Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011 – Barcelona Part 2

Did I happen to mention that similar to NYC where there is a Starbucks on every corner, in Barcelona there is a Gelato Vendor every 20 feet.  I don’t know why it took me so long to realize it, but I’ve decided that the universal language of Europe is Gelato.  Ok maybe not a language, but it should be.  In the US L and I were working on completing the list of 20 burgers you should eat before you die.  We’ll have to pick that back up when we return.  In the meantime we have replaced that with doing a comparison of both the chocolate and gelato quality of every city/country we visit.  So far Switzerland is winning the chocolate race with Belgium running a very close second.  Italy (specifically Venice) is winning the gelato war, but we’ll continue to do our extremely scientific study.

While we were in Barcelona I screwed up my courage and had paella.  Fine, it didn’t take much courage I had the vegetarian version.  I’m not completely insane, I know full well that if I had ordered the seafood version that at least one of the fish would have come with the head intact.  (a) I don’t want my food looking at me and (b) have you ever seen a shrimp???  They are hideous looking.  Besides that I don’t really like crustaceans.  Well except for shrimp cocktail but those are definitely headless.  On the other hand L is very brave and apparently unphased by having the heads on shrimp… etc so she went for the seafood version.  I’m happy to report that we both enjoyed our meals but I did not take a picture of her’s.  Trust me, that’s just fine.

What else did we do?  We went to a couple of museums and I learned a valuable lesson: just because I enjoy some contemporary art does not mean that I will enjoy all contemporary art.  We went to the MAC BA (The Museum of Contemporary Art) and I take full responsibility for this decision.  They were having a special exhibit called “Volum!”.  Seriously, that should have been a clue but I was obviously not paying attention.  Imagine walking into the noisiest bar you have ever been in, then increase the volume about 2 fold, add newsreel and a headache into the mix.  Then call it art.  No I didn’t appreciate the installation.  There must be people out there that see the value in this type of display, but it was beyond my intellectual tastes.

I will be more careful in my future selections.

Some random pictures we took in the city:

I love this picture

 Gelato





I believe this is another Gaudi building.  How cool is the dragon roof...

It seems you can rent these little 3 wheeled car like things





Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 2011 - Barcelona Part 1

L and I spent a long weekend exploring Barcelona.  Here’s a quick list of the things that impressed me about the city:


(1)   The subway is pretty easy to navigate (especially if L is doing the navigation)

(2)   The city is very pedestrian friendly.  The sidewalks are large and on many of the “main” streets there is large center walkway.

(3)   There are a lot of trees and green space.  I thought Chicago had this idea down pat but Barcelona has raised it to new heights.

 In keeping with tradition.... a Pic of L and I in Barcelona:


We arrived on Thursday and because it was Thanksgiving L had a “traditional” thanksgiving dinner at the Hard Rock Café.  I on the other hand had a traditional thanksgiving burger.  As you may have guessed L said I got the better deal.

L having Dinner and watching the football game, because she said it’s not thanksgiving without football.

While we wandered around Thursday evening I spotted this giant statue/monument of a goat standing on it's hind legs.  Why they have a statue of a goat I have no idea.
L insists that it's not a goat, but that was my first reaction when I saw the statue and frankly I had to share.  Yes, I am making an appointment to have my eyes tested when we are home in December.

I have no idea who this next statue is but you would be cranky too if your head was jammed under a platter:

Friday we went to see a park that Antonio Gaudi helped to build (I believe that is a true statement) that was orginally built as homes but was later donated to the city.  It reminded me of the children's game "Candy Land"


Then we went to the Olympic Stadium and I just liked the shape of the Radio Tower


Saturday we went to see the Sagrada Família, which is the basílica that Gaudí started building in 1889.  It's approximately 60% complete and not scheduled for actually completion until 2030.  It is HUGE and beautiful.  If you go to Barcelona I would highly recommend making a stop to see it.  These are just some of the stained glass.









Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011 – Airplane Etiquette

Many of you know that we flew to Barcelona on Thursday.  Yes, I will be telling you all about it, or at least as much I as I can remember since I am getting older my memory is not so hot.  At one point I thought to myself: “this is why I need a netbook, so I can blog about our trips as they occur”, because no I did not bring my laptop.”

Anyway, back to airplane etiquette.  We flew Swiss Air from Zurich to Barcelona.  I enjoy Swiss Air.  They are typically on-time, the flight staff is always nice, they give you a decent sandwich on the short 1.5 hour flight, and chocolate.  How can you go wrong with an airline that gives you chocolate?  That’s right you can’t. 

