Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fall Into Reading 2012 Wrap Up

Well, fall is over, although the weather here in LA has been telling me that for a week now.  That means it's time to wrap up Callapidder Day's Fall into Reading 2012 Challenge.

I did very well this time, getting through all the books on my list.  That means both times this year I made it through my list.  Pretty amazing since I've only done that three times period.  Granted, I started with a substantially smaller list than normal, which really helped.  I supplemented along the way just finishing my last book on the list last week.  So, while I'll break these down by those on my original list and the others I read, know this isn't in order.

If any of these titles catch your interest, please follow the link to my review at Epinions.

Books from My Original List Read:
Frozen Heat by Richard Castle
Running Ransom Road by Caleb Daniloff
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Poster Art of the Disney Parks by Daniel Handke and Vanessa Hunt
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
The Chocolate Moose Motive by JoAnna Carl
Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Games by Ridley Pearson
Skating Around the Law by Joelle Charbonneau
Disneyland Through the Decades by Jeff Kurtti
The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen
Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Additional Books I Read:
The Mystery of the Castaway Children by Kathryn Kenny
Popped Off by Jeffrey Allen
How to Dine on Killer Wine by Penny Warner
Alcatraz Versus the the Scrivener's Bones by Brandon Sanderson
Naughty: Nine Tales of Christmas Crime by Steve Hockensmith
Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle by Dorothy Gilman

Book in Progress:
Tales of a Sixth Grade Muppet by Kirk Scroggs

So there you have it.  I'll see you in the Spring with a fresh collection of books to read.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for December 21st

Yes, I know it's a day early.  But since I will be posting my Fall Reading this wrap up tomorrow, I figured I'd post this today.

Won't be one for a couple of weeks either.  It's the Christmas/New Year's rerun season.

Royal Pains - It was so nice to check in with these characters.  And the story was so sweet.  I felt badly that the majority of the guests weren't able to make the wedding, but I love Evan and Paige together.  Have I ever mentioned that?  It was nice to see Jill, although I wish she'd actually been there.  And I wasn't that surprised that Boris is faking his death.  I can't wait to see what that is all about.  And what is going on with Hank?  Is it connected to the explosion somehow?  Sure sounded like it.  Sigh.  Why must we wait until summer again?

Survivor - I really wouldn't have minded if anyone had won.  I still can't get over how bitter everyone is at the final tribal.  It's part of the game.  You should know that by now.  And I guess I'll be trying to watch the next one since it's another Fans vs. Favorites.  I've at least got to see who the favs are.

Burn Notice - You know, with how the season has gone, I was actually worried about Sam for a while.  I am surprised at how upset Fi was at the end considering it's what she did to Michael last year.  But I'll be interested to see what he's really agreed to.  Unlike Fi, I can't see them leaving him in prison for part of a season.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Word Association for December 19th

Here we go - this week's word association.

  1. Dragon :: Fire
  2. Battery :: Acid
  3. Ziploc :: Bag
  4. Shiny! :: Metal
  5. 8 minutes :: per mile
  6. Photograph :: Picture
  7. Future :: Prediction
  8. Tie :: Shirt
  9. Bangs :: Hair
  10. Appointment :: Book

Monday, December 17, 2012

Meeting Ivanova

A week ago yesterday, I got to geek out.

It all started when I checked in on Twitter that morning.  I saw a post from Claudia Christian saying she was going to be doing a book signing in Burbank that afternoon.

Now those who know me well know I love the TV show Babylon 5.  And my favorite character on the show is Susan Ivanova, played by Claudia Christian.  Naturally, it was a no brainer that I would go.

The signing itself was pretty laid back.  No talk or discussion, just her at a table signing books.  I wound up buying a much shorter book she had previous put out that has some stories from her time at conventions.

I did get to chat with her for a couple of minutes, and I got to tell her how much Babylon 5 has meant to me over the years.  And she was amazed that I started in season 4 and stuck with the show since that was pretty much the climax of the story arc.

For those who don’t know, every time I have watched this show, it’s been with someone new.  While we’ve watched these 5 seasons, we’ve gone from friends to great friends because the time spent together always leads to other things.  The line stretches from Debbie and Josh, who introduced me, to Donald and Jeff and Matt and Joe and a different Josh today.  Along the way, wives have also joined my circle of friends as a result.  There have been others as well, but these spring to mind at the moment.

And those have been some of my closest friends over the years.  Obviously, I have other close friends who I haven’t watched the show with, but that’s an impressive group from one TV show.  Who would have guessed a TV show would do that.

So you can bet that was the highlight of my week last week.  I just hope I didn’t come across as anything other than I am – a somewhat (okay very) obsessed fan who is actually fairly normal.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for December 15th

The Amazing Race - I have often said that it really didn't matter if you won any legs along the way.  The only one that really matters is the last one.  And I guess they just proved that right.  I just hope the Twinies feel stupid now for not worrying about every single team on the race.  Granted, I counted the farmers out early, but you never truly can.

Survivor - Another case of trying to create drama for us where none really exists.  Lisa sure is becoming a devious waffler.  I bet that comes back to get her, however.

Arrow - The story about the "accident" took quite an interesting twist.  I have a feeling they are setting things in motion for a very interesting second half of the season.  I can't wait to see where they go with it.

Burn Notice - I've really stopped caring about this season, which is sad.  It's just lost the fun of the previous seasons.  I still care for the characters, but I feel like it's gotten way too serious.

The Big Bang Theory - The Christmas roll playing game was fun, but that final scene was downright hysterical.  It was totally worth the set up for that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Word Association for December 12th

Happy 12/12/12!

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Complications :: Plot
  2. Bell :: Ring
  3. Sunshine :: Summer
  4. Laundry :: Clean
  5. Grumpy :: Dwarf
  6. Throat :: Clear
  7. Vitamin :: Mineral
  8. Tell :: Secret
  9. Potent :: Potable
  10. Radio :: Music

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Getting in the Christmas Spirit?

It’s a weird Christmas for me.  I’m done shopping for my family, but I still have some friends to buy presents for.  After getting my outside lights and Christmas trees up before I went home for Thanksgiving, I’ve been dragging my feet about decorating.  I finally got a bunch of ornaments on the trees last night.  I may do a bit more decorating tonight, but I’ll probably about done with that.

And yet.

Thursday, I headed down after work to see Glendale Centre Theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol.  Despite all the years I’ve been going down there, this is the first time I’ve actually seen it.  I enjoyed it.  The special effects weren’t that great, but the play itself was really well done.  I especially enjoyed their carolers, who usually sang a cappella.

And Saturday, I made my monthly trip to Disneyland.  I didn’t get there as early as I had hoped, but I did get there in time to ride the Christmas version of it’s a small world twice before the lines got too long.  I waited 10 minutes once and 20 minutes the next time.  Mind you, that was back to back.  The line was looking to be at least 30 minutes long when I left, so I got there just in the nick of time.

I hit Star Tours twice as well, thanks to fast pass.  Did Haunted Mansion Holiday once and then headed over to CA Adventure long enough to wander around a bit and stop by the Ghirardelli store.  Man, that place is addictive.

I left last afternoon because I didn’t feel like waiting in any more lines even though I had my book with me and hadn’t really read much.  Also, my legs were killing me.  I am so frustrated since I don’t know what is wrong and how to make them better.  I haven’t been running much, which does seem to help, but I want to run and play ultimate Frisbee.  Patience has never been one of my virtues.

Now to get presents wrapped and I’ll be all ready for Christmas!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for December 8th

Once Upon a Time – So, Cora is the Queen of Hearts.  Interesting development.  But I felt so sorry for Regina.  She took a big risk (and a lot of pain it looked like) so that Snow and Emma could return.  She did it for Henry.  And then they go off and leave her standing there in Gold’s shop.  I know she’s done a lot, and forgiveness isn’t going to come easily, but they could have tried a little more.

The Amazing Race – Of all the times for there to be a non-elimination leg.  I am so ready for the Twinies to be gone!!!!

Castle – A very fun Christmas episode.  I felt a bit like it was A Christmas Carol with everything happening right around Christmas in the case.  And there were so many great one-liners that I was laughing the entire time.

Arrow - Yeah, I pretty much saw that one coming.  It was predictable that this girl wouldn't listen to him.  But it did give us some very nice character development along the way.

Survivor - How in the world have they not voted out that one chick yet?  I get the strategy, but seriously, she's so annoying to everyone, they just need to vote her out and be done with it already.

Burn Notice - I'm really not enjoying this storyline at all.  Especially since they are running and not even trying to prove what a bad dude this guy was.  Seriously, I don't know how they'll resolve things in two episodes, but I hope they have done just that and everyone can get back to some semblance of order again.

