Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It Couldn't Last Forever

9:10 p.m. / 21:10

And thank goodness for that. I'm glad I've participated in NaBloPoMo this year but I'm also glad it's ending. I don't want to write tonight. I didn't want to write last night. Tomorrow I can write if I want to but I won't have to write in order to fulfill a goal, finish out a contest. I've got to get some quality sleep tonight. I'm tired, I'm grumpy, I still have to finish putting the trash out and I'm wondering if the hairball on of my cats coughed up on the sofa is going to leave a stain. No one wants to sit on a stained sofa. For $500.00, that's a nice sofa. After almost three years, though, the cat are starting to take a toll. I love them though. Cats are so can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. I think they feel the same way about humans. They find us really useful for some things but other times they just want us out of their way.

Thanks for hanging out this month. I didn't do this for you but it's still nice when people read and comment. My next post will be whenever I damn well feel like it.

Blessed Evil Darling Kitties

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Play Magic: The Gathering

11:45 p.m. / 23:45

Playing Magic: The Gathering is something else I never thought I'd do, much like reading romance novels. I thought it'd always be too out there for me. It's a good game, though... especially when I win. I only play with Mr. Bitter and don't have a strong desire to play the game with anyone else at this time. I tend to get things, mostly numbers, mixed up and might not be able to avoid feeling stupid playing with other people.

Opening a new pack of cards is like a little, tiny mini-Christmas. You never know what will be in there. Of course, that's one of the drawbacks to the game too; buying more cards all the time. If you're not playing in official tournaments (and I am so not) you don't have to buy new cards but most people do, from what I gather. It's hard to resist and it keeps things new and interesting.

I haven't spent a lot of time on deck building yet but I do know I don't like to let go of cards. My red and green deck is kind of ridiculously big because I can't decide what to take out. Most of my favorite cards are green but I really like Fling and Goblin Balloon Brigade from the red.

I need to come up with storage for my cards. Right now I just have stacks on a bookshelf.

My cat Mabel is pretty into Magic too. She likes to sit with Mr. Bitter while he sorts his cards. Sometimes we give her the advertising cards that come in booster packs to play with. I you flick one across the room, she'll run after it and pounce it and probably chew on it a little.

She's not as vicious as she looks in the picture. I think she was just meowing.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


9: 50 p.m. / 21:50

In his interview today, Mr. Bitter described his hair as simply being brown. That's only the beginning, though.

First of all, it is a rich, chocolaty brown; very dark. When it's not cut too short it curls itself in wild, wavy tendrils. It's more wavy when he's attempted to tame it and more curly when it's been left to its own devices. I've tried to put stuff, like ink pens, in it to see if the tangly curls will hold things. It doesn't work but it looks like it should. Some days it's almost like his hair is an animal; a separate living organism riding atop his head. I find it endlessly fascinating.

The Mr. Bitter Interview

3:45 p.m. / 15:45

I wrote a series of fifteen questions and asked Mr. Bitter to fill in the answers. It's almost as insightful as the Magic 8 Ball interview. Actually, it's more insightful but no thanks to my questions.

1. Have you ever tried sushi?
Yes. In fact, I've made sushi once. My friend said it was delicious. I hated it.

2. Why are you bitter?
I'd love to tell you, but it turns out that when I talk about it I just annoy people. So, I will instead list a few things that are bitter that people enjoy:
  • Dark chocolate
  • Coffee (I however despise coffee)

3. Do you mind sharing attention with two cats, Mabel and Fizzgig?
I have a lot of attention and affection to give. Spreading it between two cats is not a problem.

4. What do you like to read and what are you currently reading?
Mostly, I like to read books. But frequently I read the internet. I am currently reading question number 5 and attempting to formulate a witty response.

5. If you won the lottery, would you go to Disney World?
Yes. (I know, not that witty)

6. What are some of your favorite television shows and movies?
The only show currently on air that I hate to miss is Chuck. I also watch Castle occasionally. I am a big fan of Firefly and rewatch episodes on a semi-regular basis, particularly Jaynestown and Trash.

As for my favorite movies, well, here's a bulleted list (in no specific order):
  • Hudson Hawk
  • Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
  • Spies Like Us
  • Grosse Pointe Blank
  • Ghostbusters
7. What music do you enjoy?
It's questionable whether or not what I like is actually music. I enjoy classic rock, bad eighties music, and basically anything composed by Jim Steinman. In my truck, I am currently listening to Aim and Ignite by Fun. My favorite tracks are Be Calm, Benson Hedges, and All the Pretty Girls. I'll skip I Wanna Be the One and At Least I'm Not as Sad (As I Used to Be). In middle school I had a history of music class where I heard a lot of classical music that I really enjoyed, but nowadays I can probably only recognize Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. There's more to go on this list, but I'd have to start naming individual songs instead of genres.

8. Do you like to bowl?

9. Do you consider yourself athletic?
Absolutely not. I may occasionally exhibit athletic tendencies, but I would not consider myself an athletic person.

