Sunday, December 9, 2012

Revised RGRC

So, after looking over the list of books on the last post I have decided to revise my goal. In my excitement at finding the list I overestimated my reading abilities (and time).
So, I'm going to read one book a month from the list until my 30th birthday. That will give me a solid 25 books from the list.  My mom pointed out that I could read one for each letter of the alphabet, and I think that's just what I'll do (which will actually give me 26 books, but what the hey).

**As an aside, I would like to address a certain commenter on my last post: I realize that not everyone's reading tastes are the same.  That doesn't make you, or me, bad.  Yes, I know that the themes from Frankenstein have made their way into many parts of modern-day consciousness. Does this mean that we don't need to read a classic?  My feeling is that the themes continue to present themselves because there is something to be found in the original work. It has made a profound enough effect on our current society that it might be worth the read.  As for books by Hillary Clinton, why not read them?  Just because I don't particularly agree with her politics doesn't mean that her books aren't worth a read. If I never explored viewpoints other than my own how would I grow in my knowledge? I'm not necessarily saying I'll read them as part of this list, but that's not to say I won't read them at some point.**

Anyway, back to the revised list:

Anna Karenina (and then I'll go see the movie)
The Bell Jar
A Clockwork Orange
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The Graduate
High Fidelity
I'm With the Band
The Jumping Frog
The Kitchen Boy
Leaves of Grass
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
Notes of a Dirty Old Man
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
A Quiet Storm
A Room of One's Own
Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Vanity Fair
Waiting for Godot
X- There are no X books, so I will read Of Mice and Men
The Year of Magical Thinking
Z-Again, no Z books, so I will read The Virgin Suicides


Thursday, December 6, 2012


So, whilst browsing pinterest the other day I stumbled across a pin linking back to The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge (found here).  I love this show, and I love Rory's bibliophilic tendencies. Anyone, contained in this gem of a list are all of the books mentioned throughout the course of the series.  There are quite a few I've read already, quite a few I'd probably never choose to read, and quite a few that have been on my to-read list for a long time.  Anyway, I'm going to attempt a huge undertaking.  I'd like to finish this list by the time I'm 30.  That means I have 2 years, one month, and 11 days.  Think I can do it?  We shall see...

1984 by George Orwell
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll 
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
The Art of Fiction by Henry James
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Babe by Dick King-Smith
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
The Bhagava Gita
The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
Candide by Voltaire 
The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
Christine by Stephen King
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty
A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père
Cousin Bette by Honor’e de Balzac
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber 
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Cujo by Stephen King
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon 
Daisy Miller by Henry James
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Deenie by Judy Blume
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
The Divine Comedy by Dante
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
Don Quijote by Cervantes
Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson 
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
Eloise by Kay Thompson
Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
Emma by Jane Austen 
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Ethics by Spinoza
Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Extravagance by Gary Krist
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 
Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
The Fellowship of the Ring: Book 1 of The Lord of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (TBR) 
Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom 
Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
Fletch by Gregory McDonald
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy 
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell 
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
The Graduate by Charles Webb
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling 

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad 
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry 
Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
Henry V by William Shakespeare
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III (Lpr)
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
How the Light Gets in by M. J. Hyland
Howl by Allen Gingsburg
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
The Iliad by Homer
I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 
Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 
Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Love Story by Erich Segal
Macbeth by William Shakespeare 
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Manticore by Robertson Davies
Marathon Man by William Goldman
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult 
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Night by Elie Wiesel
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Old School by Tobias Wolff
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
Oracle Night by Paul Auster
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Othello by Shakespeare
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby 
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 
Property by Valerie Martin
Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Quattrocento by James Mckean
A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier 
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien  
R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
Roman Fever by Edith Wharton
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne 
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd 
Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen 
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
Sexus by Henry Miller
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Shane by Jack Shaefer
The Shining by Stephen King
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Small Island by Andrea Levy 
Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers 
Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
Songbook by Nick Hornby
The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
Stuart Little by E. B. White
Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
Time and Again by Jack Finney
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger 
To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 
The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom 
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe 
Unless by Carol Shields
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray 
Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee 
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire 
The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

So, who's with me?


