Midnight Breed Series review (books 1-4)

I know that most of my readers don’t give a crap about this – probably – but as blog fodder goes, reviews are good. And besides, blogs are for being honest and this is a pretty frank admission: I just read four vampire books that went way beyond the Southern Vampire Mystery series: they were categorized as… “romance.” I tweeted this the other day:

“I’m #reading “Midnight Rising” by @lara_adrian. Never thought I’d read a.) vampire stuff or b.) romance but I am really hooked on the series”

That about sums it up. It started with Twilight, which I enjoyed but was wanting more. Then I read the nine books in the Sookie Stackhouse universe (btw, I have a Borders gift card just waiting patiently in my wallet for May 4th, when the next book comes out!) At the recommendation of a friend, I checked out The Midnight Breed series. I figured it was ok to check these out from the library because they don’t have covers featuring a big blond guy with hair waving in the breeze and some sultry female wrapped around his legs, giving him the eye. Because if I ever sink that far, you have permission to punch me in the face.

What I really like about Adrian’s work is that three quarters of the books are actually focused on the on-going plot and not just the sex. Maybe they’re all like this and I haven’t read enough Harlequin novels to know the difference. But that’s one of the redeeming factors of this series, in my opinion.

(There be spoilers ahead; you’ve been warned.)

Book one, “Kiss of Midnight”, revolves around the story of Lucan, who is the Gen One leader of a group of warrior vamps called the Order. What I appreciate about this version of vampires is their origin: an alien race crash-landed on earth centuries ago and fed on the blood of humans. These Ancients mated with human females and the first generation was born. Except these vampires rose up against their fathers at some point to stop all the carnage and the demise of entire civilizations and the Order was formed. After that debacle, their purpose was to take out Rogues, who are vamps who have fallen into the clutches of Bloodlust, rendering them beasts of endless fury that don’t simply feed from a blood Host but kill in the process. Once turned Rogue, they don’t operate in the manner of other vampires who are, you’ll remember, half human.

When I started reading this first novel, admittedly I was not instantly drawn to the story of Gabrielle, a photographer who never quite seemed to fit in and never took photos of people, just creepy places like asylums. When she somehow manages to witness a feeding frenzy outside a club and snaps some shots of Rogues at work, the story starts building. Lucan was hunting said Rogues and realizes that she has been involved. Obviously, their world must stay secret so he’ll do what it takes to keep her hush hush. This is a theme amongst the four books I have read so far.

Lucan poses as a police officer to get to Gabrielle. Of course, he finds himself attracted to her and soon finds out that she’s a Breedmate. That is, a woman who possesses the special ability to conceive and bear vamp offspring, should the two engage in a Blood bond. Throughout this story, Adrian is building the overlying plot that someone seems to be amassing a large Rogue army. At the same time, Lucan himself is walking the thin line between sanity and Bloodlust, a path he’s been down before. He’s lusting after her in this state but soon finds that his rational side, still present, cares for her in a much deeper way. It is Gabrielle, of course, who will pull him from the depths of his despair and right his wrongs. In the end, she finds out that he is vampire, she is Breedmate and they are mated. She is brought into their compound to live, giving up her old life as she knew it. They live lavishly below the earth and she has the most amazing, sensual relationship with Lucan. You quickly see that giving up all she used to know is not a bad deal.

Book two, “Kiss of Crimson”, carries on the plot that we left off on: the Order was led to a Rogue lair (that Gabrielle found through her special Breedmate talent of being drawn to creepy Rogue places) and they took out a good chunk of the forming army. In the process, they partially lost one of their members, Rio, in the explosion. He was caught by the C4 blast and is sent to their infirmary for an indefinite amount of time. However, this installment focuses on Dante, an 18th century warrior who is wounded from the start of the novel and finds himself searching for shelter and sustenance in a veterinarian’s building. This is where he meets Tess. Badly wounded, she tends to this mysterious man and then he feeds from her, scrubbing her memory afterward and stealing away into the night.

From the last book, we find out that the evil one in charge of the Rogue army was none other than Lucan’s brother, Marek, who had long ago betrayed the Order but was thought dead. The other aspect of the plot that we learn about in this one is that Tess’s ex, Ben, has unknowingly been manufacturing a street drug called Crimson which, if taken by humans, does little but if ingested by vampires, turns them Rogue in a matter of seconds. It vaults them into a Bloodlust like no one’s seen before. This bit of info is why Dante must continue to seek out Tess. Much like Lucan, Dante is afflicted with his own personal demon. He keeps having these incapacitating visions of fire and demise, which he assumes will be his own. So he feels as if his time is limited and his death is seeking him out all day every day.

