Tag Archives: Nerdy

What I have been reading Lately

Teenage Wizards, Nesting, and Daily Chores (A.K.A. Books I Have Been Reading Lately)

Today is a day that can be viewed one of two ways: as a grey, rainy, icky day that confines us to spending our time indoors; or it can be viewed as a wonderful opportunity to snuggle up with a good book and a hot cup of tea.  I am trying to look at it as the latter.

My baby girl, has got the right idea though, she keeps following me around the house holding a book and tugging on my skirt.  Needless to say, I gave into her sweet persuasion and we read a stack of books this morning.

For you rainy day reading pleasure, may I present my five favorite books that I read in the past month or so.

1.  Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

2.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

So I know I am late to the party, but I only got around to reading the books now.  As a teenager, I avoided them because I was afraid of the element of magic they contained. Now that my brothers and several other friends read them and LOVED them, I figured the time had come to see why.  Also, I figured it would be better to decide way in advance if the series is something I would be comfortable with my kids reading.  Short answer: yes I would let my kids read them, but I think it would be best to read and discuss them together.  I found the magical aspect to be innocuous, (see this article by Regina Doman for a more extensive treatment on the topic),  what bothered me more was Harry’s frequent violation of rules and disrespect for many of his teachers, but even that was more minor.

These two books were my favorites in the series.  Rowling is a master of the page-turner, the plot is very engaging and fast paced, drawing you into the series and investing you in the characters.  I have to admit that I cried at a few points.  Don’t want to say too much more for fear of spoilers.  Bottom Line: Go read them, if you haven’t already.

519dIBQX6QL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_3.  The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith

I blitzed through this book because it is so darn good.  I usually am a fairly silent reader, but I found I was vocal in expressing my agreement with the ideas as I read.  I LOVE her philosophy decorating, even if I don’t personally care for her unique style.  If you are a recovering perfectionist when it comes to decorating your home, or struggling with being content with your current home/ rental this book is a must read.


4. Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris

If you have trouble finding meaning in housework or chores this book is for you.  It is a short, meditative work.  I read it over a period of months in an effort to motivate me to do the dishes.  I still am not fond of doing the dishes, but at least I have interesting reflections to ponder as I do them.



5. Minimalist Living: Decluttering for Joy, Health and Creativity by Genevieve Parker Hill

I snagged this book while it was free as a Kindle Daily Deal a few months back.  Its an interesting read, though I had encountered most of the ideas before.  For those who have not explored their relationship to their stuff, or why they keep things, this book would be a useful resource.  It helped me keep my motivation for continuing the great purge of 2014.


Linking up with the ever insightful, Anne of ModernMrsDarcy.com for twitterature.  Also linking up with Jenna of callherhappy.com for Five Favorites Wednesday.

Happy Reading!

What have you been reading lately?  Have you read any of these books before?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!


7 Quick Takes- Colds, Whole 30, and Camping, Oh My!

7_quick_takes_sm1I am officially joining up with Jen at Conversion Diary for my first ever Seven Quick Takes Posts.  To any first time visitors, I apologize.  You aren’t catching me at my best because:

1.  My whole family has had a nasty head cold for over 11 days now.  This cold is a ninja.  You think you have it under control and you are on the mend, and then it rebounds and you find yourself walking around with a roll of toilet paper.  And you foolishly take the toilet paper to Mass, where your toddlers attempt to tp the pew with it while you pray.

2.  After returning from vacation, Nathan decided to join me in a Whole 30.  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept you basically only eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and meat for a whole 30 days.  The list of banned foods includes: anything with gluten; anything with dairy; all grains (rice, oats, quinoa, etc); chocolate; alcohol; potatoes; beans; peanuts; honey; stevia; any baked good, even if it isn’t made with any of the aforementioned ingredients.  Its like Lent, but only for 30 days.

We were doing it primarily because we felt we needed a nutritional “reset” and that our bodies were craving super nourishing foods.  As an added bonus, he has lost 15 lbs.  I lost 3, because that’s how my body rolls when breastfeeding.

3. To compensate I have been binging on books.  I have read about 2,000 pages in the past two weeks . . . and the vast majority of it has been Harry Potter.  I never read it as a kid, so I thought I would give it a try.  Thus far I have mixed feelings, but will withhold final judgement till I am finished with the series.

4.  My son is obsessed with the piano guys CD.  Fortunately I approve of it, and find it enjoyable to listen to.  My favorite track is this one:

Sam’s favorite track is of course this one:

In order to listen to the entire CD and not just track 6 on repeat, I told him all of the songs were about Darth Vader.  Now as we listen to the CD, he will narrate the life of Darth Vader to Ana: “This is where Dark Vader fell in love.  He had two babies, Luke and Leia. Oh, now R2D2 is falling in love!”

