Friday, January 29, 2010

Running Man*

A friend of mine approached me yesterday about running a half marathon with her in June. The crazy part is that I'm actually considering it.

Here's the thing: I'm not really the model built for speed. More of the comfort line, if you will.

I do believe that I'm in decent shape, I work out like crazy, after all. But I do very little running. And by very little, I mean NONE. Unless you count chasing down my daughter at the grocery store/mall/Ikea/Target.

And I've heard horror stories from marathon runners. Ohmygod, did you know it can make your nipples bleed? For real. I don't recommend doing a search on Google for that.

But it's a group training thing, so I'll have some structure, and we will be raising money for charity, which makes me practically eligible for sainthood. Plus, and this may be the biggest reason I'm even contemplating it.

It's in Boston.

I luuuurve Boston. Neil? Not so much. He's never been there, but someone once told him something bad about it, although he can't remember who or what, and he doesn't like the town. Which means my visions of him and Sophie handing me water as I run by and hoisting me onto their shoulders at the finish line (a tough feat for a two year old, I'll grant you), may not come to pass.

So I've got six months to take my butt from no running to holy-crap-half-marathon shape. I think the harder task might actually be talking my husband into leaving the state.

*A dance I was woefully inadequate at, in its heyday.

**We're on another tour over at Blogtrotting, come see where we're going today! And while you're there, if you haven't already, sign up!**

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


It took months and months and months to finally make it happen.

We went back and forth. Do we need it? Would something else work just as well or better? Can we justify the extra expense? Would we become addicts?

In the end, we decided to go to the store and take a real, live look. A test drive, if you will. It took all of about fourteen seconds and we were sold.

Meet Lucille: the gorgeous new red-head in my life. My iPhone.

I great, big, puffy-heart love her. She does everything I ever dreamed of a phone doing. And more. I'm burning the battery all the way down every day because I spend so much time on her. Between texting, emailing, playing music, Twitter, Facebook, blogging and Bejeweled, she's on FIRE.

How did I live before?

PS - Have you stopped over at Blogtrotting yet? We're on our first tour today and it's a great one!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thoughts of a Dieter

- While the can says there are two servings, five mini-ravioli and a half dozen wee meatballs do not a meal make.

- My skin has been staying pretty clear the last few weeks. Then we had Chick-fil-A, which I LOVE, and my face broke out like crazy the very next day. Further motivation to avoid fast food, even though it calls to me in my dreams.

- Eating a lot of salad does unpleasant things to a person's digestive system.

- My very good friend Katie, who just three days ago gave birth to her second child, a beautiful baby girl, left a huge tin of cookies at my house a couple of weeks ago. It. Is. Torture. But I never eat more than one two three a day.

- I have been keeping myself to roughly 1600 calories a day, and shockingly, I'm not hungry all the time like I expected to be.

-While I don't recommend it as a regular hunger suppressant, biting into a piece of bone in your tuna salad is one really effective way to kill your appetite and thus lower your caloric intake for the day.

- I'm amazed by how many calories I drink. If I could just cut out the soda and sweet tea, I could eat a lot more. But then I wouldn't get any soda or sweet tea. I'd rather go hungry.

- Despite the temptations and slips, IT WORKS! I'm down close to 10 pounds in 3 weeks! Yay me!

PS - Have you stopped over at Blogtrotting yet??

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


So you've probably noticed that I've been a little scarce lately. Certainly part of that can be attributed to a fairly busy schedule this past week. I just haven't had the time to blog that I have grown accustomed to. Add to this that I've been working with my good friend MEP on a new project.

What's the project, you ask? Well, it's a site called BlogTrotting. Here's the skinny, I love traveling. But as the mother of a toddler, travel is just not on the agenda. So I have to live vicariously through my friends and what better way than to explore blogs all over the world. But how to find them?

Why, BlogTrotting, of course!

So do me a solid and go sign up on BlogTrotting and then tell all your friends to sign up. The more people who sign up, the better this trip will be!

