Saturday, September 26, 2009

Survivor 19 - Ep. 2 Recap with Spoilers

I'm pretty sure everyone else has already seen this episode. I'm a couple of nights late due to finding other things to take up my time with, nothing productive really. I did get some dishes done, so that was cool.

My mom, who is pretty hardcore about Survivor, called me the other night to tell me she didn't know if she could wach this season because of how much Evil Russell gets her blood pressure up. I hear her pain. It's probably not right that either of us gets so worked up over a silly reality show, but we do. Survivor especially makes me hateful.

Betsy seems to have a pretty good idea of how slimy Evil Russell is, which means she'll probably get voted out relatively quick.

Russell went to find the immunity idol before there was even any clues out, and he actually found it. I find it interesting that of all the people who ever watched Survivor and then played, no one else went looking. Or maybe they did and never found it, so their searches were edited out for time. I know Evil Russell is going to piss me off, but let's face it. Unless you're superman and can win all the challenges, you really do need to be vile and sneaky to win this game, and so far, he knows how to play the game.

The first challenge was for both immunity and reward and was a Survivor version of basketball. I rooted for Galu. I like that Jeff had to actually tell them they were getting too rough. Nice officiating, Mr. Probst...I wonder if there was a possible lawsuit issue since it seems that in the past they would have encouraged that sort of thing. Ben from Foa Foa went out for playing rough and Galu won (yay!) the challenge. Ben didn't have much to say. I may actually dislike him more than I dislike Evil Russell.

The twist in the challenge was that Good Russell got to send someone from his tribe to Foa Foa to observe. He sent Yasmin, who was given a private message from Jeff, probably about the whereabouts of the immunity idol. Is Exile Island going to be in this season? Does anyone know? I didn't hear anything about it, but they may have gotten rid of it this time round.

Medical was brought in to look at Mike because he was having a hard time breathing. His blood pressure was low and the doctor had to pull him from the game because his heart wasn't handling it well. The tribe had been sort of gunning for him anyway, so he might have gotten voted out eventually. Even though Mike was going home, Jeff told them they'd be going to tribal council anyway.

At Galu, Shambo lost the snorkel mouthpiece and didn't catch fish. That on top of the fact that she'd already alienated herself can't help her game.

Yasmin didn't so much as observe as walk into Foa Foa camp to throw her weight around and tell them they all sucked. WTH? That seemed to be a pretty bitchy move. (She reminds me of Tara on "True Blood" after she jumped her own personal shark). If she flips and gets stuck in Foa Foa, they're going to vote her out. Then she cornered Ben to give him crap for one of his moves during the game. It's official: Yasmin is freakin' annoying. I think I might like Evil Russell more than her too!

Ben: "I think Yasmin is pretty close to being a hooker." That wasn't very nice, Ben. Hookers can be very nice people when you give them a chance. Hooker comments aside, Ben moved up on the hit list when he spent all night beating sticks with a knife (not a euphemism) and disturbing the rest of the tribe's sleep.

At Tribal Council, Ben didn't seem to redeem himself to Jeff by calling his game rules "pansy." It's official, Evil Russell would get my vote over Ben (and probably Yasmin). Betsy went home and I'll give Evil the credit here. Foa Foa is not rating high on the intelligence scale, so when he pulls the strings and screws over the rest of them, they deserve it.

Next week's Galu yoga session looks entertaining. If Jaison and Mick can get rid of Evil, then they'll have proved to be infinitely smarter than I gave either of them credit for. I like them, but once again, there seems to be an intelligence lack.

In the Kitchen: Sunny Peanut Butter Chews

Last week I found this recipe for Sunny Peanut Butter Chews and decided to try them out today.

I modified since it was just for me and Jon, but I didn't modify correctly (blame it on a sore neck and not me being a complete doofus). I used the full amount of peanut butter and butter, then cut the cereal and marshmallows.

It tastes great, but it's extremely gooey and not easy to handle. I put it in the fridge for a little while to see if it would harden up. I suppose if it doesn't, it's good to eat with a spoon. Still, next time I'll make sure to halve everything and not just the things that would have, you know, made this a finger dessert rather than an ice cream topping.

