Wednesday, August 31, 2005
You know how I am nocturnal? Well for some reason my body has decided it needs more sleep than normal. I woke up at about 5:30pm yesterday, went out until 7:30pm. Bobby was sleeping (which is rare - he never naps) when I got home, so I decided to crawl in with him. I woke up at 9:30pm and stayed up until midnight. Tired again I crawled back into bed and woke up a 2am but stayed in bed until 4am. It's now 6:30am and I could go back to bed (note, not work friendly but had me laughing my ass off) right now.
This does happen to me every once in a while (about every three months). I think this time it is definitely stress related. I had a rough day yesterday and once Bob figured that out he was able to calm me down. Yeah, I sometimes force him to read my mind - poor guy.
It takes a lot to get me upset and usually it's like a flash in the pan. I have never been able to sustain an anger for more than a few hours. Then it's normally because someone has underestimated me or taken me for granted. Yesterday it was definitely 'for granted' and I couldn't shake it and I was fuming for a good 12 hours. My best friend reminded me that one of the most stressful times in a marriage is when people are selling a house. I'm not so stressed about selling the house (okay, there is that) as I am that the basement at the other house is not progressing as fast as I think it should. This is not something I can really help until it's ready to paint but, it does upset me that it's not done yet. I don't think the house will sell until the basement is finished so I want to get it done pronto!
My problem? I woke up Monday feeling like I had been hit by a battering ram and I did not want to go to the other house. Not normally a problem except lately, if I don't go, no one goes. (my dad and Bob are the other two that work). I went there on Saturday night and let me tell you, Bob and I drywalled the hell out of the biggest room. When my dad found out that I had drywalled, he was all over doing it so that the next room started to come together. Um, why do I have to be doing this for someone else to suddenly decided to do it also? Anyways, drywalling has been halted because of electrical (which with my klutzy ways, I wouldn't touch even if the whole house was turned off) and strapping (which I don't know how to do). I would attempt it if it was wall but this is the ceiling and keeping my arms above my head for too long hurts like hell.
Ah, well. Hopefully I will feel more energetic soon and I can get back over there.
Reading? I tried to read Palmer's Renegade which had a copyright date or '04 or maybe '01 and it was reading like a YA book. No Thanks.
Wow, so much for this being a blog about books. That said, I think the stress keeps me from picking up books. Once the other house is complete I will probably start reading again. I really, really can't wait. If I don't pick up a book then, it will be an official slump but, I'm not calling it yet!
Hey, if you get bored, I might whine about life goals and such in the next blog. For example, you set a goal and it looks insurmountable but somehow you pull it off. Now what? Yeah, a new goal should be put together but Bob is resistant to this. We had a 10 year plan and we bloody well achieved it, in 9 years - woohoo party! Now, I think we need to come up with a new plan or dream. Bob seems to want to flounder and hum and haw. I know what is holding him back and hopefully everything will come to a head before Christmas (ooooh, the most stressful time of the year for the panic ridden me - yipee!!). Anyone else in a 'now what?' sort of place? I've learned the value of having something to strive for. Without it you kinda run amok. Once again, amok not good - at least for someone like me.
Ah, screw it. Go have some fun!
Online games at Pogo
Ohhh, haven't been here before - Shockwave
Addicting games - they have Tetris, the most addictive game ever!
Monday, August 29, 2005
Quick re-write, I just finished watching The Postman, a movie made by Kevin Costner and based on the novel by David Brin. As Maili and Sybil (Sybil got a whole new look!! Beautiful!)would say :: le sigh :: I had forgotten how long the movie was and well, now it's 7:30am and I still haven't gone to bed. I hope I get sleepy soon.
What I love about this movie is the appeal of the everyday hero and his bloody name is Gordon. That's right, Gordon. Not Brock, Lance, Gregori, Sebastian, Sin, Jake...oh, you get the idea) Someone who becomes a hero even against their own will. (visions of Han Solo, hmmm) Where was I? Right, the postman is a hero that I understand and the humour of the movie is spot on. Add to that, Will Patton as the villain and I am in movie heaven. Patton only came to my notice in Armageddon and trust me, it was hard for him to shine next to Bruce, but shine he did. On that note, if you haven't seen Remember the Titans stop reading and go rent this movie. Yeah, it looks like a sports movie but it is so much more!
I know many people list Field of Dreams as their favourite Kevin Costner movie but for me, it is a toss up between Dances with Wolves and The Postman. I would suggest the reason is I need a little romance in my movies and FOD is really about the father / son relationship and well, I'm not either of those. Still, great movie. Oh, and eye candle, Ray Liotta. Note 2: If you haven't seen Article 99 you may want to rent it just to see Ray playing a real nice guy and bonus, Keifer Sutherland and Forest Whitaker are there also. It's from '92 and it will feel dated, all the same, it was a great movie.
Fun Link: Sciflicks.com - for those of us willing to admit to our addiction. Yes, even Starship Troopers is a movie that I enjoyed. Crap. I watched SST II and was very into it also, until the end. There, you know all my secrets. Would my case be better made if I said I didn't go see these on the big screen? That in a moment of sci-fi frenzy in which there were no new movies to watch I picked up a movie that even I scoffed at? No? Just checking.
Edit: I just read a review of The Postman but I think the person was trying way to hard to come away from this movie with a message. I say, just hang out and enjoy the ride.
Okay, I am off to unwind. I wish I could tell you that I am going to pick up a book but I have cracked the whip and have put a deadline on the other house. Drywalling will be my main focus for the rest of the week, followed by painting, then....
I think I will be reading some Diana Palmers. Sorry. Oh, I know, I will list my keepers that I read in 2004 but I don't think they are very far off the beaten track.
I, however, feel like I live on the beaten track body and soul. I can't wait for the other house to be done because I have a gift certificate for a massage. Ahhhhh. Wait, no fantasizing, it's a while off yet. Yeah, boo-frickin'- hoo for me. I see another movie in my near future though!
Sunday, August 28, 2005
I must have had this movie mixed up with some depressing 80's flick because this movie is one of the best I have seen in a long time. Not only that, the 80's were really toned down. Okay, the movie was made in 1989 but, wow.
Having been a teen in the 80's I'm not all that fond of anything 80's although the music is now in my blood. I have seen Breakfast Club more times than I can count but it screamed teen '80s. Then there was Pretty in Pink, which I don't think I liked all that much except at the time.
Anyways, I just wanted to send out a thanks to those who held strong to this movie. It was fantastic. What's funny is that some of the language is still in use today. Eg. Lloyd is explaining airplane safety and Diane responds in a quick 'good to know'. Then there were some handshakes that I recognized from nowadays.
John Cusack was wonderful as an over energetic 19 year old and Ione Skye played the shy bright girl to perfection. They definitely had chemistry - great film!! ::sigh::
My favourite scene is the Kick boxing scene and the body language that they both use was just right for what was going on. Hmm, I could go on but, I'll try not to.
I also liked Grosse Pointe Blank and didn't mind High Fidelity - not so happy with Serendipity. Any other Cusack movies I should see? Was being John Malkovich any good?
I have to make up a trade wish list - it's like making up a birthday wish list. You know what you want but, everytime someone asks you can't remember.
I have to go buy about 6 cases of bottled water - they're heavy and carrying them is a bitch and again, procrastination. I finished the last bottle last night and my fridge filter needs to be changed so I'm sitting here trying not to grimace as I drink my tasteful water. Ugh.
Finish the other house. That'll take another solid 4 weeks which is seriously cutting into my reading time!! Tonight I went and learned to put up drywall so progress was made. That said, we only got the top 48" boarded in the big room. We still have 2 huge rooms ceiling and walls to do. Putting the stuff up is not so bad, it's the taping and filling that is a mighty bitch. That alone could take a solid week and that is only if Bob's arm can hold out. (He hurt it during the last job taping and filling and the doc told him to rest it or the damage would be permanent. That was one year ago so I think we are in the clear but repetitive motion is a no no.) Yeah, then there is painting, triming, hanging doors, putting in floors ... I feel faint.
