Showing posts from May, 2010

Book Review - Dead In The Family

Just what you'd expect from this series. Well written, violent and filled with Were and Vampire politics. Sookie's trying to recover from being tortured but finds herself dragged out of her own little world to deal with Eric's maker appearing, a spy in the Werewolf clan and Bill's inability to be completely cured from silver poisoning.

Only one complaint, it could have used some more yummy Eric sex scenes.

Book Review - Await Your Reply

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wonderful story told from the point of view of three different characters. Miles is looking to find his twin brother who disappeared years ago. Ryan is running scams with his long lost Father. Lucy is on the run with her high school teacher.

As each person's tale is told, you start to see where they all might come together. Their stories alone are interesting but the puzzle of how it will all tie in is even more interesting.

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I can hear the whistles of trains from my house, especially at night. It always reminds me of when I was back in Wisconsin at my Grandparents' house in Big Springs. I remember the windows being open and hearing the crickets chirping and the train whistles in the distance. It always make me smile.

Apparently, it's all false.

I mentioned it to my Dad who grew up in the house in Big Springs and he said there's no railroad track anywhere near there where I could have heard a train whistle.

So, where do my very vivid memories come from? Despite my Dad saying they're false memories, I still have what seems like a very real mental flashback every time I hear a train whistle today.

Did I have a dream that just feels so real that it became a memory? I have no idea but I would rather cling to that false memory because it makes me happy than figure out why it's false.

Blood Boiler

I just wrote my first ever letter to the Editor of our local paper, The Arizona Republic.

Here's what I said:

Is there a conspiracy against tourism in Puerto Penasco?

AZ colleges warned students to avoid it for spring break because of drug related violence despite no shootings reported. Swine flu warnings came despite no cases reported in Sonora.

And now, the US Consulate issues a Warden that admits to reporting "unconfirmed" fake check points and goes on to say people have been shot and killed for evading them. One would think they would be confirmed if someone were killed.

Kudos to The Arizona Republic for actually doing research to dispute the unconfirmed rumors. However, I wish you'd put the article on the front page to try to cancel out the sensational stories on our local news.

What a shame that some people, thinking to be safe rather than sorry, will not travel to a wonderful beach community and miss out on a great vacation.

The bigger infamy is that the very h…

Book Review - Heat Wave

Heat Wave by Richard Castle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the show Castle and I loved this book. Slight twists abound - Castle's name is Rook and he's a journalist not an author and he and Kate/Nikki...well, they're a little more friendly than in the series. However, the same premise exists in that the detective gets saddles with the writer and the team solves murders. Good stuff and I'm looking forward to the next one.It's also funny that the author photo is Nathan Fillion.

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Book Review - Fire Me Up

Fire Me Up by Katie MacAlister

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really liked this one. Aisling goes to a mystical conference in search of finding a Guardian mentor and to deliver a courier package. Imagine her surprise when Drake her Dragon mate is there for a Dragon peace conference. Unfortunately, potential mentors start dropping dead and Aisling has to find the real killer to prove her innocence as she becomes a suspect. Good mystery, great sex and a fun read.

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Book Review - Fatal Voyage

Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nice addition to the series. Tempe is called in to investigate the crash of a commuter airplane which, gruesome as it is, is nothing compared to what else she finds. Glad to have Detective Ryan back.

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Book Review - Nine Dragons

Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Harry investigates the shooting of a Chinese liquor store owner that leads to the Triad. Then, he receives a video of his daughter, kidnapped in Hong Kong so heads off to rescue her. Lots of dead bodies result. Series changer of a book.

I really like Harry and want him to be happy but I don't think Connelly will ever let him be so.

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A Little Home Improvement Project

Getting my bathroom redone stirred up a bit of a nesting instinct in me. I loved the yellow in the bathroom and decided to add some more color in the house. Redoing a whole room seemed like a lot of work but doing one wall was reasonable.

I decided to do one wall in the living room and chose green. The idea was to match my chair. I headed to Lowe's to get color samples. Then, headed to Lowe's again for more samples. The first ones were all really pretty but way too light for the room's furnishings. Ultimately, I think I had nearly 20 samples but narrowed them down to just a few.

The Rocket Scientist is on record saying he doesn't do paint but was willing to give his color opinion. He suggested I tape the samples on the wall and look at them throughout the day and night to see how they change with sunlight. I was jonesing to buy paint and get started right away but I had to agree that was a good idea. Sigh. It kills me to agree with him, almost as much as it ki…

Book Review - Welcome to Temptation

Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun read about two sisters who come to a small Southern Ohio town to make a come back film for the home town movie star. Lots of small town secrets and intrigue and great sex scenes. Add in a murder mystery and a few other romances and it adds up to a great little book.

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Book Review - You Slay Me

You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, this is more what I was expecting from Katie MacAlister. A fun romp through the supernatural world with a spunky heroine and a hot male lead. And, a funny demon. Good sex, too.

I'm putting the next book in the series on my library request list.

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Book Review - A Girl's Guide to Vampires

A Girl's Guide to Vampires by Katie MacAlister

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm a little disappointed. Based on some of my friends' ratings and the subject matter, I expected to really like this. However, I found it, well, immature, is the best word I can come up with. It read like something I would have written in my 20s.

Two girlfriends, Joy and Roxy, head to Europe to track down the author of their favorite book series on The Dark Ones (vampires). They fall in with a group from a Goth carnival allegedly run by a vampire. Joy gets stalked by an actual vampire and meets a hottie (and has lots of sex with the hottie). A mystery is solved, true love discovered, etc.

