Read-a-Thon ~ Like That DAMN Bunny, I’m Still Goin’ !

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Yes, like that pink, drum-beating, shades-wearing, battery-hawking Rabbit, I’m still going. A little slower and a bit less chatty, but still awake and reading Marked.

After a third cup of coffee and no food since somewhere around 6:30 last night, my stomach was feeling rather roily. I made a nice bowl of old-fashioned oats (made with milk, not water), refilled my water bottle for the I’ve-lost-count number of times, and another cup of coffee. The oatmeal settled my stomach and gave me a boost of energy, but I quit the coffee after a sip or two started making me sick. I may take the dog for a walk to the gas station and get a couple cans of soda, then come back and pop some popcorn.

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I started this last stint of reading on page 46 of Marked, and I’m now on page 99, meaning I’ve read 53 pages in the last 2 1/2 hours.

*stinging sensation in my throat… the beginnings of heartburn, caused by too much coffee* Yeah, I’m taking the dog to get a soda.

Reading Update:

Empire Falls by Richard Russo ~ finished.
The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis, Chapter Four “The Bell and the Hammer” ~ finished
How to Be a Villian: Evil Laughs, Secret Lairs, Master Plans and More!!! by Neil Zawacki ~ finished :-D
Marked: A House of Night Novel by P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast ~ starting Chapter 11, page 99, almost a third of the way through.

Read-a-Thon ~ Settling Back In

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Okay… I’ve got the MP3 player resolved… still have room for ONE more song, but it’d prob take me 3 more hours to finish if I tried to find that ONE song.

My eyes are a little sticky and wanting to shut, and it’s 2:25 am here, which means I have 5 1/2 hours left in the 24-hour Read-a-Thon. I’m going to count song titles as reading :-p … lol.

Back to Marked. I’m on page 46. I’m baked, toasted and fried.

Read-a-Thon ~ Go Eat Kitty Litter!

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Okay, TBH, I’ve not read anything but Tweets, blogs, emails and comments since my last update, and look at my new book 501 Must-Read Books… look, I said, not read. I was getting a tad burned out with reading.

So I’ve been fidgetting… fingering… flipping around… and every other F-ing thing (exceptone… lol). I had tried to delete some songs on my MP3 player so I could put on some of the new ones I just DL’ed from Rhapsody the other day, but it kept telling me the thing was write-protected. It’s still new to me, and I’ve only loaded it just the once, the first time, so I couldn’t figure out what was up with it. I put it down and figured I’d fiddle with it later. THEN, about an hour or so ago, I was going to poke the reset hole, and saw the MODE button was on. DUH!

So I’ve been working through my player, which was full (2G) and I’ve managed to free up about 125 MB… crap. Meh… maybe it’ll be enough.

Okay, so since I don’t really have any READING to update, I thought I’d share a bit of the Twitter scush. Bookaliciouspam (blog: Bookalicio.us) tweeted “ran out of red food coloring, my red velvet cake is baby poo green.”

That reminded me of the time I made Kitty Litter Cake, and I had to share it with y’all!

A nice, big, overflowing pan of Kitty Litter Cake!  YuM!

A nice, big, overflowing pan of Kitty Litter Cake! YuM!

Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

1 package German chocolate cake mix
1 package white cake mix
2 packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 package vanilla sandwich cookies
3 drops green food coloring
1 (12 ounce) package tootsie rolls
1 NEW and UNUSED litter pan
1 NEW and UNUSED litter pan scooper
1 NEW and UNUSED litter pan liner

DIRECTIONS:

1. Prepare cake mixes and bake according to package directions (any size pan).
2. Prepare pudding according to package directions and chill until ready to assemble.
3. Crumble sandwich cookies in small batches in a food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup add a few drops of green food coloring and mix.
4. When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 of the remaining cookie crumbs, and the chilled pudding. You probably won’t need all of the pudding, you want the cake to be just moist, not soggy.
5. Line kitty litter box with the kitty litter liner. Put cake mixture into box.
6. Put half of the unwrapped tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until softened. Shape the ends so that they are no longer blunt, and curve the tootsie rolls slightly. Bury tootsie rolls randomly in the cake and sprinkle with half of the remaining cookie crumbs. Sprinkle a small amount of the green colored cookie crumbs lightly over the top.
7. Heat 3 or 4 of the tootsie rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake and sprinkle lightly with some of the green cookie crumbs. Heat the remaining tootsie rolls until pliable and shape as before. Spread all but one randomly over top of cake mixture. Sprinkle with any remaining cookie crumbs. Hang the remaining tootsie roll over side of litter box and sprinkle with a few green cookie crumbs. Serve with the pooper scooper for a gross (but hilariously funny) dessert.

When I made this with the kids, we found the best part about the preperation was making the “cat turds” (warmed up Tootsie Rolls) look as REAL as POSSIBLE. Rolling them between our palms and stretching them out like a clay snake in art class, then dragging them through the “litter” (crumbled cakes) so they have that dirty look to them, and finally swirling them around for that “fresh pile” look or draping them over the side for the “lazy, sloppy kitty” look.

The second part that was funny as HELL with it was watching how people reacted to seeing it on the counter… right smack in the middle of all the delicious-looking desserts. You could almost hear their thoughts, “Cherry Delight, ooh! Watergate Salad, mmm! Peach Cobbler, yes!” Freeze in place, a look of terror and disgust flashes across their face, “What the F_@K?!” ROFL!

Some people would see it before they got to the table, think for a second or two, then walk away… Dessert plate tossed into the trash. Others, twisted twins-of-my-soul that they were, would take a nice big scoop for themselves, then grab a second dessert plate and heap some on for their friend/wife/husband/teen daughter/etc. You knew what they were up to by the evil glint of devilish pleasure in their eyes.

Hehehehe… Remembering this makes me chuckle… I know what I’m taking to the church Mother’s Day carry-in ;-)

Read-a-Thon ~ I’ve been Chosen by the House of Night

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First off, I want to say Thank You! and throw smooches and hugs at all the RaT cheerleaders :-) You are much appreciated ;-) And I’m glad everyone’s enjoying my button… you know me, I like to mock ‘em and shock ‘em :-D

Also, I “finished” Empire Falls and How to Be a Villian today, but they were unfinished reads already began before today. I read about 20 pages and 80 pages in them, respectively, and about 15 in The Magician’s Nephew So I’ve only read about 140 pages altogether, including what I’ve read in Marked. S.Krishna and a few others blow me away with their tweets ever 20 minutes, “Finished another book!” Gack!

But It’s not a contest… *deep, cleansing breath* :-D

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Okay, so on to Marked… I don’t know where I’d heard of the House of Night series, maybe from one of the publisher’s newsletters, but when I did, something about the books screamed for me to read them.

I’ve been thinking that I might want to include some of the more popular books in my reading and reviewing for two reasons: 1) It’s part of the Zeitgeist of our culture, so I need to read them so I can keep up with the conversations, and 2) Reading and posting reviews of the more popular books might increase my blog traffic. The House of Night series popped out as possibly being a more popular set of books. AND, they’re about vamps, and I like vamp books. :-D

So far, I’ve read the first 3 chapters of the first book in the series, Marked, and I get it. It’s more of a social commentary… an allegory of our culture… and “vampyre” is the concept being used, but I think “homosexuality” is really what the authors are saying.

Zooey is an average, just-wanna-fit-in, middle child, sixteen year old in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Her mom, who used to wear make-up and have fun, is now married to a church Elder who’s more concerned about what people will think of him than if Zooey should go where she can get what she needs.

When her step-loser (as she calls him) sees the sapphire-blue crescent moon given to her by the Vampyre Tracker that marks her as a Vampyre, he tells her he’s not surprised her bad behavior has brought this crisis on her. He tells her, “Get behind me, Satan,” and tells his wife and her mother to call the clueless family psychiatrist and the church Elders to come over and “cure” Zooey.

To all of this Zooey replies that scientists have proven than it’s a genetic change that happens to some teens, and is not brought on by a vamp’s bite or by a person’s “bad behavior.”

Of course, his reply is, “God’s knowledge surpasses science, and it’s blasphemous for you to say otherwise…”

Yeah, okay…. I get it. On the one side, yes, people can get very cruel about things, Christians or otherwise. Parents, too, can be absolutely clueless about what’s going on with their kids.

I am torn on the issue, too. On the one hand, I do believe that God can do anything. He can heal people of incurable diseases, one of my good friends was healed (against all the doctors prognoses) of ovarian cancer. He can change the nature of a person, the habitual thief can be touched and steal no more. He can change a person’s desires, too, and an alcoholic or smoker can lay down their vice and never look back or suffer a twinge of withdrawal. I know people who have experienced these things.

On the other hand, it is the job of those around these people to judge them as a freak, criminal, or worthless, only to love, befriend and support as a fellow human being. Providing a person is not harming another, it is not our business what they do in their own private moments.

*drags the soapbox away and stores it back in the closet*

Any way… lol… back to reading. I am enjoying the book Marked.

What are your thoughts or book selection being partially influenced by popularity and the hope of increasing blog traffic? Selling out?

Reading Update:

Empire Falls by Richard Russo ~ finished.
The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis, Chapter Four “The Bell and the Hammer” ~ finished
How to Be a Villian: Evil Laughs, Secret Lairs, Master Plans and More!!! by Neil Zawacki ~ finished :-D
Marked: A House of Night Novel by P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast ~ page 27, the start of Chapter Four

Read-a-Thon ~ Ahh… Peace and Quiet!

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Sammi has gone to her friend’s for the night, and I just sent Mags and Gwen to the Y for open swim and told ‘em not to come back until it closed (4 o’clock). Now, maybe I can get some real reading done!

After upturn laundry baskets (hunting for bathing suits), and piteous cries bemoaning their wretched fate of forced march to their dooms in the swimming pool of torment, my ears are ringing from the lack of sound. The starting and stopping of reading has made me nearly forget which book I’m even reading at the moment!

So I thought I’d take a sec for an update. I’m going to forego another until I finish How to Be a Villian, which is funny! I keep thinking about Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil, and many other evil-doers of film and TV. Even a few of the book giants, too :-D

In the pursuit of evil henchmen, the mean English teacher is highly recommended, as she (or he) has the power to make heroes wilt at the mere thought of her (or him).

Reading Update:

Empire Falls by Richard Russo ~ finished
The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis ~ Chapter 4, read.
How to Be a Villian by Neil Zawacki ~ pages 88 – 121 read, 39 more to go.

and Maggie’s back. She dropped her swimsuit and had to come back for it. lol… What a day!

Back from Lunch WITH a headache :-\

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After everyone settled down, we made quick work of Chapter Four in The Magician’s Nephew. The kids were quite engrossed with the reading by the time Digory grabbed Polly with his one hand to keep her from slipping her yellow ring on and ringing the bell with the other. They were chanting, “Next chapter! Next chapter!” but it’s one chapter a day, and no more :-) They’re dying to know what magic thing will happen after Digory rang that bell ;-)

We trotted off to the library and lunch, where I got a monster headache and don’t know why, then carted three takeout dinners of lasagna for supper tonight. One less thing to worry about.

So here I sit, ibuprofen consumed, and ready to pick up where I left off in How to Be a Villian. Gwen’s sighing… loudly… for her computer time. I have quite rudely routed her from the chair for my own selfish need to blog an update. Tcha! What was I thinking!

Reading update hour four:

Empire Falls by Richard Russo ~ finished.
The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis ~ chapter four, pp 45-60, read.
How to Be a Villian by Neil Zawacki ~ starting page 88, “Location for Your Lair: corporate tower” section.

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