book banter: Severance

Severance, Robert Olen ButlerSeverance

Robert Olen Butler


Severance is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. In fact, it’s a little creepy. The premise is based on two scientific theories: 1) that a person’s head remains conscious for one and a half minutes after decapitation and 2) that humans speak at the rate of 160 words per minute when they’re in a heightened state of emotion. These two theories indicate that a person who is decapitated might think 240 words before they’re completely dead. Based on this figure, Butler has written a series of short (240 words each, to be precise) monologues of decapitated people, fictional and non-fictional. These monologues are presented in chronological order, starting with Mud (“man, beheaded by saber-toothed tiger, circa 40,000 B.C.”) all the way through the author himself (“writer, decapitated on the job, 2008”). Fortunately, Robert Olen Butler was not decapitated in 2008—that would’ve just been too weird.

The book is interesting especially because of the glimpse it gives you into the lives of famous characters you’ll recognize: Medusa, John the Baptist, George (AND the dragon), the lady of the lake, Marie Antoinette, and so on. I’m mostly intrigued by the format of these monologues. I’ve never heard of a book quite like this and I’m always impressed with books that are out of the norm.

I doubt, however, that I’ll read the book again. It was entertaining and engaging, but not something I would gain insight from by reading it another time. I definitely think it’s an interesting read, but I’d suggest borrowing it from the library rather than buying it.

book banter: The Lightning Thief

image  The Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan


I recently finished reading The Lightning Thief, the first book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. To be completely honest, I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I thought I would. I would definitely say my favorite book genre is fantasy, and I would also say that I love young adult literature, but this book didn’t really do it for me.

I felt like the invention of this new world, this world that involves gods and monsters and magical weapons, seemed very forcibly created. I also felt disconnected from the characters for the same reason. Everything was very pushed. Rather than showing the reader that a character was experiencing something through that character’s actions, Riordan would outright tell the reader. I find that this makes this new universe pretty unbelievable and not very engaging.

I do think, however, that there are people who would find this book enjoyable. I also think the story has enough potential that the movie might be pretty awesome. :) But I’m disappointed to say that I have no interest in reading any more books in this series.

Sorry to write a bummer review. Hopefully the next book will be better!

Sunday Resolutions Update


If you’re keeping up with these updates with any consistency, you might have noticed I didn’t post a resolutions update last week. Actually, I’ve done very well on all fronts, including the frequency of my workouts (the hardest part of all for me). Since I’ve done well, I didn’t feel the need to post last Sunday. I think it’s important that I keep on updating about my progress, but I think perhaps I don’t need to do it every week anymore. Everything is coming easier for me now that it’s been a few weeks and I’ve been holding myself accountable via this blog. So I’ll definitely keep updating, but probably on a bi-weekly basis for now until either 1) I start to lapse and need to update weekly again or 2) do even better and can further reduce the number of resolutions update posts (let’s hope for the latter)! :) Thanks for reading—keep holding me accountable!

  1. I will write more.
  2. I will read more.
  3. I will honor the Sabbath.
  4. I will find a home church.
  5. I will take better care of my body.
  6. I will be more loving.

I can do it!

Success is a fight between you and yourself. ~ Unknown

Happy Valentine’s Day—some LOST-themed valentines for you and your “other”


via The Daily What

weekly geekery: Final Fantasy Creatures etsy roundup

Here’s a little taste of what the Etsy world has to offer on Final Fantasy creatures:
image Cactuar Gotta Go Hat, via peanutbutterhats
image Moogle Fleece Hat, via animemom88
image Chocobo Scarf, via michigami
image Moomba Art, via zionfeather9
via Etsy

recipe share: peanut butter bars (with Super Bowl party variation)


I love chocolate. I love peanut butter. And, let’s face it—I love powdered sugar and butter, too. This is probably one of the unhealthiest treats you could possibly make, but it is delicious. Readers, meet Betty Crocker’s peanut butter bars.




Cookie Base
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, stir all Cookie Base ingredients until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan using floured fingers. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
3. In small bowl, beat all Filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over cookie base.
4. In microwavable bowl, microwave all Frosting ingredients on High 30 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows.


Now I realize this is coming a bit late for this year’s Super Bowl, but you might want to reserve this idea for next year. You simply make the pb bars per the recipe above, then you get out your (AKA hurry to Hobby Lobby the night before to buy a) handy-dandy football-shaped cookie cutter, and cut the bars out (each batch will make 12 bars). Then just pipe on some white frosting in the shape of stitching and, voila—


peanut butter bar footballs!

These were a smashing success! Did you make any creative dishes for the Super Bowl festivities?

inspire me Monday: success

 the best revenge

via Dweebist

inspire me Monday: rainbow palette

image imageimage image

via Pink Sherbet Photography on Flickr