Top Ten Tuesday – Authors I’d Like to See on a Reality Show

When I saw this topic listed on The Broke and the Bookish, I planned to just skip it. I’m not really a big fan of reality shows. But, then I began thinking about classic authors, like Jane Austen and Roald Dahl, displaced into modern-day reality TV situations… and knew I couldn’t resist.

I just want to say, before you read any further, that these are all authors that I’ve read, I like, and I respect. So don’t read into my assignments, here–they’re all in fun!

Modern Day Authors

1. Stephanie Meyer on Temptation Island

… But with vampires and werewolves.

2. Meg Cabot on Last Comic Standing    

Because she freakin’ cracks me up.

     3. Nicholas Sparks on Tough Love: Couples

Let’s let the master of romance put his knowledge to good use.

4. Jodi Picoult on The People’s Court     

Knowing the ins and outs of the law, Picoult could really put some of these people in their rightful (lawful) place.

     5. Suzanne Collins on Survivor

But, let’s make it, like, Survivor on Steroids and give her a taste of her own medicine.

6. J.K. Rowling on Dancing with the Stars    

I simply chose this combination because I could actually see it happening…

Classic Authors

     7. Laura Ingalls Wilder on What Not to Wear

I’m sorry, I’m a HUGE Wilder fan–I even did my undergraduate capstone on the timelessness of her series!–but she could seriously use Carmindy and Ted Gibson to revamp her make-up & hair.

8. Dr. Seuss on Project Runway    

With his imagination and creativity, even I might be interested in watching this show for once.

     9. Jane Austen on The Bachelorette

Let’s see if any men could measure up to the standards set by Mr. Darcy.

10. Roald Dahl on Jersey Shore    

He just seems like such a strange guy… I think it’d be awesome to see him and “The Situation” duke it out.

Did I miss any obvious choices? Do you agree/disagree?

Fruit Basket Update

Remember when I said I was super-nervous about our hanging fruit basket falling, and taking the ceiling down with it? Well, it happened.

Luckily, the ceiling stayed in tact, but a few days ago when B reached for a banana, the whole contraption crashed to the counter, and fruit splayed across our kitchen.

We’re back to a fruit bowl.

Old-school fruit bowl.

Meet Tammy

I’d like to introduce you to a new contributing partner here at Sharing Closet Space. After much debate, B and I decided our family could use a new member. So, without further adieu, meet Tammy…

No, we did not get another puppy. Tammy is my brand-new Canon Rebel T3! Ever since photojournalism in high school, I’ve been drooling over the though of one day owning a digital SLR. However, being a broke high school/college student, that dream never became a reality… until TODAY! As a grown-up with a grown-up job, I finally found myself in the position where spending $$$ on a new toy didn’t seem totally irresponsible (just a little irresponsible). Plus, I went to Sam’s Club, where I got the body of the camera, 2 lenses, a camera bag, and a memory card all for the standard price of just the camera body.

So, here she is! Say good-bye to pictures of this quality…

T3 Camera became T-Cam which became Tam which became Tammy

And hello to pictures of this quality!

I’ve been playing all day, and having a blast.

My handsome hubby

“Oh, Dad, you’re so embarrassing…”

I also bought a Groupon for a class at Freeland Photography in Lee’s Summit. I’ll be going June 8th to a 4-hour class, where I’ll learn about f-stops and shutter speeds, then go on a photo shoot with guidance from professional photographers. (The Groupon deal was awesome–$59 for what is usually a $450 class!!)

‘Tis the Season

Well, folks, running season is in full swing. I kicked it off with the Rock the Parkway half-marathon, and since then, have gotten a little registration-happy. Here’s my race calendar so far:

Seeing it all typed out makes me feel a teensy bit crazy, but also super-stoked. I went to Michael’s last weekend and bought all the supplies necessary to make my own race medal display. After this season, I’m gonna have that baby filled right up!

Goodreads

This year I decided I needed to start keeping track of the books I’ve read. I have an awful memory, and will literally forget about a book less than three days after finishing it. If someone asks if I’ve read a book, I often didn’t know… It was pretty sad.

