Category Archives: Stuff I Love, or Not

Live Differently

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Okay, I finally get Pride and Prejudice

I first tried to read Pride and Prejudice when I was thirteen or so.  I don’t think I made it through three pages before I decided it wasn’t for me.  The language was old, the form was unfamiliar and I hadn’t realized it was a romance.  Blech.   I went back to Stephen King and S.E. Hinton.

Fast forward a few decades.  NetFlix recommended a BBC miniseries, Lost in Austen.  It was a twist on Pride & Prejudice where a modern woman who is obsessed with Austen’s novel finds herself strangely transported into it.  I found it to be a charming way to pass my time while on the

treadmill.  In fact, I enjoyed it quite a bit.  I started thinking I ought to give Pride and Prejudice another try.  I downloaded it, and let it sit on my computer for two years.  I just never got around to it.  I finally made a point of loading it on my new Kindle Fire just after Christmas.  I started reading, and immediately remembered why I’d put it down before.  However, my more mature self was able to quickly adjust to Austen’s style and I decided I really liked her characters.  Well, I didn’t really like Elizabeth simply because Austen makes it apparent she expects her reader to like Elizabeth and I hate to do what I’m told.  However, I thought her mother was hilariously embarrassing and the entire chess game of society was interesting.  (I’m SO glad we no longer have to strategize every smile or dinner invitation.)  In the end, I was impressed by Austen’s accurate analysis of each character’s faults – through Elizabeth’s eyes – and that she found a way for her lovers to reasonably come back together after seeming so far apart.  Pride and Prejudice was a satisfying story and I finally understand why a romance novel has become a cherished piece of literature.

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate seller.  If you click the picture of the book above a link will take you to Amazon.  If you purchase Pride and Prejudice I will make a small percentage of the purchase price.  If you click the picture of Lost in Austen it will take you to NetFlix.  I have no affiliation with NetFlix.  I just thought it might be nice of me to help you find the movie there.

Win Win is Winning!

I loved Win Win!!! From a pretty predicable plot and nothing unique characters, this movie pulled everything together to be entirely enjoyable. In fact, for such a serious subject it’s pretty darn funny! Paul Giamatti is spot on, as usual, and the rest of the cast is also quite perfect. Dialogue, direction, everything is just right. Nothing is over done – no misplaced overwrought emotions or heart string plucking music in all the wrong places that often ruin lesser movies. Win Win is kind of a Goldilocks movie. It isn’t a blockbuster but it’s well worth seeking out.

For plot synopsis and more check it out Win Win at Rotten Tomatoes.

A Wasted Date Night: Horrible Bosses :(

Horrible BossesLast night, spouse and I left the kids with a sitter and hit the town.  We had a good meal then caught a movie, Horrible Bosses.  Urgh.  We’d have had more fun at home putting the kids to bed.  I gave it 2.5 stars on Rotten Tomatoes simply because the cast was terrific given the material they had to work with.  My brief review is below.

Like everyone else talking about this movie, I have to say the excellent cast of this movie saved it from being Horrible itself. Collin Farrell was particularly good as the druggie boss out to bleed the company dry. However, the storyline was so unoriginal it was painful. Much of the dialogue and situations were eye rollingly predictable. There were a few sharp lines, but I honestly don’t know how they scored all these great actors with this lame movie.

Corporate Country Sucks

I like country music.  There, I said it.  Harry Potter and country music.  I’m SO not hip.  That’s ok.  I like me anyway.  However, I do not like the country music you hear on the radio.  In fact, I have no use for FM radio, CMT, the CMA or GAC.  (If you don’t know what any of those are, you’re missing nothing.)  I think I got off the current bandwagon some time in the late 80’s.  There are only three big time artists I still love (George Strait, Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson, for the record).  That means I listen to a lot of old music, which is usually okay but I’m always excited about finding a new artist with a sound I love.   Corporate Country Sucks was recently brought to my attention.  It’s a cool little place to see what’s going on under the radar in the country music world and if you have a few bucks to spare you can send them a couple to help support REAL country music.    Viva Independence!

Put Fictionist on the Cover of Rolling Stone!

There’s a fabulous band from Utah (Fictionist) in the running to be the first unsigned band on the cover of Rolling Stone.  I have no connection to them, but I love it when they visit my town.  They are an eclectic, talented, entertaining group of guys and I’d really, really love to see them get some serious exposure.  If you’re so inclined, check them out by clicking their picture.

Don’t forget to vote FIVE stars for Fictionist!


Chuck the Dump Truck Love

Chuck Himself

If you aren’t the parent of a preschool aged boy, you can move along now.  This post is for lovers of trucks.  Big, chunky, primary colored trucks.  Specifically, Chuck and Friends from Hasbro.  I know, lots of parents have issues with toy companies over characterization of classic toys so kids get hooked on brands.  I see where they are coming from – for many years if it wasn’t Disney or Barbie it wasn’t getting played with at my house because there wasn’t an accompanying cartoon tie in to hook the kids.  It annoyed me, and it concerned me for vague reasons dealing with imagination and the general over commercializationof childhood.  I had to get over all that  because to find non-character toys built with the same quality is not only next to impossible when the Wal-Mart toy isle is the closest we come to a real toy store in our small town, but they are quite expensive comparatively.  While I’d love to give my little boy the fabulous wooden trucks built from renewable resources, they are almost triple the cost of Chuck the Dump Truck and I’d have to track them down on-line and pay shipping…  Blah, blah, blah.  Hasbro it is!  And, having said all that I’ll get to the point of this whole thing.

I found a fun new website full of Chuck and friends!  There are two games simple enough for my two-year old son to play but cute enough my five-year old daughter liked them, too.  There was also a nice collection of videos from the new TV series based on the toys.  The videos have no redeeming qualities when it comes to educational value or even being well made, but they are shows about my little boy’s favorite things – TRUCKS!- so he was ecstatic over them.  If you are still reading and want to check it out, click HERE Your preschool son will thank you.

(FYI: the Hub is the new channel formed when Hasbro joined up with Discovery Kids. is full of preschool videos and games based on the shows on the new channel.  So far I haven’t found any that I love as a parent, but they are all age appropriate and a nice break from


*I have received no compensation for this post.  I am simply happy to have found this fun new way to entertain my son and wanted to pass it on.