Monthly Archives: December 2009

Two days in review

Mum and I had a lovely morning yesterday – hubby took Master Seven to his swimming lessons, so we left Dad at home with a book and some peace and took Miss Four to the shops. Mum got her hair done, we both got pedicures, and I got my nails done, which looks great, but has badly affected my typing speed! iPhone access not too bad, but have to get used to pressing with pad of finger rather than tip! We then wandered up and down the shopping centre fairly aimlessly and managed not to buy too much.

Came home and had a rest with M4, then got up and got ready for the Gold Class experience. Hubby was most impressed with the seats and food etc at our new Gold Class, and thoroughly enjoyed Avatar in 3D, as did I. Visually awesome, and I really enjoyed it – sure, I’ve read all about the flaws, but it was still a spectacular movie. And I was very impressed with the portrayal of the females.

Today was very slow to start – hubby too both kids to swimming and they didn’t get home for a good few hours (waterslide a big drawcard). Mum and Dad puttered about getting packed up, and at about 1.30, Mum, Dad, M4 and me jumped in the car for long touristy drive up to aunt & uncle’s, via Fremantle and Westfield Carousel. I only stayed an hour, and Missy and I came back home, to find that husband had taken up my only semi-serious suggestion to rearrange the house! We had a lovely big tiled area adjacent our kitchen that was being completely under-utilised, so he’s moved the telly and lounge into that space, and bookshelf and other cabinets into dining/lounge space. We’ll also move the not-used office desk into this space to hold the printer and the phone and modems, which gives me space in the spare/baby room for what needs to go in there. Win! Fresh start to the new year, but does mean I’ve got some sorting and rearranging to do – hubby is good a big picture, not so much on the detail…

Anyway, happy 5th wedding anniversary to me, happy new year to everyone else! May try to attempt a year in review at some point, and will blog the final books read tally in the next day or so as well. Hope you have a safe and fun night – it’s nearly sleep time for me (at not quite 8pm!). May 2010 bring you every happiness and fulfilment that 2009 did, and much more!

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A good day to tidy tags

Just so happened that I had a few hours this morning and started mucking about with my LJ tags – an appropriate task for the final day of the year! As well as being useful, it was a contemplative and reflective experience. I revisited a great many posts from the last three years, and it’s interesting to see some of the changes we’ve made. One I found particularly interesting was a three or four post series about a job in Maryborough I applied for and was offered. It was in a Catholic school, and one of the things that turned me off the most was the prayer at staff briefing! I’ve now worked in a gorgeous Catholic college for over two years, and I’ve never thought negatively about the religious aspect – it doesn’t bother me at all. Looking back, it was the job that wasn’t right for me, not the school or religious affiliation!

So tidy up your tags (when you’ve got a few hours to spare!) – it’s an interesting experience!

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That hectic Christmas period

It’s amazing how quickly six days fly by! I’ve been reading LJ and Facebook and Twitter but haven’t really had a chance to sit and do a proper update. So, since the day before Christmas, here goes…
What we did over Christmas…

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Mini-Reviews #15

This is the second last mini-reviews for the year – I know I’ve not properly updated my spreadsheet for the past few weeks, and while reading has been lighter with the madness of the final weeks of the year, I’m certain I’ve missed some. However, today is not the day for cross-checking the shelves and spreadsheet. Today I’m mainly posting because I wanted to post my thoughts about Slights, by Kaaron Warren – I’m sure there will be people out there who disagree with my opinions on this one, but I needed to get them down while they were fresh! Thus, I had to list what was in the spreadsheet along with it…

Eclipse 3, Jonathan Strahan (ed.) – Top quality and engaging stories. If I have any complaint, it is that quite a few of the stories are extremely light on in spec fic content, but all are excellent!

Salvation in Death
, JD Robb – Still good!

Crime Spells
, Martin H Greenberg & Loren L Coleman, 309pp. – Possibly the best DAW antho I’ve read this year – quite a dark collection, but not always from the criminal POV – enjoyed it a lot!

Embrace the Twilight/Edge of Twilight,
Maggie Shayne – Issued under a single cover, these two books in Shayne’s "Wings in the Night" series are the first of her novels I’ve read, although I’ve come across at least one short set in the same world. Didn’t suffer for not having read the others, and thought both books were a great blend of paranormal and romance. Will be keeping an eye out for others in the series, as they were among the better ones I’ve read in recent times.

