As many of you may know, I am no longer a New Yorker, so please check out my new blog A Library of My Own. If you are just reading Life and Times, you are missing out. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One More!

Book Blog

I almost forgot one! This was our first book club's choice. It was so so sad and a bit depressing. During a snow storm a doctor is forced to deliever his first child, a baby boy. He is shocked to discover twins and that the second child (a girl) has developmental problems. With only his nurse as witness, he tells his wife the child is dead and the nurse takes the very much alive child away. The doctor thinks the child doesn't have long to live but the nurse secrets her out of town and raises the child. This act obviously affects many many lives. It has a lot to do with marriage, secrets, love, trust, and forgiveness (and non-forgiveness). It was a great story and written very well but it was very depressing really. I guess I tend to go for lighter books. That's why our second choice was Twilight...nice and light! So this is just a warning: great book but very sad.

Books Galore!

Book Blog

I've been way way behind in book blogging. I think it has to do with the little break between semesters and I tried to cram in as many books as possible. I've probably forgotten a couple but here's some of them:

My Dream of You - Nuala O'Faolain
This was an interesting book about an Irish transplant travel writer in London. The story flip flops between her present life and her reflection on her past. It also flips way back to a story she's researching about an affair between an Irish groom and an English lady during the potato famine years (think mid-eighteen hundreds). I liked this book because it described a reality in Ireland that we sometime as tourists and travelers don't see about a place. It was also amazing to realize the shear amount of people who suffered, died, and immigrated. The book did tend to ramble and I think she could have cut the story down in half but it did really make you get to know the main character.

Atonement - Ian McEwan

I'm guessing you've heard about this one. I think you definitely read this one if you haven't. The writing is supurb and how he draws the reader in is amazing. And it's a pretty short novel by my standards so that was pretty nice too.

Twilight - Stephanie Meyer

So after My Dream of You and Atonement I needed a pretty easy and light read. Real Librarian suggested book one of a popular teen series called Twilight and I have to say it was a fun read. The story is that a teen moves from big city Southwest to little town Northwest and among other teen angsts, falls in love with a vampire. Mahem ensues. Oh, and look out for a movie coming out this year. Read it for a fun, light, entertaining read. You'll finish the read in a day or two, I promise :)

A Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren

This was a wonderful devotion that my sister and I did together. I definitely recommend this devotion and only read one chapter a day. Also, do the devotion with someone because it's great to bounce thoughts off one another. It really makes you sit and re-evaluate your life, your commitments, and your priorities. won't tell you what career path to choose :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Love Living Places

I love living in different places. I'm so spoiled because it's so much better than traveling and seeing a place for a week. Although there are many many places I'd only like to see for a week but not live. Ok...rambling on...

Here's just a brief synopsis of places I've "lived":

Colorado (birth-6)
Utah (one year)
Nevada (four years)
Colorado (year and a half)
Tennessee (year and a half)
Alaska (four years)
Colorado (five years)
Wales, UK (four months)
Alaska (one year)
Nevada (two years)
New York (going on one year)

Wow...that actually adds up...'s still nice when places I've lived in turn up in the news. It's no Running of the Bulls, but hey... when WE went to the Fur Rendevous in Anchorage just a few years ago it wasn't ANYTHING like this. Arg.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

iPodding Along...Long Way

Moral of the Story: buy your iPod at the store

I know everyone loves their iPod and I'm no exception. I have a iPod video that I can't commute without. But I decided to buy my husband and myself iPod shuffles for working out and running when I saw and ad which stated free shipping! How cool! Two iPod Shuffles, two silly "free" engravings to motivate us to run, and poof...they are shipped out. All was fine until I noticed where they were shipping them from: SUZHOU CN. Hmm...Connecticut?? Nope...CHINA. Wow. I should have just walked my butt to the nearest Apple store. So how many miles am I going to have to run or walk to offset the carbon footprint on this purchase?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Well my METS paper is hopefully submitted and I am just working on a Powerpoint for a presentation I have to give this weekend in Houston.

Yay! I am actually pretty excited to go to Houston for the following reasons:

A) Never been and I love love love seeing new places

B) My husband is from Houston and lived in Woodlands (if you're from/live in Houston you might know where that is)

C) I get to meet Amanda, fellow blogger!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Talk to Her

A while ago a friend recommended a great movie called Hable Con Ella or Talk to Her. Check it out if you haven't seen's the synopsis from Imdb:

"Marco, a journalist grieving for a love affair that ended ten years' ago, falls in love with Lydia, a bullfighter also on the rebound. Benigno, a nurse, dedicates his life to his only patient, a young dancer in a coma as a result of an accident four years' before; he talks to her, reads to her, holds photographs in front of her closed eyes. When Lydia is brought comatose to the hospital where Benigno works, he and Marco become friendly, and the nurse encourages the journalist to talk to her and hope for a miracle. Marco is Sancho to Benigno's Quixote, and as Benigno's hopes for his patient become fantasies, Marco tries to inject reality. Does a miracle await?"

