Friday, December 31, 2010

my 2010 year in review blog post

I decided a year or so ago to start doing a year end post to kind of sum up my year. Mostly for me so I can look back and see when significant things happened, but also for any of you who just really wanted to know what I did this year :) 
I didn’t find cures for diseases, or win any awards, or get my name in the tabloids, but I experienced things and learned some things about myself. I can’t complain too much.


I didn’t see any Broadway shows (even on tour) or concerts this year. I think that’s a first in many years. This must be remedied in the new year.

I survived The School Year That Almost Killed Me. Not that I didn’t like the kids I had last year, I loved them to pieces. It was just a whole group of things that came together to make it one tough school year. Thankfully I really, simply adore my current group of 7th graders (I just wish more of them would catch on to two step equations) and I don’t have as many demands on my time or sanity.

I got into sort of a funk around September/October. I think I have it pegged to a couple of significant things. I officially retired as a color guard instructor- something that has defined part of my life for a very long time. It was something that needed to be done, I just hate that it ended the way that it did. Also, my eyes were finally opened to some things. Misunderstanding or not, some things could have been handled better. With all things, it’s really hard when you’ve invested so much time and effort into something. Even when the signs are all there it’s hard to walk away.

I decided that one of the mottoes for my life is- I’m too old for this crap.

(edited to add) How could I forget- I had jury duty for the first (and hopefully last) time this year.

On a more positive note:

I went to Florida THREE times. Two of those times were Orlando-once for a family trip and once for a conference. I love to travel.

I visited Hogwarts! And ate at the Three Broomsticks! And drank Butterbeer! And got a Wand! and a Pygmy Puff! I think the Wizarding World of Harry Potter might have been the highlight of my year.

I met some really awesome authors again this year and got tons of books to add to my To Read pile. Hopefully, I will achieve my goal of reading 100 books in 2011.

I played Charlotte in the play Charlotte’s Web. That was my first big role and I loved.every.minute.

I also played Cook in the high school’s production of Alice in Wonderland. While I love being in plays, I had more fun watching kids I had in class act on stage for the first time.

I sang in front of people for the first time...and I wasn’t bad! I didn’t know anyone there but the voice teacher & Mark, I was nervous as heck and didn’t look up much from the page with the words but I sounded decent.

I am thankful for my husband, Mark, who has helped me keep my sanity, helped me laugh when I felt like crying, helped me make decisions and has been my biggest cheerleader since day one.

Goals for 2011:
Read more
Write a lot more
Laugh more
audition for a musical
sing in front of people I know
see at least one show
meet Laura in person this year (Laura, we WILL make this happen this year! I’m coming to Chicago in November.)

I’ll stop there. There is so much more I want to accomplish in the coming year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What I loved and what I WANT!

These are my favorite books that I read this year, not that they necessarily were published this year. If you read nothing else from my 2010 book list, at least pick these up. Mockingjay is book 3 in the Hunger Games trilogy & Guardian of the Gate is book 2 in the Prophecy of the Sisters series.

In no particular order, these are MUST READS!!

White Cat by Holly Black (this might possibly be my fave of the year)

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Huntress by Malinda Lo

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Aaaaaaand, here is my list of books that are being released in 2011 that I am DYING to get my grubby little hands on. I can haz advanced copy plz?

Also, in no particular order, the GIMME GIMME list:

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Red Glove by Holly Black

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dark & Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Circle of Fire by Michelle Zink

Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

Awakened by PC Cast

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Lost in Time by Melissa de la Cruz

OMG I almost forgot! The 13th Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

No worries, my TO READ pile is huge and I will have plenty to keep myself occupied while I wait for these :)

What I read in 2010

Well, I didn't reach my goal of reading 100 books this year. There were a couple of months where I only read 3 and I got into a funk around September/October and it threw me off. I am determined to achieve it next year though!

Here is my list of what I did read. With the exception of Deathly Hallows and two books I read with my enrichment class, all books are first timers. I did listen to two audiobooks of books that I read this year and included them because I listened to them after I read the books (and it made them so much better!) I will post another blog of my favorites from this list later.

Total- 75 books- not too shabby.

2010 Book list


Pendragon:The Pilgrims of Rayne~ DJ MacHale (547 pages)

Dark Magic bk4~Cate Tiernan (186 pages.)

Pendragon bk 9: Raven Rise~DJ MacHale (544 pages.)

