A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Johnny Depp: Vampire

-o- Baby Bucket List -o-

If you haven’t seen this site, please check it out: Avery’s Bucket List. It is one of the most moving blog pieces I’ve ever seen. This family found out that their infant daughter will most likely not reach age two, so they have tried to give her the fullest life possible and imagine the life she should have had.

Incredibly sad, but also so inspiring. Here’s the CNN piece on the story.

-o- The White House Correspondents’ Dinner -o-

Watch Obama’s full speech on YouTube.

-o- Seeing Philadelphia by public transportation -o-

Reporter Becky Krystal takes a day trip to Philadelphia without the use of a car; she has to make some tricky decisions but she manages to see what she came to see. The best part? The relatively low cost of the trip. Here’s The Washington Post article complete with accompanying photo gallery “Navigating Philadelphia, sans car.”

-o- Man City beats Man U 1-0 in the Manchester Derby… and Americans care! -o-

I imagine most of that was the prior match between the two resulting in a 6-1 victory for Man City. Lack of goal-scoring is one of the most frequent charges I hear leveled at the (incidentally, personally beloved) sport.

Check out BBC Sport‘s article on the game by Phil McNulty.

-o- The Guardian, The Observer‘s 10 Best First Lines in Fiction -o-

Here’s their list compiled and contextualized by Robert McCrum, and here’s mine. The two lists have no crossover at all so you should look at both. This morning, this collection was still among their top-viewed items.. so check it out!

Among them?

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain(1884)
“You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by a Mr Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly.”

-o- Johnny Depp: Vampire -o-

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have teamed up again in Dark Shadows. This time, Johnny Depp plays an 18th-century vampire who awakens in the 20th century. Helene Bonham Carter also stars in her seventh appearance in a film with Depp.

Here’s Depp in a promotional video on Wired.

o- 10 Book-themed Kindle Cases -o-

Before I even looked at this I found myself wondering… If I bought a book-themed case for my new iPad and could imagine any one I wanted into existence, is there a book I’d want to look at every day?I think I’d like a generic-looking old-fashioned, weathered book. So I want my expensive tablet to look like an old book – not just an old book, but one doctored to look like the amalgamation of cultural memories of what old books do and should look like.

It’s as tough as deciding on a tattoo (which is why I don’t have any).

Anyway… Here’s the “10 Kindle Cases That Look Like Books” slideshow by Amy-Mae Elliot from Mashable. I really dig the Moleskin one.

o- Steve Kloves to work on Jungle Book script -o-

Kloves, of Harry Potter-screenplay fame, is in talks to work on a remake of The Jungle Book. Story from BBC News.

-o- Cooking this week: Coriander Chicken with Tomato-Corn Salad -o-

I know I usually plug other bloggers here but mmmm this looks so simple and so tasty! Here’s the recipe, originally from Cooking Light.

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Snowpril? And, 67 books all (geek) parents should read to their kids

-o- Earth Day -o-

I hope you all had a wonderful 4-20! It was a gorgeous Earth Day and I sincerely everyone enjoyed it and put it to productive uses.

-o- Shakespeare’s birthday -o-

If you live in D.C., as I do, you may have celebrated the Bard’s birthday at the Folger Shakespeare library yesterday. Several cities are hosting festivals of Shakespeare’s plays at their theaters. At the very least, consider recalling your favorite Shakespeare-related memory, literary or otherwise.

I’ve recently finished reading Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series, and William Shakespeare is featured heavily in a few of the stories.

-o- Snowpril? -o-

Snow in April?!?! Thank you global warming for extreme unpredictable weather. One of the little groundhog deniers saw his shadow, so 6 more months of winter.

CNN article on today’s storm.

-o- Over 50% of people learn of breaking news via social media -o-

Shameless self-aggrandizing by a social media site, sign of the times, or both? Social media definitely has a speed edge over tradition sources, but is the speed worth the haste? Often times “breaking news” really is “breaking rumors”

Infographic from Mashable.

-o- Oh my goodness, it’s Moby Dick -o-

How exciting! World’s only all-white killer whale spotted off the coast of Russia. No word yet if giant metaphor is chasing after it.

Photo and article from CNN. Here’s another photo and more photos of the day from The Wall Street Journal.

-o- 67 books every geek should read to their children -o-

List from Wired. My mom and dad introduced me to several books on this list, including: Shel Silverstein’s collections, The Borrowers, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and the glorious The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I should buy a copy of that one.

Bonus: What do LolitaThe Phantom Tollbooth, and The Shining have in common? They are all on this list of  10 Great Books to Read Aloud from Flavorwire. Great list.

-o- 10 Beautiful Literary Box Sets -o-

Thank you again, Flavorwire! Here’s the gallery.

-o- Recipe of the Week: Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps -o-

Here’s the recipe from Gina’s Skinny Recipes.

(Image Source: Gina’s Skinny Recipes, SkinnyTaste.com)

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Facebook buys Instagram for $1B, If famous writers had written Twilight…

*Many thanks to my wonderful Brian for providing the commentary for this week’s post.*

-o- Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock -o-

Smart, or as stupid as when News Corp bought Myspace? Some think it was a savvy move, cornering the emerging app market and preventing a potential rival from doing the same. Instagram, if you aren’t fully plugged in, allows people to share photos taken on their smartphones over social networking sites. Lets hope that it isn’t a sign of Facebook getting drunk on IPO cash and overpaying… unless you actually want Facebook to go down like the Hindenburg.

Check out the article from The Economist.

-o- Americans do not “walk the walk” -o-

It seems almost common knowledge that America is the world’s most obese country, and now it turns out we are one of the laziest. Apparently, Americans walk the least of all industrialized nations. Is it hard to believe? We all but worship the car and consider cheap gas sacrosanct. Now its coming back to bite us… of only we could run from it.

Here’s the article from NPR.

-o- How many Americans would you guess do not regularly go online? -o-

1 percent, 5 percent? According to CNN it could be as high as 20 percent, or 1 in 5 Americans, who never have used or essentially don’t use the Internet. Perhaps your bubble (I know mine does) makes this hard to believe, but the elderly rarely use the internet and poor and rural households typically can’t afford computers or don’t have access. Maybe they secretly know something us tech-tethered people don’t. If the world’s Internet collapses I know I won’t know how to procure a pizza.

Check out the article from CNN.

-o- About J.K. Rowling’s new “realist” novel for adults -o-

Can J.K. Rowling strike gold twice? Her name alone will probably induce millions to buy it. However, if it flops, she could tarnish her image. I personally love that she’s trying something new.

Here’s the piece by Ethan Gilsdorf of Wired.

-o- If famous writers had written the Twilight series… -o-

I LOVE this kinda stuff and LOVE that the internet delivers it to my fingertips. My favorite:

“Cormac McCarthy: In the opening scene, Edward dashes Bella’s head against a rock and rapes her corpse. Then he and Jacob take off on an unexplained rampage through the West.”

Hilarious. Thanks to Elisabeth for finding this! Jen’s favorite?

“James Joyce: Edward’s rapacious love for Bella reflects the way globalism has pillaged Ireland. It’s entirely written in Esperanto, with sections in untranslated Greek, except for Chapter 40, which is inexplicably rendered as a script page from the musical “The Book of Mormon”.

Check out this piece by Lizzie Stark on io9.com.

-o- Sunrises, frogs, hippos -o-

Two photo galleries from The Washington Post. Here’s a sunrise, sunset gallery and here’s the collection of exotic animals from around the world, including hippos, polar bears and sphynx cat. AWESOME.

-o- Cooking this week: Artichoke Dip Mac and Cheese -o-

Drooling. Seriously. Here’s the recipe from The Scrumptious Pumpkin.

(Image credit: The Scrumptious Pumpkin)

Bonus: Simple Cauliflower recipe from 101cookbooks.

Travel Writing: Recent articles

A little over two months ago I shared some of my travel writing with you, my loyal followers. Here’s that post.

I expected to sort of wean myself off of my freelance assignments (especially those I was completing free of charge) but I still find myself enjoying the few hours a week I spend learning about “something else” – not work-related being the key draw.

Here is a collection of my recent articles:

I’d like to visit each of these places! I’ve never been to any of them, despite having spent time in both Spain and Italy. I’ve never been to Asia at all (unless you count crossing into the Asian part of Turkey very briefly while on a boat in the Bosphorus Strait), or to Mexico.

Sigh. I turn 25 this year, and I think it’s time to make a bucket list. Stay tuned.

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… 10 Crazy and Unusual Book Designs, “No, you can’t deduct that…”

-o- No, you can’t deduct that -o-

I thought I was almost done with my taxes when I remembered I was a Teaching Assistant at George Washington last Spring and forgot to include that. Talk about a con of a freelance (read: unorganized) lifestyle.

Anyway, for a piece that ran this weekend, the NPR staff spoke to several accountants and other knowledgeable sources and asked them to list some of the most off-the-wall attempts their clients made at deductions. Among them? Cosmetic surgery, haircuts, and vet bills. Check out NPR‘s article by Jacob Goldstein.

-o- Weight as factor in employment decisions? -o-

A Texas hospital that includes body mass index (BMI) in their hiring policy has come under criticism. Well, yeah, it’s hard not to feel upset about that. Here’s the HLN article.

-o- Eggs as Art from all over the World -o-

Easter is over for another year, and pieces of plastic eggs litter my apartment. Ah, cats. Before leaving decorative eggs and nostalgic memories of hunts behind for awhile, check out this gallery from NPR.

-o-  Snow White’s in, Vampires are out, but at least Kristin Stewart is still around -o-

(Image source: Wikipedia.com)

Vampires, werewolves, dystopian futuristic worlds… Snow White? Not so much a logical progression. But Annalee Newitz makes some intriguing arguments in her piece on io9.com “Why is Everybody Obsessed with Snow White?” Check it out.

-o- 10 Crazy and Unusual Book Designs -o-

This is my favorite thing I found last week: “10 Crazy and Unusual Book Designs” by Emily Temple. Here’s the list from Flavorwire. Among them, and my favorite (perhaps predictably)… edible books! The first book on this list is an edible cookbook with pages that can be baked into a lasagna.

-o- Cherry Blossom Festival in pictures -o-

I was just on the Mall this weekend and, sadly, I think the blossoms are mostly gone for the year. Check out 100 years of cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. in pictures from the BBC.

-o- Best and Worst Beers -o-

Worth a read, but I wish “taste” were a category. Here’s the slideshow of 40 beers by calorie-count, carbs and alcohol percentage by Eat This, Not That. Going through this was actually kind of a bummer but… drinking beer was never a super calorie-conscious option to begin with…

-o- Recipe of the Week: Over-the-top Mushroom Quiche -o-

Cooking this week! Amazing-looking mushroom quiche. Here’s the recipe from Punchfork.

(Image source: @ Deb Perelman)

Sadly, Brian doesn’t like mushrooms, so we’ll also be making this soup with the abundance of asparagus in our fridge right now; here’s the recipe from thesolitarycook. Mmm… what an unusual and delicious-sounding combination: “Asparagus Soup with Sriracha and Avocado Creme Fraiche.”