Skip to content

What I Was Up to This Month-October, 2013

November 1, 2013

Spider Man, The Ninja, and The Egyptian Queen (aka Cleopatra)

I had to wait until today, November 1, to post because, what would an October post be without a Halloween picture?



I attempted to teach John how to be a fire whisperer. He made a good start.

We went camping this month–it was a short trip–a one-nighter.  We debated beforehand if it was really worth it just to camp for one night.  We decided probably not, but went anyway.  We were wrong, wrong, wrong.  It was totally worth it.  The weekend seemed much longer (in a good way!) with just one night of camping.  We went on an Owl Prowl and listened to two barred owls “talk” to us (our ranger/naturalist was doing owl calls to get them to respond).  We looked at stars from a cliff overlooking the Guadalupe River.  We made s’mores.  We hiked and explored.  We tromped through a river.  Fabulous weekend.


We played more soccer.  Someone got her cast off finally and was able to play in her first soccer game, of which she smiled most of the way through.  I was reminded how much this child needs to be involved with organized sports (swimming, soccer, running) to be happy.  Her mood has been so much better since she is playing soccer again.


Someone else is doing so much better at soccer this year.  It’s wonderful to watch children grow older and mature.  We’ve been impressed with John’s maturity on the field–trying to set up plays when he isn’t playing and passing the ball so others can score (sometimes even when he would be better off keeping the ball and scoring himself).


Mine is the one in white.


I managed to read a bit too.  Two of these books I finished in the last week of the month and thought I wasn’t going to finish them before the end of the month.  But I did!

Quiet by Susan Cain.  I loved this book.  It’s a book about everything you ever wanted to know about that strange breed of people called introverts (of which I am one).  Loved.  One of the things I appreciated was that most traits were described as “tend” and that Cain emphasized that each introvert is different…one size doesn’t fit all.  She also talked about the biological factors that go into introverts—introverts often truly are just wired differently.  While some situations may bring out the introvert in extroverts (I heard women talk about how being a stay at home mom makes them more introverted), many introverts simply respond to the world differently.  The converse is often true–introverts can appear extroverted in some situations, however, introverts have to run away for awhile afterwards to recover from their forray into extrovertism.  Strongly recommend this book to everyone.  There will be more on this book in future on this blog.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.  I loved this book too!  This was our book club book for the month.  This has been my favorite book our book club has read so far.  I however, am in the minority in saying that.  Only three of the 8 or so of us in attendance even finished the book.  I love this genre of book–a bit of an epic, it follows the life of Marion from pre-conception to his end years.  There is also hints of magical realism, especially in the beginning.  I love Verghese’s  commentary on life as well.  Nothing is black and white.  Characters are complex and not just good or bad (which is much more like real life for who of us don’t have a dark side or skeletons in the closet?).  Redemption occurs for most of the main and secondary characters.

One Thousand and One Nights by Hanan Al-Shaykh.  I loved this book!  It really is unusual that I read three very different books in a month that make me gush.  I was vaguely familiar with the tale of One Thousand and One Nights.  The back story is a king is wronged by his wife and as revenge to all females, takes a new one to be his “wife” every night.  In the morning, he then kills the woman.  Shaharazad attempts to end this vicious cycle by telling the king a story.  As night ends, she stops the story, without resolving the conflict.  The king can’t bear to kill her because he wants to hear the end of the story.  This is an old tale–it dates to the sixth century as an oral tradition and was first written (in Arabic) in 1450.  Al-Shaykh takes some of the stories Shaharazad tells and compiles them into this book.  This is by no means a complete version of One Thousand and One Nights, it only contains nineteen stories.  I found it fascinating for several reasons.  First, the book was written by woman and does not portray the women in the book as only seductresses or victims.  Second, I couldn’t put it down.  The stories were wonderfully written and addictive.  I loved the story within a story within a story.  I checked this book out of the library but would be interested in owning it someday.  A warning:  this book does not avoid sex–in fact it is full of it, as the book is stories about relationships between men and women.

Prototype by Jonathan Martin.  I did not love this book.  I didn’t even like it.  I found a few quotable and underlineable sections in Prototype, but for the most part, I was disappointed.   I had read glowing reviews of it online and had great expectations.  Meh.  I didn’t like his writing style–it reminded me of Blue like Jazz by Donald Miller and Love Does by Bob Goff.  He writes in second person and says in the questions for the author at the end that he is trying to channel his inner Henri Nouwen.  However, unlike Miller, Nouwen can pull off the second person, although the second person books of Nouwen’s aren’t my favorite of his either.  It feels a bit contrived and overly familiar without a lot of substance.  From other writing I’ve read of Martin (sermons and blog posts), I know he doesn’t always come across like this.  In fact, I like his sermons and some of his blog posts.   This book just doesn’t do it for me though.


Eating Out–Our new favorite pizza place that delivers to us is Promise Pizza.  We like how fresh the toppings taste and nothing is over-seasoned.   It’s not our favorite pizza in town…I’ll take House Pizza (where Madeleine, John, and I ate before going to a UT Women’s soccer game), Eastside Pies, pizza at the Goodnight, and Home Slice over Promise any day (there are many others too–that’s just ones we’ve been at recently or I remember distinctly).  However.  Promise is the only one that delivers to us, so it is our favorite pizza delivery!

My girlfriends and I went to Mettle.  Meh.  None of us were fans and decided they were trying to do to much (fancy stuff) instead of just making sure their food tasted good to start with.   Madeleine and I went to Kome for lunch to celebrate the cast coming off and I discovered that Ramen Tatsu-Ya ruined Kome’s ramen for me.  However we liked our sushi rolls and loved our udon soup.  I just can’t get ramen there any more.

Eating In–I expressed my love Yotam Ottolenghi over on my food blog.  I checked Plenty out of the public library and quickly added it to my wish list.  My brother surprised (ok, not really at all) me with getting me Plenty for my birthday (it was in May….that’s how my family rolls. You have a whole year to get your sibling a birthday present).  I am loving Plenty and it will quickly become one of my go-to cookbooks.  It is a vegetarian cookbook, but the recipes are so good, you don’t notice that it’s missing meat (I looked through the book twice before I realized it was vegetarian).

Everything Else:

We watched Much Ado About Nothing–the Joss Whedon, 2013 version and laughed our way through it.  Wonderful movie.  That was it for movies for the month.  I watched some of season 6 of Grey’s Anatomy.  I tried to the watch the World Series on TV (Way to go Cardinals!  Even though you didn’t win, I don’t care!).  We decided to turn off the TV more (mainly my Grey’s Anatomy addiction) and talk more.  It’s been nice.


Because I had to add this picture. John found an animal bone camping. He didn’t actually put it in his mouth.  This is the one who doesn’t love meat.

This is linked up to Hopeful Leigh’s What I’m Into.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2013 9:13 pm

    One night camping trips are worth it to me, too. Even if it’s been ages since I did any camping at all. I’m really hoping Susan Cain will continue to write about introversion. There’s so many ways she could expand the topic. I really liked Prototype and admit I’m puzzled by the comparisons to Blue Like Jazz (which I liked) and Love Does (didn’t like) because I didn’t get that vibe at all. But to each their own! That is the beauty of living in a world with a billion books- we can each find something we love.

    • November 5, 2013 8:11 am

      I guess I felt like the voice was similar in all three books, maybe it was the genre of spiritual memoir (which I guess technically Prototype wasn’t, but it felt like it at times), which I am not much of a fan of. However, it’s been over a year (maybe two?) since I’ve read Blue Like Jazz and Love Does. Theologically, I agree with Martin completely. I mostly didn’t like his writing style in this book (but it’s funny because I’ve loved some of his sermons and blog posts).

      Very thankful for a billion books—some to reach us all, just like the wide variety of churches of there are out there.


  1. Best Of…. | ordinarywomanordinarytime

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: