Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Challenge

I found this challenge while EC dropping. See. Good things can come from this. Anyway, it sounded interesting and fun and I like the badge, lol, so I’m gonna do it. The list of books is from Entertainment Weekly’s list “The New Classics”. Here’s the deets from the host Lost in a Good Story:

New Classics Challenge

1) Copy the list (which I have pasted here, just in case that link ever disappears) and bold the titles that you have already read.
2) Choose at least 6 other books from the list , read and review them between 1 August 2008 and 31 January 2009.
2) Come back here and post links to your reviews.
3) In January 2009, cast your vote for which one of the 100 books on the list is your favorite (and write a post on why). The winning book will be sent to a lucky winner chosen by the scientific method favored here in the blogosphere, i.e. names in a hat. Other contests are very probable too, I have some ideas, but they need planning.
4) Have fun! :-)

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
4. The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)
22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
31. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)
32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)
47. World's Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)
51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
98. The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

Turns out that I haven’t read any more books from this list than I have from a “traditional” list of classics, lol. Oh well.

My picks for this challenge are as follows:

Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)

Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)

Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)

Naked, David Sedaris (1997)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)

My alternates:

Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)

Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)

Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)

If you aren’t already involved in more than enough reading challenges, you should join me. I like company. :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Finally. A Productive Day.

I got my inspection sticker today so I’m legal, heheh. After that, I ran some errands. Actually, to be honest, I was on the hunt for BSG season 2.0 but I couldn’t find it at Target and didn’t feel like going to WalMart so I’m outta luck for now. Target had season 2.5 and 3 but not 2.0. Disappointing.

While I was out, I stopped at the grocery store for dinner and picked up a deli salad for lunch. I should’ve looked at the salad closer because the lettuce was brown-ish on the bottom and nasty. I picked out the cucumbers and threw the rest away. Even the tomatoes were mushy. Then, I forgot to get any side dishes for dinner so I’m going to have to go out again sometime today. I don’t want to either. It’s hot today. Real hot with a heat index of 102. On days like those you just want to say in your a/c.

I also forgot to tell you all about our trip to Pier 1 over the weekend. I wanted to go in because they’re having big sales and I wanted some decorative stuff for the new house. While we were browsing, the Mister snagged some dried flowers which knocked over some vases and one shattered on the floor. It was SO funny. He usually tries to blame stuff like that on me but I was in the next aisle so he couldn’t blame me this time, lol. He claimed that the flowers jumped out at him. The sales people were really nice about it and said that they’d put it in their records that an employee broke it so we didn’t have to pay for it. I did end up buying another box of dishes that I already have so I have a complete setting and two vases.

In other news, I got another award from Pam at 30something. It's a really sweet award with a nice story behind it that you should go read at Memoirs of a Mommy.

Sharing the love

The rules: SHARE THE LOVE!!! Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog. **All I ask, is that you include a link to this post with the award and ask your recipient to do the same**

So, I'm going to share this with Arlene and Dana because they always leave nice and funny comments on my blog.

Now I'm off to do some work. Lots of work actually. No rest for the wicked.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Most Unproductive Day

I attempted to be productive. I really did.

I took my car in to have the oil changed and to get a state inspection done. My inspection sticker expires on the 31st. I called ahead to make sure they could fit in all of that in one visit and the guy assured me that they could. I had the Mister meet me there so that I didn’t have to sit in the shop for an hour twiddling my thumbs. We had lunch, ran an errand, and headed back after about an hour or so to pick up my car. The guy tells me that he’s only charging me for the oil change because they couldn’t get their diagnostic computer to link up with Raleigh for the inspection part. I have to go back Friday to pay for the inspection and get my sticker. Hopefully, I don’t get pulled over on the way for an expired sticker, lol. And hopefully they get their computer working right by then too. The only time I’ve ever been pulled over was for an invalid inspection sticker in Vermont so it makes me nervous.

I spent the rest of the afternoon doing nothing. Well, I read some work e-mails and composed replies in my head but haven’t typed them up yet, lol. I’m tired. I’m in an insomnia cycle worrying about the kids and moving and my new work project. I have a feeling that I’m forgetting to worry about something else too and that’s bugging me as well. I’ll chill out in a few weeks.

And I have a picture to share. Remember how I raved about Revlon’s ColorStay nail polish a while back? Well this picture is of my nails five days after I painted them and after I cleaned my bathroom, packed some boxes, and cleaned out the shed in our backyard. If this isn’t staying power, I don’t know what is:


I hope you can tell from this picture that I don’t have any chips and they are still shiny. I tried to zoom in closer but my camera wouldn’t focus.

That’s that for today.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quiet Weekend

We didn’t do much this weekend. With it being our last weekend alone without the kids, you would think that we would have taken advantage of it but we didn’t.

Friday night, nothing.

Saturday, we cleaned out the shed in our backyard and hauled a bunch of our old moving boxes to the recycling center. I saved the ones that weren’t damaged so that I could use them to pack. After that, we were so tired that we didn’t do anything else. We didn’t even eat dinner until 10 o’clock. We stayed up until 1 am watching the first season of The Shield on DVD.

Today we went to take another look at the new house. I got a picture of the outside but since the owners weren’t home, we couldn’t take inside pictures.


Your regular, run of the mill, house. The yard is MUCH greener than ours, lol. Hopefully we can keep it that way. And notice the lack of pine trees.

After that we finished watching the first season of The Shield. Then we went to Morehead City to buy the second season of The Shield, heheh, the first season of BSG, and the Mister bought some football game for the Wii. We also had to go to PetSmart to get the dogs food. While we were there we bought a Boxer coffee mug. On it, it didn’t have one single Boxer with docked ears. That’s different because Boxers are more recognizable with docked ears even though I think that’s incredibly mean.

I’m also gearing up to start a new project for my job this week. It’s pretty involved so I’ll be getting more hours which is nice. Also, since we decided that we couldn’t turn down the reenlistment bonus which means there’s no longer a rush, I am cutting back on my classes. I’m only taking two classes versus three and four per semester now. It was really hard keeping up with that many when I wasn’t working. I have a cousin who graduated from Ohio State University in three years. I have ABSOLUTELY NO idea how she managed that.

Anyway, that’s my weekend in a nutshell.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Blog Award

Amateur de Livre nominated me for this award. It’s my first award so I’m pretty surprised and happy about it. Thanks Amateur!!

Blog Award

This award comes with guidelines as follows:

1. Put the logo on your blog.

2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3. Nominate at least seven other blogs.

4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.