10. What activities do you enjoy in your free time?
I try not to enjoy things. Especially in my free time. It detracts from my bitterness. But, it is not uncommon to find me either
  • Playing a video game
  • Reading a book
  • Staring intently at a blank word document attempting to will creativity into existence (someone once told me it works better if your hands are on the keyboard, but then I'd have to have something to type)
  • Sorting Magic: The Gathering cards (I use the full name because someone might think I had a magic trick deck.)
During the brief occasions I'm with people who can stand to be around me for more than five minutes, I enjoy board games. My favorite is Carcassonne.

11. Do you like spending time outdoors, working in the yard, camping, etc?
Really it depends on the weather. But given ideal conditions, I enjoy activities such as camping, bicycling (or, I would if I still had a bike), and tennis.

12. How long have you known me?
I believe we have known each other now for five years.

13. Will you please describe your hair?
Brown. If that is not an adequate enough description for you, I think you aught to take a crack at describing it.

14. There's a rumor you're working on a novel; do you care to confirm or deny this?
I will confirm it as long as you have a very loose definition of working.

15. Are you looking forward to Christmas?
It is, supposedly, the most wonderful time of the year. Actually, Christmas tends to make me more than a little crazy. There's all the house cleaning that needs to be done so people can come over, and the stress of trying to pick out gifts as near to perfect as possible (and the fact that each year I have less and less money with which to pick out awesome gifts). It's always worth it, though, for about five minutes. For five minutes, people think you are one of the most amazing people in the world. But then, life takes hold again and you have to rush to someone's house or the turkey is overcooking or some tragedy has just occurred. That, or people remember what a pain in the ass you are.

Response 4 addendum (placed down here so as not to detract from my snarkiness above):
I mostly read fantasy novels. The first fantasy novel I read was The Hobbit in fifth grade (I remember wanting to read it in third grade, but Mom said it was probably too much for me). After that I began reading the numerous Forgotten Realms Dungeons and Dragons tie in novels. I would read these frequently through high school (although I gave up on R. A. Salvatore pretty early; not a huge Drizzt fan).
In the early years of high school I started reading Piers Anthony; first his Xanth novels, and then the Incarnations of Immortality. I made it up to Swell Foop in the Xanth novels when I just couldn't read them anymore; I won't even read the older ones that I liked. I read all of the Incarnations of Immortality, but I'd recommend stopping after On A Pale Horse. Seriously. After that they're awful.
In my junior or senior year I discovered The Wheel of Time series. I thought the first books were awesome in their stories; I thought the later ones were awesome in their sheer mass. Books 4 through 11 were a trial to read (with the exception of book 6). There came a point where I wanted to give up on them, but I was in too deep. Book 12 was quite an improvement; I feel that the main character's disposition seriously improved by the end of the book, and there was a battle scene that I read multiple times. I haven't read the newest one yet, but I will.
I don't read as much now (I don't have teachers to ignore). I have lately (within the past year or two) taken a liking to Brandon Sanderson's novels, my favorites being Elantris and Warbreaker. I also like Jim Butcher's Dresden novels, and if Pat Rothfuss ever finishes The Wise Man's Fear I'll probably devour it in a couple of days, after rereading The Name of The Wind to refresh since I can't remember an ounce of it.

Also, my all time favorite novel: Neuromancer by William Gibson. It's science fiction. Read it. Go on, check it out at your library ASAP and read it!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jim Henson Is One of My Heroes

11:25 p.m. / 23:25

I have company tonight and they are distracting me way too much for me to really be able to write. So I'd like you to enjoy Jim Henson's La Choy commercial from early in his career. The dragon in the commercial is sort of like an early Big Bird, or at least the costume or puppet works about the same. I didn't know about the La Choy Dragon until I saw the Muppet exhibit currently up at the Museum of Science and Industry. I love him, though! I'm also posting one of the amazing Harry Belafonte's performances on the Muppet Show. He's working with Fozzie Bear and other Muppets to sing this song.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I Read Romance Novels

11:55 p.m. / 23:55

I was never going to read stupid romance novels. Never.

That changed, though. I love romance novels now. I have a romance with the romance genre!

I've really been reading romance novels for a little over a year now, I think... or maybe closer to a year and a half. I know it had a lot to do with Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches' Guide to Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan. This book made me more interested in a genre, that if I'm being honest, had had me curious for years. Around the same time, I also thought maybe I should read some for professional reasons. I'm a readers' advisor and I didn't really know squat about romance novels back then. Before Beyond Heaving Bosoms and that little professional decision, I just read romance novels every now and then and usually tried to make excuses to explain that they weren't really romance novels. I think the number of romance novels I've read in my whole life has probably doubled in the past year.

I'm new to the genre and it's such an enormous genre that sometimes I find the romance section at the library or bookstore overwhelming. So many of them look good and I've hardly read any of them! Also, I haven't stopped reading all the other kinds of books I've always been reading so I'll probably never catch up. This has just compounded my problem of never being able to read all the books I want to read.

Let's see... I've loved Jennifer Crusie since back when I was trying to explain that I wasn't really reading romance novels. I like Nora Roberts more than ever. Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorites now. I wanted to love Katie MacAlister but I don't. Rachel Gibson, Vicki Lewis Thomson and Loretta Chase seem alright so far but I've only read one each of those ladies' books. Lynn Kurland is another good one, although her novels aren't as steamy as some people might want their romances.

I actually read one of those Harlequin series ones, one called The Cowboy's Baby by Patricia Thayer. It's part of Harlequin's Baby on Board series. That one I actually kind of regretted.

I don't know that I'm necessarily trying to convince you to read romance novels. If there's a lesson here, it's that you don't know if you don't like romance novels or fantasy novels or young adult fiction or memoirs or whatever category of reading if you've never bothered to read a few books from the category in question. It's don't judge a book by its cover on a broader scale.


Thursday, November 25, 2010


10:00 / 22:00

I woke up in a pretty ungrateful mood. I think it had a lot to do with the weather and wanting to go back to bed even though there wasn't time for that today. Oh, yeah, and there was cat barf on the living room rug. I really had to work on being thankful for awhile this morning. Things got better and my mood changed and it was really an alright day.

So, while I try to be thankful every day, here are some things I've thought of today to be thankful for:

my parents, my brother and all of the rest of my family
Mr. Bitter
good friends
Mabel and Fizzgig, my cats
good books
my job and accompanying benefits
my co-workers, especially my boss and desk buddy
good music
my home
a working furnace
good, fun games
people who have a good sense of humor
my nice car
reasonably good health
tasty food

I hope you had someone to celebrate with today and that it was a good, happy celebration! Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cream Soup Casseroles Queen

11: 25 p.m. / 23:25

I'm going to become the Cream Soup Casseroles Queen. I've been in charge of green bean casserole for my family for years now. Last Easter I made broccoli casserole (a longtime standard in evilducky77's family) for Mr. Bitter's family. It was such a hit I think I've committed to making it for all future holidays, including tomorrow, that I celebrate with his family, or at least his dad's part of the family. I actually have a recipe for green bean casserole from scratch but I'd rather try it out sometime when I don't actually need to take it to a celebration. My family is... well sort of easy-going but I fear what might happen if I mess with their green bean casserole. So anyway, while others are Queen of Pies from Scratch or something cool like that, for now I'm Cream Soup Casseroles Queen.

Announcement: Introducing Mr. Bitter

11:05 p.m. / 23:05

From this point forward, my boyfriend will be known here on the blog as Mr. Bitter. He's just not happy if he doesn't have something to be bitter about.

Pondering My Recent Sleep Habits

2:45 p.m. / 14:45

Since I was sick at the beginning of the month sleep was a real chore for a couple of weeks. Even once I was feeling pretty good during the day I generally felt awful or couldn't stop coughing or a combination of the two and trying to sleep was an unpleasant experience. In the middle of last week I finally started sleeping well again. And now it's all I want to do. Okay, not exactly but I rarely wake up feeling refreshed. I generally wake up feeling potentially drugged and wanting to go back to sleep... even if I've pretty much had a full night of sleep. Naps have been pretty appealing too although I haven't really had time for them. Maybe I'm not actually sleeping well. Maybe I just think I'm sleeping well and the need for extra sleep is to make up for the low quality. I've also been staying up late a lot so maybe if I stop doing that so much it'll work better. I need to actually go to bed at 10:00 p.m., my official bedtime.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Random Thoughts Of A Half-Awake Person

7:20 a.m. / 07:20

When the November schedule came out at work and I saw I would have the day before Thanksgiving off, in exchange for working the Saturday after, my mind was filled with thoughts of laying around reading or watching movies. Now I'm realizing it might not work out that way but I should be able to squeeze in a little reading or a movie.

I don't think cats know how to savor their food. I fed them and then got my own bowl of cereal and about the time I settled in with it here at the computer, the cats entered the room and commenced synchronized post-breakfast bathing.

I'm going to see the new Harry Potter movie tonight. I've been seeing way more movie in the theater than I for awhile. I've seen four or five movies in the theater since August and that's really a lot for me.

I'm a slow eater and yet my cereal bowl seems to empty so quickly.

One of the cats is acting put upon because I won't let her in the bedroom this morning. She owns this house after all; it's just not fair!

I think I actually forgot for a few minutes that I have to go to work today. Time to post & run.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oooo! Little Mermaid!

9:45 p.m. / 21:45

I know a lot of moms would probably like to slap me upside the head for saying this but I wish they'd outlaw video screens in minivans, etc. or at least the ones that hang from the ceiling. I've heard people say those flashy new billboards that light up and change are too distracting and could cause accidents but I find it far more distracting to drive behind a minivan at night with The Little Mermaid or a Bugs Bunny cartoon playing. Kudos, though, to the family watching Bugs Bunny for choosing something so classic.

I understand it's supposed to me my responsibility as a driver to watch the road and not the screen in the car ahead of me but it's difficult. I mean, it is pretty much in my direct line of sight. It's not unlike being in a restaurant where a football game between two teams you've never heard of is playing on a television and you keep watching just because it's there.

I have a feeling this is probably less of an issue out on a highway or interstate; basically not city traffic. I may be able to concede the point that these irritating devices can by lifesavers for parents on long car trips but I suspect when I'm behind people in town they're just going to the grocery or somewhere. I rode along to the grocery without video many, many times and that's hardly the worst part of my childhood. I'm always a little shocked when I hear moms leaving the library ask their kids which DVD they want to watch in the van on the way home. I doubt many of them live more than 15 minutes away.

