Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Salon: Checked out


Howdy friends! We're not in Maui anymore Toto...we boarded a plane last Monday, headed for home and some cold, hard reality! You know what it is like when you come home after a week of playing. 12 loads of laundry, no food, a dirty house, jet lag, and work/school the next day. To add insult to injury, my first official task was dealing with the local cable company in an attempt to hook up an additional TV in our new workout room. I think cable companies are uniformly obnoxious and incompetent nationwide, so I'm sure you understand it when I tell you I turn into a homicidal madwoman when they enter my home. I don't even like myself when they are around. I also had the pleasure of a couple of doctor's appointments this week as well, so I knew the vacation was officially over. But all was not lost. Let me reflect on the bright side of the week and stop my whining.

I had the pleasure of having lunch with a local author and blogging friend Danette Haworth. My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed Danette's debut novel, Violet Raines Almost Got Struck By Lightning. She graciously donated a signed copy for the Adult Literacy League silent auction. AND, she gave me a preview copy of her new novel Summer of Moonlight Secrets, which is to be released in May. My daughter and I are all over this one! Stay tuned for that review in early May.

We also had another Adult Literacy League meeting, and are ramping up to a fever pitch for our annual fundraising event on April 9th. Oh, the books I've received for donation! Believe me when I tell you that each and every one of you, as book lovers, would be in pulp utopia over the book table alone at this event. And the exciting news is that I will be the monitor/host/garden variety obsessive for the book table, promoting and selling bidders on the literary feasts on the auction block.

Another highlight was book club, and our Read the Book/See the Movie extravaganza with Shutter Island (review coming this Tuesday). I think I've already waxed orgasmic over the book, and I really enjoyed the movie as well. I will zip my lip at this point, and save my rantings and blabbings for the review. I have yet to receive word on the next book selection, but am excited at the prospect of my BFF joining the club next month. One can never have enough nights out with the BFF.

I had a respectable week of reading for a change. I finished my ARC Murder in Baker Company on the airplane back from Maui, and also started and finished The Dead and the Gone, the second book in the Last Survivors Trilogy. My daughter and I both reviewed this one, which you will see in another couple of weeks. I started Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin, and am only about 60 pages into it. But still, I remember why I fell in love with her book The Post-Birthday World. This woman's writing is so...clever. And smart. I want to have lunch with Lionel Shriver, at the risk of being made to look like a simpleton.

I also finished The Swan Thieves on audio (a long 17 discs!), and started Mystic River by Dennis Lehane (only 5 discs, believe it or not). I might become a fangirl of Lehane, only to be outloved by Connie May Fowler and Sarah Waters and Jacqueline Woodson. I'll let you know when I decide. The kids and I are closing in on the last few discs of the fifth Harry Potter audio book, with the 6th on the way from the library. This one has been very close to a commitment, but a good one nevertheless.

With all the ruckus this week, I am ashamed to report that I only exercised 4 miles. FOUR MILES! With every other week since January 1st averaging about 23 miles. I didn't even report it to Trisha, our host for the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge. I am embarrassed. I fear it will not improve for the month of March. Next week brings setup for the Book Fair of which I am in charge (I will take pictures), several more doctor appointments, final touches on my renovated bathroom, a golf tournament, and a three day religious retreat that promises an epiphany that will change my life (per my husband who participated in the fall).

I have attempted to make the rounds to visit my favorite blogs this week, but have failed miserably. I take pride in being a sociable blogger, but life has swallowed me whole. This may continue for another couple of weeks, but will be back in the saddle soon. I promise!

33 comments:

Alice Teh said...

Welcome back, Sandy! I know how it feels when you get back and then you have all these chores waiting to get done and the blogs waiting to be read... It took me a week or two to finish reading all posts and commenting on them (I didn't want to skip anything so I brought that upon myself).

I'm glad you had so much fun on your vacation and doing all those things you mentioned. Meeting with a fellow blogger is always GOOD. I know I had loads of fun meeting with Melody and Violet in Singapore.

Well, should you want to relax, I give you food, park and a ride on this post.

Have a great week ahead! I miss you!

Julie P. said...

I have Violet Raines sitting next to me. I am planning on reading that one and her new one shortly.

