Thursday, November 3, 2011

10,457 Pages

Last night I finished my 25th book this year, crossing off another Life List item.  I am thinking I have one, maybe two, more in me for the year.  Immediately picked up Book Three from the Song of Ice and Fire series after finishing Book Two last night.  These are not exactly quick reads, with 1,000+ pages in each book and a lot of characters to keep up with.

My favorite books this year:
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese - This book really stuck with me on so many levels.  The compelling story and characters, the medical slant, just the whole thing blew me away.
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan - I actually read this twice, back to back, just to see how the benefit of hindsight changed the experience of the book.
The Wild Trees by Richard Preston - Need to climb a tree or at least visit the redwoods (new life list item!)
Stones into Schools by Greg Mortensen - Was really saddened by the 20/20 'expose' on Greg Mortensen earlier this year.  He remains an inspiration to me despite any doubts cast by the show and ensuing articles.
Bonk by Mary Roach - Stiff was amazing, Bonk just as much - just love this woman's writing style, subject matter, candor.

Emily's bookshelf: read

A Clash of Kings
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
A Visit from the Goon Squad
The Blind Assassin
I Totally Meant to Do That
A Game of Thrones
Little Bee
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
The Girl Who Played with Fire
Never Let Me Go
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
White Teeth
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
The Amber Spyglass
Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Water for Elephants
The Subtle Knife
The Golden Compass
Angela's Ashes
Cutting for Stone

Emily Peterson's favorite books »

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

things i never want to forget

i did not keep a baby book and i regret it like crazy.  'when did caleb start crawling?' Umm - oh - hmm.  hang on, let me sort through the enormous digital photo library (conveniently tagged with photo taken on information) and see when the first crawling photo shows up.  it should only take me, well, 20 or 30 minutes and we can assume plus or minus a week from that date.

in hindsight, i would have written down much much more than i did.  so here are just a few things that have been said recently that i just never never want to forget.

while flipping through halloween costume catalog:
"I could be a B.F. Newton Ninja Turtle"

on what people were doing 2000 years ago (specifically the Shaolin monks):
"was that, like, in the 80's?"
"no caleb, the 80's were only 20 years ago, not 2000"
"well, what are we in now, the twooties?"

on new kindergarten friend kevin:
"he looks like he is from china, but really, he is from charlotte"
side note:  kevin portillo is, in fact, clearly hispanic

first day of kindergarten at Shamrock Gardens Elementary:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Primal Challenge

I'm going on 3 months now.  3 months and about 20 pounds down (I haven't weighed in for over a week.  Because I haven't been to the gym in...over a week.  Tonight I will go to Sandy's class and weigh in - hoping to cross that next Life List item off!).  So yeah, feeling pretty great - people are taking notice which is as much a motivator as anything else (like sleeping better, having more energy, dropping a size, maybe more).  But over the past couple weeks, I have found myself more tempted than ever - and I'm cheating (just a little bit).  Skipping the daily walk/workout, indulging more on Trader Joes Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Covered Almonds, not planning the week's meals, and even going to Dairy Queen (it was really really delicious).

All this said, I'd like to reach my ultimate goal of 30 (hmm - 40?) pounds down by the end of the year and these indiscretions, while not as bad as say, eating doughnuts for breakfast every morning, are going to make it harder to reach that goal.  Just in time, Mark Sisson is launching the 30 Day Primal Challenge on September 12 which should be just the thing I need to get back in the swing of things.  Looking forward to Monday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

feel better life list

opened up and updated the life list today.  all of the items checked off were in the 'feel better' category so i suppose that is my super focus right now.  among the items that have been checked off:

  • attend regular exercise class (wednesday nights with sandy) - 6 consecutive weeks
  • go primal - 2 1/2 months
items that i hope to check off in the next 7-10 days
  • lose 10 more pounds (I am 17 total pouinds down - 3 more to check this guy off)
items that are in other categories that are seeing real progress:
  • read 25 books in a year (I've read 19 so far - 12% ahead of schedule)
  • volunteer regularly (Shamrock PTA - 3 projects so far and school hasn't started yet)
item that nags me every day:
  • draw up a will
item I most wish I can achieve:
  • buy a beach house

Monday, August 8, 2011

A case of the Mondays

things have not gone as planned today.
woke up at 8:15 - that's over an hour later than usual
i felt disgusting due to non-shower sunday + general swampiness
forgot to rinse conditioner out of hair
dropped caleb off for summer camp - in a church sanctuary instead of regular room (which wasn't great to begin with) - i hate that camp
spilled entire glass of iced coffee all over desk/office floor
sprang booby-trapped freezer items while making 2nd glass of iced coffee
skipped gym
lost all internet connectivity to wireless printer
misspelled muskrat
restarted computers multiple times in hopes to restore previous blissful state
cursed at computers and technology in general (first world problem)
looked down and it is 11:36 and i have accomplished next to nothing

