Monday, October 24, 2011

Book club: Third Book

New book club book.  "Half a Life" by Darwin Strauss.  I've only just started it so I have essentially no opinion of it yet.

From what I can gather so far, it's the autobiographical story of a guy who killed a girl when he was 18.

On a book club note, I actually had quite a good time discussing "Swapping Lives".  One of the more interesting aspects of the conversation was to hear how some of the women in the club found it to be very similar to life in Ladera.  I realized that my experience in Ladera is entirely different than theirs.  I like Ladera.  I love the trails for running, I love Taco Mesa, I'm waiting with bated breathe for the opening of Selma's.  I wave at my neighbors when I drive home from work (and huff at their never used street blocking basketball hoops when my inner cranky old lady gets too close to the surface).  I socialize when I'm invited and have the time.  But I am completely oblivious to the social posturing that is apparently rampant.

It was fascinating, although a little scary, to glimpse an entirely different side of my community.  Book club is pretty much exactly what I was looking for: a way to meet and connect with people different than myself.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween Magic

A night at home with my sister, husband and some magical pumpkins.  

Something wicked this way comes!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We do Art!

Alyssa is one of the coolest people I know.  How many friends do you have who call you and say "Lets watch one your favorite movie and do crafts!"?  Especially when the movie in question happens to be Hocus Pocus, the 1993 Disney Halloween flick.

She provided the movie, I provided the crafts.  As usually she provided 80 percent of the actual talent, but I'm actually pretty proud of how this guy came out!

We do art!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mushed up Melon Martini

The Stormy Night is one of my favorite Martini.  Until now.

We had some water melon instead of watermelon pucker, so I mushed it up, hence the name.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Themed Dinner

Last week, Gavin and I got a little bit back in the saddle of cooking at home.  I decided to go for themed dinners.  My most successful was certainly our Asian Themed evening.

Hot Tea

Noodles and Spicy Mustard

Asian Themed Bok Choy and Shrimp Soup

Complete with relaxing music, it was truly a wonderful evening.

Another Pup!

But not another Boo.

Boo, rechristened Vincenzo Griffin Newell, lived up to my expectation of a trail of broken hearts in his path.  Primarily mine.  Turns out playing foster momma is not in the cards for me, way too much ouch!  Of course Vinny is a special little guy.  And of course I never once regretted getting him out from under the car and into our office!

So when I heard there was another little orphaned dog headed to spend the day with me, I was both happy and terrified.  Apparently I'm my own terrier rescue

Runt dog, as she will be lovingly referred to in this post, was smaller than Vinny and darker.  She was also likely a chihuahua/terrier mix although the chihuahua part was certainly bigger.  She was tiny, less skittish and had quite the attitude throughout the day, growling if she decided anyone had come to close to me or 'our' space.

Runt dog was bathed, taken to the vet, and had a home as fast as Vinny.  Although as soon as she left, everyone collectively agreed she was no Boo.

Vinny, by the way, seems to be doing well.  Happy and spoiled.  :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Review: Swapping Lives by Jane Green

I mentioned in my last post that I've joined a book club, I also mentioned the book we were reading:

The bad: The writing style drove me a little batty.  For example, the voice constantly changed (we, us, her, I, them).  I recall one line in the book that alluded to an earlier passage in the text "I won't tell if you won't".  It was in a letter one main character writes to another.  The second time, the author suggests that the character won't tell if we (the reader) won't.  It was just distracting to me.  I guess it's the engineer in me.  I want to know my role at the start of the book and I don't want it to change!

I saw a similar lack of continuity about the viewpoint of the story.  For example, we are following Vicky, one of the main characters, when she receives a phone call from a friend. But while she is talking on the phone to the friend, the author describes what the friend is doing, not just what he's saying, to us.  Vicky has no way of knowing what he's doing and we are with Vicky.  Am I just being nit picky?

The good:  It was an interesting story, although not a nail bitter by any stretch.  I didn't find the characters particularly compelling, but maybe that's because I don't relate to either of them.  I'm not a desperate housewife longing to find something more fulfilling than designer clothes.  I'm also not a single women desperately clamoring for a husband.  In fact, I almost never think the grass is greener on the other side.  I believe, most of the time at least, that the grass is greener in front of me.  Therefore, the best and only logical move to make is forward.