The Beach

Today I spent my day in Wantagh with Sara and her sister Becka.  We went to the beach!  This is the first time I’ve been to the beach in about eight years.  The reason I haven’t been to the beach is:

I’m not a very good swimmer, and usually hang out by the shore.  My friend Kerri, a much better swimmer, kept trying to encourage me to venture into water deeper than my ankles.  Finally, with her by my side, we ran in.  After about three steps, I stepped in something squishy and pokey on the bottom of the ocean.  Not thinking it was a big deal, I lifted my foot out of the ocean–it was an upside down horseshoe crab that was very very dead.  There was a lot of screaming, a lot of arm waving, and trauma.

I didn’t step in any dead sea animals today, but I did get to battle waves and have a lot of fun.  One wave in particular totally clonked me over.  Good thing I float easily!  We also walked the whole broadwalk together–it was awesome.  After, we went to the mall, bought sets of cheap jewelry and played a few games of Pretty Pretty Princess.  It was a blast.  Look down for a photo.  Notice who is wearing the tiara.  Yes, Sara won twice in a row.

The Adult Way to Play Pretty Pretty Princess

Finally, I came home, and showed my mom my battle wounds (apparently sunscreen doesn’t last forever, especially behind the knees.  I am very burned there).  She told me to walk it off.  Haha, mom, you’re so funny.  I think I will go to the beach again sometime soon before all the jellyfish decide to go swimming too.  This time I will only use super glue sunscreen.

The Hug Tree

Hokay.  So.  Here is a photo taken by my brother yesterday of what I like to call the “Hug Tree.”  Let me explain:

There is a tree (I haven’t any idea what kind of tree it is) in our backyard that grows these vine-like things (branches?) whenever it feels inclined to do so.  It also produces these beautiful purple flowers that may contain ants–so don’t smell them vigorously.  Yes, I speak from personal experience.  In any case, back to the vines.  The tree started growing again, and my Dad hasn’t had a chance to trim them.  When the Hug Tree gets to this point, I always feel that it is reaching out for hugs.  Oddly enough, it only grows like this towards the inside of the yard.  You can see my neighbor’s lawn behind the fence, and the vines don’t grow that way.  Either he chops them regularly, or this is magic.  I’m voting magic.  Anyway, I thought I’d share a bit of my magical life with you.  I often consider hugging the tree, but then I remember that one time with the hornets and the frantic running/waddling of little me towards the basement.  Hope the photo doesn’t cause your computer to explode–there were only two sizes to choose from: GIANT or itty bitty.  Guess which one I went with!

Week Nine

This week I gained .4 pounds.  Not too cover this up with excuses, but rumor has it the scales were not working properly today.  No one else in the group lost any weight–but maybe we all messed up this week.  Haha.  I’ve been walking more than usual and eating lots of fruits and vegetables.  Next week will be the real sign whether or not the scale was the problem.

In addition to walking and dancing and swimming, I have plans to clean the downstairs floor and cook a new meal at least twice this week.  Tonight I made hot wings (meaning chicken breast and some hot sauce).  Tomorrow I might try to make rosemary bread, and on Thursday I think I might attempt shrimp quesadillas.

Here’s to a new week!

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Mark Zusak

What a book.  The beginning was slightly boring, but once it picked up, it really picked up.  Isn’t that the same for all books though?  I promise not to give anything away as I speak about my thoughts regarding this book.  Hopefully it isn’t too general and those who read it know what I’m talking about.

In any case, the book is about a young girl who grows up in Nazi Germany.  The story is told from Death’s perspective as he details the events of her life and the effects they have on her and those living around her.  I’ve always been a bit obsessed with the Holocaust.  I’m not quite sure why.  I suppose in a way I always expect the outcome to be different.  As unrealistic as it is, I’m always looking for the hope, love and beauty that can sometimes miraculously bloom in the darkest of times.  That is what this novel is about.  The Book Thief was very realistic and remained true to the history of Nazi Germany.  The narrator’s voice was entertaining and honest, which was sometimes painful to read.  The characters were like friends in the end.  When I had to say goodbye to them, either because they were swept away by Death or because it was time to close the back cover and replace the book on my shelf, I wept.

What a book.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Some of you may be considering going to see The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  Well what a coincidence!  I just saw that tonight!  Let me tell you what I thought of the movie:

First of all, let me start by telling you I went to the movie already aware that it was based on the famous scene out of Fantasia.  You know, the one with Mickey and the brooms and the hat and the music.  Yes.  That’s the one.  Anyway, I thought the trailer looked pretty spiffy (despite the fact that I saw Knowing and wished only to erase the experience from my memory forever).  I heard that the movie was quick and fun and wonderful.  So I went to see it.

