Thursday, October 18, 2012

We've moved!

Hello Friends.

I have decided to move to wordpress. You will find all the same articles that were posted here.. I'm simply imported them over to wordpress.

The link is:

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tavern 131 - Milford, MI

It's been a busy, stressful couple of weeks. Find out some bad news and had to make some different arrangements, and started a new job on Monday.

Moving on...

A while ago, the bar and grill Forza in Milford closed. Not really sure of the circumstances surrounding that, but we heard while at breakfast at Americus that the family who owns that restaurant decided to open their own place in that building as well.

After months of anticipation, I finally drove by and saw cars and an open sign in the window. Mike and I promptly went to check it out.

I have to say that they really classed up the place. I'm pretty sure that they do not have the beer towers like Forza did (Personally, a welcome change). It is still a bar, but it has less of a sports bar atmosphere and more of a "I could dress up if I wanted to" kind of place. The flooring is stone tiles, and the colors are muted, but not drab. The lighting fixtures are pretty cool looking as well. The bar is still in the middle, and from where we sat, there were TVs that we could see, but there was a frosted piece of class blocking the people at the bar. I kind of liked this, because it meant that the bar didn't have to be the central focus of the restaurant.

We went on one of their first days. I don't know the exact day they opened, but it must have been pretty early on. Our waitress was really nervous. But it was to be expected. I can't remember anything on the menu, and to be honest, I can't remember exactly what I had. It was a salad with chicken, dried cherries and candied walnut I believe? Mike got a chicken and pasta dish. Some kind of alfredo?

When I got my salad, there was no chicken, but the waitress promptly went to the kitchen and got a plate of chicken that was supposed to be on the salad. That was pretty much the only flaw, but like I said, they had just opened, with new employees, new cooks and everything. Not a big deal. When we left, we gave the waitress a good tip- we didn't want her to be discouraged early into her job there.

I would recommend everyone check it out. Sometime I will have to check it out at night on the weekend and see what kind of crowd shows up. I'm not sure if they will be having those bar games like trivia, and I kind of doubt that they'll have the water pong tournaments. But I think that's okay.

Enjoy it! The owners have a proven track record of having great places to eat, and I think this will be just another extension of that. The family (whose name I wish I knew) also owns Americus in Milford and the Americus in Brighton on Grand River (near the Shamrock bar if you know the area).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Musing of America

I haven't finished a book in a while. So I'm going to keep all my few people who read this entertained.

I spend too much time on the internet. Before now, when I didn't have a job, I was usually playing video games, watching TV, reading, crocheting... you know.. other random unemployed activities. Now I have a job, which I am happy about, but there is not a lot going on to keep me engaged. I answer the phone and pass calls to the appropriate sales rep. And because tax season just ended, there aren't a lot of calls.

So I spend time on the internet. News websites, reddit, facebook, twitter... Harry Potter fan sites, GoodReads...

Anyway, I learn too much about the world. Prior to all this, I wouldn't watch the news. It was too depressing and annoying. I didn't read the newspaper, and the only time I was on a news website was to look for jobs or search for a story that someone else had told me about. But now I browse, and I believe it is detrimental to my sanity.

The more time I spend watching all these states in the country try to take away rights from others, I just get more and more annoyed. And I wish that I could stand up someplace high and just yell to everyone, "Would you take a second to really THINK?!?!" I know that a lot of people have trouble doing that, though.

The hate for gays, atheists, other religious denominations, blacks, whites, immigrants, etc etc is just becoming too much to bear. And the number of people who just want to force public schools and public places to play host to religious ideas and themes is just... ridiculous.

And I can't figure out if it's because it's an election year. I don't remember any election year before now being SO OVER the top with the crazy. Like the poor women over in Arizona, who, right now, pregnant, whether they are actually pregnant or not. How can something like that fly?

The main and biggest thing that drives me absolutely crazy is that the religious psychos (I know that not everyone who is religious is also a psycho) can't seem to understand the idea that not everyone is like them. Not all of us believe in God. Believing in God is a choice that many people choose not to accept. And there is nothing wrong with that. People need to become more educated about the facts of the country, that not everyone wants to pray in school, and not everyone wants to read the Ten Commandments when they go to school, and not everyone wants to say "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. And we don't have to.

