Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Twilight Movie Countdown

My sister is a huge Twilight fan. As a surprise, I created this Twilight Movie Countdown for her to put on her blog.

If you want to put the countdown on your blog, you can get the code here. (Be sure to comment on how totally cool this widget is.)

The widget is 220 px wide and will fit a standard Blogger sidebar. It is counting down to December 12th, the movie release date.

I sort of "stole" the background image. It was created by Scythe at Fan Forum.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bloggy Giveaways Galore!

I'm doing a perfume giveaway over on my CustomScentsOnline site as part of a Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. Wanted to let all of you know so you could go visit the site and enter to win.

Also, visit Bloggy Giveaways to enter hundreds more contests! (I'm #502*)

If you decide to join the carnival and give something away on your blog, come back here and post your carnival # in the comments section of this post so I can enter to win your Bloggy Giveaway.

*Apparently some people drop out or get cut so the number changes.

Why God invented Valium

One other thing I should have put in the 7 things meme is that I'm totally freaked out by things coming near my eyes. Remember Rachel from Friends?

Here she is having an eye exam:

Totally me, but I don't swear. I cry.

And here she is getting eye drops:

Don't believe me? Ask my eye doctor. Or my husband who once had to put goop in my eyes for two weeks.

I also don't do very well with strep tests where they swab your throat, or flu tests where they swab your nose. But those are for another post some day.

So why am I bringing this up now? Because I have to leave in 15 MINUTES to go to the eye doctor to have eye plugs put in. It's a minor procedure. Everyone—every, single person—I've talked to about this says it's no big deal. Of course, most of them have no problem with wearing contacts either.

Anyway, my doctor—who is so wonderful to have put up with me for years (and I have an eye disease that causes me to go see him twice a year, so he really, really earns his fee)—prescribed some Valium to get me through this. I am to take one right before I leave home.

My conscious mind knows it's stupid to be so uptight about this. However, my conscious mind has absolutely NO CONTROL over my emotional mind or my involuntary reflexes which go into hyper-drive the minute I walk into the eye exam room.

Right now, I'm doing slow breathing exercises so I won't totally freak out and have a panic attack or something. Keep your fingers crossed that I don't do something to embarrass myself in public—like crying in the waiting room or wetting my pants while in the exam chair.

Update—7:45 p.m.: All went well. The Valium did its job and while I was still very nervous, I didn't kick or bite the doctor. It took a little over an hour because an "intern" type guy was putting the plugs in. He couldn't get them to go in so my regular eye doctor had to come do it.

They put some drops in my eyes to numb them, then pulled the lower lid down to expose the tear duct, then poked in a silicone plug. The idea is that it will stop my natural tears from draining so quickly and cure my dry eyes. (I don't feel like I have dry eyes, but the doctor said it looked like someone had taken a Brillo pad to my eyes and if I didn't do something soon it could cause permanent damage.)

The inside corners of my eyes feel a little itchy, but other than that, no pain. And every so often, my eyes will just start crying for no reason. Both symptoms should go away in just a few days.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tagging when you're bored

Kim Thompson tagged me. I did this back in November, but I guess I can do it again. Especially since Kim said such nice things about me when she informed me I had been tagged. Oh, and I also just discovered that Janet and Josi both tagged me for the same thing. So this is for all of you. :)

The rules are as follows:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Okay. Here we go.

1. In the past two days, I've consumed 12 bananas. I don't know why I've been craving bananas. Maybe I'm pregnant. Oh, wait. No. That would be impossible. But speaking of pregnancy, did you see that news story where that "man" is pregnant? It's true. It was on Oprah.

2. Also in the past two days, I've watched six movies, seven episodes of CSI Miami, three episodes of Battlestar Galactica, and one episode of Canterbury's Law. I also took Megan to the dentist, went to the grocery, bought birthday gifts for my DH and my oldest grandson, and took four naps. This is not a normal 48 hour period for me. Really. It's NOT. (P.S.—If I was on BG, I'd want to be Kara.)

