Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31, 2012 – The List

So tomorrow is February 1… the start of my (‘our’ Hi Sis!) birth-month celebration. I know you are waiting with baited breath to find out how I am going to fill each day with a mini adventure.  Well here’s the list.  It’s not an all encompassing list by any means.  It’s also not overly specific.   The idea is to get me out into situations that provide me with some amusement.  How hard can that be really?  Well excluding Murphy, but then again Murphy’s Law can be an adventure or sorts.

Here goes:

·         Carry my camera as often as possible to snap whatever strikes my fancy.

·         Designate some time to figure out how to use Adobe Photoshop Elements

·         Spend some time walking around Zurich on my own.  (This is actually a little outside my comfort zone but I can’t fully explain why)

·         Make a batch of “Blondies” from the Fat Witch Brownie Book

·         Make Pancakes for a Sunday Breakfast

·         Go on a Safari (We’re going to South Africa for vacation)
·         Plan a surprise

For now I think that will keep me busy.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 27, 2012 - Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie


Maybe in this instance the word should be "lay" and not lie...

Does this look comfortable to you?

 He looks dead but he's not... I held a mirror up to his nose... and what's the deal with sleeping with his tongue sticking out?

 He is cute ....  and yes this is how he spends the majority of every day.
Happy Friday.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26, 2012 – SPAM

Lately more SPAM has been making it through my filter.  Just today I received the following:



From

Mr. James Obaseki      RE: Very Urgent You Contact,

Mario Gagne               Envisage this little chica with D size boobs! Fantastic, right?

Jared                            Please Provide Your Accurate Information



 The 1st one implies that I contacted Mr. Obaseki and that they are replying to me.  Um, my German may suck but I think I could bet money that I would never enter a subject line that said “Very Urgent You Contact”

That’s an immediate delete.

And what’s the deal with the second one?  That ranks right up there with the emails that suggest that I can increase my penis size.  Seriously, do people open these things?  They must, and worse they must actually click on something in the email or these types of SPAM would peter out.  No pun intended.

The last one is funny because I am sure people would open that one assuming it was something official.  Usually I just delete these things because no one is legitimately going to ask me to provide this kind of information out of the blue.  Meaning, if I’ve had no prior contact with you, you are most likely SPAM.  However, today I was curious so I opened the email.

The email has a pretty Better Business Bureau Logo and technically “looks” official.  They just want me to click on the inserted hyperlink and enter a user id/password.

Here’s the thing.  I’m not entirely stupid.

If the sender was from the Better Business Bureau his email address would reflect that.  It doesn’t: The sender is Jared <catia@ylong.it>  I’m pretty sure the “.it” means the email address is registered in Italy but to confirm that, and because I had time, I displayed the header information which gives me the IP address where the email was sent from: Yep Italy.

What do you supposed would happen if I clicked the hyperlink?  I can make a guess.  I would most likely end up installing some malicious software on my laptop that if not immediately would eventually cause me massive headaches.

I’m having a tough time imagining me opening and activating any spam email although a subject line “Dancing Naked Dark Chocolate Hershey Nugget” might get me.  Heck I wont even click on the hyperlinks that Jack Daniel’s sends me when I get notices from them updating me on all things Squire related.  See this is what taking classes in Information Protection and Security do to you.  They make you paranoid.  Although I don’t think it’s technically paranoia if the concern is legitimate.



Happy Thursday. 



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 25, 2012 – Planning

I just realized that there are only 6 more days until February.  Now most people are nit as fond of February as I am, although I could name a few.  Why might you ask am I thrilled about a short on days, dreary, cold weather month?  It’s the month I was born.  When I was younger I would get psyched about the week of my birthday, there’s just something about it that thrills me.  The getting older thing; it’s good.  When I look back every year since I turned 25 has been better than the prior year.  Yes there are moments and some long stretches during the year that don’t even come close to qualifying as being ok, but overall: Really good years.

I also have to admit that after I turned 43 the anticipation of my birthday has waned a bit.  The excitement of the actual day itself has been missing.  It’s just sort of felt like another day.  This year however, I am taking a page out of my brother’s girlfriends’ book.  You see, “A” celebrates her birth month.  Now I can’t celebrate the entire month because then my pants really wouldn’t fit, but I certainly can plan a “To Do” list for the month of February, things just for me.  Little mini adventures. 

