genie




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de-clutter my apartment
A ton of stuff...

I just ditched a ton of stuff in preparation for the move. We’ll see if what’s left fits into our apartment when it gets here, but regardless, it felt good to do some purging.



move to Iowa (read all 2 entries…)
Finally in Corn Country...

I just arrived in Iowa today after a whirlwind few weeks of packing and saying goodbye. Sheesh. Tired. Ready to be unpacked. Now…just need the moving truck to arrive!



move to Iowa (read all 2 entries…)
Cornfields, here I come...

The movers aren’t scheduled yet, but I’m going to be there by mid-September no matter what! After a year of trying to get there, this move is going to be a huge relief.



live in the same city as the man I love
Light at the end of the tunnel...

Well, the move is definitely happening. I think we’re both a little nervous, although really excited. In four weeks, I’ll be there!



play baseball on the Field of Dreams
Pure magic

The Field of Dreams is, quite possibly, the most perfect baseball field in the world. Love it, particularly in late summer. It’s a truly magical place.



get an ipod
Fab, fab, fab

I’ve been loving my little iPod Shuffle, but was ready to leap to the big leagues…and got a 60GB iPod Photo. It’s terrific…and arrived just in time to take on a business trip! Rock on.



join a masters swim club/team
Untitled

It’s been a long time since I last competed at the USMS level, but when I get to Iowa, I plan to start with that again. I really miss training and competing.



coach a team
Untitled

I used to coach swimming, and really want to get into that again. I loved coaching summer league teams…as well as high school teams.



Give 100 cheers
Very fun!

It’s great to give cheers, but it also gives a glimpse into what other people are trying to accomplish. Often, it’s how I get ideas for additional goals.



visit New Zealand
New ad campaign...

I had the TV on last night, and this great ad came on for New Zealand—terrific ad soundtrack, incredible photography, etc. I already wanted to go, but the ad got me! One of these days…



Read 43 books (read all 44 entries…)
Towelhead (43 down!!!)

I wrapped up this goal last night with Alicia Erian’s Towelhead, which I managed to stay up past midnight, unable to put it down. It was strange - when I started reading it yesterday, I was thinking that I didn’t much like the voice of the narrator - it was so detached. But the plot sucked me in and that was the end of that—I really enjoyed it.

So…on to my next book, but no more reporting here. This was fun, and only took me 22 weeks to complete.



Read 43 books (read all 44 entries…)
Dear Zoe (42 down, 1 to go...)

Phillip Beard’s Dear Zoe was an awfully promising, fairly well-reviewed concept - what if someone you love, and, in fact, who you’ve been entrusted to watch over - dies accidentally on September 11. How do you handle the dual grief of the loss and guilt associated with it and of the fact that everyone grieves on that day but not for the person you lost?

The epistle of a novel deals with that concept quite beautifully from time to time, and delves into the standard coming-of-age stuff that any 15-year-old main character should be expected to go through, but the book read unevenly to me. There were individual lines dropped in throughout the story that took my breath away. But for the most part, it was just a same-old, same-old work. Not all that memorable.

On to another coming-of-age novel to close out the goal…



Read 43 books (read all 44 entries…)
I'm Not the New Me (41 down, 2 to go...)

I first discovered Wendy McClure and Poundy.com when I saw the ‘70s-era Weight Watchers recipe cards and commentary she’d posted. I loved her snarky sense of humor and her great perspective on weight loss and how it ties into life. Funny stuff.

Anyway, I’m Not the New Me was great—funny, but bittersweet and sad in places. None of this is easy, and McClure writes about stuff in a very readable, hilarious way that was a genuine pleasure.



Read 43 books (read all 44 entries…)
Little Earthquakes (40 down, 3 to go...)

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Jennifer Weiner’s other novels, Good In Bed and In Her Shoes, but had read less-than-flattering reviews of her latest, Little Earthquakes. I knew it wove together the lives of four very different mothers in Philadelphia, and that reviewers thought the story simply didn’t hang together.