I have another MacAlister book lined up at home. Maybe it was just this one that didn't give me a warm fuzzy.

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An Ass Kicking I Didn't Deserve

A big group of us Parrot Heads were at a regional phlocking (yeah, that's what we call social gatherings) two weekends ago. It was a great time but many of us apparently over-shared. Not personal information but germs. An inordinate number of us came home sick. Really sick.

I don't get sick much. In fact, I have over 8 weeks of sick time in the bank at work. I don't think I've ever taken 3 sick days in one swoop before in my life but I did last week. Ugh.

Here's how it rolled out.

I started getting congested on Saturday but thought it was because it was really windy and blowing dust around. Sunday was a little worse. Monday was bad. I woke up without much of a voice and I was beat. I attributed it all to a lot of partying from Wednesday night on when I was falling asleep on Monday night at 7 PM. That was ignoring the fact that I got nearly 8 hours of sleep Sunday night and should have been fine.

Tuesday found me with a little bit of a voice and a stuffy hea…

Reasons Why I Love Where I Work

A few weeks ago, we had a corporate golf tournament. Besides being a great way to spend a Friday afternoon, it was for a great cause. We donated $20,000 to a dental clinic for kids.

The next Friday, we donated $23,000 to several cancer support groups.

The next Monday, I was invited to participate in a luncheon for 15 Supervisor, Lead and Front Line employees who completed a year long set of management classes taught by our corporate trainer. Also in attendance at the lunch were most of our Senior Management and the mentors from the Management and Director levels who worked with the employees.

It feels great to be working for a company that contributes to our community and to our employees' improvement efforts.


I don't get it.

I can wander in to the kitchen or my bedroom or hang out in the living room and George couldn't care less. She won't even come to bed at night until I nag her, that's how much she can ignore me.

But, I take one step in to the bathroom and she's RIGHT there. It doesn't matter if I'm just getting a tissue, brushing my teeth or using the facilities. And, it doesn't seem to matter how far away she was or even if she was napping.

What a weirdo.

Book Review - The Omnivore's Dilemma

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Michael Pollan has changed my life.

That's not an exaggeration. Between this book and The Defense of Food, I'll never look at what I put in my body in the same way again.

Pollan traces four meals through the various food chains: industrial, organic and foraged. He covers so much ground, and so much detail, in this book that it took me a long time to read and would take me pages to review in the way that I want to. It was completely fascinating and appalling at the same time. Man, we eat crappy and the system is rigged to keep us eating crappy.

Here are some of the things I took out that are becoming guidelines (a work in progress):

High fructose corn syrup is the devil. And damn hard to avoid.

Grass fed beef is the only beef worth eating.

Organic is the way to go but it also needs to be locally organic.

Cooking at home, and from scratch, seems to be the only way to fully control …

But She's Not a Big Cat

I went out of town last weekend. At the last minute, I decided not to pack my black pair of shorts and left them on the bed. Big mistake.

This is how I found them when I got home:

Not so much black now.

Judging by the amount of hair, I'm guessing George decided to sleep on them the entire time I was gone.

Book Review - Caught

Caught by Harlan Coben

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great story from Coben. I think I'm almost out of his books to read and that makes me sad.The story starts with Dan Mercer who gets set up in a child predator sting by reporter Wendy Tynes. It seems open and shut but something doesn't sit right with Wendy. Perhaps Dan is innocent...

There are several "villains" in the story and some of them surprising. I was with Wendy in that it didn't seem to add up until the very end.Good read.

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Book Review - Changes

Changes by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series changer in many ways.Harry gets a call from his old girlfriend who tells him that, not only does he have a daughter, but she's been kidnapped by some severely bad guys. That leads Harry and gang into some serious trouble as they try to save her.

There were many nearly impossible choices for Harry to make in the story to get his daughter back. Those are the series changers. There's also a lot of Wizard and Vampire politics and fighting and not everyone gets out of the story alive.

I hate reading the newest book because I immediately want the next one. Love this series.

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144 Books in 2010 Update

I'm way behind pace. I hit 44 books at the end of April and have only read one more in May. Too much work travel and all day events. May doesn't look much better for reading opportunities. I'm going to have to carve out some serious chunks of reading time to even get close to catching up.

I'm also starting to think I was insane to attempt the quest...

Book Review - Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a funny collection of stories. I'm pretty sure that Chelsea, like me, doesn't let the truth get in the way of a good story. A little embellishment sometimes helps. I didn't enjoy it as much as her Vodka book but perhaps it's because these stories were more about making fun of others than of herself. Still made me laugh out loud a few times.

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Birthday Surprises

We were off to Laughlin for a Parrot Head weekend. It's the first weekend in May so my birthday usually hits one of the party days. I'm so not into making a big deal out of my birthday because I refuse to believe my age is even possible. However, I do like attention so if people want to recognize it, who am I to deny their fun?

The Rocket Scientist was supposed to stay over until today (which happens to be my birthday) but had to go back for work for some serious stuff. I told him it was a lot of effort to avoid my special day. This was after reminding him that it was my birthday though he said he remembered.

I have an announcement!

Our club hosted a hospitality room for our members on Friday. In the middle of the party, TRS got everyone's attention to announce that it was my birthday weekend, got everyone to sing Happy Birthday then presented me with a cake.

It was a nice surprise but the best part of it was that it was all HIS idea to do it. OK, he did get Tracy to ge…