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Archive for the ‘2014’ Category

Book 16 in the 2014 Booklist: Blood Rites: The Dresden Files, Book 6 by Jim Butcher

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Finished: May 30
Rating: 2
Buy it on Audible

This wasn’t the best Jim Butcher book, but it did introduce some interesting characters and some interesting facts. The end was a bit nail biting too which made up for the lack luster book content. I love books that Thomas makes an appearance, he’s so swoon worthy… which is what Jim Butcher was going for me thinks. If you are a fan of porn movies then you might enjoy this book since the majority takes place on a porn movie set. 🙂
Harry ends up wita new friend in this book and Thomas reveals an earth shattering secret. You end up cheering for Inari Raith and hating Tricia Scrump: AKA Trixie Vixen. You’ll never guess who Arturo Genosa’s new wife is going to be and who is really behind the entropy curses.

This is the last reread of the Dresden Files I did before the new book came out.

TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 12 in the 2014 booklist: Haunted on Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Haunted on Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase

Finished: April 22

This book started out cheesy and stayed that way through the whole book. If you are into paranormal romance, then perhaps this series is for you.

I read the first 2 books in this series, but dropped it after that.

This series has witches, ghosts and magic to go along with romance and friendship. I thought the ghost angle was cool when I first read it, but looking back, it really was kind of cheesy.

On our new scale I give this book a 2.
**

Not something I’m dieing to read again, or just jumping up to recommend to my friends.

TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 11 in the 2014 booklist: The Executive Guide to High-impact Talent Management: Powerful Tools for Leveraging a Changing Workforce by David DeLong and Steve Trautman

Monday, November 14th, 2016

The Executive Guide to High-impact Talent Management: Powerful Tools for Leveraging a Changing Workforce by David DeLong and Steve Trautman

You probably guessed it, but this was a required reading for a class so I thought it should make the booklist! 🙂

I totally can’t rate this book on my normal scale, because I’m sure to someone who wants to learn more about this topic it’s a great book, but I found it extremely boring. I guess boring is to be expected from required class reading.

It did give me the need to play with the Kindle app on my phone since I could only find this book in Kindle format and print.

Guess that’s all for this one.

TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 10 in the 2014 booklist: Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3) by Jim Butcher

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3) by Jim Butcher
Finished: April 5

This is book 3 in the Dresden Files series. I like to play a game with the books in the Dresden Files series, and try to guess what the subject matter of the book will be by the title. This one was a bit difficult, and I got it wrong on my first guess.

Something is stirring up the ghosts in town, and now that something is targeting Harry’s friends. Harry has his handful in this book by finding what is stirring up the angry ghosts, to dealing with a vengeful noble of the vampire red court.

On our scale, I give this book a 3. Not my favorite book in the series, but it’s a building block for books to come. I also have to say that you see marginal improvements in James Marster’s narration in this book as well.

That’s all for now.

TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 9 in the 2014 booklist: The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison

Friday, November 11th, 2016

The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison
Finished: March 28
This book was meh. I give it a 3. It might have gotten a higher rating if the ending didn’t suck so badly.
***
This book’s publisher summary compares it to “Gone Girl”, and I don’t see it near the same or even in the same ballpark. It seems like the author had those intentions when setting out to write this book, but still managed to come up just short.

If you like books that keep you guessing and leave you confused, then give this book a read. I know it won’t make my “Must re-read” list.

TaTa,
Amanda

Book 8 in the 2014 Booklist: Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Finished: March 16

This is book 3 in the trilogy I told you about in
this post.
You can find book 2 here

“Mr. Sharp!” This is the phrase I was saying for weeks after finishing this book. I want one of those furry little creatures, they sound very cute! I liked this series, while it is a young adult series, it was still very captivating to an older person.

On our new scale, I give this book a 4 and the overall series a 5. I love the alternative historical aspect of this story, perhaps that was what drew me in.

Thanks to RO she’s full of good book suggestions.

TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 7 in the 2014 booklist: Full Moon (Dresden Files, Book 2) by Jim Butcher

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Book 7 in the 2014 booklist: Full Moon (Dresden Files, Book 3) by Jim Butcher
Finished: March 2
Remember, our ranking system? If not, here’s a reminder:
1 terrible, 3 ambivalent and 5 an all star must read book.

This was another comfort read, and for this book Mr. Marsters was much better in narration; not as good as future books, but he’s getting there.
This book is about, you guessed it, werewolves. Not just 1 kind either, that’s something you’ll learn more about when you read the book.

Shape shifting motorcycle gangs, gun happy FBI agents, a love story for the ages, and this book has a little bit of everything for everyone.

