Summer Vacation 2012 – Seattle!

so. poor abandoned blog…to pick up where i left off many months ago, i got a HUGE stack of library books for our trip across the country to seattle. this was one of my best vacations of all time (i had to include a ton of pictures in this post) and all the books lasted me the whole trip and then some. not all of them worked for me, i didn’t like the Anne Aguirre space books ( i didn’t think i would, but wanted to try them anyways!) and i got SO VERY VERY annoyed at The Maze Runner and the second book, just so contrived cliffhanger-y, i felt way too manipulated as a reader. i reached a plateau of jacked up adrenaline levels that left me exhausted and then bored.

i also polled twitter for some books set in seattle to get ready for my trip (google yielded F*fty Shades and Tw*light as top results…this displeased me greatly) and was SO happy i took the suggestion of Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker (review to come), i loved it. i also brought one of my favorite books of all time along for a re-read.


and i went on the undergrad tour of seattle not knowing that it would be the absolutely perfection of all perfect activities to accompany the book.

we were pretty touristy, here is a list of things we did on our trip (with some pictures, it is GORGEOUS THERE) and i highly recommend all these activities if you can visit:

  • biked around lake washington
  • visited Redhook beer brewery
  • walked around Green Lake
  • visited the Ballard Locks to see the salmon swimming upstream
  • went on the underground tour
  • went to a Mariner’s game


  • went shopping in pike’s place to cook a big dinner
  • got a coffee at the first starbucks
  • took a ferry up to Victoria, BC, Canada for a quick 2 day trip


  • toured the Parliament Building and walked all over Victoria
  • took a sea plane back to seattle (below taken from out of the plane window)


  • went to the top of the space needle
  • went to the Chihuly glass exhibit (had not heard of him before, i was blown away, have a million i could post, but these Niijima floats are my favorite)


  • watched the 4th of july fireworks from a friend of the family’s house boat (while wearing a puffy vest and jeans…it was chilly at night! the whole trip had the most perfect weather possible, 70-75ish and sunny every day, nary a drop of rain)
  • i definitely have way too many pictures of this part of the trip to ever post…but we ate our faces off the whole trip at a million awesome restaurants.


in conclusion, the Pacific Northwest is unbelievably beautiful with some of the most delicious food i’ve ever eaten. i loved that there was just a huge variety of experiences (from different cuisines to different landscapes) to all in one corner of the country. one of my favorite trips of all time.

December 2011 Reading List

To make up for not reading ANY BOOKS AT ALL (zip, zero, zilch) while I was travelling around so many campuses this past Fall *sob* I really made up for my lack of lusty reading by devouring *20 books* during the month of December! *smug face* I haven’t done a monthly reading roundup post since June 2010 which is positively shameful but I hope to get back on track. Ch-ch-check out the 20 that I read with some brief thoughts on a few as well:

December 2011 Reading List

  1. The Queen of Attolia, Meghan Whalen Turner (#2 in The Queen’s Thief quartet): A+ I loved this whole series, but adored this one the absolute MOST of the four because it really challenged me. Oh Gen, oh silly, clever, incorrigible, sneaky, sensitive, brilliant Gen, how I adore thee.
  2. The Thief, Meghan Whalen Turner #1: A
  3. The King of Attolia, Meghan Whalen Turner #3: A
  4. A Conspiracy of Kings, Meghan Whalen Turner #4: A
  5. Elemental Assassin Series Books 1-5, Jennifer Estep: A Gin is just plain cool (and not because she is part Ice elemental, ha). As soon as I finished reading the first in the series I immediately downloaded the next 4 and read them all deep into the night back to back in several days over the holidays. There are more books in the series after the 5th but one through five sees a particular storyline to conclusion.

10. Lion in the Valley, Elizabeth Peters: A Just started reading the Amelia Peabody series for the first time last month and this 4th installment is my absolute favorite in the series so far! It is the most salacious and dramatic so of course I loved it. Ooooo that Master Criminal!

11. Crocodile on the Sandbank, Elizabeth Peters (#1): A

12. What I did for a Duke, Julie Ann Long: B+ Very cute and got me intrigued to read more about the Eversea and Redmond families.

