Recent Reads

When my brother and I were little, we were both voracious readers; books, magazines, newspapers, street signs, cereal boxes, anything and everything. Since I know he reads my blog, I’ll give him a shout out–“Hi, Skip!” He’s much, much older than I am, practically doddering, as it were. He told me that he really began to feel old when he got his Medicare card. It represented the symbolic confirmation that he’s… OLD!  Ha ha ha. It was nice to grow up having an extremely older big (old) brother. I was the baby (still am) and could torture him all the time and never fear retaliation! All kidding aside, he was a great big brother until he went off to college and I was all alone with no one to torture except for our parents; they bore the brunt of my rebellious teenage “boy crazy” escapades. Ah, the good old days of ditching school and hanging out at Plum Street and listening to the Doors at ear screeching volume for hours on end!

Environmental/Animal Rights:
I’m not sure if he still reads as much as I do, but I am lost without a book.  I was out of chick books and picked up a novel my son sent to the captain, T.C. Boyle‘s When The Killing’s Done. It’s a real departure from my normal fantasy-based romance and witty banter menu, but it is a must-read; savagely compelling.  It’s based on the true story of how the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy rid the  Channel Islands (off the California coast) of  sheep, pigs, black rats and, finally, opportunistic golden eagles, in order to give the rare island fox and some nomadic seabirds a fighting chance for survival. As expected, animal rights activists protest and actively thwart the efforts by attempting to sabotage the killing of some species to “save” others. It’s not all about the animals; there are relationship subplots and twists and turns that made it impossible to stop reading. I had to skip over a few of the more graphic paragraphs (thanks to my son who warned me), but I don’t think that minimized the brilliance of the writing nor the importance  of the subject matter. It was an especially timely read for me during our great squirrel relocation program last week.
Nautical:
When I finished that book, I was searching around the house for something else to read and picked up one of the magazines delivered to the captain every few months. If you love nautical/maritime reads, you will love this. It was really interesting with beautiful pictures. Power Ships is a publication of the Steamship Historical Society of America. In this issue, they highlight the Providence Steamship Company. In the 1920’s the owner’s wife took over management of the tugboat company when her husband died. Some say she was the inspiration for the popular “Tugboat Annie” character.

Enough of that, I said to myself. I am excited to start reading Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand novel.

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Filling Up The Minutes And Hours. Tick Tock.

I’m looking out my kitchen window which frames our backyard and I am not kidding, a ROADRUNNER just ran across the lawn and up the steps to the back part of the property. A ROADRUNNER! I know we’re in SoCal, but this is not the Anza-Borrego desert, this is a neighborhood full of houses. Wow, I just ran outside to try and snap a pic, but he ran under some sagebrush and I didn’t want to scare him. How. Cool. Is. That. Seriously.

What do I do besides going to the gym and shopping? I do an awful lot of reading. I read books the old school way. I like the feel of paper between my fingers. I like to dog ear the page corners.  I love chick lit; Emily Giffin, Sophie Kinsella, Plum Sykes, Diana Gabaldon, Elin Hilderbrand, Lauren Weisberger, and even a tiny amount of LC (Lauren Conrad). Giffen is wonderful, Hilderbrand is an enigma to me; I wish I liked her writing more than I do-I always feel a little unsatisfied, a little unfulfilled by the end of the story. Of course, you can’t be healthy with a diet full of sweets, so I do read more conventional lit too, like Faulkner and Lawrence and O’Conner and Welty. In fact, I named my Border Collie Stella Rondo, in honor of a character in her short story, Why I Live at the P.O.  Right now I’m adding a little protein to the menu ‘cos I’m re-reading Jane Austen’s Emma.  Confession: I am guilty of reading-and liking-the Gossip Girl series. Actually, I admire anyone who can get their words published!
So sad to hear about the death of Maeve Binchy. I think I have read just about every book she wrote. Although they don’t really fit the category of chick lit per se, her character development draws me in every single time.

