Saturday, January 26, 2013

Books Read 2013 #3

The third book I have finished in 2013:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
(Goodreads review) 
read in January, 2013

When I picked up this book, I had no idea what to expect. I was visiting my sister, who had this book on her desk and recognized the title from a "best of 2012" book list. I asked her about it and if she would recommend it. Her response was without hesitation, "Yes!"

We chatted for a couple of minutes about it and I decided to borrow it. My sister is 16 years old, but it never occurred to me to ask if this was a YA book or not. She just seemed to enjoy it. That being said, I am in my mid 20's, but still enjoyed this book.

As I mentioned, I had done no research or heard anything about The Fault In Our Stars. I had simply recognized the title and needed something to read at the moment.

A couple of chapters into the book, I realized that it was a little young for me, but I did not mind. I found the writing to be interesting and engaging. It was an easy and quick read. I did not regret picking it up.

I had never read about "cancer kids" and therefore found the story to be a bit refreshing. Even with such a grim plot - young adults with terminal cancer - it was not too depressing. It did challenge some of my ideas about life and death, even though I had come to terms with my lack of believe in an afterlife long ago.

From the many quotes that I pulled out of this book and posted to twitter, you can safely assume that I found John Green's words acceptable if not, at time, inspiring.

Now for the real question - Would I recommend this book to others? The answer, for the most part, is yes. I believe the younger high school-aged crowd will relate to and find more meaning in it than the rest, but if you are looking for a quick easy read, then why not?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Epic Fail of a Morning

So, I woke up this morning to the sound of my alarm. I turned it off and promptly fell back to sleep. Now, this is not unusual for me, but I don't usually stay asleep for more than five minutes.

Not today.

The next time I opened my eyes, the clock read 7:25AM. I panicked and jumped out from under the nice warm blankets.

Thank goodness it's Friday and I can sleep in tomorrow, I thought to myself only to realize a moment later that it was actually Thursday. :(

I grabbed some cereal and returned to my bed. Recently, I have started to sit on my bed while I eat my breakfast while I check my email and Facebook messages.

As soon as I finished eating, I rushed around to complete the other morning rituals: put on makeup, pick out an outfit, feed the dog, get dressed... That sort of thing.

By this time, it was 7:48 and I had to be to work at 8. Granted I work 7 minutes away from my apartment, but I normally try to leave by 7:46, just in case there is traffic or something.

I prepared my bag lunch with a salad and yogurt from the fridge and placed it on the kitchen table along with my purse, book, and everything else I needed to take with me. Then I put my earmuffs, coat, and gloves on then grabbed the dog leash. A recent cold spell had plunged the temperature down to the teens and below the past couple of days and it was almost impossible to get too bundled up.

A new wave of panic rushed over me. Where is my cell phone? It is supposed to be right here! My cell phone had seemed to vanish. Normally I place it on the table next to my purse, but it was not there.

For the next 5 minutes, I ran around the apartment searching desperately for the small device. Time was something I could not waste at the moment.

Finally, I decided that I had to leave. I put my lunch back in the fridge and made a mental plan to come home on my lunch to search for the phone again.

I took the dog on the quickest walk ever, then darted back inside to drop her off and grab what I needed.

It was 8:00 by the time I pulled out of my parking space. Being late to work by a couple of minutes was not completely unusual for me, but I still disliked it.

One of the tires on my car had a slow leak and needed to filled with air again. This meant that I needed to be more cautious about taking tight and sharp turns, which slowed me down.

At the second stop light on my trail to the office, which is about a quarter mile away from where I started, I was stopped by a red light. There was one car in front of me. I did not feel good about this.

Sure enough, the light turned green, but the car in front of me did not move. I tried to honk, but my car must have been too cold. It did not make a peep.

Finally, just before the light changed again, it started rolling forward slowly. Of course, it was headed in the same direction I was.

We continued on the same path, traveling at 25 mph in a 35 mph zone.

About a mile later, we entered the highway and I was able to pass the snail car.

At 8:06 by my car clock, I pulled into my spot in front of my office building. I shut the car down and bolted inside, heading straight for the time clock to punch in.

I ended up punching in at 8:07:40, which meant that I was officially late by 40 seconds. Instead of getting credit for working 8 hours, I would end up with 7 hours 45 minutes. That meant Accounting would allocate 15 minutes of my PTO (paid time off) to cover this 15 minutes automatically. I was planning on leaving a couple of minutes late for lunch and returning a couple of minutes early, but that doesn't ever seem to matter.

Now, I do not mind that so much except that they change my hours each day to make it easier for payroll. Say I punch in at 8:01, out for lunch at 12:00, back in at 1:03, and out for the day at 5:02. My hours would be changed to be 8:00, 12:00, 1:02, 5:02 (or something comparable . In that case, I always wonder why they would not change my hours to say that I got to work on time.

After punching in, I walked to the coat rack and began removing my coat and accessories. I checked the pockets once again for my phone, but to no avail. I placed my gloves and hat on the top shelf, wrapped the scarf around my coat hanger along with my coat.

As soon as I saw what shirt I was wearing, I remembered what had happened. This shirt has a front pocket like a hand warmer. I reached in with one hand and felt it. My hand came out of the pocket clutching my cell phone. I felt like an idiot.

As I walked back to my desk, I realized the full extent of the situation. I had left my lunch and book at home because I was sure I would have to go back to get my phone. Now I had my phone, but nothing to eat or read!

I sat down and shook my head. What a morning!

Fortunately, the rest of the day went fairly well and was uneventful. Thank goodness!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Books I Read in 2013

Reading is a fun pastime for me. This year, I want to write a little something about each book that I finish. At the end of the year, I will be able to see how many I was able to get through. I highly doubt that I will reach 300 like some of my friends, but it will be interesting to see how many I can fit into my schedule. Here is my 1st review of 2013 from

Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle, #2)Eldest by Christopher Paolini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Following the story from the main character's point of view alone would have made this book a few hundred pages smaller, but not nearly as interesting.

Every few chapters, the plot is advanced by a different character. First we follow Eragon, then his cousin Roran, then the leader of the Varden, Nasuada. Fortunately, it is easy to catch up with each of them no matter where they last left off.

Although the book is 651 pages, it is an easy read and there are very few boring sections. The last 50 or so pages are jam packed with plot twists and excitement.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"Carol Of My Car"

I really hate my car
I can't go near or far
Each time I turn the wheel
Something inside it squeals

There's always something wrong
Oh no, now what was that gong?
It's just a hunk of junk
Or is it just my bad luck?

The dash is lit like a tree
This always happens to me
No matter what I do
There's always something new

A trip to the store
Is never a bore
From underneath the hood
Never comes anything good

Please just get me through winter
I'll be sure to treat it better
Or by summer I might
have a new car in my sights

Okay, well I will definitely not be able to afford a new car by summer, but a girl can dream. It's January 2nd, and a tire on my car popped. The last one had to be replaced on Halloween. That makes 2 new tires in less than 3 months and I think another one is about ready to die. Hopefully, this will be my bad luck for the year and it will be all uphill from here.