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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Jury Duty and a Plan

Next week I'm on call for jury duty which I think is pretty exciting. If I get chosen to serve on a jury I'm not allowed to talk about it until after it's over so I'm just not going to talk about any of it until next Saturday when I'm off call. But it is pretty exciting. :) But due to that I can't really make plans too much. And I have a really light work schedule.

So I thought that I would take advantage of these huge chunks of time at home to clean my room and redesign it a bit.

Things that I want done in the next month or two.

  • Clean out the stuff from under the bed.
  • Take off mirror that sits on dresser.
  • Add shelves to walls.
  • Hang pictures.
  • Get rid of current post bed frame and get new bed frame.
  • If it'll fit, put couch in room.
  • Make slipcover for couch.
  • Finish covering books in white.
  • Cover DVD boxes in black or white. (I haven't decided color yet.)

Next week I'll start by cleaning under my bed. I have no idea what is under there. I haven't looked under there since I moved into that room and put stuff under my bed. I guess I don't need the stuff if it has been there for over a year and half and I haven't even looked at it. lol.

Friday, February 15, 2013


No ranting about Valentine's Day this year. I'm surprised with myself. I guess I'm just too tired this year to bother. You all know my thoughts on the subject. If you need a refresher go read the post I wrote last year. Thoughts haven't changed much. (Still dislike red roses. Buy me orange roses, or tulips, or calla lilies instead.)

Seriously, I have been tired this week. I know why and I have been trying to get lots of sleep. But I just don't want to do this anymore. This week needs to be over so a better one can begin.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson.

I could not put this book down. I was mesmerized by the wit and humor and the romance in this novel. I loved everything about it. I also liked the fact that it's about a young woman coming from town (Bath) who goes to the countryside. Not a woman who comes from the country and goes to town (Bath, London, Brighton, etc). (Think of Jane Austen novels. Country to town.) It puts a different perspective on things. The writing in this novel was brilliant. I could very much imagine what was happening. It was delightful. The writing gave me just enough details to let my mind draw a picture of what was happening but not too much that I was bogged down by details. The story was the focus not the setting. I liked the writing style a lot.

I think that the book jacket does a very good job of describing Edenbrooke.
Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she'll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry. From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

My own summary of the book gives away lots of spoilers so read on at your own discretion.

The novel is about a young woman named Marianne. After her mother died she was sent to live with her grandmother in Bath. Her twin sister, Cecily, went to live in London with their aunt. And their grieving father went to France to forget about his beloved wife. Marianne disliked Bath. Her aunt and grandmother never go out in society. And Marianne missed her father and her twin sister. She felt abandoned by everyone. So when Marianne was invited to the countryside estate of Edenbrooke to visit her late mother's friend she jumps at the chance. Along the journey to Edenbrooke her carriage is stopped by a highway man. Marianne and her maid, Betsy, are unharmed but emotionally upset. They stay at an inn overnight. There they meet an interesting gentleman. It is not until they arrive at the estate that they learn that the man is Phillip, the middle son who lives at the estate. Marianne is very embarrassed to learn his identity because she was not very ladylike at the inn or when she met Phillip at the estate before realizing he lives there. One of the conditions that Marianne's grandmother gave her when allowing her to go to Edenbrooke was that she become more ladylike. Marianne decided that in order to earn her grandmother's inheritance and greater approval she had best start acting like a lady. No more twirling. Learn to sing a song for company. Learn to flirt with gentlemen. Follow the example of other young ladies. Marianne's twin sister, Cecily, was also invited to stay at Edenbrooke. She was delayed in London to attend a ball. During that week Marianne was at Edenbrooke without her sister she became good friends with Phillip. They would spend hours in each others company exploring the estate or just conversing in the library. Marianne knows that Cecily has her heart set on marrying Phillip. So she tries not to fall in love with him. But of course that doesn't work. Marianne denies her feelings because in her mind Phillip belongs to Cecily. And Cecily always gets what she wants. Marianne feels like she cannot compete with her prettier, more accomplished, ladylike sister. So she doesn't try. Marianne doesn't see that Phillip loves her too until it is pointed out to her. Marianne needed help seeing past the miscommunication that occurred between herself and others. She got that help when the "highwayman" comes back and kidnaps her. He is a man she knows from Bath who knows about her large inheritance and intends to forcefully marry her so that he can lay claim to her fortune. Phillip, who meanwhile went to France to fetch Marianne's father, is infuriated with this man so much that he plans on dueling him. Marianne stops him because she doesn't want anyone to die when that man didn't really hurt her. Instead Marianne asks that the man be hurt a little and that he be sent away from England. Knowing her sister's feelings, Cecily gives Phillip up to Marianne. Phillip and Marianne finally declare their love for each other. And it is great because they love each other for who they are and not for their money. Because of course Phillip is the heir to the Edenbrooke estate. The eldest brother, Charles, and their father are not alive. (It was quite convenient for the characters that Phillip was the heir but I didn't see it coming so I liked it.)