As I sit here doing homework, I keep listening to a song from that movie by Caetano Veloso called Cucurrucucu Paloma. It's one of those melancholy lovely songs that like poems by Pablo Neruda, makes me wish I was fluent in Spanish. Enjoy the excerpt of the song from the movie:

Friday, February 8, 2008

Italian Honeymoon Planning

My husband and I are still enjoying planning our honeymoon for next September. We are going to the Italian Riviera and you can check out my blog post about that. In the meantime, I am going to reminisce about my trip to Italy back in 2003. I think I went in October-ish sometime. I went with a couple people from the University and we went to flew in to Piza (saw the leaning tower), took a train to Rome, and then was in Florence for a night. I would love love love to go to Florence again since I didn't get the chance to see any of the museums, shops, etc. But here's what I did see.

We took a bus in to town and to our lodgings. We stayed at Camping Michelangelo which has an awesome location overlooking the city:

It was a cool little campsite where you could either RV it, camp using your own gear, or use these already set up little blue tents with beds and blankets (no lights though so bring a flashlight!). It was great because there was a general store with tons of wine produced by Camping Michelangelo among others, picninc tables were everyone of all sorts of nationalities hang out at night, chat, talk, and share wine and stories. There is also a washer/dryer (which was great because my clothes got drenched in a downpour in Rome the night before). Here's some more views which capture the Duomo perfectly:

You know you are nearing Camping Michelangelo because of the huge statue of Michelangelo's David by the road:

The real David is in the Accademia Gallery in Florence while a copy of where the original once stood is in the Palazzo Vecchio. The copy was being restored when we scampered by so I don't have a photo.

Being around four or five in the evening by the time we dumped our belongings off we literally ran down the hill, across the river, to the city to see what we could while it was still daylight. We ran to Duomo which was amazing!

I was so excited to see the Duomo because I had learned all about it's construction during my art history class. The building had been completed in 1380 but no one could figure out how to put a dome (cupola) over it because the span was so huge. Contests were held and there was a huge rivelry between Lorenzo Ghilberti and Filippo Brunelleschi. Brunelleschi won the contest and mastered the cupola to the cathedral. If you are interested in the architecture, it is an amazing feat. Think of the Duomo as leaves resting on a drum with the spire (light house) on top holding all the leaves from springing out. There's a walkway inside the dome spiraling to the top which is what the workers used during construction. We didn't have time to go to the top but I will someday. We did pop our heads inside to take a look at all the marvelous frescos by Vasari.

If you feel bad for Ghilberti for losing the contest, don't...he won the commission to do the beautiful Biblical plates for the doors:

Funny story...while I was taking photos of the Duomo an Asian businessman said something to me I didn't understand, handed me a fake flower, and pointed behind me. I turned to look and there were at least fifty Asian businessmen grinning at us. The guy puts his arm around my shoulder and they all took a picture. He said thank you and they all took off. Weird.

So after seeing the Duomo we went to the Palazzo della Signoria and grabed a slice of pizza at a little restaurant. The Palazzo at night is amazing:

We rambled some more around the Uffizi Palace (very creepy at night), statues everywhere, and finally saw the Ponte Vecchio (Old bridge) which spans the Arno River.
The sun was setting beautifully by the time our bus arrived and we went back to the camp site and drank some wine with fellow travelers.

The end!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pick Up the Nearest Book

I saw this posted on Real Librarian's blog and thought I'd play along:

Here are the rules:


1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pgs.)
2. Open the book to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the next three sentences
5. Tag five people

I recently found Atonement by Ian McEwan, brand new at Scavenger's (a little antique store just around the corner where I live) for $3. So here we go:

He went over it again and it looked the same. There was no way out, he would have to speak to her. He put his hand over the bell push.

Oooo...I wanted to keep reading to see what happens :) Real Librarian's was super creepy. No one is tagged but post what you get on your blog or in my comments :)

Study Night Failure...More Power! last night we were going to do study night at the library. Well, I had to work until six and I checked and the library only stayed open until 7:30. For a town that "never sleeps" they sure do close libraries early around here. So we decided to grab some sushi and got home before our dog walker arrived. So no harm done. My husband did some homework and I procrastinated and watched a bit of "Gone with the Wind".

Tonight though we get to go to a concert!!! Back when we lived in Las Vegas I took the bus to and from work for quite a few months before I got a car. I used to walk to the bus stop listening to my then favorite CD The Greatest by Cat Power (click the link to hear the CD). So for Christmas my husband bought me one of her CDs and two tickets to her concert for tonight. It was so sweet. I don't really know many people yet who would go yet so I have to drag along my husband to see it. I know he'd probably rather be doing something else but he is being super sweet and being great about going with me.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Click to Love Your Library!

Library Lovers Month

I have to say that I love love libraries, bookstores, reading books, the smell of books....

So I'm excited to learn that February is Library Lovers' Month !!

