Thursday, April 19, 2012

100 Books to Read Before You Die

I came across this list the other day when I was trying to decide what book I wanted to read next.  It is now my mission to read every book on the list!  There are a bunch of different versions of this floating around, but I chose this one because it seemed pretty well-rounded, and I also liked that there are not multiple books for one author on it.  This list came from  I have already read some of these (although not nearly as many as I should have) but since when I read them, they were required reading for school, I am going to reread them.  This is definitely when having a Kindle makes things easy, especially since I live on the third floor and will not be hauling all of these crazy books up and down the stairs :-)  Actually I will probably become good friends with my local library as well, and then if I come across anything I feel like I want to read again, I can pick up a copy.  I thought about just going down the list in order, but I am going to have to jump around and pick and choose what I am in the mood for, otherwise this project will take ten times longer than it already will!  And just for the record, the books are not in any particular order. 

100 Books to Read Before You Die

1.    The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
2.    The Road Less Traveled - Dr. Scott M. Peck
3.    Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
4.    In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
5.    To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6.    War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
7.    The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
8.    The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
9.    Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
10.  World War Z - Max Brooks
11.  Education of a Wandering Man - Louis L'Amour
12.  Watership Down - Richard Adams
13.  The Illiad - Homer
14.  The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
15.  The Color Purple - Alice Walker
16.  Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
17.  Paradise Lost - John Milton
18.  Ulysses - James Joyce
19.  Dracula - Bram Stoker
20.  Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
21.  A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
22.  Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
23.  1984 - George Orwell
24.  Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
25.  Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
26.  Shogun - James Clavell
27.  For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
28.  The Stand - Stephen King
29.  Lady Chatterley's Lover - D. H. Lawrence
30.  Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
31.  The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
32.  War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells
33.  A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
34.  The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli
35.  The Art of War - Sun Tzu
36.  The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
37.  Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
38.  Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
39.  Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein
40.  Deliverance - James Dickey
41.  Lord of the Flies - William Golding
42.  The Dark Night Returns - Frank Miller
43.  Season of Mists - Neil Gaiman
44.  The Princess Bride - William Goldman
45.  Eaters of the Dead - Michael Crichton
46.  The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
47.  Night - Eli Wiesel
48.  Exodus - Leon Uris
49.  Contact - Carl Sagan
50.  You Can't Go Home Again - Thomas Wolfe
51.  On The Road - Jack Kerouac
52.  Blubber - Judy Blume
53.  Foundation - Isaac Asimov
54.  The Stranger - Albert Camus
55.  The Trial - Franz Kafka
56.  Rabbit, Run - John Updike
57.  Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
58.  The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
59.  The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler
60.  Absalom, Absalom! - William Faulkner
61.  Grendel - John Gardner
62.  Hour of the Dragon - Robert E. Howard
63.  The Executioner's Song - Norman Mailer
64.  Cop Hater - Ed McBain
65.  Moby Dick - Herman Melville
66.  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain
67.  McTeague - Frank Norris
68.  A Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin
69.  Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
70.  Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake
71.  Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
72.  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
73.  The Divine Comedy - Dante
74.  Don Quixote - Miguel De Cervantes
75.  Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
76.  Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
77.  The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
78.  Charlotte's Web - E. B. White
79.  One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
80.  The Magus - John Fowles
81.  Foucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco
82.  Middlemarch - George Eliot
83.  Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
84.  The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
85.  The Complete Shakespeare - William Shakespeare
86.  Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin
87.  I am Legend - Richard Matheson
88.  The Complete Plays of Aristophanes - Aristophanes
89.  The Science of God - Gerald L. Schroeder
90.  The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett
91.  No Exit - Jean-Paul Sartre
92.  Alexander of Macedon - Harold Lamb
93.  Battle Royale - Koushun Takami
94.  We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
95.  Band of Brothers - Stephen Ambrose
96.  Ancient Inventions - Peter James and Nick Thorpe
97.  The Telltale Heart and Other Writings - Edgar Allen Poe
98.  The Call of the Wild - Jack London
99.  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Frank Baum
100. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer

I am not sure if I will be able to make it through all of these.  But I do want to make at least a good faith effort.  I am already somewhat nervous about The Illiad and Shakespeare...they will probably be towards the end of the list :-) 

The first one I chose was The Stand by Stephen King.  I have had this one on my list of books to read for a while, but just have not gotten to it.  Since I already had it, I figured it was as good a place to start as any.  Luckily it has not given me nightmares yet, but I am only 20% of the way through!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weekly Recap: April 8-14

I cannot believe how fast the weeks are flying by! January will seriously be here before I know it.  I would not be disappointed if things just slowed down a teeny tiny bit though.  Its hard to believe its already the middle of April.  Wasn't Christmas just yesterday? Craziness!

Last week was a busy running week!  Since I moved my Saturday run to Sunday, it gave me 5 days of running.  Surprisingly I felt really good through every run.  None of them were longer than 4 miles, but at least I made it out of bed every morning.  So I will take that for now.  But I do have an 8 miler on the calendar for Saturday!

4.01 miles
59:17 minutes
14:48 average pace

3.05 miles
43:52 minutes
14:23 average pace
This was the first day I went to 40/40 intervals.  No joke, adding 10 seconds of running feels like an hour!

3.06 miles
43:48 minutes
14:19 average pace


3.07 miles
42:28 minutes
13:50 average pace
I have no idea what happened today, but I may have found my inner "almost speedster"!  This was the best run I have had in such a long time, and the running segments were much much faster than usual.  I don't know if it was my awesome Italian dinner the night before, or the fact that I had a chocolate peanut butter bear waiting for me at the office, or just a fluke...but I hope it sticks around :-)

4.01 miles
59:15 minutes
14:46 average pace
I ran this one with mom and we ran 30/40 intervals.  And I forgot my Garmin.  That dumb thing will be the death of me! And I am way too analytical to be able to just run like a regular person and enjoy it, I want to study the numbers when I finish.  Total nerd I know :-)

17.20 total miles this week! I have been paying myself $1 for every mile that I run, so that I will have money to shop at all these expos!  I am already looking forward to all of the shopping I will be doing :-)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Motivational Monday!

Mondays are the devil!! Seriously, I do not understand why they even have to exist?? The world would be a better place if we just went straight to Tuesday.  I guess if the week went from Sunday to Tuesday, then Tuesday would get the bad its probably an impossible feat.  Oh well. 

This was my breakfast today! (Don't worry, this isn't the motivational part :-) )

For the record, I do not really care much for white chocolate, but this white chocolate is another story!  Thankfully this is the only one I have, so I can go back to regular breakfast foods tomorrow!  No good ever comes from holiday candy :-)

I love finding cool motivational quotes and such, so I am going to add some will make Monday seem less horrid (well it should anyway...I can always resort to more candy pictures if it doesn't work!)

This is my favorite one of the day.  I am crazy impatient, and tend to get frustrated very easily, so its almost as if this was written just for me.  I will probably have to print it out and tape it all around the house.  Yes I am nerdy like that!  Ohh actually it may need its own page in my scrapbook attempt!

Happy Monday :-)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Let the Nightmares Begin!

So there are about 279 days until WDW Marathon weekend.  And I have already had my first race dream!  This does not bode well for the rest of the year...

I was running the Goofy Challenge and decided that in order to save my legs for the full marathon, I would have a faster runner pull me in a wagon for the half marathon.  Which is actually a brilliant idea!  I don't know why I haven't considered it before :-)  Well we got through the castle and decided to stop and eat cheeseburgers before leaving Magic Kingdom.  Sadly, I eat even slower than I run (if that is even possible) and by the time we got ready to get back on the course, the balloon ladies and the end of the race passed right by!  I do not know why I did not just get my cheeseburger to go, I mean I could have just eaten it while I was riding. 

