Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bookish Sundays: American Gods

Title: American Gods

Author: Neil Gaiman

Category: Fiction Fantasy

Synopsis (c/o Barnes&Noble): "Shadow dreamed of nothing but leaving prison and starting a new life. But the day before his release, his wife and best friend are killed in an accident. On the plane home to the funeral, he meets Mr. Wednesday—a beguiling stranger who seems to know everything about him. A trickster and rogue, Mr. Wednesday offers Shadow a job as his bodyguard. With nowhere left to go, Shadow accepts, and soon learns that his role in Mr. Wednesday's schemes will be far more dangerous and dark than he could have ever imagined. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought—and the prize is the very soul of America."

c/o Barnes&Noble

This is honestly one of my favorite novels of all time.  I think I have re-read it at least a dozen times, if not more.  I never get bored with the plot, always learn something new that I had missed before, and always finish the story wanting to go and write my own.  Gaiman has this extraordinary way of drawing the reader in with his ability to convey details without all the cheesiness, and doesn't bombard you with too much at one time.

One of my favorite parts about this story (and I hope I'm not giving too much away) is the unique idea Gaiman writes about.  The main character, Shadow, runs into the old gods of other countries; Oden, Czernob√≥g, Eostre, Shiva, and so many more.  Together, they are battling the new gods of America; money, credit cards, television, fame, technology, and everything else we "worship" in our daily lives.  Shadow provides to be a vital key to the solution as both sides gather to battle.

While this novel appears to dabble in religion, that could not be further from the truth.  This novel neither promotes paganism, nor Christianity.  Please do not let the presence of other religious deities keep you from experiencing such an amazing example of modern day genius.  On the other hand, please do not expect Gaiman to conclude with the realization of a one true God.  It is just a story for fun, and I do hope you enjoy!

Bookish Weekends

I just noticed a book review of The Hunger Games over on hello dearie, and honestly can't think of a better, regular blog series for me to write.  I am a self acclaimed bookworm, and am really not happy unless I am in the middle of a decent novel.
To stress just how much I have reading: When I was little, I got in trouble pretty often (but what kid doesn't?).  My parents tried to restrict my outside playtime or use of the television, but I was perfectly okay with holing up in my room and falling into the world of fantasy for days at a time.  My parents finally caught on.  They decided to take away my books for one week.  WHAT?! A whole week without reading a single word, discovering a single new adventure, escaping to a single new place?  Needless to say, I was miserable, pitched a fit, and they never tried that punishment again.
I have been well known at all of my school libraries, made fun of for constantly having my nose stuck in novels, and have even been given detention for reading instead of studying (I am still not particularly fond of that seventh grade science teacher).  I love reading anything and everything, and although I prefer fantasy over most other categories, that does not mean I cannot appreciate a good author of any type of literature.  So every Sunday, starting tomorrow, I will start sharing some of my favorite stories and authors. Eventually I would love to have full discussions on not only books that I recommend, but also novels that others are drawn to.
I really can't wait to start.  How did I not think of this sooner?  This is going to be so much fun!

Week(end) in Pictures

Happy Days

This past Wednesday, my father-in-law (Tim, Sr.) celebrated one of the most important occasions in a Airman's career.  After twenty-five years of service in the U.S. Air Force, Senior Master Sergeant Anderson retired!!!  It was a small affair, but well represented by important personnel from around the base.  Not only did he receive the traditional pendent (always pinned onto the uniform lapel by the spouse) and encased folded flag, he was also gifted with numerous accommodations, letters of appreciation from numerous high ranking individuals, and unique mementos from the squadron he left behind.  My MIL and their kids were given tokens of appreciation, too!

Not going to lie, I was balling by the end of the ceremony.  It always moves me when we get to show our appreciation, not only to those who have risked their lives to serve their country, but to the families who have risked their happiness and sacrificed so much in support.  I am beyond lucky to be a part of such an amazing military family.
Thank you, SMSgt Anderson (ret.) for your service.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Haircuts & Road-trips & Other Interesting Things

I chopped off my hair!  I've pretty much kept my hair short for most of my life, rarely adventuring below my shoulders and typically maintaining a chin length style.  I've definitely gone crazy with the colors (red, blue, black, purple, and one attempt at a home bleach job...not pretty), and once cut it short right before joining the military, but couldn't muster the courage to do it again.  Until recently.

The first couple are from the very first haircut, which was wonderful, but slightly too long and still waaaay too thick (I have tons of hair.  Maybe not very thick, but a lot a lot of hair).  The last picture, while it might not look much different, is after my second haircut where I had them thin out and trim up the bulk.  Needless to say, I am simply in love with it.  So easy to manage!  There is a legitimate chance I may never grow my hair out again!

If you read my last post, then you know I am in Washington state right now, spending much loved time with my in-laws.  The ten hour drive up was long, especially with pups to deal with, but Northern California is always a pleasure to drive through.  Please ignore the lack of editing, I'm too impatient for that right now.

 Watching the fog roll down Shasta Mountain was amazing.

 A metal dragon someone built out in a field.

 My nephew, Joshua.

 Sis-in-law, Elaynie.

 Her husband, Jon.

Joshua fell asleep at the table.

We've been taking advantage of the lack of rain here and frequent the local playground often with Ninja, Sass, & Joshua.  I love being around all of this greenery, although the clouds are starting to wear on me a little.

I possibly could have broken this up into a few different posts so it wouldn't be so long, but I am so excited to be able to upload pictures on my own computer, and I couldn't wait.  We will be visiting the pumpkin patch tomorrow, going paint balling soon, taking a day trip to Seattle, flying to South Carolina, driving to Kentucky, and possibly bleaching my hair, so you should probably check back to see what shenanigans we are up to in the near future.