Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Foiled Again!

Okay, I got the book - WOOHOO!!!

Hubby called home to say he was leaving work because he has fever, chills and well, not fun stuff - BOO HISS BOO!

Bobby got home, had a major hypochondriac moment and we ended up at the hospital. A triage nurse said he was fine, a doctor said he was fine and then we packed up and headed home.

Stomach virus. Contagious.

Me? Extremely susceptible to stomach ailments. The damn doctor even wished me luck.

Gee. Thanks.

So, I'm not cracking my Anne Stuart until I know my health is not threatened by some teeny, tiny virus that can't been seen by the naked eye.

Damn, did I just mock the bug?


Monday, January 30, 2006

Gotta Go!!!

Holy Lord!!
The first bookstore I called said they had it.
I'll be offline for a while.
Someone hold down the fort!!

Drama Queen Moment

Not only has it been spotted!!! There are people who own it and have read it!!

How can this be? Must I because a stalker in order to get these books first!!!

If you haven't guessed, I'm gushing over Anne Stuart's The Devil's Waltz.

I don't have a copy. *sob*


I doubt my bookstore will have a copy but I will, first thing in the daytime (it's 3am and I'm still up) begin scouring the bookstores within a 50 mile radius.

If you hear a tortured scream around 3pm tomorrow it will be me, keening on the floor of some poor bookstore because they (as well as all others) do not have the book.

I am eager for tomorrow and yet I'm terrified I will end up defeated in my quest. *sobbing breath in*

I know there is hate for this particular place but I'm thinking Wal### may be the only place that will have it in stock. Don't fret though. I will call all the booksellers first. Only as a last resort will I file into Wal**** and even then, I will have gone to my pharmacy first.

Oh screw it.

You know I will purchase this book from a crack dealer if I have to.

Damn. I even love the cover of this one! *drool*

Friday, January 27, 2006

Not To Be Out Done

Not to be out done by Nicole and her precious Gambit or Kristie and her 'too cute for her paws' Zina, I must, must, must post some pictures of my girls.

I was telling Nicole over at her blog that my cats are notorious for knowing when the camera is about to catch them doing something cute. There's that noise it makes while powering up. Bam! They stop acting all cute and do everything they can to not be in a picture.

Well, I got 'em just now. I woke Emma up by accident because yeah, she heard me coming but I manage to snap a gorgeous shot. That said, I have to show you the pictures of her where she can only get one eye open and has that 'holy shit! What do you want!' look on her face.

'Are you kidding me!?' 'You want to take a picture of me now! I'm napping you moron!!'

'Oh, wait, make sure you get my good side.'

Can you find the cat in this picture?

Aww, her little toes are so precious. Don't panic about the garbage bag. I have panicked and Bob has told me to calm down. The cat will know if they run out of oxygen. Still gives me pause and yet, she's curled up so far in there now that you can't even see her. I think she is afraid I will try and take another picture of her. On that note, I once picked up the bedding from out room for the laundry only to hear a distressed cry. Amber had crawled into the middle of the pile. When I am not so tired I will tell you about how I am sure she has become a totally different cat in the last few years. I understand what they mean by cat's have nine lives but it does make me wonder if it can also mean a new soul has entered your cat. She has pulled some funny stuff in the last little bit that is so out of character that Bob and I have joked she must be a new incarnation.

Okay, I'm exhausted. A mix of extra strength Midol and seeing the cats snoozing - I'm off for a nap!

Trying to Create A Picture

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Reward for Having to Deal with such a Gloomy Gus

Ho-kay, first guy is for me.

Jason Stratham - yum. I just finished watching Transporter 2 and even though it warps any sense of reality it might be a good movie for you to rent with your hubby or boyfriend because he will love the cars and action and the scantily clad woman (who scared the beejeesus out of me!! I found her ugly but, I guess that was the character) while you can enjoy watching Jason Stratham looking very James Bondish - okay, screw James Bond, Stratham is delicious and not a man whore.

I have found this guy very sexy since the first time I saw him on film which was probably Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

What the hell, let's put up one more of him. Grrrreow!!

Okay, I don't really get the appeal of this guy but I think it is because of the movie Closer which made me want to throttle all the people involved in this movie. The there was the one with Kiera Knightly in the forest and it was so very bad and not in a good way! Ugh. Then I saw of picture of him with Angelina Jolie and I remembered the movie Beyond Borders and it was a wonderful movie and I loved him in it. So here we have Clive Owen in a look I enjoy ;) This one is definitely for Megan ;)

A favourite of mine since A Knight's Tale here we have Heath Ledger and yes, I will see Brokeback Mountain but I am more than willing to wait for it on DVD so I can cheer and sob to my hearts' content. (I have heard it is heartbreaking - no, don't say anything more!)

I fell for Ed Harris in the movie Apollo 13 and have loved him in every movie ever since. I'm beginning to get the feeling that I like my men with receding hair lines.

Why do I think this? Because Will Patton is another actor I just adore. I fell for him in Armageddon. Course, who didn't I fall for in that movie?

This one is for Kristie. Okay, I admit, he can do scruffy very good but you can't beat Han Solo ;)

The one on the right, is for me. Look at his gorgeous face!! You can barely see it with all that scruffy hair! There were only two shots of him with short hair and one looked like he was still a teen and I don't want to be *that* type of woman ;)

Oh and to be fair to the Jack-ites out there (I am your leader) here is Jack. Clean cut and scruffy looking all at once. Gotta love a man who can be both.

And now for my big confession. I love Locke. I have loved this actor in other projects and I think he is a great actor. I love the character on the show even though there are times I could hit him with one of the coconuts on the island. Also, I'm thinking he really is honing in on Charlie's girl because he kept the statues. Just my theory.

In closing I am going to post the man who makes me very, very happy and has done so for years. Bruce Willis.

Thanks for putting up with me for the last few days. If I need to wind down before bed I will edit this post with a few more pictures. I am trying to think of men that others rarely bring up but my mind is blank right now because I know I have to go.

Tomorrow is clean out the fridge morning. Followed closely by scrubbing all the wood in my library afternoon. Hopefully I will have my books back on the shelves so I can remember what I own and what I need. Still can't find a copy of Gaston's Mysterious Miss M. Ah, well, I guess I'll have to vote at AAR without having read it.

Oh, and a question for those in the know. Are Jessica Bird and J.R. Ward the same person? Don't want to start rumors or anything but I volunteered for a project at AAR and someone listed these two names with a slash so I thought that might mean they are one and the same.

Oooooh, I think I answered my own question!! I went to the biography and the pictures of the authors look exactly the same. I'm going out on a limb and saying not identical twins. Can someone tell me what Jessica Bird writes? Thanks again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Sky is Falling

Everything is fine so I'll start from the sorta top.

Bob has left the company he works for twice and been hired back twice. He was hired away a third time but the company didn't want him to go and Bob had a change of heart so they agreed to sign a three year contract and the company protected itself by putting in a penalty clause if Bob left within the three years.

It started the month after he signed the contract. Suddenly Bob wasn't happy with his job anymore and for the next three years all I heard was how 'today could be his last day'.

I understand the mentality and explained to Bob that he is a person who cannot be tied to something career wise. It is better if he always has an option.

My family after 7 years of hearing how Bob's company is on the verge of closing (in all fairness on his very first day on the job he was pulled into a meeting about how to keep the company from closing it's doors) or how he is ready to quit, have stopped paying any attention and I don't blame them. I wish I could stop paying attention but then I'm afraid that is when something will happen.

So this December was the end of the penalty clause in his contract and there was a mini celebration by Bob and I. Keep in mind all I had heard since about February of last year was how December 5th was going to be his last day. If he made it that long.

Lucky for me he made it and he said he would take it day by day. All right.

Yesterday Bob gets a 'head's up' from one of his co-workers that says he heard from Bob's boss that he was probably going to be let go. Now, I figured the 'boss' doesn't have a clue that he is the one that is probably on the chopping block. I suggest this to Bob and he sees my point but for some reason he really thought today was his last day.

