Monday, March 29, 2010

My Literary Loves

I have a habit that my husband just hates. Don't get me wrong. I understand why he does it, and if he did it, I would hate it too.

I fall in love with other men. Often.

Happily, there is no way for Paul to feel threatened by this, because none of the men are real. They are all characters in literature. Paul hates it, mostly because he feels compared to them, and feels like I get angry if he isn't perfect, but it isn't that. I like to think that I see my sweet husband in some of these men, and that is why I love them so.

It could also be that Jamie Fraser's accent is oh-so-yummy.

I love many men, all for different reasons.

I love Jamie Fraser for his passion, his ability to vocalize what he is feeling, his intense protectiveness, his love of God and his accent

I love Odd Thomas for his unfailing sense of humor, his humility, his conviction of what is right, and his unending singlemindedness in love

I love Edward Cullen for his intensity and his old-fashioned ideas about what love should be.

I love the Weasley Twins for their unfailing sense of humor in the face of death, their enterprising spirit, their bravery and, in the end, their sacrifice

I love Marcus Valerian for his hard-headedness, his willingness, in the end, to buck tradition and marry a slave, his love that carried him to Judea in search of a faceless God, and his zeal for Christ at the end.

and finally

I love Mr. Darcy, because really, who doesn't?

As a end note, I love my Paul because he is Paul, and he is mine.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


It's MRI day.

Prayers are welcome.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Domestic Worry

My sweet husband, who is equal parts patient, kind, strong and a veritable laugh riot, has an MRI this Wednesday.

They are checking for a tumor. Or an Alien invader, which, after reading The Host, doesn't seem that unlikely to me.

When he mentioned the word tumor, I burst into immediate tears, causing B, who is nine months old and does most of the crying around these parts, to stare at me like I'd lost my mind. He followed the "T" word with the word Benign, which, admittedly, he should have led with, but c'est la vie.

According to the doctor, my husband has either a benign tumor pressing on his inner ear, or Menier's Disease. Menier's, however, is a rather horrifying way to live life, has no cure, and would eventually rob my musician husband of his hearing in the affected ear. A tumor in that particular area is relatively easy to remove and would leave few lasting affects.

At the moment, and with the above info in mind, we're quietly chanting "Come on, Tumor!"

I have peace at the moment, after much prayer throughout the whole of last week and this weekend. I know that whatever the outcome, God will take care of us, as he always has. I also know that my God is a god of miracles, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't praying for one.

If you are my reader, and you pray, please do. I'm unsure what to ask you to pray for. A tumor? Healing? A miracle?

My mother, I think, put it the best when she said "We'll pray that he will be well"

I couldn't have said it better, I think.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I may be the worst wife ever.

Tomorrow is my Paul's birthday. He'll be 24. YAY him.

I do not have a present, a card, or anything resembling a cake. I'm a procrastinator, and now I am less than 24 hours from my sweet husbands birthday with no birthday accoutrements. Apparently I will be hitting up the mall after work.

The End

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Just finished The Host by Stephanie Meyer and let my just say, Hallelujah, she does have some writing ability. After reading the cluster f*** that was Breaking Dawn, I was quite worried.

I won't go so far as to call it "great", but the moral dilemma brought up was interesting. I grew up reading Animorphs, which is essentially the same concept. Alien invaders = tiny wormy creatures that need a host to survive. Only these creatures, which call themselves "Souls" aren't malevolent, the way the Animorphs Yearks are. They come to various planets in hopes of exploration, colonization and learning, rather than conquest. None of their previous planets have had the force of will, the feeling of individual or the concept of freedom needed to put up a struggle or form a resistance, so it felt more (I assume) like cohabitation than hostile takeover. Enter the Human Race. Apparently the Human race has a higher emotional platform than other species (speci?), which means that the takeover on Earth requires more work, and that there are humans who fight back. The Main character, named Wanderer, is placed in a host, Melanie, who does just that. But instead of feeling hatred toward Wanderer, who is, undeniably, a parasite, we feel conflicted. We know Melanie deserves her freedom, but is it really Wanderer's fault that she can't survive without a host? She doesn't want to cause pain. She honestly thinks she is doing the right thing, and when the knowledge that the human race is not a good candidate for takeover makes itself apparent, she attempts to put things right. It's an interesting look at what happens when two sides conflict, but neither is inherently wrong. We are so accustomed to every story having a clear bad side and a clear good side, but I think Meyer's point is that sometimes there is no clear winner in the moral battle. Sometimes (read: almost always), both sides have heroes, both sides have monsters, and neither side has a monopoly on "right". This story is one of the few I know of that truly gives both sides of the coin.