So, in conclusion, really not a fan of video in moving vehicles at this point in my life.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Elaborating On Yesterday's Post

11:30 p.m. / 23:30

It has occurred to me that tossing some videos into a post without any real explanation other than short time and writer's block might not have been the best thing to do. So tonight I want to say a little more about Taylor Mali.

Taylor Mali is a poet and former teacher. A lot of his poems are about teaching and students; they also tend to be humorous. Well, my favorites are humorous. I have a copy of his book called What Learning Leaves and I also gave copies to a couple of friends of mine who are teachers. I have tremendous respect for teachers and I love Mr. Mali's poem called What Teachers Make. It does a pretty damn good job of explaining exactly why good teachers deserve our respect. I strongly recommend that if you skipped over the videos I shared in yesterday's post that you go back and watch them. Then, if you want to know more, you can visit Taylor Mali's website, twitter, Facebook and / or YouTube channel.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ack! Watch Some Videos!

11:15 p.m. / 23:15

I've just gotten home from a great evening with great friends. I have 45 minutes to post something if I'm going to stay in NaBloPoMo and I have no idea what to write about. So, tonight I'm going to simply supply you with a trio of Taylor Mali videos.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Notes

11:15 p.m. / 23:00

Until a couple of minutes ago, I was writing a completely different blog post but the articles I wanted to link to weren't available. So, maybe another time.

For about the first 15 - 30 minutes of my work day it looked like it would be a living Hell kind of day but it got better and went remarkably smooth considering how short-staffed we were. I've never been the only person working reference for an entire day before.

I've spent my evening snug in my little house. I have the weekend off work and I'm looking forward to it.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Not Quite End Of The Year Book List

11:20 p.m. / 23:20

2010 hasn't been the best year but it hasn't been a bad year either so I'm not sure why I'm mentally rushing towards 2011. I've been feeling like we're days away from the end of the year for a couple of months now which is just silly. Anyway, I got the idea earlier to try go back over what I've read this year. Then I realized I've got another six weeks of 2010 reading. None the less, here is a rough list of what I've read so far in 2010. I'll be using my journal to make this list. It probably won't be 100% complete but it should be close. I'll be leaving out books I started but did not finish.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Stardust by Neil Gaiman

In January, I hugged a book called All Cakes Considered but I didn't read it.

La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith
Makers by Cory Doctrow

Listened to A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, read by Barbara Caruso on CD

Fire Girl by Tony Abbott
The Postcard by Tony Abbott
Steamed by Katie MacAlister
First Light by Rebecca Stead
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) by Alan Bradley

Listened to An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, read by Jeff Woodman on CD

Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet #2) by Nora Roberts*
Wild Ride by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce #2) by Alan Bradley
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
Happy All the Time by Laurie Colwin
Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes

Re-read Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts and Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Savor the Moment (Bride Quartet #3) by Nora Roberts
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky? by Baxter Black
Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
Spooky Little Girl by Laurie Notaro
Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson
Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas
Mine Till Midnight (Hathaways #1) by Lisa Kleypas
Seduce Me at Sunrise (Hathaways #2) by Lisa Kleypas
Tempt Me at Twilight (Hathaways #3) by Lisa Kleypas
Married by Morning (Hathaways #4) by Lisa Kleypas
Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways #5) by Lisa Kleypas
Murder Past Due by Miranda James
The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart
Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie
Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry
Devilish by Maureen Johnson
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Mad, Bad and Blonde by Cathie Linz
Happy Ever After (Bride Quartet #4) by Nora Roberts

*unsure if I read Vision in White (Bride Quartet #1) by Nora Roberts in 2009 or 2010


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Notes

10:05 p.m. / 22:05

Didn't fully recognize how tired I'd become until I got home. I'm a bit cranky. Little things have been aggravating me in such way that once I've calmed down a little I wonder if I haven't come a little unhinged.

Today I gave up on reading Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. It's not bad exactly... just isn't good enough to keep going when there are other books waiting. So, I turned it in along with two other books it was clear I wouldn't get to before they'd have to be turned in.

I've been experimenting with almond milk as an alternative to... well, milk. I like it alright on cereal but I'm less certain about other applications. Noticed for the first time to night a small note on the carton that says to use it in seven days after it has been opened. That could be a problem.

When the weather starts to get cold, as it is now, I get more tempted to let the cats sleep on the bed at night. I have to force myself to remember that they will inevitably wake me up 1 - 3 hours before the alarm goes off and that I will at that point regret not shutting them out of the bedroom for the night.

In crappy news, I had PAY STUDENT LOAN on my TO-DO list for today. This was all fine and good until I logged in to pay and discovered I didn't pay last month. I need an accountant and a maid. It's not that I don't have the time and money, I'm just incompetent. I don't really have enough money for an accountant or a maid, though.

Just remembered my grandpa is in the hospital. For some reason, I've been having trouble getting properly upset about this. I guess it's just so not surprising since he's been having more and more problems and he didn't seem to be doing too well when I saw him Sunday. Grandma seemed more annoyed than concerned; that did kind of bothered me. They usually don't call us when this stuff happens but one of my aunts happened to call them, I think, and she spread the word. My parents went to see him tonight but I had to work. I don't know what visiting hours are but since they live an hour away it wasn't realistic for me to go after work.

