Monthly Archives: August 2012

Cool read from Buzzfeed30 Indispensable Writing Tips from Famous Authors

It’s deadline week at work! I’m the main writer/editor for the alumnae magazine and all the articles are due to the graphic designer on Friday, and I’m also working on my next post for this little blog, so my fingers have been at the keyboard a lot lately. Planning and writing the magazine has been so much fun, and such a cool opportunity! Deadline week is when it turns a little stressful (I’m taking a break from putting finishing touches on one of those articles to write this post…).

So what better time to read “30 Indispensable Tips from Famous Authors,” I ask you? Seems like this is the perfect time for writing inspiration to strike…wish me luck, and hope these tips help any fellow writers out there!

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August 28, 2012 · 7:16 pm

Summer Reading Update

At the end of June, I blogged about three books I was planning to read this summer, along with a cool graphic of “101 Books to Read This Summer.” Since it’s that time of year when most students are frantically trying to finish up all their summer reading before school, I figured I’d check in on my progress. (Although, to be honest, I was always the kid who had her summer reading finished in July. I can’t help it. I love books.)

Anyway, in the aforementioned post, I said that I wanted to read:

  • Les Miserables, the arm-breaking novel.
    Source: MommyLife.net

    Les Miserables by Victor Hugo; Unfortunately, this one is sitting on my nightstand, with a bookmark only three pages into the Introduction. It’s not that I don’t want to read it; I actually really want to find out whether it will live up to the brilliantly fabulous stage musical it inspired. It’s more that the book is JUST SO HUGE. It’s an arm workout just to hold the thing. I like to read in bed before I go to sleep, because it helps me wind down from the day. But every time I pick up Les Mis, I just end up tiring out my arm. 😉 Stay tuned for my progress on this one.

  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer; This one was an interesting read about a boy dealing with his father’s death on 9/11. It was at times heartbreaking, other times funny, and at the end, quite bittersweet. I’d recommend it, but it’s not quite a beach read. For when you’re in the mood for something thought-provoking.
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote; I’ve wanted to read this one since I watched the movie Capote in my Media Ethics journalism class during my junior year at Notre Dame. Let’s refrain from addressing how sad it is that it took me this long to get around to it. I absolutely loved this book; Capote’s storytelling ability is phenomenal. The story is based on actual events (a murder in Kansas) and could have been presented in a more mundane, news story fashion, but Capote wrote in novel form. A PBS bio of Capote credits him with creating the genre of the non-fiction novel. Capote’s ability to create suspense, even though the audience already knows the identity of the murderers, is outstanding. It’s more riveting than any of the crime shows on TV right now, easily.

Lest you think my former bookworm self has only gotten around to reading two books this summer, here are some others I’ve enjoyed:

What’s currently in my nightstand? The Everything Bridesmaid Book. I’m going to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding next summer and since it’s my first go-round, I figured I could use some tips. Anyone have any reading suggestions for the rest of the summer?

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London 2012 Olympics

Source: The Daily Mail UK

Now that the Olympics are over, I’m not quite sure what I’m going to watch on TV anymore (although the sheer number of times they showed the preview for that new show “Revolution” has almost convinced me to tune in when it premieres).  For the past two weeks, I’ve been glued to the TV watching soccer, gymnastics, swimming, beach volleyball, diving and basically whatever else NBC decided to broadcast in prime time.  I’ve always loved the Olympics.  I’m not ashamed to admit that NBC’s promo music makes me tear up (however embarrassing that might be), and I’ve had several Olympic dreams of my own through the years:

  • When I was in 3rd grade, I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast, though that dream died quickly when I was the only one in gymnastics class who had to be spotted for a back handspring.  I never was able to master that trick on my own;
  • When I was in 7th grade, Mia Hamm and the 1999 Women’s World Cup Champion US Soccer Team made me want to play soccer at UNC and then at the Olympics and World Cup;
  • And at various points throughout my skating career, I wanted to go to the Olympics in singles skating, pairs and ice dancing.

The Magnificent Seven celebrates the first Olympic Gold for a US Gymnastics team at a non-boycotted Olympics.
Source: The Mrs of Media

Perhaps my lack of ability to focus and choose one sport contributed to none of those Olympics dreams panning out. 😉  But I am still an obsessive fan of the Olympics, of the athletic feats and the triumphs of the human spirit that the Games bring us every two years.  I love to watch it all: the games and events, the post-game interviews, the back story pieces that detail an athlete’s journey to the Games, even the P&G commercials with athletes thanking their moms (those are tear-jerkers!).

My love for the Olympic Games was born in 1996, when I was a 7-year-old astounded by the tricks and moves of the Magnificent Seven USA Gymnastics team, and most especially Kerri Strug’s courageous vault that helped earn the Olympic Gold for the team.

I’m pretty sure that team is what inspired me to sign up for that gymnastics class where I needed a spotter for those back handsprings.  Cheering on the ’96 gymnasts is one of my most vivid memories from watching the Olympics.  So when Bob Costas interviewed the Fab Five of the 2012 US Olympic Gymnastics team after their gold medal-winning performance, I was shocked to hear him say that some members of

The Fab Five of the 2012 US Olympic Gymnastics Team celebrate their gold medal, the first for a US gymnastics team at an overseas games.
Source: People.com

the Fab Five weren’t even born in ’96, and the ones that were alive were too young to even have memories of that team.

And then I felt old.

Super old.

Or maybe the adorable Fab Five is just young, which is probably the more logical conclusion…especially considering that being in your 20s is old for gymnastics!

But maybe it’s not too late to take up shooting, or one of those other seemingly random sports where age is less of a factor…Rio 2016, anybody?  At the very least, I’ll be parked in front of my TV, cheering on the USA and all the athletes in Rio, and in Sochi, Russia in 2014 (Go US Figure Skating!).  Just call me an Olympics junkie.

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Entering the Land of Smartphones

An LG Cosmos, my formerly faithful cell phone.
Source: verizon-cellphones.org.

So I finally bit the bullet and got a Smartphone. I’d been surviving with my “Free after mail-in rebate” Verizon phone for several years now, and it was showing its age.  Keys were sticking, so texts looked like I had typed them after having about six beers. Whenever I used speakerphone (which I often do when I call people while I am stuck in traffic on the drive home from work…gotta keep two hands on the wheel!), my own voice would echo back at me before the response of whomever I was talking to, so lots of phone calls involved a complicated exchange of, “Wait, repeat that first part again?” until I grasped the entire sentence.

In addition to the wear and tear on my phone, most of my coworkers had Smartphones, so I was often the last one to see an email or unable to access email while I was out of the office for meetings or conferences.  It was time for a phone upgrade.

After plenty of research, I went with an iPhone, because the pictures and video would be easily compatible with the Apple Mac that I use for photo and video editing at work.  (People who feel strongly about the iPhone-Android debate can duke it out in the Comments section, haha).  I’ve had the phone for just under two weeks, and have to say

Apple iPhone
Source: Macworld.com

that I am loving it. It’s great to have everything I need in one place: texts/phone, email, calendar, music, social media, reminders, etc.  The Maps app is also pretty awesome, as someone who lacks an internal compass and often finds myself lost en route to new places.

So as a newly converted believer in the Smartphone phenomenon, I want to share this great blog post from the Notre Dame Career Center about “Being Present” in today’s fast-paced, hyper-connected world.  It mentions turning off your phone or computer and taking time away to be with people or just be outside.  Definitely something I kept in my mind as I was setting up all the Notifications settings on my new phone.  As nice as it is to have easy access to email and other communication, I don’t need it buzzing with emails every five minutes on a Sunday.  You’ve got to draw the line somewhere, and that blog post is a great reminder of that.

So I’m about to tweet about this blog post on my iPhone, but then I think I’ll put it away for a while and enjoy this sunny Sunday!

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