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i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds.
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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

destruction chronicles – may 26 – 31

I have just gone through all the photos Shawn took last week for me and you wouldn’t believe the destruction in our driveway when we came home this morning! We’re parked two block away. I was right that at least half of our driveway would be dug up. The hole is deep and huge! (That’s what she said?) So now for another photo-heavy post, but I have to chronicle everything because I need you all to suffer along with me!

So stuff apparently started on May 26th. I am quite surprised at how much they got done in 3 days.

Looks innocent enough, doesn’t it?

But then the tractors came.

Our 8-foot hole in the driveway was “filled in”. We lost our cone.

Then Shawn came home from work and… no more asphalt!

This is how we’re getting our water. The white hose is attached to the blue one they put up last week, er, the week before I went away that is. It’s coming in our tap from the front.

This is a, um, shovel thing? Notice the Go Habs Go! on it. Heh. Even the graffiti artists get into the hockey spirit. Even if Shawn and I don’t. (Heck, for all I know the construction guys did it. It’s the same orange paint that was on our ground.)

This was parked on our road when I got home. I guess it’s a little too big to drive to and from the site. It’s HUGE.

Ah, the days when we still had a full driveway. As of today we’re missing almost all the way up to where the car starts!

This was this morning. I even took video, but then the tractor stopped putting stuff in the truck. Rude. They moved the truck so Shawn, and three other neighbours could get out of the driveway and move the car. Like I said in the previous post, we wouldn’t be able to use the driveway for at least 3 days per them. We found out why when we got home.

Also? This thing is LOUD at 6:50 in the morning.

I took this as we walked up the other end of our road toward the house. See the tree right behind the tractor? That’s our house. Does it look easy to get to? No.

For your visual comparison… here I am in front of the shovel part of the tractor. (click to enlarge)

There seems to be a 20 foot deep hole between us and our house. We had to walk across other people’s lawns to get home. I felt bad, but it was the only way we’re getting anywhere. No mail delivery until it’s done. We can pick it up some place unreadable per a note from Canada Post. Also, I am curious as to where I’ll be putting my garbage out on Wednesday morning. Hmm. I’m missing half my front lawn (UP TO but not including the tree. At least they were right about that).

This is the hole as viewed from my remaining driveway. I was trying to get shots of how deep it is but it just wasn’t coming out properly. I should have taken one from the bedroom window now that I think about it and it’s all dark out.

I know they will wake us up again before 7AM and I think I don’t even have to put the alarm on. The good news is they seem to be going pretty fast up the street and I think we won’t have to suffer until October. We might be one of the first streets done. We might not get paved until the end of the May-Oct run, but our pipes will be changed by then I am sure.

It’s not fun, but I have to admit it’s pretty cool to wander around the equipment and check out what’s under our street!

On that note, I guess I should hit the sack since I know I’ll be up with the birds and the construction workers (who think Jinx has a “mean face” and were scared of him! OMG!! This dog is afraid of his own shadow! I had to laugh at that. Once I said he was a baby I had three burly construction guys fawning all over him this morning. Jinx? Mean? Only if you’re a squirrel. Even then, if he ever got close enough to one I know he’d chicken out.)

destruction chronicles – oh lawdy

At 7:00 am, even with ear plugs the construction woke me up. We got up early, which is lucky because about 20 minutes ago a hot construction dude came to our door and said “do you need to drive your car, because in about 10 minutes you won’t be able to leave your driveway for 2-3 days as there will be a hole in the ground”. They are currently about to dig up in front of our house and our driveway. Shawn’s off trying to park the car somewhere only to come back and both of us have to leave to get to it to leave for work.

Jinx got adored by construction guys as we sat on the front step and watched Shawn drive away. They said he had a mean face! JINX! Good lord, I told them he was afraid of his own shadow. Nice guys, not a one speaks English.

I don’t know where Shawn got to with the car, but I’m going to close up the laptop and finish delinting myself to get to work.

Can’t wait to see what mess we’ll have when we get home! Woo!


by Leah Cypess

The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwod.

