Saturday, December 29, 2007

My First Layout

Okay, here it is. It took an inordinate amount of time and is embarassingly simplistic, but here it is:

Go Photoshop. Go me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas


I’m feeling particularly Christmas-y today. There was a small storm last night that dusted everything with a pleasant layer of snow. Today is the last day of work before the holiday. All of the Christmas shopping is done. We leave for Idaho tomorrow morning. Hooray!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Yet Another Electronic Gadget

Matt and I each got a BlackBerry Curve this weekend. I can see why they are called "crackberries." It was a struggle to accomplish anything after acquiring it. Isn’t it supposed to increase efficiency . . . blah blah blah?

Matt got the titanium. Mine is red and is pictured below:

This should make the holidays with all of the crazy relatives a little more doable. :o)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hobby Update

Since my last hobby post, I have read the owner’s manual for my digital camera and most of Photography for Dummies. I even made a little cheat sheet with icons and definitions on it, so I will remember everything I read when I actually go to take pictures later. I haven’t tried most of the features on my camera, but I at least know what it can do. I have also discovered that I need a new digital camera—one with a better lens and zoom. Ah, well. Won’t it be ever so much more impressive when I take fabulous pictures with a lesser camera?

Ironically, I haven’t taken any real pictures since I figured out what my camera can do. I even pack the camera around on a fairly regular basis, but pulling it out is apparently out of my comfort zone. I’ll have to work on that.

In connection with my as yet theoretical hobby of photography, I have recently become interested in photo editing software. I have a suspicion that I’ll be receiving Abode PhotoShop Elements this Christmas. I am excited to learn about that. I will supposedly need to take a class and read three books to understand the software and I’m pretty sure that using the software on my computer will make me oh so aware that I need a new computer, but I’ll have a second chance to make all of my pictures flawless.

I suddenly understand why hobbies are expensive.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Three Favorite Books of All Time . . . Sort Of

My task (assigned by my book club) is to list my three favorite books of all time. I don’t even think that is truly possible. “Of all time” is not a sufficient criterion from which to pluck three books. Instead, here are my current top twenty favorite books in no particular order within categories:


Favorite Message/Reading Experience

East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

Peace Like A River, by Leif Enger

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

The Power and the Glory, by Graham Greene

In the Skin of a Lion, by Michael Ondaatje


Favorite to Reread

Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh

Marley & Me, by John Grogan

The Partner, by John Grisham

On the Night of the Seventh Moon, by Victoria Holt


Favorite Story

84, Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

Old School, by Tobias Wolff

Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett

The Complete Stories, by Flannery O’Connor


Favorite Kids/YA

The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg

Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White

James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl

The Giver, by Lois Duncan

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg

Monday, November 26, 2007

Big A** TV


Pretty, pretty TV. It's a 40" flat panel TV that does a myriad of things I only vaguely comprehend. All I/you really need to know is that it is big and things like grass look really vivid.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Six Random Facts About Me

1. I am missing my right ring finger. There was a tragic accident involving night games and sheet metal when I was twelve. I celebrate “my finger anniversary” every July 5th. This next July 5th will mark the thirteenth anniversary of the event, meaning that I will have lived longer without that finger than with it. (I had an illustrious career as the first chair clarinet in band until the unfortunate accident. The only other repercussions come in playing the piano and typing.)

2. I care about things like the fact that “about” is capitalized in the title of this blog. Now, normally, a preposition is not capitalized in a title or heading, UNLESS it is longer than four letters. Yeah, I know things like that. I, too, like to read books about grammar and writing and literary criticism. My favorite lately is How To Read Books Like a Professor. (Note in the title of that book, “to” is not generally capitalized, but it is part of an infinitive in this case and is therefore capitalized.)