Moral of the story: No cheeseburgers until AFTER the finish line :-)

I also started one of those Smash books to keep through training.  Scrapbooking is one of those things that I always intend to do, but can never get creative enough to actually do.  So I end up with shoe boxes of the things that I would put in my scrapbook if I ever made it.  This Smash thing seems much more up my alley.  No order, no decorating, just find something cool and shove it in the book!  It will likely be the common place that I shove all the random notes that I put with recipes and running ideas, but its a start :-)  Maybe I will throw some stickers in there and really get crazy!  Honestly, the "order" thing is not my issue with scrapbooking, as I have already been mentally organizing how I am going to work this book...its the "decorating".  I am not exactly creative...way too much of a left brain for that.  I love the way elaborate scrapbooks look, but its just not my strength.  This is really just kind of a journal with some fun stuff thrown in :-)

Weekly Recap - March 25 - April 7

Errr technically this should be called Multiple Weeks of Recap because I am a slacker.  The good new is that I am only slacking in recaping, not the running :-)

So here it is:

Tuesday 3/27
3.07 miles
44:12 minutes
14:22 average pace

Thursday 3/29
3.07 miles
44:35 minutes
14:30 average pace

Saturday 3/31
6.10 miles
14:42 average pace

Monday 4/2

Tuesday 4/3
3.05 miles
45:00 minutes
14:46 average pace

Wednesday 4/4
3.02 miles
14:37 average pace

Thursday 4/5
3.07 miles
14:27 average pace

I kept 30/40 for the last two weeks.  I managed to run them all even during my not-all-that-long run, although I did slow down a little bit, but not too bad.  I am going to increase the run to 40 seconds starting next week. 

In other related news...

This is my Publix

That smoke you see is where an airplane crashed into it and fell through the roof!  Yep, you read that right, I said airplane! Pretty insane.  Thankfully no one was killed.  The pilot and copilot were pretty badly burned and are still in the hospital, and 3 customers had some injuries, but I think only one is still in the hospital.  Luckily it happened a little after 7pm, so a good chunk of the after work rush was already finished.  Sadly, Publix is a disaster.  Who knows when it will open back up.  Boo.  Pretty crazy for a Monday though...especially in a small town, nothing ever happens here.  Hopefully it goes back to being that way now!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Food Truck Sunday

Yesterday was the monthly gathering of food trucks in the town I live in.  This is only the second time it has happened, and last month I was sick in bed, so I missed it.  Therefore I was quite excited to check it out for myself!

Last month my mom and dad went and figured out how things worked, so this month they were ready to go with a table, chairs, and a cooler with drinks.  We stuck to water and soda, but there were a bunch of people with beer and wine.  I am not sure what the rules are about stuff like that, since we were in a Lowe's parking lot.  My guess is that it will not be a big deal until some kind of disturbance happens, and then it will be an issue.  But that is of course just my not so professional opinion :-)

The trucks were all set up in one roped off area, and people brought their chairs and tables into that part, and some people were sitting out in the regular part of the parking lot as well.  It was pretty much like tailgating, except there was no football game.  If I could somehow combine food trucks and Buccaneer football I would be one happy camper!

I would guess there were about 30 different trucks there - everything from cupcakes, to bbq and burgers.  The only thing I do not like is that every truck gives you a full sized meal.  Which makes it hard to sample a lot.  Mom, dad and I decided that we would just choose things that we could share, so we could try a few more things, but it was still a lot of food.  Here are just a few of the trucks!  I wanted to get pictures of all of them, but I got distracted once we started eating.  These are the ones I could see from my chair :-)

This Gastro truck calls itself the home of cheesy goodness!  They were not lying!  I have already decided what I will be eating from them next month :-)

Saigon Sizzle (or Saigon Sally as my dad calls it, no idea why, lol) has Vietnamese tacos.  They are really good, but we tried them a few months ago at the Manatee Festival, so we did not have any this time.