On a side note there is this TV show called Property Ladder on TLC. I mean most of these people are total morons! Half of them figure screw the budget we'll just buy everything and put the price up higher on the house. Not only that, they are using granite/marble (which is very expensive in Canada) and have contractors working for them! This show tonight had these two buffoons making 197 000 dollars!!!!! They went 150 000 dollars over budget! Bob and I have decided that the California market is an entity all unto itself. You can't pull shit like that up here. Bob's worried people will see these shows and think it's easy to make big money on flipping houses. We're on our second house and we are all very tired and we do all the work ourselves because putting in a kitchen can be 20 to 30 thousand dollars. Bathrooms are always 10 thousand dollars for contractors so we are completely shocked when this show has people having a budget of 5 thousand dollars for a kitchen. With Granite!! A granite countertop for a standard 10x10 kitchen is between 8 and 10 thousand dollars up here. Yeah, and we haven't made the kind of money these people make. Hmm, jealousy rears its ugly head. Next!
This one is great. My husband no longer wants to live in the house we have been in for the 10 years of our marriage. Hey, that's great, I never wanted to move in here when we got married!
Problem, he doesn't want a mortgage. Yep, you read that right.
We did an agressive 10 year plan and got our mortgage paid off last July. Now, our house is not grand by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, that's one of the reasons my husband is ready to move on. We don't have a garage, we're in a 3 bedroom 1958 bungalow so no modern ammenitites like walk-in closets and posh bathrooms and ensuites etc and our yard is not huge but, it is bigger than the new postage size lots that come with these new mega homes (Mattamy Homes - gorgeous and the builder is conscientious - Bob's family bought one of these houses - mind you they have the parents, 3 grown men (sharing the mortgage), one with a wife and one with 2 children and believe it our not they all have their own bedrooms and a laundry room upstairs!). However, Bob wants all this and a bigger property!! Hell, he wants a separate work shop and of course a room with 10 ' ceilings and beautiful windows to house my library (ain't he a sweety for thinking of me). Still, I've yet to see anyone get something for nothing. I'm waiting for Bob to figure it out. He's not a stupid man - he's quite bright and is well paid at his day job. It's just he's not happy at his job, wants to quit and move to a better home. Hey Dorothy, time to wake up!! Course you can have it all - check out this house - separate indoor pool! We'd just have to leave all we know behind!!
Yikes, I've gone on a bitchy rant here so I will list the new movies I bought yesterday to soften the blow:
Say Anything - I keep seeing this listed as people's favourite movie and my rental place didn't have it so I decided to buy it on DVD. Oh, and the song is a classic - In Your Eyes - scroll down and you can hear a sample if you are completely boggled ;)
The Postman - Kevin Costner - one of his better films but then, I have a thing for alternate reality movies. I haven't seen it since the theatre and the copyright says 1998. I think that would be about right. My panic attacks were starting to take control and I was worried that my mind wouldn't be on the movie. Half way through the movie I was hoping it would never end. Have to see if it stands the test of time.
The Wedding Date - has a wonderful line and made me want to own a copy so it was on sale. Woohoo. The only thing that bothered me was Dermot Mulroney's voice. I couldn't figure out if he was putting it on or if his voice was always like that. I'll have to re-watch My Best Friend's Wedding to find out. The things I have to do ;)
Just Married / There's Something About Marry - I'm a bit of an Ashton Kutcher freak and this movie was fun. Hmm, I love the TV show That 70's Show and will basically see anything any of these actors do so I'm not sure if I am a Kutcher freak or if he is just making way more movies. TSAM - came in the pack and is not my kind of movie. I just don't get Ben Stiller (the hair gel scene made me gag) but my husband liked the movie so it was either 15 dollars for JM or 19 dollars for JM and TSAM. I went with the double pack.
Okay, I think that's all for now. I'm going to go change my water filter and call Dell.
Yep, I'm bringing it old school here on a Saturday night!
Friday, August 26, 2005
Bobby made it home last night but I literally kissed him and fell into bed. He's just getting up now to go into work for the morning but he is off this afternoon to take me birthday shopping. I'm gonna need to hit the bed again soon!
I was off blog hopping so I didn't do much tonight. I don't know how you all go hopping around and get a blog written!
I'm not sure what is up next for reading. I want to stay away from that other house for the weekend but I doubt I'll get my wish.
Here's the list of books that I did not finish or graded D or F for this year.
Hot and Bothered by Susan Anderson - did not finish. I found it too tame and was quickly bored. I remember the hero had a pony-tail which I can usually block out but, he even acted like a guy with a pony-tail. No, I have no idea what I mean about that but, there are some men that can pull off a tail and others who never grew up. This seemed like a wanna be kind of guy. Anyways, I should mention that many people's favorite Exposure also flopped for me in the meeting of the hero (not to mention there was a kid and then someone was speaking french and I think the hero's name was Elvis - ugh).
Carrera's Bride by Diana Palmer - OMG - a politically correct Palmer. I graded it an F. Where was the drama? The asshat hero? The heroine with a solid but bendable spine? Yetch.
The Wicked Lover by Julia Ross - uh, yeah, I read the first scene and realized I didn't have a clue what the hell happened. Apparently I am not smart enough to follow the subtle nuances of Georgian society. I have made a note that I will try again. Hey, it could happen. If anyone has read this and knows why these two characters were not ruined could you explain it to me?
Run No More by Catherine Mulvany - I rated it a D and noted that I read the first part and skimmed the last 1/2. I just didn't get that these characters were in love. I wrote, not my kind of relationship. weird. Yeah, I tell it like it is. I probably was thrown by the whole TT. I didn't see it coming and when it happened I was done. I just couldn't care for these people. I could have sworn AAR did a review but I can't find it. Over at Amazon it is receiving 5 stars as an average.
Stolen Moments by Virginia Kantra - I did not finish but I did get 3/4 of the way through. The characters were meant to be cold. I get that. There was a scene where the H/H were sitting at the kitchen table and the hero was using a blueberry or something to make funeral arrangement and such and then they talk to each other about how neither of them were the touchy feely type. Damn, wish I had known this earlier. I stopped reading at this point.
Do you want me to write up my C reads? They are books that I have finished but really wanted to put down.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Midway - because ya know I needed a break ;)
And Finally - Tada!
Yeah, it ain't gorgeous but it no longer smells. There is still a whiff of kitty but a good mopping will fix that. After this (and yes, the desk still looks like that) I jumped into the pool. 3am swim - fantastic and I think I saw another falling star - it was a flash so I'm not sure but the moon was bright and I saw Mars. Yes, it's there but, it just looks like any other star only brighter with a tinge of red. Oh, and I got an e-mail greeting card from my Aunt Wendy timed at 3:30am - yep another nocturnal wonder ;)
Bob called from Northern Quebec via a satellite phone (some fishing camp) and said that they saw the Northern Lights and the Milky Way - I'm green with envy. Also, he has been catching fish and I'm all 'so how many?' and he won't quite answer although last night he said he had caught 6. Hmmm, why won't he answer.
Me: 'You throw them back, right?'
Bob: 'Ah, no, you're not allowed'.
Me: 'So what do you do with them?'
Bob: 'I'm going to bring them home.'
Me: 'You are not bringing dead fish into this house!'
(Yeah, yeah, I wouldn't want live ones either but, I don't eat fish and I am certainly not going to clean any because you know that hasn't been done!)
Bob: 'How about your parents?'
We'll see what happens and no, I didn't say he could give them to my parents. I love them and don't want them to hate me! I still have no clue how many fish have been caught.
On another note, do you think Bob hates (and I mean, hates) going away because he misses me or because he comes home to something else being done to the house?
Damn right it's because he misses me! ;)
Oh, and I'm 35. I'm having weird feelings about the whole thing but I am blocking them fairly well. Bob is home very late tonight (probably the last few minutes of my B-day - no need to worry, we have birthday weeks around here!) and I told him not to be surprised if I burst into tears. In reality most of my friends are way older than I am and Bob is 12 years older than me so no matter what, I am forever young!!
