Friday, October 27, 2006

I've Lost Control

Costco is a black hole. It will suck you in and spit you out dry, especially their book section. If you've never shopped there before, I warn you not to go on payday. I've given you fair warning!

I've purchased an exorbitant number of books over the past few months from all venues (i.e. online, school bookstore, Barnes and Noble, etc.).
Booksobuyase overload. I thought I'd share some of my purchases:

The Ghost at the Table
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
A Peach of a Murder: A Fresh Baked-Mystery
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Baker Towers
The Hudson Series
Alias Grace
The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories
Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities
The Apple: New Crimson Petal Stories
The Bookshop
Something Wicked This Way Comes
The Devil and Miss Prym: A Novel of Temptation
Fahrenheit 451
Girls in Peril
The Myth of You and Me
The Tortilla Curtain
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (New Hardcover Edition)
If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News From Small-Town Alaska
How To Prepare for the Nursing School Entrance Exams
Black Swan Green
The Secret River
The Emperor's Children
Lisey's Story
Carry Me Down
The Woman in White (Modern Library Classics)
Crow Lake
Too Beautiful For You: A Novel
The Founding
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Fables Vol. 1 - Legends in Exile
The Historian
Looking For Alaska
A Gracious Plenty
The Mermaid Chair
Frida: A Biography Of Frida Kahlo
The Screwtape Letters
Charlotte Temple
Life and Death of Harriet Frean
Butterfield 8
The Red and The Black
Private Entrance
The Tea Rose
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Hotel Paradise
The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop
Class Mothers
The Beach House
A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons
Our Inner Ape
The Dancing Girls of Lehore: Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan's Pleasure District
Murder of Bindy Mackenzie
The Goose Girl
New Moon
How I Live Now
Purple Hibiscus

And this touches on just a smidgen of what I've purchased, which includes a slew of graphic novels and manga whose titles I can't remember. I have three more bags and two bins (of new books) waiting to be looked through. And yes, those bags are so full that they keep falling over. BTW -
The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories has illustrations in it (and the cover is really nice). I'm a sucker for illustrated novels. Of course, I have yet to finish Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell, but I have absolutely loved what I have read so far. I'm actually half-way through, so I just need a couple of free days (an exam-free week) to buckle down and finish it.

Now please excuse me while I stick my head in the toilet bowl and flush until I drown.

Updating Links

I've begun the tedious process of updating my links. This means trying to remember all of the blogs that I adore but forgot to link.

If you would like me to add your blog to my blogroll, or would like it removed, please contact me either via e-mail at or post a comment below.


Ami McKay Book News

As you all may already know, I cannot praise The Birth House enough. Kailana was sweet enough to post comments about Ami McKay's upcoming new book. Yep - she's working on a new novel! Apparently, it's titled The Virgin's Cure. Hmmm....I wonder what she has in store for us?

Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh

Last weekend found me studying for a HUGE Anatomy & Physiology exam that I had the following Monday evening. In the midst of studying the anatomy and physiology of the heart and blood vessels, the lymphatic system, the immune system, and the respiratory system, I picked up Mrs. Kimble. This novel was so good that I finished it on Sunday afternoon, while reading 5 chapters of my text. It was that good!
First, I really love the cover. I also had a bookmark with ribbons and such that matched the colors of the front cover, which made it all the more appealing. Every time I had to close the book, I would admire how nice my bookmark looked. I showed it to my husband 5 times, so he got the hint. Yes, I am a dork.

When this novel was first released, I have to be honest and admit that the premise noted on the back cover did not appeal to me. The plot revolves around three women who marry the same man, how it affects their lives, and how they move forward with the decisions that they make. It sounded like a light read, so I decided it would be the perfect distraction during my studying. It came to be SO much more.

I highly recommend Mrs. Kimble. The version I have is the P.S. series edition, which has a helpful interview with the author at the end that sheds light on Ken Kimble. I have since added Baker Towers to my TBR tower.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I am truly honored!!

Imagine my surprise when upon perusing through Ami McKay's website for The Birth House, spotting an excerpt from my review linked there. Well, my jaw just about dropped to the office below mine. I printed it out so that I can pull it out and stare at it when I'm feeling down. I also offered to autograph it for my co-workers, but they didn't bite. Player haters!! heh heh :)

I also had a very well-known author contact me (Yay!!) but first I have to find out if it's okay for me to post about it. If not, then I will relish in my secret!

I hope everyone had a great day! I'm off to study for A&P, which includes a quiz, two essays, and an exam.

Also, stop by The Written World. Kailana posed a great question that is sure to make you all salivate!

By the way, if you haven't read The Birth House yet, please do so. It truly is fantastic!

The Departed

When The Departed was first released, I was not sure if I was going to enoy it. My husband finally convinced me to see it, particulary after my parents and sister raved about it. I am so glad that I saw it. I can honestly say that it was fantastic! And the beginning of the film was well-done.

The cast is rife with well known actors, including the one and only Mr. Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, and the scrumptious Leonardo DiCaprio. Prior to this film, I knew that Leo was a great actor, which I can attest to after watching the heart-wrenching film The Basketball Diaries years ago. But, I always thought of him as a boy-man. Well, boy-man no more - he's manly and quite lovely ;) My new crush ***blushing***

It's a Scorsese film so expect some violence, strong language, and controversial themes. I don't want to give anything away in regards to the plot as I do not like spoilers and I feel that should you choose to watch it, it's better to let the story unfold by surprise. I do want to add that the violence should not deter you from watching this incredible film. I left the theater with a severe tension headache. Later that night, my husband had a dream that he was part of the New Jersey mob. Plus, if this might influence you at all, People magazine gave the film four stars and stated that this is what a great movie is all about.

Now I'm off to fantasize about Leo....

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Currently Reading

Since so many books I want to read reference Jane Eyre (i.e. The Eyre Affair and The Thirteenth Tale, to name a few), I thought it would be a good idea to read this classic first. I thought I had read this when I much much younger, but I might have confused it with Daddy Long Legs. It is pretty good so far but it's taking me a long time to finish it, which is driving me mad. I keep glancing over at all my TBR books...

Moving Forward....

I want to thank you all sooo much for all your kind words. You don't know how much they meant, and still mean, to me. I actually reread your comments several times and they did put a smile on my face because of the sincerity and overall compassion in your words.

It wasn't easy but I believe that I got through it. It was extremely difficult because it happened when my husband was away on business. I went through all the phases - denial, anger, sadness, bitterness, and now, peace. I have a strong faith in God and I believe that when the time is right, it will happen. And Joy, your comment did give me hope - thank you!! :)

Like Maggie noted, it happened for a reason. I truly do believe that. And I will take this time to better myself so that when it does happen, my body will be ready. Besides, the practice isn't so bad ;) heh heh

Thursday, September 28, 2006

My Heart Hurts

Having a miscarriage can break your heart, your broke mine

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Birthday Birthday Birthday

So this past Saturday, 9/16, was my 28th birthday. All I could think about was, Holy Cow, I am TWO years away from the big 3-0. I used to believe that I would not live to see the age of 30, so I guess I better start living life right now!! Yes, I know, how dramatic...

After spending half the day completing some homework and other studies, I got dressed up and headed out with my husband. He decided that he would take me wherever I wanted, so you can only guess where that might have been!

First, we had a late lunch at Benihana's, a great sushi spot. I had the Shrimp Lover's Roll with extra eel sauce (which is delicious) and a Rainbow Roll.

Next stop, Barnes and Noble in Kierland Commons, which I frequent often and is really very nice. Now, my husband hates taking me to Barnes and Noble because: 1. I spend money that I do not have and then proceed to ask him for money when suddenly, to my amazement, my account is negative and banks are such a rip-off!; and 2. I tell him I am ONLY going to take 10 minutes and then miraculously stretch that to an hour and then proceed to blame the slow or understaffed cashiers. After depositing him into one of their truly scrumptious armchairs, I proceeded to browse at my leisure. Now I must stop and tell you about these chairs. My Mom brags about them; so do my sister and Dad. When I finally sat in one, I understood why they loved them so much. You just sink into them, and not in an uncomfortable, please-help-me-out-of-this-chair sort of way. Apparently, they're very popular and you can always catch someone there just for a nap. Which is what happened to my husband. He grabbed a couple of architecture/interior design books and found that he had knocked out for a while; when I finally came back to him, his face was all red and confused :) As usual, I piled my arms with all the books that captured my interest so that I could sit with them and make my pick. After pulling up a seat next to the hubby, he put out his hand to me, which I assumed meant that he would hold them for me as I perused through them. In actuality, his intention was for me to pile as many books as his hand could hold up and that would be my purchase. Hel-lo!! If I had known this was going to happen, then I would've grab a basket and loaded it!!! LOL! My purchases were as follows:

The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox (looking forward to this one)
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (loved the movie!!)
Gossip Girl #10 by Cecily Von Ziegesar (yep, not ashamed of this either!)
A Year By The Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson
She's Turning Into One of Them: A For Better or For Worse Collection
Journal: The Short Life and Mysterious Death of Amy Zoe Mason Found by Kristine Atkison and Joyce Atkinson (this one is really cool! It's formatted to look and feel like you're reading a journal. The cover is even a bit squishy. According to the back cover, the journal is rife with secrets and the "storytelling relies equally on visual and verbal clues". Sort of satisfies the voyeur in me)

I also purchased two very lovely cards (one of a trendy girl outside of a bookstore), a bookmark, and butterfly stationary that was labeled as notelets. Plus, he had also ordered The Thirteenth Tale for me, which I received the day before my birthday.

Next stop was Entertaining the Idea of Tea, which is a beautiful little tea shop in Old Town Scottsdale. Every time I enter this store, I feel so quaint. I'm actually a clutz so I have to watch myself in this store. Purchases included a sugar cube picker upper (have no idea what it's really called), a really nice mug w/lid, tea, and biscuits (for the hungry hubby). Now I have to buy some sugar cubes so that I can feel like an official tea drinker (did you really think I had sugar cubes in my house?! lol)

Next stop was Harkin's Theaters, where I saw Little Miss Sunshine for the second time (my husband's first). VERY funny movie!!