I definitely buy the Dante/Tess relationship more than Lucan and Gabrielle. It felt more real. Thought Lucan was losing himself to Bloodlust, he had more control. Dante was really spiraling and needed her more than even he thought.

This one ends in a perilous scene, of course, with a meeting of Rogues and Ben, now turned Minion (human sucked to the brink of death who lives to serve his vamp master). We find out that Dante’s fiery vision was not his own death but that of Tess, pointing out that for as long as he’d had these visions, he was linked to her in some way. The cool thing about the relationships built between Breedmates and vampires is that they are so much more intense than anything we imagine humans could have. Through the blood bond, where each takes the life force of the other and through their connection to one another, they are linked in a more inextricable way. I am not sure that readers can even fathom what this might feel like. We are mere mortals.

The other aspect of this second book was the introduction of Sterling Chase, who is an agent from one of the Darkhavens in the area. This is where the vampires of the world reside with their mates. In a lot of ways, they resent and despise the Order, considering them to be savages and never appreciating them for their service to the vampire race. Chase’s brother was killed and he feels like it is his duty to avenge him, both for his own sake and his widow’s, Elise. Not only that but her son, Camden, has gone missing, along with some other Darkhaven youths, and the Crimson is to blame.

Here’s a tie-in that Adrian has craftily woven; Elise resurfaces in the beginning of book three, “Midnight Awakening”, alone and out for vengeance after the death of her son at the hand of Chase in the end of book two. He did what had to be done; Camden was too far gone to come back. In her intense moment of grief at the scene of the crime, Tegan, one of the other Warriors, takes her home.

So book three opens with Elise living in the city instead of the Darkhaven and tracking Rogues; taking her own brand of revenge. Her husband has been dead five years so she has begun to age. Breedmates will live eternally so long as they are receiving blood from their mate. So not only does she face this, but her ability is to hear peoples’ thoughts. In the city, she is bombarded by the evil, lustful, purely maniacal intentions of the masses. This brings down upon her debilitating headaches. While out one night, she encounters a Minion who has been sent to pick up an important package for his Master. Elise kills him and somewhere in her escape home, Tegan comes into the picture, smelling the blood.

From the start of the series, Tegan has been the most mysterious of all the warriors. He seems slightly reclusive, quiet, and very apathetic about, well, everything. We have learned that he’s about as old as Lucan and they have been through an awful lot together. His story is more intense than the warriors we have been introduced to so far. Long ago he lost his Breedmate to the Rogues and nearly slipped into Bloodlust himself. In all these years, he has not forgiven himself for not saving his mate nor has he allowed himself a relationship/much human contact. Hence why this book focuses heavily on his reluctance to show Elise any sort of kindness or allow himself to feel anything towards her. Of course, this is inevitable, as is the theme of these books. As the story is developing, so are the relationships. I have to say though, the first two books we have to simply believe the impossibility of each warrior coming into contact and subsequently falling in love with a woman who just so happens to be a Breedmate. At least for Tegan and Elise, she’s already down with the vamp scene, knows about Darkhavens, has been in one for as long as anyone, and so that aspect is absent from this installment.

The on-going search for Marek has led them to Germany, where they have traced the package Elise intercepts to an older family. This will hopefully shed some light onto what Marek’s plans may be. In the meantime, Tegan’s icy cold heart begins to melt just a little bit and at some point, they are thrown into certain situations in which they must help/confide in each other. In terms of the romantic scenes, this book far outdid the others. I think they were far sexier and more wanton than the others. As my friend’s friend relayed, “Tegan makes me want to do bad things.” I agree!

Adrian continues to impress in book four, “Midnight Rising.” Marek has been taken out but an enemy still exists. At the end of book three, the warriors came across a cave – a crypt – in which an awful thing has been discovered. With Rio back with the team – though a shell of the man he once was – he has been entrusted to blow the cave, sealing in what was found. However, we find out in the beginning of this novel that he has yet to detonate the C4 and head to Spain, as he promised the Order. Rio has fallen into despair ever since his former breedmate, Eva’s, betrayal in book one. The betrayal that scarred the left side of his body and certainly left it share of scars on his soul. He no longer wants to live and yet, cannot take that one last step into the sunshine. The vamps burn like all others in lore, which I appreciate since they are not “undead” like others.