I give it a 3, not my favorite book; but I still enjoy it because it has my favorite cast of characters.
So check it out!

TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 6 in the 2014 booklist: Storm Front, (Dresden Files Book 1), by Jim Butcher

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Storm Front, (Dresden Files Book 1), by Jim Butcher
Finished: February 18

Everyone has a comfort book or book series that they go back to whenever they need some familiarity. I have 2 such series, Harry Dresden and Harry Potter. I love Jim Butcher and the cast of characters he’s created in The Dresden Files series. The narrator helps too, James Marster is an amazing narrator for this series. I was in a little bit of a rut and needed some familiarity and pulled out the beginning of The Dresden Files again for a relisten. I remember hearing this book for the first time and how unsure I was of my ability to deal with the narrator’s obvious inexperience, but boy am I glad I stuck with it! This is perhaps my most favorite series of all time!

This book introduces you to Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, the only wizard in the yellow pages in Chicago and perhaps the world. Harry Dresden is an all around good guy, chivalrous to the end and a sucker for a damsel in distress.

In need of work to pay the rent, Harry leaps at the chance to help a distraught wife and the Lieutenant of Chicago PD with someone who violates the first law of magic; “Thouh shall not kill.”

The murders are gruesome and magically super charged. The question is not if Harry can solve the crime, but can he prevent himself from becoming the next victim??

If you can deal with Mr. Marsters inexperience and unfamiliarity with reading, this is a great book and the start of an awesome series.

I think starting here, I’ll start giving starred ratings. 1-5.
1 veing terrible, 3 being ambivalent and 5 being an all star must read book.

This book, I give 4 stars. The plot is good (although a bit cheesey), but the narration makes it hard to get in to the book.

I say give it a shot, and join the Dresden fan club.

TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Dear God, I’m not Job!

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

*warning*
** This blog post is approximately 2,186 words or somewhere to close to 10 pages in MS Word… read at your own risk**
I titled this post “Dear God, I’m not Job!” for a reason. Today I found out that I have yet another condition to contend with within my body. I have hypothyroidism.

Before I get into that, let me give those of you not familiar with JOB and/or the bible story a summary…

Job is the bee’s knees. Really. He’s blameless and upright, and he has kids, a wife, land, and a bunch of sheep. Doesn’t get much better than that. Up in the heavens, God brags to the divine assembly about Job. Lo and behold, Satan comes out and challenges God on Job’s goodness. This can’t end well.

Back to the story. Satan tells God that, sure, Job loves God now, but takes away his earthly possessions and his children, and he will dump God in a New York minute. God agrees to the challenge, and Satan unleashes a force that kills all of Job’s family except his wife, kills his servants, and reduces his homes to dust. Ouch.

But guess what? Job remains loyal. He refuses to denounce God. Take that, Satan. God gets to back to bragging and Satan sets up another challenge. This time, God lets Satan give Job a nasty rash, boils, and blisters all over his body.

Now Job becomes a much less happy camper. After all, he was loyal to God, and look what happened. He doesn’t renounce God, but he does insist that he deserves some kind of explanation—wouldn’t you want one? His buddies Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar have an answer: it’s his fault. Hmmm.

Job isn’t quite satisfied with that explanation. Just in the nick of time, Elihu pops in to tell Job that he may not have sinned, but he still has no right to question his fate. After all, God’s universe is still endowed with immortal power. Bottom line: suck it up.

After much fretting and many speeches, God finally shows up. Why? For a scolding. Where was Job on the day the universe was created? Where was Job when God was designing the architecture of the seas and the continents? Where was Job when God invented Arrested Development?

Needless to say, Job feels a little humbled and acknowledges that, as a mere mortal, he can’t possibly understand everything in an immortally ruled universe. Taking Elihu’s advice, Job goes back to his day job, and eventually God gives him double what he had at the outset. Job lives to a ripe old age, and both God and Satan fade into the shadows.

Anyways, so yeah, I feel like Job. Let’s start off with my dad, killed in a car crash in 1994. Ok, I sort have dealt with that, almost 20 years after the fact. Then mom remarries… sounds fabulous doesn’t it? Except for that part where my life and family turns into a Jerry Springer show waiting to happen. My sister (step) loves the boys a little too much, and soon enough becomes a mommy before she graduates high school. Soon before the first baby was born, she was married to the baby’s father. Then almost a year later to the date, a 2nd baby comes along. I am 1 proud auntie! I love kids! I spoil them and love them and babysit for my sister all the time.
Then she divorces hubby #1, after he works his tail off to support her “lifestyle” that she thinks she needs to live, because she found a new boyfriend… soon after that she’s prego again. Baby #3!! Not complaining too much, once again I love kids!
Hubby #2 not that bright, but I can deal… I mean, he’s not my husband. So, that’s where she is now, and she’s happy, so more power to her.