Friday, July 8, 2011

On a scale of...

after a recent trip to the RISD art museum, i was inspired to think what i (an un-artist for the most part), would create that would be something completely original, something that really spoke to/about me.  after a few days with this in the back of my mind on vacation, i kept coming back to the image of a scale.

i struggle with the scale in so many ways - weight of course being the most nagging.  i don't own a scale, but instead weigh in when i happen to chance upon one.  The last chance i had was yesterday on an unfortunate trip to the pediatrician to stitch up a little head wound.  i snuck onto the kids scale, hoping it wasn't calibrated to calculate only kids, not fat moms (that thought really did cross my mind, how ridiculous).  i snuck on and off quickly, unbeknownst to any of the nurses around me.  they also didn't know that they were (un)witnesses to me crossing off a LIFE LIST item, and one of the ones I am most excited to complete.


i did it.  Ten down.


the other scale related struggle i have is finding balance in my life - work/family/friends/self.  i do not believe that i will ever have the time to be the emily i want to be for all the people/things in my life.  which is pretty disappointing.  i found some hope in this great interview with gabrielle hamilton, who basically says, fuck the balance, or rather, she puts it a bit more eloquently:  'balance is elusive.'  Here's the clip:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

a mighty life list

one of the blogs that i follow someone occasionally is Mighty Girl, who happens to be a list girl like me (and i strive to be mighty). i have had life lists before - none of which i can find at the moment, which is so very disappointing because i think i have even completed several items off that last one (took photography class, sewed something, started a college fund). happened to check in on Maggie today and was inspired to start a list again. i've broken my list down into some categories:

  • money matters: aka shit i hate to deal with like drawing up our wills. which i am 5 years overdue on. this particular item needs to move from the life list to the daily to-do list because it has GOT to get done. soon.

  • wanderlust: places to go see and one special place to return to (i had a ahhfrica).

  • delicious things: all things food & beverage related - some of which qualify in the wanderlust category and vice versa.

  • feel better: aka stop being so damn fat. lose 10 pounds is the first goal and i've got to say, i think i am pretty close! in other words, the primal diet is working.

  • vanity: i am not especially vain but there are days i wouldn't mind turning heads.

  • the abode: things i want to do for my house. also, purchase a second house that is on a beach (see money matters).

  • my cub: things i want to do and share with caleb specifically. laughing about the toilet and farts and such not included because we do that DAILY.

  • do some good: i am fortunate and others are not and i should take some time to help other people.

  • for the brain: i am smart and want to keep it that way.

  • i like ahht: arts & culture type things like purchasing a museum membership and using it more than the one time when you bought the membership

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

going primal

i am the heaviest i have ever been and not at all happy about it. i resist writing about this because, quite frankly, i don't want to write a weight loss/diet blog. but also, i resist out of pure fear. fear that i have committed these thoughts to somewhere permanent and in the event of failure it will only serve as a painful reminder that i quit. so i am just going to go ahead and put it out there in the hopes that this will become part of my motivational arsenal. this and the box of clothes labelled "too small but i love them."

so quickly, after an expensive trip to the naturopath (another motivator - someone i have to report back to!) i am working on resetting my metabolism to address thyroid and glucose/insulin issues. on strict ten day diet that is pretty much part atkins, part paleo (if a caveman ate it, so can i) and totally without sandwiches.

so that's it. there it is. i'm admitting that i started a diet and i hope to hell i look back at this while wearing that cute white linen top with the black piping and say I DID IT.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

that december resolution

i completely crushed it! since that posting i have not only finished Oishinbo (great) but have finished seven (7!), SEVEN books since then! oddly enough and not really by design, just coincidence, the last six have all happened to be non-fiction. just when i was in to the last 20 pages or so of my last book (The Wild Trees) a package arrived from a friend with a couple books he enjoyed. Both non-fiction and so, the trend continues. does it make it more meaningful when a book is 'real?' when i think back at some of the books that have left me with a real call-to-action, go-out-and-do-something feeling it certainly seems that way. after my last read i am rady to go climb a tree FOR SURE.

as for january resolutions, pshaw. i continue to be on an on 3 days, off 4 sort of rotation. gotta find something habit forming. to replace my bad habits.

SO - the books - I started a GoodReads account in 2008 yet have updated it for the first time just today. adding a widget to keep up with books i've read and a handy list on my phone of things I plan on reading. i think i can add some sort of widget here - which i will do right now.