Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Today I got a very useful gift, an Apple wireless keyboard that I can use with my iPhone.
This means I can blog a lot more while I'm at home.
I use to blog more often at work but lately I'm just too distracted.

Also, it's been a really bad month and I'm sure whoever might still be reading this doesn't want to hear about bad crap all the time.

I've read so many books on the Kindle since I acquired it that I just can't keep up with reviews.
I do have to mention a good paranormal series I've been reading called Greywalker by Kat Richardson. I highly recommend this series.
I exchanged gifts with my best friend, Lon, and we both gave each other Amazon gift cards. I immediately went home and bought the 4th book in the Greywalker series.

One of the good things I did was subscribe to Netflix. I'm loving the ability to stream movies and TV shows on my iPhone.
I started watching 30 Rock and immediately got hooked.
I also ordered the Last of the Summer Wine DVDs. They don't have all 37 years of the show but they had more than I expected.

I hope I blog more in the New Year. I read all the time and should write more about what I'm reading. We'll see how that goes!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Socializing Media

I started tweeting when I knew I was going to stay during Hurricane Ike.
I sent a few tweets during that terrible time but Twitter was new and I mostly just forgot about it.
I picked it up in a big way some time later and I really enjoy it. I have ADD issues and having to read and write only 140 characters at a time really enables that behavior for me.

Twitter allows me to have dialogues with people I admire whether it be celebrities, friends or local businesses and other entities.
I'm not here trying to sell Twitter to you because I know a lot of people think it's silly but I believe it can be quite powerful.
I realized recently that I get a lot of my news coverage from Twitter. I follow several news outlets and journalists and I find myself checking the tweets first when I hear a rumor of a story.
It's great for following sports and as I found recently, it's great for making new friends who love sports....especially baseball!

In September, I got involved in the Astros Social Media Nights and made some new friends. We then started this AstrosTweeps thing where a bunch of us go out to support different Astros-related events and mainly just to hang out together and have fun.
We're a mixed bag of people; different races, genders and ages.

Last night we all met at a restaurant in midtown Houston for a radio show featuring a player. We were fortunate enough to get to meet pitcher Bud Norris while he was patiently posing for pictures with us.
I also got to meet a local sport talk show host that I admire. I can't believe I had the nerve to tug on his sleeve and introduce myself. I'm just not that kind of girl, no matter what people say!

After the radio show, we all walked down to a nearby bar and had a few drinks and just talked and laughed. It was just so simple. A bunch of people enjoying each others company.
It happened on Twitter.
Amazing, right?

A Milestone

My beautiful, BEAUTIFUL friend, Sheila, is celebrating eight years of blogging.
I said this in her comments and I truly mean it:
The entire world is a better place because of her AND her blog.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Yummy Books

I'm not very knowledgeable about some things but I have completely unfounded opinions on many things.
When you get an e-reader, like the Kindle or the Nook, the first thing you learn about is free and super cheap books. A lot of publishers will put out an e-book for free or for 99cents to "introduce" an author. If you like them, you'll buy his or her full price stuff. I think it's a cool idea. I've discovered some great authors like, Charlie Carillo, when his book "One Hit Wonder" was free for a very short time.
Then there are the Indie authors who publish their own books straight to e-book format without having to go through a big publishing house. In theory, this is a great idea because you discover some great hidden talent....and I have.
The problem is, total and utter crap gets through because they don't have a publishing house editor telling them that "LOL" is not an appropriate way to describe something the narrator is thinking.

I really hate to talk shit about an author's work. I have written things and when someone criticizes my work, they might as well call me fat and ugly and then take a crap on my couch because I take it that personally. But....I can't let this one go.
I purchased a light mystery e-book on the recommendation of another Kindle user. It was very cheap so I figured I didn't have anything to lose except for a dollar or two.
It was a silly fluff piece but it was a cute little story except something about it bothered me. I had the same problem with another book by yet another Indie author. The only way I can think of to describe it is that it was filled with "twee-ness".
Descriptions of the pizza someone ate, or the lip gloss someone swiped on their lips were just a little TOO much. I'm not talking Stephen King descriptives here. This was just too cutesy. Everything was adorable and twee. It was just grating on my nerves. However, I had invested some time in this book and figured I'd stick it out to see who the bad guys really were.
That is until....the author wrote the following sentence:
"I polished off at least six tacos and they were yummy in my tummy."

Seriously??? Seriously. (On a side looking for this sentence to quote, I searched the word "yummy" in the book and I got 6 results. That's 6 too many times she used "yummy".)

I just couldn't go on after that. It was over for me. I draw the line at "yummy in my tummy".
Just. Can't. Go. There.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Everyone Loves a Roadtrip

Unless the roadtrip is 10 hours each way.
For a long ass trip, it actually went by pretty fast. We had iPhones, iPods and Kindles to keep up entertained. Plus, it was THREE sisters traveling together so we had plenty of people things to talk about!

When I was 5, my parents decided to uproot our lives and move us to Mississippi. One sister was already married , one sister was engaged so they got to stay home but one sister was only 16 so she had to go.
We moved to a TINY town where there was one school that housed 1st through 12th grade. I started 1st grade there and my sister finished up her sophomore year and started her junior year the same school. It was weird.

Last weekend was Sister 3's 30 year highschool reunion. She and I planned to go but when Sister 2 heard we were going, she asked if she could tag along.

It was strange to see a place 30 years later. My memories belong to a 6 or 7 year old little girl and I wondered if they would match up to the reality.
In some ways they did. Places were, of course, a lot smaller than I remembered and unfortunately, some places were the first two houses we rented.

One is now a tree farm and another is a gas plant.

The creek where we use to swim is so much smaller than I imagined but still the same in so many ways.

Surprisingly, we had a good time. Being on the road for 20 + hours in three days is very tiring but the experience was well worth it.

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

I was on page 2 when I tweeted this: If I had balls, I'd say that this author really grabs you by the balls but since I don't, I'll just say he writes well.
I was talking about Andrew Davidson and The Gargoyle. Those first few pages really grabbed you; with both hands....really big hands.
For a while I couldn't put it down but I did because Mockingjay came out. I mostly blame Mockingjay for knocking me off course but The Gargoyle became a little too long.
So, this guy was a porn star, drug user and all around not-so-very-nice guy. He gets into a HORRIBLE car accident and it's chilling the way he describes the crash...absolutely chilling.

He's burned beyond recognition but somehow still survives. He literally loses everything but then he meets Marianne in the hospital and he's drawn to this mysterious woman.
She knows him but not in this incarnation, she says.

Figuring out who Marianne is, who the narrator takes an awful long time and for a while I stopped caring.
Inside the story are more stories and for a long while I wondered what the hell those stories had to do with the book but finally it all came together.
I mean...FINALLY.

Don't get me wrong, I'd recommend The Gargoyle to most people. It's very unusual and beautifully written. Davidson weaves a romantic yet tragic tale and obviously did a lot of research. Believe it or not, this is his debut novel.
I'll be looking for more from this author.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Short Attention Span Blogging

  • I'm in mourning. Baseball season ended for me on Sunday. These last few days I've felt sort of empty and lost. I didn't realize how much I've been involved in baseball this year. It's going to be a long 5 months.

