Friday, December 31, 2010

Chocolate: Chocolate Truffle Pie/Tart

I was asked to bring the dessert to the Christmas Eve dinner with my parents. I'm always asked for chocolate and I'm happy to oblige. This year I scoured the Internet for fast and tasty. The recipe I found was for Chocolate Truffle Tart. However, the website listed pictures and a link for the recipe and the link didn't work. So I searched again, this time for pictures. I found a matching picture and the recipe, only it was listed as Chocolate Truffle Pie. Since it fits both I slashed the title :)

So here's the recipe:

Chocolate Truffle Pie

1 (8 or 9-inch) chocolate crumb crust (see recipe below)
2 cups (12-ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy cream - divided use
1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Fresh berries for garnish (optional)
Sweetened whipped cream for garnish (optional)

In microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream. Cook on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Set aside.

In small bowl, beat the remaining heavy cream until soft peaks form. Blend in the chocolate mixture on high speed 1/3 at a time, mixing well.

Spoon into prepared crust. Refrigerate several hours before serving. Garnish with fresh berries and whipped cream, if desired.

Serves 8 to 10.

Chocolate Crumb Crust
1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Combine crumbs and melted butter; press evenly in a 9-inch pie plate.
Bake at 325°F (160°C) for about 6 minutes. Cool completely before using.
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie crust.

There are two pictures accompanying this post. The first is the picture from the recipe online. The second is what mine looked like. Although theirs looks better because my whipped cream looked awful, neither is the best. If I were making this again, the entire top of the pie/tart would be covered with raspberries.

Here's a little backstory: I used chocolate graham crackers to make the crust. I didn't use the pretty ruffled tart tin (well, I tried to and it didn't work out) and instead used the springform pan (removable bottom). I also wanted it to taste really good and spent the extra pennies on Ghirardelli chips. I think that made the difference.

So back to the raspberries. The chocolate tastes like dark chocolate in the pie and the raspberries were the perfect tartness to counter the dark. Strawberries will not work. So again, this time extra dollars, on out of season raspberries. But the result? D e l i c i o u s!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Books: Silent Fall

I was looking for another thriller author and spotted this book, Silent Fall, by Barbara Freethy. It was a quick library stop, and the book would be my 35th summer read. It is the second book in a partnership with Silent Run. You might want to stop reading now because there are some major spoilers in this post. Just in case you do stop reading, my recommendation is a thumbs down.

Premise? Reporter gets framed for the murder of a woman at his brother's wedding reception. Another woman, a psychic the reporter has met before, decides against her better judgement to help him.

The first issue I had was not being able to get into the book, but after the first 100 pages it got busy enough to hold my attention longer. I think one reason was because I couldn't get a good grasp of the reporter's personality. The psychic was easier. She's got a bad history that also has to do with a murderer (one who was never found.)

The second was some really stupid reactions. The woman is a witness in a murder trial that the reporter helped bring about. The reporter thinks the woman/witness may still be alive, due in part to the psychic, and decides to track her down even though he's been told not to leave town. Meanwhile the real killer is also stalking the woman/witness, so instead of staying put and giving himself an alibi he ends up in the same location as the now really dead woman/witness. There were other things like that bothering me.

Third, the psychic starts to make a connection between the reporter and herself. She confides in the reporter about her past with this uncaptured murderer, I said to myself, "Wouldn't it be stupid if the killer was the same for both of them?" Wouldn't you know...

There was some mystery that I hadn't figured out which was good, but it was very predictable. I likely won't read the first story even though there was a little tidbit from it at the end of this book. I kind of know how it ends from reading this one anyway. Wouldn't want to read another predictable book.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

TV: The End of 2010

Many shows have fallen this year...cancelled or ended. Not that this doesn't happen every year...

Anyway, here is a list of some of the shows that are done this year. Several I will miss, others I'm glad to see done, and still others I never cared about.

Law & Order
Ugly Betty
The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien
Ghost Whisperer
Stargate Universe

May the New Year bring worthy and lasting shows.

Hope your holiday is as bright as mine has been :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Miscellaneous: Holidays

This post is just me rambling on. I mean, I should have enough time with me being on vacation to have posts ready in advance, but my need to relax has outweighed the posting by far. Anyway...

Back when I was young and nimble, I would have all the decorations up and the cards ready to mail by the end of the first week after Thanksgiving. That hasn't happened in I don't know how long. I'm somewhat bummed because I'm a person who likes to be organized and on top of things. I don't know how I arrived at this sorry state.

I've managed to get out cards, but the surplus computer monitors destined for the recycling place and the extra babyish furniture from A & M's room currently occupies the space for the tree. And I think it's a bit late for that.

I always think I'll be ready next year. Really, I have a whole 364 days starting the 26th, but it's not happening.

It should be a New Year's Resolution.

By the way, how do you purchase your Christmas cards? Do you make those photo things through Costco? Use an online photo place? Purchase cards? Get them printed through a place like Colorful Images? Do you write the addresses on the envelops yourself? Buy special stamps? Write letters? Have each person sign or do you sign for everyone?

Just curious!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Men: David Williams

Name: David Williams
Best Known For: Rugby Player
Year of Birth: 1986
Status: Single?
Height: 6'
Fun Fact: His favorite movie is Fight Club and he loves his hair...

...which makes sense considering that he prefers his beard. He is known as The Wolfman. I'm sure his fans (rugby fans, that is) also prefer his beard. I do not. Without it he is H O T. And since he doesn't think he's sexy I can see why he likes his fur. I didn't post a picture because I had a hard time finding one that isn't property of some magazine. But feel free, really, to Google Image him. Fur and de-furred.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chocolate: Chocolate Good

This was a nice tidbit :)

So were the Hershey's nuggets: Almond and Toffee & Almond. Virtual share?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Books: The Song Reader

Ugh! I hated it. Just in case anyone is confused or has not read any of my previous book posts, I read for enjoyment. FUN! If I want someone's sob story about how their mother died and their father left and that the two of them (sisters) have to survive the older one's giant failure, then I can watch the news, scan the Net, or call my family for an update. I don't read so my thoughts can be provoked. I don't read to see someone else's triumph over adversity. I don't read to increase my level of wisdom or to change my life.

I read fluff because it warms my heart and makes me laugh. They take me back to when I fell in love with my hubby. I read thrillers because, depending on the author, they go into the forensics, they provide mystery, and they make me think I'm watching some action flick.

I pulled The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker off the library shelf because the woman in the story could use songs instead of tarot cards to read people. I thought it would be cool to see what the woman was able to do and was hoping for somewhat comedic and somewhat serious consequences. What I got was the woman going into a severe depression over a reading that caused half the town to turn against her, the woman's younger sister having to become an adult (bill paying, child care, housekeeping, depressed sister care) at 15 years old, and a returning father who had OCD and wasn't capable of helping either sister survive.

Little more than halfway through the book I was done. But I wanted to be fair to Tucker and read till the end only to be disappointed that there wasn't a happy ending. Ugh!

Friday, December 10, 2010

TV: American Being Human?

No. No, no, no, no. Being Human is fine the way it is. British, humorous, and drawn out. I like my stuttering George, my flaky Annie, and my brooding Mitchell. But some dim bulb is trying to make an American version. No. No, I say (stamping my foot for more emphasis.)

What's this nutter going on about you ask? I've seen the previews by Syfy. They do not look good. Despite the name changes they are copying the look of the British show. If they do this version, they will either need to do a superior job or completely make the show different. The actors copying the look and mannerisms won't come off correctly. I'm afraid.

If you aren't, the show is scheduled to air in January.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Miscellaneous: Accountability

When will the parents be held accountable for their children?

San Francisco bans Happy Meals
"Parents, not politicians, should decide what their children eat, especially when it comes to spending their own money," said Newsom. "Despite its good intentions, I cannot support this unwise and unprecedented governmental intrusion into parental responsibilities and private choices."

This is just one item on the long list of situations where everyone else is to blame for the behavior and habits of children, but parents are excused from the responsibility.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Men: Joe Manganiello

Name: Joseph Michael Manganiello
Best Known For: TV, True Blood, One Tree Hill, How I Met Your Mother
Year of Birth: 1976
Status: Engaged (Audra Marie)
Height: 6'5"
Fun Fact: Was a roadie

So where are all the True Blood fans? And who decided not to apprise me of this hottie? I found these lover-ly pictures of his bod and decided he needed to be featured.

I'm not fond of the pics where he looks like Sawyer from Lost, but it doesn't change his hotness.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chocolate: Cake Balls 2

I posted about Cake Balls a little over a month ago. Then later had an addendum with video :) So guess what? I MADE THEM!

They taste as good as I thought. Little bites of sugary goodness. There are a few things we would add (my SIL made them with me) to the directions. Have a little heating pad or hot pot heater beneath the melted candy bits. Reheating was a giant pain. We didn't want to do the pops this time (SIL will try that next) so we were trying to find a way to coat them without making marks. There were plenty of examples, but we went with toothpicks. It was better to use a blunt toothpick end instead of pointed. We removed the toothpicks after they cooled and covered the hole either with a drop of melties or with decoration (see pic.) Lastly, we noticed a bubble of oil appeared at the top if we left the hole open. We were confused by this, but closing the hole seemed to do the trick.

Anyway, with SIL trying out pops (she's going for the reindeer), I'm going to try again with the recipe and see if I can make them even tastier.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Books: Quinn Brothers

This is another series I read during the summer. (It seems so long ago now, sigh.) The Chesapeake Bay Saga is a set of four books about the Quinn Brothers. It initially starts out with the three brothers coming together for a fourth brother they knew nothing about. That makes more sense during reading. They are listed in order below. And rather than me telling you about everything I thought I'd find some other reviews. I mean, Nora Roberts has her formula. It makes a nice calming read for me, but there are others who are much more critical though I didn't find any of those :).

Sea Swept
Rising Tides
Inner Harbor
Chesapeake Blue

Review One
Review Two
Sort of Review Three

Friday, November 26, 2010

TV: The Best

Somebody's list of the Top Rated TV Shows is posted below. The posting was inspired by this from eonline. For someone who records as much as I do, this list should bring smiles. Unfortunately, only one show on this list is a fav of mine right now. (Although Lost ended this year, it seems like it was last year.) Well, which one is it?

Big Bang Theory
Two and a Half Men
30 Rock
True Blood
United States of Tara
Friday Night Lights
America's Got Talent
Hell's Kitchen
So You Think You Can Dance
Rookie Blue
NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service
The Mentalist
Lie to Me
Miami Medical
Breaking Bad
The Good Wife
The Bachelorette
True Beauty
60 Minutes
Family Guy
American Dad!
How I Met Your Mother
Better Off Ted
Gossip Girl

Oh, and I didn't forget about Young Justice. The pilot is premiering today with the remainder of the series scheduled for January 2011.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Miscellaneous: X-Ray Machine

I don't know where you've been, but to NOT hear the contoversy over the x-ray machines at the airports you'd have to be a hermit without access to any of the modern conveniences, like TV, Internet, and neighbors.

I am of two opinions. I understand that we need to protect ourselves. Terrorists are trying to get as clever as they can to make Americans suffer, that includes apparently putting explosive powder in underwear. To make sure we aren't victims, everyone should be checked. If people are out there crazy enough to put explosives next to their private parts or commit suicide, they are certainly crazy enough to arm children in hopes TSA have mercy and let them on the plane. I'd rather be on a plane in which everyone was declared safe than on one where TSA had leniency.

However, the lengths to which we are going are making me not want to travel at all. I don't want to be subject to an x-ray machine in which the levels of radiation may be suspect. I certainly don't want my children to be exposed as they will have more times in their lives for travel than I have left in my lifetime. I'm a person who turned down my third mammogram in as many weeks because I didn't like the doses I was getting.

I don't trust anybody. I don't trust all the people driving on the road with me, I don't trust the cashiers at the registers where I shop, and I don't trust those TSA personnel. Is someone watching them to make sure they are photographing and sharing what they see? Cellphones do amazing things these days. I would hate to recognize my body on YouTube.

Some people have even suggested that people not be allowed on the plane without the body screen and eliminate pat downs. I do not like that idea at all. B's mother has metal in her knee - what are they going to do? Skin her to make sure it isn't a bomb?

I am extremely tempted to make things difficult and request a private screening for myself - and possibly my children on a trip I have scheduled next year. B doesn't have any concerns. But you hear stories in which TSA officers put their hands in a man's underwear, three year olds who get their bears snatched away (couldn't the bear go with her through the scanner?), and fathers who strip their own children to hurry the pat down. And I may not have a choice anyway as the last four airplane trips B and I were selected "randomly" for a pat down. I'm thinking of wearing a bathing suit, leggings, and flip flops. And I'd rather have a dog sniffing my privates than have man hands touch my body, although I have heard that personnel will be gender appropriate. Can I have the German Shephard option?

What about other countries? From what I've heard they aren't having this issue because they still profile. I guess we have to think about being selective when it comes to complaining. Our stance on profiling has lead to this.

In the end I don't really know. Radiation or molestation?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Men: Lamman Rucker

Name: Lamman Rucker
Best Known For: TV and Movies, Tyler Perry Movies
Year of Birth: 1971
Status: Single, but attached?
Height: 6'3"
Fun Fact: BA in Information Technology and Business AND a graduate degree in Education and Curriculum Development.

I tried, but I couldn't resist. He's tall. He's got dimples. He's cute.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chocolate: Nestle Tollhouse Cookie-Brownie Delight

We bought the mix in a moment of weakness.

1. I didn't follow all of the directions the way I should have, not beating the butter for the cookie dough. So we didn't quite like the way the cookie tasted when it was baked. Was that due to my mistake or what?

2. I made the batch in my 9x13 glass dish. Most of the time I make brownies I cook them until they're done. Just a few days later they are too dry and crumbly. So maybe my second mistake was not cooking them longer.

3. It bothers me that a search of their site doesn't bring up any Cookie-Brownie Delight. What? Am I blind now? Or worse, they are so scared of their product they can't put it on their website. Where is that customer service number...

4. Taste? Oh, yeah. It tastes okay, but there wasn't anything spectacular about them. The brownie part tasted good, but the cookie wasn't quite right. Like they manipulated the recipe to make the cookie and brownie more compatible, but ruined the taste.

5. The box comes in packs of two. So...I'm going to make the cookie part correctly, use muffin cups for more even cooking, and cross my fingers.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Books: Do Me, Do My Roots

In a way Do Me, Do My Roots reminded me of Marshmallows for Breakfast. There's enough drama and stuff going on (maybe it was a little more busy), but there was a difference that made me enjoy Do Me more. It had a happy ending.

Emily and her two sisters have a hair dyeing get together every two weeks. They are close and share a lot of things together, working out the kinks of their relationships. She is still getting over the death of her husband while her sisters are trying to find their perfect matches. All of them seem to be failing in that regard, but the author, Eileen Rendahl, throws some drama their way.

I've thought about giving my books ratings as I move through them, but unless they were superb or horrible I don't vary much. So I'll just say Amazon reviewers did not give this book any 1- or 2-star ratings. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

TV: &^%$@ Cable

This problem has been annoying for some time now (and it doesn't help that B likes to watch things in HD.) It makes me so mad that it happens only when we really want to watch something. What is it? It's the visual on the TV skipping, freezing, jumping, and "blocking."

Sometimes it just sits there frozen while the sound continues to run. Other times there's no sound, but the picture is jumping and "blocking" (making cubes or rectangles of color) across the faces. It happened a lot when I wanted to watch Lost - you know, when it was getting good. I'm ranting now because my Amber Tamblyn episode of House is messed up.

Is it Fox? Is it HD? Is it Comcast? I don't know, but they really need to get this mess fixed!

Done ranting now.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Miscellaneous: People

My local radio station has these news stories in the morning that make you say things like "Woah!" and "Seriously?" So of course I listen to them every morning and share with coworkers. I decided to share some of these stories with you too :)

So this woman befriends a homeless woman and lets her sleep in the car...more.

They found this 2 year old tied...more.

There are some really stupid people out there like the men who did this and this.

Really crazy people like the woman who hated...more and the woman who during her anger...more.

Some of these stories are just sad like this.

Some people.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Men: B

Sorry, no pictures. Instead we just have a glowing review of my favorite man, B.

He's like a big teddy bear.

He is a sweetheart. He brings me tea when I'm feeling sick or on cold nights.

He makes dinner for us every night, even though I get home from work earlier.

He always knows what I like or what to get for me. He's either really intuitive (to me) or I'm an open book. I prefer the former.

He makes me laugh.

We're starting to think alike at over 20 years together.

I couldn't do this parenting thing without him.

He brought his giving family into my life.

