Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Newt Ponders

Since seeing/posting/thinking about Shane Parsons I have begun to understand some points of view that previously I gave the same credit I give Oprah, Dr. Phil and Pat Robertson – that would be none – zero- zip – nada.

I am 100% opposed to the Iraq war – or as I prefer to call it, Commander Coo Coo Bananas own private little vendetta and handout to his business buddies.

But by saying and believing that I realized that it belittles the fact that Shane lost his legs, and that 3,000 soldiers died. And if I had to express my feelings to his face I don’t think I could. And maybe that was why I couldn’t go talk to him. I wasn’t ashamed for my beliefs but I am ashamed at what Bush has gotten us into.

I don’t want to take away or tarnish the beliefs that Shane holds. Or the widows or the children who no longer have one of their parents.

If I was a soldier I would have to believe that there was a reason for what I was doing. And for me to say that the war is senseless makes me think back to Vietnam. And how horribly our soldiers were treated when they came home.

I know that it’s different. Completely different. And that there isn’t a person out there that doesn’t support the men and women of our military. No matter how they feel about the war they will always support the soldiers.

But how do you look them in the eye when you truly believe that they died or were injured for no real reason? I truly believe that this war has nothing to do with terrorism or making us safe.

There are people out there, and the whitehouse has poured out the propaganda, saying that if you aren’t for the war you are for the terrorists – period. And you absolutely can’t truly support the troops.

In a round about way I understand how some think if you oppose the war you don’t support the troops. But then I realized that they say that because they can’t wipe the blood from their hands. And this is how they cope with it. Given how much money those in power have gained from this war I’m sure they sleep quite well in their trillion dollar mansions. And they sit fat and happy in their towers of power. And somehow they justify the blood on their hands. I can’t fathom how but they do. They lie to themselves almost as much as they lie to the American people. And to our soldiers for that matter.

But the bottom line is, I don’t think I could look Shane in the face and tell him I don’t support this war. And that makes me think that those bastards are a little bit right. If I can’t look him in the eye how can I support him?

And that, my dear friends, is tearing me up inside.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A special friend

My friend Girl J is an amazing woman. I don't know how to express how much I admire her. She's fearless, passionate, and kind. She will do anything in her power to help a friend. I just adore her for so many reasons. And I'm so very thankful to call her my friend.

On Wednesday when we were at the mall we were sitting down at dinner and a man in a wheelchair rolled up to the table behind us. He moved himself to a regular chair and enjoyed dinner with someone.
One of the girls in our group noticed he had on dog tags. And so we got to talking about going over and talking to him. Saying Thank You for the service he has done for our country. While all the rest of us remained seated, for reasons individually personal, Girl J got up and caught up with him before he left. She thanked him for his service in the military and they got to talking a little bit. They exchanged names and he told her a little about his story.
And then today she sent us a picture and a link to information on him receiving the Purple Heart. This is Shane Parsons. And he is an American Hero. But to me, so is Girl J.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Junk or Funk? and Get'n Goofy with the Goils!

I decided to give up on The God of Small Things. And start reading a book I had picked up at the library. It is a mystery set during the time of Arthur Conan Doyle. And is in fact about him and how Sherlock Holmes came to be. It sounded like a good read, the opening pages seemed to say it would be a good read but I found myself not having the slightest bit of interest in the story.

So then I got to wondering what was going on. It’s such a rare thing for me to have two duds in a row. And the more I sat and thought about it the more I can’t classify this new mystery as a dud. It’s a fast and easy read so far. So what’s up? Am I just in a book funk.

Well, for me there is a pretty easy way to check. I have a handful of authors that can not write a bad book. So this morning I grabbed the next book in a series I have been enjoying. And wouldn’t you know it, I was happily reading along. No funk. So, either my mood is just not right for these books or these books are just not right for me. I always try to keep in mind that there are millions and millions of books out there waiting to be read. Why slow myself down on ones that just aren’t clicking.

