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Thursday, May 26, 2011

All the people at the U2 concert

Well, That Man took me to task for not posting last night. Sorry...

One of the other things I loved about the U2 concert was the variety of people. It was so interesting to see people of all ages- young boys sat with their parents in the row in front of us, and an older couple sat behind us. I also had to come to grips with the fact that we're no longer in the young, hip crowd. Well, okay, we were probably never in the hip crowd, but I am starting to realize that we're no longer as young as I'd like to think we are.

Still, it was funny to see the variety. And to be able to tell pretty quickly who the die-hard fans were. I told hubby that the guy sitting next to me probably hasn't heard any of their albums other than The Joshua Tree. This guy sat there drinking his beer and looking bored through everything but those songs. The kids seemed to only know the songs from the recent albums. And then, there were folks like us who knew and loved all the songs. I don't think there is a bad U2 song out there. Which was why the variety of songs U2 played was great. Other than, of course, The Great Disappointment. *sigh*

My one complaint about the people is that there were people near us smoking pot. Ugh. Now, I don't have anything against people who smoke pot. They can smoke it if they want to, just don't smoke it around me. This is the first concert I've been to where people were smoking it. I guess maybe I'm too sheltered or something, or maybe I just go to the wrong concerts. But YUCK!! Save that for The Grateful Dead or one of those other bands. It was pretty interesting, though, because some songs seemed to be the pot smoking songs. I wouldn't smell it for a while, and then U2 would start playing another song, and the pot smokers would light up. I asked hubby (who didn't know) how much of that it would take to get a contact high- I didn't feel any different, other than a little queasy because the smell of that stuff makes me sick. So, ew.

I think U2 is one of the few bands I can go see and notice a whole cross-section of people from all parts of society. I really appreciate that. We rode a train with an older successful-looking couple, a young couple with tattoos and piercings, a dad with his two pre-teen kids, a group of ladies who seemed to be out having a ladies' night out, and I think that's what made it so great. Everyone was there, and could be who they were, and it was all good. I love that.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

U2 and sound...

I was just telling someone at church tonight that I've had a hard time listening to U2 since the concert. Hubby pointed out that he read in the program that their songs were made to be played live (and I think I already mentioned), and it's definitely hitting home post-concert as I try to listen to my favorite songs. It just doesn't sound right.

Speaking of sounding right... big kudos to the U2 sound guys. I mean that, I really do. This is the first concert I've been to in a long time that I didn't need earplugs and my ears didn't hurt afterward. I think that says a lot to talent of the people behind the scenes. And okay, U2 probably can afford the best equipment out there that produces good quality sound without killing people's ears. But still, I know some sound guys, and they'll all tell you that it can still sound good and not be so loud that everyone goes deaf. Which U2 proved during their Denver show.

I haven't talked about The Fray, but since we're on the topic of sound quality, well... the vocals were really muffled at times. So I didn't enjoy them as much as I would have liked- I don't know their songs nearly as well as U2's, so when I couldn't understand the vocals, it was like listening to "blah blah blah." But you could tell the guys put their hearts into it, and they otherwise did a nice job.

Back to U2...

As I told my friend tonight, you really don't know U2 until you've been to one of their shows. There's something really beautiful and organic about their sound and the way the music flows that you just can't duplicate on an album. And, even though we do have a concert DVD from their LA show, the DVD doesn't capture the sound as well as being there. Being surrounded by the sound and the people creates a special symphony you can only experience live.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oh, the ideas...

The trouble with being a writer is that the ideas never stop. So there I was, at a U2 concert, surrounded by a million different people (okay, over 70,000), which means plenty of fodder for book ideas.

Because I don't want to get the attention of U2 security, or give any wackos ideas, I'll be non-specific about most of them. However, as I sat in a completely full stadium, I couldn't help but think of The Sum of All Fears. Great movie, great book, and super scary, because as I sat at Invesco Field, I realized how easy it would be. It wasn't like we went through metal detectors or anything like that. Security guys looked in our bags (but not very thoroughly, IMO), and then asked if our bottled water was factory sealed (it was). My point being, any number of the 70,000+ attendees could have been carrying weapons and completely gotten through, and... there we have The Sum of All Fears. OR, we could have had something like what we saw in The Event's finale... what if someone came to the concert with the intent of infecting concertgoers with a massive species-ending virus so that aliens could take over our planet? (Which would totally fit in with some of U2's space themes from the night.)

