29 November, 2007

Book Review – Book of the Dead

Damn you Pendergast

Do you want to know what sucks? Coming into a series at the mid/end point. Now with rational genres (SciFi/Fantasy) they generally tell you that this is Book 1, Book 10, Book 24...With mystery/cop drama? Not so much. That really sucks. I NEVER read a book 2 before a book 1, what is the Fin point? (Yes Freak Show I am totally speaking to you). Don’t all fall off your chairs, I do read things other than SciFi/Fantasy, just not often.

On with the book. We have FBI agent Pendergast that is locked up in a maximum security prison for apparently killing a few of his friends (in a previous book). Pendergast’s deranged and psychotic brother Diogenes who framed him (again in a previous book). A whole traumatizing relationship between the two (played out apparently in several books). A group of friends, acquaintances and wards who are planning Pendergast’s escape. And there is something totally wacked out with the ward.

We also have major museum drama. There has been a diamond heist (in a previous book) there is an Anthrax scare, we have a cover up and the discovery of a lost exhibit that may save the museum from financial disaster.

How does this all fit? Damned if I know…only kidding, this was a great read even if I didn’t understand everything so now? I will have to read it from the beginning to see how all of these players came to be. I HATE THAT…then again, by the time I finish finding and reading all the previous books I will be ready to re-read this one.

27 November, 2007

Tuesday with Spotty Chop

My parent’s are off in Florida, my SIL works Tues and Thurs. I had no one to watch my little bundle of joy; I was forced to take the day off. It was a sacrifice, but I think I handled it well. We slept until 8:00AM. Colored, played cars and trucks, apparently went outside while I was in the bathroom to get pieces of boy toy’s motorcycle, and then got dressed so we could go to the Discovery Museum in Acton.

I really like this place. It’s in a Victorian home with 10 or so different rooms that each have a theme. Trains, balls and motion, water tables, sea creatures, senses, safari, fort, kitchen/restaurant and the attic is boats and the water. I have read reviews of the place that complain about it being small and crowded during holidays and weekends and I just have to say…”DUH”, any place that caters to young children is going to be crazy during those times. I try to avoid going anywhere I think other people will be if possible. As for being small, I would describe it as cozy and quaint. I don’t know if anyone remembers the Boston’s Children’s Museum of long ago. I just have vague memories of it, but the way my parents describe it sounds similar to the Discovery. Spotty and I had a great time, there were kids there, but not so many that you were unable to do what you wanted.

Spotty made a friend up in the ship area, a lovely young lady of 4 years whom Spotty decided to call Lilly, not her name, but she didn’t seem to mind. They spent a good hour or two being pirates, lobstermen, dolphin/shark friends, crazy cooks and other assorted games. Spotty usually lets older women have there way with him, but this seemed to be a very equal partnership, both taking turns to be leader and follower. When “Lilly” had to leave Spotty was off for more adventuring. The set up is nice and circular so that you can go through the rooms easily and quickly (or not) depending on your mood. We stopped off at Old McDonalds (what Spotty calls Micky D’s) and had a chocolate (vanilla shake) and some fries.

If you live nearby, or have an unexpected day off I highly recommend it. There is also a science museum that we have been to, but it is geared towards older kids or at least older than a 2 year old. We had fun, but I didn’t bother going this time, in another year or two it will be perfect.

Book Review : Heir to the Shadows

The Black Jewels Trilogy Book 2

Saetan requests guardianship of Jaenelle and when the vote doesn’t go his way starts killing until it does. His ex wife is looking for the little witch so she can control her and he tells her she is running with the lost children. In truth Jaenelle was so traumatized that she has been in the abyss for 2 years. What brings her back out is when she threatens Char and attacks Saetan. So Jaenelle is back, badder than ever a bit crazy.

What I like about this series is that bad and stupid people get what’s coming to them. You want details? Read the books.

Surreal finds Daemon or rather he finds her, unfortunately he is stuck in the Twisted Kingdom (crazy as…well anything) because not only does he think he killed Jaenelle, but when he tries to rescue Lucivar his brother blames him for Jaenelle’s death too.

Folks seem to underestimate Jaenelle and who or what she is. When Saetan gets accused of “taking advantage” of her by the counsel and they determine that she is better off under someone else’s care she agrees and tells them when the “sun next rises you can appoint a new guardian”. You don’t want to mess with an angry witch.

