I took a mini-vacation this past weekend to KY for a race, which means I spent a lot of time waiting for and flying in planes. Which means I had a lot of time to read. So without further ado... a quick rambling about my min-vaca reads.
Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there’s a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight. The only passenger, Robie doesn’t panic until the engine suddenly cuts out and Max shouts at her to put on a life jacket. They are over miles of Pacific Ocean. She sees Max struggle with a raft.
And then . . . she’s in the water. Fighting for her life. Max pulls her onto the raft, and that’s when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there’s no sign of help on the way. (goodreads.com)
What I didn't like was how it ended. Part of this might be the set up from the back of the book. It gives the illusion that this story is about these five kids and how they are the Phoenix Five. Instead the book ended with a "to be continued" and without resolving any of the issues of the book. It was a half-story. The book described on the back cover is not the same book that is between the covers and that was a disappointment, especially since the story was good, just incomplete. I think what was supposed to leave me wanting more, instead left me wanting to throw the book out the window.
My picture is on page eighteen of Noble High's Phoenix yearbook. I am one of the Phoenix Five. You nominated me. You thought I was one of the most outstanding students in our freshman class. You were wrong.
Still, I accepted my award. I acted special. But I couldn't help wondering what it was like to be that way for real. So I broke into Ms. Silver's safe in the faculty lounge and stole all five of our journals. I'm not exposing them out of jealousy or anger. I'm doing this because I am tired of the lies. The bar is too high, and cheating is the only way to reach it. Instagrams are filtered, Facebook profiles are embellished, photos are shopped, Manti T'eo's girlfriend was a fake...is anything real anymore?
I found the answer in our journals. These are 100 percent real and 100 percent unedited. The proof is in the pages:
The race shirt: this went from a negative to a positive pretty quickly. The tech shirts that were initially ordered were for some reason no longer available, so Marr and company quickly found another option. Great light weight hoodies. Turns out I prefer this to tech shirts since I can wear it whenever. They did run out of shirts, but it seemed like that too was handled pretty professionally and shirts will be mailed out as soon as they are ready.
7 miler v. 13.1: This event has both a half and a 7 miler and the course is HILLY. My friend and I chose to go with the 7 miler and I'm really glad we did. It was long enough (and hilly enough to be a challenge), the views were still spectacular and we still felt great when we finished.
Packet pickup/Expo: this was a small, but really well laid out Expo. Traffic flowed pretty much in one direction and you had the opportunity to get your bib, shop, take official race pictures and get your shirt. I was really impressed with the variety of vendors and also the chance to check out the Bourbon (in commemorative bottles).
Course: Like I said- Hilly, but beautiful. And on the course there a bunch of water stations (4 on the 7 mile course) as well as one fabulous beer and twizzler stop at the top of the longest hill. the support on the course was great- even though the stations were spread out, the enthusiasm of those on the course- and especially the finishers chute was awesome.
Race Director/Organization- I can't say enough about how this event was run. Eric was seemingly everywhere. We bought Bourbon from him at the Expo, he was running around before the race and he was announcing and handing out high fives (and witty comments) at the finish. As far as I can tell, he was incredibly approachable and made runner feel welcome and helped to ratchet up the excitement. My running group (of about 25) even got our own tent and sign. It was great to not just be at a well run race, but to see that the director and his team really cared about the runners.
Pictures: There were not a lot of race photographers out on the course, especially for the 7 mile course. I was a little disappointed, because I love pictures, but in the end it was alright. I ended up getting about 13 pictures from the race, expo and after party and they were at a great price, so I don't really have any major complaints there.
After party: The other thing (besides the hilles) that was unavoidable, was the weather. I had hoped that going to KY would result in warmer temperatures, but it was not to be. It was about 18 at race start and only climbed to the mid-20's by the time we finished. This put a little bit of a damper on the after party. It was just too cold to stay too long. That said- it was pretty great and I wish was able to enjoy it more. There was free Papa John's slices and a taste of beer, plus multiple food trucks to buy from, a live band and the expo was open for last minute purchases.
Over all this was a great race and I can't wait to come back down next year.
Home of the ramblings of an avid reader. In my spare time I also run, ride, teach, go on adventures and get into shenanigans.
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by: Chester Nez
The first and only memoir by one of the original Navajo code talkers of WWII-includes the actual Navajo Code and rare photos. Although more than 400 Navajos served in the military during World War II as top-secret code talkers, even those fighting shoulder to shoulder with them were not told of their covert function. And, after the war, the Navajos were forbidden to speak of their service until 1968, when the code was finally declassified. Of the original twenty- nine Navajo code talkers, only two are still alive. Chester Nez is one of them.
In this memoir, the eighty-nine-year-old Nez chronicles both his war years and his life growing up on the Checkerboard Area of the Navajo Reservation-the hard life that gave him the strength, both physical and mental, to become a Marine. His story puts a living face on the legendary men who developed what is still the only unbroken code in modern warfare.