Monthly Archives: January 2013

For the birds

Even though we have a two-car garage at the house, our garage is full of so much stuff, we can only park one vehicle inside. In the warmer months, I park outside under the cherry tree in front of the garage. But when it’s cold, since I have to go to work every day and my mother hardly ventures out, we switch. I park in the garage so I won’t have to worry about scraping ice or snow off my windshield.Image

However, this winter has come with a new problem. Two tiny brown birds have built a nest inside the garage, between two spray paint cans lying on their sides on one of the shelves. Normally I would find this cute and marvel and their resourcefulness. However, there is a downside.

I must be the only person in the county who parks her car in the garage and still finds her car covered in bird crap the next morning.

We don’t want to disturb the birds. My parents and I are avid bird watchers. But these little birds often get locked in the garage at night and during the day when we close it. The only place left for them to do their business is on top of my car. *sigh*

This morning, one of the birds was actually sitting on top of my car, waiting for my dad to open the garage door at 5 a.m. to let the dog out.

Silly birds.

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

ImageThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Divergent by Veronica Roth. The Selection by Kiera Cass. Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien. All engrossing, entertaining entries in the young adult dystopia genre. And now I can add one more. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

The story opens with Cassie, a teenage girl on the run and hiding from the Others, an alien race who have attacked the earth and scattered its survivors. She has made a promise to find her little brother, and with dogged determination, she intends to keep that promise. The only problem? She is alone and can trust no one. The Others look like us. They sound like us. They think like us. And they want to exterminate us.

With the opening sentences of this book, I could not put it down. I eagerly devoured the flashbacks of the initial invasion, Cassie’s inability to trust anyone human, even the point of view change to other survivors… this book made me late to work on more than one occasion and kept me up late at night. Who can be trusted? Who are the Others? What do they want? Where is Cassie’s brother? I had to find out, work and sleep be damned!

This book is like Chinese food. So good you gobble it down, then two hours later you’re hungry for more. Which makes it a good thing this is the first book of a new trilogy. The only downside is waiting for book 2.

The 5th Wave will be released May 7, 2013. (Yes, I was lucky and got an early copy.) Mark your calendars. You won’t be disappointed.

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Four and a half stars for Les Miserables

ImageMom and I took time off from wrangling my 4-year-old nephew this past weekend to go see Les Miserables. I have been a super-huge fan of this musical since high school. I know all the words to all the songs by heart. When I’m being a Broadway diva in my shower, I am usually singing Eponine’s or Fantine’s songs. But I have never seen a production of the show; I’ve only worn holes in my cassette tape/CDs.

The movie version was fantastic. Scenes I’ve only ever imagined in my head were on brilliant display before me finally. Having the actors actually sing while acting made a huge difference in the emotion the spilled off the screen. I laughed. I cried. OK, I questioned Russell Crowe’s casting as Javert a couple of times, but other than that, LOVED IT.

My mom had to poke me a couple of times when I started singing along without realizing it. And there were a couple of instances where I got incensed that some of the verses to songs had been cut. (The cuts made sense, but my inner Les Mis fangirl still grumbled over ‘A Little Fall of Rain’ getting shortened.) But I was glad that the scenes featuring the Thénardiers were played for comedic effect since the rest of the film was so damned depressing. EVERYBODY DIES. RIP MY HEART OUT OVER AND OVER. THIS SHOULD NOT BE A SPOILER.

I still want to see a staged production of this musical, and I’ll get my chance when our local theater, the Cumberland County Playhouse, performs it in March. But the movie was supurb, and I’ll be rooting for the actors come Golden Statuette time.

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2013 Non-Resolutions

2013I’m not making resolutions this year. I don’t keep them. I’m not even making goals. I don’t ever reach them. Instead I’m going to make a List of Crap I’d Like to Do But Won’t Beat Myself Up About It if I Don’t Get Around to It.

Without further ado:

1. Rewatch Sailor Moon in its entirety.

This may be a little hard, as Stars is on VHS and my VCR is currently in a box. But if I can at least make it through SuperS, I’ll consider it a success.

2. Add more patterns to my Etsy shop.

I should be able to handle this one OK, as I’ve done rough  sketches for four new designs.

3. Watch more TV shows.

This doesn’t mean “watch more TV.” Just start watching or catch up on series I’m behind on, such as “Once Upon a Time,” “Supernatural” and “Upstairs, Downstairs.”

4. Read more.

This one I may have trouble with, as I currently can’t seem to finish the two books I’ve started. But I am looking forward to several sequels this year, as well as finding new books to tickle my fancy.

5. Tweet/blog more.

So far, I’m living up to this one. Let’s see how I do a month from now.

Five things is enough. Anything more and I’ll just set myself up for disappointment. Hope 2013 is a good one!

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Visiting Downton

downton_abbey_16qqbi5-16qqbk5A couple of weeks ago, I decided I’d give in to the Downton Abbey craze and catch up with the first two seasons before season three begins on Jan. 6. I hadn’t seen it before, but both my parents love it. The fact that my dad is crazy over a period British drama amuses me.

I finally finished watching it yesterday and I’ve come to the conclusion I need my own ladies’ maid and butler. And cook. Possibly also a footman or two. Ah hell, while I’m at it why not throw in a chauffeur? Seriously though, the whole life of the British nobility in this time period cracks me up. What do they do all day? Sit around and embroider? Read? Attend luncheons? What really tickled my funny bone was the idea that one had to dress to the nines just to go to dinner. It actually freaked me out a little bit because I have a bad habit of wearing my dinner (my motto: “It’s not dinner till you wear it!”). I can’t imagine living in fear of ruining beautiful gowns when I eat.

And the servants have the most ridiculous tasks. One irons the newspapers before the lord reads them. As soon as the family leaves one room, a small army of maids descends upon the room to tidy up and replump the pillows. A ladies maid or valet helps the family get dressed and undressed. I wonder how many times a day they change clothes. Hell, when the heir went off to fight in World War I, he even took a manservant with him!

I’m really enjoying the series, even though I admit my favorite part is seeing what other ridiculous things (by today’s standard) the nobility and the servants do. I can’t wait for season three!

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