Tag Archives: literature

Yay for Posting.

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So last weekend, over the 4th holiday, (BTW, happy late Canada Day and Independence Day) we had a family reunion. My mom has 4 brothers and one of them has a lake house in Minnesota and that’s about half way for point for a lot of people so we met in Minnesota. 3 of the 4 uncles were there and almost all the cousins. I say almost all the cousins and, in my head, it sounds like that’s a lot of people but let’s break this down.

All together there was:

4 out of 5 siblings and 3 spouses.

9 out of 12 cousins

6 spouses of cousins

11 children of cousins. Actually 13 because sister is pregnant with twins. That’s right my niece/nephew count will be doubling around my birthday next year

4 dogs.

So at the most at one time, because some cousins left early, (cough sister, brother and their families, cough) 31 people in all. (that are out of the womb) It was a good time. Here’s some highlights of the weekend.

I got to drive the new pickup. That makes my life. But my dad and I changed spots after a while. There was a sign that said that there was work being done on the shoulder. Now here’s further proof I’m like my father. We both go at the same time. “I have 2 shoulders.” and we motion to our shoulders exactly the same. See proof. Also, on the way back, after stopping at implement dealers, we stopped to eat and we came up with a master plan to drive mom insane. That was fun.

My cousin and his wife, (FYI, there’s only 3 girls out of the 11 cousins and 2 of us were there, so when I say cousin, most likely it’s a guy) they adopted a little black boy. He’s only a couple months old and super cute and super black. At one point, some of us were in the kitchen getting supper ready and somehow, I procured this little bundle of joy. Not sure how this happened. But we were standing there and he was facing out and looking around and I was bouncing him around and my uncle comes around the corner and goes “Holy shit if that’s not a contrast.” Because I’m super white and this baby is super black. So he really wasn’t lying when he said we contrasted.

Another cousin has a little girl that has Downs Syndrome and she provides some entertainment. My cousin’s wife was holding her and we were talking and this little girl loves Frozen, like any little kid. And this girl started calling me Ana and she was Elsa. My brother-in-law brought up the Frozen songs on his phone and she started singing along and doing all the actions to the songs. It was so much fun to see. Then that night she was going to bed and I go “Goodnight Elsa.” And she looks at me and goes “ANA!” with this big grin on her face. Talk about melt your heart. The rest of the weekend I go “Who am I?” Ana. “Who are you?” Elsa. Pretty sure the family will be calling me Ana for the rest of my life just so they don’t have to mess up on the M names me and my siblings have.

The day after the fourth, we’re all standing down by the lake for breakfast. My sister and her husband were late getting up. An uncle comes up to us and says, “Megan’s up at the house, awake.” We all look at him and ask him to repeat himself. So he repeats it exactly how he said it the first time. I look at him and go “Hi, I made it down to the lake.” He looked at me and goes, “That was fast. But I meant the other one.”

So that was my weekend. I also went back to the nursing home this week. I just finished 4 shifts in a row and have 3 in a row starting tomorrow. For not being put on the schedule this month, I’m sure working a lot. 10 shifts in like a 2 weeks. Who knew that there would be so much work at a nursing home……I did.

So I’ve been back at home for about 2 weeks now from the Chicago area and I’m kind of missing it. Like the social part, being around people my age and similar personalities. It was like college except not.

So remember me talking about friendish/acquaintance at church? I still don’t know what to call him. Sure, let’s go for it. We’re friends. So today, he walks into church with this girl and he comes over to me and gives me a hug. ugh hugs. I am not a hugger but I deal with it. So he introduces the girl, who I think is his girlfriend, but I don’t know because he didn’t say she was his girlfriend just told me her name. Ok, here’s my deal. If it was his girlfriend, he should not have hugged me, even if it is in his personality go be a hugger. Right? Anyone agree with me?

I went to the doctor this past week, waste of my TIME! and I swung by Barnes and Noble and picked me up Book 8 of the Outlander series. Only a month and a half after it came out. Megan for the win. I am just starting it and love it. YAY!

OH! MJ and I are having a girls trip in like a week and a half. We’re going to Fargo! No jokes please. It’s the first time we’ll have actually seen each other in like 3 years. This is going to be EPIC! And maybe a yearly tradition.

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The Bronze Horseman Book Review

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I finished The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons tonight. I wrote that, folded my hands on the desk and sighed. How does one accurately explain how I feel about this book? I have wanted to read this book for a while and I had a gift card from Christmas so I put it on my Nook. I figured that if I didn’t like it, I could always delete it off. But I have a hard time getting rid of books, even if they’re electronic. If you haven’t heard about this book, here’s what it’s about.

