Q1 Update: 2015 Alphabet Soup Challenge

With one quarter of the year about gone, I’ve read 24 books! Yep, my no crap before Memorial Day went out the window, but oh well, it’s reading. I’ve also left 17 unfinished. I’m in very good shape to knock out the challenge with only the following letters remaining:


  • E
  • J
  • L
  • O
  • Q
  • R
  • U
  • V
  • W 
  • X
  • Y

In addition to possibly completing two loops through the alphabet, I’m also challenging myself to read the books initially listed. AKA, not finding another book with that letter as a reason to pass on reading a book I should finish. Yes, Gone Girl, I’m looking at you.

Q1 has also been good for #GoTheDist. More on that later


Confessions of a Designated Fat Taxi Driver?

aka a two-in-one review because I started and finished two books in the last three days

Confessions of a New York Taxi Driver by Eugene Salomon and Jennifer Joyner’s Designated Fat Girl. Two very different subjects but the right level of reading depth I was in the mood for this weekend. I started with Joyner’s on Friday and packed a dead-tree copy of Salomon’s for a walk when I knew my iPad battery wasn’t charged. I finished that this morning and then Joyner’s this afternoon. At the gym, no less.

I enjoyed both equally, but I found that I connected more with Joyner’s book, although my weight struggles luckily never went so far. I’m so glad to see she’s still working at the radio station and it’s nice to put a face to the name after reading about her personal struggles. Unlike many who publish a book about their struggles, Joyner doesn’t appear to blog. I think that’s what made for a more intriguing and cohesive narrative. It wasn’t cobbled together from a series of blog posts. There were a few moments where I was confused as to when a moment was during her weight gain-loss-gain-loss-gain-loss “for good” but overall it was a quality, eye-opening read.

Eugene Salomon, on the other hand both blogs (including on hot-button topics like Uber) and writes for TIME.I hoped his photo blog would have one of the infamous llama, alas no such luck. Converting from a blog wasn’t an issue in this case as the book was mostly an anthology of his stories grouped by themes. It was a very good and quick read and I loved that Salomon put a date in each story to set the context for his story.  Although this was only published in 2013, it’s mostly the story of an NYC long gone. Jackie O being gone for 20+ years though is just sad. As an aside, I got this at the wonderful Tenement Museum Shop-great place to direct deposit your wallet when looking for your next good read.

Oh and both titled counted for the A-Z challenge. 1/6 of the way through the year my totals are:

#GoTheDist: February 2015

Well I knew February was going to be a challenge, and it was. But two strong days on the last two days of the month made it better than I hoped/expected.

February Totals:

  • 276,898 steps
  • 114.9 miles walked
  • 75.44 miles biked

Q2 totals

  • 561,907 steps
  • 232.52 miles walked
  • 156.98 miles biked

I’m a little off track, but Q1 is still within range. To hit those goals I need to achieve the following in March.

  • 288,093 steps
  • 142.48 miles walked (not sure about that one, but I know I can pick up in Qs 2 and 3)
  • 43.02 miles biked

As it’s a 31 day month, I”m comfortable in steps. I’m going to maintain the bike goal at 75 miles, which I hit this month. This will continue to put me ahead of pace for the revised goal, while still being attainable due to work commitments.

On to March…

Winter Wonderland rescues February

The shots of the frozen Hudson have been awesome this winter. I got a few I liked last weekend on the train, at sunset and on the Intrepid but decided this weekend was likely my last chance to go exploring with a warm-up coming this week. Coupled with a prediction for snow tomorrow, I realized today was likely it and I set off around 1pm.

Like the last time I went to the Lighthouse, the best laid plans went awry. I knew ice was going to be an issue and I realized that almost as soon as I hit Bennett Park. When I took this photo I was standing near the marker for the highest point but it, like everything else, was covered in snow. Luckily, I’d been there before. While the Pinehurst stairs were OK, it was smooth skating as soon as I crossed Riverside Drive. It was COLD (but no wind), but I knew I wasn’t going back the way I came.

The Lighthouse was just as spectacular as I knew it would be but the un-planned walk south was even better for the ice floes. I kept changing my mind as to my final destination and when I hit Riverbank I was ecstatic to realize there was a Park-level path to Riverside Drive. I would finally have the opportunity to see the Lee Brothers Warehouse that has caught my eye for years. Not for its history, but for its current role as a hub for Manhattan Mini ads. Although I walked that stretch of Riverside Drive across the Valley, I missed the building’s famous clock.

I still need to:

I seem to have my spring mapped out. In the mean time, this long walk saved February’s mileage totals. More on that later…