Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Work: Busy all day with the invitations mailing - the master mailing list, the envelopes, the insert regarding the food sponsorship. Sandi has been very pleasant the past couple days. I wonder if it has anything to do with JodyB out of the office. I can't last. For some reason I was just brain dead by the end of the day

TV: I have to remember to watch Fringe tonight. Last night I hadn't realized the season premiere of Chuck was starting. What a great, hip show. I love the in jokes that aren't explained; either you know the reference to Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome or you just don't. Love it. The Steelers squeaked a win so their was peace in the house for the most part last night.

Reading: Well now I'm in a dilemna of sorts: I've started a couple books -- I'm not counting the audio I'm listening to -- but I had to pick up a couple holds from the library. These are of course 14-day books therefore have to become the priority. Good thing, yes, but also a not so good thing. The library books are THE WHISKEY REBELS by David Liss who is always good for deep historical crime fiction and COMPANY OF LIARS by Karen Maitland about the plague years. I'll do the blurbs on them tomorrow. I also have the audio newly acquired from the library of THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi, nonfiction and very popular. So much that has to jump forward in the queu. And watch, everything will actually be good so that I can't just move on. Grrr.

The little dilemna I have is that I received an email from the ED of one of the jobs I sent in a resume for. She said they'll be doing interviews next week and btw did I realize the job was only 3/4 time and not full? I replied I didn't but I said that I would be brazen and ask how much the salary was. She replied that it was only $2000 less than what I'm making now and could be negotiable with the right person. So my dilemna is should I try for this job and maybe get it to be the equal of what I'm making now and only work, say, Monday through Thursday and make use of the extra day to work on home projects like the workbook which would be handy for the class in July or just to be published and the website? But can I leave the Symphony like this? What if everything aligned with the planets and I could convince both places that I could do both jobs part time and be a bit ahead in the salary department with tough economic times a-comin' but not have that extra day and just do that stuff in the evenings and weekends? I'm not opposed to doing the Symphony part time and I wonder if Sandi would be open -- my predecessor was only part time and did Development and Marketing in that time. I don't think Sandi knows exactly what to do with a fulltime Development Director so maybe this would relieve some pressure on her for that as well as me. I wish I had a crystal ball for not only the future but to be able to play out the possible alternative scenarios to see which is the best one. Some heavy duty thinking.

Steve is out at the range tonight helping them clean up the clubhouse for some kind of major work being done on it this weekend. Tomorrow night and possible the next he will be helping coach the shooting class and he will be helping again on Saturday.

Tug is at my feet breathing on my toes. We had a good walk until our driveway when he saw a rabbit and took off. I had to let go the leash or suffer the consequences. Steve got him back from across the street a ways. Silly dog. I'm sure right now he's thinking to himself: Damn, I thought I got her away from staring at a stupid screen but here she is doing it upstairs too.

So for the rest of the evening, I've got tv and book auditions to hold. Glad I was able to get this entry in before the day was done. End of September. On to October -- isn't that just weird how fast the year is going? It's going to Thanksgiving and Christmas before we know it. Dang.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, September 29, 2008


Work: working on master mailing list spreadsheet.

Reading: Ellen Crosby's THE CHARDONNAY CHARADE.

TV: the Steelers play tonight.

Listening to the radio about the bailout not passing and the Dow falling. Wouldn't it be great if our government could work together and not get into parties and politics? I don't think I support the bailout. Why should they get rescued when they had bad business practices and then wouldn't learn anything by a bailout. As much as it will hurt -- it's going to hurt anyway and soon -- the market needs to balance itself out. Isn't it amazing in an awful way that the acts of a few will affect so many.

I've been in contact with Gary, the head of the MNM department at Regis University. Long story short, they're going to do my class as a Summer Intensive next summer. A week in July. I'll be teaching it though I don't have details and it won't be online but in person. I had to get them a course description faster than ASAP and STAT today in education speak but under 30 words. I don't know anything about pay or anything and he wants me to come down to Denver sometime in October I guess to go over some things. Lots of work ahead.

Walk Tug, fix dinner, etc., etc.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Doing a lot of web surfing this morning. It's always fun to see where clicks will take you. Sarah Weinman hasn't put up her Sunday roundup yet so I'm exploring.

TV: Cowboys play this afternoon. I don't think there is anything too pressing this evening.

Reading: Finished the Susanna Gregory. I've started two right now: ROMAN BLOOD by Steven Saylor and THE CHARDONNEY CHARADE by Ellen Crosby. Here's the blurb for the Crosby:

A bizarre May frost threatens Lucie Montgomery's Virginia winery operation in this highly enjoyable sequel. After spending the night keeping her vines from freezing, the easily peeved Lucie is less than thrilled to find the pesticide-contaminated body of Georgia Greenwood, a local politician, at the edge of her fields. Lucie leaves the investigating to the police, but is dismayed when her close friend Ross, Georgia's husband, becomes a suspect. What's more, the EPA disapproves of her cavalier handling of pesticides, and her younger sister is on the brink of alcoholism. Crosby illustrates the tension between Virginia old money tradition and the less prosperous newcomers to one of the nation's fastest growing areas.

This is the second of three in series. And here is the first paragraph:
Some days I wish my life ran backward, because then I'd be ready for the catastrophes. Or at least I'd know whether there was a happy ending. I own a small vineyard at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Atoka, Virginia, where our winters are cold, our summers hot, and spring is the blissful season of growth and renewal. But not this year.

It was published in 2007 and has 256 pages.

The Saylor is a histmyst series set in ancient Rome featuring Gordianus the Finder. Here's the blurb:
From the arrival of an articulate slave on the doorstep of sleuth Gordianus to the riveting re-creation of an actual oration by Cicero, Saylor's remarkable first novel takes the reader deep into the political, legal and family arenas of ancient Rome, providing a stirring blend of history and mystery, well seasoned with conspiracy, passion and intrigue. In the steamy spring of 80 B.C. fledgling orator Cicero is preparing the legal defense of Sextus Roscius, a wealthy farmer accused of the murder of his father. Things look grim for Sextus; it is well-known that his father had threatened to disinherit him in favor of his younger half-brother. Cicero engages Gordianus to get at the truth of the matter, and while the orator practices powerful speech-making the investigator proves the aptness of his sobriquet, "the finder." Gordianus soon discovers that truth and mortal danger walk hand-in-hand through the twisting streets and the great forum of Rome. But he is unflinching in his quest for veritas in a story greatly enhanced by its vivid characters, including Cicero's clever slave Tiro; a mute street urchin and his widowed mother; a beautiful, enigmatic whore; Gordianus's spirited slave and lover, Bethesda; the aging dictator Sulla; and a dyspeptic but brilliant Cicero.
It is the first in a series of 12. The first paragraph reads:
The slave who came to fetch me on that unseasonably warm spring morning was a young man, hardly more than twenty.
It was published in 1991 and has 401 pages.

Last night we wound up eating at Cactus Creek because the Chop House was too busy. Then we got some ice cream at Cold Stone. Let me just mention that for some reason Steve always seems to get angry on events like this, I don't know why. And I gave him a card and The Wire DVD and I haven't even received a card. Why do I even bother. I've got to finish laundry and vacuum downstairs today. I need a nap very soon.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, September 27, 2008


It's Saturday!!

So I took Tug for his morning inspection of the neighborhood and then I jumped on the downstairs computer. I was expecting it sometime, but Paul Newman has died. What a great. I've been reading some emails, surfing around the Net.

I think today I may go to the library. The SQL programming book I was going to buy is actually there so I don't have to spend the money. I know I know, fun reading, yeah? There's method to my madness -- I would like to be a little more prepared if a job I'm going after calls me (fingers crossed because it would pay well and be very stable). It would be nice to stop by the used book store but I'll have to play that one by ear. I know there's a nap in my future because I don't think I slept very well; it felt like I was waking up frequently.

TV: The debate went well last night. On to the VPs on Thursday. Tonight, I don't think anything is pressing; Steve will want to watch the new Cops episode. I have some online tv watching to do. I completely spaced but couldn't have watched it anyway on Tuesday night the show Fringe. But the Fox website has full episodes posted so I can catch up on that episode as well as the pilot that I missed. There are other shows I'd like to catch up on through the Internet that are available for free on www.fancast.com. But maybe I should just limit myself to trying to complete the Fringe shows.

Reading: Oh so close to finishing the Susanna Gregory. It will be today for sure. By the way, I haven't posted yet the first paragraph:
Cambridge, Pentecost 1355
Dawn was not far off. The half-dark of an early-June night was already fading to the silver greys of morning, and the Fen-edge town was beginning to wake. Low voices could be heard along some of the streets as scholars and friars left their hostels to attend prime, and an eager cockerel crowed its warning of impending day. Matthew Bartholomew, Master of Medicine and Fellow of Michaelhouse, knew he had lingered too long in Matilde's house and that he needed to be careful if he did not want to be seen. He opened her door and looked cautiously in both directions, before slipping out and closing it softly behind him. Then he stroke briskly, aiming to put as much distance between him and his friend as possible. He knew exactly what people would say if they saw him leaving the home of an unmarried woman -- some would say a courtesan -- at such an unseemly time.
This histmyst has 464 pages. Next up is THE CHARDONNEY CHARADE by Ellen Crosby. Oh and the Learn SQL in 10 Minutes book.

I came across the job description of one of the jobs I'm trying for quite by accident on Thursday. I went to the RMC website to look up who to contact about potential interns for the Symphony. The description was there and involves grants so I though, what the heck, couldn't hurt. But it is a plus if one can offer SQL programming so I can at least get familiar with the basics to be a better candidate. I'm trying to send positive messages to the universe about this one. The job would be a closer commute, a place that I love and graduated from, very stable in environment and probably much better pay in these tough economic times no matter gets into office in November. The biggest mark against me though is my short employment in recent years with places. But no one as asked me yet what would make me stay and I would gladly and honestly answer: no one has offered me enough of a salary that would make it impossible for me to leave and I'm not asking for the moon. So anyway, we'll see about this one.

I should get some laundry going. On with the day.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, September 26, 2008


Work: Drafted annual fund letter. I think it turned out very well. We'll see if it survives. Spent several hours with Sandi going over the contribution lists for last season and this one so far to put together a master mailing list.

TV: Last night I hadn't realized that Survivor was starting again so I was stuck watching the two hour premiere. Tonight I'm watching the Presidential debate. I can't be political here.

Reading: Hopefully I can make big progress in the Gregory. Unfortunately, as much as I love her books, she does tend to go around and around the conflict so much that it is rather redundant. 100 pages could be cut and still have a great book.

I found out when the Library sale is: October 16, 17, and 18. YAYYYY!! Even though the books are recycled from the previous year after year, I still look forward to it.

Tomorrow, I hope to get to B&N for the SQL book. It would be nice to drop off a couple things at the library or maybe stop by the used bookstore. Cleaning, yes. We haven't decided yet what to do for the anniversary thing.

I found out the college class didn't pick my nonprofit idea to do a business plan. The instructor said maybe next semester. I don't think I'm in any rush. I have also put in resumes to two places so we'll see if anything happens there.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, September 25, 2008



Work: Well isn't it nice to start the day off with a three hour meeting with the boss who I just found out this morning cut the annual fund mailing I was going to do and had Jody working on in order to do what they've always done, letters. WAIDH?

Reading: Still reading the Susanna Gregory; haven't really been able to make much progress the last two or three days. Maybe tonight. I did finish one of the audiobooks I took with on the trip, NIGHTS IN RODANTHE by Nicholas Sparks read by JoBeth Williams. Mushy, fluffy, sad and okay to listen to on the drive. Now I'm listening to a Ruth Rendell.

TV: I don't think there is anything on for me.

This Saturday is our anniversary. I don't know yet if we'll be going out for dinner or bringing something in. Nothing fancy, of course, because of expense and not a landmark year (our 11th) or anything. I think we both just want a quiet weekend all together. I did get him the 5th season of The Wire which he will really like.

Tonight, I'll get home, walk Tug, cook dinner (chicken something) and then maybe settle down with my book. Sounds lovely.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It's over it's over it's over!! More people showed up for my seminar than I though -- about 30 or so. I used the whole 90 minutes which I didn't think I would. The topic is just too big. I wished I could have done better but I did have people come up to say they liked it and if I did consulting. And a gentleman I had met yesterday and talked a little and then sat next to at lunch today ... long story short he asked if I would be interested in teaching online. I said YES!! That would be sweet! We'll see what this convention has wrought for me. Cool.

Got home at 7, Tug was so-so happy. Going to go to bed early.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, September 23, 2008



The seminars today were okay. The first was on planned giving ... the second half on bequests was better than the first half. The second one was on governance that I thought would be a little different. One of the interesting plenary sessions was they're having a thing called Spotlight on the Candidates. This afternoon they had the candidates for Attorney General come talk ... specifically to answer two questions: what nonprofit experience have they had in their professional or personal life and what three things as attorney general would you do to help the Montana nonprofit sector. One candidate came prepared and gave a good speech (they had 15 minutes to talk and then 15 minutes of Q&A) the other was pretty obviously winging it. That pretty much decided who I was going to vote for as I took that as an indication of how they were approaching the job. Tomorrow morning we have the governor candidates; I don't really want to miss that. I'll do the breakfast tomorrow and the candidates but after that I have to skip the morning session to work on my presentation because I didn't get much chance tonight. I debated about whether to attend the reception at 6 to 7:30 tonight -- saying I should read my stuff so I can have it fresh in my mind but then the reception would give an opportunity to do some networking and I could turn the appetizers into a meal and save a little cash. Well, I went because I could get a right with someone; I didn't want to drive because I don't know Helena's streets and it would be dark. Well, then of course I was stuck until the driver was ready to come back ... so I didn't get back until 9:00. Made some good contacts I think but the evening was shot for doing much preparing. (sigh). So tomorrow morning I'll have two hours to focus on the presentation. I ran into Cindy again today who had given me advice on how to deal with the work situation. She is being really concerned and supportive it's pretty amazing.

Got back to the hotel room, called Steve, took a hot hot shower to relax, checked email and now it's almost 10:00 and tomorrow's breakfast begins at 7. I'm a little bit nervous now about how tomorrow will go but life will continue afterward no matter how it will turn out.

So tonight, no fun reading, I'm going to go over my ephil paper until I can't read anymore. I'll have to check out in the morning and put my stuff in the car. It will be good to get home.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, September 22, 2008


Monday -- Have to tell myself the days as, like traveling, seminars can turn into non-days, time passes differently.

The seminar I attended today was all right, not earth shattering. It was about new and emerging leaders so it was a lot of goal setting, communication, etc. Stuff that wasn't new. The positives from this will be the seminar leader was a consultant from Billings who will be a good resource and the conversation I had with to EDs from Helena and Big Sandy who gave me advice about my situation at work: 1) Cover my butt on the things I've accomplished so I can't be let go for negligence, 2) know my job description intimately, and 3) it wouldn't hurt to apply for Habitat for Humanity job. There was a very good video in the seminar that was touching.

I had breakfast this morning in the hotel restaurant and I had the cheapest thing I could find on the menu pretty much and it was a lot a food but I don't think I can afford to do that two more
times. For dinner I went again to Wendy's, actually I walked over so that was good exercise after being cooped up all day, and didn't grab utinsils for my chili -- I'm used to having it all put in the bag via the drive through, so stupid me. But will do this or the MacDonalds across the street from there to keep saving on costs. Lunch was good today, a taco salad thing, way better than the lunch at last year's conference -- I believe it was really uninspiring chicken. I should go to the lounge area this evening but don't really know other people yet so I would feel awkward and much prefer to read my email and relax in the room.

I ran into Kim Albright this afternoon. I shouldn't be surprised and she and Mary whatshername are always at these things like I am. Why do I not like that girl? It's like the dislike toward cheerleaders in high school or something. I think she's a fake and has things handed to her. Ugh. But, I wouldn't be above asking for a ride from them to get to the reception thing tomorrow. Ha.

I'm sitting in the hotel room this evening and once again I'm sucked into a stupid movie on HBO while I'm on the Internet. Last night was actually a guilty pleasure: The Devil Wears Prada. Tonight it's just stupid: Words and Lyrics or whatever the title is with Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant. Why is it that the older actors get the younger the female love interest gets?

Reading: Not much today but I'll try to get a little in before turning out the lights.

I spoke to Steve this morning, after work (his) and just before bed now. I miss my boys. I haven't decided yet whether on Wednesday to stick through the whole conference which will end around 3-ish which will then get me home around 7 or if I should leave after my presentation which would then get me home around 4. I still need to get together with someone in charge to go over what technically I need to do for my presentation. I shouldn't be afraid to jump into those conversations.

I didn't sleep well last night. Maybe the unfamiliar bed/room. Hopefully tonight I'll make up for it. Tomorrow morning's sessions starts about an hour earlier.

I LOVE those eTrade commercials featuring that talking baby. Brilliant, well dubbed, genius and funny.

All right, San Diego is beating the Jets, it's after 9:00 so I'm going to shut things down and read for a little bit.

See y'all tomorrow...
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I'm writing from my hotel room in Helena, MT. Helena is west and north of Billings about 260 miles, and is the capital. Lots of jobs up here in the upper range because of the government. My sister went to college here. I was last here a little under 20 years ago for a funeral for the father of a fellow player while I was a Virginia City Player. Here endeth the trivia of Helena. I kinda had a headache when I got to my room but aspirin took care of that. The only thing that I've noticed that I've forgotten is a mouse for my laptop. Not completely necessary but would make the presentation go a little easier. I wonder if I could borrow one from someone. I don't really want to venture into town and have a hard time finding my way just to purchase that. I've got three days.

The drive up was okay. It rained a bit and the highway was under construction a couple times in places but no problems. Used less gas that I thought which is a good thing. I'm staying at the Red Lion Colonial hotel. The room is pretty nice. Single double bed and all the usuals of a hotel but no minifridge. A nice desk area which will come in handy the next couple days. I'm here, as I've mentioned previously, for a Montana Nonprofit Association convention. Last year the convention was in Billings which was very convenient. I had never been before and don't want to miss anymore. I think next year it will be in Missoula. Tomorrow is the pre-convention seminars so not everyone will be here until tomorrow for the next day's events. I'm here on Sunday because it will start in the morning tomorrow and I have bad night vision so I wanted to be sure to get here before dark. I'm speaking on Wednesday so my fees were comped so might as well attend all three days but the cost of the hotel, meals, and gas to get here are on me. Actually, to save money I'm going to do as many meals as they are providing as I can.

So, I'm here in the hotel room with the Steelers game about to end -- badly for the Steelers unfortunately. No defense whatsoever. Poor Steve. Tonight the Cowboys will play so I'll have to find what channel they're on. Otherwise I brought my books, I have my laptop. I miss being home but I need to relax and enjoy private time this is bringing me tonight. Then I need to take advantage of the networking and connection I could make here.

Reading: Brought the Susanna Gregory with me and the Ellen Crosby. Did I do the blurb on this? Susanna Gregory, THE MARK OF THE MURDERER, 480 pages, copyrighted 2006, 11th in series :
It is February 1355, and Oxford has exploded in one of the most serious riots of its turbulent history. Fearing for their lives, the scholars flee the city, and some choose the University at Cambridge as their refuge. They don’t remain safe for long, however—within hours of their arrival, two people have died. When Bartholomew and Brother Michael investigate the deaths, they uncover evidence that the Oxford riot was part of a carefully orchestrated plot. With the Archbishop of Canterbury about to honor Cambridge with a visitation, and a close colleague accused of a series of murders that Bartholomew is certain he didn’t commit, the race is on to bring a ruthless killer to justice.

Author's website can be found at http://www.matthewbartholomew.co.uk/. I also brought a handful of magazines. Listened to a fluffy audio on the drive up but it helped to have something soft and easy: NIGHTS IN RODANTHE by Nicholas Sparks. The movie looks good only because of Gere and Diane Lane so I was intrigued. Didn't finish it this trip but will on the way home Wednesday and I have the Ruth Rendell as backup then.

So the restaurant in the hotel is closed tonight and the one across the street looks expensive-ish so I found a Wendy's. Good ol' Wendy's. Then hustled back to the hotel room.

Wow, Miami won a game. Holy schmoley over the Patriots even. Dang, Denver won. Indianapolis lost, whoo hoo! Man, just let the Cowboys win tonight. 3 and 0, baby.

Okay, I guess that's it for now. Talk to ya later...
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, September 20, 2008



Movie: We watched No Country For Old Men. Good, of course. Unnerving in that there was no soundtrack at all. Interesting to see the actress playing Carla Jean with her Southern accent when the actress herself is very Scottish. Didn't like the ending but I understand it mirrors the book quite closely on that. The Coens are good, very good.

TV: watched taped episodes of Say Yes to the Dress last night. Tonight, nothing really but there are a couple movies on, American Gangster and Across the Universe. May or may not, I don't know.

Reading: Didn't get any done last night, nor did I audition so I'll do that now and ya'll can be in on it as I go.

First up in evaluation, Philip Kerr's MARCH VIOLETS. I actually did read the first chapter last night in an attempt to make a choice but then got too tired to continue. I liked the first chapter though WWII isn't my favorite-est time period but is intriguing in it's newness to me. Lots of raves. First person narrative which I like. It's not a thick book so it will go quickly. This one has strong possibilities as a book to take along on the trip.

Next is ... SHADOWS IN BRONZE by Lindsey Davis. The second in the series of Roman histmyst that has been going for quite a long time but I only started last month. There are tons of histmyst set in Roman times and I actually own a few but not really settled into them until the Davis in August. The HBO series Rome was fabulous and helps to picture some things. This series is a little lighter in tone that I don't think I'm in the mood for right now so I don't think I'll choose this one yet.

Another option ... is Ian Rankin's STRIP JACK. 4th of 19 in series according to stopyourekilling.com. I'm trying to read this series in order. I've always known this was around and actually own a few of the books but I just didn't put it on my radar much over the years very similarly to the Reginald Hill, Archer Mayer, Jane Haddam, Colin Dexter, Ed McBain, Lawrence Block, Ruth Rendall, PD James, etc, etc., and now have very many to read -- not necessarily a bad thing. First published in 1992, the first page reads well; the reviews both professional and amateur on Amazon are saying it's not one of his best but it was early on in his career so that's to be expected. This one is a definite maybe. Gotta plug along on that series a little more seriously. Putting it on the possibles pile.

Next is ... Susanna Gregory's THE MARK OF A MURDERER. 11th of 13 in series featuring Matthew Bartholomew, physician, and his colleague Brother Michael, in 1355 Cambridge, England. I'm smiling as I pick up this book because I love this world and these characters so much. That should tell me something right there. Plus I haven't read one in a few months so I'm due. Looking inside. After reading a few pages, this one is the strongest possibility to take care of my histmyst mood. On the possibles pile on the top.

The other I brought with me is another Roman histmyst, Steven Saylor's ROMAN BLOOD. 1st of 12 in his series. I like the more serious tone and I like that there are a lot to read in this series. I like Roman, good time period, but I'm not going to look at it this time though.

Yesterday I brought along one of Michael Jeck's histmyst series as I got my car lubed. I have the first in the series and I've tried to read it many times; its a little dry so I've struggled a little. I love the time period and there are many many to read. I thought I might start later in the series to see if it catches with me. It's 22nd of 26 in series, titled THE MALICE OF UNNATURAL DEATH. It seemed to feature more real history court intrigue than the previous ones which I thought would grab me more. It's a really long book though so just by that I may not go with it right now.

So now I'm down to three in this audition: the Susanna Gregory, Ian Rankin, and Phillip Kerr. I want to read them all of course. But there can be only one -- I do read more than one book at a time but not, of course, simultaneously, hence my problem.

While I'm thinking, I hear Steve is moving around upstairs. I like my Saturday and Sunday mornings because I have them to myself pretty much as Steve likes to sleep in. His alarm will start to go off at 8 am but he hits the snooze button for another two or three hours after that. Why would anyone torture themselves that way? Ah well. On Saturday mornings he typically goes into to work to do some scrapping but I don't believe he is today. He DOES have to mow the lawn. Anyway, on Saturday mornings he likes to listen to NPR -- specifically Click and Clack and the game show thing afterward. It amazes me in a way that he liked NPR; he's not the type. I like NPR for the news -- All things Considered and others. Anyway, I hear him up there listening. We expect his cousin to stop by today to pick up his car trailer that we've got stored on our basketball court that we don't use. I hope his visit is short and I'm gone while he's here.

Today I have to get all laundry done, vacuum, etc. and maybe run to Borders. The coupon is for two days only, yesterday and today, and the DVD would be a good present for Steve. I don't want to use much gas though because I want it as full as possible for the trip tomorrow. I have limited funds to work with for meals and gas. I am still pleased with my clothing purchases yesterday; no buyer's remorse, so that's a good thing. I have to figure out what to wear on what days for this thing. Hmmmm.

I don't know yet what to have for dinner tonight. Steve will be on his own for the next four nights so this may be the last solid meal for him in that time. He'll live on fried bologna and cheese sandwiches which he loves and maybe brats. Or take out.

Back to Reading: This is a tough decision actually. I'll take all three with me of course; one must always have back ups even for a three day tour.
The decision: I think I'll go with the Gregory first. The others will follow hopefully after that.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, September 19, 2008


Had a pretty good and productive (and expensive) day today.
I had today off from work because of last Saturday's 14-hour day for the concert but I had a lot of errands to run.

