Monday, January 31, 2011

Vroom Vroom Choices

I hate not being able to write what's going on with me! I have really awesome news but alas, it must be kept semi-secret until it's all confirmed.

I can say, however, that I'm trying to pick an SUV to buy (probably new). These are the ones I'm thinking about (in order of preference):

#1. Honda CRV
#2. Subaru Forester
#3. Ford Escape
#4. Nissan Rogue
#5. Suzuki Grand Vitara (I miss my XL-7!)
#6. Honda Element
#7. Ford Edge
#8. Hyundai Tuscon

As you can see, I really need to narrow it down to one or two so I can actively pursue the best deal. I find it hard to find good advice on the Internet about which car to buy, since you can find basically every opinion about everything on the Internet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Great Big Book List

Working at a bookstore has had an intense effect on my level of reading. It's January 12th and I just finished my third book. My third book! Historically unheard of for me.

I've been on an abduction/hostage kick. It started with Room by Emma Donoghue. Amazing book, can't recommend it enough. It'll change the way you think about everything. It's also a Canadian book, which I think is great. On Wikipedia, it said that Room was loosely based on the Fritzl case. Having liked the book so much, I decided to buy a book from our store about that case. It was called Secrets in the Cellar and was written by John Glatt. It was the first true crime I've ever read. My mom reads true crime exclusively so it cued a little, "I'm turning into my mom!" panic that us ladies tend to have sometimes, haha. I think I would read more true crime in the future, but it would have to be a case I find particularly interesting.

After that, everyone at work was talking about Still Missing by Chevy Stevens (also a Canadian novel). Also about a girl who was abducted, I decided to continue on the theme. I didn't like it as much because I found the narrator kind of annoying. That wrecks a lot of books for me.

Anyway, here's what I would like to read in the future, since I seem to be reading so much.

1. The Impact of a Single Event by R.L. Prendergast. This is next in line and it's supposed to be really good.

2. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. I started it about a week ago but decided to go with Still Missing instead.

3. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Been meaning to read it forever.

4. Anything by Chuck Palahniuk. Fight Club is my favourite book.

5. House Rules by Jodi Picoult.

6. Anything by James Patterson. I figure I should start trying to read at least one book from such famous authors. It's kind of pathetic when I can't even carry on a conversation about such well-known authors.

7. Anything by Danielle Steel. Reading something like this will be takin' one for the team. I'm not a chick lit fan.

8. The bridal quartet books by Nora Roberts. I'll try. Again, not a chick lit kinda girl.

9. Crank by Ellen Hopkins. I suppose I should read some of the famous teen books, too.

10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

11. Something tolerable in the sci-fi/fantasy genre (no JRR Tolkien, no Star Wars, no Star Trek, no Halo). Thinking maybe something by Terry Goodkind.

12. A book in the Dear Dumb Diary series by Jim Benton (kids' book).

13. A book in the Candy Apple series by Laura Dower (kids' book).

14. Something by Mauve Binchy.

15. The Amish novellas book I picked up.

16. One pro-Christianity/religion book.

17. One anti-Christianity/religion book (probably something by Richard Dawkins).

18. "A" is for Alibi by Susan Grafton. I can't believe I actually remembered the author's name and which books she writes. You can't imagine the madhouse that is my brain these days. Start working at a bookstore a few weeks before Christmas and watch how your brain explodes with names and titles. I once had a nightmare about Jodi Picoult books and I've never even read one of her before.

