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03 September 2008 @ 12:10 pm
How Not to be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler
This is a young adult book that I thought was pretty good. Not awesome, but it kept my interest. It's about Maggie, a teenager whose parents are like nomads, always moving to different places every few months or so. Maggie has gotten very good at learning how to fit in at her new schools, becoming friends with the popular crowds. But in their latest venture, she decides she doesn't want any friends at all, so that it won't be so hard to leave. She does all the weirdest things she can think of so that the popular kids won't be friends with her. Of course, she doesn't realize that being weird will still make you fit in with the weird kids, and she makes friends unintentionally. I don't have much in common with Maggie, but it was still a funny book.

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
I didn't think this book was awesome, but I have to give the award to something. This was still really good though. It's a young adult fantasy book about a servant girl named Dashti who serves a rich young lady named Saren. Saren is punished for not marrying a horrible man, and the punishment is being locked in a tower for seven years. Dashti, of course, goes with her. They don't stay in there forever though, and some interesting things happen. It's very well-written.

Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown by Maud Hart Lovelace
I went back to this series, which I left off some time ago. The main characters are now twelve years old and they're more interesting than before. They're very sweet books, and I like the stories. This was amusing.
Current Mood: coldcold
11 August 2008 @ 10:34 am
I really like this song by Rhett and Link.

And this fake movie trailer.

This one isn't Rhett and Link, but I think it's really funny.

Current Mood: amusedamused
01 August 2008 @ 10:46 am
Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
This is book three of Mma Romotswe, right? I think so. I liked reading more about her secretary in this one. She's a cool lady.

Free Byrd by Paul Byrd
Paul Byrd is a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. He's not a great writer, so some things in his book came out a little awkward. But he is very honest, and I really appreciated that. It's a book about his Christian faith, the struggles he's had, and how that fits into major league baseball. He seems like a really cool guy. He explains how being a Christian doesn't mean that everything will be perfect for you, or that you won't be tempted by sin, and sometimes give in to it. He focuses on the importance of a relationship with God.

Deadline by Chris Crutcher
A high school senior finds out that he only has a year to live. He wants to have as normal a year as possible, so he doesn't tell anyone. He decides to stir things up before he goes though, and interesting things happen. It was a good book.
Current Mood: calmcalm
11 July 2008 @ 10:39 am
I have some new icons that I didn't make.

I really enjoyed my jog last night.

I even did an 8-minute abs workout from YouTube, which was kind of funny.

Kira told me yesterday that people in the office have noticed that I've been "slimming down." That's a good feeling.

The Indians finally won last night, ending their losing streak at ten games.

If anyone in the area wants to talk to a great financial planner, let me know. She's willing to travel even a couple hours. She's helping me get my finances on track, with saving for retirement and investing. And she only gets paid on commission when my investments make money. It's a great program.
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
01 July 2008 @ 10:36 am
Grass for His Pillow by Lian Hearn
This is Tales of the Otori: Book Two. I'm still enjoying the story and the characters in this alternate Japanese history.

Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
The second book about Mma Romotswe. She is still clever and pleasant to read about.

Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich
An in-between Stephanie Plum book. It's not one in the regular series. It's an extra book for St. Patrick's Day. It's funny how for the in-between books, she doesn't want to mess up the storyline of the regular series, so Joe and Ranger are both conveniently really busy with other things, and don't enter into the story much.

The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs
From the author of The Know-It-All, also a wonderful book, comes this book about his quest to follow the Bible literally for a year. He tries to follow even the most obscure rules found in the Bible, like not wearing garments of mixed fibers and not boiling a goat in its mother's milk. He researched different religious groups that took certain rules to the extreme, like the snake-handlers. He visited different people and places, like the Amish and Jerusalem. I found this book fascinating. There were some rules that he came up with modern equivalents for, and I liked reading about those. He's a really funny guy, and now he's my Facebook friend.
Current Mood: chipperchipper
14 June 2008 @ 10:06 pm
When I read about the history of the Cleveland Indians, my favorite player is Lou Boudreau. He made his major league debut in 1938 at the age of 21, although he wasn't a full-time starter until 1940. At the end of the 1941 season, when he was 24, he was appointed the player manager of the Indians. He played and managed at the same time. No one does that anymore, but I guess it happened sometimes back then.

