Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Salon: Time to visit Florida

 Good morning my friends!  Well, no Slo Mo Sandy today.  I'm up at 5:30am in order to get my post written and head off to church.  The week has been fairly uneventful...just the usual song and dance that you hear from me each week.

I did a lot of walking - the weather has been gorgeous.  I don't mean to rub it in here, but all that awfulness the rest of you have been experiencing has basically missed us, with the exception of some rain here and there.  (Hint - come and visit me!)  My son was in a Regional History Bee.  He did not advance on to National, but it was a pretty intense but fun experience.  Sort of like Jeopardy, with buzzers and stuff.  I golfed on Thursday, despite the fact that it was nippy and VERY WINDY.  Only four of us showed up, but dammit we hit that ball!  I had lunch with a long-lost friend who moved away and is now back n town again.  And Valentines Day was supposed to have been celebrated Friday night by going to some friends' house, but the hubby came home from work with the flu.  Yep, that was special.  So I drank my champagne, ordered in pizza, took a bath and fell asleep reading.  Bah.

So this is kinda cool.  A girl from my daughter's high school qualified for the top 30 on American Idol.  Her name is Emily Piriz.  She is really GOOD!  We are very proud of her.  We don't get much celebrity action around here.

So I finally finished "Winter's Tale" by Mark Helprin.  I know this is a "beloved" work of fiction, and it did hold my attention, at least enough for me to finish it.  But it just did not deliver in the end.  I was waiting for some revelation, but it never came.  What I got instead was a bloated stream of weirdness.  Very strange magical realism, which I'm not against if it makes sense. And the writing, which has been praised to the hilt, to me just sounded like the author was in love with his smartness.  Ack!  The movie released on Friday and got 13% on Rotten Tomatoes.  So.  I will probably see the movie if I get the chance, but how disappointing.

After that experience, I grabbed something short.  I am now (slowly) reading "Fight Club".  I adore the movie, and while I like the book, I think maybe the movie is even better.  I should wrap that up fairly soon.

On audio I finished "Zealot", a book about the historical life of Jesus, versus Jesus of the Bible, which was a bit of a mind-blower.  I have no idea whether everything this guy says is true (alas, I am not a Bible scholar) but he sounded like he knew what he was talking about and I was willing to listen.  My husband wouldn't hear any of it though.  There were some challenging ideas in there.  I like to have my brain tickled.

I'm now close to finishing "The Raven Boys" by Maggie Stiefvater.  And wow.  I had actually downloaded this from the library awhile back when Jill raved about it, and didn't get to it.  I'm glad I tried again, because I love the story and I love the narrator.  Which is a shocker because I usually have plenty of disdain for these kinds of books.  I think this is the first of four books (of course) and I couldn't be happier.

Not sure what I'll be doing for the rest of the day.  Definitely a couple hours at the animal shelter.  My son and I talked about going to the shooting range with my dad...will see if my son can actually find his way out of his room today.  And my son also has tomorrow off from school, so somewhere in the next 24 hours, I predict a movie.  Hope you all  have a great Sunday!  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Salon: Slo Mo Sandy

Moving a little slow today.  We hosted our semi-annual(ish) Polish fest last night with friends.  I made pierogies, apple carrot salad, and a hunter's stew called Bigos.  You basically throw whatever wild game you can find into a stew with cabbage, mushrooms, sauerkraut and bacon...last night's had wild boar, venison, pheasant, elk and kielbasa.  My husband got distracted making drinks while grilling kielbasa and ended up torching all of it.  So that was nice.  We still had lots of fun and ended up going to bed pretty late.

It's been another busy week.  Both kids had the sickness, especially my son.  Head cold and fever type of thing.  Nothing gets done when they are home with me.  We had more rain as well, which just encourages sloth and burrowing under the covers.

In a couple of weeks my daughter turns 16!  Ack!  She won't actually get her license until August because she waited to get her permit, so I don't have that stress yet.  But this is a big deal, so she and I have been planning the festivities.  We are going to take her to probably the nicest restaurant in town, Victoria and Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian.  And then she and I are going to have a spa weekend.  You generally have to be 16 to participate in the regular treatments, so she has been anxiously waiting for this.  This girl loves to be pampered.

My son and I finally got out to see Nebraska, which was one of the last Oscar movies we hadn't seen.  We loved it.  It so much reminded us of where I grew up in Indiana.  Very well-acted, sometimes thoughtful and sometimes hilarious.  In my opinion, the only chance this movie has of winning anything is with June Squibb, but I'm not sure if she can compete with the girl from 12 Years a Slave.  At home, we have been working our way through House of Cards (Netflix streaming), which is about toxic politics in DC starring Kevin Spacey.  We also just started watching Game of Thrones.  So much stuff to obsess over!

Reading-wise, I'm STILL plunking my way through "Winter's Tale".  I'm actually at 92%, so I should finish soon.  This story is very complicated, and a little other-worldly.  I'm not sure I love it, but it is holding my interest.  The movie comes out next week, and I'm starting to get a sinking feeling.  I just don't know how in the world this is going to translate to the screen.  I can tell you one thing though.  The next book I read is going to be less than 300 pages.  I feel like I'm making this book into a career.

On audio I finished Lee Child's "A Wanted Man", the 17th installment in the Jack Reacher series.  Hey, you know what?  In a week, I won't be able to tell you more than two or three things about the book, but whatever.  They entertain me!  I also listened to "Every Day" by David Levithan and absolutely fell in love with the book.  I just did start "Zealot" by Reza Aslan, a book about the historical Jesus of Nazareth.  It is fascinating, but almost too much fact exploding into my ears.  It is hard to absorb everything.

So now that all the remnants of last night have been cleaned up, I think my husband and I are going on a very long walk!  Our walks have been getting pretty ambitious.  Yesterday we did about 5 miles, but today is probably going to be longer.  For once it isn't raining and the weather is gorgeous.  After that, I intend to do some laundry and finish my book!  Hope everyone has a great Sunday.  Let me know if you are doing anything fun!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Salon: Water-logged

 I know, I know, I'm running a little late today.  I was tired last night, and I woke up late this morning and barely made it to church.  Then my little ducklings were begging for food, as they do every three and a half hours, so I went to the grocery store.  Then my daughter had a rare burst of things to say (versus hiding in her room), and when that happens, I sit and listen.  So.

It seems like I talk a lot about the weather.  I'm such an old fart.  Don't old farts obsess over the weather?  But it sorta drives my week!  This week, a huge blob of yuck hung over us, and it rained and rained and rained.  I couldn't walk, I couldn't do yard work, and everything felt slimy.  It was one of those weeks when you wanted to stay in bed.

My husband threw his back completely out of whack playing golf last weekend (he thinks it is a pinched nerve) and while he tried to tough it out, by Friday he couldn't move AT ALL.  So he has been underfoot.  He did go to a chiropractor and is at least moving a little bit today.

We had an open house this week for the high school magnet program my son wants to attend next year.  High drama and emotion around here until he finds out whether he was accepted (which should be late February).  Friday we attended a food truck fundraising event for a little 2 year old boy in our community who has neuroblastoma...horrible, horrible, horrible thing.  Only this kind of cause would have gotten me out in that weather.  My daughter and I worked an animal shelter adoption event yesterday.  One dog was adopted.  Another one, an old and somewhat sickly dog that was scheduled to be euthanized today, found a potential owner.  There was a flurry of panicked phone calls from me to the shelter to MAKE SURE THAT DOG WAS TAKEN OFF DEATH ROW, so arrangements could be made on Monday.  I lost sleep over that one last night.

So is everyone partying tonight?  I honestly don't have much of an opinion on either team, but I love the festivities, getting together with friends, and the commercials.  For the last couple of years, we have celebrated at a unique location...a "garage" where a bunch of classic cars are displayed.  There is a full kitchen and about about three or four big-screen TVs around.  This is not your dad's garage.  I'm going to take pictures this time, as proof.

I guess I should talk about reading since this is a sort-of bookish blog.  For all the rain, you'd think I should have read six books but alas, no.  I have dug myself into a very large HOLE in reading "Winter's Tale".  Because the sizes of books are invisible with e-readers, I plunged in, only to find out that the damned thing has 768 FREAKING PAGES.  OMG!!!  I'm about halfway through it, and hey, I like it.  It is just insanely long.  Who knows if I'll get it done while the movie is showing at the theaters.

On audio, I finished the amazing "Someone Else's Love Story" by Joshilyn Jackson.  Oh how I love her.  She is just always so enjoyable to listen to.  I just wanted to walk and walk and not stop while I was listening.  I'm now about halfway through a Jack Reacher installment "A Wanted Man".  I think I've got one more book after this one in order to be caught up.  Honestly I can't really tell you one book from another after I've read them, but I enjoy them.  You can always count on Jack Reacher to be a cool customer, kick everybody's butt, and be really smart about stuff.

That should about wrap it up.  I'm fixing to go on a long walk and get some steps in before I go and eat something bad for me tonight.  Hope everyone has a great Sunday!