  • I am thankful to a complete stranger on Facebook. I went to the game on Saturday and it was a perfect night (except for the fact that the Astros lost). The roof was open, the weather was glorious...just a wonderful night for baseball. I woke up Sunday morning regretting the fact that I didn't get tickets for Sunday's game - the last game of the season. I was moping around the house for a while, then got on Facebook and saw a post from an Astros fan who had tickets she wasn't using. After trading emails, she sent the tickets to me and I had 20 minutes to make it to the game. I barely had any make up on and my hair was still wet in the back but I made it to the game and enjoyed amazing seats and perfect weather...oh and an Astros win!

  • I'm angry about this story: Firefighters watched as a man's home burned down with his pets inside because the man forgot to pay his municipal fees. How is this even ok? What kind of heartless people allowed this to happen?

  • Still loving my Kindle. I have read so many books since getting it. I don't know what it is but I read faster on the device. I have tons of book reviews to get to. I'll get to those soon.

  • I'm going on a road trip with two of my sisters. When I suggested we bring a small cooler for some water and snacks, Sister 3 said she was bringing a bottle of wine because we'll be staying in a dry county. I said in that case, we'd need a bigger cooler. Sister 2 asked if it was too late to back out.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Local Celebrity

That's me. I hit the big time when I wrote a guest column for the local paper. It even featured my picture which is totally scary!

It was a work related article about the work I'm doing with kids and journaling.
More like an advertisement for the program than anything.
But it was kind of neat having my name in the byline.

That morning, at work, I get a call from a man who had read my article and wanted to know more about the program. When we determined that he was too old, I explained that I would love to get a program together for adults but it's difficult to get them to attend evening programs.
He was a nice guy, though. He started telling me about how he has so much to write about; so many memories.
For example, one time in high school, he and some friends went out to the beach and built a bonfire out of patio furniture that belonged to a friend's parents and also he and his friends filled up a trash can with jungle juice and got drunk.

This all sounded so familiar and suddenly it hit me: I was one of those drunk friends. I screamed the callers name into the phone. He was a good friend from high school and he just punked me.

Suddenly, I realized the pitfalls of being famous: I have way too many skeletons in my closet!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

My Kindle was a gift from my sister. She bought a 2nd generation Kindle a while back, loved it so much that when the newest one came out, she ordered it and gave her "old" one to me.
Lucky little sister, aren't I?
She left a whole library of books on the Kindle for me. Most of them are things I'll never read because she enjoys self-help books and buys a lot of them.
However, she had a copy of Sh*t My Dad Says and I was shocked. This is not her style at all!
I follow Justin's @shitmydadsays account on twitter so obviously this is my style.

From B&N:
After being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, twenty-eight-year-old Justin Halpern found himself living at home with his seventy-three-year-old dad. Sam Halpern, who is "like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair," has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him

This book was short and a really funny read. Justin's dad doesn't hold back...ever. He has very little patience and a quick wit that probably made him a lot of enemies but the way Halpern writes about his father is from love. You can tell even though he's saying things like,
"Do people your age know how to comb their hair? It looks like two squirrels crawled on their heads and started fucking."
it's obvious that he loves his sons and he's just trying to knock some sense into them!

Read this one. You'll be wishing you were this funny!

PS: Sh*t My Dad Says is now a sitcom on CBS starring William Shatner. I'm not sure anyone could do the real dad justice but I'll watch anyway.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Astros & Social Media

Twice now, I've been lucky enough to attend the social media events hosted by the Astros and Alyson Footer, the Senior Digital Media Director.
For an amazing price, you're treated like a VIP with an early bird tour, batting practice viewing from the Diamond Club, seats in the Budweiser patio in center field, a t-shirt, trivia games with a featured player (Hunter Pence & Chris Johnson so far), popcorn, drinks, dinner and dessert. Plus, we get to watch the game with other twitter-using fans.
It's simply the best way to watch a game!

At the second event, I was lucky enough to win during the trivia contest. I got to meet and have my picture taken with Chris Johnson, the Astros' 3rd baseman and I received a signed Craig Biggio bronze bust.
I was so surprised and excited that I didn't care how ridiculous I looked standing there smiling next to this gorgeous young major league baseball player.
Later, when I saw the pictures, I regretted it.

My mother loves the Astros and she LOVES going to the games. Of course, I had to bring her with me and she has just had the best time. At the first one, she got to meet and have her picture taken with Jim Deshaies whom she loves. She got to sit in Drayton McLane's seat during BP which was a thrill.
At the most recent event, she got to sit right next to the bullpen and watch all the pitchers warm up.
She became friends with the manager of the FiveSeven Grill and he sent her home with some baseball goodies.

The fact that my 71 year old mother can still get around and experience fun times like these makes me so happy. I'm praying that I can continue to offer her the opportunity to do things like this. When you're 71 years old, you deserve to only have happy moments in life.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dirty Sexy Politics by Meghan McCain

Dirty Sexy Politics was my first Kindle purchase. That's pretty exciting.
I felt like I was privy to the making of this book because I follow Meghan McCain on twitter. She didn't give much away but I think a lot of her followers felt like they had the inside track on her writing process just because she shared a few things with us.
That's ok, though. This is what twitter is feel like we're all connected.

From Barnes & Noble:
In this witty, candid, and boisterous book, Meghan takes us deep behind the scenes of the campaign trail. She steals campaign signs in New Hampshire, tastes the nightlife in Nashville, and has a strange encounter with Laura and Jenna Bush at the White House. Along the way, she falls in love with America— while seeing how far the Republican Party has veered from its core values of freedom, honesty, and individuality. In Dirty Sexy Politics, Meghan McCain gives us a true insider's account of life on a campaign trail.

I didn't really have any expectations about Dirty Sexy Politics and I knew she wasn't going to dish on Palin because she told us so on twitter. However, she did...a little.

I was simply expecting McCain's view on her father's campaign for President and that's what we got.
I've read reviews where people call her shallow or vapid and naive. Well...she WAS naive and she fully admits it. She was a girl in her early 20s in a scary world that, to me, seems to make no sense. This was from the point of view of that girl and she delivered. I don't think she ever pretended this book was something it's not.

If you're looking for hard-hitting political insight, this book isn't for you but I have a feeling that's not going to bother Meghan McCain because she wrote a book about her experience in the campaign not a book about the intricacies of the GOP.

Yes, she's young but you know what? I agree with her stance on politics and the GOP.
I want the same things she wants from her political party and I admire her for admitting it.
Will people listen to what she has to say? I don't know. The media has already tried to portray her as a blonde bimbo but I bet they were surprised when she had something real to say.
Maybe she will inspire more people to jump up and admit that they're not happy with the direction the Republican party is moving.

During the campaign, Meghan cried a lot, threw a temper tantrum or two, said the wrong thing at times, did the wrong thing at times, wore the wrong thing at times but she has matured enough to admit it and learn from it.

Dirty Sexy Politics was a quick fun read for me. I do have to say that there was only a little politics, not much sexy and only touched on the dirty but if you have an open mind, I'd suggest you read it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Beginning of the End?

Without trying to break this to you gently, I'll just say it:
I now own a Kindle.

What does this mean? I'm not sure yet.
Even though I enjoy being able to carry 40 or more books with me at all times, there is something impersonal about it.
I love the paper pages of books, with typeface and curled edges. I love the spines and the smell of a book. I love the cover art and the blurbs on the back pages.
But when I had the opportunity to own a Kindle, I took it.
Can I be a bibliophile and a digital book reader owner at the same time?