5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

One and two are done now for my nominations which makes me totally nervous and they are in no particular order whatsoever.

1. Jennifer at Tropical Fruit

2. Pam at 30something

3. Wendy at Musings of a Bookish Kitty

4. Josette at Books Love Me!

5. Monkey Toe Momma at Donna Reed in Blue Jeans

6. Softdrink at Fizzy Thoughts

7. Liz at Habit Blog

Gosh! That was hard. I read so many great blogs. I tried to pick ones that hadn’t already been nominated for this award.

I picked Jennifer because she has persevered with her blogging despite giganto obstacles in her real life.

I picked Pam because I totally enjoy reading her blog. She always has fun things to post.

I picked Wendy because she is such a great writer and her book reviews are amazing.

I picked Josette because we both like memes, heheh, and her blog is fun to read.

I picked Monkey because reading about her mom escapades are fun. I also really like her blog template, lol.

I picked Softdrink because I enjoy seeing her photographs, she likes memes and books, and her blog is just fun for me.

I picked Liz because I think she is totally brave for posting her spending habits for the entire blogging world to read. I’ve also learned a few shopping tips from her as well as meal ideas.

See a theme? I like fun blogs, lol. It was really hard limiting myself to just seven but I wasn’t going to list all 95 blogs that I subscribe to, lol, so I made myself stop at seven.

So Far

My day so far:

  • I got up at 4 something this morning with the Mister and checked my e-mail.
  • I went back to bed at 7 something and woke up to my alarm at 9:30. Yeah. It’s late morning but you try going on two hours sleep and see how you make it through the day.
  • 9:30 to 10 I checked my e-mail again, posted on RA, and read news headlines online.
  • 10 – 10:30 I had a phone conference with my supervisor about a new project that I’m beginning next week.
  • 10:30 – 12:30 I cleaned some more. Cleaning is such an endless chore. I ate brunch somewhere in there and talked to the youngest child on the phone. Then I relaxed for a bit on the sofa.
  • I accepted a delivery from the FedEx guy.
  • 12:30 – 1 I did my time on the elliptical machine.

That brings us to the present where I’m typing up a blog entry while I stop sweating so that I can take a shower. I have the glass guy coming to fix the back door (I know. FINALLY!!) at 3:00.

The rest of the day is going to consist of work, dinner, and then who knows what. Probably cleaning and/or packing. Fun and exciting, right?

Oh. And I thought of another good thing about moving. The new house doesn’t have ANY pine trees in the yard. No more pine needles!!! Yay!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Enter Post Title Here

My BTT answer this week would be “nope” so I’m skipping it again. Sorry.

Did I mention that we have a date for when the girls are coming home? My m-i-l and her husband are bringing them home on Aug 1. The Mister and I would have been  happy to have them home two or three weeks ago but since this is saving us a trip to Ohio, we’re not complaining. I miss the little buggers though. Yes, they’re loud, messy, and they can be snotty but I miss having them around. I could totally use some hugs from my girls.

This could quite possibly be the last time they take this trip by themselves. The oldest child is 12 and she didn’t really want to go this year. It’s not that she didn’t want to spend time with her family it’s just that she wanted to spend the summer with her friends. She’s at that age. And the youngest child won’t go without her sister so this could be the last year. I don’t mind. Added to the fact that they’re getting too old, the girls in Ohio=drama from the family. Every year, it never fails. A certain faction stirred up some muck which is eventually going to hit the fan because I can’t and won’t let it go. But, whatever. I seriously think my family comes with more than it’s share of drama compared to other families. I know everyone thinks that, but I think mine would take home the trophy in this competition.

Today, in moving news, I cleaned my bathroom. When the girls went to Ohio, I took over their bathroom and left the master bath to the Mister. I LOVE having a bathroom all to my very own self. It is absotively dreamy. As a result of my absence, the master bath looked like a war had taken place in it. It’s nice, shiny, and smells good now though.

Now I’m getting ready to head to the grocery store. Again. With not having kids, we have no food in the house at all. I go to the store five or six times a week for dinner and lunch stuff. I haven’t eaten yet today because there is NOTHING in my house to eat, lmao. I’m pretty starved so I’m off.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Big News

I just found out today that we’re moving. A buddy that the Mister works with is getting transferred to San Diego next month and he just found out two weeks ago which is no time to sell his house. He asked if we wanted to move in and after much debate and discussion we decided to go for it. His house is new so his utilities are less than ours. He’s letting us move in with no deposit or pet fee. The oldest child will be in the same school district. We’re not sure what we’re going to do about the youngest child yet. He has city trash so no more TRASH STICKERS!! Yay!! His kitchen is huge and all the appliances work correctly. It’s a 3 bed two bath with a 400 sqft FROG which is going to be our office/work out space. We’ve never had dedicated office space before. They also have a fenced in backyard and the house is on a cul-de-sac. I’ll get pictures and post them when I can.

This is the first time in the 13 years we’ve been together that we’re moving into a house because we want to and not because we have to. It’s a nice feeling.

The only down thing about it besides the physical part of moving itself is that I’m really going to miss our next door neighbors. They are so sweet and treat our kids like their own grandkids which is nice for mine since their own grandparents live so far away. That's the first time I've ever said that too, lol. I've never liked my neighbors before. When you live in either a) the ghetto or b) base housing with a bunch of young 20-somethings, neighbors can be a PITA. In Vermont, I didn't mind my neighbors but we weren't friendly either. We all kept to ourselves. I can keep my fingers crossed that our new neighbors will be great though, right?

So, for the next few weeks you're probably going to get a lot of packing updates because we move in a month. I went out today and bought a bunch of cleaning supplies and packing stuff to get started. I've already got a box of books packed. Not bad for day one, lol. My landlord is going to be bringing people through to show our house and I'm really not looking forward to that at all. I hate the thought of strangers in my personal space but what can ya do.

So, I'm off for lunch and then cleaning and more packing. Toodles.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I am my most content when my daily life is routine. Work is good, school is good, the Mister’s work is good, the kids are doing good in school, there’s nothing going on with the rest of the family, life is good. (This usually coincides with not having talked with anyone in our families for a week or longer.) The occasional bits of drama can stir things up and maybe even add a little excitement, but if I had my choice, I’d choose plain and boring. For the most part, drama gives me headaches, insomnia, and raises my blood pressure. I can tell because my hands and feet swell up. This can’t possibly be good for one’s health, right? Remember my TV drama from last week…My hands and feet were so swollen that day that I couldn’t make a fist and I could barely walk. I consciously decided not to let it bother me so much. It is, after all, only a TV.

