Monday, October 28, 2013

Mondays - 10/28/13

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

House renovations and party-prep is finally done and its high time to unwind and relax. As I sat down this past Sunday, with pretty much nothing to do for the first time in months, I found myself wanting to read a good book...

Well, hello mojo!

Now Reading
Wave (Sonali Deraniyagala)

Just Finished
House renovations

On Deck:
Lots of great books

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Salon - 10/27/13

If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.

Well, our "Hole-a-ween" party is done, and it was great. It was lots of fun, even with the addition of a World Series game playing a major role, Ha! It was a smaller crowd than in previous years (again, I blame the Red Sox), but those who came had a good time and LOVED the house renovations!  It was a busy two months leading up to it, completing a long list of goals. But this afternoon, after I returned from my rehearsal, it was really, really nice to just sit around and enjoy the accomplishment post-stress! The house just looks...homey, and welcoming, and lacks any feeling of the 96 year old aunt we bought it from, or the 56 years of its age.

We even switched out all the two-prong electrical outlets to grounded three-prongs! The ugly black light switches are next, and next weekend will be dedicated to yard work as our lovely front-yard tree has dumped pounds of leaves and the town pick ups are coming (always a work in progress, right?).

And, it's on to Thanksgiving...though it appears we will not be hosting this year, thankfully. We are pooped!

Books and Blogging
On a positive note, I seem to have gotten a bit of reading mojo back.  I'm not sure if it's the book I'm reading, Wave by Sunali Deriniyagala, or the sweet feeling of having no immediate responsibilities bearing down on me and my "down time". But I seem to be plowing through this one and am looking forward to a bunch of others. I am actually pumped to get my hands on the upcoming memoir by Corey Feldman (read 'child of the 80's').

What about you, what are you Jonesing for this week?

Hope you have a good one!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

ASOL #5 - 10/24/13

Not gonna do it, just not!  No way, no how! No, no, no, no, no!!!

"What?!" you ask?

Google +.

OK, Google + isn't such a big deal, I admit it. But the constant additions to social media that I seem forced to accept in order to follow and communicate with people is getting ridiculous. And I am a totally computer literate, tech-saavy, online-active person (what about those folks who are less so?).

I'm going to admit something... I'm not a big "commenter". There I said it. I'm lazy. I'm too busy...and well a whole bunch of other excuses, but I'm just not. Every once in a while, though, I read a post that I find touching or interesting and for whatever reason, I feel compelled to comment. This has happened several times over the last couple months. So, I clicked in my Feedly reader to be taken to the blogger's page and scrolled down ready, excited even, to have my say in the comment box and...

"You must log in to Google + to add a comment..."

Um, bite me, OK!?

I'm already e-Blogging, Wordpressing, Facebooking, Twittering, Yahooing, Googling, and maintaining websites for work, Purely Vocals, my theater group and PhotoLAgraphy). Why, oh why, do I now have to Google + too?! Seriously, my passcode list is like...a mile and a half long. I had to set up an Excel spreadsheet with FOUR tabs and its own special passcode so that I could remember them all!

Sorry folks, not gonna do it. If your blog only allows Google + comments, I'm gonna skip it.

Which will admittedly annoy me some, seeing as I've gone and gotten all excited about commenting and taken my precious time to click in and start composing in my head...

Anyone else annoyed by all these darn new social media expectations?!
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 10/22/13

A good lyric is like a great book...
Bohemian Rhapsody
Queen, Artist
Freddie Mercury, Writer/s

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me, to me

Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooo
Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
Goodbye everybody - I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooo - (anyway the wind blows)
I don't want to die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning - very very frightening me
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo Figaro - magnifico

But I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come easy go - will you let me go
Bismillah! No - we will not let you go - let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go - let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go - let me go
Will not let you go - let me go (never)
Never let you go - let me go
Never let me go - ooo
No, no, no, no, no, no, no -
Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me
for me
for me

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
Oh baby - can't do this to me baby
Just gotta get out - just gotta get right outta here

Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters - nothing really matters to me

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mondays - 10/21/13

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
I continue to fantasize a world where I don't have to go to work Monday-Friday, 9-5! I dream of running my own business and one area where I might use my skills is Web Design (yes, I know EVERYONE is doing this, but I did say it was a fantasy...).  In order to be successful though, I'd have to offer more than the basics. So my attention span has been very short, and my out-of-the-book life very busy, and the only thing that has kept my focus recently is...

Books on programming and coding!

