21 July 2011

Book Review No. 48

Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

Summary: Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie's name is on the killer's list. Short on time to find evidence proving the killer's identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it's time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie's mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who's just returned to town. Stephanie's sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir "bake-off." And Grandma Bella, Morelli's old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts "the eye" on Stephanie. With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot me, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie's life looks like it's about to go up in smoke. (taken from the book jacket)

First Line of the Book: "My grandma Mazur called me early this morning."


(this is what happens when you Google the word "spoiler")

My Critique: Well I just have to say...I absolutely love the Stephanie Plum series. This isn't my first two-step around the dance floor with Janet Evanovich and it won't be my last. These books have absolutely no scholastic or intellectual merit whatsoever but they are entertaining as all get out. I know without a doubt that every time I pick up one of these books I'll laugh out loud and will be done by sunset. I liked this book more than most other Plum novels because (here comes the spoiler) Stephanie and Ranger finally have sex! And it's about dang time! This book was hilarious and just a bit naughty and I liked it! If you've never read one of these, I highly recommend them. You won't gain some sort of book scholar street cred or anything but you will have a good time.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Smokin' Seventeen, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

15 July 2011

Top Ten Advantages to Being Barren

People annoy me…they’re nosey…they ask questions. Questions that are too personal and none of their business but they ask them nonetheless. In my early 20s the standard question was “So, when are you gonna get married?” This question annoyed me on so many levels. I mean (a) what if I never wanted to get married? And (2) what if I was desperate to get married but guys weren’t interested?? Huh? That’s just the most nosey and inappropriate question. You never know what a person’s circumstance is so it’s best to keep the personal questions to yourself. The way I saw it was, if you knew me well, you already knew my dating situation and could ascertain the statistical probability of my impending (or not) marriage. If you didn’t know me well enough to already know this and had to ask...then just don’t ask. I finally got to the point to where when people would ask when I was going to get married I’d just say, “I was thinking about Tuesday. Wanna come?” The question stopped annoying me after I was engaged because it became a legitimate question. After all, I was displaying to the world that I was engaged with the ring on my finger so they were allowed to ask without being nosey. But then came the annoying quips about how evil marriage was and that I was giving up my freedom, blah, blah, blah. I mean really? You all know what I’m talking about.

Then after we got married the question transformed into “So, when are you two gonna have a baby?” Seriously people? Is it really any of your concern? I’d just smile and nod and give them some polite generic response. Fast forward a few years and we wanted to have a baby. So we started trying all the traditional ways of accomplishing this. And the question kept coming. Not wanting to give them all the details I’d usually just answer with, “Oh I don’t know, we don’t have any kids yet.” And then the same insulting responses came, “Be glad about that because life stops after you have a kid.” Etc. Are people really that miserable in their marriages and as parents that this is honestly the best advice/response they can give?? Pissed me off to be honest about it. After a while when you want to have a baby but can’t, the question becomes like a slap in the face—it honestly stings a little. I’ll admit, I went through a little immature phase where when people would ask me (and it stung) I’d want to give them a little dose of their own medicine…make them feel just as awful as they had made me feel. So I’d answer with, “I’m unable to have children so thanks for bringing it up.” Usually they’d quickly apologize and drop the matter immediately. But I started noticing something...I always got the same look…the “poor pitiful you” look. The look that says what their mouths don’t, “Oh you poor thing, now you’ll never know what it means to be a mother.” But you know what? It’s okay. I’m fine. Do I still have pangs of jealousy when I see a woman pregnant? Sometimes. Do I still have guilt over not being able to give my husband a biological child…a perfect balance of the two of us? Sometimes. Do I still wish I could see my dimples and Ragan’s eyes on beautiful baby girl? Sometimes.

But I’ve decided to embrace this infertility. I think I’m going to revive the word “barren.” It just sounds so much more glamorous than “infertile.” So here I stand, a barren woman. How biblical of me. No biggie. I’m embracing it. And for all the haters out there, I may be barren, but I’m still an expectant mom-to-be as I await my little Roo-baby (foster child for those of you not in the know). So see, I’m not missing out…no need to give me your best “OMG I’m so sorry” look. It’s all good. And you know what? Being barren has its advantages…

Top 10 Advantages of Being Barren

# 10
It saves you money. Who wants to spend hundreds of dollars a year on birth control?? Forget about it. No pills, no condoms, no doctor’s appointments. This equals more money in your pocket. Advantage, you.

