Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Characters I Would Switch Places with for 24 Hours

No surprise that I love this meme created by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish...and this list is probably my favorite in a long time.  While I have no desire whatsoever to switch places with a character forever, there are many I wouldn't mind stepping into their shoes for just a little while for some very important (albeit pure fantasy) reasons :)

1.  Stephanie Plum - Janet Evanovich's series - during my 24 hours as Stephanie I'd explain to Ranger that I am and always will be a Morrelli girl :p 

2.  Anita Blake - do NOT get any wild and crazy ideas here...the only thing I'd want to do as Anita is spend 24 hours with Jean Claude, just us...none of those other guys, no killer monsters and no zombies...for 24 hours...is that too much to ask?  We'd find a cure for the ardeur and then rule the supernatural world together.

3.  Temperence Brennan - Kathy Reichs series - To be in this brain for 24 hours would be incredible...I'd like to experience one day in the lab putting together the pieces of a forensic anthropological find :)

4.  Kate Burkholder - Linda Castillo series - 24 hours of police work amidst the Amish community...not to mention the extra bonus of John Tomasetti?  Yes, please.

(Rumor has it Neve Campbell has signed on to play Kate in the movie version of Sworn to Silence :)
I'm ok with that.

5.  Sookie Stackhouse - Charlaine Harris series - I'd step into Sookie's shoes just in time for the release of the very last book in this series...I'd choose my first love Bill, and we'd ride off into the sunset...er, I mean the moonlight :P

6.  Anna Pigeon - Nevada Barr series - park ranger who gets to move all over the country, spending her life within some of the most beautiful natural habitats, learning how to survive in some of the most isolated (and many times dangerous) places.  

No film version of Anna yet...but maybe Diane Lane?

7.  Lindsey Boxer - James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series - I'd kick Cindy out of my series and tell Yuki to chill or she would be next.  Before my 24 hours was up, Claire and I would probably decide to venture out on our own without the other two ladies and probably without James Patterson.  We'd keep our husbands, kids and jobs though ;)

8.  Harry Haristeen - Rita Mae Brown's Snooky Pie Brown series - life in the beautiful Virginia countryside, finally re-married to first husband veterinarian, Fair, and surrounded by animals who help me solve mysteries...oh yes, no doubt. 
Ricki Lake played Harry in a forgettable move adaption of Murder She Purred.  Really??  I don't think so.  Possibly one of THE worst actor portrayals of a character I've ever seen.  Nothing against Ricki, but she is soooo not Harry.

Sandra Bullock would make a much better choice :)

9.  Jane Rizzoli - Tess Garittsen's Rizzoli and Isles series - street smart/street wise, beautiful, talented, strong and surrounded by a loyal Italian Catholic family in Boston...why again would anyone not want to step into Jane's shoes for a day?

Oh, look, it's Angie Harmon again :) Pretty safe to say I'm a fan.

10.  Rowan Mayfair - Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches chronicles - but only the first book...I don't want anything to do with the weirdness of Taltos.  Rowan's life in San Francisco and move to New Orleans to learn more about her family's rich history is what I'd love to drown myself in for a while.  

Fun, fun, fun!!
And, yes, I'm a series fanatic...why do you ask?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Media - Rizzoli and Isles

Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles are two unlikely friends/partners in solving crimes.
Jane is a detective for the Boston Police force, and Maura is a medical examiner.  Together they take on killers, dead bodies and violent crimes.  
Jane and Maura are unlikely friends and co-workers bc of their substantial differences...both professionally and personally.  Jane comes from a typical working class Catholic Italian Bostonian law enforcement family while Maura grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth, attended an Ivy League school and has traveled the world.  Jane falls back on her top notch street smarts while Maura uses her intellect.  Jane dresses like a cop and does not wear dresses or skirts, and Maura dresses in high fashion.  

As different as they are I like both of these characters.  As a matter of fact, when I tried to make myself choose one over the other, I couldn't.  Their differences, while substantial, actually complete the other, which is exactly what makes their friendship and this show, in its 3rd season on TNT, work.  

