Monday, April 14, 2014

A Case of the Mondays

How is it that Mondays are the only day I can find time to sit and write? Honestly, I don't know how real bloggers do it. I start each week with the best intentions to visit this corner every day and write and next thing I know, the week has come and gone and THAT'S WEIRD (oh wait, no it isn't), I haven't written since Monday.

Try as I might, this blogging thing may not be for me. On the one hand, I feel like I put so much pressure on myself to write quality content vs quantity content. And then I can't come up with things to write about. But then it's like, why can't I just use this as a diary? Everyone else does. I also know that I'm only going to get as much out of my blog as I give, which right now is about 5%. What do I expect?

To those of you who do look forward to my posts, and who comment, I want you to know I appreciate it. Stick with me for a little while longer and I hope I can make my part of the Internet something worth visiting every day.

My thoughts on today: - Monday mornings would be better if they were a part of my weekend-long blackouts.

Anyway, that's about all the time I have. I've got a lot of things on my mind that are stressful and exciting and making me kind of crazy. I'll be able to fill you in soon.

Monday, April 7, 2014

5 Books for Springtime Reading

So, I've had this draft sitting in my blog for months, "Winter Reads." But now here we are, beginning of April and I still haven't written it. Story of my life.

If you know me, you know I love to read. It is in fact my life goal to write books for others to read and subsequently, blog about. Unfortunately, since I started my new job back in October, I haven't had as much time for it. I used to read on my commute via public transportation, but now that I drive every day, it makes it more difficult.

I do love to listen to books on tape, but I find myself more drawn to "chic lit" when I do that. Something about less concentration. In any case, here are five books I've read recently that I'd recommend, in no particular order:

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters are two teenagers with cancer. Hazel and Augustus become fast friends and eventually, fall in love. The book takes them through the ups and downs of their illness', and reminds the reader how painful and beautiful it can be to be alive and in love. Spoiler alert: This book does not have a happy ending. I bawled my eyes out on an airplane for at least an hour. BUT IT'S SO GOOD.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemptionm Laura Hillenbrand

This is my favorite book, ever. Now I don't typically like nonfiction books, so this is saying something. Unbroken tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Army lieutenant whose plane was shot down in World War II. The book tells Louis' life story, from his delinquent teenage years to being a POW to becoming an Olympic champion. The things that he went through and survived are almost too incredible to be true, which means this book is a page turner and a true testament of the resilience of the human spirit. Plus, not only is the book entertaining, I found I learned a lot, too. You'll love, I promise.

What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty

This is one I listened to on tape, so it's definitely a little lighter than my first two recommendations. (Also from the author of The Husband's Secret, which I'd also recommend.) Alice Love is 29, pregnant with her first child and madly in love with her husband. So imagine her surprise when she wakes up on the floor of a gym, 39, realizes she has 3 kids, is going through a divorce and can't remember the past 10 years. The book is all about Alice's journey in self-discovery, finding out where she's gone wrong in life and if she can get things back to the way they used to be.

My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black; Or, A Culture-Up Manifesto, 
Jen Lancaster

Another bit of light-hearted reading. Jen Lancaster is one of my favorite authors - in fact, I'd say she is my author idol. Why? Her books are non-fiction, true accounts of different periods of her life where she takes a journey of self-discovery through events like  job loss, sucky city living, weight loss attempts and 1980s nostalgia, and then writes about it. Also, chick is hilarious. In this particular tale, she is on a quest for cultural enlightenment. Just read it.

And the Mountains Echoed: A Novel, Khaled Hosseini

From the author of The Kite Runner, tells the story of a father who gave his daughter away to a wealthy man in India. Her brother grows up wondering what's become of her and her life, resenting his father in the meantime. The story of how their lives are forever linked changes between multiple viewpoints and parts of the world from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco. It was a little slow at the beginning and tough to get into, so if you run into this problem, keep going - I promise it's worth it.

What have you been reading lately?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Adults Do Disneyland

Long time, no blog! This time, my excuse is better than my typical “I’m lazy.” No, I just returned from 8 whirlwind days of travel to Orlando, Las Vegas and Madison (as in Wisconsin).

I've got lots to update you on, and since I didn’t do anything this past weekend except sleep (seriously, I got 12+ hours every night of the weekend. It was amazing.), I thought my first blog back should go back to two weekends ago, when we were on the first leg of our trip in Orlando, Florida.

It was one of my girlfriend's 30th birthday celebrations. She and her husband Matt were headed down to stay in his family's vacation home in Orlando and were kind enough to invite a crew of us down there to join them. Our celebration plan? Drinking around the world.

You see, part of Epcot includes a World Showcase featuring 11 countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada. The intent is likely for those who haven't seen much of the world, and to share with them the culture and cuisine of different countries.

Unless you're a bunch of well-traveled 30+ year-olds who don't give a shit about culture and find any opportunity to create a drinking game.

Matt created t-shirts for the group, which were pretty amazing. I know I lost track of people more than once and it helped having the shirts. We also had several people ask us where they could buy them, so that means they were not only cool to us.
The "rules" for the day were simple: Everyone has to have at least one drink in every country and we have to ride the rides in every country that has one. I'm happy to report that everyone played by the rules and not only did we go around the world once -- we went back Mexico for a second time.
The group on the ride in Mexico

Some of the drinks on the menu: Margaritas in Mexico, Ginger margaritas in China, prosecco in Italy, sake in Japan, car bombs in the get the picture. 

And if you don't then here are pictures to help provide a visual. Enjoy!
 The birthday girl and me
  The group on the ride in Norway
  Pausing for a photo in Belguim
  Belgium scenery
  The group in America
  Bryan being a weirdo
  Girls in Japan
  The birthday girl and her hubby in Japan

  Fountains in Morocco
  Drinks at a pub in the U.K.
  Drunk in Canada
  Still drunk in Canada
  On our way out
 Last photo of the night. Helloooo drunk eyes!