Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We've Got Books

I knew they were there; lurking over there in the corner, mocking me.
For nearly a year now, I've ignored them because I have my own battles going but yesterday, I had to deal with them.
Of what do I speak, you ask?  Advance Reader Copies.  A huge stack of them.
Mostly, they are YA and Juvenile fiction but at one time I had all intentions of reading them.
One of them is The Underneath which ended up winning a Newbery and was a National Book Award finalist.
I need to fit that into my reading schedule for sure.
For some reason I have two copies of The Walls of Cartagena by Julie Durango.  These copies don't even have working cover art yet.  I will put the top list (pic above) on my reading list and give the rest away to my journal club kids.  They will really enjoy them!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Testing this out

I was recently lamenting the lack of iPhone apps for Blogger. Then I discovered this one.
So far so good!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Toooo Busy to Read

That's one of my biggest pet peeves; being too busy to read.
By the time I get home in the evenings, it's late and I'm just too tired to devote much time to the pages in a book.
Sometimes, I can sneak in a few pages here and there when it gets quiet at work but this week, I've been swamped.

I pressure myself to read as much as I can and feel almost guilty when I don't. I guess that's why I'm not a very good library borrower. I get books that have a time limit and suddenly the pressure is on. I hate feeling like I have to finish this book by a certain's too much like school and I have never been scholastically inclined.

*sigh* I long for a life where I have a few hours a day to devote to a book.
I can't believe I'm bitching about my busy life....I don't have kids but I do have responsibilities and they have a tendency to take over.
Maybe I can be one of those people who read standing in line at the grocery store. Or maybe I should unplug my TV and not be lured into The Office reruns or the Late Night Wars (Team Coco!!).

I could become a real Luddite...except there is NO way I'm giving up my iPhone!

Monday, January 18, 2010

SyFy or Sci Fi

When and WHY did they change the SciFi channel to SyFy? Does calling it SyFy make people want to watch it more?

I don't know...but what I also don't know is: When did I become a Sci Fi geek?
I was never into Star Trek or Star Wars. I've never read Science Fiction or Fantasy.
But suddenly, one day I woke up and realized that I loved Sci Fi stuff!
I'm a crazy Doctor Who fan, then I got hooked on Torchwood, then Farscape...oh I forgot, Andromeda back in the day, now Stargate Universe and I want to get into the whole Battlestar Galactica thing but that's a lot of DVDs!
Now, on SyFy, Caprica is starting and it's a prequel of sorts to BSG and I'm wondering if I need to watch BSG before Caprica?

But mostly what I want to know is....when did this happen to me?
Once, I looked down on SciFi geeks and now I'm one of them!

The Path of Razors by Chris Marie Green

I began the Vampire Babylon series just as the first one came out. I bought it on a whim, knowing nothing about it and when the next book came out, I bought it and then the next and the next and I'm hooked.
These books are a fun, fast-paced read and an unusual twist to the vampire genre.  I've become involved with the characters and I care what happens to them so I'll see this one through.
Unlike a lot of series, this one tells the story in a series of trilogies so thankfully, the mystery is solved at the end of each trilogy so I don't have to wait years and years to know what has happened.

This fifth book was entertaining and I was able to finish it in just a few days, so I give it:

Friday, January 15, 2010

So long, resolution

So much for cutting down on my book buying. I have credit at the
second-hand bookstore so I couldn't help myself.

I picked up 4:
Living To Tell the Tale by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Blinding Light by Paul Theroux
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
Sins of the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon (it was freebie so thought I'd
try one of her books out)

And the TBR pile grows!

I picked a good day....

To call in sick. It's so ugly outside; raining, cold and cloudy. What
a perfect day to read.
Right now, I'm reading the 4th book in the Vampire Babylon series
called The Path of Razors by Chris Marie Green.
This is one of my guilty pleasures: vampire books. I'm not ashamed to
admit it. I'll balance it out with some Austen or Hemingway later!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Helen of Troy: The final post

I finally conquered Troy!

Yesterday, before I read the last page of the book and the afterwords by the author, I was ready to rant and rave about how selfish and vapid Helen was and how ridiculous everyone seemed with their claims of seeing the future and being visited by gods every other day....then I learned that it's a good possibility that she never existed and is simply a myth. How can I get self-righteous with a myth?

But seriously, I couldn't feel any sympathy for Helen and Paris. They should have known better. Paris was 16 so he was probably letting his hormones do the talking but Helen was a grown woman.
She knew her brother-in-law was looking for a fight with Troy and so she runs away in the middle of the night with the Prince of Troy and was shocked that they would gather a vast army and invade? Please!
She left her daughter behind and she left her parents to deal with the humiliation and we're supposed to swoon over the great love affair? Whatever, Helen!