Here is where I should tell you that Bob is excellent at any job he is given. Yes, I am the doting wife but, I can look at myself honestly and I can look at Bob honestly. I mean, Bob's faults stem more around him having to deal with social situations when he would rather be renovating. In his job, I'm not sure that he has any real problem spots except for his 'no travel' clause. He did that when he met me - I won't fly and there isn't a job in the world I want bad enough that would get me on a plane. Bob meets me and I tell him my faults - a) panic attacks b) can't eat in restaurants and c) don't fly. Ever. Bob looked at me and said 'you can do that?'. From that moment on Bob decided he should never have to fly again and by his next job change we had it written into his contract. He will take a train or drive but, no more flying. Bob flew for a few years after we got married and I never said a word although I was terrified. I would never ask someone *not* to fly if they loved it or were not afraid of it. Bob was afraid of it (not like I am) but didn't think to say he wouldn't fly until he met me. Poor bastard. Makes me unsure which of us got the better deal in the marriage. Oh, and not wanting to stay late after work. He did that for years and he is 47 now and can't wait to get home to see me. Yeah, that's right. See. Me.

So knowing this I figured Bob was going to be asked to fill a position he had turned down twice before. He was. This time Bob took the position because in reality *I* know he is the best guy they have for the job.

They hired within the company the first time and the guy was a nice guy but he couldn't manage the other 2 guys on the team. He gets let go. They ask Bob, he says no and they hire outside of the company and get the current guy (who is the man I figured would be let go - apparently that will happen tomorrow) who not only can't manage the guys but, has an extremely bad work ethic. Oh and he stabbed Bob in the back a few years ago telling lies to the bosses about how Bob was leaving early everyday because he was renovating houses. Uh, no. Bob always puts in his hours for his job and when he needed to be at the reno site he would take a vacation day. Anyways, water under the bridge.

So, to make this story even longer, Bob is now the head of his department which is a job he has avoided for years. He has taken it with the understanding that he will not travel. The uppers have agreed.

I would have been shocked if the company had let Bob go today. You don't hire a man three times over the last 7 years to fire him. He invented a product that is now it's own company - Bob could've run this part of the company if he wanted to but Bob told me he didn't see the challenge. In all honesty, I think Bob would thrive for about a year (it would take that long to turn the company around, streamline and make a profit) but then it would be same thing day in and day out and Bob needs to be challenged.

There you have it. A day in the life of Cindy. It always seems that Bob is on the cusp of a major life change that would impact me directly only something always comes up to keep Bob from leaving his job. I have been telling him that he can leave his job and I will be supportive as all get out but I need to have an action plan. So far that plan has not been produced.

Bob just came in and said, 'if I worked at ____ until I retired we would bring home _____ a year'. Just so you know, I was floored. I looked at him. 'You don't want to stay there until you retire.'

'Yeah, I know.'

'Okay then, I want to see a business plan for what you want to do.'

'How about you become my business manager? You've managed to keep me working, to save money and keep things going.'

I should have answered, okay then, you will work there until you retire. Case closed. Course, I said, he needs to figure out what he wants because I don't want him resenting me years from now because I kept him from following his dreams.

Once again, I am living in the 'sky is falling' world. Never knowing what exactly will happen next but those who have been through these conversations with Bob have decided he will never quit.

I wish I could be so certain.

Thanks for listening. Everyone else is plum tired of the drama. Back to some fun stuff tomorrow but I need to hit the bed and sleep it off!!!

Let Me Count The Ways

Bob came home last night and said that one of the guys told him he was getting 'let go' from his job today. Now, in all honesty, they can't do it but, Bob kinda wants to go and would love a package. Still. I'm in the losing my mind stage although I know this is the push Bob would need to do go out and renovate full time.


My friend is supposed to come out today and I have my cramps and aching back so that's bothering me. All the same, I don't want to cancel because we haven't seen each other in weeks.

My other friend just called me because she needs her son picked up from school because he has an asthma appointment at 1:30pm and she doesn't want him walking home in the cold. Any other day it would be no big deal so to me it's like not eating junk before your blood tests. She needs him picked up in 20 minutes but I haven't showered or anything so there is no way I'm going into the school to pick him up. Sue says, I can just get a cab to pick him up. WTF? She says it's okay, the cab driver has to show his ID and go into the school to pick him up. Yeah, that'll stop a pedophile.


I'm beginning to feel like I am no longer keeping my head above the water line. I try and ask Bob for a long term plan or goal so that I know where we are going but it seems 'seat of our pants' living is the way it's going to be. Anxiety does not enjoy 'seat of the pants' living. Most of me wants Bob to get let go so he can move on without guilt and yet, I don't know what the plan is and Bob doesn't seem to want to deal with the reality of a plan.

We had a ten year plan and all went well. If Bob loved his job and was going to stay at the company he works for then I wouldn't worry about a plan because we would be fine now. We paid out debts and own our house so we would have no worries. So we attain our goals and Bob wants to semi-retire. Okay. How are we going to pay our bills? Just because your house is paid for and we have no debt doesn't mean you can live without an income. Not only that, I have dreams of traveling and doing whatever we want when we want. I don't see that happening if we are just getting by.

I know others have it worse but I guess this is my reality and it has been like this for about 2 years. Ever since we started part-time renovating. Two years is a long time to live life without knowing what the game plan is. People have 2 year or 5 year or 10 year plans all the time. We seem to have lost focus after we attained our goals. Bob wants to quit his job but thinks nothing of looking at homes worth twice the amount of our home. 'We can do it. We'll cash in some RRSPs'.

Uh, really? You've been saying for years how we have to save for retirement but now you want to cash them in for a house? Hello, I'm I the only one standing here?

Yeah, so I'm tired of living like this. I need something to happen and then I remember the whole 'be careful what you wish for' warning and I am back where I started.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Alas, Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

We heard back on our offer.

Deader than a doornail.

It's okay though. The house was about 45 minutes from where we live now and I was a wee bit worried about how I would get around out in the country. I mean, there are days I can't get 10 minutes from the house. How was I going to get to Limeridge Mall?

We made our best offer on a house that has been up for almost a year. The people have 2 homes built and 4 other lots for sale. We had heard through the grapevine that they needed to sell something soon and then we saw that they dropped their price 20 grand. Seemed the stars had all lined up.

Apparently they are going to hold for their price. Too bad their price is way out of wack. I guess they don't need to sell. I often remember the saying 'your first offer is your best offer' so, risking bad karma and all that, serves 'em right. For some reason I have a feeling we might get a call back in June of this year to see if we are still interested in buying the house. My answer will be 'sure, but it'll cost ya'.

Real Estate is so hard to understand right now. I'm leery of jumping into a new home because we (Bob and I) believe that we are at the peak of the market and that things will adjust. Then again, we may end up with another crazy year.

I need to start a home-based business. If only I knew what to do.

Looks like it might be time for that self-help book What Should I do With My Life.

On that note, I have to go and vote in a Prime Minister and party tonight. Should I pick crook #1, crook #2 or crook # 3?

Sleepfull Beauty

Ten Ways to Know if You Have "Estrogen Issues"

1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.

2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.

3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.

4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.

5. You're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says: "How's my driving-call 1-800-"

6. Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.

7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from "outer space."

8. You can't believe they don't make a tampon bigger than Super Plus.

9. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.

10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.

Now that it is early Monday morning I believe my body has grabbed all the sleep a human can stand. I think I slept close to 15 hours on Fridays and was up at about 10pm. At that point I ended up having to stay up to go and look at our dream house, I fell asleep for three hours and then had to go to a surprise party. Somehow the math ended up with me having 3 hours sleep within a 24 hour period.

I slept through Sunday. Okay, I was up at 8am and we went to breakfast but I was back in bed by 1pm and slept until 1am. Bob would come in an wake me and I would mumble 'one more hour'. Twelve hours later.

I know why my body did it - PMS. When I was a teenage my periods used to obliterate me. Puking and pain like no other. By the time I was twenty I no longer had the puking and the pain would last two days and usually could be tamed with some extra strength tylenol. Late 20s and I only have a bad period about every three months and even then, nothing like when I was younger.

This past year I am noticing the swing back to the old ways. My mother told me years ago that she used to have no problem but as she aged, the cramps and aches hit her all over again (she was worse than me as a teen because she would faint. Course, I prayed for unconsciousness).

So anyways, last month was bleak and now this month I notice I am overly tired and I am only in the PMS mode!

Leaving TMI territory I will tell you that Bob and I put an offer in on our dream home.


I'm a mix of excited, vomity, terrified and just plain shock. Shock seems to be the fall back emotion for me when any change happens in my life. Looking at me you wouldn't know whether I was happy or sad. I just seem to be. That's where I am, just here.

We should find out tonight.

Okay, Bob's up so I'm going to go bend his ear.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Movin' on Up!!

