Archive for the ‘Books / Movies / Entertainment’ Category

Parallel Trilogy by Christine Kersey

I recently read a young adult series of books by Christine Kersey called the Parallel Trilogy.  While it’s a trilogy, there are two follow-up books to make a total of five books in the series.  The first book is called “Gone” and is free for the Amazon Kindle app at this moment.

In this series, a teenage girl runs away from home after a stupid fight with her mom.  Without giving away too many of the details, she ends up in a parallel version of earth in which it is illegal to be overweight.  Yep, you read that right.  It’s illegal to be overweight.  In this alternate world, every home has a scale and you must weigh in once a week. Each scale is connected to a government agency that tracks your weight, and to make sure that the right person is weighing in, the scale has a retinal scan.

If your weight continues to stay too high or you show an uncontrollable pattern of weight gain, then Enforcers can come to your house and take you away to a Federally Assisted Thinning (F.A.T.) Center.  Of course, the F.A.T. Centers aren’t anything like weight loss spas.

While the books have mixed reviews, and some rocky moments, I read all five of the books in the series and found them pretty interesting and slightly terrifying.

The author says this at the end of the book:

The USDA Regulation banning junk food from schools used in this story, as well as the weighing of children at school, is not ficticious.  Whether you agree with those regulations or not, they are a reality. Here are links to articles that talk about these new regulations.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/14/usda-bans-all-junk-food-sales-schools-around-natio/

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/25/white-house-and-usda-announce-school-wellness-standards

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2014/04/13/obama-s-gov-t-bans-all-junk-food-in-schools/

http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/allfoods_QandA.pdf

https://www.rt.com/usa/usda-ban-junk-food-schools-048/

Here are two articles about weighing children in schools:

http://www.medicaldaily.com/fat-letters-and-annual-weigh-ins-questioned-should-schools-measure-and-report-students-bmi-255351

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-05-17/health/ct-met-bmi-backlash-20130517_1_bmi-childhood-ob  esity-rates-muscular-people

Here’s an article about how the government wants to influence what you buy in the grocery store:

http://eagnews.org/with-nations-school-lunches-fundamentally-transformed-michelle-o-eyes-talking-shopping-carts/

It’s the last two articles that the author listed that get to me the most.  I’m currently 38 years old. When I was a kid, my elementary school was apparently a testing ground for quarterly body measurement testing and reporting.  Not only did we have our weight measured, but also our bmi using skin caliper testing.  This was done in our gym class.  I can attest to the fact that instead of making kids healthier, all it did was give bullies additional ammunition against kids that were different and added further psychological pressure onto kids who were already struggling.  I was one of them and can attest to the fact that it just made me feel crappier about myself and contributed to life-long self-confidence issues.  All of our details were printed out on a piece of paper that we were instructed to take home to our parents.

So while the books may seem “out there”, with the current societal attitude towards obesity, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

February 3, 2016admin No Comments »
FILED UNDER :Body Image , Books / Movies / Entertainment

Board Games

My boyfriend’s favorite things are board games.  But, of course, he can’t love the simple party games that I do.  Oh no.  While I’ve always enjoyed the traditional ones like Scrabble and Clue, the card games like Phase 10 and our family favorite Oh Hell, and the party games like Apples to Apples, he likes the games that intimidated the hell out of me and torture my fear of making a fool out of myself. 🙂

But I got brave and have let him teach me a few.  I have to admit that the ones he’s taught me so far – while they seemed incredibly complicated to start – ended up being a bunch of fun.  And a lot ended up being not nearly as complicated as they looked.  Though I’ll admit there are a few I love more than the others.

So far, he’s introduced me to Dominion, Takenoko, Lords of Waterdeep, Flash Point, Unspeakable Words, Euphoria, Legendary (a superhero game), and Galaxy Trucker.  Another two he told me about at the beginning are Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan, but I’ve only played those on my iPad.  I think that’s all of them.

Here’s a little bit more info about each.  I’ve tried to include lots of links for you to find more info if something sounds interesting. I’m sure my guy will let me know if I get anything wrong, but this isn’t meant to be a thorough description of each.  Just a bit about them, along with my experience as a newbie. 🙂

  • Dominion was the first game he taught me and is probably my favorite of all of them.  It’s a deck building game – which I thought I would hate.  Turns out, I love it.  If you’re not familiar with what a deck building game is, click here for a quick summary.  The goal of Dominion is to build up your own personal deck of cards by using the cards in your hand to purchase better cards.  Some cards act as money while other cards have actions on them (such as draw two cards or make your opponent reveal the top card of their deck, etc.). When you’ve built your deck up enough, then you’re able to purchase victory points.  The person with the most victory points at the end of the game wins.  With all of the expansion packs that are available, there is pretty much an infinite combination of available card sets you can play with.  Luckily, you only play with about 10 different cards at a time (other than the money).  Learning how the cards play off of each other can be tricky, but can also be a fun challenge, and every game is a new experience so it never gets old.
    • Here is a great review with a lot more detailed information.
    • There’s also a site where you can play Dominion online for free – either against computer bots or other players. You can find it here.  He and I have even played each other online a few nights when we’ve both been at our own homes.  We played online last night and I beat him on the first hand.  He won on the last two, I believe, securely kicking my ass by 50 points on the last game.  In my defense, it was a much more complicated hand and I was way out of my league. 🙂
    • I apparently didn’t take any pics while playing this game (though I thought I had), so here is one I found online that shows a representative sample of cards.

  • Takenoko is a cute little game that I call Hungry Panda.  Mostly because it’s an accurate description of the game and partially because I’m just silly like that.  I really enjoyed this one. Even though he kicked my butt on it. Now that I think about it, I think Dominion is the only game I’ve ever beaten him in.  Anyway, in Hungry Panda, you have been given the task of caring for the panda as well as growing a beautiful garden.  So you must irrigate land, grow bamboo, and feed the panda all by performing missions on cards that will give you points.  At the end of the game, the person with the most points wins.
    • Here is Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop episode on Takenoko.  It’s pretty entertaining as are most of his game episodes.  It’s also just fun hearing three guys talking about a cute little panda.
    • A couple of photos I took while playing (click on any image for larger versions):

takenoko  takenoko 2

  • Lords of Waterdeep is a strategy worker placement game in which you play one of the Lords of Waterdeep.  If you aren’t familiar with what a worker placement game is, here is more information.  Over the course of the game, you will recruit adventurers to go on quests on your behalf to grow the city and collect points.  It has a Dungeons and Dragons connection that I don’t really understand since I know next to nothing about Dungeons and Dragons.  I really liked this one and look forward to giving it another try.
    • Here is the Tabletop episode about Lords of Waterdeep.
    • And here is a really crappy-angled, blurry photo that I took while playing. 🙂 Please forgive me. I wasn’t planning on doing this post when he started teaching me these games. 🙂

lords of waterdeep

  • In Flash Point: Fire Rescue, you have to work together to put out fires in various building floor plans.  You have to both save the victims who are trapped inside and also try and keep the building from falling down as the fires and explosions spread.  It’s a cooperative game, so you win together or lose together.  That was a new experience for me. I don’t think this will be one of my favorite games – just personal preference – but it was fun.  I would like to give it another try.
    • No Tabletop episode for this one, but here’s a photo I took while playing:

flash point

  • If you like Scrabble and playing with cards and dice, you’ll probably like Unspeakable Words.  It has a Cthulhu theme, which I again know absolutely nothing about, so it isn’t remotely important in enjoying the game.  In the game, you want to try to get the most points and also try to remain sane. For those of us who start off slightly insane, we’re kind of in trouble.  Just kidding. 🙂  You will draw a hand of cards and try and make a word out of the letters on them.  A card’s value is equal to the number of angles the letter has (for example, an E is worth 4 points).  Once you make a word, you count up the total value of the word and roll your dice.  If the amount on the dice is more than the value of your word, you don’t lose any sanity (which is represented by the little Cthulhu-shaped creatures). As I love Scrabble and also love super-easy-to-get games, I really liked this one.
    • Here is the Tabletop episode.
    • And here is a picture I didn’t take. 🙂

 

  • Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia is a fun worker placement game where you have to keep your workers happy but stupid.  If they get too smart, then they know what crappy working conditions they have and will run away. 🙂 Your workers are dice that you roll and place on the board to gain commodities and resources, build markets, and take control of different areas.
    • A pic I took while we were playing:

euphoria

 

  • Legendary is another deck building game, but you work together in order to beat the villains by buying and using superhero cards (everything from the Avengers to the X-Men and beyond).  I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as Dominion, but it was fun.  I’ve learned that cooperative games aren’t my favorite.  While it’s fun to not be fighting against each other and to be working together, I hate having others depend on the choices I make or judge the choices I make.  I want people to be happy when I make stupid mistakes, not upset when I do. 🙂  Of course, playing only with my boyfriend so far, I haven’t run into this…but it’s bound to happen.

legendary

  • The one he taught me on New Year’s Day is called Galaxy Trucker.  This was both a fun and frustrating game.  It also has a timed component which I do not handle well – too much stress/pressure.  Timed games usually make my brain freeze.  Luckily, it’s only the first portion of each round that is timed.  In the game, you spend the first part of each round (there are usually three) building a spaceship out of tiles.  You have to make sure that they are connected correctly (a two-pronged connection must attach to a two-pronged connection, etc.).  Your ship gets a bit bigger each round and you want to get yours done before your opponents get theirs done.  Then you spend the rest of the round going on missions and earning credits and getting the crap beat out of your spaceship.  Pretty much, according to the rules, if you have even a tiny bit of your ship left and at least one credit at the end of the third round, then you’ve won. In essence, everyone can win (just one person a little more than the others).  Overall, it was fun. 
    • Rounds 1, 2, and 3 below:

gt1

gt2

gt3

I’ll skip over Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan since I haven’t actually played the board game versions yet, but you can catch the Tabletop episode of Carcassonne here and the episode for Settlers of Catan here.  I prefer Carcassonne of the two, and look forward to giving it a try in the tabletop version.

I definitely need to get better pictures for some of these games and my boyfriend says he has quite a few more games for me to try.  I see many happy gaming hours in my future.

Do you have a favorite board game?  Please share!

January 3, 2014admin No Comments »
FILED UNDER :Books / Movies / Entertainment , Life in General

Changes

Hi all. I know I’ve been slacking in the writing department again, but that doesn’t mean I’ve fallen off track!  I’m actually doing pretty well.  I lost four pounds last week, so am now down 17.3 pounds. I was pretty excited about that.

It’s not really enough to notice yet, but I can tell that a couple of items of clothing are fitting a bit more loosely.  But I’m pretty excited that I’m heading in the right direction again. I also saw a number on the scale yesterday that I haven’t seen since probably 2011.  That made me happy.

Health-wise,  I’m hanging in here.  Saw my doctor again a while back and was diagnosed with some stomach acid issues that are forcing me to cut down on some things in my diet.  Like tomatoes. I love tomatoes. And spicy foods – which I’m kind of okay with. And citrus – I so love my oranges. 🙁 And chocolate – of which there’s no way in hell that’s happening.  And alcohol – which I’ve already cut way back on. She also suggested Zantac if I need it. I’ve only had to use it once and it seemed to really help.  She also diagnosed me with IBS – but I’m pretty sure I’ve had that since high school. So it’s just a matter of accepting it and learning to live with it, I guess.

She also suggested I do another sleep study to see if a cpap machine will help my mild sleep apnea. I’m skeptical that it will. I’m also dreading the study which is this Friday night. Causing me all kinds of anxiety.  But we’ll see what happens. Hopefully it will end up helping. Keep your fingers crossed.

As far as changes, I’ve really been noticing lately how much more comfortable with my body I am – more than I ever have been in my life. Even at my current weight.  I think part of it might be just the whole getting older thing (ugh – I’ll be 35 next month).  The rest – I’m not sure what to attribute it to.  I still get really self conscious sometimes and still feel bad about my body sometimes, but it’s not as bad.  There are times when I’ve actually come to feel comfortable in my skin and love even the rolls. 😉

Last summer, I posted that I’d stopped caring enough that I broke down and wore shorts for the first time in years.  I’ve gained a lot since last summer, and I still went ahead and wore shorts this year.  Of course, the fact that the temperatures were scorching hot this summer helped that.  But I went even farther than that.  I started wearing short sleeve shirts. Ones that came shortly above my elbow. That is something, even at my lowest weight, I wouldn’t do.  I will never go much higher than that, but it was rather liberating.  And so much cooler. LOL  And I’m finding that for the most part, other than a few insecure moments of self-doubt, I really don’t care what anyone else thinks.

The funny thing to me is that I feel more comfortable with my body now, at my current weight, than I did when I was at 170-something.  So we’ll see what happens as the scale continues to drop – which it will, because I’m determined now.

Also, I’m learning that I can still eat out, and still lose.  I rarely ever did that on my last go-around.  At least not at places where I couldn’t find the point values.  Now, I’m just doing my best to guess and trying to do well the rest of the day/week.  I’m not being as harsh with myself this time around.  I’m hoping that will help with staying power this time.