So, all ranting aside, this was a lovely read. Margaret George does an amazing job of transporting us back to a time that may or may not have existed. It seemed real to me.
She gave each character such distinct personalities that they all came alive.
However, the character of Helen and the authors interpretation of Cleopatra were very similar. I guess being queens of ancient lands, you'd imagine they'd have similar personalities or Margaret George has a formula for her ancient queens.
I've got her story of Mary of Magdelene on my TBR list. Surely, Mary's character will be different.

Bottom line: great read, enchanting writing.

Helen of Troy gets:

Nightmare On Our Street

This morning I had a very disturbing dream. I know it was the morning because it woke me up and it was around 4:30 am.
Usually, I can forget it and go right back to sleep but this one stayed with me and I couldn’t rest.
In the dream, I was with my sisters and my mom in a hotel. I don’t know why we were there but it seemed like we were out of town for something.
My mom was telling us about something she just saw on TV. It’s hard to remember, you know how fuzzy dreams are, but it was like the US was under attack or had been invaded.
The bottom line was that we were in trouble. It was almost like our government was not doing enough to protect us and we, as citizens, were on our own.
One of my sisters who is EXTREMELY organized started making a plan for us. I don’t know what it was but she got out notecards and started writing – I know why I dreamed this; yesterday she sent a detailed itinerary for our trip to Dallas in May with scheduled stops for gas and bathroom breaks at precisely 12:00pm.
Suddenly, I realized that I was working and my office was right across the hall. As we were walking over, one of my sisters was telling the other about all these prophecies about Obama that were coming true.
When we got to my office I noticed that it wasn’t just a hotel and my place of work, but we were in a giant mall too.
As we were all standing around making plans, I remembered that Dash was still in my office and I needed to go find him. I became panicked when I didn’t see him at first so I started calling him and he crawled out from under a chair and came to me.
I started packing up everything he might need for an evacuation and got him all prepared. I was worried about what would happen to him more than me.
Suddenly, we felt a dull thud under our feet. We looked down the mall and through a huge floor to ceiling window and saw a fireball rise from the ground and bullets ricocheting off of cars.
I was concerned but had this strange feeling of detachment, as if I were watching this all on TV.
As my family and I were standing there, I realized that life was going to change. The world was going to change and it wasn’t going to be for the better. We were under attack and we may not survive…..and I was worried about my dog.

That’s about the time I woke up.

Usually when you wake up from a bad dream and realize that you’re safe in your bed, you have this overwhelming sense of relief. But this time I didn’t.
I had this sick feeling of dread and it didn’t go away.

Ok, so why am I dreaming things like this? Am I predicting the future or are my dreams a product of my environment?
I don’t believe in people predicting the future through their dreams so that leaves my environment.
When I tell you that I just finished a book about Helen of Troy and the Trojan War, you’ll probably understand why I dreamed about an attack on our country.
But I think the sick feeling that stayed with me after the dream has more to do with what is going on with our country now.
We are inundated with worries about the future. Who’s going to pay for these bank and automotive bailouts? Is Obama a Muslim and will he sell us out to his Muslim cronies? Where was this dude born?
Will we all die from this scary ass healthcare plan they are trying to force on us? Is the world going to end in 2012? Who the hell are these Mayans anyway and if they predicted the end of the world, why couldn’t they predict and prevent the end of their race? Is Brad and Angelina breaking up? Oh my God, how can Simon leave American Idol? Does Iran really have substantial nuclear weapons and should we be afraid? Holy crap, global warming, really??

There is no joy in looking to the future right now. I don’t really think Obama is evil and a Muslim but I think he’s got bad advisers and bad ideas.
I didn’t know I was scared about any of this but maybe I am and my dreams are trying to tell me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Where the hell am I??

I woke up this morning to my car completely iced over!
What the hell?

Do I own an ice scraper? Where would I even buy one? I don't even think I've seen an ice scraper in person!
I remembered I had a bottle of water in my backseat so I was going to use that to rinse the ice off my windshield.
Imagine my shock when the bottle of water was FROZEN. Yes, kids...FROZEN!

This bundling up shit and wearing something other than flip flops is for the birds! Oh wait...even the birds hate this.

Actually, it's not that bad. It's kind of fun for a change and hopefully I will remember this when it's 500 degrees in August.

Almost There

I was up until 12:30 last night/this morning trying to finish Helen of Troy. But as I got to the last page and realized there was an afterward by the author, I decided to stop and finish it up when I've had some sleep, so I'll get to that today and then post my review and BOY do I have a lot to say about ol' Helen!

