Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review: The Eleventh Hour Can’t Last Forever

eleventh hour can't last forever The Eleventh Hour Can’t Last Forever

By Alison Johnson

Published by Cumberland Press

ISBN: 0967561922

191 Pages

Received a review copy from Newman Communications, Inc.



Product Description (from the back of the book): Two tons of silver and gold coins, hundreds of thousands of nickels, dimes, quarters, and gold pieces. They were under our beds, in the kitchen cupboards, up in the attics, in the bottom of dresser drawers, in holes in the ground. My father was obsessed with gathering up these coins and hiding them away in any likely spot in the houses and garages and store buildings he owned in our tiny town on the mid-Western prairie. Nothing could shake his belief that the total collapse of the American economy and government was just around the corner, a collapse that would bring anarchy and rioting in the streets.

With this shadow of Armageddon always hanging over him, Dad believed that he could save his family from disaster only by collecting as much gold and silver as he could lay his hands on.

This fear of a future calamity that might leave his family penniless so dominated Dad’s thoughts that he failed to see how his blind absorption in amassing wealth created family problems that would lead to his oldest son’s hopeless alcoholism and his wife’s mental collapse. My sister grew up so insecure that she eventually turned to the stars for answers to the frustrations of her life, immersing herself in the study of astrology. In the fairy tale, King Midas’s daughter was miraculously restored to life after she had been turned to stone by her father’s desire for gold, but Dad’s destructive influence on his family could not be so easily reversed.

The General Review: The Eleventh Hour Can’t Last Forever is a brutally honest, first-hand account of how hoarding money can ruin a family. Written from the authors perspective, Alison Johnson tells a heart-breaking story of the long-lasting effects an addiction can have on loved ones.

Likes: I appreciated the author's honest and candid perspective of her fathers gold and silver addiction and how his hoarding had a huge and detrimental impact on each person in her family. While the story the author told is sad and unfortunate, I thought that Alison Johnson shared her account in a bold, straight-forward way that would appeal to most readers.

Dislikes: There was nothing about this book I disliked.

Closing Comments: I originally chose to receive this book to review because I thought the subject matter was unique. I recommend The Eleventh Hour Can’t Last Forever to anyone who is a fan of memoirs or has a fascination with hoarding.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

11 Months Down, 1 More To Go…

I am overly ecstatic today. My internet is finally fixed!!! Shortly after my last post, my roommate decided to change internet providers. According to my roommate, there was some problem with the router, then the replacement router crapped out too. Three routers later, we are online!

At the beginning of November, I won one the coolest concert tickets to date: Stone Temple Pilots!!! Here are a few pics:

IMG_0855 IMG_0862

IMG_0863My friend Chris and I saw Dave Matthews play an acoustic set to celebrate the opening of the first Microsoft retail store at a local mall. The place was packed and crazy, but well worth getting to see and hear Dave Matthews.

IMG_0875  IMG_0883

I said in my last post that I would post a book review, and I had every intent on keeping that promise. Now that my internet is working again, expect more book reviews! I’ve accepted a few books to review and I have a couple of reviews that way past over due that I need to post. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

October: A Little Late….

I finally have a little free time to write about the month of October… it’s only 2 weeks late :)

At the beginning of October my friend Chris and I checked out The Experience Music Project (EMP) in Seattle. It’s basically Paul Allen’s tribute to Jimi Hendrix and other music memorabilia. For as much hype as the EMP gets, I wasn’t that impressed. What did impress me, however, was the Science Fiction Museum, also located in the EMP. It’s a definite must for any SciFi fan.

I took a week off of work and ended up doing a lot of fun stuff.

On the first day of vacation I saw the silent black and white film “Underworld” at the Paramount theatre, complete with a live organist playing along with the movie.

On the second day of vacation I saw the play “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” at the ACT Theatre.

On the third thru sixth day of my vacation I went to a festival called the City Arts Fest, put on by City Arts Magazine, a local Seattle publication. They booked a handful of bands each night of the festival, which concert goers could either buy individual tickets to each show, or buy a wristband and get into any show they wanted to. My only complaint about the festival is that they scheduled many great concerts at the same time, and I had to choose which band I wanted to see the most. I ended up choosing:

  • 1st Night – Gogol Bordelo and Forro in the Dark
  • 2nd Night – Roky Erickson, the Maldives and Massy Fergusen
  • 3rd Night – The Vaselines, Dum Dum Girls and Young Evils
  • 4th Night – She & Him and Mike Coykendall & the Golden Shag

And on the 7th day of vacation I rested :)

To close up the month of October, I had the opportunity to go to a Seattle Sounders playoff game on Halloween. Unfortunately, the Sounders lost, but I had a lot of fun at the game anyways.

I’ve been asked a few times if I’m going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, and sadly the answer is no. I really wanted to, but I hardly update my blog. I definitely don’t have time to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.

Oh, and speaking of never updating my blog… I’ve been considering what to do with my blog. I’ve thought about shutting it down and just commenting on the blogs that I follow. I really enjoy writing book reviews, but I never have the time to write them. I keep turning down books to review, not because I’m not reading, but because I feel bad that I don’t have time to provide the author and/or publisher with a timely review.

But…… I’ve decided that I want to keep my book reviewing blog alive! I’ve recently accepted a book to review and hope in the next week or so to post the two book reviews I’ve been meaning to do since summer. With fall here and winter quickly approaching, I hope to be spending the cold nights curled up with a cup of tea, a great indie book and my laptop.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ah, September! What a fun month!!

September was crammed full of great events! I was so busy, I didn’t get a chance to write the book reviews I promised last month. Now that fall is here, I’m hoping to return to the regularly scheduled programming on this blog.

I started out the month by checking out the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) with my friend, Chris. SAM has free admission the first Thursday of every month. I really wanted to check out the Kurt Cobain exhibit before it ended. I was very disappointed. The exhibit was actually art inspired by Kurt Cobain instead of his own art and was mixed with the work of Andy Warhol. After walking thru the Cobain/Warhol exhibit, we checked out the rest of SAM. 

Labor Day Weekend was awesome because I won my coolest radio concert to date…. BUMBERSHOOT!!! For those of you not from Seattle, Bumbershoot is a 3 day music and arts festival. On top of winning 2 passes for the whole weekend, I also won private mini concerts for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Crash Kings and Courtney Love. We saw 29 bands over the weekend! I didn’t take very many pictures because I wasn’t close enough to the stages, but here’s a few from the private concerts.

IMG_0771 Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros


Crash Kings


Courtney Love


The Space Needle on a beautiful day

The weekend after Bumbershoot, I won another radio contest, this time to see The Smashing Pumpkins (or as I like to refer to them as Billy Corgan and friends). It was a great concert, but I really wished they played more songs from the 90’s. You can check out Chris’ review here.

Just a few days after seeing The Smashing Pumpkins, Chris got to review The Gaslight Anthem and had an extra pass, so I got to tag along. You can check out his review here.

The night after The Gaslight Anthem, I got to see Brandon Sanderson at University Bookstore!!! He read from his newest book, “The Way of Kings”, answered questions from the crowd, then ended with a book signing. Sadly, I did not have anything signed.


I got to tag along for another concert Chris was reviewing, this time for Massy Ferguson, Cody Beebe & The Crooks and Curtains For You. Chris writes way better concert reviews then I do, so check out what he had to say here.

Last month I mentioned that I won tickets to Vampire Weekend, but the show was cancelled. It was rescheduled for a different venue. They put on a good show, but I really enjoyed the opening band, The Head And The Heart.

I attended my first Oktoberfest, where I sampled 5 beers and had a great time people watching. I really wish I took some pictures, but at the time, I didn’t think about it.

Just when you think I’d be sick of concerts (NEVER!), Chris won 2 contests back to back! The first show was for Matt & Kim. I’m not a huge fan of their music, but they put on a very high energy show. We got to meet them for a few minutes before the show and they are very cool. I just checked to see if the pictures were posted for the Meet and Greet with Matt & Kim and they were not.

The next night Chris won tickets to see Arcade Fire, which I really wanted to buy tickets for, but could not afford it. Their concert was amazing, probably one of the top 5 concerts I’ve ever seen.

I was interviewed by my blog-mentor, Shelley, from Layers of Thought on my NaNoWriMo experience last year. Check out the interview on her blog here. If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, Shelley does a great job explaining it. NaNoWriMo is a great way for any aspiring author to challenge themselves to write!

I think that about wraps it up for September. As you can see, I have very good excuses for not writing book reviews. I’ve considered writing concert reviews, but as I said earlier, I don’t think I’m very good at writing them. Now that Fall is here and the weather will be soon turning rainy, I anticipate my book review posts to increase.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What!? Summer is over already?

Ah, Summer. Why did you forget Seattle? Did we do something wrong?

It’s already September! I can’t believe how fast the last few months have flown by. This post is a little late because the last week has been crazy busy with fun stuff, but I’ll save those events for another post.

Early in August, a friend and I checked out a great local band called Cody Beebe and The Crooks at a local bar. Here’s some video I found on YouTube that was taken that night.

I also went to the CD release party for Brad’s newest album called Best Friends? If you’re a hardcore Pearl Jam fan, you’ll know that the guitarist for Pearl Jam, Stone Gossard, plays in Brad, along with Shawn Smith (vocals, keys), Regan Hagar (drums), Keith Lowe (bass) and Mike Berg (keys).  I couldn’t find any footage of the concert that night, but the venue was packed and the band’s performance was amazing. Below is a promo video for Best Friends?

I won yet another radio contest, this time to see Vampire Weekend. Before the actual concert, the radio station hosted a private performance of Vampire Weekend for the contest winners at the Gibson Showroom. The band played 3 songs acoustically, then signed autographs and posed for pictures afterwards. Unfortunately, the lead singer of Vampire Weekend had to cancel the concert later that evening because he had enflamed vocal cords. The concert has been rescheduled for mid-September. Below is footage the radio station filmed of Vampire Weekend performing a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Going Down”.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a book review. I have two reviews that I will post very soon (after I write them, of course!). The first one is called “Annexed” by Sharon Dogar and the second book is called “The Eleventh Hour Can’t Last Forever” by Alison Johnson. I hope to have both reviews up in the next week or two.