I also think that the word “family” should be synonymous with the word “drama”. Even in “normal” families (and I have no idea what normal would be) drama happens. Families have many different personalities within them so drama is pretty much inevitable.

Friends can come with drama too, either their own or from their friends and family. I think this is why I tend to distance myself from people. I have enough drama in my own family and I can’t get rid of them so I keep other people at arm’s length. NONE of my closest friends live within a days drive of me. Their drama comes via their blogs or the phone. I actually don’t mind this. It reminds me that there are people out there with more drama than me and crazier families than my own. ;) The only “friend” that I have here in N.C. I pushed away and haven’t spoken to in over a month. This person is NOT happy unless they have at least three sources of drama in their life and they like to share the pain with everyone around them. I think this is unhealthy and it stresses me out badly.

The Mister hates drama even more than I do. I think it’s because of his feelings that he sometimes recognizes it when I don’t. He is my rock in more ways than one. He is the best judge of people that I know. He’s only been wrong about one person in the 13 years that I’ve known him. It’s like a sixth sense with him.

I've also learned that no matter how far away you live from certain sources of drama that it's never far enough. It's too easy to phone, text, Plurk, Pownce, Twitter, blog, or e-mail your drama to other people these days.

Certain other people crave drama. If they don’t have any drama in their life, they create it. I think it can even be an addiction. I wonder if drama addicts recognize this addiction within themselves. Maybe some do and like the drama so much that they don’t care that it can be toxic. They feed off of it. I’m sure drama probably raises endorphin levels or some such thing in some people. It makes them feel good or powerful and in control of some aspect of their life.

I wish I had tips for avoiding drama altogether but drama=life and life=drama. Although, maybe something like wine or Demerol or something like that could make you not care about the drama but then that could turn into a whole new addiction. ;)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Had To Share

This is funny.

We have ants, both inside and outside. It’s a way of life down here. We have fire ants outside and the tiny little black ants inside. Good thing it’s not the other way around, right?  Anyway, I got up this morning and found them swarming in the sink that I bleached before I went to bed last night for just this reason. What attracted them, I don’t know. In my zest to drown them, I turned on the water and attempted to pull out the sprayer. Well, the sprayer hose keeps getting caught on a pipe under the sink so I yanked on it real hard and sprayed myself in the head, lmao. If I had ants in my hair, I killed them.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

First Storm

We’re getting ready for the first tropical storm of the season. This one is supposed to have a very minor impact so I’m not worried or anything. The Mister and I worked hard to get stuff done in the yard before the rain moved in. It was weird because when we went outside it was misting like someone was watering the yard next door and the wind was blowing mist into our yard. It stopped after only a few seconds and the sun never went away. Anyway, the Mister got the yard mowed while I push broomed our driveway. I have a long driveway and MANY pine needles. It was not fun and it’s 88 with a heat index of 96 which made it even less fun. But our yard looks pretty good now. We’re also going to treat the MANY fire ant hills in our front yard. It’s weird because we didn’t have a single one last year but this year our front yard looks like a battle ground. Our next project is to clean out our two outside storage sheds so that we can actually put stuff into them. That’s going to have to wait until next weekend because we’re pooped today and the Mister has overnight duty tomorrow. Here’s a picture of the storm clouds rolling in:


And here’s a pic of our cars sitting in our nice clean driveway:


That’s it for today. I need a shower in the worst way and I think the hot water should be back. Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Finding My Inner Wino

I enjoy the occasional glass of wine. I’m not a wine aficionado by any means. Not even close. I’m more like an accidental wine clown. I like what I like and labels mean very little to me. I don’t have the palette or nose to ever become a connoisseur. I really like watching the Podcast Wine Library TV because Gary makes wine fun and accessible to the average person. I’ve learned a little too.

The last time the Mister and I went to Olive Garden for dinner the waitress asked if we’d like to try the wine she was offering. We did and it was way too dry for my tastes. She asked if I preferred red or white and I told her white and she brought us a Riesling which I have always wanted to try. I really liked it. It was a Chateau Ste. Michelle wine. We went out the next day to hunt up a bottle for ourselves. Turns out that was easier said than done because Chateau Ste. Michelle has several Rieslings and I didn’t know which one we had been served. We ended up at our favorite wine store and I asked the very knowledgeable sales person for a recommendation. She found us a bottle of Cold Creek reserve which is a Chateau Ste. Michelle label. We haven’t tried it yet because I feel like we should save it for a special occasion. Then again, we hardly celebrate anything so when would that ever happen. This whole thing led to me perusing Gary’s recommendations for Rieslings and I ended up ordering three bottles from his website and they arrived yesterday. Check it out:


Left to right:  1) The Cold Creek bottle I got from our wine store 2)Herman Wiemer Semi Dry Riesling 3) Icardi Barbera D'asti Tabarin 4)Lis Neris Pinot Grigio

I got the Riesling for obvious reasons. The Barbera I got because the Mister likes Chianti and Gary said that he prefers Barbera wine to Chianti so I thought it’d be fun to try it out. I got the Pinot Grigio because it’s my favorite of all wines.

I’ve also decided to start saving my empty bottles and corks. Why? Because I saw this shot on Weeds where Nancy was getting ready to take a bath. Surrounding her tub were wine bottles and I really liked how it looked. Now, I just need a tub where I could do that, lol. Here’s some of my empties:


The Riesling on the left was pretty good. Not as good as the Chateau Ste. Michelle but tasty. The Merlot was from Thanksgiving. We had Merlot with our turkey on the recommendation of Emeril Lagasse. I was a bit skeptical but surprisingly, it went well with dinner. The Pinot Grigio was recommended by our wine store person. He told us not to be afraid of a twist cap instead of a cork, lol. It was a good wine. The Chianti we bought with the the other two Rieslings from our wine store. It was a full bodied wine and was a good compliment to our ribeyes but not a favorite of mine. Like I said, I prefer white wines.

The Mister said I’m becoming a wino, lol. Considering that these four bottles of wine make up 9 months worth of wine consumption, I’m not worried. Although, I have bought six bottles in the last week, heheh. Oh well. I’ll take my chances.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It’s a Meme Day.

After yesterday’s rant (I had a really rough day), I decided to post some meme’s that I had saved to draft. They’re light, easy, and totally benign. Feel free to steal them for your own blog.

Scroll down the page for three different meme’s.


I stole this from Take 5 Tuesday which isn’t a meme that I actually participate in so I’m not linking and I’m not using the meme to get hits.


