28 Mar 2010

Quiet Weekend

Like the title says, it was a rather quiet weekend.

Saturday was spent doing a lot of wandering around and window shopping at various stores. The Man is seriously contemplating a new television, which means we need to look at new television stands and a place for the guniea pig's cage to go. I've got no complaints in this department... a new television would rock. We spent some time at the mall and I hit the Sony store to check out their ereaders again. Price has come down and I really don't seem to mind the 6" touch screen one. Not sure if I should wait for the newest model to hit shelves or just grab the one that's there now :p.

Today was another wandering day, but we actually made purchases! No, no TV, but I did get all the yarn I need to make the baby blanket I want to make for a friend of mine. His wife is pregnant and it is their first child, so I figured I'd do up a blankie for them. The little guy got new shoes (his feet grow so damn fast!) and we decided to get a potty seat for the big toilet with hopes that perhaps he'd rather just do it that way. Keeping fingers crossed on that front :p (Have I mentioned I hate potty training???).

Now I'm off to crawl into bed.

currently reading: Going Bovine - Libba Bray

25 Mar 2010

Book Review - Little Bee

Title: Little Bee (also known as The Other Hand in some countries)
Author: Chris Cleave
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
ISBN: 978-0-385-66530-8
266 pgs

I picked up this book off one of my group's Potluck Book thread, which worked out well since I had it on my TBR list anyway.

So, there is no typical blurb on this book to tell you what it is about.  Instead there is this:

We don't want to tell you too much about this book.  It is a truely special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this:  This is the story of two women.  Their lives collide one fateful day and one of them has to make a terrible choice.  Two years later, they meet again.  The story starts there.  Once you have read it you'll want to tell everyone about it.  When you do, please don't tell them what happens.  The magic is in how it unfolds.

So I basically went into this book blind, with nothing except my group pals assurances that they loved it and I'd probably love it too.  I liked it.  I don't, however, feel the urge to tell everyone about it and I'd probably not really recommend it to anyone else, except maybe my mom.

The author chose to have each woman narrate alternating chapters, so there are two voices/views to get used to.  One, Little Bee herself, is easy to fall into.  She's got such an interesting world view, wit and charm that it is like talking to an old friend when she tells her side of things.  Sarah, the other woman, just feels stilted.  I really wasn't fond of her 'voice' at all and that didn't help me to connect to her or feel sorry for her or anything.

Other than than, the narrative does move fairly smoothly through the two voices (obviously since I managed to finish it in about a day) and the tale was engaging enough to keep me going to the end.  I just... I dunno what it is, I suppose, but it just didn't seem to linger with me long after I finished it *shrugs*.

Book Review - Pandemonium

Title: Pandemonium
Author: Daryl Gregory
Publisher: Del Ray
ISBN: 978-0-345-50116-5
283 pages

I'd classify this book as an alternate reality/science fiction mash up, to be honest.

In a world like our own, demons have been possessing people since the 1950's and now people have just learned to accept it, wait it out and move on when the demon leaves.

Del Pierce is one of these people. Possessed as a child by a demon called the Hellion, a Denise the Menace type demon whose trouble making can be deadly, it took his family a long time and a lot of work to get Del back. Though, years later, it would seem that the Hellion never left.

For a first time novel, this one reads really well. I liked how there were 'intermission' type chapters that gave a glimpse into the different demons and what sort of situations they tended to appear in. As the story progressed, I realized those little vingettes were there for a reason.

The concept is certainly interesting and I think Gregory did a pretty good job of putting together a decent tale with an ending that, although open ended, worked well enough that I wasn't frustrated with a lack of closure.

I'll certainly pick up more of Daryl Gregory's works.

24 Mar 2010

Sims, Warcraft and the library

Heh. I've been working on a single family in Sims 3 lately. The Jones family started out with Devon, single female who painted and gardened her way through life until she ended up pregnant by Stiles McGraw. She decided to keep the baby, but her relationship with Stiles never went anywhere... the two aren't even on speaking terms now.

