Can’t do it.

I am just not going to make it for the From the Stacks challenge (see sidebar). I am on my last book, but I have 275 dense pages to get through before tomorrow. Not gonna happen, since I’ve been averaging 25 pages a day on this one. I really like it, but life (and sleep) have taken over. It’s Wicked by Gregory Maguire. It just seems every time I open a book, I fall asleep. I’ve been having sleep issues anyway, so when my body stops for a minute, my brain shuts down and I’m out for the count. Oh well, better luck next time.

Guess what wii got.

Michael stood in line at the store for 3 hours Saturday night because he got the 411 that they would get a shipment of Nintendo Wii’s to start selling at 12:01 am. He got one.

This has been a Nintendo wiikend. The kids played all afternoon yesterday. My 4 year old daughter got 4 strikes in the bowling game. Her response? “Yeah, I’m a natural.” Can you say precocious?

Michael and I played until 11:00 last night. Wii are really sore today. I realize this blog is mainly visited by bookie types, so for those of you not in the know, I’ll explain. The Wii is a video game system. But unlike other game systems where you sit with a controller and push the buttons, this one requires that you stand up and act out the movements you want the character on the screen to perform. You hold a motion sensor remote control that telegraphs your movements to the game. It’s really fun. And it is a huge workout. My backside is really sore from bowling, and Michael is so sore from baseball that he could barely brush his teeth this morning.

I’m trying to think of some more wii jokes, but I’m running dry.

Don’t ya wish your library was like this?

A friend of mine came in to the library the day of the yogurt up my pants fiasco. I know him from my adult Sunday School class which we haven’t been to in ages because we’ve been teaching 8th grade Sunday School. His daughter is in my class. He came in to look at land records. After about 5 minutes, he came to get me. “Adrienne, I need you to take a look at this computer.” When he told me it was land records, I almost didn’t go over there because I know nothing about that program, but I decided to give it a shot because everyone else was busy. I went over and looked at his screen. He said, “I don’t know what button I hit, but this isn’t really what I was expecting.”

The land records are in MSDOS so the screen was black with white lettering, mostly. The top of the screen had all the regular land records heading stuff on it, but at the bottom of the screen in BRIGHT RED LETTERS it said:

“Wwwwwwhhhh? Hey baby! What the fuck you been up to so mo” (sic)

I almost fell down laughing. I had to get a coworker over to witness the hilarity because no one would ever believe me on my own. Imagine 3 grown people standing around a computer laughing and pointing and receiving dirty looks from the teenager who was trying to use another computer. We advised my friend to log off, log back on, and avoid hitting whatever button he hit before.

My coworker dragged my boss out of her office to come hear what happened. She was in utter shock. Her jaw dropped. Then she said, “I’m glad it was one of your friends and not some uberconservative home school mom.”

She called IT to alert them. They said, “Well, we’ve been seeing some weird things going on, but that is definitely the most bizarre.”

Made my day.

February’s book list.

Ok, so I was reading A Work in Progress, and Danielle was listing her Friday Fourteen books she’s planning to read in February. Fourteen! I don’t think I’ve ever read 14 books in a month. Anyway, I was thinking about all the books I have floating around the house that I see occasionally and think, “Hey I should really read that next!” Reading her post gave me a plan. I’ll list all the books I plan to read “next” so I have some way of remembering what they are. Here we go.

1. Fluke by Christopher Moore – This is February’s offline book club choice. I’m looking forward to this one.

2. The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason – I bought this a few weeks ago, but my previous commitments have kept me from getting to it.

3. The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susannah Clarke – I got this for Christmas and have been eyeing it lustfully ever since.

4. The Limehouse Text by Will Thomas – Because I am a very bad friend for not reading this one, yet.

5. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell – The Barnes and Noble Classics edition I have is such a pretty pink color, it beckons to me from atop my tbr shelf: “Adrienne…Adrienne…You know you want me.”

6. A Purity of Blood by Arturo Perez-Reverte – I bought this after Christmas with a gift card, but again, too many other commitments. I really liked Captain Alatriste.

7. What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson – My minor in Sociology rears it’s ugly head once in a while and I indulge in a book like this.

8. New Jack by Ted Conover – Ditto number 7 on this one. This guy can’t get into Sing Sing to do research, so he gets a job as a guard there.

9. Club Dead by Charlaine Harris – Because every once in a while you just need to read a vampire novel. Or maybe more regularly than that. Who am I to say?

10. Jane and the Barque of Frailty by Stephanie Barron – I’ve already got this check out from the library, so I hope it gets read. I love the Jane Austen mysteries.

Maybe 10 is enough. I hope so. I don’t think I could do any more. And really, who am I kidding that I will actually stick to this list? It’s, like 90% shelf-sitters and I work in a library. Yeah right.

You’re not gonna believe this.

So this was one of those mornings where I was down to my last pair of black pants, but I really didn’t want to try to match anything to the brown ones. So I’m trying on 6 different tops with the black velvet pants to see if anything made me look less like I’m 7 months pregnant. I’m not pregnant at all, so this is fairly important to me. I finally decide on a combo, and head to the kitchen to make my lunch.

While reaching to the back of the refrigerator for something, I knock a container of key lime yogurt off the top shelf of the fridge. It splats on the floor and sends yogurt all over my foot and the bottom of my velvet pants. I was horrified. Ok. No problem. I’ll just wipe it off. It’ll be fine once I get rid of that icky cold feeling. I lift up my pant leg a little, and realize the yogurt had managed to splat clear up the inside of my pants and was also all over my calf! Gross! It took a good 10 minutes to track down all the stray traces of yogurt that had glopped all over my shoes. I had to take off the velvet pants in order to clean my calf, so I’m pantsless in my kitchen while I’m doind this, and glad that the blinds were closed.

I was completely out of black pants, as I said, and I didn’t really have time to work a whole new outfit around the brown pants, so I went with a long black skirt. Well, my shoes were still sticky with yogurt, so I had to wear my platform mary janes. But you can’t wear those without socks and my foot smelled like key lime (I know this because my dog kept sniffing my foot), so I was forced to put on my white knee high socks. When I got to work, I said, “Even if you have to lie to me, tell me I don’t look as ridiculous as I feel.” My lovely coworkers did a lovely job assuring me they thought I looked nice. Whatever. As soon as I got home, I ripped off the skirt and socks and switched to sweats. Thank God tomorrow is jeans day.

Meme from all over the place.

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? I like all three, but I rarely buy a hardback. Hardbacks make me feel all decadent because they’re so expensive. Trade paperbacks still have that aura of newness about them because I remember when they started making them. But I love the smell of a new mass market paperback. Plus, they’re cheap!

Amazon or brick and mortar? Both. It totally depends on my mood. Do I need to get out of the house, and sniff a few books, or would I rather delay my gratification and have the joy of finding a box on my porch?

Barnes & Noble or Borders? Barnes and Noble is closer, but Borders has better coffee. I have memberships at both. I wasn’t so sure about the Borders club, but really, it’s been pretty good for me.

Bookmark or dogear? Always a bookmark! I physically can’t dogear a book. Maybe it’s the librarian in me that can’t stand it when patrons abuse our books (I’m looking at you A Work In Progress).

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? Fiction is alphabetized by author. Non-fiction is grouped by subject, but not alphabetized.

Keep, throw away, or sell? I threw away like 3 books this year. Two were bible study workbooks that had my personal answers written all through them. The other was a totally beaten up copy of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon that no used book store would take. I keep all my absolute favorite books. The rest I trade at the used bookstore.

Keep dustjacket or toss it? I take the jacket off to read the book so it doesn’t get all torn up unless it’s a library copy all covered with acetone wrap. Used Bookstores won’t take a book without a jacket.

Read with dustjacket or remove it? Oops. Answered this one last time. Take it off to read it, but keep it.

Short story or novel? Definitely the novel. I have a thing about short stories. They remind me too much of school.

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)? I’m thinking collection. So you don’t have to reset your brain to a different author each time. Actually, I don’t read enough of either to have a real opinion.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Confession. Only ever read 1 Harry Potter, and no Lemony Snicket. I must abstain from voting on this one.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? I prefer to stop at chapter breaks, but that’s rare due to the call of children and the sandman. At night, I read until I fall asleep and the book lands on my head. Or Michael takes it away.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”? Probably “Once upon a time”. I’m a wuss. I don’t like scary stories.

Buy or Borrow? Mostly borrow. I walk through a bookstore and think, “I could get that at the library.” “That, too.” I only buy things I can’t get at the library or I know I’ll want to read over and over.

New or used? I really don’t care. I like the smell of new books, but used ones fit into my budget better.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? I read all the book reviews. But I always take them with a grain of salt. A lot of times I’ll go with a recommendation, especially if the book looks interesting to me. Not a whole lot of browsing impulse buying going on, though.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? Tidy ending. I hate cliffhangers. It makes me feel like the author is just trying to guarantee I’ll buy the next book. Pisses me off.

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? Nighttime mostly because that’s when it’s quietest. I like afternoon reading on weekends. Otherwise I’m just too busy.

Standalone or series? Depends. I rarely read a whole series, with a few exceptions. But I do like to come into a story already knowing the characters sometimes.

Favorite series? OK. Um the Stephanie Plum books. The Aubrey/Maturin books. And the Jane Austen Mystery series. Oh, and the Barker/Llewellyn series by Will Thomas.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? No idea. I don’t have very obscure taste.

Favorite books read last year? War and Peace. Thirteenth Tale. And I’m sure I read Pride and Prejudice last year.

Favorite books of all time? Pride and Prejudice. And I’ve blanked on anything else.

Many Books Read. Must update Blog.

So Ok. Being trapped in my house meant lots of reading time this week.

How to Read a Novel: A User\'s Guide How To Read a Novel by John Sutherland. I liked his voice. Sometimes he was humorous. Sometimes he was wrong. Dead wrong (Mr. Darcy did NOT live at Pemberton). He talked a lot about reading a novel well, but mostly his advice was about how to pick out the right novel for you to spend your time on. Not bad information to have. I requested another book of his calledWho Betrays Elizabeth Bennet? because I liked they way he writes. Plus it had Elizabeth Bennet in the title.

Mountain Man Dance Moves: The McSweeney\'s Book of ListsNext up: Mountain Man Dance Moves this is by the McSweeney’s List people. This was pretty much cotton candy for the mind. It had some very funny lists like, “What I Like About You” 1. You really know how to dance. etc.

The English Patient I finished this one yesterday morning. This is number 4 for the From The Stacks challenge. Go me! I really didn’t want to read this, but it wasn’t bad enough for me to quit reading. Then, I got hooked. But once or twice I made the mistake of reading it while eating. You’re reading along, the descriptions of Italy and the Villa lull you into thinking you’re reading Under the Tuscan Sun, then WHAM! there’s some part about people being blown up, or burnt flesh or whatever. Definitely an appetite supressant.

New MoonAnd now: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer. For those of you under a rock, this is the sequel to Twilight that I read last week and loved. Half way through this one, I realized what I loved about the first one was the funny parts. I liked giggling at Edward Cullen’s acerbic wit. Well, this one is darker and less funny. That’s not to say that I didn’t sit down to start it before falling asleep last night, then accidentally read 350 pages. I still have about 100 to go, so it might get great, but so far, I like the first one better. Edward Cullen has great fictional crush potential.

Two of Everything

Two names you go by: Honey and Mommy

Two things you are wearing right now: Gap Sweater and jeans

Two places you want to go on vacation: London, England; Monterey CA

Two things you are thinking about now: Putting the kids to bed. Getting out of here finally!

Two favorite animals: Wolves and Penguins

Two reasons you’re doing this survey: Boredom and it looked slightly interesting.

Spell your name without vowels: Drnn.

How many pairs of jeans do you own? More than I can fit into.

What color(s) do you wear most often? Black

What’s for dinner tonight? Leftovers

Are you happy with your life right now? If I could get out from under all this ice, yes.

[Do you own a…}

- PS2: No

- XBOX: No

- PSP: No

- Gamecube: Yes.

- Digital Camera: A First generation HP.

In what state or country do you want to go to school after high school? I went all of 90 miles away to college.

What stores do you shop at? I hate shopping.

How do you make money? Librarian

Last thing you bought? Snacks at QuikTrip

How’s the weather? Maybe we’ll get above freezing tomorrow?

When did you start summer break? What summer break? It’s January!!!

Do you own big sunglasses? I did, but they broke.

What should you be doing right now? Putting the kids to bed.

Who did you hug today? The kiddos

How many beds did you lay in yesterday? Just one.

What color shirt are you wearing? Navy and cream

Name one thing that you do everyday: Brush my teeth

What color are your bedroom walls? White and Sage green

How much cash do you have on you right now? I don’t know. I haven’t looked in so long, because I’ve been trapped in my house for 5 days!!!!

What’s your favorite sport? Soccer

Q: When was the last time you saw your dad? What, last Sunday, I think. 10 days ago.

Q: What did you have for dinner last night? Chili

Q: Do you have plants in your room? Nope. I kill plants. Black thumb

Q: What’s your favorite Starbucks drink? I don’t care for Starbucks. Too bitter.

Q: Recent time you were really upset? When I found out they were canceling school AGAIN tomorrow and I faced the thought of being trapped in my house for a 6th (!!!!!) day with my poor, long-suffering children.

At the end of my rope…

and ready to tie a noose in it.

I have been trapped in my house with my children for 4 days. I just found out that school is closed again tomorrow. I’m supposed to go to work, but I can’t find anyone to watch my kids. So, it looks like I will be stuck with them again. We are all a bit loopy from the cabin fever. I don’t know how much more I can take. Every time I sit down with my book, a little voice appears next to my elbow. “Can I have a drink?” it asks. Plus, we ran out of everything to drink except water, today. Try explaining to a 4-year-old why she can’t have any juice or milk and why we can’t run to the store to buy it. It means nothing to her that the streets are covered in ice. My son is perfectly content to stay at home and play all day. He hopes school will be cancelled all month. I don’t think my blood pressure can take it!

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

You know a book is good when you gulp down all 500 pages in just over 24 hours (and that 24 hours also includes 7 hours of sleep, 4 hours of work, and caring for 2 kids). I’m a sucker for a good vampire novel. Good being the operative word, here. I’ve read some vampire novels of the other variety. This one definitely counts for good. I loved Meyer’s rendering of the small town high school setting. One of the characters definitely reminded me of the 8th grade girl who loaned me the book. It was written for a teen audience, but that isn’t really an automatic disqualification from good story category for me. If you like YA fiction without a bunch of angst and vampire fiction, go check this one out.

Weather

I have come to the conclusion that my customer service skills have greatly improved. I no longer feel it is important to express my true feelings about unimportant things with the patrons at the library.

For example: We are currently in the middle of one big bitch of an ice storm. It started after I got to work today. So of course, the main topic of conversation with the customers? The weather. Most of them complained bitterly. I personally like snowy cold weather. A good excuse to stay curled up with a book and a hot cocoa. But, did I share this personal opinion with every patron who complained? No. It would have just been argumentative and contrary and might have started something. Lord knows we had enough of that without weather issues.

When one young “lady” found out the health department was cancelling their Food Handler’s Permit class due to weather she said, “Well that’s just stoopid. Iss not even gonna git bad til tomorrah. Makin’ people drive all de way across town.” And she was LOUD. Dude! It’s a library! Tell it to the health department. They’re used to people yelling at them.

So, I’m looking forward to staying in the house this weekend. I borrowed the two Stephanie Meyer novels from a girl in my 8th grade Sunday School class. Twilight and New Moon. I’m 335 pages into Twilight and loving it. Can’t wait. Plus, I’ve got my 2 From The Stacks Challenge books to finish. Plus, I have Colleen Gleason’s new book The Rest Falls Away that I can’t wait to get to. Plus, Michael got some books for Christmas I want to read. I should be good for the weekend. Maybe they’ll cancel church and I can spend even more time hibernating. Yay!

Word Up!

So Ok. I’ve been checking out CDs from the library trying to decide what I might want to get for my iPod. I am currently listening to New Millenium Funk Party. I have loved this song since like middle school and junk. I’ve also got “I Like to Move It, Move It” stuck in my head because my daughter is seriously addicted to it, and it’s on repeat in my car. Get Funky Now!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I can kind of see why this is in the YA section. It is written on a high school level. But it means that so many adults will miss out on this beautiful story. The place and time is Nazi Germany. Liesel is a German girl living with foster parents in Munich because her father was a communist and her mother couldn’t feed her anymore. She is best friends with the boy next door. The story is about regular kids in an irregular time.

The book talks about Dachau because it is within walking distance, but it doesn’t talk about what happened behind those gates. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of heavy themes going on in this one for a teenager. It is a really good book.

What kind of reader am I?

Thanks to Susan at My Reading Adventures

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
Non-Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Yeah, Ok. At least I’m not a reading snob. I’ve been accused of that before.

Jane Austen: a Companion by Josephine Ross

Jane Austen: A Companion This one started out slow, with 50 pages of biography. Most of it I already knew so I could have skipped it, but I don’t feel like I’ve actually read a book unless I read the whole thing. After chapter 1, it got really interesting. Ross talks about the little details in Jane Austen’s books which would have given her readers hints about a character that are completely lost on modern readers. For example, the fact that Mr. Elton (Emma) has yellow curtains implies that he is a bit pretentious and aspiring to greater elegance than his rectory would ordinarily contain.

Now, I’m going to have to read all her books again.

How Peeved am I?

Until recently, I had 2 calendars on my wish list for 2007. One was a Motley Crue calendar (of course), and one was the Book Lust Calendar. Wouldn’t you know it, they are both out of print. I don’t know if they just never printed them, or what but they are no longer on Amazon. I found the Motley Crue one on another site: out of stock. I’m so sad.

Do you like to?

Do you like to…..
[] watch horror movies
[] watch action movies
[x] watch comedy movies
[x] watch romantic movies
[x] watch drama movies
[x] dance
[x] sing
[x] act
[x] sleep in
[] wake up early
[] go camping
[] go hiking
[x] go skiing or snowboarding
[] skateboard
[] rollerskate
[] ride scooters
[x] ice skate
[] do gymnastics
[x] ride bikes
[] play football
[] play basketball
[x] play soccer
[] play baseball
[] play kickball
[] play lacrosse
[] play hockey
[] cheerleading
[] surf
[] bodyboard
[] run
[x] do yoga or pilates
[] ride rollercoasters
[] swim in the ocean
[x] swim in a pool
[] go fishing
[x] go on road trips
[] get drunk
[] get high
[] party at clubs
[] party at people’s houses
[] go to Disneyland
[x] go shopping
[x] eat out
[x] take out
[x] eat homemade meals
[] eat instant/frozen meals
[x] drive
[x] rides airplanes
[] go to the park
[xxx] read
[] write poems
[] write songs
[x] write stories
[] make your own songs
[] paint
[] draw
[x] have sleepovers
[x] make out
[] go bowling
[] play computer games
[] play video games
[] do science labs
[x] play an instrument
[] paintball
[] golf
[] play with kids
[] play with animals
[] watch plays
[] watch tv
[] take pictures
[] walk in the rain
[] scuba dive
[] snorkel
[] make sandcastles
[] cook
[] make your own jewelry
[] make your own clothes
[] play truth or dare
[] make something out of clay
[] talk on the phone
[] go to chuck e. cheese
[] have a picnic
[] plant plants
[x] go to the museum
[] sew
[] trick or treat
[] style hair
[] do make-up
[] make graphics on the computer

Resolution time again.

Ok. I’m obviously very bad at this whole resolution thing, but I keep doing it. Here I go again.

1. We’ll go for 100 books in 2007. I read 105 this year, so this isn’t really a difficult one. On the other hand, it might be nice to actually achieve a goal, for once.

2. I have been inspired by Albert Manguel’s A Reading Diary. In it, he re-reads a book for each chapter and compares his current reading experience to the one when he first read it. I intend to re-read 12 books this year. I don’t know which ones, but I think they will have to be books I have recorded in my reading journal so I can remember how I felt about them the first time. Luckily, I’ve been keeping the journal for a few years, so I’ve got several to choose from. I don’t think I’ll pick them out, now. Last year, I picked out the books for my resolution at the beginning of the year, but by the middle of the year, I wasn’t really interested in those books anymore.

3. I resolve to remember to give the kids their allowances every week.

4. I resolve to save more money. This means actually put it in the savings account, not just spend it on something else.

Do you make resolutions? What are yours?