5 things you collect.

  • Books
  • Giraffes
  • Pets
  • More books
  • Dust
5 things about your hair.
  • It needs a cut and color in the worst way right now.
  • I hate my natural color.
  • I have one gray hair that I know of.
  • I prefer it to be a nice shade of blonde but hate the upkeep.
  • I like the texture.
5 random things about your pets.
  • Hannah was named after Muhammad Ali’s daughter.
  • Hannah escaped out of the yard again yesterday. I think that makes 4 or 5 times now.
  • This is horrible, but Bailey is my favorite.
  • The thought of my dogs being bred disturbs me. They’re innocents, lol.
  • Buddy (my rat) isn’t as nice as Snickers, my first rat.
5 things in your junk drawer.
  • Scissors
  • Dog meds
  • Trash stickers (No, we don’t decorate our trash cans. This is how we pay for our trash in this weird town.)
  • Batteries
  • Various types of writing utensils
5 of your favorite summer foods.
  • Anything grilled
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Melons
  • Garden grown tomatoes

Musical Meme

1. Open your music library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod, whatever)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question below, type the song that’s playing
5. New question — press the next button
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool

*Opening credits: Universally Speaking by RHCP

* Waking up: It’s Been a While by Staind

* First day at school: Praise Chorus by Jimmy Eat World

* Falling in love: Down by Social Burn

* Breaking up: Alone I Break by Korn

* Prom: Same Girl by Jack Johnson

* Life’s okay: Movies by Ashanti

* Mental breakdown: Can’t Stop by RHCP

* Driving: To the Moon and Back by Savage Garden

* Flashback: Weapon of Choice by Fat Boy Slim

* Getting back together: Malibu by Hole

* Wedding: Lonestar by Norah Jones

* Birth of child: Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park

* Final battle: Ain’t it Funny by Jennifer Lopez

* Death scene: Red Blooded Woman by Kylie Minogue

* End credits: The Unforgiven by Metallica

Another Bookish Meme

I found this meme at Josette’s again who got it from SF Signal.

Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?
I like all three.

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
Hardback looks nicer and I do read them but I prefer paperback because they’re easier to read in bed.

Heinlein or Asimov?
I’ve never read books by either author but since I’ve heard of Asimov, I’ll go with him.

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
You all should know the answer to this one. Barnes and Noble

Hitchhiker or Discworld?
I’ve read the first Discworld and didn’t care all that much for it. Haven’t read Hitchhiker yet though.

Bookmark or Dogear?
Definitely a bookmark if I need anything at all. I can usually just open a book to where I left off.

Magazine: Asimov's Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?
I’ve never even heard of these.

Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?
Neither. I group by author on my shelves but they’re not in alpha order.

Keep, Throw Away or Sell?
Keep. I trade books that I really didn’t like at my used bookstore.

Year's Best Science Fiction series (edited by Gardner Dozois) or Years Best SF series (edited by David G. Hartwell)?
Um. No idea on this one. Sorry.

Keep dustjacket or toss it?

Read with dustjacket or remove it?
I take it off while I’m reading the book to keep it nice and put it back on when I’m done.

Short story or novel?
Novels. I like being drawn into a story for the long haul.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Harry Potter.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
It could be either. If I’m really tired, I’ll just stop.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?
Dark and stormy

Buy or Borrow?
Buy. I tend to forget to return things.

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?
Browsing mostly but I also go with reviews or recommendations from friends and bloggers.

Lewis or Tolkien?
Tolkien. Definitely.

Hard SF or Space Opera?
Don’t really know on this one either. I don’t read a lot of SF and I don’t know what would qualify as Space Opera.

Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?

Hugo or Nebula?
Doesn’t matter.

Golden Age SF or New Wave SF?
No preference here either.

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?
Tidy ending

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?
All day reading.

Standalone or Series?
I love reading a series when I love the series of any genre of book. I really don’t like when I read the first one of a series, Discworld for example, and don’t care for the book. It’s still in the back of my mind to read the rest anyway just to finish it out.

Urban fantasy or high fantasy?
Probably urban.

New or used?

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Probably nothing. I’m very much a popular fiction reader.

I nixed the last few questions of this meme. I couldn’t think of answers for them, heheh.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hear Me Whine

So, I’m currently, as I type, on the phone with Panasonic’s customer support. I’m on my third transfer just so you know. Anyway, we’ve been having an issue with our LCD TV for about a year now. It started out as a small yellowish blob in the lower left hand corner. That blob has spread so that the entire screen is now yellow. Of course, it’s out of warranty. It’s out of it’s extended warranty too. I got a bug up my butt today and decided to call around to some repair shops to see how much it would cost to fix it. After describing my problem to a very helpful and patient man, he told me that the PART is going to cost $1400. THE PART!!! $1400!!! I also just found out today that Panasonic was involved in a class action lawsuit having to do with the life of the projection lamps. Ours blew in less than a year, but WHATEVER.

I just disconnected with the customer support person. I gave her an earful in a very dignified voice. I didn’t cuss or yell at all. And then I told her to enjoy the few thousand we spent on the thing and hung up on her. Panasonic sucks. Their customer support sucks, their technical support department is worthless, and they purposefully design their products to breakdown directly after the warranty expires. Okay. That last part is my opinion but I’m sure it’s probably true. I’m not happy. Oh. And they design the stupid TV’s so that they only fit on certain stands that cost $314.96. They suck for that too.

I’m tired. I’m sorry. I didn’t get to sleep until 3 something and I was up again at 4:45. I went to the Harris Teeter to pick something up for dinner and forgot to get my Starbucks on the way out. I should forget about the Starbucks and have a glass of wine. I have a nice Pinot Grigio I should decant. Have I ever mentioned that I hate people?? BUT COME ON!! $1400! What a load of bull. It’s not even four years old yet.

Made Some Changes

I’m not doing the WordPress thing yet. I’m just not sure it’s for me and it seems like too much trouble for right now. Instead, I uploaded a new design. It’s really simple and I’m not sure that I like it. I prefer more color. White is hard on the eyes. Finding a three column design that I like is difficult business.

Anyway, stuff that is missing is a list of blogs that I read and a list of websites that I frequent. Blogger recently added an “add your subscription” widget that I tried out on the previous design. You may or may not have noticed. I didn't like it because my list is WAY long. I need to figure out how to add a scroll bar to it. I've done it before I just have to remember how, lol. Until I've settled on a new design, I'm not adding those lists because they take too much time. Between the two, I'd have over 100 links to add. Also, some of my clickable stuff is missing because the code didn't copy. I'm sad because I didn't make a list of what was there and I don't really remember.

