Thursday, September 29, 2005

Oh, Oh.

LOST - I'm not sure whether to call this the moment where everything changes or wait to see if the writers can keep the mystery going. Why:

1 - found the guy in the hatch and it looks like he is alone, has fake sunlight and a bunch of food stored. Yeah, there are more questions and this may pan out into a further mystery but...
2 - Jin, Mike and Sawyer are about to encounter 'the others' and that kinda demystifies them. At least in my mind. Interesting to see what comes next.

Maybe I am just worried because tonight I realized that LOST and The Amazing Race are the only shows I really care about right now. That's new for me because I normally have a TV schedule filled with shows I thought I just had to watch. Once you get a show like The West Wing (early years as I won't watch it now) that made you think. Then Alias with a female lead who kicks ass and has awesome cliffhangers. Now with LOST, it would be hard to top these kind of shows for smarts.

Okay, I have to go to bed before I totally rook my new sleeping pattern.

Just my thoughts - what did you guys think?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Book Shopping

I just got back and thought I would do a quick blog before my shows come on. The Amazing Race at 9 - woohoo!!

Liz Carlyle's One Little Sin

Tara Janzen - Crazy Hot - I have been hearing about this book forever. Even longer than I have heard how bad Whitney, My Love is ;) I think she is Glenna McReynolds and I have never read any of her books. Looking forward to it.

Lisa Kleypas - It Happened One Autumn - autobuy author even though I have never read everyone's favourite book with Derek Craven. I'm saving it for a really great treat.

Lois Grieman - Seducing a Princess - I read a book by her years ago that I really liked but it was a wholly painful read. I have never picked up another of her books and I decided it was time to step out of the box.

What I am reading right now.

Do-Over by Dorian Kelly - I love the cover of this book!

Gotta Run - my show is on in 2 minutes!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bloodsucking Fiends and Stuff

Yep, you can tell I'm trying really hard with the creativity ;)

Jay pinned my exact problem with this book. The ending.

I loved these characters. Jody and Tommy are not your average characters. They are not looking to be heroes and neither has had much luck in relationships but then, they are young. Tommy is nineteen for heaven's sake!

Okay, there are reviews at Bam's (wow, Bam finished her review and it definitely has spoilers so just read the opening if you don't like that kind of stuff) and AAR which will do better at telling you anything than I will. Except that the characters in this book are people you have met or feared you'd become. Okay, except for the vampire stuff. Quirky is definitely a good way to describe this book. Tommy is a dear and yet he would be one scary dude to live with and not in a 'boo' scary way but in a 'are you kidding me?' sort of way. I mean, you would be dead inside a week. Good thing Jody is already dead.

Another thing I really liked about this book was that none of the characters had the answers. All were messed up in their own way and they were allowed to have doubts. Their doubts alone are cause for some serious laughter. In the end, you know these people are going to be the same throughout life except, you hope they will grow. We, of course, don't get to know that.

Okay, problems. I didn't read the backblurb, that's my excuse but, c'mon. Do you need to read a back blurb to know where a story is set? First line:

"Sundown painted purple across the great Pyramid while the Emperor enjoyed a steaming whiz against a dumpster in the alley below."

Guess where we are. No one who has read the book is allowed to guess. Go to this site (use the search inside feature) and read the opening pages. Where are these people? Do you know what year it is? I figured out what city we were in at about page 32 because they finally told me! Now maybe I not traveled enough and maybe everyone knows what the Pyramid is. At first I thought it was the real pyramids but I got a grip pretty fast. Then I decided I was in Los Vegas where there is a pyramid. Yeah, I had no clue. Makes me mad when I have no reference point for where the characters are stationed on the planet! Now, you are probably wondering what rock I just crawled out from under.

Not being a great fiction reader (I only really read romances and a few others) it took me a while to get the rhythm of the author, Christopher Moore. I think there were too many assumptions made and maybe I should have paid more attention to the chapter headings, apparently they give you clues to what is about to take place. Should have used that when I got to the chapter about The Animals only, it says The Animals. By page 60, I knew where I was and who the characters were and the reading became easy.

You're probably thinking I didn't really like this book which is not true at all. I loved everything in the middle (the middle lasts up to almost the last page). There is wonderful humour in this book but I don't want to spoil it for anyone so I'll quote one of my fav. line of description ever!

"The clothes jumped and played and dived over each other like fabric dolphins. Jody sat on a folding table across from the dryer watching the show and thinking about the Emperor's warning."

Dolphins! Perfect description. I actually marked the page.

Yeah, so the book is going great and then, WAM. It ends. I swear it was like the author decided he was bored and wrote THE END. Remember I said that the characters don't know the answers? Well one of the characters gets all the answers at the end of the book. Only they are not sharing with the reader. Nope. Sorry about your luck. The end.

I waited a few hours before writing anything about this book because I wondered if it was the romance reader in me that objected to the ending. Ah, no. I don't think so.

Let's take the story of the Three Little Pigs into account. Okay, the wolf has blown down the straw house and the wood house. You know all the huffing and puffing and drama. The wolf is walking to the brick house where the third little pig lives and then you read 'the third pig thwarts him, the end'. Hmm, it doesn't quite work with this story because deductive reasoning can bring you to the solution only it turns out there was more to the story. I mean, the wolf was persistant. Maybe I'm just supposed to know what vampires really are and I never needed to know the end. Weird.

I'm glad that Jay commented on my earlier post because she mentioned that she didn't like the ending of Bloodsucking Fiends. It's good to know that I wasn't the only one who wondered what the hell was going on. Jay also mentioned a few other titles Fluke and Lamb. I'm trying to decide if I am game for them or not. I'm going to go read the blurbs.

As for the romance reader in me, she wants a sequel with the baddie having a HEA but, I don't expect that to happen. Too bad.

Oh, I'm trying to grade books now, so I'm thinking a B- and I mentioned 'stuff' in the title of the blog but I can talk about stuff later.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Going, going, g....

AAR's Katrina auction has it's final set of items coming up on Monday. You can click on the link to the left and it will bring you to a page that lists the upcoming auctions.

There's a part of me that knows these items will go for more than I can spare but, that won't stop me from trying for a few. This batch has a website package that looks phenomenal and if you are a regular visitor of AAR then you know what Comprotex is capable of. If you are not a visitor of AAR but need the services of a website designer and host then you may just find the opportunity you have been looking for at this special auction that benefits the American Red Cross.

Now, if that doesn't float your boat, then go and look at the books!! Oh, the books!! The generosity of these authors is overwhelming and inspires all of us to do what we can to help. Even if you are not a romance reader, getting a signed set of romance books for the romance reader in your family would be a terrific gift. Trust me. Give a signed batch of books as a gift for Christmas and there will be tears. Tears I tell you. Okay, I would tear up but c'mon, a complete set of signed books by the author. Gold. Man, I wish my husband read my blog! Wait...

I know Oprah doesn't need any help from me but in case you haven't heard, she has donated 10 million dollars of her own money to build new homes with the support of Habitat for Humanity. You can help by shopping!! You can go to this site and buy something for one of the homes. A toaster, bedding, an entire kitchen - well, go and check it out if you are still looking for something to do. What you should know is that every penny, *every penny* goes to the people who need it. Oprah covers all administrative costs and that is very important to me. There are many excellent charities out there and the Red Cross is definitely one of them but knowing that the money you are sending is not being used for something other than what you wanted is comforting.

