Thursday, January 31, 2008
In other, less whiny news, I finished a book and started two new ones this week. Remember way back when on a Thursday Meme post when I said that I only read one book at a time and that I didn't understand how people can read multiple books at a time? Well, I'm in the middle of four different books right now. So much for that idea. I'm still reading Reagan's book and War and Peace. I started reading Frankenstein for my Lit class and yesterday, I started reading Nora's latest for the 1st in a Series Challenge. All four are great fun. The book I finished the other day was the first Shopaholic book for which I'll post my thoughts about as soon as I remember. ;)
The Mister is going on a business trip (heheh) to Maryland for two weeks on Sunday. Did I mention that before? He's going for some really great training that would normally cost $10,000 but the Marine Corps is footing the bill. How awesome is that? While he's gone, I'm planning on cooking some meals that the girls and I like but that he doesn't so we only eat them while he's gone. It'll be nice girl time for the three of us. We'll miss him but in the grand scheme of things, two weeks is cake. We've done the 6 month thing before and nothing can top the three years in Vermont so we're taking this in stride.
Lastly, my crocheting is coming right along. I'm almost finished with my very simple project. I let my oldest pick it out and the yarn since I'm giving her what I'm making. She's very happy with the results so far. Hannah won't stay out of my yarn. I had to change my craft bag from a tote to a tote that zips closed. She also only goes after the alpaca and mohair yarn. I wonder if it's because she can smell that they came from a real animal.
Sorry there's no Thursday meme. I gotta go with the flow of my thoughts and that doesn't fit in today.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Friday night, my oldest had a sleepover. Those two kept me up until 1:30 in the morning. UGH! Also on Friday, the Mister got a call at 11:30pm informing him that he had to be back at work at 7 am Saturday morning. It was just supposed to be for a few hours but he didn't end up getting home until 6:30 pm. That pretty much put our entire Saturday in the crapper. However, the reason he was at work means that lots of other families were having an even crappier weekend so I let it go. It's all about perspective.
Saturday night after the Mister arrived home, we went to the mall for a little shopping. I got the best smelling candle. It's a Yankee Candle in Buttercream and it smells like vanilla cake batter. YUM!! The only thing is that it makes me crave sweets, lol.
Sunday, we loaded up for a shopping trip to Greenville. TONS of fun. Our first stop was the Barnes and Noble where I fed my book addiction. I also decided to drop out of the Graphic Novel Challenge as a result of my trip to B&N. I had no idea how expensive those books are. I'd rather spend the money on three regular novels than one graphic novel. Ho hum. Who knew I could be frugal?
From Michaels, I bought some new yarn and a new book of patterns for crocheting. It's been so long that the pattern I tried out last night kicked my butt. I couldn't even remember the abbreviations. I suck. I can't wait to get it going again though because I got some nifty mohair yarn and some pretty alpaca yarn. I've never made anything with that type of yarn before.
From Bed Bath and Beyond, we got a new set of knives. My old one was missing several. The new ones are so sharp that I'm half afraid to use them. It came with a cleaver, lol. I also bought a pizza cutter (our old one was accidentally thrown out inside of a pizza box, heheh.) and a new set of sheets for my bed.
That's it for the fun shopping. We also went to Target for some essentials and to Lowes for some Draino. But the shopping wasn't even the most interesting part of our Sunday.
