Miscellaneous Ramblings

Not a happy Lady Gaga fan….

So this is wayyyy off topic of my normal book posts. But I’m pissed. Beyond pissed.

I have enjoyed Lady Gaga’s music for years. I’m not a die-hard fan, but I’ve always wanted to see her in concert. She has to put on an awesome show! So I was really excited to see that she was coming to St. Louis when her tour was announced. Yeah, it’s through the week but I had my childcare lined out and was ready to buy me some tickets!

I even pre-ordered her new CD to get a presale code for the tickets. I figured that would be a good use of $17 …. I’d get her CD and a leg up to grab some good tickets!

I’m waiting patiently for 10am to roll around yesterday. At 10:00am on the frigging dot I log into Ticketmaster and put in my presale code. It “unlocks” and I click the search button …. for the site to essentially crash all to hell around me. For 35 minutes it was essentially inoperable … I watched that stupid ticket fill up and down in blue for 35 minutes. No joke. By the time it finally came back up and gave me the “best available” seats … they were shit. Absolute shit. And $300 for 2. For shit tickets? Hell to the no.

I was pissed. I was depressed. I was almost to the point of crying. Because I *knew* scalpers had been at work. The tickets were already being listed on the secondary market sites. And there I was stuck with the option of buying a good seat for triple its value on the secondary market or a shitty seat that I didn’t want for the face value. I chose to walk away.

I have used secondary market before. That’s how I was able to see Adele. And I paid out the nose for those tickets. And I said I would never do that again. Adele didn’t get that money out of me. Some random Joe with an awesome computer program got my money. And it left a nasty taste in my mouth.

Then tonight my sister-in-law asks me if I bought Lady Gaga tickets. I told her about the drama filled morning I had yesterday. And she proceeded to tell me that she wasn’t surprised … she had a friend on Facebook posting a presale code to all her friends. WHAT THE EFF? THAT is the type of person that ruins it for someone like me. Someone who tried to do things the honest way. I gave Lady Gaga my money for her music … in return I got a personalized presale code to be able to have the leg up on everyone else and be able to see her in concert. And yet there’s random people on Facebook posting presale codes? This is everything that is wrong with this industry. Seriously. All it does is make it impossible for average people to see the concerts they want. But come on, at some point enough is enough.

And I feel like it’s finally going to start going that way…. on Tuesday I bought Metallica tickets for my husband in June. Spent $250 a ticket for some “enhanced experience” tickets. To get everything all settled up and printed out to find out that MY credit card and MY id had to be presented to use these tickets. I wasn’t even planning on going to that show – the other ticket was intended for my brother-in-law! But I’m going … because I couldn’t figure out how to get them to change the name on the tickets to reflect my husband’s name. (My sister-in-law ended up buying two tickets for her and my BIL, so now we’re all going…) But the point of this is that using credit card/ID entry is how this industry is going to have to stop these scalpers. I was reading somewhere a while back that Eric Church had actually voided a bunch of tickets to his shows because he had found out that they were being resold at unbelievable amounts. YES for him! Thank you!

Because at the end of the day I wanted to see Lady Gaga in concert. And now I don’t get to. Because people can’t be honest and truthful and do things the proper way. And I’m not going to give some scalper my money. Lady Gaga deserves that money. But now she’s not going to get it either… and I don’t get to see her concert. I’m still peeved about the whole situation 😦

Miscellaneous Ramblings

I haven’t disappeared completely….

….but I definitely haven’t been around lately. And I also haven’t been on Twitter. I’ve been spending all my free time on Goodreads. I am so addicted to the gazillions of reading challenges found in various groups on that site. It’s really pitiful actually… I guess there could be worse vices though 🙂

I’m still trying to figure out where this blog will take me next year. I’m really on the fence. I don’t have a lot of desire to blog anymore. My reviews all seem generic. Even after I read a really awesome book that left me with all the feels I couldn’t even sit down and type them out for a post. I don’t know….

I intend to get together a “best of” post before the end of the year …. hopefully! I’ve got a pretty good idea of my Top 10 reads for the year. It’s just a matter of putting together the post.

I am still reading. And I’ve read 52 books this year …. and I think I may be able to squeeze one more in. Regardless, 2016 has been my best reading year in terms of number of books read since 2011 – the pre-children era. It also helps that I’m no longer at home with a baby all the time. I have a lot of down time at work that I can fill in with reading. So that’s why my numbers really went up this year. So I’m definitely looking forward to where 2017 takes me reading wise.

