February 28, 2008

BTT: Heroine

From Booking Through Thursday:

Who is your favorite female lead character? And why? (And yes, of course, you can name more than one . . . I always have trouble narrowing down these things to one name, why should I force you to?)

I can think of so many that are my favorite in different ways. The usual suspects: Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennet, Laura Ingalls, and Meg Murphy (A Wrinkle in Time). I think my current favorite is Hermione Granger, because she is smart and not afraid to show it, brave, loyal to her friends, and sensitive to the injustices of the world.

(Oh, and tomorrow is our "free day" for Blog 365, so no posting. Enjoy your Leap Day!)

February 27, 2008

Movie Review - No Reservations

I watched this on DVD over the weekend, and I am really glad I didn't bother to see this while it was in the theater. It was cute enough, but very slow paced and extremely predictable. The plot was a typical romance, but with no twists: the "misunderstanding" that predictably separates the couple is trivial and quickly resolved. I think the actors did the best they could with the material, but there wasn't much for them to work with.

February 26, 2008


I started subscribing to both Asimov's and Analog and I received my first issues of each today. Of course, even though I prepaid for my subscription, they have both managed to send me no fewer than 2 offers to renew. I hate getting offers to renew before I even have the first issue! It's a real pet peeve of mine. I think their subscriptions are a little pricey, so I'll probably only keep one of them, but I have 6 months or so to decide.

February 25, 2008

Is it a full moon?

Today was a crazy day at work: other bailiffs out sick, so we're all trying to cover. This is not too bad on a normal day, but on a day when attorneys are late or no-shows, the schedule falls apart. I'm exhausted, and I feel like I walked about a million miles today trying to track down attorneys. Is there something in the air?

February 24, 2008

Lazy Sunday

I'm planning to spend the day reading and watching TV. Specifically, "The Day After" is on SciFi at 3, "White Oleander" is on Lifetime at 6, and the last part of "Pride and Prejudice" is on "Masterpiece [Theatre]" at 8. So I'm all set!

February 23, 2008

Observational Skills

Your Observation Skills Get An A-

Hardly anything gets by you...

You have a great memory and eagle eyes

February 22, 2008

Friday's Feast

Feast 180:


Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? If so, what did you do and who was your victim?

I can't recall anything in particular. I've been the victim of a few, because I'm pretty gullible.


What do your salt and pepper shakers look like?

They are just the plain "disposable" ones from the store. Although we have a Christmas set where the salt is a Reindeer and the pepper is Santa.


Where is the next place you plan to visit (on vacation or business)?

Orlando! Unless I can talk my sister into a weekend trip to Vegas, anyway.

Main Course

What kind of lotion or cream do you use to keep your hands from getting too dry?

I've tried almost every lotion available, but I think I've finally found one that helps: Eucerin Calming Cream. I have very dry skin on my hands, and of course I live in the desert so the air is dry almost the whole year. This stuff really seems to help.


Make up a dessert, tell us its ingredients, and give it a name.

One of the restaurants in the mall (that isn't there anymore) had a fabulous sundae: coffee ice cream with chocolate syrup and chocolate ice cream with caramel syrup, and whipped cream, cookie pieces and a cherry on top. I don't remember what they called it, but I'll call it delicious! Or maybe Choco-coffee caramel whip dream. Yum.

February 21, 2008

BTT: Format

Booking through Thursday time again:

All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?

All things being equal? Trade-size paperback. They still have the heft of a good hardback, without the weight of the hard covers. They seem to have better quality paper than the mass-market paperbacks, and don't have the jagged edges of the hardcovers. I hate those uneven edges - they look unfinished to me.

February 20, 2008

Paloma - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

This is the fourth in her "Retrieval Artist" series, and the quality has held up throughout the series. There is one more book that follows this one. They are best read in order, because the later ones generally assume you've read the earlier ones.

The series is set in the future, when we've colonized the moon and have encountered many other species, and are trying to maintain a relationship with all of the different alien cultures. The setting is the Moon, and her descriptions of the domes that make up the city of Armstrong on the Moon are so vivid I think I could step into that world. I love the details about the food, the buildings, and the government. Her characters are also pretty well rounded.

These are a quick, light read, and quite enjoyable.

February 19, 2008

M is for Mouse

As in Mickey Mouse.  Lately I have been obsessed with planning my trip to Orlando and my one day in Disney World.  It has brought back many memories of childhood trips to Disneyland with my family.  We used to go every couple of years or so, as it was only a day's drive, and my mom always wanted to go to California for the beach.  I can remember getting up at 4 a.m. to start the drive - we would stop for breakfast along the way - and getting to our hotel in the late afternoon.  Then we would get to swim before dinner.  The next day would be Disneyland - with our first stop at the hat shop to get the Mickey ears and have them personalized.  When we were very little we would go back to the hotel after lunch for a rest and a swim, then return to the park for the parade and fireworks.  My favorite treat was the ice cream on a stick.  I can remember the A, B, C, D and E tickets, and when they started the "flat rate" ticket pricing when you had to show your pass at every ride.  