We decided to hit the Wendy's for dinner. It was a risk. Why? Because the last time we were there, we sat in the parking lot for 20+ minutes waiting for our food and then they forgot something and we had to go in and get it. Fast food? Yeah, right. But, we took a chance and tried again. Everyone deserves a second chance, heheh. BIG mistake. The girl at the drive thru window gave new meaning to the word "rude". She didn't bother reading our order back to us and when we get to the actual window, she just looks over and then walks away. After a few minutes, she finally comes over to allow us to pay. Then, she comes back with our drinks, four of them, and starts to hand them out the window one by one. The Mister asked if we could have a drink carrier and she slammed our drinks down on the counter and walked off to get one. At this point, other than "Can I take your order?" and "Your total is..." she hasn't said a word to us. Then, she comes back with our bags of food and said that they were waiting on part of our order. I check the bags to see if everything was there and we were missing a fry. The Mister tells her this, she rolls her eyes, walks off to get our fry, bags it, and tosses it out the window at us. No, "I'm sorry" or "Oops" or "Go fuck yourself" nothing. When she brings us the rest of our order, the Mister lets loose and tells her how lousy the service has been, how rude she has been, and how she has conveyed her hatred of her job and people in general while we were waiting for our order. I'm sitting there shocked because he NEVER complains to people about stuff like that. NEVER. Then I start to smile because he's really giving it to her but without raising his voice or cussing and her manager is standing there listening. I was so proud of him. Then, we get home and start taking our food out and our order, aside from the one kid's meal, is wrong. The whole, dang blasted thing. The Mister abhors, hates, and detests mayo. He ordered his sandwich sans mayo and lo and behold, the bun had the remnants of mayo on it. It was clear that they realized it was ordered without and instead of getting a new bun, attempted to wipe it clean. WIPE IT CLEAN!! At this point, I lose my cool, and call the Wendy's to complain to the manager. I didn't raise my voice or cuss either. Pat on the back for me. I did, however, make it clear we won't be back. The service at the fast food restaurants here in New Bern blows. I know I shouldn't expect much, but damn. We are paying for lousy service. I just think it's a sign we need to stop eating out so much.
And that, ladies (I don't think I have any gentlemen readers) was our weekend. Jam packed, full of books, and we'll ignore the rest.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Reason for reading: I read this book for the 1st in a Series Challenge.
Days to finish: 11 days
Jason Bourne. He has no past. And he may have no future.
His memory is blank. He only knows that he was flushed out of the Mediterranean Sea, his body riddled with bullets. There are a few clues. A frame of microfilm surgically implanted beneath the flesh of his hip. Evidence that plastic surgery has altered his face. Strange things that he says in his delirium -- maybe code words. Initial: "J.B." And a number on the film negative that leads to a Swiss bank account, a fortune of four million dollars, and, at last, a name: Jason Bourne.
But now he is marked for death, caught in a maddening puzzle, racing for survival through the deep layers of his buried past into a bizarre world of murderous conspirators -- led by Carlos, the world's most dangerous assassin. And no one can help Jason Bourne but the woman who once wanted to escape him.
This book was okay. There were parts that were full of excitement, drama, and action that were totally enjoyable to read. Then you get to the parts where...I guess you would call it background information. It was scenes that explained the motivations of the different factions that were after Bourne. I found these chapters and sections to be extremely boring. It didn't help that Ludlum uses names like the Russians do. You would have one man that would be referred to in four different ways and I often found myself trying to figure out who everybody was and what part they were playing in the drama.
If I were to rate it, I'd give it a three out of five because it wasn't horrible by any means but it also hasn't earned a "favorite" spot on my book shelf. I can't believe I'm saying this and I will deny it to the bitter end if ever accused of saying this but...I think the movie was better than the book. SHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! And to conclude, I plan on reading the rest of the series just to see how it turns out. The book and the movie, thus far, were totally different.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
What’s your favorite book that nobody else has heard of? You know, not Little Women or Huckleberry Finn, not the latest best-seller . . . whether they’ve read hem or not, everybody “knows” those books. I’m talking about the best book that, when you tell people that you love it, they go, “Huh? Never heard of it?”
I seriously doubt if any of the books that I've read would belong in the "huh" category. I'm pretty much a mainstream reader and a good portion of what I read comes from the recommendations of others. I'm not including text books or reference books because those shouldn't count. As I sit here looking at the shelf that contains my favorite books, I'd be completely shocked if nobody had heard of them.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I finished The Bourne Identity yesterday. More on that later.