3. I honestly, totally, completely believe I was Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a previous life. I just so want to punch ornery people in the face sometimes.

4. In the mid to late 70's, my dream room would have been located on the top floor of the old city library in the town where I grew up. Except I probably would have been too scared to sleep there because I swear it was haunted.

5. If money were no option, my vehicle of choice might very well be the 2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid. I don't really understand all the stuff listed on the website about it but I know two very important things: it's green (both on the outside and in the engine) and it has power locks and windows.

6. I honestly, totally, completely believe I'm psychic because once I thought, "Wouldn't it be weird if the phone rang right now?"—and then it did.

7. My children pick my clothes for me. If they didn't, I would feel totally comfortable wearing either of these outfits:

Now, let's see. Who do I want to pick on? Erika, Natasha, Cindy, Shellie, Ali, Suan, Megan

Friday, April 18, 2008

Her Good Name

I just won a prize over on Josi's new blog, Her Good Name. I meant to tell you about the contest so you could enter too, but somehow it slipped my mind. (Sorry, Josi.) The contest was to share an Identity Theft story—I told about something that happened to my uncle—and the prize was my choice of gift certificate from either Deseret Book or Wingers restaurant. Guess which one I picked? (That was a no-brainer, huh?)

So why am I mentioning this after the fact? It's not to brag. It's to call attention to Josi's blog. Her new book, Her Good Name, is coming out this fall and it's about a woman who has to deal with identity theft. To help promote the book and to raise awareness of this problem, Josi has created the blog as "a gathering place for information about...the fastest growing crime in America." She will be posting on the topic and will include lots of links to other sites containing preventative information.

You know, when my mother-in-law lived with us, she insisted every letter be mailed from the post office, not our mailbox in front of the house. She shredded everything—every. single. thing.—with her name or any personal info on it. I thought she was a little extreme. (Truthfully, I thought she was a little nuts.) But lately I've been reconsidering.

The amount of personal damage identity theft can do is overwhelming and it's becoming more and more rampant. Just yesterday morning I was at Hollywood video and a man was telling the clerk about having his identity stolen. This is something I want to be more aware of and I hope you will too. You can start by bookmarking Josi's blog.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

If you like magazines...

Consider subscribing to or renewing them in support of my daughter Megan's lacrosse team.

Here's the story. This is Megan's third year playing lacrosse. Her first two years, she had to play with a team three towns away because there was no girls lacrosse team in our town. It meant a LOT of driving back and forth for us but we did it because she really loves the game.

This year, she had the option of playing with the team she's been on for two years (which is based at a school in an upper class neighborhood, up on the benches), or she could start a team at her high school (middle class). She knew if she started a team here, it would be an uphill battle because there was no school support for it, they would have beginning players (which means they would probably lose more games than they won), and they'd have to raise a boatload of money for uniforms, goals, and other team needs.

A few of Megan's friends at her high school agreed it might be fun so she pretty much single-handedly corralled girls, bullied school authorities, and swept up parents with her enthusiasm and got this team off the ground.

The season is a little more than half over. They've raised enough money to cover the bare necessities of uniforms, registration, and equipment but they still need to raise money to pay their coaches. So being the supportive mother, I'm trying to help spread the word.

If you read magazines, we hope you will help support our team by ordering or renewing your favorite magazine subscriptions ONLINE and sharing our site with your friends and relatives. Our online fundraising store has over 650 of the most popular magazine titles at up to 85% off newsstands prices. Purchase or renew your favorite magazine subscriptions and 40% of your purchase will go directly to our cause!

With your help, we are sure to earn the funds we need this year! We appreciate your support.

Thanks so much.

The Management

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George is simply fantastic! I LOVED THIS BOOK! I read it in two days, staying up until 3:00 a.m. the second day because I couldn't put it down. Another 5 out of 5 book from me this year.

