Friday, January 25, 2008

Another Book Meme

I love answering questions about books. I found this on Superfast Reader's blog (link on the left) and thought it looked like fun. The quiz is really directed towards book reviewers, so I omitted some of the questions. Thinking about books is so fun! The formatting on some of these questions is a little funky. I couldn't get bold and italics to work right for some reason.

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I wouldn't say I "irrationally" cringe away from reading it, though. I'm just not sure I could take such graphic descriptions of violence. I am really disturbed by violence in books and movies, and I think I would be especially disturbed by the senselessness of that particular crime.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
Lena from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, and Clare Abshire from The Time Traveler's Wife. All are amazingly smart, savvy teenage girls. (Clare is a teenager for a big part of the book). I would just want to sit down for lunch with them and find out what makes them so confident and independent. Who do they look up to? What did their parents do right?

Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

A Tale of Two Cities. I actually borrowed it from Darby about 4 years ago with the intention of reading it, but I've never gotten around to it. Whenever it came up in classes, though, I would usually nod along, like I knew what people were talking about.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (if you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead of personalize the VIP)

Hmmm....if the VIP were female, I would recommend The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. For a male, I would recommend Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Both are "fun" books with compelling storylines, but they make you think, as well. I think both could convert a non-reader to a reader.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

I'd say French. There's a lot of good French poetry that just can't be translated well.

A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favorite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

Hmmm...I actually really prefer softcover; they're easier to handle. I would have every book that could be considered "classic," as well as the Pulitzer and Booker prize winners for every year. There would be plenty of windows to let in light; I like lots of light when I read. There would definitely be a fireplace and big soft blankets to curl up in. I would have my own personal Starbucks barista to mix me up a perfect latte whenever I wanted. And I would definitely have one of those rolling ladders. I've always wanted one of those.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I've met my match

Those of you who know me know I LOVE desserts, especially chocolate and ice cream. And the only thing more fun to me than eating dessert is making it, then eating it. I've never really understood when people say desserts are "too rich." There ain't no such thing. I'm the girl who eats chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake. However, I got a new cookbook for Christmas, and I think the author just might have me beat. The title is "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth." It definitely sounded like my kind of book. But when I started flipping through it, I noticed that almost every recipe calls for at least four sticks of butter. And these are normal sized recipes. That's a little insane, even for me. I told Darby, "That's the kind of thing you order at a restaurant, so you don't know how much butter went into it. You should never make it for yourself." Last night, I was in the mood for a fun dessert, though. I flipped through and found a recipe for triple chocolate ice cream sandwiches. It was actually one of the most reasonable recipes in the book, as far as butter content goes. And they were GOOD! Chocolate cookies with semisweet chocolate chunks sandwiched together with Blue Bell hot fudge sundae ice cream. But I couldn't even finish mine! (Don't worry; Darby polished it off, so we didn't waste any). And the author had recommended using a dark chocolate ice cream instead. That woman is out of control. There's also a recipe for a cheesecake milkshake in the book. Hmmm...maybe I should give her another chance :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Update on Uncle Mark

A member of their church started a journal for my aunt and uncle here. If you're interested in his progress, you can check it out. He is still improving, slowly but surely. In her latest post, my aunt mentioned that he doesn't remember the accident. Each time he wakes up, she has to tell him what happened and where he is. The nurses have said that he probably won't remember his time in ICU, which she considers a blessing. Thanks for praying for him and his family. They have been blessed by the prayers and compassion of the church family that surrounds them and the Christians they know are praying across the country.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I feel like I'm back in high school

This weekend, I went to a training session to become an SAT instructor for the Princeton Review. I spent Friday from 5-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. learning how to teach an SAT prep course to high schoolers. It was intense, but actually pretty fun. Basically, the trainer taught the class to us exactly as she would teach it to high schoolers, and we took notes. We then were each assigned a lesson to teach to the class. I have to go back next weekend and do the same thing. In the meantime, I have a huge book of SAT practice problems to complete. Aaahh! I haven't done homework in a year! I guess this is good preparation for grad. school. I really wish I had done this training before I took the GRE. I think it would have helped me with my math score. This weekend, I relearned so many things I used to know!

