Sunday, August 24, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
I have read more books while I have been not blogging. Here is a quick rundown:
The Ungarnished Truth, by Ellie Matthews: A funner idea than the book really was. I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as Julie and Julia.
Remember Me, by Sophie Kinsella: Not as good as her Shopaholic books, but still fun. I enjoyed it, but wish I had the paperback instead of the hardback, as I would like to list it on paperbackswap.com.
baby proof, by Emily Griffith: I think I enjoyed this book more than any other in this list, except the Paris book. Funny, but not too, and gave me something to think about, as well.
The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy, by Robert LeLeux: Why is it that because I find David Sedaris absolutely hysterical that people automatically assume I enjoy reading books by all gay men? This book was OK, but just OK. I am sorry I paid full price for it.
A Town Like Paris, by Bryce Corbett: Although I didn't like his style of foreshadowing, and he tended to use certain phrases over and over, I loved this book. Loved his sense of adventure, marveled at his egotism, and fell in love with Paris again myself. In discussing this choice of words with my husband, I do not mean to imply that Mr. Corbett's egotism is a bad thing; in fact, I was happy to be along for the ride. I knew someone (while I myself was a temporary ex-pat) just like Mr. Corbett, although, to my knowledge, he is still searching for his showgirl. I laughed out loud at this book, and am loathe to put it into paperbackswap.com.
A Prisoner of Birth, by Jeffrey Archer: Couldn't put this book down, although it was a formula book. I have always loved Archer, since I read his short story about Mary and Joseph looking for a room at the inn before the birth of their/her baby. I didn't care so much for The Eleventh Commandment, and this one was much better.
The Machiavelli Covenant, by Allan Folsom (audiobook): I enjoyed this well enough, but thought the withcraft angle was a little forced. The rest of it was good, and the pacing kept me listening intently.
Pure Drivel, by Steve Martin (audiobook): You know he's a favorite of mine, and this one is an oldie, but still funny.
In case I haven't discussed www.paperbackswap.com, please let me tell you about it. This is set up so that you list paperback books that you have read. Every time someone sees one of your books that they want, they request it. You send it to them at no charge, and when they receive it, you receive a credit. You spend your credits to buy books. There is no charge; everyone pays postage to mail books (at media rate, of course). It is a great idea, and I have used it a LOT. I got all the books that my daughter had to have for her HS Junior English classes, which saved me about $45.00. Love a deal! Check it out.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
In the 5 years since Roy Williams left Kansas, I have felt honor-bound to defend his decision to leave. I don't profess to know Coach Williams. I do know that if Dean Smith recommended him, then he is a credit to our program in Chapel Hill. Coach Williams seems to be carrying on the "Carolina Tradition" as if Coach Smith left the notes on how to do so in a drawer in the basketball office. When he was here in Kansas, I was glad to hear Roy talk--it reminded me of home. I am more glad to see him in Chapel Hill--kind of a feeling of "all's right with the world."
I went to San Antonio this past weekend for the Final Four with my best friend. She of the Jayhawk variety. My husband couldn't get out of some work things, and she could, so we went. We discussed even before we had an idea to go whether our friendship would survive this game. You see, she was a "Roy-Hater". Felt like he lied, led them down a rosy path only to strand them. I never understood--she likes Coach Self. She just hates Roy Williams. Unreasonably. Through her hatred, she has taught all of those around her a little about herself. (Her husband, God bless his heart, learned that there would never, never be an amicable divorce, should a separation ever be in their future, and that he really should treat her a little more respectfully!) We not only have not spoken about Roy in 5 years, we haven't even watched a basketball game together. It has been difficult. Basketball was the only thing we could not talk about.
I brought magazines for the 9-hour trip home, imagining a world where we could be trapped in the car not speaking except to beg for a pitstop, which she may or may not grant. So in the car on the way down, we finally talked about basketball. And Roy. Even before we left Wichita, after searching her heart, she decided that hating him was not the best option, and she even broke down and said that, if the Heels won, she would buy a shirt and wear it Monday night. I told her I would buy that shirt.
Well, we all know what happened. My Heels played as badly as they have played in a long, long, time. My friend made an interesting observation: While they were up 28 points in the first half, she wondered how the Hawks would lose--I wondered when the Heels would make their run and win. Kind of the difference in the Hawks and Heels in a nutshell.
So for Monday's game, Roy was shown on TV wearing a Jayhawk sticker. To hear some Tar Heels talk, you would think that the man had a little Dean Smith voodoo doll with a noose around his neck, hanging him in effigy once again. On the message boards, Roy was denounced by his own people. I am so very,very tired of defending Roy Williams to people who don't know him. I don't know him, and he doesn't ask for me to defend him. He doesn't need me to defend him. He just seems like a nice man, and I can't stand to hear people who don't know him hating him, or criticizing his actions. Not his coaching--we all love to second-guess a coach. Should he have called a time-out in the first half? If he has done his job (and his record this year says that he has not only done it, he has done it very, very well), those kids know what to do. This is a discussion of his coaching, not his character. Shooting him down for wearing a Jayhawk on his shirt? That is assassinating his character. Who are we to do that?
