Monday, December 5, 2011

Notes from the American Country Awards

Some random facts about me and things I noticed while watching the ACAs:
- The two country concerts I have gone to this year have been Kenny Chesney with Billy Currington and Uncle Kracker; and then Zac Brown Band.  I didn't realize how popular they are, I knew they were popular just not as much, numerous nominations all night!
- I realized why male country singers are considered so sexy.  A lot of them have really rich deep voices.  Even if they aren't all that attractive in appearance they start talking and all the sudden they start looking better :)
*I noticed this with the first two males to talk, Trace Adkins and Josh Turner.  I might have spoken too soon, after watching the show a bit more!*

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book Clubs

I was thinking about book clubs today and the ones that I have been in.  I find it interesting that I have never been in the "normal" book clubs where a group of friends, who like to read, get together and form a club.

When I was younger I was in a book club through a book store aimed towards children.  Most of the other children in the club were my friends, but that is beside the point.

After college I was in a The Book Club That Doesn't Read Books.  In that group we would get together about once a month for a potluck and talk about books, among other topics, however, we were never reading the same book.

Since I have moved to Seattle I am in an online book club.  Again, a lot of the other people in the club I know, but we don't have monthly meetings together, although I have heard rumors that some of the members get together in Denver.

I am also in a Meet-up book club.  This is probably the most like the clubs I picture when I think about a book club, but I didn't know anybody before I joined, some meetings I still don't know anyone there.

All in all I think I like these different book clubs more!  They are more fun and interesting.  I have met more people who love to read this way and can recommend different books to my friends and family, and they can recommend books to me!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Favorite Websites

I have discovered a lot of new, really cool websites lately.  It made me think of life before computers, smart phones and internet.  I can't imagine how many more random pieces of paper I would have around the house, its bad enough with our current technology!
There are always the old stand-by websites like Amazon, Facebook, Blogger, Pandora and Google.  But I thought I would share some of my new favorites:
- Stumble Upon
You place your likes and dislikes into the site when you sign up and then it pulls up random web pages that fit those interests.  I have found a lot of really interesting, cute, funny sites through here.
- iHeart Radio
This is a bit like Pandora, but different.  Like Pandora it also has an app for smart phones.  I thought I would check it out because Pandora skips songs a lot on my phone, I don't know if it is the app, or my phone, but I wanted more consistent music.
- Amazon Fresh
I LOVE, LOVE Amazon Fresh.  It is a grocery store delivery website, unfortunately right now they only deliver in the Seattle area.  But I love this website!  It has saved me a ton of time and money since moving to West Seattle.  If you are interested in checking this out and are fortunate to live in the delivery area let me know, I can share my big radish status and you won't have to pay shipping when you order $50 worth of items!
You can enter your normal commutes and it will tell you which route is faster at this time.  You can also save these routes and have them send you alerts depending on the traffic level you choose.  This is great if you have multiple routes you can drive on, so that you can save as much time as possible.
- Pinterest*
This is like a cork board on your computer.  You can "pin" items of interest to your boards.  This keeps random web information organized and easy to access.  You can also add friends and view their pins to get other great ideas.
- Evernote
Similar idea to Pinterest, but it is more like a filing cabinet.  I really like this website for recipes and things to do for an upcoming trip, around your town or cities you visit often.
- Wishpot*
Again to can save information from websites on here.  I used it over the last year to help create a Christmas or Birthday list for myself.  I like it even more for creating gift ideas.
- The Clymb
The Clymb offers member-exclusive sales on different outdoor brands.  Most of the sales last about 3 days.  They have had really great sales on Mountainsmith, Merrell, Timberland and so many more!  Some of the sales are only 30% off, but I have seen a few as high as 85%.
- Earndit
This website links to a couple different athletic trackers and then gives you points for your activities.  I link with fitbit (keep an eye out for a blog on my favorite products, this will be one of them), although I also use Nike+.  You can then turn your points in for different prizes.  I have used mine for entries to win free shoes and a $20 credit to Prana, but you can also trade it in for straight credit.  I did this with The Clymb and got a $10 credit there.  I just bought a pair of pants from Mountain Khaki, these pants were originally $73, they were marked down to $40 through the Clymb, so with my credit my pants ended up being $30!
- Daily Feats*
This is a very similar concept to Earndit.  Except you keep track of all of your good feats; such as flossing your teeth, buying local or taking the stairs.  With your earned points you can cash in for credit towards local activities, restaurants or even an iTunes card.  Although this site has a much wider view on good feats and I love all the ideas you have to go in and enter what you have done, a downside when comparing to earndit, which tracks it for you (as long as you use your tracker).
- TripIt*
A travel website that tracks all your plans for you.  You just e-mail reservation confirmations to and it places all your information in one spot.  You also have the option to add events and confirmations.  I really liked this site when I traveled for work, but it is convenient when traveling for fun too.  Another great feature is that you can add travelers so they can access trip information also.  I love that TripIt has an app, which makes it even easier to use on the road.

