Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Subdue the Peasantry

I am at a bit of a loss today.
First of all, Hannah is super sensitive and rather volatile today; she keeps throwing fits for no reason I can see, flailing her arms and legs around so that I'm very much at risk of getting a black eye from a two year old, and crying so much the front of her shirt is soaked (how's that for tearing your heart out!). Plus she's ridiculously congested so I have to keep wiping her face and sucking her nose out, of which of course she is a huge fan. We're out of most of her food (no waffles, no chicken nuggets, no grapes; I'm not giving her yogurt or milk because of the congestion); that basically leaves Cheerios and Goldfish.
I can't tell if all this is caused by teething or not; basically for the last nine months almost every off day has been attributable to teething, but I look at her teeth and still can't tell anything. Then again, she also had strep throat a couple weeks ago and it's possible she's coming down with something else now--hence the runny nose and congestion.
Who knows. Anyway, I took her to Walmart to visit Mike and she was fine while we were there. The only adventure we had as part of that trip was just now when we got home, and I went to open the front door. There's a storm door, which I stand inside and prop up against my back while I open the front door. As I was doing this I heard a terrific buzzing very, very close to my ear, and naturally spazzed out and ran away. From about six feet away from the house I saw a very large wasp trapped inside the storm door. Before I could do anything about it we were charged by an even larger, more sinister looking wasp, so, carrying Hannah, I ran down the front walk toward the street until I saw it fly away. Then I inched back up to the house, grabbed the storm door and yanked it open, held it as long as I could stand it, and then ran away again. The wasp escaped, and we were able to enter the house safely.
Now, ten minutes later, my heart rate has finally returned to normal; Hannah is eating the grapes we just bought and is actually quiet for the moment; the darn dogs are in the laundry room where they will stay because I'm about to put Hannah down for her nap; and my phone is buzzing, which hopefully means another comment on the lovely blog. :)
(So excited about that, by the way--it is turning out even better than we could have hoped! Yay for fantastic friends.)
Alas, I have just discovered a large black bug on the carpet directly in front of Hannah's high chair, which means I cannot just let it lie and wait until Trent gets home to take care of it, or until Mike gets off work and I can make him come over here specifically to do it. Sigh.
Aside from that, though, all is well in Miri land. So that is all for now. Time to go vanquish a scary black bug, and then, if I make it out alive... back to my book.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Love Banned Books Week

Dear Megan always beats me to these things, but that's probably because she shares my brain and has more regular access to the internet, and so I forgive her.
I, too, have been enjoying Banned Books Week, and wanted to write a celebratory post about it including a list of some of my favorite banned books. If you want to look at Megan's list, which will be much more comprehensive than mine because in addition to our brains I know we share a lot of readers and I don't want to just repeat everything she said, here it is.
  • The Golden Compass, or the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman (one of the top ten most challenged books in 2007 and 2008). I loved this series. The books and the movie (which I also love) were challenged and boycotted because Philip Pullman is atheist and people who had not read the books or seen the movie decided that his books were satanic attempts to destroy Christianity, the Catholic church, and religion and faith in general. I hope you will read the books for yourselves, because like that article says, I can almost promise that if Philip Pullman hadn't told people he was atheist, you wouldn't have found much wrong with it.
  • A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle. If you have a problem with this book, I have a problem with you. (Not really, but are you serious? I have adored this book since third grade and can't find a thing to complain about. Give me a break.)
  • Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry. I don't know why this book was challenged, but it's on the Banned Books display table at the library. This, much like A Wrinkle in Time, has been one of my favorite books since I was able to read. I recently bought a new, prettier copy because the copy I had growing up was so worn.
  • The Wizard of Oz, by Frank L. Baum. Too radical, apparently. Also Communist.
  • The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan. Haven't found anything more specific than "sexually explicit" and "conflicted with the values of the community." I also loved this book, and it started me on an Amy Tan kick during which I read (and loved, and bought) The Kitchen God's Wife, and bought The Bonesetter's Daughter and Saving Fish from Drowning with the intent to read them soon.
I could post more but like I said, these are just my favorites. I also picked up a few from the display table that looked interesting, and we will see how they go: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky; The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron; and Orlando, by Virginia Woolf. In the meantime, yay for learning to think for yourself! Don't be a sheep. That is all.