On top of that, it was supposedly Doomsday. From what I heard, there was supposed to be a massive earthquake to start off the end of the world. So as I sat in this big metal stadium, I wondered... what would happen if a massive earthquake hit right now? Is Invesco Field built to withstand an earthquake? What magnitude? What would a natural disaster look like with all those people trapped in that big bowl?  It was a zoo trying to get out to light rail to get home, I can't imagine what a rescue response would have looked like trying to help that many people. But it would make for great fiction.

All right, so let's get beyond the massive incidents. What about seemingly benign things, like when I was in the restroom. A woman exited the stall, so the next lady went in to that stall, and called out to her, "Hey, you left your beer in here." The woman replied, "it was there when I got in." Wouldn't you know, I ended up in that stall, with that leftover beer? What if that beer had been spiked with something, and the woman who left it there was stashed in a closet somewhere, dead? What if that beer was the only clue to the woman's disappearance? Or maybe she was raptured... leaving behind her beer at a U2 concert?

Or... as was the problem at the concert (70K+ people, go figure), the restroom lines were ridiculous. I was behind about 50 people waiting my turn, when a woman came by and said, "hey, did you know there's a virtually empty restroom over there?" Of course, we all went to the place she indicated, but what if it had been a lure for more nefarious dealings?

Then there was the helicopter circling the place. First off, I want to know why they had to have a police helicopter circling a concert venue. Anyone know for real? Me, I kept thinking that at some point, it was going to shoot missiles into the place. And then, I saw a plane come dangerously close to the helicopter. Hubby and I thought for sure those two were going to crash into each other. Wouldn't that have been something? A plane crashing into a helicopter over a U2 concert. Not even Bono could have planned that.

The sad thing was, hubby thoroughly did not appreciate all of my great ideas and conspiracy theories. I kept thinking it would have been so much more fun to have a writer friend with me who would appreciate all of my great ideas. Instead, I had to wait to blog about it... and here we are.

Do these pictures give you any ideas....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Happy U2 Week!

Last night, hubby and I finally used our anniversary gift to each other for last year's anniversary. Tickets to the U2 concert. Bono made a comment on stage about us all being two years older than when we bought our tickets. I turned and told hubby, "well, since it was an anniversary gift, I guess it's a good thing we didn't get divorced in that time." :) No, we weren't in danger of getting divorced. Which is why it was funny.


The concert was FANTASTIC!! Those boys from Ireland know how to do it right. It was such a great concert that I'll be blogging about it all week. By the end of the week, you'll either be sick to death of U2 or you'll be sure to make the next one.

That said, we must discuss my great disappointment. They did not play "40." "40" is my all-time favorite song, and it has been since I first heard it. There is no song on earth that can top "40." Please do not try to argue with me on this point. Therefore, I am extremely bitter that when creating their setlist, U2 did not consult me. Nevermind the fact that we are not BFFs and do not have each other's phone numbers. We are also ignoring the fact that "40" has not been played at any of the venues for the 360 tour. Yes, I checked. After The Great Disappointment. So, if I find out they play it at any of the other 360 shows, I will be even more bitter. I'm just saying.

However... other than The Great Disappointment, I LOVED IT!!!! And, as I have begun sorting out my thoughts, there's no way I can cover it all in one blog post. Why? Because it was that great.

Here's the thing about U2, and they may have said this somewhere or maybe in the program hubby bought- their music is designed to be played live. You can't fully appreciate even your favorite U2 song unless you've heard them do it live. There's something powerful about being a part of the music as they are making it. (And yes, I've heard "40" live- on the Vertigo tour. It was awesome.)

