Sunday, July 6, 2014

Achieving the Fabled 8th Weekday...

I did it, my husband did it, and my kids too; we bought ourselves an extra day this week. No kidding.

If I had been looking for this fabled 8th day, the one The Beatles so lovingly sing about...."Eight days a week," it's doubtful it would have been found. Nevertheless, here I am, reliving Sunday for the second time this week.

Here's how we did it, for those interested in trying it out:

1. We booked a campsite on Thursday for a quick Fourth of July weekend celebration.

2. Although the campground was reserved until Sunday, we actually left on Saturday for several reasons:

Reasons we left the campground early:
  • We wanted to get away for the weekend to celebrate July 4th but we didn't really want it to be a vacation since we are going on our actual family vacation this week.
  • There are many local campgrounds within 10 miles of our house but the ones we wanted to go to were closed, to our surprise, although fire hazard is probably a logical reason to close a campground over this type of holiday. 
  • After settling on a campsite at The Lake, it didn't take long to realize this was no traditional campground experience, it was an Urban Campground experience. Defined: An Urban Campground exudes all the elements of camping but after midnight turns into a rave festival. Instead of crickets and hooting birds, there are deafening sounds stemming from people that distract any average camper from realizing the vast outdoors.  Around 4am most of the music, car alarms, laughing, shouting, sirens from an unseen but local fire station, and stray illegal fireworks, all die down into a peaceful morning. People sounds absent, animal sounds rise, birds chirp, the sun rises and life is as it should be once again, until the next night, of course.
  •  Two sleepless nights were enough (that's apparently how old I've become.)
  • We wanted to get back and unpack, wash the laundry, clean the cars, and relax.
3.  All of Saturday we cleaned, prepped, and readied ourselves for a brand new week, all the while our minds still reeling from our camping/rave haziness.

4. By 9pm, the kids are exhausted, crumbling, and emotional. We are ready for a soft bed and peaceful night.

5. Bright and early, a little later than normal, but still on time, my husband rises at 5:45am for work. On the way, he boasts about the light traffic in a message to my brother-in-law, and manages to get a workout in at the gym before heading down to his client in the city of Orange.

6. Meanwhile, I wake, despite the summer, at 6:20am. I proceed to read in the bath, but keep in mind finishing the laundry in preparation for our highly anticipated midweek vacation. I stop reading when the bath runs cold and begin making a mental note of all the tasks that need to be completed before Wednesday while I put makeup on.

7. My husband arrives at work after grabbing breakfast after the gym but doesn't immediately realize he's at work on Sunday rather than Monday. He has to sit there in the empty parking lot for a minute until his brain lets him in on the secret it's been keeping from him: Psst, it's Sunday.

8. I'm ironing my clothes when the cell phone rings. My husband is on the line with a quiz for me: "Hey Babe, what day is it?" The answer doesn't come to me immediately. I am task driven at the moment and choosing my guess from dates, appointments, and soccer is World Cup after all. I settle with, "Monday?" Not, "Monday." But, "Monday," with a question mark. He says no and asks it again, "What day is it?" More firmly I say, "Monday." Period. Laughter ensues. It is Sunday. We have achieved the Eighth Day!!!!

Now, what should I do with my extended week? Write? Yes, some. Read. I did that when I thought it was Sunday. So many options! It's going to be a good Sunday!!!

Has this ever happened to you before? How did you celebrate your 8th day?

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Rival List to Amazon's 100

Short note before I get rolling again. I dropped off the planet for a couple of years after my mother died. But now I am slowly getting back into the things that used to bring me joy.

A lot of lists go around the Internet about things we should all do in our lifetime. I really enjoy most of those lists, and Amazon's List of 100 Book to Read in a Lifetime only stands out to me because the list was disappointing. Did you check it out yet? I fared 19 read, 11 partially read, and 12 added to my new list of To-Read's.

That was a paltry score, but I'm an avid reader since age 6. So what's wrong here? I decided to write down only books I read that I could remember off the top of my head and then I categorized them into Children's, Young Adult, and Adult. Maybe I'm snobbish - I think at least 100 of the books on my list are far better than the ones on Amazon and I'm so snobbish that I am going to post them here for all the world to see. Now, some books that should be read, may have been, I just didn't dig into my memory to find books I didn't thoroughly enjoy. Other great books are still on my To-Read list. Some of these books are great by most accounts, and others were pure fun. Did I enjoy Shakespear, or Tennessee William? Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman? Or, am I just showing off? Take comfort, I really enjoyed my AP English classes and went on to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts so I am going to say, yes, I truly enjoyed them at the time. The list is perpetually incomplete, no doubt, but outline my joy of reading.

Did you challenge the Amazon Top 100? How did you fare? How should these types of list be comprised?


