Commenting Problem

UPDATE: I think it’s fixed now!

I am aware that some of you are not able to comment on my blog via desktop or laptop. There seems to be a problem with the WordPress theme I am using (Digg 3 column). Commenting via mobile device seems to be okay. I’ve submitted a ticket and hope to have it corrected soon.

Sunday Matters: A Cloudy Start to the Weekend

Sunday Matters

This past week went by quickly. There was lots to do between work and all the other stuff going on but nothing too major. The Girl auditioned for choir but we don’t know if she’s in yet and she didn’t think to ask when the results would be posted. Thanks for all of the good luck wishes. I’ll let you know the outcome.

The track meet yesterday was a long day of cold! The rain held off but I am still trying to defrost my behind after sitting on those metal bleachers.

Track Meet

The Girl got 1st place for the 100m. First time she’s done that. I was at the finish line and it was so close. She was so focused. Maybe because it was so freakin’ cold and she had been out on the field for an hour in staging in nothing but her track uniform, which isn’t much but it was so awesome to see!

The Teen passed his last driving lesson. Time for the real deal now. He’s rehearsing for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels which will be the weekend of the 7th. It’s coming up fast. He finishes his SAT prep class this week and will take the test this Saturday while we are in Simi Valley for JV finals.

I was finally told where my office space will be. It’s got some privacy but it has no view of a window. I DO have two windows but they overlook a hallway. Why? I haven’t a clue. There are shades on them but they are a little transparent. I may feel like I am being watched but maybe not. I will take a picture when I can. The person who is currently there hasn’t packed yet.

Right Now:

Coffee! Lots of it. I am going to church today for my regular service and then taking The Girl to a teen group later in the afternoon. I submitted my application to volunteer in the student ministry. Me! I know. I have a lot on my plate but at the same time, I feel the need to give back. My childhood and other things I have been through have led me here and even though it’s a little scary, I am taking the plunge.

This Week:

We had a logo change at work which has affected all of our webpages, stationary, etc. I will be busy updating what needs to be updated.

Trying to also figure out how to celebrate The Hub’s birthday which is this Saturday. We have a track meet that day and we have to somehow get The Teen to his SAT class which is not in our home town.

Reading:

The Children’s Crusade by Ann Packer. It wasn’t working for me at first, but now that I am at 60%, I find myself reaching for it.

Watching:

Still watching Mad Men. Also got The Girl to see Star Wars IV for the first time. We will be watching V and VI next week. Trying to get ready for the new one coming out. It was fun to see again. A rather simple story line which I actually remembered pretty well. She likes Chewbacca the most!

Making:

Not sure. I have a bunch of chicken. Maybe a chicken stir fry?

Grateful for:

Family time. I love it when we watch a movie as a family and we were able to do that this weekend.

Cannot Wait for Wind / Pinball!

Wind / Pinball

I am so excited! These two novels (Hear the Wind Sing & Pinball, 1973) have finally been translated in English and will be coming out on August 4th in one volume. As part of the Trilogy of the Rat which includes A Wild Sheep Chase & unofficially Dance, Dance, Dance (both I’ve already read), this volume will complete the collection. Look at that cover!

Why is it a trilogy when there are actually four novels? Dance, Dance, Dance was written as a sequel, but it’s actually not a part of the trilogy.

Blurb courtesy of the Book Depository:

The debut short novels–nearly thirty years out of print– by the internationally acclaimed writer, newly retranslated and in one English-language volume for the first time, with a new introduction by the author. These first major works of fiction by Haruki Murakami center on two young men–an unnamed narrator and his friend and former roommate, the Rat. Powerful, at times surreal, stories of loneliness, obsession, and eroticism, these novellas bear all the hallmarks of Murakami’s later books, giving us a fascinating insight into a great writer’s beginnings, and are remarkable works of fiction in their own right. Here too is an exclusive essay by Murakami in which he explores and explains his decision to become a writer. Prequels to the much-beloved classics “A Wild Sheep Chase “and “Dance Dance Dance, ” these early works are essential reading for Murakami completists and contemporary fiction lovers alike.

