What’s Up Saturday

Deals and Good Reads

What I’m Reading (books)

  • Just finished The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks. It’s a sequel to The Notebook, which I read ages ago. Loved it. Sparks’ men are not realistic though 😉 Location: New Bern, NC; time: current (early 2000s).
  • In the middle of The Translation of Dr Apelles by David Treuer. It’s a Native American love story. Location: somewhere in the middle; time: half current, half a few hundred years ago.
  • Just started The Hazards of Good Breeding by Jessica Shattuck (social commentary). Really good so far – only on page 30. Location: Boston; time: current (early 2000s).
  • (I got all of these books in Brooklyn last week at the Salvation Army for <$2 each.)

What are your finds this week?

This post inspired by a great blog I just found called Honoring Health. She does “What’s Going On” posts like this.

Non-Food: Free Online Education & A Cruise

This morning I got up early accidentally and didn’t feel like doing the shred… so I decided to get in a nice walk. I listened to Heather Small (the singer of the Biggest Loser theme song) and then Frou Frou when Heather’s album was over. I got in 4 miles while I thought and pondered and started to decompress from the week.

Speaking of the shred and Biggest Loser and Jillian Michaels, Jillian is hosting a Wellness Cruise this fall. Oh my. I am so tempted. Anyone else? Sixthman is coordinating it – that’s the same company that organized that John Mayer/Guster/OAR cruise I went on last year. And it’s going out of Miami (Bobby’s hometown).

Going back to the work topic, my job revolves around a lot of online education clients. This week I got an email with some great resources for free online learning and I thought I’d share.

Free Online Courses and Lectures:

  • iTunes U: Free educational media – lectures, lessons, labs, audiobooks, tours – all available through iTunes. You do have to get an iTunes account to use iTunes U, but the account is free. I’m looking at a bunch of different lectures I want to listen to now – “Health Eating Habits” from Clemson University; “Sex in the Ancient World” from University of Warwick; courses from Harvard Business School… Definitely need to check this out.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare: Back in high school one of my dream colleges was MIT. I didn’t go there, but I will definitely try their free courses. They have everything from linguistics to anthropology to math to engineering to bio. This course looks particularly interesting: The Supernatural in Music, Literature, and Culture.
  • Open Yale Courses: a bunch of intro classes from Yale professors. Free Ivy education? I’m in. I think I’m going to check out this Italian course on Dante.
  • Connexions (Rice University): This is a king of open source courseware. It’s a place to share scholarly content online – anyone can add content and anyone can access it. You can search for just about anything. I searched “brain” and found this class: Music, Biological Evolution, and the Brain. Awesome.

I’m glad I was on that email chain!

Have you tried any of these? Do you like school and learning? I didn’t realize how much I loved taking classes until after I was out of college. It’s never too late to go back though.

Moving to Midlake Music

I was supposed to go see one of my favorite bands tonight down at Bowery Ballroom. The band is called Midlake. Midlake is an Indie rock band of classical jazz musicians. I don’t really know how to describe their sound aside from the fact that it’s orchestral and epic. Especially their most recent CD, The Courage of Others. I have never seen them in concert.

This is one of my favorite songs (“Roscoe”):

It’s so relaxing.

Unfotunately this afternoon I got a little feverish and dizzy so I opted to stay home. Bobby went anyway and my brother is going. I asked for a phone call during one of the good songs. I’m enjoying myself on the couch reading one of my books (Before Green Gables).

Exercise today was something new. This morning (before I got sick) I did a video on Netflix called Dance Off the Inches: Calorie Blasting Party. It’s 45 minutes and it’s a nice little cardio routine. I’ve done it before but I haven’t in a few months. I also walked 2 miles. This is less exercise than I used to do, but way more than I have been doing lately. I really like exercise at times; other times I just want to be a lump. Maybe it depends on the season? Winters are depressing for me so I become more sedentary… then as it gets nicer out I just want to move all day long.

Does your mood change with the season? What about your exercise routine? or…

What’s your favorite band? (Mine is Guster. I went on a cruise with them last year.)