Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days of Book Reviews!

October snuck up on me a bit. Usually I'm completely prepared for the 31 day series. This time, not so much. I will be writing deep in to the night for the next couple of days.

But I am so excited about my series this year! I'm going to give you reviews of the last 31 books I've read!

Here's the list, so you can know when to come back if you're looking for the review of a specific book:

1. Introduction
2. The 5th Wave
3. Doctor Sleep
4. Gone Girl
5. Wintergirls
6. Speak
7.  The Driven Series
8.  Dark Places
9. Mud Vein
10.  The Fault in Our Stars
11. If I Stay
12. Black Lies
13. The Customer Rules
14. The Divergent Series
15. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
16. The Longest Ride
17. The Art of Racing in the Rain
18. The Silver Linings Playbook
19. The Last Policeman
20. The Siren
21. The Selection Series
22. Warm Bodies
23. The Best of Me
24. Looking For Alaska
25. Taken by the Cowboy
26. Life of Pi
27. The Five Love Languages
28. The Thoughtless Series
29. Beautiful Creatures
30. Labor Day
31. Conclusion

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Monday, September 29, 2014

weekend update

My anniversary was this week, so we got a babysitter on Friday and went out to celebrate. We out to dinner at a pub that had a bunch of fancy beers on tap. The Agent got a sampler of 6 different beers, 5 ounces of each. After trying them all, The Agent's favorite was the Firestone 805. My favorite was the Hell or High Watermelon Wheat.

Oh, and the food was only ok.

After dinner, we caught a movie. There was like NOTHING we wanted to see. We ended up seeing Guardians of the Galaxy, which was also only ok. Although it did have a pretty raccoon in it.

On Saturday, I took BK to a birthday party with the cuteness minion theme. Check out these cute cupcakes that they served:

After we got home, BK took a nap, and I tackled the huge pile of laundry that needed to be folded. I would post a picture, but I don't want to frighten you.

For dinner, The Agent made corn dogs  from scratch. I don't know if I can go back to frozen after the deliciousness that The Agent made.

On Sunday, we woke up to realize that we had nothing for breakfast. No milk for cereal, not bacon to go with eggs, not even a few frozen waffles. So I sent The Agent out to get us some delicious breakfast burritos. $5 each is money well spent when half a burrito is enough to fill you up! After breakfast, we ran some errands and went grocery shopping, and then we came home in time to have the second half of my burrito for lunch.

It was my dad's birthday, so we met him for dinner at a japanese place in town, and then we came back to the house for brownies and ice cream.

The end to another busy week!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bad Day

Oh, bad day. Super bad day.

My boss called me in to his office yesterday and said that my services are no longer required in my current position. He thanked me for the work I've done, and told me about the new job I would be doing.

As I sat sobbing in his office.

"I know I'm behind, but I'm doing the best I can," I cried. I'm not fired. But on the hierarchy scale, I just went down a level.

"No one said you're doing a bad job," my boss said patiently. "You're still considered a leader. You're still on track for management. But your workload is too high, and you don't want to work overtime. I sit right next to you, and I know you're not happy.  The new job is not as stressful, and we need a strong player there. You'll be successful, and that's something that we need."

On a deeper level, I know all of this is true. I wasn't happy. The work is too hard. I'm not willing to work overtime. But still. I wanted the exit to be on my terms.

"Have people been complaining about me? Have they said I haven't been doing a good job?"

My boss shook his head. "I have never received a single complaint from you," he said.

I cried harder. "So why do I have to leave?"

"Please don't think of this as a demotion. You're not getting demoted. You're not losing any money, you're not losing any rank. You are such an asset to the company. But I have to think of the whole office.This is a good thing. This is going to help everyone."

I told him I needed a minute. I went to the bathroom and cried for ten minutes.

And then left work and cried to The Agent for another fifteen.

And then I had four jello shots.

Still a bad day.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What can happen in a book store

(This is a repost. I post it every year at this time)

Once upon a time, 13 years ago, I was sitting at a table in front of Barnes and Noble, enjoying the nice weather and writing a letter to my grandmother, who was living at a convalescent hospital in Colorado. I was deep in thought, composing my next sentence in my head, when a man approached me. “My name is Bond,” he said. “Do you mind if I join you?”