Chicken and Waffles seem to be the new popular combination?  So random, but it must be good I guess.  I have not yet worked up the nerve to try them out!

The Batter Bowl had all kinds of desserts!

So then it was decision time!  We started out with fried green tomatoes!  Yummy!  Although, there were some red tomatoes in there as well, which was weird, but they were just as good.  I am not sure what the sauce was.  It reminded me of the sauce you get at Outback with the Bloomin' Onion.  Whatever that is called.

After the tomatoes, we had creme brûlée from the Batter Bowl.  It was pretty good...but the dish was so deep, so the ratio of sugar topping to custard was a little off for my liking.  But it was still good!

This is a ham and grilled cheese sandwich with a side of mac n cheese.  Yep you know this is from the cheesy goodness truck!  I am not a huge ham fan, but it was good.  I love mac n cheese though!  They also have a sandwich on their menu called the Apple Harvest Grilled Cheese.  It has apples, cheddar cheese and clover honey.  I will be getting that next month for sure!  It has apples, so it will obviously be healthy :-)

This next one came from the Korean BBQ Taco Box.  It was beef and rice, with a ginger salad, chicken wing, fried cheese thing, and two unidentified objects...although I vaguely recall the menu saying something about tofu, but I cannot remember.  It was yummy!  The meat had an awesome flavor!  This was what I picked.  It was so hard for me to make a decision.  All of those trucks with so many choices were so unbelievably overwhelming!

After this, we had a monte cristo crepe which had honey ham, turkey, cheddar, lettuce and raspberry preserves.  We also had a blueberry and creme cheese crepe.  I am not sure why but I missed pictures of those!  Oops!  I think I was so busy with my Korean food.

The grand finale was this strawberry balsamic basil popsicle.  I'm not gonna lie, it was kind of weird to have basil in my popsicle, but it was surprisingly delicious.  Nice and light and fresh :-)

All in all our food truck experience was quite lovely!  I cannot even wait until next month!  Mmmmm!!

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Last weekend I went to the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.  This is one of my favorite Epcot events...second to the Food & Wine Festival of course :-)  I love flowers but cannot grow them to save my life.  Honestly, I have the thumb of death!  I have tried to have so many different kinds of plants/flowers, and none of it ever lasts.  I could not even keep a bamboo stalk alive.

So here are some of my favorite pictures...I am hoping to go back at least one more time before it is over!

The orchids were actually at Animal Kingdom, but I could not pass up adding them in :-)

I love this bonsai tree so much.  I have never seen one with colored flowers on it (not that I am any kind of bonsai expert or anything, lol).

I have never seen ducklings at Epcot before! These little guys were so adorable.  There were quite a few people standing around watching them, and just as they were going through to the other side of the gate, a little girl picked one of the ducklings up.  Holy cow did that mama duck go bananas.  She pecked the snot out of that little girls legs till she put her baby down.  That little girl should not have touched it, and the little girls parents should not have let her do that, but alas, that is a blog entry for another day :-) All of the babies made it safely down to the water's edge.

I think its super fitting that Goofy looks as if he is running :-)

While I was there, I had to indulge in some yummy goodness! I walked around a decent chunk of Animal Kingdom in the morning, and then I went over to Boardwalk and walked all of that into Epcot, and walked all of Epcot about 3 times.  So I felt like it was well deserved   :-)

Fiesta margarita!! Lime, Mango, and Strawberry :-)  Delicious!

And of course, what is a trip to Disney without a Mickey bar!  While it was really nice to be able to walk around and not have to worry about whether I was going to tire my feet out for a race the next morning, I think its best for me to hang out at Epcot only when there is a lot of running involved!  There is just way too much yumminess to pass up :-)