Jane is surrounded by family; her mother runs the cafe within the police department and one of her brothers is also an officer on the force working his way towards a detective shield.  Their personal lives are embedded within each episode, and it's clear that family, while aggravating at times, is vitally important to who Jane is.   She is tough, a tomboy, (an incredibly natural beauty) and a go-getter when it comes to getting criminals off the street.  Jane spends a lot of time trying to get Maura to relax and see things for just what they are.  She is protective of Maura; while she appreciates Maura's curiosity for policework, Jane realizes that Maura is no tough girl.

Maura, on the other hand, is not at all involved in her family.  She was given up for adoption and has only recently met her birth mother.  The meeting did not end well, and Maura's heart was broken.  She is an academic 100%, even analyzing the dating habits and family dynamics of the Rizzoli's from time to time.  Maura is a girlie girl, loves to dress up, and almost seems to like "playing" with the police.  Their jobs interest her and she likes being on the front end of the crime solving whenever possible, even though from time to time she finds herself in over her head when it comes to people who are still alive.  There is no question to the importance of Maura's intellect, however, when it comes to tying killers to their bodies.  Maura's encyclopedic knowledge of the human body, its intricacies, and natural history is what usually brings things to a close in their investigations.

See, how am I supposed to choose between these two?
I think that's the point actually.  

Another fabulous character in this series is Jane's mother played by iconic actress Larraine Bracco.  How can you first of all not love this actor??  Her portrayal of Jane, Tommy and Tony's mom, a newly divorced woman, trying to re-invent herself surrounded by two of her grown children, dancing the dance between being involved in their lives and being too involved in their lives and still trying to take care of everyone around her is spectacular and believable to a "T."

Rizzoli and Isles is another TNT series that I began watching from the middle and is based on the books by Tess Gerittson.  I have not read the books, and that makes me sad bc it breaks my self-imposed "read the book, watch the movie/series after" rule.  
But, like the series Bones and the Kathy Reichs books, I became involved with the tv series before I heard very much about the books.  So there.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Anybody out there read the books and watch the show?  Are they similar (Showtime's Dexter, HBO's True Blood) or completely different except for the character names (Fox's Bones)?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Salon

Giveaway Updates - last SS I was analyzing my first giveaways and the participation of bloggers vs non-bloggers.  I've made some decisions on future giveaways, policies and prizes based on these experiences over the last couple of months.  
1.  I will be limiting giveaways to bloggers.  I realize there are some regular blog readers out there who don't blog themselves, but I honestly don't think that's the case on my blog.  If that becomes the case at some point, I'll re-visit this policy.  I also realize that this new policy may irritate some participants and I may, in fact, lose followers over this decision.  But, that's ok too.  I'm not in this to gain followers.  I'm in this to read, write, blog and be an active participant in this wonderful community of bloggers.  The number of followers, while nice, means nothing if it's just that...a number without anyone behind it :/

2.  I'm going to limit hop participation to once a month.  I get way too involved and obsessive about trying to talk to everybody :p With the youngest going back to school in one week and the rest of us in two weeks, I've got to start getting our daily routines in place.

3.  I'm going to start passing along my ARC's...this means reading them gently...gulp.   Now, I'm still a book person, so I know there will be many I will simply choose not to pass along.  And, that's ok too.  But, I like to share.  It's a good thing.  I'll share those with my regular blog buddies, my "real life" friends and even students once in a while :)

4.  Last but not least, my girls and I got a little name pulling out of the hat happy, so I decided to pass along some extra prizes from my previous giveaways...What the heck was I gonna do with those extra books anyway?
All of these will be shipped this upcoming Tuesday, July 31.

