Monday, September 6, 2010
I went for a 12 mile bike ride yesterday! I'm pretty excited that I was able to accomplish it, but it was rough. Luckily it was a beautiful morning (57 degrees, apparently), so it was a nice ride. There weren't too many hills to climb, either, so that was good. Unfortunately, I'm always at the back of the pack. I'm going to blame it on being pregnant. Pregnant women get tired more easily, so that's my excuse. :) This morning we enjoyed the weather by going to Rembrant's and eating on the patio. I really enjoyed that! Too bad the hot weather is coming back tomorrow. I could get used to this!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I want to be sure that I have a stroller that is lightweight and folds up enough to fit in my car trunk since I can’t be sure to have an SUV by the time I have a baby. My favorite thus far that I’ve found is the Baby Jogger City Mini. It weighs under 17lbs and folds up with one hand (just grab the handle in the middle and lift; simple as that!). It also comes in great colors. Here is the link: http://www.babyjogger.com/city_mini_sngl_dtl.aspx.
A slightly more affordable option that still weighs in at around 17 lbs is the Graco Metrolight Stroller, shown here: http://www.gracobaby.com/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=1750856. This one comes in many different styles, and its lower price includes accessories that would cost extra on the City Mini, such as the cupholders and the baby tray with cup holder. Those are nice accessories that would definitely come in handy.
I got to see the City Mini in person today at the Bellies and Babies boutique in downtown Chattanooga (Northshore), and it was a real beauty! It seemed to “drive” nicely, with larger wheels than the Graco stroller and a sleeker style, as well. But for the cost savings I may have to go with the Graco. I have lots of time to decide.
I am so excited to announce that I have a new computer. It is a 15 in. Dell Studio laptop, and its color is purple! How fantastic is that? Ryan would want me to tell you that it has a Core i3 processor (which means, I guess, that my computer is fast), 500GB hard drive space (I think), and lots of RAM. Hehe. You can tell I care most about the color. :) Actually, it will be nice to have a computer that works. My previous laptop is on the verge of dying, and we sold my desktop since I need a laptop more now. Teaching classes at two different schools will be much easier if I’m mobile. Hence the new laptop!
I hope this will improve my blogging time. Also, the fact that I’m going to ask my students to blog should help, as well. I can’t ask them to do something I’m not willing to do, can I? Also, my computer also came with Windows Live Writer (which I’m sure anyone can access or download, but which was on my desktop and I had never seen before), which allows me to blog offline and save drafts on my computer. I can also see the actual look of my blog as I’m typing this (as opposed to the post interface in blogger which is just a blank white box to type in).
I’m also thinking about starting up a wish list on here of all the things I want (birthdays, Christmases, etc.). This way I have something to refer back to when I actually get around to buying some of it. If other people want gift ideas, too, that would be fantastic, but I’m not really asking for gifts here. We’ll see how this develops.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love Tiffany Aching and her compatriots, the Nac Mac Feegle. This story and the two that follow it are thoroughly entertaining and imaginative. Tiffany is a young girl who learns she has witchcraft in her blood. In her three-book series, she learns to use (or, rather, not use) magic to benefit the people of her village. The Nac Mac Feegle are 8-inch tall, vicious, comical men who aid Tiffany in her quests. Aside from the plot, The Wee Free Men is about a strong, courageous girl who must rely on herself to save the day. Magical.
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My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My introduction to Pratchett's imaginative world, Going Postal was extremely entertaining and captivating. I definitely want to read more Pratchett. I really enjoyed that the main character is a "good" person (has character, concern for others) even though his actions are "bad" (he's a con artist and isn't afraid to lie, cheat, or steal to get his way). There are evil characters and good characters, and Moist falls into the good category while stretching the readers' normal ideas of good vs. evil.
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010
There is indicative of a place: "We're going to go there after we are finished here," or "Look over there!" "There are some awesome apples in that apple tree over there."
Their is a possessive pronoun: "Their car is in the shop, so they are (they're) borrowing their parents' car."
They're (as shown in the sentence above) is a contraction of they + are. "They're going to their parents' house in the morning."
Simple, right? So don't let me catch you mixing them up!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Sometimes quotes are used to indicate a level of sarcasm or denoting that what is said is not quite true. For instance, if I were to describe dingy socks, I might call them "white": meaning, they used to be or should be white, but are white no longer. You might be familiar with people using "air quotes." Many times these are used for this same purpose: Don't you just "love" this rain we've been having every day for a month?? Quotations around individual words like this are approximately the equivalent of a speaker rolling her eyes while saying the word. The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) defines this usage this way: "Quotation marks may additionally be used to indicate words used ironically or with some reservation."
Recently I've noticed an increase in the use of quotation marks to set off a word or to give it emphasis. This can cause some hilarious situations. Have you ever seen signs that say, "Sale" today! or, Everything is on "sale." What this means to me is that everything is not really on sale. We're having a fake sale. Come see all the regular prices in our store! Or what about a sign for tomatoes: Fresh "vine-ripe" tomatoes for "sale"! (haha). Are they vine-ripe? or is this a lie to get us to buy these tomatoes on "sale" (for the regular price)? Listen up: quotations are not meant to be used to set apart words as important. To do that, use italics, or bold type, or underlining. These methods work much better at getting your point across. So, go buy those VINE-RIPE tomatoes on sale! and save yourself some money.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Two is a number. It's that simple. Two = 2.