I should really go to bed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oh Magic 8 Ball

11:40 p.m. / 23:40

Tonight I'm conducting an interview with my Magic 8 Ball.

1. Do ticking clocks make you crazy?


2. Have you ever tried sushi?


3. Have you ever tried sushi?


4. Have you ever tried sushi?


5. One more time, have you ever tried sushi?


6. Did you vote in the last election?


7. Do you enjoy long walks on the beach?


8. Do you like cats?


9. Do you know all of the words to The Star-Spangled Banner?


10. Do you have a driver's license?


11. Are you a pick-up man?


12. Do you like ice cream?


13. Do you enjoy Monty Python and the Holy Grail?


14. Do you read novels?


15. Would you like a drink?


I feel like I know my Magic 8 Ball so much better now!

Monday, November 15, 2010


10:10 a.m. / 10:10

I yanked this off of velocibadgergirl over at Pardon the Egg Salad.

A - Age: 29

B - Bed size: full

C - Chore you hate: I hate cleaning the kitty litter boxes but I love my cats so I do it anyway. If I didn't have cats, it would be mowing the lawn.

D - Don’t eat: meat

E - Essential start your day item: breakfast

F - Favorite board game: I can't pick just one!

G - Gold or Silver: silver

H - Height: somewhere about 5'4"

I - Instruments you play: kazoo

J - Job title: readers' advisor

K - Kid(s): zero

L - Love or lust: I'm supposed to pick one?

M - Mom’s name: not telling

N - Nicknames: Mac, among others.

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: nope

P - Pants or pantyhose: Pants

Q - Famous Movie Quote: I'm not good at movie quotes.

R - Right or left handed: Right

S - Sibling(s): one brother

T - Time you wake up: Usually anywhere from 6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.,depending on the day of the week.

U - Underwear: Yes, I wear underwear.

V - Vegetable favorite: An actual vegetable, not a fruit? Maybe carrots.

W - Ways you run late: Loosing track of time, forgetting something really important until the last minute, bad luck on the road

X - X-rays you’ve had: Well, teeth... I had some x-rays around the age of 12 when they thought I might have scoliosis. I had a CT scan a year and a half ago because I was having bizarre headaches.

Y - Yummy food you make: cupcakes, banana bread, macaroni and cheese

Z - Zoo favorite: big cats

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Notes

10:00 p.m. / 22:00

Okay, I feel semi-obligated to start with today's visit with my grandparents, uncle etc. since I wrote about not really wanting to see my uncle in last night's post. He wasn't there. He and my cousin have moved out. I'm sure with the holidays coming, I'll see him soon, though. The visit was mostly good with some intense moments of crabbiness. As examples, the BBQ restaurant where we were supposed to pick up the main course for the meal we'd packed turned out to closed and later I accidentally sparked an argument between Grandma and Grandpa when I couldn't find a bottle opener. Grandma gave me a small stuffed turtle.

The rest of my day was alright and probably would have been great if I hadn't been quietly, needlessly dreading the evening. I went to Barnes & Noble and had a Blondie Blast-- a blondie with m&m's in it. I love those too much. I bought Christmas cards while I was there too.

I've read about half of Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich now. I'm enjoying it but I'm withholding more elaborative thoughts until I finish it.

I've been watching a lot of The West Wing on DVD lately. There are episodes from seasons 1 - 4 that I practically have memorized but I'm on season six now and I've only watched it once before, about six years ago so it's almost like watching brand new episodes. Okay, that's probably a bit of an exaggeration.

If you've been keeping up with me this month you know I've been taking pictures of pretty fall leaves out and about. Well, just in the past couple of days I've discovered my own gum tree is gorgeous this year. I honestly don't remember it turning so beautifully the last two autumns I've lived here.

Lighter Notes

12:01 a.m. / 00:01

Slightly Lighter:

I'd like to share this blog post by young adult author Maureen Johnson on author James Frey and his latest jerk move. http://www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com/2010/11/13/the-james-frey-problem/

Way Lighter:

For discussion: Did Commander Riker, 1st officer under Capitan Picard on the starship Enterprise, become a better Starfleet Commander when he grew a beard? It certainly made him look more authoritative.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

God Help Me If Any Family Members Find This Post

11:10 p.m. / 23:10

This could get me in trouble if it falls into the wrong hands but it's what's on my mind tonight. So it's what I'm writing about.

I'm supposed to go see my grandparents tomorrow evening. That's not a big deal; I love my grandparents. It's just that one of my uncles and then one of my cousins recently moved in with them. The uncle is fresh out of prison. I'm not sure about the details; it may have been a really minimum security situation the past year or so. I'm not really sure what he was in for either. He's been in and out of prison most of my life so I guess it's habit not to tell me much about it since I was a little kid when he started getting in serious trouble. I think was usually drug related but that's as much as I know.

I don't want to see him. Mostly it's the awkwardness of seeing an uncle I was never close to and haven't seen since high school... I think. See, I can't even remember for sure when I saw him last but I think I was about 17 so that would have been well over ten years ago. I told someone earlier today that it's not that I'm angry with him. Later I admitted to myself that sometimes I'm a little angry with him because of how his behavior has affected his kids. Now... maybe I'm just cranky because it's getting late and I got up early and went to work today but... yeah, okay, I'm kind of angry with him. I'm not 100% sure why. Maybe it's just hard not to be a little upset with someone who's messed up so big so many times. Maybe it's because of what he's put my grandparents through. Maybe it's his kids... they're young adults now and I think they really believe it will be different this time. God, I hope it is different this time but there's so much room for doubt. I've heard about his plan for his new life. It's not a bad plan but from the sound of things he has no idea what it's really going to take to get there.

