books on subjects such as mental health, religion, sex, and politics. What a person's opinion is on each of these subjects and every other subject should be their own business, but if this information of who is purchasing what books become public, some people are worried about the ramifications that it could have pertaining to their job and livelihood.

People should not have to worry about private information becoming a public matter. It should be up to the individual to decide what they would like to be public about themselves and what they would like to keep private. Everyone is entitled to privacy and many people are citing that this is an invasion of our First Amendment rights. This case has involved not only the two parties, but has also enlisted the help of the ACLU - the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU is an organization that was created to make sure that we are all allowed to live by the rights we have been given. They deal with many issues and encourage people to talk to their senators and state representatives, which is something we should all be doing to make sure that our voices are heard. With this case becoming so public, the ACLU has encouraged people to write to their senators and representatives about updating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which would keep our electronic information safe, including in situations like this. If you would like to learn about the ACLU - you can visit

It's amazing how little control we have over our privacy these days...

Crazy Idea

Here's an idea: Let's pay kids money for doing well in school. That's an idea that I thought was insane when I first saw it addressed in the April 19, 2010 issue of Time magazine. Kids were being paid money for doing various things. During this experiment, kids in Dallas got paid money based on the number of books they read. In Chicago, money was given based on their grades. In Washington D.C., money was rewarded based on factors such as attendance and behavior. In New York City, money was given based on test scores. This idea that kids should be rewarded for factors dealing with school just seems weird to me. Growing up, I was not paid for getting good grades or going to school every day. The only time I was ever paid money for reading was when I was raising money for Multiple Sclerosis (so I never actually made any money from it). Luckily, I was brought up with the belief that I should do well in school so that I would have more opportunities in my life - plus, I liked learning.

It seems that these days, most kids in inner city schools don't really do well in school because they don't put the effort in. I can understand kids not always being in class (there are circumstances where they might not be), but I don't understand kids dropping out because they aren't a fan of school. There are plenty of kids, all over the country, who don't necessarily enjoy school. But they still go. I realize that there are many schools that don't have the funding to be able to create more opportunities for their students. I firmly believe that there should be grants and other financial assistance for those schools so that kids have something to look forward to at school. I understand the idea of trying to get kids to read more by rewarding them, but I don't necessarily think it should be in the form of money - although when I think about it, that is basically how a lot of people live their lives. A lot of people in the world have jobs that they don't like, but go to work to make money. Kids may not enjoy school, but they go to make money (which seems to be the concept with this experiment).

Of course, everyone has an opinion on what is right for education in our country and I totally respect other opinions on any subject. This is definitely one of those articles to check out if you have kids or are thinking about having kids - heck, this article would be great for everyone to read because it gives us an idea of what could be taking place in our nation's schools in the future.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Birthday Celebrations

So two days ago (June 26), I celebrated my 24th birthday. There was nothing different about the day or what took place, but it really made me think about the 23rd year of my life and what I had or had not accomplished. I look back on the year and realize that I held one job for 5 months (a job I didn't mind, but couldn't keep because of the migraines) and was an accompanist for the middle school choirs at a high school near my home. Both had felt fairly gratifying, especially playing for the kids, but it made me think that I didn't accomplish anymore. It made me doubt what I had really done for the world. I feel like I am in the same place I was when I started - trying to be healthy, look for a job, and enjoy "me" time. But while I was busy thinking about all the things and accomplishments that I didn't have, it also made me appreciate the things that I do have:

I have a roof over my head, clothes to wear, a bed to sleep in, food to eat, books to read, a computer to blog on, a phone to talk to family and friends, and a boyfriend who has been willing to take care of me when I am not working. I thank God every night for giving me what I need to get by. Granted, if I had to, I could get by with far less, but I'm also not looking to get more physical things in my life - I just want to accomplish goals and dreams. I recently found a poem called "I Pray You Enough" by an anonymous author that really made me think about my life. Here it is:

"I Pray you Enough" Anonymous Author

I pray you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I pray you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I pray you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I pray you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I pray you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I pray you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I pray you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Take the time to remember all the things you are thankful for and all the things you are lucky to have. I know that I need to do that more often.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Goals left unattended

So as I have stated before in a previous post, my goal this year is to read 75 books. Back in February, I had not yet started. It is now June, and I have yet to start. How incredibly embarrassing - I write a blog about books and I love to read and I have not yet started a book yet this year. Believe it or not, I am still catching up on past issues of Time and Smithsonian and Sporting News from the end of March up until now. Not only that, but I seem to be spending a lot more time on my computer instead of reading. It's mostly because I am watching sports, usually Twins games, and I am sitting on my computer during games instead of watching them in bed and reading at the same time. On days off for sports, that's when I try to catch up with reading. I guess I need to do a little bit better in that realm.

I was reading an article from my friend Steven, who has an incredible blog called Hundred Goals (you can find the link in my blogroll). It was about how it takes a lot of work and dedication to be able to achieve our goals in life, and it made me realize how much I have been slacking on my goals. I am still trying to figure out what my goals are in life, and I am sure that they will change as I grow older. Right now, I'm just trying to get better from the migraines and dizziness that don't seem to go away, I am just trying to find a way to help my boyfriend out when it comes to bills. But without a job, that can be kind of difficult. I'm trying to think of ways to make some money and jobs that I could get that wouldn't exacerbate my health problems. The prospects are pretty thin right now, but I am trying to keep my chin up. I know that I am the only one who can find out what my goals are in life and I have to keep trying to figure that out as I continue to learn more about myself. What are some of your goals and how are you working to achieve them?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


You know what one of the greatest things in the world is? Sports. It's one of the most incredible things in the world. The games bring ups and downs, celebrations and defeat. Now I am not a huge Detroit Tigers fan (I'm a MN Twins fan), but Armando Gallaraga had a chance at throwing a perfect game against the Cleveland Indians. A perfect game -- it's one of the most incredible things to see in baseball and brings tears to my eyes when I get to see one, even if it is only on tv. Gallaraga had to get only one more out and as (what would have been) the last batter slapped a ball to the 1st base side of the field, Gallaraga went to cover 1st base. The ball was passed to him and he stepped on the bag, a split second before the runner stepped on the base. He clearly had gotten the guy out, but the 1st base umpire (Jim Joyce) called the run safe. Replays showed that Joyce had gotten the call wrong, but the call could not and would not be reversed. A travesty in the world of baseball.