3. My two international adventures so far have been to Canada and Mexico (not counting the Caribbean). The Mexico trip was fun, but it was my mom, my brother, and me (all blonde) and no Spanish. We were a little afraid when we got stopped on a toll road 200 miles into the Mexican jungle without money. The non-English speaking soldiers with machine guns strapped to them weren’t very patient. We also saw a dead man who had been shot in the head lying in the street. It was best when we stayed on the private beach of our hotel in Cancun and ordered guacamole from the cabana boys. As for Canada (British Columbia, Vancouver), it was pretty, but it was dirty and damp. The walking tour my husband and I went on was picturesque until we hit the not-so-picturesque parts of downtown. The botanical gardens were amazing. I wanted to bring back lots of plants (probably to be swiftly killed by my brown thumb), but they don’t let you bring plants across the border.

4. My drink of choice is Dr. Pepper. I will sometimes go years without drinking caffeine, but I will always love Dr. Pepper more than any other drink. Sprite with a lemon will do in a pinch.

5. I love puppies (a term I use for all canines, regardless of age)! I always have. I used to try to bring strays home on a semi-regular basis. I thought about a career in animal medicine, but nothing can make me cry faster than a puppy in peril. For example, when we were bringing my mom’s puppy, Oscar, home, I was holding him in my lap when he suddenly realized that we had taken him away from his mother and he let out a little yelp/whine. I cried.

6. I am an organizational freak. It is to the point of a psychosis. My mom used to get mad at me because she would have a project out, get up to go to the bathroom or something, come back, and it would all be put away in its proper place. My husband, having lost an item, will call me and I will know exactly what I would have done with it if I had come across it. I can’t function in an area that is not organized. There is an interesting element of the psychosis, though, where a certain area (right now it is the closet in the office) gets out of a control for a long period of time. I then go crazy ripping it apart, organizing it, and putting it all together again.

(Bonus Fact: I like parenthetical asides (and the word parenthetical).)

Monday, November 12, 2007

In Search of a Hobby

I NEED a creative outlet! My brain and purse have been telling me this for a few weeks now. I was even prompted to go to the craft store. I did. I wandered about Roberts waiting for the THING to jump out at me and claim me as its hobby. Nothing did. The closest I came was the beading section. I, in fact, picked out several kinds of beads. I picked out tools and spacers and wire. And then reality struck. Why would this make a good hobby? Tedious stringing of beads. Expensive supplies. Mounds of beaded things. Do I give them to my friends? Do I . . . what? I just don’t know. So, I abandoned the beading aisle and dream.

Nothing else in the craft store really grabbed my attention. The scrapbooking stuff looked kind of fun, but I tried that once when I was fifteen, and I just don’t have the motivation for it. I liked to cross stitch once, but the patterns were all dumb and I think you can go blind doing that. My grandma was going to teach me how to knit once, but that presents the same production problem as the beads. I don’t want to be the one giving my relatives ugly sweaters for their birthdays (see Mrs. Weasley).

I thus abandoned my craft store search and moved on to the vast resources of the internet. I Googled “hobbies.” About.com divides the vast genre of hobbies into five categories:

arts/crafts

collecting

electronic games

non-electronic games

pastimes

I could immediately cross “electronic games” off of the list. While I am a Guitar Hero, and no one can beat me at Mario Kart, I just don’t think that qualifies as the hobby/creative outlet I’m craving. Similarly, “non-electronic games” had to go. I love to play board games, and especially card games. I’m a mean pinochle player, but again, they just don’t qualify as creative.

That left me with three categories: arts/crafts (with which I had a shaky start), collecting, and pastimes. Okay, I think “collecting” can be kicked off the hobby island. I do have one collection of state quarters. And I have a damn lot of books (remember this, people, when I need help moving). I also collect accolades, but . . .

“Pastimes” kind of threw me off. What does that mean? Baseball? About.com listed birding/wild birds, casino gambling, cigars, dance, freshwater aquariums, gardening, genealogy, guitar, home theater, magic and illusion, motorcycles, photography, radio controlled vehicles, saltwater aquariums, and sports gambling. Shockingly enough, we might have some takers here.

But first, the losers. Birds are nasty (see childhood experience raising emus); casino gambling, while sometimes fun, is dumb and far away and dumb; freshwater and saltwater aquariums: nope (Orlando the beta fish will have to fulfill all my fish needs); cigars = nasty; dance is probably not a good idea (plus Matt won’t go to ballroom dance lessons, so . . . that’s on him); gardening involves dirt, therefore I’m out; as a magician and illusionist I would turn out something like Gob; motorcycles are for people well past my demographic; I don’t even know how to respond to “radio controlled vehicles” as a pastime; and sports gambling would involve some know how about sports and a bookie.

That left me with genealogy, guitar, home theater, and photography. Okay, I’m probably not in the genealogy demographic, but I did get into it as a teenager and enjoyed it. Plus, it has the added benefit of counting towards my salvation, so, I'll keep it on the short list. I’ve thought about learning how to play the guitar (I’m sure I’d be a natural since I ROCK at Guitar Hero). My dad plays the guitar and it seems fun. I’ve also always wanted to learn how to play the violin, but I think that falls under “arts,” not “pastimes.” Home theater is definitely already within the realm of my life, since Matt’s main hobby is movies, but I think I’ll leave the home theater to his domain.

Photography seems the most intriguing of the pastimes. I have a camera, so, check. (In fact, I have a 35mm AND a digital camera.) I’m pretty sure I even have the book “Photography for Dummies,” so I have all of the gear. My friend at church just finished a photography class. I’m officially inspired. Plus, photography has the added benefit of lending the finished product to the arts/crafts side of things. AND you can incorporate puppies.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Last Week: Halloween

HALLOWEEN 2007

With the family in town for my swearing-in, we had to celebrate Halloween, old school style. So, everyone got together (including Blake’s new squeeze, Cindy) and carved pumpkins. I’ve decided that I’m not a big fan of carving pumpkins. I really hate putting my hand into the insides and scraping out all of the gook. After it’s all cleaned out though, it’s fun. Mine is the one that looks scared. (I got the idea from a pattern, but then I did it freehand. Go team.)









Mom made her traditional chili and we had Krispy Kreme doughnuts and watched a couple of episodes of the Twilight Zone. It's nice to be able to actually enjoy minor holidays without having to worry about law school.

Last Week: Swearing In

On Tuesday, October 30, 2007, I was sworn in as an attorney licensed to practice in the Utah courts and the Utah federal court. Good times. Mom came down, and Matt and Blake and Chris were there. The oath is as follows:

"I do solemnly swear that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Utah; that I will discharge the duties of attorney and counselor at law as an officer of the courts of this State with honesty, fidelity, professionalism, and civility; and that I will faithfully observe the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Standards of Professionalism and Civility promulgated by the Supreme Court of the State of Utah."

My mom has most of the pictures on her camera, but here's one that my brother took with my camera:


It was fun to see some of my old classmates, and it’s a huge relief to FINALLY be an official attorney. That’s right: Jessica Griffin Anderson, Esquire. Oh, and I finally got my bar number, it is as perfect as I could have hoped: 11500. Symmetrical and even and round and easy to remember.

After the ceremony we all went to lunch at the Lamb’s Grill. That was Plan C. Plan A was to go to CafĂ© Pierpont, but that is now closed (sad). Plan B was to go to The Garden on the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, but that was closed for renovations (lame). By the time we figured all of that out and decided on the Lamb’s Grill, my feet were no longer talking to me. In preparation for the swearing in, I bought a new suit and very, very pretty, very, very tall BCBG heels. Amazingly, after walking about downtown my feet hurt, but there were no blisters. I love good shoes.

Anyway, it was all very nice. The best part was having everyone there.

Voting Day

VOTING DAY! I love to vote. I love the rush of patriotism and the bragging rights, but most of all I love the “I voted” sticker. When I went to vote today, they ran out of stickers just before I came in. Cruel, cruel world. I was so looking forward to it. I even went to vote during my lunch break so I could wear the sticker longer—to no avail. Sigh. I guess I still get the other benefits: the rush of patriotism, etc. It just doesn’t feel the same without the physical manifestation of my civic superiority.

