CIMG2157So last weekend, I got to go back to the 80s - musically, that is.

Oh yeah. ;-)

Journey and Def Leppard, live and in concert, baby!

My sister, bro-in-law, bro-in-law's bro and I headed up to Deer Creek to take in the show.

Despite the hot sun and the crowds (and crowds and CROWDS) of people, we bought concert shirts, had some tasty libations, and sang our hearts out to some 80s rock music.

CIMG2143Journey was truly the soundtrack of my childhood, so it was fabulous to finally see them live - despite the absence of the infamous Steve Perry.

And Def Leppard's show was AWESOME!

What a fabulous time. :-)

(complete concert photos here)

Cold Hit by Stephen J. Cannell

I was desperate for a really good, new audiobook and this was recommended to me by Jeanne the Bookmobile Lady, and when I saw it was written by Cannell (he of A-Team fame), I was in.

This is a fast-paced, suspenseful police procedural (featuring recurring character Shane Scully) that involves a serial killer, a Russian mob connection, a failing police partner, and the Patriot Act. Scully is an immensely likeable narrator, and I quickly became invested in his story, and the mystery of the book.

If you heart A-Team like me, you'll love this! ;-)

Note: I listened to the audio version, narrated by Scott Brick. Brick could narrate the phone book, and I would drool over it. He rocks so hard. Scared of audiobooks? Find one narrated by Brick...

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This is a "fable" that was recommended for reading and discussion for my adult group at the library. I've not read it before, so I was curious as to what it was about.

This is a very easy, meandering read (it's less than 200 pages) written is very simple, straightforward (though not childish) language about a shephard who goes on a quest for his "personal legend". I think this is one of those titles where you have to be in the right frame of mind, or ready to find your spiritual guide before it really "speaks" to you. I'm curious how my perception changes after our discussion tomorrow evening...

If you enjoy eastern-philosophy-mixed-with-western-ideals, you may enjoy this title.

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Though this book won't be released for many more weeks, I was lucky enough to borrow Jessy-the-YA-librarian's galley copy, and I read it in a flash!

Oh my I love this YA series, which began with Twilight. This second in the trilogy (or more?) continues to chronicle the perilous relationship between Bella (a human) and Edward (a vampire). Bella's continued risk at being around the Cullen family pushes Edward to take drastic measures, which Bella might not survive...

Though I loved the suspense portions of the novel and the exploration of other characters in La Push, the romantic in me longed for more Bella-and-Edward scenes. I'm sure Meyer will make up for it in the third book. :-)

This is a FANTASTIC series - the best YA novels I've read. Highly, highly recommend Twilight and New Moon!

posterart_man_640x480I am completely and utterly addicted to HBO's Rome.

My girl Jen (she of NIN-silly-commenting fame) burned me the complete first season, and though I was skeptical, I gave it a shot.


The sets are amazing, the storylines engrossing, the characters deliciously evil, conniving, heroic or just plain mesmerizing.

Naturally, Pullo is my favorite character (played by the amazing Ray Stevenson), followed closely by Atia, played brilliantly by Polly Walker. But really, everyone is intriquing in their own way...

I recently heard they are only going to film one more season of the series, due to it being only a 2-year contract with BBC, and it *is* an insanely expensive show - filmed on location in Italy.

The second season is to debut in 2007. *sob*

If you haven't seen Rome, watch it! You won't be disappointed!

CIMG2133Sometimes, all a girl needs to make her day brighter is...

*Lunch at the best Mexican restaurant

*A waiter who already knows what drink to bring

*AND what order to put in

*Sharing an entire basket of chips with a good friend

*Feeling deliciously full the rest of the day

Good times. :-)

CIMG2132There are worse reasons to have to slow down than the neighborhood ice cream truck. :-)

(If I wasn't on my way to a Board Meeting, I would have stopped for an ice cream sandwich...)

When's the last time you got goodies from an ice cream van?

CIMG2115Tips and tricks for writing a multi-million dollar library one day.

Assemble tools, which include but are not limited to:

*budget forms

*pen and pencil

*cupcakes for breakfast, Sun Chips for lunch


*gallon o' Diet Pepsi

*adding machine

*number whiz and good buddy to run adding machine

*cell phone

Then, you will need to...

