Thursday, July 31, 2008
Work: YES! Got the Cultural Trust grant in certified mail today, a day ahead of deadline. It's off my plate. We didn't get Tester's letter of support in time but it will not be a big loss. Going through the grant files to schedule the next few months; making a map of what is due when. I had a meeting with Sandi, going over the grant stuff.
Reading: I'm going to finish the Hewson, A SEASON FOR THE DEAD. It's suiting my mood and if I'm lucky I can finish it tonight, time enough to get it in July's list. Looking over the list of what I've read in July, there's some good new-to-me series: Alys Clare and Lindsey Davis that I will be continuing on with the rest of the books and a couple beginning of new series authors: Julie Kramer and Deborah Grabien.
TV: Don't think I have anything. Good thing.
Books released in July that I didn't get to yet:
NOX DORMIENDA by Kelli Stanley
FRACTURED by Karin Slaughter
TRIBUTE by Nora Roberts
Books in June I didn't get to yet:
I KILL by Georgio Faletti
SEVERENCE PACKAGE by Duane Swierczyski
Tomorrow, I have to remember to post the August books I'm anticipating -- looks like something every week.
PK the Bookeemonster
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Work: working on spreadsheet for Sponsor-A-Chair. Waiting on letters of support and signature from Tina. Waiting, waiting. I WANT to get that grant out. Going through other grant paperwork to see what kind of timeline I've got for the rest of the year.
Steve left a very nice card for me this morning in the car. I wonder why he thought of it. It's lovely.
We'll be getting new cell phones hopefully Friday and either switching plans to someone new or updating what we've got. Our current contract with Alltel expired so we're shopping around. The good news is that the shop is going to pick up the bill. That will save $100 a month. Every bit helps right now. A cell phone for me doesn't necessarily have to be fancy. I can get by with just a basic, hardy phone with no bells or whistles. I don't need a camera phone, or music, and even though email may be tempting, it's not necessary.
Reading: I started TROPHY EXCHANGE by Diane Fanning. I don't know if it's going to hold up to the first 50 page test. The sample on her website was very compelling but the writing after that seems a little, I don't know, simple. The voice may not be grabbing me right now so I may have to give it up and move on. I see though that I have another hold waiting for me so I'll pick that up later.
TV: I don't think there is anything for me other than Dog the Bounty Hunter but I could leave that. The Cleaner was good last night. I'll probably stick with it. A&E channel is doing some good shows lately.
Walking Tug last night started out very hot but a storm was passing over and it clouded up a bit so it wasn't as bad into it. For today the forecast is looking hot and staying that way. Ugh.
That's it for now.
PK the Bookeemonster
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Work: Hallelujah! I'm on the home stretch for stuff that has to get done this week -- and it's only Tuesday. (knock wood that nothing goes wrong) Today, the big one, the Cultural Trust grant, is at the office of the government sponsor -- Tina Volek City Administrator -- for her review and signature. All I need now is the support letters from the senators (2) and rep (1) and it will go out soon. I also did the Letter of Intent for the Mockingbird Foundation; I figured it couldn't hurt. Should work on the spreadsheet for the Sponsor-a-Chair.
Reading: That darned library. Limiting the lender to only 12 holds just doesn't work for me. I've had to take off some older holds to make way for more important ones that were finally listed. The ability to have 20 holds would be so much more convenient. Frustrating. At least I'm first on all the books I want ... bwahahaha!
Currently reading - or continuing a previous start - of David Hewson's A SEASON FOR THE DEAD. I started this a while ago and other things got my attention but I figure with only a couple days left in the month, I should try to finish something that I've already been into. The first line is: "The heat was palpable, alive." Here's the Amazon blurb on it:
For years - basically for as long as I can remember reading -- I've always liked books set in Rome or that involve the Vatican. There is always political/religious intrigue. And yes, I'm not one of those that slam THE DAVINCI CODE. It is a fine thriller for what it is intended to be. Entertaining. The Hewson is the first in the series of seven books.
...features detective Nic Costa and an ensemble cast drawn from the ranks of the Rome state police. University professor Sara Farnese is at her desk in the Reading Room of the Vatican Library perusing a 10th-century copy of Apicius's first-century cookbook De Re Coquinaria when former lover and fellow university professor Stefano Rinaldi careens into the room dragging a large plastic bag. Rinaldi dumps the contents of the bagâ€"the freshly flayed skin of an adult maleâ€"and quotes the Christian theologian, Tertullian ("The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church"), then takes a couple of bullets in the head from a panic-stricken Swiss Guard. Detective Costa and partner Luca Rossi are outside the Vatican in St. Peter's Square on pickpocket patrol when they catch the news of the shooting on a police scanner, charge into the Reading Room and are quickly kicked out by security man Brendan Hanrahan for jurisdictional reasons ("The Vatican is another country"). Rossi and Costa become officially involved when the skinless remains of Sara's lover and the body of Rinaldi's wife are found strung up in an ancient Roman church. After this rousing beginning, the intricate plot spins off in several directions, involving corrupt cardinal Michael Denney, the Mafia, Vatican secrecy and the serial killer who's murdering Sara's former lovers in ways that mimic famous paintings depicting the martyrdom of selected saints
I had to do some fixing with quite a bit of whiteout of my book journal; the idea of putting the first line in it just isn't going to work, space-wise. Ah well. The good news is that I'm back on track for books read for the year; at least I've gone slightly past this point in number compared to last year. I'm still listening in the car to the audio of THE MESSENGER by Daniel Silva. That reminds me to look up something about Van Gogh; it's getting interesting about that.
TV: Another tv night for me. 48 Hours, The Cleaner, and if it is still scheduled, Say Yes to the Dress. I'm free from tv the rest of the week. Oh wait, until Friday when TCM channel starts their August month-long salute to the stars thing. Each day a different movie star and several of their significant movies. (sigh) Looks like August 1st is Michael Caine movies.
I don't remember details now, but I had three dreams last night that I know of that were all rather scary. I wonder why. I mean, it seems like one would have to program yourself for something like that and I do avoid that. The only thing I can really think of is that Paranormal State last night was a little creepy and maybe something seeped in through that. I don't like that much.
Last night's dinner turned out good: I used Panko crumbs for the fish so that turned out crispy/crunchy and I cooked the corn on the cob with M&D's secret of sugar. Steve has an extra gun club meeting tonight to deal with an issue that cropped up so dinner will have to quick.
According to the weather channel a storm may come through around 8-ish.
Update: Uh oh, a hold from the library occurred. Will probably have to now read THE TROPHY EXCHANGE by Diane Fanning. Here's the blurb from the Library Journal Review:
When eight-year-old Charley Spencer finds her mother's brutally murdered body, Lt. Lucinda Pierce catches the case. Pierce has been damaged both physically and emotionally by events in her life but has survived to become a stellar homicide detective, as she demonstrates in pursuing vicious killers. Fanning provides plenty of forensic details, plot twists, and suspense. Though this near-perfect police procedural is not for the faint of heart, readers who like Kate Flora and Alex Kava will put it on their reserve lists. Highly recommended.
The first line: "Eight-year-old Charley Spencer bounded up the broad white steps of the porch of her curlicue-embellished Victorian home." The first chapter is riveting; it can be found at the author's website at www.dianefanning.com.
Oh, btw, we're now not going to Denver in August. Steve doesn't want to go and has used my new job as the excuse.
PK the Bookeemonster
Monday, July 28, 2008
Work: Holy schmoley it's a week of craziness. I got out the US Bank grant/sponsorship packet and the Sponsor-A-Chair renewal letters today. Tomorrow, I concentrate on the Cultural Trust final packet, getting all the support letters and other materials together. I'd love to get this out Wednesday.