Hmmm, I thought the extra exclamation point would make me believe ;)
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
For example, we were in HMV looking at movies when one of my friends says 'is it wrong that one of my favourite movies is Dance With Me?" And then me going, 'I loved that movie!!' Thus even more bonding. Makes you realize that you are not the only person in the world who likes things that are different.
This leads me to my new one this week. My one friend was a sci-fi fantasy reader for many years and I don't think she ever read romance. One day I decided to give her a Linda Howard book and she liked it. Lo and behold she is out at the library now picking up books without any recommendations from me! Hell, she's reading a series right now that I haven't been able to get into. She still reads outside of romance but like she said, she was vampired out.
Anyways, I decide to tell her my deep dark secret about Diana Palmer (uhm, how I love her and how I gave her books away to UBS because I thought I was over her but now, the Long Tall Texans are back and I sooo want to re-read them!) but mention to her that she should never read them. She laughs and says, I already have. My jaw hit the floor. I tell you, I love my best friends ;)
Side Note: anyone remember a Diana Palmer that had a heroine with a scar on her face? She was very shy and I remember the hero thinking nothing of her until he got to know her. I don't remember if it was from Long Tall Texans or if it was something else.
Today are B reads. That's B+ to B-.
Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas - B - absolutely wonderful except that I wished Simon and Annabelle became friendlier sooner in the story. Historical. I think this is what is being called the Wallflower series and I think those were the parts that detracted from the story also.
To Die For by Linda Howard - B+ - from heroine's point of view (which is not my fav. and why this book may not be a keeper). It took a bit to get into the story but I enjoyed it and love the hero also. I missed the man's point of view and quite frankly there is a point where a reason for something should be brought up. The reason was lame and I was pissed. Couldn't figure out why the heroine didn't make him beg a bit. Hmmm, I'm not sure I'm that good with the grading.
When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn- B+ - my first Quinn and I loved it (just thought I should mention, I usually don't feel the need to read a series in order unless the H/H are the same). I'm not good with long separations and then I thought maybe the heroine was in denial. That may not have been the case, but it was how I read it. I was delightfully surprised by the sex scenes because they are rated as warm but they read to me as hot.
Yours Until Dawn by Theresa Medieros - B - Blind hero who falls for his nurse. Twist near the end that I don't think I saw coming (can't remember looking back). There was a scene near the end that made it a bit icky for me but I wrote in the journal that the last few pages were beautiful.
Echoes by Erin Grady - B - Time-shifting story that is not a romance (at least to me). It was more of a mystery or maybe a thriller because the mystery wasn't hard to figure out. It kept me reading and I was intrigued to see how it would all work out and well...like I said, I don't classify this as a romance. If you want spoilers let me know and I will e-mail you.
A Man In A Kilt by Sandy Blair - B+ - I wrote that I thought this book was fantastic but that it needed to be fleshed out more. Again, invokes Garwood. TT. The relationship happens real fast in this story which is why it wasn't graded higher. Yeah, I think the book could have used a few more chapters.
Moon in the Water by Elizabeth Grayson - B - I loved this story and it was set on a steamboat. Absolutely refreshing. The parts I had problems with are certainly my own. I'm not patient and let me tell you, this hero was patient. I was like, c'mon already, just tell him!! Anyways, this is a great break from suspense filled romances. There were bad guys but, it was really about two people learning to love and trust and adapt.
Hello Gorgeous! by Mary Janice Davidson - B - "At first I was afraid, I was petrified..." You'll be singing that song for the rest of the day. Your welcome. It's true though, Derik's Bane made me quake in my....sandals? Even though I enjoyed the story it was the secondary romance that had me cheering. I love it when people who seem so wrong for each other fall in love and dude, the guy was evil!! Main story, they meet they fall head over heels in two nano-seconds - needs a bit more meat!
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn - B - The more I think about this story the more reason I have to dislike it so I don't know why it is graded this way. Anthony has planned to marry so and so and well, he knows he will die young. Ho-kay. I get the whole gonna die part (there is a reason why I won't fly anywhere and it started when I was 10 and no, I don't plan on getting over it) it was his resistance to what was in front of him. The chick's sister!!
The Duke of Sin by Adele Ashworth - B+ - I am probably one of the few who didn't get Winter Garden but, onwards and upwards. Story about two people on the outskirts of society finding love. I like that there were no easy answers to any of the questions in the book.
Wanting Something More by Kathy Love - B+ - hmmm, are you ready for what I wrote in my journal? Nate and Marty. Second chance for Nate. Just a love story-well done. Yeah, how does that sit with you? I think I was miffed that Nate was not who I thought he was going to be. You see him in the series and he is an ass. A real ass. So there I am, all excited to see how the author was going to pull the rabbit out of the fire (seriously) and wham, she took the easy way out. I was somewhat pissed ... okay, I was pissed for a while because this was not how I saw things going down. I'm beginning to wonder if my grading system needs work.
Breaking Point by Suzanne Brockmann - B - I refused to grade this book for a while and I still don't like grading it but I realize that is because once again, I was expecting one thing and got another. Hey, you don't sit waiting for someone's story for 4 frickin' years and not get disillusioned. I love Max and Gina. Love them! And they so deserved a better story. One that wasn't action packed and had characters coming from every nook and cranny. Just them. Damn, I'm bitter. I really thought I wasn't bitter. I suck. Oh, and to continue in my bitch-a-thon, one sex scene in the present (yeah, you'd have to read the book). C'mon! On that note, I'm thinking of giving her a rest. She's on a rest also but, I don't want to get roped into another couple and then get high hopes. Not good. Never thought I would think like that.
My next post will be on books below C which usually means I finished it with mucho reluctance to did not finish and no, I don't suffer Ds or Fs, I'm not a professional reviewer ;) That said, I think I need a grading sheet that tells me 'if there are X number of things that piss you off, then the grade is Y'. I'll work on it.
And in honour of my visit with my two best buddies and a wee two year old boy :
"In loneliness, in sickness, in confusion-the mere knowledge of friendship makes it possible to endure, even if the friend is powerless to help. It is enough that they exist."
Monday, August 22, 2005
Anyways, I thought I would take a quick glance through my meager reading list. These are books that I have read and graded or not depending on when I finished them. I have this tiny book that has 5 lines for comments but, what do you put in there - I have a horrible memory and looking back at 2004, I rated Suzanne Robinson's Lady Gallant a keeper but I don't remember a thing. At the same time, I read For My Lady's Heart by Laura Kinsale and I think I remember every scene! ::shrug:: Who knows how my brain works, I don't pretend to know.
Hot Target (oooh, the looky-lou feature is up)by Suzanne Brockmann - Cosmo and Jane were a good couple but the best part of the story was clearly Jules, Adam and Robin. I always thought I wouldn't be able to read about same sex sex and not that it has happened on screen for these characters but wowza, Jules' scenes were bloody hot. WWII stuff was played down so it didn't feel as fragmented as others have.
A Scandalous Situation by Patricia Frances Rowell (this is a round robin interview, I couldn't find a site for her)- Regency set, language was stilted but became very warm as the book progressed. Iantha is a rape victim and learns to love and trust again. What I loved about this book was that Rob (hero) and Iantha were both allowed to have fears about their future. There were plenty of times that Rob wondered if he was doing the right thing because he wasn't sure Iantha would be able to be a wife to him. Really well done.
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn - historical with two very passionate people. I did not write much and now I don't remember. I wrote that Simon stuttered as a child and was unloved until he met Daphne. Sorry, that's all I got ;)
Unexpected by Lori Foster - finally, a mercenary woman for REAL. This woman could kick-ass and take prisoners. It took a while but even the hero realized she could take him. This was wonderful for me. I don't like when the hero can take out the heroine even though she has better training and such. I liked that she was tough and enjoyed fighting. Bad news, there is a stork on the cover. Good News, there is no baby stuff until like the last chapter and even then, the baby ain't there cause she is just pregnant. (Can't be a spoiler if there is a stork on the cover right?)