I'm a lucky gal and couldn't ask for a better post subject on my birthday.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chocolate: Odds and Ends

This is not a real chocolate post. I would love to say I made my cake balls, but someone *ahem* MIL *cough* excuse me... something caught in my fingers... gives us sweets AND it was Halloween. Since we really can't justify having more than one sweet in the house at a time, the cake balls will have to wait.

On a side note, the afore*un*mentioned someone pointed me to a video on Amazon featuring Bakerella's book, "Cake Pops." Bakerella goes through sticking a cake ball on a stick step by step. Sweet!

Oh, and speaking of sweets, my father just celebrated one of those big milestone birthdays. The cake was from a local bakery and get this - I COULDN'T FINISH THE WHOLE SLICE! It was that thick with chocolaty goodness. Granted, I'd just eaten a lush salmon dinner, but still! That just isn't like me at all. If you know me irl and want the location of this cake, ring me. Otherwise you'll just have to imagine how deliciously rich this cake was. ...four layers....

Lastly, we didn't get many trick or treaters. How about you? I encouraged B to buy an extra bag of Nerds, Laffy Taffy, and Sweettarts to pad the Twix, Snickers and Milky Way. Now guess what. :) There's a lot left over. 'Nuff said.


...before the storm.

I like November. It's my birthday. While I don't insist on receiving birthday gifts (getting too old to do the whole birthday party thing), B always gets me something I really want. :)

We get a first peek at the holidays. I get several days off work so the holiday months go quickly. That can be bad, but it makes the work year slide into the home stretch. Like before I know it, it's spring.

But, as far as the actual work goes, the load gets really heavy. It's like it knows those holidays will make me happy and does its best to knock me down a peg or three.

So let me share the happy while it's still calm. My birthday present :) :) :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Books: Some Kind of Magic

Some Kind of Magic is by Theresa Weir. I'm not sure if I've read any of her books before. This book was number 14 on the book reading list for the summer.

It was interesting. I can't rave about it, but it had all the elements of a typical romance. Nothing unusual and no sudden twists. It did have some slow bits. The only thing that had to do with the title is a voodoo doll.

Premise? Claire who lives in the middle of nowhere (okay, Fallon, Idaho) with snow and a cabin. She is carjacked by a supposed criminal who survived a plane crash nearby. Dylan is injured so she takes care of him instead of turning him in (hey, she doesn't have a phone). She had received a voodoo doll from her friend for her birthday and is convinced it has some effect on this man - who she's started to take a liking to.

Many who have read the book like the depth Weir gives to the characters (which is why I might have felt the slow bits) but she does a decent job of weaving a romance.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

TV: What the...?

I'm watching the latest episode of Supernatural as I type and I want to throw this "Sam" out the window. What is wrong with him? Let's be honest. I'm way thankful that the one who's crazy isn't my precious Dean who is nutters. While I don't think Sam is as gorgeous, I don't like him being the weird one.

So??? What the heck are these writers up to this season? Where's the brotherly love?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Miscellaneous: Tangled!

At work, no biggie. Spy bright pink in my "mailbox." What's this?

Admit two for special screening of Tangled! What's that?

Disney's new animation of Rapunzel. Will it be any good? It is Disney. It's a school night, but A & M have to go.

Make plans. Get homework done. Not sure what to expect. "First come, first seated. No guarantees." Go early. Starts at 7 arrive at 5:30. Wait.



Lady in a suit says, "No cell phones. No cameras." Put 'em in the car or bag 'n tag 'em. Mine went to the car. Man, the calves hurt from that detour.


Why are we waiting? It's 6:45.

Bold "waiter" asks someone. Answer? The rep's not here. That sucks.

Rep arrives. We overhear, "Soccer group of 35 gets pre admittance." Wha? More like a group of FIFTY! Grumble.

Good thing we're in the first 15 after the FIFTY.

Finally in. The FIFTY didn't get a section - they took the whole dang theater and saved seats for their friends down the line. Grumble louder.


One of the FIFTY pukes. Lights on high, clean up. Growl and grumble.

7:15 movie starts. Like YEA!

Cool. Laugh. Wow. Laugh. Nice. Ohh. Sweet.

Thumbs up :)

Go see it. November 22, 2010.

Don't bring the FIFTY.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Men: Kurt Lima

Name: Kurt Lima
Best Known For: Modeling
Year of Birth: ~1985
Status: Single
Height: ?
Fun Fact: Graduate of San Diego State, majored in communications

Heh, I'd sure like to communicate with him ;) (I laugh at myself) Anyway, spied his cutie patootie pictures and could find nothing out except where he recently graduated from college. Made me feel like an old lady. Which I am, but still. Let me just stop talking now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chocolate: Cake Balls

Man, would B get a hearty laugh out of that title...along with several unsavory remarks concerning that B-word. Until I threaten to withhold my "balls" from him. Funnily enough, I haven't even tasted one yet, but they sound soooo delicious: crumbled cake mixed with frosting and coated with a layer of chocolate. (The layer of chocolate is my preference.)

Have you heard of these things before?

I must be living in a cave (or at the very least completely enamored by Minecraft :D). They are all the rage. I happened to see the recipe on B's mother's counter and promptly requested a copy. Here is an article about them. Cake Wrecks posted an adorable picture on their Sunday Sweets featuring them (look for the sheep). They were made by Bakerella which is where my local newspaper gathered their info. I Goodled cake balls and found this (nice directions).
And if you like drooling do a Google Image search.

So...I bought the ingredients today...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Books: Wishes and New Year's

Several of my summer reads were by Christie Ridgway. I happened to catch them at the library before someone else picked them up. They still had clear, crisp covers and snapped shut if you tried to put them down open. I should have known then I would enjoy them. I continued to read Ridgway's books over the summer so in this post I will focus on two.

Wish You Were Here focuses on Zoe, an island girl, who coaxes Yeager, an injured astronaut, out of his shell and who isn't too comfortable when his attention turns to her. There is a sub plot in Zoe's sister and Yeager's friend Deke. It was a nice little romance that all came together in a nice little bundle with a few little surprises. It also had some obvious which is par for the course in a romance.

Not Another New Year's is about Hannah, a woman determined to break out of her schoolmarm reputation by leaving town (when her luggage and purse get stolen) and deciding to sleep with a man after getting truly sloshed. Turns out the guy, Tanner, is a friend of her family and was asked to watch over her. The bar is owned by Tanner's brother who along with another woman becomes a secondary romance as well as a source of danger for Hannah.

Apparently New Year's is preceded by Must Love Mistletoe, which I'll have to find and read.

I will definitely read more of her books!

Monday, October 11, 2010

TV: Where does the time go?

Our DVR is filling up with episodes of this, that and the other (House, Bones, Fringe, Supernatural, Lie to Me, Biggest Loser, & Chuck). There are two new shows we've been watching. Undercovers and No Ordinary Family.

Undercovers - Two CIA agents fall in love and retire. Of course they are brought back into the world of spies. We're watching Undercovers for two reasons. Okay, I'M watching for two reasons. One is Carter MacIntyre :) The other is potential. It's got J.J. Abrams and Josh Reims. It is cute, but I'm waiting for something exciting to happen.

No Ordinary Family - Mom, Dad, Son, and Daughter go on a trip and come back with super powers. Dad is strong, Mom is fast, Son is a brain, and Daughter is telepathic. Also cute, but there is action and bad guys and intrigue.

Um, okay.

So anyway I like No Ordinary Family and plan to keep watching. Undercovers is on probation.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Miscellaneous: Fleas!

The little blood sucking creatures love me. I hate fleas. I despise flea bites. Lucky for me (unlucky...unhappily for my family) we don't have pets. But every so often someone introduces me to their flea circus, and I get eaten alive.

You think I exaggerate. By eaten alive I mean they leave half egg sized welts on my body. They itch so intensely it burns. When I was in my teens I received over 300 bites (I counted!) on my body because my best friend had cats. Of course the fleas didn't bother them, just me.

I know a lot about the little suckers (heh). They generally fill up on three draining bites. If they don't get their fill, then they keep going. They have hard little shell bodies. You have to catch them, roll them in your fingers (to knock them out), crush them with the back of your thumbnail on a hard surface, and do a little dance to celebrate their death. Okay, that last part was just me.

I've been bitten 14 times in the last 7 days. It sucks!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Men: Carter MacIntyre

Name: Carter Wallace MacIntyre
Best Known For: TV, American Heiress
Year of Birth: ?
Status: Single
Height: ?
Fun Fact: ? :(

Digging up info on this cutie took a lot of time. and still wasn't all that productive. He isn't very well known, apparently. I was able to find out that he enjoys golf, tennis, reading, and traveling, but other than that? Bupkis.

