As soon as I saw Prescott Lane had another book up for review, I jumped on the chance because I liked her first book First Position. It turns out I liked this one even better.
Perfectly Broken - Prescott Lane
Even after years of trauma therapy, Peyton still believes she’s broken. She has little desire to date or show off her natural beauty, content simply to hang out with her best friends and run her pie shop in New Orleans. But her world turns upside-down when a handsome architect and self-confessed player shows up in her shop and thinks she’s perfect, much more than the usual hook-up. While Peyton does her best to resist his charms, believing she could never be enough for him, she can’t deny the obvious heat between them. With Reed determined to have her, Peyton must decide whether to continue to hide behind her apron and baggy clothes or take a chance and share her scars with Reed, a man with a playboy reputation and scars of his own -- a dark past he can’t possibly share with Peyton, not after learning the horrors she’s endured. But if they can find a way to trust each other, and themselves, they just might be able to heal, to save each other, to live perfectly broken together.
To be honest, when I started this book I immediately thought, "oh good, yet another romance novel that starts out with our female being a rape victim" and got annoyed. But then it turns out Peyton isn't a total sissy. Sure, she's unreasonable and she had a tendency to just run away from problems that are easily dealt with by communication and she practices a hard double standard with the lack of communication. She's all of those things. Then you have Reed who begins as a womanizer with commitment issues because of his father. Put them together and it's kind of an adorable relationship and story.
The really great thing is that while Reed doesn't understand why Peyton is hesitant over intimacy, he respects it. He would always like a lot more and finds it hard to slow himself down and not ask for too much, but he respects whatever her reason is. And that will always be commendable. As their relationship develops, you see Peyton becoming more trusting of Reed and you can see the attachment between the two of them forming. A few bumps in the road (because of lack of communication) that put major strains on their relationship. Neither one of them handle it well, and I got a little worried about Reed making a pretty poor choice, but dammit- he rallied and I silently (oh, I'm kidding- I kicked my leg in the air and smacked my still asleep husband) cheered for him. And them. I was rooting for this couple the whole time.
I do feel like the story fell a little flat with Reed's father, I really hoped we'd get more meat out of that story line. Aside from that? Great book. It keeps you hooked and you have all kinds of drama. You have Reed and Peyton trying to date without having sex or being intimate, you have Heather (the crazy ex who doesn't understand Reed is in love, mostly because he doesn't understand it yet), we have Peyton reeling from tragedy as well as rape aftermath, and then we have Reed trying to figure it all out.
The ending? Perfect. I loved it. I loved how the story ended and I loved the epilogue. I so love an epilogue, especially a good one that gives readers a little bit extra you didn't know you wanted so much.
Overall? I would give it 4/5 stars. It's a great book, not too long, and it's entertaining enough to keep you going and wondering what is going to happen with these two as well as all of the secondary characters. I finished it in a day easily.
Friday, April 18, 2014
As soon as I saw Prescott Lane had another book up for review, I jumped on the chance because I liked her first book First Position. It turns out I liked this one even better.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
You guys. YOU GUYS. I don't think I have ever fully told you how much I love watching those shows about people who are absolutely terrified that some horrific and catastrophic event is going to happen. Whether it's a solar flare that knocks everything out, zombies, terrorists, Big Foot's revenge, whatever- they are prepared. They hoard large amounts of food, batteries, guns, random ass packs and it's amazing and terrifying all on its own.
Cut to yesterday when my boss alerted me to the fact that at Sam's Club you can actually buy "emergency rations" in bulk, but you could only buy them online.
Naturally, I had to see. I had to see what $2,700 could get me.
HERE to see that actual product detail and what all of these cans contain. Never mind that I don't know what black turtle beans are, what "meat substitute" looks like, or how in the mother hell you're going to bake anything in an emergency because in any doomsday scenario I think of, electricity and gas would be pretty much non existent. On a morning of dodging zombies and rebels with AK-47's, let me just make some Mickey Mouse pancakes for my children and it'll be all alright.