We also get to meet a bunch of Jaenelle’s friends who are as crazy or cranky depending on if you are with them or against them.

25 November, 2007

The mind of a 2 year old

Spotty Chop’s brain had been doing incredible things lately. We have spent a lot of time playing “Super Space Boy to the Rescue”. One of us puts on the space helmet (a combat helmet) and holds the flashlight, directs the sidekick while the 3rd party gets “trapped”…in the bed, bathroom etc. The rescuers come flying in and save the troubled unfortunate. We literally spend hours playing this.

He reads to himself now. I don’t think I have ever heard anything as funny as his renditions of Hop on Pop. “NO Pat, no sit on dat. STOP! You must hop. No hop pop. Say say today. He mispronounces a few words consistently. Vacation is cation and machine is bachine. I was worried for seconds that he might have a speech problem, but he asks me to read Carl’s Masquerade, so I think he should be ok. He has also started reading to me. I can’t believe the memory on this kid. The details he remembers or thinks is important is amazing.

Spotty woke up last night around 2:30am needing chocolate milk. Lucky for him, I couldn’t fall asleep. I told him to stay in bed and I would get it for him, but he got upset and told me he had to get the chocolate syrup for me. During the day I always ask for his help, his job is to get the syrup. Apparently this has turned into mama is incapable of finding the chocolate syrup and he will get plain old milk or perhaps nothing if he is not there to direct me, how do I know this? He was practically crying because I did not grab the syrup fast enough and as soon as I took it he ran back to bed. Our bed to be exact, where this 31 lb child managed to take up 3/4ths of a queen sized water bed. I went to sleep in his room in the toddler race car bed…with crib mattress. He was ready to go again this morning around 6:30. God help me.

11 November, 2007

Book Review - Daughter of the Blood

The Black Jewels Trilogy Book 1
This is a great book and turns the typical “slave finds a protector to love and be protected” on its head. It is definitely a refreshing change to have the men be the pleasure slaves for once. This is definitely not a book for younger readers. Lots of mature themes and violence. As you may have guessed from other reviews I am all about the violence, but when they are castrating a man and it goes into details, well I just feel that might not necessarily need to read about it just yet. Don’t let that stop you from reading though.

The cast of characters is complex and compelling. Saetan is the Lord of Hell a man not to be toyed with. Lucivar is a winged warrior who lives on the sufferance of his cousins good behavior. Daemon is also a “ringed” male sent to different queens and courts to humiliate and attempt to control him. All 3 have been waiting for Witch. A queen they could serve with pride and love. For something has happened to the queens and priestesses. Corruption and lethargy now rule the lands.

Enter in Jaenelle a 12 year old girl whose family has been sending her in and out of an institution “Briarwood” for emotionally distraught girls since she was 5. What not many know is that Briarwood is actually used as a pleasure house for many rich and powerful men that understand that if they get a young witch early enough they can break her so that she never becomes powerful and therefore unable to rule.

Father, Brother and Lover must learn to trust themselves and each other if there is any hope of saving the dream made flesh
Thank god I have book 2 and 3…and I know where they are

09 November, 2007


Does anyone igoogle out there? the Solar system theme photo today totally kicks ASS. I'm just saying

Crash and Burn

I feel as if I am on a downward spiral to…DOOM, death, despair, apocalyptic horror. I’ve been in a funk, rut, car with no breaks heading over a cliff. I am just not in a good place right now and haven’t been in awhile.

Part of it is work. I really try to avoid talking about work on this blog because I have heard of the horror that can come from it, of course that is if you are one of the big names and folks follow your writing, but still it pays to be not stupid. Anyhoo, there was a reorg, and my place as a golden go to girl has plummeted to that of the piece of schmegma that you scrape off your shoe. So needless to say I’ve been a bit apathetic at work? Granted I am doing my job, but you know how there is always stuff that isn’t a priority, but should get done, eventually… so just not with the enthusiasm of old. I am certainly not offering to do extra. Work stays at work. When I take a day off, I take the day off and the crackberry can go to hell. There is in fact so much petty bullshit going on that it makes my head want to explode and I am afraid that if I start talking about it I will not be able to stop and this blog will turn into one giant festering pustule.

