I'm a multi-tasker

4.17.14

In the name of Procrastination, I’ve been wanting to blog all week.  It’s Palindrome Week, after all.

4.10.14 – 4.19.14.  I love stuff like that.

I’m finally giving in, with the hope that getting a blog off my chest will allow me to actually write a paper on “Larry.”

So here, we go.  Things that make me happy, with a PALINDROME twist!  And there are random photos from the past 4-6 weeks in a slide show at the end of the post, if you have patience and can get there!

*NURSE, I SPY GYPSIES. RUN! /*NEVER ODD OR EVEN – Some random Palindromes for work stuff:

  • I am working on my clinical social work license, so I am taking a class to get more clinical content hours.  It meets the first Friday of the month for 9 hours.  I have three papers due by the first Friday of May and then it will be done.  It is interesting and learning is always fun – but papers?  Not so much.  Oh well.  Soon it will be behind me.
  • Driving to class was harrowing in April.  Gross.  I’m ready for the winter driving to be behind me, as well.
  • I worked a lot of overnights in March – 8 to be exact.  I worked 5 in one week as an experiment.  I think it worked for me – it’s nice to stay in the “up late, sleep all day” routine, so that transitioning back doesn’t have to happen as often.  We’re short-staffed right now (after LeeAnn left), so the schedule is crazy.  And it’s crazy spring time, so I think I will have to practice a lot of self-care on work days and on days off.  Ah.

*IN WORDS, DROWN I.  I’ve been reading some books.

  • I finished listening to The Goldfinch.  It was looooong but a good read.  Theo Decker (“Potter”) has his life changed forever while at a museum with his mother at around age 11.
  • I finished Divergent just before seeing the movie, and now am almost done with Insurgent.  I hope for answers in the 3rd book.  I’m not as pulled in as a certain 12 year old I know.  She loves the relationship.  She said she’d loan me Allegiant but I needed to know that it would “hurt me.”  She cried for quite a while when she finished.
  • I did a review of My Wish List: A Novel, which you can read more about here.  I can’t wait to see the movie!
  • I’m reading The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog for my class, and it is interesting and terrifying.  I put down Mo’ Meta Blues until I get through that Divergent series!  Can’t stop now!
  • My Kindle and nook apps are filled with books that need to be read… I can’t wait for this class to be over!

*SO MANY DYNAMOS!  Since I last blogged, I’ve seen a few movies:

  • 12 Years a Slave – Certainly not a ‘feel good’ movie, but very powerful.
  • Divergent – I liked the movie a lot, much more than the book.  I thought the changes they made were meaningful and the movie just flew by!
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – This movie was made for me!  Whimsical, magical, and unpredictable!  I had a smile on my face throughout the entire thing!
  • The Great Beauty – The opening film of the Rochester International Film Festival and the 2014 Best Foreign Film Oscar winner.  It was long, riotous, and a little obtuse.  I read an article about it the next day which helped me understand it a bit more, but it was a joy  to watch, so that’s fun, even if it was hard to understand.
  • Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 – For some reason I had the urge to watch these movies, so I got them on DVD from Netflix.  They were pretty fun, but I’m kinda done with the superhero movies for a while.

I’m an *AVID DIVA – *“RUM… RUM…” I MURMUR. – I’ve had some nights out!

  • Chris and I had a Thursday night off so I was looking for something to do.  And lo, and behold, there is Trivia Mafia in town!  So we invited Kristine and Mike to join us for some beverages and trivia at Big Brad’s!  I love trivia and we held our own!
  • We had a grown-up slumber party at Beth’s – margaritas, pizza, and girl talk!  So much fun – and so needed!
  • Of course, there was Peter and the Starcatcher – you can read about that fun night here!
  • We had a work happy hour to say goodbye to LeeAnn!  She relocated to the Cities and we miss her much!
  • St. Patrick’s Day was a hoot.  Chris and I went to Dooley’s and parked in a booth and enjoyed bagpipes, funny costumes, good food and good company!  We had to start early since I had to work very early the next day.
  • We also had a great night at Boomers, listening to the Jukes of Hazzard.  Marie’s guy is drummer in the band and it was fun singing along and watching the clientele at Boomers.   *YO, BOTTOMS UP! (U.S. MOTTO, BOY.)
  • Another recent weekend off (they feel so few and far between!), we saw The Grand Budapest Hotel with Jenny and Tammy and then met Kristine at the Loop for dinner!  It turned into a Girl’s Night Out + Chris!  He could hang with us and it was a lot of fun.  Good conversation with good friends.
  • Cosmo Girls was a blast.  We met at the Rochester Art Center and enjoyed a guided tour (two guides/curators!) and the art project they had set up for us afterwards.  We laughed a lot, got a lot of good pictures, and learned a lot!  We had so much fun together.

