Friday, July 30, 2010

Brothers Karamazov Ceilidh - Part I

100 bottles of Vodka on the wall, 100 bottles of Vodka.  Take one down, pass it around and....Ceilidh!!  It's the Brothers Karamzov Readalong Part I!  A post in which I confess that I have no idea what's going on plot-wise and am not even sure how to pronounce Karamazov.  This post focuses on Part I of Brothers Karamazov--pages 1-160 of my edition.  There aren't really any spoilers in this post so no need to cover those eyes.
I think I can feel Jill shooting daggers at me with her eyes—halfway across the nation. What the heck did I get us into with this book?? If you’ve read it or any Dostoevsky, encouraging words please!

What’s going on so far (from what I can tell):

There are three brothers Karamazov: Dmitri, Ivan, and Alexei (or Alyosha). Their father, Fyodor is a drunkard, woman seducing, somethingsomething, who loses track of his sons after their mothers die. Now that all the boys are grown up and doing their own thing (Dmitri a soldier, Ivan an intellect, and Alyosha a spiritualist), they meet together at Alyosha’s monastery with their father to work out an agreement for Dmitri’s inheritance. Their agreement turns into disagreement when it surfaces that Fyodor and Dmitri are in love with the same woman, Grushenka. Add another woman into the mix, Dmitri’s fiancĂ©e Katerina, and this books is the beginnings of a disaster!

Thoughts so far (from what I can decide):

Honestly, I feel like I could probably start reading this book from the beginning and pick up so much more information. It took me about 50 pages (out of 160) to get into the groove of the writing and I have a sad basic (if that!) understanding of what’s going on plotwise. Actually, when I’m understanding what’s going on it isn’t that bad. Good news is there’s a lot of dialect and some if it's actually a way. These Karamazovs are quite the characters and none of them really seem to get along with one another. Alyosha is my favorite so far, but he can also be kind of a prude.

Could the names of the characters be any more confusing? We all thought that Wuthering Heights was bad with the Lintons and Cathys, but seriously?! Everyone has a nickname and in the same sentence multiple nicknames for one character can be used.

There is a lot of religious discussion so far that I can’t really say I get. Seems that many of the characters are atheist and there’s a lot of interesting conversations between the characters regarding their souls and eternal punishment and the separation of Church and State and… While it’s interesting, it does make my head hurt a lot.

Hmmm, maybe not the most positive response so far, but there was a twist at the end of Part I that made me gasp outloud, so I think things will start to get interesting. And maybe I’ll just go back and re-read Part I now that I’m familiar with the characters. I'll admit I’ve had to rely on the good ole Sparknotes to glean some type of understanding of the Brothers K.

Some notable quotes:

"'But, really, what are you talking about?'" (66).  Hee hee.

"'A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others.  Not respecting anyone, he ceases to love, and having no love, he gives himself up to passions and course pleasures, in order to occupy and amuse himself, and his vices reaches complete bestiality, and it all comes from lying continually to others and to himself'" (44).

"'Wait, Alexei, one more confession to you alone!' Dmitri Fyodorovich suddenly turned back. 'Look at me, look closely: right here, do you see, right here a horrible dishonor is being prepared.' (As he said 'right here,' Dmirtir Fyodorovich struck himself on the chest with his fist, and with such strange look as though the dishonor was lying and being kept precisely there on his chest, in some actual place, maybe in a pocket, or sewn up and hanging around his neck.)" (156).

And one question for the crowd: Pronunciation: Kare-uh-mah-zov? Kah-rah-mah-zov? I say the first but mostly just say Brothers K since I’m not really sure! :P

Hope to be more enlightened before the next wrap-up!  Pop by Fizzy Thoughts if you're interested in joining us!  Misery loves company, right? 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Disappearing Nine Patch Quilt FINISHED!

After fourteen (yes 1-4) months, I have finally finished my first true machine quilting project.  I've made two quilts before, but not knowing how to finish them I used the birthing method of sewing most of the quilt inside out and then turning it right side to finish by hand-tying.  At the bottom of this post is the baby quilt I made for my niece a year and a half ago using this method.  I decided last summer that it was time I was a big girl and use the machine Scott bought me and kept nagging me about for its disuse. 