Magical Trevor!

Dear friends,
Please click on this link and have your sound turned up. Oh. Em. Gee.

Also, my Lovely Blog debut is up! Check it out!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blog Advertising on My Blog


In case you missed our three-pronged Facebook assault on your news feeds, our new blog project has launched! It's called "On How to be Lovely," and it's being written by Lindsey, Megan, and me. Check it out--our intro post is up now and there will be lots more up in the next week!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

If only it were always so easy.

This morning Mike worked at 7:30. We just went grocery shopping last night and he was excited about having a real breakfast, so today he got up at 6:15 and made some bacon, eggs, and pancakes. I was much lazier and got up at 6:45, got halfway ready, and went to eat Mike's delicious breakfast. We listened to Artemis Fowl while we ate, and then while we finished getting ready, and we were out the door by 7:15 (approximately). I dropped Mike off at work, sat in the parking lot and read Julie & Julia for 20 minutes until it was time for me to go to work, and then actually got there five minutes early (instead of a minute or two late like I usually do). Tomorrow breakfast will be my turn, only I'm not waking up at 6:15 to cook it--tonight while Mike's at class I'll be making my mother-in-law's delicious ham and egg bake casserole and putting it in the fridge until the morning. It was a really nice morning, and I only hope that we can get ourselves to bed earlier tonight so that we don't spend the rest of the day feeling exhausted like we are today.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ok, WHAT on earth is going on.

So I was all excited about having a Safari theme for Firefox and getting everything that I wanted from my browser. It was great for about one day.
Unfortunately, Firefox won't save any of my regularly saved usernames/passwords, so I've been typing them in all day. It also won't let me add links to my bookmarks toolbar, which I use constantly; I keep trying to add a Wachovia link because we just recently switched to them, and it won't stick when I drag it down there. Nor will it allow me to change an old link that I don't use anymore, even though I have done that in the past.
Also, and most random of all: I start typing an address in the address bar (because I can't create a link to it) and here is what it does. So I'm typing in the address for Mike's school, Collin College. You know how the options pop up as you start typing, for websites you've visited previously? Well those come up, and they say the address for the school's website--but above that, the name of it says City of Allen: Library, and next to it, the icon is for Mafia Wars from Facebook. It. Is. Ridiculous.
I don't know how changing the theme of my browser could have caused these ridiculous glitches, but that is the only thing I've changed recently so I don't even know what else to suspect. My conclusion is that the internet is freakin' retarded.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Oh Dear...

This was not a good choice. How unfortunate.

This, on the other hand, was a fantastic choice. I don't love the mildly awkward placement of the embellishments, but anyway, yay Angela.

And finally, this doesn't have anything to do with anything--I just wanted to say that I really do not like Kyra Sedgwick. Yuck.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

BROWSERS

I am sick of web browsers. It seems like there's something wrong with every one that I try. I've been using Safari for a while and I love the layout of it, but 1) it keeps having problems and having to shut down in the last couple weeks, 2) there's something wrong with the Flash update, which won't update, so I can't send animals as a gift on Farmville because they won't load on the page, and 3) uploading pictures in Blogger doesn't work very well with it and if I have to do any editing I always have to open Firefox and finish it that way. I downloaded Opera again to see if maybe the newer version is better than when I tried it before, but it kept freezing and I decided not to bother with it, and I'm not even trying Chrome again because every time I do it doesn't work out. So I'm back to Firefox right now, but I don't like the look of it and I'm sure I'll remember other problems with it as I use it for a while. Sigh. Why isn't there a perfect browser that looks like Safari but isn't stupid?

