Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WWW.Wednesday: Books Read In The Sub Zero Midwest

What are you currently reading?

This book came highly recommended from a friend who has a great pulse on what I like to read. I was concerned because it had a slow-ish start and I couldn’t get into a rhythm with Messud’s writing style (probably because I went right from Stoner to it.) I am all in and so hooked. It is extremely intriguing.

What have you recently finished?

This book is beautifully written love story (of people and academia) and sad and tender. So simple yet lovely in every sense of the word. I can’t say enough about it. It’s set at the University of Missouri and spans the course of 50 years of one man’s life.

What will you read next?

This one, if my husband finishes soon. Otherwise, I’ll have to choose something else.

Check out more book lovers’ lists at Should Be Reading.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Trifecta: I Swear When I'm Uncomfortable

“I’m going to hate this,” I groan making very little attempt to disguise my pissy attitude about attending a paddle tennis couples mixer. “I wish we stayed home.”

 “Let’s just have fun. Not take it seriously.”

“That’s easy for you to say because you’re really good at it! Did you hear that one over there? ‘My tennis club doesn’t even have a league high enough for me.’ (I mimicked her country club intonation.) Isn’t that fucking quaint?”

“You’ll do fine. We’re going to be perfectly fine.”

“I’m doing this for you, you know, and I’m going to hate it. Ugh!!!!!! Look at the bracket. Of course, we’re playing against her! That’s fucking perfect!”

“You’re making this into a much bigger deal than it needs to be. Her husband’s a beginner, too.”

“It's going to be embarrassing. I’ll be horrible!”

“How do you know? You’ve never played before. Do you want a glass of wine? Let me get you a glass of wine.” He rushed off without waiting for my answer, leaving me alone.

My eyes swiftly surveyed the trendily outfitted room. As expected, it abounded with many more of exactly “her” cliquey kind. The already comfortably acquainted. The kind who can nonchalantly compare the quality of their racket, the best court shoes, semiweekly drills or private lessons. Things I knew nothing about.

He pushed a glass in my hand but, right then and there, I realized no amount of Pinot Noir could come close to quelling my nervousness or insecurity.

“They may know how to play, but you’re the prettiest in the room.” His words brushing my ear as he squeezed my wrist.

Looking at him sideways from the corner of my cynical eye, I almost answered, “What do you want?”

But his eyes were soft. And his smile was soft.

I reached up with gloved fingertips and grazed his cheekbone lightly.

“Let’s go kick some ass.”

“That’s my girl!”

33-333 words for the third definition of:

QUAINT (adjective)

1:  obsolete:  EXPERT, SKILLED

2a:  marked by skillful design <quaint with many a device in India ink — Herman Melville>  

b:  marked by beauty or elegance

3a : unusual or different in character or appearance :  ODD  

b : pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar <a quaint phrase>

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WWW.Wednesday: Well Books, Of Course!

To play along, just answer the following three questions…

What are you currently reading?

I’m staying up too late again! That’s always a sign. This book is simply written yet beautifully so. It’s about an English Major turned Professor at the University of Missouri in the early 1900. It’s fiction!

What did you recently finish reading?

I liked this almost as much as I loved Eleanor and Park. Rowell get young love.

Almost brutal! It took all my energy and patience to get through this. I think I would have been more engaged had it been 75 pages shorter. The end made large strides in its likeability factor for me.

What will you read next?

Gosh, I never know but most likely

 I started it a while ago and need to get back to it.


(If I can get my husband to finish soon, which is unlikely. If I read on my Kindle at the same time as he does, I am certain to mess up his place...unless I reset it each day, but that's too big of a hassle.)

Thanks to Should Be Reading for hosting!

Her, The Movie, and The Way Technology Seems Headed

I wrote a post last November called Falling In Love Over The Airways. Last weekend, I went to see the movie that I talked about in that post. Her. Have you heard about it? Have you seen it yet?

I just sighed out loud because I'm still, after 5 days, uncertain how I feel about it. The premise is so "later 21st century-ish" (it does take place in the not too distant future), and it kind of scared me. I know I liked it even though I was uncomfortable. It's unique, well produced and acted.

It's no secret that the main, man, character falls in love with a personalized OS created especially for him. At times, you even forget that "she" is not a real she after all. And they do much the same things you would do when dating (and then, uh-hmm, some) like see a movie, go to the beach, hang out and talk. They do EVERYTHING with the exception of touching, of course, because she is not made of flesh. It's sweet and sexy and insecure and desperate. It's the same feelings we've all had falling in love. But....

It's not real. 

However, in their minds, it is. 

There's even a platonic best friend situation, which develops between another character and her OS. It feels so natural and fun and alive. 

However, it's not real. 

But is it? The feelings are real, seemingly, on both sides (human and OS).

I don't know. It confused me.

