Help!

I am a choreographer for a dance group of teenage girls at my church. We do ballet and modern dance to Christian music. Last week, the girl who was the director and co-choreographer decided to stop doing it. This means it’s all on me! I’ve decided to tackle the organization part of it one step at a time. First, I have to find a song to dance to.

This is where you come in. I’m totally clueless about where to find songs. Our local Christian stations play either soft, oldies types, or heavy metal type songs. Not ideal for dance.

Does anyone have any ideas about good songs. We’ve done Mercy Me – Grace Like Rain and Todd Agnew – (shoot, I can’t remember the name of it but it’s the Amazing Grace remake.) And some other stuff off some various artists CDs. But if that gives anyone some ideas, please let me know. I have to have a song choreographed by Aug. 21.

Reading Matters Book Group

Kim at Reading Matters is starting an online book discussion group. She sent out the names of the first two book for discussion. She said we don’t have to read both of them, if we don’t want, but I sure want to. Lucky for me we have till the beginning of September. The first two are The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster and Out by Natsuo Kirino.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula (Signet Classics (Paperback))I read Dracula because I’m on the request list at the library for Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian. I’ve heard it’s a good vampire yarn and it helps to have the original under your belt.

I first read this when I was 15 (natch). I won’t divulge how long ago that was, but it was the same month when I was 15. I know this because I keep a reading journal with the dates I finish stuff. Anyway, when I was 15, I wasn’t particularly impressed. I couldn’t keep the characters straight, and I was bored by the journal entry technique.

This time, I had a much better time telling who was whom and I got more stuff. Like I didn’t remember Johnathon Harker’s hair turning white in the course of a few minutes when Mina gets bitten. Only a minor plot spoiler, there. Sorry.

Anyway, I’m glad I gave it another shot.

New Meme!

Ok, so you take the lyrics to your favorite song, take them to the Google Translate Tool, translate them into German, from German to French, and then from French back to English. It’s pretty funny. Here’s my submission. It’s not my favorite song, but it doesn’t suck.

It is good. It is okay. We went by a youth and smiled by pain. It is good. If you make turn us to it side and point out what I say myself, from the girls and it goes in this way. Girls, do not leave furious. Girls, precisely leave.

Ha! I wonder what else I can come up with.

Flabbergasted by Ray Blackston

FlabbergastedChristian fiction usually bugs me. It so obviously has an agenda. I don’t like books with an agenda. This one manages to mask that agenda somewhat so it is ok.

Jay Jarvis is a stock broker who’s been sent to Greenville, S.C. Upon moving in, he finds that the place to meet women is not the bar scene, but the church scene. He checks out one place and meets a missionary. He’s intrigued. He follows her around a lot like a lost puppy. She appears to tolerate him. She goes back to Ecuador and he gets a big cushy job in New York. Continue reading

Eleven On Top by Janet Evanovich

I’m never one of the first to read a new book. Generally the hype over new releases repels me. I’m enough of a contrarian to be really annoyed by press. But in this case, I was lucky enough to have a friend at the top of the list on the library waiting list who read the book really fast and let me read it after her.

Eleven on Top (A Stephanie Plum Novel)She brought it over at 5:15 yesterday evening. I finished it at 2:15 this morning. My dear husband thought I had completely lost it when I went into a conniption fit of laughter over Bob the Dog. Twice. He’s officially my favorite character. Besides Ranger.

I won’t give anything away, I promise. Let’s see, Stephanie has trouble deciding between the two guys. That’s always there. She blows up a car. That’s always there. Oh, and she motors around town. Always motors. Not drives, races, cruises, speeds, etc. Motors. This gives me a picture of that bit of cartoon from Fantasia 2000 about the 50′s looking teens speeding down the street, but when they come up on the cop car, they “motor” very respectfully (and slowly) past him. Putt putt putt. I seriously hope I don’t ever “motor” anywhere. Too dorky.

I enjoyed the book. It is more of the same, but I like it.

I heart Ranger.

I’m in Bookstasy

Annie was at the top of the list at the library for the new Janet Evanovich book, Eleven on Top. She got it, read it, and let me sub-let it from her. I’m so excited! When she brought it to me, I was number 313 in line.