Next stop was Earl's, located right near my home (I forgot to mention that my parents had taken me here to dinner the night before, after which we headed to a casino where I won some cash and then proceeded to lose it all - this is why I do not gamble, but like I stated above, I need to start living!)

All in all, it was a great birthday! I sniffed my books, played with my sugar cube thingy by picking up imaginary sugar cubes (hey, this here clutz needs to practice), didn't win the powerball, and relaxed a bit.

BTW - Nancy celebrated her birthday on 9/17 (yay Virgos!) with a huge bash. She also had awesome "gift bags" for those who attended her "party". I myself found a David Yurman watch and a burgundy croc Kelly bag from Hermes. Isn't she the best??!!

Brokeback Moutain

**Spoilers Ahead**Spoilers Ahead**Spoilers Ahead**Spoilers Ahead**Spoilers Ahead**Spoliers Ahead**

Last night I finally saw Brokeback Mountain. I cried - twice. I have the theme song playing in my head right now. This movie is not action-packed, nor is it an edge-of-your-seat kind of film. Rather, it is a film that allows you to become invested in the characters, to think about their feelings and imagine "what if?" What if I were Ennis or Jack, or one of their wives? What if the person that I thought I was was just a facade, masking a person that I never thought was possible?

I was surprised that Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) engaged with Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhal) as quick as he did. For some reason, I had a preconceived notion that it would be a long fight before he discovered that he desired Jack. I really felt bad for Jack Twist. He knew what he wanted and went for what he desired- and that was to be with Ennis. Ennis, on the other hand, was very rigid and pretty much shut down. This could be due to his parents dying early and his being left to make his way in the world alone. After their summer ends, I was also surprised that Ennis moved forward with his plans to get married to Alma (Michelle Williams). From the get-go, I could tell that Alma not only loved her husband but truly desired him, as well. Which is why I could truly feel her pain when she saw Ennis and Jack kissing. Seeing your husband kissing anyone other than yourself has got to be unbearably painful, which is why I didn't understand why she stood with Ennis for so long. Was it because she thought that it was a one-time thing? Or was it a matter of letting go of the man that you love? It would kill me if my husband cheated on me, but I would never stick it out. I could not go through the pain of not trusting him anymore. Even though she does divorce him and remarries, the scene where she finally confronts Ennis was long awaited. I really thought she was going to stab him (lol). I'm glad that she let it out and I could tell that she was still in so much pain.

Jack, on the other hand, was stuck with an asshole father-in-law (and boy, was I glad when he finally told him off). His wife, Lureen, makes a comment about husbands never dancing with their wives. This made me think that she probably suspected something was off but did not have any evidence. I can understand her character. How many of us has had suspicions about someone we cared about but were not sure how to handle it? What about if those suspicions were just paranoia on your part and then you ended up destroying everything you know. This is sort of how I view Lureen's situation.

Back to Jack and Ennis - I really wanted them to just settle down together. I was a bit upset, though, that they had an affair while being married. This was really not fair to their families. I don't condone affairs, so I did not think that their carrying on every summer was a good thing. Jack should have given his wife the opportunity to find someone who would both love and desire her - so essentially, he cheated her out of a life. Ennis' adultery cheated his wife out of a trusting relationship and made her bitter. It did break my heart when Ennis and Jack broke up. They had sacrificed so much just to let it dissipate into nothing.

I seriously broke down when Jack died. Even though I knew this was going to happen because someone spoiled it for me a while ago, hence my spoiler warning above, that brief clip of what happened to him was awful. Things like this happen all the time. How can you kill someone just because you don't like their lifestyle? This scene actually made me think of the Matthew Shepard case, who was killed because he was gay. An evil act that cut a young life short.

Of course, at the end of the movie, I could not stop crying. My husband just stared at me (he also hugged me, too). To me, the movie was much more than watching one of the first commercially-promoted gay love stories - it was the questioning of who were are and a sort of "what would you do?" scenario. It was also about the choices we make and how those decisions shape who we are. Ennis made the choice to let go and for that, he would suffer a lifetime. Alma made the choice to hold on and yet move on. Lureen immersed herself in work. And Jack just wanted to be.