Also, it turns out that Mrs. Meyer has bought herself a dictionary and looked up the word chagrin, because not only did she only use the word once, but she used it in the correct context.
For those of you who haven't read Twilight, Bella is constantly "chagrined". Even when she's not.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Literary Constipation

I'm blogging a lot today. Possibly because I'm not reading, which is quite the anomaly for me.

I've picked up several books since my HP re-read, and haven't been able to hook into any of them. It's a bit discouraging, really. And obnoxious. There is nothing worse than wanting to read, sitting down with a book, and finding yourself unable to care about anything that is going on. Perhaps I am still distraught over poor Fred.

Books I have tried (and failed) to read over the last week and a half:

- Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carrol
- The Host by Stephanie Meyer
- Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
- City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
- My Life in France by Julia Child

My brain is feeling a bit slushy in it's disuse. Soon it will be sloshing about in my skull and running out my ears.

Enjoy that visual this lunch hour.

Au revoir.

Education Continued

I've made a decision.

I'm getting my CDA first. That way, if something happens and I can't get my B.S. right away, I am still more attractive to the Child Care Industry than someone with only an AA or a High School Diploma

Next Spring I will transfer to FSCJ for my BS in Early Childhood Education and pray that by the time my internship comes up, I will be in a situation where it is pheasible. If it isn't, I'll see if I can intern for Florida Virtual School.

As much as I love literature and writing and would love to major in English, it simply isn't pheasible for me to work all day and go to school all night. I barely see my husband as it is.


I finished my AA this winter, which, after five years, is quite the accomplishment, I suppose.
Now, though, I'm dealing with the decision of what to do next.
I have three main choices, none of them exactly what I want, and none of them with exactly what I need for them to fit into my life. I have an incredibly busy life, so the ideal program is available online, with few out-of-class requirements.

Career Goals:
- To teach.
- To work in a library

Education Options:
- B.S. in Early Childhood Education.
Pros: Highly Specialized Degree; Allows me to pursue my passion; Entire degree (almost) available online
Cons: Requires a full day, one-semester internship that I cannot afford to quit my job to accomplish

- B.A. in English
Pros: No Internship; Allows me to get college credit for reading and writing, which I do anyway.
Cons: Little to none is available online

Pros: only two classes left to completion. available completely online, no internship
Cons: Not a bachelor's degree, would not allow me to teach at a higher level than Pre-K

Decisions, Decisions.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Going without facebook blows.

I could end this entry right there, because it basically says it all, but I like to hear myself talk.

I have roughly 2 1/2 weeks left of Lent, and I am about to implode from lack of info about other people's lives. Maybe it's God telling me I need to stop facebook stalking my ex-boyfriend. It's ok though. He's fine with it. And also, I facebook stalk everyone. Even my Husband. You know, the one who lives with me.

I'm a little worried that I'm going to go back to Facebook and find 64 comments from various people, all wondering why I am so rude and haven't gotten back to them. Then all the unrequited comment people will hate me and I will go back to facebook with only six facebook friends. Facebook stalking six people = superlame.

Contrawise, I could go back to facebook in a few weeks to be greeted by absolutely no notifications other than the weird ones that the odd side of my family sends, all along the lines of "Joe threw a feather pillow at you! Throw one back" He's my No incestuous pillow fights for me, thanks. I digress. I will go back to facebook to face zero communication, and instead of assuming that everyone knew I was going without facebook, and so knew contact would be pointless, I will assume that no one loves me and will go on a deletion rampage and end up with only six facebook friends.

It really is lose-lose.

I suppose I could be rational and adult about everything, but there's absolutely nothing fun about that.

