Sunday, August 29, 2010

Books 75 - 88

75.  "Shoeless Joe" by W.P. Kinsella 265 pages
This is the book that the movie "Field of Dreams" is based on.  The book is pretty good, but I think I liked the movie better.  Which is unusual.  I almost always like the book better than the movie.  I better watch the movie soon, just to make sure.  I am a bit prejudiced about this book because I love Iowa.  The line "This must be heaven"  "No. It's Iowa."  is slightly different than the movie, but the sentiment is oh, so true for me.  I love Iowa.  When the field and farm house that they filmed "Field of Dreams" on went up for sale in May I tried to to convince T that we should buy it.  Really.  Except it's $5.4 million more than we can afford.

76.  "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave 266 pages
I didn't like this one.  It's the type of book that can give me nightmares quite easily.  It's about a 17 year old African refugee named Little Bee in England.  She doesn't know anyone but somehow she has the contact information of a British couple that she met on the beach in Africa.  The story is told alternately by Little Bee and the wife of the British couple.  I had to keep reading it because I had to know what happened on that beach and how the lives of Little Bee and the British couple became entwined.  It's a sad and terrifying and unpleasant book. And not just because of the cruelness and violence of the people in Africa.  The British wife disgusts me, too.  And there's too much swearing.  I wouldn't recommend this one, but if you really want to know what happens, I will tell you so you don't have to read it.

77.  "Mommywood" by Tori Spelling 237 pages
I don't know about this one.  I think it's great that Tori can poke fun at herself.  And it is funny when she does it.  But I'm not buying her "pity me" card about some things.    I guess if I had ever seen her reality shows I might like it better?... Overall I found it mildly amusing.

78.  "The Good, the Fab, and the Ugly" by Rachel Maude 266 pages
79.  "The Summer I Turned Pretty" by Jenny Han 304 pages
80.  "Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying / the Yucky Blucky Fruitcake / Shipwrecked" by Barbara Park
These are so short that I'm not counting the pages and I'm counting all three books as one book.  LOVE Junie B. Jones!

81.  "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares 294 pages
Pretty good.  I think I'll read the others in the series. 

82.  "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett 173 pages
Just as good as I remembered.  Except I didn't remember some of the descriptions being so long... 

83.  "Book of a Thousand Days" by Shannon Hale 306 pages
I didn't really like this one.  It was okay, but not anything I would recommend.  

84.  "City of Glass" by Cassandra Clare 541 pages
I liked it.  I thought it was a satisfying end to the trilogy without tying things up too neatly and unrealistically. 

85.  "Spy High:  Mission One" by A.J. Butcher 214 pages
Lame dash O.

86.  "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" by Alan Bradley 370 pages
This story takes place in post WWII Britan.  Flavia is an 11 year old who loves chemistry and finds a dead body in her family's garden.  Her father is accused of committing the crime over a priceless stamp and Flavia tries to get to the bottom of things.  It was pretty good, but I didn't love it.

87.  "Heartburn" by Nora Ephron 178 pages
Ugh.  I wish I hadn't wasted my time.

88.  "Envy" by Anna Godbersen 405 pages

Even though I've been doing a lot of reading, it has been a while since I read a book that I really loved.  I enjoyed reading most of these books, but I wasn't rushing to get to them like I do when I'm reading an excellent book.  If you have any book suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Close Encounters

Late last night T and I took a walk around the neighborhood.  The townhouses across the way have a nice little garden with a bench and the gate was open.  I told T that I was going to check it out.  I took one step inside the gate and noticed a furry face with two beady eyes six feet away looking at me.  I was startled and said, "I'm not going in, there is an opossum!," and quickly moved away.  It's a good thing I didn't keep going because by then T had noticed that the "opossum" was really a skunk! 

Monday, August 23, 2010


We've been married for 15 months!  

These next photos are from my mom.

My sister M helped me make the wind socks that lined the path to our party.  
She's pregnant with the twins here.  It's crazy because those twins are almost 1 now!

This is the night before we got married.  
We had just finished setting up some stuff at the C's house and met my Aunt and Uncle at their hotel to visit.  I'm SO glad we did.  Love that family!
P.S.  I think my hair looks pretty good here!  But this is the exact same hair and outfit I wore for family pictures earlier in the day and I don't like the way I look in any of those pictures!

This is the "before" on the day of the wedding:

And this is the not quite completed yet "after:"

Cousin M and her mom finishing up our flowers.

Those are the only photos my mom took.  And I'm glad because she was busy and I didn't want her to worry about taking pictures, I just wanted her to have a good time.  I think she did.

These photos outside the Jordan River Temple are from my brother B and his wife S.

The kids really loved playing in the fountain.  A lot.

 There was some serious baby wrangling going on here.  
I love that my brother B is holding onto his son's shirt to keep him out of the water.  
I think if you know his son, you know this is necessary!

Nieces L and R had so much fun together.
 Check out how overcast it was!  We were a bit nervous it might rain, but the temperature was so nice and the clouds made for great lighting.  It really was a perfect day.

I wonder who is telling the story here...

I love that we got a picture with Elder T, who married us, and his wife.

The roses in my bouquet were so ginormous that some stems weren't able to support the heads.  
One fell off, so I gave it to L.  The roses were the perfect shade of pink.

Also, my brother J is a fantastic uncle.

People wrangling is almost as hard as baby wrangling.  I'm trying to get everyone to gather up for a photo.
Cousin J really doesn't want to be in the photo so he is holding his wife hostage.

 Best. Day. Ever.

I love seeing the photos that everyone took.  Especially ones not of us; I want to know what we missed!  Send me yours if you took some.  Really.  Do it.  Right now.  Please?

Check out the other months if you missed anything: four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, the whole wedding, a year!, 13, and 14.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Beach! Inspired by... The Beach!

T and I haven't had a successful outing to the beach in quite some time.

Every time we go it is too cold to get in the water.  I know you think we are crazy, but it is true.  It's hot at our house, it really is.  So we go to the beach.  But the thing to remember is that the beach is about 20 degrees colder than where we live.  Every time we have gone to the beach this summer it is about 70 degrees, completely overcast, and there is a cold 7mph wind coming off the ocean.  That doesn't make either one of us want to get in the water. 

Last Monday we decided to go to the beach.  When we got there we couldn't even see the ocean from the parking lot.

It was 65 degrees with incredibly low visibility.  We so did not get in the water.  We didn't even stay.  We got back in the car and drove home where it was 95 degrees that day.

But, we did go back on Saturday night for the sunset.

The sky and ocean seriously looked like an impressionist painting by Monet.  The moon was really bright that night, too.  It was quite a lovely evening.

Though I think it goes without saying that we didn't get in the water on Friday night, either.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rhythm of Love

So I was driving in the car tonight and heard an excellent song that I had never heard before.  And we know how that ended up last time, so this time I called T immediately (while the song was still playing) and asked him to go to the radio station's website and get the name of the song for me.  He also asked me to hold the phone up to the speaker so he could hear the song.  Without even thinking I held the phone up to the AC vent.  Then I realized that that was obviously not the speaker.  And I had no idea where the speakers in the car were actually located.  It was definitely a blonde moment.  

Anyway, thanks to some legwork by T we know the name of the song.  And we love it.  Here it is for your listening pleasure:

"Rhythm of Love" by the Plain White T's

Mom, don't be worried, I was stopped when I called T. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tar Pits

So continuing on our SoCal tourist bender T and I visited the La Brea Tar Pits.  
We didn't go inside the museum because it was $7 per person plus $7 to park (but we found free street parking - yay!) and we're not that into natural history, anyway. 

Unless said natural history features the Hope Diamond.

So we just mosey'd about the free stuff, which was entertaining enough on it's own. 

The most surprising thing about the tar pits is the vast amount of open green grass in L.A.  It is wonderful!
It also helped that it was a most gorgeous day outside.  A nice 80 degrees with a slight breeze.  It reminded me a lot of the day in February when we took our engagement photos.
Don't worry, that's not a real mammoth behind T.
And just if you were curious, the tar pits are very smelly - methane bubbles are frequent

The tar pits share some of the open grounds with the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.  So we saw some modern art.  I think some modern art is ridiculous.  These two at least looked cool.

We saw an open tar pit that is being excavated.  Well, sort of.  It's on hold for bit.
There is a viewing platform and everything.  The dig is currently 15 feet deep.

We were almost home from our little outing and we saw this:
 It's the DeLorean from Back to the Future!  
I made T stop and I ran back to get a picture.


Friday, August 6, 2010

This is my new favorite

Sara Bareilles - King of Anything

I love when she plays the silverware.  I also love her hair at the end.  I just love this song and music video.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hollywood sign

So when we went to the Hollywood Walk of Fame we saw the Hollywood sign.  
It wasn't close at all.  
There must be a better place to see the Hollywood sign, right?  
Of course there is.  And we found it.  

It is 3000 Canyon Lake Drive, Hollywood, CA.  Here's the view. 

 You can literally drive up exactly to where we took this picture.  
Looking the opposite way you see this:
That's the Hollywood Reservoir with Westwood(?) in the hazy, hazy background.  
The actual location of the Hollywood Sign in relation to the rest of L.A. confuses me.  
You can see it from many different places and it seems like you shouldn't be able to see the sign from all these places.  

A much better photo-op than the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

It's crazy to me that we were this close to the sign and you can still see all the haze.  Yuck.

If you walk less than a quarter of a mile (round trip!) there's an even better photo-op.
SO many people just stopped where we first got out and didn't even try for this easy and way better view.  
If you come visit us don't worry, we'll make sure you get the better view.  So come visit us already!

On our drive we saw this awesome garage door:
Yes!  It looks like book shelves!  How cool is that?!  
I wonder if the books have titles on them and if they are actual book titles...  

We also saw Mulholland Drive.  It's a really long, twisty road in LA.  And when I say "we saw Mulholland Drive" I mean T drove and I dozed.  I was awake to take this picture of the San Fernando Valley though:
Because that would be some talent if I took the picture while I was dozing!

If you know what you're looking for in this picture you can find NBC, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros., and Disney.

Monday, August 2, 2010

the other day

T looked like this the other day.

It was partially a tribute to his dad who had a 'stache for many years and partially a tribute to Detective Dan Stark from "The Good Guys."  

If you're not watching this show, you should be.  It is hilarious. 

Books 61-74

61.  "City of Ashes" by Cassandra Clare 453 pages
The second book in the trilogy.  I liked it.  I want to read the third.  

62.  "World of Pies" by Karen Stolz 161 pages
I didn't like this one.  The title is horribly misleading.  Pie is not the core of this book.  Pie only has about a seven page appearance at the very start and doesn't influence the rest of the book.

63.  "Junie B Jones Loves Handsome Warren" by Barbara Park 80 pages
This is my favorite book from the Junie B. Jones collection.  I read it with T.  Even though the books are for little kids it is hilarious.  If you didn't know, Junie B. is a very precocious kindergartner.  She and her two best friends all fall in love with the new boy, Warren.  Here are some of our favorite quotes from this book:
"She has my favorite kind of hair.  It is called automatically curly."
"I did my spelling.
And my arithmetic.
And my printing.
Also, I drew a sausage patty on my arm.
Only that wasn't even an assignment.
That is called working on your own."

"'Cause I'm a laugh a minute, that's why."

Junie wants Warren to love her and she thinks dressing like a princess like her friend Lucille or getting fast shoes like Grace will make Warren love her.
"You're not Lucille, Junie B.  And you're not Grace, either.  You're just you.  You're just Junie B. Jones.  And believe me, that's a big enough job for anyone."
"I did a sniffle.  Also I did a snort and a swallow.
"Yeah, only I know I am Junie B. Jones," I said.  "I just want to be Junie B. Jones in a princess dress."
I know how you feel, Junie B., I know how you feel.

"Ladies and gentlemen means No Trampling Thy Neighbor.
It is a Ten Commandemnts, I think."

T thinks we should record niece L (who just finished kindergarten) reading this book aloud.  I think we would all probably die of laughter.  She is exactly like Junie B. sometimes.  We love that kid.

64.  "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card 323 pages
I liked this one.  It's hard to imagine little kids thinking and speaking in such a grown up manner.  I always imagined Ender three or four years older than he really was and that made it more believable for me.  I wish the book would have ended differently.  The ending isn't bad or unpleasant it's just doesn't feel like a true ending to me.  I think the last 10 or so pages could have been omitted.  Also, it was strange how much nudity there was in the book.  I really did enjoy this book, but I don't think I will read the sequels.  Thanks sister-in-law S for loaning me "Ender's Game."

65.  "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald 180 pages
I read this in high school and wasn't that impressed.  It made more sense and I liked it better this time around.  I wonder if the 20's were really like that...

66.  "That Summer" by Sarah Dessen  198 pages
I didn't like this one.  It's pretty formulaic and pretty much nothing happens the entire book.

67.  "Rumors" by Anna Godbersen 423

68.  "My Life in France" by Julia Child and Ale Prud Homme 333 pages
I thought I would like this one more.  Some of the stories were excellent, but the fancy cooking part (which there is a lot of) is lost on me.  I love to eat, but I like my food simple.  I felt like the ending was very abrupt and not very satisfying.

69.  "The Rescue" by Nicholas Sparks 339 pages
This is the first Nicholas Sparks book I've read.  I've never seen any of the movies, either.  That's right.  I've never seen "A Walk to Remember" or "Message in a Bottle" or "The Notebook."  I didn't know what to expect other than some sort of love story.  And this one was the most predictable love story ever.  I'm not against stories that are predictable as long as they are good stories.  This one was not.  It's about a single mother whose son has a speech impairment and the fireman who rescues them when their car overturns.  I could have told you the entire plot after reading the first seven pages, I kid you not.  There was not a single surprise.  Based on this book, I don't think I'll read any of his other books or see any of the movies. 

70.  "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell 280 pages
This book is about what things become popular and why.  I thought it was pretty interesting, especially when he is talking about the NYPD and the dramatic crime rate drop in NYC in the 1990's.  In this example he talks about the broken widow theory, which I found very interesting.  I also liked that part because Detective Dan Stark from the TV show "The Good Guys" (which you should definitely watch!  It's fantastic!) recently kept citing it as the broken door theory.  I had to skip about a chapter of this one though because he talked in depth about teen smoking / smoking in general and even just thinking about cigarettes makes me feel sick.  I hate the way they smell SO much.  Anyway, a pretty interesting book overall.

71.  "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins 374 pages
LOVE this one.  I want to own the series.  Well, it's just three books and the third one won't come out until the end of August.  But I want to own them.  It's a series about survival and rebellion and revolution.  There's also a small Team Jacob vs Team Edward type thing going on except the boys' names are Peeta and Gale.  I'm definitely on Team Peeta.  Here's a short summary of the first book.  I think I read the whole book in about four hours.  The ending surprised me quite a bit. 

72.  "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins 391 pages
Just as good as the first book.  I had no idea how this one would end.  I was surprised.  I read this one in about four hours, too.  I can't wait to read the third one!

73.  "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner" by Stephanie Meyer 192 pages
I really do like the "Twilight" series and I really did like this book.  It's very interesting to see life through a non-veggie vampire's eyes.  I found myself really liking Bree.  I wish Ms. Meyer would do more of these novellas.  She could flesh out how all of the Cullens came to be vampires...It would be wonderful.  I would love to read them and she would make lots of money so it's a win-win situation.

74.  "Midnight Sun" by Stephanie Meyer 264 pages
I actually wasn't such a fan of this one.  And yes, I know this is unfinished and unedited. It was okay, but I feel like it didn't add much to the original "Twilight."  I appreciated the additional insight into Edward's thoughts, but I found myself skimming because I already knew the major plot points.  I'm Team Jacob so I'm sure that if you are Team Edward you would like this book even more.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Primary 2

Today's class was super small...but check out our cute Sunday shoes!