Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Book Review

So I started reading this book last week, hoping to be able to listen to the audio version while on the plane to Nashville. Didn't work. I had to finish it! :)

I chose Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett on a recommendation from a friend who really enjoys Terry's books. I can now see why! I'm hooked and am really hoping that the Nashville Library has some so I can check them out!

The book starts out with a young girl named Tiffany. She's down by the river with her younger brother, and a monster comes out towards her. She attacks it. She also encounters these small blue men who speak kind of funny. This is when she realizes there is something different about her.

The little blue men are the Nac Mac Feegles, or as they call themselves, the Wee Free Men. They're blue, they wear kilts and they speak with a Scottish accent. I have to say, I absolutely loved reading what they were saying! It was amusing. I kept picturing little leprechauns that had defected to Scotland. And since they enjoyed drinking, they clearly had found the good Scotch ale!

Back to the story. Tiffany's little brother is abducted by the Quin, er, I mean queen, and miss Tiffany has to figure out how to get into the Queen's world to get him back. She is assisted by the Nac Mac Feegles, and has a few adventures along the way.

I really enjoyed this story, and I highly recommend it. Now that Harry Potter is over, I think this will make a great new series to read. (There are apparently several books written by Mr. Pratchett.) Let me know if you've read any of these books yourself and what you think! I'd love to compare notes!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gluten-free, and me

So, I've been without wheat and gluten for a month now. Ok. Not totally without, but for the majority of the time. I have to say, I feel much better! As long as I don't have Chik-Fil-A's regular chicken, I'm ok. I had some the other day (my mistake, I thought they were gluten free). By the end of the afternoon, my stomach was swollen to the point where it looked like I was several months pregnant. (Which I am NOT!) It's slowly going back down to where it was pre-gluten. I couldn't believe the bloat! If that's not a sign of gluten intolerance, I don't know what is! I'm looking forward to my trip to Nashville, I just hope I can stay away from that bad gluten stuff!

Other news, Joe likes Mexican! I know, it doesn't sound like much, but it is! We've been eating only American-Mexican for the past 8 years because he only would eat the steak. He tried Mexican a few weeks ago with his co-workers, and he came home to tell me how much he enjoyed it. We went to Pancho's, the Tex-Mex restaurant here in town, twice, and it's amazing how much lower our bill is when we don't have steak on it! Then yesterday we went to El Rincon. We decided that was the best. Today (yes, that would be the 4th Mexican meal in 5 days) we went to Mariachi Loco's. Not good. We decided we won't be eating there. Or, if we will, we won't get what we did today. It was not acceptable.

Ok, that's all for now. I've started getting my things ready for my trip. Packing for 3 weeks in one suitcase, quite difficult! Have a good one!

Friday, July 18, 2008

AGD update...

I know. It's sad...I like a reality TV show. It's pathetic. I made sure I had nothing planned from 8 to 9 last night so that I could watch America's Greatest Dog. I was quite happy that Presley, the boxer, won the golden bone and was able to have the big suite. I'm always amazed at how well dogs are trained, and how people make it look so easy. Clearly it takes work, but the folks on the show make it seem so easy! When they had the elimination round, I have to admit, I was worried. After all, Star was on drugs after her run in with the wire or whatever it was that day, and I was afraid she wouldn't live up to the judges' standards. I was also a bit worried about Presley since he's still a puppy and can easily be distracted. Luckily those two dogs made it through no problem, and even the bulldog, Tillman, managed to sit and not eat his steak. (Seriously, that's a big thing for a dog!) When they called up the 3 that were up for elimination, can I just say how happy I was that Bella was up again? I was cheering, I was talking to the TV, and most of all, I was mocking the dog's owner. Why? Well...they had asked the dogs to be groomed. The wacko owner dressed the dog up in a formal dress. Um...how the heck is that grooming?! The judges agreed, and said that they couldn't even judge the dog because the clothes were taking away from the dog. Then the owner starts arguing, saying how her dog's a mutt, and how she has to put clothes on it because it's not attractive. Oh boo hoo. Then she starts crying, saying how she didn't even know if her dog was going to walk 3 months ago. Puh-lease. I was heckling her. But in the end...she wasn't voted off. I was a bit disappointed. OK. A lot disappointed. Hopefully she leaves next week.

