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by Jen

Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less – August 2013

August 23, 2013 in recap

Check me out! Posting on time. Huzzah!

Busy schedules, traffic, meetings and the make-up aisle at CVS caused a much-postponed, sort-of abbreviated Book Club this month. We even un-invited the boys since we were short of time. Yay girls!

We started a bit late, around 8pm, with a combo appetizer dinner that included chips with super-yummy queso and salsa (thanks, Sarah!) and a dinner of pita with beef and turkey, homemade tzaiki, hummus, and salad with goat cheese (note to self: pregnant women cannot eat goat cheese. DAMN!). Dessert got overlooked until the end of the evening but Sarah and I didn’t have a problem eating Des’s Rice Krispie Treats at 11pm.

We moved right into book conversation and actually chatted about it at the table which was kind of nice. Everyone liked the book – it was a light, pretty quick, read which was just what everyone needed with this crazy-busy month of travelling and working. Sarah read it after her trip to England and recognized some of the places she had visited (which made me happy since that’s a big part of why I picked the book). We did think there were some parts that were very silly and/or unrealistic, and the treatment of women was so amazingly 1970’s, but we thought the book would still make a good movie, with some modifications. Would probably hit it big, especially the portrayal of a corrupt big business mogul getting his comeuppance (do people still use the word “comeuppance”?).

Next up we listened to our tunes. I’m happy to say my choice of music theme, European artists or songs, was something that hit a niche of songs we hadn’t used yet and everyone had some unique stuff to contribute. Should make a good CD!

Finally, we went through our Current Events, although having not seen each other much for the last 5-6 weeks we meandered through a variety of topics. We agreed that the lack of planning by American’s for retirement is absolutely terrifying and we wonder how that will go down as the country continues to age. We talked about how depressed we are with the NC legislature and the embarrassment of laws passed in the last few months. This also led to depressing tales of woe from Sarah (re: English department), Jen (re: OIT), and then Des, on behalf of Tim who has his own work frustrations. Stupid work.
We spent a good chuck of time on mother’s and parenting, as usual. An item not on the website was a Time magazine article on the benefits of remaining childless. We discussed this trend of women who “selfishly” don’t want children and how this is leading to the lowest birthrates in the US since the Great Depression. Des talked through the “5%” of her psyche that wants kids, and how she realizes that she may be confronted with this desire more strongly than ever in the coming year as two of her friends (including Sarah!) are preggers. We also furiously discussed an article from a woman who regrets her dog now that she has kids (AND OMFG I JUST READ THAT AND YOU WERE TOO NICE TO THAT WOMAN! If I met her on the street right now I would kick her in the baby-maker and steal that dog. Jesus, what a bitch. “Did I mention he sheds? Not his fault, exactly.” Wha?? RAWR!). And we talked about the fact that more and more the ones having babies are the poorer and less-educated (‘Idiocracy’ is coming true!) and what that means for the future, including Medicare and other government systems that support those groups.

Very enjoyable, tasty, and intellectually-stimulating evening, as usual. And very international this month: Mexican AND Greek, with a classic American dessert, a British book, and European music! So nice to have everyone back in town and available for fun hang-out opportunities, including ones with the newly-minted TCA (Technical Communication Association). 🙂 Next book club will be earlier in September, and hosted at Sarah’s before she has to start packing up for her move to Spain (aka, North Raleigh). So much going on!

See you next month, readers! Thanks for checkin’ in!

by Des

The Name of the Wind- July 2013 and 2nd Salooniversary

July 15, 2013 in recap

Happy Salooniversary! It’s hard to believe we finished our 2nd year of book club together!

 

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Because we wanted to celebrate on our actual anniversary, we had book club on a Saturday this time, which meant that we could start any time we wanted! So, we had an afternoon Saloon and started at 2. We decided not to do food and instead go out to dinner after our discussion. But, I felt bad about not having any snacks so I made a bean dip to tide us over.

While the boys played board games, we got down to business. First we talked about our anniversary. We listed our favorite foods (Jen;s buffalo chicken dip got a lot of votes!) and favorite books. We told our superlatives and had a laugh at what we all chose. Except me, because I couldn’t think of anything good. But, the traditional second anniversary gift is cotton, so I got the girls each a book-themed tshirt.

