Push Winners, Hibernatin’s Over, and I’m Gonna Kill That Darn CAT!

Kyo-monster!LOL…  Why is it when the little, adorable, champagne tabby kitten followed us home, everything he did was cute and funny, but now that he’s become a nearly-grown tyrant it’s… well, not so much?  Somewhere in the last month, after picking up the books he shoved off to bomb the dog for the 32nd time, or picked up the broken bits of some irreplaceable dollar-store figurine that he shoved off, or tried to find a pencil that didn’t have the damn eraser chewed off, his little antics stopped being quite so funny.  Everyone walks around with shoes on, covering their heinies, in fear of the tabby terror and his 20 claws that come flying out whenever you least expect it. 

OH, and here’s a really good one for you:  The smarty-pants can open up the metal tin that we keep their food in.  I’ve had this tin for about 20 years and no cat has ever opened it before, but KYO-monster can and does often.  He also likes to perch on the middle sash of the windows and watch the birds, which means there’s this horrid scrabbling noise and a galumph! that I am compelled to investigate and make sure nothing’s destroyed.  So much for the idea his little vest keeps him on his best manners.

And the monster will eat anything.  ANYTHING.  Especially if one of the kids is currently eating it.  I’ll be in my room, reading (snicker, yeah… we’ll go with that) and I’ll hear a scream from the other room, followed by “KYO!  GET OUT OF MY FOOD!  YUCK!  Now I have to get another bowl of cereal.  STUPID CAT!”  And I wonder why my grocery bill has gone up since his arrival.  It was cute when he was eating a nibblet or two of corn that fell from the table, “Awww, look!  Kyo likes corn!  Isn’t that funny?”  But now that he thinks he’s the KING of the house, it’s not nearly as “funny” when he jumps up on the table, landing (as planned, I have no doubt) squarely in your food.  “It’s got hair in it now, must be MINE  =^.^= ”  What a BRAT!

But we still love the little Booger (oddly enough, that’s Mag’s nickname, too… Booger… and he’s her cat, so it makes sense he’d BE one).  And I have to say with this last month’s general malaise, I’ve appreciated the distractions.  Ah, lovely February.  I think it’s the worse month of all for my Seasonal Affected Disorder.  I just start feeling like the sun will never come back, it’ll never get warm again, and why bother.  I read two and a half books in February.  I did finish Tainted, by the way.  It kinda felt a little long and by the last 100 pages or so I was skimming to see what happened next.  All I have to say is, NOW I know why I don’t date!  Dang!  And the last line of the book, I think, was the most frightening of all.  YIPES!

I also read Graceling and want to re-read it again.  I haven’t wanted to read anything since because I just loved it too much.  I don’t want to pick up Fire now because I know Katsa and Po aren’t in it.  I hope Cashore writes another book with them in it.  I’m sure there’s more than enough story to go forward.  Bitterblue’s rule could give plenty of material.  I have a feeling she’d become a graceling, she just had that kind of feel to her.

And I’m behind on the Lord of the Rings readalong.  I don’t want to leave Tom Bombadil :-(  Endings and leaving great characters are depressing.  But the sun is shining, my windows are open and the spring birds are back, so maybe I can finally quit hibernating and get back into a routine, not to mention eating better… I feel so icky from it all.

OKAY…. so I’m only about three weeks late with the winners for the Push giveaway, but here we go.  There was a total of 29 entries, and of those there were about 15 unique entries, but I’m going ahead and giving away two copies since it’s taken me so long to get off my lazy behind and do it.  So the winners, chosen by number at Random.org, are:

5.  Sue who said, “I have a couple that inspire me… Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner and A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.”

7.  Marci who wrote, “The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd has inspired me. I love her ease of writing style and her word choices.”

Congrats to the winners!

BTT- The Cold, an Award and a Giveaway!

btt button

The northern hemisphere, at least, is socked in by winter right now… So, on a cold, wintry day, when you want nothing more than to curl up with a good book on the couch … what kind of reading do you want to do?

When it’s really cold, I like get into my bed, snuggle up under my warm covers, and then read.  I’m not particular about the type of book, though I don’t think I’d read anything that required me to think.  The problem I have, however, is that I always fall asleep!

read other Booking Through Thursday answers here :-)

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I’d like to say thank you to Reagan at Miss Remmers’ Reviews for my first award for 2010.  It’s quite a lovely award, don’t you think?

Prolific Blogger Award

A Prolific Blogger is one who is intellectually productive… keeping up an active blog that is filled with enjoyable content.

