Monthly Archives: March 2011

March Reading List

This list is a short one. Why? Because, for the most part, I’ve stuck to my Lenten resolution of reading only at the gym. I cheated once – when I left the gym before I finished one of the books. I just had a few pages left and it was an irresistible temptation. So I read. (However, I do think this is a better Lent than when I’ve given chocolate or sweets and then had a moment of weakness and a sugar-binge).

Anyway, I digress.

My March books were as follows:

Daughter of York

I really like Anne Easter Smith and I really like the Plantagenet saga, so this was a good book. It wasn’t my favorite of the three of her books I’ve read, but I think it’s because I knew it wouldn’t have the ending I wanted. The best of her three books I’ve is The King’s Grace, but you should certainly read this one as well.

Daughter of York tells the story of Margaret Plantagenet, Edward of York’s sister and the Duchess of Burgundy. She grew up as the daughter of a warrior and the sister of a king, then perhaps the lover of the perfect knight, Anthony Woodville (the Queen of England’s brother). Is that enough confusing royal family tree stuff for you? Still, it’s a good book.

The Queen’s Mistake

As much as I love all historical fiction, pretty much across the board, I wasn’t in love with this one. I didn’t really care for the extra-looseness of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII. I mean, I know she was a little slutty, but she didn’t seem to put any feeling whatsoever into her sluttiness. I mean, if you’re going to risk your life by cheating on the king, why not put a little feeling into it? The author tried to make her intelligent, but if she were intelligent, why wouldn’t she have respected her marriage vows and not destroyed her life?

The Hunger Games

New Teacher New Wife knows exactly how long I’ve been waiting to read this book. FOREVER. I’ve been on the library waiting list for this book since last summer when people were raving about Mockingjay. Believe it or not, I’d never heard of the trilogy before that. I was number 65 on the library waiting list, so I was ecstatic to get this book, and it did not disappoint. Katniss Everdeen, a brave, bold, self-sufficient girl, takes her sister’s place in their government-mandated fight-to-the-death. She and Peeta, a young man from her district, scheme together in a bid to survive the Hunger Games.

I’m eager to read the next books now. Suzanne Collins really can hook a reader, and I am a fan of the dystopian novel, so I liked it. You should read it too. 😉   (But, why hasn’t she released a map of Panem??!?)

A Good Indian Wife

 

I really liked this book also. Think of it as Pride and Prejudice meets cultural anthropology. I’m not very familiar with Indian culture, so I liked the glimpse I got from reading about Leila’s life and her aspirations to get married to anyone, just anyone, as long as she wasn’t 30 and single. I recommend a read!

Writing Jane Austen

I like Elizabeth Aston a lot. Probably because I like Jane Austen a lot and most of Elizabeth Aston’s books build off the Darcy family or use a slightly similar framework to one of Jane Austen’s novels. Writing Jane Austen is the first modern-day novel that I’ve read, and while I didn’t love it as much as The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy, I still liked it. I also realized after I finished it, that Georgina, the main character’s, landlord’s last name was Lefroy, which as Janeites know, is the last name of the young man with whom Jane had a flirtation.

Anyway, this book is about an author being asked to write a novel based on a newly-discovered Jane Austen fragment, something that would be challenging for any writer!

So, that’s what I’ve got for now. I really want your recommendations for new things to read, too, so let me know what you’re enjoying!

** All pictures are linked back to the original sources. I linked back to the author’s pages as well within their articles.

Advertisements

The Twitter World Asked For It…

Okay, Twitter friends, since the topic came up, here’s the N & L Top Ten list of the week – Top Ten Things We Don’t Want to See on Facebook (compiled over lunch a few days ago):

1) Pictures of the inside of strangers’ wombs. I am sure this is not the opinion of everyone in the world, but if we’d like to see your sonogram in real life, then, we don’t mind seeing it on Facebook. However, if we haven’t seen you since sophomore year of high school when you conceived your first out-of-wedlock child, then we don’t want to check out that second little winner you have hanging out in utero. But, perhaps that’s just us.

2) How much you love, love, love, love your significant other. Yes, they’re amazing and wonderful and so fabulous and WHAT.EV.ER. But while you’re posting that, you’re either making everyone else want to retch or you’re making them laugh at you because your significant other is not as great as you think. You can have a birthday post and an anniversary post. Anything above or beyond is just overkill, peeps.

3) Your farm, your question you answered about Sue Jones, your poker game or whatever else you’re letting infect your computer with spyware and viruses. If you do this, you immediately become hidden from my Facebook feed forevermore.

4) What your pet is doing every minute of the day. Okay, I’ll admit, I enjoy an occassional pet pic. I find pets to be adorable. I think I’m just prejudiced right now because my news feed contains the following updates:

– Pictures of pugs (cute)

– Update on how a dog is feeling in the upcoming storm

– A dog-sitting update

– A picture of a cat rolled in a blanket

– FOUR pictures of Chuck the Steer

Yeah, not kidding about that one. I’m actually stealing a pic to post here – I don’t think Chuck will mind.

5) Vaguebooking. Seriously, your life’s not that interesting. You’re being a little passive-aggressive and needy. Nothing vague about that, right? 😉

6) Writing in your baby’s voice. Your baby can’t type. So, it comes off a little bit strange when you type as if your baby has commandeered your computer. Don’t post things like “I am wearing this outfit that my Aunt Katie gave me. I want to be just like Aunt Katie. I LOVE Aunt Katie.” Just post it from yourself, not from the baby, okay?

7) Anything about your baby’s bodily functions. I don’t want you to write on your Facebook status, which then ends up on my news feed, about how gross it was to clean up your baby’s diarrhea. If it wasn’t pleasant for you to do it, it certainly isn’t pleasant for us to hear about it. Here’s a real-life example from today:

** I’m sorry if I’m coming off as a baby-hater. I actually love babies (especially one in particular, you know who you are – or at least who your mom is – K! But then, K is not guilty of these kinds of transgressions.). You guys can deride people who make way too many posts about their sports teams if you wish – I will take it in good humor.

8) Anything that says, “Repost this if….” You know, if you have a wonderful daughter, or an amazing granddaughter or a relative killed by Death Eaters in the Second Wizarding War (actually, that one was kind of funny).

9) Your tweets. Don’t be so lazy, people. Use Facebook and Twitter as separate entities (again, possibly just a personal preference!).

10) Your bragging. Keep it under control, I beg you. Remember, some of us are poor law school families. We don’t all get to take limos to dinner and drink 250-year-old champagne, then take a carriage ride behind a flying unicorn, then, to add insult to injury, go home to their petite lap giraffe.  

Those of us who have to be contented with regular horses or – gasp – no horses at all may feel discontent and therefore dislike you. Seriously, people, I am number 378,805 on the petite lap giraffe waiting list. I may just die of envy.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Boycotting me now because this is you-to-a-T? Hope not! Please take it all with a grain of salt. 🙂

Speaking our Minds

So….

The Legally Married family acquitted itself excellently on Wednesday, when we both had our presentations.

Mine was early, so of course I woke up 50,000 times in the night. I ended up having a very good hair day (tried to take some phone pics of it to show y’all, but they came out blurry, so just take my word for it!). When the presentation started, I thought it was supposed to be about 45 minutes, with 15 minutes for questions. ACTUALLY, though, it was two hours, peeps!

But, it went perfectly well. The group had lots of questions and I ended up having to skip a few slides because we got into some in-depth conversation. It went well and I’ve been asked to speak at a regional symposium in a couple of months on the same topic, so I was very happy.

BUT… what made me even happier was this: my husband being so brilliant! They had moot court at their school on the same day that I had my presentation. I was their bailiff for one of their presentations and they did so well! Ducks was in charge of the first section (I don’t know what it’s called) and the rebuttal. The judge specifically commented on his rebuttal and how he did a great job making his points. Afterward, we celebrated the day with some law school friends.

It was an excellent day of spechify-ing (is that a word) for both of us. Thanks, everyone, for your support and good wishes! 🙂 Anyone else have any big things coming up?

My Own Personal News of the Weird

Okay, I actually have another blog post to write but this one takes precedence because….well, I already semi-teased it on Twitter.

Tonight, I went to an industry dinner and it was…..odd.  First, the food was all semi-grayish in color, which is never a good sign. Second, a short and suspicious-looking hair was found when I was about 1/4 of the way through my plate, which then turned into being COMPLETELY through with my plate, as I certainly did not take another bite of that. EWWWW.

Okay, so there’s where we are with the meal. I’m sitting at a table with about seven of my co-workers and listening to one of our chief industry lobbyists talk about the current legislative situation. Our table is probably the closest to the speaker, and I’m one of the closest people to the speaker. I get up and go to the bathroom about 2/3 of the way through the speech. When I return and sit down again, this is when it gets weird.

The speaker continues talking, then starts directing his speech toward me. Seriously. I don’t know how to explain it, but he kept looking at me, semi-smiling/laughing and winked at me twice. During the speech. At one point, when taking a question from the audience, he grinned at me and said – looking directly at me and with a chuckle from his place in front of the audience, “Am I going to get in trouble for saying this?”

And at that point, the creeper level went through the roof. I didn’t know what the heck was going on.

Now, a few other things about this situation.

1) I have actually conversed with the event speaker on several occasions. So, it’s not like he’s a complete stranger, but we’re also not friends, just very slight acquaintances.

2) While I don’t think I’m completely hideous, I am also not the kind of ravishing beauty that solicits socially inappropriate behavior such as this from people who are practically strangers and who are speaking to groups of about 30-40 people from the industry.

3) The whole situation was blatantly obvious to everyone. And confusing to my co-workers, who were giving me these weird “What’s going on?” looks throughout (okay, and yes, a couple of them were laughing at my discomfiture).

Seriously. What is a girl supposed to do when something like this happens? It’s in the middle of a speech. It’s weird. I don’t know what else – it’s just weird.

Well, the solution came at the very end of the presentation. Apparently, he mistook me for a girl who works for the Speaker of the House (who knows why such a person would be attending an industry-exclusive legislative briefing, but whatever). I still don’t know why he’d be inappropriately winking at a 20-something legislative staffer mid-speech, but I guess it cleared things up a bit.

This little incident also brought what I consider my mid-life crisis to an abrupt end. And as I write that, I realize that I have two other things to tell you about – my mid-life crisis and yesterday’s dia del presentations. So, hold me to blogging about them this weekend.

Tomorrow, it’s off to the Sweet Sixteen (I won free tickets!). Sorry in advance to very married, as I’m going to have to go anti-Jayhawk and pro-Spider (although if we’re going to get technical about it, I’d prefer a mythical dancing bird thing to an arachnid any day).

Stage Fright

Okay, it’s not really truly stage fright. I don’t get super-scared in front of a group. Instead, it’s more unprepared fright. And I could use some advice.

I’m going to assume that I’m in this situation because I’m good at my job, and therefore consider it a blessing. However, it’s a bit of a mixed blessing at the moment because of my haphazardness as a human.

I’ve been asked to give a presentation to a group of local professionals regarding social media. And it’s on Wednesday. And I’ve known about it for quite a while and have gotten way too busy at work and forgot about it. Then, I forgot about it again during my time off last week. What’s a girl to do?

So, then I thought – what better way to use the power of social media than to ask you guys, my lovely social media friends, many of whom also happen to be PR gurus.

Anyone have any good ideas for the presentation? I do not know what the demographic or the skill level for any of the participants will be, so I don’t know whether to start out very basic, or just assume that these people have a general level of social media knowledge. I am planning to talk about connecting, branding and engaging using a presentation I’ve created for another event, but I have to talk for at least 30 minutes, so I could use some help stretching it out! 🙂

Greener Grass?

Thanks, everyone, for all the good wishes regarding the interview. He got it! I am a PROUD, PROUD wife! 🙂

The very, very nicest thing about this will be – having a normal life this summer. With his other job, he did a lot of driving and a lot of travelling. Now, with the internship, he’ll have a normal drive and normal work hours. So, we’ll be able to stay up a little later, have more fun and have a better-rounded life.

In other news, today is the official last day of my break. And I’ve come to the following conclusion. I would be AWESOME at being a stay-at-home wife. Seriously, people. During this five-day period, I’ve not watched a single episode of Ellen or Oprah. I’ve barely watched TV at all. I’ve done chores, packed lunches, ironed clothes, shopped (or more accurately, looked) for things for my house, etc., etc.

I would be wonderful at doing this all the time. I have heard people at both my jobs and in my professional life saying, “I could never stay at home; I’d be so bored.” I would absolutely not feel like that. I didn’t even read this week (except for at the gym), as per my Lenten resolution. Instead, I was productive and rested and unstressed and blissful.

Productive things I did this week:

– Volunteer hours

– Furniture shopping

– Cleaning

– Taking things to dry cleaners

– Finally framing some pictures in the collage frame that Ducks gave me for our first anniversary

– Ordering my new holiday organization bins

– Taking notes for my book

And more. 🙂

Maybe if it were for more than five days, I’d feel differently. I do love my job and working in public relations. I just love doing my own thing more. This is probably the first time since my junior year of college that I’ve had any chance at peaceful productivity. And it was beautiful. But, maybe it’s just that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?

As a law school wife, obviously I’m not going to be spending an extended period of time on the other side of aforesaid fence anytime soon. Instead, I’ll just focus on saving money, paying off the mortgage and paying off law school loans. And….THEN….in the future, we’ll see what happens.

Big Day and a Big Lunch

So, today is a big day in the Legally Married household.

Why?

It’s the day when Ducks has an internship interview. (YAYAYAY!!)

Originally (I think I’ve talked to a couple of you about this), Ducks had talked to his favorite professor about whether to do an internship this summer or whether to go back into the field where he’d been working before school. His professor had recommended he go back to his old job during the break, as it would actually give him more experience and make him a more valuable prospect post-law school.

However, when he was in said professor’s office last week, the professor gave him an email and said, “Apply for this,” which this being an internship/clerkship at a boutique firm specializing in the area he wants to work in. So, that leads to today and an internship interview (actually a lunch interview, which I would think would be even more relaxed).

So, wish us good luck and all that. Any advice is also appreciated! 🙂