Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Salon: Turkey and football and cars

Hey, it's the afternoon!  How about that.  But I'm here.  The entire week has been one of low-key sluggishness.  No Polish classes, no doctor appointments, kids were home most of the week.  I did move a little.  I got the tree up, got my Christmas cards done and sent (despite the fact that my kids refused to take a formal picture), and cooked a small Thanksgiving dinner for the four of us.  We went over to friends' house for dessert.  It was a good day.  I was dragged out early on Black Friday by my daughter, which was not optimal.  Massive crowds, rude people, listening to "All I want for Christmas is you" at least two dozen times.  I did a good deal of online shopping, my preferred method of spending money.  I'm slowly getting my ass in gear.

My daughter's high school played football Friday night and won by one point in a triple overtime to become the Regional 5A champs.  If they win next week they will go to the Citrus Bowl to become state champs.  Very exciting stuff!  They haven't had a season like this since 1970.

My husband is slowly coming around on the idea of a dog.  I'm not sure if it is because my kids are older and aren't very lovable, or maybe the hormones, but I really NEED a dog.  We will see if he talks himself out of it.  I'm holding my breath.  I need to mother something.

My husband and I maintained a long-standing tradition and went to the International Car Show yesterday to scope out my next car.  Realistically, I may never get another new one, with all the musical cars we are playing with our driving age children, but it is fun to look.

Mid-season finale of The Walking Dead tonight!  OMG!  I can barely think of anything else.

Oh yeah, I guess this is a BOOK BLOG!  Huh, you'd never know it.  I did finish "Wildlife" by Fiona Wood on audio this week.  I have yet to write it up on Goodreads, but what a wonderful YA book.  It really captured the essence of friendship, grief, and dealing with sexual pressure from the perspective of the 16-17 year old.  It is refreshing when an author takes this topic seriously and is responsible with the messages.  I have yet to start another audio yet...I needed to listen to music for awhile. I'm thinking I'll start the latest Jack Reacher today when I'm finishing the decorating.

In print, I'm so freaking pathetic.  I'm still reading Stephen King's "Revival" and while it isn't horror like I thought it would be, his storytelling is good.  I just am disengaged in general with the idea of sitting down quietly and finishing it.  I'm close though.

I also have to say this about "The Paying Guests" by Sarah Waters, which I talked about last week.  While it didn't blow me away like some other of her books, I am STILL thinking about it.  The characters and the plot keep bouncing around in my head.  So you all really should read it.  That is the magic of her writing.

I'm not totally looking forward to this week, but it must be done.  Back to the doctor appointments, Polish classes, a book club, and two Christmas parties.  In my heart, I am a homebody.  Too much running around makes me irritable even if individually these events are fun.  But I'm just going to put my head down and plod through it, and I'm sure I will have a good time.   

As for the rest of the day, I'll finish decorating, maybe wrap some gifts.  Finish Revival?  Nap?  Yes all around.  Hope everyone has an awesome Sunday and upcoming week.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Salon: Regroup

 Good morning friends!  Things are looking up...I'm writing my post before noon!  We'll see if I finish before we leave for church.  I doubt it, but at least I'm getting started.

I'm not really going to say much about the past week.  It wasn't good, so I'm just going to block it out and regroup.  If we want to count blessings, I will mention that the uber-trainer Andre just had a new baby, and after taking a handful of days off, was back in action this week.  His workouts are good for the body, but are also nearly like therapy and I missed them!

I also forgot to mention last week that we went to see "Interstellar", which we enjoyed.  I wouldn't say that there will be acting Oscars coming out of that movie, but the visuals were amazing!  We're really starting to get into the season of good movies and serious Oscar contenders, and we've got our sights set on a few over the next few weeks.  If we can motivate the kids to leave their rooms!

On the reading front, I've made some good progress on "Revival", and hope to finish that very soon.  (Maybe today depending on whether it rains all day.)  I'm still not totally sure where Uncle Stevie is going with his story, but I love the journey.  I'm thinking of picking up "Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy next, after reading that it was one of Uncle Stevie's favorite books ever.

On audio, I'm nearly done with the amazing Sarah Waters "The Paying Guests".  I've actually gone back and forth between reading and listening on this one and am probably a couple of hours from finishing.  She is wicked with the mind screw, and I'm just waiting for the poop to hit the fan on this one.  I will concur that the book could have used some serious editing, and there is a huge amount of drama going on, but I'm still enjoying it.  Up next is the highly-recommended "Wildlife" by Fiona Wood, which I just downloaded on audio from the library.

So the holidays.  I've got Thanksgiving sort of figured out.  But Xmas is not within reach right now.  I've got some work to do on that front.  I'm going to be looking for some motivation this week.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday, whether you are in rain or snow (what seems to be the theme all over the country).  And yay!  Got it done before church!  Hee hee

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Salon: ...and the crud stayeth

 Better late than never I always say.  And late has been the theme of the week.  Not only did my son and I continue on with the crud (sore throat that morphs into congestion that morphs into cough that morphs into gastro), but my daughter had it too.  I don't like this.  I can't recuperate in peace, they are demanding and whiny, and also there is stress because of so much missed homework.  Pray that next week improves in this category.

I did crawl out to Polish class and book club on Wednesday night, despite my hacking and spewing.  I wanted to force some kind of normalcy.  For this meeting we read "5 People You Meet in Heaven", and most did not likey which made me feel a bit better about my negativity.  Such hokey, manipulative crap.  Next month we'll be discussing "Eleanor & Park" which should go much better.