There are a couple of rules for this award:

  1. Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers. Spread some love!
  2. Each Prolific Blogger must link to the blog from which he/she has received the award.
  3. Every Prolific Blogger must link back to This Post, which explains the origins and motivation for the award.
  4. Every Prolific Blogger must visit this post and add his/her name in the Mr. Linky, so that we all can get to know the other winners.

Miss Remmers’ Reviews is one of the blogs that I first visited during Bloggiesta as part of the comment mini-challenge, and I enjoy Reagan’s posts, especially the Thesis Statement Video, which has the Thesis Statement Rap in it.  LOL! Had to put it in there :-)

Now for my magnificent seven nominees:

Care’s Online Book Club - While Care is currently UNPLUGGED, I enjoy reading her posts, particularly the Virginia Wolf ones (I argue I don’t like stream of conscious, and yet I loved Push.  Maybe I should give Ms. Wolf a shot, since it really was the movie The Hours that made me run from her.)  Looking forward to your return, Blogging Buddy :-)

Wrighty Reads – Debbie has great reviews and I enjoy her “So I was just wondering…” posts.  AND she’s a fellow left-hander ;-)  Lefties RULE!

Unfinished Rambler – Poor Unfinished.  He’s lost his favorite blog home, Humor-Blogs.com, and he’s been going through the various stages of grief about it.  I think he might be at acceptance now, but I’m not quite sure… He’s definitely still snarky about it, but he’s usually snarky anyway, which is one of the things I enjoy about his blogs.  Did you know Elvis is the janitor at his library?  He’s probably too cool for this award, but here it is all the same :-)

Lady Gwyn’s Kingdom - This is a fairly new-to-me blog, but quite enjoyable.  I found it through my Google Alerts.  She had “Reading Challenge” and Welsh on the same page, so Google thought it was the same as “Welsh Reading Challenge”… erm, not quite, but I’m glad for GA’s loose extrapolation, because I would have missed this one.  It’s a lovely blog, playing chamber music while you read reviews of books about Tudors and other royal members behaving badly (and some not so bad, too;-) ), books by Sharon Kay Penman, and you can read about what happened on this day in history, as well.

Reading In Color – Ari is probably another one who is too cool for this award (really, she is, go check her blog out :-) ), but it’s what I’ve got to show my appreciation for what she’s doing, so here ya go.  She’s working with Doret and Laura on a project to find the most diverse YA/MG publishing company, so if you have any ideas, pass it along!

Debbie’s World of Books - This is another great blog I first visited during the Bloggiesta mini-challenge, and I’ve enjoyed ever since.  Great reviews, fun memes, and I love the blog theme (purple’s my favorite color ;-) )

In Spring is the Dawn - Also a Bloggiesta find, Tanabata focuses a lot on All Things Japanese, whether that be in book or movie form, or the traditional music of Japan.  It’s fascinating to learn about translations, and her blog’s layout is fun and beautiful.

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Also, don’t forget to check out my giveaway!  I’m giving away a copy of Push by Sapphire, and the more people sign up, the more prizes!  If 50 or more people enter to win, I’ll add $10 to spend on Amazon.com for the grand prize!

PUSH Giveaway

It has been a long time since I’ve read a book that really spoke to me, inspired me and that I could really get behind and believe in.  Yeah, this book probably doesn’t need my help boosting it, but I HAVE TO SHARE IT.  And it’s been a long while since I had a giveaway here, and I’m dying to do another one.  So, here we go!

I want more people to read this book, so I’m giving away a copy of Push by Sapphire.

Push by Sapphire Giveaway

If I get over 20 entries, I’ll give away a second copy.  Over 50, and I’ll give away 3 copies, and a grand prize winner will also get a $10 gift certificate for Amazon.com.

Rules.. gotta have ‘em.

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what book has inspired you for your official entry.
  2. Go and read my review of Push and leave a comment for an additional entry.
  3. Tweet about the giveaway using @thekoolaidmom for another entry.
  4. Blog about it for another entry.
  5. Do all four of these and get an extra entry, for a total of 5 chances to win.

The contest is open internationally, and ends at 11:59pm on February 17th.

Books-to-Movies: Hit or Miss?

Trisha at eclectic / eccentric has a really fun post, Adaptations Lists and Giveaways, where she’s listed 5 books that she wishes were movies, and 5 books that she wishes never were.  I have to agree with her on Eragon, one of the worst travesties done to a book EVER, but not on a few of the others.  I enjoyed reading hers so much, I wanted to play to :-)  So here’s my 5 and 5.

