November 30, 2007

NaBloPoMo: Finished!

And not a day too soon! I was running out of material, in case you couldn't tell. I'm going to take a few days off and get some reading done so I can say something meaningful when I return. Thanks for sticking with me all month!

November 29, 2007

BTT: Rolling

From Booking Through Thursday:

Do you get on a roll when you read, so that one book leads to the next, which leads to the next, and so on and so on?

I don’t so much mean something like reading a series from beginning to end, but, say, a string of books that all take place in Paris. Or that have anthropologists as the main character. Or were written in the same year. Something like that… Something that strings them together in your head, and yet, otherwise could be different genres, different authors…

I have been known to do this: I'll pick up one book at the library on a whim, and then proceed to read everything I can get my hands on about the topic. Usually a nonfiction book is what triggers it, then I'll read other nonfiction, fiction, whatever. I've done this with books about Japan, China, the Plague, the 1918 flu, turn-of-the-century New York, King Arthur...and probably a lot more I can't think of right now. Eventually I run out of things to read on the topic, or otherwise get tired of it, and then move on to the next thing.

November 28, 2007

L is for Library

This probably isn't a surprise, given my love of books, but I love libraries. My dad was a librarian, so I can remember going to work with him during the summer, and he would let me help shelve, or cover new books, or just sit and read. Bliss. I was always friends with the librarians growing up, but now I hardly know any of the librarians at the local library. This is because they put in a wonderful new invention: self-checkout machines. No more waiting in line, and I get to use the scanner myself. I love scanners.

November 26, 2007

K is for Kidnapped

Not that I (or anyone else I know) has ever been kidnapped, thank goodness. Rather, this is for the book "Kidnapped" by Robert Louis Stevenson. I have a clear memory of this book on my grandmother's bookshelf. We had pretty much free rein over her books - she never told us a book was "too old" or off limits. But I still never picked this one up, because I found the title to be too scary. I grew up in a small town, where no one was kidnapping small children, yet it was a fear of mine. This fear wasn't helped by a comic book distributed by the local police department which told the story of two children who "took candy from a stranger" and ended up being kidnapped. That comic gave me nightmares for weeks, so there was no way I was picking up this book. I did get to read a lot of lovely old books, though: Rebecca, by Daphne DuMaurier comes immediately to mind. I read almost every other books she had, but not that one.

November 25, 2007


I can't think of anything clever for K yet, and I haven't finished a new book to review yet, but it is NaBloPoMo so I have to post something! So, here are my plans for today:

  • Laundry
  • Vacuum
  • Watch "Battlestar Galactica: Razor" on tape (seriously, it was on at 10 p.m. last night here - way too late)
  • Read more of "World Without End" by Ken Follett - this is the sequel (of sorts) to "Pillars of the Earth." I'm enjoying it, but it's over 1000 pages. It's going to take forever to read. I have a copy from the library, but fortunately my mom bought a copy yesterday, so I don't have to rush too much.
  • Watch "The Amazing Race"
  • Make my Christmas Card list
  • Play SimCity on my DS-Lite
What are your plans for the day?

November 24, 2007

"Next" and "The Invisible"

These are the most recent movies I got from Netflix, and they've been sitting on my shelf for a couple of weeks so I finally decided to watch them just so I could get two more movies to sit on my shelf. Although if the writer's strike lasts much longer, I think it will be all DVDs for all of us for a while.

Anyway, of the two, "Next" was the better movie. It stars Nicholas Cage, and is based on a Philip K. Dick short story, both of which were what made me put the movie in the queue. It starts a little slow, but the twist at the end makes it all worthwhile. Don't worry, I won't spoil it. The premise is that the main character, (Cage) can see two minutes into his own future. And of course, there are people who want to use that talent for their own purposes. I thought it was pretty well done, although slow at first, and I did like the "sliding" effect they used for showing it was only a possible future.

"The Invisible" was touted as being like "The Sixth Sense" - and it is, except for the fact that it isn't at all. The main character is a teenager who becomes invisible to everyone except for one troubled girl. This one also bogs down in the middle, and doesn't really recover. There were a lot of things that didn't really make sense, and there were no surprises at all.

November 23, 2007

J is for J.D.

