Tuesday, July 26, 2011

the lonely ranger

wow, almost two months away...I'm such an oathbreaker

Why I think it's SO much harder to get on here and update my books, movies, and weight yet not actually blog is beyond me.

I've taken my niece and nephew to Disney World, attended the American Library Association conference in New Orleans and been to the beach twice since June 15th. I call that a bit of activity. I'm so tired now I could just spit. I told my mom, no rest for the wicked, and she said that I'd definitely not been getting any rest but that I wasn't wicked.

Moms, they're good for taking up for you and a whole passel of other stuff if you're lucky. I am.

I'm stuck in the Game of Thrones vortex again right now. Between the TV show (I can't watch) and the new book (I most certainly can read), I don't think about too much else except Downton Abbey. Damn you VSL, for bringing this show to my attention! My faithful friend Netflix delivered it, disc by disc, to my hot little hand and I fell utterly and helplessly in love. If you've not yet availed yourself of this little PBS show, do so immediately if not sooner. The second season is in filming right now so I'm already lining up viewing options with friends who do have broadcast television.

Of course, I also did the same thing for Game of Thrones and couldn't stay on the viewing wagon but my own personal road to hell is paved with GOLDEN good intentions. Always has been. Hopefully they'll get it released to DVD soon (Christmas bells are ring-ing!) and I can lock myself in the house, not answer the phone, and gorge on its oh-so delicious decadence. I'm all about that.

I'd truly forgotten how much fun this was. Shame on me. Mel just accosted me with stupid PDF questions. It's always nice to see someone reach ripe grad school type ages and still not know how to print a f*#king PDF. "It prints fine at home. I don't understand why your computers are so difficult."

me either, princess.

Something that can't go out on Facebook. THIS is why I've been blogging less and NEED to blog more.

That is all.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

gardening anxieties

My rosemary, petunias, and eggplant are growing like hard core mofos!

My tomato plant is grudgingly growing, but it's very, very bitter about it. I'm not certain why.

I forgot to water my plants one day 2 weeks ago and my cilantro suffered mightily. I was nursing it back to health, but was away from home overnight on Memorial Day. Apparently, my plants want water, and a lot of it, first thing in the morning. 4/5 of the cilantro is dead and crispy and my strawberry plant, previously in the "hard core mofo" camp, is struggling out of a severe dryup. I'm most sad about the little stalk that I am POSITIVE was about to bloom! My first little strawberry, dead in our 100 degree May heat. I firmly believe it's going to bounce back, though I'm not so sure about the cilantro. It's little tag said "full sun" but maybe it was exaggerating just a teensy bit. Perhaps it should have said "mostly full sun, unless it's 100 degrees in May and there's no shade" but I guess that doesn't fit too well on the little tag.

But oh, the petunias are eating it UP! Pour on the water and watch them grow. It's possible they could be able to detail my car by this weekend if this rate of growth continues...

I'll have to take another picture to compare with that first one, just for posterity's sake.

Off to bed! I promised myself at least 7 hours of sleep tonight and I just may make it. That most enormous, black hole of time suck, Facebook, is dealing me fits. I'm going to have to start using the kitchen timer and parse out time. When the timer goes off, the book of face is closed. We'll see how it goes.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My mini garden

This is the first summer that I have not been petsitting since I was 18 years old. Just to place that in time and space, I'm in my mid-30's now. To say I'm excited is a vast understatement. I have plenty of land in which to place a sizable garden but I'm not ready for that kind of commitment. Petsitting was giant commitment in and of itself and I don't want to load up with another quite so soon. Thus, the container garden! It's my first attempt and I've never been terribly successful with plants that are not in my office at work, so we'll see how it goes. In the hanging baskets, I have cilantro, rosemary, and strawberries. The large pot has some beautiful wave petunias and the small one an arm of Christmas cactus I accidentally knocked off of the 50-60 year old plant at my Aunt Cathy's house. As penitence, I'm going to try to grow it. It has some little root filaments 2 or 3 inches long, so maybe it will like all this fresh country air!

Below are what I hope will be my big producers. Even though I don't like tomatoes or most tomato based products, I do love salsa and I make a mean lasagna. I hope this lone plant may contribute to both dishes over the course of the summer. The other plant is eggplant.

I don't like okra and everything else available at the time of purchase grew on a 6-8 foot vine which I don't really want on my porch. I though about getting one of those basket that hangs from a deck railing and just letting the vine hang over the side but I haven't made up my mind. I'm not certain whether or not that would work. Plus, I'm not sure if the bunnies like squash. Anything on the ground is game for the live action Watership Down going on in the back yard...and the deer, although I've never seen them in the front yard and the bunnies aren't so shy.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

sand and sun

I just got back yesterday (Fri, Apr 22) from the Alabama Library Association conference in Orange Beach. I know, I know...it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! The weather was perfect but I was in conference meetings each day from 8:30-5 so there wasn’t a whole lot of time to goof off. I and my coworkers did spend each evening out by the pool drinking bushwackers. I had never heard of such a thing before but now, sitting here in my quiet house, I’d nearly kill for one. Basically, it was a 151 chocolate milkshake with a little extra floater of 151 on top. Yes, it is VERY special and we enjoyed ourselves tremendously. The “mix and mingle” kickoff party Tuesday evening was alright but there was not enough seating and the music was too loud. I’ve no idea why every conference seems to think we must be entertained instead of actually letting us network, but oh well.

My coworker Nancy and I, in attempt to be fashionably late, instead missed out on most of the free margaritas. I only had time for one before they shut it down. It was supposed to be 5-7pm but by 6:15, there were no more free ‘ritas...maybe they didn’t anticipate a high demand from a bunch of librarians. If so, boy were they surprised! They did have a raw oyster bar so I got back at them that way. They tasted great but there were some weird spots on the insides of the shells but I was neither sick nor dead the next day so they must have been alright. I had some each evening and continued on not sick or dead so yay Orange Beach!

Yesterday, I decided to check out early, head down to the public beach and play a little before heading home and then Nancy pointed out that the hotel had a pool, bathroom, and bar and no one but the computer system knew I’d checked out. I packed my stuff, loaded the car, then snuck a hotel towel and a bushwacker down to the beach for some quality time with the ocean and my book. A great quote from Danish author Isak Denisen (wrote Out of Africa): “The cure for anything is saltwater...sweat, tears, or the sea.” So true, so true. The red flags were out and the surf was aggressive but I eventually waded out and had my ass handed to me. I finally, after much struggling and cursing on my part, made it out to a relatively calm section and floated facing the horizon. I huge wave came curling in and I ducked under to let it roll over me and discovered how close I was to shore when it ground me down to the sand and proceeded to REALLY exfoliate my back and fill my swimsuit with eighteen million pounds of sand.

I decided that was enough frolicking for me and headed back to my beach chair. I discovered, on my way home, that the little adventure had also stripped all the sunscreen off from the nape of my neck to the soles of my feet. I am a crispy critter from the back. It’s quite painful and I don’t think I’ll be allowing that to happen again any time soon. I packed up for good and snuck out of the hotel around 4 and got home around 9pm last night. I was exhausted but I’m really glad I stayed to play. If I’d had a brain in my head, I would have swapped weekends with someone and taken a few extra days vacation but I didn’t think of that so off to work I went this morning, grumpy as hell.

The water was clear and beautiful (and a little chilly, but refreshing!) and I saw no evidence of the yucky oil spill that had decimated the region exactly one year before. There are still a lot of places for sale but everything looked full and more cars were streaming in as I was leaving so I really hope the Gulf Coast makes a full recovery this year! It’s beautiful, the seafood is terrific, and the natives are glad to see you!

The original trip down was very nice too, though I forgot to pack my other audiobook and the one I’d been listening to ended entirely too quickly. I hate the radio and there wasn’t enough 3 or 4G coverage for Pandora to work very well. I should have just stopped at a Cracker Barrell and rented one of their audiobooks, but by the time I’d really gotten miserable I didn’t see one single CB before I got to my destination. I really and truly think some sort of worm hole must have opened up because how often can you say you can’t find a Cracker Barrell?! My GPS took me this crazy ass way through Florida and I should have bought a lottery ticket on my way (56 million) but I didn’t...stupid of me. I did notice that most of the Florida public works workers I saw on the roadside were smoking huge, ginormous cigars clamped in the corners of their mouths. That’s just not something I see here in fair AL, but it was amusing. All I could think was that maybe some interesting Cuban black market trading was going on. Also, I saw my first, real-life, Google Maps Street View car. I was driving along and at an intersection about ½ mile ahead I saw this white car with florescent green markings that had a big pole coming up off the roof about 6 to 8 feet with a big red ball on top. As I got closer, it sort of looked like a camera but I still couldn’t tell until I got close enough to read the logo and there it was, Google Maps! I’ve seen images of the cars online but never come across them in person. It was interesting to think my little grimy white Accent might end up on someone’s street view.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Winter is coming...