Being Cheap: Weekly Grocery Shopping Recap

I'm happy to say that menu planning seems to be getting easier by the week, and this week we were finally able to shop according to one. I'd estimated about 60 dollars for groceries that would get us about 8 meals besides the three or four we still have at home. Our grocery total came to about $45, and for that we also got puppy food, juice to drink, and a few snacky things to keep us from going to the grocery store spur of the moment.

I've started hitting three stores in the area: Aldi, Dillons, and Hy-Vee. Hy-Vee is the newest, and since it got here, I've noticed prices dropping in the other stores. Before going shopping, I make my list based on three things: limited ingredient recipes that look good to me, sales at Dillons, and sales at Hy-Vee. I price everything out (I made a spreadsheet and everything) and then when I go shopping, I hit Aldi first to see what they have that can beat the sale prices at the other places.

This week was awesome. I was able to get over 75% of my grocery list at Aldi. Eggs were on sale at Hy-Vee for 99 cents, but Aldi had them for 50 cents per dozen. Flour was 99 cents at Hy-Vee, 89 cents at Aldi. A bunch of other things were on sale for a few cents cheaper at Aldi, and even though it was only a few cents here and there, it added up.

Hy-Vee did, however, yield us an excellent deal on pork chops. They had thick cut boneless loin chops 88 cents each at the butcher counter. Because Jon and I both prefer thin cut, he asked them to slice the thick ones in half, giving us four thin but nicely sized chops. The price came to $1.76, which was great, but then the guy at the meat counter gave him a dollar off coupon on any fresh pork product. So we got four pork chops for 76 cents. After we got home, I realized we had another one of those dollar off coupons and I'm tempted to go back and get those again. The chops freeze well and that will be either another dinner option or something for next week.

Who knew that a deal on pork chops could give me warm fuzzies?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Now Viewing: Stephen King's Cat's Eye

Tonight I talked my fiance into watching "Stephen King's Cat's Eye" with me. This was one of those movies I remember from when I was a little girl. I don't ever remember thinking it was scary, just kind of cool. Watching it as an adult, I'm seeing things in it I hadn't noticed before, like all the other Stephen King references (Cujo, Christine, and The Dead Zone in the first hour) and the comic aspect of the whole thing. Not to mention the cute kitty.

The movie is split into three short stories. I know for sure the first two are based off of stories that King wrote. I don't remember ever reading the third, so even now I'm not sure if it's an original or not. Oh sure, I could imdb it, but it's not that important to me really, so I'll leave that to anyone else who needs to know.

The first story is about a man show signs up with "Quitters, Inc." to stop smoking. Their methods are a little extreme, but apparently effective. The company's constant stalkers keep an eye on the guy (played by a very young James Woods) and report to headquarters if he has a slip up. First offense, his wife gets her feet singed by an electric floor. Second offense, daughter gets to do the same dance, and so on. Kind of sadistic, but the story is filled with funny stuff. My favorite is the party where JW's characters sees dancing cigarette packs, children smoking up, and the head of Quitter's Inc. in a silver jumpsuit singing "I'll Be Watching You."

The second story takes a little more serious turn when an ex tennis player takes a wager from the husband of the woman he's been having an affair with: walk the whole perimeter of the high ledge of a building and survivie or go to jail for faked drug possession.

While the cat is just the side character in the first two stories, he gets second billing next to Drew Barrymore in the third story, which is about a little wall troll that likes to steal people's breath. The troll is more funny than creepy, and it's a head to head match, troll vs. cat in a knockout fight to the death. Okay, so that might be exaggerating a little bit. The cat also gets to go up against the bitchy anti-cat mother who's convinced he's no good.

It's 80s cheese meets tame horror and it still remains one of my favorite movies from the little girl years.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Biggest Loser 8 - Episode 2 (w/ spoilers)

Two nights later I finally got around to watching this week's episode of TBL while the rest of my TV watching friends are watching "Survivor." My poor mom even called to tell me she didn't know if she could handle Evil Russell this season, which is strange because my mom usually gets a kick out of that stuff. But enough about that, more Survivor stuff tomorrow if the planets align correctly.