And in honor of Library Lovers' Month my husband and I are going to the "Lion Library" to do some studying. I coerced him by saying we can do fast food dinner (I don't normally do fast food) and we both can study. I need to write a paper on M.E.T.S. (no...not those Mets...Metadata Encoding Transmission Standards) and he can study for the F.E. (Engineering test).

I'm excited because we'll probably be studying in the famous Reading Room!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Safe and Sound and On the Road

My husband did make it home safe and sound yesterday. He was sitting at the airport in Chicago for hours and hours and was on standby for two flights and finally got on a flight. Yay!! If you prayed for him, thank you!

So I am going to try and be better uploading all my fun photos when I take them. Last weekend I treated my husband to a surprise outing. So Saturday I dragged him on the A train and wouldn't tell him what stop we were getting out at. At 42nd street we got out and started walking East. When we neared 42nd and 5th he realized where I was taking him.

Kerouac at the Library!!

The NYPL "Lion" library (Humanities and Social Sciences Libray) is having a exhibition at the library called Beatific Soul: Jack Kerouac on the Road which is showcasing the actual long long scroll that he typed out On the Road with. I read On the Road and a bit of Dharma Bums and just didn't get them. But my husband likes them and it was a great exhibition! I had never been in this library before and (I know I complained about this library in this blog) and fell in love with it. you can't check out books unless you have a research Access card...but you can study, check out the art displays in the hallways, and basically feel like you are unchaperoned in a museum :) Yay!

We went in a side entrance so had a bit of time trying to find out where the exhibition was. Here's a floor (third floor?) trying to find where the exhibition was at:
The ceiling:
I don't know what the protocol for taking pictures are in the library so I was taking them fast and without flash...this one is kind of creepy
My husband looking at one of the hallways of artwork:
It's kind of Gothic sometimes:
This is the main entrance:
Here's one of the famous lions guarding the front entrance:
And the main entrance...ta da!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Stuck in Chicago

So my husband and his colleagues drove to Chicago only to realize that those flights were cancelled too due to weather. Arg. So he got a room last night, is at the airport now, and is on stand-by for two flights. Sigh. Please keep praying that he makes it home safely. I know that the drive to Chicago was pretty sketchy due to the snow. Yikes!!!

Ol' Blue Eyes

I was granted permission (via my sister) to post photos of my nephew since she says they read my blog together. That's so cute. So I am going to gush a bit because he is adorable. I took care of him for a few months after my sister went back to work after he was born so we really bonded. I miss him a lot.

I like to call him Ol' Blue Eyes because A) I like Frank Sinatra and B) Look at those eyes!!
My sister and the little cutie. I just can't get over his beautiful eyes :)
He loved hanging out with his aunty. And yes, socks make excellent gloves.
He was born pretty early about one or two months early. (You can tell I've never had kids because I don't really know about the whole measuring time by weeks) :) He was so so little but had such a great laugh and smile.

The other reason why we was so small is because unbeknownst to all of us he has a extremely rare form of diabetes. He was always so hungry and ate all the time and didn't gain much weight. Finally he crashed and they diagnosed him with Type 1 Diabetes. He was put on regular insulin shots which helped tremendously and he fattened up to a chubby little baby. It was sad though because he couldn't snack or eat like a regular baby. Ever few hours he was pricked and tested to see if his sugar level was high or low. He had to have shots before he ate...shots in the so sad.

But something still wasn't right. He has some developmental delays and the insulin shots didn't affect him sometimes the way it should. It wasn't until my sister was shown an article about a rare form of a genetic mutation that looks like Type 1diabetes but really isn't. It's called Monogenic Diabetes. His story is listed on the website if you want more information. Tests for Monogenic Diabetes had been done in the U.K. and just a hand-full of children in the U.S. had been diagnosed. If he had this, it was treatable by just taking some pills every day. No more shots!! My sister sent away his blood test and months later she found out that yes!! he has this gene mutation. The little guy went to treatments in Chicago for a few days and now he just has to take pills everyday. He is only the seventh or eigth kid in the U.S. to be diagnosed with this. What a miracle!!

What's amazing is that none of the doctors in Alaska figured this out. If my sister hadn't read the article about a little girl diagnosed only a few months earlier, and they hadn't gone out and asked for the test themselves, they would never have known he had this type of diabetes. My sister actually even emailed the doctor listed in the article and he personally responded. It was amazing how it all worked out. My sister is quoted in the section about my nephew saying "If you know there is something wrong with your kid, keep looking, and eventually you will find the answer," she says. "I knew his developmental issues and diabetes were associated. People tried to tell me he had autism, and lots of other things, but I knew that wasn't it."

This is him kissing daddy's truck last summer:

My nephew is now three and a half, going to a little pre-school for a few hours each day. He just said "aunty" (I love it!). When I get more recent photos I'll post them :) You're lucky I only used photos I have at my work computer :)

Oh...and yes...God does answer prayers.