Reading: Finished SILVER PIGS by Lindsey Davis. It's the first in the Falco series set in ancient Rome. You know how I love my hystmyst. It has taken me a while to get into it -- tried a couple times before. Once I got past the beginning it really picked up for me. I'll definitely read more of this series. Here's the blurb:
When Marcus Didius Falco, a Roman “informer” who has a nose for trouble that’s sharper than most, encounters Sosia Camillina in the Forum, he senses immediately all is not right with the pretty girl. She confesses to him that she is fleeing for her life, and Falco makes the rash decision to rescue her—a decision he will come to regret. For Sosia bears a heavy burden: as heavy as a pile of stolen Imperial ingots, in fact. Matters just get more complicated when Falco meets Helena Justina, a Senator’s daughter who is connected to the very same traitors he has sworn to expose. Soon Falco finds himself swept from the perilous back alleys of Ancient Rome to the silver mines of distant Britain—and up against a cabal of traitors with blood on their hands and no compunction whatsoever to do away with a snooping plebe like Falco….
I don't know yet what is next for me. I've been listening to THE MESSENGER by Daniel Silva. I could either speed that up or go on to something else. Maybe Fairstein or Crombie. A library hold should shake loose this week; the new Karin Slaughter though I'm not a wild about it since it's not a continuation of the first series. That one ended with a cliffhanger and she's avoiding writing more about it, damnit.
TV: 'tis tv night for me. The Closer, Jon & Kate Plus Eight, and Paranormal State. Last night watched the final challenge for HGTV Design Star. I won't be voting because I cannot decide between the two; neither really stand out for me like previous years. Will have to find out next week. And I watched the finale of The Next Food Network Star and didn't like the outcome. Blah. Ah well. Don't really watch that channel much anyway. Yesterday afternoon, because of mostly negative discussion of it on 4MA, I watched back-to-back episodes of The Cleaner and actually kind of liked it.
Tonight we're having fish and corn on the cob. I have to walk Tug -- hopefully briefly because it's flippin' 90 degrees out. I had to turn in my bio and session description to the MNA for my seminar thing in September. Oy! But I think it is going to be okay. Must get a laptop soon.
It's after 4 and my brain is going obbity obbity obbity. Don't want to do anymore concentrating.
PK the Bookeemonster
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Dinner was a hit last night. Potatoes, must do more potatoes. Also, Tug did not believe the ride in the car substituted for a walk, nor apparently, did the morning walk count. So we went for another walk at 8pm and got home just before the severe storm hit (btw, I know it was a severe storm because the television warning came on 10 minutes after the storm started). This morning, we didn't walk but got the usual car ride to get the Sunday paper and that seems to have sufficed for now. He's sleeping right behind my desk chair as I type this. I can't move backward or else I'll hit him.
Steve is still sleeping. He finally came to bed at 2am. I don't know how or why he does it other than I know he thinks it somehow extends the weekend to stay up so late but somehow sleeping in until noon doesn't take time away. I try to stick to my same schedule as the weekdays in order to not mess up that routine.
It's supposed to be even hotter today and Steve HAS to mow the lawn; it's gone too long with the mower gone so long. I dunno, I think he likes to suffer so he has something to complain about.
I was surfing the net yesterday and came across the commencement speech that JK Rowling did this year at Harvard. It was very insightful:
The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination
By J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, delivers her Commencement Address, "The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination."Copyright of JK Rowling, June 2008 _________________________________________________
President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, proud parents, and, above all, graduates.
The first thing I would like to say is 'thank you.' Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I've experienced at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and fool myself into believing I am at the world's best-educated Harry Potter convention.
Delivering a commencement address is a great responsibility; or so I thought until I cast my mind back to my own graduation. The commencement speaker that day was the distinguished British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock. Reflecting on her speech has helped me enormously in writing this one, because it turns out that I can't remember a single word she said. This liberating discovery enables me to proceed without any fear that I might inadvertently influence you to abandon promising careers in business, law or politics for the giddy delights of becoming a gay wizard.
You see? If all you remember in years to come is the 'gay wizard' joke, I've still come out ahead of Baroness Mary Warnock. Achievable goals: the first step towards personal improvement. Actually, I have wracked my mind and heart for what I ought to say to you today. I have asked myself what I wish I had known at my own graduation, and what important lessons I have learned in the 21 years that has expired between that day and this.
I have come up with two answers. On this wonderful day when we are gathered together to celebrate your academic success, I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure. And as you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called 'real life', I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination.
These might seem quixotic or paradoxical choices, but please bear with me.
Looking back at the 21-year-old that I was at graduation, is a slightly uncomfortable experience for the 42-year-old that she has become. Half my lifetime ago, I was striking an uneasy balance between the ambition I had for myself, and what those closest to me expected of me.
I was convinced that the only thing I wanted to do, ever, was to write novels. However, my parents, both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my overactive imagination was an amusing personal quirk that could never pay a mortgage, or secure a pension.
They had hoped that I would take a vocational degree; I wanted to study English Literature. A compromise was reached that in retrospect satisfied nobody, and I went up to study Modern Languages. Hardly had my parents' car rounded the corner at the end of the road than I ditched German and scuttled off down the Classics corridor.
I cannot remember telling my parents that I was studying Classics; they might well have found out for the first time on graduation day. Of all subjects on this planet, I think they would have been hard put to name one less useful than Greek mythology when it came to securing the keys to an executive bathroom.
I would like to make it clear, in parenthesis, that I do not blame my parents for their point of view. There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you. What is more, I cannot criticise my parents for hoping that I would never experience poverty. They had been poor themselves, and I have since been poor, and I quite agree with them that it is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticised only by fools. What I feared most for myself at your age was not poverty, but failure.
At your age, in spite of a distinct lack of motivation at university, where I had spent far too long in the coffee bar writing stories, and far too little time at lectures, I had a knack for passing examinations, and that, for years, had been the measure of success in my life and that of my peers.
I am not dull enough to suppose that because you are young, gifted and well-educated, you have never known hardship or heartbreak. Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates, and I do not for a moment suppose that everyone here has enjoyed an existence of unruffled privilege and contentment.
However, the fact that you are graduating from Harvard suggests that you are not very well-acquainted with failure. You might be driven by a fear of failure quite as much as a desire for success. Indeed, your conception of failure might not be too far from the average person's idea of success, so high have you already flown academically.
Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.
Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. I had no idea how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.
So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.
Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies.
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned.
Given a time machine or a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone's total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.
You might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared.
One of the greatest formative experiences of my life preceded Harry Potter, though it informed much of what I subsequently wrote in those books. This revelation came in the form of one of my earliest day jobs. Though I was sloping off to write stories during my lunch hours, I paid the rent in my early 20s by working in the research department at Amnesty International's headquarters in London.
There in my little office I read hastily scribbled letters smuggled out of totalitarian regimes by men and women who were risking imprisonment to inform the outside world of what was happening to them. I saw photographs of those who had disappeared without trace, sent to Amnesty by their desperate families and friends. I read the testimony of torture victims and saw pictures of their injuries. I opened handwritten, eye-witness accounts of summary trials and executions, of kidnappings and rapes.
Many of my co-workers were ex-political prisoners, people who had been displaced from their homes, or fled into exile, because they had the temerity to think independently of their government. Visitors to our office included those who had come to give information, or to try and find out what had happened to those they had been forced to leave behind.
I shall never forget the African torture victim, a young man no older than I was at the time, who had become mentally ill after all he had endured in his homeland. He trembled uncontrollably as he spoke into a video camera about the brutality inflicted upon him. He was a foot taller than I was, and seemed as fragile as a child. I was given the job of escorting him to the Underground Station afterwards, and this man whose life had been shattered by cruelty took my hand with exquisite courtesy, and wished me future happiness.
And as long as I live I shall remember walking along an empty corridor and suddenly hearing, from behind a closed door, a scream of pain and horror such as I have never heard since. The door opened, and the researcher poked out her head and told me to run and make a hot drink for the young man sitting with her. She had just given him the news that in retaliation for his own outspokenness against his country's regime, his mother had been seized and executed.