Awakening bk5~Cate Tiernan (188 pages)

Spellbound bk6~Cate Tiernan (190 pages)

The Calling bk 7~Cate Tiernan(189 pages)

Changeling bk8~Cate Tiernan (188 pages)

The Lightning Thief~Rick Riordan (375 pages)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid~Jeff Kinney (217 pages)

Strife bk9~Cate Tiernan (188 pages)

10 books, 2812 pages


Seeker bk 10~ Cate Tiernan (pages 172)

Origins bk 11~Cate Tiernan (pages 188)

Guardian of the Gate~Michelle Zink (340 pages)

Eclipse bk 12~Cate Tiernan (pages 184)

Reckoning bk13~Cate Tiernan (189 pages)

Full Circle bk 14~ Cate Tiernan (190 pages)

Night's Child bk 15~Cate Tiernan (318 pages)

7 books 1554 pages

cumulative- 17 books 4393 pages


Catching Fire ~Suzanne Collins (391 pages)

Shiver ~Maggie Stiefvater (390 pages)

Stop in the Name of Pants ~Louise Rennison (310 pages)

Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me?~ Louise Rennsion (310 pages)

The Forest of Hands & Teeth ~Carrie Ryan (310 pages)

Lessons from a Dead Girl~ Jo Knowles (215 pages)

Living Dead Girl~ Elizabeth Scott (170 pages)

7 books 2096 pages

cumulative- 24 books 6489 pages


Prom ~Laurie Halse Anderson (215 pages)

Need~Carrie Jones (290 pages)

The Dead Tossed Waves~Carrie Ryan (407 pages)

Twilight The Graphic Novel vl 1~Stephenie Meyer/Young Kim (224 pages)

Captivate ~ Carrie Jones (258 pages)

Hero Type~ Barry Lyga (304 pages)

6 books 1698 pages

30 books 8187 pages


An Abundance of Katherines ~ John Green (256 pages)

Linger~ Maggie Stiefvater (362 pages)

Radiant Shadows~ Melissa Marr (352 pages)

3 books 970 pages

33 books 9157 pages


Burned~PC Cast & Kristin Cast (323 pages)

Pendragon book 10:Soldiers of Halla~ DJ MacHale (594 pages)

The Dopple Ganger Chronicles: The First Escape ~ GP Taylor (280 pages)

Happy Birthday Bad Kitty ~Nick Bruel (159 pages)

Hate That Cat~ Sharon Creech (153 pages)

Sixth Grade Glommers, Norks, & Me ~ Lisa Papademetriou (217 pages)

Top Eight~ Katie Finn (308 pages)

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac~Gebrielle Zevin (284 pages)

The Summoning ~ Kelley Armstrong (390 pages)

The Awakening ~ Kelley Armstrong (360 pages)

Charlotte’s Web:a full length play ~ Joseph Robinette (adapted from EB White) (72 pages)

Second Short Life of Bree Tanner~Stephenie Meyer (192 pages)

12 books 3332 pages

45 books 12489 pages


Reckoning~Kelley Armstrong (391 pages)

Blue Bloods~Melissa De La Cruz (302 pages)

Masquerade ~Melissa De La Cruz (305 pages)

Revelations ~ Melissa De La Cruz (264 pages)

Van Alen Legacy ~ Melissa De La Cruz (369 pages)

The Book of Dreams~ O.R. Melling (698 pages)

Liar ~ Justine Larbalestier (376 pages)

Luv Ya Bunches~ Lauren Myracle (335 pages)

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows~ JK Rowling

9 books

55 books to-date


Soul Enchilada~ David MacInnis Gill

Dark Song ~Gail Giles 292 pages

Mockingjay ~ Suzanne Collins 398 pages

September- December

Witches’ Kitchen~

The Hollow~ Jessica Verday

Going Bovine~ Libba Bray

Misguided Angel~ Melissa de la Cruz

White Cat~ Holly Black

Gathering~ Kelley Armstrong

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Life bk 1~ Bryan Lee O’ Malley

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World bk2~ Bryan Lee O’Malley

Middle School- The Worst Years of My Life

White Cat audiobook ~ Holly Black

Forest of Hands & Teeth audiobook~ Carrie Ryan

There’s a Wocket in my Pocket~ Dr. Seuss

Huntress~ Malinda Lo

Bloody Valentine~ Melissa de la Cruz

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland play adapted by Tim Kelly

Re-reads (with class)

Sisters Grimm- Fairy tale detectives~Michael Buckley

Wonderful Wizard of Oz ~ Frank L Baum