Day 10: Weekend Read

In honor of yesterday’s recipe today’s weekend read is…you guessed it…

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone

by J.K. Rowling

Now I know it is hard to imagine that there is anyone left in the world that hasn’t read this book yet, but believe it or not there is. I have friends that haven’t read it!

In the first novel, orphaned and down trodden Harry Potter is doomed to an unhappy life with his Aunt, Uncle, and cousin. But on his 11th birthday a GIANT surprise is thrust into his lap in the form of a very large man, a very messy cake, and an invitation to attend a school for wizards which, you guessed it, he is! But evil is afoot and it is up to Harry and his friends to battle evil and prove that goodness, kindness, and true love will always conquer all.

This book can be picked up in paperback for around $7. If you haven’t read it yet, read it. If you have, pull it off the shelf, dust it off, and read it again, because this book changed history.

For those of you out there that haven’t read it OR feel it may be time to revisit it here is a refresher from some of the media sources as to why you should:

 Publisher’s Weekly
Readers are in for a delightful romp with this award-winning debut from a British author who dances in the footsteps of P.L. Travers and Roald Dahl.

USA Today
You don’t have to be a wizard or a kid to appreciate the spell cast by Harry Potter.

Newsweek
The true hero of this summer’s reading season is likely to be Harry Potter.

Newsweek
The true hero of this summer’s reading season is likely to be Harry Potter.

USA Today
You don’t have to be a wizard or a kid to appreciate the spell cast by Harry Potter.

The New York Times Book Review – Michael Winerip
A wonderful first novel….Harry is destined for greatness. Much like Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling has a gift for keeping the emotions, fears and triumphs of her characters on a human scale, even while the supernatural is popping out all over.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling. This first book of the wildly popular Harry Potter series has sparked the imagination of an entire generation of young readers and inspired those with a few more years under their belts too. The cultural impact the Harry Potter series has had on the world is unmistakable.

from 50 Books That Changed the World


Day 9: A recipe…

So I am thinking of throwing a Harry Potter Party for the last movie release… but I am not sure I want the fuss. Primarily I want an excuse to make all the wonderful Harry Potter food in the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. Although, today’s recipe is not in there…

Today, or tonight we are making butterbeer. 🙂

Enjoy!

Butterbeer-for grown ups

Ingredients

  • Butterscotch Schnapps
  • Cream Soda
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • butter (optional)–use real butter

Directions 

  1. In the bottom of a pint glass place 1 small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  2. Add 2-3 jiggers of butterscotch schnapps.
  3. Top, carefully*, with cream soda.
  4. If you choose you can swirl in a half tsp of melted butter (use salted to bring out the flavors) to finish it off.

*the purpose of the ice cream is to create the beer foam head. As with any float it will foam a lot so keep that in mind as you pour.

Day 8: Your chick card is showing–Spoiler Alert

I really try not to fall into the chick lit out there, I really do, but occasionally I find myself in denial.  And they say when you have an addiction, the first step to over coming it is admitting you have a problem, so here it goes.

My name is Ellē, and I am a Twihard. Yes, it is true. I remember when I finally gave in and became and addict; it was 9:00 pm on August 1, 2008.

I was helping run the Breaking Dawn release party at my Borders. Before then I had never even touched the series to shelve it.  I knew nothing about it except that it was an obsessive love story about a girl and a vampire. I did know that one of my co-workers who is a teacher steered parents of younger children away from it due to the obsessive nature. And I was definitely one of those people who got all defensive about the Vampires or Wizards argument (ok so my nerd card is showing too…) because nothing, NOTHING in the children’s/YA vampire category beats Harry Potter. I stand by that statement. There is no comparison. If I had to choose, Potter will always win over vampires. ALWAYS!!

Any whoozle, I was working this party because I always worked the midnight release parties [they are so much fun] and on my break I decided to pick up Twilight and give it a skim. I figured it would be nice to see what it was that I was here to promote. Now, I am not going to go into a full on review, today, but while the writing was not fantabulous in the first novel, the voice sucked you in instantly and the story kept the heart and the blood pumping.  I was hooked. I read all 4 books in 10 days.  It consumed my life for a week and a half, and then I re-read it at a slower pace.

