Thursday, May 31, 2007

Seven Random Facts

This has been making the Internet rounds and I have nothing interesting to post, so I'll do it.

Seven Random Facts about me:

1. I used to have red hair. Not flaming, carroty-red hair, but a nice auburn. Then, four and half years ago, I had S. And slowly, over the course of a year or two, my hair turned brown and her hair grew in red. So now I have a redheaded daughter and brown hair. I still hope it will turn back one day.

2. I am the queen of getting out of speeding tickets. Over a three year period, which ended in 2003, I got seven speeding tickets. (Yep, seven. I'm not what you'd call a quick learner.) I hired lawyers and got out of all but the last one with no points on my license and no insurance points. And no, I didn't have sex with any of the lawyers (or judges!).

3. My dad performed my wedding ceremony. No, I did not just say that I married my dad. Yes, I live in the South, but not that far South. My dad is a minister, so when R and I decided to get married, we asked him to officiate. It was cool and he managed not to cry.

4. One of my friends has officially asked me to photograph her wedding. I am so nervous, I could barf! I'm so excited and I have tons of ideas of cool things to do.

5. Both of my children had umbilical cord issues when they were born. S had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice and W had tied his into a knot. Little monkeys.

6. I hide my true feelings about people really well. Very few people ever figure out that I don't like them or think they're stupid. I'm also a terrific liar.

7. One of the things I love most about my husband is that he encourages me to pursue my hobbies. Even if it means spending large quantities of money. When I bought my new camera, he insisted that I buy the better lens and filters to go with it. And he never, ever gives me static for buying books.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bel Canto

Beckeye asked and I answered, but after thinking about it, I realized how inadequate my answer was. Here is the synopsis of Bel Canto:

Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful business man Mr. Hosokawa. Roxane Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening - until a band of gun-wielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion...and cannot be stopped.

It is a gorgeous book, and it ends the way it must. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Book Review

Originally, I was going to review a book every month, but then I didn't remember to sort my book list by months, so that idea kinda went to hell. So now I figure that when a book knocks my socks off, I'll post a review here. So here's the first of (hopefully!) many book reviews:

Come to Me
Stories by Amy Bloom

Synopsis - "This stunning collection of stories - two of them honored by inclusion in Best American Short Stories in consecutive years - takes us into the inner worlds of families, the hidden corners of marriages and affairs and friendships, and introduces us to people whose lives are shaken and changed by love: a grieving mother in need of comfort; a frightened father in need of redemption; wives who become mistresses and regret it, or don't; a psychiatrist crashing through professional boundaries to provide for her husband and son; a model wife and mother who inexplicably descends to the basement to commune with the seventeenth-century poet Anne Finch; a young woman yielding to her dying husband's wish to hear about the affairs she's been having during his illness; a little girl who shyly models Furs by Klein, with Klein looking on in love and sorrow; Rose of the crystal-clear voice and psychotic episodes."

Now, it's rare that I like a collection of short stories. Usually, they're too short and just as I'm starting to like the characters, the story is over. Or the stories spend too much time developing the characters and nothing really happens in the story. Not these. Amy Bloom gets it just right. She gives you only a vignette into these characters and their lives, but in that you see their whole personalities and desires. Each story is complete and even though you don't know every detail of the life of each character, you know them completely. You see the whole and the scope of their lives from just the little snapshot you're given. Or you see them turn an important corner and know the pattern the rest of their life will take. Gorgeous stories, real, flawed characters, real-life situations and decisions. And just enough information and concern to make you remember the characters forever. I could not recommend this book more.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Books! My all-time favorite subject. The lovely Molly had a meme about books and very nicely agreed to let me steal it. So here goes:

The Five Most Recent Books I've Read:
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, Alice Munro
Patriots, James Wesley, Rawles (Don't ask- I read it as a favor to my husband. It was terrible. The author has a comma in his name, for Christ's sake. What more do you need to know?)
She's Not There, Jennifer Finney Boylan - Don't even get me started. It's about a man who gets married and has two children and then decides that he must pursue the knowledge he's had all his life that he should have been a woman. It's heartwrenching to imagine what his poor family went through.
The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls - I want to find someone else who has read this just so I can say that I'm gonna do something "Rex Walls-style".
Puppet, Joy Fielding

Five Books I Could Read Over and Over:
Babyville, Jane Green
Empire Falls, Richard Russo
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
Good in Bed, Jennifer Weiner

Five Books That Blew My Mind and Would Be On My Syllabus If I Were a Teacher:
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Peace Like a River, Leif Enger
Bel Canto, Anne Patchett
Gilead, Marilynne Robinson

Five Authors With Whom I Would Like to Have Drinks:
Tom Robbins
Chuck Palahniuk
Richard Russo
Jennifer Weiner
Jodi Picoult

Five Books That Make Me Want to Have Kids Just For The Books:
The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Anne of Green Gables series, L.M Mongomery
The Chronicles of Narnia series, C.S. Lewis
Pat the Bunny, Dorothy Kunhardt

Five Non-Fiction Books I Am Evangelical About and Demand Everyone Read:
Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt
The Sociopath Next Door, Martha Stout - well, I don't demand everyone read it, just everyone who asks why I don't speak to my mother
And that's all I can think of....guess I don't read much non-fiction.

Five Books the Rest of the World Loved and I Sort of Hated:
Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin - but that was only because of my reading teacher. If I had read it on my own, I would have loved it.

Five Books I Just Could Not Finish, No Matter What:
Anna Kareninina, Tolstoy
The Brothers Karamozov, Dostoevsky
The Prince, Machiavelli
Cathch 22, Joseph Heller
Atonement, Ian McEwan

Five Books That I Am In Awe Of and Are Pretty Much Perfect Pieces of Writing:
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
Bel Canto, Anne Patchett
Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon
Peace Like a River, Leif Enger

Five Books That Make Me Weep Buckets:
The Year Without Michael, Susan Beth Pfeffer
Bridge to Terrabithia, Katherine Patterson
Tiger Eyes, Judy Blume
Bridges of Madison County, Robert James Waller
A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving

Five Books Set in Africa That I Love:
Hmmmm...I think the only two books even partly set in Africa that I have read are The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and The Diamond Lane by Karen Karbo and I kind of hated both of them.

Five Things That Turn Me Off of a Book, However Unfair:
Unlikeable characters
Animals as main characters
Narrators with autism
Science fiction
Too many/ too detailed supernatural occurances

Five Things I am a Sucker For in a Book:
Strong female protaganists
Bad family relationships
Strong male characters
Irreverent old people

Friday, May 4, 2007

Oh my God, What a Day!

The weather sucks, I totally stuck my foot in my mouth when I introduced myself to an employee and told him I talk to his wife all the time then I found out he and his wife are separated, I had to call two employees whom we accidentally overpaid by about $3,000 each and explain what happened, and for some unfathomable reason my left front tooth is aching and hurts like the nerve is exposed. Oh, and my feet hurt because I'm wearing semi-new shoes that are refusing to break in. Oh, and I missed going to PF Chang's for lunch because a meeting was scheduled at 1 and at 1, they called and rescheduled to 3. I went on a used book buying spree at lunch and it didn't even help because now I have new exciting books to read and they're in the car, not in here.

Holy Hell, I'm going home!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Fool for Blondes

"Every time Lana Turner was on the screen, Bill would begin sucking his thumb to an obscene degree. I knew right then that this boy would be a fool for blondes." ~Estaban Vihayo Kill Bill Vol.2

Sunday night, R and I took the kids and went out to dinner. W was fussy and had to be held most of the way through the meal. About the time we finished eating, though, he discovered *her*. The blonde waitress working another section of the restaurant. He leaned forward in R's arms and grunted. Then he craned his little head to watch her until she disappeared into the kitchen. He did this every time she came into sight.

God do I dread his teenage years!