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Press Forward

My favorite scripture is 2 Nephi 31:20.  I'd never thought much about it until it was the theme scripture for the year I worked at Brighton.  Something about it, though, just sort of stuck with me.

Anyway, I haven't really been where I need to be spiritually, lately. For whatever reason it's the simple things like scripture reading, prayer, etc, that seem to fall by the wayside when life picks up speed. 

However, this week has reminded me of this scripture.  I love the if/then pattern of it's set up:

If I do the following things:
~Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ
~Have a perfect brightness of hope
~Have a love of God
~Have a love of all men
~Feast upon the word of Christ
~Endure to the end

Then I will have eternal life. 

Seems easy enough, right? You would think so...

Another scripture that I love is Psalms 46:10 (Also found in Doctrine and Covenants 101:16).
Life is a crazy 3-ring-circus juggling act.  Often, I feel like I have so many balls to keep in the air that I don't know how I can carry on a moment more.  It's times like these that I need to remember that it's ok to let them drop.  It's ok to just take some time to be still.  It is in the still and quiet moments that I can truly come to know my Heavenly Father. 

I need to learn to seize the still moments when they present themselves, for they don't come often. 

In the midst of the political, work, emotional, personal, and day-to-day turmoil it is nice to know that I have an anchor in my Heavenly Father.  Even if the winds and the waves toss me about, he can calm the storm of my troubled heart.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

T-Bone Update

There are a few T-Bone things (stories, etc) that I need to write down before I lose them, so please be patient with me... and feel free to read, if you'd like.

1. He now recognizes, associates, and knows the sounds for A, B, C, D, E, F, J, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, and Z.

2. He can do all of the actions for Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wise Man/Foolish Man, Popcorn Popping, and Book of Mormon Stories.

3. He is proficient at going up AND down the stairs.  He also prefers running to walking, but has a funny Frankenstein run that trips him up.

4. He loves the words pumpkin and Halloween.

5. Speaking of Halloween, my mom, sister, and I took him to a little spook alley this weekend. While there we met a little cat that belonged to the nursery putting on the spook alley.  He LOVED that freakin' cat.  He was more interested in following it around and petting it than in anything else. While there we also encountered a life-size, singing, dancing Elvis skeleton.  It is pretty safe to say that he is obsessed.  It's been almost a week and he still keeps signing to me about the dancing skeleton.  He also keeps signing about the scary witches.

6. On the subject of signs, he now knows at least 35 signs (that I can think of off the top of my head).

7. After attending the spook alley on Saturday we took him out to dinner with us.  While waiting for our table a man walked into the restaurant.  He was probably in his 50's, about 6'2" or 6'3", and solidly built.  He was wearing cowboy boots, wranglers, a HUGE belt buckle, a western-style shirt, and a cowboy hat.  T-Bone took one look at him and immediately started making his horse noises. Luckily for us, the man was as amused as we were.  That could have been embarrassing.

8. I bought him a giraffe costume to wear for Halloween. He hates it.  Every time I get it out he starts to whine and says, "Nananananana, Fffff." (Translation: No, no, no, no, no, no, giraffe)  Needless to say, we've moved to plan B.  He's going to be a pumpkin for Halloween, because he loves them.

9. He LOVES Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Little Einsteins. He calls Mickey Mouse "Mow", but he won't say it out loud, he whispers it.  Little Einsteins is "ship", and he keeps telling me about the "Mmmmmbop" (translation: Robot) that we saw on the show last week.

10. He is in the midst of his first ever ear infection.  Poor little bubby.

And that is enough for now. :)


Monday, October 1, 2012


“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I love autumn-time. It is, far and away, my favorite season.  However, this subtle slide from the lazy days of summer into the cool crispness of fall always make me somewhat wistful.
Something happens when we reach this spot on the calendar. Maybe it has something to do with switching out my shorts, tshirts, and summer scarves for boots, sweaters, and jeans.  Maybe it's the anticipation of the holidays (really, who doesn't love Halloween and Thanksgiving?). Maybe it's football season. Maybe it's the food: the Honeycrisp apples, the pumpkin everything, cider, pie, and comfort food.  Maybe the changing color of the leaves simply releases magic into the air.