Actually, funny story, while I was reading Eclipse–I have a very distinct memory of reading this one as it is my favorite of the four– at some point I had a day off work. That day I remember I got up and had breakfast with my husband and the minute he walked out the door I plopped on the couch and starting reading. When I couldn’t hold it anymore I got up to go to the bathroom and looked at the clock and it was 11:45 am! My husband [fiance at the time] had left at 9:00 and would be home for lunch in 15 minutes! I rushed through getting ready for the day and was just coming out from getting dressed (I had been in my pjs) when he walked in the door, Eek! Now a normal person would say to themselves, “ok you have wasted your entire morning, make it up this afternoon.” But no, I went right back to the book the minute he walked out the door. I finally tore myself away  in time to make dinner, but only for an hour. At the time we [my husband] were building a retaining wall in our backyard. Immediately after dinner he went out to work on the wall, while I did the dishes. 3 hours later he came in to wash up and get ready for bed and I was still working on the dishes! I had a rhythm..was three dishes, read a chapter, wash three dishes, read a chapter–this was before we had a dish washer–it is embarrassing to think about even now…

And so obsession was born. The movies are not as big of a deal, however, I have been to the midnight release of them all, and they were good enough [I am not going to review them all at this time] that my husband is addicted at well. However, the movies are what I am here to talk about–Breaking Dawn Part I to be precise. Has anyone not seen this trailer yet??? If you haven’:

Now I need to ask you, as readers not viewers, what do you think? As a fan of the books and a reluctant movie lover [I like the films, but they don’t do the books justice,] I feel like they are giving EVERYTHING away. While I understand the idea with movies is to bring in ALL viewers, for those of us committed to the story, this feels like a total jip [I guess my age is showing too…who says jip anymore?]  Before I actually read the first sentence of Twilight I heard the opening chapter of Breaking Dawn, at the party. I remember the swooning and the shrieking of the teens, and the undeniable romance of the story in their reactions to telling Charlie about the engagement.  [Spoiler alert…NOW] But with this trailer, telling Charlie about the engagement, telling Renee about the engagement, the wedding, the honeymoon, and the pregnancy are THE BIG ITEMS ON THE LIST when it come to Breaking Dawn. And they are all ALL covered in the TEASER!!!!!!!!!!! What is left for the trailer, better yet what is left for the MOVIE!?!?!?!? Yes we are waiting on the details, but everything has been given away…well almost everything.  I guess I wanted some mystery. I have been waiting and waiting for this trailer and here it is, disappointment at every turn. And they are splitting this book into two. What is left besides the birth for the second one? The film looks great, but…I wanted somethings to be a surprise and they are giving everything away! I am just so…what is the word…disheartened? by this trailer, I just don’t know what to say besides see the movie anyway… fingers crossed it will be more comprehensive…

Day 7: Freshly Pressed

This morning while perusing WordPress’ Freshly Pressed section I came upon a photo blog titled “Portraits of the ‘book man.'” I feel the need to share this little photo blog post because I fear that this is going to be me some day…

Click to see the photo blog for jacob murphy

If someone ever gave me a store front this is exactly what it would look like. Heck, this is what my home office looks like now…

Day 6: The Line

A few weeks ago I was looking for a new title by an up and comer and based on my previous purchases online (they are tracking everything you know…) The Line by Teri Hall was recommended. This book is a whopping 244 pages and is written in size 14 font and yet I have been reading it for going on 2 months now and am only a ⅓ of the way through it. Now I will be the first to admit that since I have had a child the energy  I can devote to reading has been drastically reduced, but still. I just can not get into it. And it SUCKS because I had such high hopes for it.

The story so far is very boring. Aside from one minor action point in the very beginning of the book, the remaining pages have been nothing but filler. But it sounded so awesome. Futuristic “Unified States” under complete government control and complete lock down to keep “Them” out at the same time keeping us in.

Sounds like a great read! I just hope it gets better and picks up otherwise I am really going to have to start questioning the reviewers that gave it such a big thumbs up…

Day 5: Bridal Showers and Bachelorettes, revisited

So all in all I think yesterday was a success. Everyone seemed to have a great time, especially the bride, who received loads of great gifts and ended up very drunk last night.

The cake was delicious! Marble cake, raspberry filling, butter cream icing…yum! The activity was well received–the bride loved it. And the mojitos were very refreshing. Of course  I came home with 95% of the booze, an eighth of the cake, tons of crayons and colored pencils and the biggest blisters  I have ever seen on the back of my ankles. So, who knew that when your feet start swelling in the heat when your pregnant they are going to swell in the heat for the rest of your life?? I sure as heck didn’t. The heels I wore there, that fit me when I left the house, were cutting their way down to my bone by then of the day. They hurt so bad I had to go out and buy ballet flats to wear to the bachelorette party that night.

