Saturday, March 18, 2017

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

I heard about this book as a book recommendation at Posie Gets Cozy a looong time ago [back in 2013] it is so embarrassing that it has been on my must read for so long. But during this last library visit I said 'today is the day' and checked it out and I am glad that I did.

The main premise of the story is about a 15 year old girl - Bee - and her quest to find her agoraphobic mother - Bernadette. Bernadette goes missing shortly before the family trip to Antarctica to bittersweetly celebrate Bee's acceptance to the boarding school her Mother attended as a teen. Bee and her Mom have this Gilmore Girlish relationship where they are super close friends. This mainly came when Bernadette made the decision to leave her career and be a stay at home Mom and made Bee her whole life. Their odd language or description of things was also a plus - Bernadette describes the other Moms at Bee's fancy private school as 'gnats' [''Because they’re annoying, but not so annoying that you actually want to spend valuable energy on them”] -- the feeling is mutual since these Moms do not like her in the least - her language, rude behavior, absentee PTSA parent, her appearance - all are fuel for the on-going feuds with the other Moms .. especially with one instigator Audrey Griffin which is also her neighbor. Before Bernadette is missing .. her husband - a Microsoft guru - is told of some incidents regarding her neighbor by his new intern who happens to be a very good friend of Audrey [so it is hear say and very one sided and she has an agenda of her own ]. He is starting to doubt his wife's state of mind and during an intervention the FBI come over and the family finds out that the virtual personal assistant she hired to put together this trip is a con-artist which with everything else that is happening overwhelms Bernadette and she escapes out of a bathroom window. And 'POOF' vanishes. Bee is desperately trying to piece her mother's life through a series of emails and speaking with people who truly knew her in an attempt to find out where she might have gone.



Sunday, March 5, 2017

Disappointed! Disappointed! Not Disappointed!

Whew!! That was a super busy 2016. Now thinking about it I think it was mainly from September all the way to December .. just one giant blur. So busy in fact we didn't really get much time to relax. But with the start of February we have finally added movies onto our movie list and I am telling you those are 4 hours I can't get back and another 2 spent wisely.

We will start with the one we knew off the gate that we were hoping would be good but knew down deep inside it wouldn't be and that is San Andrés. Premis is that the San Andrés fault line is finally shifting causing cataclistic events and an emergency helicopter rescuer who is trying to save his family. The beginning reminded me of the opening scene of Cliffhanger but quickly turned into an over computer generated version of Day After Tomorrow (which is a better movie on every single level - definatly add to your movie list). And I can't even go into the acting.

Rosebud .. is often the only word needed to identify the classic film Citizen Kane. Rosebud was the last words of the eccentric newspaper millionaire Charles Foster Kane. The story is about one newspaper reporter who went looking to find out who Rosebud was. This movie is in true Orsen Wells style .. a little dark .. a little dismal and a looming question. At times it can be a bit hard to follow the story since the timeline overlap with each person's version of an event but for the most part it is just for clarification. I had my hopes up with this movie since I LOVE Well's The Third Man and it is on all the top movie lists but it just wasn't as great as I hoped for. Side note .. this movie was based 'loosely' on William Randolph Hearst the newspaper mogal and his enumeration for his girlfriend's uhm 'flower'. Hearst hated the idea of this movie being made so much that he tried to stop the movie from being made .. he even went as far as calling Wells a Communist to stop production. Which didn't work but what he did was sabotage the movie post-production. Since Hearst owned large amounts of new papers and media chains .. he made sure none of his newspapers wrote about the movie or ran ads and since he was a giant of his times, he got the theaters to limit the amount of show times which caused Wells to lose profit. Another fun fact .. Wells was just 25 years old when he co-wrote, directed, produced and stared in such a widely acclaimed film.

The last movie on this list is Kingsman : The Secret Service. Truth be told I saw this poster and I knew I had to watch the movie. I thought now THAT is organized .. like if Martha Stewart and Marie Kondo had a child THIS would be what his closet would look like. But beyond the poster I didn't have any high hopes .. even though I do really do like Colin Firth. Well I am happy that this movie disappointed me. I can say it was really clever and super funny. Colin Firth kicking butt while listening to Free Bird is awesome .. very bloody and overkill but awesome none the same. The bar scene makes me want to walk around with an umbrella and say things like 'manners .. maketh ..man' to anyone who is ungentlemanly. But know the language is a bit strong .. this one might be best for higher teens and up.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Wonder



Ever since picking up the Mysterious Benedict Society book a year or so back .. I have made it a habit to peak into the kids section of the Library just to see what they had. To be honest I have been thinking about picking up Harry Potter this year but then I past this little treasure.

Wonder by RJ Palacio is a sweet story about a 10 year old boy - Auggie - who was born with a facial abnormality and his (and his parents) decision to pursue going to a traditional school. Up until now he has been homeschool due to his various and extensive surgeries. All his experiences are captured .. who he meets, how he meets them, how he feels and the ups and downs of being around so many people when all he wants to be is invisible. Each chapter is at the view point of a different character - Auggie, his sister, some friends - each with their own view point of events and how they see and feel about Auggie.

