Saturday, December 31, 2011

10 Reasons My Mom Rules

1.She thinks Salads aren't enough for a meal
2. She's a master seamstress(she sewed my Prom dress)
3. One thing she regrets is not being able to spend more time with me and my sisters
4. She had five kids (with big heads)
5. She loves to watch Bones with me
6. She introduced me to the movie The Christmas Card
7. She doesn't yell at me and my dad when we whisper in church
8. She puts up with the tons of Christmas lights on her house
9. She makes the best buttercream frosting I've ever tasted (and there is no way I can replicate it)
10. She is also the oldest child

Friday, December 30, 2011

10 Reasons My Dad Rules

1. For my first birthday he bought me a China doll.
2. He taught me how to play baseball and use tools
3. Even though he denied it (and will continue to deny it) he watched Alias with me
4. He wants to see A Very Potter Musical
5. Even though he is not big into politics he voted for the last political candidate because I was passionate about the candidate
6. He introduced me to the Three Stooges and Get Smart
7. He whispers with me during Church
8. He likes to go nuts with outside Christmas lights
9. He laughs at my Simpsons impressions
10. He doesn't get mad when I steal his leftovers from the fridge

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review of "Overprotected"

Yesterday I read the book "Overprotected" by Jennifer Laurens. The book is a Young Adult novel that will be in bookstores in February 2012, but is already available on Kindle and Nook, which is how I found it. The book was a quick read, taking me less than 24 hours to read through it at a leisurely rate (meaning the total reading time was probably four-six hours). While I thought the book had an interesting story line I had several problems with.

Overview of the Book:
Ashlyn is a 17 Upper East Side New Yorker. When she was a child her nanny kidnapped her and threatened to kill her. Since her return to her parents, Ashlyn has been under 24 hour surveillance by her parents (mostly her overprotective father) and bodyguards hired to live in the house and keep tabs on her every movement. At the beginning of the story Ashlyn is assigned a new bodyguard, Collin. Collin is an old childhood friend who used to tease and taunt Ashlyn. Based on those memories Ashlyn initially resents and hates Collin. But the couple gets closer and romance blossoms.

Critique of Plot:
I had several problems with the plot. First of all, the narrative seemed rushed. Character development is rushed so that many characters become stereotypes. Ashlyn's mother is a cliche character straight out of "Real Wives of ...". Even at the end of the novel when the mom's character developed and changed I was not invested enough in the character to care.
Along with character development I thought the hatred Ashlyn felt for Collin and the resolution to be contrived. First, I didn't believe that anything Collin did to Ashlyn would warrant strong hatred (chasing someone around with a live crab at the beach isn't enough for me). Second of all, Ashlyn only had to see the "gorgeous" Collin to forgive him.
Another major problem with the plot was that it dealt with some very dark issues (suicide attempt, kidnapping, attempted rape, stalking, adultery, unhealthy parental control which I felt became abusive) in a casual manner. Overall, the book failed in trying to be a light beach read because of all the dark plot points, but it also failed at being a book I could take seriously because it seemed so rushed.

Side Note:
Another aspect that made the book seemed rushed was the complete lack of editing. As I was never the model English student I try not to be too critical about grammar mistakes. However, as I read Overprotected I came across many continuity errors. While describing the weather Jennifer Laurens skips between November and January. A party (and significant point in the book)originally takes place on a Friday night but in the next chapter when the characters are discussing the events of the night refer to it as Saturday. This editing mistakes are something I would expect in a manuscript but not in a published work.

