Archive for January, 2010

January Twenty Ten in Review

{The complete set}

January has come and gone and with it the first month of my picture-a-day challenge. I can hardly believe I didn’t give up five days in–I’m quite proud of myself. I expect there will be quite a bit of flower and V-Day themed shots the first few weeks of February. Oh joy. I’ll continue to post a link to the daily photo on my twitter, if you care to follow my ramblings.


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I know this is very late and everyone has probably already forgotten about their favorites from 2009, but I am determined to post this before January is over no matter how much the universe conspires against me (I’ve written & lost this entry three times, which is ridiculous). I finally present to you, in random order, the short and sweet version of my favorite books read in the year Two Thousand Nine.

Moby Dick

{I think Moby Dick is especially enjoyable if you read “In the Heart of the Sea” by Nathaniel Philbrick first. I would have posted a picture of that books as well, but it was out of stock at BookPeople & my copy is out on loan.}

Marcelo in the Real World

{Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork–“A wonderful YA (young adult) novel”, in case you can’t read my scrawl.}

Crime and Punishment

{Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky}

Paper Towns

{Paper Towns by John Green}

To Kill a Mockingbird

{To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee}

Infinite Jest

{Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace}

I talked about “Infinite Jest” and the read-a-long group Infinite Summer way back when it started, but I never followed up with a “I finished it!” post. I meant to, but it’s hard  to put into words what Infinite Jest means to me. Some people say it has changed their life or claim that it is the greatest novel ever written. All I can tell you is this–upon finishing IJ, I was quiet and thought about it for a long time. A few days later, I put it up on my bookshelf but by the next day it was back in my hands and I was re-reading several passages.

After lugging that massive book and sleeping with it–literally, on my bed next to my pillow–for months, it was hard to just let it go. So now it has a permanent spot on my captains bed headboard so it’s never out of reach. I’ve read page 694 fifty times and think about it several times a week. Has it changed my life? I think it’s too soon to say…but yes.

And but so,

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R.I.P. JD Salinger

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.”

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I have christened the year Twenty-Ten “The Start of Something New”. Lofty words, indeed. Actually, I just wrote that the other day on a whim. But I kinda like it, so I think I’ll keep it around for a bit.

I have begun my attempt to organize/clean my house and finish all the little projects that I have been putting off for eons. The problem has been that whenever I made a list of things that I needed to accomplish, it was so very long and so very overwhelming. I would then throw said list away and re-read Lord of the Rings or watch the first season of LOST for the 100th time. But not this year. This year is going to be productive.

I usually write my lists on the back of scrap paper, but I decided if I was going to get serious about this, I needed a real “to-do” list. And by real, I mean pretty. Patricia of A Little Hut has some fabulous free downloads available, so I printed off her to-do list sheets on the blank side of a piece of paper that came in the mail (which I promptly spilled water on, but it is still nice).

January To-Do

I wrote a “to-do” list with four items on it for January–essentially a task a week, which is manageable. If I checked off two items in one week (awesome!), I added another project to the bottom of my list. Anything I don’t accomplish this month will be bumped to February and the cycle begins again. I’m a big dork and am really excited about how well this system is working out thus far (in fact, the security system mentioned above was installed today, hurray!) so I went searching for some other printable lists. These were my favorites I found to purchase on etsy…

…but these downloadable sheets from Supa Fine seem pretty nifty as well. If I was going to buy a notepad list, this freakin’ awesome “to-do” notepad would be my first choice.

That is the first step of my basic plan of attack to organize my life in year Twenty-Ten. If you have any helpful tips or suggestions, leave a comment! If you saw my bedroom right now, you would realize I need all the help I can get.

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It’s been pretty quiet around my fair blog due to the fact that the last two entries I’ve written have been lost & swallowed up by the internets. That makes me mad. And when I get mad & frustrated with something, I usually throw it in the corner and leave it be until I’m ready to forgive it and start again. So here I am.

