Dance in Christian Worship by a whole bunch of people.

This was my 100th book of the year! That doesn’t mean it was at all helpful for my cause. The first section tells about the history of dance in worship. The second gives a timeline of dance in worship throughout history. The third section tell why we should embrace dance in worship. Only the fourth was even minorly useful. It talked about how to incorporate dance in the liturgy. “Finally,” I thought when I got to that section. Then I found out that I disagree with his definition of liturgical dance, and that the author was a Catholic priest so everything he referenced was Catholic doctrine and edicts and whatnot. sigh. I’m not Catholic.

Oh well. It had pretty pictures.

A Year of Reading by Elisabeth Ellington and Jane Freimiller

A Year of Reading: A Month-By-Month Guide to Classics and Crowd-Pleasers for You and Your Book GroupThis is a wonderful resource for when you feel like you’ve read everything. These ladies offer 5 choices for each month of the year centering on the theme for that month. And they’re not all horribly obvious themes. I mean, the theme for February is Black History and the themes for May and June are Mothers and Fathers. July is Women’s Journeys and August is Catastrophes.

Also, the book gives tips for reading groups and discussion questions for each book. Besides all that, it gives a list of “If you liked this, they try…” for each book. Plus, internet resources ideas and info about the author.

Five a Day

See, my friend Marie has this blog. It’s a really neat idea. She tries to come up with 5 positive thoughts or happy occurences every day. Now, when you visit her site, you’ll notice that she doesn’t post every day. It’s more like 5 every 3 or 4 days, but you get the picture. I’m sure she still thinks of 5 a day, even if she doesn’t post them.

I work with Marie, and I’ve seen her on days when it was really hard to come up with 5 good things. I am trying really hard to make her list one day. (But I try not to be annoying. Trying too hard is not conducive to making someone happy). She is really very good about telling me I’ve done a good job, but I haven’t made the list, yet.

I try to make the other happy lists (noted or otherwise) of people I work with too, by the way. I like working there and I would like to stay.

All this is to say, she has a great theory. Not only to realize and note when something positive happens in your life, but also to let the people who make you happy know they do so.

I’m kind of tired. I wonder if this actually makes sense. Anyone able to put this is better words for me?

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the RyeOk. I’ve gotten to the point where I only need to read about 3 books to get my goal of 100 books read this year. So I figured if I re-read some books, especially short ones like this one, I can make my goal. Well, this was short. And depressing. I was cranky for hours after I finished it. I can’t remember if that happened the last time I read it or not.

Does this ever happen to you?

Jane and His Lordship’s Legacy by Stephanie Barron

Pretty good again. This is number eight in the Jane Austen Mystery Jane and His Lordship\'s Legacy (Jane Austen Mysteries (Paperback))series. It was pretty rough going there about numbers 4 and 5, but the last several have picked up.

This one takes place when Jane and her family move to the house in Chawton provided by her brother the squire. On the day they move in, she finds a dead body in the cellar, which starts a whole mystery. Go figure. Plus, Jane receives a legacy from her “friend” Lord Harold Trowbridge, thereby sullying her reputation forever in her mother’s eyes. It is his private papers, and he wants her to write a book with them. They hold a lot of secrets about various members of the ton. Very juicy.

Subversive!

Me? Never!

At work, everyone was asked to decorate a little xeroxed copy of a stocking, cut it out, and hang it behind the circ desk. I dutifully brought mine home, cut it out and spent a good 20 minutes decorating it with black and red construction paper, cotton balls, and pictures of dancers. When I got to work and Caitlyn hung up my stocking, I realized mine is backwards.