With not having anything to blog about these days and my newest obsession with the design, you're all lucky I just don't dump the whole thing and crawl into a hole.

Now, I'm sleep deprived, annoyed, and starved and there's nothing to eat in my house so I'm leaving.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Time to Move?

I’ve been contemplating a move to WordPress…again. I was messing around with my blog template yesterday and accidentally deleted some code which screwed up a thing at the bottom. I’m not sure how to fix it because I don’t know what I deleted, lol. Well, that’s not exactly true. I know how to fix it, just not easily.

It’s just that I’ve been with Blogger since I started blogging back in 2003. I like that I know how to customize my blog on Blogger (with the exception of accidentally deleting code, ::snort::). I can add or delete stuff with little to no problem. I can’t really think of anything that I would complain about it about. I know. That’s a rarity for me. WordPress, on the other hand, would take some getting used to. You can’t tweak the code or change the appearance beyond WordPress’s themes unless you pay to do so. Or maybe there’s a way and I just haven’t figured it out. When I try to add my own widgets, they don’t show up or work right. It just seems to me like WordPress restricts you in order to make you either host your own blog or pay them for stuff.

I don’t know how I feel about either a) paying to have my blog hosted or b) paying WordPress to be able to customize my blog hosted by them. I feel like I’d be taking myself too seriously to pay for my blog. Now I feel like I’ve wasted way too much time thinking about this at all.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Would You Look at This???

I just took this picture minutes ago. IMG_0129

What is it? It’s a pile of dirt. Why did I take a picture of a pile of dirt??? This is what just came off of the dogs when they came in from outside and shook themselves. Dust and CRUD went everywhere. Ya think they need baths now??? SHEESH! They like to roll around in the dirt and muck under our deck because they’re special like that.

And this picture I took last night because I was disgusted and wanted to share my disgust with all my loyal blogger friends. See? I’m a generous person.


Isn’t that freaking disgusting?? I hate slugs.

Dos and Don’ts

I’ve been working for a little over a month now. My job consists mainly of researching relevant websites for a links or resource page and then asking the appropriate party if they would please include a link to the Edge Foundation on their website. It’s called link building. I couldn’t even begin to guess how many websites I’ve visited in my quest. The first couple of weeks I visited personal blogs and professional websites and organizations that had resources for ADHD. When I exhausted a preset list I was given, I moved on to .edu websites. I can tell you that I have clicked on 164 different .edu web links. In all that web surfing, I have learned a few things. First of all, I’ve learned TONS about ADHD. TONS. There is so much information out there that it’s unbelievable. I ran across a rather scary website that I thought discussed the pros and cons and gave information about ADHD medications. Turns out that it was a website for anorexics that discussed which medications were the best for losing weight. I was disturbed.

Next I came to discover what should and should not be included on websites, especially professional websites. Granted, this is just my personal opinion, but as someone who is visiting websites for the express purpose of evaluating them and then deeming them worthy of including our link, I’ve become a discerning browser. I’ve compiled a list. These mostly apply to universities and colleges or professional websites but some would apply to personal blogs and such:

  1. Include the name of your website and/or the institution you are from on EVERY page. I can’t count the number of times a link has taken me to a PDF or Word document and said link didn’t include the name of the college or university from which is was written. Wouldn’t you want people to know what, exactly, they are reading?
  2. Put a “contact me” or “contact us” link on your website and make it an e-mail address.
  3. Make sure your contact e-mail address is valid and has a large storage capacity if you don’t check it on a regular basis. I’ve had a few e-mails bounce back because mailboxes were full. It’s a missed opportunity for us both and a waste of my time.
  4. Use spell check. I was at a certain website that was authored by a Ph.D. that had spelling and grammar mistakes on it. It makes a person wonder where they got their degree.
  5. If you are a professional website and have a “contact me” link, leave your first and last name so that the person writing knows how to address their e-mail. “Dear Ms. So and So” sounds much better than “Dear Webmaster”.
  6. Another e-mail issue:  Use an auto response if you are going to be out of your office. It’s a nice courtesy.
  7. Pop ups are an absolute NO NO!! Pop ups, even if they’re relevant and valid, remind people of spam and viruses and they’re inconvenient. I was browsing blogs tonight and someone had a pop up that locked up my browser and forced me to restart my computer. It could have been malicious or it could have just been incompatible with my browser. I don’t know but I’ll never go back to find out.
  8. Have a search field on your website or a site map or both.
  9. Don’t be online in any capacity at all if you can’t figure out how e-mail works. That may sound a bit harsh, but man! If you don’t know how to read, compose, and send e-mail but you have a website that includes a “contact me” e-mail link it makes you look incredibly dumb.

I think that’s about it. Basically, if you have a website or blog that you use to provide specific information to people, you should be as professional about it as you can. Don’t call your website, “Information About ADHD” and then have entries that talk about porn. Not kidding. Wow!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

And The Curse Continues

Remember our cursed car? Well, we had an interesting near miss last night. We were driving home from Jacksonville around 8 o’clock. It’s pretty dark here that time of night but it was still a little daylight out. I was on my cell taking with my m-i-l when I looked up and saw this back car coming straight at us. Some fool in a black Mustang with NO headlights on was passing a car with way too little room. The Mister had to hit the brakes fast and hard enough to make the tires squeal. The car that was being passed slowed down too or we would have been in a head on collision. That’s the closest I’ve ever come to peeing myself out of terror. I had an instantaneous headache afterwards too. That Mustang was close enough to us that I could make out the horse and grill pattern on his front end. Highway 17 is a menace. I can’t count all the times I’ve seen cars try to pass other cars on that road with near disastrous results. Going the other direction to Greenville on 17, we actually saw a fatal car accident.

Anyway, back to the cursed car…I forgot to mention another near miss a couple weeks ago that we had in the Scion when the Mister and I were on the way home from Harris Teeter. We had a green light and the Mister was turning left through the intersection when he noticed a car coming that should have been stopping for the red but wasn’t even slowing down. Instead of turning, he had to hit the gas and go straight through the intersection into the parking lot across the street. That was a heart stopper too.

I’m really beginning to think that this car might actually be cursed and that we’re not just being paranoid, lol.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Classics Meme

I got this one from Josette’s again. She must like memes as much as I do.

