Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just in Time for Banned Books Week

An Orlando-area school is trying to ban John Green's Looking for Alaska. Makes me (almost) wanna have kids, so I can give those narrow-minded assholes a piece of MY mind. Oh wait. I think I kind of just did.

In case I wasn't clear enough:


Monday, September 28, 2009

What I have eaten today:

Spice Drops for breakfast (yeah, AKA gum drops)
Chef Boyardee for lunch
Peanut M&M's as a snack
a plate of frozen French fries for dinner

Such weird, single girl food. Obviously, my husband is not around today. :)

I'm thinking about trying to cook more. We have decided that we eat out too much - spend too much money and eat too much junk doing it. So we're trying to scale back on that. But, honestly, if eating at home results in the above...maybe we should just spend the money?

I need some veggies.

Getting More (Pop) Cultural

I've decided that Ricky and I don't DO enough. Our boring lives consist of working, eating, watching TV, and sleeping. We read, it's true, but we don't see movies, we don't go to any local events (partially because we live in the most boring place on earth that doesn't HAVE any local events), we don't participate in hobbies. We need to get off the couch and DO SOME STUFF.

So I thought about ways we could increase our activity level and I've come up with a few things I'd like to try. Number one, which doesn't really involve getting up off the couch, is a subscription to Netflix. Part of the reason we don't see movies is that it's really freakin' expensive. I blew $40 on his birthday this year to take us to a movie and get some snacks! We don't have that kind of cash. BUT, with a Netflix subscription, we can get almost any movie we want to see, delivered to us, for a lot less than it would cost for even one of us to see it in the theater. I can wait for stuff to come out on DVD, no problem. I've even thought of doing some sort of movie project, like watching all the Oscar winners or something. I like stuff like that.

Secondly, I've decided I want to go to the Renaissance Festival next February/March. We live in a small town, which doesn't have much going on in the way of cultural events, but there are some larger metropolitan areas south of us, one of which features the Florida Renaissance Festival every year! I went to the Ohio Ren Faire a few times when I was in junior high and high school, and I really enjoyed it. I'm not the kind of gal who would dress up and participate (welllll....get enough mead in me and I might), but I'm the kind of nerd who would really enjoy herself spending a weekend in the Middle Ages. It's twenty bucks a person just to get in (i.e., not counting food, drink, shows, and souvenirs), but if we save with a goal in mind, we can afford it easily. Although there isn't one super close to us, it's only about an hour and a half drive away, which is not bad (we live in a looooong state...it could be eight hours away!).

Third, and this is something I've thought about for a while, I'd like to try geocaching or letterboxing. This is where you use a GPS system to find hidden locations where people who have been there before leave messages and stuff. It sounds kind of lame when you spell it out like that, but I think it would be fun. Kind of like a treasure hunt! I have a friend from college who has just tried it and she raves about it. If my husband won't join me (he's allergic to the outdoors), maybe I'll get some of my local friends to try it with me!

Fourth, I'd like to get into some kind of hobby. Maybe try knitting or get back into cross-stitching. I cook a little, but I don't want to have a bunch of food that we won't eat sitting around just for a few hours of occupation. I've seen a lot of bloggers who knit and quilt. These are hobbies I've never been that much into, but I'm starting to become interested. Hopefully, they don't go the way of the beading mania I indulged in a few years ago...I spent a BUNCH of money on supplies, but gave up after a short while. I'm not very craft-y. I'm impatient and easily discouraged, but I'm better about that than I used to be, so I'd like to try some sort of craft again soon.

Anyone have any other ideas to get us out and about and keep us amused?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Fill-Ins

1. One week ago I was probably doing the same thing I am today: vegging out on the computer.

2. I was always a bookworm, even when I was young.

3. Mama told me not to make faces, in case my face froze like that.

4. There's no one here, except you and me.

5. Take your time reading; it's more enjoyable that way.

6. This, too, will pass!

7. And as for the weekend, last night I was looking forward to catching up on re-runs of a couple of new TV shows I'd missed, today my plans include hanging out in my jammies and watching football and Sunday, I want to watch more football and clean the house!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mailbox Monday

It's been a while since I've had anything to report on Mailbox Monday. But this past week, I received another review book from LibraryThing. Moonlight in Odessa has me very excited to read it. I received a gorgeous hardcover from Bloomsbury...unfortunately, there are quite a few review books in line in front of it. The story takes place in the Ukraine and involves plot points like quid pro quo sexual harassment (i.e., sleep with me and you'll get promoted), matchmaking services, and a decision to follow one's heart or choose the safe route. Sounds like a winner!

The New Forgiveness Conspiracy

If you're interested in learning more about Go-Boy's "good conspiracy" (from my recent review of Sometimes We're Always Real Same-Same), check out this site: http://newforgivenessconspiracy.com/. It's also just a fun and uplifting way to spend a few minutes of your day!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another One?

Another mysterious and monstrous creature has been found, this time in Panama. Remember this post? Is it the same creature? Is it something different? What are these things? I'm still fascinated...

In other news, the 24-Hour Read-a-Thon is coming up!!! This year, it's the weekend of October 24 and 25! I can't wait. This is, hands-down, my favorite book bloggy event of the year (TWICE a year!). And I think my husband's young cousins will be joining us, so it may become a family affair. If the girls are up to it, I might feature guest posts by them during the course of the Read-a-Thon. They are 14, 12, and 11, so they'll provide quite a different viewpoint from mine. I'd love to get their takes on some YA fiction, graphic novels, or whatever else they're reading. I'm really looking forward to it!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Note at the Tail End of BBAW

Hey, all. I haven't participated in BBAW at all this year. I've read a bunch of posts about it, though. The activities seemed like a lot of fun. I think I'll try to be more involved next year.