Then there is the house redo. Our house was sided with pressed paper; there is a name for this type of siding, myter board? You may not know this, but when paper gets wet, it sometimes disintegrates. We have been putting off doing anything with the wisdom of the folks that first invented this craptastic product. However it got to the point that even I was saying, FUCK we need to do something. So we had folks in to do an estimate. Since the house was in such a great state, they said they would unfortunately have to tear everything off and redo it all. On the plus side, the siding I wanted Hardy plank, a cement type of siding that looks like wood and is guaranteed for 50 years, was now only $2500 bucks more than traditional vinyl siding. The down side? Having to totally strip and redo everything was about $10,000 more than we were hoping. But what can you do? The house kind of needs to be standing to live in it. The plus side? Since we are talking a buttload of money, we may as well get a new front door and a new slider out back, and gutters, and shutters. The down side? We are spending enough money that adding these other items only added about 40 bucks to the monthly payment. BLOW ME. My parents and I got into a fight over the siding because when I was talking about colors the color blue came up as a possibility, not a true blue, what I was looking for was something between a light gray and a very dark gray. We have a ranch house; dark colors would make it look smaller than it already is. I wanted a medium gray, but they didn’t have one. They did have a blue that was grayish. My parents FREAKED out, blue is such a bad choice, you have to think retail value, very few people buy blue houses, you have to do something neutral. My dad called a few days later, he had done research, the top selling colors for homes were white (our original house color that I hate, a ranch house is so uninspiring as it is, I think you need a bit of color to define it even slightly.) They just want to help keep us from making a mistake…My mom called a few days later; I talked to our friend the realtor. He feels that painting the house blue is a BIG mistake etc. etc. I stopped listening, she got pissy “I guess our advice isn’t welcome, I have to go.” Christ on a cracker! We ended up doing a light gray with white trim and midnight blue shutters. If it ever stops raining during the weekend we will paint the front door midnight bluish as well. Have I told my parent’s? HELL NO, I haven’t even told them we moved forward with the project. I figure they will be out to the house in March for Spotty’s birthday, they can see it then. Passive aggressive much?

And speaking of Spotty, so as I am writing about my gloom and doom (boy toy and I are constantly at each other too right now. We have cycles, it happens, at least to us, and now is not the best time it seems) the way I handle stress is I read, a lot; constantly in fact. So when I should be doing other things (umm hello bills, what? You haven’t been taken care of in two months? Crap, I will get to you once I finish this chapter). I am in fact 5 or 6 books behind in my reviews, that’s right I have 5 or 6 books that I still need to review good friggen god. So back to Spotty. I feel like I am neglecting him somewhat because all I want to do is read to take my mind off of everything. Which means the housework has gone to shit. Not to mention that The Bride borrowed my vacuum cleaner, yes back in October. So the house hasn’t been vacuumed in forever and a day. There is crap everywhere (no, not real crap, just stuff). So the house is in complete disarray. We needed to do yard work last Sunday as we have not closed our pool yet. So boy toy ran out to get gas for the lawn mower so he could blow all the leaves. He is gone for a fuck long time (we can walk to the friggen gas station). He pulls up into the driveway with crap falling out of the truck. He happened to drive behind a bunch of stores and they happened to have just thrown out a bunch of Halloween costumes. So now we also have bags and bags of costumes everywhere as we try to sort crap out. Which is great because I have been telling boy toy how I want to get a bunch of stuff so Spotty can do dress up. When I was growing up my parents had a huge box and it was filled with stuff like my dad’s army jacket and helmet, my mom’s nursing uniform, all sorts of 60’s shenanigans. We have tons of great photos of the neighborhood kids over playing dress up. I want that for Spotty. And now I will be able to, which is great.

But I try and do something like a load of laundry or dishes and he wants to play. I know if I don’t do the dishes or the laundry it is just NOT GOING TO GET DONE. So I have to tell him I will play in awhile. And we do play. We play geotrax and monster trucks, he likes to take his monster truck and smash into mine. I make mine drive away screaming and he drives behind me saying “I didn’t mean to scare you” and then he crashes into me again, and again and again. Until one of the monster trucks says “want to come over to my house for milk and cookies?” (Where the hell did he come up with this?) We are also doing a bunch of finger painting. I guess I feel bad that when he is watching his little foot videos (dinosaur series) I am reading. And I do try to get out of playing sometimes so I can read, but I know how bad it is to just have him sitting in front of the TV.