After that, we listened to some music, which was Overcoming Obstacles themed. I, of course, had lots of Disney movie songs and Jen had some classic rock in there. Sarah’s music didn’t get put in the Dropbox for some reason, but we will forgive her because her life is kind of crazy at the moment. She’s going to London for a couple of weeks!

Thirds for this month was to learn something new. Jen learned about Drupal, even though it wasn’t too fun and Sarah learned about fitness from a magazine. I learned about the Vanderbilt family since I was in Asheville on the third.

The Book!!!!
This month’s book was Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s pretty long (about 800 pages) so I gave them a lot of warning for it. So much so that Sarah finished it way before book club. She even finished the second one! (Just poking fun, ilu!) Overall, I think we all enjoyed the book, although we have differing opinions on a certain female character. Jen was not satisfied with the ending and didn’t realize it was a story being told in three “days” (books). And she had a hard time making the world work for her. Sarah also didn’t enjoy the lack of ending, but she started right away on the second book anyway. I hope the third book, which will hopefully come out sometime soon, will give us all some answers.

Current Events
Here’s what we talked about:
Parenting and promoting a healthy body image
The cost of having a baby…!!!!! Really expensive
The secrets of a happy family
Paula Deen
We watched a video of people cutting down trees the wrong way
Sharknado…

Then we watched movie trailers until the boys were done playing their game. After that we went to Tribeca Tavern for dinner and ate way too much! It was a good Salooniversary and even though our lives are all different than they were 2 years ago, I hope we continue to celebrate our fun little book club! Yay!

by Sarah

Crazy in Alabama – June 2013

July 8, 2013 in recap

Welcome to your June recap. Alas, I have no funny tricks up my sleeve for this post, no mad-lib style sentences or crossed-out thoughts to entertain my rather sparse summary. I do, however, have a deadline of finishing this post by the end of the week, since July book club is only a few days away. So, without further ado, here are the highlights of the evening:

FOOD STUFF

Des and Tim arrived first, armed with some dangerous ranch bean dip. Because I was feeling lazy, we had Stouffer’s baked ziti for dinner with some Italian bread. We actually sat and talked for a while, because we were being nice and waiting for Matt to finish his client golf outing.

Matt arrived and we enjoyed dessert: french roll ups. This fun treat included all good things: white bread flattened into submission until it was almost pastry-like, different fillings (including cream cheese, strawberry or cherry jam, peanut butter, or–my favorite -Nutella), a fried coating of awesomeness, and powdered sugar. Tim and I spent a good few minutes hunting for all the Nutella ones, and I did find one (yum). Matt liked the peanut butter one a lot and I VERY CLEARLY REMEMBER that he wouldn’t share it with me. That’s right; I may not be able to remember where my keys are, but I remember when my husband is food selfish.

After dinner we talked about Jen and Des’s friend who found out she was pregnant, and we talked about babies and baby shower stuff for a while. Jen and Des both joked how they had no idea their friend was pregnant.

We finally switched into book club mode around 8:30, and the boys started playing games.

MUSIC

We started by talking about music, but both Jen and Des forgot their music! I shared my five songs (usual suspects — Taylor Swift, Jimmy Buffett, and a 90’s song, plus some Dave Matthews and Guns ‘n Roses), and they promised to add theirs later.

BOOK TALK

Crazy in Alabama. Jen mentioned that she was not sure of the two stories put together. Trouble relating to someone in the book, said Des. But, they both mentioned that they enjoyed trying something different, which is very similar to what you say when you try a gross food for the first time but don’t want to offend your friend chef. I talked about how I didn’t know the ending when I suggested that we read it. Also, I was most sad for the uncle, and I hope the post card was real.

Jen funny comment – she knew that a man wrote it, because the rising star actress character didn’t complain or worry about her weight once. Des and I laughed but admitted to Jen that we worried her thought process might be a little f**ked up. Jen agreed.

CURRENT EVENTS

Sibling article: Jen and Sarah related to more. Des had funny comments about being a twin.

