28 February 2006

Angel Close Up

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5 February 2005

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A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

note: as my book blog is now defunct (due to server difficulties), I'll be posting book reviews here until I make a new blog for them

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

Charlie Asher is a nice, likable and (except for his exceptionally over-worked imagination, common in a "Beta Male") normal guy. At least he was normal, until the day he accidentally walked in on Death--well actually, one of his minions, the dapper and cool Minty Fresh--and finds himself as one of Death's Little Helpers as well, collecting the souls from the newly departed and saving these souls from unscrupulous use by a set of female demons and their wicked lord. Once Charlie gets the hang of it, he finds out that it's not such a bad job, makes him a decent living and gives him plenty of time with his daughter Sophie. There's just one flaw. . . it seems that the Sewer Harpies (as Charlie comes to call the female demons) are growing stronger. So strong in fact, that there will be no other course of action than a ferocious battle for the world, between the forces of good and evil.

Charlie is alternatively helped and hindered on his path by the sort of wonderful characters only Moore could create. There's Lily, the wise-cracking teenaged Goth and "creepiness child prodigy" (who quickly became my favorite), and Ray, an ex-police officer searching for love on Asian dating sites. Charlie's sister Jane -the Alpha Male that Charlie isn’t- gives Charlie strength and love--all the while looking better in his suits than he does. Even Charlie's daughter Sophie, who grows up before our eyes, has some odd tendencies--bad luck with pets, one very dangerous word, her own personal hounds from hell and the typical child's memory for things that one was not supposed to hear in the first place. Of course, one couldn't expect her to be completely normal, given her father (who was convinced he saw a tail on her six-month sonogram) and the influence of her unintentional hilarious babysitters, Mrs. Korjev (and her bears) and Mrs. Ling (and her wok). Even Charlie's enemies are wonderful; I adored the Sewer Harpies with their bickering, evil ways, puppet shows and continually amusing antics. In addition, Moore throws in a few return characters from other books which was a thrill for the Moore fan. I was especially glad to see the Emperor again.

Charlie's experiences as a soul collector are both funny and touching. As is so often the case with Mr. Moore, a surprising tenderness turned up on some scenes. There is one scene in particular (the cheese scene--read it and you'll agree with me), that made me step back and say, "Wow! I need to be sure I appreciate life to the fullest!". Terminal illness, hospice care, nurses, and death all received a reverential treatment at his hands--while still being funny in that twisted Moore way.

A Dirty Job has overtaken Lamb as my favorite Christopher Moore novel and rates a full five stars. Pick it up and join Charlie in the life of death. It's a dirty job, sure, but somebody's gotta do it!

thanks to HarperCollins' First Look for sending me the ARE


27 February 2006

Just Plain Silly

26 February 2006



15 January 2006

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There are few things sadder to me than abandoned or forgotten tombstones. Which is why, I suppose, I photograph so many of them.


24 February 2006


I stole this from the blog of laerry, an artist I enjoy watching on Deviant Art--especially her Harry Potter fan art. She draws a great Snape!

Anyway. . . it's just a little meme about "me" and as I lost my previous blog, there's really not much about who I am on this one. A lot of my friends from GoPets have been visiting here, so I thought I'd better say a few things about myself from time to time. Meme-ing is the easiest way, I think.

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4.
"Kidding! Jeez. You're such a wuss sometimes. Go sit shivah. Go. Go. Go." Ah. . . a little tease for y'all as this is from the not-yet-published Christopher Moore novel, A Dirty Job. It's sitting here to be reviewed for Harper Collins, as I got the ARE from their First Look program. I'll say this much, it was a 5 star book. Naturally. I'll be posting a review soon; I plan to re-read a good part of it before I review it this week.

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch?
The wall of my home office, just at the tip of my nails.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?:
Seeing as how that was around 5 years ago, I honestly don't remember. I did watch a DVD (Don Juan DeMarco) on Valentine's night with the hubbie, if that counts.)

4. Without looking, guess what time it is:
11 some-thing-or-the-other-p.m.?

5. Now look at the clock. What is the actual time?
11:18. Go me!

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
My husband battling the Black Prince on Medieval Total War (SUCH an awesome game! I've got a saved game that's calling my name right now. .. ) and the long version of Green Eyed Lady (by Sugarloaf).

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
We went photo shooting today, drove for several hours and hit 5 awesome cemeteries. Had a lovely afternoon, despite the bone biting wind, ate supper out and came home and crashed for a nap--the sleep of the happily tired after a satisfying and fun day.

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
Um. . . I guess it would have been the comments on my Deviant Art account and the newist posts by the folks I'm watching.

9. What are you wearing?
Blue and yellow plaid pj pants, a rose colored thick t-shirt with bleach stains at the bottom, slipper socks with Bubbles (the Power Puff Girl, not the soap version) on 'em, and my mint green terry cloth robe. I'm pajamanated!

10. Did you dream last night?
Yes! I dreamed that my husband was having an affair with one of my co-workers. I was glad to awaken!

11. When did you last laugh?
I'm with Stoney, so it had to have been just a few minutes ago! That's one of The Best Things about my husband. He keeps me laughing.

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Let's see. . . an antique mirror, a WWII propaganda poster, a LOTR poster, a poster of Cap'n Jack Sparrow, a wood cut racoon, a bulletin board crammed with momentos, a kitty cat calender, a shelf full of fun stuff (including the elf workshop play-scene from the Rudolph movie, the Killer Rabbit from Monty Python, numerous Star Wars figures, a fairy, two eagles, a California Raisin figurine and a tombstone candle), a treasure map I once drew, my college diploma, a hanging chain of bat plushies, a possum plushie and a probably other stuff, but I'm thinking that enough to confess!

13. Seen anything weird lately?
Yes. In one of the cemeteries today, we saw these odd triangular stones. There were four of them, in various different locations, one of which was upside down. They just struck me as odd.

14. What do you think of this quiz?
It's a fine meme. It's not on either end of the spectrum, just an easy about-me meme.

15. What is the last film you saw?
In a theater? Goblet of Fire, opening night. DVD or VCR? Don Juan DeMarco, Valentine's night.

16. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
Buy? A home way up in the mountains, away from every one. Preferably one that's underground or at least earth sheltered that makes use of solar, water and wind power. I'd also create a place for autistic kids that are no longer in school--a place where they could come and "work" doing the stuff that they are good at and be able to make money to help their family and to feel good about themselves. That's my dream.

17. Tell me something about you that I don't know:
I have a cool first name thanks to a Hippie Mom; I have the best set of parents in the world and love them dearly; I talk to my Mama on the phone at least once a day; I've not spent a night apart from Stoney since January 25th (or so) 2002 and have no real intentions of so doing anytime in the next ten years; I consider myself to be quite spiritual, and although not a "mainstream Christain" (not by any means) I do still think of myself as Christian; I'm envious of artistic people; I dream of writing a novel; I've grown more introverted as I've gotten older, despite the fact I can still project a friendly personality; I have a 12 year old step-daughter that looks enough like me to be my natural child but is so different from her daddy and I that she might have been born on another planet; I married my best friend after 3 or 4 months of dating. There, that should be enough for now. . .

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
I would find some way to end religious wars and prejudice of all kinds. I would find some way that we could all live in love.

19. Do you like to dance?
I love to dance! I'm not a great dancer, and I'm too plump to go dancing right now, but I love it!

20. George Bush:
Which one?

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?:
Calypso or Emma

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?:
Grant (after my grandfather, not the General), Stonewall (after the General), Ailil (after the King) or Fiacre (after the saint).

23. Would you ever consider living abroad? :
Certainly I would; long as the hubbie, my 1000 or so books, the four cats, the two fish and the hamster could come with me.

24. What do you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?:
Anything, so long as it's not "Try again, Medbie!"

23 February 2006

Ice Drop

12 February 2006


21 February 2006

the final Photo Tuesday

19 July 2006

for Photo Tuesday, no theme.

This is my final post for Photo Tuesday as god among insects has decided to quit using his website. I certainly understand and wish him the best of luck! My thanks for the great themes!


20 February 2006

Old Favorite

The Bridge to No Where
12 October 2003
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More Cades Cove

19 January 2006The husband and I had a lovely trip to Cades Cove yesterday. Just a peaceful, leisurely trip there and back. We didn't even go through the whole loop--we just mainly went to take the drive. Lots of deer out, of course, so (despite the poor light quality). expect many ungulated photos for a day or two.

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Calypso and Wahine

Seeing Blue Ridge Blog post a photo of her Beta made me want to show off my girls.

These two lovely ladies came to me via WalMart, on sale as they looked pathetic. (Just like the Blue Ridge Blog story!) I played on the husband's sympathy and he agreed to let me have them, both of us expecting them to not last through the weekend--if they made it through the night. That was January 17th (or so) 2004.

The result has been two sweet little faces to greet me everytime I sit at the computer, to look happy when I turn their light on and to do the happiest swimmy-jiggly dance when I pick up the yellow food container. I've been continually suprised at how long they have lived and how much they brighten my life. For two little bitty creatures, they have a lot of personality.

WahineMy little Wahine (the blue girl) has been sick twice, but I've managed to find the right thing to do to make her healthy again. She appears to be feeling ill again, now, and I'm not so hopefull this time. She is rather old, I fear.

In the meantime, I'll just enjoy my nymphs for each more day they give.

(by the way, these photos do NOT do justice to their vibrant colors; Calypso is really a deep shade of crimson and Wahine is a dark royal blue)


19 February 2006

Moody Monday: Calm

19 February 2006
originaly taken in color; changed to grayscale

Stoney and I took a trip to Cades Cove today. It was cloudy, cold and simply fabulous. This photo of Cades Cove Methodist Church struck me as right for the Moody Monday challenge of calm.

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18 February 2006

Photo Friday: Baby

24 November 2005

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16 February 2006

Moody Monday: Melancholic

26 January 2006

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14 February 2006


26 January 2006

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Happy Valentine's Day

13 February 2006

Photo Friday: Blur

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for Photo Friday, blur


Country Church

28 January 2006

This was taken 28 January 2006; I dated it 2005 on the photo out of habit.


12 February 2006

Snow. . . at last!

We finally got a little snow today. Stoney and I went out to enjoy it, taking Patra with us. At first, she didn't want any part of it, asking me to pick her up. Later, she seemed to enjoy it and began to try pounce on it, as you can see in the second photo.

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