Four years ago when I decided to take the LSAT, the day that I would finally get the JD seemed ages away. I had been out of school for awhile, working in various jobs. What finally made me get off my butt and get back to school? I was laid off from a retail job I was working at night to pay off bills. I was tired of working two jobs just to make ends meet. My sister had recently graduated from law school, so I knew I could do it too. It was a lot of hard work, and a lot of time living on a student budget, but I managed to graduate, pass the bar, and get a job.

And today was another rite of passage: I made my first student loan payment.

November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Time to watch the parade and eat way too much yummy food! Enjoy!

November 21, 2007

Bitter is the New Black - Jen Lancaster

I read this over several lunch hours, and I think that was the best time to read it. It's adapted largely from her blog about her experience losing her dot-com job in 2001 and her subsequent job search and eventual career as a writer. Apparently she has written another book, but I don't think I'll be rushing out to pick it up. She admits to being self-centered, and at times this is really irritating in her writing. But at other times she is very perceptive of other people. Her experiences with the job hunt rang very true: people stringing her along, not responding to phone calls, and not telling her they had already hired someone else. Near the end of the book she includes some comments (and her responses) from her blog, and some of those are quite amusing.

November 20, 2007

I is for Internet

This is a glaringly obvious topic, but true for me nevertheless. I have been using the internet since before it was the internet: around 1994, when I finally had a computer with a 2800 baud modem, and all you could access were bbs's and library websites with ftp and telnet. It was all text, and I loved it. Later I signed up for Compuserve, and it was all downhill from there. Now I can't imagine what I would do without it: how would I find directions to anywhere? Look up obscure facts? Find people with the same interests all over the world?

November 19, 2007

H is for Holidays

I love holidays - not the commercialism of them, but the idea of taking a day to commemorate something - anything. I like Thanksgiving because it's just food and family: no gifts, no decorating (or at least minimal). Of course, Thanksgiving will never be like it was when I was a child, when it was my grandmother cooking, and everyone came to our house. We always had family of course, and then whatever "strays" the family picked up along the way. My favorite guest was always "Grandma Ruby," who wasn't related to us at all, but always came over for Thanksgiving. She had great stories, and she had a fur wrap which she would let my sister and me "pet" all day.

November 18, 2007

Dancing Barefoot - Wil Wheaton

I finished this over one lunch break - it is a slim little book, but with great stories in it. The best one is a longer one about Star Trek Conventions. As someone who has attended more than one convention in the past, it was interesting to see it from one of the guest's point of view. (I even once saw WIL WHEATON browsing in the dealer room at a con, just like a regular person!) I especially appreciated the effort he put into making the autograph experience personal for each person. I seldom stood in line to get autographs, and stopped completely once Creation started charging separately for the privilege. It made me so nostalgic that I think I'll have to plan a trip to a convention sometime soon, as they don't ever come to my state anymore.

November 17, 2007

NaBloPoMo Day 17

NaBloPoMo is over half over - and some days it's really hard to think of something to post. I was hoping to get some reading done this weekend, but that will have to wait until at least tomorrow. This morning I had a haircut, then my nephew's birthday part at the park (20 5-year-olds), and later this afternoon I get to judge a mock trial down at the university. A fun day, but very full. At least this coming week is a short one at work: I'm taking Friday as a vacation day.

November 16, 2007

Friday's Feast #169

Friday's Feast:

What was your first “real” job?
During college I worked as a receptionist at the front desk of my dorm. After college, my first job was for a company that made electronic dog training products - "shock collars." I started in the order entry department taking catalog orders, then moved on to be the person who printed the shipping documents.

Where would you go if you wanted to spark your creativity?
If I could go anywhere? I think to a cabin in the woods somewhere, where I could just have time to think and get away.

Complete this sentence: I am embarrassed when…
everyone else seems to know what is going on and I have no clue.

Main Course
What values did your parents instill in you?
Hard work, taking care of family, the importance of education

Name 3 fads from your teenage years.
Oh dear, my teenage years were the 80's so this is embarrassing. How about legwarmers, fingerless lace gloves, and Duran Duran?

November 15, 2007

BTT: Preservatives

Today’s question comes from Conspiracy-Girl:
I’m still relatively new to this meme so I’m not sure if this has been asked yet, but I’m curious how many of us write notes in our books. Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist?