Next we talk about my “brother” (step). I use the term brother loosely because I really don’t like him, not in the least. He is a cracked out, thieving, low life excuse of a person. He’s so far into drugs, he doesn’t know which way is up. Everyone has tried to help him, and he just doesn’t want to change. So, yeah, he breaks my step-dad (from here on out dad)’s heart. All he wants is his 1 son to do something with his life and not die early from a drug over dose. This is not likely to happen, given the transaction over Christmas… that’s a whole nother story in itself!

Anyways, I was a normal kid for the most part… I have had my medical and other types of issues along the way, but for the most part I have been pretty normal over the first 18 years of my life. I was a sickly child, always needing antibiotics, this procedure here, that doctor there… but hey I made it. Anyways, so went through my life being pretty cool with things… until 2006, the New Year after my 18th birthday. That’s when things really just hit the fan.

So, I guess it was February when I started to show serious signs of what I now know as hydrocephalus… have a Webpage about that.
At the time no one knew what was wrong with me; I must have had the flu… for 2 months…
Well, then my vision started to black out, I ran over lots of stuff and tore up 2 vehicles in the process. It is a wonder I did not seriously injure myself. So, yeah, that happened the 2nd semester of my senior year of high school. Then one of my favorite people dies in a tragic swimming accident. He was babysitting some kids; the little girl left her toy in the lake where they were swimming. He went to get it, got caught in a trot line… and drowned. For those unfamiliar with a trot line, have this .
I finally was able to find out my real problem sometime in May of 2006. I was directed to a neurosurgeon; I had my first shunt system put in, and was out of the hospital the day of my high school graduation.

Next we move to August of that year…
Another of my friends, actually, I jokingly called him my “favorite mechanic” because he did his best to fix my vehicles when I ran over everything so I wouldn’t have to tell my mom. Well, he was killed in a car accident, less than a mile from my house and about 5-10 minutes before my mother and I came up on the scene. I was traumatized to say the least. My neighbor, had been the one driving, and he was unharmed. Both of his passengers had been thrown from the truck despite seatbelts. One boy ended up with a punctured lung and some broken ribs, and my “favorite mechanic” had died from a broken neck.

Then I decided that I was 18 almost 19, it was time for me to try this whole moving out thing. I moved in with my boyfriend then of 5 almost 6 years. We rented a house with his sister and her boyfriend. That could’ve been my best and worst decision yet. Best because I got a full view of what I was getting into, worst because he beat the crap out of me before I left.

I was young and foolish, and accepted his marriage proposal without uttering a word to anyone about the abuse. I mean, I threatened him with a kitchen knife, and it wasn’t as bad as it had been… but once I moved to Austin for my blind rehab program, I realized that things would never be the same between us… and I had to get out.

I took precautions when I ended things with him, like making sure all of the appropriate staff knew to not let anyone know I was there and if someone came asking for me to clear it with me before telling them where I was.

Then, here’s where the story starts to turn around…

I went a little crazy in Austin. I had something to prove to myself and I did… there were still men that wanted me despite my “brokenness” or disability…

So, that abruptly ended when the boy I despised so much turned out to not be so bad after all….
Here’s the full story of how Taylor and I became a couple….
It was April 20, 2007 Taylor and I were not fans of each other… him because I was dating multiple guys and having fun… me because he was a grumpy, stuck up, “bad boy” that just knew how to get under my skin… and I didn’t like it.
The 20th that year happened to fall on a weekend. That weekend, we both were going home to visit our families… Me to east Texas, him to the little town SW of Ft. Worth…. Me on a Greyhound in the dead of night, him in a friend’s car. We both were due back on the 22…
So, on the 22 I come back via Greyhound, just for them to tell me that my luggage has been lost, and if I wait for the next bus coming in, it might be on it. So, I wait…
Still no luggage…
Maybe if I wait for this next bus it will be there, but that is like an hour from now. I realize I will most certainly die of boredom, and who do I call to keep me company at the bus station??

None other than Mr. Taylor “Elvis” himself. He grabs a cab and meets me at the bus station and we talk until the bus shows up… alas, my luggage isn’t on that bus either and the next bus won’t be in until 5 or 6 in the morning and it is now 7 or 8 in the evening.

Taylor and I catch a cab back to our apartments because the Greyhound supervisor assures me that my luggage will be delivered to me the next day. So, we get lost on our way home. The cabbie dropped us off on a street or 2 away from our apartment complex and we are lost.

