Friday, May 30, 2014

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and not so bookish bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise.

1. Have you heard that LeVar Burton is trying to bring back Reading Rainbow online? Very cool!

2. Enjoyed a weekend away this past week with my singing sisters (PV). There really is nothing quite like sitting by the edge of a beautiful lake, listening to the water lap gently, reading a good book!

3. Yet another heartbreaking and totally horrific school shooting in CA.... Sigh.

4. So Kendall and Kylie Jenner wrote a book... Really?! Ummm, whatever...

5. Despite a replacement mask for my CPAP machine, I still struggle with getting enough sleep. I fall asleep fine, but after three to four hours I wake up. After a potty break, I go down again...but my remaining hours are choppy and interrupted. I suppose its getting least from what I can tell from my Fitbit. But I've got to admit that I am tired (pun intended) of the 3-4 hours sleep and 3-4 hours of "restlessness". Seriously, this lack of sleep thing is NO joke!

6. The world's collective heart breaks to hear of this week's passing of Dr. Maya Angelou. She is described as "one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time" and a "warrior for equality, tolerance and peace" (  And she was.  The memoirist and poet’s landmark book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is on my TBR list. I must step that one up!

7.  I am currently in love with Ed Sheeran. Ok, I'm behind the times. But, I just love his voice and adore this song...

8. I fully understand wanting to promote British literature in Britain. I get it, I do. But removing classics such as To Kill A Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men? Really?! How about we nix Shakespeare and Austen from American lesson plans?  How does that benefit the children, or anyone for that matter? Of the books I was force fed in school, it was the American literature that sparked my mind, interested me, and motivated me to read more advanced classics. Foolish, I say. Absolutely bull-pucky!

9.  The hubby are at the point where we need to seriously look at buying a new car. We are giving up a *very old* Toyota Corolla and need another small(ish) car. But since I will be driving it, I want something similar to my current Rav4. Not small! I'm thinking a Honda CRV or Nissan Rogue...though they are about the same width, they are shorter. Thoughts, anyone?

10. I'm hoping to spend some time this weekend reading...but whenever I say that I find myself running from responsibility to responsibility. How to break that cycle?!?!?

Have a great weekend all!

May 2014 ReCap...

MAY 2014

Another month of barely reading. I don't think I have read this little...since college. Seriously! What is up with me? Sigh...

This month I read: 
Total Read: 2
YTD: 11
Adult: 2
YA/children's: 0
Abandoned: 0

Part Swan, Part Goose (Swoosie Kurtz)
The Word Exchange (Alena Graedon)



Favorite Book(s) of the Month:

Part Swan, Part Goose - I love Swoosie Kurtz!

Challenges Update: 
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge =  11 of 58
A-Z Book Challenge = 9 of 26
Library Reading Challenge = 1 of 36
E-Book Reading Challenge = 8 of 25
What's in a Name 6 Challenge =  2 of 6

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Word Exchange - Graedon

Title:The Word Exchange
Author: Alena Graedon
Published: 2014
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Book Source: I received this book as a publisher's  through Netgalley, free of cost, in exchange for an honest review.

Recommended if you like: Distopian Fiction
What Its About:  
Its a futuristic New York City and cell phones have taken over. Well, not cell phones exactly, but computer electronics called Memes which utilize micro-chips and cellular biology to communicate, or integrate, with your brain to relieve you of the pesky and time consuming work of thinking.

The problem is that, like all computers, Memes are susceptible to virus. And via the micro-chips and cellular pathways they create, these viruses are *supposedly* accidentally transferred to the brains of its users.This "flu" causes failures in speech and communication, randomly replacing words with gibberish when user speak.

The other problem is, while human intelligence levels might change, human nature hasn't and greed-fueled evil still exists. Anticipating the human need to connect with others and be understood, Synchronic, Inc (a psuedo Apple corporation) has essentially put dictionaries out of business by purchasing the legal rights to words, all of them, and offering a "pay-as-you-go" option called the Word Exchange, where the futuristic non-thinkers can pay to retrieve such needed information.

Anana Johnson, the daughter of the well-known lexicographer Douglas Johnson (the last editor of the North American Dictionary of the English Language (NADEL) who just happens to have gone missing) is tasked with the job of discovering this diabolical scheme and saving the day.

The Bottom Line:
An interesting read. Not my typical genre, but interesting just the same.

 A bit hard to follow, but that perhaps adds to the fun.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 05/27/14

A good lyric is like a great book...

Let Me Touch You For Awhile
Alison Krauss & Union Station, Artist

It's been a long time coming,
As you shed a lonesome tear.
And now you're in a wonderama,
I wonder what you're doin' here.

The flame no longer flickers,
You're feeling just like a fool.
You keep starin' into your liquor,
Wonderin' what to do.

I don't hardly know you,
But I'd be willin' to show you,
I know a way to make you smile!
Let me touch you for awhile.

I'm gonna ruin my black mascara.
You're drinkin whiskey when it should be wine.
You keep a-lookin' into that mirror.
But to me you're lookin' really fine.

I don't hardly know you,
But I'd be willin' to show you,
I know a way to make you,
Laugh at that cowgirl as she's walkin' out your door.
I know a way to make you smile.

Just let me whisper things,
You've never heard before.
Just let me touch you, baby.
Just let me touch you for awhile.

I don't hardly know you,
But I'd be willin' to show you,
I know a way to make you smile.

It's been a long time,
Let me touch you for awhile.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This One Summer - Tamaki

Title: This One Summer
Author: Mariko & Jillian Tamaki

Published: 2014;  Pages: 258
Genre: Fiction
2/5- Just okay.  Choose with extreme prejudice.

Book Source: I received this ARC, free of cost, in exchange for an honest review.

Recommended if you like: Graphic Novels, YA

What Its About:  

Rose is visiting her family's Awago Beach lake house, as she has done every summer since she can remember. Usually, its a time filled with joy and fun. But this year is different. 

Rose is growing up. She is noticing things she never has before, like boys and other people's problems. Her mother isn't acting normally, and her parents are fighting. Her friend Windy is there to weather the storm with her, but some things even friends can't fix.

Bottom Line: 


Admittedly, I am not a big graphic novel reader. The graphic part was pretty cool though and it was fun to read something new like this. 

That wasn't why I wasn't impressed with this book.  
First, there seemed to be an expectation that tweens have the inability to complete a focused thought. At least, that is how it seemed to me from the writing. The book jumped from scene to scene, thought to thought, subject to subject with no chapter breaks, no page breaks...nothing to indicate a new thought had begun. Perhaps that is typical of graphic novels? Or do the authors just think that is how a teen's mind works? I certainly don't recall being that way, nor are any of the teens I know. I had trouble following along because of it. I would have preferred at least some structure.

Second, though the subject matter was fairly deep for a graphic novel (which was great), overall the book didn't delve deep enough into any of those subject matters to make it worth reading. Teen pregnancy and miscarriage - great topics, great opportunities to learning...both barely mentioned in passing.

Even the friend character, Windy, didn't really seem to have any purpose. The friendship was barely developed, which I felt was a loss. I was just sort of left going...uh, why bother?!

Overall, it was a quick read. But just eh...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 05/20/14

A good lyric is like a great book...

Men Don't Change
Amy Dalley, Artist
Amy Michelle Dalley and Lee Thomas Miller, Writers

He was a bad boy and I was a good girl
He needed me to smooth out the edges
He'd get his drink on and flirt with the ladies
After two years of his crap, I quit begging
I'm a magnet for the fixer upper man
If I know it's fire, why do I let it burn my hand
Cupid works for the devil, be suspicious if he cries
You know, sex is usually good, yeah, but it ain't always right
Chocolate is a band-aid and no matter what they say
Shoes don't stretch and men don't change
My friend Lisa, she loves a liar
She found about his other girlfriends
He makes excuses so she forgives him
She swears, she's gonna leave if he screws up again
But he's good looking that's why she don't see
He's got her exactly where he wants her to be
Cupid works for the devil, be suspicious if he cries
You know, sex is usually good, yeah, but it ain't always right
Chocolate is a band-aid and no matter what they say
Shoes don't stretch and men don't change

Cupid works for the devil, be suspicious if he cries
You know, sex is usually good, yeah, but it ain't always right
Chocolate is a band-aid and no matter what they say
Shoes don't stretch and men don't change.

Cupid works for the devil, be suspicious if he cries
You know, sex is usually good, yeah, but it ain't always right
Chocolate is a band-aid and no matter what they say
Shoes don't stretch and men don't change.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Salon - 05/18/14

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


Hell week at work! Today's graduation was proceeded by weeks of crazy prep and it all came to a head this week.

Annually, we put on a graduate luncheon the Saturday before graduation...or I should say I put on, but the department pays for it. So I've been shopping and preparing for a days. To add to the busy, I also planned and presented a full retirement party Friday afternoon. Sadly, the caterers were not up to it, so I ended up stressing a ton while hurriedly tossing table cloths on tables where guests were sitting...and stressing when the cake went MIA, and stressing when the flower arrangement arrived 20 minutes late!! I won't name names... But my Saturday party went perfectly, of course.

Purely Vocals is going into the "studio" today to begin work on our first CD! We are all very excited. We hope to have something for he fall season.

Blogging and Reading:

Still reading The Word Exchange. I'm finally getting into it. Hopefully I can get it done before next weekend so I can get to all those great birthday purchases!

Am trying to write up some posts to prepare for next week's travel.

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

April 2014 ReCap....

APRIL 2014

Read more than I thought this month, but clearly not back to my norm!

This month I read: 
Total Read: 3
YTD: 9
Adult: 2
YA/children's: 1

No Saints Around Here: A Caregiver's Days (Toth)
Prepared For A Purpose (Tuff)
Breakfast Served Anytime (Combs)



Favorite Book(s) of the Month:

No Saints Around Here - a well written and very personal memoir

Challenges Update: 
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge = 9 of 58
Library Reading Challenge = 1 of 36
What's in a Name 6 Challenge =  2 of 6
E-Book Reading Challenge = 6 o
A Year of Re-Reading Challenge = 0 of 4

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Part Swan, Part Goose - Kurtz

Title: Part Swan, Part Goose:An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work, and Family

Author: Swoosie Kurtz, Joni Rodgers
Published: 2014
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Book Source: I received this book as a publisher's  through Penguin, free of cost, in exchange for an honest review.

Recommended if you like: Celebrity Memoirs, Theater

What Its About: 
A compelling and heartwarming memoir from award-winning actress Swoosie Kurtz, Part Swan, Part Goose celebrates her extraordinary life and career, and serves as an ode to her beloved parents, Frank and Margo. Weaving stories from the author's life with passages from her mother's 1945 memoir My Rival, the Sky, Kurtz gives readers a complete understanding of not just who she is and how she got there, but where she came from.

Kurtz was raised an only child and an "army brat". Her father was a no-frills, but loving, military man.  Once an Olympic diving medalist, Frank Kurtz was one of the most decorated aviators of WWII. Swoosie was actaully named after his beloved plane, The Swoose (part swan, part goose). Margo Kurtz was a feminist before her time, a strong woman who wrote her own memoir describing her (pre-Swoosie) life with Frank Kurtz and war-time America.  

With such strong examples, and an non-ending amount of love and attention, Kurtz was bound to choose an equally exceptional role in life.  Yet it was still a surprise when she found herself performing on stage in high school for the first time and discovering she'd found her path. Acting quickly became her passion and spouse, as she never married for no other reason than her love of acting was always deeper, brighter and more encompassing than her relationships.  Broadway and Hollywood were equally kind.  From her first performance on the Donna Reed show, to more than one Tony-award wining roles on Broadway, to her long-lived television series Sisters and her current role as a smart-mouthed, quick-witted mother in the sitcom Mike and Molly, Kurtz' career has been a whirlwind.

These days Kurtz spends most of her time in the California area, close to her mother who is approaching her one hundredth birthday. Kurtz shares honestly about the trials of supporting an aging parent and the impending, inevitable loss from her life.

Bottom Line: 
I loved this book. Swoosie Kurtz' is an amazing actress and more so a strong, intelligent woman who has always paved her own path rather than following others expectations toward marriage and motherhood.  I am, of course, enthralled by her talk about "the business" and even more enamored by the love she shares for her parents. A great read, well written, playful and fun.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 05/13/14

A good lyric is like a great book...

Every Day A Little Death
Various, Artists
Steven Sondheim, Writer

Every day a little death
In the parlor, in the bed,
In the curtains, in the silver,
In the buttons, in the bread.
Every day a little sting
In the heart and in the head,
Every move and every breath
(And you hardly feel a thing)
Brings a perfect little death.

He smiles sweetly, strokes my hair,
Says he misses me.
I would murder him right there,
But first I die.
He talks softly of his wars,
And his horses, and his whores.
I think love's a dirty business.

So do I!

I'm before him on my knees So do I...
And he kisses me.
He assumes I lose my reason,
And I do.
Men are stupid, men are vain,
Love's disgusting, love's insane,
A humiliating business.

Oh, how true!

Ah, well... ANNE:
Every day a little death
Every day a little death
In the parlor, in the bed,
On the lips and in the eyes,
In the curtains, in the silver, In the murmurs, in the pauses,
In the buttons, in the bread. In the gestures, in the sighs.
Every day a little sting
Every day a little dies
In the heart and in the head. In the looks and in the lies.
Every move and every breath,

(And you hardly feel a thing)
Brings a perfect little death.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Mailbox - 05/12/14

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. (Library books don’t count, but eBooks & audiobooks do).    

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists!

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia @ A Girl and Her Books, has a permanent home now at Mailbox Monday.

Every week Mailbox Monday will have a new linky posted for our Mailbox Monday links at Marcia's Mailbox Monday blog.


Let's face reality, shall we?!

I am cheap. I'm a couponer at heart, what can I say? Libraries and I are best friends. I collect ARCs and Netgalleys when I can. I rarely spend money on books, unless I can get a bag for like $2, and even that is rare.

That said, I received not one but two gift certificates for my birthday this past week. While I could have spent that money on lots of things, I caved (knowing I would be traveling for Memorial Day weekend) and bought a bunch of ebooks, including:

Off Balance - Dominique Moceanu

Called: "Hello, my name is Mrs. Jefferson. I understand your plane is being hijacked?"
- Lisa Jefferson

Dirty Bombshell - Lorna Brunelle

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

Ham: Slices of Life - Sam Harris

My (not so) Storybook Life - Liz Owen

Newtown: An American Tragedy - Matthew Lysiak


To Selena, With Love - Chris Perez

Almost everything on my #1 rating TBR list!  And, I still have some funds case something awesome comes up.  Let's just say my friends and family are generous people.

I certainly will not lack for things to do over the long weekend as I sit by the lake!

Sunday Salon - 05/11/14

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


It's been a rough week... 

I'm struggling with this CPAP thing a bit and my sleep is constantly interrupted due to the pressure while I am asleep. As a result, its very hard to focus during the day (hard to read, hard to write blog posts, etc.). And by the end of the work week, I am utterly exhausted from trying to focus so much. 

Thus this late post!

Thankfully, I am headed to the doc today to be fitted for a better mask. Hopefully that will relieve the problem I am having. If not, the doctor may reduce the pressure. I have high hopes that I will adjust soon and suddenly recover the energy and pep I used to have before I was reduced to a few measly hours of sleep a night!

Also, some friends and I decided we are going to take a ladies weekend away memorial day weekend!  The hubby will stay home and care for the diva-kitty and house. I actually think he's planning a boy's night watching Monty Python, so he is thrilled. We plan on spending the weekend at a friend's lake cabin in Connecticut, relaxing, singing, and me reading/them gardening. Its been so long since I took a few days off, I can't express how excited I am!


Not much going on here, as noted, though I am reading albeit slowly. I finished two books this past week and will post about them soon.

Currently, I am reading The Word Exchange. I'm not far enough in yet to decide whether I like it or not. More to come...

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 05/06/14

A great lyric is like a great book...

This week its somebody's birthday!

