Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today: A Good Day

I'll try to catch you up on the last month (including Easter) later, but tonight I am going to tell you about my great day.

Momma had the hand, foot, and mouth (coxsackie virus) so she couldn't go to work and spread that kind of fun around. I guess I should come clean and let you know she got it from me. Whoopsie daisy. Sorry Momma! Well, it all worked out for me because we had an awesome day.

First thing this morning we went to the botanical gardens. Now that place is a workout! Momma says you don't have to run the whole time you're there, but I am pre-tty sure that you do. We spent more than an hour there and Momma says I didn't cooperate with her plan to take pictures. Its not my fault I am CRAZY FAST!!! 

 In the car we sang the ABC song a lot. Forwards and backwards. And we did letter sounds (you know "A" says Ah, "A" says Ah.....), and when we got to "D" Momma said some "D" words and I chimed in with "Da-da"! All on my own!

Then we went to the library and ran into William's mom. What luck!

The day was going SO great I decided I wasn't going to nap in case something else cool happened. That way I wasn't going to miss anything. I wore Momma down pretty quickly and helped her blow up my brand new swimming pool. It. is. enormous!!! Thanks Great-Grandmother and Great-Grandaddy! (It's my Easter present from them.) After it was all pumped up (and my giant lion and I had a chance to play in it in the living room) Momma and I squished it through the hallway to the backyard and I went swimming. And SLIDING! Because my new pool is SO BIG that my entire slide fits inside!

I went swimming again before dinner with Daddy. After we came in I helped set the table. I carried the salt and pepper, and silverware, and napkins all by myself. I ate TONS of zucchini and squash and then I helped clean up the table. I even carried the plates! 

Then I helped myself to a popsicle and a frozen waffle. And went for another swim.

Good morning! Just checking the outside.

Maybe I'll grow into them?

Told you I was fast!

Too bad Momma is so slow though.

Just gonna look at some stuff while I wait for Momma to catch up.

I was so sweaty my hair went wild.

 SEE?!?! It's enormous!

I did the slide like a hundred times.

Mmmmmmmmm.... frozen stuff. And then I swam again. I mean I HAD to wash off the sticky anyway.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Help

The Help       I first heard about The Help last fall and I was intrigued. Then I talked to a friend that reads a ton and I frequently share books with. She didn't love it and I was a little put off after hearing her take. Then a few weeks ago I talked to another friend whose book choices I respect and she also didn't love it. This changed my mind from being entirely disinterested to wanting to read it more than ever.( I just got home from book club and have had a few drinks so pardon the possible incoherency. More on the best book club in history to come soon.)

Long story (that I already told) short, I saw the book on second friend's shelf and stole it. Well, I borrowed it but it would've been a better story if I had stolen, read it, and replaced it complete with a handwritten thank you note tucked inside the cover.

Contrary to what I expected, I loved the book. If I remember correctly, my friends' complaints had been mainly that the voice in the story wasn't authentic. I won't entirely disagree mostly because the book is told from three different points of view that are a little too similar, but it was still a great story.

The story is ultimately that of all African American women working in southern white homes during the early civil rights movement.  It follows three women: a white lady in her early twenties, a middle-aged black woman maid, and a younger black maid, and their relationships with other members of the community. I am trying not to give too much away. The first night I started in to  it I was hooked and spent the next week reading way too late at night. I have been dragging my way through a daze ever since and am convinced I'm still about 19 hours behind on sleep.

P.S. I keep promising myself I'll post more frequently but then I get overwhelmed with trying to write the best, most entertaining, wittiest review and in the end write nothing. So here on out I am just going to review and if a handful of them suck, it's still better than them not existing at all. So slog through the crappy ones and enjoy the others. Thanks and go read The Help.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Work work work work work....

I'm still at it. It's crazy, you'd think they'd let me go home, but I'm workin' (pun intended) on 72 straight hours at this desk. I've been living on trail mix and coffee. Cheap and energy efficient. My paycheck is going to be suh-weeeeeeeeeeeee-eeet.

