It’s like crack

Seriously, I have a new addiction:  The Meta Picture.

OMG people, how have I gone this long on the web and never seen this before!?  Some folks adore Pinterest; others Facebook abso-freakin-lutely everywhere.  And I think Youtube is still extremely huge, isn’t it?  I never had much interest in Pinterest (see what I did there?) and I cancelled my Facebook account some time ago.  I do occasionally visit Youtube, but it’s usually via a link from another site.

Now I’ve found my go-to website and I’m not even sure how I originally landed onit.  I think it was linked to on a blog I follow, but since I follow a LOT of blogs who knows which one?  THANK YOU whoever you are!  Now I spend all day (okay, parts of the day) checking to see what new posts are up there.  This is one of my favorites:

Golden Girls drink menu

Then there’s this cool shi…uh, stuff:

Amazing paper art by Peter Callesen…

Not to mention this page:

One of the coolest fountains I’ve ever seen…


Unfortunately, this awesomeness causes me all sorts of grief.  I have the page saved to my desktop so I can pop over there to grab a smile when I have a moment between tasks.  The problem begins when I get to the bottom of the first page.  There are NINE more pages!  I can’t just ignore those pages can I?  What if some cool new post is in there somewhere?  So I end up hitting Next over and over and over.  Then an email will pop up and one of my attorneys will ask where that report is they needed half an hour ago.  Wait…what?  I’ve been hitting Next for an hour and a half?!

You see my problem.  It’s just like crack!

But I can stop.  No really, I can stop whenever I want.

Maybe after one more page…




Disclaimer:  Like all interactive sites there are some idiots who post garbage I wouldn’t waste my time on, but mostly that type of post is infrequent.  Just be forewarned.

Movie Suggestion

Yeah, lame title I know.  I’m not a bonafide movie reviewer and I didn’t want to make this sound like you had to go see this movie.  Or I guess rent it since it’s from 2012 and I don’t think it’s in the theaters any more.  I thought about calling this “Sappy Love Story” but it really didn’t seem sappy to me; I enjoyed it.

What?  What did you enjoy, you ask?  Okay, even if you didn’t ask I’m going to tell you.  Awhile back Hubs told me about this movie called Upside Down.  He explained it was about two planets which are in a twinned orbit around each other.  Even with more information, I couldn’t picture it from his description.  The other night we watched it and I was stunned.  See, I know in my head that a lot of what we saw on the screen was computer graphics, right?  It had to be.  But it was so well done!  The visual aspect of the film was amazing!

One planet is wealthy and controlling while the other is poor and its people struggle to survive.  People from one cannot live on the other because of the opposing gravities.  It’s an interesting premise.  Mixed in is a sweet love story; sort of a twist on Romeo and Juliet.  From IMDB:

“Adam and Eden fell in love as teens despite the fact that they live on twinned worlds with gravities that pull in opposite directions.  Ten years after a forced separation, Adam sets out on a dangerous quest to reconnect with his love.”

Well, it sounds sappy when I read the blurb.  But it didn’t feel sappy while I was watching it.

This is an adventure story, including fast-paced chase scenes and narrow escapes along with a touch of sweetness and hope.  Click on the movie link above and you can watch a trailer at IMDB.  If you decide to watch it I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Movie Review

Last night it was Hubs’ turn to pick out the movie we watched.  He’s been adding to our collection here and there so selecting a film can be an adventure.  When he handed me a disk and I read You’re Telling Me! I was curious.  Later, as the introduction began to roll and I saw W.C. Fields was starring I was a bit reluctant.  I’ve not seen any W.C. Fields movies all the way through and the one that Hubs had on a few weeks back did not appeal to me, so I was worried I wouldn’t like this one. 

Boy was I wrong!  I laughed myself silly through the second half.  In the beginning all I could think about was throttling Sam’s wife!  Fields plays Sam Bisbee, an optometrist and inventor.  Not a successful inventor.  Plus he likes to drink, sometimes to excess.  (W.C. Fields – go figure J).  He lives with his wife and daughter on the wrong side of the tracks in a small town.  His wife is a crabby bitch, unhappy with her husband, his inventions and his drinking.  Sam has invented something which should guarantee his success, but a no parking zone leads to disaster …

Following what Sam perceives as his final disgrace, he decides to end it all but can’t go through with it.  Then he meets the Princess on the train, the rumor mill grinds on and hilarity ensues.

