Monthly Archives: May 2010

Girl Talk Thursday – BOOKS!

It’s no secret that I love me some books. I’ve THRILLED you all with my journey back into reading.

Except it seems I’ve fallen back off the wagon. Or maybe I’m back on the not-reading-enough wagon?

Wagon metaphors are hard.

I read five books during March and April. Which is five more than I read in 2009, so I was off to a pretty good start. When I went to bed at night, I’d leave the iPod Touch behind. (I do most of my Words With Friends-ing while I’m falling asleep. Which takes a while, because my half-asleep brain INSISTS that SNARFLAP is a word. Scuttle said so!) I went through the books sort of painfully slowly, but it felt good to be getting in that escape again. (I don’t drive, and that means I don’t really get out a lot. Not by myself, anyway. So, you know. Book escapism. Totally healthy, right? RIGHT?)

All five books were dystopian-themed, and after that, I sort of wanted to curl up into a ball and hide from the world.

Which I suppose is … exactly what I was doing with the books. In the first place. Hmm.

If you check me out on Goodreads (please do! Be the boss of me and tell me what I should be reading!), you’ll see that I’m APPARENTLY “currently reading” my first P.G. Wodehouse. It came highly recommended by two very brilliant, well-read sisters. But it seems like the bite from the reading bug healed right up.

Sadly, I think the problem is that it is TOO SMART for me right now. (Even though I’m really enjoying it.) I am STILL PROCESSING Brave New World. I need some serious fluff. Like some YA. Or maybe those Sookie Stackhouse books you internet people are always raving about.

As far as my favorite most favorite books … well, that sounds like a list-making opportunity, which is pretty much the best way to blog. More lists, I say. Lists all the time.

So. The list. (Omitting books written not-for-grown-ups, because children’s books would probably take right over. And then you might not think I’m a brilliant genius anymore. CAN’T HAVE THAT.)

  • Immortality, Milan Kundera. We were assigned this in high school, and it pretty much changed my life. It’s my stranded-on-a-desert-island book. I love just about anything by Kundera, but this one takes the taco.
  • Flaubert’s Parrot, Julian Barnes. I adore Gustave Flaubert. His entire outlook on life — which I think is summed up best by Spock when he says, “You may find that having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting” — has always resonated with me. This book provides a fictionalized chronology of his life, and it’s fantastic.
  • Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury. I’ve gone on and on about this one before, but the last 20 pages or so of this book are absolutely beautiful. I definitely want to read more Bradbury.
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon. Christopher, an autistic 15-year-old, wakes one morning to find his neighbor’s dog murdered. He doesn’t believe the obvious lie fed to him by his father about what happened, and the book covers the time he spends after running away from home to find out the truth. Being inside Christopher’s head is incredible. If you’re at all attracted to mathematics, you will ADORE this book.
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith. Very different from the movie. (Though I also love the movie. Which is maybe uncommon? Usually people look at me like I have spinach in my nose when I say that. Or maybe I just have spinach in my nose. Again.) I think Tom Ripley is one of the most fascinating characters I’ve read. A complete sociopath, to be sure, but he is a strikingly RELATABLE sociopath. Highsmith wrote several books about Ripley, but I’ve not yet read them all. Delaying the pleasure. (I like to think Flaubert would approve.)

Now all I’ve managed to accomplish is that I want to go re-read all those books. But! New ones await!

So I guess I’ll put down the iPod for a while. Boo. (But you should still play me in Words With Friends! I’m dashoff, and I make up words! IT WILL BE SO GREAT.)

I’d love to hear what you guys are reading!

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7 Quick Takes – Sisters

1.

2.

I am pessimistically suspicious of the possessed floor fountains …

3.

4.

… but I will go anywhere if my big sister holds my hand.

5.

6.

7.

(More quick takes here.)

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Filed under My girls, NaBloPoMo, Quick takes

Mostly not Wordless and definitely not Wednesday

You guys. I never want to forget today.

Football hero and a little princess

Flying on magic carpets!

Roo is unimpressed by royalty

I promise I’ll just get my feet wet!

Oh, my sweet girl

Never ever want to forget today.

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Filed under NaBloPoMo, Photo essay

Hit play now so the commercial will be done by the time you finish reading all my reasons for why you should click!

All the talk about movies everyone needs to have seen in order to understand pop culture references got me to thinking about NON-movie things everyone needs to have seen in order to understand pop culture references. Like those horrid WAZZZZUPPPP commercials from the late 90s. Or the sunscreen song.

Shudder.

Or this clip from Saturday Night Live. It’s 10 years old, but it remains — HANDS DOWN — the funniest thing I’ve ever seen on that show. Plus! It’s semi-topical again, because we’re in another Census year!

So if you’ve ever wondered why I reference bobcats or passports to Florida …

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Because there’s more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good-looking

You know what’s really annoying? I mean, INCREDIBLY annoying. Like when you get a hair hanging down from the back of your sleeve and you’re walking and then the hair brushes up against you so you try to scratch your arm but you can’t EVER FIND IT and you have to go on like that, possibly for HOURS? It’s this level of annoying I’m talking about.

As annoying as someone who just WILL NOT get to the point.