Is it really fair of me, though? Is it fair to be this judgmental when I haven't even seen the guy and said welcome home, welcome back to life? Maybe it feels wrong because he's my uncle, he's older... no one ever told me to look up to him but I wasn't taught to disrespect him either. I have this memory of him trying to teach me to tie my shoes and I always wonder why he couldn't always be like that. He's really not all bad. I don't even think he's stupid. It's more than a little possible he has an astounding lack of common sense and I have heard him called stupid more than once but it's probably not quite accurate.

Alright, I'm winding down, emotionally. I think I had better stop here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall Foliage And Christmas Lights

6:00 p.m. / 18:00

Today I really wanted to go for a walk and enjoy what's left of fall with my boyfriend (who still doesn't have blog nickname). I wanted to go to a state park I love one state over but didn't really plan well. By the time we were really going to go, it was too late to drive there and get a good walk in before dark. So, we went to a large city park near where I live. It was absolutely gorgeous all except one thing. That park is where they set up a huge Christmas light display every year that people pay ($ goes to charity) to drive through. The display opens in about two weeks and they've already got a lot of it set up. It kind of marred the fall scenery. In the end, though, it was a really nice walk and I got several good pictures. There are some beautiful trees over there and the late afternoon sun had them lit up. I even took a few of the darn Christmas lights because it occurred to me the Christmas lights in the fall setting were interesting in a way and probably not as many people see them during set-up as will see them when they're lit up in a few weeks. It's also unseasonably warm today so we were walking in short sleeved shirts. It was kind of weird all around... beautiful but weird.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Notes

11:01 p.m. / 23:01

My sense of time, where we are in the month of November, what day of the week it is and all of that is completely out of whack from the time change, being out town, then being sick, missing nearly a week of work in the end, working two days and then having tomorrow off. I don't know what's going on if I'm not looking at clock and a calendar.

I started reading Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich last night. Still reading Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson on breaks and lunches at work. In the car I'm listening to The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I've already read it; I often re-read via audiobook.

Tonight around the house I've been listening to a new music CD I checked out from the library called The Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti & Spearhead. It's entirely new to me but I like it so far. It's upbeat music.

Going to have to cut this post short. I've waited too late tonight and I'm tired and quite frankly, cranky. So every time I try and think of something from my day worth adding I just think about how tired I am and then I think about how I'm feeling kind of cranky. It's a little circular and a lot unproductive.

NaBloPoMo has its pluses but I feel like in my case it often ends up being about quantity rather than quality, or better yet both. I think both would be ideal; 30 posts in 30 days with about a 90 - 95% overall quality. That sounds good.

I need my sleep.

Veterans Day

7:10 a.m. / 07:10

I'm working today so my main observance of Veterans Day will be to answer the phone and confirm that yes, we're open. Here is a little poppy history for you though.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Notes

10:50 p.m. / 22:50

Mostly done with the icky sicky business today so I went back to work. That was mostly successful except for a serious freak out over annual insurance papers that I have to turn in tomorrow. I spent the first hour kind of out of it in both a wow I haven't been here in awhile sense and also in a still a little sick head swimy kind of way. My condition improved though and I accomplished more than I expected to.

Hopefully as I get back to business as usual I can provide higher quality blog posts. Don't hold you're breath though; I won't be held responsible for what happens if you do. I want the next interruption to my general routine to be less like getting sick and more like my fabulous weekend at a big cabin with friends.

I finished reading Ruffles and Drums by Betty Cavanna. I liked it but not like I remember loving Accent on April and The Scarlet Sail. I'm tempted to re-read those now since they're short little books. It's more likely that I'll start in on one of the books in the stack that was waiting for me at work today. So, it will be Luck Be a Lady by Cathie Linz, Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich or, a rare nonfiction selection, Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Blog Housekeeping: Can I Get Your Opinion?

9:15 p.m. / 21:15

Tonight I deleted a lot of stuff from my sidebar thinking less is more or whatever. The one major addition I made after all the subtracting is a twitter widget. I'm not sure I like it. Please tell me what you think about it. I tried to add at twitpic widget too but that didn't go well at all. I'm not sure if there's something wrong with the code or if it only works on left sidebars. Anyway, take a look at my new twitter widget and tell me what you think.

NaBloPoMo Friends

4:00 / 16:00

Be sure to check out these blogs too: Pardon the Egg Salad by velocibadgergirl and The Dig-It-Yourself Garden by Snappy J-Dog or just J-Dog. Both of these bloggers are good friends of mine who are also participating in National Blog Posting Month this year.

Imaginary Etsy Shopping Spree

2:00 p.m. / 14:00

I haven't purchased any of these... yet. For now I'm just pretending I can have anything I want from Etsy. If you happen to be reading this past the original post date, keep in mind the links probably won't work anymore if the listings have changed.