When you go to a U2 concert, you're not just going to hear music. You're going for an experience unlike anything you've ever experienced. I've been to tons of concerts in my life- some I'll admit to, and others I won't. :) There is nothing like U2 out there. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The end of a TV season and the return of some favorites

Well, this week was the season finale of all the shows I like watching. *sniff* *sniff* Whatever will I do with my time?

Maybe attack my growing TBR pile? Which is a good thing, only I can't fold laundry and read, so I don't know how my laundry is going to get done over the next few months while I wait for my TV shows to come back.

Here's what's in my lineup and my rundown (May contain spoilers):

Chuck: Okay, technically, I still have to watch the season finale, because hubby and I have a rule that we have to watch it together. I'm sort of holding off, because then I really won't have anything to watch. But I've seen enough spoilers out there that I'm already eager for the next season. Chuck, my beloved, I will be waiting.

Castle: I can't believe they are making us wait until fall!!!  That said, I do not believe for a second that Kate is dead. If you recall, they did a season finale with Kate being blown up in her apartment and she survived that, so my bet is that Kate was wearing a vest. If they'd really wanted to kill her, they'd have done what they did when they killed another beloved TV Kate in NCIS and put a bullet in her head. Speaking of, what self-respecting sniper goes for the chest? I'm telling you, Kate is alive.

The Event: Seriously???? You cancel the show with THAT ending? Insert lots and lots of bad words. At least when they axed Jericho, they gave it a semi-satisfying ending. This left it so wide open that we have no idea what happened. Just when they started opening up more cans of worms, like, "we were here first." Normally, I hate shows with aliens, but this one had me hooked. They had to know it was on the chopping block, so why didn't they wrap it up rather than open up new mysteries. Jerks.

The Good Wife: Meh. That didn't feel like a season finale. So they finally got together. Woohoo. I will say their first kiss was arguably the sexiest first kiss I've seen in looooong time. I'm hoping they do something to shake things up (which, shouldn't that have been in the season finale?) more. I'm over the whole Cary hates Alicia thing. Grow up, Cary. He's got a lot of potential as a really interesting character, so let's not put him in the game of being a pawn in the Peter/Alicia battle.

For my summer pleasure, I am excited about the following:

White Collar:
FINALLY!!! At least I only have to wait until the first week of June for that one. My family will finally have clean clothes.

Burn Notice:
Another FINALLY!! Still, I think it's rude to make me wait until June 23rd to find out what it's going to look like for Michael being back in and what his relationship with Fiona will look like now that they're coming to grips with their relationship. (Get married and have lots of babies!!!)

Royal Pains:
I think USA is purposely tormenting us by staggering these premieres because I have to wait until June 29th. Let's see what happens next in these new chapters of everyone's lives. Come on, Divya!

Warehouse 13:
I don't know if I want to keep watching. We'll see July 11. If Myka is really gone, then so am I. *sniff*

Fairly Legal:
This was supposed to be a summer one, but it says that they're delaying until 2012.  

Now, I would completely have harsh words for USA over the delay of another great (but sadly unappreciated show), except I'd like to point out something from my list. Did you notice that out of all the shows I watch, USA has the majority?

Here's why, and here's why the other shows I watch keep me coming back: they all have an ongoing mystery thread not solved in each episode. And when one thread gets resolved, another opens. But the show isn't all about the mystery thread (which, sadly, is why The Event didn't do so well). All of these shows (except for The Event) have stand-alone episodes that feed into the ongoing mystery.

What's on your TV watching agenda?

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Lightkeeper’s Ball by Colleen Coble

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (April 19, 2011)
***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Colleen Coble’s thirty-five novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers Best, and the 2009 Best Books of Indiana-Fiction award. She writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail and love begin with a happy ending. 

Visit the author's website.


Olivia seems to have it all, but her heart yearns for more.

Olivia Stewart's family is one of the Four Hundred—the highest echelon of society in 1910. When her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, Olivia leaves their New York City home for Mercy Falls, California, to determine what befell Eleanor. She suspects Harrison Bennett, the man Eleanor planned to marry. But the more Olivia gets to know him, the more she doubts his guilt—and the more she is drawn to him herself.

When several attempts are made on her life, Olivia turns to Harrison for help. He takes her on a ride in his aeroplane, but then crashes, and they’re forced to spend two days alone together. With her reputation hanging by a thread, Harrison offers to marry her to make the situation right. As a charity ball to rebuild the Mercy Falls lighthouse draws near, she realizes she wants more than a sham engagement—she wants Harrison in her life forever. But her enemy plans to shatter the happiness she is ready to grasp. If Olivia dares to drop her masquerade, she just might see the path to true happiness.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (April 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159554268X
ISBN-13: 978-1595542687


The New York brownstone was just half a block down from the Astor mansion on Fifth Avenue, the most prestigious address in the country. The carriage, monogrammed with the Stewart emblem, rattled through the iron gates and came to a halt in front of the ornate doors. Assisted by the doorman, Olivia Stewart descended and rushed for the steps of her home. She was late for tea, and her mother would be furious. Mrs. Astor herself had agreed to join them today.

    Olivia handed her hat to the maid, who opened the door. “They’re in the drawing room, Miss Olivia,” Goldia whispered. “Your mama is ready to pace the floor.”

    Olivia patted at her hair, straightened her shoulders, and pinned a smile in place as she forced her stride to a ladylike stroll to join the other women. Two women turned to face her as she entered: her mother and Mrs. Astor. They wore identical expressions of disapproval.

    “Olivia, there you are,” her mother said. “Sit down before your tea gets cold.”

    Olivia pulled off her gloves as she settled into the Queen Anne chair beside Mrs. Astor. “I apologize for my tardiness,” she said. “A lorry filled with tomatoes overturned in the street, and my driver couldn’t get around it.”

    Mrs. Astor’s face cleared. “Of course, my dear.” She sipped her tea from the delicate blue-and-white china. “Your dear mother and I were just discussing your prospects. It’s time you married.”

    Oh dear. She’d hoped to engage in light conversation that had nothing to do with the fact that she was twenty-five and still unmarried. Her unmarried state distressed her if she let it, but every man her father brought to her wanted only her status. She doubted any of them had ever looked into her soul. “I’m honored you would care about my marital status, Mrs. Astor,” Olivia said.

    “Mrs. Astor wants to hold a ball in your honor, Olivia,” her mother gushed. “She has a distant cousin coming to town whom she wants you to meet.”

    Mrs. Astor nodded. “I believe you and Matthew would suit. He owns property just down the street.”

    Olivia didn’t mistake the reference to the man’s money. Wealth would be sure to impact her mother. She opened her mouth to ask if the man was her age, then closed it at the warning glint in her mother’s eyes.

    “He’s been widowed for fifteen years and is long overdue for a suitable wife,” Mrs. Astor said.

    Olivia barely suppressed a sigh. So he was another of the decrepit gentlemen who showed up from time to time. “You’re very kind,” she said.

    “He’s most suitable,” her mother said. “Most suitable.”

    Olivia caught the implication. They spent the next half an hour discussing the date and the location. She tried to enter into the conversation with interest, but all she could do was imagine some gray-whiskered blue blood dancing her around the ballroom. She stifled a sigh of relief when Mrs. Astor took her leave and called for her carriage.

    “I’ll be happy when you’re settled, Olivia,” her mother said when they returned to the drawing room. “Mrs. Astor is most kind.”

    “She is indeed.” Olivia pleated her skirt with her fingers. “Do you ever wish you could go somewhere incognito, Mother? Where no one has expectations of you because you are a Stewart?”

    Her mother put down her saucer with a clatter. “Whatever are you babbling about, my dear?”

    “Haven’t you noticed that people look at us differently because we’re Stewarts? How is a man ever to love me for myself when all he sees is what my name can gain him? Men never see inside to the real me. They notice only that I’m a Stewart.”

    “Have you been reading those novels again?” Her mother sniffed and narrowed her gaze on Olivia. “Marriage is about making suitable connections. You owe it to your future children to consider the life you give them. Love comes from respect. I would find it quite difficult to respect someone who didn’t have the gumption to make his way in the world. Besides, we need you to marry well. You’re twenty-five years old and I’ve indulged your romantic notions long enough. Heaven knows your sister’s marriage isn’t what I had in mind, essential though it may be. Someone has to keep the family name in good standing.”

    Olivia knew what her duty demanded, but she didn’t have to like it. “Do all the suitable men have to be in their dotage?”

    Her mother’s eyes sparked fire but before she spoke, Goldia appeared in the doorway. “Mr. Bennett is here, Mrs. Stewart.”

    Olivia straightened in her chair. “Show him in. He’ll have news of Eleanor.”

    Bennett appeared in the doorway moments later. He shouldn’t have been imposing. He stood only five-foot-three in his shoes, which were always freshly polished. He was slim, nearly gaunt, with a patrician nose and obsidian eyes. He’d always reminded Olivia of a snake about to strike. His expression never betrayed any emotion, and today was no exception. She’d never understood why her father entertained an acquaintance with the man let alone desired their families to be joined.

    “Mr. Bennett.” She rose and extended her hand and tried not to flinch as he brushed his lips across it.

    “Miss Olivia,” he said, releasing her hand. He moved to her mother’s chair and bowed over her extended hand.

    Olivia sank back into her chair. “What do you hear of my sister? I have received no answer to any of my letters.”

    He took a seat, steepled his fingers, and leaned forward. “That’s the reason for our meeting today. I fear I have bad news to impart.”

    Her pulse thumped erratically against her ribcage. She wetted her lips and drew in a deep breath. “What news of Eleanor?” How bad could it be? Eleanor had gone to marry Harrison, a man she hardly knew. But she was in love with the idea of the Wild West, and therefore more than happy to marry the son of her father’s business partner.

    He never blinked. “I shall just have to blurt it out then. I’m sorry to inform you that Eleanor is dead.”

    Her mother moaned. Olivia stared at him. “I don’t believe it,” she said.

    “I know, it’s a shock.”

    There must have been some mistake. She searched his face for some clue that this was a jest. “What happened?”

    He didn’t hold her gaze. “She drowned.”


    “No one knows. I’m sorry.”

    Her mother stood and swayed. “What are you saying?” Her voice rose in a shriek. “Eleanor can’t be dead! Are you quite mad?”

    He stood and took her arm. “I suggest you lie down, Mrs. Stewart. You’re quite pale.”

    Her mother put her hands to her cheeks. “Tell me it isn’t true,” she begged. Then she keeled over in a dead faint. 

    Harrison Bennett tugged on his tie, glanced at his shoes to make sure no speck of dirt marred their perfection, then disembarked from his motorcar in front of the mansion. The cab had rolled up Nob Hill much too quickly for him to gather his courage to face the party. Electric lights pushed back the darkness from the curving brick driveway to the porch with its impressive white pillars. Doormen flanked the double doors at the entry. Through the large windows, he saw the ballroom. Ladies in luxurious gowns and gentlemen in tuxedos danced under glittering chandeliers, and their laughter tinkled on the wind.

    His valet, Eugene, exited behind him. “I’ll wait in the kitchen, sir.”

    Harrison adjusted his hat and strode with all the confidence he could muster to the front door. “Mr. Harrison Bennett,” he said to the doorman.

    The man scanned the paper in his hand. “Welcome, Mr. Bennett. Mr. Rothschild is in the ballroom.”

    Harrison thanked him and stepped into the opulent hall papered in gold foil. He went in the direction of the voices with a sense of purpose. This night could change his future. He glanced around the enormous ballroom, and he recognized no one among the glittering gowns and expensive suits. In subtle ways, these nobs would try to keep him in his place. It would take all his gumption not to let them. It was a miracle he’d received an invitation. Only the very wealthy or titled were invited to the Rothschilds’ annual ball in San Francisco. Harrison was determined to do whatever was necessary to secure the contract inside his coat pocket.

    A young woman in an evening gown fluttered her lashes at him over the top of her fan. When she lowered it, she approached with a coaxing smile on her lips. “Mr. Bennett, I’d hoped to see you here tonight.”