And yet, some of them think that by saying "This can't be because this is a public place" doesn't mean they can't do it on their own. Are some people such mindless sheep that if they want to remind themselves of the Ten Commandments, that they can do it by themselves and not with a whole flock of people? It makes no sense to me.

I usually reserve my rants for my own head, like some people need to do more often, but I feel so full of annoyance that I had to write it down. And my ego wants to make it public.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

This was the latest pick for my book club. Seeing that our meeting is this week, I figured I should probably finish the book. So I picked it up last night and sort of sped through the last part that I had left to read. 


If you want the summary, as always, it is here. 

My awareness that this book existed when I saw previews for the movie. I never saw the movie, so I don't have an opinion about it, but from what I remember of the previews, the movie was supposed to look like this really epic journey of a little boy trying to grasp for one final reminder of his father who was killed in the 9/11 attacks. The preview makes you believe that his father had set up this whole "treasure hunt" for lack of a better term, before he died, for his son to follow. 

More or less, the book is that way as well. Oskar finds a key hidden in a blue vase that he accidentally breaks. With the name "Black" written on the envelope, Oskar of course believes this has something to do with the key, and he starts on his journey to find every person named "Black" in the city and see if they knew anything about the key. 

Firstly, I couldn't get past the format of this novel. I read the kindle version on my tablet, so of course I was able to see the pictures every couple of pages, but there were things about it that just drove me crazy. One was the lack of structure when it came to dialogue. Every paragraph of un-tagged dialogue I came to, I basically cringed with knowing I'd have to slog my way through. I'm sure that Foer knows the proper way to format dialogue, though I haven't read any of this other books, and I'm sure there's a reason he did this. The characters are from New York City, a place that is known for their fast talking and fast lives. Perhaps this method was used to convey how quickly all those characters would probably talk to each other. That makes sense, but I still feel that I lost a lot about the story from skimming through, not having the patience to figure out who was talking. I could just be letting out my snobby english degree education though. My bad. 

Second, zooming out from the dialogue structure, the structure of the novel as a whole was rough for me as well. I could be a lazy reader, but I don't like having to wonder and figure out who the heck is talking, or writing, or whatever. There are so many parts about this novel that are so lost on me because I didn't know who was talking, or what part they had. The other confusing thing was to have multiple characters with the same name. The flashback type chapters about Budapest and the bombings from the war confused me a little bit just from trying to figure out who was who. The end of the novels, in regards to Oskar's grandmother and grandfather, left me wondering what happened to them, and if they died or left or something. 

This brings me to the end of the novel. "Unsatisfying" is the best word I have for it. We find out that Oskar's whole journey was basically pointless, because his father in fact had not set up some treasure hunt for his son to follow, and that the wasted weekends of tracking down all these people that led from one dead end to the next just made this reader think "why did I even read this?" Of course, one random guy, who we meet briefly near the beginning of the novel, who was yelling and grumbling in the next room, was actually the owner of the key, and we find out he doesn't seem to be that bad of a person, but I was really disappointed that Oskar didn't even want to go see what was in the safety deposit box. BIG let down. 

Now that I've complained about the novel, here's something not as negative reactions. 

I did not do any extra research about this novel yet, though I probably will later, but I know that there is something up with Oskar. I want to say he has some sort of psychological disorder. Things are very particular in his life. And his personal rule of only wearing white (even before his father died) is interesting, but I'm not sure what it is supposed to mean. I thought at first that he started to do this after his father died, as a way of trying to make himself clean after the awful destruction that took place from the attack. However, later on there is a mention of him only wearing white while his father was still alive. 

I also wondered about the self-harm aspect of his life. I don't recall any extra mentions about it except for when he actually hurts himself or wishes that he could hurt himself. This sort of confused me, and I wondered if, after the scope of the novel, that if he never got any extra help, he would turn to other forms of self harm, such as cutting. This actually makes me worry about Oskar's character, because I know people who've had trouble with this sort of thing in the past. And he's so young to feel he must hurt himself for something. 

