Book Reviews

So you may have noticed that my last couple of posts have been book reviews.  I joined this site called Goodreads.  My sister recommended it to me.  You can add books that you have read, are reading, or want to read.  It also works like a social networking site because you can add friends and see what they are reading and what they liked.  What I thought was cool was that when I rate/review a book on the site it gives me a code so that I can add it to my blog.  So be on the lookout for book reviews.  I won’t review all the books I read (I usually have 2 or 3 going at a time), but I will add some of the more interesting ones.

Now if only I can find a site like this for movies…anyone?

Advertisements

The Gunslinger book review

The Gunslinger: Revised and Expanded The Gunslinger: Revised and Expanded by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
My boyfriend and his roommate both told me I should read this book due to my love of fantasy and Stephen King horror novels. I have to admit they may have built it up too much, but it kept me interested until the end and I am definitely going to read the rest of the series. I want to find out what happens with Roland.

View all my reviews >>

Goodreads

The Order of the Stick Volume 1: Dungeon Crawlin' Fools The Order of the Stick Volume 1: Dungeon Crawlin’ Fools by Rich Burlew

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have never played D&D, but I was still able to find this book funny. It helped to have someone explain some of the technical jargon to me.

View all my reviews >>

Worries…

So for those of you that don’t know me well I tend to worry about things a bit much.  This has never overly affected my life, except for I, as the boyfriend says, am surrounded by nervous energy.  Lately though the worrying has become more of a problem.  Almost 4 years ago I had a house built and moved into it with two of my fellow teachers.  In the process of paying for new home costs and old credit card costs I messed up my credit bad.  I am now in the process of fixing it, but I have no savings to speak of.  I have managed to make it work and I always found a way to handle whatever problem presented itself.

Three weeks ago I happened to really look close at a little used part of my basement and noticed some mold growing on the concrete walls.   I immediately freaked out, starting googling all the information I could find and thinking that now my house was ruined and I would never be able to sell it (something I hope to do in the next 5 years).  Finally I got that worry under control only to notice many vertical cracks in my walls.  Let the worry begin again…I was assured that this was normal and that as long as they are vertical they were okay.  Christmas eve, after 3 days of rain, I go downstairs to find that the cracks are leaking at the bottom.  I freak out again.

Now let me explain that when I say freak out I mean full-out anxiety attack, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, loss of appetite and even sometimes a queasy stomach.  I discovered back in October, when I ran my first book fair, that my blood pressure rises when I am under stress and this causes many of the symptoms I have experienced as well.

Now I find myself thinking every little thing I see is a problem with my house.  I thought I had a dark mark on my tile in the kitchen and freaked out for about 30 minutes until my friend figured out it was a shadow from the kitchen chair.  My parents have both been to look at my house and have assured me that the problem is fixable, but I can’t stop obsessing over the it.  It doesn’t help that now I am looking for problems and have found proof that pretty much all the cracks are leaking.

I want to have the cracks filled and the basement waterproofed, but I know I can’t afford it and I can’t get a loan due to credit issues.

My mom and I have made a plan to clean out the basement this summer and to clean the floors, because just to top things off, my cat has been using the concrete floor to pee on for about the past year and the basement smells like cat pee.

I have no idea how much all of this will cost, but I do know that I can only scrape up about $4,000 by this summer.  Meanwhile I hate to be at my house, because every time I look at the basement or see a shadow I start to have trouble breathing.

Anyone have any ideas on how to help these problems for not a lot of money?

If you drink beer…

So let me start off by saying I don’t drink beer.  That being said, over the past year I have become very educated about beer and its wide variety of brewers and flavors.  Why, you ask, would a non beer drinker suddenly become so interested in the beverage?  Well, back in February I started dating my wonderful boyfriend, Joey.  Turns out he likes beer.  Now, I realize that this is not uncommon among red blooded American men, but it turns out that Joey had taken his enjoyment of beer to the next level.  He had a website where he and a couple friends reviewed different beers once a week.  He was in contact with many craft brewers across the country and they were sending him free samples of their beer to review on this website.  Turns out Joey knows his stuff and is quite good at giving his opinion of a beer in terms the average person can understand.  He is also really good at figuring out what a person likes and then finding new beer for them to try.  He has done this with my dad.  After a few conversations with him about what he liked Joey started bringing different types of beer with him whenever we visited for my dad to try.  At Christmas I overheard my dad commenting on how Joey has now gotten him into drinking all these different types of beer that he would have never tried before.  I have seen this type of thing happen over and over.  I have seen it happen with strangers in the grocery store (one guy didn’t know what he was getting into when he happened to ask Joey what he recommended).