Every day of my working week in my early 20s I was reminded how incredibly fortunate I was, to live in a country with a democratically elected government, where legal representation and a public trial were the rights of everyone.
Every day, I saw more evidence about the evils humankind will inflict on their fellow humans, to gain or maintain power. I began to have nightmares, literal nightmares, about some of the things I saw, heard and read.
And yet I also learned more about human goodness at Amnesty International than I had ever known before.
Amnesty mobilises thousands of people who have never been tortured or imprisoned for their beliefs to act on behalf of those who have. The power of human empathy, leading to collective action, saves lives, and frees prisoners. Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join together in huge numbers to save people they do not know, and will never meet. My small participation in that process was one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences of my life.
Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people's minds, imagine themselves into other people's places.
Of course, this is a power, like my brand of fictional magic, that is morally neutral. One might use such an ability to manipulate, or control, just as much as to understand or sympathise.
And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.
I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do. Choosing to live in narrow spaces can lead to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the wilfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.
What is more, those who choose not to empathise may enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy. One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.
That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people's lives simply by existing.
But how much more are you, Harvard graduates of 2008, likely to touch other people's lives? Your intelligence, your capacity for hard work, the education you have earned and received, give you unique status, and unique responsibilities. Even your nationality sets you apart. The great majority of you belong to the world's only remaining superpower. The way you vote, the way you live, the way you protest, the pressure you bring to bear on your government, has an impact way beyond your borders. That is your privilege, and your burden.
If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.
I am nearly finished. I have one last hope for you, which is something that I already had at 21. The friends with whom I sat on graduation day have been my friends for life. They are my children's godparents, the people to whom I've been able to turn in times of trouble, friends who have been kind enough not to sue me when I've used their names for Death Eaters. At our graduation we were bound by enormous affection, by our shared experience of a time that could never come again, and, of course, by the knowledge that we held certain photographic evidence that would be exceptionally valuable if any of us ran for Prime Minister.
So today, I can wish you nothing better than similar friendships. And tomorrow, I hope that even if you remember not a single word of mine, you remember those of Seneca, another of those old Romans I met when I fled down the Classics corridor, in retreat from career ladders, in search of ancient wisdom:
As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.
I wish you all very good lives.
Thank you very much.
Isn't that marvelous? It just blows me away. I would add to that it is so important in how you treat other people, even in everyday encounters and passing people in the street. It matters. Many of us will not be living important lives in that we aren't celebrities or politicians or inventing something or being the movers and shakers of the world. But the real point of why we're here is these daily encounters. They all have a reason and each and every time a point of choosing of how we wish to be. The purpose of life is as simple and complicated as that.
Later: Ooh, I've been surfing and came across this website: http://lii.org/ Librarian's Internet Index. Cool.
PK the Bookeemonster
Saturday, July 26, 2008
So last night I made (from a box) chicken marsala with noodles. Noticeably, Steve wasn't eating the noodles. Great, I'm thinking, another failed dinner. So after almost 11 years of marriage Steve says he's not really into pasta. What?!!? I cannot begin to express my frustration with the man. So tonight I'm making buffalo burgers with onion soup potatoes and tomorrow I'm making hamburger rice balls and the next night is fish with corn on the cob. So I asked him, in my frustration, what he DOES like and his answer? Baloney. I could hit him.
It's HOT out. I ran to the grocery store a little while ago to get the above side dishes and decided that fudgecicles sounded really good on a hot day like this. I walked Tug early this morning (around 8) because I knew it would be miserable for both of us later in the day. He'll "forget" about the morning walk around 5 this afternoon or the morning walk will have been some kind of "bonus walk" and start whining to go but maybe a quick trip around the neighborhood in the car will suffice. I'm not going out there in 94 degree weather.
Reading: I've started THE DEAD PLACE by Stephen Booth. This is 6th in the series featuring Ben Cooper, a detective constable trying to fill his police sergeant father’s shoes, and new partner, Diane Fry, recently transferred to Edendale’s force, in the Peak District in England. Here is the blurb from Amazon:
Det. Constable Ben Cooper and his boss, Sgt. Diane Fry, pursue a possible serial killer who leaves haunting phone messages—about impending murders, flesh eaters and decomposition—at the Derbyshire police station. Cooper and Fry chase down all sorts of dead ends: a woman who disappears from a local car park, another whose body is found in the woods, and skeletal remains discovered on a hilltop. None of the crimes appears to be the killer's work, but they all may be connected in disjointed ways to a local funeral parlor whose business has dropped off significantly in recent years.
It's a little slow going but then I haven't really put my attention to it wholly.TV: Steve likes to watch Cops on Saturday nights. I'm interested in a TMC "Essentials" movie, The Bad and the Beautiful with Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner. It starts at 6, though which is a little inconvenient timing. Maybe I can tape it. Pay-per-view has a couple movies I'm interested in as well, The Other Boleyn Girl and Definitely Maybe. But I should read. I have 15 books out from the library. I must read.
Steve was out fixing a door today and then washing the company trucks. Now he says he's heading over to Walmart and then to Ace to pick up the mower (it wasn't fixed when he tried yesterday; they've had it for about three weeks now). I did the usual cleaning and laundry of bedding and towels.
Holy cow, football preseason starts next Sunday. Hooo ha! It's not fall yet, but Fall is my favorite time of the year. Just love it.
I've got a couple 4MA digests yet to read before moving on from the computer. See y'all tomorrow.
PK the Bookeemonster
Friday, July 25, 2008
I'm getting this posting done early in the day before I get too busy and forget about it. So far I haven't missed a day. Yay.
Work: I plan to concentrate on Sponsor-a-Chair renewals. Work is done at 1:00 today and I'm meeting JodyO for lunch at the museum.
Reading: Still not committed to anything. I hope to stop by the library after lunch to pick up a couple things but I still have about 11 other books checked out right now that I'd like to read plus at least 5 from personal TBR I could name right now (but won't). The newest Deadly Pleasures came in the mail yesterday featuring Scandanavian authors in the big article. I still have three issues of Mystery Readers International to read (Historical Mysteries I and II and Irish mysteries). And the WSJ. Aaaaaaaahhhhh! Wish I could give up sleep sometimes to get it all done but sleep is soooooo good. :)
TV: I don't think anything is on for me. I could watch the classic movie I taped the other night. I should read since I didn't get to do any last night. Tomorrow I want to watch a classic but more on that, er, tomorrow.
Shakespeare in the Park was pretty good last night. Alls Well that Ends Well is a strange story though. Why Helena is so in love with a yuckoid like Bertram is unfathomable. The acting was mostly good with a couple standouts. The weather was just about perfect except the wind picked up near the end and I was getting chilly. I wish I could have seen Macbeth if it had been under better conditions venue-wise, but oh well. It was very good to see Barb.
This weekend will be cleaning mostly. It would be nice to do a bike ride with Steve. I should stop by Borders to use the coupon. I think dinners are covered, supply-wise. Will probably spend the morning on the computer since I really don't get to during the week at home. Movies in the theatres, we need to see Batman and XFiles got a good review so maybe that is on the list.
List of quirky movies I absolutely love, I mean stop-the-world I must watch these each and every time (not in order and incomplete) (and not to be confused with romantic movies I love or funny movies I love or adventure movies I love or quirky movies that are just good) Quirky Movies I Love:
Lost in Translation
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Oh and Fargo.
As they occur to me I'll list more.
Lunch was pretty good with JodyO. I had the Mahi Mahi and some noodles but the sweet potato fries were too spicy to eat. Then I went to the library and picked up five books. Then I went to Borders and spent too much time there trying to decide what movie to get with my 40% off coupon only to find out that the coupon didn't work for the type I chose. I'm interested, though now, in the DVD of Brazil with commentary and documentaries, etc. However, I left there a bit miffed. Got home and walked Tug; it was hot out, hoooboy. I've got to make a decision on what to read next; time's a wastin'. I think Steve is picking up the lawn mower today after work. I need to start dinner; I'm trying a box of Chicken Marsala that sounds good; hopefully Steve won't turn up his nose at it. No TV sounds interesting. Keep cool and read. I've got The Who's Who's Next still in my brain. Okay, gotta go cook.
PK the Bookeemonster
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Work: working on the supplementals for the grants. Sandi didn't contact the democratic senators like she said she would so I had to send last minute emails to request letters of support and oh, could you turn that around within a couple days? Yeah, great. Finally got some financials from her and I found a mistake in the addition so I had to ask her to redo it because not only do I have to use those numbers for the budget form, I have to send along that specific document too so it has to match and look good. Sponsor-a-chair renewals will have to wait until tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is supposed to be a short day (done at 1:00) but this is my crunch week so I'll see how much I can get done in the a.m. to see if I should stay later or not.
Reading: I gave up on the Winslow so now I'm looking at what's next from my stacks. I should read the Stephen Booth next up. I'm also reading through Roger Ebert's Great Movies. Research.
Going to Shakespeare in the Park tonight with Barb. JodyO backed out, the slacker. I didn't go last night and I'm glad. The picture in the paper showed the stage right behind the pitcher's mound and the first line of the audience in the bleachers, what, 50 yards away? The purpose of SIP is to be about 10 feet away, you know, up close and personal. Tonight it's at Pioneer Park so it should be okay. I'm picking up Pickle Barrel sandwiches for us and Barb is bringing chairs. Yesterday evening was beautiful and I hope the weather holds for tonight.
Steve will walk Tug tonight and have to fend for himself for dinner so I suppose it will be fried baloney sandwich or something similar.
I'm listening a lot now to The Who's Who's Next cd. Such fantastic music. You can see the pieces of Lifehouse in there, the storyline almost.
I've got to get art on my walls at work. So bare.
PK the Bookeemonster
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."--Groucho Marx. I love that quote. I first saw it posted in a used bookstore in Bozeman on Main Street called Vargos. I called it book heaven. I haven't been there in years. I wonder if its still there and if its as good as I remember. Of course, my taste in reading shifted a little since then. Back then I was less focused in my reading -- more classics. Now I'd be judging it by its mystery section and I'm a rather good judge if I do say so myself.
Work: I don't know how much I can get done today. What I need for the grants has to come from Sandi and she has a board meeting to prepare for today. I have a week to get these done but I may have to wait until tomorrow to push on anything. Sounds like all the staff (all three of us) will be required to attend the board meeting this afternoon.
Reading: THE DAWN PATROL by Don Winslow. I don't know, it's not really grabbing me like the past few books have. I can see why it's getting raves from some people but there is something missing for me. It's like it's too "cute" for its own good. I can so see Matthew McConaughey as the lead guy and an all-star cast of surfer dudes playing the rest of the dawn patrol and some up-and-coming busty starlet as the attorney chick. I'll give it another day before moving on I think. I do have many many more to read otherwise from the library and my own priority TBR.
I am hoping to go to Shakespeare in the Park tonight but last night was a rough one and I'm tired and unambitious about it today. A severe storm blew through last night. Right before it hit Steve decided to go for a bike ride so was out in the beginnings with lightening and wind which of course made me nervous and mad. He got back before it really hit. I'm glad he was so happy to have the bike ride because he was in a rotten mood all evening after work but he could have picked a better time. So then we lost power for four hours -- one street to the north and one street to the south got theirs back after one hour but ours came on at 12:15 am. We didn't sleep well because even though we had the windows open it was still stuffy inside. After that, Steve apparently had another low suger episode and wasn't very nice this time around so there was an argument but he apologized later, strangely enough. So I'm tired and just want a peaceful evening with a book, a good dinner, and my dog. We'll see.
I keep thinking I should just sit down and watch a movie but it is such a time commitment that I could spend reading but I need to do this for my next project. And I have so many that I own that need to be watched -- The Brave One with Jodi Foster, Becoming Jane with Anne Hathaway, the second Elizabeth movie with Cate Blanchett, Atonement with James McAvoy, P.S. I Love You with Gerard Butler, Vantage Point with Dennis Quaid, gosh I know I have more. And there are tv shows on DVD that I have to watch. Argh! Work interferes with my leisure time!
One of these posts I'll start talking about my idea for a nonprofit so I can do some sounding out. It won't be happening for a year or so but the ideas are coming.
You know what sounds good? After walking Tug, making some artichoke dip of mine, getting a little bit of brie and some water crackers and having that for dinner. Should I skip SIP? Groceries for these supplies, walk Tug and then give him a knuckle bone to bribe him with, and read with some music playing. Hmmmmm.... Thinking, thinking....
PK the Bookeemonster
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Yesterday was eventful with the sheriff coming over about Tug scratching the guy's truck which was really his trailer. People can be so antogonistic and money grubbing. May we never see him again. Steve did a good job in talking.
I didn't sleep well last night. I hope this passes uneventfully as well.
Reading: THE DAWN PATROL by Don Winslow. People are raving over it but so far it is so-so. I don't like present tense and it hasn't really connected somehow. I've got to find where I put that audiobook.
Work: yesterday at one point we were going over who could be the entertainment for New Year's Eve. The two that Sandi mentioned were actually not good when we listened to them online. I called Woody and got a list of names who could be within our very small price range and a couple were real possibles. We'll present them to Sandi tomorrow I think as alternatives. With Sandi out of the office today we're listening to music and being rather relaxed. We may go out for lunch. Oh what rebels we are. I put together a fan for my office; sometimes even with some kind of air conditioning going on this old building, it feels stuffy in my office. This should help some. I suppose this winter I'll need to bring in my heater. However, today I don't have to think about that since it's supposed to get up to the mid-90s today.
TV: don't really feel like watching anything though the First 48 is on and The Cleaner looks a little interesting. Early to bed would be good maybe.
While at Walmart yesterday I saw a girl who used to work for me at the photo studio. I believe she saw me and quickly averted her eyes and made like there was no recognition; two strangers passing. I couldn't for the life of me remember her name until puzzling over it ten minutes later. Carrie. I had remembered that she had left to work on an LPN certification. I wonder if she did it and has a good job now. Her daughter has definitely grown up. She must be six-ish now.
Dinner tonight is fish for me, brats for Steve I think. I'm feeling like having a big ol' salad with everything. Should I stop at the grocery store for supplies or just pick up something on the way home?
Is it the weekend yet? I'm ready.
PK the Bookeemonster
Monday, July 21, 2008
Work: Grants, pulling together the supplemental materials. This is made a little difficult in that much of the numbers paperwork has to come from Sandi and that is easier said than done.
Reading: I started THE DAWN PATROL by Don Winslow. Here's the Library Review blurb:
San Diego PI Boone Daniels takes on only enough work to pay the bills so he can indulge his passion for surfing. His pals, which make up the "Dawn Patrol," are an offbeat group of characters from all walks of life who share the same passion for serious surfing. When an arson witness goes missing, an attractive insurance company lawyer enlists Boone's help in finding her. Against his better judgment, Boone signs on and finds himself in the middle of much bigger things than arson. With his short chapters and gritty dialog, former private investigator Winslow knows how to keep the pace fast and the interest high. Several subplots make the main story line even more compelling; the whole narrative plays out against a coming "swell"—the big waves that surfers dream about.Here's the first line: " The marine layer wraps a soft silver blanket over the coast." Must really truly read the WSJ. And my film and mystery magazines.
TV: TV night tonight. The Closer on TNT, Jon & Kate Plus 8 on The Learning Channel, and Paranormal Kids on A&E if I remember.
Overall, it was a good weekend. I read four books, got cleaning done, went to a movie, watched tv that I wanted, took naps when needed, walked Tug more than once a day. Only thing I didn't do is bike and read my mags.
I have to get groceries at Walmart after work so Steve will have to walk the beast today. I'm listening to Who's Next right now. So good.
PK the Bookeemonster
Sunday, July 20, 2008
We went to see Hellboy 2: The Golden Army last night. Here's a plot description from IMDB.com:
The Golden Army begins when an ancient truce existing between humankind and the invisible realm of the fantastic is broken; Hell on earth is ready to erupt. Hellboy 2 tells the tale of a ruthless leader who treads the world above and the one below, defies his bloodline and awakens an unstoppable army of creatures. Its up to the planets toughest, roughest superhero to battle the merciless dictator and his marauders. He may be red, he may be horned, he may be misunderstood, but when you need the job done right, its time to call in Hellboy (Ron Perlman), and the B.P.R.D.The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) will travel between the surface world and the unseen magical one, where creatures of fantasy become corporeal, along with his expanding team pyrokinetic girlfriend Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), aquatic empath Abe (Doug Jones), and protoplasmic mystic Johann Krauss (James Dodd), the newest member of the BPRD. A slip-up results in the F.B.I. being forced to reveal the existence of BPRD to the general public. Brash old Hellboy doesn't play well with the public, which only increases the instability of his already-turning-rough relationship with Liz. Relations with fellow paranormal Johann (who is a sort of ectoplasmic spirit held within a very special containment suit), a reserved by-the-book type sent to take charge of the unpredictable and insubordinate Hellboy, only increase tensions within the group. But in the end they've all got to come together to fight Prince Nuada (Luke Goss), who, with his army of goblins, faeries, and the like, is attempting to resurrect an unstoppable army of fearless golden automatons once controlled by his father.
Overall, it was disappointing. Visually, it was beautiful and I've not seen such love of creatures and world creating since Jim Henson. What worked so wonderfully in the first movie was this sense of "realness" even though they were comic book characters and total belief in themselves. This, as often happens in sequels, had a sense of "aren't we cool" that then translates into less story and more caricature of themselves. This is a movie by a director who had to prove himself in the past, received acclaim (Pan's Labyrinth), and now has been given total freedom to explore his vision but loses his connection with the audience on some basic level. I'm glad we saw it in the theatre but sad that it didn't make more of an impact on both of us. And let me say I was completely SHOCKED at the prices for concessions. $11.60 for one large popcorn and one large pop. That is completely insane. And the movie industry wonders why they can't get audiences. A. prices, B. stupid movies. I felt brain cells dying at the previews of upcoming totally lowest common denominator stupid movies. That's why I'm running to the independents and classics. There's got to something worthy out there.
I had weird dreams again last night. One I barely remember involved wedding dresses.
Steve will probably sleep in quite late this morning. He scrapped all day yesterday, completely worn out and aching in the muscles. I think he's going to get the mower out of the repair shop and perhaps mow today. My chores of the day are clothes laundry and walking Tug. Currently, I'm reading emails and surfing the net.
Reading: I'll finish STALKING SUSAN by Julie Kramer today. First line: "So the deal is this -- any cop who tickets me for a moving violation gets an 'attaboy' from the chief and a day off duty, off the books." I've enjoyed this one not only for the easy "voice" of the author but also the seemingly accurate behind the scenes feel of the investigative television world. Her author bio states: "Julie Kramer is a freelance television news producer for NBC's Today Show, Nightly News, and Dateline. Prior to that, she was a national award-winning producer for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. She lives in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, with her husband and sons. www.juliekramerbooks.com." So I guess she knows her stuff. I would read more of her books as they come out. Next up, either ROCK & ROLL NEVER FORGETS by Deborah Grabien or THE DAWN PATROL by Don Winslow.
TV: tonight is HGTV's Design Star and Food Networks Star thing. Both are down to the final three potentials. I'll be glad to get Sunday evenings back when they're over.
So, hopefully a restful day today before getting into the work week again. Ahead of me: grants, grants, and more grants. Finalizing the sending of. On Wednesday and Thursday is Shakespeare in the Parks doing the M show and Alls Well That Ends Well. Thursday I'm meeting with JodyO and Barb and maybe Sara for dinner and Shakespeare.
This reminded me that or made me think about my tastes in theatre, movies, books, etc. In theatre, I prefer musicals and Shakespeare. I don't like plays really, too pretentious and boring. With art, I can't abide contemporary art but prefer the masters. In movies I can't stand stupid and prefer independent and classic, you know, SOME redeeming value. I don't think I'm an elitist or anything, I just want value, weight, noteworthiness; I value true talent.
PK the Bookeemonster
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I'm glad Steve didn't do Big Sky State Games this year. Just didn't want to be out and about this weekend. He's out doing some scrapping right now. I'm doing laundry and have already vacuumed, etc.
Reading: The last 24 hours have been very productive. I've finished two books: SAY GOODBYE by Lisa Gardner which I think may be her last in this somewhat of a series of books by way of the epilogue. I don't think I posted a description of this:
Come into my parlor . . .For Kimberly Quincy, FBI Special Agent, it all starts with a pregnant hooker. The story Delilah Rose tells Kimberly about her johns is too horrifying to be true—but prostitutes are disappearing, one by one, with no explanation, and no one but Kimberly seems to care.Said the spider to the fly . . .As a member of the Evidence Response Team, dead hookers aren’t exactly Kimberly’s specialty. The young agent is five months pregnant—she has other things to worry about than an alleged lunatic who uses spiders to do his dirty work. But Kimberly’s own mother and sister were victims of a serial killer. And now, without any bodies and with precious few clues, it’s all too clear that a serial killer has found the key to the perfect murder . . . or Kimberly is chasing a crime that never happened.
If you don't like spiders, this book isn't for you. I had to immediately jump into another book to get the potential images out of my brain. So I read SOUR CHERRY SURPRISE by David Handler which is his newest in the Mitry/Berger series. The two were apart in this one which is surprising -- hence the title I guess -- but all's well that ends well. Here's the blurb from Amazon:
Something has gone very wrong on bucolic Sour Cherry Lane. A straight-arrowI recommend this series for not quite cozy but definitely not hardboiled mystery reading.
high school student has started throwing wild sex parties. The distinguished
history professor across the lane has gone missing. His estranged wife, a
popular author of children’s books, is strung out on crystal meth. And the new
man in her life is under surveillance by a joint federal and state drug task
force.It’s not exactly a day in Yankee paradise for Desiree Mitry, the alluring
resident trooper of Dorset, Connecticut. Especially when you throw in those
unwelcome fainting spells she’s been having ever since she broke it off with
pudgy New York film critic Mitch Berger and took up again with her ex-husband,
U.S. Attorney Brandon Stokes. Mitch has moved on with his life, saying good-bye
to Dorset and hello to a new high-profile television career. Not to mention a
newly slimmed-down and styled self. Des is completely out of his system. Or so
Mitch thinks. Des, meanwhile, is furious to discover that a major drug cartel
has been operating in Dorset right under her nose. Matters escalate when one of
those troubled Sour Cherry Lane residents turns up dead. Des pursues the case in
her own way. The problem is that her way gets her in way too deep. And there’s
only person who can possibly get her out.
I've got three more 14-day books from the library to make it through. I've started STALKING SUSAN by Julie Kramer, her first. Here's the blurb from Amazon for this one:
Inside the desperate world of TV ratings, an investigative reporter discovers that a serial killer is targeting women named Susan and killing one on the same day each year.Television reporter Riley Spartz is recovering from a heartbreaking, headline-making catastrophe of her own when a longtime police source drops two homicide files in her lap in the back of a dark movie theater. Both cold cases involve women named Susan strangled on the same day, one year apart. Last seen alive in one of Minneapolis’s poorest neighborhoods, their bodies are each dumped in one of the city’s wealthiest areas. Riley senses a pattern between those murders and others pulled from a computer database of old death records. She must broadcast a warning soon, especially to viewers named Susan, because the deadly anniversary is approaching. But not just lives are at stake— so are careers. November is television sweeps month, and every rating point counts at Channel 3. Riley must go up against a news director who cares more about dead dogs than dead women, a politician who fears negative stories about serial killers will hurt the city’s convention business, and the very real possibility that her source knows more about the murders than he is letting on. When Riley suspects the killer has moved personal items from one victim to the next as part of an elaborate ritual, she stages a bold on-air stunt to draw him out and uncovers a motive that will leave readers breathless.
Tonight I believe Steve and I will go to Hellboy 2. It's at the Carmike and all the crowds will be at the Winnsong. It's good to go to movies out once in a while; we need to do it more often. If only movies were, you know, GOOD.
Yesterday after work I gassed the car and then went to Borders to look at movie magazines. I picked up four to check out their worthiness. I also bought three DVDs that were only $5.99 each. Two I already had on VHS but being only tapes, they're worth getting better versions of: Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet and Dead Again (with commentary!). And I got Sunset Boulevard to start really watching the classics. I know I've seen scenes from a lot but I don't think I've sat through an entire viewing of this one. Speaking of movies, check out TCM channel, in August it's the motherlode of wonderful films. If only we had TiVO so I could tape them all. Here's a schedule: http://i.cdn.turner.com/v5cache/TCM/2008/summer/SUTS_2008_month.pdf After Borders I went to Best Buy to see if they had laptops on clearance. There are a couple of possibilities. I need one for the presentation at MNA but I don't want to spend a lot of money. Money-wise, it would be wiser to wait until the next paycheck before I can actually make a purchase. And I can use it to watch DVDs upstairs. Yay.
The last part of Dr. Horrible was released online today. I was disappointed in how it ended. I wanted Penny to turn out to be evil too. Ah well.
I believe we're having Rocket burritos for late lunch/early dinner so that Steve can have popcorn at the movie later. He doesn't like to go to movie theatres without having the popcorn. Me, I'd rather save the money and not have anything.
PK the Bookeemonster
Friday, July 18, 2008
Work: Short day today; done at 1:00. Having problems with the Internet, I wonder if Sandi has done something?
Will have to gas the car, get a couple things at Walmart, then stop by Borders to check out their film magazines. Then home to walk Tug. After that, I'm not sure.
TV: nothing on. Was a little disappointed with The Who VH1 thing last night. Would like to start watching some of my movies maybe this weekend.
Steve had a low sugar episode last night that he has very little memory of this morning. He was very low and in that spacy state. I shoved cookies and milk in his mouth. Seemed to work after a little bit but then he said he was tired and laid down again. I was a little rattled. What if I hadn't woken up? I woke up again at 4; I think Tug had used the side of the bed to flip over onto his other side.
While walking Tug yesterday with Steve Sandi and her husband drove up to say hi. She knows where I live (kind of) now!
Reading: Didn't read a whole lot last night. Started SAY GOODBYE by Lisa Gardner this morning before heading in to work; I think that has to be the priority to get all these library books done. Must make time for WSJ.
My nonprofit idea won't leave me alone. Will have to pursue it a bit.
PK the Bookeemonster
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Well, the golf lesson got cancelled by the instructor yesterday because of a storm that blew through here. While at the actual time of the lesson it was nice out, I'm sure it would have been a not great experience with how wet it all was. Another wave blew in after that so it's not a bad thing to be cancelled. In fact, I was quite relieved because then I had the evening free to myself. I picked up my library holds, got some groceries, walked Tug, and had Zataran Jambalaya rice with cheese for dinner. Num! And read. Steve's brother called to start checking dates for when we can come down to Denver again for Lauren's baptism. I don't think I'll have trouble getting time off for it but one of the dates he suggested was during the bike ride so I had to tell him we had other plans for those dates, darnit. I would think it would be better to have it over Labor Day weekend which was the end of August and one of the dates he mentioned.
Reading: For the next two weeks, I need to completely turn myself over to making time to read. I have simply too much to get through. Made some good headway last night with THE KING'S FAVORITE by Susan Holloway Scott though I'm not done yet. I got three holds last night and have another to pick up this morning. I also got one of my TBRs on audio last night so I am listening to THE MESSENGER by Daniel Silva whenever I drive. The trick is in the multitasking. The first line from THE MESSENGER is: "It was Ali Massoudi who unwittingly roused Gabriel Allon from his brief and restless retirement: Massoudi, the great Europhile intellectual and freethinker, who, in a moment of blind panic, forgot that the English drive on the left side of the road."
I've GOT to get on my bike if I'm going to do this MS150 ride in six weeks. Must.make.time. Must.actually.do.it. Urgh.
TV: The Who VH1 award taped from Saturday is on tonight. My boys.
Work: I unfortunately don't have a lot of ambition today but continuing the grant. Had a good idea for a nonprofit startup that I'll have to pursue in my spare time (ha!).
Not much different this evening, home, walk Tug, deal with dinner (fish), do some reading, bed. Lovely.
I'm getting interested in movies again. Must start paying more attention. Mags, blogs, festivals, etc. More on that later. This idea may work.
Red flag: You MUST watch this before Sunday while it's still free; it's FABULOUS!! http://www.drhorrible.com/
PK the Bookeemonster
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I have a golf lesson after work today. I recognize that to be active in the nonprofit world I may have to do things I haven't really been attracted to before .... golf. I also recognize that money people play golf and maybe I should see if I like so I can do some networking and relationship building. Perhaps I'll like it. Perhaps I won't. But I'm willing to take a lesson to see which way I fall on the matter. Starting at 5:45, the lesson is only 45 minutes long and I'm going with Jody B (which means I can't back out of it because I don't want her to be stuck with the cost of a lesson for one) but I always get that pre-obligation "I don't want to do anything" feeling before I have to do something. But it's not like it will take all evening; I'll be done by 6:30. Walk Tug, deal with dinner.
TV: Looks like nothing on. Yay, I can read. I missed the season premiere of a show last night because it started at 9 instead of earlier in the evening: Say Yes to the Dress about wedding dress searching. It's on the Learning Channel and is quite good actually. Ah well.
Reading: Started THE KING'S FAVORITE by Susan Holloway Scott and it is capturing my attention and I've liked the other two books by her that I've read. I've always liked the Restoration time period. Here's the first line, actually from the Prologue: "I never claimed to be a lady." Here's the back cover description:
It looks like the library is getting ready to release some holds for me (they've gone from capitalized letters to regular which means the books are in the building and being processed). They are: SOUR CHERRY SURPRISE by David Handler (figures doesn't it), SAY ANYTHING by Lisa Gardner, and ROCK & ROLL NEVER FORGETS by Deborah Grabien. Maybe they'll be ready to pick up this afternoon.The acclaimed author of Duchess and Royal Harlot returns to the court of King Charles II, with all its intrigue and passion, to tell the unforgettable story of Nell Gwyn -- the pretty, witty beauty who rose from the poverty of Covent Garden to become the king's last love and London's darling... Nell Gwyn was never a lady, nor did she pretend to be one. The daughter of a Royalist soldier, she is taken to London by her widowed mother to work in a bawdy house. At fourteen, she becomes the mistress of a weathy merchant, who introduces her to the world of the theater. Blessed with impudent wit and saucy good looks, she swiftly rises from an orange seller to a leading lady, and she is still in her teens when she catches the eye of King Charles II. She trades the stage for Whitehall Palace and the glorious role of a royal mistress. Yet even as she delights the king, she must learn to negotiate the cutthroat court, where intrigue and lust for power rule the hearts of all around her. Beneath her charm and lightheartedness, Nell has her own ambition: to come no less than the king's favorite.
Steve has shooting tonight so I can do what I wanna. I always do that anyway but it's just a feeling of freedom on Wednesdays. I do hope we have this weekend free. Two weekends ago was July 4th holidays, last weekend was SummerFair; I don't want to do anything for two days in a row (other than cleaning). We'll probably go see Hellboy 2 with Batman opening and taking all the crowds with it. It's only mid-week, PK, settle down.
Work: finetuning the Cultural Trust grant narrative and pulling together the supplemental materials.
I need to pick up some groceries. I should go to Walmart for prices but after golf Albertsons will be closer. Hmm. And I should pick up some fish from there for tomorrow; it's better. I would really like to get my hair worked on. It just doesn't feel pretty and I don't think I look good with it pulled back in a pony tail every day though I'll still be doing that while it's hot. Maybe I could try Blanco Blanco again on Friday. We'll see.
UPDATE: Oy, when it rains it pours. I have four books to pick up after work from the library. Why can't they time these things better for me? Eh? Eh? BTW, my brain doesn't want to work anymore today so now I'm just killing time until the clock says go. Ugh, I hate it when that happens. Just useless.
PK the Bookeemonster
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Kinda not feeling well. Started last night coming home from work. Have taken aspirin and herbal immune booster. Just feel yucky and tired. Maybe I'll go to bed early tonight.
Work: meeting with Sandi regarding progress on the Culteral Trust grant went well. She liked most of what I wrote and was helpful in tweaking the verbiage in areas requiring help. I found out about another grant due August 1st to US Bank for a concert sponsorship. They called us asking where it was. Oops. Didn't know about it but will work on it this week as well. I've noticed that Jody B tends to panic and hit the blame button very quickly. The trick with her is to be calm and collected and in control. That's what a leader is and does. Sandi will apparently be out of the office next week on vacation. She gave me a file of previous sponsors so I think maybe she's freeing up on what all I can do here. Yay. She's learning.
Reading: I think I'll read THE KING'S FAVORITE by Susan Holloway Scott. I was wondering if I had read it before but it's a new release this month so it must have been another historical novel about Nell Gwyn and the King. I've read others by this author and I enjoy her writing. I'll have to check my reading journal. Oh, wait I think it was THE PERFECT ROYAL MISTRESS by Diane Haeger of which I was remembering. Oy, you read too many of a certain subject and they all jumble together. I've gotten that way with Anne Boleyn. I love that time period but there's only so many times you can read what happened over such a short period of history and only some can do it well. Still waiting on two new releases from the library: SOUR CHERRY SURPRISE by David Handler (out last week) and SAY GOODBYE by Lisa Gardner (out today). I'm also on the list for THE DAWN PATROL by Don Winslow and TRIBUTE by Nora Roberts.
TV: I don't think I'll watch anything tonight. The Who thing tonight is skippable -- the movie Tommy which I've seen a couple times recently and not all that great in the first place. The First 48 is new but I think not feeling well will trump it other than watching it while having dinner.
A nap would be really good right now. Ah well. Walk Tug, deal with dinner. I don't know yet what I'll be doing with leftover chicken. I could stop at Albertsons and get some potato salad for Steve. Rice sounds good for me or buttered noodles. Yeah maybe.
I have to make a note of a book that sounds interesting but the library doesn't have it so I'll have to decide if I want to purchase it in hardcover. THE FILM CLUB by David Gilmour. Short book for the price apparently so may have to wait on it a bit.
PK the Bookeemonster
Monday, July 14, 2008
Work: Oy, my brain is tired. Working on the narrative for the Cultural Trust grant. Most of it is there now, I just have to fine tune it. I'm meeting with Sandi tomorrow on it. The grant is my project this week. But I do have a headache right now.
Reading: Well, to make up for lost time during the past week, I read a book yesterday afternoon, which kind of tells you about the depth of the story. FORTUNE LIKE THE MOON by Alys Clare is the first in the series featuring Abbess Helewise and Sir Josse d’Acquin at the Hawkenly Abbey in England during the 12th century. It wasn't bad, just a quick-ish read; I'll read the second sometime later to see if the series is worth it. It's one I have in my personal TBR so no rush I think. Next, I'll have to look through my TBR again while I wait for SOUR CHERRY SURPRISE. Possibilities include Stephen Booth, Lindsay Davis, or Linda Fairstein. Oh and that darned WSJ every day. I love it but oh how it is always needing to be read.
TV: Tonight is the season premiere of The Closer on TNT. Good series, unfortunately it's on at the same time as Jon & Kate Plus 8 which I'll have to tape. The Who stuff on VH1 tonight is something I already have on DVD of so I won't have that conflict.
It's 90-something degrees out now and I have to walk Tug when I get home. Poor baby is in a fur coat but "later" isn't in his vocabulary. I think I'll make buffalo burgers for dinner with Velveeta shells. Tug, dinner, tv, reading ... the extent of my evening.
I'm going through my old blog entries from October 1999 to October 2000 to find any listings of what I was reading so I can fill in gaps in my reading journal. Amazing stuff in it; I was really searching for meaning back then. I will have to spend more time with it after I get done looking for books.
I had a strange dream this morning. I woke up at 5 to use the bathroom and had another hour to sleep when I had the dream. I was making a movie, maybe with Tom Cruise (yuck). We were filming a stunt: a trailer truck had to turn sharply into a fenced parking lot and go a little ways before hitting something and crashing or exploding. The two actors were on the top of the truck. I was hanging from some belts or something on the side and in the turning into the parking lot I was to be "flung" and land with a rolling motion and wind up on my stomach looking toward the action. The first couple times didn't work because the driver wasn't going fast enough or wouldn't commit to the final crash and it was discovered that he wasn't the real stunt driver -- his name was similar to the real guy and this one somehow got in because he wanted to meet stars or be in a movie or something. The next try of the stunt had to call stop because there was a supply truck in the shot that wasn't supposed to be there. I can't remember what happened after that. Weird.
See ya tomorrow...
PK the Bookeemonster
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I was pretty worn out after yesterday's Summerfair. I wound up pulling garbage duty with Blayde. I've got some aching muscles but overall it wasn't too bad -- we zipped around in a golf cart every few minutes checking out the cans and I didn't have to answer questions for people that I didn't have answers for since I wasn't involved as deeply this year. It went very well -- I believe they are going to break attendance records this year -- the fantastic weather is a huge contributor that. The down side is that from the behind the scenes POV, it felt more chaotic than last year, but not my problem. I bought a pair of simple silver earings and a hanging/twirly thingy that was the hit of the fair. I was tempted by photography by Scott Wheeler, artwork created by pressed flowers that was actually pretty amazing, and some fractal art. http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2008/07/13/news/local/26-summerfair.txt
Today I'm doing the cleaning I usually do on Saturdays: laundry, vacuuming, etc. But I believe there is a nap in my near future since Tug got me up at 6:15 this morning, per usual. I swear, the dog waits as long as he possibly can once the sun starts to come up but then just can't control himself anymore. He must get his drive to get the paper ASAP! He's on a schedule or something.
I had very strange dreams last night. One was about me getting pregnant and very upset about it (naturally!) because Steve and I chose not to do this but it happened anyway. Very disturbing. Shoot, I had another weird one after that but now it's faded.
Reading: I finally finished THE BLACK HAND! That it took a week to read for such a smaller book is ridiculous but there it is. Next up, I'll have to look through the books I've checked out from the library or Mount TBR while I wait for new releases. SOUR CHERRY SURPRISE by David Handler was out last Tuesday but nothing yet from the library. The library is getting rather slow with their new releases it almost makes me want to buy the books myself but there are probably too many overall and I just couldn't afford that. (sigh)
Other things I would like to get to reading are about a week's worth of WSJs, two issues of Mystery Reader's Journal -- both about historical mysteries, my favorite -- and I haven't finished the latest Mystery News. For work, I need to look through the Chronical of Philanthropy, the Western Business News, and the other arts publications I've gotten from work.
Reading projects I'd like to get going on include copying my reading lists to the new blank book I got this week.
TV: Tonight is booked with HGTV's Design Star and The Food Networks Star plus one of the VH1 channels is doing a week of The Who before their honors on Thursday that I would like to catch. The week is loaded with premieres as well but more on that later.
Work note: I am probably going to have to buy a laptop so I can setup my presentation for MNA. Though I prefer Dell computers in general, the cheapest I can find looks like an HP for just under $500 with no bells and whistles.