The major issue on the ballot today was a referendum regarding school vouchers. I have been going back and forth on the issue for weeks. I guess that explains why I am not really certain how I voted. I initially voted against it and then went back to change it, and I can’t remember if I did or not. Hmm…

The only other items on the ballot were two seats on the Provo City Council. I voted for Coy Porter, the former fire chief, and Mark Sumsion (neither of whom are incumbents). I can’t wait for the election returns! Here’s my prediction: vouchers, Porter, and Sumsion will all lose.

Monday, October 29, 2007

review: Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko


I had to read this book once I learned that it is about little kids who lived on Alcatraz in the 1930s. Ever since I was a little girl I've wanted to purchase Alcatraz Island and live there. (Plus, it's a Newberry Honor Book, so it sort of counts towards my goal.)

The book centers around a family: a mother, a father, a "ten" year old sister, and a twelve year old brother, our protagonist, Moose. The family has just moved to Alcatraz Island where the father works around the clock at two jobs so that the sister, Natalie, can attend a prestigious and expensive school for children with mental issues. Natalie has what would today be called autism.

Moose Flanagan's view of life perfectly depicts the struggle between loving someone and half wanting them to go away. He loves his sister, but she complicates his life in ways that most twelve year old boys don't have to deal with. Also, he illustrates the loneliness of the "okay" sibling. All of the family's resources and time seem to be poured into Natalie, leaving Moose with many responsibilities and few perks.

The feeling of this book stayed with me--mostly via the setting. The images of children on the island, taking a boat back and forth to school everyday, lingering just beyond the field where the prisoners play baseball, hoping to catch a ball, having their laundry done in the prisons.

So, the term is overused, but "heartwarming" definitely applies here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Harry the Nintendog

I love puppies.

I can't have one in my condo.

For my birthday, Matt got me the next best thing: Harry the Nintendog.


When I first tried the game, I was invited to select a breed from six choices: a labrador retriever, a toy poodle, a pembroke welsh corgi, a miniature pinscher, a miniature schnauzer, or a shiba inu. I choose a pembroke welsh corgi. I then got to go to the kennel and select my puppy from the litter.

When Harry and I got home, he was scared and unsure. I called to him and he would look at me, but shiver and whine and stay put. Eventually, I called him enough that he learned his name and my voice. Now he'll only come to me.

We proceeded to learn a few tricks (sit, lay down, shake, and roll over) and to go on daily walks. Harry has to be fed and watered everyday, or else he gets angry and sad. Last week I didn't play with him for three days. When I turned the game on, he was dirty and angry and wouldn't come when I called. It was sad.

At first it was a little weird to call to the digital Harry, but I got over that fast. Now it's a lot of fun to play with him (he romps around like a real dog), take him on walks (he's learned to walk on a leash), and to fed and bathe him.

The landlord doesn't mind Harry at all.

review: Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli


A new girl, Stargirl Caraway, arrives in Mica, Arizona. The otherwise homogenous student body of Mica High School does not know what to make of the girl who wears long peasant skirts, plays Happy Birthday on her ukulele at lunch, and puts a tablecloth and candle on her desk in every class.

**SPOILER ALERT**
The rest of the book is not so hard to foresee. At first, Stargirl is an outcast, but eventually she becomes accepted and joins the cheerleading squad. Stargirl, as one might expect, isn't your average cheerleader. Sometimes, she cheers for the other team. Eventually, when Mica's basketball team loses, the students turn on Stargirl. In the meantime, Leo, a shy and average 16-year-old boy, falls in love with Stargirl, but is only comfortable with her when they are not at school. At school, the rest of the student body shuns Leo and Stargirl until Leo can't take it any more. To appease him, Stargirl conforms. But, in the process, she loses herself. Eventually, Stargirl reverts back to her true self, and Leo rejects her. Leo is sad about it later.

So, the plot was rather predictable. In fact, the plot came complete with the wise, ancient, and strange neighborhood archaeologist/cryptic mentor. However, some of the elements of the book were impressive. The Arizona setting was indispensably woven into the story. Desert images abound, not the least of which is Senor Saguaro, a giant cactus who almost seems like a character himself. Also, the message of the book is a good, if a little trite, one.