Update: I just found a Firefox theme that looks like Safari but even better! I love it. This may be the solution. Yay. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Envy, by Anna Godberson

A word about the Luxe novels by Anna Godberson--particulary the third one, Envy.
I enjoyed the first one more than I expected to, but their appeal has lessened with each one that followed, and now I'm actually kind of annoyed that there's a fourth because I have to read it to find out how everything ends (and I can only hope that it will end in the next book, and not continue on for who knows how many sequels). It's a good background for a story and I think I might be more interested if it were written by someone else; I just can't get on board with someone who uses the expression "bee-stung lips" not once, but several times in a book to describe one character. Yuck. Also, I've mentioned before that I have a hard time accepting most people's ideas of how people talked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and somehow it gets worse in the later books. I couldn't stand how often, and how repetitively, she described the physical appearance of the same characters over and over.
I read The Luxe really quickly and gave it a 7, but Envy was kind of a struggle to get through. This wasn't going to be an official review, just some commentary, but for the sake of illustrating my point I'll give Envy a 5 1/2.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Don't Be So Mayo

I find this commercial ridiculous.



Give me a break. This is a SANDWICH SPREAD you're advertising. Stop trying to make it cool--and stop trying to convince us it's different than mayonnaise. I don't think I'm the only one who couldn't care less.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yay!!

Miki and Ed have adopted a baby! They've been working on this for a long time and have made lots of trips to Utah and Houston and other places (presumably meeting potential birth mothers, although I don't know for sure), and last week they finally got one! His name is Leeron and he is adorable, although I can only say this from pictures I've seen because they haven't been home yet--legalities and paperwork and all that stuff being what it is, they had to stay in Utah until today. But they're flying home today and hopefully that means I will see this cute kid soon! I am so excited!!! (Yes, I am that excited--I used multiple exclamation points. I am almost ashamed to look at it.)





P.S. Some of you may notice that I put the "nieces and nephews" label on this post. Technically Leeron is my cousin, but I will probably never think of him that way. Miki has a strange place in our family--she's not immediate family, but we kind of consider her more that than extended family. So while I think of her as my aunt, I pretty much think of her kid as my nephew. Is that weird? Oh well. :)
P.P.S. I am talking to Miki on Facebook as we speak and just found out that they are not in fact coming back today, but hopefully soon. Grrrr.

Connectivity Woes

Once upon a time last week we had the lovely experience of having constant access to a wireless network. This was fantastic. Now that we're back at our own apartment, we are back to having the internet only at the library, my parents' house, and (for me) work, and it is a pain.
Last week I did some research on internet providers, and I have learned that our apartment complex has an exclusive deal with Verizon Wireless, and if we want the internet we can only go through them. (Facts leading to this conclusion: the boxes and everything for Verizon are already set up in all the apartments, and no other providers service our address.) This irritates me because 1) they are very expensive and 2) if we want TV we also have to go through them, and I do not like Fios. Trent and Aleigha used to have it (they just barely switched back to DirecTV) and my parents have it, and it has connection problems all the time--particularly when you buy a movie On Demand on a weekend.
This wasn't going to be much of an issue because we probably weren't even going to get TV, because we don't need it and don't want to spend the money on it. But I looked up their internet and it's $55 a month by itself; if you get the internet/TV bundle it's only $30 more. I kind of feel like we'd be getting ripped off if we paid that much for just the internet when it's less than half that much more to get TV too. Don't know for sure yet but that's my thinking so far.
Anyway. It seems like kind of a silly thing to worry about when you're apartment hunting, but I can tell you that it becomes less silly once you've spent three months without the internet--find out whether or not your apartment complex has exclusive contracts with someone and whether or not you will be okay using that company before you decide on a place.
In other news, I have something else to share but it is too exciting to be crammed down at the bottom of a complainy post like this, where it's possible that most people won't even see it, so I'm going to write a new post now. :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cooking

I have thought about posting some of these before and then have forgotten since I don't get online with my laptop much anymore, and that's where all my pictures are--but I've taken pictures of some of our favorite meals that I've cooked in the last couple months, and I wanted to share them.

Parmesan seasoned potatoes
Improvised (but delicious) gigantic burritos with rice, beans, and avocado
Tomato and avocado quesadillas
Pan-fried potatoes and eggs

It turns out I don't have pictures of the ones that were my very favorites--chicken carbonara, rigatoni with bacon and vegetables, and pasta with garlic sauce for example--or any of the more recent ones, so I will take pictures of them the next time I make them.