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
~George Eliot 

I think it has something to do with autumn being a time of harvest: the reaping of what has been sown, the enjoyment of the, literal, fruits of one's labors. Where spring is the time of planting, rebirth, and growth; fall is it's simpler, more relaxed cousin. 

And so, I will embrace this change of season. I will put on my sweater, pull on my boots, and march down the sidewalk through the red and golden leaves.  I will throw open my windows and drink deeply of the richness of autumn. 


Monday, September 24, 2012

For the love of...

This past weekend Greasemonkey and I decided to get away for a little date night.  We had a gift certificate to Rodizio Grille, so we ended up at Trolley Square.  After dinner we had a little time, so we decided to wander around Trolley for a minute.  It was then that we stumbled upon the most magical place I've ever been. I'm sure this isn't a new place, but it was new to me.  The moment we walked through the door of Weller Book Works, I knew I'd be back for more.  Let me tell you about this incredible place:

I walked through the front door into a room full of antique, rare, and vintage collections of books.  Through a small back door labeled "More Books This Way," a whole world opened up. The first thing I noticed was the smell.  Oh, that glorious, wonderful, musty, lovely odor of well loved books. I trailed my hands along the exposed brick wall to the staircase in the corner. I trod down the stairs into a veritable wonderland of mostly used books.

I sent Greasemonkey away on a made up errand so I could have a moment to myself.  It was at this point that my emotions, quite literally, overcame me.  I broke out in goosebumps and got teary-eyed.  You see, that's what books do to me: they reach right into my heart and tug on the strings that reside there. I wandered aimlessly for several minutes trying to compose myself. It wasn't happening. I trailed my fingers along the spines of the well-loved tomes and let the tears flow for a awhile.

Books speak to me in a way that nothing else can.  They are more than just words on a page.  They are more than just stories.  They are more than just pages in a binding.  There are entire worlds contained between those beautiful, worn covers.  There are lives, feelings, hopes, dreams, and so much more in those beautiful pages. It is an escape from the mundane, the every day, and the hardships of the real world. I am a die-hard book lover.  I have been having a love affair with the written word for as long as I can remember. It is a love that I hope to instill in T-Bone, as well.

Anyway, back to my aimless wandering:  I stumbled upon a true hidden treasure.  Many of you know that I am a life-long fan of Roald Dahl.  What a lot of people don't know is that before he wrote some of his better-known books, he wrote many short stories for magazine and newspaper publishing. Well, I found a copy of The Roald Dahl Omnibus. And it was only $10.  Seriously?  I snatched it off the shelf and hugged it to my chest while I went off in search of Greasemonkey. I knew that if I didn't get that book I'd kick myself all the way home.  Forget the fact that we were on the motorcycle and it was 600 pages long.  I would find a way to get it home.  After convincing him that I didn't just want it, I NEEDED it, we left that wonderful book haven the proud new owners of an omnibus. I zipped it into my jacket for safe keeping on the ride home and we ceased the nights adventures.

So, you see, this rare gem of a book store made me forget about life for awhile.  It melted my cares away and it melted my heart.  For my first true love will always be books.


Friday, September 14, 2012

A bit of a whine

I'm not feeling so hot today. Physically, there isn't anything wrong with me, but in my heart I'm hurting. You see, I was supposed to be having a baby next month. True story.  You can read the background here. I've since come to the realization that it wasn't time for us to have another one yet.  T-bone needs me right now, and he needs me all to himself.  I get that.  Emotionally, I'm not ready for another baby yet (you can read more on the "why" of that here).
Anyway, not the point, let me get back to that... The point is this:
In the past year I have had no fewer than 25 friends announce pregnancies. I wish that were a gross exaggeration, but it's not.  If anything, it's an underestimate. In the past 3 days, I've seen at least 5 new announcements, not to mention a phone call from a friend of Greasemonkey's saying that they'd actually just birthed a 3rd child that we didn't know they were expecting.
And all of it kind of hurts. I know, I don't have anything to complain about.  I have several friends that, for whatever reason, aren't able to have children without medical intervention, or can't have children at all.  I am so blessed to know that my body has the ability to get pregnant and carry a baby to full term. I am so blessed to have my sweet T-bone. And I'm so happy for all of my friends expecting children. This isn't to take away from their joy, not in the least. I know that many of them have waited a long time for the children they are expecting. I know that they will be wonderful parents and that they will love their babies with everything they have.
I know it's not our time yet, but it still hurts.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Women we Become After Children

