Archive for the ‘Check it Out’ Category

Some Tweaking

Friday, October 24th, 2008

I’ve been doing some slight tweaking around here. I know no one else besides me cares about any of this, but I wanted to post about it as more of a record for myself. Of course, there’s also some stuff here for those who can’t get enough of me – I added a Social Media section so you can find me all over the dang Internet. Let the stalking commence.

Other minor things can be found “after the jump” (just because I’m testing that functionality)


In The Rooms

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Since I’ve been in recovery for my food and alcohol addictions, I’ve been surprised at the lack of community and resources online for us addicts. Sure, the fellowships I belong to all have websites and offer online meetings, but all of the forums and other forms of social media I’ve come across have been severely lacking. I just chalked it up to the power of face-to-face interaction with other members; maybe there wasn’t a big need for what I was looking for.

Yesterday, though, I was pleasantly surprised to find a site that could fill the bill I had in mind. In The Rooms is a brand new global recovery community that seems to get it. The site has most of the features you’d expect from a social media standpoint: profiles to fill out and browse, groups for fellowships, member-created groups, libraries for files, news, a blog, photo uploading, a daily meditation offering, and messaging between members.

I hope to make some friends “In the Rooms” and grow my circle of recovery friends around the globe even wider than it already is. That is always a good thing. If you’re in a 12-step recovery group, check it out!

Books and Goodreads

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

I signed up for today – a cool site that lets you keep track of and rate books you’ve read with some social networking thrown in for good measure. Here’s my user profile:

Coincidentally, I saw a book meme online just now, so I thought I’d blog both things. Here’s what you’re supposed to do with the list below:

1 – Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2 – Italicize those you intend to read.
3 – Underline the books you LOVE, and strikeout the books you read but didn’t like.
4 – Post this list on your own blog

1) Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2) The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3) Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4) Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5) To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6) The Bible
7) Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8) Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9) His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10) Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11) Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12) Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13) Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14) Complete Works of Shakespeare – Not sure if I’m read everything, but I’ve read most of his works.
15) Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16) The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17) Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18) Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19) The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20) Middlemarch – George Eliot
21) Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22) The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23) Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24) War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25) The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26) Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27) Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28) Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29) Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30) The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31) Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy – I actually borrowed this from the library and had a hard time getting into it, but I’ll try again.
32) David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33) Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34) Emma – Jane Austen
35) Persuasion – Jane Austen
36) The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37) The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38) Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39) Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40) Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41) Animal Farm – George Orwell
42) The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43) One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44) A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45) The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46) Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47) Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48) The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49) Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50) Atonement – Ian McEwan
51) Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52) Dune – Frank Herbert
53) Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54) Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55) A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56) The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57) A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58) Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60) Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61) Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62) Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63) The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64) The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65) Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66) On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67) Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68) Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69) Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70) Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71) Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72) Dracula – Bram Stoker
73) The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74) Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75) Ulysses – James Joyce
76) The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath – I didn’t hate the writing, but the subject matter was just too depressing.
77) Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78) Germinal – Emile Zola
79) Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80) Possession – AS Byatt
81) A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82) Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83) The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84) The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85) Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86) A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87) Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88) The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89) Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90) The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91) Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92) The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93) The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94) Watership Down – Richard Adams
95) A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96) A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97) The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98) Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
100) Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Damn, that’s a lot of books I haven’t read; I need to get busy with some of these classics. Which one should I start with first?

Kathy Beekman – Artist

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

I remembered the artist’s name I mentioned in my post about Santa Fe: Kathy Beekman. Not only that, but I also discovered her website! Wee!

You can check out her work here:

Isn’t her stuff just gorgeous? I want at least 10 of her pieces in my house right this very instant.

Edit: Her work in the gallery in Santa Fe looked much nicer than what’s on her website. Hmmm.

Reformed Speed Queen

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Ever since I got my license over 20 (ack!) years ago, I’ve been a bit of a speed freak. In fact, after having my license for barely a week, I got my first speeding ticket. I haven’t received too many tickets over the years considering how rarely I followed the speed limit, though. Charming officers of the law might have had a little something to do with that. ;-) My driving just went along with my personality – I was always wanting bigger, faster, more – the typical addict, I suppose. Even after getting into recovery, my driving didn’t really follow suit with all of the other personality changes. I just never felt compelled to drive slower.

However, that all changed last week. I read an article in the Reader’s Digest about Wayne Gerdes, the World’s Most Fuel-Efficient Driver. You can read the story on Mother Jones. The thing that really triggered Wayne to be more fuel efficient was 9/11 and the realization of America’s fuel addiction. My longer daily commute combined with this country’s current state of affairs prompted me to finally change my ways. While I’m not going to get fanatical like this guy – he does some crazy stuff! – I am taking a lot of the practical ideas and applying them with some great results. Basically I’m not driving over 60-65 mph, I’m not breaking or starting suddenly and I’m turning into your typical granny driver. So far I’ve seen a 10% increase in fuel savings. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me. And you know what’s funny? My commute has been a whopping 5 minutes longer. All of that racing in and out of lanes, zipping around to be “first” didn’t really get me very far, I’m finding out.

I’m getting a great deal of satisfaction out of knowing I’m doing my part to reduce the fuel addiction in this country. Now if only everyone else would follow suit, we’d make a real impact. I want to take a copy of the article I read and throw it into all of the cars flying past me on the roads. I know I didn’t feel compelled to change just to follow the law, but when the bigger social and economical issues came into play, I changed my tune real quick.

Next time you’re flying down the highway, remember this stuff, won’t you?