So my next step was obviously to research this company and I found their website (HERE). Maybe you don't want to support Sam's Club and want to buy direct. YOU CAN.
On their website it was like the treasure trove of hilariousness. One thing I read time and time again on the comments was that you really need a bucket lid opener and a hand wheat grinder. All of your preparedness is for nothing if you can't get the lids open OR grind your wheat, yall. Never mind the fact that all of this needs to be refrigerated after opening, so unless you're prepared to eat nothing but black turtle beans until they are gone- I don't know what you're going to do.
But you guys, I have pets! What if the end of days were coming? What would Stumpy, Batman, Lola and Twinky do? They can't operate wheat grinders!
THANK GOD Augsason Farms had the foresight to worry about the animals. Behold, the Emergency Kit for Cats:
I'm not sure why I would be dicking around with cat toys and poop bags because if the world was ending, do I really care if my cat is entertained or there is poop on the ground?
Dogs get some love as well, though:
If there were really zombies, I'm not trying to play fetch with Twinky. That would obviously lure the zombies to you and he's so dumb he'd forego the ball and run to the zombies looking for love.
Easily though? The best thing is the Deluxe Office Kit on Wheels.
You know why I love this? Because my boss and I both agreed that in the event of an emergency and we were literally stuck at work, we envision the location of this kit on wheels to be similar to the Cornucopia in the Hunger Games. For those who don't read, the Cornucopia is the hub where all of the essential supplies are held and people fight to the death to get what they need from there and scatter. You'd grab everything you could with reason and run like hell to your safety spot and hope that whatever you did grab would somehow be useful.
Particularly interesting that there are only two maxi pads in this kit. If you have more than one female I can tell you right now, a district/employee will be killed for possession of both maxi pads. You get 2 heavy duty flashlights but only 2 D batteries. So, unless those flashlights each run on one battery each, you are basically screwed. BUT, you get a roll of barricade tape AND a roll of caution tape. Which, thank god, zombies are not trying to bust through caution tape. Toilet chemicals? Well assuming you even have working plumbing to begin with, who really cares? I just assume in a post apocalyptic world it'll smell like poop. Only four of you get dust masks and there are only five gloves. It doesn't say five pairs of gloves, it makes it seem like literally, only five gloves. We don't even get complete pairs. This is probably to save weight because this is already a 82 pound duffle bag on wheels. Oh, and don't forget the 12 wet naps. Which, thank god because if they serve meat substitute ribs from the kit above, wet naps are a must.
I just could spend a ton of time going through this website and reviews. Oh god, the reviews. It's just... I can't. I really would like to meet a real life doomsday prepper. I am fully aware that if it's the end of days, I wouldn't survive very long and maybe it's just best to shoot me on your way out of town and do me a solid because honestly- I would starve. You know I love chemically processed food but even I wouldn't eat this. I draw the line at food that can stay good for decades. Except for Twinkies because those are delicious.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
I don't know quite how to describe the feeling of being a college student the second time around. The first time around I wasn't even really excited about it, not even a little bit. I didn't really go to school for something I wanted to do, I went so that I could find a good job and hopefully make a career from it and be a responsible adult. It certainly takes on a different meaning now knowing I am going back for something I want to do, and then hope that maybe I can use that degree somehow.
In the last few weeks I have heard a lot of different perspectives on what I should do, and I've weighed each and every one of them. It's difficult, even as a full fledged adult, to know if what you are doing is really the right thing to be doing. Certainly, this is going to be a financial burden when I finish. I'm obviously going to be strapped for time and my family will feel the brunt of that. I worry about my capabilities as a "non traditional" student with a full life, and I wonder if I'm going to lose my mind by the end of my first semester.
The great part about life is I don't know the answer to any of it.
The even better part is I don't care anymore.
I look back on a lot of the decisions I have made over the course of my adulthood and every single one of them was made being influenced heavily from people who thought they knew what I should do. I didn't want to make a wrong decision and I didn't want to disappoint. As it turns out, I did both regardless and even I wasn't happy to boot. So I've decided to throw caution to the wind and just to hell with it all.