That’s my goal for the next couple of days, to put together a list of things I want to do during the month of February, but I also don’t want it to be too specific that way if I divert a little I don’t have to be disappointed.  Maybe I just need a “have a mini adventure” every day kind of goal, with a few specifics thrown in.  I think I like it.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24, 2012 – Bailey


There is a chocolate lab puppy down the road.  I call him a puppy because he can’t quite be 6 months old yet but he’s larger than the beastly boy.  I can’t imagine how big he will be when he finishes filling out.   His name is Bailey.  Bailey wants desperately to play with Ernie.  Ernie “thinks” he wants to play.  That is until Ernie gets near Bailey and Bailey in his puppy exuberance can’t contain himself and jumps at Ernie.  That makes Ernie cranky and he gets that look on his face that says “What the hell was I thinking?” and then he refuses to look at the puppy, turning his face left and right.  You can just see the bubble forming over the boy’s head “If I pretend I don’t see him, he’ll go away….”  Yea, that’s not happening.  So the boy resorts to that low growl.  If you are familiar with dogs, you know the one.  It says, “Hey I get you are a puppy and I don’t want to hurt you, but get off me.”  It makes me think of car rides with my siblings when we were younger and my Mom had to listen to us “Stop touching me… he’s touching me… make him stop touching me.”

What’s the puppy doing during all this growling and ignoring?  Bouncing around like he has ants in his pants saying to himself “He doesn’t mean it.  I’m cute… I’m cute, I’m cute.  Play with me, play with me, playwithmeplaywithmeplaywithmeplaywithme.”

I can’t even remember the last time I felt all brimming with “play with me” exuberance.  Maybe I’m just old and I’ve decided it’s a Bob Marley kind of day where I play “Waiting in Vain” over and over.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23, 2012 – Weekend Update

The weekend was a well deserved quiet one.  The beast and I took a couple of long-ish walks in an attempt to combat the fatness.  I’m not sure how effective the walk is when the boy stops every 3 feet to snif things and/or to leave behind his own little markings.  I know you really didn’t need to know that last bit.  I did manage to get him to jog the last ¼ mile home.  Which for me is a jog, for him it’s more a fast walk, but since it counts as picking up the pace I’ll place it in the win column.

Sunday L and I went to see the J. Edgar Hoover movie.  I didn’t know until the very end that it was directed by Clint Eastwood but when I saw the credits I had that “ah-ha” moment where I should have known it was a film of his: it was slow damn slow.  I like Clint and an actor I really do, but as a director… omg I can feel myself aging at the pace his movies move.

That being said, the movie was pretty interesting and if even ½ of what they portrayed was true.  OMG J. Edgar Hoover was a nut job, a creepy, sneaky, nut job. 

I like Judy Dence as an actress, I liked her character in “The Chronicles of Riccick” and I liked her in the 007 movies, but I have to look those up to remind myself of that.  What I don’t have to look up is when she plays a whack-a-do and let me just say J. Edgar Hoover and his mom had a wickedly strange relationship.  Judy portrayed the Mom in a way that just gave me the creeps.  So much so that I couldn’t help but compare it to her role in “Notes on A Scandal”.

To end the weekend I made mushroom risotto for dinner.  You thought I was going to say something like chocolate risotto… is there such a thing?  Anyway dinner was a success, and since Rissotto calls for white wine I opened a bottle of Aigle, Chablais.  If I didn’t occasionally cook with wine the bottles would never get opened.  Since I opened it I had to try a sip.  Lord am I a lightweight.  I small glass later and it goes right to my head, but I must say:  I like this wine  So now I have ¾ of a bottle of wine I need to cook with… just call me Julia Child. 



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 20, 2012

January 20, 2012 – Friday Lunch Dilemma


It’s seems as good a title as anything else, I mean it is Friday.  I have this weird craving for pasta right now.  I couldn’t give you one logical reason why I’m craving it, but I am.  Well ok, it’s lunch time here in Switzerland and my stomach is saying eat something and other than wanting pasta I’m undecided.  I almost went with the old standby of ketchup on bread.  Again, I have no idea why except it’s easy and for some reason making a sandwich seems like too much work right now.  Oh and boiling water for pasta isn’t??? Hey, did I say I was being logical?  No, I didn’t. 

I even have “food like substances in the fridge” or Peanut butter I could have even gone for a PB&J but that’s not going to do it for me.  Oh, and it’s not like I have sauce available.  I mean I do, but it’s frozen and thawing it out would take too long and then there would be leftovers.  See, it’s really not that easy.  Sure I could open a can of crushed tomatoes throw them on the noodles but that requires cheese.  Yes, I admit it, there are all these rules.  It’s hard to follow.  Just imagine what it’s like in my own head.  Seriously, it’s not pretty.  OMG it just hit me… RICE I can make rice, it doesn’t need sauce.  Phew, that dilemma is resolved.

