Books of 2012…that I actually read

It’s my end of the year book list again.  Looking back, some were winners and some were just total crap.  So with that in mind, here’s the list:

1.  The Sixth Man:  David Baldacci

2.  Red Mist:  Patricia Cornwell

3.  The Big Bad Wolf:  James Patterson

4.  London Bridge:  James Patterson

5.  Freddy and the Clockwork Twin: Walter R. Brooks

6.  Mary Mary:  James Patterson

7.  Fatherland: Robert Harris

8.  Year of the Chick:  Romi Moondi * none other than our fellow blogger!!

9.  Cat & Mouse: James Patterson

10.  Double Cross:  James Patterson

11.  I, Alex Cross:  James Patterson

12.  Cross Fire: James Patterson

13.  Hunger Games:  Suzanne Collins

14.  Catching Fire: Suzanne Collins

15.  Mocking Jay: Suzanne Collins

16.  At Home on Ladybug Farm:  Donna Ball

17.  Cross: James Patterson

18.  Cross Country: James Patterson

19.  Love Letters from Ladybug Farm:  Donna Ball

20.  Me Talk Pretty One Day:  David Sedaris

21.  The Weird Sisters:  Elenor Brown

22.   13 Reasons Why:  Jay Asher

23.  Heaven is Here:  Stephanie Nielson

24.  When You Are Engulfed in Flames: David Sedaris

25.  The Cinderella Deal:  Jennifer Cruise

26.  Girl Walks Into a Bar:  Rachel Dratch

27.  The Family Fang: Kevin Wilson

28.  Kill Alex Cross:  James Patterson

29.  I Didn’t Ask to be Born:  Bill Cosby

30.  Bet Me:  Jennifer Cruise

31.  Good Grief:  Lolly Winston

32.  Welcome to Temptation:  Jennifer Cruise

33.  The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb:  Melanie Benjamin

34.  In the Woods:  Tana French

35. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened:  Jenny Lawson

36.  The Fear Index:  Robert Harris

37.  These Girls:  Sarah Pekkane

38.  The Night Circus:  Erin Morgenstern

39.  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (& other concerns):  Mindy Kaling

40.  The Innocents:  Francesca Segal

41.  And then There Were None:  Agatha Christie

42.  The Shoe Maker’s Wife:  Adriana Trigiani

43:  11/22/63:  Stephen King

44.  Unholy Night:  Seth Grahame Smith

45.  Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter:  Seth Grahame Smith

46.  Doomsday Book:  Connie Willis

47.  The Glass Castle:  Jeannette Walls

48.  Mennonite in a Little Black Dress:  Rhoda Janzen

49.  Alice I Have Been:  Melanie Benjamin

50.  Murder on the Orient Express:  Agatha Christie

51.  Always the Designer Never the Bride:  Sandra Bricker

52.  The Lions of Lucerne:  Brad Thor

53.  Path of the Assassin:  Brad Thor

54.  The Witch’s Daughter:  Paula Brackston

55.  Best Friends Forever:  Jennifer Weiner

56.  State of the Union:  Brad Thor

57.  Blowback:  Brad Thor

58.  The Tiger’s Wife:  Tea Obreht

59.  Edgar Sawtee:  David Wroblewski

60.  Moloka’i:  Alan Brennert

61.  Trading Christmas:  Debbie Macomber

62.  The Litigators:  John Grisham

63.  The Year of Living Dangerously:  Quinn Cummings

64.  Dear Cary:  Dyan Cannon

65.  The Broker:  John Grisham

66.  Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother:  Amy Chua

67.  A Prayer for Owen Meany:  John Irving

68.  Running with Scissors:  Augusten Burroughs

69.  My Mother Was Nuts – a Memoir:  Penny Marshall

70.  The Bone Bed:  Patricia Cornwell

71.  Half Broke Horses:  Jeannette Walls

72.  Elvis and the Dearly Departed:  Peggy Webb

73.  The Dressmaker of Khair Khana:  Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

74.  The Playdate:  Louise Millar

75.  Secret Daughter:  Shilpi Somaya gowda

76.  Girls in White Dresses:  Jennifer Close

77.  The Language of Flowers:  Vanessa Diffenbaugh

78.  Pioneer Woman – Black Heels to Tractor Wheels:  Ree Drummond

79.  Elvis and the Grateful Dead:  Peggy Webb

80.  Takedown:  Brad Thor

81.  Notes From the Underwire:  Quinn Cummings

82.  Where’d You Go Bernadette:  Maria Semple

83.  Mr. Churchill’s Secretary:  Susan Elia Macneal

84.  When in Doubt Add Butter:  Beth Harbison

85.  The Alchemist:  Paulo Coelho

ABC…It’s Easy As 123

I finally got my internship assignment today and I’ll be helping out in a 1st grade classroom for this next semester.  I was really hoping for kindergarten or 1st grade so I’m pretty excited about the placement.

