Life, Gaming, Depression, Excercise, MARRIED! School…

Well, if you thought I’d fallen off the face of the Earth, I didn’t. Life has been a bit busy for me. I got into playing World of Warcraft, for one. Then I got lazy about writing reviews, though I kept reading. Then I got burned out on reading. Then I lost my home internet. Then I battled some bad bit of depression. Fought my way out of that by excercising and bike riding. While biking, I met a man, who became the most important person in the world to me.

Got MARRIED on March 6th, 2012 (our anniversary is 3-6-12… fun for math geeks :-D )

Been a newlywed since then, so I have to get out of the BED to read a book ;-)

Started back at school and am working at getting a degree in Criminal Justice. So now there’s less time for book-reading.

I’m missing it, though… and writing essays and research papers is reminding me of what I’m missing, so I’m going to try to get back into blogging.  I can’t promise it’ll be all book reviews, though. It may be a bit of everything from marriage, raising kids, school work… books, even, lol.

I might add that WORDPRESS has changed a bit since I last posted.  Not sure if I like it or not.

I promise not to wait another two years and a half to post again ;-)

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!

Tainted by Brooke Morgan

Tainted by Brooke MorganTitle:  Tainted

Author:  Brooke Morgan

Paperback:  429 pages

Published:  2009

ISBN:  9780061853371

Challenges:  ARC Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge

… she worried whether Katy was normal and totally adjusted.  Did she laugh enough?  Was she too introspective?  To serious?

She’d obviously had fun digging the clams, so she was clearly capable of joy; she just didn’t jump up and down and let herself go wild very often.  Was that bad?…

How do you ever know as a mother?  There are landmines everywhere, waiting to blow up in your face.  Am I too strict?  Not strict enough?  Should I tell Henry, for example, that he really has to stop swearing in front of her or is that being overprotective and silly?  Will Katy be sitting in a shrink’soffice some day, blaming me fo everything wrong in her life?  Will she make the same mistakes I did?

-Tainted by Brook Morgan, pages 21-22

First off, I’d like to thank Trish of TLC Book Tours for inviting me to join the Tainted virtual book tour :-)

Tainted by Brooke Morgan is about a young single mother, Holly Barrett, who has always been the wallflower and shy friend of the more gregarious Anna.  Holly got pregnant with Katy the first, and only, time she had sex and the father, Anna’s ex, ran as fast and far away as he could.  Two years after Katy’s birth, Holly’s parents died within days of each other, leaving Holly with a sense that the world is full of pain and she has virtually no control in it.  Henry, her 75-year-old grandfather, Anna, Katy and the Cape Cod house that had been her summer home growing up is her entire world.

Enter Jack Dane.  Tall, handsome and English, Jack is “faintworthy” and Holly is quickly swept away by his charm and he provides her with a sense of safety; he fast becomes a part of every aspect of her life.  He, too, has lost both of his parents.  By all appearances, Jack is Mr. Perfect.  But is he really this good? Or is he keeping dark and dangerous secrets?  Is he really Prince Charming? or a monster in disguise?

Tainted by Brooke Morgan is a slow cooker and an unassuming book.  I really like how Morgan has really captured the sensitivity and worries of the “dating” single mom, and that of worry-worry-worry that goes along with motherhood (sometimes I wonder if worry is the force that drives our engines as mothers!).  I also love Henry, Holly’s grandfather, who reminds me of a few grizzled souls whom I love dearly.  Not one to want to be called “Gramps” because it made him seem infantile and incapable, nor “Grandfather” because it made him seem ancient, he’s always went by just “Henry” but hasn’t lost the effect of his role as a grandparent by this choice. 

Confession time:  I haven’t finished this book yet, but I fell in love with it after the second or third chapter.  I’d have to say that Holly is my literary twin, and I can completely relate to her.  Jack is still Mr. Perfect where I’m at in the book but, to tell you the truth, he has a really Dexter-feel to him.  The dog didn’t like him, and I’m waiting for him to go on some murderous rampage.  Or bodies to turn up, at least.  He’s too nice, and people who are always nice are creepy and are hiding something.  It pulls me along and I hafta-HAFTA read the next page.. the next chapter… and before I know it, 50 pages have gone by.

