Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bad Blogger

I am so sorry, my adoring public (all nine of you.) I have been a terrible blogger and have forgotten to update recently. It's been busy.

Paul went to E3 last week, leaving me home alone and super jealous that he was gallivanting around LA while I am stuck here in the Not-So-Deep South. In addition to meeting someone named "Starkiller" (I'm not sure who this is, but every time Paul relates the encounter, every man within 100 yards suddenly has their heart ripped out), he ran into this guy:
I know. I'm super jealous. I told him not to come home. He almost didn't, either. If United Airlines had their way, he'd still be in Chicago, sleeping on an airport bench.

But he's home now. HUZZAH

My birthday was this weekend, forever proving to me that I have super awesome friends.

I'm building a bookshelf that I will tell you all about as soon as I finish it.

And I saw Toy Story 3 last night. Totally worth the 11 year wait. Brilliant.

Monday, June 14, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Graceling

I finished Graceling, by Kristin Cashore this week. I'm really enjoying what's happening in the Young Adult Genre recently. Stories in that area are becoming more imaginative and adventurous. It's refreshing.
So. Graceling. My husband bought it for me for my birthday this year, and I powered through it in about a day and a half (If one thing can be said for the young adult sector, its that the books are easy to get through).

In 10 words or less, the world in the book is populated by normal people (the ungraced), and a handful of "Graced", or people who are distinguished by a special gift. Katsa, our main character, is a Graced fighter, with speed, skill and stamina to spare. She and Po, the male lead, travel together to discover the mystery behind the kidnap of Po's grandfather. On the journey, they discover a terrible secret about a neighboring king and set out to rescue his young daughter from his treachery.

The story has many great points. It's a story of bravery, friendship, love, and discovering the fact that, even when you feel trapped by circumstance, you have choices. The characters were crafted beautifully, with all the shortcomings that make a good character seem real and human. It had all the ingredients of a great story.

Then I met Katsa. Don't get me wrong. Our female protagonist is strong and brave and wants, more than anything, to fight for what is right in the world.


Katsa drove me to distraction, she did. I have little patience for protagonists who will insist that they need NO ONE's help, that they are not DESERVING, they are not WORTH it. Obnoxious is what it is. Also that she has decided that she will never marry, so she and her love interest decide that the obvious solution is to simply be each others lover. That way, there is no commitment, but they can be....intimate. I'm sorry, but really? Maybe I'm a prude or old-fashioned, or whatever, but that seems like a shady message to be putting in a book aimed at teenagers. A sequel is coming out, though, so maybe she'll change her mind.

It's a decent read, but I recommend checking it out from the library rather than purchasing.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Well, I'm not married to it, but it will work. And it had better. I have never had so much trouble updating blogger, ever.

Everytime I tried to update the new template, I would, of course, go into my blog, delete the HTML that was my old background, then put in the new template. When I would preview, it would look lovely (except for the fact that my darn blog name is too long. curses). When I would save, my old background would magically paste itself back, and I would have an odd purple/grey/yellow/pink with birds thing going on. Quite disconcerting.

It took six tries, but now the template is in place, no random backgrounds are tring to insert themselves, and I am happy.

I may need to rename the blog. I hope this won't upset anyone terribly.

It's too long, you see.


I am a blog schizophrenic. I never can seem to commit to one layout. I do love my yellow and pink with my little birdies, but then I saw the layout over at Wife on a Budget and had total blog envy. Then I saw the button for the place she got her template.

Then I saw the word FREE

Thus, new look. Coming soon. Will it last? Couldn't tell ya.



I do love a good memoir. Unfortunately for any memoir, I measure them against the writings of Frank McCourt, which makes for a rather unfair standard. Frank McCourt is amazing. Really amazing. For a memoir, being compared to Frank McCourt is like being told to paint a picture with the knowledge that you will be compared against Renoir. It's really just not fair. But have you read his books? He mixes tragedy and comedy so perfectly. I have found myself laughing and crying AT THE SAME TIME while reading his books. If you haven't read them, I highly recommend each one. They truly are phenomenal.

Anyway, the point is that I am currently splitting my time between two memoirs (and The Book Thief. It's an obnoxious little bugger, always begging for attention, but I don't want to hurt its feelings), one by Kristin Chenowith and the other by Ellen Degeneres. I'm enjoying them both (sort of), but am having varying amounts of success getting through them. Ms. Chenowith's is cute and breezy, like her, but I'm finding a hard time really caring. It just isn't as engaging as I might like. I read it because she is a goddess on Broadway and because I someday plan to steal her vocal cords for my own. Ellen Degeneres's book is side-splittingly funny, but is written as a string of essays, rather than as a narrative, which I always find a bit unnerving. I get emotionally involved in a story, and suddenly it changes, and we never get any resolution. What on earth is a girl to do?

