Monday, June 6, 2016

why not me?

Okay, I kind of lied about my book funk.  I mean, I've totally been in one, but I forgot I finished another book in like two days over the weekend.

I really enjoyed Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  I finally got around to borrowing Why Not Me? and like I said, read large sections of it as often as I could.  I thought Bossypants was good because Tina Fey is so smart.  I think Mindy is really smart, as well, and her essays about her life are just funny to me. 

Like a lot of Americans, I'm fascinated by celebrities and want to know about their personal lives, especially relationships.  I know it's weird, but I also know I'm not alone.  So I think her relationship with BJ Novak is cool and she shared a couple of stories about him that made me like them even more.  In one, she convinces him to go to the theatre, which he doesn't like and thinks it's a dumb art form.  He falls asleep.  He later made an argument about how it's their fault for not holding his attention.  She didn't want to leave him sounding like a jerk, so she told another story about a time they were on a plane.  A storm came up and the turbulence got pretty bad and it was a scary situation for a bit.  Mindy was relatively calm, but she noticed BJ had grabbed her arm and was panicking.  After things settled down, she was glad to have been the level-headed one for once and was able to comfort him and tell him things would be okay.  And then she said when her mom was sick and dying, BJ took a trip to visit her by himself and was able to comfort her a little with laughter.  Sweet.

Another essay is about her sort of dating a guy that worked/works with the President.  Mindy is invited to meet the President and Will is there.  She talks to him nervously and he laughs at her joke.  They meet again and she can tell there's some sort of attraction, but he's not really making any moves.  Months go by with the two of them trying to make plans, but one thing or another causes missed connections.  She finally relents that it's not meant to be and tells herself she doesn't like him like that.  Then one day he says he'll be in town and wants to take her out.  She doesn't want to go because she's finally over it, but decides to meet anyway.  Will and Mindy have a great night and they try to make things work with their schedules, but nothing really happens and it all fizzles out.  Not a happily ever after.

Lastly, a series of made-up emails was another part I couldn't put down.  Mindy wonders what would have happened if she didn't get into acting and stayed in New York to teach.  She imagines herself as a fun, young, teacher who just broke up with her boyfriend and invites the other staff members to her apartment for a party to celebrate.  A crabby older, but not much older male teacher, starts the chain of reply with a general wish that the email would only be used for professional correspondence.  The emails continue back and forth between Mindy and her friends until the night of the party.  Mindy is expecting an outside friend to bring a guy for her to hook up with, while Crabby teacher gets his sister to watch his daughter so he can go.  The day after the email (or maybe days after...I can't remember) Mindy and Crabby discuss what happened at the party (spoiler, they kissed!) and then a series of texts and emails later, you're left with an invite for him to come back over.

So apparently I really like relationships, real and fake.  Either way, it was a quick and funny read and I'll continue to be a fan of Ms. Kaling's.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


Lately I've been in such a reading funk.  I heard about The Last Beholder series from the Popcast.  I started following the authors on instagram and they put out a request for readers to review the books.  I, like a crazy person, DMed them and worked out the details and yes! they chose me!!

Wallis and Gus are soon to be step-siblings.  The story begins with Wallis cutting half her hair right before their parents' wedding.  There's a great commotion over it, Gus runs to see what's happening, and accidentally kills the ficus in the hall.  The story goes back and forth between the two kids, but not from first-person, which I didn't realize bothers me sometimes until my sister pointed out she doesn't like first-person narratives.  So thumbs up here.

Things start happening quickly, and Wallis and Gus find themselves in the cellar one day looking for more wine for a wake.  Wallis sees something strange on the floor, pulls it back and realizes there's another world on the other side.  The two of them jump through and find themselves in the middle of a commissioning where their names are called to join an Order led by another kid, Finn, and a serious looking prince, Valentine, who happens to be a girl.  The four of them set out picking up Mr. Ray, a retired fighter who will train Wallis, a young boy, Kieran, and a lady named Lucienne, to round out the Order.  Their mission is to retrieve Andromeda, a super powerful sword being sought after by Valentine's twin brother, Vitalis, who maybe wants to wield its power for bad.

Wallis and Gus discover things about themselves along the way, like what gifts they have and that not everything they've thought about themselves is true. 