Like I said it is a sweet story but one with a deep and emotional theme.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Back to Back Cross

I am sorry for being gone. I hope everyone's holiday was wonderful. I ended and started the year with my main book man Alex Cross. I did have such a hard time with the ending of Cross Justice than with Merry Christmas .. to the point that I might need a small break from his books.

I ended the year with the appropriately named Merry Christmas Alex Cross - still staying with his signature dual stories [ which could have turned into 2 books within themselves ] Alex and his family eagerly anticipate a wonderful Christmas holiday together when he gets a call about a situation where an bankrupt addict lawyer who lost everything ..his dignity, prestigious career and enviable life .. takes his ex-wife, their young children and her new husband [a family friend] hostage at their home on this blizzardy Christmas Eve. Through out the day he keeps battling this man to release his family while his own family is pressing him hard to come home for Christmas. I did get really annoyed that his family was making him feel like what he is doing is wrong .. as if he is hanging out at the bar with his friends and not with them at home on Christmas ... THE MAN IS WORKING ON SAVING LIVES!! GEEEEZZ! Just when he thinks he can spend a well deserve Christmas Day with his family .. he gets a second call when face recognition spotted a female terrorist on the Metro. He gets to the Metro and she disappears .. exits are blocked and everyone is trapped. But who is the hunter and who is the hunted .. only one gets out to enjoy a few moments of what is left of Christmas Day. If you like action .. then his is definitely the book for you since it has it all .. kidnapping, hostages, shooting, bombs, running and more running .. always fighting against time.

Then I started the year with Cross Justice and read this book in 11 days .. which to me is some kind of record. I just couldn't put it down .. I needed to know the 'who done it' but I will tell you that when I found out who the killer was I was disturbed [ still am to some degree I guess ]. This book is more emotional and psychological than the jam packed action from above. Alex has a meeting with his past and so does Nana. He returns to his home town after being away for over 30 years. The type of small town that swallows you up and keeps you from becoming anything great. The kind of small town that the sins of the father are passed to the child and it is unshakeable. The only way to break it is to get out --- leave and never go back. Alex's cousin is accused of a horrible crime and Alex comes to help in a way that only Alex can. You don't know who to trust -- in a town where everyone could have a motive ... including the cousin. The second link to his past leads him to sunny Florida .. where a serial killer is proving to be very cunning. Lots of plot twists and turns that are lead by anger, jealousy, ugliness and fear. After this one though I think I am going to have to read something a little .. less thriller-ish.



Saturday, December 24, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Year In the Life


I know that this post is a little late. I was so bummed when I found out that I had to work the day the show came out - so I didn't get to watch until the weekend. Made plans for my Mister to be occupied so that I wouldn't feel bad about ditching him. I laid out my snacks .. sat in the center of the couch with my fluffiest blanket and stared excitedly at my TV. I [like many fans] enjoy rewatching the old shows and everyone having their favorite seasons [mine are 1 and 3]. But I am so disappointed I can not get myself to rewatch this one. 


*SPOILER ALERT AND TONS OF RANTING*

Uhmmm .... what was that? No really .. what was that? I thought it would be a peek into their lives 9 years later. Something witty and sad without Edward. Instead it seemed that the main characters lives stood still and it picked up right after season 7. Which would have been fine but timelines don't match up. It is like only half the cast actually lived a life in 9 years and the other half were just existing. It was weird to say the least.

Luke and Lorelai .. really after 9 years together there has been no mention of marriage or children. How is that possible?!? I would have been okay with missing out on the wedding or even the birth of Lorelai III to have a decent story .. like her starting school or perhaps her and Luke couldn't have children and this is Rory's daughter starting kindergarten. With Lane's and Sookie's kids showing her the ropes with a 'don't worry I gotcha kid' story. That would have been sweet. Or a huge scene about picking out school supplies and getting to school early especially on the first day of school because nobody wants to be labeled 'the late kid'.

Instead we end up with just about everyone's lives shattered .. divorcing, cheating, feeling incompetent, running away, and going to retreats? .. Really ??? .. Is this a thing now? I am all for 'finding yourself' but do you know what you find out when you are all alone in the woods? That you are all alone in the woods .. nothing usually changes. Or you realized just how much you either hate or love nature .. which you probably knew before you left. Was anybody else confused about the pool scene? Seven years and not once did anyone say .. hey if anyone needs me I will be at the pool .. just weird.

I didn't mind Rory coming back to live but she seemed defeated instead of uncertainly confident. We should have seen Logan a mile away .. she was the same way with Dean. It didn't matter that they were in committed relationships .. disappointed with both of them.