Okay, enough for now. Still too much going on for me to sit and read. I told Bob tonight that reading was the number one priority for me tomorrow. It was supposed to happen today but a few rooms got the best of me and I had to get stuff put away. My husband has decided (okay, I have helped) that our second bedroom is a dumping ground for everything. This is the room the computer is in and it can be distracting as hell to have 3 baskets of clean laundry on the bed waiting for sorting. I mean, really, it's a good thing there is only two of us. I considered taking a before and after shot of the room but embarrassment got the best of me.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Quick, Quick, Quick

I'm up past my new bedtime so I wanted to post real quick.

First, INXS has decided to remain the so called rock group they are and asked JD to join their group. It was a great moment and I was happy for JD because he had tears in his eyes and all that. All I know, is they are playing music like they did in the 80's and I'm not sure that is all the rage now. If Mark Burnett is half as smart as I think he is he will have Marty in a recording studio before you can say Rockstar.

Second - LOST - yum. My only problem was the night scenes. I don't know what kind of camera they are using but for half the show I couldn't figure out what I was looking at because they were filming in the dead of night. Oh, I forgot how funny Hurley is - love him. Yikes, another thing, the opening scene where you thought someone was stuck in a time warp - did you see the new whirlpool washer/dryer set in the scene. I was watching the opening and thinking that it was a flashback until I saw the washer/dryer which looked like the new ones out right now so then I thought it was ... well, damn, I don't really know what I thought. I'm just confused.

Third - I watched Martha and as much as I like her (damn, she looks good though and her daughter is very pretty), I'm over the whole apprentice thing. My husband isn't so I imagine I will be stuck watching Trump.

Fourth - I watched Invasion which was horrible. Horrible. Waste of my time. Damn, just going to the link will show you how much this show sucks wind. Sonofabitch, it was Threshold I wanted to watch - Sept 16th premiere - crap - I wonder if they will replay the premiere?

Fifth - Holy Lord, have you seen the category 5 hurricane they are tracking to hit Galveston Texas. I'm praying like I did for the plane that landed safely (Thank God) in LA tonight. I hope and pray that officials in Texas have learned a lesson from Katrina and are doing everything they can to get the elderly, sick and those without transportation out of the city. I don't believe it will flood (I'm not sure about that) but still, houses will disappear.

Dang, I wanted to leave off on a good note but I am starting to see double. Oh, I have no plans tomorrow except to make a nice dinner and clean. In between that I will be sitting on my duff and reading Bloodsucking Fiends. I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't understand the opening pages because I didn't know where the story was set. Heck, I couldn't tell if it was historical or contemporary and no, I try not to read back blurbs so I go into a story blind. Blind I was but I finally got through the opening scene and am now to the part where the heroine is on the bus. Already, she is making me laugh and I would soooo, being thinking about how I would need time off of work. Wait, it looks like I'm healing. Tough sh*t, I'm still taking time off work ;)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Settling In

All I know is that I have done a complete 180 on my sleep schedule. Gonna have to change this blog to daylight musings ;) I don't think it will last but I don't want to create stress about it.

The last time I had myself on *real* time I fell down our ceramic tiled stairs just as I was closing up the house for the night. I had been on real time for about a month and a half and was just getting used to the rhythm. Several firemen, an ambulance ride, a neck brace from hell and a 3am visit from the ER doc later, I was allowed to go to sleep. The ER was so busy that I slept in a hallway on my gurney but I didn't complain as I was just glad to get the neck brace off. It was so painful. Thus began my fall into the night mode again and I've never really tried hard to change it back.

This phase came after 3 straight days of sleeping for about 14 hours. I would wake up exhausted, sit up and watch some TV and then fall back into bed. Sat. I was up from 11pm Friday night and was still going at 4pm Sat afternoon. Sunday morning hit and I was up at 8am. Once Bob realized I was going to be up for the day he played hookie and we went and visited friends. I figured that was that but no, Monday I woke up at 11am and stayed up until 12:30pm. This morning I woke up at 9:30am and I haven't laid down once today. (I laid down on Sunday and Monday but I couldn't sleep and would feel really nauseous when I got up). Tomorrow I meet my best friend for lunch at 1pm so I just want to stay normal until then. If everything falls apart after that I can cope.

Daylight savings time is another hitch that can spin my sleep out of control. This year I asked for a SAD light because I knew I wasn't getting enough sun in the winter. Bob bought me one for Christmas and I think it saved my bacon. Last winter was brutal to everyone and would have been worse if I hadn't had that light.

This year I want it to be different. Last year Bob and I got so sick for Christmas and it lasted into March for me. I changed my diet quite drastically after getting so sick (nothing like believing you're on your death bed and making deals with God) and this year I plan on an apple a day to help keep everything at bay. I have also become more compulsive about washing my hands. My best friend has a 2 year old and brings out the wipes before we eat (we're usually out shopping), I no longer have to ask if I can have one - she gives me one automatically.

After suffering from pneumonia for the month of January I finally got back on my feet and went to a bookstore to spend my Christmas gift certificates. I am positive that the next infection that I got was from using the keyboard on the store computer. I was so mad at myself but now, I am careful and will wash my hands after being in the bookstore. Yep, I know but seriously, I thought I was dying. It was one of the hardest winters ever!

I need to buy a purse (I never carry one) so that I can tote my hand sanitizer with me this year. I don't want anything bulky but last year I left my sanitizer in the car and it burst from freezing.

Remember me telling you about how my train of thought can jump tracks. I have no idea how we got to where we are ;)

Anyways, tonight Rockstar INXS is on at 10pm and it the finale. I love Marty but I'm not sure he would do well in INXS. He would probably do great on his own. I don't like Mig and well, JD is just weird. I'm also going to watch Navy NCIS ( the only CIS show I will watch) and House. I will flip back and forth between INXS and Inked (I love this show) since I don't stay up late I won't be able to watch it when it repeats. Looks like I'll have to figure out the VCR again.

LOST tomorrow night. Can't even think straight for the joy!!

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Blame Game

Maili's post over at Book Banter had me nodding my head vigorously in agreement. What people don't seem to understand is how having children can be a make it or break it situation for a marriage. You don't go in telling your fiance that you want to have children when you really don't have any wish to.

Maili was talking about Renee Zellweger and the supposed reason for Jennifer Anniston's break up. I saw Oprah today and Anniston was on the show and Oprah asked her if she wanted children and she answered yes, yes I really do. I have to leave it at that. The reasons behind her divorce are no ones business except for her and her ex-husband's.

What Maili found upsetting was how many people were willing to blame the women for the loss of their marriage. On the comments I mentioned that I never really thought in blame when I hear of a couple I really like, getting a divorce. I have to imagine that there has been a break down in communications that has led to a divorce.

Maili also made a point that a reader once attacked her for not having children when she was married. I can't even believe that there are people out there that are so obtuse but then, I have had some stupid stuff said to me.

For example, best friends of Bob who were good friends with Bob and Sue (Sue and I are very good friends now and Bob and I are her and her husband's legal guardians for their kids) and knew that for 10 years of their marriage they did everything they could to have children to the point that it became only one of the reasons the marriage fell apart.

Now, I am there and it has been three years of marriage and we haven't had a baby and I say something about it just not being meant to be. This woman says, 'I believe if someone really wants a child, then they will have one'. I was so stunned by the stupidity of this statement that I never really thought to talk to her about anything even remotely personal because this woman lived in her own world.

Hey, Bob and I could have children but did I really want to have another man's baby? How would Bob feel towards the child? We went to an open call for people who were considering adopting. What shocked me was how naive I was about where these children came from. These children were wards of the court and had been taken away from their parents. All I could think was that the child's parents could change their lives completely and come back and ask for their children back. I know that I would never be strong enough for that so we didn't pursue it. I think these variables create their own types of problems that could just as easily end in divorce.

It makes my head hurt to see the way children are being raised today but at least, I'm not the cause of the problem ;) Bob and I cannot have children and I know I wanted at least 6 kids. Bob had always wanted children but by the time he hit 40 he was sure he was too old.

Anyways, for 3 years I watched myself get into deeper depressions when my period showed up. Finally, I decided that I needed to mourn the fact that we were not going to have children. I stopped keeping track of my period so that if I am late, I don't have a clue and my hopes don't skyrocket.

There were a few years where the pain was at the surface but, I decided I was not going to let the fact that we couldn't have children define our lives. Bob and I have a great life and as I have said to Bob, I can be with my soulmate and childless or with a man who I don't love the way I love Bob and have children. Hey, I figure I got lucky in love and now that I am 35, I'm thinking that maybe God knows me better than I know myself because having a child looks like really hard work!! Rock on you mothers out there!!

What I find hard in this day and age is meeting with others in a social setting. I can't tell you the number of times the first question people ask is if you have children. I guess most people do so it is a bonding experience. Bob has dealt with this for much longer than I have and I usually just so no but then Bob will smile, shrug and say 'I just shoot blanks'. I told him once that it doesn't matter what the problem is, we should just tell people no, we don't have children and if they ask we can just say we didn't want any. Bob says no, that's not true. I just don't like seeing him feel like he has to explain to people why we don't have kids. Now, I just say no, you? That usually gets the other person going.

Here's a hint to those of you who have had children. If you meet someone who couldn't have children, telling them that you once didn't want them either but you had a weak moment and ended up pregnant will not endear you to me. One lady went on and on about how she should have never had a child but there was not one moment during the night that she didn't tell us something wonderful about her now *adult* son. It was clear to me that this woman defined herself by her son so saying she never wanted him was just so not true or right for that matter.

Lord I could go on but I need to hit the bed. Hey, it almost 12:30am and I need my new beauty rest. Hey, I guess I could wake up tomorrow and continue on this rant but, I really shouldn't ;)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Get This!

Do nocturnal animals (awww, maybe I was a cute little hedgehog in a previous life) come out in the daylight? Well, today one did ;)

Nobody, including myself can figure out what is going on with me. I was up at 8 am this morning and have been up all day. I am about to head off to bed. What has been nice about this change is that I am not anxious.

Daylight makes me anxious because I feel like I have to be doing something, or be somewhere. In reality, I don't have to race out of bed and shower and dress in the first half hour I'm awake. I learned this a while back when I showed up at my friend's door at 8 in the morning. I think it was 2 hours before she and the kids were showered and out of their jammies. Made me realize that daylight did not have to mean rushing.

So this morning I'm up and make an early post and I was going to read and just relax. Bob comes home from the reno site because he knew I was up so we went and visited my best friends and went to open houses that we couldn't afford. We then came home and got in the pool - in Canada, in September!

I e-mailed my friends thanking them for entertaining us today on such short notice. I told them that today was one of my favourite days ever. Hey, I was *this-close* to buying my dream home and was with Bob and my best friends - it doesn't get much better than that! Ah well, maybe one day. I'm glad Bob played hookie. I think today he realized just how much we have missed because he has been working two jobs. We'll see what the next few months bring.

So it's almost midnight, normally my midday but I'm going to head to bed and see if I can sleep. If not, I'm not going to stress about it. I seem to have nailed some sort of zen feeling for the past two days. I'm really liking this and good news, I didn't burst into flames when the sunlight hit me!

P.S. If you haven't visited Suisan's blog yet, go over and see how one distinguishes grey from gray. And Suisan, you can take whatever you need! Maybe a blog on a new pet hedgehog?! I so want one but I have enough critters to take care of.

P.P.S. Goodnight - for real! Signing off midnight, central time (yeah, I think we're central).


Bob left for the reno house for the day and I left Bloodsucking Fiends in the car. Ooops.

So keeping in the TBR theme I have Stardoc by S.L. Viehl and Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold. I think Bujold (lots of info but not visually friendly) even though I am pretty sure Viehl (I can't find an official site, only her blog) may have been in the TBR pile longer.

I heard a lot of love for Miles Vorkosigan and his parents book starts it all. Hmm, according to a timeline there is a book that pre-dates it but, I don't think I am worried about it. I went to a timeline page which created some spoilers - yikes! - I won't link to it in case others haven't read it either.

So, any thoughts? I also have Kushiel's Dart in the TBR pile but, it looks daunting. (Has to be like 800 pgs or something)

Gonna go get breakfast so I think I'll take Bujold for now, I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

On A Completely Different Note

Any other Canadians having problems remembering which words we put our 'our's in?

What about Attourney? And when do you use center vs. centre? Theater vs Theatre? blue vs bleu - yep, french as the second language makes things interesting ;)

It's getting to the point where I am putting 'our's in the wrong spots - probably, so I am letting that crappy spell checker change everything.

I thought I was supposed to get wiser as I age.

My New Find

I am going through my new cable box of shows and they have this thing call TMN on Demand. Quite frankly, I'm not into paying even more for movies and shows so I don't buy anything. There is, however, free programming on TMN.

My new show is called Huff and I wish all the episodes were up so that I could watch more. So far only episodes 2 to 6 are available. I should mention that I have always enjoyed Hank Azaria and Oliver Platt (he's Canadian! how do I miss this stuff?) so it is super to have both in one show. It's not them so much as what the show is about. There are a few story lines interweaving and it makes for some poignant moments.

Azaria (wow, wikipedia has him) plays Huff a very successful psychiatrist who runs into trouble when a 15 year old client kills himself in his office. I didn't get to see this episode and guess it's the first. He has a genius (?) for a son and a wife who is smart, independent and family orientated. Finally, a marriage in a drama that is not shaky. At least, not as yet and I can't imagine that coming up. Huff, his wife and his son seem to be the grounded characters in the show.

Platt (hmm, encyclopedia, cool) plays Russell, Huff's best friend who is an attorney and an abuser of drugs and alcohol. He is just starting to spin out of control but it is not as desperate as other HBO or Showtime Shows have made it out. Platt is really a buffoon and he is a happy drunk/drug addict. I'm looking forward to seeing where his character goes from here.

Blythe Danner is also in this show and is Huff's uptight mother who lives in the guest house. The episode I watched tonight was just wonderful and Danner (wiki link) was brilliant. Like I said, I wish more of the episodes were available already!

This is the problem with being Canadian. Can't get HBO until the shows are practically cancelled, Showtime won't even let me onto their site. Here, click this link and let me know if it works for you (It should say sorry, you suck - okay not really but it does say Sorry). Somehow they know I am Canadian - bastards. Oh, and my cable company charges me an arm and a leg for the programming I have. Deadwood? Don't have a clue but it showed up a few times a couple of months ago but I don't think I am the only one who would like to start from episode one.

This is why I wish *all* TV was television on demand. I think that's what TiVo is but again, not in Canada. Wouldn't it be nice to sit and watch a show you really want to watch whenever it's convenient to you? I would love to see a whole bunch of HGTV shows and even pick out shows from previous years.