So, Devon raised Tiffany all on her own and, just recently, was tickled pink when Tiffany got married to Shayne. Everyone in the house helps out with the garden (which containes a lot of perfect generation plants) and the house and they all get along really well. When Tiffany /finally/ got pregnant, somethine strange happened to Shayne. He took to shutting himself up in a tiny room all alone, spending days in there just gabbing on the phone, until one day he just... dropped dead. So Tiffany's twin girls will never know their dad. *tear*

Patch day was yesterday in WoW. No major changes for resto druids, which is nice, but lots of improvements to the dungeon finder and some of the more annoying dungeons with loooooooong ass intro animations. Didn't even bother logging in yesterday until just before the weekly raid time for the guild. Noth the plaguebringing went down fast and netted everyone their 5 frost badges.

Took the little guy out today to the library. Came home with more books than I took back, but can't complain too much. Going Bovine by Libba Bray, Little Bee by Chris Cleave, The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, Horns by Joe Hill all decided to follow me home... all in hardcover :p The only downfall to getting things from the library.

Weather is starting to get nicer and nicer. May have to set aside a weekend to force all the guys to help with some spring cleaning!

22 Mar 2010

Potty Training Sucks

I've been trying to potty train my son for a while now. He's been in pullups for a few months and hasn't made any progress so today we're switching tactics and stuffing him into regular underpants.

We just had accident #1... should be interesting to see if this method works any faster than just leaving him in pullups to avoid the messes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he'll hate the wet feeling and the ick of the accidents running down his legs (he's in the tub right now so I think that's a definate plus to this method).

Survived March Break! Both the older kids are back in school today, so I'm enjoying some peace and quiet. Can't really complain too much though... eldest spent the week at his dad's place and on Sunday both boys went to lunch and a movie with their grandparents.

Currently Reading: Pandemonium - by Darly Gregory

21 Mar 2010

Housekeeping and ramblings

Finally found a layout that I actually like for this blog. Got it working with very little difficulty, I must say.

Still surrounded by piles of books that I absolutely must get read. Down to only one library book, which is awsome, though I did put another one on hold because I need it for a potluck read for Novel Ladies (one of the groups I belong to on Goodreads). My recommendation for April's group read actually got selected, so I'll be reading The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker next month.

Right now I've just finished the third book in the Allie Beckstrom series, Magic in the Shadows and started Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory.

The Allie Beckstrom series by Devon Monk is a really great set of books to read if you are into urban fantasy with a female main character. Allie lives in a world where ordinary people have access to magic; she is a Hound -- a person who can track a spell back to the person who cast it -- and is good at what she does. Thankfully, Ms. Monk decided not to make Allie an uberheroine; the girl pays a physical price for each spell she uses ranging from headaches all the way to the full blown flu and worse. Good action, some romance (not alot to put of non-romance types) and great plot lines make this series one that I'm eagerly waiting for the next installment from.

In other news, the guild decided to try an ICC 25man run this evening. Was nice to see we only needed a couple of non-guild bodies to fill out the ranks. Unfortunately, even though we managed to clear the trash without many issues, Lord Marrowgar turned out to be too much for us to handle at this stage of the game. Five wipes later we decided to call it. Both of the ten man groups will continue to run their weekly run, but I think it'll take a few more 25 man runs for the two teams to be able to gel enough to get Marrowgar down.

I'm making some progress on leveling my jewelcrafting on my death knight. I just need to spend more time actually leveling /her/ and not just her craft. My priest also needs some work so that I can catch up to the man's warrior. He dinged 49 tonight and that puts him 9 levels past me.

My resto druid is going to need to undergo some gear changes, I think. I may have to toss some of my leather pieces to go with cloth for the extra bonus healing/spell power. I may be hitting the #2 spot in some of the groups I heal for, but I still feel like something is really lacking when it comes to his healing performance. Time to scour the web for more infos I suppose.

Currently Reading: Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory