Monday, December 30, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Book Report - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Title: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Authour: Ann Brashares
Length: 294 pages
How long it took me to read: 2 days

What it's about: Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She'd love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.

The ending is the most important part: Yes, there were tears, and the ending was wonderful.

Last word:  I know that there are more stories, but I'm good with just this one. I really recommend though.

Spoilers after the jump

Friday, December 20, 2013

Book Report - Divergent

Title: Divergent
Authour: Veronica Roth
Length: 487 pages
How long it took me to read: 3 days

What it's about: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

The ending is the most important part: Well, this is a trilogy, so we'll have to see. I liked the ending, but I know that there's more to the story and I can't wait to find out what happens. Alas, I am #79 on the hold list at the library...

Last word: I found myself living in the world Veronica Roth created, and dividing my loved ones into factions; DH is definitely in Candor.

Spoilers after the jump

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Song of the Day - She Won't be Home

As would be expected from me, here is a non-traditional Christmas song.

It's still lovely, pretty, and sad, but not sappy and full of forced cheer.

I really, really love this song.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

All by Myself

One of the things I pride myself on the most is my ability to be alone.

I learned to be alone while on my mission - which is ironic since missionaries are assigned companions that they are to be with every minute of every day. I did not see eye-to-eye with some of my companions and it is a very lonely existence to live with someone day in and day out that you have nothing in common with. After my mission, I lived alone without any roommates and this strengthened my ability to be alone.

I can go to the bathroom, movies, out to eat, etc all by myself. Sometimes I would rather be alone than with other people. I am a total hermit and I feel like this is a good thing.

It gives me a certain freedom to be able to be alone. I am not limited by the availability of my friends in order to see something I want (movie, concert, gallery showing) - I can just go alone. This also gives me the freedom to arrive and leave when I want. If I am not enjoying whatever, I can just up and leave and not have to worry about ruining anyone else's time.

I also feel that this gives me so much freedom when it comes to relationships. I am not tied to a toxic relationship because I don't want to be alone. I have the power to know that I can be alone and love it, so it's not necessary for me to stay in a bad relationship. I am able to walk away.

This really helps me in my marriage because I know that I am in the relationship because I choose to be; not out of fear, or obligation, but because I love DH and I choose to be with him - warts and all. I also know that I would be just fine without him, so I don't need him in order to be a whole person. I feel like this strengthens us both, because I am not dependent on him - this gives us both the freedom to be the individuals that we are. I am in this relationship because I love him.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Report - Someday, Someday Maybe

Title: Someday, Someday, Maybe
Authour: Lauren Graham
Length: 344 pages
How long it took me to read: 2 days

What it's about: Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.
Meanwhile, she dreams of doing "important" work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It's hard to tell if she'll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won't call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.

The ending is the most important part: Although a little predictable, the ending was tied up in a nice bow, but you were left a little dangling in order to imagine Franny's fate. This is a good thing.

Last word: Lorelai wrote an awesome book! I hope she writes more.

Spoilers after the jump

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Irony of Growing Up

When I was a kid, I could not wait to be a grown up. I wanted to be on my own; to be able to have my own place, make my own decisions, dress how I wanna dress, eat what I wanna eat, watch what I wanna watch, etc. I wanted to wear grown-up clothes, have grown-up hair, and wear grown-up make-up. I wanted to be able to see any movie I wanted, to listen to any music I wanted to, to be able to go out dancing - even on a school night, and go to clubs to listen to bands. I wanted to have my own car. I wanted to live the Mary Tyler Moore life.

The older I got, the less self-esteem I had, and I felt uncomfortable wearing some of the fun things that the other girls were wearing. I felt self-conscious and like I was both drawing too much attention to myself, and not able to pull the style off, or trying to hard. I want to use the wearing a barrette to slick your bangs down to the side. I felt that look was too 'cutie-pie' and not 'me', so I never did it, even though I thought it was super cute.

Once I was in my mid-to-late twenties, I finally got some confidence to the point where I loved my look and owned my style. I started to wear styles that I liked regardless of how I felt they looked. I kind of reverted to some of the things I was too chicken to wear as a kid - including the bang barrette.

I've kind of stuck in that mind-set, but now I feel like I'm perpetually fourteen-years old. I say things like 'totes', and 'I KNOW, right?' and read Twilight and The Hunger Games and see the movies on premiere night. I still do the bang barrette. I wear Converse sneakers with my skinny jeans and R2-D2 tshirts. I don't think like a grown-up, I fangirl about Wonder Woman and Jennifer Lawrence. I follow Seventeen magazine on Twitter and watch Pretty Little Liars.

Don't get me wrong, I have a full time job and provide for my family. I do all the mom stuff you would expect me to. I feed my family and help the boys with their homework, do the laundry and make them do chores.

But when it comes right down to it, I still think like I did when I was in high school; I still like the same kind of things, and still spaz out over the dumbest things. I honestly still feel like I'm fourteen-years-old in my head.

I just find it weird that I lived my life to be old, but now that I am old, I haven't matured at all.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fish Taco Solution

Sorry for whining about the weather, but as I've explained, it's part of my nature, and it's been below freezing for the entire eleven days of this month and it's still Autumn, and I'm a little tired of being cold all the time.

When it snows, sometimes I like to put on surfing music and wear flip flops and floral prints. It helps ease my mind and warms me up a little. At least it makes me smile. I am a beach bum through and through.

I found another solution to surviving the cold and making it seem like summer; the fish taco. The spicy flavour, the fact that it's fish, the fact that it's a taco, the lime; all these things make me think of tropical, easygoing, mahalo, warmness.

I bit into that awesome taco and was transported.

