Friday, July 31, 2015

Haiku Friday

computer running
refrigerator humming
the a/c blowing


these are the things I
can hear at work early, no
one here yet, alone.


should be writing a 
paper, scripting in r or
making figures - nope!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Two for Thursday: Book Review

I know you won't believe it, but I've recently read two (yes, two!) books. The first book I borrowed from my mother in law and it was Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I've seen this book here and there but I had never picked it up to read. When I saw two copies at my in laws' house, I knew it was one I needed to borrow. The book it almost entirely true (save for a few musing by the author) and it covers the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and the coincident emergence of a horrific serial killer in Chicago. The story of the World Fair is fascinating and it's amazing how many things were accomplished in such a short time leading up the the Exposition. It was also the first place a Ferris Wheel was shown, the first time Shredded Wheat (and other processed American foods) were coming on the market and it was the first time Chicago emerged as a Major American City to contend with. The author makes the fair sound amazing and beautiful and I was happy to know that some of Daniel Burnham's work still persisted in Chicago (namely, the Field Museum where Alex and I have been twice now). The parallel story of the serial killer was quite awful (but at the same time, fascinating) to read. He was the penultimate con artist, buying insurance policies on people he didn't know, buying things on credit under an assumed name and swindling contractors out of their trade. He was apparently charming as well, as he lured a number of women into his life and into his home and then killed them when they became inconvenient. The entire story was riveting, but also disturbing. It was comforting to know they caught him, but his last crime was almost too much for me to handle. This book took me a while to get through. It was incredibly well written and gives the reader a glimpse into what the world was like over 100 years ago. It was a fascinating read and I would highly recommend it.

The second book I read was called The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks. You know what? I actually liked this book. First of all, it was free (Alex found it on the lunch table on his floor with a sticky note on it saying "free, enjoy!"). Second of all, it was a super easy read (and I really liked that after finishing Devil). Apparently it's now a movie (of course), but I gotta say that the movie doesn't look too good. The novel follows two couples, separated by a number of years. First, there's Ira and Ruth and a love story that starts before WWII. Ira is in a car wreck and he's reflecting on his time with Ruth, which was really sweet and lovely. It's nice to see a marriage reflected on after years and years of marriage. Then there's Sophia and Luke who meet at the beginning of the book and the reader follows their love story as it emerges. In the end, Ira and Ruth's story and Luke and Sophia's story overlap and the ending is sweet and tidy. Normally, I am not a real romance novel enthusiast, but this book had enough interesting tidbits in it about art and cowboying that I found it enjoyable. This book was a great summer read - super easy, somewhat delightful, well written and entertaining. If you are looking for a beach read, this is it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Country Living and Toddler-isms

  • Last night, in the car: "D eating boogie. Mmmmm...boogie yummmy."
  • I watched a squirrel barf on our front deck
  • D always looks for banana slugs (he calls them ma-nannies).
  • I can hear coyotes howl in the distance as I'm waking up in the morning
  • Some wild pigs walked through our yard the other night
  • A doe and her fawn regularly visit our yard
  • D loves to visit the "quack-quacks" at the pond
  • Swallows swoop overhead while we walk
  • The pond has lots of frogs. At one point, there were lots of tadpoles and you could hear them sucking at the water. 
  • Yesterday, there was a stork at the pond
  • The other day, there was a heron.
  • We have a tree full of ripening plums
  • Bushes full of tart blackberries not yet ripe
  • Thorns and thistles aplenty, making real shoes a necessity
  • It was 100 yesterday when we left work. When we got home, it was 75. So pleasant
  • Crickets
  • Moon and stars
  • Come visit!

Monday, July 6, 2015

More pics to make you happy

Inside the zebra tent with cousin K
Riding the horsie
Outside! Outside!
Playing around with a sculpture downtown
Sleeping in a toddler bed
Watching Pop-pop leave in the morning
Tigger love
Ahoy, matey!
Cool CO clouds
Boing! Boing!
So pretty there
Water play
Water is fun!
Driving an RC car is the coolest thing!
Checking out the old Jeep