On a different note, please keep my Uncle Mark and his family in your prayers. He was hit by a car while he was jogging on Thursday evening. Thankfully, he is in stable condition now, but he has some pretty severe injuries and a long recovery ahead of him.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I realized this week that I have been spoiled by working at the same place that Darby goes to school. Every day, we ride together in the morning and walk together until I get to my office. At noon, he comes to meet me for lunch, and we drive home and back together. At 5 p.m., he comes to my office and we leave together. This week, though, he's been working from home, so I've had to drive by myself. I still go home for lunch and see him, but I miss our little 5-minute rides in the car. Then, I started thinking, "What happens when we get real jobs and leave in the morning and don't see each other until 5 p.m. or later?" I know that 's what most people do, but it seems so sad to me. I hadn't thought about how lucky we are to get to see each other so much during the day. I'm definitely going to stop taking it for granted before we have to switch to a more "normal" routine.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

No thank you!

Darby and I just finished writing our thank you notes. As I was writing them, I thought about what a silly tradition it is. I don't mind writing them at all, and I do try to be sincere, but how meaningful can you really be in a few lines? And with postage increasing so much, it's expensive to send them. When I get a thank you note from one of my friends, I open it, read it quickly, and then throw it out immediately. Occasionally, if the card has a pretty picture on it, I'll cut the front off and reuse it for scrapbooking. But, generally, the card goes from unopened to trash in under a minute. Is it really worth it? It seems especially silly when the person gave you your gift in person. Shouldn't a heartfelt thanks at the time suffice? I'd much rather get a "just because" note or a detailed e-mail than the compulsory thank you note. Of course, I'm not going to stop writing thank you notes or anything. I know they mean a lot to some people. But if I ever give you a gift, feel free to skip the note.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Christmases 3,4,5, and 6! (and Erin's wedding)

I think the theme for mine and Darby's Christmas break was "Tour of Texas." We drove from Abilene to Waco to Fort Worth back to Waco to Garland back to Waco to San Antonio and finally back to Abilene. It was kind of crazy, but we had a really great time. It was so nice that we were able to work it out to be at all of both of our families' Christmas celebrations. It might not be so easy in the future if we end up going to grad. school far away. So we lived it up this year. We ate a ton, played lots of games with my family, introduced his parents to the Wii, and saw four movies in the theater! And we still managed to make a few Barnes and Noble trips, of course!

Here's a few random pictures. I'm really not good at remembering to take pictures!

The guy "frousins" or "primigos." We're a bilingual family :) I'm actually not sure if Darby's officially allowed to be a frousin.

The girls. We take this exact picture every year, and we're always wearing red, green, or white. We are pathetic.

Me and Darby with my cousin Corrie. She loves Darby. The girl's got good taste.

My friend Erin got married in San Antonio on the 29th, and I was a bridesmaid. The wedding was beautiful and everything went really smoothly. We had our makeup professionally done, and I can't even recognize myself in the pictures! I almost never wear makeup, so having that much on was kind of a shock. At least I didn't have to put it on myself, though.

Former roomies!

Tough bridesmaids!

After the wedding Darby and I stayed an extra night in San Antonio. We ate at Paesano's, a really good Italian restaurant on the Riverwalk. When we got back to the hotel, we were psyched because Flip That House was on. It's one of our favorite shows, but we never get to see it because we don't have cable. Yes, we are officially old people now (as if our puzzle hobby wasn't enough). On Sunday, we went to the Buckhorn Museum and ate at Casa Rio. The museum was really cool...they have tons of taxidermied animals. It doesn't sound that neat, but I promise it is. Well, that was our Christmas. Tomorrow it's back to the grind. :(