Where you can go wrong, is with other passengers.  Now I’m going to generalize here, but I realize that there are some significant cultural differences between Americans and Europeans and the frequency in which we bathe.  I have no doubt that there are many Europeans out there that think we may even verge on fanatical with the frequency of our showers/baths.  I know that there have been occasions where I have even showered twice in the same day.  It’s rare but it happens.  I like to shower in the morning because (a) it wakes me up and (b) I often wake with a headache and it helps relieve it.  As for the second shower, typically happens if I have been working in the yard, or have had a particularly strenuous workout and feel grimy.  No one likes to feel grimy.  Well at least not “this” someone.  Here’s the thing.  Regardless of your views on bathing I would like to respectfully suggest that if you know that you will be spending any time at all in an enclosed space with other human beings, for instance a: plane, train, automobile, heck even an elevator, that you take a shower prior to said activity.

I’m sure the man who was seated next to me on the plane was very nice but he was also extremely odorous.  At one point I considered jamming the cherry menthol cough drops I was carrying up my nose in an effort to stop the scent but I thought that might be a bit extreme and possibly ineffective.  Instead I popped one in my mouth.  If you have ever had a cherry menthol cough drop you know that they overwhelm your sinuses. After about 30 minutes, the guy next to me fell asleep and I thought that I had either gotten used to the scent or my sense of smell had been effectively deadened.  I was wrong, because he eventually woke up and moved.  It seems obvious now that movement would increase airflow and result in a new bout of noxious fumes.  There is a silver lining in all of this: this was a short flight and not one of our trips back to the US. 

So please, if you are someone who only showers once or twice a week, please, please schedule it the day you are going to be on a plane.  The other passengers would appreciate it.  Yes, your spouse “loves” the way you smell, but we can’t all be married to you.  Oh and if you think skipping the shower and going for the heavy dosage of perform/cologne will suffice.  No, really it wont.  That just adds a new layer of overwhelming scent to the mix.  Deodorant will help, but typically only after a shower or at least a quick sink bath.  It does nothing to help eliminate a scent that is already present.

Tomorrow - Barcelona



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24, 2011 - Thanksgiving

Oh I bet you think this blog is going to be a list of all the things I am thankful for, nope.  I'm bucking the trend.  In fact this blog is simply my way of saying Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate the day and to everyone else.  Happy Thursday!

L and I are heading out this morning to Barcelona, I've got the camera charged and ready to go.  The beast is all set.  Carlos is coming to the apartment and will hang out with him for the next few days.  It's an excellent opportunity for the beast to brush up on his spanish.  I'm sure he'll miss "camp".  When you get over laughing at that, I realize I'm kidding myself. 

Gotta run, have a great weekend.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23, 2011 – Workout

Have you ever watched The Biggest Loser? I’m always amazed when they contestants have their first workout and inevitably one or more people throw up.  I always end up wondering how bad do these people have to feel to actually throw up when working out.  Then I wonder, how long have they been working out before they actually throw up: is it hour 1 or hour 6 because that might make a difference.  Well today I came as close as I care to in understanding just what might make someone throw up while working out.  Although, I can’t imagine that I was really exerting that much energy.  I went for a casual 2.5 mile jog and then I met Olivia for a workout.  After a min of jumping rope and wanting to cough up I lung I was left to ponder how the heck I was able to skip rope as a kid on the playground as if it was no effort at all.  Then we moved to a series of lung like things, squats, different lung thingies, chest press, triceps, and then she broke out the flat metal flexible bar that you’re supposed to shake while raising your arms over your head and back down again.  I admit it.  It broke me.  I said a not so silent prayer to the heavens that somebody anybody rescue me.  Where’s a fire alarm when you need one?  Olivia actually heard me and asked me to explain what I had just said.  I told her I made a plea to God to make it stop.  She thought I was kidding.

Do you know what’s really sick and twisted about all of this?  I would do it all over again tomorrow… well maybe the day after… just to prove to myself that I could do better next time.





Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22, 2011 – Brrrrr

It’s probably wrong that I am sitting in my office contemplating putting on a snow hat.  I’m also fairly happy that my laptop is overheating a bit because it’s keeping my hands warmish.  It’s not even that cold outside.  What the heck am I going to do when winter actually arrive.  Yes, I know I’ll be wearing the snow hat indoors instead of contemplating it.

