Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I am unapologetically addicted to pop culture. I love books (mostly novels), movies and TV shows that are new and highly entertaining. I like to read a book the same way I watch a movie, start to finish, with very few interruptions. I do apologize to all those authors who work tirelessly to entertain me. I am a very fast reader and I finish in two days, a novel that has taken authors months of slavery to produce. I'm easy to please--entertain me and surprise me. I salute the authors who can do that and I greatly envy their ability to create an imaginary world that fascinates me. If everyone has a book inside them, mine would be filled with opinions and little creativity. I hesitate to claim a list of favorite books because there are many. I become very loyal to authors I enjoy, therefore I will read anything they write. I don't judge and compare their latest novel with their previous works. I take from it whatever appeals to me but I don't bother to remember the dimensions of a particular weapon or the routes to the best restaurants in New York. I was a literature major, and I won't name the dusty tomes that were required reading but I've read some dry stuff. It is probably true that education is wasted on the young; I failed to relate to the tragedy of the human condition found in some of those required novels at 21 innocent years of age. Perhaps I should re-read some of the classics to remind myself of those human truisms that qualified certain works as classics worthy of reading over and over. However, I probably wouldn't prefer War and Peace to Lee Child's latest Jack Reacher thriller called Gone Tomorrow. Lee Child never disappoints and I am eager to see the first movie. The Jack Reacher character brings to mind the James Bond series. I have enjoyed all of Lee Child's creations;he's a very talented contemporary author.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Up to Code?

The robins worked very hard building this nest and faithfully sit on it when I can resist the temptation to try to take pictures of it. I considered taking it down when it became obvious that they were nesting over my deck light. I have heard from others that removing the early efforts won't work because they will keep rebuilding it. So they will leave sooner if they are left to raise their young and abandon their efforts voluntarily. It is interesting to watch, but I prefer that they build nests away from the house so that I don't have to watch the predator birds trying to consume the nestlings. It is gruesome to watch. Of course, I feel obligated to rush outside to chase away blue jays.

In the few weeks it takes for the nestlings to fledge, I have to tiptoe around my own house. No cookouts for a few weeks. I should be grateful that I can open my front door this spring. In years past, birds have built nests on the grapevine door decoration. We had to knock on the front door before we could open it to warn the birds to vacate the nest. Nevertheless, they flew inside the house one day, which required us to leave all of the doors open for them to fly away. Birds out, bugs in. That was easier than hosting the bat that fell down the chimney. Coexisting with wildlife gets weird.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Planet Hollywood, The Lady Luck of Las Vegas

I can't get enough of Planet Hollywood and Las Vegas. Can you beat that view from the room! The fountains across the Strip sound like canons booming, no matter what time of the day we happen to stop back at our room. Our friends who meet us to visit several days have been upgraded to beautiful suites, but he is always the lucky one of the four of us. From huge, purple, fuzzy, stuffed elephants won at beach arcades, to video poker, he carries around a winner halo. Unfortunately, it hasn't rubbed off on me yet. I keep hoping I will be the lucky one next time we play the slots. I love staying in Planet Hollywood when we go to Vegas for easy access to the rest of the area attractions. I enjoyed the hotel when it was the mysterious Aladdin, but I find the glamorous renovations to Planet Hollywood to be invigorating. Pictures taken at the entrance really sparkle. Having the Miracle Mile shops joining the casino was a stroke of genius. We are off again to explore Vegas, the shows, and nearby Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon and Freemont Street. It is like coming home from a long day when we can take off our shoes in our room in Planet Hollywood.