FIVE books that I’d trade a body part to be movies:

  1. Nation by Terry Pratchett ~ It was fantastic, funny, had a great message, and it just lent itself to visualization.  AND it’d have gorgeous South Pacific scenery that would be breath-taking on a big screen.  I think that’d be worth a spleen, at least… I mean, what does that thing do, anyway?
  2. The Stephanie Plum Novels by Janet Evanovich ~ I’d trade a kidney for a TV series of this.  Grandma Mazur, in my living room, every week.  Oh, that would almost make up for the end of LOST!
  3. Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng ~ It’d be worth a lung lobe just to watch a gummy Miss Adderstone use her false teeth like castanets.  And I think they could do a lot of fun stuff visually with the hypnotism.  Oh, any movie can be improved by throwing a pug dog in the story :-)
  4. Goblins! An UnderEarth Adventure by Royce Buckingham ~ Goblins.  SNOT. and it’s all underground.  It’d be a good cult classic.  Ok, so I LOVE movies like A Gnome Named Gnorm… and am apparently alone in that given it’s 4 out of 10 stars rating, Super Mario Bros, and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, and I think this one could be a cool movie.
  5. Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper ~  Okay, I’d trade a cornea for this one.  El Mochito, the Daredevil, the blind Wonder Cat who defends his mom from the burglar, and whose heart is so big that he enraptures everyone who ever meets him… well, except for Lawrence.  He was too smitten with Vashti.  It’d be way better than that Marley & Me movie, and BEST OF ALL, the cat would still be alive at the end.  Gawd, I hated the end of Marley.  I don’t want to think about my pets dying.  I know it’ll happen, but don’t put it in my “feel-good” movie.  Marley & Me was like being a manic/depressive for 110 minutes… and I still gave it 5 stars at Netflix. 

There should be a special place in HELL for the people who made thes FIVE books into movies:

  1. The Inheritance Cycle (or the movie Eragon) by Christopher Paolini, obviously.  A place in Hell where they’re forced to sit in front of a movie screen and endure inane details of a random person’s life, but NEVER get anything good or inspiring or accurate.  Every good part was cut from the books and then they watered down the surface story, left even more out, and called it a movie.  First off, ERAGON is the name of ONE book, and yet they made the whole book series in this one movie.  Nasuada is one of my favorite characters, and she’s an important character, but she’s no where in the movie.  What about Eragon’s training with the Elves?  and where’s Solombum, the were-cat?  Grr… horrible rendering.
  2. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards ~ That movie sucked so bad, I actually dropped my rating on the book after watching it.  The book was complex and had depth, but the movie was just weak.  Whoever made THAT drivel should be stripped of their sense of smell, have their taste buds seared off, be stricken color-blind and then spend eternity seated at a table loaded with all their favorite foods.
  3. Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King ~ You know, the sad thing about this one is, SK himself approved the script.  The book itself has 2 novella stories to it, one centered around playing Hearts at college, and the second where the guy’s an alien hiding out and other aliens come looking for him.   But the movie has NONE of the Hearts to it, and what’s left of the Atlantis part is stripped of all the magic that made me love it.  In the end, it’s just another lousy Stephen King book-to-movie.
  4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini ~ Honestly, it’s not the movie makers fault that it was a bad book-to-movie.  There was NO WAY for them to translate all that goes on inside the narrator’s head, the nuances of the people, and the sense of fear/doom/loss/inadequacy that made up this book.  It wasn’t JUST about him not standing up for his friend and allowing him to be hurt, but it’s about how that one moment was the still point that his whole life and identity grew out of.  I think it’s fair to give the movie people a pardon on this one.
  5. The Hours by Michael Cunningham ~ Okay, I’ve never read the book, so I can’t say whether they did a bad job of making the movie, but here is what I can say:  After watching that movie, I would NEVER read the book.  What’s more, I don’t want to go near a Virgina Woolfe book because of it.  It gave me the impression that her books are very depressing and I’d want to kill myself after reading it.  I might’ve read one of her books before that, I think I even have Mrs. Dalloway somewhere, but every time I think about her books, I think about drowning myself in the bathtub and it’s all because of that movie.

A couple books being made into movies that I’m reserving space on my WORST movie adaptations EVER mental list are:

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry ~ right now, it’s set to come out 2011, but that’ll probably get pushed back.  It’s suppose to be done by the director who did the last few Harry Potter movies, so they’ve had to wait for those to wrap up. I just can’t see how this book could work as a movie for the same reasons The Kite Runner was a miss.  There’s so much going on mentally, how can they show that on the screen?
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy ~ Viggo Mortensen as the man… big, big plus.  It could really be another Mad Max or Blade Runner and be a raging success, but it could just as easily tank hard.  It’s another one of those mental books, though the scenery could be amazing.  They HAVE to have the cellar scene in it, though, or it’ll be a deal breaker.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak ~ The book was perfection.  A movie will screw it up.  There’s NO WAY it can be done.