Any recommendations from genres other than general fiction would be appreciated. Or if it's general fiction, it has to be REALLY, REALLY good. The waiting list is getting long! I'd like to read some good books in the children or teen age brackets. No vampires, no Percy Jackson (though I probably should, since both of those sell like crazy). I get a lot of questions from parents who want book recommendations for their kids. I didn't read a whole lot as a kid and really only read famous stuff like the Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley, and the Box Car children. I feel so old school.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2010 Music

I'm still trying to decide how I want to change my blog to give me more privacy but yet not be completely closed down for business, so to speak. A few people suggested I change it so only registered members can read my blog. However, then you'd have to go the trouble of requesting permission from me, and I'd have to go to the trouble of trying to figure out if you're someone who has been stalking me or not. If I've learned anything about the internet, it's that people don't surf the net with an expectation of needing patience. We don't Google something and wait 24 hours for our search results. Who would use it if that's how it worked? Anytime I've stumbled upon a blog requiring a login, I immediately delete it from my bookmarks as I'm generally not interested in going to such measures to read something I don't really care about anyway. It's one thing if you know me personally, but for those of you who probably just scan my entries and move onto the next blog, you probably aren't interested in doing the whole "Can I read your blog?" dance.

So all this to say, I'm still mulling it over.

In the meantime, I wanted to provide you with something I am sure you will no doubt find utterly unfascinating. I don't usually talk about my artistic tastes but I thought it was nice neutral ground. I discovered some great music and movies during 2010 and I wanted to share. I'll just share music in this entry so we're not here all night.

Firstly, this is what I discovered and was listening to in 2010:

1. Freelance Whales. I'd classify them as indie pop-rock but what they really are is AMAZING. Start with "Location" if you're interested. Every time this song comes up on shuffle, I involuntarily sigh with pleasure or say something cheesy like, "Awwww yeeeeahhh!"

2. She & Him. A fairly new discovery (December 2010), I am kicking myself for not having discovered them sooner. More indie pop, sounds like a lighter, happier version of Rilo Kiley (one of my faves).

3. Breathe Electric. I'm a techno/electronica junkie. Breathe Electric is similar to Owl City but harder pop, more dance-y.

4. Public Enemy vs Benny Benassi "Bring the Noise Remix." Arguably my favourite song of the year. Benny Benassi is one of my all-time favourites. Benny Benassi is the only person who could collaborate with an artist horrible enough as Justin Bieber and I would actually pay money for it.

5. Plug In Stereo. Getting into fairly obscure indie pop now, Trevor Dahl is the 17 year old prodigy behind Plug In Stereo. Smooth guitar pop. I'm trying to think of someone to compare him to. Last.FM only recommends other equally obscure indie pop singers.

6. La Roux. You've probably heard "Bulletproof" but the great thing is, her whole album is that catchy.

Honorable mentions: Stephen Jerzak, Romance on a Rocketship, and Nickasaur.

To sum it up, I listened to a lot of obscure indie pop and indie electronica music in 2010. I listened to more common stuff too (Metric, Rilo Kiley, Owl City) but the above list was strictly music I discovered in 2010. Most of my musical taste lies in pop and electronica so if we have similar taste, check out my list. I don't usually like to pawn off musical suggestions on people, but it's always nice to hear new good music.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Ideas

Happy 2011! Like many others it seems, I am extremely glad 2010 is over. Though many good things happened, the year was ripe with stress and disappointment.

On New Year's Eve, I drove out to Ann Arbor as Anthony throws an annual party at his house. His friend Margot, an amazing cook/baker/chef/whatever, makes all of the hor d'oeuvres from scratch for the party every year. Nothing she has made that I've ever tasted has been anything less than utterly phenomenal. So I had been excited about that, and she definitely didn't disappoint. However, I was feeling pretty sleepy and worn out from working so much and promptly fell asleep shortly after midnight. It was a well-deserved sleep, I assure you.

Anyway, I have to admit I'm having some thoughts about ending this blog. I never talk about it, but I've been having problems with stalkers (yes, plural), harassment, and privacy concerns. Last night was pretty much the last straw. Although I love that people can and want to read what I say, there are a few people who I'd rather just kept away from me (on the Internet), and they clearly refuse to. I'm sick and tired of the drama caused by my blogs, my Twitter, and Facebook. I made some major changes to my privacy levels on Facebook and am now debating the next step: not publishing information about myself on this blog anymore. It's sad that a few people can wreck something I enjoy, but frankly, I'm fed up with it.

So while I mull it over, I may not post for awhile. It's not a decision I want to make quickly.
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