Friday, November 27, 2015

Movie Day and a Hockey Game

For our family, the day after Thanksgiving is Movie Day. We’ve been doing this since the 80s. This year we’re going to see “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” and we’ll have two more joining us (my son’s girlfriend and her daughter). I like this family event/tradition.

It’s been awhile since I’ve gone to the theatre. Used to go all the time, but since Rave/Cinemark changed our theatre to lounge seats and assigned seating, it’s not fun going at the last minute. Usually can’t find a seat I want because they’re mostly sold in advance.

But since I knew six of us were going this Friday, I kept waiting for the schedule to post on line so I could buy the tickets ahead of time. On Wednesday the schedule finally posted (why it took so long, I have no idea). I was all set to order them (nearly choking at the $7.90 price—this is a matinee!) when they listed a $7.50 service charge.

What the…??? This wasn’t Fandango or This was Cinemark’s website.

No way was I paying that fee. It didn’t cost me $7.50 to drive over to the theatre and buy the tickets. Of which an actual individual took care of my order. I swear, companies are bilking people with fees for stuff that can’t be all that hard to process! I’m sure I would have had to use my own printer to print out the tickets, so what the heck am I getting for my $7.50? Convenience? I wouldn’t need to buy my tickets ahead of time if I wasn’t forced to pick a seat!

It’s stuff like this that is really turning me off on going to Rave/Cinemark. I’m not all that crazy about the lounge seats, either. Hmmm… Maybe I should have just said we’d see the movie at Regal Cinemas (13 miles away). Might do that next year.

After the movie, my hubby, daughter, and I are then headed to Columbus to see the Penguins play the Blue Jackets. I love going to hockey games, they’re so much fun! And when the Penguins are playing in Columbus, there are sooooo many Pens fans, it sometimes feels like I’m in Pittsburgh. I love it! I’ll be wearing my black & gold Crosby jersey (or sweater if you’re one of those fans, even though it’s not a sweater at all). Can’t wait!

So… What are you doing this Black Friday? While I hated my experience in purchasing the movie tickets, I am excited about seeing the Hunger Games movie. I loved the books and the movies have done a pretty good job at sticking to the storyline. And going to the movies is a whole lot more fun than fighting the shoppers on Black Friday. At least, it used to be. I’ll let you know how it went. J

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday Reads, Happy Thanksgiving, and It’s My Blogiversary!

I don’t blog on Thursdays anymore, but I did on Thanksgiving 2009. Yep, it’s my sixth blogiversary (and post #852). I had one book under my belt and had just joined RWA (that would be the Romance Writers of America), so I thought the next suitable step would be to write a blog. Had no idea what I was getting myself into. Certainly didn’t think I’d have any followers. Think I’ve gotten the hang of it yet? Yeah, I don't either. Guess I'll have to keep working on it.

Here's what I read this week (#84 & #85 of my goal of 90!!):

Nov 21: “Life and Death (Twilight Reimagined)” by Stephenie Meyer, a young adult paranormal romance at 387 pages. Blurb from book: When Beaufort Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edythe Cullen, his life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With her porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edythe is both irresistible and enigmatic. What Beau doesn’t realize is the closer he gets to her, the more he is putting himself and those around him at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back… I liked the story. Not as much as Twilight, though. Probably because I’d read Twilight four times and saw the movie more than that, that it was hard for me (at times) to remember that Beau was a GUY. At least the names of the characters had the same first initial as their counterparts, so I could relate to who was who (which wouldn’t have been an issue if I’d never read Twilight). Still, it was fun to read and the ending actually surprised me.

Nov 24: “Playing With Fire” by Tess Gerritsen, a suspense/thriller at 250 pages. Blurb from book: In a shadowy antiques shop in Rome, violinist Julia Ansdell happens upon a curious piece of music—the Incendio waltz—and is immediately entranced by its unusual composition. Full of passion, torment, and chilling beauty, and seemingly unknown to the world, the waltz, its mournful minor key, its feverish arpeggios, appear to dance with a strange life of their own. Julia is determined to master the complex work and make its melody heard. Back home in Boston, from the moment Julia’s bow moves across the strings, drawing the waltz’s fiery notes into the air, something strange is stirred—and Julia’s world comes under threat. The music has a terrifying and inexplicable effect on her young daughter, who seems violently transformed. Convinced that the hypnotic strains of Incendio are weaving a malevolent spell, Julia sets out to discover the man and the meaning behind the score. Her quest beckons Julia to the ancient city of Venice, where she uncovers a dark, decades-old secret involving a dangerously powerful family that will stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light. I love Tess Gerritsen’s books, especially her Rizzoli & Isles series. This isn’t one of those, though. As I started reading, I thought maybe it was the makings of a paranormal or horror story (because, hey, that’s where my mind automatically goes when strange things happen), but it’s nothing like that (so now I feel comfortable giving it to my hubby to read). It’s more like a mystery, but not a who-done-it kind. More of a what-is-it kind. What the blurb doesn’t mention, is that part of the book tells how Incendio came to be written. I became hooked on both Julia’s and Lorenzo’s stories and easily read this in two days. It certainly made walking on the treadmill enjoyable.

Oh, and I found out yesterday that Tess Gerritsen will be at the Centerville library on Dec 4th. Whoo hoo! I made sure to register for the free event (so did hubby). Perfect timing, huh?

So… What are your plans for Thanksgiving? We’ll be going to our friend’s house in Columbus. I’m so happy she’s home this year. Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without Mary! Now, if I can just get rid of this blasted cough!

