Friday, September 30, 2011

Auntie Nettie Reads A LOT 2011 - 3rd Quarter

If you are just finding the blog, please note that this list was maintained mainly so that I could remember what I've read this year. The record does not fully represent me or all of my interests, so don't judge my reading habits. My interests change quite frequently.

Also, as a general rule, I don't do book recommendations or link to major retailers or publishers. Except for the ARCs listed below [thanks major publishers!], most of these books came from MY library or a public library. If I really, really, really like a book or an ARC, then maybe I'll mention it, pass it along, and make a hoopla.

Go forth, use your library card and READ!

July 2011
Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls (Ghost Hunter Mystery) by Victoria Laurie
One of our Thursdays is Missing (A Thursday Next Novel) by Jasper Fforde
Louis May Alcott: A Personal Biography by Susan Cheever
Smokin’ Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich
(book forgot to write down)
Dragon’s Time: Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey
Lord John and the Private Matter (John Grey Novel) by Diana Gabaldon
Overbite: A Novel by Meg Cabot (didn’t finish)

August 2011
The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel by JoJo Moyes (ARC)
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (John Grey Novel) by Diana Gabaldon
Lord John and the Hand of the Devil (John Grey Novel) by Diana Gabaldon
The Very Thought of You: A Novel by Rosie Alison (galley)
Undead and Undermined (Betsy Taylor Novel) by MaryJanice Davidson
Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant by Jennifer Grant
Heartless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel (Book 4) by Gail Carriger
Vision Impossible: A Psychic Eye Mystery (Book 9) by Victoria Laurie
The Rafters: Book 1 of the Somnambulist Saga by A.C. Montgomery (ARC) (couldn't finish, long, 1st book by young author, self-published)
Jewels of the Sun (Book 1 Gallaghers) by Nora Roberts (re-read, personal library)
Tears of the Moon (Book 2 Gallaghers) by Nora Roberts (re-read, personal library)
Heart of the Sea (Book 3 Gallaghers) by Nora Roberts (re-read, personal library)
Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris

September 2011
The Silver Boat: A Novel by Luanne Rice
Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon
An Ideal Wife: A Novel by Gemma Townley
Ghost Story: A Novel of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
(think I forgot to write one down)
Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy edited by Ellen Datlow
Books Can Be Deceiving: A Library Lover’s Mystery by Jenn McKinlay
Fly Way Home: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner
Withering Tights by Louise Rennison (didn't finish)
The Little Women Letters: A Novel by Gabrielle Donnelly (EXCELLENT!!!)

Go forth and read. READ!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Maker Faire 2011, Part 1 - Closing for Cape

So I went to Maker Fair 2011 recently with Jane.

It was a blast, but since then, life has kind of been spinning out of control. It's been a merry-go-round of one thing after another.Because I do have two jobs at one place, and two other jobs I do when I can,
and because I don't have a spare set of arms,I'm getting a little run down. Plus there's a bug going around the office, causing fevers and chills and coughing and hacking. Did you know you see things when you have fevers?
Odd dreams, waking and sleeping.At one point last week, I was about to do this!Therefore, I'm going to do this (also a great a-ha song)*be like this,and take a break from work (done) and blogging for a bit. I'm escaping the area (ROAD TRIP), and doing this/ (I'm checking some other things too - ego, psyche, etc.).The blog is temporarily this until I get back and can catch up again.Signs and art spotted at Maker Faire, Saturday, September 17, 2011

Longer posts, mine and The Shushing Librarian's, to follow later.

* You like how I always try and get an a-ha reference in?! Me too.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Recipes from Grandma -- Great Grandma Lula

Dipping back into family cookbooks, we visit Grandma Roa's side of the family once again. According to my mother, who consulted with Roa's sister Flora, this is my great-grandmother's recipe for Face Power. (To clarify: my grandmother Roa's mother.) It is presented here, along the lines of the Foot Powder recipe, for some historical perspective.

Where would one buy flake white and prepared chalk and would one want to use it on your face?

Face Powder

Buy 10 c
(ups) worth of glycerin
5 c
(ups) bay rum
5 c
(ups) rose water
In one bottle get 5 c
(up) Flake white and 1/2 c(up) prepared chalk

Put powder into 1 1/2 p(ints) cold water
Let come to boil Boil for 15 min

Remove from fire
(!) allow to cool, add rose water etc and bottle.

*Also, we'll forgive her the whole BYU thing. There has to be one in the family somewhere.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Photo of the Day: Men in Kilts

Maker Faire, September 17, 2011

This totally answers one of my questions. However, it raises another couple.
Is it me, or is that the same stance that one might see in say ... the men's room?

Friday, September 23, 2011

What Dreams May Come

Dear G-Dawg:

I woke up weeping this morning from the most vivid dream. All I remember is snatches – except for the last bit. I still grieve for the loss of something that I know wasn’t real, but I still can't shake this dream.

