Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oh hai, Jebus iz bornd

1 'Roun dis tiyem, Caesar Augustus wuz like, "I can has cenzus?"2 ('Coz while Quirinius was Teh Boz of Syria, is invisible census!)3 And all teh doodz went home for teh saying, "I is heer!"4 So Joseph went from Naz'reth to Judeeah to Bethlehemm whar David wuz borned, 'coz David wuz hiz graete-graete gran-daddie,5 An Mary went wif him, 'coz she was gonna be married wif him an she was preggerz.6 When wuz time for teh baybee,7 it wuz a boy, so he wuz wrapd in blanket like burrito an placd him in fud dish, cuz innkeeper wuz liek, no room here kthxbye!

8 Then there wuz sheep-doods in teh field, an they wuz watchin teh sheep in teh dark. Iz vry vry boring. srsly.9 An suddenly, visible angel! An glory! O noez!!10 But teh angel sed, "DONT AFRAID OF ENYTHING! it r ok, you can has gud news for all teh doodz!11 Todai in da city ov David, you can has sayvur! is Christ da Lord! w00t!12 Iz sign fer u, find da baybee wrapd like brrito in a big fud dish."13 An suddenly, moar angelz! They sez, 14 "w00t to teh Ceiling Cat! An peace fer doodz he luffs! Kthxbai."

15 An when da angelz go invisible again, sheep-doodz sed, "sweet, nao we find teh brrito-baybee sayvur!"16 So dey left da sheeps (sheeps r vry borng) and found Joe an Mary and da baybee in da fud dish.17 An when dey saw it wuz baybee an not brrito, they told evrywun he wuz kewl,18 An all teh doodz who herd were lyke, "neat-o brrito!"19 An Mary wuz lyke, "o rly?"20 Teh sheep-doodz sed, "Yay fer Ceiling Cat! Was not invisible brrito!"21 On dai noomber ate, it wuz tiem 2 circumcize him (iz laik getting fixd) an they called him Jebus, 'coz teh angel sed tht wuz hiz name.

Luke 2:1-21, LOLcat Bible translation

(I know, I know...going straight to hell, but I just can't stop laughing. I luv the damn LOLcats!!!!)

Merry Xmas Everyone!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

moar tyme off!

I'm enjoying my time off and yesterday I spent most of the morning and early afternoon shopping and not really buying. lol. I went to all the local thrift stores to scope out stuff like furniture and housewares for the new apartment, hit the "bargain" stores where they have overstocks and random selections of things not wanted by the major department stores. You just never know WHAT you'll find and lord knows, I am not too proud to buy no-name stuff. Anyways, it was kinda fun regardless of the traffic (on a Monday?!) and crowds. I picked up a pair of indoor slippers for DF, his Christmas present. We are going very economical this year. Probably just one or two small useful gifts each. Our money needs to be saved for the new apartment and oh yeah, that wedding thing. heh.

One of the stops in my turn about town was at the aforementioned library. I wanted to pick up some books to tide me over during the holiday season. Rather than doing a lot of research, I just grabbed some random titles, some by authors I haven't read and some that aren't in genres that I normally read. It can't hurt...they're library books and free. (yay!) Here is my wee haul...

I've been doing more cooking lately which is both a money saver and also a hobby of mine that actually relaxes me. Last night I whipped up a pizza using all of the leftover toppings and sauce that we had from last week. It kind of amazes me to think that for about $4 in ingredients I can make a pizza as large as a $15 one in a delivery place. I make my crust from scratch (yep, water, yeast, flour, etc. knead and rise) and one never knows exactly how it will turn out. Always an adventure. Anyways, it was good and DF and I devoured the whole thing over a marathon of Little People, Big World. If you haven't seen it, this is a great little show on TLC about a family made up of dwarf parents and their kids, whom are both regular-sized and dwarf. The show basically just follows their lives and how they make their way in a big-sized world. It's very interesting in a 'real life' sort of way without a lot of gimmicky stuff. Last night's episodes included the very sad death of a family friend and it got both DF and I all teary-eyed. If anything, it reminded us that life is short and that it's very important to let the ones you love know how much you care.

Speaking of the people you care about, I'm happy to say that the anticipated conflict with my parents over my engagement has actually not materialized in the way I had expected. They have been pretty circumspect and although I know they wish I would marry a nice Christian boy, they do like DF and know he is a good person. Overall, I think it will be ok. Still a bit uncomfortable and tricky in terms of people not stepping on each others toes and all, but it seems that we're all trying to be adults about it. They want to be at the wedding and my mom offered to send me a bit of money to help defray the costs of the dress. So that is unexpected. And hopefully a good omen for the future. :)

Finally, I share with you all a neat little link to an online radio service I use a lot through the holidays. It doesn't cost anything and requires no special software downloads. You can pick your favorite kind of holiday music (classic, religious, jazz, contemporary, etc.) or make a mix. I like to have it playing on my computer while I blog and surf the web. So for anyone who's interested, I hope you enjoy.

And now I am off to read a bit, sort through my stuff a bit (gotta begin the packing thing) and probably make my Christmas dinner cooking list. Even though it's just DF and me, I am going to make the whole dinner including a turkey. *g*

Sunday, December 21, 2008

100 dresses later...

ok, so maybe it was more like 30 dresses, but anyways. Time for more random updates...

The wedding dress trying-on spree went very well. My cousin and I were able to narrow down which styles and cuts look good on me. Some of my favorites can be seen by clicking here and here and here and here and here. Your input, feedback, etc. is of course appreciated. Funny enough, I sent my mom pictures of about 30 or 40 dresses and the ones she picked as her favs were exactly the same as my favs. And my cousin's. And lisabea's! (woot!) So I guess that means my instincts are pretty good. hopefully. Now the great ebay search begins.