I would recommend this book to tweens, but probably not any other demographic.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

flight of the harry

Adorable . . . and the inspiration for Harry the Nintendog.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

happy birthday to me!

Someday . . . this will be my present:

Monday, October 1, 2007

review: Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale


Literary academics love to debate definitions. When did the Victorian era of literature really start? To which nation should an ex patriot’s writing be accredited? What is young adult fiction? Stephenie Meyer, one of the most recently popular young adult authors, noted her opinion that young adult books merely have young adult protagonists, while adult books have adult protagonists. That may be true, but YA plots also usually involve some kind of bildungsroman.

Princess Academy is no exception. This Newberry Honor Book follows the coming-of-age of its protagonist, Miri, as well as several of her acquaintances. Motherless Miri lives on Mount Eskel in a small mining community quite separate from the rest of the kingdom of which it is a part, Danland. Though everyone in the village except the very young and the very old labor in the quarry, Miri’s father will not allow her to do so. This exclusion leaves Miri doubting her contribution and value to the small and indigent village.

One autumn day a royal messenger comes and announces that in one year, the prince of Danland would come to Mount Eskel to choose his princess from among the village girls. In the meantime, the village girls were to be sent to the Princess Academy to prepare themselves to be princesses.

The academy not only prepares the future princess for her duties, but it opens up a new world for the isolated mountain girls. Miri’s world is forever altered when she discovers words and finds her place in the village.

Miri is a lovable and believable protagonist with quirks and yearnings and intelligence. Shannon Hale’s prose does not call attention to itself. The book is quickly paced, and the resolution is somewhat surprising but foreseeable. In fact, some of the foreshadowing was, to me, a little too transparent. I knew in generalities how the book was going to end only a few chapters in, but the story was so good that I wanted to see how the characters arrived at that ending.

In the end, a reader does not need a precise category in which to place this book. A place on my bookshelf is good enough for me.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

review: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak


Before going any further, let’s just get one thing out of the way: Damn Nazis! Okay, now that’s out of my system, I can discuss things a little more rationally.

It was The Book Thief’s title and cover that made me pick it up, and it was the subject matter and award on the cover that made me buy it. It was the writing, though, that made me finish the almost-600 pages in just three days.

Starting with The Devil’s Arthimetic, Summer of My German Soldier, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Number the Stars and moving through Survival in Auschwitz and Night, I have been fascinated by novels or memoirs that take place during World War II for most of my life, particularly those that focus on Nazi-Germany. The Book Thief has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf.

Though The Book Thief takes place in Nazi Germany during the early 1940s, there is no Nazi villain at center stage. Rather, it is the aftershocks of usually faraway war and the behaviors of neighbors that ripple through this quiet German town. The book focuses on the lives of non-Jewish Germans during the war: the terror, the pressure to join the Nazi Party, the starvation, the shame of living only miles from Dachau, the humiliation. But also, it shows hope and love and kindness and words and music in the midst of the bleakness.

Told from the point-of-view of Death, the opening sequences are like poetry, in prose form. The descriptions, the turning of phrases on their ends, the colors, it all comes together to create an atmosphere of reading. The words are almost characters themselves.

After the introductory remarks from Death, the story begins with illiterate nine-year-old Liesel, the book thief herself, on a train with her mother and younger brother. The threesome is on their way to Himmel Street in a town near Munich to deliver Liesel and the boy to foster parents. Her brother ominously coughs once on the train and dies. At the gravesite, one of the gravediggers drops a book, and Liesel steals it. She lands on Himmel Street sans brother but with her book. The next four years of Liesel’s life on Himmel Street are chronicled in some of the most beautiful language I’ve ever read.

Warning: though this is touted as a young-adult book there is quite a sprinkling of swearing. Much of it, though, is in German, which tends to soften the blow for me. Another thought: normally, I get irritated with authors for sticking in random foreign words that I can’t understand, but Zusak manages to keep the reader in the know while infusing the book with German.

