Friday, December 31, 2010

Goal Work 2010: An Ass Kicking In Review

2010 was supposed to be different. It was supposed to be MY year. It was supposed to not suck as much as it did. Things were supposed to happen. You know, good things. Great things, even. I was a wide eyed optimist last January who set five bold goals for herself and was spouting the philosophy "aim big or go home." And then the Powers That Be decided to punch me in the gut and then kick me while I was down.

So no, I didn't experience the rousing success for which I'd been hoping. This means that tomorrow, when I post my new list of goals for the year, you'll probably see a much different kind of list. 2011 is going to be an ego building year for Team Me because this year, the Fates handed our asses to us (much like the Patriots did to the Buffalo Bills last week).

So here we go...this is now the part when I look at each individual goal and tell you where I ended up with it. And I'm going to tell you right now, it's not going to look as bad as the first two paragraphs probably make it out to be. It's definitely not going to be that bad. It's just my two big writing goals I set didn't work out the way I'd hoped and well, as this blog as discussed before, and surely will discuss again, as goes my writing goes my mood. The goals I set are listed below in italics. My analysis of them follows.

1. Finish Second Nature. Specifically, my goal is to finish the book by the end of October. I’ve decided to work NaNoWriMo style, which means I’ve set myself a specific number of words to hit by the end of October. This goal is 200,000 words, based on the fact that Effigy is approximately 195,000 words and the first draft of Second Nature was longer than that story was (this goal can fluctuate as needed, of course). This gives me 304 days in which to work. The word count goal is 658 words a day. Of course, if there is any movement on Effigy, all bets are off.

And boy, did I not complete this goal. Not only did I not finish this manuscript, I didn't even hit the 200,000 word mark. I came close though. I finished at a little over 190,000 words which is still a helluva lot of words to write in the ten months I allotted myself but I am, overall, very disappointed with myself for not having done better.


2. Read 100 books. Other people have done it and now I want to do it too. I finished up with about sixty five books last year. I would have done better but I had that whole Jane Austen thing going on in April and May. I will not have that Jane Austen millstone around my neck this year so I am optimistic. But, once again, should there be any movement on Effigy, all bets are off.

All right. This one I actually accomplished. I was in doubt for a while but then The Store gave me the bestest holiday bonus ever: the gift of no payroll. Not having to go to work was a huge help. The 100th title was Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects. A very worthy 100th book.


3. Participate in NaNoWriMo 2010. My first experience with this project was a success and, ultimately, a lot of fun so I fully intend to sign up for a second go. This is a big reason why I intend to finish
Second Nature by the end of October.

Yeah. So technically I did do this one. I did participate in NaNoWriMo. And technically, I was a NaNoWriMo winner for the second straight year. Go me. However, the project did not turn out as well as I had hoped it might and once again, I was left feeling rather disappointed with my performance. This year was supposed to be so different. Sigh.


4. Try yoga. It seems like it’ll be a good thing to try out. I was hoping to have a Nintendo Wii and a Wii Fit to help me with this goal but as that has not happened yet, I suspect I’ll be going out to get myself a nice video because I do not want to go to an actual yoga class.

Fine, I accomplished this goal too. If you've read this blog for any length of time, you probably recall the early battles I had with my Wii Fit. But I did start doing yoga and actually kind of like it. When we were traveling to Las Vegas in June, I was doing yoga in the airport while we waited for our flights. This prompted Joe to call me a health nut. This, by the way, I am most certainly not. I'm a brownie addict who just happens to strike a yoga pose every now and again.

5. De-clutter. I don’t really know what to write here. There’s clutter in the house and I want to change that. I’ll go through the closets and get rid of the clothing we haven’t worn in years. I’ll clean out the basement of the boxes we put in there almost ten years ago when we moved into this house. I’ll track down the dining room table. I know I had one once. It was nice.

Well, see, here's the thing...I did kind of de-clutter the house. I didn't finish de-cluttering the house but I did get some done. I even managed to find that dining room table. Of course now the cats are pretty much living on it but at least it's not under a pile of junk any more, right?

And there you have it. My almost total lack of success on display for the world to see. The positive thing I am taking away from this experiment...I'm definitely going to do better next year. It would be almost impossible not to...