I'm officially on Christmas holiday aka time off work. I had hoped to take some half days off last week (particularly Friday afternoon) in order to use up some vacation days that I'd accumulated before they go away at the end of the year. Unfortunately, there were some crises that came up which only I could negotiate and I ended up spending my entire day scrambling around the office fighting fires. So much for that. pfft. Which left me feeling very grumpy and rather non-holiday-spirit-ish.

Bookwise, I'm halfway through Broken Wing. It's easy to read and while not ground breaking, a nice solid romance. It's nice to curl up with a book during the holidays and I'm glad I saved this one for that purpose. Very cozy. heh.

In major news, DF and I have put down a deposit on an apartment. Hope to move in around the first of the new year. If you've been around my blog for long you've probably read my ranting and whining at my roommate situation. I'm just getting too old to have to live with college kids and clean up after them. Anyways, we're really excited about the new place. It's in an apartment community that is not of the cookie-cutter modern variety. Mainly older and retired folks. Our apartment will be in a historic building, wood floors, big windows, closed-up fireplaces. Oh and radiator heaters!!! Best of all, it's within about a minute walk from the library and historic walking mall. The library is literally around the corner. And what a gorgeous building it is (as seen in photo here). I'm very excited to be able to just drop in any time and pick up books, CDs, videos and whatnot.

So that's what's going on in sulaland. Hope everyone is having a relatively low-stress holiday season. Now I'm off to go cook up an African meal for DF and one of our friends from Ghana. Tis the season and all that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

obligatory update

ack, poor wee blog. how i neglect thee.

Is everyone else full into the holiday swing of things? I've been at a few rounds of parties (coworkers, etc.) which is nice but has had the unfortunate side effect of bumping the scale up more than I would like. Back to the WW tracking thing. Gotta do it. But I had almost forgotten how many g-d points cheesecake is. le sigh.

I've been taking random days and half-days off work in order to use up my accrued vacation days before they vaporize upon the dawn of a new year. Tomorrow, I'm skipping to go try on wedding dresses. Yup. And so it begins. lol. My cousin is going to go with me which is good because I have no clue about this stuff. She's getting married in May and has already navigated the waters of "wedding dress shopping". Quite frankly, I wish we could do what men do and rent the damned things. Why shell out $$$ for a dress I will wear once? pfft. Anyways, tomorrow's expedition is intended to be an exploratory "what kind of style looks good on me and what kind should I avoid" trip. If I find the perfect style, I may just order it online from a Chinese vendor. (no really...I just might. lol)

In book news, I finished Adrien! I had had to put it down for a bit because Jake was making me twitchy. But I'm happy to say that although things were heavy, it turned out satisfactorily in the end. Um, the VERY end. Last page. Actually, last few sentences. Josh makes you work for it, dammit! Perhaps when I get over my lazy ennui, I will attempt something more structured in the way of a review.

But for now, I'm going back to curling up on the couch with DF (oh lookee, new acronym for new status of fiance) and watching movies.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

And the winner is...


Renee! Her winning entry of how to have fun for under $4:
Double cappuccino ($3.85) at my favorite coffee place, a book, my ipod. Bliss.

I must be getting old. In college, it would have been the free condoms at the Student Health Center and my boyfriend (now husband). ;-)

I like both suggestions. *g* And I could really go for that cappuccino right about now. Thanks to everyone for playing and hey, go buy Carrie's book What a Scoundrel Wants. It's under $4. And will entertain you for hours!

Monday, December 8, 2008

MLM - wedding edition

Since weddings are very much on my mind now, this short clip seemed apropos. Specially for a Monday. Yay love!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

In which I buy out the store

I got a call from my local Borders today telling me that my order of Broken Wing had arrived. That was quick! I only placed the request on Monday. woot! (hey, Kristie I finally got it!) I had some Borders Bucks to blow, and I figured that I could pick up this book as well as copies of Carrie Lofty's new release at the same time.

Lo and behold, this time when I went to the Romance section, right smack in the L's (somewhere after Stephanie Laurens and before Julia London), snuggled two copies of What a Scoundrel Wants. So I bought them both. The entire stock. heh. So as far as Borders is concerned, this new book is so hot that it is flying off the shelves one day after release. Must stock up! (At least I hope that's how the statistics will look). Anyways, I now have one print copy for me (I have the e-book but there's nothing like paper) and a copy for one lucky reader in this week's giveaway. If you haven't already entered your suggestion for fun things to do under $4 and a chance to win, you still have a little time. Go for it!

After snagging my loot, I hunted down a section of the store I had hitherto never set foot in. The wedding planners/organizers. Oh dear. I grabbed a stack of them and went to the coffee shop area to peruse and compare. First of all, it's amazing to me how much money the "typical" wedding costs. S'rsly? Half of the stuff that is on the list seems extravagant and wasteful to me. We're going to be doing this very much on the cheap. I didn't buy any of the books; I really just wanted to get an idea of what kind of a book I might want to find online (for cheap...see, I'm already working on a budget!).

Anyways, overall a very productive trip. Now I want to curl up with my copy of WASW and pick up where I left on in the e-book.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fun for under $4 - contest!

It's not often that my wee blog holds a contest. Primarily because I am too poor to buy loot to give out and also because I'm generally too lazy to organize one. But one of my fav blogger/authors, Carrie Lofty, is coming out with a debut book and although I'm only halfway through my review copy, I can tell you's a good 'un! Fans of historical romance, clever dialogue, and derring-do take note. You want to read this book. (More on this later...I plan to review it this week).