Oh and if you were wondering; Underworld: Awakening opens today with Kate Beckinsale.  Keep your fingers crossed that it is available here too.  I really want to see it.  Who can resist a woman in leather with guns?



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19, 2012 – New Milestones and Other Random Thoughts

Yesterday I was walking the beast when a woman approached me and said “Das ist burgstrasse?”  Now this gives you some idea of what my life has become.  I ended up with this ridiculous grin on my face when I heard the question.  I’m fairly certain the woman had a brief moment where she thought she might have approached a psycho, but I was just so beyond excited that I knew what the heck the woman said to me AND I knew the answer.  “Ya”; look at that my 1st successful German conversation.  Fine, conversation might be an exaggeration but the fact that I knew the name of the street was impressive.  I’ve had people stop me in the neighborhood I’ve live in the last 15 years and asked me the name of a street and I’ve had to pretend that I didn’t live there because I had no idea.

I’m particularly fond of the cowboy Junkies version of Sweet Jane.  Is it bad that I have been listening to the Cowboy Junkies all week?  There are over 100 of their songs on my iPod.  It takes awhile to get through them

I finished reading Santa Olivia over the weekend I’ll get to a review soon, now I’m reading The Hangman’s Daughter.

Tomorrow, I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I think I am going to do something just for me.

Pictures: I want to get back to trying to figure out how to use Adobe Photoshop Elements.  It’s supposed to be easy.  Errr… ok it certainly is easier than German.  Yes I am fixated on the whole German thing but no fear when I encounter something more difficult for me, I’ll stop talking about it.

I have the weird desire to make Risotto this weekend.  Weird because it’s only Thursday and I’m thinking about Sunday dinner.  Who does that?


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17, 2012 – Arosa Part 2 – Sledging

Sledging/Sledding

Do you remember going sledding as a child?  The thrill of the snow; the excitement of riding down the hill; the fun of falling off the sled and landing in the snow; the dread of walking back up the hill dragging your sled?  I remember all of those things and was excited for the chance to relive some of that over the weekend.

We actually went down two different sledge runs.  First let me explain that a sledge is pretty much like the old wooden sleds we used as children, except that they only way you can steer the thing is to plant your feet in the snow and drag one foot more than the other to turn.  Oh and it is absolutely necessary that you be able to turn these things.

The 1st L had done the prior year on a work retreat…. In the DARK.  I emphasize that because we went down the run in broad daylight at the 1st turn I misjudged and took a header into the snow bank.  After that I managed to stay upright on this trail and I even recognized the sign that warned riders to slow down.  Which pretty much means jam your feet into the snow and pray.

I’m still dumbfounded that L and her company made this ride in the dark.  I couldn’t complete it in broad daylight.

The second run was further up the mountain, we took the ski light to the middle station and got off.  Here’s what you need to imagine; the sledge run starts at the same point as some of the ski runs.  In fact, you cross one of the ski runs to get to the entrance of the sledge run.  This one was pretty cool it starts off with a decent incline and your going a fun rate of speed, feet in the snow controlling turns and speed.  The you take a sharp right hand turn and wham…. OMG THERE IS A STEEP DOWNHILL.  I didn’t really have too much time to think about potential injuries since the only word flying through my head was: “shitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshit”

Somehow I didn’t recall the terror associated with hurtling down the side of a mountain on a wooden sled that’s not equipped with any safety devices, no airbags, nothing.  Oh and sure after I came to a stop and two smallish children flew past me giggling like they were having the time of their lives I was thinking.  Come on how dangerous could this really be?  So of course I rode down the tail a second time.  I mean, I knew what to expect this time, I had already been through it.  I had better control the second time around, that is until I hit that steep section and quite frankly it was an exact replica if the 1st time around.  Sheer terror, expletives and this time I took L’s advice and in addition to dragging my feet on the ground trying to gain some control and slow myself down I dragged one hand in the snow as well.  Let me just say, the dragging the hand thing, not very effective, in fact the only thing it seems to do is freeze your mitten to the point that your hand goes numb.

Would I do this again?  Yes definitely, but it might take me another year to build up the courage (or to forget the terror) to hurtle down another alp.

 Sunrise Ski Lift

Sunday morning we also go up early to take the 1st lift up to the very top of the mountain to see the sunrise.  It was beautiful.  We were joined by one or two other people who took the ride to see the sunrise but otherwise everyone else could be classified as ski nuts who wanted to get up the mountain in time for the very 1st run of the day.  Crazy people.




