Sunday, November 30, 2008

books books books

I love to read. And I love books. My first job was as a library aide at Oshtemo Public Library - I helped people check out books, look for books and mostly shelved books. At my last job, I worked with a publisher and got to see how books went from manuscripts to hardcover to softcover. *sigh* I love books. So I have some recommendations:

The Road of Lost Innocence: I picked up this book at my friend's house this weekend and read it one day. It's the story of a girl who was sold into the sex trade in Cambodia and how she has become the head of an organization that fights for the rights of the girls that are abused. It's tragic and moving, and makes me wonder where such violent hatred toward women in that part of the world comes from.

Bel Canto: I kept seeing the name of this book, and knew that it took place in South America - so I wanted to read it. It's beautiful - the story of a dinner party held hostage and what happens with the captives from around the world, including a world-renowned opera singer, and their captors. I recommend listening to Chopin while you read this.

Currently reading: Quo Vadis, The Time Traveler's Wife, and waiting on Whatever it Takes from the library. Send me your recommendations!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Is this economic crisis starting to freak anyone else out just a little?

I've been avoiding my Simple IRA account balance for the last month or so - you know, trying not face my reality. And now, considering rolling it into a Roth and trying another company. Complicated and something I'd rather not think about at the moment. But that is what I end up discussing during my lunch hour with a coworker.

I read that the Dow may sit at around 6,000 points for a while, and we should get ready for it. I'm waiting to feel the effects of all of this - it's not like I'm spending my money all over the place, but really, if this is going to be anywhere close to the Great Depression, life as we know it will change. Predictions for my own life:

- Sit-ups and push-ups in my bedroom (maybe some jackknives)
- Rice and eggs
- Walking, not driving, to the pub on Mississippi
- Moving back to South America to live cheaply (kidding, Mom!)

Is an economic slowdown something that will affect absolutely everyone? For me, I'm hoping to maintain a job throughout the shakedowns, to continue to receive a salary. Maybe I'm part of the core group that keeps this whole machine going while everything gets straightened out. Does that mean that I'm expected to continue spending at the same rate as before?

Side notes:

I found a woman in Chicago who I admire, mucho - her name is Esther J. Cepeda, and she is a marketing director, but also a Spanish-speaker, teacher and writer. Her work is focused on bringing loans to students in Illinois, as well as giving us an interesting perspective on current events. Check out

I listen to Pandora at work - day in, day out. Lately, I go back and forth between Ulrich Schnauss (German, techno pop) and Chopin. Both are incredible. Schnauss's music sounds like good old 80s movies to me, and for whatever reason, it's incredibly comforting. And it gives me that feeling I had, way back in the day - that my life was new, fresh, and everything great was still ahead of me. And Chopin, well, it's Chopin. Enough said.