Friday, August 31, 2012

Football Friday: Cowboy Classic, here we come!

College football season has begun!  It really is one of the best times of the year and I think it's one of the reasons fall makes me so very happy.  I am heading to Dallas tonight (!) to see Michigan play Alabama in the Cowboy Kickoff Classic.  I know it is going to be a great experience, and I wouldn't be shocked if Michigan surprises some of those doubters out there and plays a really great game!

The season started off right last night with S.Car vs Vandy.  I was really pulling for Vandy to win since I really don't think S.Car is worthy of a #9 ranking.  And they did prove that last night needing some help from the officials to win the game.  UCLA beat Rice, which is good, I guess.  I tried so hard to become a UCLA football fan when RoB was in grad school there, but they could never get anything going on offense so to see them put up 49 points on anyone could be a good indication for the future.  I was a bit surprised by how much BYU beat WSU, I hope WSU can pull it together under Mike Leach, but it didn't quite come together last night.  And good old Big Ten team Minnesota beat UNLV in 3OT(!) giving Big Ten teams a 1-0 start to the season, thanks golden gophers!

As for games today, I'm very excited to see Boise State go up against MSU.  Michigan State has some talent, but Boise is always a contender, and I'd take Boise's coach over Dantonio any day.  I think Peterson out coaches Dantonio for the Broncos to win!  I've also recently made some friends who are NC State alums and has made me more interested in their games.  NC State plays Tennessee and I think it should be a good game, Tennessee lost their best receiver and I really know nothing about the ACC so this is kinda a shot in the dark but I'll give the edge to NC State here.

How cool is this?

Then we come to Saturday, oh Fall Saturdays how I've missed you.  Well as you can image most of my attention is focused on the big Michigan game in the evening, but there is a whole day of college football before that!  I'd like to see most of the big ten teams win but some losses I would be ok with (Miami(OH) over OSU, yes please!), however I'm not sure if all can win.  One that I'm worried about is Penn State, they are playing Ohio University and with all the turmoil could be facing an upset from a decent MAC team.  Clemson vs Auburn should be a good game and I'm not sold on Clemson so I could see Auburn winning this one.  An upset I would love to see is Hawaii over USC, yes USC is good, but I don't think they are best in the nation and it would be nice if someone could expose that, and the sooner the better!  Then we have the big one Michigan vs Alabama.  I think Michigan will surprise Alabama with what they show up with.  If Michigan can stop Alabama's run (not an easy task, I know) and force McCarron to throw we have a chance.  Get Denard on the field as much as possible and use our offensive powers and style, something Alabama hasn't recently seen.

Gotta love that Ohio bobcat mascot!

I cannot wait for this game and I know the atmosphere surrounding it will be amazing!  Let's Go Blue, beat Bama!!

Number 16 on the field, number 1 in my heart!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review - A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Audio)

How did I come into possession of this book?

When this book first came out I had read many reviews about it and it seemed to be a sort of book I would enjoy.  What mostly drew me to it was that it had a realistic setting with a hint of fantasy.  It also helped that it seemed to be an adult book written in the same genre that so many young adult books are currently successful.  I happened to see it on the audio bookshelf at the library and decided to give it a listen!

What is it about?

Diana is a graduate student at Oxford, and she knows that she descends from a line of witches but chooses not to explore that side of herself and just be a normal person.  This all changes when she comes across a coveted manuscript that greatly affects the whole magical world.  

What did I think?
I really liked the way this book started.  It all seemed very real with a vampire or witch thrown in there, but it was still in a believable world.  I felt like I was reading a good piece of literature with a lot of different adventures that could stem off from it.  Then suddenly I was thrown into a love story, which wouldn’t be bad if it wasn’t so unbelievable.  Diana falls in love with this vampire in a matter of days.  I now felt like I was reading any other vampire young adult novel.  What happened to this strong female character?  She was gone.  I was quite a bit less interested in the rest of the story, but it held my attention well enough to finish.  It does leave with a big cliffhanger and I’m not totally committed to being interested in where the second novel will take us.  The one thing that may keep me around is that her writing style makes for great reading (or listening), and I do like to see how things resolve.

Who would I recommend it to?

At first I thought this would be a great book even if you don’t like fantasy or vampire stories since it seemed to be written so well.  But when things took a turn for the love struck magical beings I can see how it would lose many readers.  If you like love stories especially ones involving witches and vampires you will like this book, if not you should probably avoid it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Football Friday: One week...

This was suppose to be posted on Friday...oops
I thought since it was almost that time of year again that I should get this Friday post going again!  Now that the Olympics are over, I can get back to my fall ritual of obsessing over college football.  One week from yesterday college football kicks off and it’s bound to be a great season.  Teams are back at practice and people are making predictions about how teams will do and where they stand.  College Football Live is all over ESPN as well as conference previews.

The AP poll came out this week and there were a couple interesting things.  First, Michigan got a first place vote.  I’m happy to receive a first place vote but I really don’t think we deserve it and I REALLY don’t want to be jinxed by something like that.  Pre-season polls really don’t mean much, but I think Michigan is almost always over ranked and it’s just annoying to hear every year how bad we actually are.  Stop ranking us so high then!  I really hate to see USC at the top and I’m not even sure they deserve it, they will screw up a stupid game (or two!) sometime this fall.  I think Florida State is way to high, have they really done anything to earn that spot?  I hope over the season to see SEC teams drop and more Big Ten and Big XII school move up, since I think they are more deserving.  Below are the AP pre season rankings:
USC (25)
Alabama (17)
LSU (16)
Oklahoma (1)
Florida State
Michigan (1)
South Carolina
West Virginia
Michigan State
Virginia Tech
Ohio State
Oklahoma State
Kansas State
Boise State

Next week I’ll be previewing the games of the opening weekend.  And probably talking about how excited I am to be heading to Dallas to see Michigan play Bama, Go Blue!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review - Web of Lies by Sarah Tate

How did I come into possession of this book?
I received this book in exchange for a review over at Jagged Edge reviews.  Usually non-fiction isn’t my first choice, but this story sounded interesting enough that I wanted to give it a try.

First Lines:
      “I am Sarah, and I was twenty nine years old when I made the decision to leave my hectic life in Berlin for a gentler way of life in Switzerland”  (Tate 1)

What is it about?
This book chronicles the true story of Sarah Tate, whom has fallen for a seemingly wealthy and successful older man.  After getting in way too deep by marrying him and having children she realizes that he is not all he appears to be on the surface and that most of his past and present that she believed about him is not true.
What did I think?
I wasn’t a huge fan of this book.  The story is somewhat interesting but I’m not sure if it was quite compelling enough to write a book about it.  I would possibly be more interested in a fictional book based on some true things that happened.  The writing was just ok, but whenever there was dialogue there were way too many exclamation points, and it almost made the characters seem unreal.  One thing I did enjoy was that it opened up my eyes to Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is something I didn’t really know about.  Suddenly I was seeing narcissistic tendencies in many people I knew, even in myself. 

Who would I recommend it to?
I’d recommend this to someone who is a fan of non-fiction and doesn’t necessarily need a well rounded story with plot twist and turns.  If just the thought that this really happened to someone is enough to keep you interested and reading you’d probably enjoy this book.  Also if you’re interested in mental disorders, particularly ones that might not be obvious at first like NPD, I’d recommend this book.