My sister gave me her 2nd generation Kindle when she bought the new one and she left it with about 43 books still on it. Most of them are self-help books which I'm not interested in but there are a few good titles. I read the entire book "Sh*t My Dad Says" yesterday and I downloaded my first Kindle edition book yesterday, too.
I also made my first Kindle mistake and purchased a book I didn't mean to buy. Thankfully, Amazon has good customer service and fixed it for me pretty quickly.

So, there it is....I've assimilated. I don't know what this means for my future as a crazy book lady but it'll be fun to find out.

Monday, September 13, 2010

More Thoughts on Mockingjay

I've read a lot of other review blogs regarding Mockingjay and the "event" that took place at the end.
They were angry at the author for letting this happen.
I can understand their anger. I was shocked and extremely disappointed but after giving it some thought, I realized that Suzanne Collins HAD to do this. What happened at the end of the trilogy was poetic. It was horrible, but it was poetic.
Out of everything that was lost, at least Katniss had salvaged something...or so she thought. She couldn't get out of it so easy.
And boring would it be if there was a big ol' happy ending? We suffered through so much on this 3-book emotional journey, a neat happy ending would really be cheating.
I don't want to give too much away but Katniss ended up with the right person at the end. One boy grew to be mercenary and dispassionate and the other never lost his humanity and that was one thing Katniss clung to; her humanity.

The author knew what she was doing...she wasn't just piecing some crap together by the end of the series like some OTHER authors I choose not to mention. She had a plan and she stuck to it.
Good for her.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

So, I did decide to ditch The Gargoyle, temporarily!
Mockingjay is the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy.
Seriously, if you haven't read these books, do it now.

I was in Barnes and Noble buying this book two days after it came out. The only reason I didn't get there that day was because of my stupid job....always getting in the way of reading.

From B&N:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss.

Katniss Everdeen may be a teenager but she's no kid. She's faced with far more than any person should have to deal with but somehow she keeps her humanity when others around her are becoming savage and ruthless.
Suzanne Collins does a remarkable job in taking us along for the ride. Our hearts break with Katniss and we cry for her losses. As a matter of fact, I couldn't even read the last two pages for the tears in my eyes!
This may be a Young Adult series but most adults I know are loving this.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hurricane Season

I don't even want to think about the possibility of a hurricane threatening us this year and so far we've been fortunate.
But this little tropical storm that went into South Texas is getting on my nerves!
It's filthy wet and band after band of rain is assaulting us!
I got soaked two times before 1pm today. That just ain't right!

If I didn't have to work, I'd be home, curled up with a book and my dogs. Isn't that what most sane people would do?
Then why am I so busy at work??

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

I don't know what to do.  I'm half way through The Gargoyle but I picked up Mockingjay the other day.  I can't really concentrate on The Gargoyle because I keep thinking about my new purchase.
It doesn't help that I'm a loser who can't stand it when others have or are doing something I'm not doing.  Everyone is reading Mockingjay right now and I want to do it too!
I feel like I need to stick with what I've been reading and see it through like the adult I strive to be.  However, it's not fair to The Gargoyle if my heart just isn't in it.  Right?

All Mixed Up

After all these years, I still suck at blogging.
I guess I realized that no one is listening except for Colin. It's hard to live my life for Colin since he won't go out with me unless I wear a paper sack over my head.

Sheila is having a good time. She and her lovely friend Alex did something I've always wanted to do...they visited the home of ientologySay.
I see their commercials and it looks so beautiful and refreshing. Sometimes I just want to give myself up to them like a shocking dive into a cold pool.
I think in my case, I just want someone to take over for a while. I'm tired of always being in control. Maybe Xenu will be like my Calgon and just take me away. Of course, from what I hear, he might LITERALLY take me his planet. But whatever, I need a vacation.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

I'm the worst blogger in the world.
But I wanted to pop in real quick and say that I'm on page 2 of Gargoyle and I'm already sucked in and nearly blown away.  If I had balls, I'd say that this author really grabs you by the balls but since I don't, I'll just say he writes well.
I'll let you know if the rest of the book holds up.

Also, I read a lot of stuff since the last time I posted and if I can remember any of it, I'll post it soon.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Food Blogging

Last night, I attended a funeral mass for a woman who was diagnosed with wide-spread, inoperable cancer in May. She didn't even get use to the idea of cancer before she was incapacitated. But, thankfully, she didn't have to linger long like many others do.
She, mercifully, passed away Thursday.

After the service, I felt the need to comfort fat people often do...with food.
We were in Galveston and there are no end to wonderful restaurants and living this close to the Island, I've eaten at a lot of them.
Being a recent vegetarian, I have to stop and think about what places serve and how things are cooked before I can eat there.
I knew Mosquito Cafe had wonderful vegetarian offerings but I totally forgot that they are closed on Mondays. I remembered as we drove up to their empty parking lot.
The Original Mexican Cafe is just down the street and even though their refried black beans are what dreams are made of, I wanted something different.
I remembered I had always wanted to try the Courtyard Cafe on 25th and Market so we drove back up Market Street to find that they are also closed on Mondays (and Tuesdays!).
At this point I was too hungry to care anymore and I knew Mediterranean Chef was around the corner so that's where we ended up.
I can remember eating at this place when they just had plastic chairs and everything was served on disposable dinnerware.
They've come a long way with beautiful tiled floors, a huge bar, lovely tables and chairs and real dishes!I tweeted that the only thing that could ruin such a lovely bar was Creed playing on the flat-screen TV.

We started with tzatziki sauce and soft warm bread. I can't help but compare every tzatziki to Olympia Grill (also in Galveston). I've yet to find better but this was pretty close. It had a sharp, almost bitter taste to it that I attributed to too much garlic. However, I really REALLY like garlic so I didn't mind so much.
The bread was amazing, soft and tender, still warm.

There were a lot of choices for vegetarians and one of my favorite things is falafel. Once, years ago I tried the falafel here and I was disappointed. It was terribly overcooked, almost burnt and I've held it against them all these years.
They made it up to me, however. This falafel was PERFECTLY cooked and seasoned. I couldn't have asked for better.
It was served in a piece of pita bread that was as soft and tender as the triangles of bread that was served with the tzatziki.
Tahini sauce was drizzled inside and strangely the falafel was served with pickles. I've never had it with pickles but I liked it!
My first mistake was to slightly unwrap the paper at the end. As I was talking, I wasn't watching and suddenly I realized that tahini was dripping down the edge of the table and on my pants.
I looked like I just returned from an Oval Office visit with Bill Clinton. I didn't get a picture of that!

I chose the grilled Greek potatoes as my side. They didn't seemed grilled as much as roasted but what the hell do I know?
I loved that there were thinly sliced carrots mixed with the potatoes. They were a little crispy and sweet. Normally, I don't like cooked carrots but I could definitely get down with these!

Needless to say, I felt deliciously comforted after my meal.

Monday, August 2, 2010

iPod Shuffle

I was discussing strange iPod songs with some people over the weekend. I thought I had weird stuff but one person had the theme from Sesame Street...and she wins.

So I looked at my most recent shuffle. I'm definitely weird...but not Sesame Street weird awesome.