*Moving on up! (cue backup singers) moving on up, To the eastside,(background singers) to the eastside, We finally got a piece of the pi-eye-eye-eye-ye-eye!!*

It was moving day for the puppies last night!

*do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight, yeah, get down tonight, yeah*


In the last fourteen hours I have not heard one whimper, one bark or one book being torn to shreds. Bliss.

The puppies finally have their lives back and they are taking to it like, well, ducks to water or a lab to water. My library, if you can call it that, now has it's door open to the world, beckoning those who are brave enough to enter the cave where the books are stored. First things first, the floors need to be washed down and the windows cranked open to air out the place. Then the dusting and de-furring will commence.

It is so nice out right now - 8 degrees C - so the puppies are out enjoying the fresh air.

I am going to take a before picture of the library but I will not post it until the after picture is read ;)

Took some sleeping meds last night and lo and behold I woke up today at 10am. I'm a bit groggy but I'm just going to take it easy.

I went to the bookstore!!

I bought two more journals BUT, in my defense, uh, they're really pretty. *flutters eyelashes*

Not falling for it?

Yeah, if you are keeping count I have now bought 8 journals in the last month. I'm hiding them from Bob. I'm addicted to journals which wouldn't be bad if I could actually take pen to paper in them. I'm just afraid I will ruin them by writing in them. I have this really nice new book journal that has 2 pages for each book you read. There are probably well over 100 pages in this book but I'm afraid to write in it. My excuse right now is I want the first page to have a keeper on it.

There, don't you feel all sane again?

I went to the bookstore to buy a nice box to put a gift in soooo, I was buying something and well, I can't buy just one thing in a bookstore.

Ho-kay, I'm insane enough to admit that the author's name got me to buy the book. Genie Davis is a fun name. I mean really. Then there was the price and I thought 'what the heck, I got a good read last time!'

Julia Justiss is a book I have seen people talking about and I love the cover and hopefully the heroine really is a courtesan and not a 'fake' courtesan. Everytime I saw someone talk about this book I admit I thought they were talking about the 'other' courtesan book that I bought in early January.

Oh and some fun news but first, I have to tell you how I upset myself yesterday.

Our La-Z-Boy chair died just before Christmas. It's one of those vibrating heat chairs and even though it is ugly as hell, Lord have mercy it is a wonderful thing. I told my husband when he bought it I would never sit in it. Now he has to fight to get a turn. Especially during that time of the month when your back is hurting and you uterus is doing chin-ups. So yeah, it died but I waited until January to call out for help. La-Z-Boy has a copy of our invoice and tells us we bought the extended warranty package so the repair is covered.

Bob and I never buy warranties because I always tell the person I am purchasing from, 'If you think for one minute I won't be standing on your doorstep if something goes wrong with this thing then you are sadly mistaken!' I mean, when did it become okay for companies to just shrug after a customer has parted with a fair amount of cash for their product.

Ooops, ahead of myself.

So Bob and I call the warranty company but they want some warranty number that Bob and I cannot find. We call La-Z-Boy and they sigh and tell us how they are having so many problems with this warranty system and that all this company needs is a photocopy of some paper. So we get this paper and fax it to the warranty company who says, nope, not it. We'll close your claim if you can't find the number. Keep in mind, phone calls have been immense and Bob and I are getting led by the nose.

I call LB and get some chick on the phone and tell her I want to speak to the store manager and she says, she's busy so can she help. Yet again I tell her the story and she says she's new and will leave a note for someone else in the morning. 'kay.

Next morning I get this woman on the phone and she needs to hear the story for the umpteenth time and she says 'Lordy ma'am I don't know what to tell you, we have no clout with the warranty company.'


'What do you mean you have no clout? You sold me a warranty for a chair and my understanding was that LB guaranteed their product'

'No ma'am it clearly says on the warranty that Stainmaster is the warranty company'

'So, you're telling me you are selling a warranty to your customers that you cannot enforce?' At this point I am very, very loud and I never get loud.

Okay, I snapped because that is the most assinine thing anyone can say.

'Why the hell are you selling customers a warranty that you can't help them with? My husband is going to bring this chair back and you are going to refund our money for the whole thing'

Offended voice. 'Oh, you can't do that'

'Wanna bet!?' By this time I am sick of talking and I tell her I am not mad at her but OMG!! Are you fucking kidding me!

I get off the phone and immediately call Bob and burst into tears because I yelled at a woman who didn't deserve it and I am sure I have messed up my karma. Also, I'm upset and asking Bob if he thinks my Gram would be disappointed in me for taking my anger out on someone who didn't deserve it. I'm sure she didn't write the policy for the warranty company. Bah, so I feel horrible and Bob calms me down but, I'm still weepy wondering what my Gram would think of me now.

(Just to finish, I went through our paperwork with a fine tooth comb and found the original warranty with the blooming number and take that you fuckers - oooops, karma)

Bob just called me and said, you wanna know how your karma is going? Yeah, I say.

Our dream house has just be reduced in price which means A) the seller does really want to sell it (he's a builder with 5 lots and the house we want is horribly overpriced so we figured he wasn't serious to sell) and B) we may actually put an offer in on it!!

Man, I hope this means that my karma is okay.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bob's Props

A quick note to say that somehow, the foot fairies gifted me with tougher feet than I thought. Today I barely hobbled a bit! I actually forgot about my feet there for a while!


Since about the 26th of December Bob has been asking me if I have posted the pictures of our basement on my blog. I'm convinced Bob thinks I have tons of readers. He always said I could take the world by storm. Luckily for me, I only need about 5 readers to fill my world but, let's just keep that between you and me. If Bob got wind that only a few people in the world knew of his 'contractoritis' I may never get anything finished around here again!

I should say that Bob still isn't finished but would like some pictures up of his imminent victory over the unruly mess that was our basement. Even though there are things that need to be done, they are minor and I have begun to live in my entire home again! Tonight Bob has to get one more wall plate to cover a hole the dogs would dig at in the wall and the puppies will officially be living large.

Believe it or not, that is an IKEA kitchen and there is finally a countertop that I can keep clean (the old one was a ceramic tile one that Bob did and it was pretty but we never sealed the grout so it was a bitch to keep clean)! The jut out was my idea. We took two upper cabinets with glass doors and Bob built an island out from the wall. The base is not finished as we are still waiting for the kickplates to be shipped. Also, I wanted the front piece to look like a separate piece of furniture so we are waiting so we can top it with granite. (The kitchen tins are Bob's but I think they look nice in the cabinet and now they will no longer be dust magnets!)

I love the lighter colour floors and the white trim on the walls look so much better than the beige on almond look we had. Keep in mind that the puppies come streaking through this room with mud and glory so keeping baseboards white and clean will probably be a full time job but, I love white trim. Also, I paid the contractors extra to scrap the popcorn ceilings down to have plain drywall on the ceilings. I think it was a cheap and fast solution Bob had when he had to finish the place in time for his one time father-in-law to move in. I *hate* popcorn ceilings and in a basement where the ceilings are only 7 1/2' it was horribly noticeable.

Of course, Bob had no taste before he was married to me. None, nada, zip! He was not living to his full potential. He says now, that I am his inspiration - awwww, what a sweetie. I will explain in case you are thinking this is a mean thing to say.

First, he was married to Sue whose choice in paint and wallpaper are suspect already (she now gets me to pick out her paint colours for her home). Add to that Bob is colour blind and he had no idea that the peach trim he had all over his house was the tackiest thing I had ever seen. He said he thought is was a light yellow. Once I painted all that trim 4 coats of white all his friends and ex-in-laws (because you can get rid of a wife but the in-laws are forever - according to those in-laws who love Bob) told him how bad the peach really was. He was stunned. He said to me, they always said how nice our house looked. Of course they would! What else would they say!

Now those friends and family tell us we have a house out of home and garden. I'm not sure I believe these people as they once told Bob peach baseboards were nice. Oh, and the geese wallpaper in the kitchen. Oy vay!! I'll have to see if I can find an old picture of that scary ass mess.

Oh, here is a picture of the baseboard colour. I never painted the inside of the linen closet because I needed a piece of his past to use against him if he ever balked at one of my colour choices.

'Really, you think this green is nasty? Hmmm, let's go look in the linen closet, shall we?'

I win every time.

I also keep him from bringing anything super tacky home - oh wait I've got a picture of something that Bob brought home without consulting me (to your right). I have graciously let him keep it and even though it has been hanging around for about 6 years I haven't the heart to try and sell it on Ebay even though Bob says he is no longer attached. Yeah, right. A Budweiser stool! I remember him being so excited when he got home.