One of the other most exciting things to watch is the NHL Stanley Cup finals. It's incredible to watch grown men rush around on ice, giving everything they have for that amazingly gorgeous and very heavy cup. It's definitely something that not many things can compare with.

Competition is one of the most wonderful things that can take place -- and watching it take place in sports is one of the greatest things to experience. There is something incredible about rooting for your team, feeling like you really are a part of the team itself. In fact, when I talk about my favorite teams, I use the phrase "we", as if I'm talking about my teammates. The victories and the devastation of sports is what makes life so exciting. Sports epitomizes what life is all about. A series of victories and defeats, but still getting out there the next day and trying again to get a win.

So here is my question from my last post and here is my own answer:

Question: Do you judge people based on their taste in music? How has musical taste enhanced or detracted from your relationships?

Answer: I do not judge people based on their musical tastes. I feel like that would be completely wrong because there are so many people that listen to music that you wouldn't expect them to listen to when you see them. I am one of those people. I am such an eclectic person and I listen to so many types of music -- it just depends on my mood. As for how music has affected my relationships, it hasn't really changed anything. If anything, being with my boyfriend has opened my eyes to new music that I haven't had a chance to experience. I may not like everything I hear, but at least I can say that I have heard it.

My question to you this time around: Do you watch sports? Do you have a favorite sport or favorite sports team? What is one of the greatest moments in sports?

Peace and Love

Thursday, May 27, 2010

About page

I was recently reading a couple of blogs and I noticed something that they had that I don't: an About page. You know -- the page where it says a little bit about themselves and what their blog is all about. Since I do not have an about page, I thought that I would just give you the lowdown in a regular blog post.

I had originally started this blog with the intention of writing about my love of books and reading, hoping to connect with others who shared the same interest. But soon after starting my blog, I realized that this particular hobby of mine is only one aspect of who I am. I started thinking about how I couldn't just put one side of myself out there - I had to open up myself as a complete person. I have been writing mostly about stories, articles, or books I have read and sharing my thoughts on a variety of subjects, but I have yet to really discover completely who I am, which is what I thought this blog would help me do. I figure that if no one reads this blog, at least I am learning something about myself anyway.

I have listed a few interesting facts about myself on my blog already -- at least under the about me section. But since it was such a little space, I didn't want to overload everyone with too much information. So here is a little bit more detail about me --- or at least what I have learned about myself thus far in life:

I absolutely LOVE thunderstorms. I'm not just talking about the regular thunderstorms that people have. I'm talking really dark clouds and a pretty windy day. Thunder and lighting crashing all around -- maybe a complete downpour here and there. That is an incredible day. In fact, my boyfriend tends to make fun of me because I like cloudy days like that more than I like sunny ones.

I LOVE to watch sports. I am a HUGE Minnesota Twins fan and an equally HUGE Green Bay Packers fan. I also like NASCAR -- Kasey Kahne would be my favorite driver (I've liked him since before he was a big name) and when they are on, the Olympics are pretty sweet as well. But for the most part, my heart belongs to two of American's favorite pastimes: Football and Baseball.

As you may have guessed from the title of my blog, I LOVE to read. Reading has always been one of my biggest hobbies - I used to spend basically all summer after school got out reading books. I can't not read each day - whether it is a magazine or a book or a blog. I don't think I could function without reading. That's just how much it belongs in my life.

Those are just three things in my life that matter to me -- as you can probably tell, I'm not a very materialistic person, except for books - because many of my favorite things cannot be bought and kept on to. Books, on the other hand, are my weakness.

So moving on, I posed a question last week: If you could own a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve and what would you call it?

Answer: If I could own a restaurant, I would serve good ol comfort food. If you have ever seen the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, that show is exactly what I would like to do -- have my own little diner where locals and tourists alike could come and get an incredible meal, ranging from diner favorites, to more upscale cuisine as well, but without the outrageous prices. I would probably call it something like "Home Away from Home".

My question for you this post: Do you judge people based on their taste in music? How has musical taste enhanced or detracted from your relationships?

Enjoy the weather --- Peace and Love

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Interesting story...

So I have been continuing to catch up on my magazines and I recently came across a story in the March 22 2010 issue of Time. It was a story about Navy Captain Holly Graf, and her conduct with her subordinates while at sea. This article, which is entitled "Sexism and the Navy's Female Captain Bligh", was an incredible eye opener to what can happen when most people don't pay a lot of attention. As for a summary of this article, here is goes:

Holly Graf grew up wanting to be in the Navy - her Dad was in the Navy as well as her sister. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985 and was soon doing several tours, including doing work for the Pentagon and at Villanova University, where she later earned one of her three Master's degrees. She also has been active in the Iraq war, where she earned several medals. In 1997, she was assigned to work on the U.S.S. Curtis Wilbur, which was a destroyer, as a executive officer. The Captain of that ship said that being on that ship with her, was "the worst time in my life." In 2003, she became the first female to command a destroyer. She had received several complaints about her demeanor and was relieved of her duties after 22 months. She was promoted to Captain in 2007 and in 2008 assumed command of the U.S.S Cowpens, which meant that she was the first female to command a cruiser. During her time aboard, she treated her crew to verbal assaults, such as putting a Master Chief, who was highly respected, in a time out where everyone could see him. She also continually swore at her crew, which on the bridge was very rare. The Navy did do a six month investigation into her conduct, which gave her boss the ability to relieve her of her duties again -- this time, after seeing a 50 page report of the investigation. Many people wondered if she was relieved of her duties because she was a woman - which the Navy has noted as saying that "she acted like a man, and now she is being punished for it." Many also wondered why it had taken the Navy so long to look into the situation.