Wow - this is a loo-oong post. But this movie made me think...a lot, as you can tell. The choices we make are critical and therefore we have to be careful when and how we make them. Choices are to be made, but consequences are forever.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Overload of Booksobuyase

I have a problem. I seem to have an overload of booksobuyase. What is booksobuyase, you say? Well, -ase refers to an enzyme. Enzymes are catalysts; more so, enzymes activate reactions. Books refer to, well, books. Ob refers to obsession. Buy (borrowing "b" from "ob") refers to buying, otherwise known as binges. So what I have is an overload of the enzyme that catalyzes the reaction known as "book-buying obsession". When you have too much of this enzyme in your system, you lose control of all common sense. You may find yourself obsessively "buying with 1-click" at Or making sure that an online order amounts to over $25 for free delivery and heck, why not add a couple of more books because you need them. Or you may wander into a bookstore, pile books in your arms, and then narrow down that pile to those which you cannot live without. Meanwhile, you were not even supposed to enter a bookstore. Why, you have over 300 books in your TBR pile so why on earth add more?! You may also find yourself handing over your cash/debit card/credit card and then looking away, amusing yourself with all the little odds and ends that bookstores so graciously amass by their registers. Sweat beads are forming on your head, maybe slowly starting to trickle down your back and heck, why are bookstores always so warm? - can they up the AC please?!

The problem is, isolating this enzyme is not as easy as one thinks. Presently, the medical world is quite baffled and actually have guffawed at its existence. But there are those who know. And are quite ashamed. I am one of them. I will sniff my new books endlessly and then hide them under my bed so that I can pull them out at night and then sniff again. No drug can top the pleasure that one receives when both sniffing and slowly stroking the cover of a new book.

Yes, my friends - booksobuyase. I cannot be helped.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Birth House by Ami McKay

I can honestly state that The Birth House is incredible in all sense of the word. I first learned about this book from a posting on BookLust. Patricia had nothing but good things to say about it. Then the novel started popping up on other book blogs and received good reviews throughout. After Danielle posted a link to the First Look program at the Harper Collins website, I signed up and requested to review this book. The following is what was submitted as my review:
Given that there are numerous book releases that are given much hype as either a “must-read” or “the book of the year”, I was both interested and hesitant to start this well lauded novel (note: the novel has been given much attention on numerous book blogs). I have rushed out to purchase said novels and many times have walked away leaving them unfinished and feeling disappointed. When I read a novel, I want to disappear into it, see what the author is creating, feel what the characters feel, and become immersed in a well-written plot. Provided this, I can honestly state that I was completely blown away by The Birth House.

With The Birth House, Ami McKay has invited us into a place where the tides of change are slowly rolling in, inevitably altering long-held traditions to new methods of living by those who felt that modern vs. traditional birthing methods would be better. Ms. McKay intersperses the novel with journal entries and newspaper clippings as well as brief histories on various characters. Ms. McKay weaves the lives of the inhabitants of Scots Bay with Dora Rare’s journey into understanding herself, her place in the world, and her influence on the lives of the women who surround her.

Venturing into this novel meant committing myself whole-heartedly into Ms. McKay’s entrancing world, and when I reached the end of the book, I yearned for just a bit more. I would have been more that happy to carry around an 800+ page tome just so that I can live a bit more in Scots Bay, peek into different lives again and again, or meet new characters. I only hope that Ms. McKay chooses to continue writing and bestow upon us her gift for storytelling. Advanced praise for The Birth House is well-deserved. I will be sure to pass along praise of this wonderful novel.
I posted my review as opposed to providing a synopsis because I did not feel that I would do the novel any justice by giving away potential spoilers. Just read it. You will not regret it! Also, take a peek at the website for The Birth House. Isn't is nice?!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Updating Template

Please bear with me as I'm updating my template.

Thanks to all the new visitors that have dropped by my blog! :) I have added your blogs to my links. I hope this was okay with you all!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Vacation Time!!!

I am too excited. On Monday 8/14 at 8:45 a.m. I will be on my way to the Riviera Maya in Mexico. We're going to be staying at the Grand Gala Esmeralda Beach Resort & Spa. Just typing the name of the resort makes me feel so happy. Yes!!! I will be there fore 5.5 days and will return on 8/20. This is a well overdue break.

But I have been stressed....can you guess why??? That's right - what books to bring! Good Lord, this is giving me such a headache. As I've mentioned before, I have been on a buying spree. Danielle & Iliana - I will definitely post all of my purchases as soon as I get back. I've been kind of scared to because that will mean I will have to own up to all the money that I have spent. And I know that it's not going to be pretty.

One book that I definitely will be reading is The Birth House by Ami McKay. I actually received an ARC from Harper Collin's First Look program. Since the review is due on September 1st I have to get cracking. I peeked at some pages and so far, so good.

So back to my dilemma. There is so much I want to take with me and I really don't know how to narrow it down. I'm thinking of bringing a smorgasborg of genres - classics, cozies, contemporary fiction.

Here goes the possible list:

The Birth House by Ami McKay (Fiction)
The Keep by Jennifer Egan (Fiction)
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (YA)
Probable Future by Alice Hoffman (Fiction)
Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman (Fiction)
The Glass House by Ashley Gardner (Mystery)
Murder Under a Mystic Moon by Yasmine Galenorn (Mystery)
Dinner at the Homesick Diner by Anne Tyler (Fiction)
Class Mothers - forgot the author's name (Fiction - about rich parents)
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (Fiction)

I'm at work right now so when I get home I will add more to this list. Then maybe I can narrow it down.