Foo Fighters - Stacked Actors
Ella Fitzgerald - Get Out of Town
Editors - Open Your Arms
Queens of the Stone Age - Gonna Leave You
Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
The Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop
The Smashing Pumpkins - Everlasting Gaze
Ella Fitzgerald - I Concentrate On You
John Coltrane - Autumn Serenade
Leonard Cohen - Recitation
Prince - Purple Rain
Joshua Bell - Morgen! Op. 27 No. 4
Paramore - Decode
Beck - Guess I'm Doing Fine
Queens of the Stone Age - Quick and to the Pointless

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


A milestone of sorts was reached this weekend when my goddaughter got married.
She was the world's most beautiful bride and she and her husband have such a wonderful relationship. I just hope it stays that way.
The wedding was perfect. The bride was perfect. It couldn't have gone any better.

But...I feel old. I skipped school the day she was born. I just had to be there when my best friend gave birth!
The thing is...she grew up and I didn't.
I still feel 18.

Does anyone ever feel their age?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer

Former journalist and novelist Mercer (High Times and Sweet Crimes) is broke and on the run. So he leaves Canada, ending up in Paris, where he takes refuge at Shakespeare & Co., a bookstore renowned for its literary history and promise to house writers free of charge in exchange for their work. The list of "so and so slept here" reads like a who's who of literature.  (from

This book has been on my reading list for a long while.  I was looking to buy it but never could find it in the book stores.
I guess I could have ordered it but there is something about buying a book in an actual book store that is satisfying to me.
Anyway...I decided to request it via Interlibrary Loan.
I'm very glad I did.  Mercer didn't pull many punches in this book.  Living the literary bohemian lifestyle was a dirty business.  People were penniless, unwashed and very eccentric...but mostly it seemed real.

As much as I love a good hot shower and a clean bathroom...and as much as I fear germs and bedbugs, I sort of wanted to experience living in this strange bookstore in Paris.  Who wouldn't?

A full body mosquito net

Does anyone know where I can find one?
I was walking the dogs Saturday morning and I looked down to find about half a million mosquitoes swarming my legs.
My legs looked black and I wondered for a second if they had begun to rot during the night.
Oh, it's just mosquitoes.

At work, they swarm the doors so whenever anyone opens a door, about 10 of them slip in.
Now, I'm being attacked in the work place.
Not cool. Not cool at all.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Regarding Linda Howard

So, over the past week or so, I've read several Linda Howard books.  In a previous post I made fun of the repetitious formulas but for the most part, I was entertained and I'll explain why:
I read, Son of the Morning, Death Angel, Open Season, Kill and Tell, and All the Queen's Men.
The thing I enjoyed most was the fact that they all featured intelligent women on the run.  In most of them, something traumatic happened to the female lead and she had to depend on herself to stay alive.
Son of the Morning was the best example of this.  The main character witnessed her husband and brother's murder and she was framed for it.  So, she took off on foot with only her laptop and papers and got as far away from there as she could.  She was determined to find out why they were killed and sought revenge.
Being on the run wasn't pretty.  She was filthy and hungry, mistaken for a bag lady more than once, got a job washing dishes in shady restaurants, rented a room from a former hooker, etc.  It seemed more real to me....I mean not that I've ever been on the run from the law and psychopathic murderers but I can imagine!
I've often wondered what it would be like to just pick up and run away, start a new life and reinvent yourself.  I'd hate to do it all the while worrying about being killed but still...a girl can fantasize! much bitching as I do about fluff fiction, I can find a lot of things to enjoy about it.

Surprise! More books!

I was planning on running to Jane Austen after I finished this last Linda Howard book but the very day I finished, I received two Interlibrary Loans I had requested; Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer and Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words by Jay Rubin.
I've had TWST on my reading list for a long time so I was excited to start that one and I'm a big fan of Murakami so this book looked interesting.
Jane will just have to wait a while!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Almost Done...

with Linda Howard.
I've read too much of this, which follows similar formulas.
Smart, shy woman.
Unbelievably gorgeous man.
He decides at first glance he wants her.
She is insanely attracted to him but resists for about 10 minutes.
They have the most amazing sex of their lives and in 24 hours, they know they will be married and live happily ever after...BUT FIRST...they must find out who is trying to kill her.
However, a few of her novels follow what I just referred to as "airheaded chick lit".
That, I cannot handle.

I've got this one book to finish, All the Queen's Men, and then I'm running back to Jane.  I've mentioned that it's annoying to me when the sex is so gratuitous and completely alien to the plot but I just saw a review on Barnes and Noble's website where someone complained:  "but the nookie was late in the book".
I guess it's just me. :)

Pride & Prejudice is next but I've read that one so I may skip down to Mansfield Park.

I'm coming, Jane...wait for me!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

On a Break

I'm still on a Jane Austen break.  A friend gave me a book she thought I'd like.  Son of the Morning by Linda Howard.  I'm not sure WHY she thought I'd enjoy it, it's not really something I normally read.  But she gave it such a good recommendation that I took it home.  I finished at 2 am.  I really hate my friend.
It was one of those junk food books.  I like junk food.
So, then I went to the library the next day and checked out three more Linda Howard books and read 2 of them in three days.
I'm not ashamed.  I don't judge others by what they read....much. 

I've HAD it!

This weather is killing me.
I can't stand it.
The dogs hate it. I can't GO anywhere. I missed the Astros game last night because we just couldn't get there.
Then I had an appointment on the Island today and had to end up turning around because of high water.
I'm so done. Someone come save me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

And how are you?

The 4th was ok. We celebrated at my mother's house. She lives very close to where the fireworks are most visible so everyone flocks to her house for a good spot.
What we didn't know was that my sister's ex-husband and his new wife and two kids (plus their nanny) were coming.
Man, those kids were BAD. What's worse is that they were bad and into everything with two parents and a freakin NANNY completely ignoring their behavior.

But we had good food and that usually cures what ails most people.
I made some of my famous gourmet burgers which after last year's grill fiasco, I flat-out refused to grill them myself and one of my brothers-in-law, wisely, volunteered to perform that task.

We watched the fireworks, got bitten by monster mosquitoes and then rushed out of there as if the house were on fire once the fireworks were over.

I got home to my apartment to find my a/c was on the fritz. It was blowing cool air, just not cold air.
I declared that it was fit to live in for the night and I slept with no covers and my ceiling fan on high.
I called maintenance first thing in the morning and I came home last night to a frigid apartment.
Apparently, the maintenance guy thought it was too hot in there too and put my thermostat on 20-below to even things out.

Speaking of last night...we acquired tickets to the Astros game. After lucking out and getting a free parking spot, we sat in our Club Level seats (which weren't in a great spot), drank a $4 bottle of water, ate a tiny $6.75 pizza and watched the Astros lose to the Cubs. The freakin Cubs...

I don't blame the Astros. It's my fault, really. I'm a ballpark jinx.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Missed it by...that much!

Alex landed in South Texas/Mexico...I don't know....just not here.
We have a lot of freaking rain, though.
I barely made it to work today....I was trapped for a while because my street was flooded. But when the rain took a break, I ran out with my dogs and did a little creative navigation and went through a little high water but dropped them off then made it to work.
I know I'm crazy for taking my dogs to my mom's house everyday, rain or shine but I'm working late tonight and I hated to think of my dogs home alone all day and evening...especially in this bad weather.
The last thing I want to be worrying about when I'm at work is if my dogs are ok. Now, if they'd let me bring them to work, then life would be perfect.

