Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A Year in Pictures

January: Super Cool 1st Grade Watercolor + Salt Art

February: Phoenix Suns Mascot Go the Gorilla Surprises My Class

March: We Are Continually Amazed by How Much You Can Fit in a Prius

April: I Dress Up As Amy Winehouse for a Party and Corey Rides in a B-24 for a Story

May: Corey and I Take Our First Light Rail Ride Together

June: We Adopt Captain Skippyjon Jones for Our 10th Anniversary

July: We Got Free Row 2 Tickets to the Diamondbacks/Pirates Game and We Won!

August: Captain Skippyjon Jones, aka Laser Eye, Learns to Swim

September: Captain Skippyjon Jones and I Spend a Lot of Time in the Backyard Trying to See The Bats

October: I Try to Take A Fakey Ghost Picture on a Fakey Ghost Tour of the Hotel San Carlos

November: I See Rufus Wainwright With a Friend and Family Visits From Kansas

December: We Use Our Beloved Wok One Last Time Before Recycling It

Love and Happiness to All in 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut

Last year when my fabulous sister-in-law went to her parents' house, they set a task upon her to go through her old stuff they had stored away in their attic. She came across a bag of books she didn't want anymore (I remember a lot of V. C. Andrews but I can't be sure) and asked if there were any I'd want. I chose one: Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut. I read it this week to complete my What's In a Name Challenge, by reading a book with a body part in the title.

What I learned: there is an old fairy tale called Bluebeard. In that tale, a man called Bluebeard marries his 5th wife or so, takes her to his mansion and says, "You can go anywhere in this house except...this one room." And what does the newlywed do? Go in the room of course. What does she find? The bodies of his previous wives, all but the first murdered for looking in the room, sealing her fate.

What does that have to do with the Kurt Vonnegut tale? Rabo, an Armenian and the main character, has an old potato barn which is only to be unlocked after he dies. But he promises there aren't dead bodies in there.

The mystery of the potato barn drives the story as we learn about Rabo's life. He is a famous abstract artist who no longer paints. My favorite part of the story is why his paintings are so famous, and consequently why he no longer paints -- he used a paint which eventually peeled off all the canvases and fell to the floor, leaving blank canvases in museums and on people's walls.

Rabo also only has one eye, just like Captain Skippyjon Jones. Rabo lost his in WW2 though. Here is a passage which gave me some comfort on the matter:
I used to wonder back then what it was like to have one eye instead of two, and experiment by covering one eye with a hand. The world didn't seem all that diminished when I looked at it with only one eye. Nor do I feel today that having only one eye is a particularly serious handicap.
Circe Berman asked me about being one eyed after we had known each other less than an hour. She will ask anybody anything at any time.
"It's a piece of cake," I said.

I've never read a book by Kurt Vonnegut before, but thanks to my fabulous sister-in-law and her parents' need for more attic space, I have now and definitely will again. I liked how he writes just like he's talking to you.

If you are going to read Bluebeard too, I recommend sneaking a peak at the last page of Chapter 33. It will explain how to pronounce Rabo's last name.

And to complete the What's In a Name challenge, I'm asked to share which book I read for the challenge that was my favorite. I read:
1. A book with a "profession" in its title.
Blessed are the Cheesemakers by Sarah-Kate Lynch finished 3/1/09
The Barfighter by Ivan G. Goldman finished 2/7/09
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood finished 3/25/09

2. A book with a "time of day" in its title.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon finished 5/31/09
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer finished 7/1/09

3. A book with a "relative" in its title.
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger finished 8/19/09
Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World by Amy Seidl finished 4/6/09

4. A book with a "body part" in its title.
Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut finished 12/27/09

5. A book with a "building" in its title.
Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman finished 6/16/09
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe finished 5/24/09

6. A book with a "medical condition" in its title.
Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding finished 9/19/09

My favorite would have to be...The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon!

The Bluebeard drawing I found above (Don't look!! is what I have to say to her) is by Arthur Rackham. I'm a fan.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Far From Home by Anne DeGrace

My review:
Have you ever felt like running away from it all? The thought has crossed my mind a time or two, but I just know it would not turn out as well as it does for the main character in this story, Jo, who runs away after a teenage pregnancy debacle. She finds herself taken in by a woman who owns a cafe in Canada, becoming a waitress while dealing with the crisis that is her life.

One day during her shift she meets people from all walks of life, each with a story that teaches a lesson. Anne DeGrace wrote from many different points of view, each time with a unique voice. Although the ending didn't really drive it home for me, I recommend readers escape in this story instead of hitting the road.

My favorite quote:
I can't tell if the bus has left without me, or I'm waiting for it to arrive.

This is the fifth book I've read as an Early Reviewer on LibraryThing.

Bookworms is by thedreamygiraffe.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone got what they wished for this Christmas!

Charlotte's Dream is by Art&Ghosts.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yesterday was a good day.

It was raining so I spent about 4 hours reading on the couch under a blanket with my dog. I sat facing the windows so I could watch the storm and South Mountain. The book I read was about a man and a woman who meet in a plane crash before Christmas and start dating. Not the greatest book I read all year, but it was still enjoyable.

And the laundry is still there.

P.S. Bookstack Girl is by Emily Martin of The Black Apple.

Captain has a favorite present.

There is one present under the tree from my sister to Corey that Captain Skippyjon Jones loves sniffing. Every once in awhile he walks by and gives it a sniff, inadvertently revealing its contents to us: food! No need to shake packages or tear the corners off for a peek when you have a food-sniffing doggy.

So far he has not taken a bite because he knows Santa is watching!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This guy is my new hero.

That is Adam Sevani (who The New York Times suggested "might be the baddest nerd in movie history") and he danced my favorite dance in Step Up 2: The Streets, which I watched Friday night. I must have rewatched that part 34 times. I think I should start taking hip hop lessons.

If you like dance I recommend you check out Step Up 2: The Streets. If you like plot but you need a laugh, I also recommend it. At the beginning, the main character must choose between going to dance school or moving to Texas. Then she has to choose between taking extra dance lessons or practicing with her illegal street dance gang. Life can be so unfair.

In case you're wondering, that song is called The Way I Are and it's by Timbaland. I'm only telling you because when I first heard it on America's Best Dance Crew it took me almost a year to figure that out.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Devil's Dyke - not an adult movie

The other day I came up with the first item for my bucket list: a trip to Spruce Meadows (in Canada) on Derby Day, which is pretty much the most challenging day of the event. Among many things, riders have to run their horses up a hill, jumping over small jumps on the way up, slide down a steep slope, and jump over another fence when they get to the bottom. Then they have to go through The Devil's Dyke, a "triple" which most often horses do not make it through without knocking something down. The first jump is downhill, the middle jump is over water and across, and the last jump is uphill. One time I watched a rider fall off his horse after the first jump. He landed in the water and then the rails fell on top of him. It was pretty comical. To me anyway. Probably not to him.

I love watching Spruce Meadows show jumping on tv, so much so I guess, that I had a dream about it the other night. Corey and I were in the arena before anyone was there, getting a private tour from a guide. We were actually walking through The Devil's Dyke. Even now when I think about the dream, it feels to me like I was actually there. I remember being surprised at how high the jump coming out was. It was above my head, but in real life it's shorter than that. Anyway, that was the heart of my dream.

Beezie Madden is my favorite rider, and she's won on Derby Day 3 times on her horse Judgement. This year was their last before his retirement, and unfortunately he knocked down a rail going in and coming out. Usually he clears it. I wanted for them to have a little Swan Song but it just didn't work out. He still looked amazing though. Especially for an 18 year old.

Thank you to unbridged77 for posting your Devil's Dyke picture on twitter. It was the only decent one I could find on the internet.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Who's watching Eastwick?

Wednesday's episode made me laugh so I have to share. 28 minutes into the show the girls all reveal to one another that they have magical powers. Joanna cracked me up when she said, "Have I not mentioned to you guys that a couple of months ago I discovered that I have the power to Jedi Mind Trick people?!"
And then Roxie goes, "Oh my god! You got the best powers!...Why haven't you said anything about this?! We could have been having so much fun with it!"
(what I would say if a friend revealed the same thing to me)
Finally as the conversation winds down Roxie says in disbelief, "Wow. A freakin Jedi."

By the way, I read the book Eastwick by John Updike a little over a month ago. I don't really recommend reading it. It was ok, but I thought it was going to be all girl-power like the movie, but instead it was the exact opposite.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Good Luck Sea Shepherds!

I haven't been able to find a confirmation anywhere on the internet, but the Sea Shepherds were scheduled to leave today on their mission to prevent illegal Japanese whaling. Save the whales!

Flying the Flag is by wietse?
To Sail with a Whale is by GumballGrenade.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Now that it's time for Christmas...

it's beginning to look a lot like fall around here. Silly desert.

AND this picture is from Graphic-ExchanGE but I don't know who made it. It wasn't me.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

wild things

The three of us slept in a pile last night. It's made me smile every time I thought about it today.

Also I just folded up my laundry and realized I accidentally put my Make Mischief t-shirt in the drier. Maybe it will fit Captain.

with a private boat is by alberto cerriteno.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This full moon I feel like sailing away.

But instead we went for our nightly walk around 10pm. Captain alerted me to 3 coyotes on the trail by the canal, which were only about 30 yards away. They are so cool! We've had good luck lately seeing wildlife when there's a full moon.

Full moon rising is by George Grie.