To is a preposition: "I am going to the store." It also makes the infinitive form of verbs: to swim, to eat, etc. You probably know you are never supposed to split infinitives, right? But what does that look like? "She likes to quickly swim" vs. "She likes to swim quickly." Do not put a word between the "to" and the verb when you write or speak.
Too is an adverb: "This coat is too warm to wear in March." Or "I'm too hot; I'm going to go inside." It also means the same thing as "also": "I'm going to go inside, too." "Me too!" See?
Now I expect you all to be able to choose the correct word in your sentences so that I don't have to read: "I really like to read to." That makes me ask the question, "To whom do you like to read?" Also, please don't say "I am going too the store two get a drink, to." LOL.
Monday, May 17, 2010
You have probably noticed a couple of colons in the paragraph above, as well. Colons are used to set off a list or example of the sentence preceding the colon, or the part preceding the colon is an introductory phrase for what follows. Notice that the phrase before the colon must be a complete thought, but the part coming after the colon does not have to be. You could say, "Grandma only uses three ingredients in her sweet tea: water, tea, and sugar." But, you would not want to say, "The only three ingredients in Grandma's sweet tea are: water, tea, and sugar." Here the colon is unnecessary; the sentence makes complete grammatical sense without it. Remember: the phrase before the colon needs to be a complete sentence. Colons are often used to introduce quotes, as well. (Grandma told me her recipe for sweet tea: "Boil the water, steep the tea, add sugar, then place the pitcher in the fridge to cool.") Here is a longer, more precise explanation of colon usage.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Do you ever wonder how to correctly use apostrophes? Wonder no more. Here is a brief lesson to help you.
Apostrophes are mainly used to show possession or to create contractions. You use apostrophes to show possession in sentences such as "Tom's car needs maintenance," and "We are going to my parents' house." (Because "parents" is plural and ends in an "s," the apostrophe comes at the end of the word.) To create contractions, use an apostrophe to take the place of missing letters as in "can't" (for can not), "we're" (for we are), and "haven't" (for have not).
Never use apostrophes to create a plural. The plural of "tree" is "trees," not "tree's." Also, if you would like to talk to the Wharys (Ryan and I), you do not spell it "Whary's," but you might want to go see us at "the Wharys' house."
Special possessives: Pronouns do not require apostrophes to show possession; there are already special pronouns that serve that purpose such as her, his, your, its, my, and their and hers, his, yours, mine, and theirs. Pronouns need apostrophes to make contractions: you're (you are), they're (they are), and it's (it is) are three of the most commonly misused words I see on facebook.
Monday, April 12, 2010
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was a really heavy read. It was fast-moving and quick, but the themes dealt with were really weighty. I probably would have given it a higher rating if I were better able to relate to the characters. The writing was well-done, and as much as I didn't like them, the characters were at least real and seemed true to life. If you can handle reading about a lot of sex and drug use, this novel will make you think about family relationships and how couples work through problems in their marriages. From a twenty-first century perspective it is quite interesting to see that people in the 70s were going through the same things we have gone through or are facing now: rising gas prices, inflation, and people trying to be environmentally friendly and eating organic/vegetarian are just a few of the hot topics in this book that are still hot topics today. Besides these, the characters face trying to make a living, coping with relatives, and working out religion for themselves. It's definitely a stirring book that will make you think.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Unfortunately, just about the time when we were getting things settled with the new apartment, Alfred got sick. Then we had to deal with cleaning up after him, taking him to the vet, and wondering if he was curable. After a frustrating time of testing and having discussions with the vet, we weren't sure what to do. So, we took him to another vet for a second opinion, and it turns out he should be treatable with prescription food. Sure it's a little pricey, but if it will keep him healthy and happy, I'm all for it!
On top of all this, I of course have tons of homework to do. So, I'm not sure when I'll get to go exercise again. Hopefully next Monday I can go for a jog/walk, but who knows? I just have way too much studying to get done this weekend (and all before Sunday night at 6:00). Plus, Sunday is my birthday, so after I turn in my homework Sunday evening, Ryan and I are heading to the Melting Pot for a lovely romantic dinner. I am so glad about that. Hopefully after that everything will be semi-normal for a while. Of course I'll be juggling homework for the rest of the semester, but that's okay.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hawthorne's best-selling novel, The Scarlet Letter is a comment on the human heart in conflict with itself and the religion and morality of the day. When two members of a Puritan community sin, one (the pregnant woman of course) gets punished publicly while the other (the father) escapes public punishment but privately languishes under a burden of unconfessed guilt. A third character seeks revenge on the couple and makes life even more miserable for all involved. What makes this story so interesting is that it is a romance. In other words, supernatural phenomena drive the narrative and give it its mystery and appeal. The product of this sinful union, Pearl, is an elfish child who is also a bit creepy. She senses truths she is not supposed to know and adds guilt to both her mother and her father. This book was much better this time around than when I read it in high school.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
School starts Wednesday, however, and then my life will be crazy again. I just have to prioritize things that I haven't made a priority before (exercise and Bible study, especially). I do have a goal weight, too, by the way: 125 lbs. It would be fantastic to lose the 15 lbs I have to go. It might be a bit hard for me to do in a year, but I'm going to try. As long as I don't have to try too hard. :)