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Showing posts from 2010

Hector and the Search for Happiness - 2 Stars

My husband bought me this book for Christmas. Hector and the Search for Happiness is a good concept at first - being told in a simplistic manor felt a little being told a children's story. The novelty, was refreshing at first, but gradually wears out its welcome.
A psychiatrist that feels like he can't help his patients, takes time off from his practice to do some traveling and to find what makes people happy. Pretty general, right? So are the realizations he comes to. His international hops are occasionally punctuated with observations on happiness that are so obvious and simple, it almost annoyed me. ie-Happiness is being with the ones you love - Really??

Hector this very basic list to two "experts" on happiness - a Chinese & and an American professor, both of whom agree with his findings with nothing substantial to add which was of it's-self a waste of time.

There were parts I liked (like his description of America which I didn't see coming), but ove…

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks - 3 Stars

If you are a fan of Nicholas Sparks, you may be a bit surprised he switched gears and made this book into a suspense novel (although I didn't find it to be all that suspenseful - no real surprises or twists or turns). It may not sound like it, but I am a fan of Nicolas Sparks, but this wasn't his best work. I enjoy his books, but they never measure up to 'The Notebook', 'Message In a Bottle' or 'A Walk to Remember'. I think that sometimes when an author gets very popular and they release books too close together their talent comes through less and less. If they took more time, maybe they would measure up to their earlier work. All that being said, I'll keep reading his novels, but I'll save them for when I'm looking for an easy read and hope that one of them will end up being as good as they were n the beginning of his career.
Get your copy at Amazon.com by clicking the book above or in the UK, click here

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen - 3.5 stars

I really liked this book. The author tells the story in two different perspectives. I thought this was really well done because as I read, I wondered what take the other character was going to have on the that part of the story. It was funny, touching and kept me entertained. It was an easy quick read - I was done in a couple of days. Very Cute.
Get your copy at Amazon.com by clicking the book above or in the UK, click here

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin - 4 Stars

I have to be honest, this was my first 'Chick Book'. It was recommended to be by Amazon. I was skeptical but quite intrigued by the summary. I bought it to give it a try and was very glad I did. The story was about a woman who has an affair with her best friend's fiance'. This goes against every part of who I am so I was shocked to find how much I was rooting for her (now that's good writing). I found the book surprisingly compelling and really enjoyed it. The only negative I found was that it was much longer than it needed to be. A good portion of the book could have been cut out and made it better (but I find that with a lot of movies these days as well). All in all, it was a good book. So good, I immediately bought and read the sequel, Something Blue that was good, but not nearly as good as this was...
Get your copy at Amazon.com by clicking the book above or in the UK, click here

You have to be in it to win it

As I posted a few months back, my husband got very ill with complications of a bust appendix back in November.  He was home recovering and unable to work  for two months.  During that time, (needless to say) I was very distracted and didn't really stay on top of much else than my husband and son. In January, when the smoke cleared, I was sorting through my neglected email inbox and came across my lottery reminder. I followed the link to replay my numbers (the same numbers I played for the last two years until Wayne got sick). I clicked 'play numbers again' and bought my euro-millions ticket for the following 4 weeks. On the UK National Lottery website, you can't renew your Euro-Millions ticket automatically like you can with the UK Lottery. You have to go to the site and renew your tickets manually. While I was there, I thought, I haven't played my numbers in a couple of months - let me just check them and see if they came up...
This happened on January 3rd -  …

Six years on and...

It's been over six years since I left the US and although by now, I've stopped getting pissed off every time it takes me a half a day to do a load of  laundry (a full day if you count  the drying time) and words like nappy instead of diaper and bin opposed to trash can have entered my everyday vocabulary, there are still things that I just cannot become accustomed to.

For instance, the faucets (taps to the Brits) here are not equipped with 1 small part that would make my life a whole lot less frustrating - American faucets have a piece of mesh where the water comes out which keeps the water flowing in such a way that when you put your hands or a dish under it, it doesn't splash out and make a huge mess.  As someone who was raised in a world where you can run the water at a strength higher than a dribble, after six years it still hasn't accrued to me to stop doing it.  Don't get me wrong, I don't run the water at full blast, just a normal flow and each and every…

Basking in the silence

Ethan started nursery/playschool recently. To be honest, if we had a life that surrounded us with friends, family and lots of other kids for him to play with, I never would have started him so early (he'll be 2 at the end of May), but that is NOT our life.  We don't even have a babysitter. Ethan hasn't been without either me or his dad more then a couple of times in his life.  It's just not a normal life for any of us.  So, I have to do what's best for him and being exposed to adults besides his parents and other children to play with is right for him.It's 3 hours a day twice a week.  He LOVES it.  I was so stressed out before he started going because he was going through a bout of separation anxiety.  I couldn't leave the room without him crying and Wayne couldn't take him out without him crying and calling Mommy the whole time.  He said he was starting to worry that people would think that he abducted Ethan!We took Ethan for a couple of taster session…

The world today

I just had an interesting conversation with a taxi driver.  He asked me where I was from and I gave him my default answer:  New Jersey, which is right outside New York.  Mind you, with the bad rep Jersey has, I'm always tempted to just say NY. Other days when I'm not in the mood for the whole American thing, I'm also tempted to say Canada, but I'm an American Jersey girl through and through and never deny either.  I digress...The taxi driver told me he was in NYC a month after 9/11.  His trip was planned for months before and they would have lost their money if they can celled.  Since NYC was probably the safest place in the world at that time, they decided to go.  He told me he went to ground zero.  I told him I've never been and that the 2 weeks I spent in front of the TV was always enough for me.  I still have never been.  I said it must have been a surreal place to be 4 weeks later, but it was also a good time to visit the States because it was a time that Amer…

Postcards from accross the pond

Just bought the book 'Postcards from across the Pond' by Michael Harling on Amazon. It arrived today. I stole a couple of minutes to flip through it while Ethan played. I read 2 pages and laughed out loud twice. I can't say enough how validated I feel by this book. How wonderful to see someone else put down on paper some of the same struggles I've experienced being an American living in the UK.
Thank you Michael!  Get your copy at Amazon.com by clicking the book above or in the UK, click here

Spontaneous dancing

Watching my son play is such a joy.  He finds pleasure in the simplest of things.  Among his vast variety of toy vehicles, he has this toy car garage that has one of those spiral ramps on it.  He plays with it more than any other toy.  He has a bucket of matchbox cars and just takes one after the other and sends them down the ramp - stopping occasionally to watch some thing on TV or dance to what ever song comes on.  The spontaneous dancing is the greatest.  To be so happy...

International relastionships

I think I'm finally going to stop saying that I'm going to try to start blogging again on a regular basis - it seems to have the opposite effect on me...
Things haven't changed much here.  Ethan is doing fine and the doctor has all but given the all clear.  She's keeping his case open so that we can track his progress.
Wayne's green card application is coming along.  He has an interview at the end of the month.  With any luck, it won't be too long and we'll be able to move back this year.
Me, I'm still bored, still lacking a social life (unless you count my 2 year old best friend, who is fabulous company, but not a great conversationalist) and still homesick on a regular basis.
Wayne's cousin (and best friend) has just met an American girl on-line.  Thier on-line relationship lasted about a month before they met in person and after 2 short weeks together, they are planning they're wedding! They are Wayne and I on speed! Yes, it only took us 26 days …

The wait is over

After a long and painful wait, we had our follow-up appointment with the specialist on new year's eve.  It wasn't a happy new year for us because he scheduled Ethan for surgery the following Tuesday to have the lump in his neck removed.  He'd be admitted in the morning and would even have to be put under anesthesia.  This was no small procedure for a year and a half old baby.  I was a mess over it and wasn't exactly in the mood to ring in the new year with any celebration and went to bed before midnight.
I couldn't believe we went from ear infection to biopsy with literally nothing in between.  We have been just sitting on our hands for the last two months with not even a blood test or urine sample.  The specialist (Ear Nose & Throat specialist) never even examined Ethan to any great extent.  I wanted to scream.  The doctor assured me this was necessary which to me, made me think he made his mind up on what it was which didn't require a test.  My husband wa…