What is the best classic you were “forced” to read in school (and why)?
I liked reading Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies in high school. I also liked A Separate Peace and Huckleberry Finn. I still have those book, the actual ones I read in high school with the exception of Lord of the Flies, on my book shelf, lol. Why? Because the stories were interesting and I cared about what happened to the characters. Also, the language was easy to read. They weren’t Shakespeare.
What was the worst classic you were forced to endure (and why)?
The Scarlet Letter. I HATED that book. That was pure torture. Hated. YUCK! Why? Because it was freaking boring. Maybe I should try rereading it as an adult. I might have a different opinion.
Which classic should every student be required to read (and why)?
I have no idea. What makes any book better than another?

Which classic should be put to rest immediately (and why)?
I would say The Scarlet Letter because I think capital punishment in schools should be outlawed.
**Bonus** Why do you think certain books become “classics”?
Who knows? Probably because somewhere along the way, some self-important blowhard said that a book was wonderful and it became an instant classic. Also, I think books that have controversial themes become classic because of all the attention said themes garnered. Personally, in my quest to read more “classic” novels, I’ve come to realize that the term is overused and overrated.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

This Is What Happens When I’m Bored

I stole this from Colleen.

A is for age. 31.
B is for Burger of Choice. I like the ones I make with shredded Gruyere cheese, worcestershire sauce, onions, and chopped jalapeño peppers mixed in.

C is for Car. We have a Scion TC, a Rav 4, and Kawasaki Vulcan.
D is for daughters. I am one and I have two.
E is for essential item you use every day. Toilet paper. Yup. I use it every day.
F is for favorite tv show. I can’t pick just one. Weeds, The Tudors, The Big Bang Theory and three of my current top faves.
G is for groceries. We just went to the commissary for the first time in a month this week. Wowsa! That’s what happens when you don’t have kids.
H is for how often you embarrass yourself. Maybe once in a while. I can’t really think of the last time I was embarrassed because of something I did.
I is for ice cream. Ben and Jerry’s. Like I said before, one of the few good things that ever came from Vermont. Cabot cheese would be the other.
J is for juice. I likes cran-grape.
K is for kids. I gots two of them. They’s currently be in Ohio with their grandparents. 
L is for Lipstick. I wear it sometimes but I much prefer lipGLOSS. I LOVE my lipgloss. I don’t go anywhere without it. I have five in my purse right now.
M is for Mexican food. Gosh! It doesn’t get much better than Mexican food. But the best places to get it are the little dive looking places in California. YUMMO!! Is that authentic Mexican or is it still Texmex?
N is for number of piercings.I just have my ear pierced once and I hardly ever wear earrings because I’m allergic to metals. Yes. Even gold.
O is for Optometry. I wear contacts that are currently making my eyes itch. That’s not good, right?
P is for People You Were With Today. Just the hubby so far and he abandoned me in favor of riding his bike.
Q is for Quiet Time. Quiet time is for reading. If I don’t get my read on, I can be a cranky girl.

R is for Biggest Regret. I regret letting unimportant people’s opinions influence my life. I’d like to think I don’t do that anymore.

S is for sports you play. Reading should count. And Wii Sports, hehehe. Oh. It doesn’t? Well, I like to hike and I let the elliptical machine abuse me on a regular basis but that’s about it for physical activity in my life.
U is for what is unique about you. I value the truth. When I ask for an opinion, I actually want to hear what people think and not what they think I want to hear.
V is for Vegetables you Love. Roasted red potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower. I also LOVE southern style green beans.
W is for Worst Habit. Procrastination. I’m a last minute sorta person.
X is for number of x rays. umm.. I’ve had my ankle, arm, and chest x-rayed.
Y is for Yummy Food you ate today. I haven’t eaten yet today.
Z is for Zodiac Cancer. I hate that sign.

Thursday Meme

Courtesy of Booking Through Thursday:

What would you do if, all of a sudden, your favorite source of books was unavailable?

Whether it’s a local book shop, your town library, or an internet shop … what would you do if, suddenly, they were out of business? Devastatingly, and with no warning? Where would you go for books instead? What would you do? If it was a local business you would try to help out the owners? Would you just calmly start buying from some other store? Visit the library in the next town instead? Would it be devastating? Or just a blip in your reading habit?


My favorite place to buy new books is Barnes & Noble. It’s hard to imagine them going out of business or every single store burning to the ground. However, if they did I’d just shop at Amazon, Books A Million, or any of the other chain bookstores until they rebuilt. I definitely wouldn't call it devastating since there's a plethora of stores to shop for books.

I also have a used bookstore in my neighborhood that I frequent. I’d be sad if that store burnt to the ground or if they went out of business because it’s owned and operated by an older couple who are very nice and helpful. I would do whatever I could to help them clean up and maybe even rebuild if they had the heart for it. There’s another used bookstore in town called The Next Chapter that looks interesting but I have yet to check out. I'd probably start shopping there for used books.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


It’s weird how much summer changes my routines. I haven’t blogged because I don’t have anything to blog about. At all. Really. The Mister’s been home on leave all week and we’ve been hanging around the house mostly. Every time we go out we spend money on crud we don’t need so we’re trying to stay in more. And it’s been raining this week too. We’ve had more rain in the 9 days of July than we did for the entire month of June. It makes it hard to go to the beach which is my goal for the week.

The girls are currently at a cabin with their grandparents at Old Man’s Cave in Ohio. They’re fishing, hiking, and having a good time. Still no idea on when or how they’re coming home yet. The oldest child has to be home by August 14th for preschool band practice. I thought it was funny that they call it preschool when it’s for middle school kids but it takes place before school starts hence the name. Other than that, their stay in Ohio is still open ended.

See? Boring, boring, boring. The highlight of my day today? Taking the dogs for a car ride to DQ. Ho hum.

