The other book I’ve recently read (circa Halloween) was Seth Grahame-Smith’sAbraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. I wanted to hate this book merely for the title. Four simple words, yet representing just about everything I hate about modern fiction. Kudos to Grahame-Smith for winning me over with a mix of good story telling and reasonable historical accuracy. The ‘photos’ were a nice touch.
I probably won’t be reading many novels between now and the end of the year. I won’t have enough time. I have drifted back toward researching my Great-Great Aunt Annie, but have only been pecking around, nothing serious. I’ve spent a lot more time with a new project that is history-related, but not genealogy (well not mine anyway). As it turns out, Savannah has a history of non-violent civil disobedience when it comes to enforcement of certain laws. I plan on exploring this more in the little bit of downtime I find between now and the end of the year.
And before I go – can you believe they’re playing Christmas music already…in my living room?! Oh wait, that was Mike and me, and it was awesome.
Weeks one and two of year 37 have been a whirlwind. First, my sincerest THANK YOU!!!!! to all of you kind of enough to remember me on my birthday. I am always humbled when so many turn out to wish me well.
I couldn’t bother myself with trying to make this year’s birthday into something special. My bigger concern was for Mike and the serious dental surgery he underwent last week. As is often the case, the worry was for naught. Mike is recovering incredibly well. In fact, he’s recovering far, far faster than I did earlier this year with my periodontal surgery. (Now, if our bank account could recovery as quickly, I’ll be overjoyed.) All the best to you, Mike!
For my birthday dinner, I scored a double. On my actual birthday, I had just started a 10-day regimen of heavy-duty antibiotics (related to those periodontal issues) and wasn’t feeling so great. Mike prepared me a delicious, fresh grouper filet with Mediterranean style flavorings. The sides were fresh asparagus and white rice, all with similar flavors to the grouper. It was fantastic.
The following Sunday we celebrated again with a true Chicago style pizza. I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned the differences in ‘Chicago Style Pizza’. If so, my apologies for being redundant. If not, enjoy your lesson: Deep dish pizza is shit. It is for idiot tourists who don’t know any better. TRUE ‘Chicago Style Pizza’ has a very thin crust, almost cracker thin and nearly as crispy. The toppings should be mozzarella cheese, Italian sausage, green pepper, and onion (mushrooms optional). The pieces must be cut in small squares. NEVER triangles. Pizza should never, ever be soggy or folded. Mike found a pretty good go-by for Aurelio’s Pizza and was able to reproduce a pretty, damned close one. Thank you Mike! Pizza in Savannah sucks and this was a perfect way to enjoy my birthday.
Thanks again to everyone who thought of me on my day.
I have spent numerous hours rebuilding my very own Springfield via The Simpsons Tapped Out. It is a fabulous game, and I am particularly enjoying all the Treehouse of Horror Fun. Unfortunately for me, however, some of the fun of this game relies on the players being social. Always a problem for this intentional introvert.
I also have a hang up preventing me from friendwhoring. Instead, I’ll appeal to you, my readers and virtual friends. (I can see a clear and distinct line between friend whoring and what I’m doing here, can’t you?). If you’re playing TSTO, please for the love of Kodos, add me – Caralibra. Keep in mind, it will be really helpful to get a heads up first if you intend on doing so, since I will get all weirded out by complete strangers attempting to add me. Even the remotest level of contact makes you less of a creeper.
Tomorrow is October 1st? Already, huh? Nice. My favorite month. Now’s the time to capture the last vestiges of summer before they are gone for good.
It dawned on me about a month ago, that next year marks 20 years since I graduated high school. Ouch. Instead of allowing myself to be morose about it, I’m embracing it, and have been reliving some 90s fun. For example, I re-read Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which I first read sometime mid-90s. After the first time through, it instantly become one of my all-time favorites (rivaled only by Wouk’s Don’t Stop the Carnival). I’m pleased to say nothing’s changed. Although, I suspect some of my co-workers think I’m some sort of self-affirming nervous-nelly after I put the ‘Don’t Panic’ sign on my computer. At least our IT guy got it.