Yep, I can see I am heading into rant mode. I am getting annoyed at having the *option* to buy a series on DVD. Okay, I don't even know if I would like Deadwood and dropping 90 bucks to find out is not the way I want to go and for some stupid reason Blockbuster is not going to rent it out. Hey, you want to see Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman? No? Me neither but Blockbuster has it available for rent! (Note to those who loved DQMW, I enjoyed it also but I would like to rent a few shows that are more current - but then, why do I have to rent them on top of paying for cable?)

The other show I am watching on my TMN Demand is Stargate Atlantis (crap, I just saw the note that says only 1/2 the second season will be shown and then the rest in January - that blows!) because I really am a Sci-fi geek and I like the characters in this one. I used to follow SG-1 but being a shipper makes it hard to follow a show that you know isn't going to pay off. Just found out Richard Dean Anderson isn't even coming back for the next season - can't blame him just, why continue? It must have a following I don't know about (like many things ;)) and somehow with all the programming changes I think I missed an entire season or two.

Wow, bitch, bitch, bitch! Don't even get me started on why my ABC channel on one TV gets a picture but no sound. This is guaranteed to piss me off when Alias and Lost come back on. I was giving the cable company time to figure it out - four months should have been plenty of time! I don't know why but for some reason only one channel showed Lost and Alias (holy crap, spoiler alert on this page - my eyes!) last year and for some reason it played 5 minutes behind so I would consistently lose the last five minutes of the shows. Talk about pissed.

Okay, end scene.

Sorry, hope I didn't scare anyone.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Finally! A Keeper

I started Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking for Keishon's TBR challenge. She suggested that I keep the book until October when it's paranormal month. Since I have a ton of paranormal in the TBR pile I decided to keep reading. I'm pretty sure this book would be from the fantasy genre but, I found it in the straight fiction area. Whatever. I'm just glad I finally read it!

Main character Rachel is a runner for Inderland Security. Basically, there was a plague caused by bio-engineering tomatoes that wiped out a good portion of the human population. At this vulnerable point human's discovered that there really were such things as vamps, weres and witches (and a whole bunch of other stuff) because they were all immune to the plague. Inderland Security is basically a gov't agency that employs vamps, weres and witches etc. to catch those who are unlawfull. I'm not really sure who decides what is right and not but, what the hell, I'm in.

The beginning is slow going because let's face it, there is some serious world building going on. Also, you have to meet all the characters, Ivy a living vamp (born vampire and has soul) Jenks (a pixie with a wife and brood of kids - don't worry the kids are just backdrops) and a bunch of others that have to be met and dealt with. Oh, and Rachel is a white witch - does only safe magic - no deaths needed to cast a spell.

What was so refreshing about this book is that the main character does not know everything. It was the rush I got the very first time I read Laurell K Hamilton. The feeling that you knew the character was flying by the seat of their pants and in all honesty, Rachel was flying! To the point that even the reader is thinking, 'are you nuts!?' That is the only place you could even compare LKH to Harrison. Rachel makes mistakes and doesn't have all the answers which is nice because who does? As for kick-ass, this heroine is more my speed. Someone who can take care of themselves (for the most part) and aren't taking themselves too seriously. Rachel can accept a helping hand without going all fem-acho (?).

Not only that but Harrison gives her character some humour. I was pleased to discover just how funny Rachel and Jenks could be. There's no deep eerie soul searching and thoughts of 'what am I?' although I imagine if we were in Ivy's head there would be a lot of that.

Another great thing is that I didn't notice this book was in first person. I didn't notice. I hate first person as a rule but maybe that only has to do with romances. I say that because I went into this book expecting it to be just fiction, no romance or anything so I guess I had no preconcieved notions about it.

I don't want to say too much about the plot because I hate spoilers and don't want to spoil it for someone else. Let's just say there is so much going on that I am grateful I don't have to wait for the next book in the series because it is already out!

For those who don't know my tastes, I didn't get Kelly Armstrong's Bitten but then I think I may have approached it as a romance. I just don't get the love for this author. I have not read any more books by her but I have one in the TBR pile - hello October. I also tried to read Charlaine Harris' first book and didn't get very far (I got bored). I was a huge fan of LKH until book 10 and yeah, that's about it on my trip through fiction land. Oh, I have read a Jim Butcher but, meh. I think it might have to do with the main character being male. Just can't relate.

I am such a happy camper right now and it is quarter to six in the morning and I don't know whether my crappy bookstores will have these books in stock or not! But then, it is now officially Thursday morning and there is no way Amazon or Chapters would be able to ship these books out to me by the weekend. Not that I should read these back to back. I should really read something else now, right? Still, I like to have the books in my possession so that at any time I can pick it up. Looks like I get to spend some time in the bookstores today. Ohhh, and it's payday, lucky me!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Book Buying

Tonight I went to the big bookstore. I've been wanting to go for a while but I am always wary because I am usually disappointed in the number of books I find. Just so you know, the Nora Roberts section is doing great!! Too bad I don't read her. I'm telling you the romance section at this store is huge but it is almost impossible to find those reads that you are out looking for.

Tonight I got lucky on two counts and decided to buy three other books because, hey, I was there. It's horrible when I really want to buy a bunch of books and I can't.

So, first book was Dark Lover by J. R. Ward. I have read many good things about this book and decided to go out on the edge.

Back Cover

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.
The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

I should mention that I didn't read the back cover before buying the book. I have just seen so many bloggers anticipating this book and I liked the cover. Good news is that the book does have a vampire in it ;)

Gaelen Foley's One Night of Sin was next. This book has caught my eye on more than one occassion and I don't know if that is because the cover is a muted red or the lettering is easy to read and white. I *think* I have read a Foley before but according to my book journal I haven't read any books by her in the last 3 years. I didn't keep track of my reads before that. Once again, I just bought this without reading the back cover so I'll just link to Amazon.

Finally, I bought Jessica Hall's Heat of the Moment. I was on Amazon last night and I use their recommendation button a lot to see if anything new pops up. Apparently Sabrina Jeffries is an author I should try but I have one in the TBR pile and when I started it there were 4 woman talking and I realized I just wanted to read a romance. I'm tired of the men's clubs and now the women's clubs. Enough already. Let's just start with two people and see where we go from there.

I'm a bit grouchy today, sorry. Where were we, ah yes, Heat of the Moment. I used that handy dandy 'search inside' feature to read the first few pages. Not bad so I decided to give it a try. Here's the book review from AAR. Didn't get a great grade but I was willing to step out.

I wanted to buy books tonight by authors I haven't read before. Can't say I was real successful on that front but that's because I decided I had to buy more books so I picked up two that I knew I had read before. Yep, Diana Palmer. I'm not a fan girl, honest! I just wanted to read a *good* Palmer and the ones she has published in the last few years have been scary. Of course, I could be remembering these two books as different also. We'll see.

These stories are from the Long Tall Texan books from about, geez, was it 15 years ago? Hmm, 1993 and 94 and oh, no, 1999! It says Hart Brothers on the front of the second book. Crap. I don't remember if they were any good or not. I seem to remember a Simon who was a real jerk but I could have sworn his book was also from the early 90s. I guess I'll have to decide whether or not I am going to take this one back. I'll let ya know.

I hummed and hawed over the next book and decided I wasn't ready for another experience with someone trying to re-live their life. Diva's Guide to Selling Your Soul, anyone - ughh. Anyways it was called The Funeral Planner.