Divine Misdemeanors, Laurell K Hamilton, 333pp. – Hamilton herself says this is the start of a new story arc for Merry and her band of men, and it shows. Reading far more like early Anita Blake than the previous seven faerie books, Divine Misdemeanors has a strong focus on actual plot and, gasp, crime investigation! And there’s no sex until almost halfway through (although it is, as usual, wild and heavy once it starts). An enjoyable read, and it really seems as if Hamilton has listened to her fans and started to get back to the origins of her stories.

Hunger Games Book 2: Catching Fire
, Suzanne Collins – Considering I haven’t read the first Hunger Games book, I was impressed by how much I enjoyed this. Collins has done a good job in this sequel, and it was both readable and exciting. If I have one complaint, it’s that things got wrapped up very quickly at the end, which left me feeling a little unsatisfied, but otherwise, pace and character were engaging and enjoyable.

Earth to Hell (Journey to Wudang Book One), Kylie Chan -  Almost gave up on this a number of times. I’ve read the previous trilogy, and I was completely lost as to character and plot. Chan does NOT have the ability to layer backstory in any way, and there are so many characters in this book, that the plot gets lost under the weight of the faces. And nothing really seemed to happen. Not recommended unless you’ve read the first trilogy, and recently.

Hush, Hush, Becca Fitzpatrick & Fallen, Lauren Kate – Hush, Hush and Fallen pretty much sit on a par for me – writing standard similar, similar premise (fallen angels), nothing all that innovative, but a solid YA read that the vampire fans will no doubt migrate to. Fallen was perhaps the darker of the two angel stories, and I think if I had to pick, Hush Hush would slightly edge it out for a better story.

Slights, Kaaron Warren – While this has been one of the most talked about books this year, I didn’t get as much out of it as I thought I would. Admittedly, horror isn’t really my genre, but I do enjoy a good horror story, having been a long-time fan of King, Koontz and the like. Horror is a difficult genre though, and the stuff I like best is more the supernatural horror – I find psychological horror doesn’t interest me as much, and this book, despite my expectations, is more psychological and situational horror than anything else. The subject matter is horrible, but not, to my, horrifying. The writing is very good, but the book felt overlong to me. By halfway through, I was over the shock value of it, and just wanted to know what happened in the end. I’m a big fan of Warren’s writing, and think she does both subtle and shocking creepiness and horror extraordinarily well, but I’m not sure Slights actually demonstrates this as well as some of the short form of hers that I’ve read.

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Finding it hard to slow down!

 We’re keeping ourselves very busy it seems, but even so, I’m pleased with the progress of jobs at home, and the nice tidy state of the house! Monday night saw a semi-unexpected visit from   and two bigger children, which was lovely – she brought lemon, lime & bitters (and ICE!) and we supplied dinner, and we had a very pleasant evening.

Tuesday we did a lot of driving. Headed up to Willetton to see business associates/friends made through work for an hour or so, and since we were so close to Sizzler, I took the kiddies there for an early lunch, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. Kids were EXCELLENT, and I was proud to be a mummy in a restaurant :) Came home to have a cuppa with one of my work friends while the kids swam, then a couple of hours later turned around and headed north again to go to  ‘ place – hadn’t seen her in ages, and wanted to catch up before she buggered off to gallivant in Tassie, lucky thing! Came home laden with review and borrowed books – bookshelves starting to groan as I’ve had two parcels from other review outlets this week too! Had planned to borrow some books from my library for the hols, but don’t think I’ll be needing them anytime soon…

Had thought we might have a quiet day at home today, but the kids had other ideas. Got in and sorted out Miss Four’s room this morning, packing up a few boxes of stuff to exchange with some "new" toys in the shed! Then rang one of Master Seven’s mates to see if he and his little sister were free to come play – they were, so we picked them up, and after a quick stop at work to drop some things off and scan the Chrissy photo, we went to the Fun Station for a couple of hours, then came home for a big swim, and an afternoon of play. They had a ball, which was good (Missy now crashed out on the couch!).

No idea what the plans are as of tomorrow – have the pest control coming at 11 to destroy the spiders, and we’re off to collect my mum & dad at the airport. Next couple of days split between home and aunt & uncle’s house, then not really sure what’s been planned for Mum & Dad. Master Seven has swimming lessons every day as of Tuesday so we have to be here in the mornings at least, and grandies want to spend time with the kids of course, and there’s LOTS of visitors at rellies, so things could get interesting… Lucky it’s only a 40 minute drive I guess.

Have hidden all the gender-specific baby things away from Mum (she doesn’t want to know), and really better follow through on my promise to get the kids stuff out of the shed before dark. Hmmm, and dinner? Better go organise that!

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