On to other things...today we went picking blackberries at Joe's sister's. I have never seen so many berries before!! It was crazy! We picked about 8 cups worth today, and they're not even completely ripe! I was a bit sad that I am leaving before they're all ripe, but hey, I'm sure there will be blackberries in Nashville, right?! Anyway...off to decide if I should cut my hair. Long hair is hot in the summer! Have a good one! :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Double Bind...a book review

Do you remember reading The Great Gatsby when you were in school? I do. It was by far one of my favorite books we had to read in English class. I honestly can't tell you what it was about this book that I enjoyed so much. Perhaps the time frame, the way that Gatsby was finally able to see Daisy, I just don't know. And I just reread the book again, and still can't tell you why I liked it so much! I just do!

I reread Gatsby because the book, The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian refers to Daisy and Tom Buchanan, and their daughter, Pamela. I'd been recommend this book by my friend Susan, who knows my love for Great Gatsby and is a Language Arts teacher.

The book starts out with the main character, Laurel, talking about being attacked while bike riding in Vermont. She talks about the men who attacked her and what saved her from being killed. While the book itself doesn't focus on this, it is an underlying theme.

From there, we're brought back to present day, where Laurel is given pictures that were taken by Bobbie Crocker, a former resident at the homeless shelter where she works. Bobbie had recently passed away, and her boss thought that perhaps the photos could be put together to make a show and then be used as a fundraiser for the shelter.

There are photos showing famous singers, actors, musicians, and then some that also show the Gatsby residence, and one of Pamela Buchanan and a boy, whom Laurel believes to be Bobby Crocker. There are also a few pictures of Laurel on her bike in the woods in Vermont, wearing the shirt she described as wearing when she was attacked.

Laurel becomes obsessed with finding out who exactly Bobby Crocker is and how he was connected to the Buchanans. I can relate with her obsession-when you have a mystery to solve, you want to know, and sometimes other things just get tossed aside.

The rest of the book deals with her obsession to solve the mystery, print the photos from negatives, and to find out just who exactly Bobby Crocker was. I don't want to give away too much of the ending (which was quite surprising to me, and I honestly need to now reread the book to see what little details I missed), so I'll leave it at that. Let me know if you want to know more about the book or if you've read it yourself. I'm curious to know if other readers are as surprised by the ending as I am.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rejected...and other things.

After waiting over a month, I finally received my rejection letter from Medina County Career Center. Am I surprised? No, not really. Just means I have to keep looking for a job. *sigh* Oh, and I have a strong feeling the the local district isn't too keen on hiring 'their own' anymore. Any guesses on when I get that rejection letter?

Have you seen the TV show America's Greatest Dog? It started this week. There's a rerun on now, so I'm watching it...again. It's a strange reality show, something I don't watch all that often. But yet...I'm drawn in and can't help but watch this. I think I have fun making fun of the pet owners. The one lady who is dressing her dog up in full fledged outfits? Nutso. (She thinks the dog is her soul mate. Need I say more?!) Or the chick who won't let anybody touch her dog. Um...hello. You're on a TV show, where the dogs are important, and you're with 11 other dog owners. And no one can touch your dog? Yeah, I don't see that happening. Should be interesting. I'm hoping I lose interest in the show. I probably will when I'm in Nashville and have access to cable. BTW, my favorite dog right now is Star. I know, I didn't go for the border collies or the boxer. It's only the first week, maybe my favorite will change!

Other news, I'll be leaving on the 23rd and then coming home sometime in August. I'm hoping to get to Hopkinsville for a little while to visit with the family there, but I'm not sure when that will be. Nor do I know how I'll get there. But it's all good.

Ok. That's all for now. I should be posting a book review shortly. I've had lots of time to read lately. I'm hoping to start adding the book reviews when I can.