Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Category Archives: Books and reading

Oh, hello! Come on in and have a taste of blueberry pie. But watch the stains on your teeth. I have extra toothbrushes for those who need them.

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A quick hello to Mr. Farty! I think you commented for the first time. I will be honest – I SQUEEd when I saw your comment… including the fart. Welcome to my very neglected blog.

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I haven’t been around much. Not for any major or catastrophic reason though. More as a function of the fact that I really didn’t think I had anything to say. And if *I* think I’m boring, I certainly don’t want to subject *you* to that. You’re welcome.

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K2Kid and I went to see SATC2. Oh. Mah. Gah. If you haven’t seen it yet, and are thinking about it, or thinking about waiting to get it on DVD, don’t even bother. It was that bad. It was forced, and contrived, and it tried WAY to hard. The ladies have NOT aged well… or at least the cameras made it seem that way. Samantha is still slutty, Charlotte is still a goody-goody, Carrie is still nagging Big, and Miranda is still icky. This isn’t even a fun, rainy-day movie that you could pop in for something mindless. Save yourself $9 and 2 hours and watch the first one again. Or watch Mamma Mia. At least those two were fun. And mindless.

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My seeming year of reading memoirs continues with “The Year We Disappeared” by Cylin Busby and John Busby. It’s the story of John and what happens to him and his family after he gets shot in the face on the way to work one night. He was a cop on Cape Cod. The chapters switch back and forth from John to Cylin, who is John’s daughter. She was 9 at the time this happened. Her chapters are written from the perspective of her 9-year-old self. His chapters are told from his perspective at that time. The shooting occurred in 1979. Overall, it was an interesting story and it read very fast. I would have liked to hear more about the wrong cops who failed to properly investigate, but I guess that might be another story.  I’d give it 7 out of 10.

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I was going to do a post about how this year I have decided to embrace my “girliness”. You know, more dresses, matching unmentionables, high heels, better makeup, blah blah blah. But then the week that causes me to HATE being a girl happened and blew that out the window. Maybe another time.

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I have been participating in an online class workshop exercise something that is meant to encourage participants to take more time to rest and play and generally enjoy life. The purpose is to be kinder to yourself and ultimately get more out of your life. What have I learned so far? I have no idea how to play.

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What else….. I don’t know. I guess that is it for…. OH!

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I’ve been thinking about NaNoWriMo. I only found out about it last year in the last week of October, so I had no time to prepare. It’s a writing event, designed to encourage free writing of quantity over quality. 50,000 words in 30 days with no editing. It’s a wonderful way to stretch your creative muscles and write a novel in a month. I signed up last year and only made it to about 15,000 words. And what started out as a “novel”, with a “plot line”, devolved into more of an online journal. And it was BAD!

So I’ve been thinking about it for this year. And I thought I would start to develop an outline or at least characters on which to build a story.  Yeah. I think any writing creativity has left the building. I know I should “write what I know” but if I am to base a story on my life? SNOOZE FEST!!! I will likely be skipping the even this year. But I will be there cheering on others who I know are participating!!

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Okay. That’s it. I’m done. Have a lovely day.

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Oh, hello! Come in and have some coffee. I think there are bagels over there, too.

I just had the strangest feeling come over me. I don’t really know what to do with it.

I know I have posted before about my love of spending money. If I have $10 in my wallet, it WILL be gone before the day is over. Admittedly, since I cut up my credit cards almost a year ago, I have been better, but still. I cannot be trusted with cash.

So I filed my taxes already and have gotten a refund. (WOOHOO!) Not as much as previous years, but a good amount. And it is burning a hole in my pocket, so to speak. I really want to shop. Buy pretty things. Girly things. Whatever.

However, (and this is where the weird feeling comes in to play), I just went to get tea and as I’m walking back to my desk, I’m wracking my brain trying to think of what I want and which website I can go to get it. (That’s the other thing. I love to spend money, but I HATE going to stores. If I can’t get it online, I won’t get it.) The feeling? I don’t think I want anything.

Go ahead. Noodle on that. I’ll wait….

::filing nails::

::goes pee::

::checks “doneness” of tea::

Ready?

I KNOW!!! WTF is wrong with me? I cannot think of a thing that will make me feel like a kid at Christmas and will be pretty and shiny and end all my problems. Can you even imagine?? (I can’t. This is a first!) Yeah, I know I could buy a dress or a necklace (I would really love pearls, but too expensive.) but I’m not feeling it. Even shoes. (I KNOW!!) Just not there. I even went to Amazon to look at books to buy. (I know about the Macmillan thing, but, whatev. Don’t start, please.) I found a couple of free ones for my Kindle, but I DIDN’T EVEN BUY ANY BOOKS!!  THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME!!!

There are plenty of “things” that I want. But in the end, it’s all just more “stuff”. And since my goal is to eliminate stuff, I guess that seed has taken root and I’m going with it.  I don’t know if this will last and become a way of life for me, but I guess I’m going to ride this out for a while to see how I feel about it. It’s new and scary and uncharted for me.

I’ll let you know.

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COMPLETELY UNRELATED: I read an interview with a very famous blogger yesterday, and something this person said stuck with me and I don’t know how I feel about it. This blogger has way more readers than I do, or will, and I am a HUGE fan. This blogger was asked about how someone gets started with blogging and what if there is “nothing to write about”. The response? Something to the effect of: put it in a draft, re-read it, and if it’s not something you would want to read 5 years from now, don’t publish it.” Obviously, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s what I took from it. If you know to which interview I am referring, and took something else away from it, don’t yell at me. I’m hoping to be all philosophical and stuff, so, shhhh.

What bothers me is this: I haven’t even been doing this for a year yet, but what I wrote about when I started? I wouldn’t publish that today. And 5 years from now, this post will be dreck. (Well, it really is NOW, but you know what I mean.) I would like to think that 5 years from now, I will have grown and changed and developed as a person and as a writer so that things will continue to improve.

I guess I look at this site as a brief snapshot of my life at that moment. I will get better at it. I will get better, period. 5 years from now? Who can say.


Oh, hello! Come on in and have some Check Party Mix. It’s really good.

Have you ever been talking about books or movies with a group of people and one (or more) of them say something to the effect of “OMG! You HAVE to see/read this. It’s so good!” or “You haven’t seen/read it? It’s a classic!” or “WTF is wrong with you?”

I’ve done that before. But the more I thought about it, the more I realize that sentiment is really obnoxious. Just because I like something, doesn’t mean everyone will. Or should. Ain’t that great?

I think the last movie I gave into peer pressure to see was “Eyes Wide Shut”. There was so much hype about it – the 2 stars were married, and the director died – I guess I wanted to see what it was all about. I should have known better. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a big fan of either Tom Cruise or his then wife, Nicole Kidman. They are probably delightful people in real life. I just don’t like their acting style. That should have been my first clue to not see this movie. What I remember about it is that about half-way through, I wanted to stab my own eyes out, but not before hunting down the cold, dead corpse of the director and killing him again. That is 2+ hours of my life that I will never get back and someone should pay for that. Luckily, in this instance, I am certain that I am not alone in my opinion.

As far as other movies that I haven’t seen, but have been told that I HAVE TO SEE IT!! are (in no particular order):

  • The Godfather (any of them)
  • Star Trek/Wars (any of them) (and really, what is the difference between them??)
  • A Christmas Story (I’ve seen parts of it, but not the whole thing)
  • Anything Vampire-related

Movies that I have seen, but wish I hadn’t or have no wish to EVER see again:

  • Dirty Dancing
  • Grease (any of them)
  • Gone with the Wind
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Anything starring the above mentioned actors

While we’re at it, let’s list TV shows I haven’t seen or have no wish to see:

  • Lost
  • American Idol
  • Any of the cooking competitions
  • Anything vampire-related

And now books:

  • Gone with the Wind – read it after I saw the movie to find out if it was any better. Hated it.
  • Anna Karenina – read it once. Hated it. A few years later, read it again to see if maybe I just hadn’t “gotten” it the first time. Hated it.
  • The Kite Runner – couldn’t even finish it.
  • The Hobbit and any of the LOTR books – tried reading the Hobbit a few times. Not interested. At all. Didn’t even bother with the LOTR books.
  • Anything by Stephen King – I’ve read Misery and Pet Semetary. That’s enough. I don’t need to read any more.

I’m sure there are others in  the above categories that I could add. That was just off the top of my head. And there might be people who are offended that I have disparaged their favorite book/movie/TV show. But I’m sure that there are others who would hate most of what I like to read or watch. So we’re even.

Which brings me to another classic. I’ve written about this before, and had added it to my list of New Year Intentions. I thought I would try to read War and Peace this year. It’s been on my book shelf for ages, as one of those “Well, it’s a classic and it’s supposed to be really good and how many people can say that they have read it?” type things. I picked it up earlier this week, all 1,500 pages of it, and started leafing through it. Turns out, I had forgotten that this book was by the same author that brought us Anna Karenina. GAH!

I thought originally, too, that as I read it, I could blog about it. Um, yeah. That is NOT going to happen. Why? Well, mostly because if you read my blog, I would like you to KEEP reading it, and that would just be cruel. I read 6 chapters and thought – there is NO WAY I will get through this. Ever. Back in the day, I would finish every book I started, just on principle. But then about 10-15 years ago, I decided that life is too short to read bad books. I have other things I could be doing and not slogging through some dreck just to say that I have read something. Even if that other thing is staring at my belly button.

So, dear readers, I will NOT be boring you with War and Peace synopses this year. Life is too short to read bad books. And while, Tolstoy is, no doubt, a prolific and much-loved author for many people, I don’t care for his writing style. Or his characters. Or his story development. Or his plot lines. So, I am putting down War and Peace, without guilt or sense of failure. My life will not become less enriched by having not read it, but it may become more enriched by what else I do read.

War and Peace has been crossed off my “To Do” list, and has been replaced with “Read or re-read the Classics (that you choose)”. So last night, I picked up Madame Bovary. I’ve already read more than I had in several nights of W&P. So, Mr. Tolstoy, I wish you and your fans much continued success. But I will not put anymore energy into thinking about you.