Book Reviews

I read quite a few books over the course of a year. (I keep a ~detailed summary of all my book readin’ over on LibraryThing.) Sometimes when I finish reading something, I’ll feel like writing up a somewhat thoughtful book review. I think I’ll post these reviews here.

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Miles run in 2014: 12.3
Books read in 2014: 5

Walking Adventures: Goodybe Christmas Trees

Yesterday was a sad day. It was the first scheduled yard waste pickup of 2014. This meant that driveways and back alleys were littered with discarded Christmas trees.  I first noticed the vast amount of forlorn greenery while I was walking to the library. Once I got back home, I grabbed my camera and went back out for a walk around the neighborhood. It was windy and chilly, but it wasn’t raining and I was bundled, so it was actually kinda nice. Although I could still make out quite a few trees inside people’s houses through sliding doors and bay windows, I encountered more than 30 trees waiting for the woodchipper on my short walk (~a mile). Abandoned Christmas trees strike me as being particularly poignant, so I took some pictures.





Seeing something that was enthusiastically celebrated just a few days before tossed out into the gutter without ceremony is a somewhat sobering reminder that things can go from great to not so great very quickly. I understand that it is completely silly for me to feel bad for these trees, but I can’t help it. I also realize that real trees are much better than artificial ones in all of the ways. (Real trees 1. SMELL SO GOOD and are 2. renewable resources which 3. help support local farmers and 4. are environmentally friendly in that they 5. sequester carbon while growing and 6. biodegrade once they are discarded. Artificial trees are the antithesis of real trees. Think twice before buying an artificial tree!) It just kinda sucks that we tend to get rid of our Christmas trees without a second thought.

One year when I was little our family moved house just a few days before Christmas. We didn’t have a chance to find a cut-your-own Christmas tree lot like we normally did. Instead, we ended up buying a smallish live tree (maybe 4 or 5 feet tall) from some nursery. We stuck it in the middle of our living room in a big pot, burlap-wrapped rootball and all, and surrounded it with presents. The day after Christmas (or whenever the ground thawed enough to dig a hole), we took it outside and planted it in the backyard. I lived in that house for more than seven years and I was able to see that Christmas tree just about every day. It was a special. I’m really glad that my family did that. Maybe it’s because I was seven years old that year (which is pretty much the best age for squeezing the maximum joy out of Christmas), but that Christmas is the one that I remember the most fondly/vividly. Using a live Christmas tree and then planting it after the holidays is absolutely something that I look forward to doing again in the future.

tree5Christmas trees in January engender as much reverence as a cracked tea kettle.

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Miles run in 2014: 9.2
Books read in 2014: 4


Howdy, folks!

It’s 2014. A brand new year! Time to pick some resolutions and make promises to myself that I largely won’t keep because arbitrary milestones. Woo! I reckon I should pretend that this will be the year that I’ll actually write in a blog regularly and share loads of quality content with an avid, ever-growing readership. WE’LL SEE. I suppose that’s kinda the goal, but that has been the goal before… and it looks like I haven’t written anything on here for almost THREE YEARS. Time is nuts.

Anyway, I don’t have as much going on these days what with finally being done with grad school (you now have the option to address me as DOCTOR ANDREW) and only telecommuting part time right now… so who knows? Maybe beautiful words will just flow from my fingertips like eager, happy waterfalls all of the time (clearly my PhD is in simile usage).

Today I will share with you some of my RESOLUTIONS for 2014. I recognize that sharing resolutions is terrible and that no one cares and that it’s almost as bad as sharing your dreams (sleepy time, not life goal). But whatever. It’s my blog!

Here are my three resolutions.

  • Runmoreeatlessmeatcookmoreoften.
  • WritemorewatchlessTVspendlessmindlesstimeonthecomputer.
  • Volunteermoreregularlytakemorephotographscontinuetoreadalot.

There are actually NINE resolutions (I tricked you), but a list that long would be tedious, so ehhhh.

I would really like to run more regularly because it makes me feel good and fit and happy and awesome. And I would like to write more/regularly for the same reasons. And the reading one. Those are the three I feel most strongly/confident about accomplishing. We’ll see! Good luck with your own resolutions and I hope that you’re a slightly less awful human being this year compared to last year.


Miles run in 2014: 6.1
Books read in 2014: 3