1.       The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exubery, 1943

2.       Winnie the Pooh – A. A. Milne

3.       Frog & Toad – Arnold Lobel, 1970

4.       Alexander & the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Judith Viorst, 1987

5.       Ramona Quimby, Age 8 – Beverly Cleary, 1981

6.       Ribsy – Beverly Cleary, 1964

7.       Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1932

8.       The Bobbsey Twins – Laura Lee Hope, 1904

9.       Two Girls & A Mystery – May Hollis Barton, 1922

10.   Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathen Swift, 1726

11.   The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain, 1884

12.   The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain, 1876

13.   Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll, 1865

14.   Alice Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll, 1871

15.   Cinderella – Paul Reade, 1980

16.   Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White, 1952

17.   Goldilocks & the Three Bears – Robert Southey, 1837

18.   The Real Mother Goose – Blanche Fisher Wright, 1916

19.   Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter, 1902

20.   The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss, 1957

21.   Are You My Mother – P.D. Eastman, 1960

22.   One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish – Dr. Seuss, 1960

23.   Madeline – Ludwig Belmelmans, 1939

24.   The Mouse and the Motorcycle – Beverly Cleary, 1965

25.   Henry Huggins – Beverly Cleary, 1950

26.   Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing – Judy Blume, 1972

27.   Where the Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silverstein, 1974

28.   The Peanuts – Charles M. Schultz - 1950

29.   Jack & the Beanstalk – (too many writer’s. Couldn’t find the one that wrote the one I read) 1988

Young Adult

1.       Animal Farm – George Orwell

2.       Babysitter’s Club – Ann M. Martin

3.       Too Young to Die – Lurlene McDaniel

4.       Where the Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls

5.       Sweet Valley High Series – Francine Pascal

6.       The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

7.       To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

8.       Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

9.       Old Yeller – Fred Gipson

10.   E.T. – William Kotzwinkle

11.   Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

12.   Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins, 2008

13.   Blue Blood’s P.C. Cast Series

14.   Twilight Series – Stephanie Meyer, 2005

15.   Forest of Hands and Teeth – Carrie Ryan

16.   Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares – David Levithan

17.   Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire

18.   The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

19.   The Spectacular Now – Tim Tharp

20.   Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

21.   13 Reasons Why – Jay Asher

22.   Ms. Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

23.   Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maude Montgomery, 1908

24.   Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling

25.   Sleepover Friends Series – Susan Saunders

26.   A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams,

27.   Romeo & Juliet – Shakespeare,

28.   Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

29.   Hamlet – Shakespeare

30.   The Odyssey – Homer

31.   Julius Caesar – Shakespeare

32.   The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

33.   A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Shakespeare

34.   Death of A Salesman – Arthur Miller

35.   A Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hansberry

36.   The Glass Menagerie – Tennessee Williams

37.   Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell


1.       The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemmingway

2.       Edgar Allan Poe various poems

3.       Walt Whitman

4.       Ezra Pound

5.       Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris

6.       Freud Megalomania – Israel Rosenfield

7.       Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain – Michael Paterniti

8.       How to Build a Time Machine – Paul Davies

9.       A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

10.   Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

11.   This is How You Die – Matthew Bernnardo, David Malki, Ryan North

12.   Fifty Shades of Grey – E.L. James

13.   I Bought Andy Warhol – Richard Polsky

14.   Miserly Moms – Jonni McCoy

15.   Gone Girl (in progress) – Gillian Flynn

16.   God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment – Scott Adams

17.   Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Richard Carlson

18.   Unauthorized Freud – Frederick Crewes

19.   Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff

20.   Te of Piglet – Benjamin Hoff

21.   Entanglement – Amir Aczel

22.   Notes to Myself – Hugh Prather

23.   Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac

24.   Big Fish- Daniel Wallace

25.   Ecstasy Club – Douglas Rushkoff

26.   Bridget Jones the Edge of Reason – Helen Fielding

27.   Politically Correct Bedtime Stories – James Finn Garner

28.   Classic Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle

29.   Who Moved My Cheese – Spencer Johnson, 1998

30.   Running with Scissors – Augusten Burroughs, 2002

31.   Atlantis Destroyed – Rodney Castleden

32.   The Davinci Code – Dan Brown

33.   Screenplay – Syd Field

34.   Screen Acting – Brian Adams

35.   Screenwriting 434 – Lew Hunter

36.   Shopgirl – Steve Martin

37.   The Picture of Dorian Grey – Oscar Wilde

38.   The Alchemist – Paulo Coelhe

39.   The Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis

40.   The Case for Christ – Lee Strobel

41.   The Case for Religion – Lee Strobel

42.   Children of a Lesser God – Mark Medoff

43.   The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey

44.   The Quarter Life Crisis – Patrick Anderson Jr.