*If you decide to join these sites please consider looking me up to be my friend and/or teammate!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Reviews

I moved all the book reviews to this part of my blog so it would be easier to update :)  New reviews should be coming soon.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Still Missing is the second book I bought from Barnes and Noble.  I really enjoyed reading this book, a lot!  Still Missing is about a woman who is abducted and then the time she spends captive.  The book is told by the main character as she meets with her psychiatrist when she returns to the "free world."  I don't want to tell too much more and give the book away, but I highly recommend this one.

Light boxes by Shane Jones

I read Lighboxes for our June meetup book club.  This book was challenging to read because it is all over the place.  Some chapters are a word, a list, or a paragraph while others are more within the normal realms of a typical chapters.  This story is also told through several people, although they are normally referenced in the third person.  One person in the book club thought it was more like a poem than a book, part of this might be because Shane Jones normally writes poetry.  This story is about a town who is stuck in the month of February and their attempts to break free.  Again, another book that I could totally relate too.  Although Seattle is not that cold this spring was very dreary and overcast most days, YUCK!  Although I didn't necessarily enjoy reading this book, I did find it interesting and got through it quickly.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I had purchased a Groupon for Barnes and Noble.  After reading numerous book sites and reviews I settle on Never Let Me Go and Still Missing, although I had to wait a bit to get Still Missing in paperback.  Never Let Me Go is about a woman and she goes through her tween and up years explaining parts of her life.  It is set with some futuristic aspects, but is set in the current day.  You don't really know who or what the main character is until towards the end of the book.  I enjoyed the book although I tend to like a bit more upbeat book, or at least one with a bit more mystery, than this one had.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

This was our next meetup book club book.  I actually was only able to get through about 15 pages.  I just couldn't get into it and was finishing The Girl Next Door and ended up starting Never Let Me Go, books I enjoyed much more.

The Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble

I found this book when searching through the bookshelves at Barnes and Noble, it was on sale and looked interesting.  The Girl Next Door is about a couple who moves from England for the husband's job.  The story goes on to tell about how she is adjusting to life in New York and also shows glimpses into her neighbors' lives.  I really enjoyed this book because I could relate to moving to a new city for a guy and trying to meet new friends, although her apartment building definitely had more promising neighbors than my did.

One Day by David Nicholls

I read this book for my meetup book club.  One Day is about a guy and girl who briefly knew each other from college and then takes you through glimpses of their life using one day, the same day, out of each year.  The book was a very fast read and really interesting since you had to figure out what had happened in the other 364 days you missed.  However, I did often get frustrated with the characters and wished I could yell at them.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

I read this book because my mom had read it and thought I would enjoy it because most of the story takes place in Seattle. The story takes place in the 1940s and then the current day. I loved the Seattle references and reading about the Japanese internment, which I don't know all that much about. Although Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was fictional I felt that it had a lot of nonfiction facts contained within it.

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

I read The Imprefectionists for my meetup book club.  It was a story about a newspaper and the people who worked there throughout the years.  Throughout the book you would get snapshots of their lives, some with more information than others.  I thought this book was really interesting although it was a bit shocking at the end.  I also thought the characters were very realistic, although maybe a more pathetic version of your average joe, I hope!

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

I actually picked this book out because of the cover, it caught my eye.  I bought it while I was finishing up World Without End and one day I accidentally left it at work.  I really like to read before I go to bed, so I started reading The Weight of Silence.  The book sucked me in so fast it was a bit of a struggle to finish World Without End before moving on to finish The Weight of Silence, and I was enjoying World Without End.  The Weight of Silence was written in a similar style to Jodi Picoult, who I love, from many different view points which keeps you in suspense of the whole story until the end.  Overall I really enjoyed the book.  It is about two children who go missing, one of which suffers from selective mutism.

Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart

I read this story for a meetup book club that I am in and this is the first book this particular book club picked out to read.  Also, this is the first book I have read through my Kindle app on my Droid.  I really didn't like Super Sad True Love Story in the beginning.  I am really unsure if it was the book or just getting used to reading books on my phone.  Although the change seemed appropriate because the book is about the future which heavily relies on "apparat" which reminded me a lot of a more advance smartphone.  The book is read through the "dairy" of a 40-something-year-old man and the correspondences, similar to e-mail and chat features, of a 20-something-year-old girl.  As the book went on I started to enjoy reading it a bit more, but it was never the type of book I stayed up later than planned just to finish the chapter.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Trying New Things

I have always attempted to be the type of person who will always try something once, well willing to do most things.  Since moving to Seattle I feel like I have tried so many more new things than I was before.  I think part of it has been the wide variety of cultures, lots of different foods and entertainment.  Part of it is branching out to meet new people, different meetings and groups.  Also, trying to get out and about, lots of fairs and events.  I LOVE the amount of new food and activities I have enjoyed since moving to Seattle!

Here are some of them (you should try them, or something similar, if you haven't before):
- Open water swims, I did the GLOWS and the Emerald City Open Water Swim
- Going to fairs by myself and not being self conscious 
- Mud Run, I did the Dirty Dash.  As a side note they just added O'Dell's as a sponsor, so maybe they will be heading to Colorado next year.
- Kayaking  
- Running a race on a parade route, shortly before the parade.  I did the Torchlight Run.  People are cheering for you and the kids all want high fives, talk about some external motivation!
- Participating in Pride Parade

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Reviews

Check out my other page with book reviews.  I have been trying to update this regularly.  Also, I plan on posting more regularly in the near future!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Break!

I started to write a blog about my trip to Las Vegas and just realized that I didn't get beyond this list (in black). I decided to leave the list and add some more explanation in blue. 

Wednesday Big B and I went to Las Vegas with our two friends.
  We went on Wednesday and Big B and I stayed a bit longer than them through Saturday.  This trip was my Valentine's Day present from Big B
 and he went all out.  I didn't leave wishing I had eaten somewhere different and we went to a show and exhibit that I had really been wanting to see.  
We stayed at the New York, New York.  I really enjoyed this casino because there were a lot of reasonably priced food options and the atmosphere is really laid back.  We ate at the burger joint there and then spent some of the evening at the Piano Bar, which as always a good time.
Piano Bar

Thursday On St. Patrick's Day we went to the Bellagio buffet which is definitely one of my favorite places to eat in Vegas.  We gambled in Hooters a bit, we discovered that this is one of the few casinos that has openings at the $5 craps and blackjack tables.  We headed back to New York, New York to see their St. Patrick's Day parade, it was awesome and had bagpipes, which I love.  
We visited Mandalay Bay to check out the new Guinness store, not really worth the side trip in my opinion.  Most of the trip we were on a mission to find cheaper tables.  We went to Sahara and Fremont for this reason.  While we were at Sahara we witnessed a burrito eating contest. 
Fremont we saw this awesome casino with a water slide that goes through an aquarium with sharks.  At Fremont we also had green beer that actually tasted good!  I don't remember what I meant by sports, but we were there during March Madness and I did place some bets.  I didn't win (even though I thought I should have) because I didn't understand what bet I was placing, oh well, lesson learned.  The evening we saw O, absolutely my favorite Cirque de Soleil show that I have seen.  We were all over the place and I logged 29,217 steps according to my fitbit.
Bellagio buffet
Mandalay Bay - Guinness

Friday We had breakfast at La Font, spent some time at Hooters and Sahara.  Then our friends had to catch their plane home.  Big B and I then met an roommate from college at Pour 24, where we again tasted some good beer.  That evening we went to Zumanity.  
La Font
Pour 24

Saturday Our last day in Vegas we had breakfast at the Paris buffet with my  ex-roommate, another favorite place to eat.  We timed it perfectly so that there was breakfast and lunch items available.  We had some more time before our flight left so we check out the Bodies exhibit at the Luxor.  It was so interesting and I had been wanting to see this exhibit for a while now.  We ate lunch at 9 Men and watched some of the March Madness.
Paris Buffet
9 men

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Hair

I forgot to post photos of my hair, so in case you haven't seen it, here it is.

Much shorter than planned, but it is starting to grow on me.