BTW - Nancy, you are so lucky to have received two bags of books from your mom!! :)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Reviews coming soon

I've read some great books in the last couple of months. They include Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman, and The Abortionist's Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde.

I will be posting reviews by the end of the week. I must note that I was impressed by what I read, particularly Never Let me Go and The Ice Queen. Both left me naked, sad, whisftul, and extremely verbose (I'm such a wiseass sometimes! - must be due to my lack of sleep).

By the way, I've been buying books like they've been going out of style. I have issues. I need help. I.............can't...........stop..........buying.........

Currently Reading....

So far, so good. I'm only 34 pages into the novel but I'm already attached to the characters. I've heard so many good things about Anne Tyler's writing so I thought I should find out why she is so well-loved.

Busy Busy Me!

Whew! Have I been BUSY!!

Let's see....still taking my grad courses. BTW, health care can be very depressing. After studying about the "donut hole" and other issues, I feel our health care situation is just getting worse. But I digress....

At the beginning of the summer I took the first half of Anatomy & Physiology. It was a full semester crammed into 5 weeks, 4 days a week, 5.5 hours a day (I took the evening section). I highly recommend taking this route if you feel suicidal or are a glutton for punishment. I had quizzes every day, lab assignments every day, lab practicals every week, and lecture exams every week. I had to learn the whole skeletal system in two days. I had to learn the whole muscular system in two days. I had to learn the whole nervous system in two days. You get the picture.

While I was taking this, I was finishing up a grad course at another college. Confused? Well, I'm earning my Master's at one college and decided that I needed to finish my pre-reqs to get into a nursing program (I want to become a nurse practitioner or a head nurse and then take over the world) and so I began taking courses at a second college. Hence, the A&P course. Oh yeah, and I'm a full-time Office Manager, the only female in my office driven by testosterone-laden boys, and work on marketing, too.

Where was I? So the grad course I was taking at the same time was killing me because I had an asshole teammate who was lazy, did not pay attention, and was generally a shithead. Yes - I had my first e-mail argument and let me tell you, I almost put my fist through the computer.

I did do well in both courses - I got an A for each! YAY!!!!!!! Lots of stress but I work hard because I'm an over-achiever who will sacrifice reading to do good in my courses. It was hard putting my books down to write papers and study the human form.

So, as soon as I finished my A&P course, I started my next grad course, which I am finishing right now. It's going pretty well so I'm happy. This course finishes on 8/14, at which time I will be taking a well-deserved break and going on vacation. Then, on 8/21 I begin the second half of A&P for the fall semester; on 8/22, I begin my next grad course. In the spring semester, I will be taking microbiology, medical terminology, CPR certification, working on my fingerprint clearance, studying for the nursing entrance exam, taking grad courses, will still be working, and pondering over what the heck Lost is really about.

Oh yeah....I'm going to be an aunt, a titi, an auntie! My brother is going to be a DAD! This is very bizarre for me! First, because I am the oldest so I was expected to start the baby farm, and second because he just became a certified teacher and now a certified daddy. The first grandbaby for my family, too. I have big plans for this kid. Baby Einstein videos, cute outfits, and lots of books. Oh yeah! This baby will definitely be getting TONS of book from this bookworm :)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Updates Coming Soon!

Hello all!!!

I am going to be updating this weekend.

Sorry for the lack of posts. These past few months have been extremely hectic & stressful for me. What's even more stressful is that I can't seem to figure out why I can't be one of those people that lose weight when they're stressed! Instead, I turn TO food. And I have been in a reading slump. I have read a few good books, but that's it. Aaaahhh...the dilemmas of sleep vs. reading.....

I hope that everyone is doing great! Thanks, Matt & Iliana for checking in on me ;)

Until tomorrow then....

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Frickin' Bush! So now we're changing direction and focusing on Iran??

I am really pissed over this. It's like there is no end to this war in sight. I thought that our soldiers were supposed to come back once their voting took place?

Two months ago, I lost a childhood friend (who was also a very good friend of my brother's) to the war. From what I learned, he was supposed to come home to his family any day now. One of my brother's best friends is over there now. So are a couple of my cousins. This is happening every day. Yet, it has been put to the back burner in the news. Every day families are devastated by the loss of a child, a brother, a sister, a wife, a husband, a relative, a friend to this war.

You know what stays in my mind - why didn't Bush send one of his daughters over there? Oh yeah, they're too busy falling on the floor in some club, drunk and oblivious to anything else. Yep - it makes sense to me. Let's just send everyone's else loved one over there.

So much money is being spent on this war,and yet there is no money for education, for rebuilding poor towns, for feeding the poor.

Every time I open a tabloid or a paper and see one of the Bush twins dirty dancing, wasted to the core, I think about how lucky they are to not have a care in the world because they will always be protected while I pray every day for my family and the world.

I should be careful what I post, though. Now that I know we're being spied on, who knows who will come knocking on my door in the middle of the night? Heck, I may even accidentally get shot with a pellet because I was mistaken for a ....rabbit...





