Archive for the ‘lists’ Category


Day 30 – Last day of NaBloPoMo

November 30, 2011

Yay for being done with posting every day for a month.  This was a good month and my third consecutive year of completing NaBloPoMo.While I always enjoy the practice of daily blogging, I have to say I am enjoying not having the pressure to come up with a blog post tomorrow night or the night after that.  As is typical many of my posts ended up being a bit of one-off attempts to JUST POST SOMETHING, however I also enjoyed the extra post to write some more in depth posts and in general blog more frequently.  I hope you all have enjoyed the month and I will do my best not to drop off the radar for all of December like I did last year 🙂 However considering some of my goals for December, that might prove challenging:

  • pack, move into new apartment, unpack
  • read just under 6,000 pages to beat my 2010 statistic of 31,000 pages read
  • finish transferring this blog over to a self-hosting WordPress site
  • prepare for Christmas with baking, present gathering, etc

Thanks to everyone who followed along this month and especially those of you who commented! Happy Holidays!


Day 28 – Fun links for Monday

November 28, 2011

Jonathan Harris visited Bhutan to interview and photograph people about their happiness level.  This beautiful project is the result. via Chookooloonks Also if that doesn’t fully sate your interest in Bhutan, Alan Taylor curated this collection of recent photographs of Bhutan.

As a rule, I am a ridiculous fan of Christmas music, everything from classics like Judy Garland’s “Have Your Self A Merry Little Christmas” to modern interpretations like  “O Holy Night” by Sufjan Stevens.  I generally try to restraint my listening until Thanksgiving (to avoid burnout), but since I am safely pass that deadline, here are two albums I purchased this year and am thoroughly enjoying:

  • An Appalachian Christmas by Mark O’Connor – Mixing in twangs of bluegrass with beautiful fiddle arrangements, this album includes a wonderful arrangement of Carol of the Bells and the less familiar Cherry Tree Carol.
  • A Very She & Him Christmas by She & Him – Consisting of Zooey Deschanel’s vocals and M. Ward’s back-up and guitar, this album is a great collection of classic carols. My personal favorite is Silver Bells.

Is it a giant photograph or just a bunch of sprinkles?

Beautiful time lapse video of the earth taken from the International Space Station via Kottke


Day 21 – Monday Links

November 21, 2011

I think this video is definitely a finalist in Winning the Internet award. Have you ever wondered what how Gollum would handle a night of karaoke? Look no further my friends, look no further. Gollum sings “I will survive”

Good argument about why Wikipedia should not be taken for cold hard fact even with those reassuring citations

Even if you don’t live in Chicago, if you have to ride public transit with any regularity, you will definitely identify with Erini’s list of “13 rules for a tolerable CTA bus experience

Andy Baio takes 4 different videos shot of UC Davis campus police directly spraying demonstrating students with pepper spray and synced them. This is a great example of how citizen based media is the future.


Day 14 – Monday Links

November 14, 2011
  • A video of people laughing made entirely out of YouTube clips (via Kottke, as per usual)
  • The trailer for Hunger Games is out!  While I have some reservations about how this movie will turn out, I really enjoyed the fast-paced dystopian books and so of course I am super excited.
  • Speaking of things to watch, I recently watched an episode of a new TV show called Grimm, which was not that great (modern day world includes actual monsters that special detective who sees things has to hunt down), but that lead me to find Once Upon A Time, which reminds me strongly of the graphic novel series Fable.  Basic concept is fairy tale characters in the modern world, except this time they don’t remember their past lives, but remain stuck in time waiting for the long lost daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming to save them all.  It is highly addictive and available on Hulu, go watch! Plus as a major bonus it stars Ginnifer Goodwin which I have loved since she played the nerdiest girl on the old TV show Ed.
  • Finally I just loved today’s XKCD that matches your favorite map to your personality type.  I think I am a Robinson, which one are you?

Day 7 – Linky Monday

November 7, 2011

Thanks to an interview with Bill Nighy on Fresh Air that I listened to on my way to work this morning, I am pretty pumped to watch Page Eight some time this week.  Who is Bill Nighy you may ask? Only the best British rock n’ roller from my favorite holiday ensemble movie!

Remember Who’s Line is Anyways? Good, now go watch this clip of the best Opera set-up ever! Thanks to awesome Tara for the link!

In case you aren’t on Google+, I decided what I want to dress up as next year, an Old-Fashioned Ghost!

I am always a complete sucker for comedians known for their dead-pan humor cracking themselves up – Stephen Colbert cracked up by his own joke! via kottke

Brilliant screenshot video ad by Urlesque set to “We didn’t start the fire” via kottke on

In other news, I think I won best grocery shopping haul tonight by bringing home Plum Sauce (for dipping my potstickers in) and Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream.  Even the cashier noted that with only the addition of something such as Kitty Litter or Pita Bread I could have really swept the Weird Combination Awards.

And finally today marks the first of what will probably be a long series of months in which I don’t get to head home from work in the sunshine….sigh.


Day 3: Guest Post Thursday!!

November 3, 2011

I am super excited to introduce this guest post by the ever awesome MLE.  While MLE (I like to pronounce this as if it rhymes with plea, but she says you can also say it MLeh) and I have never actually met, I think our mutual interest in books, cooking, cooking, travel and being outside would give us lots to talk about. MLE blogs over at Pantalones del Fuego and she is also doing NaBloPoMo, so head over there and check out her writing (feel free to check out her post on Salted Caramel Apple Butter!!!!)