Ok, so my summary might be a tad bit long. But I wanted you to get the gist of the article, which you can also read on the Time website. It was a story that just happened to fuel my fire as to why someone would feel that it is okay to treat others the way that she did. It's no wonder that no one liked her.

As always, my answer to last post's question: In three words, describe what is currently running through your mind, and if you would like to, explain what each word means.

Answer: Disgust, relaxed, and comfortable. I think of disgust from the article that I had read about Holly Graf and her desire to treat people with such disrespect. I think of relaxed because, as of right now, I am enjoying watching a Twins vs. Brewers game and I don't have anything planned for the day but spending time with my incredible boyfriend. I think of comfortable because I have my back porch door open, and while it is a tad warm outside - mostly because of humidity - but the sky is nice and overcast and I have a fan blowing a very comfortable breeze on me. In fact, the fan I own is called an Aloha Breeze, which seems pretty fitting right now.

My question for you this post: If you could own a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve and what would you call it?

As always,

Peace and Love

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bright Sunny Day

Hello all you wonderful people. It's a gorgeous day outside (at least where I am) and baseball is on tv. Grilling will take place later today (my first attempt at barbecue chicken) and maybe even a walk. But the weather is not what I wanted to address today (although I did think I would let you know how beautiful it is outside). I was recently reading an interview that I got in a newsletter from October - I am always far behind in my reading it seems - and the interview was with Audrey Niffenegger (the author of "The Time Traveler's Wife"). In this interview, she was talking about her newest book entitled "Her Fearful Symmetry". She was also asked whether she had seen the film adaptation of her book "The Time Traveler's Wife". She stated that she had not and that she didn't really have an interest in seeing it. At the end of the interview, people left comments about what they thought about that decision and what they would do. It in turn made me think about what I would do if I had a book published and then made into a movie.

First of all, I'm not sure that I would want my book to be made into a movie. I believe that when books are read, we create our own picture in our mind of what things look like and what the characters are like. I think that seeing a movie adaptation would wreck my imaginary world that I created in my mind for the story.

Second of all, I have noticed that in many interviews with authors that they claim that the movie didn't follow the actual story, but decided to change things around, or add things to the story to try and make it more mainstream to a point where it would draw a lot of people, which would draw a lot of money. Not only are some authors voicing their opinions about this subject, but a certain football player made a statement when a movie was created about him and his family. The movie was "The Blind Side" and the person that was portrayed was Michael Oher, who has an incredible story to share, but there was one thing in the movie that wasn't true. In an interview with Oher shortly after the movie came out, he stated that there was an inconsistency in the movie. In the movie, Michael Oher is portrayed as not having played football until high school and had to be taught to get that toughness that was portrayed so well in the film. As stated by Oher himself, he knew how to play football before high school and he was taught at a much younger age. That is one great example of a movie changing some aspect of a story in order to bring in a bigger audience.

So I propose this question to you: If you were an author, what would you do? Would you allow your work to be made into a movie, and if so, would you see it?

As always, I will be answering my last posts question and proposing a new one to you. My question from my last post was: Do you ever check out any sites that are devoted to books or reading? If so, what sites do you look at?

Answer: I do look at some sites that are devoted to reading. is a great site as is These sites allow for people to not only join in a community of book lovers, but it allows people to experience new books from new writers.

Now for the question I am posing to you this week (you get two questions since I gave you the one above as well). In three words, describe what is currently running through your mind, and if you would like to, explain what each word means since it is running through your mind.

Peace and Love

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Smithsonian March 2010

So I recently finished reading the Smithsonian Magazine from March. It had an incredible amount of interesting articles and I would like to share a couple with you. There is an article called "Welcome to Barrow, Alaska - Ground Zero For Climate Change". This was an incredibly eye opening article that takes place in the U.S.'s most northern point. Since Barrow is located close to, if not within, the Arctic Circle, they are seeing the climate changes firsthand, and at what seems like a faster rate than the rest of the world. Scientists have flocked to Barrow to set up buoys in the water to track water temperature changes during certain times of year and changes in the temperature of the sediment based on what it is supposed to be. These scientists are doing as much research as they can on the wildlife, the ice, everything. An example of the rapid climate change happening in Barrow -- the Northwest Passage (which goes from Baffin Bay on the eastern side of Canada, and zigzags its way above the continent over to Alaska) used to be so covered in ice, and thick ice at that, that it was an impassible way to get to Alaska. Now, boats are able to travel freely through the Northwest Passage. Many Eskimos in the area are worried that with more people traveling in the area (usually shipping boats) that it is going to have an affect on the wildlife that they eat. It's noted in here that "Packaged food is available, but costly. In one town I saw a 16-ounce jar of mayonnaise for $7. A gallon of milk cost $11." Climate change could change the lives of the people in and around this town forever.

Another interesting article that I found was titled "Going Home Again" by Joyce Carol Oates. She is a novelist that has written many pieces of work including "Expensive People", "You Must Remember This", "The Tattooed Girl", and "The Gravedigger's Daughter". In this article, she talks about the idea that home is "the repository of our deepest, most abiding and most poignant dreams, the landscape that haunts us recurringly". She talks about how home for her is where she grew up, in Lockport, NY. She talks about her childhood and how she became hooked on books. It's a wonderful, beautiful article that really made me think about my "home".

As always, my answers to last weeks question: What is the legal drinking age where you live? Do you think it should be higher, lower, or remain the same and why?

Answer: The legal drinking age where I live is 21. I think that in most places in the U.S., the legal drinking age is 21. I know that it used to be 18 back in the late '70's, early '80's. I don't know exactly when it was changed. I personally think it should just remain the same. I definitely don't think it should be lowered, because the even younger kids would be drinking. The way it is right now, there is quite a bit of underage drinking that takes place, so that might be a reason to lower the drinking age. But then I wonder if kids even younger would begin to drink. I don't think that it should be higher, because people already look forward to turning 21 to go out and party. I think that it should just remain the same.

