Friday, July 30, 2010


It's a common theme I've been hearing about lately... Good people getting burned or taken advantage of by those close to them. Several of my acquaintances have done status posts on Facebook on the subject, which surprised me. That's awfully personal information to put out there! But apparently there's a lot of hurt going around. And I often feel the same way.

I try to do the right thing and be a good person. I rarely stand up for myself and, as a result, have gotten hurt many times. Being an only child, I've always preferred and, to a certain extent, craved isolation. I don't have many friends nor do I want a large social circle. I let few people in but I trust those that I do. And though I'm a hardcore introvert, I crave social interaction at times, though the effort it costs me to be sociable often leaves me exhausted.

And so it doubly hurts when I get burned.

At least there's some comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one this happens to.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


One of my favorite bands, The New Pornographers, was in town on Saturday night. We were so excited, me and my friends bought tickets when they first became available.

Ironically enough, despite listening to this band for a very long time, I've never even seen a picture of them! So, it was great to put faces to all the voices I'd heard. I even liked Neko Case more than I thought, despite her recent solo success. (And yes, I broke down and downloaded her album the other day.)

TNP is very unique as they're so big! There are four lead singers that take turns and harmonize (two women and two men) and no one person is responsible for their sound. Instead, they have several songwriters in their group. As a result, their sound is something like I've never heard before and I've always liked it. They did not disappoint in person either!

Their two opening acts, however, left much to be desired. By the time TNP came along, my eardrums ached along with every inch of my body after having stood for three hours. I don't think I'm cut out for such concerts. I need the old people kind where you sit down! Ha!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


E-books are now all the rage. And like everything else that is the rage, I'm ambivalent and even at times hostile towards this change.

Why? Well, I'm a bibliophile. I love and adore books. There is no greater pleasure for me than to sit down with a good book and spend hours with the characters therein. I love the smell of books, the weight of them, the feel of them.... At work, I handle books from the sixteenth century! So when it comes time for me to read an article or a long chapter of a draft on the computer screen, I much prefer to print it out to have it in my hands. I know this is not good for the environment but it feels real once I can touch it.

And so I have no idea how I'd feel about sitting down to read a book on an e-reader. Honestly, it probably wouldn't feel like a book to me. I'm sure I'd lose patience with it all, feeling as if I were staring at the computer screen. But I may be wrong. I admit to eying the Nook at Barnes & Noble. I like the looks of it. But I can't imagine spending so much money on something I'm unsure of. I hear people talk of their love of such e-readers - even my fellow academics - and I'm curious. The only time I could justify buying such a thing would be if I needed dozens of books at hand for a long trip. An e-reader would be much lighter than a dozen books!

But, like with everything else trendy, I'll hold out either until one falls into my lap or until I have a surplus of income (each scenario being extremely unlikely!). And, even then, I can't imagine not having a physical reminder on my shelf of a book I loved reading....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dead in the Family

As predicted, Charlaine Harris' latest Sookie Stackhouse novel took me no time at all to read. Dead in the Family was, as usual, pure fun, despite some of the recent trauma in Sookie's life.

At the end of the previous novel, Sookie endured some pretty horrific torture by vengeful fairies. Her emotional and physical scars are seen throughout Dead in the Family. But, as the title suggests, she is surrounded by family, as is Eric, whose maker comes to town with a new boy toy in tow. Stress and havoc naturally ensue.

All our favorite characters have a place in this Sookie novel and it was refreshing to read about them again. Bill is enduring his own slow recuperation, which Sookie is intent upon facilitating. Alcide calls upon Sookie for help, yet again, and Sam has a new girlfriend. Even Jason is back and is amazingly likable and helpful, for once.

Sookie always entertains and the tenth novel does not disappoint.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sookie #10

Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series is one of my favorite. Yes, it's the series that HBO's 'True Blood' is loosely based upon. The show is disgusting. The books are interesting, funny, and action-packed.

I pre-ordered the new book - #10 - and it arrived in May. I've had a busy few months and I wanted to wait to begin the book until things had settled down. I can, after all, sit down and read one of these books in one sitting! So, I started #10 this week but I'm going slow on it. I want to savor it. If I blow through it too quickly, I'll forget what happens. I want to remember it and enjoy it!

Hence, I'm about two-thirds of the way through Dead in the Family. It's a good book so far, like all in the series but it's also surprising - even with the title - that so much of it revolves around family.

I won't say anything more until I can give you a full report...but let's just say that I'm really enjoying Sookie's new adventure!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mad Men

I am eagerly awaiting the Mad Men premier on Sunday. Yep, Mr. Higgins made me watch the first three seasons and I loved it! Recently, the New York times had an awesome article about the upcoming season which only heightened my anticipation.