The best part of this whole event is Emily. Her story line was sad and tender .. I can not imagine loosing my Mister but I know I would be shattered. But she didn't have to go to a spa or a retreat to find herself and boy was she lost. She whittled [with the help of KonMari] her life .. clothes, possessions, then her DAR friends .. to find her own voice .. her own self. Without Richard .. she was no longer obligated to carry the status of being Mrs. Richard Gilmore and all the grand pageantry that went with it. The DAR scene was epic and I liked the glisten in her eye when she was telling the whaling story at the museum tour. Did anyone else catch that her new maid Berta was Gypsy?

So sad for Paris and Doyle and their little family. Michel has a family which we didn't see but he is going to move on? He was always a big fish in a small town .. sad that he was leaving but he should have done it sooner. He liked the large city .. the theater, the nightlife, the prestige .. but still if Sookie was not wanting to be tied to the BnB Lorelai should have bought her out and made him a larger part of the business. What ever happened to the spa idea? Why didn't something happen with that? Emily and Lorelai talked about it on the final episode and what nothing was ever brought up again. So bizarre. Did anyone else find it weird that Sookie made the wedding cake but wasn't at the late-night surprise ceremony? I understand that Melissa was more than likely not there during the shooting of the scene but couldn't it have been reshot? Heck .. I might have been okay with a CGI Sookie standing next to Michel.

Then there is the ending. Does this mean that we have a possibility of another Year in the Life? Please tell me we do .. if anything just so we can correct all that went wrong.





Saturday, August 13, 2016

Another Baby Mini Blanket



I love giving blankets as baby gifts and a few years ago there seemed to be that everyone I knew was having a baby. This little gem is just perfect. I cannot tell you how super simple this pattern is and how easy it is to adjust it to any size you want. This particular blanket is made for my nephew's son for when they are traveling – some blankets are too large for the car seat and makes it cumbersome for the parent to carry.  But this one is perfect for keeping baby warm without adding the unnecessary length.  This pattern is double sided so there is no ‘wrong’ or ‘back’ side … which adds to its appeal. Using the Caron Simple Soft makes the care for it easy on his parents. I started to use some leftover yarn from a previous project but I had to buy another bundle, so I am not exact as to how much yarn was used but two bundles is enough.

This pattern is a series of repetition – one row is of 4 front post double crochet and 4 back post double crochet 7 times and then 4 front post double crochet.  The next row is the opposite – working 4 back post double crochet and 4 front post double crochet 7 times and then 4 back post double crochet.  See easy – just remember to stitch around the post from the previous row and not the loops, you want that stitch to be in front/behind the previous row stitch.  If you start the row with a back post double you will end with a back post double – it seems more uniform that way and it’s easy to remember which row you are at. And having the 1st/last double crochets keeps the sides uniform. Also try to keep your stitches somewhat loose – not too baggy but loose enough to where there isn’t a gap between the front and back posts change over. If you stitch is too tight either change your stitch (which is always harder) or just go up a hook size.

fdc=front post double crochet (yarn over put hook across previous rows post - with the post facing you – yarn over pull yarn thru yarn over pull 2 yarn over pull 2)

 bdc=back post double crochet (yarn over put hook across previous rows post - with the post facing away from you – yarn over pull yarn thru yarn over pull 2 yarn over pull 2)

dc=double crochet (yarn over insert hook in chain (NOT POST)  from front to back yarn over pull yarn thru yarn over pull 2 yarn over pull 2)
************************************************************************************

Foundation : Chain 65 turn

Row 2: dc in 4th chain from hook and dc across all chains – 62 dc total – chain 3 - turn

Row 3: in 2nd post start pattern *bdc 4xs – fdc 4xs* repeat from * 7 times, bdc 4xs, dc in last stitch - chain 3 - turn

Row 4: in 2nd post start pattern  *fdc 4xs – bdc 4xs* repeat from * 7 times, fdc 4xs, dc in last stitch – chain 3 - turn

Rows 5-50: repeat rows 3 – 4 and cast off and don’t forget to weave your ends

*************************************************************************************

Diagram Below        d=dc     f=fdc     b=bdc


Row 3: dbbbbffffbbbbffffbbbbffffbbbbffffbbbbffffbbbbffffbbbbffffbbbb(ch3)

Row 4: dffffbbbbffffbbbbffffbbbbffffbbbbffffbbbbffffbbbbffffbbbbffff(ch3)

Now if you wanted to enlarge this pattern all you have to do is remember the pattern is – 1 ‘chain 3’ and 1 ‘double crochet’ stitches for the ends and 8 ‘post double crochets’ for pattern and 4 ‘post double’ crochets for the end – because the set of stitches you start with (back post) are the set of stitches you end with (back post). Does that make sense?  Now for me it is easier to chain until it is about the size that I want … count my stitches adjust my chain to the pattern – then I chain 3 and start double crochet across. Again as long as you have the pattern you will be fine and will be able to make this pattern for either a crib, twin, queen or even a king bed or just a lap blanket for the couch.