Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Adventures in Civic Duty and other musings.

A few weeks ago, I received what most people dread, but I look forward to: a jury summons. I am always excited to go downtown (even though the drive is a total bitch) and wait until my juror number is called. Every single time I have gone down to JD, I have always been dismissed. Well, that all changed yesterday. My number was called, we assembled into a panel, and I was the first juror picked. Hooray! No really, this is what I looked like on the inside:

No really. I was THAT excited.

It was a misdemeanor case, so there were only 6 of us on the jury. After we heard both sides, we adjourned to the room to deliberate. They lock you in there, that shit it no joke. There's 2 bathrooms, and you can totally hear people peeing. It's awkward, but not, because there is nothing you can do. There's a buzzer that you press if you have questions or are ready to deliver the verdict. I was unanimously elected foreman, so I was the representative of the group. My signature is on the paper that contains the verdict. It's very surreal. It was thrilling up until the point where we went back to deliberate. Then my mood changed. Even though it was a small charge, knowing that someone's fate is in your hands is very big, and very emotional. My anxiety was riding high. This case was one where if one particular witness would not have come forward, then the guy would have been not-guilty. Easy Peasy. But, the witness proved that the defendant was guilty. So, a guilty verdict was brought forth from the jury. I still was full of melancholy once we were released, but I did improve once the day went on. I made Gamer Stud take me to Five Guys Burgers because I needed to eat the rest of my feelings. Which I did! It looked just like this:


I have heard several rumblings that someone is trying to make un-poppable bubble wrap a thing. STOP TRYING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN! IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, YOU DICKS! That is one of the worst ideas ever conceived. That's almost as bad as MTV trying to do a Rocky Horror remake. People freaked out so hard, that they stopped. It never even made it to any kind of production! Success!

I'm going to attempt to make banana bread tonight, so we'll see how that turns out. I want to say that I've made it before. If I have it's been a while. Hooray for baking!

Metal as fuck, yo.

Monday, July 27, 2015



No really. That's what I thought of when I saw the title. I expected a Dateline-esque story, and I was left hanging.

I will also say that I don't remember this case. At all. Sure I was 11 at the time of the murders, but I remember Selena and Yolanda Saldivar, Karla Faye Tucker, and even Amber Hagerman; whose unsolved murder would eventually bring forth the AMBER alert system. I have no recollection of the 6-6-6 murders. With a name like that, I think I would. I've also ready enough to true crime to be familiar with other cases. But I digress...

I really enjoy reading true crime for some reason, please don't ask me why; so I was looking forward to reading this book. I will give credit to the thorough investigating and research that the author did for this case. Even as I kept reading, I was still divided over Darlie's position. Was she guilty? Did she kill her two oldest sons and slash her throat just millimeters from the kill spot? Or was the house really broken into, Darlie attacked, and the boys stabbed to death? After finishing the book, I lean more to the innocent side. I think the husband had more to do with it than he let on, and I think that someone was hired to do hurt/kill people in the house. The family was so concerned about getting Darlie out of jail and found not guilty, that they completely overlooked the fact that she could be found guilty and go to jail. Which is exactly what happened. This entire case is proof that you need to inform yourself and others ACCURATELY about the judicial process, criminal investigations, and so on. Always get a lawyer, even if you are innocent. Fumbling crime scenes are bound to happen, and people will lie to cover up their mistakes.

I really wish that there were some sort timeline that has all of the events together, because I think that I got a little lost in the book with all of the interviews. That being said, I did enjoy the interviews from the various people involved either with the case, or part of Darlie's family. It was a great way to put different perspectives of the case to work and to show the reader all is not what it seems. I would also like to see updates to the book if there is any more evidence released, including more DNA testing.

**DISCLAIMER** I have been compensated and provided with materials for this review. However, the views and opinions are mine, and mine only. Thank you.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Book Review: The Story Keeper

Bookception. A story within a story. Thus begins Wingate's tale. Within a few days of starting her new job at Vida House Publishing, Jenina Beth Gibbs finds an old manuscript on her desk. Knowing that she shouldn't read it and she should return it to the infamous "slush pile," she reads it anyway and is transported (not literally) back in time to late 1800s Appalachia. Being from there, she goes back home to find the author, which she assumes is also the author of a best-selling time travelling series, complete with celebration weeks at the setting of the story.

I have to say that I enjoyed the book, but it ended to abruptly, making me feel very unfulfilled. The author attempted to wrap everything up in the last few chapters with a pretty bow, and it didn't really work for me. It felt very rushed. The way the book ended wasn't the way I was expecting to to end, but it made sense. I just wish that there was more to the end. I would like to see a continuation, but I don't know if an entire novel will do it justice. Maybe a novella.

The religious aspect of the book was something that intrigued me. I thought of the Brethren Saints as backwoods Duggars, But the Duggars aren't as extreme. Mental, physical, and emotional abuse run rampant to keep the women in the kitchen and the men in charge. I know that there are other religions out there that are similar, and it makes me angry. Even without their religion, the people are stuck in their situation due to low funds, lack of education, etc. Only a few, like Jenina Beth Gibbs, make it out because they are stronger than the abuse. Everyone has potential to break free, but some choose not to out of fear, laziness, or they simply don't know any better. This is also why I would like to see a continuation. I would like to see the future of JBG's family.