MLE’s 5 Things I Would Do If Money Weren’t An Issue

Hi everybody! This is my first time guest posting in all my years of blogging, so I hope you find my little addition to Abby’s blog at least mildly entertaining. Here are five things I would do, in no particular order, if I didn’t have to think about money.

My husband and I have mostly been living on savings for over a year now, so we’ve had to be extremely frugal. This was a fun thought exercise for me, because it’s fun to fantasize about things even if I know it will years, if not decades, before I can afford any of these things.

#1 Go Skydiving

I’ve always been an “experience” person over a “stuff” person. On a gift-giving occasion, I will almost always prefer the gift of time or an experience over the gift of an object. I feel like I have too much stuff as it is, and this has only become more clear as we packed and moved all our stuff from Colorado to California, keeping a fair amount in boxes over the past year in anticipation of moving again. This means, for example, our twenty-something boxes of books have stayed unopened, and we’ve used the local library for 99% of our reading needs.

I’ve always wanted to experience things. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a small town, or maybe it’s just part of my nature to desire novelty, but skydiving in particular is something I’ve been thinking about for many years. To my dismay, I inherited my mom’s adult-onset vertigo and get panic attacks just from climbing a few feet off the ground or driving near a cliffside, but I don’t seem to have any issue if I’m harnessed into something. I did a big bungie jump once in Paris, which was fun, but not at all the same thing. Someday, I’d like to be able to spend the couple of hundred bucks (or less, with a groupon!) to spend a few minutes falling out of an airplane and not even think about what else I might be able to do with that money. Plus, it would be a giant middle finger to that pesky vertigo issue.

#2 Get Rid Of This Stupid Body Hair

I’ve got really sensitive skin. No, more sensitive than that. I’m allergic to a fair number of typical cosmetic ingredients, and have to test every new product before I consider buying it. This sensitivity extends to shaving, which was the bane of my existence for many years. It got to the point where I was using this special fancy shaving lotion, a brand new razor cartridge every time, could not shave more than once a week, and had to wait a couple of days post-shave before I could moisturize my skin. It was all just ridiculous. Then, I discovered waxing and didn’t look back. I do it myself, at home, which is OK because it’s not as painful as shaving was, but I still get ingrown hairs and I have to wait several weeks for the hair to grow out long enough to wax again so I find myself timing my waxing schedule around my social life. My husband honestly doesn’t care what I do with my hair, but I do. I don’t like being Sasquatch, and I don’t like how painful every method of hair removal seems to be. So if money were no object, I’d spring for electrolysis or laser hair removal, whichever one is least dangerous and most effective. Then I’d never have to worry about it again!

#3 Get knocked up

I’ve made no secret on my own blog that my husband and I would like to have children, but we are unable to do so without significant medical intervention (read: IVF). If money were not an issue, I’d just saunter right down to UCSF and plunk down my 15 grand and get the having kids show on the road. I wouldn’t have to be concerned about only getting one shot (heh) at having a baby, because if it didn’t work the first time we could just try again. Plus, I’d like to set up a trust to help fund other people’s fertility treatments who couldn’t otherwise afford them; it’s my opinion that people who really want kids shouldn’t have to go without the ability to be parents because they can’t afford fertility treatment or it isn’t covered by their health insurance. Finally, I’d like to donate money to infertility research. I feel that several causes of infertility are woefully understudied and it’s really unfortunate that every couple with unexplained infertility seems to have to pull out the big guns (needles! hormones! stress!), when it’s possible that with a little more research there could be other treatments available.

#4 See the Galapagos

As I mentioned before, I’m an experience-loving kind of girl. I especially love to travel (my husband and I met on a travel message board! we are travel nerds!) and one of my dream trips is to the Galapagos Islands. I’d love the opportunity to get to see the Galapagos in all their weird glory, in a way that was as minimally harmful to the fragile environment as possible. I know that every tourist who goes there damages things just a little further, but I’d really really like to see it all for myself.

#5 Bespoke Boots

The one THING I have despaired of ever finding is a pair of boots that fit exactly the way I’d like them to. I have large calves thanks to a combination of genetics, 15 years of ballet, and short achilles tendons, and I’ve never found a pair of boots that fits well without pinching or making me feel like my circulation is being cut off. I’d like a pair of real leather motorcycle-style boots with a stacked heel, that came up to the top of my calf, with a zipper and an internal adjustment system so I could make them wider to accommodate jeans or thick tights. Right now it’s a pipe dream, but if money were no object I’d pay someone several hundred dollars to make exactly the boots I wanted to fit my feet and legs perfectly.


So that NaBloPo thing

October 31, 2011

This is my third year running of National Blog Posting Month, where I commit to blogging everyday during the entire 30 days of November.  My first year, I didn’t really set myself any schedules or patterns, however my second year I came up with a set theme for each day and found that helped mightily when I was scratching my head at 9pm, wondering what the heck to write about.  Here is my current idea for a schedule, of course always subject to change.

Mondays – Links (or cool things I find on the interwebs)

Tuesdays – Food Show!

Wednesdays – Things I wear

Thursdays – Guest Posts

Fridays – Nugget o’ Thought (or probably something else brief, cause hey, it’s friday!)

Saturday – Book Reviews

Sunday – Photo Sunday

So hopefully that will help me keep this month ticking by and of course I will be looking for people to write those Thursday posts for me, so let me know if you are interested!