Mr. Impossible (first time I have ever been to her site, I love the parchment!)by Loretta Chase - a bloody orchestra should be playing right now! This book was fantastic. Yeah, slow in the beginning because Chase had to set up the characters but by the time Daphne and Rupert arrived at Giza, I was in! There were too many wonderful moments in the story and once again, the woman has more going on here and the hero is sooo not phased by it. I've decided I like this book better than Lord of Scoundrels - easy, I'm just saying!
A Rogue in a Kilt by Sandy Blair - Lord have mercy - Maili if you are reading this, skip it. Another story that took a bit to set up but once it got going it was wonderful. Birdi is a healer and Angus finds her and keeps her. Reminded me of Garwood in the golden olden days. I also noted great humour - ohhh, especially about religion - too funny.
Night Watch by Suzanne Brockmann - apparently this book hit every note for me. Brit and Wes had an open and honest relationship. This was published in 2003 but I kept it for an emergency and since the three books before this were meh, I considered it an emergency.
Black Ice (new site design, very nice!) by Anne Stuart - I'm a fan girl, 'nuff said.
Undead and Unappreciated by Mary Janice Davidson - finally hit all the right notes. Betsy screwed up royally and had to do some serious damage control. Finally, some depth to the characters and some good sex scenes.
Passion (also looks like she has updated her site) by Lisa Valdez - I blogged about it here.
So that's it for keepers so far this year and no, not all these were published this year. I decided to just start whacking at the TBR pile and see what fell out. I'm considering doing a list of those books I hated or did not finish but then what would I say? Actually, seeing as how I made myself finish the one book that I rated a D-, I guess I have plenty to say but, let's leave this on a happy note ;)
And for some random links:
National Sleep Foundation (wonder why I would pick this?)
Holy crap, I typed keeper into Google and look at the first site I found - Aren't you glad I shared!
Ah, the five bells have just rung so off to bed with me - still not sleepy but, I'll daydream for a bit - hey, anyone else daydream - gah, I don't have time to explain, I'll see if I can elaborate more if you want next time.
Oh, won't be posting anything tomorrow - Ladies Night!! Yeah, we'll probably, order in and sit in our jammies and gossip until the two normal people fall asleep at a normal time. This computer is in the guest room so no internet for me. Guess I'll have to pass the time reading - poor me. Hope everyone has a great couple of days - it'll be 21 degrees here today - phew, the heat wave has broken!
Saturday, August 20, 2005
This leads to the state of my house. I thought for a few hours of hiring a crew to come in and clean but then I feel weird about people cleaning my stuff. I'm thinking I should get over it ;)
Both women have cat allergies so there will be the general de-furring of the house - which is not usually a big deal because they are normally only here for a few hours and we visit in the living room. Bedrooms need to be broken down and every surface needs to be cleaned. I did this a while back - Bob was all, WTF? Do you do this all the time. Uh, no. About once every 6 months I move all the furniture in the bedrooms to clean and about once every 2 months the living room/dining room furniture gets moved so the floors can be washed properly. Normally this wouldn't be such a problem and I would be on top of stuff but because of the work I have been doing at the other house, let's just say things have begun to get lax over here.
Bless the ladies' hearts, they said not to worry about cleaning because they wouldn't know what to do in a clean environment. Course, I don't want them catching the plague, which I am sure is lurking somewhere in the mess of this house. The good news is that I have tagged the husband for the lower level of the house.
He put in a 1950's diner kitchen in the basement and I told him, I have one kitchen to keep clean so this puppy is yours. The dust on his stuff down there is an inch thick because he hasn't been around this place in ages. I think he regrets putting it in but I think he is happy to help me around here for a few hours - at least he better be ;)
On that note, I am going to go shampoo the carpet in my den - darn cat.
Book news - I am reading Palmer and can't remember the title but it was written in 1991 so I thought I would have read it already. Nice surprise, the heroine has all the power so far. We'll see if this gets flipped.
Oh, and I probably won't blog on Monday or Tuesday - just so you know.
Also in the interest of copying most everything Maili (it's the sincerest form of flattery but if it bugs you tell me to get lost!) some related links:
I have this book and I wash my hardwood floors in tea. I never have streaks or mop marks afterwards. My husband thinks it's a hoot and asks if I need a certain type of tea to do this. Yeah, he's a laugh riot.
Queen of Clean
(since I have the book if you have any questions you can ask me ;))
Aaahh, a site about organization, yum! If only I would do half of what they suggest. I really think a dumpster would be my best bet.
Organized Home - holy crap, they have a free printables section! I'm in trouble now.... must clean the house ..... cannot surf all night long ......
Bissel Green Machine - this is the machine I am about to use. This thing has saved my life too many times to count. It's noisy but if it can get the spot and the smell out of the carpet then I am a happy camper. Just for those of you who have pets or small children. I tried to use the big shampooers but, OMG I couldn't handle it so I went and bought one of these ($70 Can) and it is exactly my speed. Now my friends borrow it when they have pet messes to deal with. No I have no interest in the company at all - just cool that it's so small and it works.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Total number of films I own: I don't know exactly how many I own. Maybe 60 and I think my brother and my father have been pilfering my pile. I swear my brother bought me the newest Star Wars movies (I & II) but my dad insist they are his. Whatever, I'll just scoop them the next time I am over there ;)
Last film I watched: During the summer I end up renting about 5 movies a week and I have been watching some real gems and some real doozies. Last night I watched Ignition with Bill Pullman (sorry but I love this guy) and Lena Olin. It played out like a romantic suspense and the movie looked like it was made for TV but I liked it enough. I wish Bill Pullman would play a really sexy guy and really bang it up but I guess not. He normally plays himself in all movies. Eye movements and everything. Ah, well.
Five favorite films I either watch frequently or that mean a lot to me:
I'm counting the original Star Wars trilogy as one movie. Get over it. I grew up in this universe and have never really left it. Han Solo has always been my ideal hero and I haven't grown out of that either. I have not watched these movies in a while because I only have the VHS version and I am now a DVD junkie.
Indiana Jones - even the music gets me all mushy. All except the one with the kid and the spiders and hearts being ripped out of chests. Just not my cup of tea. Every other one - Indiana Jones is another ideal hero of mine - don't worry I only have two and it is heart breaking that one actor played both of them. To see Ford with Flockhart makes me wonder about the sanity of the world but, that's another story.
The Matrix - Loved all the characters in this movie and the concept rocked. When I saw the trailers for the second movie I almost cried because of the glorious special effects - the movie rocked. I don't understand the third movie. Maybe I'll try and puzzle it out sometime or not, because I can always watch the first two and dream.
Fifth Element - you may be seeing a theme here. I don't do reality and I love fantasy/sci-fi and I even like really bad sci-fi but FE is not bad, not bad at all. I love it and love to re-watch it. Not only is Bruce Willis wonderful but I loved Mila ... - she's beautiful and I have watched those movies of hers based on a video game with zombies. I also like the humour of this film.
When Harry Met Sally - okay, I have to put one movie in there that I do watch time and again although I was going to put the Star Trek series up. This is a great film and I have probably watched this more times than any of the other 'real' movies I own. I finally found a copy on DVD so I can watch it again ;)
I just have to mention Bob's and my annual Christmas movie - Die Hard. Yep, I saw this years ago at Christmas time and loved it. Everytime I saw it I would remember Christmas so I thought it was hilarious when I met Bob and he felt the same way about this movie. Around here, it's not Christmas until we've watched Die Hard.
Worst film you've ever had to endure: I walked out of a film years ago but I can't remember the name of it. I was forced to endure something called The Blues Brothers 2 or 3 or some such and I was livid the entire time. What a waste of money. Anything with William Hurt in it - there was the sci-fi one and even half way through the movie all I could think was that I was never, ever going to get this time back. Lost In Space - horrible.