Today my boss stayed late to wait for me so she could tell me she likes my subversive stocking. Just because it’s black, and backwards, and she’s known me since I was 13 (so she remembers my really subversive days). I told her I didn’t mean for it to be subversive, but she said, “But you can’t help it dear. It’s so you.”

sigh

Booked by 3 Meme for December

From Shelly:

1. Books/Magazines as gifts.

* Do you give them? Abso-friggin’-lutely. If someone I must by a gift for doesn’t like to read, I have the worst time trying to figure out what to give them. My dad gets books, my mom, my kids, sisters, nephews, hubby, too.
* Do you get them? If I’m lucky. Hubby usually knows what sort of things to get me, plus he has access to my shelves to see if I have something already. Also, I have a list. And I accept gift cards. Oooh, and I already know my sister is giving me a subscription to Bookmarks magazine this year.
* If you’ve gotten any as gifts, do you have a favorite? When I was 10 my sister gave me the children’s illustrated classics version of Jane Eyre. Then, while we were dating, hubby gave me the three volume leather bound edition of all the novels by Jane Austen. Those are still my faves.

2. End of Year Stats

* Most books read in a year? Probably this year, although it’s not done yet. I’m at 95, which is one up from last year.
* Least number of books read in a year? Probably some ridiculously low number while I was in college. I didn’t keep track then.
* Average number of books read in a year? I guess 85 -100? I haven’t really kept track before the last couple of years.

3. Any reading material on your wish list this year? The list is too long to post. :)

It’s finally over.

I finally got a car. It’s a 2001 Mazda Protege with a slew of bells and whistles. It needs a little work, but it’s not too bad.

Here’s the embarrassing part. Now that it’s time to officially stop driving my car, I’m getting all sad and sentimental. It looks so sad sitting there with no personal stuff in it. It’s been such a great car for 4 years (aside from the payments) and I’m abandoning it. I feel terrible. I know, I know. Cars have no feelings. I’m just projecting. It doesn’t make it any easier.

Thanks Brandy!

I’m not sure that I’ve ever been officially tagged before. How exciting!

“Ground Rules: The first player of this game starts with the topic of “Five Weird Habits About Yourself” and the people who get tagged need to then write an entry about their five quirky little habits as well as state the rules of the game clearly. In the end, you need to list the next five people who you want to tag then go on to leave a tag comment on their blog. ”

Oh. Now I have to figure out 5 quirky things about me. Most of these will be things people already know about me, but hey, whatever works.

1. I sniff books. I love the smell of books. Most books. Not those textbooks where the combination of color ink and slick paper makes it smell like body odor. I don’t like those. I especially like the smell of cheap paperbacks. Mmmmm.

2. Occasionally, I bust out the rumpshaker, the cabbage patch, or some other out-of-date dance move to indicate happiness. If I’m really happy, I’ll add words. Like, “Oh yeah. You know it. It’s my birthday.”

3. Many people have commented that I remind them of Lisa Kudrow in her role as Phoebe in Friends. Not that we look a like, per se. I guess it’s just mannerisms and whatnot. Of course, now that Friends is off the air, that quirk is sort of dated.

4. I really hate Precious Moments. You know. Those little figurines and pictures they have for just about every occasion. I think what bothers me, (aside from their obvious attempt to make me go “Awwww” which never works, but I resent the attempt just the same) is that these little children are in adult situations. This kids are getting married, and having babies, etc, and they’re only like 5. It’s sick and wrong.

My dear, darling husband insists that my passion (he calls it an obsession) for Motley Crue is a quirk. I disagree. I believe there are many people out there with an even bigger jones for the Crue, so I will attempt to come up with another quirk. I’m sure there are many.

5. Ok. Here’s one. I use really big words in every day speech. Lots of times, people have to ask me what that means. I don’t mean to sound pompous and over-educated. I just like to find the perfect word to fit the sentence, and sometimes it’s… abstruse.

Ok. Now I have to come up with 5 people to tag. JMfausti, Denise, Holly (if she’ll answer in the comments of this one since she doesn’t have a blog, that I know of), Marie, and Readermouse.