Along another of my retro-90s veins is music. I sure did listen to some crap back then, but it’s my nostalgia and I’m willing to accept it for what it is. In doing so, I’m still able to find pleasure in what is otherwise mostly B-class music. In the last month plus, I’ve listened to Jane’s Addiction’s Ritual De Lo Habitual and Nothing’s Shocking, TMBG’s Flood, Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication, Violent Femmes’ Blister in the Sun, Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut, Roger Waters’ Amused to Death, and a whole slew of singles. I realize not all of that music was released in the 90s, but that’s when I heard it first, so it’s my nostalgia list. Back to the present, my job is great. I get to decorate my desk with Don’t Panic signs* and listen to music all day.
On the home front, Mike has been a superstar. Without a cape or any sort of means of defying physics, he has undergone serious dental work, only to then trouble-shoot and fix our dryer (saving us hundreds of dollars and possibly our house from burning down), and make tamales so delicious they’d make a Mexican grandma beg for more. In the meantime, the clever man has also somehow managed to teach me how to play a fluent Poor Heart and U.S. Blues. Yeah, Mike!
Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day. We will be pet-sitting. Plus, it’s Treehouse of Horror Day in The Simpsons Tapped Out. I hope Kang and Kodos make an appearance! It’s also opening night of Hockey Season! Go Hawks! On top of all this, the next new episode of Person of Interest will be on. I have no idea how I’m going to find time for all of this. I should begin by not typing so many explanation point in one paragraph.
Time for some early September recap. Be warned this is a long post, but it’s been over a week since I’ve turned on my actual computer and used my keyboard. While I’m very much enjoying my tablet, and it has pretty much replaced my home computer, I very much miss real typing. Tablet typing blows. A lot. Moving on…
We had a marvelous Labor Day weekend with the visit of my baby brother and his family. It was the first time I got to meet all of them. We also just received the great news that he (brother) will be registering his relationship with the authorities! Kidding aside, I’m thrilled to know I’ll be getting a sister-in-law and new niece & nephew. What a delightful little group they are. Our time together was far too short.
Tomorrow President Obama will deliver a speech that is supposed to convince us to get involved in another nation’s civil war. I am weary of this topic already. There are a few highlights to this debate, however, none of which were thought of by me. For example, the Pauls (historically Ron and now Rand) don’t seem so crazy afterall, well maybe not as crazy. I hope this forces the much needed split in the GOP, which sorely needs to drop the leadership/seniority of the likes of Boehner, McCain, Graham, et al. I won’t be holding my breath. I also am a slightly amused, but possibly more bemused by the fact that Russia is looking more like a Superpower than us. As was pointed out to me, they are the nation to host the next Olympics, they are the nation that just hosted a G20, they are the nation providing asylum to an American political refugee, they have world opinion on their side to not strike Syria. Who’s the leader now? Finally, I heard someone make the point that we should have never even brought up the red line and simply, silently cyber-attacked them. Knock their power out, reek electronic havoc, generally. Israel would be blamed. Simple.
On the brighter side of this month so far, I did manage to read my first tablet ebook. My choice was Margaret Atwood’sThe Handmaid’s Tale. Admittedly, I wanted to dislike this book. It starts slow, has the setting of a racist/paternalistic/puritanical future, and is in an odd, stream-of-consciousness style. It picks up about 1/2 way through, and the ending is so remarkably clever it makes up for the slow, weird start. It’s worth checking out.