This book isn't going to get a huge conversation going, but it definitely needs a discussion. The back of the book has some included, but here's a handy link for the discussion questions:

Like I said, this would be a great book for a small discussion, to the point where I might mention this to our Inspirational Book club person for one of their next books.

**DISCLAIMER** I have been compensated and provided with materials for this review. However, the views and opinions are mine, and mine only. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The truth shall come out.

Obviously, the time gap between the last post and the post before was 8ish months. Like I said in my last post, I have several posts written, but never posted them. I’ll just chalk that up to laziness, k? K.

I was recently invited by a dear friend to read, review, promote, and do a few other things about Texas books (writers from Texas, books about Texas, etc.). I will be compensated for these posts, but I will say this up front now, whatever I put down on that post is my opinion and my opinion only. I will do my best make sure that I separate the promos from the publisher and what I write. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that the only way you’re going to persuade me to write a good review is to put Michael Fassbender in front of me. Naked. With Godiva Chocolate cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. I would still probably not be biased, but it would make it more tempting if that were the prize. Eyes on the prize, Middy, eyes on the super foxy, delicious, dat ass prize.

OMG! How Can I forget?! **SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION ALERT** This is my “official” Facebook page for this blog. Give it a like, will ya? Not only will I be posting links to the newest blog posts, but I also will be sharing random shit that I find interesting.

Side Note: I really want to start a feature where library people send in their library horror/awesome/”you’re joking, right?” stories so that we may share with world. I think it would be pretty rad. Shit kids say, things people complain about, etc. I will recommend Jezebel’s Kitchenette sub-blog, Behind Closed Ovens. Sometimes not for the squeamish. But hilarious and grotesque each time. Seriously. It’s gold. A new set comes out every Monday around lunchtime. I’m not a huge Jezebel reader, but they get my views for BCO!\

New post! Now with super-shitty MS Paint skillz!!

I can’t tell you how many half-written entries I have saved into a folder on my flash drive. I think I should get a LITTLE credit for attempting this blog. It counts, right? Of course it does. It’s the thought that counts.

Now onto to other things…

I moved back to the lieberry where it all started. Now, was it a good decision? The jury is still out on that one. But it is leaning to one side. The commute is awesome. It’s nice to get home and not be exhausted and amped up at the same time. My road rage has gotten somewhat better, so that’s good too.

The co-habilitating thing is working out nicely. He’s putting up with my messy, scattered, unorganized self, and I’m putting up with his whack-a-doo scheduled, gaming-obsessed, toy hunting self. Don’t ask me how it works, but it just does. I wouldn’t change a thing. Especially since we HAVE PASSED THE 1-year mark. Because HOLY SHIT THIS IS REAL, Y’ALL. Still don’t know how we’ve made this far.

I have this master plan to create this recipe database a la the Betty Crocker app! I’m totally going to enlist the help of Gamer Stud’s bfff. Hopefully I’ll be able to bribe him with Scotch. That’s legal tender, right? Basically, you put in the ingredients you have on hand, and it shows you a few options that you can make. Pretty easy, right? I have a binder that everything is in right now, but digital is so convenient when you’re pressed and don’t have the time to go hunting for a recipe. Speaking of recipes, keep an eye out for some of those bad boys. I’ve been trying several ones out, so hopefully I’ll remember to take pictures of the process. But let’s be honest, it’s probably not going to happen.

I cooked this totally delicious casserole from a recipe that I got from the back of a bag of cheese last night. Well, GS did most of the cooking before I got home since he was off, so I swooped in and did next to nothing. Woo! I totes forgot to take pictures, so next time around (and there will be a next time), I’ll be sure to put some along with the recipe.

I promised myself that I would include a little bit of everything when I started up yet another blog. So, this time around, I’m going to include some book reviews that I did earlier in the year. The books may or may be something that you would want to read, or it may inspire you to actually pick it up and give it a whirl!

Atlantia by Ally Condie

So here I was getting super excited about this book, because OMGIBETITSARETELLINGOFTHELITTLEMERMAIDYAAAASSSSS. But NO. That is not what this book is about.

My first mistake was mistaking the title, Atlantia, with Ariel's home, Atlantica. NOT THE SAME, Y'ALL.
Then, they have the nerve to go and put Ursula's shell on the cover. Again, NOT THE SAME Y'ALL. Now, the shell is very significant, just like Ursula's so there’s that.

Here’s the dust jacket blurb to give more of a summary than a review:

Can you hear Atlantia breathing? For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose. Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

I guess I should get on with the review, right? Overall, I enjoyed the book. When I was able to sit down and read for a continuous amount of time (not just 10 minutes here, 20 here, etc) I found myself flying through the pages. But, not in a good way. This was my first Ally Condie book, and I feel as though it will also be my last. I kept skimming through because it was pretty darn bland. I kept waiting for something to happen, and there were a few events, but nothing enough to really grab me. There was a lot of build-up, but no boom. I’m not saying I need that every time I read book, but if you’re going to spend over 4 chapters building something up, you better pay up! The book had so much potential, but it left me wanting more. More detail, more character development, more stops on the plot line. I think if the book was expanded another 100-150 pages, I would have been sold. I feel like I could write a companion piece expanding both the Below and the Above. Especially the Above. I needed more. The Above felt like the way the Games in Catching Fire started. Water and lots of surprise death. Meh. Overall, I just needed more. MORE I SAY!

Aright. That’s it for now. BYE Y’ALL!