I've read some information about C++ programming, some JavaScript, some PHP, etc. Currently I am trying to get through this book on JavaScript within HTML5 and actually learning a bit.
Maybe some day that dream could be a reality?  Sigh...

Now Reading
HTML5 Programming with JavaScript for Dummies (John Paul Mueller)

Just Finished
Do you really need to ask?!

(she hangs her head in shame...)

On Deck:
Who knows!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Salon - 10/20/13

If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.

This weekend is our Hole-a-ween party! I'm getting excited. 

Most of the house work we planned has gotten done and we have a few days left to finish up. We've removed all of the caterpillar-puke, baby-diaper mess colored rugs and painted most of the rooms, after managing to talk ourselves into removing a 12 foot span of the wall between the kitchen and living room. The house is so much brighter and feels much bigger and welcoming! This pic is kind of dark (and mid-process, so piles of stuff are everywhere) but trust me it's great!

I even ordered some adorable gingham curtains for the kitchen (eventually the wall beneath the chair rail will be red), just hoping they arrive before the weekend. Come on! 

I've got some fun plans for the party...deviled spider eggs, mummy-dogs, and an awesome homemade chili! It won't be a huge crowd this year, but it will be tons of fun and everyone is excited to see our hole! Ha! I'm thinking I will either go as a "hole-in-one" or "whole lotta love" (Led Zepplin).  Either way I've got to get started on that!

Books and Blogging
I have been battling burn out much of this year. Since the summer, I've barely read anything (in fact, the only thing I've been able to focus on this month is...a bit strange! You're gonna have to stop by for tomorrow's meme to find out what though! Ha!)

Add to that all our busy weekends on the home front and, well, it just isn't looking promising for any of my 2013 challenges. We've still got a couple of months left, of course, but...I'm pretty much going to need a miracle considering my 'normal' reading speed.  

Oh well, 2014 is just around the corner! And next year I'll be able to focus more on blog activities, hopefully.

Hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 10/15/13

A good lyric is like a great book...

 Me and Emily
Rachel Proctor, Artist
Rachel Proctor & Chris Tompkins, Writers

Floorboard's filled with baby toys,
An' empty coke bottles an' coffee cups.
Drivin' through the rain with no radio,
Tryin' not to wake her up.
Cell 'phone says "low battery",
God, what if I break down?
I'm just lookin' for an exit with a lotta lights,
A safe little interstate town.

Just a cheap hotel,
With a single bed,
And cable TV:
Is good enough for me an' Emily.

Some day, when she's old enough,
She's gonna start askin' questions about him.
Some kid at school brings his Dad for show an' tell,
An' gets her little mind a-wonderin':
"Where's my Daddy? Do I have one?
"Does he not love me like you do?"
Oh, maybe I'll find someone to love the both of us,
Tell her when she's old enough to know the truth.

Will it break her heart?
Will she understand,
That I had to leave?
That's what was best for me an' Emily.

The house was never clean enough; his dinner never warm enough.
Nothing I did was ever good enough to make him happy.
So, I guess, he gave me what he thought I deserved,
But it would kill me if he ever raised his hand to her.

Big rigs are throwin' rain on my windshield,
An' I feel like they're laughin' at me.
Fin'lly the storm is lettin' up,
An' the mornin' is breakin' free.

It's a brand new day,
It's a second chance.
Yesterday is just a memory,
For me an' Emily.

Floorboard is filled with baby toys,
An' empty coke bottles an' coffee cups.
Least there's one good thing that he gave me,
An' she's startin' to wake up.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mondays 10/14/13

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Based on my posts, one might be impressed with all the reading I'm doing. But sadly, that would make one too trusting. The truth is that I've started several books recently and barely gotten into them before having my attention sucked away to various house projects. And when I've returned, my previous interest in the title is gone. Disappeared. Nada. On the positive side, much work is (finally) getting done on my house! On the negative, I've begun looking forward to next year's challenges and goals for reading and blogging, since this year's are clearly a Total.Complete.Loss!!  But then, maybe that's a positive after all...

Now Reading
The Fallback Plan (Leigh Stein)

Just Finished

On Deck:
The list keeps growing...check out my TBR page!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Like Family - McLain

In Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses: A Memoir, Paula McLain recounts her childhood during the 1970s and early '80s. After being abandoned by her parents, her mother ran off with a boyfriend and her father ends up intermittently in jail, McLain and her two sisters endure fifteen years of being wards of the State of California.

At first, they are juggled from foster home to foster home, experiencing sadly typical horrors such as sexual abuse and unkindness. The sisters, when able to bond with these families, learn the hard way that nothing is forever and the only people they can count on is each other. And, while any connection with "real" family is usually a good thing, what little connection the girls have with their paternal grandmother is scarce, confusing and ultimately guilt laden, as McLain struggles with not being able to maintain bonds that a child should not have to carry on her own.

