2010 Book List

Here it is, the good, the bad, the ugly…my 2010 book list! These are all the books I’ve finished in 2010:

Snuff – Chuck Palahniuk
The 158-pound Marriage – John Irving
Insomnia – Stephen King (reread)
I See Rude People: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society – Amy Alkon
Stop in the Name of Pants! (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson) – Louise Rennison
The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book Seven) – Lemony Snicket
The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book Eight) – Lemony Snicket
Conspiracies – F. Paul Wilson
Survivor – Chuck Palahniuk
Cirque Du Freak – A Living Nightmare (Book One) – Darren Shan
Number the Stars – Lois Lowry
The Dracula Tape – Fred Saberhagen
Berlin Diaries 1940-1945 – Marie Vassiltchikov
The World According to Garp – John Irving
The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book Nine) – Lemony Snicket
The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book Ten) – Lemony Snicket
Twilight – Stephenie Meyer
Invisible Monsters – Chuck Palahniuk
IT – Stephen King (reread)
Cirque Du Freak – The Vampire’s Assistant (Book Two) – Darren Shan
Cirque Du Freak – Tunnels of Blood (Book Three) – Darren Shan
The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book Eleven) – Lemony Snicket
The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book Twelve) – Lemony Snicket
Cirque Du Freak – Vampire Mountain (Book Four) – Darren Shan
The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book Thirteen) – Lemony Snicket
The Holmes-Dracula File – Fred Saberhagen
I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The Holocaust – Livia Bitton-Jackson
Cirque Du Freak – Trials of Death (Book Five) – Darren Shan
Cirque Du Freak – The Vampire Prince (Book Six) – Darren Shan
The Difference Engine – William Gibson & Bruce Sterling
Cirque Du Freak – Hunters of the Dusk (Book Seven) – Darren Shan
Cirque Du Freak – Allies of the Night (Book Eight) – Darren Shan
An Old Friend of the Family – Fred Saberhagen
Cirque Du Freak – Killers of the Dawn (Book Nine) – Darren Shan
Thorn – Fred Saberhagen
Fevre Dream – George R. R. Martin
Cirque Du Freak – The Lake of Souls (Book Ten) – Darren Shan
Dominion – Fred Saberhagen
Cirque Du Freak – Lord of the Shadows (Book Eleven) – Darren Shan
Cirque Du Freak – Sons of Destiny (Book Twelve) – Darren Shan

Seems I’m on a vampire kick. Not really surprising. I just want to say I LOVE Cirque Du Freak – so read it, already!

I’m working on my own YA vampire novel, so, either it will be total crap or I’ll get it published…hopefully it will be finished in 2011!

I did start New Moon during Christmas, but since I won’t finish it until 2011, it goes there (with my mocking review and a WTF was I thinking attitude).

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Christmas Charity

Or don’t harsh my generosity, and I won’t harsh yours.

I am not a fan of supporting others’ stupidity. You were poor, then decided to have six kids, yeah, your logic skills are not exactly going to get you into MENSA. Sorry, I cannot condone your stupid by giving you cash at Christmas. Yeah, I feel sorry for your kids, but I’d be happier to put them in an orphanage than have you raise them. (Yeah, I see a comment flamewar coming…go for it).

Puppies and kitties, however…they haven’t got a whole lot of choices as to their fates. They are at the mercy of humans as to whether they live or die, or have litters of furkids who will be a burden on shelters everywhere…man was supposed to take care of the “dumb” beasts, and failed miserably here.

This is where my money goes. Humans are “supposed” to be smart enough to know that if you don’t have two nickels to rub together you don’t have kids…but no one ever told Fluffy that.

So, give to the charity of your choice. Give generously. Just don’t give me crap when my generosity goes to the creatures who couldn’t possibly know better, and I won’t roll my eyes when you support stupid humans.

Let’s Talk About Misandry

Because it really pisses me off. And frankly, there are some women who seem to think it’s perfectly okay to bash, malign, or otherwise treat men as if they are lesser beings who are only around to provide money to fund whatever said woman has in mind at the moment. I hate these women, because they make the rest of us look like greedy bitches who have nothing better to do than to sit around sipping wine and eating bonbons and bashing men.

We’ve all seen them. Hell, HGTV and its ilk show bridezillas, teen mothers, and women in general in less than a flattering light. In these shows, women are self-centered, pushy bitches who only seem to think their men are a financial means to the end of their ever-exorbitant dreams of The Perfect Wedding, The Perfect House, or The Perfect Baby. Once these women achieve their goal, the man is relegated to the job of Wallet. As in, give me money and get the hell out of my way.

How fucking sad is that?

I love men. I love one man in particular. I don’t think of him as my personal bank account, the person who should “take care of me”, or someone I can use and treat like crap, so long as he keeps giving me what I want. And quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of the bitches who treat their men this way, and I’m increasingly amazed at the number of men who will tolerate this kind of crap. But, I digress.

Women, here’s the thing: men are wonderful, amazing creatures who will die for you if you treat them with the love and respect they deserve. They don’t ask for much, but the nicer you treat them, the nicer you will be treated. That’s kind of true of anyone, but men like to be, well, MEN, and they like it if you’re nice to them and let them do some things for you. No, you cannot be a delicate flower who can’t do a damn thing for herself, but men like to be helpful – LET THEM. Don’t nag, bitch, or complain about what you want them to do. ASK. If you are reasonable, a man will respect you; if you’re being a bitch, well, you’re on your own.

Men like to have their egos stroked; who wouldn’t? If he does something nice for you, TELL HIM. Men love to help out, but you need to appreciate the effort. Say please, and thank you, and plant a big ‘ol kiss on him if he takes the trash out without you asking. I guarantee he’ll be more than willing to do it again, with that kind of encouragement. He just wants to know you appreciate him. Don’t be a bitch, ladies.

And for Chrissakes, don’t give me that “I was home with the kids all day and I’m too fucking tired to have sex with you” crap. YOUR HUSBAND COMES FIRST. Your kids are second. Most sex experts will tell you that even if you’re not in the mood, you should just go for it – the mood will come. And come on, ladies, you’ve been home with the kids, but he’s been out dealing with an asshole boss and he just wants to spend some intimate time with you. You should be flattered that he does. Take advantage of it. Trust me, everyone will be happier if you apply this logic to your life. If you don’t, well…I hope your divorce is amicable. Just sayin’.

For Those of You Waiting for My Next Twilight Bash…

…er, review, it will be my first book for 2011. I think ringing in the New Year with bad grammar and craptacular writing might be kind of fun. Not only that, but I have a plethora of GOOD vampire novels under my belt now (Fred Saberhagen, I’m looking at YOU), so this review should be especially biting.

Oh come on, we ALL know Stephenie Meyer’s writing didn’t improve at all.

It will certainly suit the hangover I am sure to have. So, until then, Faithful Reader, I give you…

AMAZING, FUNNY, AND INSIGHTFUL TWILIGHT-BASHING LINKS.

Oh come on, did you NOT think I’d do my homework here? Besides, I need to laugh at my folly as much as the next person, and these people have made me LOL with a vengeance. Seriously, check them out. Then, when my next bash…er, review comes out, you’ll be ready.

Here we go!

Reasoning With Vampires Seriously, this is EPIC WIN. I always knew Stephenie Meyer sucked ass at writing, but now I have empirical proof: this blog. This girl rocks it hardcore and beats Meyer to death with her own bad grammar. It’s a treasure trove of English major offenses that the layman can understand. Seriously, I have never, ever laughed so hard, and it’s educational to boot. READ IT. READ IT NOW.

Alex Reads Twilight OMG, hilarity! This kid makes Meyer look like an ass without even trying. He has some random friend things going on in his videos, but he’s awesome, check him out!

The Secrets of the Sparkle Holy hell, the entire Twilight series in epic form with VISUALS! Breaks down the Mormon teachings hidden in the books, with epic hilarity. Seriously, the LULZ are totally worth it.

So, I hope that tides you over until mid-January (or February, if I revolt and refuse to read because I might become physically ill).

Happy reading!

The Post Office, or the Christmas Rant Corollary

The only thing more annoying than Christmas shopping itself is Christmas shipping. You all know what I mean. This, my dears, is the Christmas Post Office Rules of Conduct Rant. Enjoy.

Rule #1: Complaining does NOT make the line move faster. Hello, have you BEEN to the post office in the last fifty years? Have you EVER seen anyone who works there move with any speed? If you have, I’m going to need some empirical proof, because frankly I don’t believe you. That said, bitching to anyone who will listen is not going to speed up the process. All it’s going to do is annoy the fuck out of the people who had the misfortune to stand next to you in line. Shut up, already.

Rule #2: Have your packages ready. Spend ten minutes at home addressing the box, INCLUDING zip code, and make sure you seal and label the box correctly. If this is too difficult for you, perhaps you should just go see a matinee of whatever Disney movie is playing at the moment and give up. Clearly you are an idiot.

Rule #3: Leave your kids home. Again, you know damn well you’re going to be spending an hour standing in line during the holiday season, and the thought bores YOU out of your mind. Imagine what your active three-year-old is experiencing. Spare all of us the toddler meltdown and either leave the kid home or make daddy take the package to the post office already.

Rule #4: You’ve been in line for an hour. An HOUR. By now you should have been able to read all the helpful signs posted ALL OVER THE POST OFFICE about different services and their cost. DO NOT spend twenty minutes quizzing the postal clerk as to how best ship your package as if these signs did not exist, or I cannot be responsible for what gets thrown at your head. Just sayin’.

Rule #5: DO NOT come into the post office during the holiday season with one of those orange package pickup slips and expect not to wait your turn. Huffing and sighing in line behind me is going to get you nowhere. Eventually some postal worker will have pity on you and call you all up front to get your stuff; until then, STFU and wait your turn. I’ve been standing here longer than you have, and no, the reason for your visit does not matter.

Rule #6: Don’t be an asshole to the postal workers. If you had to watch 40% of your customers agonize over what color stamps they want (seriously, people? Does it REALLY matter? A stamp is a stamp is a stamp, FFS) you’d be crazy too. They don’t call it going postal for nothing. Say please, and thank you, and make their day a little bit better. You’ve been there an hour; they’ve been there ALL DAY.

Those of us who have learned our lesson the hard way shop online. Seriously, check it out. It’s totally worth it to go click, click, insert VISA card number here, and have a gift purchased, wrapped and shipped in ten minutes. Trust me, you won’t be sorry. And you won’t have to wait in line at the post office.

Wow, I’m Already Over Christmas

And it’s only December 4.

Well, quite honestly I was over it when they started pushing out Halloween decorations on October 5 to make way for Santa, but that’s probably best saved for a seven thousand page rant for another day. I’ll spare you for now. Consider it my Christmas gift to you. You’re welcome.

I went to Barnes and Noble to pick up a couple gift cards for my nieces (I like to fancy myself the “cool” aunt who inspires them to read; chances are, at the ages of 12 and 14, I’m the “annoying” aunt who makes them spend money on books. Oh well – I’m not changing now!) and the parking lot was FULL. FULL! It was freaking NOON on a Saturday, WTF? And, Christmas spirit is officially over. EVERYONE looked stressed out, ticked off, and in a hurry. Granted, I am NOT a fan of Christmas and do 99% of my shopping online, so I have very little tolerance for this “let’s all run to the store and stand around” crap. I TRIED to zip in, get my two cards, and get the hell out, but oh, no. Here’s why (and take notes, shoppers – this is especially true at Christmastime but it applies year ’round):

The aisles are called AISLES for a reason. DO NOT stand in the aisles to reminisce with old friends, spend four hours asking your kids what they want to buy (which could be a whole separate rant, if I weren’t so lazy), or otherwise TAKE UP THE WHOLE AISLE BY STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF IT when you can clearly see people want to move along. You are either looking at the shelf to your left or the shelf to your right. Pick a side. Don’t stand in the middle and act like you own the row. Newsflash: you don’t. This applies especially to doorways as well. Honestly, people, WHY do you think the damn doorway is a parking place? It’s called a door WAY, not a door BLOCK. The fact that you have the ability to read at a level that allows you to browse a book store should also dictate that you understand the meaning of EXIT and act accordingly. Sadly, this appears to be a mystery to a majority of people and becomes even more hard to grasp as we get closer to the holidays.