First, I slept a little bit after Steve went to work which was very nice. Ahhhhh. Then I went to Don's Car Wash/Lube to get the car in shape for the drive to Helena. I and the dude at the lube place were surprised that the car didn't need as much done to it since it had been a long time since it had last been in.

Then I went to the library to drop off some books and pick up a couple others more on that later. Then, deep sigh, I went clothes shopping because I'm in desparate need of pants for work and yes, the MNA presentation. I don't go often so when I do go shopping for clothes I wind up spending much more than I want or intend but it is usually necessary shopping done every couple years so I suppose if one averaged the amount I spent over the two or so years it comes out to be an okay spending spree I just happen to do in one shot. I usually have good fitting choices at CJ Banks which was the only place I went. After trying on pants in the size I thought I was, it turns out I needed one size down which is not bad news at all -- I haven't gained back ALL the weight I took off since spring. The colors apparently for this fall are brown, black and orange/yellow/burgandy. Once I got the right size, I wound up getting five pairs of pants and I would have gotten one more if I'd found a decent fitting khaki. A beautiful black shirt/jacket that felt almost suedy but not. And a reddish button shirt and three shells (one white with a collar, one white without a collar, and a pattern black/white) that I need now that I don't have anymore white ones. Yeah, pretty much kinda a wardrobe but not really because I probably could have gotten more. After spending a mumble amount of money, I still had to get groceries and damn how expensive that is now! I'm going to have to be very careful until the next paycheck is all I'm going to say.

So I got home, had some lunch because it was almost 2:00 by then. Walked Tug, found out we didn't have Doritos for taco salad tonight so took him to get those and top off the gas in the car for the trip. As I say, a productive day. Good thing I had it off today because this stuff had to be done before going and I don't think it would have gone as well on a Saturday.

Reading: Jesse Kellerman's THE GENIUS turned out to be a DNF for me. I was a little bit into the second cd of the audio and realized I just didn't care about the story or the characters. The reader was very good with voices and all the accents but I just didn't want to spend more time on something I wasn't interested in. I read his first novel and liked it somewhat until the end which didn't come off as well and I didn't read his second and now his third I'm DNFing. Guess I'm done with this author. Finished the Gerritsen last night. Pretty good, pretty good. Not a priority series for me but I liked it. Now I'm kinda auditioning what's next. I picked up the second in the Virginia wine country amateur sleuth series by Ellen Crosby, THE CHARDONNAY CHARADE. I'm in the mood for that but I also want to get a histmyst going because I miss me some histmyst. I don't know if I'll go with the Jecks, Davis, Gregory, or something else. Tonight may decide it. I picked up, also, some audiobooks for the drive to Helena and back. The cd's were picked over at the library but I found Ellroy's THE BLACK DAHLIA which I haven't read yet and in cassette a Nora Roberts which is always fun and a Ruth Rendall A SLEEPING LIFE for something classic. Don't know which of those will be the winner either.

TV: I want to remember to watch Say Yes to the Dress on TLC. For some reason, Fridays are difficult to remember. Ooooh, and No Country for Old Men is on Encore, and in HD. Hmmmm...

Tomorrow, I have to get laundry going and cleaning for the weekend done. I could go to Borders and get Steve an anniversary present as that is coming up next week and I have a coupon for 40% off boxed DVD sets. I don't think he has the last season of The Wire yet -- have to check that -- but maybe he'd like an oldie but a goodie like Magnum PI. Hmmmm, think think think. I would like to pick up The Tudors second season for me. But I don't have the money to spend right now.

So that's about it. I like days away from the office and weekends in general. Ahhhhh.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Work: Sandi is out of the office so we're able to play some music and get stuff done.

Reading: Getting close to finishing THE KEEPSAKE. Have I liked it? Yes, because I do like the archeology angle of this one. Seems to be less happening though in solving a crime. Next up could be the other 14-day book from the library, the legal debut, but I don't know if I'm in the mood. I haven't read a histmyst in such a long time and I need to get back to my regular series. And I have to consider to what to take along for the trip to Helena. Paperbacks would be easier.

TV: I don't think I have anything.

So not much going on. M&D are off to North Dakota today; Erik will be home with Emmitt. I have tomorrow off because of the long day last Saturday for the concert. I have to get groceries, change the oil on the car, get some cash for the trip, could look for some clothes, figure out what I'm taking... Okay, and I've now printed out directions how to get to the hotel and I have my itinerary for the conference.

This evening, perhaps I'll sit down and finish the Gerritsen. Last night I did a little web surfing on the laptop for a bit. Just not enough time to get stuff done.

Later: Had a good evening. Read a quickie chick lit called LIKE A CHARM by Candace Havens. I think I was in the mood for fluffy and this was definitely that. Steve has been downstairs playing computer games and Tug is now sleeping outside the bedroom door. We both walked Tug after work (Steve actually beat me home so I know he made an effort), didn't have too fancy of a dinner and then I read this book in the next 2 1/2 hours. It was warm today (in the 80s) and the evening was just about perfect. Since I don't have to work tomorrow I don't have to race the clock but I'll keep my usual morning schedule because 1) Steve will up getting ready and making all kinds of noise and 2) Tug needs to have the same schedule as I will be leaving to run errands. Uups, now Tug is on the bed with me. He'll have to vacate the space when Steve comes to bed. Next up to read I'd say has to be a histmyst. I'm having withdrawals. :)

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Work: I don't really want to talk about it. I'm feeling, I don't know, I'm in the wrong place. That I am here to be Sandi's drone and not Director of Development. I don't even have the want to put effort into the rest of the day; I'm just drained of all trying. How many times can you run into the wall before you learn? Do you keep running into the wall or give in? I love being a development director and I need the experience but when one is not allowed to do the jobs of a development director within the organization how useful is it? It's not really experience. I see there's an opening for a development director elsewhere but it isn't a cultural nonprofit which I like the most. I supposed I could find out how much it pays just to see if it would be more.

Reading: Still working on Tess Gerritsen's THE KEEPSAKE

TV: Have to watch America's Next Top Model because... oh you know why. Beautiful skinny girls being criticised. Watched Fringe last night and really really like it. Very X-Files. That's a regular now.

Steve is shooting tonight. I'll walk Tug and deal with the rest of the evening.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Work: Timeline for Annual Fund plans for the rest of the year, spreadsheet on invites listing season ticket holders, legislators, board members, people who've given under $300 and people who've given over $300. Worked on invitiation to the after-concert reception in October. Must go to the Museum to pick up wine.

Reading: Finished SECRET SERVANT by Daniel Silva. This was an audiobook. Well done though Gabriel was being the Energizer Bunny at the climax of the story. Good series though. I think I only have the newest to read 'til I'm caught up. Still reading THE KEEPSAKE by Tess Gerritsen.

TV: there's probably shows I could watch but I don't know if I will. Might just read. It would be nice to have something to drink by my side, classical music on low, Tug lying at my feet either sleeping or chewing on a bone keeping himself occupied, and a good mystery in hand. Ahhhh.

Seems like my eyes are pretty much okay today. The eye doctor said this current affliction was an infection and gave me some drops. Said to do regular warm compresses and if it occurs again to come see him directly, do not pass go, etc., as things may be going chronic in that event. He said that the past few weeks have put my eyes out of balance health-wise and vulnerable to this kind of thing until they get back in balance. I'm not currently on Zyrtec.

Work is rough right now; I can't go into detail but I'll say that sometimes I don't know how I'm going to last the season with such a boss. I'm already invalidated at home, I don't need it at work. It was good to talk to JodyO this afternoon though.

On that happy note....

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, September 15, 2008


Work: Supposed to go to a board development committee meeting at lunch. Conducting after-concert shakedown.

I have an eye doctor appointment this afternoon. Hopefully, this will be on the road to getting whatever problem I have over with.

Reading: THE KEEPSAKE by Tess Gerritsen. Glad to say it's going quickly. The story thus far: Maura was on hand at the CT of a mummy found in the storage of the Crispin Museum. Though the mummy wrapping carbon dated to 2000 years ago, the woman inside is clearly from modern times. This is now a homicide, cue Jane Rizzoli. Not really spoilers but if you don't want to know beyond the basic premise from the book description, stop here and jump to the next orange text. The curator's assistant is acting suspiciously, obviously hiding a deep dark secret, and is being stalked. A second modern victim disquised as an ancient object is discovered at the museum. Suspicion is falling toward the now deceased past curator who had Alzheimers probably for many years and pretty much had the run of the place as the owner and fifth generation Crispin collector was off collecting. Another discovery linked directly to the assistant means it is a perp who is current and active among them. End any potential spoiler. I'm just doing this to help me write up a review or something later. I'm really bad at book descriptions.

