2012 Book List

The Hunger Games

I did not expect this to interest me at all. But, one day when one of the boys put it down in the car, I picked it up and started to read it. It had me, I looked forward to reading it each time and I finished it.

The Lovely Bones

This was a book club read. It wasn’t horrific, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. I’ll be honest, the whole “heaven” thing threw me off a bit and didn’t jive with my vision of it. Not that that is the end all, be all, but it seemed more like she was in purgatory. That said, it should bring about some interesting discussion amongst the ladies at book club.

A Heart of Stone

This is probably not the book to follow-up with after reading The Lovely Bones, as it deals with… some similar circumstances. Sort of. Stand alone it was still probably a “two” for me just because it was OK. I wouldn’t stop someone from reading it but wouldn’t gush over it either. It would have made a good discussion book, though, for a book club.

A Yellow Raft in Blue Water

This was an interesting book. I didn’t have the stellar reaction that some people had, but I liked it enough.

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, Book 2)

If you liked The Hunger Games like I did, this is worth a read. I was told the second and third book were the best. I haven’t read the third yet, but I would say that the second book in the trilogy is at least as interesting as the first. I plan on reading the third book, too, after a little bit of a “book break” from the series.


The Memory of Running

Happy Thanksgiving (And A Free MP3)

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Something to be thankful for? FREE Mp3 for Amazon Students

A deal too good not to share. Realizing it doesn’t apply to all, probably most, ignore that part and take my Thanksgiving greeting. We’re off to the cousin’s for some gobble-gobble goodness. My morning has been spent drinking coffee, making pumpkin bread. It’s hard not to have the smells of Thanksgiving festivity in the house (since I’m not hosting). The bread helped with that problem.

Peace, love and gratitude for an abundance of joy.

Attempting A Two-Strand Twist

I don’t know why I bothered trying. I mean, really. It is hard enough for me to manage a french braid, let alone anything else. But, since I’ve been trying new things on my hair, I thought… why not? (I can give you reasons, but it is too late now.)

Seven dollars later, I’m armed with a sectioning comb (something I could have done with a regular comb) and some hair ties. I skipped on purchasing a specific hair product to style my hair, though. I figured I was already deeper in than I should be. I re-wet my hair a bit, got out the tub of IC Hair Gel and went to town.

I’ma tell you straight up, my hair isn’t a big fan of gel. So I was scared. But I needed something with a little hold. In my quest to simplify, I haven’t been purchasing much in the ways of styling products, and have been using up what I have on the boys. So, the IC Gel was it.

The minute I sectioned off my hair, I knew the girl in the video was a pro and I… well, I wasn’t. I immediately felt the frustration of a novice as my hands fumbled with the strands and my twists looked like child’s play. But I couldn’t just stop.

I made four horrific twists(mangles) in my hair, secured them all, held a mirror up to see the front and back, and then angrily ripped each one out. Mentally spanking myself, I detangled my gel-laden hair, holding back a whimper of defeat. I had lost. I knew it. I was at terms with it.

Defeated but not broken, I knew I could either wash my hair again (not a good idea since it was close to bedtime) or “set it” to dry. I decided on two twisted buns (basically two low pigtails, twisted until they are buns behind my ears, secured). One was up a bit higher than the other, but I was at a point where caring wasn’t priority. I went on about my business, hoping that I wouldn’t look too horrid the next day since I had to work.. I slept with my bonnet on, per the norm.

The next day I released the pigtails and did little else, but a little head tossing. Here was the morning look:


I did flat-iron the bangs. Excuse the blinding glare reflected by my forehead.

I wasn’t entirely unhappy. It was different from the usual (either flat-ironed or air-dried), and I welcomed the change. It wasn’t 100% dry, though. My hair takes forever to dry. I contemplated hitting it with the blowdryer, but thought that might be a bad idea. Throughout the day I fluffed it up a little bit. I couldn’t get a decent picture of it, though.

This was later in the day, completely dry, after fluffing.


I’ve let my hair dry like this before. It’s nice to revisit again as an option. It looks OK and I like it for something different. Since I just had my hair relaxed last week, my top was pretty flat. I’m not ditching the two-strand twists just yet, but I need a bit more time to review some tutorials.

Wah I’m Sick

Still not feeling so great. Have a cold that settled in my throat and bronchial tube, runny nose. Stayed in bed all day, except for the shower. Watched a lot of TV, thankful for the laptop. Hate being sick. Five days off of work and I have to feel cruddy.

Contemplating forcing myself to go to a movie with Frank. The kids (3 youngest) are saying at their cousin’s house tonight and the oldest is hanging with his girlfriend. Would be a nice night for us to do a little something. We’ll see.

100 Books List Meme

I may or may not have done this already. I can’t remember. But, I need an entry, and a meme will do.
The BBC apparently believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here:
(Indicate which books you have read…)

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – read some, but not others…
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy.
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth.
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt.
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Interesting list. I think my count was 24. There’s probably just about that many that are on my “to read” list, sitting on my shelf. Some of them are definitely worth reading, but some are a waste of time. I didn’t see Pinocchio on there, but it is a MUST READ, especially if you have young kids. The real version, not the Disney one. We read it as a family and Sal was enthralled with it for months after. He re-read it again and again. I just had to say that.

iLife Upgrade for Recently Purchased Macs

If you’re like me and had your computer wiped out in a recent power surge… and purchased  Mac between Oct. 1-19, you are eligible for an upgrade to ’11 iLife. Not for free, but almost. $6.99. A far cry from the box price for an upgrade. I had no clue about it, even though I registered my Mac. I just happened to be at Best Buy and the salesguy told me about it. He emailed me the information, but must have written down my email address wrong. Thankfully I found it online. And now, I’m sharing it with YOU, by the chance that it might be useful.

Customers who purchase a qualifying new Mac computer or an Apple Certified Refurbished computer from the Apple Online Store between October 1 and October 19, 2010 that does not include iLife ’11 can upgrade to iLife ’11 for US $6.99 plus tax. Remember your completed order form must be postmarked or faxed by November 19, 2010.

Download the PDF form to mail/fax, and find more info. here: http://www.apple.com/ilife/uptodate/

Snow Day

A blizzard was predicted yesterday. Even my boss said, “Surely a snow day tomorrow. Let’s plan on staying home.”  Good call.

The first bout of shoveling started late at night.


We woke to more snow, scraping of snow plows along the street, muffled sounds of shovels and car tires crunching.


The boys spent a good amount of time simply clearing the driveway. They worked well together, with their dad. Normally I enjoy shoveling. It is good exercise. This time, though, I left it up to them, opting to make a nice, warm breakfast for everyone instead. Will post those pictures tomorrow.