Showing posts from June, 2008

Just Shoot Me Now

I've become my parents.

I just had to call Steven to ask him how to get my DVD player to work. I knew I needed to hit the Input button. I just thought it was the one on the cable control, not the TV control.

He found it quite amusing. I found it depressing.

Movie Review - 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Man, I have way too much free time right now. Not a lot of club stuff, The Rocket Scientist's been unavailable and I'm going in early to work which means I'm out earlier and sitting home looking for things to entertain me. And, since we're in that between regular schedule TV and summer programming, there's not a lot of my usual shows to keep me occupied.

I can only read so many books...mostly because I'm not left alone to read anymore. It's a clear signal in kitten world that apparently indicates "bug the crap out of your owner" mode.

So, I've resorted to recording movies off of cable and catching up on what I missed in the theaters. I've also watched Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix twice in the last five days so I'm re-watching things, too.

Anywhoo, that was the long explanation as to why there are so many movie reviews and the background to explain how desperate I was for entertainment that I watched Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Movie Review - Children of Men

This was a good flick. I've not read the book so I don't know if it was a good adaptation. My feeling is there was a lot of subtext and symbolism left out. Having said that, I liked this flick. Clive Owen was very good. His conflictions seemed sincere and he looked suitably anguished as the events unfolded.

The gist of the story is that the last baby born on earth was in 2009. The year is now 2027 and the planet seems to be a dismal, angry, hate-filled place. Owen's character gets talked into guiding a miraculously pregnant girl to a possibly mythical group operating outside of the government. They have to get through terrorist splinters and the militia and there are lots of not so subtle jabs at police states and xenophobia.

Michael Caine has a supporting role and he was fabulous as was the actress who played the girl.

Book Review - Storm Front

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

My reviewrating: 4 of 5 stars
I first heard about these books from the SciFi TV show, The Dresden Files. I really got into it and finally made the time to read this first book in the series about Harry Dresden, Wizard.

Great combination of magic, self deprecation, noir, monsters and mystery. The book reads very much like the show sounds with Harry providing a lot of exposition. I kept picturing Paul Blackthorne in the story and I think he's the perfect actor to play Harry.

Good stuff, I'm adding the next book to my library reserve list.

View all my reviews.

Movie Review - 300

I definitely would have liked 300 more if I were an adolescent boy. Or, a boy of any age. Lots of violence (lots and lots) and as much boobage as they could get in to a movie about 300 Spartans battling Xerxes' forces. As it was, I thought it was OK.

There was a good mixture of plot, soft porn and violence. The CGI wasn't too distracting and actually kind of cool. Gerard Butler has a great body but the CGI made it really great.

I spent a big chunk of the movie trying to figure out where I'd seen one of the Spartans, Dilios, before. He's quite cute and I looked him up afterwards. As soon as I saw his publicity photo, I said a mental "Ah ha!" It was Faramir, my lust object from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. He's hot.

Evenings with Good Friends

I am really fortunate. I have many wonderful friends and I've been lucky enough to know a lot of them for many years now. I don't want to actually do the math on how long in some cases because it makes me feel old.

Friday night, it was Chick Poker with my former bookselling mates. I met most of them in 1994 when we worked at Bookstar. It was one of my favorite jobs but I can't live in the lifestyle that I would like to be accustomed to on a bookseller salary. None of us could, so we've moved on to other pursuits.

They're great buds for many reasons, not the least of which is I can count on them to supplement my beer money with poker winnings. I turned my $20 into $41.50 but Angela was the big winner with $44. I missed the last two outings and Chris was a little bummed at my return because she'd been the big winner in my absence.

Another nice thing they do is keep track of every one's birthday. I so don't think about birthdays mostly because I try n…


I can't take it anymore. I feel like Carl Spackler only my nemesis is a kitten. I can't drink, read, eat or work on the computer without a constant battle. My beverage and food is apparently more appealing than catnip, books are for lying on and chewing upon, the newspaper is for full body launching into and the computer is meant to be repeatedly walked on.

The breaking point this morning was when I had a waffle with peanut butter and jelly on it sitting on one of my little tables in the living room. There was a full launch from the floor a bounce off the table and a landing back on the floor. It was all in one move and it caused the waffle to hit the ground, fortunately peanut butter side up. We went for the time out on that one so I put her down in her room only to have her skedaddle out the door before I could close it.

Oh, no, she didn't!

Captured again, she spent some alone time while I finished my breakfast and checked my email.

Someone has to be the alpha around here an…

Book Review - Missing Links

Missing Links by Rick Reilly

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
Rick Riley has started writing for and that prompted me to put some of his books on my reserve list at the library. Two pages into this one, I realized that I had read it already. Must have been a couple of years ago, though. I liked it but not enough to read it again. I'm just too darn busy.

The story is about a bunch of guys (and one girl) who play at an incredibly bad golf course, find out the course next door to them is Shangri-la like in comparison and make a bet to see who can play a round there first. Funny characters, funny incidents and a funny read.

View all my reviews.

Book Review - The Devil's Right Hand

The Devil's Right Hand by Lilith Saintcrow

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
It's been a little while since I read the second book in this series but it took only a few chapters for me to realize why I don't love it. The main character, Dante Valentine, is annoyingly whiny, insecure and immediately jumps to the worst possible conclusion when contemplating others' motives.

Fortunately, while she still had those traits in this book, they were toned down. A bit. I liked the story, though. Dante and her demon boyfriend make a contract with Lucifer to hunt down four demons whom have escaped from hell. There was some good fighting and a welcome return of Japhrimel and Lucas Villalobos.

I'll continue reading the series.

View all my reviews.


Gina sent this link, check it out.

I'm not a bird person at all but I thought it was pretty entertaining.

Tales From Utah - Where's the Coffee?

The Rhettster is well known for his "naps". I can't count how many times during our partying that we've suddenly realized that he's nodded off in a corner or on a couch or even sitting up in a chair.

Last year, when I was in Utah, Rhett went down for the night in Lewie's downstairs. We couldn't wake him so Lewie actually carried him up the stairs and out to the car. It was hilarious. Rhett swore that it would "never, never happen again".

It almost did.

After the Matt Wahl show and during the post-party party, Rhett went out. As fate would have it, we were again in Lewie's downstairs.

Lewie tried to carry Rhett again this time but he couldn't get the leverage to fully lift him. Lewie and I ended up each grabbing one of Rhett's arms and literally pulling him to an upright position. I don't know that he actually woke up but he did manage to get up the stairs and into the car. Gary and I were pretty happy about that since we then had to …

Movie Review - Night at the Museum

This summer TV schedule is giving me a lot of free time. I was not in the mood to fight George while reading my book tonight so I checked out a movie on HBO Family.

Night at the Museum looked OK when it first came out but the reviews weren't very kind so I didn't catch it when it was current. I didn't think it was that bad, actually. It was a pleasant way to kill some time. That's about all I can say...pleasant. Not great but not bad. Ben Stiller was OK and I enjoyed seeing Dick Van Dyke in something. The guy can still dance.

If you don't know the story, Stiller's character takes a job as the night guard at the Natural History Museum. He soon realizes that it's not exactly a simple job as all of the museum creatures come to life each night and chaos ensues. There are some mildly funny tidbits, the best of which is the ongoing fight with a monkey.

George seemed to like it, too. She did a tap dance on the remote to put it in slow mo. Guess she didn…


I jinxed myself. As soon as I published my last post, George apparently decided to forgive me for the indignity of clipping her nails and jumped back on the laptop keys.

Several times.


Oh, The Horror!

I was literally trying to save George's life tonight. Ann had trimmed her claws the night I picked her up but they've grown out and they're very sharp. I'm currently on a path to not have them removed because I think it's inhumane.

Having said that, if she stabs me one more time through the comforter in the middle of the night she's going to get kicked across the room. I won't mean to because I'll be asleep when she does it and will be acting only on instinct. I don't think her tiny head will survive the impact when it hits the wall.

So, I stopped by PetSmart on the way home from work to stock up on toys and buy clippers. I was very leery about the whole process and quite worried that I was going to clip them too far. There were lots of warnings on all the clipper packages about that and that didn't help calm me at all. I somehow managed to not buy the $32 set that had infrared to show you when you were going to cut the quick. I ended up g…


I got an email from Yahoo! Travel promoting summer deals. They had a list of the "Top Summer Destinations":

1. San Diego, California
2. Orlando, Florida
3. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
4. Cannes, France
5. Vancouver, British Columbia

OK, I love the Dells as much as the next girl (Shorty was born there) but, come on. Does it really rank up there with Cannes?

Winning is Everything

I sometimes (often) think I'm a might too competitive.

Saturday night, we were at a party at some friends' house. The host is a guy I've known since 5th grade and his wife (before she was his wife) used to work with me at my previous gig so I've known her well over 10 years now. They have an 8 year old son who's pretty darn smart and knows it.

They have Scene It set up to play on their TV. I've never played but I was willing to try. It was me, Steven, the 8 year old and another kid around the same age. I built up a pretty big lead in the first two rounds then handed my controller over to another grown up because he seemed like he really wanted to play.

He proceeded to tank it, lost my huge lead and the 8 year old won the game.

Since it's his home game, I figured he had an unfair advantage. He already knew how to play and has seen a lot of the questions. Clearly, he needed to be shown up. I got my controller back and we started another game.

Yep, I whipped them a…

Airfare Score!

Man, airfare is crazy. I've been looking for a reasonable fare for my trip to Des Moines for next month and all I was finding was $450 and up. Ouch.

I went to today and from there to Orbitz where I found a price for $266. That's including trip insurance which I no longer feel comfortable passing on out of airline bankruptcy fears.

$266 - Sweet!

Movie Review - Indiana Jones and the stupid skull thingie

Steven and I saw the new Indy movie yesterday afternoon.

My first thought as it started was, "Man, Harrison's looking old."

My last thought as it ended was, "Wow, that was incredibly dumb."

In between, there were thoughts along the lines of "this is lame", "yeah, right", and "what the hell?".

Even Steven who likes every movie (even those that have Rob Schneider in them) thought it was dumb.

Ridiculous plot, characters and scenes abounded. Save your money and catch it on cable if you must see it at all.

Book Review - Twilight

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
I've been reading and hearing about this series for a while now. The author lives in the Phoenix area and there've several articles in our paper about how her book signings are mobbed by teenage girls. That's some good press and, heck, it's about Vampires so I figured it was time to check it out.

The word that comes to mind is "melodramatic". Oh, the angst! Teenage life is full of hormones and drama and so is this book. Bella, our heroine, is a 16 year old who moves to the Pacific Northwest to live with her Dad. She's immediately intrigued/obsessed/overwrought by a boy in her class named Edward.

Turns out, he and his "family" are all Vampires. But, the good kind in that they don't hunt humans. Bella seems to have no issue at all with the situation which is a might surprising.

Maybe it's because I'm not a teenager and my drama is a little different but I found the whole "I don&…


After a half dozen continual removals from my laptop and the disabling of my network card, George is now having a time-out in her room.

She's letting me know she's not happy. But, I am because I can actually type in peace.


Wonder What The Poor People Are Doing Today?

I'm off to the Diamondback's game preceded by lunch at TGI Friday's at the ballpark. All courtesy of our HR Department that collects a bunch of tickets for one day game a year and invites some of us as their guests.

My boss actually asked me if I was coming back to work afterwards....he's so naive.

Book Review - Into The Wild

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
I've read Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Under the Banner of Heaven and thought both were great reads. Into Thin Air was exceptional, in fact. I've been wanting to read Into the Wild for a while now so I was happy when our book club selected it for this month.

For those that don't know, this is the story of a guy (kid, really) who gave away all of his money and decided to live off the land in Alaska and ending up starving to death.

It wasn't as good as I had hoped/expected it to be. Since he obviously couldn't interview the main character, there were lots of interviews with people he'd run into during his travels. Those parts were interesting but started to get redundant. It was almost like Krakauer needed filler (and this is already a short book) so he went over the same material and people.

Less interesting, thought not boring, were the details about other men (and I think they were all men, interesting…

Maybe George Isn't The Right Name After All

I think I should have called her Damien.

The first few days that George was home she was pretty skittish. If I moved anywhere near her, she would bolt under the couch or under the bed. Now, I can't take a step without getting swooped on. She's got a total foot fetish and she's always trying to swat at my toes or nibble on them.

She also didn't spend a lot of time within petting range. I think she didn't want to get picked up so she kept her distance. Now, I can't sit on the couch or in my bed without getting constantly walked on or used as a launching pad for tables, chairs or my nightstand.

The laptop is her favorite landing spot, however. I keep it on a little table in front of the couch and there's a constant back and forth war. She climbs out to the edge of my leg and prepares to leap. I pick her up and move her to the floor or the couch right before she can jump. This goes on the whole time I'm on the machine.

Hmmm, what happens if I press this?Back in…

A Night at the Museum - Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollack?

Chris and I made another "culturefying" trip last night to the Phoenix Art Museum to catch one of their Contemporary Forum summer movies. The place was standing room only and, after seeing the film, I can understand why. It was great.

The flick was "Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollack?". It's the story of Teri Horton, a 73 year old former truck driver who bought a painting at a thrift store for $5 for a friend. The friend thought it was ugly so Teri put it out in a garage sale where an art teacher told her it might be a Pollack. Her response is the title of the movie.

It's a fascinating story of art experts categorically denying it's a Pollack after initially ignoring Teri. She's what one would call a "character" so you can just imagine how much she wouldn't fit in with the artsy crowd.

Teri's son found a guy who uses CSI like techniques for verification. He discovered a fingerprint on the back of the canvas then matched it to …

Good Father's Day

I really appreciate the sentiments of Mother's Day and Father's Day but, when it comes down to it, it's hard to pick out presents for people who have everything they need. How much perfume and how many golf shirts do the folks really need?

After some brainstorming, Steven and I decided to make dinner for my parents at my house for Father's Day. Shorty always wants to come over and hang out for some reason so I knew it would make him really happy. And, it did. He was quite excited about it.

Steven came over at noon and we scanned some online recipes before deciding on a veggie pasta salad and stuffing filled pork chops. It seems an odd combination to me but Steven was actually doing the work while I paid the bill so I let him decide. After checking out the pork at the store, we ended up with a pork roast instead of the chops but he split it and stuffed it anyway.

The parents came over around 3 just as I was catching the end of the race. My poor Jimmie – led the most…

Book Review - Predictably Irrational

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

My reviewrating: 4 of 5 stars
If I were to go back to school, I'd get a Doctorate in Psychology. I just love learning about the human mind, how it works and how people think. So, I read quite a bit on the subject and this is one of the best books I've read in a long time.

Through some very interesting experiments (any time you serve beer in the name of science, you're a winner in my book), Ariely and his compadres studied what makes people cheat and what makes them cheat less (have them recite the Ten Commandments first), why what you order for dinner can just be an attempt to show you're unique and not indicative of what you really want and why a placebo can be just as effective as an actual surgery on how you feel.

Really cool stuff and an eye-opener on how emotions influence what should be truly rational decisions.

Downright fascinating, in fact.

View all my reviews.

A Star Is Born

We had a club happy hour last night at Regal Beagle and Alonzo was playing. Sammy joined him for a couple of songs and did two on his own. It was nice and very entertaining.

"Trust me, you can do it."
The big excitement, however, was when Unruly Julie made her public debut on the pan. Alonzo had to coax her but she went for it. He gave her a few pointers and she was off.

Play that pan, girl!

By Jove, I think she's got it!It won't be long before she's a featured member of the club band.

I Hate The Lakers More

I had the game on in the background tonight and found myself rooting for Boston and quite excited about their comeback from 24 down. I guess I found someone to root for in this series.

Not Helpful

Blogging can be a challenge when someone decides to launch themselves on your keyboard, plant their back legs on it and peer over your screen at the TV.

I'm just saying.

Tales From Utah - Dumbest Ride Ever

Finnegan and Charlotte scored us comp passes to Olympic Park and Park City Mountain Resort so we headed off to site see on Sunday. We took the tour of Olympic Park and it was cool. There were passes for the Zip Line and Gary and I said, "Hell, no" to those. We're both afraid of heights, you had to take the chair lift to get up there and it just didn't sound fun, frankly.
Lewie and Matt Zipping.
The rest of the gang were all for it. Matt and Ashley even went twice. I was content to watch some of the athletes practice and take pictures of the gang.
Practice Jump Into The Pool.

We then headed off to PCMR and this time, we got roaped into going on two rides and riding the chair lift. I think what made us agree was the liquid courage we fortified ourselves with at a little bar. Damn that beer.
Rhett, Gary and I had our own chair lift. The guy said, "Do you want the bar down in front of you?" and for some reason we said no. Part way up, we changed our mind and Rhett f…

Biggest Loser Update

Our total company loss after 2 months is 586 pounds.

As I suspected, momentum slowed down a bit. Some of the teams are showing gains or very minimal losses and a couple are at break even. I think it's a matter of who's on your team. I talked to one woman in the kitchen area and she said she's the only one who's lost anything in her group. That's got to be frustrating for her.