Favorite movie quote: Han Solo "Laugh it up, fuzz ball" Indiana Jones "I hate snakes!"
Die Hard "Yippie Kiyay Mother Fucker" I just saw the movie The Wedding Date and the hero says to her something like "if I had never met you, I think I would have always missed you" and that's exactly how I feel about Bob. If I had never met him, I would have missed him.
Favorite movie adapted from a book: I should pick a book I have read but, it is a Shakespeare movie. Much Ado About Nothing with Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh - absolutely fun movie that makes Shakespeare accessable.
One book I'd like to see made into a movie: This one stumps me. I realized young about books adapted for movies. The Outsiders was one of my favourite books as a teen and I was stunned when the movie ended about 2 scenes short. I understand now why they would do that but, back then I was almost in tears because the movie wasn't right.
I'm tagging Suisan, Kristie(J) and Tara Marie (because you said I was funny) unless they have already done it, in which case, I haven't been paying attention. Bad Cindy.
Anyone else think that link button in blogger looks like a tiny penis? Throws me everytime I see it. Just me, eh.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
I just finished The Diva's Guide To Selling Your Soul by Kathleen O'Reilly and I decided that maybe a D+ would be a good grade. Another chick-lit, woman's fiction or just plain fiction book, whatever.
I'm really not all that sure what I liked about this book. I found that it was written well although at times I wasn't sure who was talking and with so much going on I would lose track of characters. The only other thing is that in my previous blogging I had mentioned that I thought I knew who some of the characters were. I was right except for one and for that alone, I am okay. (I thought the 'hero' was an archangel but his name was Nathaniel not Gabriel or Michael - not sure why that got caught in my head) I guess it would be wrong to admit I really only finished the book so that I could at least blog my 'meh' feelings about it. What a goal. I'm setting the bar high folks.
I keep telling myself that maybe it isn't fair for me to judge non-romance books but I think I am smart enough to know a good read from a bad read. No matter what genre. I mean, I was once an Anita fan girl (till book 10 - then I just became a fan - still reading and apparently Edward shows up in the next book so I guess I'm in for that one too and no, you should not subtract intelligence points for this! I know the series has lost the magic ... or is that gained too much magic?) which is from the horror genre, although I did skip the really gory stuff. I have also read Janet Evanovich and know that maybe her Best work is now behind her (books 4 through 6 rocked).
Just to be safe I'll mention that I have read Sharon Shinn's Archangel which I did not like although I finished it (Gah, I just started to read the blurb for it and remembered how promising it sounded but, it blew). I have read An Interview With A Vampire and I waited endlessly for the main character to just walk into the sun already. Nope, he preferred to whine and the ending smacked of the 'you must read my next book to find out what happens next' that I was appalled beyond my natural ability to be appalled. I mean, it takes a lot to get to me. Oh, last one, The Lovely Bones, ( I love the cover of this book) I really liked it even though things got a bit wonky at the end. By this I mean there was a surreal happening that stretched the boundaries of the story. That said, it was so different from anything that I had read so, well done.
So yeah, I can tell good stuff from bad and well, Diva's Guide was just boring.
It was a great premise and I even read the excerpt of the book before I bought it. Hell, that's why I bought the book as I would never have picked this up without that. Hmm, now that I think about it I must have linked to this book from someone's blog. Not placing blame or nothing.
Okay, be more precise. Let's see. V is the heroine or whatever and she has sold her soul to the devil and she is one happy chick. Now, don't get me started on the whole, what was it like, how did you decide, did it not cross your mind that you wouldn't have to sell your soul if you were already going to hell? I mean, this came up a few times. 'Well, I was going to hell anyway so may as well have a great life'. Yeah, V doesn't claim to be bright but she doesn't realize just how stupid she is.
Lucy is the Devil and what does she so for punishment? She makes people's thighs or ass get bigger. ::Groan:: C'mon your the devil! One of her scarier tricks, she makes a fire emit tormented screams for all of a few seconds. Please. That's just the sound of moisture being vapourized from the log - oops, there goes that train of thought, but you know what I'm talking about right? Lucy is the manipulative bitch you have met one too many times in your life and by the age of 38, you can see that mess coming at you in your sleep. Not so for the women of this story. There was only one character that I could understand and even then, WTF.
Finally, I'll just mention a few more things in the WTF category. Okay, so you have these levels of power and they are vague but one of these powers/levels let's V erase a memory from someone.
Hmm, great power, maybe you should use it to, I don't know, fix the mess your ex husband has gotten himself into. Hey, someone gets a cool (or uncool) power and the reader is going to remember it! Yeah, V would have had to do some running around to make the justice department forget the charges against her ex but, she could have done it.
Why couldn't she have done this? There was this part about the magic not lasting for more than a few minutes. In fact, this info is everywhere. Uh huh, check, information received. So, where did that spell come from that lasts forever? Yep, the writer broke one her own rules so it was definitely in the realm of possibility (at least, to the reader!). Oh, and the devil can read minds so wouldn't this mean she is all knowing? Apparently not because she still got played. Un. Cool. Would have been better if the devil had limited powers like a vampire. Dang, the more I think about it, V was a level nine by the time she had the showdown with the devil and one of V's powers is mind reading. How come she never tried on the devil? Hey trying and getting blocked would at least let the reader know that V was at least trying to use her powers to foil the devil.
Yikes, I realize I could go on so I'll stop here. The book didn't work for me and apparently I hold some residual anger towards it ::shrug::. If you pick it up, I wish you luck. You can let me know what you think and if you love it, I'll try not to subtract IQ points from ya ;)
Okay, I'm off to read a Diana Palmer. Oh, go ahead. Subtract away.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
We have 2 large dogs, a lab and an aussie something or other. Labs are apparently very high strung animals and when I say high strung I mean Rocky has an LSD crazy spazzoid type personality. We were at a park where Bob would take his baseball bat and fire the ball as far as I could see. The dogs loved it because there was a stream so they would run for bear and them come crashing back and tidal wave into the stream. We had been there for about a half an hour one day and Rocky wasn't slowing. (Cody, however, is a lazy dog (he's mine) and would run half way, wait for Rocky to return, jump him, get the ball and run back like a conquering hero). A man walks by and laughs, 'those labs, eh. He's obviously young, they calm down by the time they turn 5.' At the time Rocky was 4 and I almost did a jig thinking about how he would become one of those well behaved dogs who lay by the fire.
Rocky is now 13 and he can still jump in the air and do a complete 360. He's slower to get up nowadays but throw a ball and he's a pup again. We just don't throw it for long - we were told a lab would kill itself because they won't stop. So we stop for him.
So there you go, Rocky is a spaz and well, Cody, he lives to be his older brother. Spazzoid number 2. People have cried out in fear just hearing the dogs tear up the stairs. I have been knocked on my butt more times than I care to admit and even Bob, who is no small guy, has been pulled off his feet by Rocky. (Note to self, tell the snow bank story later)
Rocky has shown Cody every bad habit he has and one of those habits is eating furniture.
Take a minute.
I mean an entire piece of furniture, fabric, stuffing, wood. Yep, they ate a loveseat in a week. Bobby said it was okay because he told them it was their furniture. Yeah, I'm sure they can figure out their stuff from our stuff! One of these days I will take pictures of the french doors that we lay sideways to keep the dogs out of certain rooms so they don't eat something that will kill them. They are mounted permanently so that we have to throw our legs over everytime we go to sit in front of the TV.
As bad as Rocky is - he ate through drywall twice, Cody is even worse. Cody has eaten a TV remote (we forgot to put it up high so it was our own fault) an empty can of pop - he shredded it into the smallest pieces I had ever seen, the vet couldn't believe that he did it without cutting his mouth, a throw pillow - he puked and pooped that puppy for a week, a bag of rags (we have no idea where he got it from, bars of soap - we figured this out by the bubbles on his...well you know.