To get ready I’ve been going shopping for an entire new wardrobe.  I hate shopping.  I mean I really despise doing it.  As a result 98% of my clothes are more than 7 yrs old, most likely stolen from my brother’s closet, and comprised of ratty t-shirts and work out shorts.  In the winter I basically wear the same pair of sweat pants everyday and throw on a hoodie.  I don’t bother tying my sneakers and wear a baseball hat when I don’t feel like washing my hair.  In the summer it’s much of the same; same pair of shorts everyday, t-shirt and flip flops.  Basically I dress like a teenage boy.

Having to get a new wardrobe was bound to happen and I’m a little surprised, albeit happy, that it took me nearly 33 years to do it.  In the past two weekends I’ve spent somewhere between $400-$450, which quite frankly, is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on what is basically just cloth and thread.  On the other hand, it’s been 33 yrs. in the making so…not so bad.  And even more surprising to me is that I found so many clothes that I liked and actually fit correctly.  Score!

I do need to put a kabosh on further spending as I now won’t have a job for the next four months due to this internship.  Ah well, it was fun while it lasted…well at least it was tolerable.

In other random and unimportant news, I’ve almost reached my book reading goal.  Yes, I really have one of those.  It’s the same goal I’ve had since 2008 – to read 50 books throughout the year.  I only successfully achieved this goal that first year, but 2012 looks to be an overachiever.  I’m currently on book 49 with a stack waiting in the wing to be read.  Success – even if it is in something so minor!

Hangin’ Tough with the Right Stuff

Leave it to New Kids on the Block to bring me out of my blogging funk.  I’ve been thinking of lots of things to update on here but never bothered to get around to it.  Let that be a lesson to you…never underestimate the power of the boy band.

My brother presented me with this little gem today:

He found it in a Goodwill, knew I would love it and bought it.  If this sounds familiar, you might remember he bought me one of their other videos a few years ago.

I absolutely love every single thing about this cover.  First of all, how much more street thug cool can you be than to have your picture taken literally in the street…next to a minimally graffitied wall…next to a sign that reads drug free school zone? Not much let me tell you.

Looking at Joey, aka Little Joey Joe, *sigh and swoon* (it was quite the competition between Joey and Jordan as to who would be my favorite New Kid but in the end Joey won out) I have to wonder if he was expecting there to be a flood or whether he hit puberty in the time between buying those jeans and taking this picture.  My guess is the latter.

I don’t really know what look Danny was going for…Tom Cruise in Risky Business?  More mature? Cool and casual?  Let’s go out for an evening stroll through the back streets of New England while I impress you with the intricacies of freshman community college knowledge. Fail, fail, and fail.  You’re not fooling anyone Danny.  We’ve all seen Community and the only intricacies of knowledge going on there is what to do should you find yourselves locked inside the school during a zombie attack.  Which by the way, was very helpful.  As a side note, I’m very excited for Community to come back this fall.  And very ticked with networks at putting it in the Friday, aka kiss of death, time slot and only greenlighting 13 episodes.  You suck networks *shakes fist*!

Nice pajama pants Jordan.  And what’s with that hat?  And the vest?

Jon, I’m totally loving your tights? long john underwear? under your jeans.  And penny loafers? Seriously.  I guess the jokes on us because you had us totally fooled.  How could we not have known you were gay? It’s so obvious in retrospect.  George Michael you were wrong, the clothes DO make the man.

Donnie, oh Donnie.  I just don’t know what to say about your mess of an outfit.  What. The. Crap?!??

So I turned the video over and this is what graces the back:

How about a closer look?

Looking at this I can’t believe Jon’s the only one who’s gay.

Joey, or excuse me Joseph as it’s labeled, must really like that T-shirt he’s wearing of forgot to bring a change of clothes to the photo shoot.  I’m loving the bowling pin broach on his jacket.  Did you know I like to bowl Joey?  Did you, did you??  Oh the fun we could have had.