My mom has a friend who has kept a notebook since high school, detailing every title, a quick summary, her opinion of the book, and any memorable quotes. I only wish I had thought of that years ago! Alas, I did not, and I’m sure that tens of books I’ve read will remain forgotten.

To remedy the situation from here on out, I took two measures: I started my Book Log page on my blog, to let you all know what books I am reading in 2012. And I also opened a Goodreads account. I’m really enjoying being a Goodreads member, as I can scroll through list after list of books, marking them as “read” or “to-read”, giving my own ratings out of five stars, and even voting on some of my favorites. It made the A-Z list I posted earlier this week a breeze.

Although I’ll never actually be able to add every book I’ve read in my life (because I can’t even remember what I read last month), if I keep this list going from now on, at least I’ll have them all from age 24 on.

How do you keep track of the books you’ve read?

Top Ten Tuesdays – Favorite Quotes from Books

Brought to you by the creators of The Broke and the Bookish

Presenting…

Katie’s Top Ten Quotes from Books

1. “You should be kissed often, and by someone who knows how.” – Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

2. “Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another!” – Jane Austen, Emma

3. “Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.” – Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

4. “I’m right and you’re wrong, I’m big and you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

“Here it is,’ Nigel said. “Mrs. D, Mrs. I, Mrs. FFI, Mrs. C, Mrs. U, Mrs. LTY. That spells difficulty.’
How perfectly ridiculous!’ snorted Miss Trunchbull. ‘Why are all these women married?”

“I cannot for the life of me understand why small children take so long to grow up. I think they do it deliberately, just to annoy me.” – Roald Dahl, Matilda

5. “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” – L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

6. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

“It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

“It takes much bravery to stand up to our enemies but we need as much bravery to stand up to our friends.” – J. K. Rowling, the Harry Potter series

7. “Old Marley was as dead as a doornail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a doornail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a doornail.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

8. “Neither the mouse nor the boy was the least bit surprised that each could understand the other. Two creatures who shared a love for motorcycles naturally spoke the same language.” – Beverly Cleary, The Mouse and the Motorcycle

“Words were so puzzling. Present should mean a present just as attack should mean to stick tacks in people.”- Beverly Cleary, Ramona the Pest

9. “Maybe, sometimes, it’s easier to be mad at the people you trust because you know they’ll always love you, no matter what.” – Ann Brashares, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants #1

10. “I’m telling you, it’s fu**ing hard to be classy.” – Janet Evanovich, One for the Money

Having a (Bowling) Ball

Two weekends ago, B and I found ourselves with a rainy afternoon to kill in Mason City, IA. So, we headed out to the Rose Bowl, breaking our habit of bowling only once a year (with his family on Thanksgiving).

We started out surprisingly strong, and were feeling pretty good about ourselves:

B's Happy Dance

My Happy Dance

However, that streak didn’t last very long for me, and I ended my first game with a whopping 81 pins. B did better than that–he actually ended up getting what we’ve decided is a new PR for him (because he can’t remember his one from before): 138.

B, the bowling stud

So, we decided to shake things up a little for Game #2. We used my iPhone to pull up the directions for Funky Bowling, a game we’d learned with his family at our last Turkey Day outing. Funky Bowling is great for those of us with no strategy to speak of. It kicks the boredom that usually rolls in about Frame 7 for me, and lends itself to a fabulous photo shoot.

Bowling with my opposite hand

Sometimes we used the same strategy for the challenge:

B bowling with two hands

Me bowling with two hands

But other times we had different approaches:

B bowling backwards

Me bowling backwards

We had to hop on one foot:

One-legged bowling

And sit on the floor:

B's sitting bowl

It's hard to get a lot of oomph from this position

Then came the scary part:

B had to bowl through my legs.

Flying towards him!

For the last frame, we could bowl however we wanted:

My choice

There’s something to be said for marrying someone who can turn a rainy afternoon in rural IA into one of the best dates we’ve had in a long time.

What’s the best date you’ve had recently? Or, when did you have a surprisingly good time?