I have another DIY Chanel creation-check out the hat!
Just my opinion:I just heard that my local Kamay store is closing which is too bad ‘cos I drive right by Ulta to go there. I have noticed that for some reason, I am invisible when I go to Ulta. No one wants to help or answer a question. It’s happened more than once, so it wasn’t just an off day. It’s like my being there is an imposition or I don’t fit in with their target demographics. So, I always go to Kamay because they have great customer service.  I was wondering how to make my OPI Pink-ing of You opaque and the really helpful sales associate showed me how to use a coat of white underneath to make the pink stand out better. Plus, she told me about Hoof Lacquer as a top coat, which is awesome.

Polka dots and butterflies and mean girls

planets aligned

The planets may have been out of alignment for me today; things did not start out right.

Like I do most days, I went to the gym for an early morning Boot Camp class.  It turned out that a lot of the people from the prior weightlifting classindoor-fitness-boot-camp-classes-now-forming stayed for Boot Camp, so there was less available floor space for us to mark our territory with steps and risers, not to mention the mad feeding-frenzy dash for weights.

I have my favorite spot, just like everyone else does, and I saw that two very aggressive girls had taken “my” spot.

I like the right front corner location, which I figure eliminates people and their germs if no one is in front or to the right of me. And I like to be in front ‘cos I’m only 5ft tall.

Well, these girls had an attitude about sharing space.

I swear, if you were a mean girl in school you must never really outgrow it.

So, because I didn’t like the lay of the land and in order to avoid unnecessary confrontation, I left the gym. It was not going to be worth it to fight for a spot anywhere in the room as it was very crowded. It just was not meant to be, whatever.

I decided to do some grocery shopping and then headed over to the Nordstrom Rack.

I was minding my own business, looking for a new pair of white skinny jeans (which I didn’t find), and I strolled over to the sleepwear section cos I always like to have a couple of cute new sleepwear outfits for my tugboat man’s return.

I had just started exploring one of the racks, totally in a Zen mindset, not bothering anyone, in my own little world of polka dots and butterflies (which I got) and I heard a voice say,

“Do you ever give any thought to how your actions affect others?”

I looked around, thinking it was a random rhetorical question, did not know to whom it was directed or if it was just a philosophical thought I had overheard in someone’s conversation.

It registered in some part of my mind that the voice was attached to a giant-bellied post-menopausal gray-haired polyester-wearing troll. I thought to myself, “hmm, that was a very profound question for a shopping excursion.”

The next thing I knew, she bellowed, “Well, I’ll show YOU” and shoved the rack of clothes violently in my direction.

Oh, OK, I get it; a crazy person, a lunatic. Well, she WAS in the XL size which was to the left of the XS sizes where I was looking; perhaps that huge post-menopausal giant belly leached out all of the remaining estrogen from her body and caused her to have a lack of oxygen in her few remaining brain cells, because there was no way that I had interfered with her search for a pair of pajamas that could stretch wide enough to cover that fat ass.

No way at all.

Prior to that, I was in a very peaceful place– for me, shopping is a very serene occupation; feeling the texture of the fabric, enjoying the colors…so, what did I do?

butterfies

I did not take the bait and exchange ugly words because she would have been no match for me and my sharp wit, and although it would have been satisfying for her because she was obvs itching for a fight, I chose to continue to ignore her and found one of the many helpful Nordstrom employees and told her what the mean lady did and the manager guarded over me to make sure I continued to have a lovely experience.

Which I did.  Cute, right? The polka dots don’t show up very good, but it’s really pretty.

 

And since I did not work out at the gym, later in the day just before sunset, I walked to the beach and back from home (a six-mile round trip), stopped at Rite-Aid, bought a Elin Hilderbrand novel, summer people, and a 6-pack of Oreo Cookies for dinner.

It’s all about portion control…

oreo cookies