Now my question to you all this week: Do you ever check out any sites that are devoted to books or reading? If so, what sites do you look at?

Peace and Love

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Obesity Rehab?

So I haven't written in a couple of weeks, but I have been trying to catch up on as much reading as possible - although most of this reading has been in the form of magazines, since I have so many of those that I need to catch up on. I recently read an article from the March 1, 2010 edition of Time Magazine entitled: "Does Obesity Rehab for Kids Work?" This was an incredibly interesting article about a place where kids grades 8-12 can go for schooling and to lose weight. It's basically like a boarding school that costs almost $7000 a month (with a requirement being that a student be there at least 4 months) where students eat 3 square meals a day that are prepared fat free and equal no more than 1300 total calories for the day. The exercise and stretch in the morning and walk 10,000 steps a day (it is noted in the article that 10,000 steps is about 5 miles). Most students lose quite a bit of weight, but once they go home is the real challenge because you don't have someone preparing your food for you and you have to have willpower to continue the changes that you have made in your life. This got me thinking - if there is a place where kids can go to get healthier, shouldn't there be some place like that for adults as well? It seems like these days that most of Americans are overweight or obese, and there is only a small majority who can afford to send their kids to this school. Shouldn't there be an affordable place for adults, kids, or families to get healthy together? Let me know if you have any ideas on this...

I have been struggling with my own attempt at getting healthy. I was doing okay for a while. About two weeks ago, I started lifting 5 lb hand weights for weight training (I started with those weights because I have not lifted weights in a very long time and I don't want to do too much too fast. Plus, I've heard that in order to tone muscles, it's better to do more reps at less weight) and alternating that with walking about 30-40 mins. I would do one or the other every day, usually alternating them as weight training on Mon, walking on Tue, weight training on wed, etc. I did good, for a whole week, which for me is a tiny celebration in and of itself. Last week did not go as well. I had a doctor's appointment on Monday - which was fine because I took my walk when I got home. I had another doctor's appointment on Tuesday in which I had blood taken from my right hand and a shot in my upper left shoulder, which not only stung, but made my muscle feel incredibly sore. I was supposed to life weights that day, but with my sore arm, I figured it would be better to not do that. I could have taken a walk instead, but of course, I didn't. The next day, I took my scheduled walk as usual and then lifted weights the next day as usual. I thought to myself that I was getting back on track, only to not exercise at all for the rest of the week, unless you could going up and down three flights of stairs exercising. Today, I should go for a walk - I know that it is something that I need to do and my boyfriend has even said he would go with me. But my mood is completely depleted -- I'm just not in a great mood at all today. I know that I should take a walk and maybe I will muster up the energy to do so. We'll have to wait and see.

Now as for my answer to last weeks question: Do you collect anything? If so, describe you favorite collection, past or present.

Answer: I used to collect beanie babies. They were these little stuffed animals that were stuffed with beans. I had a ton of them -- I was constantly looking for them and they were pretty popular there for a while. I still think that I have a few of the most rare ones. Something that I think I collect now are blankets -- I love blankets because I feel that you can never have enough of them, much like my collection of books, which I guess is another thing that you could say that I collect.

My question for you this week is: What is the legal drinking age where you live? Do you think it should be higher, lower, or remain the same and why?

Peace and Love

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2nd Book Down

So I have just finished my second book about migraines that my neurologist recommended that I read. This book was entitled " Mayo Clinic on Headache" by Jerry W. Swanson, M.D. - Editor in Chief. Comparing this book to the other migraine book that I read, this book was much more technical. Not only did it include a lot of information about treatments that work, but it also talked about treatments that could possibly work, but that haven't been approved to work for headache relief. This book also talked more about headaches in general as opposed to focusing on migraines. Overall, I thought that the book was incredibly informative, but was not written with the free style that the "Migraines for Dummies" book was. This book was well written though and coming from an incredibly reliable source like the Mayo Clinic, I felt like I could use this information to seek treatments that maybe were a little more complimentary or alternative. I would definitely give this book an A.

I have recently started something that I have said I would do thousands and thousands of times before: working out and eating right. I have constantly spoken about how I want to lose weight and get healthy, and I would start working out and get excited about it. Then, I would quit. I would get bored or think that it was too much work and just stop doing the exercising. Well, that has now changed. I have been walking at least three times a week for the last three or four weeks now and yesterday, I started lifting free weights. Granted, I'm only using 5 lb weights right now, since I can't really lift that much weight otherwise and I am going to alternate between weight lifting and walking. That combined with eating better and watching my portions should help me to lose weight. My goal is two pounds a week until I'm down to my ideal weight, which you will find out number-wise when I get there. :)

Now as for answering the last interesting question that I posed to you all a couple of post ago: Questions: Do you believe in luck? Do you think that some people are luckier than others? Do actions cause reactions or are there intervening forces beyond our control that govern our destinies?

Answers: I believe in luck to a certain extent. I believe that things happen that make us feel lucky, like when we grab a winter jacket for the first time and find money in it that was put in it last year. I would consider that pretty lucky. Some people might consider the following situation as lucky: You go on a roller coaster and complete the ride. The next car goes on the coaster and has some problems with it, resulting in a dire situation. People might say "Hey, you were lucky that you weren't on that car" or "Good thing you got in line when you did."

Do I think that some people are luckier than others? Not really. I think that we make our own luck, so if people aren't as lucky as others, that's kind of their own fault. As for the last, highly intense question, I believe in free will. I believe that God has a plan for us, but that he has also given us the ability to make our own decisions. I feel that everything happens for a reason, whether it be a reaction to something that previously happened (in which case, people might say that is karma, which I also believe) or whether it is happening due to an intervening force. We may not be able to see that force that is intervening in our lives at the particular time that it is, but I get the feeling that we just know when it is there.