Oh. A lizard has taken up residence on my car. I wonder if I should give him a name.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

And Here We Are Again

I think North Carolina held out as long as possible before putting gas prices above $4.00. For the longest time we were at $3.99 and we’re usually either at or a little above the national average. Thursday, for the first time, gas was $4.04. Me, I say “Oh well” because gas prices are something that we’re just going to have to live with. I’m not saying that I when I drive past a gas station and see the horrendous prices that I don’t shake my head because I do. What I am saying is that I’m tired of griping about it and letting it be such a huge issue. I’m not giving up my SUV because where would my dogs ride? And I’m not just going to stay home all the time either. I’m adjusting and adding gas to my monthly budget. That was my solution. The Misters:  “I need another bike.” What did we do today?? We bought him another bike. Check it:


I likes the green. It’s like poison or venom or something. Anyway, we sat down Thursday and went over our budget and the payments are so low on the bike and it gets like 58 miles to the gallon, that we’ll save about $80.00 a month altogether. SAVE. It’s kinda hard to believe that a whole new vehicle payment will actually save us money every month but it will. That’s even figuring in gassing up the Scion and the Rav 4 every month too because groceries, the kids, and the dogs won’t all fit on a motorcycle, ya know? And he also can’t ride it during hurricanes. He rode it home from Jacksonville in the rain today, lmao. It’s about a 30 mile drive and it rained most of the way. He was so wet even his boxers were soaked. I was driving behind him laughing while sitting in the comfort of my car, rocking out to my iPod, and taking advantage of windshield wipers and a/c, heheh. It’s been about 10 months since we sold his first motorcycle and I was actually pretty surprised he lasted this long even though he was supposed to wait until he reenlisted. But, it’s a sound investment so what the hell. The really funny part? When he was paying for his jacket, reflective vest, and gloves, he paid with a credit card that was orange. He’s also wearing an orange and white striped polo shirt so he matched his credit card, lol. The check out guy said that’s really pimping when you have so many credit cards that you have one to match with each outfit. That’s not really the case, it was just a coincidence but we were all laughing just the same.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Another Meme

I got this from Josette’s and you know how I can’t resist a meme.

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?
Not really. I know that my parents and grandparents read to me from a very early age. I started reading to myself when I was four. I don’t remember not loving to read.
What are some books you read as a child?
Little Golden books when I was really little. Then I read Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume books as fast as I could get my hands on them. I also liked Nancy Drew books too.
What is your favorite genre?
At the moment, historical fiction, police procedural, and historical fiction.
Do you have a favorite novel?
Nope. There’s no way I could pick just one. Nope. No way.
Where do you usually read?
On the sofa, at the beach, or in bed.
When do you usually read?
Whenever I can. My favorite time of the day is late at night after everyone else has gone to bed.
Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?
I used to answer this question with an emphatic “NO!!” but nowadays, I’m usually in the middle of 3 or 4. I don’t know why I changed my ways. Never let it be said that I’m inflexible.
Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?
Hmm. Not really unless you’re talking about a textbook. I can often be found reading my textbooks at my computer desk. Stuff for leisure reading though, I don’t read nonfiction any differently than fiction.
Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?
I BUY!! First of all, I love owning my books and consider them my finest collection. Secondly, I don’t loan my books to anyone so I’d never dream of asking someone to loan one to me. Thirdly, 99% of the books that I check out at the library get returned late. I’m not kidding either. I’m horrible at returning things.
Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them?
I keep about 95% of the books that I buy. Sometimes, a book is such a flop to me that I’d rather trade it in at my local used bookstore for something better than have it take up prime space on my bookshelves.
If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them? Were they some of the same ones you read as a child?
My kids aren’t big readers which is something that could bring me to tears if I thought too hard about it. I have introduced my oldest child to Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume books though. She seems to like them as much as any other book. I’ve read Frog and Toad books to both of my girls as well as Little Golden Books, Disney books, Dr. Seuss books, and Where the Wild Things Are. My favorite Little Golden Book, and it’s one that I made sure had a place on my kids’ bookshelf, is The Monster at the End of This Book Starring Loveable, Furry Old Grover. I LOVED that book and my kids did too.
What are you reading now?
See  yesterday’s post.
Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list?
Not really unless you count the unread books on my challenges list. I keep a TBR pile.
What’s next?
See yesterday’s post again.
What books would you like to reread?
I love rereading the Harry Potter books and the In Death books. I’d like to reread Jane Eyre someday too.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have just a few. Alison Weir, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Patricia Cornwell, Dean Koontz, Kathy Reichs, Philippa Gregory, Janet Evanovich, Neil Gaiman, Laurell K. Hamilton, J.K. Rowling. That’s just off the top of my head.


Happy 4th of July to all my American friends, family, and blogger friends. Have a fun and safe holiday.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Cover to Cover

This post sort of goes along with Booking Through Thursday’s weekly question of “what are you reading” but I’m expanding on it to include what I have recently read and what I plan to read in the near future.

First off, I’m in the middle of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Honestly, I’ve been reading it for about a  month now, embarrassingly enough, which is why I haven’t really been talking about it. It’s my second Jane Austen book and WHEW! I wish I could get it finished. Seriously. It’s been getting rave reviews for decades and I find myself thinking that the characters are tedious and the plot thin. That’s not my final opinion though because for me, the ending is everything.

I’m still plodding through War and Peace, The Reagan Diaries, and the first Spiderwick book. In my defense, War and Peace is…Okay. I have no defense. I put it down in favor of more interesting (to me) books. Will I ever finish it? Your guess is as good as mine. The Reagan Diaries is the type of book where you can put it down and pick it back up whenever you’d like. And Spiderwick was meant to be read with my oldest child and she stopped reading it weeks ago and is now in Ohio. We’ll finish it when she gets home.

Despite actively reading Sense and Sensibility, I’ve managed to finish reading several other books recently. I’ll start at the end and work my way back.

1. Yesterday, I finished reading Odd Hours by Dean Koontz. It was a fantastic installment in the Odd Thomas series. Action, suspense, a mysterious girl, a ghost dog, and the ghost of Frank Sinatra. I loved every page of the book. Before that I read In Odd We Trust, the first graphic novel for the Odd Thomas series, which I already talked about in a previous post. However, in the back, Dean Koontz said that he sees the series being finished with six books. That means TWO more. Yay! I can’t wait to see what happens with Odd and Stormy.

2. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory. Wonderful. Truly. Until this book, I had only read about the Tudors from the main point of things; Henry VIII or the Boleyns. Katherine of Aragon was a fascinating woman and I learned a great deal about her. Turns out that she wasn’t just the queen that was pushed aside which is usually all you see in the movies and that was all you saw of her on The Tudors. I really could go on and on. I plan on reading more about her and about her parents as well. I’d rate it4 out of 5 if I had a rating system. ;)

3. Life’s a Beach by Claire Cook. This was the June read for Readers Anonymous. Wasn’t a favorite of mine. It was a light and easy read but I think it was too light. There wasn't enough conflict and what conflict there was, was annoying. Other works of Clair Cook include Must Love Dogs. I've only seen the movie, but I didn't like that either for many of the same reasons. I just don't think Clair Cook is an author for me.

4. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron. You can read what I wrote about it on a previous post. Click me.

5. Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir. This novel is the first fiction novel Weir has written. She's better known for her nonfiction works on the Tudors and other royal historical figures. You can definitely see evidence of her extensive historical knowledge in Innocent Traitor. I could actually pick out passages that she had referenced in some of her other books specifically, The Princes in the Tower. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you haven't realized it yet, I'm a fan of historical fiction, lol. I love learning as I'm reading for enjoyment. Lady Jane Grey was an interesting character. In the beginning, I felt sorry for her and her horrible childhood. Then as she becomes older and a little fanatical about religion, my sympathy for her edged back. She was so intelligent yet she wouldn't allow herself to see the other side of the argument. In the end though, you'd have to be pretty coldhearted not to feel for her and the way she was used by her own father in his plots for power. She was England's queen for 9 days, the shortest reign in its history. Yet one more historical figure that I'd like to learn more about.

There are more books that I've finished recently but I think that's more than enough for now. I'll save the rest for another day.

As for my future reads, I just got a box of books delivered from B&N yesterday. FUN!! This box included the following:

  • The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir. Weir's second fiction novel. Very excited about this one.
  • A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith.
  • The True Life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots by John Guy. It's a nonfiction biography.
  • Marie Antoinette:  The Journey by Antonia Fraser. This is a nonfiction biography as well.
  • Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund. This is a historical fiction novel about Marie Antoinette.

I also ordered seven more books from B&N yesterday. I couldn't resist. They're having a sale, lol. This next shipment will have the following:

  • The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell.
  • Anne of Green Gables #1 by L.M. Montgomery. This is for the 1st in a Series reading challenge.
  • Haunted Ground by Erin Hart.
  • Angels Fall by Nora Roberts
  • The Myth of You and Me:  A Novel of Friendship by Leah Stewart.
  • The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall
  • Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc by Loraine Despres

Other books that aren't coming from B&N that I have waiting for me are:

  • Hornet's Nest by Patricia Cornwell. This is another for the 1st in a Series Challenge.
  • The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. This is Readers Anonymous' pick for July.

If you want to know what any of them are about, look it up at B&N. I'm not your personal shopper, heheh. ;)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


The Mister finally made got in at the hospital this morning. I can’t get him to answer his phone to find out what they said so I don’t  know yet. I’m guessing that they gave him Motrin, told him to drink lots of water, and put him on light duty for a few days. That’s the Navy doctors cure all prescription for everything. I’ll update later and we’ll see how close I came.

We got some good news/bad news yesterday. How deeply do I delve into my personal life on my blog? Hmm. See, the Mister has 10 1/2 years in the Marine Corps. He can retire after 20. At the end of this current enlistment, which will be October of ‘09, he’ll have 12 years in with only 8 more to go. We were all set and ready for him to get out and basically start our lives over. A lot of people said that he was an idiot for getting out at 12 years but you know, doing the same thing for 12 years and putting up with the bureaucratic nonsense gets old. Well, with the news we got yesterday, it turns out we can be bought. We have a price and it’s a  $26,000 reenlistment bonus. Would you turn down $26,000?? It’s good news because that bonus will make us debt free. It’s bad news because we really were ready to leave the military life behind and start over fresh on our own terms. Being told when and where to move gets old too. I hate that we can be bought, lmao. Really, I do.

My plan of giving Bacon a smaller food dish so that he’d stop sleeping in it backfired. Maybe you’re wondering why it’s such a big deal in the first place. I’ll tell ya. When he sleeps,  he pees and poos which gets in his food which becomes DISGUSTING and I have to throw it away and wash his bowl. It’s a waste of food, time, and it’s not healthy. Look how he shoves his fat butt into the too-small-bowl.


I’m not sure how I’m going to solve this problem.

Well, I just got off the phone with the Mister and I was only partially right. They did give him Motrin but they also gave him a muscle relaxer. They sent him for x-rays and he has to make an appointment with a chiropractor. He took the muscle relaxer about an hour ago and he was completely goofy on the phone, lol. He was giggling and trying to convince me that the doctor said that buying a motorcycle would be good for his back because of the vibrations. WHATever.

I’m off. I’m almost finished reading Odd Hours. It’s GOOD!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Birthday and Other Stuff

I ended up being pleasantly surprised for my birthday last night. You know how I said that I went shopping and got myself some stuff that I told the Mister could be for my birthday? Well, he got me some extras anyway. Isn’t he sweet? He got me the new Odd Thomas book and the Odd Thomas graphic novel. I read the graphic novel last night because it turns out they are REALLY fast reads. This was my first foray into the graphic novel world and it wasn’t so bad. It’s really neat being able to put faces to the characters even though Koontz said that he still doesn’t know what Odd looks like but that this depiction is pretty close. The writing takes a bit to get used to though. It’s basically a comic book, right, so the writing is a little over the top with BANG! POW! and CRUNCH! thrown in every once in a while. It was a different experience but neat all the same. I’d read more of them.

The Mister also got me Crash of the Titans for the Wii. I haven’t tried it out yet though. For telling him not to get me anything and having no idea what I wanted in the first place, he did a good job.

We’ve been having a bit of drama going on today. The Mister’s back has been hurting him since Saturday. He’s had back problems in the past due to his job and the various car accidents he’s been in but this is the worst it’s ever been. He can’t stand up straight and can barely walk. He’s tried to get into the Navy hospital on base but they keep telling him that they don’t have any available appointments. Is that not the most outrageous thing you’ve ever  heard?? He’s an active duty Marine and can’t get into the freaking Navy hospital. WTF EVER!!! This isn't the first we've seen this happen either. One of his Marines had the audacity to break his arm on a Sunday and the hospital isn't even open on Sundays. Should it even be called a hospital at this point? Anyway, I'm trying to get the Mister to go to the county hospital ER but we'll see how it goes. I'm not a happy camper about this.

To add to his bad day, some fool was driving the wrong direction in the parking lot at the hospital (where he couldn't get an appointment) and the Mister swerved to miss him and hit a parking barrier and fracked the rim on the tire. That car is a menace. We've only had it since March and it has a dent in the driver side door, scrapes and scratches on the passenger side door, sap that ate the paint, and now it has a fracked up rim. It's ridiculous. We've NEVER had this many issues with any of our cars before this one. The Mister said that he's going to start taking my car because the Scion isn't safe on base, lol. We'll see. I'm not sure I want to drive a cursed car. I bet it's because the Rav has the lemur and the Scion doesn't have a good luck charm yet.

Now I'm off to run some errands. Fun for me.