'Cover your eyes! Wait till you see this!'

I was stunned he would pay money for such a thing and he was stunned that I didn't see the wonder of his purchase.

Still can't see it.

Last month after all the contractors had left I looked at Bob in awe and said 'I can't believe they made offers for the fridge and the fireplace but not one of them offered to buy that Budweiser stool!'

Poor Bob. Nobody gets his genius.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


I've talked about how I don't do resolutions and I don't. It just so happens that my basement has been put to rights and my treadmill is now very accessible. I stared it down for a couple of weeks but enough was enough. Time to get back to it.

Last week I only got on it twice but Bob and I walked outdoors the third time.

Last night however, I am sitting on the couch feeling like a slob while the treadmill mocked me. I decide I have to get on the bloody thing but, I no longer have 2 pairs of runners so my runners are upstairs.

Apparently a world away.

I think to myself and figure, hey, I've walked on the treadmill without shoes before. What could happen?


I get up off the couch and my laziness proves to be my curse. I am barefoot but, people walk all the time barefoot. I mean, shoes had to be invented, right?

Now, I know why.

I walked my darnedest on the treadmill. Went to my highest setting for walking and broke a sweat while watching a very bad HBO comic. Very, very bad. It kept me hoofin' though.

Now, just to show that I am a bit of a moron (easy!) I noticed that the treadmill had the feel of rough sandpaper under my feet. Add to this the walking at a fair clip and I guess there was some friction. After 20 minutes I am able to climb down off the treadmill and head to the couch. I watch TV for the next hour or so.

Oh, time to get Bob up! I rise and the chorus of 'Ows' begin. In the first few steps I believed that I must have torn all the skin off the bottom of my feet but, there were no bloody footprints.

Okay, walk it off!

It's now 5 hours since the ill fated trek and each step is a lesson in pain. I figure I will have 2 massive blisters on the balls of my feet by the time I get up later tonight (damn sleep schedule again) but, not only that, as I am sitting here I am noticing that my heels are starting to get that stretchy, sensitive skin pull sensation.

When I got Bob up I told him about my stupidity and whined about how I was even going to be able to walk around the house let alone exercise again.

Seems like the perfect moment to write -

Hoisted upon my own petard. Dang, it doesn't mean what I think it means. Damn. Not a good time to write this but, what the hell, I understand what I think I mean to say ;)

Edited to add: I have walked on the treadmill in socks and now that I think about it I had a slight rug burn effect afterwards but it was nothing compared to what is happening now. Damn my lazy bones.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Standing in the Shadows

In the interest of saving those who are sensitive to reviews that tear a book apart, leave now while you still can. It's about to get bloody.

Standing in the Shadows by Shannon McKenna was the book I chose for the TBR challenge. I was all ready for a great story with writing that is reminiscent of Linda Howard on her good days. (I've seen her compared to Howard) This book has been in my TBR pile since 2003 and thanks to this challenge I was able to pin myself down to finally giving this author a shot.

It may have been fatal.

There was a review template that Angie set up to make things easy but, you know me, I like to ramble. (oy, remind me to tell you of my treadmill mishap tonight - I'm in pain!)

I was going to post my thoughts on this book as I was reading but with it being the TBR challenge I figured I better keep all my thoughts in one post.

Normally I like to start with the blurb but I am going to just sum up most of the plot. First, this book is obviously from a series because for the first part of the book I am introduced to characters who I am supposed to know. Not only that, I am supposed to understand what happened, crap, I don't know, 6 months or a year or year and a half ago. Let's just say, events and time lines were a bit confusing.

So we have Erin the heroine whose mother may be going insane because her husband did something bad and was sent to jail and whose younger sister is acting out in college and has lost her scholarship. Erin has also lost her job, most of her money (keeping her mother afloat) and her spirit.

Connor, her hero, is a former cop who has it bad for her. Ten years bad. His boss was her father (or something like that) and he was the one who took her father down. He figures he's cooked. Oh, and he has physical limitations that have his two hard core alpha brothers fussing over him like little old ladies.

Oooops, it's starting.

In the beginning things were looking good. Angsty hero and brave heroine each just trying to stay alive. Then it gets out of control.

Here are my thoughts from two nights ago.

So I'm at page 234 of 410 pages and I'm in trouble.

I mentioned that the hero needed a good bonk on the head but since then I noticed the Brava insignia on the spine of the book.

Yep, hit me like a ray of light. Ohhhh, one of those kind of books. I see.

So that explains some of this dominate / submissive stuff I am being subjected to. Hey, whatever rocks your boat I say but, uh, problems abound.

First the heroine Erin is, if not sexually inexperienced, as close as one can be. The famous, did it with some guy who said she was difficult in bed.


That being the case, I can't see her doing all the things she does with the hero, Connor, the very first night they are together. True, I don't want to read another story about a woman who is timid and has the 'oh, does that hurt' doe like simplicity to sex. It's 2005. Give it up. I would actually like to read a scene where maybe the heroine is too aggressive with certain parts of the body and the man yelps in pain or fear. Not to be mean or anything but if someone has not truly experimented and such, there are bound to be mishaps.

And tickly spots.

Another problem I had was how many times they had sex in one night with her very limited experience. Yeah, lust is a bitch but not only did I have to sit through alllll of the sex, I actually began to wince thinking that it couldn't very well be comfortable anymore. Hell, the heroine even says at a few points, 'dude, can't take anymore'. Does he back off? NO! I know this is supposed to be fantasy but at some point it would be nice to hear Erin cry out in pain because the guy is being such a brutish asshole.

So, Connor, the hero is not impressing me with his caring in the bedroom. Add to that this guy shouldn't be allowed in public at any time and I have a real problem. This guy insists (forces the issue during sex) that he must go with Erin to a meeting with the millionaire who has hired her freelance. Now, I should mention that Erin has some serious financial issues going on and this millionaire is her bread and butter. Sure, Connor thinks the guy is the evil SOB that's out to kill her and the reader knows this to be true but OMG, Connor acted like such an ass at the meeting that I don't know how Erin didn't kick him to the curb. Sure, she told him afterwards that if they were really engaged (they were pretending) his behavior would have made it so they wouldn't be engaged anymore. Now, let's fuck. Ugh.

So there we be at the mid-point of this book. I thought I would follow Rosario's lead and report on the book at moments the inspiration hit. Let's just say, I could have written pages of wrath by now, but I will persevere and I will pray that this works out so the alpha butt turns into a somewhat alpha beta guy who won't growl at every man who so much as breaths in the heroine's direction. I'm not exaggerating!

Back to the book.

I can't believe that I have to say this, but the book actually got worse. Plot wise it was fairly smart. Relationship wise, these two are headed for years of counseling. Their children are not going to turn out right. They'll become that Primetime episode of a wife killing her husband in self defense.

There was a sex scene (second to last in the book) near the end that was so very one-sided, coarse and humiliating. I kept waiting for Erin to punch Connor in the gut and run for bear! It was so bad, that I was not mollified by the ending and I didn't believe for one minute that these two could live happily ever after. I can totally see this guy blowing up because some guy looks at her from across the room. Caveman in the extreme. Trust is an element that must be present in a romance and to me, Connor can't be trusted.

Now to give you some perspective, I love Anne Stuart! I thrive on men who live on the edge and do bad things to their heroine but, and here is where it is different, Stuart's heroes *know* they are assholes. They know they are being brutes and that the heroine should be running from them. For the most part, these heroes are *trying* to get the heroines to leave to punish themselves for their misdeeds. Ah, sweet bliss.

Connor was an ass but everyone believed he was an honorable, wonderful guy with a hero complex. He wasn't trying to push Erin away, he was trying to attract her. Uh, okay.

Kinda gives a whole new meaning to 'there's someone out there for everyone'.

Grade D+ because it had potential. I wanted to love these characters together but they were better apart.

I have more McKenna in the pile but I am now truly terrified.

For another review of this book, AAR gave it a B.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Books, Books and Computer Woes

Hah, got you with the books didn't I? We'll get to that in a minute but first, I must regale you with my computer woes.

I asked the women on one of my lists if they could see a banner that is *I think* on LLB's blog. Jay responded by sending me the link to the poll but I am not sure it is the poll I was looking for but, I still can't find a banner. LLB hinted it was in the blog. I have asked hubby to look and he can't see it either. I'm betting it's huge so I feel stupid but not as stupid as I felt when I noticed a certain program tricked me into downloading it onto my computer.