Our team is in 4th place with a 4.9% loss and the first place team is over 7%. They're going to be hard to catch.

BTW, T bought me lunch yesterday with "my" money that he won because of the stupid flu.

Yes, I'm still busy.

Another Cow Story

That Midwest is one crazy place! Red Shirt Guy sent this on to me this morning.

Cows fly
Brittany Lawonn
The Forum - 06/12/2008

It’s not every day you see a cow fly by your window, but Elva Dittmer swears that’s what she saw near her barn Wednesday morning.
“I seen something white going into the air, and I’m sure it was a cow,” said the rural Valley City, N.D., woman. Dittmer was about 120 feet away when she saw the cow go about 10 feet in the air at 8:20 a.m.
“I don’t know if a cow would jump that high,” she said.
Dittmer said she could not tell whether the cow spun around or went straight into the air, but said its movement frightened her 30-some other cows.
“They ran away from it,” she said.
Authorities in Barnes County report that there were heavy winds in the area Wednesday morning.
The winds overturned Dittmer’s barn and knocked down several trees in the area, shutting off power for about two hours, said Linda McKenna, office deputy for the Barnes County Sheriff’s department.
Gusty winds …

I'm A Cat Blogger Now

Here are some pics from George's first day. I asked Steven to come over when he got off work to play with her. He did for a while then she hid under the couch. We coaxed her out with the feather wand. I was able to turn her on to her scratching post so maybe she'll stop trying to sharpen her claws on my carpet. Not that it's worth saving because it's pretty old and crappy.

She seems to be the happiest if I sit in her bedroom with her while she wanders around, jumps back and forth over the vacuum cleaner and contemplates attacking my toes.


From Red Shirt Guy - this is an actual headline:

Severe storm headed for Fargo-Moorhead as volatile weather nails region; flying cows reported near Valley City
Brittany Lawonn
The Forum - 06/11/2008
UPDATED 2:39 p.m.

FARGO - The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning Wednesday for western Clay County, southeastern Cass County, northeastern Ransom County and northwestern Richland County.
At 2:18 p.m., Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing nickel-sized hail and destructive winds in excess of 70 mph. The storm was located near Kindred, 18 miles southwest of Fargo, moving to the northeast at 22 mph. Earlier in the day, high winds in Barnes County, N.D., knocked down several trees in the area and may have sent some cows flying into the air.
The sheriff's department received a report of a barn being toppled north of Valley City, N.D., and of flying cows and is working to confirm the reports, said Linda McKenna, office deputy for the sheri…

Tales From Utah - Brrrrr!

The Utah gang at PHINS To The West, which was the first weekend in May, told me that it was snowing when they left town for the drive to Laughlin. I told them there'd better not be any snow when I hit town in June and they promised there wouldn't be.

Technically, I think they said it wouldn't be snowing. So, they were right. However, there was snow on the ground and it was frakking cold. There was so much cold that I brought one home with me.

Friday wasn't an issue since I went from the airport to the car to The Horse to the car to home. Saturday, was a different story.

Gary and I stopped at "our" Albertson's to stock up for the party. We call it our Albertson's since it's right by "our" resort that we always stay at and we must have made a half dozen visits there in our travels to Park City over that past year. I was holding off on the jacket as long as possible and the wind whipping through that lot almost made me give in and put t…

Tales From Utah - It's a Guy Thing

Ooooh, shiny light!

We went to the No Name Saloon for some post-dinner cocktails on Sunday night. Shannon and I had our backs against the wall and could see three TVs from our seats. We watched none of them.

Matt and Lewie were sitting across from us. There was one TV they could see if they craned their necks and they were mostly glued to it. We kind of jabbed them about it and Lewie said they could either be staring at our chests or watching the TV. Insert your own boob tube joke here.

It's got to be a y chromosome thing.

The Rocket Scientist and I went to dinner last night. He looked across the restaurant at some baseball game most of the time. A game that he admitted he wouldn't have even thought about turning on at home. Despite me telling him about Lewie's alternative viewing, I don't think he looked at my chest at all.

I know it's not a great rack, but, jeesh, a pity glance would have been nice.

Welcome, George!

George is in her new (my) home and she's not too happy about it. The Rocket Scientist and I picked her up last night. She was pretty skittish. Anthropomorphizing, I imagined that she'd figured out that when someone shows up with a kitty carrier it means someone is leaving in it. Two of the kittens have gone to their new homes and Mama cat made a trip to the vet yesterday to be spayed and was locked away to recover. Those carriers are not to be trusted!

We played around a little with her before TRS played the bad guy and put her in the carrier. Ann gave us a bunch of her favorite toys and we put them in there for comfort. Small comfort, I'm guessing, since she mewed quite pitifully on the way home.

Once home, we put her in my second bedroom with the litter box and her food and water dish, spilled her toys out and let her go. We sat in there for a while to let her get used to everything. She was willing to play but any sudden movement had her in retreat. TRS went hom…

Tales From Utah - The Party

There were two events that drew me to Utah for the weekend. The first was the chance to see Lewie on his leave from the sandbox. He's spending a year or so in Iraq and this was his one trip home to visit. I've gotten to see lots of my other Utah peeps through other events but this was the one shot to spend time with him.

The second event was that Lewie and Charlotte threw another great party in their backyard. The Wasatch Mountain Parrot Head Club invited Matt Wahl to come play a house concert. Matt's played at PHINS To The West and all over Wisconsin and Florida so some of us had met him or at least heard him perform.

Lewie Introducing The House Band (that is actually still nameless)Then, their local "club band" decided to get together (or maybe was browbeaten into it) and do an opening set for us. It was Jay on lead guitar and vocals, Cody on drums, Anna on Accordion and David on bass guitar. Sorely missed by all was Griz who had to miss the show. Gary and I got …

Tales From Utah - The Horse, Of Course!

Kathy and Gary at Their Home Away From Home

I got into SLC about 12:45 on Friday afternoon and Gary picked me up. We had a nice drive up to Ogden and he asked me, "What do you think? Want to drop in at The Horse for a beer before we go home?"

As everyone who knows me knows, my answer to any beer offer is always "Yes".

So, we headed to the bar (which is actually a private club – those crazy Utah drinking laws). We walked in and found a half dozen or folks in there.

I knew every one of them.

Man, I love The Horse!

I haven't been there since last September but they remembered me and I remembered them. It's a social butterfly's dream situation.

We each got a beer then Gary bought a round for the bar. Then, everyone started buying us a round and more people came in and bought us a round (there was a shot in there, too) and so on and so on.

Phil was working the bar and he finally said, "You guys aren't leaving." I totally agreed. We ended up sta…

Completely Indifferent

I grew up in the the big Lakers versus Celtics era. It was that time that made me hate both teams. Same thing with the Dodgers and the Yankees. It was so tiring seeing the same teams year after year. Though, I have to admit that there were some great games and it was a time of great teamwork led by some very talented stars.

I got stuck late at work tonight and the first game of the NBA finals was in the third quarter by the time I turned it on. I watched about 2 plays then realized about 10 minutes later that I wasn't paying the slightest attention to the game and was totally focused on my laptop.

A quick gander through the TV guide showed that The Princess Bride was on AMC. Score! Much more entertaining than basketball and a true classic. I have no idea how many times I've seen it but I have no doubt I'll watch it dozens of times more.

Doing My Part To Stimulate The Economy

I read an article in the paper this week about how people say they're going to spend their stimulus checks. Last time, the biggest portion was spent on clothing. This time, people are planning to spend a lot less there. That's a bummer for me as one of our company's product line is apparel. It's not doing as well as we would like and I (though I'm no marketer) suspect the economy.

My entire check (and then some) is going towards airfare.

I paid about $550 last year to fly into Key West for Meeting Of The Minds. This year, when I finally started looking at prices, it was nearly $700. I debated going into Ft. Lauderdale early with the gang and driving down the Keys. It's a great trip. But, after factoring in car, hotel and food and drink (make no mistake, there will be a lot of drinking on that journey) it was a break even. The clincher was that I would have to take an extra vacation day and those are more valuable than gold-pressed latinum.

So, I decided …

Poor Shorty

Shorty wants to put together a Euchre tournament at his house. He called me tonight to set a date. I said, "Not this weekend because I'm in Utah, not the two weekends after that because The Rocket Scientist has his kids visiting, not the weekend after that because I'm going to Mexico and then I'm going to Iowa. Wait, there's a weekend in there. We're doing a club thing on the 12th but you can have Sunday the 13th."

I got the usual "Why don't you ever stay home?" stuff but he took what he could get. Wise man. Or just resigned.

Stupid Flu

We had our second month's weigh-in for The Biggest Loser today. Dave weighed in on Monday because he had to go out of town. His loss for the month was 1.87%. I knew Sugar Daddy and T weren't having a great month so I figured Dave was in the lead.

But, I had a chance to catch him. I've been very careful all week, trying to regain the ground I lost in Rocky Point. Eating right, getting plenty of sleep but not exercising (my bad).

I did catch him, too. My loss was 2.1%. Sugar Daddy came in right at 1.8%.

What I didn't count on happening was that T got the flu this past weekend. He dropped 6 pounds in just a few days. He only lost 2 on his own which meant I would have blown him out of the water. ARGH! Not fair.

T left the building with the monthly $100 bet. I'm so going to win next month!

Tales From Rocky Point - Weed Wacker Blender

There's nothing like an afternoon with friends, hanging in the sun and drinking Mango Margaritas. Especially when the mangoes are fresh. Annette and Catnip snagged some choice fruit at the market and they already had the mixings for the rest of the drinks.

Lew has the coolest toy. It's a blender made out of a weed wacker motor. Complete with throttle.

There was one hitch. It didn't seem to want to blend because the motor wouldn't catch. It did spew out lots of gas fumes though. Catnip and Lew ended up getting it working and we quite enjoyed the fruits of their labor.

Get it, fruits? I made a pun.

Tales From Rocky Point - Earning Our Keep

We like to earn our keep when we're in Mexico. Well, I like to let the boys earn our keep. Last time, they put up the shower curtain in the guest bathroom. This time, they thought they were going to build a deck on the roof. I thought that would keep them busy for at least a day so we could have some quality girl time. However, Catnip didn't have the necessary building material so they settled on installing the new high-def satellite dish.

First, they disconnected the old dish then assembled the new one. Apparently, you tune these things by sound. When you get to rapid beating, you're properly aimed at the satellite. They got it beating but it wasn't very rapid.

All of the boys got involved. It was somehow decided that we needed the "numbers" off of the dish at the neighbor's house up the hill. So, Catnip was tasked with getting them. He explained to the guys there what was going on and they said, "We just aimed ours in the same direction as…

It's Going to be Frikking Freezing, Mr. Bigglesworth!

I'm heading up to Utah this weekend. Flying into SLC, spending Friday night in Ogden then the rest of the weekend in Park City. I was mentally packing and figured I could wear shorts on Saturday as we're having an outdoor party and jeans at night if I needed them.

If I needed them!?!? What was I thinking?

Saturday's predicted weather for Park City: High 52, Low 38.

No need for shorts and I'm now mentally packing long sleeve shirts, sweaters and jackets.

I better not see any snow on the ground because I recall someone promising me that it wasn't a possibility and I actually believed them. Now, I'm not so sure.

Book Review - Demons Are Forever

Demons Are Forever by Julie Kenner

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
I liked this one better than California Demon. There was less "my kids are so great" and more plot. I saw most of the plot twists coming but it was still an enjoyable enough visit to the world of demon hunting. I'm game to continue reading the series.

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Book Review - People of the Book

People of the Book: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
I think I read too much press on this one because my expectations were way high that it was going to be fabulous. I also thought it was going to be more of a DaVinci code like mystery. Not so much.

What it turned out to be was a time travelling story with a present day book restorer finding intriguing things in and about a very old Hagedah (Jewish prayer book) like a feather or a seed with the next chapter going back in time to tell how it got there. The historical stories were interesting and I enjoyed how it went together.

There was also a great deal about the life of our book expert heroine as she delves into her relationship with her Mother, learns about her heritage and has a romance.

Nice read but not fabulous.

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Book Review - Personal Demon

Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong

My review
rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book in Armstrong's series focuses on Hope, daughter of Lucifer and a Chaos demon. That means she can sense past and current violence and actually gets high off of it.

Hope's asked to infiltrate a gang of young magic types that are causing trouble for the Cortez Cabal (think mafia but only with sorcerors). Watching her back is the hot werewolf-thief, Karl, and the two rekindle their romantic relationship. Lucas Cortez is also pretty involved as he has to investige the deaths of some Cabal folks.

I like these characters and I wasn't able to predict every plot twist. Armstrong's done a nice job of developing newer characters in the series while still keeping the previous ones involved in the stories.

Also, there were some hot sex scenes in the book which is always a bonus (I loves me those werewolves).

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