Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Sundays with Gage – Lonely Only?

So, what do all of these people have in common?

Yep, Jason and I are lonely, selfish, socially inept, and spoiled if you listen to the majority of people who repeat these stereotypes of only children as if they were facts.  I’ve never really felt offended by these misguided comments because I’ve never seen myself that way.  Was I lonely growing up?  Maybe, but because of the alone time I have a healthy imagination and know how to entertain myself.  I am never bored.  Was I socially inept growing up?  I don’t think so.  I was voted Everyone’s Best Friend and Class Flirt by my senior class, so I wasn’t a quiet wallflower.  Am I selfish?  I probably spend as much money on gifts as I do on myself and if you need something that I have I do not hesitate to give it, so I don’t think so.  Was I spoiled?  Well, it wasn’t like we had loads of money growing up, but I was spoiled with attention and love.  Is that so wrong?  Jason is also an only, but his youth was a lot different from mine.  Even so, I would never use any of these words to describe him.

So why all the judgment of the onlies?  There are a positives and negatives to being an only, just as there are to being a first born, a middle child, or the baby.  I don’t feel like I missed out by not having a sibling and I don’t understand when I hear women say they are having another child so their first child doesn’t grow up alone.  It’s like you are gifting one child to another and that seems odd to me. 

Jason and I have been blessed with a healthy baby boy and at my advanced age of 39 we’ll need to decide on whether to try for another relatively soon.  We both know the pros- more attention, higher self-esteem, more education, better grades in school and the cons- a smaller support system and the challenge of being the sole caretaker for your parents as they age.  With Jason and I both being only children we have four parents to look after in the future.  Good thing we’re a great team 🙂  Gage will never have first cousins, aunts or uncles and to rob him of siblings too is perhaps my biggest concern.

Are we doing Gage a disservice if we don’t try for more?  Absolutely not.  But it does require a different approach to parenting, one that Jason and I are completely tuned into and have a lifetime of experience with.  I found this article in TIME magazine last year about the myths of only children very interesting.

So, any other onlies out there?  Or parents of onlies?  Do you feel judged?  Was the decision to have only one an easy one?

January 30, 2011 Posted by | Gage | 35 Comments

Surviving Survivor

Jason and I have watched every season of Survivor.  In the beginning the psychological drama appealed to me and over the years it has turned into a guilty pleasure.  We each pick who we think is going to win after the first episode and we’ve actually gotten it right quite a few times, although not lately. 

A few of my favorite winners- Ethan from Africa, Tom from Palau, Yul from Cook Islands, and Bob from Gabon.  They all showed that you can be a nice guy and still win.  Most of the time I think the women win for all the wrong reasons and the women who deserve it don’t make it to the vote, but the one exception is Parvati who won Micronesia.  She totally deserved it.

This year they are bringing Russell back, again, and I am not happy about it.  He almost made me stop watching during his first season.  There is just to little time to waste any of it watching such a repulsive guy tell me how great he is.  But moving on.

The next season starts February 16 and my pal and hopefully yours, Molly (the Bumbles), has formed a fantasy league and I’ve decided to join her.  I’ve never done a fantasy league so I have no idea what I’m doing, but I signed up and picked my tribe of four.  Would you like to join in the fun with Molly?  I think you should.  Here’s her post inviting you.  Hope to see you in fantasy land!

January 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 9 Comments

Fave Film #78 – The Proposal

2009

Cast- Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Betty White, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson

Margaret Tate is a powerful book editor in New York City and Andrew Paxton is her beaten down executive assistant of three years.  When Margaret is told she’ll be deported back to Canada because she didn’t take care of her visa she forces Andrew to marry her so she can stay in the country and keep her job.  They head to Sitka, Alaska to tell his family and the threat of the immigration officer follows them.

Why I love it – This is not the best romantic comedy ever made, but there are so many things I love about it.  I loved the interaction and chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.  The love/hate back and forth was fun and I could watch those two all day.  They are a great pair and I’d like to see them together again.  I also loved Betty White.  As Gammy she stole the scenes she was in and this was the beginning of her resurgence back into the spotlight, where she rightfully belongs.  The rest of the cast was great and I’ll give a shout out to Ramone, Sitka’s caterer, exotic dancer, and general store clerk.  Every town should have one 🙂

The movie is more funny than romantic and it works.  And we got to see both leads naked, not something every movie has the guts to do.  Thank you, Ryan!  It was supposed to take place in Alaska, but it was mainly filmed in Massachusetts and it was beautiful.  Makes me want to vacation there.  There is nothing new in the plot, but it’s the acting, humor, and the leads that make this a guilty pleasure for me. 