And since I've been thinking about this for a while too, here is a list of kitchen supplies that I need/covet:

souffle dish
pasta pot
food processor
double-burner grill pan
Kitchenaid stand mixer (sooo expensive)
some non-bendy-plastic cutting boards


some cute diningware

Sigh. Watching the Food Network gives me lots of fantastic ideas for recipes and teaches me a lot about cooking, but it also makes me very aware of all the things I can't make because I don't have the equipment. One of these days, I suppose, it will happen. Someday I will own a Kitchenaid mixer.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Brooklyn Day

Today is two years since my niece Brooklyn died. Candice posted a ton of pictures of her on Facebook, so you can look at them there. I only knew her for the last year of her three, but that was definitely enough time to find out what a special girl she was. She definitely didn't talk like a three year old--she had a very strong personality, knew exactly what she wanted, and didn't let people patronize her. The last time I saw her was the day that High School Musical 2 came out: I went over to Dan and Candice's and had a HSM sleepover with the girls. We watched the movie twice, and then I spent the night in the basement with them. I want to say Anna was there too, but I can't remember--if she was, then she was on the other side of the girls with Kennedy and Mia. I was on the side next to Brooklyn, and she spent the whole night cuddled up next to me. It was pretty special for me because I'd never had much time with her before that. After that I only saw pictures of her that were taken throughout the last few weeks, and then she was gone. I cried a lot, but it wasn't out of sadness for her, because where she went is infinitely better than where she had been (namely, with her mother, a truly horrible person). Mostly I was sad for her family.
But I don't want to dwell on that, because like I said, Brooklyn is in a much better place now, and she's not in pain anymore. Mike still has a hard time with it sometimes, and he misses her a lot, so we don't need to be writing depressing posts or anything. Nathalie sent us all a text earlier saying "happy Brookie day," and then Candice posted all those pictures, so I just wanted to say something in recognition. Love you Brooklyn. :)
Also, Monday was the two year anniversary of when we had to put Cookie down, which I remembered when Nathalie texted because Cookie died just a few days before Brooklyn did. I still miss her a ton and I just wanted to mention her too.

Sigh...

