Saturday, March 28, 2009

Random Thoughts

1. Am I the only one who just doesn't understand Twitter? It seems like it is just a status bar on Facebook that you can update at your choosing. So what is so special about this? And why are so many people saying (on facebook even) that they are addicted to it?

2. I am a secret Kelly Clarkson fan...always have been. Her songs make me smile and are great beats to run to, and I like her new song out right now. Actually, EZ secretly likes her too.

3. The weather here is finally going to settle down and stop bouncing between getting warm and then cold again. This will be a huge relief because my allergies finally had enough this past week and I felt like my head was living in a cloud. Getting better, but going out to exercise has been tough. Even using my inhaler, I have been having issues breathing.

4. Major sporting events should not be played at 10:00pm. First, I don't think athletes are used to having to play a game that late, it is unfair to them right! And second, I cannot stay up that late night after night watching these bball games. You west coast people get it easy.

5. Someone told me my eyes were mesmerizing the other day. I have very dark black eyes, so dark that you can barely see my pupils, like black holes, they suck you in! This isn't normal, as I have never met any one else with eyes this dark, so does that make it part recessive gene? And since EZ has blue eyes, which is recessive, I wonder what kind of eyes our kids will have (when we have kids).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Books of the Month

My latest readings:

Night by Elie Wiesel. This was an extremely short memoir of Wiesel's account of the days leading up to his deportation to Auschwitz and then his days at the concentration camp. I read it in a couple hours and once I picked it up I didn't put it down. It was very touching and interesting to hear the story told from his perspective. I also have his two short stories Dawn and day to read as well. Highly recommend this book to anyone.

An Irish Country Village by Patrick Taylor. Our book club picked this in honor of St. Patty's day. It was a cute story, and some fun irish speak, but I just thought it was OK. I wasn't fond of the style of writing, VERY wordy, and I just don't like that. And many of my book club people agreed with the style and we all seemed to say we found ourselves skimming over sections at a time. But many of them really liked the story of the simplicity of this little village and the story of the people who live there.

The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. This is a classic novel about the story of a chinese farmer who rises up to power through his land. I really liked the story of being attached to something so valuable to live off the land and have it pay you back in return. But in the process of rising to power, I was heartbroken at his children's generation and how he thought he was helping them move up in the world and give them things he did not have, but in return his children did not see the value of the land and what it gave them. I understand why this is a classic book and I enjoyed it!

I have given up on the Omnivores Dilemma. And currently am just starting Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (my book club suggestion for next month).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Haagen Dazs Five

Haagen Dazs has created an all natural ice cream they call "five." This stands for just 5 ingredients-milk, cream, sugar, egg, and the flavor:

Vanilla, Passion Fruit, Ginger, Brown Sugar, Coffee, Chocolate, and Mint

I am a member of SheSpeaks-an online organization that reviews products and shares what they learn about them. It is all free and then they send you products to try and review. So when I got an email asking if I would taste Haagen Dazs new ice cream...Helllooo, of course! They wanted me to have an ice cream tasting party, so yesterday 8 people came over and we tasted all 7 flavors of the ice cream. Shespeaks sent me the ice cream and coupons and recipies to hand out, plus little cups and spoons for the tasting.

It was quite fun and I must say, the ice cream is really good. The ginger was rather interesting, if you like ginger it is definitely worth trying. And the Brown Sugar flavor was different too, but good. My favorites were the passion fruit and the mint. But they all were very smooth and creamy, yum yum!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Two Great Games

Wow! The games at here in Greensboro yesterday were so much fun! Put 20000 people, 1/3 of which hate UNC and 2/3 of which hate Duke, made for two fun games. The UNC/LSU game was really exciting. And the Duke fans cheered for LSU as if they were Duke. I must say the Duke students are the best fans. Chanting and screaming the entire time. You would think that after so many years, the UNC students would step it up. Either way, it was exciting to see the Heels play great against a strong LSU team.

The Duke/Texas game was interesting. Texas hung around most of the game but played really sloppy, missing who knows how many free throws and numerous turnovers. Texas lost the game because of their own mistakes. Really, not a lot of play calling and team work. Duke didn't play all that well, so in the end, the game was great. And once Texas finally tied it up with a few minutes, the entire UNC crowd was on their feet cheering for Texas. And as much as I don't usually cheer for Texas, I just can't cheer for Duke!! It was quite a fun Saturday.