Looks cute. I read the first few pages and wasn't really sure about it. Once again, after being burned by DGTSYS I wasn't really in the mood to read about someone who wasn't getting their life right. I think it may have paranormal stuff in it because it mentions on the back cover that 'death' gives her a second chance at life. Yeah, I'm out. I'll wait and see if anyone else reads and recommends it ;)

Now, on a totally selfish note I mentioned earlier how I get Amazon to give me recommendations right? Well I put my ratings in for Passion by Valdez - 5 stars and Undead and Unappreciated - 5 stars and then I ask it to re-recommend. Suddenly the new Anne Gracie book The Perfect Rake comes up for recommendation. I ask the program why it recommended this book. It showed that because I loved Passion I should love this book.

Uh, okay. I don't know if Anne Gracie has changed her style or not but Passion is quite a sexual book while the last Gracie I read had no sex at all. Seems like it is a weird choice for the program to make. I used to have a lot of success with the program but lately it is throwing all of Kleypas' and Quinn's work at me. Maybe I should say I own it all and see if anything new comes up. I like that, I think I will try and see what happens ;)

Oh, when I asked it to recommend up coming books it only recommended 2 and then it said it had no more recommendations! You've got to be kidding me. Of course, it seems to echo how I have been feeling about the up coming book lists. Nothing is really catching my eye and none of my usual authors have books coming out so I don't really have much to look forward too.

Good thing I have a huge TBR pile!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Some Good News

Watching CNN this morning it has come about that they have backed off the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. I truly believe they had no choice. People have freedoms (much the same in Canada, Thank God) that I think should allow them to live were they wish as long as they don't bring any harm to others. If these people have been fully apprised of the dangers of staying in the city and they chose to stay then that is their right. I told my family that if it was me, I would evacuate to a shelter on the outer edge of the city and I would be the first to ask for a job to help clean up the city. Why shouldn't those who have lived in the city not get first dibs on the jobs that will be coming into the city. Building, cleaning streets etc. They have a right to be part of the building process.

Two, the Houston Astrodome is slowly losing residents to temporary houses which is wonderful.

Three, Just found out that one of the Catholic Schools in Biloxi (I believe) had little damage and is safe for the children to come back. They just need housing for teachers, bus drivers, etc. It's just happy news that when the people come back, the schools are getting ready for them.

I watched a Lt. Gen. Honore take control of a situation that had no leaders. Apparently he is not allowed to 'order' the municipal or state government to do anything but he is strongly advising them and it looks like both the mayor and the governor are taking this man and his expertise seriously. I believe it was because of Honore that the Dome and Convention centre were finally evacuated. This man clearly had a plan of action and was not afraid to implement it. It was exhilarating to watch this man lead and show compassion to those in need. He could be seen yelling to his troops that their guns are to be pointed down or not held at all. He was openly cheered for his stance.

Also, they are saying that the New Orleans may be dry in 30 days. Much better than the 6 months they were predicting. Also, today on the news I saw lights of a hotel off in the distance because generators were now up and running. I'm just glad that the evacuees are finally getting the help, honor and respect that they diserve. (Except from those who are supposed to be intelligent people - how anyone could say that they are in better conditions than they were before the store shows an immense lack of compassion or understanding. I could surmise that she meant something else entirely but I figure the Lady should be able to speak for herself without coming across as an elitist.) Anyways, all around, I am feeling better knowing that the people have not been forgotten. I am planning to bid in the AAR Aid Auction and am in serious bidding in Larissa Ione's Auction. Hopefully, every little bit helps.

I just wanted to say that I have heard people talking about how people move with their lives and forget that these people will be in need for a while. I don't know if that is truly the case. I know myself that as Christmas comes up we are going to donate to the Red Cross again. It would be nice to find a family to sponsor for Christmas but maybe I am thinking way too far ahead. Anyways, just wanted to share some of the good news finally coming out.

Way Off Topic

This one is going to come from left field.

As a side note there are some gruesome facts in this blog about rulers and their children and how some of them were assassinated. If you don't want to get upset, don't read. You know what, I'm going to see if I can ink out the most gruesome one.

I watched the Oliver Stone movie Alexander and was somewhat shocked by the lives the Greeks seemed to live. Now, I should mention that I studied history in university and actually have an honours degree. Simply put, we never discussed the sex/love lives of the people we were studying. We definitely studied Socrates and Plato and were supposed to read the Iliad and the Odyssey (yeah, I didn't have time so I skimmed them and still didn't have a clue what was going on). We discussed the class systems and the surprisely modern engineering that they had for water their cities. Wait, that could be Rome (yep, it was)...I tell you, I was never good at long term memory. Study for a test and remembered everything but ask me a year later and I had no clue what you were talking about. Makes a person feel stupid I tell you.

So needless to say we studied the bright side of history. The achievements and successes and even the rulers but we didn't really dwell on the darker sides of human nature.

Watching the film Alexander brought back some of the historical biographies I have watched and even some of the mysteries I remember from being a student. I watched Caligula there about a year ago because I have heard about him in jokes but didn't know the history. Egads! Okay here is the part that is really sickening so if you want to read it, you click and hold your mouse key down and scan over the next two lines. If you don't want to know do nothing and keep reading. What I remember most is how the guards killed his daughter by swinging her from her legs and bashing her head against a wall. She was two years old.

What is abhorent and surprising to me is the way people in power and those who strove to be part of the power were ruthless in the attainment. Let's use Alexander (this is the wikipedia link and it says here he died of a fever - hmmm, interesting) as an example - and no, I didn't study him in school and I haven't researched him yet because I got distracted but I am coming to that.

Alexander's mother hates his father who is the ruling King. Okay, never really explained why except I think they had different heritages, whatever. Later in the film, the mother mentions Alexander's sisters (can't find any reference to them) so I imagine they had more than one child but the story is about Alex so we'll move on. Sometime when Alexander is say 8-12 years old his father starts an affair with a younger woman from his *own* heritage (I think Macedonian). The woman gets pregnant, the king marries her as his second wife and the first queen sees the danger coming. Alex seems to not think much of what is going to happen. The woman bears a son and the first queen has her husband killed by trusted people of the King. At this point Alexander leaves his home city and never comes back even though he is now King. His mother has the other wife, her son and the woman's Uncle all killed. Yeah, I'm wondering what life was like back then. Scary. I said to my dad tonight, why would any woman marry a King? Wait, there's more.

So Alex goes on his way and becomes the King of many. It's all in the movie, which was great by the way, except every once in a while the actor would widen his eyes in such a way as to make him look really creepy and crazy. Hey, maybe Alex was but again, I'll be off to google later. Meanwhile, Alex seems to like men. He definitely loves his best friend although it is never shown that they share a bed. He is shown holding his hand out to a man in another scene and the man was Babylonian (I believe). Anyways, he meets a woman and decides he wants to marry her. A common woman of no consequence and everyone is asking why. He responds he wants heirs. So he marries this woman and for years there is nothing and he starts to stay with his lovers more than her.

Fast forward, Alexander is dying and there are people hovered around his bed asking him to name his successor. Now, he has conquered many people and each have representatives there waiting for him to announce. You then see his wife at his side begging him to hang on just 3 more months so that their son will be born. (How these women knew they would have sons is beyond me but Alex's mother knew her rival would have a son and then Alex's wife figures she will have a son - she does) Anyways, he dies and there is a fight over his body. Whatever. They divided his one kingdom into four and then 13 years later they kill Alex's widow and his son - I would guess they went into hiding. They also found and killed Alex's mother so that no one of his line was left alive. Crazy-ass. Now, I think his lover and Alex were poisoned (at least that is said in the movie) so there were people who not only felt they had to kill Alex but also all those who were part of him.