Lots of pictures--from start to finish.  This was definitely a labor of love.  I am not a skilled sewer or quilter--I'm just barely learning.  I can only sew in straight lines with the help of painters tape (seen below).  If I can do this you can, too.

I don't remember where I saw the first Disappearing Nine Patch pattern, but Lisa convinced me it was simple, so I decided to give it a go.  I sewed the top fairly quickly and then let the quilt set for months while we moved and then months while I worked up the courage to run my beloved top through the machine.  Then I had to conquer the fear of finishing the binding by hand, but I actually found this process relaxing.

This post is not meant to be a tutorial.  If you're looking for a great tutorial on the Disappearing Nine Patch, visit Obsessively Quilting's First Quilt Ever Tutorial.  A tutorial I found when I was already finished with my top.  Red Pepper Quilts and Crazy Moms Quilts both have great tutorials for hand binding.  And finally a big thanks to Lisa for her support over the past year.  NO thanks to my husband for the constant nagging--although I do love you dearly and the next quilt is yours.

Who's the quilt for?  ME.  The next quilt will be for Scott although I haven't bought a stitch of fabric for him and I've started stashing away fabric for me.  Oops! 

Anyone up for a quiltalong?  (yes, I realize I'm incorrigible with all the "alongs" lately).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor E. Frankl

Title: Man's Search for Meaning
Author: Viktor E. Frankl
Published: 1946;  Pages: 154
Genre: Autobiography/Psychology
Rating: NA

I didn’t really know what to expect when my coworker chose Man’s Search for Meaning for our book club pick last month. I hadn’t heard of the book before and the short snippet I read on Amazon compared Viktor Frankl’s Holocaust narrative with Primo Levi’s. When I picked up my copy from Half Price Books, I noticed the subtitle was “An Introduction into Logotherapy.” What the heck?? What was this book really about—the Holocaust or Psychology?

Man’s Search for Meaning is divided into three sections. In the first and longest section, Frankl gives a short history of his experiences in the various Concentration Camps he was sent to during the war. In this section he also introduces his philosophical theory of the Will to Meaning. In the second , Logotherapy in a Nutshell, Frankl goes into more detail about his theory and what it means to have a will to meaning versus the will to pleasure (Freud) and the will to power (Nietzsche).  In the final section of Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl discusses the application of his theory in modern times and also a concept called Tragic Optimism.

This is a relatively short book and I was surprised how quickly I read it, but it was so different from what I'm used to reading and I was eager to discuss Frankl's experiences and theories with my book club.  Frankl's Holocaust narrative is quite different from the others that I've read in the past--he discusses many of the things that happened during his imprisonment in the camps but he talks about these things without emotion, as if he is looking at his experience from a purely clinical view.  It was very strange for me to read his experience as he seemed so removed, but I suppose it makes sense in light of his theories.  His experiences aren't the central focus in this book--his central focus is Logotherapy.

What is Logotherapy?  Frankl purports that every man has a basic desire to gain meaning from his life.  Throughout his time in the Concentration Camps, Frankl focused his energies on the meaning of and in his life--when people began to lose sight of meaning in their lives, that is when they would begin to give up and perish.  Meaning comes from outside, not from within ourselves and there are three basic ways that one can find meaning in his life: Through works, through love, and through suffering.  The meaning that one finds in his life today may not be the same meaning as yesterday and of tomorrow because meaning changes based on circumstances.

The bottom line for me is that although I found this book interesting and I agree with it in theory, I think that Frankl is oftentimes overly optimistic in his thoughts--especially in the later parts of the book when Frankl discusses finding meaning in suffering (Tragic Optimism). I do agree that without meaning or a search for meaning in our lives we become lost and lose sight of what is important and where we want to direct ourselves. And when we are suffering we need to find some type of meaning otherwise that suffering is in vain. But when we are lost, I don't think it is as simple as thinking to yourself "Oh, I just have to find some meaning!" Perhaps through work and maybe even some counseling you can come to this enlightened idea, but I don't think it is as easy as simply changing one's mindset (or maybe it is that easy, it just isn't easy to change one's mindset when one's mindset is the depths of despair).

I know I gave more details to the book than I normally do, but this isn't the type of book that has plot spoilers.  :)  I found this to be a fascinating book and between my pencil underlining and the previous owner's blue highlighting, I think we have every page covered in some type of marking or note.  It's a short book that can be read in a single sitting if you have the time, and I think it's the type of book that everyone can gain something from reading.  Man's Search for Meaning made for a fascinating book club discussion and I'd highly recommend it as a book club selection.

