Books Read in 2014
1. The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism - Naoki Higashida
2. The Lords of Discipline - Pat Conroy
3. The House on the Borderland - William Hope Hodgson
4. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson
5. Stop Tweeting Boring Sh*t: The New Rules of Work - Division of Labor
6. The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) - Graeme Simsion
7. Digital Devil Story: Goddess Reincarnation - Aya Nishitani
8. The Placebo Chronicles: Strange but True Tales from the Doctors' Lounge - Douglas Farrago
9. Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell
10. The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way - Bill Bryson
11. Free Food for Millionaires - Min Lee
12. Labor Day - Joyce Maynard
13. Shades of Darkness: A Black Soldier's Journey Through Vietnam, Blindness, and Back - George E. Brummell
14. Twelve Years a Slave - Solomon Northup
15. My Reading Life - Pat Conroy
16. The Butler: A Witness to History - Wil Haygood
17. The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt
18. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
19. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan
20. The Secret Pulse of Time: Making Sense of Life's Scarcest Commodity - Stefan Klein
21. The Hour I First Believed - Wally Lamb
22. Two Plus Four Equals One: Celebrating the Partnership of People with Disabilities and Their Assistance Dogs - Kathy Nimmer
23. Have a Nice Day!: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks - Mick Foley
24. The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine - Somaly Mam
25. Michelle: A Biography - Liza Mundy
26. All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
27. Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It - Gabriel Wyner
28. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
29. Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog - Ted Kerasote
30. Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch (An Aunt Dimity Mystery, #17) - Nancy Atherton
31. If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) - Gayle Forman
32. Where She Went (If I Stay, #2) - Gayle Forman
33. The Light Between Oceans - M.L. Stedman
34. The Last Summer - Anne Brashares
35. Disabling America: The Unintended Consequences of the Government's Protection of the Handicapped - Greg M. Perry
36. Going Rogue: An American Life - Sarah Palin
37. Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science - Richard Preston
38. The Souls of Animals - Gary Kowalski
39. The Highwayman (Corona: Saga of the First King, #1) - R.A. Salvatore
40. Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters - Chesley D. Sullenberger
41. The Other - Thomas Tryon
42. Right Next Door - Debbie Macomber
43. Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1) - Stephen King
44. Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?: Trick Questions, Zen-like Riddles, Insanely Difficult Puzzles, and Other Devious Interviewing Techniques You Need to Know to Get a Job Anywhere in the New Economy - William Poundstone
45. The Insatiable Desire Of Injured Love - Sally Morrison
46. The Spell of Egypt - Robert Smythe Hichens
47. You Have to Fucking Eat - Adam Mansbach
48. Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America - Bob Herbert
49. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
50. Revival - Stephen King
51. Torch - Cheryl Strayed
52. The Martian - Andy Weir
53. Sword-Dancer (Tiger and Del, #1) - Jennifer Roberson
54. Sword-Singer (Tiger and Del, #2) - Jennifer Roberson
55. Sword-Maker (Tiger and Del, #3) - Jennifer Roberson
56. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
57. Sword-Breaker (Tiger and Del, #4) - Jennifer Roberson
58. The Strange Library - Haruki Murakami
Books Read in 2013
1. Mean Streets (Remy Chandler, #1.5; Greywalker, #3.5; Nightside, #9.5; The Dresden Files, #10.5) - Jim Butcher
2. Next to Love - Ellen Feldman
3. The Night Strangers - Chris Bohjalian
4. Ashes, Ashes (Ashes, Ashes, #1) - Jo Treggiari
5. Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream - Adam W. Shepard,
6. Remember the Sweet Things: One List, Two Lives, and Twenty Years of Marriage - Ellen Greene
7. One Square Inch of Silence: One Man's Search for Natural Silence in a Noisy World - Gordon Hempton
8. The Submission – Amy Waldman
9. How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication – Stanley Coren
10. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking – Susan Cain
11. The Sixes – Kate White
12. Prep - Curtis Sittenfeld
13. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith
14. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
15. Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories, #1) - Mary Robinette Kowal
16. Milk: A Local and Global History - Deborah Valenze
17. Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who Hacked Ma Bell - Phil Lapsley
18. WWW: Watch (WWW, #2) - Robert J. Sawyer
19. WWW: Wonder (WWW, #3) - Robert J. Sawyer
20. Wait for You (Wait for You, #1) - J. Lynn
21. Penny; The Story of a Free-Soul Basset Hound - Hal Borland
22. The Lucky One - Nicholas Sparks
23. Message in a Bottle - Nicholas Sparks
24. Down All the Days - Christy Brown
25. End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies About the End of the World - Sylvia Browne
26. Mad River (Virgil Flowers, #6) - John Sandford
27. Superpowers - David J. Schwartz