But thinking that way opens up another can of worms. My personality doesn’t let me just give up on something. I will read a book all the way through just to confirm that it was indeed crap. Or at least not a book I personally liked. My first example of reading for torture was a book called Smila’s Sense of Snow. It got rave reviews. Everyone had to read it. So, being the good little literary sheep I picked it up. But I never liked it. Not from page one through page whatever at the end. I actually hated the book. But I kept reading hoping to discover what makes it so great.

On the flip side of that coin was Stephen Kings The Stand. I tried reading it when it first came out and I gave up after page 10 or so. It was so mentally graphically disgusting I just couldn’t do it. So I shelved it. Then umpteen years later he came out with an expanded version. And I decided to give it a second try. And I LOVED the book. I couldn’t get enough of it. It comes in at over a 1000 pages and I had no problem whipping right through. To this day it’s still a favorite of mine.

I guess what it boils down to is I worry I am missing something wonderful. So I keep reading. The most annoying part of the whole thing is that I think about the book I put down. Like defeat in battle I go over what I might have done “wrong”.

And this just sounds silly to me. I shouldn’t CARE if I give up on a book. It’s just a freak’n book. My life will not end because I didn’t read it.


And now for something a little fun.

It was girls night at the mall.

Girl J’s daughter and I had some fun with the camera. A couple of the girls were trying on clothes so we sat in the dressing room on the floor and got goofy. Then Lil’Girl A got goofy with her mom.

We gave our fashion opinions to Girl C and Girl S. And then a few women that were trying on clothes alone actually came out of their dressing rooms and asked for our feedback. I think we could find a job in there somewhere. Just lounge around in fitting rooms and encourage people to buy. We’d be so freak’n good at it. We’re honest about our feedback. So if something doesn’t look good we tell the person. But we also make suggestions. And help them find things that might look better. Or colors. Or whatever. It’s actually a lot of fun.

So here you go: Goofy Pictures.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Animal People

So, I’m an animal person

Well, duh, of course you all know that. If the obscene amount of furry creatures in my home didn’t give that little fact away I’m not sure what did. But reading this, sent me over to this which had me sitting here at work in tears. So I had to go back to this email I got from my dad that same morning in order to be able to breathe again.

If I didn't have animals . . . .

I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety.
My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated.
All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would be free of hair.
When the doorbell rings, it wouldn't sound like a kennel.
When the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without wading through fuzzy bodies who beat me there.
I could sit on the couch and my bed the way I wanted, without taking consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.
I would not have strange presents under my Christmas tree --dog bones, stuffed animals, toys, treats nor would I have to explain to people why I wrap them.
I would have money ....and no guilt to go on a real vacation.
I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians, as I put their yet unborn grandkids thru college.
The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out, sit, down, come, no, stay, and leave him/her/it ALONE.
My house would not be cordoned off into zones with baby gates or barriers.
My house would not look like a day care center, toys everywhere.
My pockets would not contain things like poop bags, treats and an extra leash.
I would no longer have to Spell the words B-A-L-L-, F-R-I-S-B-E-E, W-A-L-K, or T-R-E-A-T.
I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as outside.
I would not look strangely at people who think having ONE dog/cat ties them down too much.
I'd look forward to spring and the melting of snow instead of dreading mud season.
I would not have to answer the question "Why do you have so many dogs/cats?" from people who will never have the joy in their lives of knowing they are loved unconditionally by someone as close to an angel as they will ever get.