I did like that the extra story about his grandparents actually paralleled what happened to Oskar. In Budapest, the village was plagued by the war going on around them, which eventually hit home when the bombings occurred, killing many people and forcing other to flee the village. The bombing also caused the characters involved to feel the same kind of loss, losing a parent or friend who they had been very close with. 

And did anyone else find Oskar's grandfather sort of despicable? I had no respect for him. 

This is long enough, though I may revisit this novel with some other thoughts at another point in time. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Secret Lives of Hoarders by Matt Paxton

I have so little free time these days, that when I actually have free time, I don't know what to do with myself. I have a list of things I would like to do, but I can't decide between any of them, so I end up doing nothing. Not very productive. Plus I am still waiting for my final email from Pottermore so that I can actually enter the site. *angry face*

However, I did finish this book early this morning, so here is my review.


I don't like writing summaries of books, so here is a summary from Matt Paxton had a rough life leading up to the time when he created his business Clutter Cleaners, and began involvement with the show Hoarders. He dealt with his own struggles, which he believed help put in him a good place for helping people with other compulsive problems, such as hoarding. (He also has a podcast called 5 Decisions Away. I haven't listened to it yet, but I have a few episodes downloaded.)

This book is written as a sort of manual for helping hoarders with this problem. He outlines the necessary steps to take from the beginning stages of planning to what should happen after the clean-up, which can run from months to years. The interesting part of this book, though, is that he takes various experiences with other hoarders that he has worked with to fill in the gaps of information. He does not just give a list of things to do, bur rather draws from his own experiences and uses those to elevate the book into something much more engaging and interesting. I am a huge fan of the show Hoarders, mostly because it is intriguing seeing the things that they hoard. You lose a little bit from reading it as a book, but I guess having all the gory details is not really necessary.

As a reader, you can really tell that Matt Paxton does truly care about these hoarders and their situations. Having a personality like that is rare, I believe. But that just makes him one of the best choices for this line of work. If you have watched the show, you have seen that sometimes he gets angry, or gets in the face of the hoarder, but it seems necessary. He is usually right, as well, that he is there to help, and if the hoarder is going to resist, then he's just going to leave. And most of the time, that is not what the hoarder wants.

From my personal experience, I know that my grandpa is a hoarder. He had filled two barns, an old chicken coop, and his home with items that he has mostly bought from garage sales. A good example of his hoarding is that my mom said within five minutes of entering his barn, she counted that he had 20 ladders. As an aging adult, he really has no need for 20 ladders. I haven't been to his house in a long time, and I know that he is very reluctant to let anyone inside his home. We also feel that he has no desire to change anything. He is not a trash hoarder, however, so I suppose that is a plus.

I believe my mom also has hoarding tendencies. She likes to keep these random things that I usually have to tell her to throw away. Or the boxes of fabric and cookbooks that she has in her room and the basement. In the book, Paxton talks about the craft hoarders, who buy things like yarn and other supplies because they might need it at some point, or have all those plans to complete various projects. My mom does this. She will go and buy yarn with all these plans to make all these blankets and things, but she never completes the things she starts in the first place. Same with the fabric she buys for various quilts she wants to make. So in the end, most of it just sits around getting tangled and faded. I told her she needs to read this book so she knows what to watch out for.

And with one more generation: Me. I think that if I really had something horrible happen to me, I could probably end up doing this. But not with everything. I love books. I already have a large collection of books that is overflowing on my books shelves. While reading, I kept trying to put myself in the place of someone who would have to get rid of some of her books, and just thinking about it caused me to get uncomfortable. I realized that having to get rid of any of my books would make me feel really sad. I feel this way a little bit about clothes as well. I have several items of clothing that when I think about getting rid of, I think, "Well I might wear it sometime." And I never do. But those are the two major things I have a problem with. Luckily, I maintain that I have some semblance of self control when it comes to books and clothing. But now that I have finished the book, I realize that I should probably start making those changes now, instead of later.

Being that this book is so thought-provoking, it can help a person look into themselves and try to recognize any potential behavior that could lead to hoarding. And because this problem is so detrimental to other aspects of a person's life, it is important to notice if you have this problem long before anything gets out of control. I hope that more people will read this book and take away from good advice.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Out of Oz - Gregory Maguire

I finally finished reading this book. It took me about 2 months to read, which for me is a long time, but in my opinion, it was worth it.


If you want a summary of the book, click here. Don't read too much if you don't want all the information, because I ruined a part of the end for myself by scrolling down too far. Just a word of caution. 

Now that the summary is settled, I can dive into my opinion of the book. 

Yes, this book was rather long. For a large portion of the book, I felt like I was reading the parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy when Sam and Frodo are traveling. There is a lot of traveling that happens in the book. However, the traveling that happens works to shape the character of Rain, Elphaba's granddaughter. She becomes unattached to anyone by herself and her pet Tay. And she sort of withdraws into herself. And who wouldn't. With the way that she was raised, always moving, and rarely had anyone show her what to do, she had to figure things out for herself. And while I felt that she was really young for a lot of the things that she says and does, I think it fits in with the way she was raised. Although, sadly, if Rain was normal child in our world, she'd probably be labeled with autism or something along those lines. 

Rain is an interesting character, but you can see that she is a relative of Elphaba, aside from her green skin. It seems that in this world that Maguire borrowed from Baum, to be truly magical causes a lack of social skills and the ability to feel many emotions. If we remember how Elphie was in the first Wicked book, she was always withdrawn. In Elphie's case, she was sort of cast out by her parents and left to fend on her own. And she was always trying to live up to her younger siblings, and couldn't seem to do it. So because of those circumstances, she withdrew into herself. Rain on the other hand, had a complete lack of family to help her along at all while she was growing up. Because she was abandoned for safety reasons as a baby, she, too, had to learn how to fend for herself. And again, she withdrew into her own mind in order to keep herself sane. And of course, the ability to read and use the Grimmerie is an important mark of the similarities between the two. 

My favorite part of the entire book happened at the end, and it was only one line:

"Don't wish," said Rain, "don't start. Wishing only..." 

I stopped reading and looked around, at nothing, and was so happy. In my brain, I was cheering, "This is a line from the musical! It's from Not that Girl!" I was so excited that Maguire would drop this line into the book, that my opinion of the book shot way up. And in a strange way, it felt like closure for me. It brought together all four books and the musical into one place in my heart, and I was satisfied. I don't know why this had such a profound affect on me... it was probably because this is something I would not normally notice in a book. But I did this time!

I also loved the way it ended, with Rain basically flying off into the sunset. While I didn't give the title much thought throughout the book, once I closed the pages and took another look at the map on the back cover, I realized that the book is named for the last time we see Rain, flying out of Oz. And to where? We'll probably never know. Even though in the world of the story, there is most likely land somewhere beyond the sea, I had a feeling it was something like in the Lord of the Rings, when the elves, Frodo, Bilbo and Gandalf all head off to the Gray Havens. I thought that Rain was flying across the sea to something like that, where she might be reunited with Elphie and Glinda. I felt sad for Rain when she was traveling alone around Oz, losing touch with everyone she had known and perhaps felt a shred of affection for. But perhaps she became better friends with Dorothy than we know, and Dorothy's promise to go over seas for a vacation rather than come back to Oz really struck a chord with Rain. Because that is exactly what she does. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cafe Wristers and April Plans

Oh, hello April. What happened to March? I was busy and lazy you say? Well, that's probably true.
Here's what I wish I could have accomplished during March:
-Finish a crochet project I started
-Read more than one book
-Actually write something worthwhile

Well, no sense in grumbling about the past. Here's April, the weather has gotten cold again, after that trickster March with 80 degree days in Michigan. I'm determined to read more, crochet more, and complain less (probably won't accomplish that one).

Mike and I have also started working out. Been at it about a week and a half now, going a couple of days a week. In addition, we are trying to eat healthier. For example, today will be day 3 of no high fructose corn syrup! And if my scale is to be trusted, I have lost about 2 pounds. My goal though, ideally, would be 30, but realistically, 20-25. Ha.

Anyway, I received my recent edition of Crochet Today in the mail, and there was a pattern for these adorable wristers. I also remember that I had a loan skein of Encore yarn that I bought at a LYS, simply because I felt guilty going in there, chatting with the woman, then not buying anything. So I used that yarn and made these:

They came out a little bigger than they were supposed to since the yarn was thicker than the pattern called for, but that's alright. I also didn't add as many rows to the bottom cuff. They are short little things in the picture, and I figured adding more rows would make them too long. Now I just need a fancy French cafe to go to, and I'm all set!

Hopefully I will be around more this month, as I plan to finish some other projects and start some new ones. I would like to crochet a Flying Spaghetti Monster, as well as make up a pattern for an Atheist messenger bag/purse. 

Have a lovely Wednesday!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Same Blog - New Title

My original title was based off a line from a song from the music "Once on this Island." The song is called "Waiting for Life" and it is sung by a girl who lives on an island that is populated by a poorer tribe of people, and on the other side of the island, the richer people. She's singing about wanting something exciting to happen to her.

That was my mentality for a while. Now that I'm older and a little more grown up (probably will never been fully "grown up" :-)  ) I have realized that I can't just wait around for something to happen. I need to do it myself.

Which brings me to the new title, "Defying Gravity," which of course is another song from a musical, this time, "Wicked." Like a lot of people I know who've seen this musical, this song speaks volumes, and has the power to elicit strong emotional responses in people.

My reasons behind liking this song is because of emotional struggles I've had through life. I can be described as someone whose fallen through cracks her entire life. I don't fully blame the other parties for this, because I'm one of has hardly ever spoke up to make myself heard. Various anxieties are usually associated with why I won't speak up.

Anyways, Elphaba, in this moment of the musical, basically says a big "EFF YOU" to OZ, and flies off, defying gravity. It's something that I have always felt I should incorporate more into my life. Why should I single myself out among everyone just because I'm afraid to speak my mind or to get loud? It makes no sense. So recently I decided to stop being that person, and act like the person I actually want to me, which is a strong, confident woman who can overcome depression (with the help of meds x.x) and get what she wants out of life.

Hence the change of the blog title.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blood, Bones & Butter - Part 2

I have a goal of reading 50 books this year. I'm at 11. But that's why I pushed to finish this book so I can move on to other books. And here's what I have to say:


I'd like to start off with the end. What was with that? It felt like a total cliff hanger. Nothing seemed to be resolved at all, except that she cut down the tree enough for her mother in law to see the water. We don't know if she stays married to her husband, how messed up her kids end up being, if she ever goes back to Italy etc etc.

That being said, I can start on the little things:

Her kids. One would think, that after experiencing your parents' divorce at a young age and seeing your entire family ripped apart because of it, an adult with a working brain would think "Hey, I don't want my kids to have to go through that." One might also think that if a man wanted to marry you only for a green card, and the two of you don't even bother to live together, that you probably shouldn't have kids in the first place. I can understand a woman's desire to want babies. I want babies. But I'm smart enough to know that I have to wait until I have my life on a more stable ground than it is now. Living apart from a husband who only wants to stay in the country doesn't count, at least in my mind, as stable ground.

So this makes me think: is she just selfish? Did she just want a kid so bad she didn't care with who(whom? I'm never sure about this), or how messed up the kids might be in the future? Or does Gabrielle just have bad judgement? I don't know.

I was less interested in the second half of the book than I was in the first. The first part was a struggle for her. I understood why she was struggling. But then, it's like her life was a struggle, but it was a struggle she could have avoided, for which I don't feel bad for her at all. I just can't muster up feeling bad for people who put themselves in a situation that will most likely end up bad. It might be mean, but its the truth.

Something I would have liked to seen be explored more was the revelation she had everyone in Michele's family was afraid of change, except for the mother in law (whose name escapes me at the moment), even though everyone said it was her that didn't want the change. I wanted more about that. Family dynamics are so interesting to me.

The issue with the party struck me as annoying as well. She wanted to have one, but her "husband" said no. And no again. Why didn't she ask someone else? And besides, I'm sure she was making enough money for herself that she could go out and buy the stuff for the party and just say "I'm doing this." Was she so afraid of losing a family she barely had, rather than stand up for herself and do what she wants? It is such a change from the younger Gabrielle who lied about her age to work.

I'm trying to come up with something I enjoyed about the second part of the book, and I'm struggling a little bit. Maybe my annoyance with adult Gabrielle is overpowering. Maybe if I come up with something at a later date, I will write about it. But don't hold your breath.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blood, Bones & Butter - Part 1

The Huffington Post Book Club is currently reading the book Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. If you have not heard of this book, the title pretty much says it all.

**Spoilers Follow**

So far, I am liking the book. I have read through Chapter 10, which is halfway. I hover somewhere between liking this woman, and disliking her.  I really liked her as a child, because she was able to write the thought processes of a child in such a true way, that it was totally believable. Maybe it was the way I grew up, but when people claim that nine-year-old's are saying all sorts of swear words and such, I don't find it believable. But she doesn't really claim to have done that all the time. And the way she looks up to her older siblings is something I can relate to. I also loved the magical way she describes the parties that her family held, because I'm sure as a child, the whole thing was magically to her as well.

Gabrielle as a person seems to begin to fall apart after her parents get divorced, which is understandable, but it is where my ability to relate to her ends. When I was 13, I wasn't dressing the way she was, nor did I steal or lie about my age. I am also harboring a bit of jealously over the fact that she was able to travel around Europe in a way I wish I could. But I keep trying to remind myself that your money could go a little further then than it does now.

I think my favorite part was when she attended the University of Michigan. I thought her assessment of Michiganders was sort of funny. I'm not sure that we actually talk like that, though I have been asked before when out of state if I was from Michigan. They could tell. I could also understand how she felt when she was working through her graduate degree in creative writing. Even though I attended Western Michigan University, and I was only working on my Bachelors degree, I still felt the same way about most of my classmates as she did. Almost everyone was so into themselves, and thought their weed induced "abstract" writing was so good, and I just didn't get it. Luckily, in most classes, you found that one person who was on the same page as yourself.

Gabrielle never comes out and says, at least in the first half, that she is a lesbian or expresses any preference for other women, or even talks about being confused as a child. Part of me was surprised by this lack of information, but the other half of me thinks that this is the way it SHOULD be. When a heterosexual person is writing about their life, whether fiction or non-fiction, it's not always, "I was so confused about liking someone from the other gender" or other self proclamations about their sexuality. And when the person talks about their boy/girlfriend of the opposite gender, no one thinks twice. And that's how it should be for homosexuals as well. If they want to casually mention that they found a girlfriend in a butch girl from Michigan, it should not cause an eye-brow raise from the reader. I actually like that she just mentions it without trying to be a martyr.

I don't have much else to say about the book at this time, but look for my follow-up blog about the second half of the book sometime soon!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What day is it again?

I don't celebrate Valentine's Day. I really don't even like the concept of Valentine's Day. Same goes for Sweetest Day. Here's why.

In elementary school, at least at mine, the teacher gave everyone a list of names in the class, so you could make sure you gave each kid a Valentine with or without candy, depending on your parents. Of course, those cheap little Valentines were themed, with TV shows, music groups etc. For some reason, even as a kid, I was glad for the list because I knew that meant I would at least get some Valentines.

In middle school, people stopped giving out Valentines cards to everyone, and instead would select a number of friends that matched the number of Valentines you would get in the box. By then, it was usually a big joke over the themes of the cards, because by then,  most people had grown out of their elementary school interests.

In high school, things just get worse. Now that you are exposed to more of the world, you begin to notice when stores begin to pump out the Valentine's Day... stuff... And only a select few people would still give out the little kid Valentines cards, as a joke. Sometimes, your close friends would give you a better card. Or sometimes candy would be given out. And the school just made things worse. You know in the movie Mean Girls when they give out those Santa Gram things? Well my high school offered something where you could have a flower (usually a carnation) or something like that sent to your sweetheart. I would go through the day, looking at all the people with those cheap flowers in their hands and their hair, just loving the attention. It annoyed me.

I got one, once, on Sweetest Day, and then a month later we broke up.

In college, I actually had a boyfriend during one Valentine's Day, and I had high hopes for it. Maybe, this just could be the year when I could have a REAL Valentine's Day! No suck luck. He decided to go home to his parents' house that weekend, leaving me at school to be by myself.... again. (On a side note, he did the same thing during our one year anniversary.)

My point is that I spent pretty much every Valentine's day single, and when I did have a boyfriend, it sucked.

That's why I quit caring. And that's when I found my current man. Last year, he bought me a necklace without me asking. I think we went out to eat that night, but I don't remember.

This year, I said nothing about Valentine's Day to him, expect asking if he'll come over. I made him some cupcakes as well. And it makes me happy that he can brag to his friends that "his girl doesn't celebrate Valentine's day."

Call me screwed up, but I would rather brag about not caring about the day then to brag about some random gift given to me.

However, this does not mean that I won't partake in the "holiday" themed snacks brought into the office. Pink chocolate hearts on a stick? Yes, please!

Monday, February 6, 2012

"The Tiger's Wife" Review

I haven't been around since Halloween? Geez. Well the good news is: I finally found a sort of job. I'm only a temp, but it is full time position. Which is good. 

Because my job doesn't really have much going on all day long, I decided to start reading news websites, which I don't like. So I start hanging out on the Huffungton Post, and saw that they started a book club. I joined, obviously. 

The first book they read was The Tiger's Wife  by Téa Obreht.

Where to begin? While I probably missed where exactly this book took place, which would be my fault, but I had a hard time picturing where this place is. As an avid fantasy reader, I love maps. To me, maps make things more real, even if its a fantasy world. That way, you can follow the characters' journeys through the story on the map, so you can see where things are in relation to one another. I'm sure if I took the time to do a little research, I could figure it out. [too lazy]

This story though, did make me regret my own grandfathers. I have never really been close to them. One of my grandfathers had 10 kids and 27 grandkids. I was lost in the shuffle because I was so shy and felt like people liked me less than everyone else (symptom of depression, surprise-surprise). This grandpa died when I was 16. The other grandpa is a hoarder, who's house we couldn't go to very often. When I was younger, I was also intimidated by him... probably because we weren't supposed to touch his things. This grandpa is still alive but leaves his house less, and when people do get together with him, I'm usually unavailable due to work or other circumstances. I know, excuses excuses. 

Natalia had the relationship with her grandfather that I had achieved during my life. I suppose she had one advantage, that being that she lived with him and lacked a preset father figure. Do we know what happened to her father?

As a character, I didn't like Natalia. I thought her ego was too big for who she really was. I understand that she wanted to help save all those children that they had come to save, but at the same time, she must have learned somewhere that 1) you can't force medicine on those who refuse it and 2) you can't save everyone. And I suppose I wasn't too fond of her telling the life stories of other characters, most of whom she'd never even met, since she wasn't even born by that time. However, I did like the stories about the deathless man, and because it was told in the voice of the grandfather, I found it more believable than some of the other stories she told. 

And to be honest, if she could take interviews with village people about her grandfather's life as a child, then I think she could have some up with a scene between her grandfather and the deathless man- when they met for the last time. I think, after we saw them meet three times, that this final one would have been the greatest scene of the book, but instead, we're left with a summary of what happened. This set up for an epic death was fallen short by a lack of "assumption" which I felt was prominent throughout the rest of the book. 

I, like some people whose comments I've read, agree that the end sort of falls short after the build up. I was also confused about the man that Natalia meets at the end, whom she follows through the woods. I think it was supposed to be the deathless man, but he was totally different. His manner was too unsure and confused, and who was the wife? I didn't really get that. If anyone can help me out there, I'd appreciate it. 

That's pretty much all I've got to say about this book. Looking forward to starting the next one!