28. Ella Minnow Pea - Mark Dunn
29. Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love (Kushiel's Legacy #1.5; Phèdre's Trilogy, #1.5; The Dresden Files, #11.5) - George R.R. Martin
30. Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees - Deborah Ellis
31. Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog - John Grogan
32. While They Slept: An Inquiry Into the Murder of a Family - Kathryn Harrison
33. Joyland - Stephen King
34. Shadow Bound (Unbound, #2) - Rachel Vincent
35. Oath Bound (Unbound, #3) - Rachel Vincent
36. It - Stephen King
37. The Hypnotist (Reincarnationist, #3) - M.J. Rose
38. A Blue and Gray Christmas - Joan Medlicott
39. Dark Currents (Agent of Hel, #1) - Jacqueline Carey
40. Life on Mars: Tales from the New Frontier - Jonathan Strahan
41. The Giving Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel - Jennifer Chiaverini
42. Simmer Down (A Gourmet Girl Mystery, #2) - Jessica Conant-Park
43. Motherland - Amy Sohn
44. Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison - Piper Kerman
45. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Judi Barrett
46. Here Is New York - E.B. White
47. Pickles to Pittsburgh - Judi Barrett
48. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #1) - Jeff Kinney
49. Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #2) - Jeff Kinney
50. The Last Straw (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #3) - Jeff Kinney
51. Dog Days (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #4) - Jeff Kinney
52. Alan Wake - Rick Burroughs
53. The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #5) - Jeff Kinney
54. Cabin Fever (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #6) - Jeff Kinney
55. The Third Wheel (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #7) - Jeff Kinney
56. The Various Haunts of Men (Simon Serrailler, #1) - Susan Hill
57. The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
58. Trust in Me (Wait for You, #1.5) - J. Lynn
59. The Things They Cannot Say: Stories Soldiers Won't Tell You About What They've Seen, Done or Failed to Do in War - Kevin Sites
60. The Longest Ride - Nicholas Sparks
This is a somewhat pointless post, whose purpose is only to find out if this...well...posts. I see VO accessibility of this app has sadly been compromised since I last used it. Nice! ...Except not so much.
//end semi-pointless post
As it happens, the last form of a real update happened sometime in July of last year, and way too much has happened then to capture every detail (not to mention I'm fairly sure my readership would decline quite spectacularly were I to attempt that(, but I shall at least mention the highlights or parts worthy of writing about. Since July, I have passed the ACVREP CVRT exam, been home to visit family and friends in December for the holidays, (wherein the temperature was finally at a level that I could safely consider "cold", I got to visit Wawa [a store similar to 7-Eleven, but in some ways better, in my opinion], and I SAW SNOW!). Oh, yes, and I also visited with said family and friends - the most important part of all that, although the snow comes in at a very, very close second. For the chronologically-obsessed, those events actually happened in the reverse order than which they were written about, the passing of said CVRT exam happening in February - on the 12th, to be exact. No doubt other things happened in that time frame as well, but my brain isn't cooperating enough at present to recall anything else. Actually, that's not entirely correct; the first part of this year saw me entering into a new relationship, which has been exciting, even with the current issue of distance, but I am hoping that will not be the case for too much longer.
Just when things can seem to feel somewhat stable, the universe has a way of sometimes informing you that it has other ideas and turning things slightly upside down. Actually, no, I take that back; the ideas are usually yours to begin with, at least in some state of formulation, but how they play out may not be how you envision them doing so. By that, I mean that as of June 23rd, I will find myself leaving Atlanta - thanks to a crazy ridiculous money situation with Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation (I will spare you the details, all of which I am not even completely sure I understand myself) I no longer have a job here, May 15th being my last day. I had wanted to eventually relocate back to the Northeast, closer to family and friends as it was, I just had no idea that I would be doing so under these specific circumstances. Everything happens for a reason, even if it may be hard to pinpoint what the reason is at the time. While there is an element of sadness about my departure, I can with 100% certainty say that my not having a job came from nothing I did or did not do, I am leaving Atlanta having burned no bridges or made no enemies (I'm fairly sure, anyway), and with new friends and I am sure a good job reference. I have learned a lot by being here and have no regrets whatsoever. I have no idea where I will end up next, (not counting my temporary move back home until I can secure my next job) but it will be somewhere in the Northeast area if I have anything to say about it. I am not willing to make another temporary move again unless it is a last - and I do mean LAST - resort.