He’s so famous now, that they don’t even need to include the full title on the cover! I am so freakin’ excited! Is it August yet?

Review: Blood on Snow

Blood on Snow

Blood on Snow
By Jo Nesbø
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780385354196, April 7, 2015, 224pp.)

The Short of It:

Short, quick read but lacking in the depth and complexity that I’ve come to expect from Nesbø.

The Rest of It:

Olav Johansen has been many things and not good at any of them. He tried his hand as a pimp and failed miserably. Also failed at robbing banks, so it’s rather surprising that he’s good at his current job, which happens to be a fixer for a man named Hoffman. The only problem is that Olav’s next job happens to be “fixing” Hoffman’s wife. A bit of a problem since Olav has fallen in love with her.

If I had picked this book up without knowing who wrote it, I’d say it was a “too safe” crime novel but knowing the author and his work quite well, I have to ask the question. Why? Why write a crime novel that has absolutely no suspense whatsoever?

Nesbø is quite successful now. I think anything with his name on it is going to sell regardless of what’s on the page. So maybe he wanted to experiment a little? His decision to focus on the bad guy is a bit different, but what surprised me is that there didn’t really seem to be anyone looking for Olav except other bad guys. Zzzzz.

The book is only 224 pages long and it lacks the element of surprise. There’s no mystery. No dramatic conclusion. I suppose some might consider the ending to be dramatic but I didn’t. I just felt it lacked a pulse. As a standalone novel, it was a quick read and I can see someone grabbing this before boarding a plane but it won’t hold your attention like some of his other books.

In summary, not terribly impressed with this one. His Harry Hole books are much more complex and engaging.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher via Edelweiss
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Blue Sun, Yellow Sky

Blue Sun, Yellow Sky

Blue Sun, Yellow Sky
By Jamie Jo Hoang
(Jamie Hoang, Paperback, 9781634433716, April 25, 2015, 316pp.)

The Short of It:

How much does what you see, impact who you are?

The Rest of It:

This is a question I’ve asked myself over the past few months. The eye issues, the eye injury and then my fear of going blind have all played a role in my anxiety over sight. My father lost his vision at the same age I am now and it’s been a fear of mine for a very long time.

So what do I do? I accept a book for review about a young artist who is going blind. Sometimes, books find you at exactly the right point in time.

Aubrey Johnson, a talented artist, is told by her doctor that she has retinitis pigmentosa and will be blind in a mere six to eight weeks. Stunned by the diagnosis, she decides to join her old friend Jeff on a last-minute trip around the world.

Aubrey’s situation is made more complex by the fact that she’s a painter and to a painter, being able to see and being able to render colors properly on the canvas is an absolute necessity. This is why the trip is so important to her. At each destination, she attempts to recreate the scenery before her and at times, she’s terrified of the end result because as each day passes she has slightly less vision than the day before.

What’s great about this book is that it’s hopeful and not at all sad or depressing. Aubrey’s panic over losing her sight is tangible but at the same time, she tries hard to reinvent herself as an artist. It helps that she has supportive people around her and there is an increased level of appreciation for visiting a locale, knowing that you will never see that place the same way again.

I loved the trip around the word (China, India, Israel, Jordan, Brazil, Peru). Aubrey and Jeff stop to visit with old friends and slowly, Aubrey comes to the realization that all is not lost.

If I had one criticism to offer, I’d say that the ending came up a little too fast for me. I wanted to spend a little more time with Aubrey but other than that, I enjoyed the book very much. It gave me a lot to think about and reminded me to appreciate what I have. Ultimately, it’s a feel good story and we can all use a story like it once in a while.

You can buy the book for your Kindle now but the paperback comes out later this week. To learn more about Jamie Jo Hoang, visit her website! This is her first novel!

