Friday, March 28, 2008


I'm going to skip the round up today and chat about some of the books I've been reading.

The first book is The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food by Edith Jones. I think I blogged about her before. This dynamo of a woman is either directly or indirectly (mostly directly) for The Diary of Anne Frank being published,and introducing readers to Julia Child, Madhur Jaffrey and Edna Lewis to name a few of the culinary royalty she has brought to the world. She is the senior editor and vice president at Alfred A. Knopf, where she has worked since 1957. I loved this book. This woman has led an amazing life.

I read Eat,Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert with a lot of trepidation. I read a couple of reviews about it, and the first thing I thought was, "Oh, another rich, bored woman with nothing to do but go find herself."

I kept seeing women on the train and bus reading this book so I thought I'd give it a try. I actually enjoyed it. My favorite section was the first section on Italy. And what's not to love about Italy: luscious food, fantastic history and archictecture everywhere and the Italian people. I thought I wouldn't have that much interest in the sections on India and Indonesia because I just have never had much interest in that part of the world. What kept me interested in the India section was her interest in meditation.

Quite a few years ago I took a hypnotherapy course that taught me how to meditate. We used a tape and after awhile I got good enough where I didn't need the tape. I have "monkey mind" and it took a lot of practice to train myself to focus and not let my mind wander. The author had the same problem. I haven't meditated in a long time, and I might have to get back to it. I have insomnia these days and a huge problem chillaxing so maybe it will help.

All in all, I enjoyed the book. Elizabeth Gilbert has a way of writing that makes you feel like you are kicked back with her at a cafe laughing and enjoying the day. This funny memoir is worth a read. I also think it would be a great book club pick.

The last book is Nancy Redd's Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers .

The wonderful Laundress over at Dirty Laundry mentioned this book on her blog and I am so glad that she did. I wish that I had this book when I was a teenager. Even though I had a mom who was a nurse and who was calling bits and parts by their correct anatomical names from the time I was born, and who wasn't shy about talking about bodily functions; this book still would have been great to have. If I had a daugher I would definitely buy this for her.

Yes, some folks might be turned off by the nudity, but hey we are all women and we all have the same bits. I know I've never had all of these hang ups that people have about nudity and sex. I'm appalled by the violence that pervades so much of our society, or the fact that we use sex to sell every freakin' thing imaginable. I'm not appalled by seeing a stray breast or penis here and there. Big Woo!!!!!!!!!!!

What I loved about this book is that it presents important information in a fun way. The photographs celebrate our uniqueness. The images are of all types of young women-thin, not-so-thin, white, brown, black, and everything in between. The book discusses topics that we all have to deal with as women, but as young women may be too embarrassed to ask or possibly not have anyone to ask these questions. Questions left unanwered can lead to ruined self-image and self-doubt and these feelings can last a lifetime.

Loved the book, glad the Laundress mentioned it. Read her post from March 4, 2008 about the book.

Ever since we got FIOS last October A. and I have availed ourselves of most of the channels. The other night when I couldn't sleep I was watching Retirement Living TV. They carry the Florence Henderson Show. Yep, Carol Brady, she from The Song of Norway with the beautiful voice, has a show on Retirement Living. I think I'll save this for an entire post because I became quite enthralled with one of her guests that night.

Fit TV has all sorts of exercise program, healthy eating shows and my favorite-Shimmy. I say each year that I am going to take belly dancing lessons. I love any kind of dance, and this would be fun and great exercise. I still haven't gotten my nerve to do it yet, but Shimmy might urge me on.

Hmm, I wonder what hip scarf I should get?

My sweetie was able to drive me to work this morming so we left a bit early so we could drive by and see this.

"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." Louisa May Alcott (1873)

"I love the body. Flesh is so honest, and organs do not lie." Candea Core-Starke

Friday, March 21, 2008

Round Up

The archive of the first 80 years (1869-1949) of the journal Nature is now live. Every article, back to Volume 1, is now available online.

