Thursday, January 29, 2009

Book Review: The Appeal by John Grisham

Frankly, this book just pissed me off. It made me so angry about they way 'big money' can buy their way anywhere. In this particular book, it was a seat on a state supreme court.

There wasn't a lot of character development or warmth. I didn't particularly like anyone in the book. Pretty one dimensional. I despised Carl Treadeau, especially at the end. The ending left a bad taste in my mouth.

I asked Steve if he wanted to read it after me (when I had first started) and he said no. 'All of his books are pretty much the same, the main character (the lawyer) is either evil or a saint.' He's right. I have read plenty of Grisham's books and only liked 4 of them: A Time to Kill, The Testament, The King of Torts and The Painted House (which was about baseball, not law). So why did I continue reading this book? Because I was hoping the evil dude would get screwed. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Book Review: The Lemon Sisters by Andrea Cheng

This is a children's picture book, just so you know. AJ & I were at the library and I let him go down the aisle and pick out a bunch of books (basically whatever he pulls off the shelf) and this one was in the last batch. This book is SO sweet that I almost cried. It's about an old woman watching 3 little neighbor girls playing in the snow and she reminisces about her 2 sisters. I don't want to give the story away.... So next time you are at the library (or at a bookstore- you can read it in 5 minutes or less), pick up a copy! I think I may buy this one for my library just as a feel good book. Steve even liked it (he actually listened which doesn't usually happen)! An enthusiastic thumbs up!

The Ellipsis...

Have you noticed that I am a fan of the ellipsis? You know the ...? Always have been. Don't know why...

How I know I live with a toddler (part 2)...

* I find paper plates and various other items in the dishwasher.
* The candles on my candelabra are all upside down
* A bunch of my books have teeth marks on them
* I found the block basket liner, his toy tools, and teddy grahams in the toilet. It's something new everyday...
* I ask him not to throw the washcloths in the garbage so he throws them in the toilet. (Do you think my kid has a fascination with the toilet? I think I need some lid locks...)
* I find dirty spoons (always the first thing to run out in the cutlery drawer) in random drawers AFTER the dishes have been washed.
* The strainer is the most fun toy in the house
* Every phone conversation is met with beeps and 'Hello? Are you still there?'
* I can't get anything done...
* No means yes and yes means yes.

So I am eliminating some...

You know how I said I watched way too much TV? Well, I am eliminating some. I'm just not going to waste my time watching a few of the shows that I don't like so much: My Name is Earl, Ugly Betty, Reaper and Secret Life of the American Teenager to name just a few. I forgot to DVR Earl on Thurs- oh well!, Ugly Betty got deleted before it was watched- oh well!, Reaper doesn't start until March- haven't missed it- oh well! and SLotAT's acting (and plot- 2 15 year olds getting married? Whatever!) is just plain bad. Except for Miss Molly Ringwald and John Schneider (c'mon, it's Bo Duke!), I don't know why I ever watched the show to begin with. Molly Ringwald reminds me so much of my friend, Marci. It's almost like I'm watching her on the screen. I started watching that in the summer when there wasn't a lot on.

I am, however, adding a show or 2 on to my schedule to see if they are any good... United States of Tara premieres on SHO tonite and I thought 'What the heck? I'll give that a shot.' Toni Colette is in it. She's pretty good. She has multiple personalities disorder. May be funny. We'll see tonite...

FNL was good on Friday but I wish last season's last show was shown the week before (and it could've been and I didn't notice but I don't think so). I missed some things b/c I couldn't remember all the way back to January...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Night Lights

I have been waiting and waiting for Friday Night Lights to come back on the air. It is one of my all time favorite shows. The acting and story lines are terrific (not to mention (I am actually mentioning it though...) the abs on Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch). He's hot.) To save the critics' darling (a major reason why Matt Roush & I are TV soulmates), Direct TV struck some kind of deal with NBC to air the season in the fall and NBC would air it in the winter/spring. None of my friends watch the show that I know of, except for my buddy, Joe. And he has Direct TV. So he watched the season finale on Wednesday and I am watching the season premiere tonight. He called me yesterday for no other reason then to say 'Enjoy the season. It's a good one.' I tried to ask him questions but he didn't want to spoil it for me which I appreciated. I will relish every Friday night watching FNL (and Psych too which is pretty darn funny- especially for my age set b/c there are a lot of references to our childhood years)!

My friend, Kendra, was telling me one day recently that she always wanted to have a rock band in HS (even though she didn't play an instrument or sing) just to name it Fuzzy Wallpaper. I told her she should name her blog that...

