Saturday, December 30, 2006
book report: The Bone Collector
by Jeffery Deaver
I remember hearing about the movie that was made from this novel, which starred Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. I didn't see the movie for some reason, but I thought the concept was interesting... a former detective, Lincoln Rhyme, is confined to his home after being seriously injured on the job which turned him into a quadraplegic. Some of his former coworkers bring him a murder case that appears to contain clues leading to another murder in progress, and ask for his help solving the case. Rhyme asks for Amelia, the cop that found the first body, to act as his eyes and ears on the scene. Through this partnership, Amelia becomes a better police officer and Rhyme re-connects with the world outside his bedroom.
The mystery totally had me going - even though there was a pretty big clue planted in the book, I didn't know who the murderer was until he revealed himself to Rhyme near the end of the book. Maybe I'm just a sucker, I don't know. I enjoyed the forensic details and medical details regarding Rhyme's disability, although those details might turn some readers off.
I understand this is a series... I think I'll read some more of them.
Labels: book reports
I went in to take a look at how she was enjoying her sunbeam.
She said she was ready for her closeup. (The bare spot on her tummy is from the vet shaving her to check for a spay scar.)
So I obliged.
That is the face of a happy cat, don't you think?
Friday, December 29, 2006
Labels: end of life
Thursday, December 28, 2006
tiny animals on fingers
Tiny animals on fingers
That's a whole lotta cute.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
1. Elemental @ Gasworks
4. Le Gourmand
5. Matt’s in the Market
6. Perche No
7. The Herb Farm and the Barking Frog
8. Buddha Ruksa
9. Ray’s Boathouse
13. Boat Street Café
14. Café Lago
15. Yamashiro Bistro
16. Saint Cloud's
17. Stumbling Goat Bistro
18. Café Flora
20. Wild Mountain Café
21. Any of the Chow Foods joints
22. Salty’s on Alki
23. Café Soliel
24. Hi Spot Café
merry post christmas
Sunday we stayed home (except for my dad, who went golfing in the rain because he is a nutball) and Mom and I cooked a big holiday dinner with turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, rolls, brussels sprouts, and green beans, plus a pumpkin pie. It was all quite delicious.
Monday we opened gifts and that was great! The best present I got was a Foreman G5 grill from R*. It has different removable plates so that you can use it to grill, to make waffles, or to "bake" things like chiles rellenos or fried eggs. We put it to work right away by making gingerbread waffles for breakfast, which were delicious! Later in the day we experimented with using the grill to make paninis, which worked out very well. I love it.
I think the best of Christmas this year, though, is our Christmas kitty. Kismet is such a darling. She's beautiful and well-behaved and purry. I can't wait until she gets more settled in here and becomes more comfortable sitting in our laps and stuff. She had a good Christmas too - the cutest was when R* opened a package of fur mousie toys for her and she chased each one as he removed them from the package. Not so cute when she decided to play with a mousie at 5 AM in our bedroom... but what are you gonna do?
Friday, December 22, 2006
book report: Broken For You
by Stephanie Kallos
I got this book from the library after having a six-degrees-of-separation sort of connection with the author. (For HIPAA reasons I can't explain further.) And it has stuck in my head ever since, for an assortment of odd reasons.
The main character, Margaret, is an elderly woman who lives alone in a Seattle mansion filled with valuable antique porcelain pieces. She has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and places an ad for a roommate so she won't be alone. The young woman who moves in is Wanda, a stage manager who pretends she is completely self-reliant but is actually trying to find the man who left her. As Wanda and Margaret become closer, they both grow and change and begin to examine themselves and their secrets. Margaret is eventually forced to reveal that she is dying, and Wanda rises to the occasion.
A lot more happens, but you'll enjoy the book more if I don't tell you all about it. There are two reasons that this book stuck in my head, one of them meaningful and the other is so tiny as to be silly. The meaningful one is the portrayal of the end of Margaret's life - Kallos handles the subject beautifully. The silly one is that Wanda makes her coffee in a French press with lots of cinnamon, which I do as well, and so I think of the character every time I make coffee.
Labels: book reports
book report: Beyond Black
by Hilary Mantel
I was excited to read this book, as it was described as a funny and mysterious story about a psychic who actually communicates with the spirits. But I was pretty disappointed with it. The writing is tight and evocative, but the plot is hardly extant.
The main character is the psychic, a woman named Alison who was horribly abused as a child by the men who were the clients of her prostitute mother. At a performance, Alison meets Colette, a brittle, angry woman who has just left her husband. Alison proposes that Colette become her manager, and Colette accepts. Colette takes over Alison's business matters and makes her very successful, but both of them continue to be sad, angry, and unable to examine their own problems.
While the world that Mantel describes is fascinating,and her writing is very good, the book left me cold. Neither Alison nor Colette change very much during the course of the book, which takes place over 7 years. Usually a story sees some change in a character, or something interesting happens, but that is not the case here. Kind of a letdown.
Labels: book reports
Monday, December 18, 2006
In the morning we had a hot shower and a hot bath, respectively, and went home expecting to find our power back on. But no! It was still dark and cold. I went to the library to borrow their electricity and Internet connection (not to mention their heat) and called and called and called trying to find a hotel room. I finally called a bed & breakfast called Chelsea Station and they had one room left. We went and checked in and were very pleased with their hospitality. I would totally recommend the place to visitors. We walked down to Fremont and got some lunch, then went back to the room and took a nap in the warmth. We decided to go back by the house just to see if the power was back on... but it was a rude surprise when we got their and our neighbors on either side had lights on and our house was still dark and cold. We went outside in the dark to look at the line to the house, but we couldn't see anything wrong. It was very disheartening. We went to dinner at Perche' No, only to find that their power was half out and the menu was drastically reduced. We decided to just go with it and had a perfectly nice meal - and the owners were so kind and friendly. It was like going over to a friend's house and having grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner because the fridge is empty, and having fun anyway.
Sunday morning we got up, showered, and went downstairs for breakfast. Just as we were finishing our breakfast, the power went out! Fortunately we were done and just got our things and went home. Which was still cold and dark. In fact, I could see my breath when I opened my closet to get out some clean clothes. That is just wrong! R* suggested that we make a reservation at the Inn at El Gaucho, go have a nice dinner and stay the night. So we did. I'm sure we spent way too much money, but it was so nice. I have never slept in such a comfortable bed, nor worn such a comfortable bathrobe.
Before we went downtown to El Gaucho, we stopped by our friend's house to visit the kitty. We left feeling a little ambivalent because it wasn't love at first sight, but after lots of discussion decided that the cat was well-behaved and polite, and needed a home. So today, we went back to the house and picked up the cat (after making a stop at Petco for supplies) and went directly to the vet to get it checked out. And here's what we discovered: kitty is a girl, between 1 and 2 years old, has been spayed, appears to be in excellent health, and may possibly be a purebed Bombay. Our vet commented that she looks a little like Booshka and that it must have been kismet that brought us together. R* and I looked at each other and I said, "I think you just named our cat for us!" Her new name is Kismet Winifred (what, your cat doesn't have a middle name?). We got her microchipped and wormed, and got the distemper and rabies shots. Since we brought her to the house, she's been quite nervous but has tolerated everything with a great deal of grace (plus a few bad words). She doesn't know it yet but she is going to love living with us. We're going to spoil her rotten!
Our power was back on when we got home from the vet. Thank goodness. It's a relief to be home!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Whole furry fuzzball
Our friend has been calling her Winifred but we'll most likely change her name. Candidates for names include Kashka, Neko, and Hazel.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
book report: The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
I am once again very late to the party. I know this book got all its critical acclaim several years ago, but I just read it fairly recently.
Susie Salmon is a 14-year-old girl walking home from school when she is lured into a cornfield by her neighbor, Mr. Harvey, who subsequently rapes and kills her. Susie narrates the rest of the book from heaven, which she finds is a lot like life but more dull. She doesn't have much to do except watch her friends and family from above.
This book is so, so sad, but so, so good. I thought perhaps all the press about it when it was new was just hype, but it really is a creative and well-written book.
Labels: book reports
book report: The Glass Castle
by Jeannette Walls
This book blew my mind. I knew Jeannette Walls by name from her gossip column at MSNBC.com. But I had NO IDEA that her childhood was so incredibly bizarre.
Walls' parents were, ah, eccentric to say the least. They kept their family on the move all the time, saying something vague about "the tax man" or "the government". The family lived in serious poverty, often going without food or shoes because they couldn't afford to buy them. Surprisingly, the parents were not uneducated or incapable of supporting themselves - they were more like hippies out on the road. They taught their kids to appreciate art and books, but often made them change schools multiple times in the school year.
It's fascinating to read about this family's extremely unconventional, sometimes upsetting lifestyle, and how Wells went on to become conventionally successful as a journalist. I found myself angry with the parents, who were so phenomenally self-centered and devoted to their "ideals" that they subjected their children to awful conditions and deprivation. And yet, one factor that keeps coming up throughout the story is that the family members genuinely love each other. In most scenarios I would say that genuine family love is more important than anything, but in this case... I don't know.
Anyway. Good read. I recommend it.
Labels: book reports
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I am way too tired and my brain is much too used up to have anything smart to say right now. But I wanted to put the good news out there for my readers (hi Mom!).
And now I'm on vacation for a few weeks!
Oh, and the title of this entry refers to the fact that I am now one-third done with the nursing program. I will have my ADN in another 4 quarters. Unbelievable.
Labels: nursing school
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
One of classmates had a whole string of crazy experiences this quarter, culminating with yesterday's excitement, wherein he was attempting to put in his first Foley catheter in a woman of considerable size (this is very challenging) and just as he inserted it, she had a grand mal seizure. Holy cow. I saw the whole thing, but I was just there as an observer. Poor D* is probably going to have a complex about putting in catheters for the rest of his life.
All I've got left to finish up to be done with second quarter is 1 quiz, 1 test, 1 skills lab, 1 set of careplans and logs, and 1 final exam. Then it will be time for Christmas!
Labels: nursing school