I'm a proud woman, don't make me beg. Just go do it. You're going? GREAT!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I (want to) Feel Pretty

I miss dressing up. Skirts. Dresses. Ruffles. Flowers. High heels. I wouldn't have thought I'd miss this stuff when I said adios to the corporate world, but here I am, longing for a pencil skirt and a pair of ankle boots.

These days, it's all about practicality. I only wear skirts when I am going out sans bebe. Mostly because I just spend too much time on the ground with her. And heels. Sigh. Lugging around a 25 pound kid is not especially conducive to anything more than two inches. Even that is too much for most days.

So I jump on every opportunity I get to dress up. Except that after two years of mommy gear, my dressy wardrobe is pretty slim. And I mean that literally. All of my dressy clothes are at least a size too small because they come from my pre-baby time when I was at least 10 pounds thinner. Not to mention the newest of them is three years old. While I have never leaned towards the super trendy stuff, in fact my style could most accurately be called boring conservative, even classics need updating from time to time.

Here's the rub. I'm working really hard to lose weight. So I don't want to buy pretty, frilly stuff, only to have it not fit in a couple of months. And it WON'T fit in a couple of months. (She says with absolute conviction.)

But wait! We're going to see Young Frankenstein at the Hippodrome this Saturday as part of our second fourth anniversary celebration. We're going with my best friend and her boyfriend, who are themselves celebrating their first anniversary. So just as I was starting to feel down about never looking fabulous, I find myself with the perfect excuse to get all prettified. And even though I don't want to buy clothes that might not WON'T fit soon, I will.

Now, if I could only afford those shoes. Sigh.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Best Policy?

I like to think I'm a pretty honest person. I'm not one of those people capable of shallow praise. If an outfit is not flattering, I'm not going to tell you it looks good. I will make every effort to be kind. Perhaps find some element that does look nice. Honesty doesn't have to be cruel.

This attitude generally carries over into my interactions on the interwebs as well. I am not overly effusive. I do compliment people. Their kids. Their ideas. But if I seriously don't like something, then I won't say I do just to be nice. Per the old adage, I will generally say nothing rather than lie or hurt their feelings.

However, there have been times where I left a comment on someone's blog regarding a post where they have voiced an opinion or requested ours and I have either disagreed with them or given a negative response. Most of the time I feel pretty much okay with that, because I have not done so in a malicious or intentionally harmful way, but every now and then I get a weird feeling afterward. As if I have overstepped the bounds of what is expected of blog friends and commenters.

I believe that, for the most part, we, mommybloggers in particular, but bloggers as a whole, go to the internet for validation, affirmation or support. Anyone who says otherwise and allows comments on their blog is just not being truthful. We want to share our stories and to feel good (or better) about them. To feel like part of this community of people. But the question is: how much does honesty factor into that. Do we really want to hear the negative, too?

Is honesty always the best way to go?

PS - It's National Delurker Day! So if you normally skulk in the shadows, opining in solitude, let's take this opportunity to come out and leave long, fawning comments about just how wonderful I am. M'kay? Thanks!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


One week into counting calories and I am down four pounds. Do I rock or what? The Loser Moms contest technically started yesterday, so I'm not counting those towards that, but still. Four pounds is four pounds. I don't expect to have those kinds of results indefinitely, but if I could even maintain half that, it would be so awesome. And truthfully, I don't feel like I'm denying myself and I don't feel hungry. I even had one day where I completely fell down.

I went to see Avatar. Again. This time in Imax 3D. That would be the second time, btw. This is the first time I've seen a movie twice in the theater since I was maybe 15. It is just so visually amazing. And Sam Worthington is so dreamy. Sigh. I went with my best friend (also her second time) and when we walked out we were both like I want to see it AGAIN! And I might. So that day, during the movie, I had a giant Dr. Pepper, Whoppers, Gummy Bears AND nachos with cheese. Roughly half of my daily calories in one sitting. Later, because I was weak and lazy, we ordered pizza. I ate three pieces and 1/3 of an order of Cinnastix. That meal was more than half my daily calories in one sitting. Well done, Cara.

