• Books,  Fitness,  Food

    Here comes summer

    A fairly productive day for me as I went to the hygienist for a cleaning (must return next week for dental checkup though). I spent a lot of time reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma; it’s good, and I’m almost done. What really made my day was that I actually ran today in the late afternoon. I like running in the early mornings, but I have yet to get up early enough for it. It was a good run though since it was windy which means I worked a little harder due to resistance, and cooling. It makes me want to run again tomorrow, but that’s too soon. So I’ll do pilates as I did that today too. Hopefully, I can really kick this fitness program.

    I finally took out a library copy of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to Yours. It’s beautiful. I want to have a four seasons fling with it and all the recipes. Not only does it have a plethora of essential and tasty looking recipes, but there are loads of tips about baking in general and a nice glossry at the back. It’s definitely going to the top of my big cookbook wishlist. Going with it is is Amy Sedaris’s I like you: Hospitality under the influence. Hilarious, but I haven’t looked through it enough yet.

    Back to some reading.

  • Misc & Site

    Friday’s Feast 141

    Appetizer – How fast can you type?

    I haven’t measured it in a long time, but I do hit at 100 wpm when I need to and a little over. I think I am always doing 80 wpm at least.

    Soup – What is your favorite online game?

    I don’t like online game. I get pretty tired of them because I’m not much of a gamer. I like simulation games, but they aren’t so popular online.

    Salad – On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as highest), how intelligent do you think you are?

    I really can’t say. I’m bad at school, but I don’t think I’m stupid. Between a 5-7? Measuring intelligence is very arbitrary and subjective. I don’t necessarily trust IQ tests either.

    Main Course – Name three of your best teachers from your school years.

    Mr. C from HS, Madame B. from Middle School, and Professor Mayer from freshmen year of college.

    Dessert – What are your plans for this upcoming weekend?

    Take home exam and then FREEDOM: knitting, plans for baking, Doctor Who watching, running, movies, books, introspective journal and video entries about ma vie. Good times and lots of productivity for May.

  • Books

    Booking Through Thursday – Seasonal Reading

    1. Does what you read vary by the season? For instance, Do you read different kinds of books in the summer than the winter? I read more in the summer because I’m not in school. As a result, a lot of the books I read in the summer are more longer such as classics or more intense nonfiction. For example, I read emWar and Peace last summer, and I plan to do some Dickens again this year too. I just read less in the winter because I have less time to focus on longer books. So far, most of the books I’ve read this year are shorter than some others I would read in spring/summer.
    2. If so, do you break it down by genre, length of book, or…? Just discussed length, but genre wise, not much different really. I like taking books with me on holiday as well. Even when I know I won’t be reading for most of the trip, I still take something small like Hamlet.

    From Booking Through Thursday.

    Just a take home exam left, and I’ll be done for this semester. Next week expect knitting, reading, and baking posts.

  • Misc & Site

    Friday’s Feast 140

    Appetizer – What is your favorite kind of bread?

    Whole wheat, brown. I like banana bread, poppyseed, freshly baked, home made, etc. I like baguettes, garlic bread… I do like baking. Bread is quite interesting.

    Soup -When was the last time you bought a new pillow?

    A year to two years ago. It’s a Martha Stewart pillow; it’s okay. I want to try one of those ergonomic or specialty pillows.

    Salad – Approximated how many hours per week do you spend surfing the ‘net?

    A lot. This is my main device for procrastination.

    Main Course – What’s the highest you remember your temperature being?

    I remember hitting 38.5’C once.

    Dessert – Fill in the blank: When I ____________ I _____________.

    When I write fiction I never seem to finish it.

  • Books

    Booking Through Thursday

    Okay, there must be something you read that’s a guilty pleasure . . . a Harlequin romance stashed under the mattress. A cheesy sci-fi book tucked in the back of the freezer. A celebrity biography, a phoned-in Western . . . something that you’d really rather not be spotted reading. Even just a novel if you’re a die-hard non-fiction fan. Come on, confess. We won’t hold it against you!Booking Through Thursday

    I don’t read romance, westerns or “cheesy sci-fi”. I don’t even read mystery. My friend actually said I read a lot of bestsellers, which is somewhat true and somewhat not. I do read chicklit, but I’m not ashamed of it. The one thing I would say that I am ashamed of is that not only have I read The Da Vinci Code, but I’ve also read Dan Brown’s first in the Robert Langdon series Angels & Demons… and I’m probably going to read the third book. I don’t like his writing; it’s tacky and full of sensationalism, but I usually start what I finish in book series. There are other stupid reasons, but I’ll spare you.