The Big Bang Theory - Penny teaching the guys about fishing was hilarious.  The is the kind of stuff I love watching this show for.  The sub-plot with Sheldon and Amy was pretty funny, too.  They are such a perfectly funny couple.

Nikita - Amanda and Nikita is such a great rivalry.  I don't miss Percy at all, even though he was a great villain.  But it's Alex I'm worried about.  Going back to drugs is never good.  And I saw who the mole was earlier.  Now, the question is, is she playing Birkoff, or did what she said happen with Amanda really happen?  And if it did, was Amanda telling the truth or lying to get her cooperation.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Word Association for December 7th

If it tells you how the week is going, I'm finally getting to this week's word association.

  1. Idiot :: Stupid
  2. Starving :: Artist
  3. December :: Christmas
  4. Choose :: Wisely
  5. Dreams :: Sleep
  6. Clash :: Titans
  7. White :: Black
  8. Meticulous :: Careful
  9. Bus :: School
  10. Insubordination :: Disobedient

Sunday, December 02, 2012

My November Reads

All ratings are on a scale from 1 (bad) to 5 (great).

A Disney cruise proves dangerous for the Kingdom Keepers as the Overtakers are there as well trying to stop them permanently.  Maybe it's just me, but I feel like the series has stalled out.  Not much forward movement happens, and the book doesn't even bothering resolving much of the plot, instead just setting things up for the next book.

SKATING AROUND THE LAW by Joelle Charbonneau - 4
Rebecca Robbins has returned to her small home town just long enough to sell her mother's roller rink.  But when the town handy man is found murdered in the women's bathroom, she realizes she needs to get his murder solved quickly since no one is interested in it.  A typical cozy series debut, but I really enjoyed the characters and found the story fun.

When the Belden family find a baby in their doghouse, it sets Trixie off on another mystery.  Who is the baby?  And why would someone leave him in the doghouse?  This is a great entry in the second half of the series since it gives all the main characters a part to play and develops one of the secondary characters.

POPPED OFF by Jeffrey Allen - 4
Stay-at-home dad Deuce Winters gets roped into tracking down the president of the local youth soccer league who has disappeared along with all the funds from the league.  Can he find him before the rest of the soccer season is canceled?  The humor in this book is great and the mystery shots off in some wild, fun directions.  I really enjoyed it.

HOW TO DINE ON KILLER WINE by Penny Warner - 4
Presley Parker's latest party is a wine tasting in the beautiful Napa Valley.  But murder follows her when a despised environmental crusader is found murdered after the party.  Convinced the cops have the wrong killer, she starts investigating.  I find these books fun.  The plot was a bit uneven, but overall an enjoyable read.

Alcatraz and some new friends and relatives are off to the Library of Alexandria to hopefully track down his grandfather and maybe even his long lost father.  But will they be able to do it while escaping the assassin on their tail and the keepers of the library who want their souls.  A second absolutely delightful adventure for kids that keeps you laughing and turning pages to find out what will happen next.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for December 1st

The Amazing Race - U-Turning someone who you know has already gone by may be in the rules, but it sure seems harsh to me.  But as people keep pointing out, it is part of the game.  I like James and Jaymes, but I wish they hadn't done that.

Once Upon a Time - I really can't believe that Charming is now under a sleeping curse.  Granted, I knew it wouldn't be as simple to get him out of it as everyone thought it would be.  They've set things up for a very interesting finale.

Dancing with the Stars - While I would have been okay with any of the finalists winning, I was rooting for Tony and Melissa.  I'm so glad they won.  They really were amazing dancers, no matter what anyone says.

Survivor - They've actually got some interesting drama going on in both these episodes.  It hasn't been quite as cut and dried as you might think.  Lisa sure is having trouble playing the game at this point, that's for sure.  I want to like her, but she sure is making it difficult.

Arrow - The first totally predictable episode for me, but I like how it ended.  This should make for an interesting arc.  And I don't get where they are going with Oliver's friend.  That's sure going to be interesting to watch.

The Big Bang Theory - I loved it.  I would have loved a scene with all of them in the same room going at it, but the episode was definitely funny just as it was.

Nikita - I think they are finally finding their groove for season 3.  I really enjoyed this episode, although was it just me, or did they seem to forget about the President's video when they went to get him the second time?

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