    He struggled to remember her name. Miss Kessler. She’d made her interest in him known at Eleanor’s funeral. Hardly a suitable time. He took her gloved hand and bowed over it. “Miss Kessler. I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”

    “I came when I heard you were on the guest list.”

    He ignored her brazen remark. “It’s good to see you again. I have some business to attend to. Perhaps later?”

    Her eyes darkened and she withdrew her hand. “I shall watch for you,” she said.

    And he’d do the same, with the intent to avoid her. “If you’ll excuse me.” He didn’t wait for an answer but strolled through the crowd. He finally spied his host standing in front of a marble fireplace. A flame danced in the eight-foot hearth. Harrison stepped through the crowd to join the four men clustered around the wealthy Rothschild.

    The man closest to Harrison was in his fifties and had a curling mustache. “They’ll never get that amendment ratified,” he said. “An income tax! It’s quite ridiculous to expect us to pay something so outrageous.”

    A younger man in a gray suit shook his head. “If it means better roads, I’ll gladly write them a check. The potholes outside of town ruined my front axels.”

    “We can take care of our own roads,” Rothschild said. “I have no need of the government in my affairs. At least until we’re all using flying machines.” He snickered, then glanced at Harrison. “You look familiar, young man. Have we met?”

    Flying machines. Maybe this meeting was something God had arranged. Harrison thrust out his hand. “Harrison Bennett.”

    “Claude’s son?”’

    Was that distaste in the twist of Rothschild’s mouth? Harrison put confidence into his grip. “Yes, sir.”

    “How is your father?”

    “Quite well. He’s back in New York by now.”

    “I heard about your fiancĂ©e’s death. I’m sorry for your loss.”

    Harrison managed not to wince. “Thank you.” He pushed away his memories of that terrible day, the day he’d seen Eleanor Stewart for what she really was.

    “Your father was most insistent I meet you. He seems to think you have a business proposition I might be interested in.”

    Harrison smiled and began to tell the men of the new diamond mines that Bennett and Bennett had found in Africa. A mere week after Mr. Stewart’s passing, Mr. Bennett had renamed the venture to include Harrison. An hour later, he had appointments set up with three of the men as possible investors. His father would be pleased.

    Harrison smiled and retraced his steps to toward the front door but was waylaid by four women in brightly colored silk. They swooped around him, and Miss Kessler took him by the hand and led him to a quiet corner.

    “Let’s not talk about anything boring like work,” she said, her blue eyes sparkling. “Tell me what you love to do most.”

    He glanced at the other women clustered around. “I’m building an aeroplane. I’d like to have it in the air by the time Earth passes through the tail of Halley’s Comet.”

    She gasped. “Do you have a death wish, Mr. Bennett? You would be breathing the poisonous fumes directly. No one even knows if the Earth will survive this.”

    He’d heard this before. “The scientists I’ve discussed this with believe we shall be just fine,” Harrison said.

    “I assume you’ve purchased comet pills?” the blonde closest to him said.

    “I have no fear.”

    The brunette in red silk smiled. “If man were meant to fly, God would have given him wings. Or so I’ve heard the minister say.”

    He finally placed the brunette. Her uncle was Rothschild. No wonder she had such contempt for Harrison’s tone. All the nobs cared for were trains and ships. “It’s just a matter of perfecting the machine,” Harrison said. “Someday aeroplanes will be the main mode of transcontinental transportation.”

    The brunette laughed. “Transcontinental? My uncle would call it balderdash.”

    He glanced at his pocket watch without replying. “I fear I must leave you lovely ladies. Thank you for the conversation.”

    He found Eugene in the kitchen and beckoned to his valet.

    Eugene put down his coffee cup and followed. “You didn’t stay long, sir,” he said. “Is everything all right?”

    Harrison stalked out the door and toward the car. “Are there no visionaries left in the country?”

    Eugene followed a step behind. “You spoke of your flying machine?”

    “The world is changing, Eugene, right under their noses—and they don’t see it.”

    Eugene opened the door for Harrison. “You will show them the future, sir.”

    He set his jaw. “I shall indeed.”

    “I have a small savings set aside, Mr. Bennett. I’d like to invest in your company. With your permission, of course.”