Despite that, staying on track the rest of the week showed results. No surprise there, turns out it was my consumption that was slowing my weight loss down. Now, I just have to keep it up. I have a little notebook that I am writing everything down in. (Here's an irony, the notebook is called the "fat l'il notebook.") I'm staying strong. I have two motivators. First is the SITS Bloggy Boot Camp in March and second is the Biggest Loser Moms prize money. I want it. I want it bad.

Eye on the prize.

Friday, January 8, 2010

They Really Are Angellic When They Sleep

You know, literally.

*For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you probably saw this yesterday. For those of you that aren't, WHY NOT? Ahem. I am only occasionally offensive and sometimes I even have downright witty things to say. Now. Go forth and FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Potty Time Across the USA*

We had a playdate here this morning. Just me and a bunch of moms and their toddlers. For those of you wondering, that means six two-year-olds running around the Land of Bean. All of whom are in various stages of potty training.

Is it any wonder then that the most popular spot in the house was the bathroom. While one kid sat on the toilet, up to three others circled him, like a venue of vultures**, peering between his legs and, in my daughter's case, stripping down to nothing, in preparation for her turn.

There was hand clapping and cries of GOOD JOB! There was roll upon roll of toilet paper unraveling. There were, and I don't think I'm exaggerating here, HUNDREDS of toilet flushings.

I'm not sure how many #1's actually took place. And I'm certain there were no #2's. But let me tell you. If we could package that enthusiasm, we'd have those kids potty trained overnight.

* Sing this to Booty Time from the classic film The Adventures of Ford Fairlane starring the obscene but strangely appealing Andrew "Dice" Clay. The song starts at 55 seconds.

**I had to look this up. Thus ends your vocabulary lesson for the day.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm a Loser (I hope!)

(warning: foul language ahead)

It's no secret that I've been struggling with my weight. I gained 50 pounds with Sophie and I don't care to say how much of that I still have yet to lose. After TWO YEARS. I've been working out for quite a while now, but the pounds are just not coming off. Probably has something to do with the fact that while I work out 4-5 times a week, I EAT like 300 times a week.

So since I haven't been so good about monitoring myself, I've decided to take part in the Biggest Loser Moms Fuck All Y'all Edition. Basically, the contest goes from January 10th through April 10th and the person who loses the greatest percentage of their body weight wins.

See, I was going to give myself a challenge. Announce that I would post a picture of myself* in a swimsuit on June 1st. Hoping that this would give me the motivation to get my stuff together. I may still do that, if things go well. No promises, though.

I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to approach this venture. Exercise will continue to be a part of my routine, but obviously I need to take control of my eating. Less soda, smaller portions, smarter snacks. It's not going to be fun, but it has to happen.

So get ready. You're going to be seeing a lot less of my ass in the future.

*A one piece. And I reserve the right to photoshop.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What Am I Reading? - 2010

In 2009, I read more than 60 books. Some took me hours and others took weeks. Some I loved, others left me wanting. One I even quit 100 pages in, it was so bad. Now, with the dawn of a new year, so begins a new journey in literature.

The World From Rough Stones - Malcolm MacDonald (genre: Historical Fiction) I actually quit this book after about 150 pages. I just could not get into it. I renewed it twice at the library. I had it for NINE weeks. Granted I read a couple other books in there, but at least half of that was just that book. MAYBE someday I'll come back to it. Somehow I doubt it.