13. A Visit from Sir Nicholas, Victoria Alexander: B+

14. The Curse of the Pharaohs, Elizabeth Peters (#2): B

15. The Mummy Case, Elizabeth Peters (#3): B

16. Delicious, Sherry Thomas: B

17. Divergent, Veronica Roth: B- I was very into this while reading it (got a little sweaty, there are MANY tense moments!). Reminded me of Ender’s Game on a smaller scale. I liked it, didn’t love it as there were too many holes/unexplained things in the worldbuilding, but will definitely read the next book in the series when it comes out…from the library ;)

18. Lady Sophia’s Lover, Lisa Kleypas: B-

19. Angelology, Danielle Turssoni: C- The writing style for more was like a more annoying and condescending Dan Brown. I also thought it skipped between too many frame stories and flashbacks. And don’t even get me *started* on the ending, awful. That said, I read it in one sitting, it was riveting and original.

20. Under the Cowboy’s Control, Lynda Chance: D pretty painfully misogynistic and simplistic writing.

I’ve kept some of my notes in my Goodreads reading list so you can also follow me there for my more “real time” thoughts as I read throughout the month. And for those of you that are already friends with me on GR some of the above might look a little familiar as I did copy/paste some things for this post.

So have y’all read any of these???

Kevin Bacon please don’t kill me on this trip

Don’t get me wrong, this trip is going to be AWESOME! But as soon as my family planned it (none of this “vacation” was my idea) all I could do was watch clips of The River Wild over and over. This did not help with the nightmares let me tell you.

So today hubby and I fly 5 hours from DC to Las Vegas, where I have never been before! Hubby has only been once for a bachelor party where he slept on the floor and ate burgers for 5 out of his 7 meals while there.

After one night in Vegas we are going WHITE WATER RAFTING THROUGH THE GRAND CANYON. For those of you that know me even a little bit…ummm this is not my idea of a vacation. I’m also not athletic and haven’t worked out since our wedding, hmmm which was three years ago *shameface*

But I have also never been to the Grand Canyon and I already have anticipatory goosebumps just thinking about seeing this in person:

Seeing it? Amazing! Rafting on it, and hiking and camping next to it? Frightening. My outfits for the outdoorsy part of this trip? Hideous. My two new dresses purchased for the Vegas portion? ADORBS.

I am very very excited and very very lucky my parents are taking our whole family on this trip because I just know it will be an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience. But when I close my eyes at night I just keep seeing this:

So wish me luck, y’all!

An Evening at RWA11: A tale of Lines and Limes

Once upon a time, in a city not too far away, there was a hotel. And in that hotel gathered thousands of women with one unifying purpose: their love of books…This is a story of one such lusty reader in that city, in that hotel, with those women…

My journey on Tuesday began with a long bus ride, there are a plethora of clean, cheap, non-stop, cheap bus choices with multiple departure times that mainly yuppies take from DC to NYC – did I mention that they’re cheap? Less than half the price of a train ride! But sadly the bus takes about 5 hours, while the train barely takes more than 2. When I first moved to DC after college I was obsessed with the bus to NYC, but n0w (6 years later!) that I’m older, wiser, and have a steadier income I think that was my last bus ride. Sitting stock still on I-95 for over an hour while watching tons of other people on Twitter who are taking the train from DC to NYC for RWA11 zoom along will change a girl’s mind fast!

So while I was annoyed about the traffic I arrived without incident just in time to have lunch with the one and only Kate of Babbling about Books and More. It was the perfect way to kick off the day, sharing our similar thoughts on Kiss of Snow (Walker + Lara 4eva!), catching up on family and work life, saying hello to Mho Fho, and I learned tons of behind the scenes tidbits on being a writer and the publishing industry from Kate, and she was even generous enough to bring a few books for me!

Next I walked over to my bestie from college’s apartment, she and her husband live super close to Time Square where the RWA11 hotel was, and were so gracious in hosting me to stay at their place in the middle of the work week. Plus it was an excellent opportunity to hang out and catch up with them, albeit for such a short trip!

After showering, primping, charging my iPhone for the many tweets and pictures I’d need it for, and emptying out my tote to fit in all the books I was about to buy, I marched out of her apartment with purpose…only to be slowed by THRONGS of people in Times Square – more than usual! It turned out the 5:30pm start of the RWA11 Literacy Signing was the EXACT same time of the red carpet premiere of Transformers 3. That link has much better pictures but here is mine I snapped quickly, not wanted to tarry in that crush of teeny-boppers and annoying tourists any longer than I had to:

You can *kinda* see Bumblebee

Even as I drew in a breath to sigh in relief as the Transformers madness began to thin – my throat closed up as a HUGE CROWD of women clutching large empty bags appeared in front of me. The line snaked through the hotel lobby, doubled back on itself in the hotel breezeway before streaming out along the sidewalk in front of the theatres. I got quite an eyeful of all the advertisements for the Addams Family Musical, who knew it was staring Brooke Shields? Well now I know lots about it after STANDING IN LINE FOR OVER AN HOUR. Literally from 5:45 to just before 7 fucking PM I was in line, by myself, with a spotty connection on my phone no less.