This is one of the ski runs at the very top of the mountain but I didn't see anyone go down this one, they were going down the otherside that was marked with a red tag.  I'm guessing "black = scary"




On our hike Saturday down from the middle station we spotted this sign:  I have no idea what it means.  Is it a warning that there are low flying handle bar mustache’s in the area? 


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16, 2012 – Weekend Update Part 1 – Arosa

L and I spent a snow weekend in Arosa, Switzerland.  I’d say that we spent a ski weekend there but neither of us ski.

We arrived on Saturday late morning after taking a pleasant 2 hour train ride.  The train was packed with people in their ski gear, boots and all.  They hope the train, go to the mountains, hop off, hop on a ski lift and they are off.  It’s actually kind of amazing.

Anyway, we arrived Saturday and quickly threw our snow pants on over our jeans.  Hey we might not ski, but we like to stay warm and there ‘s snow… everywhere  with lots of non-skiing opportunities to take advantage.
L and I in after we arrived.

 The view of the mountain from town

Just some random guy who let me take his picture; I mean how could I not take his picture?  He just got off the mountain and was snowboarding as some green fuzzy animal.



Saturday we took the lift to the middle station and walked one of the trails back down the mountain.  What’s really cool about this place is they have ski/snowboard trails, sledding (sledging) trails, and hiking trails all over the mountain and many of them start in the same general vicinity.

While we were hiking I was taking a bunch of pictures of the ski slopes primarility because all I could think was “Damn my brother would love it here, he needs to see these ski slopes.”  I haven’t seen my brother ski since I was 13 but I know that he loves skiing and I know that he’s been skiing for years so I assume that he’s a very good skier.  Plus there are no trees on these slopes, unlike at home where the slopes run between the trees.

So Big Brother, these pics are for you.

I don't think you can see it clearly but that small black dot in the middle of the picture is somebody skiing off the trail 





Teeny tiny people walking one of the hiking trails but look at all the ski tracks from people just going down the side of the mountain.

 I'm pretty sure they don't require that you wear a dress to ski, although after seeing the guy dressed as a fuzzy animal I might be wrong...

Tomorrow I'll share our sunrise ski lift and sledging adventure.  Let's just say explatives were used liberally.


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

Friday, January 13, 2012

January 13, 2012 – Overwhelmed

I’m going to make this a good day for myself.  I am.  In between making it a good day for myself I might randomly break out into tears but hey, it’s Friday and I’m blaming PMS, stress, and general emotional instability for my outlook today.  Well that and a Plumber, the Postman, and the stupid freaking German language.

I get it, I’m in Switzerland and the written language is German and I suck with languages and I’m still trying to learn to speak the damn thing but even if I get to that point I have no hope that I will be able to read it.  Who came up with this language anyway?

The plumber was actually easy, he came by because the downstairs neighbor has a leak coming in from somewhere, into someplace for the last 3 years.  I say someplace because I haven’t a clue where the water is coming into but it can’t be coming INTO their actual apartment because who the heck would put up with that crap for 3 years.  So I’m making the leap of faith that they are getting water from our balcony onto their balcony, and in an evil sort of way I think “well we’re getting your damn cigar smoke IN our apartment from YOUR balcony so we aren’t even close to calling it fair”.  That’s neither here nor there, the plumber walked on the balcony looked over the edge and said, we’ll have to lift some of these flat stones to identify the problem because “something MUST be broken under here… somewhere.”  This is where I get to pipe up and point out that we don’t own the apartment, we’re just tenants and that they should talk with the landlord.  We will be happy to cooperate as much as possible with the landlord permission.  Goodbye Plumber Man.  Not so bad.  Really.

Shortly after plumber man leaves the main doorbell rings and it’s the postman.  I have to sign for a letter.  Ok I admit that as soon as I have to sign for an “official” looking I start to panic that I did something wrong and I’ve inadvertently gotten L and myself into trouble.  Seriously, it’s not a tough leap to make, what the heck I’m in a foreign country and if you do something to annoy someone (anyone) they call the police or your landlord versus talking to you personally.  When you stop to think about it, it’s kind of like the reality TV show Survivor where you are just trying to fly under the radar and avoid being noticed.  Well like that show but without the starvation, lack of shelter and running water.  Fine it’s nothing like the damn annoying show.

So the letter is two freaking pages which means I spent 30 mins typing the 1st page into google translate to figure out what the heck I just signed for.