I cannot believe how the holidays have snuck up on me.  Normally, my routine is to mail those Christmas cards out the day after Thanksgiving.  Not sure that will happen this year...don't even have a picture!  (My kids have an extreme aversion to pictures it seems.)  I've done nothing!  I guess there has to be a first year to blow my record. I get overwhelmed with all the you guys?  I have to figure out how to manage it.  Downsize, simplify, find peace.

So Tuesday I strategically scheduled an eye appointment at Costco with the release of Stephen King's new release "Revival".  Very similar to the last time I stormed the store for his latest book, there were none to be seen.  The book-stocking girl SWORE there were none, but I didn't take that for an answer.  I got the Manager to check inventories, and sure enough, they were there in receiving, hidden in the corner.  SCORE!  Sadly, I've made very little progress.  Not much reading done this week.

Audios, as usual, is where it's at more than anywhere else.  I finished "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats" for my other book club, and while it was a sweet, sentimental book, it may have been a little TOO sweet for my cynical heart.  The story takes place in Burma which is interesting, and is a generational love story (narrated by Cassandra Campbell who excels at stories like this).  It just seemed like the author was trying too hard to make me cry, and also threw some pretty obvious twists in there that I think were supposed to be shocking but just made me slap my forehead.  I'm now launching into what will probably be a part print/part audio experience of "The Paying Guests" by Sarah Waters.  Love her, but I am feeling hesitant because the reviews on this one haven't been stellar.  It's a long book, so this will take me awhile.

So today (or what is left of it) will probably be spent trying to read "Revival" and doing some child management in the area of overwhelming homework catch-up.  I'll be having a cocktail by 5:00 I predict.

So tell me...are you ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas?  Are you excited about the idea of shopping and decorating or not?  How do you cope with the crazy schedule?  I need tips. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Salon: The Crud Cometh

 Well, the weather is changing so it was bound to happen.  Both my son and I got the crud.  I tend to ignore it and try to sweat it out, but being a 15 year old and of the male species, the boy milked it.  I'm hoping all of this goes away soon, but odds are the other two members of the family will get it too, and will start that never-ending rotation.

Anyway, besides all that, it was a decent week.  I'm still enjoying my Polish class, and with the upcoming holidays we are going to be having food parties!  Because we must do as the Polish do.

I returned to my second book club after a couple of years on hiatus.  With the exception of one personality, I really missed these people.  They take their reading seriously, and come with notes and insight.  This month we read "In the Kingdom of Ice" by Hampton Sides, and was loved by everyone.  Here are my thoughts on Goodreads, but Jill's husband did a wonderful review as well.  I listened to it on audio, and Arthur Morey narrated.  He isn't exactly dynamic, but he's solid and is the perfect voice for non-fiction like this.

I also listened to "Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom, against my better judgement.  It was chosen by my other book club, and I really had no desire to subject myself to this schmaltz, but I hate going to meetings not having read the assignment.  After all, I have no right to bitch if I haven't.  The audio made a bad situation even worse, with dramatic music that felt like a soap opera.  Ugh.  That meeting is next week.

I've now just started "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats" by Jan-Philipp Sendker, the selection for next month's book club.  It is narrated by Cassandra Campbell, who does a great job with these types of books.  It looks like it is going to be a winner.

Not much progress on print.  I AM halfway through the graphic novel "Watchmen" and it is really a fine example of smart comics.  Very well-done.  I need to get it finished by next Tuesday, because that is the day Stephen King's "Revival" comes out, and I'll be joining Ti in her readathon.  I very cleverly scheduled an eye appointment at Costco that day, so I could pick up the book at the same time.  Very excited!

Not sure what we'll be doing today.  It is rainy and chilly, the kids have homework, and I'm feeling crappy.  We do want to see "Interstellar" but not sure we'll get there.  What is everyone up to today?   

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Salon: MIA

 I am pleased to announce that I am not dead!  Isn't that great?  I never post this late, but I figured the theme of the week was "MIA" so I might as well stay in character.  I fell completely off the grid this week.  I didn't read blogs.  I didn't read anything in print.  I only went to Andre's ONCE!  There is a myriad of explanations for my behavior.

Yard improvement project.  A team of workers spreading 20 tons (yes you heard that right) of Seminole rock in my front and back yard, planting plants and installing a new fountain.  Fun stuff but these guys require supervision.

The Killing.  I continue to obsess.  SO GOOD, OMG.  I am three episodes away from the end.  Nothing will continue to be done until I've finished.

Cold weather has lured me outside.  By "cold" I mean 60's during the day and 40's at night.  I don't sweat much in these temps.  It is wonderful.

And also sick kids, the usual hellish doctor appointments, a broken security system, and a flat tire that occupied a solid afternoon.  Also had a fundraiser breakfast and a book club meeting.  My son turned 15.  Halloween.  You get my point.  It was one of those weeks.

I did listen to audio, praise the Lord.  I finished "The Girl with all the Gifts", but I haven't reviewed it yet.  I really liked it.  It sort of reminded me of "The Passage", and one of the better apocalyptic stories I've read in awhile.  I have started "In the Kingdom of Ice" by Hampton Sides, a book club assignment.  The audio is 14 discs long and the meeting is Wednesday so I doubt I will finish it by then, but what the heck.  I haven't been to this book club in awhile because of some personality conflicts, but I'm going to give it another shot.

Today my son and I went to see "Nightcrawler" with Jake Gyllenhaal and it was absolutely amazing.  It made my heart pound, it made me flinch, it made me laugh.  Going to write that one up too, at some point.

Hope everyone had an awesome Sunday, and why would it not be the best when we gain an hour of time???  I always feel like I don't appreciate it enough, especially when we LOSE that hour in the spring.  Did everyone sleep in this morning?