We all have friends, don't we, who maintain almost constant eye-to-screen attention to their "smart" phones? It's like they're mesmerized by a new and delicious lover and they can't breakaway. Or entranced by a real, in the flesh, best friend when it feels like you are the only two people in the room and you amuse each other so easily. This, I'm afraid, is the movie.

I felt lonely and sad (and unsettled about technology) walking out of the theatre. Is this where we're headed? I hope not! Though I can see it happening right before my very eyes at times.

So here's my cell number, (234) 555-1233. Call me. I'd rather hear your voice and know there's actual blood running through veins on the other end. Better still, call me to set up a coffee or wine date (even better). I want to touch your arm and smile at you in person.

(See the movie and let me know your thoughts, please.)


I'm linking this up over at Ketchup With Us. Thanks Mel and Michele!!!

Ketchup With Us

Monday, January 13, 2014

Trifextra: Hummingbird Lust

This is Trifecta’s cheeky challenge for this week. They’re asking for a 33-word response to the following snippet:

The first time I saw. . .

Of course there’s a catch: all of our 33 words must be one syllable each. They are giving us 5 words so that’s 33 from us, for a grand total of 38 words.


The first time I saw…

the bird who hummed

it swept me off with brisk wing beats

i was mad

for its

jewel toned throat,

rust coined weight,

and long limbed nib

that sipped a rose like wine.


I’m obsessed with hummingbirds and can watch them flit and drink for hours. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is indigenous to the state of Indiana (and Illinois for that matter) where my prettiest flowers grow. Like Cardinals, the male is more beautiful and colorful than the female. I'll give them that...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WWW.Wednesday: Books!

(I apologize for not knowing how to link these pictures to the Goodreads descriptions and reviews. I’ll figure it out soon, I promise.)

What am I reading now?

I am currently reading two books, which is unusual for me, as I like to concentrate and focus on only one at a time. But someone kept bugging me to read 

so I am (a little over halfway through). I am reading, for myself, The Woman Upstairs (I’m not very far along, at least not as far as I’d like to be).

What did I recently finish?

I liked it very much. It’s translated from Spanish (I really wish I could read it in the language in which it was originally written because I think it might have lost some of the author’s colorful detail in translation. Who knows?). It’s set in Bogota (missing the accent, I know), Columbia and that fascinated me. I highly recommend this book. And,

I thought this book was merely okay. I actually had a bit of difficulty even giving it 3-stars on Goodreads. I was originally attracted to it because of it’s setting (Chicago), which I enjoyed because I know the city well and could visualize the scenes. BUT, the writing and plot, in my opinion, were sorely lacking in creativity and detail. Quick read and I’m hesitant to recommend.

What will I read next?

AKA The Ship of Theseus, which I have sitting next to my bed. I’m dying to pick it up.


(Which I just ordered from Amazon and awaiting it's arrival). 


I can never decide until I'm finished with what I'm currently reading...

Should Be Reading hosts this Wednesday book link up.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Nipple Rings

It’s the glint that catches my eye. The way the small silver sphere captures the sun’s ray and throws it back at the corner of my eye. It dangles there so casually, too, swinging to and fro as he arranges himself on the sun lounger in front of me. I blink to make sure I’m seeing clearly.

It’s like a train wreck, or an accident; something weird and strange that you shouldn’t find scintillating but you do and you can’t help it. And I can’t stop staring at it hanging simply from his left nipple like a delicate horseshoe.

Am I turned on? Or revolted? It’s not like I haven’t seen one before. Both, maybe, but fascinated and stirred are befitting descriptions too. He completely owns my attention.

Dutch, most likely, because this is a Dutch island. Definitely exudes European though. Early 40’s, I’m guessing, with a pleasantly attractive face that's slightly craggy in a Tommy Lee Jones way. Artificial blond highlights grasp at the tips of his brown hair. Hazel eyes, probably. His body is fit as a swimmer's with long muscles, narrow waist, broad-shoulders.   

And a nipple ring.

Of course, I’m watching as he applies lotion. Though he lays facedown when finished, which somehow disappoints me but then tugs at his short, plaid swim trunks until the first curve of his muscular ass is exposed. Minimization of tan lines, I get it. 

It won’t take long before the sun bakes anything it touches on an island close to the equator. And it doesn’t.

Wiping at his brow with tanned fingers, he slips into the ocean. My eyes squint to see his body’s reflection cut smooth stokes through its crisp brightness. Cooling off from the sun’s merciless intensity before slowly ascending the wood steps directly in front of me.

My daughter wakes from her nap on an adjacent chair and asks,

“Mom, what do you keep looking at?”

“Whatever,” I reply, flipping my hand as if it were nothing.

33-333 words for the 3rd definition of the word WHATEVER:
3.   (adverb) Used to show that something is not important