This show is driving me MAD!! Where are they??!! What is the connection??!! Who are The Others??!! Why do they keep teasing us with a good premise but then the episode leaves you with nothing??!! Where's Walt??!! Did Sun cheat on Jin with her ex and therefore he is the father of her baby??!! Who is Henry Gale??!! Did he enter the numbers or not??!!

I am slowly going maaddddd......

I need some answers!!

Chocolate Dipped Death by Sammi Carter

This is the second book in the Candy Shop series by Sammi Carter.

The plot revolves around Abby, who is still adjusting to being newly divorced and to her role as the new owner of Divinity, a candy shop that was left to her by her Aunt Grace. The problem with this is that her cousins thought that they would inherit the shop and neither Abby nor her cousins can understand why the shop was left to her. In addition, the shop is located in a small town in Colorado, where Abby grew up. It is the sort of town where everyone knows everything and there are very little secrets.

A candy contest is underway and tensions are running pretty high. When a highly disliked contestant is murdered, Abby must involve herself in finding the murderer to help her cousin Karen, who is one of the suspects, as well as give the victim the peace she feels she deserves.

I am really enjoying this series. I recently read that the author signed a 3-book deal for the series. I hope that she does go beyond that. It's a great cozy with a lot of bite to it!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Waldman

I have to be honest. I only bought this book for two reasons: 1. The main character's name is Emilia and 2. I really liked the cover.

Here is a brief summary of the plot from the book jacket:

For Emilia Greenleaf, life is by turns a comedy of errors and an emotional minefield. Yes, she’s a Harvard Law grad who married her soul mate. Yes, they live in elegant comfort on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. But with her one-and-only, Jack, came a stepson—a know-it-all preschooler named William who has become her number one responsibility every Wednesday afternoon. With William, Emilia encounters a number of impossible pursuits—such as the pursuit of cab drivers who speed away when they see William’s industrial-strength car seat and the pursuit of lactose-free, strawberry-flavored, patisserie-quality cupcakes, despite the fact that William’s allergy is a figment of his over-protective mother’s imagination.As much as Emilia wants to find common ground with William, she becomes completely preoccupied when she loses her newborn daughter. After this, the sight of any child brings her to tears, and Wednesdays with William are almost impossible. When his unceasing questions turn to the baby’s death, Emilia is at a total loss. Doesn’t anyone understand that self-pity is a full-time job? Ironically, it is only through her blundering attempts to bond with William that she finally heals herself and learns what family really means.

At times, you want to strangle Emilia because she is so caught up in self-pity; I also did not like her reasons for being "the other woman". Only towards the end do we learn what makes Emilia behave the way she does.

I enjoyed this book. It did not provide the fairy-tale ending that one would expect. Instead, Ms. Waldman delivers frank insight into relationships and a woman coming to terms with her expectations from life.

Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke

This book is number 7 in the series.

The storyline revolves around Hannah's love triangle, Lisa and Herb's wedding, and of course, murder. Hannah's rival, Shawna Lee Quinn, has opened Magnolia Bakery right across from The Cookie Jar. This new bakery infringes on their business. Hannah becomes increasingly worried over the loss of customers as well as Shawna Lee's possible relationship with Mike, one of Hannah's paramours.

After Lisa's wedding, Hannah finds Shawna Lee's body in the kitchen of the Magnolia Bakery; because Hannah finds the body, she becomes a suspect. Of course, Hannah decides to find out who did the dirty deed while trying to decide between Mike and Norman.

There are several twists in the plotline and a surprise that I did not see coming at the end.

The only thing I did not like about the book was Hannah's
consistent pointers on correct grammar, etc. It got to be a little
too much.

Overall, another good and cozy read. :)

A Brief & Embarrassing Encounter

Last month I had mentioned how I met Joanne Fluke and I was pretty embarrassed about how it occurred. Well, I'm ready to tell what happened.....

Joanne Fluke was scheduled to be at Poisoned Pen (which, by they way, is a pretty amazing independent bookshop. They even have gargolyes guarding the lamps on the outside of the store). That morning, I put on my Sunday best, including styling my hair and make-up. For some reason, I thought it was going to be a big hullabaloo. I guess this was because this was my first book signing.

When I got to the bookstore, I was so nervous. Again, please keep in mind that this was my first book signing and by an author whose series I really enjoyed. When I got inside, I was bouncing all over the walls. I picked up my copy of the book, oohed and aahed over the new cover, and proceeded to pay. That's when my verbal skills went kaput. I had a huge smile on my face and then told the cashier that Joanne Fluke was my favorite author. I said this while having a huge grin on my face. She looked at me like, "Oh, you're one of those...." I guess she didn't share my enthusiasm.

Fast forward........I take a seat towards the back. There were probably 12-15 other people there, tops. Finally, Joanne Fluke enters. She talked about her series, life in small towns and Minnesota, etc. I just stared at her with a smile on my face. My husband at one point whispered to me if I wanted to ask her a question. I ssshhhed him....with a smile on my face. When she starting talking about the new book, I took it out of the bag and help it up, as if to show her that I had purchased it. With a smile on my face. A couple of times I saw her eyes go in my direction. I smiled even harder. Inside, I wanted her to know I was her biggest fan. Yes, I was star-struck. Literally. I also smiled hard at the cashier, who was helping to facilitate the discussion.

