Day 301: Goal Update

The Galaxy's Dos Santos and Gerrard.

The Galaxy’s Dos Santos and Gerrard.

Unfortunately, there will be no more goals scored by the LA Galaxy this season. The #RaceForSeis is over. Tonight’s knockout playoff game was a sloppy mess against the Seattle Sounders. The Galaxy battled back early twice, but couldn’t generate much offense after the Sounders scored the go-ahead goal in the second half.

We had tickets to the Western Conference Finals, hoping the Galaxy would shake off its late-season funk. They looked shaky and the hoopla surrounding Gerrard and Dos Santos was all for nothing.

One good bit of news today, though: I reached my reading goal!

Here’s my updated list of goals for the year, including my Quest to Blog Every Day in 2015:

  1. Write 100 reviews on Yelp.
  2. Read 26 books and review them on Goodreads.
  3. Break 100 on the golf course.
  4. Watch all of the AFI 100 Greatest American Films of All Time.
  5. Play 10 new board games.


Day 61: Reading Through My Earbuds

World War Z audiobook

World War Z audiobook

After writing about a few of the podcasts I enjoy while commuting or working out, I added a few audiobooks to my phone for future listening. The first, World War Z, was excellent and you can read my review of it here.  As I noted in my review, it was vastly superior to the Brad Pitt movie that barely registered a “meh” with me. Having a large all-star voice cast definitely made the audiobook experience a pleasant one.

So pleasant, in fact, that after I finished it, I immediately borrowed David Sedaris’ Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls from my local digital library. Having read most of Sedaris’ books, this is my first audio version of his work and it’s been terrific so far. The subject matter is familiar (a collection of essays on various subjects, told through the author’s unique point of view), but the fact that Sedaris reads it himself makes this a must-listen; he’s an outstanding storyteller. I was fortunate to attend his performance in Santa Barbara last year and I’d see him again in a heartbeat.

For now, I’ll settle for reading his latest book through my earbuds.

Day 42: Ghost Month

Din Tai Fung's famous xiaolongbao

Din Tai Fung’s famous xiaolongbao

I finished my third book of 2015 tonight, the entertaining Ghost Month by Ed Lin. I’ll have my Goodreads review posted later tonight or tomorrow and re-post the link here. It’s a fun read, a murder mystery set in a night market in Taipei. While the book falters a bit, the characters in Ghost Month are likable enough that I’d recommend reading it. Lin certainly knows his food, with fantastic passages on the various foods in the market and I immediately took a liking to Ghost Month when chapter 2 featured a visit to Din Tai Fung, home of my favorite xiaolongbao. 

Pictured above: the xiaolongbao (“XLBs”) from Din Tai Fung in Arcadia, CA. Locations are being added throughout Southern California, so it’ll save you a trip to Taiwan.

Day 21: Read, You Must

Read and the Force is with you

Read and the Force is with you

Is it really the 21st day of the year already? I’m in catch-up mode with a few of my goals for 2015. Today I finished the first of 26 books I’m trying to read in the next 12 months. Last year, I had the same goal and far exceeded it, reading 48 total. It’s the most I’d read since my college days and you can see the results of my 2014 Goodreads Reading Challenge here.

The last book I read was the terrific How Star Wars Conquered the Universe by Chris Taylor. It’s a Star Wars fan’s dream, a well-researched look at how Star Wars became an international phenomenon. For this year’s challenge, I decided to start with another Star Wars title. I began the final entry in The Thrawn Trilogy, but after a few chapters it sat on my shelf for two weeks; I just haven’t been in the mood, so I’ll pick it up again someday. In the meantime, I stopped by my local library and borrowed the graphic novel Star Wars: Rebel Heist. I didn’t really care for Rebel Heist (read my review here), but I’m glad I’ve got the first of 26 books read.