Source: Sent to me by the author.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Sunday Matters: On Reading

Sunday Matters

I’ve had an excellent reading week. I made a real effort to get through some of my review copies and managed to get through three this week. Almost four. Maybe it’s because I’ve been so high strung and anxious this week. I don’t even care. I just want to continue at this pace and put a real dent in my list.

Right Now:

After the track meet yesterday and much of it being spent in the hot sun, it feels good to sleep in a little bit. Even just a little extra sleep makes such a difference in how I look and feel. I wish I could do it more often.

After a few cups of coffee and a bite to eat, we’ll head to church.

This Week:

I should know about my new office space by Monday. What I know at the moment, is that I will be upstairs.

As for the other stuff, one doc appointment this week and I am really hoping to pick up my new glasses but finding the time to do it is tough!

The Girl auditions for middle school choir this Thursday. She is going to be singing You and I and then has to sing Happy Birthday. I sure hope she makes it. She has a husky quality to her voice so I hope the song choice serves her well. Making choir would really boost her confidence.

Rehearsal and track practice rounds out the week.

Reading:

Not sure what my next read will be. Maybe Five Nights in Paris. Maybe Dead Wake. I’ve been thinking about reading The Fountainhead again or maybe Atlas Shrugged. I’ve been watching Mad Men and Atlas keeps being mentioned. The first is over 700 pages and the second is over 1200. Read-along anyone?

Rand

Watching:

Mad Men

Mad Men! I feel like a traitor to all women for watching it but I am fascinated with the time period (60’s) and some of the stuff that goes on is pretty jarring to watch since no one lives that way today. Women smoking and drinking while pregnant, bosses sleeping with their secretaries and anyone else they can get their hands on, etc. The office politics alone will make your toes curl. I am so into it.

Bates Motel

Bates Motel is really getting good, too. Four more episodes of crazy!

Making:

It’s warm out which makes me want to grill something. Steak with a big kale salad?

Grateful for:

Reading. My escape this week has definitely been reading. So glad to be back into it.

It’s Friday and I am Packing…Still

Happy Friday! This has been a long, long week. Why does it feel so long? Could it be, the impending office move and my need to pack boxes when I still don’t even know where I am going? Could be.

Today, I packed up my Murakami collection. Let me tell you, that hurt a little bit. I’ve been gazing at those titles and news articles for some time now. They were just above eye level and while working, I would occasionally raise my gaze to say hi. See that picture below? Trish sent me that article. Thanks, Trish.

Murakami

And then, there are photos like this one:

The Kids

I have been working here a really long time! Going on twenty-one years to be exact. I am going to miss this space for many reasons. I still don’t know the exact location of where I will be, but I know the area and it’s sterile. Very sterile and… lacking character. I don’t think I will be able to display my things like I did here. I am going to have to have a renegade shelf for my prized possessions.

Going through all of this stuff makes for dusty work so I am a weepy sneezy mess. I am not a keeper of things but some things, because of my line of work require me to hang onto stuff longer than say the average employee. If it were up to me, I’d dump half of it.

But, it’s Friday and I am having lunch with a work bud which improves the day quite a bit. Tonight The Teen has his last driving lesson on the freeway! Give me strength.

Tomorrow we have a track meet at a high school far away. The Girl chose to drop an event so that we can get home at a decent hour so she is only doing high jump, long jump and 4×100 relay. The Teen and his girlfriend have a date at the zoo and then later the Observatory but that is on the opposite side of  where we will be for track so we are trying to figure out how to get them there and back.

I think the read-a-thon is this weekend, right? Maybe I can get some reading in at the meet but I doubt it. If you are participating in the read-a-thon, what are you planning to read? If I can get any reading in, I want to finish Blood on Snow and The Children’s Crusade.

Oh! I just remembered that the LA Festival of Books is this weekend. I sometimes go but the venue just doesn’t do it for me. I probably won’t go this weekend since I am totally booked Saturday,  but I will take a look to see which authors I’ll be missing. Any of you going?

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