The main woman in “Midnight Rising” is Dylan Alexander, a journalist who writes for a tabloid mag. She stumbles across Rio’s hiding spot while hiking on vacation. The thing I instantly like about her is that she’s super down to earth and does not and will not believe in monsters. She does not easily allow herself to be scared. This is a good attribute to have, considering she’s about to launch herself into another world of things humans only believe to be myth. On top of that, she has to have this attitude to accept the broken Rio as he is, scars and all.

The plot takes some twists and turns and we find out that the thing living in that crypt – being kept alive – was one of the original Ancients. Though Marek is dead, the legacy lives on in whomever has sprung the ancient one and is using him for some dastardly deed. Rio is forced to leave the cave and track down Dylan, for she has taken pictures of him and said cave, possibly revealing all that their world is and the evil that may fall upon humans.

For most of the book, she is being held by the Order – first in Germany in the home of their contact there, Reichen. Then, once state-side, she is taken to the Order’s compound. She is still refusing to believe any of this vampire bull-hockey and only wants to get back to her mother, whom we learn is dying of cancer. Here is where the story gets very complicated and Adrian successfully juggles a lot of balls. There’s the aspect of Dylan staying in the compound, because she’s coming to believe that she is special – yes, she too is a Breedmate – but she needs to be with her mother ’til the end. Then, she realizes she’s falling in love with Rio. Through her love, Rio is beginning to see the value in his life and recover from the awful betrayal, his tormented past in Spain, etc.

Adrian continues to deliver intense love scenes and passion, which I can freely admit is part of what has kept me reading. But furthermore, the plot that has evolved continues to draw me in and keep me interested. I definitely want to know how the evil side is progressing and what the warriors will fight next.  The steamy stuff is just a perk of all this.

There was even a scene in this one where I nearly cried. The relationship built between Dylan and her dying mother and the need she has for Rio really socked me in the gut. I was perhaps surprised by my reaction to this. Though I kept saying that these were fluff stories I could finish in a matter of days, I believe this to be some quality storytelling and give this series an A so far. I am first in line for the fifth book at the library and can’t wait to see where our author takes us from here.

(ETA (12/21/10) : I have finished all these books but never reviewed them. And yes, I have read all of J.R. Ward’s BDB series. It was WAY better. In fact, I think her vampires ARE the standard for PNR.)

Soon, he’ll be going off to college

I think just about every day, Elliot does something – grows in some way – that reminds me just how quickly kids grow up.

We’ve been getting his new room ready for quite some time. The painting is done except for some touch up here and there, the toys are in the bins and organized best as we can figure.  Bed is made with the Spider Man sheets and it’s  habitable. Except for the curtains, I feel like it’s complete. As of a few weeks ago, I was the one making the big push to get him sleeping in there. We have slightly over 2 months (maybe even less) until there’s a new baby around here and Elliot really needs to become acclimated to his new space.

Last night, on a whim, Ash decided it was time to take the leap.  We got him all ready as usual and he was pretty pumped about being in his bed. He grasped the concept and was happy to have us both in there for story time. But once the light went out, he wailed. It was the real crying, not this fake stuff he pulls to get his way. He got out of bed and tried to leave the room. We calmed him down and put the nightlite in a different outlet so it produced more light. After maybe five minutes, he was relatively sedated and staying in bed. He cried a little after we left but it was quiet sobbing. And then, silence.

Honestly, the process was probably harder on us than him. For the first hour, we tip-toed around the house and kept the TV volume low. I kept wondering if he was going to fall out of the bed in the night and wake up crying and distraught. Would that bed be comfortable? Would he see his toys and get up to play? Around 11, I placed my ear to his door and heard his breathing, a slight baby snore. And though I woke up multiple times in the night (mostly to pad my way to the bathroom) I kept wondering if he was OK. The alarm went  off at 6 and what do you know; he was awake but still in bed and made it through just fine.

This doesn’t mean tonight will be the same but it was a victory. I am sure at some point in the near future, I will look back and remember fondly a time when he was easily placed in a crib and confined to that space. But I’ll look down at him in his big boy bed and feel an overwhelming sense of pride that he’s growing up.

Couch time

I don’t typically get very emotional on my blog. In fact, come to find out, I tend to hold pretty much everything inside for fear of coming across as weak and ill-equipped to handle my own life.  This sort of scares me that I am exhibiting traditionally male attributes. Not saying all men hide their feelings away, letting them brew, but the majority of males in my life have been this way. So anyway, back to me. To be completely open and honest, this pregnancy has been one big dichotomy. On the one hand, I have felt a little disconnected from it since I have “been there, done that” and it allowed me to feel sort of cocky and know-it-all about the rudimentary process. That being said, I have also felt more connected to the baby. When he kicks, I feel sort of endeared to him in a way I never did with Elliot. I think this might be because now, two and a half years into raising a child, I know what this fetus will grow into and it somehow forges a different bond between us at this stage.

And on an entirely other hand (this is the third hand but it’s my blog so I can have three hands, ok?!) I am perhaps way more scared than I ever was the first go-round. For exactly the same reason as stated above. I KNOW what labor is like and I know how much it hurts. I know how maternity leave is both relaxing and the hardest, most stressful thing that a mother goes through (OK, maybe other than the death of a child, but – luckily – I have no experience there.)  I also know the financial strain and how this time, I am already planning to go back earlier than with Elliot because I need to make money.  The Daycare expense alone is driving me mad with worry.

I guess my biggest fear is that I won’t have the time or energy or love to give to Elliot once the baby is here. I know how I was the first go-round and the one who got neglected was Ash. I guess this time, I at least know what to expect and could avoid all of this. I don’t know. My emotional state today tells me otherwise. I could cry right now.

I’m angry and sad, jealous and apathetic. Ash is going rock climbing tonight and I can’t do that – because it is forbidden during pregnancy – and it just makes me long for the old days when he and I got home from work on Wednesdays and got changed, drove to the gym. We climbed routes for about two hours then stopped by Publix for dinner. We had all kinds of time for these things and everything was so… easy. I don’t regret Elliot, not for one second. We wanted a family and it’s far more rewarding and satisfying than the carefree days of simply being married. BUT, sometimes when Ash gets to go out and I am home, completely exhausted and feeling like a whale, lamenting all the physical things that are seemingly impossible at this time and dreading the upcoming labor and delivery, I feel very very low.

I’m rambling now but I think it was at least cathartic to write this down, to work through the issues. I am surely not the first mom to feel this way, nor will I be the last. It’s an under appreciated job, that’s for sure. And as they say, things always work out. But for now, there’s a hell of a lot of unknowns. It’s uncertain and wavering and utterly frightening. I know we’ll come out on the other side nary a hair harmed. But for now, it just feels… overwhelming.

Using prompts

I found this website where each Sunday, you’re given a word prompt. Since weekend recaps can be somewhat mundane, I’m going to aim for these on Monday.

So this week’s word was ethics. I think the only thing that comes to mind in connection to this, lately, is the behaviour we’ve witnessed at the playground, both by parents and children. I operate on a moral code of politeness when in a public space. I expect Elliot to learn the same. Hence, I remind him to let others go before him if they were at the slide first and so on and so forth. The past few times we have been to Tom Brown park, where they have a very large play area, I have seen both good and bad behaviour.

Yesterday’s weather was beautiful so Elliot and I headed there around 2:30 PM. It was actually less crowded than anticipated, which made me happy because it is sometimes hard to keep an eye on him amongst all the jungly-gym type playthings and the other children, even when I am walking behind him on said equipment. Anyway, since Elliot is only two and a half, he obviously doesn’t move as quickly as the five and six year olds so when he’s getting into position to slide, other kids sometimes just go ahead of him. Now, I expect some jostling and racing past each other; it’s not like I don’t remember being a kid on the playground myself. But some of these kids are downright rude and forceful. Sometimes their parents are around and remind them to play nice. And sometimes the older kids let him go first. But most of the time, they don’t give a crap.

I don’t go rescue Elliot immediately from this type of stuff because, after all, this is a public space in which he’ll need to learn how to operate. Much like the real world, not everyone is going to take your feelings into account. However, I take some offense to the big kids on the little kid’s area. There’s a 2-5 year old plaything and then a 5-12 year old area. When a large – and I do mean large – twelve year old is trying to go down the 2-5 year old slide and he shoves a little boy out of the way to do so, I want to throw all my ethics out the window, slap the kid in the face and then track down his parents to deal a similar blow. When I was that age, I wouldn’t dream of forcefully pushing a small child just to go down some tiny slide. What the heck, kid? Instead, I tell my crying boy that not all people are nice and not all parents teach their kids the difference between right and wrong, hoping said kid’s parents are within earshot. Most likely, they’re the trashy looking folks smoking a cigarette… on the playground.

And that’s my second gripe. Ok, the playground IS outside but you’re around at least 50-60 children. I don’t care if you want to smoke around your own kids. Lord knows there’s a Darwin award with your name on it somewhere. But don’t stand around and blow your nasty smoke near my kid. That’s just common courtesy. But I feel like it goes beyond that. Ethically speaking, I wouldn’t do anything to harm your child, not knowingly. So why then would you do something like that? It’s almost as bad as the parents who sit in the car while their kids play. But that’s just laziness; that’s their own problem.

The only thing I can do is impart my wisdom on Elliot and teach him to be as ethically sound as one can possibly be, this day in age. Maybe he’ll take it to heart and maybe he won’t. But he sure as hell won’t be pushing any little kids down at the park. My kid will know better.

Get your groove on

As promised, a list of sexy and/or romantic type songs for the upcoming “holiday”. We should show love every day, not just once a year! These songs – to me – always evoke some kind of passion, whether it be of the mental or physical kind. These are all songs I have in my personal collection and are in no particular order.

  • “Insatiable” – Darren Hayes
  • “Is it a Crime?” – Sade
  • “Brown Eyes” – Fleetwood Mac
  • “Kiss You All Over” – Exile
  • “Rock me” (album version) – Great White
  • “In The Still of the Night” – Whitesnake
  • “Must Be Doing Something Right” – Billy Currington
  • “Nobody Does it Better” – Carly Simon
  • “Justify My Love” – Madonna
  • “Crash” – Dave Matthews Band
  • “At Last” – Etta James
  • “Fade Into You” – Mazzy Star
  • “Freak Me” – Silkk
  • “If” – Janet Jackson
  • “Red Light Special” – TLC

Ok, your turn. What am I missing? Get yer love on, yo.

ETA: (2/12/2010) – The ones I thought of later and the one suggested

  • “Bad Things” – Jace Everett
  • “Seduce Me Tonight” – Cycle V, Flashdance soundtrack
  • “Photograph” – Def Leppard
  • “Whole Lotta Love” – Led Zeppelin
  • “Do me Baby” – Prince
  • “Bring on the Men” – Linda Eder, Jekyll and Hyde Soundtrack

Minor pregnancy whining

I don’t know if it’s just being 30 weeks pregnant or what but lately, I have just felt so… exasperated. Not even angry, just at the end of my rope and feeling forlorn as a result. I remember when I was 28 weeks with Elliot and Ash and I decided to see a Sunday movie. The only thing playing was Evan Almighty and it was the very last movie I felt like seeing. Being annoyed by that, we were sitting in the semi-dark theater awaiting previews when I had a complete and total breakdown. I felt so overwhelmed by pregnancy and the impending child that I cried uncontrollably for about five minutes. I felt better afterward, of course, and even enjoyed the movie. Perhaps I need a good cry? I don’t have time for crying, between the home improvements, working, teaching two classes here and there, the yoga, the dogs, dinner, husband, money issues constantly nagging my brain…

But in general, 30 weeks is OK. He’s still moving around a ton, though sometimes it feel like he’s poking me with something kind of sharp, like one of those pickle pickers my grandma used to have. It’s very defined, focused movements… into various body parts like my stomach or my ribs or god, my bladder. I keep wondering where all my internal organs might have moved to, as he’s gotten bigger. And though I have been pregnant before, I couldn’t really picture it so I went out and found me a diagram. Things don’t look TOO squished in there but if you look at that site’s pic of 36 weeks, you’ll know why women late in their third trimester are downright bitchy. Would YOU want all your shit mushed up in there? We can’t barely eat or breathe or you know, sit. It’s pretty crappy. But not worse than labor, so I’ll shut up and accept it.

::Brisk clap:: Moving along! In honor of Valentine’s Day, which I find to be commercialized and banal, I am going to post a list of sexy/romantic songs for you and your loved one to enjoy. I don’t claim to be an expert but I have been known to own a lot of  “romp music” as Ash calls it. Stay tuned!