As of 1:16 p.m. this afternoon, I am currently enrolled in 15 credits at the University of Wisconsin. I'm scared shitless, I'm nervous, but more importantly, I'm excited. I decided that even if I don't use my degree, I don't care. I want to say I've earned a Bachelor's degree as it was always my intended goal. I'm young enough that in theory, I could pay back my student loans and I will even get to use my degree. Somehow, I will figure it out. I might turn out to be totally terrible and just barely making it, or I might discover I'm actually a lot better at it than I think I will be.
Who knows, but I'm excited either way.
I am also that over achiever, do it all, make everyone happy person. I can't help it, that's just what I am. I put my needs dead last, and just do everything until exhaustion takes over. Don't get me wrong, I'll probably still do that because I can't help it, but I have a better plan on how to do this.
I decided against summer classes so I could plan PTO stuff for next year and get way more organized than ever before. I am going to meal plan and do some freezer meals for those nights I just can't cook, and by god- my Christmas cards are going to be made in July! Thankfully, Matt is excited for me. At first he wasn't and I could tell he didn't want me to do this. Now he is excited but doesn't want to admit it because I'd look like I was right yet again (as usual). But he and I have worked out a work schedule, and came up with a game plan for extra curricular activities. I don't say it nearly enough, but he's kind of great.
So this is IT, lambs. The leader is a college student yet again and it's terrifying and exciting all at once.
Let's start the week with a book review, shall we?
Outside In - Doug Cooper
From Memorial Day until the student workers and tourists leave in the fall, the island community of Put-in-Bay, Ohio, thrives on alcohol, drugs, sexual experimentation, and any other means of forgetting responsibilities. To Brad Shepherd—recently forced out of his job as a junior high math teacher after the overdose death of a student—it’s exactly the kind of place he’s looking for.
Allured by the comfort and acceptance of the hedonistic atmosphere, Brad trades his academic responsibilities and sense of obligation for a bouncer’s flashlight and a pursuit of the endless summer. With Cinch Stevens, his new best friend and local drug dealer, at his side, Brad becomes lost in a haze of excess and instant gratification filled with romantic conquests, late-night excursions to special island hideaways, and a growing drug habit. Not even the hope from a blossoming relationship with Astrid, a bold and radiant Norwegian waitress, nor the mentoring from a mysterious mandolin player named Caldwell is enough to pull him out of his downward spiral. But as Labor Day approaches, the grim reality of his empty quest consumes him. With nowhere left to run or hide, Brad must accept that identity cannot be found or fabricated, but emerges from within when one has the courage to let go.
A look at one man's belated coming of age that's equally funny, earnest, romantic, and lamenting, Doug Cooper’s debut novel explores the modern search for responsibility and identity, showing through the eyes of Brad Shepherd how sometimes, we can only come to understand who we truly are by becoming the person we’re not.
I'll be honest, I don't know where the funny portions of this book come in. Maybe because I was reading while exhausted I missed them, but I found the book more sad than anything else. We have Brad, a junior high math teacher who experiences the death of a student in his classroom, who basically loses it. And really, picking up all of your worldly belongings, tossing responsibility out the window and moving to a location where the only things to do in your time is to get drunk and do drugs, is what I would consider losing it. While interesting, and Brad is kind of a different character, I really had no idea where the story was going. The writing is good, it just felt like as a reader, I was as aimless as Brad.
His adventures in Put-In-Bay, Ohio are what you would expect for a play like Key West, also referenced. I don't envision Ohio as being this hub of night life, and maybe Ohio gets a bum wrap. Maybe we should all go to Ohio and see what we're clearly missing.
But he spends an entire summer basically wasting his life away under the guise of who knows what, finding himself? Finding a larger meaning? I don't know even, but as fall approaches he realizes the summer, albeit fun and adventurous, doesn't wholly provide what he was looking for. It still feels like he never really finds what he was looking for. Maybe that was intentional, maybe it wasn't thought out enough and just wasn't included, I'm not sure. Basically, I'm a little surprised at how normal the ending is. And maybe I'm just really naive, but I'm pretty sure if a person did that amount of drugs and alcohol in a summer, you'd walk away as an addict. I don't know if a person can really do that much and just... return to life without a souvenir drug habit. But... it's fiction. He could be a fairy princess if he wanted to.
