December 2006


I shun most holiday traditions.

But for some reason I feel compelled to make New Years Resolutions every year.

This will be my third resolutions blog (I can’t believe I’ve been on myspace that long).

Instead of coming up with things I likely won’t complete, I’ve decided to go with things I was planning on doing anyway in the hopes I’ll be more likely to complete them.

Funny thing is after I wrote my list I looked up my last year’s goals and found that a lot of them are very similar, if not the same. Hm….I guess I didn’t do too well this past year.

Anyway, here we go:

1. Read one book a week AND write a review. I want to learn how to write better reviews and the only way to get better at something is to practice, right? I already have about 38 books on my list, which leaves 14 more possibilities. Any suggestions you have are welcome.

2. Move to a foreign country: Ha! This sounds impossible, but I assure you it’s not. I will be in France next year.

3. Sell all my stuff on eBay: I can’t take it all with me to France now can I? If it won’t fit in my suitcase, it’s got to go. This also means if you’ve been coveting anything of mine now is the time to speak up.

4. Learn basic German: After France I’m headed to Germany with the boy. I gotta learn how to speak if I’m going to make a good impression on his family there…

5. Run a 1/2-marathon: I don’t think my body is ready for a full marathon, but there’s a 1/2 that I want to do on May 20th. I guess that means I’ll have to start running a little more often.

6. Do outdoor rockclimbing: I’ve been going to the rockclimbing gym for a few months now and I have most of the gear. Now all I need is an experienced climber to go with me to Yosemite or Tahoe. I also want to do the Utah national parks with my sister this summer, but that can only happen if I learn all my stuff.

7. Get my TEFL certificate: Signed up yesterday and classes start on Jan. 26 so this one should be easy. After all, I need a job in France don’t I?

8. Start the list: I’d like to accomplish at least six things (one every other month) on the list this year.

That’s it folks. In the end I did accomplish some of my goals last year. I read more books, at least two a month. And I passed the CBEST this month, so that’s out of the way. And I did have a lot of fun, something I hope to continue in the coming years.

What are your resolutions? Anything weird?

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First, I want to thank everyone for all the fabulous birthday and Christmas wishes! I was in Arizona and away from internet access so I couldn’t write you all back. I hope you all had a fabulous holiday though.

Now, onto the topic of my blog. I think I may have actually had food poisoning and not the flu. I thought this from the beginning, but because I REALLY liked the restaurant I didn’t want to give it a bad name by saying I got food poisoning there. So instead I convinced myself it was the flu. The only thing is that I was 100 percent better Friday morning.

As though I had never gotten sick at all.

I think that’s a sure sign it was actually food poisoning. We went to this fondue place on Tuesday night and they serve up a huge plate of raw seafood and meat that you cook yourself. I probably didn’t keep a piece of meat in the oil long enough and Voila!

At least I was better for the trip to Arizona. I’ll be writing about it on thenervousbreakdown so I won’t spoil it for you all here, except to say it turned out to be a really good trip. The sunshine really helped my seasonal depression. If I wasn’t worried about contributing to the rampant sprawl in that state, I would definitely move there.

Okay then, be safe out there.

Thanks everyone for the Happy Birthday wishes. It made my heart smile to wake up to so many comments this morning. Unfortunately though I’m the sickest I think I’ve ever been.

I came down with a horrible stomach flu yesterday and have felt like someone is ripping my stomach out for the past 24. So, for all of you who were planning on coming to the celebration of the 5th anniversary of my 21st birthday tonight, it’s not going to happen.

I was so looking forward to it, but I’m supposed to drive to Arizona tomorrow with two of my crazy sisters, which means I have to save my strength. Plus, if I’m still sick I won’t be able to go. I haven’t seen my g-ma in about five years and she was diagnosed with cancer last year. I don’t think she’d want to risk getting this horrible stomach flu so I’ve got to get better. I don’t know when I’ll have another chance to see her.

Thanks again for the birthday wishes.

I’ve been dreading returning my iLingos to Amazon because I haven’t wanted to deal with shipping and the post office and all that jazz. I even went to the Apple store this weekend and tried to con them into returning it by saying I received it as a birthday gift. They were pretty hostile and said no.

As it turns out, returning something to Amazon couldn’t be easier. I clicked the little return button, told them what was wrong and printed out the mailing label. I don’t even have to pay for shipping or go into the post office because it has a spot for collecting the postage from Amazon when it arrives.  All I have to do is tape the label to the box and walk it up to the receptionist here for pickup by our regular postal carrier later today. How easy is that?

I never thought I’d be one of those people who eats frozen meals. I’ve always thought they were disgusting looking. And the idea of them pretty much grosses me out. In general, I’m not a big fan of frozen food, especially frozen vegetables.

But in an effort to spend less money on lunches and eat fewer calories, I’ve begun bringing frozen meals to work for lunch. In the past few weeks I’ve found a few that I don’t like at all and others that are actually not that bad. I tend to stick to the low cal ones like lean cusine and healthy choice. But my favorites are smart ones. I think smart ones have the best choices, while healthy choice is probably my least favorite.

What I don’t like about healthy choice is the addition of vegetables. There is nothing worse than  puny  frozen vegetables. They just look so unhealthy, even after they’ve been cooked.

In all, I prefer real food. But if you’re going to buy frozen meals, I recommend Smart Ones’s chicken enchilada suiza or three cheese ziti marinara.

Oh, and NONE of these brands look like the picture on the box. I guess that’s typical for any kind of food though.

So I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but I’m totally entrigued by this whole Eragon thing. I really want to see the movie, but I’m going to read the book first. My old roommate, Justin, read these books and said they were really good, but I never knew what they were about so I never did it. Now I regret it.

Oh, and I know I’m probably behind the times on this, but did you know the books were written by a 15-year-old?!?! Sheesh. Those are the people that make me feel like I haven’t accomplished much in life. Still, I can’t wait to read it now. One of the boys I babysat in France was writing his own midievel (sp?) story when I was there. It was like 16 chapters when I left. His parents had plans to self-publish it for him. Now that I read about this kid, Christopher Paolini, I don’t see why not. Who knows? He could hit the big time. If he does I’ll get my own signed copy

“Next” by Michael Crichton was just released about two weeks ago, but I was intrigued by the premise of the book. It was my first Michael Crichton book so I didn’t really know what to expect. I was impressed with the author’s ability to introduce and follow several different story lines simultaneously without confusing the reader. There were a few times when I couldn’t remember who a character was, but remembered within a few sentences.

The story wasn’t as exciting as the cover made it sound and it didn’t really seem like a story, so much as a commentary on genetic engineering and the politics surrounding it. But this may be typical of Crichton. Like I said, this is the first of his books I’ve read. However, he did keep my interest and despite the length of the book it only took me two days to read.

Each character brings up a new concern with genetic engineering. For instance, whether a lab can own a person’s cells because of their genetic ability to cure cancer, even though the person is still alive and indeed should own their own cells. It also questions the ethics of the scientists performing genetic experiments, such as those conducting cloning or mixing animal genes to create transgenic species.

Genetic engineering is a complex issue, and Crichton does a good job of highlighting a number of possible problems through the different characters he has chosen.

Read a real critic’s review here.

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