Lady Catherine’s Necklace by Joan Aiken

Lady Catherine\'s NecklaceOk. So the story of how I managed to read these two books back to back goes like this:

I was shelving books at the library when I noticed a book a little to the left of the one I was putting on the shelf called Jane Faifax. Intrigued, I picked it up. Then, I noticed that the one next to it was called Lady Catherine’s Necklace. I knew it could not be coincidence that two books next to each other on the shelf had references to Jane Austen in the titles. I surruptitiously read the dust jacket (I was supposed to be working, not browsing) and sure enough! So I checked them out to myself and brought them home.

Now, for the real review.

Lady Catherine’s Necklace was not as good as Jane Fairfax. The plot, while not entirely unbelievable in itself, was entirely unbelievable as happening to the characters as we know them from Pride and Prejudice. Lady Catherine built a fire and cooked apples and bacon while trapped by raging flood waters in a one-room shack? Highly unlikely. That’s just one example.

The most irritating thing, though, was that the author used the names of other Austen characters for the minor or “off-camera” characters. Maria Lucas writes letters to Mrs. Jennings, and receives one from Mrs. Jennings’ daughter Charlotte Palmer. Mrs. Denny lives in Hunsford. It distracted from the flow of the story when I had to think about where I had read that name before.

I definitely liked the first one I read better. Apparently, she has other Jane Austen spin-offs. If I find one on the shelf, I might pick it up, but I don’t think I’ll request it and wait with baited breath.

Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken

Finished this short little thing. It’s pretty good, really. It retells the story Jane Fairfax : The Secret Story of the Second Heroine in Jane Austen\'s Emmaof Emma from the perspective of Jane Fairfax. I really liked Jane. She is a real character. In Emma, she’s not unlikeable, but you’re not meant to sympathize with her much.

Ms. Aiken spends quite a lot of time describing her life with the Campbell’s. She makes up some pretty intriguing characters in that family. Rachel, the daughter Jane is companion to, has a stutter.

My only complaint was the very end. There is a scene between Emma and Jane in which they lament the fact that they have not been better friends, and that they will not have time now to make up for it. This is nearly the only scene in which the dialogue did not seem to fit either character. It was too saccharine. Blick.

Otherwise, it was a lovely book.

Awww!

My 3 year old daughter got to walk in a parade, this morning. Which means I got to walk in a parade, too. She had a blast. She waved at all her friends who were standing on the side yelling to her. She actually nearly walked the entire mile and a half. I only carried her for a block or so. Perfect weather for it. But I think next year, we’ll just watch. I looked like a pretty good parade from where we were.

I hate car shopping!!!

Have any of you lady readers ever been car shopping without a man? I have done this this week and I am peeved. The nice dealers said things like, “This is a real cute little car. It’s real good lookin’.” The mediocre ones barely looked at me while they tried to decide what was the minimum amount of time they could spend with me. The worst one, when I told him what my price range was, began listing off cars they had that might fit. I told him I wanted to look at one of them. He said, “Psshht.” His idea of showing me the car was to put me on a golf cart and drive me past them. I shit you not. “There’s the Malibu. There’s the blazer. There’s the neon.” No keys. No peeking under the hood. Not even a tire kick. Oooo-kaaay.

One guy treated me exactly the same when I was alone as when I was with my dad (who I enlisted so people would take me seriously). He was very helpful and courteous, and made no assumptions about my intelligence or knowledge. The only problem is, the car he has is only mediocre in the reliability department. It doesn’t seem right to buy a car from someone that might be a drain, just because you like the dealer.

So here’s my question for those of you who drive cars (which I realize not everyone does. In this part of the country, though, it’s almost impossible not to.) What do you drive? Do you like it? What was the best car you ever had? Why?

Ok. Questions. I had several questions.

I’m trying to balance reliability, with safety, with gas economy, with big enough for a family of four, with ridiculously cheap. Wish me luck. This has been going on for over a week, and it’s seriously beginning to take a toll on my health and sanity. And the laundry’s not getting done either.