At all.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Paul and I have horrific credit. Until a month ago, we had a large debt owed to my parents and three maxed-out credit cards. It's a sad fact that, when we were young (by which I mean a year ago and before), we had an emergency or two, and then proceeded to treat our credit cards like free money on our honeymoon. In case you haven't guessed, this is a stupid, stupid idea, and will land you at the mercy of the Card Services department of whatever institution is issuing you a line of credit. They are generally nice people, I've found, but I still really don't want to talk to them.
However, about six months ago, I discovered the Dave Ramsey plan. I knew the plan wouldn't work for us in it's original form, given that we were living, literally, right at our means. There was zero extra money, and the Dave Ramsey plan really needs a tiny bit of extra money to get it going. However, tax season was looming, and, with me paying estimated taxes and the fact that tax law has really never been nicer to poor folk like us, I knew we could expect a good chunk of change, which would serve as the catalyst for The Great Debt Payoff.
Happily, I was right. We were able to pay my parents all but $500 that we owed them, and they were gracious enough to cancel the rest. With the extra money that would have once gone toward paying my parents, we payed off our smallest credit card and closed the account (I, for the record, do not care that closing a card hurts your credit. There's very little that could damage my credit and make it worse than it already is). The next card is relatively small as well, under $1000. We should have it paid off within the next three months. Following that, we move on to our biggest debt, a maxed-out BoA MasterCard that has been looming over us since our honeymoon. It's due to be paid in full by next May.
We are far from out of the woods, and I sincerely doubt that anyone will extend us credit for the next seven years, but I am taking comfort in the fact that we did something about our debt before we were buried beneath it, and that there is an end in sight.
The moral of this story, kids, is that credit cards are great for building up credit, which in turn is great for buying things like houses and cars. However, it's easy-peasy to see the plastic as free cash and just start throwing it around. Don't.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I just got a text from Library Elf (which if you don't have, you should get. There's nothing like a text message in the middle of the day letting you know your book is available.) Telling me that Forever Odd is due back.

Forever Odd is an audiobook. Meaning that my "reading" time is limited to my 20 minute commute (total, not each way) to and from work each day and a 45 minute commute to and from school three times a week. Audiobooks are not ideal for people in my driving situation. They're meant for people who do a lot of driving, which s a little pointless, because if I need to go anywhere that would facilitate me listening to an entire audiobook during my commute, I'm going to fly instead, thank you.

But I digress.

The point is that I am not finished with Forever Odd, and when I went to renew, I COULDN'T, because some person has put a request on it, with no thought to my convenience. Selfishness, that's what it is.

I suppose this means I need to find an excuse for extra driving today. I simply can't picture myself sitting in front of my television, listening to a CD on the XBOX. It doesn't feel right.

Harry Potter re-read: A finale

I shouldn't even say this, but, as always, possible, probable spoilers

There's little to say about Deathly Hallows. Actually, there's too much to say about Deathly Hallows, but it amounts to the same thing. The range of subject matter and emotion could, with a lesser author, make a book terribly convoluted, where this one, while complex, never leaves you with a sense of "wait...what?". Except in the good way that JK Rowling is so good at.

The romance is beautiful, the death truly heartbreaking, and the triumph exhilarating. I close Deathly Hallows almost mournfully, saying goodbye to these amazing characters.

Whenever I finish the final Harry Potter book, I sit weepily for a few hours, lamenting over the fact that it isn't real. ho-hum.

PS: A lot of people hated the epilogue. I quite liked it. It gave closure.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Harry Potter re-read; an update

Spoilers. yup.

Half Blood Prince makes me weep. Big, fatty, mournful tears.
I'm not even sure what to say about this book, except that JK Rowling, beginning with the fifth book, took the series to a whole new level of epic. Suddenly it's not just a little boy with not so little issues. Now we're tackling the price of war, the fact that sometimes everything does NOT end up ok, and sometimes, it's not fair who lives and who dies.

Before discussing the big moments, though, how wonderful is the normalcy of school life? Harry still has to deal with difficulties on the Qudditch pitch, piles of homework and the madness of the inner workings of the female mind. Life does not stop moving simply because evryone is in mortal peril. It's so beautifully, perfectly, adolescently normal. Now, onto business.