So if you're feeling blue because of this early winter we seem to be experiencing in North America, head out to your favourite taco place and order a fish taco. It will help, and that's a guarantee.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Song of the Day - Joan Jett I Hate Myself for Loving You

It's no secret that I have exponential amounts of love for Joan Jett. Look at her hair! Joan Jett has the best hair.

Also, there is quite the excellent message in this song. Girl power and all that. Joan invented girl power!!

Rock on.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Book Report - The Book Thief

Title: The Book Thief
Authour: Markus Zusah
Length: 552 pages
How long it took me to read: 3 weeks

What it's about: It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

The ending is the most important part: I laughed, I cried, I could not put it down once I got to the end of this book.

Last word: Read it. Everyone should read this book.

Spoilers after the jump

Thursday, December 5, 2013

That Time My Mum Thought I Was a Guy

Remember that time that I told you about when Toby busted me for sneaking out? Well, I snuck out a lot.

I had a really good friend named Ashley. She went to church with me, but she lived in Abbotsford, an hour's drive away, so I only saw her at church dances mostly. This one time the monthly dance was hosted at my ward building, so we made a plan for Ashley to sleep over at my house after the dance. When we came home from the dance, we planned on sneaking out and going off on our own adventures, hopefully finding some boys on skateboards.

We had come home from the dance, and were changing out of our church dance appropriate clothes into sneaking out of the house and seeking adventures with boys who rode skateboards clothes. We were discussing our plans and options while talking in low voices, when I heard my mom hissing from the top of the stairs; "KELLY!!" Ashley and I exchanged glances, and I went to the bottom of the stairs and stared up at her innocently, "Yes?" "Who's down there with you?" she demanded. I blinked up at her, did she forget Ashley was sleeping over? "Ashley" I responded. My mum put her hands on her hips, cocked her head to the side, and rolled her eyes. "Kelly, who else do you have down there?" I didn't know what she was talking about. "No one!" I answered. "Kelly," she said again, shaking her head, looking exasperated that I thought she was so stupid. "What?" I asked. She was acting as if I was hiding something, which technically I was, because we were planning on heading out soon. She smelled a rat and I could tell, but I knew she was smelling  the wrong rat. "Kelly... do you have a boy down there?" she seemed so annoyed that she had to spell it out for me. "What?" I asked - phew, she could not be more wrong. "Kelly, (she was really annoyed now) I can hear a boy talking down here." It took me a minute to figure out to what she was referring. "Mom,  that was ME!!" I cried. She just put her hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side again and gave me a sarcasic grimace. I was mortified. My voice sounded like a guys, how lame is that. She still didn't believe me. "Come down and look, Mum, it's just me and Ashley!!" By this time she could tell that I was telling the truth.

We still snuck out after that, but the fun was sucked out of the adventure because I realized that I sound like a guy.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What's up?

What's up? I'm on vacation right now. I'm not on holiday, but I'm off work. I usually take the first week of December off so that I can get all organized and ready for Christmas so that I can enjoy the season and relax. Everyone keeps asking me where I'm going for my vacation. Am I totally weird for not going anywhere? Last year I went home and that was totally excellent, but I made the right choice by staying home this year.

I've been pretending that I don't work anymore and that I'm a stay at home mom, which is my ultimate fantasy. It's been great for the most part. I get up with the boys every morning and get them ready for school, come home, have some personal time, and then work on deep cleaning the house. I got the tree up on Monday, yesterday I got rid of all the dog hair, piles of magazines in my room, and organized my shoes. I've finished three books, wrote some blog posts, gotten the Christmas shopping done, and even had a nooner with DH.

It's been really great, but the house is still cluttered. I'm no where near where I want to be, and I have to go back to work in a few days, so now I'm all depressed. I haven't done anything this morning because I just felt like I needed to take a break, but I have that nagging nittering feeling in the back of my mind reminding me of all the things I still need to do and that I'm running out of time. I hate that feeling. It's like the White Rabbit running through my brain reminding me that I'm going to be late!!

I've loved being home. I really have. I've been able to get a lot accomplished. It was really amazing when I got up this morning and I didn't trip over the pile of magazines by my bed. I can look out of the sparkling clean windows and watch the snow melt. I hate that I have to go back to work. I feel like I haven't gotten enough accomplished, and that I haven't had enough time off. It's so depressing to have to go back to the old routine where I have zero time to myself, and barely get the dishes and the laundry done. I've loved being able to watch Huey walk down the street towards his bus stop, and come home after dropping Dewey at school, and seeing how happy Orso is to have someone home with him. I've loved the peace and quiet as I eat my breakfast and look outside. I love listening to music while I work around the house and not being interrupted by anyone wrestling, fighting, or asking me for help or to tell them where something is. I love having this alone time during the day. I love that I can get bored, but that there's so much to do,  that the feeling soon passes as I am able to busy myself with the many projects that nag at me. The greatest thing is that I've been able to attack the project and actually complete it, instead of start on it, run out of time, and have to come back to it some other time , and who knows when that will be?

I've been thinking how awesome it would be to just be home all the time, but now I worry that I would feel guilty for just sitting and taking a break. Like I am now. I feel guilty because I'm not cleaning the bathroom and DH will be home in half an hour and ask me what I've done all day. If I wasn't working full-time, and this was my full-time job, then if I took a break, would I be acting lazy?

Ugh, I hate that my over-thinking everything ruins all my fun.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Song of the Day - Platinum Blonde Not in Love

Here's another Canadian band that you need to know about, but they're a total throw back to 1983.

The other day I was walking up the stairs and this song popped into my head for the first time in thirty years. I loved these guys so much. You should too.