Saturday, April 28, 2012

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Last night we went out and saw Raiders of the Lost Ark in a local theater that shows old movies.

It was so much fun. I never got to see it in a theater because I was 1 when it came out, but have seen it MANY, MANY times on tape, yes tape and DVD. It was like reliving my childhood, watching Harrison Ford swinging from his whip and taking out the evil Nazis.

Right before a lot of memorable scenes I would say the lines to myself or pantomime something from a scene right before it happened. My husband kept looking at me like I was a dork. Well I am sorry, I am.

I love that the Hollywood Theater in Dormont shows all these old movies. So many I never got to see because I either wasn't born or was to little.

My family made me and my cousins movie whores for lack of a better term. We tried to go to as many first showings first day as possible. And this was long before midnight premiers. I can remember being the 1st and 2nd in line to see Mission Impossible, standing in line from 7 am for 3 hours. Plus because we were within the first 100, we got to see it for free and won prizes.

Ah...those were the days. Too bad we have to work now and can't really do midnight premiers. Oh well, whatcha gonna do.

 I finished another book. The Taker by Alma Katsu. First in a trilogy, it is a unique take on immortality. Lanore McIlvrae grew up in a small village in Maine during the 1790s and is enamored with the son of the village's creator, Jonathan St. Andrew. He is the playboy of the village, yet she follows him like a longing, love sick puppy.

After years of being his friend and seeing him with all the other single AND married women of the village, like I said playboy, she finally sleeps with him, only to end up pregnant. Obviously for this time period this is quite the scandal her family wishes to keep quiet, so they send her away to Boston to a convent to have the child and give it away.

Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men never go exactly as planned.. Lanny, as she is affectionately called by Jonathan, doesn't go to the convent to which her parents wish her to go and winds up being picked up by the consorts of the evil Adair.

The story follows Lanny's recollection of her life to a present day ER doctor back in the now small town of St. Andrew, Luke Findley who is supposed to be checking her for wounds, after the local PD find her walking down a deserted road alone, covered in blood she claims to be that of Jonathan.

The story is sad and heart-wrenching at times, but somehow you just want to know what is going to happen next to Lanny, Jonathan and Luke. It was a pretty good read. The second installment of the series, The Reckoning, comes out June 19th.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Making Up For Lost Time

Since our last visit I guess I made up for lost time in my reading.

I have read three books since last Wednesday. No, I wasn't speed reading. Just my normal pace. They were really good!

Ok, so maybe the last two I did kind of zoom through. It took me a day and a half to read the 2nd and the 3rd I read directly after I finished the previous and was done at 9 last night. When I was done I felt like my brain was broken.

First, in chronological order of reading was Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh.

This is the second book in her Guild Hunter's series. For me it was the last one to read because I couldn't find it when I bought all the other books. 

The premise of the series is Angels are among us, but not as we normally think of them. The world is ruled over by 10 Archangels called the Cadre of Ten. Their subordinates, regular angels keep things going in day to day life, but what is so different is that angels can create...wait for it....VAMPIRES.

After blood tests, if the angels find you to be compatible with their toxin that creates vampires, you are allowed to be Made, but at a price. You must live as servants for a 50 year contract to the Angel that governs your area. If you live in NYC, you are under the Archangel of New York, Rafael.

The Hunters Guild is a world wide organization that was created to keep vampires in check. If one that is still under contract or has served his time and now lives among everyone else goes berserk bloodlust or is on the run from their sire, Guild  Hunters track them down and bring them back. Like supernatural bounty hunters. 

The first books have followed Elena Deveraux, Guild Hunter who is what they call Hunter Born, able to scent out vampires based on their own unique smell. 

In the first book, Angel's Blood, Elena helps Rafael, the Archangel of New York, track a rogue Angel....I won't spoil the rest of it for you.

In Archangel's Kiss, Elena is now Rafael's lover and mate. After surviving their last adventure, they are summoned by the Archangel Lijuan to the Forbidden City, Bejing, to meet her new creations....not Vampires.

This series was overall a great, great fast, fun read. I definitely recommend it for those who like to read in the vein of the Paranormal Romance genre. Lots of action and romance and intrigue.

On to the next two books I read. I say both because they are Books 1 and 2 in the YA Darkness Rising trilogy by Kelley Armstrong.

 The Gathering is book one. Follow Maya Delaney as she discovers the hidden truth about herself and her friends as they grow up in a tiny town on Victoria Island, British Columbia. Their little hamlet of Salmon Creek was created and is basically run by the St. Cloud Corporation.  (If you have read the Women of the Otherworld series, then it should ring a bell). A small drug research facility is the heart of Salmon Creek and all its residents are tied to the company in one way or another, with the exception of Maya's dad, the park ranger for the area....or so she thought.

After finding out the horrible truth of being abandoned by her birth mother, while she kept her twin brother, and being genetically engineered in a lab, Maya and her friends find themselves trapped by a forest fire and find their escape hampered by unknown gun toting assailants.

I loved it, and I am sooo glad I had The Calling with me when I finished it yesterday, because the first book ends so abruptly leaving you going...wait a minute...WHAT'S HAPPENED TO THE KIDS????

The Calling literally picks up right where The Gathering left off. After boarding a helicopter provided by the St. Cloud Corporation, the kids are whisked away to the southern end of the island to Victoria, BC. Or are they....

I hate to give any more of the second book away because there is so much involved in it. And I HATE that the third book isn't out yet. Kelley doesn't even offer a hint on her site. So I just have to be patient about it. HAHAHAHA, me patient.

Now this YA trilogy as well as the YA Darkest Powers Trilogy all tie into her Women of the Otherworld world (I hate to sound redundant, but don't know how else to word it.). You don't HAVE to read the other Women series, because it is really big, but I do STRONGLY recommend you do because it is a lot of fun to read. 

As you can see I love to read...a lot. I will have to take some pictures of all (well most) the books we have. We have stacks of them everywhere. If you have read the Dirk Pitt series by Clive Cussler (one of my favorite of all time authors), imagine St. Julien Perlmutter's home with all the books stacked everywhere. Well that is what my house feels like most of the time. As soon as we buy books, and we don't just buy a few books, we buy LOTS of them, we set them down in stacks and as soon as we are done reading one, we wind up just setting the one we finished down and pick up the next.

Oh well, whatcha gonna another!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"The Name of the Wind"

I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but I have a book problem. Well my husband and I have a book problem. We read A LOT! It really does boggle the mind the amount of books we have in our house. We aren't really library people. We did that for a while, but there is just something about knowing you own the book, can take as long or as little time to read it as possible and know that when you want to read it again, it will always be there.

In October of 2011 I started what I call my Book Journal. I write down the date I finished reading the book, title and author just to keep track of what I am reading. I have always been curious as to how many books I read (or reread) in a year. So this is my attempt at keeping track of that. So far I have been diligent in keep track. I have found that on average I can ready 4-5 books a month. My husband the speed reader does about 8-10 a month. And no we don't just read, we have other hobbies and do other activities and we both have second jobs. Scary I know.

The book I finished yesterday really slowed me down this month. Especially since I started reading it last month. But what do you expect when it is 722 pages long and the print was miniscule.


I don't quite know how to introduce this book. I guess I can start by how I came upon it. I was trolling Barnes and Noble online searching through the sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal sections and ended up on a page that showed most purchased in those genres. I am always intrigued by covers and titles when it comes to finding new authors. This one caught my eye, so I decided to read the synopsis.

Let me just say I am SO glad I did. Yes I capped, emboldened and underlined that. My next trip to Barnes and Noble had me searching high and low for this book and luckily they had it in stock. I was daunted not so much by the amount of pages, but by the tiny print.

I really hate tiny print in paper backs. When you get to the middle of the books, it becomes a struggle to read those words near the binding and half the time you end up cracking the binding which I HATE.

But back to the book. Aside from what the synopsis told me, I really didn't know what to expect. I am not traditionally a fan of fantasy books. You will never catch me reading Tolken (yes be shocked). But from the beginning Rothfuss pulled me in. The story of Kvothe (pronounced Quothe) from his beginnings as a trouper, traveling with his family from village to town to city putting on plays and performing music to his "magic" education at the University at such a young age were so engrossing that I would find myself lost in his world in the Commonwealth. When I would have to put the book down to do work or go to bed I always felt like I should read on just a little bit more.

I don't know how to accurately describe the book without giving away too much of the plot. But suffice it to say I highly recommend you read this book. And I have to say that with in 10 minutes of finishing it, I was online ordering the second book in the trilogy since I haven't been able to find it in stores. I hope to have it by the end of the week.

Go get lost with Kvothe as he travels from the roads of the Commonwealth to Tarbean as he struggles to survives and his adventures at the University and his quest for more knowledge and the name of the wind.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Photos of the day

Losing What I Can

It's been 2 weeks since I started Weight Watchers and I have lost 5 lbs! Yay me! I am kind of excited because it's not as hard as I thought it might be. I think some might call it tedious checking points for EVERYTHING you eat, but the point is to MAKE you look at what your eating and think about what you're putting in your body.

Last night we went grocery shopping because, that's what people do when they run low on food in their houses. :) But seriously, the only reason I am every hesitant to buy produce, which I love, is because it's so freakin' expensive. While normally we try to keep our grocery bills to around $30-$50 each trip. We stocked up on fruits and veggies we needed to keep this new lifestyle going (yes, I am going to call it a lifestyle, NOT a diet) and all the other items we needed and when we checked out, I think I had heart palpitations for a minute there. Over $100 were spent.

It sucks living in an area where we don't have close access to grown products. I guess I was spoiled living in Texas that most produce was grown in the area, or a relatively short distance away. Of course the ridiculous cost of gasoline these days doesn't help anything when staples have to be trucked in. But what are you going to do.

One of the things I tried new on the recommendation of a friend and my mom was Greek yogurt. I tried the Dannon Oikos Vanilla and it wasn't bad. A little more tart than your average grocery store yogurt, and a little gritty to me, but all in all, palatable. I will try a couple other brands and decide which I like best. Plus strawberries were on sale, and they are soooo good. Yes I have a strawberry obsession. If I wanted to I could eat a pound at a time. Of course I would have a terrible stomach ache at the end.

I think that is part of my problem. I eat because it tastes good. Not to feel full, or to sate any feelings. When I feel low or depressed, I tend to NOT eat, it's weird. But I love tasting food. Sweets and salty. Thought I am partial to salty. Nuts, chips, crackers, cheese. I will salt just about anything, watermelon especially, brings out the sweetness of the fruit. My main downfall is ice cream. Turkey Hill Ice Cream is the best I can find around here in store bought. If I am get ice cream from a local shop, it's either The Milk Shake Factory in South Side or Klavon's in the Strip District.

Ok. ENOUGH about ice cream. Just makes me want some.

Well I am hoping I will keep up with this better than my gym life ever did. So far so good, but like I said, it's only the start of week 3.

Wish me luck.