Markus Zusak (via Death) presents the beauty and the ugly of humans without preaching, without a solution, but with wonder and awe.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

bibliophilism

My name is Jessica, and I am a bibliophile.

Proof? How about Saturday?

On Saturday, my goal was to finish reading Emma for my impending book club meeting on Thursday. Normally, I've raced through the book club selection of the month eons before the actual meeting, substantially impairing my ability to recall my profound thoughts at the meeting weeks later. This month has been different. Though Pride & Prejudice is a standard work in my bibliophilic sect, I have had a difficult time climbing past the first few pages of Emma.


With that preface, back to Saturday.

On the way to Salt Lake, we stopped at the Orem Public Library, a.k.a. bibliophile-enablers central. The following is the list of books I checked out:

Coming Through Slaughter, by Michael Ondaatje

Collected Stories, by Willa Cather

The Castle in the Forest, by Norman Mailer

Saturday, by Ian McEwan

Orient Express, by Graham Greene

*Remember, those books all have to be returned in three weeks.

Deeming the library visit a success, we continued on to Salt Lake City where my husband innocently dropped me off at Sam Weller's. Sam Weller's is pretty close to the happiest place on earth. (No, it's not Disneyland. My top pick for earthly paradise would be Powell's Books.) Anyway, I spent a blissful hour amidst the stacks and rows and finally purchased just one book: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. I have been so enamored of The Book Thief since, that Emma, and other household chores, have been pushed to the side.


Perhaps my book club and their understanding bibliophilic souls will forgive me.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I PASSED!


I PASSED THE BAR! I have been deemed to have the appropriate level of character, fitness, and ethics to be admitted to the Utah Bar. Now, all that stands in my way is a few more hundred dollars worth of licensing fees and a swearing in. Cake.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

pulling out of the funk

One week ago, I maimed my brand new car. After that, until approximately 9:30 p.m. last evening, I was in a funk. What, you ask, pulled me out? Ice cream.

Friday, September 7, 2007

word of the day

mem•oir•ist [mem-wahr-ist]
noun
a person who writes memoirs

Now, it seems obvious that “memoirist” would mean: someone who writes memoirs, but the first time I heard it, mere weeks ago, it seemed too easy, it sounds made up.

As a blogger, it occurred to me that I am actually a memoirist of sorts. A rather pathetic, obscure one, but a writer fit for the title memoirist, sure.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

short stories


Ah, the genre that is short stories. A good collection of short stories, a cup of hot chocolate, rain outside . . .

Anyway, I just wanted to publicize the fact that I found a very good collection of contemporary American short stories aptly titled The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories, edited by Tobias Wolff.

My favorite, so far is "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates. It's easily one of the spookiest stories I've ever read. The only one, so far, that I'd recommend skipping is "River of Names" by Dorothy Allison.

For furthering reading in the short story art form, try any by Roald Dahl.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

financial advice



Check out "indexed" for more insightful thoughts.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

squeaky wheel gets the grease

Flower Folly Update:
After the online flower debacle of June 2007 (see below), my brother filed a Better Business Bureau report against Rosewood. Rosewood replied and was as snotty as ever. However, a couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from ftd.com, the national florist chain. They apologized profusely for the incident, acknowledged their role in it, and offered me a gift certificate for the value of the flowers. I graciously accepted. All I wanted from the very beginning was an acknowledgment that the companies messed up. As a bonus, I got a gift certificate!

Lesson: whining pays.

Monday, August 27, 2007

simpsonizer

Here I am . . .


Here's Matt . . .

Simpsonize yourself!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

weekend in Idaho


We went to Idaho this weekend to visit the fam. My brother turned 23 on Friday. Happy Birthday, Blakey!

Bourne Ultimatum was fun and my favorite of the series (so far) and not as whiplash-y as I expected.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

a little heavy on the west side

So, here's a map of all of the states that I've visited. As you can see, it's a little heavy on the Western United States. I'll have to work on that. Also, some of the states are so random. For example, I've been to Missouri THREE times. I have no family or business there. What is that about?

