Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oscars

I only saw a bit of the Oscars because the Blue Devils were on at the same time, but I enjoyed Hugh Jackman's opening very much. I remember he stole the show from Ashley Judd in Someone Like You, which was the first time I saw him. That was the movie version of Animal Husbandry.

I was glad Kate Winslet won an Oscar but I don't want to see the Reader, only Revolutionary Road.

Goodbye, Mike!

I am very sad to see Mike Vrabel traded. I wish his career could have ended with the Patriots.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cute baby Rachel!

My friend Liz made the front page of the Boston Globe today - complete with video - talking about enjoying enforced time away from the workplace. Her daughter Rachel is too cute (and already owns a copy of Betsy-Tacy) although is a bit too young at the moment . . .

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Best Books of 2008

I shared my favorite books of 2008 with the Betsy-Tacy list on New Year's Eve but forgot to post it here so apologies to those who were looking for it:

I believe I read 143 books in 2008, down from 160 in 2007 (reflecting far too much time spent at my former law firm - boo) but I don't always remember to record the rereads (or partial reads, when one picks up a book to check a quote, then forget and read the entire thing!).

I always appreciate recommendations from friends and family, sometimes on books I would never have chosen otherwise or on others already on my mental list but not yet in my possession. I always think fondly of the librarians at the Boys and Girls Library in Newton, MA, when I was growing up, a little yellow house full of women who loved books as much as I did, and who always pointed out the new Margaret McElderry and other books they thought I would like.
Adult Fiction

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society /Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Mystery

I Shall Not Want / Julia Spencer-Fleming

An Expert in Murder / Nicola Upson

Historical Fiction

City of Shadows / Diana Norman writing as Ariana Franklin

The Fortune Hunter / Ira Morris

North and South / Elizabeth Gaskell

Nonfiction

American Bloomsbury / Susan Cheever (despite flaws)

YA Fiction

Dairy Queen / Catherine Gilbert
Life as We Knew It / Susan Beth Pfeffer

How Not to be Popular / Jennifer Ziegler

YA Historical

Small Gains / K.M. Peyton (she is the only author on this list I have been reading since grade school!)

Another Shore / Nancy Bond

YA Fantasy

Seven Daughters and Seven Sons / Barbara Cohen

Crown Duel / Sherwood Smith

A Curse as Dark as Gold / Elizabeth Bunce

Children's Books

The Green Glass Sea / Ellen Klages

Best Reread

The Witch of Blackbird Pond / Elizabeth George Speare

Picture Books

The Happy Lion / Louise Fatio

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Pride & Prejudice room does not come with your own Mr. Darcy

Bestselling author Nora Roberts must have incredible energy as well as imagination since she writes books faster than the normal person finishes a sentence, but now she has taken on an interesting project - that of innkeeper! I have always wanted to visit her bookstore in MD and now I'd like to visit this inn and stay in the Pride & Prejudice room . . .

My geography is terrible - until I looked at the map I didn't realize how close Nora lives to the Pennsylvania border. Those of use who only know Baltimore and Route 95 need to explore the state some time!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Babe Ruth

In this week's Blue Devil Weekly (yes, I am quite serious, and it is a great publication), talented columnist Bill Brill tells a great story about Babe Ruth. Bill Werber, Duke's first basketball All-American who just died at 100, was a teammate of the Babe's when both played for the Yankees. In fact, Werber was Babe Ruth's last living teammate. Brill writes that in Werber's first game, he was on first base when Babe Ruth hit a towering home run. Werber ran at full speed and reached home plate long before Babe Ruth "who used mincing steps when he connected. 'Kid, you don't have to run like that when the Babe gets hold of one,' said Ruth."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This could be you!

(although more likely to be me). . .

Unreturned library book spurs arrest

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa - An Iowa woman has been arrested because she failed to return a library book. Thirty-nine-year-old Shelly Koontz was arrested Thursday night on a fifth-degree theft charge. She is accused of keeping "The Freedom Writers Diary," which she checked out from the public library in nearby Jesup in April. Police say the book - which is about a high school teacher's effort to inspire students to write - is valued at $13.95. Court records show library employees tried repeatedly to contact Koontz by phone and mail. A police officer even visited her home last September. Officials at the Buchanan County jail say Koontz was released after posting $250 bond. No telephone listing for Koontz could be found in the Independence area.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Long Winter

My brother used to complain about a guy from Hawaii in his college dorm who was constantly "lotioning" - this was before metrosexuals made male grooming acceptable. Now I am amused to see how many of my male colleagues have lotion and lip balm on their desks and do not seem a bit self conscious about applying one or the other in public.

Despite many expensive options, an article in the New York Times points out that some of the best lotions are quite affordable:

Yet among the thousands of expensive moisturizers on the market, many skin care experts across the country recommend some half-dozen or so tried and true, inexpensive brands: Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Plus Intensive Repair Body Crème ($8.99), Nivea Creme ($7.99) and Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion ($9.29).

“In this kind of weather, moisturizers that contain humectants and fats that help repair that outer layer of skin can be a good strong barrier against the elements,” Dr. Greenberg said. Petrolatum products — think Vaseline Petroleum Jelly or Aquaphor — can be ideal for specific spot treatments on the face, he said, including chapped lips or cheeks, and dry, cracked skin on hands and feet.

And one of my eye doctors recently prescribed something I had never heard of before - an eyelid wipe! "Use this instead of a regular lotion or cleanser near your eye!" she admonished.

With such elaborate skin care regimens, it is amazing one ever has time to go outside!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What would Andrew Carnegie say?

The Dallas Public Library has launched a program whereby patrons pay $5 to check out popular books and DVDs. While I can see the appeal from the beleagured libraries' point of view, given that their budgets have been squeezed to the breaking point, I do think the mission of the library as providing free services to the community should be sacred. However, I am sympathetic to the need for library fundraising and plan to join my own library's "Friends" group today (as I go off to use its free Internet access since my own is erratic today).