Monday, March 28, 2005

Book #14

I was really looking forward to reading Most Wanted, the debut legal thriller by Michele Martinez, but what a big disappointment it was. I almost gave up on it a few times, but I stuck it out until the end and it was rough. The worst part of the book was the dialogue - absolutely horrible and unrealistic. And the extreme overuse of exclamation points was distracting and annoying. Characters were exclaiming on every page! Was Elaine Benes editing this book? I believe Most Wanted is intended to be the first in a series and perhaps the writing and dialogue will improve, but I probably won't bother if there's a second installment.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

"Male Potty Trainer"

This is a result from a search engine service we receive at work for specific key words related to new patents filed with the US Patent Office. I don't know which is worse - the invention itself or repeated use of the phrase "member extension" in this context. Also, I did not make up the title for this post - that's the name of the invention.
A toilet seat reminder device installed on a toilet. The reminder device consists of an extension member attached to the toilet seat in a location that blocks access to the toilet flush handle when the toilet seat is in the raised position. The extension member may also be installed on the toilet lid. The extension member is readily attached to the toilet seat with a pressure sensitive adhesive or by a clip engaging the seat. The extension member may be made of foam, plastic or rubber and may be formed into an attractive shape to catch the interest of the target male audience. The extension member is also scented to provide an additional fragrance in the bathroom. A warning graphic is applied to the bottom surface of the extension member and is visible only when the toilet seat is raised.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Weekend Wrap-up

Interesting. I picked up the copy of Most Wanted from the library and I was surprised it was a trade paperback instead of a hardcover. Then I realized that the copy is an Advanced Reader's Copy. I don't think I've ever encountered that at the library before. Is that allowed? The cover only says "Not for Resale," so I guess it's okay to lend it for free via the library. Any input, library friends?

H. and I had a very productive weekend. By noon on Saturday, we had both gotten a haircut, went to the grocery store and gone through the car wash. When we got home, I swept and mopped the kitchen floor and had most of the laundry done. So I didn't feel guilty taking a short nap Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday, H. and I went to the mall and actually found everything we were searching for - a gift for the guy at work who fixed our home computer, Easter shoes for her, work jeans for M. and paint for moving forward with H's new "big girl" bedroom. The only thing I was disappointed about was that Sears does not carry most of the Land's End bathing suits in their stores. I wanted to try on a couple of different styles I had seen in the catalog, but they didn't have them. Now I might have to order several and return the ones I don't like.

H. was very interested in seeing the Easter Bunny, but not actually interested in getting near him. We waved to him as we walked by and she said Happy Easter, but that was it. Quite frankly, I thought he was a little scary, too. He was very large and, unlike Santa, doesn't talk, which is a little disconcerting.

PS - Good news, the county library system has dropped its $1 ILL/on-hold fee as of March 1. (It went into place last March 1 due to budget cuts.) Now I can catch up on some books I couldn't get at the local branch without paying the $1 fee (not that I minded giving my dollar to the library every once in a while). However, this alters my buying habits on bookcloseouts. I would often by a book for $2.99 or $3.99 if I was going to have to pay $1 to get it from another branch anyway.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Books 11 & 12

Since we spent three class weeks on The Grapes of Wrath, I managed to squeeze in two novels recently - Linda Fairstein's Entombed and Barbara Parker's Suspicion of Rage. Both of these books come from two of my favorite series and neither disappointed this time out. The Fairstein novel, the seventh in the Alex Cooper series, was full of interesting trivia about Edgar Allan Poe and made me want to visit the Botanical Gardens and Hall of Fame in The Bronx. Suspicion of Rage is the eighth book in the Gail Connor and Anthony Quintana series and this one is set in Anthony's native Cuba. Parker's dialogue within relationships is very real, whether it's a conversation between husband/wife, father/son or step-siblings, and I learned quite a bit about Cuba, a country I know very little about. Coincidentally, I was trying to finish this book Wednesday night just before the "90 Miles Away" Cuba episode of The West Wing came on. Personally, I thought the book was more interesting than this week's episode. (Trying to depict Kate Harper as some kind of Sydney Bristow was lame.)

Now this weekend I have to read In Cold Blood for the third time (I haven't read it since 1992), plus a copy of Michele Martinez's Most Wanted is waiting for me at the library.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Yeah, that's me with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile! I know you're jealous.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Happy Day

Almost 11 years after graduating from college, I finally made my last student loan payment today! I've been looking forward to this day for a long time and always imagined throwing a party or something to celebrate. But these loans that were such a big part of my life at one time now seem pretty small. At one time, they were the biggest monthly bill I was paying and it seemed the end would never be in sight. But now that I (we) have two car payments, a mortgage and daycare as monthly bills, the loans pale in comparison. Nonetheless, having a little bit more wiggle room at the end of the month now will certainly be welcome!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Obviously, my little bit of excitement about Nashville Star didn't even last a week, since I forgot that it was on last night and went to bed at 10pm.

Friday, March 04, 2005


Add this to my list of reasons not to like monkeys of any sort. And I don't know whether to laugh or cry about the whole idea of a chimp birthday party.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Nashville Star 3

I'm trying hard to get excited about tonight's premiere of Nashville Star, but I'm not. I like Leann Rimes as host - I think that might work, but I'm not crazy about the judging line-up. I didn't think they could find anyone worse than The Warren Brothers, but Bret Michaels? Ugh! Phil Vassar is a good choice, since he was a songwriter for a long time before breaking through as a performer, so he should have some insightful comments. But I don't think they need two artists as judges, with just one industry exec. How about someone else from the industry? It made perfect sense to have a DJ as a judge, or a programming manager - someone who actually chooses the music that is played on the air. Also, for me personally, Friday nights at 10 was a much better time slot than Tuesdays at 10. Central-time Nashville seems to forget about us poor folks on Eastern time!