Or if we want perfection, I could somehow get paid to stay home and read all the time.
That would be my dream!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Random Vampire Books

After Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion, I needed to take a break and read something mindless.  I went to my favorite second hand bookstore and picked up some cheap paranormal paperbacks.
Mary Janice Davidson's "Dead and" series is entertaining and fun so I picked up a collection of short stories.  I've never been a prude but there was so much straight up porn in these stories that I felt a little dirty.
If I want that much sex, I'll watch real porn!
I picked up another author I've never read before, Kimberly Raye.  It wasn't the first book in this particular series but I didn't know that until I got home with it.  It was mindless and entertaining....just what I want in my paranormal fiction.  But I guess this is becoming the norm in this genre...the explicit sex.  And please believe me when I say I AM NOT A PRUDE!  Without over-sharing, I've been known to be a little wild but for some reason, having to read in EXCRUCIATING detail about how and where two people put their mouths and fingers, where they are tingling and bodily fluids galore is a bit off-putting - to put it mildly.
This is why I stopped reading Laurell K. Hamilton.  I loved the first several Anita Blake books but suddenly, each book became more about near hard core porn than about paranormal escapades.  They were all sex, no plot.  Seriously.

So, I guess I'll keep looking for the perfect mix of fantasy and subtle sexuality.
Or maybe I'm just getting old.  *sigh*

Persuasion by Jane Austen

I've been so MIA that I've had a hard time finding myself!
Jane Austen has been difficult for some of the participants but there are at least two of us who are loving every second.

Life got overly dramatic for me in the middle of Persuasion but I persevered and really enjoyed it.
So many people told me this is their favorite Austen novel and although I really enjoyed it, I can't say I liked it more than S&S. 

I just love the way Jane Austen fleshes out her characters.  They are so multi-layered and their faults aren't hidden. 
Anne is a goody goody but everyone adores her...I even liked her and I hate goody goodies! (Not really!)
I loved how Captain Wentworth gave her the cold shoulder at first, too.  She sort of deserved it for not standing up to Lady Russell!

Pride and Prejudice is next.  I've read this one before but I'll give it a once-over to refresh my drink.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's hurricane season...pass the Xanax

Oh we go.
There is a tropical thing/disturbance/pain-in-the-ass out there. The media vultures are loving this. They are practically peeing in their collective pants.
Like I don't have anxiety issues enough as it is, they lead the news at every turn with this thing and of course we have a reason to worry....the oil spill.
I don't even want to imagine the horror of a hurricane blowing right through that oil cover a large portion of the Gulf. I just can't think about it.

So, I've turned my attention to World Cup soccer, baseball, iPhone iOS4 and Doctor Who.
USA is playing Ghana today and I'll get home just in time to watch most of that.
The Astros broke the Rangers' 11 game winning streak last night, so that was exciting.
I'm loving the new operating system for my iPhone that came out this week! Sure, merged mailboxes, faster, zoomier cameras and multitasking is awesome but I now get to put a pretty wallpaper on my home screen. Yay!

Who knows if anyone is reading this besides Colin but just in case....
I know times are tough out there for so many of us. I'm struggling day to day myself but most of us are doing better than others. I can feed my dogs, buy them flea prevention and treats and sometimes buy food for myself so I think I'm pretty fortunate.
Some people are really trying and still can't seem to make it. I've been reading Libby's blog for a long time and her posts and pictures are super charming. She's having a lot of problems right now and needs some help.
Just thought I'd pass it on.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Told You So

I KNEW it! Britney didn't have a stylist for her train wreck interview. This girl is just plain losing it.

From NY Post: "Dateline" staffers were shocked when they showed up with Matt Lauer to interview Spears last week and found the pop star alone in her Malibu manse. "Neither of her publicists, Leslie Sloane Zelnick or Nanci Ryder, showed up," said our source.

Ok...I'm shutting up about Britney Spears now. You'd think I was obsessed or something.

link stolen from Pink Is the New Blog

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tidbits and crapfests

I've had a really bad week.
Our network went down and I was afraid we were infected. It took a team of three IT people (me and two others) to get things back up and running.
I'm still VERY cautious....I just can't believe we did it and it all seems very precarious right now.

For four days, I've been super stressed out and the only thing that made me feel better was the fact that I found episodes of Last of the Summer Wine on You Tube and I've been able to watch them on my iPhone at home.
I'm VERY excited about this discovery!

I would be excited about World Cup but I don't have cable so I'll just have to read about it.

I have a birthday coming up...tomorrow to be exact.
A friend took me to dinner Wednesday night and gave me a gift card to Massage Envy. Believe it or not, I've never had a professional massage! After this crapfest of a week, I decided to take this afternoon off and go get that massage!
I can't wait!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Baseball and.....hotdogs?

Well this was good news to my newly vegetarian ears.

Minute Maid Park's Veggie Menu Gets PETA Love

According to PETA, MMP has all sorts of stuff like "veggie burritos, quinoa tabbouleh, and sun-dried tomato rigatoni, all new for the 2010 season. Minute Maid Park also serves up hearty veggie dogs, Thai noodle salad, hummus and vegetable wraps, vegetarian sushi, fruit smoothies, rice and beans, and organic baby-vegetable ratatouille."

Where IS this stuff? It took me two trips to the ballpark to find the veggie hotdogs.
Do they supply a food map?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


for a new tattoo.

Someone stop me!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bad Dream?

I had a very detailed dream about being fired from my job.
I'm not sure if this was a nightmare or wishful thinking.
It's not that I want to be fired but I was just thinking how nice it would be to stay home a lot more. However, without a job, I wouldn't have a home to stay home yeah, it's a catch 22 type situation. Or whatever.

I had a bad weekend. It started with me losing my iPhone.
Friday night, I went to dinner and when I drove up to the restaurant, I sent a quick email and slid the phone into the front pocket of my giant purse.
Then I went in, had dinner and as I was leaving, I dug around in my purse but couldn't find my phone. I thought maybe I put it in the giant black hole part of my bag and I would dig around more when I got into the car. Nothing. I pulled everything out of my purse and nothing.
I tore everything apart, searched under the car seats, between the seats, went back into the restaurant and questioned the staff, searched the now clean table and the floor under the table. Nothing.
I went back to my car and started having a panic attack. This is my iPhone - which is my life- my music, movies, pictures, apps, emails, phone numbers and addresses. Not to mention that there is NO way I could afford a replacement iPhone. I was fucked and I knew it. I kept picturing some asshole somehow slipping it out of my purse and now he was the proud owner of a new iPhone with a pink cover and I was fucked.
I literally BAWLED while I drove to my mother's house to use her phone or computer to discontinue my service. Running through my mind were all the things I needed to do after I called AT&T; change passwords to my emails and other websites. My phone is password protected but I'm sure all it would take is a google search to figure out how to break through that security.
Anyway, as I'm driving and cryin, I start thinking about how this is just so unreal. I distinctly remember putting my phone in the FRONT pocket. How could it go missing? Was there a hole in the lining?
At a red light, I reached over and stuck my hand deep into the pocket and mother of god...there was a giant hole. I reached into it and felt my fucking iPhone. INSIDE. THE. LINING.
So, I cried in panic and misery for 20 minutes and then cried in relief for 10. 30 minutes of hysteria on a Friday evening. I needed a drink.

