Saturday, January 12, 2013

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013

The Walt Disney World Half Marathon in photographs. The half went through Epcot and Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. For more photos from the race check out my flickr set.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2 day free shipping on Amazon

Free 2 day air Amazon Click Here!!! Free Student
If you want 2 day free shipping on Amazon click the link above. Amanda and I are prime members and order most of the goods we purchase from Amazon.  It’s a great service and free 2nd day air on heavy items is a real plus.  Happy New Year From Amazon!!!
I had this 12 plus ton sailboat shipped 2nd day air on Amazon and it saved me 10 grand.  Well that may not be true but its still a good deal. 

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Must Read Classic Novels

Books that most English Majors or Classic novel enthusiasts read. This list is in no way complete, it will always be a work in progress. Additions are always welcome.

Classic Literature Weekly List:

The Collected Works of Shakespeare: Make no mistake you will not leave any program without reading at least a little Shakespeare.
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer: Although some of these tales may be difficult to read because of the Middle English, these can be fun and at times even vulgar. It would greatly surprise me if you make it through an English program and do not read at least one of these tales.
The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot:  Often referred to as the most important poem of the 20th century. If you are not required to read this one, do so. You will more than likely run into allusions to this in other works.
The Works of John Milton:   I see Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Paradise Lost in your future dear English Major.
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan:  Often labeled the most significant religious work of English Literature. A little hard to understand at times but will show up at least once in your studies. 
The Works of Jane Austen: More likely than not you will be reading Pride and Prejudice. 
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: A short novel that explores the themes of savagery vs civilization, colonialism and racism. It will more than likely grace at least one of your course syllabi. 
A Room With a View by E. M.Forster: Often listed as one of the top 100 English Language novels of the 20th century. Forster is big in English Lit circles and if you do not read this one you may read A Passage to India
Wuthering Heights by EmilyBronte: Great novel, with a bunch of movie adaptations. Even if this does not come up in your studies read this novel and then read it again. 
David Copperfield by CharlesDickens : Pretty much just like Shakespeare you can guarantee that you are going to read some Dickens why not start with David Copperfield, it is a great novel.
Middlemarch by George Eliot: A masterpiece of English fiction, will most likely not only be in your courses but also may appear in some form on the GRE Subject test. 
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton:Won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Read it! 
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Put it on your to read list if it does not make it into your studies. 
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James: This novella lends itself to multiple interpretations so it is a fun one to close read. 
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray: Satirized 19th century Britain and has been compared to War and Peace. May not be part of your studies but it would be a good novel to close read. 
The Odyssey by Homer : Major Greek epic poem that influences many classic authors, read this to understand the references made to it alone. 
The Iliad of Homer by Homer : The other major Greek epic poem. Again this influences many authors it would behoove you to read this poem.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott
: This is the first book I was asked to read over a two day period for a Literary Theory class. Great book, quick read more than likely will appear in one or two of your classes. Unfortunately, it is not available of Project Gutenberg for download, however, here are a few other of Fitzgerald's works.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: Admittedly I never ran into this one in any of my college classes, but I added it to this list because I like the novel. Ghost painting, souls sold: good reading.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: Another great Dickens novel to read and more than likely will be one you read in your studies (or you might run across a reference). 
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: Considered by some to be the first detective novel in the English Language. 
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins: Considered to be one of the first mystery novels. One of the finest "sensation novels." 
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert "Madame Bovary has a perfection that not only stamps it, but that makes it stand almost alone; it holds itself with such a supreme unapproachable assurance as both excites and defies judgment."- Henry James
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne: Hawthrone is important for any study of American Literature and this is a novel they like to use to show you why.
Anna Karenina by  Leo Tolstoy : Tolstoy, you will more than likely run into some but beware they are monster books (lots of pages) so better prepare yourself sooner rather than latter.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy: Ditto what I said for Anna Karenina

Other Lists Online:

Classics Club "Big Book List" : A list from a club that reads classics simply for the love of reading classics. It has various ways in which to participate.
Goodreads: English Major Must Reads:  Goodreads is a social media platform where users talk about books. 

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Books Read 2013

Because I like lists... here is a list of the books that I read in 2013. It is updated throughout the year with books I have read. Those books marked "re-read" are those that I have either read this year more than once or more than once in my life. The number that follows the "re-read" is how many times that I have read it. The number in front of the title is the how many books I have read for the year. The most recently read book is first on the list. Those with links have reviews.