Summer Lovin' Giveaway Hop winner overall - Stephanie @ A Dream Within a Dream (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Ninth Grade Sucks)
Extra Winners: Emily @ Emily's Crammed Bookshelf (The Luxe)
Rebecca @ Reading Wishes (Hold Still)
Isa @ Chasing Quills (The Sky is Everywhere)
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback (Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion)

Vacation Reads Hop winner overall - Gisele @ A Life with Hobbies (Sookie Stackhouse pack)
Extra Winners: Heather @ Red Headed Bookworm (James Patterson pack #3)
Darlenes' Book Nook (James Patterson pack #2)

I Harley Ever Wash My Hands Giveaway winner - Heather @ Raging Bibliomania

Congrats to all the winners!

Da Birthday Boy - This past week we've been pretty involved in the husband's 50th birthday celebration.  As I mentioned yesterday, we had a blast at Aerosmith's Global Warming Tour concert in Atlanta Georgia, the traditional family birthday dinner, jumping out of a plane today and the birthday bash this Friday night.
Oh yeah, one of his younger brothers has been trying to talk him into it for a while, so what better time than his 50th b-day to go for it.
Am I going to watch?
Hell no.
Their instructions are to text me as soon as they are safely on the ground.  Further instructions for my brother-in-law are to head into the jungles of Belize if, for whatever reason, he doesn't bring the husband home.  
I will share the pics after the jump is over and all is safe.

South Beach Progress - I'm rolling right along with The South Beach Diet...I haven't said much about this bc this is honestly the first time I've really tried to follow a "diet." I've always been a believer of eating whatever I want in moderation.  However, with a metabolism that seems to have slowed immensely, I've had to start really learning about what I'm putting in my mouth, how it affects my body, the amount of exercise I need to stay physically and mentally in shape, and refocusing some of my psychological hang-ups about food.  The first phase has been the hardest since I'm a carboholic...I'd rather have french fries than ice cream...seriously.  
Phase 1 to me has been a detox of sorts...clearing my body of the bad carbs, sugar and fats.  Honestly the first couple of days there were a few times I wanted to claw my eyes out.  That's how serious the withdrawals were.  That really got me to thinking about whether or not certain foods are worth the trade-offs I've been so freely giving when it comes to my health.  If cutting out refined sugar for a couple of days can send me into a tizzy and make my body actually suffer withdrawal symptoms, then what does that really say?  
Kinda scary huh?
I've lost 8 lbs and am free to move on to Phase 2 at this point until I reach my target weight...but I'm gonna stick with Phase 1 for another week or so until I go back to work.  I feel that good, ya'll.  I'm exercising daily with my dogs, eating fresh, raw foods, lean proteins, nuts, fish, delicious salads of all varieties, jello and cool whip as my special dessert each night and I'm not even hungry! 
Now not getting hungry is the key...you have to eat...it's when you skip meals and let yourself reach that point where you feel like your "starving" that you are more likely to start eating everything in sight.  
But, I cooked french fries for my family last night...and did. not. eat. a. single. one.
Yeah, I wanted one. But, it wasn't worth it anymore...it really isn't.
My oldest said yesterday she wants me to learn how to do "planks."  She's an athlete, you know.

Reading - I'm still chugging away at Stephen King's The Stand...getting deeper and deeper too...while I'm enjoying this one, I can put it down...bc it gets so deep at times that I almost get too scared.  Not scared as is psycho killer movie scared, but too real life scared...I found out yesterday via another blogger's end of the ReadAlong post that there was indeed a movie made from the book.  I will be watching this one...but not, of course, until I finish the book.

I also finished The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal, my first win as a Library Thing Early Reviewer.  It was a little slow at first, but the cultural aspects and the ending definitely made up for the early irritants.  I read this one gently and will be passing it along to a regular reader once the review is up.

Blogging - Posts were few this week and probably will be for next week as well with all the excitement over the 50th birthday bash and getting the youngest ready for back to school.
Media Monday - Perception
Snapshot Saturday - Guitar Man

For this week, I'll be posting a review of the tv series Rizzoli and Isles on Media Monday, and the review of The Reluctant Matchmaker at some point as well...but that's all I know for sure :/  How's that for a schedule? ;)

Till next week at the Salon :)