    Today, I am trying to do a lot of things include read (which I’ve been unable to do for the last two days), watch a movie that I must return tomorrow, and try to get as much done on the clapotis.

  • Musings

    No ice cream for me

    It is Ben and Jerry’s free cone day. I planned to go out for it, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I am not keen on going out. I’m going to read more of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and my new disturbing fascination with Doctor Who fanfiction. I installed the new del.icio.us Firefox extension, and it warped my bookmarks and I can’t change it even after I uninstalled it twice. I love Firefox, but it’s been a pain in the neck lately since I upgraded to the latest release. It’s crash prone and slower. I’ve had to use Safari a couple of times to supplement it. I’m just going to wait for big upgrades next time to avoid all these minor releases that seem to just bug.

  • Movies

    Brødre (Brothers)

    BrothersMichael (Ulrich Thomsen) has everything under control: a successful military career, a beautiful wife (Connie Nielsen) and two daughters. His younger brother Jannik (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is a drifter living on the edge of the law. When Michael is sent to Afghanistan on a UN mission, the balance between the two brothers changes forever. Michael is presumed dead, and Sarah is comforted by Jannik who becomes more responsible and capable as a friend and uncle to the girls. Michael is captured, and returns home after a horrible experience, but his trauma can not be helped as things are irrevocably changed in the family.

    How often do I see Danish films? I think this is my second after Babette’s Feast. I’ve wanted to watch this one for awhile having heard good things overall, the performances notably. It was quite emotional, and Michael’s experiences in Afghanistan were provocative. The movie is about PTSD, families, grief, and the tragedy of life. Michael’s experience may be an exception, but his coping and aftermath are not to a soldier. I knew watching the movie that were not be a clear-cut or happy ending, but I think it was satisfying with a little hope. A lot of the film is done with handheld camera making the scenes more visceral and documentary. The performances by all the cast are good here, and Connie Neilsen looks luminescent and almost angelic in the whole movie. I liked her character a lot, and it wasn’t contrite to see how both brothers would find her beautiful. Both Thomsen and Klaas were splendid, and the triangle was underplayed compared to what you would see in most films.

  • Misc & Site

    Friday’s Feast 139

    Appetizer – When you were a child, which crayon color was your favorite?

    Yellow and Purple. Those were my favourite colours as a kid until I started liking blue.

    Soup– On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest), how likely would you be to change jobs if it required you to move?

    I don’t have a job at the moment, but I sorta want to move away. It all depends on moving where and the salary. I’m not attached right now.

    Salad– Take all the numbers in your birthday and your phone number and add them up, one by one. What’s the total?

    …a big number.

    Main Course– Have you ever “re-gifted” anything? If so, what was it and who did you pass it on to?

    I don’t think. I’ve considered it, but not yet.

    Dessert– Name something you need from the store.

    Errr, sport sunblock for later? Not much really.

    Friday’s Feast.

    Been a stressful week so I’m going to relax with movies and books this weekend finally. I got The Omnivore’s Diet by Michael Pollan finally today so that is the first up.

  • Books

    Booking Through Thursday and P&P spoof trailer

    Have you ever missed an important appointment because you have become so engrossed in a book you forgot the time or were up so late reading that you didn’t wake up in time? Been late to work because you couldn’t resist the temptation and left the house too late?

    I don’t think I’ve missed an appointment, but there have been times where I stay up later than I want to because the book is so good or whatnot. I actually don’t read that much in bed in general though. I do not know if I have ever been late for school, work, or anything because of books. Probably, but for books, I reserve time for them, staying home to read them hopefully uninterrupted.

    This is somewhat book related. I’m finally addicted to YouTube. It is a Pride and Prejudice trailer for yet another adaptation. The actor who plays Darcy is so sketch.

  • Photography

    100/365 Days

    flickr page

    365 Days: A self-portrait a day for a year.

    Reached 100 days worth of portraits. It would have been early if I hadn’t missed those weeks in January. This project has not been easy for me largely because I don’t like pictures of myself and inspiration doesn’t work like that. It comes and goes, but that’s the challenge. Still, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t result in some particular boring or bad portraits over the last 100 photos. On the other hand, most of my most Interesting photos (as deemed by flickr) are my 365 Days photos. Of course, this just is because it is the largest category of my photos. Still, I’ve learned to imrovise, and I realized that I can shoot and do like macro photography.

