22 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

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As a professional introvert, it takes time to get to know me. However, if you read my blog then you’re on the express path since I’m more apt to share my stories here than at a party or social outing. Lucky for you I’ve got lots more to share! I was just thinking the other day about random things that are important to me and what makes up someone’s character. So here’s a quick list of some possibly insightful, possibly funny tidbits. You’ll leave with something, maybe even some giggles.

1.      I’ve been to the Olympics. I was in Sydney during the 2000 games. I went to the women’s soccer gold medal match; the U.S. lost. I also met a German man who had just won a silver medal in weightlifting. He let us all try it on.

2.      I am not scared of spiders. I will often transplant them back outside if possible. They are good to have around, mainly because they eat mosquitoes.

3.      I take care of my skin. I’ve been getting facials and treatments for about 15 years. More importantly, I stay out of the sun; after all, I am transparent. I always wear sunscreen and haven’t had a burn in over a decade. Please take care of your skin; not just for vanity. It’s the largest and often most abused organ.

4.      I rarely wear lipstick. People ask me a lot about what kind of lip product I use. It’s chapstick. I am no makeup expert so I usually don’t wear lipstick or lip gloss unless I have a professional doing it.

5.      I will never hate or look down on someone because they are different than me; rather that be because of race, gender, religion, sexuality, education or socio-economic differences. I choose to live my life embracing the differences of everyone and believing everyone is human and deserves to be treated as such.

6.      My mom had lots of nicknames for me. She called me Buffy mostly, which many of my friends who I’ve known my whole life still call me. She also used to call me Trixie. I’ve never really had a nickname as an adult. It’s just Beth. But on that note, I have never gone by Elizabeth. If someone called me that, I usually don’t respond because I don’t think they are talking to me.

7.      I do judge people by their movie choices. Don’t tell me a movie from 20 years ago is a classic. I will stop talking to you forever.

8.      If I could have lunch with three people, I’d choose my mom, Sara Bareilles and Jennifer Weiner.

9.      I have horrible motion sickness. I’ve gotten sick on every type of transpiration available: car, plane, boat and train.

10. My favorite place is Paris. If I had the option, I’d live there.

11. I love learning. I’d be a professional student if that were possible. I’d love to go to law school and get a Ph.D. in marketing.

12. The first real concert I went to (because I refuse to count NKOTB) was Pink Floyd. Since then I’ve seen basically every group I love, including the Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead (before Jerry died), Fleetwood Mac (multiple times), Aerosmith, the Eagles (multiple times), The Killers, The Who, U2, Dave Matthews Band (about 30 times), Heart, Def Leopard, One Republic, O.A.R., Sara Bareilles (multiple times) and many more big and small artists. My only regret is not seeing Prince before he passed. Music has informed a lot of my life. I have always found it very healing and a catalyst for creativity. I am, however, not musically inclined myself. My brief foray into piano lasted not very long. But almost every guy I’ve ever dated or been in a relationship with has been a musician or had musical talents.

13. My belly button is crooked. It wasn’t always but after three surgeries it’s kind of lopsided. It use to bother me; not so much anymore.

14. I use to love scary movies. Now, not so much. I like the idea of them and watching the trailer. But now I’m a big wuss. I still have nightmares about the scariest movie I ever saw, which will remain nameless so I don’t start thinking about it (too late, I’m SCARED!).

15. I am not a good bike rider. It’s been a while. I’m not so sure it’s like “getting back on a bike” easy. I should really address this. I’m missing out. It’s totally embarrassing.

16. I’ve never broken a bone, which is amazing, because I fall a lot. I wouldn’t say I’m a klutz. I have just taken many tumbles in my day, so many which often included stairs. These bones must be like Wolverine grade.

17. My most prized possessions are:

·         Postcards my mom sent me when she was in Europe

·         The Pink Lady figurine that was my Granny Helen’s

·         Some amazing shoes I bought in Paris

·         A pink painted plate that was my Granny Faye’s

·         A bracelet Justin gave me

18.  I am a Pisces. I am no Astrology expert nor do I read my horoscope. I will say that almost every other Pisces I’ve ever met, I’ve gotten along with wonderfully. We immediately hit it off and had lots in common before finding out of our shared sign.

19. This makes the most upset: People who don’t spay and neuter their animals. Or those that chain dogs up and call that a life. Also, please adopt don’t shop.

20. My favorite sounds in the world are the sweet moan that Honey makes just for me and Justin’s voice – it’s so calming.

21. My first crush was J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman). I cried for an hour when he died. Dallas was my favorite TV show ever. I remember watching it with my mom. I was probably too young, but I’m glad she let me watch it. I’m going to the real Southfork this fall when we go to Dallas.

22.  I’ve kept every journal I’ve ever had since I was very young. There’s some interesting stuff in there. I’d tell my younger self to lighten up a bit, and enjoy the moment.