*WON TONS? NOT NOW.  / *WAS IT A CAR OR A CAT I SAW? – Life is good in the simple things…

  • One of those precious Saturdays off I got to watch Rees play basketball and eat at his choice – the food court at the mall!
  • I hosted another Book Party – the theme was Books Into Movies and we drank Bridget Jones’ Daiquiries (strawberries and champagne!) and we talked about books and laughed a lot!  This is going to happen again (and again and again…).
  • Girl time with a pedi is always the best.  Ah.
  • On April Fool’s Day, I made a Screwy Lewie – so delicious!  And such fond memories of childhood slumber parties – mine and Marissa’s.
  • Spring has finally shown its pretty head (every now and then) and we’ve enjoyed long walks outside and our first dinner and drink on a patio.  Looking forward to more time outside with the nicer weather!
  • I took Gracie to B&N to shop for books for her birthday.  It was fun to peruse the book shelves and talk about what kinds of books she likes to read.  She’s growing up so…
  • The “blood moon” from the lunar eclipse was this week and we were able to see it.  Small adventures in the middle of the night are pretty fun!
  • There’s a new coffee shop in Rushford and before choir (yay choir!) Mom and I went there to get a sandwich and coffee to go!  It was delicious and I can’t wait to go again for a leisurely coffee with friends!

And now, because April is Poetry Month, here are some Palindrome poems I found online:

Poetry Is:  (Palindrome)

Poetry
Words flowing
from the heart
written down
freely.

Freely
written down
from the heart
Words flowing
Poetry.

SMILE

day brighter
load lighter
SMILE
lighter load
brighter day

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BY LISEL MUELLER

There is less difficulty—indeed, no logical difficulty at all—in
imagining two portions of the universe, say two galaxies, in which
time goes one way in one galaxy and the opposite way in the
other. . . . Intelligent beings in each galaxy would regard their own
time as “forward” and time in the other galaxy as “backward.”
—Martin Gardner, in Scientific American

Somewhere now she takes off the dress I am
putting on. It is evening in the antiworld
where she lives. She is forty-five years away
from her death, the hole which spit her out
into pain, impossible at first, later easing,
going, gone. She has unlearned much by now.
Her skin is firming, her memory sharpens,
her hair has grown glossy. She sees without glasses,
she falls in love easily. Her husband has lost his
shuffle, they laugh together. Their money shrinks,
but their ardor increases. Soon her second child
will be young enough to fight its way into her
body and change its life to monkey to frog to
tadpole to cluster of cells to tiny island to
nothing. She is making a list:
            Things I will need in the past
                        lipstick
                        shampoo
                        transistor radio
                        Sergeant Pepper
                        acne cream
                        five-year diary with a lock
She is eager, having heard about adolescent love
and the freedom of children. She wants to read
Crime and Punishment and ride on a roller coaster
without getting sick. I think of her as she will
be at fifteen, awkward, too serious. In the
mirror I see she uses her left hand to write,
her other to open a jar. By now our lives should
have crossed. Somewhere sometime we must have
passed one another like going and coming trains,
with both of us looking the other way.

Lisel Mueller, “Palindrome” from Alive Together: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1996 by Lisel Mueller. Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.

Source: Alive Together: New and Selected Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 1996)

The winner is…

My Wish List cover

 

 

BETH!

I’ll forward your email and street address to the organizer of this she-bang and you will be get a book of your very own!

Hope you enjoy!

My Wish List GIVEAWAY!

My Wish List GIVEAWAY!.

Last day to comment to win an ARC paperback or ebook of “My Wish List: A Novel”  Winner chosen Tuesday, April 1 at noon, CST.

Good luck!

My Wish List GIVEAWAY!

Walkie Talkie Book Club:

Don’t forget to sign up to WIN! Read below and fill out the form! Enjoy!

Originally posted on WalkieTalkieBookClub:

My Wish List cover Thanks to the publisher of this little book, I have either an ebook or an ARC paperback to GIVEAWAY to one randomly selected person!  All you have to do is read my review posted HERE and comment on that post through the comment form.  Please tell me at least ONE THING that would be on YOUR wishlist, if you were to win, say, $25,000,000.