Seriously Jordan,What. Is. Up. With. That. Hat??  You look like a creeper with your fingers trying to give a dainty tip of your hat.  You might be about to give a cordial greeting but you’re undressing me with your eyes.  Perv.

Jon your hair is perfectly coiffed and looking closely I think your eyebrows were purposefully brushed that way.  Again I ask, how did we not know you were gay?

Donnie I still don’t know what to say.  Your clothes and style are sending all sorts of mixed messages.  Mostly ones that say you look stupid.

Danny, I forgot you had that nasty rat tail.  I wish it could have stayed that way.

Oh man, I can’t wait to push play!

Completed

Finally!  The semester is over.  I have to say this past month totally sucked with all the projects and papers I had to do but now it’s over and done with.  AND it was my last semester of actual course work, just an internship left to go till graduation.  All I want to do is sleep, eat junk food, read, and sleep.  I’m so tired right now all of my thoughts are coming out as phrases.

In other news I finished the yard work in the back and will post pictures later.  This Friday I’m going to be helping to lay sod in our front yard and will post pics of that as well.  Right now, I’m going to sit in front of the TV and do nothing.

Yard Work

Last year I took this photo showing the two massive trees in our front yard (very bottom pic).  Yesterday some work was done and this is the result. 

Now I like trees just as much as the next person but these were out of control.  After laying sod twice in two years, the grass is still dead.  The window on the far right looks into my bedroom and every time we got a thunderstorm or are under tornado watch, those branches would sway like crazy and I just knew if they break and fall in the wrong direction I’m dead.  You may think I’m overreacting (and I probably am but I’m OK with that) but in fact, both trees had lost large branches that cracked during thunderstorms and thankfully fell away from the house.  So while that’s been going on in the front, I’ve been doing some cleanup in the back.

Last year I put together a makeshift garden on a whim. You may remember these:

I didn’t really know what I was doing (as clearly demonstrated by my digging a random hole and putting a plant in it) and though it was time consuming and went better than I thought, I really didn’t do it the right way.  This year I still don’t know what I’m doing but have put more thought and effort into the prep work and even though I’ve still got a long way to go this is so far the result.

My dad helped me till the ground and my mom helped me lay all the steel edging.  Then it took 5 bags, nearly 6 hours, and what feels like 2 broken hands to clear out the debris from the bed.

Because this is what part of it looked like:

I THINK I’m ready to buy the plants and actually plant them which is by far the best part.  All the plants you see are left over from last year which is kind of nice, especially a few that I had no idea would come back…surprise!

Blue Skies Smiling At Me. Nothing But Blue Skies…

I don’t know what it’s like for the rest of the nation but down here in Arkansas the weather has been HEAVENLY!  A lot of sunshine, low humidity, warm temps…sigh.  Just the other day it was 80 degrees.  And I loved it.  I’m currently in denial about the fact this probably means the summer will be unbearable hot and riddled with insects.  But for now I’m content and happy with the sun.

A few posts back I talked about an assignment I had to do for class that involved creating a glogster.  I’m happy to say that yesterday I finally got around to doing it and it’s now submitted and done.  Looking at it, it’s pathetic it took me as long as it did to put together because I’m pretty sure there are some third graders that could have done a better job in less than half the time.  The information on the page is ridiculously scant but I think that’s the point.  At least I’m hoping it is.  There was no way to possibly put all the relevant information from the chapter on this thing so I scaled back to an extreme degree.  Here’s a link so for those of you who didn’t know what a glogster was, you can get a peek.

Also, some of you from Facebook may have seen that I posted an update about oatmeal.  More specifically, how I don’t like it but am trying to fool my tastebuds into thinking they do.  I think I have finally found success in maple brown sugar.  Is it the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship?  I doubt it, but at least I didn’t dump it down the drain.  That’s gotta count for something.

Speaking of food, there’s a new restaurant here that’s becoming my favorite.  It’s called Pitza 42.  They serve personal pizzas on pita bread or you can get different kinds of salad.  And for every meal purchased they donate a meal to a charity that helps feed hungry children around the world.  AND it’s cheap.  Doesn’t get much better than that.

A look ahead this week shows that Friday is FIELD TRIP DAY!!!!  I love field trip day.  We’re taking the kids to the fire station so that should be pretty fun.  Last year we had some firemen come to the preschool and the kids got to see and try on some of their fire clothes and sit in a fire truck.  The kids had fun but I think this year will be better.

And finally, I’m going to end this post with the Valentine gift I gave my mom and brother.  If this doesn’t say I love you, well, I don’t know what does.