Oh well.

See those slight indentations on his cheeks? Yesss, they're dimples :)

Completely forgot to say you can see him on NBCs new show, Undercovers.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chocolate: Chocolate Ice Cream Soda

I was watching an episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate"... no it was "The Best Thing I Ever Drank." Same difference. Most of them were alcoholic (not a drinker here), but one was a chocolate ice cream soda. Marc Summers thought the ones served at Franklin Fountain were the best. Chocolate ice cream, soda water and chocolate syrup. I didn't see it on the menu though.

I'm dying to try it.

Has anyone ever had one of these? Have you seen the episode? Do you want one too?

Friday, October 1, 2010


My brain is full. Did you ever stop and think about how much you think?

Well, that was what I opened with. Then I typed out all the stuff on my mind and accidently deleted it. My brain has too much to think about already much less remembering what I put in here the first time!

To sum up birthdays, parties, work, A's work, B's procrastination, bills, Minecraft, and massive amounts of stuff on DVR.

Are you experiencing full brain?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Books: Marshmallows for Breakfast

Marshmallows for Breakfast is British chick lit with a twist - an interracial element.

In this book by Dorothy Koomson, Kendra becomes a lodger in the studio above the garage of a family. Only when she gets settled in she finds the mother is gone and she's got a distraught father and his six year old twins as her landlords. It is complicated for all involved.

The story moves along which is good. Just when I'd think there was too much explanation something interesting would happen. I thought Kendra was a little silly with things, but she had been through some trauma, one I'd never faced myself. Who am I to say I'd never react that way? Otherwise she was a strong character. So were the others.

What killed me was the ending. Koomson doesn't seem to be fond of happy endings. I know I'm making a broad statement like that without having read any of her other books (which I've listed below and all of which are interracial), but I have read the reviews. At least 3 of the six books I found at Amazon have reviews indicating an unresolved or less than happy ending. Koomson seems to focus more on her character development and resolution of the character angst than on any romance, no matter how much it is hinted in the story.

Although unsatisfied with the endings I may read another of her books because she does tell a good story.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

TV: Endings and Beginnings

The endings are the three shows that I haven't given my update for yet. And I'm seriously late on this because life sometimes gets in the way.

Covert Affairs - Way to make us hang from a cliff! I'm glad they brought back the Sri Lanka babe, but I would have preferred to know if he would be significant next season. I still like the show a lot and can't wait for next season.

Lie to Me - The situation between Lightman and his daughter makes me stress about my own kids, but it was entertaining :) I want to see more going on between Monica and Brendan.

Being Human - What can I say? I'm sad about Annie, happy about George and Nina, worried about Mitchell, and itching with anticipation about Herrick.

The beginnings start with...

Bones - Of course they would all come together again. The reason sounded pretty flimsy, and I can't believe everything would just shut down without Brennan. Loved the surprises! I'm looking forward to the next episode.

Biggest Loser - Interesting beginning. They are always switching things up to keep it fresh. Too many reality shows are losing their ratings. B commented that this group looked a little thinner than other seasons, and I think it's due to their start.

House - I'm just plain scared. House is going to make poor Cuddy miserable. I'm not expecting that many surprises, but I like the basic "solve the illness" part of the show.

Warehouse 13 - Cheesy fun as always.

The household has been incredibly busy. Didn't I already say that? Anyway, TV watching is now DVR recording. Watching has dropped down the list.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Miscellaneous: Minecraft

I'm currently completely enamored of this game that is all the rage in gaming geekdom - Minecraft. Wikipedia's definition is as follows:

Minecraft is a sandbox game which allows players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world.

That is such a simple description for a person who can't get enough!

I LOVE the idea of houses with hidden rooms, magic levers, and hidey holes. I LOVE looking at floor plans, designing with floor plans, and dreaming up impossible futures. I LOVE the ideas of spelunking and tunneling (B is claustrophobic, so that's not going to happen.)

And then comes Minecraft. For all the men out there who like to fight and need a big challenge there are spiders, zombies, skeletons, and creepers to battle against. You also have to find some important survival tools (coal, food, shelter). But for all the big thinkers the crafting possibilities are endless. There are caves to explore, dungeons with hidden items, things to make (glass, clay/brick, boats, etc.), and homes to build.

It is all of my dreams come true. :) I LOVE Minecraft.

The guy (Markus Persson) who made this game has become overloaded with the interest in the game that his site crashed last weekend. If you're looking for cool modern graphics, then this isn't the game for you. But I bet you'd be surprised how addicting it could be.

Check out the main site here.
Or these videos here, here, and here.
Oh, and here's an article here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Men: Manu Bennett

Name: Manu Bennett
Best Known For: Movie, Spartacus
Year of Birth: 1969
Status: Single (?)
Height: 5' 11"
Fun Fact: Started his career on a teen soap

Manu was a suggestion by Cheryl :) and I like. For an older guy, and believe me the others are nearly jail bait, Manu has a great physique. Maori, Irish, Scottish, and Spanish all combined to make this man quite attractive. I like his short hair and serious look. I only recognize a couple of he movies so I hope we see more of him in the future.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chocolate: DIY Mint Brownies

I read a book by Mallery this summer (among many :)) with a recipe in the front. It was DIY mint Brownies. It was short, but not quite as sweet as I thought. I have a link to the recipe that someone "borrowed" (I'm being nice) from the book here. I followed the directions and put the cookies right into the mix. The brownies didn't cook all the way so they were extremely gooey and bordering on dough.

I tried again. Maybe if the cookies were on top then the brownies would cook all the way. I gave them five extra minutes and they were still really gooey - like not done at all. So I stuck the brownies back in the oven and ended up with too done.

Couldn't win!

I think there were several factors that made this difficult. One, the brownie mix was superior and required that the brownies cook for the specific amount of time to get perfection. We've cooked these following the directions and always get the best result. Two, the cookies were inferior. Cheapy chocolate with little mint. Nice to eat by themselves, but not good for this recipe. Three, we think the recipe was too vague.

I love using premade stuff and mixing it with homemade to get unique baked goods, but this one missed the boat.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Books: When She's Bad

Drama, drama drama! Reading this book, When She's Bad by Leanne Banks, was like watching a soap - and that's how you'll have to think of it. Delilah, who didn't have the best life growing up, finds an elder gentleman to take care of. Everyone thinks he's her sugar daddy, but they are really friends. His friendship extends to giving her most of the shares of an exclusive spa when she shows her awesome business sense. Then he dies. His daughter dislikes her and has decided to bring Delilah down.

On top of all that, she's trying to expand the business; she has a handsome, but annoying next door neighbor; there's a blackmailer; and suddenly she gets a small surprise on her doorstep. Like I said drama! However, it's a good "mindless read."

The book is preceded by Some Girls Do and is followed by Trouble in High Heels. They both have to do with Delilah's sisters. They were books #31 and #49 of my summer reads, and I enjoyed them. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

TV: Summer Finales

The five shows we (as a family) spent time watching this summer: Covert Affairs, Psych, Eureka, Lie to Me, and Being Human. Psych and Eureka have ended their run for the summer to return this winter 2011. Covert Affairs will have its 2 hour finale and has been picked up for another season 2011 (Yippee!) Lie to Me will take a short break (according to wiki) after its finale and return in November. Being Human has one more episode and then we're left to wonder if we get to see the third season.

Eureka ended nicely. I'm glad that things didn't happen the way they should have and yet they still managed to have a happy ending. I've always hated those horrible cliff hangers that made you wait 3 months. There are some little ledges though...Beverly, Lupo and Zane, and secret keeping wife of Henry.

Psych ends cool. It was a really good episode! USA did the funny by playing Bourne right before having "Marie" play a spy named Nadia. They did the geek by having Shawn outwit the feds. They did the awesome by having Shawn and Jules kiss. Can't wait until winter.

The other three shows are on this week. We'll see how it goes...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Miscellaneous: Alien

I was having a really hard time coming up with my Miscellaneous post. Then I watched my second showing of The Fifth Element and realized that I hadn't posted about my other "watch over and over" movies.

Alien falls in that category. It doesn't take much for me to watch the crew disappear one by one by the growing and ultimately deadly alien; to laugh at the now more noticeably fake stomach piercing alien flea; and to freak out (no matter how many times I see it) from Jonesy's screeching jump.

