Monday, July 14, 2008

A Perfect Saturday in NYC!

As I was reviewing all my blog posts from the past year in celebration of not only my one year anniversary of blogging but also my 100th post, I found my list of things I wanted to do in NYC. I was reviewing it and realized that while I have done a lot of things off the list there is still a lot left to do. I'll have to re-publish the list and fill you in.

In the meantime I'll tell you about our perfect Saturday in NYC during which we crossed two things off our list.

I've been trying to get back into running slowly but surely so as to not aggrevate my leg - so far so good. I got another 3 mile run in on Saturday morning.

Then Jon and I headed to the Carnegie Deli! We split one of their GIANT sandwiches - we had roastbeef, onion & lettuce on toasted seedless rye. We each only ate about half of what you see me "eating" in the picture above. Below is Jon outside the famouse deli.

After our delicious lunch we headed up to the Bronx to spend the afternoon at The Cloisters. The Cloisters is a great museum full of medieval art (my fave) and great outdoors spaces with amazing views of the Hudson. You almost forget you're still in New York City. Thanks to Deutsche Bank we got in for free, rented our audio guides and enjoyed an engaging afternoon full of learning.

After spending about 2 hours in The Cloisters we walked through Fort Tryon Park and enjoyed more wonderful views of the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge. It was a relaxing afternoon in NYC.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Me!!!

So today, Saturday, July 12, 2008 is my one year anniversary of blogging on Getting By, Dreaming Big! So I wanted to say a big thank you out there to those of you that are still reading - I'm enjoying blogging and I'm looking forward to the upcoming year.

In honor of my one year of blogging I thought I'd recap a subject from my first first post about the man trying to get from Oregan to Idaho in his lawn chair with balloons. To see my first post click here.

Well it looks like Mr. Couch and myself are on the same timeline. This July he gave his trip to Idaho a third try and he made it!!!! Click here to read the article.

Congratulations to him on accomplishing one of his dreams. It's a great reminder to keep dreaming big!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Reading Challenges - Ever Done One?

I'm a big reader - I love to read, I love to talk about books, I love to review books, I love to recommend my favorites - I love to read! One thing I've yet to do when it comes to books is participate in a reading challenge. Joanna over on Lost in a Good Story has set up The New Classics Challenge and I have decided to give it a whirl. This is how it works.

1) Copy Entertainment Weekly's list of new classics and bold the titles that you have already read. (see below!)

2) Choose at least 6 other books from the list , read and review them between 1 August 2008 and 31 January 2009. (to see my choices keep reading!)

3) Review each book that you read and post links to your review on her blogsite.

4) In January 2009, cast your vote for which one of the 100 books on the list is your favorite (and write a post on why). The winning book will be sent to a lucky winner chosen by the scientific method favored here in the blogosphere, i.e. names in a hat.

The New Classics
1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
4. The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)
22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
31. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)
32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)
47. World's Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)
51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
98. The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

I have read 27 of the 100 books, which I feel good about as that is more than 1/4 of the list! It was difficult to narrow down which 6 books I'm going to read, but I did. I have chosen:

1 - Beloved, Toni Morrison
2 - The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
3 - Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurty
4 - Possession, A.S. Byatt
5 - The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe
6 - Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat

I feel good about the books that I've chosen and I'm excited to begin reading come August 1st and sharing my reviews and my thoughts on participating in a reading challenge!

Regional Theater

Sunday afternoon I joined my mother, grandmother and my aunt for lunch in Millburn, NJ home of The Papermill Playhouse. The three of them have a subscription and have been getting together for lunch followed by a show for years. Now that I'm in the area I've been inducted into the group - although I do not have a season subscription as of yet. This year they discovered that since they are season subscribers they each get two $20 tickets to any of the 6 shows.

A couple of months ago I joined them for such a day and we saw Kiss Me Kate. This Sunday we saw Little Shop of Horrors, one of my personal faves! I mean who doesn't love this play about a man-eating plant (OK, well my mom didn't love it!) The show was great and the theater was filled with kids. I'm so glad that I was able to accompany the ladies in my family for a fun Sunday afternoon outing.

Next year's season is shaping up to be a good one and personally I am hoping that I'll be able to see Oklahoma and 1776 (one of my absolute faves!!!)

Broadway is fantastic and I have found that there is something about living near or in NYC that makes you go see shows. I've seen more shows in the past 17 months then I ever saw in the 6 years I lived in Boston. It's reminded me how much I enjoy live theater. There is nothing like sitting in the audience, the curtain goes up, and the cast begins to belt out the first song - without fail it always gives me the chills!

While Broadway is fantastic it is also incredibly expensive with orchestra seats now going for $110 a show. Not something most families can afford to do! So if you want to see a show but don't necessarily want to shell out that much money remember that this country is full of terrific regional theaters! The PaperMill Playhouse is just one, but when I lived up in Boston, I saw Tommy at The Stoneham Theatre and it was great! We also went and saw Evita at The Providence Performing Arts Center and it was fantastic and the theatre is beautiful.

This summer I'll be visiting two regional theatres a little off the beaten path for most people when I go see Urinetown at Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma City. I am finally going to see a show at the theatre my college roomie is the Marketing Director at and I couldn't be more excited. The next day we're planning on going to see Les Miserable (which I've already seen, um...6 times, twice in London, once in Boston and three time in NYC) at a regional theatre in Kansas.

There are still affordable ways to see great plays so don't forget to check out your regional theatres, you'll be pleasantly surprised!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's Almost the Olympics!!!!

OK - I'll admit it I am OBSESSED with the Olympics. I can't watch enough of them and I cannot wait until 8.8.08!!!! I do not know how many of you out there are following the Olympic Trials as closely as I am but there have been some amazing races already and we're not even in Beijing yet.

Here are some of my favorites:

1) The 800m Men's Final (Track & Field) - Click Here! One of the best finishes I have ever seen.

2) Dara Torres in the 100M free and the 50M (Swimming) - Click Here for the 50M free finals and fast forward to about 3:30. Hello - did you know she's 41 and going for her 5th Olympics. Her first was in 1984, 1984 - it's heartwarming to watch.

3) Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte in the 400 IM in the first night of the swimming Olympic Trials - click here!

These are just to name a few.

My favorite sports to watch in the Olympics are: swimming, track & field, marathon, beach volleyball, indoor volleyball, diving and gymnastics. What are your favorite sports to watch? Post your answer in the comment section below!