Wednesday, February 28, 2007

It doesn't get much better

than leaving work early, sitting on the porch with a glass o' wine, the laptop, the rock wives, and 60 degree weather. And birthday. Just for extra.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Where the hell were YOU?! I'd like to know...

I shouldn't tell you this, but you missed it and you have my sympathies. So I will provide a recap of the evening's festivities re: The Umpteenth Annual Celebrity Trash Fest otherwise known as the Oscars. This casual event was catered by the pod person, my husband, who made his signature turkey chili and if you've ever had a taste then you know why I got married.

Bartending was provided by Crafty who brought enough liquor to sink a Titanic of Irishers. We all did her proud sampling the Peach, Caramel Apple, Cinnamon Apple, Chocolate and Whatevertini.

Astute commentary and knowledgeable evaluation brought to you by Princess who was the only person in the room who saw ALL the Best Picture nominees and thinks Marian is a bad person to take gambling advice from. She would be correct.

Birthday cake supplied by the Gingerbread House of KR. It was chocolate with little green decorations. Yummers.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Seeing is Disbelieving

I look forward to every Chris Bohjalian novel and The Double Bind was no exception, particularly since he referenced another favorite novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, so liberally in his own latest offering.

After a traumatic attack, Laurel buries herself in her work as a social worker for a homeless shelter. An elderly gentleman, Bobby, whom Laurel has helped assimilate back into society, dies and leaves behind a box of photographs.

As Laurel sorts the pictures for a retrospective of the man's work, she becomes obsessed with photos of his family home--The Buchanan estate, home of Daisy and Tom Buchanan of The Great Gatsby. Another photo also holds allure for Laurel--one of a blonde girl biking a remote path on a Vermont mountain. This photo brings terrifying reminders to Laurel of her own aattack and she starts unearthing the truth of Bobby's life before homelessness and mental illness and why he took a picture of Laurel moments before she was assaulted.

Fans of Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island will enjoy the psychological elements of this harrowing novel.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

People who need (to vent to other) people

You meet the strangest folks doing what I do. I just fielded a phone call from the nicest lady. She wants me to "stop paying my taxes and my credit card bills" because I "need to rebel" against "the godless Constitutionless government".

I had no idea the Constitution was being housed "in a basement somewhere" and that the mortgage to the U.S is held by the Queen of England. Apparently we are still considered "colonies" and crankypants Queen Bets is collecting rent from us living off the fat of the "land of the freeloaders" and the "home of Bravo's Project Runway."

She said she'd call next week.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

A Corner Cubicle in the Shirkplace

For anyone who ever logged serious zombie time in a grey cubicle with cloth walls that wouldn't hold tacks and hard black plastic chairs for your gossipy colleagues to slide into, you will be amazed at how accurately Joshua Ferris captures the workplace demimonde in Then We Came to the End.

It's an insider's view of the social life of an office and its numerous staff at an unnamed advertising firm in Chicago. This quirky family by turns loves and loathes its members and even after the firm begins laying off employees, they all come together for one last reunion. They discover how close they were and how far apart they are now with no chance of regaining that intimacy again since it is only acquired in close proximity to each other and no amount of email, lunch or phone calls will keep them together.

The reader is an eavesdropper to the unnamed narrator who recounts Benny's wild adventures with an inherited totem pole; the catalog of Marcia's relentlessly-'80s hair dos; Jim's lame but earnest ad pitches; Joe's inflexible professionalism; office leader Lynn's breast cancer; and the breakdowns of not one, but three, laid off workers.

The conversational style appears to veer off into tangents but the author always brings himself back to the story at hand. It's a 375 page watercooler-coffeebreak-threemartinilunch of a novel. You'll have it read by quitting time.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Breakfast of champtions

I am having chocolate layer cake for breakfast. You are jealous. Yes, you are. Hee.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

My writing partner

is the best. We're going to do a presentation at ALA in Washington together and he sent me his thumb drive so I could add my material. In addition to the drive he sent THREE Starbucks gift cards, a pulp fiction paperback and a really cool pad of liberryan paper.

He is the bestest dude ever. Go read how cool he is here: He Reads

And, yeah, he's hot. And he knows gourmet food, wine, books, runs triathlons and is one of the best writers I've ever read. Eatcher harts out.