I'll bite at Aliens and Alien Resurrection as well. Newt, "beep....beep....beep, beep, beep," boo hiss Burke, basketball, black fingernails, and hole of death. Aliens 3 sucked...worse than the face creature.

Bonus if it's unedited :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Men: Niall Matter

Name: Niall Matter
Best Known For: TV, Eureka
Year of Birth: 1980
Status: Partner :(
Height: 6'
Fun Fact: Oil rig worker for 8 years

After watching Eureka all summer, I just couldn't help but be enamored by this Canadian. The scruff is so sexy on him! In one of the more recent episodes he is coming on to another character - had to wipe up some drool. He also plays the drums and is a big hockey fan.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chocolate: Coconut M & Ms

I really didn't want to do another chocolate post where I put a picture and basically hummed in satisfaction, but that's what Coconut M&M's are. I bought one delightfully yummy bag and had to be forced to share. I went about finding someone else who could more eloquently express the wonder and found people saying the same thing as I am. YUM!

The only negative is that the coconut is artificial, but they don't taste that way. Which is especially awesome for those who like the coconut flavor, but don't buy coconut because of the texture. Oh, and that they're supposed to be limited edition - disappearing soon. I wonder how many petitions I'll need to start...

Check out the M&M's in the store and the reviews here and here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I was going over my Me posts because I didn't have any really important information to impart for September. I decided to look at my resolutions...seeing as how the year will be 3/4 done at the end of the month.

I will clean the house. I was partially successful in that I can see my sofas and the kiddos have taken to playing in the room. I will clean out my closet did not happen, although some of my shirts went to the give away pile. I will use the Wii Fit and I will clean out and wash my car also did not happen. Okay, I'm sad about those.

I will beat my current score on Scramble which is on Facebook and I did that as well as get addicted to a new game. I will buy a new pair of jeans happened happily. Shopping :) I will buy a new laptop fell by the wayside, but I still have the holidays to rectify that. I will finish that story I'm writing stalled out this August, but I worked diligently on it. I'm thinking I'll be close by December.

I will hug the kiddos more often, I will tell the B that I love him, I will figure out how to cook at least one meal for the family all happened. I think the kids are going to go catatonic if I smother them anymore. The food was a sort of chicken and biscuits dish that I am thinking of improving. Go Me! I will write thank you cards is a work goal and now that I'm back to that we'll see.

Look for another update in December along with my annual quotes post. Where are you on your resolutions?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Books: That's Amore

Another new author for me - Carol Grace. That's Amore is a fun little piece of fluff with very nice descriptions of Italy. The characters are a little more mature, but don't necessarily act that way. You'll have to have about 15% suspension of disbelief, but this is supposed to be fun so let go.

Anne Marie's ex is getting married and she decides the best way to forget is to visit Italy to find Giovanni, the foreign exchange student she had a crush on in high school. She finds Marco instead, who has his own agenda for Giovanni - and eventually Anne Marie as well.

Not one I'd buy, but one I checked out at the library or would've picked up at a garage sale.

Friday, August 27, 2010

TV: Fall 2010

TV Guide has a schedule for fall, 2010. I checked it out so I could see what was new I might be interested in and look for changes. Here's what I'll be watching:

Chuck, 8pm, NBC
House, 8pm, Fox

Biggest Loser, 8pm, NBC

Lie to Me, 8pm, Fox

Bones, 8pm, Fox
Fringe, 9pm, Fox

Medium, 8pm, CBS
Who Do You Think You Are, 8pm, NBC
Supernatural, 9pm, CW

Saturday and Sunday are a wash. I might be interested in Body of Proof on ABC Fridays. I haven't looked into our other networks...USA and Syfy. Just in case you didn't know Being Human (BBC America) has been on. They show a whole season in advance in the UK, but I'm trying really hard not to peek. :) Our household is also currently watching Psych and Covert Affairs.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Miscellaneous: New Words

The Oxford Dictionary of English has accepted 2,000 more words. I can see how not everyone is thrilled. Words like vuvuzela and geoengineering sound okay, but they didn't stop there. Try these:

tweetup (yikes!)

And even worse, they accepted acronyms such as LBD and abbreviations like vlog. Really? Okay, I must take into account the purpose of the dictionary is to admit words that are used in everyday language. And they certainly did that. I still think it's crazy.

I kinda like staycation.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Men: "Auggie Anderson"

Geek/Nerd: Auggie Anderson
Show/Movie: Covert Affairs
Actor Name: Christopher Gorham
Year of Birth: 1974
Status: Married (Anel Lopez Gorham)
Height: 6'
Fun Fact: Licensed Auctioneer

I was thinking I liked this guy when he was on Ugly Betty, but they kept the nerd in his thick glasses. Now he's on Covert Affairs playing a geek. It's sweet that he's a family man with 3 children. His wife is beautiful and a childhood sweetheart - lucky guy.

So look at the photos. What do you think?
Henry on Ugly Betty; Auggie on Covert Affairs; Just him :) ( credit)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Books: What the Dead Know

What the Dead Know is another book I found around the house that I hadn't read. Laura Lippman is a new author for me and I already feel bad because I probably won't read another.

The premise is that two sisters go missing and years later a woman appears at the site of a hit and run claiming she's one of them.

The most interesting part of the book was the last 38 pages - and the book is 366 pages long. I really don't even feel like I know the characters because she spent a lot of time describing the scenery through the characters eyes. One expects to have the author spend a lot of writing on the set up at the beginning. At about 40 pages in one has a good idea of the story. That set up was about 300 pages long. I kinda felt like I was walking through sludge.

Amazon reviewers gave her an average of 4 stars. But everyone who gave it 1 or 2 was feeling the same way I did about the book. Sorry, but you'd have better luck reading the back of the book and coming up with a great story yourself. :(

Thursday, August 12, 2010

TV: Young Justice

There will be a new animated series on Cartoon Network featuring our favorite Justice League characters - as teenagers. Young Justice will premiere this fall and was brought to my attention by B and Ain't It Cool News (video at link.)

Looks interesting. Good tooning. Comic book backing. Interesting voices. Jesse McCartney is doing the voice of Robin, and Danica McKellar is Miss Martian. Queen Bee, a villan I think, is voiced by Marina Sirtis.

Watch the video at AICN to hear about the dynamics of the group. That's the most intriguing part of all. Fall 2010.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Miscellaneous: Partal

Another amazing person is on my radar this summer. Maybe you could think of this person as an acquaintance because I am friends with her mother. She is an amazing teen who participated in the annual (every November) novel writing challenge, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. The goal of the challenge is to write 50,000 from November 1st to the 30th. Young writers can make their own goals, but she wrote the 50,000!

So this acquaintance/friend, Skyler, was able to publish her book, Partal, through CreateSpace and Amazon. It is available for purchase here. It is a perfect book for young readers who like fantasy. I own a signed copy because I helped edit - even I feel special! Skyler plans to write the sequel during this year's competition. As a person who also likes to write, I admire this young person's persistence and imagination.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Men: Miguel Veloso

Name: Miguel Veloso (Miguel Luís Pinto Veloso)
Best Known For: Fútbol, FIFA #14
Year of Birth: 1986
Status: Single
Height: 5'11"
Fun Fact: Okay, just look at some of his hair pics here and here.

I scanned through every photo of the World Cup players looking for gorg players. The bods on the players were obviously awesome so I had to go straight to the faces. What a cutie patootie! There's a hint of a dimple there :)At least in this picture. I don't like his blond or long hair (many pics on the Net.)

I know there's some major hype out there about Cristiano and I agree with it, but I wanted to post someone slightly less known.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chocolate: Divine Chocolates

You know your significant other is the best when you complain that your next chocolate post is coming up and he buys chocolate without being told :)

B purchased Divine Chocolate in Milk and 70% Dark. So far I've eaten two small squares of each. I don't feel quite equipped yet to give my opinion - I usually eat the whole bar first. At this moment in time, there isn't anything about the chocolate that stands out. The dark is decent, not really bitter, the requisite fruity taste, good color and snap. I'll say it held up better in the summer heat than the milk. The milk wasn't too sweet, but was really soft because of the temps here.

It was good chocolate - both pieces melted real nice. But I may come back and write more when my palate is cleansed (just at dinner) and the bars are more fully consumed.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I have this thing about Sundays. Because the next day is Monday. Sunday is the day before I have to go to work. My mind and body start their weekly panic attack. I'll have to get up early. I have to think about what to wear. I have to think about lunches for the kiddos... and my lunch. I worry about my gas tank, my agenda, and my time management. Sunday is a day that I hate to have places to go because it means I'm not relaxing right before bed. It's like my yoga not to be fully engaged in anything slightly mentally or physically taxing on a Sunday night.

