Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fun iPhone Photos of the Week

"Throw it again, Mom!"


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kingss

A VERY rare midweek night out at the House of Blues was fantastic!

Friday, February 14, 2014

How Romantic!

On my way home this afternoon I saw this man on his motorcycle with a bouquet of flowers tucked safely in his backpack.  I think the recipient will swoon when he shows up at her house.  I know I would.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2013 in Books

As I finish I book I write down the title and author in my datebook.  At the end of the year I like to compile that information into a list and see where I went that year via books.

Here's the 2013 recap.

1.  Best Food Writing 2012 by Holly Hughes (editor)
I like to read about food (almost as much as I like eating it).  I like compilations as books I can hold in my hands so I read the paperback version of this.

2.  Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
I remember this showed up in my email as a special offer from Kindle. It was cheap, involved Abe and vampires, so why not?

3.  The Dinner by Herman Koch
I read a good review of this somewhere and it intrigued me.  I enjoyed it.  (Kindle)

4.  No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
I got news that my geology field trip would be to South Texas.  I was going to places I'd never been, such as Del Rio, Marathon, and Big Bend.  Somehow I knew (or was told) that I'd be near the setting of No Country for Old Men.  So I had to read it.  (Kindle)  Yes, it's a bit bleak and probably not a good warm-up for my trip, but it seemed necessary to read it.  I don't know of a lot of books that take place in that part of the world.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.  It kind of surprised me.  The last time I'd tried reading Cormac McCarthy I was really put off my his writing style and total lack of quotation marks.  This time the story just sucked me in and I didn't even notice those pecularities.  And yes, I also watched the movie as part of my field trip preparation.  And I saw The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada which takes place in that general part of the world too.  It was a bit of a Tommy Lee Jones filmfest.

5.  Mary Coin by Marisa Silver
I have always been intrigued by the Dorothea Lange photograph of the migrant mother in the depression so when I read that this book was a fictional account of the photographer and mother, I had to read it.  (Kindle)

6.  Inferno by Dan Brown
A Dan Brown book featuring Robert Langdon--what more do I need to know?  I'm there!   It wasn't a repeat of DaVinci Code because Robert Langdon was solving both the inferno mystery and the mystery of how he became involved.  (Kindle)

7.  Joyland by Stephen King
Stephen King is my all-time favorite so the minute this one came out I bought it.  It wasn't available electronically but even if it was I would have bought the hard copy.  It's such a good story and not at all a scary tale, but one of a young guy growing up.

8.  Benediction by Kent Haruf
I really like this author.  His writing isn't flashy, the stories are about ordinary people, and they really convey a sense of place.  I got this in hardback to go with his other books on my shelf.

9.  The Shining by Stephen King
I knew that Stephen King would have a new book in the fall that featured the little kid from The Shining all grown up.  I hadn't read The Shining since I was about 14.  So it was time for a reread in preparation for the new book.  I hadn't realized the time frame was as compressed as it was.  I seem to remember that Jack Torrance went crazy over the course of about a year, but it happened much quicker.  This may have been the first Stephen King book I ever read after being introduced to him by my friend JoLynn.  I remember borrowing her copy.  This time I read the Kindle version.

10.  The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Once J.K. Rowling was outed as the author I had to read this mystery.  I thought it was very good and entertaining.  I don't read a lot of mysteries so I have no idea if this was better than the average mystery or not.  (Kindle)

11.  Coming Clean by Kimberly Ray Miller
One Sunday I read a blurb about this in the magazine section of the paper.  I have seen enough of the hoarder shows that I was intrigued.  It was a quick non-fiction break from all the fiction I'd been reading.  (Kindle)

12.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khalid Hosseini
I absolutely loved his two previous novels so I had to read this one.  It was different in that it involved so many people and took place in many locations in addition to Afghanistan.  Very good.  (Kindle)

13.  The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F. G. Haghenbeck
I've always been intrigued by Frida Kahlo.  So while I was browsing in a bookstore (a rare occurance these days) and saw this novel, I bought it.

14.  A Face in the Crowd by Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan
This is a Kindle Single, basically a short story, so it doesn't really count as a book.  I think I was between books so I looked for something on Kindle and came up with this.  Stephen King!

15.  Everyone's Reading Bastard by Nick Hornby
Another Kindle Single.

16.  The Maid's Version by Daniel Woodrell
I was on my way to work and heard an interview with the author.  Though I never read Winter's Bone my boyfriend liked it and I know the movie was good.  So I read this.  I liked it.  (Kindle)

17.  Smaldone by Dick Kreck
I was home visiting my mom and we went to the history museum.  While browsing the gift shop, I picked up this book.  It was about gangsters in Denver and Pueblo and the history and violence and one-for-one murders.  It was very interesting.  I read it in an afternoon.  My mom remembered her parents speaking of some of the main characters.  I learned some things I'd never known about my home town.

