a whole month!

Officially the longest I’ve gone without a blog post on here in 2 years. I think. Anyway, not good. It’s a whirlwind around here. Turkeys and presents and power rangers. How do people keep up?

I’ve been doing a lot of sewing, so I’ll post some pictures soon. I read the Twilight series. Good but ultimately forgettable. Luckily, we have three more movies to go to keep us interested. glenn beck signing tour busI got rid of some Guild jobs and got some new ones – goodbye newsletter, hello quarterly SoCal council meetings. I got a quasi-promotion/title-change at my real job and now I’m officially working part-time. 20 hrs/week. From home. Pretty cool.

I also read the latest Jennifer Chiaverini book – Winding Ways Quilt. Good, but not the best in the series. Too many vignettes. Like a book of character sketches instead of a nice cohesive story. But still entertaining.

I joined a book club through meet up, but missed the first meeting. I thought it was at 8pm, but it was at 7pm. Dumb. And sad. And they’ve chosen “The Christmas Sweater” by Glenn Beck for the Jan. book. First of all, I hate Glenn Beck. I refuse to pay money for his book. So if I can’t get it at the library, I’m not going to read it. He’s an idiot. I really wish I had been at the first meeting so I could guage why they chose that book. Is it to make fun of him? Or was it because they are Glenn Beck fans – and if that’s the case – is this the book club for me? Highly doubtful.

Perhaps I’m overthinking it. VERY possible.

Whew, what a week!

kat deeleyHooray – it’s Friday! I can’t tell you people (person :)) just how excited I am. First of all, I finally finished all my work for the week. Of course, I got two new projects today, but I don’t have the start them today. Well, I’m not going to start them today. Next, tomorrow is my sewing group. That’s exciting – we’re putting together our apron quilt, I think it’s going to look phenomenal. Finally, I don’t have any work (except those two new projects – but they’re small) next week because we’re going to VEGAS! Woo hoo!!!

Now for a TV update:

What’s up with the IV Real shirts on SYTYCD? I scoured the web today and the best I could come up with is a site called 4real.com…looks like celebrities and real people working for change all over the world. But here’s my question – and cut me some slack because I’m not cool, and I’m a marketeer by trade – if you’re promoting something, why not just promote it? Let’s not make it cryptic – the shirts should just say 4real.com, right? Then people would rush to the site and sign up and start changing the world because Will, Twitch and Comfort think it’s cool, 4 real.

Next, Burn Notice started yesterday. My husband and I are about to eat nestle toll house cookies and watch it. I can’t wait. Also looking forward to Flashpoint, which starts tonight I think. Then Monday is The Closer and Saving Grace!!! Woo hoo! Awesome start to my vacation.

Book update:

I read Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline and I LOVED it. How is it that I’ve never read her books before. I was missing out! Also finished Blue Skies and Runaway Mistress by Robyn Carr – loved them both. She’s excellent. Both of those ladies write the best characters – they never have the characters saying dumb stuff or stuff that doesn’t fit. You’re never wrenched out of the story by bad writing.  I sent Robyn an email, and she sent the nicest reply. She’s definitely a new fav.

I’m almost done with The Appeal by John Grisham. It’s pretty good. His writing now doesn’t even seem like the same guy that wrote The Firm, Pelican Brief and Time to Kill. But I still read them as they come out. They’re mind candy. This one seems particularly disturbing because it’s kind of inside the world of PACs and fixed judicial elections – things that already scare me.

That’s it – more tomorrow. Time for Burn Notice and cookies!

gems on the web

bookcrossing bookI’ve been battling the black hole that is the internet lately – too many good things to look at! And I don’t mean porn!

First of all, I’ve been accepted to a fun swap group on Flickr (thanks, Chickenfoot!) – 6″-12″ mini quilt swaps! I’m super excited. I missed the July swap, but I can’t wait to participate in the August swap. I feel like mini quilts offer great room for creativity – let’s hope I can handle all the freedom.

Next, I joined the Mom Bloggers Club. So far, it seems like a fun group – great website, very organized. So far, I’m much more interested than I was on Maya’s Mom. Not to knock Maya’s Mom, which is great, but I just never seem to want to go on there. It seems like the bloggers on MBC are a little more something – experienced? The blogs seem very high quality – good design, good niches, good writing.

Because of Mom Bloggers Club, I found bookcrossing.com. This is the one I’m most excited about. You register your book, leave it somewhere where someone will pick it up, and they can log in and see where it’s been. It’s like following a message in a bottle. I think it’s the coolest idea. And what a great way to recycle!

So that’s it for today. Well, for now anyway.

my San Diego adventure, pt. 1

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going on my own little quilt shop hop around San Diego. This was on the way to seeing the Indigo Girls at Humphrey’s By the Bay! Let me just say that my husband is awesome. He leftquilter's cottage work early so that I could have the whole day. I made it to three shops, and then had a couple hours between when the shops closed and when the concert started, so I had a nice dinner at Chipotle (my most favorite place to eat), reading a good book (A Piece of Normal by Sandi Kahn Shelton), and I had plenty of time to get to the show.

My first shop was Quilter’s Cottage in Fallbrook. I LOVE this store. They have expanded and they are chocked full of all kinds of great fabric. Best thing about this stop? It happens to be their big annual sale – at least 25% off everything! I got to say hello to the shop cats, and had a ball chatting with the ladies. The store is divided into great little sections – a baby room, a chabby chic room, a batiks and asians room, tons of patterns, lots of brand new fabric, great samples all over the store. I could spend hours in there.

