That Summer

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Just to give you an inside glimpse of life here at A Book a Day Headquarters, I'm writing this blog entry while listening to We Are the World. I discovered about a week ago that I write better while listening to really cheesy 80s music, so I now spend way too much time searching for the dorkiest 80s music I can find on youtube. I think when this song is over I'm going to listen to Waiting For a Star to Fall because when I was a child that song always felt like summer to me.

Here's another picture of me from the summer of 1985 - and in case you're wondering your eyes are not deceiving you, I'm really wearing lavender tennis shoes. Does it get any more 80s than that?

I went to the library yesterday and while I was there I started to remember a summer memory from when I was about 5 or 6 years old that involved the library. My mother took us to the library often as children, but she would only let us check out three or four books at a time because she said it was too hard to keep track of more books than that. But one day my Aunt decided to take us to the library and we managed to convince her that our Mother let us check out as many books as we wanted. So she told us we could checkout as many books as we could carry to the car by ourselves. Ha Ha, she didn't count on my skinny little five-year-old arms being able to carry 16 books. And that was the beginning of my compulsive library behavior.

And, as my sister pointed out today, the beginning of my having no standards when it comes to book. It's just so much easier to have no standards when picking out a bunch of books at once - especially when they're from the library. My sister, who doesn't normally go to the library, came with me the last time she was home and while we were there she said, "This is what it must be like to be a rich celebrity, you just walk in a store and pick whatever you want." And so now I finally understand why there are so many celebrities walking around wearing hideous clothes - being able to just walk in and pick whatever you want makes it so much easier to lower ones standards - and I really don't need any encouragement in that area. I think my lack of literary standards is why I seem to hate 80% of the books that I read - so I think next week I'm going to try a revolutionary new idea that I'm calling "An Experiment in Having Standards." Although my sister prefers to think of it as "Operation Bring Back the Dignity." But you can call it whatever you want to dear readers.

Here's the end of the week count:


PAGES - 1,847

And, for the year so far:

CHAPTERS - 3,840

PAGES - 49,571

Today's book, "For fifteen-year-old Haven, there's just too much going on. First there's her father's wedding to Lorna Queen, the local television "Weather Pet." Then, her sister Ashley's wedding to boring Lewis Warsher, who doesn't seem to suit Ashley at all."

I picked today's book because it's short. That's right, I'm lazy. Well it was a combination of laziness and a lack of time. I had planned to read a different book today, but then I had problems getting onto the Internet which I spent two hours trying to fix before ending up having to reinstall AOL - and I had more work related stuff than usually to deal with today. So a longer book just wasn't going to happen. It was a bit of a challenge to find a book that was no more than 200 pages that also had the word summer in the title - but I managed to do it and it turned out to be a decent book.

I really enjoyed the fact that the author managed to write about a teenager without resorting to insulting teenage stereotypes or excessive amounts of slang. Actually I don't believe there was any teen talk in the book - just a girl who talks like a regular person - it was refreshing. Although there were a few annoying parts, most of which revolved around Ashley's Marcia Brady tantrums which did nothing to endear the character to me. Plus what's the point of a Marcia Brady tantrum if you can't actually witness someone stomping up their weird 60s steps while thinking Wouldn't it be really funny if she stomped her feet so hard while running up the steps that one of her legs fell through the steps and she tripped and fell on her face. But then on second thought, that would probably just lead to more tantrum throwing. I'm just a cold hearted Brady Bunch fan who watches and thinks mean things like, Why won't someone shut that damn kid up, every time Cindy speaks.

Today's recipe is also from my pre-allergy days, back when mayo and I were best friends. And somehow I managed to take a food that was already laced with mayo and make it even more fattening with the addition of olive oil (What that's crazy? It simply can't be done!)

Chicken Salad

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp olive oil, divided

Saute onions and celery in 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat for five minutes or until vegetables become soft. Set aside.

Add another 1 tbsp of olive oil to skillet and saute chicken until cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Allow to cool.

Mix together chicken, onions, celery, and mayonnaise.