Happy Birthday
Mister Rogers, Artist

Happy birthday, happy birthday
Dear friend, we sing to you.

Happy birthday, happy birthday
Happy birthday to you.

We thought we'd try to tell you how we love you on your birthday.
We thought we'd try to sing and dance and play today.
We wanted to surprise you on your birthday and say.
We love you every day, not just today.

Happy birthday, happy birthday
Dear friend, we sing to you.
Happy birthday, happy birthday
Happy birthday to you.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Mondays - 05/05/14

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.


I wish you all the tacos, burritos and guacamole you can eat!!

This week...

Now Reading: 
Part Swan, Part Goose (Swoosie Kurtz)
Moby Dick (Herman Melville)

Just Finished
Breakfast Served Anytime (Sarah Combs)

On Deck
Too many to mention!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Sunday Salon - 05/04/14

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


Another crazy week! Planning not one, but two end of year parties while continuing to ensure we are ready for commencement. Trying to continue to stay focused and positive while waiting for word about new opportunities and possibilities. But, have finally been up front with my supervisor about my plans when the proverbial sheet hits the air-producing unit. I am glad we are in agreement about what is best for me, not just the department. Though my goal, of course, is to fully support them until they no longer need it.

PV got the opportunity to book a performance this past week for today. Unfortunately, the other girls had a prior commitment, but the party date changed and yippee, we booked it for next weekend!  We are very excited to share the event of a 90th birthday party and sing for the guests!

This lovely little dresser is one of pieces of furniture that we inherited when we bought our house. Originally it was sitting by the front door, but hubby is notoriously hard on furniture...dumping tools and, well, just about anything on the first spot he finds (we can't actually eat at our kitchen table!) when he walks in the door. I was concerned it would be destroyed. So off it went to the cold, side porch for the winter, but still we were worried it would get ruined out there. So I finally emptied it out and put it in our bedroom. It kinda matches the other furniture and serves perfectly as storage.  I'm glad I finally did it. And, added bonus, the porch is now clear for summerizing! Come on nice weather!

And lastly, this weekend I went out and bought a FitBit. As I mentioned earlier this week,  the doc put me on a CPAP and the FitBit will track not just your steps and calorie burns, but also how much sleep you are getting. I'm not convinced it's medically reliable (you have to tell it when you are falling asleep...but if you are telling it that, can you actually be sleeping?!), but it's close enough "for science", as they say.  It syncs with an app on my phone and is helping me get a realistic feel for actual sleep patterns.


I took part in Dewey's Read-a-Thon last weekend. Wasn't a rousing success, I had too many non-reading duties to deal with, but I did get some reading in.

Visited my parents this weekend with hubby. While he worked on upgrading their computer from XP to Windows 7, my stepmother and I took a ride to a local aging community that was having a yard sale-fair. They had a book sale, $2 for a full bag. Umm...not sure their idea of a "full bag" is the same as mine...but look at the goodies!!

Success, I'd say!!!

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Saturday Savings - 05/3/14

Couponing - Making Mistakes

As a new couponer this is, of course, all a work in progress. And I've made lots of mistakes!  But each trip I try something new, find a new deal, find another way to save time and energy. Most weeks I come home with a deal.

As with the newspaper inserts, not every week is going to be a winner. Some weeks won't be big on sales. If there is a week where there truly aren't any deals that you find worth it, then skip the trip. Don't go!

A couple weeks back, I shopped only Stop and Shop. I had no need to go to Shaws or Market Basket, so I didn't. I do usually find at least one deal at CVS and Walgreens though, so I stop on the way home from work. But again, if there are no good deals I just head home and skip it that week.


Total trip = $0.46!

Single toothpastes on sale for $3.00
Double packs were $3.99
Stacked with mutiple toothpaste and Colgate coupons.

Renuzits on sale for $0.88 each
Stacked with 2 Renuzit coupons for $1.00 of 3

Lipstick was $5.99
Stacked with a $4 coupon, and a $1.99 reward buck, was FREE!

Actual cost, about $15...but, all stacked with left over reward bucks from last trip, actual spent $0.46!