i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Never Fade

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2)
by Alexandra Bracken

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself? (goodreads.com)

Whoops! I started this post on November 8 and apparently got distracted because I never actually finished it.

(sort of spoilery, so read at your own risk)

I suppose I also let myself get distracted because I didn’t really want to write this post. Sadly, I did not enjoy Never Fade nearly as much as I adored Darkest Minds. Alas. I had a bad feeling at the start of the book when I couldn’t remember who Ruby was. How did I forget the main character’s name? Golly, Cat, maybe pay better attention to things when you read books! Gah! I had to go back to my review of the first book to make sure I was reading about the same person. I felt like I was reading a different series at first.

I had some trouble reading this book. I kept finding errors in the text and had to re-read some parts over due to some awkward phrasing at times and I don’t normally notice these things, so it’s strange that I did this time.

I felt very little connection to Ruby in this sequel but I really liked Vida. I have to admit the Epic Love between Ruby and Liam just wasn’t doing it for me in this book. I think Ruby did something totally unspeakable and I feel like Liam should not forgive her for her actions. But, whatever… he’s supposed to remember intense love feelings for her regardless of Ruby’s actions and I just was not feeling that connection at all.

I was worried after reading the first book that the sequel would not be able to match the pace of the first book. I was right. I felt like this part of the story was very drawn out with little breathless action. I found a lot of it predictable and nowhere near as mysterious as the first book.

I was disappointed in the sequel much to my chagrin.  I’m not entirely sure how much of my disappointment has to do with my current mood and lack of reading ability or how much was the story itself. It’s often difficult to match the awesome of a first book. Sometimes I love the first, hate the second but love the third book in the series, so I am looking forward to reading the next book. I like the idea of this story and I tend to like the secondary characters a lot. For instance I really loved Chubs this time around even though I wasn’t a fan of his in the first book. He’s had some major character growth and that is pretty awesome to read in a book. Sadly, the protagonist hasn’t had much growth and I feel like her decisions are getting stupider by the second. She keeps endangering herself and everyone around her for stupid reasons. Smarten up, girlie!

Book three is out next fall (I believe) so I’ll be on the look out for that for sure. Hopefully Ruby will be a little more intelligent by then. I’m curious to see where this is all going after the ending of Never Fade. I’d appreciate a little more action and a lot less Epic Never Ending LOOOOOOVE.

The Darkest Minds

  1. The Darkest Minds
  2. Never Fade
  3. TBA – 2014

 

it’s coming…

It has been unusually cold here the last few days. This cold snap happened right after it was unusually warm for this time of year. Literally one day after the next. But, you know, that’s Montreal in the winter months. It’s rarely the same weather from year to year.

Even with my perpetually sad moods I have been longing to put up the Christmas decorations this season. I tend to activate all Christmas music in my library in October, but I was late this year and still today, I find myself skipping over the Christmas songs as they come up on shuffle. I WANT to listen to them but for some reason most of them are just making me agitated rather than content. I have them playing in the house on the weekends though as I make cards and stuff. That helps my mood. There’s one US radio station that we get here that plays All Christmas Music ALL the Time and they started this weekend! So now I can switch to that station in the car if I am feeling the urge to jingle along my merry way.

I broke out the Christmas mug yesterday morning when I made my coffee. I am longing for that first snow. I like my first snow falls and I love the snow up until the end of December. This is how I know I’m getting old. I’m ready for the snow and winter to be GONE by mid-January. I used to love snow on my birthday… but not so much anymore.

But I do love me some snow for Christmas. I don’t think I could do Christmas in a non-snowy place. Or then again, maybe I could get used to it in no time. Old. I’m getting OLD.

Between work and my down-in-the-dumps mood, I haven’t been able to do much of anything these days. When I am not working, I’m fretting over school work or going to my fitness class (which helps with the mood stuff) but I just don’t feel like I have any time to just do something fun, for myself and without worrying about everything. So on Friday after work I had Shawn pick me up at the metro and we headed on over to check out the new Michael’s store that opened near us. Everything there is pretty and grossly over-priced but I managed to pick up some new Christmas stickers and card-making things that were happily on discount.

So Saturday was a card-making day. Full of crafting, paper, stickers, and glitter. Always glitter. Always.

(Was supposed to have an outdoor crossfit class that got cancelled so I got in some extra card-making time! We also went to a movie AND I worked out on my own at home. It was a full day!)

ALL OF THE SHINY!!

