Read in July.

8 books, which is not super fabulous considering that I was on vacation for at least 14 days in July. Also, much re-reading of the Lehane books took over the summer. After I finished them the first time, I couldn’t get into any other books, so I just started over with the series.
Just for fun, let’s limit my summaries this month to 1 sentence each.


Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist. Cohn & Levithan
Perfectly captures that adolescent surge of emotion you feel when you meet someone you might fall in love with.

In Defense of Food. Michael Pollen.
My non-fiction author boyfriend writes about food and proposes a way to eat.

To Kill a Mocking Bird. Harper Lee.
The classic is as good as when I first read it, with some perfectly beautiful passages.

I Am Charlotte Simmons. Tom Wolfe.
O! Tom, I glory in your incredibly long sentences and your mostly unlikable (yet sympathetic) main character; your completely exact observations of 21st century culture–high and low–always blow me away.
Grammar watchers will notice my clever use of the semi-colon to give me some more sentence.

A Drink Before the War. Dennis Lehane
Still good the second time.

Darkness Take My Hand. Dennis Lehane
As was this.

Sacred. Dennis Lehane.
And this.

Eat Fat Lose Fat. Mary Enig & Sally Fallon.
I’m trying to read fewer diet books, but I got this because this was a much more accessible way to put into action the food ideas proposed in Nourishing Traditions.

Started but didn’t finish:
Good Faith. Jane Smiley.
Jane, I seem to run hot and cold with you, with this one being a bit cold.

Cage of Stars. Jacquelyn Mitchard.
I think I will enjoy this book, but sometime in the future.

Attack of the Theater People. Marc Acito.
Alas, I remained immune to Acito’s charms this time and put this down about 20 pages in.

Posts you may have missed because they are out of order.

Okay, so these are really old. It’s actually not July 28, it’s September 12. But I have turned over a new leaf in the blog world and I am committed to not posting things out of order. But I have this issue in that I have a fair number of drafts sitting on my “to do” list. I’ve learned from experience that “new” posts published in the “past” don’t show up on people’s readers. And, at the same time, I want to post things in order for those of us who don’t use readers. So I am breaking a couple of rules (don’t publish out of order, always pretend when writing the post that it is the same day) but I think that this solution is the best one for now. The following posts are from April-June and many have no comments yet. You! Could be the first to comment! Don’t be shy.

And the catching up continues….

04/06/08. Dorky State Quarter Holder.
04/06/08. Bruunch!
04/11/08. Their Uniform.
04/14/08. Signs.
04/16/08. A walk through Northwest Portland.
04/21/08. End of Building
04/26/08. Menucha.

Sara, I think you have commented on the above, but not the below.
05/11/08. Even Less Building
05/17/08. Lost in Translation: Lilacs
05/17/08. This House
05/20/08. Jury Duty!
05/26/08. Uniform!
05/31/08. I know which generation I am.
06/03/08. Hee!
06/03/08. No More Building.
06/06/08. It Takes A lot to be Miss Nomer.
06/07/08. Miss Nomer Reigns.
06/22/08. Sunday Parkways.

Bike Project Day 25: I-205 to Hafidha’s Party.

The Bike Project:

In which I attempt to ride all the yellow, green, blue & purple streets on the Bike There Bike Map while increasing strength, stamina, aerobic capacity and exploring Portland’s Nooks and Crannies.

Day 25

Weather: Gray turning to sunny with a nice breeze. Good temperature for biking.

Part I
Ride Average Speed: 11.6 mph
Time: 1 hour 27 minutes
Distance: 17.03
Calories: 704

Part II
Ride Average Speed: 11.8 mph
Time: 1 hour 24 minutes
Distance: 16.64 mi
Calories: 642

The Ride:
to Marine Drive
To I-205 bike path.
to 23rd
R on Ellsworth
R on 10th
10th changes to SE McGillivray
R on 22nd
Take a few more turns until you get to Hafidha’s sister-in-law’s house.

Route comments:

· My first time solo biking in Vancouver and it went well. Vancouver has very nicely put a bike map online ( and I used it to plot my route. McGillivray is a great street to ride on—big bike lines and not very much traffic.

· I can’t believe I have lived here for 7 years and I have just now ridden over the I-205 bike path. It is a trip. I thought the sound was loud on the Interstate Bridge. Take that noise and double it and then quadruple the length of the bridge. It starts out all nice and flat so there is only the noise to contend with, but then it takes a turn and suddenly there is a persistent uphill grade to deal with on top of the traffic. I thought I never was going to get off of that bridge. It was much more fun riding back to Oregon when that persistent uphill turned into a fast downhill. And, despite the noise, it’s a trip riding in the middle of a freeway.

How did I do?

· This was much further than I should have ridden, given that my longest ride this year was 15 miles. I was very exhausted by the end. I was glad that all the up-hills on the way there were down-hills on the way back. I’ll be resting for the next few days, for sure.

· I’ve noticed that my bike needs to be adjusted. Suddenly, when I ride any length of time, my neck gets very sore. Maybe I need to raise my handlebars?

