Tuesday, November 30, 2010

HOLIDAY FLU

Why do we always get sick around the holidays? Is it too much wine, food and song?

So my guy has to go to the doctor and get antibiotics before his sinus infection turns into bronchitis. And he's grouchy cause he feels bad and I'm grouchy cause he's grouchy. And every year it seems to happen.

I thought moving south would fix it. Now he's saying maybe we need to consider moving further south. Like Belize.

Where they have hurricanes?  I don't think so.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Movies at Home

We watched a movie from Blockbuster last night. LEAVES OF GRASS. A professor who's climbed up from poverty goes back to Oklahoma when his redneck twin is murdered. It was okay. Had some surprising twists I wasn't expecting. And some gore. We watched it all the way through which we don't do if we don't like the beginning. Anyway, there were several people in it we recognized but couldn't put names to. At the end, we looked for the cast names. And looked. And looked.

After everyone and his brother got listed -- Does anyone really care who designed the costumes, who cast the actors, who chose the location, who did the hair, who carried the cameras, who...? You get the picture -- we finally got to the cast. Then the names whizzed by. Luckily, we had the remote and could stop it long enough to figure out who the people were.


Take old movies. The stars and cast are put out front. And lots of times, they're at the end, too. Only when they're all listed do the other support people run.

Maybe they assume the audience will stay put to see all those people when the cast is listed last. We did last night, although we didn't even look at the names that came before. In a theater? No way. We get up and leave. My guy likes to beat the crowd.

So that's my rant for the day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

AND IT WAS A HAPPY, HEARTY THANKSGIVING!

Too much turkey, ham, dressing, gravy, biscuits, green beans, sweet potato casserole, congealed fruit salad, cranberry sauce. Couldn't eat either the homemade chocolate cake (with homemade fudge icing!) or the luscious looking pumpkin pie. Had to wait till long afterward.

Hope everybody ate as well as we did.

Hope everybody isn't still groaning today like we are.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

LOCAL CRIME REPORT

Saw yesterday in the police reports that a woman was arrested for shoplifting food. Sixty-odd dollars worth.

I have no sympathy for people who steal beer, electronics, jewelry and other stuff like that. Give them some hard time to serve.

But food...

While I don't approve of what she did, I can't help but wonder what I'd do if my children were hungry and I had no money and no one -- relatives, friends, charities -- to help. I don't think I'd steal, but on the other hand, I've never had to choose.

Anyway, I'll make extra sure I donate to the food banks in the county this year. I think they need the help more than ever.

Friday, November 19, 2010

WINTER GARDEN

Just this minute finished Kristin Hannah's WINTER GARDEN and enjoyed it.

She writes women's fiction and is a very nice writer. This story gives a lot of history about Leningrad during the German advance in WWII. While the plot starts with two America daughters, unhappy in their lives and who can't understand their Russian mother, it's really about the mother. She was in Leningrad and ended up marrying an American after being freed from the Germans at the end of the war.

The daughters don't understand why she's so cold and distant until their father dies. He makes them promise to make their mother tell them the fairy tale she stopped telling them when they were young. Once the mother begins, her personality begins emerging and in the end is understandable.

It ends on a happy note, thank goodness.

If you enjoy women's fiction, or historical fiction that isn't romance, this is the book for you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TENNIS PROS

I dabbled in tennis years ago but I took lessons from a woman so this question never came up.

Lately, I've noticed an unnamed tennis pro who, whenever I go by and he's teaching, often has his shirt off. Even on quite chilly days.

But, I've also noticed it's usually when he's working with a cute gal. If it's a man on the court with him, he isn't always barechested.

He does have a nice physique. I'm wondering if he's showing it off just a bit, maybe? Do all tennis pros do this? How about golf pros?

Monday, November 15, 2010

CATS

So my guy lost a thumb drive. This right after Roz threw his watch off the dresser.

"Those *&%$* cats! I'm ready to change their zip codes! All they do is lose my stuff!"

(The zip code threat isn't unusual but he was pretty miffed this time.)

I of course was the voice of reason. "Where did you have it last?"

He thought. Called a friend because he'd been helping her with some stuff and used it in her computer. No answer. He left a message.

He thought some more. "I hope I didn't leave it in my jeans and it got washed."

"Haven't washed dark stuff lately." (Haven't washed anything lately. I hate housework.)

He checked the dirty clothes hamper and guess what! There it was, tucked away in the watch pocket.

He did apologize to the cats. My guy's really pretty nice.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Southernese

I am reading, but am about to stop reading, a novel set in north Georgia. The author is from the north or the midwest or Michigan maybe?

The reason I mention where the author lives is because while s/he's obviously done research about the north Georgia foothills (things like red clay, poultry farms, herbs, apples, etc. are popping up all over the place), s/he fell down on the use of y'all.

To all people outside the south:  y'all is plural. It's short for you all. All means more than one. Well, usually three I think but for our purposes, we'll take it to mean more than one.

For example, you can pull up in your car by 2-3 walkers and ask, "Y'all want a ride?" Fine. No problem.

But you don't say this if there is only one walker. Then it's, "You want a ride?"

See? When you speak to one person, you say you. You speak to more than one, say y'all. Easy.

That being understood, there are instances when you can speak to one person and say y'all. One example is meeting someone on the street and asking about the spouse and family. Before you go your separate ways, it is perfectly permissible to say, "Now y'all come by and see us sometime, you hear?" That's because you're issuing an (admittedly vague) invitation to one person and his/her entire family to visit. Whew.

So after the umpteenth scene in which the heroine, alone with the hero, says y'all in her 'soft southern drawl' to him without mention of family, I'm ready to throw in the towel. Now y'all come over here and let me fix that cut on your head. Now y'all sit down and eat this sandwich I made specially for you. I swear, I just love y'all to pieces.

Ugh, And it's not a bad story either. Except for this one nit, I'd probably enjoy the book.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WICKED BECOMES YOU

Okay, I struggled and finished two humongous books the last month, with lots of convoluted and wordy sentences and not much on plots or characters I wanted to root for. It was time for a light, fun read.

WICKED BECOMES YOU by Meredith Duran was given me by my crit partner (thank you, Nan!) with a shrug. "It's a historical. It wasn't that bad. In fact, it was pretty good except for the sex."

I like sex okay, assuming it's M/F type sex, so I started reading.

The story got my attention right off the bat and pretty much kept it. The plot wasn't much but I really liked the heroine, a merchant's daughter groomed to fit into the Ton of Victorian England. She tries to marry into a higher class but is jilted. Twice. The last time after walking up the aisle.

So she decides to heck with it all. She's tired of being told what to do, what to say, what to think. And especially knitting sweaters and embroidering so as to fit in with the society she's trying to become a part of. She won't do it any more.

The book focuses on Gwen's attempts to be shunned by the people she formerly tried to join. Of course there's a hero with his own angst. Not too much. Just enough to be a willing companion in Gwen's debauchery. And oh, I forgot to say he's a member by birth of that clique she's determined to scandalize.

So it all ends happily. Not too terribly much plot but, hey, it's not great literary fiction or a clever mystery. It's a romance.

Thumbs up!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

THE HISTORIAN

THE HISTORIAN is the first book by Elizabeth Kostova. The Swan Thieves is her second published, and I read it before reading this one.

Kostova's writing may be better in the second book -- she's one of the descriptive, literary types who tend to convoluted sentences with lots of words -- but the first was more interesting. It's told from the viewpoint of a young girl whose father tells her tales about Dracula. Unfortunately, there are also notes from her father's viewpoint, about his courtship of her mother, and what happened to her mother's father who was also her father's mentor. Too much is going on when all get caught up in the search for Dracula's burial site. Seems like old Vlad didn't just stay in Transylvania but traveled around. Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey...

The Historian was a long, slow read, and it was about Dracula (Oh, no, not another book about vampires!) so for me, it had two strikes against it from the start. People who love Dracula may enjoy the book for it does give a different slant on him. People who like to read about medieval history may enjoy it, for there is a great deal of history in it. You can tell Kostova's done her research. But people who like crisp plots without excess padding probably will find it boring.

Not one of my favorites, but I did finish it. Finally.

Monday, November 8, 2010

TRAVELS

My guy and I had to travel this weekend. We went to the north Georgia foothills for Granny's 92nd birthday party.
Isn't she a doll?
Then we swung back through Athens and went south.

The Georgia hills are always lovely.

 This is the road where you look ahead and see hills, hills, and more hills, till finally you see a notch at the top where it goes over the highest hill.
A long straight road with ups and downs. Kind of like life.


Finally we made it back! Yay!
Here they are, the marshes of Glynn.

And the marina as we go back on the island.



So nice to be back home!





Repeat after me.

There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

CATS AND SMALL SPACES

Why do cats love to get into small spaces? Go to get some underwear and presto! One large cat stuffed into one small drawer. Open a cabinet to throw something in the trash can and presto! One large cat wrapped around the trash can when there's barely room for the can.

And don't forget laps. Get on the computer with your knees almost touching the keyboard drawer and presto! One large cat between your lap and the keyboard drawer, jiggling the keyboard and making you type *%$#(P)_#.

Once our cow-cat curled up in a plastic bag. Then something scared her and she shot out like a rocket. Unfortunately, the bag handle was wrapped around her neck. She ran through the house in terror, unable to get it off, spreading urine and other stuff I won't talk about. We finally caught her and got it off, but what a mess.

Sometimes I wonder if they're worth it. But then, I think of course they are. What else would my guy and I talk about if we didn't have them?  And they're sweet when they're asleep.

Of course they get kind of grumpy when you wake them up. Like the cow-cat below giving me the evil-eye when my camera flash went off.


Friday, November 5, 2010

LOCAL PAPER

Once again I'm reading the police blotter in the local paper.

In one instance, police got a report of a man punching a woman in the face. They found the couple arguing in the street and asked if something was wrong. The man said no and walked off. The woman rubbed her jaw and then said the man had hit her in the jaw. But she refused medical treatment and no arrest was made.

In the second instance, the victims, a man and woman, said another woman walked up and asked the male why he was trying to break up her friendship with the other woman. Then she slapped him. Then she started fighting with the other woman -- her friend??? -- and punched her several times. She finally threw her friend??? into a puddle and walked off. Police couldn't find her so no arrests were made.

I think these people have been watching too many violent movies and TV shows!

Oh, and the last one? Loud music from a car caused police to do a traffic check but the car wouldn't stop. It proceeded at a slow rate of speed before turning into a yard. The driver said he just wanted to get his car home because he knew he was getting arrested. He had a suspended license.

Why in the world would you turn up the volume and draw attention to yourself if you had a suspended license? Sometimes I wonder about people.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

SOUTH OF BROAD

Just finished SOUTH OF BROAD by Pat Conroy. I did read through to the end, but it was a struggle. He throws in integration, child/spousal abuse, priest pedophiles, AIDS, orphans, Appalachian hillbillies, Charleston old families, Hurricane Hugo...

You get the idea. It's a long book with not a lot of plot. Which is okay for literary fiction, I guess. But I fear he's turned out like a lot of other good writers who become wordy without a good editor to calm them down. Maybe it's because their books sell so well that the pubs don't care; maybe it's a lack of enough editors to go around. I don't know. But I've noticed this in the works of several other writers including a couple of well-known mystery writers,

So I'm looking for something light to read. I have a historical romance I'm about ready to jump on.