I can still feel the sensation of being so cherished, like I was a surprising gift that was recently discovered. The fleeting memories of a casual embrace that I started, and then you tentatively reciprocated. What was meant to be brief ended up as something else, something much more important. I can still feel you take the leap at the opportunity, and then wrap your arms tighter around me – drawing me in closer, not once but two times. I can still feel time stop … as we caught our breath and our heartbeats matched rhythms for the length of five slow beats. I felt and counted them with my cheek against your chest and my palms on your back. I can still sense how surprised you were, yet happily so, as you dipped your head down to my shoulder with the deep sigh that I echoed. I know how secure I was in the rightness of the impulse that led to this special moment out of time. Like all the words that we never could say and never needed to be now. We were finally where we were supposed to be.

I ache that I woke and don’t remember more.

All I can ask now, is

Where are you?

~Auntie Nettie

Quote of the Day: Lied for a Lousy Day

Spanische Liebeslieder, Op. 138
Music by Robert Schuman
Text by Emmanuel Geibel
Translation by Steven Ledbetter

No. 2 Lied

Tief im Herzen trag’ ich Pein

Tief im Herzen trag’ ich Pein,
Muss nach aussen stille sein.
Den geliebten Schmerz verhehle
Tief ich vor der Welt Gesicht,
Und es f├╝hlt ihn nur die Seele,
Denn der Leib verdient ihn nicht.
Wie der Funke, frei und licht,
Sich verbirgt im Kieselstein,
Trag’ ich innen tief die Pein.

Deep in my heart I bear pain

Deep in my heart I bear pain,
but outwardly I must be tranquil.
I hide the tender ache deep within,
away from the face of the world,
and only my soul feels it,
for my body does not deserve it.
Just as the spark, free and light,
is hidden within the flint,
so deep inside do I bear my pain.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Summer Fridays/Weekends 2011 - Summer Streets, Part 2

I am almost ashamed to admit that in all the years that I have visited, lived in, or worked in New York, I had never been to, or walked over the Brooklyn Bridge. Shocking. I know. It's a known tourist destination, not to mention a regular commute for some folks, but I had never done it prior to Summer Streets.

Unfortunately, because it was Summer Streets, not to mention a beautiful day, and because we hit the Bridge right around noon, it was hot and crowded. So, so crowded. Everyone was trying to get that perfect I-was-here photo. I'll have to go back, and do it walking toward Manhattan and not away from it. Maybe when the renovation/construction is done too.

Scenes from the Bridge: the Verizon building; tall ships in the harbor; Lady Liberty; colorful rooftops. I didn't take picture of the Watchtower - the headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses. It's probably better at dusk or lit up at night.

I can hear Dad now, What's up with the vertical? Look, it's all about the lines. LONG LINES. The better for perspective here.

Almost at the end of our walk - over the Bridge and into Brooklyn. I love the ironic juxtaposition of the exhaust fumes exhuding from all the cars and taxis on the Bridge with the "How Sweet it is" sign welcoming you to Brooklyn.

What you don't realize about the Bridge is how long it takes to get off the ramps and figure out where you are, and how to get back to a subway or transit hub. By this time, you are hot, tired, and if you've walked from mid-town, hungry and border-line cranky. If you've been smart, you've been hydrating, but now desperately in need of a 'facility.' I did manage to spot a subway stop, so I knew how to get us back under the Bridge into Manhattan. As for signage for pedestrian traffic, it is seriously lacking. For the weary soles, some smart restaurateur has snapped up a corner diner (of dubious cleanliness/culinary quality) right at the end of the bridge ramp. This is not Zagat-rated. It is a neighborhood joint catering to the locals and those of us on and off the Bridge, and local cops, so it must be a local place. One day I'll find DUMBO and the Park, but on this day, R--- and I needed a bathroom, food, and beverages ... and not necessarily in any particular order.

Brunch is served: an omlette for R---, fries and a grilled chicken wrap with jalapenos for me.

Full, rested, and refreshed, we walked back towards Manhattan to catch the A/C. The steep escalator reminded me of heading underground in Moscow - except Moscow's was cleaner and less scary.

It was a good day, full of new sights and sounds. What fun way to wrap up my long weekend, the last of the official Summer Fridays. I crossed off another thing on my must-see list, introduced a friend to more of the City's offerings, and got some exercise in to boot.

While I did hide out at home a bit in July and early August, I was just waiting for the weather to get cooler and for my other friends' schedules to open up. September's outings include roadtrips back to CT, a return to Maker Faire, possibly Caramoor's Fall Festival, and a Cape Cod retreat. Can't wait.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer Fridays/Weekends 2011 - Summer Streets, Part 1

One of the more delightful NYC offerings that has gained in popularity in recent years is something called Summer Streets. For three Saturday mornings in August, Park Avenue, from 72nd Street south to the Brooklyn Bridge, is closed to vehicular traffic. Pedestrians, bikers, strollers, boarders, and wheelers of all shapes, sizes, and configurations are set loose to see the City from a different perspective.

