Tuesday, August 28, 2007

never read a book i like.

i read a book and i'm not allowed to recommend it.

The book is by author Chuck Palahniuk, his most famous book, "Fight Club" was read by more than 300,000 people and seen by even more people as a movie, starring Brad Pit and directed by David Fincher.

As of now, I have read all of Chuck Palahniuk's books.
Fight Club
Invisible Monsters
Fugitives & Refugees
Stranger Than Fiction

Rant is his most recently published book and I finished it last week after being on the wait list at the Library for two months. I own all of his other books, excluding "Fugitives & Refugees" and "Stranger Than Fiction", the latter being his first non-fiction work (it is in no way associated with the movie starring Will Farrel, and for the record the book came out long before the movie) and the first being as close to an autobiography as you can get. I don't own these two not for any other reason than the "autobiography" was an afterthought for me to read and the non-fiction book in paperback is never at the second hand bookstore I frequent. I'll get it someday.

Rant. Don't read it. It's gross. It's disturbing. I can never, in good conscience recommend anything Palahniuk writes. And "Rant" is no different. Although. Naw forget it. It'll never work.
I wish I could black out the gross, disturbing, mostly unnecessary, portions of the book and everyone could enjoy the genius writing that is a Palahniuk book. Cause, you see, the problem is ... I really like this book, (except for all the vague things I mentioned earlier, I refuse to go into detail, you don't deserve that). I am enthralled with the story. Mesmerized by the thought and depth that this book reaches. I wish, deep down, that I could recommend this book. Don't read this book.

ahh, i feel torn.

I guess I'm saying, if you're not the faint of heart kind of reader and you enjoy a writer with an amazing voice and ability to weave a story beyond what you think is reality...well, then please, borrow a Palahniuk book from me. But don't get mad at me when you're completely grossed out and disturbed, cause I never recommended that you read it.

*If you do want to borrow any of his books, we'll have to have a real heart to heart first...wait, never-mind, you can't borrow it. Forget I ever mentioned Palahniuk.

Monday, August 27, 2007


So, friday i went to work with andy. we went out to lunch, at the place voted "the best chinese food in Salem."

It ssoooo, was not the best chinese food... perhaps it was "in Salem" but man, that's sad for Salem cause this was baaad. Rull, baaad.

You know when you order "Sweet and Sour Tofu" and it comes fried with mostly batter and not a lot of tofu? Ya, well that's what I got.

And then, you know when it comes with a side of Vegetable Chow Mien, except the chow mien is "crunchy noodles" and the vegetables are water chestnuts and a couple of broccoli spears but it's smothered in some type of creamy sauce? Ya, that's also what I got.

And then, you know when the other thing it comes with is fried rice and you say to yourself, "Self, that's okay - since there are no substitutions on the lunch special - I don't need to eat rice anyways, fried or not." Ya, well obviously it came with fried rice, so ...

I ended up removing the batter off the fried tofu, eating the broccoli and water chestnuts - minus the crunchy noodles and see through creamy sauce - and the rice. I figured "semi"-fried is better than dipped in batter and then deep fried.

What really makes me sad about the whole thing is the egg flour soup and the tea you get before all that arrives was amazingly, super wonderful and I couldn't wait for a plate of steamed tofu and veggies with noodles ... Well. That sorta made the main course that much worse when all that was set before me was gross. Noodles? Nope. Veggies? Nope, well not to the standard that I'd hoped. Fried? yes. sad. Goopy? yes. sad. Gross? yes. sad.

At least Andy 'n me had a great time hanging out and having an "experience" together though. And that's really what matters in life. Plus, I think I'm getting addicted to drinking hot tea again cause that shit was gooood.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Is two better than one?

I don't usually write about work. But, I'm going on a little adventure so I thought I'd share. I've gone out and gotten a second job. It's in hopes that this December my husband can go on tour with his band, I can have a vacation in California and we can both enjoy our time and have a low stress month.
Hopefully December will be a low stress month. I don't know what August and September will be like ...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

sitting with walter

*Updated below*

i'm not at home but i can hear all the same sounds as if I were home. perhaps it's because I'm a mear hundred feet from my apartment, in another apartment down the lane. i am here because a friend has been injured. we are sitting in the living room of Erik and Sara's apartment. Walter is on a twin mattress reading "The Forms of This sickness" (fitting, no?) and I am behind him on the couch, writing to you.

it's nice to be able to sit, talk, read and write with a friend.
so thanks to walter. not for getting hit by a car, flying across the road to the sidewalk, breaking your leg, having surgery or needing someone to help you get up from a laying to a standing position. thanks just for being a friend.