We had been renovating our house for a while and finally got to the downstair bathroom. And it was beautiful. About a year later we realized that the dogs had figured out how to get into the bathroom, even with the door closed. (Rocky, in his anxious moments needs to crawl into the shower - I asked the doc for some meds but she said not to worry - uhm, yeah, so Rocky is also like me) So we buy a special throw bolt that we latch when we leave the bathroom so that Rocky and Cody can't get in - Cody had started to eat the linoleum flooring.
All's well and good and the bathroom becomes ours again so bottles aren't exactly put out of dog reach (seriously, it's like having perpetual toddlers in the house). One day one of us forgets to throw the latch and we come home to find that Cody has picked up some of the bottles of shampoo and eaten the tops off. He stopped at that point, which was good. Not so good was the bottle of baby oil. Apparently it tastes like crack and Cody ate the whole bottle - not the plastic part, just all the yummy oil. Now, I'm not so bright about this stuff but I figure, he's survived worse so we'll wait it out.
A couple hours later we come in and there are all these oily patches on the wood floor. Huh, I wonder what that is. Cody is sitting there and he looks funny. He gets up and the fur on his butt looks wet. Uh, oh. Cody is tooting and the toots are not air but, baby oil. I have never seen anything so funny as Cody's face ever time he tooted. He kept looking at his behind like it belonged to something else. He has these big brown eyes and he would look so bewildered and I couldn't help but laugh. Oh, just like this!
I gave it a day and then took him outside (it was winter) and quickly soaped up his behind to get the oil out and then dryed him off. I tell ya, the fur on his butt was standing straight out. Problem? By that night it was matted with oil again. It took a week for the oil to leave his system and his oily butt prints on the deck outside were enough to get me laughing all over again. Cody didn't think it was funny.
Remember how I said baby oil is like crack for dogs? Can you believe two years later he got into the stuff again? He only ate a bit this time before I found him. There's enough weird stuff emanating from our dogs, I don't need another baby oil incident!
Hey, have I told you about how Cody chews on rocks?
I also have a habit of talking way too much. My dearest friends are far away and we get to see each other about once a month. By the end of the visit I am hoarse and exhausted because we sit and gab at each other non-stop. Oh, and I have a very loud laugh (which proves tiring for a throat) and my friends are a riot so between talking and laughing I'm done.
Not so for typing, you poor bastards. Although, my tailbone can get to aching but, I think it's because I slouch - c'mon, you wanted to know. So yeah, I will tend to go on and I will be a painful bore but, too bad. Maili says I can ;)
So, right out of the gate I need to vent about CSI.
I swear not only are they taking over normal network time but, they are now so bloody franchised out that I am stumbling across these shows all hours of the night! I watched a few about a year ago and quickly realized once you had seen one, you pretty much had seen them all. CSI:Miami comes in and I'm thinking it'll fall out of the ratings so fast it'll take the original show with it. Huh. Still around. Then CSI:NY was announced and I realized TV blew chunks and I LOVE Gary Sinise. Love him! Love him so much I even tried to watch an episode. Lasted 2 minutes. Just enough time to weep. I hope he goes back to movies and if not then he should become a survivor (or not) on LOST.
I don't get the love for these shows but then, I am also way over Law and Order and these shows are built the same. More about the crime than about the people. Boring. You want to see a show about the crime but also about the people, watch the reality show The First 48 . Deals with homicide cases for the first 48 hours. Not only do you see how dedicated homicide detectives are to their cases, you also get glimpses into their private lives and the people who have loved them and left them. Brilliant. Up here in Canada, it's on A&E but then, when has A&E ever failed ... okay there is the whole Crossing Jordan show going on there but I can over look that.
As for reading, I shocked myself by picking The Diva's Guide to Selling Your Soul out of the TBR pile. Why, you ask (your asking, right)? Because I am feeling so overwhelmed by the other house and the work that has to be done that I realize I don't have the time to sit and relax and enjoy an in depth romance. I have tried the anthologies that have been coming out lately and they are horrid. ::shrug:: They are. Meet, sex, love in 20 pages. Nope, not working for me and anthologies have worked for me in the past. I'd go and look at them and then link them but, I'm beat, so not today.
Anyways, Diva's so far is meh but, I'll keep with it a bit longer even though I think I have already figured out who all the characters are and who they represent and if I am even partly right the rant that will come will be brutal!
Are your eyes bleeding yet? No?
My favourite band right now is The Killers. I want their CD and even the hubby loves their music. Don't get me started on the music video for Mr Brightside - Yum.
If you have made it this far then you have survived. You may feel woozy or sleep deprived but that is normal for the people who know me. Get used to it. Or not. But really, there are too many well written individuals out there who are able to keep to one train of thought. I'm just not one of them.
Oh, and the spell checker for Blogger doesn't know half the words I use so I end up looking them up on an online dictionary - and I'm right. Why doesn't this thing know the words?
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
The book has three characters whose lives have bumped into each others but, the story is not about the women's relationship with each other but, with the men in their lives.
Gemma Hogan, a wonderfully professional events organizer, gets a frantic call from her mother saying her father has left her. Gemma is trying unsuccessfully to deal with her mother's grief, her father's betrayal and the loss of 'the love of her life' to Lily, a woman she considered one of her best friends. Gemma's story is how an affair affects the family left behind. In between hating her father and missing her father she is dealing with a mother who has become clingy and dependent. Add to that a new man in her life who she insists on treating like temporary escape and a best friend who forwards her e-mails (Gemma's fantasies about how life should be like for her father and his new sex kitten and her mother with a Latin lover) to a literary agent Jojo Harvey.
Jojo Harvey, is a literary agent who has been playing in the big leagues and is angling for partner at her firm. She's also madly in love with the managing partner Mark who is married with two kids. Turns out, Mark is mad for her also and they start an affair. Jojo is the other woman and Keyes does an excellent job of showing how love can just happen regardless of the consequences. Mark and Jojo's relationship is further complicated by career ambition and I *think* internal sabotage - I had to re-read a section to understand what had happened but then I blame this one on my not understanding the ins and outs of british terms. ( on that note, what is a coal scuttle - Gemma bought one and was way enamoured of it? I keep thinking it's just a bucket. )
Lily is almost the anti-thesis of Gemma and Jojo and is a newbie author. Self-confidence is not one of her strong suits and she is too passive in her life, but then, who hasn't been guilty of that. Lily was a good friend of Gemma's and when Gemma's love Anton left her, Gemma beseeched Lily to meet with him and get to be his friend so that Lily could spy on him for her. The first time Anton and Lily meet it is obvious to them both that they are each other's *the one*. I loved that scene. At a time when Lily should have been flushed with joy, she was assaulted with guilt and this guilt after 3 years is part of what can destroy her and her relationship with Anton.
I'm horrible with book summaries because I want to give you an idea about the book but I definitely do not want to spoil any of the story lines so I think that what I have written will be enough. Here's a link to Amazon Canada and it's blurb. (Bloody hell, that's not the cover I have on my book! I am completely stumped at the number of different covers I have seen for Keyes' books!)
So, what did I love about this book.
First, Gemma and Jojo are interesting characters who actually have jobs that they have to do! Unlike many of the romance or suspense books out there, this book is about the day to day lives of these women and the fast pace of their careers is part and parcel. Both women come off as patently capable in any situation. Also, getting to read about *those* people who make your job difficult and Gemma and Jojo's responses to them is truly fun. So yeah, there may have been a bit of glamorizing going on with the job descriptions but, there were also pitfalls and stresses over clients and what bosses would think.
As for Lily, I did not really warm up to her because she came off as a very unhappy person. And maybe she was and this is where I am unsure. Lily was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop so instead of being pro active and making tough decisions she kinda floated about letting Anton make all the decisions. Now, let me say right here that I absolutely adored Anton and it is easy to see why Lily fell for him. What you don't get to see is Lily showing her love to him. I guess I was befuddled about what it was about Lily that Anton loved but maybe that was because Lily was the narrator for their part and seeing as how she felt so much guilt about her relationship with Anton it was unclear about what was special about her.
