Sooooo. Picked this book up off of my shelf at work. It belongs to the Special Ed department, they got a bunch of YA lit to try and get the students interested in reading.
Ummm. It doesn't entirely suck?
It is apparently the 5th in the series, but I don't really feel deprived by not having read the others. I was wondering if it was a sequel to another book, because there are a bunch of references to the sister of the protagonist.
It deals with fairies (instead of vampires or werewolves or angels) and has some interesting world set up.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Sooooo. Picked this book up off of my shelf at work. It belongs to the Special Ed department, they got a bunch of YA lit to try and get the students interested in reading.
I liked this one a little better than the last; I found the story to be more engaging. Between reading these and being at the end of the second season of the show, all of the details are getting a little swimmy and mixed up. I think I need to read something else until we're done watching the show.
But, plot of this one more interesting than the last... Starts off with a bunch of macabre art installations made with human bodies. There are a few instances where the characters make some really stupid choices... But overall I think it was well done.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
As I was reading, I was really worried about them trying to make this one season 2. It's so gruesome and horrific. Really terrible.
We started season 2 tonight, and so far it is so incredibly nothing like the book. I'm both relieved and disappointed. I'm hoping that they took a read through this book, said "heck no!" And hopped straight to book 3. However, I have the feeling that this is where television departs from fiction.
Time to find out! On to the next!
Saturday, December 21, 2013
I read these books a couple of years ago, but don't remember most of the details. However, now that the husband and I have started watching the series on Netflix, I am inspired to read them again and compare.
The series has been interesting so far, we have only seen the first few episodes though.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
This is the last(?) book in the House of Night series. Number 9. I've been reading them at school; a bunch of my students were super excited about them.
Overall, the series had a fairly strong start, but the latter books felt, to me, like they're just wandering through possibilities and spending as many words as possible on as little as possible.
Whichever book follows the cliffhanger ending one where the protagonist "dies" takes place over the span of maybe 3 days and nothing much happens. Really? Oh, I think they might hop on a plane. Yeah. That's about it.
I am still curious to see if we'll get any sort of satisfying resolution... So I guess I'm finishing it out.
Monday, December 9, 2013
By John Green
Another one of those books that people talk about a lot. I borrowed this one from a coworker too.
The characters are really engaging. The protagonist is a girl who has cancer. She has a couple of friends, she loves to read, and, although she is a teenager, she earned her GED so is now taking college classes. She hopes to go to.... Somewhere... Overseas to meet the author of her favourite book.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
I've heard about this book for years, but never picked it up until I went to the library the other day.
Premise: high school student kills herself, then mails a box of audio tapes to the people she blames.
It's really engaging. A mix of her retelling and the reactions of a recipient. I started it last night and am on page 53/288.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
I can't shake the dream I had last night.
In it, I talked on the phone to a guy I dated in high school. I didn't want to talk to him, but I kept saying polite things. (He was super messed up and actually committed suicide a couple years ago.) When I got off the phone I went to a bar for a drink. A friend (who also has major issues) sat down with me and told me that I have severe anxiety and depression. They thought I should be medicated.
Then in real life my alarm clock rang and I got up and ready for work. I get in the car, the radio comes on, and the song is an old 80's number that never fails to remind me of that guy I dated. It's not a very common radio song.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
I am a teacher. I love being a teacher. I went into teaching knowing that it would never make me rich.
But here's what I didn't realize about living on a teacher's salary:
I qualify for income controlled housing.
Even living in cheap housing, it's still a struggle to make ends meet every month.
I would shop at Aldi not because they have fun stuff, but because I can't pay what Walmart charges for milk.
I would feel like I'm drowning in credit card debt.
I would worry about affording birthday presents for my child.
I would feel guilty about taking dance classes to try and get into shape because dance class isn't super cheap.
I would tell my children they can't have a cat/dog not only because we live in a small space, but because I can't pay pet deposits/rent/vet bills.
We would eat a lot of pasta and eggs in my house because of how cheap those are.
Going to the movies (matinee) twice a year is extravagant.
So is a concert.
A teacher's salary is barely enough to live on.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Google: you do many other things right. I do not understand why you can't make it easy to sign out of accounts on mobile devices! With the iPad it is really simple. Push the botton that says sign out. Then sign in as a different account. On the computer, same thing. But on my phone or my HTC tablet - no log out button? How hard could that possibly be to make? Seriously, fix this.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Finished Awoken, liked it better than Twilight. Of course, in the normal scheme of things, that's not saying much. However, as this book is a send-up of Twilight (and the whole current teen romance genre) it is pretty amusing that I like this more.
1: Elder God, not whiny vampire.
2: Gods can carry off arrogance better than teenage vampires.
3: he is an ass, but... he is Cthulhu.
4: he doesn't socially isolate her
5: he doesn't injure her
6: more believable motivations
7: no pesky plot holes
Um. That's all the reasons I have to prefer the one over the other. Neither one is a very likable character. It's a bit... fast? as a love story. Kind of the R&J situation. I don't believe that real and deep love happens that quickly.
But, an entertaining read!
Monday, October 28, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Alas, not the first in the series. I believe this one is the second, but I feel no pressing confusion that makes me put this one down and go find the first book.
The protagonist is an NYC actress, out of work at the moment. She picks up some shifts at a local area restaurant which happens to be the favorite hangout of the Mob. While there, she witnesses an incredibly improbable murder. From there it just gets more complicated, eventually including magic, a Great Dane, explosions, a cop boyfriend, and doppelgangers.
It's quite an enjoyable read so far.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Young adult style fiction by Sanderson! There are pictures! I handed the book to my 10 year old this morning. By lunch she was at least 1/3 of the way through. Maybe half way.
I would have called it steampunk, then I read the afterword and Sanderson refers to it as gearpunk. Never heard that word before.
He magic is based on chalk, drawing, and geometry. Sanderson is a genius at innovative magical systems.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
This is one of my new favorite places. I didn't get a great night's sleep, but that's pretty normal for me in an unfamiliar place.
The place is old... 200 years old. It has real furniture, not cheap warehouse furniture. Wooden floors abused by time and throw rugs all over.
The animals - donkeys and cows? - outside got all chatty when we were trying to go to sleep, but otherwise is was extremely quiet. I think the quiet is one of the things that made it hard for me to sleep!
Monday, August 12, 2013
Baby Peacock! It was so adorable!
There are wild peacocks at the Temple in the Valley of the Temples. We rang the big sacred bell, and it is supposed to bring us luck. The temple was modeled after a famous Japanese temple. There was a giant gilded Buddha inside. It was made out of Japanese Cypress and then lacquered and gilded. The temple grounds were very peaceful. Next to the temple were a couple of local artisans selling their wares. We bought some prints by a deaf painter - Daniel Wong. We watched the immense koi in the pond in front of the temple. There were tiny fish swimming about as well. A big male peacock was strutting around outside the gift shop.
The gift shop had some interesting items. I was tempted by a little cloissone teapot, but I didn't end up purchasing it.
Then as we were sitting outside we saw a female peacock with her chick. It wandered over towards us and the baby followed. The baby kept falling asleep and taking short naps as the mommy preened and kept watch.
The mom was eyeing us sharply and then they got spotted by some kids. For a few seconds I was worried that she was going to get started and peck me in the leg. Soon after that we finied the loop around the pond, picked up our pictures, and headed out.
We went straight over to the beach. The water was slightly colder than the previous beaches but it was still nice. The water was very calm and fairly clear. Some little fishes swam around us and one hung out over my floating legs for a few minutes.
Around 3 we headed out and were very hungry. We dropped the car off at home and walked to an Israeli restaurant: ShAloha. It was very tasty. Everything was made fresh on site: pitas, hummus, salad, chicken, etc.
After that we were glad to scrub off the sand and salt and relax for the rest of the day. (Excepting our amazing and long suffering host who cooked me latkes.)
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Online ticketing was sold out through September. So, waking up this morning, our first order of business was to get out to the site and try and get tickets. We thought it would already be booked up, but we got two tickets for the 12:45 tour.
Since we had gotten there at 9 we had plenty of time to walk around and see other things. We didn't stand in line to get tickets for the submarine or battleship, and we didn't want to pay admission to the larger museum. We walked through the bookstore plotting our future purchases. We looked through the periscopes and went in the conning tower. We went through the gift shop and found a signed copy of an interesting book from the bookstore. We walked around the monuments and read all of the signed outside. The views were nice. We went through the free museum and looked at the ship's bell.
Then we were finished, and it was only 11. We hadn't had much in the way of breakfast, so we headed back over to the submarine side of the park and got some hot dogs and water. It was pleasant to sit at the tables and just rest. We probably sat there for over an hour enjoying the shade and breezes, and watching the birds.
Before going out to the Arizona Memorial we sat for a short film. The film was really interesting because of how much old footage was used. Everything they showed when they were talking about that time period was either film or photography from the era. The only modern footage was when they were talking about the opening of the memorial and the ceremony they perform on December 7th. They opened it in 1984 so the footage was full of 80's fashions.
After the memorial we bought our souvenirs and scampered off to the stadium for the flea market. (A hot and strenuous hike, but it only actually took us about 10 minutes.) We got some shaved ice - strawberry lime - and looked at the stalls. We bought some bread, gifts, and things for ourselves.
Then we went home and chatted until our dinner reservation. At 6:45 we went to Morimoto Waikiki. Amazing. Delicious. Scrumptious. Fantastic. I had a Wild Blueberry Manhattan to drink. For appetizers we had sushi. I tried some that had sweet gourd inside, that was really nice. I had some that were avacado and cucumber (my favorite) and they were incredible. For my main course I had Angy Chicken. It had masala spices, fried noodles, and peppers. Somehow, they had removed all of the bones except the large ones at the ends. I even ate the dark meat. For dessert, the molten chocolate almond cake. It had red wine ice cream and raspberries. The ice cream perched on dehydrated chocolate mousse. The cake was gooey and perfect, oddly light. It was the best meal I have ever eaten.
I have never snorkled before. We were worried because it was raining in the morning, but it cleared up nicely. Actually, the passing clouds provided a welcome respite from the sun. Still, I got a bit burned.
The snorkeling website implied that there would be showers and lockers. Not true. But it worked out. We checked in, then were given chips and drinks as we waited for the boat. Our captain was a bit worrisome at first, but he grew on us as the tour progressed, in part due to his excellent musical taste.
The first mate was a nice man with long dreads; he told us a lot about fish and dolphins. There was also an adorable photographer on board. He dove strait down to the bottom to get some great shots.
The first stop was a place that turtles like to go. We saw one. It was on the bottom, very large, and moving slowly. At first I kept smiling and laughing, letting water in to my mask. The fish that were swimming around were very pretty.
On the way we spotted some Hawaiian Spinnaker Dolphins. They were adorable. There was a baby one and some juveniles in the pod. We almost got in the water with them, but lost the pod.
Our next snorkeling spot was very pretty, all fish. On the way back in the captain took us way out to sea to see some bottlenose dolphins. We saw a couple fins, circles around a bit to see of they would surf the waves behind the boat (no) then headed in to shore really quickly.
They gave us sandwiches and chips for lunch. We were out from 11 till 3:30.
Tired and wet after that.
We headed over to the luau - still wet and in swimsuits.
There were fun activities. I made a headband/crown, a bracelet, and got a tribal tattoo. They did the tattoos with China markers. They went on well, but were prone to smudging.
There were a couple demonstrations before the official start: tying the sarong-thing, hula, languauge, fishing, climbing coconut trees, digging up the pig...
We sat for the luau and they pulled us up by table to go through the buffet. Salad, pasta, delicious pork, taro rolls, dessert... Such goodness. I also drank a couple of Blue Hawaiians.
He show was lots of fun. There was a fire dancer. They did a wedding song where a female dancer danced, and the male dancer just stared at her awkwardly.
We chatted with a couple of nice strangers. The sunset was gorgeous. The stars came out and were unfamiliar to me.
We got photos.
I am so tired, but still filthy from the day.
Friday, August 9, 2013
Driving down Likelike. Through the mountains and past the oceanview. The Jurassic Park mountains are on our left.
Stopped at a drug store for a few things and then was quickly at La'ie point. Magical, peaceful, surreal, and beautiful. We watched a guy jump off a rock. I've been told it's the rock they jumped off in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The rock was jagged and full of holes. It was filled with depressions that look like they get filled at high tide. There were rays swimming off to one side of the rock.
After a couple of wrong turns we made it to the Malaekahona beach. It was fairly deserted. We dropped our stuff at a shady spot and waded across the water to Goat Island. It was a challenging wade, but worth it. The island is a bird sanctuary and we walked around the perimeter. Amazing scenery. We waded back and played in the waves for a while, then laid in the sand to dry off.
We popped into the bathroom to clean our feet - 2 of 3 stalls didn't have doors! I don't get it. Neither did the showers.
On the drive back we stoped at an excellent taco place. Yummmmm. I had shredded beef tacos and ginger lemonade. Never heard of that before - now I need to learn to make it.
Then we stopped at a little store called Fine Ass Coffee, Chocolate, and Gifts. The packages look very nice, but the names have the implication of scandal. Also, there was a big inflatable thingy out front with a ball in its hand and a sign that said "We have donkey balls!"
And I saw a wild boar on the side of the road. It was little, black, and had a mohawk. So cute. Also, there are many chickens just wandering around.
The mountains are pointy and wrinkly and sharp looking, and are also very tall. The tops were wreathed in fog as we drove home.
We are wiped out. We were planning to go the the fireworks display tonight, but none of us had the energy to get up and out. Nicely, someone is bringing us food. Gyro and fries.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Don't knock on the window and tell us to get out of the crosswalk. Our car doesn't go any further forward. Just walk around.
Also, Good Eats- truth in advertising.
I saw the only palace I will be able to see without leaving the US. Gorgeous.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Well, that was rockier than I expected. However, I am now the proud owner of water shoes. That should help the next couple trips.
It was gorgeous. The water was warm. It was amazing.
We had shaved ice, I had strawberry and lemon lime.
We ran into our awesome stewardess on the beach.
I failed to climb a banyan tree.
I bought a charm for my charm bracelet from a sketchy jewelry store where we got an amazing deal but had to pay cash.
Then we went to Safeway and acquired provisions. Our host made us stir fry with noodles, bell peppers, pineapple, water chestnuts, shiitake, and teriyaki sauce.
We had delicious puffed donut things for breakfast. My favorite was the cinnamon dusted.
Achy, sore, full, and happy.
Yesterday I got on a plane around 12:30. I got off a different plane around 6:30. I spent 12 hours (almost) in the air.
I'm not bad at math. I flew from the east coast over to Hawaii. The time zone change kept messing with me. It was bright for a really long time. I didn't get why I was hungry, then realized I should have had lunch 4 hours previously.
The first plane, BWI to ORD, was a tiny little puddle jumper. I kept hitting my head on the ceiling when I was trying to walk down it. I had to check my carry on planeside. Mercifully, we were only on that plane for 2 hours. It was so small and uncomfortable.
We landed plenty early, but they didn't let us taxi in for a while because there was a different plane at our gate. So, by the time I was waiting in the jet bridge for my carry on it was already the time when our connecting flight was supposed to board.
We ran through the airport quite a long way. We had to go from the tail end of one spoke in to the center, and way out to the very end of another spoke. But, luckily, it seemed as if our next plane was not boarding on time, even though the information board said otherwise. Did we have time for the restrooms? To get food? I scampered up to the desk to ask. At first the guy seemed to expect that I was going to yell at him or something, he seemed a bit astonished that I was happy. 10 minutes! Restroom, sandwich, chips and sodas to eat as soon as we were allowed to sit on the plane. We were so hungry!
We boarded and waited. Ate our chips. Finally, we were off. The first four hours of the trip we didn't really get bored; we spent the time looking out at the scenery. We figured out where we were by comparing big landmarks to a small map. We saw gorgeous mountains and big rivers. The coastline was hugged by clouds. And then we were over the ocean. Initially, that was exciting. Then we realized we had 5 more hours of flying and no more scenery. Sometimes the clouds were pretty, but it was mostly just a vast expanse of sameness.
The more tired we got the more we realized that our day had been bloated with daylight. Our bodies wanted sunset, but we kept flying towards the sunny afternoon. We were too excited and uncomfortable to sleep.
Towards the end of the flight, hunger won out against sticker shock, and our wonderful flight attendant gave us a sandwich and chips and then she didn't even charge us. Such nice people on that flight.
And then we were in Hawaii.
The airport, so cool. The scenery, so pretty.
We met our friend and she took us home.
We went out for great Indian food. Our bodies thought it was 3am. We finally saw the sun set. Drunk with tiredness, I fell into bed at 10 and slept (mostly) through until morning.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
1 bag of egg noodles
1 stick of margarine
Tbl of milk
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup wheat germ.
Melt margarine and stir in garlic, rosemary, sage and thyme. Cool slightly, stir in milk.
Put in baking dish.
Stir in butter sauce and a handful of cheese.
Top with remaining cheese and wheat germ.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (until cheese is melted and top is lightly browned.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
I hate needles. Everything about them.
Yesterday I had a physical. I haven't been in a couple years because I'm healthy and I don't want them to draw blood. But lately I've really been struggling with my weight. Plus, I have a history of an almost abnormal thyroid. Could that be the cause? Guess I have to get tortured to know.
I don't know what it is. Intellectually I understand that it's a brief pain so that they can run tests to affirm my good health. No big deal. I await the terrible part of the exam. I'm pretty relaxed. The nurse comes in to take my blood. I joke with her some to keep my mind off of it. She sticks me in the right arm. Oh gosh, she has 5 vials to fill. She is having trouble getting a good flow of blood out. I can't help it, tears start running down my face. I try and keep control, but then, she has to stick the other arm. She gets the smallest needle she can find. She pokes at my arm with het fingers and tells me I have skinny veins. She puts the needle in and fills up the vials. At this point I'm sobbing. I leave, get in the car, and keep crying. I can't help it. I know it's silly.
I feel all fragile the rest of the day.
I went to dance class and jammed my finger.
This morning my finger still hurts. A lot, actually.
But I haven't shed a test over it and I'm not going to. It's not going to ruin my day.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013
I'm not good at quesadillas. Look at that. All of that filling just fell right out onto the plate.
However, it is delicious. Flour tortilla, black beans, shredded parmesan, cilantro, and a ripe tomato. I thought I'd experiment and dip it into hummus. Good choice.
This makes up for the bacon cheeseburger, fries, and soda I had for lunch, right?
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Second in a series. Historical mystery, and no, that is not a code term for sleazy romance novel. No sex at all so far.
I found the first book a bit two dimensional and predictable. Ever character had a terrible past, a serious condition, or was just a homicidal lunatic. Obviously, it wasn't too bad though, as I'm reading the second.
It is set in London in the 1800's. Apparently, the detail is accurate and wonderful; I'm no expert.
I'm not very far into this one, it's better than its predecessor so far.
Break everything that looks breakable.
Then check the walls, floors, etc. and see if you can break those too.
If your neighbors aren't home, go into their house and look through their trunks. Keep anything you find.
Explore every corner.
You probably missed something, so explore again.
Sometimes you need a different perspective, so shift your plane of existence.
Sometimes the obvious choice is the right choice.
Second chances don't always happen, so make the most of each life.
Remind others to save.
If you stop having fun, then stop playing the game.
Even though the level is hard, it's important to persevere.
I can kick ass.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Monday, July 15, 2013
Today for dinner I made cheese lasagna. My little one doesn't like sauce, so I made it heavy on cheese and light on sauce. I also threw in some canned artichoke hearts.
I served it with salad and a store bought loaf of bread. (Italian loaf, everything style.)
Dinner was amazing and I was quite full afterwards, even though I did end up eating a small bowl of fresh cherries later. I love cherries.
Today I did manage to stay inside my calorie limits (even with a small second helping of lasagna...) and I even did some exercise while the lasagna was baking, so that's good, right?
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Friday, July 12, 2013
I forgot to post about my oddly virtuous dinner last night. Turkey burger, sweet potato fries, and corn on the cob.
I followed that up with some watermelon for dessert. I was very full afterwards!
This morning I'm starting out right with a fruit and yogurt smoothie. Bonus is that my kids think smoothies are a wonderful treat.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
A departure from the literary.
I am overweight. I don't like to think of myself as fat, even though I think I technically fall into the obese category. But I've been trying to lose weight - it's either that of buy bigger clothes. I've been trying since January. Nothing is budging.
So, I'm trying to eat better.
Today- black beans and rice for lunch. With an apple.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Lady Macbeth by Susan Fraser King was really interesting. If this story is to be believed, then Shakespeare was just making everything up.
Really, aside from a few major events, it is completely different. Even those major events have a different aspect.
The writing is engaging, the characters are likeable. Even though it is historical fiction, there is no gratuitous sex. It is often sad, but always interesting.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Just finished A Bloody Storm, the last of the the three Castle/ Derrick Storm books. It's really one book in three parts. Each picks up exactly where the last leaves off, some things resolved, but most a cliffhanger.
They were enjoyable. And not just because I imagine them being read by Nathan Fillion.
The first installment is strictly limited to Storm's viewpoint. The second has a much wider point of view, and the third narrows back in. This made the second book a little jarring. It also increased my distrust of one of the characters simply because we never saw their point of view on anything. I really expected that character to be the big villain, but it didn't turn out that way.
Liked the books - would recommend them, especially to fans of the tv show.
Monday, May 27, 2013
Sunday, May 26, 2013
I just read a book called The Billionaire's Curse. I clicked on the title by accident but decided to give it a read.
It was pretty engaging, if more of a young adult book. My daughter would like it.
Next I'm going to read a Brewing Storm, one of the books inspired by the show Castle.