My last post may have seemed out of the ordinary from what you have seen so far. I'm sure many of you believe that this blog is about reading and books and learning. Well, it's also about the person I am - it's about me. I know that sounds self-centered and everything, but I don't really know of any other way to put it. I posed the question to whether or not actual joy is actually attainable. I've come to my own conclusion that it is. There are moments in our lives that make us happy, and moments in our lives that make us sad. But there are moments of actual joy that completely take our breath away. There are moments that we look back on where we can feel what we felt at that time. Actual joy is (in my opinion) actually attainable.

Now for the interesting question being posed to you this time: Do you collect anything? If so, describe your favorite collection, past or present.

Peace and Love

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What is that like?

Have you ever been talking to someone - maybe a friend or relative - who posed you a question or challenge that you didn't really know how to respond to? I was talking to a friend recently (a friend that I haven't know for very long, only about 8 months) and we were talking about how I have always tried to make other people happy, but have never really done anything for myself. I presented a list of things that make me happy, such as not having migraines, and being able to read for hours on end like I used to. He mentioned that those were really comfort than happiness. He was talking about actual joy. It really got me thinking...what brings me actual, true joy? I thought I knew everything about myself, but once that question was posed to me, I couldn't answer. I've been told that the only way to know what really makes me happy is to go find it -- find me. I'm not sure how to do that, especially with limited resources, and I'm not sure that I would be happy with what I find out about myself. So here's the question for you: Is actual joy actually attainable?

Peace and Love

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gorgeous Day and a Twins Win

It's an amazing day outside. 78 degrees F, fairly breezy, and (this is my favorite part) a 50% chance of rain! The sun was shining earlier today, which was fine, but I have to admit, there is something incredible about dark clouds that just tell the people below "I'm going to dump some rain on you today." I love it.

Not only is it a gorgeous day outside, but the Minnesota Twins played a great game today against the Boston Red Sox. Liriano (our starting pitcher) threw 7 shutout innings and the Twins ended up winning 8-0. Couldn't have been a better game. Oh yeah -- Michael Cuddyer (our right fielder) hit a 2 run home run as well.

Now, I finally finished a book. Woo hoo! Of course, it's the book that I have talked about before, but I can finally give you my final opinion and grade on the book. The book I'm speaking of is "Migraines for Dummies" by Diane Stafford and Jennifer Shoquist,MD. From start to finish this book offers so many options and so much information that it can seem overwhelming at first. But knowing that there are so many options available for migraine sufferers makes it easier to get through the day because you know that if one method of treatment won't work, you can try something different. This book helps migraine sufferers find out what might be triggering their migraines and helps them figure out how to change their lifestyle in order to deal with migraines. It includes information about how to handle migraines when it comes to a job, and offers information about different types of headaches, different medications, and ways that those who are not suffering from migraines can help those who are. There was a chapter that I particularly liked called Ten Tips For Dealing With Folks Who Don't Get Migraines. I have had a habit of experiencing a plethora of moods when I have a migraine and the emotion I probably feel the most is anger. I also tend to take that anger out on the people around me and this chapter really helped me to understand how I can deal with people who don't know what I'm going through. Overall, this book was incredibly informative and well written. Since this is the first book in the "For Dummies" collection that I have read, I think I will definitely have to check out other ones as well. This book gets an A+ from this avid reader and migraine sufferer.

On my last post, I posed a question for you to answer if you so chose. I also stated that I would answer the question in my next post as well. This being that next post here was last post's question and my answer: Question(s): How do the seasons impact your moods? Do you take any measures to ward off depression and would you ever consider moving to another climate?

Answer(s): I don't really feel that the seasons impact my moods all that much. I live in a place where we typically experience all four seasons, each with its own characteristics. Fall is definitely my favorite season and Spring comes in a close second. With Summer and Winter, it just depends on how drastic those months are. Some years, the Summer months can get terribly hot, which can make me a little crabby, but not so much that I can't enjoy the Summer nights when it cools down or the days when the humidity is not so bad. Some years, the Winter months get incredibly cold and other years, its fairly mild. I don't mind the snow and I would rather see more snow than have to deal with horribly cold temperatures. But I wouldn't say that my mood changes a whole lot as the seasons come and go. I don't really take any measures to ward off depression as the seasons don't really make me feel depressed. I know that some people get a depressed feeling on those cloudy days that last all week, but I really don't mind them. As for thinking about moving to another climate, I have never really thought about it. I live in a beautiful place and I don't know that I ever would want to live somewhere that didn't experience all four seasons. Especially because I can't imagine Christmas without snow.

Now, as for this week's question: Do you believe in luck? Do you think that some people are luckier than others? Do actions cause reactions or are there intervening forces beyond our control that govern our destinies? I look forward to seeing what you all have to say about that one.

Peace and Love!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ah...Spring has Sprung

It's a gorgeous day outside today. A little cold for my liking at 59 degrees F, but the sun is still shining and there is a nice gentle breeze. I knew from the moment I saw how nice it was outside that I was going to have to take advantage of the weather - so I went for a walk. I have to admit, after not getting a lot of sleep last nice and not feeling that great today, it really made me feel good to go for that walk. Have you ever not wanted to do something that you know you should do and then you finally build up the willpower to do it? It feels wonderful, doesn't it?

Since I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night, I was up fairly early by my standards (about 10 AM CST) and decided that I should read more of the "Migraines for Dummies" book, since it is borrowed from the hospital and I need to return it in about a week and half. The things I am learning from this book are inspiring. When I first started reading this book, I was actually kind of depressed - I was happy that there were all these options available for treating and living with migraines, but then I thought that I would probably need to go through all of them in order to find any relief. But now, I'm taking all the information in - learning about different lifestyle changes that I can make in order to improve my situation. Not only should it help with my migraines, but it will make me healthier and happier as well. Who wouldn't want that? I'm not quite done with the book, so I won't give my full opinion yet (although I seem to mention my opinion every chance I get), but I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who deals with frequent headaches. Even if they are not migraines, this book might offer some good information for you. I've recently decided to start posting a "question of the day" type thing (although as of right now, I have been very bad about posting every day) and I came across an interesting question today. I'm going to try and respond to each question on my next post so that you all get a chance to comment with your opinions first :). So the question of the day is: How do the seasons impact your moods? Do you take any measures to ward off depression and would you ever consider moving to another climate?