Summer Book Review

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If reading were an Olympic sport, I’d be on my way to gold this summer. I am beyond fascinated with books. I prefer them to most TV and movies. I think because I have such a vivid imagination. I like to imagine the characters in my mind. It’s often why I refuse to watch adaptations of stories I’ve loved. I do lean toward fiction, specifically literary and women’s fiction. I rarely read mass fiction or genres like mystery or science fiction – that’s just not my thing. I also love biographies and true crime.

I fell in love with reading early. My mom and grandmother were both voracious readers. I even used to read encyclopedias and dictionaries! I moved quickly from simple books to chapter books. I read a lot of stuff that probably wasn’t suitable for a kid, but I don’t think it corrupted me.

No one ever had to make me read, whether for English class or fun. I even liked the ones others grumbled about like A Tale of Two Cities or anything Shakespeare. Sometimes it wasn’t so easy to understand because we don’t really talk like that anymore, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

So as I said I’ve been burning through books this summer. I haven’t been to the beach or on holiday, but it’s been my escape from the heat. Here’s a quick review of my summer reads.

The Vegas Diaries – Holly Madison
She’s the former playmate who made her debut into fame on reality TV, but she ditched the mansion and headed to find herself in Vegas. I really liked Holly’s first book, which focused on her time at the mansion so I gave her second book a try. Holly has a really clear voice in this book; maybe more so than the first. There are certainly some funny stories, but what I loved the most was how she wove in Vegas history throughout the book. I could tell that the history of a place is important to her. I highly recommend both her books.

The Weekenders – Mary Kay Andrews
This is the first book I’ve read by this author, but she has been a bestseller for quite some time. It’s definitely a beach read. It is actually set in NC so I appreciated that. It’s a bit of mystery meets chick lit. It was somewhat predictable. Most of the characters were either not very developed or were straight from a recipe of how this type of person should be. I was more interested in the main character’s best friend, but she was just the sidekick role. Sometimes we don’t want to work too hard to be entertained so if you don’t this is a good book.

Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan
This is probably one of my all time favorites! A young professor accompanies her boyfriend for a summer vacation back to his home country of Singapore; only to find out he’s crazy rich. I had little exposure to Singapore or Asian culture before reading this, and I learned a lot while also being entertained. The characters are well drawn; the dialogue is spot on and the descriptions beautifully done. It’s a massive book, but so good, I finished in a weekend. The author grew up in Singapore so it’s truly authentic. This is the first in a series. Will be reading the next one as well. You must read this book!

We Could Be Beautiful – Swan Huntley
This is a debut novel. I read some good reviews so I gave it a shot. It features the ultra rich of NYC centering around a woman who lives off a trust, is unlucky in love and has a mother suffering from dementia. I was pretty turned off by the protagonist. She wasn’t someone I could with whom I could relate. I will say that in any good book, you don’t have to like the characters but be intrigued and interested by them. I was neither. But I’m a sucker for a twist. However, finding out who her new suitor really is wasn’t hard. I did finish the book. The ending tries to tie up everything nicely without making sense. It’s billed as a psychological thriller. I would say it’s more melodrama.

The Last One – Alexandra Oliva
The book starts with a survival reality show then something goes wrong. Something has happened in the outside world, but the main character isn’t sure if it’s real or not. This was a great read. Suspenseful but very character driven. The protagonist was richly developed, and I really empathized with her. I won’t give any more away, but I will say it ends on a bright note.

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty
This is from the author of The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies, both of which were great books. The author is Australian and the story is set in Sydney and its suburbs. Three families are having a barbecue on a Sunday afternoon when something happens. You don’t know what that something is until about 300 pages in, but the back story and the development of the characters is worth it. What the characters do and how they react makes sense because you feel like you know them. This was probably my least favorite of the three books I have read, but the characters were real and flawed. It certainly made me think of the consequences of even the smallest mistakes.

Dark Matter – Blake Crouch
I first began familiar with this author when I watched the Wayward Pines last summer. I loved the show and thought I’d check out the books, too. I only read the first one in the trilogy. I preferred the TV show to the book. The book seemed to go on and on during this one scene where the protagonist is trying to make it up a mountain. Anyway, I decided I’d give him another try with his new novel. And I’m glad I did. This book was a definite improvement. It has tones of science fiction, but it is much more than that. The characters are the heart of the book. Also, the big ideas of quantum physics are explained simply so even an English major could understand! The story centers around a college professor who thinks about what his life would have been like had he not married and had a family. What were the other choices that he could have made? What if there are infinite worlds out there with many versions of ourselves that are different simply because of the choices we have made. This book was really well done. Highly recommend.

I also reread 1984 by George Orwell, which seemed fitting in these times. It’s a classic for a reason. Haven’t picked my next book yet. Thinking about non-fiction. I’m anxiously awaiting the publishing of one of my favorite authors Jennifer Weiner’s new book, Hungry Heart, which is a collection of essays. Have any suggestions? Would love to hear what your summer read was.

Happy reading!