In point of fact, I loved all the men in the book (except for Gemma's dad) even when they were doing something hurtful to others. I guess it is the romantic in me that believes that everything has to work for two people in love. In truth, it doesn't and this book is not a romance like I normally read and yes, I knew that when I picked it up so I wasn't surprised by the ending of each story but, I was a wee bit sad for a few of the characters. (No, I won't tell you which ones) Also, there is that part of me that wonders about certain resolutions in this story - more to do with Gemma's family. It was definitely unsettling for me.
Then there were those moments that make me, as a woman, cringe and Lily outdid herself on this but then one of the other women decided to jump off and do some weird stuff. Yeah, it worked out and I could have seen this resolution eventually but, I found this character's actions to be rash, illogical and poorly timed. It was like watching someone make an ass out of themselves when you know they are so much better than that. So that is where the book really suffered for me.
On a different note, as much as I enjoyed this book, I don't see myself ever wanting to re-read it. Weird. But then, maybe it's the romance reader in me.
So yes, I am a looking forward to reading another Keyes book and should probably pay more attention to those who are making chick-lit recommendations. But hey, if you want to make some recommendations, I do prefer more humour with chick-lit. It doesn't have to be a laugh a minute but, I might like to try something lighter the next time around. I have read Sophie Kinsella's First Shopaholic book which was definitely funny but, I had a hard time relating to the heroine because her denial and subsequent bad behaviour was long in the tooth.
There we go, my first review and the first time I have ever read a book with 648 pages - phew! Makes me want to pull out that Dorothy Dunnett or Diana Gabaldon book that I haven't read yet.
Actually, it doesn't.
Monday, August 15, 2005
This is so difficult because I have no clue where to start this story as it has been going on for the last 2 years now but let's see if I can do a short version. ::snort::
Bob's mom had heart problems two years ago and we thought we were going to lose her but bless her heart, they put a pace maker in and she's been kicking ass and taking names ever since. Problem is that she can't really get around so the family asked Bob to install a new bathroom for their mom that would have a 4' shower that a wheelchair could be wheeled into. (Bob has been a handyman for years although he is a sales manager (and the inventor of DRIcore) during his daylight hours) So, of course, I told Bob that he had to do it for his mom who lives an hour from us. So for about 2 months Bob went to his parent's house and reno-ed their bathroom and it was glorious when it was done! May try to insert some pictures - couldn't find the ones from their reno - new computer and can't find the disks for the pictures of Mom's house - weird.
Well, the family is so impressed they ask Bob if he can reno their kitchen. Okay. This one took a few more months and I was starting to feel the strain of missing Bob. Anyways, gorgeous. And I finally get Bob back.
I don't think it was even a month before he found a house near us that was wholly underpriced for the area. We took my dad and the three of us saw this dusty, musty 50 year old house and had visions of what it could be. We made an offer and it was ours. Now, Bob is holding down a full-time job and working nights at this other house. I don't have a job but I am also working at this new house and lo' and behold our house starts to suffer. Hey, this piece of paradise don't clean itself ya know!
Nine months. That's how long it took us, Bob the skilled labourer and his two wing-nut partners my father and me. Oh, geez, let's not forget his best buddy Greg came to help on so many occasions for FREE that we surely would have had the house another couple of months without his help.
Here's a before and after picture of the kitchen of the first house we renoed:
Anyways, nine months was plenty and Bob and I were snarly at each other which in our 9 year marriage was so not commonplace. We normally make people gag or yell, 'get a room'! After nine months we celebrated our sale and profit on the house and laughing referred to the next time which I privately thought would at least be a year away. We closed on Oct 30th and had another house purchased and owned Dec. 17th.
Now, before I go further, from about the labour day weekend in Sept to January, Bob was back to his old self and loving me up again. Doing stuff around our house (which is also over 50 years old and even though we have renoed it, it still needs upkeep - a ceramic tile on the stairs popped off 2 weeks ago and a year ago I had to tear up a section of carpet that one of the cats was using as a litter box. Guess what, the carpet is still missing and the hardwood underneath has not been re-finished yet) telling me how much he appreciates me, etc.
January of 2005. Bob wasn't allowed in the house until after Christmas because my Dad and I knew if he went in before January he would work and work and work and resent that Christmas was ruining his time frame. Anyways, I had pneumonia pretty much from Jan 1 (Happy New Year to me) to Feb. followed by 2 sinus infections and it took me 3 months before I was able to set foot in the house.
Pictures of current house Before Kitchen (remember I was sick so this was about 3 months into demo AND the floor in the picture is the hardwood my dad and I re-finished) and After Kitchen
Now it is August and I have been at that house almost nightly to work on it. Our house is a disaster and on Saturday I had my anxiety ridden meltdown (I have one about ever 6 months and I hate them). The house is up for sale and has been now for 15 days. The difference this time is we haven't finished the basement and trust me, I cringe to think of the work ahead of us. We put the house up early so that we hit the market right. (We were lucky on the last house as we didn't get it up until Labour Day and it sold in 10 days) Anyways, I am tired of the other house, the in fighting that invariably happens between my dad and Bob and then me, the knowledge that my dad wants me there every day to help (now that he can see what I can do, hey, I was hiding some of my latent talents - I could be a trim carpenter tomorrow and Bob taught us how to hang doors - if only I had the ambition to do a three year apprenticeship but then, I'm nobody's bitch) and the stress of not finding a buyer as fast as the last place.
This all leads to me not getting to do things that I enjoy because down time is next to impossible. I have been lucky to keep on top of our laundry and even that fell through tonight when we got home and wondered what the hell that musty smell was - yep, trim carpenter forgot the laundry. Yetch.
All of this leads to not reading as much as I would like to. Not having Bob around as much as I like and not spending nearly enough time with our friends. I keep telling Bob that if he keeps this pace up he will only have me and even then, I may be trolling for husband number 2 ;)
Thanks for letting me bitch, complain and whine.
Oh, did I mention Bob wants to quit his extremely well paying job? Renovate full-time? Problem? We wouldn't make a 1/3 of his income doing renos and the housing market is sure to make a dip - oh, and to top it off, without a job who will loan you the money to buy the house?
That's a story for another day.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
One of the questions that I see popping up a lot is if everyone really hates _______ (insert secret babies, virgins, fake virgins, rakes, *light* romance, uber-sexed books) then whose fault is it that these books are everywhere? What I think these people are saying is that it is our fault because we keep buying them.
I don't know about others, although I have seen on some of the blogs lists of books that people are looking forward to but, I have stopped buying books (one or two here or there). I used to go into a bookstore and see 40 books that interested me in the romance department and it was easy for me to spend that $100 gift certificate. (Okay, let's be real, I had that certificate spent 10 ways to Sunday). Today, I would have a hard time spending that because I would feel like I was buying books only because I had the gift certificate. For example, I received something like $200 in certificates for Christmas this past year (huge family on Bob's side and I am specific about what I want). Can you believe that I still had 40 bucks left by July so I could buy Brockmann's book! That was unheard of a few years back. I couldn't keep money from flying from my pocket.
Okay, so here's an admission and before I continue I should say this is all in Canadian dollars (if you follow this link, I loved the 1969-79 series) so I am not sure how it would work out against such things as the British pound or the US dollar. In one year (4 years ago I believe) I know for a fact that I spent $1100.00 in books. How do I know? We have that club card do-hickey where I would get a 5 dollar coupon for every 100 bucks I spent. Yeah, I got eleven of them. Do you think it is a coincidence that after that year they changed the program and now you only get like 10 bucks a year for your membership? Also, you have to pay for your membership - I think I got it for 25 dollars but every purchase was 10% off and then the 5 for every 100 so it definitely paid me back in spades. Not so much today. I make them give me the card for 15 dollars now but still, I'm not sure it is paying me anymore. Actually, the more I think about it the more I realize that I have spent maybe $300 in total year to date and I would say that is being generous.
Yikes, my thoughts are jumbled again so let's see if I can bring this puppy back around.