I wandered into my new find; a second-hand bookshop...and I bought two books. Oh, wait. I only bought one book but she has a shelf of books that are free with a purchase.
I bought a copy of Maybe the Moon by Armistead Maupin, who I LOVE and found an old copy of Daughters of England by Philippa Car on the free shelf. I think this is actually a Victoria Holt/Philippa Carr/Jean Plaidy book that I've never read. Good score.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's the ARCTIC Blast!

Hold on to your snuggies kids, the frozen tundra is coming to Texas. Or so they say.
It's so freaking windy out there right now that I thought it was going to blow my fat ass off my feet!

The media loves this shit. This is the next best thing to a hurricane. "Wrap your pipes, cover your plants, sand down the's getting real."

I'd be willing to put money on the fact that it won't be that bad. However, I mocked the media right before Ike and look what happened.

I'd love to be home with some hot chocolate and a warm dog or two at my feet. Unfortunately, I have to work. Boo real life!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Too Many Books

It's been a busy week with not much time for reading.
I'm enjoying Helen of Troy and try to sneak in a few pages here and there.

Today, I received, through InterLibrary Loan, a copy of Moo Pak by Gabriel Josipovici.  I'm not sure why I added another book to my growing list of TBRs.  Well, I know why...I have no self control.  The second I hear about an interesting book on one of the many blogs I read, I go right into my ILL screen and order a book. 
I might glance through Moo Pak and see if it's something I will want to request again when I feel like I'm making a dent in my TBR list.
Until then, I will keep wishing for a life where I have more time to read!

Tweet Tweet

I like Twitter. I signed up over a year ago when Hurricane Ike was coming through. I wanted to tweet the storm and I did...sort of.
I'm a little more involved with it now; reading more than tweeting. I love the succinct posts which probably proves I have a serious attention span issue.

I just read where someone said Twitter is where bloggers go to retire.
They may be right because my blogging totally slowed down when I got hooked up with Twitter.

Of course, via Twitter, I can't tell you about the computer for beginners class I taught today or the little old man who kept clicking the right button on the mouse instead of the left then would ask very loudly, "WHAT DID I JUST DO???".
Or the slightly younger man who kept interrupting me by asking questions that had nothing to do with what I was "So, what does it mean when I turn my computer on and all my files are gone?"

Normally, I'd say "It means you're screwed" but I need to keep my job.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy Happy

Ok, we're done. The holidays are over and life goes back to normal or whatever passes for normal.

Like I said, I'm not doing any resolutions except for my reading list but I do sort of resolve to blog more.
I am going to move this bad boy over to blogger and I've been working on moving my archives but I can't figure the whole domain thing out.
The Planet or EV1servers handles my domain and between them and blogger, they have officially confused the hell out of me.
I simply want to point my domain to blogger. Should be easy, right? Umm, not so much.
So, if any of you wonderfully nerdy people out there could help me, I'd love you forever. And I do mean LOVE.

**Update** I've added a little code (thanks Marshall) to redirect my old blog to this one. I still need to work out the domain crap but this will do in the meantime. Isn't my layout so PRETTY??

I had a nice quiet New Years. I had certain plans for New Year's Eve and I didn't let anyone guilt me into doing something I didn't want to do. I held my ground and celebrated the way I wanted to! Go me!

My goddaughter got engaged on NYE. This is HUGE. HUGE! But it's very good news. It's a great way to start off the new year I say.

New Year's Eve is a funny thing, isn't it? Why do we feel like we have to get all shit-faced and act a fool?
I live in Texas so I like to play a game called "Bullets or Fireworks?". You know there are some thugs and rednecks out there firing guns in the air or trying to blow their extremities off to ring in the new year. It's tradition!
So, those of us snug in our beds well after midnight get to play this game where we try to identify the sound of the explosion. Is it a gun or is it fireworks?
One may never know until the bullet comes whizzing through your window.

Happy New Year!

Helen of Troy by Margaret George (Currently Reading)

Ok, so I went out and bought this one!
This isn't a part of my TBR Challenge but, technically, I started this BEFORE January 1.
I'm not quite done but it's GOOD.  I love Margaret George's fictional biographies.  The great attention to detail, history and the images of that time are definitely part of what makes this author so readable.
It's not a dry retelling of Helen of Troy's life but a glimpse into the woman she may have been in her own words.

I read and enjoyed The Memoirs of Cleopatra, so I'm glad in Helen of Troy, George keeps up the good work.
I realized I own a copy Margaret George's Mary, Called Magdelene so I'm adding that to my TBR list today!