So here's my take: Roy came back to Carolina because (among anything else that is personal to him) he is loyal. Why do we hold that against him when he is loyal to another team? Do we not agree that his character is such that he could not coach his best against that same team? I know that I do. Good teams have bad games. Our bad game came at the worst possible time. As much as a coach says "my bad", it isn't his bad--the bad belongs to every player, every manager, every coach, even every fan. It just wasn't going to happen that night. It will happen again. And again. And again. The good and the bad.
Our friendship survived. The program lives on.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Here I am, finished with the Challenge. I have really enjoyed doing the challenge posts, even though sometimes I felt like I was rushing through them because I got behind. I have remembered some things that I hadn't remembered for a while, like the beech tree in my grandma's yard, and I have stretched some boundaries that I wouldn't have pushed unless challenged. Thank you, Barb!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
This is a book my mother gave me--I don't know where she found it. I have always been the reader in my family--thanks to my Grananny Phillips. (Her name was Nannie, and so we always called her Grananny, instead of Gramma or Granny.) Anyway, Grananny gave me a book for Christmas when I was in 3rd grade; the third Nancy Drew book. I was so disappointed that I didn't get a toy. So I sat down and started my book (my cousins wouldn't let me play with their new toys). A couple hours later, I was nearly
done with the book and ready for new ones. I haven't stopped reading since. I even majored in English, which nearly killed me from reading, but now I read almost strictly for pleasure. Anyway, back to this book: This is an autographed Mark Twain. The book is "The $30,000.00 Bequest and Other Stories." It isn't worth much because the book is in bad shape, and Twain tended to sell his autograph toward the end of his life to stave off bankruptcy. But it is neat to have this. I also have an autographed Dom DeLuise children's book, and several autographed Julia Child cookbooks. All in all, though, I would rather talk to the authors than just have their signatures.
I don't watch this anymore because I don't have time, but I used to watch it enought that all my kids would say "Mom, you should go on Jeopardy!" Of course, I never did, but it is fun to say "I could do that" and know that you might be able to.
This isn't a wall hanging, per se, but it is hanging in my house. This is a stained glass I had made by a wonderful artist in my neighborhood, Roger Mathews. There are tiles on my fireplace hearth, and I took a picture of the tile in to Roger and told him that I wanted a stained glass window to go into a mission-style house. He copied the tulips exactly, and filled in the rest of the window with blocks. I have one hanging over each of the windows on the sides of my fireplace, and I love the way my room looks.
I have no Easter photo from this year, yet. I attempted an Easter photo this year. The kids played with my camera (a big no-no) and set it to film rather than photo, and so my photo is a film that won't download. Of course, this year it was too cold to stay outside for a photo, and inside was too crowded with all the aunts and uncles and cousins, so until the film comes back, I have no photos.
This is a photo of the grandchildren from last Easter. My kids are lucky they have cousins on their father's side. My sister's children have no cousins other than my kids (15oo miles away) and one cousin that lives in California (3000 miles away). I think that is sad. I learned a lot being forced to do things with my cousins--people that you may have liked OK, but really had not choice about spending time with them. It teaches you a lot about getting along with people. I learned to get along with bullies; I learned how to spend time with adults because you didn't want to be with the kids; I learned that both very pleasant and very unpleasant times will end soon enough. I learned that you don't have to love someone to miss them, and that family is important even if you don't always get along. You don't necessarily learn this from siblings. I think cousins are important in the scheme of things.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Thank you, Mr. Smith.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Anyway, I really did love World Without End--it did get a little soap-operatic at the end, but I still loved it. I wish there were men like Merthin, however, it is a work of fiction!
Sunday, March 2, 2008
I have read books, however. About 7 of them. I still have 3 Saint books to read and make tests for (can you see that my steam for that task gave out a long, long time ago?!), and I am in the middle of the last book I brought, World Without End, by Ken Follett. I have read all of his books, and this one is up in the top 2-3 of his works. I am really enjoying it.
The book that I have finished that I really, really liked is Dough, by Mort Zachter. I loved reading the story, but I also loved how honest he was about reconciling his feelings of love and fondness for his uncles with the anger he felt after learning their secret. I would recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys memoirs.
Finally, I am back in TarHeel country, and finally go the chance to see my Heels in the DeanDome (it was built after I left, and I have attended concerts there, but never seen the team play). My friend with the connections, Moneypenny (yes, her real name), called with the great news. Could there be a downside? Of course there is, in my world! The tickets are for the day I leave, at 3:39 in the afternoon! Maybe next time.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
I am in North Carolina right now. My sister came through surgery well, and I am spending a couple weeks with her while she recuperates. Some fun, but not a lot. She is doing well, and I am glad that she is taking it as easy as she is. That is difficult for her.
dook has lost twice since beating my Heels, and I am happy since those bruised and battered Heels are winning still. (Take that, rat bastard!)