Well that's obviously not true, but I've spent enough time here during a dead week to believe when you enter this building you also enter an alternate universe. My suspicions were confirmed a few minutes ago when upon checking the workplace e-mail I came across this gem in the in ol' inbox:

"Hi. This is the qmail-send program at mail.speedfox.net.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.

This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out."

Aside from the odd wording, I haven't been sending e-mails for them to be undeliverable. Am I out there in a paralell universe staying busy, working hard, and using my flashy typing fingers to jettison e-mails out to my adoring fans? (I am aware the end of that sentence may create facial tics immediately after reading, but my fingers are flashy and I DO have adoring fans. I know I DO. They are just in that other universe. Over there e-mails are regularly jettisoned as well. I looked it up in the dictionary and if you choose to question my word usage I hereby challenge you to a duel.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Here Comes Peter Cottontail.....

You are only allowed to read this post if you sang along as you read the blog title.... with Easter pproaching I thought I'd mix things up and throw in a few good children's Easter books.

Here Comes Peter CottontailThe monster received this musical Here Comes Peter Cottontail book last year for Easter and it turned into a year round hit. It's a decent sized board book and when you open it up you're greeted with a (not annoying) instrumental rendition of the Peter Cottontail song. The music is nothing fancy like an orchestra, but it's not too loud, has no words, and the monster love love loves it. Those are three huge plusses in my book. (haha what book? the book I am slowly putting together of my rules that everyone should follow. pay attention) Another plus is that I always thought I knew the words but apparently I was leaving out the majority of the tune so now come Easter time I have more than just one line of "Here come Peter Cottontail hoppin' down the bunny trail/ Hippity hoppity Easter's on it's way". It doesn't end there, folks! (did I mention the monster loves this book?)

Guess How Much I Love YouSo last year I had a private discussion with the Easter bunny and requested every year he leave a special book in the monster's basket. (you should do this too, he was happy to oblige) Guess How Much I Love You was the first Easter book and if you haven't read it, go buy it. Now. And I dare you to read it with out (almost) crying. It's so goshdarn sweet it took me a solid 20 reads to get ahold of myself at the end. There are even plush little nut brown hares you can get to accompany the book and other books in the series.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Slow day in the work world.....

So I broke down and got a job (actually it fell in my lap one night while I was drinking a beer). For a week. Well technically more than a week but it's only a real full time job for a week. One week. And I am half way through. The first three weeks when it was a real job but also kind of a pretend job (well it wasn't a pretend job but there were people helping me a long and giving instructions that I fulfilled and then got new instructions) I could come and go and such. I got paid for it and that pretty much rocked. But there was lots to do. This week, here on my lonesome working 9 hours a day and ready to spread my fictional (they aren't fictional I just hide them well under my clothes) wings, it. is. dead. Dead. Did someone spread the word that the pretty girl in finance is out of town and the other pretty girl (let's face it- and take a page from the Creative Liar here- mirrors love me. I once had a mirror reach out and caress my face. I might have rubbed my face on the mirror but it's the same thing.).... to catch you up on that sentence... the other pretty girl in finance doesn't actually know what she's doing. BUT I DO! I DO know what I am doing. Spread the word.

So in my abundance of spare time I did a lot of unfiling crap destined for the shredder. And I filed a lot of other crap that in less than a year's time will mostly likely be sliding through the sharp and steely fingers of the same shredder that consumed their papery friends. While I did this I listened to a book on cd. I have also drank coffee. Lots and lots and lots of coffee. The more coffee I drink the more often I have to pee and that gives me something to do.

Sea of Poppies

Sea of Poppies: A NovelSea of Poppies    Sea of Poppies is really different from anything else I have read. It takes place during the Opium Wars in India and China. The story encompasses multiple characters, initially following them in their natural settings and eventually weaving their stories into one well written narrative that takes place aboard the the Ibis. The character developemnt is phenomenal. Every time I finish one character's passage I decide I must continue reading until it comes back to them to find out what happens next. Yet, as I read on in the story of a parrallel character I am engrossed with them. I don't know if those last sentences make the sense I was intending them to, but basically every single night I have had a difficult time putting this thing away and going to sleep.