Happy Reading and Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 23, 2015

Saturday Night Freeze, Christmas Letter Time, and Miscellaneous Stuff

On Saturday night I froze my butt off. Well, actually I didn’t freeze my butt for part of the night. I sat on this thing called a Lava Seat. Claimed to stay warm for 6 hours. I don’t know what planet’s six hours it was, but not Earth’s. It barely worked for 2 hours. At least my butt was toasty warm during that small time, but sure would have liked it to be warm for the whole length of the football game. But back to Saturday night…

The temps hovered in the mid thirties. Wind chill (and boy, was it windy) brought it down to feeling like the mid twenties. Snow was forecasted (and I was prepared—I went out and bought me some snow boots!), but we were spared that (except at 2am—I noticed a dusting when I woke up coughing). Still… even sitting outside in the cold, wearing layers, covered in a blanket, and huddling in my coat was worth seeing the Wayne Warriors win!!

Yep! Next game is Saturday against Colerain for the Division I Region 2 Final. Winner of that game goes to the State Finals. I want it to be US!!! I want to win it all!!! And I want it to be warmer!!!!!

Greedy, aren’t I?

And if you haven’t noticed with that little hint above, I still have my cold. My husband got this cold and was sick for only three days. THREE DAYS! It’s not fair, I tell you. NOT. FAIR.

Even so, I’m thinking I’m good enough to go to the fitness center today. And my knee feels great. It didn’t even react to the cold weather Saturday night. Doesn’t mean I can go overboard. I’m still afraid I’ll do something wrong. But I have my doctor appointment next week, so hopefully I’ll find out what my limits are.

Yesterday I realized I needed to write my annual Christmas letter. I thought it might be hard (because it’s always hard), but for some reason it came easier this year. I started it with the story about Boris the spider (see this blog post HERE). Figured if I started it with a funny story, maybe my annual letter wouldn’t feel so wooden (or braggy). We’ll see. I didn’t get much feedback on the Christmas short story I included in last year’s letter, except a couple of people said they’d rather hear what was going on in my life, so since that was the ONLY feedback I got, I figured I’d go back to that. Who knew my life was interesting? I certainly didn’t.

I turned on my old laptop last night thinking I could update it to Windows 10 (and be able to check it out without ruining my current laptop), but I found out later that I can’t get a free update to Windows 10 from Vista. That figures. Now I feel like I went through all these updates for nothing. The last time I had turned on that laptop was back in January, so yeah, lots of updates. Plus, I forgot how slow that laptop is. I may not like my new laptop, but at least it’s faster than the old one.

Of course, it doesn’t seem like it’s THAT much faster at times. Buying this laptop was a mistake, but I’m stuck with it for now. If I find out I hate Windows 10 and Word 2003 doesn’t work on it, I may consider getting an Apple laptop. I’m getting kind of sick of Microsoft. But I’ll definitely try one out at the Apple store first. No more impulse buys for me!

Well, lookee there. I thought I wouldn’t have anything to post today and I managed to write stuff. Don’t you love these mish-mash Mondays?

So… How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

Have a great Monday.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Fun With a Music Video

I've got nothing to write about. Too busy with the novella and this blasted cold. So I hunted for this song, "Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart" by Chris Cornell. It's been playing on the radio a lot lately and I like it. The video, though... Yeah, it's strange. Have no idea what it has to do with the song.

Anyway, enjoy the song, have a great Friday and a great weekend. I'm sure I'll be out freezing my tookus on Saturday during the football game (high is forecasted to be in the 40s, which means the night will be a lot colder!).


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Reads and I’m Still Sick (Ugh)

***Hmmm... I thought I set this up to post at 6am, but somehow it ended up as a draft. Here it is now.***

I know colds last about 7 days and it hasn’t been 7 days, but I still want this thing over with. Now. But does it listen to me? Nope. Stupid cold.

Here’s what I read this week:

Nov 15: “The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide” by Stephenie Meyer, a companion book to the Twilight series at 543 pages. Blurb from book: In 2005, Twilight introduced readers to Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, and a worldwide phenomenon was born. Since then, millions of readers have followed the breathtaking vampire love saga as it continued in New Moon and Eclipse and culminated in Breaking Dawn. Now, for the first time, Stephenie Meyer reveals secrets of the series as well as additional exclusive material taken directly from her personal notes, including character profiles, genealogical charts, maps, extensive cross-references, an in-depth conversation with author Shannon Hale, and much more. With nearly 100 gorgeous full-color illustrations and photographs throughout, this official guide allows readers to experience the Twilight Saga as never before, from Bella’s first day in Forks to the riveting final pages of Breaking Dawn. I was obsessed with the Twilight series. Read the series four times (yes, FOUR TIMES). I just couldn’t get enough of these books. Why? Because the characters just seemed real to me. Because I felt like I was Bella when I read them. I don’t recall ever being so obsessed about anything before (heck, it was this series that got me started in writing my own vampire romances). My daughter gave me this companion book well after my obsession with all things Twilight waned, though. I wasn’t sure if I would ever read it. Then Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined came out. My daughter got a copy (from the library) and said she’d give it to me to read next. So, what better time to read this companion book! While I found it repetitive in places and some of it I might have read from Stephenie Meyer’s website, it brought back some fond memories of when I was obsessed with the series. I also finished reading this the same day my daughter finished the book. Perfect timing!

FYI: The Illustrated Guide was one heavy book. The pages were made of thick stock so that the illustrations would show better. So it was like picking up a 1000 page (or more) book (and it was almost 2” thick). You could get a good workout just lifting the thing!

So… Have you ever been obsessed with anything? Did you get over it or are you still obsessed? I really didn’t think I would ever get over all things Twilight. I’m curious how I’ll react with the reimagined book. Guess I’ll find out soon.

Happy Reading!