Monday, October 29, 2012


feeling busssssy bussssy busssssy.  One more busy weekend and then a bit of a break before the holiday busy starts.

reading Mistaken Identity by Lisa Scottoline, the last two books I've read, Prisoner of Tehran and Gone Girl, were FABULOUS!

longing for summer.

laughing Jon Stewart.  My boyfriend is FUNNNNNY.

crying at how bad some of my students have it.

looking forward to meeting my new Niece!

journaling never.  I pretty much stopped when I started online blogging back in 2000.

celebrating a successful joint 30th birthday bash at our house for two of our friends!

eating salads.. lots of yummy salads lately.  With Raspberry and Walnut Vinaigrette

running zero miles.  But walked about 5!

hoping something would magically take out my house so we could start over on it from the GROUND (literally that is where our current issue is) up

anticipating Halloween!

planning on having Friday off!

drinking dark good beer. Oh, how I loooove dark beer.  Especially in the Fall and Winter!

missing my grandma.

listening to whatever the country station plays or ESPN radio.

making memories with my girl!
Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! I sure did! Got to spend some good time with friends and family.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Prisoner of Tehran - Discussion 2

Happy Friday!

So glad we read this book.  I really enjoyed it.  I'm sad I forgot that there were some passages I wanted to share before I returned it to the library.  Whoops.

1. Marina's experiences were truly extraordinary. Did this make it difficult for you to relate to her? In what aspects of her life and personality did you connect most with Marina? At what points did you have the most difficult time connecting with her? What surprised you most about Marina?

2. Marina's feelings for Ali are complex and wrenching. On page 231, Ali says, "I wanted you, but I'm not that selfish. If there was a way, I would have let you go, and then I would have probably killed myself with a clean shot in the head." Do you believe him, or do you think his actions were motivated solely by his desire? Ali's mother tells Marina that he is "a good man." Do Marina's feelings for Ali's family change her opinion of him?

3. The imagery of the "washable" nature of the written word occurs throughout the book, such as when Marina sees Sarah's body covered in tiny words: "And she washed the words off her skin. The Book of Sarah. Alive, breathing, feeling, hurting, remembering" (page 119). Later, when Marina returns from Evin, she learns that her mother has destroyed her books and her grandmother's life story: "Washed books. The written word drowned, silenced" (page 259). Why is it significant that washing words destroys rather than cleanses them? How does this imagery of "washed words" apply to Marina's story?

4. On page 237, Marina and Ali have an argument about the execution of political prisoners. Ali supports the idea of self-defense, while Marina responds, "I will not kill another human being." With whom do you agree? Why do you think that Marina's and Ali's parallel experiences as political prisoners resulted in opposite viewpoints? Do you think that gender plays a role in their reactions?

5.When Marina and Andre decide to illegally marry, he says to her, "I know that marrying you is dangerous. But I want to do it. We can't give in. We're not doing anything wrong" (page 264). Do you think their decision to marry illegally is brave or foolish? Is it significant that these words come from Andre, who had not been imprisoned, rather than Marina?

6. When Marina returns after two years in Evin, she "felt like a stranger" at home; she wonders if the lack of questions about her experience is "their way of protecting me or protecting themselves." This conversation echoes the one between Marina and her husband at the beginning of the memoir, when he apologizes for "not asking" about her experience. Are Marina's parents and Andre protecting her, themselves, or both? Do you think Marina would still have shared her story with the world if she had originally been able to speak about it with those closest to her? Why?

Thanks for participating!! Hope you join us in November!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

November's Group Read!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn will be November's Group Read! 

Description:  On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around

Discussion over the first 200ish pages will be on November 10th and the discussion over the last 200ish pages/whole book will be on the 24th! Hope you will join us!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Love is...

This was inspired by a recent wedding I attended where I may have been snickering in the back row from the 'advice' given by the priest/minister.

Love is...

- going to bed angry.

- letting your daughter where the clothes of the team you despise.

- marrying someone who is a fan of your rival.

- soaking poopy clothes on your bathroom counter.

- wiping someones nose.

- picking off all the mushrooms.

- laughing at things that no one else would laugh at, especially the super 'wrong' things.

- not nagging.

- watching Pawn Stars.

- driving slowly through Ann Arbor so your husband can talk pictures of stupid maize and blue crap.

- accepting that your spouse is as liberal as they come.

- bringing home ice cream when you work late.

- reading the same book over and over and over and over and over again.

- accepting another persons friends even when they annoy the shit out of you.

- buying someone books for Christmas even when you don't like reading and hate spending money on books.

- not perfect, nor should it be.

What is love to you?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

You Typed in What???

Every few months when I check out my blogs stats it always cracks me up.  Seriously people of the internets... what are you looking for??

what kind of suit would true headcats wear in 1942?  - ummm say what?

susan crichton martineau marriage - who???

what creates mush in the reader's mind - this has been searched for multiple times and why am i the first search result??

There were also multiple searches for mac and cheese and sausage, invisible bridge discussion questions, searches for Halloween books I've posted about in the past, ultrasound searches, and mostly other book related searches. 

Much better than the last time I checked and there were multiple searches for grandpa's doing inappropriate things to grandmas!

What's the funniest search question you've come across?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dear Friday,

I am so glad to see you.  It has been a week.  The weather has flip flopped.  The temperaments of my toddler and my preschoolers have flip flopped.  I completed my first 5K in the rain.  I've had a beer for a weekend breakfast. I've laughed super hard this week.  I've dripped silent tears over the loss of a family member.  I've seen pure joy on my child's face as I make silly noises at her.  I've watched her become more confident in saying words this week.  We've added the words book and door to her repertoire.  Like I said, it has been a week.

I'm excited to spend another weekend with my family.  I hope we see some sunshine as we have an outdoor wedding and we really want to go to the pumpkin patch.  It should be a great weekend for football.  MSU vs. UMSUCK and the Lions are on Monday Night Football.  Oh, and did you know my TIGERS made it to the World Series by SWEEPING THE YANKEES???? I hate the Yankees so this makes me very happy.

I'm hoping to catch up on a weeks worth of blog reading, do some laundry, lounge in some sweatpants and play with my girl.

How was your week?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Suggestions for November Group Read

It's that time of month already! Time to throw out suggestions for next month. 

List of what we've already discussed...

Prisoner of Tehran
The Wednesday Sisters
Looking for Alaska
Cutting for Stone
One Summer
The Year of Fog
Winter Garden
The Violets of March
State of Wonder
The Invisible Bridge
The Postmistress
The Scent of Rain and Lightning
Still Missing
The Sandalwood Tree
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Something Borrowed
The Blue Orchard
Sammy's Hill
In the Woods
Shanghai Girls
The Weight of Water
Water for Elephants
The Color Purple
The One That I Want
The Secret Garden
House Rules
American Wife
Firefly Lane
The Reader
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Awakening
Pride & Prejudice
I See You Everywhere

Suggestions will be open until the 17th and I will put up a poll on the sidebar!

What do you want to read in November?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Prisoner of Tehran Discussion 1

Happy Friday!

I am in love with this book.  I'm flying through it every time I sit down to read.  It terrifies me that things like THIS HAPPEN.  I just cannot accept that people think seeing a woman's hair is the end of the world.  I cannot accept that disrespecting one's religion or their religious entity deserves death.  CRAZY PEOPLE CRAZY. I am so thankful to live where I live and be able to think and say like I do.  Also, how brave is Marina? I wish to say I'd do the same, but man.  Yikes.

These questions are based off of Chapters 1-13.

1.  At the end of chapter 13, Ali gives Marina an ultimatium.  Marry him or people she loves will be in trouble.  Kill herself and people she loves will be in trouble.  What would you do if you were in Marina's situation? What do you think she will do?

2. On page 46, after Marina has been locked outside on the balcony as a punishment by her mother, she decides to rebel, saying "I knew that my mother would get angry, but I didn't care; I couldn't bear my solitary confinement any longer." How do you think childhood experiences such as this one affected Marina's reaction to prison? Was she more or less equipped to deal with the conditions and restrictions imposed at Evin as a result of how her mother treated her?