I'm not done.
Sunday was my god-daughter's bridal shower. I was in charge of shower games and gifts and the cake.
I have a friend who makes beautiful, elaborate cakes so she volunteered to make it. I picked it up on Saturday and it was a gorgeous heart-shaped, three-layer red velvet cake with a cherry almond filling, decorated with hearts and love.
She secured it in a cake box and we put it in my backseat for the ride home.
I drove carefully, I swear, but when I got home, the top layer of the cake was not at the top anymore. It was sitting behind the cake and the filling was everywhere.
Just twelve hours before the shower, the cake was ruined.
I just stared at it for a long time, not believing what I was seeing. Then my mind started working furiously, trying to figure out how to fix this mess. This cake was a lost cause so I called Krogers. I must have sounded panicked because the nice lady in the bakery assured me everything would be ok. They were about to close but she asked me about the shower colors, then looked at what they had pre-made.
The colors were red and white and she found a white cake with some flowers and red ladybugs. She would write on it with red icing if I wanted.
Then she put my name on it and put it aside and said I could ask anyone at the front to go back to the bakery and get it for me.
That sweet lady at Krogers saved me.

Yes, it was a silly looking cake for an elegant shower and I came close to throwing myself off my balcony but in the end, it was just a cake (as people kept telling me) and it did taste pretty damn good.

On Sunday evening, I rested and drank. Monday, I did nothing and spoke to no one. I'm over it now.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sense & Sensibility

I'm not sure why I didn't read any Jane Austen in high school.  I thought it was mandatory but apparently not in Texas.
A few years ago, I endeavored to read Pride & Prejudice and really enjoyed it but I never moved on to any of her others.
A few months ago, a coworker and I were talking about this.  She had never read any Austen books either and we both felt like this is something we needed to do so the idea of a Jane Austen summer was born.
We told a few people about it and they got excited for it too. 
So, we're a book club of sorts except we want food and booze at our meetings!
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said?  It's really really good!  Is that original enough?
I just loved Elinor and all her properness (am I making up words here?) and then there is impulsive Marianne who really irritated me with her broken-hearted whining.  Oh get over it....there is surely another man out there, right?
But poor Elinor is stuck with this secret about Edward and Lucy all the while loving Edward herself.  It's heartbreaking angst at its finest!
My favorite characters were Mrs. Jennings and Mr. Palmer.  Seriously, those two cracked me up in totally different ways.
Mrs. Jennings is just this unrelenting busy body who gossips incessantly and jumps to one conclusion after another.  She is 100% fun.
Mr. Palmer's dry annoyance at his wife is hilarious.  He doesn't care what she thinks and pays very little attention to her.  But we find toward the end that Mr. Palmer has a true heart of gold...just very little patience for his own wife.

Some of our participants are having a tough time with the book.  Austen's writing style is not exactly Stephenie Myers but I keep telling them to persevere because it's SO worth it!

Persuasion is next!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Judging a Book By Its Cover...

I did it, I admit!
I loved these paperback covers so much more than any others, I made sure to order them all.

Some friends and I are reading Jane Austen this summer.
I'm loving Sense & Sensibility and I'm almost done.
Next is Persuasion and other Austen lovers usually say it's their favorite.

Looking forward to it!

(I know Pride & Prejudice isn't pictured. It's on backorder.)

Monday, May 17, 2010's me!

Ugh.  I hate it when people don't update their blog for a long time.  I just think it's rude and unforgivable.

It's been a very stressful few weeks.  I got busy, a close friend got some devastating news, I have lots of projects coming up that are taking a lot of my time and I guess that's all the excuses I can come up with.
Because of all this mess, I haven't had much time to read.
I haven't finished Mary, Called Magdalene because I couldn't devote any time to it, but I snuck in the latest Stuart Woods book, Lucid Intervals because it's a super fast read.

This summer, some friends and I are endeavoring to read 6 Jane Austen books...our own little Jane Austen book club, I suppose!
We were to start Sense & Sensibility today but I cheated and started it Saturday.
So far, so good!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Next Hemingway, I'm Sure.

I'm not sure why I still blog here. I don't think anyone's reading and who can blame them? I've been an absentee blogger and I deserve to lose custody of my readers.
I lost my blogging mojo a long time ago. I guess I realized I didn't have any strong opinions about anything anymore and who wants to read someone who rides the fence most of the time?
Years ago when I started this thing, I was opinionated and political but now I've lost faith in it all.
I think I sound depressed and shit, maybe I am. I certainly don't mean to sound negative because I'm not really a negative person; I tend to try to see the bright side of all situations but let me tell you something...that gets exhausting!
Sometimes, you'd like to just roll around in your misery for a while and that's ok, I think...just as long as you eventually stand up.

I've had good news lately. I connected with an author a few months back. She wrote a book about keeping a journal and she ended up sending me a review copy. It was great and I am going to be using it for my journaling classes this summer. When I told her what I've been doing for the past six years in teaching kids about keeping a journal, she was very excited and presented me with the opportunity to write my own book on journaling.
Yes, I could be a published author one day soon!

Before you know it, I will be a moody writer drunk on my own success.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I had a lovely Easter weekend.
On Saturday, I visited Bayou Bend. If you live anywhere near Houston and have never been...well what are you waiting for?
I also took some pictures:
This is the back of the home.It's a little late in the season for azaleas but I think because we had a late winter, they bloomed late. This worked to my advantage.

As beautiful as the azaleas are, the hydrangeas are my favorite:

Easter Sunday, my family and I went out on the boat for a short ride. It was overcast and windy but I loved it.
Afterward, my nephew and I dyed Easter eggs and my sister made me an Easter basket as if I were a kid. I love being a kid!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One of THOSE people!

Am I becoming one of "Those People"?
I found myself writing in my journal at Starbucks on Sunday.
I wasn't trying to show off, "Hey, I'm all sensitive and arty! Look at me!!" but I get very distracted at home with dishes in the sink, dogs that need bathing, carpet that needs vacuuming, twitter that needs to be checked...etc.
So, I felt like I could plug in my iPod, sit in a comfortable chair and write without worrying about doing other things.
It was pretty good but I noticed a few people walking close by, as if trying to get a peek at what I was writing. I didn't hate on them too much; I've done that before.
But it worked out for me so I'm not too ashamed to be one of Those People.

Also, I'm becoming a Vegetarian.
My reasons might seem silly and I'm sure all the carnivores in the world will have a million answers to my reasons.
Some have actually said that I can't change anything. They're probably right.

In the past, I never understood vegetarians. How could you give up meat? Steak is so amazing and chicken is just the best. Oh and don't get me started on bacon. Sweet fucking Jebus...bacon.
How I sort of miss bacon!
But see...I just sort of miss it. I only think about bacon and beef as habit; "Bacon would be really good on that. Oh wait....".
It's been easier than I ever thought it would be.
Last night, I made a vegetable spaghetti with whole wheat pasta, zucchini, yellow squash, spinach and mushrooms with a delicious spaghetti sauce.
No meat...and I didn't miss it.

Almost every restaurant I've been to in the last few weeks has had vegetarian options. I wonder what I would do in a fast food situation but since going meatless, I've avoided fast food which can only be a good thing.
I'm not sure I can ever call myself a vegetarian because I'm still going to eat seafood. Christ on a cracker! I live on the gulf freaking coast! I have to eat seafood!
I'm still new at this and I don't know all the labels, so what am I? Who am I going to be?
Oh right, one of THOSE PEOPLE!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Mary longed to say something in return, but it was not customary.  Instead, she just looked directly into his eyes to show him how deeply she trusted herself to him.
--Mary, Called Magdalene by Margaret George

Teaser Tuesdays is a fun weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

So, sometimes books are like junk food.  It's not nutritious but you love it anyway and in a lot of cases you eat the entire bag, box, bowl of whatever in one sitting.
From Barnes and Noble:
In this Jane Austen–inspired comedy, love story, and exploration of identity and destiny, a modern LA girl wakes up as an Englishwoman in Austen’s time.
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict was like that for me.  Ok, it took two sittings but I devoured the whole thing.  It was fun and snarky and I am not afraid to admit I liked it.
I was disappointed in the end because I couldn't understand WHY a modern, 21st century woman ended up in the body of an early 19th century woman but when I was searching for the picture to add to this post, I found that there is a sequel.  This one is from the point of view of the woman who went from the 19th century to the 21st and that may be more fun and maybe I'll understand the point of the body switching.
But maybe like junk food, there is no's just good.

Deep in the Woods by Chris Marie Green

This is the 6th book in the Vampire Babylon series and possibly the last.
The storyline was wrapped up but the author left us with a little bit of an opening for more.  I hope there is more because I became quite attached to Dawn, Costin and even Jonah. 
Jonah and Costin share a body and at first, Jonah was a bit of a psycho but by book 6, I sort of liked him and was rooting for him.
It's pretty cool to see the evolution of an author in a series of books.  Sometimes the evolution is for the better, like in Chris Marie Green's case or for the absolute worse, as in Laurell K. Hamilton's case. (Do NOT get me started about the unbelievable decline of the Anita Blake series!!)
In the Vampire Babylon books, we've had the opportunity to watch the characters grow and in turn we've watched the author grow, too.  Her writing has gotten better and better and her characters have developed real depth.
I won't give much of the book and storyline away but this whole series has used the usual sexy vampire schtick but with a very unique twist.  The first trilogy was based in Hollywood and used that vain industry as a front for the vampire underground.
The second trilogy took us to London and an all girls school.  One of my favorite things about it was that Green didn't rehash the same tired storyline over and over again.
I think I'd read this entire series again and that is saying a LOT!

Hey Look At Me...I'm Sick!

I don't mean to turn this into a sick person's blog but hey, it's what's going on.

I had an Endoscopy on Friday. I was a little nervous about having a toilet snake with a camera on the end being shoved down my throat.
I was surprised how quickly it was over. I was wheeled into the procedure room in a hospital bed when one nurse told me she was hooking me up to a heart monitor and another one told me she was putting some medicine in my IV to make me drowsy.
Then the other nurse said she was spraying something in my mouth to numb my throat and for me to swallow. I did and I wanted to tell her that it tasted bad but I closed my eyes for a moment instead.
I opened them again and I was in another room, staring at the back of a different nurses head.
"I'm in another room." I said, obviously.
"Yes, you're in recovery."
"That's weird", I said.
And it was over. I was groggy most of the day and for the first hour I had a little short term memory loss but I had no soreness or hoarseness after. It was pretty awesome.

I do have some issues that were revealed by the endoscopy but nothing life threatening and I'm sure I will be fine in no time.

I've never been to a specialist in my life, yet in the last month, I've been to two and had my first "procedure".
Does this mean I'm getting old? If so, that SUCKS!

The worst part of the whole thing? I had to get up at 5am! That was horrible.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

For days she gazed in vain and then a day came when she had an intuition that he was uneasy; she could not have told what gave her the impression, but she was certain; she waited, holding her breath; he looked up suddenly, as though he had heard an unexpected sound, and, catching her eye, turned quickly away.  From then on she ceased to throw him even a glance, but a day or two later, though her head was bent as though she were praying, she was conscious that he was staring at her.
--Catalina by W. Somerset Maugham

Teaser Tuesdays is a fun weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I couldn't wait to start Catching Fire after finishing The Hunger Games.
For a second book in a trilogy, it's jam packed with heart break, injustice and action.
Sometimes, I would get very frustrated with Katniss when she wouldn't/couldn't catch signals from other people.  For the face of the rebellion, she can be a little obtuse but then I have to remember that this girl is only 17.
When I was 17, all I cared about was my giant 80s hair, makeup and boys.
If I lived in Katniss' post-apocalypse world, I'd be the first one dead.
Parts of the storyline seemed unnecessary and a little predictable but overall it was extremely entertaining and heart-pounding.
Also, the cliffhanger at the end made me gasp out loud.
Do we really have to wait until August for the final book, The Mockingjay?

Hey...I'm not dead...or a lesbian.

I'm actually feeling a TON better!
I wouldn't say I'm 100% but maybe 97%.
I went to the cardiologist yesterday and he didn't seem overly concerned about anything. He is agreeing with my PCP that it's a GI issue so he listened to my heart, heard a premature heartbeat which I was glad about.
You see, in the ER, the doctor heard and saw the premature beats but when I was wearing a monitor in the hospital room, my doctors there acted like I wasn't having them even though I could feel them.
So, I felt like I was a little vindicated there.
Anyway, he said they were benign and possibly being caused by my GI issue and said he'd see me back in 3 months, after the appointment with the Gastroenterologist.

Over the weekend, I got a facebook message from a friend of the family. She noticed my relationship status on facebook was "It's complicated" and she was curious.
I haven't changed my relationship status since the day I signed up for it and have since forgotten about it.
She wanted to know what was so complicated. I didn't feel like it was any of her business so I diplomatically stated that I keep my personal/love life separate from my family.
She wrote back a little deflated and said "Oh, I thought you were going to tell us you were gay."
Yes. She said that.
Now, I have figured that some people assume I'm gay because I'm in my 30's and unmarried but I don't really care about what people assume. It was just a little shocking to have someone just come right out and say it.

A few weeks ago, I made the decision to stop eating meat. I'm still eating chicken and turkey for a while but I eventually hope to make the transition to vegetarian.
So, while people will now assume I'm a lesbian, they'll also flip out over the fact that I'm a vegetarian. I might as well slip on some Birkinstocks and stop shaving my pits. [/stereotype]

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I'm one of those people who hate feeling left out.  For about a year now, I've had to hear/read about how much everyone is loving The Hunger Games. 
I'd skip to another blog and there it is again....staring me in the face. 
"But I have so many books on my TBR list, I can't add a whole TRILOGY to the pile, can I?"
But I couldn't stand it so I gave in to peer pressure!

I could. not. put. this. book. down.  For real. 
It has everything you want from a book:  adventure, social injustice and a political message, a hero/heroine and unrequited love.
From Amazon:

The United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch.
The heroine, Katniss, is a tough 16 yr old who has had to fight for every scrap of food for her family since her father died when she was 11. 
When Prim, her little sister, is picked in the lottery to participate in the games, Katniss volunteers to take her place.  She knows sweet little Prim would never survive among these savages so with her knowledge of survival, she enters the arena to fight for her and her family's lives.