And then I went back to this story

And this one

And I felt a little better. And I hope in time that Jeffrey will find peace and maybe a new furry one to love.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

20 thughtsthoughts for Feb. 20th

1. I wonder what women’s fashion would be like if we could pee standing up.
2. I organized my shoes on Monday. I have a lot of shoes.
3. I believe that statement just made for blogger blackmail
4. But I trust ya’ll out there not to share this with the hubster.
5. Or the fact that as I put shoes on the rack and threw the boxes into the bedroom I turned around to go answer the phone and realized I was trapped in the closet. I had built a shoe box fort and didn’t realize it.
6. It’s cute as hell when Lily puts her tiny little paws on my knee and reaches up to give me a kiss. My tiny little peanut. I just love her.
7. I’m very much in love with the hubster. He’s a good man.
8. I consider myself very blessed to have him in my life.
9. I love the new lip gloss I got this weekend.
10. I had breakfast with Ellie (formely known as Other Girl J) and Momma L on Sunday. We had a lot of fun.
11. I went to lunch with former co-workers and the hubster on Monday. We had Juicy Lucy’s at Matts. Giggles, Bruce, and Bri-Bri joined us. I only REALLY miss a few people from my old job. These are three of the main ones. It was good to see them.
12. The Simpson’s Movie looks like it’s going to be awesome.
13. This is going to be a fun movie summer – Harry, Simpsons, Spidey, Capt. Sparrow and I know I’m missing a few.
14. I’m not sure what it is but I find Christopher Eccleston to be incredibly sexy.
15. As Ellie mentioned, we are trying to have a mini book club and read The God of Small Things together its by Arundhati Roy. Only Ellie can’t get past page 7 and I’m on 107 and not sure if I want to keep reading. I guess the very fact that I am not sure probably says I should stop. Good grief I hate it when I have to debate putting down a book that is supposed to be quite good. It makes me feel like I might be missing something wonderful. Sigh……………..

Looking at reader reviews it’s all over the board from 5 stars to 1. Seems like people either loved it or hated it. Argh……….
16. For March Momma L, Ellie, and I have plans to read Life of Pi. I’ve been wanting to read it. And when I mentioned it they all said it was on their list. Sweet. It was nice to quickly find a book we were all interested in reading.
17. Any suggestions out there for April? Recommendations are welcome.
18. My co-worker Danny brought Dove chocolates to a meeting. Some of their wrappers have little sayings inside. Mine said “Love without rules” I have it pinned up in my cube. I think it’s three of the truest words.
19. Song currently playing on Ipod: Blue Eyes by Cary Brothers from the Garden State soundtrack.
20. Lefty calendar fact for the day: Just because you are left-handed doesn’t mean you’re left footed. Only 45 percent of lefties claim the left foot as their dominant foot.
21. I just want to be like Tink and not stop at 20.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Give a big warm blogger welcome

To Ellie who you have always known as "Other Girl J". She started up a blog this weekend. So go over and say Hello!

On a totally different note I went out with Girl J shopping. She needed to get some clothes and she wanted me to come along to help her think outside her fashion box. Plus we both had coupons for a free tote if we bought a pair of shoes. Yep, I know, twist my dang arm.
We both ended up with Guess shoes, both in black, both very sexy. We found a couple pairs of sandals that were simply Divine but it's 20 degrees out. And they were a tad spendy. We'll wait till they go on sale............good excuse to keep going back to check right???

Speaking of 20 degrees. In true Minnesota fashion we finally climbed up out of the negative and single digits today. And as happens every year we were practically naked. Ok, I'm exaggerating. But you'd be surprised how many people leave their coat at home or in the car. 20 freak'n degrees. And to us it feels tropical. The wind was a bit rough but still. It was funny to see.

Now remember, when we get temps that drop into the 60's in September we pile on the warm gear because we are freezing. It's all perspective.