Peace and Love!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hey Hey It's Opening Day!

As you can tell by my happy title, today is Opening Day for the 2010 Major League Baseball season. Yes! I am absolutely excited about this event. First of all, my favorite team - the Minnesota Twins - have signed Joe Mauer, our incredible catcher, to a long year deal. They will feature their brand new ballpark - Target Field - next Monday, April 12th, as they start the season away from home in Los Angeles against the Angels. No matter where they play, I'm super excited for the season to start.

Secondly, there is a multitude of baseball games on ESPN and ESPN2 today, so I can watch baseball all day, which is great because I am playing fantasy baseball this year. I absolutely couldn't be more excited.

Also going on today, the championship game for the NCAA tournament - Butler vs. Duke. I, of course, had my bracket collapse within the first couple of rounds, so watching this will not be a huge priority. But I definitely will be watching what I can of the game (with all the baseball on, I don't know how much that will be) because I would LOVE to see Butler - the underdog - beat Duke.

Now, I know that none of this has to do with reading at all - but as this blog is not only about reading, it's about life in general, I thought I would share with you all my excitement. For those who have not heard about my sports obsession, you can now see a little bit of how into sports I am. But that doesn't mean that I haven't had time to read. I recently had to renew a couple of books that my neurologist wanted me to read and since I only have a couple of weeks to read them, that is exactly what I am doing. Now I may have mentioned before that I am reading the book "Migraines for Dummies" by Diane Stafford and Jennifer Shoquist, M.D. I am working my way through it and trying to learn as much as I can about where my migraines could be coming from and ways to treat them. I am trying to keep a positive outlook on life, which can be hard at times when I am in pain most of the time, but hopefully I will be able to find something that works.

I'm going to start proposing more in depth questions to my readers because I think it would be incredible to hear what you all have to say to some interesting questions. These questions may or may not have to do anything with reading, so be prepared for some pretty generic and sometimes off the wall questions. So my question of the day is: If there was a breaking news story, would you check online for details, turn on your radio, or turn on your television to get the information?

Peace and Love!

Monday, March 29, 2010

What an Amazing Challenge!

Today I came across one of the most interesting articles that I have ever read. It's the story of a young 16 year old girl named Abby Sunderland. If you have not heard of this girl, you probably don't follow boating, which I don't. I like to check out the stories on Yahoo each time I check some email because they seem to offer something different in the realm of news. This story is about Abby Sunderland traveling on a solo expedition around the world. She is one of two 16 year old girls who is currently on solo travels around the world - the other is an Australian girl named Jessica Watson. Being younger than Jessica, if Abby completes this tour, she would become the youngest person to ever circumnavigate the world. If you would like to check out the full story, here is the link: (which you will have to copy and paste)

Has anyone else read any interesting news stories lately?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I should follow my own advice

I recently came across a situation where I felt obligated to give someone some advice. That person was my father. He's in a situation where he has a goal he wants to accomplish, but with so many tasks in from of him, he's not sure he can do it. So I told him about how he should be optimistic and how being pessimistic isn't going to get us closer to our goals. It made me realize that I need to be the same way. I have been so hopeless and pessimistic about my conditions that I have sheltered myself from hope. Optimism is something I definitely need to start believing in again.

I actually finished a magazine this morning. I don't know if I have previously explained my magazine situation, so here it is. About 9 months ago, I subscribed to two magazines: Time and Smithsonian. Both of these magazines are tremendously good (in my opinion) and I looked forward to receiving them. Time is a weekly magazine so I knew I would get that every week, while Smithsonian was a monthly publication. Now my boyfriend also receives Sporting News, which comes every other week. Now I am also a sports fan so I was reading that too. So there are three magazines that I am reading. Well, back in October of 2009, I kind of slacked off on reading my magazines because I was working then and didn't have a lot of free time. Normally I would be able to read a magazine and then read a book before the next magazine came in the mail. Well, after about two months, and no longer having a job, I had a stack of magazines to get through and once the migraines got worse, so did the pile of magazines because I couldn't read for very long. I'm proud to say that I finished reading the Sporting News from the beginning of February -- I know...almost two months behind and began the Time from the weeks of Feb 8th. I know what you're all thinking..."Man, she is really slow at this reading thing." But to be honest it has been the migraines and vertigo that have significantly affected my reading. I used to be able to read for hours at a time. Now, after about 30 min to an hour, I'm feeling dizzy, or tired and so I have to put down whatever I am reading.

I'd be interested to know what magazines any of you subscribe to and what you like about them or whether you think they are good magazines. As always, I appreciate your recommendations on anything I should check out. goal is 75 books this year, so I better start reading more often.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Hello everyone and Happy St. Patrick's Day! I know that it seems unusual that I am writing another blog entry so close to my last one! But that's good right? I actually have something really important that I want to talk about. Two words: Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is an event sponsored by the World Wildlife Foundation that takes place each year. Earth Hour is a simple event to participate in. On March 27th, from 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm (your local time), simply turn off your lights. Sounds too simple right? Well, it is. But if you turn off your lights, and your neighbors turn off theirs, and you each tell others about it, and your city turns off their lights and then other cities turn off their lights, and eventually the whole state turns of their lights, etc. You see where I am going with this. Millions of people are going to take part in this, in over 4,000 cities around the world - to show that we are all fighting against climate change. There is a huge push for as many people in America to participate to show that we are fighting for a cleaner air, independence from foreign oil, and green jobs. We want to show the world that we can lead through a crisis such as global warming and climate change. I encourage each of you to go to You can also check out this site by clicking on Earth Hour underneath my favorite websites on the side panel. By checking out this website, you can learn more about what is happening to our planet and how we can fight against climate change.