"We change shape, we buy low-heeled shoes, we cut off our long hair. We begin to carry in our bags half-eaten [snacks], a small tractor, a shred of beloved fabric, a plastic doll. We lose muscle tone, sleep, reason, perspective. Our hearts begin to live outside our bodies. They breathe, they eat, they crawl and-look!-they walk, they begin to speak to us. We learn that we must sometimes walk an inch at a time, to stop and examine every stick, every stone, every squashed tin along the way. We get used to not getting where we were going. We learn to darn, perhaps to cook, to patch the knees of dungarees. We get used to living wtih a love that suffuses us, suffocates us, blinds us, controls us. We live. We contemplate our bodies, our stretched skin, those threads of silver around our brows, our strangely enlarged feet. We learn to look less in the mirror. We put our dry-clean-only clothes to the back of the wardrobe. Eventually, we throw them away. We school ourselves to stop saying 'shit' and 'damn' and learn to say 'my goodness' and 'heavens above'. We give up [parties], we colour our hair, we search the vistas of parks, swimming pools, libraries, cafes for other of our kind. We know each other by our [strollers], our sleepless gazes, the beakers we carry. We learn how to cool a fever, ease a cough, the four indicators of meningitis, that one must sometimes push a swing for two hours. We buy [cookie] cutters, washable paints, aprons, plastic bowls. We no longer tolerate delayed buses, fighting in the street, smoking in [public], sex after midnight, inconsistency, laziness, being cold. We contemplate younger women as they pass us in the street, with their cigarettes, their makeup, their tight-seamed dressed, their tiny handbags, their smooth, washed hair, and we turn away, we put down our heads, we keep on pushing the pram up the hill."

The Hand that First Held Mine
by Marrie O'Farrell

Ask any mom you know and she will tell you that this is the truth... and that she wouldn't change it for the world. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's just a hobby

#23- List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.

I am a dabbler in many things, a master of none.  I think, however, that I can come up with 5 hobbies.

1. Cooking: I like to cook.  It soothes me. I like to try at least one new recipe a week. Pinterest has been my downfall on this one...

2. Needle crafts (knitting, sewing, crocheting, stitchery, quilting, etc): My mom got me started sewing quilts at a young age, and I've loved that ever since.  I learned to crochet in college, I learned to knit last year, and I've been stitching for awhile.  I love the "mindlessness" of these hobbies, I can just let my hands go while my mind wanders elsewhere.

3. Photography: I do this one purely because I love to.  I like having nice pictures of things and people I love.

4. Reading: There is nothing in this world that quite equals curling up with a good book. It is an escape for the heart, mind, and soul.

5. Writing: I don't do this one nearly often enough anymore, but someday I would like to write a book.  Someday...


Monday, July 23, 2012


#22- Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

5 years: It will be 2017.  I will be 32, Greasemonkey will be almost 38, and T-Bone will be 6. I'll hopefully be finished with my Bachelor's Degree by then. I'd love to be working in the OR, but it's a tough place to find an in. I'd love to have one or 2 more kids by then, since T-Bone will be getting ready to start 1st grade (holy cow!). We'll probably still be living in our same house, but I'll definitely be driving a bigger car.

10 years: It will be 2022. I will be 37, Greasemonkey will be pusing 43, and T-Bone will be 11. (Just to put a little bit of perspective on 10 years: I was getting ready to start my Senior year of high school 10 years ago).  I'd like to be out of floor nursing by then, hopefully working for an insurance company, workman's comp, etc. I'd like to be done having kids, possibly with a few of my own and a few adopted.  I've always wanted to adopt a couple of kids, I feel like there are a lot of kids out there that need good homes, and if I can provide that for them, I should. Anyway, chances are pretty good we'll still be living in our same house, but hopefully there will be some young families in the ward by then. Although, ten years from now we won't be such a young family anymore.