Funny articles: Things that look just like childhood, the 50 well timed pictures, and the five reasons your dating profile isn’t working. Also a funny lawnmower picture, which tied into the book.

Serious notes: The video of Patrick Stewart at Amnesty International (and I immediately went to Twitter to start following him); impressed at the Tony Award opening, which Jen promised to watch later; and, a short discussion of the cool ways to teach kids code.

Crazy stuff: Jen’s cats-on-reddit craze (Des admitted to already stalking for cat pictures) and women who can have a baby without knowing they were pregnant the whole time (we were pretty wary of those crazies); the “healthcare surcharge” on bills. We also read the short article on how Kanye West is absolutely crazy.

Fashionably late stuff: I shared some not-so-punctual links, but my favorite was the list of things you could buy to help you take a nap anywhere.

We ended with an article titled, “SUCCESS OF RESTAURANT’S ‘NO CHILDREN’ POLICY PROVES EVERYONE HATES YOUR KIDS AS MUCH AS YOU SECRETLY DO,” which is pretty self explanatory.

 

After we wrapped up early, we just hung out and talked for a while waiting for the boys to finish their game. We did take time to plan out Salooniversary and August book club, since summer dates are getting crazy.

Horray book club!

by Jen

The Silver Linings Playbook – May 2013

May 24, 2013 in recap

Another month, another successful book club and another recap!

The evening began with an appetizer of potsticker soup, courtesy of Sarah – very tasty. I made a Pinterest special with turkey, salami, cheese, peppers and onions in a crescent-roll casserole, which seemed to be a hit. I also made a mixed green salad with pine nuts and parmesan cheese, inspired by a tasty salad I had in Vegas a few weeks ago. Since the people who normally eat around the green things ate their portions I call it a win.

Post-food, Tim and Matt wen off to play games and the ladies settled in for our evening tasks, starting with tunes. I’m afraid I may have picked a duplicate theme: songs about expectations (what is with me?!) but we still got some goodies out of it, including some Adele, Glee, Wicked Soundtrack, I Fight Dragons, Dashboard and, of course, Taylor Swift. We did note that we’re about to move into duplication territory (and not just the accidental duplication I do) because we’ve hit most of Des’s musical library, so in the future we agreed folks can contribute UP TO 5 songs, but 5 are not required.

Up next was Thirds: write about a time when you unfairly judged someone. I wrote – and Des agreed – that I have more of a tendency to give someone too much forgiveness and understanding. I put up with crap when people treat me badly. That being said I’m also slow to open up to new people so I suspect that may be the way in which I’m “judge-y.” Sarah talked about off-the-cuff judgements, like the ones you have when you see a homeless person and turn away. There’s something to be said for giving that person the benefit of the doubt – but with your personal safety in mind since, especially for us chicks, there can be a danger.

We then discussed the book. It was a hectic month: end-of-semester tasks for Sarah and I had two trips back-to-back so I wanted to go with a pretty quick and easy read and came up with ‘The Silver Linings Playbook’, by Matthew Quick. We were a bit short of discussion questions but we had plenty to talk about. I haven’t seen the movie (which came out at the end of 2012) so that wasn’t a conflict for me, but it clearly loomed large in the minds of Des and Sarah and impacted their reading of the book. Apparently the movie is much more… glib (may not be the right word but that’s the impression I got) about Pat’s illness and his relationships with his family and ex-wife. We agreed that the book took the whole thing a bit more seriously, though Des had the impression that it was still a relatively happy portrait of mental disease (no doubt that’s true).