I am definitely a Preservationist. The only exception to this is my law school books: they are full of highlighting and margin notes which were invaluable in surviving class discussions. I never wrote in my college textbooks, and would never write or underline in any other book either. I'm one of those who reads paperbacks without creasing the spine at all. I hate to loan books out because I know they will come back with spine creases!

November 14, 2007

The Happiest Days of our Lives - Wil Wheaton

Yes, this is written by the Wil Wheaton of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I have been reading his online blog for awhile now, and decided to pick up one of his books. This is his latest collection of stories, which are expanded from his blog entries. He has an easy style, and I relate to a lot of his stories, as we both grew up in the 70's. His nostalgia about the toys of the time reminded me of many things I had forgotten: one being the trip to Kmart to decide on a toy to buy. This was a very fast read, but highly enjoyable. I just got his prior book "Just a Geek" in the mail yesterday, and "Dancing Barefoot" is on its way to me as well.

November 13, 2007

G is for Games

I love games. Board games, card games, computer games - I love them all. When I was a kid we used to spend hours playing games, especially in the summer: Risk, Life, Monopoly, Scrabble, Mille Borne, and any card games we could think of. We bought one of the first home computers - the Tandy 80 from Radio Shack, and that started the computer game fun: we had Pacman and a Viking game, and one of the kids my mom babysat had the best Star Wars game: you were the x-wing flying through the passages on the Death Star - I played that for hours. Then we got the first Nintendo and it was Duck Hunt and Tetris and Mario Bros. and RBI baseball. I bought a Nintendo Gameboy just to play Tetris on it. I still play lots of computer games, and am having so much fun introducing my nephew to board games: he loves Monopoly and Life, even though he's really too young to play them yet. He likes rolling the dice and moving around the board, and collecting and handing out money. I foresee many hours of fun in our future. I can also guess that I'll be buying an X-box or something "for my nephew." Or a Wii - definitely a Wii.

November 12, 2007


This NaBloPoMo thing is hard! I saw this meme on another blog, and am shamelessly stealing it:

Four First Names of Crushes I Had
1. Tom (my best friend's brother)
2. Mike (he was in 8th grade when I was in 7th)
3. Bruce
4. Robert

Four Pieces of Clothing I Wish I Still Owned
1. grey suede cuffed boots
2. Blue and green plaid skirt
3. a long-sleeved blue shaker-knit sweater
4. this crazy blouse with a parrot on it

Four Professions I Secretly Want to Try
1. Bookstore owner
2. Spy
3. Writer
4. Nurse

Four Musicians I’d Most Want to Go On a Date With
1. Sting
2. Simon LeBon
3. John Taylor
4. Rob Thomas
(I know they are all married)

Four Foods I’d Rather Throw Than Eat
1. Liver
2. Peas
3. Dark meat chicken or turkey
4. Green peppers

Four Things I Like to Sniff
1. New books
2. Old books
3. Vanilla
4. a new car!

I won't tag anyone, but anyone who wants to can do it!

November 11, 2007

F is for Family

I know this is terribly cliche, but my family is very important to me. Like most people, I think it is a love/hate relationship. I like having family close, but I also need some space to be myself. What brought this to mind is that my brother just got a job in a state very far from here, and has to move by December 3. My mother is crushed. I'm surprised he didn't move sooner. He has been trying to distance himself (that's the nice way to put it: cut us out of the picture is the less nice way to say it) for awhile now, so I figured moving away would be the next step. I'm sad that he and his wife and my nephew are moving, but I understand why he thinks he needs to do it. Maybe he's right - who knows?

November 10, 2007

Used Books

I went to a craft fair at church this morning, and they had a separate room with used books. I didn't buy any of the books, because they were not discriminating at all in what they were offering. There were some books in really bad shape, and the rest were John Grisham. I don't have a problem with used books: I love the local used book store, and am a huge fan of I am picky about the condition of the books, though: I hate cracked spines, and especially hate water damage. So I contented myself with the craft items, and some homemade jams.

November 9, 2007

Friday Fill In 45

1. Plans and schedules are important to make sure things get done, but flexibility is key as well: planning helps me prepare for the unexpected.

2. I’m happy when things just fall into place.

3. The last thing I drank was coffee!

4. One of the most valuable things in my life is my family.

5. I like ham and/or bacon and pineapple on my pizza.

6. Dear November, please cool off before Thanksgiving so I can wear my sweaters! Seriously, 90 degrees is too hot for November!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to TV and a book, tomorrow my plans include shopping at the arts & crafts bazaar and Sunday, I want tocatch up on laundry and reading.

November 8, 2007

BTT: Volume

From Booking Through Thursday:

Would you say that you read about the same amount now as when you were younger? More? Less?

I think I read about the same amount as when I was younger. I read less during law school, but have picked up the pace again since then. I have always been a fast reader, which helps me to get through a lot of books in a short time.

November 7, 2007

E is for Email

My name is janiejane, and I am an email addict.
  • I don't even know how often I check my email, because generally if the computer is on, the email is open so that I will know the second an email arrives.
  • I have had the same yahoo! account since 1996 or 1997.
  • I currently have several other accounts that all forward to the yahoo account so that I can check them all at once.
  • I felt a twinge of withdrawal when my school account was recently shut down. Fortunately they gave us an alumni address.
  • One of the things I am looking forward to is getting my official state bar email address, so I will have a "professional" address.

November 6, 2007


After a day of watching jury selection, all I can say is: some people will say anything to get out of jury duty.

November 5, 2007

D is for Doodling

I confess: I am a doodler. Give me a piece of paper and a writing utensil, and the margins will be filled with curlicues, boxes, faces, diamonds, etc. etc. I am not an artist by any means, so they are generally geometric patterns with an occaisional amateurish sketch of a cat or something.

November 4, 2007

C is for Car in new car. I finally traded in my old 1995 Escort (which I bought new) and bought myself a shiny new 2008 Mazda 3 i sport, in "sunlight silver." I am sad to see my trusty old car go, and to have car payments again, but my oh my is the Mazda fun to drive!

November 3, 2007

B is for Bookshelves

It should be apparent from this blog that I love books, and books require bookshelves. I have three overflowing bookshelves, each with a personal history. I break the librarian rule of not double shelving (one is even triple shelved on one shelf with paperbacks) due to space limitations. One day I hope to have a whole room devoted to bookshelves (with a comfy chair for reading, of course). The smallest bookshelf is only three shelves high, and about three feet wide. It was my grandmother's, and I remember poking through it at her house in the summer to find something to read. The next one is larger, but still only three shelves high. I received that one from my parents for Christmas after college, to replace my board and cinder block shelves. The last one I inherited from my brother - it is four shelves high, and holds a lot of books. He was going to get rid of it when he moved in with his girlfriend (now wife), but I rescued it. I could easily fill at least one more bookshelf, but space does not allow.

November 2, 2007

A is for Apple Pie

A is for Apple Pie - my favorite homemade dessert. My mom makes it with homemade pastry, and not-too-tart apples. Her secret ingredient is one pear mixed in to vary the texture and add a bit of sweetness. Then we cover it with hot custard sauce in the English tradition, and the result is pure heaven. My grandmother made the pie this same way, and I have warm childhood memories of this dessert on special and ordinary occasions.

November 1, 2007

BTT: Oh, Horror!

From Booking Through Thursday:

What with yesterday being Halloween, and all . . . do you read horror? Stories of things that go bump in the night and keep you from sleeping?

I thought about asking you about whether you were participating in NaNoWriMo, but I asked that last year. Although . . . if you want to answer that one, too, please feel free to go ahead and do both, or either, your choice!

I don't read horror generally, but I do read Stephen King, and I have read some Dean Koontz when the mood strikes. Pet Sematary was one of the first King books I read, and it scared me pretty badly - I was probably too young to be reading it. I eventually read all of his books and have enjoyed them: he has a way with characters and dialogue I find pretty natural. The Koontz I picked up out of desperation one time at the library - I needed paperbacks rather than hardbacks, and the pickings were slim. I enjoyed them, but his tend to be more repetitive, and sometimes I can't tell whether I have already read the book before!

As for NaNoWriMo, I considered it again this year, but I think instead I'll go with NaBloPoMo as a more manageable challenge. I might do an A to Z about me as a way to fill at least 26 posts.