Friday, December 15, 2006

Books, books & more books

Last year I started keeping track of the books I read. This year, so far, I've read 133 books (although seven of them I either did not finish, or am still reading). I knew I read a lot, but more than 11 books per month, on average, is probably a little excessive. Maybe I should cut back next year and do something a little more productive with my time, like keep up with housework or, maybe, find a date. Heh.

Anyhoo, the standouts on my list this year were (in the order I read them):
  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini - this book was fabulous and heartbreaking
  • Something Borrowed and Something Blue, both by Emily Giffin - fun chick-lit fluff, but with substance; taken together, the books form two sides of the same story
  • A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey - not exactly non-fiction, but VERY well written and compelling
  • Undead & Unwed, by Mary Janice Davidson - another fun fluff piece, this time about a rather shallow young woman who becomes a vampire
  • The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls - disturbing non-fiction memoir
  • Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger - a coming-of-age story about the bonds of family and duty
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving - another lovely coming-of-age story, focused on faith
  • A Dirty Job, Christopher Moore - more fun stuff: a man who becomes one of Death's helpers (Christopher Moore is always a good bet for offbeat, humorous "horror" stories)
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer - powerful story about a boy searching for clues to his father's past after he dies in the 9/11 attacks
  • Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro - creepy but hopeful at the same time
I hope one or more of these books ends up on your 2007 list, if you haven't read them all already!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Pulp Fiction...the really short version

You must click here.

I laughed for a full five minutes after watching this. Because I am twelve years old.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Vegas recap

I went to Vegas this past weekend for a reunion of sorts - a bunch of people that I used to work with all got together to get drunk and gamble and stuff.

I arrived just before 10 PM on Friday and waited at the airport for a while as the people I was meeting up with were all on delayed flights. We caught a cab together to our hotel (the Strat, way at the far end of the Strip) and dropped off our bags and jumped BACK in a cab to the Bellagio for our midnight meetup with the group. Had a few drinks, some late night food, and back to the hotel to sleep at around 4 AM.

Saturday morning I awoke bright and early at 8 AM, not even hung over. Yay! We cabbed down to the Luxor for a semi-group breakfast buffet, and then folks went their separate ways. I did a little shopping at the Venetian, then headed for the Mirage and my spa day with A, one of my old project managers. She and I got luxurious pedicures, then I hung out at the spa (AWESOME steam room) until my 4:30 massage. Took a shower, did my hair, then hopped a bus back to the Strat to change for the evening into the lovely lavender silk top I bought at BCBG that day. I got ready in ten minutes (I know!) and jumped in another cab with the guys at the Strat, and we went to Ellis Island for a BBQ dinner with the whole group. Fantastic BBQ, by the way. Juicy chicken, delish beans & corn on the cob. Plus microbrew beers that were pretty damn tasty. A group of us left Ellis after a couple hours and headed to Mandalay Bay to drink some more at House of Blues, and then watched the guys play Pai Gow (while we drank some more). Had a nice conversation with JL, who managed to fly in from LA after his motorcycle broke down and he missed his meetup with JW, who was driving from LA. Then we moved on to the Monte Carlo, which was kind of funky because I was following part of the group and didn't realize that they were heading back to sleep at their hotel - the Luxor. I ended up cabbing separately to the Monte Carlo and meeting up with the group again as they played...craps? Blackjack? I dunno. I put three dollars in a slot machine and drank some more. There was (obviously) lots of alcohol involved in this evening, but I don't think I embarrassed myself too much. ;-) Stumbled back to the room around 3, I think.

Sunday morning I woke up around 7 AM and couldn't get back to sleep because H was snoring like a truck driver. LOL. Grabbed some coffee and biscuits & gravy at the cafe in the Strat and then headed to the airport with a group of folks. The airport was a mob scene, but I managed to check in & get through security in about an hour. I got separated from the rest of the group and they didn't make it to the gate until it was almost time to board! And...that's it. Flight home was uneventful. I took a nap when I got home, and Ryan was wonderful - played quietly in his room while I slept for a couple hours. Then I went to bed early. Ahhh, bliss! Sleeping in my own bed...