BOOKS READ 2013 TOTAL: 93/100

December 2013
  • (93) The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Holidays by David Borgenicht, Joshua Piven (2/5 stars)
  • (92) Yoga Wisdom at Work by Maren Showkeir (2/5 stars)
  • (91) Sugar and Spice by Fern Michaels (2/5 stars)
  • (90) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (4/5 stars)
  • (89) 12.21 by Dustin Thomason (4/5 stars
  • (88) Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (3/5 stars)

November 2013
  • (87) The Big Book of Scrapbook Pages by Kelly Biscopink (2/5 stars)
  • (86) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (4/5 stars)
  • (85) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (5/5 stars)
  • (84) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling (re-read) (5/5 stars)
  • (83) One Tiny Lie by KA Tucker (2/5 stars)
  • (82) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (re-read) (5/5 stars)

October 2013
  • (81) 365 Ways to Energize Mind, Body & Soul by Stephanie Tourles (3/5 stars)
  • (80) Grimm's Tales for Young and Old (3/5 stars)
  • (79)Mind Bond by Julie Haydon (2/5 stars)
  • (78)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (re-read) (5/5 stars)
  • (77)Bronte Family Chronology (3/5 stars)
  • (76)Biographical Notes on the Pseudonymous Bells by Charlotte Bronte (4/5 stars)
  • (75)Poets Translate Poets Edited by Paula Dietz (4/5 stars)
  • (74)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (re-read) (5/5 stars)

September 2013
  • (73)Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (re-read) (5/5 stars)
  • (72)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling (re-read) (5/5 stars)
  • (71)Roundabout Papers by WM Thackery (3/5 stars)
  • (70)The Secret of Charlotte Bronte by Frederika Macdonald (3/5 stars)
  • (69)The Effective Protagonist in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel by Terence Dawson (2/5 stars)
  • (68)Figures of Several Centuries by Arthur Symons (2/5 stars)
  • (67)Suspended Judgments by John Cowper Powys (3/5 stars)
  • (66)Studies in Early Victorian Literature by Frederic Harrison (2/5 stars)
  • (65)How to Write a New York Times Bestseller by Jason Mulgrew (3/5 stars)
  • (64)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (re-read) (4/5 stars)
  • (63)Hearts of Controversy by Alice Meynell (2/5 stars)
  • (62)Charlotte's Bronte's Thunder by Michele Carter (3/5 stars)
  • (61)The Secret History by Donna Tartt (3/5 stars)

August 2013
  • (60)The Voice is All by Joyce Johnson (3/5 stars)
  • (59)Anansi Boys by Neil Gaimen (5/5 stars)
  • (58)Envy by Sandra Brown (3/5 stars)
  • (57)Mr. Penumbra's 24- Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (5/5 stars)
  • (56)The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer (2/5 stars)
  • (55)Buyer, Beware by Diane Vallere (3/5 stars)
  • (54)The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice (4/5 stars)

July 2013
  • (53)Red Velvet Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke (3/5 stars)
  • (52)Keats by Sidney Colvin (3/5 stars)
  • (51)Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke (3/5 stars)
  • (50)A Day With Keats by May Clarissa Gillington Byron (3/5 stars)
  • (49)Full House by Janet Evanovich (2/5 stars)
  • (48)Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke (3/5 stars)
  • (47)Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke (2/5 stars)
  • (46)Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan (3/5 stars)
  • (45)Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke (3/5 stars)
  • (44)The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner (4/5 stars)
  • (43)Nature's Paradise: Costa Rica by Douglas Goodell (3/5 stars)
  • (42)Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke (3/5 stars)
  • (41)My Education by Susan Choi (2/5 stars)
  • (40)The Elite by Kiera Cass (2/5 stars)
  • (39)Cream Puff Murder by Joanne Fluke (2/5 stars)

June 2013
  • (38)The Prince by Kiera Cass (3/5 stars)
  • (37)The Selection by Kiera Cass (3/5 stars)
  • (36)Snapshots by Mark Hamer (3/5 stars)
  • (35)Carrot Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke (3/5 stars)
  • (34)Downward Dog Upward Fog by Meryl Davids Landu (3/5 stars)
  • (33)Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke (2/5 stars)
  • (32)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (re-read) (3/5 stars)
  • (31)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (re-read) (4/5 stars)
  • (30)Buzz Books 2013 Fall/Winter (3/5 stars)
  • (29)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (re-read) (3/5 stars)
  • (28)Key Lime Murder by Joanne Fluke (2/5 stars)
  • (27)Cherry Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke (3/5 stars)