3. When Ali saves Marina just seconds before her execution she remembers: "His eyes focused on mine, Ali walked toward me. I wanted to run. I wanted Hamehd to shoot me and end my life" (42). Why do you think it was worse for Marina to be rescued by Ali than to die by execution? Does Marina's reaction reflect more broadly on the role of women in Iranian culture?

4. The memoir begins with Marina landing in Canada with her husband and child; we know from the outset, therefore, that her marriage to Ali has ended and that she has remarried. How did this knowledge affect your view of Marina and Ali's relationship? If Marina's marriage to Ali had truly been a "life sentence," would you view it differently

5. What passages strike you as insightful, even profound?

I hope you are all enjoying this as much as me! If you are, I'd recommend Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi or The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood if you haven't read either of those!  Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What Isla is reading v.3

My girl melts my heart every day with her love of books.  She is holding them the correct way most of the time and will even sit and pretend jibber jabber read to herself, which is nice since she usually is begging for someone else to do the reading ALL THE TIME and the quiet moments I get to make dinner or clean up while she reads to herself are amazzzzing.

So, here is what is currently amusing my dear.

Five Little Pumpkins - She loooves pointing at the pumpkins and counting them.  She also can point out the ghost on each page if you ask her where the ghost is.  I like this because I used to do this with a preschool class of mine.

Ten Little Ladybugs - This book is almost destroyed.  She loves it that much.  She sits on it, putting her little nose right on the raised ladybugs.  She will help me count them and she sways back and forth when I read the rhymes in the book.  The early childhood educator in me loves it.  She has one-to-one correspondence! ;)

Peek a Who - I'm pretty sure she loves this one because there is a mirror at the end and she can kiss herself.  Plus, there is a cow and she can moo.

Baby Bear, Baby Bear What do you See -  She likes the repetition in this book and sways with me and helps me point to the pictures.

I love that I have a daughter who already adores books! I am actually going to go buy her some more pumpkin books soon because I selfishly want us to have more.  And for her. 

What are your favorite books to read in the fall?

Saturday, October 6, 2012


- I am currently drinking a fabulous local raspberry wheat beer and enjoying nap time.

- I make no excuses about the fact that I've been horrible about updating my blog.

- I only seem to think of negative post ideas and not all of them should be shared.

- I feel like my thoughts can be shared quicker in a twitter format.

- I'm sad that the sky looks more winter than summer.

- My girl is becoming more and more fun.

- I worry about her speaking all the time even though I know damn well I shouldn't worry yet.

- I love pumpkin.

-  I feel like cooking up all the fun recipes I've pinned but haven't tried but the scale keeps telling me I should pin some more salads.

- I should eat as well as I feed my child but I love cheese too much.

- I'm kind of ready to be over chicken.

- I wish I liked ground turkey.

- I wish money wasn't needed for everything.

- I wish I could decide what I want to do with my schooling.

- I need to stop procrastinating.

- We bought new furniture and I'm super excited!

- I've started Christmas wish lists for everyone in our family and I realllly hope that the people who ask us what we want will actually look at them and not just buy us random crap.

- I hate wedding/baby showers.

- I'm sad that when I had my showers no one really took what I wanted into consideration and get super jealous over cute/small showers that had so much thought/detail put into them.

- I'd love to throw a shower like I mentioned above but I've been ignored.

- I am dreading our family weddings this month.

- I need to find a cheap/reliable/easy to install second convertible car seat and I'm struggling.

- I feel like I'm really succeeding in my goal to not force my viewpoints onto my child (minus the whole ohio state fan thing, that's non-negotiable ;) ).  I mean she eats mushrooms (i hate them), she likes cats and dogs (i do not).  It's all in the baby steps. 

- I'm kind of over martyrs.

- I need to get a family photo done soon.

- I went to the OSU/MSU game last weekend in East Lansing and had a blast.

- I cannot go to any games in Columbus this year because I freaking forgot about my SILs shower that is the day I made plans with my dad to go down.  I'm kind of pissed about this. (see earlier bullet about hating showers)

- I'm loving football season.

- I need a Pumpkin Spice Latte this week.  The cheap gas station stuff isn't working for me anymore.


Happy Saturday.