Thursday, August 31, 2006

First Real Reno At OUR House

Our new (old) house needs a ton of work and for a while there I wasn't so sure where we were going to start.

Then Bob gutted the mainfloor bathroom.

Okay, then, bathroom it is.

Before shots? Good thing I took them the first time he threatened to gut the bathroom or there wouldn't be any!

Yep, Barbie's bathroom.

Now, my cousin's boyfriend is about 130 pounds soaking wet and he came up to me at one point and said 'Wow, tiny bathroom, eh?'

That's the door I'm standing in so there is maybe 2' of floor space. Still, nothing like Pepto Bismol pink and funky snot coloured green to make a bathroom feel all luxious and cozy.


So, Bob and I had been looking (and looking and good God, are we still looking?) for those vanities that look like old dressers and such that are really hot right now. Problem is we have limited space and that's only the first problem. After that, it's the clash of that 'tastes' that has one squeeeeing and one vomitting.

Now, there is always a certain point where I get worn down enough that I just give so that I don't have to go to one more store looking for the holy grail of chandeliers or bedding or pillows or anything that Bob has decided he has an interest in and yes, I know I'm lucky but there are days that his crazy ass 80s and retro 50s shit makes me nutty.

Oooops. Let's see if I can get back on point.

So there we are once again going from Homesense to Homesense (like a home wares (funiture/cookware/art/bedding wholesaler but not wholesale, just good prices) when I spot this dresser in a tiny store front window. I tell Bob to pull over which I never do because, well, I'm lazy and the less I have to get in and out of a vehicle the happier I am. Yes, I know it's sad but I'm just being honest and let's face it, if Bob has to deal with me going 'nope, not getting out of the car, I'll sit and read' then you can all still love my lazy ways too.

So, store front and dresser. Turns out we didn't buy the dresser in the window because it was too mod but we did finally agree on a dresser and it was the perfect size.

Also, the fact that the legs are up higher will give the illusion that the floor space in the bathroom is bigger.

To the right is a picture showing that all the drawers opened when we bought it.

The top two drawers are now only the fronts screwed into place. The second drawer will be able to open but have a cut out around the plumbing. The two bottom drawers will be the hardest because neither drawer is big enough to hold toilet paper so we will be cutting out the bottom of the third drawer and then connecting it to the bottom drawer so that it can store toilet paper and such.

And here is our midway point.

So now we are on the new search for the perfect faucet which I have said has to come out of the wall while Bob thinks putting the taps in off to the right or something would be nice.

Nope. Not buying it. Also, I tend to be looking at extremely contemporary fixtures whereas Bob seems drawn to the 'old world' kind.

Just so you know my plan is to ceramic tile everything. The floor will be done, the walls will be done and then a nice chair-rail effect with ceramic also. That tumbled marble look is the way I'm going. You can't see the window in this picture but just above the vanity is a window and Bob insists that the vanity must be centered with it. Our original plan was to put the dresser against the right wall and turn the toilet so it was beside it. I think I've been over-ruled.

So Bob has taken this Friday off so that we can go shopping for bathroom faucets. He is suggesting I get up at 10 am so we can head into Toronto to look at the designer stores. First, I'm cheap. Second, I don't need to see how the other half lives. I'm just trying to make it look designerish without the designer price tag.

Here's hoping that I can keep that ugly green eyed monster from making an appearance. I'm not good at seeing things that make me want to weep from their sheer beauty so I'm figuring a good old fashion depression should hit around 3 pm because I don't make any money and if I did maybe we could afford that horribly overpriced toilet/shower/vanity combo.

Yep, a lesson in humility is in the making folks.

Can you feel my excitement?

And Z's book wasn't at the bookstore.

No. I'm okay. A little helping of patience to go with my heap of humility should be just what the doctor ordered.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need chocolate.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Waiting For Z

Okay, let's just get it out in the open.

I'm a wreck.

What's weird is I should be pumped and I think I am but I'm not used to this emotion as I haven't had this kind of response to an author in years!

Yeah, Zsadist's book is coming out on September 6th but let's face it, I'm hoping that one of my tiny bookstores has missed the whole 'do not sell before' thing and has a copy sitting proudly in the romance section.

Shit, it can be in the 'How to Groom Your Dog into a Sissy Pants' section, I just so need it to be there!

Tomorrow I'm going out with my best buds and we are going to the local mall and the little store in there is famous (okay, just to me) for having books before it's even humanly possible. I mean sometimes I swear they have the book before the author has even written it. Yes, exaggeration but I'm all wired and jazzy. I'm itching to get to that store and yet I'm terrified I'll burst into tears if the book isn't there.

Okay, I won't cry but I'll pout. Oh all right. I'll try to be an adult about it but still, it should be there.

Just for me.

Cause I'm special.

Ha, ha. Funny. I'm special in a princess sort of way, okay? Royalty should have some perks is all I'm saying.

Anyways, I can't remember if I admitted this on the blog or not so here it is.

I couldn't find my copy of Lover Eternal (stupid closet of horrors!!) and was forced (shut up, there was a gun involved) to buy another copy so I could re-read Z's parts.

Yeah, that's right, I'm not ashamed.

Damn. You're right. I need therapy.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I'm Late! I'm Late!

I suggested a meme there a couple of days ago and Kristie and Devonna and Mailyn and Kailana and well, every one else except me did it. I even saw some 'tude from Renee and since she hasn't been around - uncool!

Oh, all right, I'll say it.

Bad Cindy.

Okay, I've been avoiding it because well, here are the rules.

List your Top 20-25 Favourite Romance Book by 20-25 DIFFERENT Authors.

Did you catch that?

One Anne Stuart.

One Katherine Sutcliffe.

One Suzanne Brockmann - although in reality this one isn't going to be hard.

Edited two days in: HOLY LORD!!! I'm on number 7 and I'm stuck. Off to read others lists and see if I can jog my horrible memory. No, it's not cheating. I just have a horrible memory. In better news at the rate I'm going in ten years I will be able to re-read all my favourite books because I won't have any idea what they are about. See? Silver lining. And it's tough right now but that's another story.

Edited: I've gone in a bit of a different direction than I probably should have. I know, I'm a trail blazer. I have gone back to some of my favourite reads from years ago. When Kristie was visiting I was telling her how I know that I read a book (I can't even remember the title to and my damn book journal is missing) about two years ago now and I had written in the margin of my journal that it was a keeper. I have no clue what the book is about. That said, there are stories from 10 years ago that still tumble about in my brain. So I decided to reach back and pull a few forward. I know there are some newbies to romance and maybe some of my 'way backs' will lead you to some great reads.

Anyways, enough whining. The list!

1. Lord of Danger by Anne Stuart, wait! Moonrise? NO! Now You See Him? Ohhh the one with the baby and the soldier...


Okay, you caught me.

*grumbles* Made up the meme, think I could cheat a little but no-oh-oh.


1. Lord of Danger by Anne Stuart - tortured hero and plain heroine and favourite scene ever! Actually, there isn't a bad scene in the book the more I think on it. The rooftop storm, the poisoned wine, the bars of her cage. Beautiful.

2. Dream Fever by Katherine Sutcliffe - you want a dark gritty read that comes with a HEA this is it! I don't think there is anything that Sutcliffe shies away from in this story.

3. The Secret by Julie Garwood - I don't think I will ever tire of this one. The others maybe but not this one. I always prefer the romance in a story to be the central theme and it was in this story but I also loved the friendship when that part of a story usually rings false.

4. Morning Glory by Lavyrle Spencer - a pure romance that I think will always stand the test of time. Two social misfits finding each other and acceptability within their community. Proof that it's never too late.

5. Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase - get to Giza and then keep going - if at half way point your not in love just walk away! Yep, this one beat out Lord of Scoundrels because it made me weepy - "miss you". This is surprising because I love the tortured hero and Dane from LOS is definitely that but the fact that Chase could make me fall in love with a charmer when they usually give me hives makes this one just that much sweeter.

6. Time Enough for Love by Suzanne Brockmann - a TT Loveswept that blew my mind. Hot and sexy and no loose ends. Brilliant. I don't read TT anymore because most authors never address the complexities of what happens when you change something in the past. Sandy Blair had a time travel and yes, I loved it except that the ending so didn't work for me. If there is a change in the past then people who were locked into a fate because of that past would not have the same lives and would not exist in the future. Yeah, if you want spoiler stuff let me know and I'll elaborate on exactly how *I* think TT changes, well, time!