I know it sounds horrible and barbaric and it is...but Suzanne Collins somehow makes it ok to read.  You're not terribly grossed out or scared to death.
She makes Katniss super strong yet vulnerable and scared at times.  Like a normal 16 yr old in an unfair society.
The characters seem very well written and fleshed out. 
However, I became so frustrated with this political message.  Is this where we're all headed if we continue to live the way we are living?
I'm not sure I dig these post-apocalyptic novels trying to scare everyone into being better citizens of the world.  Some of us are doing the best we can.

But this was a great read.  I truly couldn't but it down and read most of it in one night.
I've got the next book in the Trilogy, Catching Fire, on my desk right now.
The TBR pile is getting higher!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Three Books, One Review

I have a confession to make.  I love Stuart Woods.  I'm enough of a book snob to be a little ashamed of this but I'm enough of a book fan to not really care.  I like a good, fast-paced, fun read every once in a while and because I was sick, Woods' newest book came across my desk at the perfect time.

It's like a running joke in the Stone Barrington books;  he's going to sleep with multiple women throughout the story and EVERY woman he meets is quite the nymphomaniac.
Woman meets Stone.  Woman drops trou.  The End.
However, the stories are fast-paced, a little predictable but humorous and a great escape.  It's just what the doctor ordered.

I've seen a lot of book bloggers talking about this YA series.  I thought it might be something our Children's Librarian would be interested in ordering so I did an InterLibrary Loan for the first book.  The Children's Librarian read it first and she liked it A LOT so I read it next.  I was so sick last week that this was a great book to get lost in.  It takes place in the Manhattan social scene of 1899; high society and all the secrets you can ask for.  Author, Anna Godberson does a wonderful job describing the beautiful dresses and costumes of the day.  I could just close my eyes and picture the luxurious fabrics and colors.
This is exactly the book I would have loved as a teen....although I'm far from being a teenager, I still enjoyed it.
I enjoyed it so much that I ran to my local library and checked out the next two books in the series. 
I finished Rumors in a day and it totally kept me interested all the way up until the SUPER surprise ending.
I wanted to read the third book, Envy, today but I left it at home! I guess I'll have to work for a living today.  

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Yes....I'm Alive

Although for a while I wasn't sure I was going to live.

I actually had to go to the hospital for the first time in my life.  I was only there for 24 hours but it seemed like weeks!
I felt sick for about a week after my hospital stay but yesterday I started feeling better and today I'm almost normal....whatever that is!

In my absence, I've finished two books: 
Kisser by Stuart Woods (my guilty pleasure)
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

I'll write more about them later.  I'm just glad to be on the mend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Have a heart

So, I got to experience something last week that I've never experienced before: I got to spend 24 hours in the hospital. I've visited plenty of people in the hospital. I've taken plenty of people to the ER but I've never been to the ER nor have I ever been admitted into an institution of medicine.

I went to the doctor on Thursday with chest pains. I really thought it was my lungs...that I had some type of chest congestion.
She had her nurse do an EKG and it was abnormal. My doctor FREAKED out. She kept asking me tons of questions about my medical history (none) and my age (too young) and how I felt right then (scared shitless).
She finally fessed up and said that it looks like I had a heart attack.
Well, I nearly had one right then. A heart attack???

So, she wanted me to go to the emergency room and wouldn't let me drive. I called my mother who sounded surprised but not too scared.
After I hung up, the doctor came back into the room and said "Call her back and ask her to meet you at the hospital, we're going to send you by transport." aka ambulance.
So, I called her back and my mother said something like "Oh HELL no. Do you have ANY idea how much ambulances cost??? Tell her I will be there in a few minutes!".
I did what my mother told me.
The doctor relented but told me to sit down and not to exert myself. I thought to myself, "Lady, I was chasing dogs last night!".
But I sat down and thought about what the hell was going on. A heart attack? Am I going to die?
The look on my doctor's face really scared me. She looked completely confused. You NEVER want your doctor to look puzzled or confused.

The rest happened so fast. I go to the ER, they're waiting for me. I do an EKG (which was fine), get into a bed in a little cubicle, get hooked up to a heart monitor, stuck with a giant needle and interrogated by my ER nurse and doctor.
Then, before I knew it, I was being wheeled down the hall for a chest x-ray and a CT scan.

Listen, no one ever told me this and I think it's important to know: When you get a CT scan, they will inject some dye into your veins. It will make you feel warm inside...I was warned about that. But I wasn't warned that it will make you feel like you've peed your pants. I was laying on the table and suddenly I felt it. I thought "Oh my God. I am 30-something and I just pissed my pants in public!!!"
The dye wore off in minutes and I realized that I didn't have an accident but when I told my sister about the CT scan she asked me if I felt like I peed my pants and then suddenly people in the room were talking about their experiences!
Why isn't this common knowledge???

While still in the ER, I was told my blood tests were good, EKG was good, x-ray and CT were good...I was good. But they were still admitting me to check for cardiac enzymes every few hours and to monitor my heart during the night.

This was all very weird. My sisters showed up, my best friend was there in the ER with me along with my mom. My goddaughters came to visit that night too.
It was like a big party and all the nurses laughed when they'd come into the room and it was filled with people.

I have lots of funny little anecdotes about my hospital stay but I'll write about those later.
So far, we have NO idea why I was having chest pains and PVCs.
But I learned two things from this hospital stay:
1. After the tests in the ER and the echo-cardiogram the next morning and the CBC, I am pretty damn healthy.
2. I look like I'm in my 20s. Every single nurse, doctor (GP and cardiologist) and tech that came into my room would say, "How old are you? Twenty....?" and I'd answer "37?" and then I'd get a lot of "OMG" and "No way". It was very flattering but after a while, I'd start to feel a little if I should be ashamed for looking so young. I felt especially embarrassed when my older sisters were rolling their eyes behind that person's back!

I still don't know what's wrong with me but I have lots of appointments with specialists next month so surely someone can figure it out.

But I left the hospital with the knowledge that my heart looks great, blood work is good and I look like a spring chicken!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

2010 Reading Resolutions Challenge: Progress Check

Believe it or not, I think I'm doing pretty well.
I've read 4 books from my TBR list, which is great for me.  I get too distracted by new books that I tend to stray from reading lists I make.
I know I said I would TRY not to buy so many books, but that didn't go as well as planned. 
I've purchased 12 books since I began the challenge.  That does seem like a lot but somehow I feel I've cut down.  I've never counted them like this though.  Wow.  12 books in 6 weeks?  Just wow!
Ok, so this progress check was a good eye opener. 
I have been reading more book blogs and trying to comment more.  I'm actually kind of shy and for some reason my shyness comes through on the internet too.  That's a little weird. 
I have found more time to read, also.  I've given up certain shows on TV and have used that time to read more. 
Being sick really cut into my reading time, though.  I just can't seem to concentrate on anything when I'm sick so I filled that time with movies and sleep.

I've also decided to add 30 minutes of exercise a day so I have to decide if that's going to cut into my reading time or my TV time.
I should just quit my job, then I'd have time for everything. 
I'm sure I'd get a lot of reading done in my cardboard box!