Friday Favorite – G-words

Amy posted on her blog recently a list of her ten favorite works starting with the letter K. And she invited me to participate in this rather relaxed game of tag. So I said I was in. She assigned me the letter G and now I proudly present–in no particular order–my 10 favorite Gs …

sleep11. “Good night”s – I love sleeping … probably more than I should, but there’s really something lovely about bidding the rest of the world farwell for the night and getting plenty of zzzzzzzz. I even read a magazine article recently about how sleep can help you lose weight. I’m all over that!

2. Grandma Marian stories – My dad’s mom passed away before my parents were married, so I never got to meet her, but I adore hearing stories about her. My dad loves to tell the story about her really bad candle joke. My Aunt Chris has Grandma Marian’s wedding dress displayed in the guest room I always stay in and she’ll tell stories about grandma. It makes me feel like I know her. I wish I had.

3. Grandkids – More specifically my parent’s grandkids. Those would be my nieces Julia, Rachel, and Emily and my nephew Jacob. Cute, cute, cute kids! I love them tons and wish I could spoil them rotten! (But their parents wouldn’t let me get away with it.) I talked with Julia on the phone a couple weeks ago for 30 minutes! The kiddo is 5, and she carries on a conversation like a pro. She’s reading and writing now, and I’m proud as can be. Julia’s little sister Rachel is the pasty blond (she takes after Hannah) of the kids, but she is one of the funniest things ever. She has no qualms about sitting on my lap, begging for a drink of water then dumping it all over me.  Emily is a crazy-girl with wild hair, who loves to run around and chase her cousins.  And J-dawg … well, he’s still too little to know what he’s going to be like. But he’s a very handsome little guy. Well, done Hannah and John and Micah and Beth.

4. Gilmore Girls – This old WB show is one of the smartest, fastest shows now available on gilmore_girls1DVD. It’s funny and the mom/daughter relationship is wonderful. Even when I hate what the characters are doing, I love the show.

5. Google – I’m such a googler. No other search engine does it like Google. How did I ever survive before it?

6. Girl Scout Cookies – I mean, come on. Who doesn’t love them? And even if you don’t buy any for yourself (I had serious self-control this season, but it hasn’t stopped me from eating the offered cookies from friends), consider donating a box.

7. Grace – I guess this would be number one on the list priority-wise. But really … what could be more improtant. I need God’s grace more than anything else, because I am a sinner through and through. But I’m totally covered. It’s great to know that!

8. Grated cheese – You know the stuff that comes in the bag? I love it! I mean, I like cheese as much as the next person, but when I’m ready to put it on my taco, nachos, or quesadilla, the already grated cheese in the bag is amazing! It’s the convenience and the ease and the fact that my knuckles don’t have to face being skinned or even eaten alive by the grater. It’s a beautiful thing.

gerard-butler-229. Garages – I just love having a garage. I like parking inside especially during the (usually) snowy Colorado winters. I like having extra storage space. I like … well, that pretty much sums it up. But I really do love having a garage.

10. Gerard Butler – My list just wouldn’t be complete without my one of my all-time favorite actors. He’s too adorable, and really quite a fantastic actor. If you don’t know him, check out my recent Phantom of the Opera addiction here. I also recently rewatched Nim’s Island, which has him in two roles–one a slightly nerdy scientist, the other an Indiana Jone-type adventurer. He’s plays them both superbly.

Thanks for the post idea, Amy. Grateful for the Gs in my life until next time. -LJ

Ridiculously funny!

So I just had to share that I’ve added a new blog to my blog roll. It’s the blog of signs of unnecessary quotes. It’s a collection of pictures of signs that use quotation marks all “wrong”. And it’s hilarous! (Thanks, Amy, for sending it my way!)

Being a writer myself, I find misuse of punctuation in general pretty funny. Especially when it’s mine! 🙂 Case in point: I was recently finishing up the proofreads on Kenzie’s book, and I came across a line that had once been something like:

“Milumb grbb,” she mumbled as his hand covered her mouth …

My editor wasn’t a big fan of the mumbled words, so she suggested removing them and replacing that whole section of the sentence with the word Gasping. Worked for me! But when I got the manuscript back, it read:

“Gasping,” as his hand covered her mouth …

I got such the kick out of that! And I think you’ll get a kick out of the quotes blog too! Enjoy!

Check it out at: www.unnecessaryquotes.com

Monday Movie – Confessions of a Shopaholic

Last weekend I went to see Confessions of a Shopaholic(based on the book by Sophie Kinsella, which I haven’t ready yet–but I have read some of her other books, which I definitely enjoyed) with Amy, Katie, and Stephanie. We had a lovely time, even though the movie wasn’t a knockout or anything too unique. It was cute, fun, and most of all CLEAN, which was a nice change from the ordinary. It moved pretty fast and had a very likable cast–that Hugh Dancy is one to watch! And the matter of personal/consumer debt is dealt with really smartly, I thought. I especially enjoyed the shopaholic anonymous meetings. Great fun!

If you’re looking for a cute date movie or a girl’s night out chick flick, Confessions is a great pick. Hope you enjoy!

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Enjoying a good chick flick until next time. -LJ

Friday Favorite – The Princess Bride

It’s high time I have a Friday Favorite about a book–seeing as I do love a good yarn. So today, I’m tprincess-bride-coverhrilled to present one of my all time favorites. Again, I have Jess B. to thank for introducing me to this fantastic book. I saw it one day on her bookshelf (I’m sure after a very prodcutive evening of writing) and asked if I could borrow it. She looked shocked!

“You’ve never read it?” she practically wailed. “You have to read it!”

And so I took it home to enjoy it. Of course I’ve seen the movie version of The Princess Bride a hundred times. I grew up on Buttercup and Westley’s love story. So I knew that I’d enjoy the book.

Turns out Jess was right all along … I had no idea just how much I’d enjoy it!

It turns out that Mr. Goldman’s abridged version of S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure is really beyond anything that I could have hoped for. I spent many a late night reading this stripped down tale. Every bit of Florinese culture and lengthy soloquies on the importance of hats have been removed. And what’s left is one of the wittiest and most enjoyable books I’ve ever read. Likely my favorite part of this book is Mr. Goldman’s parenthetical expressions. So entertaining!

Amazon.com says of it: The Princess Bride is a true fantasy classic. William Goldman describes it as a “good parts version” of “S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure.” Morgenstern’s original was filled with details of Florinese history, court etiquette, and Mrs. Morgenstern’s mostly complimentary views of the text. Much admired by academics, the “Classic Tale” nonetheless obscured what Mr. Goldman feels is a story that has everything: “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.”

Goldman frames the fairy tale with an “autobiographical” story: his father, who came from Florin, abridged the book as he read it to his son. Now, Goldman is publishing an abridged version, interspersed with comments on the parts he cut out.

Is The Princess Bride a critique of classics like Ivanhoe and The Three Musketeers, that smother a ripping yarn under elaborate prose? A wry look at the differences between fairy tales and real life? Simply a funny, frenetic adventure? No matter how you read it, you’ll put it on your “keeper” shelf. –Nona Vero

For the briefest moment after finishing this amazing book, I considered tucking it into my own bookshelf and not returning it to it’s rightful owner. But that would be wrong. Very wrong indeed. So I grudgingly gave it back to Jess and have kept my eyes peeled for my very own copy, which I’ve yet to discover. I’m torn between buying a new, perfect copy and finding one at a used bookstore that already has years of love on the pages.

Knowing that I need to own this book … and thinking that you should too … until next time. -LJ

I’m sorry …

I’m so sorry to anyone that’s been around me this last week! If you’ve been following my tweets, you know that I’ve been enjoying the soundtrack to the recent movie version of Phantom of the Opera. If you’ve seen me at the gym, you’ve probably been wondering who that crazy girl lip synching to her ipod is. If you’ve had the bad fortune to cross my path in person in recent days, you know that I’ve been singing (quite badly) out loud the three lines of Phantom that I can remember every minute of the day.

And so, in the hopes that I might appease those that I’ve offended with my terrible voice … I offer Gerard Butler singing The Music of the Night.

I just LOVE his voice in this role! And he’s a pretty funny guy too in all the interviews I’ve seen of his! I’m a big-time fan. He’s just a really fantastic actor–and he’s got a Scottish accent to boot. I loved him in Nim’s Island, P.S. I Love You, and, of course, Phantom. If you don’t recognize him behind the mask, here’s another pic of Gerry that might help you place his face.

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Probably still singing Phantom until next time … -LJ

P.S. A little shout out to Amy, who said she likes “the song on the rooftop.”

Monday Movie – Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

I haven’t been feeling just the best this weekend. I have something that’s making me shaky and a little sick to my stomach. So in an effort to make myself feel better, I pulled out the film that’s been my “sick movie” since I was 8–Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

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This 1954 MGM musical is a quirky tale of Adam Pontipee, the eldest of seven brothers, who goes to town one day determined to find a wife. And he does in Milly (played by Jane Powell). But Milly has dreams of a farm and home all to themselves, until she meets Adam’s six brothers, who all live on the farm in the Oregon Territory too.

But Milly quickly learns to love her brothers and teaches them how to court and dance and takes them to a barn raising where they all meet the girls of their dreams. The brothers are all love-sick until Adam suggests that they go off and kidnap their women–“like the Romans did.” Things turn bad when they forget to kidnap the parson, and Milly is furious. But count on a classic musical to wrap it up neatly in no time at all.

As I rewatched this last night, I was reminded that it is terribly cheesy. Yet I have great memories of when I was a kid and I got sick, and we didn’t have a tv at the time. We were packed up to move out of the country, and I got sick. So my dad did the 10 minute, Reader’s Digest version for me … including singing and dancing and the whole bit. How could I ever have another favorite sick movie?

If you haven’t seen this classic, go rent it! It’s totally worth it! Until next time. -LJ

Tag … I’m it!

So Amy tagged me on her blog last week, so I figured I’d join the game … Here are the instructions:

  • Choose the 4th folder where your pictures are stored
  • Select the 4th picture
  • Explain the picture
  • Tag 3 other people

And the 4th picture in my 4th folder is … drum roll please …

Adam Baldwin ... is Myles Borden?
Adam Baldwin is ... Myles Borden?

I know you’re probably wondering why I have random pics of movie stars in my picture folder … but there really is a reasonable explanation. See this is Adam Baldwin, who you might know if you’re a fan of the TV show Chuck or Firefly.

When my editor asked me to find some pics of someone who looked like my hero Myles Borden, I couldn’t come up with anyone. I thought about it … I even wasted an entire Monday night writing session pondering the possibilities. I needed someone beefy and handsome, without being overly pretty. I needed a take-charge, FBI type, who could also be gentle when needed.

That’s when Jess B. suggested Adam Baldwin. BOOM! She hit the nail on the head … and now Myles will be forever thought of with the face and physique of Adam Baldwin.

Thank you, Mr. Baldwin. Appreciate you being famous and fitting the description of my hero.

As for the tagging of 3 other people. I don’t think I have 3 other regular readers at this point … so I’ll skip that step. What can I say? I’m a rebel.

Until next time. -LJ

Friday Favorite – Friday Night Lights

Amy’s been after me for quite some time to feature Friday Night Lights as a Friday Favorite … so here it is!

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In Dillon, TX, football is more than a favorite pastime. It’s a way of life. And coach Eric Taylor is charged with leading the Dillon Panthers to win–every game.

But the truth is that this show isn’t about football. It’s really about the people who make up this football town. It’s about the grown men who still count their high school championship rings as the most important thing in their lives. It’s about the boys trying to become men, worthy of respect. It’s about the girls who want more than their mothers’ lives in Dillon. It’s about husbands and wives loving each other in the toughest times.

It’s a story of heart and hope and learning to love and forgive each other in all our faults.

We’re now in the third season (seasons 1 and 2 are available on dvd) of this amazing show, and it just keeps getting better. Check out the clip below–which is the final minutes of the pilot episode, a beautiful, moving prayer by coach Taylor–and be sure to watch Friday nights on NBC.

Clear eyes, full hearts, CAN’T LOSE!