    Eugene’s trust bolstered Harrison’s determination. “I’d be honored to partner with you, Eugene. We are going to change the world.”

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My baby is 7

And I'm sad... :( I can't believe how fast she's growing up.

My Lenten project with her worked out okay... I kept forgetting to blog about it mostly because for her, the computer is a competitor for my attention, and so I tried really hard not to be on the computer when I was with her. Which meant less time to get all my work done. So I didn't follow through as much on my blog.

I did learn a few important things by taking that extra time with her. And I'm learning to re-prioritize some things and let go of things I thought were important, but in the grand scheme of things just aren't... at least not compared to my sweet little *sob* seven year old.

So in honor of her birthday (and really, I should do this more), I want to tell you seven things I love about my seven year old:

1. She's very creative. Some days I am amazed at how interesting her ideas are- I have no idea where she comes up with them.

2. She's a very loving girl. She will love on just about everyone. Even when she's at her worst, the people around her can't help but love her.

3. She has a vibrancy for life... I can't explain it other than to say that when she's in a room (unless she's in a bad mood, then look out), everything just sparkles more.

4. She's very girly. I never wanted a girly girl. But I'm learning that having her encourages me in more feminine pursuits, which is weird, but it can be fun. So I'm really glad I got one anyway.

5. She's eager to be helpful. If she sees me doing something, she'll often ask if she can help or do it with me. She likes to be recognized as a "helper."

6. Her laugh is contagious.

7.  Even on the worst of the worst days, we have stolen moments, when she snuggles up to me, and gives me the sweetest look, and I know that she is worth it. I just love her!

And, because I can't get enough of my little angel, here's an explanation of the picture- she's practicing piano (because she wants to be a singer on stage when she grows up), wearing her soccer shoes (because she just played soccer in the yard with the neighbors. Note the girly shoes and socks.), and her girly ballerina outfit (because she just got back from dance lessons.). I'd also be remiss if I didn't point out her hairdo- she's growing out her bangs because that's the style her friends are going for, and she likes to make them "pretty," so she's got this funky bang ponytail, which she loves.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Another step in my technological evolution

I've already blogged about my Kindle, and how I'm being thrust into that next level of technological evolution.

Well, the time has come to take yet another step that I don't want to take.

Yes, friends, I am talking about getting a new cell phone. Please understand that I have purposely not upgraded my phone for um... well... I think we're nigh on seven years. I got the phone about the same time my almost 7yo graced us with her presence.

Everyone I know has a smart phone. I continue to resist the evils of being tethered to my email. You will not receive an email from me that has the "sent from my iphone" or "sent from my blackberry" message. I spend too much time online as it is, and I really don't want to be any more reachable than I already am. Plus, I don't want to learn a bunch more buttons or upgrade my calling plan.

I LIKE my phone. Over the past year or so, we've coaxed it into living a little longer, and every couple of months, hubby has to glue it back together. Well, he glued it last week, and it's already coming apart. So yesterday, he came to me in a very loving way, and said, "honey, we need to do something about your phone." I thought he meant gluing it again.

But no, he held up another phone and said, "I think we should talk about trying my old phone."

No, it's not a smartphone. It's a sleeker version of my poor old phone that he used until he upgraded to his current tough man-phone. I'm not sure I can handle this.

"Can we transfer all my stuff from my old phone to this one?" Like the cute video I have of my 2yo (now almost 7yo) daughter playing her toy piano and singing?

"Yes, dear."

"And if I don't like it, can I go back to my old phone?"

"Yes, dear."

Okay. I think I'm going to go for it. Why do I feel like a middle schooler being asked to give up my wubbie?

Monday, May 09, 2011

Dinner conversations at our house

I've had a really bad stomachache all afternoon and evening. I don't feel sick, but my stomach really hurts. So I didn't eat much when we sat down to eat. The kids noticed and asked why, so I explained I had a tummy ache.

A little while later, I did the rude dinner thing no one likes to talk about. Yes, I farted. Loudly, I might add. Hubby looks at me and says, "feel better?"

