Thursday, September 29, 2011

3 down and 1 to go

Guess the title for this blog can be used for two things: my work week and my to be read pile.

I have one day left in my work week, thank goodness. This has been a very odd week with half of the office leaving for San Diego and the rest of us waiting for them to leave! My boss, who doesn't work in our office, is also getting ready to depart which means I've had a very random assortment of things to do for him as he ties up loose ends. Yesterday I proofed a lot of meeting agendas, reviewed some new public outreach artwork and tag lines and scoured the internet for online magazine advertising rate cards. Fun times! The day did go fast though.

My to be read pile is now down to one last book, which I started yesterday and powered through to the point where I have about 1/3 left to read.

The three books I returned yesterday were the historical novel by CW Gortner, "The Tudor Secret," the YA novel "Steel" by Carrie Vaughn and the medieval mystery "Nightshade " by PC Doherty.

I enjoyed all three. Gortner's historical fiction is usually well done. He puts together a quickly paced book with some memorable characters, often taking well known figures and tweaking them just enough from the norm to make it interesting. In this case, Robin Dudley was drawn as a real 'ass' and Elizabeth I a very mercurial young woman. Interesting!  PC Doherty is a wonderful mystery writer and his Hugh Corbett series is one of the best set in medieval times.  He never disappoints.

Okay, now onto Carrie Vaughn. I thoroughly enjoy Vaughn's adult urban fantasy series featuring the werewolf named Kitty. Yep. Good stuff all the way around.  "Steel" is Vaughn's second YA novel. I've not read her first. While I enjoyed this novel, it had some great pirate stuff in it, it just never hit its stride for me. I liked Jill, our time traveling heroine, who finds herself on a pirate ship after falling overboard from a tourist boat with a piece of an old sword in her pocket. Jill is a competitive fencer, so of course, there is quite a bit of rapier dueling in this story. But, I just couldn't shake the feeling that Vaughn was writing 'down.' Her voice seemed a bit forced and the overall tone of the novel just didn't have the flow that her Kitty books contain.

I've been toying with looking at the whole "I'm going to write YA because it is a hot market" trend going on in the adult urban fantasy author world. So far, I've read two authors who have jumped markets and done a smashing good job of it. James Patterson's Maximum Ride series is well done, although he isn't an urban fantasy author. But Lilith Saintcrow's Dru Anderson series does come from a very gritty urban fantasy writer and is well written.  Beyond that, I've been left a bit disappointed.

But, that is a post for another day.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

a little bittersweet

I've been working on pulling together 10 pics of the oldest from baby days to right now....a progression of images for her senior soccer banquet slide show.

Can I just say......a little choked up.  I think this might be the first of many lump in the throat moments.

So, that is all I can write, say, do for right now.  Off to find some tissue.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

1000 posts

If the counter on this blog is correct, today's post will be number 1000.  Wow. That is a lot of posting. Quite a bit of 'stuff' has changed in my life since I started this blog.

I still read, a lot, but not as much as I did when I wasn't working. I'm working, again. This time not at the library, but still for a nonprofit. I went from bookstore manager to Friends president to a soon to be silent/nonparticipating Friends member.

Writing is still a big part of my daily existence, but I'm not writing fiction anymore. Now I write for my job.

My girls are still playing soccer, although that too is winding down. The boy is still busy with his imagination and all things related to space, time and physics.

1000 posts later. Hmmmm.

I enjoy posting my bits of random thought, views, ideas, news on this blog. No, I don't have a ton of followers, but that was never the point for me. The blog is my moment each morning to do a bit of journaling for my 'mental' health. So, here is to 1000 more posts.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Not happy it is Monday already....yawn. I could use another day off.

Not only did the girls win all three games on the road, but all three were shut outs. Woot!  I found the boy pants that fit and he looked mighty fine walking across the stage to get his Junior Beta certificate. The weekend went just fine, although it felt much too short.

I read two books over the weekend and started a third. More on that tomorrow when I hopefully can string more than just a few words together.

So, here we are at a new week, whether I'm ready for it or not.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

thursday, really?

Wow. Today is Thursday! This week was incredibly busy for me and as is often the case, Thursday sort of just 'appeared' out of nowhere.