When I was in high school, the academic team I was on got to go to Florida (twice) for a competition.  One year we went to Epcot, the next year we went to the Magic Kingdom.  I remember those trips, but they are not as vivid as the childhood ones to Disneyland.

February 18, 2008

Strong and intense

You Are an Espresso

At your best, you are: straight shooting, ambitious, and energetic

At your worst, you are: anxious and high strung

You drink coffee when: anytime you're not sleeping

Your caffeine addiction level: high

February 17, 2008

Best Valentine Ever

This is the Valentine I got from my nephew - too cute!

February 16, 2008

Some stuff I found around the internets

If you like coffee, and would like a Senseo machine for only the cost of shipping, head over here and fill out the survey. If they choose you, you just pay $15 and they ship you a Senseo machine and some of the coffee pods and a canister to hold them in. I have mine already - it really works! (Be sure to use an email you check regularly, because that's how you find out if you've been chosen and get the link to pay the $15.)

If you'd like a $5 gift card to Sears just for signing up for their email ads, go here. I just heard about it today. For this, I used an email I don't check as often.


February 15, 2008

NaBloPoMo Redux

So NaBloPoMo is up again, and has moved beyond November. The details are here. I think I'll join up - after all, I'm doing Blog 365 so I'll be posting every day anyway! The theme for March is "lists" - could be interesting!

February 14, 2008

BTT: After the Honeymoon

From Booking through Thursday:

Here’s something for Valentine’s Day.

Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?

I have a couple that I can think of: Patricia Cornwell and Robin Cook. Also Diana Gabaldon. All of them started off great, then turned formulaic and their editors stopped editing them. Michael Crichton is very close to being put on this list for me as well. I keep hoping he has another Andromeda Strain in him. So I guess he's just "on notice," while the others are "dead to me." (Hat tip to Stephen Colbert. Hee.)

February 13, 2008

Online Book Group

Becky is running an online book group in March for Sense and Sensibility - I think I'll give it a try. (This month she's doing Their Eyes Were Watching God, but I'm passing on that.)

February 12, 2008

TBR updates

Currently reading:
Intern - by Sandeep Jauhaur
The Winter Rose - Jennifer Donnelly
Hammered - Elizabeth Bear

TBR (in no particular order):
My Year of Meats - Ruth Ozeki
Nekropolis - Maureen McHugh
The City, Not Long After - Pat Murphy
Scardown - Elizabeth Bear
After This - Alice McDermott
Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah
Dust - Charles Pellegrino

One Month to Live - Kerry & Chris Shook (This reminded me a lot of The Purpose Driven Life, which is not necessarily a good thing. I had to read Purpose Driven life in my prior life as a church secretary, and I did not enjoy it. I'm not a particularly religious person, and I especially don't care for the super-simplified version Rick Warren propounds. Christianity is complex, and I prefer my religion to be more private.)

My Soul to Keep - Melanie Wells (Mostly I disliked it because I don't care for mysteries in general. This one has a Christian slant, which on its own isn't enough to make me set it aside. However, this is also the second in a series, and I have not read the first one.)

February 11, 2008

Passport to the World

I got my shiny new passport in the mail today! If I had known how free it would make me feel I would have applied for one years ago. Now I just have to decide where to go first - and when!

February 10, 2008

Sunday Fun

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Eminence the Very Viscountess Janiejane the Foamy of Ofsted in the Bucket
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

February 9, 2008


That's how many books I have out from the library right now. So...I guess I should read some of them. Enjoy your Saturday!

February 8, 2008

Friday Fill-In

As seen at Musings of a Bookish Kitty:

1. I'm looking forward to
spending the weekend reading and shopping!
2. Italy is a place I always wanted to visit and haven't made it there yet.
3. I've fallen in love with bargain hunting on the internet. Ebay, especially.
4. Six of one is half a-dozen of another is one of my favorite sayings.
5. Addiction is an overused word.
6. The stories my nephew tells crack me up! He tells very detailed stories about what happened in preschool, etc. He has a real eye for detail.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm vegetating in front of the TV, tomorrow my plans include hitting the mall and Sunday, I'll do laundry and other housecleaning, and read!

February 7, 2008

BTT: But, enough about books

From Booking Through Thursday:

Okay, even I can’t read ALL the time, so I’m guessing that you folks might voluntarily shut the covers from time to time as well… What else do you do with your leisure to pass the time? Walk the dog? Knit? Run marathons? Construct grandfather clocks? Collect eggshells?

What do I do when I'm not reading books? Read stuff about books online. Watch a lot of TV (sometimes while reading, though). Play video games on the computer or on the DS Lite. When my nephew comes over: play trains, or hide-and-seek, or Monopoly, or Parcheesi. (He shares my love for board games.) Watch movies.

February 6, 2008

One of the more unusual quizzes:

You Should Paint Your Room Orange

Fiery and fresh, an orange room brings intense happiness.
Your orange room will set a positive vibe - and brighten up any gathering.
Orange also promotes healthy communication... and stimulates the appetite!

