Tuesday, September 20, 2011

10 Day You Challenge - Day 8 - Books!

*BREAKING NEWS* I'm still sick. (And being a total and complete baby about it.)

So here we are. Day 4 of 10 Day You Challenge.


Everyone knows I love books. In fact, to the untrained eye, it might seem like I don't have many other interests. I read them. I collect them. I studied them. I work with them. My obsession dates back to when I was but a wee lass and would "read" books to
my parents.

I'm supposed to come up with four books. That's hard for me. So I'm going to choose the four that have had the most impact on my life, its course, and how I've gotten where I am today.

1. Babies by Gyo Fujikawa

This was my favorite book when I was small. In fact I still know the first line: "Babies are soft, warm, and cuddly." only I couldn't say my c's so in our house it was "Babies are soft, warm, and tuddly." My parents still talk about (and do impressions of) the way my face would light up when I was read this book and how I would recite it back to them. I like to think this was what started it all...

2. The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

When I was in fourth grade, the book nerd in me officially let her freak flag fly. I got really into our school reading program, Best Foot Forward, and worked so hard to earn the Big Sticks (popcicles, remember those?!), pencils, folders, and other prizes. I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and, since in fourth grade all California kids learn CA history, I became obsessed with all things olden days. My grandmother even made me a prairie dress. It was too big for me but I wore it anyway. I have such fond memories of rushing through my homework, laying on the couch and reading On the Banks of Plum Creek while drinking Kool-aid.

3. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

I was a sophomore in high school when I was first introduced to what would become (and still remains) my favorite book. We read it in E
nglish during a seminar sets unit (in which we could choose to read one of five books and get in groups and talk about it and stuff.) The district tried to eliminate it from the curriculum shortly thereafter (due to somewhat graphic sexual content) and some of my class members went to a district meeting to defend the book. I didn't go but I now wish I had. (The book ended up getting put to 12th grade as an optional text.)

I have since read it again three times, studied it in college, and I've seen the author speak twice. She is awesome and oh so funny.

5. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

I wish I could say there is a book that made me want to become an English major. There really isn't. But books like Mark Twain's Huck Finn, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, and Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides made me certain I'd made the right decision. The best book I've read since I got my hands on The House of the Spirits all those years ago.

Likewise, I wish there was a book that I could point to and say "This is the reason I am in book publishing. This is the reason I made the switch to kids' books." There are many, many I have read and love over the years. But if someone were to ask me, I guess I would say "I'll start with these four... how much time do you have?"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

a break in our regularly scheduled programming...

I have the flu.

What's that you say? It is too early in the "season" for the flu? MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!

I blame the lady who sat behind me at the movies the other day, hacking and coughing all over the place. There were a total of 10 people in the theater. She totally could have sat away from other people.

My weekend has consisted of sleeping and watching movies. Yesterday I watched Romeo and Juliet (the Claire Danes/Leo DiCaprio version that always makes me flashback to my teen years) and then caught the Wedding Crashers on TV. This morning I watched Hall Pass and am about to settle into Fair Game (the Valerie Plame story starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn). I'm sure there will be more.

The only good thing about being sick is that you get a free pass to eat whatever sounds good. In my case it has been chicken soup and Haagen Das Cookies and Cream ice cream.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. I fully intend to live it up next weekend. Good thing my bed is comfy.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 7 - 10 Day You Challenge

Not really sure why the image isn't working but by now you all get it. . .

Day 7 is food. I love food. I'm the girl who eats a brownie instead of downing a drink when I've had a bad day. When the food comes I ignore my cocktail or beer. I have a major major sweet tooth. It is a huge problem (so much so that I can't keep cake or cookies or ice cream in the house... I will gobble them up in no time!)

So I'm listing my favorite foods that I would eat every single freakin' day if it didn't mean I'd be 500 lbs, a couple of things I eat regularly, and what I would choose for my last meal. You'll notice some of these categories overlap.

5. cake - Love the stuff. I wish every day was my birthday so I could eat it. Birthday cake is awesome. As is german chocolate, red velvet, and this kind my mom makes called earthquake cake (it is like german chocolate cake but it also has cream cheese. OMG.) I'm salivating now.

4. apples and yogurt - I've been eating this since I was young. My mom used to cut up apples and put vanilla yogurt on top. I still eat this a lot. I realize that an apple is not the first fruit one thinks to pair with vanilla yogurt. I'll also add that I love blueberries and strawberries (any kind of berry really) with yogurt.

3. green beans and edamame - These are my go-to veggies. I could eat them by the truckful

2. a bean, cheese, and rice burrito from my local hole-in-the-wall taco shop at home - I want one now. I've been going there since high school. In fact, it still is a high school hang out... which makes me chuckle when I go there now. I make at least one trip every time I go back "home." They know me there and they know what I like. It is kind of embarassing because I rarely get anything else there. I once sent a burrito to my BFF for her birthday. It sounds gross but I overnighted it frozen and it made it (full disclosure: if it had had meat in it, I wouldn't have done it!). Best birthday gift idea I've ever had!

1. taco and enchilada plate from my favorite sit-down, family-owned Mexican restaurant at "home" - Last meal. I'd have 5. SO good. Then I'd have cake.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 6 - 10 Day You Challenge - Places

Everytime I sat down to write this one I wasn't sure which six places I should choose. I have lived in six cities (one in the Midwest, two in Southern California, one in Northern California, London--where I studied abroad--and then, of course, New York.) But everyone knows where I'm from and where I live now.

I thought about choosing the six top places I'd like to visit but I have already done that.

So today I finally focused enough on this and I decided to choose six of my favorite locations in Manhattan. . . In no particular order. . .

1. Posman's Bookstore in Grand Central Station - I always go here when I'm at Grand Central. I'm not sure why I love it so much. It is like any other independent bookstore. (I was thinking about it today when trying to remember the title of a book I saw there the last time I was there. It has a brownish-tannish covor, a woman on the front, and I believe it takes place during WWI in Europe. It is driving me nuts so if anyone has any idea, please let me know!)

2. Central Park's Turtle Pond - You can see Belvedere Castle from the grass by turtle pond and, if you're lucky, a little guy might come up and say "hi." I also love meeting people in this area as it is smaller than The Great Lawn and easy to find one another.

3. Central Park's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir - The views from the reservoir are gorgeous. A couple of years ago on Thanksgiving my friends and I went for a walk after dinner. I'd never been after dark before (and would certainly not go alone) but it was beautiful and very serene and quiet.

4. The Hudson River Walk - This runs from Chelsea down to Battery Park. I love the views of the Hudson and New Jersey. If you can't tell by now I love to walk around.

5. Bleecker Street in the West Village - Well, I guess this can be extended to the West Village, period. But Bleecker has a special place in my heart because it was my first residence (for a one month sublet) when I first moved to the city. I especially love walking past all the shops and brownstones and down the cobblestone streets in the Fall.

6. Blockheads - Good food and $3 margaritas. Several locations. Done.

Of course there are many, many more places I love. These are just the beloved ones that came to mind first.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 7 - 10 Day You Challenge

I'm a day behind but who cares?

Sometimes what I want feels like it changes by the minute. Some are big and some are small. And I am hungry right now so some are food related...


1. A turkey club sandwich with potato chips from Grey Dog Cafe (This one is seriously my #1 want right now...)

2. A burrito from my local taco shop in CA

3. A nap on the beach

4. More time in the day to get my work reading & my for-fun reading done

5. Money and time for an amazing European vacation

6. A vacation, period

7. To have my cake and eat it too...