These signs were HIGHLY necessary to direct the foot traffic

Everyone was polite, patient, and quiet while waiting, the buzz overheard from those around me was that the ballroom was too small to let the thousands of us in at all once. So those that got there early or had conference badges were lucky to be admitted right away, but I was really really close to giving up and just going for a drink at the bar, literacy signing be damned. Ever since I learned how to make margaritas from scratch a few weeks ago I have been addicted, I think about them all the time, and have made myself SEVERAL (yummy pic of ingredients at my house) in the past week and standing in that line I was positively salivating for one.

Anyhow, I was finally admitted after going up 6 escalators in stages, and the warm rush of air from the ballroom, heavy with feminine voices raised in excitement, immediately brought a smile to my face and wiped all annoyance of standing in line from my memory.

Clutching my list of the 21 authors I wanted to meet close to my chest, I navigated the byways between long tables laden with books, authors seated in alphabetical order around the ballroom. I met almost everyone I wanted to, and was sadly correct that lots of books would be sold out by the time I got there, specifically Thea Harrison’s Dragon Bound. But I really couldn’t be upset, the energy in the room was infectious, even though I didn’t see any readers/bloggers/twitterers I recognized, whenever I met eyes with a stranger we would both sort of grin at each other like, “can you believe we are here, surrounded by authors we love?!”

The highlight of the author signing was meeting my….what to call her *wracking my brain for something non creepy*…my idol? Hmmm, we’ll let’s just say I LOVE Victoria Dahl, I love her books and I love her on twitter and anywhere else she shares with us on a personal level online! As a reader I prefer not to interact with authors too much, just my personal preference, but I just HAD to take a picture with the esteemed Ms. Dahl, the creator of several of my most favorite books and characters of all time (I’m looking at you Jane, Chase, Marissa, Jude, and Emma).

im surprised im not blurry in this picture as im vibrating with giddiness!!!

I also met the following fabulous authors either just to say hi, or to pick up one of their new releases:

Here is all my fabulous RWA11 book loot – lots of signed copies, lots of personal notes from the authors, great bookmarks, and wonderful memories of getting them in person! 

The stack in front I purchased at the literary signing, and the stack in back were benevolently bestowed upon me by the lovely KatieBabs at lunch:

  1. A Courtesan’s Guide to Getting Your Man"" by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan: reading this one right now, OH MY is it erotic *fanning self briefly before sticking nose back in book in rapt concentration*
  2. Follow My Lead"" and The Summer of You (Berkley Sensation)"", by Kate Noble: I am so frickin happy these are in mass market size now! My copy of her earlier release Revealed in trade size (that I actually got from her at RWA in DC in 2009) really messes up the neat row on my bookshelf.
  3. It’s Always Been You"", by Victoria Dahl: ARC from the author! *dies of excitement*
  4. Call Me Irresistible: A Novel"", by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

And then from Katie (thanks again m’dear *blows kisses*)

  1. A Matter of Scandal, Suzanne Enoch
  2. A Season of Angels, Debbie Macomber
  3. Under Her Skin, Susan Mallery
  4. Just Like Heaven, Julia Quinn
  5. Too Good to be True, Kristan Higgins
  6. Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart, Sarah MacLean
  7. The Tarnished Lady, Sandra Hill

But after all the chatting in the overpacked ballroom I needed that margarita! Visions of fresh limes were dancing in my head as I checked out and paid (no line this time) and headed up to bar. To be honest, I’m not sure which I was more excited for on this trip, meeting the authors and getting great books at the Literacy Signing, or seeing all the bloggers and twitterers I chat with online on the regular at the Blogger Bar Bash!

The gathering at the bar was super informal with people coming and going, stopping by just to say hi, or settling in with dinner and a drink for hours. We all stood or sat around a round table, greeting those we recognized by face, or using our twitter handles to jog memories. While some folks I knew from meeting them back in DC in 2009, I met quite a few people I’ve been talking to online, and also met plenty of people that for some reason I didn’t already follow and chat with! I would say 90% of the huge bar covering almost an entire 8th floor of the hotel were women from RWA, our corner had a lot of readers, but I know we were surrounded by other folks meeting up in their own little groups, like agents, authors, publishers, and other folks from the industry.