About this time the boys started whining that they were hungry so we had Des’s delicious dessert – a variation on my favorite dessert in fact: strawberries with angel food cake and whipped cream! The strawberries were fresh and the angel food cake was awesome and the whip cream was whippy – it was so good! 🙂

As usual, our current events ran the gambit of topics, although – for the first time ever – I don’t think we really had a parenting article! We did have one about kids though, and the creepy things they sometimes say (“I want to peel all your skin off, Dad”). We talked about drinking during pregnancy, the (fucking) best (fucking) sorority rant EVAR (you little shits), and things we have to unlearn when we leave college and get those “real” jobs in the “real” world. We also talked about immigration and the fact of the Boston brothers who bombed the marathon being naturalized citizens (or in one brother’s case, well on his way). This was our hot topic for the evening; there’s concern that it’s relatively easy to become American, and the words that meant very much to me when I heard my mom recite them were something that Des simply saw a “required” of her. We don’t want our citizens bombing or terrorizing us so we have to be cautious who we let become “American”, but we’re also a nation of immigrants and we have to remember that. We lightened the mood a bit at the end of the evening with movie trailers while the boys were taking turns being slow. Some really good looking movies coming soon! And Sarah hasn’t seen “Love Actually”! Des, we have to remember that and chain her to a couch to see it soon!

All right, kids, that’s it from me. Next month is Sarah’s book, and Des has already assigned us her reading for July since it’s a long one (800+ pages), and we’ll be meeting a bit early that month before Sarah abandons us for England! And I for one was kind of shocked to realize we’re coming up on our second anniversary of Saloon! (What is the second anniversary, kleenex? Reynolds wrap? Ok, looked it up and it’s cotton. Bummer that we missed our “paper” anniversary, right?) Ok, Jen out.

 

by Des

The Fault in Our Stars- April 2013

April 19, 2013 in recap

This month I was going to choose a long book. Like, over 700 pages long. But then I looked at everyone’s faces when I mentioned that and decided that the end of the semester might not be a good time for a long reading assignment. So, I chose a different, but equally good, book for this month. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. I gave fair warning that this book made me sob. SOB! And I never cry at books/movies (because I may or may not be a sociopath). But I wanted Jen and Sarah to know because they cry at commercials. And while I did give fair warning about the book, I still received this tweet:

sarah tweet

Anyway, we all really enjoyed the book and Jen and I really like the Tumblr that John Green has set up for the book. It is a YA book, but it is definitely one that appeals to adults as well. We agree that there is some sort of understanding that the author needs to finish a book rather than ending it in the middle of a sentence, and so while we would read An Imperial Affliction because we know that the protagonists love the book, if a randomly-chosen book ended that way, we would be pissed! I also learned that something being OK and forgiving someone can be/is two different things. But I have a hard time separating them, which is why i hold grudges. Meh. At least I’m self-aware and have forgiving friends 🙂 I won’t go too much into the book JUST IN CASE someone other than the 3 of us reads this… don’t want to give any spoilers. But we all agree it was a great book and you should totally read it. But have tissues handy.

This is going out of order, but dinner was simple for this book club. Jen brought some bread, cheese, and hummus (along with very pretty flowers). The bread with the hummus was really good. I noticed that she left it at my house. I would be angry, but that ish was tasty. I made tacos because i was feeling kind of lazy. And I burned the rice a little bit. Oops. But I think the queso made up for any of that. And Sarah made cinnamon rolls which were warm and sugary and delicious. She took the middle piece because Matt said something mean. It was funny at the time… I just wish I could remember what it was.

The music for this month was supposed to be about grief or living life to its fullest. Jen and Sarah put a bunch of sad songs on their lists… which was kind of expected. Jen kept it classic with Queen and Pink Floyd while Sarah added some Miranda Lambert country to the mix. I put a cheesy One Direction song and a hate-when-it-gets-stuck-in-your-head Ke$ha song on my list because I figured we would need songs about being young.

Thirds was kind of depressing this month as I asked everyone to write an obituary for someone still alive. And we would have to share it. I couldn’t finish mine because I wrote it for my twin brother. But I let them read what I wrote. It ended up being a eulogy instead of an obituary… but it was the same idea. Jen and Sarah BOTH wrote an obituary for themselves. It was a hard assignment for all of us, but I think it made us realize the kinds of people we hope to be, how we want to be remembered, and what the important things are. Matt also gave me some comfort because he told me there is a way to provide for my pets after I die. It seems silly to worry about that, but so many people don’t and then their pets end up in a shelter because no one wants to take care of them. Anyway, I feel better now.