I'm caught up on 4MA digests. There's no posting from Sarah Weinman to read. The dryer has stopped so I need to go make the bed and switch around my laundry loads. Sounds like Steve is fixing the front water faucet. Later I'll walk Tug and figure out what to make for dinner.
PK the Bookeemonster
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I'm volunteering today for Summerfair from 8:30 until 4. This is an art and craft fair, a two day special event, put on by the Yellowstone Art Museum (my former employer). I offered this volunteering stint when I turned in notice a while back -- I wish I hadn't said I'd do it all day, but there it is.
Sad about Tony Snow dying. He seemed like a good guy.
Reading: I got close to finishing THE BLACK HAND.
TV: Nothing that I can recall is on tonight for me.
Sorry it's so short this morning. Hopefully I'll remember to update later today.
PK the Bookeemonster
Friday, July 11, 2008
I love surfing the net and going to places I've never been. Jumping from link to link and finding new treasures is fantastic. I think I have Internet ADD, and an info junkie, in addition to whatever the term is for being a collectaholic of links. I don't have time to absorb all the info I've saved to favorites but they're there for whenver the mood hits me for that topic. Sometimes I'm in the mood for news, other times for books and writers, other times I'm looking at movies, marketing, economics, politics, gossip, recipes, etc.
This is something I found today: A list of the 50 most influential female bloggers -- according to someone:
While playing with the above list and following the clicker from site to site I discovered this: Media Profs Daily Fix.
The other day I came across this: ProPublica: Journalism in the Public Interest
There is just so much out there and so many have valid things to learn or consider.
Work: Thankfully a short day today (done at 1:00 for the summer on Fridays). My mind is mush for anything of depth. The only thing of worth was that I noted all the requirements for the Cultural Trust grant that I'll work on next week. I would like to do some reading for good POV stuff.
TV: I don't think there is anything on that I'm interested in, thank goodness
Reading: Hey, guess what, still working on THE BLACK HAND. I must finish this book this weekend. I have a bunch of WSJ to catch up on as well. ARGH. And I have SO MUCH to read in TBR. I went to B&N last night to look for a book that I read about yesterday that may turn out to be silly but as a paperback it was not too expensive in order to investigate it: THE EXCALIBER MURDER by JMC Blair. I don't know if Merlin as sleuth will work for me but I'll try it although I probably won't get to it anytime soon with so many others to read. I also wanted to get a new blank book so I can make a backup reading journal in case something happens to my current one. I honestly don't want to lose the record of what I've been reading for the past five years. It's only been five years but it is so neat to look back over the pages to see what I've read. I don't go into detail, just a listing of the title and author and maybe a grade. I don't do reviews or much in snippets. I wound up spending a lot of money on an Italian journal in brown leather with a tab to keep it closed. It is sewn so that it opens flat which is a nice feature. I really wanted a very thick one there but it didn't have lined pages and I need that. My current black book is graph paper which I have always absolutely adored for some strange reason. There was also a nonfiction book -- placed with the fiction mysteries so someone at the store didn't know what they were doing -- but I saw it and it looked interesting. THE MONTEFELTRO CONSPIRACY: A Renaissance Mystery Decoded by Marcello Simonetta. Hmm, the library doesn't have it which doesn't surpise me but now I need to decide if I'm interested enough to buy a hardback.
I wish I didn't have to do SummerFair tomorrow, or rather, I wish I could have an extra day of weekend so I could do SummerFair -- which is fun and I'd like to see everyone and do some looking around -- but I also want to just veg out and do nothing for a couple of days. Yes, I have the half day today but I'm sure I'll waste that time napping because I'm so blessed tired today. I'll get home, have lunch, walk Tug, and then probably lay down.
There is a possibility of seeing Hellboy 2 tonight since it is opening and Steve wants to see it badly. I'm wondering if it would be nicer to wait until next weekend to get past the rush of kids and we hopefully don't have as much to do (Steve I think is not doing Big Sky State Games this year -- yay!).
UPDATE: OMG I'm going to be speaking at the Montana Nonprofit Association conference in September. It will be 90 minutes on ephilanthropy. I'm scared and excited at the same time. I'm shaking with both. I'll base it off of my thesis I did earlier this year. I have to send it to Theresa at MNA this weekend to see if she likes anything in particular that she wants me to talk about. More in another post.
PK the Bookeemonster
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Work: Did more TY letters - 62. It is Sandi's birthday today so we had a fruit torte around midday and went out for lunch at Bin 119 (too expensive for my taste). I had the chicken/artichoke panini which was alright. Back from lunch, most ambition was gone so I organized and looked over reading material. I'm glad tomorrow is just a half day. Glad I'm not at the YAM now because I'm sure they're suffering setting up SummerFair in this heat. We're apparently leaving at 4:30 today to get ready for dinner at Judy's at 5:30 but if I go home, Tug will want to walk so I can't. I don't think that will give me enough time to get groceries and drop them off either. I could go to the library or maybe Borders to look for a new journal for back up book entries.
TV: no tv tonight for me
Reading: I swear, I must make time to read the book. I'm a couple days behind in WSJs now because of the last two nights but I have to read the book. This is getting ridiculous.
Tonight I've got dinner at board member Judy Peterson's house. After that I have to go to Walmart for groceries because we are out or low on everything. Steve is opting out on this which disappointed me initially but I got over it. I am truly resisting getting my hair trimmed; it just feels yucky. Marty wasn't available tomorrow or next Friday so I'm mostly talking myself out of it and just sticking it in a ponytail. Must do this for the next two months.
Last night went well with Erik. He enjoyed the movie and dinner and I liked seeing the movie again, too. I wish I knew how to reach through to him about getting back into the world; get a job, get his own place, etc. It's been too long.
That's it. Don't let me forget to post tomorrow.
PK the Bookeemonster
Tomorrow: work on the Cultural Trust grant.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Work: Oh what a day. I got some thank you letters out but discovered that the database I'm working from may not be as I thought, i.e., mixing in pledges instead of all payments. And because I wasn't the one putting these in (most of these happened before I started working here) I have no idea how accurate this is. Argh. By the time I realized this it was after 4 and my brain just shut down and I'll deal with the messiness in the morning. I attended an audio conference sponsored by the AFP which was a a little helpful, a little useless. Maybe the good thing out of it is that at the end the leader mentioned the MNA is looking for a speaker for their conference on online giving. I put my name out there as someone interested. Wouldn't that be a swift kick?
TV: Erik is coming over for dinner and Casino Royale. I tested if I could make the DVD player work this morning and looks like all systems go. I'm getting food from Mustard Seed. I think it will be a good evening.
Reading: Last night, again, I spent most of my reading time reading the WSJ instead of my book. And by the time I got to the book I wasn't awake enough to make much progress. I must not waste anymore time. I don't know how much I'll get read tonight with Erik over and then Steve telling me everything that happened with his evening when he gets home.
Steve goes shooting tonight. I'll have to race home to take Tug for a short walk and then bring him along to pick up the food. Hopefully that will appease the beast because it is HOT out and I need to make the most of the hour I'll have before E shows up.
That's it for now.
PK the Bookeemonster
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Work: Was going to work on more thank you letters but the Foundation Center online database was available for free today for 24-hours so I had to take advantage of that to research some grant possibilities. Just doing a lot of printing and saving. Alsoa lot of checks to be processed that were discovered in the safe from Symphony in the Park. Oy. Letters will have to be a project for tomorrow. I am feeling very useful and purposeful and happy with the job so far. Glad I'm here.
Reading: Still reading THE BLACK HAND by Will Thomas. This is taking me a lot longer than I anticipated simply because of lack of reading time. I did read most of my WSJ last night and will have another tonight but less tv time. David Handler's new book comes out today; I wonder how long it will take the library to get it and release it to me.
TV: The only really thing is The First 48 on A&E and I could walk away from it.
Steve has a YRC meeting tonight so dinner will have to be quick. I should go to the grocery store but maybe I can put it off a day.
I need to call cell phone people. I need to call in my prescription.
PK the Bookeemonster