My second stop was a shop that’s been around for a long time but was new to me – Bits and Pieces inbits and pieces bathroom quilt Escondido. What a great shop! Tons of fabric, lots of unique patterns (Mount Redoubt? I’ve never seen those patterns before, but they are really lovely), and they seemed to specialize in embroidery machine stuff – software, threads, etc. I also spied a huge classroom. I got some super cute Alexander Henry fabric there – I think it’s been out for a while, but I’d never seen it before. This cool 3D quilt was hanging in the bathroom. It was beautiful. The best part about that shop was that the lady there (I never got her name) told me how to shir (or smock) and pointed out the elastic that I needed! I got two spools of white elastic. Look forward to a shirred shirt coming soon.

I also went to Amidon Quiltworks in Poway. I didn’t take any pictures in there because I knew from past visits that they’re not crazy about photos of their gorgeous (and trademarked) appliqué quilts. I got a few pieces of fun Western fabrics for dad projects, and eyed a nice book called Home Sweet Home, but I figured I could get it cheaper on Amazon. (Sorry, Amidon!)

I’ll save my concert review for the next post!

excited

Here are some things I’m excited about:

  • On TV: Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D List, Flipping Out, So You Think You Can Dance and all the shows starting in July.
  • My new Nikon S550 camera!!!
  • My newly organized desk drawer and my new gel roller bic pens.
  • My increase in hours for my job.
  • The new authors I’ve been enjoying: Sherryl Woods and Robyn Carr. And speaking of books, Jennifer Weiner’s newest book “Certain Girls” – which was AWESOME.
  • Finding SuperBuzzy.com, an awesome Japanese fabric shop online.

I think that’s it for now :)

Water for Elephants

I just finished this audiobook and LOVED it! I’ve been seeing this paperback in Target and Costco for months, and for whatever reason, I looked it up on Audible. Because everyone loves a circus (actually, everyone except me – I find them terrifying), I used my monthly credit on it. And boy was I glad I did!

It’s the story of a man – told alternately at age 90 (or 93 – he’s not sure) from a nursing home, and at age 23, from a train-traveling circus. Excellent narrators, wonderful storytelling. I found myself immersed in the mind of Jacob, living the drama of the depression-era big top, and equally immersed in his nursing home world, surrounded by people of varying degrees of age and healthfulness, trying to make sense of it all.

I have to say, the nursing home scenes were very sad. My own grandfather is in a nursing home, and I can’t help but know he must have many of the same feelings. I don’t think he knows who I am anymore, much as Jacob doesn’t know his own grandchildren.

And Rosie! I loved her. She’s the elephant, by the way, and for me, the star of the book.

Sara Gruen, the author, does a wonderful job of keeping the reader guessing. There are twists and turns and scenes from the beginning keep you guessing until the final chapters. I loved the ending – I couldn’t have imagined a more fitting end to Jacob’s story.

10 stars from me on this one![rating:5][rating:5]

New Kings of Nonfiction

This is what I’m reading…edited by Ira Glass (of This American Life-fame) it’s a compilation of great non-fiction writing. I’m almost done, and by far, the story about Lois Weisberg is my favorite. If you’re a fan of NPR or PRI, I think you’ll love this book. I think they were giving it away when you donated so much to PRI…but I got my copy at the library. It’s about a week overdue now, but I want to finish it.

On my iPod, I’m enjoying Zaproot, Threadbangers, TPM Media’s Veracifier, This American Life, NPRs Selected Shorts, New Yorker Fiction, and Slate’s Political Gabfest. Check them all out! Free is awesome!

My current favorite activitie is to put on hot lingerie, my iPod, and work on a quilt. Just kidding about the lingerie. But I do love to sew with my iPod on. It is true peace. I highly recommend it.

some good books

Inn at Lake Divine coverI have been absent far too long. I’ve been a little worn out with the internet and it’s fathomless black hole tendencies on my time. So I’ve been steering clear. But I had to share the latest book I just finished: The Inn at Lake Divine by Elinor Lipman, my new favorite author. There’s a good synopsis on her website, so I’ll spare you that, and just say that I laughed out loud and I shed a few tears. I loved the heroine’s voice, wit and irony. I loved the hero (even if he doesn’t show up until half way through the book, maybe because of it), I loved the premise, and I especially loved the first chapter. Basically, I loved the whole thing. Lipman wrote a funny essay about the book here.

I also just read Tell Me Lies by Jennifer Cruisie and Warrior for One Night by Nancy Gideon. Both were great and quickly read, but not touching and real the way Lipman’s book was.

I think all this reading is another reason I haven’t been blogging. So, sorry about that.

RWA Conference

rwa conference logo 2008I’m a member of Romance Writers of America. You’d never know it from this blog, but I really do harbor the dream of writing a novel one day. I’m not your typical novelist, apparently, because I haven’t been writing stories since the womb, I don’t have stories bursting to come out of me, I don’t even have any particularly good ideas. I just want to write a novel.

Is that enough? I guess we’ll see if I really write one.

Anyway, I joined RWA a few years ago with the goal of attending the annual conference. I lived in TX at the time, and the conference was being held in Dallas. It changes location each year, so I thought this was kismet. So I register and pay my big money. Then I got a new job in CA.

I had to request a refund, and I didn’t get to go. The following two years, the conference was very far away. This year it’s in San Fran! Kismet, again! (Wait…can that happen?)

My husband doesn’t think it’s kismet at all. He thinks it’s a waste of money. He didn’t say that, but he didn’t have to. He knows I never write anything more than these blog posts – which he’s never read. He had high hopes of advance money for a while, but now he’s become more realistic about my lack of qualification as a cash cow.

So, now I’m shopping for a Macbook Pro because how can I go to this fancy writers conference with nothing but legal pads and ink pens? Surely, you can see why I NEED a new laptop.

The conference plans are still pending, but I’ve got a Personal Shopping appt. at the Apple Store on Friday. I’ll keep you posted!