I can remember a time when I would wander around in February in a denim jacket and shorts because I was warm.  Apparently I wasted all of that warmth on youth. 

It's moments like this when I miss a microwave.  Sure I mostly used the one at home as a clock, but it came in handy when I was drinking a cup of tea and needed to reheat it.  Sometimes it's just nice to hold a hot cup in my hands.




Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011 – Weekend Update - Art Show

Sunday L and I went to an Art Show.   I thought it was going to be a series of artists trying to sell their work.  That may actually have been the case in a few instances, but there were also galleries ore private collectors selling pieces.  I finally figured this out when we wandered by a display of painting that looked like Andy Warhol pieces.  I couldn’t imagine why someone would replicate an Andy Warhol and then try to sell it.  Really who wants a fake Cambell’s Tomato Soup can hanging on the wall.  Then I spotted the signature and realized that they were selling actual Andy Warhol pieces.

Then I thought “well hey for a mere 38,000 Euro = 51,000 USD we could own a Warhol or an extremely nice car or have a decent down payment on I don’t know… a house. Really is a painting of a soup can worth that much money?  I can buy a can of Cambell’s Tomato Soup and hang it on a wall for way less.  Plus it would be in 3D.  Ok fine, maybe I just don’t appreciate the finer things in life.  I like my soup hot, and with oyster crackers.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18, 2011 - Ode To Chocolate

I believe this is the final piece of evidence that indicates that I truly have a problem.

If this just came in a tank top I would be buying it in a heartbeat:

http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts-apparel/womens/8f6f/


Hello, my name is CAB and I am addicted to “almost” all things chocolate.  The almost caveat covers:
  • “White” chocolate which isn’t really chocolate a derivative of it.  Of course calling it “coco butter” doesn’t sound nearly as appetizing as “chocolate”, but hey if you like that, cool, someone has to.  Just not me.
  • “Any chocolate candies that contains liquor” has anyone ever eaten a chocolate infused with liquor that actually tasted good?
  • Along those lines: Any chocolate candies that are filled with a weird jelly like substance.  Why would someone do that?
I’m not opposed to things being mixed into chocolate.  I’m a big fan of nuts, peanut butter, nougat, toffee.  OMG Heath Bars are awesome.  Hmm, I’ve not seen anything even remotely Heath Bar-ish in Switzerland.  Oh and I am a huge fan of the Swiss and Belgian Chocolate.  What are those chocolate balls with the soft chocolate centers called?  Wow, that sentence sounds totally inappropriate when I say it out load.

Oh and when you google: Chocolate Addicts this is what comes up:

 Why would anyone go to rehab for chocolate?

So many questions so little time…



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17, 2011 – Bullets


  • I went back to the COOP today and yes that is a bottle of black label Jack Daniels on the shelf and no there was not a bottle of “green label”.  (Someone asked).
  • Next week we are heading to Barcelona for a few days.  We’re taking advantage of the couple of days off I get for Thanksgiving.  L already made reservations at the Hard Rock Café for Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner.  I know, the Hard Rock Café and Thanksgiving dinner just seems wrong, but L loves Thanksgiving and since we will be there she found the only place that was offering it.  So we shall go.  For me personally, Thanksgiving Dinner has to have lasagna for it to be traditional.  Needless to say this should be entertaining and I’m looking forward to it.
  • Our neighbor gave us a “Crumple Map” of Barcelona.  I think this is the coolest thing.  Yes I am easily amused.
  • I have a couple of books I want to read but I am holding off for the weekend so I can stay focused on work.
  • Yes work is kicking my butt
  • I took the time to read the grand jury report on the Penn State Sandusky, for lack of a better word, debacle.  There are not words strong enough to describe my feelings on this and the disgusting lack of action by the parties who were informed of the ongoing abuse.  Hello... why did no one call the POLICE.  Not the campus police/security.  The actual police.  I know there are all sorts of justifications being thrown around.  I also know that I can not imagine what these "witnesses" went through but I would hope that if I had been in their shoes.  I'd have at the very least called the police.
  •  



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011 – Package Store

In Connecticut the liquor store is also called the package store.  I have no idea why; possibly because they wrap the bottles in brown bags.  Or I don’t know maybe in years gone by they used to sell liquor and other items and packaged them all together.  I can also tell you that when I was very young we used to refer to it as “The Packie” again, there is no logical explanation other than we were young and somehow that sounded cool to us.  Of course as an adult, I can roll my eyes at the absurdity of it.