This got me to thinking about the British monarchy and how treacherous they were also. Although I think maybe the Greeks and Romans may win for violence against family. Anyways, I remember the Princes in the Tower. A haunting picture of two young boys that vanished one night in the Tower of London. It is believed that their uncle had them killed or actually killed them himself and he became King Richard III. How do you kill children, your own nephews? All I know is it has been done again and again throughout history. All you have to do is remember the Russian family that was brutally butchered. Not one of the children were allowed to live - okay there is the myth of Anastasia but I am too much of a cynic to believe anyone lived. Amazing what humans are capable of.

Yeah, that is what has been on my brain for way too many days now. I'm trying to deal with a society of men who seemed stimulated more by each other than by woman, although they were necessary for a family (if you read the Wikipedia for Alexander it talks about sexuality and how homosexual and bisexual activity was not defined and that it was believed normal for men to like beauty therefore, young men). I am trying to think if I could be so ruthless if I had had children and wanted to protect them. I'm thinking if I was ever asked to marry royalty I would say thanks, but no thanks (yeah, I'm living on a hope and a prayer on that one!) because what are the odds of any of your relations actually surviving more than a hundred years! (My dad said, hey you marry your king or your killed, your choice - I see his point, glad we don't have a monarchy here in Canada - still living on a hope and a prayer ;)

So that is where my head has been at for a few days. Reading is not on my agenda and I wish I could pick a book but the reno house is coming up on paint time and I get antsy. Drywalling takes so much time and I just want to paint already.

We sold the house today which is great news but it hasn't really sunk in yet because we still have a solid months work to do over there. I told Bob he wasn't allowed to look at any more houses for a while. It's time to help out around here. He didn't listen at first. Even had me looking at homes on the internet. I can't believe he couldn't figure out that I was getting really frustrated with him. I finally told him that there was no way I was looking at any houses until the new year. That's it, I'm cooked. We are still in the reno house and he wants us to move now too? I don't think so, maybe a few months of normalcy will have him craving our home life again.

Aren't you glad you dropped by today? But then, this is why I find history so fascinating.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Humble Apology? C-

So it turns out that a book that is truly racking my nerves can suddenly pull me in and have me laughing. Yep, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan actually got better! Did it get worse before it got better, yes, yes it did and I was all set to put it down and pick up Kim Harrison's book Dead Witch Walking which I have started (and was really enjoying) but stopped in order to do Keishon's challenge.

When I sat down this morning weary and tired I picked up STM thinking it would help me get to sleep. I blew past my latest bedtime of 8am and ended up reading the book until the very end. Hello 11am! To bad it was raining. (I swear there is a conspiracy to keep me on a nocturnal schedule because lately if I stay up to see the sun, it bloody well rains!)

Once Becky hit New York the book became fun (actually Manhattan). Yes, there were many times where I was cringing and like another poster mentioned tagging along on someone else's shopping spree is not all that fab but, I just knew there was going to be a back swing. When the swing came it was great and even though most of what Becky did to get out of debt is improbable at least the author didn't throw in a rescue fantasy.

As a side note: Apparently calling someone a cow in Britain is quite shameful so I wanted to check with Maili and make sure she isn't really mad at me for the Ewan McGregor pictures. I'll take them down - really!! Maili, are you there?

I should say that I wouldn't recognize a designer anything if it bit me. Not a clue what half Becky's prattle was except that I know what Manolo Blahniks are because of Sex and The City. So I'm going to see if I can find pictures of the clothes and crap that she bought so we can see what all the fuss is about ;)

Manolo Blahnik from the Design Museum - Okay, I admit if I was thin and all that I would seriously be impressed by these strappy, fancy pieces of art. But then I came across these which I wouldn't give you ten bucks for! These which look like a 1980s flashback. And I'm sorry but these would have me rolling in the aisle at a tenth of the price. As to what I do like, these are cute but I couldn't afford them.

Okay, you can't get past a page without hitting the name Prada so let's take a look. Ooohh, these are pretty but you better have the best calves in the world! These however scare the beejeezes out of me ;) Hmm, cute bag here but look at the price, I couldn't afford it at 90% off! As to this, they are kidding right? I've seen more sophisticated bags at a local mall for under a hundred dollars. It's gotta be the name.

Ah, yes, I remember something about Miu Miu. (I can't seem to get anything on the official sites except their name and a picture - apparently they can sense the unstylish ;) - will someone let me know if they get anything more than I did, maybe there is a secret internet code I need to get in) O. M. G. Okay, not even if I am dead! Ah, pretty sure I had a purse just like this in the 80s.

Oops, I just went to look up the infamous Denny and George scarf and guess what? Kinsella made the designer up! (Last question at the bottom of the page) *sheepish wince*.

I think that's enough of looking at things I can't possibly afford but maybe I will search out a few of the other designers she mentions and look up their clothes and paste it here. For fun. Oh, alright, I'm trying not to think of the drywalling, painting, trimming and crap we have to get done in the next few weeks at the reno house and I am trying to stay away from the news channels. Hey, procrastination is the *gazing off into space* yeah, I'm out.

Just for Fun: New York City Map - The billboards on the enter are phenomenal. I think I would be overwhelmed in a ... NY minute ;) if I ever visited the city.


Candy at Smart Bitches wrote a blog called Introducing: The Dump.

She talks about how since starting their site, Candy has been doing her best to finish every book she has picked up. Apparently enough is enough and she will no longer finish books that bore her.

A couple of years back, I would have been surprised by people who felt they had to finish a book no matter what. The minute I saw on a message board with the word 'Wallbanger' I knew I was amongst friends. I remember heaving books across my bedroom in frustration back in the late 80s. I was young then and obviously full of vigor and drama. Drama I still have in spades but, I am not going to waste it by heaving a book dramatically across a room unless I have an enraptured audience. (Yeah, right)

It must be going on close to 4 years since I discovered the reading slump to end all slumps. I was sure there had to be something wrong with me. People were raving about books that I would inevitably drop 1/4 of the way through. This went on for a while until the day I picked up a book, read a paragraph and decided the book wasn't for me. WTF?

I realized at that point I was in serious trouble and I was not going to mention it to anybody because A) my friends are not readers and would have no clue what I was talking about and B) Bob would have kittens over the number of unread books in my spiffy library that he built me. Damn, I was having kittens over the books I was now afraid to touch!

So began the longest dry spell in probably any readers history. (Do share!) I mean, I was a staunch supporter of romance books and I could spend hours reading. Hours. Suddenly, I couldn't even get up the energy to read more than a page! I stopped reading. It probably lasted between a year and a half and two years. I should admit that even now, I have not been able to read as many books as I once did in a week. I'm thinking back then my average was probably 3 books a week.

What happened? I decided to start a reading journal and I had to promise myself that no matter what I was thinking of the book I had to finish it. I have slogged my way through many books but suddenly I was out of the slump. Okay, I wasn't exactly out of the slump but I was creeping my way back - I'll explain.

In the first year I kept track of reading I read *trumpets blare* 17 books. Yep, somehow I had managed to read 5 more books than there are months in a year. Hmm, this is the first time I have ever admitted this and it's not so bad. (be gentle) Believe it or not, I even voted in AAR's Reader's Favourite poll. Keep in mind that there are more categories to vote in than books I read! Didn't care. I had accomplished a year of reading and I was going to participate in the vote. Still though, I didn't tell anyone about the number of books I had read.

2004 I got out of the gate with a bang and tried to cram as much reading as I could in the cold months. I had read 8 books of which 2 were painful. Pain-a-ain-ful! Then I picked up my ninth book and finally gave myself permission to no longer read books to the end.