Before I leave Atlanta, I will be taking a trip with the braille club I am a mentor for to Louisville, Kentucky to tour the American Printing House facility. I am very much looking forward to this. Said trip will take place June 13-14. I have also started the process of packing, which is huge for me as I am not one to find that activity all that exciting. It is at this point that I am failing to think of anything else of significance to write about and so think I will end it here. My dog and I are off with some friends later this afternoon to the dog park. It may be his last time there before I leave, unless I can figure out how to squeeze in a trip between that of today and then. We will both miss the park greatly. I need to come back here at some point, anyway, because I have yet to visit the pandas at the zoo, I want to visit the World of Coke museum (I had visited it when I was here for a music competition festival in high school but it has since been renovated), and I haven't been to Grant Park to see the circular painting thing that is on display there. I also wouldn't mind visiting the art museum again. I think I went there in March with a friend and really enjoyed it. Wait, let me clarify: I *know* I went there, the 'I think' part is for whether or not I went in March. Phew! Now that that's clarified... I'm not going to end this with the fact that it's good to be writing in here again and I should really do it more often (...except I guess I just did. Ah well...). More later.
Books Read in 2012It is my hope that I will improve on number read and variety of genres read in 2013.
1. La's Orchestra Saves the World, Alexander McCall Smith
2. Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story, Wally Lamb
3. The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, Simon Winchester
4. Eyes to See (Jeremiah Hunt, #1), Joseph Nassise
5. The Dragon Sorcerer, John Gregory Betancourt
6. Unsaid: A Novel, Neil Abramson
7. Before I go to sleep. S.J. Watson
8. Blood Bound (Unbound, #1), Rachel Vincent
9. Draw the Dark, Ilsa J. Bick
10. Angel Time (The Songs of the Seraphim, #1), Anne Rice
11. Of Love and Evil (Songs of the Seraphim, #2), Anne Rice
12. Terminal Mind, David Walton
13. Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1), E.L. James
14. Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2), E.L. James
15. The Tale of Halcyon Crane, Wendy Webb
16. Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3), E.L. James
17. The Running Dream, Wendelin Van Draanen,
18. The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs: 50 Home-Cooked Recipes for the Health and Happiness of Your Canine Companion, Donna Twichell Roberts
19. Through Wolf's Eyes (Firekeeper Saga, #1), Jane Lindskold
20. Blossoms and Shadows, Lian Hearn
21. The Man from Beijing, Henning Mankell
22. Holiday Confessions, Anne Marie Winston
23. Defending Jacob, William Landay
24. Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man, Chaz Bono
25. The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh
26. The Language of Secrets, Dianne Dixon
27. The Dry Grass of August, Anna Jean Mayhew
28. Home again, Kristin Hannah
Let me first thank you for taking the time to read this. As you may or may not know, I currently serve as a member of the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Graduate Council. As a Council member, I talk to current and perspective students about what life is like with a guide dog. I very much value the opportunity I have been given to give back to the school in this way, and am glad to have had the opportunity to meet people who I would otherwise probably not get to know. It has been the custom for Guiding Eyes to fly the Council members into the school to meet in person one time a year. During these difficult economic times, some things are harder to be able to do than others. This is where you, the reader, come in.
I am asking you to please consider supporting my leadership and opportunity to continue to support the graduates of Guiding Eyes for the Blind by making a monetary donation by September 15, 2012. TO do this, simply visit
Enter your gift amount.
Under “Special Gift Opportunities” – select “Graduate Council.”
Under “Memorial and Tribute Gift Information”
1-Select “Yes” this is a memorial or tribute gift
2- Under “Honor Gift Type” select In Honor of
3-Enter Graduate Council Member name under Honoree Name
4-Under “Is this gift in memory/honor of a Guiding Eyes Graduate” check yes
Thank you. Your gift will help me to do more work for a mission I care so very passionately about.
Take care, and thank you again for reading. Please share as you are able.