A winner will be selected on Tuesday, April 1 (no foolin’!) and will be notified by email.  Must be from USA or Canada to win.  Please state your preference of ebook or paperback, and provide your phone number, if you are from Canada.

Questions can be answered here or there in the comments! Thanks for playing!

Don’t you just love a free book???  

Happy reading!

View original

My Wish List GIVEAWAY!

My Wish List coverThanks to the publisher of this little book, I have either an ebook or an ARC paperback to GIVEAWAY to one randomly selected person!  All you have to do is read my review posted HERE and comment on that post through the comment form.  Please tell me at least ONE THING that would be on YOUR wishlist, if you were to win, say, $25,000,000.


 

A winner will be selected on Tuesday, April 1 (no foolin’!) and will be notified by email.  Must be from USA or Canada to win.  Please state your preference of ebook or paperback, and provide your phone number, if you are from Canada.

Questions can be answered here or there in the comments! Thanks for playing!

 

Don’t you just love a free book???  

Happy reading!

Livin’ the Dream…

On March 12 we went for a big mid-week night out in Minneapolis!

First we ate at The Butcher and the Boar.  Oh my.

We were food drunk!

And the play was as fantastic as I remembered!

The simplicity makes it magical.

The story is beautiful.

The acting was superb.

The comedy was hilarious.

And there were tears.

It was beautiful.

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Afterwards it was fun to Tweet with Troy – and interact with @StarcatcherBway as well!  So good.

Again… See it if you can – and if you can’t, watch this extended preview from the Broadway performance!

Extended Preview of Peter and the Starcatcher – Broadway -

My Wish List cover
My Wish List

See below for the form to fill out to win an ARC paperback or ebook of this book!

In the midst of coursework, I took the time to read this book for a blog tour.  I loved the premise (who doesn’t dream of winning the lottery?) and it is a mere 176 pages, so it was a quick read.  I read it with a highlighter in my hand (a little bit of the student coming through?) because some of the sentences and passages called out to be reread and read aloud.  Wow.  I loved the language.

Jocelyne is a 47 year old woman who married a man named Jocelyn (“One chance in millions.  And it happened to me.”)  Jo and Jo have two children, they both work hard and have what they need but little more.  They were in that place in their marriage where they were happy, content.  Their children were raised, they were comfortable being together, and their dreams were small.  He worked for Haagen Daz and she owned her own fabric store (haberdashery) and started a blog.  He dreamed of a big screen TV and a fancy car.  She dreams of being happy and having her father with a failing memory well-cared for.

She wins a large sum of money (18,000,000 Euros) and doesn’t tell anyone.  She hides the money in a shoe and then creates lists – lists of things she needs, lists of things she want – and she worries about how the money will change her life.  And change her life, it does.

Being rich means seeing all that’s ugly and having the arrogance to think you can change things. All you have to do is pay for it.”

I really enjoyed this book.  I loved the care that the translator took with the language – I loved the writing, period!  The chapters were short, but for example, one chapter was infused with “I dreamed…” sentences.  Another is full of “I am happy with Jo” sentences.  I love that.  I love that the things on our “need” lists are called our “daily little dreams” that keep us going.   There was so much of the language of the book that really was beautiful.  It was spare but meaningful.  But the book does have a surprising twist which packs a powerful punch, so it is not without plot.

There is much I could highlight about this book in this blog, as is shown by the highlights in my book!  Whoever borrows the book from me will have to contend with the orange highlights throughout. But as the book uses few words to make its point, so will I.

This book would lend itself to great discussion and would be a great book club book.  Who doesn’t like to dream of winning the lottery?  Who also doesn’t want to dream about how money would change their life?  And it sounds like it’s going to be made into a movie!  French or American, I’ll see it!

Good stuff.  And this good stuff can be yours!  I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY!  Tomorrow I’ll give the details on how you could win an ebook or Advanced Readers Copy paperback of this book of your very own (you won’t have to see my highlights!).  Stay tuned!

Thanks Emma for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour!  More info can be found by clicking here:

Fill out this form to be entered in random drawing for a book of your own!

SYNOPSIS

A cathartic, charmingly tender, assuredly irresistible novel, MY WISH LIST (Penguin; ISBN: 9780143124658; On-sale: March 25, 2014: $15.00) imagines one answer to the question: If you won the lottery, would you trade your life for the life of your dreams? With sales of more than half a million copies in France alone, rights sold in twenty-five countries, and a major motion picture in development, this slim yet spirited tale has sewn up the interest of the literary world.