Well we have a 120 Euro fine for not having a proper toll pass in Austria and it has to be wired to some bank somewhere in the next 4 weeks.  This sounds like that crazy spam email, “wire $1000 to bank x and we’ll give you $1,000,000 except I know this isn’t a scam.  What sucks is we were in Austria in September and I know that we stopped to buy the Vignette stickers in several countries, and nobody stopped us on the highway so how the heck do they know if we did or didn’t have the Vignette?  Oh and of course I don’t even know if we still have the damn tickets for that because it was back in SEPTEMBER and even if we find them who the heck am I supposed to contact? 

CAB:               Dear Austria, we already paid the toll can we discuss this rationally?

Austria:           Sure CAB but all discussions will be conducted in German.  Learn the language.

CAB:               Stab me in the eye with a sharp stick please


Have I mentioned I’ve had a pounding headache for two days; today I really hate Switzerland; and I need a hug? 

It’s Friday.  I’m going to make this a good day for myself or at the very least I am going to survive it.  Tomorrow, L and I are going to Arosa and we’re going to have a fun weekend playing in the snow.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12, 2012 - Easily Distracted

I’m not sure if this week is dragging along or if I am being dragged by the week.  Ooohhh… brownies…  This post is being interrupted for the sudden onslaught of brownie desire


**** Update ****
See this is what happens when you have PMS.  The competition between the headache and cramps can only be defeated by a third party.  Typically Advil, but when inspiration strikes I say go for it and bring out the big guns.  Chocolate Chip Cookie/Brownies.  And the crowd roars... "yea!!!"

Thanks Mom for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Mix and a Big Thankyou to Liz and Andria who gave me the "Brownies, Blondies, and Bars from New York's Legendary Fat Witch Bakery" cookbook.  I will be working my way through those recipes.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January 11, 2012 – The Vet

Today the boy had to go in for his “annual exam”.  We say that in hushed tones around the house.  Like anyone, he’s not particularly fond of going to the Doctor, plus he’s been feeling a little sensitive about his weight lately.  He’d put on some weight before we arrived in Switzerland and well, you know how that goes.  We’re getting older, it’s not as easy to drop those couple of extra pounds.  Last summer we went on a diet and that was helping.  I don’t think he’d actually lost any weight but he was maintaining his weight and the new diet plan didn’t make him feel deprived.

Well one thing led to another, the holidays rolled around (that’s code for the pet store no longer carries the boys diet food and my inability to communicate with the clerk had me leaving with regular food) and it looks like the boy has put on some weight.  Trust me, I’ve been sensitive to the boy and haven’t pointed it out, but our neighbor was a little less tactful this morning and greeted the boy with “He’s put on weight!!” 

Seriously, how do you undo that kind of emotional damage just before we’re heading to the dreaded Vet?  I may have implied that the 5 minute walk down the hill to the Vet’s office was sure to drop a pound or two.  I think he believed me. 

The good news is that the Vet made no comments about the boys weight, in fact he didn’t even make him get on the scale. Although, as we were leaving there was a cat in a crate (prison) crying and I’m pretty certain she hissed under her breath “there goes fatty” because there would be no other reason for the boy to make a beeline for the crate.  Oh sure a cat in a crate could be construed as a fun toy for a dog, but not “my dog” he’s a good boy and would never ever taught, chase, try to maim a cat. 

Anyway that’s a rather long winded way of saying the vet was a success, the boy can avoid him for another year.


The boy resting after his difficult morning
"I'm trying to sleep why are you bugging me?"


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10 – Book Reviews – Sort of

There are two books that I have been struggling to read for the last 6 months or so:

Annabel by Kathleen Winter
Transition by Chaz Bono


Annabel by Kathleen Winter
Early in the spring I started reading Annabel by Kathleen Winter.  I got to the 1/2 way point and thought my brain was going to melt.  There’s nothing wrong with the writing but it’s slow and there is nothing about the characters that intrigue me.  As a result, I put this book down assuming I would get back to it at some point.  Well now I admit that’s not going to happen.

Transition by Chaz Bono
The other book is Chaz Bono’s “Transitions” I really thought this would be interesting.  I was wrong.  Again I got about ½ through and we’re only to Chaz being 14 years old and I want to stab myself in the eye with a sharp stick.  Maybe it’s gets better later on, but I’m never going to know.


I don’t hate these books but I sure as heck don’t like them.  Actually if my choice really was stab myself in the eye with a sharp stick or finish these books I could probably finish them.  Maybe..


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

January 10, 2012 – Random

Did you see the headlines on Yahoo this morning? “Extinct Galapagos Tortoise Reappears.” Ok so maybe my understanding of the word “Extinct’ is flawed. 

1  .   ex·tinct/ikĖˆstiNG(k)t/

Adjective:

1.    (of a species, family, or other larger group) Having no living members.
2.    No longer in existence.

Nope, that’s my understanding of the word.  So then either someone screwed up big time declaring the tortoise “extinct” or similar to Dr. Who it can travel the time space continuum and project itself into the future (now) to revive itself.  Alright that seems absurd even to me, I’m running with some scientist out there is in trouble.


We’re back to rain today.  I’ll admit that I will take the rain over snow, only because it’s warmer.  Having said that I also think that if it were snowing instead I might actually get out and exercise.  Then again, I could be lying to myself, I committed myself to rejoining the gym because the weather has sucked but I haven’t managed to do that yet either.  The silver lining…. I haven’t wasted any money yet.

I’m making stew for dinner tonight.  It’s easy and it’s not chicken

Tomorrow… I go to the gym.  Oh wait... that's a lie.  Tomorrow the beast and I go to the Vet for his shots.  Maybe after that I will go to the gym




Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9, 2012 - Book Review - Hell's Highway by Gerri Hill


Hell’s Highway by Gerri Hill
Published by www.bellabooks.com
Romance/Mystery

Product Description:
“FBI Agents Cameron Ross and Andrea Sullivan found the unexpected when they met amongst the warm red rocks and cliffs of Sedona—each other. That commitment, along with their ingenuity, courage and resolve, will be tested along the most barren of stretches in California’s Mojave Desert.

Someone is using the bleak highways to dump women’s bodies. But in a landscape where an inviting road can curve into a sand-choked mirage, and a true oasis can be invisible under a white-hot sun, clues can blow away in the wind.

In this sequel to Devil’s Rock, Gerri Hill pits two remarkable women against the harsh and bitter desert and an implacable killer.”

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

I didn’t think it was possible but I liked this book even more than the first, “Devil’s Rock”.  Agent Cameron Ross feels more real in this story.  The character has smoothed out a bit.  That’s not to say that the character is not edgy and interesting, but more along the lines that her personality is more well rounded.  My guess is that is a direct reflection of the relationship between the two characters Cameron Ross and Andrea Sullivan.  As the reader I was completely absorbed in their search for the serial killer and what would happen next.

I can only hope that this turns into a full blown series.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

January 9, 2012 - The View

It's seems that the rain has decided to give us a break this morning.  I've got my fingers crossed that it lasts the rest of the week because I have missed the big bright ball of fire in the sky.

The view from the balcony this morning:




Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 8, 2012 – Book Review – White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat (Curse Workers, Book 1) by Holly Black
Young Adult
Paranormal/Fantasy


Book Description from Amazon.com

“Cassel comes from a family of curse workers—people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, all by the slightest touch of their hands. Since curse work is illegal, they’re all criminals. But not Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, so he’s an outsider—the straight kid in a crooked family—as long as you ignore one small detail: He killed his best friend, Lila. Now he is sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat. He also notices that his brothers are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of one huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to out con the conmen.”

Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5

This book is technically written for the YA audience but I think anyone who enjoys paranormal/fantasy storylines will also enjoy this one.  The story is told from Cassel’s point of view and the plot twists get more complex as you get deeper into the story.  It’s well written and engaging.  This is the 1st in the series of Curse Worker stories.  Will I read the next one?  I’ll say yes, although I plan on reading some other things beforehand.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

January 8, 2012 – Book Review – Mending Defects by Lynn Galli

Mending Defects by Lynn Galli
Romance
e-book


Product Description From Amazon.com

“Life in a small town can be tricky. Laid-back Glory Eiben learned long ago that keeping personal information and opinions to herself goes a long way toward staying hassle free in her chosen home town. Much adored by the residents, she’s maintained the life she’s always wanted with good friends, close family, and a successful career. For someone with a rare congenital heart defect, this life is more than she could have hoped for.

Leaving behind big city excitement, a demanding position, and a failed relationship, Lena Coleridge thinks this small ski town may be exactly what she needs to come back from her wit’s end. She didn’t think that job politics or social landmines would exist in such a small town. Keeping to herself won’t be an option with these nosy locals. It doesn’t help that she lives next door to one of the more popular residents who seems too easy going and nice to be true. Friendship is inevitable, but as she gets to know Glory, friendship isn’t the only thing on her mind. After her last relationship, Lena doesn’t want anything to do with another complication, and dating her neighbor could definitely get complicated.”