I just want you in the right place to fully appreciate HOW ANNOYED I get in this situation.

Are you ever in the middle of a conversation and you make a reference to a very well-known movie or teevee show, and the other person doesn’t get it?

Like, “Oh my GOSH, that dude is so a Ned Ryerson!”

Blink blink blink.

“Yeah … if you could go ahead and do that, that’d be great.”

Blinky blink.

“Flames … on the sides of my face … burning … heaving breaths …”

Whaaat?

It’s enough work just being witty and charming, you know? Without having to deal with other people’s pop culture failings. There are just some movies EVERYONE should have seen.

Unless, you know, I haven’t seen it. Then probably it’s not that important.

Kidding!

Not really.

If I were making a LIST, which I’m not, but if I were, because I AM, I’d add the following to the four I’ve mentioned thus far:

  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
  • Spaceballs
  • Ghostbusters
  • Back to the Future (at LEAST the first two)
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Pulp Fiction (full disclosure: I HAVE NOT SEEN THIS.)
  • The Princess Bride

There are definitely a whole hunking lot more than that, but that’s all I personally OWN, and my memory isn’t extending beyond that. Besides, I have to pack: I can’t do ALL the work around here.

What are the movies EVERYONE should see at some point? Surely I’ve left off a ton. (And if you list one I haven’t seen, I promise I’ll watch it so I can get all your jokes.)

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When I hear “spontaneous” I think “combustion”, and fire safety is no joke, son.

We just booked a two-night stay at a hotel in Orlando for a mini- Disney family vacation. We got two free Disney passes from my very best friend some time last year, and we still haven’t used them.

Booking a hotel room is the sort of thing that would normally drive me into a panicked frenzy, immediately worried with just which one of us will wake up in the night covered in vomit, thus destroying our plans, the plans of my future grandchildren, and our entire destinies in one fell swoop.

Except THIS hotel stay? Is booked for two days from now.

Yeah.

So take that panic, and multiply it by about a million. Spontaneity is not a color I often wear, is what I’m trying to tell you. I don’t even like going to the grocery store without a list. I go through the aisles in the same order every time. Have you ever skipped an aisle because you don’t need any cereal that week, so instead of going UP the canned foods aisle you’re now going DOWN the canned foods aisle? Everything is on the wrong side. HOW UNSETTLING IS THAT?

Ahem.

It worked out this way because Matt has some downtime at work this week. And the passes expire in about a month. And maybe a tiny bit because Pioneer Woman is doing a book-signing in Orlando on Wednesday night.

Little bit.

When I told Vio, her reaction was “I LOVE TO STAY IN A HOTEL … what’s a hotel?”

She, like the carefree child she is, is running all about, so incredibly excited that she will get to see where Minnie Mouse lives. I remember being little and getting all wound up about vacations, whether they were big or small. But my mom?

It was WEEKS of snapping. And preparing and planning and packing and laundry and more packing and WE DO NOT JOKE ABOUT VACATION BECAUSE VACATION IS SERIOUS BUSINESS. And I’d just roll my eyes all MAWWWM, RELAX and my brother and I would take bets on how many times she’d throw up before we got out the door.

We were TERRIBLE PEOPLE, and this is what I get for it: a great big dose of What She Was Going Through.

I’m sorry, Mom.

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Filed under Motherhood uncensored, NaBloPoMo, Not even kidding

This is a long way of saying, “I have no idea what to post today.”

One of the things I got for Mother’s Day was a homemade coupon to hop on over to Amazon.com and order myself some kitchen gadgetry.

I redeemed it within 10 minutes of getting out of bed. I’m not sure I’d even put my glasses on at that point.

There they are.

Kitchen gadgets are pretty much my favorite things in the whole wide world to buy. My life changed CONSIDERABLY the day my Microplane Zester arrived. And I haven’t been paid or compensated to say that. Pretty much The Pioneer Woman had one and so I wanted one too.

I’m an individual.

(Except when it comes to cooking gadgets.)

So now there is a cookie scoop, silicone baking mat, garlic press, and flat whisk just waiting to be packed together poorly in a box and kicked all the way to my front door.

I like to picture all delivery people like Jim Carrey at the beginning of Ace Ventura. (Pet Detective, of course. I haven’t watched the beginning of When Nature Calls in probably 10 years. I always skip the first chapter, because SPOILER the raccoon falling into the great abyss sends me to a dark, dark place. I also skip the first chapter of Finding Nemo. Now you know all my secrets.)

My mom won’t let me watch The Land Before Time because it makes her cry.

I’ve spent the rest of the day thinking up OTHER kitchen gadgets I didn’t think to order, but should have. Thus immediately refilling my wish list. It’s good to have goals and dreams, I always say.

For one, I need more cake pans. Which was painfully obvious to me today when I was making this ridiculously delicious banana cake that is supposed to be three layers, but I only have two round cake pans. Do you know what that means I had to do with the rest of the batter? I had to be a big, fat hypocrite, that’s what. I made cupcakes.

Sometimes I am so disappointed in me.

But, if you have three cake pans and some rank old bananas, I definitely recommend this recipe.

Though I don’t recommend my photography skills.

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Filed under My girls, NaBloPoMo, Photo essay