skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
One For The Money (Stephanie Plum, #1)One For The Money by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received this book (and the DVD of the movie) as part of a Goodreads giveaway in the expectation that I would review it.

As the first book in the series, this holds together pretty well. Stephanie Plum makes some believable rookie mistakes (but unlike some other hardboiled mystery protagonists, does *not* have sex with the suspect) while also showing some flashes of qualities that would make her a decent bounty hunter once she's got some experience under her belt. As a solo book it's a teensy unstisfying, as there are some characters that are obviously setups for future volumes.

The movie is notably much "prettier" than the book, playing up the romantic comedy aspects. Updating it to 2011 does have the salutary effect of giving Stephanie a cell phone which cuts some tedious shenanigans with her landline in the book.

View all my reviews


Feb. 13th, 2012 06:47 am
skjam: (Imnanna)
Saturday, I had a ticket to a preview of "The Secret World of Arietty", a Disney release of a Studio Ghibli film based on the Borrowers books. For those unfamiliar, Arietty is a Borrower, one of a species of tiny humanoids that live in the walls of "human bean" homes and borrow things they need to survive and the beans won't miss.

A sickly bean boy comes to the house and Arietty accidentally lets herself been seen by him. Unfortunately, a Borrower who's been seen must leave their home lest they be caught by the beans.

It's a G-rated film, and definitely aimed at children without being condescending. The sound and background design are excellent.

When I got out of the theater down at the Mall of America, I discovered that my scarf was missing, and a quick search of the place found nothing. Since I needed to be back downtown to see if a book I was expecting had arrived at the post office, I left a note with customer service and boogied out.

The book had indeed arrived, I got to the post office just in time.

That evening, I received a message that my scarf had been found, so the next day it was off to the megamall again. It's a good thing my purple and black monstrosity is so distinctive! With more time to spend, I actually walked around the mall and did some shopping. Several stores I had liked were closed, other stores were in their places.

While waiting for the train down in the mall's transit station, I noticed some kids playing with balls at the other end of the platform, bouncing and tossing them to each other. No adult supervision was seen.

I shouted to let them know the train was coming (which it was), but they either didn't hear or didn't pay attention. Fortunately, all that was lost was one of their balls *pop*. Out of shape as I am, I could not have gotten there in time to save any kid who'd failed to scramble out of the way.

Afterwards, the little darlings attempted to get on the train (still no sign of adult supervision) but the train operator put them off, and may have called the transit cops. On the way downtown, we passengers heard her describe the kids to someone on the radio.

Still alive

Nov. 9th, 2010 09:25 pm
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Well, life has been pretty blah lately, and somehow I never got around to posting....

Most exciting thing was youngest niece's birthday. I gave her a doll I picked up at ConVergence, Zoe Raccoon. Which is Zoe from "Firefly" if she were an anthropomorphic raccoon. Quite good quality, handmade, and I got it for a song. I think the grownups were more impressed than the niece, with much oohing over the handstiching, fabric choices, and the posable fingers.

Also, I provided a CD of spooky songs for Halloween. It was my brother's first exposure to Jonathan Coulton's hit "Re: Your Brains." Don't know if he'll let the niece listen to that again or not.

Went to see "Megamind" this last weekend; it was okay, but I don't think kids will like it as much as "Despicable Me".

Looking forward to the opening of the Holiday Wishes community--money's a bit tighter this year so I won't be able to send as many surprises, but I've already laid in some supplies for those I can.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
The Lagoon had a special free showing of two Showtime series last night. Given my apartment has no AC, and the movie theater does, I chose to attend. Even better, Showtime gave all attendees a coupon for free popcorn and soda pop! ( I just took the pop as by coincidence Target gave out free popcorn at the Diversity Council Health Fair the same day.)

I *think* the free showing was because The Big C is set in St. Paul, and a number of people there were extras. It took me until the Porky's scene to realize where the setting was supposed to be.

The show is about a St. Paul high school history teacher who's diagnosed with terminal cancer, and her attempts to deal with her impending mortality. The wacky supporting cast makes this difficult. The character that rang truest was the cranky neighbor who never smiles.

"Weeds", on the other hand, seems to have ranged far afield from its roots of "desperate suburban housewife turns to marijuana growing to make ends meet." I'm guessing this episode is the season premiere, as it opens with one of the characters doing something that would resolve a cliffhanger. Satisfying as that looked, the action has consequences, and the rest of the episode is about fleeing them. Pretty funny, but some characters just made me cringe.

All in all, a pleasant diversion on a boiling hot day, but not enough to make me finally get cable.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
There is a new comics store on Lake Street, about a block down from where Dreamhaven used to be, near the Bryant-Lake Bowl. It's called Double Danger Comics & Collectibles, and I dropped in for a visit.

One of the first things I noticed, and really liked, is that the children's comics and books are in an alcove right at the front of the store, where the cashier can see them easily, and where the kids don't have to walk past any of the more age-inappropriate material.

The store owner tells me that they're also not planning to carry many "adult" titles, those will be pull-list only.

It's a small place, but open and well-lighted. A wall of current comics is followed by a wall of recent comics, with collectibles (almost all new or recent) on the opposite wall. The back issues bin is in the center--a fairly light selection, though the owner tells me they plan to bring in more Silver Age soon. At the back are videos and more expensive collectibles in a locked case.

They have a frequent customer card--buy X amount of stuff for a 10% discount day.

I'd say it's worth checking out.

Oh, and I saw Toy Story 3 this weekend. Awww.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
As mentioned last time, the family gathering was postponed, so I opened the presents that came by mail in the morning.

[personal profile] hepburnesque I got a postcard, Austrian candy and a CD of an Austrian singer.

As expected, the package from [personal profile] celeria was a copy of "The Mermaid Chair", but the embossed gift card was a nice bonus.

And two DVDs, "Serenity" from [profile] greenhawk and "Star Trek" (the reboot movie) from my Hero Games Secret Santa.

Thanks, everyone!

In the afternoon, I headed out to the movie theater. The temperature had gone up considerably, so the heavy snowfall of the previous night had turned into inch-thick sludge on the sidewalks, and meltoff ponds at every street corner. My feet were soaked through by the time I got to Block E.

It's been quite a while since I was stuck in the cities for Christmas, and I was a bit disappointed to discover that absolutely everything in Block E was closed except the theater itself. I'd hoped to get dinner in before the show. Instead I wound up hanging in the lobby for an hour--and the Kerasotes no longer has video games as a distraction.

The Sherlock Holmes movie itself was a fun film. I could have done without the flatulence, and some of the fight scenes were unnecessarily confusing, but overall quite good.

Afterwards, I found that Gameworks (the actual video arcade) had opened, but only had bar food. Didn't matter, I just wanted something warm.

I waited on the bus rather than slog the eight or so blocks back to my apartment, though this didn't keep my feet from getting soaked again on the last block taken on foot.

This morning, the temperature had dropped again, turning the sludge and melt into a lovely layer of ice. Slick in spots, yes, but far less annoying.

At the post office, another card had arrived from [personal profile] fushiforever, a handmade card that says "Merry Christmas from California!" and by golly depicts the state of California topped by a Santa hat. Also included was a mix CD, no tracklist so everything's a surprise. Thanks to you also!

Did a little post-Christmas shopping, then headed home.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
I had today off unexpectedly, as one of the people who had the day decided they weren't going out of town after all, and I was next on the waitlist.

Good thing too, as I have never seen so many places close so early on Christmas Eve. Several of them without even a note saying they were closing early--including Subway!

Coming home, I discovered that due to the heavy snow, the Christmas celebration for my family is pushed back to next Friday. :-{ Fortunately, thanks to my internet friends, I have some presents to open tomorrow anyway. Maybe I'll take in the new Sherlock Holmes movie, though the previews made it look a little too focused on sex humor for my tastes. And I'll be able to hit Target for their post Xmas candy sale on Saturday.

Yeah, I'm a little disappointed, but not as much as one of my co-workers, who wasn't able to go home to California for the first time in twenty years due to a really bad set of circumstances.

Speaking of co-workers, we finally got an address to send cards to Nicole; she's still too weak for visitors though, apparently.

Oh, and one last package made it to the post office today! Thanks, [profile] greenhawk! Looking forward to seeing what's inside.


Aug. 16th, 2009 10:10 pm
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Got my teeth cleaned Friday morning. Owie owie owie. Will go back for another hour of it in a couple of weeks, but first another root canal. Hope my insurance hasn't run out.

Went to see "District 9" on Saturday. TV Tropes calls this "Humans Are Bastards: The Movie" and it's easy to see why. Recommended for mature viewers who like a little satire in their science fiction.


skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)

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