I expect today will fly by as well. After work I have a mission to fulfill. The boy needs a pair of dress pants that cover his ankles so when he is inducted into Junior Beta tomorrow he doesn't look like he is ready for the flood. Finding a pair of khaki pants with a tiny waist and a long inseam isn't easy. At this point, I don't care what color the pants are, just so they fit him.

I probably should have tried to order them online, but that would have required a level of thought and planning I just seemed incapable of doing over the last 10 days.

In other news, the middle kid's team suffered an awful defeat on their home field against the cross town rival. It. Was. Horrible.  I've never seen a loss like that for that squad in the three years the core of them have been playing together. Lots of grumbling in the stands as the coach has messed with the lineup, yet again, and has players in spots they don't play in during club.

I could go on, but there is really no point....the girls got creamed and now they need to move on and get ready for their out of town 'friendlies' this weekend.

Looking forward to purchasing another e-book from a blogger I read.  Here is a shout out to Travis Erwin and his "Feedstore Chronicles" book.  I find his brand of humor, well, quite humorous and look forward to reading these stories based on his experiences working at a Texas feedstore.

And with that....I'm ready for the weekend.  Hope you enjoy yours!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

being pleasant

I try to be a very pleasant person. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt when confronted with a snarky attitude or perhaps less than stellar service. A smile can go a long way in diffusing bad attitudes and smoothing over any tension in the air.

Work has been tense as the departments are getting ready to send supplies and people to the national meeting in California. My 'department' has the largest pallet of stuff being shipped as we sponsor an auction at the event for attendees. Several auction items will be carried to the convention site by the donors, but several were shipped to us for subsequent shipment to California.  The deadline for that option was early last week, so of course, something arrived yesterday.

This one little box required me to approach the warehouse gal with a request to put it on an unwrapped pallet. Her response was borderline toddler-esque. It was sort of funny, in a very sad way.

Now, I understand she is under considerable stress. I understand this is the most logistically difficult part of her job.

But, I also understand human nature and how nothing, yes, nothing goes as planned. There will always be people or events that rain on your parade. There will always be people or events that mess up your best laid plans.

You acknowledge that and you move on. You get over it. You are an adult and you adjust, compensate and paste a smile on your face and DEAL WITH IT.

Often the person interacting with you didn't want to be the one to mess up your world....they are the victim of the circumstance as well.

Maybe because I expect things to not run smoothly, I've learned to not get too upset when things don't run smoothly!

Okay, rant over.  Here's hoping for some smiles at work today....kill 'em with kindness and all that jazz!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

brain cells not required

I made my travel plans yesterday for later this fall. I'm being sent, instead of my boss, to Louisville for a convention. Never done this sort of thing before....but hey, I'm not too old to learn! Part of packing for these conventions is stuffing takeaway bags for the attendees. I have 300 such bags to stuff today for the gathering my boss is attending in Indy next month.

So, lots of brain cells will not be required today as I work the assembly line and fill bag, after bag, after bag.

I sort of enjoy days like that and I often use the time to do some real thinking about various projects. The quiet, the repetition and the steady pace seems to free up my higher thinking processes and the creative ideas flow!

Perhaps my blog title isn't accurate....brain cells are required! I have some thinking to do!

Monday, September 19, 2011

laugh out loud

We spent a lot of time laughing this weekend. Everything from Chuck Norris to soccer pictures to the Emmy Awards provided chuckles, giggles and  laughing-snorts...yes, we have a snorter.

I did not spend much time reading. I did meet a friend at B&N, but left without making a book purchase. We had a great visit and I hope some good news is in her future.

We spent several hours at the soccer field watching the middle child's team win 5-0 then watching the oldest child's team lose 2-0. Then we got to watch them lose again 3-0 on Saturday. Wasn't a good soccer weekend for her, but lessons to be learned in defeat.

Some chores got done. Some paperwork finished. Some cooking completed.

And lots of laughter.

All in all, a very productive and good weekend.  I guess I'm ready for an extremely busy work week ahead.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

my new to be read pile

I finally finished the stack of books I checked out over a month ago and returned them to the library so I could bring home a new stack of books! Yeah!

I also finished reading an ebook I downloaded to my laptop. This was a self published YA novel. I will blog more on this very entertaining book later....but, hats off to you Lisa for sharing your work with the world. I enjoyed "Confessions of an Average Half-Vampire" and am eager to read the next title.

Up next are a book about a spy in Tudor England, a medieval mystery, a YA time travel fantasy and a YA dystopian story.

Looks like some good reading ahead!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

delay of game

The varsity soccer game last night was set to kick off at 5:30. The teams took the field and then first one team was pulled off and then the other team returned to the bench. In the stands, we all were wondering what was going on as the center referee stood next to the visiting team's bench and spoke with their head coach. Referees and coaches conferred and the players stayed off the field.

It was confusing to say the least.  Finally, a visiting team player came across the field to speak to her parents and we learned that because their team has two girls on it who wear 'head wraps' the referee needed clarification on whether they could play as he felt the state soccer laws prohibited such items.

Now, girls are not allowed to wear earrings, rings, bracelets etc as those items could cause injury. A soft head wrap, I guess, could cause a problem if it came off the player's head.

We think, although this wasn't confirmed, that the two girls were Muslim. The visiting player who spoke to the parents said that they've never had a problem before and they have several girls on their team from Africa who play with these head wraps on.

I guess the referee got a waiver or permission to proceed with the game because after about 15 minutes, the teams took the field and the match proceeded. The girls with the head wraps did play.

We won 10-0. It could have been 20-0, but our team wasn't allowed to score beyond a certain point or they could only take a shot after so many passes had been made. About 4 goals were off of headers.

It was an interesting night. The comments from the parents about what was going on were quite interesting as well. But that can be a post for another day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

very brief book reviews

I took some time yesterday and updated my book list. I know I've left off a few titles, but it is now as up to date as I can  make it.  So, a few very brief book reviews are now in order.

"The Wise Man's Fear" by Patrick Rothfuss, just can't say enough about this book and this author's talent. He dove into the epic fantasy genre with his debut title "The Name of the Wind" and has never looked back. But the neat thing is that this series isn't overly heavy on the fantastical elements and truly focuses on characters and building complex, interesting and memorable people. I really enjoyed this novel.

"Once Dead Twice Shy" by Kim Harrison, yet another adult urban fantasy author dabbles in the YA world. Well, I love Harrison's books starring itchy witch Rachel Morgan. I didn't love this book. It was a firm 'so-so' for me. Angels, reapers, dead teenagers.....just okay. I was disappointed.

The Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer, I'm slowly reading this children's series, and have been delighted with each and every story. Springer puts together great mysteries full of engaging characters and manages to provide consistently good plots.

Okay, so now I'm sort of caught up. Not sure what I will be reading next. I need to finish the two Nancy Springer books I have checked out and I'm also reading an e-book on the laptop. Maybe by Monday I will have three more mini reviews!

Monday, September 12, 2011


One of our morning rituals is to visit facebook. I log on and read for a bit while the girls are on their computer doing the same thing. This morning I caught a glance of their computer screen while it was zoomed in on a picture of a former soccer teammate and her new tattoo.

This young lady just turned 18 and is now apparently liberated enough to trot herself off to the local tattoo parlor and get the words 'no regrets' tattooed in Italian on her side. Yep. Really?

I just don't see the attraction to this. I remember growing up and seeing men with tattoos, usually on arms, the 'artwork' indicating which branch of the military they joined. Now everyone seems to have them, all over the place, and the artwork ranges from phrases to flowers to crosses.

The timing on this facebook post was rather ironic as at mass yesterday our priest mentioned that when asked if he has any tattoos, he replies that he has three...all on his soul. One for baptism, one for confirmation and one for holy orders. He's too afraid to get any other tattoos....not afraid of the needle, but afraid of his mother.

While the girls and I looked at this young lady's photo of her new tattoo, I reminded them that being afraid of their mother was a very good reason not to make a trip to a tattoo parlor on their 18th birthday.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

working it

This has been a very odd week. Monday holidays always throw me. Then toss into the mix, we had a Friends meeting yesterday and my boss arrived in town on Tuesday.  Weirdness abounds.

But, we are working it...getting ready for the national meeting. Knocking out multiple projects. The hours have flown by and my 'friday' arrives today. We have two soccer games tonight. The oldest will get her first ever varsity start as the other keeper is off the field for two weeks with a pulled tendon.

Not sure what I will have on my plate for tomorrow, but it is hard to believe that Friday is almost here.

I still need to post a note about finishing the latest Patrick Rothfuss novel. I enjoyed it...really enjoyed it. But, I do have more to say than that.

