Jane’s Summer Reading

As of Monday, my summer classes are over! That means it’s time to get serious about reading. (That’s probably not how it’s supposed to work…)

Anyway, I decided I wanted to read 15 books this summer. (I picked the number 15 for no other reason than if I don’t set a numerical goal, I won’t read anything at all.)

Being at Holden Village for a week helped me take a huge bite out of my list. Check me out…


I know you are judging me, but Diary of a Wimpy kid is hilarious. Seriously. Read it.

My plan is to fill the remaining nine spots with the following:

Catch 22 (Joseph Heller)- This is a leftover from last summer. I’m almost exactly halfway through it, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to start over, because I don’t remember anything about the first twenty chapters and it’s hard enough to follow when you DO know what’s going on.

Shop Class as Soulcraft (Matthew Crawford)- I have half of this book finished, as well. Last summer, I moved it from the reading room of the library to my office (which is also in the library) and have been sloooowly chipping away at it all year. When I took it to the circulation desk to officially check it out, the librarian told me it had been missing and she has been looking everywhere for it for months. Oops.

100 Things Steelers Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die (Matt Loede)- Would it be TMI to say that this is my toilet book? Anybody want to borrow it when I’m done?!

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert Pirsig)- Don’t know anything about it other than it comes highly recommended and it has reaaaaally tiny print.

The Handmade Marketplace (Kari Chapin)- A how-to on selling crafts.

Anne of Green Gables (Lucy Maud Montgomery)
Anne of Avonlea
Anne’s House of Dreams– My grandfather gave me these when I turned 10. I’m 26, and still haven’t read them. It’s time.

Out of Our Minds (Ken Robinson)- I watched this TED talk by Ken Robinson, and immediately ordered two of his books. This one is about how we educate creativity right out of our kids, and how to educate it right back into ourselves. Howard Gardner and John Cleese give it high praise, and that’s good enough for me.

What’s everybody reading this summer?


Happy Christmas in June.

My favorite little brother gave me my Christmas present, yesterday! (He found these and was afraid I would buy them for myself.)

Let It Be. Magical Mystery Tour. The Beatles (The White Album).


Thanks, Lil Brudder! Merry Christmas, everybody!

New Kicks.

Every other morning, I would wake up and my knees would hurt. My feet would be throbbing. My neck. My back. All in pain. And I would think, “Is this stupid running crap really worth it? Maybe my body just can’t handle it.”

Finally, a few days ago, my shoes kicked the bucket. I think I bought them in 2006, and I’ve taken them everywhere – every trip around the world that I’ve been on, they’ve been right there with me. But, finally, it happened: I finished a run, and, when I pulled my foot out of the shoe, and a huge chunk of flat, well-worn-out foam came out right along with it. I started examining the soles of the feet, and I realized that two chunks of padding had completely worn out from the soles of the shoes. It was time. I had ignored the massive hole in the right shoe for a good year, but this was the last straw. Time for new kicks.

Unlike Jane, I can’t go out and get Vibrams (I argue that I should sue Vibram for discrimination against people without 5 toes…).  So, after spending a solid hour-and-a-half at the running store downtown, I finally chose them!


The next day, I excitedly took them out for a spin. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about having to break them in….

Yeah, I had to buy special band-aids for the blisters/portions of my body that are now missing because of my new shoes. And I WILL be using that duct tape from now on until I get the new shoes all broken in and ready to go.

On the bright side, fancy band-aids, duct-taped heels, and everything: I ran 9.5 miles yesterday!

#16: Water-Ski Barefoot

I don’t know why I’m going to put myself through this.

Water-skiing is probably the single most frustrating/discouraging skill to learn. It’s physically straining; it’s difficult to explain/understand (you really do “just have to get the feel for it”).

And, if at first you don’t succeed, you get water up your butt.

Lord knows how many hours my (saintly) parents spent on this task– pulling me halfway out of the water; retrieving the ski I inevitibly lost in my fall; waiting patiently while I put the ski back on my foot and cried a little; throwing me the rope that I could never reach on my own; straightening the boat; and repeating the whole process over and over and over and over until I gave up or I (finally) learned.

Now, rather than being happy that I can water-ski with little difficulty (and even slalom with moderate difficulty), I’m wondering if anyone would like to take to the task of teaching me how to do it all in my bare feet.

#15: Own The Beatles Discography on Vinyl

First of all, why is my spell check asking me to correct “Beatles?” The Beatles existed long before you did, spell check, so get with it!

It was my birthday on Tuesday. I am now 26– closer to 30 than 20. Or as Ty put it, “closer to 50 than to my birth.”

Anyway, my brother, who is also a lover of everything Beatles, got me the awesomest (oh come on, spell check!) present: The Beatles Live at the BBC, and a Quarrymen album (the band that would become the Beatles), both on Vinyl!! I’ll even forgive him for wrapping them in a Wal-Mart bag.

In addition to these, I have managed to collect Abbey Road, Sgt. Pepper, and Rubber Soul.

So, in less than four years (yikes), I need to find the following: Please Please Me, Meet The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles for Sale, Help, Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles [The White Album], Yellow Submarine, and Let it Be.

Anyone know of any good record stores?

Friday Foods

At work, we have a tradition called Friday Foods. We read passages of scripture, share our thoughts on it, and then share breakfast! Each week, two people bring in food to share. But, please be aware: people take this seriously. Every week, these two people must bring in different food, and you are judged by others based on what you bring in. So, when I first started my job, I received an email that went something like this:
Email: “Oliver, would you be interested in being put on the next Friday Foods schedule?”
Me: “If people want to eat what I bring…!”
Email: “Trust me, no food goes uneaten on the fourth floor. I won’t put you on the schedule until June.”
So, that was that. I was signed up. And June is here.
Every now and then, it crept into the back of my mind: “I need to come up with a sweet idea for Friday Foods.” I would glance over breakfast recipes, briefly consider bringing in my favorite box of cereal, and then resolve to find a recipe in the near future. Then, it hit me: my favorite thing is coffee. My favorite thing to enjoy with coffee? Baked goods. Alright, scones it is. Blueberry, please.
Ta-da! The phenomenal recipe came from Cook’s Illustrated (which may well become a lifeline during my journey of trying to learn how to bake and cook…otherwise known as not being able to afford to eat out). These ended up not being as dry as normal scones, which is fine with me! Since I was being a little cheap, I used frozen blueberries instead of fresh; however, the frozen blueberries seemed to make the scones even more moist! They were delicious!
Friday Foods? Consider yourself dominated.