More books read, especially in airports, etc., and posted in the box on the side. Yay Me!
All IS right in the world. People I love, games to play. . . Yeah, life is good.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
So, on the other things. For a few months, the Carolina-dook game has been on my calendar, me waiting with eager anticipation. But something came up: my sister is having bypass surgery tomorrow. Suddenly, the game isn't the biggest thing anymore.
Then, I feel a little guilty, because it is still a big deal to me. Very, very few people get this about me, but Carolina Basketball is part of who I am. I won't equate the season with my family (sister, parents, husband, or my kids), but, dang, is it close. I know I shouldn't, but I still care a great deal about the outcome of that game. If something happens bad in NC, then the importance of the game will recede, I am sure. If I was asked to, I would miss this game. But the thing is, I would remember that I was missing it. Does this make me abnormal?
So, the title of this post is Worry, Concern, and Letting Go. I have never worried about things in my entire life. If you have control, and it needs changing, then change it. If you don't have control, then you get concerned, but that is all--you can't fix anything, so why worry? Concern is different--you care, and you anticipate an outcome, and you pick up pieces when you have to, but worry? Nah. Now, I am in the middle of a situation over which I have no control, I am concerned, but it is completely someone else's to deal with (my son's). I have to let this go, but I am still very, very concerned about the direction of his life. But I have to let this go: it isn't mine, I can't own it, and I can't fix it. Letting go is so hard.
So, Go Surgeons! Go Jaymi! Go Sam!
Go Heels! Beat dook!
Saturday, February 2, 2008
The inside jacket notes make this book sound as if it is going to be a sort of Stephanie Plum novel, light, fun, and sexy. It isn't any of these things.
But I won't let any of this detract from the novel. It was a good story, although it seemed as though the writer was trying a little to hard to make her words sound pretty. Still and all, a good book.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Digging to America was good--I liked it better than I thought I would, but I think Ms. Tyler is falling into a formula pattern, which saddens me. I thought that Saint Maybe was/is one of the best stories, I have ever read, and maybe it is that nothing else she writes stacks up, while coming close often. The body of Digging to America is rich, and I love the character development, and I felt bad when bad things happened to anyone in the book. But I hated the ending. I know that comparing a writier to Shakespeare is generally considered a compliment, but he did have a problem with endings. Ms. Tyler does the same--as if to say "I know how I want this to end, but I am tired a writing." All said, it was satisfying, and I would recommend it to friends, but still think that Saint Maybe is her best work.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love Steve Martin: I love his humor, I love his sense of privacy, I love (most) of his artwork, I love his novellas, and I would love to see his plays, should one ever play close to where I am. So his "biography of someone he used to be" was a no-brainer. It took me just a few hours to read, and I loved it and wished it had lasted longer. Mr. Martin is on my cliched list of "10 Famous People You Would Invite to Dinner," and besides my husband, he is the only one that is still living. The apparent ease with which he strings words together are magical for me, and I wish that I could write like he does. I love that I feel as if I know him better, while he really didn't reveal much of his personal life in his book at all. I appreciate that; I didn't want to read a tell-all, or a defense of his life of his work. I loved it, and I eagerly wait for his next writing. I would love to see another original movie (please stop with the Father of the Bride and Cheaper by the Dozen!).
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thank you for such a relaxing, comfortable book.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Why are people building more houses, when old houses, beautiful houses, are sitting vacant? Why isn't there a tax relief plan for people to renovate these houses?
So if this is the case, how does saving and doing with less affect the economy? Really, household economics is fairly easy: You make so much money, and you live within those parameters. If you don't you declare bankruptcy.
How much of our money goes into the great gulf of nothingness? Interest payments on mortgages and credit cards, insurance, entertainment--the list could grow a lot here. I am not saying that we don't need these things (well, insurance is a scam, but that is a different rant!), but look at how much money is poured into this abyss.
I guess my basic question is: When is enough enough? If we have enough, why do we (as a country or a culture) continue to spend? Why is the stress put on spending, rather than saving both money and things? I hate the disposable society.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
1. The Manny (Holly Peterson) - simply OK. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but if someone asked me, I would tell them it was just OK. Not a complete waste of time, but close.
2. The Overlook (Michael Connelly) -- I usually like Connelly's Harry Bosch books, but this is probably my least favorite. It didn't feel finished, and I didn't get to understand any more about the character. It just seemed like Connelly wanted to get in on the terrorist novel angle before it went away. A big disappointment, because I like the others so well.
I have a stack of books on my night table now, and in a couple weeks, I will have a couple more titles to share.
Where can I keep a list?
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
I just finished a book: Father Kino, Priest to the Pimas. I promised the school librarian that I would read this whole stack of easy Saint books in order to write A(ccelerated) R(eading) tests on them for the kids to take and earn points. So here is one read; one test completed.
I really despise books written for children that are poorly written. I swear, I could write these so much better, but I hate the do the research involved!