Monday, November 30, 2009

Fall Reading Challenge Wrap Up

Since September 1st I have read (and reread) the following books (listed in the order I liked them). Any thoughts? Any you want me to say more about?

Five Stars
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
New Moon by Stephanie Meyers
Biedermann und die Brandstifter by Max Frisch
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Twilight by Stephanie Meyers
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
The Kweeks of Kookatumdee by Bill Peet (picture book)
The Bravest Knight by Mercer Mayer (picture book)

Four Stars
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Eye by Vladimir Nabokov
Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone by JK Rowling
The Book of Sand by Jorge Luis Borges
The Bean Tree by Barbara Kingsolver
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Red Prophet by Orson Scott Card
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard
Ella by Bill Peet (Picture Book)

Three Stars
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (this potentially could be a great movie)
Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr
The Curious Incedent of the Dog at Nighttime by Mark Haddon
Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates
Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Playing the Moldovans at Tennis by Tony Hawks
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Two Stars
The Poets' Grimm: 20th Century Poems from Grimm Fairy Tales Ed Claudia Carlson
Too Many Leprechauns by Stephen Krensky (Picture Book)
The Happiness Makeover by M.J. Ryan
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

One Star
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

430 Points (Good Reads Seasonal Challenge)
10834 Pages
41 Books

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


As soon as DH gets home we leave for the ILs for Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has a happy and a healthy one! Here are some things I am glad to have in my life. I was going to post a list of things I am thankful for, but I feel like its pretty standard. Thanks to my blog readers for bothering to keep up with my life!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Away for the Weekend?

It feels like I was away for the weekend when really I was only away for the first night. I think it largely comes from the fact I kept so busy, and spent a lot of the few hours I was home sleeping.

As I said in my prior post, I went Friday night up to Burton to watch New Moon with LEKT. It was really good. I tried to explain to DH why I like it so much, but its one of those things you either get or you don't. Saturday I arrived back in town, watched OSU beat Michigan (YAY!) and then went out to dinner with friends and watched the latest episode of Dr. Who. (Waters of Mars). It was a very good episode. Sunday morning I got up early and headed to the outlets with yet another friend. I got one sweater and one shirt, no pants unfortunately but I did not spend too much so that is good. Sunday afternoon DH and I joined friends to go see New Moon... yes... again. It was just as good the second time around.

Now I only have two days of work until I leave for Thanksgiving! I feel like there is so much to do!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Last night I headed up to Burton with a friend and cousin to meet my sister for New Moon, the sequel to Twilight.

It was really good. I feel the obsession coming on again, I don't know exactly what it is about that series but I can't get it out of my head when I am into it. I am already planning when to see the movie next.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Back to the ... ?

I was going to title this post "back to the grind", but really its not the grind. I also considered "back to normal", but that implies that what I am returning from is bad, which is not the case. So... lets just say I am getting back.

My friend ended up spending almost two weeks here. It was sort of like being in suspended animation, in a good way. I did not worry about all the stuff I normally do, I did not plan for future stuff (like Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc), and likewise I did not worry about future stuff. What I did do was go to work everday, come home, figure out dinner, and hang out with an old friend. We haven't spent two weeks together in almost 10 years. It was nice.

Last night I dropped her off at the bus station so she could begin her 36 hour journey back to England. She originally did not plan to stay at my house for two weeks (she was hoping for more like 5 days), but that is how life is sometimes. The embassy sent her passport to the wrong address, and then UPS screwed up badly and failed to get it to the right address after she paid a lot to have it come a certain day. They also refused to refund any of her money, and made her go out of the way to make sure she got it the next day (a day late per their own policy). I am posting this because I would mind a negative buzz about UPS. What company won't refund a customer's money when the company utterly fails? A bad one!!

Over the past weekend we went out to drinks with friends, went hiking, tried to go to three resteraunts that had permanently shut down, went to coffee with friends, watched some football (go Vikings!) and went to my Grandma's house. Other than that, there have been more movies (Bogeyman, The Mist, StarTrek), more reading of Inkheart. Today is my last day of training at work, tomorrow we move. Wish me luck!!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Happy Friday the 13th everyone!!

I love Friday the 13th. I am not sure why. It just seems special. I don't think its really unlucky or lucky, but I like it. Its like a mini holiday, and we all know how much I like holidays.

The week has passed quickly, thanks largely to having Wednesday off for Veterans day. Tuesday night we watched Wanted with Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman. It was OK, lots of action. Also on Tuesday my friend had her interview with the British consulate types, so hopefully her Visa comes soon. Otherwise she may need refugee status. LOL. On Wednesday I slept in, then we watched a couple of X-Files episodes (bad blood and chinga). We met DH for lunch, ate at Skully's, and then I went to get my hair cut. By the time we got home after running one or two more errands it was time for me to scrub down the house in preperation for my sister LEKTs arrival. She is allergic to cats. With the house clean, that left time for a little Rock Band, then Book club (for Rebecca), then LEKT showed up. We enjoyed the rest of the evening hanging out. Thursday was super busy at work!! I actually had 8 hours of work to do, sort of a miracle. I rushed home after work so we could go to dinner with my sister before she had to leave. We spent the evening relaxing and watching Project Runway - next week is the season finale! I may need to have a party.

