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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

diary of a non-jogger: i can’t believe i did this again!

I am attributing this success to my year of aqua fit. A lot of hopping up and down on my toes in that water. Normally it’s my shins that hurt the most when I attempt running, but they don’t hurt one bit! Right now it’s the muscles in my thighs, above my knees that are so sore. I mostly feel it when I go down stairs or go to sit down.

Today’s run started out with technical difficulties. Apparently I had my phone on mute, so although I could hear my music, the notifications were not coming through. I was certain that my 5 minute warm-up walk was taking longer than it should have, and I was right. I’d missed the first 60 second running prompt! Oh, no!

So, I added 60 seconds of running to the end of our route. Go, me!

I made it through ALL running sets again and although the silly app stopped before we made it home (I have no idea why?) I know that our entire route is 3.15km, so even though my running journal for today doesn’t show that, I know I did it.

I didn’t want to take the dogs. It was way too complicated trying to get Jinx to keep up with me – and I don’t even run fast! Sophie hates running and lately she’s been pooping out on our regular walks (2km only, and pretty leisurely). I said I would go out alone, but Shawn didn’t want me to (I’m ok with that). He opted to take both dogs so I could focus on the training and not have to worry about dealing with a dog. Ok. Only he lagged behind ¬†much of the route because of the dogs. I don’t want to take them, Shawn feels that it’s not fair to the dogs not to take them. I don’t get it. I figure we can take them on a walk later in the day or after I do the run. What’s the big deal? They aren’t enjoying it so why force them?

Either way, I made it through the first two days of training. You’re supposed to run three times a week with a day of rest in between, so this means I wouldn’t run again until after work on Tuesday. That’s a big test – can I run after work? Before dinner? It will be late, but I don’t think I can run after dinner – too full.

It’s keeping my mind occupied though, which is good. I’m still having trouble with…you know, things. I’m nervous to go back into town on Tuesday morning. I still have school work and a test to do but I think I am feeling a little more focused tonight and hope that tomorrow, a holiday for me, will yield better results when it comes to school work. I haven’t been able to think about it at all. ūüôĀ

Now, let’s see if I can publish this post without my entire server going down for a half hour, eh? Stupid technology.

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Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)
by Sarah Rees Brennan

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown‚ÄĒin fact, she‚Äôs determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him? (goodreads.com)

Hi! Remember me?

My schooling is over for this academic year and I can finally do other things with my life, like hobbies! So, this post, that I originally drafted 3 almost 4 (!!) weeks ago, can finally be written. Yes, it’s a book I read in March. I hadn’t read another book since I finished this one until just two days ago. Then I read TWO books from start to finish and I am currently reading a third book! It’s like a miracle I tell you.

I really, truly wish I had time to have written this post back when I finished the book because the book was just excellent and I had so many things to say about it! Now, three weeks later, I am trying to recall all of the awesome stuff I wanted to tell you but my brain is not cooperating.

I will tell you that Unspoken was one of the best books I had read so far this year. I was hooked instantly and so obsessed with reading more to figure out what was going on that I neglected school work for two days. I felt so guilty for this, but OMG I loved this book.

And yes, there were a few¬†predictable¬†plot points, but you know what? I was enjoying the writing and voice of this story so much I didn’t care.

I seriously enjoyed Kami as the main character. She made me laugh and although rather manic and weird, there was just something about her that endeared her to me. I was often annoyed by the friction between her and Jared because it seemed incongruous to their relationship at times, though like the predictable parts, I could overlook it and just¬†concentrate¬†on the rest of the story (because it’s not ALL about Kami and Jared swooning over the other).

I think it was the pacing of the story that kept me hooked so intensely. I have seen others comment that they¬†didn’t like the pacing, but I did. I loved so much about this book, it seemed original to me almost at the same time as it seemed formulaic. It was this weird mix and it just clicked with me. I laughed out loud a lot. I told my husband that this was such a strange book, that I felt compelled to read it and couldn’t put it down. I just wanted to KNOW what was going on at the beginning, even though I was sure I knew where it would lead. Well, it didn’t lead exactly where I thought it would and that made it an even more fun ride.

I love Sarah Rees Brennan’s writing style and – especially – her sense of humour in her books. My first introduction to her novels was the second book in the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy and to this day that book is my favourite of all three in the series. Sarah writes plucky female characters and I just enjoy reading stuff she writes. I do prefer her female characters over male ones though, but that’s just my own feelings while reading. Her books are just filled with delicious sarcasm and wit. I love them!

As much as I did love this book, I think I’d have been ok with it being a stand-alone over a series. Of course, it’s not and I have mixed feelings on this because on one hand – Yay! More Kami & Jared and SRB writing! And what will happen next!? On the other hand, I’m all, What if the next book sucks and I don’t love it as much!? Why do I have to try and remember yet ANOTHER series order and pub date for next books? I am too old for this sort of thing!

See, totally legit mixed emotions.

This book just made me feel very, very happy. It made me want to read again, but I had to hold off while my final assignment was looming over my head. I plan on making up for lost time in the next 4 months and trying to read as many books as possible before I start back to school in September. And, Internet, I am only taking one course a semester and it’s still so time consuming when you work full-time! (At least the courses I am taking are!) I need to win the lotto, or come into money, or something, so I can take time off work and just focus on school. Perfect world. Alas, that’s not the case since we have come into some Totally¬†Opposite¬†of Winning the Lotto times here in my house. Sigh. I’m even not buying books to make sure we can, you know, pay bills. So tragic! Books NEED to be bought! (Pay no mind to the 90+ unread books scattered around my house, ok? Nothing at all to see here. Move along, move along.) Here’s hoping that things are sorted out by September, when the second book is due out! ūüėČ

The Lynburn Legacy

  1. Unpoken
  2. Untold – September 2013


House Rules

House Rules (Chicagoland Vampires, #7)
by Chloe Neill

In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps.

At the tender age of 27, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she‚Äôs become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she‚Äôll see her mettle‚ÄĒand her metal ‚ÄĒtested like never before.

It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined. (goodreads.com)

You know what I am going to start with? I’m going to start with the cover. I mean, look at this cover. You might not notice much by just looking at the tiny image on my blog, but in real life this cover is just abysmal. The photo of the cover model is so horrible, it’s like someone made an Awkward Photo mock up cover as a joke and it accidentally got printed. The entire photo is just completely lacklustre. I know the UK covers for this series are sort of cheesy, what with the glowing cover model, but I kind of like them. This one is just so bland and embarrassing. Nothing about this photo says “Strong, sassy, Sentinel Vampire”.


And now on to what I thought of the story between the cover…

There are two stories going on in this book. One story about random killings of vampires and another about Cadogan House’s detachment from the, um, Grand, um… GP… the, you know, group of Vampires that keep everyone together. Wow. It’s been a while since I read the book and I can’t think of the name of the ¬†governance body. Oops.

I was more¬†interested¬†in the random vampire killings than I was about Merit’s double life of being a Cadogan vampire and a member of the Red Guard and the politics of vampires pissing off other vampires. I do think that Cadogan house becoming rogue¬†vampires¬†was a pretty neat move to keep the story interesting, but I like how these books normally have some mystery to them and that wasn’t it. The mystery was the killing of rogue vamps and I felt like there was a whole lot of space between introducing that element of the story and then finally getting back to it.

I also found that the resolution to that mystery happened way too fast and sort of as if it was just tossed in there as an afterthought because there was a completely different story going on at the same time.

I didn’t exactly dislike this¬†instalment¬†of the Chicagoland Vampires series, but I didn’t love it, either. I did find it more enjoyable than the last book, but nothing beats the WOWZA! that was¬†Hard Bitten. I feel like I am comparing each new book in this series to that one.

Regardless of my preference for which of the stories took the lead in this book, I am pretty sure that Cadogan House being rogue (in a way) is a huge turn for this series. I am very eager to see where the next two books take me because I am sure I’m in for some delightful supernatural shenanigans in the future!

Chicagoland Vampire series

  1. Some Girls Bite
  2. Friday Night Bites
  3. Twice Bitten
  4. Hard Bitten
  5. Drink Deep
  6. Biting Cold
  7. House Rules
  8. Biting Bad  РAugust 2013
  9. Wild Things – 2014


diary of a non-jogger: redux

I tried this last year. No, wait. I didn’t. At least not that I blogged about. The last time I wrote about the c25K thing was in 2011! I did try jogging again – briefly – in September of last year, but that fizzled out quickly. I always get the urge to start jogging in the spring. Honestly, I don’t know why as I have never enjoyed running. But there’s something about the dry pavement that you finally see after months of being covered in the snow that makes me want to run all over it. Not to mention the weather is that perfect mix of cool and warm so you’re not miserable while running.

So I though long and hard about WHAT it was about jogging that kept me from doing it. Something OTHER than the fact that it can hurt and my lungs burn and my nose runs…I finally had decent running shoes, so what was it. I realized I was just never comfortable in the clothes I was wearing to run. I didn’t have any pants or shorts that didn’t fall off me as I ran. No matter how tight that elastic seemed when I started out, the pants would eventually start to slip off my stomach and I’d be spending more time trying to pull them up and keep them on than focusing on running through the burn.

So I bought two pairs of sweat/yoga pants that have ties – for cheap, at Walmart. I tried the first ones out today and lo! It made a HUGE difference. I even managed to put on my little running belt that has space for my phone (for music and the training program) and a bottle of water.

I wasn’t sure I could make it through all 9 minutes of running (you walk 90 seconds and run 60 for the first day) and I thought I was on the last one when I still had one more to go, but I pushed through. I made myself complete this first day and I have never felt so good about an¬†exercise¬†goal ever.

So I didn’t feel fantastic during the run, but I didn’t feel miserable either. Today’s journal gets a great big OK for how I felt. It was pretty warm in the sun, too, but cool when it hid behind clouds. I did all 9 minutes of running and although it’s a slow pace and I felt like those 60-second running bits were getting longer towards the end (I am sure it was cheating) I managed to make it through all of them. I didn’t stop, didn’t cheat and just pushed through.

This is a testament to how helpful the last year of aqua fit classes have been. My body had managed to tone up and build muscle  without being in constant pain and I was able to accomplish something THIS cardiovascular finally. I hope the second day of training (which I think is supposed to be in 2 days?) is as successful as this one was. Fingers crossed.

Anyhow, the doctor at the ER told me that cardio was the best way to battle anxiety and since I am still very out of tune due to the events of Wednesday morning and I have a long weekend AND it’s nice out, I thought, why not try to get back into this attempt to run.

My music playlist, lovingly titled, “Running is Stupid” got me through the worst of it today. My husband came with me and the dogs sort of pooped out towards the middle (actually, Sophie pooped out earlier, she doesn’t like to run on leash). I will do the second training day without dogs, but hopefully with husband.

Now I am going to take a shower and prepare to see my parents for dinner tonight. Maybe I’ll take a nap. Hmmm. Nap. I also need to finish school work and work on a mega project. So mustn’t fill my weekend with too much other activity!