Oh dear, I seem to have never come to the point. I'm not entirely sure I had one in the first place.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I knew this was going to happen.

The year started off great. I was reading a book every few days, actually internalizing almost everything, getting emotionally involved in everything I read (Except Multiple Blessings. I'm almost positive that Kate Gosselin is an automaton)

And yet, here we are. I have been slowing down in my reading since April, and I haven't been able to read anything since "It Sucked, and the I Cried". Incidentally, this isn't like when I read Harry Potter and then take a reading fast for two weeks. That has everything to do with being mentally exhausted and grief-stricken. This has to do with being in a rut. I shouldn't be in a rut, you know. School is over, summer is here, Glee and The Big Bang Theory are both wrapping up seasons, leaving my weeknights wide open. I do have Lost on my XBOX, but, really, how addicting can it possibly be? The point is, I want to read. I love to read. I just can't find anything that is hooking me in.

I tried "Running with Scissors". Not happening for me. At all. I hated the first 10 pages, pushed through to 50, and decided life is too short to read books I clearly hate.

Then David Sedaris's "Me Talk Pretty Someday". It came highly recommended, but reads like someone telling a story you don't really want to hear. What's worse is that everyone but you thinks the story is fantastic, and you're left wondering if its you or the world who has the problem.

The the first book of the Pendragon Cycle, "Merchant of Death". Promising, but as much as I love Young Adult fantasy, even I need a break now and again.

So, here we are. Me and "The Book Thief". Young Adult. Fiction. World War II.

Sounds like a possible winner. But it's sitting in the other room, and I'm talking to you people. I'm avoiding it. Like that kid in high school who was a tiny bit creepy and wanted to take you to homecoming. You know he's there, you would just rather he didn't look at you and breath all heavy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

30 BEFORE 30: Domestic Mission Trip

This past week, I was in Naples,FL. It isn't Italy by any means, but it does, allegedly, have more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world. I have a hard time believing this fun fact, but, really, who am I to judge where millionaires decide to live?

Many people I told about the trip expressed confusion over my decision to go to a Floridian city to spread the gospel of Christ. After all, Florida is part of the Bible Belt, and, if you spend any amount of time in Jacksonville, you'll notice that there are as many choices of church here as there are condiments at Subway. The interesting (I suppose) thing about Florida, though, is that, somewhere around "South of Orlando", it ceases being a southern state and turns into an extension of the northeast corner of the United States, meaning that it is surprisingly unchurched.

So, off we went. I arrived four days late to the party, but managed to be in on most of the ministry that went on.

Thursday: No ministry, just a relaxing evening of turning the surprisingly large bathtub of our vacation-rental-master-suite into a Jacuzzi. Three of us managed to fit, and I'm pretty sure the bubbles were made out of hand soap and shampoo.

Friday: While Gem and I sang Jesus Loves Me on the radio (I still hold that we were completely set up), Trip Vince and his crew gave out snowcones to local kids. I'm still a bit dubious of the message this sends to children. We spend an awful lot of time drilling into them never to take candy from strangers only to then use sweets as a ministry tool. I was amazed that no helicopter parent swooped down to ask why a man dressed as a Creamcicle was giving their child sugar-topped ice.
We ended that day by taking lunch to some local firefighters and chit-chatting with them about the various aspects of firefighter-dom. Turns out they're pretty cool kids. And they are happy to pile all their gear onto tiny Asian girls. I'm not Asian, incidentally, but my friend Gem is, and really, how cute is she? If my house burns down, that's totally who I want coming to my rescue.

Saturday: Whistler's Cove! We set up shop near the pool of a local apartment complex and enticed the local children to join us with promises of games and candy. It was a fantastic success, full of face-painting, games, crafts, and balloon animals. We managed to share two Bible stories with the local kiddos, one about the Good Samaritan, and the other that was more a conglomeration of several stories. I think it was supposed to be the one where Jesus provides Peter with an enormous catch of fish, but, really, with as much time as Jesus spent on boats, it could have been anything.

Sunday: Church and the drive home. I'm almost positive that, at some point during the week, there was also trip to Cracker Barrel and a Game Night involving questionable hand motions representing Gene Simmons, but, to be honest, I was too exhausted to stock it away in memory. The week resulted in at least one family that is now bringing their children to church, several firefighters who know that the church appreciates their work even if it means they can't make it to church on Sundays, and a community that is beginning to realize that the church cares for more then their tithe.