Wednesday, October 29, 2008

i actually finished my bookclub title... in time, no less!

Yep. I deserve a pat on the back. Ok, well maybe just a thumbs up.

I'm notorious for not finishing my bookclub title in time. I go to the meetings unprepared, but I figure this is supposed to be fun. I'm not going to stress over it.

It took me a while to get into Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. It was a very odd book that skimmed all sorts of subjects. From an incestuous union between brother and sister (in 1922 Smyrna) to prohibition, from the 1967 race riots to hermaphrodites. Did I say it was odd? Yep. I sure did.

I geek out when I read books, and sometimes write little "cheat sheets". Normally timelines, characters, relations, etc... I kind of needed it for this book. There was a part in the book where Desdemona Stephanides is having a conversation with her brother, Eleutherios ("Lefty"). They state that in Turkey, and elsewhere, it is illegal to marry your brother but not your third cousin, and since they were siblings, but also third cousins, it must surely be ok. Huh? What? How were they siblings and third cousins?! I missed it. I didn't feel like going back to read where that previously came up.

Middlesex won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003. Even though it took me a while to get into the book, I really had a hard time putting it down afterwards.

All through the book Cal refers to her, er, I mean his brother as "Chapter Eleven". I kept on wondering why Cal called him Chapter Eleven, and I never did figure it out. Even after I was done with the book. Now as I read Wikipedia's description, it alludes to the reason. D'uh!

Overall a good book. I'm glad I read it.

On to my next... By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho. I became interested in Paulo Coelho after I read The Alchemist. The Alchemist is a book about following your dreams, and even though you may end up exactly where you began, the journey is normally a grand one that shouldn't be missed. Setting aside fear and uncertainty is a big theme in most of his books. His themes can be a bit trite, but every now and then even though they are trite, they manage to hit you in a different way... At least I think so.

Wiki states that By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is the first part of Coelho's trilogy "On the Seventh Day". The other two parts are Veronika Decides to Die and The Devil and Miss Prym. I read Veronika Decides to Die, I guess I may read The Devil and Miss Prym soon. lol

I have so many books in my "in the processing of reading" and "to be read" pile that they were literally falling over. I had to remove them from my nightstand and put them in my bookcase.

I feel like Henry Bemis in The Twilight Zone episode Time Enough at Last. Except the only thing preventing me from reading is
work, various hobbies, laziness, sleep, eating, life, you know the regular stuff.

Happy reading to all!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

bowling, oktoberfest, & invite making

That's what consumed my weekend.

Friday evening we decided to finally go bowling, and we picked Westminster Lanes. We had been thinking about it for quite awhile now, but always opted to do other things instead. So off we were, with our enthusiasm and our backpack crammed with "illegal" drinks. :) illegal = homemade margaritas We decided to go one their "Rock and Bowl" night. Which includes unlimited bowling between 9pm-1am, loud music and a lively crowd. The bowling price was good considering you can play as may games as you want. The price is $16.00 person and a shoe rental fee of $4.00, so basically $20.00 a person. You have to have a minimum of four people per lane to have the lane to yourselves. If not, you run the risk of sharing a lane with strangers. They gave us our own lane even though there were only two of us, but she did say that if they did sell out, we'd be moved and have to share. We ended up bowling eight frickin' games. Yeah, no wonder my thumb was sore and aching to stop. This was nothing like Wii bowling. lol

Speaking of Wii bowling, we did some Wii bowling at my sister's. Saturday night she hosted an Oktoberfest get together. Really it was more of a "Come on over, we have brats and beer. And Wii!" gathering. That was fun. Michael, my sister's husband, got nailed in the elbow by his sister as we played a foursome of Wii tennis. I like to watch people play Wii boxing. The controls on that game seem to suck, but it's funny watching people play.

Sunday was a low-key day. We caught up on our presidential debates that had been sitting on Tivo for a while. We watched a documentary called Up theYangtze which followed two teens as they worked on a cruise ship that sails the Yangtze. Which happens to be the same ship we sailed on. :) Caught up on Dexter. All along I was making these invites for my mom's surprise 60th bday party. This invite is a bit unfinished. I went on to ink it a bit more as well as added some parenthesis stamps on the ends of "fiesta".

Well that's about it. How was your weekend?

Friday, October 17, 2008

inspired... kinda

My friend Pam has great taste, as well as being a pretty awesome human being. She has this penchant towards all things white. And not in a racist way, but a decorative color way. :)

She's the queen of organization. Kinda makes me feel second rate when I walk into her beautifully organized and decorated home. Even Brooklyn, their golden retriever, is white.

