MORE HANDS







PALMS







Sorry I Missed You...



Well, we tried to stay awake. Just couldn't make it, but know that we wanted to.

Check out Ray Johnson. A Pop Art name you might not recognize who was down with all the names you do.

Fools Rush In – Kristin Higgins 2006



Well, one thing about the title is appropriate.
Millie Barnes is one foolish heroine, but the only thing that’s rushed in this novel is the ending. I’ve read and liked Kristin Higgins before: her 2008 release “Just One of the Guys” was very emotional and charming, and I still have my copy of it. (Tentative Keeper Status) While “Just One of the Guys” has a solid hero and a quirky, but strong and likeable heroine, “Fools Rush In” has a silly heroine, and no evident hero (cue the rushed ending). Millie Barnes is smart, she is a doctor, after all, but really, really dumb most of the time. She’s been obsessed with one man for over half her life, Joe Carpenter (the Carpenter). She studies and “stalks” him, with only the purest of intentions, of course. This behavior is played off as cute and harmless, if pathetic. Well, it’s just pathetic, and Millie knows it too, but it doesn’t stop her. She has come home to Cape Cod, inherited a house, secured a good job, and started exercising and losing the weight she has gained during her medical residency. All of this is done in pursuit of the glorious Joe. She just knows that he’ll love her once he notices her. And well, he does. Millie’s subterfuge has paid off – she gets Joe’s attention…and dates him for most of the book!!! That’s right – and Joe Carpenter is not the “hero!” They date and have mediocre sex for a big chunk of the book and months in the characters lives. While this is a pet peeve of mine (hero/heroine with another person during the course of the novel) I do have to say that Higgins avoided some obvious clich├ęs with this relationship. Although we’re told Joe gets around, Joe was not just using Millie for sex. He’s not dating her as a dare or a joke, he really likes her. And he’s not even a bad guy – just a slob, and a little dumb. The hero
supposedly is Sam Nickerson, who recently divorced the heroine’s older, bitchier, prettier sister – a woman who cheated on him and left him and their 17-year-old son for New Jersey and another man. Sam is a good guy. In fact he’s a great guy, I have no problems with his character. I just don’t buy their love story. Sam is around and helpful throughout the book, but there is no chemistry, I mean no chemistry between these two leads. He calls her “kiddo” constantly, (and this book is in first person POV, so you can’t even tell if he’s doing it to distance himself from a dangerous growing attraction to Millie). Millie even tries to hook him up with her best friend since he’s newly single. Then after she’s dated and done with Joe, Millie has an “Emma”-like epiphany that she loves Sam – has always loved Sam. I can buy that, after all it works in “Emma”, but I don’t buy that he returns her feelings at all. Sam and Millie declare their love with less than 30 pages to go – and then Higgins throws in some drama and frankly, I didn’t care how it ended I just wanted it done. Higgins, is a goofy and fun writer, and she still managed to tug my heartstrings as I was reading – but when all is said and done, I just don’t buy it. Plus I didn’t even get into all the family weirdness of being with the man who was with your sister for almost 20 years. I feel there could have been a better love story with Joe, had she written him differently. Hell, when you devote that much of your heroine’s and the reader’s time to a guy, you owe us some pay off, right? Sam should have stayed in the background with the other family members, and maybe give him a nice secondary reunion love story, because he is a good dude, just not the hero of this book in my opinion. There’s a fine line between chick lit and some contemporary romance, and for the most part it’s the price tag. While Harlequin clearly announces this as a “romance” on the spine, the first-person POV, the quest for self-improvement, the gay best friends, and the rushed surprise ending, all lead me to think this is chick lit in a $5.99 package. I probably wouldn’t have been as hard on this book if I went into it thinking I was reading chick lit. I can think of several examples of chick lit (including books by Jane Green, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin) where the love interest isn’t a prominent feature throughout the novel, and I’m not bothered by it. However, my standards are different with romance, I ask for a lot. I really need to believe in the characters, and believe that they love each other. Chick lit can be about a woman’s journey to happiness, and sometimes that includes love, and sometimes it doesn’t (like “Animal Husbandry” by Laura Zigman). With romance, I know the hero and heroine will fall in love – the fun is seeing how they get there – that’s what’s lacking in “Fools Rush In” no one falls in love in this book - they just declare it at the end and we're supposed to believe it. Well, I don't - but I think Higgins is very talented in some respects and this is a debut novel, so I'll cut her a break. If I come across one of her backlist novels or the new one at the library or used book store I would definately give her another chance.