Why am I telling you this?  Well I recall when we 1st moved here wondering where someone could buy liquor, for example: Vodka.  I know that I can buy wine in the grocery store.  Even the tiny COOP in town has an aisle dedicated to all sorts of wines, but the other eluded me.  Obviously, it was not that important to me, because it’s taken 19 months for me to even remotely get a clue.  The other day I was in the COOP and I walked upstairs and was struck with a clue by 4.


Yes the giant Gordon’s Gin display was a bit of clue.  If it were not for that I doubt I would have noticed the small selection of bottles on the back wall.  I’m not the most observant.  Speaking of which, it wasn’t until I revisited this picture that I also realized I could buy a Lottery ticket here as well.

Oh and no, in case you were wondering I did not buy any Gin.  I’m more of a Jack Daniel’s and coke kind of gal.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011 – Pet Peeve


This is not what I had planned on talking about today but then again, nothing ever goes quite as planned.  I like Switzerland.  I do.  Not so much that I want to live here the rest of my life but certainly enough to enjoy the time we are here.  However, and this is a big however.  I’m beyond upset at the number of people who have their dogs off leash.  Worse they are off leash and their owners are nowhere to be seen.  Fine, some people will say that the Swiss are used to having their dogs off leash and that it’s cultural.  Well goodie for them.  Do you know what’s not cultural, having a freaking dog come after me snarling and snapping.  What’s worse is having a dog come after me and my dog, who IS on leash, and the owner being shocked that their dog is being aggressive.  Ok I’ll buy that bridge the 1st time your damn dog comes after me, I might forgive you the second time because you’re too far away from the freaking dog to notice.  What I wont forgive is that your damn dog is loose, running around having a grand old time, because you decided to let it out of your nice fenced in yard to get some exercise.  I’m tired of having dogs snapping at me and Ernie.  What I really want to do is kick one of these dogs teeth in.  That’s what I want to do, but frankly I’m a little afraid of big dogs, and I’m really afraid of dogs that come up to me too quickly and snarling. 

I’ve altered where I walk with Ernie to avoid some of these encounters, but I thought that I was ok yesterday late afternoon as I walked through the park.  The aggressive dog I have only encountered their on the weekends.  Ernie and I were almost through the park when I looked down and there was a dog at my ankle.  No kidding.  She scared the crap out of me, before I recognized that she’s the nice one.  Off in the distance I could see the other one, so now I’m backing out of the park because I don’t want to turn my back to this other dog.  The last thing I need is to have it come up on me while I’m not watching.  Where are the owners?  Who the heck knows.  Probably in the house having a cup of tea.  So last night I was shook up and a little upset about this… again.

So what happens?  This morning I take the boy out for his walk.  Avoiding the park and heading to the bus stop instead.  We’re about ½ there when a small black dog comes out of its driveway and is suddenly nose to nose with Ernie and snarling.  I swear I have no idea why I don’t just let go of Ernie’s leash and let him defend himself.   Instead this little dog nips Ernie on the leg and I’ve completely lost it and I’m yelling at the damn dog to get the hell away from us.  Two things happened:  I think I stunned the dog because it stopped moving, and the owner came running.  I’m sure the owner was trying to figure out what some crazy non-German speaking woman was screaming at their dog about.  He apologized, or at least that’s what I interpreted the “Excuse Me” to mean.

Here’s what I want to know?  If I start carrying a stick am I within my Swiss rights to defend myself and my dog with it?  Yes that means that I certainly will threaten the next dog who comes at me with it, and yes that means that I might very well attempt to crack the damn dogs' head open with it if the dog doesn’t back off.  What do you suppose the dog owners reaction would be to a crazy woman wielding an axe handle over head?  Of course that assumes the owner is anywhere in sight.

I really hate stupid dog owners and I hate that I am slowly becoming more afraid of dogs.  I had outgrown that.  Stupid Switzerland.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011 – Book Review: Before I Died by Sara Marx

Before I Died by Sara Marx

Thriller/Romance
Published by: Bella Books www.bellabooks.com

Summary on the Back of the Book:

“Laney Cavallo had a charmed life. Two wonderful kids and the love of the best woman she’d ever known—after years of unhappiness, she had it all.