Jocelyne Guerbette is a forty-seven year old who runs a modest fabric shop in a nondescript provincial French town. Her husband—instead of dreaming of her—wants nothing more in life than a flat-screen TV and the complete James Bond DVD box set. And to Jocelyne’s two grown-up children, who live far from home, she’s become nothing but an obligatory phone call. Perpetually wondering what has happened to all the dreams she had when she was younger, Jocelyne finally comes to terms with the series of ordinary defeats and small lies that seem to make up her life.

But then Jocelyne wins the lottery: $25,500,000! And suddenly she finds the world at her fingertips. But before cashing the check, before telling a soul, she starts making a list of all the things she could do with the money. While evaluating the small pleasures in life—her friendship with  the twins who manage the hairdresser next door, her holidays away, her sewing blog that’s gaining popularity—she begins to think that the everyday ordinary may not be so bad. Does she really want her life to change?

MY WISH LIST is an essential reminder of the often-overlooked joys of everyday life and a celebration of the daily rituals, serendipities, and small acts of love that make life quietly wonderful [provided by the publisher]

***

 

Release date: March 25, 2014
at Viking and Penguin BooksISBN-13: 978-0143124658
176 pages
PRAISE FOR MY WISH LIST

“A runaway bestseller that looks set to follow the success of The Elegance of the Hedgehog.” — Elle (France)

 “Delacourt has hit the jackpot… [He has a] knack for finding exactly the right words and for evoking feeling” — Le Nouvel Observateur

 “Delacourt has a keen eye for everyday life and for the extraordinary challenges that ordinary people face” — Le Parisien

***

Grégoire DelacourtABOUT THE AUTHOR

Grégoire Delacourt was born in Valenciennes, France, in 1960. His first novel, L’Écrivain de la Famille, was published in 2011 and won five literary prizes. MY WISH LIST has been a runaway number-one bestseller in France; publication rights have been sold in more than twenty-five countries. Delacourt lives in Paris, where he runs an advertising agency with his wife.

See more on his French website: Grégoire Delacourt
Follow him on Facebook  | Goodreads

 

I feel so lucky that on March 12 I get to see Peter and the Starcatcher for the second time!

Yes it is, Brilliant!

Yes it is, Brilliant!

I first saw it in June 2012 when it was on Broadway in NYC.  It is not a musical, but a play filled with music, and it is magical and fantastic and simple.  Prior to seeing the show I had read two of the books in the series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson – “Peter and the Starcatchers” and “Peter and the Shadow Thieves.”  These books detail Peter Pan before he became Peter Pan, when he was simply, “BOY.”  This is an adaptation of these books and is brought to stage by Rick Elice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xxYkdB-XEc

Above is a clip from the original Broadway cast production.  I also feel so lucky that I was a stalker and had my photo taken with a few members of the cast!

What’s doubly exciting about seeing it a second time, is that there’s a Q&A afterwards with the cast!

The Orpheum in Minneapolis is a beautiful place to see a show, so I have no doubt that I’ll have another magical, fantastic experience with the touring version of “Peter and the Starcatcher” in 2014!

I’m sure I’ll blog later this week to tell you about it!

New Blog Layout

Evidently WordPress dropped some plugins, which makes me pretty sad. It used to be so easy to find related articles and links to Wiki or IMDB for the things I was writing about, but now it isn’t automatic. :( I guess they want me to “Go Premium,” but I won’t be doing that anytime soon, as I already “bought” my domain name. I’ll either work a little harder for more links on my blog or I won’t. :)

Not much else going on here… a great grown-up slumber party last night means I’m exhausted tonight. I work overnights Monday and Tuesday, so I’d better try to bank some sleep. I know that Monday I’ll be enjoying my current book – and getting ready for my next blog tour book! Two weeks!

Happy Monday, everyone!

It gets a little old to start every blog post off with “Where did the last month go?” but here I am, once again, thinking the same thing!  So I’ll recap my month in the only way I know how – by listing the highlights and the things that have made me happy since I last blogged! With pictures!  

There were some games:

  • The Superbowl happened – I worked but made it to the party before halftime.  Not much of a game, but the pool on the score always makes it entertaining when those final seconds tick down each quarter.  
  • Got to a few of Trajan’s basketball games.  His season is over now, but I look forward to watching him in the years to come!  
  • Went to one of Gracie’s Rochester tournament games.  Her season is over now, too,  but again, many years ahead!  