HALFTONES


b/d





CHICAGO



"hey. okay. so a few weeks ago i was in an alley and found a whole bunch of free furniture. i also found two old baby photo albums from 1963. one is filled with cards the family got the day the baby was born, along with some creepy news clippings involving an explosion... at first it seemed like the baby might have died in the explosion, but when we googled her name, we saw that she died in 2005. we figure they threw it out because she died. the second book is full of creepy photos of (presumably) said baby.

either way, we're afraid of ghosts and want to give it away."

HANDS






Blue Skies




BLOGGER

This system is messed up. Sometimes I can post comments, sometimes I can't. Sometimes my name doesn't even show up at all. I don't understand. I guess, my point is, friends know that I'm looking, and would comment if I could...

Some things I'd like to say:

Happy Birthday!

AND

I love the family pictures, I love most old pictures, but yours kick ass!

FROM MY KEEPER SHELF

THE OUTSIDER - PENELOPE WILLIAMSON - 1996



Sometimes even historical romances pull from contemporary sources. "The Outsider" the story of an injured gunfighter finding solace and love with a widow in a "Plain" (i.e. Amish) community, seems to pull a lot from the Harrison Ford movie, "Witness." Even if this was not Ms. Williamson's intention, one cannot help remembering that movie, especially the forbidden romance aspects, like that dance in the barn. Hell yeah.

Anyway, "The Outsider" takes place at the end of the 1800's Montana and is told from many points of view, with one major exception. We hear very little about what the hero is thinking and feeling. We know all about several secondary characters including an alcoholic doctor, the prostitute who loves him, the rebellious Plain boy who loses his virginity to said prostitute, and a lot from the heroine, Rachel Yoder and some from her 9 year old son, Benjo. I'm not bothered by the amount of page time that is given to characters who aren't the leads, because it really does tie the story together. I just wish you knew more of what the hero is feeling throughout the book. It does make him more mysterious, and essentially you the reader know as little as the heroine. I just wish you knew he was in love, not lust before he comes right out and says it. "The Outsider" may bother some readers, even though it is not in first person POV for that very reason.

Romance readers may already know, "The Outsider" was made into a TV movie starring Tim Daly (from Wings) and Naomi Watts (yes, that Naomi Watts).



I saw it once on the Hallmark channel several years ago. I think I liked it, and from what I've read about it online recently, women really loved Tim Daly with facial hair...

Movie adaptations of romances are very tricky things, you either have the overly sappy Christian ones (which can still be good) or the Danielle Steele ones, which I don't read - so why would I watch?

I first read "The Outsider" several years ago, but never owned it. I bought it not long a ago, and this is the first I've re-read it. I don't think my reaction to the book is as strong as it was then, but I still enjoyed it, even if I did wish for more from the hero.

SOMETIMES THE TEXT IS BETTER THAN THE IMAGE.

"Some ASSHOLE, hopefully not part of the CL response, took only the top part of the BB hoop.

Idiots.

OK, now that I've gotten that off of my chest, if anyone needs a stand for their backboard, apparently we have one.

Visualize the photo below without the backboard. Sorry."

VHS



A loss of faith?
Or an upgrade to DVD?

3 Sweet Couches





Let's Face it...



Just because it's free AND pretty doesn't mean I could get anything more than the beginning of "The Entertainer" or the first few bars of "Stairway" out of it. It is nice though. Organs, though usually not as fancy as this one appear for free all the time. Pianos, too of course. I'm assuming it's because they would be a pain in the ass to move, and they don't get used much.

Organs do make me nostalgic though - like Thin Mints from the Schwann man and the song "Sliver" - they remind me of my grandparent's house (no one ever played theirs either).

Conceptual House Part 1 (Landscaping)




ANYONE WANT A CHURCH?



"Free building for complete removal. You must be insured and able to take the complete building down, clean area and remove all materials. This project would be completly at your expense. We only want the steps and the bell to remain. Please only serious inquiries. This building is over 60 years old. This is an older picture, we will post a current picture shortly. Dobbin is about 45 miles north of Houston. We don't believe the building can be moved. All historical factors have been addressed and resolved, so please don't ask. Only email if you can do the work."

CROPPED AND BLURRED

GET YOUR FREE OVERGROWN WHEELBARROW HERE



This is my favorite of the Free pictures so far. I didn't take this or any of the other images, but I do alter them for my own tastes and purposes. I'm not making anything off of these - it's just a way to collect, without ending up with a bunch of clutter. I like to find groupings and similarities throughout the country and various cities. This is just for arts sake, not for profit.

This one is a higher quality image to start with, not very pixelated so, lots of fun to use yesterday's favorite photoshop trick "the Gaussian Blur" on. But that was yesterday, today I fell in love. With the "Drybrush Filter". " Tomorrow who knows.

FREE HOT TUB! FREE TREE HOUSE! YOU HAUL!


OLD



An old looking picture of someone who isn't old.