June 26, 2009

I am nine years old. I remember sitting in Mrs. Hoag’s class at Stadium Drive Elementary and someone had this record on their desk….a man with a white tiger. It was Thriller. It was Michael Jackson.

My friends and I learn the Thriller dance that year…we did it in front of our class. For my Tenth birthday my mom got me a pair of Jordache jeans (unhemmed, of course…and exactly two inches too long so I could cuff them) and the Thriller album on tape.

I don’t know what I think about Michael Jackson in the later years. I have very strong feelings about what should happen to child molesters…and despite reports for and against Jacko, I don’t think we’ll ever know what he was really like. I do believe that talent does not know if you are a good person or a bad person. Talent does not distinguish. Michael Jackson had talent. He is an icon of my generation, for good or bad, and I’m really very sad to hear he passed today.

May 6, 2009

Scarpetta (Scarpetta Book 16) Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell

My review


rating: 2 of 5 stars
I used to love Patricial Cornwell so much. I read each book she wrote…devoured them, really, and read them again. To say I have been disappointed in her last efforts would be a vast understatement.

The stories Cornwell writes now, either in her investigation of Jack the Ripper or the most recent few Scarpetta novels; suffer from a severe lack of editing. I don’t know if she has fired her editor, or simply is able to fire off a manuscript and send it to a publisher without ever having to go through the editing process, but it’s really getting out of hand. In this novel, for example, the interactions between the characters are written in a way that is so diffuse, so scattered, that it’s hard to tell exactly what is going on. Rather than doing an expert job of weaving a story that includes the thoughts, motivations and actions of Kay Scarpetta and the actions of every other character, Cornwell now feels compelled to invite us into a soap opera that makes us privy to every thought and whim of each and every major character.

I do not use the words “soap opera” lightly here. While I understand the need to portray characters in a realistic light and move their personal stories along, the turns in the lives of the four major characters of this series have become so ridiculous it’s hard to stomach.

I used to appreciate Cornwell’s writing for it’s sharpness…her ability to cut right into the meat of a situation and portray it so clearly it was easy to visualize. I loved that she wrote a strong female character, giving voice to all the aspects of Kay Scarpetta’s life. I also read her books for the cutting-edge scientific information and the deft way she incorporated this into the story. Now, however, I just get bored. I don’t see myself awaiting another Cornwell novel with anticipation…I wonder if I’ll even read the next one.

View all my reviews.

March 26, 2009

The Gargoyle The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

My review


rating: 3 of 5 stars
I finished this book days ago and I’m still thinking what to say about it, and how to rate it. I am very conflicted about it. The characters were not impressive to me. I don’t feel that the author did a great job of creating characters that had depth to them. It didn’t seem to me that there was a lot of complexity in any of the characters. Additionally, the plot was fairly straightforward, and it wasn’t hard to see what would happen at the end.

That having been said, I enjoyed the fairy tale aspects of this story, and the way that each part of the fantasy played in to the plot line, the main love story, and the main character’s journey. For that reason, I enjoyed the last third of the book the best, because of the way each part of the fairy tale lent something to the main character’s journey (both real and emotional).

Not the best book I’ve ever read, but an enjoyable read. This is well worth picking up, but it’s pure enjoyment.

View all my reviews.

February 27, 2009

Mr. Toast? My 14-month old who is not walking? That may not last long!

Toast is really ready to walk. He stands on his own…when no one is looking and when we aren’t there to grab on to. He walks behind a push toy. He’s really just waiting for his own time…when he is DARN GOOD AND READY to walk.

Tonight this happened.

He is so ready.

He’s just cautious.

I really have a feeling that I’m in for it. He won’t walk. He will run.

Fast.

Damn.

February 23, 2009

Two posts in one day. Must need a new hobby.

Or maybe just a new project. Enter this sweater, which I am COMPLETELY smitten with. I NEED to knit this. And it’s been a long time since I’ve said that…but I saw it on the Harlot’s site today, and I can’t resist it. I’m thinking of a nice beautiful yarn…something that will drape nicely so my “girls” will not make me look pregnant in a sweater like this. Oh, it’s so lovely and I”m getting chills just thinking about it.

I think I’ll finish some of my deadline knitting….and the sweater will be my reward. Yes, that’s exactly what I’ll do.

January 14, 2009

Oh. Lord.

Today I saw this on a scrapbooking blog and I almost spewed coffee out my nose. And not at all in that “hey, that’s really funny in a good way” way.

Paris Hilton unveils a line of arts and crafts products? Seriously? This is what we’re doing now?

At least it really does indicate that arts – n – crafts is “hot” right now.

I just wish it weren’t so skeezy all of a sudden.

December 8, 2008

Today my little man is a year old. Where has the time gone? When I woke up this morning at 6:45 I thought about what a year it’s been, and how amazed I am every day at what he is accomplishing.

We’re making cupcakes for his birthday so he can take them to his weekly playdate tomorrow. I’ll have pictures in a soon-to-be posted post…..that is, when I can write more than one consecutive sentence without putting out a fire somewhere. 🙂

Happy Birthday, Toaster. 🙂

December 4, 2008

A friend sent me this article after reading my Thanksgiving post, and I loved it so much I wanted to post it here. I’ve reread it many times over the past few days and it rings so true. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008 (SF Chronicle)
Happy Thanksgiving
Jon Carroll