Overall Impression 
I think there was some good potential for Overprotected but it wasn't fully discovered. There were some unique devices that Jennifer Laurens used to signify a shift in Ashlyn's attitude, but they were overshadowed by the problems she had in the book.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Tradition

One of the best Christmas traditions I have is my holiday get together with my friends. Since we don't have money to spend on gifts for each other my friends and I decided that around every Christmas we would spend time going out and doing something. Last year we saw the play Spamalot, the year before we saw the play Animal Crackers. This year, we decided to go ice skating. It was my friend Meg's first time ice skating (she did awesome, total pro). I haven't skated in 15 years so it felt weird being out on the ice. Seeing some of the other adults on the ice made me want to continue ice skating just to keep up with practice. After skating we went out for dinner (best part we found a place where my friend Katie could have non-chicken, chicken fingers). Best part of our Christmas tradition is spending time with some of my best friends but also that I get to experience some things I wouldn't do anyways.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Things it took me a little longer to learn

1. What stores mean when they advertise BOGO (buy one get one)
2. Truth about Santa (about how he's real)
3. How to take a tequila shot (this took longer because I couldn't pronounce it)
4. How to back a car out of a parking space (I had my license for over 4 years before my sister taught me)
5. When to use who and whom (though now I need to learn the difference between the subject and object of the sentence)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reminder I'm getting old

There are many time I forget that I'm in my mid-twenties and not a teenager. Sometimes I forget because I still live with my parents, sometimes I forget because I still have to borrow a car from my parents, and sometimes I forget because of my love of young adult books. Regardless of the reason, there are many times I am reminded of my real age. I was reminded of this when I started looking for full-time jobs and apartments. I'm continuously reminded of how I'm getting old every time a friend of from high school or grade school gets married, buys a house, or has a baby. Each of these announcements reminds me that I'm not 13 anymore. Luckily, I'm still young enough that being reminded of my actual age excites me.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Exciting Announcement!

My Not So Normal Life 2: School for Spies is now available here: Link to New Book. It's been years since I started the project making the publication that more special. However, the celebration can't last too long since I am working on the third and final book of the My Not So Normal Life series. I want to give a special thanks to Meg for the work on the cover and my sister for her edits.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Problem with "will they, won't they" couples

I am a fan of shows that feature a "will they won't they" couples. These couples are built on the notion that two people are attracted to each other, love each other, and meant for each other, yet they are never supposed to actually be a couple. I have two problems with these couples. My first problem is all the near misses. The times when they are about to kiss, profess their love and something interrupts them. These moments give me indigestion and make my blood pressure sky rocket. My other (and bigger) problem is all the wasted moments. I classify these moments when the couple should do something but don't. The moment when our hero and heroine believe they are about to die and there is nothing. No sidelong glances, no revelations, no attempted hug or kiss. Wouldn't a couple who are supposed to be so attracted and in love use what they thought is their last moment to say these things. So while I understand why writers have these wasted moments, they still aggravate me to no end.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Tradition

Today I undertook a Holiday tradition and watched It's a Wonderful Life. Unlike previous years I went to a special showing at my local theater. My local theater is very old, built in 1928. I thought it fitting I see the 1946 movie in a theater old enough to have played the movie in its opening weekend. Watching the movie on the big screen allowed me to see things I missed in previous screenings. What didn't change in this viewing is how easily I tear up. In the first minute of the movie as characters pray for the hero, George Bailey, I already felt tears burning in my eyes. What always gets to me with the movie is how real it is. Unlike other movies built on impossible premises, It's a Wonderful Life built it's entire concept on the idea that normal acts have a power impact. I would encourage everyone to remember that even the smallest actions have big consequences. And especially in this holiday season, let your friends and family know how grateful you are for the simple things they do for you.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I've been job hunting for two months. Dozens of applications and three interviews later and still no job. As the holidays approach and I go to social functions I find my optimism for finding a job lessening. Those who have a grudge against lawyers seem almost smug that I can't find a job, like karma is kicking me for choosing the profession. Others, upon finding out I'm unemployed, give me a look like the "special" kid who still has to use safety scissors. It's gotten to the point where my desire for a job for financial security and professional goals is being dwarfed by my desire to rid myself of the social stigma of unemployment. If there is one thing I learned from this experience is that no matter how high the unemployment rate is, you are still looked down on for being employed or under employed.