I don’t want to give away too much but I highly recommend this simple, funny movie.  It isn’t deep or sophisticated.  It’s just good fun. 

Happy weekend everyone!

Have you ever

Have you ever read a book that was outside your comfort zone?  Or watched a movie you didn’t really like?  Awhile back I joined a book club at work that meets during lunch once a month.  Our most recent book, which we discussed yesterday, wasn’t my favorite.  There’s nothing wrong with the book itself, I just could not relate to the story or the protagonist. 

I read for enjoyment.  If I’m not having a good time it becomes more like work.  After trying three times to read this book I finally faced the fact that I couldn’t finish.  The female protagonist was thoroughly unlikable.  She had no redeeming features.  Not. One.  As an example, when her mother is shot our heroine ponders what she should wear to the hospital!  In addition, everything – and I DO mean everything – is about sex with this girl.  At one point she’s in a restaurant with her younger sisters and the young man her father sent to watch over them while he’s with their mother in the hospital.  As they’re led to their table she sees a centerpiece with lit candles and immediately starts thinking about the flames and how they’re heating her up!  Only her thoughts are a bit more explicit.

Now I’m no prude.  At fifty-mumble years old my life experience includes sex abuse, a few adult liasions and two marriages.  I’m a Scorpio, married to a Scorpio for heaven’s sake!  I’m not adverse to having sex in a book I’m reading if it furthers the plot or helps me understand a character.  But this girl was so over the top that I was uncomfortable reading her thoughts.  She talks about losing her virginity at 12!!  Voluntarily!  [shudder]

Okay deep breath Bubbe.  And hold it, hold it….  Let it out slowly.  There, a little better now. 

During our meeting yesterday one of the members who did finish the book said he kept waiting for the character to develop but she never did.  Through all the trials she faced (father arrested, mother shot, foster care, jail) she NEVER grew.  And of course it was always someone else’s fault.  After hearing various members agreeing I was so glad I didn’t waste any more time on the book than I did.  Life is too short to read books you don’t like.

And don’t even get me started on Leaving Las Vegas!

P.S.  I’m not naming the book because it isn’t my intent to trash it just because I didn’t like it personally.  Others may enjoy it; several in our group did.

You have to read this!

In her debut novel Still Missing, Chevy Stevens mesmerized me.  After borrowing the book from the library on Tuesday I found myself reading every chance I got.  On the train going home.  On the train Wednesday morning coming to work.  At lunch on Wednesday and again going home.  Today – Thursday I did it again.  But after lunch I couldn’t put it down and work was so slow I didn’t.  Leaving it open on my desk I continued reading while keeping one eye on my inbox in case new work arrived.  I finished it a few minutes ago.

One of the blurbs on the back cover said it best, “While reading Chevy Stevens’s thriller Still Missing, I had to remind myself to breathe.  Simply terrifying.”  (Erica Spindler, New York Times bestselling author of Blood Vines).

I’m a fan of authors like Dean Koontz and Lisa Gardiner who know a thing or three about suspense.  Chevy Stevens took suspense and fear and dread to a whole new level for me.  Her protagonist, Annie O’Sullivan is a career woman who seems to have it together.  Until she’s abducted by a psycho bastard who locks her in a fortified cabin hidden in the woods.  The story describes how Annie fights to stay alive while losing bits and pieces of herself over the next year.  It’s frightening, heart-wrenching, desperate. 

Set on Vancouver Island in Canada, the story unfolds as Annie describes her experiences to her therapist.  She recounts the abduction, the brutal treatment by her captor and also shares how her transition back into normal life is progressing. 

When the investigation into her abduction takes an unpredictable turn, Annie confronts a startling truth and must make some hard decisions. 

As I said initially, the book mesmerized me; and it gave me the chills.  And it made me cry and even laugh a little.  It’s a wild ride!  If you aren’t a fan of thrillers you might still enjoy this.  As frightened as I was for Annie the reader knows from the beginning that she survived, because she’s talking to her therapist afterward.  Knowing that helps with the scarier parts. 