This story was really good.  I loved the characters.  I thought the kids were believable as kids.  The dialog was not full of words you'd never hear a young person say, and their attitudes were what you'd expect from kids forced to mature greatly in a short amount of time.  I really appreciated that lack of teenager attraction, coughtwilighthungergamesdivergentcough.  There was some tension between Wallis and Finn, but it was innocent and felt natural, not awkward.

Because you jump right into the action, you're learning words as Wallis and Gus are. They jump through a hole into another shred and it's explained that all the shreds were once part of a whole until it was shredded. It just makes sense as soon as you read about it.  I like to think that because they're kids, they can except what they're told without logic creeping in to make them doubt.  Of course, wondered if they were crazy or dreaming, but they just went with it because what else could they do?

When Mr. Ray and Lucienne are talking about their past adventures, I got excited hoping and thinking they were talking about other books! I'm pretty sure they were referring to Aslan, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Alice.  And I loved it.

I liked the lack of backstory, but I also missed it some of the time. The story seemed to jump around a bit. I don't know how to describe it other than because there are two authors, I wonder if one would start and the second would finish and maybe some of the details were lost or left open-ended because of that. It wasn't often, but there were times where it felt just a little disjointed.

I'm excited to read the next book in the series, Gather.

***I was provided a free e-book copy in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

short shorts

I have been wanting something, anything Oiselle for a long time.  I forget how I found them, but I love their styles and what they stand for.  I decided that for Mother's Day I was going to tell Corey what to get me and Oiselle just happened to have their anniversary sale going on, so it was a no brainer. 

When I pulled these Mac Rogas out of the bag Sunday morning, I was already imagining how perfect my first run in them would be.  I tried them on that afternoon and didn't take them off.  They are much shorter than what I normally wear so I was tugging on them a bit and the liner is roomier than in my Nike shorts, but once I tugged on that as well, I felt comfortable.  Corey likes the shortness, of course

I ran in them the other evening and they really did feel perfect.  The fabric is stretchy and light, the waistband is not constricting, and there was no chafing.  This was after my run, just doing a little stretching, some McGill crunches, planks, and bird dogs.

I would love at least one more pair because I have a feeling I'll be washing and wearing these as often as I can.  And I also really want some tanks, Lori shorts, and their capris in a fun color.

Monday, May 9, 2016

bye bye baby

All three of our kids have had crazy hair stages.  As soon as you give them that first haircut, you suddenly see a glimpse of who they're becoming.

Clark's hair was wild and long and curly his first year.  I look back sometimes and wonder why someone didn't tell us to cut it or why they didn't just do it when we weren't looking.

This isn't even at its worst!
When he got the baby bald spot, the sides and top were easily as long as his chin, but wispy.  The back was not there, so it looked terrible.  I cut it with scissors for a long time and then maybe when he was two, we started buzzing it.

I can't believe he was this little.  Excuse me while I panic a little.
Oliver's hair wasn't as bad, but I cut it much too short much too young.  He wasn't close to two when I buzzed his head the first time.  It was an accident with the wrong guard.  I was pretty sad about it, too.

Just imagine, Clark's hair went to his chin!

Too big.

Logan's hair was stick straight and stood up easily when she was tiny.  The mullet grew in and I trimmed it up in the back and sides to make it even.  For a long time she had a baby bob and I loved how easy it was to clip it to the side or just wear it swooped like below.

We've let it grow and it's gotten so long and curly!  Seriously, curly!  My hair has some wave and I guess Corey's hair could be curly long, but it's so weird that my three half asian kids have curls.  Logan's hair is curly underneath and on the sides, but the top is straight and it looks like a mess most of the time.  For a while I could talk her into a ponytail or braid, but she insists on wearing it down these days.  It's constantly getting in her food or snot and I got fed up and decided to cut it.

I trimmed it, taking an inch off all the way around and gave her some bangs.  Corey didn't want me to touch it, but I told him we've got to do something because it's gross.  I set her up watching Tinkerbell songs on YouTube, gave her a pen and paper to keep her hands out of the way and did the best I could while she squirmed.  

I'm hoping the straight part blends a little more with the curls...and the bangs aren't that short.  I had to hold her down while I blow dried it a little and they were brushed to the side.  I'm hoping it stays a little cleaner or at least food free from now on.