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?!