We had a lot of current events this month. That’s what happens when Sarah posts stuff (j/k <3) But we had a lot to get through, and as always, we got sidetracked by some things. So, here’s a rundown in bullet form.

  • We agree that doctor-assisted suicide should be legal because who the hell are you, person in government, to tell me that if I’m dying anyway, I can’t choose the way I die. </rant>
  • We laughed at/were horrified by Pinterest, you are drunk. What are people thinking with some of these things?!
  • We want to buy GoldiBlocks and think it’s an awesome toy for girls
  • We wish there was an easy way to transition to natural gas… but there’s never an easy way, so we kind of just have to suck it up and do it before our world falls apart
  • This goes with several articles, so I’m just going to say it once: SOME PARENTS ARE INSANE. And not in any sort of good way.
  • Sarah has convinced me that cursive should maybe not be taught in schools. At least, not in the way, and for the dumbass reasons, they are proposing.
  • Men, by and large, are stupid and need to learn that women are PEOPLE.
  • We learned the art of the humblebrag, and while we all do it, some of us do it more than others. And it’s annoying.
  • Can’t wait for the new Hunger Games movie! November, why you so far away?!
  • Being an awesome mom and being a good friend are not mutually exclusive.

As always, this was another succesful book club even though Sarah (or Jen) could not name all of my cats. And Sophie kept trying to crawl onto Sarah’s lap, even though Sarah DID remember her name. 🙂 Can’t wait for the next one. Book, TBD.

 

by Sarah

Life is a Verb – March 2013

March 26, 2013 in recap

First, let me pause so that my dear friends can pick their jaws up off the floor. Yes, your book club black sheep, your predictable slacker, your last-minute, always-forgetful, never-fully-prepared friend has posted her blog post one day after bookclub. Really, the morning after. Like, within 12 hours.

And, I didn’t cheat this time. This is no Mad Libs form-style post; this is me and a cup of coffee, ignoring my screaming to-do list and writing about Saloon before I’ve even made time to put away all the dinner dishes in my kitchen. Okay, that’s not a good measure because who knows when I’ll get around to doing that. Matt will probably do it. BUT THE POINT IS, here I am posting a REAL post, not last minute.

All I have to say: For this, I better get some damn birthday candles.

This month, we read the “soul-help” book (author’s term) Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally. I randomly downloaded this book to my Kindle on one of those overwhelming, rainy days, and read a few pages in bed one night when I couldn’t sleep. But, after the first chapter, I had to stop. The author was spending her prologue poetically waxing on about her book’s colorful pages, wide margins, and artful feel, directing the readers to doodle on the sides and dog ear pages… it was basically porn for book lovers. I immediately stopped reading the Kindle version and bought the paperback on Amazon. (…And then, when I finished that second copy, I got you guys to buy a copy, too. So really, I’ve generated some serious revenue for this woman. I should write her and let her know that she can take her 37 days and use them to be mindful of the commission she owes me.)

I warned my friends that this was a kind of “self help-ish-y book,” is I think how I put it. They agreed to order the paperback version, and it wasn’t long before Des cracked the thing and realized that I wasn’t lying — this was a different book.

Des Tweet

The pictures, however, were not the most striking difference… in fact, they were more like a bribe, a colorful ruse. My poor friends quickly learned that I had lured them into a homework trap. This is not a complacent self help book that describes and asks you to receive; it described, then asked you questions, then told you to WRITE about the questions, and THEN told you to go out and do some stuff! Like, outside. With people.

Luckily, my friends are amazing and they took to the task of getting through this book very well. Did they complete all the writing challenges? No, but neither did I. Did they complete all the life challenges? Of-freaking-course not. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Did they like all of the stories? No, but a lot of them are about kids and about airplanes, and my friends are “eh” on those, so that was okay. They DID read stories that they liked, find tidbits that they planned to take with them, and even have some stories about how the book has come up in conversations, situations, i.e. real life. Which, hey, is a sign of a win.

At the end of our book discussion session, I gave my friends little presents (a fluffy toy for Des and a plant potter shaped like a coffee cup for Jen) because the book talked a lot about thanking the good people in your life, and Des and Jen are the epitome of good people to have in your life. That, and the book talked about celebrating life’s little accomplishments with more birthday candles, and I wanted to bribe them into doing that for me, because that’s awesome. Christmas babies are starved for birthday candle attention, y’all.

