Monday, October 19, 2009

At Home With Friends

When I worked for a major symphony orchestra, I got to attend every performance. I loved being surrounded by beautiful music, and I loved those moments when the sheer passion of the musicians created something so extraordinary it brought tears to my eyes.

When I was given a copy of Joshua Bell's new album, At Home With Friends, to review, I discovered it is full of those very sames types of moments. You see, Joshua is well known for holding ‘musical soirĂ©es’ at his Manhattan residence – parties with musicians, actors, comics and authors who get together just for the sheer joy of sharing their art. So with this new album, Joshua fulfilled a life-long career dream of recording a CD of instrumental and vocal duets with an amazing roster of musicians and friends. And the love of their crafts shines through on every track.

Even if you're not a fan of classical music, this CD is well worth adding to your collection. It's simply gorgeous.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Your Songs

When I was given the opportunity to review the new Harry Connick, Jr. album "Your Songs" I did a little happy dance in my chair. Because the fact of the matter is, if it's Harry Connick, Jr., you know it's going to be good.

Fans of Harry are not going to be disappointed by this album. It has everything you've come to expect: fantastic arrangements, great orchestration, amazing music, and of course, Harry's own smooth-as-silk voice tying it all together in a neat little bow. The album pulls together some of the best-known songs from some of the best known artists of the last few decades. I loved his version of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" the best, but all of them are great.

So if you're looking for some sweet, smooth and sexy tunes, you can't do much better than Harry Connick, Jr. and "Your Songs." Thanks, One2One Network, for the chance to do this review - I loved it!

Friday, September 18, 2009


We had an amazing day this past Saturday. We took the boys to Washington DC to be part of the Taxpayers' March and I'm really glad we did. I haven't seen a lot of people talking about it (particularly not the mainstream media), so I'm going to tell you what it was like.

First of all, any numbers you've heard are probably really low. I'll tell you why: when we got there, hundreds and hundreds of people were leaving. So many people were walking in the opposite direction that I thought we were going the wrong way. Apparently, they had participated in the march and then left before the speakers started. We got there at 1 p.m. and managed to get to the far side of the reflecting pool and no farther. We couldn't see the screen at all, and could barely hear the speakers. Behind us, the entire grassy area all the way to 3rd street was filled with people. See, this is all the closer we could get. Right in the center of the picture, you can barely see a statue. That's the statue that is way back in the distance in pictures taken from the stage! We stayed for about 45 minutes, until the younger boys got antsy. Then we went into the museums. When we finished, the rally had ended. Even though there was trash in every trash can, as well as piled around it, the ground was clear of debris across the mall and all around the meeting area. Nothing. I suspect people probably picked up stuff that was there when they got there, too.
I read an awful lot of signs that day. Did I see any racist ones? NOT ONE. Are people angry? You betcha. Violent? Not at all. This is what America is all about. And I'm proud to have shown it to my kids.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Great lit website

In preparing for my literature class tomorrow, I came across this truly excellent website on literary criticism. If you have an interest in the subject, or if your kids are trying to learn about it, it's definitely worth a look.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Last chance!

If you haven't got a copy of my book, Spanish Summer, for the amazingly low discount price of $8.50, let me know. I've only got two copies left. After that, I'm temporarily pulling it so I can correct a few typos. So this is a special, limited first edition. I'll even sign it for you!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Curious Movie

So, we watched "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" the other night. I had really been looking forward to it because I love F. Scott Fitzgerald and I had recently read the short story this movie is "based" on.

The only similarities are the name of the main character and the fact that he ages backwards. I am not kidding or exaggerating. That's it. If they had given the character a different name, they wouldn't even have had to credit Fitzgerald at all.

Having said that, I really enjoyed the movie. I loved the acting and the story was interesting. The love story didn't ring true with me, but maybe that's because it wasn't what I was expecting. And the makeup in this movie is incredible. Whoever made Brad Pitt look 20 again is more than welcome to come over and give me a few tips!

All in all, I would recommend this movie for one viewing. I don't think I'm likely to watch it again, but it was a pleasant way to spend three hours.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy birthday, teenager!

My oldest son turns 13 this week. Unbelievable!Here he is as a newborn in 1996.And here he is now. The thing that baffles me the most is how he could have grown so much and I still look exactly the same. One of the mysteries of the universe, I suppose.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Another 80s indulgence

One of the most fun things I do as a parent, although admittedly trivial in the grand scheme of things, is introduce my kids to things I love and see their reactions. Many favorite movies, books, and television shows of mine are waiting for the boys to be old enough to see or read. Much of my favorite music has already been played repeatedly in the van and around the house.

Last week, using Netflix's online instant viewing feature, we all started watching Simon & Simon, season 1. What a time warp! Imagine private detectives in 1981, before computers, before cell phones, before caller ID for crying out loud! This was one of my favorite shows from the time I was 12 until it went off the air in 1989. A true '80s indulgence. I remember I kept a notebook of all the episodes, who guest starred, plot synopses, and favorite lines from the episodes. Yeah, I was obsessed. Mostly due to the extensively gorgeous Jameson Parker, I admit. I'll have to hunt up the picture of the giant Simon & Simon collage I had on my bedroom wall. It was awesome.

Anyway, for such a dated show, the storylines are usually fun and exciting, if a tad predictable. The best parts of every show are the banter between brothers Rick and A.J. and the times they use disguises to get information. Watching this show again, it's no wonder I wanted to be an actor. It looks like they're having so much fun! And I really like that even though there are plenty of murder mysteries, we don't have to see close-ups of the corpse. And even though the brothers have many lady friends, we don't have to look into their bedrooms. Much better than today's television.

So now every night the boys come running upstairs asking to watch Simon & Simon. I told my oldest two they were lucky I didn't know for sure I'd have two boys in a row or they'd be named Rick and A.J. They didn't seem to mind the idea too much.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Can you believe it's the tenth of July and we haven't turned the air conditioner on once yet this month? One third of the way through July, and no AC! Unbelievable.

I am really loving this weather. This is my idea of perfect. Eighty during the day, sixty at night, with little to no humidity, and a light breeze. Hot enough in the sun for the kids to swim, but cool enough I can sit in the shade comfortably. If it were like this every year, I wouldn't dread summer so much.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spanish Summer ready for purchase!

So here's the deal:

As my "prize" for finishing NaNoWriMo this past year, I got to submit my novel to CreateSpace for publication. It is now, finally, ready and can be ordered here.


If you buy it online it's $9.99 plus $3.18 shipping. I, however, can get discounted copies. So here's what I'm going to do for you. I'm going to buy a case of books and sell them to my friends and family for $8.50 INCLUDING shipping. That's right. I'll even sign it for you if you want.

So if you could leave a comment letting me know you want one, I will order them. Once they're in I'll contact you by email and you can use my Paypal account to pay and give me your address. If you live near me and want to pick it up, I'll even take another dollar off! $7.50! Really, how can you pass that up?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Weirder than ever

I have enjoyed Weird Al Yankovic's songs since the mid-80s, but hadn't listened to any of his newer songs. I figured since I didn't know the songs he was parodying, I wouldn't "get" them. Oh, how wrong I was. And look, he even wrote a song about me!

Plus, check out his new Doors-inspired song, "Craigslist" - absolutely hysterical!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Do I get Social Security now?

The other day we were at a church dinner. Usually, they will announce the order in which the tables are to go up to the food line, but this time they did it a little differently. Anyone 70 or older was allowed to go through the line first.

My seven year old looked up at me. "That's you, Mommy!"

And he seemed truly shocked to find out I am not, in fact, over 70. Then he looked at Hubby. "What about Daddy?"

Monday, June 08, 2009


The other day I had picked some mint from the garden to make mint tea. Since I wasn't ready to use it yet, I put it in some water on the counter. A while late, my kitten jumped on the counter (as he does often). When he saw the mint, his eyes went wide. Then he hooked it with one paw and carried it to the floor.

Once in his possession, he chewed it, tossed it around, shredded it, and just generally enjoyed the life out of it. My older cat entered the room, saw the mint, and grabbed some for himself.

I've heard of catnip, but I never heard that regular spearmint would invoke this kind of reaction in felines. Anybody else?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My book is out

If you happen to own a Kindle (the coolest device ever), you can now purchase my first novel, Spanish Summer. The print version should be ready soon, and I'll certainly let you know when you can order it!


I took the four year old for his checkup the other day. While doing the physical exam, the doctor asked him a few questions.

"How high can you count?" was one of them.

"I can count to 100... MILLION!" The doctor probably thought he was kidding, but I bet he could count that high given enough time and patience (I've heard him count to over 100). In any case, the doctor was satisfied with 10. And very impressed when I told him that my preschooler knows all his letters and the sounds they make and is reading simple words.

On the way home, he wanted to know how high his oldest brother could count. "As high as he wants to," I said.

"And what grade is he in?"


"How high can you count, Mommy?" I gave him the same answer, as high as I want to. "And what grade are you in?"

"I'm not in a grade. I finished school."

He paused for a moment. "So when you finish school you're not in any grade anymore?"

"That's right."

Another pause, then, "That's AWESOME!"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I am thoroughly entertained

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We got a lot of work done around the house and had some relaxing time as well.

My dad is lending me his USB turntable, with which I can transfer all my old records into MP3s. I cannot tell you how excited I am. All those records I collected when I was a kid (you remember, those round black vinyl things?) can now be enjoyed once again! The down side is that I have to sit here while it's recording and separate the tracks. But that's okay - I'm enjoying it.

The other thing I've discovered is Netflix. Well, I wouldn't say discovered so much as received a free month and figured I'd better use it before it expires. Back when we joined this before they didn't have instant movies available on the computer. How cool is that? I might be spending way too much time online in the very near future. Maybe I can watch movies while I transfer my old records! Oh, bliss!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Drop everything

We have a drop ceiling in our basement. You know, where a metal frame is installed below the ceiling beams and then tiles are suspended in the frame. Now, with a drop ceiling, you expect certain things. You expect the occasional spider to drop down at you. You expect bits of the tiles to drop off if you move them.

We didn't expect that a DROP of water, followed by many more drops, would DROP one of the tiles onto the basement floor in a gooey mess, but that's just what happened back in the fall (hmm... fall. Coincidence?). And we didn't expect last night to have a cat DROP out of the ceiling either.

Apparently my kitten discovered a way up into the ceiling through one of the missing tile holes and was making himself at home up there. My mom and I heard a loud crash as he jumped out, but at the time we didn't know what it was. It was only later when he once again climbed up there that my sons saw a little kitty muzzle sticking out of the ceiling. Now that he knows he can get up there, there's no stopping him.

So before he DROPS down into the wall and we have to pry the paneling off to get him out, we need to go the store and buy some new panels. He's a sweet kitty, but he's not the brightest bulb in the lamp.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Brain cloud

I have been feeling very odd lately. Well, not just lately. I think ever since we got back from China, I haven't quite been able to get myself back on track. Writing, blogging, or in any other way.

You remember the movie "Joe Versus the Volcano" where Tom Hanks is told he has a brain cloud? [for those who don't, it's not a real thing - the doctor made it up to scare the character Joe - it's very convoluted - just go rent the movie]. That's how I feel. Like I have a brain cloud. Everything is just fuzzy and not quite right.

Even though my time spent online has greatly diminished, I don't feel like I've been getting much done around the house. I go though all the necessary motions, but I don't feel fully engaged in many of them. It's bizarre.

It's not depression. I've dealt with depression before and this isn't it.

Maybe I need a French word like malaise or ennui to describe it.

It's like there's this huge gap between all the things I really want to do and being able to summon the motivation to actually do them. Maybe I need to get more organized. Maybe I need more sleep. Exercise? That could be it.

See, this post is just like my brain right now. Random, scattered, disorganized, chaotic. Maybe I need a few days on a tropical island with orange-soda-drinking natives?

Monday, April 27, 2009


I was in the bathroom last night and heard my sons outside the door having the following conversation:

Age 9: I'm going to freeze time!
Age 12: No, don't freeze time!
Age 9: Why not?
Age 12: Because Mommy's in the bathroom! And I have to go to the bathroom! If you freeze time, she'll never come out!

I guess with great power comes great responsibility.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

DWTS meets BHB

If you are a Dancing With the Stars fan, or a Ballas Hough Band fan, or both, check this out! It's hilarious!
<a href="" target="_new" title="Exclusive: 'Do You Love Me' by Ballas Hough Band">Video: Exclusive: 'Do You Love Me' by Ballas Hough Band</a>

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day off

We're in a hotel in Pittsburgh right now. Hubby had his twice yearly committee meeting today, and we came along for fun. This hotel has a pool and will give us a late checkout of 2 p.m., so we can relax and swim and enjoy ourselves while he's doing his meeting thing.

And that's all from here. I'm gonna do some Facebooking.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Freebie resource!

One of my favorite things about the internet is the free stuff. If I added up the value of all the free stuff I've gotten just over the last year, it would be well into the hundreds of dollars. And my absolute favorite thing is when I find wonderful websites that share free stuff every day of the week.

Homeschool Freebie of the Day is one of those sites. They have offered e-books, audio recordings and printables that I have downloaded, used and loved. This weekend, for example, they are giving away a whole package about Paul Revere, celebrating the anniversary of his famous ride. You don't have to be a homeschooler to join their mailing list or download their resources. Just a parent who likes to share great stuff with her kids!

Click here to visit and get your free stuff!

Monday, April 13, 2009


The four year old spent a good part of the day Saturday either playing or watching his brothers play Cars on the Wii. It has several racing games where the characters from the movies run laps around tracks or around Radiator Springs, and it's very cute.

That night, I sat down to brush his teeth. This always takes way longer than in a four year old's opinion it should. After about a minute, he pushed my hand away and said, "Are we on the final lap yet?"

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Now that's a big tv

We have snow this morning! Granted it's not much and it will be gone quickly, but what a nice surprise!

I got my tv back yesterday. Well, what we use for a tv is a projector and an approximately 100 inch screen. The projector (still under warranty) had a problem and was gone for about three weeks being repaired. It's amazing how much more interesting some shows are when they're life-sized. I especially love watching movies on there. It's like our own private theater.

So now that we've got our theater back, what are some good recent movies we might not have seen?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Semi-automatic clothes washing

Picture this: six people's worth of dirty laundry and a broken washer. What to do? Sure you could go to the laundromat, but where's the fun in that? Especially when you have small children and a bath tub.

Since I hadn't done the week's laundry yet when my washer broke down last Sunday, and since I didn't know when the part would come in, I threw a load in the tub with a scoop of detergent, a six year old and a nine year old. They swished the clothes all around and stomped on them a lot. We drained the dirty water (whether it was so dirty from the clothes or the feet I'm not sure) and filled the tub again. Rinse and repeat.

They had so much fun we did a second load. I tell you, I have never seen such disappointment as when the new part came in the mail and the washer got fixed. They were hoping it would never come. I think they would have happily done laundry every day. Now if only I could get them to be that excited about laundry done the regular way!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Well... that's a deep subject

What a fun Sunday we had here. (Notice the extreme sarcasm in that statement)

When we went to bed Saturday night, we had no water. So, bright and early Sunday morning, we set about pulling up our well pump. Yes, the one that's down in a 300+ foot-deep hole. We did this once before, right after we moved in, because the wires going down to the pump were bad. This time, it was the actual pump.

Of course, my hubby is a superman when it comes to doing anything around the house (in fact, that's his ringtone when he calls me - the theme from "Superman"), so he had the whole thing taken care of by 4 p.m. (With lots of help from his brother, who fortuitously happened to still be here when the water stopped and agreed to stick around and help - thanks, Mark!)

Then we had part 2 of our fun Sunday. The washing machine had been in the process of filling when the water stopped, so its valve was sitting open all night and the next day waiting for water. When the water finally came back on, the valve had been sitting open so long it stuck. Next thing we know, water is running out of the washer and all over the floor. Luckily, our 12-year-old saw it and hubby got it stopped before too long.

So now I'm without a washer while we wait for a part to come. And naturally I had only begun to do laundry when this happened. I think I'll save my solution to this for another post. And hopefully the part will be here tomorrow.

Yep, it was a fun Sunday.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


When I heard that Mark Ballas and Derek Hough, two professional dancers, were putting out an album, I was skeptical, to say the least. But then I heard them on t.v., and I was pretty impressed. Their band's first album, BHB (that's Ballas Hough Band) is out now and well worth a listen.

For one thing, these guys can sing. Their voices, together with that of the lovely Emily Grace, form a nice, smooth harmony that's a pleasure to listen to. The album is an eclectic mix of styles and every tune is a catchy one. This is great workout (or dancing!) music. I could definitely see them performing "Do You Love Me" on Dancing With the Stars, while some of their pro friends danced along to a cha-cha. Or "Longing For" performed with a sexy rumba.

I'd have to say my favorite song is "Devastated." I find myself humming it long after I've turned off the music. Of course, if you visit Amazon, you can listen to samples of all the songs and decide for yourself which one you like. I'm even going to leave the link in my sidebar for a while so that when you can't get that song out of your head, you can come back here and order it. You're welcome.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring is springing

Here it is Friday already! I lost two days to a migraine this week, so I'm playing catch up on all my work and school with the kids, etc.

I did however manage to watch AI this week. I think the final three should be Adam, Allison and Danny. But that's just my opinion.

And finally, I've noticed things starting to turn green outside, so here is my tribute to the season:

Ode To Spring

The trees are budding, the birds do sing,
Both signs that it will soon be spring.
We have enough to do inside,
But soon the mower will need a ride.
The grass will grow at alarming speeds
But not as quickly as the weeds
Which pulling never rids us of.
(Those have thorns! You’ll need a glove!)
My eyes will water, my nose will drip,
What a lovely little allergy trip!
We can turn off the heat,
Air out the home,
And the children outdoors
Can finally roam
Until way after six.
They’ll bring home loads of ticks.
We’ll search them each night.
And the cat, what a sight!
He brings in ticks and burrs.
We remove them. He purrs?
No, he scratches and bites!
The ants will invade
And we’ll buy lots of Raid
Then the flies will appear
(with so many farms near)
And we’ll swat them all summer.
Oh, yes, it’s a bummer.
The stink bugs increase (they got here last fall
And we still haven’t gotten rid of them all)
The garden will grow us some squash
But the groundhogs’ hunger they won’t quash,
So the little rascals will eat my food
Never once thinking it might be rude.
All the things that spring brings
Have me feeling not fine.
Wonder if anyone else feels like
I do online?

Monday, March 23, 2009

When everything goes right

Usually, when there is something to be done, Hubby and I can count on it taking at least twice as long as we think it will. Whether it's fixing something on the car, building a shelf or digging a hole, we always seem to get into trouble. A tool breaks. A battery dies. Whatever.

This weekend, we went to one of our rental houses to fix a few things for a tenant. And I'm happy to report that absolutely nothing went wrong. We fixed her front door latch so she doesn't have to slam it anymore. We fixed her bathroom fan which wasn't running (and no wonder, as much dust as was caked on there). And we fixed the loose boards in her deck. All in less than two hours!

Sometimes it just feels really good to have everything go right!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Time travel for dummies

Recently, the story line on LOST has become somewhat confusing to some people. (Okay, maybe not so recently for a lot of people). However, I as always am here to help you because this is truly one of the best shows ever and if you're not watching it, you're missing out.

So first, go grab seasons 1-4 and watch them. Then watch season 5 online. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Done yet?

Okay, so this whole time travel thing has people upset. "What happened originally?" they want to know. When Sawyer wasn't there to save Amy, what happened? The answer, of course, is that Sawyer did save Amy. That's the way it happened. If you don't believe me, think about her baby's name: Ethan. Was Ethan around before Sawyer went back in time? Yes. Could Ethan have been around if Amy died? No. Sawyer always showed up to rescue her.

Still confused? I can make this simpler. Don't think of the timeline as a whole, think of each person's life as a timeline. Like this:

Sawyer is born -> Sawyer sees his parents die -> Sawyer grows up to be a con man -> Sawyer goes to Australia, returning on flight 815 -> Sawyer crashes on the island -> Sawyer goes through lots of bad stuff -> Sawyer goes back in time -> Sawyer saves Amy -> Sawyer becomes a member of the Dharma initiative -> etc...

Now Amy:
Amy is part of the Dharma Initiative, married to Paul -> The Others show up and kill Paul -> Sawyer shows up and kills the Others -> Amy goes on to marry Horace -> Amy and Horace have baby Ethan -> etc.

And of course Ethan:
Ethan is born in 1977 -> Ethan leaves the island at some point to become a doctor -> Ethan recruits Juliet and goes back to the island -> Ethan pretends to be a survivor of 815 -> Ethan is found out and kidnaps Claire -> Charlie kills Ethan.

You see, each person's life only flows forward. Even though part of Sawyer's life is lived in 2004 and part of it in 1977, he's still always moving forward through his own personal timeline. I hope I've cleared that up for you all. Go forth and enjoy LOST!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AI Season 8

So, the new season of American Idol is in its second week of the voting portion of competition. I remember last year all the talk about "the best season ever." Well, this season has last season beat by a mile. Maybe two miles. I have been blown away by the sheer talent on the Idol stage the last two weeks.

Last night, I think the real stand-outs were Danny and Anoop. Not coincidentally, these two have been favorites of mine from the beginning. I have to say I didn't really understand the judges fawning all over Matt after he sang. Yeah, it was good. Better than Danny? I don't think so. Michael, unfortunately, is going to end up in the bottom two/three. And Adam was just, well... Adam. Not his best, but you gotta give the guy props for being original! Kris and Scott were both good enough they won't be eliminated yet.

On the girls' side, Allison was amazing, Lil was okay, and Megan was sooooooo much better than last week. They're not going anywhere. I think the one in danger here is Alexis. Strangely enough, Brooke White did a better job with that song last year, and she's not as good a singer as Alexis. I'm still not sure what I really think of Megan. She has that bizarre voice - it's like, it's not that she can sing, it's just that she can sing different than other people. I'm not sure if that makes her good. And if she picks another song like "Rockin' Robin" she will be gone faster than you can figure out what her tattoos are supposed to be.

So, in conclusion, my picks for the final three this year are Adam, Danny and Lil. I could be wrong - it's happened before - but that's the way I see it right now. What do you think?

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Take a political thriller, add a mystery, mix with a thriller, combine it with a romance, some sci-fi, and blend it all with suspense and you get Kiss, the new novel by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy.

Kiss tells the story of Shauna McAllister, who wakes up from a coma and can’t remember the last six months of her life. She’s told that the man standing by her bed is her boyfriend, but she doesn’t remember dating him. She’s told she caused the accident that left her in the hospital and her brother in a vegetative state, but she can’t recall what happened. And so, desperate for any details to fill in the missing pieces, Shauna begins searching for answers.

What she discovers is that her coma, her medications, or something more mysterious, has given her an odd new ability. And she quickly learns that this new ability can be the very thing she needs to find the keys to what caused her accident and who was behind it. The only problem is living long enough to put all the pieces together.

I enjoyed the plot of this novel, the non-stop action, and I especially liked the sci-fi twist of Shauna’s newfound talent. I think all of the elements of this novel work well together to create a story that will have you on the edge of your seat until the final scene.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


My husband asked me this morning why I haven't been blogging. I guess I don't have any one good answer for that. The short answer is I haven't had anything I felt like blogging about. It's not that nothing is happening around here, just that I haven't felt like writing it down.

I guess the things that are heaviest on my mind are not things I feel like discussing in a public forum.

I've also been busy trying to revise one of my NaNo novels into publishable form, which admittedly takes up the majority of my creative energies. And it seems the more I revise, the more I see that needs to be fixed. I'm giving myself a deadline of the the last day of March and then I'm calling it done.

In the meantime, I will probably be talking books and television a lot because I don't have to think too hard about those things.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I am a famous American author (?)

I can't believe it's only Wednesday. I feel like I've already lived through five days this week. Maybe it's because Hubby's out of town. I don't know.

I gave an assignment to my class yesterday to start a research paper. The thesis must be that an American author of their choosing holds a particular philosophy on life (chosen from the different philosophies we have studied this year). For example, a thesis could be, "Nathaniel Hawthorne is an example of the romantic view of life as expressed through his literature." Well, that's not very good, but you get the idea.

I gave several criteria: it has to be an author not covered in our book (can you believe a text on American literature doesn't have F. Scott Fitzgerald in it?), it has to be someone who has at least two published works (novels, preferably), and it has to be an American writer.

Almost without missing a beat, one of the boys asked if he could do his paper on me. Me. Yeah, nice try, but I don't think a couple of newspaper articles about Rockapella are going to reveal my philosophy on life. Granted, it would be a lot easier to get quotes from me as opposed to Fitzgerald.

I'm excited to see who they pick to write about. How much do you want to bet at least one of the girls will pick Stephenie Meyer?

Dolphin bubbles

If you like dolphins, and who doesn't, then check out the Dolphin Bubbles blog. They have a particularly cool video of dolphins blowing ring-shaped bubbles and playing with them. There's a badge over in my sidebar that will take you straight there. Enjoy!

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Dental drama

Fake quote of the day:
"I don't see why people keep telling me to go to the dentist, baby." --A. Powers

Yesterday I had my six month dental checkup. I already knew one of my molars was cracked, but I'd been putting off getting it crowned until our insurance rolled over for the new year. So while I was already at the dentist, I decided to have the crown done.

Well, he started drilling my old filling out and, surprise surprise, the decay had snuck in through the crack in my tooth and was entirely too close to the nerve for just a simple crown. He had to do a root canal. Fortunately, I was plenty numb and didn't feel anything. And he sent me home with pain meds in case it gets unbearable. So far it's just a little ache, unless I try to chew on the right side of my mouth.

So for those of you keeping score, that's three root canals in three years.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Did you see The Amazing Race premiere last night? Okay, if you didn't, go to right now and watch it - there's a link on the front page.

I have never laughed so hard at that show as I did when all those wheels of cheese were rolling down the hill. And the best part was all the Swiss guys standing at the bottom of the hill laughing at the contestants! Now that's some good television. HAHAHAHAHAHA (deep breath) HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Free books!

If ever there were two words I love to hear together, it's "free" and "books." Right now if you go to, you can get up to 16 books from many of their popular lines totally FREE. The books are available in PDF, as well as three other popular ebook formats.

Personally, I downloaded both the PDF and the .lit files and then I converted the .lit files to Kindle format so I can read them on my Kindle. But all you really need is Adobe reader, or the fancier Adobe Digital Editions reader, either of which you can get on Adobe's web site.

A word of caution - some of these books are for adults only. But Harlequin also produces the popular Love Inspired series, which are nice wholesome romances. Just so you know.

So what are you waiting for? Go get your free books!