28 December 2008

Na na (x8). . . Bat Girl!

After more than a year wanting it, and several months in the planning stage, I finally have my very own bat tattoo!

In answer to all the questions I know I'll be asked. . .
Yes, I nearly passed out, but not because it hurt or there was blood or anything like that. I had just been so dog-gone nervous that the anxiety did some sort of funky thing with adrenaline and blood sugar and I got all light-headed. I was embarrassed, but was told it was a common thing.

No, it didn't hurt. The most "hurty" part of it was on the upper arm when it felt like, maybe an injection. It doesn't hurt now, feels like a bit of a sunburn is all.

It took around two hours and after that first 5 minutes of light-headedness, all was a walk in the park. Mark (of Liquid Dragon in Asheville, NC) did a fantabulous job!

Now, I've just got to continue loosing weight and tone up those flabby arms!

24 December 2008

Holiday Humor

This has become my favorite humorous holiday song and I think Jonathan Coulton is verging on comic genus. He's got more funny stuff out there, if you check out his site.

I prefer the first video myself, as Spiff made it using World of Warcraft skins/animations so it's doubly funny to me. The second one is good too, though. And the song. . .well the song cracks me up every time I hear it.

23 December 2008

My Little Girl by Tim McGraw and Tom Douglas

My Little Girl
by Tim McGraw and Tom Douglas
illustrated by Juilia Denos
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 21, 2008)

The story is simply and easily told: a Dad and daughter day of doing nothing in particular, but having fun just doing those things together.

While the story idea is nice and is something we taught our daughter--that "doing nothing" can be a very special day--the story itself was a bit too sappy sweet for my taste. I'm sure there are super lovey dad's out there, but for most women that I have known, this was not the case. Given that as my guideline, this book may not be for every Dad and daughter, especially if the child in question is old enough to wonder why her dad isn't like the one in the book. Furthermore, it just didn't feel "natural" to my mind.

One minor point that niggled at me was the dog. I couldn't understand why the dog's odd (un-child friendly and not read-out-loud friendly) name was included. McGraw family dog? Douglas family dog? It just felt out of place and baffled me.

The art work was lovely! Bright and flowing water colors and very real and personable looking characters. I was enchanted by it. Ms. Denos did a fantastic job. She deserves 5 stars for her art, and I wish there was some way to rate illustrations alone. Without her art, this would have only been a 2 star book.

I honestly think that they are planning on using Tim McGraw (and Faith Hill's preface) as the selling point for this book, and got the feeling the book was more about them (how much they love their children and family life) than it was about a general dad and daughter.


12 December 2008

Holiday Book Give-Away

HarperCollins is having a HarperHolidays book give-away. You have to nothing more than choose which gift pack you'd like to win and enter your name and address. It's always worth a shot. :D

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

After hearing Twilight raved about by three young women of varying age (20-something, high school senior, and a 14 year old), I decided it was time to give it a try. I'm all for books that get the non-reading into reading and all three of these ladies were non-readers now hooked on reading these books.

What I found was a YA romance, well-written, but with just not enough paranormal "omph" to hook me and make me forget that I was reading a YA romance.

I'm not a romance reader--my personal feeling is that romances (book, TV or movie) tend to give susceptible females false expectations for relationships. Our typical YA readers most certainly fall into that category and this book most certainly paints a unrealistic relationship picture. Of course, as a published romance-writer friend of mine points out, that's why a lot of people read romances. As long as they are able to understand the difference between "romance" and real life. . . but it has been my personal experience that this is not usually so. Hence, my unkeen-ness on reading such a silly romance story. But, if a story line and fantasy world can grab me enough (J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, for instance), I'll read your most R-rated sappy romances and happily.

Twilight just didn't grab me. Meyer, while she writes smoothly and well-enough, did not present a fantasy world that was believable to me. If you are going to break with fantasy-world tradition, give some good reasons and make it work (again, thinking of J.R. Ward's adult paranormal romances). I was not convinced; yes, vampires are perfect and beautiful because they are designed to be the most perfect predator. But, there is no explanation for that breaking of fantasy rules--other than the obvious fact that they NEED to be perfect and beautiful because they are the good guys and the heroes. This may seem like a picky point to some, but to a serious fantasy reader, it's a serious problem. One just one of many.

Why is it, other than she needed a teenage hero, that a hundred year old vampire has not mentally, emotionally and otherwise developed over the age he was when he turned? I simply can not imagine a hundred year old vampire falling for a teen, except to think "yuck". It just seems wrong to me, sorry.

And then there is the plot-turning action toward the end. . . I won't spoil it for those that haven't read it yet, but I wasn't convinced at all. None of it felt believable. It felt like simply another plot point but in to throw hero and heroine together.

When all is said and done, it was nothing more than a YA romance with some paranormal thrown in. No matter how smoothly it flowed, and it did, and how well she writes in general (paranormal lines, excluded), it was not an out-of-the-ordinary experience for me.

Now, I'm not downing the fans or this series. I don't like romance and it takes special books to make me look over the romance element and get involved (*thinks J.R. Ward, again*). This just was not one of them. I am thrilled that she is reaching a non-reading audience and I hope that audience branches out and reads more and hopefully even other genres. It just wasn't for me.

06 December 2008


We had our first (only?) snow of the season this morning, so naturally we had to take the kitty kids out to play in it. This is Cleopatra, with my bed head in the background (and yes, I did change colors; I went with Manic Panic's Wildfire just a couple of days ago!)