What is this crazy going on about you ask? August is like a big giant on-mega-steroids Sunday night. And Monday is knocking.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Books: The Night Before and The Morning After

I have a lot of books just around the house that I haven't read. One is another Jackson novel, The Morning After. I read it not realizing that the book was a continuation of another, The Night Before so Morning was my 5th read while Night was my 41st.

The first story starts off with a woman, Caitlyn Montgomery, who not only thinks she's nuts - she is. This makes things complicated when a killer targets both her and her family. There is quite a bit of focus on the detective in this story more than the feelings between Caitlyn and the psychiatrist she turns to, Adam Hunt. Jackson also brings in Reuben Montoya, her New Orleans series detective. But the reason for her focus on the detective becomes more clear in the second story.

Pierce (Detective Reed) finds the killer is after him this time as well as a reporter, Nikki Gillette. While Nikki was also in the first book, it is the second one in which the romance develops between the them. What I like about thrillers is that I have to guess who the killer is (or at least have the fun of watching them corner the bad guy). I had some suspicions in the first book on the killer, but I was wrong - and surprised. It wasn't who I thought and the killer somehow didn't make sense to me. I figured out who the killer was in the second book because Jackson gave too much away.

There wasn't that awe I have after reading that makes me wholeheartedly recommend a book. That didn't make me regret reading them.

A little reminder here that I really like the tiny romance aspect of my thrillers, go ahead roll your eyes here. ;)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

TV: Covert Affairs

Yea! New show on USA and if they don't screw it up, then it may be a decent replacement for Monk. Don't get me wrong, nothing can replace Monk. But this show is cool, female lead, mysterious, funny, and has Doug Liman (Bourne trilogy director) as one of the executive producers. The pilot had me glued. The Wiki had me theorizing. And Gorman (Ugly Betty) had me contemplating him for my next geek/nerd Man post. (Which is fitting because Ramamurthy is joining the cast soon.)

Piper Perabo is awesome. She is so kick a**. I believe some people are comparing this show to Alias. Never watched that show, but if you liked it please give Covert Affairs a chance.

Tuesdays at 10/9c on USA

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Miscellaneous: Amazing Acquaintances

acquaintance n 1. a person with whom one has been in contact but who is not a close friend

I have an acquaintance that is amazing. I want to say that I wish we were better, closer, friends just because she is so cool, but that sounds so shallow. Maybe we'll become better friends, and I can rightfully claim her as more than an acquaintance. For now, I'll have to settle and all those who are closer to this person can smirk at me.

Who is this person? Her name is Kristen and she'll be featured on The Rachael Ray Show this Wednesday. She is an artist who is talented not only with paint, but as you'll see on the show: Jelly Bellys. Amazing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Men: Alexander Skarsgård

I'm posting this man because one of my readers is a True Blood fan :) While he's got many of the qualities I like, blond hair, pretty blue eyes, hard body, I didn't like pics of Alexander with the long hair. So I searched and searched...and searched and finally found a picture I could swoon over. I'm happy now :)

Name: Alexander Skarsgård (Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård)
Best Known For: TV, True Blood
Year of Birth: 1976
Status: Single
Height: 6'4"
Fun Fact: Was in the military

Other tidbits? He has 5 siblings. He quit acting as a teen/young adult over a girl he left back home (turns out they weren't compatible and he left movies for nothing.) He's dating Kate Bosworth, who is only 5'5" and probably has a crick in her neck when she spends any time with him. I've got two inches on her ;)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chocolate: Chocolate Covered Peeps

I was worried about this when I heard about it here although the purple color was fascinating. I was worried about the sugary coating. How would that fit with the chocolate? Anyway, B's mother surprised us with some Choco Peeps and I was able to sink my teeth into one.

Mine was yellow with milk chocolate coating. It was flat and not upright like the chicks at Easter. Mine was cracked, leaking slightly gooey goo, and sticking to the wrapper. I bit into it and... it was basically a chocolate covered marshmallow. There was no hint of lemon, but I'd have to try the others to make sure I wasn't just overwhelmed with the experience. I think they changed the composition of the Peep to make it work. Which is just fine by me, btw. Chocolate covered marshmallows are the best :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Books: Deep Freeze and Fatal Burn

Deep Freeze by Lisa Jackson was my first read of the summer. Sorry it took so long, but the other books called to me!

Anyway, the story is like this: Jenna is a former movie star who moves out to the boonies of Oregon to get a better life for her kids and away from the bad memories of the death of her sister (which she considers to be her fault). She is followed by a stalker who is killing citizens of the town in a bizarre tribute to her - with Jenna as the final target.

I've written about some Lisa Jackson books before, and mentioned that she likes to stick to the formula. That is true, but the hero isn't lumped in with the killer this time around. She ends with a cliff hanger that moves into the other book, Fatal Burn. This one ran along the same lines as Deep Freeze. This woman gave up her daughter 13 years before because the father took off and the man she married was abusive. The adoptive father seeks her out because the daughter was abducted and he thinks she had something to do with it. I couldn't figure out who the killer was by the end and the final scene was a little bit of a let down, but I will continue to read this author.

She has a little "Dear Reader" blurb that explains why she wrote both books. It was intriguing. I'm hoping to find some other thriller writer this summer. I tend to stick with the same authors because I know I'll be happy with my read, but I need to branch out...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

TV: Eureka and Warehouse 13

Both of these shows premiered for the summer in the last week or so. Season 4 of Eureka and Season 2 of Warehouse 13. I've been waiting to see what happens!

Eureka was planning some show with historical costumes and such. There was no cliffhanger left from last season to really worry about. I was worried anyway because I hate historical books, and my preference doesn't change much when it comes to TV. But they did a decent job. Cute. Straight to the heart of what is Eureka. The only part that threw me was the ending. Since I'm not going to spoil it for you, let's just say some things ended nicely and some didn't. I'm not sure I want them to fix it.

Friday 9/8c Syfy

The commercials leading up to the premiere for Warehouse 13 were very funny. There was a massive cliffhanger from season 1 in which everything fell into place just like I thought within the first ten minutes of the show. The interaction between Pete and Myka was pretty much the same except that Pete's snark seemed a little too snarky. Heh, he oversnarked. I also was worried about Leena, and I shouldn't have been.

Tuesday 9/8c Syfy

Click on the links to their websites (above) to watch the episodes online.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Miscellaneous: Air Flop!

The Last Airbender was horrendous! Shyamalan did not do it justice at all. I hope Nickelodeon refuses to collaborate or fulfill any kind of contract with him for two more movies. There were two things that REALLY bothered me.

1. Shyamalan claimed that he wanted to honor the martial arts from the show. Instead he had the actors spend an eternity waving their arms around before any bending occured. The cartoon versions would have obliterated them in the same amount of time.

2. The ending to the first book was huge! Think ocean. At the end of the movie Aang's success equated to nothing more than a puddle. I so want to explain more, but anyone who is even remotely interested in the REAL Airbender would be getting a decent spoiler - I don't want to ruin it.

The choppy part could have easily been fixed if Shyamalan really thought about what was important. The characters needed to bond with each other and the humor was necessary - he really didn't do anything with that at all.

Best character (and even that is pushing it)? Momo.
Best part of the movie? The scenery.

Please look into the series because it's awesome! Don't even watch the movie for free. It's a waste of your time.


I must be getting lazy. Lazier, rather. In my old age. And I add that because it sounds much better to say I'm 100 years old and lazy than 10 and lazy. I've been forgetting my "Me" posts with regularity. Granted, they are only up once a month, but when I can't even be bothered to do that much when I'm on vacation then I know there are problems with my motivation.

So July, eh? I did manage to do some cleaning. No where near the intended cleaning. But after 10 hours of scrubbing, washing, packing, moving, and yelling (the kids), I couldn't find the energy to do it again any time soon. Besides I'm working on my book reading goal. I cannot vacuum Fruit Loops out of the sofa and read at the same time.

July also brings with it the knowledge that my vacation is at its peak. I get to spend the next ten days here enjoying the height of summer then I'll be thundering down the backside of the mountain to my return to work. Joy.