May 2013
  • (26)Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke (3/5 stars)
  • (25)Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke (3/5 stars)
  • (24)Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke (3/5 stars)
  • (23)Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke (3/5 stars)
  • (22)Inferno by Dan Brown (5/5 stars)
  • (21)The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook by Emily Ansara Baines (3/5 stars)
  • (20)Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke (3/5 stars)
  • (19)The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz (2/5 stars)
  • (18)A Kiss Remembered by Sandra Brown (2/5 stars)
  • (17)Teatime for Firefly by Shona Patel (3/5 stars)
  • (16)Buzz Books 2013 Spring/Summer (3/5 stars)
  • (15)The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (2/5 stars)

April 2013
  • (14)The Host by Stephanie Meyer (re-read) (3/5 stars)
  • (13)While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax (3/5 stars)
  • (12)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (re-read)(5/5 stars)
  • (11)OMG by God (2/5 stars)
  • (10)The Night Rainbow by Claire King (4/5 stars)

March 2013

February 2013
  • (2)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (re-read)(5/5 stars)

January 2013
  • (1)Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (re-read) (5/5 stars)

Useful Links for English Majors

Below you will find a list of useful links for any English Major. Check back often as this list is updated at least once a month.

Free eBooks:

Project Gutenberg: A large database of free ebooks that are out of copyright. This is the first producer of free ebooks online. Their books are for the most part error free and easy to download. When looking for something old I always check here first.
LibriVox: Free audiobooks produced by a community of volunteers from Project Gutenberg texts.  
The Online Books Page: A library with scanned originals of classic books. This site is a little slow and a lot of clicks need to be made before you can actually read the book online. There is not a download option for this library. 
Open Library: Their motto is "a web page for every book ever published" and they have over 1 million free ebooks. A great source for searching for books whether physical or ebook. 
Google Books (Classics): Free classic ebooks but it will take you through and ask you to put in a credit card to pay for the free book. 


Guide to Grammar and Style: An online resource that helps you determine correct grammar and style options in your writing. Reads like an online dictionary.
Modern Language Association: The homepage of the MLA. Lists the style guide and other resources relating to the study and teaching of language and literature.  
Sparknotes: Useful source for getting quick information on your readings. While these are useful to have try not to depend on them to write your entire paper. 

Information about the GRE Literature Subject Test:

GRE Subject Test: If you plan on pursuing a graduate degree in Literature you will more than likely have to take this test. This link takes you right to the GRE page which will tell you fees and what will appear on the test.
Study Guide for the GRE Lit Exam: Student created quick source for some basics that may appear on the GRE Lit exam.  
A GRE Literature in English Study Tool: An online study guide for the GRE subject test from Duke University. 
HAPAX LEGOMENA: GRE Literature Test Preparation : Website created by an MA student you took the test. The flashcards on this site are useful. 

Academic Journals for Literature: (As English Majors you will be spending a lot of time at these places)

Project Muse: Great journal for modern literature. Published by Indiana University Press. You will need to have a subscription to access the journals. Most universities subscribe to it so ask your librarian how to access their online database collection. 
JSTOR: Scholarly content in more than 50 disciplines.  You will need to have a subscription to access this database. Most universities subscribe to it so ask your librarian how to access their online database collection.

Beginning a Yoga Year 1/365

Yoga and I have had an on again off again relationship since 1996. We were always sort of friends but neither of us could fully commit to one another, that is until 2011. Late in the year I came across a RYT200 training course right down the road from where we were staying so I took a chance and dedicated myself to 5 months of an intense yoga training. We did not get along at first, but before I knew it we were best friends and early in 2012 we succeeded and were RYT200 certified. And then 2012 happened and we sort of grew apart gradually throughout the year until finally as the end of the year approach we had hardly spent any time together.

I remember back when yoga and I were friends I felt better, physically, emotionally, spiritually. So in 2013 I have decided that it is time to re-dedicate myself to yoga. Each day for the entire 2013 I will spend at least 30 minutes a day doing some yoga. Today on the first day of the year I pull out an old friend to remind myself of some leg and knee strengthening poses, plus Iyengar sets up this fantastic outline for a six year asana course.

For the first and second week he suggests working on the grounding poses such as Tadasana and Savasana. Because as he states “Without firm foundations a house cannot stand.” Even though I went through the RYT200 course and feel confident that I can lead a very pleasant and satisfying class I feel that my foundation is in need of work and my feet need to be reawakened to the earth and re-grounded before I can move forward in the rest of the year.

Day 1/365 for Project 365