Our dinner that evening was make-your-own enchiladas with semi-healthy ground turkey and not-so-healthy accouterment, like sour cream and cheese and mexican rice. We all ate way too much, but after the lengthy book discussion we were ready for dessert. Jen brought over some green apples, peanut butter, and whip cream, which was a really healthy dessert that I managed to sidestep because of the leftover chocolate cake in my fridge. Everyone wins.

While we talked, our CD played on a loop in the background. The theme was “Action songs: Songs as verbs,” which we all agreed was more difficult than originally anticipated. Songs included Jen’s normal throwback band (this time The White Stripes), some book club staples (Barenaked Ladies, Jonathan Colton, and Taylor Swift all made appearances), a few showtunes (The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q, Newsies–is that a show or just a movie?), a few repeats (Des knew that “Purpose” was a do over, but Jen was surprised to learn that “You Run Away” was a repeat from exactly one year ago, 1.9), and some of the traditional controversial people (Jen really likes P!nk, I really like Bruce–because he’s the f’ing BOSS and he is awesome and you guys are crazy, and Des always brings Hanson along to make Jen sigh). Some of the more fun choices were “Make Someone Happy” from the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack,  “Suit & Tie” from JT (we all swooned), and a NEW single from Barenaked Ladies, which Des threw on because she got it for free when she bought tickets.

We turned the music off, though, for our Current Events session. We did a lot here… okay, ready? We started by talking about the weird skinny-minnie pictures; we learned some stuff through the Google Infographic, the new MentalFloss YouTube channel, a vacation tips page, and an AMAZING Life Hack video (CTRL-SHIFT-V for life, seriously); we laughed at princess cartoons, the ridiculous idea that there can be a born-again virgin and the overall incredulousness of reality TV stars, and really stupid people who share their stupidity by posting on the internet; and finally, we seriously discussed changing etiquette roles and the death of voicemail, the roles computers may play in the analysis of our studies and the generation of new theoryhow our society talks about death and whether death should be discussed more, and this weird rat study (but mostly how people didn’t believe the rat study and how people are stupid). I contributed nothing to this section. Seriously, I neglected to share one link all month. I did, however, talk at length about a student who wrote a curse word in my class’s public discussion forum, and shared how I feel about that (TIME AND PLACE, PEOPLE!), which took up a lot of time, so that counts as my current events contribution.

At the beginning of book club, I surprised my friends by having their CDs ready to go. Sure, I forgot to put my own songs in Dropbox, and there may have been some confusion about whether I added March forums to the book club page (or, perhaps more important, whether the timeliness of the forum adding made me a big lame-o), BUT the CD burning was a start, and hopefully this is another step forward. Overall, I am on a MISSION to be a less crappy book club member, so here, to the gods of book clubs everywhere, I offer a sacrifice: a morning when I should have been working, a full coffee session, and a real attempt at a good summary post. This offering is meant to atone for my past sins and represent a serious dedication to personal improvement going forward. Huzzah, and go book club.

Now someone go buy me some birthday candles.

by Jen

Ender’s Game – February 2013

February 18, 2013 in recap

Thanks to our chaotic schedules, February Saloon was a bit of a twist on the usual – we did a BRUNCH SALOON! Appetizers were thoughtfully provided by Sarah and included a cheese and meats platter and also chocolate-covered strawberries (yay Valentine’s leftovers!) and chocolate-covered grapes (I don’t get it but Sarah is a FAN, so go ask her – something about wine and chocolate?). The main course was a disastrously-burnt omelet that I should have tossed the moment the fire alarm went off, as well as the slightly-redeeming (and pre-packaged) smoked salmon, bagels, cream cheese and cream cheese muffins. Des was nice enough to make me feel better about my bad cooking by bringing over a desert that apparently didn’t work so well, but she came with the back-up plan of Girl Scout cookies (Thin Mints) so no one had any complaints. Breakfast actually included entertainment as our sweet (nerdy) friends Des and Tim had a Disney World presentation for us.

