Caught up in the holiday chaos...

Now that the semester is FINALLY over and I can take a moment to breathe a little bit (which, really, for me means that I am ignoring all of the other things I need to be doing in favor of reading really cheesy books), I am trying not to fall into my inevitable holiday state of mind that borders somewhere between grouchy and angry. I love the holidays--but only when I am doing things like spending time with my family or friends. I REALLY DISLIKE the craziness that surrounds the holidays, especially in the retail stores.

As I said in an earlier post, my father's side of the family opted out of gift giving in favor of an optional (for each member) donation to a chosen charity. (We are donating to a charity that supports autism research this year.) But, we are still giving a gift to my grandmother. I also had a few other gifts that I had to buy for other people. So, yesterday, a MONDAY, I thought that I would go ahead and finish up my shopping. And I did. But not before I wanted to run out of the stores screaming.

I thought that going on a Monday would be a calmer experience. Oh, no. People are crazy. Completely rude. I hate it when people express a sense of entitlement and when they treat store clerks so horribly. I saw so many instances of that kind of behavior yesterday, and it just made me angry.

Still, I did end up buying some great large-print books for my grandmother. Books-a-Million had theirs "Buy 2 Get the 3rd Free"! Those books are expensive, so it was nice to be able to buy my grandmother several. She is in a rehabilitation facility right now because two weeks ago she fell and fractured her pelvis. She is doing really well, but she has to sit a lot...what else better to fill your time than reading? :)

But at least last night calmed me down.

I had dinner with a dear friend of mine (who told me that she is getting married!) and she always makes the most wonderful food. We had a recipe from The Barefoot Contessa show on the Food Network.
I grated the Parmesan, so it was a banner night.
This is a great meal, though we did alter it a bit. My friend made it for some other people who felt that the arugula was a bit too strong. So, she made it with parsley last night. We decided that next time, we might like to try it with basil. Any way, it was fantastic! As was the time spent with my friend. We don't get to see one another too often, but we always have such great conversation. We run the gamut from Nietzsche to Hardy to Joyce to Jodie Foster. I love friends that follow my weird train of thought! Perfect to center me after a day of retail hell and witnessing depressing materialism. Ugh.

Today, I will be working (as I will for most of this week), but I am still making time to read lots of books that I shouldn't be reading...because I should really be working...and I want to...sort of...but reading over-the-top crazy teen literature just sounds so much more fun right now.

I read a few over the weekend...but I didn't like the author's writing at all and don't really have anything positive to say about the books (they were bundled into one volume, so I read all of them that I had in that book). While I don't shy from criticism (of authors and myself as an author), I don't believe in bashing someone's work. So, I won't be writing about those novels on here!

I have heard really good things about the next book that I am starting, Nevermore, by Kelly Creagh. I will let you know if it is living up to the hype on Amazon! (As of now, it has everything I require, which is really only one thing: escapism. But, I can already say that I LOVE the author's Web site and blog:


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