Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday 13- Books to Read

I thought today I would do a Thursday 13 post on 13 books I'm hoping to read over the next few months. Some of these I have been meaning to read for a while but alas, I get distracted by other books so they get put aside. Yes, I know. I'm a book nerd. Lately it seems I haven't had time to read a whole lot. I'm hoping to find a weekend here pretty soon where I can do nothing but sit on my balcony and read (unless it's as warm as it is today, then I'll sit in my air-conditioned apartment and read). :) Most of these I already own. I've already started reading the first one. For more information on the book, just click the name. And yes, I realize I like all kinds of books. That's a good thing right? It means I read a variety of things! :)
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith: Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin where nine-year old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his dying mother's bedside. Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire. Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson: Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson's spellbinding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men- the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World's Fair, striving to secure America's place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: Set in 19th century Paris, Marseilles and Rome, this is the story of Edmond Dantes, a man betrayed and incarcerated. It tells of his search for Abbe Faria's hidden treasure and his reappearance as the fabulously rich, brooding Byronic and vengeful Count of Monte Cristo.

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux: Set in the Paris Opera in 1881, it is a story that pits the powers of evil and good, reality and illusion, sensuality and death to evoke our emotions as only a true master can write.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman: S. Morgenstern's timeless tale- discovered and wonderfully abridged by William Goldman, pits country against country, good against evil, love against hate. From the Cliffs of Insanity through the Fire Swamp and down into the Zoo of Death, this incredible journey and brilliant tale is peppered with strange beasties monstrous and gentle, and memorable surprises both terrible and sublime.
11/23/63 by Stephen King: King sweeps readers back in time to another moment- a real life moment- when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger: This books recounts the days following Holden Caufield's expulsion from Pencey Prep, a private school. After a fight with his roommate, Holden leaves school two days early to explore New York before returning home, interacting with teachers, prostitutes, nuns, an old girlfriend, and his sister along the way.
Barefoot in the Sand by Roxanne St. Claire (one of my favorite authors, this is her newest book.): When a hurricane roars through Lacey Armstrong's home on the coast of Barefoot Bay, she decides all that remains in the rubble is opportunity. A new hotel is just what Mimosa Key needs, and Lacey and her teenage daughter are due for a fresh start. And nothing is going to distract Lacey from finally making her dreams a reality. 
Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs: Good girls behaving badly. A spiteful boss, a defiant employee, a manipulative mother, a desperate housewife, an envious sister...we know these women. We've lived with them, worked with them, or caught a glimpse of them in our mirrors. Now let's take a look at their ancient counterparts in Scripture: Sarah mistreated her maidservant, Hagar despised her mistress, Rebekah manipulated her son, Leah claimed her sister's husband and Rachel envied her fertile sister.
Unhallowed Ground by Heather Graham:When Sarah McKinley is finally able to buy and restore the historic Florida mansion that she has always loved, she dismisses the horror stories of past residents vanishing and a long-dead housekeeper who practiced black magic. Then, in the midst of renovations, she makes a grim discovery. Hidden within the walls of Sarah's dream house are the remains of dozens of bodies, some dating back over a century.
The Rope by Nevada Barr: The adventures of park ranger Anna Pigeon have filled pages of 16 books, and now her legion of loyal fans can find out how her story began. After her husband's death in 1995, Anna leaves New York City to take a seasonal position at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. On a hike to explore the dry canyon lands around Lake Powell, Anna literally falls into a mystery. Fighting thirst and drug-induced delirium, she extricates herself from the dry well and begins to unravel the who and why of her tortuous ordeal. Anna emerges from this canyon escapade as a strong, determined woman who plans to return to park service employment as a law enforcement ranger, stating that "more women should carry guns."
The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella: Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She's made a mistake so huge it'll wreck any chance of a partnership. Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train, and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she's mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a job as a housekeeper. Her employers have no idea they've hired a lawyer, and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can't sew on a button, bake a potato, or get the ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope-and finds love-is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake. But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does..will she want it back?
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (I actually read most of these when I was in elementary school, but I want to read all of them in order). The complete Chronicles of Narnia book includes The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy and The Last Battle.

Hang on friends, the weekend is in sight!!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

I meant to post this yesterday and forgot (I know, I'm a terrible person). I wanted to wish a VERY HAPPY (late) 40th BIRTHDAY to my second baseball crush of all time, Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves. He is retiring after this year, it's hard to believe he's been playing 20 years! The first major league baseball game I saw in person was between the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros in 1995. Chipper was nice enough to talk to me from the dugout (I had moved to seats behind the dugout during the game). Well, the entire conversation went like this: 
17 year old Rachel: Hi Chipper.
23 year old Chipper: Hi hun.
**17 year old Rachel faints**

Yeah, I know, I'm a mess! :) Anyways, happy late birthday Chipper (I know he will be so upset I'm a day late!) ;)
Chipper of yesteryear
Chipper today


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Tunes..Newsies Style

I got the idea for my Tuesday Tunes theme from my friend Mel when she sent me this picture today.

I know, I'm in my 30s too, but there are times I forget that! ;)
I know I've confessed this on my blog before, but Newsies was one of my FAVORITE movies when I was younger. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the movie. **Rachel slowly lies down on the floor and starts weeping because she feels old** I had it on video tape (oh yes, pre-DVD days) and I probably watched it a few times a month (a lot of that might have had something to do with the fact that Christian Bale was in it and had very good hair back then.)

Be still my 14 year old heart. This was before Christian Bale went crazy.
Anyways, I bought the DVD a while back after not seeing the movie in at least 15 years. Is it sad to confess I remembered pretty much all of the songs? Such greatness. In fact, the movie Newsies is what brought me and my friend Kat together as "soul sistas". Not sure how Christian Bale's name came up in a conversation, but she mentioned Newsies and I admitted that I loved that movie (so did she). We became instant soul sistas! So Kat, this post is for you today! I thought I would share some of the greatness that is the music from Newsies! :)

Soul sistas. Okay, the fact she is a fellow Rangers fan is ANOTHER reason we are good friends! :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Phone Photo Fun Monday

What's on my phone this week:
My friend Lyn kept texting me about Whataburger last week. I finally broke down on Wednesday and went!
Went out with my homegirls on Friday night after work. My friend Laura hates when people make duck lips, so I did this just for her! :)
Yeah, I'm one of those people who take pictures of food.
I went to the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) on Saturday. This vehicle was in the parking garage. It made me laugh really hard. (FYI, Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists).
Me and my museum buddies, Ryan and Mel!
Mel took this of me and Ryan reading up on all of the exhibits at the DMA.
Guess which one is Lady Godiva!
A tweet from Saturday. If you don't know the legend of the "Yellow Rose of Texas", click here.
Easter candy is 75% off at Kroger. I have a weakness for Gobstoppers. I might need an intervention!

Hope everyone has a great day! Happy Monday!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Five Question Friday

1. Groceries are high right now, what is the easiest way you have found to cut back?
I've gone to the "generic" brands for many items. The Kroger brand spaghetti sauce is JUST as good as RagĂș (and it's at least $2 cheaper). Same with cereal (although Corn Pops were on sale last week and were actually cheaper than the generic brand. I keep my eye out for sales). I WON'T give up my Jif peanut butter though, I can't handle the imitation brands. I splurge for that! :)

2. What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
I don't think my bucket list is in any particular order, but here are three things on it. 
1. Going to all of the MLB ballparks and stadiums in North America.
2. Sitting next to Nolan Ryan (in the owner's box) at a Rangers game (I don't see this ever happening, but it's on my list!) BTW, if I EVER get that opportunity, I'm taking my Bubba with me, so don't even ask. Sorry, but he introduced me to baseball, he gets to go! :)
3. Visiting at least some part of Europe.
All the MLB Ballparks. Photo courtesy
3. Would you rather give up the AC or heater?
I live in Texas- I'm going with giving up the heater. We use the AC probably 300 days out of the year (there are rare occasions where we don't have to use either the AC or heater). I use the heater MAYBE 14-20 days (not necessarily in a row) during the winter. I can "layer up" if I get too cold! :)
This was last summer. One day the high only reached 90 and it was like a cold front!
4. What is your favorite cocktail?
I don't drink cocktails, so I'll go with the movie Cocktail as my favorite! :)

