Monday, November 29, 2010

Great Expectations

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Moldy Wedding Cakes

I feel bad giving Mr. Dickens a rating below 5 for any of his works. He is one of the greats. There is no doubt about that. This is just not my favorite of his. While there are some awesome things within it, I found myself yearning for the end of it. It probably didn't help that I knew how it ended because I read some spoilers before reading it.

It starts out really great. And I was impressed with the continuous them of expectations, gratitude, and family throughout. Dickens, the brilliant man that he was, starts the novel in a graveyard which is where all expectations end. The relationship between Pip and the escaped convict is interesting because it continues throughout the book. Pip always thinks about him and that fateful day when he brought the man a file to break his chains and some food and drink.

Odd thing about this novel is that I lost interest as soon as Pip went to London. Once things started going good for him I was not very excited. Guess that is another issue because about 90% of the novel takes place when everything is going good for Pip.

A very poignant relationship that I wish was given more breadth was that of Estella and Miss Havisham. I loved when Estella freaks out on Miss Havisham and accuses her of making her into a monster. Miss Havisham is not a mother. She has got to be one of the weirdest women in English literature, but she and Estella were my favorite parts of this book.

Speaking of Miss Havisham...The theme of expectations is seen in her as she was jilted on her wedding day. Her expectations stopped at that moment. Even her clocks are still set at the very time when she was jilted. Her whole life is put on hold. Miss Havisham is the embodiment of what happens to us when our expectations of life are set too high and then it crumbles around us. None of us should strive to be like her.

Estella is an interesting character. At first I don't understand Pip's attraction to her. She's a brat to him when they are young. She treats him like garbage. But then there's an interesting thing that happens to their relationship. I tend to think that she actually loves Pip because she would not let him have her. She knew she would just destroy him, so by not returning her love she was actually protecting Pip from herself. How depressing is that? But this, alone, makes me think that Estella is a strong heroine.

Pip drives me nuts. Why can't he just stay at home, become a blacksmith, marry Biddy, and be done with it? I feel bad for the way he treats Joe and Biddy as he becomes a gentleman. This, I think, is Dickens making a commentary on the richer society.

At any rate, this book is worth reading. I did skim some of it because I lost patience, but I definitely think it is one of those classics that should be read simply because of the timeless themes within it. As a toast to Miss Havisham I have given it a rating of 3.5 out of 5 Moldy Wedding Cakes.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thirsty Imagination 2 Year Anniversary

Hey, so I was perusing my old posts and I went to the very first one and realized that it was posted November 27, 2008. Woah! Two years to the day! I am impressed with my efforts in keeping up with my blog. Thank you to all my followers. You all are awesome. Stay tuned for more insanity!

Note: This post is probably, technically, posted on the November 28, 2010, but that is just a little technicality I am willing to overlook. So you better overlook it as well. Ha!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I cannot believe it is that time of the year again! I absolutely love Thanksgiving. It is a time to get together with family and reflect on all the things you are grateful for. What better way to do that than to gorge out on a fantastic feast with the ones you love. I also think that this holiday is a perfect precursor to Christmas because we can get in the mode of gratitude and segue into a celebration of Christ's birth.

To celebrate Thanksgiving I am going to do my annual list of things I am grateful for. They are in no particular order and are not exclusive. I don't think any list will ever be able to show all the things I am really grateful for, but this is the best I can do.

1. Good movies: Inception, Nine, Up in the Air, Elf, Princess Bride, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the list goes on and on and will continue to grow. Hollywood still does some good work!
2. Family: Who else would put up with me?
3. Great friends: I have old friends who continue to stick by me and prove their undying friendship and I continue to make new friends.
4. My car: Phoebe is still going strong. She is actually really good in the snow which is a bonus for her.
5. My book: I am so grateful for how it is all falling into place! I really think it has some great potential and I can't wait for everyone to read it.
6. Hadjii: My dog's breath may stink and he may yap obnoxiously sometimes, but he is a pretty awesome dog. I don't know what I will do when he is gone.
7. Art: In all shapes and forms I love it.
8. New-found confidence: I am the most comfortable in my skin that I have ever been in my life. I finally dress the way I want to and have fun with creating different looks. And my body is in the best shape it has been in a long time. I also feel more self-assured when talking to people. It is such a big step in my life!
9. Books: Love them! Can't get enough of them!
10. Deodorant: Random but...can you imagine life without it? Gross.
11. Ties: I am becoming a tie freak. I love finding new ties with awesome colors and designs.
12. Beaches: For giving me something to dream of when I am in the middle of an Idaho blizzard. And for the opportunity I had to spend a whole day on a beach in California this year.
13. Decisions, free agency, and choice: I love that I have been given the freedom to choose to act or be acted upon.
14. The beautiful women in my life: my mom, my sisters (Katie and Brittany), my niece Gigi, Sue and Susan who make work awesome, all my aunts, my grandmas (Taylor and Phillips), my cousins...women are amazing!
15. Dreams: Having aspirations and desires of an ideal future are sometimes the only thing that keep me going.
16. The gospel of Jesus Christ: Restored in its fullness, I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
17. Experiences: Good and bad. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to preach the gospel of Christ and to bring people closer to the Lord in Florida. Also I am grateful for the hard times I have gone through in order to make me who I am.
18. The great minds of history: Da Vinci was an amazing man. He had so many inventions that I never knew he had a hand in. Shakespeare who has done more for literature than any other person in the world.
19. Ireland: For being a never-ending inspiration for me, a place of dreams, and a land I wish to visit someday.
20. Games: They're fun. That's all.
21. Dates: I have gone on a lot of dates recently. Some good. Some not-so-good. But all are great for the experience.
22. Heartbreak: Weird to be grateful for such a thing but I think I have learned a lot from the heartbreaks I have experienced.
23. Holidays: I love celebrating and really getting involved in holidays.
24. Flu shots: I just got one this year and I think it has made a huge difference already.
25. Blood drives: I have the universal blood donor type so I went a few weeks ago and donated for the second time. While the little nurses who were taking my blood were not the nicest I really felt like I did a good deed.

That is really all I can think of right now.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your feast!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blasted Blizzard

Anyone who knows me knows my extreme disgust with snow and all the cold that goes along with it. I lived in Florida for a couple years, and it was amazing to see life without snow. Winters and Christmases are actually really delightful without snow. And it cools down enough in the winter there that you realize it is winter. I remember shivering once while I was there. It was in about October or November and it got down to 40 degrees but it was cold and wet. That was the one and only time I turned on the heat at my Florida apartment. While there are other things that you have to deal with (extreme heat, huge bugs, cockroaches, humidity, hurricanes) I would actually prefer those to blizzards.

Extreme heat: Just drink lots of water. If you have an indoor job (which most people do) you will be in air conditioned buildings.

Huge bugs: I saw a grasshopper that was bigger than my hand. Seriously. You can just spray for them or just let them be. They really are not that big a deal.

Cockroaches: They are nasty. Keep a shoe handy that you can squash them with or you can spray cockroach spray on them. It works wonders.

Humidity: I actually miss the humidity. Sure it makes the cold colder and the hot hotter. Drink lots of water and even keep a handkerchief around so you can wipe down your sweaty forehead.

Hurricanes: Yeah they do lots of damage. Of all the big disasters I would take a hurricane before I went through an earthquake or a tornado. You get a lot more warning so you can prepare for a hurricane while the others usually take you by surprise.

Blizzards, on the other hand: Come by surprise. You have to push through drifts. You have to plow and shovel your way out of your driveway. If you just have a little car you get to just white-knuckle it to your destination and hope that other drivers are being just as cautious as you.

Southeast Idaho has been in a vicious winter storm for the past couple days. It started on Sunday night and was pretty bad all Monday. Then we went on blizzard, winter warning Monday the 22nd. All day today we have been on this warning. It is nasty out there. My dad works in the ER in Idaho Falls and, on the police scanner, all he heard was "A rollover at this location! A rollover at that location!" People are idiots.

Today I was supposed to go to work. I called in because I was not about to brave the roads. Good thing I did. My boss had the stores closing at 5 PM so I would only be working for four hours. It would definitely not be worth stressing to get there for that short of a shift.

It's times like these I really want a Jeep. I have been wanting one for a few months now but this just reaffirms my desire. Someday. When I have a better job. Then again, maybe I will be living somewhere warmer so I won't really need a Jeep. But a Jeep would still be really fun.

We are starting Christmas early. Here comes a long winter. Oh the joys!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Talent Show

My friend Lindsey is in charge of all the activities in my branch which is a huge undertaking. She is a go-getter, hum-dinger, ball of fire so it is a perfect job for her to do. Awhile ago I suggested to her that we have a talent show. Not just any talent show but one where people with talents that are not in the performing arts could also share their abilities. For example, a writer could do a reading of something they've written, an artist could bring some of their artwork to display, a skier could bring photos of them skiing. You get the drift.

Usually I would fit myself in the writer's category and just bring something I wrote and do a reading for the show. But I have always wanted to be able to sing a song and play the guitar at a talent show. So my goal is to prepare a song to sing and play at the talent show at the end of December.

I have narrowed the song choices down. Some of them are originally done by girls but they would work to be sung by a male as well. In fact, some of them I think would be really awesome sung by a guy. I may end up just learning the song on guitar and finding a singer to sing it for me. I'm not sure how confident I am with this whole thing yet.

At any rate, here are the song choices so far:

Careless Whisper, as remade by Seether but originally performed by George Michael
Basket Case by Sara Bareilles (this one would require some wording changes for a male voice)
Sparks Fly by Taylor Swift
Heal Over by KT Tunstall
The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot by Brand New
2 is Better than 1 by Boys Like Girls (I would try to get a girl to do a duet with me)

If you like one of those more than the others let me know. If you have other suggestions, I am open to them. Let me know what you think!

Oh and did I mention that Lindsey put me in charge of the talent show? Yeah. Me and my big mouth. See if I ever give her any ideas again.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


This week I joined the population of people who wear glasses. I am near-sighted so I have to wear glasses basically all the time except for when I am reading or doing closeup things.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mall Scavenger Hunt Date

Yes. Two posts in one day.

The night before my awesome Sunday with Elder D. Todd Christofferson, I went on a really fun date. My date was Kira. It was a large group date with six couples. First on the agenda was a mall scavenger hunt. Here are a few of the pictures from that part:

I was a little late because of work. This is my date, Kira, giving a sad, dateless, princess face.

Apparently we are confused about either where we are or where we are going.

I was not here for this moment but I wish I had been.

Jon and Sarah Ann. So sad I missed the feather boa.

Monkey hat!

The Vogue version. Hot!

The GQ version. Yeah. We're cool like that.

Not sure how to rotate the picture. Sorry. We are hiding behind the bush. One of us took it a little more literally than the rest of us. *cough cough* Kira!

You can't see the logo on the side but the hat is a Harry Potter hat.

The second part of the date took place at Jon's house. We played a wild game of Curses, ate apple pie and ice cream, and played Kinect video games. It was pretty epic!

Elder Christofferson

Yesterday was an amazing day! I went to church early because I had been warned, beforehand, that there would be a shortage of seats because Elder D. Todd Christofferson would be coming to my little branch to speak. That is right, an Elder in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was our speaker in little ol' Idaho Falls Community Park Branch. How cool is that?

Apparently his daughter-in-law used to be in my branch and is still very good friends with my branch president. Elder Christofferson was in town to bless her baby and my branch president asked if he could come speak to us.

He spoke about gratitude which is a subject that I think the leaders of the church are really emphasizing lately. Gee, you think they're trying to tell us something? He said we should all strive to be the one leper who returned to thank Jesus Christ for being healed.

After that he bore apostolic testimony of the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was such a beautiful reminder of this great gift that I know I take for granted a lot.

At the end of the meeting we all got to shake hands with Elder Christofferson and his wife, Katheryn.

If you want to know more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, click here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Shades

Mackayla Lane's ordinary life underwent a complete makeover when she landed on Ireland's shores and was plunged into a dark, deadly realm unlike any she ever imagined. In her fight to stay alive, Mac must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year old book of the blackest magic imaginable that holds the key to power over both the worlds of Fae and Man. Pursued by Fae assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she cannot trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and irresistible men: V'lane, the insatiable Fae, who can turn sensual arousal into an obsession for any woman; and the ever-inscrutable Jericho Barrons, a man as alluring as he is mysterious.

For centuries, the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them...

I actually finished this a few days ago just have not had time to sit down and write a review.
This was another fluff read, but I find myself fully involved in the story. There are enough new twists and introductions of interesting creatures that my interest stays pretty high.

Mac is still likable although she is losing her innocent, cute charm that she had in the first book. Granted, she cannot stay innocent and whatever forever or else she could never be a worthy opponent for the Lord Master. She still has a nice voice throughout the novel though. I find myself laughing or smiling at some of the quirky banter and the things she says. I still love that she says "petunia" instead of "ass."

As for the love interests in this story, V'lane and Jericho Barrons, I am rooting for Jericho. He is a much more interesting character than V'lane. There is some deep, dark secret that Barrons is hiding (although I think I have it figured out, we shall see if I am right...if I am wrong then kudos to Ms. Moning) that keeps getting hinted at. Also the chemistry is more prevalent between Barrons and Mac. They have a nice love-hate relationship where they merely seem to tolerate each other yet, at the same time, are attracted to each other. Of all the relationships in the book, theirs is the most interesting and exciting.

This book gets even darker than the first one. The ending where Mac is captured by SPOILER CENSOR and partakes of SPOILER CENSOR to become SPOILER CENSOR is somewhat disgusting yet manages to be intriguing. And I have to admit, the fight scene between Mac and Jericho that turns into something else is quite intense.

Moning walks a fine line between making this a very fun and light ride while also giving some depth that can be surprising.

I am getting tired of how everyone is using Mac for their own agenda. I suppose that is what Moning is going for. She needs to be able to trust someone, right? The introduction of the sidhe-seer clan is interesting and, so far, I like Dani the best but we're not even sure we can trust them.

You may have noticed this book got a half point knocked off from the rating I gave the first book. While this is entertaining I just feel like some of it is being dragged out unnecessarily. And Mac gets a little annoying. So that is why I gave it 3.5 out of 5 Shades instead of 4. So there ya go.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Busy Day!

I am always proud of myself when I have a busy day in which I am productive and doing things. While sometimes it is nice to just relax, for the most part I like to use my days off by cleaning, doing laundry, and doing all the little things that I have been meaning to do. Sometimes I am not nearly as productive as I would like to be.

Today was a productive day! Yay!

9:18 AM: Woke up, stumbled out of bed (I know it's not early but I was groggy...)

9:30 AM to 10:15 AM: ZUMBA! Yes, 46 minutes of pure cardio partying. It was delightful!

10:28 AM to 10:42 AM: Talked on the phone with my sister, Katie, where she asked me to get up at the butt-crack of dawn tomorrow so I could babysit my nephews. I acquiesced and now I am wondering why I am not in bed instead of writing a blog post.

10:50 AM to 11:30 AM: Carried all the lawn chairs and pots that have been outside during the summer into the barn for the winter. It is a sad day when we acknowledge the impending doom of winter and take all the summer stuff down.

11:30 AM to 12:30 PM: Took a hot shower after getting soaked from carrying snow-laden chairs into the barn, got dressed in a mightily dapper looking outfit, took off to Idaho Falls.

1:00 PM to 2:15 PM: Olive Garden deliciousness for a birthday lunch with my coworkers and wonderful friends, Sue and Susan. Both their names are really Susan but it would be more confusing if I said "I went to lunch with Susan and Susan." Besides, Sue doesn't mind being called Sue while Susan hates being called Sue. So there ya go. It was delicious. We had fonduta and I ordered the cheese ravioli.

2:15 PM: Went to Wal-Mart, set up an appointment with the vision center for just 45 minutes later.

2:15 PM to 3:00 PM: Wandered around Wal-Mart. Talked to some old coworkers. Found some Christmas gifts for my Poppa and a couple DVDs to add to my collection.

3:00 PM to 3:45 PM: Eye appointment with Dr. Golden Smith. Great name, yeah? He said I have mild near-sightedness (myopia) and some dryness in my eyes. I have a prescription for glasses which will probably arrive next week.

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM: Went to Walgreens to get a flu shot. They were super busy! Not with flu shots. I was the only one that wanted to get poked. Everyone else wanted drugs and I was wondering why I was the only dumb one that wanted a shot. Ha! I am hoping that this shot will make it so I don't get as sick as I have been getting lately.