If you do read it, or have already read it please let me know how you liked it.  Now I need to go find Stevens’ second book.  Well, after I read this month’s book club selection I guess.

Kangaroo Dundee

As promised, let me tell you about a documentary Hubs and I watched over the weekend – Kangaroo Dundee.  Well, we saw Part 1.  BBC lured us in with cute little joeys and then cut it off after an hour damn it.  Part 2 airs this coming weekend so you know what I’ll be doing. 

Brolga lives in the Australian Outback near Alice Springs where he shares a 90 acre kangaroo sanctuary with a mob of 25 ‘roos.  That’s what you call a group of kangaroos – a mob.  I love learning new stuff!  He rescues joeys orphaned when their mothers are hit by vehicles.  In Part 1 he rescues William from the highway and brings him home.  William, not ready to leave his mother’s pouch, requires 24/7 care and nurturing to survive, even to the point that Brolga snuggles him into bed with him.  Brolga wakes every few hours to prepare milk and feed the orphan.  It was fascinating and touching to watch this lanky 6’7″ Australian become a kangaroo mum. 

Feeding a hungry joey.

Feeding a hungry joey.

With breathtaking cinematography and Brolga’s obvious passion for these lovely creatures, the program mesmerized me.  At one point I turned to Hubs and said, “Can we move to Australia and help him?”  That was before I learned that Brolga lives in a one-room tin shack without running water or bathroom facilities.  See?  That right there is passion!  I’ve hauled my share of water and I could do it again if I had to, but I’d really prefer to have a genuine bathroom. 

Anyway, back to the program.  Using specially designed cameras – and thanks to the kangaroo’s trust in Brolga – the filmmakers were able to capture the progress of a kangaroo embryo as it developed in the pouch.  There are no words to describe it! 

Later, Brolga visits Cynthia and Anne Marie in Alice Springs when William seems lonely and despondent (he did just lose his mama after all).  Cynthia, a retired nurse and Anne Marie, a dog hairdresser preside over a house full of joeys, hopping around in nappies (diapers to us) while they’re nursed back to health.  Cynthia sent Brolga home with two female joeys close in age to William.  Brolga bundles each of the three into their own pillowcase and nestles them close together to sleep near the stove.  The care and feeding, laundry (his joeys don’t wear nappies so he’s constantly washing the pillowcases he carries them around in) and snuggling are tripled.  But it doesn’t phase Brolga.  It’s clear he loves what he is doing. 

If you have access to BBC Two I highly recommend you check it out.  And for more photos visit the Sanctuary’s website linked above. 

You’re welcome!

Too Much Fun

Yes Virginia, there is such a thing as Too Much Fun.  And I have the swollen, sore knee to prove it!

Friday after work I made Hubs go with me to the Burlington Coat Factory near us.  It’s too dang cold here and I needed me some warmer gloves/mittens for my commute.  Plus I had gift cards!  Luckily I found some cozy, mittens – the kind with the flip-top over the fingers.  They’re lined with a soft fabric and are knit in a variegated yarn in shades of gray, black, red, white, gold, and even some light brown.  It sounds strange but they’re way funky cool!  (Yes “funky cool” is too a thing!)

After that find I went on the hunt for a new hat.  My old slouchy Land’s End hat is comfy but the rolled brim style doesn’t work with my new winter coat’s collar so I needed something that didn’t have a brim all the way ’round.  Nailed it again!  I LOVE the cute new hat I found – it has one of those mock visors in front with a knit flower attached to one side.  And the best part?  It pulls down over my ears (mostly) so they stay warmer!

Deed done, I started looking for ankle weights but there were none to be found at Burlington and after checking out when Hubs suggested we step into the mall and see whether there was a sporting goods store I agreed.  We found a directory and the Sports Authority didn’t look all that far away.  Um, don’t trust those lying store directories!  Just sayin’.  (But I did find my ankle weights, so it worked out.)  And that was only Friday.

Saturday we got off to a slow start, thankfully.  We were due in Factoria to have an early dinner with the Fam for Mom’s 83rd birthday but that was hours away so I took my time getting ready.  I love having the time to take my time, you know? 

