Crustaceans and Books

Spanish Guitar Man started off my morning in a delightful way y’all! I just want to give him a huge hug every Thursday am. Now, after a delicious (strong) cup of French Vanilla coffee and my ginormous green smoothie, I’m rocking along.

I have tomorrow off and I’m going to get my first haircut in about six months! Can’t wait to get rid of some of this dead weight and get some layers — no more hobo hair! I also have a date with the library (time to return my books) and am on a mission to find a luggage tag. My new suitcase needs a luggage tag. Yup, I finally pulled the trigger and bought a suitcase.

I had some serious struggles tracking down the suitcase I thought I wanted and perhaps that was divine intervention. I thought my old suitcase was 21″ when it turns out it’s 24″ — that’s quite a big difference when you’re packing for a week and need to cram in suits, heels, work out gear, and normal people clothes. So, lack of store inventory saved me from purchasing something too small! Instead, I ordered the 25″ version of the suitcase I wanted this morning from the Macy’s web site. And, get this, that sucker is actually just about the same price as the 21″ piece because the bigger one qualifies for free shipping! Four extra inches for free? Don’t mind if I do!! (I feel like there’s a “That’s what she said” joke in there somewhere…) Very excited to have a new suitcase and relieved that the suitcase hunt of 2010 is over.

Today’s other exciting note involves lobster. Lobster from a food truck.
DC has tons of delicious food trucks; the Lobster truck being one of the newest. Coworkers and I set out on a lobster quest on Tuesday, but the truck’s generator died so our lobster dreams went unfulfilled. However, they did hand out $2 off coupons — so there’s that. Today, we’re trying again. The truck was back in action last night so we plan to dine on lobster for lunch. It’s not cheap, but on the scale of DC lunch prices it’s not heinous either: $18 (well, $16 with our coupons) for a sandwich (with lots of yummy yummy lobster meat), chips, and a soda. Not the healthiest thing either, but Hubs and I plan to split a meal and supplement with carrots and apples. I really cannot wait — I’ll let you know how it is.

Okay, now that I’ve dispersed my lobster excitement, it’s time for books!

Zeitoun was published in 2009 by Dave Eggers (author of Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and What is the What). Eggers is a very talented story teller and he makes non-fiction read like a fiction book. Zeitoun tells the story of a Syrian American living in New Orleans. When Katrina rolls through, Zeitoun doesn’t evacuate with his wife and children but instead stays back to tend to their house and the other properties he works on (he is a contractor). He survives the hurricane just fine and takes to canoeing about the streets helping people after the flood sets in. However, on September 6th Zeitoun is arrested and detained in a makeshift parking lot prison made of razor wire. No one will really tell him why he is being held, he is denied medical care and the right to a phone call (leaving his wife in obvious distress). The entire proceeding is shady at best and horrifically intriguing. Zeitoun depicts a side of Katrina’s aftermath that most people (myself included) have never heard about. I definitely recommend this; it’s so easy to read and very interesting. (4/5)

This has been on my “nerdy” to-read list forever. I have a hard time buying books in hardback, so I waited the five or so years it took for this sucker to come out in paperback. Levitt and Dubner bring concepts of economics (and statistics) to bear on everyday situations. How is the KKK like Real Estate Agents? Why do so many crack dealers live with their mothers? Do the names parents give their children affect their life’s outcome? Everything is parsed down and explained simply; anyone could understand what they’re saying. And they make these topics, which are normally confined to textbooks, interesting! Bravo to them. However, I think I would have enjoyed the book more if I had read it before grad school. I had so many classes on statistics and economics and econometrics that I found the book basic on some levels. The topics were still incredibly interesting, but I think it would have had more of a “wow” effect on me if I didn’t have two years of similar study under my belt. Regardless, definitely check it out; it’s well written and an interesting read. (4/5)

As you can tell, after a rapid fire round of historical fiction and two books about mothers and daughters on Nantucket, I need a non-fiction book or two. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m still working my way through Cyber Wars at work; some of the information in there is a little freaky. Hopefully I’ll finish that up soon. Anna Karenina is slow going and it takes a little effort for me to keep up with all these Russian names. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can pick up the pace; otherwise, I’m going to have a hard time finishing the book before I leave in 11 days.

All right bloggies, I’m off to stalk the Lobster truck onlineย and take care of some work. Happy Thursday y’all!

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