I bring you tonight's recap from my corner chair with a heating pad under my neck. Not sure what I did to it, but here's to hoping it's better tomorrow so I can function at work and maybe get some stuff around the house done.

Allison told the contestants at the beginning that if they lost a combined total of 150 pounds, they would keep everyone on campus for another week. If they couldn't, two people would go home. Sean mentioned that week 2 is always the worst for weight loss, so I have to admit, I was thinking two people would be going home. Where's my sense of "Go team?" Lost somewhere with my neck mobility tonight, obviously.

Mo stepped up into the coach role to get everyone motivated to work together. I like that guy.

During their first trainer session, Bob took half the group to workout, and Jillian took the other half for what seemed like an information session on weight loss. It looks like they were in the recovery room, since some of the contestants had ice packs on. I think they need to show more of that room, and I think it's a good idea to have those moments where the logistics of weight loss are explained.

What hasn't changed about TBL? Product placement...tadah!!! Product placement and the pimping of TBL merchandise was pretty major this episode. Jillian pimped the TBL calorie counter book and food journal. Bob brought out The Biggest Loser protein powder. And Curtis Stone introduced the BL food scale during the challenge. It's fairly annoying, especially because the things are bound to be expensive. My advice: if you're going to use these things, buy cheap.

Mo went and saw Tracy at the hospital. I find it a little disturbing that she's still in the hospital after all that time. You'd think they take her out of the competition and either bring back Alexandra or a back-up contestant. But she did end up back at the ranch in the first half hour. She didn't elaborate on what was wrong with her other than to say that "It was serious." Of course it was all blamed on being overweight/obese, and while I don't contest that it played a factor, I'm pretty sure being told to walk a mile when you've been inactive for God knows how long played a big factor as well.

As much as I didn't like Alexandra, I could understand everyone's frustrations at Julio who didn't seem to be pulling his weight. It was funny watching the orange team watching Julio as he sort of sauntered into the gym, grabbed some water, took a leisurely stroll up the stair stepper. In the competition, I can see why he's irritating, but that's sort of how I've been feeling at the gym lately.

The first BL quiz was a nutrition quiz based on Curtis Stone's presentation. The prize was a fifteen pound advantage at the weigh in, which made the 150 goal seem a little more obtainable. The group was going strong until the green team missed it. Then the red team missed it. The blue team stepped up and made the fifth point so the team won their prize. I was left with a craving for raspberries with dark chocolate.

The challenge involved contestants having to get everyone safely across balance beams to rafts. They had to work as a team, and the challenge would be over if just one person fell off. At least they split the prizes up by raft, so it wasn't an all or nothing prospect. I still had visions of someone falling off two minutes into the challenge. Lucily, even with Allison the Obnoxious never shutting up, they won the challenge: another 20 lb advantage and phone calls home (phone calls home always make me cry).

Jillian and Bob are always good for a buzzkill. They reality checked the group's excitement over their advantages, which I think is justified but still kind of a bummer.

If it was mentioned last week, I'd missed the fact that Shay's mother was a heroin addict. I know she had some issues with her, but I hadn't realized that's what it was. Another heartbreak story. I hope the good things about TBL help her get past that.

Besides Bob and Jillian looking swanky in leather at the weigh-in, the groups did really well! Of course the pink team fell short. To be fair, they are smaller than the others. The group made their goal even before the last team weighed in, and that was kind of nice. Elimination tends to be tedious and over-emotional, so it's nice for the viewer to get a break too. In the end, they beat their original 150 pound goal by five pounds.

Not one of the most exciting eps ever, but enough to give me warm fuzzies for another week.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Goodreads Review: Being a Green Mother

Being a Green Mother (Incarnations of Immortality, #5) Being a Green Mother by Piers Anthony

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'd really been looking forward to reading this book as part of this series. I'd enjoyed the female perspective of Fate, and after being not overly thrilled with War, I thought Gaea would be fun to read.

It was and it wasn't.

I liked it, I really did. Orb is an okay character. She's the Luna's aunt and Niobe's daughter and Mym's ex-lover and Orlene's mother, and I really do like when books tie together like this. It's fun reading and finding the connections, especially in this series.