Like I said before this novel is a lovely regency romance novel. The mystery of it all and the romantic tension between Phillip and Marianne was written so well. I felt like I could put myself in Marianne's place. I got butterflies when she got butterflies. In fact when I finished the book at 3am after reading it straight through I was so giddy that I couldn't sleep or even just lay in my bed for the next half hour. (That's when I ran outside and got the mail from the mailbox and had a piece of toast.)

I highly recommend Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson to anyone who wants to read a brilliantly written regency romance novel. I loved this book a lot.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I liked this book. It was different. I think it was based on an Irish myth.

The novel is about a dangerous horse race. But the horses meant for this race are capaill uisce horses, water horses. They are unpredictable, wild horses that come from the sea. The sea makes them dangerous because the horses are always being called to it. And if there is a rider on their back they could bring that person to their watery grave if they aren’t controlled right. Oh and these capaill uisces eat meat and blood. It’s an added phenomenon that makes them very difficult to ride. The race itself is simple; Go from one side of the beach to the other before all the others. Only you’re racing on horses that you only train for three weeks that want your blood or are being called toward the sea.

"Before the Races" by Tronnie on DeviantArt
Sean Kendrick is a four-time winner of the Scorpio Races. His red capaill uisce horse, Corr, has been in his family since he was a little boy. Corr is fast and, like other capaill uisces, bigger then a normal horse. Sean and his father caught the horse when he was a boy. Sean’s father died in a race when Sean was a young man. Sean’s mother couldn’t understand the fascination about the races. They were poor, like most of the islanders, and she didn’t want that life. So she moved away to the mainland. Sean works for a horse rancher as their horse wrangler. More importantly he knows who to break, train, and care for capaill uisce horses. Most people are scared of these powerful horses so Sean does most of the caring for the capaill uisces by himself. Corr belongs to the owner of this stable.

Kate Connely, aka Puck, rides her regular chestnut-colored island horse, Dove, in a race made for water horses. She causes strife by entering in a race meant for only men and water horses. It is an unspoken rule so there isn’t too much they can do to stop her but intimidate her into quitting. Puck has courage and a purpose. She is racing for her two brothers and money to keep their house. Her parents died in the sea one October long ago when the capaill uisces were rising. It’s a dangerous time to be out on the sea in a boat. But the Connely parents didn’t believe in the magic of capaill uisce horses. It was just a fanciful story to them.

The novel follows Sean and Puck as they enter in the race and the training of their horses. They end up training together on the cliffs by the sea. It’s too dangerous for Puck and Dove to train on the beach with everyone else. And Sean and Corr never train down there. And of course since they are spending so much time together there is an attraction between our two protagonists. The very end of the book is the race and the aftermath of the effects.

This story is an interesting idea. Having a race with dangerous water horses and two lovers caught in the middle of it all. It is slow in the beginning of the book and can be confusing because the book is written from both Sean's and Puck's perspective. At times their "voices" are also very similar.

Overall, I liked the book. But it was slow until about halfway through. That was annoying. I do recommend this book though. I enjoyed the idea a lot.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

All That Echoes

Who want's my thoughts about the songs on Josh Groban's newest CD? No one? Too bad. You get them anyways.

Brave we've been listening to for a few months. But I absolutely love it. I love how the melodies intertwine in this song. The lyrics are awesome to.

False Alarms
It's sort of heavenly in the beginning with the piano. I love it throughout actually. Josh's voice is gorgeous. I got goosebumps a few time during this song. When Josh goes a bit falsetto is when I melt. His voice is great.

