Friday, January 11, 2008

Making Good On Resolutions

I walked today. Resolution #1...well, it doesn't have to be #1, but it's one of them, is to lose weight! I was going to go to the gym, but I wanted some scenery, so I went to the park instead and walked along the trail. Now my shins are killing me after walking just 2 miles...pathetic :p I totally got my ass kicked by a woman pushing a stroller in front of me. She just took off. But it was a pretty day and I really enjoyed my walk and I'm going to make a habit out of it. I'll save my gym membership for rainy days and when I'm feeling motivated enough to do some weight lifting.

Resolution #2: I went to a book store today and didn't buy a book for myself! This is the third time this year that I did this! I bought The Time Traveler's Wife for the book giveaway since I had Border's Bucks, but nothing for myself. It was really quite comical. I was in the bookstore for literally under a minute so as not to tempt myself. Walked in the doors, straight to the "N's for Niffenegger" and straight to the checkout and out the door. Didn't look at anything else. By the way, you still have until January 15th to enter the giveaway's for Time Traveler's Wife and Wind Follower. Just comment on This Post and let me know you want in.

Resolution #3: Find a job that will make me happy. I applied for a couple of jobs in Austin today that I'm really excited about. They're not the greatest paying jobs in the world, but they're comparable but to what I was making before and benefits are paid in full by the company which makes a big difference. If I have to get a second job to make things work, I will...hmm, maybe a book store on the weekend ;) I had this plan that popped in my head to apply for grad school for my PhD in Austin at UT, and I got all excited about that only to find out that the deadline for applications was January 1st. But I'm not letting it get me down too much. I'm just going to start getting my application together for next year. Not that my chances are that great of getting in, but I have to at least try. It would be amazing.

As far as reading goes, I feel like an utter failure so far this year. I made a horrible mistake by starting with A Clash of Kings, the second book in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. It's not that it's a bad book, I'm enjoying it...it's just that it's so frickin long and a slow read! It's the 11th and I'm still only 350 pages into my first book of the year...400 pages left to go still! There's so many words on each page...it's one of those :/ But January always seems to be a slow month for me. Last January, I only read one book...Lisey's Story by Stephen King. So if that happens again, it won't be a total failure. But I need to at least fit in one more book for Bellezza's Japanese Challenge because I'm determined to finish that one!

For the rest of the night, I'm watching Masterpiece Theatre's version of Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca. Wasn't crazy about it at first, but I'm about half way through it now and I'm enjoying it now. It's pretty faithful to the book, though there are things that were left out. At least no liberties have been taken yet. Though I would've liked to hear those famous first lines spoken at the beginning...

22 comments:

Nymeth said...

Those are all great resolutions! I hope everything works out for you. The job and the PG program in Austin next year would be great!

And don't feel like a failure about reading... we all have our slow reading months. When I was looking at my 2007 list to do the final count, I realized that all I'd done in February was re-read Stardust...and that's a SHORT book.

Sometimes when I'm reading a chunkster and get frustrated with it because I want to feel the accomplishment of actually finishing something, I just pick up something short, something that can be read in a few hours like a comic or a novella. After finishing that I can return to the chunkster without restlessness. You have some comics and The Little Prince to read this year...they'd be perfect for that :P

Quixotic said...

Heh - one of my "unspoken" resolutions this year is to lose weight. I'm not making a big deal of it this time, but I would like to lose a decent amount by April when we have a wedding to attend. Am trying to up my water intake again to help with this as I've been pretty slack on that front...

As for feeling a failure, don't! I still haven't finished Lisey's Story...I think I just keep picking it up at the wrong time. As for reading so far this month...well, I've read a chapter of my book about Jack the Ripper, and am just about to finish a 456 page Koontz novel. I think by this time last year I'd read and reviewed two or three books... Ah well!

DesLily said...

Good luck on your resolutions baby boy!! (I don't do resolutions, thank you very much anyway lol) But the excercise will only do you good even if you don't loose as much weight as you want to.. so keep walking!