We also went furniture shopping. She found a couch she is in love with. But it's in one of those trendy yuppie shops that sells the most god awful decor that you buy to look fashionable not because it is even remotely attractive or practical. Trust me on this folks, the stuff in that store screams interior decorator that designs a home that you feel you can't even sit down in. SO not my style - or hers for that matter. So we went to another nice furniture store in town to get some perspective. For price and for options. We found one simply yummy couch that we both liked. But the other one still had a few things that made it better. Then of course almost by accident I climbed into a leather couch. OH MY GOD - it was deep. I love that. So deep in fact that when you sat all the way to the back only our little feet stuck off the edge. It was a fabulous couch. I fell in love. If they would let me I would go there every morning with my book and my coffee and read quietly. You know, show how "livable" their furniture is. But I digress. For one, it was 2 grand. And for two, it was deep. The hubster likes to be able to sit on a couch and have his feet touch the ground. WHY????? Couches are supposed to be super cozy. Curl up in it and don't get off till work Monday morning. Oh well. With the 4 furry terrors we can't get nice furniture anyway. Though the leather wouldn't collect dog hair. Hmmmmmm And pee should just roll right off it.

It was a good day.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A good Laugh and a good friend

Ice cream with Girl J today was the most fun I have had at work in ages. We sat at a little cafe table in the skyway and just chatted and giggled, and had fun. Girl J has always teased me that I am way too "nice" and I never say anything "mean" about anyone. She teases me that I need to have more "petty" moments. You know, random acts of making fun of people. Of course they REALLY have to earn it. There has to be a combination of say, big bleach blond hair, bright blue eye shadow, red hot leather pants, and maybe a shirt so tight that a boob is hanging out. Now, before my "education" began, I would just let it go. But Girl J has been encouraging me to at least "enjoy" the moment that deserves just a little mocking.

Newt: Oh, I almost forgot, while you were out of town I had a petty moment. And since you weren't there I had to call Grizo and share it with her.

Girl J: While cracking up: She told me! She called and told me you did that. And then she yelled at me for trying to corrupt quiet sweet Newt.

Newt: I can't remember what I was being petty about though. It was so good. You would have been proud of me.

Girl J: She wouldn't tell me what it was. But I told her that I have worked very hard at getting you to this level and under no certain circumstances was she to undo all my hard work.

Newt: Damn, I wish I could remember what it was.

Girl J: I wish you had been with us on Saturday. There was a girl in the hall that was just screaming - I had to. A perfect petty moment. So since you weren't there I shared it with BigMac and what did he say?

Big Mac: Now darl'n, that's not nice to make fun of that poor girl.

Girl J: That's why I wished you were there. You would have appreciated the petty moment.

Smoothie guy in skyway: Uh, you girls are having a litte too much fun over there.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

As Conversations go......

So, I was out with Other Girl J on our daily walk around the sky way. And our conversation went something like this.

Other Girl J: So, I was meaning to ask you, what’s a blog? How do you find one? I mean, I know that people like authors have them but I was looking around and couldn’t really find anything.

Newt: Well it’s really just an on line journal.

Other Girl J: Well, I get that, but how do you set one up? How do you meet people? How did you meet all the people you did?

Newt: While thinking to self “Hah – Got her!” – “Well, they have this cool thing when you set up your blog where you list your interests. Like favorite authors. Then you can see all the other people that like that same author. You can read their blogs and if you like what they say read more and make comments.”

Other Girl J: Ok, but what do you write about.

Newt: All sorts of stuff. What you do, places you go, weird things at work or some place you go. Heck, talk about weird smells in the elevator.

Other Girl J: Weird smells in the elevator? But everyone already knows there are weird smells in the elevator.

Newt: SO? It makes for funny blog conversation. I talk about stuff we do, I posted pictures from our Conservatory trip over the weekend. Whatever.

Other Girl J: But how do you talk about people without using their names. Cause it can be anonomous right?

Newt: Oh, you give someone a nickname or use their initials. Like when I talk about you you’re Other Girl J.

Other Girl J: Other Girl J? What that sounds like I’ve been demoted. Like I’m an afterthought or something? Other Girl J?????

Newt: Well, I first talked about Girl J so I had to give you a different name.

Other Girl J: But Other Girl J? That’s just so, so, so,

Newt: Well, would you prefer like “Best Friend J?”

Other Girl J: Well, something, but not Other Girl J

Newt: Ok, I’ll think of something. And this conversation we are having, it’s funny, you could blog about a conversation like this.