Possession by A.S. Byatt

Possession : A Romance (Vintage International)I finally finished it! I was right. It was eventually worth the effort. It got interesting on page 263.

OK. Let me ‘splain. No, it’s too long. Let me sum up. Roland is a scholar of a victorian poet. He finds a previously unknown letter, or actually starts of a letter, that never got sent. He sort of did some mental gymnastics and guessed that the letter was intended for Christabel LaMotte, another victorian poet and supposedly a lesbian. Roland gets in touch with a noted scholar of Ms. LaMotte, a Maud Bailey. Together they begin piecing together the pieces of a possible affair between the two poets while the one was living with her lesbian lover and the other was living with his wife.

It was all just conjecture and was very prim and proper until page 263 when they realize they had gone on vacation together in 1859. Whoa! That’s pretty serious.

I liked that Roland and Maud ended up unwittingly recreating the scenes of the poets while they were tracking them. Maud bears a striking resemblance to Ms. LaMotte because she is her great-great-great-great-niece or something ridiculous like that. And Roland has a live-in girlfriend at home. Only Maud doesn’t have a live-in lesbian lover, so that’s not part of it, but she does have a lesbian friend that sometimes tries to convert her. Hmmmm.

Anyway, the ending is very Gothic. Lots of stormy weather and rain and wind. And the Postscript is absolutely heart-breaking… in a good way.

Nothing new

I realized it’s been almost a week since I posted anything, so here I go.

This week is Vacation Bible School at my church. For me, this means I get to stand on a stage with a lapel mic, and act like an idiot in front of 300 kids. It also means I come home every afternoon and collapse.

So with all this brouhaha going on, I haven’t had a lot of time to read. I’ve been forcing myself through Possession by A.S. Byatt, but it’s extremely slow going. Normally, I wouldn’t bother with a book that was such hard work and only mildly interesting, but I keep thinking it’s going to get better. It shows such promise.

I have a love/hate relationship with Yoga.

I go to a pilates class twice a week at my church. Well, class is actually a stretch. Basically, we turn on a video and all sweat and torture ourselves together. One of the regular members of this group is a certified yoga instructor (thereby making her the fittest and the one who has the least trouble with the exercises. If she wasn’t so nice, we’d all hate her.) Her name is Heather.

For July, Heather is leading the group in YogaButt. Today was the first class. After 45 minutes of yoga, I think my arms and legs are going to fall off. It was soooo hard. I thought I was strong. I was wrong. I am a weakling. I can’t wait to go back on Friday and do it again!

Angry Housewives Eating BonBons by Lorna Landvik

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons (Ballantine Reader\'s Circle)This one caused Book Hangover. I was up til 3:30 finishing it.

I love books about book clubs, so this one was right up my alley. It followed five Minneapolis women through 30 years of their book club. It didn’t get too sentimental, but it got close. Of course, by the time you get to that part, you like all the characters so much, you don’t care about the minor cheesy bits.

Shopgirl by Steve Martin

ShopgirlLeslie gave this to me to read. “I think you’ll like this,” she said. She was right. I read it in an afternoon. This isn’t really saying very much because it’s only 180 pages, but still.

Mirabelle is a retail salesgirl of fine gloves at Neiman’s in Beverly Hills. She meets and begins dating a man nearly twice her age. They both think they are communicating very well, but they each think their communications mean something different. It’s kind of painful, really. Or it would be if Mirabelle was less of a stick in the mud. It’s really hard to like her.

Winner of the National Book Award

Winner of the National Book Award: A Novel of Fame, Honor, and Really Bad WeatherI like this one. I like the premise of it. I didn’t like the ending because it seemed too anti-climactic. I liked the narrative voice. I liked the characters just the way I was supposed to like them. I think Jincy Willett accomplished what she set out to do with this one.

Bookends by Madeleine Stern and Leona Rostenberg

I still haven’t figured out what the point of this book is. Maybe it’s to show how these 2 extremely old women were destined to be friends for decades before they were born. Maybe it’s to show how they’ve been friends for, like, 80 years. They live together and work together. It turns out to be boring. I only finished it because it was short.