"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
--Martin Luther

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Crushes

Well, I'm back for another Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.  Today's topic is a freebie, so I'm going back to something original done last spring.  In fact, it was reading a post on this subject that initially made me want to join the link-up.  Today I'll be talking about the top 10 characters I would have a crush on if I were also fictional.  This topic was original done in April, 2013.  I'm trying really hard not to make it too similar to my recent post on books that make me swoon, but let's be honest, we all know Mr Darcy will be on this list too!

1.  Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series:  I mean, I refer to my husband as Gilbert on here, so you probably saw that one coming!  Gilbert is so funny and kind.  He waits for *ages* for Anne to clue in that he's the right one.  I love him.

2.  Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice:  I don't think I need to explain this. :-)

3.  Konstantin Levin from Anna Karenina:  He's just so upright and sensitive.  Dang it, Kitty, why couldn't you see that from the start!

4.  Remus Lupin from the Harry Potter series:  I love how compassionate he is, as well as smart and helpful.  Plus, in his first appearance he conjures a Patronus, then hands out chocolate.  I like that in a man...

5.  Edward Ferrars from Sense and Sensibility I'm heavily leaning on Hugh Grant's portrayal in the film here.  He's awkward, yet so kind.  I love that he sees how awesome Elinor is rather than getting focusing on Marianne, like everyone else seems to do.

6.  Zeb from Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam:  He's kind of a bad boy, but also has a good heart and is kind to Ren.  He also has the survival skills to save us both if the waterless flood happens, because I certainly can't....

7.  Daniel Addison from Terry Fallis's The Best Laid Plans and The High Road:  He's funny and clumsy, but also principled and extremely smart.

8.  Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings:  What's to say?  He's Aragorn, after all.

9.  Jake Epping, AKA "George Amberson" from 11/22/63:  Not only is he willing to sacrifice himself for a cause and a good woman, but he's also great on the dance floor.

10.  I couldn't come up with a 10th, so I'll add another Mr Darcy for good measure:

Oh, and I got all the Darcy memes from http://www.revolutionoflove.com/blog/hey_girl_memes/#.UwzbFl7Y3UR.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me "Swoon"

It's Tuesday again, so it's time for another Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is "Top Ten Books That Make You Swoon".  I don't really do the romance genre, and definitely don't read 'bodice rippers', so this was a hard one for me.  A lot of book bloggers are into the whole swooning thing, and I'm not really sure, is it the romance, or the "swoon-worthy" male love interest.  I've put some of both on here, but I could only come up with eight books.

1.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen:  Duh, this is my all-time favourite.  I melt at, "My affections and wishes are unchanged." 

2.  Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell:  A romance that is awkward and real and happens without the airbrushing of most teenage love stories.

3.  Persuasion by Jane Austen:  I adore this love story, and the fact that second chances are possible. 

4.  The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger:  Yes, this was on my list last week.  It's a cry and swoon kinda book.

5.  North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell:  The slow growth of love among two who seem like complete opposites.  I love it.

6.  The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje:  I read this about 15 years ago, but I remember it being incredibly romantic.

And a couple of guys I've swooned over:
7.  Po in Graceling (by Kristin Cashore):  He fights well, he's sensitive, he's funny....  Sure, he has a secret that might bother you, but he's pretty awesome.

8.  Jeremy Dragon in Just As Long As We're Together (by Judy Blume):  Jeremy Dragon exemplified the hot older boy for me when I was about 11.  He's got a chartreuse jacket and a girlfriend, and he's even smart enough to take advanced math. 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Top Ten Tuesdays: Books That Make Me Cry

It's another Tuesday, so I'm linking up again with The Broke and the Bookish.  Today's topic is "Books that make you cry", which is right up my alley.  I am a total sap.  I've been known to cry over movies, TV programs, and telephone commercials (like this old one, which made me sob every time I saw it).  Books are no exception to my emotional meltdowns, and here are some of the most memorable cry-fests:

Crying through the Classics (Some spoilers here if you haven't read them):
1.  Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell:  When I finished this book, I went into the kitchen with tears streaming down my face.  My mom, obviously thinking something was terribly wrong, asked what had happened, and I replied:  "Melanie died!"

2.  The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck:  I read this a few years ago.  When I was nearly finished, I was asked to "supervise" some construction guys working in our office, which basically meant sitting in a chair outside the door.  So there I was in the hallway, reading The Grapes of Wrath, trying to hold back the tears so my colleagues wouldn't see what a huge mess I am.

3.  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:  Poor, sweet Beth...

4.  Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery:  No matter how many times I read this, I always sob over Matthew.