There were also some really good things about the plot of this book. The side characters are good, such as the band Orb travels with and Natasha, the one Orb eventually falls in love with. I have to admit that my favorite part came at the end. Is it wrong that I was rooting for her to marry Satan?

There were also alot of things I didn't like about the book. For one, Orb is supposed to be angry. It's told at the beginning of the book and then it comes into play at the end. By the time I got to the end, I'd forgotten that she had a temper. It also reads like a surreal version of "Moulin Rouge." There's alot of singing, and alot of "let's sing together and then we'll fall in love" parts that made me wonder if a group of cats or a guy in a technicolor coat were slated for a double feature. I got the point: Orb's power comes from music, and this power is what leads her to take the role of Gaea. I still wonder if there would have been a way to portray this with a slightly lower score on the cheese scale.

The end tied it together though and sort of saved the book for me. I have three books to go in this series. As far as rankings, this book falls somewhere in the middle of those I've finished to date.

View all my reviews >>

Survivors, Ready? Go!

Season 19 of "Survivor" started this past week. First of all, it doesn't seem possible that there have been 19 seasons, but time flies when you're having fun. Actually, it wasn't always fun. There were a few seasons I couldn't get into, and a few I couldn't finish, but this one could be pretty good. At least it has potential.

Spoilers ahead, so if you haven't watched it yet, but want to, then stop here.

The teams are in Samoa this year and rather than a lengthy team selection process, the tribes were already selected. In the yellow corner, we have Foa Foa, and in the purple corner, Galu. I don't know what either of these names mean, but does it matter? They're so fun to say...Foa Foa Foa Foa...Galu Galu Galu Galu. Based on this first episode, my guess is that the producers had an agenda with their selection process.

I will ignore race card discussion, but it was played at the beginning. It'll be interesting to see what stereotypes are broken by the end of the game.

As far as team first impressions go, love Galu, hate Foa Foa. My Survivor watching pal this season (who needs to give me something fun to call her *hint hint*) agrees with me, though she admits that she doesn't yet know enough about Galu to really know who she does and doesn't like. Galu seems to be really supportive of each other. Good Russell (named as such because there is an Evil Russell as well) is already a good leader and the team seems to have bonded with the exception of Shambo, an ex-marine. While I like her, she definitely has outsider potential. Foa Foa on the other hand is already fighting and has a few trash talkers on the team. Their lack of bonding wasn't helped by Evil Russell, who claims to be a multi-millionaire only playing the game to show how easy it is to win. He's like a gremlin...he emptied the canteens and burned some guys socks in the first episode. He's also proclaimed himself to be the Puppet Master, and while he will be the guy to hate, he has player potential because if Survivor has taught us anything, it's that the bad guys usually stick around the longest.

I half expect him to win and give his winnings to charity. Sounds strange, I know. But wouldn't that be crazy? The guy everyone hates turns out to be really decent in real life? It could happen.

I was bummed that Foa Foa won reward, though it didn't do much for them really. They got fire. I was stoked when Galu won immunity. They also got fire, and they didn't have to go to tribal council. As always Mr. Probst stirred the pot ("Sooo...what's going on at camp? *wink wink nudge nudge*), and the most of the team went along with Evil Russell's plan and voted out Marisa, who reminded me of a flower child. I hadn't yet decided if I liked her or not, so I don't really feel any loss that she's gone. I thought she was going to cry when she got voted off though, and I felt bad for her.

Yet Unnamed Survivor Pal has this to say about Ep1:
"Early front runners for fave contestant for me are Jaison, Mick, and Betsy. I like the purple tribe better than the yellow, but I don't know enough of the purple players to know faves in that group yet. Russel the Villlan is truly the guy to hate this season - but he is so blatantly a goober I find him more annoying than anything. Has to be a plant by the producers to stir things up or something, because he is just SO over the top evil. Of course, he will probably be around for awhile to keep the pot stirred up."

So far, she and I are in agreement on pretty much everything. If Foa Foa has a saving grace character at this point, it's Betsy, who already has her suspicions that Evil Russell is up to no good. I'm already a fan of Good Russell, but with this only being the opening episode, everything is subject to change...including my opinion.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Biggest Loser 8 - Episode 1 (w/ Spoilers)

Due various and sundry things, it took me a couple days to get around to watching the season premiere of The Biggest Loser. Just in time for the motivation Jon and I need to get back into our own workout routine. I'm serving this up with some spoilers, so if you haven't watched yet and want to enjoy any and all surprises, then move on...nothing to see here.

