June 29, 2009

Book Review - Amy and Isabelle (5 of 5 stars)

I just read Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout, a compelling story of a mother and daughter and the secrets they keep from each other.
Elizabeth Strout gets into the hearts and souls of these characters and makes you care about them with all their faults and frailties. It's a story of people who learn to accept who they are, understand how they got that way and how they affect those who love them. Strout's writing is exquisite. Read this book and let me know what you think.

June 28, 2009

Daniel Kessler Quoted in The Associated Press

My best friend Judi's son Daniel works for Greenpeace. In this Associated Press article he's quoted with the likes of Barack Obama, Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi. Very cool. Little Daniel Kessler from Toledo, Ohio. Read the article here.

June 27, 2009

Thicker Hair/Stronger Nails!

A few weeks ago my sister sent me some products her hairdresser recommended called Remedée. It's a hair recovery system. Yeah, I know, I know, but what the hell. My hair's gotten thinner as I've gotten older, something needs to be done!
So I've been faithfully using the shampoo and hair treatment every day now for nearly a month. I shampoo my hair with the product and then use the treatment afterwards, massaging it into my hair and scalp. Well, so it hasn't done anything noticeable for my hair but I have to say my nails are growing like gangbusters. I haven't been able to grow nails for about 30 years. They've always chipped and split. But now they're strong as...well, nails.
I remarked on it to Bill the other day and he suggested that it was the hair stuff, which I laughed at. But he pointed out that I use my fingers to apply it so it makes some sense. And oddly enough, the nail thing has just been in the last month. Coincidence?
Hmmmm...so when I run out of the hair stuff will my nails get crummy again? Will I have to keep using the hair stuff so I can keep my nails? It's such a dilemma.
I sure wish the stuff had worked on my hair, tho. If I have to choose between hair or nails, hair wins every time.

Mikki Williams' Demo Video

I am Director of Everything (my real title) for Mikki Williams, a fabulous, funny, flamboyant (she loooooves alliteration) professional speaker. Check out her demo video.
Find out more about Mikki here.

June 23, 2009

Baking in the Heat

It's close to 90 degrees today, not the kind of day when you think about turning the oven on. But what the hell, it's not as if I don't have air conditioning. I had this recipe that my friend Mikki gave me, and all the ingredients (except the walnuts) so I couldn't resist. And I have to say I just baked the most delicious chocolate chip cookies. Here's the recipe:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
6 ounces walnuts, chopped
1 ½ cups chopped bittersweet chocolate, or chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix sugars and butter until combined. Stir in eggs one at a time, and vanilla.
In another bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add to butter mixture with walnuts and chocolate and combine well. Drop by teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
As I said I didn't have walnuts but they're still fabulous. Make some. Or stop by and have some of mine. But you'd better hurry - they're going fast!

June 17, 2009

Great Little Gizmo

I LOVE this gizmo! It's a pet hair picker-upper called Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair and the best thing is, it really works! See the first picture? That's a new one. See all that gray stuff under the little dome in the second picture? Guess what that is? PET HAIR. Yippee!
I used to buy those lint roller refills by the carton. Really. If you have a pet you know the ones I mean, and I would use sheet after sheet after sheet to remove my cat's hair from my bedspread. But this new gizmo? A couple of swipes and voila! cat hair-free! You can buy it at Walgreen's or Target or probably a bunch of other places, and here's a link for more info:
You need one of these! P.S. I'm not getting a kickback from Pledge. Maybe I should be!

June 15, 2009

Chicago Naked Bike Ride

Much rowdier group than the London Naked Bike Ride, but not so naked! See the post below for the London ride.

Naked Bike Ride in London

Watch this video from the London ride - it's pretty funny. LOTS more naked people than the Chicago naked bike ride but veeeeery quiet, as if something reverent is going on.
When you watch the video from the Chicago ride you'll see a big difference.

June 12, 2009

The Hangover

No, not mine, the movie, which I'm embarrassed to say I went to see. Well, one of my closest friends (you know who you are) told me it was very funny.
I hadn't even considered seeing it before that but she's intelligent (I thought) and she doesn't like slapstick (well, turns out she does) so I thought, what the heck. Ooh, big mistake. Its brainlessness left me dizzy. And when I hadn't laughed after watching for an hour, I left. But hey, other people were laughing. The audience was mostly young, tho. Maybe there should be a new rating: R50 - no one over 50 should see this movie.

June 11, 2009

Naked Bike Ride In Chicago

Naked Bike Ride in Chicago on Saturday June 13th from 9-12pm. Woo hoo! You gotta love our city.
So, here's their tagline: Celebrating freedom from oil and the beauty of people.
I don't know what riding naked has to do with freedom from oil but I can't wait. Not to ride, silly, just to watch.

June 7, 2009

Bernard LaChance at The Chicago Theatre

Bill and I went to see Bernard LaChance last night at the Chicago Theatre. He's a French Canadian who used his life savings to rent the theatre for one night and then stood outside selling tickets one by one. Here's his story.
It's heartwarming, not only because of his ambition and creativity but because he's adorable, charming and hugely talented. Despite the technical problems the show was fabulous. The orchestra overpowered his singing at various times which was unfortunate because he has an amazing voice, but they seemed to resolve that for the second act. Also in the second act he had a choir of some 250-300 people (all volunteers) who sounded fantastic. It was a great show and I found myself just smiling through the whole thing.
This second video is where Gayle King surprises him in front of the Chicago Theatre and invites him to be on Oprah's show. It'll bring tears to your eyes.

June 3, 2009

Gizmo from Italy

When we were in Venice we wandered through a flea market that had a lot of cheap crap (hmmm...probably redundant). You know, T-shirts, souvenirs, the kind of stuff geared toward tourists.
Then there was this guy with quite a crowd around him who was demonstrating this little gizmo. He was like the Ron Popeil of Venice and he had this small plastic thing with a little spout and a tiny lid. Isn't it cute? He cut a slice off the end of a lemon, screwed the thing in (note the handy serrated edge at the bottom), opened the little lid and voila! poured lemon juice right out of it. Fun! He said you could close the lid and save the lemon for several days and when you needed more juice you just opened and poured.
Well, who doesn't need that? One for two Euros or three for five. Such a deal. So of course I bought three, picturing lemons and oranges and grapefruit in my fridge with their little spouts. Brought them home and couldn't wait to run out and buy some lemons. Screwed in the spout and got maybe two, three drops of lemon juice. Okay, well, that's all I needed that time so I stored the lemon with its spout in the fridge and by the next day it had shriveled up and died. So much for my cute little Italian gizmo.