It was a Java program that I recognized from my last computer. I had downloaded it over a year ago and realized I had a problem when AAR was remodeled. Apparently there were buttons at the top of the page that you could use for navigating. Uh, no. So I contacted LLB who was very helpful and told me that my Java program must be messed up. So I went and deleted it and thought I had it. I went back to the site and nada. I e-mailed LLB again and she said that she had had the same problem and had to have someone with real computer knowledge come and fix her computer.

Uh, oh.

So I never could use those buttons no matter what I did to my computer.

Well, in June I bought my new Dell computer and suddenly the buttons were all pretty and working. Pictures were no longer boxes with X's and the internet was all new and shiny. Sweet!

Until November 15th to be precise. That bloody Java program sneaked in while I was agreeing to stuff from Norton.

Yes, you can allow that program access. I said, yes. I SAID - Oh crap!

Yep, Java snuck up on me and now there are things amiss in my internet world. Makes me pissy.

Started with Megan's blog. Apparently there were wonderful pictures there but, I was getting those horrible boxes with the X's. Damn. I knew I had to start looking at the problem but hey, Christmas, New Year well, you know. And then WAM. I get pictures at Megan's blog again. I didn't think to look at the back issues until just today after telling the computer about 700 times to reset itself back to a time before the program was loaded (Thanks to Jay).

Guess what?

The computer tells me it can't restore the system.

699 times.

I've gone as far back as I can which is just after Nov. 15th but after that, I'm euchered. I'm thinking of calling Dell but I'm afraid they might start laughing at me or worse, yell at me for being so stupid. Ugh. So anyways, that's how I spent most of my night last night. Gave me ample time for reading in between restorations that didn't work. 3 hours worth of reading.


See, I was getting there.

Shanna Mckenna's Standing in the Shadows is my TBR challenge book and let me tell you, it's been a challenge.

I'm not done yet so I shouldn't say too much except I have never met a contemporary male character who was such an asshat and I have read Diana Palmer people! I keep hoping the heroine will find a blunt object and smash it over his head.


So far, she's just too exhausted to deal with his asshole ways. Really? Two words. Get. Lost.

I'm continuing to read hoping against hope that A) the heroine will dump him and make him grovel like no hero before him or B) He will get shot in the head, maybe survive and become the complete opposite of the man he is now.

Could happen.

Oh, and I bought Jeane Westin's Lady Anne's Dangerous Man because I remember people mentioning it and I liked the cover.


I'm not trying to over think this stuff anymore.

I also bought two more journals.

It's an illness.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Just Weepy

Now that I have rooked my sleep schedule I'm heading into the weepy stage. (Usually in tune with the nauseous, fuzzy eyed phase)

If you can't handle sad stories about animals don't click on the link. I can't believe I missed this story the first time through but it has been proven it was not a hoax. Hubby can't talk about it but I said the little guy was loved for the one day he was here.


Poor little guy.

I went for a nap at 11pm tonight and got up at 2:30am so I am hoping to be up most of today. I'll try and not blog ;) I'm going to go and watch the last few episodes of ROME on my fancy new cable box.

I'm reading Shannon McKenna's Standing in the Shadows for this month's TBR challenge. I really like it so far but I'll hold judgment until the H/H actually have more than one scene together!

I'm also in a 'wanna spend money like it's water' type of mood. Luckily for me, this only happens about twice a year. Bob can do it every day of the year but I keep a close eye on things so he loves it when I go a little wild.

I wonder what the weekend will bring?

Oh, Helen (my one time best friend) left a christmas card in the mailbox on Wednesday this week with a giftcard for books. I'm not sure what to do with that acknowledgment.

On that note, I'm heading for chocolate and an ice cold Coke. Yummmm.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

No Sleep

This one is going to be a doozie.

It's twenty to eight in the morning and I haven't taken any sleeping pills because I'm trying to go 'round the clock' again. These are the days that stress me out. I was all set during December and I was a daywalker (that might be a Blade term) and it was good. Then Boxing Day hit and I lost my hold on the light.

Yesterday I went to bed at 7am. The dogs woke me at noon to let me know they weren't in a good mood. I sent them packing (outside) and since it was mild out I crawled back into bed knowing that when they wanted in they would jump on the steel side door and wake the dead. They never jumped on the door and I know Rocky loved every minute of the day but, I never really fell back to sleep because I was worried that the dogs might need in. (Or God forbid, they had dug out under the fence and were chasing women and children) They stayed outside until 5:30pm and I would have left them out longer because they weren't complaining but, Bob was getting worried because the temperature had dropped a degree or what have you ;)

Bob got me out of the house because I knew that cabin fever was going to set in so we went to the local mall and ate in the food court. I also went to the bookstore and I bought a book but I can't remember the title. I'll post it next chance I get. I was more pissed because they didn't have that Gaston book that is getting good reviews. Oh, I didn't just buy one book because I never do that. I also bought a desk calendar for Scrabble (although I wanted the 365 insults a day calendar but, thought maybe I could find them on the net) and a couple of journals.

I've been all over blog land and have left many comments that may come off a tad moronic but, I'm pleading 'silly with no sleep' as the cause. Bob knows things are bad if I start to find everything funny. There have been times when I can't stop laughing and Bob gets real worked up because when I get going it gets hard to breathe. The worst is I know I'm being silly but can't stop it. Although I love laughing so it's a double edged sword ;)

Just a quick word about reader reviews. I will take them over any published writer's reviews in a heart beat.

From authors you either get the 'I've got your back' review or 'I am the greatest that ever lived and I spit in your general direction' review and then I guess there has to be the honest review. So, we'll say 1/3 of the reviews might be good but, good luck in picking them out.

Now, most reader's don't have the 'I've got your back' mentality unless they are a fangirl (Stuart - I love you! - but hey, I'm open about it and tell everyone not to take my feelings about her books into consideration - unless you have never tried her and then you'll get me harassing you to infinity and beyond!) and most readers don't think they are 'God's gift to writing' because uh, they don't write. Sooo, you have honest reviews, reviews from fangirls (often easy to spot) and the JAK of reviews HK (again, easy to spot).

All that said, I need a review to tell me exactly how it excelled or failed. That way, I know someone not only read the book but, took the time to think about the book. I'll always take a review like that into consideration.

Here's the rub. Anne Stuart's book Into The Fire won for Worst Book of the Year at AAR a year or so ago. I hadn't read it yet but, I knew the minute I saw it won for worst book that I was going to love it and yeah, I did but, even I know it wasn't her best. But, uh, yeah, I'm a Stuart slut.

Edited: Oh, it was Gone Too Far by Brockmann that actually won. I loved that one too!

So write your D review, it might just pick out all the things I love about a book.

Let's face it. I could easily start to read an A review and hit 'and there was the adorable secret baby' and I wouldn't even bother. Your A, my F. My F, your A. Actually it's more like your B my D and my D your B because like it or not almost every F review I have read nails exactly what is wrong with the book. Normally it's everything I hate in a book too.

It's 8:30 am now and I'm seeing more than one monitor so I better sign off.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Are There Awards for This?

Well, I think I have hit the motherlode of procrastination.

I am in need of a book. A book for the TBR challenge.

Now this should not be hard because I have a ton of books. Problem is, they are living with the dogs. The dogs (and Lord knows I love them) have decided they need to see me outfitted in a straight jacket. I'm not sure why this has been decided seeing as how I feed them and give them fresh water and let the younger one use my toes as chew toys on occasion.

I was going to say don't ask but, you know I can't let that one lie.

Cody the Aussie has a chewing problem which is normally controlled with any number of bones, rawhide and whatever else he can find. It was during the summer when I was outside on the lounge chair that I discovered Cody doesn't care what he chews. It starts with obsessive licking and it makes me crazy. I shoo him constantly but it gets to the point where I am fed up and I just let him lick the hell out of my leg and weirdly toes. I'm thinking he will get lost eventually and know I am heading for a shower pronto. Next thing I know he has bitten my toes. I yelped and jumped up. 'What the hell!?' Bob's laughing his ass off but I don't find doggie goober and teeth all that funny. I shoo him again. The bloody brat slinks back while I am reading a book and starts at my toes again. I suddenly realize he was softening up the surface of his chew toy so he could take a bite! Unbelievable.

About this time I should also mention that the oldest, Rocky, has peed on me any number of times and I am always left with my jaw on the ground. Bob again is laughing his ass off. Apparently I am doggie property and being peed on is a good thing. NO!!