Dumbledore's death makes me dissolve into tears every time I read it, because it just isn't fair. This book is our first look into Dumbledore as a real, fallible human being, rather than a mentor and benevolent patriarch. He has pain and suffering, he has a past, he makes mistakes, and this is our first chance to see that, and suddenly, he's gone. The sense of hopelessness at his death is awful. Through the entire series, we've gotten the feeling that Dumbledore is all that stood between Voldemort and the Wizarding world. With him gone, that protection ceases to exist. Plus, Rowling's descriptions of the grief each character feels is beautiful and painful at the same time...Hagrid, especially. This huge man, sobbing as though his heart has broken, is somehow more heartbreaking to me than any of the rest of it.

What I love about Rowling is how sympathetic she makes her villains. Voldemort is one of the most hateful, horrific villains ever created, and yet, in the reading of HBP, one finds themselves almost feeling sorry for him. What a terrible childhood, a terrible life. Malfoy, too. We never feel an ounce of sympathy for Malfoy until this book, when we find that, though he has chosen a master who knows nothing of love, Draco does not lack the ability to feel it and act on it himself, as he seeks to do exactly the wrong thing for precisely the right reasons. Murder is never acceptable, but what choice can he feel that he has when the threat of his parents death looms over him? Suddenly, this irrefutably obnoxious bully of a boy is the object of our anger, but also of our pity, and hopefully, of our empathy. What would we do in the same situation? I think Rowling's point is that very few people are truly evil. Mean, yes. Bullies, yes. Foul and terrible, yes, even that. But for the most, even beyond the prejudices and the cruelty, there lies a humanity and an ability for love and compassion, even if it is limited to one's own family.

Sigh. I always have to take a little while after this book before I read anything else...Deathly Hallows IS out in my car, though, and there's really no point wasting time...

Monday, March 8, 2010


My beloved Green Background is back, AND I have three columns. Happy Day.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go finish reading HP and the Order of the Phoenix.

How very rude of you to interrupt me at it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Excuse the Mess

I'm in the process of updating my blog look. Forgive the constant change of colors...and my attempts at three columns (coding...ugh)...and the fact that my background doesn't match my banner. It will all make sense someday.


On a side note, I'm not sure I like the blue, but they don't make the green in a three column format, and heaven knows I'm not about to attempt to code my own backgrounds.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Oh, JK Rowling...

There are major spoilers in this of the Harry Potter books. Maybe. There might be, so if you haven't read them, I don't recommend reading this. (ETA: Yea, major spoilers. Don't read it if you haven't read the books. Just don't)
Also, this isn't a review. It's just me babbling on about the book. I give all the Harry Potter books five stars, and of course you should read them. Duh.

Now, to business

I just finished Goblet of Fire, and, after wiping away the tears that Dumbledore's end of the year toast to Cedric Diggory tend to bring, I looked back on the book and realized, again, why GoF is one of my favorites of the series (next to Deathly Hallows).

For one thing, who wasn't completely fooled by the whole Mad-Eye Moody thing? When Voldemort is going on and on about his faithful servant stationed at Hogwarts, you're thinking, the whole time "Snape! He HAS been bad, this whole time! I knew it!!" But then it turns out that it was really Barty Crouch Jr, masquerading as Moody, and your mind has been blown, Potter-style.

Also, S.P.E.W. You have to love how beautifully fair-minded Hermione is, and how dedicated to her cause. I also love that this has almost nothing to do with the actual storyline, but it gives this amazing sense of reality to the whole thing, in a "See? He isn't always saving the world! Sometimes he's stealing food from the school kitchens!". Brings the whole thing back down to earth a little, and gives you a good giggle over the ridiculousness of the whole thing.

And Rita Skeeter. What a fantastic character. Not as hateable as Umbridge, or as terrifying as Voldemort. She isn't evil, but you certainly want to give her a good slap. Her whole story is great. For one thing, I didn't even notice the Beetle references the first time I read the book. They are so small, I don't know if anyone did, and so, of course, when Hermione randomly slams her hand down in the Hospital wing, she just seems like she's a bit crazy. For another, this whole storyline, other than setting up plot points in Order of the Phoenix, of course, shows off another aspect of Hermione's personality. After seeing how very capable of revenge she is, I don't know that I would ever want to get in her way...ever. Hermione really comes into her own in this book, and, as she is one of my very favoritest characters, I love it so very much.

The adolescent awkwardness of this book is absolutely delicious, and the beginning buds of the Ron/Hermione relationship are so entertaining to watch as they struggle to blossom.

I leave you today with one of Dumbledore's greatest speeches:

"We can fight (Voldemort) only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open. Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory"

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A - Z New Authors

For those of you who pay attention to my sidebars (though I don't know why you would.), you may have noticed the new list labeled A - Z new authors in 2010. As if reading 100 books in 2010 and participating in the Nest Book Challenges wasn't enough, I've decided that at least 26 of my books need to be new authors. I'm allowing three of them to be authors I read for the first time this year, but before I started the challenge.


1. Authors must be new to me, meaning I have never read any of their work before.
2. Pen names and audiobooks are acceptable.

Q should be interesting...As should Z

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Lent Update

Paul and I are terrible at the Love Dare. We need a rethink.

As it turns out, though, we are pretty good at Lent. Neither of us has touched our respective "give-ups" since Lent began, which was 16 days ago.


Do you know that in Lent, Sundays DON'T COUNT?! They don't! Sundays are traditionally feast days, so they aren't counted in with the 40 days of Lent, which means that, really, I am giving up Facebook for 47 days, rather than 40. I feel a bit cheated.

I hope Jesus is satisfied with what he's done, that's all I can say.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Loveable, Furry, Old Grover

This was one of my favorite books as a child, and one that I credit (no lie) with making me love reading as much as I do. One of my best childhood memories i my mother reading this to me, and barely being able to get through the book because I was laughing so hard.

It is a very sweet and hysterical little story about facing your fears, and I love love love love it.

I am, however, a little embarrassed to admit that I checked it out from the library yesterday and read it aloud to my husband on the way home.

Oh, and while I was checking it out, I asked my husband "And do you know who the monster at the end of the book is?!" His response was "You?"

Thanks honey. For the record, it's Grover. Duh. My librarian, the one who knows my name, thought it was the funniest thing she'd ever heard and then told me I need to work at the library because she loves me. If only, if only, I say.

It's not a total loss, though, because he DID laugh when I read it to him. More at me than the book, I think.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Harry Potter Re-read (minor spoilers)

I am a self-proclaimed Harry Potter fanatic. I have frequented Mugglenet, read fanfiction, written fanfiction, predicted plot points and loopholes, shipped for Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione, attended Midnight premiers, and bemoaned omissions in movie adaptations. Now that all seven books are released and I have had time to heal from the heartbreak brought on by the end of the series, I am doing a reread. This, of course, means that all my other reading projects are on hold, since I feel that I can do the series the most justice by reading it strait through.

It's interesting, the things one notices when rereading the series. For instance, in Sorcerers Stone, for the first half of the book, one would think this was just going to be a happy story about a young wizard and his jaunts through a new world. While Voldemort is mentioned in passing in the beginning, he isn't introduced as a current threat until halfway through the book, when Harry serves detention in the Fobidden Forest. Another presence that is surprisingly absent is Malfoy. We don't run into him much in the first book, it's just known that he is a terrible little boy who wants a good beating.

Chamber of Secrets gives us our first clue, briefly, in passing, almost unnoticed, to the secrets we don't discover until books six and seven, when Dumbledore is asked "Who is opening the Chamber of Secrets?" and he answers "Not who. The question is how" To one who knows how the story ends, it is as if we see Dumbledore's wheels begin to turn and watch him realize that this threat is greater than he imagined.

I am picking up the third book at the library today. My original copies were all first editions, and, sadly, were read, literally, to pieces. Prisoner of Azkaban, which my sister still has, has to be read in two separate pieces, as the middle has fallen out. It is common, when reading that particular copy, to have to keep a pile of loose pages next to you, in order to search through them each time you encounter a missing bit of dialogue.

Hopefully I'll remember to post my observations as I work my way through the series. Stay tuned.