January 28, 2011 Posted by | movies | | 16 Comments

The 9th Judgement, by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

The 9th Judgment (Women's Murder Club Series #9) by James Patterson: CD Audiobook CoverFinished audio 1-27-11, rating 3/5, thriller, pub.2010

Unabridged audio approximately 7 hours.  Read by Carolyn McCormick

Book 9 in the Women’s Murder Club series. (Book 1) (Book 2) (Book 3) (Book 4) (Book 5) (Book 6) (Book 7) (Book 8)

There is a killer walking the streets of San Francisco murdering mothers and their infants in cold blood.  There is a jewel thief who robs houses while the owners are throwing dinner parties and has earned the nickname Hello Kitty.  And between these two stories is police detective Lindsay Boxer and a woman named Heidi with very poor judgement of people.

Lindsay is front and center in this latest installment with the other three members of the Women’s Murder Club having little to no effect whatsoever.  The storyline of the man killing mothers and babies in parking garages creeped me out more than it might have if I didn’t currently have a three-month old son.  The killer himself was horrible, but one-dimensional.  The storyline involving Hello Kitty was actually more interesting to me, but was more of a secondary plot than a full one.

This was pretty typical for this series.  A murderer, close calls, and friendship all told with a light hand so that it’s fun to listen to, but nothing sticks.  I think these are great for car listening because I have to pay so little attention to keep up.  I don’t know if I would have taken the time to sit down and read it although it doesn’t usually take long to get through one.  You know what you’re going to get with this series, and I followed along this time because I won the audio in a giveaway.  As I linked to my past reviews I noticed that I’ve rated every book in this series with a 3 or 3 1/2 which makes me think that if I didn’t continue with the series it would be no great loss.

This audio is from my personal library.

January 27, 2011 Posted by | 3 Star Books | , | 5 Comments

The Lake Effect, by Les Roberts

The Lake Effect (Milan Jacovich Series #5) by Les Roberts: Book CoverFinished 1-19-11, rating 4.5/5, mystery, 310 pages, pub. 1994

Book 5 of the Milan Jacovich series ( Book 1) (Book 2) (Book 3) (Book 4)

“But mainly we want to utilize you for security.  You’ll be with Barbara whenever she makes public appearances.  You’ll go in, check the microphone and the lights, and make sure she presents herself in the best possible light.  And with your police background-I told you we know all about you-you’ll be right there in case any troubles starts.”

“I can’t imagine there being that kind of trouble in a place like Lake Erie Shores.”

Her eyes narrowed just a millimeter.  “Why?  Because it’s all middle-class whites?”

“No,” I said quickly.  “Because…” I blushed furiously.  “I’m sorry.  I guess that’s exactly what I meant.”

Chapter 3

Private investigator, Milan Jacovich owes the mob family in Cleveland a favor and they are ready to collect.  They assign Milan to protect and help a candidate for mayor in an upscale Cleveland suburb.  Barbara Corns is a terrible candidate and with a week before the election Milan knows there isn’t much he can do but stay close and put in his time.  The other candidate and current mayor of the city is slick and he has plans for a casino on Lake Erie that would benefit the city.  Things are pretty tame until the mayor’s wife is run down and killed.  Then Milan uses his police contacts and detective talents to investigate the many people surrounding the campaigns.

I love this series.  The mystery is always good and Milan is a great main character.  He’s a divorced middle-aged man with two teen boys that he sees every other Sunday and a lonely lifestyle between girlfriends.  He is a Clevelander who is proud of his Slovenia heritage and knows the streets and the people well.  As for the mystery this time around I had a suspicion, but I was wrong so another successful book by Roberts!  Any mystery lover will love this series and most Clevelanders have already discovered it.  I got started a little late so I’m just catching up, but I haven’t read a dud yet.

If you are trying the States reading challenge or just want to read a book set in Ohio I would highly recommend this series.  This book is set in the 1990’s, but the series continues today so you could probably pick up any of them to get a feel for Cleveland.

I checked this book out of the library.

January 26, 2011 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 11 Comments

John Grisham Adaptation Quiz – Guessing Closed

Most of us have seen at least one film based on a John Grisham novel or short story, so this week let’s see if you can place these faces with the Grisham movie. You only need to tell me the movie (not the actor’s name or character).  They are all direct adaptations and the images may or may not be from the Grisham movie – I can’t make it that easy! 

Each correct answer is worth 10 points.  You have until Friday noon to submit your answers as a comment.  I hide your answers until then.

A few rules…No cheating.  No googling or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system…Your first answers will be the only ones accepted…Have fun!

 This round for every participant I have (currently at $25)  I will put in a $ for a B&N gift card or a Babies R Us gift card for the winner. Even if you play only once you are eligible to win the second prize (something special I pick out) and you will be adding money to the kitty for the winner.  

Answers to last week’s First and Last Quiz here (there were some perfect scores!).  Current Leaderboard here.

1.  A Time To Kill (1996)

2.  The Firm (1993)

3.  The Pelican Brief (1993)

4.   The Runaway Jury (2003)

5.   Skipping Christmas/Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

6.    The Client (1994)

7.  The Chamber (1996)

8.   The Rainmaker (1997)

9.   The Painted House (2003)

10.  The Gingerbread Man (1998)

January 25, 2011 Posted by | Quizzes | , , | 35 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Illness

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME
This week’s movie topic is all about Illness…Share on your blog movies that contain a form of illness as its theme or feature a character who is sick or diseased, linking back here at The Bumbles.
  
I generally steer clear of movies that will make me cry, but here are a few that snuck up on me.
 
1. Terms of Endearment (1983)  Cried like a baby when I saw this.  Of course I was a baby at 12, but still.  The cast was excellent and the story, well, it’s the first movie that came to mind when I saw the topic, so it’s stayed with me all these years!
 
2. Moulin Rouge (2001)  If you like Broadway musicals, like I do,  then you’ll like this one about a terminally ill star in turn of the century Paris.  Loved pretty much everything about this one.
 
3. The Apartment (1960)  This is a favorite of mine.  Shirley MacLaine’s character overdoses on sleeping pills and must stay in Jack Lemmon’s character’s apartment.  Funny and sad or sad and funny.  Either way it worked for me.
 
4. Erin Brockovich (2000)  Sort of a sad yet feel good movie about terminal illness.  There is someone to blame and they must pay!  If only all illness was so easy.
 
5. While You Were Sleeping (1995)  I know I list this one a lot, but it does fit this category perfectly since there would be no story unless a main character is in a coma.  And it’s an illness movie with no sad parts, not an easy feat!
 
So, do you have a favorite movie about an illness?  (Seems like a strange question, right?)
 
 
 
 

 

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | , | 12 Comments

Sundays with Gage – Where Did Mom and Dad Go?

This week Gage turned 3 months old!  People have said how fast the time has gone and I nod, but inside I’m thinking that this has been the longest three months of my life!  Three months of mothering a colicky baby takes its toll.  So, when my parents said they were  coming up for the weekend Jason and I decided to take advantage and spend our first night away from Gage. 

But where to go?  Not too far but still away and something vacation-like.  So, we ended up at Mario’s Spa & Hotel about 20 minutes away.  We kissed baby goodbye at 2pm yesterday and headed to our 3 o’clock side by side massages, after some time in the sauna.  I complimented this with a glass of wine.  Then we checked into the hotel and I went for a manicure.  Mario’s also had a great place for dinner and we took advantage.  And I indulged in more wine.  We were in bed by 8:30 and slept until 8:30 this morning.  We had breakfast brought to our room before heading off to another massage for Jason and Reflexology/Parafin Pedicure for me.  Oh, and a mimosa accompanied the pedicure.

Then we drove home feeling pampered and refreshed and ready for three more months of parenting.  How many phone calls did we make to check on Gage in the 24 hours we were gone?  Three.  But in our defense it is because he is the only one of us who has not gotten better from last week.  So, a call to the doctor in the morning and we’ll see if she can see him.