And finally, we had a water main break tonight. I discovered that we didn't have water as I was trying to make dinner. Really great timing. As a result, we ordered a pizza. I just got back from the grocery store having bought several gallons of water since we still don't have any running water and we have a boil order thing in effect once it does start flowing again. Living in the hurricane prone region that we do, we should've already had bottled water on hand but we didn't. Three hours (and counting) without water isn't so bad though. I just hope they get everything fixed by the morning or the kids won't be able to go to school since the main break is on the road that the school is on and that road is closed. Plus, school's aren't supposed to have kids in them without clean running water.
And that's been my day. Not real exciting, huh?
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
On the other hand, the pressure can be overwhelming sometimes. Being a full time student, mom, and wife has it's challenges. To make things even more interesting, the Mister is going to Maryland for two weeks of training next month. But like I said, that will just make things interesting and I don't see that as an added challenge. I spent three years virtually alone in Vermont, two weeks is cake. The challenge will be all his since he's also taking three classes this semester and our laptop is less than reliable. One BIG challenge is that despite my school's bookstore's guarantee that my books would be here before the start of classes, I still don't have my books for my Spanish class. NONE of them. I've never started classes without my books before and it has me really worried. Luckily, the first week of classes is a light one so it shouldn't be that hard to catch up provided they arrive sometime before Sunday.
Aside from school starting back up, I've been trying to get The Bourne Identity finished. It's been an interesting read and I'm a little over half way through it. I'm also trying to clear my chest out. The kids and the husband have succeeded in making me ill. The Mister (and about 10 - 15 other people in his shop) was sick all last week despite his having gotten his flu shot (it was the nose spray and not actually a shot though.) which just reinforces my opinion that the flu shot is worth bupkis. Then, the oldest child came home from a sleepover with a fever on Saturday. I just knew that they were going to give it to me and sure enough, here I am. The timing couldn't be worse but what can ya do.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
What kind of soap is in your shower right now? I have some sort of flavor from Bath and Body Works but I don't remember what it's called at the moment. I also have a little bar from the Palomar Mountain Soap Company that Jennifer got me for my birthday and I LOVE and I need to order more of because that's my last bar.
Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? Nope. No watermelon but I have apples and oranges.
What would you change about your living room? I would change a lot because this is a rental. First off, I'd put in real hardwood flooring instead of the laminate that's in there now. I'd take down the painted paneling and paint the actual walls something other than off-white. I'd take out the fake electric fireplace and put in a real wood burning one. I'd replace the old, single-paned, wood framed windows and put in energy efficient double-paned, vinyl windows.
Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty? There is one dirty fork in my dishwasher.
What is in your fridge? We just went to the commissary today. My fridge is packed.
White or wheat bread? Either.
What is on top of your refrigerator? My turkey plate, the ice catcher thing for the freezer, and cereal.
What color or design is on your shower curtain? It has blues and greens and it has a flower or leaf print. I don't really remember, lol.
How many plants are in your home? None. I kill indoor plants.
Is your bed made right now? Not really. It's straightened but none of the accent pillows are on it.
Comet or Soft Scrub? Neither. I use 409 for most everything.
Is your closet organized? HA!! Funny. My closet is a huge disaster because the Mister has all of his Marine gear stored in it. If my house was ever under attack, I'd be ready with a Kevlar helmet and gas mask.
Can you describe your flashlight? Yeah. We have two. One is a red Maglite and the other is a gray military issue type.
Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home? I drink out of glasses when I need a glass otherwise I drink out of the can or the bottle the drink came in.
Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? Regular tea? UGH, YUCK, and ICK. I have Lipton green tea in bottles though.
If you have a garage, is it cluttered? No garage. The last time we had a garage, it was so cluttered a car couldn't dream of fitting.
Curtains or blinds? Mostly window blinds. In all the windows in my house, only three have curtains.
How many pillows do you sleep with? Two.
Do you sleep with any lights on at night? Nope.
How often do you vacuum? It greatly varies. Sometimes, I vacuum 1-2 times a day and sometimes it's once or twice a week. It just depends on how messy everyone's decided to be at any given time or what Hannah has chewed up that week.
Standard toothbrush or electric?Electric.
What color is your toothbrush?It's white.
Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch? We have a mat, but I don't think it says welcome. It was here when we moved into this house.
What is in your oven right now? The oven racks.
Is there anything under your bed? Off the top of my head: We have luggage. I think my hubby's sword is under there too.
Chore you hate doing the most? The laundry. I don't mind washing and drying it but I hate folding it and putting it away. HATE IT!
What retro items are in your home? Nothing that I can think of.
Do you have a separate room that you use as an office? Sort of. The front room, or living room, is basically used as office space. It also has our nasty sectional sofa in it that wouldn't fit in the living room. We're going to be replacing it with two recliners and a couple book shelves in the next month or two. YAY!!
How many mirrors are in your home? Let's see. There's one in both of the bathrooms and the one that's over my dresser. I think that's it.
What color are your walls? Off-white with tan trim. Nice and creative, right?
What does your home smell like right now? Vanilla candle that I burned earlier this evening.
Favorite candle scent? I have lots that I like. I really like apple cinnamon and I don't think that it's Christmas-y. I also like Illuminations' Pound cake, Napa Valley, and Bamboo scents.
What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now? None unless you count relish.
What color is your favorite Bible? Funny question.
Ever been on your roof? Nope.
Do you own a stereo? Yes, but it's one of those home entertainment deals.
How many TVs do you have? Three. We have one in the living room, one in our bedroom, and one in the youngest child's room.
How many house phones? None. We have cell phones only. I don't see the point in paying for both.
Do you have a housekeeper? Yeah, right.
What style do you decorate in? Mismatched?
Do you like solid colors or prints in furniture? Solid colors.
Is there a smoke detector in your home? Yes. In Vermont, when you rent out a house, it's the law that you include a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector. I'm not sure if that's the case here in N.C. too, but the house came with a smoke detector.
In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you’d grab if you only could make one quick trip? People and animals go without saying. Other things would be photos. Since the '03 fires, I keep all of our photos in one place so that I can get them all quickly. If I had enough time, I'd grab my CPU because it has a lot of pictures on it too.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
How much do reviews (good and bad) affect your choice of reading? If you see
a bad review of a book you wanted to read, do you still read it? If you see a
good review of a book you’re sure you won’t like, do you change your mind and
give the book a try?
Good reviews can make me more enthusiastic to read a book if I'm already interested in reading it. Bad reviews don't really affect my reading choices at all. Mostly, I listen to what other friends, family, and bloggers are saying about books rather than reviews in newspapers and places like that. In my experience, reviews are very hit or miss with me. For instance, Terry Pratchett's Disc World series has gotten excellent reviews over the years. I, however, didn't really care too much for the first one. Water for Elephants had glowing reviews as well. I was reluctant to read it because it sounded weird but I listened to recommendations from other people, read it, and loved it. Then there have been books that had only gotten mediocre reviews that I really enjoyed. Bottom line: I decide for myself what I'm going to like, dislike, read, or ignore.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Okay. I can see the theory behind the policy. This is to encourage parents to get their kids to school and to increase the school's attendance records. I get it. However, my youngest daughter had a doctor's appointment last week for extensive testing. Due to her appointment, she didn't get to school until 11 am. I called the office because I had forgotten to get a note from the doc and wanted to see if it was okay to bring her in without the note and to bring the note in at a later date. The lady who answered the phone said that was fine but she was going to be counted absent for the whole day anyway. I didn't know how to answer. I wanted to say, "So, it's not worth my time to drop her off so that she can be educated for the four hours left in the instructional day?" School hours are from 8:10 am to 3:10 pm. Sometimes this school makes me feel like I'm inconveniencing them by bringing my kids to be taught there.
So, actually, I have two beefs: The policy itself and the way the school admin makes me feel. When I first read about the new policy at the beginning of the school year, I thought it was a little weird but now that I realize how it's going to affect us, especially since my daughter has another appointment this week and will be counted absent that day as well, it just makes me mad. Am I being unreasonable?
Monday, January 14, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
This week was National Delurking Week. Being that it's Friday, the week is over but feel free to pop out and leave a comment if you'd like.
Yesterday, I typed up this HUGE post on our recent house hunting endeavor and decided not to post it. Suffice it to say, I looked at this house yesterday that was...not for us. It didn't have a master bedroom and the kitchen linoleum looked like a package of highlighter pens had exploded all over it. It also smelled like dog even though they don't allow dogs inside. Whatever. Even if we do decide to go ahead and move, it won't be until March because the Mister has an event happening in February that won't allow him to help with the packing and moving. One of the worst feelings is not feeling at home in your home and I've felt like that for almost a year now.
Did you all hear about the "breaking news" of the missing Marine here in N.C.? It's weird when your little corner of the world is on national news. The search is taking place in an area of Jacksonville that I am very familiar with. It was my stomping grounds when I was 16.
Anyway, along with Friday being hodgepodge day it's also cleaning day and I haven't eaten yet today either, so, I'm off. Have a great weekend.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
How did you come across your favorite author(s)? Recommended by a friend?Wow! This could be an entirely looooong post. I have so many favorite authors. Fortunately, I have a bad memory and can only remember how I came to read a few of them.
Stumbled across at a bookstore? A book given to you as a gift?
Was it love at first sight? Or did the love affair evolve over a long acquaintance?
Stephen King. The first Stephen King book that I can remember seeing was It. My mom read it as soon as it came out. Her copy of the book even had a bloody thumb print at the bottom of the pages, lol. I also remember that book scaring her sh*tless and that's how I was turned on to King. The first book of his that I read, however, was Pet Cemetery. Fun book. Also, interestingly enough, I still haven't read It. I tried once in high school and didn't get past the first couple chapters.
In high school I loved reading Christopher Pike books. LOVED THEM. I used to own every book he ever wrote. Why did I first start reading them? I liked how the covers looked in the book store. Yup. I judged a book by its cover and it was the best thing ever.
Another author whose books I judged by their covers...Julie Garwood. When I was totally into romances, I liked her books because they didn't have the schmaltzy Fabio/Love Goddess, nipples showing, heaving breasts, book covers.
Patricia Cornwell. I liked her name because it's similar to mine, lmao. How retarded is that? I also liked that she had written a ton of books so if it turned out that I liked more than just her name, there was plenty of material to keep me going.
Nora Roberts. I don't remember how or why I started reading her books. Maybe it was also because of the amount of her books that I saw sitting on the shelves. Same thing with J.D. Robb. When I read my first In Death, I didn't realize it was a series or that she and Nora Roberts were one in the same. I picked up Purity randomly off the shelf because I was looking for something new to read. Lucky me.
I think we can pretty much group the rest of the authors that I read into the word of mouth category. I get lots of recommendations from friends, other bloggers, book discussion groups, movies that were adapted from books, and news headlines. I'm like a bloodhound when it comes to books. I'm always looking for something new so I always have my nose to the floor sniffing them out and my ears open. I don't think I've ever turned a book down either, even if I've never heard of the author and the cover looks unattractive (you should see one of my new school books I just got yesterday. It is UGLY!). Every story deserves a chance.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Reason for reading: I read this book for the 1st in a Series Challenge
Days to finish: 7
As mentioned above, it took me seven days to finish this book and it was only 210 pages long. That fact, in and of itself, should be an easy indicator of whether or not I enjoyed this book.
Don’t get me wrong. It was a very well written book. Pratchett invented an entire world with unique cities, landscapes, and people. He also used elements of mythology to round out his universe. My problem with the book was that I just didn’t care about the characters. Rincewind, Twoflower, Hrun, Luggage, and the others didn’t hold my interest. It was easy to put down the book and find other things to do with my time. Surprisingly enough, I plan on reading the next book or two of the series. I was recently told that the series gets better and I really wanted to like it so I’m giving it another chance.
My favorite character was the Luggage. Pratchett displays his talent by being able to give a piece of luggage personality. It was funny and the Luggage was tenacious. You had to love it.