I looked up, removed my sunglasses, and stared at him. Who was this yahoo? He was about my age, maybe a little older. He was tall and athletic, looking casual in his jeans and polo shirt. He did not look like a murdering rapist, so I figured I was safe, and told him he could sit. I told him my name was Lovely, and I was in the middle of writing a letter to my grandmother. He was at the bookstore in search of a cookbook.

We chatted for a bit, and then Bond said, “We’re having a nice conversation here. Would you like to have dinner with me?”

I considered for a bit. I was single, so I could certainly go out to dinner if I wanted. But seriously, who WAS this guy? Who does this? He seemed nice, but I’ve never had a total stranger ask me out to dinner before. He needed some sort of test. “Tell you what,” I said after a bit, “My father’s birthday is next week, and I need to buy him a present. If you go shopping with me now, I’ll go to dinner with you afterward.”

Bond agreed, and we drove to the mall together. I drove-- I was young and crazy, but not completely stupid. I wasn’t getting into a car with a stranger. He allowed me to chauffeur him across town to the mall, and he followed me around until I found something suitable: The Who CD box set. We discussed musical interests while I shopped. His all-time favorite band was AC/DC, mine was U2. I had been listening to Staind, Puddle of Mudd, and Nickelback lately, he was listening to Shania Twain.

He was nice and respectful and had a sense of humor. He was good looking and he seemed to think I was pretty. I was enjoying myself. I made my purchase and agreed to go to dinner with him. We went to an Italian place, great food, better company. I told him that I had just broken up with my boyfriend of two years about a month earlier. He revealed that he was recently divorced and had just started dating again.

It was still early after we finished dinner. “We’re having such a nice conversation,” he said. “would you like to go somewhere else?” I took a chance and told him we could go for a drive, as long as I was driving. Bond agreed and away we went. We drove out of town, into the mountains and back, talking all the way, about anything and everything.

We met at about 2 pm. I pulled back into the parking lot of Barnes and Noble at 10:30 pm. I drove Bond back to his truck and told him I had a nice day and it was nice meeting him. “It was nice meeting you too," he said. "Do you think I could have your phone number?”

He called me two days later. I haven’t been able to get rid of him since.

We got married in Hawaii, 3 years after the day we met.

Happy anniversary, Agent. 10 years married, 13 years together. I am so thankful I took a chance on you that day. You are my everything.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekend Update

My weekend started off with flowers delivered to me at work! My anniversary isn't until tomorrow, but it was nice to get flowers early!

After work, my girlfriend, who just survived her first week on the job at my office, came over for wine. She loved her first week! She said everyone was so nice, and she thinks she's going to fit in perfectly! Ha ha, fooled her!

So, she came over and we split a bottle of wine and talked about our week. Very mellow. Oh, and we tried to help Bug with her homework and failed miserably. Does anyone know what this means?

Two and a half laughs? I have no idea. I asked her if she's sure that last circle doesn't have just the Letter E in it, because then it would be Ready to Laugh (red E, 2 laughs.... get it?).  But, no. She says she's sure this is what it looks like-- 3 black circles, the word laugh written in each one in red, and the last circle is half blacked out. I'm lost. It's a sad world when I can't figure out a third grader's homework.

Saturday we....spent money. Frying pan. Clothes. A new dresser for BK. Randomness.

The dresser isn't actually a dresser. We went with a cubbie system:

I took this picture from an organizational website, but it looks just like this, except I made the cubbies orange and blue and green, to match the rest of his room. The idea is to get BK to put away his clothes on his own, so we're hoping this will be easier for him. We haven't set it up yet, so I'll have to give you an update with pictures. Maybe next week.... or in three years.

The kids had been acting pretty much crazy all day, so we sent them to bed and The Agent and I enjoyed a double feature movie night. First we watched Gravity, and then Delivery Man. Both were moderately entertaining, if not even remotely believable. I can't quite understand why Gravity got such good reviews. Yes, it was pretty to look at, but other than that-- eh. Delivery Man was funny but I really had to utilize my suspension of disbelief.