CIMG2117*lock yourself in a meeting room so as not to be disturbed

*use a cell phone to call for information from inside the library

*crunch numbers, and pencil them in

*call the Board President for back-up

*when the Board President can't help, have *him* call for backup

*have the backup (who is several states away) call you back early next week to help with the ONE MAGIC NUMBER that NO ONE CAN FIGURE OUT WHERE THE HELL IT CAME FROM ON PAST BUDGET FORMS

Be sure to...

*Summon people to the meeting room on occasion to consult on some numbers

CIMG2119*take a quick trip into the library when a rainstorm starts and the roof in your office, and your office only, begins leaking like a waterfall

*Take advantage of the restorative powers of Koodie Hoo's for lunch to gear up for an afternoon of more number crunching, erasing, adding, calling and beat of thy head against a table

*Wear comfortable clothing (NIN shirt, jeans, Doc Martens) for sprawling on floor in despair

*Stop at 5pm - there's no need to have something like a little budget encroach on your weekend.

Take it from us - this method works every time! :-)

Tell Them I Didn't Cry by Jackie Spinner

This memoir chronicles Spinner's (a journalist with the Washington Post) 9 month stay in Iraq covering the war - complete with threats against terrorists, being embedded, finding stories, and just day to day life in Iraq.

Spinner focuses primarily on her Iraqi colleagues, and on certain stories she covers. Perhaps most poignant are Jenny Spinner's writings in the book - she is Jackie's twin sister, and lived in fear for nine months of Jackie being hurt or killed.

Spinner did a nice job of writing about her trials and tribulations, as well as the struggle she felt when she finally had to return home - though it was time, she wasn't easily able to leap back into day to day life.

An uncomplicated read, but an interesting one.

CIMG2121 CIMG2122

One of the best parts of summer in Indiana is stopping by a farm stand right on your way home to pick up whatever is freshest.

(This is not to be confused with "The Potato Man" who arrives earlier in the year, and sells 50 pound bags of potatoes out of a tractor-trailer)

This week, it's been tomatoes, peaches and sweet corn for me!

Next time, it's going to be a world-famous Posey County melon and some squash...

CIMG2101So what do you do when the library Bookmobile has been on the road for twenty years?

You throw a party, of course!

With cake!

Jeanne, Mary and I braved the high temperatures and intermittent rain to throw a birthday party at one of our busiest stops, eat cake, and give away a grand prize...what a good time!

CIMG2106And what good PR for the library, no?

(entire party photo set is right here)

It was time for a little makeover of ye olde blog...

What do y'all think?

Personally, I heart the new design!

Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton

Hamilton's Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series are the only horror books I've really read - and with the beginning of the series, I was entranced. Vampires, shapeshifters, things that go bump in the night...all of that was all good.

In the last few books, however, Hamilton has shifted from horror and gore to Anita's need (it's too complicated to sum in a blog post) to have sex with, well, every guy ever.

This particular entry had a muddy plot, ended too abruptly, and essentially focused on Anita's possible pregnancy, and then had her spending the other 450 pages having sex with vampires, shapeshifters and pomme de sang (and oh my, she needs an editor). Frankly, it got a bit repetitive, and I think the series is going to continue to draw criticism from fans until Hamilton moves Anita forward, finds a plot to really explore, and stops writing erotica masked as horror.

Which, hey, it's good erotica, it's just not how this series began, or what it was originally about.

I'm really on the fence on this one...

Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe

What a cute YA/chick lit book!

Jasmine is in Las Vegas on a family vacation, when she finds herself plunged into trouble, on the run, solving mysteries, entertaining her friends and falling for a very.cute.boy.

This is a fun, fast read in the vein of Meg Cabot (woohoo!), which has a kicky use of footnotes. Highly recommended!

PROJECTRUNWAY061906Yay! Project Runway Season 3 is underway!

Oh, how I have missed Tim Gunn. *sigh*

Initial thoughts on the first episode...

Personalities I like so far: Robert (fave!), Kayne, Angela (Midwest represent!)

Personalities I don't like so far: Malan, Jeffrey, Keith

Fave outfits: Robert, Laura

Least fave outfits: Jeffrey, Vincent

I was stunned at how forgiving and nice the judges were...that certainly won't last! Anyhoo, looks like there are some major personalities going on, and there is going to be lots of drama! Yay for Project Runway!

I know, I know...I've been a bit tardy in updating the blog of late, but I'm trying to make up for it now!

CIMG2052I took a few days vacation last week, and thus had a nice looooong Fourth of July weekend, which was great! I went home to see the fam for a few days - mostly to see my father, as my mother was in the throes of Wimbledon watching (a British holiday, natch. *grin*)

Dad and I ate at my favorite Japanese restaurant, wandered around Sam's, went shopping for shoes, grilled out, bought fireworks, went to pick out a new van for the parentals, and even went to the driving range to hit golf balls!

CIMG2074Clearly, I'm a bit out of practice, but didn't utterly embarrass myself. ;-)

We went over to Don and Michelle's for a raclette, and set off our fireworks, which were very pretty - and no brothers-in-law were harmed during the setting off of fireworks. :-)

After the weekend, it was time to head to Bloomington to see Jen, Jason and Sean, and to get goth-pretty for the Nine Inch Nails concert at Deer Creek.

CIMG2083After the concert, we crashed in Bloomington, had a tasty cookout at Jason and Sean's, I got to see Layne (who turns 2 later this month!) and then it was already time to come home. What a great weekend...

And the NIN concert...Oh.My.God.

Trent was ON IT, people. He was energetic, the crowd was amazing, the set list awesome, and Trent was quite the Chatty Cathy. There were even fireworks afterwards!

What an AMAZING show.

Highlights from the show:

*Trent telling us what an AWESOME crowd we were
*Trent's 4 foot vertical jump during Down In It
*Trent calling out the security guard during the show
*Getting to hear Non-Entity live
*Trent promising a new album and a new tour in early 2007 (wheeeeee!)
*Fireworks after the show
*Laughing at Jen as she sat down during Hurt
*Trent exclaiming "What the fuck was THAT?" during THTF when someone threw a pair of granny panties on the stage (which Aaron later put on his head)
*Aaron's signature guitar destruction at the end of the show

Funny story from the show:

CIMG2082Because we had lawn seats, we grabbed a blanket to take in with us to sit on. As we were walking up, we saw an attendant inform other people we couldn't take in blankets. I went and (very charmingly, and with much cleavage) asked about the no-blanket deal. He told us no blankets - people in the lawn have gotten *ahem* fire-y with blankets in the past. He offers to take us in his golf cart back to the car, which we gratefully accept. We drop off the blanket, and he offers to run us back to the gate. We're, back to where he picked us up. But no....our prince drove us right up to the ticket booth. I felt like royalty, especially since it was 870345 degrees outside, and I was wearing big boots. What a prince. :-)


1. Somewhat Damaged
2. You Know What You Are?
3. Terrible Lie
4. March Of The Pigs
5. Something I Can Never Have
6. Closer
7. Burn
8. Gave Up
9. Help Me I Am In Hell
10. Non-Entity
11. Only
12. Wish
13. La Mer
14. Into The Void
15. The Big Come Down
16. Suck
17. Down In It
18. Hurt
19. Final Solution w/ Peter Murphy
20. The Hand That Feeds
21. Head Like A Hole

(more photos here)

The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer

Though I've not reasd Strohmeyer's "Bubbles" series, I did read The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives and loved it, so I was immediately drawn to this new stand-alone title.

Nola Devlin is overweight, underappreciated, and leading a secret double life that no one knows about. What happens when a handsome stranger, a weight loss pact, and several fires ensue? Hilarity and chaos, of course!

This is a witty, warm read with fun characters and cute dialogue. Any woman who has ever struggled to lose a pound or two will love this title! Recommended!

Showdown by Tilly Bagshawe

Sometimes, in the summer, a girl just needs to read something trashy - and this fit the bill perfectly! (I mean, c'mon, look at the cover!)

This lengthly beach read chronicles love, lust, deception and more in the world of horse racing, traveling from Newmarket (in England) to ranches of California. The writing is sharp and at times baudy, and the characters deliciously flawed.

Though I think some of this novel could have been edited (at 450+ pages, it's hard to HOLD on the beach!), overall I thought it was a fun, escapist read!

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

This is the YA series based on the adult books written by James Patterson (such as The Beach House). Though the characters are different, the premise is the same...6 kids against the world, challenged by the fact they are 98% human and 2% bird.

I thought this was an interesting beginning to the series, and features likeable and diverse characters from a YA standpoint, though I found the ending abrupt and REALLY open-ended...Patterson didn't even try to hide the fact that a sequel was coming.

An interesting no-quite-sci-fi read...

Note: I listened to the audio version, narrated by Evan Rachel Wood. Great voice and great musical cues make this 4-disc set a snappy listen.