I just finished the book, and I seriously disagree with the reviews I read. The four primary characters were so different from each other that they couldn’t help but have their own voices, and I got completely involved with all of them. Reading the novel was like spending time with very good friends—I was pulling for them all to find happiness and success in their own ways, and was equally interested in all four of the specific storylines each character followed.



buy an ibook (read all 2 entries…)
Until the wee hours...

So…I arrived at my apartment building all cranky-like last night, and even had a nasty letter that put me in a worse mood, and then I came to my apartment door, and there was the box with the iBook! I played around with it and transferred files and stuff until (gulp) 3 a.m. What a fabulous computer this is! I’m totally psyched…it’s wonderful.

Funny thing…it was supposed to be shipped to my work, but it arrived here. How bizarre.



Read 43 books (read all 44 entries…)
Bodies of Water (39 down, 4 to go...)

Unfortunately, I was right. Rosanne Cash’s short story collection, Bodies of Water, was pleasant enough, and had moments of poetry, but for the most part was thin and lacking in character development. Most of her endings trailed off, too, in a fairly unsatisfying way.

On to the next thing…



Read 43 books (read all 44 entries…)
Bangkok 8 and Paradise (38 down, 5 to go...)

Bangkok 8 was a really fun read-a little sassy and saucy with a good mystery underpinning it. It read quickly, but was packed with interesting details about the Thai sex trade and Buddhism and jade and all sorts of good stuff. Thoroughly enjoyed it - wonderful summer reading. I’m waiting on the hold list at my library for its sequel, Bangkok Tattoo, which just came out this summer. Can’t wait.

Then, moved on to Paradise, by A.L. Kennedy, which is a really well-written novel about an alcoholic and her relationship with her alcoholic lover. Tragic stuff, but Kennedy manages to find great humor at times, and also does an incredible job writing that odd drunk feeling. Even the hallucinations were well constructed. A fascinating book.

I’m afraid I’m due for a little disappointment next. I wanted to read Rosanne Cash’s short story collection, which I only recently learned about, and it is next on my list. But I flipped through it and I have a feeling that it’s going to be a little thin. Sigh. We’ll see how it goes—I love her music and lyrics, so maybe her fiction will surprise me.



organize my photos
Finally...all photos are in their place...

I’ve had a “drawer” full of photos…and a “pile” of photos, none of it being in any kind of organized system. A few months back, I bought some of those photo boxes, and today, I finally took the time to organize everything into those boxes. Having the Live 8 concerts to listen to on XM Radio helped move me along, maybe?

:-)



Read 43 books (read all 44 entries…)
Hunger (36 down, 7 to go...)

Much of Hunger, a novella/short story collection by Lan Samantha Chang, is set in the United States, which, I think, contributed to my enjoying it much more than I did her novel, Inheritance. I like reading fiction set in other places, because they give me an opportunity to explore cities and towns that I may never get to see in person, but I think Chang’s work burns most brightly when she examines the clash of cultures faced by families of Chinese immigrants. The novella, in particular, was heartbreaking and wonderful—the story of a couple drawn together by yuanfeng, a sort of fated love, only to discover that there is a level of unhappiness in the husband that the family cannot overcome.

The only story in the collection that I did not like was the final one, which, interestingly enough, was set in China. It had the elements of a fable or folktale, but an awfully unsatisfying ending…more anecdote than story, I thought.

I started Bangkok 8 this morning—so far, it’s a fascinating read, heavy on the plot, with tremendous details about Bangkok’s seedier side. I think it’s going to go quickly and be an excellent summer read.



Read 43 books (read all 44 entries…)
The Fortress of Solitude (35 down, 8 to go...)

I think I might have liked Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn better, but it didn’t feel like as much of an accomplishment as this book did. The book is epic in scale, covering years of fictional territory and making a small part of Brooklyn seem huge. Lethem manages to get inside many characters’ heads and show us tragedy and comedy and pathos all over the place. Great writing about being a kid. Great shrinking of narrative distance as the kids grow up. I really enjoyed reading this one.

I’m working, simultaneously, on Hunger by Lan Samantha Chang…am hoping to have that done shortly.



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