It has been an exciting tourny so far! Thanks T for the tix! Here is EZ enjoying the Duke/Texas game:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Uncomfortable Seats

We were lucky enough to score awesome tickets to the first 2 rounds of the NCAA tourny. So yesterday after my two morning classes and a not so brief faculty meeting, I bolted and headed to the Coliseum. We got there right at half time of the first game (LSU vs Butler) and saw a second half great game. I was cheering for LSU since I had picked them, but it seemed the entire stadium was routing for Butler. Then the UNC game, in which we witness Psycho T break the ACC all time career points (which JJ Redick held...not a fan of by the way).

We took a break in between session and grabbed some chinese buffet before heading back to watch a decent Minnesota/Texas game. Minnesota definitely had the best pep band of the four games. And then the Duke game, which we only stayed through half time. By then, it was 11, I was so tired and my back hurt. The seats in the collisium are TERRIBLE. Really uncomfortable and hard as a rock! When we go back tomorrow, I am bring something to sit on for sure.

Probably did not help with my back problems, but I have visited the chiropractor 5 times so far and I must say, I haven't felt better in quite a while. Still a little bit of residual pain in places and sometime, but I have to say that it is working! I was going to run the 5K tomorrow morning, but since my back flared up, I took it really easy the past 2 weeks, only ran 2x this week and easy and on the treadmill to soften the impact.

Other random news...I went and heard Thomas Friedman speak Wed night at HPU. Our president was/is a big business person who knows a lot of people and brought him in (did I mention our graduation speaker this year is Buzz Aldrin). I heard Friedman speak on the Colbert Report (or maybe it was the Daily Show) a few months ago, but haven't read any of his book. He spoke for a little over an hour about his new book Hot, Flat and Crowded, and it was really interesting. Very good speaker and great presentation and information. Based on his talk, the book sounds really good.

Lets get ready for two more great bball games tomorrow!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Pi Day (+1)

Yes, yes, yesterday was Pi day! That would be March 14th, you know 3/14, as is the first few digits of the number Pi!

If you love Sudoku puzzles, you can find one here in honor of Pi day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Lovely Weekend

My sister and little Amelia came for a few days and we had the most beautiful weather. Temperature in the 70's and 80's and sunny! Even getting a little sunburn, but now back to some dreary clouds and cold rain. It was a nice visit with the sis, did some shopping, running, hanging out, went to the park, watched some bball. She took some pictures and I am sure will post on her blog sometime.

On a not so great note, I am in some serious back pain. Probably about 2 weeks now, and we are talking excruciating pain. It hurts to do just about anything but be still. My sister was kind enough to work on me a little and suggested to go see a chiropractor and I did. My two lowest vertebrae are coming together and pinching (more like squashing) the nerve they share, even causing some nerves not to fire in my right leg. So yeah, expensive month this one will be...he thinks roughly 16 visits will do the trick to get me back to feeling good as long as I do some exercises for the back and strength stuff once I can get some movement of my lower spine back. The xrays were rather interesting to look at and actually see that my lowest vertebrae has already grown a bone spur because of the degeneration of the disk above it. Oh well, what can you do...

Here is hoping for some pain relief soon!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Snow and Books!

After being close to 70 last week, we got 4 inches of snow Sunday night...and HPU canceled classes yesterday! That makes for a short week now and next week is spring break!!

I thought I would update on some books I have read over the past few weeks...

1. The Shack by William Young. This is a deeply religious book that one of the book clubs picked. It was a rather quick read but I didn't like it nearly as much as The Christmas Sweater. I think it touches different people in different ways and depending on what you are going through depends on how I think you feel about the book. It was interesting and I did like how the author viewed God/Jesus/Holy spirt as the different people, and the ideas of what everything represented.

2. New Moon by Stephanie Myers. This was not on my list to read, but my sister is coming to visit this weekend (YEAH!!) and wants to take the books back. So I picked up the second book in the twilight series. It was OK and got kind of interesting at the end. I skim some of the fluff I don't like reading and it really is a serious teenage drama, but my sister swears 3 is better and 4 is really good, so I am pretty sure I will end up reading these.

3. Animal Farm by George Orwell. I had never read this book and I am trying to weave in some classics into my mix. I really enjoyed this, it is super short and I loved the meanings behind a lot of the characters. I got invested into some of the characters and was not happy with what they did to the horse, and loved the ideas behind governing played out on the farm. I do realize this has much more meaning if I go back and study some history and I might spend some time doing that.

I am still reading The Omnivoires Dilemma, I read a few pages every few nights. It really is hard to get through it but I am learning a lot. And I am reading An Irish Country Village by Patrick Taylor (book club), which is an alright story which takes place in Ireland. I am also listening to The Good Earth by Pearl Buck in the car right now. Maybe I will be done with these in the next couple weeks.