I meant to go last year, so I marked my calendar to make sure I did it this time. I was especially motivated after walking down the middle of Lexington during the March for Babies. It really is a great way to see the City. For one reason or another, August slipped by and suddenly there was only one Saturday left! I made sure clear the calendar so there would be no excuses.

My idea was to get up and be in the City by 7:00 ish, so I could take the subway uptown and start at the beginning in the Park and head south, see Grand Central from the flyover, and the continue down and over the Brooklyn Bridge. I had invited R--- to go with me, and so compromised that we would meet at Grand Central at around 9:30 and head south. I figure some is better than none. I'll do half this year, and do more next year.

Unfortunately, as I got to Grand Central and checked my phone, R--- was just waking up! In Queens! Whoops. Time was a wasting. Summer Streets is only from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm. After a few texts back and forth, a new plan was in play. I would head out and she would keep me updated on her progress in rousting her roommate out of the bathroom, getting ready, and catching a subway to the City.

Honestly, that was okay with me. I walk fast and there was so much to see. I stuck to the sidewalks. The city streets were full of bikers, runners, and boarders. Pedestrians are in the way.

l-r: Looking north toward Grand Central, you can see the Met Life building; r: South scenes. Need motivation to keep exercising? H&M decided to give you some with a gigantic bikini-clad woman. (Gee thanks!)

l-r: The sign is misleading. Bikers on the left. RUNNERS on the right. The ennui from the patrons of Les Halles is palpable. I wonder what snark Anthony Bourdain would have to say about the views.

I also like meandering around semi-deserted City Streets on the weekends. With no hordes of workerbees or tourists around, you can scan your surroundings and discover vestiges of the City of the past. l-r: This sign is on the old New York Life Insurance Company building, which takes up a whole City block. The Interborough subway predates the current MTA system. r: I found the wizard of Park Avenue, on the old Schwarzenbach Building. Apparently, this is called the Silk Clock. He's amazing. Another reason to remember to look UP!

There were many rest-stops scheduled through out the route. If you decided to stop and rest for a bit, you could park your bike with the Bike Valet.

It was crazy near the Bike Valet. You had to keep your eyes open and alert to daredevil bike messengers zipping in to stop, but more alert for the weekend warriors who were out of practice in being polite to pedestrians.

l-r: Signs alerting residents to Summer Streets. r: I had to capture this Great Dane. It's not all hand-bag/designer drop-kick dogs in the City. Oh no. Occasionally you will see GIGANTIC dogs like Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, and Bernese Mountain Dogs roaming the streets. Who keeps a Great Dane in a New York apartment? This guy.

Before R--- realized it, I had managed to get to the Union Square Greenmarket. After taking in the views of the lovely flowers, I parked myself on a bench in the middle of the park to give my feet a rest and to rehydrate. It worked out perfectly, because R--- could take a subway and meet me there.

I also enjoyed the time spinning a yarn about the eye candy that decided to park within my line of vision. I sent this photo off to the blog Hot Guys Reading Books, because, well? Hello?! Plus, he distracted me from how much I really wanted this yarn but totally know I can't afford hand sheared, spun, and dyed skeins from probably organic sheep reared on an organic upstate farm.
R--- found me in the shade by the statue of Abraham Lincoln and we sent off south, looking up at the ever changing skyline.

l-r: R--- is not happy I took this photo, but it's really not about her. It's about the Bostonian infiltrating Pin-stripes territory who almost photo-bombed the snapshot. That is one brave Red Sox fan. Brave man, brave. Also brave? The Summer Streets volunteers who act as traffic cops with their tiny Stop/Go signs. I wonder how many of them almost got run over by the hard-core bikers or out-of-town delivery trucks?

Bikes of all shapes, sizes, hues, vintage, and um ... decoration.

l-r: I would like to note that the photo below left is not filled with professional models. Those are just extremely well-kitted New York children. Seriously, the kids have more style than I do. Who would have thought that this REI set-up would have been so timely? Good to review camping procedures and equipment at week before Hurricane Irene came bearing down on us. REI was out in full-force in SoHo. Apparently a new store is coming in soon, just in time for those kids who have been scaling the walls with boredom since school is out.

Look at the form on this kid.

As we wandered south, I was taking all kinds of photos, trying out various formats on the camera. I must have not flipped back from black/white for these, which is too bad. Gramps had form on his reclining bike, and the sandboxes were too cute down at the tip of the island near the courthouse steps made famous by many an episode of Law and Order.

Next stop? The Brooklyn Bridge!