Tuesday, October 30, 2007

BOOK REVIEW: Small Island by Andrea Levy

"Small Island" by Andrea Levy

Incredibly thoughful book; excellent writing; well developed characters; very lively and insightful

Here's a book where I could have never determined that it would end the way it ended. Andrea Levy writes in an often comical way. The three main characters encompass varying degrees of humor; the humor is never forced and so conversational.

I loved this book.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Camera Practice

Okay ... I have a new digital camera and I am still playing w/it. Actually, I only have two days to decide to keep it or return it. I guess that I will keep it.

Here is how my camera practice went recently:

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Getting Your Little Paws on a FREE Movie ...

"Brevity is... wit.": Advanced screenings guide: specific offers

So, you want to see a movie before mainstream America gets ahold of it - or so you don't have to wait in a lengthy line to get tix, then get to sit in a crowded theatre where people talk back to the screen ... ? Well, can't promise that you will have an experience devoid of any on that, but the theory of "you get what you pay" for does come to mind and I am talking FREE movie passes here ...

I like this compliation of movies and where to possibly get some complimentary passes. If you live in a less desirable location or just not in a major city ... oh, well ... there is always the DVD, right?

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Monday, October 22, 2007

GPS ... damn GPS

I recently invested in a new cell phone. I desperately wanted a phone w/GPS so that I could navigate unfamiliar territory w/ease. I figured upgrading my celly would be less expensive than investing in a stand along GPS system (the one's where you have to pay for the updates; the cell phone GPS system automatically updates at not additional cost).

So, I did some research and picked up nice LG phone that has a nice camera as well as a music player. Good stuff.

But the GPS was a selling point. It is taking some time to get used to it. It does not load quick enough for me as it verifies my account and checks traffic and what not. In the past week, I have experienced some difficulty in that in the middle of giving me directions, it has frozen up. Ut-oh. Especially since I did not check the directions in advance, meaning totally dependent on the GPS. One time when it dumped out on me, I drove around the block for about 10 minutes trying to get to my destination. Not so fun.

Another thing about my GPS, it is delayed in giving me my directions. For example, it will say, "Turn right at Smith Road." When I turn right on Smith Road, it takes several seconds before telling me what to do next. That is problematic, if I need to get in the far left lane and there is traffic and I am in the far right lane or something like that.

The system also takes pleasure in telling me to do a U-turn. Ya know, in some cities, U-turns are illegal. I'm not sure if the GPS lady knows that.

Do I plan to call my cell phone provider and give them a heads up about the problems? Damn skippy! And I now have my elaminated map on stand by ... just in case. But really, who has time for that?

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Trying to be Green

So I think that I am environmentally friendly. I do small things like (and this is just a few):
  • unplug some appliances that are not in use
  • purchase energy efficient light bulbs
  • use fewer paper products like napkins and paper towels
  • I travel to work three days a week as opposed to five (or more)

Additionally, I have ambitions:

  • ride my bike more often
  • recycle more
  • use a blanket or sweatshirt instead to turning up the heat

Anywho ... here's a lil something quizzie that I took to gauge my environmental-friendliness:

Your Life is 60% Green

Your life is pretty green - and you know a lot about how to live an eco friendly life.
So congratulate yourself for being good to the earth. And maybe think about implementing some of the ideas from this quiz!

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

My Fav Meal of the Day

I like to eat. Some people might be surprised at that statement because they have never seen me eat anything so much as a cracker.

But it's true - I like to eat. However, I am just now conceding that I am a sort of picky eater, or so it seems. I do not eat beef or pork. Some folks equate that w/being a vegetarian, but I know better. I eat fish and fowl and dairy too; I am not a true vegan.

So why would someone think I'm finicky just because I do not eat beef and pork? Well, I try to eat healthy and stay away from bad things like fried foods and too much sugar and salt.

But back to the focus of this post ... as much as I love soup and salad, breakfast is my all time favorite meal of the day! The variety is endless: when I used to live in Buffalo (when I first gave up beef and pork, but not at the same time), I started having fish and grits for breakfast. Love that. I came to love going to Mattie's, a local restaurant, because they would grill or fry it, put some cheese on my grits and it would be all slow motion walking out of there. Just really good comfort food.

I also love waffles! Yummy! I just like a nice, hot waffle. I love when I go to a hotel and they have the complimentary breakfast w/the waffles where you pour the batter on the waffle maker and flip it over ... yeah ... I have recently been scouting out one of those devices.

Lastly, I like turkey sausage and potatoes and not necessarily together. I like to got to Cracker Barrel because they are one of the few restaurants that offer turkey sausage (and they are good; they also have a hashbrown casserole that is to die for).

Interestingly enough, I eat breakfast daily. Though I've taken to having cereal and generic corn flakes at that (though I do add honey). Some mornings I have oatmeal, but that's when I've run out of milk. But on the daily for me, it's a bowl of corn flakes by 9 a.m. ... and now you know.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What's in a bag?

I've been seeing a lot of floral patterned bags lately. I saw a few students with them and something about them stood out.

Little did I know that they were the ever popular Vera Bradley bags. I was remotely interested until I went into a luggage store and glanced at the price tag ... what!!? Beyond $100 for a fabric, quilt like-bag? Could I get some fabric on sale at a JoAnns and put together my own thing ... ? Well, that's an exaggeration - but obviously I am not willing to pay over $100 for the VB.

I went on eBay and the selection was just okay on my initial search. I lost interest.

However, I am willing to pay over $100 for a 'custom' made bag. So you may say, what's the difference from the Lill handbag and the Vera Bradley? In most cases involving the Lill bag, it is unlikely that there will be a ton of folks with the very same bag. It might have the same material but it might be a different style. And of course, I have some imput on designing the bag. Cool.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

BOOK REVIEW: "Third Girl from the Left"

"Third Girl from the Left" by Martha Southgate

I had a tough time with this book; at least to start. It was heavy on the sex side! And that threw me for a loop. There was all kinds of sex, sex, sex. I felt so prudish and as a result, I stopped reading the book for a day or so. I could not see the purpose of what I thought was gratuitous sex.

The book was supposed to be my reading groups July selection. I sent them an email with my early thoughts. Unfortunately, we ended up not meeting in July and thus did not have to read the book. I thought that we would table it for future use.

Well, future use ended up being September. We had a really good discussion; including comments on all the sex. Some folks did not think that it was a lot of sex especially since the book started in the 70s time period.

Other highlights:

  • discussion on the mother-daughter relationships

  • discussion on lebianism

  • The Tulsa riots

I noticed that some of the characters and events were under-developed like the daughter or the main character, Angela.

Overall, I thought that the book was okay. It was distinctly different than Southgate's previous work, The Fall of Rome. I pushed myself to complete the book. I was thinking: I am not a fan of urban fiction and I want to read different stories about different people and here's my chance to do that.

Here's a link to a Q&A w/Southgate about the book.

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