· My helmet has both a front and rear light on it. For rides longer than 12 or so miles in the daytime I will remember to take the front light off. It’s pretty heavy and it gave me a headache today.

Glorious Bicycling Moments/Neat Things:

· I was riding along Marine Drive at the part that overlooks the Columbia. There were water-skiers out and I think that in a parallel universe I married into a large wealthy family with a penchant for philanthropy and water sports. The family would be chock full of good-natured doctors or lawyers or stockbrokers and my only job would be to produce bouncing babies to carry on the line and take part in the family’s many activities on the water. I would spend my summers water skiing and windsurfing and swimming. My skin would grow dark and my children would grow up in the water with tan skin and prune-y hands and goggle eyes and the lake or river in their blood. In this universe, I miss the hot summers and time spent on the open water, or even at the outdoor pool.

Hafidha’s Baby Shower.

My friend Hafidha is having a baby at the end of September. In 64 days, as she informed us today. She isn’t having the easiest of pregnancies. But, easy pregnancy or not, it was time for a baby shower. Her sister-in-law Tina hosted and her friend Carrie cooked delicious food and a good time was had by all.

Hafidha and Amy. There were three Amys present. This Amy termed herself “three-my” because she was the last to introduce herself.
Hafidha’s mother-in-law (whose name escapes, me, sorry.) This is her first grandchild.
We played shower games, which I enjoy. For the one below, we had to guess how big around Hafidha was in toilet paper. It turned out she was between 11 and 12 squares. I was way off, in the too-big direction, but looking around the room it seemed that everyone else was way off too.

We also played a game where we had to smell eight different jars of baby food and guess what flavor they were. I expected to be better at this than I was, but I did correctly separate sweet potatoes and carrots. Sabrina got all eight, a very impressive feat in my book. The funniest part about this game was how seriously people took it. There were multiple smellings of some jars as everyone tried to get their answers exactly right.
Then there was the great opening of presents. Hafidha got some very nice things, none of which I took pictures of. Somewhere in the midst of the present opening I realized that Hafidha is having a baby in the fall. It wasn’t really quite real to me until this afternoon. Despite the growing stomach and the discussion of the name (Inara) and the various preparations, it was all kind of theoretical to me until today.
It was lovely party and I had a wonderful time.

I know it is July, but let’s head back to April.

And check out these posts you may have missed.
(some are lacking in comments, so feel free)

04/06/08. Dorky State Quarter Holder.
04/06/08. Bruunch!
04/11/08. Thier Uniform.
04/14/08. Signs.
04/16/08. A walk through Northwest Portland.
04/21/08. End of Building.
04/26/08. Menucha.
04/27/08. The grass is greener and Bizarro continues to slay me.
04/30/08. Shiner.

You can get to these posts by clicking on the link or by going to April, clicking on the last post of the month (shiner) and then clicking “older post” until you make it through the month.

Read in June

10 books! I read 10 books in June! This was due to several factors. My awake-two-hours-in-the-middle-of-the-night insomnia seems to have returned, thus giving me more hours to read, though less actual sleep and an overall grumpiness that I don’t recommend. Also my class ended June 10 or somewhere around there. That left more time for recreational reading. Thirdly, I fell in love. Have you ever started a relationship and suddenly the need for sleep diminishes? And you don’t really want to do anything except spend time with the person? And you want to know everything about that person? That happened.

I am not afraid to say that I am in love with Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. I am not afraid to admit that before the month was over I had purchased all five books by Dennis Lehane where they appear as characters. I am not afraid to tell you that not only did I stay up late reading said books, but was happy when I awoke in the middle of the night–more time to read. I am not afraid to tell you that I finished the last book in Hungary and bided my time until I got back home at which point I opened the first book in the series and started reading again.

I’m not really a mystery fan. I’ll read them every once in awhile, but not often. For some reason this series and I were meant to be.

Niagara Falls All Over Again. Elizabeth McCracken.

The Secret. Rhonda Byrne.

Helping Me Help Myself. One skeptic, ten self-help gurus, and a year on the brink of the comfort zone. Beth Lisick

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austin. Syrie James.

A Drink Before the War. Dennis Lehane.

Darkness Take My Hand. Dennis Lehane.

Sacred. Dennis Lehane.

Gone, Baby, Gone. Dennis Lehane.
Yes, indeed I read it in May. But I didn’t know it was book 4 of 5. So now I am re-reading it to preserve the order. Plus, it’s a very good book.

Prayers for Rain. Dennis Lehane.

Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs. Chuck Klosterman.

Started but didn’t finish.
Ship of Fools. Katherine Anne Porter.
I was too lazy to even get into this novel to see if I would like it.

Budapest. Paul Murphy.
I got this book from the library so I could tell one of my friends all the sites she should go to when she visits Budapest this summer. It’s a small book, but has good overview information. The maps are a bit lacking, so I wouldn’t actually take it on a trip.

Didn’t even start.
Anything for Jane. Cheryl Mendelson.