I think I scared her with my smile, though.

At the end, everyone got up to get their book signed. My heart was beating so fast. I got on line. My husband stood to the side, staring at me (I think he was a bit freaked out over my freaking out. And the smile). Inside, I was practising what I was going to say to her. With a smile on my face. Finally, I'm almost there. I signal my husband to prep the camera - around 10 times. He is the only person there with a camera. Everyone in line keeps turning to look at him, then me, then him, and then back to me. It must've been because I was sweating. With a smile. So finally it's my turn. I hand her the book. She looks at me. Do you remember A Christmas Story? At one point, Ralphy is on line waiting to meet Santa. There's a weird kid behind him wearing an old-fashioned flight hat (leather, flaps on either side, really tight on his head) and goggles. He turns to Ralphy and says "I like Santa" all weird and stalkerish. I always thought that kid was weird.

I turned into that kid.

First I tell her, "I'm sooo excited to meet you". With a little bounce on "excited". (I am so embarrassed). I stare at her. With a smile on my face. She laughs a little and tell's me that's good. I stare at her. She looks at me. So then she grabs the book and gets ready to sign it. I stare at her some more. And then I say "Amelia.................................That's Me!" When I say "That's Me!", I place both hands on my chest to emphasize my point. I wanted to die. I don't know what was happening to me. It was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Then I tell her "You're my favorite author". Please keep in mind I sounded EXACTLY like the kid in the movie - all slow, slurry, weird, and kind of stalkerish. With a smile on my face. (Even when the words were coming out, another part of my was slowly dying). At this point, I am showing all my teeth (my husband can attest to this). The lady behind me giggles. Then my husband whispers to me to get my attention. He's waving the camera and mouthing me to ask her if I could take a picture. So I do. She's tells me okay. I run behind the table, put my hand on her shoulder, and my husband takes the shot. Everyone is staring at us. I am the only person dressed for the occasion. I am the only person freaking out. I am the only person who has her own personal photographer in the room. Unbeknownst to me, my husband had also taken a picture of me talking to her.

I skip over to my husband. The woman behind me gets to Joanne Fluke and I hear them both giggle. I skip to the front of the store. My husband is laughing. At the time, I did not even notice. When I got to the front of the store, the cashier was there with another employee. They are both staring at me. I turn to them, with a HUUUGEEE grin, I yelled, that's right, yelled, "THANKS!" As I'm leaving, I hear them giggle. When I step outside, it's as if the body snatcher has left and Amelia is back. I am mortified. I am aware of how retarded I acted. My husband is laughing sooooo hard, he's crying. I start laughing. And literally crying. I was soooooooooo embarrassed. I mean, what the heck came over me??!!!!! What??!!!! Of course, my husband tells me that he thought I was cute. I am still crying. In shock. He recounts my display of behavior from his perspective. It's much worse. Basically, I was the only person in the room who had an eerie smile on her face from start to finish. My husband finds it especially funny that I told her my name and then said "That's Me!" while pointng myself out.


I'm over it now.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Catching up...

Okay....I'm going to catch up with my favorite blogs. I will be back tomorrow to post my reviews of Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke as well as Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayalet Waldman. I will also post my brief and embarrsing encouter with Joanne Fluke.

Hmmm...what else? Oh! - I have decided to try my hand at needlework. I am truly inspired by Danielle's awesome stitching. I have also decided that I must finish Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by two weeks. I have been procrastinating way too long. Don't get me wrong, I really like the book. I think Ms. Clarke is a great writer. But in order to enjoy it, I need to dedicate several hours (in one sitting) at a time to read it. I have definitely enjoyed what I have read so far. It's very meaty, lengthwise, and you definitely need to have a dictionary at hand.

I hope that everyone is well!!!!!


Thanks, Matt, for your kind post! ;) All is well over here. I will stop by your blog as soon as I get a chance. By the way, so should everyone else. Matt's blog, A Guy's Moleskine Notebook, is awesome. His book reviews are on par and his insights do just that - make you think. So head on over there if you haven't done so already!!

Bad Blogger

I'm sorry. I have been a very bad blogger. I have just been so busy that every time I want to update this blog, something comes up. Never fails.

I am very tired. Very, very tired. But no matter what, I am still alive, I have a bed to sleep in, love, and food to eat. For that, I am blessed. There are a lot of people out there who don't have anything and never complain. I always keep this in mind whenever I start to whine over a spoiled dinner, too much work, etc.....

And sooo.......................I am happy!!!!! :)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Currently reading.....

I am currently reading Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens as well as The Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke. Something old and something new. So far I am enjoying both reads.

I finished Chocolat. I will post my review later this week.

Met Joanne Fluke yesterday at a book signing for The Cherry Cheesecake Murder. I am still mortified over what came out of my mouth. Cannot talk about it now. Will post it once I can laugh at myself...

Little People, Big World

This is a new reality show that follows the lives of the Roloffs. The parents are both little people (I felt weird writing "little people" because I did not want to offend anybody, but after some research I found that this is most commonly used & correct term now). They have four children, two of whom are twins. What makes this family so unique is that one of the twins is average-sized while the other is little; the other two children are average-sized.

This show docments their daily routines, their ups and downs, and general family issues. After watching the first couple of episodes, I am addicted. You watch the show and after a while feel like you're right there with them, feeling every emotion, doubt, happiness and occasional stress. Amy, the mom, is amazing. She is such a tender and yet strong mother. All she wants is for her children to be happy. It's too bad that the father, Matt, is out of work. Amy has to work two part-time jobs and, according to the latest episode, has to take on a full-time job as well to support the family. All this on top of raising four children.

If you find yourself home on a Saturday night, then you have to tune in to The Learning Channel to watch this show.


Spicy Love Soup

Last Saturday, I was channel-surfing, enjoying a Saturday without a school deadline, when I came across AZN, or The Asian Network. A movie called Spicy Love Soup had just started, so I put my glasses on and sat back to enjoy the show. I am so glad that I did! This was a great movie! It had English subtitles, but for some strange reason I found myself raising the volume so that I could hear what the characters had to say. Like I really understood them. :)

The plotline revolves around 6 relationships in Beijing. Each relationship is captured in various stages, from chance meetings to break-ups. I loved the story that revolved around a couple who lost their spark and how they go about retrieving it. My husband ventured into the living room when this one was on and soon found himself engrossed with their story. The beginning of the movie was pretty funny, too. It starts with a couple eating and the gentleman finding the soup a bit too spicy. His girlfriend informs him that he has to meet her parents to see if they like him and determine if he is suitable for marriage. The next scene shows him getting ready for the meeting (dressing, etc.) and occasionally clutching his stomach. When he's about to leave, he doubles over and runs to the bathroom. Then...when he meets the parents, they end up going to the samne restaurant and eating the same soup! You just have to see this for yourself. I thought it was hilarious.

I definitely recommed that everyone sees this movie!

By the way, my major as an undergrad was Cultural Anthropology. I looovveee studying culture and human behavior. I especially enjoyed this film because it was made in Beijing by a Chinese director. It gave me the opportunity to view a slice of life that I cannot experience in a textbook. If anyone has any recommendations of indie/foreign films that they have enjoyed, please feel free to share! One that I highly recommend is City of God, based in Brazil. If you have not seen this one, get over to your local video store and rent it. I promise you that you will love it. It's too good to miss!

Project Noway!

Chloe Won???!!!!!!
Chlooooeeee Won??!!!!!
What the...??!!!!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Oscar night is a-comin' !

Oscar night is right around the corner! I can't wait!

Other shows that I am looking forward to next week:

Flavor of Love Season Finale
Real World/Road Rules The Gauntlet 2
Grey's Anatomy
Seventh Heaven (the worst show that I can't stop watching!)
Project Runway Season Finale

I'm also looking forward to watching lots of documentaries on the Discovery Channel, TLC, and A&E.

I'm on a break from school and I'm taking full advantage of soaking up the television rays ;)


**********Apparently my husband is a good liar. He told me that he made up the dream to get back at me. He then told me that he never dreams about other women, only me. Yeah, right! He's a real sweetheart, though. Unfortunately for him, my Dream High is back full-force! **************


Last night I had a dream with Joaquin Phoenix. Santino from Project Runway was also there. Well, to sum up my dream, I was sitting in the back seat of a car with an old co-worker of mine. Joaquin was driving the car. Apparently, I was making him laugh and that made him like me. He was really cracking up, turning around to look at me. All I was focusing on was his piercing blue eyes.

So this morning I woke up feeling kind of giddy. Dreams can do that for me. If it's a good dream, my day starts off well; a nightmare can leave me befuddled for the day.

My husband and I were in the bathroom getting ready for the workday. While my husband was brushing his teeth and I was combing my hair, I proceeded to recount the details of my dream to him. I had a bit of a smirk on my face because, hey, Joaquin actually liked me in my dream. I was on a "Dream High". So my husband tells me that he had a dream with Beyonce. I thought he was kidding, but after taking a look at the expression on his face, I could tell he was serious. He told me that she was singing to him at his birthday party and danced for him.

Let's just say that after hearing this, my bubble was popped. My "high" just fell down a notch.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Currently reading.....

I am currently reading Chocolat by Joanne Harris, which I am enjoying. I will post a review as soon as I have completed it.

After Chocolat, I think I will finish Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which I was enjoying. I put it down after getting a hand sprain. I have the hardcover version and after reading in bed for many nights, my wrists were in pain. It's a great book but I need to make the time to read it during the day. One time it fell on my face after I fell asleep with my eyes open. Let's just say that the welt that formed on my face was not so pretty. LOL - I still can't believe that happened :) :)