Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Salon - January 10, 2010



I've been in a mini-funk lately -- it's COLD outside PLUS I think I have a case of the after holiday blahs. My week was fine just not terribly exciting, probably because I am dieting --that sort of takes the fun out of eating when you have to plan what you eat instead of just eating what you like if you know what I mean?  How was your week?




Yesterday was the best day of my week. We had a late lunch with some fun friends that we only seem to see a few times a year.  We met these friends of ours by chance on a train to Boston (13) years ago this past December. We struck up a conversation on the train and hit it off, so they asked us if we wanted to join them for dinner and drinks at a few of the nice Boston Hotels. It is an annual event now - we go into Boston every December, and meet for dinner several other times a year.  We have been to Las Vegas with them twice.  They are the kind of friends that you don't need to see often to just pick up the conversation and have loads of laughs. You never want the evening together to end.  Something strange always happens almost every time we are together.  One year (again on a train ride into Boston) the train broke down so we hopped off the train and found a taxi to take us into the city so we would not miss our show/dinner reservations and have our evening spoiled.  Another time we took a train into New York City, stayed over and saw two shows. One was front row seats center stage and another last row seats by the fire exit (we have no clue how that happened either). Then there was one of the times we were having dinner in Boston at the Chart House and at the end of the evening the waiter told us that our $250+ check was taken care of!!! Puzzled we did not know what to make of it. We later found out that a bunch of wealthy Boston College students insisted on picking up our tab as they felt they were probably too noisy that night --Isn't that a riot?  They even took our pictures with the group for the BC newspaper ....LOL .  Our first time to Las Vegas with Paul and Mary was in 1997 or 1998, and one evening we made a huge mistake one night of asking a cab driver to take us to a real nice restaurant. He dropped the four of us off, he made a quick phone call and then left. We found ourselves in this dark lovely restaurant, all waiters in tuxes hovering around every table, no prices on the menu (except for the ones that the men received). Our bill that night was over $600 for (4) of us. Our steak was $105, and everything else was priced separately -- $10 for a baked potato, and the check added up from there!!!! Moral of that story: Never ask a cab driver to take you to a fine restaurant when you have no clue where you are going!!  Then there was Sept 2001, when we were in Las Vegas with these friends once again. We were scheduled to go home on 9/12 and then 9/11 stopped everything, everywhere.  We woke up to watching the planes fly into the WTC from our hotel beds....just horrific, and we were forced to stay in LasVegas two extra days as a result. The hotel was wonderful and gave us a very low rate for the extra days, but we could not wait to get home safely and had our eyes glued to the televisions everywhere.  Needless to say, we are always waiting for something strange to happen when we are together.  We love ya Paul and Mary --see ya soon!


I did read quite a bit this week, but have not been motivated to write all of my reviews -- it's one of those things that I really need to be in the mood to do.   I finished : The Handmaid's Tale; Margaret Atwood (review here) and Gilded: How Newport Became America's Richest Resort; Deborah Davis (review here), and also finished reading Remarkable Creatures; Tracy Chevalier (very very good/no review yet) and Disappeared; M.R. Hall (good/no review yet).  I'm almost done with the audio book South of Broad; Pat Conroy which I've been listening to for almost (2) weeks....(really good story and reader) and I should finish up One Amazing Thing; Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni  today (liking this one so far).  I have not been requesting review books lately, but I'm still getting the ones that seem to come monthly and generally enjoy reading. I said to my husband this morning when I looked at two huge stacks of review books on my dresser --these books are driving me crazy!!!! Do you ever feel pressure and stress over review books?  I love reading the latest books, but then suddenly it all becomes a little overwhelming at times.  Okay enough whining for today.

Any special plans for today or the coming week? I just hope to hang out and relax this week. Stay warm and have fun everyone.  BTW: If you have not already entered my giveaway for Saving CeeCee Honeycutt --be sure to do so. Details HERE.

Not participating in Sunday Salon but would like to? You can sign up HERE.

26 comments:

  1. What a great story of friendship!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You just never know where you'll find great friends, do you? Paul and Mary sound like gems.

    Don't let the review books get to you - they'll be there when you get to them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved your stories about meeting with your friends. Especially the $105.00 steak. It reminds me of the vet bill they gave me last night that blew me away for 485.59. Can you imagine the 59 cents? What is that?
    (You can read about the ordeal in my post)

    About the reviews...I have been limiting any review commitments, but like you said they keep coming. I do find stress in looking at the piles getting bigger, but then I think, I don't get paid for this. The ones I do get paid for or I have publishing commitments, I give priority to.

    They will get done eventually, or someone else will. That is the nature of book review blogging. We do provide a valuable service to the industry. I think we all do an amazing job..as you do!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The experiences sound wonderful. Every blog I have read over the last few days mention the weather and so many have photographs as well. Tropical weather in our part of the world though a cyclone is expected on the 16th. Despite the cold everyone sounds very cozy!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I remember once going to a restaurant in Las Vegas and they asked if we wanted water and we said yes, and it showed up on the bill at $6 per person! I think when they say "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" they mean the money! :--)

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a special relationship you have with those friends! Last May we went back to NYC and stayed with friends we had not seen in nearly 10 years (we used to live in the same apartment building nearly two decades ago). We were very nervous how we would all respond to one another - but we just picked up right where we left off. It was great.

    Hope the holiday blahs leave soon.

    Have a good (and warm) week!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your friends sound fabulous. I loved the stories you told.

    I end up doing mini reviews if I have too many outstanding. They start to feel heavy otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a special friendship - great story!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your friends sound so cool -- great story!

    Stay warm & hang in there with the diet. Did you sign up to review Denise's Daily Dozen. I did & it has good stuff in it. If you didn't feel free to enter my giveaway for it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That is a great story of how you met your friends on the train. That doesn't happen to many people. Even though you feel you're in a slump, you still managed to have an incredible reading week! I've never read The Handmades Tale but have always wanted to. Enjoy your Sunday. I'm off to read The House on Tradd Street by Karen White.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your excursions with your friends sound like so much fun!

    I understand what you mean about review books! I only request two a month now, but I still receive many unsolicited copies each month, and I have decided to not stress about those so much.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I loved your story of friendship! It's true, you just never know when you'll meet the great ones!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm in a much better mood because I finally started feeling better this week. :) That Las Vegas story horrified me: I would weep at that kind of bill! lol

    I don't accept ARCs anymore, unless it's by a favourite author, and it's made blogging so much less stressful. But other bloggers adore ARCs, so I think it's all about figuring out what's right for you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I had a really cheap dinner with my friends last night by comparison - but oh, was it good! Good food and friends - that's all you need for a great night :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great story about your friends. It's great to have friends like that although very strange about your happenings when together.

    I know what you mean about dieting. It's much harder to plan for things than just eating what you want. It seems most things that are good for you take longer to prepare. lol.

    As for writing reviews I've been the same lately. I get a book finished but then it seems such a chore to get the review written. I struggled with the ones going up this week and instead of writing one today, I'm here. lol.

    I'm completely overwhelmed by my review piles. I've just decided to do my best and try not to worry anymore.

    Sheesh, I've overstayed my welcome today. lol. I'm reading some blogs and then relaxing with a book!

    Have a great Sunday and week Diane!

    ReplyDelete
  16. We've never managed to find long lasting friendships in our travels meeting random strangers, but there have been plenty of vacations where locals have befriended us and shown us all the fun places to go and things to see. Never pass up an opportunity to say "hello!"

    ReplyDelete
  17. So glad you got to spend time with your friends to get you out of the funk.

    And, yes, I've stressed over review books too. Last year though I started accepting fewer books and that has helped tremendously. I can't believe I have to say no to some books but I also have to be realistic and know I won't be able to get to so many and also get to my books.

    Hope you have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh, I loved reading about your get-togethers with the friends you met on a train. Sounds like a plot for a novel!

    I love Boston, although I only visited it once, many years ago, but I've been itching to go again.

    My Sunday Salon:

    http://laurel-rainsnowsaccidentallife.blogspot.com/2010/01/sunday-salon_10.html

    ReplyDelete
  19. I must have missed your review for The Handmaid's Tale so I'm going to have to go and check that one out. Those were some great stories BTW!
    On the review books subject, I know exactly what you mean. It was one of the reasons that I ultimately decided to stop accepting review copies. I still have a stack that I need to get to and I haven't been getting new ones for months now.
    Hope you have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  20. How hilarious that we both (basically) said this: " Do you ever feel pressure and stress over review books? I love reading the latest books, but then suddenly it all becomes a little overwhelming at times." Amen, sister!

    And, combined with dieting (ew!) and starting back to school where the dear children have had No Recess for One Whole Week (!) it's been a very long week.

    That said, the Mystery read-a-thon actually grabs my interest! :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love this post! Your friends sound wonderful and the memories that you guys have made... WOW! You are one, fun group.

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's wonderful too find great friend wherever they turn up!

    All of your reading was so carried and interesting this week. I feel like I need a refresher course on The Handmaid's Tale. I remember the movie, but don't remember that much about the book

    ReplyDelete
  23. It sounds like you and these friends of yours always have a very interesting time together! I can see why you would be very excited to see them again! It sounds like you had a very full reading week and I will be interested in hearing what you thought of all those great books. I hope you have a great week and are able to whittle down your review pile a bit!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I know I shouldn't complain since I live in Georgia and it will warm up soon, but we've had a cold snap for the last several days (even snow last week and temps below freezing) and it's made me very cranky!

    Regarding review books, I stopped doing them for the most part. I just have too many books I want to read and those books will likely be out and available for me to check out of the library by the time I'm ready to read them. I may change my tune as I get further into this no-book-buying year though!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for all of your sweet comments. We are thankful for these friends we met by chance, and thanks to all of you I am making progress on some ARCs and not feeling too bad about the ones that I have not gotten to yet ...Thanks again All!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I loved hearing about your friendship and all the fun/weird/neat/odd things that have happened to you. What a joy to have those kinds of people in your life. And when a menu has no prices, that is usually a clue that it is going to be a big check!!!

    And I have to be in the mood to write reviews too ... that is why I have about 12 waiting to be reviewed from books I read in 2009.

    I do feel pressure about review copies I get, which is why I don't request too many. I feel I have to read and review them in a timely manner and that adds pressure.

    And YES... it is COLD out! That photo cracked me up.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)