February 5, 2008

The Break-Up Diet - Annette Fix

I received an advance copy of this through Library Thing, and I really enjoyed it. This is a memoir of a woman who survives a break-up and comes out the other side a better person, with a better relationship. The "twist" of the story is that she is a single mom who is making ends meet by topless dancing while trying to establish herself as a writer. I'm so glad she was able to persevere in the writing, because she has a very fresh, easy style that is fun to read and quite entertaining. The "recipes" for things such as "doubt cake" and "guilt stew" are very clever.

The author's website has some pretty entertaining break-up stories, and a quiz, as well as some other fun stuff.

Overall, one of the more entertaining things I've read lately.

February 4, 2008

Suze Orman

In keeping with my wish to become more financially aware, I read four Suze Orman books over the weekend. Well, skimmed really, but that's all I was planning to do. I read:
Women and Money
Ask Suze
The 9 Steps to Financial Success
The Courage to be Rich

I have seen her show on CNBC, so I was familiar with her style. I thought the books were fairly informative and straightforward, although it was mostly information I already knew. She advocates keeping your records in order and paying off credit card debt, both of which I think are valuable. She's more aggressive with the investments than I am right now, but I think I'll get to a point where I'm more comfortable with that. I have an employer paid retirement right now, but I want to open a Roth IRA this year. I think her advice to become knowledgable and take control of your finances is good, and she seems intent on empowering women to do this especially. In terms of basic knowledge, I think these are good books. They are repetitive, so one probably only needs to read one of them to get the idea.

February 3, 2008

Lazy Sunday Meme

Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

The closest book was "The Stand" by Stephen King. The sentences are:
"A doctor in Sipe Springs had made some good guesses, and a pair of reporters for a Houston daily had linked what was happening in Sipe Springs with what had already happened in Arnette, Verona, Commerce city, and a town called Polliston, Kansas. Those were the towns where the problem had gotten so bad so fast that the army had been called in to quarantine. The computer had a list of twenty-five other towns in ten states where traces of Blue were beginning to show up."

I love these memes because the are so random: like the Exquisite Corpse game the Surrealists used to play. I confess we used to spend hours playing that in college; we were such geeks. I won't tag anyone, but you are welcome to play and post in the ocmments if you do!

February 2, 2008

Library Meme

I saw this over at Becky's Book Reviews and it looked like fun:

February is Library Lovers' Month)

How do you plan on celebrating Library Lovers month?

By visiting the library as usual!

How often do you accidentally spell library as 'libary' when you're in a hurry?
Well, I thought my answer would be "never" but I did it once while writing the opening to this post, so...

What is the most amount of books you've ever had checked out at one time?

From the university library as an undergrad, I think I had 50 or so out at once while working on my senior thesis. Students in the Honors Program were allowed unlimited checkouts, and the due date was the end of the semester instead of 3 weeks, so I accumulated a lot of books. My roommate and I loaded up her car with all of our books at the end of the semester and returned them all at once.

From the public library, I think 25 or so. I think they limit us to 30, so I try to stay well within that!

What is the longest you've ever gone without visiting the library?
Maybe two weeks? Right now I'm spoiled because I can put books on hold at the library and my mom will go pick them up for me, because they let us link our cards together. So I don't have to go, but still get the library books!

What is the biggest fine you've ever had?

I had to pay to replace two audio books because they were in my car when it was destroyed in a parking lot fire.

Oh, you want the rest of that story? Okay:
It was my last day of work at this company. I parked in a different spot than usual, because I scored a shady spot after lunch. The person who owned the car that was parked next to mine took their smoke break in their car. After they lit their cigarette, they tossed the match into the back seat (apparently thinking it would go out by itself?) and it landed on some newspaper in the back seat. They tried to put it out, but failed, and by the time the fire department got there my car and the car next to mine (as well as the original car) were all totally engulfed in flames. Of course, I didn't know anything about it until they evacuated our building "due to a fire in the parking lot." And there was my poor car.

Have you ever been shushed or hushed by a librarian?

In high school, more than I'd like to remember. The public library now doesn't seem to have a noise policy, unfortunately.

What is the worst (against-the-rules) thing you've ever done in the library?
Eating lunch in the law school library.

What's the worst thing you've ever done to a library book?

Nothing intentional.

Have you ever had a "favorite" librarian?

My dad was a librarian, so I guess he wins!

If you could change one thing about your library it would be...
I wish they had the budget to have a wider variety of books, and more magazines. Also that they had a noise policy.

February 1, 2008

Friday's Feast

From Friday's Feast:

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

Rice Krispies, but only while they are still crisp - I don't like the soggy ones at the bottom of the bowl.

When was the last time you purchased something for your home, what was it, and in which room did it go?

Do books count? I consider them part of the house! I just received "The City, Not Long After" from Amazon on Monday, and it's in my room on my giant TBR pile.

What is the funniest commercial you’ve ever seen?

I love the Geico commercial where the lizard is talking to the jellyfish. It makes me laugh every time. Of course, I have a strange sense of humor. Maybe not the funniest I've ever seen, but right up there.

Main Course
Make up a name for a company by using a spice and an animal (example: Cinnamon Monkey).

Paprika Panda.

Fill in the blank: I haven’t ______ since ______.

I haven't been on a vacation since 2002. This explains why I am so excited about my trip in May!