As for the contest. Well, you may have noticed from the cover, that this book is going for the really unbeatable price of $3.99. Seriously? What kind of fun can one find for the bargain price of under four bucks (or the equivalent in your home currency)? This is your contest...write in the comments and give me your best suggestions for fun things that cost less than $4. Winner will receive (obviously) a copy of What a Scoundrel Wants without having to pay a dime. How cool is that? And because I've lived outside the U.S. for most of my life and since Carrie's husband is a Brit, I'll open this up to readers anywhere. You're all eligible...postage frustrations notwithstanding. Go forth and win!

I have the honor of hosting Carrie on the DIK blog for the next three days, so please stop by and see what kind of fun we can cook up.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

what happened during my holiday...

Yep. It's official. Been together for almost five years in two countries and three languages. We've talked about taking the next step for a while now. Today, we stopped by my house to drop some stuff off (after being out of town for the last few days) and there was a FedEx box for DBF. As we were driving to our friend's place, he opened the box and removed a ring. Of course, I was DRIVING and had to pull over so that he could put it on my finger. lol. Silly man. :)

Anyways, it is shiny and small and simple. I keep looking at it and playing with it. And wondering how i'm going to break the news to my disapproving parentals. *sigh*

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

library take

I really like the whole 'put it on hold using the internet and get an email when it's ready' thing at my library. In this case, the book I snagged was Lisa Kleypas' Seduce Me at Sunrise. Sure it's a hard-cover, large-print edition, but so what? I didn't have to pay for it. heh. I am looking forward to this one. Gypsy heros...yum! I hope it is as good as my expectations. At the very least, the cover is delish. lol.

While there, I quickly scanned the shelves for a few more books to take home and ended up with The Temptation a medieval by Claudia Dain and Confessions at Midnight by Jacquie D'Allessandro. I am trying to remember if I've ever read any Claudia Dain. I don't think so. I do like a well-written medieval, so again...hopeful but cautious. I already sped through the D'Allessandro book this morning. It was cute and hot and a very easy read. A widow who is not only NOT a virgin but who loved her late husband and misses teh sex. How refreshing. *g* I'd recommend it for a low-angst comfort read.

And finally, a pictorial response to my pahtnah's recent James Bond post. hey, lb, here's lookin' at you kid.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


huh, it's the middle of the week already? Time does fly. I didn't get a blessed thing done on that silly school project until tonite at which point I buckled down and knocked it out in an hour and a half. pfft. Seems that I need to quit putting things off in the fear that they will be hard. Easy to say, not always easy to do.

I read more Adrien tonight. *sniff* Actually, I did get choked up and almost cried. I'm up to the bit where Jake comes over to Adrien's apartment and they talk. And stuff. And it's so bittersweet and heartrending. arg. I had to put it down. Small doses at a time.

In other news, People magazine reveals that Hugh Jackman is the sexiest man alive. My reaction: o'rly, like we didn't already know? heh.

Monday, November 17, 2008

getting started

Thanks to everyone who offered reading suggestions in my last post. Much appreciated. I now have some stuff on my PBS wish list, the library hold list and at least one book in my hot little hand. Oh and come December 1, I will have $15 in Borders Bucks to convert into more books. mmmm...books. Kristie, one of them will be that quest book, I promise. It looks like my cuppa. :)

So I am putting aside my fears of being hurt by evil Jake and have recommenced reading Death of a Pirate King. Of course it's awesome because let's face it...Josh Lanyon's writing just flows like a river and even though I see the way the current is taking me and that there are rapids ahead and omg, we just might capsize, i just can't help but let it whisk me along. le sigh. I'm almost halfway through. But I will say that I still hate Jake and want him to experience excrutiating pain. I'm vindictive that way. grrr.

In other news, I still have 2 or 3 pages of a group paper to write and submit. Actually I should have finished it last weekend but procrastination is my middle name. Tomorrow night. Yeah, that's the ticket. Only four more courses to go until I finish this MBA. I'll just keep telling myself that I can make it, regardless of how tired I am of the whole thing.

And finally, just for kicks I give you this photo that I took a few years ago in India. It never ceases to amaze me in all my travels and in all of the countries I've lived in, how ingenious and downright TALENTED people can be in transporting goods with only a bike.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

trying to pick back up

so, i have no clue how to get back into my blogging groove. I've been gone for such a long time that I don't even know what the new releases are or who is flaming whom or any of the gossip. le sigh.

i skimmed through an old Susan Johnson book last night. "Wicked". Yes, the sex is hot (which is why i read it) but what's up with the virgin who is deflowered and then proceeds to talk like a sailor and engage in a weeklong orgy? F'real? And how bout the hero who is 22 and has slept his way through the entire ton? What a sexy dude. lol. um, anyways. I'm making fun but really, I do need some recommendations.

Help me out!

What are the hottest new reads that I have to get?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I know I promised a return to hot menz and a detour from politics, but I just gotta share this song/video. It's catchy and makes me grin like a loon. So until I dig myself out from under this pile of work and school catch-up...enjoy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yes WE Did.

Good morning America!

It's been a grueling but exhilirating couple of months and the last two weeks have been exhausting. I've been volunteering at the Obama campaign office in my small Virginia town, going down there every night after work and all weekend...basically any time I was not at my job or in classes. Last week in the runup to the election, I took vacation time so that I could be there full-time. I ended up being given the job of organizing all of the volunteers that were coming in to help, assigning them to tasks, sending canvassers to satellite staging locations, monitoring which turfs were covered, delegating other prep tasks (literature sorting, data entering, etc.) to small teams. It was stressful but exciting, and I'm still recovering from 10+ days of sixteen hour days on my feet.