Let me know if you are participating, and if you know of any others that are participating as well. Let's show the world that it doesn't matter what country or city you are from, but that we all share the same planet.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Horrendously long time

I've been meaning to write. I really have. I even added something on my phone so that I would be able to blog from my bed when I was unable to get to my computer. Yet, I have not done so. I've let you down. The good news is...I'm here now.

The migraines are still pretty prevalent, but even more so is the vertigo. The pain in my ear and right side of my jaw is so unbearable that I let the tears flow freely these days. But I've begun to go walking, if for nothing else than some fresh air to try and make the pain go away.

I have been able to do a little bit more reading though, which is fantastic for me. I just finished a book the other day by Max Lucado, a Christian author, called "A Gentle Thunder". His writing style is second to none and he seems to have one of two phrases throughout each of his books that seems to punch you in the stomach to get your attention. I've been less faithful in the last three years than I would have liked and have struggled to remember my faith. While reading this book, I came across the following sentence in which the Gardener is God: "The person so healthy, suddenly sick - was it to remind him to rely on the Gardener?" - This quote in the book cut me like a knife. It grabbed my attention and did not let go. All I could think was -- are the migraines and vertigo and all the pain I have been going through God's way of getting my attention? I don't know the answer to that question, but it sure has made me realize how much I miss my faith.

I am also trying to get through the book "Migraines for Dummies". I have never read any of the books in the Dummies series, but it seems so straightforward and informative that I may have to read some other books in the series on subjects I'm interested in. There is so much information in the book that I'm actually a little overwhelmed. But hopefully that feeling will go away the more I learn about the condition that I am in.

The one thing that I really need to do as far as reading is get back to reading my magazines. I am issues behind on Time, Smithsonian, and Sporting News. The pile just keeps getting bigger because I have wanted to read other things ahead of those -- especially the migraines books I borrowed from the hospital. But I so desperately need some motivation in order to get back to reading those magazines.

As always, I'm so sorry I've not been keeping up with the blog -- sometimes the pain is just too much to contend with. Don't get me wrong; I have not forgotten about the blog, nor have I wanted to be away --- I'll catch you on the flip side very soon.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Slacker should be my middle name

Hello my fellow bookworms. It has come to my attention that I need to give you all an update on my condition. I used to think that I didn't need to share this with the outside world, but I feel it necessary when I am slacking on my duties to my readers.

You may have already learned from my profile or elsewhere in this blog that I suffer from daily chronic migraines. That in itself should not necessarily keep me from being able to function, especially since I have had these headaches since November of 2006. The reason I am letting everyone in on this now is because the migraines have gotten to the worst level of pain that I have ever felt. Since the last week of February, which is only last week, I have been to Urgent Care twice, the ER twice and to see a neurologist. The pain has never been this bad and I am doing everything that I can to make the situation better. I just thought I should let you know that if you see a while between postings, it is probably because the migraines are bad and I am lying a dark room trying to survive the pain.

On that note, when I went to see the neurologist last Thursday, she asked me to check out a book from the hospital library called "Migraines for Dummies." It is actually a very informative book, but I haven't read too much of it because my migraines don't allow me to do much of anything these days. Has anyone else ever read or heard of this book and what did you think of it? Are there any other book in the "For Dummies" series that are worth reading?

Thanks for bearing with me everyone. I hope to be back to functioning soon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A slight delay...

It has been over a week since I last wrote -- unfortunately. I have been meaning to try and update this blog on the interesting magazine articles that I have been reading, but have had some of the worst migraines of my life recently. These migraines have been so debilitating that I have not been able to spend much time on my computer, let alone updating my blog or getting much reading done. But, lucky for you, I have read a couple of interesting articles recently.

I was reading Smithsonian magazine and came across an intense article about Auschwitz. For those who don't know what Auschwitz is, it was a concentration camp during World War II. The article was predominately about the need to provide preservation for Auschwitz and the nearby Birkenau (also known as Auschwitz II). There is a slight debate taking place over whether Birkenau should be restored as most people think that these concentration camps need to be experienced or whether it should be left to vanish on its own, much like the millions of people that were killed there. The article talked about the condition of the current camp and described the human hair that is still on display for everyone to see. You can read the full article here:

I also wanted to pose this question: Do you think that historical sites, such as Auschwitz, that were home to some of the most horrendous acts in history should be preserved or left alone?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Seriously slacking...

Horrible. That one word can be describe exactly how my book reading is going. I set a goal to read 75 book this year and I have not yet started. Some people might say I am slacking, which I would agree with. Others might say that I am still catching up on the last month's worth of Time magazines, which is also true. The fact of the matter is that I have not yet started my literary journey of 75 books this year. If I don't start soon, I get the feeling that my goal may be in serious jeopardy.

While I have been trying to catch up on reading, I seem to be experiencing extreme tiredness lately. This seems kind of awkward since I am not doing a whole lot that can wear me out. It could possibly be migraines (which I have been suffering from on a daily basis for the last four years) or it could be the intensely sharp pains that I have in my right ear. Either way, I used to be able to read even when I am tired. Now, I'm lucky to read for five minutes before falling asleep in my bed.