Somehow, we find our way back, and we get ready to settle in for bed. By this time I realize that “Hey, I kind of like this guy… maybe he’s not too bad after all.” You know the usual girl hormones.

The next day, I am stuck at my apartment waiting for the Greyhound people to deliver my luggage, and Taylor waits with me in my apartment… This is now April 23, 2007 and Taylor and I become an “item” that day… and he we are, almost 7 years later still going! 

Now, that was my silver lining…
So, I end up meeting people when I move to Cleburne with Taylor after our 4 month love affair….
I start college as soon as I move here anxious to do something!

Now, I have been through college a couple of times over. I have an associate of liberal arts, a certificate of basic management skills, a bachelor of business administration, and working on my Master of science (management and leadership)….

I’m on the job hunt but I just can’t seem to stay healthy… my health does its own thing, and most of the time that thing is act poorly.

So, I can handle the hydrocephalus most of the time… now I have these weird non-fluid related headaches… fine, the neurologist I think has fixed those…
I’m also hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) which is probably because I’m fat, but hey, I’ve been told this has a good chance of being congenital…

So, I despite all of that, when I’m properly medicated, I thought I was a pretty active person… or not???

Today I found out I have hypothyroidism, which means that my thyroid doesn’t put out as much of my hormones as it should.
Have this info from the Mayo Clinic.

Basically, it sounds like scary stuff…
How would one get this you might ask?
Well, my prime suspect in the matter falls on my biological father’s mother. She has the same condition, and it is likely that I inherited this “condition”.
So, I want to say thank you, to the woman who wants/wanted nothing to do with me once my father died… thanks for giving me another pill to take… a constant battle with my weight due to lack of hormones, and God only knows what else will happen as time goes on.

So, dear God, I’m not Job… you might already know this since I got real mad at you back in 2006….

So, can I please have a break? I just want to have a normal semester and get through Graduate school relatively unscathed…

Signed,
Me (Amanda Ellen)

Anyways, this is a basic run down…
I’m finding it extremely hard to not be bitter, when I really have the right to be.
So, that’s all,
Thanks for reading if you made it this far!
-Amanda Ellen

P.S.
I wouldn’t change anything leading up to meeting Taylor, he means the world to me!
Sorry for the mushiness! 🙂

My 2013 end of year post, or year in review.

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

So, here’s my end of the year post for 2013. Yes, it’s almost 2 weeks into January, but I just now have the time to sit and write.
2013, perhaps one of my best years medically speaking, in a while. Only 1 surgery, and it was really relatively minor. Of course I probably have seen more doctors this year, but I believe the headaches may have been sorted out. I quit smoking, that was good..
I graduated from college with my bachelors degree, that was pretty cool. I started my masters program, sort of cool, sort of self inflicted pain? Lol
Let’s see, I’m still alive, I like that. 
2013 had its ups and downs, but all together, it wasn’t too bad. I read lots of good books this year, mainly the Dresden Files series and some book suggestions from RO .
I finished the 2013 booklist with a nice even number of 36, this averages out to 3 books a month. Not too bad given my current workload with my classes, but I’ll try to increase that number in 2014. 🙂
So, on to my goals for 2014…
1. I want to lose weight, inches, or whatever to put myself at a healthier place… I won’t disclose my weight, but it’s not acceptable anymore.
2. I want to reteach myself to eat 3 meals a day, not just 1. I have somewhere along the way, forgotten that a body needs 3 meals a day at the least… I want to get back to that.
3. I am reteaching myself braille. I learned it very briefly years ago, but forgot it since I never used it. I believe I’m older, wiser, and able to give it more time this go around and am giving it a shot. Taylor will also be a huge help with that.
4. I want to find a job. I have 2 degrees, a certificate of management skills, and working on my 3rd degree… I believe it’s time to be a productive citizen, and work for my money and pay taxes. Really I just want a routine, a reason to leave my house other than to get groceries or go to the doctor.
5. I want to be healthier, this probably ties in with the whole weight thing, but I don’t like visiting a whole slew of doctors every month… I want to be healthy and cut those doctor visits down.

Ok, so that’s my goals for 2014. Wonder if I’ll be able to get any of them, some of them, or all of them accomplished?
Please feel free to share your goals for 2014… I won’t call them resolutions, because resolutions fail more often than they succeed… by calling them “goals” I hope to give them a better chance. Now, I only need to get over this cold thing I have and I will and can start on goal number 1, the weight loss thing… excersise is first on my agenda to achieve that. Thanks to Taylor, I can track things because he bought me a scale that does weight and body fat percentage. This tool will make it easier to know if I’m losing the fat.
Anyways, that’s my end of the year post for 2013.
Here’s to a productive 2014!
TaTa,
Amanda Ellen