The verdict?  Meh.  It was okay.  It was very predictable and in the middle of the movie I was well aware that the evil people were either female or had British accents, and the good women needed saving by the magically inclined men.  Annnnd everything is done for love.  Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but what would it kill Disney to just switch it up a little?  You know, add a female main character, have her rescue the guy from the bad guy who speaks with some kind of accent that isn’t completely overdone.  How about Chicago?  Are there a lot of evil sorcerers from Chicago?  Maybe instead of having everyone fall in love and make out at the end of the film, they could decide to just be friends and frolic into the sunset with some puppies?  Why can’t characters do the right thing because it is the right thing?

In the end I say go ahead and watch it if it’s your thing.  I like magic and physics nerds and good looking men.  It was enjoyable, but I probably won’t see it again.  3/5 stars!

Literal Harry Potter trailer

Click the link and watch a hilarious video about Harry Potter.  For those of you who don’t know (or haven’t already guessed), I am completely in love with all things Harry Potter.  I plan to be at the last two movies at midnight, dressed up and ready for some good times.  There is something perfect about the moment just before the movie starts, when everyone is sitting together and you know very well that you are surrounded by a mass of people who love this one thing you adore.  There is not one person in that theater that wouldn’t trade a left lung to teleport to Hogwarts (unless they got lost and meant to be in theater room eight where they are showing Eclipse).  That one second between when the lights begin dimming and the movie starts is always divine.  The tingles, the excitement, the warmness in your heart.  I looked forward to every book and I continue to look forward to the movies. Okay.  Nerdgasm over.

More Fish!

I couldn’t help it.  I went and got a few new fish.  Added to the tank are three: a black fish with white spots, a white fish with black spots and a catfish.  The black fish has been named Judy, the white fish is Fufucuddlypoops and the catfish is Mr. Whiskers.  They are now happily swimming about, doing what fish do best.  I will do my best to get some pictures soon.

I wonder what fish talk about when I’m not there.  Probably about how weird I am to keep watching them.  It’s very relaxing–just sitting by the tank and watching fish do their thing.  It is also incredibly satisfying to feed them.  On a related topic, I have been considering getting Edward a cute little playground thing for the top of his cage.  Lately he comes out and hangs around with me.  He even lets me pet him.  He knew he had to step it up so he could keep his place as the favorite pet.  Smart bird!

Week Eight

After a week of walking across town for hours and eating fruit until it came out of my ears, I was rewarded with a loss of 2.6 pounds.  My total is now fourteen pounds.  Whoo!  I have dropped two babies worth of weight, and reached my 5% weight loss goal!  Now on to losing 10%.  What should I do when I lose 26 pounds?

Also, this week was full of blooming plants in my room.  I am sad there are no new jasmine buds since the beginning of this week, but I am hoping next week brings a few more.  Jasmine is my favorite smell.

I have decided the best way to celebrate my massive victory is to work even harder.  When I say “work even harder,” what I really mean is “go to Red Mango.”  For those of you around a Red Mango or Pink Berry, you must go there at least once in your life.  It is by far the best frozen yogurt I have ever had in my life.

I might try roasting some Brussels sprouts tomorrow.  I’ve never had then before and I am quite excited to try something new.  I’ll let you know how that adventure goes.  Beyond that, I have plans to finish The Book Thief by Mark Zusak (so far, it’s excellent), go swing dancing on Tuesday and hit up Jones Beach with the Pretty Pretty Princess board game and Sara.  This week is going to be EPIC.

Spinach Lasagna

Hello lovelies!

Today I had off from work, so I decided the best way to celebrate would be to cook something I have never had.  My meal of choice was spinach lasagna.  I was a bit hesitant to try it out for two reasons.  Firstly, I hate pasta.  I know, I know.  I can’t help it!  I’m a rice person.  Secondly, I’ve never made a meal with spinach before.  With that in mind, I drove myself over to the store and bought supplies for my dinner and made it a few hours ago.  Let me tell you–it was delicious.  I’ve decided to try adding some garlic to it the next time, but for my first time making it, I think I did a pretty hot job.

I can’t take full credit for this amazing victory though.  I got this recipe from a spiffy website.  It is run by a wonderful woman who focuses on recipes easy to make and calculate in weight watcher’s terms.  Here’s a link to the recipe I used for my meal: Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Also, a friend of the family mailed us some mangoes from his mango farm.  Do they call places where masses of mangoes are grown a farm?  A mango field?  A mango mansion?  Whatever–either way, the whole house now smells like mangoes and it makes me quite happy.  That’s all for now.  I wish you many fun adventures filled with mangoes and spinach (though hopefully not at the same time)!

Dear Girl in the Purple Dress,

At first I thought you were weird because you watched me through the window as I shoveled cereal into my face.  And then I was annoyed because you interrupted my makeshift breakfast to ask for books about Halloween costumes.  However, when I found you the books and you turned to me and told I was very beautiful, I nearly cried.  Thank you for making me smile, even if I was still chewing corn flakes.

Love,

The woman who showed you the Halloween books

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