Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Book Review: The Flying Troutmans

As of late I have been in a terrible book slump. I consider myself an avid reader and somewhere smack in the middle of my recent maternity leave (Aug-Oct), I hit a wall where I had no interest in reading anything other than my mail or the Sunday paper. (Prior to that, while my babies were in the NICU for 17 days, I mowed through all 1400 pages of the last two Harry Potter's. I needed another world to run to and Harry served that purpose beautifully.)

I tried to start Chuck Klosterman's Killing Yourself to Live but it didn't take. (Interestingly, Klosterman is my maiden name but I don't believe I am related to Chuck.) I also started The Boleyn Inheritance, An Irish Country Doctor, and Playful Parenting. None of which I got more than 35 pages into.

Then, thankfully, my friend Kelly suggested I read The Flying Troutmans. So I sent my sweet hubs to the A. Frank Smith, Jr. Library to procure it for me and into the Troutman's journey I went. (By the by, the A. Frank Smith library happens to be my favorite library. Not only is it located at my alma mater, but it also has the best nook and cranny style alcoves with soft leather chairs where one can get lost reading, writing, or whatever-ing for hours.)

Review: The journey of the Troutman trio (Aunt Hattie, nephew Logan, and neice Thebes) begins in Canada as they drive in search of the childrens' father. Their mother, Min, has once again gone off the deep end into depression, landed in a mental institution, and left the kids to fend for themselves. Aunt Hattie has come from Paris to save the day if only she knew what two teenage children actually needed from an adult figure. Author Toews' does a brilliant job of describing her characters, especially that of Thebes.

An Excerpt: "At the airport, Thebes came running over to me dressed entirely in royal blue terry cloth, short shorts and cropped top, and covered in some kind of candy necklace powder. The empty elastic was still around her throat. Or maybe she wore that thing all the time. She had fake tattoos all over her arms and her hair was intense purple, matted and wild, and she melted into me when I put my arms around her and tried to lift her off the ground."

What I enjoyed most was being tossed into the crazy road-trip with them, not sure where the story was going or how it would end. This book is also one of those that left me with questions at the end yet I enjoying trying to fill in the holes myself. The characters were honest, relatable, and real. A great book to quench my thirst for reading and bate my palate for more.

Rating: 4/5 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Alter Ego Friday

Today's Friday. On Friday at work, I can get a little silly, a little snarky, and more than a little opinionated. I was once accused of sending an alter ego to work for me. Said alter ego even has a name, invented by my former work group. Having a named alter ego is uber convenient because I can blame things on her. Her name rhymes with my name but is the antithesis of me in every way.

Ready to know her name yet? I'll tell you at the end of this blog after I share a couple random things that interest me today. 

Did anyone else see the Queen of England riding public transportation?

Her Majesty, Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, took the train to the English countryside Thursday, the same as a commoner.

It's certainly not everyday the Queen can be spotted on the 10:45am train. My theory is that someone told her "no, you most certainly cannot take public transport to your vast estate." And she said, "oh yes I will! Don't you realize who you are talking to? I'm the Queen of several countries and have a title too long to relate to you right now."

Ha. (psst, have I ever told you that I kind of have a thing for monarchies? So excited about the new "Young Victoria" movie.)

I got a new cookbook and I'm so excited to tell you about it.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl. Doesn't that sound right up my alley? My great co-worker Yvette saw this cookbook and thought it was perfect for me. Ree Drummond, the "accidental country girl," (love that phrase!) writes all about her city-turned-country life with great photographs and awesome recipes. Check out this blackberry cobbler. And can I say how much I love the photo for each step in the recipe? Brilliant! 

The Sing-Off
Please tell me some of you dear readers got caught up in this show. It began with 6 or 8 acapella groups singing popular songs and wearing the cutest darned outfits. (Who does the wardrobe for that show? Aside from a couple groups looking right out of an Old Navy commercial, it was great eye candy.) If you like Glee, you'll like this show. Try to find some episodes online or something. It will suck you in! And bonus: it's a super short TV show commitment. Only 4 episodes total!

I'm rooting for the Beelzebubs. They appeal to my preppy, ex-high school-choir girl side. ;-)

And now for the big reveal:
My alter ego name is a name that rhymes with Lacy but starts with an "R" and a name that rhymes with Rohre but starts with a "W." It's too scandalous to type and you have to whisper it when you say it. Remember: this name is the antithesis of me but is funny b/c it rhymes with my real name. I encourage you to designate an alter ego name for yourself today. Happy Friday!


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