The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi (genre: Science Fiction) Set in a future where genetic modifications have nearly destroyed the earth's ecosystems. Many species are extinct, countries have fallen and "calorie" companies rule the world. I liked the premise for this book, and it was certainly beautiful prose, but. There's always a but, isn't there? The store was slow and frankly, I still am not sure exactly what happened. Grade: B- 

I am Number Four - Pitticus Lore(genre: Science Fiction/Young Adult) When their planet was attacked by Mogadorians, John Smith and 9 other young Loric children, along with their guardians, who will help the children develop their gifts while they hide out on earth. But the Mogadorians have followed them there and are systematically hunting them down. Grade: B+

The Passage - Justin Cronin (genre: Science Fiction) This monster of a book was one of "the" books this summer and most of the reviews I read were glowing. It chronicles the end of days brought about by a military virus that creates vampires and the small band of non-virals that fight for survival. I came away with a generally positive feeling but a couple of beefs. One: This is the first in a trilogy. I am sick to death of series books. So I was chagrined when I read the ending. Two: Length. This tome could probably have lost a few hundred pages and not really been the worse for wear. Ultimately, I enjoyed it, and I will read the next books. Grade: B+
My Name is Memory -  Ann Brashares (genre: Fiction) The centuries long love story of Daniel and Sophia. Daniel is one of a very small number of people that remembers in perfect clarity all of his past lives. He met Sophie during his first in the 5th century and has been trying to catch up with her ever since. Grade: B+

Paranormalcy - Kiersten White (genre: Young Adult/Fiction, Supernatural) Since she was a young girl, Evie has worked for the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA) capturing and tagging paranormals. Her special gift is being able to see past the glamours the rest of the world sees, which makes her especially valuable to the IPCA. But when an unusual, even for her, new paranormal shows up in the IPCA headquarters, her world is turned upside down. Grade: B-

The Lonely Polygamist - Brady Udall (genre: Fiction) The story centers on Golden and his four very different wives and their 28 children. It is an unflinching look at polygamy, neither judging nor accepting. I'm of two minds about this book. One one hand, it is so very well written, the narrative and descriptions so complex and full. However, it could have been a couple hundred pages shorter. I found myself ready to give up around 400 pages in. I'm glad I stuck with it and finished it, because the ending is masterful. But it was a struggle at times. Grade: B

The Fire - Katherine Neville (genre: Fiction) Published 20 years after, this is the sequel  to The Eight, a book that blended historical fact with an intriguing fictional narrative. This book follows Alexandra, the daughter of Cat and Solarin, the couple featured in The Eight, as she enters "the game." Grade: B+

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins (genre: Young Adult/Fiction) The final chapter in the Hunger Games trilogy. Katniss takes her place as the "mockingjay" to encourage the rebellion led by the newly revealed district 13. A thoroughly satisfying conclusion to this wonderful story. Grade: A

Birthmarked - Caragh M. O'Brien (genre: Young Adult/Fiction) As an apprentice midwife, Gaia delivers babies. But an unpleasant aspect of her job is to deliver the first three babies born each month to the Enclave. When her parents are arrested, Gaia realizes that things need to change. Grade: A

The Enemy - Charles Higson (genre: Young Adult/Fiction) After a sickness has wiped out the adult population, leaving everyone over the age of 16 either dead or a zombie, children survive by scavenging the streets of London. We follow a ragtag bunch from the relative safety of the grocery store they have inhabited since the sickness over a year before as they make their way to Buckingham Palace and hopefully a better life. I really enjoyed this book and the only reason I'm not giving it an A is because I was not at all satisfied with the ending. This is part of what I guess will be a multi-part series and I understand carrying the story line from one book to the next, but for the love of god, make each book a solid story. Too often I'm reading books lately that just end. No resolution, no ending, just bam done. They are only marginally stand alone books and this one is another. Which is a big disappointment to me because I loved the characters and the action was top notch. My recommendation, wait until all of the books are done and then read them all in a row. May take a couple of years, but far less frustrating. Grade: B+

The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford (genre: Historical Fiction) Set during WWII, this is the touching story of a young Chinese boy in Seattle and the Japanese girl who catches his heart despite his father's objections. Beautiful book! Grade: A-

Nurtureshock - Po Bronson (genre: non-fiction/family advice) I gave up. There was some interesting information in this book, but it was just too dry and my "to read" list is just too long for me to spend time on books I'm not interested in.