Allow me to introduce the most exciting thing to happen on HBO in recent memory...

KT and I and our circle of fellow ASOIAF fans are very nearly going out of our minds with anticipation. If you've not yet read this series and you don't mind a little blood, guts, and underhanded glory, definitely read these books by George R.R. Martin!

A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons (forthcoming)

Friday, April 1, 2011

humble and apologetic


Yep, I admit it! I have fallen down on the blogging job and I'm ashamed. We'll see how far that blogging shame will carry me.

On an anecdotal note, I experienced my very first Walmart entrapment last week. I was meeting a friend to see a movie, got to the theater area early, and decided I had just enough time to pop in Wally World to both alleviate the discomfort of an hour car ride on 32 oz of water AND pick up a few badly needed household items. One problem solved, I started in on the other. I was *almost* through with my shopping when the tornado sirens went off. Not long after that, an overhead announcement informed us that the police had advised WM to begin the "code black weather emergency procedures" and all WM associates and customers were to proceed to the middle of the store and wait for further instructions.

I continued to shop, because obviously they are not *serious* about everyone in the store having to hole up together by the fitting rooms. Um, yeah. They are completely serious. While my movie watching companion was out in the free world, completely allowed to go where ever they desired (and texting me of this information), I was trapped in WM. For 20 minutes. With nothing to do...except Words with Friends. Needless to say, except for some mild I'm-going-to-be-late-for-the-movie anxiety, I was content.

Am I becoming assimilated? Can I experience any lag time without whipping out the spiffy new smartphone I purchased for my own birthday? Only time will tell and I'm fairly certain it will be telling a story I'm not entirely comfortable hearing.

On the same note, I just finished listening to Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and am currently all fired up with some urges for change in my own food buying habits. We'll also have to see how that goes. Some of the things I would love to be able to change are pretty hard to do in my area. There is a local produce market near the library, but they are more boutique-y and I can only afford to shop there once every month or so. He was also very affective in making Whole Paycheck seem not so good a choice as well, for reasons other than the whole paycheck part.

All that to say, I will be investigating some avenues for purchasing local produce regularly and, hopefully, meat for my quarterly cookathon. The road to hell and all that....

Peace out

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I, professional librarian and bibliophile, left the house for a long weekend without books. I *thought* I had them, but now that I have finished my most current read, I've discovered nothing in my bookbag.

My Nook? On my desk at work.

My books? On the counter at home.

What was I thinking?! Nothing productive, obviously. Ah, the humanity!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Movies in 2010

I'm quite sure no one is terribly interested in this but since this does form part of my record keeping activities, you get to read it too!

Gulliver's Travels
Tron Legacy
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2)
The Social Network
A block of 9 short films
Evil Things
Human Centipede
Barbershop Punk
Ready, Set, Bag!
Until the Light Takes Us
NY Export: Opus Jazz
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Teenage Paparazzo
The American
The Girl Who Played With Fire (2)
Winter's Bone
Grown Ups
Get Low
The Last Exorcism
Piranha 3D
The Expendables
Step Up 3D
Eat, Pray, Love
Despicable Me
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Knight & Day
Eclipse (3)
The A-Team
The Bounty Hunter
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Shutter Island
Sex and the City 2
Robin Hood
Date Night
Iron Man 2
How To Train Your Dragon
The Back-Up Plan
Clash of the Titans
Remember Me
Alice In Wonderland 3D
Leap Year
The Wolfman
The Crazies
The Road (2)
Lovely Bones
The Book of Eli
Avatar (3)
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassu

2010 reads

So, I made it to 139. Just a few short of my goal of 150 and not too shabby a total if I do say so myself. I will keep a sidebar item for my reading this year but don't believe I will be participating in a formal challenge. I enjoy noting what I've read but it gets to be too much like work at some point. Once again, I have to whine about how much I want to get back to blogging. I could say that I'm just too busy, but I don't really believe that Challenge Majong on Facebook counts as "busy" and I like to lie to myself least of all. I've made some good memories and done some serious landscaping throughout the country of my skull with this list. Here's hoping this year is just as good and happy reading I wish to you all as well. I like to imagine a legion of patient fans waiting for my next post. Don't disabuse me of that notion, it's one of my dearest....

139. Dangerous Pleasures by Bertrice Small
138. Midnight in Death by J.D. Robb
137. Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb
136. The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
135. Wine, Tarts, and Sex by Susan Johnson
134. She's Got the Beat by Nancy Krulik
133. Mythical Beasts of Japan: From Evil Creatures to Sacred Beings by Koichi Yumoto, Akiko Taki, and Hiroyuki Kano
132. Sudden Pleasures by Bertrice Small
131. Vengeance in Death by J.D. Robb
130. Under the Bright Lights by Daniel Woodrell
129. Mates, Dates, and Cosmic Kisses by Cathy Hopkins
128. The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant
127. Ceremony in Death by J. D. Robb
126. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
125. Rapture in Death by J.D. Robb
124. Kwaidan: Japanese Ghost Stories by Lafcadio Hearn
123. Entwined by Elisabeth Naughton
122. The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror by Bernard Lewis
121. Immortal in Death by J.D. Robb
120. Glory in Death by J.D. Robb
119. Forbidden Pleasures by Beatrice Small
118. The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
117. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
116. Mates, Dates, and Inflatable Bras by Cathy Hopkins
115. Poems Bewitched and Haunted selected and edited by John Hollander
114. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okarafor
113. Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen
112. Private Pleasures by Beatrice Small
111. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
110. The Curse Workers: The White Cat by Holly Black
109. The Red Tree by Caitlin Kiernan
108. Abhorsen by Garth Nix
107. Genesis by Bernard Beckett
106. Winter Kissed by Michele Hauf and Vivi Anna
105. Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr by Garth Nix
104. What is Man? by Mark Twain
103. Shadow Fall by Erin Kellison
102. Vampirates: Empire of Night by Justin Somper
101. How Did You Get This Number? by Sloane Crosley
100. Sabriel by Garth Nix
99. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
98. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
97. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
96. A Kiss In Time by Alex Flinn
95. Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
94. Vampirates: Black Heart by Justin Somper
93. Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison
92. Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James
91. Vampirates: Blood Captain by Justin Somper
90. Marked by Elizabeth Naughton
89. No Doors, No Windows by Joe Schreiber
88. Leaving Unknown by Kerry Reichs
87. Vampirates: Tide of Terror by Justin Somper
86. All Tied Up by Cathryn Fox
85. Dragon America by Mike Resnick
84. Cry Sanctuary by Moira Rogers
83. Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
82. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
81. Divorced, Desperate, and Delicious by Christie Craig
80. Weddings Can Be Murder by Christie Craig
79. Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper
78. Swords and Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery edited by Lou Anders and Jonathan Strahan
77. Beastly by Alex Flinn
76. Extras by Scott Westerfeld
75. Tongues of Serpents by Naomi Novik
74. Specials by Scott Westerfeld
73. Stay by Allie Larkin
72. Antiques Roadkill by Barbara Allen
71. Her Hero in Hiding by Rachael Lee
70. Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik
69. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
68. Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
67. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
66. Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
65. Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
64. His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
63. Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti
62. God Is In the Pancakes by Robin Epstein
61. The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham: A Biography by Selina Hastings
60. Identical by Ellen Hopkins
59. Glass by Ellen Hopkins
58. The Vanishing by Tim Krabbe
57. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald
56. Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock
55. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller
54. Willow by Julie Hoban
53. The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry
52. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
51. Dog Blood by David Moody
50. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larrson
49. Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis
48. Troubles by J.G. Farrell
47. Anathem by Neal Stephenson
46. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
45. The Golden Globe by John Varley
44. Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
43. The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women & a Forty-Year Friendship by Jeffrey Zaslow
42. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
41. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
40. Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
39. Monkeyluv: And Other Essays on Our Lives as Animals by Robert Sapolsky
38. Claiming Ground: A Memoir by Laura Bell
37. The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
36. The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott
35. Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran
34. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
33. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
32. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
31. The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
30: Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert
29. The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds
28. Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini
27. Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
26. Impact by Douglas Preston
25. Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party by Max Blumenthal
24. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
23. City of Thieves by David Benioff
22. The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Tahir Shah
21. Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
20. The Silver Skull by Mark Chadbourn
19. Altar of Eden by James Rollins
18. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
17. Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
16. Jim the Boy by Tony Earley
15. Wisconsin Death Trip by Michael Lesy
14. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
13. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
12. The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University by Kevin Roose
11. Once a Spy by Keith Thomson
10. Four Short Stories: A Great Storyteller at his Best with drawings by Henri Matisse by W. Somerset Maugham
9. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
8. Believe Me by Nina Killham
7. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
6. Tattoo Machine: Tall Tales, True Stories, and My Life in Ink by Jeff Johnson
5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
4. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
3. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
2. 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke
1. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger