So, I tried to download the audio book of Ready Player One recently, becuase I’d heard great things from people whose opinions are often in line with my own and assumed I would enjoy it. Unfortunately, the library’s audio version didn’t work on my phone, so I read it the old-fashioned way (on my eReader, obvs.), and I loved it. LOVED. IT. You guys should all read this book. Seriously. It’s great.
I raved about it to Tim, who then listened to the audio book (his phone, it turns out, is better than mine). I overherad some of it, and, you guys, I’m sorry, but it was awful. I know, I know. You are all gaping at your screens right now saying “But it’s read by Wil Wheaton!” (I know!) “Who is awesome!” (I agree!) “And what could be better than a geeky book read by him?” Let me tell you what’s better than a geeky book ready by him — a geeky book NOT read by him. It was sooooo slow. Agonizingly so. When I read the book, I found it to be an exciting, fast-paced adventure story. But then Tim put it on for the drive home from my parents’ house one weekend, I fell asleep, and when I woke up two hours later, I couldn’t believe how little progress we’d made into the book. Nothing had really happened yet. After TWO HOURS.
(Also, W.W.’s voiceing of the main character/narrator was a little too smug and, well, icky for my liking. So much so that it made me kind of dislike the narrator, a character I’d liked quite a bit when I read the book myeslf. But that could be 100% a result of my having already read the book and given the narrator a voice in my mind. and therefore no matter who gave him a voice in real life, if it didn’t sound exactly like it sounded in my mind, it was going to be All Wrong.)
The worst part, though, hands down, was the list reading. See, in the book, there’s a scoreboard, with players’ rankings changing somewhat frequently throughout the plot. When reading the book in print, it was easy to skim the list of players/scores, get the relevant information, and move on. On the audiobook, you have no choice but to listen to W.W. slowly (SO SLOWLY) read every player’s name and score every. single. time. the scoreboard makes an appearance. It’s a LIST, you guys. A list of names and numbers that he had to read outloud, which, okay, I get it, becaues it’s not like you can skim when you’re reading an audio book, but still, he was reading a list. And it was painful.
Tim finally finished reading/listening and agreed that it was a good book. However, he alternated between listening to it while watching the baby over his Christmas break and reading the print version when he wasn’t otherwise occupied, and he told me that without a doubt, the book was MUCH better in print than in audio format. And based on what I heard, I wholeheartedly agree.
(Although ever since he finished, Tim has been on the lookout for The Big Book of Lists read by Wil Wheaton. He’s gotta have more lists!)
- Tim got contacts yesterday. While the loving, caring, good wife side of me is happy that he doesn’t have to wear glasses anymore, the shallow side of me — the side that has always found a man in glasses sexy — is a little sad to see the glasses go.
- Ben is still kinda stinky.
- I started reading Twilight on Saturday, and I’ve only begrudgingly put it down long enough to sleep and go to work since. I know everyone and their brother is in love with this series of books, but I guess I was skeptical the story would live up to all the hype. But, y’all, I am addicted to this book. I stay up way too late reading it, then when I finally go to sleep I dream about it, and I spent my entire workday today thinking about how soon I could come home and read some more. Yesterday I picked up the other 3 books in the series because I know I’m going to need to read them immediately upon finishing this one. Also: Edward is hott. The end.
- We went to Denver to celebrate my brother’s birthday Saturday night. His birthday was last Monday, and we were going to celebrate it last Sunday, but then a certain adorable niece of mine decided she didn’t want to miss the party. I don’t think my brother minded, though, getting a daughter for his birthday. In case you’re wondering, Little Miss Audrey remains absolutely adorable:
What’s new with you?
My family is not one to pass up an opportunity to throw a party. And since my brother and his wife will be bringing my first niece into the world on or around October 9, last weekend seemed like as good a time as any to have a party and celebrate.
We consulted with the parents-to-be and determined the basics: It was to be a couples’ shower, it would place the first weekend of August, and no silly shower games would be allowed (though Tim and I were a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see who could empty a baby bottle full of beer wine “punch” the fastest . . . someone had better remember that game whenever I have a baby shower of my own, is all I’m saying).
