What is this? A center for ants?

  1. I am grateful for kindred spirits. There is a quote that captures my feelings on this matter perfectly.

    It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy; it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others. – Sense and Sensibility

  2. I am grateful for excellent books that are well written and make me think. I am currently reading The History of Love by Nicole Krauss for my book club (that I have yet to attend and once again will miss this week due to an impromptu trip out of state) and I love it. Unfortunately, I left it in Las Vegas so it is being sent to me. Although, considering I have one more application due on Saturday, this is probably a good thing. I’m crap when it comes to putting down a good book, especially for something as mundane and tedious as essay writing.
  3. I am grateful that my sixth grade core teacher, Mrs. Hoffaker, made us read as much as she did. And I’m even more grateful that she allowed me to bend her “no more than one book from any series” rule. I loved The Baby-sitters Club books and don’t think I would have caught the reading bug had it not been for Mrs. Hoffaker and that series.

Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, and to work, and to play and to look up at the stars.

Henry Van Dyke

I’ve been tagged…twice

Lucy tagged me. Here are the questions she asked.

1. If you could change one part of your body, what would it be?
My mid-section. I hate it. I have these skinny little legs. I’m fine with my arms. I like my hair. My dad paid a small fortune for my smile. My mom gave me her fabulous green eyes. Lots of good stuff, but I hate the middle of me.

2. How much money do you think you need to make to be “really comfortable?” (Think annual salary).
First, it totally depends on where I’m living. And for me to be “really comfortable” that would mean living in a town of my choosing…today, that would be San Francisco. So, that said, I’m thinking around $300,000 a year. I know. I can hear the gasps. The thing is, this is dream land and I want to live in a normal sized home/apartment. Thus, $300,000 it is. Don’t you judge me!

3. What is your greatest God-given talent?
Talent…hmm. The truth is that I don’t think I have been exceptionally blessed in any area. I do feel that I have been relatively blessed in many areas. I am pretty smart, I can carry a tune well enough to have been able to get into a couple of choirs, I can bake, etc. Maybe my greatest talent is my ability to do most things I try well enough for me to really enjoy them.

4. Winter Olympics or Summer Olympics?
Summer. We are a family of summer people. I do love a good figure skating competition, but really, we were all about swimming, diving and gymnastics growing up.

5. My twist on the #5 question above – If you could have any career, and you were GUARANTEED success (no tests to get in, no auditions, no worrying about daycare, or money or time) what would you do?
This is a great question. A question I can’t limit to one thing. I would be a singing chef…pastry chef that is. That would be my dream. To bake and sing for a living.

Terri B. tagged me with this set of questions. This one is a bit more difficult because, while I love to read, I have not read a lot of classics and I do not retain a lot of information.

1. If you could host a party with 7 literary characters, who would they be and why?
Fanny Price – Because I think she is fabulous. The picture of propriety, with a head on her shoulders.
Edmund Bertram – Ask him why it took him so long to realize he was in love with Fanny Price.
Elizabeth Bennet – I think we would be great friends.
Mr. Darcy – Really, does this one need an explanation.
Jane Eyre – Same as above.
Edward Rochester – I want to see the appeal.
Harry Potter – Once again, I don’t know that this one needs an explanation.

2. Who is your literary role model?
Elizabeth Bennett. If I could have her wit, without my sharp tongue, that would be fantastic.

3. Which literary house would you like most to live in?

4. Which literary couple would you like most for parents?
Interestingly, there are very few mothers that I really like in books. I think I would want Mr. Bennett and Margaret March (of Little Women). Hey, I can combine parents, right? Don’t you think they’d make a great couple.

5. Pick 3 literary characters you would like to have as siblings.
Jane Bennett
Hermione Granger
Jasper Hale

6. Who is your favorite literary villain?
I don’t generally like villains. At all. But as far as who I think is a great villain, I would have to say…well, I just can’t. That’s the truth. Generally, I have very little respect for villains, as they are often backhanded and conniving.

7. Name a character that most people dislike, but that you do not. Why do you like them?
I think I’m just that classic romantic. I generally dislike the same characters as everyone else. I can think of a character that most people like that I don’t. I don’t like Fritz Bhaer of Little Women. I just think it’s wrong that he and Jo end up together. But, maybe if I read it again now (not being 16 anymore) I would feel differently.