Now onto my final bit of gloom. SIL is going to work full time in January. I am really upset about this. Mostly because I have been able to trick myself into thinking that I am not really such a bad mom because I have family watching him. Realistically we could not survive on boy toys salary. I am a big enough bitch that I have refused his ideas of him staying home with the boy. If I can’t stay home with him, which is what I want to do more than life itself, there is NO Fen way in HELL I am going to let boy toy do it. FUCK THAT SHIT. So I have been looking at day care, which is FUCKING expensive. How the FUCK does anyone pay for this shit? I have been more and more depressed on how we are going to be able to swing this. Tim’s mom works in a day care which is actually my first choice because again, that family thing. But my mom and dad also live in the town; which is a great back up. I have been dreading the cost. Places I have been looking at have been between $1600 and $1300 a month. I went to talk to them yesterday and because Gramie A has worked for them for longer than the boy toy and I have been together, we are getting the teacher discount. This turns out to be about as much as we were paying SIL. WOO WOO for us!!! Now I just need to get over the fact that my baby will be going to day care. On the plus side, he gets away from the terminator. On the negative side, he is going to day care. I have been stealing boy toy’s meds because even as I type this I am crying. I think I hear my book calling.

08 November, 2007

Book Review – The Pillars of Creation

Sword of Truth Book 7

What an interesting read and my slapping tendencies were at an all time low. We are introduced to Jennsen, Darken Rahl’s bastard daughter. She has just watched a Quad kill her mom because the Rahl’s have been hunting Jennsen her whole life. She is saved by Sebastian, a man working for Jagang the Just. Jennsen is also haunted by a voice that speaks only to her in her mind who constantly demands that she surrender. Jennsen and Sebastian start an adventure that will take them throughout the midlands, old world and beyond to try and kill the man responsible for all of Jennsen’s problems Richard Rahl.

We also meet Oba another of Darken Rahl’s bastard kids. Is it just me or does it seem like Richard is the only boy child that isn’t a whacked out murderer? Oba has delusions or grandeur that has to be read to be believed.

Jennsen and Oba are holes in the world, magic can not find them, they have no magic and magic has no effect on them; although they both have some of that special Rahl personality. We meet up with a new (or not so new) cast of characters including Tom, a bumbling wine seller. Nyda – have I ever told you how much I love the Mord-Sith? I hope we hear from her again. Lethea and Althea, sorceress sisters. We also find out where Nathan has been, don’t hear from him a lot and I hope he is back in the next book.

Finally a Sword book I haven’t read before, there were moments that I was expecting I would be disappointed, but that never paned out. I actually enjoy when a long series branches out a bit.

Now I am really looking forward to Book 8 (that I have)

Good God not in my Town

Last Friday on the train home (or at least to go pick up Spotty) everyone asked me “did you hear about Needham?” I of course did not hear about Needham. Apparently a man was murdered and the town was in lock down at a local pizza place. All the schools and businesses were locked tight. Boy toy called me as I was on the train and explained. There was a robbery at the pizza place and at the same time, a murder also took place. Everyone thought at first that the murderer was at the pizza place. But it was in fact a totally unrelated incident. The murderer was caught in the woods behind SIL’s house. Yes Spotty chop was there, but everyone is fine no worse for wear. Kind of crazy, this crap just doesn’t happen in Needham.

04 November, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Is there anything worse than being stuck in a meeting at 4:00pm on Halloween? I didn’t think so. Spotty went to his cousin’s school because SIL was called in for emergency help. I was a wreck, but he had a great time. He even got a treat bag. When we got home we had a quick dinner. Every time I went to put Spotty in his costume someone would ring the door bell and he would want to go hand out candy. We finally got a break in the action, tossed the costume on and off we went. Boy toy stayed home to hand out candy. We did bags this year filled with Halloween parachute creatures or for the 3 and under crowd, fruit chews and play dough. Spotty had a blast trick or treating. He was so excited. Everyone loved him, he was a scarecrow. A lot of folks thought he was a girl…and I kept telling them that he is pretty enough to be one. Boy toy feels it’s because I let his hair grow too long. I can’t help it, I think it’s cute. I mean we are not talking a page boy or anything; it’s just over his ears is all. We were out for about an hour. His bucket was heavy, too heavy, and people just kept giving him more. Spotty was ready to go all night, but I decided that there is really just so much candy that I can eat. So we headed home. We didn’t get a lot of people at the house. It may have been because we have a giant dumpster in our driveway and our cars are parked on the sidewalk in front of our house, who knows. Better luck next year.