Some sample quotes:

"I wanted to wake the poor man (having a nightmare).  Suddenly I drew back the hand which was ready to shake him, frightened at the thing I was about to do.  At that moment I became intensely conscious of the fact that no dream, no matter how horrible, could be as bad as the reality of camp which surrounded us. and to which I was about to recall him" (41).

"If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete" (76).

"Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it" (82).

"For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour.  What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment" (113).

What do you think about the idea of finding meaning in one's life?

I am an Amazon Associate and if you purchase Man's Search for Meaning or any other Amazon product through this review I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thank you!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Salon - Reading Accomplishments

Good Morning!  Before you read any further, I took the plunge and created my own domain, so please please please update your Feed Readers or links or bookmarks or whatever with the new address:

Today's topic, Reading Accomplishments, comes from my recent reading accomplish of finishing Les Miserables yesterday after working on it for almost six months.  I started reading it as a readalong with a couple of coworkers and when life got in the way for me they finished without me.  I had to put it aside several times to finish other books or to simply take a break, but I always came back.  It is the longest book I've finished (at 1,200 pages) and might even be the longest amount of time I've ever taken to finish a book.  Certainly a big accomplishment for me.

I've had a lot of reading accomplishments over the years--finishing various classics or completing tough graduate courses or reading X amount of books in a year, but this one feels like the biggest for some reason--maybe just the circumstances surrounding?  I hadn't anticipated it taking me so long and I don't necessarily feel especially proud for having read Les Miserables over any other book, but I do feel a bit accomplished.

What are some of the reading accomplishments that you've had?  Was it a tough book that you didn't think you could tackle?  Or was it reading a certain amount of books in a year?  Reading through authors that intimidated you?  Or do you have certain reading goals you'd like to accomplish?  Something you're working towards?  I'd love to hear about it!

On to other news...I'm finally starting to get serious about culling my shelves, so depending on interest I'll hopefully be having a series of giveaways so that I can pass these books on to others who will enjoy them.


They're all paperback.  I've read them all.  And so it goes with books I've read,  many of these have my name and date finished written in the front cover.  Think of it as a Trish autograph?  Ha!  They're in good condition.  Links take you to my reviews where available.

The Books:
1. Springtime on Mars - Susan Woodring
2. The Zookeeper's Wife - Diane Ackerman
3. The Septembers of Shiraz - Dalia Sofer
4. Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen - Susan Gregg Gilmore
5. City of Thieves - Daivd Benioff
6. A Golden Age - Tahmima Anam
7. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
8. Charming Billy - Alice McDermott
9. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant - Anne Tyler
10. Map of the World - Jane Hamilton
11. Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards
12. Le Divorce - Diane Johnson
13. In Her Shoes - Jennifer Weiner
14. The Nanny Diaries - Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
15. Down to a Sunless Sea - Matias Freese
16. Here on Earth - Alice Hoffman

How to Enter:
**Tell me you're interested and leave your email in the comments. 
I'd also love it if you answer my Sunday Salon question, follow me, subscribe, tweet or blog about the giveaway, but after all the bashing on #dearblogger, I'm not going to make you jump through hoops.  :) 

The amount of books I giveway will depend on interest.  The more interest, the more books I'll giveaway (incentive to spread the word?).  Each winner will get two books of his/her choosing on a first come first serve basis. Drawing closes Tuesday July 27th at Midnight (Dallas time). I'll draw winner(s) at random Drawing Closed. Everyone who entered wins!! Thanks to those interested.

Hope you're all having a wonderful and lazy/productive Sunday!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Custom Domain for Blogger? Yay? Nay?

Basically the title says it all.  I know several of you guys have gone to custom domains on Blogger and I was hoping to get some feedback.  I figure if I'm going to take the plunge, now is the time since the blog is still relatively new.  I always wanted to with the Reading Nook but was already taken. 

Pros?  Cons?  Troubles?  Love it?  Will everything redirect?  What about old links?  Anything else to think about? 

Help me!  :)

Edited: I bit the bullet and went ahead and registered for my own domain.  I'm now  (or will be in a few days).  It's going to take some time to get used to not typing in blogspot! Thanks to those who attested to the smooth transition.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson

Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Author: Stieg Larsson
Published: 2005; Pages: 590
Audio: 16 hrs, 20 min
Genre: Fiction/Mystery
Rating: 4/5

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a complex mystery and thriller that takes place in modern day Sweden. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist, in the midst of a professional criminal scandal, is approached by Henrik Vanger, an aging industry tycoon, to write his biography and while in the process solve the mystery of his missing niece who disappeared in the 1960s. When Mikael begins uncovering facts and leads that no one could have ever imagined, he calls in the help of Lisbeth Salander—the girl with the dragon tattoo.

Reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was much like being on a rollercoaster--the plot would thicken and complicate and there would be a quick swooooosh as I rushed down the hill but the tredge to get back up to the next plot high point was arduous and taxing.  Larsson covers so much ground in this book--from racism including Nazism, to capitalism and enterprise, to rape and murder, to the legal nuances of Sweden--from the prison system to welfare, etc etc.  As soon as I found myself turning pages faster and faster, all of a sudden I'd come to a screeching halt as Larsson would move onto a tangent that sometimes lasted for more than I could read in one sitting.  I've heard people chalk this up to him being a foreign writer, but I've read plenty of foreign authors.  I wonder more, if it might have to do with the editing process after Larsson's death?

Before I read this book, my dad told me it was unreadable--the language and writing so foreign he couldn't get into it.  I do not agree with this statement.  The book is very readable, but it might take some patience to get into the story.  I've also heard people say that they're scared of the violence in this book.  The Swedish (original) title for the book is Men Who Hate Women and this is a theme that certainly runs throughout the book.  Mikael, in his search for Harriett uncovers some very gruesome murders, and there are some other scenes of sexual abuse that I could see turning people off, but I didn't feel that it was gratuitous. 

I find myself very much on middle ground with this one--the mystery portion was enough to keep me interested for 590 pages but I think it could have been cut down substantially.  I originally read this book for my book club meeting several months ago and we had a great discussion and most of the members liked the book--for one the violence was too much.  Even though I left the meeting with lukewarm feelings, I listened to this book on audio recently and many of my original complaints--too long and tangential--went away with listening.  The flow was much smoother on audio, which is something I don't normally encounter with audiobooks.  I'm not in a huge hurry, but I do see myself continuing on with the trilogy sooner or later.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first in Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium Trilogy.” An interesting tidbit—the three books in the series were published after Stieg Larsson’s death in 2004. I am curious to know about the editing process—if Larsson had been working with an editor before he died or if everything was edited posthumously. If you know any information about this, please fill me in! I’m always curious about how works are edited without the author.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?  If you haven't read it yet, do you think you will?

I am an Amazon Associate.  If you buy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or any other product from Amazon through this review, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thank you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Arkansas from the Back of a Bike

Remember how a month and a half ago Scott and I took our first long-distance motorcycle trip?  And I'm just now getting around to blogging about it?  We're starting to talk more seriously about our upcoming trip to Sturgis, so in the spirit of motorcycle riding, here's our trip to Arkansas:

Bright and early Friday morning we hopped on the bike (don't let the photo fool you, we were wearing helmets the whole time), and headed towards the blacktop that is HWY 75.  Without my morning dose of coffee, I'm not a happy camper (a lie--I'm definitely a morning person).  I successfully cajoled Scott into stopping at Cracker Barrel for the perfect Southern breakfast.  Grits included although I didn't touch mine.  Ick!  If you've never been to Cracker Barrel before, stop next time you see one.  I'm pretty sure they're across the country as we've been to one on Route 66 in Arizona, in South Dakota, and another in Mobile, Alabama where I got my first taste of chicken and dumplings as a kid.  Even better than the homestyle food served is the cutesy little country store with all kinds of fun gifts and treats.  Oh ya...the trip...

With our bellies full of coffee and biscuits and gravy we sprayed down with suntan lotion, I put on my audiobook, and we made our way into Oklahoma.  Texas certainly has it's relatively beautiful spots, but unfortunately North Texas where you can see forever into the horizon is not one of them.  But as soon as we meandered into Oklahoma the flat land began to ripple and the highway became a little curvier.  Yes, this is what we came to see!  Almost anyway--it would still be a long ways before we got into the Ozarks.

After stopping at the Harley-Davidson dealership in Fort Smith, Arkansas, we headed to a small cafe for lunch and got back on the road.  As soon as we started north towards Fayetteville, we began discovering the rolling hills of the Ozarks.  It was so refreshing to see so much green all around us and passers-by could see us pointing in different directions at the awesome views. 

From Fayetteville to Eureka Springs we took the Pig Trail Scenic Byway (Ark 23) and on a whim Scott pulled over to let me drive for a bit. There hadn't been much traffic and the roads didn't seem to be too curvy, but by the time we pulled into Eureka Springs I had quite the following behind me as I slowed around every corkscrew turn we came upon during my ride. I stalled out at the first stop sign we came to and that was it for my driving time of the trip.

Dead tired and a little dehydrated from being on the road in the heat for about eight hours, we gladly pulled into our hotel in Eureka Springs for a breather.  Not too long as there was so much in Eureka Springs to discover.  I absolutely loved this town and big thanks to Meredith for telling me it is a must see in Arkansas.  The town is small and quaintly nestled into the hills, and though we didn't get to spend as much time as we would have liked, we'll definitely be heading back.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Sunset in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The next morning we woke early to make our way to Branson, Missouri.  Other than knowing we were spending the night there we didn't have much else planned.  From Eureka Springs it was a short distance to the Missouri border and the sights on the other side of the state line were just as many.  The collage below is a mishmash of Missouri and Arkansas, and I wish they did the hills justice--it's simply too hard to capture with my point and shoot.

Of course I had to stop when entering Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. Thanks Gorillapod for helping us with our pictures!

It is a pretty short driving distance between Eureka Springs and Branson, so once we exhausted our explorations of Table Rock Lake (sadly no pictures), we settled in Branson.  Branson is a strange town and I'm glad we sated our curiosities on this trip so that we don't have to go back again.  I went as a child and all I can remember are the roadside attractions (Ripley's Believe it or Not, etc).  I don't really know how to describe Branson except that it's like Vegas without the gambling.  I'm guessing it's mostly known for its shows--shows of any kind you can imagine--even at 10:00 in the morning!  And since we weren't prepared and Opry isn't really our scene, we were at a loss of what to do.  We finally settled on a shopping center downtown and did what we do when we don't know what else to  Shorty Smalls BBQ if you're curious.
Scott and Trish at Branson Landing, Missouri

Picture of Branson taken from the back of the bike. 
Hard to tell but on the left behind the light is King Kong climbing a building.

I for one was glad to get out of Branson the next morning and head back into the quiet of Arkansas.  Again, we didn't really have a destination in mind except to get to Mountain View to stay the night.  We stopped for some more BBQ for lunch at a roadside stop called K.T.'s Smokehouse in Gassville, AR.  We weren't really sure of the local dish for Arkansas, but BBQ seemed to be a good bet and this was the most delicious we had.  Scott decided sometime during the trip that he was going to rate restaurants based on "helmets" rather than stars.  This got the ultimate "Four Helmets" from Scott (and me).

Our lack of planning foiled our plans once we got into Mountain View as there were absolutely no vacancies in the entire town--and the town was a remote one.  It seemed as though every other biker driving through Arkansas had the same plans a we did--although they were a little more diligent in making reservations ahead of time.  Disappointed, we continued on the road until Texarkana--several hours worth of driving from central Arkansas just beyond the border into Texas.  Our butts were sore, we hit a small patch of rain, and we were a little worse for the wear, but it meant a little less driving home the next day--when we would be in full heat and mostly on blacktop.  Just like with Eureka Springs, we'll definitely be heading back to Mountain View again.

By the time we pulled into our driveway after three days of riding, we had travelled over 1,100 miles.  It was our first long distance bike trip (all we took is what we could stuff into the back of the bike) and we're already itching for another.  The trike we took on the trip is Scott's mom as Scott's bikes aren't made for touring.  One day I'd love to take this same trip but on two wheels as the curves in the road make you feel like they were made for bike riding. 

This trip wasn't about the destination.  It was about the experience, and it is an experience I can't adequately describe.  I was hesitant and concerned about being on the road for so long--would I get bored or tired, could my body take sitting in once position that long?  I generally fall asleep on cartrips but that's not safe on the back of a bike.  I had help from a great audiobook, but mostly, it was feeling the wind and heat on my skin, the sights that surrounded me without the bounds of a car, and becoming one with the road.  It was an amazing journey and one I can't wait to experience again.

