Saturday, October 29, 2011

Abducted by Obsessions 10.29.2011

I started a meme a while ago that I was going to do once a week. However, because the read-a-thon was last Saturday, and I had so many other posts going up on that day, I decided to hold off on that one.

But I'm back now, so here's what three things I've been obsessed with...

1. Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto!

Coldplay's new album was released on itunes and amazon on Monday but the physical cd wasn't released until Tuesday. I waited the extra 24 hours so that i could buy the actual cd with the cover art and graphics and all that good stuff! There are very few bands that I insist on buying the actual cd's for and Coldplay is one of them. U2 and Dashboard Confessional are the other two. The first time I listened to Mylo Xyloto my reaction was; "Yeah...ok...sounds like Coldplay." But the more I listened to it, the more the songs started to amaze me! Now, I love it! It goes from my home, to my car, to my office, back to my car, back inside my house. And this video had me cracking up at the end! It is hysterical!

2. United States of Tara

I've been interested in watching this show and it has been on my netflix queue for a long time, but I only just started watching it this past week. The first few episodes were nothing special but slowly it is starting to grow on me. And although I do love Toni Collette and John Corbett, it is actually the performance of Keir Gilchrist that has me hooked. Toni Collette plays a woman who has multiple personalities, she has gone off her medication in an effort to understand her alternate personalities and work through why she needs them. The show focuses on how this affects her and her husband (Corbertt) and her two children; Marshall (Gilchrist) and Kate (played by Brie Larson).

In the middle of season 1, one of the alternate personalities betrays Marshall in just the cruelest way possible. Marshall reacts by burning down the shed in the families backyard. There is a scene when the rest of the family comes running out to put out the fire and Marshall is just sitting on a lawn chair, completely blank. I had chills running up and down my arms when I was watching it, Gilchrist went beyond impressing me in that moment. And I had seen him in another movie that really didn't move me at all, so I've just been in awe watching him on this show.

and last but not least!

3. BABIES!!!

Many of you who know me well, will also know that becoming a mother is not necessarily something I have planned for my future.

Becoming an Aunt, however, I'm all about! And one of my best friends, Mary, just told me this week that she is pregnant!

I am so excited! I've known Mary and her husband for a long time. I've had the privilege of knowing them before they were a couple, I saw them get together, I was a bridesmaid at their wedding, and now I get to watch them become parents! And I know that they will be incredible!

I started suspecting something was going on last Sunday, but Mary and David were waiting to tell people until after their doctors appointment, which was on Thursday. Ever since I found out I have been obsessed with planning a baby shower! I have two really good ideas for games and I know where I want to get the cake. Of course, the shower wont be until May, because she is not due until June, but still I like to plan early!

And it is perfect that my post is going up today because today is Mary's birthday!

Happy Birthday Mary! Congratulations and I love you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Abducted by the end of Readathon :(

Well, last night, after my fabulous book club party, I tried to read through a rather short graphic novel but I completely passed out!

So my end results for this October readathon are as follows:

Last 60 pages of I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason

Last 4 hours of In The Company of Cheerful Ladies

First hour and a half of Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

and 68 pages of the quick text graphic novel edition of Jane Eyre!

I had a lot of fun, even though I was pretty stressed most of the day. I can't wait until the next readathon in April. I for sure wont be hosting book club that month so I should be good to go!

Now we have about two weeks until the next marathon called The Epic Write-A-Thon, which is 24 hours of writing and is hosted by Steph over HERE!

That marathon is on November 5th, which is right during the beginning of Nano so I will totally be participating. I will be working on my Nano novel but also working on some review posts for my blog. That way if I get a little too bogged down with my Nano project in November, I will already have some posts ready to go.

I hope everyone has a great day of recovery! Catch up on all your much needed sleep!

I'm going to finish that graphic novel real quick and then take a shower.

Abducted by Readathon hours 10-?

I've completely lost track of what hour we are in!

Hold on let me do some quick math....

7:00pm would have been hour is now midnight here in that makes this hour 17!

I can't believe it has already been 8 whole hours since my last post!

Okay, so book club started at 6 and, like I said, it is now midnight so book club lasted for 6 hours!!!

Yep, that is just how our book club rolls!

We had so much fun, it was a total blast!

I was able to get my entire apartment cleaned (or at least the important parts...don't ask about my bedroom!) by 5 and then Mandy showed up early, just as I was starting to get the food ready, and helped me prepare the chicken! Actually, she cooked the whole thing! Which was awesome! She totally cooked the dinner and then when we were done eating everything she cleared all the plates and then loaded and started my dishwasher for me! How amazing is that???