Goal: visit them all.



create your own personalized map of the USA

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wuthering Heights v. Jane Eyre

I read Wuthering Heights last week. I hated it. Heinous, vile people doing heinous, vile things to each other. I couldn't stand either Cathy or Heathcliff. So much for a great love story. Anyway, I was so disappointed and disillusioned with Wuthering Heights that I decided to give Jane Eyre a chance to redeem the Bronte sisters.

I'll finish Jane Eyre tonight. So far, redemption looks promising. After Jane Eyre, I'm going to round out the experience with Agnes Grey, by Anne Bronte. Then, on to the movie versions!

Monday, August 6, 2007

post bar/eclipse

So, I made it through the bar. Heinous, vile experience. At least it's over, though I don't get the results for a couple of months. Sigh.

In brighter news, Eclipse, the third installment of the series by Stephenie Meyer, is coming out tomorrow. My sister-in-law and I are going to the release party at Border's tonight. Since the book is marketed to young adults, we've decided to blend in by dressing young and donning some of the series-themed temporary tattoos that accompanied the second book, New Moon. Hooray.

Friday, June 29, 2007

goodreads plug



This is a shameless plug for what is becoming one of my favorite websites. Goodreads.com allows you to search books (via Amazon) and then rate them based on a five-star point system. You can write reviews and categorize your books. The best part, though, is that you can see what your friends are reading. Go there! Be my friend.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

flower folly

I'm feeling good about this blogging thing. It's a good forum for the English major turned lawyer. Hey, you have to make a living, right?

It was my step-mother's birthday on Monday. Last Friday, my brother and I realized that we did not have time to mail something through the cheap, yet sluggish USPS, so we decided to order her flowers via internet to be delivered on her birthday. I search the internet, I find a local flower shop, I find an attractive, yet relatively inexpensive bouquet, I enter my credit card number, and I get a confirmation email.

Then I call my step-mother on the date, and she makes no mention of receiving flowers. I confirm with my dad that, indeed, no beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered that day. I call the local flower shop (Rosewood Floral & Gifts in Grand Junction, CO). Answerer states that she has no such order in her system, refers me to the national flower chain. I called FTD.com (the national flower chain), they say that my confirmation number is not from their system--call the local florist.

In the interim of the phone ping-pong job I am getting, I pull up my credit card statement and see that, indeed, my credit card has not been charged. I speak again with the delightful clerk at the Rosewood florist who starts calling me "ma'am" in a nasal, middle-aged annoyed pitch. She restates that she has no order; I reply that I have a confirmation email from that store that I so trustingly relied on. The clerk really gets annoyed at me now, since I'm clearly taking away from her leisure time, and says, "Ma'am, I have no such order in the computer. I am standing right in front of the computer. One wrong letter and the order just stays in cyberspace. You really should have just personally called in your order." At this point, I realize that it is futile to argue with such a rational, helpful, cheerful customer service representative. Further, I have no remedy to demand, since my credit card was not charged. I gave up the direct fight, and decided to go the indirect route--telling everyone I know about the failed transaction. Please, for your own mental health and status re: birthdays, please do not order flowers from either Rosewood Floral & Gifts or FTD.com. There. My public service announcement for the day.

* Note: Consumer research shows that when a person has a bad experience with a product or service, they generally tell 10 people. I'm working to increase that average.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

the move from myspace


I think it is time to make the move from myspace to blogger. In reaching this decision, I have considered weighty matters. I can't recollect them at the moment, but I do recall thinking that blogger is much more mature than myspace. As a lawyer now, I do have a rather snooty image to uphold. Also, I miss my old friends from the Admissions Office, and this appears to be the place to find them. Finally, I'm just really bored and am happy to find a new forum in which to pour the energies I should be reserving for studying for the bar.

I have no babies or the like to report, but I did manage to obtain that elusive law degree in April and will take the bar in July. Good times.

Cheers!