I have this problem in which I buy all of these pretty stickers and paper that are just SO pretty that I end up having anxiety when I have to use them. I don’t want to use them. They are SO PRETTY! And then I won’t see them again. They are so pretty in front of me that I don’t want to ruin their prettiness by putting them on other things. SO SHINY! @_@ I’m like this with new notebooks, too. They are so pretty and empty, I don’t want to risk losing the magic of it by writing it in.  But I will make pretty cards and others will get them and  hopefully enjoy the stickers and paper I lovingly shared with them. No one will ever appreciate the pretty as much as I do though. I know it.

I also know this is a totally weird and strange issue to have. But I have it. My gods, I would probably hoard ALL of the SHINY STICKERS if I could. I rocked sticker albums when I was a kid. Maybe I should start that up again because I don’t have enough clutter in the house already.

Sneak peek.

I’ve got 22 cards made so far. I think this is about half of what I need. I see another weekend of card making in my very near future. I want to get my US and overseas cards out soon. I also need to buy stamps.

Crap. Note to self: SELF! YOU NEED TO BUY STAMPS!

Or at least bring this all to the post office when it’s not crazy-busy and have them stamped there.

Which brings me to the fact that ever since I lost my address book in the fire of 2006, I have never really had a proper place to keep my addresses. I have tried many things and keep misplacing them. Last year I had the brilliant idea of adding peoples’ addresses to my gmail address book but that’s not complete either. So this year I looked up “Christmas Card Lists” online and was not disappointed. I printed some out and voila!

I’ll eventually get a notebook or something to put this stuff in, but this way I have all of my countries sorted and names written down and I can make sure I am not missing anyone! Woot! I have begun verifying addresses with people that might have moved in the last year to make sure I have the most recent one (which created the brilliant idea to add a NOTE in my gmail contacts with “current address as of XX date”! Go, me!) I have sorted these not only by country, but by which lists get mailed and which are handed cards in person. Who am I? Crazy organized this year.

I even wrote all the addresses down in alternating red and green. I’m a freakin’ festive machine, yo!

I don’t have the money to send out cards to many people this year. Only my regular mailings are going out. Not only are cards and crafting stuff expensive – so is postage! Not many people do cards anymore, but they mean something to me, so I still do. And honestly, making them all myself is oddly cathartic to me. I enjoy it and I like to think that people enjoy receiving cards that had a little time and effort put into them. Yes, these things get recycled at the end of the season, but I don’t know. There’s joy in a hand-made card. At least to me there is.

I have slowly begun adding Christmas whimsy to the house. I have taken out all of the boxes from the closet in the basement and started to pull things out. The Christmas fleece blankets are now on the couch. I have one little decoration on the cedar chest, in front of the TV (mostly because I am not certain how to decorate that space this year since it’s not just an open one and actually has a TV and DVD player on it… hmmm). I have cleaned the house (with the help of Shawn) and just have the piano left to de-clutter and dust so the regular decorations can go up there next weekend.

I brought Christmas to the outside of the house. It’s always been my dream to have outdoor lights, but that’s sort of a lot of effort and we’re just not that handy. Maybe our next house. For now I’ll be happy with my wreath. I put this out today because we are supposed to get snow this week – a lot of it – and I didn’t feel like having it blow in the house when I put this up. Although it’s aout -16C and extremely windy so it might just blow away.

I feel like this year is a weird combination of Faking the Joy (coined by Monkey many years ago) and actually feeling the joy. I want to feel it. I sort of do. It’s just something I really have to grab the edge of and hold on for dear life. The decorations, glitter, card-making and music are helping. The snow fall (although a massive mess for the daily commute) will add a bit of brightness to the grey and dead vegetation out there. I am hoping that will help a little, too. (Well, ignoring the commuting mess.) And next week the blog design will change, too! (Thank you December, for starting on a weekend so I can get this done at the right time!)

Bring on the festive, Christmas cheer! I’m ready!

diary of a non-jogger – spring in fall

2.56km if you wanted to be all technical about it

The weather was unseasonably warm and spring-like today. I had an outdoor crossfit class at 10am this morning and it was just gorgeous out as we worked out. The last few outdoor classes have been about 2 or 4 celsius and that’s cold! We were up around 10C today with nice, warm sun and I think that’s my most favourite kind of work out ever.

It was so nice out I was itching to run. I haven’t been out since September 14 and, honestly? I have missed it. I have a whole bunch of other activity in my life right now but there’s something about this jogging thing that I’m still digging.

I took Jinx with me and Shawn walked Sophie. I did a walk/warm-up around the block since I knew we’d pass the Sniffing Trees and trying to get Jinx by there without stopping would have been difficult and well, I’d feel bad. So we all walked as a family for the first little bit, less than a 5 minute warm-up if I were doing the Couch to 5K app program.

Since I knew I hadn’t really been out running (the sprints and warm-ups in my crossfit don’t count) for a while, I had a stern talk with myself before I set out about how I was not to expect miracles and I was NOT to get DISAPPOINTED IN MYSELF if I couldn’t run much.

I was seriously surprised by how much I did run as I started. I would have probably have been able to go a little further than I did if everything wasn’t against me. Jinx was being a brat, wanting to pull and sniff and trip me, I was at a rather bothersome corner that had two cars coming around it and people walking on the sidewalk who looked scared of Jinx. I had to stop finally and pull over. I was getting to the point where I was trying to push myself just that little bit further to see how far I could go, but it was too complicated and I was uncomfortable so I stopped, paused my phone and texted Shawn to let him know where I’d be going next.

My next bit of running weren’t nearly as long as the first, but I didn’t walk much between them either. I’d run for about a minute and walk for about 15-20 seconds. I spent a lot of that time pulling at Jinx’s collar to keep in him line. Ugh. By the time we met up with Shawn and Sophie I just tossed Shawn the leash and told him to take Jinx because he was being a pain in the butt and I was fed up trying to deal with him. Normally he’s really good when we run, but he was full of Bratty Beans today.

I  ran/walked the rest of the way home and in all we came in just under 3km. I had to edit my distance manually since I had started Runkeeper only when I started running and not the first part of the walk. It also got confused when I paused it the first time.

Anyhow, I ran way more than I thought I could and although I was slow, I was also pretty steady and I was happy with myself when I got home. I miss running and I am looking forward to the switcheroo with the sun setting being later. Since I can’t run alone in the dark. I don’t feel safe.

I have heard that we’re supposed to get a ton of snow this winter and that both makes me happy and sad. I am happy because I love the snow but I don’t think I’ll be a very good runner in those conditions. Ice terrifies me and I won’t even walk the dogs when it’s icy. I both want the snow to stay away longer so I can try and get a few more runs in before winter really hits AND I want the snow to come SOON because, well, CHRISTMAS WHIMSY! And WINTER WHIMSY!!

But I went out today and I ran and it was nice out and I feel  a little less down in the dumps. Now I just need to spend tomorrow focused on school work. And Christmas card making. OMG I have no time for anything!! GAH!

novemblah

I am struggling with November. We’re only 10 days into it but I feel like it’s going to last forever. I feel the weight of it holding me down.

When I’m restless, anxious or sad I always seem to change up my hair. It’s a little thing, really. It’s something that can be easily done and will eventually change back to the way it was (if I let it). I’ve mentioned this before on here, but it’s one of the little things I do to cope with all that’s overwhelming me.

So the other day I added more purple to the front of my hair. I didn’t want to do the purple at the same time as the rest of my idea because I didn’t want it to run through the other colour. I actually LIKED the way my hair turned out on Friday but I still felt that itch to do the rest. I should have just kept it the way it was. Alas.

Today I bleached the rest and added the candy-apple, Ariel red to my hair. Only the red didn’t really stay and it actually ran through the dark purple! Argh! So I have been working on my hair since about 3pm and it’s almost nine and I have redone it twice. I just washed out a new bit of purple because I needed to get that colour back and I had to redo the red to get the stupid colour to stay IN.

I am not happy with my hair at all. It’s actually making me feel worse. But the thing with hair is that I can change it again soon. Easily. I just want to give it a rest for a few days because, well, the one thing I don’t want is for it to all fall out. 😉

The harshest thing I put it in today was the bleach. The rest of the stuff isn’t so hard on my hair. I’m just tired of being covered in red, purple and pink. and of washing my hair, the sink, the bathtub, the shower, my body… I need to go to bed soon and I have hardly done anything other than my hair today.

Thank goodness I have my husband to watch over me. I fail at taking care of myself and at life. He’s made my lunch for me, washed the clothes and made dinner. I have just been running around from one floor to the other with various hair stages.

I’m still out of sorts. I’m still down. I’m still dreading having to go back to work tomorrow and the next day and the next. I still have school work to do but everything just feels so heavy and overwhelming. I just can’t cope with anything anymore.

And I can’t even say I have shiny new hair to distract me.

I know it’s trivial in the long run, but it’s supposed to be cathartic so when my coping mechanism doesn’t actually help me cope it just seems unfair. Sigh.

#operationTEA

In 2011 I found out about it too late. In 2012 I was able to order it online. Twice. (Once for a friend in NJ!)

 

24 Days of Tea 2012 Edition

And since then, I have been eagerly awaiting the availability of this year’s 24 Days of Tea. I have be stalking DAVIDsTEA online for a month now. (Ok, so I am always stalking them online, but this time it was HARD CORE, YO!) and I asked them last week on Twitter when the tea calendar would be ready. I was told November 8. I was ready. I joked that I would stay up until midnight to see if I could order it as soon as it was released. I chastised them for telling other people when it would be available because it should have been OUR secret. Now everyone would know! Rude! 😉

But little did I know how almost right I was about everything.

I took today off as a last minute decision yesterday afternoon. I had already been away from work for the last three days because I was in Toronto. I still had a lot of school work and an assignment to finish up before tomorrow and I wasn’t quite ready. So I took today off to work on that. I was also exhausted so I needed to sleep. I went to bed last night around 9:00 p.m. and when I woke up it was after 10 in the morning. That is way more sleep than I ever get!

First thing I did when I came downstairs was open up Facebook and the DAVIDsTEA website. They had just announced that the advent calendar went on sale. At 9:00 a.m. When  I opened up the page on their site at 10:15? IT WAS SOLD OUT.

It sold out in less than an hour online. SOLD. OUT.

WHAT!?

I messaged Monkey right away. I told her it was sold out! Shawn had come downstairs and I was complaining LOUDLY to him that it was SOLD OUT! I had been waiting for this stupid calendar for  11 months! I wanted my 24 Days of Tea! So I said, “hey, want to go to the mall and then out to brunch?” And then Monkey told me she was going to the mall.

Then, when I was in the car, I got the following text:

#operationtea was in effect! (Also her text cracked me up big time!)

We rushed to the mall, which thankfully is only a 7-minute drive from our house and it was before 11am so I figured it would be empty enough that I wouldn’t have to fight people to the death for my tea. Sure enough there was an entire display of the calendar in the store. SUCCESS!

Winning the Olympics has nothing on this success!

Of COURSE I had Shawn take a photo of me in the parking lot with my prize! It was a Big Deal! My sister had messaged me as well when she saw I was going to the mall and asked me to pick her up one if they were in stock. So I bought two. I told the ladies in the store that it was sold out online and that they’d probably have a rush on these. We had a whole social media/texting thing going on. Everyone was trying to get their hands on tea!

Shawn and I were going to brunch across the street from the mall, so if Monkey hadn’t gotten her calendar, I’d have gone back and picked one up for her. Thankfully Monkey was also able to procure herself a box o’ tea!

I don’t think that DAVIDsTEA were expecting this to sell out so fast. I could be wrong, but I get the feeling that a tea advent calendar selling out in less than an hour as if it were the new Google Nexus phone, is a rare and strange thing to have happen. I was able to order my calendars online last year. The last two years the stores here had very few – maybe 5 – calendars in stock. It was ordered online within the week it was released. I had planned on the online ordering over in-store because I’d have a better chance of getting one. Who knew it would be the total opposite this year! I feel very bad for anyone on the West Coast since they didn’t even have a chance to order it online since it sold out while it was still early for them.

2 p.m.  – still 14 boxes left!

I ended up going back to the mall at 2 in the afternoon to pick up a box for a friend in California who had really wanted one this year. I put on my hat (because it was so much colder than it was in the morning!) but decided it would help disguise me from the employees since I was just there. Heh. Magenta and purple hair is easy to remember. So I added my bright green and turquoise hat. That’ll stump them, right? Well, it didn’t. I felt sort of foolish going back but I said it was for a friend on the West Coast, which isn’t a lie!

Victory tea for Pam in California!

So, I just spent over $100 on tea in about 4 hours. That’s not crazy, right?

Right?

I have to say that the packaging for this year’s 24 Days of Tea is really pretty and festive and a lot more solid. It has a nifty magnetic closure and it’s shiny and sparkly and has some interesting sounding teas in it this year. I’m pretty sure that I won’t like some of them already and am a little sceptical of trying them, but like last year,  I will make an effort to at least taste all of them! (Even the strawberry one… but… gag. That will just be a small sip.)

I’m a little surprised (and disappointed) that this product sold out so quickly. Any other Friday and I’d have been at work and online when the announcement went up. The fact that I slept through it – AT NINE IN THE MORNING – and it was sold out was a huge surprise. I am happy that the stores had more in stock this year though. By about 11:30 in the morning they had updated their website to say it was only available in stores.

Who knew a tea advent calendar would be so popular? But also… way to go to a Canadian company that sells tea. I’m all for supporting Canadian businesses and DAVIDsTEA has been expanding a lot in the last year and is now even in many US locations. I’m proud of their success and how amazingly friendly and fun they are in the social media presence. Way to go, DAVIDsTEA gang!!

I can’t wait for December 1st now! Wooo!

(Also, I got my assignment finished and my group has submitted it already. I feel very productive today.)