My only complaint is also a positive. There is a lot of native lanaguage used, especially in the dialogue. It is possible to basically ignore those words and never learn their exact meaning and still fully understand the story. There is a bit of a glossary in the back but as I tend to read at night when I am tired I chose the easier approach of ignorance. It seemed when I did go to the effort and look up something it wasn't one of the ones listed in the glossary anyway. Although a little confusing early on in the novel once I was fully immersed in the story it didn't make me feel like I was missing anything. This language though tedious to some readers helps make the characters and the story more real.

I have to throw in a thank you to Chris here. He picked it out all on his own for a gift for me. Thanks Chris! When you read it, you'll be thanking him too. An excellent book well worth the price of hard cover. And it's pretty. (Did you notice the cover options??? I want them both)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

False Memory

False Memory            I know, I know.... another one from Dean. I told you I was running out of ideas on what bocd's to check out at the library. But, GOOD NEWS! This one is quite good. I'm not saying it's destined to be a classic or anything but in terms of entertainment value and orinigal idea I am liking this one. I'm not going to say much becaue I don't want to give anything away. Actually this is making it hard to really tell you anything.

Let's see... nevermind, worst written book review right here. Can I leave it at that and still expect you might read it?

Some interesting characters, false or real or implanted memories, a small bit of suspense, and a lovable dog. This is a little bit more what I was expecting when the kind man at the library told me Dean resembled our good friend Stephen King. And I want to go read the Manchurian Candidate now.

Monday, February 28, 2011

February Recap

Scariest things from February:

I dreamed I was Alice and I was in Wonderland (AWESOME!) but I had to kill a dragon (jabberwocky?). It also knew I was going to try and kill it so it was hunting me.

I ate Cheezits I found in my pocket with the white rabbit so we could shrink and fit through a guinea pig hole (also AWESOME!) but we weren't shrinking small enough and the dragon came for us (scary)

Maybe the big lump in the unmade bed is a dead body. Or a ghost.

The house next door is boarded up and looks abandoned because vampires live there.

And some awesome stuff so you aren't afraid to sleep tonight:

Opened MonsterEgo etsy shop! 

Sold first monster shirt!!!!!!!!!

Started a new job in addition to subbing.

Joined a pretty rockin' book club.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Secret Daughter

Secret Daughter: A NovelThis book came to me by way of recommendation and I am so glad it did. Mostly because it's not something I would have been likely to find or choose on my own. This addictive read tells the story of family spread across the globe. There are two families in India unrelated by blood but nevertheless bound together by a daughter and granddaughter. The other side of the story is told from California following the journey of an American woman and her Indian husband and their attempts for a child.

Although I was almost immediately sucked into the book reading more at a time than I intended (short chapters have a way of doing that to me) I worried early on that it was highly predictable and while entertaining, there just wasn't going to be much substance. I was wrong. Once the initial storyline and characters are developed I quit bothering trying to map out their next move and just enjoyed the read. I also learned a lot about Indian culture and was impressed by the author's imagery. Without getting detailed and wordy she created quite the realistic picture of India in my mind.

A fairly quick read with short chapters that jump around between characters. It was great story to hear from various view points, I sympathized with almost every character in the book, never dreading reading a particular persons chapters as sometimes happens with this style of storytelling. And I kind of want to try on a sari. Not only are the fabrics beautiful but apparently it's comfortable and flattering.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dragon Tears

Dragon TearsDean Koontz is everywhere and that is the main reason I have avoided reading him up until this point. That being said, I was running low on books on cd authors I know and like at the library. Downtown has a fairly impressive selection of BOCD's but if you go with plans to on listening to a specific author you will quite possibly leave the library disappointed. If you were in the hunt for a specific title by said specific author.... well, let's just say I hope you're flexible. Like Gumby on a hot day flexible.