So the question, who is buying the books with ______?.
Well, I know my answer is not me!
Now, feel free to blame me for the glut of vampire romance. Absolutely all my fault and I'm not nearly as sorry as I should be ;) You may even be able to blame me for the hotter books on the market, although I have not explored romantica as much as I thought I would have. Oh, the SEAL books are my fault also...okay, Suzanne Brockmann's SEAL books are my fault, I'm not taking the fall for all the bad SEAL books out there! Ohhh, paranormal stuff may be pinned on me but only physics. Witches, ghosts and TT, totally someone else's racket (okay, I admit to reading A Knight In Shining Armor but trust me, it cured me of any need to read TT, although I have stumbled upon a few by accident - that's right, I tripped and the book somehow ended up in my hand.) Bloody hell, I just realized cowboys may be my fault also but I'm telling you I haven't bought a cowboy book in years! (Does Diana Palmer count? No don't answer that!)
Okay, deep breath in...IwasaJulieGarwoodfangirl so I am the reason why *light* historicals are all over the place. There, not so bad. Hey, I can see you making that face!
Wow, is it just me or am I way off from where I started? So in a nutshell, the above is what you can blame me for.
Hmm, so maybe the fact that my To Be Bought list has like ... add one, carry the .... okay yeah, NO books on it! None, nada, zip! is my own fault.
I really thought it was someone else.
Edited: Just for fun and because I am a nut, $1100 Canadian converts to 506 Br. pounds or 918 American or 1189 Aus or Wow, 100 502 JPY (I wonder how much a book is in Japan?)
Saturday, August 13, 2005
So here you go! Edited to let you know that the first three pictures blow up huge if you click on them....so much for hiding my bottom shelf of books!
So I should mention that I decided to alphabetize the books that were to be on the shelves. I have never done this before and much to my horror, I absolutely hate it. I don't mind author's books lumped together but to have it all perfect? Yikes. I haven't been able to sit in this room lately so I am looking forward to messing them all up again. *I did this after I filled 4 underbed totes full of books I knew I wasn't going to read immediately* I have regretted all of it ever since. Dh - Bob says that we will get a bigger house because it is obvious I need a library. What a sweetie ;)
Okay, let's see if I can do close ups of the towers for ya.
I don't think you can read the titles from these but, you can see from the picture on the right that the bottom shelf is starting it's third row. All the shelves are two deep but only the TBR are facing out. My keepers are in behind and I have them sorted by author but not set up alphabetically.
Below is the bookcase that is on the other side of the desk. I can pack books 2 deep on these shelves also and you can see some of the hardcovers hanging around at the bottom.
Last but not least, the livingroom bookcases that are only allowed to hold HC and Home Decorating/Improving/Reno books because we access those more often now that we renovate! And I am only doing one shot of these because I have to get up early and I will fart around with picture placement even longer if I don't just stop! The room is 22 ft long so I couldn't get the whole wall in the picture - and the white thing in the bottom corner is a lamp shade.
Okay, off to bed. Ah, yeah, I am too embarrassed about what that lower bookshelf in my office has to say about me so I didn't do any close-ups of those ;) One step at a time people!
Friday, August 12, 2005
Meljean has pictures of food on her blog and now I am hungry. What's funny, is I don't think I have eaten anything she has listed. I have had carrot cake but really, if it is cake, give me something that doesn't have a vegetable in it!
The Smart Bitches are just wonderfully articulate as always so be off with ya.
Kristie (J) talks about RESPECT and I totally get where she is going. I'm off to comment there in a moment. Yeah, I'll be wordy like normal.
Suisan is trying to read Zorro and just isn't feeling the love. Funny how the next installment of Zorro with....ah, you know who's in it, is coming out and all I feel is a sense of 'been there, done it'. Give me something new to play with! And please, children in movies telling the bad guy that their daddy is gonna 'kick their ass' is overdone.
Oohhh, on a side note, Hostage with Bruce Willis - LOVED IT! But then, I have a Bruce Willis thing, so you are warned.
Edited: I just went to find the link for this movie and the reviews by others said it was horrible, ah well, I guess he just made the movie for me!
Okay, I'm still surfing so, see ya.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
I guess I wanted to give Keyes another try and on a table at the bookstore there were like 12 copies of it and I liked the cover. It has a 2004 copyright date but maybe this was out in Hardcover because it was in the new section at the store.
Anyways, I am really enjoying the story although I was worried because the theme of a man leaving his wife was the opening salvo. I didn't understand how this book would work but now I understand the title and I think it is going to be a very good read. *crosses fingers*
Only problem is I can be intimidated by a book with more than say, 380 pages. I just looked and this book has 648 pages...makes me weak in the knees. I have never read Outlander because of the sheer volume of pages that book is made up of (864 pages). I don't know about others, but I may just count Keyes' book as 2 reads and if I happen to try Outlander, I'll count it as 3! ;)
As an Aside: Tonight I saw parts of the 1980's movie Red Dawn, which I had loved so much as a teen and had me sobbing for all the characters. (I'm saying parts because there were commercials and it seemed that there were moments in the movie that I remembered but weren't there). It was still very touching all these years later and made me think of all the reasons that I am grateful that my nation is at peace and how blessed I am to be Canadian. I'm thinking of renting the movie so I can watch it in it's entirety.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
I like sex in romance. I like sex in romance so much that I do not even bother reading reviews for books rated subtle or kisses or N/A. Just as a side note, I have read books that I loved except they closed the bedroom door. Can't be a keeper if you close the door. (Once again, for me) Anne Gracie is an example of a wonderful romance writer with a kisses rating. Loved her book but not the door. Nonnie St. George's first book which got so much buzz was bought despite the subtle rating. By the end of the book there is a small kiss and I think my reaction was a bit of an OMG (in the 'not right' sort of way) because until that point they were acting like brother and sister. So yes, I might be missing some great books (Anne Gracie) with no sex but, just in case you haven't been paying attention, I like sex.
Hell, sometimes a warm rating is not enough to get me to buy a book but, I have discovered lately that some books that are rated warm are hot while some books that are rated hot are...not. So I decided to analyze what I do like about sex in books.
Apparently I like this. If you have a sex scene spanning 10 pages having more than a few 'oh yeahs' is a must. (oops, for me) Uhm, hard and fast I like too. Too soft and slow can be toooooooo sooooofffttt aaaannnddd sllloooww. Hmm, not always full penetration sex. Clothes on type of sex, can't stop type of sex, must have type of sex, right now type of sex, no I mustn't type of sex, I don't deserve type of sex...Yeah, I could go on.
The comments for Maili's article had a few people saying that reading sex was for titillation. Okay, maybe but I know exactly what I read for. I read for that stomach falling feeling. I don't think it arousal or titillation? Why do I think that? Because I can get that feeling at the top of a roller coaster, or in the car when I was a kid and my dad would drive a hilly road and race to the top and let off the gas (Lordy, he almost had my brother and I puking at times) or when someone scares me. I also get it when a character says something I thought he/she never would. It is so very rare that I don't think I have experienced it in a long while.
Anne Stuart's Lord of Danger did it and no it wasn't during any sex scene. It was a simple scene near the end of the book where the hero did something for himself and the heroine that I did not expect. Tummy Dip. I remember having a tummy dip during Annie's Song by Catherine Anderson where the hero again surprised me with an outburst of emotion. If I think long and hard, I am pretty sure that there were moments in Shanna, A Rose in Winter and Come Love a Stranger by Katherine Woodiwiss that gave me that wonderful sensation and I would have to say that once upon a time in the land of historicals, Julie Garwood gave good tummy.
When it comes to romance I'm in for it all. I want great characters, great story, sexual tension that cuts and resolutions that are bone-melting and if by some miracle I also get a tummy flip then the book will remain in my keeper pile forever.
So what do you think? Am I deluding myself that the tummy flip is not titillation (maybe I better look the word up)? Have I divulged way too much information? (seriously, a head's up would be good to get this one deleted!)