*begin update*

read walter's comment below ... for over two weeks now I have not been able to locate my camera's battery charger. And, it is killing me. While in California, my camera ran out of batteries and an entire day and a half was not captured. I have such a system down for re-chargeing my battery that I won't believe that the charger is gone forever. If I don't find it this weekend on our trip back up to Vancouver (which is the last place I knew where it was) then I will break down and buy a new one (a knock off for sure, but a new one no less.)

Monday, August 13, 2007

not a usual book on my shelf

It's all about economics. I have no understanding of economics, er wait, I didn't have an understanding of economics, until I read "Freakonomics".

"Freakonomics" is co-written by an economist, Steven Levitt, and a New York Times columnist, Stephen Dubner, and the combination of the factual information and clean writing is more than cohesive. It's easy to read and I appreciate the story-telling approach to this book, it made the concepts being discussed so much easier for me to wrap my brain around.

Because this is virtually my first experience with reading anything economics related, I can't judge for the validity of the topics they discuss. But, I do know that their approach is very different to some of the traditional reasoning behind economic calculations and I always love a good fiesty contradiction to the norm. I recommend this book to anyone that has a vague idea about economics, loves stories with meaning or, like me had no idea and wants to learn a bit about economics. I don't think I could now discuss economics at a dinner party, but at least I won't be lost if the subject's brought up.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

good thoughts for a change.

I've been a tad bit bummed the past week. So, to help bring some cheer back into my soul...I'm making a list. I like it when other people do it, so I'm going to do it.

10 things, this weekend, that made me smile.

1. On friday when my husband said, "I want to take you on a date. I'll go anywhere with you. Shopping or some kind of store...Whatever you want." "what?" "I want to go somewhere with you that I don't like, so it's all for you."
(Unfortunately for me, I had no desire to go shopping anywhere. But we did do chores together and it's always easier and fun when there's someone else to share in the agony.)

2. When my sarcastic comments to my friends don't get destroyed by the un-emotional internet...Meaning, I love that my friends get me.

3. Knowing my sister-in-law will be here for a visit on Thursday and our plans include Mojitos ... and so far, that's all.

4. my husband's writing more

5. a clean house

6. tea pots and loose leaf tea

7. bike rides

8. the breeze

9. adorable old men

10. cuddles

This took me a surprisingly long time to compile, and the weekend's only half over and therefore shouldn't be hard to recall. I think it's mostly a testament to the sad state I've been in lately. I'm working on a more cheerful approach to tomorrow.

words don't compare to


Saturday August 6th - doing nothing in SLO
& Josh's 30th Birthday Party

hooligans hanging out on the corner

If Jessa had a baby this is what she'd look like, so stop wondering.

see...it's probably not a good idea for them to have a baby.

well, she looks good with a baby, maybe it's not her
we're worried about.

Anna, being awesome.

Anna with her baby.

Two mom's chatting it up with their babies.

Amelie's party dress, Happy Birthday Dad!

Sera takin a ride on her dad's birthday pinata.

I love when kids smile like this, all squinty and grinning.

Sera wanted to take some pictures with funny faces

Josh smokin, Andy chillin, Toby talkin


join us next time for the pinata, cake and drinks. and, a look at the other people that showed up for the par-tay.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Day 2 ...
no you didn't miss a post, our first day we spent in a car and that's so not exciting.

Friday August 3rd - California, Cam's Birthday Party

Cam didn't know we were all driving down to California, so when we all appeared in our own ways and in our own time, it pretty much rocked his world. Since we drove to California, for 13 hours, basically to go to parties, there's really not much to talk about. What I did capture in photos is probably as close as were going to get to anything. So...

It pretty much went like this.