The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler’s armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.

Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana–and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander’s impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects–a secret as devastating as the war itself–as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.

For future reference, for this post, there will be spoilers.

I have a hard time with how I feel about this book. Remember my last post where I complain that characters in books seem to fall in love immediately? This book started that rant inside me. They ran into each other kind of by accident and then they walk a few times and bam, they’re in love. It’s so quick. Who falls in love that quick? Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely love story with real problems, obstacles and there are fights between the two. But here’s my problems. First Tatiana seemed like the stupidest person alive, really immature and not ready to be in a serious relationship and then by the end of the book she was saint like and giving birth. I also felt that if they talked about her moaning during sex one more time I would have removed her voice box. Get the picture, don’t be so loud when there’s danger of people hearing you and killing the love of your life. She must have amazing breasts with how much Alexander wanted to be attached to them. But maybe he’s just a guy that likes breasts. I don’t know. How many names does that girl go by? That would drive me insane.

Alexander seems to be a great guy, does some protecting and standing up for Tatiana, loves her a lot. Good for him. But let’s really think about this. Alexander gets engaged to Dasha, Tatiana’s sister. HER SISTER! I get that characters need flaws, any kind of flaws, but really? You get engaged to the sister and the world is supposed to be okay? It would have been over for me. And he must be one hell of a lover to make Tatiana that noisy with her moaning. I did get a little annoyed with Alexander telling Tatiana to stay. Get the picture that there’s a chance she won’t stay.

I did feel bad for Tatiana. She lost her entire family. I would be devastated if I lost my family. At one point I wondered if she matured way to quickly. Then I thought about it. This is a country in war. This is a country in war that isn’t America, in the 1940’s and these people are more politically knowledgeable than I am. (or at least Alexander is) A person is going to grow up fast. So was it growing up to quick? Maybe, maybe not.

Marina, the cousin, was pointless. Someone want to explain why she was in the book?

I was fascinated by the Dimitri character. What bad thing was he going to do next? Was he going to make a pass at Tatiana or was he going to out Alexander’s secret. He is definitely a Jafar to Alexander’s Aladdin. No. Wait. That’s not an accurate analogy. Dimitri would have been the Jafar if Jafar was Aladdin’s friend-like person. What would be a good analogy for that? I don’t usually have a positive fascination with the “villain” of a story, but, I want to know why Dimitri is how he is. What makes him tick? I don’t know, but I want to know. As much of a fan I wasn’t of Tatiana’s, I did want to punch him when he made a “pass” at her near the beginning of the book.

The writing had some ups. There were some gems of lines that kept me going through the book. I like WWII history and Russia is interesting. Here are things I highlighted and commented on:

There was a section in the beginning where it talks about how everything was after like, after the revolution, after the worst but before anything good and I commented how interesting that seemed to me.

comment: I think a lot of people don’t understand war like they say they do.

Highlighted: “Really, Papa?” said Tatiana. “Which of your children would you like not to worry about?” pg 16.

There were other things but who really wants my comments and highlighting?

The next book I think I’m going to read is The House Girl by Tara Conklin.

Luke and Violet Book Review

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First-Catch up on my life? Yes? Okay. MJ and I have been going back and forth with this story and we can only write 15 sentences of the story and we can’t have it for more than 5 days and we have to give a rule for the other person to follow in their section of the story. It’s epic. There’s awkward pictures and a Steve and blackmail. That description doesn’t even give it justice. I have also learned through this process that I should not be writing when I’m tired because I start mixing up things like there, they’re and their. That bothers me.

I finished my CNA classes and I passed the class and now I’m orientating and then I take the state test to actually be certified.

So I’m orientating on nights tonight, so I work from 11:45-8:15, sleeping, going an hourish away tomorrow night to go to something, then Sunday, I’m going an hour in another direction to hang out with a friend. So much for a relaxing weekend.

Valentine’s Day is coming up. Boo. I’m anti-Valentine’s Day. If I were dating someone and in a serious relationship, I wouldn’t want a specific day just to show our love. Show me in the little things all the time. Open my door, tell me I’m having a good hair day, (because talking about my hair is the way to my heart, I’m kind of vain about it) hold my hand, things like that. I’m easily impressed. No need for a whole day of love. For me it’s not necessary. I’m low maintenance. Anyway.

I started my thyroid medicine this week. Knowing that something is wrong with me like my thyroid kind of bothers me. I also have eczema and knowing that there’s something I’m doing that I can’t control is unnerving every once in a while. I know that both things are very manageable but I’m kind of funny about it and I want it fixed. But I’m working on this.

Book time. I read The Destiny of Violet and Luke by Jessica Sorensen. This book is in the same series as the Callie and Kayden books I talked about last year. I’ve read other books/series by Sorensen and they haven’t impressed me as much. Here is a synopsis of the book. (there will be spoilers after the synopsis)

Luke Price’s life has always been about order, control, and acting tough on the outside. For Luke, meaningless relationships are a distraction-a way to tune out the twisted memories of his childhood. He desperately wishes he could forget his past, but it haunts him no matter what he does.

Violet Hayes has had a rough life. When she was young, she was left with no family and the memory of her parents’ unsolved murders. She grew up in foster homes, living with irresponsible parents, drugs, and neglect, and trying to fight the painful memories of the night her parents were taken from her. But it’s hard to forget when she never got closure-and she can’t stop dreaming about what happened that tragic night. To make it through life, she keeps her distance from everyone and never allows herself to feel anything.

Then Violet meets Luke. The two clash instantly, yet they can’t seem to stay away from each other. Although they fight it, they both start to open up and feel things they’ve never felt before. They discover just how similar they are. But they also discover something else: The past always catches up with you.

I loved Luke in the Callie and Kayden books. I also knew that Luke was to developed as a supporting character to not have his own book. So this book came out and I was totally excited. I get to find out more about Luke and he gets himself a girl but from reading this book, getting the girls aren’t his problem. We also find out more about Callie’s roommate, Violet. She’s a character isn’t she? And let’s start from the ending on this. That ending. Sorensen does know how to write a freaking ending. You kind of see it coming and then everything explodes into something so much larger than you expect and then you’re sitting there at 4 in the morning dwelling about these characters and wondering what’s going to happen. (That’s what I did with the first book, last year) I’m bitter that I don’t know what’s going to happen and mad that it’s not ending like I want it to end.

Characters: Let’s start with my favorite from the beginning: Luke. Before this book, I kind of knew he was a man whore, I knew he had issues with his mother, his father wasn’t around and probably a deadbeat and his sister committed suicide. Here’s what I know more. He’s more of a man whore than I realized, issues didn’t necessarily change (until you get to the end of the book) and his dad isn’t that bad of a guy. I still kind of love Luke through his drunkenness and his slutty ways. I know how he was protective of Callie and how he reacts to Violet so I respect him.

Violet: She was kind of a surprise for me. Sort of. All of Sorensen’s characters, that I’ve read, have major issues. They’re real issues and the issues aren’t skirted around. I didn’t expect some of her issues. Like the dealing and she was a virgin. Not that being a virgin is an issue, but it was something that surprised me because of how much she was alone with guys in the first 2 books, which if you think about, that’s genius. You’re getting just the narrator’s p.o.v., then you find out there’s so much more than you realize. I felt for Violet through the whole thing. She’s scared, she’s hurt and she’s surviving. Part of me kind of thought this was going to be somewhat similar to Callie and Kayden but it wasn’t. I feel like Violet was more scared.

Grayson and Seth: Seth disappointed me. He was so much more judgmental than I thought he would be. I was impressed with Grayson, I’m kind of looking forward to their story now.

The creepy “foster father” of Violet: I can’t remember his name off the top of my head. BOOOO. He was definitely a nemesis in this book. I don’t like him. Throw him in the river next book. I’m sure he owns a van and it can be parked down by the river to live in so it could look like an accident. If he doesn’t have a van, shame on him, he’s a drug dealer. He needs a van from the ’70’s.

I really liked the book. This series is what I need every once in a while.

The Books I Read this Year.

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So being that I will be quite busy the next couple days with being done at the museum and moving and the such, I’m going to do my year-end book look back now. I won’t bore you with all I’ve read, but I’ll give the overview. There was a total of 51 books and a total of 15,559 pages. Here’s a few of the books I read and what I thought about them.

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden and The Redemption of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen. I loved them. I got kind of obsessed by them. Lots of angst and just something I don’t normally read.

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. I definitely was one minded while reading this series. I read them in quick succession because I really liked them and really liked learning more about mythology in this form

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. It was okay. Not my favorite Austen but it’s up there

Love Seen from Hell by John Emil Augustine. YUCK. I wasn’t a fan. There are few books that I should never pick up because they bother me so much and this was one of them.

Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman. I loved this book. I have read very few books that take place in my home state of North Dakota and this is the only one I’ve liked. I liked the characters and the real situations the characters were put in. Go read it. Now. I loved it.

I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. This was another one I wasn’t a fan of. Something that I would have adored in high school but now I have to many opinions on dating and know more what I want and what I need. I didn’t need this book/devotional/whatever it is, to tell me what I need. I think I had more issue with the reviews I read about it on GoodReads.

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I liked it more than the movie. The book didn’t give me nightmares. Is this a sign that the movie will one day not give me nightmares and I will lose this obsession eventually? Maybe. To soon to tell. It something I would think about reading to my kids one day.

The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon. This is the first Lord John book I liked and it was because there was more Jamie Fraser in it. I also like that it was in the 20 year period where Claire was out of the picture. If you like the Lord John series and the Outlander series, you’ll love this book.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Meh. I see why the show is popular and the books are popular. I just couldn’t get into it. If I had more time to devote to the series, I could totally get into the series and become obsessed.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This took me a long time to get into but once I did and I got invested in the characters and started to love them. I do not see myself re-reading it though.

The Fault in our Stars by John Green. So good. I loved how John Green pretty much pulled off narrating from a 16-year-old girl’s point of view. It was funny and serious and I may have crushed on John Green for a while.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Good but I was still coming off from the John Green high. If I had read it before John Green, I would have adored it but I didn’t. I just got mad at Anna for being a typical teenager. That (me getting mad at teenagers for being teenagers and this coming from the girl who is about to teach in a high school) does happen on a regular basis.

Several Steve Hocknsmith books. It was more of the Home on the Range books. I really like these westerns because you get the western feel but near the end of the heyday of the cowboys so they’re a little bit more sophisticated more. I enjoy the humor and how they’re written.

Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning. Not that bad but I got recommended this book based on my interest in the Outlander series. Yeah, doesn’t hold up. But it’s good and an easy read. I am a little obsessed with Hawk now. I don’t know why. Well, I kind of take that back because I have an idea why, I just don’t want to talk about it.

Panic by Jeff Abbott. I think I joked about this book the most because I couldn’t figure out who to trust. I did reference this book a lot when I was reading it. I think it was because it stumped me and not many books do that.

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati. Another book that was suggested because I liked Outlander. This one fared better than Beyond the Highland Mist. I liked the characters and that it was a continuation of The Last of the Mohicans. Lots of good things about it and then some other things I wasn’t to into.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I just did a review on this. So I won’t talk about it too much. Just go back a post or two and read about it.

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. Not that similar to the movie but I still really enjoyed this book. I loved the family dynamics and I love just enjoyed the love that carried on.

So that’s a selection of what I’ve read. I’ll try to post in the next couple of days but don’t count on it.

Speak Book Review

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I just finished Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. If you’ve heard anything about this book, you know that this review will not be an uplifting one. If you haven’t heard of this book (and a lot of people have because it won a lot of awards and it was made into a movie with, I think, Kristen Stewart) here’s a synopsis.

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country

Now here’s the awards or recognitions it’s had (which I understand why it got):
A 2000 Printz Honor Book
A 1999 National Book Award Finalist
An Edgar Allan Poe Award Finalist
A 1999 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
Winner of the SCBWI Golden Kite Award
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
An ALA Quick Pick
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Booklist Top Ten First Novel of 1999
A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Horn Book Fanfare Title

So it was a big deal when it came out. Understandable since it deals with such a big subject.

Now for my opinion. I think that it’s an important subject to talk about, especially to young adults. Rape isn’t funny. People that are dealing with being raped isn’t something to brush off. Young Adults don’t always get that. Even adults don’t get that all the time. So the book overall is important. I haven’t read a book before that I have read about a young, rape victim and how they deal and their thought process. This book reminded me how cruel high school is. I forget that because my high school experience was good. I was never ostracized like this girl, I didn’t have friends ditch me. I had it way better than this girl. I liked that she kind of went into her own little world and kind of went radio silent. She was hurt and she did what I would have done, she built walls.

I also had a little trouble with her parents for a while. They were clueless on what was going on with their daughter. But then I got it. The parents were busy and in their own little world. There was work and fighting and there was no time to pay attention to their daughter going silent and hurting. Which then made sense to me that the teacher got it or saw something going on. Teachers are usually the ones to get it. Just saying.

What I didn’t like about the book: I didn’t like how conversations were handled. I mean it was like how a teenager would write it and that was the point but it drove me a little bat shit. I saw some reviews that saw the main character as whining quite a bit. I see that, but here’s my thing. She’s 15 and she’s been raped. I was whiny at 15 and I wasn’t raped. If I had been (I would have gone to the police) I would have been whiny. Sometimes I did get a little bored with the high school situations. Not necessarily the author’s fault but still got me a little bored.

Overall, it was okay. I generally liked the ending. It was genuine, I guess, that after everything was getting to be all right again but eh, it was okay. I don’t think I would read this again just because I felt way old reading this book and that was because of how it was written. It was written to get young people to realize that rape is never okay and that even if it gets you unpopular, you need to tell someone and you need to talk about how you’re feeling.

Side Story: I was at the museum today and a guy that I’ve dealt with quite a bit walks in and looks at me and says “What the hell are you still doing here?” Everyone thinks I’ve bolted from town all ready. Not true. I’m still a resident of B town until the 31st. I’ll be gone for the next 5 1/4 days. But the guy was really excited about what I’ll get to experience so that’s good.

Day 2: Favorite Side Character.

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DAY 2. – Favorite side character.

This one is easy. Luke from The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden. He’s so developed for a side character. He’s getting his own book now but you didn’t know that with the Coincidence. He’s very sturdy guy with a lot of stuff that went on in his past. I didn’t even consider anyone else. Luke is my guy.

What I like about him as a side character is that he isn’t comedic relief. He is a sidekick to a point but has his own life. He just happens to be Kayden’s best friend. I never really see him as a full side character or side kick. The Callie and Kayden books never really paint him as being dependent on the main characters. He is his own man. He’s strong, he takes care of himself. Luke has his own opinions. I feel like with a lot of side characters, they don’t have their own opinions. They just latch on the main character. Luke was very vocal about his dislike for Daisy at the beginning of the book and I totally agree with him. Wouldn’t it be interesting to have a book about Daisy and how she came un-whoreish? Because let’s face it, she’s a whore. I wonder how many guys she cheated on Kayden with. Anyway, back to the subject, I would totally go for a guy like Luke if he were real and didn’t smoke.

It would have been so easy to write Luke as a comic or a skeptic or a meathead football player. He is those things. BUT he’s more. I love Jessica Sorensen writing him as his own person. As you can tell, I love Luke. He needs to be real. Like 5 years ago he needed to be real. And what I think is the best part about this is that at 16-19 I probably wouldn’t have gone for a guy like Luke. He’s an athlete, definitely has his own flaws and demons but the older I get the more I see that having your demons isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I have my own demons. I see how you deal with your demons a single of a person’s strength or potential strength. And now Luke is getting his own book and I’m thrilled. I can’t wait until January for that book to come out.

Book Side Note: My friend R is reading Jane Eyre for the first time and she’s updating me on what’s going on and her opinions on what’s going to happen. I keep being cryptic about it. Pretty sure she hates me for that. I’m making her thing which I don’t think she hates me for but she’s not happy that she doesn’t know the ending yet and I do.

Side Note: My friend Ashley just started to blog. Her one post she has up is very well written and everyone should go check her out. She has a beautiful soul and is an amazing mother and the whore moved away from me. I blame her husband. Boo.

Day 1. Please Continue To…….

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DAY 1. – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just end already.

I realize that I don’t read that many series. Babysitter’s Club, the Mandie Series by Lois Gladys Leppard, Outlander. I’ve started a few and haven’t been brought in by them. I would love to get another series that could hold my attention longer than one book. But when it comes to the question, it’s a hard question. There’s the Outlander series but that’s just running its course in due time, the Lord John series is pointless to me but I get why they’re written. So my answer would have to be….. the Faerie Tale Collection by Jenni James. Some would argue that this isn’t technically a series since there’s no reappearing characters, just retellings of fairy tales. But I would like to point out that it is a series because they run in the same theme and are clumped together under a collection name.

I’ve only read Beauty and the Beast but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to read the rest of the books. I don’t have a problem with retelling of fairy tales. I generally like retellings. I just didn’t like the way it was written. It had a very old feel. I didn’t like the old feel because I like the classics, I like the classic feel. I think I may be a little bitter because it didn’t have the library like the Disney version. I don’t care that it wasn’t a complete replicate of the Disney version but I just wasn’t as brought in by the book. I also didn’t care for the characters. They seemed a little undeveloped to me. Therefore, for those reasons, I didn’t want the rest of the books to exist.

To give this book it’s due, some people really enjoy this book/series. I understand why people like this series. If the rest of the series is like the first one, they’re interesting with a little bit of a twist from the Disney versions, they’re just not a “Venus fly trap” for me. Just try a different style.

I know that I wasn’t to harsh on this series but I just didn’t care for it. I just don’t get into series. I wish I did. Kind of a short and lame post. Sorry.