Which reminds me, I wanted to give a shout-out to my husband (who may or may not read this blog) and say thank you, and I love you. Thank you for marrying me so that I never have to go out to places like Buckethead ever again, unless a friend asks me to, of course. Talk about tool and hooker central! There had to be at least 15 other bachelorette parties going on there at the same time and me and my bachelorette and the rest of the party were in awe of how these people dressed! Penis name tags, penis headbands–I was smacked in the head with a hot pink penis straw that one girl was whipping another girl with. At one point it looked like Jersy Shore vomited on the stage! Ugh!

The highlight of the evening was when one of the shot guys-men who whore themselves out pouring 3% alcohol shots in the mouths of drunk sluts off the front of the stage for no money and no tips-comes over to get is shot bottle refilled while I was waiting for a water. He leans on the bar next to me and says “is that your bachelorette over there?”  I say yes. He says, “she is not nearly drunk enough.” I say we’re working on it. ” And he says, and I quote, “You girls get up on the stage and send her my way and I’ll fill. her. up.” GROSS!!!!

What is comes down to is that the bride had a good time right? I think she did. I hope she did. Otherwise I have the image of that buckethead burned into my memory for all eternity for nothing.

Congratulations Nicole! Can’t wait for the wedding!

Day 4: Bridal Showers and Bachelorettes

Today I am hosting a bridal shower for one of my best friends, Nicole. This will not be a long post since I have WAY too much to do, but I needed to share something with you all.

For those young mothers out there who have taken on the task of hosting a bridal shower with an infant at home:

GOD BLESS YOU.

When I accepted this as my responsibility for her wedding, I had no idea what I was agreeing to. Thank goodness for me she is very laid back, and her mom did a lot of the work. All I was in charge of was the activity, the booze and the cake. For the activity we made anniversary cards for the bride and groom-one  for per year for every person in attendance at the party. Get supplies for activity–simple enough. Booze–some vodka, some rum, some juice, mojito fixins, and a few boxes of wine–easy. Cake–call, order it, pick it up–piece of , well you know.

Holy Cow! The night I bought the cards supplies should have been easy enough, except that with only 3 days before the shower I still had no idea how many people were coming–I wasn’t in charge of collecting RSVPs, and had to guesstimate how many cards, art supplies and envelopes to get. I wound up buying for 50. Activity–check.

Then there was the night I bought the hooch I had to take my son with me. I am so ashamed. Here I am with a baby strapped to my chest with a CART full of alcohol going though the register. I was so embarrassed.  I am sure all of the people who were smiling and making faces at Benji were thinking, “MY GOD! What kind of mother is she?” “What kind of alcoholic takes her infant to the liquor store to by $100+ worth of booze.” “She should be ashamed.” It was radiating from their smiling faces so much I could smell it. Then I had to have the clerk load up my car because the box was too big and heavy to carry with a baby. It was a mess. I kept expecting C.Y.S to pull up next to my car on the way home and tell me to hand over my child due to irresponsibility. I felt like such a lush. Booze–check.

Lastly, the cake. That was easy. I called, I ordered it, and now I am leaving to pick it up.  Wish me luck.

PS The Bachelorette party is tonight. It is going to be a long day.

Day 3: Weekend Read

I am thinking of starting a weekly section called the Weekend Read to be posted on Fridays so that if you are looking to read a book over the weekend (or on vacation) you have a place to find a good title. How does that sound to everyone? As if you all have nothing else to do on the weekend.

The Weekend Read will be a fairly easy read that an average reader can knock off in 2 or 3 days, will be entertaining, generally lighthearted, and will be something I have already read.

Are we agreed then? Yes? Good.

So, for the first Weekend Read suggestion and review we have…drum roll please…

Shakespeare’s Landlord by Charlaine Harris 

For those of you familiar with the Sookie Stackhouse Series or with the show True Blood on HBO, this will definitely suit your reading style. Although, if you are looking for vampires, werewolves and other supernatural critters, this is not going to be your book. Shakespeare’s Landlord  is the first book in the Lily Bard Mysteries series and it is a perfect little murder mystery blended with just the right amount of romance to make it a little naughty and a lot of fun. Set in the tiny town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, this whole series centers around a quiet girl with a rough past and the mysteries that ensue when privacy and self protection are your only concerns.

When maid-for-hire Lily Bard discovers the dead body of her nebbie landlord while out on a late night walk her grand plan for starting a new, quiet life in the little town of Shakespeare is thrown out the window, and replaced by mystery, intrigue, murder and sex.

Not one of Harris’ best works of fiction (although the series gets better as you go along,) Shakespeare’s Landlord draws you in and keeps the pages turning. At only 214 pages it could easily be read in a long weekend, or short, rainy or lazy one.  It is fun, sexy, and makes you want more. I would give it 3 ½ stars for story quality and 4 for readability and fun.

