Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fifteen Books and other daily happenings

My professors this semester are requesting, no, (let me rephrase that) demanding, that I purchase fifteen textbooks this semester. For five classes. So this semester will be full of reading, writing and teaching middle schoolers. But thankfully I love reading and writing and hopefully I will enjoy teaching middle schoolers. We will see.

In other news I met some nice people in my classes today, ran into some friends from last semester and did a lot of walking in 104 degree weather. This is normal in Texas. How 104 degrees ever became normal to me, I don't know, but alas it has happened. I took Arsen, my dog, to his obedience training class at PetSmart and he seems to be improving alot, which makes his mommy proud. Yes, I have become one of those women who refers to herself as her dog's mommy. He is such a cuddler and really does keep me laughing and smiling while my hubby is deployed.

I do have a few goals for my puppy and myself:

Monday: long walk

Tuesday+Wednesday: bike ride

Thursday: dog class

Friday: bike ride or run

Saturday: dog park

Sunday: Barton Springs

I'm hoping to keep to this schedule every week so that Arsen gets enough exercise and stays happy. He's an Australian Kelpie and they require about two miles of exercise every day along with lots of mental stimulation. Don't laugh, but my dog and I play hide and go seek. It's great because it gets him thinking and it gets me moving. I make him sit and stay while I go hide somewhere haha. I know, I'm a dork, but he's my kid and I have to make up for forcing him to live in an apartment for a year. Poor guy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I was told there'd be cake...and wine

So a few girls at my apartment complex and I just started a book club. When did this happen? About an hour ago, lol. I invited them to dinner and we started chatting about how much we all love to read. We came up with the name "I was told there'd be cake...and wine" and it happened. Any great ideas on books to read? We have a makeshift list so far starting with one of the books I listed on my shelf yesterday, "A long way gone". Every month we'll be reading a new book and then meeting up at the end of the month to have a themed book talk. I know, I'm a total dork, but at least there are like-minded dorks in Austin, TX going to UT. For Peony in Love we are going out for sushi and sake. For Fight Club we will be playing poker and smoking bubble gum cigars. For Kabul Beauty School it's a hooka and tea lounge and then a girls night of facials and pedis.

It's been 6 months of me being in Austin with minimal friends (you know, the casual aquaintance kind) and then the day I go emo on my friends from back home, I actually meet a group of girls I really get along with. And I start blogging to stay in better touch with my Goddard High besties. What a good day. Tomorrow however, is the first day of school. We'll see how I'm feeling at about 4pm after the hectic day it is sure to be.

Have your cake and eat it too...with wine.

I'm trying to "grow up" my wardrobe. I've decided that I was meant to be born in the 1940's. I absolutely love the fashions of the time and it fits with my body type as well. Things that have caught my eye lately:

Monday, August 24, 2009

What's currently on my bookshelf..

Waiting to be grabbed up and set on my curled up lap for a long read...

1 The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

A young woman finds, in her father's library, letters that lead her to the discovery that Vlad the Impaler, the basis of the legend of Dracula, might actually still be around. She follows to tale to

Adventure, world travels and mystery with a little bit of actual history mixed in with the fantasy. My favorite kind of book.

2 Heroines of the Sky by Jean Adams and Margaret Kimball
copyright 1942.

I found this book on the shelf in my parent's basement. It was no doubt my grandmother's and I noticed a library marking in the front form Aurora, Missouri. Haha, "Books may not be kept longer than two weeks without renewal. A fine of two cents a day shall be paid on each book which is not returned according to the rule above. An additional fee of 25 cents will be charged on overdue books for which it is necessary to send a messenger." Uh oh, my grandmother is in trouble. lol

Discovery of the book aside, I'll give you a preview of what it's about. The foremothers of flying. Amelia Earhart was not the only woman to fly from 1911 to 1942. There were about 20 women who truly set the standard for the rest of us. I've only read a few pages, but so far it's very inspiring and it's neat to see early photographs of an organization of which my grandmother, my mother, myself and even Amelia Earhart were members. The Ninety Nines.

3 The World's Greatest Letters edited by M. Lincoln Shuster

What a great discovery this book was! My husband and I were searching around in his grandparent's basement as they had requested we take a few old books off of their hands. They are well aware that the pair of us adore reading. I just picked this one off the shelf and it's worn but beautiful. Copyright 1940. It was published at the Rockefeller Center!

It gets better...The letters are classified by subject: Love letters, Letters of courage and adventure, letters or irony and satire, letters about turning points of history, etc.

And even better, it includes letters from the greats: Beethoven, Poe, Voltaire, Twain, Dickens, Di Vinci, Bryant, etc.

4 A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

The story of a boy who fled attacking rebels in Sierra Leone only to be picked up by the government army and forced to commit terrible acts. He tells his story.

5 Kabule Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez

A woman retells her story of moving to Afghanistan with a degree in cosmetology. She joined the Kabul Beauty School and inspired women to support their families as cosmetologists. She really dips into the culture and ways of the Afghan society. She even ends up falling in love with an Afghan.

6 The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

A reclusive author has spent the last six decades writing different lives for herself. In every book that she publishes, she writes a different life story. Finally, she uncovers the ghosts of her past for a young biographer. However, she doesn't make it easy.

7 Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Hirsi Ali writes about her upbringing in a strict Muslim family in Somalia. She survived civil war, female mutilation, brutal beatings, and a forced marriage.

I just really like to read about different cultures. Nonfiction books from which I can actually learn something.