A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

100th Blog Post & Other Random Thoughts

I've noticed alot of people posting random thoughts lately. Is it because our attention span is short waiting for Spring to start? I don't really know, but here I am jumping on the band wagon.

This is my 101st blog! I've already written 100 of them. I still feel like I just started. Of course, I want to jazz up my blog site too, but keep procrastinating. I'm kind of bored with the pink stuff. Hmmm...so why haven't I changed?

Although I didn't have to even wear an overcoat until February, I'm sick of winter. I'm sick of wind and rain. Winter can just go pound sand. Preferably nice warm and tropical sand with lots of sunshine.

Right about now my sister who lives in Montana is shrieking at this post and probably giving me the cyber equivalent of "the finger". She lives with snow for 6 (or more) months of the year. Snow with three boys 8 years and under who have be bundled head to toe multiple times a day to go outside. Yeah, no sympathy from that quarter about sucky winter weather. Or from my pal Steadman who lives in cheery MINNIE-SO-TAH either.

Do you think Jimmy Smits (as Matt Santos) is going to be elected President on
WEST WING? Who is going to be Vice Prez since the actor John Spencer who plays Leo McGarry died? Maybe you don't care, but this program is one of two (HBO'S DEADWOOD being the other) that the guy I live with really likes. Of course, he is a purist and doesn't think the show has been the same since Aaron Sorkin quit producing and writing it...no snap and crackle to the dialogue. However, it is still a show he watches faithfully. So Jimmy Smits or Alan Alda? Wouldn't it be great to actually have candidates like that to chose from? All real politicians seem so slimey. Have they always been that way, or am I just getting more cynical as I get older?

Boy it seems like everybody is blogging book reviews these days. I've found I don't say too much about the books I read unless I really enjoy one. I also realized that I can't do a decent review when I try to write about a book I didn't like. First of all I never can get much beyond: Book Title A by Author X really blows!

It seems I have a hard time putting my finger on what exactly made me not like it. Which brings me to another point. I really enjoy reading other reader reviews where they are very honest and forthright in their reviews whether it is favorable or not. The best ones are able to tell you, usually in a clever way, why they like or dislike a book without either annhilating or gushing over an author. I really appreciate that kind of skill because I don't have it. I revel when a reviewer can capture exactly my thoughts and feelings about a book.

Now in person in the bookstore, just ask me what is a good read and then stand back. I've steered countless unsuspecting women on to Linda Howard, Iris Johansen, Janet Evanovich, Suzanne Brockmann, JD Robb, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, and many, many more. When someone approaches me (I must have one of those "ask me about a good book" faces) I just ask a few questions about what sort of books appeal to them and then point them in the direction of an author I think they'd like. I should get a commission from my local Barnes and Noble!

I actually had one women stop and thank me later for turning her on to Linda Howard. You kidding me? If my house caught fire I'd save my Linda Howard books first...and Sarah McCarty's...and if I had time I'd also save...well lots of other books too but those books for sure. Of course I'd only save the books after I got the guy I live with and the kids out of house first! *g*

I also steer some young women on limited budgets to my favorite used bookstore to find back lists. It's what I did when I was younger with limited cash for books. Now I have a monthly book budget that would feed a family of four...and I buy lots of new books. So I figure I've more than made up for what I bought used.

So much for random thoughts. I kind of got wound up with the whole book review thing didn't I?

The book I'm most anticipating reading? DON'T LOOK DOWN by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer due out April 4th. They are calling it a romantic adventure. It doesn't matter what tag they put on it. I've been so entertained by their writing process and their blog
HE WROTE, SHE WROTE that I'm anxious to see what they do when they write a whole book together. Mayhem should ensue. I can't wait!

My youngest son is going to be 16 on April 16th. Does that mean I'm old? No? Okay good,I didn't think so. Poor kid. This is the 3rd time his birthday has fallen on Easter Sunday. He hates that. Maybe we should do something particularly sacriligeous instead. Did I just say that?

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

I'm in the Dark!