A year ago I would quietly take my time browsing picking two or three to try out; new authors, new titles.... Since then a certain monster has turned my quiet library time into a sad and frustrating affair. We enter inconspicuously enough. Me, the doting mother lovingly embracing the angelic child as we stroll through the double doors whispering secrets about the stories inside. Him, the aforementioned angelic child, smiling sweetly and waving ever so gracefully to onlookers... And we reach the BOCD section. As I read the first title, he begins simultaneously thrashing his body around and reaching for the books. To avoid the inevitable head butt to the face I am craning my neck as far from my own body as I can trying to at least glimpse the titles (authors names are too small to worry about at this point). With my attention faltering ever so slightly, the monster takes advantage and yanks one off the shelf. Before he can damage the thing (we're at the library in an attempt to not pay for books) I wrench it from his grasp bringing forth the cry of anger. This cry is not cute, not silent, and not appreciated at the library. I then set him down thinking I'll be able to pick quicker and more efficiently without lugging him thrashing (and now screaming) down the aisle and maybe he'll cheer up and get quiet. He does get quiet and is cheered by the new game of shoving all the books back as far as they'll go on the shelf with one hand and choosing the most interesting ones to re-shelve somewhere better with other hand. Following behind correcting "the situation" is my best bet at reading a couple titles and choosing from there. A thirty second window (max) because next comes the best part. Realizing his game is about to end, the monster sprints for the end of the row, turns a sharp left and chooses a new aisle at random. I follow in close pursuit. Seeing me behind him is just too hilarious for words so he squeals his glass shattering, ear piercing "happy scream" and collapses in LOUD laughter as I scoop him off the floor. Did I mentioned the high, vaulted ceilings of this library were acoustically designed to perfectly enhance and echo all sound? Cuz they do
So back to Dean. I am flying solo at the library the other week (aaaawesooome) and notice a gentlemen in my section eying The Thirteenth Tale. You know how I feel about that one so I can't keep quiet and let this man miss out on that experience so I speak up and some friendly book talk ensues. I mention I've been listen to a lot of Stephen King lately but have run out of his titles so I am at a loss of where to go from there. Nice man recommends Dean claiming he is Stephen-esque and pointing out a few of his favorite titles. Thanks nice man, I'll take over from here.

Dragon Tears is an okay book. It's along the lines of Stephen King, but just seemed a little less intelligent. Somewhat similar to James Patterson stylistically, but a little more original.  (sidenote: Patterson detective novel readers would probably really dig this guy)The first few chapters I was annoyed with the abundance of unnecessary analogies, but if I'm completely truthful once I got into the story I didn't notice them. There's a detective and his predictable feelings about a female partner. A few interesting homeless people and cool dog. Parts of the story are told from the dog's point of view in a voice the reader seemed to think was "dog-like". I thought his voice was dog-like and it was a clever/different perspective overall. Then there's the Stephen-esque supernatural twist that brings these characters together. An entertaining read (listen) that was just intriguing enough to bring me back for more. On cd. I doubt I'll be purchasing or actually reading any of his books (I'd quietly apologize to him here, but with countless faithful readers and a slew of books already under his belt, me and my 39 -thanks guys!- followers aren't going to hurt his pride too much) but I will get his other audio books from the library.

And the gentleman DID check out The Thirteenth Tale. Not quite an even trade suggestion for Dragon Tears but I guess I've got a new author and he just got one book. Wish I knew what he thought of it.......

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Five Children and It

Five Children and ItI just finished Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit and thoroughly enjoyed this classic children's tale of fantasy. One could imagine this might be just the book Alice's sister was reading under the big shade tree in Lewis Carroll's 'Wonderland'. Although there are technically five children in the novel it is really the story of four siblings (two girls and two boys) who are left with their baby baby brother at a home in the English countryside in the care of a housekeeper of sorts. Their mother is away caring for and elderly relative and the children must entertain themselves. After discovering an ancient creature in a nearby sandpit that will grant the children one wish per day, entertainment becomes easy to come by but sometimes difficult to escape. A great one to read aloud to kids, this easy and entertaining classic is best finished on a picnic blanket in the sunshine with a cool glass of wine. What would you wish for?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Stand

The Stand: Expanded Edition: For the First Time Complete and Uncut (Signet)This book turned into an entire experience. An entirely awesome experience.