In their ratings quest to outdo themselves, this season brings in heavier people than last season. Dan from last season is back to continue to lose weight. I really like that guy. He seems genuinely nice and he was a real support and motivator to start out. I also really like Shay and I was glad that Dan chose Shay to partner with. I think he can definitely be a good influence on her.

I'm on the bench on the fact that two of the people are already having medical issues. Of course they need to work on getting healthy, that part's not disputed. And its hard to to play the exploitation card when the contestants are more than willing. But I'm not sure if it's supposed to be motivating in a "This could happen to you" way or if it's just a reflection of how much the show pushes these people. It took me weeks to be able to walk a mile. I was thrilled when I finally did it, but to be thrown on the road and told to do it when you're almost completely out of shape (Dan being the exception here and maybe a few others) is insane.

It's really too early to get a good idea of who I do and don't like, but there were a few first impressions stood out.

I'm not a fan of the pink team. Amanda is just kind of pointless and Rebecca left a bad taste in my mouth with this quote: "I'm so much more than a pretty face." This would be true, but in the context it was said, she was basically saying she needed to lose weight so people would see her more than just a pretty face. Like what, a thin body? I'm all about being healthy and feeling good about yourself, but bitch, please...some of us weren't even given the pretty face part and actually had to develop a personality. Aesthetics won't last, and while that may have just been an emotional offhand comment, it kind of irritated me.

Besides Dan and Shay, I really like Abby and Mo. My heart completely broke for Abbey, who lost her family in a car accident a few years back. If the show didn't get me emotional already, then that will do it. She seems like a really cute and genuine and honest person too, and I think she's there for all the right reasons, no matter how hard they are. She even said that death would be easier, but she chooses to get up every morning and now she's chosen to do TBL. Go Abby!

Mo is the sweet old guy who makes me want to drink coffee and visit with him because his voice is so soothing and he just seems nice.

I like the decision of the trainers to train at the same time, but I'm not sure how long that's going to last. At some point I expect they'll split off into teams, but I would think double teaming the contestants would be the most effective way to do it. I wonder if this decision is based on Jillian's track record (not being fair to poor Bob) and all the whiny crap that happened last season. I noticed Bob trying to be a little more hardcore and I had to laugh when one of the contestants said that Bob seems nice when you watch him on TV but in real life, he's not. Of course with Jillian what you see is what you get.

It's obvious that alot of these people are carrying emotional baggage and I hope they deal with it at some point during this show.

I was ambivalent about Alexandra until she made the comment that she wished her partner would have stepped it up more. It showed a lack of support aht bugged me and I was glad to see her go, though I am now intrigued to see who her "crush" was. First instinct: Dan. But my mom made a point that she may not have specified if it was from this season, so maybe it's Mike from last season. Or maybe it's neither and we get to wait three months to find out.

First episode down and now of course I feel like I should be running laps around the block. Not going to happen, but at least I know it'll offer some motivation down the line.

Let’s Talk About Your Lyrics – Party in the U.S.A.

The problem with young and cute and poppy is that when they sing, even though I don’t necessarily care for the song, it manages to get stuck in my head in an endless, insanity inducing loop.

Miley Cyrus’ new song is the perfect example. It’s grating, it’s bubbly, and even though it makes me want to poke my eyes out, I also find myself constantly singing it. So of course I had to give it the go ‘round.

Miley, let’s talk about your lyrics

I hopped off the plane at LAX
with a dream and my cardigan
welcome to the land of fame excess (whoa),
am I gonna fit in?

It actually depends on where you’re trying to fit in. You’re young enough to find a good group of girls who haven’t yet been corrupted by Hollywood (I’ll forget those Vanity Fair pics for now). Being that you have your cardigan (please tell me you brought some other clothes too), you’re probably still a little vanilla, but your dad was Billy Ray. And everyone in Hollywood loves Billy Ray. Don’t worry, girl…you’ll be fine.

Jumped in the cab,
Here I am for the first time
Look to the right and I see the Hollywood sign
This is all so crazy
Everybody seems so famous

Yeah, Hollywood is known for famous people. That really is crazy…omg!

My tummy's turnin' and I'm feelin' kinda home sick (please don’t puke in the cab…they frown on that sort of thing)
Too much pressure and I'm nervous, (there are drugs to help that sort of thing and you’ll be hooked in a couple of years)
That's when the taxi man turned on the radio
and a Jay Z song was on
and a Jay Z song was on
and a Jay Z song was on

Let me guess…there was a Jay Z song on, right?

So I put my hands up
They’re playing my song,
And the butterflies fly away
Noddin’ my head like yea
Movin' my hips like yea
I got my hands up,
They’re playin my song
I know I'm gonna be ok
Yea, It's a party in the USA
Yea, It's a party in the USA

I really hope you’re not doing this in the back of a taxi cab, because you’re going to look really silly. Besides the fact that your “like yea” dance sounds incredibly awkward, the only time it is appropriate to do something like this is when you’re at the bar with your BFFs and you’ve had a few drinks and the song comes on. Then you can jump up and down and scream “That’s my song!” and go dance it up as awkwardly as you’d like. Taxi cab groovin’ is just silly.

Get to the club in my taxi cab
Everybody's lookin' at me now
Like “who's that chick that's rockin’ kicks?
She gotta be from out of town”

Whoa…wait a minute. You got off the plane and went straight to the club? In your cardigan? Shouldn’t you maybe settle down first? Get something to eat? I’m only looking out for your well being, Miley. You’ve got to take care of yourself. Also, I think you need to face reality. They don’t really think those “kicks” are “rockin.” You are an outsider, so you’re going to have to do something really crazy to fit in. This is Hollywood where normal is looked down upon.

So hard with my girls not around me
It’s definitely not a Nashville party
'Cause all I see are stilettos
I guess I never got the memo

You never watched E!? Or Entertainment Tonight? Why did your daddy even let you out of the house???

My tummy's turnin' and I'm feelin kinda home sick (it is more acceptable to puke at a bar, but blame it on the seven shots of tequila you had, not home sickness)
Too much pressure and I'm nervous
That's when the D.J. dropped my favorite tune
and a Britney song was on
and a Britney song was on
and a Britney song was on

How many songs do you consider “yours”? And yeah, Britney makes everyone feel better about themselves because they’re reminded of how screwed up she is (though I like to rock out to “Circus,” but I’ve come to terms with that).


Feel like hoppin' on a flight (on a flight)
Back to my hometown tonight (town tonight)
Something stops me every time (every time)
The DJ plays my song and I feel alright

Whatever. You’re in it for the money so you’re not going anywhere. I suggest, though, that you load all those favorite songs of yours onto an iPod because going to the club can seriously mess with your good girl mojo. Look at Lindsay Lohan! And please get some new clothes because a cardigan isn’t going to sell records.


Oh, and next time you want to share your diary entry with the world, take a moment and think about it. Because you might want to share, but the world might not want to hear it. Again.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Let's Talk About Your Lyrics - “You Belong to Me” by Taylor Swift

This song grates on me, but I never turn it off because it's on and it's music and it's generally better than listening to the sounds of the drive home. Besides the song just not being to my tastes, I always have this urge to talk back to the lyrics. So I'm doing something about.

Taylor, let's talk about your lyrics.

You're on the phone with your girlfriend, she's upset
She's going off about about something that you said
'Cause she doesn't get your humor like I do

She's probably pissed off because he's hanging around with you. Sure it's a free country, but do you really think she's cool with her boyfriend spending time with another girl? Unless you only know he's on the phone because you're watching him through his bedroom window. Then you're a stalker. Being creepy isn't much better than being pretentious about your sense of humor.

I'm in the room, it's a typical Tuesday night
I'm listening to the kind of music she doesn't like
And she'll never know your story like I do.

What's the actual scenario here? Who's room? I'm assuming HIS room since you know he's on the phone. What time is it? Does your mother know where you are? Is she cool with this? And how do you not have a reputation? About this music, I hope that you're listening to it because you like it. This just reeks of “Let me be your clone so you'll dump your girlfriend and go out with me.” What story? I can maybe see that you guys are friends, but once again, you need to clarify because the stalker vibe is really strong with this one.