Some further notes on Rebecca now that book club has passed. I should have known I would not like it the the second I heard someone label it the last gothic romance. I hate gothic romances. They are full of plot holes and pathetic characters. This book was particularly hard to like because it had a first person narrator who enjoyed waxing poetic about the tradgedy of her life, living out her entire life several times in her head, and in general over dramatizing everything. At book club we discovered the lead male is massively inconsistent in his behavior and values (in a non-realistic way). Then the supposed epicly tragic ending turns out to be something so insignificant to me as a reader that I wanted to throw the book out window. I hated Jane Eyre, I hated Tess of D'Urbervilles, I should have know I would hate Rebecca.

Onward to better things. I now am reading way too many books at once - I already mentioned Man in the Iron Mask, also Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Host, Inkheart, Lectures on Literature, and Biedermann und der Brandstifter. I also recently finished The Poets Grimm, which was sort of disapointing, of course there were one or two good poems in it, but not nearly enough to make the slog through the rest worth it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Football and American Food

This past weekend was very nice. I have a friend in town visiting, we go WAY back. We first met in 8th grade! She has since then become a world traveller - most recently teaching English in Korea and now going to Graduate School in Sheffield, England. She is here in the U.S. due to some ridiculous Visa laws that require her to interview at a British Consulate in her home country. I am the beneficiary of the ridiculous rules because I get to see her!

Friday night we just hung out, talked, watched some TV, and watched Tale of Desperaux. I thought it was an adorable movie, though it certainly did have its moments of confusion (it was clear they were condenscing a bigger story into limited time.

Saturday we took our time waking up and relaxed in the morning, then I took her down to Campus and showed her around. After that it was Five Guys for burgers (something they do not do well in Europe), football (Go OSU!!), and then some more guests came for Rock Band. It was really fun! I have not had a Rock Band party in a long time, my Rock Band drums had dust on them!!

Sunday we lounged around all morning and watched a bad sci fi movie and some football. I baked an apple pie, then some friends came over to watch Twilight. I had not watched it in a while and the upcoming new movie, New Moon, with all of its previews, made me want to see it again. It was a lot of fun! In the evening we went for Pizza (another thing that is very different here in the US than Europe) and then watched MORE football. I love football!! I also, in these three days, read my book club book - Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I really disliked it.

M0nday I had to go back to work. It is VERY slow at work for me right now, but it is a temporary problem. We have a caseload (its called "a pending") of 10 cases right now, and we have to have all of our actions reviewed. With 51 of us and the equivelent of 6 trainers, the turn around time is very long. I literally have nothing to do. I put an audiobook - Man in the Iron Mask on my MP3 player and have been listening to that while doing pointless little things like surfing WebMD and reorganzing notes. My caseload will increase in time, and the reviewer to reviewee ratio will improve once we are out of training (Nov 20th). Keeping busy should not be a problem in two or three months. For dinner we went and got BBQ (ANOTHER thing that Europe does not do well, are you sensing a theme?). It was delicious. Then we watched Charlie Wilson's War, which was quite good. I was glad that they addressed the issue of the actions having mixed results, because it would have wrecked the movie if they had pretended it all turned out hunky dorry. Who knew that a movie about American involvement in the Soviet-Afghan war would be SO FUNNY. It was nice. Then, of course, more football (go steelers!!)

Thats all for now folks!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Halloween List

I am not quite sure how time passes so quickly and all my good intentions to post about things slip out the window with it. I had a nice long Halloween post in my head, and I almost just posted it last Sunday but decided to wait until I had time to get pictures on here, and guess what, that has not happened. Here,then, is a text version of my Halloween.

It was a great year for Halloween!
(1) I got my Halloween Decorations out nice and early in the month. They consist of pumpkin lights for out front, and some centerpieces and such.
(2) I had a great pumpkin carving party. People enjoyed it. We ate pumpkin pie and pumpkin roll and pumpkin seeds and drank apple cider. We watched football. We made twilight jokes. We all carved adorable or scary or unique pumpkins.
(3) I got to dress up as Agent Scully from the X-Files, one of my favorite shows of all time. I dressed up both for work and for a party on Halloween. A lot of people said I looked good with red hair, but I think it had more to do with the volume of my wig and the fact I actually wore makeup, which I never ever do.
(4) There was a really fun halloween party at my friends house with good conversation, good drinks, and good friends.
(5) We had plenty of trick-or-treaters and had just enough Candy to go around.

That is my halloween recap! Hopefully I will post more quickly on this weekends capers!!