Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rock Band

Dear Makers of Rock Band

Santa left Rock Band Special Edition for our family this year. The entire family has had a great time playing - especially my oldest, the budding rock star - no really he's good on a real guitar too.

Anyway, while the rock star in the family loves the great guitar tracks even though he doesn't really know any of the songs, the rest of the family is thinking we'd enjoy this even more if we were better aquainted with the songs - particullaly when trying to sing.

So I've put together a request list.

For the younger set (think preschool) - My youngest would get a 100% on every song if you checked out the Backyardigans catalogue of songs. My oldest probably wouldn't mind playing backup for her vocals either since the Backyardigans encompass a variety of styles.

For the elementary school crowd - Jonas, Hannah, Miley, Disney Movies - I know you would probably have issues working with Disney, but I'm sure you could find a way to work it out.

For the parents - I'd love something a little less "rock" a little more pop. I admit it freely - I like Elton John and Billy Joel. And my husband would like anything released in 1985.

For the older crowd - how 'bout the roots of rock, a little Elvis, early Beatles, something for the rockin' Seniors in our lives.

Thanks bunches.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Book Review

I am an avid reader. Avid might not be a strong enough word. Obsessive, compulsive, addicted . . .you get the picture. Until recently anyway. I've been having a hard time completing books, which is not usually a problem as I am afflicted with "must finish the book no matter how bad it is" syndrome. But lately . . . well, I have two books that I have started and not finished. Both seem to be good books so far. I just can't get excited about reading them, or anything else for that matter. Except I did breeze through Hot Mahogany by Stuart Woods recently.

At first I thought this book was the cause of my reading malaise (did I use the word correctly?). I wanted to read it, but was trying to stay away from it because I had been EXTREMELY disappointed with the last several Stone Barrington novels by Woods. I know I used to really like his work. I remember thinking Chiefs was fabulous (note to self: reread this one, just to be sure) and many of the earlier books were also good. His books can't always have been this bad or I never would have read as many as I have, or feel compelled to keep reading them even when my expectations are so low.

So did Hot Mahogany disappoint? In a word, yes.

The plot had potential, but it didn't seem to be fully thought out or else the reader wasn't given enough to follow the path. The characters, which should feel as real and multi-faceted as a living person, considering the number of books Woods as written about them, were flat, stale, stereotypical and one-dimensional.

In the acknowledgements at the end of the book, Woods thanks his editor for her light touch. I'd say, his editor should work a little harder at helping her author put out respectable work or look for a new line of work. Just because he's been writing and published for 25 years does not mean everything he writes is worthy of publication. Someone should stop giving Stuart Woods a free pass and I suppose that should start with me.

I will not purchase Woods' next novel. If I absolutely must read it, I will find it at the library.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It Had to Happen Sometime

All of my kids have had a favorite blanket as babies. All of my kids still have a favorite blanket. Four of my kids still carry their blankets around the house with them. Two of my kids still like to take their blankets with them when we leave the house. The youngest occasionally adds a doll or stuffed animal that must travel with her. Occasionally the blanket and/or doll/stuffed animal must accompany us into the store.

Last Friday was such a day. P had to bring her kitty into Target with us. Half-way through our list P decided to put her kitty in the cart and carry the bread.

All was well until I asked where her kitty was as we were getting out of the van at the bank. Kitty had not made it out of the cart. Kitty was not actually lost because we knew where she most likely was, but kitty was missing in action.

P was surprisingly calm while we waited in line at the bank, only once reminding me that we needed to go find kitty. P was surprisingly calm on the drive back to Target, while I was anxiously praying that they hadn't moved the carts yet, that if someone had found kitty, they had turned him in, that I would not have to deal with a broken-hearted little girl.

Seeing our cart parked exactly where I had left it was the greatest relief. Finding kitty tucked in the bottom of the cart was fabulous. Seeing the smile on P's face when I tossed kitty into her arms was priceless.

And today, when she wanted to take kitty into IKEA, she thought twice . . . and then left him in the car.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Election Madness

I bet you thought The Election was over with a month ago. And I bet you had the same feeling on that Wednesday morning -- Thank Heavens that's over. Now we can just get on with it.

Am I right?

But, alas, for us poor souls in Georgia, the election did not end a month ago. Sure the big stuff was decided, but we had one last decision to make - a run off for the Senate. And apparently it was a BIG deal. Apparently this one senate seat would be the deciding seat in the balance of power in the Senate. (I haven't done any research to see how the numbers actually look, but this is how it's being played in the media.)

So while the rest of the nation has been basking in the glow that comes after 18 months of campaigning, we have lived through another month of commercials and mudslinging and those darn automated phone calls that, while they might be filled with info about the candidates qualifications or stance on the issues, I feel are really designed to show you just how well the candidate is connected and to impress you with the clout they have. But really we all know, we just hang up the instant we realize who or what is on the other end of the line.

So today is election day again. I have done my civic duty (which maybe I could have avoided if I had voted for the guy in the first place rather than abstaining from that vote by not choosing either candidate). Now please let someone win, so I can just get on with it.