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Posts Tagged ‘new year’s’

Friday Fun! (Happy Festivhanumas!)

December 23, 2011 4 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  Yes, I totally made up that amalgamation of the three holidays I’m celebrating this year, but I think it works, yes?

For Festivus, which is today, I mostly just air grievances.  I suppose I could wrestle my cat like my friend Sara does with hers, but I do that quite a bit anyway, so not so special.  I will be airing grievances on twitter today (I can just hear my twitter followers saying AS USUAL ahem), but I also will air a few book and book blogging related ones here.  I hate that horrible stupid books like The Help and Twilight get all the acclaim and backing from publishing houses while non-white, non-western, and non-traditional ones get ignored.  I really can’t stand that stupid Waiting on Wednesday meme, and I honestly do not get it.  I hate it when bloggers don’t write their own book summaries and instead grab them from Amazon or GoodReads or what-not.  I honestly do not like Book Blogger Appreciation Week. It reminds me a lot of the voting for homecoming king and queen in highschool.  I hate it when authors and/or publishers either read your review requests rules and ignore them or skip reading them altogether before contacting you.  *exhales*  See why Festivus is awesome?

Thankfully Chanukkah involves 8 crazy nights, so I have lots of chances to celebrate it both contemplatively alone and with friends!  I’ve already been lighting my candles (very late) when I get home from the gym with my kitty.  She’s been pretty good about not tackling the menorah.  So far.  But this weekend I will be celebrating with three different friends–Nina, Josh, and Sara.  Josh I haven’t seen in um….two years? So I’m super-excited for his visit!  I am also looking forward to making latkes and having an excuse to eat sour cream.  Also to reading The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, which is now a tradition since my dad gave it to me last yearish. It may have been the year before.

Comparatively, my Christmas is low-key this year, since I spent Thanksgiving with my family.  I finally pulled out my (short fake) tree last night, but still need to decorate it.  The cat, however, is very pleased with the ability to hide behind and just generally sniff it.  I’ve already watched The Grinch and Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas.  All that’s left for the annual viewing is Claymation Christmas.  I still have some gift swapping to do with friends and some to hand out to those folks you’re supposed to give gifts to (like landlords), but I’m very close to being done!  And then it is

ON TO NEW YEAR’S MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY AND THIS YEAR @BITCHYLIBRARIAN IS VISITING ME FOR IT AHHHHHH

 

Best Discoveries of 2009–Boston Places, Web Clips, and Recipes

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Yesterday you got to see my best discoveries–aka I encountered them for the first time–of 2009 in movies, tv shows, and websites.  The day before in my reading stats for 2009 you saw my favorite books I discovered.  Today I’ll be finishing up my discoveries lists with Boston places, web clips, and recipes!

Boston Places

  • The Friendly Toast (1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA)
    Known as a hipster joint, this restaurant serves breakfast/brunch foods all day long.  It’s decorated with fun vintage posters, many of which are scifi themed.  The portion sizes are huge!  You really get the bang for your buck here, and vegetarian options are numerous.  You even can get vegetarian sausage!  The servers are also super-friendly.  This is currently my favorite breakfast place in Boston.
  • Berk’s Store (50 JFK St, Cambridge, MA)
    I was hunting everywhere for waterproof knee-high boots without a heel, when I wandered into this store.  Crowded into a small space is the best shoe store I’ve found in Boston.  The styles reflect the needs of Bostonians–good for walking and the weather without sacrificing style.  The employees are friendly and–get this!–you can put a deposit on shoes and have them hold them for you to pick up later without paying anything extra.  This is great for if you find a great pair of shoes/boots but don’t want to drag them on your commute with you.
  • Boston Bed Company (1113 Comm Ave, Boston, MA)
    More than just mattresses, they offer bed frames, bedroom furniture, living room furniture, sofas, and chairs.  This business is locally-owned, and they understand Bostonian’s needs.  Everything is reasonably priced, the sales associates are friendly but also understand giving you space to wander about the store on your own, and you get free delivery (over a certain price point, which I forget right now, but I easily reached it when buying my mattress and box spring).  Definitely check them out for any furniture needs.
  • Hootenanny (36 JFK St aka The Garage, Cambridge, MA)
    The clothing off-shoot of Newbury Comics, this store is great for funky clothing, shoes, and bags.  I got my Glomits there, as well as a steampunk skirt and dress.  They also offer vegan shoes for my vegan friends.  The prices can be a bit steep on some items, but they have continuous sales which knocks them right down to reasonable.
  • Jacob Realty (279 Newbury St, Boston, MA)
    I had to apartment hunt this year, and after many phone calls that ended with me mad at an agent who couldn’t accept my price limit as a real price limit, I finally landed on Jacob Realty.  My realtor actually listened to me and treated me with respect, and she helped me land a great apartment!  Definitely check them out if you’re on the apartment hunt.