Book Review – The High Lord

Black Magician Trilogy Book Three

The story starts off with the city in turmoil due to a serial killer that has been killing with what looks like black magic. We meet up again with Cery, who we find out is doing quite well for himself. He is working for someone to try and find the killer, what the rest of the city doesn’t know is that it isn’t just one killer there are multiple killers. Cery gets help from a surprising source a Sachakan named Savara who seems to be opening all sorts of possibilities for him.

The High Lord Akkarin finally tells Sonea why he is practicing black magic. Not what I expected. I will admit I was hoping he wasn’t the evil scum lord Vader like personage that he seemed to be. Sonea not only agrees to help Akkarin but decides to learn black magic herself. While Akkarin and Sonea are busy trying to save the Guild the Sachakan’s are busy too, killing everyone they can and pointing it to Akkarin. They capture Akkarin who explains what has been going on, but the Guild does not totally believe him. Sonea refuses to let him be exiled to Sachakan by himself believing he will be killed and he is the only wizard who can save them.

Let’s not forget Dannyl, who was hoping that the High Lord would be able to explain that he was able to infiltrate the rebels by “pretending” that he and Tayend were more than friends. Or Rothen who is sent to Sachakan to spy on them.

How does it end? Again, not how I would have expected. But good. Perhaps there is another trilogy somewhere here?

No good deed goes unpunished

So last Monday we went back to Coco Key. Moo and Cheese Please were joined by Hippy Chick and Freak Show. I decided to grab Duncan Donuts for the guys working on the house because Monday was bitterly cold. Spotty was his usual charming self, flirting with everyone. I went back to the house dropped off the coffee and donuts and then headed for the highway. Pulled onto the onramp and looked over at the passenger seat and noticed that my pocketbook was not there. “FUCK FUCK FUCK” I said, Spotty said “mama what wrong? Why fuck fuck fuck?” The boy has lived with us for almost three years and this is the first time he has ever said the word. I explained that mommy was upset and was saying bad words. I pull off at the next exit and look in the front of the car for my bag. Can’t find it. Drive back to D&D to ask if they have seen it. Nope. Drive back to the house to see if I brought it to the house. Nope. I grab my $100 emergency money, because by god I am taking the boy swimming (he was so excited when I told him where we were going). I run up to the police station to see if anyone dropped it off, I was thinking that I may have left it on the hood of my car and driven off like that. Spotty was excited to see the police officers “they keep us safe”. When I went into the back seat and was taking Spotty out of his car seat…guess what I found…we went in to say hi to the police officers anyways.

So and hour later than I wanted to be (and hour and a half if anyone was counting) we were on the road. We ended up right behind Moo and company as we pulled in. No discounts were given this time, and apparently there were birthday parties going on. WTF? Don’t people have work and school to go to? There were about 20 people in the place, which was 20 people to many. Spotty ran right into the kiddy pool and had a great time. Cheese and Freak went on a bunch of the small slides. We all had fun on the river. Moo then watched Spotty so that Freak and I could go down the big slides. I told him that you had to scream the whole way down, and by god he did. We had a blast. The activity pool was open and Spotty and I played on the giant snake and played leap frog on the lily pads.

We went out to the hot tub, me dragging Hippy along as it was cold, I had forgotten that the seat part of the tub was a lot lower than expected. Moo fell last time, I fell this time, with Spotty in my arms. I managed to keep him from going under or hitting anything, but I landed hard and still have, a week later, a bruise larger than my outstretched hand. It no longer hurts to sit which is nice.