This is a debut, so given that, I'm interested to see what Doug Cooper has up his sleeve for the next book. Definitely has a good writing voice that makes it almost melodic to read, and that will get you through anything. It's available for Kindle right now for less than $7, so an interesting read if you're on a budget!
Friday, April 11, 2014
Today was an exceptionally busy day for me and then I got sick on top of it. Well, I got a migraine and you'd think by having them all of these years I'd be better equipped to deal but no. You'd be wrong. Anyways.
Biggest thing on my agenda today was meeting with my academic adviser to figure out what I need to take basically. I'm a littler freaked out because it kind of seems overwhelming. I really wish course descriptions told you the work load you're looking at. If you're going to need to write 700 papers, that should be disclosed. If it's going to require reading 30 books, let a girl know.
But they don't do any of that so you have to just guess basically, and just hope you aren't unknowingly punishing yourself for late nights reading awful books.
As of right now, I feel pretty good about the remaining generals I need to take. I have a good plan for fall and an idea for spring. The really nice thing is that some of the classes I can take knock out another category at the same time so that's really great to know and it saves me money. And time. But mostly money.
I'll know for sure on Monday because it's depending on how many remaining spots there are by my 1:15 enrollment appointment, but here's my basic plan:
Intro to Communication - I think this is going to be fairly easy. I'm not worried about this. I really like communication classes.
Health & Wellness w/lab - Based on the description, this sounds like a do-it-yourself gym class. Which is weird.
Film & Culture - This said I'll be watching a lot of films. I'm assuming watch a movie, write a paper?
Math 090 - I'm calling this Math for Morons. I have to take this, then the next step up, and then I can pick either another math class or computer science. I need either that 3rd math class (which the first two are prereqs for) or the computer science (which the second class is a prereq, and I can't take that unless I pass 090) to fulfill that requirement.
Survey of First Nation Culture - This sounds brutal. I'm the most worried about this one. It's mostly Native American culture as a whole.
*If I don't take that one, then I'm going to take....
The United States Since 1877 - Because she advised me not to take my history and my literature at the same time. So, I'm like- do I knock out the boring one I know I will struggle with and take the history one now.... or do I say who cares and take the history next semester with literature and try not to cry? The history class has five books required for it which I feel is obscene. Oy vey.
So that's what my fall is looking like. I decided to not take a summer class this year. Instead, I am going to do as much planning for next year's PTO obligations as I can so that I'm not having to do that and a ton of school work at the same time. Also going to figure out how to spread kid activities out so that we aren't running three places in one night. That's too much. If it's all on different days, it's much easier to take turns with Matt. Then I'm going to map out my work schedule. And figure in my surgery which will happen sometime in the fall.
Also? Olivia and Jackson are going to learn how to operate the dishwasher and Olivia is going to learn how to do laundry this summer. She's going to be 9 in September, it's time. She can already do a lot around the house, but she's going to have to step it up.
I think we'll be OK. Matt suggested we start our Friday night family meetings again, and I think that's a good idea. We fell out of habit and we should pick it up again. Friday's used to be our pizza night, movie/game night, family meeting night, and nobody did anything other than hanging out with each other. It's so easy to just get lazy and give up on that kind of thing but it's going to get started again, that's all there is to it.
So that's that. Come back tomorrow and I'll have a great story about the Most Expensive Couch I've Ever Seen, which is also known as The Largest Couch There Ever Was and how it ended up in my living room. Which was Matt's fault.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Oh lambs. It's been a rough day and if I were a drinker, you'd be getting a much different blog post right now. I am not, so buckle up Betty because here's a recap of my oral surgeon consultation from this afternoon. Honestly, I have no idea where to start.
