Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hello, Llama POD

Barracks Row, Oktoberfest petting zoo

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsoon

I was very skeptical when we selected this book for Oktober Book Klub because

1. it's the first part in a trilogy, are we going to read the other two books?


2. it's a thriller, will we have more to talk about than just plot?

I don't yet know the answers to these queries. I do know that Oprah picked her latest Book Club selection because I had at least 7 emails in my Inbox about it today from amazon and Barnes and Noble and saw it mentioned on 10 blogs in my google reader. I also know that I stayed up way too late past weeknight bedtime last night reading this novel and then walked over to the computer like a ROBOT, ROBOT to reserve the second installment at the library. In trying to be more thrifty and less wasteful with book purchasing, it seemed like a good idea to actually try and use that Arlington library card I got two years ago and used only once. Well, the universe must be trying to tell me something because I am 170th on the waitlist for The Girl who Played with Fire. And coincidentally second on the list for The Girl's Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch). Super.

The story takes place mostly in modern day Sweden. Have you ever been to Sweden? Do you know Hedeby Island or Uppsala or Uddevalla? Because it's sort of maddening if you don't. Oh, he went to Uppsala for the weekend? Oh, OK cool. I have not idea what that means.

The protagonist, Mikael Blomkvist, is a financial reporter who gets convicted of slander of a business tycoon. He temporarily leaves his magazine job and conveniently gets hired by an old rich guy, Henrik Vanger, to investigate the disappearance of Vanger's niece. The niece disappeared more than forty years ago, but Vanger is still obsessed with finding out what happened. He suspects that she was murdered, probably by someone in the family, and every single year on his birthday, someone tauntingly sends him an exotic pressed flower in a frame, a tradition his niece had started before her disappearance.

Blomkvist doesn't think he'll be able to crack a case that has 40 years worth of research behind it, but his incentive is the damaging information Vanger promises to give him about that scoundrel tycoon. Oh and along the way he crosses paths with a girl who has a dragon tattoo. She is socially inept but is secretly a genius and totally a bad ass.

Towards the end there the story takes a turn and gets sort of sickening and gross, Silence of the Lambs style. But things get resolved. For the most part. And then you're just left sitting there wondering why your waitlist number has not moved even one spot.

4 out of 5

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Are your friends making you fat?

Read this article. I definitely eat more healthy with some friends and less healthy with others. Friends, please stop eating tons of food items loaded with high fructose corn syrup!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Things I do to keep my job

Drive to the UPS Store minutes before the last Saturday pick-up for Monday morning delivery, arrive incorrectly at the "McLean Pack N Ship" with its misleading UPS flag waving in the breeze outside its front door, abandon the car, and run the rest of the way holding an 18-pound box of tax returns. Made it!

Last few days of tax busy season POD

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Swirling around in my head

GET OUT OF MY FACEBOOK. So I am actually contemplating shutting down my facebook account. I have had facebook basically since the beginning of time. Sure there's been a hiatus now and then, but for the most part KT has been a loyal user. A recent tangent discussion at Book Klub left me seriously rethinking my future commitment. Of my 289 friends I actually only speak to a small fraction in real life. And then I find myself following the updates and photos of tons of people I haven't spoken to in years, guessing they do the same with me. Although not so much bothered by the whole Big Brother aspect you keep hearing about, I AM intensely bothered by losers clogging up my home page with their Mafia Wars game updates and quiz results, job recruiter friend requests, people with maddening status updates. Perhaps what irks me the most is that while I don't spend a whole lot of time on facebook, I spend more time on it than reading The New Yorker or The Economist or _____something more productive_______ without really gaining much from it. Also, have you read this article? A shut down seems like the equivalent of going cold turkey. Brutal. Perhaps a massive de-friending is in order first. UPDATE: I did it, I cut down facebook by more than 80%. Now fifty people left to follow/to follow me. Oh my god, what have I done?

Embracing the wave. I am letting my hair go wavy, people. Wearing it down, no straightener, slightly messy, wavy, mermaid hair. Embrace it.

Apartment therapy. Roommate Mike is going to business school next year, so either next February or next August, to be decided, naked Thursdays and pants optional everyday will be a permanent installation. Hah. In the meantime I can't stop thinking about the big comfy leather chair I plan on buying for my lazy reading of the Sunday Times, or which photos to print and which antique maps to purchase on Etsy for my new wall hangings. Stop me, I'm getting too fancy ahead of myself.

Candy apple. There's no more denying it. I have a big head. My head is too large for my body.

The Help

The Help
by Kathryn Stockett

Good book, shoddy review of it on my part. Going to blame that on tax busy season, reading that needs to be completed for my State and Local Taxation class, a thorough discussion of the book at Book Klub, and Mad Men coming on in a bit.

4 out of 5