7. Anyone But You by Jennifer Cruisie - probably her best book and everything else tries to be this and isn't.

8. Dream Man by Linda Howard - probably the first ESP book that worked for me. I loved it. Yes, the hero is a walking hormone but I liked how frank and sexual he was. It wouldn't have worked with a weak heroine but I think she gave as good as she got. I haven't re-read this one in a while and it's due. Normally I have this title in the same sentence as Duncan's Bride but I think Dream Man allowed for more tender moments.

9. Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare - this was a western historical that had it all. Even a baby and you all know how I feel about them critters. This is the type of story that would appeal to those who loved the movie Last of the Mohicans. The hero was tortured as was the heroine but seeing as how rough life was in the past I appreciated an author who didn't shrug off the dangers.

10. Texas Glory by Lorraine Heath - I would like to re-read this and see if it stands the test of time. I love stories of fueding families being foiled by marriage. I can't quite remember why they married only that the heroine was of no worth to her family so the basically sold her to the hero. It's a western historical that would probably be hard to come by now but it is well worth the hunt.

Okay!! Which of you nutjobs came up with this meme!?

Oh, right.

Carry on.

11. For My Lady's Heart by Laura Kinsale - I had no idea what I was getting into but OMG what a great story. There are those who never warmed up to the heroine and yeah, she was a piece but I understood her. That said, it was Ruck who had me at hello. I've never encountered such a hero and I doubt to find another. He is the epitome of what a Knight was and if ever there were a knight in shining armour it would be Ruck.

12. Annie's Song by Catherine Anderson - an Americana historical that allows for bad things to happen. A misunderstood woman 'idiot girl' who finds a new life with a man not all that sure he wants anything to do with her. Watching Alex fall in love with his wife did bring a few tears to my eyes and since that is rare this book makes the list.

13. Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward - since I'm doing this list before Z's book I have to say that Rhage's book was my favourite of this author. I like the risks that Ward took with Rhage as a character and I came to love him as much as Mary. Still, the Scribe Virgin must die. I'll let you all know if Z's book bumps this from the list but I'm pretty sure it will.

14. A Pocketful of Paradise by Kathleen Kane - historical western with a soul collector as a hero. There were scenes in this book that made me catch my breath. In all honesty, it was a toss up between this one and Still Close to Heaven and I'm still not sure I made the right decision. I have to re-read these two to find out which one has the gun fight. Both of these books had me tearing up and I've already mentioned how that's tough to do.

15. Fairest of Them All by Teresa Medeiros - you know how I like dark romances? Well the first part of this story is simply about two people falling in love until the deceit is uncovered and then all hell breaks loose. Don't think of this as one of those Big Misunderstanding stories because that's not the case. Something as simple as beauty tears the H/H apart. Wonderful twist on the Beauty and the Beast theme.

16. Lost Warriors by Rachel Lee - I have a thing for older men with younger women and yet, this story was so much more. It was the first time I had read about a Vietnam veteran and discovered what post traumatic stress was. Also the sexual tension in this story was amazing. Another story where I wonder if it would stand the test of time. I never liked another of Lee's books but I'm pretty sure I have this one around still.

17. Lions and Lace by Meagan McKinney - this story was painful to read in all honesty and yet I remember so much of it. All the same, does anyone know either the title or author of a story in which the hero believes that he is killing women - like a Jack the Ripper story only it turns out his valet is killing the women and using red wine to knock the hero out? I thought it was by McKinney and if it is then I would put that book before this one for the closet scene alone and all I remember is there was a closet scene so it must have been good ;)

Okay, can I just say this whole keeping it to different authors is killing me!? I'm just saying.

Hey, I'm PMS-ing and have been working on this list without the aid of my memory book for two days and don't get me started on which taps we are going to buy for our bathroom reno because between Bob's tacky taste and my champagne taste we're banging heads AND I'm painting trim in our basement for the reno house. That's right. The reno house. God forbid I actually crack a can of paint for the house I'm living in! Oh, and get this, the people who are purchasing our house have asked for an extension to get their financing arranged which has had Bob pacing around all night saying that the deal is going to fall through and we'll have to start over. Me? I'm waiting until I hear one way or the other. All the same, I'm checking prices on a new pair of Ass Kickers just in case my real estate agent needs a talking to.

Shit, where were we? We were done, right?


18. Public Secrets by Nora Roberts - OMG!! How could I have forgotten this book? As someone near and dear would say, this book 'rocked my socks!' This was probably the first book I read that dealt with more than one person and spanned so many years that I couldn't help but cry at certain points. I'm one of those people who find it heart breaking when two people who are perfect for each other wide up apart for years - and this was the secondary story line! Also, reality is something that Roberts does not spare the reader. Excellent book.

19. Perfect by Judith McNaught - one of only two contemporaries that I know of McNaught publishing. I remember very little about this book except that the heroine was adopted and was illiterate. I know I loved this book and I think the separation that McNaught always puts in her stories wasn't as horrible here because it wasn't as long. I think she may have even managed to avoid the Big Misunderstanding which she normally uses in all her stories.

20. A Rogue in a Kilt by Sandy Blair - see what I did there? I just picked a keeper from the air. I was trying to remember all of Kleypas' books and which would be my favourite when the ache in my back became overwhelming and I decided to go in a totally different direction. What can I say. I loved this book. If you hate Scottish set historicals then don't even think of picking up this book. Also, if seeing dialect in a book is jarring run far away. Oh, the heroine is a healer. All the same, this book was a joy and made me remember what it was I loved about Julie Garwood when she was all brand sparkly new. I think I've been waiting forever for the next book by this author - OMG!! According to Amazon this book was released in Dec. 2004 and I think I may have read it in Feb. 2005. Her next book will finally come out this November. Almost 2 years. Yikes. Let's hope it's worth the wait!

Okay, UNCLE!!!

I can't possibly add anymore right now. I have to go and check on that trim I have painted with three coats of white paint. It's for windows so I have to now take an exacto knife and scrape off paint globs on the edges that would cause the trim to bow and thus someone with a caulking gun would have some work to do. Heaven forbid and all that but I'm nothing if not a perfectionist when it comes to my work. *snort* I used work in a sentence with me!

So here is my disclaimer, this list is subject to change at any freakin' moment I chose. That's right, it's fluid and my 'oh yeah!' brain wave pattern is sure to kick in the minute I publish this.

Also, I'm keeping my big mouth shut from now on!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Thanks Everybody!

First I have 5 books listed on my Favourite 25 books by 25 Authors. The good news is that every once in a while I'll go, 'oh yeah!'. I figure my list will be ready by Christmas. Also, I have a meme of 20 things that piss me off but I'm still in a pretty good mood and let's not harsh on the buzz.


Thanks for all the birthday wishes and I can't believe I have people who think my life is cool. Hey, I enjoy it ;) And Suisan is right, where did I get the idea that 36 was all grown up? Stupid thinking really.

So, loot.

I got a 30 dollar gift certificate for Chapters from Cody.

Stop laughing Renee.

I got a 30 dollar gift certificate from Emma and Amber.


Bobby bought me a wireless keyboard *score!* so that I can have my keyboard on my lap with my legs up on my desk.

Yes. I do type like that.

Yes. Another reason why I don't have a job. I look too laid back.

Oh, I also got an Australian Shepherd magazine and calendar. ( I think Bob is also regretting that we didn't take enough pictures of Rocky ) Funny thing is that Cody is not a Shepherd (left side - they have longer coats). He's not a cattle dog either (short coat but bulkier bodies and upright ears). We still think he may have some Dingo in him but I saw a picture years ago of an Australian Sheep Dog and he looked just like Cody so that's what I call him. Problem is, you can't find stuff with ASD on it.

My parents bought me this oval night stand that I found while shopping last week which is beautiful and it was so priced right that I'm considering furnishing my entire house from this place and no, it's not IKEA. Oh, I have pictures so I'll post them. I know. You are soooo lucky!

Mom and Dad also got me a great book called Decorating With Books - hey, I think my parents may have finally figured out who I am!

Year 36 people.

OMG! I have to tell you about my mom.

Take a pee break if you need it!

We play this game called Upwords (it's a ball) but lately we are playing 'speed round' Upwords because if you play too serious it can take hours and if it's a work night or if Bob has to get up early he doesn't like to play. So the last time we played I came up with speed round and basically you get to lean in to people taking to long and mock them in varying degrees of volume by saying 'Speed Round!!!' It's very disconcerting when it's your turn and you realize the place you were going to put your word has now been obliterated and my dad has his hands cupped around his mouth bellowing 'Speed Round!!'

Yeah, we're nutty.

Anyways. Even when my mom is playing normal she basically will end up with about 3 letter tiles in her hand and well, this is what happens:

Mom: *Has a V, T and B in her hands while looking over the board and trying for the most points* Oh! I can make video!