Getting up this morning was soooo hard. I was exhausted, of course, and Pitzi was snuggled in between Mike and me, and I was just so comfortable, I didn't want to move. It was a test of my willpower, I will tell you that.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ohhh I am so tired. So very, very tired.
Some of you know that my grandmother has been in town for about three weeks now, going to the homeopathic doctor that my parents and I go to. She's been having a lot of physical problems in the last few years, and doctors and hospitals galore have not been able to figure out what's wrong with her, much less fix it. So she came here.
She's been staying with my parents since the Friday after our Arizona trip, and my mom was taking care of her. I was over here a lot and helping out as much as I could, but here's what I've figured out: When it's something so involved as this, it's really hard for someone to help without being 100% immersed in it. I discovered this when Talia was over here trying to help me out over the weekend. (My parents went out of town on Friday to take Benjamin to BYU-Idaho for his freshman year and hit up Dafni's baby shower in Utah, and Mike and I have been staying at their house since then so I can take care of Grandmother in my mom's place.) So Talia would be sitting in the living room and ask if she could help, and I would think "um YES I am about to collapse here doing all of this myself," and then she would come to the kitchen and I wouldn't be able to think of anything for her to do because it was all stuff I had to do myself.
Anyway. So I thought I would fill you in on what I've been doing for the last few days.
  • Giving Grandmother her medications, minerals, vitamins, supplements, etc.; this happens several times a day. There's one she has to take before she eats anything, so I leave that on her nightstand the night before, along a lot of water and some food to eat when she takes her painkillers in the middle of the night. (The food is usually eggs and a piece of manna bread toast.) Then when she wakes up I give her four different liquid things, a couple of pills, and some oatmeal, mashed sweet potatoes, manna bread, or vegetable juice (cut up and then juiced by yours truly). She gets fulvic minerals three times a day in her water, so I give her some of that; and then the lunch and dinnertime routines are similar to breakfast (pills and supplements, etc.).
  • Throughout the day I refill her water bottles, adding chlorophyll and minerals to them, and make sure she's drinking as much as possible. I make her tea a couple times a day, sometimes more, and get her food throughout the day whenever she feels like she can eat.
  • I usually have to help her walk places, although some days are much better than others. There are days when she walks everywhere by herself and even gets her own food, but those days are actually harder for me in some ways because I lose track of what she's doing and I'm not sure whether or not she's taken all the things she was supposed to take. Today, though, she had really bad pain in her feet and couldn't walk at all by herself, and I had to basically carry her to the bathroom. It's about ten or fifteen feet from the bed, but I was sweating by the time we got there, and the whole way I was thinking "there is no way my back can take another second of this" and "my arms are one second away from giving out." It was rough.
  • I put on movies, change the channels on the tv, change the volume, bring her books, prop her legs up with pillows, help her scoot back on the couch or in bed, massage her feet/legs/hips, open bottles, make trips to the health food stores to find the organic vegetables and other things she needs, cook almost constantly... and all of that kind of stuff.
So that's the basic routine. I actually keep forgetting to eat because I've been cooking and preparing food all day and I don't realize that none of it was for me. That contributes to the overall sense of exhaustedness that has been prevalent since we've been sleeping on an air mattress in the living room, going to bed late after having taken care of people all day and waking up early.
On top of that, I babysat Alex on Saturday night, which sounded like a great idea when Talia and Kristofer were still here but once they left I realized it probably wasn't. When she's over here she's pretty much constantly chirping in my ear, asking me to play "chess" or "Monopoly" or soccer with her. Even though Mike is amazing and is the only person who has the energy to play with her pretty much any time she asks, she'll somehow still manage to be bugging me every thirteen seconds. She's a cutie pants, but she sure is demanding. :) Anyway, the biggest thing was that she woke up in the middle of the night crying and then locked herself in the bathroom. She was in there, crying, for a long time and wouldn't come to the door so I had Joseph and Mike pick the lock while I held the phone under the door and had Talia talk to her on speakerphone. It was quite the adventure!
We also picked up Pitzi, my aunt Miki's tiny Maltese, from the vet yesterday so she could be with family. Small dogs like her are very sensitive, and Pitzi has never been separated from her mommy for this long. She's adorable, but kind of has the tendency to use the bathroom anywhere, not just in the bathroom... So that's a bit of a pain. So far she's been pretty good though.
Then there's Joseph, who isn't demanding at all when he's here, it's just that he needs to be taken places. Places like seminary at 5:30 in the morning... and band practice on Monday night, mutual on Wednesday, piano lessons on Thursday, football game on Friday, band competition on Saturday (I think... that might be next week), etc. It's not bad because I have Mike to share that part with me, and to be honest he does much more of that than I do. I don't know how I'd manage if he wasn't here helping me out.
Then of course there's Hannah; thankfully Monday was a holiday so I didn't have her, but today was a mess! I got all of Grandmother's medicines ready before I left, but I decided I should bring Hannah back with me in the morning and check on her, and it's a good thing I did because today was one of those really bad days where she couldn't get up by herself. So I'm juggling taking care of her and watching Hannah, and like Mike said, this house feels like it's booby trapped for her--things she can destroy at every turn. VHS tapes, candles, crayons to eat, scissors and glue (which she digs way deep into the bottom of my giant journal bag to get!), computers, CD players, pens, the stairs... you get the idea. It was a bit crazy. Tomorrow I have Lana, which means I can't leave the Fraziers' house, but luckily Mike doesn't work and Talia has taken the day off, so they'll take care of Grandmother between them.
Those are pretty much the caretaker duties; on top of all that, I've basically been housesitting for my parents as well. Some of the things that entails:
  • Watering my mom's plants, which are plentiful.
  • Spraying rabbit repellent (which smells AWFUL--it would work just as well as people repellent, I say, because it is the worst).
  • Filling in stupid armadillo holes in the front yard.
  • Cleaning up the living room, computer room, dining room, and kitchen as we use things, and of course doing dishes and some laundry this afternoon.
That stuff--the yard stuff, I mean--is hard for me because I have never had my own yard to care for, and those are things I don't ever do. But my mom wrote them all down and I am crossing things off as I do them, which is basically the only way I can remember to do them. Talia's going to help me out by watering the plants tomorrow so I don't have to do it again. I was supposed to do it today, but I was so busy with Grandmother and Hannah this morning that I didn't get a chance to do it before it got too hot. So that's pretty awesome of her.
Anyway! Wow. Quite a post. I've been writing it for most of the day, in bits and pieces as I've been able to sit down to my lappy. I think that is all I meant to say, I can't remember anything else. In closing, I would like to say that I'm watching a movie called Angel on My Shoulder and it's very interesting. Grandmother was watching it on Turner Classic Movies, and it turns out that Anne Baxter is in it and I do love her. Plus it involves gangsters, which makes me laugh a little bit because of how much I've been playing Mobsters lately. Good times. :)
I think that's all for now. I can't believe I've managed to write this long as it is. :) See you later everyone.