Here’s who I recall seeing while I was flitting about, but I didn’t get to meet everyone since we were all mixing and mingling so much:

Kate: so nice i saw her twice ;)

Wendy the Super Librarian: more like Super Blogger Bar Bash Organizer! and i was thrilled to congratulate her on being the RWA Librarian of the Year in person!

Christine: we met at BEA last year  so it was awesome to greet each other with a hug and chat all about our families, home life, and authors who make us *squee* ha.

Rosie: ok no one’s hug can beat Rosie’s hug. after meeting at RWA09 we’ve traded emails and chatted online when she’s actually online and although she had to run to another party just getting the hug and 5 minutes of conversation was worth it! 

Pearl and Sarah Tanner: i mean when else could you EVER meet Pearl from the Netherlands and Sarah from Switzerland?! they were definite winners for farthest travels that i met! And thanks Sarah for the recommendation of a present from for my friend who just moved to Switzerland.

Kristie: thanks for holding down the fort for all of us to have such a great corner to meet in!

And it was super fun to chat briefly with LB Gregg, Nath, Hilicia and Stacey as well!

@katiebabs, me and @ChristineA

 Very important to mention that I did finally get to order that margarita! And I was glad to have Wendy there to dissuade me from ordering two at once, so great was my craving, and I’m glad I didn’t because…sigh…it wasn’t that good *sad trombone* I think I’ve just gotten used to my oh-so-fresh ones at home that the pre-made mixed ones don’t taste great anymore, this one was too chemically. And when I had to call it a night to get back to my bestie’s apartment before it got to late it was quite the trial to find someone to pay for the drink. I felt terrible for the harried looking wait staff, and for any non-RWA peeps trying to get a drink at the Marriott that night, romancelandia seriously took over the place!

It was hard to say goodbye, I really think I made my trip too short, that even though I still don’t think I would want to invest in actually purchasing the full conference “ticket” to go to all the panels, I should have stayed an extra day to find time to meet with all the other twitterers and bloggers I missed seeing Tuesday night. But I was happy to get back home to my hubby, our puppy, and my margaritas with fresh limes of course!

And that is the (rather long and detailed) tale of my journey to one day of RWA11…and then I lived happily ever after with my new books.

A lyrical preparation for RWA11

You better watch out
You better pack light
Better update TBR’s
I’m tellin you why
RWA11 is coming to town!

I’m making a list
And checking it twice
Gonna buy books both naughty and nice
Lusty reader’s coming to town!

I see you when you’re tweeting
I know when my Google Reader updates
I don’t care if you’ve been bad or good
So say hi to me for goodness sake!

Sometimes I express myself best through song, repurposing lyrics for my own needs just works for me!

I leave tomorrow morning for a whirlwind trip to NYC for Romance Writers of America’s 2011 National Conference. Besides all the bookalicious stuff, I hope to have some down time to catch up with my bestie from college who I’m staying with, and will also be going in to the NYC office of my company. 

I went to RWA in 2009 when it was just a hop, skip and a jump from my house in DC, back when the blogging world was shiny, new and fascinating to me. And back when I wrote 20 blog posts a month 0.0 hard to believe, I know!

Is 2011 your first RWA experience? Or are you considering going for the first time next year? Want to know what it’s like? There are a TON of awesome #RWASurvivalTips and prep posts out there, but here are my posts from 2009 when I was a newbie (I didn’t go last year, the trek to Orlando was a bit too much for me, but I can NEVER say no to NYC!)

As you can see I did not pay the $500 or whatever it is to attend the conference conference part. Like all the workshops, networking luncheons, panels, etc. Back in ’09 I thought, “oh I’m just a reader, that stuff isn’t applicable to me, I wouldn’t belong in there.” Well I was just plain old wrong, it is A HUGE MIX of readers and authors, people in the “industry” or people who are just fans of certain authors, not every panel will be super interesting to just a reader, but we are always welcome, and you will also see other non-authors/non-editors etc in the conference conference part. So if that stuff interests you GO FOR IT. You just won’t see me there :) I’m not into blogging enough to justify the cost, but the 100+ free books you get for being an attendee of the official conference is still very tempting. Maybe one day I will do the conference part, but for now I’m happy to just buy the books and do the social gatherings!

Speaking of, I’m doing my research right now for this year’s Literacy Autographing in the Marriott Marquis Ballroom, I want to have my list of authors I want to meet and books I want to buy all set by the time I hit the madness at 5:30pm tomorrow! Their list of authors isn’t really the best visual for me, so I like the way this list of who will be there is divided up, even though I don’t think I’m be participating in the trading cards part, ha.