My Favorite Books A-Z

Ellie, over at Musings of a Bookshop Girl posted this fun meme the other day. (I had to look up the meaning of the word meme recently, as I’ve been seeing it more and more. Am I the only one who didn’t know that a meme is simply “a concept that spreads via the Internet”? According to Wikipedia, a meme could be a hyperlink, video, picture, website, hashtag, or, apparently, a fun little game that you can paste on your blog and bore your readers with.)

So, the idea of this one is to name your favorite books that start with each letter of the alphabet. Here goes:

0-9 One for the Money – Janet Evanovich

A  Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
Big Boned (a Heather Wells mystery) – Meg Cabot
C  (The) City of Ember – Jeanne DuPrau
D  (The) Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
E  Emma – Jane Austen
F  (The) Faith Club – Ranya Idliby
G  Good in Bed – Jennifer Weiner
H  The Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling
I  If Looks Could Kill – Kate White
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
K  No title
L  The Little House Collection – Laura Ingalls Wilder
M  Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
N  Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult
O  Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout
P  Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Q  Queen of Babble – Meg Cabot
R  Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
 Something Borrowed – Emily Giffin
T  The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
U  (The) Undomestic Goddess – Sophie Kinsella
V  Valentine Princess – Meg Cabot
W  Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
X No title
Y  (The) Year of Living Biblically – A.J. Jacobs
No title
Not too surprising that I hadn’t read any X’s or Z’s, but I was surprised that I hadn’t read any K’s! At least, not according to my Goodreads account. Maybe I’ll have to make that a priority for this year.

The Two Facets of Christianity

Driving across Iowa is boring. However, it’s something that B and I find ourselves doing a few times a year, and two weeks ago was yet another one of those occasions. Before we got married, we used long drives as an opportunity to work through our 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married book. As was its intended purpose, the questions spurred many deep and thoughtful conversations. Now, having worked through the book and passed it on to my best friend and her fiancé, we are continuing the trend. Somehow, being confined together in a small space for 3+ hours with nothing to do but drive (and occasionally change the CD or playlist), we become reflective.

As I’ve shared before, B and I come from very different religious backgrounds and viewpoints. And, although we attend church together every week, our beliefs still differ greatly. But instead of tip-toeing around the issue, B and I have learned to listen to one another as we explain our views, where we’re coming from, and where we stand currently.

One thing that B shared with me on this past trip really stuck with me. As I was elaborating on my recent experiences with Yoga, and what that meant to my faith, he said that he didn’t really feel like what I was talking about had anything to do with Christianity. I got quiet. He continued, saying that, although Christianity is (obviously) a huge trend in American culture, and many, many people call themselves and view themselves as Christians, he feels there are very few real Christians in the world. He went on to explain that he feels like real Christians are people who are out there in the world, doing something about what Jesus preached and what God asks of us. It’s not enough to feel close to God or feel a connection to Jesus, B explained. You’ve got to get out there and work to change the world.

At first, I felt offended by what B said. I’ve been feeling so connected to God and my faith recently, that I took this is some sort of insult. I felt that B was saying that what I was experiencing wasn’t good enough. “Well,” I responded, “I’m a Christian. So you can consider me a Christian.”

But, having had a week to reflect on our conversation, I’ve been able to get my thoughts together a little more. So, here goes:

I believe that Jesus brought peace to the world. I believe that this is the connectedness I feel when I do Yoga. It’s the connectedness my dad feels when he meditates. Different people feel peace in different ways; regardless, this feeling is what needs to become internalized before one can go out into the world and respond to the charge that Jesus issued to his followers. When living in peace, one is able to hear God’s call and respond to Jesus’ request. The call sounds different for every person. This is the personal, spiritual aspect of Christianity.

For me, I feel called to work with children. I want to share the love and peace I know with my students, and I want to change their worlds for the better. I do this by teaching them to read so that they can experience the world through books, teaching them to think so that they can form their own opinions, and teaching them how to handle their emotions so that they can form strong relationships in their life. This is the action-based aspect of Christianity.

The spiritual and active facets of Christianity work together to make one’s faith. One part cannot exist without the other; peace and action work hand-in-hand in my faith.

So, readers: Do you agree or disagree? How do you find peace? What is your call?