Off to work I go......hi ho, hi ho.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

a very sad thing

I don't believe I've ever met anyone who enjoys grocery shopping. When we moved here over 8 years ago, our stellar choices of stores to shop for the pantry were Wally World and a national grocery store chain I will call "K." Not impressed with either, I drove 15 minutes to a neighboring town to shop at a St. Louis based, family owned store.  It reminded me of the store I grew up shopping, which was also a regional, family owned grocer.  All was well and then all got better as they built a brand new store in our fair town.

I was happy as a clam until last weekend when we all learned that the St. Louis based stores sold their stores here to the "K". UGH!!!!!

So, not only are 1200 people going to be out of work, because the K just doesn't need to hire them, but now the K will basically have a monopoly as the only true grocer in the region. Lovely. Just Lovely.

Our local K was remodeled a few years back and you wouldn't know it unless you were living here at the time. Ick. Looks like Aldi and Costco for me from now on and when I have to, the K.

I'm going to miss my grocery store and the friendly people who worked there. It would be too much to hope that a big regional grocer would come and and give K a run for its money....but that is what I'm hoping.

It is a very sad thing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

not much

Not much going through my mind this morning. It was a great weekend and although we all have to go back to work/school today, I'm not minding it too much.

So, Happy Tuesday to you.

Friday, September 2, 2011

a true assortment of randomness

Going to put the 'r' in random today as I recap the week. First, how can it be Friday already? Geez. The work week flew by, and I'm hoping the four day weekend ahead doesn't follow.

The misbehaving soccer parent commented again, even after my post on etiquette, so we deleted the comment and banned the offender. I emailed the president of the boosters and he said he wished he could ban the individual...guess we aren't the only ones having issues.

The oldest loved touring my alma mater. The tell tale sign was the purchase of clothing in the bookstore. Who knows, we may be making a second trip to that campus. It would take a miracle for her to attend, as the out of state cost is exorbitant, but who knows? Applications will be sent and we shall see.

I had to venture into the library yesterday as my attempts are renewing my books online through the new system failed. I learned it wasn't anything I was doing, but when my information transferred into the new system, my phone number wound up in the wrong data field. Which, of course, prevented me from logging into the new catalog. Lovely. Guess I'm not alone in this, but out of our 5 cardholders, only hubby and I had issues...yes, we checked everyone's card while I was there behind the circulation counter.

I've not decided what I want to do today. I have to do some things for the fall book sale. I need to vacuum and dust. I'd like to go out to lunch with another neighbor, who I seem to run into everywhere but on our street. I really, really need to grocery shop.

The list is endless. The time isn't.

We had a lovely time at the high school play last night. They put on "Your a Good Man, Charlie Brown." Very fun production....cute, cute, cute!  I'm looking forward to taking the youngest to a few more plays.....they are also doing Frankenstein and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

A blogger I follow has taken the plunge and self published her YA novel, "Confessions of An Average Half Vampire".  I purchased a copy yesterday. Good Luck to you, Lisa!  So, I also hope to have some time to read this book. I started yesterday, but stopped myself at page three....I had to go to work, not sit and laugh at the computer screen.

Although, I have been known to do that at work...especially of late!

Okay, Liz, over and out for the week. Enjoy the long weekend and I will be back on Tuesday.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

soccer drama

A few years ago, when I first got a facebook page, I volunteered to start one for the soccer booster club. We were going along swimmingly until this season. I'd recruited another 'admin' to help last year and yet another one to assist this year with making sure we posted the final scores for all three squads: varsity, jv and freshman.

For the past two years, we've never listed players names or who did what. We posted the score, a hearty congrats if we won and a sympathetic comment if we lost.

This year, we have one parent who is posting first names and how many goals they scored in our comments section. It bothered me when I saw it last week, but I let it fly. This week however, it happened again and one of the other admins called me to discuss it. She'd got complaints from some other parents. I shot a message to the third admin and we made the executive decision to post a 'policy' on this on the page and to remove the comments.

No one scores alone. Yes, in most cases, one foot put that ball in the net (although it can also be placed there by a head, a leg, a chest, a back..believe me, I've seen it all by this point), but that one player was passed the ball by a teammate, who received it from a another teammate and so on.

A team wins and a team loses. There is no 'i' in team.

No response yet to my post on the page from the offending party. Let's hope this parent gets the message. If not, I guess we go to the nuclear option and hit the delete key.

Soccer drama at its best.