Monday, May 18, 2009

Back, sick, details later

Hey! I'm back from Cyprus and I had an amazing time. I'll write all about it later. Right now, I'm sick as a dog and totally pathetic.

And I miss the bartender I developed a total crush on.

but mostly, I'm really sick.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I know, I know

*sigh* I'm sorry. I really have been meaning to update regularly, but if you know anything about my life, you'll know it's absolutely insane and I'm stretched way too thin. My *hope* is that once I graduate I'll have at least a vaguely regular schedule and not have 50000 things to do when I get home like I do now at school. In the meantime, check this out from xkcd. I can relate.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Puppy Chow

So, unfortunately, I don't have pictures of this one, but this stuff is delicious and retardedly easy to make.

9 cup Chex
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Also - make sure you have really big plastic bags

Of course, we wanted to make the whole box of Chex, so we just sort of increased the recipe by however much here and there, rather than calculating how much we should really put in. It's us, are you surprised? I was joined this time by J and K. Hehehehe I like how those initials worked out.

So you melt the butter, the chocolate chips and the peanut butter in a pot, and then you throw the vanilla in. Then, in a large bowl, you pour the mixture over the Chex cereal, and mix it to make sure that ALL of the cereal is thoroughly coated with the mixture. This is somewhat tricky because you don't want to crush the cereal, which you tend to do too often when mixing it. J said that she likes to use her hands, and that's probably a good way to do it. We didn't because the mixture was still hot, but if you're patient enough to let it cool a bit, that's a good option.

Anyway, then you put the powdered sugar in a bag - we split it into 3 bags, and I think it was easier that way. We didn't bother to measure out the powdered sugar - it's just as easy to eyeball it - it's not a science like baking. So you but the powdered sugar in a bag, you put the coated-in-the-delicious-mixture-chex in the bag, you seal it up nice and tight - which is a VERY IMPORTANT STEP - and you shake it like a crazy person.

If you're us, you may or may not play catch with the bags. And you may or may not start trying to get fancy with your game of catch and drop it on the ground.

But, in no time at all, you have:
Great little snack.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A moment of joy

I am officially DONE with the rough draft of my thesis.

Sorry, that doesn't reflect how I'm feeling now. How about this:



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Jill Shalvis - Instant Attraction

Preface: I've had this review half finished for about a month. Sorry it took me so long to actually sit down and finish it. :-\

I really like Jill Shalvis. I love her sense of humor, I love her dialogue, I love her characters. So when you find me harping on one aspect that got to me, keep in mind that even with her flaws, she's totally worth a read.

I got introduced to her (as an author, I haven't personally met her) though the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books website (which, if you're interested in romance at all you should totally check out) and, while I was really interested in reading her, I haven't been able to do so until really recently. I still haven't read all of the books I would like to, but, particularly over the past week, I've been able to catch a glimpse of her writing at different stages of her career and I have to say that, while she's always had talent, there are certain aspects in which she's really improved. The one in particular that always gets me is the "don't tell me, show me."

I've seen, as her books have progressed, instead of trying to tell the reader how they should feel or how the characters are feeling, her using more and more descriptions placing us there so we can see how they feel.

Anyway - I really liked her, and you'll see that because I'm going to take a minute to gush, so don't take my minor rant that the end of this all TOO seriously.

What do I love about Jill Shalvis? First and foremost, her sense of humor. She's fantastic at witty banter, which is one of my favorite things in the world to read. In Instant Attraction specifically, She created a fantastic, very flawed heroine who I can relate to, but you can also see why the hero loves them so much. And her male characters are YUM. (Did I just say that? Yes, I did)

I was also really impressed with her secondary characters. The other two brothers didn't have much in depth explanation, mostly I think because she's making their own books, but Nick, Annie and Serena were fabulously well developed. While I differ from my favorite people ever, the smart bitches, in that I absolutely loved Annie, we both agree on the fact that Annie was completely and totally real.

That's really why I loved her so much - She was upset and unhappy with her marriage for reasons she couldn't quantify, though she still loves Nick. She just wanted a REACTION from him. I could find myself identifying with her, or failing that, I could readily sympathize with her. (yes and that's just a secondary character)

It also has to be said for Serena that she managed to create an ex that has a bit of bitchy ex without being OMGEVIL. I found that very impressive and, really, a joy to read. I don't mean to spend more time on the secondary characters than the main ones. I love how she brought two people working on getting past some major scar tissue in two different ways, to form a believable bond.

Now, remember when I said that, from what I can tell, she's much better at the showing rather than telling bit? That's very true, however there was still one place in particular that drove me nuts. Bear with me for a sec.

One of my other favorite authors is Jennifer Crusie, and she wrote an excellent article (The Five Things I Learned About Writing Romance from TV) in her Lessons #2 and 4 are say it with action and mean what you don't say. The "long winded romantic declarations" are so much better put by a telling gesture. Just take a look at her examples.

Shalvis's hero (Cameron by the way, I just realized I haven't been using the main characters' names) really did not strike me as the type to make any sort of big romantic speech, even though he's realized that she's the love of his life, and yet that's exactly what he does. He already had the big gesture down, which was fabulous. He doesn't have to go into a speech after that - a few words will do nicely. Maybe it's just because I've read that article, maybe I wouldn't have noticed it before, but since I did, that one little scene drove me a little crazy.

I would reccomend this one, it's definitely a good read and I'm excited for the others in the series to come out. Sorry it took me so long to finish this review. Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

On a related note

I love Jill Shalvis, and I've been interested enough in the others even before this contest to check them out, so this is exciting. WIN BIG WOO

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Save the Contemporary, Save the World

Hello, friends. I come to you tonight to talk about a dying breed: the contemporary romance. I know you get all sorts of causes thrown at you. Save endangered wildlife, save starving children, save out planet, blah blah. But this could very well be the most important thing you ever do.

Okay so it probably won't be the most important thing you ever do, but the lovely ladies over at Smart bitches, trashy books ( have created a campaign: Save the Contemporary, Save the World. Not romantic suspense, not paranormal romance (though I'm all in favor of those as well) but stories about two people meeting, growing and falling in love with no external forces pushing them together set in the modern day.

How can you help our cause? By buying contemporary romances. Not just any contemporary romances of course: GOOD ones. Find out more about this here. Books featured include Jill Shalvis' Instant Attraction - whose review I've had half done for a good 3 weeks (I'll finish that up for you, though if you're really curious about it, smart bitches did a review of it - just fish around their website a bit)

The most recent book to be spotlighted by this campaign? Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas. I've read some of Lisa Kleypas's historicals and loved them - particularly her heroines and the circle of friends they have surrounding and supporting them. I have not read Smooth Talking Stranger yet, most likely because it's not actually out yet, but yet again our friends over at Smart Bitches help us out - if you're curious and want to read a review, come on over here to read theirs

And remember: you CAN make a difference. :-p Happy reading!