Lou was a great hitter and fielder, winning the batting title in 1944 and making several all-star appearances. But the major highlight came in 1948 when the Indians won the World Series. (They haven't won it since then.) Lou was still the player manager and he was named the American League MVP that year.

After that, he didn't have much success as a player. He had a couple more managing jobs for other teams, but those weren't very successful either. Eventually, he became a color commentator on the radio for the Chicago Cubs, from 1958-1987.

Lou was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970 and the Cleveland Indians retired his number 5 that same year. He died in 2001.

Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
12 June 2008 @ 10:26 pm
Orson Scott Card mentioned a book in his latest review - The Museum of Bad Art Masterworks.

The book is a collection of pictures from the museum, but there are funny things on the museum's website itself.


The descriptions beside each work of art are the really hilarious parts. Here are some of my favorites:

Circus of Despair
Mama and Babe
Think Again
Two Trees in Love
Current Mood: amusedamused
05 June 2008 @ 11:08 pm
Ellen has taken to saying that she was left unattended in her crib a lot when she was a baby. It seems like whenever we tell a story about something from many years ago, we know that Ellen had been born at the time, but we don't remember where she was. So she just assumes she was unattended in her crib.

How adorable is Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) playing a guitar and singing?

I just keep picturing the little boy saying things like, "Think my name's funny do you? I've no need to ask yours. Red hair and a hand-me-down robe. You must be a Weasley."
Current Mood: amusedamused
05 June 2008 @ 09:30 am
It's kind of like an after-dinner mint. But not really.

Thank you for the birthday greetings! Friends are awesome.

Most of my birthday was spent just like any other day. When I got to work, Kira wished me a happy birthday and there was a card on my desk. Everyone in the office had signed it! That was a sweet surprise. But then no one mentioned my birthday for the rest of the day, so it makes me wonder when they signed it. Probably last week or something. Still, it was more than I had expected. And I'm glad they didn't get a cake for me because I wouldn't have eaten it.

I like how birthdays encourage everyone to write on my Facebook wall. Hardly anyone ever writes on my wall, except Ellen and Emily, so that was nice.

Emily came over after work and made dinner for me while I went for a jog. Then we watched Jeopardy! while we ate. Watching Jeopardy! is a normal occurrence in my family, but last night was even cooler because my friend Clint's co-worker was on it! And he won! I know someone who knows someone who is a Jeopardy! champion! He'll be on again tonight to defend his title, so watch for Louis from Akron, Ohio.

Then Emily and I went to Longfellow's Tavern, a very low-key establishment. It wasn't very busy at all, but it got a little busier later in the evening. We watched the Indians game, which they won 15-9! Ryan, from my old job, stopped by for a short time. He left and then Julian, Nicki, and Clint arrived. Karaoke started and we sang a few songs. It was a lot of fun! I had kind of expected it to just be Emily and me, so the fact that four other people showed up was really nice. It was a late night though, as the baseball game was really long, and Julian and Nicki were waiting to sing a duet. But it was a nice birthday. Way better than last year when I sat at home by myself and watched Music and Lyrics because the Indians had an off-day.
Current Mood: happyhappy
03 June 2008 @ 11:18 am
I found this website where you make a list of your life goals. You can see who shares your goals and cheer each other on. It's at www.43things.com.

My list is here: www.43things.com/person/hestergray

I'll add more when I think of them.

Yesterday was beautiful and sunny. Lunch was boring because no one had anything to say, so after I finished eating, I went outside. I walked along the path around the pond, and then the path just kept going, so kept walking. It went past a building and a couple parking lots to another building. Then it turned into a woodsy area. It wound through the trees for a bit and ended at another parking lot. It was sort of like a circle, and I could have walked across the parking areas back to my building, but I wasn't in a hurry. I turned around and followed the path back. It was a nice little walk. It's supposed to thunderstorm the rest of the week, so I was glad to get outside for one lunch.
Current Mood: okayokay