Every once in a while I forget about the chewing dog or the peeing one and get a surprise. A couple of months ago I was sick of shooing Cody and let him lick my leg. Then the bloody whelp nipped me in the back of my calf. Nice bruise I got for it too!

So yeah, the dogs are making hay. Lately it is barking until something happens. I hate being woken up and for the last few days I have been awakened by Cody barking like mad. I figure it is the mild air and they need more exercise but man, they are driving me batty. I'm always the first to snap but Bob is actually starting to show his frayed ends. Usually I get the 'what is wrong with Cody' to which my nasty reply is 'wait, I'll mind link with him and find out'. Oh, that's right, I can't read a dog's mind! For all I know he sees his reflection in the glass door and is trying to converse with himself.


So here I am at 4:30am and I want to go to my library to look over the TBR pile so I can pick out a book. Only thing is I am afraid I might wake the 'hounds of hell' who will in turn, wake up Bob and piss me off.

There's that saying about how 'if mamma is not happy, then no one is happy'. In our house it's 'if Bob is not happy, I'm gonna hurt someone!'. I'm an easy going person but if something or someone upsets Bob and I can see his point (hey, sometimes the man is just dead wrong) then I turn into Ninja Cindy and people flee the area.

Thing is, I'm going through book withdrawal. I haven't sat in my library in months now and I miss it something fierce. I threatened Bob tonight by saying I would hire contractors to 'doggy proof' the downstairs. He got his fur up and was all 'you can't just start hiring people to get stuff done' and I was all 'you better believe it!'.

I'm all bark. It'd be like inviting another alpha dog into the house and then Bob would be upset and I would get pissed and then, well, I'd bite. (What is with the dog thing I got going?)

So, wish me luck. I'm heading into the doggy den.

Or, I could just search the net to find out if I am eligible to enter for the title of Queen of Procrastination.

Yeah, I think I'll do that.

Edited: I went for it got a book by Shannon McKenna and now the dogs are pacing. I've also decided to add a picture of my library here so you can all weep with me. Just to let you know, we moved the desk up against the bookcase so the dogs had more room and to hold up the hardboard we bought to block off the lower shelves so the dogs couldn't get to the books any more. Bob was going to nail it up until I screeched 'How much longer are they going to be in there?' Yeah, he backed off but, I may be onto him.

All the books piled up in the window? They were from lower shelves on the other side of the room and from the top of the desk. We think we have them blocked well and good now. There was a journal they got and we couldn't figure that one out but like I have said before, things will get replaced!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Calamity Jayne

I did it! I finally finished my first book of the year. Man, I am a slow reader.

I just finished Calamity Jayne by Kathleen Bacus. From her website I think this is her very first book soon to be followed by Calamity Jayne Rides Again with yet, another fun cover!

So let's find a blurby thing: (read at own risk. There are no real spoilers in this blurb but, you know, just in case you decide you like to read a book blind)



Tressa Jayne Turner has had it up to here with the never ending string of dumb-blonde jokes and her longtime nickname that's harder to get rid of than lint from a belly button. Crowned "Calamity Jayne" by Iowa Department of Natural Resources officer, Rick Townsend, Tressa's out to gain a little hometown respect -- or die trying. Unfortunately for Tressa, that may be the case. She's been handed the perfect opportunity to get "Ranger Rick", the doubting Don Juan of the DNR, and a skeptical citizenry to finally take her seriously. How? By solving a murder no one else believes happened. No one, that is, except the killer.Yup, Calamity Jayne is in it up to her hot pink snakeskin cowgirl boots and matching rhinestone belt--and it's a matter of life and death, respect and reputation, love, happiness, and the whole shebang. Tressa would tell you her momma never raised no dummies, but the jury's still out on that one. And as she has learned in her work at the Dairee Freeze: Sometimes life hands you a big, sloppy ice cream cone. You just have to know how to lick it.

I talked about my shopping spree there a few days back and what sold me on this book was the title and the cover. I glanced at the blurb and read the opening line of the book. Good enough. I decided then and there I had to branch out in my reading and what the hell, this looked like a fun read.

Great news! It was fun read!

You can definitely compare Bacus to Janet Evanovich only Bacus' humour is definitely more high brow and well, you get more bang for your buck here. In the beginning I had a hard time keeping up with the character of Jayne and her wise cracking ways. In one thought this woman could invoke popular culture, politics and religion and have me scrambling to keep up with the jokes. Luckily this trend slowed down near the middle of the book so I didn't feel like I was reading at a full run.

I don't want to put up spoilers and quite frankly it is fun to go into this book blind. Reading the excerpts and stuff at Amazon kind of spoil the fun ( I glanced through them just now to find the blurb and they gave away too much info ).

Tressa Jayne Turner is known as Calamity Jayne to most of the people who know her. It is a name that Jayne has definitely earned but, not in a 'holy crap you are TSTL' kind of way as more of a 'I'm a lightning rod for all things unlucky' way. Seeing as how I am much the same, I instantly liked Jayne. Also, the fact that she is working two minimum wage jobs to foot the bills also gets me to warm up to her. Enough with the heroines who have trust funds or are too brilliant for their own good. Give me somebody clinging to the job market and I'm there with them.

Unless they are a waitress. Too much reality. Been there, done it, have the nightmares.

What else can I tell you that won't ruin the story? Oh, it's told in first person and it's a mystery. I'm not sure why the book was in the romance section at my bookstore but I did figure it would be chick-lit. Didn't expect it to be a mystery.

Sonofa-! Guess what it says on the spine? Contemporary Romance. Uh, okay, not a chance in hell! This book should be labeled, shee-it, I don't know mystery designations but do they have humourous mystery as a category? I should look at Evanovich's spines on her books but that would involve me getting up.

Not going to happen. At least, not right now.

I'm in the zone. *snort*

So to sum up. This book is a funny mystery with a heroine who, although being 24, has way too much in common with my 35 year old self. Bacus' humour is not slapstick, oh wait, there was that one scene but, there were little to no one-liners. I say this because I don't remember any one-liners but they may have been there. Just hedging my bets.

As for the hero of this romance ::cough:: mystery ::cough:: he is the bedeviling best friend of Jayne's older brother and has been the bane of her existence for many years. If this was truly a romance I would be pissed not to be in the hero's head to get the downlow on why he *has* to be the bane of her existence. Is it a case of him never growing up past hair-pulling to get a girl's attention? Anyways, he is cute and can be sweet for all of the few times he shows up in the story.

I am grading this a solid B and I know that I ran into a continuity problem at one point but now I can't remember what it was so I am letting it go.

On that note, I am looking forward Jayne's next book and I can only hope that a bit more romance will end up in the book. I'm not saying there will be but, I am willing to try the next in the series to see if A) Bacus can still bring the funny and B) for the romance.

So there is my take on a book I just happened to find in the stacks.

Out on a limb.

Pretty good find, if I do say so myself.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Before Bed

The friends came today and we had a smashing good time. The food was great and I know I ate way too much of it. I had a little anxiety last night and again this morning when I got up at 10am to put the turkey in (only a tiny, pre-stuffed, cook from frozen) but once they arrived all went well.

So basically, tonight was the time to pig out.

I am trying to get into bed by 2am. Bob and I want to go see The Truth About Dick and Jane (movie) and Bob would like to see the 1am showing so I want to make sure I get enough sleep. Right now, I can barely keep my eyes open!

I have had time to read farther in Calamity Jane and it reminds me a bit of Janet Evanovich but with much more going on. So far, so good. Hopefully by Monday I can write something up.

I have seen that others doing the TBR challenge have already read some books.

Talk about feeling like an underachiever!!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Friends Are A-Coming!

First up! The person listed second in the links on the left sidebar is back.

Oh, all right. Off you go. I'll be here when you get back.

*toe tapping -- glancing at watch, staring at the ceiling -- heaving sigh*

Holy cow! What took ya?

I'm tellin' ya, it's like Elvis is back in the building! I'm so glad Maili is back! She was the one who suggested ::cough:: bullied ::cough:: me into starting a blog. Lucky you!

Second, Jay has a column up at Romancing the Blog (I'm horrible for not going there more but, I found it related more to writers so I only go if someone points the way) and has me over-thinking the way I pick out my books. How many chances does a new to you author get?

And now, just stuff. But, you knew that was coming.