Ah, 1988- when Tom Cruise was young, not crazy, and taller than me! ;)
5. What was your first job and how old were you?
Not counting the babysitting jobs I had starting at age 11, I guess it was when I was 14. I was an assistant at a church's childcare center. I was basically a childcare worker, but since I was under 16, I had to be an "assistant" (not sure if there was really a difference except in the title and the pay). When I was 16, I became an official childcare worker (and got a $1.50 raise from the $4.25/hr I was making- yeah, that was minimum wage in 1994). I worked during the summers and on Friday nights (except during football season- I was a band nerd- I had to be at the games).

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's OK Thursday!

 It's OK... be really sad that Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez is retiring from baseball, but happy that he's going to retire as a Texas Ranger.
Rangers fans love Pudge! go to Half Price Books on your lunch break in order to buy ONE book, but end up buying four.
I went in looking for this one...
...but ended up with all of these. Why yes, those are books by Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine. I loved them when I was younger!
...that I'm going to miss the Judy Blume book signing at the Dallas Art Museum tonight. I just found out about it last night, so it's late notice. :( If I had someone to go with me, I would probably pay the money to go see her and have her sign a book. I could also pitch the idea of her writing Are You There God? It's Me, Rachel.
Judy Blume, one of my favorites growing up!
...that I feel I'm one of the few people who like the Maxwell Geico commercials (he's the pig). WeeeWeWeWeee.

...that I get a little excited irrational over zealous passionate on Twitter during Rangers games. 
The umpire made a terrible call. He said Elvis Andrus was out, but he was safe, the replay proved it!
I'm sure everyone is aware of my baseball crush admiration of Craig Gentry. He got hit by a pitch. I didn't take that too lightly!
Joe Nathan is our closer. We hit panic mode when he comes into the game. He hasn't been consistent this year.
He walked the first batter.
It seemed like we couldn't get an out.
This was after a couple of errors that allowed a run to score.
Rangers finally won 6-3. Yes, I know I'm not 25, no need to remind me! ;) think that New Year's Eve will never be the same now that Dick Clark has passed away. RIP Mr. Clark!  

What's OK with YOU today?


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm loving... 
My Texas Rangers. Yes, I know it's early in the season, but I needed a good start to the season to help mend my broken heart. Right now the Rangers are 9-2. Keep it up boys!
Last night the Rangers won 18-3. No, that's NOT a typo. The Rangers hit six home runs in the game, three of those were hit in one inning alone.
I'm loving...
My Twitter peeps. They are awesome. One of my tweethearts (as I call them) sent me this tweet last Saturday after I tweeted a picture of myself. This made my day. :)

I'm loving...
That I actually have 1,000 followers on Twitter as of last night. I'm blown away by it. Thanks to all who follow me!! :)

I'm loving...
This cake server. Now, I don't like cake (yeah, I'm weird), but I saw this last night when my carpool made a stop at Nothing Bunt Cake and thought it was cute. I thought of several friends who would love it!

I'm loving...
The Frogger app. Anyone else remember playing this computer game back in the day? I remember loving this game and Number Munchers back in elementary school (yes boys and girls, there were computers back when I was a kid, they were just a lot bigger than they are today. And we had these square things called floppy disks that our games were on). :) Speaking of Number Munchers, it's also an app, but it's not free, so I haven't downloaded it (yes, I'm cheap!) :)
I'm loving...
This picture. I have several friends who are dachshund fans and I thought of them when I saw this. Too cute!
I'm loving...
That I'm off work at 11:30 today. Normally my flex day is on Fridays but a co-worker needed Friday off this week, so we switched days. It makes for a nice break in my week!

Have a lovely day friends! We are one day closer to the weekend!!