    Another difficulty of the project for me is the fact I’ve decided not to take a full on facial portrait of myself which has resulted in lots of macros and photos featuring my hair, hands, and lips. The features I relatively like best because I am wary of the lower half of my body and my face as a whole. I’m quite shy about it, and this seems redundant in a self-portrait challenge. I’m aware of that, but the goal is to force creativity (which has happened), and I have ideas for portraits and poses, but I don’t have models. Either way, I’m stuck with myself.

    About today’s photo and out takes: I’ve been particularly inspired of late because I rediscovered a resource for fashion photography. There were a lot of out takes to yesterday’s entry, but I have a ton for today’s. Some of which may never get onto flickr or be seen by anyone because some of the pics pushed a boundary. This photo shoot also resulted in a few photos where I didn’t think I looked like myself. I’ve been wearing makeup in recent entries, and today was the first time I wore lipstick 365. This shoot was very different, and I’m quite proud. I hope I can get inspired by more fashion photography in the future.

  • Fitness

    Spring/Summer Workout Plan

    Just finished an hour of pilates and yoga. Legs feel like jelly since it’s been a few weeks. Time for the fitness post though.

    Goals: Overall fitness/in shapeness, weight loss, body toning, de-stressing, and through cardio, lower heart rate. I have a pretty fast heart rate due to genetics; I can lower, it’ll probably require a lot of it and a long time.

    Stretching (daily): Yoga, Pilates
    Strength (daily): Pilates
    Cardio (every other day): Running, Pilates, and Dance

    Yoga: I love yoga, and this was my first yoga DVD. I’ve been using this for years on and off, but my hamstrings are still quite tight. I use to do the AM workout everyday, but now, I find it a tad too easy and ineffectual for me. I don’t enjoy the PM workout either. The version of this DVD I have includes a Stress Relief workout with Patricia Deason which is the one I use most often now. This DVD does not cut it anymore, and I wouldn’t really like a new one.

    Pilates: I just got this a couple months ago, and I love it. It’s five ten minute workouts (abs, buns/tighs, cardo, flexibility, and arms) that you can mix and match. I’ve never done pilates before this, so it’s always tough to get started, but you really feel it. The only one I haven’t tried is the one for arms because I haven’t bought weights yet, and my arms don’t need the workout as my lower body does. I usually do this for 3 sets (30 min), and relax with yoga afterwards. I try to do this everyday.

    Running: I did it last summer: The Couch to 5K Running Plan. Sadly, I stopped running in September due to knee problems (hopefully won’t happen again because I bought proper shoes), and I hate going to the gym. I did get to the 3x a week for 30 minute target. The plan gave no trouble as I never got cramps, but I got overheated running in the summer mornings. I’m trying to do it either really early (6AM) or later in the afternoon. I’m addicted to the runner’s high, and when I get started again, I’ll write a whole post on it. My goals are to run every other day for 45 minutes or everyday for 30min in the end.

    Dance: This is just me moving around to the dance playlist on iTunes so my heart rate is raised for at least 30 mins.

  • Misc & Site

    Friday’s Feast 138

    Happy Good Friday!

    Appetizer – When you travel, which mode of transportation do you prefer?

    It depends on where I am going, but I’m starting to like the long car rides. Planes are either a hit or a miss for me, but I still find air travel fascinating. I love trains. I’m nerdy like that.

    Soup – Have you ever met a blogging friend in person?

    I’ve only met one friend from online, and I knew her before we started blogging or I had my domain.

    Salad – When was the last time you were really, really tired?

    I’ve been pretty tired this whole week. My low point was probably Monday night.

    Main Course – If you could have dinner with any one fictional character from a book or movie, who would it be?

    Well, this is geeky of me but I’d choose Death or Dream from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. I probably wouldn’t survive the former, but she’s such a fascinating Death figure. It’s like the Monty Python sketch only I’m less oblivious, and we have more fun. My only fear with Dream would be I’d fall in love with him.

    Dessert – Fill in the blank: One day, I hope to see _______________.

    My parents truly happy and for all our dreams to come true. That’s how I would see God, I guess.

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