The Eight - Katherine Neville (genre: Suspense) The story of an ancient mystical chess set and the havoc it has wreaked on the lives of all who have come into "the game." Great read. Can't wait to dive into the sequel. Grade: A

Bitter Seeds - Ian Tregillis (genre: Historical Fiction/Sci-Fi) What would happen if one of the mad scientists in the Nazi regime had created super-humans with amazing abilities? Bad things. Written as part of a series, this book doesn't stand on its own well. And that's kind of a peeve of mine. I am happy to read series, but if I don't get satisfying endings in each novel, it really irks me. If I had to say, I would recommend you wait until all of the books come out and then read them all at the same time. Sure you may have to wait 10 years, but its better this way. Grade: B+

Hush Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick (genre: YA) Misunderstood teenage girl with tragic past hooks up with mysterious boy, drama ensues that almost tears them apart, but they overcome it because of the strength of their love. Sound familiar? It is, all too. The dialogue was TERRIBLE and the story was boring and predictable. Grade: D

The Last Colony - John Scalzi (genre: Science Fiction) The third and final in the trilogy begun in Old Man's War. A satisfying resolution to the scheming machinations of the Colonial Union as they wage war against the Enclave. Grade: A-

The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi (genre: Science Fiction) Sequel to Old Man's War. Set in the future where artificially grown soldiers are the special forces of a Colonial Union that defends the human colonists and interests in the galaxy. When one of the CU's top scientists defects, they must use an unorthodox method to find out what happened to him. Grade: B+

Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris (genre: Fiction/Supernatural) The latest in the Sookie Stackhouse saga. In this one, she is recovering from the wounds she received during the Fae War as she comes to terms with her more complicated relationship with Eric. Grade: B

The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart (genre: Juvenile/Fiction) A novel in the vein of Lemony Snicket or perhaps Harry Potter, we follow four unique orphans as they save the world from an evil mastermind. This book might be good for a young reader, maybe 10, but it felt too immature for me. And that comes from someone who loves YA fiction. Grade: B-

How to Say Goodbye in Robot - Natalie Standiford (genre: Young Adult/Fiction) Beatrice is new in school, again. Daughter of a professor who follows the grant money, they move regularly, so it's not a new thing for Bea. In her new school, she befriends the weird kid, the one the other kids call Ghost Boy. Together they navigate familiar drama. An interesting and surprising ending. Grade: B+

The Irresistible Henry House - Lisa Grunwald (genre: Fiction) Between the 20s and the 60s the home ec departments at universities across the country "borrowed" babies from orphanages for their students to practice mothering. This is the imagined story of a one of those babies. Lula said it would be a good movie. I completely agree. Grade: B+

The Dead Tossed Waves - Carrie Ryan (genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction) The follow up book to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. This book follows Gabry, the teenage daughter of Mary who is now grown and the lighthousekeeper for a small coastal town. But one night, Gabry sneaks out with a group of friends and inadvertantly sets into motion a series of events that would change all of their lives. Grade: A-

Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater (genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction) As a young girl, Grace was attacked by a pack of wolves. But one wolf in the pack saved her from a certain death. Over the years, she develops a special relationship with that wolf until one day she learns there's something very special about him. Really enjoyed this book but some of the characters were flat, hence the minus. Still, a quick and engrossing read. Grade: A-

Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris (genre: Fiction/Supernatural) So far, my favorite of this series. Funny how I finally really enjoy it and now I have to wait for the next one to come out. Figures. Anywho, this book heavily featured Sookie's off  again/on again vampire lover Eric, who is awfully appealing, especially when you imagine him as Alexander Skaarsgard. (drool) Grade: B+

The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell (genre: Science Fiction) After a musical broadcast is received from a planet in the next solar system, a group of Jesuit scientists and explorers make the trip to visit the sending planet. Interesting ethical questions raised in this book. An engrossing read. Grade: A-

Hominids - Robert Sawyer (genre: Science Fiction) What would happen if Neanderthals had been the successful species? What would happen if a technologically modern Neanderthal accidentally found his way to our Earth as we know it now? Interesting and well executed concept. Grade: B+

This World We Live In - Susan Beth Pfeffer (genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction) The third in the series that began with Life As We Knew It. More heartbreak. I cried on the treadmill at the gym. Again. Grade: A

Saturn's Children - Charles Stross (genre: Science Fiction) I should have known by the picture on the front and from the fact that it was about a courtesan robot. That this was going to have more than your average sci-fi book's share of sex. There was a LOT of robot sex in this book. Well developed story with a satisfyingly happy ending. (See, I wasn't going to make a sex joke, but I couldn't resist.) Grade: B

From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris (genre: Fiction/Supernatural) Eighth in the Sookie Stackhouse series. While I enjoy these books, they are starting to feel less like a series of books and more like big chapters of a giant story. Which is to say, each book is only marginally a complete story. It is a part of the larger story with smaller elements that occur. Without the grander picture, I don't think you could pick one of these later books up and find it a satisfying read. Whatever the case, I really hope that Harris has an endgame in mind for Sookie. Just going on and on like this? Starting to get on my nerves. Grade: B-

The Dead and the Gone - Susan Beth Pfeffer (genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction) Parallel to the novel Life as We Knew It, this book follows Alex and his two sisters and how their New York City lives are drastically altered after the asteroid hits the moon. Compelling read. Grade: A

Incarceron - Catherine Fisher (genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction) Finn is a "child" of Incarceron, the mammoth prison that serves as home to millions of "prisoners." Created generations before to house the worst of the worst, it has now become a world unto itself. Claudia is the priveleged daughter of the warden of Incarceron. She faces a prison of her own, marriage to the churlish son of the queen. She finds Finn through a pair of crystal keys and plots to get him out of Incarceron. Grade: A

The Law of Nines - Terry Goodkind (genre: Fiction/Fantasy) A followup/sequel to the Sword of Truth series, (the Legend of the Seeker tv series is based on these books) all 11 books (each close to 1000 pages, it was a monumental task) of which I read over the course of several years. This book is set in our world and follows Alex as he fights the magic-hating forces of evil. Of course there's a beautiful kick-ass woman at his side. Ending was very anti-climactic. Grade: B-

All Together Dead - Charlaine Harris (genre: Fiction/Supernatural) Seventh in the Sookie Stackhouse series. Sookie goes to a vampire convention in Rhodes, Illinois. Of course, disaster ensues. Sookie continues on her indecision about Quinn vs. Eric. Grade: B-

Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris (genre: Fiction/Supernatural) Sixth in the Sookie Stackhouse series. More of the same. Still entertaining, new guy, old guy's out. Grade: B

Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris (genre: Fiction/Supernatural) Fifth in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I'm not even sure it's worth continuing to describe each of these books. While they're entertaining, there's so little to them. They're cotton candy. Grade: B

American Gods - Neil Gaiman (genre: Fiction/Supernatural) Gods walk among us. They are the totems and charms that we have worshipped throughout history. Over the years, some are lost and forgotten. As that happens, these immortals fade away to nothingness. In the current era, the new gods: television, radio, media, internet, etc are ambitious and eager to wipe out the old gods. One of these old gods enlists Shadow, a beleaguered ex-con to help as they lead up to the ultimate battle between old and new. As always, Gaiman has a supreme gift for prose, but this book will fall as my least favorite of his books. Just didn't pull me in like most of his others. Having said that, it was still dynamite. A bad Gaiman is still better than most other's authors' best. Grade: B+

The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood  (genre: Science Fiction) The sequel (sidequel?) to Oryx and Crake, this book follows peripheral characters from O&C along roughly the same timeline, ending in the same time and place. I really enjoyed Oryx and Crake and was looking forward to this one, but this book felt unfocused. I never got emotionally involved with the main characters and the ending had WAY too many convenient and lucky coincidences for me. Overall, I'm glad I read it and if the rumored third book comes about, I will read, but I was not as satisfied with this as Oryx and Crake. Grade: B

Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris (genre: Fiction/Supernatural) Fourth in the Sookie Stackhouse series. In this book, Sookie finds vampire boss Eric on the side of the road, his memory wiped. Thus ensues a mad chase to find the witch who cursed him. Meanwhile, Sookie's brother goes missing. Don't worry, everyone is fine in the end. Surprise. Grade: B-

Ruined - Paula Morris (genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Supernatural) When her dad has to take an extended trip to China for work, Rebecca moves to New Orleans to live with her unusual "aunt." Once there, she feels out of place among the "old line" rich kids at her exclusive private school. She quickly learns that there are unusual forces at work and not is all as it seems. Grade: B

Club Dead - Charlaine Harris (genre: Fiction/Supernatural) Third in the Sookie Stackhouse series, this book follows Sookie on a trip to save Bill from a rival vampire clan. I'll keep reading these books, because they require no critical thought and I can tear through them on the treadmill, but they're decidely redundant. Grade: B-

The Help - Kathryn Stockett (genre: Fiction) Set in the tumultuous early 60s, this novel chronicles one young white woman and two black maids over the course of several years as they write a book about the lives of black maids in white households and the racism they face. Loved this book. Grade: A+

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly (genre: Young Adult/Fiction) A year in the life of a twelve year old girl living in turn of the century (that's nineteenth/twentieth century) rural Texas. Amid six brothers and very traditional expectations of the only girl in the family, she discovers a love for science and a friend and fellow scientist in her formerly unapproachable granddaddy. One of those books that nothing happens, but everything happens, know what I mean? Loved it! Grade: A

Living Dead In Dallas - Charlaine Harris (genre: Fiction/Supernatural) The second in the Sookie Stackhouse series, I enjoyed this book a whole lot more than the first. Perhaps because I have seen the first season of True Blood and knew everything that was going to happen, it ruined the first book for me. But I came into this one fresh. This book follows Sookie and Bill when they freelance Sookie's "gift" to a vampire nest in Dallas. While the first book left me uninterested, this one left me wanting more. Grade: B+

Old Man's War - John Scalzi (genre: Science Fiction) Set in a future where humans have mastered intergalactic travel, the challenge now is the competition among sentient beings for planets to colonize. The army that defends these colonies is made up of recruits who can not enlist until they are 75. Great read. Grade: A

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood (genre: Science Fiction) In a post-apocalyptic world, a man named Snowman lives among a primitive tribe of people he calls the Children of Crake. As the novel progresses we learn why. And how their being is related to the world's downfall. Suspenseful and engrossing. Grade: A

Shadowland - Alyson Noel (genre: Fiction/Young Adult/Supernatural) After each book, I say NO MORE. Because these books are b-a-d. But then some time goes by, and I say, well, I've already read one two of these books, I'll just read the next one to see what happens. And then I do, and I regret it after 20 pages. What I'm saying is: don't read these books. They're just not that good. Grade: D

On Deck: 

Disquiet - Julia Leigh
Truth - Robin Wasserman
Wake - Lisa McCann
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Blue Bloods - Melissa De La Cruz
Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
Goblin Quest - Jim C. Hines
Still Alice - Lisa Genova
Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin
Willow - Julia Hoban
Private Life - Jane Smiley
The Domino Men - Jonathan Barnes

Going forward this post will be updated after I read each book and can be reached by clicking the "What's On The Bookshelf" link at the top right of the page. I pick almost all of my books based on suggestions from friends, so please feel free to leave a comment with a recommendation at any time during the year!

Friday, January 1, 2010

About Me

First and foremost, I am me.
And me is a she.
I am also part of a we.
A we that became three.
Here is where you'll see,
I search for my sanity.
Oh where, oh where can it be.

Contact me at

Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Baltimore Sun Mobbies for Best Family Blog and the 2012 Best Lifestyle Blog


Best Of


Before and After

Fall River

The One Where I Talk About My Boobies and Make All The Men In My Life Uncomfortable

The Moral of the Story

The Treadmill Gives Me Gas

Why I Hate Going To The Lady Doctor

I Used To Be Cool