Have a happy and safe New Year's. Don't do anything I wouldn't do...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 2010 Book Report


Taken By Midnight
- Lara Adrian- The last (so far) book in the vampire series. This one irritated me. I mean, I don’t read these books expecting anything too deep or whatever, they are what they are but this book was particularly irritating because NOTHING HAPPENED. She set all this storyline up at the beginning with the MC’s mysterious medical condition. Never resolved. Maybe in the next book? I don’t know. She spent too much time setting up for the next novel and not enough time actually finishing the story she started out to write. But that’s just my humble opinion.

Wicked Appetite- Janet Evanovich- This is, I guess, the first in a new series which features Diesel from the Stephanie Plum in between the number novels (and Carl the monkey). It’s told from the POV of cupcake baker Lizzy something-or-other but most of the time, it just felt like I was reading another Stephanie Plum novel. And not an especially good one either. I also wasn’t thrilled by the reappearance of Carl the Monkey, I had to admit that some of his scenes made me laugh. Some.


Dark Places
- Gillian Flynn- I read a review of this novel on another blog and then found it at my local library so I picked it up and I am glad I did because I really ended up liking this book. The story is very well written and gripping. For the first two thirds of the novel I couldn’t put it down. I suspected what was going on but couldn’t be sure. The resolution came too quickly and wasn’t completely satisfying but still, a great read.


Low Red Moon
- Ivy Devlin- I was wandering around the bookstore when I was drawn in and seduced by the cover of this novel, which is really very pretty. The story behind the cover is not so pretty. It’s kind of bland. And by ‘kind of’, I mean ‘really’. There’s too much tell and not enough show and the big mystery was very transparent. I really wanted to reach into the pages of the book and smack the main character who couldn’t figure out what the hell was happening. Plus, every time the word ‘moon’ was used, the font was suddenly smaller and red for no apparent reason than to annoy me. If you’re interested in reading a young adult paranormal wolf themed romance, you should skip this one and read Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls novels. Those are some gorgeous smartly written novels.


Crescendo
- Becca Fitzgerald- The sequel to Hush, Hush and while there's a lot about this book that makes me roll my eyes, I think I liked this one more than the first. Maybe that's not saying much. It ends on a cliffhanger so I’ll be looking for the third installment to be coming out soon. Don't judge. It's what I do.


Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories
- Zack Whedon (with Eric Canete, Farel Dalrymple, Jim Rugg, Joelle Jones and Scott Hepburn)- Dr. Horrible backstory!! The only downside to this graphic novel is that it’s not long enough.


The Shepherd's Tale
- Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon and Chris Samnee- A graphic novel which fills in the backstory of Shepherd Book from Whedon’s kick ass series Firefly. Ever wondered how it is a shepherd knew so much about crime and knee caps? Well, this book is for you. Again, the only downside to this graphic novel is that it’s not long enough and doesn’t answer all questions you might have and might actually raise a few more. A very riveting read. Really.


Sharp Objects
- Gillian Flynn- All right. I am ready to name Gillian Flynn my latest favorite author. This book was awesome. I absolutely love the way this woman writes. She writes dark stories but the way she writes them is oh so beautiful. And yes, I did figure out the mystery very early on but it didn't even matter.


Dark Lover
- J.R. Ward- The first novel in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Once I got past the stupid spellings of the vampires’ names, it wasn’t a bad read. I’ll likely read the rest because, well, because that’s what I do.


Lover Eternal
- J.R. Ward- The second in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I didn’t care for this book very much. I really don’t like the way the vampires call women ‘females’ and then their goddess shows up and she’s all like, “Come here, female” like it’s a mark of how important she is that she doesn’t use a human’s name. Some of the other dialogue irritates me too and I pretty much hate the word ‘saunter’ so I really hate it when I read it in print, any print, but I find it particularly annoying here. Vampire warriors should not saunter. Just saying. Plus, the whole thing with Mary and Rhage and the beast within Rhage goes to, I think, a very creepy and uncomfortable place. I do not judge. People should do what makes them happy, I guess, but yeah, creepy and uncomfortable.


Lover Awakened
- J.R. Ward- Don’t judge me. I’ve read a lot of books this year and if I want to just slack off at the end (AFTER having reached the intended goal), then that’s my prerogative. Anyway, this is the third in the brotherhood vampire series. I am proud to report that no one sauntered. The story in this novel wasn’t bad. I enjoyed it much more than Mary and Rhage’s story. There was actually one line here that made me laugh out loud. I always appreciate a story that can make me laugh. You know, with it and not at it.


And there you have it...all the books I read in December. I was shooting for eight titles and ended up with just a few more. Let's see where that puts me on the Year To Date Tally...

December Books: 11

Year To Date Total: 103

Books Remaining: -3

WOO HOO!! I did it!! I read one hundred books in one freaking year!! I'm so damn tired, I don't think I'm going to read anything else until next year. And then I'm only going to read vampire romance novels. All right, I'm probably not serious about that last part. Probably...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vader and the Overpowering Thirst

Vader is obsessed with water.

I don't know why exactly this is, although I suspect it has something to do with the antibiotics she's been taking. We finished the last dose just the other day so I'm waiting to see if something changes with her, if she suddenly (or even gradually) becomes more interested in eating (I haven't seen her eat anything since the beginning of the month) and less interested in flooding the entire house.

Because when I say she's obsessed with water, I mean she's obsessed with water.

Her new favorite hobby is the dumping out of water dishes. Hers and the dogs so multiple times a day, I have to go and mop up the kitchen floor where the dogs' dishes are and mop off my dining room table when the cats' dish is. Thank goodness for my microfiber tablecloth, the kind where the spills just bead right up so nicely. And thank goodness my brother and sister-in-law took pity on me this Christmas and purchased for me a second microfiber tablecloth.

Vader has also taken to napping in my bathroom sink and just yesterday decided to join me (twice) when I was in the shower. She climbed in right at the start of the shower, walked around a bit and then climbed back out. Then, just before I was finished, she decided to rejoin me. And spent most of the afternoon just sitting there.

This is weird, right?

But wait...it gets weirder.

The doors on our bathrooms don't close right and the pets have figured out that if they apply the right amount of force to a closed door, there's a good chance they can get inside. The dogs do it because well, because they're mommy obsessed dogs who seem to think there's some secret back door escape hatch in that room through which I might go and leave them behind. There isn't.

Fat Cat does it because she's annoying. Fat Cat wants attention and food (sometimes in that order) and seems to understand that if she meows at you long enough, she'll get you to give her something to shut her up. Vader, on the other hand, never really started doing it until she started these antibiotics. Maybe this is her way of getting payback or something. Maybe the antibiotics have caused such an overwhelming craving for water that she can't help herself. Or maybe she really has syphilis (which I'm sure is different in cats than it is in people...) and has reached the insanity portion of her disease.

Whatever the reason, she's into breaking down the bathroom doors now. Yesterday, after she shower thing, she tried to get into the toilet. Joe reports that she did the same thing to him this morning. She just pushed her way into the bathroom and then forced her way between Joe's legs in order to get to the toilet.

Strangest. Cat. Ever.

So right now we're in holding pattern. Me, armed with mega rolls of paper towels and Joe, sitting on the couch, reading a magazine and carefully ignoring the insanity surrounding him while indulging in daydreams of him being anywhere but here.

And Vader? Vader is trying to mount an assault on the turtle tank.

I think we're gonna need a bigger boat.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

You Better Not, In A Pear Tree

My Holiday Videofest continues. Today's selection comes courtesy of my sister B who introduced me to the amazing acapella group Straight No Chaser (albums are available for purchase on Amazon) . The first video is their beyond awesome rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Seriously, you must watch this. Whoever came up with this arrangement is an honest to goodness genius.




The second video is also Straight No Chaser. It's called The Christmas Can-Can.




Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hallelujah Chorus Redux

I'll be posting the answers (and winner) to the most exciting holiday quote quiz in the Mount Washington Valley tomorrow, work permitting. But a friend brought this video to my attention today and, after watching it, I was overcome with a strong desire to share it with you. It's really very clever and funny.




The second video I am choosing to share was brought to my attention by Joe. It's a Flash Mob Hallelujah chorus production in the food court of a mall. I wish I could've been there.

Bonus points to anyone who tells me why it's tradition to stand during the performance of this particular song (Jacob, I know you know and therefore, I am afraid you are ineligible for bonus points this particular time...)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Quote Quiz


I think the title says it all. You know the game and you know the rules. I'm going to post some of my favorite quotes from some of my favorite Christmas movies and television specials and holiday themed episodes. Your task, should you chose to accept it, is to identify the speaker and the show/movie. If you're an overachiever interested in bonus points, feel free to include additional information (such as the situation in which the quote was uttered) that might tickle my fancy. I'll announce the winner (provided there is one) in a couple of days and the winner will win a fabulous prize. Well, all right, so that's not true. The winner will receive bragging rights and the knowledge that he or she, much like myself, probably watches entirely too much television.

A couple of things to know before you begin...the first: there are a couple of repeat answers because there were a couple of quotes that were just too good to leave out and second...Actually, I don't know what the second thing is (I was distracted by an episode of Veronica Mars...you understand, I'm sure).

Have fun...and good luck.

1. Uh oh. Sounds like someone needs to sing a Christmas carol.

2. -You have to look at what a gift says to the other person, not to you. Remember two years ago, I got my mom that perfume?
-Yeah.
-Okay, to me that said, "Hey Mom, you work hard, you deserve something fancy". Now to my mother, it said, "Hey Mom, here's some smelly sex juice, the kind I use to lure boys with", and resulted in me being sent to Bible camp all summer.

3. One kid thinks that Santa Claus gets into the house at Thanksgiving and hides in the laundry hamper until Christmas Eve.

4. Nothing brings people together like a Christmas lung fungus.

5. I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It's not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.

6. Whoever heard of a skinny santa?

7. -What are you doing for Christmas?
-Being Jewish.

8. What's she cooking? A canary?

9. I must stop this thing! Why, for fifty three years I've put up with it now. I must stop Christmas from coming...but how?

10. How can you give Kris Kringle a parking ticket on Christmas Eve? What's next, rabies shots for the Easter bunny?

11. -Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. Everyone has a lot of fun.
-You mean they get in fights?
-No, no- they have fun!
-Fights are fun. I like fights.

12. No man is a failure who has friends.

13. Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.

14. Who the hell is the guy and why do I care if he has a merry Christmas?

15. The line waiting to see Santa Claus stretched all the way back to Terre Haute. And I was at the end of it.

16. I'd like to be a dentist.

17. All right, who keeps telling people I want snow globes for Christmas?

18. In some ways, you're far superior to my cocker spaniel.

19. I need you. Friends don't let friends photocopy their butts at company Christmas parties.

20. You know, I didn't even realize it was December. Maybe when we get home, we should decorate the rubble.

21. We're going to have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny f&@king Kaye!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Spirit

I don't know if you've seen this or not, but it's been around for a while. The following video is something Joe says he wants to do to our house. I don't think he will because it involves the putting up of Christmas lights and well, we're pretty lazy when it comes to that sort of thing. The music is from the Trans Siberian Orchestra, just in case you're curious and/or interested.

Enjoy!




Here's another one...I guess it's all the rage now....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Saga Continues


Well, the good news is that Vader hasn't yet killed me in my sleep. The bad news is that she decided to extract her revenge by shitting all over my bath mat. Twice. The good news is that the Gator Girl found it before I did and decided to help with the clean up.

Wait. That's not good news. That's gross news.

Human kids don't eat cat shit, do they?

Joe and I spent the rest of the weekend trying to devise new ways to get the Super Antibiotic into the cat. Joe Googled it even and found a site that described the need to wait until both you and the cat were relaxed (by the way, I'm pretty sure Vader hasn't been relaxed in a good seven years) and then hold the cat a certain way and apply pressure to a certain jaw joint and then put the syringe further back into the cat's mouth as to avoid the taste buds (or whatever) that act as a border guard for bitter tasting things. Cats, did you know, have this sort of defense mechanism where if they come into contact with something bitter (such as the super antibiotic), they produce foam and spit and saliva to keep the bitterness from going anywhere.

Oh, so now you tell me.

But no matter what we tried, the foaming continued.

So Monday I called Dr. Kirk again and explained the badness that was going on. The foaming and the misery. By Monday, Vader had stopped eating because of the failed attempt to medicate her food and had taken up refuge under the day bed in my office. She was, in a woefully lacking word, unhappy, and was there any other antibiotic we could try?

Then I spent a while on the phone, listening to Dr. Kirk talking to himself as he discussed our options. It sounded like this: No, no, nope. That's not strong enough. That's not going to work. Nope, nope, nope.

Then, finally:

"Well, we could try this," he said. "But here's the thing-"

I really love it when there are things. Really.

"They don't make this pill-"

I have to pill the cat? But how will I do that without crushing it into a fine powder and putting it into food? Isn't there a nice liquid form we could use?

"In a small enough size for kitty cats," Dr. Kirk continued. "So here's what you'll have to do..."

What I have to do involves taking the capsule and opening it, dividing the yellow powder inside into two equal parts and then putting half back into the half of capsule and trying to work out a way to get that into the cat.

"Oh," I said. "That's all? Got any bombs I can diffuse while I'm at it?"

But, as I think this blog has recently proved, I am insane and I will do for my pets what needs to be done, dragging Joe (sometimes kicking and screaming) along for the ride. This morning I dragged him out of bed at 6:30. Then I dragged Vader out from underneath the daybed. We did her eye treatment (more on that in a minute) and then set her on the dining room table and set to work puzzling out just how the hell we were going to get her new antibiotic into her.

We tried food first. No dice as Vader is still in the mindset that I am trying to poison her. Joe then came up with the brilliant idea to dissolve the powder into water and then use the syringe to get the liquid into her. This idea worked. There was a little drool (this time yellow, just for something different) but it worked.

And there was much rejoicing.

That is until we noticed the facial swelling. Yep, that's right. I said facial swelling. There's a pouch under Vader's left eye that's just growing bigger by the day. It's making it hard for her to open her eye. You know, harder than the yellow sludge was already making things. So finally, as Dr. Kirk's office was already closed for the night, I Googled it.

The under eye pouch is a potential sign that Vader is having an allergic reaction to the eye ointment. It's an ointment that the vast majority of cats have no troubles tolerating but, as this blog as proved, Vader is far from an ordinary cat.

Looks like I'll be making yet another call to Dr. Kirk in the morning. He'll be so pleased.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Cat Has What?? (Part Four)


Poor Vader.

She really is going to kill us all in our sleep and you know what? I don't even blame her. That poor cat is so damn miserable and it seems that no matter how much I try to make her life better, I just manage to piss her off more.

You'll remember the last visit to the vet, the one where the vet just spat out every scary sounding disease (lung worms, brain fungus, cancer...) like she had some kind of strange form of Tourette's or something. I left that visit quite upset but resigned to stick to our current treatment plan until such time as things necessitated a change.

That time was Monday when Vader had such a violent and lengthy sneezing fit that Joe honestly thought Vader might kick it right then and there on our dining room table (it's not like we use it when we eat...or any other time really). She didn't. But the sneezing fit was combined with the appearance of so much goop coming out of her eyes that she could barely see out of them. This required me to try and hold her down with one hand (Joe refuses to have anything to do with the cats'- well, anything and is particularly traumatized by cat snot) and wipe out her eyes with the other hand. Vader did not appreciate this and me trying to explain that I was just trying to help her see did nothing for my case.

So I called the vet. But this time I called the dogs' vet. Yes, my cats and dogs have separate vets. I went through three veterinary hospitals with Big before settling with the one I chose. The first two couldn't figure out what was going on with my dog. Dr. Kirk did. So he got the dogs and I got the pleasure of driving an hour and fifteen minutes for the pleasure of his company.

Believe me, it's worth it.

I never bothered with the cats though because I thought it was important that I have an animal at a vet clinic that offers emergency services in my actual area because if you're a client, they'll often agree to look at whatever animal you need looked at, even if that animal isn't a regular patient. That's how my cats ended up where they are (were?) now. This hospital was the second for the cats because the first couldn't figure out what was going on with Vader. The second hospital experienced some success but after the lung worm and brain fungus visit, I decided that I would subject my poor long suffering Vader to the very long car ride and bring her to Dr. Kirk because obviously, we needed a new opinion.

He looked at Vader yesterday. He weighed her. She's down to eight pounds now which does not make me happy. If you shaved her down, there wouldn't be anything left. Things got better for Vader when Dr. Kirk stuck a swab in her eye to get a sample of the green gunk sealing her eye shut.

"Can you say (insert some difficult tongue twisting medical jargon here)?" he said then.

"Not even a little," I said in response.

He took the swab and left the room to look at it under the microscope. Meanwhile, Vader was trying to burrow her way to safety through the wall. She was unsuccessful. When Dr. Kirk came back, he had a theory.

And that theory was that my cat has (wait for it...) chlamydia.

"Wait, I'm sorry, what?" I asked. "She's got what?"

It's different than it is in people. Which is nice to hear because, again, like when the second vet passed down a (false) diagnosis of herpes (so glad, by the way, that I now have a blog with contains both buzz words 'herpes' and 'chlamydia') my first (vocalized) thought was "my god, I should hope so. It's not like she's spends her nights down at the docks picking up sailors!"

Because she doesn't. At least, not that I know of.

So the new hilarious diagnosis came with two prescriptions, neither of which were carried in the office. So I took Vader and went to Large Mart to get them filled. One is some kind of twice a day super antibiotic. The other is an eye ointment which we're supposed to squeeze into each eye every twelve hours. Repeat until symptoms (which will likely relapse, Dr. Kirk says) go away.

Great. So I left town with a plan and a good feeling.

Then came this morning. Joe and I tried to give Vader her antibiotic. It's not the first time she's had an antibiotic and the other times went remotely well. She wasn't happy by any means (probably hasn't been happy since the day we brought home that first damn dog) but we managed to get it into her.

The super antibiotic didn't go over so well. No, the super antibiotic caused her to foam at the mouth. And I don't mean figuratively or anything, I mean full fledged foaming that would've scared the bejeezus out of Cujo. The foaming led to lots and lots of drool and saliva and long fat tracks of slime just pouring out of Vader's mouth.

I am dead serious. And if you thought Joe was traumatized by cat snot, you should have seen him this morning.

Vader scratched me across the neck hard enough to draw blood and then drooled and spat and whatever else all over the dining room table. My brother and sister-in-law bought me some tablecloths a while back and one of them was a spill resistant cloth because my sister-in-law often seems to spill whatever when she's visiting. I think they got it as kind of a joke but you know what? I have to tell them how much I LOVE that tablecloth because it makes clean up a breeze! If you're reading this, Alison, where did that tablecloth come from? Do you remember? Because I need more.

Anyway, once I finished trying to mop up Vader's face, she bit me and then ran away and took refuge in the furthest, darkest corner of the daybed in my office. I decided to call Dr. Kirk and ask if we could try mixing the antibiotic in with some canned food because maybe that would go over better.

Fast forward to this evening when we tried to do (with the vet's blessing) just that.

Yeah, that didn't go over better. It was pretty much a repeat performance of this morning only Joe was covering in a lot less cat slime this time around (something he vastly preferred).

But we did manage to get the ointment into her eyes, so that's something anyway, right?

So right now, poor Vader is sitting on the dining room table, glaring at me out of her one working eye. This may be my very last blog if she does somehow manage to smother me with a pillow while I'm sleeping tonight. If this ends up being the case, then please, on my headstone, make sure it reads "she really did try to make things better."

And yet, seems to have somehow ended up making things worse.

And thus ends another day in paradise...

Hope you all have a more successful weekend than my week has been (is that even close to proper grammar?).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

November 2010 Book Report

This is a couple of days late, I know. I'm sure you all having been waiting anxiously computer side to find out just what books I managed to read last month. I'll be honest with you...I didn't read a whole hell of a lot in November. I had all these good intentions (isn't the world founded on good intentions?) to do otherwise but it just didn't work out. Blame NaNoWriMo. Blame the two biggest shopping weekends of the entire year. Blame me because I was just too damn tired to do anything more.

Anyway, here's what I did manage to accomplish:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix- J.K. Rowling- My fave book, I think, in the entire series. I read the British edition and I have to allow myself a moment of immaturity when I read the line said by one of the Wesley twins. It’s the scene where the gang’s talking about the stress of OWLs and George (I think) says, “We managed to keep our peckers up somehow.” I had to go get the American edition and see how this was translated because I didn’t remember reading that line. It was translated as “we managed to keep our spirits up somehow.” Jolly good fun.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince- J.K.. Rowling- The start of the Great Snape Debate. Is he good, is he evil? I absolutely hate the part where Harry and Malfoy fight because of what Harry does to Malfoy (sectrsemptra) because it’s scary. I love the Christmas scene where Harry says he’s Dumbledore’s man through and through. That’s the scene I missed seeing in the movie.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- J.K. Rowling- I read somewhere where someone thought this book should be called “Harry Potter and the Overlong Camping Trip.” It’s not my favorite book of the series (See “Order of the Phoenix”) but it’s a great end to a fantastic story…even if Harry gave his children stupid names.

Shades of Midnight- Lara Adrian- The next in her sexy vampire series. I don’t know why I keep reading them except that they’re a quick easy read and as I am scrambling to accomplish at least one of the goals I set back in January, I happen to be in need of quick easy reads. Don’t judge. At least not until next month when I start my Sweet Valley High retrospective…

And well, that's all she read, folks. Let's check and see where this total lack of progress sticks me as we enter the final month of 2010...

November Books: 4

Year To Date Total: 92

Books Remaining: 8

8 books. 8 damn books. All right. I can do eight books. Probably. I've done it before (maybe not in December) and I can do it again. I mean, it's not like I'm going to be spending December baking Christmas cookies (funny typo alert: I first typed 'bookies' instead of 'cookies'...made me laugh) or anything.

If you need me for anything (besides the baking of any sort of holiday anything), I'll be on the couch with my nose in a book.