TV: it's tv night. The Closer, the Cowboys are playing, and a couple other little shows. Probably end up not watching much. Huh.

This week I need to prepare for the trip to Helena for the MNA conference. Need to get the car tuned and gassed. Figure out the best route to Helena and how to get to the hotel. Find out if the hotel has wireless internet. Read my presentation over and over and over until I know it backward and forward. Figure out the flow of the presentation. Get enough $ for food, gas, etc. Figure out what to wear for three and a half days. Remember to bring the cell phone charger, the laptop, etc. Why am I doing this again? Oh yeah, networking and learning.

Yesterday was all right though I did take a nap there wasn't a whole lot of relaxing with the cleaning and stuff to do. I need to go to the grocery store soon, probably tonight for a couple priority stuff on the way home. Ay yi yi, it's always something.

Monday of a four day week and counting down.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Well, I feel like I lost a day yesterday working the concert stuff so I'm getting caught up with what's happening in the world.

The bad news: my right was swollen yesterday morning when I woke and today as well. Wish I knew what the hell this was. I'm going to make an appointment with my eye doctor as soon as I can get in, hopefully tomorrow.

Work:Yesterday went well, I think. Only a handful of Sponsor-A-Chair sponsors showed up for the appreciation rehearsal brunch-thing though the feedback was that they'd like to have this be a perk for every concert. Oh boy. Actually I agree it should be a perk for them because it's a good idea and opens up the opportunity for more visits and more giving but it does add more to my plate every concert. I got to see most of the rehearsal myself. Sounded fantastic and I am amazed by Valentina Lisitsa, our guest artist. I bought her cd; I'm glad she provided some to sell. The box office stuff went mostly okay although I am new to it and there were so many exceptions and problems other than just selling straight tickets that I had to call in help quite frequently but I'll be better as each time happens. The concert was incredible and we sold beyond Sandi's happy point of 1100. I had to leave early to go to the museum to finalize the after-concert reception so I missed Valentina's two encores, damnit. Ah well. The reception went well with pretty good attendance and Sandi was happy with it so scoring with the boss is a good thing. I got home around 11:40. Long day and my eye was bothering me the whole day but it's past so let's do it all over again next month! This is the next concert in October: http://www.billingssymphony.org/0809season/oct11_harvest_home.html.

Reading: Finally finished the Asa Larsson. I liked it but maybe not as raving as other reviews I've read about THE BLACK PATH. Rich and having depth, I would read more by this author. I'm surprised Maddy liked it as much as she did as there is an element of woo-woo to it. Next up is the new Tess Gerritsen, THE KEEPSAKE. Here's the description from Publisher's Weekly:
When medical examiner Isles studies an X-ray scan of Madame X, which everyone assumes is a newly discovered Egyptian mummy, at Boston's Crispin Museum, she realizes the mummy isn't a priceless artifact but a recent murder victim, gruesomely preserved. Rizzoli focuses the police investigation on Dr. Josephine Pulcillo, a young archeologist recently hired by the museum who may have something to hide. More victims soon turn up, including a tsantsa (shrunken head) in a hidden museum chamber and a corpse resembling a well-preserved bog body in Pulcillo's car. After Pulcillo disappears, Rizzoli and Isles must scramble to find her before she becomes another trophy in the killer's growing collection.

Her website is www.tessgerritsen.com and has great additional features such as a book trailer along with an excerpt of this book. Here's the first paragraph:
DR. MAURA ISLES could not decide whether to stay or to flee. She lingered in the shadows of the Pilgrim Hospital parking lot, well beyond the glare of the klieg lights, beyond the circle of TV cameras. She had no wish to be spotted, and most local reporters would recognize the striking woman whose pale face and bluntly cut black hair had earned her the nickname “Queen of the Dead”. As yet no one had noticed Maura’s arrival, and not a single camera was turned in her direction. Instead, the dozen reporters were fully focused on a white van that had just pulled up at the hospital’s lobby entrance to unload its famous passenger. The van’s rear doors swung open and a lightning storm of camera flashes lit up the night as the celebrity patient was gently lifted out of the van and placed onto a hospital gurney. This patient was a media star whose newfound fame far outshone any mere medical examiner’s. Tonight Maura was merely part of the awestruck audience, drawn here for the same reason the reporters had converged like frenzied groupies outside the hospital on a warm Sunday night. All were eager to catch a glimpse of Madam X.

I'm also still listening to the audiobook of Daniel Silva's SECRET SERVANT. I was thinking about bringing it in to listen to today to rest my eyes. We'll see.

TV: The Steelers play tonight and Dallas tomorrow night. Otherwise, I don't think I want to go out of my way to watch anything.

I had a 1-1/2 hour break yesterday afternoon to go home and eat something and change into evening clothes but I spent about 30 minutes of it at a book sale at a church. I had accidently happened upon this sale last year and kinda went crazy and didn't exactly clean them out but they were very happy with me. This year, someone must have cleaned them out ahead of me; there wasn't much there and I left with one bag and not even completely full at that. I was rather disappointed but also knowing I had so little time to spend there, I was all right with it. The Friends of the Library sale should be coming up soon in October.

There's definitely a nap in my future. I do have to do some weekend cleaning today, definitely laundry, as much as I can. I have to walk Tug this afternoon. I had a dinner planned but I'm wondering if Steve wants to have something fun like pizza or a calzone while watching the football game.

So back to work tomorrow; luckily we have Friday off to make up for working Saturday. I hate to wish time away but I'm already looking forward to next weekend.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, September 12, 2008


Work: taking care of business as tomorrow is concert day. Also did some brainstorming on the next Annual Fund drive. Looking at last year (when I wasn't working here) the letter that got sent out was sooooo long even going into two pages. People don't read them, point blank. I want to do a brochure looking thing with very little put emotional wording. We'll see if it makes it past Sandi.

Reading: I wound up not reading much due to working out for an hour and then getting too tired to make to 10. So very close now to finishing the Larsson. I'll have to make up for lost time maybe next weekend.

TV: none tonight for me.

I'm going to BST's The Producers tonight with Mom. I don't like this musical but Pat Schindele is in it and I love him and who knows how many more shows he's going to do? I first fell in love with this man when I was in grade school and we went to see Jesus Christ Superstar (my favorite) at Rocky Mountain College Bowl outside and I'd say he was in his late 20s to early 30s. He was Jesus and just simply blew me away with his voice and the looks in a guy that I go for (tall dark and handsome). Then over the years I got to work with him on shows and grew to know him as just a sweet guy who is good to talk to and joke with. I first worked with him in Oklahoma! when I was in the chorus but then over the years I got off stage performance-wise and assistant directed/stage managed a few shows with him such as The Mystery of Edwin Drood and The Fantasticks. And I've seen him in other productions such as Man of La Mancha where his voice just soars. He sang at my wedding and blew them away there too with the Lord's Prayer (my triumph!). We're both older now and even though I can't stand the show, I will watch it because of him. Other good actors are in it as well: Vint Lavender and Kelly Martin. An excellent evening in store for me. Dinner and walking Tug will have to be quick.

Tomorrow, I don't know if I'll get a chance to blog. My day starts at 9-ish in the morning and goes until 11 or so at night. My one hope is for some kind of break in the afternoon so I can sneak to the book sale at the church.

That's about it...
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, September 11, 2008


We remember the day the world changed.

Work: meeting with special events committee, made calls to SAC delinquents to invite them to the appreciation brunch on Saturday. Drop wine off at YAM for after-concert reception.

Reading: Asa Larsson, close to getting done. Next up the new Tess Gerritsen

TV: Last night I wound up watching the last half of America's Next Top Model. I hadn't realized they started a new cycle. So now for the next, what, 10-12 weeks I've got a commitment on Wednesday nights again. Why do I watch this stupid show? Because I like seeing skinny beautiful girls being criticized .... bwa hah hahahaa! (evil laugh). Tonight I don't think there is anything on.

After work I need to do some clothes shopping. I'm going to a musical tomorrow evening and the concert is all day Saturday so this is my only chance. Steve will have to walk Tug and I'll have to scramble dinner when I get home. Hopefully (crossed fingers) it will be quick and painless.

Started the MNA presentation on Powerpoint. I'm thinking of just having a handout of the material but now show it at the convention because I hate that -- the presenter reading aloud off of the Powerpoint as we read along. I hope to have this information so much in my head I won't need to read it off the presentation and mostly show websites that work and have one or two breakout sessions. I've got some ideas for that. Please let this not be a failure.