The other two books I’ve read since I’ve last posted are Ruthanne Lum McCunn’sGod of Luck, and Fannie Flagg’s Welcome to the World, Babygirl!. God of Luck was written in a traditional, Chinese story style, at least from what I recall from taking one ancient Chinese history class in college. Meaning it was short, prose-like, and for a sarcastic modern westerner, unbelievable. It was meh. Welcome to the World, Babygirl! was everything I expected it to be, which is unfortunate because it had potential. It could have been an inspiring tale about a young woman who makes it in a ‘man’s’ world in 1970s America. However, it adds a tortured genealogical plot line that kills the inspiration and made it eye-rolling worthy. So another meh.
I really want to go on about a lot of random things, but I’ll save those for later. It’ll keep you guys coming back
Here I am making my first post from my new MeMo Pad. Welcome to the 21st century, Jaime. Now I have to teach myself how to instagram pics of all my meals, cross the street without considering my surroundings, and tweet cryptographic messages about my feelings. That’s what all the cool kids are doing, right?
On the topic of advertising, here are few ways NOT to advertise to me:
1. Belly Fat. I have a region on my body I call a stomach. It is also acceptable to refer to that region as my torso or my abdomen. I am an adult; therefore, I do not have a belly. Santa and jolly, fat men generally, have bellies. Little kids have bellies. Many dogs and cats like to be rubbed on their bellies. I, however, do not have a belly. If you push fat-burning pills to middle aged women, do not refer to my stomach as a ‘belly’ in your ads. Got it?
2. Dumb, Dummy. There are two ads running that use a form of the word dumb. One is a skeezy mortgage company that implores, “Don’t be a dummy, save some money.” Eloquent rhyme scheme aside, I’m unsure how this tact works. The other ad is for a budget hotel chain that suggests to contact them via your smartphone or your ‘dumb phone’. I think this one’s a little more innocuous than the mortgage company, but annoying nonetheless. There’s something about the word dumb that I find particularly offensive, close to ‘retarded’. It’s just not cool to infer your potential customers are dumb in anyway.
3. Kid Voice-overs. There are countless advertisements geared toward adults that engage children for its voice-over. I find this exploitative twice over – once of the children used in advertising at all, and twice of their (unsuccessful) attempt to pull at my emotions by hearing the pleas of a child. It’s just wrong to use children in ads, also and including public service announcements. Let kids be ad-free in every possible way.
4. Smug Guy. This appears to be a trend among companies that anthropomorphize themselves as corporate hipsters – Apple, Google, Honda, On-star all quickly come to mind. Each of them have utilized a voice-over guy who comes off as condescending and smug (it’s not the same guy everytime; it’s a style). They speak to you like a know-it-all. They are way smarter than you’ll ever be, glorifying a product they declare enriches, nay completes, your very existence. If I ever see smug guy, I can’t decide if I should punch him in his ugly, square framed, black glasses or yank his goatee first.
Welcome to August. Insert blather about time flying and time getting away from you, and all those other verbs we apply when the noun is ‘time’.
Keeping with my usual reclusive activities, I’ve read some more, played more music, and made more plans for the house. I’ve also had thoughts on the following:
*What’s with the trumped-up Roger Waters anti-Semite controversy? Seriously, people, get something real to worry about. Roger’s reply is worth a read.
*(Thought reprise) What will it take for the middle-class tax payers and businesses of the USA to finally begin the peaceful tax boycott we so desperately need? Forcing Obamacare on us hasn’t done it. Confirmation that we’re all being spied on by our own people at our own expense hasn’t done it. The DOJ’s ridiculous selective enforcement of law hasn’t done it. Ignorant, lying, power-hungry politicians haven’t done it. The problem is none of us wants to be first. No one wants to be the first person or business to refuse to pay their federal income taxes as a form of protest. What if it doesn’t catch on? What if the idea doesn’t domino? Then the individual is in jail or the business bankrupted. We need someone to lead this, it just won’t be me. I hate being this kind of coward. Take me to your leader.
*The 13 MLB players suspended today for being cheating drug addicts and helping destroy the entire reputation of the game of baseball:
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees third baseman, 211 games
Nelson Cruz, Rangers outfielder, 50 games
Jhonny Peralta, Tigers shortstop, 50 games
Everth Cabrera, Padres shortstop, 50 games
Antonio Bastardo, Phillies reliever, 50 games
Jordany Valdespin, Mets outfielder, 50 games
Francisco Cervelli, Yankees catcher, 50 games
Jesus Montero, Mariners catcher, 50 games
Cesar Puello, Mets outfielder (minors), 50 games
Sergio Escalona, Astros pitcher (minors), 50 games
Fernando Martinez, Yankees outfielder (minors), 50 games
Fautino De Los Santos, Padres pitcher, 50 games
Jordan Norberto, free-agent pitcher, 50 games
Try this – do a wiki search on each of the above names. Note how many of them were born in the USA (I’ll make it easy for you – just one). Just something to consider.
*Continuing to make the most of my library card, I’ve done some more e-reading. The homepage of the Download Destination offers recommendations. I’ve taken them up on two, and I’m pleased to report the recommendation algorithm seems to be working. Based on the first recommendation, I can’t say they have my demographics pin-pointed, but it was quite an enjoyable read, regardless. The book was Sharon G. Flake’s Bang! It appears to be popular juvenile reading, and used in some junior high and high school curriculum. Many of the reviews I read complained of the fantasy twist this book takes. Having never read any of Ms. Flake’s books, I had no preconceived notions on her story-ending style. I liked the twist, regardless of how unrealistic it seemed.
*The other book the Download Destination recommended to me was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Thank you algorithm! I LOVED this book. I just finished it, but keep finding myself going back to the story. 2044-45 as described by Cline seemed so sanely plausible. Cline was able to utilize his familiarity with geeking out on points of past pop culture into a fluid adventure story, a talent many self-declared geeks envy. I will be 69 years old in 2045. I wonder if there will be an OASIS?
I’m a bad wife. Earlier this week, I was nearly oblivious to the fact that our one year marriage anniversary is today. Fortunately, I was reminded in time, and we’re now enjoying a thoroughly lazy, rainy Saturday. We’ll watch some baseball, play some music, make some low country boil with local, fresh shrimp for dinner, and blueberry muffins for dessert. I could get used to this.
Feels like it’s been forever since last I posted. Time for the usual catch up and miscellany.
*Congrats to the Blackhawks on taking the Cup. I feel lost with out hockey. The Facebook countdowns to the start of football season are in no way helpful. P.S. to Mom – where are our shirts?!?
*4th of July was wonderful. Erik made it. Ed did not. We’re starting to wonder if he really owns a plane. The City put on a great show as always. It was a rather small crowd downtown this year compared to others. Mike took his ice creaming making to a whole new level – deconstructed snickers. Coffee ice cream served in waffle bowls with peanuts and homemade caramel and homemade magic shell. Yeah, that’s right – homemade magic shell. Huzzah for kitchen chemistry! Did any who had any happen to get any pics?
*I finished two books recently. The first was a quick, easy, relatively mindless story, The Neighbors Are Watching by Debra Ginsberg. The story had potential, but it seemed to sacrifice action with emotion. Too much time was spent fretting about the various characters’ personal problems and not enough with the actual story line. Fortunately, it was not long so I made it through, and don’t feel like I was robbed of time or anything like that.
The other book was Carson McCullers’ The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. This book had been recommended to me a number of times over the years, usually by liberal, northern do-gooder teachers, who thought it would help round out my view of the world, including on the ever-so-backwards and outright dumb south. For now, I really didn’t like this story at all. It seemed the message was: People are boring and live boring lives. I understand that, but I don’t really care. There was something about it that really actually has ticked me off, but I can’t seem to articulate what it is. It has to do with the fact that it was set in the south. It made me feel like I had to defend my choice to live here (to myself). Maybe it’s that it felt like McCullers was trying to box in the boring people living boring lives as being uniquely southern. I’m still thinking this one over, maybe I’ll end up liking it eventually.