And now, my random holiday rants (which can likely be applied year ’round, but are especially true this time of year):

If the only time you pull the car out of the garage is the Christmas season, for the love of God, please consider mass transportation, making one of your ungrateful adult children drive you, or a cab to get to your destination. You’re not making any friends driving 12 miles an hour in a 40 MPH zone and slamming on your brakes at every light because a) it OMG might turn red in the next twenty minutes or b) you were SURE that store was here somewhere. Seriously, if you don’t drive on a regular basis, DON’T DRIVE.

Hang up your cell phone if you’re in the checkout lane. I get that you think whatever you’re doing is a bazillion times more important than the clerk who has to ring you up, but really what your behavior is saying is that you’re a self-centered, inconsiderate douche who probably needs to have your cell service revoked until you understand the Earth revolves around the SUN, NOT around YOU. And stop being rude to the clerks. It’s not their fault if the store is out of something, and you just look like an asshole giving them crap for it. Clearly you have never had to deal with the public, or your ego has become so inflated that you have forgotten how the real world works. Here’s a clue: management makes the rules, then becomes conspicuously absent when they have to be enforced. So STFU already. Screaming at some poor eighteen-year-old who is only trying to pay her way through college is not going to make the Barbie du jour magically appear in your cart. Oh, and while we’re on the subject, there is NOT a magical “back room” where all the stuff you can’t find is hiding. STOP ASKING ALREADY. If you can’t make the basic mental connection that stock on the floor = sales, then you probably should not be shopping for anything, ever, let alone during the holiday season. You suck.

Leave your damn kids home. Seriously. They’ve been wound up since early September waiting for Santa, and by December they are completely mental. This is not their fault; I blame the Corporate Advertising Evil Overlords. That said, you know this. You have to. You live with these people. (I recently saw a Hallmark “Countdown to Christmas” ornament commercial and thought to myself that any parent who actually purchased that deserved to spend time in the room with padded wallpaper. Seriously, the little girl in the commercial made me want to hang myself with a pair of nylons. No, I’m not kidding). Taking them out to a store full of toys after feeding them a buttload of carbs and sugar at McDonald’s is only going to make the shopping experience suck for you and everyone around you. Either learn to use the Internet, or get a babysitter. And for the love of God, recognize that a four-year-old does not give a shit what you buy Grandma for Christmas. He’s too excited about what Santa might be bringing HIM. This is excusable for said four-year-old, but not for the idiot parent who dragged his over-tired, over-stimulated ass to K-Mart to pick out Granny’s present. When I shoot you that crusty you-suck-as-a-parent look, don’t be surprised. You earned it. And dads, same rule applies to you. Just go get something for your wife and put the kids’ names on it. Seriously, if they are under the age of twelve, they don’t fucking care.

Also, could we please stop the Secret Santas, Christmas Pot Lucks, and various and sundry Christmas crap at work already? People are stressed out enough. Let’s just all go to the bar, have a couple beers, and pay our own tab. Or better yet, let’s just forget the whole thing. Honestly, it would be much simpler, we’d have a lot more fun, and no one would be up all night baking cookies. Win-win. Not only that, but in our new global workplace it’s time to recognize that there are a growing number of people who don’t celebrate Christmas, so let’s just stop the pretense already. I was raised Catholic, but quite frankly if Christmas ended tomorrow I’d be the first one to celebrate. Seriously.

And could we PLEASE get over the “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” crap? Let people say whatever the hell they want, and take it as a general expression of their well wishes for the holidays. Seriously, do we REALLY need to get our panties in a bunch about this? I’m an agnostic, but I don’t spend twenty minutes bitching out the Salvation Army guy in front of K-Mart for saying Merry Christmas. In the immortal words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” It’s CHRISTMAS, people. The season (supposedly) of brotherly love and tolerance. Could we maybe show some? Sheesh.