And dinner with everyone was nice:  no tension which was sooo welcome.  Mom wanted to eat at Goldberg’s Famous Delicatessen so the family converged on Factoria from all over.  Goldberg’s has well-deserved excellent reviews and if you like deli fare you should definitely experience it if you get out this way.  I’d stay away from the take-home stuff though.  While it’s yummy personified it can get pricey!

After the food and visiting and birthday cake (and holding the grandbaby) we all said our goodbyes and made our way home.  Hubs and I stopped over at daughter K’s to watch Looper with her before going home ourselves.  It’s an involved storyline that requires you to pay close attention so it took me awhile to really get into it but I loved it, though I wasn’t entirely happy with the ending. 😦  No spoilers!  But if you like adventure stories or time travel or even SciFi you’ll probably enjoy this.  It’s one I’ll watch again and again I think.

On Sunday we lazed around the house for hours before finally packing up the dogs and the vacuum cleaner and heading to Puyallup.  Several years ago we bought an Oreck Ultra 21 XL or XL 21 or something.  It was guaranteed for 21 years y’all!  The only condition is that we have it tuned up every year for free!  Okay, the tune-up itself is free; any needed parts we have to pay for (except the belt which they replace as part of the tune-up).  The only thing we’ve ever had to pay for is the roller bar and I think we’ve replaced that a total of twice in seven years (this being the second time).  Oh and we have to buy replacement bags when we run out.  It’s a sweet deal and even with all the dog hair, horse hair, cat hair, farm dirt, dust, etc. the vacuum has never failed me! 

After the Oreck’s tune-up we searched via our Garmin for a nearby park where we could walk the dogs.  Less than a mile away we found Bradley Lake Park – WOW!  Just WOW!  I almost wished we lived in Puyallup so we could walk the dogs there every day!  Even with leftover snow on the ground the park was amazing!  The small lake is open for people-powered boats and there’s a .8 mile paved path all around the lake and through the woods on the opposite side from where we were.  I’m planning to tackle that path the next warm weekend we have!  As it was the dogs loved going right down to the edge of the lake where the water was frozen.  Climbing down the bank and then back up was probably what finally did my knee in though.  Even so, I can’t wait till we can go back there. 

And hey y’all, I brought you back a souvenir!  Check this out – taken with the new Smart phone my daughter gave me for Christmas!

Sunset - resized

Definitely too much fun.  My knee was so swollen and sore I opted to stay home from work Monday and spent much of the day with it elevated and under the ice pack.  It’s a bit better today and it was SO worth it!


Guilty Pleasure

I said in an earlier post that I’m not a fan of reality shows.  I. Do. Not. Like. Reality. Shows.  Usually.  But I found one I enjoy.  At least I think it’s a reality show.  Is there some way to tell?  Are there parameters or a definition somewhere? 

Wikipedia had this to say: 

Reality television is a genre of television programming that presents purportedly unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors, sometimes in a contest or other situation where a prize is awarded.

There remains some disagreement over whether talent-search shows such as the Idol series, America’s Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, and Celebrity Duets are truly reality television, or just newer incarnations of shows such as Star Search. Although the shows involve a traditional talent search, the shows follow the reality-competition conventions of removing one or more contestants per episode and allowing the public to vote on who is removed.

So my new guilty pleasure is not necessarily reality TV – cool!  I can’t recall how I discovered America’s Got Talent and I didn’t drop everything and immediately begin following it.   In fact although the show is in its 7th season, I can count on one hand the number of complete episodes I’ve watched.  Usually I would catch one act or an audition, often via an email from a friend.  For instance, I was impressed by the audition of Terry Fator (with his sidekick Emma Taylor).  Tell me this isn’t cool!

Over time I’ve seen other snippets of shows on Facebook (Godvine is a reliable source for moving auditions), looked up specific acts on Youtube and last year Hubs even saw a performance he liked so well he tracked the dancers down online to see them again.  I don’t know why this year I decided to check out Season 7 from the beginning but I just finished watching the first two 2-hour audition shows.  Let me just say – WOW!  These were only auditions!  Holy cow!  Here are some of my favorites:

Tim Hockenberry – the performance begins around the 1:15 mark.  He blew away the audience and judges!

David Garibaldi & his CMYKs – performance art that popped.

William Close -This guy designed and built something he calls an Earth Harp.  It turned the whole auditorium into an instrument. 

That’s only three!  There were so many others who were amazing!  Of course since these were the auditions there were some real bombs too.  It hurt to watch some of them, but it made me realize how brave you have to be to put yourself out there.  I could never stand up on a stage in front of people — NEVER!  So kudos to everyone willing to stand – first in the huge line and then to stand up onstage and sing or dance or whatever it is you do.  You all rock!

Off Their Rockers

Betty White has a new show.  It involves an ensemble cast of feisty seniors who prank young people in various ways with hidden cameras.  I’ll let you ponder the possibilities for a moment. 

Hums softly, inspects cuticles.

If your imagination didn’t kick in and provide you with some idea of what to expect let me jumpstart it for you. 

Small spoiler ahead.

Say an older gentleman comes up to you looking dazed and confused and asks if you know about “that texting thing.”  Then when you acknowledge you do, he asks if you’d mind sending a text for him because he can’t see the keyboard.  Absolutely you would help him right?  What if it were your dad?  Or granddad?  You’d want someone to be nice to them.  So you take his phone and wait for him to dictate the message:  “Honey, I have the wine if you have the whip and handcuffs.  Tonight’s the night!” 

Remember the old guy is probably in his 60s or 70s and the young woman who is helping him is somewhere in her 20s.  Now does your imagination paint a picture of her reaction?  I know, right? 

Then there are the nuns, who are nothing like any nuns I’ve ever met – um, not that I’ve met a lot of nuns.  Actually I don’t think I’ve met any nuns ever.  So to be clear, I have no idea how real nuns behave but I’ll bet it ain’t like that!

Some of the pranks involve hot young men.  Like Cris Leche. 

Yowser!  Would you get a load of those blue eyes? 

And then there’s this: 

Isn’t he awesome?!

The crew pull their pranks at Union Station, in various airports, at the beach and in the supermarket (pool cue + Best Foods = ??).  Of all the episodes we’ve watched there were a couple of pranks I didn’t like.  They seemed kind of mean.   But overall the pranks are silly and fun.  The only thing missing is that they don’t show the prankees learning they were pranked.  That was one of my favorite parts of Candid Camera and I would have liked to see it here too. 

I can’t remember how we found this show – we don’t have cable or satellite so we don’t see commercials for new shows.  However it came about though, I’m loving it.  I think we – Grammy, Jo, Pamela – should make up an audition tape; maybe we can get a guest spot on the show!  You guys in?

Book Review – The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

I don’t know much about reviewing books, but I know what I like and I LOVED this!  Mr. Beddor is my new favorite author!  That isn’t the huge deal it could be I guess since my favorite changes pretty often.  But after reading my blogging buddy Dana’s review of ArchEnemy, I had to read the series.

The Looking Glass Wars is one of the best reads I’ve found in awhile.  It tells the tale of Alyss, a princess in Wonderland along with her tutor Bibwit Harte; her best buddy Dodge Anders; doofus Jack of Diamonds, and other assorted company.  I don’t want to give away anything but you have to know a little in order to determine for yourself if this sounds interesting.  So here you go: 

  • banished evil aunt
  • mutant card soldiers
  • top hat warrior
  • smoking caterpillars
  • morphing kitten
  • heart crystal
  • Pool of Tears – portal to ?
  • Victorian London (seriously, Victorian London)
  • checkerboard desert

There you have it!  Okay, I know that isn’t much.  Here’s a quick synopsis: 

Seven year old Alyss escapes from her evil aunt and for the next thirteen years is trapped in Victorian London.  She is “rescued” at the altar on her wedding day and returns to Wonderland to battle her aunt for the throne with the help of a motley group of rebels.  Throw in a double agent (or two), smoking caterpillars and steampunky inventions and you’ve got a fascinating tail of intrigue and action. 

You might enjoy this if you like fantasy or sci fi subjects.  It started a little slowly (for me anyway) but very quickly I couldn’t put it down.  Beddor creates wonderful, real characters complete with flaws.  Wonderland is vivid and not surprisingly, a little magical.  The story of good vs. evil has been done to death but Beddor has given it new life here. 

I can’t wait to read the next volume, Seeing Redd.   

Thanks Dana!