Until then, strawberry lemonade (Simply Lemonade blended with frozen strawberries) and chocolate chip cookies to you. Don't say it! The pounds will come off when I have to start hauling this body back and forth to work. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Men: David Paetkau

Name: David Paetkau
Best Known For: TV, FlashPoint
Year of Birth: 1978
Status: Married, Evangeline Duy
Height: 5'10"
Fun Fact: Spent a year backpacking through Europe

This Canadian's got such a baby face! But he's no baby. He isn't drop dead gorgeous, but I picked him because he has the same coloring as B when we met 100 years ago. I think David's eyes are darker blue, but the long light eyelashes and brows are the same. Their heights are about the same, too.

Anyway, he's different from some of my others, especially my favorites, in overall looks. Oh, and there's a picture out there of him with a nipple ring(s?). I'm not sure if it was for the role he played, though. And I like him better with his hair not sticking up in the front. And he looks best with his serious face. I'm just rambling now...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chocolate: Tidbits

1. The theobromine in chocolate is poison to dogs. The amount of chocolate that is deadly to the dog is directly related to the size of the dog and how much theobromine is in the chocolate eaten. In a 20 pound dog it takes 200 ounces of white chocolate for the dog to show symptoms of poison, while it takes 2 ounces of baking chocolate to do the same.

I'm not a dog person, but this is a good reason not to have one. I leave too much chocolate laying about.

2. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest chocolate bar weighed 7,892 lb 8 oz and was made by Elah Dufour - Novi in Alessandria, Piemonte, Italy, on October 11, 2007. The longest measured 11.57 meters and was created by A. Giordano in Rivarolo, Italy (near Turin) on March 15, 2010.I ate a five pound chocolate bar once. Made by Ghirardelli, I kept chunks of the mammoth block on my person for an entire month before the thing was completely consumed.

3. Hawaii is the only U.S. state that grows cacao beans to produce chocolate.

Just another reason Hawaii is my favorite vacation destination :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Books: Enchanted, Inc.

I picked up Enchanted, Inc. because it looked cool. I love books with magic! My very first impression was that it went somewhat slow - not in a good or bad way, just slow like the last Harry Potter. You know something good is supposed to happen so you just keep reading.

My second thought was that the author, Shanna Swendson, had a unique take on the magic situation. In this book the magic people spend most of their time in the big cities so they can blend in. Why would they need to do that when they have magic to disguise them? That's the unique thing. According to Swendson magic people use charms to keep people from seeing their wings and pointed ears. It works on nearly everyone because we all have a little magic in us that can get influenced. Well apparently there are people without a single magical bone in their body - they're immune to the charms - and they are so rare that they're valuable.

In this story Katie, an immune, escapes a horrible job to work for the original magic company (you'll understand if you read the book). She likes it there and they like her. I was looking for romance and while she does somewhat pursue a love interest that isn't what the book is about.

So did I like it? I would give it a 6 because it's low on the romance and the long story...until I did my Internet search. I always go online after reading a book to see what others think. Do they think the same whay I do? Turns out this is the first in a series, which explains the lack of finality with a love interest, and is being made into a movie for 2011 release!

I'm off to do more Amazon perusing on the next three books: Once Upon Stilettos, Damsel Under Stress, and Don't Hex with Texas. Hopefully you'll see me posting another review soon of the next book...

Monday, June 28, 2010

TV: Downfall

Are you kidding me?


This is one of the stupidest ideas for a game show I've ever seen. The contestants play on top of a 10 story building with an extra large conveyor belt and their bodies rigged for falling. From ABC, Downfall...
... where contestants will try to quickly answer a series of trivia questions against the clock in seven rounds. Fabricated facsimiles of all prizes will be placed on the largest conveyor belt ever seen on TV with a pile of cash at the end ranging from $5,000 to $1 million. In each round, players will try to answer all the questions before their prizes and cash go over the edge, off the roof, and sent crashing 100 feet to the street below. If the cash goes over the side of the building, then the game is over and that player is eliminated.

If a player begins to struggle for answers to the game's category-based questions, there will be two ways to back up the belt: Surrender A Personal Possession, where the player offers a prized possession of their own onto the conveyor belt at the risk of it being dropped over the edge and destroyed; or the Friend On The Belt option, where a player's own friend or family member—even their Grandmother—can be placed on the belt to help them find the answers. If they don't beat the clock, this person takes the chance of going off the side of the building just like the previous prizes—in this case, wearing a decelerator harness to soften the fall.

After each successful round, the player can leave with prizes won or risk them all to keep going toward the million dollar final prize. In the last round, the player will stand on the conveyor belt holding all the cash, heading towards the edge of the building. They'll need to answer all 10 questions correctly in time, or... it's over the edge to their downfall.

B and I couldn't watch more than 3 minutes before we turned the channel.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Miscellaneous: Airbender Up to Par?

I've been watching the trailers, pause, repeat, rewind, rewind more, play, pause, play, pause, get the picture. So do I like what I see?

I've been skeptical from the beginning. Avatar: The Last Airbender is the most awesome cartoon/anime. My family loves it because besides being intense, full of life lessons, and solid, it is also damned funny. We have watched every episode so many times it is too hard to count and have the entire set on DVD. We've watched the specials and the special pop up episodes they've been recently airing on NickToons to coincide with the movie's release on July 1.

The skepticism hinges on what seems to be a dark portrayal of the movie. We love the funny and feel the funny is going to be absent from the movies. We aren't completely thrilled with the casting either. They should look like the cartoon versions. Period. We just watched another trailer and all of us, even A and M, were complaining about their computer generated Appa.

So I'm worried about the movie, which is in three parts the same as the cartoon. I'm worried that I'll be severely disappointed. My only hope is that it will get some people interested in seeing the original.

Six days.

UPDATE: I watched NickToons Airbender Revealed and I'm so bummed. Shyamalan changed the pronounciation of Aang's name (claiming to make it sound more Asian), changed firebending(!), and left the Kyoshi warriors on the cutting room floor.

Although Shyamalan recognized the need for funny in the movie, he includes it more at the beginning claiming the movie just went in a serious direction.

Lastly, the reviews are horrible. Some saying even people who know about the show are confused. Some describing how the 3D makes the movie hard to see because it's so dark. Now I'm debating if I should even shell over the dough to see it. :(

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Men: David Kimmerle

Name: David Kimmerle
Best Known For: Fitness Model
Year of Birth: ~1979
Status: Single
Height: 6'1"
Fun Fact: Will not do nude photos; What a guy!

I did some searches as usual to collect info on this guy. I did not like the Iron Man article I found and not because he's pictured with a female - honest. The photos looked cheesy (or should I say greasy) and he didn't look very good. There are other, nicer, hotter, (whew!) photos of him out there. His diet is unreal and filled with supplements. He likes outdoor sports including horseshoes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chocolate: Sweets and Snacks Expo Review

I have to credit Cake Wrecks again for this link to an article by Serious Eats about the Sweets & Snacks Expo formerly the All Candy Expo. Reading the article is enough as Zemans does an awesome job giving the low down. I'm looking forward to the caramel and nut Snickers the most. I'm weirded out by chocolate covered Peeps, but the purple is appealing.

The link above is Part 1; here is Part 2 and Part 3. Part 2 features more snacky foods while Part 3 features unknowns. I'm particularly interested in the Winky. Yeah, you need to read the articles ;)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Books: Can You Keep a Secret?

My second book of summer!

"What?!" You say. "Where's the first one?"

Well, I liked this one better so I'm putting it up first. Can You Keep a Secret? is your British chick lit all nicely wrapped up in funny and heartwarming. I almost cried. Almost, people. The book is by Sophie Kinsella - the author of the Shopaholic books. Never did get into those, but I saw that this book wasn't connected and I liked the jacket summary.

Drunk junior marketing assistant with a plane phobia gets on a plane after a failed attempt at a business meeting and outs all her secrets (And I do mean ALL) to the stranger sitting on the plane next to her because air turbulence makes her think she's going to die. Turns out the guy is the founder, owner, you name it, of the company she works for. And he has an impeccable memory.

I spent the first part of the book laughing, the middle part furiously turning pages, and the last part forcing myself not to tear up. There are over 500 reviews at Amazon with an average of 4 1/2 stars. Those who did not like it were unhappy with the transparent plot, but I liked seeing how it would all come together.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

TV: Lie to Me Summer

Lie to Me came back on June 7th with a bang. It was fun to watch Jason Dohring play a sociopath after watching him on Veronica Mars. I'm looking forward to a good summer season!