I’m being a lot more vocal about my attempts this time.  Granted, I have more friends now than I did then, but I’m actually telling people what I’m doing.  My coworker knows.  My friends know.  I even posted this most recent loss on Facebook because I was so excited and it has gotten more “likes” than anything I’ve posted yet, I think.  Last time around, I didn’t tell anyone until I had to.  That was usually when they noticed and commented on it and I had to say something or they’d think I was sick. 🙂

The last change I’m going to mention is one that plays into caring less about what others think.  I’m not a fan of snark.  I never have been.  I believe I’ve mentioned this on here before, long ago.  I have no problems with smart-ass comments and such, but I think most of the snark today is just an attempt at being funny at someone else’s expense.  It’s just an opportunity to be rude and get away with it. Well, I’m not being the butt of anyone’s snark anymore.  For my mental health’s sake, I’m reserving the right to selectively ignore any snark that comes my way.  If something is said to me that bothers me, it’s getting ignored.  And yes, this may involve flat out ignoring comments by friends who think they’re being funny.  Even if they don’t think they’re being funny, it comes across as they think they’re better than me.  So this is what I need to do for me.  I’m over it.  So if someone says something that bothers me, that I don’t think is funny, after a moment, I’m just ignoring it. I’m not going to waste my time getting upset or angry.

Whether these changes will end up helping or hindering me, I don’t know yet.  We’ll see!  Hopefully my readiness to take on this journey again, my gradually growing self-confidence, and my flexibility will pay off.

I’m really wishing OneRepublic would come back to Kansas City, because the last time I saw them, they were amazing. I’ve gotten re-addicted to this song lately and part of the lyrics kind of match my attitude.  I’m marching on.

Week 2 Update

Hi there!

Four days into my second week back on plan and I’m still at it. I’m still having doubts about the “new” Weight Watchers plan though.  It was a little depressing stepping on the scale this morning to only be down 0.1 of a pound. (I usually peek at the scale about mid-week.)  But I’m going to keep going and see what happens at my official weigh in on Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for me, please.

Overall, I’m still feeling pretty crummy. Especially this week. Tuesday and today, I’ve been having some stomach issues that just are pretty awful. And that’s on top of the other stuff – lightheadedness, exhaustion, etc.  I go to see my doctor again on Wednesday to discuss my sleep apnea and so will have to talk to her about the other stuff that’s still going on as well. Considering I was in tears this afternoon, I probably will be in her office, too. I’m just so so tired and tired of feeling like hell.  But I’m hanging in here and though I may lapse a bit into self-pity once in a while (hey, I’ve been through a lot this year and have a right to be upset), I eventually pull myself out of it.

Some of you may remember that my dad has epilepsy and tends to fall with it sometimes. He apparently fell three times this morning, though I only heard one of them. Luckily, my mom was able to come home from work so that I could go to work myself. I think he’s okay now. Just banged up and bruised.

I can’t remember if I told you guys or not, but they bought a stair lift for our staircase so that he wouldn’t have to walk up and down the stairs.  It’s been wonderful and is especially helpful in getting him up to bed when he’s having seizures.  However, in one of his falls today, he landed on the chair part of it, which was at the bottom of the stairs, and broke it.  Luckily, they were able to get out there today and fix it and didn’t charge them.

As far as fun this week, it has mostly consisted of my continued quest to get through the entire series of Dawson’s Creek. I never watched it really when it was on TV, and my friend Christy (a/k/a Angelchrys) mentioned that it was on Netflix streaming. So I started with season 1, episode 1, and have worked my way through it. I’m somewhere in the middle of season 6, the final season.

Yes, I’m a Pacey girl. 🙂

Anyway, that’s my update. Hope you’re all having a good week!

Brené Brown & Katie Couric

I have some exciting news for my fellow Brené Brown fans.  Especially those of you within visiting distance of NYC.

For those of you unfamiliar with Brené’s work, you can find my posts about her here or visit her website here.

I received an email from a woman who works for Katie Couric’s new talk show that is coming out this fall. It seems they are doing an episode dedicated to Brené and the idea of “Daring Greatly.”

This what the woman said:

We are doing a show all on “Daring Greatly” with Brene and want to fill her audience with fans AND feature some fans as guests on the show to discuss ways they can possibly dare greatly for the first time with Brene’s help.

I was hoping that you could help spread the word to your followers that we are looking for fans of Brene that would like to , as Brene says, show up and be seen. Meaning, we are looking for women and men to dare greatly by being vulnerable on our show.

These are some of the ideas they’re looking to discuss:

What are you afraid to do that you’d love to find the courage to do?

Are you keeping a secret from a loved one because you are worried about how they will perceive you? Are you recently divorced or widowed and are worried about putting yourself on the line again to be open to more hurt? We all have something we are afraid of opening ourselves up to- things that make us feel like we are on a stage completely naked. We want to hear about what makes you feel naked. What would you love to find the courage to do or say if fear wasn’t holding you back?

If you’re interested in the show, please email Lisa.Cohen@katiecouric.com the following information:

Name:
Phone:
Email:
Address:
Your story:

Unfortunately, the show tapes really soon, so I will be unable to attend. It is Thursday, August 9th in New York City – though you all know I’m a huge fan of Brené’s (obviously).

If any of you get to attend this special taping, I hope you’ll let me know how it goes!


(Me and Brené in August 2010)

July 23, 2012admin 1 Comment »
FILED UNDER :Books / Movies / Entertainment , Brene Brown

Weigh In – 7/23/12

My first week back on plan didn’t go perfectly.

I went out with friends on Tuesday night – though I did the best I could as far as tracking what I ate/drank there.

Saturday morning, my mom and I went to see the new Batman movie and went to the Fork & Screen showing.  We shared crab rangoon dip (YUM) and I got a grilled chicken sandwich with fries (one of their better choices). I didn’t eat all of the bun or the fries, however. This meal, I didn’t even bother trying to track – I just did the best I could the rest of the day. And I’m sure all the drooling I did over Christian Bale HAD to have burned some calories. 😉 (Note: My heart and prayers and love go out to those touched by the terrible shooting in Colorado.)

And so I had my first weigh-in from being fully back on track today – I’m not counting my other half-assed attempts to get back on track – and have to admit I was pleased.

I’m down 7.1 pounds this week! Yeah, I’m not going to complain. I know that’s just the luck of the first week back and my other weeks won’t be as good, but I’m pretty damn happy and proud of myself. It’s also proved to me that I can splurge a little bit (at least right now) and that I don’t have to be perfect and can still stay on track.

I’m down a total of 8.7 lbs from my most recent highest weight, and I’ve decided not to focus on the end game for now. I don’t even have a goal weight in mind really – just kind of a general area. I’m just going to go until I’m happy with where I am – screw whatever anyone else says I should weigh. Weight Watchers included.  I do have over 100 lbs that I want to lose, though, so I have a long way to go. I did it once  – I can do it again.  Like last time, I’m going to focus on five pound increments instead of looking at the big picture.

 

July 23, 2012admin No Comments »
FILED UNDER :Books / Movies / Entertainment , Weigh-Ins

Local Sightseeing/Fun

I mentioned in my earlier post that even with not feeling so great, I’ve been able to have some fun in the past couple of weeks.  It had pretty much reached a point where I was feeling a tiny bit better and that I was just sick of laying around.  So last Saturday, even though I was feeling kinda crummy, I forced myself out of the house.

First, my mom and I finally checked out Sea Life.  Sea Life is an aquarium that opened up in Kansas City last spring. I was thoroughly excited about it, but wanted to wait until the crowds died down a bit before going and with not feeling well, we never got around to it until now.  The crowds were still insane, but it was worth it.

In comparison to bigger aquariums in other cities, I think some people might be disappointed.  I’ve been to better ones.  But for a small aquarium in the heart of Kansas City, it was pretty cool and all of the kids around us were enjoying themselves.  My mom and I got season passes when we left.

There’s also a Legoland place right by it that we haven’t checked out.  Here are some pics that I took with my cell phone (as always, you can click on the images to see larger ones):

This is my favorite pic that I took at the aquarium:

And here’s me:

After the aquarium, I decided that I was finally going to get to see the walls outside the Kansas City Public Library. I’ve been seeing pics of it online for a while now, and even though I’ve lived here for quite some time, I’d never seen it in person.

Later that night, we went to a dinner theater and saw a spectacular production of Hairspray. The energy of the actors was contagious. It made even ME want to dance…and I don’t dance. To clarify, it made me want to…I didn’t of course. 😉

But the fun didn’t stop there!  This past weekend, I finally got to see the traveling Titanic exhibit that’s been here in Kansas City for it’s 100th anniversary.  I have been to the Titanic museum in Branson twice (more about my trip to Branson in 2009 here), which is pretty great, so had fairly low expectations going into this exhibit.  Both my friend and I were pleasantly surprised.  The exhibit was designed really well and had some cool artifacts. We ended up being in it for almost three hours.  I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in it, of course, but I think the coolest thing was actually getting to touch a piece of the hull of the ship.

Since I’ve been feeling crummy, my alcohol intake has plummeted to a bare minimum, but on Friday, I tried what I think might be one of the best wines I’ve ever had.  If you like sweeter wines (but one that isn’t too sweet), you’ll probably like this one:

On top of all of this, I’ve also seen the movies Magic Mike (No comments!  It was terrible! 😀 ) and Ted (which was seriously disturbed, but seriously funny).

To finish off my photo spam, I was really upset last Thursday. Everything that’s been going on with me has been beating me down pretty hard – health, work, etc.  So on my way home I decided to stop by my brother’s (and grandfather’s and great-grandparents’) cemetery for just a few quiet moments to myself – away from distractions and responsibilities and everything else.  And as I was calming myself down, this is what I saw:

Just another reminder that sometimes life is pretty amazing.

“Lbs.” The movie now on Amazon!

Hi all! Yesterday, I wrote to let you know that “Lbs.” is now available on iTunes.  Well, today, it is now on Amazon Instant Video for download. 3.99 to rent for three days and 14.99 to purchase.

If you decide to check it out, let me know! Hope you enjoy.

January 18, 2012admin 4 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Books / Movies / Entertainment , Lbs. the Movie

“Lbs.” The Movie on iTunes

Hi all!

It’s been a while since I’ve sent out a “Lbs.” update.  Just wanted to let you all know that it is now available on iTunes for $9.99.  You can get more info on their site here.  If you get it, don’t forget to let me know what you think!

I haven’t watched it in a while…thinking it might be time to again!

January 17, 2012admin 5 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Books / Movies / Entertainment , Lbs. the Movie

Settling In

Today marks my fourth day on my new schedule.  Third day with getting here by 10:30am.  Amazingly, I’m actually doing a bit better at getting here on time at 10:30 than I was at noon.  Isn’t that strange?  In fact, I was so tired, I was in bed by 12:30am last night.  But, we’ll see if it lasts. 😀  So far, I’m really liking it.  In fact, I actually get to go to a movie tonight!  I had a heck of a time finding someone that was able to go with me, but one of my friends is incredibly sweet.  She ended up going to see it last night – told a friend she’d go to a movie with them and then found out when she got there it was the same movie she was going to see with me tonight.  And she didn’t like it, but is still going to go with me! I asked her if she was sure she didn’t mind seeing it again, and she said no, because she wanted to hang out with me. That was really nice of her.  By the way, we’re going to see the new X-Men movie. Can’t wait! Am hoping I like it a bit better than she did.

Hopefully this new schedule will help me enjoy things more and get to live a bit even more than getting off at 8pm did. I’m hopeful.

Still been in a funk off and on, but have been trying not to think so much.  Anyone who knows anything about me knows that this takes herculean effort from me. 😀

One of my best friends went down to visit his mom in Webb City yesterday and today.  She teaches middle school in Joplin, Missouri, the site of a recent devastating tornado strike.  He used to live in Joplin and wrote a very moving blog post about what he saw there that just about brought tears to my eyes.  You can find it here, and I really hope you take a moment to check it out.

I also preordered Jim Butcher’s new book, Ghost Story, via Rainy Day Books here in Kansas City.  It comes out on July 26th and I will get to pick my book up on that day.  The best part about it?  I’ll be picking it up at an event where he will be signing the books and speaking!  Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows that I am a HUGE fan.  His Dresden Files books series is probably my favorite ever.  This will be my third time getting to meet him.  The first time was an event that he spoke at.  The man is hilarious.  The second event was just a book signing.  But this will be the biggest event for him that I’ve attended yet.  Can’t wait to hear what he has to say.  For more information, you can check it out here.

Plus, I just can’t wait to read the book. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS! 😀

Ok, I guess I’ve rambled enough for today.  But I’ll leave you with a few videos that I’ve enjoyed recently.

This is just AWESOME whether you like beer or not:

What does advertising really do to our perception of women?

A great Irish PSA about standing up to homophobic bullying – very moving:

Okay, hope you all are having a good week and I’ll let you know what I think of the movie!