Spotty was trying new skills in the kiddy pool. One of the slides has a decent current and he was pushing against it. At one point he went under. I thought “he will pop back up…he should be popping up any second…where the fuck is he?” I grabbed him and held him close. I know it only lasted a second or two, but Christ on a Cracker, that was the scariest thing that has happened so far. It seemed like it was hours that he was down there.

After all of the trauma we decided that we needed food…and the food shack was closed. Freak and I spoke with the management to express our displeasure. They offered us take out menus and said they were sorry. So I keep taking the towels they provide. Anytime one got damp, I made sure we all had new towels. I must have traded in 100. We got way too much food (who knew that the fried dough would be the size of a small pizza).

Spotty and I left around 3:30. Trying to get him dressed and myself dressed before he can run out to the lobby is still a challenge. On the way home there was an accident and I was stuck in traffic, right before rush hour.

Book Review - Faith of the Fallen

Sword of Truth Book 6 C
hrist on a cracker, I read this bastard before. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just…I was looking forward to something I hadn’t read before. Although…I’ve only read it once and really don’t remember what is going on or going to happen so that is pretty cool.

Kahlan, Richard and Cara are off to give the mother confessor a place to heal. Conflict and strife, minor…at first. Sister Nicci shows up and she is the bad ass of bad asses. We learn her story and come to realize that it is always the mothers fault. Damn crazy byotches. Although Nicci brings crazy to a whole new level She captures Richard and makes him trot at her heals as her husband to learn “something” before she kills him. You may be shocked to learn that I want to slap the shit out of her too. She is wacked.

Kahlan on the other hand I LOVE. I like her best when she is taking no prisoners. When she is a battle leader, or just kicking ass and taking names, she shines like the superstar she is. There are a couple of quotes that just made the book for me. One is when Kahlan first reaches the army after Richard has been taken. Zedd asks if she has a plan to get Richard back.
“It’s simple. I plan on killing every Imperial Order man, woman and child until I get to the very last one left alive, and then if she doesn’t give him back, I’m going to kill her too.”
The other is what General Baldwin the commander of the Keltish forces says when Kahlan asks,
How many men did you bring?
Baldwin replies
Why…all of them. One hundred seventy thousand men. When my queen asks for an army, I bring her one.

Richard is in the old world working on a palace for Jagang who has decided that to be taken seriously he needs to have more toys than anyone else. I enjoy how Richard’s richardness shines through no matter what Nicci throws at him. I got distracted by wanted to slap the shit out of everyone in the old world, especially those in Altur’Rang. I don’t think I am cut out to be a sheep. Richard is able to fall in pretty much anything and come out smelling like roses. He makes nare do wells better citizens, helps drive a faltering economy and turns into a craftsman of unsurpassed skill…oh he starts a revolution too.

01 November, 2007

A 2 1/2 year olds first concert

We took Spotty Chop to the Wiggles last week and it was such a blast. They were in Lowell at the Tsongas arena, which I had never been to, great venue, easy parking. We were in the 4th row because I felt if we were going to the Wiggles then BY GOD WE WERE WIGGLING! I am glad we were up so close (if I could have gotten closer I would have). To see Spotty’s face when they first came on stage was magical (which is corny as all hell, but I don’t know how else to describe the butterflies in my stomach to see him so happy.)

At first he wanted to be in either boy toy or my arms so he could watch, but later on he just wanted to dance on his chair. He made friends with the little girl behind him who shared her glow bracelets with him. They had little coloring frames and crayons on the seats and I have to say that it was a great idea. I saw lots of kids taking a break from the action (including mine) by hanging out and coloring for awhile. We danced and sang. They even included the parents at one point by asking us to “light up” our cell phones. The Wiggles put on a good show. They are energetic and really seem to have a great time up on stage and with each other. We knew almost all of the songs and they included a few new ones…just like any other concert we have ever been to. One nice thing, when they left the stage, they left. There was none of the required screaming and stomping of feet to get them to play “one last time”.

Then we went past the souvenirs. We asked what he wanted and he said “afeathersord, a pierit hat and captan”. Boy toy said “you can only get one of those things” and Spotty was like “ok” and I am like “he is getting it ALL!!!!” There is a time for restraint and time to run like the wind. I ran and ran hard. He looked so friggen cute with his hat, sword and clutching his captain doll. He has been going to sleep with all three. I can’t wait to bring him to something else.