18.  Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Finally, the book I'd been waiting for for months!  It's great!  I lugged around this big heavy book because I prefer my Stephen King in hardcover.

19.  The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
I have always enjoyed her short stories.  She is an author who really transports me to the locations she is writing about.  This was a great novel.  (Kindle)

20.  Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissinger
It seemed like every time I flipped through the movie channels Friday Night Lights was on.  I eventually managed to see the whole movie though not necessarily in chronological order.  So I felt it was time to finally read this book which I'd been meaning to for years.  (Kindle)  Interestingly, that part of Texas was in a deep depression during the time of the story but is experiencing boom times now.  That's oil for you.

21.  Sycamore Row by John Grisham
A lawyer story by John Grisham?  You know I'm going to read!  (Kindle)

22.  Wolves of Midwinter by Anne Rice
I really liked the first book of this new werewolf series so I was eager to read this one.  (Kindle)

23.  Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr
Food again!  I have been intrigued by M.F.K. Fisher for years.  I remember soon after I moved here after college I declined an invitation to go bowling with friends because I wanted to watch an interview with her on PBS.  I love Julia Child too so it was natural that I read this.  (Kindle)

24.  Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
I read a review of this book in the Sunday paper.  I visited Iceland back in 1987 on a geophysical field trip.  A good read.  (Kindle)

25.  The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez
As I was browsing Amazon's "best of 2013" list I found this book.  It was on a bunch of other "best of" lists also.  I think I agree.  (Kindle)

That's 25 books though two were actually Kindle singles.

I read 5 physical books (two because I knew they deserved a place on my shelves, one because it was the only way it was published, two because I purchased them while browsing) and 20 Kindle books.  A word about that:  I currently use the Kindle app on my iPad.  I haven't used the actual Kindle for about a year.  I think I finally realized I didn't need to take two devices with me on vacation; the iPad could do it all.

I read 5 nonfiction books (italized titles) and 20 fiction.  I'm not sure what that says.

In compiling this list I realize that most of the books I read this year weren't random finds.  They were suggestions from reviews in the paper or on NPR or even Amazon.  Only two were totally random finds through browsing, the Frida Kahlo book and the Smaldone gangster book.  I love reading electronically for several reasons, primarily the space ones.  Books can be big heavy objects.  They aren't travel-friendly and they add up on your shelves.  As a lifelong reader, I must regularly cull through the shelves to make sure all the books fit--electronic versions don't get this culling.

But I really miss browsing in a book store, never knowing what I'll find.  That has always been one of the great joys of being a reader.

I'm not sure how to balance my love for the electronic and the randomness of browsing.  (I feel so guilty going into a store to browse with the intention of buying from Amazon later.  The one time I did this in my local independent bookstore I was sure I'd trip, drop my purse, and my Kindle/iPad would fall out, thus outing me.)  Maybe I'll figure that out in 2014.

Monday, January 27, 2014


I decided to make some pizzelles.  They are Italian in origin, but in my mind they are synonymous with Pueblo, Colorado, my home town.  We eat a lot of pizzelles there.

 The pizzelle iron is a lot like a waffle iron.

These are traditional anise flavored.  Yum!  This is a delicacy if you are a Puebloan.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Infinity Scarf -- Brown September Circle

I'm still a knitter.  Albeit a slow one.  And mostly an accessory knitter.  I wish I had mounds of time and mounds of attention to create a proper sweater (instead of just start them).  But real life gets in the way.

Oh well.  

I love infinity scarves.  Really I do.  I decided to make one that I'd made earlier, the September Circle by Melissa LaBarre.  Hmm, it seems I never posted to this blog my previous one, which I have been wearing a lot.  It's a real easy project that I love so I thought I'd make another one.  This time I chose brown, which may seem boring, but my Patagonia down sweater is brown so it does match.  I think brown is a nice winter neutral.  I recently found out my mom hates brown and refuses to wear it.  Seriously...she liked a dress a lot but refused to try it on because it was "brown".  Um, excuse me, that dress was actually "leopard".  But I digress.

Since this pattern is so quick and easy I thought I'd easily finish it over my 10-day vacation in Colorado.  I even took another project to begin since I was so sure I'd finish this in a few days.  I underestimated how much activity would fill up my time and how busy I'd be with friends and relatives.  Honestly, this was my best trip home in a long time.

I finally finished knitting this a week or so ago, put to block a few days ago (yay for that "snow day" we got on Friday), and took it off the blocking board today.

Hmm, probably should not have taken a photo after a trip to the grocery store with minimal makeup and uncombed hair.  And my fox shirt.  Oh well.  This is me.  

Here are some better photos of the photogenic infinity scarf.