Stay tuned 🙂

Miscellaneous Ramblings

A Day in the Life: Take 2


Last year I participated in this event hosted by Trish. You can find that post here.  I knew that this year’s post would be much different for me – since we’ve added Katelyn to our family 🙂 Anyway, I recorded March 15, 2016. Here goes…

1:21am – Katelyn wakes …. gooooood morning. *Groan* Go in, give her a paci and tell her good night.
1:31am – She’s still crying. Go back in, put her paci back in her mouth and tell her goodnight. Again.
1:39am – she *finally* settles back in.

To be completely honest, my kids are rockstar sleepers. Garrett slept through the night at 8 weeks; Katelyn at 6 weeks (I give you permission to hate me now). But one word with Katelyn right now: teething. It has been affecting everything lately. Last round she got 4 teeth at once (that sucked) and now I suspect she’s got 2 more coming in – hence the poor sleeping – womp womp 😦

Katelyn6:25am – Katelyn up. This is normal wake up time. I get up and get dressed. Make a bottle, dress and feed Katelyn.

7:06am – today is election day in Illinois. So I’m out the door to go vote. I didn’t really want to take the kids with me, so I left Nathan at home with them while I ran real quick – we live super close to the polling place.

7:30am – back home. Nathan goes to work.


G&T7:32am – Find Garrett in our bed. I put our morning Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the TV.

7:45am – Diaper bag packed. Social media checked. Bullet journaled a few things.

8:20am – finally pulling out of the driveway. It was not a smooth exit from the house. Garrett balked at getting dressed and going to school. Then the garage door didn’t want to go down. So we’re about 20 minutes later than we normally are leaving the house. Boy it’s a good thing my job hours are extremely flexible – I’m never on time anywhere anymore.

G8:38am – drop off at Garrett’s school done – and it went smoothly. Sometimes he walks right in like he owns the place. Other times he clings on to me for dear life. I never know which day I’m going to get. It’s really frustrating. He claims it’s because his buddy Liam is not there when he gets dropped off – I’m terrified to know what’s going to happen next year when he moves up to Pre-K and Liam doesn’t because he won’t make the age cut off ..

9:22am – Katelyn dropped off at my grandma’s house. It sure will be nice when they both go to the same daycare and I only have one drop off location … at least for one year, because then Garrett will start kindergarten and I’ll be back to two drop offs.

9:28am – at work.
9:47am – no really, I will work today (PUT THE PHONE AWAY TARA!!!)

11:45am – go get lunch and take it to my grandma’s.
1:00pm – back at work.

4:00pm – back to my grandma’s to get Katelyn. Drive back to Marion.
4:45pm – pick up Garrett.
G&T&K5:00pm – home.
5:40pm – Nathan home.
6:15pm – dinner time – fettuccine alfredo tonight – this is one of Garrett’s favorites! He even asked for a second helping tonight (YES!!)


Bath time last night...7:00pm – bath time. We decided to change things up tonight and put both kids in the bath together. It didn’t go over very well and probably won’t happen on a regular basis. Garrett loves the bath and is like a fish. Katelyn hates the bath and doesn’t want to be splashed or messed with by Garrett.

8:00pm – Katelyn bottle and bed.
8:29pm – Katelyn asleep … let’s hope that’s for the night!

8:34pm – coaxing Garrett into one Mickey Mouse Clubhouse before bed. (I’m ashamed to admit that after being very strict with screen time for Garrett his first two years of life we have done a complete 360 and now don’t restrict it at all. I know I should. But I just can’t seem to make myself do it … it’s out of hand. Judge me if you want, I’m beyond caring. )

9:13pm – three books read to Garrett and he’s tucked in for the night. He’s really a hoot because he wants three books read to him every single night since he’s three years old. Thank goodness none of his books are very long. But I’m not looking forward to this trend continuing when he’s 4, 5, 6,7…etc. I’m very happy that he loves books though 🙂 Oh and this is an excellent night for bedtime … if Garrett is in bed by 9:30 I consider it a success. Stubborn little night owl!

9:15-10:45pm – Read. Watch news. Check social media. Then lights out.


Just another boring old day in my life. Nothing much ever changes. Nothing much ever happens. But it’s a pretty good life we have. Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to read your day in the life 🙂



Miscellaneous Ramblings

Settling Back In …..