Tug was funny this morning. I guess he got pretty wet yesterday and didn't want to go out in it today. He was lying in Steve's closet; I guess hiding from me the furthest from the door so I wouldn't put him out. The poor baby! But I was mean and put him out -- it was supposed to be and is nicer today. Crazy dog.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


One of our sponsors brought by coffee for everyone in the office today. Whoo boy was it double caffeine or what? It didn't taste too strong but wow, it packed a punch. Reminds of me of the Overhead Door convention in April when I hadn't had caffeine in my system for months and HAD to have something to keep me awake in the meetings and that was a jolt; I didn't think I'd sleep for a week! Okay, that's an exaggeration.

Work: working on the parties this Saturday and whatever things Sandi comes up with.

Reading: Still on the Larsson. Sorry I'm not progressing more quickly.

TV: I think I don't have anything. Cool.

After work I have to go get some groceries at Walmart. Then walk Tug then dinner of soup 'cause it's a cold-ish dark day. Steve goes shooting tonight so I won't see him until afterward. So maybe I can get some good reading in; finishing the Larsson is my goal.

JodyO has an interview tomorrow with MDA to be their area manager. They've had a lot of turnover in that position in the past year she says so she's a little leery. She's asking for a big chunk for a salary so I don't know if she'll get it. She said she's interested in it because she doesn't want to leave Billings -- I know she's applied for jobs in Missoula and NY. She wants to be out of the YAM very badly so I expect she'll jump at the first offer wherever it is. I don't want her to leave here but I do want her to be happy and if it means leaving here, I have to support that. Basically she needs to make more money (don't we all) but in her case, right now she's being the sole support so figure whatever salary she's making is really cut in half. I think she'd do well as the area manager -- it's a big national organization therefore money would never be a problem in getting paid. Basically, the local satellite offices are there to make money so you don't really have executive powers other than managing the other employees (she thinks there are four in the Billings office) and making sure the fundraising events go well. She promised she'd call me tomorrow after her interview. She joked that I would be applying this job now. I said nope, I gotta stick where I'm at because I'm starting my own nonprofit next year of which to be executive director.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Sometimes I feel this war inside me. I love being very business like: reading the Wall Street Journal and understanding world topics, working on grants, start a business, and so forth. The other part of me wants to completely give in and live the life of a creative: to write books or at least write reviews of books that I read, be a film critic, sing, knit, etc. And there isn't enough time in a day after the job takes a chunk of your awake time to indulge in trying to make both happen. Or maybe I'm just not coordinated enough or just plain too lazy to make it all happen. But then I have this other problem: I don't follow through. That one is a biggie and always happens. I may even get started on a project but within a couple days I've gone off on another urge, another mood, and I just cannot make myself finish when I'm not feeling it anymore. It is very frustrating.

Work: oh I dunno, maybe I'll keep going on the PVP annual report and do things for the upcoming concert.

Reading: about halfway through THE BLACK PATH by Asa Larsson. It is good and actually flows pretty well for a translation. I don't know if I mind the flashbacks within the flashbacks of the background of the victim and who I suppose is the main suspect. There is actually less narrative of the police procedural than the background meanderings of some characters. Does this make the book more meaningful? More like literature? It is definitely a crime story: a woman is killed and the police are attempting to find whodunnit and motive. It doesn't seem that big but it is almost 400 pages in length and I haven't exactly been devoting a lot of time to reading lately. Also listening to SECRET SERVANT by Daniel Silva in the car. The deed has been done: the operation that Gabriel was uncovering just happened -- they got the girl. This will probably take some time to get through since I only listen to it while driving which is a little less than an hour a day. I suppose I should be glad that we live on the other side of town from where I work so that I have 25 minutes at a go to listen to the story.

TV: has some possibilities but I don't know if I'll commit. PBS's Frontline has an interesting documentary it looks like about the Iraq war. AMC is showing The Magnifient Seven, a great classic movie. A&E has The First 48 which I like because it is real crime solving. We'll see; I should read.

Otherwise, not much on the schedule for today. I'd like to stop by the library to pick up a hold and just get a being-surrounded-by-books fix. I have to have to have to work on the presentation for the MNA conference.

Back to reading: Once I finish the above, the next few up to read are all library books (oh my poor personal TBR that I want to read, they get so ignored). Michael Harvey's second in his PI series, THE FIFTH FLOOR, is due back the soonest. I've got another 14-day book that would probably come next if I read it, a debut called A CURE FOR NIGHT by Justin Peacock -- a legal crime fiction getting good reviews but who knows if I'll be in the mood? Then the next in a few series I'm following: SHADOWS IN BRONZE by Lindsey Davis, THE WATER ROOM by Christopher Fowler, and ALL SHALL BE WELL by Deborah Crombie. Of course, I'm following a LOT of series so that could fill out the year I'd bet. Ha! Yeah, I should read tonight; two solid hours would do wonders, 8 to 10 (if Tug settles down with me instead of against me).

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, September 8, 2008


Not much really to report today. It's a Monday.

Work: same old stuff. Putting together the pieces of the Annual Report. Organizing the details of the concert events this Saturday. Sandi isn't talking about the fancy fundraising dinner this past Saturday so I think something happened; usually she'd be giving a play-by-play. Anne said that they may all just be coming down with a bug (don't come near me!).

Reading: THE BLACK PATH by Asa Larsson and listening to SECRET SERVANT by Daniel Silva.

TV: The Closer, Jon & Kate Plus 8, Paranormal State. Typical busy Monday night.

Movies: Last night I watched The Martian Child (2007) starring John Cusack. It was on HBO. Always love Joan Cusack in these movies with her brother. Here's the blurb:
What's the nature of being a parent and of being a child? David is a widower grieving for two years. He writes science fiction and was considered weird as a boy. He meets Dennis, a foster child who claims to be on a mission from Mars, stays in a large box all day, fears sunlight, and wears a belt of flashlight batteries so he won't float away. David takes the six-year-old home on a trial. His sister and his wife's best friend offer support, but the guys are basically alone to figure this out. Dennis takes things, is expelled, and is coached by David in being normal. Will the court approve the adoption, and will Dennis stay? Can a man become a father and a child become a son?
Very touching, rated PG.

So I'll get home, walk Tug, deal with dinner, watch some TV, read a little Larsson, and go to bed. Oh, for the first time in a while I haven't used drops for my eyes and things are still okay. Maybe I'm getting past it. Still on Zyrtec for a few more days.

I think that's it. Told you it was quiet.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Dang, I missed my first day blogging here but there was no helping it. I had to drop Tug off at the kennel as soon as I woke at 5:30 and then we were off for the MS150 bike ride.

We're home. Steve wasn't able to complete the MS150 because of the weather mostly. It's been rainy and cold both days. This morning in Red Lodge it was 41 degrees with a wind chill of 37 and rainy. He doesn't have rain gear and didn't bring his thermals so even though the will was there, gladly common sense took over. Yesterday he made it to Joliet which is about 30 miles before saying he was too cold and wet to go on. So next year if he does it again, he'll train more, he says, and bring gear for all conditions. Watch, it will be unseasonably hot next year. So we checked in our hotel in Red Lodge yesterday -- not a bad room at all, had lunch at Bogarts, and went back to take naps. Then we went to the ride's banquet and raffle (didn't win anything per usual) up at the ski lodge. This morning we got back to Billings, had breakfast at IHOP, I picked up Tug at the kennel and Steve went back to bed. That's another thing against him in the overall picture of this ride -- he is SO not a morning person and to get up early on weekends automatically puts him at a disadvantage. :) So actually, overall, it wasn't a bad weekend. Steve was feeling shamed and humbled so I was there to bolster him up. It was his first year doing this and he learned a lot to apply to next year. I don't know yet if I'll do it; it worked well to be his personal support vehicle.

Back home, I got laundry going and took a nap myself and have finished vacuuming up and down. We both walked Tug this afternoon and got back right before the rain got heavier. Still have to make the bed when the bedding gets dry. Dinner tonight I think will be brats and Onion Soup potatoes.

Reading: I didn't want to bring a library book along on the trip and preferred to pack light with a paperback so I've started Asa Larsson's THE BLACK PATH, translated by Marlaine Delargy. 400 pages. This one is part of my personal TBR. There's been many good reactions to this book. I feel at a disadvantage, though, because it is not the first in the series to be published in English and I've not read the previous two books therefore I'm definitely feeling that I've started in the middle of the story. One of the main characters is recovering from events of a previous book and some things have been mentioned that I know what will happen when I read them. Ah well. Here's the blurb:

A grisly torture-murder, a haunting northern Sweden backdrop, and a dark drama of twisted sexuality collide memorably in Åsa Larsson’s masterpiece of suspense—a tale of menace, hope, longing, and darkness beyond imagining.The dead woman was found on a frozen lake, her body riddled with evidence of torture. Instantly, Inspector Anna-Maria Mella knows she needs help. Because the dead woman—found in workout clothes with lacy underwear beneath them—was a key player in a mining company whose tentacles reach across the globe. Anna-Maria needs a lawyer to help explain some things—and she knows one of the best.Attorney Rebecka Martinsson is desperate to get back to work, to feel alive again after a case that almost destroyed her. Soon Rebecka is prying into the affairs of the dead woman’s boss, the founder of Kallis Mining, whose relationship with his star employee was both complex and ominous. But what Rebecka and Anna-Maria are about to uncover—a tangled drama of secrets, perversion, and criminality—will lay bare a tale as shocking as it is sad…about a man’s obsession, a woman’s lonely death, and a killer’s cold, cold heart.
An author's website can be found here: http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=69304. The information about Larsson states:

author spotlight
Åsa Larsson was born in 1966; she grew up in Kiruna and now lives in Mariefred. She is a qualified lawyer and made her debut in 2003 with Sun Storm, which was awarded the Swedish Crime Writers’ Association Prize for best debut novel. The sequel, The Blood Spilt, was chosen as Best Swedish Crime Novel of 2004. The books were an immediate success; they have been sold to ten countries, and are being launched in the United States; the film rights have been sold to Sandrew Metronome.

It has author information and excerpts from her books. Here's the first paragraph of THE BLACK PATH:
Saturday March 15 An early spring evening, Torneträsk. The ice was thick, more than a meter. All along the lake, some seventy kilometers long, lay arks, small cabins on runners, four square meters in size. At this time of year the inhabitants of Kiruna made their pilgrimage up to Torneträsk. They came up on snowmobiles, towing the ark behind them.

My father's family's nationality is Norwegian; I'm half. When I was in college, they offered language classes in norwegian - they don't anymore. I wish I had had the guts to take it. It would be interesting to be good enough to be a translator of scandanavian books that are so popular now. Ah well. I have another 14-day book from the library to read, THE FIFTH FLOOR by Michael Harvey. I'll get to that next. I started an audiobook in the truck while driving yesterday, SECRET SERVANT by Daniel Silva. 7th in a series of 8 and read by Phil Gigante who is doing all right so far. 385 pages in book form. The author's website can be found by clicking http://www.danielsilvabooks.com/content/index.asp. Here's a blurb:
In Amsterdam, a terrorism analyst named Ephraim Rosner lies dead, brutally murdered by a Muslim immigrant. The Amsterdam police believe the killer is a deranged extremist, but others know better. Just twenty-four hours before, Rosner had requested an urgent meeting with Israeli intelligence. Now it is Gabriel Allon's job to find out what Rosner knew, and when he does, it confirms his worst fears: a major terrorist operation is in the works. But not even Allon could have predicted what it is. In London, a young woman vanishes. She is the daughter of the American ambassador-and goddaughter of the president of the United States-and the kidnappers' demands are at once horrifically clear and clearly impossible to meet. With time running out, Allon has no choice but to plunge into a desperate search, both for the woman and for those responsible, but the truth, when he finds it, is not what he expects. In fact, it is one that will shake him-and many others-to the core. Intense and provocative, filled with breathtaking double and triple turns of plot, The Secret Servant is not only a fast-paced international thriller but an exploration of some of the most daunting questions of our time.

The first paragraph reads:
It was Professor Solomon Rosner who sounded the first alarm, though his name would never be linked to the affair except in the secure rooms of a drab office building in downtown Tel Aviv. Gabriel Allon, the legendary but wayward son of Israeli intelligence, would later observe that Rosner was the first asset in the annals of Office history to have proven more useful to them dead than alive. Those who overheard the remark found it uncharacteristically callous but in keeping with the bleak mood that by then had settled over them all.

TV: My Cowboys are playing now and are set to win their first regular season game. Whoo hoo!! Steve's Steelers won today, too. We're off to a good start. I don't think there is anything really pressing to watch tonight. Phew!

So this week at work is supposed to be crazy busy. I have the Annual Report to finish for sure. But it is concert week and that is apparently just beyond beyond. It will be a long week with no letting go until Sunday and loooong on Saturday. I hope I can get away for a little bit on Saturday because there is a used book sale at a church that day that I found many many treasures at last year. Because of working Saturday, we will have the following Friday off to compensate.

I'd like to read tonight and maybe go to bed early-ish. Right now, I'll check my dryer and make some tea, I think.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, September 5, 2008


Good news, my wallet was found completely by chance. It was on a roof of a building that had been cleaned up there a couple days ago and the crew had gone up yesterday to check on it. No other reason for anyone to be on the roof at any time. Providence. I figure the thief tossed it up there rather than toss it in a dumpster which could probably be found fairly quickly if the cops were scoping the area before trash day downtown whenever that is. My cash and a couple cards only were missing which were probably lost in the fling. I have my photos back, my driver's licence, my soc sec card, gas card. Pretty much I only lost my parking garage card thingy, my library card, and health insurance card -- they were probably not in the wallet securely. So I don't have to renew my license and that whole mess. I'm going to keep with the plan of changing my bank account even though my checkbook was recovered. For some reason, Steve has been angry with me over this -- that I wasn't having a big enough reaction to this. Yeah, I was mad, but would getting hysterical undo it or help get done what had to be done next? Not really. And I'm sure the allergy drug is having an effect on my highs and lows as well. Can't win sometimes. The interesting thing with my wallet is that there were drink tickets in it that did not come from me. So I'm wondering if the person who did this was at the MS150 dinner. A clue a clue!

Work: PVP annual report. You know, Zyrtec is quite magical in that it has blunted my system to the point that when Sandi is in a mood, I don't care. We're back to working all day on Fridays. This week won't be bad because of the holiday on Monday making it a shorter week. Next week we'll be feeling it -- and then some because it's a concert week and I'm told they're bad plus we'll be working all day Saturday so next week is a 6 day week plus double on Saturday. Ugh.

TV: I have Say Yes to the Dress to remember to watch tonight. Last night, I thought McCain did well given his limitations in that forum -- he's more comfortable in a town hall setting of give and take rather than a straight speech. So moving when he talked about being a POW and the self-centered young man he was before and how he fell in love with his country while being a prisoner in another. You just know and feel the emotion behind it and that he means every word. I got teary when he plaintively said "Fight with me; fight with me!" He's a do-er not a speaker. I prefer that in a leader.

Reading: Now I can make up time from the week so back to RED KNIFE by William Kent Krueger. So I'll be getting back on track for book info on a more regular basis.

Tomorrow is going to be hectic. I've got to get Tug to the kennel way early in the morning. Steve's first leg of the bike ride begins at 8 am (the first wave goes then, there will be three others after that so Steve could be going a bit later) so we have to meet up at Pierce RV by 7:30. The ride should take, what, four hours? We'll probably check into the hotel in the later afternoon. I'll be driving the truck as some kind of support vehicle but there will apparently be support stations every 12 miles for the riders. Sunday, I believe it starts at the same time which is why we're staying up there instead of coming back home -- the drive up would make it too early in the morning. Steve is taking this afternoon off to get stuff together for his ride.

So not really much of a weekend ahead.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Time to get out from under whatever black cloud I'm experiencing. Last night while Steve and I were at the MS150 registration/dinner, my car was broken into. They got my wallet. I'm only out $6 and whatever change -- I don't have credit cards -- but I have to go through the hassle of getting a new driver's license -- expires next year so it was coming due and had an old address -- but I also had to cancel my bank account because they got my checkbook and I can't get a new account until I get a new license. I wasn't the only one though, Steve went back to see if my wallet got dumped anywhere; he said there were two cop cars there on a report of someone getting into a car to get a bag. I did report this to the cops today and with little luck of success, he said he was going to go look again for my wallet in the dumpsters and talk to the officers from last night's call. I'm having a bad week; maybe I need to do some kind of cleansing ceremony to clean away this bad luck. Sheesh.

Work: Finalizing draft for the PVP Annual Report.

TV: Last night of the convention. I thought Palin did fantastically well. And she must be scaring the pants off the other side; I just spoke to my Dem friend and she couldn't say much nice which is really unusual for her - she's usually quite fair. I certainly was when I gave her my opinions last week for their party. I want to see the McCain/Palin team elected in November and in the office in January. Done with the politics of the day, sorry about that but I'm just excited.

Reading: Won't get much done again today. Good thing I'm a couple books ahead on the month. I have to replace my beloved library card hopefully today. Damn, I had that number memorized, too.