Anyway, I was referring to Pam because she's pushing herself to blog more often. To blog about everyday occurrences, not just those special little moments. I feel like if I have to wait and only blog about those special little moments, I'm never going to blog! So I'm taking a cue from Pam and I'm really going to try to blog a bit more often. I'm often told that if someone wants to know something about me that they have to read my blog or my Myspace page. I say, just ask me... or read all about it here. :)

Let me leave you with a few photos from China. These were taken on my cell. I still haven't organized my camera photos. One day, I promise.This is their typical bottled water delivery method. Crazy, huh? Not just to small shops, but to the airports as well. As we were approaching the Shanghai airport I saw one guy with 10 bottles on his motorcycle. You ask where the 10th bottle was situated? Between his arms. Yes!
I loved seeing the kids in these traditional baskets. You saw women using them in the larger cities as well as the smaller ones. This was snapped in a Toys r Us in Beijing. As we walked around, we saw a couple in their late teens playing with a karaoke type of toy, the guy had the best laugh. I tried getting him on video, but he stopped before I was able to switch over.
I now say adieu with one of the many signs I was able to capture. I loved coming across some of these signs. They made me chuckle each time. Remember... "Protect the nature. Please use less paper."

Have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

20 yr high school reunion

Ugh. Has it really been 20 years since I graduated from JGHS? A whole 20 years?! Jeez. The photo above is from our senior powder puff game. Good times. Good times.

I'm horrible at keeping in contact with people... As most of you know. Unless I have an easy way of contacting you (blog, email, text, etc) I'm bad at picking up the phone and calling people. I always have been. I think that's why I never kept in contact with all my high school friends. I'd get a card from them, or a phone call, but I'd never return them. How sad.

I've been making the extra effort in returning calls and emails though. Really, I have. I guess it's really more that I'm "forced" to now. lol Since accepting to be on the reunion committee I've had to return a lot of emails and calls. Unfortunately since we dragged our feet entirely too long with the reunion process we had to go with just a get together instead of a full-blown reunion. We'll have a company ran reunion for our 25 year anniversary. For our 20 yr, we're just having a party. At a bar. At a small dive. Yep. A bar. lol I guess it could be worse. Oh well. It should be fun seeing all my old friends. Friends that I'll promise to keep in touch with but soon will fade again.

Let me leave you with a few more high school photos. Please keep the laughter to a minimum. I'm the one in the red cap and gown. I went to my senior prom with my friend David. He was such a sweet guy. I always wondered what became of him. Well I just found out. He's very local, as in Seal Beach! He works for Merrill Lynch as their Resident Director and Wealth Management Advisor. *edited: Right after I submitted this post, my office phone rang. Guess who it is?! Yep. He got my number from one of the other committee members and decided to give me a call. He's stressed, but doing well. He's been married for 9 years, and has two little girls. The best part of this committee is catching up with long lost friends. Life is good.
Awe. I love my old high school friends. :) Good times. Good times.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

$8.10 S&H for a $1 item. Really?

So does Paper Zone really think they can get away with charging $8.10 for a $1 sale item? Really? Really? Show me a person that would pay that price. Please.

I wonder how many sales they've lost because of their ridiculous S&H prices?

I received an email from Paper Zone advertising some card & Valentine kits for $1 each. I perused their website and decided on a few items, fair prices, not great, but fair. I added a few kits, some Cutter Bee scissors, and an ink pad for a total of $21.98. I then hit the S&H calculation button. $13.18. Really? $13.18 for those few items. I thought it was too much, and mind you, none of the items were heavy. I then removed the scissors and ink pad from my cart and recalculated the S&H. $12.41. They're charging me $12.41 for paper, not a lot of paper either. I still thought it was ridiculous. No where on their site does it give you a breakdown of S&H charges. Hmm, I wonder why?

I proceeded to remove each item 'til I only had one small card kit left. One kit. Once small kit. One small, light, card kit. It's listed for only $1.00. One measly dollar. S&H is $8.10 on that one small, light, card kit.

Bite me Paper Zone.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

you snooze, you loose


5 minutes.

That's how long it took for Kelly Rae's original artwork to sell out on her Etsy shop. 5 frickin' minutes. Poof! All gone. And none for me. :(

I've been purchasing several of her prints for friends and family over the last couple of years. I love her artwork. I can look at her pieces for several hours and still find something new in them. Don't know why, I just love them. I had been contemplating by a few more of her prints for myself, but figured I'd splurge and buy myself an original. Something to make me happy. Something I can stare at and be content. So I made sure to put it on my calendar, with a 15 minute warning window. As dumb luck would have it, my short morning meeting became elongated and I was stuck there 'til 9:57am. That meant I had 3 minutes to dash across campus and sign into my Etsy account. It wasn't enough time. :(

I made into my office and online by 10:01am. The original paintings went on sale at 10:00am exactly. There were only three originals left by the time they came up on my screen. I quickly scanned all three and one of my top choices was still available, so I put it in my cart. I was feeling jazzed. An internal Snoopy Dance of sorts was happening. By the time I clicked the purchase button, it was gone. Another Kelly Rae admirer had snatched it up.

I looked at the other two left, then within a few seconds those were gone as well. :( I sat at my desk in awe. Saddened, but happy for her success.

I posted on her website that trying to buy one of her original pieces was harder than buying Depeche Mode tickets in the 80's! Seriously.

So here I sit with an empty cart.