And with that, my mom and I got to work. We researched ideas online, emailed back and forth over every last detail — the food and drink, the setting, the decorations, the invitations. My dad got busy replacing his deck so it’d be ready to support 25 or so people and a table full of presents. And I went on a bit of a spree at the scrapbook store and got busy putting together a present that I hoped my sister-in-law would love.
Three weeks before the party, Tim and I spend the weekend at my parents’ house. Tim helped my dad build benches in place of a deck railing, and my mom and I shopped for party supplies and constructed a cake out of diapers and champagne. It was quite the productive weekend.
The shower was this past Saturday, and I believe it was a great success. Chris and Meg (my brother and his wife, respectively) seemed to have a wonderful time, as did the rest of the guests. And, from what I saw of the presents, my little niece already has quite the collection of adorable stuff.
Would you like to see pictures? Of course you would!
The gift table, complete with diaper cake and advice cards for the guests to fill out.
The food table, complete with fruit, cheese, and three delicious flavors of homemade cheesecake. In the background are two bowls of punch — one spiked, one not.
Oh, man, my mom makes a good cheesecake! The front one is blueberry, the one in back is chocolate swirl. The third one was Oreo. Yummmmm.
Chris and Meg were kind enough to get hostess gifts for my mom and me. I got Spanish wine — yum!
My lovely co-hostess, opening her gift — a bottle of wine from New Zealand, I believe.
Since my dad and Tim were hosting the party as well, and all they did was re-build a deck while my mom and I did most of the planning (boys are so lazy sometimes!) , we put them to work as Official Party Photographers.
Because I know you’re all dying to know, the dogs behaved themselves very well at the shower. Ben even (hesitantly) let a few strangers pet him!
The guests of honor, surrounded by family, friends, and presents!
As I said above, the parents-to-be received a lot of really great gifts for their daughter. There was great stuff off the registries and beautiful hand-made and personalized gifts. And then there were the gifts from Tim and me. (It’s my blog, so it’s only fitting that we focus on my gifts now, right?) As I thought about what to get my brother, I fondly remembered countless nights hanging out in his bedroom while our dad read to us. While I knew that getting the books I remember my dad reading most (The Chronicles of Narnia, and A Wrinkle in Time) would be a little advanced for a newborn (not to mention I’m pretty sure my brother already has his own copies of those classics), I also know that it’s never too early to start reading to your kids. And the thought of my brother reading to his daughter the way our dad used to read to us completely melted my heart. So I got him a mix of our early childhood favorites and other dad-related books: Hop on Pop, Just Me and My Dad, Daddy Loves Me, Spot Goes to the Farm (in which Spot and his dad explore the farm), and That’s Not My Dinosaur (because Chris, like most little boys, was an avid dinosaur lover as a child). He seemed very pleased with the additions to his library.
My idea for Meg’s gift came to me much more quickly, but it was more time consuming to put together. I mentioned above that I went on a little scrapbook shopping spree once the date for the shower was set. I came home from that shopping trip with bags full of baby-themed supplies, seasonal embellishments for every month of the year, and the cutest little baby scrapbook you ever did see.
And then I spent many an evening constructing the best page layouts I could come up with while Tim worked on his thesis or watched some awful movie. The result? A “Baby’s First Year” scrapbook with a page for every month of the year, complete with photo mats and calendars. Meg shares my love of scrapbooking, and I knew she’d probably want a book just for her daughter. But I also knew that she’d likely be pretty busy during her first year of motherhood (I’ve heard that this parenting thing can be pretty time consuming). I put this book together so that she will be able to easily add her favorite baby pictures from each moth and make note of important dates and milestones on the calendars. And if her reaction when opening it was any indication, I think it’s safe to say that she liked the gift.
Pictures of the inside of the book after the jump for those of you who are interested.
Have you guys noticed that hott new button over on the sidebar? The one proclaiming that I am a Sexy Exy?
When you noticed it, did you maybe wonder “What is a Sexy Exy, and how can I become one?” Of course you did. Who wouldn’t want to be a Sexy Exy?