5.  I am remodeling the laundry room!  So excited!  No more will that room be the domain of spiders and the occasional banana slug.  I started painting last night and met my goal of finishing one wall.  Nathan was not thrilled when he walked in, at 10:00 P.M. to find me gleefully dancing on my step ladder with a loaded paint brush.  Nevertheless, he lovingly offered to help me.  After we had finished, I offered to play video games with him.  We both went to bed happy.

6.  Nathan and I are on a Stargate Atlantis kick right now.  At least once a week, one of us sneaks up on the other and pretends to suck the life out of the other like a wraith.  We may or may not have done this in the basement of the library before we were dating.  It was one of the first times he thought he loved me, haha.

7.  We are going on our first family camping trip this weekend.  I have visions of Sam trying to re-enact Curious George Goes Camping by running away into the woods and getting sprayed by a skunk. Fun fact: Nathan wanted to go camping for our honeymoon.  I refused.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone! Any big plans for how you are going to spend it?



Sci-Fi for the Non-Nerdy

In honor of my first ever blog link-up with Heather for the Five Favorites Wednesday, we are going to shake things up a little.  Just in case you thought things were going to be serious here all the time, may I present the following:

Consider this my declaration to the internet:  “I am a NERD!”  (For those of you who do not share this same enthusiasm for all things nerdy, bear with me; the end of the article will hopefully be more relevant to you. )

As soon as I saw this video I called my husband over, “Nathan!!! You have to see this, it has all our favorite things!”

As we watched it our conversation included, but was not limited to the following: keeping track of the various nerdy costumes we have donned over the years, fondly recalling the RPG game we played together in college before we were dating (he was a paladin, I was three parts beguiler to one part rogue), reminding ourselves that going to a comic-con is on our bucket list, and noticing the Shepperton Design Studios’ Stormtrooper suits paired with the cheapo $5 Wallys World lightsaber.

It amuses my mother to no end that I, such an intellectual girl, have so strong an  attraction to all things sci-fi/fantasy.  I maintain, however, that it is my intellectual inclination that fosters my love of sci-fi/fantasy.

The reason I enjoy it so much is because it brings me a new appreciation for various aspects of the “real world,” while simultaneously offering me an escape from said world.

All too often we focus so hard on the everyday events of life, that we become blind to many of the more profound realities and ideas that surround us.  Sci-fi/fantasy casts such a different light on life that it forces us to view it differently and to discover new aspects that we hadn’t appreciated before.

In addition, it offers us an escape from the boredom that is so often present in this state that we call “real life.”

One of my favorite sci-fi shows is Star Trek.  While I will grant you that a ton of the episodes are ridiculous and corny, there are many that are genuinely good television (and that is coming from someone who said they would never be a Trekkie).

For those of a thoughtful bend who are curious to give Star Trek a try, here are five of my favorite  Star Trek episodes for non-Trekkies:

5. City on the Edge of Forever (Original Series) This episode is consistently the highest rated from the Original Series(TOS).  For those put off by the cheesy vibe of TOS, the majority of the episode takes place in the 1930s Great Depression Era.  It deals with themes of love and loss.

4.  Its Only a Paper Moon (Deep Space 9)  In this episode a young soldier struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome after loosing his leg in battle.  He turns to an elaborate holographic computer program of a casino in the 1960s to hide from the trauma in his life.  This episode features a fantastic selection of great jazz songs sung by a fantastic cabaret singer.

3.  Counterpoint (Voyager)  Another episode that utilizes music to great effect.  This one explores the idea of romance through the musical idea of counterpoint.

2.  Family (The Next Generation) After his traumatic captivity with the Borg, Captain Picard returns home to France to re-examine his life and visit his estranged brother.  As the title would suggest, this episode explores the idea of the importance of family in our lives.

1.  Inner Light (The Next Generation)  If you only watch one episode from this list, please make it this one.  In this episode Captain Picard experiences another person’s lifetime in the expanse of half an hour.  This episode explores themes of what makes a life meaningful and what would you do if you could take a different path in life.  The orchestral suite to this episode is excellent.  

Please note: I don’t think these are the best episodes, however, each is ranked among the top for its series.  I included a representative from each series, except for Enterprise because I haven’t seen any of them yet. Episodes are available to stream for free with Netflix or Amazon Prime.  Also these episodes are of a rather melancholic bend, but that is not necessarily representative of Star Trek, just my personality 😉  


Have you ever watched Star Trek?  Have you seen any of these episodes?  What do you think of Sci-Fi or Fantasy?  I’d Love to hear your thoughts and nerdy shout outs in the com box!