I think that today is the coldest day of the year here, for real. The words "frigid" and "freezing" were thrown around on the news today. Needless to say, miserable doesn't even begin to describe the emotion that I feel right now. I've been home for about half an hour now and I still can't feel my toes, despite being layered up and in my warmest sweatshirt, my warmest socks, my extra-fluffy Cookie Monster slippers (don't judge me), and am sitting at my desk with my heating pad on high and my space heater on. This is bad. I'm so hoping that this is going to be the worst of it, because I'm not really sure how I'll be able to physically tolerate anything much more colder. I've always reacted pretty poorly to this weather. I get cold to the point where I actually feel physically nauseous from being so cold sometimes. I get tested for anemia every year, and every year I get the bloodwork done and I'm told that I don't have it, but truthfully, I don't see how I'm not at least borderline anemic, because I react so extremely poorly to the cold. But blood tests don't lie, you know? Still, I've always had a pretty strong reaction to the cold, and the fact that I've lost weight this past year really doesn't help my cause much.
Anyway, enough bitching about the cold. Three cheers for a three-day weekend! Who else has off for Martin Luther King Day? Hell, I'm excited enough that the weekend is here- I keep forgetting it's a three-day one! I had a long week and I'm really happy that not only it is over, but that my weekend's not too busy, so I don't have to go out in this wretched cold for long periods of time! I need to go to Wal-Mart and Wegmans, and I'm planning on hitting the gym, but that's about it! That's about all I can take in this weather! On Monday I'm volunteering to help paint a retirement home in West Chester. My company hosts all of these community events in honor of Martin Luther King Day, and while we're not required to participate, we're strongly encouraged. There's a pretty big variety and list to choose from. But I always do the same thing every year- paint this particular retirement home. It's close to where I live, and only takes a few hours, so I get to enjoy the satisfaction of volunteering and helping out a good cause, but then I also get to be a little bit selfish and enjoy my day off! (Some of the events are all-day and a lot more emotionally taxing.)
I finished Tripping the Prom Queen yesterday. I liked it a lot! It was a real eye-opener to me, because truthfully, I had no idea that women felt the need to compete over so many aspects of everyday life. I see where it's necessary (work, promotions, etc.) and that it's natural to feel jealous or insecure of other women at times, but some of it was seriously cutthroat. I loved reading all the different anecdotes and stories from women! It made the book!
Here's my one complaint about this book, and I find myself having this issue often in sociology/social science books where there are lots of media and pop culture references. When trying to illustrate her point, the author would occasionally bring up a TV show, book, or movie plot, and then would reveal the ending of the book or movie plot as a way to drive her point home. I get why this is necessary when writing about society, but at the same time, not everyone has read that particular book mentioned or seen that specific movie, so it's a bit annoying that the endings are given away. I see why they do it, I just wish they wouldn't. Oh well!
So that means... I selected a new book! Nothing like starting off the weekend with a new fun book to read!
It's called One Small Thing, by Jessica Barksdale Inclan. I actually got a free advance readers' copy of this when I worked at Borders five years ago! (Yes, I have books on my shelves that I've had for that long but haven't read yet- hence this project!) It's a fiction book about a woman who has an idealistic life- perfect home, perfect husband, perfect body, perfect paycheck, lives in picture-perfect suburban California, the whole shabang- but the one big fallback in her life is that she is desperately trying to get pregnant and has been trying for two years, but hasn't yet. I don't really get her desperation, as she is only 28 years old, but whatever. Then her husband finds out that he has a ten-year-old son that he never knew existed, and the boy's mother has just died, and as the father and next-of-kin, the boy comes to live with them, and how that turns their lives completely upside down. I started it today and read on my lunch break and at the gym, and it's a very good book so far. I'm actually not liking Avery (the main character) too much though. She's a little self-involved and bitchy. In one paragraph she looks down on construction workers, and inwardly thinks to herself that had they attended college, they wouldn't be stuck in such dead-end jobs. And when her husband finds out he's a father to this boy, her immediate concern is how it ruins her plans to have a baby. Not even their plans- her plans! Like her husband's just a sperm donor or something. I don't know. I hope she gets a little more likable and relatable, because right now, I'm having a hard time feeling sympathy for her character. Maybe being a stepmama will help soften her up and mellow her out a little. Right now I'm still very early on in the book- they haven't even introduced the little boy yet. They're just finding out about him now.