5:15 PM to 6:15 PM: Drove to Kate and Rico's house where I took some Tylenol and hung out while the Kate and Rico and the bitty boys ate dinner and then watched a little bit of X-Men Origins: Wolverine with Rico.

6:15 PM to 6:30 PM: Went to meet up with my branch at the church house for FHE.

7:00 PM to 7:45 PM: FHE at the Museum of Idaho where they have a Da Vinci exhibit that was pretty cool. That man was a genius!

8:00 PM to 9:45 PM: Madness at Dairy Queen with people from the branch. It was a great night.

9:45 PM to 10:05 PM: Drove home, feel sore from the flu shot, talked to Mom for a minute.

10:05 PM to Present Moment: Wasted time that should have been spent sleeping.

There you have it. A whole run-down of my awesome, stupendous, and fulfilling day!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Who Knew?

Hey, so I have to share some little tidbits of insight that I just learned.

1. This is thanks to Clinton Kelly who is co-host on TLC's What Not to Wear. He has a new book called Oh No She Didn't. I found it at Barnes and Noble the other day and flipped through it. Now, I like to think that I have some fashion sense and it is only getting better as I get older. I am still learning how to dress my body type which can be a challenge sometimes because a) I'm short and b) I'm pretty square. Anyway, inside of this little book he talks about colors a little bit and he answers the question if you can put black and brown together. If anyone knows my mom you know that she cringes whenever someone even suggests putting brown and black together. According to Kelly, brown and black "go." As long as the brown is like a milk chocolate brown and doesn't blend too much with the black. Go figure. And apparently lighter navy blue can be worn with black as well. The one I will never, ever let go is brown and gray. That just looks nasty.

2. I read an article in LDS Living magazine about the "winter blues." If you know me, you know I despise winter especially that obnoxious, cold, white stuff that falls from the sky. Pretty much if I could live somewhere that did not have winter, I would do it in a heartbeat. Anyway, I wouldn't say I necessarily get full-blown Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD...the acronym is so fitting, clever people), but I do get the grumps. Anyway, in this article it gave some ways to fight the winter blues. One of the ways is to get rid of winter blues is to decrease melatonin which is, usually, decreased with sunlight. Naturally it decreases in our body when the sun comes up which is why we usually wake up when the sunlight hits the window for awhile. I did not know this. I knew melatonin was in milk and it's a sleeping agent but I had no idea that it was a natural, scientifically researched, actual occurrence that increases in the winter because we don't get as much sunlight during the winter. Now I can understand why I am usually so much sleepier in the winter time. There are lamps that you can get that will help you decrease the melatonin in your system so you can be more chipper.

There ya go.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Rating 4 out of 5 OOPs

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands….

This was a random find at B&N. I ended up in a section I rarely go in and there was a display for thrillers upon which was this book. It was a good find.


Moning's series is a total fluff read, but sometimes that is not a bad thing if it is done right. In other words it has to be pure entertainment and I don't have moments where I roll my eyes in disgust. The characters don't have to be perfect because, hey, it's a fluff read, but they have to be consistent, entertaining, and interesting. The YA novels I have read that are, also, fluff reads (let's be honest) do not meet all of these criteria.

Darkfever delivers. The main character, MacKayla Lane, is awesome. She is a pretty girl obsessed with clothes, the color pink, manicures, and shopping who ends up in Ireland searching for her sister's murderer. While such a girl would not realistically be in such a situation it is an interesting enough premise that kept me going.

What made me interested in this book is that it takes place in Ireland and it is about the fae folk. Moning puts an excellent spin on the fairy mythology (although I snickered a little at the idea that the fairies are aliens from space which is an idea that is implied rather than spoken). Even the beautiful fairies are not to be trusted. MacKayla (Mac for short) can't seem to find a single person in Dublin that she can trust.

As far as the writing, yeah, it lacks. There are obvious plot holes that are easily passed over because the action never stops. I'm not sure. I'm torn simply because I know I'm reading garbage, but I like it. Sometimes it is nice to have a reprieve from heavy reading. Moning's book is a nice little jaunt that is enjoyable, entertaining, and is actually funny (I actually laughed out loud a few times). I give it 4 out of 5 Objects of Power or, as Mac calls them, OOPs.