Eventually we moved on to the business of book club, leaving Matt and Tim to figure out “Small World” game. We shared our music – songs about games – and even though I left my songs at work (it’s sounds like a “dog ate my homework” line but more lame) we all had Jewel’s Foolish Games on our lists. Des and Sarah had another overlap and Sarah and I both had a Snow Patrol song… not sure if we need new music, new music themes or a new hobby. 🙂

We then chatted about Ender’s Game and its author, Orson Scott Card, a native of Greensboro and, apparently, an ass hole. Des has read another book by Card, one that takes place in parallel to Ender’s and she is a big fan of one of the characters featured in both books, Bean. We all agreed that the connection between the computer and the Buggers – as in how the computer “created” the game and how the buggers knew about it, was tenuous at best and a real weak point in the plot. An Ender’s movie is due out in November of this year and we all agreed we’re pleased that they waited to do it and we have high hopes that it will be well-done and, perhaps, even make more sense than the book.

Finally we moved on the current events and we had some good ones. Des shared a couple videos from “Big Think” about such topics as parenting (our obligatory parenting discussion), the myth of monogamy and the awesomeness of Einstein. We also chatted about the Russian meteorite that impressively set the sky on fire last week and realized that, for the most part, we still need to work on our end-of-the-world plans. We thought it was cool that there might conceivably be a gene therapy to help cure diabetes but Des indicated that she’d like a lot more testing before it moves to human trials. Sarah really enjoyed the Pinterest-like Hizhouzz website (houzz.com) and we all contribute our opinions to a collection of new punctuation (NERD-ALERT!). We also spent a little time talking TV, specifically Walking Dead since I’m finally caught up now.

It was a long afternoon but I think everyone had a good time simply hanging out, chatting, gaming, etc. It was Sophie’s “Gotcha Day” so Des was happy to home and play with her, and Sarah and Matt got to go to dinner with the twins and I spent an evening with John at Downton. All in all a lovely afternoon and we even managed to find a reasonable time to schedule the March Saloon – brilliant!

 

by Des

January Saloon- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

February 6, 2013 in recap

We squeezed in book club right at the end of the month. This is mostly my fault, since I was gone for 2 weeks. But we’re all busy ladies, so scheduling can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. The point is, we made it happen and it was fun.

The food was pretty low key but still delicious. Jen brought some dip with pita chips. I made tortilla soup, but I forgot to buy tortilla chips… and Sarah brought cupcakes from Sugarland! She bought the rest of the cupcakes that help support the Carolina Tiger Rescue! As we were eating, I told them about the marathon and Tim and I talked about Disney World.

The thirds for January was to do something silly. But no one did it. I was sick. Jen was sick. And Sarah never told us what she did. Or at least I can’t remember if she told us what she did.
The music was ‘Songs that make you happy.’ There was a wide range of music chosen for this theme, from music from ET to music from Lilo and Stitch to music from Jimmy Buffet.

This month’s book was Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. Overall, I think we all liked it, although some parts were slow in the middle. But we agreed that some parts were just hysterical, including my favorite, about the big metal chicken. But, I think I might be the only one who will continue to read her blog, because I think she’s hilarious.

There was a wide range of topics for current events.

  • We talked about how Glee ripped off Jonathan Coulton’s version of Baby Got Back.
  • We pondered the idea of putting all information into DNA, because it has totally happened already. It’s just expensive right now.
  • Jen told us about the article we didn’t read (it was really long!) about how genetically modified food is actually a good thing
  • We ranted about people posting spoilers on Facebook and Twitter because not everyone watches the show when it first comes out! C’mon people! At least put Spoiler Alert somewhere so I don’t have to read it!
  • We touched on an article about NC’s new governor and the value of a liberal arts education.
  • And then, because we’re a little insane, all signed up to run a 5k on the 10th.

All in all, it was another great book club. I hope we don’t have to go so long between book clubs again! Wish us luck for the 5k!

by Des

121218 Short Story Christmas

January 7, 2013 in recap

This month we did something different and each picked a short story! We also continued our tradition of going to Maggianos for dinner, but FIRST we opened our presents! It was all very festive and fun.

