I Think Mike Needs More Sleep. Or a Kitten.

This is how Mike entertains himself these days when he takes a break from studying. (I believe his favorite part is from about 0:40-0:55.)

He probably watched this next one at least 50 times. Not joking.

It's only the second week of school and already Mike is laughing at cat videos. I'm not sure this is a good omen for the school year. Regardless, we are now in the market for a treadmill.


Book Reviews

I've been reading lots of fluffy books lately as a preemptive strike against all the heavy literature I'll be tackling soon in grad school. Here are my thoughts. Enjoy! (Side-note: I have a tendency to write WAY more than necessary when doing book reviews, so I challenged myself to limit my reviews to no more than four sentences. This turned out to be a challenge of astronomical proportion, and resulted in a high overdose of commas and semi-colons. Let it be known: I have much more to say about each of these books, especially Catching Fire, but I stuck to my challenge. Go me. End of side-note.)

Austenland by Shannon Hale
I'm an Austen fan, don't get me wrong, but I only thought this book was so-so. It was occasionally witty, but not charming enough or engaging enough or funny enough to be at all notable. Basically, I finished the last page, put the book down, and promptly forgot all about it. (Sorry Hale fans.) C-

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
I think I would love this book if I were 10 years old. This is a good thing, as 10-year-old girls are the targeted audience. From an adult perspective, I thought it was a little boring... but I would still recommend it as a fun fairy tale to my little sister and my nieces. B

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
For a book about running, The Maze Runner took forever to get going. Although I disliked Thomas (the main character) for his annoying mood swings and narrow mindedness, I did like many of the minor characters, even though they were never quite developed enough. The most redeeming feature was the epilogue, which gave me hope for book two. (Did anyone else get LOST flashbacks while reading this? Unexplained phenomenons going on all over the place, survival theories, exasperating main character in Thomas/Jack, a severe lack of answers, etc.) (This LOST query does not count in my 4 sentences.) C-

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Arg. I loved Hunger Games. Catching Fire was irritating though. Too many things were told, not shown; all of the characters were stagnant; the plot was just a repeat of Hunger Games... I was disappointed with this book, but that still didn't prevent me from preordering book three on Amazon. C

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
Hmm. I do believe it's possible, normal even, to be a married woman and have male friends... however, I would have a really hard time if my spouse acted the way Becky Jack acts with her devilishly handsome, disgustingly wealthy, impossibly charming soulmate. It wasn't a physical affair, but it sure felt like an emotional affair.  I don't think I'm alone on this, so let's take the book for what it is: A licorice and chocolate gummy bear cupcake. Totally and completely implausible, but kind of enticing in a weird and mildly unwelcome way. So, behind the bizarre sugar rush, I thought the characterization was good, the writing was funny when it wasn't overdone, Hale writes emotions well, but the story seriously dragged- she should have cut about 150 pages (I almost stopped reading halfway through because the novel just wasn't progressing)... all in all, I can see a lot of people taking this book too seriously and fleeing to the Ensign for comfort, but if you can get past the pretense you might enjoy it, so long as you don't fall asleep while reading. (I am aware that this review only barely qualifies as 4 sentences. Deal with it.) C

Next on my list:
-Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins which comes out next week!!!!
-School Stuff.
PS- Thanks for the book recommendations! I plan on reading all of your suggestions, though it may take some time to get through them all. :)



So, I applied to Indiana University's English MA program on a whim, and I got in! Yay me! I have to confess, the prospect of doing both full-time work and full-time school is a little daunting, but heck. Right now I'm just excited. Go Titans!



Today is our first anniversary! Go us. To celebrate, we drove to Lake Erie this past weekend, went swimming, hung out on the coast, and generally enjoyed the lake.
We particularly enjoyed the twin power plants on the north and south ends of the lake, and wondered if they were why the water was so warm...
On the way back we stopped in Shipshewana, our local Amish community, and picked up some yummy homemade bread, homemade raspberry jam, and homemade cheese curds. I am especially enamoured with the jam. Soooo good. After we got home Mike surprised me with flowers!
Today, our actual anniversary, Mike surprised me yet again! We were going about business as usual (teaching the 3-4 year olds at church) when two of the kids in our class had to go to the bathroom. This is highly usual, and so I took them to the bathroom without suspicion. When we got back, I opened the classroom door and was greeted with a rousing chorus of "HAPPY ANNIVERSARY" by a dozen 3-year-olds, all holding a long stem rose. It was probably one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Mike, you get ten out of ten points for cuteness, plus a bonus point for hijacking the cuteness of a bunch of 3-year-olds.

All in all, it's been a great day and a great year. Here's to many more happy anniversaries!