Sunday, August 31, 2014

Facebook Challenge: Name your Top Ten Books. Here's my Top Nine. (I'm a rebel.)

The latest thing on Facebook is to list the Top 10 Books That Affected My Life In Some Way. I was challenged by my friend Marcy to list my Top 10. You'd think for someone like me who loves to read, it would be easy for me to knock out a Top Ten Books list. It's not. I've been thinking about it for a couple of days now. 

I have some favorite books that are just favorites. They're like literary chocolate; I go back and read them when I want to feel good, but that doesn't mean they've "affected my life." I'm positive there are books that I read as a child that were so good I wanted to read more and more. Those clearly affected me, but strangely, I can't remember most of the books that I read when I was little. And there have been some that have seriously affected me as an adult, but the reasons are too personal to share...aka...they're none of your damn business. 

So, I have altered the challenge a bit.

The Top Nine Books That Are Important To Me For A Reason I'm Willing To Share (in no particular order):

1.  IT by Stephen King - My Mom and I have had similar-ish taste in books over the years. My Dad and I...not so much. He likes westerns and spooky thrillers by Stephen King. I never understood my Dad's interest in Stephen King books until I read IT in college. IT scared the bejeebers out of me so bad that I didn't sleep well for three weeks (and I still don't want to see spiders or clowns)...but it was awesome. There was something cool about the way my heart would beat fast and how I'd almost be afraid to turn the page, except that I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. I was hooked on Stephen King books for quite awhile after that...most borrowed from my Dad's collection.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Who doesn't want their own Mr. Darcy? I'm still holding out. This is my go-to when I feel like reading a romance, but don't really feel like starting something "new." I can pick up P&P on any page and be happy. Fun fact: I have four copies of Pride and Prejudice in actual paper book form and three e-versions.

3. Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel - This book and it's accompanying movie were the reason I decided to learn Spanish.

4. 501 Spanish Verbs (Third Edition) by Christopher Kendris - The single most important book I had while learning (and continuing to learn) Spanish. Conjugation is hard, y'all.

5. Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (series) by Molly Harper - I found an author that I SWEAR picks the snarky thoughts out of my brain and puts them on paper. Fun fact: the main character is a librarian-turned-vampire named Jane who also loves Pride and Prejudice and who also has multiple copies of the book laying around her house.

6. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell - This was recommended to me by librarian Liz Stottlemeyer at the Andrews County Library. I took it to school with me and would read it in class when I would finish my work early. (Yes, I was that big of a nerd) I finally had to STOP taking it with me and just finish it at home because some parts were so heart-wrenching that I'd catch myself crying at my desk in the middle of class. How could everyone else be so damn calm when Bonnie Blue just died?!?

7. The Thornbirds by Colleen McCollough - As soon as I was done with Gone With The Wind, I ran right back to Liz for more recommendations. She didn't let me down with The Thornbirds. This was probably the first really adult book I ever read. It sealed my love of romances and historical fiction. 

8. Any Harry Potter book by JK Rowling - I had always just read whatever books looked interesting before this. This series gave me a new experience: looking forward to, anticipating, counting down the days until a book was available. It was exciting.

9. Farm Fatale: A Comedy of Country Manors by Wendy Holden - This is a fun little British rom-com. I got it when I did a book donation/trade at the Mitchell County Library. It's a fun and breezy read. I've read it about four times now. It's like Pride and Prejudice; I pick it up when I want to read without obligating myself to a new series...but it's much fluffier and doesn't take the same kind of brain power as P&P. A good beach read, if I were the beach kind of girl.

That's it; the nine most important books in my life. The cool thing about this list is that if you were to ask me again in, say ten years, the list may be very different. Or it could be exactly the same. Books are cool that way. They are always there for you when you need them, but happy to make way for new ones when you need something else at that moment.

What are your important books?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Random Thoughts Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

I think I'm the last nerd in Texas to see Guardians of the Galaxy. Or at least one of the last three. It was only me and two other individual nerds in the theater. One was kinda cute, but I digress....

I loved Guardians of the Galaxy. It was 122 minutes, but only felt like a little over an hour. The cast was not exactly A-list, but better than B-list...with the two biggest names providing voices instead of their beautiful faces (Vin Diesel as Groot and Bradley Cooper as Rocket).

My random thoughts during Guardians of the Galaxy:

  • The chick playing Peter's mom is the same chick who plays Lucrezia Donati on Da Vinci's Demons! ( I love when fandoms collide.)

  • Who is Peter Quill's dad?

  • Chris Pratt is adorable.

  • I want the soundtrack. Hmm, the songs are so old, I bet if I go look for the songs individually on Amazon Prime, they will mostly be free, but if I take the lazy route and buy the soundtrack it'll probably be $10 or more. 

  • This popcorn is stale.

  • Michael Rooker's Yondu is really just Intergalactic Merle Dixon.

  • Chris Pratt is hot. 

  • Oh hey! That's Kirk from Gilmore Girls!

  • Even green, Zoe Saldana is gorgeous and I want to hate her but I can't.

  • It's so embarrassing when I get choked up and emotional during comic book movies. 

  • I want a little dancing Groot for my desk.

  • Howard the Duck? I waited for Howard the freaking Duck?

  • When will the sequel be out? There better be a sequel, dammit.

  • Chris Pratt is aborably hot.

  • I thought Lee Pace was in this movie. Holy crap, he was the bad guy. 


Have you seen GotG? What were your random thoughts during the movie?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Happy Lefty Day!

Happy International LeftHanders Day! Or as I like to call it, Happy Most Awesome People in the World Day!

Last year I had a little rant about things that aren't lefty-friendly.. This year, I'm going to share cool left-hander facts with you.

These come from (a left-hander guitar player website) because I'm no plagiarist. LeftyFretz says that lefties:

  • Make especially good baseball players, tennis players, swimmers, boxers and fencers (almost 40% of the top tennis players are lefties)
  • Recover from strokes faster
  • Of the seven most recent U.S Presidents, 4 have been left handed
  • Left handed college graduates go on to become 26% richer than right handed graduates

And these come factoids come from from

  • 4 of the 5 original designers of the Macintosh computer were left-handed
  • 1 in 4 Apollo astronauts were left-handed – 250% more than the normal level.

So today, fellow lefties, go out and celebrate your lefty awesomeness. A great way to celebrate would be to watch an episode of The Simpsons, in which left-handed Bart Simpson always starts the show writing lines on a chalkboard with his left hand. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

These "new" hairstyles are going to the dogs...aka...RIP 80s bangs and stuff

Lately, I've noticed a few of the girls on campus sporting a "new" hairstyle. It's that "new" thing where they use hot rollers or a curling iron to make their hair all curly, then they tease it up to look fashionably messy. It looks almost like how I wore my hair in 1989, except without bangs. (RIP 80's bangs) It's the "without bangs" part that makes it "new." Or that's part of what makes it "new."

Bouncy curls , scary-but-awesome bangs, straight teeth and HUGE earrings, all captured by Carousel Foto. (RIP, Carousel Foto.)

The other "new" part of this "new" hairstyle is the part itself. (Does that make sense?) These girls are parting their hot-rolled, fabulously bouncy hair waaayyy far over to the side. And since they're so concerned about the planet these days, they don't use hairspray to hold it there. (RIP AquaNet Aerosol) These young women have to just tilt their heads to the side all day in order for gravity to help them maintain their parts.

This makes them look like they are perpetually confused. Sorta like our dog would do when he heard a new noise outside. (RIP S. Dog Johnson)

So when I see this...

I think this, but without all the puppy cuteness....

So straighten up those necks, girls...and have some pride in your posture or someone will probably throw you a Milkbone.