I looked at him and said, "yep," thinking the matter was dropped.

A few minutes pass, and the 6yo says, "so that's why your tummy hurts! You had to fart!"

So I said yes, and she decided to continue the conversation. "Does your tummy still hurt?"


Then she picks up the bottle of barbecue sauce. "Is this made from beans?"

"No, why?"

"Well, beans make people fart, so if you drink the whole bottle, your tummy would feel better."

At which point, I started laughing so hard that it made my poor tummy hurt even worse. When you have a stomachache, laughter is NOT the best medicine. Though eventually, I'll enjoy the story without my poor tummy hurting.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

My first purchased Kindle eBook

ACK!!! I did it!!

I still don't know how I feel about it. I will readily admit to being a die-hard print book fan. I really don't like ebooks and I like the feel of paper. Sorry, that's just how it is.

However, I was given a Kindle for Christmas. And I thought, "gee, that's a nice gift, but what the heck am I going to do with it?"

Well, I've been getting the free Kindle downloads, which has given me plenty to read (and I haven't yet read most of them), and I will say that I LOVE my Kindle for travel. It's so nice not having to make the choice between doing without or lugging a whole bag of books, since I read so fast. And, it's been nice because my boss can now send me the e-versions of books she wants me to read.

Since then, I have not actually PURCHASED a Kindle book. I know, some of the authors with free Kindle books are cringing. But you know what? I still prefer purchasing print books. So if I like a book well enough to buy it, I buy it in print.

Until today.

I blog-stalk Deanna Raybourn. I recently described her writing as "literary crack." She's that good. Her books (print, tyvm) have an honored place on my shelves. Anyway, she always has the most interesting tidbits in her books, and if you read her blog, you'll see that she does some amazing research. So today, when she was talking about where to get one of her research books, she said the thing that enticed me to finally purchase my first Kindle book.

It's only available on Kindle. And so, addict that I am, I bought it. The history nerd in me could not resist, and I keep telling myself that it was only 2.99. Which is why I am the proud owner (I think) of Daily Life in Victorian England. I mean, really, does it get any better than that?

Still, I can't believe I actually paid money for something I can't touch.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Mixed feelings on Bin Laden's Death

I had to shut off my Twitter and Facebook for a while, because while I understand the relief people are feeling at finally being able to close a painful chapter of our history, I'm not sure that this is a reason to celebrate.

Thousands of people have died in this endeavor. People whose names and faces are all but forgotten except for the ones who've lost them. For whom is this a victory? Just because Osama bin Laden is dead does not mean all the terrorists are going to hang up their guns and say, "oops, my bad." And, because of the structure of al-Qaeda, bin Laden's death changes nothing in terms of the terrorists' agenda.  It may be too soon to tell, but this death could very well mean that terrorists now have a new martyr to justify their cause. And we've given them pictures of Americans celebrating in front of the White House just as we had the awful visions of them celebrating 9/11.

I think, for me, the worst was reading comments from people who wanted to rejoice in bin Laden burning in hell. Now I am not going to go all Rob Bell on you, at least I don't think, because I have not read his book, but I do want to know- who are we to say that bin Laden is in hell? And I do not believe for a minute that if bin Laden did arrive in hell, that God is rejoicing over it. I don't think He rejoices over anyone going to hell, no matter how much they deserve it.

Some of my friends from church shared some encouraging Scripture on Facebook, and right now, I'm sitting with it and just letting God's word soothe my soul.
Proverbs 24:17-18 - "Don't laugh when your enemy falls; don't crow over his collapse. God might see, and become very provoked, and then take pity on his plight."
Ezekiel 18:23 - "Do you think I take any pleasure in the death of wicked men and women? Isn't it my pleasure that they turn around, no longer living wrong but living right—really living?
I don't have any answers about bin Laden, I really don't. I am glad that some people have the closure they need to move on with their lives. I pray that this closure doesn't open up a whole new chapter of increased violence. For some reason, I am reminded of Israel, when they asked for a king, despite God saying they didn't need one. What price will we pay for the satisfaction of thinking we've received justice for the lives we've lost?