On Sunday, we woke up with no plans. We sat around until about 10 am, when I unleashed on The Agent and made him take me out somewhere.  We went out to an early lunch at a new restaurant in town. The Agent had the poutine. Did you see that episode of Modern Family where Cameron makes poutine and Jay says, "Well, it looks like vomit, so I won't be POUTINE it in my mouth." Yep, that's a pretty accurate description! But I had a bite, and it was pretty delicious! I stuck with safer fish tacos, and the kids had chocolate chip pancakes.

Photography by BK 

After lunch, we went to the girls soccer game at the college. We lost. But it was still fun. I like just about any sporting even as long as it's live.

This is Matti Long-- she scored our only goal of the day. Awesome! 
When we got home, The Agent git it into his head that he wanted to grill lamb chops, so I humored him.

They were ok. The kids thought they were eating steak. I didn't tell them they were eating baby sheep. I tried not to think about it-- thinking about it makes me a little sick to my stomach, and I'm by no means ready to become a vegetarian!

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Travel Plans That Go Awry

 Write a blog post inspired by the word: travel

We are all very stressed at my office right now, but for once it's not actually about work.

One of my coworkers is getting married in November. He's having a destination wedding, and his fiance went to the wedding site last weekend to make everything was in order. She left my coworker at home, with their two young kids under four.

Their wedding was going to be in Cabo San Lucas.  But then category 3 Hurricane Odile touched down on Sunday afternoon, right on the day she was supposed to come home.

I was on this beach 8 months ago. 

On Monday, we know she was ok. She was going to be stranded there for who knows how long, but she was safe and the hotel staff was very kind to her.

But my coworker hasn't been able to get in touch with her since then. He has lost all communication with her. No phone, no internet, and my coworker can't get through to the hotel, either.

The poor guy is beyond stressed. He didn't come in to work at all on Tuesday. He came in for a few hours yesterday, but he wasn't doing anyone any good by being there. And it was so heartbreaking to watch him. It was like he was walking through a fog. He was there, but it was obvious that he so wasn't there at all. His boss sent him home after two hours.

We have no reason to think that anything happened to her. She's probably just stuck in the hotel, with communication lines down. Or maybe she lost her phone charger. But still. The whole point is that he doesn't know.

We all pray she gets safely home soon.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

mom of the year

I've been trying to cut the cord with the kids a bit. They're 8 and 5, so I don't really need to be the helicopter parent that I once was.

I was at Jo-ann's with the kids the other day, and we had just gotten in line when BK announced that he had to go to the bathroom. Of course.

The line was too long, and I never thought he'd make it, so I asked Bug to take BK to the bathroom. "Walk him to the bathroom, wait outside for him, and then come back," I warned. Bug was excited to have this new responsibility, and happily trotted off with BK.

I was still in line when I saw BK walking towards me, alone and crying. "C'mere, Baby," I said. "What happened?"

"I was alone and couldn't find you!" BK cried.

I calmed BK down and waited for Bug to return. I wasn't worried. It's not like it was the mall. I don't know, how is different from leaving them alone at school every day? I figured Bug had gotten distracted by something shiny.

We were almost to the front of the line when I caught a glimpse of Bug. She was still standing by the bathrooms. She was pacing and looking towards where I standing in line. She looked nervous. I smiled. Cute kid.

When it was my turn to pay, I asked the cashier if she could page my daughter. "Bug, please come up to the front register," the checker said into the loud speaker. "Your mother is waiting for you."

Bug came up to me in full panic mode, sobbing. "Mom! I don't know where he went! I was waiting for him, and I can't find him! Help!"

"Bug, it's ok," I soothed. "BK is here with me."

And then she REALLY started crying. "I was so worried, and I knew you were going to be so mad!"

"It's fine now, it's ok. But what happened? How come you didn't see him walk out of the bathroom?"

It turns out that Bug needed to go to the bathroom,  too. So when she came out of the bathroom and saw that BK wasn't outside, she figured he was still in there, so she waited. Meanwhile, BK must have gotten out while she was still in there, and made his way to me.

"Well, it's all ok, so let's go home. We've caused enough drama here today."

Bug took a deep breath and tried to stop crying. "Can I say goodbye to Miss Diane first?"

"Miss Diane? Who the heck is that?"

And then I looked up, and into the judging eyes of the church children's director.


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