I also found similar elements in The Color of Magic and the Harry Potter series. Whether or not Pratchett and Rowling used the same references or Rowling was a fan of the Disc World series and incorporated parts of it into her own series, I don’t know. I’d be interested to find out though and plan on doing some research to assuage my curiosity.
In conclusion, if I were to rate this book (I don’t currently have my own rating system) I’d give it 2 ½ stars out of 5. The series has potential but so far, it isn’t interesting to me.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
I'm currently in the middle of The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett. I wanted so much to love this book but I've been reading it for six days and I'm only a little more than halfway done. It's a short book that I should've had read in a couple hours. It's not horrible but I don't care about the characters. I suppose if you want to see the silver lining, it's the first in a series about about 30 books so I won't adding to my TBR pile. ;)
Okay. I have a confession to make. It's January 7th and I still haven't taken down my Christmas decorations. At least I don't turn them on though, lol. My Christmas tree is mostly naked. I only need to take the lights and garland off. I've also taken all the window clings out of the windows. The outside decorations and lights are still out though. It's lazy and pathetic, I know. I'm usually really good about it but this year I just don't care all that much. I'm going to finish it today and tomorrow while the weather is really nice. It's a good excuse to be outside, right?
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Last week we talked about the books you liked best from 2007. So this week, what with it being a new year, and all, we’re looking forward….
What new books are you looking forward to most in 2008? Something new being published this year? Something you got as a gift for the holidays? Anything in particular that you’re planning to read in 2008 that you’re looking forward to? A classic, or maybe a best-seller from 2007 that you’re waiting to appear in paperback?
This is a post that could go on and on. There are so many books that I'm looking forward to reading this year. One, Brother Odd by Dean Koontz, I already finished. Another, The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett, I'm currently in the middle of reading. Aside from those, I'll list my top ten at this point. This is a list that will change throughout the year because I can't possibly be aware of all the books coming out this year. Also, these are not in any order.
- Any of the In Death books that will be published this year.
- The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlam
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- Guilty Pleasures graphic novel by L.K.H.
- The Cider House Rules by John Irving
- The second and third Dexter books.
- The Appeal by John Grisham
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory
- War and Peace by Tolstoy
War and Peace I would like to finish this year. I started it last year but it's a slow go for me. I keep putting it aside for other books but I really want to finish it. These are all books that are on my reading challenge lists. I'm looking forward to reading all of those books this year.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Day one of the challenges and I've got my first book checked off. This has served to bolster my confidence that I'll be able to successfully complete all three challenges in which I've chosen to participate.
Brother Odd by Dean Koontz
Published 2006 by Bantam Dell
Reason for reading: 2008 TBR Challenge and because I've always planned on reading the last book.
This is the third and final book in the Odd Thomas series. Out of all the series that I've read, this would make it in my top ten. I have absolutely loved and enjoyed each book.
Odd Thomas seems to be an unlikely hero. He is constantly reminding the reader of his inadequacies and fallacies. Odd has an odd name, he's "only" a fry cook, he's "only" 21, and as Odd said himself, "I don't know anything." I think Koontz chooses to portray Odd in this manner to demonstrate a sharp contrast; to show the reader the wondrousness that is Odd Thomas. Odd clearly shows his wisdom and selflessness many times throughout all three novels but especially in Brother Odd when Odd is faced with the challenge of protecting challenged children from an unknown evil.
My favorite part about the series is the company that Odd keeps. Elvis Presley often visits him in ghostly form. While that may seem worthy of an eye roll, Koontz makes it work without it being over the top.
My favorite passages from Brother Odd are:
"Life you can evade; death you cannot."
And in referring to a disfigured child who had been made fun of by other children:
"In this world where too many are willing to see only the light that is visible,never the Light Invisible, we have a daily darkness that is night, and we
encounter another darkness from time to time that is death, the deaths of those
we love, but the third and most constant darkness that is with us every day, at
all hours of every day, is the darkness of the mind, the pettiness and meanness
and hatred, which we have invited into ourselves, and which we pay out with
These are not the words of someone who knows nothing.