Since reading Cujo in 8th or 9th grade I hadn't touched Stephen King. I was afraid. You see Cujo wasn't so scary because there isn't so much paranormal s#!+, but just from the covers Stephen's novels looked scary (I know you aren't supposed to judge, but let's face it, mostly you can: book, person, house.... and not be too far off base on what's inside). And the titles sounded scary. After a small amount of convincing from a former English teacher (not my own) Chris and I embarked on this one together. Being that it's well over 1,000 pages and we (I) mostly only read it on long car rides, it took about 6 months for me to read aloud the entire story. Well worth it. And when it was over there was the added bonus of 355 minutes of The Stand on DVD laced with the talents of Molly Ringwald, Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe, and an appearance by Stephen King himself.If you do read this one and can pass my test to prove it, I'll watch the movie with you. I'll even provide the drinks.

The accidental release of a superflu in the US wipes out the majority of the population. The Stand is the story of those left behind. I love a good apocalypse story, especially with a supernatural good verses evil twist. Read it.

Just maybe don't read it alone in the dark.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Hello there. It's difficult to type hello with an underachieving "L". Sometimes I have to stretch my mouth. The sides feel strange and I have to go 'Ahhhh' but without the sound. Open open as wide as my mouth will go and it stretches it out. And it feels nice. Sometimes though is sometimes an hour. So often I am walking through the grocery and streeeeeeetch. Strangers probably think I am growling. Or baring my teeth like a gorilla lookin' for a fight. Also, I tried this experiment several months back  with the intention of writing about it. I tried to not talk about myself at all for a whole day. NOT possible. The whole idea came about because I was feeling like I talk about myself (and my dude but he's so awesome you want to hear about him anyway) a lot. One kind individual that was clued into the experiment early on was kind enough to point out that if I thought I talked to much I was aware of the amount I talked and therefor it was not in excess.

First of all it took I several attempts to get through a day. Well, let's face it, I never got past half a day. BUT this brings us to the findings of my mini study and that is: if you don't ever talk about yourself or add your own anecdotes to a conversation YOU ARE BORING. Seriously. What I found out in the end is that it is these little bits of you that make up a conversation and carry it forward.

Also. Streeeeeeeeeeetch. That's how people get to know you. I was recently told by a new friend, "You (as in me) are really easy to get to know." It's because I share too much. Same friend (you know who you are and you give the best compliments) told me I was a "Pandora's box". I have loves of random knowledge and experience. And yes, I will be carrying that little tidbit around and throwing it in the face of people that don't believe me when I say I am awesome. I am awesome.

I am also a wee bit drunk.

Fall of Giants

Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy) So I am going to do my best to convince you to read this masterpiece by Ken with a mischievous letter 'L' on the keyboard and randomly disappearing type. Yes, my laptop has issues. I have raved about my buddy Ken's (I have read and reread his previous novels so he better be considering me his buddy as well, but this may be a one-sided friendship) historical fiction in the past and this one did not let me down. AWESOME book. That is probably the best thing I can say without digressing into cliche phrases like "Page turner!" "Coudn't put it down" "Inspired and well-researched"...... I could go on. So I will.... okay I won't, only because I don't think in cliche phrases so I ran out of them. I looked forward to the debut of this novel for many months before it was released and a few more months until I acquired sufficient funds to purchase it (and my dad ended up doing the actual purchasing so I could save my gift card for a rainy day, or another giant hardback- Thanks Daddy!). Fall of Giants is the story of 5 families from five major countries in the early 1900's (France, England, Wales, Germany, America and Russia) and follows them through the build up to WWI, women's suffrage, the war AND the revolution in Russia. I have always liked history to a certain extent, but nothing has made me more interested in any of those topics than this book. The research and attention to detail is impressive. Ken even includes a list at the front of the book of fictional characters and characters that were actual historical figures. Most things done or said by those characters that actually lived during this time was done or said by them at some point and noted in history. When they show up at a fictional party or whatnot, Ken verified it was possible for them to be in that location at that time. I want to reread it with an encyclopedia handy so I can look up the battles and people mentioned as I go along. I could not put this thing down, but every time I turned a page I wanted to read slower so the book would last longer. My only consolation and one of the best things about Giants is that it's the first in a trilogy. A TRILOGY!  Awesome.

You cannot imagine the editing that went into this after I restarted and the type was back. Whoa.