The book? Club Dead by Charlaine Harris. I wrote 'too sweet at the moment. Can try again later'. Uh, yeah, I haven't bothered trying again but I should admit the book is still in the house, just in case.

In turns out that I did force myself to finish other books. I notice The Surgeon by Kate Bridges and Beauty Queen by Julia London are in the journal and I remember wanting to beat the crap out of the characters. ::shrug::

End of the year 42 books read!! At least, the ones I noted down. I discovered that my record keeping is not nearly as perfect as I thought it was. I was forgetting to put books in. Also, I didn't count re-reads.

This year, I am up to 40 books read. 3 books I did not finish but there are a few I wish I hadn't finished! Oh, and I learned the power of skimming. Never done it before but with Catherine Mulvany's Run No More I discovered why it is so useful. I didn't really care about the characters and I kinda skimmed it because it was getting buzz and I was sure I was missing something. Uh, no.

Man I am long winded!! To sum up (I know), even though I tell myself I don't have to finish a book because I am better after my slump, I am still afraid it could rear it's ugly head like a disease. I finish some of my books out of fear that I will end up back where I started and I don't want to be there again! Skimming books should become a solid tool I can use to finish books that do not intrigue me but I sometimes feel like I am ruining my chance to come at the book another day with a different mood to discover it's perfection. Finally, if I am in real pain (c'mon, you've been there) I give myself the out.

Unless it is a challenge. Hence my determination to finish the Shopaholic book even if blood vessels pop in my brain.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Dude, Seriously!

I'm not complaining, honest! At least, I don't mean to complain but, good Lord!!

I have started to read Shopaholic Takes Manhattan and now I remember what it was I didn't quite nail in the first book. This chick is shallow.

S H A L L O W ! Now, maybe this character has obsessive-compulsive tendencies when it comes to material goods but that is surely never addressed in these books. Wait!

Bloody Hell *starts search of house for book to get the character's names straight and realizes the book is at the reno house* Crap!

Okay, I forgot my book at the other house but I have Amazon up for names and such. I just wanted to give you the page number I was on and I wanted to read a couple of chapters tonight. Crappity crap. Moving on!

Becky cannot have a sensible conversation with any sane person. Not only that, but even she would have to know she's crazy! The opening scene is Becky trying to pack for a mini-break (figured out this meant a weekend away - hmm, can't find the definition so I might be wrong) but she just *can't* get everything she needs into one bag. Lady, get a grip, it's an overnighter! When her roommate comes in and suggests that she pack by outfits for occasions Becky starts a list that only a maniac would write. I think it was supposed to be funny but I was left worrying about her mental health.

Then there is her roommate Suze who is supposed to be the sane character. If Becky is to be believed, Suze took over her spending in the last book and Becky is now supposed to run things by Suze. There is a need for substance in spending, do you really need the item you are buying. Hey, sounds great only Becky is pulling the wool over Suze eyes and all I can say is that by the end of this book Suze better have a serious smack-down with Becky. Hey, you want to lie and hide things from your best friend then forget it. Suze needs to find out and wash her hands of Becky - the odds of this happening...I'm not sure, I'm not nearly that far in the book ;)

Next, boyfriend Luke. I'm telling you Becky must be smokin' because I don't see the appeal. I believe they have been dating long enough for Becky to maybe come clean about a few things. For example, for this mini-vacation she decided to ship her clothes out by overnight shipping (Suze was there so I'm not sure how Becky conned her into letting her spend that kind of money), and takes the teeniest, tiniest bag that is holding only her cosmetics. Luke is struck mute (if only) and Becky gets all high and mighty. Whatever. I could understand this kind of stuff if there was an on going joke between the couple but this is there first vacation together and she pulls this kinda crap. I won't go further because I believe I have now spoiled the first 40 pages of the book for ya.

Now, I should be honest and tell you that I loved the movies Bridget Jones' Diary and uh, number 2 ;) The thing about Bridget is the audience could see she has a heart. I mean, I get awful sweaters for Christmas also and I wear them so I don't hurt people's feelings. Bridget does it for her mom. Also, as much as Bridget can get into tight corners on her own, there are others that cause her grief. (The party where the host decided to call only certain guests and tell them it was not a hooker party (sorry, I don't know what they are called), the boyfriend of a friend putting cocaine in something and Bridget getting caught. These are funny things that happen due to extraordinary circumstances.

So far Becky seems to be the butt of the joke and she is definitely her own worst enemy.

Some Fun Sites

Fashion-Era This site would be great if only all the pictures would load for me! It looks like a killer site for research

Fashion Capital Boutiques Hey, if you can afford to pay in British pound, good on ya! A bunch of designers at one site.

The Jewellery Shop Oh, look at all the pretties. Mmmyyy, pretties. Uh, sorry.

Side note: I have always been indifferent to jewellery but lately, I can't take my eyes off the stuff! Hubby says one expensive hobby is enough - he better have meant his tools because my books are not as high up on the money ladder!

Hey, if Becky can be so frickin' self absorbed then so can we ;) Oh, and since we are talking all things shallow, should I rent Shallow Grave?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Not A Good Idea

In an effort to play with Keishon and the others in the TBR Challenge for September I pulled out a few books that have been collecting dust. The challenge this month is fiction and I have to admit, I don't do fiction. Normally it's because I get bored and then any relationship can become toxic and then someone dies and I end up feeling depressed. That said, I do have fiction books in my TBR pile because I thought they may be books that 'speak' to me. Well, the book I picked definitely spoke to me and I didn't like the language it was using!

I may have mentioned that I have panic attacks - oh please, of course I have mentioned it ;) So a while back when I was still fighting my way through them I picked up a book called Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel. Let's see if I can find a quick blurb.

From Publishers Weekly

Twenty-six-year-old Wurtzel, a former critic of popular music for New York and the New Yorker, recounts in this luridly intimate memoir the 10 years of chronic, debilitating depression that preceded her treatment with Prozac in 1990. After her parents' acrimonious divorce, Wurtzel was raised by her mother on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The onset of puberty, she recalls, also marked the onset of recurrent bouts of acute depression, sending her spiraling into episodes of catatonic despair, masochism and hysterical crying.

According to the cover a movie was made but I don't remember seeing it. I may go rent it so that I can watch how it played out. By the way I absolutely love this cover. I can't tell you how many times I have lain on the ground or in bed and covered my face with my arms in just such a motion. I don't think I have done it in a while but, it was terribly comforting.

Anyways, I made it to page 41 and all I can say is Wow. I think I might still read this book but in smaller stages. Why? You ask. Because it brought everything back. The crying jags, the fears, the anxiety. I was a bundle of nerves by the end of 41 pages.

I am blessed, I truly am because I *only* have panic attacks (The panic attacks became agoraphobia which then turned into depression so I have had depression but the underlying cause were the panic attacks). Trust me, I also tried to read From Panic to Power back when I was fighting a daily battle and even though much of it resonated with me, it was too much and it created anxiety just reading it. The author however, didn't only have panic attacks but could also hear voices and I believe she may have had Obsessive-Compulsive disorder as well.

It was the same with Prozac Nation. Wurtzel does not have panic attacks (although she might reveal later in the book that she does) but, suffers from depression and I *think* she has manic-depressive traits. The medications (prozac, lithium, desipramine, desyrel) this woman is on is frightening and the questions she asks about where the depression goes was just too much. These are questions that I have also faced but, I have decided that if my meds for anxiety take 10 years off my life, at least I *lived* my life and didn't suffer from debilitating attacks of panic that kept me from leaving my house. Where it got to be too much was when she theorized that the depression had to still be there in her brain and that eventually it would find a way around the medications she was taking.