I probably look at earrings more than anything else on Etsy, so that's where I'll start.

I'd have pi symbol earrings which I could mix and match with pumpkin pie earrings.

Of course I need question mark earrings for working at the reference desk.

I must have Scrabble tiles to dangle from my ears!

Lego earrings? Yes please!

No sense in being too picky since this is all pretend so I'll take green dice studs too.

I'll take some pretty glass bead earrings like these or these and yes these too for when I want be a bit more classy.


There's more to life than earrings, though, so I'm moving on to other items now.

These cards might make nice Christmas cards or just anytime, keeping in touch with a letter cards.

Who could resist this cuteness?

If I could just get behind the notion that wrapping something around my neck is a good thing, I imagine this bright stripey scarf might make me smile on a cold winter's day.

I usually don't buy leather except occasionally for shoes but this beautiful book necklace made with scrap leather is a fine item.

I could find peace in the bottom of my cereal bowl each morning.

I am a hoarder of birthday candles and on the right cake these beeswax b-day candles would be so very charming.

This honey bee pillar candle is charming all by itself!

I'll try a chai tea soy candle, oh, and also a snickerdoodle soy candle too.

I need a good pair of convertible gloves or glittens!


This concludes today's imaginary Etsy shopping spree!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Monday Notes: Icky Sicky Whiny Edition

9:50 p.m. / 21:50

I felt fine yesterday morning when I woke up in a big cabin filled with some of my best friends but later at home, almost from the moment I let myself start winding down from the weekend with a nap and a hot shower, I started feeling not so great. At first I figured I was just still really tired. Then I figured I was tired and my allergies were really getting the best of me. By bedtime, though, I had to admit I was sick.

I'm not good a being sick. Should I have pushed myself today to unpack or is it good that I was in bed either reading or sleeping most of the day? I don't really feel like writing either but it's NaBloPoMo and I'm tired of being in bed anyway so I'm pushing myself to do at least this.

Since I was sick today, in between naps I made it through the second half of Happy Ever After, the fourth and final book in Nora Roberts' Bride Quartet. It was good but I'd have liked a more detailed epilogue a little further into the future. I suppose next I might read Ruffles and Drums by Betty Cavanna. I finished Mad, Bad and Blonde by Cathie Linz on Thursday before I threw myself more fully into getting ready for the weekend at the cabin. It ended up being just good enough that I'll probably read the next one, Luck Be a Lady. I've made no further progress on Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson because it's in my locker at work, where I haven't been since Wednesday.

This morning I fell back asleep in between deciding I'd have to call in sick and actually making the call. I dreamed I went to work to say I couldn't stay. In the dream, I worked in some sort of clothing retail store, rather than a library. Customers kept asking for help and I had to help them so I wouldn't seem rude and I couldn't get to my boss to say I was sick because the customers were keeping me busy.

Not sure if I have a bad cold or a mild flu. It's mostly like a head cold but so bad I'm a little dizzy sometimes plus I just feel weak and this morning I was achy everywhere.

By the way, all of those nature photographs in yesterday's post are from my weekend trip. It was a beautiful weekend, even if it did end with me getting sick.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


4:55 p.m. / 16:55

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Series: What Order Do They Go In?

12:01 p.m. / 12:01

Author websites used to be my go-to resource for figuring out what order a series of books goes in. Most of the time this works but every now and then an author doesn't have a website or the books page isn't organized by series and it gets confusing. So what I usually do instead now is go to to Google and type in the author's name plus fantastic fiction. Fantastic Fiction is a British website that does a really good job of keeping up with nearly every author, their books and what order they go in.

Okay, time for an example. I'm going to use Nora Roberts just because she's the author who's come to mind here as I write. In actuality, her website lists her trilogies and series very nicely but I'm having a hard time right now thinking of an author who's website I've had trouble with. Anyway, if you go to Google and type in...

Nora Roberts Fantastic Fiction

...then her profile and book list will either A) be the first result on the list or B) pop right up if you've used the I'm Feeling Lucky button. This works nearly every time. Once or twice it's landed me on the profile page for one of the author's books but it's easy enough to navigate from there to the author's profile.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Yeah, It's My Cats Again

8:00 a.m. / 08:00

Gratuitous kitty pictures!

They're not enemies but I don't find them like this every day.

I don't let them into the bedroom all of the time but I was reading a lot the day I took these and wanted the company. They seem more prone to cuddliness on the bed for some reason.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Thursday Vs. Thursday

1:05 p.m. / 13:05

Last Thursday I was on a roll. I cleaned two rooms in my rather untidy house. I mean I really cleaned them... there was dusting and vacuuming, mopping and unearthing of surfaces not recently seen. The cats were perturbed. I got so much done.

Today? Today I really need to be getting stuff done. I have places to go, people to see. Nothing is getting done. I am completely disorganized, although I've finally managed to make some lists. I'm just distracted by every little thing today. At least I'll no longer be distracted by the question of what to blog about today since clearly I've opted to rant about my own lack of... something.

I've been reading and it's not even that good of a book. I'm about halfway through Mad, Bad and Blonde and it has moments of awesomeness but overall it's a bit bland and has a lot of stereotypes in it.

If I can't get my shit together, I'm going to have to skip going to an author talk tonight. Honestly right now I don't even feel like going but I might regret it later if I don't go.