-Liz (and Dalton - Guide, January 2011 class)
Last weekend some friends and I took my dog to the dog park for his (and my) first time at such a place. At least I don't think he had ever been to a dog park before. He absolutely loved it! This past weekend the same friends and I went to the same park, but we didn't really have any intentions of going to the dog park part of it, choosing instead to walk around a different part of the park before grooming my dog as we had also done last weekend. Dalton, (my dog), is super cooperative with anything and everything 99.99% of the time, but he was being very fidgety - yet still cooperative - and focusing on the other dogs who would pass by us. I didn't really know what was going on, until it occurred to me that this sequence of events was different from that of the previous week, and maybe that's what he was trying to get across in a firm but polite way. "Um, excuse me - This is not how things went last week. I like grooming, but if it's all the same to you, I would really like to play first and *then* be groomed." As it was, we went with Plan B - put grooming on hold, walked to the dog park where Dalton was let off leash and commenced to run around the fenced-in area and have what looked like a very good time. He even laid in mud - although he tried to play it off like he was thirsty. After he had enough playtime, we rinsed him off and finished the grooming session, for which he was 100% cooperative this time. What can I say - my dog knows what he wants and he knows how to get it! :-) It was also suuuuuuper cute to watch . Unfortunately for Dalton, a trip to the dog park will not be able to happen this weekend, but we may be able to go next weekend. Speaking of next weekend, I believe there is a goalball practice scheduled for Saturday the 11th which I plan to go to.
I think that's about all for now. I will write when something else of interest occurs. Until then...
My last update was in January or around that time, I do believe. Since January, I have completed my blind rehab teaching internship in Connecticut, moved from CT temporarily to Delaware, (by 'temporarily' I really do mean temporarily - I was in Delaware for maybe a whole 24 hours within a week's time, and that may even be pushing it), graduated from Northern Illinois University, (which entailed a trip back to IL to attend the ceremony) and then moved to Atlanta, Georgia to start my new job as an assistive technology specialist for the Center of the Visually Impaired - www.cviga.org. All of those events occured in about a week's time - internship ended 5/4, I moved out 5/5, flew out to Illinois 5/6, graduated on 5/11, flew back to Philly/Delaware on 5/12 and then flew to Atlanta on 5/13.
I am all moved into my new apartment and am getting adjusted to my new home, surroundings and new routine slowly but surely. I am also very much enjoying my job. My mom and one of my sisters came to visit me this past weekend, which was nice. It's hard to be so away from family, friends and familiarity sometimes. Atlanta will hopefully become familiar to me in not too long of a time, though.
When I haven't been working, I have tried to get involved with some activities on the weekends. I attended a goalball practice in the hopes of forming a women's team. I practiced with the guy's team, but I think the chance of a women's team happening is more than just a thought as it looks now. If so, that would be great. I was very pleased that I didn't manage to lose all of my skill in the two or so years it had been since I'd been out on a goalball court. I even scored a goal! I have also looked into the possibility of getting into tandem biking, but nothing has come through on that front as of yet. It's important for me to keep active and get exercise. I also need to get the ball rolling on taking my rehab teaching certification exam. My bank account will not be at all happy about that, but it's necessary, so...
Dalton is doing well. He has adjusted to the new routine very nicely. I think it will take awhile for both of us to get used to the change in weather, (it's HOT here!), but we're doing our best. Air condition is definitely appreciated that's for sure. Electricity is also included in what I pay for rent, which helps. I really like my new apartment. When my family was here over the weekend, we worked on sprucing it up a little, which makes it feel all the more like a nice place to live.
That covers everything - or at least what I can remember I had wanted to include in this update. I hope that everyone is doing well.
The end of August found the Fall 2011 semester starting. I did all independent study classes last semester in various areas of assistive technology. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work. I took twelve hours and came out of it with seven good-sized papers to show for myself. I also, as said in an earlier entry, helped out with the braille course leading the reading sessions for one of the sections (there were two classes this semester instead of the usual one due to the greater number of students). I was glad to be able to help out with that again as it really is fun.
I spent the holidays in Delaware with my family, which was very enjoyable. My Christmas and New Year's were quiet and spent with family and friends. My goal for next New Year's, though, is to spend it in TIme Square. It's just oe of those things that I want to do at least once, even if the experience is horrible and I don't end up liking it. I want to figure that out for myself by actually going there. Call me crazy if you want, it's perfectly okay!
Last Saturday found me packing a few things, leaving Delaware and heading to West Haven, Connecticut to complete my last semester of grad school in the form of an internship at the VA hospital here. I have survived my first week, which is a good thing. I am an intern in the blind rehab department. There is another intern who started the same time I did, and it is nice that I am not the only one in that same boat. She is really nice and I'm glad to have the chance to get to know her more. She is an O&M intern while I am doing VRT.