Susan said...

Welcome home! It's always such a downer having to return home after such a glorious vacation. The laundry is definitely a killer in itself.

Sounds like you will have your hands full for a few weeks. I get behind on everyone's blog posts just being gone for a couple of days, so I can imagine how behind you must be. Try to take some time for Sandy in the days to come.

XOXO

Kay said...

I'm exhausted just reading all your commitments. :-)

Seriously, take care and be thinking about that next vacation! It is fun being able to combine love and books and charity work isn't it?

caite said...

awww....the cable company. I know your pain, since my cable..TV and Internet went out yesterday evening. I put off calling them, went to Mass, Watched a DVD and went to bed. And miracles of miracles, this morning it was working!

But, let me just say, as bad as dealing with them is..and I know it is!...as someone who answered the phone from customers for another utility for years, you get more with honey. Best is to be firm but nice, because I will assure you, as soon as the customer gets nasty, even if they have cause, my ears tuned right out.
Firm...because many of the people you will be talking to are idiots..but nice because it is just human nature that it is harder to be mean to nice people.

Molly said...

Boy, you are one busy mama!

Glad you are back safe and sound.

I look forward to seeing the pictures of the bookfair (although I know I will experience green-eyed jealousy!)

JoAnn said...

Welcome back, Sandy! Catching up after vacation is HARD... even without the jet-lag. Add in the cable company and you've got a nightmare! Go easy on yourself and ease back into it gradually.... we'll wait.

bermudaonion said...

What a week you've had! I hope all those doctor visits are part of the routine of getting older and not anything serious.

Will you be allowed to bid on the books at the Adult Literacy League event?

Kaye said...

Glad you're back and welcome to the "real world" again. Now you know being in paradise could not last forever. My hubby always thinks I am nuts to do all the laundry the day before we leave. I just like to come home with clean clothes and have one less onerous chore to do.

Sounds like your book auction is going to be a huge success.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I couldn't accomplish one-tenth of what you do in a week, much less add exercise into the equation! Personally if I could be you I would feel so proud rather than embarrassed! :--)

Catherine Ensley said...

Coming back from any vacation is a rude awakening, but it seems, or seemed, for me, even worse after returning from laid back Hawaii and then being sucked into real life. You may be crazy busy, but I can tell that you're a woman who can handle it. Especially once all the laundry gets done and put away. That's why people put you in charge of things :) Hugs.

readerbuzz said...

Studies show that vacation greatly increases happiness...but only until you return home. Focus on the memories while you launder. Hang on to those memories.

:-)

Andreea said...

Welcome back. I am glad you had an enjoyable stay. I could use some relaxing time myself:)

Jeane said...

Coming home from vacation can be such a letdown. But just think- all that work tidying up the house and doing laundry surely could count as a mile or two of exercise? (I get physically tired from the housework sometimes so it's just an idea)

C.B. James said...

Welcome back to the real world. I know the feeling.

We had so much trouble with the last cable guy that we gave up cable altogether. Now we only watch DVDs and television that we can get on-line. Turns out there is a lot of television on-line.

I may give Violet Raines a go soon.

Alyce said...

I'm glad that you had a good vacation! I'm so happy that we don't have to deal with the cable guy very often. :) That and our city and our sister city got together and formed their own satellite/internet/telephone company. If we ever move, the things I'm going to miss about it - we get cheaper prices, faster service and don't have to deal with Qwest (hallelujah!). Ok, I seemed to have gone off on a tangent there. :)

I enjoyed reading more about the Adult Literacy fundraiser. I can't wait to hear what the final tally is.

farmlanebooks said...

I am really pleased to see you've started Kevin. I predict it will be one of your favourite reads this year.

I haven't read any LeHane yet, but have his latest one here. I am really looking forward to starting it now. I hope I enjoy his writing as much as you do.

Amy said...

Welcome Home, Sandy! I'm glad you had a wonderful vacation in Hawaii. You certainly deserved some time to relax! I'm looking forward to more photos on Wednesdays!
I'm happy to hear you enjoyed Shutter Island so much. I was wondering how his books are and I think I'll have to try one. I also have a copy of Lionel Shriver's "We Need to Talk About Kevin" here to read. It will be my first of hers and I'm looking forward to it.

It sounds like you had a great lunch with Danette Haworth & how cool that you have her new book to read with your daughter! Enjoy

It sounds like your plans for the Adult Literacy League auction are going very well. Good Luck with it, Sandy!

~ Amy

Nymeth said...

Welcome back! Don't feel bad about life swallowing you whole - it happens to us all.

I can't believe I've yet to read any Leonel Shriver. Now I really want to, though, because I do love me some smart writing.

ds said...

Welcome back! It is quite a shock having to return to the Real World. You do travel at a madwoman's pace, impressively. Best of luck with the cable guys, the book fair, the auction assemblage (that's a bit like letting the fox into the henhouse, isn't it ;) ) and everything else that swallows you whole.
Just promise that all of those doctor visits are routine, and be well.

Frances said...

Of course you only exercised four miles. From the looks of this post, you probably only lsept four hours too. What a way to come back from vacation! With a vengeance! But there seems to be a lot of good stuff going on here as well including that great reading week. For your upcoming fundraiser, is there an online bidding component so that all your blogging friends can help you out?

Carrie K. said...

Oh my gosh, reading this post made me tired for you! I hope the re-entry into the real world has smoothed out some. :) And I am going to find Mystic River on audio - 5 discs is a commitment I can handle. I started An Echo in the Bone - 40 discs - and am completely immersed back in Jamie and Claire's world. A little sad that this will be the last one for three or four years until she finishes writing the next.

Hope you have a great week, Sandy!

Melody said...

Welcome back, Sandy! I'm sure you had a wonderful vacation in Maui! I definitely look forward to those pics you took during the vacation (hint hint). ;)

Can't wait to read your reviews on all those books you read!

Kathleen said...

Welcome back to reality! It sounds like you are taking the good with teh bad and as usual your positive, can do attitude is going to see you through. It sucks to be home after Hawaii!

heidenkind said...

Sounds like the last few days have been pretty busy and stressful! I hope things get back to normal soon.

Ti said...

I just bought a copy of The Dead and the Gone so I plan to jump into it later today or tomorrow. I also won The Swan Thieves on audio so I suspect I will be cracking that open soon too.

It sucks to come back to reality after a blissful vacay. I always take extra vacation days so that I can adjust a bit before returning to work.

Zibilee said...

I feel much the same way about the cable people as you do. They just niggle the crap out of me with their ridiculousness. I am also excited about seeing your review of Shutter Island. I got a copy for my birthday and am anxiously looking forward to reading it! Also, I have a question about the signed books that you are collecting. I will try to e-mail you about it this week. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now, so don't worry about your decrease in mileage, I'm sure you will soon be back to your happy stepping self very soon! I also just won The Swan Thieves in audio, and I am very excited because it is read by an all star cast! I will be interested to read your review on it. I hope you have a very nice week ahead, and get a lot of reading done!

Jenners said...

Reentry after vacation is tough isn't it?

Glad to hear your auction is going so well.

And you are reading both of Shriver's best books (in my opinion). I didn't like any of her other ones I've read so far. Can't wait to see what you think of Kevin ... it has quite a doozy of an ending.

Darlene said...

It is so hard to get back in the groove when you've been somewhere enjoying yourself for a while. I'm glad you had a good time.

I've got Shutter Island on my eReader but haven't gotten to it yet. Good to know that it's that good. I'm still listening to Swan Thieves. That's a long one.

Have a great week Sandy.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Welcome back! I enjoyed your chatty Sunday Salon; it sounds like you're still on a Hawaiian high.

Yes, I can imagine that the book table at the literacy league auction will be raising quite a bit of money ... don't break any arms getting those high bids :)

Trish said...

LOL--I was thinking about you this week and wondering if you had reported and I just missed the comment notification. :) Four miles is OK--it's good to give your body a break sometimes. If it makes you feel any better I still need 24 miles. Piece of cake for you but I'm really struggling. Hope the rest of the month is better for you.

Anna said...

Sounds like you need a vacation from the vacation!

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Serena said...

You need another vacation I think! Sounds like reading was productive...good luck with the silent auction!