But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty–because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can’t help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew. (goodreads.com)

I didn’t think I would make the half hour signing of Leah Cypress’ Mistwood at BEA, but I lucked out and I did! In fact I wasn’t even that far back in line. I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of a book I was lusting after and that my stores were not going to be getting in. (Have I mentioned how much trouble I am having with my 2010 Debut Author Challenge? None of the debut novels are being stocked in my stores! I could order them online, but I am seriously trying to not put any more money on my credit cards. But I digress…) So of course I made sure that this book was in my backpack so that I could read it on the train (where I am writing this review, in fact!)

Mistwood was a quick read. I was done in the blink of an eye and I have to be honest, I don’t know what I think about it. On one hand it had this potential epic fantasy feel to it though the story was far from epic. I think it was a little too rushed. I felt like the story kept jumping around and just when I thought it was going to go on in one direction, suddenly something else was happening.

I didn’t know who to trust. I still don’t even know what Clarisse’s motives were other than to herself and the sort of Big Reveal at the end was just dropped on us and then no time was given to digest what Isabelle had just suddenly realized (and to be honest, I have NO clue how she came to that conclusion. It wasn’t exactly foreshadowed throughout the book. People kept appearing and vanishing and no one seemed to be dead when they were thought otherwise, people were randomly betraying people and it wasn’t always the same person.

I would have liked to have learned more about this Shifter creature that Isabelle was supposed to be. It wasn’t really described all that well in my opinion. The ending completely threw me because it seemed to just END and no one dealt with the information they had just received.

Somehow I knew this book was going to end with the prince dude falling in love with the shifter, and sure enough. But am I the only one who thought his admission of love was completely out of left field? I felt no connection between any of the characters, let alone a fairy tale love between Isabelle and Rokan. Heck, I didn’t feel any connection between myself and the characters. I felt like Isabelle was 2-dimensional and although I knew I should be caring about her – I just didn’t.

I am sad to say I was highly disappointed with this novel. I wish it was just a little bit more threshed out and had more, I don’t know, plot or character development. It certainly needed more character development. That would have made it much more epic and less disappointing.

destruction chronicles – teaser

This is the view from my living room window right now:

This is right next door, in front of my neighbours’ driveway. Shawn was a wonderful husband (who spoils me) and took photos with his phone. I still have to go through and organize them, so I’ll update later in the week. Apparently they like to start at 7:00-7:30 in the morning, so I have a feeling I am going to wake up a very GrumpyCat. We can’t even access our street from this end of the Crescent. We have to come around the other way, this one is all closed off with a fence, huge hole and that digger machine. If it’s there tomorrow I will have Shawn take a photo of me in front of it because it is HUGE.

This is the rest of the street:

I am rather thankful I missed the whole digging up the asphalt part of the process. I do not like noise. The road is all gravel right now. There’s a big BUMP to get up into our driveway. We’re better off than the neighbours though because they can’t get out of their driveway at all.

Rambling Reader: I Survived NYC & BEA 2010 (Part 1)

It takes about 6-7 hours to drive from Montreal to Manhattan. It takes a minimum of 11 hours to take the train there. In fact, I was 2 hours delayed in arriving in NYC so my train ride was a lovely 13 hours, the last 3 of which had the ventilation turned off because some little skinny dude was cold and so rather than turn down the a/c the conductor turned OFF the air completely. From before Albany until Penn Station we sat there sweating and tired and glaring at the student dude.

But I got there!

I stayed at the Paramount hotel with my roommates, Kristi and Erica. Those of you who only follow this blog and not my personal one may not know Finnegan my ephalent who likes to travel with me and sightsee for himself. He did a lot of sight seeing while in NYC. Here he is crashing on the bed so happy to finally be unpacked from my backpack and able to stretch out his legs. The beds at the Paramount? The most comfortable beds in the world, the pillows too. I should have taken them home with me.

As an avid reader and someone who likes to be prepared in case of apocalpyse, it was important to me to check out the New York Public Library. Movies have taught me that this is the place to be when the world ends so that you can survive. It was under construction so I couldn’t get a decent outside shot, but Finnegan made friends with the lion protectors, so I think Kristi and I have an “in” when the world ends and they’ll let us pass.

Monday was a full day. Kristi and I walked all over the place and then headed to the West Village to have lunch with Melissa Walker before the Teen Author Carnival that evening. We ate at the Cornelia Street Cafe, which was a cute little place and had French all over the menu. I was trying to escape the French and Melissa felt the need to accost me with it on my first day in her city. 😉

Finnegan also got in on the author action. He likes to hob-nob with important people. I let him handle the schmoozing and I just go on about my business. Melissa actually has a rare photo where Finnegan’s I ? NY! sticker was still on his shirt.

I think Finnegan and Melissa make a cute couple, don’t you? We might have to warn her husband. I was so happy to get to have lunch with Melissa since I got to know her online. She was the first ever author to comment on my blog! We have a history. Awww. 😉 After lunch (late lunch) we headed on over to the Jefferson Market Branch Library for the Teen Author Carnival.

On the “real life” panel:

This was by far my favourite panel of the entire TAC. The authors were really engaging and fun to listen to. There was much laughter and I could have sat there for hours listening to them. I couldn’t get photos of the panelists from the Teen Love panel because I had too many heads in my way, but I didn’t like that one as much anyhow since I couldn’t give a hoot about romance in books. I’m crotchety, deal with it.

The final panel I saw was the Mystery/Fantasy panel on the main floor of the library (the library, by the way, was GORGEOUS but there was so much going on and so many people I wasn’t able to take photos).

I was super excited about this panel because Michelle Zink was on it! I couldn’t wait to finally get to talk to her in person. Sadly, there wasn’t much time for socializing once the panels were done because it was book signing mayhem in another room and hard to get around. But Finnegan, always the charmer, got his way into a photo with Michelle!

And Michelle will make her way to Montreal one day soon and we’ll hang out and talk and gossip and have fun! I was so happy to get a Guardian of the Gate ARC because it looks a lot more like the hard cover of PoS and as Michelle knows, I am not a huge fan of the new covers. I don’t like covers to be FACE!!! and title. Far away faces, ok, I can deal. But what is with this FACE with just one eye fad? Used to be headless women, now it’s a huge face with one eye showing. Example:


Am I the only one who gets tired of these cover trends? I mean, I like an original cover. I am more likely to buy something that looks a) pretty and b) different than others. I guess I am the only one because since Twilight publishers seem to want to Twilight-esque ever book cover out there to get people to read the books. I don’t know. I get tired of seeing the same thing over and over again.

So that was my Monday (minus those books in the last photo). I apparently did not take many photos on Tuesday. I did meet Polish Outlander for lunch at the Old Town Tavern and that was fantastic! I was looking forward to meeting her so I was glad we were able to meet up for lunch. Oddly, I ended up running into her all throughout BEA and I was starting to worry she might think I was stalking her. I saw her more than I saw Erica or Kristi and other people I was there with! Even when I went to sit down for lunch on the Wednesday, I go to sit down – BOOM! There she is with her friend. I promise I was not stalking you!!

After I left my lunch I went off to meet some other people for tea at Sweetiepie restaurant (my opinion? Don’t bother. Spend your money elsewhere and much more wisely). I seem to have been directed to the wrong Greenwich not realizing there was a STREET and AVENUE within 10 minutes of each other. WHO DOES THAT? Geez. When I finally got to the tea place I was just so happy to sit down. We took these cool photos from the mirror over head –

I’m in the top right corner, counter clockwise is Susan (I remembered!), Khy, crap, I am blanking on the other woman’s name (sorry!), James, Khy’s mom, Pam, Erica, Alea and Gail.

Later that night we went to a book signing at Books of Wonder near where I had lunch with Polish Outlander. I got there late because, er, I can’t remember why. We got back to the hotel late and then weren’t sure if we wanted to go back out again. But I collected Susan and James and we went to BoW met up with Kristi and then wandered around after that event trying to get to The Strand, got lost. Called it a night, went back to the hotel, got pizza, watched Glee and then went to bed.

And this is just my first two days in NYC! I’ll write up another post about Wednesday and Thursday and show off Finnegan’s schmoozing skills and author photos. It’s only 8:00pm right now, but I am wiped out from the trip and I think I’m going off to bed. Canadians had their long weekend last weekend, while I was away, so I don’t get to sleep in tomorrow like many of my American friends!