Eventually, the sisters are taken in by a couple long term, but are never quite able to accept it as "home" or the couple as family. The mother is unable, or unwilling, to share anything resembling love with the sisters (or even much for her own child), despite their obvious needs. And when she finally leaves the home upon reaching adulthood, she returns rarely and without a feeling of nostalgia or loss. It is with this family that McLain learns that everyone is fallible, and sometimes saying "I'm sorry" is the best way to show love.

These struggles - to feel accepted, loved, important to others - continue into their adult years making them forever searching for some sort of emotional fulfillment. A powerful memoir, McLain's writing captures the sadness, loneliness, and confusion of being a young girl struggling to find herself with little support from adults and no one to turn to to help fill the hole.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 10/8/13

A good lyric is like a great book...

Why Haven't I Heard From You?
Reba McIntyre, Artist
Sandy Knox and T. W. Hale, Writers

Back in 1876 an ol' boy named Bell
Invented a contraption that we know so well.
By the 1950's they were in everybody's home
As a crazy little thing they call the telephone.
Now there's one on every corner, in the back of every bar
You can get one in your briefcase, on a plane or in your car.

So tell me why, haven't I heard from you?
Tell me why, haven't I heard from you?
I say now darlin', honey, what is your excuse,
Why haven't I heard from you?

Well there's no problem gettin' to me.
Baby you can dial direct,
I got call forwarding and call waiting,
You can even call collect.
The service man he told me that my phone is working fine
And I've come to the conclusion trouble isn't with my line.
I'm sure the operator will be glad to put you thru
So dial zero for assistance if this all confuses you.

So tell me why, haven't I heard from you?
Tell me why, haven't I heard from you?
I say now: Darlin', honey, what is your excuse,
Why haven't I heard from you?

There better been a flood, a landslide of mud,
A fire that burns up the wires,
And a thunder so loud with a black funnel cloud,
A natural disaster I know nothin' about!

So tell me why, haven't I heard from you?
Tell me why, haven't I heard from you?
I say now: Darlin', honey, what is your excuse,
Why haven't I heard from you?

So tell me why, haven't I heard from you?
Tell me why, haven't I heard from you?
I say now: Darlin', honey, what is your excuse,
Why haven't I heard from you?

Monday, October 07, 2013

Thursday, October 03, 2013

September 2013 ReCap...

September 2013 Update 

September was weird... Still have some lingering blahs from August and finally managed to get motivated on the house stuff, so not much reading got done. Its a sad, sad thing to admit...but here I am, only two books this month! Hopefully things are better this fall, or I'm never going to make my goal for the year.

This month I read: 
Total Read: 2
YTD:  26
Adult: 2
YA/children's: 0
Abandoned: 0 

The Middlesteins (Jami Attenberg)
Like Family (Paula McLain)


Favorite Book(s) of the Month:

Like Family

Challenges Update: 
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge = 29 of 58
A-Z Book Challenge = 17 of 26
Library Reading Challenge = 27 of 36
E-Book Reading Challenge =  16 of 25
What's in a Name 6 Challenge = 5 of 6

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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 10/1/13

A good lyric is like a great book...


Garth Brooks, Artist
Garth Brooks, Stephanie Davis, Jenny Yates, Writers

They say mother earth is breathing
With each wave that finds the shore
Her soul rises in the evening
For to open twilights door
Her eyes are the stars in heaven
Watching o'er us all the while
And her heart it is in Ireland
Deep within the Emerald Isle

We are forty against hundreds
In someone else's bloody war
We know not why were fighting
Or what we're dying for
They will storm us in the morning
When the sunlight turns to sky
Death is waiting for its dance now
Fate has sentenced us to die

Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone
I am reaching out won't you take my hand
I'm coming home Ireland

Oh the captain he lay bleeding
I can hear him calling me
These men are yours now for the leading
Show them to their destiny
As I look up all around me
I see the ragged tired and torn
I tell them to make ready
'Cause we're not waiting for the morn

Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone
I am reaching out won't you take my hand
I'm coming home Ireland

Now the fog is deep and heavy
As we forge the dark and fear
We can hear their horses breathing
As in silence we draw near
There are no words to be spoken
Just a look to say good-bye I draw a breath and night is broken
As I scream our battle cry

Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone
I am reaching out won't you take my hand
I'm coming home Ireland
Yes I am home Ireland