There was truly something wonderful about the community coming together to elect this very special candidate. It's hard for me to articulate the spirit of hope and positive energy that surrounded us. I think of the elderly woman who would make her way to our office with the help of a cane and feed paper into the shredder. The high school students who can't vote but who would make phone calls, enter data, or help tally up the numbers from the day's activities. The blue collar family who is struggling to make ends meet on less than 25k a year, who were denied food stamps for the third time last week because they are "not poor enough" but who spent hours each day going out to knock on doors and talk to voters. The quiet young black veteran who showed up to help and after we learned about his IT expertise gained in the Army, immediately set to work troubleshooting some of our computer and networking issues. The local volunteers who were the heart and soul of the office and the out of town volunteers who came down from D.C., Maryland and even New York to help provide assistance in the last Get Out the Vote push. People from every race, social class and creed coming together and working hard in what is really grueling, unglamourous work.

In the end, we were able to turn our city blue even if the surrounding county still went red (although we shaved off over 10 points from their margins which in itself is pretty amazing). It's not an easy area to be a Democrat. We had plenty of rude people walking by our storefront windows and yelling nasty things. The night before E-day, the car of one volunteer was side-swiped by someone yelling "Obama sucks". I couldn't tell you how many people came in to get a new yard sign because the ones they had kept getting stolen. I answered the phone and got yelled out by people telling me that they "weren't votin' for no goddammed Democrat". Other offices around the state suffered worse in the ways of vandalism and threats. My own parents sent me horrific email forwards about Obama being the "anti-christ" and other fear-mongering nonsense. Clearly change scares some people. But overall, I am very heartened by the willingness of so many people to come together and reject the divisive politics of the past.

Tuesday night as I sat in the embrace of my boyfriend, surrounded by a sea of tired, happy people, I wept tears of joy. Not only because my future children will grow up in a world where a man that looks like them can be president. But also because I have seen firsthand what can happen when individuals organize and work for the betterment of the whole community. I have made friends that I expect to keep for a lifetime and have met people in my area that I would never otherwise have known. It's been an amazing journey and it's only the beginning.

In closing, I just have to share one of the many grassroots contributions during this election. It's a zydeco band from Louisiana, my mom's homestate and a place I have lived. Not only is the music joyful and infectious but I just love seeing the mix of regular folks. (and as a speaker of french, I get a kick out of the Cajun french). :-)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy People Dancing on Planet Earth

A friend of mine passed this video along to me. Apparently this guy has made something of a name for himself going around the world and filming himself doing a goofy happy dance in each corner of the globe. And in this outting, he's joined by people from all over the world. It put a smile on my face, and I thought you all might enjoy it too.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Monday, October 6, 2008


wow, how quickly a year goes by! Apparently, I have now owned this little corner of virtual real estate for a year. It's been fun. I've met lots of new friends, started reading a whole new genre of romance (yay m/m!) and fallen in lurve with Richard Armitage (*swoon*) and the loveliness that is North and South. So to celebrate, I am going to revisit the epic "white shirt" photo and try to read a few chapters of my shiny new Josh Lanyon book. mmmm. books.

Thanks to everyone who stops by this little place, and I promise that I'll be back in 29 days. *g*

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yes we can. Yes I can.

o hai. Yes, it is true. I have once again fallen down on my blogging duties. But I'm here to tell you why and to let you know that my negligence may continue until about, say, November 5.

I don't need to tell anyone that we in the U.S. are engaged in a landmark Presidential election. I have been following the news, feeling alternatively very hopeful, very angry, and very worried. Since last week, I decided that sitting on the sidelines and wringing my hands wasn't enough. If there's to be a change, it has to come from the bottom up. We're the ones that have to get engaged. Get our hands dirty. Come out of our comfort zones and talk to our friends and neighbors and complete strangers. So I've been volunteering my time at the local Obama campaign office here in my small VA town. After work, on weekends, any block of time that I'm not at work or school. And while I know that I won't single-handedly change the course of the election, I know that I'm doing a small part to help. I might just be doing data entry, talking to people as they come in the door, organizing groups to knock on doors or answering the phone. But when you take a few people and put them together, they can make a difference. Let me tell you how uplifting it has been to work alongside people in my city that I would have never met. The little white-haired grandmothers who grew up under segregation and never would have dreamed to see this day. The blue collar worker who just came from a long shift of work. The white collar worker who comes in to volunteer hours after a 2+ hour commute back from D.C. High school students coming in to man the phone banks or tally data. Black, white, young, old, rich, poor, right and left...they're all there. We're all in this together for each other and for our community.

So while I promise not to turn this blog into a political zone (frankly, I'm not all that eloquent and prefer to squee over books anyways), I probably won't be posting a whole lot for the next 40 days. I've got work to do! :-)

Friday, September 12, 2008

library loot

Avast! So after a list posted by ciara about pirate novels, I was inspired to try to nab a few piratical romance novels from my local library. unfortunately, my online search queries yielded only one of the books on her pirate list was stocked in my library. fortunately, it was quickly available and reserved for me. Over my lunch break I wandered the paperback shelves and grabbed a couple of other titles that I've not yet read. Actually, it's been eons since I've visited my local library. So there were some books there that I don't recall seeing before. My little haul...

I'm 2/3 through this already. It's kind of goofy fun. Lots of anachronistic language but cheerful and kind of slapstick. And you gotta love the old skool cover. CHEST! heh. But I am a little annoyed by the distinct lack of shivering of timbers. if you know what i mean. hey, i know. i'm shallow, but at least i'm honest.

I always cruise by the F and G section of authors with my head turned sideways to read the spines. Lots of F and G authors that I like. Feather, Foley, Garwood, Goodman, etcetera. Hey, lookee a Gaelen Foley book that I haven't read! Blurb talks of an "irresistible Major Derek Knight...newly returned from India." k, I do like those Knight boys. I'll bite. Of course, as all visitors to the foreign eastern lands, this guy is supposed to have mad skilz in bedz. kama sutra and all that. I'm doubtful cuz back blurbs rarely live up to their hype, but we shall see...

Have I mentioned how bereaved I am that Ms. Hunter continues to let her obvious talents of writing medievals languish in favor of more mainstream european historical aka regency boredom? *sigh* That said, I do like her writing style. So against my better judgement, I picked up this one too. I haven't read anything about it yet. No reviews that I can recall. An overused plot device is indicated in the summary (the ol' hero purchases heroine in bidding game from wastrel male family member thang) but who knows how it may turn out.

And to top it all off, I am STILL working my way through Loretta Chase's The Lion's Daughter. I had started it and gotten about 1/3 through before losing interest and putting it down for a month or so. Then in the past week, I've started back where I left off, reading a chapter or two at a time before bed. It's interesting because although I would think that a book that took me this long to get through would be one that I disliked, it's not the case. I'm enjoying it. But for some reason I'm enjoying it better by taking my time rather than racing through. hmm.

ahhhh, books. and the amazingest part is that they're FREE!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

shiver me timbers

I have a definite 'thing' for the mystique and romance of the high seas. Nevermind that I turn green and empty the contents of my stomach whenever I myself dare to step aboard a boat. In my imagination, I'm deftly making my way across the deck, nimbly climbing the rigging or navigating the open ocean with my mad math skillz (snort). The drama and the sense of adventure that accompany seafaring tales always interest me. Be it a hot romance novel set onboard a ship, Johnny Depp in a pirate movie (rawr!) or British period mini-series about the Napoleanic Wars...I'm there. So when my netflix delivery this week turned out to be an episode of Horatio Hornblower, even though I had forgotten putting it on my queue sometime long ago, I was excited to curl up on a rainy day (today) and watch it.

The miniseries is an adaptation of the naval adventure series written by C.S. Forester. During my peace corps days, I listened to several audio versions of the books and found them to be both exciting yarns of derring do but also a fascinating character study of a man who is both shy and cerebral but also fierce and courageous. During the course of the series, he makes his way up the naval career ladder by using his quick wits and intelligence as well as a bloody good lot of luck. In this particular episode, Horatio goes from being an unemployed captain (war being temporarily over makes for an oversupply of naval officers) to being put in charge of a ship and sent on a secret mission to France. As always, he ends up entangled in the thick of some action and we're treated to raids on forts, cannons being blown up, hand to hand combat and lotsa ships shooting at each other. What could be better than lots of men waiving their big swords around? Waiving their big guns? lol. *ahem*

What do these films have to offer the romance fan? Well, for one thing there is plenty of chisel jawed Ioan (prounced yo-ahn) Gruffud to gaze upon. Then there are those lovely sailing ships and period costumed sailors and officers. Best of all, the hearty male camaraderie and brotherhood amongst the characters is touching and dare I say, has a hint of something deeper? Ok, I'm sure it was never meant to be seen as such, but my mind goes where it will. heh. So sue me.

Go swash a buckle and check this series out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lover Enshrined

Disclaimer: M'kay so this is totally not a "review". Because the way I see it...everyone who wanted to read this book has already done so and everyone who got pissed off at JRW after V's book has already decided not to bother. So rather than try to condense 500+ pages of book into one short review, I'm going to be lazy and just ramble about stuff that I liked/disliked/noticed/missed in Lover Enshrined.

That out of the way. First thing, this is not a romance. Repeat NOT a romance. Are there romantic elements? Sure thing, but in no way do they take center stage. But despite this fact or maybe even because of it, this book read better to me than the previous outting. There's lots of jumping around between the Phury/Cormia story, the JM/Blay/Quinn story, the lessers, the other random BDB dudes, Rhev (oh yes!), the Chosen (oh noes!) and the ever-more-violent war between the lessers and vamps. If you don't like the scene you're reading, just wait a minute cuz a totally new thread is going to be joined in a sec. Never a dull moment! Oh wait...yeah there are a few. Mainly anytime the "hero" is onstage. *sigh*

Phury is a disappointment. I have to say. He was never my fav Brother (yeah, that would be Rhage, duh) but I always had a soft spot for him and was looking forward to seeing him get his HEA. By the end of this book, as he was contemplating suicide I was urging him to go ahead and do it and save us all the trouble. Horrid, I know. But s'rsly. whine whine whine. Internal monologues. Woe is me. wahhhhh. And both he and Cormia indulged in my ultra-pet-peeve, the old "push you away for your own good cuz i am not worrrrrthy" schtick. ugh.

The upshot is that Cormia actually turned out to be ok. Her introduction in the previous book was less than stellar and I had zero hopes for her, but in fact she learns to grow something of a backbone and comes into her own. Not anything near the level of a Jane or a Bella, but still better than expected. Unfortunately, she and Phury spend most of the book separated for one lame reason or another. Cormia actually has more face time with JM it seems. I was kinda rooting for him to make a move on her and steal her away from Phury. Seeing as Phury couldn't make up his mind about her and couldn't be bothered to get with her. Would have served him right.

Speaking of John Matthew, I have to give him props. In the previous books I have always been bored with his parts and skimmed through them to get back to the main h/h storyline. He becomes much more interesting and complex in this go-round. JM, Blay and Quinn as a trio really work, and their interactions and coming-of-age probably are the best part of the book. Oh yeah, and did I mention that we finally do get a teeny tiny m/m kiss? mmm. I want Blay to have his own damned book. plz. kthx.

However, I have no complaint that the next book is scheduled to be about our drug-dealing mafioso-esque friend Rhev. We get to know a lot more about him and his sympath side and he's not what he seems on the surface. I like how he's got like a dual-nature thing going and how he's both good and evil. Should make for some compelling drama in the next story. At least it sure better if it's going to be in frackin' HARDCOVER. Pffft. Library, here I come.

Other random thoughts. Nice continuation of the Z/Bella story. Z has really been a mainstay throughout the books and he always gets the best lines. And why the hell does my man Rhage only get a few little measly moments? And don't even get me started on the serious lack of V. As for Butch, he never was one of my favs so I didn't much notice his presence or lack thereof. The real star of LE tho. It's gotta be the cat Boo. (excuse for gratuitous LOLcat posting)

What else? Well, the lessers are more interesting and seem to have more of a gameplan this time. Omega is turning out to have an actual backstory and not just be there for the sake of villainy. And who knew...the Scribe Virgin is capable of getting talked back to! Most importantly (spoiler!) Tohr is back. Not in any kind of good shape but he's alive. I knew it all along. Some nice moments between him and JM. And oh YEAH before I forget...nice moments between JM and Xhex. Woot! The boy is growing up and growing into that hot big body of his. I can't wait to see what the future has for these two. I know I'm in the minority but I really dig Xhex. For all of the complaining people do about the lack of strong women characters in the series, she has gotta be the antithesis to the typical BDB heroine. so yeah, looking forward to that one.

All in all? This ain't yo' momma's BDB book! And by that I mean, this series has definitely moved from the romance category to the urban fantasy/paranormal category. As a romance reader it makes me a bit sad because I found the first 3 books to be totally riveting and emotional. However, I get that as Ward delves more into her world, the list of characters keeps growing and you can only cover so many of them in a certain amount of space. The good (or perhaps bad?) thing for me is that I'm still compelled to read them and I still raced through this one just about as fast as I devoured the previous installments. For all the goofy slang and over-the-top-ness, the BDB is still damned entertaining and I believe I am here for the duration.

(pssst, check it out. Gerard Butler as a vampire. LOL!)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Good morning friends. Did everyone have a nice Labor Day weekend? I was just thinking to myself that one of the best parts of a 3-day weekend is that it is accompanied by a 4-day work week. yay!

Random notes for the day in no particular order.

1. Lisabea and I collaborated on a ManLoveMonday post yesterday. If you haven't already done so, you can read it here. It's fun and goofy and full of pretty menz photos. Hope you like.

2. Way back in February, I thought it would be fun to see how many people were already wishing for JR Ward's Lover Enshrined on before it was even out. 477! And for shits and giggles I put myself on the list to get it at position 478. Well, guess what? It just arrived on Friday. LOL! Think about that. Some 400+ people bought it, read it, and traded it out on PBS. That's a high traffic, high volume book there. To compare, I've been on the wait list for Judy Cuevas' Dance for freakin' EVER and I still haven't budged from number 33.

3. In reference to LE, I'm about halfway through it at this point. Initial thoughts include:
- Yes, Phury is a whiny baby and I want to slap him
- Cormia is not turning out to be as wussy as expected
- Normally I get really tired of the John Matthew interludes but this time they are interesting
- Like others have noted, this book is definitely NOT romance-centric. Pretty standard urban fantasy with a big cast of characters. Not sure how I'm feeling about that.
- Rhevenge!!!!!!
- Regardless of my jonesing for the old-skool type of BDB book (Lover Eternal *sniff*), JR's writing is still freaking addictive and I'm still compelled to find out WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! I had to force myself to put the book down and get to bed last night. So I guess that means the series isn't done with me yet.

3. I had a lovely time unplugging and relaxing yesterday at my cousin's country cabin up in WVA. My DBF and her DBF fished, and we gals lounged on inflatable rafts in the pond. Clear blue skies, sun, breeze, Corona beer and all is right with the world. Good times.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

a trip to the island

So it is my first day to host the DIK blog. If you have nothing better to do with your time, go on over and check out my collection of harem men. *g*

In other news, I am still recovering from downing an entire bottle of wine last night. But I think I'll be ok. I drank a lot of water and ibuprofen. And now coffee. heh. Why can't my b-day fall on a weekend, I ask!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Thus begins my last year in the 20s. Tick tock!

DBF tells me that an i-pod may be in my future. woot! I will only be like a decade late in catching up on the latest gadgets. heh.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

i will find you

So tonight is my first night back on my own, so to speak. DBF moved back into his residence hall on campus. While I will miss having him around, it's not like we don't see each other every day during the semester. So it will be alright. I'll just miss having to roll over and shake him to stop his snoring. heh. Oh okay and I may just miss him for other reasons too. but enough of that. lol.

A friend of mine came over to hang out with me tonite, something that we rarely get to do. She's a filmmaker and documentary producer and has done some really cool stuff in her life. We get along great but just are both busy and have a hard time coordinating time to do stuff. So taking the evening to relax, catch up, watch some Olympics, eat some great food and then introduce her to the all-time classic film "The Last of the Mohicans"...was just too fun.

As we were watching LOTM, I couldn't help but think back to my first viewing. I was 12 years old just about to turn 13. It was the summer before I would make the big switch from our grade school to high school (both were boarding schools) which was on a completely different island. I was so excited to be going away to the BIG school but also nervous about becoming a teenager and starting that phase of my life. I remember seeing this movie and just being so caught up in the drama and passion of it. I was utterly enthralled. I think I cried. The movie was, to me, a Very Big Deal. I remember hunting through magazines by candlelight later on that night to find a one-page ad of the movie poster, ripping it out and posting it on my wall. That page was to follow me to school to be posted on my dorm room wall and back home each break. Eventually it came back to the States with me and was posted on my bedroom wall there. I think I finally retired it from my wall decor sometime in college, but it still lies in a storage box somewhere. Witness to my childhood obsession with romance, passion and adventure.

I got ahold of a tape copy of the soundtrack and played it incessantly. I taught myself how to play the main theme songs on the piano and would lose myself in the music. Whenever I had a chance to rewatch the film, I did so. I recall sitting in Biology class with a girlfriend and writing notes back and forth about how hot Daniel Day-Lewis was in the kissing scene. (come to think of it, this note-writing thing...was kinda like blogging and texting...back in the old days).

All of these funny little memories came back to me tonight as I watched the film yet again with my friend and witnessed her reactions to it. And you know what? It really is a great movie! It's not just my 12-year-old nostalgia apparently. She loved it and was totally drawn in. And she does this stuff (make films) for a living. heh. We had a good time.

I can't talk about LOTM without leaving you with the ultimate kiss. In retrospect, I still think it's an awfully HOT scene despite the fact that both characters are fully closed and nowhere near a bed. The total focus and absolute connection between the h/h is far more passionate than any bow-chicka-bow that I've ever seen. This is romance, folks! Enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

i just watch for the "action"

Is it wrong that I was watching this very exciting moment and anticipating that it would become even more exciting with a little more droppage of those swimsuits? *sigh* I live in hope. But really, what do you call that lovely muscle that runs from the hip down to the um...nether regions? I don't know it's name, but I know that I sure like seeing it!

Olympic watching is so educational. *ahem*

Anyone else enjoying these games? Fav moments?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

go world

hey there, world. What's up? Oh yeah....the OLYMPICS!!! I have no idea why I am so fascinated by the games. S'rsly. I'm not typically a sports person and I don't follow any particular sport throughout the year. (Well, with the exception of the occasional figure skating or gymnastic thing caught while flipping channels.) But yeah, something pretty transfixing about this whole 2+ weeks of international competition and drama. How bout that Michael Phelps? It's almost insane how fast he swims. The men's team gymnastic competition last night was intense. And oh yeah, who knew that synchronized diving was a sport? not me! (I still can't quite decipher how the judges can figure out how to award points) But it's all pretty fascinating. Would be even better if NBC wasn't determined to manufacture sappy drama and tell us how to feel. Just let me draw my own conclusions, dammit!

On the reading front, I have completed the latest Kresley Cole (loved it), McCarty's "Sam's Creed" (mmm, sexay) and Joanna Bourne's "My Lord and Spymaster" (that gal can WRITE). All deserve reviews which I am currently too distracted to write. But that just gives me an excuse to re-read them later. heh.

And finally, I would like to wish my dear friend KristieJ a very happy belated birthday! May your day be blessed with muliple RICHard sightings. *g*

Thursday, August 7, 2008

kicking my own arse

So there's a new little strip mall about a mile from my house and one of the businesses that just opened is a Taekwondo school. DBF used to practice martial arts, so one day I dropped in and picked up some info for him thinking he might want to get involved (he didn't). About a month later, I got a promo thing from them in the mail offering two weeks of classes for free (plus a uniform). DBF was should try it. And I was like...yeah, why not?

Tonight was my first class. It was fun, lots of people younger (and better) than me. Kick, kick, kick. I am going to be one sore kitty tomorrow. But I'm curious to do this and see how I like it. And how it likes me. Maybe I'll magically turn into a kick-ass heroine. heh. Or not.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

RWA wrap-up

Although I technically arrived back home early on Thursday morning and actually missed all of the actual RWA conference, I have been so busy catching up on work, email and sleep that I just haven't had the courage to blog. I'm now sitting here beside DBF, scary "when animals attack" type show on in the background. eeek!

Flashback to exactly one week ago. I woke up bright (dark actually) and early on Sunday morning around 3:30am. The drive to the airport takes about 45 minutes but I always give myself tons of time to navigate parking, security, etc. By 7:00 am, I was happily ensconced on my first JetBlue flight. 5 hours goes a lot faster when you have satellite TV with tons of channels to surf. heh. I arrived at the Oakland airport around 9am and was picked up by a friend and her sister. They took me to the neighborhood where they grew up and we hit up a local breakfast eatery. Then it was off to San Francisco to see all the touristy sites. I was really lucky to have local guides and the independence of a car. We did the hills and I almost had a heart-attack thinking about driving my stick shift car there. Pier 39, the "crooked street", the Golden Gate, Chinatown, and all kinds of fun neighborhoods. We got stuck in traffic near Folsom Street (which was blocked off for a party) and saw some festive fair-goers. The sign said "adult themed" event. And the assless chaps that one guy was wearing right by my window concurred with that assessment. omg! Apparently cellulite is not limited to women. My only regret is that I was not quick enough with the camera. I really wanted to present photographic evidence to my pahtnah lisabea.

After a totally full day of sight-seeing, shopping and eating, I checked into my hotel in Japantown. Lucky me! They gave me a free upgrade to a suite. Why, I dunno, but no complaints here. I had my own sauna. *g* I was operating on only a few hours of sleep, had spent the whole day on the go, and my body thought it was still on EST. So all I remember is crashing into bed. And then waking up early to go to my workshop.

Monday morning - We'll skip all of the boring workshop details (this was a business trip) and get to the evening. I braved the public transportation in the form of a bus (saving me lots of money) and met up with bloggers KristieJ, katiebabs, ciara, tracy, and alys. After chatting about books n' stuff, we got a recommendation from the hotel concierge and set out to walk (and walk and walk) to a Thai restaurant. Yummy food, funny conversation, and tasty drinks were all on the menu. Then we walked (and walked some more) back towards the hotel. We ended up at a bar where beer was consumed by moi and katiebabs somehow convinced poor lil' alys to do a shot of goldschlagger (sp?). hooooowheee! That is strong stuff. Alys looked just a little dazed and confused for the rest of the night.

Tuesday - more of the same work stuff all day. Then I took the bus again, being an old hand by now, and met (omg) pahtnah!!! woot! I blogged about this previously, so I'll sum up quickly. Sushi was had. Drinks were consumed. Hilarity ensued. And then we made it back to the hotel bar where we hung out with bloggers Wendy and Rosie as well as author/blogger Carrie Lofty. It was great to finally meet Carrie after having traded emails and blog comments for months. Carrie has the distinction of introducing me to my totally irrational love of Dr. Who (thanks!). And she and I are big huge U2 fans. Annnnd, check out her upcoming release! Pretty cover, natch. Great price, natch. Oh and something to do with Robin Hood-y type tales? I'm there. Watch this space (and the DIK blog) for more deets as we get closer to the release date.

Wednesday - workshop over, I slept in till like 9am! And then checked out of my hotel and headed downtown with my bags to the Marriot. Katie let me drop my bags in her room and then a bunch of us went out for breakfast. Also previously blogged about. Angela James is teh bestest. Not only does she work for Samhain (and I heart their books) but she also sports a nose piercing just like me. yay! Oh and she picked up the breakfast tab. awwww.

Fortified with a hearty breakfast, most of us went back up to the room to gab and blog. It was quite liberating to be able to talk about romance novels, sex, relationships et al with a group of smart ladies. Although we had lots of laughs, there were actually many good relationship 'smarts' to be gleaned from those who had been in long-term things (like marriage) for many years. For a young whipper-snapper like myself, it was nice to get some wisdom and advice. And stuff.

lb had a thing to go to (*cough*pitch*cough*) and I wasn't sure when she would be available to do our Castro district trip. So when katiebabs asked if I was ready to go to the Today Show filming at Borders, I went for it. We walked to one Borders on Union Square, found out that in fact the taping was at another store, caught a cab and made it in time to meet and mingle, check out the shelves and chat with other bloggers and readers. Beverly Jenkins was asked to do a reading from one of her books and before they rolled tape she gave us the backstory. It sounded really interesting. And then my phone buzzed, so I dashed to a back corner of the store. lb had finished her thing and we were on for our big trip to the Castro. So I had to duck out. Sorry Beverly!

lb has already blogged in great detail about our field trip to the "gay" district of San Fran. Let me just say that the outting (har) was fun fun fun. Not only was there a cool vibe in the area but it was great to hang out with someone that I've been blogging with for months. It felt a bit like our chats on AIM, but live and in technicolor. S'rsly. Good times. She cracks me up. Castro was great...I got a print copy of MFC! woot! And we visited a sex store and I saw pictures of acts that I had hitherto not imagined. lol. Verra educational.

We rode the cable car trolley thingie back up to the middle of town and made it back to the hotel in time for the big literacy signing. There was quite a line to get into the ballroom, but once you made it in, it was like a big candy store. books! authors! A to Z. I was a little shy to talk to some of them. Mainly because I was on a strict budget and simply could not buy books from everyone. *sniff* I had a nice little chat with Joanna Bourne in which we discussed the French language, my experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in W. Africa and her time in the same region. And she signed a copy of My Lord and Spymaster for me. I'm so looking forward to reading it.

Other authors I met and said hi to include Elizabeth Hoyt, Connie Brockway, Ann Aguirre, and Madeline Hunter. I begged Kresley Cole for some horn-lickin' in Rydstrom's upcoming story, which garnered a laugh from her. She's frickin' beauuuutiful. *envy* What else...oh yeah. Jade Lee managed to convince me that I needed her book Tempted Tigress. And I ran into Laura Baumbach and scored little goody bags promoting her and Josh Lanyon's upcoming release Mexican Heat (holy HOTness!) Said goody bag included an adorable shot glass. I can't wait to try it out.

There was a little blogger get-together which I only got to catch the beginning of. Thankfully, I did snag a piece of pizza before catching a cab back to Oakland and my red-eye flight to D.C. I made it back to my car, drove home (somehow managing not to fall asleep at the wheel) and crossed paths with DBF as he was driving to work. We exchanged air kisses and then I went home and crashed.

In retrospect, I am really really happy that I was lucky enough to have a work event to go to in San Fran that just happened to fall around the same dates as RWA. I feel super lucky. Not only did I get to see old friends but also meet lots of new ones. I don't talk about my romance reading to anyone within my "real life" circle of acquaintances, so it's not only a relief to be able to do so but also totally thrilling to be with others who "get it". Can't wait for next year in DC...practically my back yard. :)