I have a number of chunksters sitting here waiting too.. and they are daunting! And they do take time. It really depends on how much they grip you though. If it's something you don't want to put down, you read more often and still fly through the book. If it's only "eh, it's not bad" you tend to put it down more, and when you do read, you don't read for as long as you might something else.

I hate when I get a book that's "not bad, and I want to read it all" but it doesn't make me want to pick it back up every free moment I have *sigh*

I did keep count this past year, but the numbers don't really mean that much to me. I'd rather read 20 books in a year and not be able to get them out of my mind than to read 100 books and not feel I want to go right back and read them again.

I sure hope you get the job you want and that things work out better in that area for you. Especially if it helps bring you and Megan closer! (an added plus to be sure! hehe)

CaroleMcDonnell said...

Yay, it's tough to stick to a resolution as we all know but hey....you did it. Eat a banana yogurt or banana-orange juice shake or eat a banana with some sunflower seeds before walking. Helps with the shins. All that calcium and potassium.

And definitely no books. Moving and transporting books is no joke.

Am off to swim class. Part of my resolution.
-C

Chris said...

Great start on the resolutions. Keep it up! I've been on the treadmill. I'd rather walk outside but right now I'd be knee deep in mud. Lucky you!

jenclair said...

I had a slow year last year concerning reading numbers, but boy, did I have some good reads.

I can't remember when I saw Rebecca -- years and years ago. But strangely, the book and movie have blended and in that amalgam, I hear those words.

Once in college, I was discussing famous opening scenes with a friend and said, "I don't even know what rhododendrons are." The next day, a florist delivered azaleas in a vase. Azaleas? The exotic rhododendron is just a version of an azalea? I've thought more highly of azaleas ever since!

Becky said...

You're doing good on the resolutions. I'm impressed that you made it through Borders :) I try to stay out of my bookstores as much as possible unless I have free money to spend. Fortunately, I have $15 border bucks to spend this month!!! I still don't know what I'm going to get, but I know I'll want more than $15 will buy :)

If you're feeling too bogged down with the chunkster, I'd recommend reading something short to break up the monogamy. I recently read The Diaries of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain--a short 114 pages--and loved it. :) It's just delightfully fun.

Debi said...

Wow...can I first say how impressed I am with your restraint at the bookstore?!! You are off to a fine start! But...were you to get this job in Austin, and were you to find the need of a second job, and were you to get said job at a bookstore...how long do you think you could keep that resolution? ;)

I'm so excited for you, applying for jobs in Austin. How wonderful it will be for you to find a job that not only makes you happy but that gets you closer to Megan, too!

And great attitude about missing the deadline! Just think, you'll only be picking up more experience in the meantime.

Rhinoa said...

You have similar resolutions to me! I am yet to join the gym, but it is something I definetely plan on doing as I want to tone up a bit. I tried to not buy books, but have bought 9 already this year which is rubbish... I am also job hunting at the moment so fingers crossed for you, it's so important to be in a job you enjoy. Happy reading, I am sure things will pick up.

Chris said...

Nymeth, I hope the job and the PhD program works out too. They'd both be really awesome. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on those two! I guess we all have our slow reading months when things just sort of lag...I'll make up for it eventually. There are just so many other great books that I want to jump into! I'm impatient. I had the same idea as you. I was thinking yesterday that I should just jump right into Dewey's Graphic Novel Challenge to make myself feel a little better!

Quixotic, I make the ridiculous "lose weight" resolution every year...and do I ever do it? No! I don't drink near enough water...in fact, I drink hardly any. My liquids are almost wholly coffee! I guess I should really change that as I tend to put a decent amount of sugar in my coffee :p Ooooh, a Jack the Ripper book! That sounds good! Sounds like Lisey's Story may just not be your thing. I know it wasn't for most King fans. I think the reason that I liked it so much is because of all the crap me and Megan had been going through...so a romance worked for me :p

Deslily, That's what I was thinking. Even if I don't lose any weight from it (which hopefully I will!) there will be other positive health effects from walking regularly.I used to walk alot and I could tell how out of shape I was yesterday! It was sad...This chunkster is really starting to pick up now, so hopefully I'll start flying through it now....I finally stopped looking at the page number ever time I turned the page :p It's just ashame that it took 400 pages to really get riveting! I totally agree with you too that I'd rather read a few books that I love than many books that were ok...I just want to clear off some of this damn TBR shelf!!!

Carole, Bananas!! Great advice...hadn't even thought of that and I love bananas. Banana yogurt sounds delicious and I want some for breakfast now :p Have fun at swim class :) Great way to support your resolution and have fun at the same time!

Other Chris, I'm sorry you're stuck on the treadmill :( We're supposed to have rain this coming week, so I'll be there too to make things even! I don't like the treadmill though...when I go to the gym, I tend to do the elliptical machine. It's more fun for some reason...

Jenclair, You did have some good reads! And you find the coolest stuff too! Maybe it's from going to the library, which is part of my resolution of not buying books. Hopefully I'll have the same luck. The opening lines of Rebecca finally showed up in the movie, but not until the end! I didn't watch the Hitchcock version though, I watched the 1997 Masterpiece Theatre version. It was pretty good, the second half being done much better than the first. But of course, the book was set up the same, the second half much more riveting than the first! I went and googled Rhododendrons after reading Rebecca for the first time, so it's hilarious that you should mention that story :p I was actually very disappointed to find out that they were JUST azaleas. I was expecting some exotic beautiful lush read flower that I had never seen before. But now that I've accepted that they are Azaleas, they're still quite beautiful ;)

Becky, It has not been easy to not buy a book for myself, trust me! And we're only 12 days into the year! Yep, I'm in trouble...$15 dollars in Border's Bucks!!! Go you :) That's a whole book! I had the same idea of breaking up this chunkster with a shorter book. I'm thinking of starting in on Dewey's Graphic novel challenge. That will most certainly make me feel accomplished as I know I can manage one of those!

Debi, IMpressed or DEpressed at my restraint at the bookstore? ;) Because I'm DEpressed, lol. Ok, so this is the scary thing about working at a bookstore...at least a major bookstore like B&N. I've had friends who work there and they have this nifty little system where you can just take whatever book you want and just have it automatically deducted out of your paycheck. I kid you not, I have had friends who have worked 70-80 hour pay periods and gotten checks for $60. Dangerous!!!! I'm excited about the possibility of the move to :D It would be so cool not only to find a new job and to be close to Megan again, but also to live in such a cool city...God knows this one has just gone down the drain.

Rhinoa, We have the same resolutions!! It's so comforting to know that I have a resolution twin on the other side of the globe :p I hope that yours go well. No worries on the book buying front. I can nearly promise you that mine won't last all year. I know that's not the best attitude in the world, but I'm afraid it's the truth!

Stephanie said...

Sounds like some good resolutions to me! I can't believe you didn't buy anything for yourself at the Bookstore!! Talk about some self-control!!

(loved the picture of the Subterranian edition of Coraline!! I'm almost to the point of deleting those emails without opening them. I'm SO tempted by the books there. But they are so expensive!!)

Chris said...

Stephanie, I must admit that I'm pretty proud of myself too ;) And I think I'm even going to go to the library today *gasp* As for Subterranean, they are indeed hard to pass up at times! Have you ever seen any of their publications? You're really in trouble if you do, because they're gorgeous. I'm pretty good about not buying too many from them though. I try to only by if Gaiman or Dave McKean is involved :p Every now and then though, there is a de Lint that comes around, but those are normally only $35 for the signed, limited edition which really isn't bad!

Quixotic said...