Then the one evil in her life that she couldn’t shed finally did his worst: after years of blackmailing her into silence, her power-drunk ex-husband has made her silence permanent. Now she can’t warn her beloved Mara that he plans to come after her next, and that even the kids aren’t safe.

Unfinished business, undying love and the burden of her own complicity drive Laney to take action, hoping it’s not too late to save the people she loves. It would be easier if she weren’t already dead...”

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

The story has an interesting premise; it’s told from the point of a woman who has been killed by her ex-husband.  We’re introduced to her after she’s died and throughout the story we watch her come to terms with the realization that she is dead and the unraveling of the mystery of “why” she was killed.  The “why” is really fascinating more so because it takes into account how every action or decision a person makes has a ripple effect and often unanticipated consequences.  As a result, we watch as Laney attempts to correct some of these consequences from beyond the grave.

I really enjoyed this book and will have to check out her next one “Decoded”



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11, 2011 – Book Review: Redemption by DeJay

Redemption by DeJay
Drama
Published by RCE Books www.regalcrest.biz

Summary on the Back of the Book:

“Architect, Mackenzie Taylor will tell you she's married, that love transcends eternity, and vows are meant to be honored. She builds homes through her business, helps to rebuild lives through her volunteer work at a women's crisis center and strives to build self-esteem in children with special needs as sponsor and coach of Team Bella. What she can't rebuild is her family. The deaths of her wife, Isabella and their daughter, Bella, haunt her every breath. While she attended a business meeting they were kidnapped and senselessly murdered. The guilt is all encompassing.

Emily O'Brien, a widow, and straight, arrives in town to open KK's Book Emporium. She lives in the apartment above the store where she struggles to make a new life for herself and her orphaned grandchildren.

Renee McVee's partner, Emily's daughter, was killed by a drunk driver, on the way to pick up her children from school. Renee's response to her grief is to drown her sorrows.

Redemption takes a gritty look at domestic violence and how it influences the lives of these three women and how they learn to deal with the devastating fallout. It is also a story of love, old and new. It answers the question: is it possible to love again?”

Review 4 out of 5 stars

We picked this book up while we were in P-Town for Women’s week.  Partially because it looked like it could be an interesting read; but also because it was the authors 1st published book and we wanted to be supportive, and finally because I’m always interested in finding new authors who I can read.

I was about ½ way through the book when I realized that is does not suffer from what I refer to as “1st bookitis.”  I’m sure it’s happened to you.  You’re reading a book and you start saying to yourself “This has to be the authors 1st book” because it lacks a certain maturity in the writing.  That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad book, it just means that you know/hope the next will better.

The storytelling is redemption is complex and well written, but not confusing.  The main character Mackenzie is a shell of a person who has lost so much in her life that she’s not really living at all.  The author allows us to see Mackenzie’s pain, the process of dealing with her grief and her eventual need to start living again.

Not only would I recommend reading this book, I’ll be keeping my eye out for DeJay’s next one.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011 - The Last Vestige of Fall

The trees in the driveway to our apartment complex have given up the ghost:


Of course there is one lone hold out




Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 9, 2011 – Running Late

I’m running a little late today.  I’ll blame the not feeling so well combined with the massive splitting headache earlier this morning.  Several hours later, I am feeling mostly human again and being productive with my work responsibilities.  Hey this is a dinner break, I’m allowed.

I mentioned a week or two ago how much I seriously enjoy the setting the clocks back an hour because everyone enjoys that extra hour of sleep.  It’s also easier to get up in the morning when it’s not dark out.  What I am not enjoying.  The fact that at 5:30pm it’s dark; it was just a few months ago that it was still light at 9:30pm.  Apparently, I can whine with the best of them but can’t have it all.  I’ll get over it, I like the getting up in daylight more so it’s all good.

Dinner tonight: Chicken Soup.  Yes, homemade.

I’ve got several things on my mind these days I just haven’t figured out how to put them into a cohesive thought to share with you.  When you get over laughing at the concept that I might have a cohesive thought, please feel free to read on.

I did talk with my Mom yesterday; Mom, Dad and my siblings helped take the mast down from my father’s sailboat.  An outsider watching this event is bound to think that it’s a disaster/injury waiting to happen.  Why would I think such a thing?  People have commented in the past watching us work through the gyrations of lowering the mast by hand.  Dad rigs this crazy pulley system somehow using the mast as its own pulley counterweight thingy.  I don’t understand it but it works.  Maybe next time someone will take a picture.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 8, 2011 – Book Review(s)


Devil’s Rock by Gerri Hill
Published by www.bellabooks.com

The Summary on the back of the book:

“Deputy Andrea Sullivan had hoped to leave the horrors of Los Angeles behind her, but the serial murders of college students in peaceful, picturesque Sedona is her nightmare case to solve.  The complexities stretch local resources to the limit, and the FBI joins the case with Agent Cameron Ross in the lead.

The crime scenes are covered with trademark signs of the fiendish Patrick Doe, whose handiwork has been investigated by Dallas detective Tori Hunter and others.  But where Hunter failed Cameron intends to win.  She will break the case, find justice and go on her way.  No Distractions.

Unfortunately, Deputy Sullivan is very distracting.  And Patrick Doe has other plans.”

Review: 4 out of 5 stars
Romance and murder intertwined; it doesn’t get much better.  I can’t recall the last time (if ever) where I have read a book and the depiction of the area as much as the characters drew me into th story. Gerri Hill’s description of Sycamore Canyon was so detailed that I had to google it to determine if it was a real place.  Then I had to add it to my list of places I want to visit.  Well a place I want to visit sans the serial killer.  She also does a great job if letting the reader get to know two kick ass, take names later women: Deputy Sullivan and FBI Agent Ross.  From their interactions you find that they have a great deal in common, including the self-efficient, loner persona they both use to protect their hearts.

I was unable to put this book down while I followed the murder investigation and their journey of discovering each other.



Storms by Gerri Hill
Published by www.bellabooks.com

The Summary on the back of the book:

“Estranged for years from her father and four brothers after her mother’s death, Carson Cartwright is surprised when she gets a phone call from her twin brother, urging a reconciliation before their father succumbs to his final illness.  Though she has spent more than a decade trying to forget her family existed, she is suddenly pulled back to the Montana ranch where she grew up.

Carson discovers her brothers divided over plans to change the working ranch into a guest ranch, and their consultant, Kerry Elder, doesn’t seem above using her wiles to get her way.  Kerry finds that while she may have her clients right where she wants them, it’s the wayward sister that may be awakening something she has long denied.”


Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When we are first introduced to Carson we find a woman who has been leading a “playgirl” kind of life: traveling the world but never forming any lasting/strong relationships.  Despite, having never been “in love” her father’s betrayal and abandonment taught her to keep her emotions out of relationships.  Love only brings pain.  We follow Carson back to the family ranch at her brother’s request.  Here we meet a wildly dysfunctional and emotionally stunted group of brothers which leads to some interesting interactions between Carson, Kerry, and Carson’s brother Cody.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011 – Weekend Update

Well I know all my US friends got an extra hour of sleep (hoorah!) which puts me back at 6 hours ahead of ya’ll.  Let me just state for the record that so far Monday has been pretty good so I anticipate that it will be good for you as well.

Now onto my weekend:

I read a couple of books by Gerri Hill, I’ll review those tomorrow.  Mostly the weekend was taken up with relaxing.  However, Sunday L and I took a trip into Zürich to go to the “58. Zürich Wein-Ausstellung” which pretty much means we went to the Wine Boats for a giant wine tasting. 

First let me point out the following:

I rarely drink.

What I know about wine could fill a thimble:

            Red wine gives me a headache (and no not from drinking too much of it)

            I don’t like wine that tastes woody.  I think the correct term is oaky.

            I don’t enjoy a harsh aftertaste.

Now none of this is really a deterrent because I would like to at least have some idea of what kinds of wines I do like and could possibly enjoy on a special occasion.  So I figured this would be a good way to experience a variety of wines and heck it seemed like it would be a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Off we went to the boats and let me confirm that it was fun.  We found about 10 wines that I liked the taste of, which means we had to have tasted 20 wines.  Ok are you getting a picture here?  I rarely drink.  Rarely.  When you go to the counter you ask for a particular type of wine (or in my case point) and they pour a shot-full into a wine glass.  Sometimes L and I each had a glass other times, especially later, we shared a glass.  We had a nice conversation with a gentleman at one of the Swiss Wine booths.  He was very helpful and tried to explain where some of the grapes came from and which wines would be woody.  It turns out I enjoy a number of Swiss Wines.  I’ve also been told that a wine snob would turn their nose up at that statement.  Then again, I also really enjoy Coors Light so… there you have it.  I like what I like.  I also don’t seem to appreciate wines from Austria.  Now I’m willing to say that it’s possible that some of the wines I enjoyed later in the experience could be because it was later in the experience and I had that goofy smirk/grin on my face which is a pretty good indicator that I’m a bit “Happy”.

So what wines did we like?  In no particular order and please forgive the lack of translation:

2009    Pinot Blanc from Les Coteaux du Partage     (Swiss)

2009    Riesling AOC, Amphitryon from Domaine du Mont d’Or    (Swiss)

Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco Sup. Extra Dry            (Italian) (ok just a side note, I really liked this, and I had no idea what Prosecco was before but I think I will try and drink it New Years Eve)

Chardonnay Don du Tariquet Gascogie         (French) (This one was not in the book so I am not sure I wrote the label down correctly but it was excellent)

2010    “goutte d’Or”, Domaine de Champreveyres AOC     (Swiss)

2008    AUREUM, Chardonnay, AOC                      (Swiss)

2010    Viognier, Le Jamelles  (French)

2009    Riesling trocken <<BLAUSCHIEFER>>, Bastgen, Mosel   (German)



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 4, 2011

November 4, 2011 – I A Not the Powerball Winner


Apparently the Powerball Lottery was $245,000,000 the other day and the winning ticket was sold in Connecticut.  Sure I’m not in Connecticut right now but if I had been I would have deemed the potential for winning (or losing) that amount of money worth the $1.00 expense.  I’m also fairly certain that no immediate relative of mine won the lottery because I think I would have head.  My sister said she did not win.  “Oh dear brother of mine… is there something you’d like to tell me?”

What would I do with $245 million dollars?  I would quit my job.  Well, I would certainly give them notice, but I would be gone.  I would share some of it. Start a foundation.

Buy a pony.  Ok I’m kidding about the pony.  When we travel home I would hire a private jet so the beastly boy could fly in comfort and not in cargo.

Alas, I am not the Powerball winner so I will fly coach, the beast will fly cargo, and I will continue to bath in the luxury of knowing I have a job, but it’s nice to dream.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3, 2011 – Foot Cramps

I know you don’t want to hear this but OMG foot cramps are the worst.  Well maybe not the absolute worst thing, I am sure there are other things that are worse, but when you are having one:  seriously unpleasant.  On a bright note, I ran 4.6 miles today.  Well ran… walked… ran…  you know the drill.  Hence the foot cramps.  After I ran I was stretching and my right foot decided to let me know that it was displeased.  I let anyone within ear shot know that I was in discomfort.  Of course once the right foot was done complaining and we had massaged it back into a non contorted form the left foot was feeling left out and let me know in no uncertain terms that it too wanted a massage. 

Several hours later I’ve had a chat with my feet and explained to them that they don’t need to cramp on me.  That I promise, I will stretch and massage them nightly if that will keep them happy and uncrampy.  It’s the very least I can do.  They do carry my not unsubstantial weight around daily and if I’m being honest they have me hostage.  I’d agree to almost anything to avoid the foot cramping thing, but don’t tell them.  I have no idea what else they would demand of me or if I could afford it.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2, 2011 – Kim Kardashian

Excuse me while I take a break from our normally scheduled program to discuss the somewhat old news of Kim Kardashian’s pending divorce after 72 days of wedded bliss.  Now I can’t even pretend to know what happened with that relationship, in fact it would take up too much effort for me to even get to the point where I cared.  It’s actually pretty easy to find lists of the shortest celebrity marriages (there are quite a few).

  • Britney Spears & Jason Alexander married… 55 hours
  • Carmen Electra & Dennis Rodman…. 9 days
  • Mario Lopez & Ali Landry... 2 weeks
  • Drew Barrymore & Tom Green … 6 months (her second marriage the 1st lasted 6 weeks)
  • Dennis Hopper 7 Michelle Phillips… 8 days
Then of course there are the celebrities who have made getting married an art form:
  • Elizabeth Taylor… married 8 times
  • Mickey Rooney… 8 times
  • Zsa Za Gabor… 9 times
Here’s what I find ironic:  This has become routine.  Most people don’t even blink when a celebrity rushes off and gets married.  Heck, we even roll our eyes and aren’t particularly surprised when the marriage doesn’t last.  In fact, divorce seems to be so common place in society today that no one even bats an eye at it.  Do you know what surprises people; when a marriage lasts.  When I tell people my parents have been married “to each other” for more than 50 years, it’s a surprise because it’s a rarity.   Oh but of course the caveat in all of this is, the marriage has to be between a man and a woman because same-sex marriage would destroy the institution of marriage. 