I am one of those people that loves to lay in bed and read. That is my sanctuary. That is my time to completely escape from the world and engross myself into a book. I've heard that there are other places people like to read: a back patio, a library, a big, comfy chair, or even in a pile of pillows and blankets in a corner. Out of sheer curiosity, where is your favorite place to read? Where is the weirdest place that you have ever read?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tv Shows vs Books

So I recently finished watching the series "The West Wing" - if you haven't seen this show, you should definitely check it out. Now, before I started watching this show, I was not very interested in politics. But now, I have found myself learning and reading as much about politics as possible. I went through the same thing with law when I finished watching "Ally McBeal". Not only have those shows opened my eyes to how interesting both politics and law can be, but it has given me a chance to explore subjects that I never thought I would learn about. Have you ever seen a tv show that inspired you to read a certain book or learn about a certain subject?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Simple Things

The most awesome thing in the world about reading is that it's not limited to just books, magazines and newspapers. There are so great blogs on this crazy information highway that people can read as well. One of those blogs called 1000 Awesome Things is one of the greatest blogs that I have ever read. Each weekday, Neil speaks about an awesome thing in our lives that most of the time is overlooked, such as putting potato chips on sandwiches, and the other side of the pillow. He is counting from 1000 down to the number 1 awesome thing in the world, which of course offers many different opinions. This blog is a classic read that had made me laugh, made me cry, and brought back some incredible memories. You can check out this blog through my blogroll or by going to

Speaking of blogs, are there any recommendations you have for great blogs to read?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Books...

I was reading an article last night in an issue of Time Magazine about two new books that are soon to be coming out. The first was from Elizabeth Gilbert, who is coming out with another memoir called "Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage". Having not yet read "Eat, Pray, Love", the article kind of gave away a piece of the ending of that book by describing what this new book is about. I will not give away that piece of information for those of you that also have not read "Eat, Pray, Love".
The author of the article seemed to think that there was too much information being conveyed in this book that the reader will eventually tire of hearing about. Since I have not read any of her work before, I guess I'll have to decide that for myself.

The second book that was mentioned was by Julie Powell, who became known for her blog and her memoir "Julie and Julia". She has recently written another book called "Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession". Not much was given about the synopsis of this book other than it involves her cheating on her husband Eric, and that her writing is almost completely opposite of Gilbert's. I have not read her blog or her first book, so I am sure I will be in a surprise when I compare their writings.

Has anyone read either of these authors before? If so, what do you think about them?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Death of J.D. Salinger

This past week, J.D. Salinger passed away at the age of 91. It doesn't appear that his death was caused by anything other than natural causes. But the notice of his death made me starting thinking if I have ever read a book by Mr. Salinger. To be honest, I don't think I have. His most well know piece of work, "The Catcher in the Rye," has not been something that I have read or had the opportunity to read. I may be one of the only people that I know of that did not have to read that book in high school. Since I have not yet read this book, I do want to make a point to read this book during my journey through 75 books by the end of the year.

Mr. Salinger seemed to be someone who did not enjoy the spotlight - at least from everything I have read. He almost seemed to be kind of agoraphobic. He seemed to want to leave his life completely unknown to the outside world, getting angry at those who wanted to write biographies about him. He seemed to want to just write without worrying that his readers would want to know about the man behind the words.

I know that there are many other works besides his most well known work. If any of you have ever read any Salinger books, let me know which ones I need to check out.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Not quite like Julie following Julia...

So if the title of this post didn't give it away, I just finished watching Julie and Julia -- which by the way, is a wonderful movie. While watching it, it made me think about what I could do more of to try and find my happiness like Julie did by cooking. My idea: reading as many books as possible between now and the end of the year. My goal, which may seem quite lofty, is to read 75 books. Not only do I want to read books, but I want to blog my way through books I have never read and the feelings and findings that I experience along the way. The question is: What book shall I embark on this journey with? What's the first book that shall come my way?

Sunday, January 17, 2010 night.

So last night after being treated to a lovely dinner at Red Lobster by my boyfriend (whom I shall call Fierce Football Fan for blog purposes), we decided to go rent a couple of movies. We each chose a movie and came home.

Having never seen either of these movies, I was kind of interested to know why one of them was up for an Oscar last year, and how the other one would compare to previous war movies I had seen. We first watched a movie called "The Hurt Locker", which was FFF's choice for a movie. I did not read anything about the movie, nor had I seen any previews for it before. The movie had the feel of a documentary almost, as it did not really seem to have any sort of plot that it was really following. The reality of the setting, being placed in 2004 during the Iraq War, made it feel like I was watching something that was taking place live. It turns out that while there seems to be no plot throughout the movie, the idea that a soldier may feel that all he is meant to do is fight in battle sticks out tremendously. It made me realize how much harder it must be for the men and women in our armed forces to readjust to live outside the battlefield. This movie was different from any other war movie that I have ever seen and made me feel like I was seeing the true emotions that the brave men and women of our country feel.

The second movie that we watched was nominated for an Oscar last year. "Rachel Getting Married" was a movie that I thought would blow me out of the water, as I frequently expect Oscar nominees to be able to make me emit that kind of emotion. While Anne Hathaway did an incredible job of playing a recovering addict, there were moments when I felt that the feelings were not as sincere as they should have been. There were moments of greatness and moments when it felt like there was no way that people could change their feelings that fast. While the concept of the movie was good, I felt that the execution could have been slightly better. I can't quite put my finger on the exact moment when I started to look at my phone to see what time it was, but anytime a movie cannot hold my attention, it is usually a movie that I don't plan to see again.

Has anyone seen either of these movies? Any opinions?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Literary Lunatic

That's precisely what I am...a literary lunatic. I don't know that I have ever met someone who enjoys reading as much as I do. Not only do I love reading to the level of lunacy, but I love learning too. A combination that I didn't think was possible - the ability to love reading and learning. I know I sound like a huge geek, which I may be, although I think I'm just an average young woman interested in everything around me. I'm so interested in reading and learning that I decide to write a blog about it. But this blog isn't just about reading and learning -- its about opinions. I don't want it to just be me giving reviews and recommendations -- I want opinions for people as well. Ask me a question, give me a recommendation, give me your opinion on whatever you want. I'm an open book - an open book that thrives on the idea of our first amendment. We all have a voice for a plethora of topics and I want to hear what you have to say.

First things first: I just finished reading Time Magazine's Person of the Year issue and it made me think: If you could choose, who would you name Person of the Decade?