I just wanted to let everyone who reads my blog know how much I appreciate them, whether they leave comments or not. And I wanted to apologize to those who have left such wonderful comments lately (Wendy, Staci, Jenni, etc.) for my lack of a response. Please know that I have read them and I really appreciate the time you take out of your busy schedules to let me know you're there! I'm just terrible at posting replies. That's one of my goals...be better at replying to comments.

My friends in the book blogosphere have enriched my life so much over the past year and a half that I've been reading, stealing book suggestions, commenting, lurking, and posting. Thanks for that.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

1. My car is WONDERFUL.

2. Halloween is coming up next.

3. Lately, things seem a little blah.

4. Under the covers is one of my favorite 'hiding' places.

5. What happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas.

6. Maintaining a positive outlook is not impossible!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to catching up with my blogging buddies, tomorrow my plans include some University of Georgia football...GOOOOO DAWGS! and Sunday, I want to go to my husband's cousin's birthday party!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sometimes We're Always Real Same-Same by Mattox Roesch

FINALLY! A review book I actually LIKED! I've felt kind of bad that the last two LibraryThing Early Reviewer books that I reviewed got lukewarm responses from me. I even considered leaving the program, since I didn't like the books I was receiving. However, then I received my copy of Sometimes We're Always Real Same-Same by Mattox Roesch. And, despite my other obligations, I couldn't put it down.

The book tells the story of Cesar, an LA kid who had gotten into gangs through his older brother Wicho. Wicho was now in prison for life for killing two teenagers. Cesar's mom decides enough is enough and she moves Cesar away from the gangbanging LA life that he's known to the remote Alaskan village of Unalakleet, where she grew up.

Cesar has to adjust to not only a new place to live, but a new way of life. Village life is almost the polar opposite of his life in LA. He gets to know his cousin, Go-Boy, and his adopted cousin, Kiana, with whom he pursues a relationship. Tragedy strikes, fairly early on in the book, and Go-Boy's mental illness becomes apparent. Cesar has to learn how to deal with that, as well as continuing to adjust to Alaskan life. Will Go-Boy's "good conspiracy" come to pass? Will Cesar stay in Unalakleet or go back to LA?

I realized, partway through the book, that I had read Mattox Roesch's short story "Humpies," upon which the book is partially based, in last year's Best American Non-Required Reading. And I was glad to get the chance to revisit the story, get the FULL story, of Cesar and Go-Boy. I think Roesch did a great job with the voice of the novel. He captured the Native voice well, along with Cesar's bewilderment at being trapped somewhere between the Native and the modern.

I thought a lot about Wicho, Cesar's brother, in prison for life for shooting and killing two kids, and Go-Boy, Cesar's cousin, with his "good conspiracy" and his efforts to see and bring out the best in everyone. I think they were good foils for one another, two opposite ends of the spectrum, each encouraging Cesar which way to go, in a sort of spiritual tug-of-war. They were each an older brother of sorts to Cesar. I liked the conflict they created.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed this book, more than I even expected to when I first read the description. Four out five Whatevers. Recommended for those who want some exposure to the frozen North.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Small Update

I finished reading Sometimes We're Always Real Same-Same last night. I really liked it! My review is coming soon (probably tomorrow). I'm going to start catching up on some magazine reading now...I've got Glamour and BookMarks backed up!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Things I've Done Meme

One of my best friends is in the hospital delivering her first child. I'm trying to keep my mind occupied so I don't go crazy from the waiting!!!

The things I have done are in BOLD!
1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world

8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea (on our honeymoon cruise!)
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (not from my present job, though)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant


More Friday Fill-Ins!

1. That's a good place to be.

2. Look at me; I'm over here!

3. The possibilities include: sandwiches, burgers, chicken, Mexican, and more.

4. Chili is one of my favorite cool day recipes.

5. How will you know if he really loves you?

6. A blanket, a mug of hot chocolate, a good book, and a stormy sky.

7. And as for the weekend, Friday night I was looking forward to hanging out at home, today my plans include a trip to the post office to mail out some BookMooch books and Sunday, I want to watch FOOTBALL!

Friday, September 4, 2009


1. I feel tired.

2. Going to trial is always fun.

3. Right now, I can hear these things: Queer Eye playing in the living room and the cats chasing a crinkle ball around.

4. It's Friday and I'm glad I have three days off.

5. The last time I got drunk was at my wedding.

6. I plan to have some fun this Labor day weekend.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to catching up on my Google Reader, tomorrow my plans include nothing! and Sunday, I want to go to a relative's fourth birthday party and hang out with some friends!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mailbox Monday

I'm a wee bit late on this one, but it's not my fault! I swear! There was a storm last night that kicked me off the internet, and once I was off, I was too into my book to get back on.


This week, I received two books from BookMooch. One is Now It's My Turn by Mary Cheney. Most of you will remember that she is the lesbian daughter of our former vice president, Dick Cheney. Although I'm on the opposite side of politics, I thought it would be interesting to read her memoir of her time spent campaigning for her father, as well as how she dealt with being an out-and-proud lesbian in a conservative milieu.

Also received is Ware Hawk by Andre Norton. I'm trying to collect all the Witch World books. I've heard good things about Andre Norton and I'd like to boost my sci-fi and fantasy reading.

So what did YOU receive in the mail this week???