I'm not sure if I blogged about not doing anything for New Years. It turned out that my friend got sick so I decided to move it back to this weekend. Good thing because I now know that I really wasn't on my game health wise last week. I thought it might've been anxiety that was keeping me from wanting to have my friends over for the New Year and I think it was partially but, I think it was also exhaustion.

I confirmed tonight that they could make it this Saturday and I am pumped which is such a nice change from being all twitchy ;)

Also, I drove to a couple of places out of town tonight by myself which I *can* do but it usually has me doing some self talking and I give myself a day's notice that tomorrow will be a travel day. I left the house without even thinking about it and I was fine. It was at dinner with Bob at IKEA (mmmm, meatballs and gravy) that I got my first spasm of panic (food=panic for me anyways so this would be where things would get tough) and I was going to take one of those magic pills but I thought, nah, I can do this. So I kept on and it passed.

No, it gets better!

So then we go to go home (separate cars because we met halfway to Bob's job) and the highway is bumper to bumper traffic so I notice this before I hit the ramp and Bob and I take the back roads. This takes twenty minutes because you are now traveling from city to city (Burlington to Hamilton) and I figure we are safe to go on the highway so I signal to Bob that we should take the next ramp. At the next ramp I see the reverse lights of those who are so stupid they figure they can back-up a ramp without getting killed. I know I'm in trouble. Sure enough, the minute I see the highway I realize it's a parking lot. This used to trigger my panic attacks.

Years ago when I was in deep panic mode, I rode with my husband for an hour on the highway to his brother's house with my eyes closed the whole way. Seeing a brake light could take my panic from a purr to a roar!

Now, I won't back up on a ramp because years ago someone manage to kill at least 4 people in a pile up because they were backing up on the highway. Apparently the people who backed up had no clue they had caused an accident and went merrily on their way. To this day, no one knows who it was. Pisses me off.

So I know I'm in it. I get along side a van and see a woman with her dome light on reading and I realize these people have been here a while. Nuts. I get into the middle lane and I'm parked while the guy behind me is reclined, reclined! in his car seat because he has been waiting around so long.

And there it is. The thought that makes me want to scream. 'What if I have a panic attack?' and I bloody well thought to myself (in a very loud voice) 'Bring. It. The. Fuck. On! It's only a panic attack and it's not like I can do anything about the parking lot I am in!'. Can you believe that buzzy feeling of panic left like I had lit a fire under it's butt?

I loooovvve when I can kick panic's ass!! Makes me feel like I can do anything! Luckily Bob and I timed our arrival right because the highway suddenly opened up and I didn't have to swear at myself any longer.

Not only am I not anxious, I am looking forward to seeing my friends this weekend AND I haven't seen the sun in almost three weeks (overcast, blah).

It's a New Year's miracle!


I am currently reading Calamity Jane (I am a slow reader) and I am loving it but, I finally understand what others have said about books being too witty or too fast. The character Jane is always 'on'. It's like being locked in a room for a day with Robin Williams in his 'comedic' mode! Hey, I love Robin Williams but, even he needs a break once in a while!

The book is published by Lovespell, which I wish I hadn't noticed because with 'love' in the publisher's name I am suddenly expecting a romance. I started the book believing it would be a chick-lit and I am fine with other types of fiction if I know going in that it is not a romance. Romance at that point is just a boon! Now I see the word Lovespell and I am getting expectations. Down boy!

Also, while looking for the picture of the cover I discovered that there will be a sequel in July called Calamity Jane Rides Again.

Stupid series books.

On that note, I am not going to get much reading in for the next few days. I am trying to track down some books for my trading buddies and then Rosario and Kristie have got me 'hot to trot' on book tracking through Excel. I haven't had time to look through everything just so you know. I may be asking questions later on.

Thanks ladies! Just what I needed. Another vice!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Book Shopping!

I had way too much fun at the bookstore tonight! I went in with no budget in mind (got a shock at the check-out) and picked up a few books based on either the title or a peek at the back blurb.

I think y'all are going to be proud of me!

I have already started to read Calamity Jane by Kathleen Bacus and this author is right up my alley! I got hooked by the title and then the cover has a huge ice-cream cone on it. Then I read only part of the blurb because I don't like spoilers and decided, what the hell, I need to branch out. I am 15 pages in and I'm hooked. It's probably a bad sign that I can relate to a 24 year old character when I myself am a goal free 35 year old. I've decided I'm a late bloomer. I'll let you know how this goes. I would still be reading but Bob wanted to watch TV and I really can't do two things at once. There, you know my secret.

The next one I grabbed off the shelf had a cupcake on it. The novel is called Fat Chance by Deborah Blumenthal. I'm not sure how this one'll play. According to the blurb the heroine is a non-dieter and proud of it. She writes a weekly column about loving one's self or some such. Then she has to meet some Hollywood star and secretly begins to diet. I hope it is a fun book and doesn't make me feel guilty about my own hefty self.

I was then wandering around in the Canadian section and saw a book called Beauty Tips From Moose Jaw by Will Ferguson. C'mon, look at that polar bear!

'Who's da preddy bear? Is it you? Yeah, you're da preddy bear.'

Ahem. It has a Stephen Leacock medal of honour on it so I figured it might be a good one to try. I really should support my Canadian authors. Says it's funny. Better be or it'll be dog food.

I then decided to look at that handy dandy list that I brought with me.

Susan Carroll, hmmm, I have heard much about her.

Let's see if she's here. Oh, here it is in fiction so get it in your head - not a romance.

The back blurb got me at 'consort'. Holy crap! A real live consort! IN!!!

Now, here is where Rosario is going to bust a nut.

I know I'm a talker but, I saw The Secret Pearl by Balogh, immediately thought of Rosario and BOOM BABY, it landed in the special little tote bag a nice clerk got for me. Never knew they had such a thing. Luckily Bob wasn't with me or he might have keeled over at the sight of such a convenient way to lug books to the counter. Also explains the number of books I managed to carry around the store! So I have another Balogh in the house. It is only a matter of time before I am forced by the sheer number of them to read one ;) Easy, no guilt tripping on me now!

Mental break (take that as you wish)! So there I am in the bookstore sure as can be that this is one of Rosario's all time favs of Balogh and then suddenly the rickety brain of mine fires up and goes 'are you sure, sure?' I mean, maybe she said it was the worst one of Balogh. Crap. Well I have to buy it but, was it the best or the worst? Does it matter? Other people's worst normally turn out to be my best. So does that mean her best might be my worst?

And repeat.

I need a holiday from my brain.

I heard that!


Then comes the self-help portion of the book buying extravaganza! This may be more telling than I wish it to be but what the hell, we're here already.

What Should I Do With My Life by Po Bronson.

The puppies ate the hard cover edition of this book and no, I haven't read it yet. Just in case I do decide to do something with my life, it's good to know I have a book for just such an occasion.

Shut up.

I'm a late bloomer.

Then I decided to waste some money on a book called The Portion Teller by Lisa R. Young blah blah. (sorry, apparently she has lots of degrees and stuff) I saw this on CNN while channel flipping and I wanted to see what portions I should be eating.

I already know the whole 'a portion of meat is the size of a deck of cards' and I pretty much decided last year that I should just halve everything I eat. Didn't say I *did* halve everything but, I figured it out without any fancy degrees or anything. Hmm, this is getting bitter. Anyways, I thought it would be enlightening and here's hoping I find time to read it before the 2010.

What I did like was that when the author was told there were 'thirty seconds left, can you boil down what people should be doing?' she answered quickly, honestly and informatively. I remember the part about halving your portions but she gave two other ideas also. I thought that was very sporting of her because I have seen too many authors say things like 'you'll have to read my book'. A sure way to get me to avoid your book is to act like I *have* to buy your book.

Are you tired yet? Good. We have one more.

When the Body Says No by Gavor Mate, M. D. This one caught my eye and then I thought 'damn, my body says no all the time!' Oh, looking at the cover the author has written another book called Scattered Minds. Damn. That's the book I should have bought. Anyways, Bob has been having some health issues that I think are directly related to how he feels about his job. I thought both of us might find some useful information there. The cost of hidden stress.

Yeah. I know all about the body and the way it reacts to stress.

Poorly is an understatement.

So there you go! Way too much information about me and self-help books. I do so love them although I rarely if ever read them - I think I like the idea of them. What Should I Do With My Life? Oh look, apparently there is a book that tells me what to do. Perfect. Can't read it because then I may discover that the book doesn't know what I should do either and that'd just be messin' with my head. Better to think there is an answer and all I have to do is read about it someday.

Hey, again, I've never claimed to be sane!