Review: 4 out of 5 Stars

Once again Lynn Galli does not disappoint with her writing.  Even the supporting characters are interesting, but what really hooked me were the porch front conversations between Glory and Lena.  Glory has Lena pegged from the beginning on so many levels.  She understands what makes this woman tick, and it bugs Lena that she is so easily read by Glory.  The fantastic thing is that the reverse is true as well and the reader gets to watch the crazy making unfold into friendship and then much more.

The only semi-negative thing I can say about this book is that I read it much too quickly (6 hours).  I think that was in part because I couldn’t put the book down without knowing what happened next.  At the same time I wish it was longer so that I could have continued to read.  I’ll just have to wait for her next one.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

January 7, 2012 –Book Review – L.A. Metro by RJ Nolan

L.A. Metro by RJ Nolan
Publisher: http://l-book.com

Product Description from Amazon.com
 “Lesbian Fiction - Romance - Dr. Kimberly Donovan's life is in shambles. After her medical ethics are questioned, first her family, then her closeted lover, the Chief of the ER, betray her. Determined to make a fresh start, she flees to California and LA Metropolitan Hospital.

Dr. Jess McKenna, LA Metro's Chief of the ER, gives new meaning to the phrase emotionally guarded, but she has her reasons.

When Kim and Jess meet, the attraction is immediate. Emotions Jess has tried to repress for years surface. But her interest in Kim also stirs dark memories.

They settle for friendship, determined not to repeat past mistakes, but secretly they both wish things could be different. Will the demons from Jess's past destroy their future before it can even get started? Or will LA Metro be a place to not only heal the sick, but to mend wounded hearts?”


Review: 4 out of 5 Stars
Fiction/Romance

We meet Dr. Kimberly Donovan as she starts her first day working at LA Metro in the Pysch department.  Dr. Jess McKenna is the head of the ER at LA Metro.  To say that these women have trust issues is an understatement but it’s also what makes this story a fun read.  They don’t fall immediately into the head over heels romance that so often happens.  They earn each others’ respect and friendship first.  It’s a slow progression and the reader gets to see what the characters are thinking and feeling as the move towards friendship and beyond.  The character development is interesting and worth watching as the story unfolds.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

January 7, 2012 – Book Review – The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
Fiction/Thriller/Supernatural

Product Description from Amazon.com
Then she opened her mouth to scream—and recognised me. It was what I’d been waiting for. She froze. She looked into my eyes. She said, “It’s you.”

Meet Jake. A bit on the elderly side (he turns 201 in March), but you’d never suspect it. Nonstop sex and exercise will do that for you—and a diet with lots of animal protein. Jake is a werewolf, and after the unfortunate and violent death of his one contemporary, he is now the last of his species. Although he is physically healthy, Jake is deeply distraught and lonely.

Jake’s depression has carried him to the point where he is actually contemplating suicide—even if it means terminating a legend thousands of years old. It would seem to be easy enough for him to end everything. But for very different reasons there are two dangerous groups pursuing him who will stop at nothing to keep him alive.

Here is a powerful, definitive new version of the werewolf legend—mesmerising and incredibly sexy. In Jake, Glen Duncan has given us a werewolf for the twenty-first century—a man whose deeds can only be described as monstrous but who is in some magical way deeply human.

One of the most original, audacious, and terrifying novels in years.”

Review: 3 out of 5 stars
The story is told from Jake Marlow’s perspective as he writes in his diary.  He’s just found out that he is the last of his kind and after being alive for 200 years, he can’t see much sense in continuing to live.  Unfortunately there are at least two groups who want to keep him alive for their own purposes, and will do anything to make that happen.

The book is well written, and although the story is at times is graphic in both the sex scenes and the killing, it is a werewolf and that’s what they do.  Kill, Eat, and Have Sex (although that is not the term used).  As the reader you like Jake Marlow, and his dry sarcastic wit.  You want him to come out on top.

This is a werewolves for adults story.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6, 2012 – One of These Things Is Not Like The Other

Are you ready to play the Sesame Street Game "One of These Things Is Not Like The Other?"

Ypu might be thinking it's the BMW Mini Cooper, but you would be wrong.  Here take a closer look:

That is a Lamborghini.  Yes, someone actually paid several hundred thousand dollars (or I assume) to buy an Italian Sports Car and then they painted it what I can only refer to as “Cow Patch Color”. 

Who does that?  Well obviously one of our Swiss neighbors does, but it’s not even camouflage.  I admit even if it was just one solid color I would be shocked because who the heck spends that kind of money on a car?  A car for gods sake!  If you have that much money that you don’t know what to do with it except to buy a crazy, possibly cool car (I wouldn’t know) and then ruin any cool factor with the paint job, please just send a check to the Poor Woman’s Health and Sustenance Fund care of CAB.   Really I can find better ways to spend that money.