Falling Slowly
I have always loved this song. Ever since I first heard I wanted Josh to cover it. And he does a fabulous job. I'm so happy that he has it on this CD. Josh's voice and this song work so well together. I love it. I like how they kept the simple melody of the song too. It's just Josh creating his version of a beautiful song.

She Moved Through the Fair
I really like this song too. I never thought about Josh singing. But this version...SO COOL. He sings slowly in the beginning and it's gorgeous. I like the highland Irish feel that the music carries. It's pretty. This song is very sweeping and melodic. And when you add Josh Groban to that mix it's awesome.

Below the Line
This song is kind of plucky and fun. It's got some sort of fun guitar plucking line throughout that is cool. The lyrics are good. It's about living below you potential and striving to reach it.

E Ti Prometterò (And I Promise You) featuring Laura Pausini
The first non-English song on the album. I like the heartbeat of music that is in the beginning. Laura is incredible as always. I really like her voice. She and Josh are gorgeous singing in Italian together. His baritone and her mezzo-soprano voices work quite well together.

The Moon's a Harsh Mistress
It's a simple song. Just Josh and the piano in the beginning with slow sweeping violins behind. I liked this song overall it was very pretty. I wonder if ...

Un Alma Mas (A Soul) featuring Arturo Sandoval
This song is pretty. I like the melody and the beat of the song. Arturo is a jazz trumpeter. I've always liked the sound of the trumpet when played well. And in this song the little solos that he gets are beautiful.

Happy in My Heartache
This song is the happiest heartache song. It's awesome though. I'm really glad Josh wrote it and is sharing it with the world. I really like the way Josh's voice is in the song. It's like he just sat down and decided to record a song. He is not a well-renowned baritone singer in this song. He is just a mid-twenties guy who plays music and had is heart broken. I like this song a lot actually.

Hollow Talk
This song is hauntingly beautiful. I love the pulse of the piano and the melody. The lyrics are pretty too. This song is simple as far as music and melody go but it works so well. This is great. The music is simple and quiet until it hits the arc then it becomes powerful and commanding. But it works in the song.

Sincera (Sincere)
This song is pretty. I like everything about it. The sweeping of the song and Josh's voice. I love it's in Italian. It sounds so romantic. And the awesome organ and piano combination is way cool.

I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)
When Josh mentioned that this was going to be one of the songs on the album I was very excited to here what they would do with this song. And it is so pretty. I think this my be my favorite song on the album. The arrangement is so awesome and pretty at the same time. This cover of Stevie Wonder's song is so great for Josh to sing. I highly approve. And the way that Josh sings that last "When I fall in love" is so cool. I melted and giggled a bit too much. It was wonderful.

Changing Colours
After Josh did this song live during a concert all of us Grobanites fell in love with it. We all really wanted a studio version. And Josh gave us one. It's beautiful. I really love this song. It's one of my favorites on the CD.

When Josh told us he was covering this Dave Matthews song I was very excited to here it. I love the harp in this song. When Josh first started singing I shivered and got goosebumps. His voice makes me melt in this song. I loved this song to begin with but Josh's versions is so much more awesome then the original. Well, it's different awesome. Josh sings it so wonderfully. I like the soft melodies intertwined with his voice. This arrangement is perfect. Also one of my favorites on the album.

Grazie (Thanks)
This song is very pretty. I like Josh's vocals in this song. They are soft and lovely. And the sweeping strings and lovely piano melodies. This song is a perfect way to end the fan edition CD. So lovely.

In the Mailbox and on the Plate

I was so happy yesterday that my copy of Josh Groban's newest CD came yesterday. I hugged the mail out by the mailbox.

I didn't listen to 'All That Echoes' though because I had things I needed to do. Like finish my laundry  eat dinner, and go to FHE. But I plan on listening to it in a few minutes.

At FHE we decorated plates (or mugs or bowls) with Sharpie markers. I chose a quote from Doctor Who that I think is funny. It makes me laugh every time I hear it. And I really like how it turned out. We baked (and cooled) the dishware after decorating to set the color. But I plan on using it as decoration more then anything.

"Hermits United.
We meet up every ten years.
Swap stories about caves.
It's good fun, for a hermit."
- The Doctor