Hello, world! It’s been a long few months since I hung up my proverbial hat and took what I now consider a much-deserved hiatus.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t close up shop completely 🙂

The itch was slowly coming back to me. I got my reading mojo back. I’v been reading what I want when I want. And it’s been absolutely wonderful. Of the 13 books I’ve read so far in 2016, they’ve all been backlist reads (the most recent book on my list so far was published in 2013…), lots of catching up with series books, etc.

So what finally brought me back completely? Well Trish’s A Day in the Life event had a lot to do with it….when she hosted this event last year I was pregnant with Katelyn. So I knew that this year my post would be completely different! And it will be – look out for it on the 23rd!

So what should you expect from me going forward? Well… I’m probably not going to have a set routine. I’ll post when I feel like it. I don’t care if that means I’m posting 3 times or week or once in 3 weeks. And while I have accepted one review book from an author I’ve read and loved in the past, don’t expect a lot of newer books to be featured here. I’m not really looking into getting back into the ARC stuff. I think that’s what really burned me out to begin with. I have 300+ books on my shelves here at the house. And while I didn’t officially join in on Andi’s fun … I’m “reading my own damn books” this year! So yeah, I’m free-styling here. My reviews may be two sentences long, they may be 2 pages long – I’m not going to be too strict on myself. I’m not going to feel guilty because I’m not reading the latest and greatest. I’m not going to feel guilty if I don’t log on in a couple of weeks. This is what’s going to work best for me. This is what I want out of my blog. I don’t care about numbers anymore. I’m doing this for me.

So that’s it … that’s my re-introduction. Hopefully some of you readers are still out there.  I’m definitely looking forward to getting back into this …. slowly but surely 🙂

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Remember Me?!

Haha! Thought I’d pop in and drop a few lines. (Told you I wouldn’t be gone forever :))

Katelyn will be 9 months on Feb. 9th. What?! How did this happen so quickly? She’s crawling and so so so close to pulling up (she can pull up to her knees). She loves to eat. And she’s so happy. All the freaking time. It’s wonderful!

Garrett is just a little ball of fire. His never-ending energy just amazes me. I wish I had a quarter of his energy – I’d be a lot better off, ha! He loves preschool and I love watching him learn so much. He also said his first four-letter word last week. He dropped something and said “damn it.” And then he kept saying it. Over and over. Oops!

I signed up for a kickboxing cardio class twice a week. At 5:45AM. Crap is that early! After the first class I thought I was going to literally fall apart. I hurt in places I didn’t know could hurt. But after the second class I felt energized. I’d say it was $45 well spent for these 15 sessions … now I want to try spinning! Ha!

The mood really struck me to pop in to blog since it’s the end of the month and I read …. are you ready for this?! … SIX books in January!! SIX! I just read up a storm. And I read what I wanted when I wanted to. It was wonderful!  I’m not going to bother with reviews. They’re all backlist books that I’m sure everyone has already read. There was really only one dud (Mistress) in the whole month. So overall, I had a great reading month.

Definitely DeadNight ProbeRapture in Death

MistressE is for EvidenceFour to Score

I’m off to Vegas for the World of Concrete convention this week. We’re going without the kids. Since Katelyn was born we have only had two completely kid-free nights away, one in September and one in November. So this will be weird! But so nice too. I wish I could say that I was going to be able to do nothing but sleep the entire time, but it’s Vegas …. however, I am looking forward to being able to sleep in a little bit (meaning past 6:30am) and eating meals while they’re still hot! And while I’ll miss my children every waking second… it’ll be nice to get away for a few nights!



Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Life Lately…

Well. When I last posted, I was fresh off of the funeral of my grandfather. I was really amazed at how hard his death hit me. I wasn’t particularly close to him, but he was my only living grandfather (I lost my other grandfather at 11) and watching him slowly deteriorate the last few months was especially hard. I’m still grieving, but his peace eases that grief.

I hadn’t broached the subject with our son yet. Yesterday was my grandmother’s birthday, and when I told him we were going to her birthday party he started asking questions about who would be there. Of course Grandpa T. was mentioned. It was time to discuss it with him as best as I could.

