Ruby Ramblings

April 26, 2014, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Books, Dewey's Read-a-thon, Travel, Uncategorized

Colin Thubron is a classic choice for the first book in a travel inspired read-a-thon.  This one is short, and the only fiction I’ve ever seen by him. It makes sense though, all those characters he’s met and observed in his life that can’t be written about in the journalistic non-fiction format in the way they can be characterized in fiction.  To The Last City is the tale of a small group of people journeying to less-visited Incan ruins.  A Belgian and his French wife  who is half his age, an older British couple whose resentment of each other fills the air, a mis-guided and confused aspiring priest, and the doubtful guide whose job it is to keep all these folks safe and happy.


Last City

This is a really good book, but here is  quote that really stuck out so far:

” The Englishman lay in his sleeping bag listening to the quick, regular breathing of his wife. 

In the faint light, he could see she had placed her boots between them, with her anorak and a water bottle. “


And finally getting around, four hours late, to the introductory questions:


1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Portland, ME, USA
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Red Dust, I think. Maybe Grass Roof, Tin Roof.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  I’m not nearly that prepared.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! A lapsed traveler, due mostly to my drive to be a musician which keeps me tied to where I’m playing, recording, and also perpetually broke.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?  I was so excited to realize I didn’t have a gig booked on a Saturday night so that I could participate! Although I do have to go to the studio, and also to work at some point during the 24 hours. 


Pages read: 66

Page in current book: 67


Hour six update: Book finished, 168 pages read.  Heading out to get some Indian food….


December 9, 2009, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Kathryn over at Lessons from the Monk I Married was kind enough to think of me for two blog awards she received and is passing on:

In turn I’d like to pass this one on to Susan Young Photo, a wonderful collection of photography and snipets of music, food, and culture.

This one I would like to give to my online turned real-life friend Susan at Naked Without Books. A witty chronicle of what she reads, and the endless pursuit for English books by an expat living in Korea.

This also made me realize that I need to branch out and start finding more well-written inspiring blogs that I can pass awards onto. I seem to have become stagnant lately.

The Life You Can Save
October 25, 2009, 8:37 am
Filed under: Books, Dewey's Read-a-thon, Uncategorized

The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty by Peter Singer

One charity I found particularly inspiring in this book is the Worldwide Fistula Fund, an organization that helps women who are injured through childbirth or violence in a way that is treatable, but often ignored.

Please, please, please watch this video. It is amazing.

Pages read in current book: 102
Total pages read: 603
Please consider donating the charity I’m sponsoring: Child Upliftment Center

August Reads
August 30, 2009, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Books, Uncategorized

19th Wife The 19th Wife by David Ebershoffl

NPR Interview with David Ebershoff

Sugar Queen The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

This was a great surprise. Addison is an author from North Carolina, and the book shows it with the imagery and dialogue. I’ve read a couple of North Carolina authors and really enjoy the vibe. This book chronicles the breakthrough of a late-twenty something late-bloomer who is trying to get out from under her mother’s control. She hides food in her closet as her form of rebellion, and one day she finds a local woman hiding from her new boyfriend in her closet . This woman ends up changing her life and helping her find her own strength.

Last WishThe Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski A really pleasant surprise. A coworker leant it to me with high recommendations. Judging by the cover, I wasn’t so sure, but I was sucked into a two day read-a-thon getting through the adventures of The Witcher and his ethical delimmas as a monster hitman.

AquariumsThe Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulagby Chun-Won Kang

Sea of MonstersThe Sea of Monsters
Book 2 in the Percy Jackson series.

Teaser Tuesday Meme
August 26, 2009, 3:06 am
Filed under: Books, Uncategorized

teasertuesdays31 Give us a two sentence teaser from your current read.


The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag by Kang Chol-Hwan

“The feeling of being isolated in the very place where I lived, to the point of not knowing who else was there or even where the camp was located, seemed particularly inhumane. It wasn’t just a way of keeping me in the dark about where I was, it was a means of attaching my identity.” Pg. 78

Hosted Should Be Reading.

Computer Hacks
July 8, 2009, 3:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Story on NPR regarding a computer hack that happened simultaneously to the US and South Korea.  Effected major government agencies and began on the 4th of July. Believed to be done by either the North Korean government, or supporters of them.

Ohio River Fungus
May 23, 2009, 3:49 am
Filed under: South Korea Quarantine, Uncategorized

Just to alieve everyone’s stress, as well as ours, here is another medical update from our saga.

A friend of mine e-mailed me from Nashville saying that she has some spots show up on an x-ray. The first thing the doc asked her was if she had ever lived in the Ohio River Valley, which is where J. was born, raised, went to college, and hiked around many caves and mountains in. Apparently there is a fungus that is really common there that is harmless, but does show up as spots on the lungs in x-rays and such.

Here is a brief quote I pulled off the web:

The bases of the lungs are the bottom parts of the lungs. Incidental nodules are very common when CTs are done. Usually, these represent old scars from an asymptomatic infection with Histoplasmosis, a fungus that lives in the soil in the Ohio River Valley. Rarely, they can represent other things, including early lung cancer. Further evaluation of these nodules is based on recommendations that consider each person’s risk of cancer, including the size of the nodule, smoking history, etc. You should discuss this with your doctor.

So it is probably no big deal.

The good thing is that since I’m not allowed to leave, I sent Jim out for coffee and food. he he.

I’m going to do some reading, and avoid going to the sick room until they come and find me.

Update: They (the Korean government, not our school) has now quarantined all of the teachers that were in the training. They have posted guards and we are not allowed to leave the fourth floor of the hotel. They aren’t letting anyone in to see us either. Hence our problem – no one has any food! Luckily J. was able to sneak out and do a Burger King run since it was fast and comes “to go.” No one is going crazy yet, but we’re planning to combine our stocks of snacks and alcohol and have a swine flu party.

Update: There are news crews here and we have been told not to tell them anything, or to mention {our school}. I guess they don’t want parents pulling all their kids out of those schools if it gets around. No one here is even really sick. It’s all just an overreaction to one girl who has flu-like symptoms which could just be a normal flu, or a really bad cold!


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