Cam & Jessa (a.k.a. brother and sister)

Anna & me (a.k.-47, Cam's wife)

yeah, she'll kick your ass, that's right.

drunk mom Skylana

Skylana, hoping I got the sweet shot of her downing
a beer while holding her daughter.

*side note - while hanging out with Skylana and her daughter, Arabella, on multiple occasions people on the street have
asked her how old her SON is... the girl wears dresses, she's
always in pink or wearing bloomers and headbands, and has
diamond studs in her ears! How hard is it to be a little, tiny bit observant before opening your mouth?

drunk mom Flo

alright, so she didn't drink all night, or ever, but
I think it's funnier the other way.

smoking Josh

drinking, smoking Toby

i love Polaroids

After that, I had too much fun to be walking around taking pictures for all you to look at ... on to the next day.

not really worth knowing
... the book, not the blog

*Update below
It seems to have been a while since I've read a book. Actually, I've read a lot of books I've just been busy blogging about life. But, we were going on a loooong drive, to California, so I took a trip to the library and found a few things to occupy my time in the car... a little light reading, perhaps.

I read "The Devil Wears Prada" and enjoyed both the book and the movie, which for me, is rare. So when I saw another book written by Weisberger I decided to take a break from "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" to read a little chick lit.
Mistake, this was a huge mistake.

Let me begin my critique by admitting that chick lit books are like some people's romance novel, reality show, tabloid magazine, entertainment show, they're my guilty pleasure. I know they're silly and unreasonable. I know they're stereotypical and predictable and I forgive them for that. I do not forgive a good author for having a lack of interest in her character's dialogue. And let's face it, Ms. Weisberger probably got a lot of money from sales of the book and the movie rights to "The Devil Wears Prada". I would then assume she doesn't have to write another book. I'm assuming she wants to write another book.

Because it is a chick lit book, I forgive the predictable story-line and the cliché relationship interactions. I do not forgive dialogue between characters that sound exactly the same no matter what character's talking. These characters are drastically different. One's a nightclub bouncer. One's a debutant. One's a british playboy. One's a gay man. Alright, the gay man sounds different than everyone else. He sounds gay. So there's that.

I didn't mind the story or the characters. Really. But it was hard to read the dialogue when it took an extreme focus unusual to mindless chick lit reading to maintain an understanding of who the hell was talking.

I don't give stars, or points or whatever book reviewers give books and apparently, i don't give much praise either, at least this time I don't.

Read Anna Karenina.

*I hit publish on this post and then began browsing through other random blogs and just two clicks away, look what I came across...another blogger's review here regarding the same book. She has a very different take than I did. I thought it was funny.

the family photos I promised.

This is Andy & Jen, our long time friends and the families that they came from...

Jen and her sister, Anastasia

Jen's nephew, son of Anastasia, Ethan

Jen and her sister, Bethany

Jen's nephew, son of Bethany, Ezra

Jen's husband, Bethany's husband - no they're not brothers...
geez, why do people always think white guys all look the same?!?

That's the man. (Jen's little brother, Carlton)

Thank you to all the young mother's that I know for wearing
the Hooter Hider and giving us a perfect gift idea for Jen.

Anastasia with their Auntie (she's
an OBGYN and delivered Carlton, Ezra and Ethan)

Andy's mom and step dad came up from San Luis Obispo,
in California for the party ... and to see their grandson

The funny thing is, I hadn't seen them since our wedding 7 years ago, and then I ran into them again the next weekend, in SLO! Twice in 2 weeks after 7 years was quite strange.

Andy, Ethan, guitar, guitar, Ezra, Andy

He's a great fake Uncle.

I think the consensus was to not invite Carlton to be in the band.

Everyone being social ... with their electronic gadgets.

To be fair, the guys did end up talking to Burt, Jen's dad, about .... philosophy, and surprisingly, Wal-Mart - but still in regards to philosophy.

Ahhh, these two...

C-a-n-'t ... h-a-n-d-l-e ... t-h-e ... c-u-t-e-n-e-s-s

Sorry Clemons I still think he's my favorite...

Thank you to the Clemon's and the French's we had a great day hanging out, eating good food and ohhing over your latest edition. We hope to see you all again soon.