I think we both needed the mini-vacation and pampering and we were lucky enough to be able to do it.  It is easy to lose focus on each other and on yourself when a newborn demands all of your attention and it was nice to reconnect.  It was also great for me, who has spent three months being a mother to have 24 hours to be just me.  Motherhood is awesome, but a little time to focus on myself is going to make me a better mom for Gage.

Now, if I can just convince Jason that we should do this every month…

Here we are after dinner last night

January 23, 2011 Posted by | Gage | 33 Comments

Quicksand, by Iris Johansen

Quicksand (Eve Duncan Series #8) by Iris Johansen: CD Audiobook CoverFinished audio on 1-10-11, rating 3/5, fiction, pub. 2008

Unabridged audio.  9 hours.  Read by Jennifer Van Dyck.

Book 8 of the Eve Duncan series.

Years ago Eve Duncan lost her daughter to a killer and the body and killer were never found.  As a nationally respected forensic sculptor Eve is in the unique position of being called on to help identify unidentified skulls so that other families do not have to suffer as she has.  Now she has a lead on who may have killed her daughter and her Atlanta policeman boyfriend Joe tracks him to Indiana with Eve on his tail.  Henry Kistle is for sure a pedophile, but is he also Bonnie’s killer, like he claims?  Eve brings in help from old friends and a new one, in the form of a spiritual listener from another Johansen novel.

I read the first few of this series many years ago and enjoyed them, but I wasn’t all that interested in this one.  Maybe I would have liked it more if I was caught up with the series, I don’t know.  Her boyfriend, who I liked earlier, was a jerk in this one.  And I found the bad guy pretty one-dimensional, nothing interesting about him.  The book was okay, but not one I’d recommend.

Jennifer Van Dyck had many voices for the multitude of characters, but some were more funny than they should have been.  The man from South America sounded Indian to me and maybe my dislike of the bad guy came from his annoying voice.  So, I don’t know if I would have like reading it better.  I think I might have since a few of the voices really turned me against the character.

I checked this audio book out of the library.

January 20, 2011 Posted by | 3 Star Books | | 6 Comments

First and Last Quiz

This week I’m going to see if you can match up the first lines and last lines from 10 famous novels.  At least you can guess!!  Each correct match is worth 9 points and you ‘ll get an extra point if you can tell me what novel each correct match comes from.  Oh, and a special thanks to author Beth Hoffman for playing last week.  It’s the first time an answer to my quiz has participated 🙂

A few rules…No cheating.  No googling or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system…Your first answers will be the only ones accepted…Have fun!

 This round for every participant I have (the last 2 rounds there have been 34 different players each time)  I will put in a $ for a B&N gift card or a Babies R Us gift card for the winner. Even if you play only once you are eligible to win the second prize (something special I pick out) and you will be adding money to the kitty for the winner.  

You have until noon on Friday to submit your answers as a comment.  I do hide comments until I post the answers on Friday, so if your answers disappear that’s why.  Last week’s What Book is That? Quiz.  Current Leaderboard

FIRST LINES

1. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…

2. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

3. Early in the spring of 1750, in the village of Juffure, four days upriver from the coast of The Gambia, West Africa, a manchild was born to Omoro and Binta Kinte.

4. Buck dd not read newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tidewater dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego.

5. IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

6. Marley was dead, to begin with.

7. You don’t know about me without you have read a book called “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” but that ain’t no matter.

8. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

9. I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice – not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.

10. “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

LAST LINES

A. When the long winter nights come on and the wolves follow their meat into the lower valleys, he may be seen running at the head of the pack through the pale moonlight or glimmering borealis, leaping gigantic above his fellows, his great throat a-bellow as he sings a song of the younger world, which is the song of the pack.

B. And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!

C. O God-please give him back! I shall keep asking You.

D. With the Gardiners, they were always on the most intimate terms. Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them.

E. I feel that they do watch and guide, and I also feel that they join me in the hope that this story of our people can help alleviate the legacies of the fact that preponderantly the histories have been written by the winners.

F. “It is a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go  to, than I have ever known.”

G. “Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!”

H. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

I. But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before.

J. He loved Big Brother.

January 18, 2011 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 31 Comments