I like what I know of this area so far, and the house where I am staying is very nice. The woman from who I am renting has two dogs and two cats of her own, and all animals get along, which helps. I do miss Illinois, but I will be back for graduation. Flight prices are kind of high, (I looked just for the heck of it today), but I will be there, believe me, in some way or other. I will not miss graduation that is for sure!
Today has been a very lazy Saturday, and I am perfectly okay with that. Laundry is getting done as I write, though. Tomorrow shall consist of groceries being delivered, (yay Peapod!), football and a conference call. Monday it's back to work. I am excited for that, though. I am slowly but surely learning the route to work and my way around the building. I must thank my dog for his help in all of that. He seems to like the new routine, too. (He is currently on the floor chewing a bone, no doubt glad to rest. Maybe it's a lazy Saturday for him, too!).
I hink that is all I have to update on. I can't think of anything else to add at the moment. I will be back with more as it happens. It really is good to write in here again.
Things in my corner of the world are going well. I am currently home in Delaware visiting family, where I have been for the past two-and-a-half weeks or so. I return to DeKalb on Sunday, and then the semester starts on Monday, August 22nd. It has been really good to see family as I have missed them being so far away. That is really hard sometimes, but it's only one more semester in Illinois and then I will do my internship in Connecticut, and so I will be closer to them. Last Wednesday until Sunday I was at my grandparents' trailer/the beach, and I enjoyed myself there, too. Our family has also acquired a new puppy, a 13(ish)-week old chocolate Lab who was named Reese. She is a super cute puppy, although full of energy that's for sure. Reese and Dalton get along, although she will sometimes bite my dog's jowls, which he will usually tolerate and then let her know when he had has had enough, although perhaps not as often as he could. As time has gone by, they are getting more comfortable with each other and I think things have evened out now. Reese is growing quite a lot and has definitely done so since I have been here. It's really cute to see. I can only imagine how big she will be when I come back here for Christmas.
Dalton is very much liked by the family, which I wasn't at all surprised about. While at the beach, I was able to meet up with his puppy raisers, Jim and Linda, which was truly fantastic. They are truly a wonderful couple and I am glad to have met and keep in touch with them. I do believe that Dalton recognized them, and so it was a happy reunion for all. I for sure want to meet up with them again sometime in the future. They did a super job with him and their dedication and love for this dog and what they do definitely showed upon meeting them. Dalton was their first dog and they are now on their second, who will be going back for his IFT in September. I will be keeping fingers (and Dalton paws) crossed that all goes well! Dalton will actually cross his paws sometimes, anyway, so it shouldn't be hard for him! I was given a book of Dalton puppy pictures from my raisers which are suuuuper cute that my mom had wanted to scan, and so if that happens, I will upload them to Facebook, and perhaps also to LJ. I am usually more apt to upload pictures to Facebook, though, I will say.
In terms of school, I have one more semester in Illinois, as previously mentioned, and then my internship semester in Connecticut, and then I am done - yay graduation! (I will most certainly be returning to DeKalb to walk in the ceremony). This semester will be all Independent Study classes covering various topics in assistive technology. I am excited about this. I will also be putting in Graduate Assistant hours helpng out with the braille course as I did last fall. It's crazy to think that it has been a year since I started... I have successfully applied to and been confirmed an intern slot at the Veterans Administration in West Haven, CT, pending hire approval, (passing both a physical and background check). I do not foresee any issues here, so I should be good. I should be contacted as far as intern arrangements sometime in October. I just have to be patient until then. The three months between then and January, when I would start, seems like a very short time to figure out relocation, find housing, etc, but it will be okay. I am starting to figure out as much as I can early on so that when October comes, I will be all that more prepared. When I do get the final go-ahead, I intend to fly out to CT to get a look at different places to live and perhaps also the facility at which I will be interning. I can't just decide on an apartment solely looking it online; that does not work for me at all. I have to actually walk through the potential place and get a feel for it to decide whether or not it will work. It will all be fine and work out, though, I am sure. Patience is a virtue.
I think that is all I can think to update on. A congratulations goes out to mektastic, who is receiving her new guide dog today at Guiding Eyes - so exciting! You'll do great! The rest of the day shall consist of some errands, a visit with my aunt and then I am not realy sure what. Either way, I plan to enjoy whatever occurs. Thanks for reding, and more when and as it happens.