Unfortunately the beer reviews for the website are on a indefinite hiatus, they haven’t filmed an episode since September.  Having been witness to how much Joey likes to share his love of the craft beers (sorry Joey if that isn’t the correct term) I have been playing with an idea for awhile.  I thought, wouldn’t it be great if Joey started a blog about the beer that he drinks.  The thing is Joey is a great writer as well as a great talker, this was something that I knew he would do well.  I finally broached the subject yesterday.  I told him about wordpress and how it was free.  He seemed on board with the idea and sat down to create his blog.  Turns out he did have a lot to say.  His first review is of Rogue’s Yellow Snow IPA.  I read it, and even though I can’t stand beer, I think it’s pretty good.  I, of course, got all excited and started talking about how all the different beer magazines could find it and he could then become a professional blogger.  He is just looking at this as another way to share his opinion…so far.

The point of this post is…if you drink beer you should check out his site, Drink Outside the Box, you never know what new brews you may discover.

November

So, the three of you who read this know that I only update every couple of months.  Last year I did a November review and I figured why not stick with tradition?

November is a busy month for me.  I have my birthday, a couple friend and family birthdays and anniversaries and Thanksgiving.  The month flew by this year.  I cannot believe that it will be December in 2 days.  December is shaping up to be busy as well, so we’ll see how many posts I do.

This year for my bday the boyfriend took me to one of our favorite nearby restaurants.  We both invited some friends and about 12 people showed up.  I followed bday tradition and got a bit tipsy, but a good time was had by all.  Here are some photos.

Thanksgiving was fun and hectic.  We went to my side of the family for a couple of hours and then shot down the road for his family’s.  We got done around 8 and I was asleep by 8:30, no joke, and slept until 9:30 the next day.  The turkey got the better of me.  I did not go shopping early, I could have, but chose not to join in the craziness.  I did however venture out later and had a wonderful thing called a brownie shake.  The cafe actually put an entire huge brownie in this thing.  I decided that this will now be a Thanksgiving treat for me since I don’t think I should have more than one a year.

So ends  November.  It was fun while it lasted.  I am almost done with Christmas shopping and I am going to have to hold off on most of the other buying until the 12/23 paycheck, but the tree is up and presents are wrapped underneath so I feel as if I am off to a good start.

Too much of a good thing?

Yesterday Joey and I attended a chili cook off at Danica and Richy’s.  We had a lot of fun.  Danica and Richy had custom mugs made for everyone who entered.  There were 8 different pots of chili and all were pretty good.  We spent a little over an hour just going around filling our bowls and then voting on the one we liked best.  Joey and I didn’t win, but we did get some votes.  I personally think that ours was one of the best. We then sat around talking with Elizabeth, Matt and Richy.  It was also great to participate in a “couples” thing with Joey.  It’s nice to have someone to do these things with.  We pooped out pretty early, I think due to eating so much hearty food so quickly.  I’m not sure my stomach is going to be incredibly pleased with me, but I’m sure it was worth it.  I am posting pics of our mugs and click here for our chili recipe.

Commemorative Chili Mugs

Commemorative Chili Mugs

Also yesterday morning I met up with some friends for breakfast.  Julie was in town for her sister’s wedding, so it was nice getting to talk to her.  We stayed at the restaurant talking for about an hour and a half and then went out to the parking lot where I tried to take a picture of us by setting the timer on my camera and putting it on top of the car.  The pictures of our first five attempts show how well this did not work, but the 6th picture was acceptable to us all.  Plus, it was great just hanging out with the girls like we did in high school.

Oops didn't set the timer correctly

Oops didn't set the timer correctly

Timer, check...Zooming in so we can see who's in the picture, Nope

Timer, check...Zooming in so we can see who's in the picture, Nope

Oops, zoomed in too far

Oops, zoomed in too far

Well, got the zoom right, but forgot to center ourselves

Well, got the zoom right, but forgot to center ourselves

Everything is great, except our eyes aren't open.

Everything is great, except our eyes aren't open.

Finally, one we can all accept.

Finally, one we can all accept.