A few years ago I wrote a Thanksgiving column that people seemed to like,
so I’ve reprinted it annually. Then that column began to seem a little
dated, so I wrote another one. So it’s your choice; if you liked the old
one better, it can be found on SFGate.com, at sfgate.com/ZFLU.
Gratitude is the antidote. It is useful in combatting a variety of
diseases, from something as vague as the discontents of civilization to
something as specific as personal grief. Thanksgiving is the holiday of
gratitude, and I am always willing to celebrate it.
We are told frequently that “it is what it is.” That’s a tautology, of
course, and an increasingly grating cliche, but it gained prominence
because it’s a real reminder of a real thing: What happened happened. You
can’t change the past. All we have is today. See you in the future!
But regret is real. Sorrow and pain and loss – all real. I sometimes think
of civilization or society as a kind of floor, a patchy, rickety floor in
constant need of repair. Below the floor is the chasm. Some people know
that chasm well – those who have scrabbled to exist in war zones, those
who have tried to cope after hurricanes or earthquakes, those who have
lost multiple family members simultaneously. For them, the daily comforts
of society are of little use. The network of routine, the solace of art,
hope for the future – none of it seems real.
Only the chasm seems real.
The chasm is only metaphorical, of course, but sometimes we live our lives
entirely within metaphors. Our choice of metaphors is just a matter of
taste. There’s no right answer in this quiz, kids.
But still we have to get through the day. And, I am convinced, the route
through the day is gratitude. Because there is always something to be
grateful for, and that something is not in the chasm, it floats above the
chasm, denies the importance of the chasm.
You choose: sunsets, apples, bedrooms in the morning, Bruce Springsteen, a
child’s second birthday, the smile on the face of a passing stranger,
rivers, mountaintops, cathedrals, Shakespeare, Tina Fey, the curve of a
thigh, the curve of a road, the nation of Switzerland, Carl Hiaasen,
grass, orange, Bola Sete, jumbo shrimp, Pascal’s theorem, Ockham’s razor,
clean restrooms, potable water, penguins, French kissing or peanuts.
Can you feel the floor beneath your feet get sturdier? Can you see the
holes being patched? For a moment, the bounty of the world overwhelmed
you, and you were grateful to be alive at this moment. See? Antidote.
So today, if we are at all lucky, we will gather with family and/or
friends and eat food and talk of shared alliances and shared memories.
Many Thanksgivings are family gatherings, and family gatherings are often
fraught. My suggestion is: Embrace the fraught. You’d miss the fraught if
it weren’t there.
Besides, there’s always the moment of escaping the fraught, going outside
for a smoke or down to the store for more whipped cream or out for a walk
with someone you love. You can’t have the escape without the prison. Be
grateful for both.
What I’m going to try to do this year is slow down. What I’m going to try
to do this year is pay attention. Usually I run around. Lots of people
make me frantic – we always have lots of people at our Thanksgivings – and
there are always a thousand tasks. The point of the holiday is not the
tasks, even though it seems that way sometimes.
I’m going to think about how each of the people at the table came into my
life, and what I remember about that moment, and how we decided to become
friends instead of just people who met each other once a long time ago.
And I’m going to remember the kindness that each person has shown me, and
I’m also going to remember my kindnesses, because I’m grateful for the
times I behaved well.
And because not all the people I’m grateful for will be in the room today,
I’m going to think about them and send them good thoughts across the
miles. I don’t believe in the transmission of thoughts, but I believe in
trying. It’s like a flashy vehicle for mindfulness, and mindfulness is
hard when the talk is loud and the carbohydrates are disappearing at
alarming rates.
And as I walk across the floor from one room to another, I’m going to
notice how solid the floor feels beneath my feet today. I know how fragile
it is, but it doesn’t matter. Today, right now, this Thanksgiving, it
feels like the oldest rock in the world, and I stand on it and rejoice.

Maybe at the end of the evening, when the dirty dishes are piled high in
the sink and the air is heavy with rich smells, take a moment to thank
someone for something.

May you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true, may you
always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you. May you always
be courageous, stand upright and be strong; may you stay forever
jcarroll@sfchronicle.com. ———————————————————————-
Copyright 2008 SF Chronicle

December 2, 2008

Well, it’s December, meaning my month of trying to post every day is over. I didn’t make it, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth my time to try. I think that I did learn a few things…first off, I’m not a post every day kind of person. ( haha ). But really, I think that I would rather post a few words every few days and post about meaningful things rather than try and post something every day, which could easily turn into this: “Toast and I played today. Then we had lunch and a nap. Then Hubby came home and we ate dinner. Then we went to bed after some more playing, TV and knitting”. This is not to say that attempting a post every day is a bad thing. It did force me to think about things in a different way…to try and post something that was interesting and not just write about the ordinary. Since starting to keep a blog I really do look at things differently. I think about my day and the things I see in terms of what is noteworthy, what is differet, what is interesting. It is true that every day something happens that is interesting. I also have learned that at the end of the day all I want sometimes is a knitting project and a warm blanket on the couch. I don’t want to think about writing on the blog. Also, posting during the day is right out…Toast sees the computer as direct competition, and does not tolerate me taking a few minutes to check Email when I could be playing with him or doing something far more fascinating like trying to clean the house with his help. 🙂 All in all, a valuable experience, I think. One I would definately try again next year.

We are going away for Christmas. I’ve been looking forward to spending time with the in-laws in a warm climate, but lately I’ve started to realize that it will be good for more than just a Christmas tan. We put up the tree this weekend and it was really difficult…taking out all of Tiny man’s ornaments and putting them up. Seeing his stocking and the projects he made at school last year. Going away this first holiday after he has been gone will be good just for a change of scenery. We will be in a new place making different memories, not surrounded by our last holiday with him. We will still be with family, and I don’t think that things will be much easier, but it will be different. I think that different is exactly what we need this year.

November 24, 2008

FYI: We had pie last night after dinner. We ate dinner with my sister and her friend, and they had bought a pie for dessert. Pie Week est arrive!