Friday, January 28, 2011

Hunger Games

I have been meaning to post about my latest reading spree for several days now. In case you are unaware, I have a slight addiction to reading. This addiction has affected my life in many ways. Once, when I was quite a bit younger, I was told to go to bed, and proceeded to disobey and finish reading an entire book with a flashlight under the covers. I then was eaten with guilt and woke up my parents to confess, but only after completing the final chapter. My sister still complains that once I discovered chapter books, she would beg me to play, and I would promise (blatantly lie) to stop reading once I finished the next chapter. She has always been smart, so she noticed that when I finally would put the book down my bookmark had moved much further than the width of a single chapter. Being second fiddle to a book was apparently scarring because she still talks about it.

Anyway, I have always struggled with obsessive reading, especially when I discover a new series. Something about the continuation of the story of a core group of characters makes me gorge myself on books and forsake all other pursuits until I reach the conclusion. The Hunger Games grabbed my attention immediately. I love Katniss and Peeta and Gale, and the adventure/romance/fantasy genre has always been near and dear to my heart. However, these books are dark, and by the time I reached the end of the series (which took less than 3 days) I was left with a melancholy feeling. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone younger than 13, and consider yourself warned, the gruesome nature of the books doesn't lend itself to a typical happy ending.

Overall, I'm glad I read the series. It was my last chance to read for fun before the semester reading load threatened to crush me under its weight. Sam just finished the first book, and I'm enjoying discussing them with him. Haunting, but timely, The Hunger Games has my nuanced stamp of approval.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Becoming Busy

In case you haven't noticed through diligent observation, or by some chance you have stumbled onto this blog and don't know me, welcome! Also, I have a confession to make. I am not good at not being busy. Since moving to live near my fiance/now husband I have been diligent about not becoming too busy. I have graduate school most months of the year, I volunteer at church, and I need time to cook/clean/sleep/eat.

That said, when I'm not in school, such as over the long Christmas break, I become creative in finding things to do. I've already blogged about the holidays, and I stayed cheerily consumed with festivities and family for several weeks. Then, we arrived home, put away the Christmas decorations and unpacked. I ordered my books for the next semester and twiddled my thumbs until I could not think of anything else I wanted to do.

So, I am pleased to announce that I am in the process of becoming a substitute teacher, I opened an Amazon seller account, and I taught myself how to knit. Rather than clean the apartment (which seems to always get messy again) or write thank you notes, (I've been horribly negligent, but they're coming) I found other projects to keep me busy. So far, I'm fairly proud of the results (other than the thank you note negligence). I've learned that knitting can be relaxing, but it makes my stubby fingers tired, and I'm impatient to finish a significant project that I consider worthy of giving away. I've sold 6 books on Amazon, and our bookshelves are grateful to bear a lighter load. As the semester progresses, we shall see how substituting works with my studies, but the process thus far has been fulfilling.

In a month, I might be drowning in Dante and Chaucer, but for now I feel the satisfaction of having diversified my interests and spent a break doing something other than sleeping, watching TV, and reading. Don't fret; those have been included, but they aren't exactly blog-worthy pursuits. I hope, the above mentioned are slightly more worth reading about. They were considered worth writing about.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year, Change of Plans

In case you haven't discovered this by living your life and observing the lives of others, (SPOILER ALERT) plans change. Sam and I had reservations to go out and indulge in fondue on New Year's Eve and toast champagne at midnight. Then, his minor sinus issues became major and we spent New Year's Eve visiting a doc in the box and becoming thoroughly frustrated with an incompetent pharmacy tech. Sound like fun?

We managed to salvage the festive mood when I dropped him off at home to take lots of medication and sleep, then headed to the grocery store. I ended up buying a couple bottles of sparkling grape juice (with a coupon) and the ingredients for potato skins and spinach and artichoke dip. After a stop at the local fried chicken place, I had all the necessary elements for an evening of watching Without a Traceand snacking on junk food. Sam felt ok after a long nap and we toasted at midnight while watching the ball drop in NYC.

While the evening was nothing like I planned, it was wonderful. I was with the guy I love, and I had plenty of good food to eat and entertainment on the TV. As a bonus, I got to wear my pajamas instead of a little black dress. In case you can't tell from the rest of this narrative, I really enjoy the simple things in life, and sometimes it takes respiratory issues to force me to reevaluate and simplify my plans. I only wish Sam hadn't felt so bad to necessitate simplification. Nevertheless, 2010 was a fantastic year for me, and it ended beautifully. At this point, I'm not making many long term plans (or at least not any that can't be changed). I can only look forward with anticipation to what God has in store for 2011.