Tag Archives: life

Blogging My Days Away

I recently read a startling statistic about internet addiction and faced the fact that I, too, am hooked on the internet.  Typically, I spend about 3 hours each night (M-Th) online, usually from 9p-12a, in addition to checking in on my blogs and email from my phone or work computer a few times during the day. 

In my own defense, we don’t have television here at the Amish Beach House (and haven’t for 9 years), so I get my news and entertainment online.  But still–3 hours 4 days a week?!  I’m averaging 13 hours a week online (with weekends), writing blog posts, commenting, writing reviews, watching the news, and surfing in general.  Total up all those hours and it adds up to roughly 4 weeks–ONE MONTH–of usage per year. *sigh*

Before Christmas (when Santa brought me an iPhone), I could only check in when I was near a computer.  Now I’m online while waiting at the Jiffy Lube or the grocery store.  I send emails from wherever I happen to be. 

I don’t log on as often during the weekend (except right now when I’m trying to avoid organizing the basement and garage) because my husband and I take day trips or have local adventures.  My weekend usage might be about 2 hours total.  I know that this is true for other bloggers too because my readership decreases on the weekends.

The thought of a power or internet provider failure strikes fear into my heart.  I’m going camping on a school trip in two weeks and know for a fact that there isn’t a cell-tower for many, many miles and I will be cut off from everything.  Will I survive?  It remains to be seen.

I can’t believe that I’m alone with my heavy internet usage.  On average, how much time to you spend online each week? 

Dear Diary, Does anyone write longhand anymore?

journal-diaryIn 1981, Santa brought me a Hello Kitty diary; I was 7 and totally smitten with Hello Kitty (as evidenced by the infamous Hello Kitty Heist of ’81).  This diary began my 25+ year love affair with writing longhand.  Don’t get me wrong, we had a Commodore 128 and were hip to technology, but I loved to write by hand.  I used this diary (albeit sporadically) until 1988, recording all my pre-teen drama and foibles for my future self to look back on with mirth. 

When I went to high school, I stopped keeping a daily diary and graduated to the marble composition notebooks for vacation journals–notice the personalized one with the collage of pictures on the cover!  Our family vacations are chronicled from 1989 straight through to 2008 (though now I vacation with my husband).  I started using other types of journals because the composition notebooks didn’t weather all that well. 


I love looking back on old vacations–especially with my family–because I wrote down the most august things that would have long since faded from memory.  A family vacation to Long Beach Island, NJ in 1991…I was a chronic overpacker even at the tender age of 16!


Or how about a page (and doodle) from 2007’s road trip that took us to Livingston, Montana?


My point is that even though I love to blog, nothing compares to keeping a longhand journal of my travels.  But I wonder if anyone else out there does the same?  Is writing by hand a dying hobby? 

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for the complete Jessica Darling series HERE.  Contest ends Monday, 4/20 at 10pm EST.

Review (and Giveaway!): Perfect Fifths

perfect_fifthsTitle: Perfect Fifths (Jessica Darling Series)

Author: Megan McCafferty

Genre: Fiction*; 304 pages

Publication date: April 14, 2009

Publisher: Crown Publishing

Rating: 4 Bookmarks**

Perfect Fifths is the final book in the Jessica Darling series.  It picks up three years after Fourth Comings; Jessica (now 26) and Marcus are reunited in a chance encounter at Newark Liberty International Airport.

After buying the first book on a whim a few years ago, I was lured in by the protagonist, Jessica Darling, a then-teenager from New Jersey.  Her acerbic wit had me laughing from page one.  She finds temptation in a boy named Marcus Flutie and their on-again, off-again relationship spans the series.    The good girl/bad boy conundrum spoke to me on a personal level and I was eager to find out how things would play out.

McCafferty tells her story using dynamic and credible characters who grow and change as the series progresses. The dialogue is realistic and the storyline is believable.  Sexual tension between Jessica and Marcus runs high, creating suspense and frustration for the characters and readers alike.

The first four books are written journal and letter-style from Jessica’s point of view.  As readers, we’re limited to seeing plot events and characters as she does, which colors them significantly.  I found myself wanting to kick Jessica in the shins on several occasions because she didn’t make the decisions I would have.

In Perfect Fifths, McCafferty switches to third-person omniscient point of view and we finally(!!!) get to see into the mind of enigmatic Marcus Flutie!  Marcus dispels some of the myths that have been perpetuated in the previous books and we learn the motivations behind some of his past actions.

A new character is introduced and is reminiscent of young Jessica.  Minor characters from the other books resurface and play bigger roles.  McCafferty brings the story full-circle, tying up all of the loose ends.  We get resolution with Jessica’s friends and, of course, with Marcus…though it may not be what readers were hoping for.

I couldn’t put the fifth book down and stayed up reading it until 2:30 in the morning.  Then I re-read it twice more, savoring the story and interaction between the couple.  It was such a pleasure to take this literary journey with Jessica, Marcus, and the whole cast of characters that Megan McCafferty crafted.  This series belongs in your TBR pile.

And now on to the CONTEST!!  Simply leave a comment below and you will be entered to win the entire Jessica Darling series–all 5 books!  The deadline is 10pm EST on Monday, 4/20 and a winner will be chosen at random.  ONE entry per person and this contest is open to everyone–even international friends.  Good Luck!!!






Many thanks to Megan McCafferty and Crown Publishers.

* This series is sometimes classified as YA fiction but the books span 10 years of Jessica’s life, ending on her 26th birthday.  The series deals with sophisticated themes and the nature of the story lends the books to a wider audience.

**To fully appreciate this particular novel and all the references and entendres, the books should be read sequentially.

Pleasure Reading: Tax Booklets

Tonight I find myself victim of that annoying vacation time warp–you know what I’m talking about–your vacation stretches out in front of you like a desert, and then Poof! you’re home from the trip wondering where the time went.  I don’t have to return to work until Monday, but had to come home from visiting my parental units in Florida today because…


I know, I know…procrastination is my middle name.  Tomorrow is April 15th–the DEADLINE, unless an extension has been filed (which I didn’t do). 

My hubs and I have an appointment with Vinny “The Neck” at 6pm tomorrow and to be honest, he scares us more than the IRS.  He always comes up with questionable write-offs and shady deductions…but we can’t break up with him because he knows where we live.  I hope that stripes will be flattering on me.

And you?  Are your taxes already done?  Do you read the little booklets from the library and do them yourself or do you go see someone for help?  Please tell me I’m not alone in my last minute preparations…