I read Jessica Day George's Dragon Slippers and liked it very much. I gave it a 4.5 (although I never got around to doing a real review of it here. Sorry.) So when Sun & Moon came out, I rushed to get it. And it is worth every penny of the hardback price!

When a woodcutter's daughter known simply as "the lass" agrees to accompany a great white bear to his castle, she believes she has made a wise decision. AFter all, the bear has promised her family untold riches in exchange for a year of the lass's company. Although she is given every luxury, the lass feels more a prisoner than a guest, and it's not long before her contentment turns to unease. One by one the servants diasappear, and the lass suspects the bear knows more than he's telling. In her quest to learn the truth, the lass unwittngly sets in motion a chain of events that take her on a windswept journey beyond the edge of the world, to fight for the man she has only just discovered is her true love.

This story is based on the Nordic fairy tale, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, with a bit of Beauty and the Beast thrown in. It's similar to East by Edith Pattou which I also liked very much, but East is definitely for an older teen reader. Sun & Moon has a lighter touch, is an easier read, and it also has some very original moments in it. I loved the relationship between the lass and her older brother. I thought the unfolding of the mystery at the bear's castle was very well done. It slowed down a bit for me when the lass visited the four winds, but then picked up again when she made it to the troll's palace. Overall, it was absolutely wonderful. Read it!

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fairy tale fantasy. It is a great one.

Rated 5 out of 5.


Uhm, once again, I've forgotten a deadline. I do eventually get around to things, but. . .

Becky, from Becky's Book Reviews, is the winner of Tathea by Anne Perry. Becky, please send me your snail mail address and I'll get that right out to you. (Well, "right out" according to Karlene Standard Time, which is sometime this month.)

And Maria from Reading My Way Through Life, I still need your mailing address, as well. E-mail me it to me ASAP.

Monday, April 07, 2008

J. Scott Savage Blog Tour Coming This Summer!

If you've read anything I've said about books in the history of this blog, you already know I'm a sci-fi/fantasy fan. In fact, given my druthers, that's all I'd read—and I'd read every waking moment. When I have the opportunity to meet one of my favorite authors, I become every bit the stereotypical groupie—stalking them for photo opps and book signings, picking up stray bits of paper and lint that drop from their pockets, breaking into their homes—oh wait, I've never broken into anyone's home. Never, officer. I promise. I was just trying to polish up that doorknob for my dear friend. . .

One of my favorite LDS authors is Jeff Savage. He has previously published some great suspense novels (House of Secrets and Dead on Arrival). I've read both and give them very high marks for entertainment and suspense.

Now, even though I've said on the internet that I really hate Jeff Savage because I've been cliff-hanging for two years now, and that I was mad at him for moving on to a new series before resolving Shandra Covington's situation, I have decided to forgive him because his new book, Farworld, is coming out this summer—and it's fantasy! I have very high expectations of loving of this book.

One of the things Savage is doing to promote his new book is a blog tour and he's looking for bloggers. I know that many of you who visit my blog love books and reading and frequently post reviews on your blog. If you'd be interested in participating in his blog tour this summer, you can sign up this Friday, April 11th. Instructions are at his blog. (And tell him, Karlene sent you.)

If you're interested in the book, but don't really want to do the whole bloggy thing, I'll be doing a fun giveaway when it's my turn in the tour. I'll post a review of the book and also an interview with the great Savage himself. If you have any questions you'd like me to ask J. Scott Savage, about his book or about writing or publishing or child rearing or plumbing or just life in general, let me know.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My Security Blanket

I like to write on my laptop in bed. I also like to read in bed. Last night, Megan brought her laptop in to write with me.

In a whining voice, as she scooched about 8 books out of her way so she could find a place to sit, "Why do you have so many books?"

Wrong question. It's, "Why do I have to sleep with my books?"

Because. I. like. to.