Then I shall shoulder my bag of newly purchased lusty books and head to Wendy the Super Librarian’s Blogger Bash in the Atrium afterwards!

I’m following the #RWA11 hashtag and am so freaking pumped to see everybody! While back in ’09 I didn’t have a smart phone, but assuming AT&T gets service I should be live tweeting, and I will definitely write up some posts about my trip! Hope to see some of you there!

NYC here weeeee coooooooooommmmmmmee!!!!!!!!!! 

Life imitating art (books) Vol I

I live my life with my nose in a book. Not to say I don’t experience things in real life, but more often it happens that I will see something in person, or be having a discussion with a friend and realize I’ve only read about it before, whether it’s place, person or thing. When I first moved to DC I felt like I knew what SE DC was like after reading about the neighborhood in James Patterson’s Alex Cross books, as that’s where the detective lives and the neighborhood is described in such detail.

Sometimes I learn about a statue mentioned in a historical fiction book, a work of art a heroine was compared to, the type of architecture of the hero’s ancestral home, and then I finally see the statue or painting in a museum, or hear someone point out a column and I realize “oh so THATS what Georgian architecture looks like?!”

So what I’m leading up to is a specific thing that’s been on my mind that I’ve only read about…I’m not explaining this very well…argh.

An alternate title for this post should have been, “Why Crows Creep Me Out”

Subtitle, “Because of what I’ve heard about them in works of fiction.”

Crows really creep me out, y’all. I think of them as evil familiars, harbingers of bad luck, manifestations of mean mythical creatures, or just plan old bad omens.

So crows are everywhere, lots of them in DC, and every time I hear that caw caw, or see them ruffle their feathers in a tree above me, I shiver and look away. Crows are dark. And ominous. They have creepy eyes. They eat carrion. They are BIG. I am scared of them. And here is why:

1. Bambi – yeah, that’s right, starting off with an EARLY memory here!!! This is embedded in my brain: the crows circling above the hunter’s fire in the movie. And the cawing dear lord the cawing haunts my dreams.

2. Irish Mythology:

  • Nora Roberts: I can’t pin this to a particular Nora Roberts book, but I feel like some of hers have mentioned things like “If you see 3 crows sitting on a fence someone close to you will die” as she’s all about Irish lore.
  • Red Branch, by Morgan Llywelyn: found this on my parent’s bookshelf one summer when I was in middle school, I’m 100% positive NONE of you have read this, but there was definitely something creepy about crows in this retelling of the Hound of Ulster’s story from Irish mythology (you’d like this if you like The Mists of Avalon)
  • In the Mercy Thompson series one of the Grey Lords is a crow, a reference to the war goddess or battle crow in Irish mythology – Badb.

3. The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper: oh god oh god *squeezes eyes shut* just thinking about these books and the crows in them makes me shudder a little! Will sees crows everywhere, is chased by them, is chased by people who turn into crows while trying to figure out what is changing in his life and that he is part of a magical world, and he learns the rooks are the servants of the Dark. I haven’t seen the movie (The Seeker) but I heard they did a good job visuals of how scary the rooks/crows are, can’t find a clip, but here is a poster. This is Will waiting at his bus stop…soooo creepy! I could not wait for that bus with those rooks watching me.

And this was the cover of my copy of the book from the first time I read this series when I was in middle school, can you blame me for becoming scared of crows? All these negative associations of crows/rooks started for me when I was so young!

4. The evil brother, Professor Screw Eyes, from We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s story – I seriously doubt any of you lusty reader readers have seen this cartoon kids movie, anyone…anyone? *crickets* Well anyways Professor Screw Eyes is constantly surrounded by the beady-green-glowing-eyed crows and check out what happens to him at the end of the movie!!!!!

One of the scariest things about crows is there are always so many of them! The image of a tree covered in crows, with them all rustling their huge wings and cawing is just too much for me.

So that is the story of how my real life is affected by things I read in books. Yes I have a crazy, overactive imagination, yes I still duck and flinch when I see black wings out of the corner of my eyes, yes there are more of these examples to come. And yes, no matter how fabulous some people in real life think crows/ravens/rooks might be (even if Jeremy and Mrs. Frisby were friends in The Secret of NIMH were friends) because of what I’ve seen of them in fictional books and movies I will NEVER like them!

What about y’all? How is your real life affected by fictional works?

Liquidation sales don’t count when you’re on a book buying ban

So I didn’t tell you happened after I locked myself out in January…sigh…ok y’all read my last post (from over a month ago *sadface*) right?

Ok so what I didn’t tell you is that I locked myself out again the VERY NEXT NIGHT.

I went through a period of great self-hatred after that and simply could not speak of the incident(s) any further.

Needless to say it cost another pretty penny, but also cost me my sanity. I was soooooo angry at myself. It’s just so typically me. I ended up baking the cupcakes for my friend’s birthday, used the door with the drilled-out-broken-lock just fine all day Saturday, came home from the birthday party that night, took the dog out for a walk, and after 1 quick turn around the block I simply could not open the door. The knob would not turn. Locked. Out. Again.

The same locksmith guy came out again, so I made him come out on Friday night and Saturday night – when he left the second time I told him, “No offense but I hope I never see you again.” He said the feeling was mutual *sad trombone*

I should have replaced the door knob and broken lock myself during the day and Saturday but with hubby out of town I thought it would be ok if I just waited another day for him to come home and do it.

Most of the time my klutziness is amusing, or dare I say even endearing, but when it teeters into the harmful, costly, stupid side there is nothing to smile about. I’m sad to say that I have been labeled ditzy before and I hate that. Some examples:

When we were house hunting, the first time I saw the pictures of the place we eventually ended up buying I thought to myself, “It looks perfect! Except the stairs, those look dangerous” I have since fallen down them twice, with more to come I’m sure.

I literally got an email from my friend last week titled “I thought of you today” with the body of the email simply stating “I burned myself with my curling iron.” This is the type of thing that reminds my friends of me! I burned the crap outta my forehead the day before senior yearbook pictures with my curling iron.

I like to put things on my calendar for the wrong time accidentally, and even if I know what time things really do start, I’m always late.

I break dishes and glasses all the time while washing them in the sink.

I’m not super responsible in other areas too – one Saturday when hubby was at the office ALL day I promised I would clean the house while he was gone. I did NOTHING in the way of cleaning, but did watch instructional youtube videos for hours until I perfected the Cotton Eye Joe dance and the Cupid Shuffle. When he asked about the cleaning, my response of putting on music and doing line dancing wasn’t quite what he was expecting, and he wasn’t that mad…

So anyway. I’m a disaster.

So to counteract the hundreds of dollars down the drain for my stupidity of locking myself out, I am on a big time spending ban.

For the most part.

I just couldn’t quite stick to that spending ban when it came to the frivolous entertainment of books. I have a crazy-long holds list going on at my local libraries (yes plural, I use both DC and VA for maximum exposure to free books, the differences in their stock is staggering) but when I heard about my local Borders’ liquidation sale I couldn’t pass it up.

I mean they’re practically FREE! All the books I usually buy are mass market paperback romance novels, so regular price they’re like $6-$8,  so then with a 30% discount it’s like I’m not even really spending money. Liquidation sales don’t count when you’re on a book buying ban!



I couldn’t resist the allure of the 9873524897 sale signs all over my local Borders and marched right up to the door, my wish-list already pulled up on my Goodreads app on my iPhone. I prepared for the inevitably long line by emptying my purse of all heavy things, going to the bathroom before I left home, and making sure my iPhone was fully charged, then when I got to the long line I happily started reading one of my new books!

Borders closings are sad, local DC blogger Malnurtured Snay wrote many a personal take on the bankruptcy and liquidations, so while in general its bad news such a big firm is doing so bad, the sale was great as a customer :)

I ended up with 6 fabulous books for only $37 and put a serious dent towards finding books off my wish list that aren’t at my local libraries!

All of these but one are new-to-me books I’ve never read but have been wishing for for a while. The only one I’ve read is Going Too Far which I checked out of the library twice already because I just adored it so much, so I figured I should probably buy it!

But now I’m going back on my book buying ban. I swear! Unless there’s another great sale, or maybe I just happen to stumble upon a cheap used book store… *shakes self* No, no, no! Bad self *slaps wrist* Ban is in full effect, for realsies!



Best activity in below freezing weather: locking yourself out

What, with the beginning of that title you thought I was going to say something lusty?

Unfortunately something lusty was not possible as hubby is out of town. Hence the locking myself out. In 23 degree weather. Do. Not. Recommend.

See, my friend is having a birthday party tomorrow. And I am a GOOD FRIEND so I am baking her cupcakes (at some point I’ll try to blame this on her [even though no one asked me to bring cupcakes]) but tonight, Friday, at 7pm I realized I didn’t have any mix or frosting and I already have tons of things I have to do before the party tomorrow. So again, with hubby out of town, I thought a quick run to the grocery and cupcake baking sounded like a great way to spend my Friday night. Also I would obviously eat at least 6 cupcakes myself tonight. Et voila, parfait Friday night plans!

Yeah. Notsomuch.

I grab the car keys and house keys off the counter, walk out the door and closes it behind me, automatically locking the door handle. But the deadbolt needs to be manually locked so I pull the keys out of my pocket to lock it. I have car keys. I have no house keys.


We never gave anyone else in DC an extra set of keys. We’ve talked about it, but never did it. So in less than 30 seconds I’m googling “lock smith dc” on my iPhone. When, in the middle of my googling, a message pops up on my iPhone screen: “Less than 10% battery remaining.”


My situation, only minus the waves. And on a DC sidewalk in 23 degree weather. As you may recall I don’t always have the best of luck.

So we live in a townhouse with two condos, being locked out with my phone dying I’d like to get inside. With someone I know, where I can sit down, and borrow their phone. So I knock on my neighbor’s door and wait a sec. No answer. But I can hear the TV through the door – I’ve been in his condo before as we’re friendly, he invited us to a party even! – and I know the sofa and tv are right next to the front door. Not only can I hear the TV through the door, but I can hear the ticking of the clock on 60 Minutes that’s how easily sound travels through the door. So I wait another 30 seconds and knock again. Louder, a police knock, if you will. Nada. Several minutes later I knock again! Zilch. I guess we’re not as friendly as I thought? He’s our age and although we didn’t know each other before we bought our condos, it turned out we even have friends in common!

Fuck it, either way I have to call the lock-smith ASAP so I just have to hope my 9% battery will get me through it. No time for Yelp research or scrolling through websites, I click on the first one that shows up and a very nice lady answers, asks for my address, and says someone will call and confirm he’s on his way. He called (yay 7% battery!) and showed up just over an hour later. Honestly, it could have been so much worse! I just really wish my goddamn neighbor would have opened up his fucking door! Sorry this is a very profanity laced post. But I know he was in there. If I could hear every word on 60 Minutes about Social Security, if I could hear him switch the channel to a basketball game, if I could hear his exclamations of “nice shot!” and “traveling!” then he could damn well hear my knock and hear me calling the locksmith!

So when the locksmith did arrive, I quite clearly said, “Thank you so much for coming out on a Friday night! I would have hated to be stuck much longer since I knocked on my neighbor’s door several times and no one answered!” I may or may not have repeated that several times as he drilled open my lock. Passive aggressive much? Yes.

Apparently we had a high security lock. Which costs more to open. Hence the drilling. $240 total!!! Dammit, hubby is going to kill me :( Plus the cost to replace the door knob and lock. The locksmith said a lower security lock would be closer to $100 for him to open. Whyyy couldn’t we have been less safe and less responsible and gotten a crappy lock??? Hmm maybe I can blame this on hubby somehow since he replaced the door knob that came with the house with a new, higher security one when we moved in? And blame it on my friend that I was buying the cake mix for. This never would have happened if it weren’t for her birthday!!!

So fuck, $240 in the hole. Turns out I did not have the best Friday plan after all.

And there goes me getting a mani-pedi tomorrow. Maybe I can use that time I thought I would be busy to bake my friend cupcakes after all.

In conclusion: *sadface*

Second conclusion: fuck you, neighbor. When we give our extra set of keys to someone, because obviously we definitely need to! It will not be you. Hope you enjoyed 60 Minutes. Jerk.

A nose for books in West Virginia

What kind of person goes on vacation in town of  less than 3,000 people in the sticks of West Virginia and still manges to find a book sale?

A lusty reader with a nose for books, that’s who! I just can’t escape them, y’all! This more than made up for my super depressing experience of being turned away from the last one I stumbled across – member that time all I even needed was 4 quarters, or 10 dimes and I cried in the library? Well even though I still get a serious twinge of regret for the fabulous books I wasn’t able to buy at that one…I made out like a frickin bandit at this one on vacation in West Virginia.

So this is how long I’ve had this blog post sitting in my draft folder…this book sale is one I found while on vacation celebrating our wedding anniversary this fall. When is our anniversary? Oh, just September 27th, so this only happened 3 months ago!!! Ugh, blogging, you have just been too much for me to keep up with. So yes, hubby and I drove about 2 hours away from DC this past Fall to visit Harper’s Ferry, Charles Town, and Shepherdstown, WV.

(For those of you following me on twitter, yes hubby and I are currently on vacation in Charleston, SC, not be confused with the trip in this blog post to Charles Town, WV) 

We stayed at the most adorable inn and woke up on our first morning refreshed and ready to explore the area! We hopped in our car and drove through Charles Town on our way to historica Harper’s Ferry. We hadn’t even gotten one block into the little town before I yelped, “Halt!” And pointed with a finger shaking with excitement to the sign and sidewalk chalk stating “Library Book Sale.” Hubby looked into my eyes gone wide with pleading, sighed and smiled, and pulled over on the tiny street with no traffic.

Guarenteed to get a HUGE smile out of me:

Whenever I go clothes shopping with the hubby I always promise to be fast, trying to pick clothes I don’t have to try on, or those I can just try on over whatever I’m wearing, zooming around the store, being as quick as I can to grab anything that interests me.

No browsing, that’s my rule to keep him happy, and I know he appreciates it. The same goes for book stores, he won’t go into one with me unless I already know what books I want because he knows all too well that book browsing could lead to hours of boredom on his end. We’ve literally stood on the sidewalk outside a Barnes&Noble with him making me cross my heart and swear I have a list and I will stick to it – no browsing allowed – before he would agree to go in with me. So I tried to be lightening-fast at this West Virginia book sale, one of the reasons why my pictures of these totally awesome old-skool romance covers are a little blurry.

These weren’t that familiar to me though, Dance of Desire, Her Heart’s Delight, Savage Obsession, author’s Stephanie Blake or Mary Daheim? I started reading romance in the early 1990’s and while I enjoy plenty of the newest releases, I am truly an old-skool romance fangirl at heart, so I was surprised I didn’t recognize the titles and authors in this box, but my heart recognized them as kindred spirits. I read a few of the back covers to see if they would spark my interest, but quickly moved on to trying to locate titles I was familiar with.

There were just sooooo many romance novels at this sale!!!!

Jennifer Garner was in a made for tv version of For The Roses?! Dost mine eyes decieve me, or is that her on the cover??? I read that book in the ’90s and don’t really remember liking it, I think it took way to long to get to the lusty bits and was a bit too saga-ish for me.

So what did I walk out with?

Even limiting myself to trying to just pick up those books whose titels and authors I recognized I walked out with some REAL TREASURE! I was so giddy y’all, every time I plucked one of these books out of the lineup.

  • The Prince of Midnight, by Laura Kinsale (my first Kinsale I’ve ever owned, I’ve never read this before either)
  • Prince Charming, by Julie Garwood (was on my list of favorite romance of all time…whyyyyy did I donate my copy from High School when I went off to college again?)
  • Knight in Shining Armor, by Jude Deveraux (classic. one of my fave time travels. ’nuff said)
  • The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkein (the cover sucks, but its a must have for my bookshelves. I read my dad’s copy when I was younger but have never owned a version for myself)
  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume (this is the EXACT version I owned in elementary school, but now can’t find, problem solved!)

I struck some serious reading gold, huh?!

And that is the story. Of the time. I found a library book sale on vacation. In a teensy tiny West Virginia town.

Yawn and relax

Kedzie’s got the right idea here. And even though our tree is only 4 feet tall I definitely yawned myself after putting it up! Anyway, tis the time to yawn and relax.

Hope everyone is having as wonderful of a Christmas break and New Years weekend as I am!

Besides dealing with the New Jersey snowpocolypse while visiting my in-laws and almost sleeping in Penn Station when our train back to hubby’s suburb from the city was cancelled…it has been a MOST excellent vacation. Especially since my mother in law really gets me, besides Stuart Weitzman boots (!) look what else she got me for Christmas:

 So true, so true, cannot live without books!

And she found a box of old children’s books she’d saved from  when my hubby and his brother were little that she gave to me! The first 3 Boxcar Children books, Heidi, Matilda, and Black Beauty included! Man oh man did I marry into a wonderful family.

I will say that the pillow is adorable, and perfect for me, but I feel like I need to build a room around it, you know? Like now this little pillow means I need a library in my house. I mean it looks fine on one of our living room chairs now but it won’t look “right” until we get a bigger house and dedicate one whole room to books, shelves on every wall, and a big comfy arm chair with this pillow cradled in the seat. Like as soon as I opened the present and saw the pillow, I could only envision it with a personal library built around it. This is normal, right?


Either way, very happy holidays to all of you out there! Now excuse me…*yawn*…I’m going to cuddle up with Kedzie and my new pillow and get some reading done. One more week of vacation to go!