Anyway all this thinking about Lamborghini’s got me to go to their website.  I was immediately brought to a page that said “Warning You are About to Enter The Home of the Bull.”  Well ok, I guess that sort of explains the paint job.  If you castrate a bull, is it a cow?



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4, 2012 – Is the Universe Telling Me Something?

Look what came in the mail today! 




This is exciting because I got mail.  Beyond that I’m not entirely sure why I received these.  I didn’t ask for them, because; yes obviously they are in German and we know the success that I have had learning the German language.  Don’t get me wrong, I can read German.  I just haven’t a clue what the words actually mean but when I read the words I can hear them in my head and I am positive that I am pronouncing them perfectly.  Then I say the words out loud and reconfirm that, no I don’t have a clue.
Although, from this random page I opened to, there seems to be a race in Bern for all the Femmes out there.  Take that however you want but I think excluding all the other ladies out there is a little short sighted.  I’m just saying.

Now the cool thing is, I have at my fingertips a list of all the races in Switzerland that I can try and use them as motivation for getting and staying in shape.  Oh, and if I am going to go to the trouble of google translating the contents of these magazines you can bet I’m signing up for something.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 3, 2012 – Ramblings

This weekend could best be described as relaxing.  I managed to stay awake on New Years’ Eve’s to watch the fireworks display’s from our balcony.  Well L watched from the balcony, I watched from a reclined position on our couch.  We have big windows and the sky cleared up so that I didn’t have to move at all to see all the colors.  The beast was happy with that arrangement as he is not a big fan of fireworks.  He is, however, a big fan of being a 50 pound lap dog during them.   Actually he did very well as long as I stayed on the couch he was able to sleep on top of me.  Literally.  I should have taken a picture.  My bad.

So last night I made pizza for dinner.  I had planned on making Cajun pizza but I did.  For those of you not in the know, Cajun Pizza = Blackened Pizza.  Let’s just say I left it in the oven a minute or 5 too long.  The corners took the brunt of it, the rest was actually pretty tasty.  Oh and yes corners.  I do not own a round pizza pan and if I did, I doubt it would fit in the Swiss Oven.  It just occurred to me that compared to the “typical” oven at home this one kind of reminds me of an Easy Bake Oven, less the easy part.  Although, why it reminds me of that I have no idea, it’s not like I ever owned an easy bake oven.  I’m not even sure I knew anyone who had one. 



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 2012 - Book Review – Decoded By Sara Marx

Decoded by Sara Marx
Thriller/Romance
Published by Bella Books



Summary From Bella Books Website:

“Shay Cooper was good at her job. As an FBI agent she broke criminals—until they broke her.

Recovery seems unlikely until her mentor proposes she return to work at the training academy near her hometown of Chicago. Life in the slow lane definitely appeals, but her contentment lasts only until she meets the academy’s biggest challenge: Agent Kate Harris.

Kate Harris has made her mistakes and carries her own secrets. Her former partner—a brilliant profiler and author of true crime blockbusters—has disappeared. She’s determined to find him, orders for more training be damned. The horror she uncovers collides with Shay’s own nightmarish past. The only thing they agree on is that they can’t trust anyone, not even each other.”

Review: 5 out of 5 stars
Let’s be honest I read quite a few books.  It’s easier than watching TV in German.  That and I enjoy reading.  That being said, it’s pretty rare when I (a) laugh out loud while reading a book (b) can hear the characters in my head as they speak and (c) finish reading a story and the first words out of my mouth are “Wow that was a really good book, a really good book”

Decoded hit all three with flying colors and to top it off the only time I was able to figure out what might happen next was when the author wanted me to know what was going to happen.  I’m not sure that the book description does this story justice.  I personally picked it up because I had read “Before I Died” and liked that one enough to want to read this one.  So let me give you a couple of hints.  This is definitely more of a Mystery/Thriller/Intrigue book than a Romance, although there is just enough romance to give the characters a different dimension without going overboard.

 Shay Cooper and Kate Harris are FBI agents thrown together because Kate Harris appears to be in a downward spiral since her FBI partner Williams disappeared.  Shay is assigned to her in a last ditch effort to save Kate’s career and hopefully to get Shay back into the game.  The story revolves around Shay and Kate’s off the books investigation into William’s disappearance and his possible connection to a serial killer.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Intrigue and Mysteries.  It was an excellent read!



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.