And it's kind of turning into a cloudy day. I do so much better on sunny days, I swear.

Damn, I'm a big whiner today.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wednesday Notes

11:20 p.m. / 23:20

Feeling so overwhelmed by everything I need to line up by Friday afternoon I'm having trouble putting together lists of what needs to be done. I feel like it'd be good if I just went to bed. I know I'd think clearer in the morning but I don't want to wake up to this mess with no plan at all. I need to know where to start in the morning.

Work was weird tonight. I had a woman who's family is going through bad times and I nearly lost control. I thought I was going to cry and I kind of think she's the kind of person who'd have tried to comfort me and that just would have made it worse because she's the one with the problems that need comforting. I couldn't really find what she needed. I ended up suggesting she ask the therapist for title suggestions. Then even if we don't have them she can go through interlibrary loan.

Then later, one of our regular patrons, a little boy, told me he wasn't allowed to look at books tonight. I don't know what that was all about but I can't imagine a good reason for it. I heard his grandma tell him no books tonight but I hadn't realized she meant he couldn't even look at some while she was busy using one of our computers. It was odd too because I'd just found and re-read this post & attached comments this morning.

Oh, drat; I'm really not supposed to blog about work anymore. It's just that so much happens there!

I'm really feeling good about doing NaBloPoMo this year but I didn't want to get entirely away from writing with pen and paper, something I've been doing more of in the past year than I was for awhile. So, before work today I gathered my journal, a couple of letters from a former co-worker and a blank card. After work, I took myself to the cafe in Barnes & Noble where I wouldn't have a computer, cats, housework etc. to distract me. I wrote in my journal for a bit and then wrote a reply to the former co-worker who moved many states away two months ago. I have to say that while absolutely nothing else in my life has been organized this week, I planned and executed that exercise beautifully.


Betty Cavanna

10:40 a.m. / 10:40

Nancy Pearl often writes about out of print books she wishes someone would put back into print. I read an interview with her about a month ago in which she mentioned she'd like to see all of Betty Cavanna's books back in print. I would have to agree with her on this lady author. I have my mom's old copies of Accent on April and The Scarlet Sail. I believe I read them in high school. I've gone back and re-read all or parts of Accent on April over the years. They're sweet, classic teen romances. I don't know if they'd resonate with the Ellen Hopkins*crowd, but I do believe they could still find an audience today.

Since all of Betty Cavanna's books are out of print currently, I've added as many of them as I could to my Bookmooch wishlist. I was lucky enough to be able to get Ruffles and Dreams right away. It came in the mail just two days ago and I haven't had time to read it yet but I'm looking forward to it. The two that were my mom's are contemporary stories, or at least they were when the were written. Ruffles and Drums takes place during the Revolutionary War, though, so it should be a little different.

Some libraries may still have copies of Betty Cavanna's books but the system I work for does not. They had one listed when I checked but it was marked missing shortly after I placed a hold and requested it be transferred to the branch I work at. My guesses are that the books were withdrawn due to wear and tear or because old fashioned cover pictures no longer appealed to a new crowd of readers, so they weren't getting checked out even though the stories are good.

Anything out of print that you'd like to see make a return?

*No offense intended to Ellen Hopkins or her readers.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Better Than The World Series

10:25 p.m. / 22:25

I really feel alive on Election Day. I get more excited about Election Day than I do about any sporting event. It's my thing, I guess. I've had C-SPAN on all night. Most of the people I voted for lost but I was expecting that. I'll just say I'm not a republican and leave it at that. It has still been an interesting evening.

I hope you voted even if I don't agree with you politically. I believe it's an important right to exercise. My boyfriend* voted for the first time today, although he only voted on the public question and abstained on the rest. It's progress, though. And, as he points out, with the right to vote comes the right not to vote. He at least has better reasons than just not caring. I just happen to disagree with his reasons.

Already looking forward to the next election and hoping we'll see some good things happen between now and then.

*He still needs a blog nickname. I've never come up with one; tempted to have some sort of contest.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Monday Notes

10:15 p.m. / 22:15

Look! I got my badge!

Okay, not a big deal really.

Anyway, I know my earlier post was not exactly fantastic First Day of NaBloPoMo material so I thought I'd throw second post out here. Honestly today was not the ideal day for me to start a project like NaBloPoMo but whatever. It is what it is.

Today I started reading Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson. It was my suggestion for the book group at work this month. So far it's not as good as I'd hoped and even though it's older than some (but not all) of our regular participants, I suspect it is scandalizing some of them. I'm also reading Mad, Bad and Blonde by Cathie Linz. In the car, I'm listening to Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts. I got a copy of Ruffles and Drums by Betty Cavanna in the mail today via Bookmooch. More on Betty Cavanna another time.

I've been trying to clean up my sidebar links but... it's a work in progress.


The First Day Of The First Time In A Long Time

9:25 a.m. / 09:25

I did National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo, in 2006 and 2007 but I have not even attempted it since then... until NOW! I will be attempting my third successful NaBloPoMo this month. I will be writing about great and exciting things each and every day, even on Thanksgiving Day! That's the plan anyway. Also, I hope you have pretty loose definitions of great and exciting.

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