Friday, May 30, 2008

Hey, go buy this book!

You all know how much of a book nerd I am. I also love meeting authors. Well, now I know one personally! One of my friends has just published his first young adult novel. I got to read it a couple of months ago and am proud to say it is finally available for purchase. I recommend it and think you need to go buy it now!

Click on

The book is called Son of the Sword:River of Doors by Wesley D Stein.

If you get the book, go by
Wes' page
and tell him about it (I dont think he'd mind)

(I am not being paid or even being asked to promote this book.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NYC blog- day three

If you are just now joining me on my blogtour of New York, this is blog three. Please start at blog one and make your way up. Also, please remain seated for the duration of the ride. Thank you.

We had considered, for maybe 30 seconds, getting up early and standing outside the Today show. We vetoed that when we discovered how much walking we were going to be doing and how tired we were. So Monday we slept in. Which for Mark and me means about 8.

We went to Junior's restaurant for a late breakfast and then rode the subway as far as we could to the World Trade Center site. When I was here in March of 2007 there was a place where you could see a timeline and the names of the people who were killed. It was a touching tribute. This time there was none of that. They had closed it up and it looked like a regular construction site. Which I guess is what they are wanting.

We walked on to Battery Park. And our poor feet and legs were killing us. Here you can get on the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (for which the line was LOOOOOOONG and you have to pay.) We decided to go the cheap route and got on the FREE Staten Island ferry. We entered the station and got in with the huge crowd of people. I was surprised that so many people were waiting but the ferry was not even close to being full when we took off. While it doesnt stop at the Statue or Ellis Island, it goes right by them and provides good photo ops. its maybe a twenty to thirty minute boat ride to Staten Island. Everyone has to get off the ferry but we just walked around the station and got right back on. It's a neat experience.

Since the sub lines were shut down in this area they had a free shuttle bus back to the sub station. (thank goodness!) We got back to Times Square and saw that the line for Madame Tussauds wax museum wasnt long. The wax museum was a lot of fun (tho a little pricey at $29 each) It's worth doing. The first room was called something like Celebrity party. You look over a balcony at all the "stars" below. Kari said, "Hey there's George Bush" I didnt see him..and come to find out, she was talking about Dan Rather... I wont tell you who else she mistook while we were in there....I let her tell that story.
I had a lot of fun doing goofy poses with the wax people. We were hoping to see Orlando, but alas....

We ate supper at Hard Rock. They took our picture when we came in and then tried to sell it to us for about 20 bucks. Um, no thanks. the self portrait we took on the plane was better than that photo. BTW, if you are of age, you might want to rethink ordering a Huricane. I'll tell you that story in person one day.

We shopped a little more on Times Square. then walked to the Cold Stone Creamery that was close to the hotel. I have never seen so many people packed into a place to get ice cream before. I recommend Chocolate Devotion- chocolate ice cream, mini chocolate chips, fudge brownie, and chocolate syrup. SLURP!

We had to get up fairly early the next morning to check out. Our shuttle to the airport was 15 minutes late and I was about to freak. He finally got there and then drove like a maniac to pick up one more person and get us all to the airport. My head was already a little stuffy from allergies and my right ear didnt pop after we landed. I spent yesterday afternoon feeling like I had an earplug in one year. I'm glad to be home, but I still LOVE NY!
Mark said in my next career I should give walking tours of NYC.

A couple of tips for anyone interested:
1. Juno and 13 going on 30 are good-lengthed movies to watch on the plane to and from NY (thank you ipod)(one each way)

2. Invest in a subway map. the one we have is laminated and pocket sized. It was a life saver and we got pretty adept at reading it.

3. Wear a good pair of walking shoes. you will walk A LOT and there are few places to sit, especially in Times Square.

4. "Wi-Fi" is not really available everywhere. There were a couple places where we could pick it up, but very few. Mark suggests bringing a GPS.

5.The Staten Island ferry is a great way to see the statue of liberty if you dont want to get off at the statue or ellis island.

6. Be alert, but dont be afraid. Most people we asked for directions, etc were really nice about it. As with any trip you take-Just dont be stupid.

Hmm, There are probably more.

NYC blog-day two

Day two.
This was the day we were going to see Rent!
Kari and I decked out in our Rent shirts and we all headed out to see Central Park. I was particularly interested in seeing the Belvidere Castle. It's not a "real" castle, and I think they used it as a weather station at one point. It is also referenced in the book Valiant, tho not by name.
We decided to give our feet a little rest and rode the subway to the park. We went down to the subway terminal and were trying to figure out how to buy metro cards, etc. the lady working in there gave us this exasperated look and opened a gate and forced us through. Great. now we have no metro card, what were we supposed to do?
We found another place to get them went through another gate where the lady was standing and asked how to get to central park. She told us and the other lady said, in a NY accent "Put your card back in your pocket and go back through that door we just let you through like two minutes ago. You are not paying today."
Wow, I thought they were being hateful at first and they were actually being nice to us!

We got to the park and walked and walked and walked. and took lots of pictures. We almost got lost because we came out at a different spot than we came in and couldnt find the subway entrance.