In my last entry I noted that Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offered free online courses. They are not the only school doing this. 10 universities are offering free online courses.

I fell asleep at the very beginning of the new reality series Dumped on BBC America last week. The premise of Dumped is 10 people are "dumped" into a garbage dump and told to fend for themselves. Some more information about the show. I'm not a huge fan of reality television, but I do have a couple of programs that I enjoy. If I can stay awake this week I'll see how this show fares.

Lucinda Moran creates these lovely Protect This Woman bracelets.

Hulu rocks. Watch some of your favorite televion shows. I watched Bones and Family Guy yesterday. Nobody is more shocked than me that I have become a Family Guy fan. It's like my little secret. Don't tell-Shhhhh!!!!

Bed,Bath and Beyond is now carrying Kate Spade. I have liked Kate Spade ever since she first came on the scene. I really can't afford her, but occasionally I'll pick up something on eBay.

Hmmmm,maybe I'm just having some latent appreciation for comics and cartoons. When I was growing up I didn't read the comics very much. Charlie Brown was about it for me. As for cartoons, The Flintstones, The Jetsons and my favorite Jonny Quest were it. I mentioned before how I had a huge crush on Race Bannon from Jonny Quest. Now that I think of it, I also have always had a thing for Mr. Clean too.

Once again I digress. I found two very cool websites devoted to comics. The Comics Curmudgeon. He reads the comics and posts daily commentary about them. The Daily Cross Hatch also posts commentary on comics and graphic novels.

A Duck a Day is just that. This blogger blogs about ducks, duck happenings and lots of images of all sorts of ducks.

Get ready to sit back and chuckle. Overheard in the Office is fragments of conversation overheard in offices every day.

I leave you with this image. The saucer magnolias are starting to bloom in this area. I think spring is beautiful in my area, but it's also a harbinger of bright sun, humidity and me being misreble. I probably will only complain about hot weather a few more times this year.

Have a nice weekend and if you celebrate Easter have a nice one.

Love this quote by Charles Dickens.

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade." ~Charles Dickens

Monday, March 17, 2008

Round Up

Stumbled upon Yahoo Green the other day.

Open government and freedom of information-Sunshine Week

I don't know about Meryl Street portraying Julia Child in the blog/book and now movie Julie/Julia. Not that I don't think Meryl Streep is not an amazing actress, but I just don't know.

Massachusetss Institute of Technology (MIT) Open CourseWare offers the curriculum of all of its courses, that's correct, all of its courses free to anyone who wants to partake.

Since this is Womens History Month, which I hate. Okay, I think I've explained before how I hate these months dedicated to different minorites. I guess it is a good thing if it helps educated the young uns about blacks, women, hispanics and Native Americans, but why not just include these groups in the damn textbooks in the firstplace you bigoted textbook authors?

Okay I got that off of my chest for now. Anywho, back to Womens History Month. Check out the American Women Through Time site.

Edith Wharton's incredible home The Mount is facing foreclosure.

I found another blog devoted to one of my favorite stores-Breakfast at Anthropologie.

The Wheel of Lunch is way too much fun. Enter your zipcode and let it rip.

Su Blackwell does some amazing book-cut sculptures.

Since it's St. Patrick's Day I leave you with an Irish blessing.

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kids Stuff

For the past few days I seem to keep running into all sorts of goodies for kids so I thought I would share some of them.

I found two wonderful online magazines LMNOP and Small. LMNOP is Australian and covers a lot of cool items for kids. Small is another magazine that covers independent children's design,crafts, music and fashion. I spent some time perusing both and I must say that I fell in love with Small. Check them both out and see what you think.

I also stumbled across the world of children's music. Oh boy. It sure has changed since I was a kid. Besides They Might Be Giants there's The SqueeGees, The Jimmies , and dedicated children's music radio broadcasts. There's even a children's music radio station-Mighty Moose Radio.

A World of Happiness is a compilation of songs done by the likes of Debbie Harry, Tori Amos, Lisa Loeb and Lou Rawls singing the title song A World of Happiness. This cd attempts to send positive messages to children about treating others with kindness and respect and the importance of education and using your imagination.

Here are some more childrens musicians: The Dream Jam Band,Princess Katie and Racer Steve, Enzo Garcia,Frances England, and the wonderful Ginger Hendrix just to name a few. It seems I am always partial to someone with the last name of Hendrix.

William Avery records the Cool Songs Collection that are not only fun, but educational.

Two performers that I had heard of before were Ella Jenkins and Raffi of Baby Beluga fame.

A friend of mine has been talking about Parker Bent. Parker Bent is a preschool music teacher and he's recorded a couple of cds. Apparently his second cd, Charlie Davidson's Tricycle Club,is all the rage with the Hollywood set and their kids.

I know there's a lot I have missed, but I thought I would share some of what I kept bumping into this week.

"If you can walk you can dance. If you can talk you can sing." ~ Zimbabwe Proverb

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Round Up

Don Diega de la Vega. Just say it a couple of times. Kind of trips off of the tongue doesn't it? I used to love to say that name over and over again. Don Diega de la Vega, or as some may prefer, Zorro was one of my favorite characters when I was a kid. Well, I wasn't really a kid. I ended up seeing reruns of Zorro (The Fox), the television program, with easy-on-the-eyes Guy Williams (born Armand Joseph Catalano) when I was older. Good grief that man was good-looking. I thought he was all that when he was Poppa to Will and Penny on Lost in Space, but put a man in black clothes with a flowing cape, give him a sword and a horse,-Oh yeah!!

Yes, I used to cringe at the use of Anglo actors portraying non-Anglo characters, and I'm thrilled that Hollywood has finally wised up and doesn't do that. As Sr. Mary Janet Ryan, one of my History professors used to say, "Students you must understand zetigeist to understand history."

Now what has brought back my memories of the oh so handsome Mr. Williams-the Encyclopedia of Television. Although sparse on entries,the entries that are there are well-written for the most part. Check it out.

I had blogged about my admiration for artist Tamar Mogendorff. Look at what she's up to now. Just love her work.

The D.C.Environmental Film Festival will be screening 115 films in more than 40 venues staring on March 11-22.

For those of you interested in genealogy here is a genealogy search engine and blog list.

Are you an Ayn Rand fan? Looking for like-minded individuals. Here is a social networking site that may hold some interest-Atlasphere.

Some of these bindings on the Publishers Bindings site are absolutely incredible.

A group has placed Thomas Jefferson's library, every book title, into Library Thing. I thought this was a wonderful idea and I hope they plan to place other noted libraries in Library Thing. Which reminds me I need to update my account with them.

The Boston Public Library has a wonderful online exhibit of John Adams' Library. Speaking of John Adams, HBO is airing a seven-episode miniseries on our second President, starting on Sunday, March 16, 2008. Paul Giamatti will be playing President Adams.

Read the story of two illuminated manuscripts Rose and Chess.

How about some architecture candy? Look at Chicago's Aqua Building.

When I was growing up we had very large gardens and canned a lot of what we grew. We also put a lot of items into the additional freezer we had in our utility room. One of the items that my mother made was delicious marinara sauce. She also made wonderful ketchup from all of the tomatoes we grew. I don't even know if bottled sauce was around back then, but we wouldn't have been using it anyway. That is probably why I am such a sauce snob now. Nothing is better than homemade.

Well, the other day I was kind feeling kind of lazy and I didn't have any more of my own homemade sauce in the freezer so I decided to buy a bottle. I had just read a magazine article where they had taken a poll and found out that one of the favorite marinara sauces was Victoria Marinara. I thought what the hell I'll try it. I was having a pasta craving so bought a bottle. It really does taste like homemade. It's delicious. Two of the other winners were Newmans Own Marinara for its super-thickness and the best organic is Colavita Organic Marinara Sauce.

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend.

"My sword is a flame to right every wrong, so heed well my name." Zorro