I have the best friends!

For dinner we had Parmesan Crusted Chicken (the Hellmann's recipe) with angel hair pasta and tomato sauce, and garlic bread. I tried to make a salad, but when I opened the bag of lettuce it had already started to brown, so we had to just throw it out. Then for dessert we had chocolate fondue with angel food cake, pretzels, mint chocolate marshmellows, strawberries, and cheesecake bites!

Do I really have to say how good it all was, or are you already jealous :)

We also drank four bottles of wine. Because my book club girls and I, we like our wine!

Then, after we discussed I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason by Susan Kandel, we played a murder mystery game.

This is Andrea (the bad boy Ralph Rottingrape), Me (the detective Bud Wizer...I have a pipe in my mouth so that is why I look like I'm making an odd face), Amanda (the vineyard care taker Papa Vito) and Holly (the German wine merchant Otto Von Schnapps)

And these were the ladies! Tracy (the neighboring vineyard owner Hedy Shablee), Ame (the vineyard pageant winner turned movie star Marilyn Merlot), and Mandy (the seemingly innocent wife of Ralph Rottingrape and former fiance of the victim of the murder, Bruce Underwood).

We also gave a trophy to whomever came most in character. Amanda won for two reasons. One, because she looked adorable. And two, because after we all voted on who we thought the killer was, it was revealed that her character was the killer, but no one had voted for her! So, basically she got away with murder!!!

Now, after I've written all of this, it is 1am. I'm really going to try to start a graphic novel and see if I can read it quickly before I pass out. I do want to attend mass in the morning so I already know I can't pull an all nighter. But we will just see how far we get.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Abducted by Readathon hours 7-9

We are getting close to the end of hour 9 in the readathon.

In the last three hours I cleaned my kitchen, cleaned out the freezer, mopped the floors (in spite of the fact that my trusty mop would grip on to the wet cloth thing properly), I cleaned out my dog feeder, dusted my bookshelf, and even wiped down the blades on my ceiling fan.

I also listened to the last two and a half hours worth of In The Company of Cheerful Ladies : The #1 Ladies Detective Agency and started the audio version of Unbearable Lightness : A Story of Loss and Gain.

Book club starts in just over two hours, I'm not dressed and I still need to dust and vacuum the living room!

Not to mention the fact that I still have some cooking to get started. I'm a little stressed and I feel a panic attack coming, but I'm determined to keep calm and just keep moving. That is why this post is going to be really short.

I hope everyone else is having a great readathon experience.

I wont be able to post another update until after book club so keep up all the hard work and I'll check back soon!

Abducted by Readathon hours 4-6

Well, these last three hours I've been running around like a crazy person!

I did some more laundry (movie clothes from my apartment to the washer, washer to dryer, dryer back to my apartment and so on and so on and so on)

Then I took my dog up to Moore, went to my parents house to borrow some extra chairs for tonight, went to Target to get strawberries, and went to my favorite Mexican restaurant, Qdoba's, to get lunch! 

They make the most insane burritos! My friend Shavonne took me their for dinner almost a month ago and now I crave them all the time!

So, with all of that going on I tried to listen to my audio book but was only able to listen to an hour and a half of it.

Now it is 1:00 pm and I just finished eating. In the next three hours I plan to continue listening to my audio book while I clean my kitchen and vaccum the living room.

Abducted by Readathon hourse 1-3

1st hour of readathon: I read two pages out of I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason by Susan Kandel and fell back to sleep.

2nd hour of readathon: I had two rather large cups of coffee, did two loads of laundry and read another 20 pages. Whilst listening to the Ben Folds Five/ Nick Hornby cd titled "Lonely Avenue"

3rd hour of readathon: more laundry, more coffee, and I FINISHED I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason whilst listening to My Chemical Romance.

Now I will be listening to In The Company of Cheerful Ladies: The #1 Ladies Detective Agency while running some errands and putting up all the laundry I was doing this morning and checking in on all my readathon buddies!

PS: Dad came by and couldn't figure out what was wrong with my car. It is overheating but has plenty of fluid. So I'll have to take it to Kwik Kar next weekend and see what they think it is. But it was nice to see my dad for a bit. He came in and played with Riley. 

Abducted by the Start of Dewey's Readathon!

Today is my second chance at participating in Dewey's readathon. I am really excited because I know it will be a fun day regardless, but I'm getting a little apprehensive and my defeatist attitude is already giving me thoughts of throwing in the towel.

I started setting aside books for today months ago, and I even asked to use some of my vacation time today so that I would for sure not get sucked into working. I thought it would be perfect because even though I knew I would be hosting my book club this month, it originally wasn't supposed to be until the 29th.