Dad: Yeah, you can.

Me: *I've been leaning over and looking at my mother's tiles because she's had some wine and speed round goes better if you help her out* You have a D?

Mom: Oh. No. Okay, wait. I can

Bob: *leans towards me* Remind your mother it's speed round.

Me: I'm telling her it's from you and she won't make lasagna again.

Bob: *shuts up*

Mom: Oh, I know, oasis! I'll get a ton of points!

Dad: Anne, you just said you have no vowels.

Mom: Right, right. Okay, wait.

Me: Speed Round!

Mom: Oh, up your nose!

Dad: Put your B over here and make bed.

Mom: I don't want to do that because I'll only get six lousy points.

Me: Here!! Put your V here.

Bob: *groans*

Dad: *groans*

Mom: Oh, yeah, thanks! How many points will that be?

Me: 30

Mom: *looking over at the score card that my dad has* Am I winning!?

Dad: *resigned sigh* Yes Anne.

Me: *looking at Bob* You had a letter for there didn't you? Ha ha.

Bob: *gives me the look* It's your turn - speed round!

And so it goes for most of the night. We all know what it's like to play with mom and I think it's hilarious and yet at the same time scary.

Last night, near the end of the game, I caught myself with three letter tiles in my hand and yelling 'Oh, I can make zebra!! Wait, I don't have an e. Oh, boat! Wait, no B! OH MY GOD!!'

I turned to Bob with a look of horror on my face.

'Mark this day on the calendar. August 25, 2006 at the age of 36 Cindy officially became her mother.' *fake cries*

Give it a minute.

One more.

'Hey! What's wrong with being like me? I can spell!'

Yep, three sheets to the wind but she can spell. Not with any letters she actually possesses but, she can spell. Not only that, it's a good thing she's drunk or she might have figured out the deeper meaning to what I said.

Since I'm still alive to tell the story, I think it's safe to say that my mother truly believes it's her spelling that I was maligning.

Sometimes I get lucky.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Yeah I did and IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!

Since she outted herself then I think it's safe to blog about who I met with ;)

Now I want to have a huge party with all us bloggers together but since I don't fly, you'll all have to come up here. Oh, and it'll be a sleep where you fall kinda party ;) Oh and Mailyn, I'll get Bob to drive me down your way when the first major snow storm hits. Keep an eye on the weather channel. Could happen any time.


I'll try not to blow too much sunshine but, Kristie is just as sweet and open as she is on her blog. She's quieter than most of us would think but she admitted before she came that she's a bit shy. I was worried I'd scare her with my loud self and on that note, maybe I did! I even cooked but from here on in, it's take out baby. I just didn't know any Chinese food places that would deliver but, later that night I was telling my real estate agent about that and he told me a few places that would deliver. Super cool!

I'll have to test run them.

You know.

Just to make sure they're good.


TODAY'S MY BIRTHDAY *starts singing - but not that song that would cost me mega bucks if sang in public or some such nonsense but the one the one that plays on ET, uh, I think*

Birthday party

Even though I don't speak the language, I get the idea. Here's hoping my day is better than hers.

I should actually be horrified by the fact that I am now turning 36 because I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

Shut up.

Course, now I'm just happy to be me and try not to live by what society (okay, my mom) thinks people should do. I mean, I'm pretty sure I'm an anomoly. Wait, I'm not just sure, I know because I have yet to meet anyone else like me.

I don't have children AND I don't work.

No, we're not independently wealthy. I just couldn't work for THE MAN. Or for THE WOMAN. Actually, I'm pretty sure I couldn't work for A MONKEY. Hell, I met Bob through my first job out of university or as I like to call it 'the unholy pit of hell experience' and I sure couldn't work for him! I just don't mesh and Bob doesn't seem to mind and the dog doesn't seem to mind and the cats, well, they might care but that's only because the other cats in the neighbourhood talk.

So we'll see what today brings although I know I'm going to my parents for dinner so I'll be chewing my anxiety pills like tic tacs.

Sybil is going to brain me but, I'm pretty sure I didn't take my pill today and when I wasn't sure, I figured if I did it wouldn't hurt if I took an extra (did this by accident once and called Telehealth and was assured I would be fine). But then Bob came home and I got distracted and then I couldn't figure out if I had taken a second pill or not. So yeah, I didn't take a pill because if it was a third pill I'd be in a coma. Okay, not really but whatever.

Now we all get to sit around and see if weepy Cindy makes an appearance (side effect of missing a dose or uh, a few). Since I will be in the presense of my ego crushing mother I betting she will which is too bad because normal Cindy can throw down. No really.

My mom cut back on the verbal smack downs when she realized that I wasn't afraid to fight back (I was like 30).

Now she picks on Billy. I don't think boys can be mean to their mothers.

Sucks to be him.

Oh and just so you all know Cody was put on Medicam which is an anti-inflammatory and a pain med. Bob got all teary eyed when I told him this and was all 'does the vet think he's in pain?'. Nah, but it can't hurt. Right now he is sleeping soundly without any heavy panting which is great because today was his first dose so it looks like this will work.

Course the vet likes to scare the crap out of owners by saying 'watch for black tar poop or vomit because that means the meds are giving him a stomache ulcer'.

Grrrreeeeaat. Just what I needed.

Another mandate to watch my dear pets' fecal matter.

Happy Birthday to me.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Yeah Baby!!!

Two great things happened today.

I got to meet one of my blogging buddies in person for the first time *wave* and had a great visit talking about life, books and blogging!

And then.

No, I can't.

Wait, I know, guess!

Awwww, c'mon. No guessing?


I'll tell you.

Wait, I'm basking in the glow...

Still basking...

Yeah, basking...

We sold our house!!!!

*wiggling butt dance, ooooo, awwww, yeah, baby, singing 'Nah, nah, nah, nah, yeah, ha, ha, gooooood-bye!'*

Phew!! I'm just so relieved. The house closes at the end of September and do we have to paint? NO! Do we have to blow french doors into the back of the house? NO! Change flooring intermittently? NO!

It's all done. I don't have to go back to the other house unless it is to clean the other pool and really, who am I kidding? Y'all know I'm going to send Bob.

Okay, that's it for me, I'm officially brain dead. Or damaged. Whatever.

I heard that.

Monday, August 21, 2006

My Great Shame

In honour of Jay who has managed to read 6 of the Top 100 Romance list according to AAR I will now post my reads of the Top 100 Book of All Time as found here. If you are easily shocked leave now before you judge me a complete moron.

Okay, I am a complete moron but, nonetheless, avert your eyes.

The books I have read are in red with a simple note of explaination. The green ones are the ones that I've seen the movie of.

The list below is from the book The Novel 100: A Ranking of Greatest Novels All Time (Checkmark Books/Facts On File, Inc.: New York, 2004), written by Daniel S. Burt.