And the cool added bonus about this book is that because it's an advanced readers' copy, it's unedited. So it's chock-full of editing and proofreading mistakes. Ordinarily, this annoys me. Not the case here, because it's an unedited manuscript. And the reason this excites me so is not just because I'm a dork, haha. But my "dream job" is to be a book editor someday, so I actually see this as a little bit of practice! I'm years away from achieving this goal, if I ever achieve it at all- I need to build a solid career in proofreading before I can really make a transition into editing, and even then, book editor is an extreme long shot- but hey, it can happen! And it's good to get in practice where I can! I've already seen quite a bit of mistakes- not just proofreading mistakes like grammatical errors or misspelled words, but things at a real editing standpoint- sentences that don't make sense with the rest of the paragraph, confusion within the plot, etc. Definitely good practice! At least I can pretend to be a book editor for a few days, haha.
I have some exciting food-related news for all my foodie bloggers out there. This might not be news to you, but it is to me. I have discovered something fascinating. Sweet potatoes + hummus= AMAZING combination. This is probably something that everyone already knew... I'm the last to know everything and am usually ten steps behind the rest of the world, haha! But I'd never thought to pair them together before, but I did on a whim yesterday, and now, I'm totally hooked on the combo:
Tonight's amazing dinner: microwaved sweet potato topped with steamed broccoli and a Boca Tomato Bruschetta burger broken into pieces, with steamed carrots happily strewn about the plate for extra veggie love (dinner is usually the only meal where I can get my veggies in- lunch is always PB&J and fruit- so I really try and load up on the veggies at dinner- gotta get in my five fruits and veggies a day!). My hummus of choice this week is Tribe Cracked Chili Pepper Hummus, which is seriously good stuff. This is a superyummy, superhealthy, and superfilling dinner. I didn't even use all the hummus (it's about two tbsp). This meal definitely has some staying power in my tummy.
Now I'm sad because I'm out of sweet potatoes. What am I supposed to do with my hummus now, until I go food shopping until Sunday? Go back to WRAPS? I can't! After discovering how delicious it is with sweet potatoes, that almost feels like a step DOWN. :-D
Speaking of wraps, this is for my girl Chandra:
Look, Chandra, look! Wraps that didn't bust open! Okay, I cheated a little and the ends aren't closed, so it isn't superperfect, but it's definitely an improvement, wouldn't you say? I'm getting there! :-)
I hope you all have fun and exciting plans this weekend! I'll be around, checking in, posting updates on the uneventful weekend and my reading adventures. The Eagles are playing the Cardinals for the chance to go to the Super Bowl! I know Mrs. Lindsay over at Love of Oats will be watching!!!! :-) I admit, I could care less about football for the most part. I've never understood the game and I probably never will. They get up, they fall down, a whistle blows, and someone comments on the five seconds of players getting up and falling down and how apparently that was a "strategy". But all I see is big men running into each other full force and knocking each other to the ground. I just don't get it. I've tried. Really. I even tried to read Football for Dummies once. But I don't get it, and I'm okay with that. But when your city's team has the chance to go to the Super Bowl- AGAIN- and after your city's baseball team just WON THE WORLD SERIES LAST YEAR- your city pride kicks in and you can't help but get a little excited! Gotta root, root, root for the home team! Haha. I'll either be at the gym or at home when the game's on, so I'll either check in here and there to see the score on the gym's TVs, or if I'm at home, I'll channel-surf back and forth between craptastic Sunday TV and the score. I can't bring myself to watch the game, but I definitely want to check in and see what's happening! If Sunday TV is at its all-time low, I might just have the game on in the background while I do stuff around the apartment- my bedroom floor is practically begging to be vacuumed, and my cat seems displaced and pissier than usual even though he has fresh food and water, and this leads me to believe he is unhappy with his current litter situation. Sigh. Ah, the life and times of a glamorous twentysomething gal.
That's all I got for now. Later gators!
EDIT TO ADD: I've been home for hours now and am feeling much warmer. I started this post around 7ish and am just finishing up around 11. So I CAN feel my toes at this point! I didn't want people to think I had hypothermia or frostbite or dead nerves, LOL!