Monday, December 20, 2004

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

I saw an episode of Oprah a few weeks back where she had Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep on promoting their new movie, A Series Of Unfortunate Events, based on the Lemony Snicket novels. The previews look really good and Jim Carrey's portrayal of the dastardly Count Olaf is sure to be a show stopper. I had heard the movie is really the first 3 (maybe 4) books combined. Never having read the books before, the movie intrigued me. So, I decided to check it out. I listened to the first book, A Bad Beginning on audio. It was narrated by Tim Curry and he did a fabulous job. The book begins with the three Baudelaire children (Violet, Klaus and Sunny) find themselves suddenly orphans and homeless. Taken to the home of a distant relative, Count Olaf, the children quickly discover that all is not right, when they uncover a plot by Count Olaf to steal their fortune. The story was fast paced with an equal blend of suspense and humor. I hope to have most of the books read before I watch the movie.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Awesome Book

I just finished a book called Kiss Me While I Sleep by Linda Howard. All I can say about this book is that it was AWESOME! No, really. It's about a woman who is a contract agent for the CIA paid to kill. She kills a man in vengeance for the murder of her friends so she's persona non grata with the CIA. They send in a field officer to track her down and bring her in. Hopefully before the dead man's family finds her first.
This story kept me on the edge of my seat and it was one major thrill ride. It had humor, action, suspense, hot sex scenes and there is a HUGE twist toward the end of the book that totally blew me away.
Linda Howard has really out-done herself with this one. I hope she continues to write more like this one as I highly recommend KISS ME WHILE I SLEEP to anyone who likes a fast paced read with heart thumping action and blood racing passion.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

New Computer

Over Thanksgiving weekend, Rob built a new computer. He is so amazing. He read books and did TONS of research on the hardware he needed to buy. I don't know he does it.
Unfortunately, when we tried to load SIMS2, we had major graphics problems. Bought a new video card thinking that would resolve everything. Was able to play for about 10 minutes and then the computer started to self-reboot. What the hell is going on? This amazing guy I'm married to starts researching and talking to people who know computers and he figures it out! Personally, I would have pitched the thing out the window. Patient, I'm not.
Rob figured out that there were multiple problems. First, when he downloaded a service pack for the operating system, there seems to be a corruption problem. So, when he reinstalled the operating system software, he left the service pack off until Microsoft fixes it. Then he discovered that there is a conflict between the Norton software and the Adobe program so we bought new Norton software and that was resolved. Now, onto the game. He scanned the disks that came with the game (how does he know to do that????) and found several damaged files on the game so we got another copy from Walmart.
Last Wednesday night, he began game installation. When I came home Thursday morning, I gave it a try and IT WORKED!!!! Yay! . If you haven't tried SIMS2 yet, go get it! It's amazing! There is so much more the SIMS can do in this version and the graphics are TONS better than the last version. The kids actually grow up!
Good books I've read recently (when the computer acts up, I get more reading done. Go figure) are:
Teen Idol by Meg Cabot - This is classified as young adult. It was a very cute story about a high school student named Jenny who has to show the new guy around the school. Only the whole school doesn't know that the new guy is actually one of Hollywood's hottest stars who is there undercover posing as a student researching an upcoming role. I really enjoyed the story and think the author does a fantastic job of capturing the teenage personality.
'Til Death Do Us Part by Kate White - This is the third story in a mystery series that features a true crime writer named Bailey Weggins who writes for GLOSS magazine and finds herself in the center of murder investigations in her spare time. This story centers around Greewich, Connecticut when Bailey is asked to check into some deaths that seem suspicious. Bailey isn't sure there is anything going on at first. The first two victims were bridesmaids along with Bailey in a wedding several month prior. After the third bridesmaid dies, Bailey begins to think she may be next. This was a good story with a lot of twists and turns in the plot that kept me guessing all the way to the end.
The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen - This is the second story in a mystery series that features Boston PD detective Jane Rizzoli. Now that The Surgeon (the killer in the first book) is in prison, Jane is ready to move on to her next case. When sadistic murders occur, the pattern suggests that The Surgeon is somehow behind it. Rizzoli thinks the madman is basing his attacks on the twisted techniques of The Surgeon and ultimately Rizzoli has to face her greatest fears when he manages to escape from prison. Very intense story and a lot of graphic detail. I especially liked the final showdown scene between Rizzoli and The Surgeon. The next book in the series, The Sinner, sounds good and I look forward to reading it soon.
I have read 105 books this year so far. The year is almost over and I hope to get that number up to 110. Happy Reading and SIMming!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Turkey & All The Trimmings

Happy Thanksgiving! Today, we give thanks for the blessings we have in life and celebrate the harvest with a feast. It's just Rob and I for the holiday and Rob is cooking a 10lb bird with all the trimmings. I have fruit salad duty and yams. There will be cranberry sauce, granny green beans and biscuits to go with the turkey, stuffing, taters and gravy. For dessert, we have a pumpkin pie.
I have been sick for the past week with a sinus infection and bronchitis. Not much of an appetite since everything tastes like dirt because of the congestion and mucus. I went to the doctor yesterday and got some antibiotics so hopefully I will be back to normal soon.
We bought the new Harry Potter DVD last night. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban. Loved it! I sure hope all of the books are made into movies. The fourth book is currently in filming now. I love this series.
Reading a really good book called DEADLY LOVE by Brenda Joyce. It's a historical mystery series that takes place in New York City in 1902. The heroine is a woman named Francesca Cahill who is a bit of a reformist. She is going to college, which is something that isn't common in that day and is solving crimes alongside the new police commissioner, Rick Bragg. There's a hint of a romance, but so far nothing has developed too far. This story deals with the kidnapping of a toddler and Francesca is the one who discovers the kidnapping note. I highly recommend the series and look forward to reading the other books.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Another Month Bites The Dust...

Do I really want to go here? No, but I will. There are only 3 weeks left until Thanksgiving! And then you know what that means ... Christmas shopping! Yuck. When did Christmas get so commercialized? Is this something we are teaching our kids? Lord, I hope not, but more and more I am witnessing this fact. "What are you getting me?" "Gimme this; Gimme that." Whatever happened to the joy of the holiday; of getting together with the people who mean the most to you in your life; sharing good food, good company, laughter and joy. Counting your blessings and rejoicing in the spirit of the holiday. Why does the holiday equate with Visa, Mastercard and malls now?
At work, my Supervisor asked me and my co-shift supervisors if we wanted to have a Christmas party and a gift exchange. I said no. I think I offended some of the others. Why they don't go ahead and do something amongst themselves, I don't know. Instead, I would much rather as a group just get together for dinner and enjoy each other's company and get to know each other better.
Bah Humbug? I don't think so, but if that's all Christmas is to people now instead of the spirit, joy and happiness, then I guess you can call me Ebenezer. It's not even December yet and I'm already dreading it.
I don't look forward to decorating either. Mainly because I lack creativity and it feels like a chore to decorate. I know there are a lot of people that really go all out to decorate the inside and outside of their homes and, don't get me wrong....they look nice, but it's that commercialism thing again. So many people have to have the newest decorations and lots of 'em, so cha-ching! Someone is making money off of the holiday. My parents never went out and bought a new tree and all the trimmings every year but that seems to be the trend.
As much as I would like to hide under my bed until it's over, I can't. The Holidays are quickly approaching and it seems like it comes around faster with each year. So, as with years gone by, I will try to make the best of it, keep smiling and pray the radio station plays a variety of Christmas songs instead of the same ones over and over. One of my favorites is "The Twelve Pains of Christmas" by Bob Rivers Comedy Group. So, at least if I can't avoid the whole holiday thing, I can at least laugh my ass off.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

What Is That I See Outside My Window?

It's RAIN! Woo Hoo! Yes, it does rain in Arizona. Sometimes, it goes so long between rain's that people completely forget how to drive in it or even forget what it looks like. It has rained all day long and I would guess we got quite a few inches. I'm really hoping we have a wet winter. The high country up north can sure use the snow to minimize the wildfire danger in the summer.
Tonight is Survivor night. I may go into work tonight for a few hours of OT. I found an older Gwyneth Paltrow movie on TV that TIVO is recording. It's called A PERFECT MURDER and co-stars Michael Douglas. I haven't seen it in a very long time so I look forward to watching it sometime this weekend. God, I love my TIVO. :o)
I'm off until Sunday and Sunday is Halloween. No candy for the kiddies since I have to work and Rob isn't in to that stuff. My squad is dressing up and we are having a potluck party with the overlapping squad. We are all going as witches. I found some purple and black striped stockings to wear which will match my hat wonderfully and I found witch hair to wear. It's black and gray streaked. The only thing left is maybe some dark purple lipstick or black lipstick. I'm going to wear my black pleated skirt and a purple top and my black chunky tread shoes. Kind of a funky witch. I have to make fruit salad Sunday before I go in and take with me. Hope nobody chickens out and I'm the only one dressed up. That would suck.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Pretty sure I mentioned this already...

I am the Queen of Proscrastination and not only with blogging, it seems. I have been neglecting my reading to play with my SIMS. In case you have been living in a cave for the past, say 5 years, then you won't know what SIMS is. It's a computer game where you create simulated people and either give them assistance in having healthy, happy and productive lives or screw them over royally and watch them get fired, go broke, starve and even die. I haven't played with my SIM family Robinson in a while because my computer has been acting wonky, but over the past week, the addiction has resurfaced! I found cheat codes last year to max out the money (called Simoleans in the SIM world) so the Robinson's (Stephen and Vicky) have the best money can buy, beginning with an 11,000 square foot house (but only 1 bedroom). Then they went and had a son, whom I named David (no, he isn't a basketball player...ha ha) so I had to call in Rob the architect to add on a second bedroom for David once he left infancy and became a child. For the past week, I've been debating whether or not I want Stephen and Vicky to be parents, so I've been deliberately keeping David home from school and letting his grades drop in the hopes that he will get shipped off to military school and never be seen or heard from again. Well, I must be getting sentimental in my old age, because David did get shipped off and it was very bizarre watching him "leave" the game. Remorse set in and I exited the game without saving, thereby putting him back in. Why did I do this? When the Knosby family (my first SIM family) had their first child, I screwed up when naming her and she ended up drowning in a horrific swimming pool tragedy (with my help of course) and I felt zero remorse....if I really wanted to be sadistic, I could leave the game running and see how long it takes the Robinson family to all get fired, kicked out of school and set the house on fire...but I don't trust the computer to remain running non-stop.
I did manage to read a good book recently. It's called Shopaholic & Sister by Sophie Kinsella. This is actually the fourth book in the Shopaholic series. The other titles are Confessions Of A Shopaholic, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan and Shopaholic Ties The Knot. I highly recommend the entire series. It's a definite escape to read about someone else who cannot control their spending and the trouble she gets into and the creative and inventive ways she finds to extricate herself. The newest installment features our Shopaholic, Becky, just back from her honeymoon only to discover she has a half-sister she never knew about and what's worse, the new half-sister hates shopping.
Last night, we watched The Day After Tomorrow starring Dennis Quaid. A little frightening but filled with "the big message" about what global warming is going to do to our planet. Great special effects. We also watched Welcome To Mooseport starring Gene Hackman and Ray Romano. Gene Hackman plays the ex-President of the US and the newest resident of Mooseport, Maine, where he decides to run for Mayor. The movie was filmed around the Port Perry, Ontario area and I just have to visit. It was beautiful! I can see myself retiring there! If being a resident of Canada means I have to learn the game of hockey, I am there!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Working the Powerball

Here it is on a Sunday morning nearly 2 AM. I can't sleep and tomorrow I have to work at 4:30 PM. Would rather not go to work. Would rather call into work and tell them, "I'm not coming in ever again. I have to pick up my Powerball winnings." The $200 million plus jackpot was won by some lucky schlub in Delaware, so I will be going to work . Don't get me wrong. I love my job. I feel like it's rewarding for the most part. The pay and benefits package is the best I've ever had the opportunity to receive from any other job. I would just rather not work. Not work without creating a financial hardship or drastically have to alter my lifestyle in order to stay home. Some people ask me why I want to stay home. I have no children, so why stay home? I would just be bored. Unlike a lot of women I know, I've never wanted a career. I've always felt like my "career" was taking care of Rob (which, if some of you knew him, would agree that in itself is a full-time job --- ha ha ha). Not long after we got married, I was "educated" that if we ever wanted anything of substance or value (i.e. a house), we would both have to work. Why? Why does owning a house mean you both have to sacrifice your time together and both work? Especially when most mortgage payments are CHEAPER than an apartment? I just don't get it. I want to stay home. I want to take care of Rob, take care of our home, be a better wife. I want to spend my time taking better care of our home (I hate cleaning and it's probably due in a large part to the feeling of never having the time nor the energy) and I want to be a better cook (I also hate cooking probably for the same reasons I hate cleaning). But, I can't. Now I have to work to help pay the bills. So, I go to work (against my will) and dream of what it would be like to not HAVE to work. What it would be like to be the next "lucky schlub" to win the Powerball.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Happy October!

I cannot believe it's October already! Mount St. Helens erupted today. Nothing like the massive eruption back in 1980, but then she may yet blow her top again. Something I did not know was that the last time she erupted was back in 1986. Thank God, no deaths with this eruption. It amazes me continuously how close people choose to live near nature's disasters. Washington state is gorgeous but I am too much of a chicken to live there. Florida either with their horrible hurricane season this year. Wouldn't live in California even if you paid me with all of the earthquakes either. I guess that people get used to it and take it in stride and don't let it affect them. I don't know if I would get used to it.
Had a training class at work today to go over the new version of FrontPage for creating webpages. Not sure I needed to be there since they weren't covering things I am responsible for....
I finished Book #11 of the Left Behind series. This one is titled Armageddon. One more book to go in the series. I've really enjoyed the entire series and I think most anyone would, regardless of their religious beliefs and backgrounds. A lot of the major characters died in this installment, but the series promises a happy ending and all of the believers in Christ will be reunited in the last book. The library only has ONE copy of the unabridged audio (what's up with that, anyway?) and I'm number 29 in line! Sheesh! I'm afraid that by the time I get it, it will be warped....or worn out somehow. On the way home from class, I stopped at the library to drop off Armageddon and have started another audiobook titled All-American Girl by Meg Cabot. It's classified as a young-adult book. So far, it's good.
A lady I work with told me about the most amazing thing for cleaning. It's called Magic Eraser and it's made by Mr. Clean. She told me to try it for the really hard ground in dirty areas after I told her how much I hate to clean the bathroom because I can't find anything that seems to work. It looks like a sponge. You wet it and wipe, as if you were "erasing" and voila, it works! I tried it on the floor of the shower stall in the master bath. Usually, Rob has to use bleach and an SOS pad to get the thing clean. This magic eraser did it with no heavy scrubbing and in less than 5 minutes, it looked 1000% better. I don't know what it's made of, and all you have to do is wet the thing and it cleans fabulously.
More later....

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Sunday Already?

Time sure does fly anymore, doesn't it? I have to work tonight so it's hard for me to fully enjoy the experience that is Sunday Tailgating. We subscribe to the NFL Sunday Ticket on DIRECTV. This enables us to watch up to 16 games each Sunday and Rob really goes all out in the kitchen making food for us to enjoy for our own little tailgate party at home. Today, he is making hot wings (honey barbecue for me) and potato salad. I don't mind working odd hours, holidays and weekends for the most part. In my job, I feel I'm doing an important thing for the community so it pays off. It is hard sometimes though not to be on the same schedule that Rob is with the same days off. I never thought I would enjoy working the graveyard shift, but it's not too bad. It would be alot harder if Rob had a problem with my schedule, but he has been so understanding for the last 8 years that I've worked for the PD.

Last night after Rob got the TIVO installed (required a new dish, so it was like a whole new satellite system) and Rob played around with it for a little while, we watched a DVD. This one was MAN ON FIRE starring Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken and Dakota Fanning. Denzel plays a man hired as a bodyguard to a little girl in Mexico. He tries very hard to keep from caring about her outside the job, but she manages to wrap herself around his heart. She is kidnapped and presumed dead and Denzel's character is left bullet-ridden and recovering in a hospital. When he recovers, he begins hunting down everyone responsible and killing them. The ending was a surprise and the action was very intense. I gave it a 4 star rating out of 5 only because I felt the ending could have been different. I recommend it, though.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Technology Rules!

Today, Rob took the day off of work and we went shopping! We subscribe to satellite TV and today we acquired a new DVR receiver with TIVO. This will enable us to record programs without using a VCR. We will also be able to record on one channel while watching a different one and (this is what sold me) you can pause a program in case you get interrupted or you have to go to the bathroom. The DVR will record at the point you leave off and you can come back and pick it up there. Too bad Friends went off the air because I sure could have used this last season on Thursday nights when both Friends and Survivor were on at the same time. I also found a DVD of THE GOONIES at Walmart. I love this movie and am ecstatic to see it out on DVD now. I heard that a sequel is coming. Wonder if it will have the original kids, now all grown up....

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Is Summer Really Over?

Here in the pit of Hell, also known as Arizona, it's hard to tell most of the time. Our hot season usually begins in June, though in the nearly 18 years I have lived here, it has hit triple digits as early as March some years. The debilitating heat usually lasts well into October and sometimes into November. I have discovered that it has gotten very hard for me to get into the spirit of the holidays when it's in the 70s or 80s in December. It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me. I miss the four seasons and look forward to the day when I will be able to leave this hell-hole for some green grass, trees, seasons and, hopefully, white Christmases.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Queen of Procrastination

I have heard so much about blogging that I have finally gotten off my butt and decided to check it out. I must say that I have always loved to journal and remember keeping a diary as a teenager. Unfortunately, I have developed some very bad habits and procrastination is one of them. I don't journal daily but I will try to visit here often (or as often as I am able) and post my thoughts about anything and everything.

I read a lot so I will post what I am reading and I love to watch movies so I will post some comments about recent movies that I have enjoyed. My husband and I love to camp and I hope to share our camping experiences here as well.

Until next time....


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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)