Well, that got moved. So, now I have 6 or my favorite female readers coming over tonight and I'm responsible for entertaining and feeding them! And since Halloween is coming up and we wanted to do a costume theme, tonight we are discussing a cozy mystery novel and having a murder mystery party! They are all going to be the suspects and I'm the detective! It should be really fun, and I'm trying to keep things as simple and easy as possible, but I still have so much cleaning to do!

And I just know that I'm going to be paranoid sitting on my butt reading all day when I'm hosting a party tonight. I can see myself jumping up every ten minutes thinking "I forgot to dust the picture frames!" "My books aren't organized on my bookshelves!" "There are dust bunnies all around the baseboards!"

THEN, when I came home from work today my car was doing something odd, so I called my dad just so I could tell him before I forgot about it, and I assumed he would just say; "I'll check it out when you're at the house on Sunday." or "Well, when is your next day off? I can come by then."

But no! His response was; "How early are you getting up tomorrow, so I can drive right over!"

Which, okay, on one hand, I adore my father and am grateful for everything he is willing to do for me. But on the other hand I'm like; but but but I had plans....

And at some point today I have to drive to the neighboring town of Moore to drop off my dog at the sitters so he doesn't have to stay locked up in my room all night when the girls are over for book club.

I swear if it isn't one thing, it's another!

But you know what...I'm up...I'm here...I'm ready to start reading!

Whatever the day brings...well, that is just what the day is going to bring!

My original goal was to finish five books today, but now I'll be happy with even one. Every book will be an achievement as far as I'm concerned.

I'll be posting updates through out the day. And I do have an audio book ready to go for when I'm ready for a break and want to look around at everyone else's progress, so I can't wait to see how everyone else is doing!

Have fun reading!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Abducted by Obsessions 10.15.2011

I've been thinking lately that I need to start a new meme, or something, in order to make sure I keep up with my blogging. It is hard for me though, because I don't read as much as certain friends of mine. I mean, don't get me wrong, I read by far more than a lot of my other friends, but for someone trying to keep up with a "book blog" I don't read nearly enough.

Then I remembered that one of my favorite talk shows to watch is Watch What Happens: Live with Andy Cohen on the Bravo channel. And at the end of his episodes he does a segment he calls "The three things I'm obsessed with this week"

So, basically, that's it. That is going to be my new meme. I'm thinking I'll do it every Saturday, and it will just be a chance for me to share with you all the three things I become obsessed with each week and therefore, share with you all the three things that keep me from reading each week.

Without further delay, here are three things I'm obsessed with...

1. 7 Minutes in Heaven with Mike O'Brien.

Okay, I've actually been obsessed with Mike O'Brien for a while now, but this is my first chance to write about him on my blog so I'm taking it.
Mike O'Brien is a writer for Saturday Night Live who stars as the host of this wonderful youtube talk show. Every Friday he invites celebrities to come to "his closet" for some drinks and a few laughs. When he first started the show, 2 months ago, the interviews were actually quite awkward and strange, but that was what made them brilliant! Unfortunately, now he's actually getting a lot better. The shows are funny, but I still liked it better in the beginning. He has interviewed tons of celebrities now, from Elijah Wood, Patricia Clarkson, Amy Poehler, to Christina Ricci. Just last Friday he had Ellen DeGeneres on, and today it was Jack McBrayer from 30 Rock.
I've tried to get a lot of my friends to subscribe to this one, but not everyone apprieciates how fantastic it is.
But, what can you do.

2. The Guild

I've known about The Guild for over 2 years now, but for some strange reason I never got around to watching it until this past week! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
Don't worry though, as soon as I started watching the Guild I couldn't stop until I watched them all! And I LOVED IT!!!! Felicia Day is my new role model. I so want to be her when I grow up. Wait...huh, I wonder how old she is...hold on I'll check...okay, well, she is only 3 years older than me, but still, I want to be her someday!
The Guild is perfect! Basically, the story is about 6 gamers who come together online to form a guild, but then they end up meeting in real life and becoming friends. Chaos ensues! The acting is spectacular and the humor is undeniable.
My only complaint is that I wanted Felicia Day's character, Cyd "Codex", and Wil Wheaton's character, "Fawkes", to have been a real couple. But, oh, well, he was still awesome in the role he got to play.

and 3. Pillars of the Earth

The funny thing is that I first received the discs for Pillars of the Earth back in September from Netflix. But it took me until recently to finally start watching them. At one point, I almost considered sending them back, thinking I just wasn't in the mood for it right now, but then I thought; "No, I've held on to them this long. I better just watch them."

Oh. My. God. It was AMAZING!!! Soooo Good!!!

Every break I was forced into taking when I had to wait on the next disc to arrive, was literally painful! A part of me wanted to skip to the end just to make sure that it all ends happy, but I couldn't! That is what you get for getting sucked into an 8 part mini series. But so many of the episodes end with such sadness that you really can't imagine that things could work out the way you want them to. But on Friday night, I finally finished!
And I could not have been happier! There is a love story, a loyal Priest, family, incest, betrayal, heartbreak, murder, redemption, everything that goes into a good miniseries. Also, a good book from what I hear!

Maybe I'll become obsessed with that next year.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Abducted by Where She Went

Happy Columbus Day Everybody!!!

 Usually, on Columbus Day, I try to have a Chris Columbus marathon of movies, but this year has been an epic fail! I've just been so busy that I wasn't able to ask off work for it. And I was going to watch Adventures in Babysitting last night, but I got caught up in the second season of Heroes on Netflix. Tonight, however, I will for sure watch RENT after my work out. And then I might still try to fit in Gremlins on my next day off. 

 If you are interested in more of thoughts on Chris Columbus check out my post on

I can't believe that we are already almost half way done with October! That is crazy! And because the year is winding down and I'm running out of time, I'm going to have to do something I really hate to do...

I'm going to have to stop reading books that don't interest me.

Once I have started a book it is extremely hard for me to walk away. I know a lot of you out there will feel my pain on this. But, I'm running out of time to reach my goal of 111 books in a year, so if a book doesn't capture my immediately, I'm going to have to walk away.

Starting with The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

I checked out the audio version of this book from my local library, but I'm really struggling to get through it. It hasn't sucked me in at all. I've been listening to it for over a week and haven't even finished the first disc. It's time to walk away. I also think this is one of those occasions where I may have to actually read the book itself and not just listen to it. Either way it will have to wait until next year.

I'm also struggling with In The Company of Cheerful Ladies (The #1 Ladies Detective Agency) but I'm over half way with that one so I'll just tough it out.

I did finish Where She Went last week which was the sequel to If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

Now this is a book that I was immediately drawn into and captured by! This was also an audio book I checked out from my library and I would then listen to in my car. I don't even want to think about how much gas I waisted making extra laps around my block or taking the back roads to get to a store that is down the street from me, just so I could finish one more chapter.

If I Stay is the story of a 17 year old girl, Mia, who is in a car accident that takes the lives of both her parents and her younger brother, and leaves her in a coma. While her body is incapacitated her spirit is able to observe the world around her and therefore make the decision as to if she should stay now that her family is gone.

Where She Went is told from the perspective of Adam, Mia's boyfriend, three years later. Adam's life has gone off in a direction that he never imagined and he is still grieving all that he has lost over the last three years. He is now a rock star living it up in LA, recording music in NYC, and about to go on tour in Europe. However, his constant effort to forget about the life he lost, has put a strain on his current relationships with his family, friends, band mates, and his celebrity girlfriend.

I really felt for Adam in this book. I could completely empathize with his frustration and pain, and I wanted answers just as bad as he did. I have to really give credit to the author for this because she did an amazing job portraying his grief and depression.

I also loved Gayle Forman's inclusion of music throughout both books. Music is what originally brought Mia and Adam together and it plays a significant part in both books. In If I Stay, Mia is an accomplished cellist and for the audio book, they played little riffs of cello music in between some chapters and at the end of the discs. However, since Where She Went is Adam's perspective and he is an accomplished guitarist, it played kind of a bluesy rock piece.

Now, as far as which one I liked better, I'm going to go with the second one, Where She Went. Both stories were beautifully written and the development of the characters felt very honest and genuine. However, I felt that with If I Stay the ending was more limited. You know as you are reading that the story is going to end with her choosing between two options; she will stay, or she will die. Where as in the sequel I felt like I had no idea how is was going to end, there were just so many choices and variations. And the way that it ended did surprise me, because I didn't think it was possible for everything to tie together the way it. So having those options made me like Where She Went just that much more.

But please don't let me give you the impression that If I Stay is a limited book just because the ending is limited, because it is not limited at all! The journey that Mia takes you on is emotionally heart breaking. By the end of the book I didn't know any more whether or not I even wanted her to live! After everything she lost, all the pain she would endure by choosing to stay, it is unbearable.

 But the whole book isn't about death either. In If I Stay, Mia uses her time trying to make her decision, to reflect back on stories of her childhood with her family, how she started to play the cello, how she met her best friend, and also, of course, how her and Adam came together. And in turn, Adam uses his time in Where She Went to reflect on the time he was with Mia, how he got along with her parents, trips they had taken together, but also about how he lost touch with his music after Mia's accident. How he strayed from the band and how he let the fame go to his head.

