Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reading is to the Mind what Exercise is to the Body

No, I didn't think of that title; it's a quote from Joseph Addison.

It's a good one, though; isn't it? I have been reading a lot lately because I wanted to get back to my roots. :) It seems like I used to read constantly, but in the last couple of years, I've "been too busy." Too busy? For books??? That's absolute crazy talk, and I can't believe I let myself think that for so long. Reading is a joy and a blessing, and so I'm reading again.

I thought I'd share with you what I'm feeding my brain, as of late:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- a right good book. I've been slow at starting this; I'm only on page 250 out of about 700. It's pretty good so far, but I just can't understand how J.K. Rowling will wrap up the entire series in 450 more pages. Madness!

2. East of Eden -- a book I've started twice now. I didn't stop reading it the first time because it is bad; in fact, it's quite the contrary. I was in college while I tried to read it -- bad idea when you're already taking several English lit. classes. The 200 pages that I've read in East of Eden are some of the best I've ever read. Then again, when are 200 pages of Steinbeck's not good reading?

3. Bit Literacy -- a brand new book written by usability consultant Mark Hurst. The subtitle is Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload. One of the many things he teaches you in the book: how to get the number of messages in your e-mail inbox down to a manageable number. Although this book is instructional, it's also easy and interesting to read.

4. The Holy Temple -- a religious book for Latter-Day Saints (LDS), and for anyone interested in LDS temples, I suppose. A very large portion of the book is about temples in ancient times and how they were used. Boyd K. Packer is one of my favorite religious writers -- he's exact and thoughtful. He writes in detail about complex subjects, but keeps it simple so that it's accessible to everyone.

So even after a list of 4 books, I still bought another one on Monday: Blink. Maybe I'll start it soon . . .

What are you reading?

Thing I'm thankful for: the smell of ink on paper -- lovely!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Breakfast of Champions

Yes. I got up and got ready for work today, and on my way out the door, I grabbed a piece of the chocolate cake I baked this morning at 12:15. My cake is not as pretty as the one in the image I found through Google, but hey, chocolate is chocolate.

I just thought that starting my Friday off with chocolate was a good idea. I didn't regret it then, and I don't regret it now.

You should really try it sometime.

Thing I'm thankful for: being busy at work.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Just Say No to Drugs. Get High on Life.

I'm taking a tip from one of my favorite married couples, Lindsey and Blake, and writing a post about my natural highs -- the things that get me excited about life. I don't know how long the list will be, and I'm sure I'll forget something, but here are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. They're in no particular order.
  1. Baking really late at night.
  2. Night-driving to or from the airport.
  3. Reading.
  4. Playing with my nieces and nephew.
  5. Getting tight hugs from little kids.
  6. Making a child smile.
  7. Watching Lexi dance.
  8. Throwing parties for friends.
  9. Listening to someone tell a very personal story or belief.
  10. Studying when I don't have to.
  11. Writing analytical prose.
  12. Editing.
  13. Painting interior walls.
  14. Christmas Eve when my whole family is around.
  15. Watching a really good movie.
  16. Listening to Motown or '70's rock.
  17. Thinking about my future kids and the things I plan on doing with them.
  18. Making other people feel important and special.
  19. Good hugs from boyfriends. ;)
  20. Being able to answer a question at work or add something of value to a work-related discussion.
  21. Debating.
  22. Witnessing an act of kindness.
  23. Seeing people I love.
  24. Learning of a couple's engagement or celebrating a marriage.
  25. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
  26. Delicious food.
  27. Feeling rested.
  28. Learning about a new discovery or invention in medical technology.
  29. Good art.
  30. Watching people create things.
I'll end there. I tried to keep the list to real, true natural highs, not just things that make me happy or bring me joy. I wanted to list things that make me excited about living on this earth at this time. These are the things that make me want to do something good, to be a better someone.

What say you, readers? What gets you all fired up about life?

Thing I'm thankful for: quiet time.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

It's 7:05 on a Saturday Morning -- Why Am I Up?

Because I just took my friend Amanda to the airport. Amanda used to live in Atlanta, but now she lives in Phoenix. I miss her. A lot.

We have fun chatting on our airport travels, though -- I usually pick her up and drop her off, since I'm so conveniently close to Hartsfield-Jackson International. We talk about all kinds of stuff -- church stuff, boy stuff, music stuff, fashion stuff. She's one of those people I will definitely look up in heaven when we're all dead . . . I know she'll have done incredible things in her life, and I'll want to ask her all about it.

ANYWAY, I felt like writing this post because I thought, "Oh, man -- how am I going to get up so early and drive to and from the airport?" Well, I discovered something about myself: I love early-morning driving as well as night-driving. There's really something invigorating about driving on an empty interstate. My mind seems to work best during these solitary driving moments when I feel like I'm one of the only people awake in the world. I cherish that time.

Airports have always been fascinating to me, anyway, and I remember loving to see people off or welcome them home. I wonder if seeing and hearing planes or watching the bustle of people run like mad to catch their plane incites some kind of adventurous spirit in me. I go to the airport, and I want to see the world!

So what am I saying? I dunno, really. But if you ever fly into or out of Altanta at a very odd hour, I'll pick you up or drop you off, whichever it happens to be.

Thing I'm thankful for: milk chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Change Breaks the Silence

After a long hiatus (Hey, 2 months is like a lifetime in the blogging world . . .), I feel it’s time to come back to Busy Nothings. I never intended to stay away so long, but . . . What can I say? I just didn’t make time to sit down and write. I got behind schedule because of all the digital photos I have to re-size and then upload, work has been especially stressful, and I’ve been trying to finish the 7th Harry Potter book and about 3 other books as well. Among other things . . .

What has brought me out of my blogging slump? A little corner of my soul is dying, that’s what. Well, not really, but sometimes it feels like it. Today I went home for lunch, and I saw Lauren and her mother and brother, moving the last of her things out of the apartment. After one year, my first roommate and I are parting ways for who knows how long – because she needs to live closer to Georgia State, and I can’t live that far south.

After giving Lauren 3 hugs and a check, I drove back to work. It might’ve been the fact that I was going back to work, or it might’ve been that I was leaving my friend and confidante . . . (I think it was the latter.) . . . but as I was driving, I had this overwhelming sense of sadness and loss and regret. I felt like I haven’t been the roommate I wanted to be this past year. Lauren and I have had some really, really fun good times, but there are some things I didn’t say or do that I should have.

And so . . . Lauren: I really, really like you. You’re one of my favorites. I’m sorry I wasn’t at home a lot this year, but I think you know I partly needed to learn to socialize. I spent about 24 years of my life being pretty reserved. Regardless, I should’ve had Roommate Home Evening with you more often. I’ll tell you what, though – those Wednesdays of watching “Project Runway” were some of my favorites. I also liked the late-night movie-watching, followed by my mock ballet and gymnastics. It’s fun to make you laugh. : )

I like jumping on your bed and talking with you about boys. I like going to concerts with you and trying new restaurants with you. I like that I feel comfortable enough around you to stop talking in the middle of a conversation and say, “Pause! I really have to go to the bathroom!” (I really do feel that a friendship truly reaches it’s maximum level when you can understand and are comfortable with each other’s bowel movements . . . But that’s another post entirely.)

I love, love, love you, Lauren. Lookout Le Femme. Duff Stuff. Duffster. MACDUFF.

Thing I’m thankful for: Lauren Duffey.