My Gal Sunday: A Review

My Gal SundayI occasionally will pick up a book by Mary Higgins Clark. My mom loves her books, and I’ve picked up the habit of buying them when I see them at yard sales and thrift stores. Her books make for decent quick, mindless reads and transport me back to a time when bold-colored pant suits, shoulder pads, and permed bangs were the norm. Usually, I can figure out the culprit within the first couple of chapters, but the suspenseful journey of the main character is usually a fun ride.

This is not so much the case with My Gal Sunday. Granted, My Gal Sunday is a collection of short-stories/novellas, which almost by definition lack depth and solid character development. I enjoy reading the occasional collection of short stories, especially then they involve characters that have been well-developed in novels or other media. Short-stories, do not, however, mesh well with the suspense genre. There’s no time or space to develop any real since of drama, the characters fall flat, and I’m very disappointed by the lack of red herrings. Where’s the suspicious guy everyone thinks done it, but really he’s the only one who know what actually happened and wants to help in his own creepy way? This depth that’s usually present, albeit wadding-pool deep, is missing completely from this collection.

The four stories in My Gal Sunday all revolve around husband and wife team Henry and Sunday. Oh, and did I mention that he’s a former president and she’s a congresswoman? and that they somehow have the time to solve mysteries and fight crime together? Most of Clark’s protagonists are well-to-do women, but this one takes the cake on the absurdity of the situation.

If you want to read a decent, mindless thriller, Mary Higgins Clark is usually a good author to turn to, but I highly recommend picking up one of her full length books and not this collection that seems lazy and thrown together.

1/5 Stars

Door Paintin’

Greg and I have had the spring fever upon us the past couple of weeks, which for us means that some sort of improvements are going to be made to the home. It’s too early to plant veggies or flowers, and it’s still too cold to pressure wash our porch, so that means something is going to get updated on the inside of the house. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve had several small projects. We got new weather stripping for our exterior doors, we added a textured film to our front door’s window so that no one can see in it now, and we’ve painted our interior doors. The latter has definitely proved to be the bear of the bunch. You don’t really realize how many doors are in your house until you take them down one by one and slap three coats of paint on them. So far we’ve done 6/9 of the doors we want to tackle. We’ll probably finish up with the last three next weekend. The painting of our doors was a simple and cost effective way of improving the house.

We decided to paint the doors because ever since we moved in, the doors have been kinda gritty and dirty. They were marred up, had nail holes in them, and were covered in long, superficial scratches. Instead of just slapping another coat of white paint on them, though, we went with brown, thinking the contrast would add a little something to our hallway. It proved to be a good choice. The doors look great and the hallway definitely has more character.

What do you do when spring fever hits you a wee bit too early?

 

Winter’s Heart (Wheel of Time 9): A Review

WH1Winter’s Heart is the ninth installment of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. The series itself is massive and each volume is an endeavor. Winter’s Heart is no exception. Coming in at 766 pages, the book does not lack for story, and unlike several earlier volumes in the series where there’s lots of walking and meetings, most of this book’s story is exciting and engaging. Death, rebirth, fighting, and magic abound.

The book follows a Rand al’Thor, Elayne Trakand, Perrin Aybara, Mat Cauthon, and several others. Rand al’Thor is the prophesized Dragon Reborn—a man of legend who can channel (use magic) who is reincarnated throughout time. Each time, he is The Dark One’s advisory. In this volume, he is tracking down rogue Asha’men (men who can channel magic) who had betrayed him, and he becomes obsessed with cleansing the male-half of the One power, and seeks to do so with the help of Nynaeve. Elayne is now settled in the royal city of Caemlyn, where she is basically heir-apparent. However, succession will be neither easy nor without conflict. After his wife gets taken by the Shaido, Perrin breaks from his quest to bring the Prophet of the Dragon to Rand in order to find her. Unfortunately, this story line gets cut short and leaves the reader unfulfilled. WH2Mat, who was missing from the last book, returns with a vengeance and with one of the most engaging story lines. He is trapped in Seanchan-controlled Ebou Dar and must plot his escape. As in previous books (and as I’ve mentioned in other reviews), there are also places where the story is told from a minor character’s point of view, which does get annoying at times as it seems unnecessary. Usually, the part of the story that they’re introducing or uncovering is very minor and could have been done so in a much simpler and less jarring manner.

Winter’s Heart is not perfect, but it is an appealing and entertaining addition to the series and it also moves the whole epic story along nicely. There is a plethora of story lines and all are attention-grabbing. Overall the book was a good way to pass time and escape from the realities of this world.

4/5 Stars

Break Time and Time Wasters

Sometimes you just have to stop and do something mindless to reset your brain. I have a few website that I turn to when I just need a quick break from reality.

  1. Corgi Addict: I admit, I have OCD–Obsessive Corgi Disorder. Having three of my own, it’s easy to see that I love corgis. I check out this tumblr at least once a day. It’s nice to see how Corgis are loved the world over.
  2. Buzzfeed: Because I Totally need to see 37 pictures that will make me smile! Warning: this website will suck you in if you’re not careful. Hours will magically disappear. I generally try to stick to the cute animal lists/stories.
  3. Calming Manatee: I never realized before that I manatee telling you that everything would turn out okay would actually be a wonderfully theraputic site. I tend to go to this website when I’m feeling a bit down.

Corgi_squishables

What websites do you go to when you need a break from reality?

Lobolita: Chapter 1, part 2

(Click here to read part one!)

When fighting men, it usually goes one of two ways. They either go easy on me because I’m a girl, and their mothers told them to never hit girls. Or they go at me like a madman just to prove that they have no qualms with hitting a girl. They don’t want the embarrassment of being beaten by a girl either. Generally, I prefer the second type. They become stupid with pride and either wear themselves out, or trick themselves up. The first type, the guys who don’t want to hit me, generally avoid my own punches a lot more. They’re thinking of how they can win the fight without inflicting as much pain on me.  But don’t get me wrong–I can beat all of them, and generally do.

Take the giant here, whose stage name was aptly “The Giant.” He was the second kind. He was big, mean, and probably practiced his moves on his wife or girlfriend. I could see the anger flowing through him as the match began. He was not happy about fighting a woman, especially a small one like me. His size definitely goes against my chances. The only way I can win a fight when there’s such a huge size difference is by knock out. I would never be able to keep such a behemoth pinned for long enough to win. That’s why I kept going for his face. Knock something loose, bloody his vision, something just to bring him down to my level.

“What time is it?” I asked the ref. I had to shout for him to hear me. He didn’t reply, but just showed me his watch–a Rolex knock-off. It was 3:30 in the afternoon. I sighed. I had another fight at 6pm. I had hoped to be able to eat and digest a decent meal before then, but it looked like something light for me today. I nodded my appreciation to the Ref and made my way behind the scenes.

The crowd’s roar was muted as I shut the door labeled “Employees Only” behind me. Vinny, the ring boss, was sitting behind his desk. Why were so many guys in the mafia named Vinny? And Vinny, well, he looked like a quintessential “Vinny.” His black hair was slicked back. He was wearing a colorful button-up shirt that had the top half of buttons undone, showing off his grossly hairy chest and gold chain. The guys he worked with hated him for his appearance. Nothing screams “Italian Mafia” quite like the stereotypical Vinny. The irony of it, though, was that he was part of the local Irish Mafia, doubling the reasons why his partners in crime (no pun intended) disliked him.

Continue to Part Three

Writing and Workout Stats: Feb 18

Feb 10, 2013

  • Words Written: 1307
  • MS (Muscle Strengthening): 0 minutes
  • Cardio: 30 minutes

Feb 11, 2013

  • Words Written: 117
  • MS: 15 mins
  • Cardio: 30 minutes

Feb 12, 2013

  • Words Written: 248
  • MS: 0 mins
  • Cardio: 45 mins

Feb 13, 2013

  • Words Written: 1152
  • MS: 0
  • Cardio: 0 mins
  • Note: Bad headache all day, so I took a break

Feb 14, 2013

  • Words Written: 0
  • MS:
  • Cardio: 20 mins

Feb 15, 2013

Feb 16, 2013

  • Words Written: 0
  • MS: 30 mins
  • Cardio: 15 mins

Feb 17, 2013

  • Words Written: 817
  • MS0 mins
  • Cardio: 0 mins
  • Note: Painted doors for 4 hours, which left little time for anything aside from hand cramps.