Last night, I was watching the new adaptation of Emma on PBS (for the second time). It’s not my favorite adaptation, but it’s still fun to watch (and twitter along with) as I love all things Emma. Emma is my favorite book by Austen, I’ve watched the 1996 Paltrow version an embarrassing number of times and I think Clueless is the best modern Austen adaptation (sorry, Bridget Jones’ Diary, but I just don’t like you). As I was thinking about Clueless tonight, I thought of Paul Rudd and then it hit me: Judd Apatow needs to make a modern version of Pride & Prejudice. THIS IS A GENIUS IDEA! Picture the cast:

Mr. Darcy

Mr. Bingley

(Okay, this is where I admit that Jason Segel is pretty much my ideal guy. He loves the Muppets, Disneyland, musicals & he plays the piano. The perfect man.)

Mr. Wickham

Colonel Fitzwilliam

Mr. Collins

Okay, I’m torn on this one. Should he be Jonah Hill?

Or Martin Starr? I’m leaning towards the latter.

Or should he be someone who has yet to join the Apatow Gang? What say you, dear readers? Would you watch Judd Apatow’s take on Jane Austen’s beloved classic? I am surprised no one in Hollywood has thought of this idea yet as it seems like it would write itself. I am laughing right now just imagining it in my head. Of course, I am a bit insane, but we all knew that.

I am going to be thinking about who to cast as Elizabeth and Jane and the rest of the characters the entire week. If you have any suggestions, leave a comment! I’m only two people away (kinda, sort of) from Judd Apatow & The Gang, so I think it is reasonable to assume we can pass this idea along and see the film made in time for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride & Prejudice in 2013.

Let’s make it happen!

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The middle of January is my least favorite time of the year, for a myriad of reasons. But in the year Twenty-Ten, I’m trying not let it get me down. I’ve been doing little things this week that make me happy; whether it be eating cupcakes, wearing red lipstick everyday or watching my favorite TV show. I thought a few of you may be experiencing the “January blahs” as well, so today I am going to introduce you to a couple of guys who make me smile.

Meet Hank (on the left) and John Green. Collectively they are known ’round the internets as the VlogBrothers. They make videos on youtube and a bunch of people (like me!) watch them. We are known as Nerdfighters. Sometimes the videos are silly. Sometimes they are educational and informative. Occasionally, Hank sings a song. Whatever the subject matter, they are always entertaining.

Hank and John just started their fourth year of video blogging, so now is a good time to start watching and maybe become a nerdfighter yourself. But first, you might want to watch the FAQ’s.

To introduce you further to the awesomeness that is the VlogBrothers, here are two of my favorite videos.

Hank and John Green, I’ve never met you—but you make my world a happier place.

Don’t forget to be awesome!

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Cupcake Cafe Cookbook

January is typically the month when we forsake the rich, unhealthy, fabulous foods of the holidays and make an effort to eat healthier. However, as you well know, I am not typical. This is why, on a ridiculously cold morning, I busted out The Cupcake Cafe cookbook and made doughnuts. I know, it seems odd to find a recipe for doughnuts, muffins and scones in a cookbook from a cafe renowned for its cupcakes, but trust me, these are delicious and simple to make.

Mixing the Dough

Long Island Crullers

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 eggs plus 1 extra yolk

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 ounces butter melted (1/4 cup)

1 cup milk

Sift together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Beat together the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar. Add the vanilla, melted butter, and milk.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up and make handling easier.

When the dough is not too soft or sticky, it is ready to roll out on a floured board. Roll the dough to 3/4 to 1 inch thick and cut rings using a doughnut cutter or two biscuit cutters – first a larger one (about 3 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter), then, inside that, a smaller one (about 1 1/4 inches).

Circles Within Circles

Meanwhile you can be gradually heating up your shortening (roughly 3/4 pound solid vegetable shortening per quart fryer capacity) to about 365°F – not beyond! Fry four or five doughnuts at a time for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove with a long-handled slotted spoon or spatula and place on absorbent paper (such as paper towels) to drain. Continue until all the dough is fried.

If desired, dust with powdered sugar or cinnamon & sugar (but it isn’t really needed as they are perfect plain). Devour quickly.

{January} Thursday the 7th

Enjoy friends!

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