1 Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes
2 War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
3 Ulysses 1922 James Joyce
4 In Search of Lost Time 1913-27 Marcel Proust
5 The Brothers Karamazov 1880 Feodor Dostoevsky
6 Moby-Dick 1851 Herman Melville
7 Madame Bovary 1857 Gustave Flaubert
8 Middlemarch 1871-72 George Eliot - Ahem, if I may interject here I would like to say that I suffered my way through the Mill on The Floss by this author. Oh all right, I read the first few chapters and then the last one. It was for an English class in university and it was an elective.
9 The Magic Mountain 1924 Thomas Mann
10 The Tale of Genji 11th Century Murasaki Shikibu
11 Emma 1816 Jane Austen - meh
12 Bleak House 1852-53 Charles Dickens
13 Anna Karenina 1877 Leo Tolstoy Russian - I saw the movie and it was retched so I imagine the book was the same.
14 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 1884 Mark Twain
15 Tom Jones 1749 Henry Fielding
16 Great Expectations 1860-61 Charles Dickens - again, saw the movie - ugh
17 Absalom, Absalom! 1936 William Faulkner
18 The Ambassadors 1903 Henry James
19 One Hundred Years of Solitude 1967 Gabriel Garcia Marquez
20 The Great Gatsby 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald - I only remember parts of this book but I remember how the prof. was all about the sybolism of the industrial nation. Whatever.
21 To The Lighthouse 1927 Virginia Woolf
22 Crime and Punishment 1866 Feodor Dostoevsky
23 The Sound and the Fury 1929 William Faulkner
24 Vanity Fair 1847-48 William Makepeace Thackeray
25 Invisible Man 1952 Ralph Ellison
26 Finnegans Wake 1939 James Joyce
27 The Man Without Qualities 1930-43 Robert Musil
28 Gravity's Rainbow 1973 Thomas Pynchon
29 The Portrait of a Lady 1881 Henry James - pathetic
30 Women in Love 1920 D. H. Lawrence
31 The Red and the Black 1830 Stendhal
32 Tristram Shandy 1760-67 Laurence Sterne
33 Dead Souls 1842 Nikolai Gogol
34 Tess of the D'Urbervilles 1891 Thomas Hardy
35 Buddenbrooks 1901 Thomas Mann
36 Le Pere Goriot 1835 Honore de Balzac
37 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 1916 James Joyce
38 Wuthering Heights 1847 Emily Bronte - saw movie recently and thought they deserved each other.
39 The Tin Drum 1959 Gunter Grass
40 Molloy; Malone Dies; The Unnamable 1951-53 Samuel Beckett
41 Pride and Prejudice 1813 Jane Austen - liked the movie very much but I don't read romances without the payoff ;)
42 The Scarlet Letter 1850 Nathaniel Hawthorne - I actually read this book to the very end because I kept waiting for Hester Prinn to just leave already. Nope. Lived there forever with her friggin' A
43 Fathers and Sons 1862 Ivan Turgenev
44 Nostromo 1904 Joseph Conrad
45 Beloved 1987 Toni Morrison
46 An American Tragedy 1925 Theodore Dreiser
47 Lolita 1955 Vladimir Nabokov - saw part of movie - ugh
48 The Golden Notebook 1962 Doris Lessing
49 Clarissa 1747-48 Samuel Richardson
50 Dream of the Red Chamber 1791 Cao Xueqin
51 The Trial 1925 Franz Kafka
52 Jane Eyre 1847 Charlotte Bronte - seen movie
53 The Red Badge of Courage 1895 Stephen Crane
54 The Grapes of Wrath 1939 John Steinbeck - I think we read this in grade 7 or 8 but I don't remember much
55 Petersburg 1916/1922 Andrey Bely
56 Things Fall Apart 1958 Chinue Achebe
57 The Princess of Cleves 1678 Madame de Lafayette
58 The Stranger 1942 Albert Camus
59 My Antonio 1918 Willa Cather
60 The Counterfeiters 1926 Andre Gide
61 The Age of Innocence 1920 Edith Wharton - saw movie and was bored to tears
62 The Good Soldier 1915 Ford Madox Ford
63 The Awakening 1899 Kate Chopin
64 A Passage to India 1924 E. M. Forster
65 Herzog 1964 Saul Bellow
66 Germinal 1855 Emile Zola
67 Call It Sleep 1934 Henry Roth
68 U.S.A. Trilogy 1930-38 John Dos Passos
69 Hunger 1890 Knut Hamsun
70 Berlin Alexanderplatz 1929 Alfred Doblin
71 Cities of Salt 1984-89 'Abd al-Rahman Munif
72 The Death of Artemio Cruz 1962 Carlos Fuentes
73 A Farewell to Arms 1929 Ernest Hemingway
74 Brideshead Revisited 1945 Evelyn Waugh
75 The Last Chronicle of Barset 1866-67 Anthony Trollope
76 The Pickwick Papers 1836-67 Charles Dickens
77 Robinson Crusoe 1719 Daniel Defoe
78 The Sorrows of Young Werther 1774 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Deist
79 Candide 1759 Voltaire
80 Native Son 1940 Richard Wright
81 Under the Volcano 1947 Malcolm Lowry
82 Oblomov 1859 Ivan Goncharov
83 Their Eyes Were Watching God 1937 Zora Neale Hurston
84 Waverley 1814 Sir Walter Scott
85 Snow Country 1937, 1948 Kawabata Yasunari
86 Nineteen Eighty-Four 1949 George Orwell
87 The Betrothed 1827, 1840 Alessandro Manzoni
88 The Last of the Mohicans 1826 James Fenimore Cooper - uh, is this the same book as the movie because the movie rocked! But then, 1826? I guess not.
89 Uncle Tom's Cabin 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe
90 Les Miserables 1862 Victor Hugo - sucked
91 On the Road 1957 Jack Kerouac
92 Frankenstein 1818 Mary Shelley - DNF
93 The Leopard 1958 Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
94 The Catcher in the Rye 1951 J.D. Salinger - blergh
95 The Woman in White 1860 Wilkie Collins
96 The Good Soldier Svejk 1921-23 Jaroslav Hasek
97 Dracula 1897 Bram Stoker
98 The Three Musketeers 1844 Alexandre Dumas - movie? Meh.
99 The Hound of Baskervilles 1902 Arthur Conan Doyle
100 Gone with the Wind 1936 Margaret Mitchell - saw the movie and was pissed - this is my best bud's favourite book of all time.

So, I have partially read 4 books on this list. The four I read assure me that this type of list will not be helpful in finding other books for me to read.

I have to do the 20 favourite books by 20 different authors meme, 20 things that make you mad meme and then some other posts that I can't think of right now.

I'm going to head to bed. It's 1am and I'm hoping I can sleep to 11am tomorrow. I have a friend coming over tomorrow at 2pm so I need some time to clean the house and since I seem to be sleepy now, I'll do it when I get up! I know my luck will be bad if my sleepiness could be cured by a nap because then I'll be up at all the wrong times. Ah, well.



We used to have a rule in our house that our dogs were not allowed on the furniture because, well, they are the size of ponies.

Rocky could have cared less because he was all about his bed. I swear it was like a comfort blanky to him because I would have to time when I would throw it in the washer and dryer. Then I would go to bring it in to his room and he would stumble all over me trying to get on it.

Cody, on the other hand, loves him some sofa.

In the last house we had to put barriers up so they couldn't get to the furniture - mostly because Cody also loves to eat cushions. We had a couch with four throw pillows on it and we left the dogs out and about for a few weeks and were happy to see they had gotten over their need to chew the stuffing out of comfort furniture.

Then we came home and only had three pillows.

The throwing up and material lace poop was enough to have me dictate orders to find a way to keep the dogs from eating furniture. Thus, the use of french doors on their sides. Basically I could get a great leg workout every time I decided to watch some TV.

We move and tada!! we have a basement with three matching pieces of furniture that the old owners couldn't get out. Ohhhh-kay. I'm thinking this is a recipe for disaster but Bob thinks nothing of it and it's the basement and really, I don't care as long as I'm not having to pick up any of the stuff I mentioned above.

Cody becomes a couch potato.

What's funny is he knows he's not supposed to be on the furniture so when he got caught he would get this real sheepish look on his face.

Since Rocky passed Cody has become more of a 24/7 dog who is attached at my hip and I'm loving it. So now, he sleeps in our den when I go to bed because I'm sorry, there will be no dogs in my bed. Ever. It's bad enough I have cats that stretch length wise across the bed so that I can barely cling to the edge because 'God forbid' we move them. (Yeah, Bob will crawl into bed from the opposite side so he won't disturb the cute little darlings) Me, I'm more of a fend for yourself kinda girl but I come by it honestly. Let's just say I would be super pissed to come to bed to find my husband, two cats and an 85 pound dog blocking my way. I have told Bob that if he wants the dog to sleep in bed then we're getting separate bedrooms.

So far, he must love me more.

I'm thinking it's only a matter of time before there is a coup.

I went for a nap late last night and woke at 2am only to come downstairs and find proof of a puppy's deep dark secret.

I managed to climb over the kiddie gate (Cody will also make himself sick by eating all the dry catfood so he gets hemmed in while I'm sleeping) get the camera, snap 8 pictures of him, climb back over the gate because I didn't want to give him a heart attack at finding me 'catching' him in a no-no place and then went to the kitchen to make some obvious noise.

What's funny is that he was still trying to get off the chair when I came back to the room and he had his 'oh shit' face on.

I don't know about you but seeing his one leg still on the floor steadying himself while he slept is just classic.

To this day he still wishes he were a lap dog.

It's the Plague!!!

Okay, I'm soooooo in. What I would like to tell you is that although the whole 200 bucks works for me in a HUGE way, I had already put this title on my TBB list thanks to Rosario's review here. So even if I don't win, I plan on buying a copy of this book. Also, it looks like many others will be reading it too so you'll have lots to talk about ;)

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.

$200 Amazon gift certificate
Signed copy of Slave to Sensation
New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh
ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game

You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.

Nalini Singh
Berkley / September 2006

Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.

Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.

Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities…or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Movies

I just now finished watching Something New with Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker and it was just what I needed. A great romance with a little heat. Yum. Basically a women who has lived her life to please her parents, her friends and society meets a man who is easy going, down to earth and most of all, sees the real her. Might seem like every other movie except that race is a huge factor in this story as the heroine is black and the hero is white. Let's just say that I had my eyes opened on a few things but, I loved the chemistry between these two actors.

Bob and I watched RV with my main man Robin Williams tonight and I was laughing throughout but then, I love Mr. Williams. It was a fun movie where you knew where every thing was heavy but there were a few new jokes along the way. We popped plain microwave popcorn, melted some real butter and poured it on. Wow. Felt like a night at the movies without having to dodge others with cellphones and anything else that makes weird noises.

True story - when my friend and I went to see Lethal Weapon 4 - can you believe they went to four? - there was a man who was probably mentally ill. In fact, I would have preferred it if he was mentally ill because then at least I know he really did have a good time.

We knew the minute the previews started that we were all in for a bad night. This guy's laugh overshadowed the films volume. I'm not exaggerating. Not only that, he was alone but he would repeat the 'joke' on the film to the audience at large. He would also yell out things like 'look out! He's behind you!' and all of that. It's not exactly how I like to experience a movie but sometimes you are really rolling the dice.

Also, nowadays Bob and I go to matinees because usually there are not as many people and since I'm not good in crowds that always seems to be the best. Still there are movies we will go to and I am shocked that people are bringing children. War of the Worlds was gritty and dark and creepy and yet there were 8 year olds every where.

Other movies I rented were Nine Lives which seriously, I don't know why I do it to myself. I saw the cover flat for the movie, I read the first line of the blurb and saw that it was dealing with the lives of nine women.

I don't know, I'm just a putz.

Anyways, it's really nine 'shorts' about different women. I really liked one of them because it was kinda sexy - actually two of them. I'm not really sure what the rest were really about. Wait, I figured out what the second one was about and the last one was obvious so I understood 4 of the 9. This just proves to me that I'm not a slice of life person. I need a beginning, a middle and an end. You know what else, closure. Still I managed to find a glowing review for you here and they explain the vignettes (I got all that but still) except the one that I really liked. *shrug*

What else. Oh! I was blocking it from my memory but I rented Edison Force with LL Cool J, Morgan Freeman (oscar winner), Kevin Spacey (oscar winner) and Justin Timberlake. These four actors showed up and spewed their lines and I'm not sure how JT and LLCJ got some of their overly sappy shit out but they did and I just about turned off the movie but I thought that it just had to get better. NOT! Dylan McDermott (uh, this guy with a beard 'rocks my socks')who was not billed in the movie (you know how they put the actor's names on the billboard) was in this movie as one of the out of control bad guys and it was obvious he was the only guy who showed up and wanted the job. Sure, his part sucked donkey balls but he was there and he was willing to scruff up and emote the hell out of his lines.

I went and checked the copyright on the movie because I thought maybe I was harshing on the Oscar winners and it was a roll from years ago. Nope. They weren't paid enough to make this piece of crap.

Brings me to my last rental Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It was just excellent even though some of the actresses were acting like they always act (Alexis Bledel) whereas America Ferrera was a joy to watch. I got teared up a few times but then maybe it's because I'm fighting some sort of funk. Either that, or it was just that moving. Thing is, these kind of movies make me wish I had had friendships like this when I was younger. Ah well.

So there you have it. Way too much TV and not enough just sitting around and reading.

I'm thinking people may be right. That I'm in a summerblah zone but since this is my favourite time of year you can colour me confused. I think it may have more to do with my not swimming as much as I usually do because Bob doesn't want me swimming alone at night (deep end). I used to swim at 3am at the old house because the pool was 4' deep everywhere so I could always stand up. I'm not afraid because I am a good swimmer but I respect Bob's wish that I not do it.

I miss floating on my back and looking up at the stars.

Nothing like star gazing to get yourself grounded again.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'm All Defined

Cindy --


An alien

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

Ohhhh, I like! I was so expecting 'lazy' and yet, 'an alien' is exactly how I probably relate to this world.

Oh, all right. You caught me with nothing to blog. Whatever. The last post must have made your eyes bleed so this is a blessing.


It is.

On the 'totally about me' front I had a hard time sleeping today. I had that Christina Aguilera song running through my brain and couldn't relax. This is one of those bad things my brain does when I'm anxious. It will pick and fiddle with something just to make me crazy. I'm sure of it!

Also, go and give some love to Mrs. Giggles - not that she's pining or anything but I'm feeling her pain. Then go take a peek at her reading men ;)

I was over at the best friends yesterday and it dawned on me that I'm not myself. I'm feeling extremely lethargic in an untypical way. I mentioned I haven't gone grocery shopping, right? In like a month. Just essentials but no big shop. It's just so far down on my list of things to do and when I think about it I just shrug and continue to veg.

So now I'm gently probing the brain to find out if I am depressed or blue about something but nothing is coming to the surface. Hey, I learned to hide shit in my brain for years during my childhood so sometimes figuring out what's wrong is hard work.

Oh, and now I can't find my copy of Lover Eternal - that was Rhage's book, right? I so want to re-read all of Zsadist's scenes but I can't find the friggin' book. I had 4 emergency boxes of books but so far I have only found three of them. I'm terrified Bob somehow threw the last box in the 'closet of horror'.

For the first time in a long while I just want to sit and re-read some of my favourite books. I haven't read Dream Man in a few years so I pulled that from one of the emergency boxes as well as Lord of Danger by Annie (yeah, that's right, we're tight *snort* she probably annihilates anyone who calls her that. My mom's name is Anne and she hates being called Auntie Annie - so that's what I call her cause I'm a bitch), How To Marry A Duke anthology because there is a Sandy Blair story in there and I liked her two other books (on that note it feels like 2 years since her last book), The Kissing Game by Suzanne Brockmann and I think there is another Loveswept by her nearby.

Okay, I'm off to finish up my marathon watching of Season 1 of House. I love this guy!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Top 100 What?

Update on Cody - he passed all his tests - blood work, X-ray of his chest so we know it isn't an infection or some sort of fungal thing. Okay, I was hoping it would be fungal and there would be a magic pill but I'm also thrilled that there are no signs of congenital heart failure.

We're going to put him under to get a head X-ray (hard to do when they are awake because the head has to remain immobile) and a scope up his nostril to see if there is a mass of any kind. I'm hoping he snorted a marble up his nose. Could happen.

After that it's something something paralytic - crap I don't know, something about flaps in his throat that could have paralysed and they would do surgery to stitch them up so they don't bother him.

He got a steroid shot to bring down any inflammation and I do think it has made a difference. All the same, I'm not closing him mouth and plugging the working nostril to find out. Apparently the third time the vet did this to him he went to bite her. I'm thinking he panicked because he couldn't breath. Cody just isn't that type of dog but I will be keeping my eye on him for a bit.


Hey, look, a post about books!!

I stole this idea from Tara Marie. Here are a list of the 100 favourite romance books according to readers at AAR (I'm not linking because I'm lazy). I'm pretty sure I voted in this one also and a few of mine didn't even place. (Upon further consideration I do remember voting but I only got up to 34 titles and most of mine didn't place!)

Of course, just posting the list and mentioning which ones I haven't read isn't enough for me. Oh no. You get to read all my convoluted thoughts.

Awww, c'mon, it'll be fun!

Sit. Down.

Oh, no, you, didn't just click on your back button!

Meh, I'm doing it anyways.

1. Lord of Scoundrels -- Loretta Chase - excellent book although Mr. Impossible is my fav. of hers.
2. Flowers From the Storm -- Laura Kinsale - I'm not sure you can go wrong with a Kinsale but I would put For My Lady's Heart above this one. Maybe because I read it in the past two years and it's fresh in my brain.
3. Welcome to Temptation -- Jennifer Crusie - have not read
4. As You Desire -- Connie Brockway - read and can't remember a thing
5. Bet Me -- Jennifer Crusie - I did love this one but #5? I think I see where this is heading.
6. Dreaming of You -- Lisa Kleypas - just read it thanks to Kristie and I loved Derek
7. Outlander -- Diana Gabaldon - how in the world is this book considered romantic when even the author refuses to admit it's a romance - haven't read it
8. Over the Edge -- Suzanne Brockmann - it was okay but really, this high up on the scale?
9. All Through the Night -- Connie Brockway - yeah, it was good
10. Sea Swept -- Nora Roberts - haven't read
11. It Had to be You -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips - could someone buy me a clue because the love for this author is one I don't get. All the same, I did like this book if only for the scene where he breaks her in the circus act - this is that book, right?
12. A Summer to Remember -- Mary Balogh - haven't read
13. Morning Glory -- LaVyrle Spencer - beautiful love story without a bunch of suspense - just real life and the shit that happens - probably should be up in the top 10 because it stands the test of time
14. The Proposition -- Judith Ivory - haven't read - I'm afraid of 'lush prose'
15. A Kingdom of Dreams -- Judith McNaught - read years ago and can't remember
16. Ravished -- Amanda Quick - can't distinguish between any of Quick's historicals - read it years ago
17. Frederica -- Georgette Heyer - haven't read
18. Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand -- Carla Kelly - haven't read
19. MacKenzie's Mountain -- Linda Howard - read and didn't get the appeal - Duncan's Bride kicks this books ass. Yeah, I said. Bring it!!
20. Mr. Perfect -- Linda Howard - Dream Man kicks this books ass although I did like this book
21. The Grand Sophy -- Georgette Heyer - uh, no
22. Pride and Prejudice -- Jane Austen - again, no
23. The Bride -- Julie Garwood - loved it for it's time - early 90s - humour in romance, who would have thought? Yeah, it's done to death now but I think Garwood was the first.
24. Devil's Bride -- Stephanie Laurens - really, 24? Never read her - think I tried and fell asleep and we all know that never happens
25. To Have and to Hold -- Patricia Gaffney - haven't read
26. Born in Fire -- Nora Roberts - haven't read
27. Winter Garden -- Adele Ashworth - I didn't enjoy this like others but I think it's because I knew something that the reader should only find out while reading the book. Also, I found the sex weird - she seemed to touch herself more than he did - I don't get it.
28. Gone Too Far -- Suzanne Brockmann - YUM - should be up in that other Brockmann spot -nothing like a heroine who isn't afraid to kick her man in the gonads. Loved it.
29. The Viscount Who Loved Me -- Julia Quinn - how are we only at 29? Meh
30. Saving Grace -- Julie Garwood - can't remember this book right now.
31. My Dearest Enemy -- Connie Brockway - it was good
32. In the Midnight Rain -- Barbara Samuel - haven't read
33. The Windflower -- Laura London - haven't read
34. Naked in Death -- J.D. Robb - read and was bored to tears, tried to read the next and knew I had to stop before I did myself bodily harm
35. Whitney, My Love -- Judith McNaught - can't remember this because most of McNaught's historicals are jumbled in my head - I read these years ago but I'm still not sure why people foam at the mouth over this book
36. Nobody's Baby but Mine -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Yetch - was this the one where she had unprotected sex so she could have a baby and then walked out of the room - pretty much never read another of hers after this
37. A Knight in Shining Armor -- Jude Deveraux - RUN, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!! I was a wreck after this book and no I don't consider the ending HEA and I never read another of her books
38. Paradise -- Judith McNaught - like Tara Marie I prefered Perfect - I think - it was the one where the heroine was illiterate as a child right?
39. The Shadow and the Star -- Laura Kinsale - haven't read
40. Dream Man -- Linda Howard - 40!!! This book is romance gold!
41. Out of Control -- Suzanne Brockmann - read this book for the secondary characters only - could have cared less about everyone else
42. Silk and Shadows -- Mary Jo Putney - haven't read
43. See Jane Score -- Rachel Gibson - I want a recount! Somebody rigged it! The hero in this book had some serious passive/agressive issues so I was creeped out. Why is this book even here!?
44. Shattered Rainbows -- Mary Jo Putney - haven't read
45. Thunder and Roses -- Mary Jo Putney - haven't read
46. The Duke and I -- Julia Quinn - keeper
47. Heart Throb -- Suzanne Brockmann - haven't read - I'm keeping a non-SEAL Brockmann around for nostalgic purposes and now I'm afraid to read it in case it is the last good Brockmann ever.
48. For My Lady's Heart -- Laura Kinsale - should be higher up - phenomenal
49. Honor's Splendor -- Julie Garwood - Boom diggity - loved this one!!
50. Lord Carew's Bride -- Mary Balogh - haven't read
51. Untie my Heart -- Judith Ivory -haven't read
52. Dream a Little Dream -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips - haven't read
53. The Secret -- Julie Garwood - AWESOME and should be higher up
54. This is All I Ask -- Lynn Kurland - uh, okay. I think I hated the last 1/4 of this book
55. Slightly Dangerous -- Mary Balogh - haven't read
56. One Perfect Rose -- Mary Jo Putney - haven't read
57. To Love and to Cherish -- Patricia Gaffney - haven't read
58. Kiss an Angel -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips - can't remember
59. Heaven, Texas -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips - can't remember
60. Venetia -- Georgette Heyer - haven't read
61. Daughter of the Game -- Tracy Grant haven't read
62. The Prize -- Julie Garwood - loved the chess match ;)
63. Reforming Lord Ragsdale -- Carla Kelly - haven't read
64. Prince Joe -- Suzanne Brockmann - was excellent - not sure how it would stand the test of time
65. The Notorious Rake -- Mary Balogh - nope - are you seeing a pattern here?
66. Heartless -- Mary Balogh - uh, no
67. Son of the Morning -- Linda Howard - Loved this book as anything other than a ROMANCE!! I was more than prepared to have the hero die a horrible bloody death. It was a great story until she met the hero and went from a learning kick ass heroine to a doormat.
68. Sleeping Beauty -- Judith Ivory - no
69. Where Dreams Begin -- Lisa Kleypas - haven't read
70. The Devil's Cub -- Georgette Heyer - no again
71. The Bronze Horseman -- Paullina Simons - no - a romance? Really?
72. The Time Traveler's Wife -- Audrey Niffenegar - what in the world?? A romance without a HEA - oh, c'mon!! Haven't read because I know there is no HEA but it's in the TBR pile
73. With This Ring -- Carla Kelly - no
74. The Lion's Lady -- Julie Garwood - loved it
75. The Rake -- Mary Jo Putney - no
76. Fallen from Grace -- Laura Leone - fantabulous!
77. Always to Remember Lorraine Heath - I know I read it but can't remember if this was my favorite or not
78. Castles -- Julie Garwood - can't remember this one but I think it's my least favourite of hers
79. One Good Turn -- Carla Kelly - haven't read
80. Chesapeake Blue -- Nora Roberts - haven't read
81. By Arrangement -- Madeline Hunter - haven't read
82. Perfect -- Judith McNaught - loved it - should be higher
83. My Darling Caroline -- Adele Ashworth - haven't read
84. The Defiant Hero -- Suzanne Brockmann - meh
85. The Unsung Hero -- Suzanne Brockmann - meh
86. Guilty Pleasures -- Laura Lee Guhrke - tried and needed a crash cart to bring me back to life
87. Jane Eyre -- Charlotte Bronte - haven't read
88. Kill and Tell -- Linda Howard - somebody kill me!
89. After the Night -- Linda Howard - loved it
90. More than a Mistress -- Mary Balogh - no
91. Born in Ice -- Nora Roberts - no
92. Miss Wonderful -- Loretta Chase - really? This was the most boring book ever! Canals = Snoozefest.
93. The Charm School -- Susan Wiggs - no
94. Scoundrel -- Elizabeth Elliott I read 3/4 where he admits he loves her and never finished because I figured what could be left except for some misunderstanding that would shatter them and then all would be forgiven and I'm sooo over that - so I have no clue why it's here.
95. How to Marry a Marquis -- Julia Quinn - no
96. Angel Rogue -- Mary Jo Putney - no
97. Trust Me -- Jayne Ann Krentz - was one of her best
98. Dancing on the Wind -- Mary Jo Putney - no
99. Once and Always -- Judith McNaught - read it but can't remember anything
100. This Heart of Mine -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips- don't think so

Now, just in case you all didn't see, there is not one Anne Stuart title on this list.

I've made my point, right?

Also, there are no category romance books on this list except for Suzanne Brockmann's SEAL books and I will be the first to tell you her Loveswept books are better!

I figure we all know how statistics work and my interpretation is that when creating a list like this it boils the books down to a common place. Therefore, the more obscure titles don't really have a chance because maybe only a few people have read them. Justine Davis' Morning Side Of Dawn from SIM 1995 was a terrific romance and many people who read this book agree. Still, you won't find this gem on this list.

I consider this list a good jumping off point into romance but if you are already an avid reader and haven't read many on this list I wouldn't worry about it. Sure, there are a few spectacular books on this list but Duncan's Bride by Linda Howard didn't make it and it is a great contemporary mail order bride story and is second only to Dream Man for me.

You know who else didn't show up on this list now that I think about it. Debbie Macomber. I think she mostly writes 'sweet' books so I don't read her anymore but Morning Comes Softly was such a touching story. I wonder if it would stand the test of time?

Hell, Jennifer Cruisie's Anyone But You is a classic romance with a heroine 8 years older than her hero and this story knocks the socks off of any of the Cruisies (that I've read) on this list!

I have read 52 of these books and have the rest in the TBR pile. Of the 52 I've read I'd say 29 were keepers.

Still, I'm pissed about the lack of Anne Stuart titles.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Then What?

It's going to be one of those 'everything and the kitchen sink' posts.

I can't find the book I have been trying to read (Hunting the Hunter by Shiloh Walker). I think that's some sort of sign that I should move on. Either that or clean my house.

My Cody has been valiantly fighting off throwing up for the last few nights. He yakked there on Saturday night but has been eating grass like it's laced with crack every night since. I also bought some plain yogurt to help settle his stomach. Still, it's another visit to the vet tomorrow.

Between discovering the poor guy can't breath through his nose, having people ask me WTF is with your dogs' breathing and the fight not to puke I figure the vet might be able to do something. So far they've not been helpful about his breathing but this time I think I've figured it out. The nose bleeds helped me narrow down the whole sinus issue. Shut up. We're not that observant around here.

(Since the cats rule the house this is a picture of Cody trying to convince Amber that he's cute. She's not buying it)

We spent over a thousand dollars on vet bills last month between Cody and Rocky.

I know. I didn't really look at it until we got to month end and the bank accounts came up with zeroes.

I have no clue what they charged me for with Rocky because they put him down and then we got his ashes but the bill was 600 bucks. Ow. I'll pay whatever but when it all lands in one month, some of us don't get to eat as much as normal and no, it ain't the cats or the dog. Add to that the pool and the heat and we were entertaining to the hilt so when month end hit the money all disappeared.

Did I mention we own two houses?

Since I'm the money person it was my fault that I had miscalculated a few things but luckily I always over save. Course when month end hit my cushion got whipped out from under me and I panicked which had Bob panicking because I never panic about money. It's just, wow!

I started backtracking to figure out where I had made a mistake and discovered the vet bills which was truly comforting because that's not a monthly occurrence. When I discovered that I knew we would be okay once I built the cushion back up. Phew! It's just with gas bills and heating bills for two homes coming in things tend to get misplaced.

Bad Cindy.

Add to this the 'Stagers'.

It's a new phenomenon - or not - in real estate that you have people come in and tell you why your home isn't selling. Now, Bob and I have some experience selling homes from the renos so we know that most people are vacationing in the summer and not thinking about moving. September is when we'll probably see some action. Still our realtor pays for stagers so we were all knock yourself out.

Well, good Lord these people are pushy.

'First, beige it all up.'

We knew this, we were lazy, now we are paying for it. So yeah, thanks.

'Second, we heard you were handy so could you blow out this load bearing wall and put in a set of french doors in the dining room.'

I put 'load bearing' in that sentence because neither of these women would know a load bearing wall if it hit them. And well, it would if they tore that wall down. That wall supports the ceiling!! The I-beam and posts alone would be a fortune not to mention the loss of the hall closet and the meshing of three different floor types. Who cares!

At this point I'm cranky. I'm thinking 'no shit' it would sell our house faster if we put in french doors but we're not gonna! If we do put french doors in then guess what is going to happen to that asking price. That's right Motha Tucka it's going up!!!

And breathe.

Sorry. I'm just amazed at how people can tell you to do all this work and voila your house will sell. No shit sherlock! I wanted french doors in there for years but guess what? It wasn't in the budget!

They get away with this by saying stuff like, 'but it's not your house anymore'. Bob lasted the whole session before climbing in the car and muttering 'Since my name is on the ownership then the house is still mine, beyotch'.

Anyways, beiging up is fine and we're getting a quote for that. They want us to paint all the stained bookcases also. Whatever. I'm over it. After that, I'm done. Sell the house as is.

Bob got off the phone with one of them tonight and he told her to go ahead and get all the quotes she wanted - did I mention that they wanted to strip up the carpet we had installed after we moved and replace with ceramic tile?

Thing is, there's only ever one top bitch when it comes to selling our houses and it's me. I'm not liking all this pushing so they better get ready to find someone pushing back. It's always easy to spend someone else's money.

Bob said tonight that he wants to know what their credentials are.

The small stuff I appreciated but the big stuff? Get over it! You put a price on the house and that is what the house should now sell for. It's not our fault our agent guaranteed a certain price. He should have thought of that before he wanted to add 10 000 dollars worth of upgrades!

As one of our friends pointed out, putting a second story on the house would probably sell it faster too.

Wow, here's hoping that I can do a post sometime this week that isn't a Bitchy McBitch post!

Please don't leave me! I'll be good!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bitch A Roo!

Let's see if I can do a quickie post because I've got nothing.

Our weekend was so-so in a 'not terribly busy' and 'not super fantabulistic' way.

Is to a word.

You know I'm not doing great when I can't remember what the hell we did on Saturday.

I know I slept in (that's a given most days and not something I have to remember) and then ... I know we went for a swim oh, and I cut the grass. Other than that, I can't really remember.

Today my best bud came for a visit with her little guy and we swam and I BBQ'd for the second day in a row. I'm tellin' ya, I'm setting records all over the place. While she was her my other best bud and her man dropped in (they live 45 min away) on their way back from a gift show in Toronto so it was super cool that we got to see everyone.

Okay, here's one for you. (Edited: This came to me while writing this and WHAM, it ended up right here, leave now if insanely twisted topic changes make your head hurt)

My best friend was away last week with her family and got back on Friday night. I said to Bob that it was also like a vacation for me which is probably horrible but, there it is. I've said it out loud.

She's my best friend and she's been there through some of my deep tormenting stuff - I call it my 'holy Lord' period (blue period was taken) but lately things are getting to be too much.

Lately I am feeling drained by her and I have begun to fear her phone calls because she never just calls to see what's up anymore. It starts good, 'hey, whatcha doing? how are things?' and then it turns into 'well, since your not having company this weekend and it's going to be hot -' well, you can see where that is heading.

Or my least favourite, 'hey come on over and get out of the house (woohoo!!) Oh good, you're coming - you wouldn't happen to have 60 dollars on you? (boo!!) Could you stop and get me a pack of cigarettes? (double boo!!) Basically I'm getting the rug pulled out from under me because it sounds like she wants to visit but then there's the 'catch'. She'll even call when I haven't been over much and tell me how much she misses me so could I come over for a visit. 'Sure, I can do that.' Great! You wouldn't happen to have XYZ?

Oh shit!! Even better, I'm not asked for anything and I'm get there and we're talking a bit but she starts about how she doesn't have anything for dinner. 'Would you mind if I took you car up to ____ to get some stuff?' Uhhhhh. Sure. So now I'm feeling she needed a car.

So she called Friday night when she got home and I asked about their week and if they had fun and everything was fine until she asked what we were doing this weekend. This question should strike terror in my heart and yet, it does. I know I told her my best bud was coming up and whatever else and ended the conversation - although I know something else was on her mind because it was hard to get off the phone.

Sunday dawns and I'm sleeping but I tend to wake up at intervals and at one point I can hear her voice. Apparently she dropped in around noon asking Bob when he thought I might be getting up. She also asked what we were doing today saying that it was supposed to be a 'hot one'. Bob reminded her about 'best bud' visit and she was all 'oh yeah, 'kay'.

I should probably fess up to being what people refer to as 'the Bank of Cindy' and I'm really trying to curb this. I'm called this because Sue can basically call and ask to borrow money and I usually loan it to her. It has caused stress between us before but I'm of the philosophy that Bob and I lived a blessed life and if we have it and can spare it then it's okay. It's just, when it gets out of hand, it gets really out of hand. Not only that I'm sure that my best friend knows that I can't say no. She tells me I can say no but that's never really true because the few times I have said no, I've been asked for a reason. Uh, what?

Good God, did I say this was going to be short.

Anyways, I'm feeling crowded by her and I'm not really looking forward to the phone ringing over the next few days. The other thing is that her eldest son's friends all went away on vacation so I know there'll be the, let's just go to Aunt Cindy's for the day but then the eldest boy isn't happy being in the pool alone and bugs and bugs and bugs for someone to swim with him. Last time I swam with him for most of the time while his parents didn't bother. Uh, no. I don't call that a fun time. Especially when I have to get out to cook dinner and get asked repeatedly when I'm going back in the pool.

Okay, now I'm just being bitchy.

So the question is, do you sometimes feel hemmed in by your friends? I mean, I haven't even had a chance to do a real grocery shop since we moved!! (Remember I get up late in the day and then I've only got a couple of hours before Bob gets home and if I get the 'call' then I'm over there until Bob comes home and well - the stores close and I'm left with animal crackers (good news, I'm getting sick of them) bread and peanut butter.)

Damn, looks like I'll be ducking the phone for the next few days because I need to get some serious stuff done including some reading! In case you are wondering, I could tell her I have to go grocery shopping but then she may ask to come with and then they are the kids and she is the slowest shopper in the world. Okay, my Aunt Wendy and my Aunt Nora are the slowest in the world (considering calling Guiness about them) but I'm smart enough to never go shopping with either of these people. I'm not always so lucky with Sue. I can easily shop with Sue if I have a free day because if I need to get a ton of stuff done she'll make me want to blow my brains out.

Shit, am I still bitching? Okay, done.

On a totally different note, I want to get Cody to the vet because I think we've figured out that something is blocking his sinuses. Right now he is sound asleep and he's breathing like Darth Vadar - I'm waiting for him to say 'Luke, I am your father!'

No, my dog doesn't talk to me.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Book Meme - You're It!!!

I saw this over at Rosario's and I know I saw it one other place but once again my brain is being lazy. Bad brain.

Since I just love to talk about all things me it shouldn't be any surprise that I love the meme.

Okay, no one's leaving!! Sit. Down.

I mean really, I do all this work and you all are bailing like - hey, did I ever tell you about my dad taking us kids out in the row boat and all the bailing we had to do?

Ooops. Let's get started before my brain goes back to bailing whatever it normally bails.

One Book....That Changed Your Life

Oh, come on!! Changed my life? Really? Are there books out there that can change my life? Why didn't anyone tell me!! Can someone please find me the 'You no longer have panic attacks and can sleep like all other people on the planet and you're normal' book?

I know, I'm obnoxious.

Now a book that changed my perception of the world and how it works?

I got a title for ya.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. According to Wiki it looks like most people in North America have to read it for school and I was in grade 12 when I read this book. Talk about mind blowing. It's a book about how a society can be systematically stripped of all it's freedoms. It followed one woman's story in the aftermath of some sort of revolution (I always think revolutions are supposed to bring good things so this word hurts in this sentence). As eye opening as the story was the ending was even more spectacular. As a student of history I was captivated by the idea that this woman's story was being studied hundreds of years after the revolution and how no one knows what happened to her after a certain point. Not only that, I have watched as our society has become more and more like the one depicted before the fall. When I read the book 'interac' was not around and the idea of money moving without touching it was intriguing. Now, it's a given and in the back of my mind I know how what we see as a convenience could be used to trap us.

Wow, too deep. Let's see if we can dig out of this hole!

One Book....That You've Read More Than Once

Just one? I tell you what, I'm just going to drop a whole bunch of names.

Julie Garwood - when I was a poor student I wouldn't let myself buy, borrow or steal romances during the school term (I knew myself well) because I knew I would always pick a romance book over doing work. So, every Garwood book I owned was very well read because even though there was a moratorium on buying romances I could still read the ones sitting around.

Katherine Sutcliffe's Renegade Love - I loved how dark the romance was in this story. I think the heroine would probably come off too sweet nowadays but back when it was first published I loved it.

Anne Stuart - I know, enough said.

One Book....That You'd Want on a Desert Island

I hate these kind of questions because it plays on my fear of running out of books to read. So here is my answer. I would like every romance ever published to be bound in one huge ass book. HUGE!! Not only will I have a ton of great books to read but those that I hate can be used as toilet paper.

No, you didn't just read that. It was a figment of your imagination. Bad you with your wicked thoughts of toilet paper. I'm calling the RWA! Like I would ever suggest a book was so horrible it's only worth would be to ... Okay, I said it.

One Book....That Made You Cry

I'll answer this first assuming that the question is asking about a good cry. Off the top of my head it was a Barbara Samuel's book. Wish I was good with titles (oh look, found it! No Place Like Home). For the most part the story was running alright even though I felt the romance was a wee bit shy but then I hit the last three chapters and I was a sobbing wreck of a woman. Haven't picked up a Samuel since. I'm not huge on crying.

Oh crap. Can't forget that horrible book A Knight in Shining Armor. Sobbing at the end. Horrible wretched sobs. Check please!

Now, crying in a bad way, it would be Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence, The Mill and The Floss by - I don't know and I don't care and, wait, I'm sure it was Catcher in the Rye about some kid who *may* have tossed his best friend out of a tree. I will never forget these books because they sucked up time I will never be able to get back. Seriously, why did they make us read these books as students? Were we not suicidal enough?

One Book....That You Wish Had Been Written

Screw that. Let's talk about the books I wish *I* had written. Harry Potter even though I have never read one. I mean that woman is rolling in it and I want some of that!

One Book....That You Wish Had Never Been Written

Ooops, looks like I got ahead of myself. Typical.

All the same, everyone needs toilet paper. Oh, c'mon! You were thinking it!

One Book....That You Are Currently Reading

I'm trying to read Hunting the Hunter but, I am really scanning through all my design books trying to find the right style of bookcases so I can show my husband. Let's not even talk about wall colours or which way the bed will be in the room. Is it a library, a spare room or a sitting room off the master?

With these kind of important decisions to be made you can see how I'm floundering when it comes to reading right now.

One Book....You've Been Meaning to Read

Now see, this one has Outlander all over it. People claim it's a romance, the author says no and I have sooo seen the crap people say is romantic. Titanic anyone? Calm down, it's in the pile and I promised one of my buds I would read it but, meh. I hear they are very old in the later books and that the readers will probably have to be there when they die. Yetch. I prefer youth forever!

Who do you tag

Ha-ha! Gotcha! If you made it this far consider yourself TAGGED! I know, it's such a wonderful reward for making to the bitter end.

Okay, you can get out of your seat. No, it's okay, you're free to go on with your day.

For now.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Angels in the Outfield

I'm sure there was a movie with this name but I wanted to dedicate this post to two special people.

I won't say their names because I certainly never asked, I was too busy apologizing profusely.

Today the man I hit with my car called with the amount of money he would need to fix his motorcycle. It was 700 dollars which I consider very cheap for the mistake I made.

I was nervous going to his house tonight and Bob being my own angel asked if I would prefer he do it. I know better than that and said that it was my fault and I wasn't going to run from this because I was afraid.

His wife was on the front porch when we got there and I was definitely shaking. As I approached she was on the cell phone and quickly got off. I told her who I was and she stood to give me a hug.

No, for real!

She asked me to sit with her and I told her how very sorry I was for what happened and how grateful I was that her husband was not hurt. She was so gracious and said she had worried about me and how I must have been so scared. Seriously, I could not believe how wonderful these people were!

The husband came out and I asked how he was doing. He said he was okay and I could tell he was flustered by all the attention coming his way. I told him not to give up his passion because of what happened. That he had done nothing wrong and that he shouldn't be afraid to get on the bike again.

I could see tears welling in his eyes so I started to back up to give him room.

His wife hugs me again and tells me to try and get a good nights sleep because she was sure I didn't sleep much last night. I told her that a part of me wished that her husband had got off his bike and yelled at me. Maybe that would make me feel better!

These people are the kind of people I know come here to visit each day.

My husband did not get out of the car because he knew I wanted to do this on my own. He had been about to tell me a story about a 'biker' and I knew it was going to be one of his 'you can't trust people' stories. We were interrupted when we got there and once we were on our way again. I told him about how wonderful and forgiving the people were. I then asked about the story he was telling me and he smiled and said 'Oh, it was nothing.'

So if you are having a bad day, or you are dealing with people who are trying to screw you remember that there really are people out there that know what it's like to be on the wrong end of a situation. The wife said that everyone makes mistakes and even though I know this I think I will have dreams on and off for the rest of my life of a motorcycle crossing in front of me and not being able to stop my car in time.

For me the silver lining is that I didn't hurt anyone and I managed to get in the car and drive today. Sure I was hyper alert but maybe that's where I need to be right now.

I do believe in God but I'm not looking to convert anyone. Just wanted to say that I know my angel Gramma Grace was with me and that he obviously had an angel riding with him. So yeah, by the Grace of God.

I will commence regular blogging subjects tomorrow night. I just needed to let you all know that every thing is fine and that the man is still okay today. No really. I was worried about him because of his age.

I'm going to go and do some blog hopping and I want to do the meme that Rosario has up at her blog. I'm also going to sit and do Samantha's contest to the best of my ability. Hopefully, I can get back to being my weird wacky self in the next post. On that note, I am still in the beginning stages of Hunting the Hunter and I reached a spot and thought, hmmm, good time for a nap. Obviously I hadn't slept very well last night.

I always think it's a bad sign if I would rather sleep than read. I'll let you know.