But she wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts (Like in contests?)
She's Cheer Captain and I'm on the bleachers (Major stalker hangout...obviously)
Dreaming about the day when you up and find
That what you're looking for has been here the whole time (This is going to be in college after a wild frat party. He will wake up and find it, but it won't be a woman. It will be the condom he should have worn the night before).

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you
Been here all along, so why can't you see?
You belong with me.

I'm pretty sure this is what most celebrities hear on their voicemail right before being kidnapped by their “biggest fan”.

Walking the streets with you and your worn-out jeans
I can't help thinking this is how it ought to be
Laughing on a park bench, thinking to myself
Hey, isn't this easy?

Yes it is easy. Because binoculars are readily available at most sporting good stores. Also, be careful about laughing out loud on that bench. Someone's likely to notice how crazy you are.

And you've got a smile that could light up this whole town
I haven't seen it in awhile since she brought you down
You say you're fine, I know you better than that
Hey, what ya doing with a girl like that?

Just what every guy wants...someone who questions his choices. Maybe he's trying to be more serious about school work. Or the football team. There's also a possibility he no longer feels safe in the shower he's always being watched. That really bums some guys out.

She wears high heels, I wear sneakers (she wears them while cheerleading? Ouch!)
She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers (you mentioned that, weirdo)
Dreaming about the day when you up and find
That what you're looking for has been here the whole time (He's going to wake up and find you in his bed, isn't he? I think there are some boundaries we should talk about here...)

Standing by and waiting at your back door (How many times have those locks needed to be changed?)
All this time how could you not know?
Baby, you belong with me, you belong with me.

Oh, I remember you driving to my house in the middle of the night
I'm the one who makes you laugh when you know you're 'bout to cry
And I know your favorite songs and you tell me 'bout your dreams
Think I know where you belong, think I know it's with me.

Is he really driving to your house in the middle of the night? On his own? Or did you happen to get caught outside his window and he had to take you home before things got really creepy. Did his parents know he took the car out past curfew? Sweetie, if he's about to cry, it's because he's scared, and he's only laughing because you happen to be carrying a really large, scary looking nail file.

Can't you see that I'm the one who understands you?
Been here all along, so why can't you see?
You belong with me.

There's a good chance you might get this guy. There's also a good chance you're going to get expelled and placed in a cell for this strange behavior. Seek counseling now and leave the dude alone already.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Goodreads Review: Faking It by Jennifer Crusie

Faking It Faking It by Jennifer Crusie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So many things are faked in this book, that it truly was aptly named: art, orgasms, personalities...if those three things weren't enough to hook me, the fact that this is yet another fun romantic Crusie read would have done the trick.

Tilda is an artist stuck reproducing classic works as murals for people to help pay the mortgage and take care of her family. Said family consists of her crostic word puzzle addicted mother, her sister with two personalities, her eccentric neice who has bad taste in men, her sister's ex-husband and his boyfriend. While she loves her family, Tilda is settling for what she has to do for them, all the time sitting on top of several family secrets that include forged paintings from her ancestors and her own secret stint in the forgery business.

Davy Dempsey is after his money, a nice chunk of change that his financial advisor stole to help Davy's ex-lover, a gold digging ex-porn star. His plan to take back is money leads him to hide in the ex's closet where he meets Tilda, who's trying to steal back a painting that could get her and her family in alot of trouble. Davy agrees to steal the painting for her, only to grab the wrong one.

This couple is highly appealing in the fact that they aren't perfect. Not only do they both come from criminal backgrounds, they don't fall into each other's arms and have great sex the first time around. In fact, the first faked orgasm is what gives the story alot of heart and alot of humor.

I didn't hate the "evil" characters in this one, though I loved the good side characters and their own little romances that Crusie through into this story. Towards the end, I realized that Davy Dempsey is the brother of a character from one of her other novels, which I have yet to read but feel the urge to spend another evening at the local bookstore to immerse myself in.

Fun read, great author, and definitely recommended.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Goodreads: The Sharing Knife Series - SPOILERS!!!!