Another thr-r-r-illing day at the office today. There was no electricity from 9 am to 3 pm. Which meant no phones, no heat, no lights, no fax, no cash register, no credit card machine, no computer. It also meant there was no light in the bathroom that has no window and no skylight. Pretty freaky!

Interestingly, the Director of our department chose today to bring our new Property Supervisor to show her our property. Yeah...with the lights out!! I just gotta say here. WTF?!!!

What saves the day in these situations? A sense of humor and the absurd. Our tenants were good humored for the most part. Which leads me to believe that someone put some heavy duty tranqs in the drinking water. Or I guess it could be that the electrical outage didn't affect them much because most of them have generators.

On the upside, I spent some time outside in the sunshine because it was warmer outside than in the building without heat. That was nice...and wonderfully rejuvenanting. I have to do that more often...just walk out into the sunshine during the work day. I also made hand written "To Do" lists for my work next week. Of course, I'll be transcribing them into Outlook tomorrow, but it was peaceful to write things out in a leisurely fashion today and collect my thoughts.

Best of all without the phones jangling off the hook it was a tranquil day. A calm day where I could carry on conversations with clients, tenants, and visitors because I wasn't interrupted every 30 seconds with a phone call.

So, I'm never going to complain about being kept in the dark again. You believe me...don't you?

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What's Your Song?

Hey I got this cool email from one of my sisters. It had a link in it so you could find out what song was #1 on the day you were born. My song is MR. SANDMAN by the Chordettes. This is a song I actually know and love. I'll forever associate it with my birthday now.

HERE is the link you so can find out what song, according to Billboard magazine, was #1 when you were born. So...what's your song?


Monday, March 13, 2006

Celebrate good times....C'mon!!!

Put on your dancin' shoes! Get your hats and horns! We have something to celebrate.

After 3 months without a job, 19 year-old college student and number one son is gainfully employed by Big 5 Sporting Goods store. Yippee skippy doo-dah day!!!! He's thrilled and we are relieved.


Saturday, March 11, 2006


When I read DARK LOVER, the first book about The Black Dagger Brotherhood, I mentioned the book here . So, of course, when the second installment came out, LOVER ETERNAL, I was anxious to see if the author would be able to continue holding me in the palm of her hand and intrigue me as effectively as she had the first time.

After reading interviews and bouncing around the web at authors' sites, I know how nerve wracking it can be for an author, especially a new one, when each of their books comes out. I don't think
J.R. Ward has anything to worry about. If anything I was MORE engaged and interested by her world of vampire warriors. Frankly, I couldn't put the book down!

As I've mentioned in recent months, I seem to be going through a period of extremes in my reading. There just doesn't seem to be much middle ground. So, I am more than thrilled to report this book was a great read for me. I was absorbed with understanding this new culture J.R. Ward has introduced us to. While tortured heros are hardly new to any romance genre, Rhage was written with a depth and empathy I found hard to resist. I know I'm hooked when I begin imagining knowing someone like the characters in real life. In this case beyond being vampire, Rhage as an additional curse and burden, he has a beast within him.

If you are like me there's a part of you that rolls your eyes and cringes at the phrase "beast within". It has been so overused in romance and has come to mean lots of different things. Fantastical as it sounds, Rhage has a real actual beast. After describing this horrific change and disturbing beast in her first book, I was wondering how Ms. Ward was going to deal with it and still make Rhage sympathetic to the readers. She did it though. By layering his character and tuning us into Rhage's interior world and she gives us empathy for his burden. Considering the fantasy world she weaves and some of the truly gruesome stuff this beast does, that is pretty amazing.

While writing this I realized that what appealed to me most about these men, these warrior vampires, was their vulnerability. Ms. Ward doesn't make them mythical. While having longer lives, they do die. These aren't indestructible super beings. Just like the rest of us they each have additional cares, worries and curses to carry through life.