When I asked Scott if he had a comment for the post, I got a "Vroom Vroom" from him.  So...

Vroom Vroom,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Sunday Salon - It's Been a While!

Officially my first Sunday Salon since leaving Trish's Reading Nook and can I just say how much I missed these posts?  When I get a free minute to bloghop these are always the posts I gravitate towards most as I love hearing the topics and questions posed by others.  I've always found Sunday Salon to be such a great way to connect with other bloggers.

Even though I had to take another small break from blogging these past few weeks mostly due to work, I've been feeling more and more like my old blogging, reading self again.  Still not blogging like I once was, and I'm not sure I will blog at that level again, I've certainly got books on the brain and love getting little snippets here and there of what everyone is ready.  I couldn't tell you the hot books right now, and I've only read ELEVEN books this year (that I can remember...maybe one or two I've forgotten?), but all and all it feels good to be slowly making my way back into the book blogosphere--even if I find myself doing something I never did before...lurking!  Even lurking at those blogs where I used to be quite a regular commenter. 

As we're now over halfway through the year and I've only finished eleven books--my worst record in over five years--I wonder how you find the time to read when the going gets tough or time just runs out on you.  So my question to you--do you have times when you just can't fit in the reading?  When these times come, when do you find time to read?  How much do you typically read a day (time wise)?  If your schedule is packed do wake up early, go to bed late, read in the bathroom?  How do you fit in the reading when time slips, life gets in the way, or you're just too damn tired to pick up that book?

On another note, the ever Awesome Paxton from Cavalcade of Awesome bestowed upon me the Versatile Blogger Award.  I don't usually announce awards or (shame) pass them on, but this is the first I've received since the move and it makes me feel all warm and tingly inside.

This award really struck home because I strive to be a versatile blogger.  I moved so I could write about a variety of topics without feeling 100% tied to books (because I'm neurotic like that).  I wish that I could balance my posts a little more, but honestly most of them are just fly by my seat because a) I'm not reading much  b) I usually just find the time to post something quick c) by the time I get around to Blogger that post idea has vanished.  I envision this blog as being reflective of my life but also inviting discussion on a variety of topics.  Really I just need to get organized! 

The rules:
1.  Give thanks to the person who nominated you.
2.  List 7 things about yourself
3.  Give this award to 15 of your favorite bloggers

First, Paxton--thank you.  If there was ever a versatile blogger, you are he.  You rock.  Seriously, y'all--go check out his Cavalcade of Awesome.  Pop culture galore, his posts always keep me entertained.

Second, seven things.  Gah. 
-Almost 29 and have more gray hair than I wish to count
-Favorite color is red and sometimes pink
-Recently licensed in motorcycle driving
-Two degrees in English but work in insurance
-I lurk at quilting blogs--it's funny to me how similar to book bloggers quilt bloggers are!
-The Princess Bride is my all time favorite movie
-I'm a sucker for Classic Rock

And to pass it on:
*Of course Paxton
*Amanda at The Zen Leaf and Spiral Upwards.  The most versatile blogger I know. 
*Elise my cousin-in-law: photography, home renovation, cooking, baby
*Bookfool for her Fiona, bookish babbling, and Wahooing
*Meredith at A Work in Progress, my real life friend blogger who is just so witty
*Chris from Stuff as Dreams are Made On for books, gardening and more
*Vivienne at Serendipity for books, scrapbooking, and life
*Melissa at the Betty and Boo Chronicles for books and all sorts of good things
*Jill at Rhapsody in Books for all her insight into everything

I'm leaving out so many blogs I love--the bookish ones where I've made friends and the quilting and cooking ones where I lurk, but these are blogs I love for their variety and versatility.

I hope everyone's having a wonderful Sunday!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Holy Cow! Unanticipated Break

I just realized that I haven't posted since my Thirteen Reasons Why review, haven't responded to comments, haven't looked at email, or even dared open my Google Reader--none of this in over a week. 

Life is moving faster than I can right now so I'll be back when I catch my breath.  Hopefully not too long--I'm up against a huge work deadline and I'm hoping after that has passed I'll have so much free time I won't even know what to do with it all.  Wishful thinking, eh?

Whew!  Hope you're all having a lovely sunny summer week.

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