1. We’re hosting a brunch this weekend and doing a breakfast taco bar. Somehow, we’ve never made breakfast tacos at home, despite being fans of the dish. So the logistics are a bit fuzzy on how to get everything cooked/keep everything warm at the same time, but we’ll figure it out. And if not I’ve got cinnamon rolls as back-up.
2. If you’ve been around the blog awhile, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I’m a big fan of crime dramas. Bones, Castle, NCIS, etc. – love ‘em. But while I love Nathan Fillion and will continue to watch, I’ve gotten bored with Castle lately. Whereas a show like NCIS, that has been on forever, still holds my interest. And I’ve figured out why. NCIS is willing to hurt their characters, whereas Castle isn’t. With Castle, no matter how bad the situation is, you know the characters are going to be all right – they always are. And that predictability means I’m not as invested. Whereas on NCIS, it’s a different ballgame – just think about Kate, or Jenny, or the Tony & Ziva thing, or more recently Delilah. (trying to avoid too many spoilers for you non-watchers). Nothing is ever guaranteed on that show (except maybe Gibbs. There will always be Gibbs.), which makes it more interesting.
3. I hope to get the screen painted for my new seahorse design this weekend, and start printing with it next week.
4. SXSW has descended on Austin, which basically means I won’t be leaving Round Rock for 2 weeks because traffic. I’m ok with this. Nothing at the festival is worth the headache of dealing with that mess downtown.
5. This week during my volunteer shift at the library, I was given the keycode to the back room. Moving up in the world! Lol.
How did your week go? What are you up to this weekend?
by Vicki Pettersson
This is the story of Griffin Shaw, ex-murdered-PI turned angel-grade escort into the afterlife, who makes a slight misstep and finds himself stuck back in the real world, in his former human flesh. It’s also the story of Kit Craig, a stubborn rockabilly reporter in Vegas whose best friend just got murdered following a lead (the soul Griffin was escorting). In order to get back to the heavenly plane, Grif is supposed to escort Kit’s soul when she’s killed following the same lead her friend was after. Except Grif is quite taken with Kit and decides to protect her instead, and help her with the investigation. Cue noir crime caper in modern times.
Oh, this book. I wanted to really love it. The premise was promising – a murder mystery with clear dollops of romance and paranormal, right up my alley. And to be fair, I didn’t hate it. It was ok – mildly entertaining. But it fell far short of what I’d hoped it would be after reading the back cover blurb. The author clearly has a fixation with the rockabilly lifestyle; it’s so emphasized and brought up so often regarding Kit’s character that it’s distracting and annoying. I’m pretty sure Kit spent more time getting her nails and hair done, and thinking about vintage dresses and vintage stuff for her home, than actually investigating her friend’s murder. Grif’s side of things was more well done. He was actually a fully fleshed (ba-dum-ching) character, with clear motivation and some conflicting drives. More complex, in other words, and so more believable. The author has also thought up this whole hierarchy of angels in the afterlife that we get glimpses of through Grif – that was interesting and I was curious to know more about it. The murder mystery plot itself was ok. Not the most original or surprising, but still moved along well enough to keep me engaged in reading. Overall, it’s a quick read that doesn’t take too much effort.
I give it 3/5 stars.
I was given a promotional copy of this book by Harper Voyager U.S. for review.
The drawing bug finally hit me again this week, and I’ve actually got a couple of new designs for the shop sketched out. A few still need tweaking, but this one is ready to go. A seahorse! It’s actually based off of a sketch in an old sketchbook of mine, for a seahorse-shaped metal pendant design. A few adjustments and additions, and I like it! I think the style fits in well with the look of the rest of my shop, and who doesn’t like a seahorse?
What do you think? What’s your favorite denizen of the ocean?
Things of Note:
Well, whatever flu bug/stomach bug/food poisoning thing I had end of last week and over the weekend is gone now, thank goodness. That was no fun. I don’t have much to report due to that, other than sick days are good for catching up on reading, and the work day is long when you come back from unexpected days out of office. This week it’s work as normal and a brunch gathering this coming weekend.
How are things in your world?
In case you missed it at the start of the year, one of the things I’ve decided to do with the shop this year is to donate a portion of all sales to charities or causes that I support. March is women’s history month, and so to support the cause of women’s right, this month’s charity is the Global Fund for Women. They work around the world to reduce violence against women, advocate for economic and political empowerment of women, and work to support women’s and girls’ full access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
As a woman, I’ve been lucky – I’ve never been in a violent situation where I was threatened, though I know a few women who have. And as an American, you’d think we’d have long ago established women’s equal participation in government and their right to make decisions about their own bodies and love lives, but sadly that is far from the case. So the overall scope of work at the Global Fund for Women is something I can wholeheartedly get behind. I know a lot of you, my fellow bloggers and blog readers, are also women. So if you agree that there remains a lot of work to be done on women’s rights, you can support the cause by a direct donation on the their site, or by shopping in my shop this month.
What are you doing to celebrate women’s history or promote women’s issues?
At the beginning of this month $10 was donated to the February shop charity – thank you!
Time for another Book vs. Movie! This time it’s Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. It’s the story of Jacob, who runs away to the circus during the Depression when his life falls apart around him. There, he works as the show’s vet, and falls ever more in love with Marlena, the star of the circus and beautiful wife of the temperamental ringmaster August. When the circus acquires an elephant for a new act, it changes everything.
I read the book back in October on the way home from New York – between the airport layover and actual flights, I finished it in one day. To say I liked it might be understating things. And this past week, I finally got around to watching the movie. Happily, it was a pretty faithful adaptation, and I liked it, too. But here’s a break-down of which format did what better:
- A really good read that pulls on your heartstrings and makes you laugh.
- A good length – not too quick, not too long/slow.
- The ending – satisfying, and all wrapped up.
- Explains circus lingo in an unobtrusive way.
- Did a better job of painting a picture of Depression-era America.
- Christoph Waltz – he played his character (August) perfectly. And I’m guessing playing a charming sociopath isn’t easy. But man. He was at turns likable and scary, just like in the book.
- Really good job of condensing the whole book into 2 hours while hitting all of the most important plot points.
- Still a good ending, though I found it less believable in this format.
- Beautiful cinematography and great costumes.
- It jumped between present-day Jacob and his memories a bit too much. I preferred how they did it in the movie, with just a small intro and closure with him as an old man.
- Robert Pattinson. I’m normally just indifferent to him as an actor (I don’t hold Twilight against him or anything), but I didn’t think he was the best fit for Jacob, the main character. Though he did pull off the Polish well.
- It kind of glossed over some of the side storylines regarding Jacob’s fellow circus workers (pay issues, illness from jake, red-lighting). They were present, but not given the attention they got in the book.
Rosie (the elephant) was adorable in both. Overall, I really liked both the book and the movie, and I think you’ll get an equally good story experience from either format.
Have you read the book or seen the movie? What did you think?
I give both 4/5 stars.