Other Girl J: You’re going to do it too aren’t you?

Newt: Uh, yeah, this is too good not to. Want me to send it to you?

Other Girl J: Well, yeah. Just don’t send it to work.

Newt: OK

And a little while later, while walking to lunch with Girl J

Newt: So, I was talking to Other Girl J today about blogging.

Go over entire conversation with Girl J.

Newt: So I asked her, what? Would you prefer to be Best Friend J?

Girl J: Hey, what’s that all about? Best Friend J? Hey, what about me?

Newt: Smacks hand on forehead. Alright, Alright, I’ll find something else to call her.

Girl J: Well, hey, I’ll be generous and helpful here: Change me to Girl N and she can be Girl J. How’s that?

Newt: Oh, I’ll think of something to do.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Photo Tuesdays

Como Park Conservatory
Or to Minnesotans: A place to thaw out and collect some humidity They have an amazing orchid collection

Monday, February 12, 2007

Books a MEME

So, My buddy Mike tagged me. He let me know he tagged me and when I finally got a chance to catch up on my blog reading all his posts – or I should say, a chunk of his posts went bye-bye. Server issues. But now they are back and so is this MEME so here goes:

Hardback, trade paperback, or mass-market paperback?
I love the trade paperback. It’s the perfect size.

Amazon or brick-and-mortar?
I could get lost forever in a book store. I love them. And I stop into them every chance I get. It’s the one place in the world that I can absolutely and completely relax. Well, that and a shoe store. But I will use the internet to shop for books, read reviews, and find out other books by the author.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
For me, it doesn’t matter. Whichever is closest. But Barnes and Noble is bigger and one of ours even has a huge used book section. It’s awesome. Ultimately I like the little mom and pop bookstores. Used and new. But for getting lost and just having a moment to myself – I head for B&N.

Bookmark or dogear?
I found this very cool bookmark at B&N that has little post it’s on it. I tend to want to look stuff up or write down great lines from a book so this thing is perfect. And it is in a little slip cover which also happens to be the perfect size in which to store my Starbucks coffee card. So, when I go across the street for my ½ hour of sanity everything I need is right inside my book.

Alphabetize by author, by title, or random?
Right now, I have three shelves of books I need to read in no particular order. If I have read them and want to keep them they are by author or series. Or in some cases, size.

Keep, throw away or sell?
I keep them all. But when I get my own little store, the ones I don’t feel the need to keep will go there. I’ll try to get a book swap thing going. Or sell them for a few bucks. Not sure yet.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?
Most of my books have their dust jackets. And the only one that doesn’t was because water somehow leaked on it. Which ruined the dust jacket but not the book itself so that in itself is a good reason to keep them. I do however remove them when I am reading a book. I don’t want to tear or destroy the dust jacket. So that almost negates the protection part. Hmmmmmm

Read with the dust jacket or remove it?
Wow, answered that one before I needed to. I read the books naked, then redress them when I am done.

Short story or novel?
Typically novels. I have read a few short story collections though. Most of them in the past year or so and that was due to either it being an author I loved or it got great reviews.

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Collection. I haven’t read an anthology yet that I enjoyed. But that is just me.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
I worshipknow what a Harry Potter is. What’s a Lemony Snicket?

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
I have to stop when tired or the book tends to hit me in the nose.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?
Depends on the mood I’m in but typically “Dark and Stormy”

Buy or borrow?
Unfortunately for my budget but probably good for B&N stock – buy.

New or used?
Either one is fine with me. But used has to be in descent condition, no notes or anything, no underlining, etc. And it can’t smell.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations or browse?
I go by all three. And buy equally from all three.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? Don’t really care. But if it’s a cliffhanger there better be another book coming. Ahem, Koontz – and your Frankenstein series that was supposed to be out in November. Ahem………………

When do you read: morning, afternoon or night?
If I could it would be 24/7. But I pretty much find a moment during all three to read. It’s what keeps me sane.