Mondays at 8pm.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Miscellaneous: Friendship bracelets

Do you remember them? Well, they're still popular among the younger set. In fact, I happen to be instructing a bunch of young minds soon, and thought I'd share some of the fun ones. There used to be books everywhere, but they are so easy to make that no one really thinks of them as being so mysterious (you know, back in the day). So anyway, the three I'm sharing are made with knots.

The first is a kind of spiral. I made a really long one in my favorite colors to hold my badge for work - it lasted 2 years! Girls Scouts has a picture with the knotting technique which is really simple.

The second uses the same knot as the spiral only on repeat. This one is flat and requires you to use the same color but on individual strands one at a time. This link calls it the Candy Stripe and has instructions. Also, a Klutz site with great pictures here.

The third and final share is one that actually uses a macrame technique. Yeah, that weird sixties and seventies stuff. When you really think about the whole friendship bracelet concept, it is all macrame. Anyway, it is a half or flat knot, which is half of a box or square knot. That same half gets repeated over and over. It looks very cool (at least those kids I'm working with said so)! There are directions for making the knot here - only doing part 1. There is a video here. It is so quick you may have to watch it three times if you use it for directions. It's better to look at the video for the final product.

Three things the kids forget: keep the strands pulled tight as you make the knots or the unknotted strands bunch up, always follow the knotting pattern - one wrong loop and it all goes south, and that practice makes perfect!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Men: Sven Smits

Name: Sven Smits
Best Known For: Modeling
Year of Birth: 1981
Status: Single
Height: 6'1"
Fun Fact: Photographer

I don't have much for this Belgian model other than he's also a photographer. I visited his MySpace and Facebook to see if I could find more pics - that I did. I'm featuring a pic with clothes (gasp!), but there are numerous of his slim, muscular bod and two tattoos (luck and courage, just in case you go look :)) While his photos grace many gay mags, he's rumored to be straight. Hey, maybe he'll see my little blog and clarify ;)

Photo taken from flickr account of digital citrus

Friday, June 4, 2010

Chocolate: Super Fudge Truffle

Go get something a little chocolatey to put in your mouth now. I don't want to be responsible for the reaction you have to Baskin Robbins Super Fudge Truffle ice cream.

It's the bees' knees.

LOL! We went out celebrating some performances last night, one being A's spring flute recital, by going to Baskin Robbins. While they have many yummy flavors of ice cream (well, it's rare for me to find ice cream I don't like...), Super Fudge Truffle was super dark with chucks of chocolate ganache. The description at the site says that there's toffee pieces too, but my single scoop didn't contain any. It tastes superb without them! Even B who likes dark chocolate said it was really rich.

Feeling decadent? Get yourself a scoop!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Books: Reading

Following on the heels of my Me post... I plan to do a lot of reading this summer. My goal is another 100 books, that will hopefully occupy 100 book posts over the year :) It all depends on what I find to read.

Also a reminder to look into your library's summer reading programs. The kiddos always participate, although I'm not sure my elder child will be able to do it this year (can we say mooooody!)

I've been trying to get a jump on the reading by downloading some short fluff reads on my Kindle. LOVE my Kindle! I've found a couple of authors I've been a little hooked on, but I'm not willing to share yet - sorry! But if you're interested in what I've found you have to email me.

So no books to share in this post :( But soon!


Summer's coming! I'm so excited to get summer this year. I really need to clean house, and I actually think I might get it done. We were planning to travel, but I got sick and won't be well until the end of June - so I figure no trips this year. Plus I had to fork out $200 on medicines for the sick :(

Wish me luck getting things organized and finished over the next two weeks so I can enjoy my summer!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

TV: Cancelled! And my thoughts on Lost...

So this is it, the end of the TV season (well, not if you're a USA watcher ;) ). And the networks have filled their garbage bin with shows so they could go get new ones.

Shows that have served their time:
Law & Order
At the Movies
As the World Turns
Guiding Light

Shows that make me want to picket:

Show surprise:
Cold Case

Show disappointment:
Ghost Whisperer

Show farewells:
Ugly Betty

Check out your shows here.


So my thoughts on Lost...
I'm so sad! But let me get the whole saga straight. All the stuff on the island really happened. The people on the island needed something so they were chosen (if not chosen for Jacob then simply selected) to be on the island. They had such a learning experience that it was the most important and significant part of their lives. Because of that, when they all died (at whatever point in the timeline that happened to be) they agreed to meet together before moving to the afterlife. The "sideways" flash/jump was where they would hang out while they waited for everyone to be ready to move on. This is what I got from all that.


Let's say you agree with me ('cuz it makes the most sense). It would explain a lot. Like why wasn't Jacob in the church or Daniel - because they weren't part of the group, they didn't agree to meet with this particular set of people. Things that happened in the sideways world were what the "waiters" wanted it to be. If Sayid felt he couldn't get away from his mean side then he wouldn't. If John felt he was doomed to be paralyzed then he would be. I also think Jack was confused about what would really happen when Desmond went down into the light. He was still right. That was the only way to defeat Locke/Man in Black. Take away his power. Then when Locke/MiB (LOL) was dead, the power would need to be returned.

BTW, B still somewhat thinks the island was a kind of "hell." He thinks they were all dead when the airplane blew the first time. But how would they all have had the experience together and decide to be together? Hurley continued to be the newest Jacob with Ben as his #2 until Hurley passed it on. Jack died. The others, like Sawyer, Kate, and Miles, made it back to the mainland and continued their lives. But once they were all dead and floating around the sideways world where time doesn't really exist they all had to remember why they were there.

Okay, it all sounds completely reasonable, and I'm so glad they all found their loves ('cuz Sun and Jin deserved it). But I wasn't happy. I somehow expected more. I have no idea what I expected, but that wasn't quite it.

And hey, just how exactly was the smoke monster made?

Someone who agrees with

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Miscellaneous: Jim's Pancakes

One of my favorite blogs, Cake Wrecks, just promo'ed another blog called Jim's Pancakes. I thought it was absolutely amazing and cool. Just like Cake Wrecks Sunday Sweets except that all the pancakes are sweet!

The guy makes these for his daughter♥ I think it looks really easy, but I bet it's one of those things that when I try it, it will be a complete disaster. It helps to see his tools, so maybe...

BTW, just want to make sure you see the pic is swiped from his site - check it out!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Men: Bernardo Velasco

I usually give the complete low down on the men I post. I've been short on time :( which I hope to rectify soon :) In the meantime, here is a tidbit on a very cute, young guy (24?) that could be gay (in some of those magazines), but I really hope not as that would be a travesty. Enjoy!

Many more pics...more risque pics out there too.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chocolate: Festivals

Honestly? I've been slacking. No chocolate that I haven't already posted about...double king size Snickers binge, gifted thick two layer chocolate cake (yes, it was delish), Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies, chocolate Fiber One bars, and a simple Hershey bar (though I haven't actually broken the wrapper on that one). So coming up with a suitable post has been difficult. Hey, it's not that I don't want chocolate - just haven't had the opportunity.

So I did a simple search for chocolate festivals. Turns out there are plenty! And one for my area has not yet happened. I absolutely can't wait and have added it to my schedule. Just for the record, West Virginia, Oregon, Virginia, Florida, and Illinois have already had one this year (look earlier next year).

You should check out the festival near you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Books: The Girl With the Silver Eyes

I used to walk 4 miles round trip to get to my local library when I was 10 years old. It's a wonder I'm still alive with all the predators out there. But I digress. I couldn't miss my book mountain. I would check out at least 20 chapter books, go next door to the you-bag grocery for a package of $1.00 cookies, and walk home where I would devour both in a couple of sittings.

One of the books I picked up was The Girl With the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts . It was one of the first books I checked out because I was fascinated with the idea of having paranormal powers. I LOVED this book! When I saw this book years later at Goodwill, I snapped it up (My copy looks like the cover on the left). And reread it. Reviewed by about 70 readers at Amazon, it has 4 1/2 stars.

Of course, I encouraged A to read the book and she did last year. Here is HER review:
The Girl With the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts tells about a girl named Katie who feels different and out of place because she has powers. She feels bad because she was accused of her grandmother's death, moves to live with her mother, and while she likes her powers she still feels alone. Then someone starts asking questions about her powers.

I really liked that she had powers, and I like writing my own stories with characters that have powers. She uses her powers of telekinesis to make breakfast! But will she ever find people who like her for who she is? Does she find friends? You have to read to find out.

Me again: While it isn't superbly written, it is thoughtful and several of the other people who reviewed this book at Amazon felt the same nostalgic connection with the book that I did. I'm sure A will feel the same when she gets older.