Bawling* through Contemporary:
5.  Me Before You by JoJo Moyes:  What a sob-fest this was.  Thankfully my husband wasn't there as I sat in our kitchen, weeping my way through the end of this one.

6.  One Day by David Nicholls:  I won't reveal why in case you haven't read it or seen the movie, but just imagine me bursting into tears in the airport while waiting to fly home from our honeymoon.  Now imagine my husband's confusion.  It was an interesting moment.

7.  The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger:  I love this book, but man is it ever emotional!  I was car-less and working two jobs when I read it, so I likely cried on public transportation at least once.

8.  A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving:  One of the few books that made me both laugh out loud and dissolve into tears.

Weeping through YA:
9.  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green:  I mean, it's about teens with cancer, so I expected it, but even when you anticipate the emotions, it's still gutwrenchingly sad.

10.  The Harry Potter series, especially books 4-7 by J.K. Rowling:  I have a vivid memory of reading the climax of The Half-Blood Prince at dinner time.  I was supposed to go to a worship service, and I ended up being late because I was crying my eyes out.  I wouldn't let myself read the epilogue when I got home because I knew I'd never get to sleep.  Of course, this led to me bawling over my breakfast cereal in the morning.  JKR, I love your books, but did you have to kill off so many characters?!

*Does anyone else get irrationally annoyed at seeing some write “balling” instead of “bawling”, e.g., in Facebook. It's one of my biggest language pet peeves, along with misuse of apostrophes and saying “common” instead of “come on”.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Medical Monday: We Need A Break

It's another Medical Monday.  I missed out last month, so this time I'm jumping back in.  This month's link-up is hosted by Jane at From a Doctor's Wife, Emma at Your Doctor's Wife, and MJ at MD School Mrs.

It's been cold and snowy here in Toronto, so I'm looking forward to warmer days.  February has never been a favourite month of mine.  Until I met Gil, Valentine's Day was pretty much a downer, and winter is long here, so it still feels like ages until the spring thaw.  This year has been kicking my butt so far.  We've had more snow that I can remember.  My husband worked overnight on new year's eve, came home sick, and spent the first 10 days of January with the flu (which he lovingly passed on to me).  Then yesterday, Gil was feeling sick AGAIN.  It feels like it's just been one thing after another since before Christmas.

I've been seriously in need of a pick me up and here it is:
We're going to Punta Cana!  Miracle of miracles, after a month of putting off discussion, my husband actually worked out the dates and we booked a trip for the end of the month.

This coming vacation is indicative of one major change in me since getting married.  When I was single, my travels always involved doing stuff:  Museums, bike trips, renting cars and driving around Oahu, I wanted to be make the very most of my travels.

Since I've married into this crazy thing called medicine, I just want to slow down.  All I want is a beach, a good book, a fruity drink, and my husband.  I see him wearing himself down day after day, and I just want him to have a rest.  Do any of you feel the same way?  How has marriage changed your habits and preferences?

Happy February, everyone!  Hope you are all staying warm and dry!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Random Updates and Fun Stuff

As I mentioned before, I've been a lazy blogger lately.  It just felt like I'd run out of things to say.  I'm trying to remember that I don't have to write something deep and meaningful every time, so this post will just be a bunch of random thoughts and updates from our life.

Is anyone else tired of winter already?  I'm usually a winter person, but this year's ice storm, frigid temperatures (-30 wind chill??), and frequent snowfall has left me longing for spring.  We are off to a conference next week in Collingwood, and I'm looking forward to snowshoeing, skating, and getting my winter groove back.

I've been making a push to get more organized this year, especially in how I spend my time.  I've realized how many hours drift away while I'm online or reading, and then I get to the end of the week wondering why I never studied Chinese or cleaned the kitchen.  I've written down all the things I want to accomplish in the week (e.g., 30 minutes of Chinese, go to the gym three times) and have tried to allot it into a time slot.  Of course, it's anyone's guess how this works out in the weeks to come.

Speaking of Chinese, I've gotten so lazy about studying.  After failing my exam last year, I took on more hours at work and keeping up with study has slid onto the back burner.  I've gotten to a level where I'm past just reading textbooks, but not good enough to practice on newspapers, for example.  This month, I've been trying to read the first Harry Potter novel, borrowed from a friend, in simplified Chinese.  It's slow going so far (like a page a day), but at least I'm reading something familiar and dear to me!

Do you like reading and cats?  Please enjoy this post from Buzzfeed.  I seriously smile at it several times a day.

I love cheesy puns.  A few weeks ago, my siblings and I were emailing back and forth about who was bringing what food to a family brunch.  Since we needed someone to get the lox, this spun into a series of silly song references such as:
--What does the lox say?
--Who let the lox out?
Conclusion:  We are all big dorks.