Maggiano’s was, of course, delicious. During dinner we talked about our short stories, briefly.

Jen’s story was “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut. We all liked the story but were disappointed that it ended so abruptly. It was an interesting concept, though, the idea of everything having to be equal… even though they weren’t.

Sarah didn’t pick a short story, it was an essay called “Why I Write” by Joan Didion. It started off a little slow and you had to remember it wasn’t a piece of fiction, so there was no plot. But the message she was trying to convey was beautiful and the reasons why Joan Didion writes… well, those are the same reasons why we read.

My story was “The Lady or the Tiger.” It is a story that is taught in 9th grade English, although I never taught it. And I like it because it forces the reader to make a choice and to think about characters, but also about themselves. Jen thought the story was a little mature for 9th graders, but that was up for debate.

We also talked about Thirds, in which we all wrote letters. We talked about who we wrote to and why and it was fun to sit down and actually write a letter. Except for Jen. She typed hers. 🙂

So that was our December Holiday Saloon! January is back to normal with a new book! Huzzah!

by Sarah

Perks of Being a Wallflower Recap – November Recap

December 17, 2012 in recap

November Saloon!

On November 28th, we gathered to swap Thanksgiving stories, share good food, discuss a book, listen to great music, and debate current events. Another successful Saloon!

        • Food:
          • Des brought an awesome veggie tray. She tried a Pinterest recipe but it was a Pin-trocity, so the tray was Plan B. It was a yummy Plan B, though, and we picked the tray clean while waiting for Matt to get home (soooomeone needs to be added to the Saloon calendar).
          • I served chicken stuffed with ham and mozzarella, and threw in some broccoli just in case anyone was feeling healthy.
          • Jen shared a WoooooOOOOOooonderful peanut butter pie, which sparked a conversation about secret Pinterest boards (she was trying to keep it a sur-PIEs! Get it? Like surprise? But with PIE.)
        • Music: Apparently we all had some angst as teenagers, because we were able to come up with five songs for the Teenage Angst theme.
            • Jen kicked it old school, including bands like Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses.
            • Des added some punky teen to the mix with artists like Avril Lavigne and Yellowcard.
            • I got us sampling some scream-o with The Used. And I forgot to burn everyone CDs, which I just realized typing this.

           

        • Book: Des and I had read PoBaW before, but Jen had not. Overall, we felt that PoBaW is neat because it’s written as a series of letters, but weird because every other adult seems to turn out to be HORRIBLE. We wondered why the book had a 70s feel and agreed that many characters seemed out of place in the 90s. We wondered about the main character–a product of horrible events, or perhaps someone with a mental disability?–and discussed the mystery recipient of the book letters. We gushed over the teacher, which of course forced us to watch the trailer so that we could see Paul Rudd. Overall, the student characters were labeled as “endearing,” and the book called “worth reading.” And I am going to drag Jen and Des to see the movie with me eventually. (I mean, it’s got Hermionie in it! It’s gotta be awesome.)
        • Current Events:
          • We shared lots of life hacks, which, thanks to Pinterest, are now shared in picture lists. The soda-cap double hanger is my favorite.
          • We talked about refurbished WalMarts (libraries!), and how awesome the biggest library would be to visit.
          • Marijuana on ballots in different states was a great, election-month topic, and we talked a bit about the election in general.
          • Our liveliest debate was about the problems surrounding teenage rape and the discussion of it in the news, sparking from a journalist’s blog post that announced his disagreement of his editor’s discussion of rape in his newspaper. We talked about rape and the way it’s discussed in America, in the news, and by bloggers.
          • We reviewed a list of the best books of 2012, which we pretty much didn’t read any of.
          • Finally, we spent about 20 minutes on the “People you won’t believe actually exist” list, first laughing at it ourselves and then making the boys endure it as well. (The leopard mom and son still freak me out the most.)

Overall, a great bookclub, some great discussion, and of course, some great Magic time for our quasi-members, Matt and Tim. (After re-reading that sentence, I think I should clarify that they were playing the card game Magic.)

Yay Saloon!

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