The Sharing Knife: Horizon (Volume 4) The Sharing Knife: Horizon by Lois McMaster Bujold

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Considering that I didn’t read this series continuously (one of quirks…I have to take serial editions), I still managed to finish all four books fairly quickly…less than a month I believe. The story is really good. I don’t often read fantasy books because, like sci-fi, a lot of the concepts go over my head when I want a quick read. In “The Sharing Knife” series, Bujold does a great job of explaining the new concepts and doing it in a way that is both understandable and entertaining.

“The Sharing Knife” saga is set in a world where farmers and Lakewalkers co-exist with little to no understanding of each other. Lakewalkers are a haughty breed of beings who pride themselves on finding monsters known as malices and killing them with Sharing knives. These knives are made from thighbones of their deceased and primed with the blood of a dying Lakewalker who makes their life sacrifice into the knife for use in killing the malices. When not called as a patroller, a Lakewalker may also be called as a maker or a healer, and all Lakewalkers work with groundsense, an aura like part of anything that only they can see.

Farmers fall into the category of anyone who isn’t a Lakewalker, and the prejudices between the two are many. Lakewalkers see Farmers as ignorant and useless, while Farmers have the notion that Lakewalkers are graverobbers and death-eaters.

“Beguiliment (Book1) begins with Fawn Bluefield, a young Farmer girl, running away from home after a local boy gets her pregnant then refuses to take responsibility. On the way, she is saved by Dag, a Lakewalker patrolling the area for malices. They are thrown together even further when the malice “ground-rips” her unborn child. In the process, Fawn somehow primes a Sharing Knife in a way not done before in Lakewalker culture. The two fall in love, and the book ends with a visit to Fawn’s family and their marriage, both traditional and string bound as the Lakewalkers do.

“ Legacy “ (Book 2) sends them to Dag’s Lakewalker camp to introduce his new bride and reassure them that he’s okay (having got separated from the rest of the patrollers in the first book). The marriage is frowned upon by the haughty camp with the exception of a few Lakewalkers who offer Fawn their hospitality and friendship. When Dag goes on patrol again to help hunt down a particularly nasty malice, he is pulled into a groundlock after trying to save others who’ve already been locked by the malice. Fawn goes to him against other Lakewalker wishes and saves him before he and the others who’ve been locked are made sacrifices to unprimed Sharing Knives. This leg of the journey and part of the story ends with the camp divided on whether to allow Dag and Fawn to stay or to banish them from camp. Taking matters into his own hands, Dag voluntarily leaves, hoping that by traveling and seeing more of the world he can find a way to bring Farmers and Lakewalkers together to both understand each other better and to have a better chance at fighting malices.

“ Passage ” (Book 3) takes Dag and Fawn on a river trip where Dag is given the chance to experiment with the new healer and maker powers he’s been exhibiting and to talk to others, generally Farmers, on the ways of Lakewalkers, hoping to give them a better understanding of the culture and of malices. Bujold introduces several new and enjoyable characters in this book (there were several introduced in the second book as well, but I didn’t find them very enjoyable), including Remo and Barr, two young patrollers who leave their camp after breaking a Sharing Knife; Boss Berry, the boat captain they ride aboard with who has gone in search of her father and her fiancĂ©; Whit, Fawn’s brother who realizes that his home holds no future for him and so sets out with his sister and her husband to see what the world has to offer; and a group of minor characters including a renegade Lakewalker (not so minor in the plot, but only in the book for a short time).

“Horizon” (Book 4) brings Dag and Fawn and their group at several crossroads. Fawn looks for a teacher so that Dag can learn how to do “ground work” (healing), his ultimate goal being able to offer services to Farmers and teach other Lakewalker healers to do the same. At a new camp, Dag goes under the tutelage of Arkady, an older healer with many of the same skills Dag has found himself with on the journey. On a trip back north with a mixed party, they come across a strange and advanced malice, and it’s Fawn and her brother who prove that Farmers are just as capable at malice slaying.

This summary only scratches the surface of what this whole story offers and how the characters develop. Bujold writes intricately without hanging out the “I’m writing intricately” sign. This is my first venture into this author’s work, and I would definitely like to read more of her in the near future.

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