*The trailer for the movie Savannah is out. You Gull Reef Club regulars know I am not a movie watcher. However, I’ll see this one for sure (in the comfort of my own home, when available, of course). Even if Jim Caviezel’s southern accent sucks out loud – he’s easy enough on the eyes to let that slide. It very much helps that his costar is Chiwetel Ejiofor (ladies? gay men? are you seeing this line up?!) And for those of you who haven’t put it together yet, it’s set in Savannah! And it’s a period piece! Gush!
*I leave you with some new reasons (thanks to Mike and Erik) as to why I love the internet, not in spite of, but because of all it’s randomness, most of which are probably NSFW or children:
Waiting around for tonight’s game is like waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve – except it’s 90 outside, and I had to work today. Waiting is no easy task. Thankfully there is the internet and it’s wonderful time-wasting nature. Here are your next eighty-six seconds:
Now what do we do with the next two and half hours?
It gets worse and worse. Everytime I think it’s safe to delve back into the world of political debate, something happens to repulse me back into my mental shelters of history, hockey, and music. The current administration is so scandal ridden it defies logic. Fast & Furious, Bengazi, IRS, Associated Press-spying, NSA-spying, and Verizon customer dragnets are almost too much to handle. Throw in the leftovers from the previous administration – PATRIOT Act, the original NSA spying, the formation of the DHS, torture, and renditions, and I should feel generally screwed. However, I don’t, because I’ve learned not to give a crap. I can’t. It’s not mentally healthy.
Before I completely move on, I do feel the need to state that it is wrong that we live with a system where we authorize other fellow citizens to spy on us and otherwise violate various civil rights, and who then collect their pay via our tax dollars. It’s beyond wrong. I can’t fathom how those bureaucrats can live with themselves – or why we allow it. That’s it. I’m done.
Now the Finish Line portion of this post:
- I just finished my first e-book downloaded from the GA Download Destination. I opted to go with Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. I read a lot of negative reviews about this book. Fortunately, that wasn’t enough to scare me off, nor was the 1000+ pages. I loved this story, and I really enjoyed Murakami’s writing – or the translation of it, anyway. He has a great way of describing the thoughts in his character’s heads, and their individual styles of thinking. It was a unique form of character development that I really enjoyed. I’ll be sure to read a few of his other books when they become available. Of course, now I also want to go to Japan.
- A major lifetime finish line has been crossed – we made the last payment on my student loan this month. My degree is officially mine! No one owns my brain. What this also means is that for the first time in our lives, we have no consumer debt other than the house. It has been a lot of hard work to get here. I don’t know if this will make me any less cheap (don’t go there, I meant as in tight-wad).
-One more job to do for my beloved Blackhawks, and they pass their finish line. We’re all with you guys – now go get that Cup. COMMIT!
I know I’m not the only one excited about this. Taking advantage of a day off, I finally renewed my library card. By doing so, I now have access to the Georgia Download Destination. I’m overwhelmed by my options. Any recommendations?
Doing nicely with feedly so far. Thanks to Doc for the comment. English and Baltic ivy are among some plants added to our landscape this weekend. The a/c has not been on yet this year. Us:1 – GA Power:$0 Really wondering if I can keep this up… Only 226 more shopping days until Christmas. I think I finally got chocolate chip cookies right – all shortening, no butter – gasp! Toronto, I was cheering for you. Maybe next year?
So glad Mother’s Day is over. Now maybe FB can get back to posts of lost dogs and hilarious cats. Uncovered that Mike has had at least one direct line relative who come through Ellis Island. Clematis is beautiful, and we will have some in our yard this year. Keurig seems like coffee abuse. It’s not all that hard to grind your own beans. Study recently brought to my attention. It’s totally true. !I wish I spoke Spanish so I could use exclamation points at the start of sentences.
