Susan Boyle’s Dream

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For those of you who have ever judged a book by it’s cover.. for those who’ve ever been surprised by a person who far exceeded your expectations based on nothing but what you saw on the outside.. I invite you to spend a couple of minutes watching this.  I wish I could embed it here, but embedding has been disabled.  Please go watch it.  It brought tears to my eyes and made me vow to be far less judgmental in the future.

Bravo, Susan.  

Now tell the truth.. were you expecting THAT?

The Removal of Christmas

Would someone out there like to come over and get rid of Christmas for me?  The tree and all the decorations need to be taken down and put away, and the cookies need to be tossed.  It seems my husband and I have grown increasingly lazy over the last two weeks and lack all motivation (the cookies may have something to do with that).

And while you’re at it, could I get you to take the lights off the house too?  I warned my husband that “what goes up, must come down” (and be stored somewhere) but he didn’t heed the warning.  He put SOOOOO many lights and inflatables in the yard and on the house.  Our street looked like the Vegas strip, as there was an unspoken competition between my husband and two of the other ‘manly men’ on the street over which house had the biggest and best decorations.  Men.

 The neighbors took down their decorations yesterday but our house is still quite festive looking-even though we are painfully aware that IT’S OVER.  

When do you get rid of Christmas and all the trimmings?

A Dazzling Opening

The eyes of the world are watching the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing today.  In a  breathtaking display of beauty, art, symbolism, and technology, the Chinese really put on a show.  

Am I the only weirdo who cried a little bit?

Our family is most looking forward to the gymnastics, swimming, diving, and track and field events.  

What are you looking forward to?

A Shaky Fish Story

Today some friends and I took our kids (4 moms, 16 kids under the age of 10) to our local movie theater, where there are free movies every Tuesday all summer.  The theater was jammed- there was not even one empty seat.  Today’s movie was Fred Claus starring Vince Vaughan.  We laughed throughout and enjoyed the chilly wintery scenes, which were effective in cooling us off on this hot July morning.  Everything was just fine, until 11:42am, when the theater started to roll.

Yes, roll!  We live in Southern California, where the earth moves regularly.  My friend and I recognized immediately that we were experiencing an earthquake, but this was a first for my 9 and 10 year old kids. As the rolling turned to jolting and the movement got a little more intense, people gasped and stood up and started to go for the aisles.  My friend Angela shouted out, “Remain calm!  Don’t panic!” several times… who wants to get trampled, right??- and for the most part people were calm.  My legs turned to jello and I was shaking because you can’t know if the quake will stop or gather strength.  Having lived through 2 major earthquakes (with major aftershocks each time), I was a little jumpy.

Everyone exited the theater safely, with no trampling and lots of nervous laughter, and immediately got on their cell phones.  I was able to get ahold of my husband right away but my friend, who’s mother lives just a few miles from the epicenter, could not get her mom on the phone.  We heard later that the cell lines collapsed pretty quickly with the overload on the system from everyone trying to make calls all at once.

My kids have told and re-told their “survivor” story to friends and relatives several times now, and the earthquake gets bigger and bigger with each retelling, like a fish story (it was THIIIISSSS BIG!)  It was a moderate quake, 5.4 on the Richter scale, but it was their first, so to them it was a whale!

Now THAT’S old!

Q:  What do Alaska, margaritas, area codes, nylon and The Golden Gate Bridge all have in common?  

A:  They are all younger than Republican presidential hopeful, John McCain!   

Is he older than dirt and God, too??? Read the book and find out!  (The book comes out in August, but can be pre-ordered).

The Sunday Salon: Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is here, but it seems strange to say Happy Memorial Day when it’s such a somber holiday. Still, for most people it’s 3 days off, enough time to get away, relax, recharge, and that is certainly something to be happy about.  But in between barbeques and whatever fun stuff you have planned, I hope you’ll take time to think about the brave men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.  Patti from Displaced Beach Bums wrote a lovely Memorial Day post about remembering that speaks to the true meaning of the holiday. 

It’s been an exciting reading week for me.  One of the highlights was an email from Meg Waite Clayton, author of the new novel, The Wednesday Sisters.  Turns out she’s a fellow LibraryThing early reviewer, and graciously agreed to write a guest post for Books on the Brain about her very own book club.  I can’t wait to read her thoughts!  I haven’t read her book yet, but I’ve heard great things, and my bud Trish from Hey, Lady! offered to send it to me.  It’s good to have friends. 

I was also thrilled to discover I’d snagged another LT early reviewer book, The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen.  I loved her earlier novel Garden Spells, reviewed HERE, so I can’t wait to read this one to see how it compares. 

A box arrived on my doorstep Thursday from the Literary Ventures Fund.  I’d requested a book from them, and to my surprise they sent me not one but FIVE books!  I started one of them yesterday called The Fires by Alan Cheuse.  It’s actually two novellas in one book.  I’m flying through it and should have a review up by Tuesday.

I am going to have to take a speed reading class to keep up with all these books!!  Although skimming and reading superfast really isn’t my style, because I find I don’t retain as much when I try to read faster.  Slow and methodical, that’s me.  Anyone else like that?

What are you doing this weekend?  We saw Indiana Jones yesterday and went to eat at Red Robin with my parents. The kids had a friend sleep over, and my oldest has another sleepover party to attend tonight.  I pulled weeds and planted some green beans yesterday.  Thankfully it wasn’t too hot and I was able to get it all done.  My husband will continue painting his office today.  He’s been at it since Friday and is in his own little world.  Me?  I’m reading..

Have a great week!