Both books are incredible so I strongly recommend them.

On goodreads I gave If I Stay 4/5 stars and Where She Went 5/5

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Abducted by a White Cat w/ Red Gloves

I have found that the worst part about not keeping up with my blog, is that, in turn, I don't really keep up with my google reader either! Which means not only have I not been posting, but I haven't been reading all the wonderful posts by all of my fellow bloggers! I'm so sorry guys! Well, tonight, I finally got my google reader completely cleaned out, and I tried to comment on as many pieces as I could, but now I figured it was time to start posting again myself.

Here is a quick post of two audio books I finished recently...

White Cat and Red Glove

The Curse Workers series is another collection of YA novels about high-schoolers that can do magic. There is trouble teens, lots of angst, love interests, secrets, family drama, a mob boss, basically all your normal fantasy YA fiction ingredients. But let me tell you my #1 reason for why I love this series... in this magical world there are consequences for ones actions. 

When you read a lot of fantasy novels where the leading cast of characters have all of these extraordinary powers, one can't help but be curious about which power they would want or what it would be like to have certain abilities. But, what would you do if every time you used your "special power", you had to deal with the "blow back"? Well, blow back is exactly what the curse workers have coming to them every time they do something magical, and I LOVE that!

It works like this... Let's say that your special power is the ability to give someone dreams, then your dreams become affected. Or if you have the ability to "curse" people to change their memories, you will start to loose some of your own. Oh, Oh, Oh, AND, if you have the power to kill someone, then when you curse them, a part of you dies as well! So, if you kill someone with your power, when the blow back hits one of your fingers (or your nose, or your ear, or your big toe...whatever) just decays and falls off! 

Now, stop for just a second and let that sink in...

Can you imagine how that will affect how you would use your powers? I mean you have no control of what happens to you when the blow back hits! You can't just make a list of which memories you want to loose so that the next time you curse someone you can just start knocking them off the list. And you never know that if you use your power to kill someone, if you will loose a finger or your whole arm! I mean seriously...what would you do? How do you use it? How do you control it?  

All the dynamics and layers that those consequences allow, those alone make me LOVE this series!

Before I forget, the Curse Worker series was yet another series forced upon me by fakesteph! She has a pretty good track record of recommendations going so far, if you haven't checked out her blog yet just click on her name.

I listened to both White Cat and Red Glove in my car and they were read to me by Jesse Eisenberg. He's not quite the Castle I had pictured in my mind, but he did a great job. White Cat, on its own, I did not give 5 stars to, but I feel that was because I love books that are more character based. However, any time you are starting a series that takes place in some form of a fantasy world, the first book in the series is always more about introducing the reader to that world as a whole. So, while I loved the world the book was set in, I didn't really connect to the characters. But then I immediately started Red Glove and that one got 5 stars hands down! It had its own story and mystery to solve, but there was more about the characters, so I did like it more. 

So far the series is just White Cat and Red Glove, but Black Heart will be released in April! It isn't necessarrily a novel that I'll be waiting on the edge of my seat for, but when I do finally pick it up on audio from the library, I know I'll be excited to get back into the world of the Curse Workers!

P.S. I forgot to give an update on my dad. In my last post (which was just under a month ago...God, Really?, sorry guys) I mentioned that my dad was in the hospital with shingles. Well, he is doing better, but he is still technically in the recover process. He was in the hospital for a week before I finally got to take him home. And what I have learned is that, when you or someone you know is affected by shingles, it isn't like they have the common cold or a really bad flu, or some other normal disease. Not only is the pain by far worse, but it can take months even years before you are back to your old self. My dad has one of those larger then life, jovial personalities that just draws people to him. So, having him now be so quiet and withdrawn has been very difficult. The adjustment has been challenging, but you just have to give it time. But it is frustrating because I see my dad so often, but in a way I still really miss him. Shingles is also highly contagious and so the entire time he was in the hospital we couldn't really hug him or touch him at all. Last Sunday, as I was leaving my parents house after dinner, that was the first time he let me hug him good bye. But he is getting better. His appetite is slowly starting to come back, and with that his strength and his energy. So, like I said, it will just take time.

P.P.S. I love how every time I start out writing a post by saying "I want to write a quick post..." it always becomes way super long! Ha, it makes me laugh :) usually I just go back and delete that line, but from now on I'm going to start leaving it in so that my regular readers will be able to notice just how often I do that. 
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