First and foremost, Mr. Pissy Tooth has to come out. Not because there is anything wrong with it, the tooth is totally fine. What is not fine is the bone that all of your teeth are held in. Apparently, and this is a real large pill to swallow, when I had the other molar removed in 2008, the orthodontist should have strongly suggested that I get an implant put in then.
Oh so you know, your bone doesn't think it's job of holding teeth in is done. Apparently, your bone can erode and thin out if there is no tooth in that spot. What happens when this happens is that you either start removing teeth or your fix it.
How do you fix it, Sara?
Oh, well it you were a totally normal person you could take bone from your jaw area and shove it in where your tooth was and then you get endosteal implant and then you get a fake tooth that essentially screws into said implant.
BUT if you're me, you'll know immediately you can't be easy or normal. Which means I can't use my jaw bone chunk. Nope, not me.
I get bone chunks from a dead person.
100% dead serious.
(Heh, you see what I did there?)
But this is all after I can get rid of the freaking bone infection I apparently have on top of it. As of right now, if everything goes absolutely smooth as absolutely possible, I have for sure two phases of surgery.
Phase 1: Remove tooth and do bone graft with dead person bone. All for the low, low price of $1229.00. He also told me that that weekend? I will be doing nothing and it may feel like I'm going to die, or at the very least, like all of my teeth are going to fall out at once. I may get sick and if my body is all no, no, no to the bone chunks, I'll have to call immediately because then we have a whole other "situation" and I'll get a pamphlet about it and he didn't want to worry me today. Generous of him.
See? Just like that.
Phase 1.5: Approximately three months later, I go in so they can scan my face and make sure I'm healing, the dead person bone chunk is happy, and the rest of my bone is happy. Hopefully two become one, just like the Spice Girls said they should.
Phase 2: Assuming the bone graft was successful, sometime this fall I will go in for the second surgery which will be them drilling a hole into happy new bone and putting in an implant a future tooth will sit in. All for the low price of $2,768.00.
See? Exactly like this.
Phase 3: Go to regular dentist and get fancy new tooth that can screw into there. If I understood correctly, it doesn't come in and out. Like, I get it and then there is an adjustment period for size and how it's in there, just like you would with a partial or even a denture. That cost is unknown because it will depend on the size of tooth I'd need, but I was told today that could be anywhere from $800 to $3000 for just the tooth. Then I have to pay for it to be adjusted so it fits, so add to that.
The worst part about this is that this is just for one tooth. The oral surgeon suggested I look into getting this same thing done for where my other molar was. Not because I need it to eat or function, but to help the integrity of my bone in general.
Oh yes, and the even better part? He can't even guarantee that this will be it. In fact, because it appears I have a "persistent degeneration of bone", there is a good chance that I will either A) need this done on other teeth and/or B) have this tooth "adjusted", which is a nice way of saying do this all over again on the same damn tooth.
I also need all of the money upfront. Well, I need all of the money for each phase up front at the time I do that phase. So right now, it's a race to save $1229 in oh, a few weeks. Then I have 3 months to save up almost $3000. Which I can tell you will not happen. I don't have a choice in removing this tooth, things are bad, I have the bone infection and bone is angry. I don't have a choice on the implant situation either, and he told me the longer I wait between procedures, the worse my recovery is going to be and the more difficult it will be to do.
I am not looking forward to any of this at all. Like not at all. Every time I hear people complain about the dentist I want to shove my entire leg up their ass because this is ridiculous. I don't know anyone who has had as many surgeries on their mouth as I have. It's awful. I seriously hope neither of my children inherit any of this, but I fear for Olivia. She's so much like me I feel like it's inevitable at this point.
So poor Matt. His reaction was, "I'll just be seeing you then?" because he plans to just work until he collapses. I told him he can't die because I can't afford to get life insurance on him on top of all of this. *sigh* The bright spot is that my first dentist scared me and said this might not be a surgery that can be done in the oral surgeon's office and I might end up in the hospital for it and then my costs quadruple, easily. Which is exactly what happened the last time. This time, he's pretty sure he can do it in his office. Oy vey.