Standalone or series?
I do both about equally.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schoemperlen. I ordered this on a whim at B&N. They were practically giving it away. But it sounded so intriguing I had to get it. And I absolutely loved it.

Favorite books read last year?
Monkeewrench series by PJ Tracy
You are not a stranger here by Adam Haslett
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
ShadowsFall by Simon R. Green
The Nightside Series by Simon R. Green
I, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Booked to Die (as well as the rest of the series) by John Dunning
The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde
Crusader’s Cross by James Lee Burke
The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue
Of Saints and Shadows by Christopher Golden
Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

Favorite books of all time?
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts,
Everything ever written by James Lee Burke,
Cuckoos Egg by Cliff Stole
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Several of the favorites from last year are now on my all time list including:
Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger
Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
And so far anything and everything by Simon R. Green.
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Harry Potter 1-6
George RR Matins Song of Ice and Fire Series.

And I will tag: Kell, Betty, Tink, and Greymama cause I know they are book worms.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Life unexpected

Life is relatively steady. We get up, we go about our day, we go to sleep. Sometimes the sameness of life can almost put us in a trance. That's not to say that life isn't enjoyable or boring. Not at all. It's just that there are stretches of time full of routine. And for many people that is the way they want to go about their life. I for one exist just fine in the quiet routine of our life.

But once in a while during those routine days and weeks a bright flash of somethingness brightens up our day.

It could be meeting new friends for lunch and having a great conversation while consuming a basket of fries and a burger. And knowing after lunch that you have a wonderful new set of friends to spend time with. Or perhaps getting together with someone whose in town for one reason or another. Even if it's only a few hours. This is especially nice when you realize the instant that you meet that they really are a friend. And the only sadness is that this perfect friend is too far away to meet for coffee on a regular basis.

Or, that bright flash could be the FedEx man at your door on a VERY cold Saturday morning. A little surprised by his presence you open the door and find that he has a special floral delivery for you. You check the name and the address to make sure he's actually at the right house. And then once you confirm that you are supposed to have the box you go skipping back into the house with your box of flowers. And you open the box and inside is something alive, and beautiful, and green and many colored. And the smell is intoxicating. And then you read the card and tears are brought to your eyes. Because a friend was so kind and so thoughtful and thought maybe during this cold winter that you might like to have a ray of spring in your home. And you are speechless for a while. And every time you look up from where you are sitting you see those flowers and you smile. And your heart is warm and fuzzy.

What I love best about these flashes is that for days you can walk around on some sort of "high". You can bask in the brightness even after it has gone. Because you have new friends, and new memories.

I want to thank everyone for being a flash of brightness in my life.

Thank you for making me laugh
Thank you for writing blogs that always bring a smile to my face
Thank you for writing blogs that let me know that I'm not alone - that everyone has good days and bad, drama, and emotional roller coasters
Thank you for recommending books and movies
Thank you for sharing your children and the wonderful things they do and say
Thank you for sharing your photography and the beautiful pictures that you take
Thank you for a painting so beautiful of my happy place
Thank you for sharing your pets
Thank you for saying let's meet for lunch
Thank you for letting me know I have a place to stay anytime I want to come visit
Thank you for knitting a scarf I wear every day and think of you with fondness
Thank you for the trail mix I munch on while at work
Thank you for being there - for knowing if I need to bend an ear I can email you and you'll "listen"
Thank you for sending me spring.

Thank you all for being my friend.

You truly are a brightness in my life.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Thought for the night

Tonight I reached for Caleb and he turned his head toward me. I put my hand on his soft downy fur and he leaned his head into my hand. There was so much heat in his body. The vital and telling sign of life. My sweet little boy. Warm, soft. And loving.

It's why we like to touch. Our loved ones. Our friends. To feel that heat. That life.