Let me just say that you should never ever ever ever discuss death with another person’s child. EVER. There are absolutely no excuses for this. But apparently my ever so helpful father-in-law thought it would be a good idea to teach Garrett about Heaven and Hell while they were watching him. So when I sat him down yesterday morning to tell him that Grandpa was in Heaven, he looked at me with the most fear I’ve ever seen and said to me “don’t talk about it, it’s a bad place,” and that Grandpa had gone “bye bye.” I still have not convinced him that Heaven is indeed a wonderful place. Why in the hell would someone try to explain Hell to a 3-year-old? I never would have brought that aspect into it. He can’t differentiate it at 3-years-old! All he needed to know was that Grandpa T. had gone to Heaven, that Heaven is a wonderful place, and that he was ok but wouldn’t be back. Very simple. He didn’t need a lot of details. He didn’t need a big long explanation. Just simple. But noooooo. My father-in-law had to complicate it. We are furious! My husband said that he was going to be talking to his dad to let him know that he crossed a line. It was my grandfather. He is my child. It was my responsibility to have that conversation with him. I am beyond pissed that I was not able to have that conversation first with him and that he is now completely confused about the whole situation. Goodness knows what else he told him. But whatever it was it completely terrified my child. Not okay. Not okay.

Anyway, now that I’ve got that rant out of my system ….

I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I joined Book of the Month based on Beth Fish Reads‘ recommendation. Well, I did. And October was my first month. I chose Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. To be honest, none of the selections really caught my eye, this one was the one that I felt was closest to something I would enjoy. I finished it. It took all freaking month to do so, but I finished it. And when I was done I wanted to kick myself in the rear because I should have walked away from it, not wasted 3 weeks reading it. I was not impressed, to say the least. I am not yet sure if I will even write a review for it, because the review would not be nice at all (I can’t really think of even one nice thing to say … except that it finally ended … yes, I feel that bad about it).  I probably will write something up just for tracking purposes, but I doubt it’s a full review. On a better note, I just selected November’s book and it’s one I’m excited about … The Witches by Stacy Schiff!! Plus because I filled out a survey I am getting an extra book free and I’ve chosen Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway.

We’re getting a new accounting system implemented at work this week. I’m nervous and excited about it. Nervous because who knows how smoothly (or not) this will go; excited because it will ease my workload considerably.

The kids are doing great, but they’ve both been battling snotty noses. Better than the stomach bug that’s going around though 🙂 Garrett was Batman and Katelyn a bunny rabbit for Halloween. Garrett was obsessed with his costume, and I have a feeling we will be wearing it quite often at home until he outgrows it. Katelyn was not impressed by her costume. Well, she would have been okay with it had I not put that part over her head to give her the bunny ears, that’s when she revolted, ha!

Hopefully I get my reading (and blogging) mojo back soon so I can update this blog more often than 2-3 times a month. But October was a tough month for my family, hopefully November will be better. Plus we’ve got Christmas coming up and I’m looking forward to our first Holidays as a family of four!

Well – I’m off, Katelyn is fussing. I’m surprised she gave me long enough to get this all written up. Take care and happy reading!!

Miscellaneous Ramblings

“Hit Me With Your Best Shot…”

… fire away!

I am looking for your best book recommendations. The best 30 actually. Here’s why…

I have been a longtime member of Paperbackswap since 2007. When they started charging for membership back in February, they were hit with a backlash of people’s outrage. Membership costs had always been something that was a potential, but I don’t think anyone ever really thought it would become a reality. I personally chose to stay on as a standard member (meaning I paid more money to have unlimited swaps) because at the time I had 46 credits and about $25 in PBS money logged into the site that I was going to lose if I chose to leave. So I decided that I would stay on for at least a year and see how things went.

Eight months later, I’m facing the reality that I’m going to be ready to step away from Paperbackswap when my membership is up for renewal in February. I have noticed a considerable drop in requests coming my way (of course, I also don’t have many books listed in the system either – when we moved last November, we paid per pound and the books that I had already read went to the donation pile…) But the real truth hit me last week when I had a request come in that I actually ended up cancelling because I didn’t want to take the time to dig out the book, log onto the site on my computer, print the postage, wrap the book and mail it. It was at that point that I decided that my interest in the site was obviously gone and it’s time to wrap things up.

But there’s still my 30 credits that I have hanging out there. These are credits that I have earned over the years for books that I have sent to other members. I don’t want to just lose them all.

So I’m asking you guys, my readers, to hit me with some of your best recommendations. Keep in mind, that I’m really looking for books that will be readily available in the PBS system. This means more backlist books … books that aren’t the “it” book of the moment, books that are by well-known authors and are easily found (still in print).