Of course, since I haven’t finished it  yet, I’ll reserve rating it for now, but I’m definitely loving it :-)

If you’d like to check out other reviews, here’s a list of fellow tour hosts:

I’m Booking It
All About {n}
Savvy Verse & Wit
Café of Dreams
Clever Girl Goes Blog
Dolce Bellezza
The Literate Housewife
Life in the Thumb
Bookworm With a View
Cozy Little House

Off My Butt and Back to Work

Okay, so I’ve been a bit lazy of late.  I blame it all on LOST, truly.  It’s not all LOST’s fault, but I’m blaming all of it on the show anyway. :-D

Mags and I have been rewatching the past seasons, we’re about halfway through season 2 now, and it’s “brother” everything around here right now.  “Are you going to school, brother?  Don’t forget your backpack, brother.  Do you have Math Bowl after school, brother?  Or cheerleading, brother?”  Meh, she rolls her eyes at me and says, “Mom, stop it.”  but I know she loves it.  I know she laughs as soon as she leaves and is just too cool to give a chuckle in my presence.

We’re also almost done with Stargate SG-1, and working our way through Atlantis as they were televised concurrently.  LOST and Stargate, it’s all their fault.  Seriously, though, I’m loving Stargate Atlantis so much more than SG-1 right now for two reasons: 1) The Ori really suck as bad guys, honestly.  The Goa’uld were such better baddies… not to mention beatable.  I just don’t see us kicking much Ori butt and it’s a bit depressing. and Atlantis have Wraiths to fight (and now we’re getting the Pegasus Galaxy’s version of the Replicators… meh).  Wraiths are creepy/cool/bad/ugly-but-beautiful aliens who suck the life from their victims with “mouths” in their palms.  The SECOND reason that Atlantis is better than SG-1 (at least the last two or three seasons of the show) is:

Ronan Dex

OMG… Faint!  He’s soo HAWT!  He’s played by Jason Momoa, who’s okay, but I totally have a character crush.  He fiercely guards his friends (even McKay, lol), loves deep, and has honor and integrity I wish could be found in more people.  AGAIN… lol… Maggie rolls her eyes a LOT when we watch Atlantis.  She really hates it when I lick the TV screen.

*Sigh* have to wait until the mail comes tomorrow for more Atlantis.

Which is some of the other things that has been capturing my interests, btw.  There’s fairly good evidence that the “Lost City of Atlantis” was actually Minoa, which experienced severe destruction after being repeatedly swept over by wave after wave of a powerfuls tsunami when the iland volcano that is now Santorini in the Agean sea suffered a mega eruption 10 times that of Krakatoa which blew out it’s cauldera.  80-90% death toll, and whoever was left were slaughtered in the invasion of the Peloponnese Greeks, who were possible the only major empire in the eastern Mediterranean Sea to have remained unaffected by the disaster.  Cool, eh?

Then there’s the whole science of “free energy” that I’ve been studying up on.  The Hutchison effect has got to be one of the most bizarre phenomena I’ve ever seen.  Through the manipulation of energy, they’re able to transmute substances into unknown elements, levitate objects, and even cause a sudden and instantaneous death on the cellular level.  It’s totally weird and completely real.  It’s quite possible that we could see the elimination of need for fossil fuels, except for two things… DOLLARS and EGOS.  DOLLARS, because energy barrons are NOT going to allow any kind of invention that would allow us to go off-grid.  Simply put, “If I can’t slap a meter on it, then I won’t fund it” as J. P. Morgan told Tesla.  As to EGOS, well…  The mainstream, “accepted” scientific experts have ranted a lifetime against the idea that energy could be free (because they’re paid by BARRONS to “research” such claims) and if such a shift were to occur in our understanding, then they’d have to admit they’re wrong.  OMIGOD!  Nooooz!  The universe would implode from the sudden intake of breath!

Then of course there’s the whole Paradox of Choice that will keep us bound to environment-polluting, resource-sucking fossil fuels.  Basically, if it requires making a decision in our modern world full of 175 different salad dressings and over 200 choices of breakfast cereal, we become paralyzed and, instead of making an informed decision, we opt for inaction. 

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Then I realized this morning that I’d totally missed the PUSH deadline.  Crap.  LOL…  So I’ll be getting the entries compiled and getting a winner picked quickly.   So you get an extended chance to enter.  I have a review of Tainted by Brooke Morgan to post tomorrow, so I’ll get the winner picked for Thursday then.  I’ve been such a slacker! 

I think part of my problem has been that I was pushing myself too much and it sucked all the fun out of everything.  I think I’d rather enjoy the books I’m reading than “get them done”.   Okay… back to finish Tainted now :-)

Snow, Pain, and Birthdays

This week has been a poop-fest with the sky having diarrhea and dumping the white poo all over the place.  I guess I can’t complain too-too much, at least I’m not on the east coast.  I’ve only got 14 or so inches here, they’re getting almost 3 foot before it’s all done.  But 14 inches is enought to cause 2 days of no-school and, so far, a delay this morning.  So with the chil’uns at home, I can’t read, can’t think, and my computer is not my own. 

Ah, and I’m still depressed over the not-so-Superbowl let down.  Honestly, I’m more depressed about the commercials than anything.  Seriously, if that’s the best they could come up with, what’s the future going to hold?  Is there anything left to live for?  Maybe I should look at the whole end-of-the-world-in-2012 stuff with hope, rather than scoffing at it.  Yay, Indianapolis will host the last Superbowl in history (it’s the host city in 2012).  Maybe that’s what will cause the end of the world.  I’ll prognosticate that the Cubs will win the 2012 Series, too.  Rosie O’Donnell will marry the Donald by Thanksgiving of 2012.  And the Democrats and the Republicans will shake hands, set aside all differences and plan for true bipartisanship as they look ahead to the first woman president (oh, let’s just say Sarah Palin, that’ll give everyone some fun) being sworn in in the coming January, 2013.  Of course the world would end in 2012.

Oh, the malaise goes deeper.  Mags came home sick on Monday and finally started feeling better yesterday.  At least with the snow days she’s not been counted absent.  And then Tuesday evening I started feeling an infection setting in in a broken lower tooth.  OMG, I’m looking forward to getting my insurance issues settled out so I can take care of that, but in the meantime I’m using some antibiotics that my oldest daughter had been prescribed last year (the doc switched her to a different antibiotic after a day, so it’s a full bottle).  Lower teeth pain is about the worst, I think.  There’s just no where for the stuff to go, so it causes ear ache, jaw-hinge pain, and sore throat.  And I just want to die.

Seems an apprapo feeling given the day.  Perfect timing, I must say.  It was on this day, 11 years ago, that I had the same “I wanna die” feeling caused by pain… just before they slipped in the epidural.  Yes, on February 11, 1999, Booger made her way into the world.  And the school system has given her a “go ahead and sleep in” birthday present.  Oh, for the days of cupcakes, but apparently “healthy foods” rules now prohibit parents bringing in good-treats for their kids to celebrate their special days with their classmates.  I could buy pre-packaged snack cakes and bring them, they have to wait until they get home to eat them, but why?  It sucks the fun out of taking a break from your work, wishing Maggie Happy Birthday, and sinking their teeth into a lovely sugary-cake treat, before going back to work.  I’m glad I’m not a kid, they have it hard nowadays.  I remember when we didn’t take ourselves so seriously.

Oh well, hopefully I can get back into the groove soon.

TSS ~ (not so) Super Bowl Sunday

Sigh.  Double Sigh.  Yay saints.  Second best team in the NFL won the (not so) Super Bowl this year, but y’all have  a nice story and all.  Drew, the broke-down QB signed by the broken city.  And now ya got the win. Yay.  I guess if the Colts had to lose, and honestly I don’t think they even tried, anyone who watched the game would think the same thing, then gifting the game to the saints, wrapped up all nice with a pretty bow, is not the worst thing ever.  At least it was the Colts gifting the game and not the Pats.  Yes… I’m still upset by the game and so a bit of snark is going the saints way.  I do give it up to y’all:  The onside kick was a good move, you made a good choice challenging the conversion call (which you ended up NOT needing the extra 2 points anyway), you did give the Colts a good run-around, and the interception just broke our blue hearts beyond recovery. 

All that said, it was one of the worst and most forgetable Superbowl events in recent history.  The game was mediocre with nothing to commit it to memory, well.. I guess the onside kick was a first successful 3rd quarter one in SB history, but other than that, it was a big yawn.  Worse than the game, which can’t really be helped much, was the commercials and the halftime show.  Honestly, it was like a big CBS plug show.  How many commercials for the company’s own shows were played?  Then, to top it off, the geriatric performance of the Who, who played a “best of CSI theme songs” medley.  Bah and double Bah!  Even the lone Clydesdale commercial was lame.

It was all so pathetically sad that I had to wander over to my best friend, the You Tube, for some comfort and solice.  Here are a few of my favorite commercials of SuperBowls past.

Pigeons have been great stars of Superbowl adds.  I remember the second one here from when I was a teenager, I think.  Now THAT’s a good ad.

Cats, too, have played great stars in superbowl commercials.  I laugh hard and loud everytime I watch the first one here.

This one has local ties, and is another one I laugh at everytime I watch it.

By far, my favorite Superbowl commercials are the Clydesdales.

A few other favorite ads:

One of the ONLY good commercials this year: 

Oh, almost forgot!

Thanks @bookaliciouspam for the NOOOoooo! button.  The Saints had me using it hard.  Go ahead, give it a try :-D

Okay.

I think I feel better now.

Congratulations, New Orleans.  Good game.  Here’s to hoping for the win next year, Colts.  Drew Brees (grats on MVP) was a Purdue graduate, and Tracy Porter is a Hoosier, so I guess it’s still an Indiana win.  And if Colts had won, the NOLA could claim a piece, too, since Manning is from there.  I think the best quote about the game I’ve heard is Caldwell’s succinct comment, “The Saints played a good game and we didn’t.”

Kyo-Kun the Krazy Kitten!

Back in November, I wrote about how our newest kitten followed us home and became part of our family.  We named him Kyo-Kun, and he has settled into being the TURD of the house.  By that, I mean to say that I hear, “Stop that, you turd!” from the other room several times a day.  He absolutely adores Maggie, and likes to attack her sisters (that’s where the TURD comments come in).  He lies in wait, hidden from view, virtually invisible, and then jumps out… claws extended… and grabs Sam or Gwen’s rear ends when ever they walk by.  He tried it on me once…. ONCE.

Sleeping Kyo

Doesn't he look so sweet and innocent here? What a deception!

This little boy is a weird one, let me tell you.  I have witnessed him doing peculiar things like:

One day, he was sitting on the bottom shelf of the microwave cart when our gray tabby, Princess Leia, walked by.  Kyo climbed out and stood up on his hind legs, front legs raised above his head and paws opened wide, and then WALKED quickly over to Leia on his hind legs and attacked her.  It was bizarre to watch him do that, like a human kid doing a monster-gonna-get-you walk.  I wished I had THAT on camera.

This funny little boy also will walk over to the trash can, again walking on hind legs, and watch what I’m throwing away.  What, is he the recycling monitor?  Is he making sure I’m not throwing away anything good?  Sometimes I think he thinks he’s a human.

smiling little boy

Look closely, this smiling little boy is gripping Maggie's homework in his paws, after shredding it for her.

Yes, this little boy loves his girl so much that he likes to “help” her with her homework.  By “help” I mean that he attacks her pencil everytime it moves (just try to write without the end of your pen or pencil moving, not so easy, is it!), he’ll stretch out on her workbook, or chew on her paper.  Of course, I suppose he wouldn’t do that if she’d do her work at the table instead of in my bed, but hey! there’s no TV in there.  Brat and Cat-Brat, let me tell you!
Kyo chewing on Mag's pencil eraser Kyo getting Mag's pencil

This little Brat-Cat has a special affinity for pencil erasers, and has chewed them off of about half of our pencils.  We’ll be down to using caps and the long red ones before long!

Kyo eating the earaser.

Honestly, I have to wonder if the erasers will give him indigestion.

 

None of that compares to his latest escapade.  Okay, now we all know that cat-dog relations are rarely better than tolerating each other living in the same vicinity and sharing the same people, but apparently Kyo has a particularly deep loathing of the canine species.  So how does a cat like him express his detestation?  Puff up and hiss?  Not very effective.  Get in a few open-pawed swipes to the smelly-dog’s nose to the a satisfying sounds of painful yelps?  While fun, just not EVIL enough.  I know, drop bombs on the thing’s head while it sleeps.  YESSSSSS!

Kyo and the ARC-alanche pile

Here sits the EVIL Kyo, amidst my ARC-alanche pile... directly above Missy's bed.

Oh, yes… the cat has figured out a few things.  GRAVITY is a bitch.  BOOKS are heavy and have SHARP corners.  and that DOG sleeps directly below this stack of books.  Cue the evil cat laugh now!

Maggie and I watched him a few mornings ago sit up here like this, look over the edge to spy a sleeping Missy below, and then take his paw and shove ONE book at a time off in hopes that his aim was true.  I am NOT making this up.  The TURD looked over the edge AGAIN after dropping 3 bombs down to see if Missy was still there and if he’d done any damage.  Maggie and I just stared at each other and back to him, disbelieving he could’ve actually worked all that out.  The CAT sat there SMILING.  I’m serious!  HE WAS SMILING. 

Kyo hiding behind the ARC-alanche pile, waiting for Missy.

Is that DOG asleep yet?

I did get a couple of videos, but the lighting is bad here for videos at night.  Then uploading it to YouTube has made it even darker, so forgive the quality of the video.  I’m still learning :-)  Maggie had an orange feather and was playing with Kyo. Kyo had been jumping all over to get it, but, of course, when I brought out the camera, he quit. Maggie did get him to do it a couple times more here.

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Okay, I gotta give Missy her chance for a rebuttal… equal time, and all that.  So here she is, waiting outside Hardee’s for me to get her food and come back out.

Have a great weekend :-)

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