Web Clips (yes I know there’s a lot of cats on this list)

Recipes

  • Emeril’s Vegetarian Egg Rolls
    Confession.  I have a deep fryer, and for my housewarming party I wanted to use it.  I’d made egg rolls with my dad when I was a kid, but those were meat-filled (this was before I went veg).  Anyway, I was shocked to discover Emeril has a vegetarian recipe.  They require a bit of work what with making up the filling and wrapping them, but they came out very good.  Even my friends who don’t like egg rolls liked these.
  • Little House Apple Pie (The Little House Cookbook: Fronteir Food from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories by Barbara M. Walker)
    I’d gone apple picking with two of my best buddies, and I wanted to make apple pie.  The problem was that I’d never gotten the family recipe from my mother who I disowned, so I needed to find a good new recipe.  Omg, people, you should ditch family recipes more often.  This pie is so good!  Side-note, I always use Emeril’s Basic Sweet Pie Crust with my pies.
  • Vegan Sweet Potato Latkes (current issue of Vegetarian Times, apparently isn’t on their website yet)
    I wanted to make latkes for my Chrismukkah gathering, but wanted a healthier version than the traditional one.  I love sweet potatoes and already had a stash of them, so this seemed like it’d be cool to try.  Instead of eggs, the recipe has you boil some sweet potatoes and mash them to use for binding the shredded potato together.  I was skeptical as to whether this would work, but it totally did.  These were a big hit.

That’s it for my best-of lists!  Hopefully next year I’ll have more recipes to share with you guys.  I hope you all made some fun discoveries of your own in 2009.

2009 Reading Summary

December 29, 2009 15 comments

At some point (oh, about two or three weeks in), this blog that started out as a purely opinions blog (with a focus on libraries) turned into an about 50% book blog.  This really shouldn’t have surprised me.  I mean a librarian with a blog about opinions is going to *gasp* review books?  Say it ain’t so.

Being the reading freak that I am, I keep track of the books that I read over on LibraryThing.  I just finished a book, and I doubt I’ll finish another one in 2009, so without further ado, here are my reading stats for 2009.

Total Books Read: 52
Average Books Per Month: 4.33
Month Most Read: August with 10 (The only month I didn’t have school? Surprise, surprise).
Month Least Read: January with 1 (I was really sick).
Fiction: 47
Nonfiction: 5
Genres (some books counted as multiple genres):
–Scifi: 12
–Romance: 12 (This really surprised me!)
–Dystopian: 10
–Horror: 8
–YA: 8
–Classics: 5 (Pleasantly surprised by this).
–Historical: 4
–Memoir: 3
–Contemporary: 3
5 Star Reads:
–The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, review
–Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
–The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
Honorable Mention with 4.5 Stars:
–Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Read and Reviewed on This Blog: 27

I’m not the type to set goals for myself with reading, since I do it for fun.  However, I will try to work in a few more nonfiction books as I’m a big believer in life-long learning.  I do think this is a bit skewed since a lot of my nonfiction reading is in the form of current scholarly journals as opposed to books.  I also think a book a week is a good pace for reading to still be enjoyable, but also not a neglected hobby.  We’ll see if I naturally speed up or slow down next year.  If you guys have any suggestions as far as specific books or genres for me to try in 2010, I welcome them!

Why New Year’s Is My Favorite Holiday

December 28, 2009 3 comments

Christmas is finally over, which means it’s time for my favorite holiday: New Year’s!  All week on the blog I’ll be doing a few special New Year’s related posts, starting out with why it’s my favorite holiday.

People often ask me why, out of all the holidays, my favorite is one where you don’t even get presents.  Well, there are a lot of reasons.

It’s secular. Everyone can celebrate without any of that religion or country worry and mumbo jumbo.  Even people and cultures who follow the lunar cycle can still also acknowledge the change of the Gregorian calendar.

You’re supposed to drink. Any holiday that largely revolves around drinking cocktails and champagne gets my vote.

There’s no societal expected norm as to who you should spend it with. It’s perfectly acceptable spend it with friends as opposed to family, but you can still spend it with family if you want to.  Nobody is going around asking me why I’m not off in some other state visiting family, and also my friends don’t all simultaneously disappear for the weekend.

Reflection. It’s a regularly occurring time to reflect on yourself, your actions, your life and have a palaver with yourself and make sure your life and your behavior are what you want them to be, which leads to

Resolutions. I am all about being a self-made person.  I’m about deciding who I want to be and working to be that person instead of just laying back and playing with the hand I was dealt in life, aka nature and nurture.  I take initiative and choice and use it to kick nature and nurture’s butt.

Clean slate. The new year isn’t exactly a clean slate, but you can make it one if you want to or need to.  You can also just make a clean slate in certain areas of your life.  Maybe there’s a friend you need to come to terms with or a habit that’s bad for you that it’s time to get rid of.

New Year’s is great in that it asks you to celebrate and enjoy life, but it also asks you to take a good look at your life and make sure it’s what you want it to be.  New Year’s is the best of both worlds–celebration and accountability.