Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Happy Hour

From Mental Floss: "Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else's reply, whatever you want. On to this week's topics of discussion..."

1. What’s a book that changed your life?

~ Wicked by Gregory Maguire. Every time I read it, I find something else (a sentence, an image) that sets my mind on fire. One line that always gets me: "How strong the bonds of family anger are; none of us breaks free."

2. Let’s pretend you stumbled upon a wish-granting genie. You only get one wish, and it’s pretty limiting—you can pick any one person and do his or her current job for one day. Who would you pick, and what would you do that day?

~ I would be Oprah, and I would spend the day on a task she might bless: I'd give away as much money as possible (to worthy people in need).

3. If you’re a parent, is there something special you got for your child before he or she was born? Or did your parents get something special for you?

~ Until just a few years ago, I had the Winnie-the-Pooh lamp that was in my nursery. It was also a music box (turn the honey-pot and Pooh's theme music plays). It was plastic and 30 years old, so...not in the greatest shape. I got to the point I just couldn't move with it one more time. (What is the proper way to pack a lamp, anyway?)

4. What’s something (anything) you recommend?

~ Today I'll recommend the book I'm currently reading. I'm only halfway through, and I've already laughed and cried (more laughter than tears). Check out Oogy: the Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Happy Hour

From Mental Floss: "Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else's reply, whatever you want. On to this week's topics of discussion..."

1. Did you or your child ever skip a grade? Get held back? What impact did that have on you? Would you do it again?
~ About a month into kindergarten, the administration wanted to move me to second grade. My parents said no. I was really mad, because school was sooooo boring for me. Looking back, though, it might not have been great for me to be two years younger than the rest of my class.

2. What’s the longest relationship you’ve had with a pet?
~ My first pet was a miniature schnauzer. I got Hobbes when he was three months old, and he lived with me until he was almost eight. Now, he lives with my ex-husband (that's a story for another time...). He had a health scare a few months ago, but (as far as I know) he's doing better. He turned 11 in November 2010.

3. What’s a store or restaurant currently only in your area that you think should be a nationwide chain?
~ I don't like chains. The stores/restaurants in my area that I love, I love precisely because they aren't chains. So...none.

4. What’s your favorite independent bookseller?
~ We love Paperbacks Plus. It is exactly what I think an independent bookstore should be: dark in places with tall stacks crammed with books. The stacks wind around like a maze, and it's easy to get lost in all the books (which is one of my favorite things to do!). The employees are helpful and friendly, and they give the best trade credit in the area.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cabin Photos

J. and I are planning to travel to Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas for Christmas this year (see previous discussion here). The folks at the park were kind enough to take photos of the actual cabin in which we'll be staying, and I just had to share.

"Front" of cabin:



Side of cabin from "front" side. Just beyond the picnic table is the bluff:



Back of cabin. From this side, we'll have a sunset view of the canyon:



Kitchen:



Fireplace:



We are beyond excited about this trip. There are several things that could happen to throw things off track (my grandmother's health and J's school among them), but even if we don't go this year, we'll be staying here someday!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Happy Hour

From Mental Floss: "Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else's reply, whatever you want. On to this week's topics of discussion..."

1. What movies did you see multiple times in theaters? Do you remember what made you want to go back?
~ I saw “Titanic” in the theater three times: first, with my dad (which is bizarre in and of itself), then with my mom, and finally with my then-boyfriend. I don’t typically enjoy chick-flicks, but I loved the story, and I bawled at the end (I still do). What made me go see it in the first place, though, was the report of James Cameron’s attention to detail: even the china pattern is supposed to be accurate!

2. Have you ever gone on an elaborate quest, Harold & Kumar-style, to buy something on a whim? Where did your travels take you?
~ When I was a student at Texas A&M University in 1995, I missed Waffle House like crazy. One night, my then-boyfriend and I decided that if we got on I-45 and went towards Houston, we’d probably find a Waffle House pretty soon. Three hours later, we found one – inside the Houston city limits in a VERY sketchy neighborhood. And then a roach crawled on our table while we were eating.

3. Have you ever had to go on a company retreat? How’d that work out?
~ No company retreats for me. I hate fun work events like the plague (see here), so I’d try to get out of it if I was invited to one.

4. What are you currently reading? Do you recommend it?
~ I am currently between books. I hate when this happens, but I finished Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (which I loved, BTW) on Wednesday. I have five (yes, just the five) books coming in at the library tomorrow. And because I have very little time to read during the week now, and I am incapable of reading more than one book at a time, I’m waiting to pick those books up.