Oh! and if you are one of those people trying to read a book a week for a year and are finding yourself behind, this is a great way to knock one off the list.

Have a great weekend!

Day 2: Misogynist Pig–Say No to VS Naipaul

My friend Julie shared a link to this article on Facebook today and I felt compelled to share it. I feel it is my responsibility as a reader, a writer, and a woman to make you all aware that there is misogynist pig lurking on our bookshelves and we have given him the Nobel Prize!

VS Naipaul finds no woman writer his literary match – not even Jane Austen

Nobel laureate says there is no female author whom he considers his equal.

VS Naipaul, no stranger to literary spats and rows, has done it again. This time, the winner of the Nobel prize for literature has lashed out at female authors, saying there is no woman writer whom he considers his equal – and singling out Jane Austen for particular criticism.

In an interview at the Royal Geographic Society on Tuesday about his career, Naipaul, who has been described as the “greatest living writer of English prose”, was asked if he considered any woman writer his literary match. He replied: “I don’t think so.” Of Austen he said he “couldn’t possibly share her sentimental ambitions, her sentimental sense of the world”.

He felt that women writers were “quite different”. He said: “I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me.”

For the full article visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/02/vs-naipaul-jane-austen-women-writers?CMP=twt_gu

Now it is no secret to those who know me that I am not a Jane Austen fan. Feel free to revoke my woman card at anytime. Several of my book buddies already have. But to say she is not a great writer is simply ignorant. She is like Voldemort…she may have written terrible(ly boring) things, but they are great…

However, Naipaul’s interview had to be one of the most ostentatious displays of arrogance I have ever heard. I have not read his books, so I cannot judge whether or not he delivers a better story than Jane Austen does, but to say that there are no women that he could consider and equal and to believe quote:

“I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me.”

The author, who was born in Trinidad, said this was because of women’s “sentimentality, the narrow view of the world”. “And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too,” he said.

So, sentimentality gives you a narrow view of the world and because a woman is “not a complete master of a house,” she can’t be a great writer? Who the hell does he think he is?!? Not the complete master of a house! Has he ever witnessed the life of a working mother?? Modern mothers are the  effing MASTERS of the house!!!!! We do everything! And we find time to write too. And as far as sentimentality goes, eff you man! How can you possibly gain a complete view of the world without sentimentality?

Excuse my French, but it needed to be said. See you tomorrow…

SAY NO TO MISOGYNI, SAY NO TO VS NAIPAUL!

Here we go! Day 1

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn

They say that it takes 30 time to make a habit–at least that is what the bloggers of the world are saying, so in the habit forming tradition, today is Day 1 of the Tinkrpippi 30-day-blog challenge! Yea!

Today we are going to discuss the Bilibo.  This past fall I was adding items to my son’s Wishpot list. I, of course, want my son to be a prodigy (who doesn’t, right?) so I was going through all these educational toy websites and stumbled upon this weird little toy on several sites. It is an imagination toy, which in layman’s terms equals it really isn’t anything, so it is everything! After reading reviews and seeing tons of pictures, I decided I had to get one of these for Benji. I put 2 or 3 of them on his list and we ended up getting one for Christmas from my parents. I was so excited! Jason, not so much. He thought that the idea was genius and a rip off at the same time. “It is a piece of molded plastic,” he said to his friends and family, “It’s a salad bowl! I could have made that!” To which I responded, “but you didn’t.” Now, I will not argue that if it is put on your head (particularly the pink one,) it makes you look like that guy from Fat Albert, but it is really is a cool concept. It can be used for anything; scooping, storing, gathering. Standing, sitting, spinning, sledding. Splashing, wearing, building, creating, really the possibilities are endless.

My husband said, after we had it for a month and it was just being used as a toy basket (Benji was only 6 months old, he didn’t really play with much,) that if saw it being played with 3 or more times, then he would believe it was a good idea. Wouldn’t you know it, a week later we had Benji’s baptism and it was being played with all afternoon by all of the kids in attendance. Then not to weeks later we captured this lovely photo: The bilibo is a success! I knew it would be 😉 My husband admits it now, that it is a good toy, and we will get our use of it.

Now, I am not going to lie, these little “salad bowls” pack a fairly hefty price–$23.79 is the cheapest I have seen and that was on Amazon. But  I think, and Benji thinks that it is worth the investment. They come in a variety of colors and two different sizes and fit together to form even more creative possibilities.

5 thumbs up from my family 🙂 (Dad still isn’t 100% on board)

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