Archive for July, 2009

“Playing with Fire” review #11 of 2009

31 July, 2009

Gena Showalter’s Playing with Fire was bad. I was wishing I had picked up a Baldacci novel instead.

Story, girl meets boy, girl hates boy, but girl lusts after boy, they are stuck with each other for a week or two, they have a couple of sexual encounters, and decide to live happily ever after because they love each other. The twist, the boy works for a secret society that fights super-powered bad people, and the girl just recently got super-powers.

I didn’t care about the girl. She always had a smart-aleck remark, or an attempt at humor for snappy asides.

After girl wakes up to notice she had stopped breathing a couple of times, and also finding out her father may be in danger… “Whoever picked the brown color scheme needed a serious spanking. Talk about bland. Must have been Rome,….So, Rome needed a spanking, did he? My pleasure.” (pg 220)

later…girl sitting on boy’s lap: “Maybe I was a slot and a harlot (a slot?).” pg 229

later…trying to control her emotions to control her new super-powers, “I let images of sad things float through my mind. Lost puppies. The homeless. Orphaned children….World hunger. The amount of fat grams in a Krispy Kreme.” (pg 236-237)

And another thing, girl has new super-powers, which she quickly learns how to use. No need for hard work, just a couple of afternoons of training, and she is an expert. Evidently super-powers are easier to learn than say…walking, talking, driving a car.   At least in cheesy sports movies, they have a training montage scene with bad music playing, that shows how much work the hero puts into their craft.

I don’t know which message is worse to send to young readers…that love is passionate emotion, or that talent trumps training.

Ya know, after this book, I respect someone who says, “I didn’t see myself as a wonderful writer (and still don’t). I saw myself as an apprentice learning a labor intensive, solitary, often frustrating and yet time-honored craft that rarely rewarded its disciples with anything other than the cruelest of rejection.”  Thank you, Mr Baldacci, you write a good essay.

Hottest Day in recorded History

29 July, 2009

We broke the record for hottest “low” of the day, and hottest day.

So, how was my day?

Well…I woke early, so I could do my farming. The corn in plot #1 is tall and “flowering”!  I think it’s time to harvest my potatoes.

I filled up an inflatable pool, so later in the day we could enjoy it. When I looked out, the water level had dropped. So I went out to investigate. I thought, I don’t need to take my keys. The pool had a leak. Oh well. And as I went back to the house, I saw Mr Grunty & Miss Squeaky standing at the door, playing with the latch. They had locked me out. Drat. Now who has a spare key to my house? I don’t remember. I luckily remember how to break in to a house, and was inside within a couple minutes. The childrens were surprised to see my crawl through a window.

Right before we left, I noticed Mr Cuddles had poo-ed …because there was poo on my shorts. I try so hard to be on time. And, it took me forever to find an acceptable pair of shorts, which, were having zipper issues. Grrr….

However…it was a wonderful day.

Mr G saw me drinking my coffee with favorite purple mug and said, “Its-ah papa POL-pol kaff-eey.”

In the kid-mobile, I heard Miss S saying “bee-boo” and laughing, and I heard Mr Cuddles laughing. Then I realized when I looked in the mirror, they weren’t entertaining themselves, they were entertaining each other playing peek-a-boo…Miss S covering her face with her hands.

when we got home, we all played in the wading pool. The toddlers liked stomping in the water w/ papa. Mr C liked sitting in the water.

We’re trying to make sure Mr G drinks enough…we had smoothies with dinner, and strawberries & blueberries. And then, for snack, they each got an M&M, and MyBetterHalf would dole out another if they took a drink of water. After they had their 4 M&Ms, Miss S came up to me and said, “Papa, eye-wan mor emenemen.” How could I resist?

breaking and entering

25 July, 2009

…well…I suspect it is time for me to confess. I am a bit racially prejudice. I can only hope that I am less prejudice than my parents, and that my childrens are less prejudice than me. Let me explain… when I see a blues band, or a jazz band, if most of them are white guys, I honor them a little less. Now I know, being a certain color don’t make you a better musician in a particular genre. And, I am happy to say, if it’s classical music, I don’t have preconcieved notions about race and authenticity of performance. But somehow, of some stupid reason, I think that jazz is more real/authentic/better played by a black man.

Reminds me of Sir Charles Barkley, “Only America, where the biggest rapper is white, and the best golfer is black.”

Speaking of race… did y’all catch that? President Obama is trying his best to reform health care. (By the way, can someone explain to me, why Americans spend at least $2000 dollars more per year per person than any other rich country on health care? So, if our system does become European…which may or may not be better…at the very least, we should be saving money. Substantial money. Every year.)  And as a distract the public tangent, President Obama is asked about a breaking-and-entering case.

Long ago, in the wilds of SouthTacoma…there was a girl, A-lee-sha whom I was friends with. One evening, she had locked herself out of her house, and she and her friends didn’t want to stand on the lawn until her mom got home. Using her charms, she convinced me to break into her house. OK, it didn’t take too much convincing, I wanted to be the hero that saved the day. So, I climbed onto the fence, pulled myself onto the roof of the porch, and pryed open her bedroom window.

Luckily, she had neighbors who watched out for her, and when they saw someone crawling into her bedroom, called the cops. Twenty minutes later, the cops showed up, knocked on the door, saw a bunch of teenagers sitting around in a living room chatting. Naturally, A-lee-sha didn’t have any picture I.D., but showed a school bus pass, with her last name, which matched the last name on the phonebill that was in the mail, and also there were half a dozen family photos on the wall. The cops decided A-lee-sha lived there, and left.

Now, the other day, President Obama, demonstrating how much class he has, called the cop that arrested Obama’s friend, Harvard professor Gates, and Obama said in press conference that he, Gates and the police officer had all over-reacted and hoped the three of them could get together at the WhiteHouse for a beer.

I’m glad I voted for Obama.

family fun

25 July, 2009

sometimes, in the evening, we take time to relax and just hang out as a family…

  • Play ball! The parental-units sit down, one of them usually is holding onto Mr Cuddles, and there are two to four balls, which the Miss Squeaky & Mr Grunty will either throw in our general direction or bring to us. Who ever gets it will toss it to the other side of the room, and the toddler will go running after it. It is funny the way the run, very little arm movement ( Miss S doesn’t move her right arm while running), and their little running steps have more height than reach. Sometimes Miss S will skip. And recently, Miss S has been making “Psh! Psh!” sounds while shaking her fist in the air whilst skipping. Is she cracking the whip?
  • Hide-n-Seek!  We have a giant piece of cardboard, that we use to help keep out the light in toddler’s room. Me, MyBetterHalf & Mr Cuddles hid behind it, and we called out to Miss S & Mr G. It took them a few minutes to find us, and then they wanted to hide behind the giant piece of cardboard.
  • On Friday nights, at a central Market, they have bbq & a band. We’ve gone to a few. Last night, it was a swing-band. Mr G, during a waltz, was sitting in his chair and dancing by bouncing up and down while watching the musical ladies play some cool riffs. At home, he wanted us to all dance, and had one of his music making toys, would start it so a short song would play, and dance bouncing up-n-down by flexing his knees. If we stopped he would call out commands, “MommyDance!…PapaDance!”

“The Burning Bridge” review #10 of 2009

25 July, 2009

I couldn’t resist, I saw book 2 of John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series, and bought it. I enjoyed it. And a quick easy read to try and catch up.

One thing I like, the heroes, are not masters of everything. And the Apprentice, has plenty of insecurity and fear and makes mistakes.

This book, started dealing with those who surround Will, so there are side stories. Maybe this was to fill out the book with some pages, it wasn’t bad, it gave a view of the implications of what was happening to will, and maybe later books will deal more with the other characters.

As for “book candy” factor…I dunno. I like the story too much to call it candy, though I realize it’s not great literature.

last night at the BirthdayPark

23 July, 2009

We went to the BirthdayPark last night….there was a cover band playing, there were inflatable bouncy toys, hot dogs, hosted by Shoreline parks.

I took Mr Grunty & Miss Squeaky into a bounce-house obstacle course. At first they were unsure, because they couldn’t stay steady, they were about to enjoy it, following me…but then a bunch of rambunctious older kids joined, and Mr G & Miss S got all shy, and nervous.

We went to get snacks, and they were excited to carry the snacks back to their Mommy who was hanging out with Mr Cuddles. Mr C didn’t eat too much, because there was so much to observe, and he can’t watch when he’s under the breast-feeding wrap MyBetterHalf wears.

They had lots of fun at the end of the evening. They were pushing their strollers around, laughing, and then they were literally running circles around the parents, laughing. Once they actually ran into each other, both fell down, but got up laughing.

And we’re training them to “clap hands” after every song the band played.

new music

23 July, 2009

Wow…two songs I like by the same band…with a dude singing.

MGMT is the band.

The songs I heart, “Electric Feel” – reminds me of Prince falsetto, with MenAtWork flute solo intro. And “Kids”, nice groooooove.

Neither is good enuff for a song-of-the-now vote, but they’re cool.

“Show No Mercy” – review #9 of 2009

23 July, 2009

By Cindy Gerard, Show No Mercy, is… a romance suspense. Or so the cover says.

The guy…a mean soldier, dedicated to his work. He has a dark past, but an even darker reason why he shuns love. Well, besides the obvious reason of him not being worthy of a good woman.

The girl… a hard working reporter, the best in her field, but she lost her nerve on assignment…in Argentina…where she met…The Guy.

The find each other in Argentina again…and fall in lust. I mean the sack, they have passionate sex. Thus, they love each other.

And…it’s a mutual bad guy from their past, that wants revenge that arranges for them to be at the same place, at the same time… in Argentina.

Yet… for me, this was slightly more entertaining than “Last Man Standing” by David Baldacci. And the story line, a lot simpler, not as contrived.

I will agree with SnarkyKat… these books are “book candy which are easily consumed and then forgotten.”

Why have friends?

16 July, 2009

“…you look as good as you want to.”

Recently, I’ve had time to re-connect with a friend from the long-long ago. We would walk around the GreenLake, and watch our respective childrens play at the playground. I was thankful, because it seems every week she was jumping to get ready to rescue either Miss Squeaky, or Mr Grunty because they were too close to the edge of a big-toy. With Mr Cuddles strapped to me, I can’t jump like I used to.

Besides having the best job in the whole world, she, a.k.a. “deathmama” co-owns a fashion blog. Personally, I think fashion is stupid. And I feel that women’s fashion is a way for “the man” to subjegate women…women have to spend more time/money/energy/creative process on clothes/hair/accessories/makeup than men do for equivalent results.  However, I find myself reading deathmama’s posts.

I feel I’ve betrayed myself.  But, I guess that why you have friends, to expose you to experiences, ideas, places, foods… you wouldn’t normally be interested in.

Which reminds me…”Happy 20 year Friend-aversary!” to MoonBeam.  I met her last millennium, in the dungeon, we slaved away in the dishpit, listening to PinkFloyd. She got me to like broccoli, taught me to be less homophobic, and made me quit smoking. Thanxies!

Well, I best be heading off to the workplace…so, without further adieu…

Why Get Dressed?

corn plot #3

5 July, 2009

I just was inspired by Aki, who, whilst at DuranDuran, decided she must plant corn. I dunno… her concert updates were terse.

So, I opened up plot #3 for corn. It is two rows, on the south side of my house. There’s a lot of sun there, I can tell because the earth was parched. I am hoping that the corn will grow and help shade the house. However, knowing my luck with gardening, and my inability to do simple trigonometry in my head, …I am sure the house will get about 17 square inches of shade, I’m sure that will make it noticeably cooler.

Anywho…corn is awesome. BitterKat has me reading “Omnivoure’s Dilema”, and it makes me like corn even more. (And that’s after reading the awesome Corn & Capitalism by A.Warman!)

Am I late too season in season to plant? More than likely. It is supposed to be harvest in 80 days. Which puts us late October. Cutting it close.

I dug two rows in the sod. I even used some store bought dirt, which, makes me feel like a dirty cheater. The rows are about a foot apart. The rows are about a foot wide. When I planted the seeds, I planted two seeds, one on either side of the row, every foot or so. Hopefully, I’ll get about a corn stalk per foot.