There were epic weekends: 

  • SocialICE 2014 was a lot of fun!  We warmed up with cocktails and Trivial Pursuit questions at my house, enjoyed some warm and cold beverages at the ice bar, went underground to The Doggery, and sang some karaoke at the Viking Lounge!  The next day we went to Newt’s too late for brunch, but it was good nonetheless.  
  • Marissa’s Birthday 2014 was also a lot of fun!  The drive to Minneapolis was treacherous, so it took a long time to get there, but I made it with plenty of time to spare before the Jeremy Messersmith concert at First Ave!  First we ate at Kieran’s, a favorite pub, and then we were at First Ave right after the doors opened – which meant we were there a LONG time before the main event!  
  • Jeremy Messersmith is just such a good songwriter… I love that you can understand every word he sings and that his songs always have a little twist in them.  So clever and fun.  After the concert, we went dancing at a club where the average age was likely 25.  Very much not my ‘scene’ but it was a fun night.  Saturday we laid low and read and watched TV.  I had decided not to face those roads again, so we worked on getting tickets to Mike Birbiglia, a great comedian!  He was sold out, but we found tickets and we went! 
  • Mike Birbiglia at the Pantages was amazing!  It was nonstop laughter about “earlies and late-ies,” the uninhabitable city Minneapolis is, as evidenced by its skyways, and swearing in front of Muppets.  Funny stuff.  Afterwards we celebrated National Margarita Day with “made at the table” guac and fancy margaritas at Rosa Mexicano!

There was an early Valentine’s Date:

  • Chris and I both worked on Valentine’s Day and that weekend, so we planned to celebrate on Wednesday 2/12, so it was perfect that I won tickets to Jim Brickman in concert for his”Love Tour” for that night!   Beforehand we went to Chester’s for a delicious dinner, and the concert was very fun!  He has a good sense of humor and a good ‘tell’ that shows he’s done.   Chris brought me the most beautiful roses and a box of chocolates.  It was a good date.  
  • The next night, the Cosmo Girls went to a local nursing home and made Valentine’s with and for the residents.  It was a fun time, followed by a pot of tea at Press Coffee House.  

There were books and discussions:

  • I had my first class of the semester, requiring a ton o’ reading, online discussions, and case study papers.  Psychopathology will be good for me, good for my job, but it confirms my dislike for professional reading in large quantities.  Ugh.  I was nervous, as it’s been a LONG time since I was in school, but it will be good.  
  • I had lunch with Cindy at India Garden, and that always involves mega book discussions.  Planning the next book party is underway!  
  • The ED book group discussion was held at Tonic last week – we discussed Winter Garden, which had been in my TBR pile for years!  I always felt like it should be read in the winter, and I’m glad it was.  It was a good book about mothers and daughters, forgiveness and understanding.  And it had a secondary story which took place in Russia, so it was timely with the Winter Olympics!  Next up is Divergent!  We’re going to the movie together.  
  • There was a brief visit with Sarah and her kiddos in the warmth of their home.  That also means that books were discussed.  Look forward to another visit!    
  • I’m still listening to The Goldfinch and just started reading Questlove’s book Mo’ Meta Blues.   Next TBR is a book for a book tour – I can’t wait!  Details to follow… 

There were movies and award shows:

  • The night before the Oscars, Jenny and I watched 20 Feet from Stardom, the documentary about back up singers.  We also went to see The Lego Movie, which was a lot of fun!  I loved the ‘meta’ of it and loved the voices.  Maybe it’ll be Oscar nominated next year!
  • I love watching the Oscar’s every year.  I blogged about the nominations when they came out and you can read that here.  20 Feet from Stardom was not a favorite to win the Best Documentary category, but it won!  That was so fun… I loved the acceptance speech and that Darlene Love sang her heart out during it!  Other things I loved were
  • Ellen’s selfie
  • Cate Blanchet and Lupita Nyong’o acceptance speeches
  • Pizza for everyone!
  • Spike Jonze winning for best screenplay for Her – the movie about relationships and intimacy.  A great discussion piece!
  • All of the songs performed live
  • Following along on Twitter all night – until it broke for a while!  Crazy selfie retweeting overload!  
  • The jokes following John Travolta’s major introduction fail.
  • I’m sure there’s more, but for now, that’s it.  

I’m sure that’s an overload.  I either need to blog more often or remember that people probably only read one paragraph before moving on!  If you made it to the end, I’d love to hear from you.  What made you happy in February?  It was a brutally cold month with horrible weather where I live, so you gotta look for the good to stay sane!  

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