For lunch we ate at Heartland Brewery. I had eaten there before and knew mark would love it. Then we went and got in line to get into see Rent. The line was AROUND THE BUILDING! I was so excited bc 1 I love Rent and 2 I was finally getting to see it in NYC!

I will say- this cast didnt have the energy that the touring casts I've seen has. Dont get me wrong, it was great! (Especially the actors playing Collins, Angel, Maureen and Joanne) Tamyra Gray -from American Idol- was Mimi and she really didnt impress me much. The actor I saw in Nashville was better.

After seeing Rent we ventured on to the East Village. This is where a scene in Rent is set and the Life Cafe is where Jonathan Larson wrote a lot of the play. Some of the subway lines were shut down and we ended up getting off at a different place than intended. It was ok though. We walked from Canal street through Little Italy. It is really cool and if we had had more time we would have eaten somewhere there. I bought a purse from a street vendor there. I'll try to get a pic of it later.

We walked on to Ferrara bakery for cheesecake since it was on the way. OMG. If you are in the area go get cheesecake there! It's better than mine- and that's saying something :)

We then took the subway to the Life Cafe in the East Village. The Life Cafe is a MUST for any Rent fan. Our server was really slow but everything else was great-the food, the atmosphere. The owners got a box of tshirts in that were not going to be for sale yet but they sold them to us anyway. We were the first people to buy these shirts! Super nice people. We signed the Renthead registry, took lots of pictures and then walked back to the subway station. It was a tiny bit scary walking back in the dark. Our poor feet and legs were killing us by this point and we were glad to get back in the hotel.

Day three coming up. :)

NYC blog- day one

You'll have to forgive any mistakes and ramblings. I have either allergies or a cold. But I can finally hear out of my right ear so yay!

After sleeping Friday night on perhaps the worst pillows ever created, we dragged ourselves out of the hotel and got to the airport around 5ish. The flight was fine and as we got closer to NYC we couldn see the Statue of Liberty from the plane. even though I've seen it before it never fails to make me a little giddy. Mark and Kari were even excited (though Mark claims it was bc we were finally on solid ground)

I planned the trip through and reserved shuttle service as well (this helped out alot). Once we got to the hotel we checked in but couldnt get in the room yet so we left our bags with the bellman. This is a great thing that the hotel does because we got there about 11:30 and weren't able to get into the room until after 3. we didnt want to drag our luggage around the city.

At first we walked to the theatre where Forbidden Broadway shows. But they were on hiatus (even though their website said it wasnt until Monday that they were going to be on hiatus) I was disappointed.

I had already planned out much of what we were going to do and had lots of google maps printed off. First we walked to Grand Central Station. Everyone needs to see this place. And find the Whispering wall. Two people stand in opposite corners facing the wall. you can hear the person clearly when they talk. It's really cool (check out this youtube video about Grand Central

We then ventured a little further to the NY Public Library. This building is immortalized in movies like Ghostbusters and Day After Tomorrow. Unfortunately they were closed so we couldnt peek inside.

We walked further to the Empire State Building. We didn't go up in it but took a few pics. And Chipotle was beside it. That's where we got possible the biggest burritos I've ever seen. We were all hungry by then so we ate there. Yum

We tried getting tickets to Lion King or Wicked but they were both sold out. We heard about a new musical called In the Heights that has been nominated for 13 Tony awards so we decided try to get tickets for it. It was a great show. It is based in the Washington Heights area. My favorite song from the show was No Me Diga. We had "obsturcted view" seats so we were able to get them for half price. There were only a couple of scenes that were we couldnt see that well. Otherwise- great seats.

We explored Times Square a bit. I was wearing a red and white striped shirt that i had changed in to for the evening. Some people in NY feel the need to comment on things to get your attention. One guy said to me "Hey I found Waldo!" I ignored him. What he doesn't know is that with my last name being what it is, I get that a lot. (rolling my eyes here). I also about squealed when I saw that gigantic New Kids on the Block billboard! I still want to see them in concert, I dont care how bad they might be.

We saw a girl who had on possibly the tightest shorts I have ever seen. Someone made the comment that they were so tight she had rear camel toe. Ouch. Those couldnt have been comfortable. And we wouldnt have noticed but she stood right in our faces while we were eating pizza at Famiglia's.

We were exhausted after getting up at 4 that morning and walking all over the place. it was probably midnight when we finally went to bed. A fun first day though!
(go check out my pictures in the album NYC 2008 if you've not done so already)

So the blog post wont be huge, I'll break this up into different posts. Day two coming up soon!

Here is a video of us trying to get a photo on the plane. We didnt realize it was set to video teehee

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chocolate covered WHAT!?!

BACON, chocolate covered bacon!!!

Where can I get me some of that? (read about it

Saturday, May 17, 2008

In case you missed it the first time


I missed it this morning. Don't think I didn't squee like my fifteen year old self just now when Joe started singing Please Dont Go Girl. That was my *favorite* New Kid song back in the day.

BTW- Go watch Prince Caspian!!!! It is really good. and Ben Barnes is REALLY cute (and OMG, when did the kid who plays Peter get cute?)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

For my Twilight friends

I made some Twilight bookmarks. Feel free to print them on cardstock and use them to mark the pages of your favortie books. (If you're one of my colorguard girls, yours are already printed, waiting to be given out saturday)




Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dance your cares away....

I LOVED Fraggle Rock back in the day. I need to buy the dvd of the show.
Anyway, I read they are going to make a live action movie of Fraggle Rock (read it here. Not sure what I think about that....but in the mean time, watch the intro to the old show. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008


(this post is about clothes shopping....fair warning)

After visiting the inlaws yesterday, Mark and I went to the Rivergate mall in Nashville. I needed some new jeans and wanted a couple of tops.
I hate shopping. Mostly bc I cant find clothes that fit well. Most tops made for people with boobs look like maternity tops on me. No Thanks.

And jeans.... I faced the facts years ago- I have fat thighs. It's a genetic quirk of mine. Is it really so hard for clothing manufacturers to make jeans with a little more room in the thighs?


I have a couple pairs of jeans from Lane Bryant but once they switched to the weird color/number combination I can't find any that fit. (Blue 1? yellow 3? Red 1?) One day I tried on about 6 pairs of jeans before I gave up.

I decided to start at the anchor stores first- Dillards was the first store. I NEVER shop in Dillards. and I was to the point where I was just going to up-size....and truthfully, it was going to hurt my feelings if I had to (I'm just being honest here).
(Another gripe of mine is how nothing is STANDARD. One pair of pants in my size fits in the waist but not the thighs, another pair in my size cant be buttoned, another fits in the thighs but not the waist, honestly wtf?)
So when found the jeans section I grabbed several pairs of jeans in both the size I usually wear and some in the size larger. the first pair I tried on was too long (even though the were regulars) and a tad snug in the thigh (but were stretchy).
I tried on the larger size and they were too big in the waist.
I found some shorter lenght jeans in my size, tried them on and THEY FIT! They were DKNY brand (which is not something I would normally try on either.) I also got two shirts.
I couldn't believe it- that was all at the first store.
I didn't have any luck at the other stores. But I have a pair of jeans. I consider that success. :)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Welcome to the South

For those of you who don't know- I live in West Tennessee (please don't judge me by that!)
We like things deep fried here in the south. I haven't tried most things that are offered up as fried (like twinkies, snickers, bananas etc etc etc), partly because where I live I really can't get it and partly because I TRY not to eat a lot of fried foods.

However I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try the DEEP FRIED CHEESECAKE I saw advertised at the Strawberry festival parade that I went to with the marching band that I work with.


It looks a little like a burrito, but its pastry not tortilla, and it has the regular cheesecake goo on the inside. It is dribbled with caramel (you can get it topped with that or chocolate)
If you like cheesecake and you find yourself in a place where these are sold- GET ONE (it was a little expensive though- $6! but worth trying)

In related "welcome to the south" news:
This sign was posted in the Blockbuster today.

I shake my head at the fact that they felt the need to make this sign.....

also, this sign was posted in a local McDonalds

Yeah, we get 'em started early in the south....


I'm reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer now. If you decide to pick it up, keep in mind- it's not Twilight. It takes a little bit to get into and it is a tiny bit confusing at first until you realize the point of view it's told from. I like it so far :)
If you are reading it also, let me know.

also, in a couple of days, I will post a twilight-related treat that I made for my fellow Twilighters

Friday, May 02, 2008

holy guacamole!

They've released a new Twilight picture of the main cast. All i gots to say is WHEW. Dang, Edward Cullen.......

Thursday, May 01, 2008

April Books


Perfect~ Natasha Friend
Lush~ Natasha Friend
Bounce~ Natasha Friend
Jeremy Fink & the Meaning of Life~ Wendy Mass
Twilight~ Stephenie Meyer
Twilight audiobook~Stephenie Meyer Listened to when walking (I KNOW! I KNOW!)

Here's what I think is going on. If you know anything about faerie stories, you'll know that if you ever eat Faerie food then any real food you eat after that turns to ash in your mouth. That's what's going on with any book I try to read after Twilight. Nothing is as satisfying. Sure, I've read some fantastic books...but nothing lives up to the standard I have set after reading Twilight. Besides, it has EDWARD! (this picture from a set visit by Calicat. Read about it here at TwilightMoms)

Reads from the first three months:
The Anaedor Chronicles- Prophecies~ Kristina Schram
Define Normal ~ Julie Anne Peters
Twilight ~ Stephenie Meyer (had to get my fix)
Someone Like You ~ Sarah Dessen
Physik- Septimus Heap book 3 ~ Angie Sage

January & February:
*The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Aimee Friedman

*How to Hook a Hottie by Tina Ferraro
*Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen
*Son of the Stone~ River of Doors by Wesley Stein
*Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
*Pendragon Book 7: Quillan Games by DJ MacHale
*Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
*The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe by CS Lewis (read with class)
*Screwtape: A Play Based on the book by C.S. Lewis, "The Screwtape Letters" byJames Forsyth
*The Shack by William P Young