Additionally, while Rhage has his own bag of rocks to carry, Mary Luce, while perceived as a shy librarian type to foil his alpha male (she's a secretary in a law office) struggles to stay a part of the life she's built for herself. I always enjoy when the interior struggle of the characters is a part of the story. When Mary resists believing a man like Rhage would be interested in her, she has history and reason to question his interest. She felt, thought and said things I could imagine any intelligent, rational woman doing in the same situation. While attracted to Rhage, she doesn't fall into his arms no questions asked either.

To recap, in LOVER ETERNAL, the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood is broadened and further explored, the characters are multi-layered and accessible, our female protagnist isn't a wimp and our male alpha is deliciously tortured. Add the background story of the continuing struggle against the villianous Lessening Society, some delicious steamy sexuality and you have one damn good book. Now I am positively salivating for book three, LOVER AWAKENED, due out in September 2006.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Some recent observations...

Observation #1: The Academy Awards were a big yawner this year. With the exception of the scary ribs/no boobs dress of Felicity Huffman, who I think is an attractive woman BTW, there wasn't much to dish about in the wardrobe department. Although there was the one scary moment when Jennifer Garner almost slipped and fell...TWICE!! *gasp* I like Jennifer and am glad she didn't end up on her keister in front of millions of people. However, for the first time in a long time I didn't much care about the outcome of one single category, and I'm an avid and ardent movie goer.

The LA Times had a great article on Sunday about how the nominees for men were much more interesting, and the actors who played them, than the women's roles and the women who played them. This is something I don't fault the actresses for. As the article noted, most of the reason for this is the public's demand for young, beautiful, perfect women acting in flat, boring movies cast in parts that are eye candy to their male counterparts. I'm paraphrasing here people. I'd put a link into the article, but after a quick look couldn't find it right off, so take my word for it, ok?

The article went on to say how the male roles had more substance than the women's roles. I agreed wholeheartedly. In fact, I had made much the same observation to the guy I live with when the nominations were first announced. Interestingly, the LA Times article also said that Hollywood had created this monster of wanting and demanding women to be and look younger. As a result show biz is cultivating actresses who look and act less and less interesting. I also agree with this observation.

Just think about some of our great actresses and recall how interesting their faces are...Bette Davis, Joanne Woodward, Jodie Foster, Lauren Bacall, Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Helen Hayes, Joan Crawford, Katherine Hepburn, Jessica Lange...women who repeatedly gave and give stellar and interesting performances. There isn't a skinny etheral beauty among them, but they are all "real" women. Here's hoping they get a chance to do some great work in the near future. Women in the movie business need to get more proactive (Katherine Hepburn was one of the first) and go out and find good scripts for themselves and make their own movies. I'm not being glib, I know they have their work cut-out for them. I just hope that women in entertainment will flout popular trends and do it!

Observation #2: It is way more fun to surf the web and read other people's blogs than settle down and write one after you've had a 10 hour work day. I am a shameless blog slut when it comes to a couple of my favorite sites...can't miss a day checking to see if there is a new post. On the other hand, I always have the best intentions to write a post of my own, but by the time I make my rounds I lose momentum and steam. I don't plan on giving up my blog but until my work load improves I won't be posting very often.

Observation #3: Just when you think a person you know can't get any lower or nastier...there is a new depth to which they will stoop. Sad but true. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. Maybe I'll post on the specifics someday, but for now this is all I can say.

Observation #4: Even when your son wears girl pants in size 0 (he is 15!) One can find a larger and looser "0" so one doesn't lose all hope for grandchildren someday.

Observation #5: There are no alcoholic beverages (more's the pity) served at bridal showers on a Sunday afternoon. Water and red punch were the available choices. Shades of childhood birthday parties. Yikes!! Not to mention (but I am of course mentioning it) my beautiful goddaughter of 22 years dumped her red punch on my lap and sleeve. It was a thrilling experience all around. I did win the word scramble and get some great hand soap and lotion, so all is not lost...except an afternoon of my life. *sigh* The red-stained punch soaked clothing was saved from permanent staining. Praise be!

Observation #6: It really is true that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". So my observation about this is that most "old adages" last to become "old adages" because there is some truth to them.

Until next time...Ciao!

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