So, you know where I'll be on Sunday night!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I'd seen Kate Mosse's Labyrinth quite a bit before I finally picked it up. For some reason I was skeptical about it....secret societies and Holy Grail theories don't really interest me anymore. But then, after reading a synopsis, I was intrigued by the plot centered upon the fall of Carcassonne during the Albigensian Crusades. So, I read it.

Kate Mosse had a wonderful idea with this book - outside of the ridiculous grail stuff. She centered the story around Alice, a modern day professor working on an archeological dig in southern France, and Alais, a headstrong thirteenth-century woman of Carcassonne. Alice is on the run after stumbling upon a cave and two skeletons at the dig (and not many people are happy she found such things). She must unravel the secrets of that cave in order to survive. Alais must endure the siege of her hometown while preserving the books of a secret religion and society - one intent upon safeguarding the Holy Grail.

The re-telling of the siege is great. The transitions and connections between the two women are awkward and poorly done. Mosse's style is still being refined and the edges are still rough. She tries to balance too many points of view in this book and for the first half, it's hard to keep all the characters straight.

Mosse is definitely a writer to watch but her writing is still in it's formative stages.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Six Months

It's been six wonderful months with Mr. Higgins. He sent flowers to commemorate the day and they were absolutely beautiful (though the pic is sub-par). I never thought finding such a guy was possible.....but I'm so very glad to have been wrong!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A New Fiddler

More bishops being bad.....

Have you heard about the the Bruges bishop? He apparently molested his nephew for years and the Church spent twenty-five years attempting to keep his crimes under wraps. The Belgian police finally got wind of the crimes and raided the Church hierarchy. Our illustrious pope said nothing of the bishop; he only condemned the actions of the police.

Not surprisingly, Maureen Dowd is appalled. So am I. But why aren't more people?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Meeting People

I went to a new girl for a haircut earlier this week. She was super sweet. At some point in our conversation, we discovered we were the same age. She mentioned how few people her own age she sees or meets. We agreed that it's very hard to meet new friends.

And we posed the question, where do people go once they surpass the age of twenty-five? Do they get married and fall into the black hole of family/kids? Do they get too busy with work to ever go anywhere except home and work? Where are they?

I've never had any luck meeting friends, except when I joined a choir. Even then, there was no one in there remotely close to my age. I just don't understand it! Where do people go?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shedding Light...

I spoke before about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I've not read the other books in the series, but apparently some of them involve the crime of human trafficking.

The books take place in Sweden. It's not uncommon to hear of these crimes in other parts of the world. We forget that the United States also has a problem with the grotesque crime of trafficking. There is an interesting piece in the NYTimes on this subject.

The book was hard for me to get through...but there are some things we, as humans, need to be aware of. Crimes that other humans commit all too easily. If these books shed light on such crimes, then I'm glad they're on the bestseller lists.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


26 Wednesdays. Half a year.

My first date with Mr. Higgins was on a Wednesday in January. We've seen each other every Wednesday since then; it's become our Date Night. Tonight will be the 26th such date. Next week will be our six month anniversary.

To say that it's gone by in a blur is an understatement. I remember that first night so clearly - the butterflies, the initial nerves, the conversation.... And then everything just sort of fell into place. It's been a miraculous journey and one that I never thought to experience. The unexpected, it seems, can and does happen.

Other, bigger plans are keeping our sixth-month anniversary celebration relatively low-key but that doesn't make it any less special. Six months with an incredible guy....priceless!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dreams vs Reality

The last two nights have been disturbingly restless for me. Each night, I've awoken, wide awake, around 1:30am.....only to have to stay in bed for another four hours or so. It's been....tedious, to say the least.

Perhaps it's dreams that causes my restlessness....or the restlessness causes weird dreams. In any case, I've dreamed that my car was stolen at work and that a friend moved into my neighborhood to, in essence, spy on me. I know, it's weird.

If anything, my dreams tell me that I'm tired of being taken advantage of, I'm tired of having a mark on my back, I'm tired of being stabbed in the back, and I'm really tired of getting hurt. Since when did I become people's punching bag?

Lately, I cannot get from my car to the front-door without being confronted by the groundskeeper of the elementary school across from my house. He has a landscaping problem that he thinks should be my problem. I refuse to give in. I refuse to make his life easier, thereby making the neighborhood less green and lush
. No more nice Doniamarie!

Get out of my way. I've spent my life worried about what people think of me. Well, no more!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weight Management

It was with severe trepidation that I got on the scale this morning for my weekly weigh-in. I have not been eating well this past week and there has been some alcohol thrown in as well.