Here’s the deal. The fabulous Britt is hosting round 2 of the Super-Duper Blogger Book Exchange. Round 1 was awesome, just ask anyone who participated, and Round 2 promises to be even more awesome, what with all the new participants, all the new books, and, of course, the new ability to call yourself a Sexy Exy. (Get it? We are Sexy. And we Exchange books. Britt is a genius.)
You can read all about the book exchange process here and here. Basically, you read one book a month (a month! you get a whole month to read just one book! Don’t try to tell me you don’t have time for that) and while you read it you write your thoughts, feelings, smartass remarks about the plot, etc. all over the margins. Then you pass the book along to the next person in line and wait patiently by your mail box for the next month’s book to arrive (that’s right! you get real mail! who doesn’t love real mail?), at which point you do it all over again. The best part is that every new book that arrives at your door will be filled with more and more comments from more and more fabulous Sexy Exies. And at the end of it all, you get your own book back — the one you chose to send around to your fellow Sexy Exies — filled with commentary from all the Sexy Exies who read it. Trust me, it is tons of fun. Even if the book you’re reading sucks, it’s still fun to make fun of it in the margins and see how other people made fun of it too.
You know you want to join the fun. Don’t try to hide it. The good news is that you can still get in touch with Britt and sign up until January 20th. Which is this coming Sunday. Which means you should really just contact Britt right now because everybody forgets everything on the weekend. (Or is that just me?)
Do you ever have this happen to you? Where you read a new word that you’ve never heard out loud and decide in your mind how that word is pronounced? And then you continue pronouncing that word that same way in your head every time you read it or write it for months on end? And then one day you hear someone say it, and you find out that you’ve been pronouncing it wrong this entire time? And then you thank your lucky stars that you never used that word in conversation and made an ass of yourself?
Because it happens to me. Kind of a lot, actually.
For the longest time, I thought fruition was pronounced FRUIT-tion. 2 syllables, one of which sounded like the word fruit. It made sense in my mind, because if something came to fruit-tion, it was like it had borne fruit, achieved its full potential, etc.
Of course, now I know it’s fru-IH-tion. And I’ve heard it enough that my mental pronunciation has corrected itself and fruit-tion sounds completely wrong and stupid to me. It’s pronounced fru-IH-tion, obviously, gosh!
Aforementioned is a slightly different story, though. I can’t even be thankful that I’ve never made an ass of myself in conversation, because I totally have. I’ve been walking around saying AFF-or-men-tioned, both mentally and aloud, for quite some time. I emphasize the aff, just like the Afflac duck would do if he had more than a single-word vocabulary.
Then a few months ago I was watching Psych, and I heard this funny-sounding word: a-FORE-men-tioned. And then I heard Jim Halpert say it the same way on The Office. Each time, it took me a second to understand that the word I was hearing was actually aforementioned and I’d been saying it wrong all my life. I think one time I even turned to Tim and said “Is that how it’s said? A-FORE-mentioned? Really?”
I still haven’t gotten used to this crazy a-FORE-men-tioned pronunciation. I know it makes much more sense, as it has the word afore right there in it, so naturally you would pronounce it that way. But still, whenever I read or write it, my brain thinks AFF-or-men-tioned. Because I am dumb and speak like an imaginary duck, apparently. Maybe if I start working it into conversation more frequently — pronouncing it correctly, of course — my brain will learn the correct way to say the word.
On the subject of “if pronouncing it my way is wrong then I don’t want to be right,” there’s a character in one of my favorite books named Aziraphale. I know, in my mind, how I think his name should be pronounced. And every time I read the book, I pronounce it my way. But now that I’ve learned of my tendency to read pronunciations wrong, I have a serious fear that one day there will be a movie made of the book, and in the movie the character’s name will be pronounced correctly, and it will be different than the pronunciation that I’ve come to know and love over the years, and my whole world will be turned upside down. It’s to the point where I almost hope they never make a movie of the book because even though, made correctly, the movie would be incredible, I don’t know how I could cope with learning that my beloved Aziraphale doesn’t have the name I think he does.
So, does that kind of thing ever happen to you? No? Just me? That’s what I was afraid of.