I don't think it is so much that Lisey's Story isn't my thing, as that I keep picking it up at the wrong time. That has happened before...just not recently. I do like what I've read, but at the time I tried to read it I just couldn't deal with such a chunky book. For the same reason I didn't start Glass books of the Dream Eaters, and I'm putting that off for at least another couple of reads, although I am dying to get to it, because I know I'm just not ready yet. Hope that makes sense!

Chris said...

Quix, It most definitely makes sense...I'm trying my damndest to stick with A Clash of Kings and I am! It's just holding up all of my other reading. I can understand the chunky book getting in the way thing though. Luckily...400 pages into it, A Clash of Kings is getting gripping! Lucky me!

Melanie said...

Sorry to hear that someone else has my lack of reading bug. mine is more of the inability to concentrate than an issue with anything specific i am reading. I did at least finish a book on the 2nd before i succumbed.

as for the job thing, good luck.

Dark Orpheus said...

Keeping my fingers crossed for you for the Austin job hunt, Chris.

You got your ass kicked by a lady with a stroller? ;p

I have that problem with G.R.R. Martin sometimes. But it's really worth it. And by the end of Feast of Crows, you can't tear your eyes from the pages. Really. Hang it there with the series.

Or you can do some push up while you read. Save time going to the gym.

Robin said...

Good luck with the resolutions and with the job hunting in Austin! We're all pulling for you! I understand your frustration with reading a chunkster. I think that's one of the reasons I enjoy reading children's/young adult books. They're fast reads and wonderful literature!

Stephanie said...

That would be awesome if you could go back to school. My husband would love to go back for a PhD but with two young children and a full time job it really isn't feasible at this time.
Stephanie
thewrittenword.wordpress.com

Chris said...

Melanie, I've had the lack of concentration bug too! That one's no fun either...hope it goes away for you soon. You just need to find the right book ;)

DO, Thanks :) Austin would be so cool. Yeah...my ass kicked by a lady with a stroller *shakes head in shame* She was a mighty fit lady with a stroller I might add though....but she was still pushing a stroller...I'm definitely hanging in with Martin! I'm enjoying the book. It's definitely a good read, it's just taking me forever to get through it. I really like his characters though and his story lines are just phenomenal. I definitely could not read this series straight through though. Gonna need a break in between books! Ha! Pushups while reading :) Talk about an instant migraine!

Robin, Thanks for the good luck! That's one of the reasons that I love Childrens and YA lit too...they're satisfying reads and they're nearly always good stories. I think that YA authors don't worry so much about making sure that the book is a "piece of literature" and instead focus on making sure that it's a good story and an entertaining read...Now A Clash of Kings is certainly a good story and an entertaining read and it's by all means an amazing book...but I may just follow this one up with a kids book ;)

Chris said...

Stephanie, It really would be awesome...that's sort of what I'm thinking. I'm at a point in my life right now where it makes sense and where it's do-able, so no time like the presence right? And tell your husband to hang in there! They won't always be young children ;) When I went for my Master's we had 3 or 4 people with grown children in our program or kids in high school at least and we even had a girl who was raising a toddler! He'll get there!

jpderosnay said...

what a brilliant start on your resolutions! you started nailing all three of them!

its funny - it shouldn't matter how slow or quick on reads or how long it takes to read the first book of the year, but somehow it really does!! and you don't want to colour the experience of reading the next ice and fire, but you just can't help it 'cause of that feeling of not having finished a book yet...

i suppose you've considered putting into on hold for a while, just to get a couple of books under your belt for 2008? and then you can go back to martin more relaxed and really enjoy it?

although, by the time you read this that might be a moot point...!

Chris said...

JP, You're absolutely right :P It really shouldn't matter how fast or slow you read a book, but somehow it does...It's really a great book now though! You've read this series, haven't you? I'm just about done it now...only about 200 pages left which is manageable. I should have it done with in another couple of days I'm guessing! Then I think I'm going on to something completely different...maybe some Kawabata.