Some brief letters

To the guy who got into the Starbucks drive-thru this morning and blocked up the THROUGH lane to the parking spaces:

I hope your Venti no-whip Mocha whatever spills into your lap on your drive to work.

No love and foam, ME


To the person who left a full styrofoam cup of coffee outside Lowes:

Sometimes we have to carry our kids and when you leave your trash right where people walk, we’re bound to accidentally kick said cup, splattering cold acrid coffee onto all of our clothes, including my son’s.

No love and irresponsibility, ME


To the professor who buys us bagels:

I know no one ever thanks you but I really appreciate that.

Lots of carb love, ME


To Simply Lemonade with raspberry:

I love you. I mean, I LOVE you with all my heart and soul. You are delicious!

Fruity goodness, ME


Crap, all day long

Yesterday was full of things I REALLY didn’t want to do/deal with. It started with Todd taking a dump right in front of me in the living room. He’s normally my best dog but the reason he did this was because he went outside but he was so busy getting into cat shit that he didn’t do his business. Sigh.

Next, there was the Great Diaper Blow-out of 2010. I opened Elliot’s door around ten til 7 – when he’s normally already awake – to see if I could rouse him. And that is when I smelled it: unmistakably, a very full diaper. I went ahead and started running the bath at that point. When I got all ready and went into his room, he was on his side and I could see the extent of the damage. So we had to peel off his PJs, wipe up about 5 pounds of poo – interspersed with raisins, mind you – and get him in the tub. That smell will NOT come off with wipes alone. Luckily, I was in the right frame of mind to deal with this and he didn’t fuss too much either. So, once bathed we got ready and headed off to daycare and work and the day began.

It may surprise you to know that there are a select few people in this department I don’t much care for. Two of them called me yesterday with – and I know they say these don’t exists – stupid questions. Ugh. Then I had to work on scheduling things for Fall and all kinds of other junk. Somewhere in there I went to class and had seven out of 26 students miss workshop day. I really hope that being hungover after the Superbowl was not their excuse. Especially since my class is at 11:15. I could forgive them an eight AM.

For lunch, I had Campbell’s Chunky chicken corn chowder. It was ok. Just not what I wanted. And I tend to get down if I eat something that’s dissatisfying.

I left work a little early to go look at carpet with Ash. I am sad to admit this was the high point of my day. It took all of about ten minutes to find a piece that matched Elliot’s existing room and since we went to this place before, the guy cut us a deal. They didn’t have a big enough remnant so he gave us some from a roll that was $2.99 a square foot and he only charged us $1.12. Score! It’s being installed as we speak! Pics soon to follow.

So anyway, Ash and I got The Boy after that and went home, where I had to deal with the usual Monday chaos. Mondays are Poop Patrol days so I got a Solo cup and gather all the dog bombs in the yard. I consider this a courtesy to the guys who come over to rock climb. With that all done, I let The Boy loose to “wock cwimb” with Ash and what do you know: he found what must have been the last remaining pile in the yard. Sigh. So my day began and ended with poop.

I then made dinner, which Elliot relished until he realized that he really only wanted the noodles – the “mac n cheese” he kept saying – and stopped eating the rest, crying for more when there was none to be had. He was pretty good after that and for bath time and I managed to get a couple floors vacuumed and wash two out of the three dogs. But by then, I was hurtin’. My back started to ache and I began to feel bitter that I had to deal with all this annoying stuff all day and I’m pregnant, dammit. So I vowed that once Ash and I finished getting the room empty so that the carpet could go in today, I was going to go to TCBY, get an Oreo Shiver and then eat it in the tub. Alas, we finished and I passed out – I kid you not – about 5 seconds after I laid down.

So today, without fail, I am going to eat me some TCBY. There’s a staff meeting – ugh – but they’re serving us Pitaria so the chicken pita and hummus will also make me happy. Despite the rain, today’s going to be better, I just know it.

Ball = rolling

Room = painted

Elliot = better this weekend than he has been

Dogs = more annoying than ever

Cats = soon to be gone, lest I go batshit crazy

Saints = Superbowl Champs; woot!

Tallahassee = cold again

Recent cravings = grape juice, orange soda, and  raspberry sorbet

Class = 15 minutes from now

Lunch = chunky soup. NOT what this pregnant woman wants

Me = out