So leave me with one, ten or thirty selections in the comment sections … you never know, I might find a new favorite this way 🙂

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Sometimes I just got nothin’….

I have no reading mojo.

I have no blogging mojo.

I just got nothin’.

But that’s okay. I’ll come out of my funk eventually. Until then, I’ll just continue to buy 700+ page books at Target that I doubt I ever read (The Goldfinch) and I’ll pop in here occasionally.

I’ve been seeing a lot of people “rebranding” recently. I have a feeling that this is the direction I will be heading as well. I am so much more than just books these days. I always feel like I bore people with my mundane life, but ironically, those personal posts are the ones that I always enjoy reading the most from other bloggers.

I’ve been doing a lot of online stalking of journaling/planning addicts. I’ve been doing crossword puzzles in the evening while my husband and I catch up on our TV shows that we’ve been putting off for months (our DVR is quickly running out of space…). Essentially, I’ve been doing everything but reading.

Until I figure out what’s going on and where my mojo has gone to … stay tuned 🙂

Miscellaneous Ramblings

My latest addiction….

Back when I started book blogging in 2008, reading challenges were all. the. rage. Now, they’re obviously still around, but most people I know have really fallen off the challenge wagon. Even I had seriously backed off the last few years, only committing to a few a year. And this year I signed up for not a single, solitary book-blog hosted challenge.

But sometime late last year I stumbled across a Goodreads group dedicated to reading challenges. And I’ve been hooked ever since.

Now for the most part, I started out small. I participated in the ones that required you to read 3 books a month or ones that tracked the number of pages you read in a month. That sort of thing. Then I branched out into the quarterly ones. I especially like the ones that are meant to clear your TBR.

But here’s where the problem is….

Now I want to sign up for the no-time limit, ridiculous challenges. You know, the ones that require you to read something like 400 books if you finish every single task of the challenge. Think about that when you only average 50 books or less a year…..

Say what?! Why yes, I have lost my entire mind. But I can’t help it. They’re addicting. It’s so much fun to pick out books that I already have on my shelves that will work for certain challenge. But the problem is that I’m spending more time finding books and picking what will fit into what category for a certain challenge than I am actually reading…

I can’t help myself. I need a Goodreads reading challenges intervention.

What about you …. have you found these challenges? How do you say NO!????

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my dear friends and readers! We’ve had a really blessed Christmas season this year!

We found out on the 23rd that we are having a baby GIRL! My husband and I both felt like we were having a girl, but we weren’t as prepared for the news as I thought we would be. Ha! It will be nice to have one of each … but I probably am better suited as a boy mom. But it will still be fun to have a little girl around. She’ll be spoiled rotten, grandparents will be completely broke, and I will be surrounded in a sea of pink (ugh). But we really are excited!

Since all the names we had considered up to this point were boy names (we “felt” we were having a girl … but never really considered it seriously, oops!), I asked Garrett what we should name his baby sister. His response …. Bubble. I don’t think that will make the list, but as some of my Facebook friends said, it’s a very happy name. Ha!

We had a good Christmas Eve with my family last night. Garrett got entirely too many presents. And Santa came through big time for him, too! This year was really fun because it was the first year he really had an idea of what was going on. He started to understand the concept of Santa Claus and he LOVES the Christmas lights and trees. He will be bummed when all the Christmas decorations come down. And I won’t be able to get him to behave by promising him Santa won’t come to the house if he’s bad. 🙂

Today we are supposed to go to Nathan’s side of the family. But one of his uncles has a sick child … and we have not heard if they are dragging her along today or not. I don’t want to expose Garrett to anything unnecessary and I don’t want to expose my pregnant self to it either. So we may stay home or we may go. Haven’t decided yet.

I think I’m just not in a jolly mood anymore. I lost my brand-freaking-new $300 camera last night at my grandma’s house. I have a feeling it got swept into the trash compactor, but I don’t know for sure. We looked through it, but it had been run 3 or 4 times by that point, so it wouldn’t have mattered even if we had found it. And if it didn’t get thrown in there, when her cleaning lady comes on Tuesday she will put it someplace never to be seen or heard from again. So I’m pissed off. I got absolutely no pictures of Garrett at the first Christmas that he was really fun at because he understood it. So yeah, I’m just not in a good mood anymore.

I would prefer to just stay at home today and read my book while Garrett plays with all his new toys. Too bad I probably won’t get that…

Sorry to be a Debby Downer … hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!