Oh, and by the way… Don’t forget to Trisha’s having a contest for this:

Giveaway:

If you make a post about this topic and leave a link in the comments section, I will 1) add you to the list below and 2) enter you into a giveaway for one of the following books:

1.  It’s Easy Being Green by Crissy Trask
2.  No Touch Monkey by Ayun Halliday
3.  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
4.  The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

The contest closes at midnight January 17.

So what books do you think would be a hit or were a miss?

SBG daily ~ Shar-ities

I’ve got the new computer set up and running and got the old one set up in the living room for the kids.  Then ran into a problem.  Apparently, while my cable acct says I get two lines, there’s only one hole on the back of the modem.  So, either I get a splitter and run 2 computers on it, which probably won’t work, or I have to go get a new modem for in there and pay an extra 4 dollars a month.  Nothing’s ever easy.

AND, trying to get back into the habit of everything is dificult, too.  I just remembered, “Oh yeah… My Google Reader!” and I’ve got 156 posts to get through now, not to mention totally spacing the SBG SBG coverdaily yesterday, Booking Through Thursday and Friday Fill-ins.  And I’ve been spaced out with reading.  I’ve only managed to read 1/2 a manga book last week and about 25 pages of Home Repair by Liz Rosenberg.  Well, anyway…

Today’s daily is the last one and I want to give everyone a chance to leave a link to their favorite charities in the comments.  Be they local, national, or international, online or off, what are some of your favorite charities?

Here are a few of mine:

Emmaus Mission Center is very close to my heart.  At one point in time, my girls and I were homeless.  We stayed at the Emmaus shelter for three months while I took the time to save money and get my brains screwed in straight.  If they hadn’t been there, I don’t know where I’d be today.  Besides a shelter, they also have a girls’ home and a boys’ home, a benevolent center, food pantry, Birthright Center, and a Hispanic help center.

FreeRice.comis a fun website where you answer trivia questions and win a  grain of rice per correct answer.  The rice you win will then be donated to help fight starvation around the world.  Sammi, my oldest introduced the site to me, and I can tell you, from experience, that there is a maximum number of correct answers a day, but it takes like 3 or 4 hours to get there.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is a great example of how kind acts can be contagious.  On this site you’ll be able to get ideas of things you can do, as well as report the good deeds you yourself have done.  You can also get together a team.

Feeding America, formerly America’s Second Harvest, uses monetary donations to buy food and get the food to local food banks where it can be distributed to those in need.  Whereas FreeRice.com is global, Feeding America, as the the name implies, is a domestic charity.

I have so many more charity links, but they are on the old computer and I haven’t even started the process of transferring the data yet.  But now you can help out your favorite charities by sharing a link to them so we can all check them out.

SBG daily ~ Right Place, Right Time

SBG coverBusy busy busy!  I’ve just hooked up my new birthday computer and ordered Pizza Hut for supper.  My hands were filthy from all the dust bunnies that had collected in the old computer and under all the snakes (wires).  I took off the cover on the old tower and cleaned all the dust and fuzz out of it, which must’ve been at least an inch thick.  Maybe that’s why it was running slow?  THIS is the first post written on my new computer, and I must say YAY!! :-)

So, today’s Something Beyond Greatness daily post is a continuation of yesterdays, or rather, an expounding of it.  In the book, the authors give a formula for greatness.  One part is the ability to see with love, to see the person you’re helping as a person belonging to you in some way.  For instance, when you see the commercial of the child scrounging through the garbage for dinner, do you see a child who needs help and are moved to do something?  Or, and this is the category I fall in, do you see a camera crew who has dinners provided, a host trying to convince you to send him (or her) money so they can “help” them (they’ll give a kid a sandwich, and take the rest of the money to Rio, I bet).  Okay, so the commercials don’t work on me, but I help the missions at church and “adopted” a child or two in Uganda and Brazil.

A second part of the equation is what I talked about yesterday, Instrument Consciousness.  Being open and willing to be used to do a kind act.  I ran into the house, even though it was on fire, and pushed the people out the door.  The third part is that of Destiny, fate, or the design of the supreme being, God’s Will.  Being in the right place at the right time.  This is the part we’re discussing today.  It’s this part that’s the most humbling of the process and what makes a person an instrument and NOT a hero.