After all, they'll let anybody get a blog nowadays!

New Host

Just a head's up that Angie W (added link to sidebar!) will be hosting Keishon's TBR Challenges for a while.

The idea is to read as many books as you feel like from your TBR pile within the month with a certain theme. This month is 'pure' contemporary romance. That means, try to stay away from paranormals or romantic suspense books. I'm a bit worried because I didn't even know that straight contemporaries were written anymore! Hopefully, Shannon McKenna will fill the bill.

Then I will troll through the pile and see what else I can drag up! Hey, there is an old book called Lucky's Lady. At least, I think that is what it is called. Oh, I have some Nora Roberts books that are on the shelf. Perfect!

On that note, she is looking for suggestions for the upcoming months. I'm considering asking for a Balogh month but I think most people have read her.

Selfish thing I am.

Monday, January 02, 2006

My Best of 2005

Yeah, yeah.

Everyone has already done theirs and I'm late to the party again.

Remember that record keeping resolution I made? Looks like I have to keep better records of the books I have read also. I used to write them in a journal (just little with tiny notes) but then I started blogging. Now I have to go through the old posts to find what I have read.

Not. Bright.

*audience responds in one voice* Not. A. Surprise.


All right, no more interactive stuff!

Where was I?

Right! *mumbling, August, Sept, okay, uh-oh*

Turns out my book blog is not nearly as bookish as I thought. Humbling indeed. Makes those book resolutions look better with every minute.

Anyways, the criteria is the book has to be published in 2005 and uh, yeah, looks like that is the only rule.

I read 43 books in total for the year of which 17 were published in 2005. Not bad, not great. Then again, I tried 16 new (to me) authors this year and that is really going out on a limb. The year before I really only read auto buy authors and the odd book that had a lot of buzz. I started the year out right by not limiting myself to only books published in 2005 and read a few titles from AAR's Buried Treasure article and I was pleased to find new authors. I also looked to my TBR pile this year instead of always looking for new books. Turns out I did have a pile of keepers waiting to be found.

My, how I do go on. Before another stray thought hits, I give you my best reads of 2005.

1. Dark Lover by J. R. Ward - yep, an author that no one has heard of but I'm telling you this book is a gem! I'm stunned more people haven't heard of her and you should read this book immediately.

2. Passion by Lisa Valdez - yum. I don't care that others thought of painful exams with legs up in stirrups (seriously, look into a new Dr.), I thought this was brilliant and I loved the course language. I even enjoyed the over the top feeling of the book although I was left wondering just how big of a screen the H/H were having sex behind. Turns out it is huge. Yeah, I looked it up.

3. Black Ice - Anne Stuart - *swoon*

4. Undead and Unappreciated - Mary Janice Davidson - finally a book that had it all. Character depth, good sex and humour. Ding, ding, we have a winna!

5. Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase - Mmmreow. Really, there are no other words. Rupert was a dream and yes the opening was slow but once you hit Giza, it's gold! Gold, I tell you! For me this book has edged out Lord of Scoundrels as her best and I can't wait for her new one. Okay, I'm waiting, but, you know, not happy like.

6. Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann - Jules and Robin. That's it, that's all. I loved this book for the secondary characters. Not a real surprise with a Brockmann (oops, super bitch just arrived). I have it listed as an A+ so I will leave it although I am bitter about her latest book and we are on a break. She's horrified I assure you.

Now, I may have missed one or two because I am not nearly as organized as I should be and I have a horrible memory. All the same, these were the books I absolutely loved (in the case of #6, I loved it at the time). I'm not even sure I should list Hot Target because as great as Jules was in the book, Cosmo and Jane's story was just 'meh'. There, I said it.

Just for mindless fun.

The books that made me want to pry my eyeballs out of my head, place them on the desk and beat them furiously with my fists until they were a wee pile of ooze:

Carrera's Bride by Diana Palmer - holy crap. More like hellish crap but you get the point. Palmer has been a guilty pleasure for years but I hadn't bought one of her books for a while. I decided to try this one. A Palmer book without an asshole hero. Hell has frozen over. I have no notes on the book but I remember it like it was yesterday. Therapy is not working.

The Diva's Guide to Selling Your Soul by Kathleen O'Reilly - mindless crap that was made even more repugnant because I paid a trade size price.

These are the kind of books that make you rethink a willy nilly approach to book purchases.

That'll learn ya.

New Year's Book Resolutions

No, don't run away. This isn't going to be painful. No budgeting or anything like that (thank you Jesus!).

I have been doing this post over a few days and it just occurred to me that I have been lazy in my record keeping!

I have a red suede journal that I use to write down potential books to buy. (TBB list) I just realized that it has been months since I wrote any book titles into this tome. I have Megan's book A Singular Lady written down (I have it but have not read it yet) and HotSpell written down but I think I wrote those in August sometime. No wonder I think I don't have any books to look forward to! I haven't been making the proper notes when traveling to other blogs or when I am at AAR. I am horrible with names and titles so it is useless for me to go to a bookstore without a list. Browsing can be fun but, if you *know* there is a book you want to buy and for the life of you, you can't remember what it was, it will drive you batty. Yes. You. What? I'm the only one who forgets what it is she is supposed to be looking for? Liar!!


Anyways. Book New Year's resolution number 1 - start writing down the titles of books that intrigue me. I can always follow up by reading the backblurb and the first couple pages of the book before I buy it. Make doubly sure to write down my fellow bloggers favourite book lists.

Resolution #2

I have decided I have way too many authors I need to get to reading from the TBR pile.

For example:

I have not read Shannon McKenna and I have read good things about her. I have two of her books in the TBR pile so I will read one in the month of January.

I have not tried a Mary Balough in years (I figured out from LLB that I had read at least one of her books but I can't remember the title now) and I have a few that are reader's favourites in my TBR pile so I will read one for the month of January.

Are you beginning to see where this is going? Yep, pull up a chair cause this may be a long list!

I have a Jo Goodman that was found for me that I will read in January.

I have a Karen Marie Moning book in the pack somewhere and with Rosario saying it's a good try I will see if I can read it in January

Oh, I want to read Pamela Clare's Ride the Fire so we'll put that one in the cue. (Oh the cover, ow, ow, ow)

Susan Squires! I have The Hunger and The Companion staring at me so I should just pick one up and read already.

I haven't read Lisa Kleypas' Autumn book yet but I wasn't thrilled with her last one. I liked the book well enough but I commented in my book reading journal that I wish the H/H would have buried the hatchet earlier. I have heard rumblings about the latest which usually means I will love it *crosses fingers*.

I should drag out the monstrosity of a book about Lymond and try it. I understand that you have to stay with it for 100 pages before everything clicks into place. So I will have to pick a good time to start this. A time without an interruptions so I cannot find excuses to put the book down.

Hmmm, this should keep me out of trouble for January but then, I may end up reading a whole bunch of other books but, I am going to read at least a book a week!

Resolution #3

Figure out which books the dogs ate and replace them. Bob knows it is going to happen but, I'm not sure he will be ready for the sticker shock. They really liked those hardcovers. On that note, the other night Bob came down and snuggled on the couch with me. Suddenly he says, now, I don't want you to get upset. I tense thinking he is going to announce finding a new house for me to see, or a potential new reno house but no, he says ' the dogs got a Brockmann'. He's holding me real tight like he expects me to go wild. Huh. I say. Turns out they ate Max and Gina's book which probably deserved to be eaten by dogs but, I haven't had a chance to re-read it without my preconceived notions clouding the story. Ah well, it's better that I wait for the paperback release to re-read the book. See how calm I am being? Every book is going to be replaced no matter the cost. Poor Bob, but then he did say he figured that would be the end result anyways. Smart man.

Resolution #4

This is an oldie but I have been lax. I will continue reading a book until at least the half way point before deciding I cannot finish it. I have been doing that few pages thing again and it's always the start of a slump. I see no reason to be in a slump. I have hundreds of stellar books in the TBR pile but not buying new books tends to make me edgy and then the mind decides I must be in a slump because I'm not buying books. Uh, no. Time to re-think.

* sits in meditative position and chants - I will not run out of books to read. I will not run out of books to read.*

Since you've been here before I'm going to assume you know I don't like to overburden myself ::cough:: so that is where I am going to saw off. I could have hundreds of resolutions but they make me feel inadequate so this year I decided on fun resolutions. Resolutions I would really want to keep.

It occurs to me that I may not be using the word 'resolutions' at it is intended.