It improves your sex life. When trying to conceive you can only have sex on certain days at certain times in certain positions. It becomes just another of the things on your “to do” list and all romance and passion is driven out of the equation. Forget all that nonsense and be as spontaneous and freaky as you want...just don't break the law. Advantage, you.

You can do anything you want to your body. Go ahead, eat all the tuna you want—no more worries about mercury levels. Sick? Go ahead and take that medicine—no more worries about horrifying birth defects. Go ahead and put those purple streaks in your hair—no more worrying about the dye chemicals seeping through your scalp, making their way to your unborn. Advantage, you.

You maintain control of your body. It’s no secret your body does some crazy mess when pregnant…heartburn, constipation, nausea, hemorrhoids, your feet get bigger, and you crave some really gross junk like pickles and ice cream. So you’re sick as a dog but you can’t (or are afraid to) take any medicine for fear of horrifying birth defects so you are just stuck. And what’s this business about your feet getting bigger—sometimes even a whole size bigger…what about all those shoes you already have?? Go ahead and buy as many shoes as you like without worry. Advantage, you.

You can continue normal activities without your giant preggo belly getting in the way. Go ahead and drive—the steering wheel won’t get hung up on your once-an-innie-but-now-an-outtie belly button. Have no fear at the restaurant when the hostess asks if a booth is ok. Bend over that bathtub or washing machine when cleaning without fear of squishing the human life festering inside you. Go ahead and sleep on your stomach...it's ok. Advantage, you.

And speaking of the belly—if you’re barren you can avoid all the awkwardness that accompanies the total stranger in Target asking to touch your stomach. I mean really, who does that? Why is it ok for a total stranger to feel you up in the check-out line simply because you’re preggo? Reminds me of the time in college when the creepy dude wanted to hug everybody and I told him, “Stop! Under no circumstances are you allowed to touch me.” Yeah, that principle should still apply, baby incubator or not. Advantage, you.

No worrying day and night over the best delivery method for your kiddo. Hospital, home, natural, medicated, water, quiet…my gosh you can drive yourself crazy just investigating all the different ways in which to birth the child. It’s all on your shoulders—this child’s entire future stability relies on your choosing the best (most effective, least intrusive) method of birthing them. And forget seeking advice…because everybody has a different opinion and they’re all super passionate about them and you’ll be looked upon in disdain should you dare choose one method over another. Yeah, good luck with that. Advantage, you.

And speaking of giving birth—you don’t have to squeeze that thing out. I mean let’s just be honest…we’re all thinking it. No contractions, no labor, no birthing? It’s a win, win, win kind of situation. I don’t care what you say, you’ll NEVER convince me that birth is a beautiful thing. It’s not. It’s painful and it’s really super gross. Blood, fluid, placenta, and even poo...yes you heard me, some women even have a bowel movement right there in the middle of giving birth. Uh, no thanks. Sure you get a child at the end but if I can get a child without all those gross parts of birth I’m gonna go ahead and choose that option. Advantage, you.

It’ll save your marriage. No longer do you need to worry about turning into a demon woman saying things to your husband like “YOU DID THIS TO ME!” or “WE’RE NEVER HAVING SEX AGAIN!!” while using language that would make Ozzy Osbourne blush—forever planting a seed of worry in the mind of your husband from that point forward the demon woman is there, lurking just beneath the surface about to burst forth at any second. He'll never look a you the same and he'll always be just a tiny bit afraid of you. Advantage, you.

Which brings us to breastfeeding. It’s gross. I mean it just is. Now you don’t have to worry about people (medical professionals and husbands included) pressuring you into breastfeeding or looking at you in disdain because you chose not to. You don’t have to be subjected to the argument of breast milk vs. formula. You have an automatic cop-out. Score! Advantage, you.

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