For a long time, and even now, so many things about that night just leaves me in awe… not of what I did, but of the odds that I was even able to help.   First off, I was on the phone with my mom at that time of night, because the cell service I had provided free calls after 9 at night.  That particular night, I was even later than normal to call because the kids were late to bed.  Normally, I would have been inside and in bed by then.  I was outside on the porch talking because I have a weird Bermuda cell zone in my house and I had to go outside to get reception.  I had moved my chair to where I was sitting because the door we had been using (our house has 2 front doors) had gotten stuck in the frame and we couldn’t use it and I had slid the lawn chair in front of the stuck door. 

Now, all that put me in the right spot on my front porch to see the glow of the fire between the houses across from me.  Six inches either way, and I would’ve only seen the houses.  AND it put me on the porch at the right time to have seen it.  Add to it that I’m nosy by nature and HAD to check out the weird light, and I was in the right place at the right time.

Now, at that time of night, the neighbors hadn’t noticed because first shift workers were in bed and those on the second shift were still at work and wouldn’t have seen it for another hour at least.  So, if I hadn’t been in that exact spot on my porch at that time, the kids whose bedrooms were on the second floor would’ve been overcome by smoke and possibly died, if they had had to wait for second-shifters to come home and call 911.

It’s all the what ifs and maybes, the overwhelming amount of coincidences (if you believe in coincidences like that) that humble me and leave me in awe.  I wasn’t a hero.  I was in the right place at the right time and I had no choice, I had to act.  I had to help.  To choose to walk away would’ve been unthinkable.  The lady hugged me and cried and held on to me for a good fifteen minutes.  In the end, there was no mention of me in the papers, no ceremony or parade in my honor.  I think the firemen who do that sort of thing ON PURPOSE as a career are real heroes.  The people going UP the stairs on September 11, 2001 while everyone was going down, away from the blazing, steel-warping inferno… those people are heroes.  People who join the military to protect their county and help to bring freedom to others, they are the real heroes.

So, has there ever been a time where you were in the right place at the right time to help someone?

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Something Beyond Greatness, and comment here for an extra entry

SBG daily ~ Running into a Burning Building

SBG coverMy apologies for being late with this post.  Today’s been a busy day here with appointments, lunch, the library, the post office… It’s nice and cool and I really should be mowing and cleaning and doing yard work… Wow, I’m wore out just thinking about it!  But before I go to work… or lay down and nap (praying for rain… it’s a good excuse), I wanted to get this Something Beyond Greatness Daily Post in.

One of the things that was discussed in the book was how people who do heroic acts of kindness, like jump in freezing water to save a drowning person or stand up against a group of bullies to protect another, just do it.  They don’t think about whether they’ll die from hypothermia or take the other person’s beating.  It just seemed like the right and often only choice.  In the book, the author’s call this having an Instrument Consciousness.  Your ego steps aside which allows you to be open to be guided by God (fate, destiny, The Force) to do great things.

My own personal experience with this happened a couple years ago.  I was sitting on the front porch around 11 pm, talking to my mom on my cell phone.  I happened to notice a strange orange glow through the clouds over the hill across the street.  At first, I thought it was just the moon trying to shine through, but the intensity of the light waxed and waned, and it just wasn’t right.  Being of a curious *translation: NOSY* nature, I got up and began walking up the street toward it.

What it turned out to be was a house with the attic area engulfed in flames.  I had been telling my mom about investigating the weird glow, and suddenly said, “Mom, I gotta go.  The house is on fire.”  I was running by then and dialing 911 on the phone (btw, 911 on a cell goes to a nat’l center and you tell them the emergency then they redirect your call to your local authorities.  Save time, program the local number in the phone.)  While I was on with the operator, telling them the address of the house, I was running in to rouse the sleeping inhabitants. 

Imagine.  I didn’t knock on the door, I just busted in.  I’m  yelling, “Get out!  Your house is on fire!” and wrenching people from their beds.   Yelling to the mom, “Is there anyone else?  Is there anyone upstairs?  What can I grab for you?”  I didn’t think about manners, or LAWS, I broke in!  But there wasn’t any other choice.  It was impossible to turn and go home.  It was impossible to knock politely and inform them.  I didn’t suggest they exit the burning building.  I pushed them out.

I don’t tell you this because I’m bragging about being a hero.  Does it make me a hero when I had no choice?  I was only an instrument.

What acts of kindness have you done when there didn’t seem to be another choice?

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Something Beyond Greatness, and comment here for an extra entry

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