So just getting through another day. I can't renew my license today because I forgot to grab my birth certificate on the way out this morning so that is first thing tomorrow -- they open at 7:00am. They were very nice at the credit union this morning going through the process of explaining what happened, verifying code words so I could at least stop any future checks or withdrawals. I should write a letter to the supervisors praising them.

So for now ... more later as it happens.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Last night I went to the emergency room because my left eye wonked out. It was red, yes, but also look and felt really strange. Long story short, it apparently was a classic look of allergy. I was scared that something was really wrong but turns out that I may have been reacting to something for quite a while. The doc prescribed Zyrtec and some over the counter eye drops that seemed to have really helped but we had to get at Walmart in the middle of the night. We got home at 12:30 though so we're both really tired and I have drugs on top of that. Oh boy. Right before my eye acted up I had been playing with Tug because he was doing his usually evening rile up. I'm figuring that something in his fur from jumping in the ditches is reacting badly. If my cold-thing was really allergy from weeks ago, I don't know what, then, could have done that. I'm so ready to be over these health issues. Steve, per usual, isn't comfortable in these situations and didn't hold my hand at the hospital until I forced it and didn't ask how I was this morning. (sigh)

Work: working on the PVP Annual Report.

Reading: probably won't make much progress today and didn't last night. Coming to a screeching halt.

TV: got the convention to watch tonight. Palin is talking. Last night, I enjoyed the main speakers and the videos they've run. I'm proud to be a Republican.

After work today, Steve and I have a get together to go to in order to pick up Steve's packet of information for his bike ride this weekend and there is a dinner. Steve finally made reservations for Saturday night in Red Lodge. Oh no, I just realized that I need to make arrangements for Tug for that night, too.

Not really having much to say right now.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Have to remember it's Tuesday; of course, with the holiday, it feels like the beginning of the week.

It's a cold one today. Only in the 50s but the air conditioning was running all three days at the office and trapped inside so it's cooooolllld.

TV: Gotta watch the convention. It will be nice to have some stuff of substance to talk about rather than things that are no one's business.

Reading: RED KNIFE by William Kent Krueger. Eighth of eight in series and comes in at 310 pages. Krueger's author website can be found at http://www.williamkentkrueger.com/. Here's the Library Journal review:
Although it is spring in Tamarack County, MN, a darkness looms over the townspeople of Aurora and the Ojibwe of the Iron Lake Reservation. Kristi Reinhardt is dead, and the blame falls on Lonnie Thunder, a young Ojibwe man known to deal both drugs and child pornography. Former sheriff Cork O'Connor, now working as a part-time PI, is called to a meeting with Alex Kingbird, leader of the Red Boyz, an Ojibwe gang rumored to be part of the local drug trade. Alex wants to offer Kristi's father justice to avert further violence, and he has called on part-Ojibwe Cork to set up a meeting. But then Alex and his wife are executed outside their home. Cork tries to find answers while keeping his family safe and doing right by both his former law enforcement colleagues and the Ojibwe people. While this tale of small-town racial tensions and drug trafficking by Native Americans is drawn from the pages of the newspaper, Krueger puts a very human face on these issues.

The first paragraph reads:

The words on the note folded around the check in his wallet read: Here's $500. A retainer. I need your help. See me today. The note and the money were from Alexander Kingbird, although it was signed Kakaik, which was the name of an Ojibwe war chief. It meant Hawk.

Work: Catching up on paperwork. Sold tickets to some walkins all by myself -- they've not let me do that yet -- and I did it successfully. Sandi is out of the office.

Steve has his YRC board meeting tonight. Walk Tug after work. That's about it.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, September 1, 2008


Last night we lost power for a couple hours. A storm blew through -- not as dramatic as the night before -- but I guess the wind knocked out something. We had candles and flashlights. I, of course, am able to occupy myself without power as books are the ultimate entertainment. Steve was pacing. Finally, around 10, I figured I might as well go to bed. Not long after, apparently, we got power back. That is when Steve discovered the downstairs toilet had been running over for apparently a long time and the downstairs laundry room and hallway were soaked. (He couldn't get mad because it was his fault). So we're trying to dry things out.

Yesterday we also went over to the Madsens again. In typical fashion, no one had told what time dinner was at so Steve just got home from being out with his cousin at 2:00 when Alice calls to say that dinner is at 2:00 and where are we? Steve -- in typical Madsen noncommunication style -- says we're not hungry (we completely weren't). In this, he meant we weren't coming so go ahead with dinner. Alice heard that we were going to be late so they held dinner for an hour. Unaware, we took a nap and then walked Tug. Alice calls while we're walking Tug and long story short we got there at 4:00 and Alice gave us the dirtiest of looks I have ever seen from her. Shocking. We still weren't hungry -- they had left plates on the table and everything -- and stayed until almost 7 basically watching tv and a little chatting. UFF DA!!

It's a nice cool rainy dark day here today. Lovely. Only getting into the low 50's tops. I've been on the computer, dealing with wet carpet, and getting groceries at Walmart today. Now I'm back on the computer for more. I'm doing laundry of things that were on the floor of the laundry room that got soaked. Another day in paradise. :)

TV: Well, Monday is tv night. The Closer, Jon & Kate Plus 8, Paranormal State. This is the first day of the RNC convention but it is scaled back for the hurricane so there's not much to watch except all the correspondants in St. Paul talking about how nothing is going on, etc. Ah well.

Reading: THE BLACK TOWER by Louis Bayard. Standalone novel at 352 pages. Here's the blurb:
Bayard (The Pale Blue Eye) sets his latest historical adventure in the streets of Paris as the blood lust of the revolution subsides. It is 1818 when Vidocq, a former convict and the (real-life) founder of the newly created plainclothes investigative force known as the Sûreté, tracks down obscure medical student Hector Carpentier, whose name was found in the pocket of a dead man. As they work through the clues together, they move from the slums of Paris out to the royal gardens of Saint-Cloud. The duo soon realizes that the murders they are investigating may be connected to the whereabouts of Marie Antoinette's lost son, said to have died in the Black Tower. Then they conclude that they might have found the lost prince. As Vidocq and Carpentier fight to keep him alive, they face a dark cover-up and evil alliances that will shape the history of France.

The author's website is found at http://www.louisbayard.com/ and more information can be gleened at his page on the publisher's website at http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780061173509/The_Black_Tower/index.aspx where this more detailed description of the work can be found:
Vidocq. The name strikes terror in the Parisian underworld of 1818. As founder and chief of a newly created plainclothes police force, Vidocq has used his mastery of disguise and surveillance to capture some of France’s most notorious and elusive criminals. Now he is hot on the trail of a tantalizing mystery—the fate of the young dauphin Louis-Charles, son of Marie-Antoinette and King Louis XVI.
Hector Carpentier, a medical student, lives with his widowed mother in her once-genteel home, now a boardinghouse, in Paris’s Latin Quarter, helping the family make ends meet in the politically perilous days of the restoration. Three blocks away, a man has been murdered, and Hector’s name has been found on a scrap of paper in the dead man’s pocket: a case for the unparalleled deductive skills of Eugène François Vidocq, the most feared man in the Paris police. At first suspicious of Hector’s role in the murder, Vidocq gradually draws him into an exhilarating—and dangerous—search that leads them to the true story of what happened to the son of the murdered royal family.
Officially, the Dauphin died a brutal death in Paris’s dreaded Temple—a menacing black tower from which there could have been no escape—but speculation has long persisted that the ten-year-old heir may have been smuggled out of his prison cell. When Hector and Vidocq stumble across a man with no memory of who he is, they begin to wonder if he is the Dauphin himself, come back from the dead. Their suspicions deepen with the discovery of a diary that reveals Hector’s own shocking link to the boy in the tower—and leaves him bound and determined to see justice done, no matter the cost.
In The Black Tower, Bayard deftly interweaves political intrigue, epic treachery, cover-ups, and conspiracies into a gripping portrait of family redemption—and brings to life an indelible portrait of the mighty and profane Eugène François Vidocq, history’s first great detective.

The first paragraph reads (after a couple pages of diary excerpts critical to the story) :
I'm a man of certain age -- old enough to have been every kind of fool -- and I find to my surprise that the counsel I have to pass on is this: Never let your name be found in a dead man's trousers.

So the rest of the day should continue as is. Right now, Steve is watching stupid daytime tv and making fun of it. I'm drinking some General Foods International Coffee (what else on a cold day such as this?), munching on animal crackers and perusing the Internet. I didn't read yet Sarah Wienman's roundup of book news from yesterday (posted later in the day than usual). I'm reading a couple of 4MA digests and need to post my August reads to it. I've got some blogs to check in on and news stuff. It feels like an uber-Sunday rather than holiday Monday. At least this work week will be a little shorter.

I believe that is all the news for now...
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster