Friday, February 27, 2009

Men: Michael Shanks

Name: Michael Garrett Shanks
Best Known For: TV Show Stargate SG-1
Year of Birth: 1970
Status: Married (Lexa Diog)
Height: 6’
Fun Fact: Was looking to be a professional hockey player at one time

Michael is an interesting choice for me because he isn't stunning, more cute. Although I've caught a few episodes of Stargate over the years, I've never really thought about how attractive he is. I'm pretty sure he has dimples, but there aren't a lot of pictures out there of him smiling - just giving that 'eat you alive' type look. Sigh. He is a fan of Star Wars and Star Trek :o) He also lumberjacked while in college.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chocolate: Dove Promises, Bananas Foster & Tiramisu

I didn't like them. I received the dozen roses and chocolate from B on Valentine's (What a sweetie!). The roses were beautiful when they opened and are still alive and well. The chocolate, however, has not yet been consumed. It is Dove's Desserts Collection of Dark Chocolate Tiramisu and Milk Chocolate Bananas Foster.

I think my dislike stems from the base of both of these desserts - alcohol. I do not drink because I hate the taste which was recreated without the alcohol in the chocolates. Yuck! I wish I didn't have to say that because it seems like such a waste. All the other chocolates I received for V-Day are well on their way to disappearing. I'm going to take comfort in the fact that B, who didn't receive a tangible gift from me, likes the chocolates just fine.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Books: eHarlequin

I love my fluff. I know I shouldn't waste my time, but there's nothing like the whole beautiful princess meets handsome prince fluff. I started reading Harlequin Romance novels when I was in middle school (which contributed to my budding adolescence). Then, they were full of submissive young girls and dominant older Alpha males. Now, the women are strong willed and stories are filled with Beta men.

Harlequin books themselves have changed over the years as well by featuring new and different categories. Steeple Hill...wholesome Christian romance, Kimani Press...African American characters, Silhouette Nocturne...vampires, and Luna...the paranormal. These are just a few of the alternatives to the regular thriller, historical, and chick lit areas. has what they call Online Reads - short romances online. They are meant to entice you into getting hooked on a series or author, and they put up ads for purchasing upcoming books. I usually wait until a whole story is up as they only post short story portions on certain days or weekly. They also offer writing contests and forums for amateurs. Many of my favorite writers started in romance.

I've read every Harlequin in my local library that I've wanted to read and enjoy being able to get a little fix every once in a while.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

TV: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

From a goofy, cult movie an awesome TV show was born. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. BEST. SHOW. EVER. It was nearly religious how B and I would prep for the big night. I own a book called Bite Me (although it would be awesome to have the more recent edition with all the seasons). And I own all seasons on DVD.

What's Buffy you say? Maybe something's wrong with my hearing..."In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer." Every bit of the show's seriousness, the fight against evil, the slaying of vampires and all manner of beasts, the blood, the gore,...was evenly tempered with humor. B and I laughed just as hard as we cringed.

The Scooby Gang, Buffy's friends in the fight against evil, were 100% of the show. Buffy was a normal teenager before someone informed her that she was the chosen one and would have to devote her time to studies of the life of a vampire slayer. Giles was her Watcher, the guardian in charge of her tutelage and in the end surrogate father. Buffy's teenage attitude disrupted his delicate English sensibilities...until we find out there is more to him than meets the eye. Buffy's bestest friend is Willow, a shy little wallflower who turns into the most powerful witch ever and who became one of the most well-known lesbian characters on TV. Crazy, comedic Xander ends up being a very strong character despite not having developed any demon fighting powers.

Cordelia, in the beginning an enemy of Buffy's, becomes part of the gang in the fight showing that a snobby rich snot (outside) can have a heart of gold (inside). Dawn, definitely the weirdest part of the show, was a sister who appeared out of nowhere and a major pain in the bottom. And last in this list, Angel, the love of Buffy's life and someone she couldn't afford to love. Angelus, the evil vampire that Angel used to be, was evil incarnate. All of these characters plus all the evil, Spike, Drusilla, The Master, The Initiative, Glory, and Angelus, make Buffy what it is...THE BEST SHOW EVER!

Anyone up for a marathon?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Miscellaneous: Hawaii Part Two

The weather in Hawaii is perfect for my skin, which gets very dry where we live. It was also perfect for relaxing in. Again, Hilo (Hawai'i), Honolulu (Oahu), Kaua'i, and Maui were our ports. The first two for us were rainy or overcast, so my first piece of advice is to be prepared for that during the winter. Still it didn't bring us down.

The best part of Hilo was taking the tour up to the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. If we had been able to stay longer we probably would have taken the trail down to Kilauea Iki Crater or examined the Thurston Lava Tube more carefully. I thought to bring our binoculars - good idea! We could see others walking down the trail and view the smoking areas of the main crater.

We also stopped at the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens and Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory. There were, of course, lots of beautiful flowers along with a photo of one of the most expensive orchids. They had little orchids to put in your hair (but the blossoms couldn't go back to mainland US on the ship). I pressed them on the ship and mailed them to us. We didn't get to see them making the chocolates at the factory, only boxing them. The most excitement came from seeing a mongoose while we were eating chocolate.

We really enjoyed the zoo in Honolulu, much more than the Waikiki Beach. We went to Waikiki for our honeymoon and it wasn't the fun in the sun kind of beach. Too many cigarette butts. The flowers and the animals at the zoo were much more fun. A & M really liked saying, "There's ANOTHER ABC store!" every two seconds.

It was while we were on Kauai that we finally went to Wal-Mart. Yes, Wal-Mart. It is my biggest tip for the trip. We were able to buy all the souveneirs there at a fraction of the price it would have been if we'd bought them anywhere else. And if we had made Wal-Mart our first stop, we'd have been able to stock up on water, snacks, Mauna Loa chocolates (don't buy them at the factory), and supplies (scrapbooking!). Later, we went to the beach. It was a small one in Lihue and perfect weather.

Our final stop in Hawai'i was Lahaina, Maui. The bad thing about this stop was the holiday. We were there on New Year's and a lot of things were closed. The best was the beach. Again it was a nice day, so we headed to Whaler's Village by bus. Another great beach. Some of the kids bought inner tubes in the shopping area and were having a grand time. The equipment rental was closed, but many borrowed the chairs already on the beach. The worse thing about the entire trip was the bus ride back to the port. We were shoved like sardines and the line onto the ship went down the street (we tendered in).

All in all, it was loads of fun!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Men: Eric Dane

Eric DaneName: Eric Dane (Eric William Dane)
Best Known For: TV Show The Practice
Year of Birth: 1972
Status: Married (Rebecca Gayheart)
Height: 6’1”
Fun Fact: Weird Wiki

He was named McSteamy by Ellen Pompeo's character, Meredith, on Grey's Anatomy. He's definitely the steamy type. Not cute or gorgeous, Dane fits the sexy type. There's a pic out there of him in just that towel. Nice :o)

My Weird Wiki Fun Fact will probably disappear as soon as the powers that be figure out that someone messed with it. He is married to Gayheart, but not according to Wiki. Other than that, there isn't that much out there about Dane's fun. Sure is fun to look at though.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chocolate: Ghirardelli Dark & Mint

It's new and it's just Ghirardelli Mint Bliss. It's messier and it's thicker. It's good.

Makes you want to try their bigger, thicker, messier caramel and raspberry. Or try their milk chocolate peanut butter. Mmmm.

Ghirardelli Filled

However, if they made a chocolate filled, I wouldn't mind having a tasting showdown. Lindt vs Ghirardelli.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Books: Ink...

Cornelia Funke is the author of Inkheart, Inkspell, and the newest Inkdeath. I have a friend (BJ) who loves this series and has already seen the movie. The story is based on a man and his daughter who can read characters in and out of books. If you didn't know already, there is a movie starring Brendan Fraser. BJ has already seen the movie and is deeply into Inkdeath.

So, my opinion? While I found the first book (the only one I've read) to be imaginative and interesting, it was too slow for me. There wasn't enough action to keep me going and a lot of characters to keep track of. Although I checked Inkspell out from the library, I just couldn't get into it.

Maybe the film would hold my attention better, you say? Well, I haven't seen a good review of that either. I have this thing about books fitting well with movies. I nitpick about the details. From the trailer the characters enter the book world, but in the first book they don't. I have trouble with that. Maybe the trailers are wrong, though.

Anyway, if you like a deep book, and as BJ says, a young adult book, you might like to read the Inks. I think I'll pass.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TV: Lie to Me

Lie to Me is a new show on Fox that I've been watching since its premiere on January 21. I like it. It's about a man named Dr. Lightman who, with his team, are experts on detecting lies. They are called in by various agencies and are better than polygraph tests.

What do I like?
The cop they recruited in the first couple of episodes.
The flashes of famous people's faces caught in lies (or truths.)
Lightman's secrets.
All the cool people reading stuff I'm learning!

Who else is caught up in this show? What do you think?