As Google Reader’s death date has been set, I had to find a new RSS reader. I’ve opted to go with feedly for now. It allowed me to import my google reader feeds, and was really easy to set up. I’m not particularly fond of the layout/look, but I suspect it’s because of my ‘old-school’ preferences for website design.
Anyway, the point of this post is to test feedly for my own blog feed and to test the comments feed. It sure would be helpful if one or two of you would leave me a comment for my testing purposes. I realize I can comment on my own blog, but that seems really desperate and sad, so help your favorite virtual Innkeeper out.
Some stuff to read and comment on:
•Important, yet bittersweet news: LTK returns June 2
•Hilarious and awesome news: Five reasons the Canucks are out of the playoffs. They did forget #6, actually the REAL #1: whiny, lying bitches don’t win cups.
•Just Hilarious: What time is it? 8 past Luongo! A joke stolen from my brother; I’m not sure if it’s his.
•Anticipated, but not news: Season Finale of Person of Interest tonight. I freakin love this show. Thanks, Erik. Of course, we’ll be recording it in lieu of staying up to watch the Hawks. One for the Dagger, and one for the one you believe!
•If you haven’t found any interest in commenting on the above, consider this: think of the people in your life who play a musical instrument with any regularity. Now divide them by gender. More men than women on your list, right? My question is: why is this? Why do more men play music as a hobby than women? Mike gave me an answer that I wasn’t particularly fond of, but is probably pretty well founded. If you leave me a comment, I’ll tell you what that answer was.
While still not being back into the political debate groove, a few random thoughts I can’t resist –
* It appears I will be losing my representative to a Senate campaign. Assuming that is Thursday’s announcement, that will leave me with 1 elected official representing me on the federal level – Johnny Isakson. Chambliss is retiring and Kingston will be campaigning, neither will be interested in the representation portions of their current employment for the remainder of their terms. What a joke. It is for this very reason I support Mike’s idea that a person should not be allowed to run for office while holding an office.
* Attention, People of South Carolina, District 1: If you vote in Mark Sanford as your representative, you will have proven yourselves far stupider than I had ever thought of you. Bonus points to Rand Paul, however, for further proving to us he is simply another politician with his endorsement of this exemplar candidate.
* I was saddened to learn Leslie Conn is leaving the Savannah Morning News. Other than Bill Dawers’ columns, I have no real reason to visit that site anymore. Lame. Also of note, which is also lame – I couldn’t link directly to Bill Dawers’ columns from anywhere on the SMN. I could only link to the columnists generally. So again, lame.
* 100% non-political: our new appliances arrived Friday, a refrigerator and a dishwasher. I felt like a kid on Christmas. They are so freaking awesome. Homemade ice cream returns this summer – huzzah!
I have a post drafted belaboring the bombing in Boston and it’s aftermath. At this time, I am opting not to post it as it doesn’t seem productive, and likely to make me enemies I don’t want or need. Suffice it to say, it was a bad day for liberty. Let’s leave it at that.
*Happy 10 year anniversary to us living in this house. My big, old, white house with pillars on the front porch…in Georgia. Nearly the exact place I used to dream of as a kid. I’m in the very early stages of putting together a scrapbook covering the history of this house and the land on which it sits. It’s a fun side-project away from genealogy but still history related.
*Speaking of anniversaries, I’m almost two years into playing bass. I’ve learned that practice really does get you somewhere. Well, I suppose I always knew that, I just am lazy and never really applied it. It helps to have a fabulous teacher, whom I’m sleeping with. I’d recommend learning an instrument to anyone. The things playing has done for my brain and body can’t be described. It’s worth every minute. Now that I think about it, I’d rather be playing. Have a nice night!
After a double check of my last post, it appears I neglected Clan Horne. Robert and Margaret Horne were my 4th great-grandparents who left Ireland and came to the US via Ontario sometime in the 1850s. This puts me at or near 7.8125% Irish heritage. No fun latin motto for these guys though. Semper ubi sub ubi!