And done. Yep, don't even want to think about it.

I did read the epilogue and the afterward and Wurtzel has theorized that depression is much more prevalent than we know and that somehow it is a product of our generation. Well, you'd have to read it and let me know what you think about her theory. If anything the epilogue and afterward made me feel better but, it also highlighted how depression and the drugs that fix it were becoming a punchline. She figures that people who really need help will not seek it because of the 'bad name' the drugs have received over the years.

So, even though I though I could, I decided for right now, I can't. You ready for this? The other book I pulled from the TBR pile was The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - Yep, not even going to attempt it!

Good news, I went back to the pile and pulled out Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (whee, the reviews look like it's a winna!) which I think will count and hey, it's a comedy so no heavy stuff. Aren't you glad ;) I also have The Time Traveler's Wife in the pile and I have only heard good things but I *get* that the ending won't make me happy. Nonetheless, I may also give it a try. If not, I'll try next months' challenge. Hey, I'm gonna nail one sooner or later! Of course, I laughed my ass off when I saw that Nov. is Diana Palmer month...uh, I did that last month. *headslap*

Oh! Oh! I just saw that December is Liz Carlyle month - I'm sooo in. I have never read her but have some of her books!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Boys and Water

Okay, I am going to try and write a story about Cody (Aussie pup) and trust me, it was hilarious but it may be one of those, 'you have to be there to get it' type of stories. Or, I may suck at writing comedy.

At the time, Cody was about 2 years of age and a 75 lb bundle of energy. This energy was only slightly dimmed by the energy of Rocky, his older brother (black lab). Anything that Rocky did Cody had to follow. It was next to impossible for Bob and I to walk either dog and if Bob got too far ahead of me with Rocky, Cody would freak out in spades.

Now, Bob is considered Alpha male by both dogs but, even they know he is a complete pushover. That said, Bob would walk Rocky because Rocky had managed to pull me off my feet on too many occasions (one in a spring thaw that had me covered in muck head to toe and we had just left the car) and Bob was much stronger and fleeter of foot than I was.

Uh, yeah, that means I'm a klutz. Note to self - story about stop sign.

So I walked Cody. As much as Rocky could pull me off my feet, Cody could have me running in a dead sprint, clinging to the end of his 25' leash in a matter of seconds. It's not a great trade but, it is better than having the skin removed from most surfaces of your body while surfing tarmac.

Ooops, backstory. We have a park nearby where we let our dogs off their leashes if no one is around and play ball with them to run off their excess energy. There is a nice meandering stream that the dogs run to at a pace not to be matched by the two-footed animal. They leap in the air and splash in the water with the fury of two whirling dervishes. The water is only about a foot deep and the dogs chase each other up and down the stream until they poop each other out.

Okay, more like they play until Bob and I are pooped out. Our dogs love going to the park and when we load them in the car all hell breaks loose because they know where they are going.

Well, on a nice hot summer day Bob and I decide to take Rocky and Cody to a new park. A Conservation park. Both dogs are in training (puh-lease, Bob and I suck at it because it isn't the dog that needs training it's the people - we failed) so there I am trying to keep Cody at pace beside me. Bob, meanwhile gets way ahead of me with Rocky and Cody begins to get that crazy look in his eye. I start to dig in my heels to keep Cody from sprinting but then, I hear the splash.

Game over.

Rocky has disappeared from sight and water is obviously over the horizon. Cody bolts and to this day I don't know how I managed to keep my arm in my socket but, there I am tearing ass after him screeching to let Bob know we are right behind him. Okay, I could have been screeching in terror but at least the loud high pitched squealing sound lets Bob know we are coming and coming at a pace no man or beast is going to be able to stop.

I see Bob on the crest of this hill, waving his arms above his head like he is trying to wave Cody off. I don't see Rocky anywhere and I'm not thinking all that much except 'oh God, oh God, oh God'. I see Cody, straining at the farthest point of the 25' leash, leap into the air and throw out all his doggy legs like he is going to bear hug somebody. His floppy ears fly straight up as he disappears from sight. I am still tumbling through the high grass, rushing to the top of the hill, worried that my legs will give out and I will get dragged in Cody's wake. Bob reaches out and grabs me to keep me from barreling over the hill and I come to a halt.

Down below I just catch the tail end of Cody's magnificent swan dive which is about 10 feet below where I am standing and then, blam, he hits the water.

And disappears?

WTF? Then, in the distance I see Rocky swimming for bear and completely freaking out. Cody breaks the surface of the water and the look in his eyes say 'holy shit! Where the hell am I!?'. I start laughing my ass off as Bob tries to reel in Rocky like a fish. The dogs have just discovered that not all water is the same depth. They are in over their heads, literally. Bob and I didn't know the water was deep or we would have been a lot more careful. Rocky reaches shore first and I begin to pull on Cody's lead so he knows which way to go. Once both are safely on dry land, neither go near the water again.

We had taken them to the park to cool off in the hot weather but both of them kept well away from the edge of the water. We kept getting this side long look from Cody whenever we tried to coax him into the water again. He was so not going to trust us near this body of water!

I swear if the boys could talk we would have gotten an ear full that day. That said, the next time we went to our local park it was all Cody could do to not perfect his swan dive. I swear, these two get even a sniff of water and they're gone - oooh, another story for another time. Lord, now that I think about it, our dogs must have covered us in mud or snow head to foot at least once for every year we have had them.

Wow, you forget when they get older just what a menace they could be. Now, they are sweet old puppies but then again, I stopped trying to walk them on a leash a few years back - that's the stop sign story. We have a large enough back yard that we throw the ball back and forth for them so they can spill off some energy.

Oh, and don't even think about splitting them up. The one left behind will howl until they are hoarse. Funny though, the one that is with me is happy as a lark because they are off on their own without their shadow. Sad thing is, they are usually going to the vet when this happens.

Yeah, happy lark turns into 'are you fucking kidding me!? The vet! You brought me to the vet!'

Friday, September 02, 2005

Perky Post?

It's hard to write an upbeat post when you know what is going on in the world. That said, I know many of us have already given to the charities that we turn to when we want things done. So on that note, I'll move on. Ooops, I did leave a comment over at LLB's blog about the state of crisis so if you want to know what some of us are thinking you can go see right here. Like many others I am just frustrated by the lack of aid to the hardest hit areas and I needed to blow off some steam. Of course, Bob has been getting most of the steam ;)

As to reading, I finallly picked up a book. I decided that I would need to read something completely different from romance so that I could get distracted. Also, I wanted to be part of Keishon's TBR challenge this month. Apparently you should try to pick up one your fiction books from the TBR pile. I picked Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking (Man, I hope this counts - I'll go ask Keishon) out of the TBR pile and so far, so good. Did I mention that I am only on page 15 though? Hey, it passed the famous Candy's 15 pg test. I wish I did this with more books but, sometimes just getting a bunch of books in my hands and ringing through the cash register gives me a high. Uh, don't mention that to Bob though, alright?

I should be heading off to bed soon but I know I won't be able to walk by the TV without tuning into the news. Won't help with sleeping but I just want some good news. I want to see people cheering that they have clean water and food. Man, it can't come fast enough.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Nope, you didn't see that!

For Maili ;)

For Me ::sigh::

Remember all those times you told me to get my own blog? Aren't you glad I finally did?