I wish you heat my friends.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Brain exercises

I”ve been reading a book called The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte. And first let me say that it is a great story. And anyone can pick it up and read it. But let me also say: “DAMN” this man is smart. Well read, and well researched. Holy crap. On more levels than I can begin to describe I am loving this story. I feel like in some tiny little way I’m smarter for reading it. And more worldly. And just a little more well rounded a person. What I am most impressed about is that I feel better about myself for reading it. The author, bless him, has a way of writing a very intellectual story without making the reader feel stupid. Because trust me, if he wanted to he could have reduced me to a sobbing pile of mush that thinks I must have flunked out of kindergarten and never achieved much beyond that.

The story is a look into a literary world that I can’t even imagine. I read a lot of books but my retention is horrid. Where as these folks can quote stuff from a million different books. I can barely tell you my name on any given day let alone quote, recognize, add to, great things said by great people. Ok, grant you, when he wrote this he had all the resources in the world so it’s not like he did this all off the top of his head. BUT I know that people like the characters in this book exist. And man am I jealous of this skill and passion.

Anyway, if you like a good mystery that also teaches you a little something this is a great book. My brain doesn’t hurt, it more or less just feels a little exercised. And once in a while that is a great thing.

I do want to add here, as a warning, I am not finished with this book. I still have about 100 pages to go. So anything could happen. But so far, I am really enjoying this story. It’s fascinating. And fun. And intriguing.

This is the second book I have read by this author and I really like him.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Random Tuesday

*I just bought the new Nora Jones album Not Too Late. It’s very good. Very mellow. Lowers the blood pressure. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Oh, sorry, I nodded off there.

It’s not a boring album. I just haven’t had enough coffee yet today. So it’s overly relaxing me.

*I also fell on my butt this morning while shoveling. Forgot about the little ice rink we have going in the corner of the house.

*I love shoveling snow

*I have some gross stomach virus thing – not happy about it

*I told the hubby we need to go to Como soon. I’m craving heat and green. I have a feeling we’ll spend part of the weekend there.

*I’m wearing a velvet shirt today. I love velvet in winter.

*And I have on a fabulous pair of shoes.

*The other night I put on thermal pants and shirt before going to bed. This is totally uncharacteristic. I tank top or night shirt is usually the most I can tolerate. Especially since I wake up several times at night broiling. So imagine my shock, confusion, and surprise when I slept through the night. Twice now. I’m wearing more to bed and sleeping better. I don’t get it. I only wake up because I’m too warm. So how does more clothing fix that? Anyone?

*I still need to get coffee. I’ve been futzing with what to say. Reading emails as they come in. Etc. Oh, and still listening to Nora.

Be right back………………

*Ahhhh office sludge……………….it would make Juan Valdez weep.

*Well, back to work. I’m going to go home early. The chills are setting in.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Happiness is:

Parking in downtown Minneapolis: $9.00
Tickets to Motorcycle show: $10.00
Food and beverages: $9.50

Getting to meet a blogger friend: Priceless

It was somewhere between -5 and zero here in the cities. The wind chills are hanging out around -15 to -40. So, it's a tad cold. But yesterday, driving into Minneapolis, parking and going to the convention center is felt like 70. I didn't even notice the cold all that much because I was looking so forward to meeting Kell of Tis Herself. As well as her hubby Al. They had come up for the day with a busload of fellow motorcycle enthusiasts to see the show.

We talked about all sorts of stuff. And did some people watching, motorcycle admiring, and for a while we had images of scooters running through our heads. Pretty ones with flowers :-). We talked about family (yes, Jay, for some reason you came up in conversation :-) ). We talked about puppies. And living in England and riding a bike into town to get the makings for dinner.

The time we had went too quick. And before we knew it they had to get on their bus to head home. But we are only about 6 hours apart. And I'm sure somewhere in the middle is the perfect little town to meet in for a weekend or something. Every town has the important things: bookstore, shoe shop, and fabric/yarn store.

Yesterday was a perfect day.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday Photo Montage

Today I wandered through the skyways and St. Paul Public Library in order to bring you this.