Certainly we could find plenty of same sex couples who get together and break up in incredibly short periods of time, but with all of the above going on can people really say that it’s the concept of same-sex marriage that is destroying the institution of marriage?  Well, yes of course there are people who can say that.  I’m not that naive. 

Not too long ago Rick Perry, from Texas, was urging conservatives to try and repeal the 2009 New Hampshire law allowing same sex marriage because he supports the “sanctity of traditional marriage.”  Well good for Rick Perry, I support the sanctity of traditional marriage as well.  So much so that I think we should outlaw divorce.  You would be hard pressed to show me some statistical evidence that said because CT, NY, MA, NH, VT, IA, and Washington DC allow same sex couples to get married that it somehow resulted in the failure of Kim Kardashian’s marriage.

Regardless of if you are married or not, try this on for size.  Close your eyes and think about why it is that you want(ed) to get married in the 1st place.  Forget the religious aspects associated with the word.  Why did/do you want to get married?

To share with the world: 

This is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.

This is the person who I choose to put before all others.

This is the person who makes me want to be a better person and helps be to be that person.

This is the person who I want to build a life with, someone who fills the gaps in my soul.  Gaps I didn’t even know where there until they were filled.

This is the person that I love.



I also understand that there are people out there that say Civil Unions allow that same thing.  The fact is they don’t, and they don’t because “Marriage” is understood as being all of the things I listed and more.  Yes, technically “Marriage” is just a word, but the word has meaning and weight.  With that one word other people understand the seriousness of your commitment to each other and all that intrinsically implies.  They know the rights and responsibilities that come with being married and yes for some it legitimizes the seriousness of the relationship.

Maybe I’m wrong, in which case I’ll apologize right now to Kim K.  “I am so very sorry that my marriage destroyed the sanctity of your “traditional” marriage”, but at the same time I will continue to work at making my non-traditional marriage work.  It’s important to me.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1, 2011 – Growing Up

What do I want to be when I grow up?  I know we have all asked ourselves that question, but at some point do you stop asking that question?  I find ever few years that question starts rolling around my brain in an unfocused random sort of way.

What do I want to be when I grow up?  I remember the very first time I decided what I wanted to be:  I was watching the Perry Mason Show on our Black & White TV and I distinctly remember thinking that I wanted to be just like Perry Mason.  I wanted to be a lawyer.  I have no idea how old I was, I might have been 7.  I don’t think my lawyer phase lasted very long.  As a matter of fact, that particular memory is the only time I recall thinking I wanted to be a lawyer.

When I was a little older I wanted to run my own company.  Pretty much I wanted to be like my Dad.  He had a manufacturing company and I used to beg him to take me to work on a Saturday.  I think I was 11 when one of the ladies who worked for him (Mary) taught me how to use a soldering iron.  She made me promise not to burn myself, mostly though I got to run the lead bender.  It was this machine that sat in a corner and you would feed it the diodes that would be placed into pc boards later.  The machine would bend the legs and cut them to size.  Most adults hated this job.  I loved it.  I didn’t have to talk to anyone and I could see the progress of my work.  I LOVED going to work with him, ok fine I also really like money.  I liked earning money, I liked SAVING money.  I liked depositing money in my savings account and I really liked going to the bank every month and having them record the interest earned in my passbook.  Funny, I never ever wanted to be a banker.

In high school I decided that I wanted to work in Human Resources.  I just knew that math and I were not friends and this seemed like a good option.  I really don’t know how it came about.  Somehow, when I look back at it, it really didn’t seem like there were that many options: Nurse, Teacher, Accountant, Business Management.  Obviously there were more options but in my limited mind I hadn’t a clue.  I think if I was a kid today I would try to get into Computer Forensics.

Which is neither here nor there, so periodically I go thru a phase of: if I could do anything what would I do?  Go back to school and get my PhD in Comparative Religions or some other Religious niche?  Like discussing religion, all kinds of religions, especially the earth based ones.  Then what would I do?  Teach?  How? 

Keep on the path I am on now: Technology based.  Continue on with Information Protection and Security?  If they would ever make the damn last class I need available I would finish the certificate.

Face it I just like learning new things.  I like to be mentally challenged.

I wonder if the Yale Divinity School has web based programs?

Just for fun: The beast


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.