15 years: It will be 2027. I will be 42, Greasemonkey will be knocking on the door of 48, and T-Bone will be 16 (my baby will be driving!).  If I stay with IHC, I will have been with the company for 22 years at this point. That'd be pretty cool. Hopefully by this point Greasemonkey will be managing his own branch of MotoStation.  My kids should all be in all-day school at this point, so I'd love to go back to school for my Master's Degree.  It would be pretty awesome to be able to teach Nursing, I'd even love to just lead clinicals. Let's not lie, we'll probably still be in our same house in the same old neighborhood. It is a good place to raise a family and teenagers, after all. Oh, and I'll probably still be driving the car from the 5 year mark.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


21. If you could have one super power, what would it be and what would you do with it first?

I've been thinking on this one for quite awhile.  I've been trying to figure out what it would actually be.  The power of invisibility would be pretty cool. Flying would be pretty awesome as well. Honestly, though, I think that the best superpower would be, wait for it... the power to apparate.  

Think about it: the ability to transport yourself (and anyone holding onto you) anywhere you want to go. 

Dinner in Paris? Done.
Shopping and a Broadway show in New York? No problem. 
A day at Disneyworld and Harry Potter Land?  Bring it on.

Seriously, best. Superpower. Ever. 

Oh, and as for what I'd do with it first: let's not lie, I'd take Greasemonkey to Disneyland for our anniversary.  He hasn't been in 25 years, after all.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The one where I might insult people...

Ok, deep breaths.  You can do this, Annabelle, you can do this. I've been mulling this idea over, chewing on it, trying to decide if I'm brave enough to actually write this post. I can't stop myself. I so strongly feel the need to speak up on a subject that has been niggling at me for awhile now.

Kids, friends, lovely readers, it's time to talk 50 Shades of Grey

Now, I will state right up front that I have not read the books, nor do I ever intend to read the books. I'm basing this purely on what I have read about them, heard about them from others, and reactions I've seen across America lately. I, however, can't in good conscience keep my mouth shut on this one. 

I fully admit that I have read my fair share of trashy romance novels. I'll even go so far as to say that there was a time in my life that I was addicted to them. I will also fully admit that they gave me false ideas of what love, sex, and intimacy are like.  They did not prepare me for real relationships, and in fact, probably hindered me. It took me quite a long time to realign my reality with my imagined perception.

Anyway, back to my point.  50 Shades goes above and beyond the typical "romance" category.  Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:

"When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.

The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.

Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever."

First, a little background on the book: it was written as a fan-fic of Twilight.  That's right, the characters of Ana and Christian are based on Edward and Bella.  It was originally published as a web-only story, then split into 3 books and virally marketed. Ok, I can deal with that.  What I can't deal with is the subject matter.  I'm not an idiot, and I wasn't born yesterday.  I know that erotic literature exists in the world.  I know that there are BDSM relationships out there.  I know that some people love that kind of thing. 

I don't understand the mommy community's fascination, and obsession, with it.  Some statistics are showing that the book's biggest fan-base is married women over 30.  It has even been dubbed "mommy porn".  It is a scientifically proven fact that men are aroused and excited by visual images, pictures, etc. Women are excited and aroused by words, actions, and the like.  I balk at the idea of reading this book.  When people hear me say that, they often ask me why.  My response?  I would be devastated if my husband looked at porn, why would it be ok for me to stimulate myself in the same way.  Pornography is not acceptable in my house, no matter who is looking at it. I was appalled to see this sitting open-stocked on a table at Costco yesterday. That means it was in full reading view of anyone who decided to pick it up, whether that be our young teenage daughters, our impressionable children, or whoever.

So, why has the popularity of this series exploded?  Why are wives, mothers, and daughters everywhere accepting this smut into their lives, their minds, and their souls?  Why is there a double standard? Are we really so sexually deprived as women that we feel the need to turn to erotica?

There's a chance I will lose some of you over this post, but I just couldn't keep it in any longer.  If you have read the series, would you mind giving me your reasons as to why you liked it?  I, for one, am choosing to not follow the crowd.  I will stand firm in my conviction to keep my mind free from the degrading influence of pornography.  


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