For women, it's common knowledge that dating can play havoc with any diet (or just a healthy eating routine). I've never met a man who knows or cares what is healthy or not. They all seem to eat whatever they want whenever they want. Mr. Higgins is a bit different but it's still a struggle to eat well at times.

So I was genuinely amazed that I hadn't gained anything over the course of last week and the weekend. I think it may be due to my metabolism which has probably been trained by four years of (healthy) snacking throughout the work day. Ha! It's a curse to be hungry every two hours but if, in the long run, that boosts my metabolism, then I'll be hungry!

Still, I went out and did forty minutes of yard-work yesterday evening when it was ninety-eight outside. Sweating away - theoretical - pounds made me feel better....and really, really hot.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Ego That Is LeBron

Let's get this straight: LeBron James is not the king of anything.....except perhaps egos.

There was talk of wanting this guy to come to Dallas but I never jumped on that particular bandwagon. We need unselfish, team-oriented played, which clearly excludes James. It amazes me that this guy is only 25 years old; he looks about 35!

I listened to Cleveland residents cry and moan on NPR about the "king" who has "LOYALTY" tattooed on his chest. They do realize that this so-called "king" never brought a championship to their city, right? I may have to tune in the first time the Heat make the trek up to Cleveland...that'll be an interesting crowd.

It was news to me this morning that this so-called "class" of free agents was all orchestrated by the three big players involved: Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and James. They all negotiated their contracts to be free agents at the same time. Who would think that they would end up in different places after all that?

I'm done with this story. James doesn't deserve anyone's thoughts, much less their dislike. That would only further fuel his ego.

For a column on just how much of a debacle this all was, go here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Fall of Rome, Again

Rome is apparently falling apart, literally.

An article has detailed how archeological sites are crumbling. Pieces of the Colosseum and the Domus Area (Golden House of Nero) are falling, collapsing just as the empire fell in upon itself fifteen hundred years ago.

Romans are modernizing the Eternal City and the vast archeological sites are suffering. As the article says, the entire country is one big archeological site! You stumble upon ruins more readily than vineyards.

It really breaks my heart to see this. Nowhere is history more tangible than in Rome.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Last Friday I worked from home during the afternoon. It was the only day that week that I did so. Around two o'clock I went out to get something from my car and ran into my next door neighbor, whom I'd yet to meet. He said hello and then dropped a bombshell: someone broke in and robbed them that morning.

A crime alert had been circulated the prior weekend about a woman going around casing houses - looking in windows and not being at all shy about it. I had been on edge. The news of a break-in next door sent me over the edge. I've been scared ever since. Sleep is not something that comes easy and nightmares occur in the few hours of actual sleep I get.

Ironically enough, a new digital meter was installed by the electric company at the house last week that - annoyingly - screwed up the motion detector security light by the backdoor. Now, the light comes on too often.....which wakes me up.

I'm on my last nerve and am just plain exhausted. If you happen to encounter me, that's why I look terrible and why I'm in a bad mood. Just a warning and advance apology.

And no. I do not own a gun nor do I plan on getting one. I'm not that Texan! Ha!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Anxious Days

I'm sure this sounds completely uninteresting to most of you, but Thursday, Friday, and part of Saturday were anxious days for Mavs fans. Why? Dirk Nowitzki was, for that time, a free agent.

But no more. On Saturday he promised to return to Dallas, with a whole new contract and a no-trade clause. Only he and Kobe have such a clause and it will make Dirk a Mav for life! (Insert my sigh of relief here!)

The big German even signed a contract that was $16 million less than what he could have gotten, on the condition that Mark Cuban tries to recruit new talent to the Mavs line-up. That's why I love this guy! He's always willing to do what's best for the team. He's one of a kind and a breath of fresh air in a sport where players go to the highest bidder.

Now, hopefully, he can make something happen this coming season.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Birthday

Happy Birthday to my BFF, SK!

We've been friends for ten years this summer and I'm lucky to have met her and had so many wonderful memories with her! We've laughed together, cried together, contemplated together, studied together, and had many tasty girlie drinks together! It's been a fabulous time and I can't wait for the next ten years!

I'm afraid that's all I've got today. This week has been off-kilter and I'll be glad to see it over and done with!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Hurricane Alex has brought some welcome rain to my part of the world. June was exceptionally hot with triple digits, but Alex has brought those temperatures down to the "cool" nineties along with the rain. It's a relief, to be sure!

I think the heat had been weighing on me. I haven't felt rested or refreshed for weeks. But having a relief from the temperatures is doing wonders.

So, though hurricanes are not the ideal way to get rain, I'll take what we can get! Nature has a way of balancing things out!