I just received a call from our local grocery store's wine department... I can get my wine on! I had asked if they carried a particular wine a couple of weeks ago b/c I didn't see it on the shelf and the woman behind the counter didn't know but told me to leave a note for the manager with my phone number and the name of the wine. Apparently there were several bottles on the shelf and I just didn't see them. They have it though and I can go get myself (oh, I'll share it with the hubby) a couple of bottles. I wrote it down on our white board calendar about 9 mos ago when we had tried it (Five Rivers Cabernet) and if I wrote it down, I guess I liked it. Watch, I'll buy a couple bottles and it'll be awful. Your memory (drunk, probably) of a wine is always better than the actual wine. This has happened to us time and time again. We went to Wine, Cheese & All That Jazz (a local event) that is basically a wine tasting party (really fun too!) and we ordered a half case of 2 different wines. Much better that night than they actually are. They were 2 of the last wines we tried and we had tried quite a few by then. Everything tastes good then. Except in the case of Jordan Cabernet or Chardonnay. Then it is always good. :)

Well I must have eagle ears (do eagles have ears?)... I just heard my cell phone beep (low battery) from my office behind a closed door which was buried in my diaper bag in the coat closet near the garage. Go figure.

Okay, enough random babbling. I need to get an order finished.

2009 Mantra

Melissa at Operation NICE asked us to do a mantra for 2009 a while back (like January 1st). I thought and thought about it but couldn't narrow down and focus on one (maybe my mantra should have been Focus??? :D). Finally, yesterday I thought of the mantra that I want: Be Kind. Rewind. I know it is a movie title and it was on every VHS tape that you rented from the video store (I worked in a video store for 3 years in HS!) but it doesn't so much mean that. Actually it does. I can have a short fuse and so I have to remember to be kind and rewind. It's just a way to calm down before doing something I might regret. And everyone can strive to be a little (or a lot) kinder.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How I (and everybody else too) know I live with a toddler...

* My bathroom sinks are filled with clean, dry washcloths.
* Toilet paper finds its way all over the place (it is so much fun to unroll!).
* I have mysterious things in my toilets- one day socks, another day the whole roll of tp, etc...
* There are fingerprints all over every mirror, TV, window and glass thing in the house.
* The dishes in the dishwasher have been cleaned and recleaned and recleaned again b/c he keeps pushing the start button.
* Nothing breakable or of any value is lower than 5 feet.
* I hear 'uh-oh!' A LOT.
* My kitchen/dining room wood floors will need a sander to get the thick layer of food off of them.
* The kitchen pantry is always 'reorganized'.
* I can't see most of the basement floor because it is covered in toys.
* I have chocolate on almost every article of clothing I own. The pieces that don't, I haven't worn in two years.
* I tack on at least another $50 to the Sam's Club bill buying diapers and wipes.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Designs #1 & #2

#2 Owl Love (the patterned paper owls are inspired by Nikki from WhiMSy love. Normally, I would have done them on plain paper but she inspires me to break out a little more. She's an Owlie girl- check out her totally cute owlies on her site! Thanks Nikki! :) )

#1 Moonbaby (Moonbaby was my CB handle in HS! I know you are probably thinking 'Wow, she had a handle? What a dork!' I ran with all the crowds... :) )

#1 and #2 done for '15 designs for MPM' from my list of 2009 goals and aspirations! It's a start and it's only January 10th! Only 13 more to design...

A LOT of TV...

Some people know this about me, but I watch A LOT of TV. I don't know when I watch it (because I am usually in my office when it is on) but the DVR is on overload. I should probably get a job with TV Guide because I watch so much. Matt Roush (Critic for TV Guide) and I are TV soulmates. I tend to agree with most of the shows that he raves/rants about. I really like 'smart' comedies- huge fan of Arrested Development (can't wait for the movie- woohoo!). But a lot of the TV I get into is also pure drivel. I don't know why I bother to watch some shows anymore. I like a decent drama. I love HBO/SHO. I got really into True Blood. It is fantastic! Definitely one of my new favorite shows. Fall is not only my favorite time of the year because of the weather, fall leaves, apples and football, but also the new TV shows. I anxiously wait every Tuesday for the mail to come for my issue of TV Guide. It is the only magazine I read cover to cover. Because of the writers strike, the hot time for TV is mid season this year. Which means NOW. I have to make my list strategically of what I am going to DVR and what I am going to watch online (since not all shows are offered). It is really insane. Monday nights are just as good (if not better) than Thursday nights. Sunday is awesome for HBO/SHO. So these are the shows that I am dying for to come back: Big Love, Flight of the Conchords, Scrubs (thank you ABC for picking it up!), Lost, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!! (one of my all time faves!) and Psych.