How Do I Hate Thee...

I despise blue headlights. You know the ones I mean--they blind you for a full twenty seconds every time they drive past you, creating a ridiculous safety hazard and irritating the bejeezus out of you.

Last night I was driving home on George Bush (the freeway, not either of the former presidents) and there was this blinding blue light in my mirrors for about ten minutes while this big SUV was riding my tail. I kept trying to speed up and get away from him, but he wasn't cooperating, so finally I just let off the gas; within two seconds he pulled into the next lane and I could see again. Then, when we were almost home, there was a car coming toward me with the same kind of lights and I seriously couldn't see for about 500 yards, until it passed me. 
Someone said to me that they hate the lights too, but they don't think they should be regulated because they can't regulate everything, and people just need to be smarter and not buy them. While I wholeheartedly concur that people need to be smarter and that it's incredibly selfish/unsafe to drive with them, I'm afraid I don't agree that they shouldn't be regulated, because people cannot be counted on to do the smart thing. Whoever invented those headlights clearly didn't, and should be punched in the face.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Thought About Fall Out Boy

I am not really into them anymore, although there are songs I enjoy, but I have to say that it always makes me smile when I catch a classic movie reference in their lyrics. Casablanca and High Fidelity are the only two I can think of at the moment, but I think those two are pretty good to start out with.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I Pledge...

Watch this video and tell me what you think about it. It's pretty interesting.

Then read this article and tell me what you think about it. It is also pretty interesting.
http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13249171?source=rss
Here is a summary of what I think about it, and this is all I will say for now: What kind of person gets upset over telling kids that it's bad to give people the finger?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

ARGH

This is ridiculous. I find it so irritating that I'm not even going to comment on it right now; I'm having a hard time getting my thoughts together into something other than "argh!" Read for yourselves.


Okay, I just watched the video that goes with the article and now I have to amend my previous statement and make just one comment--PEOPLE CAN BE REALLY STUPID.

Bragging

Okay, this was a pretty easy one. But I am still (justly, I think) proud of having completed it in 6 seconds with the bare minimum of moves.


That is all.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hmm...

State Legislators In Now-Infamous Solitaire Photo Identified


Apparently there is a big fuss about the two people playing Solitaire in this picture, have you heard about it? I hadn't until one of my friends commented in his Facebook status, and asked an intriguing question... How come no one's complaining about the guy watching ESPN right behind them?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer--7.5/10

First things first: In case you're wondering (and I know you are), his first name is pronounced like Owen. Let's get that out of the way.
All right. Artemis Fowl. I have seen this book around for a long time and it never really caught my interest, possibly because there were too many other series that looked similar to me (Fablehaven, Leven Thumps, Percy Jackson, Bartimaeus, and I feel like there's at least one more that I'm missing). But it seems that I'm ending up working my way through them all anyway, and so far Artemis Fowl is close to the top. I think Fablehaven is still first, but then I think Percy Jackson and Artemis are tied for second. Bartimaeus is third, and Leven Thumps is fourth--the first book was fun, but I wasn't too impressed with it and I lost interest after the second one.
Anyway--on with my review. Artemis Fowl is a twelve year old genius/criminal mastermind whose goal in the first book is to kidnap a fairy and extort large amounts of fairy gold from her. It's an interesting book in that Artemis is both the main character and the bad guy--I really like Holly, the fairy he kidnaps, and root for her the whole time. The book is fun to read, and even more fun to listen to on audiobook because of their amazing accents (English, Scottish, Irish, and others). If you can get your hands on an audiobook copy, I absolutely recommend doing it that way. I'm reading the second one right now and while it is still enjoyable, I'm missing hearing all their wonderful accents. This is a pretty good one, and I say check it out.