8. Which minor character deserves a book all to themselves, in your opinion?
Abbe Faria – the imprisoned Italian priest in the Count of Monte Cristo

9. Which character do you identify most with in literature?
Eleanor Dashwood…I’m the one who never thinks she will find love and pretends that nothing hurts her in the romance department.

10. If you could go into a novel, which one would it be and why?
Pride and Prejudice…so I could slap some sense into that Mrs. Bennett. Seriously…she drives me bonkers.

11. Name 3-7 books that you rarely see on people’s favorite book lists, that are high on your own.
The Road from Coorain – Jill Ker Conway
Enchantment – Orson Scott Card
Jemima J – Jane Green (not literature at all…in fact it’s a total beach read with just a bit of trash, but a personal favorite)

12. Which is your least favorite book of those that are considered “classics”?
Wuthering Heights. I hate it. I think it is a miserable little story. Horrible. Well, I guess I see a little value in it, but really, I think it’s lame.

Rather than tag anyone, I’d love it if, should you want to participate, you leave a comment and let me (and anyone else out there) know that you have done one of these. And, with Lucy’s, I’m supposed to come up with new questions, but I LOVED her questions…so, I’m leaving them as they are!

recommended read

Thanks for the recommendations! As I spent this weekend on a little solo road trip/vacation, I had a lot of time on my own and did a lot of reading. I could seriously spend my life reading (and listening to books on cd, as it were). My favorite? The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Talk about a heart-wrenching story. And I loved listening to it, especially with all of the Farsi that I would have slaughtered had I read it on my own. Not only was the story beautiful, but Hosseini does an amazing job telling it. I loved his use of rhetorical devices. The imagery was so beautiful. I laughed and cried. I seriously feel like a better person for having “read” this book.

I can’t wait to read his second book, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

literary intrigues

I’m looking for some new books to read in my spare time (as if I have any, but I always need a book to read). I am almost finished with a John Grisham book that I have been less than impressed with and just want to finish so that it’s done. I’m spending a relaxing weekend on my own in Vegas (I know, sounds like an oxymoron, but I’m chillin’ at my brother’s place while they’re out of town) and I’d love to have some good reads to keep me company by the pool. So far, friends have recommended Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and Austenland by Shannon Hale.

What are your favorite recent reads?

dilemma of distraction…

I don’t know if I’ve explained this in here, but I am a very, very busy girl. I work full-time. I’m taking eight credits. I’m training (although not very diligently) for a half-marathon next weekend. I’m researching business schools for application in the fall. I’ve been helping with the invitations for my mission reunion (yes, it’s been a few years since my mission, but it’s kind of ten year anniversary thing for my mission president). And I have a relatively active social life. The last thing I need is a distraction. I’ve successfully avoided the distraction of men which has been easy enough considering the last year of my life. I like t.v., but other than VM, I’m not attached to it. In fact, I don’t think I’ve watched any this week, seeing as how VM was not on. Movies are enjoyable, but that’s two hours out of my life once or twice a month.

But this week, I made a big mistake. Sarah loves these two books by Stephenie Meyer: Twilight and New Moon. My intention was not to read either of them until after this semester was over. I’m taking an English class, for heaven’s sake. As if I don’t have enough reading to do. Anyway, during my lunch break on Tuesday, I decided that for one day this week, I wanted to spend my lunch break not doing homework or meeting with a group or volunteering at the MTC (oh, I forgot to mention that one), so I went upstairs to the bookstore on campus and picked up Twilight (the first of the two). I read my entire lunch break and I was hooked. And since I’m obsessed with the darn things (books, that is), I purchased it.

Now, just to paint a picture of what my week was like, I had a group presentation in my English class, along with a lot of reading to do, one pre-lecture assignment, a lecture, two lessons and three quizzes in Accounting, and two group meetings for my consulting class…and everything involved in preparing for those, along with sending out the invitations for my mission reunion and work. Not a slow week. So, what did I do? Well, I came home every night and did my homework and then began to read, most nights around 11 pm, and I read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I finished the almost 500 page book this morning at 3 am. The end intense enough to keep my wide awake, despite the overwhelming fatigue of such a busy week and not enough sleep.

All I can say is that included in my errands today will be a trip to the bookstore to pick up New Moon. That, and I am in love with a vampire named Edward. Oh, and one more thing, don’t pick up the book unless you are prepared to immerse yourself in it. The story takes hold of you, consumes you and doesn’t let go. (Well, maybe if you’re not a reader, that’s not true…but I don’t know what that’s like).