There are plenty of shows that I don't like to admit to watching like Gossip Girl (although it is SO addictive and Chace Crawford is SOOOO hot), True Beauty (I am not crazy about reality shows esp. b/c of the bickering and the fact that so many of the 'contestants' think they are so much better than most people), The Hills (yes, I watch it), The City, Bromance (shoot me now) and Secret Diary of a Call Girl (does that make me a bad person? Is that considered borderline porn? There isn't a lot of nudity in it, sex yes, nudity no. It really is fascinating...)

I know all the characters of all the shows that I watch. Like we'll take Desmond Harrington for example. Most of you are probably like, who? He is a supporting character. He popped up as Uncle Jack on Gossip Girl the other day and I racked my brain going through all the TV shows I have watched past and present to figure out what other show he was in. Aha! Dexter. He played Det. Quinn. It's the little things.

Shows I totally dig:
* New Adventures of Old Christine * Lost * Scrubs * Grey's Anatomy * Entourage * Bones * 30 Rock * Dexter * The Office * True Blood * Flight of the Conchords * Big Love * Samantha Who? * ER * How I Met Your Mother * Brothers & Sisters * Psych * Friday Night Lights * Desperate Housewives * Gossip Girl * Secret Diary of a Call Girl * Chuck * Greek * So You Think You Can Dance * My Boys *

Shows I still watch even though I am not head over heels for:
* Privileged * Reaper * Ugly Betty * My Name is Earl * Dancing with the Stars * Secret Life of the American Teenager * True Beauty * The Hills * The City * Bromance *

Isn't that A LOT of TV? When am I watching it? I still spend plenty of time blogging, reading others' blogs, working (if you can call what I do work) or rather creating, cooking, cleaning, spending time with AJ and Steve... I don't know. Call me crazy, call me a nut, call me anything you want, but don't call me late for the boob tube! Insane in the membrane!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Missing Cosmo...

Sometimes I just miss Cosmo. Right now, I really do. He was a good dog and a good friend.

2009 Goals and Aspirations

I am not going to say that I have 'resolutions' exactly, more like goals, which I guess are pretty much the same thing. They are quite attainable so I am not likely to get to much off track.

* 15 new card designs for My Pepita's Magic * read 15 novels (I usually read 25-30 but I thought I would aim low since I am already reading one (The Appeal by John Grisham) that'll take awhile b/c it's not really a page turner...) * try a new recipe once a week (I will have tried 52 new things by the end of the year!) * go to church at least 2 Sundays a month (that should be a given but AJ can be such a distraction) * make one silver jewelry piece * clean out the storage room * throw a really awesome fairy party * build a fairy house in the woods behind our house * paint my new office, the downstairs bathroom, the basement and AJ's room * hang our artwork * try one felted project * keep up with my 3 blogs * do one scrapbook * and do something a little rock star... *

Of course it would be great to say work out or eat better or save money or whatever the normal things are but I really want goals that I am actually going to do!

Book Review: The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashares

I liked this book. It was hard for me to put down (a problem for me as of late). Ann Brashares wrote The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series which I thoroughly enjoyed even though they were written for teenagers. The Last Summer however was written for adults and it would have been a great book to read on the beach while drinking a margarita but alas I read it when the snow was 2 feet deep and the closest beach is light years away. It is a book of young love and tragedy, a story of friendship and betrayal. Very poignant and thought provoking. Her writing style is poetic and prose-like. It is unfortunate that it had to end.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Celebrating old friends

I forgot one moment of 2008 to celebrate... I reconnected with a friend from my high school days. I haven't seen or talked to him in 15 years! I had been looking for him for about 5 years but since he didn't go to the same high school as me, he graduated 3 years before me and he hasn't had a land line in quite a few years I would get old listings but not new ones. Finally I caught a glimpse of an old post (9 years old!) on (you have to pay to see the listing but I could see a little bit of his post) that said he was working at a place in Lincolnshire, IL. I called the place and I was connected to his voice mail. I could not believe my luck! So I left a message and he called me back soon after that. He also said he had been looking for me as well! My parents had moved (out of state) from the house that I grew up in and I changed my name when I got married so I could see how it would be difficult.

When he was in college he used to write funny poems to me every month and I came across some of them which was why I wanted to look one more time. I'm so glad I did. We had fun remembering the good times we had together. He is a very talented musician and photographer (a sorta new hobby). So now we email here and there. So JLF, here's to you (I am raising my glass of Cabernet) and I hope we stay connected!