Friday, May 22, 2015

Beach Reads

By and large we seem to equate beach reads with mindless reads. I don't really discriminate - I've read some super heavy things while sitting with my ass in the sand. But it is nice sometimes to drift away with a book that doesn't require a ton of thought...even though personally, I like for them to require some as you'll see reflected below. As we roll into Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kickoff to the summer season, here are some books that might fit the bill.

1. The Archy McNally Series by Lawrence Sanders - McNally is a funny, quirky, playboy character living and private detecting in Palm Beach. A little mystery, a little weirdness, and a little beach background. I think there are more than 10 books, the later ones are co-written.

2. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles - Lose yourself in 1930s Manhattan - the gin and the jazz and the streets are almost so descriptive that you can feel them. The story is good too.

3. A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams -  It starts on Memorial Day 1938 in a little seaside community in Rhode Island and whirls around you from there until you're entrenched in it.

4. Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky - The setting calls to me so I put up with some of the crap I wouldn't stand for in a story normally.

5. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells - I hope you haven't seen the movie, but even if you have, you should read this book. I loved it fiercely. It's full of some hard stuff but there's a lot of perseverance and love and southern charm.

6. Beach Music by Pat Conroy - This is also heavy. Very. But the story is so intricate and there's so much going on, plus you get The Drifters and the book itself being a basic love letter to the Low Country. This is Conroy at his best.

7. Outer Banks by Anne Rivers Siddons - I love the writing in this book, it seems urgent and melancholy all at once. There's a lot of quotable passages in this book and I love the southern in Siddons.

8. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume - Judy for adults. A weird and complicated friendship set against the backdrop of Martha's Vineyard.

9. Lake Wobegon Summer, 1956 by Garrison Keillor - Ah, the good old days. A book about a geeky boy coming of age in the heartland with a passage about a fart that made me laugh so hard I cried numerous times. Not a bad way to meander through an afternoon.

10. Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt - I read this book over and over as a young adult. It's one of my favorite books. I've also read it as an adult and still enjoyed it. Yes, it's YA, but it's also a Newberry Award winning novel.

What do you recommend for people looking for beach reads?

Happy long weekend! As we enjoy our flags and our burgers, don't forget why we are able to do so freely. Memorial Day is not Veterans' Day. Memorial Day is in observance of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice - their lives for our freedom and interests. I mean no disrespect to anyone serving now or who has served, but every day is a day to thank a veteran, yes? Monday belongs to those who didn't come home.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Currently - May

Drinking...cucumber and lemon infused water. So refreshing. And good for you too.

Bidding...Mad Men a fond farewell. I liked the finale. I like when they tell me what's happening to people I won't see again. I'll miss them all, especially Joan. Or as Amanda calls her, the original Boss Bitch. Word.
Being...ladies who lunch with Jana of Jana Says  yesterday. I'm psyched for her new Interview with a Bookworm series that I participated in on Tuesday.

Wearing...All pixie pants, all the time. Old Navy, please don't stop making these. new sun hat from Old Navy. Yellow and happy and bigass to keep the sun off of my face.

Hating...Mae's gross skin and ear issues. High maintenance diva.

Wanting...more people to vote. I was #155 at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday. So many people have fought and died to gain the right to vote and so many people do not use it.

Needing...a pedicure. My feet are not well right now. we're already at Memorial Day weekend. Brenda caught in the bus station in Adventures in Babysitting whenever I have to spend more than four minutes in Market East. I mean Jefferson Station. first Agatha Christie - Murder at the Vicarage. I'm not loving it.

Listening to...Big Parade by The Lumineers. Over and over and over again.

Stalking...the instagram accounts of my upcoming vacation destinations.
Appreciating...the Trenton line being back up and running. My commute has returned to normal. As normal as a commute full of quasi-lunatics can be.

Laughing at...the truth in this. Thanks to Sister Secrets for sharing.
What's going on with you?

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Linking up with Kristin and
Joey for Stuff & Things

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Shit MFD Said Vol 18

MFD: Did you see Dennis Quaid freaking out?
Me: No.
MFD: It was so funny. You should watch it right now.
Me: No.
MFD: Why not?
Me: I don't care.
MFD: It was funny. You should ask around.

MFD: I thought this jacket was lost or stolen but then I found it. 
Me: Where was it?
MFD: Hanging up.
Me: Like where the coats go?
MFD: Yeah! Not on the back of a chair. Can you believe it?
Me: Yes. Because I hung it up.

Eating Mint Milanos
Me: These are really good. 
MFD: I know.
Me: Why did you buy these things? Now we know.
MFD: It's Pepperidge Farm.
Me: What does that have to do with it?
MFD: Quality.

As I'm trying to relax on a Sunday and MFD is working and listening to music loudly
Me: Can you turn that down?
MFD: No.
Me: Who even listens to Billy Idol?
MFD: Me.

Me: What is this?
MFD: A movie.
Me: This is the first time we've sat down to watch TV together in forever and we're watching a documentary about gasoline?
MFD: Uh huh.
Me: You like not having cable because the amount of dork TV content is now limitless.
MFD: It's awesome.

MFD: Bob Evans. Down on the farm. We could totally roll up there in jorts if we wanted.
Me: Indeed.
MFD: It's comfort food. Comfortable clothes.

MFD: We need to get a dog vacuum for Geege. 
Me: He just needs to be brushed.
MFD: I think they make them. 
Me: We're not getting one.

Me: Can you go to the store for me?
MFD: Maybe. 
Me: Actually I'll go. I need to drop stuff off at Goodwill.
MFD: What about Badwill?
Me: Nope. Nothing to take there.

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All read and approved by MFD before they go live...
Shit MFD Said Vol 1Shit MFD Said Vol 2Shit MFD Said Vol 3Shit MFD Said Vol 4
Shit MFD Said Vol 5Shit MFD Said Vol 6Shit MFD Said Vol 7Shit MFD Said Vol 8
Shit MFD Said Vol 9Shit MFD Said Vol 10Shit MFD Said Vol 11, Shit MFD Said Vol 12, Shit MFD Said Vol 13, Shit MFD Said Vol 14, Shit MFD Said Vol 15, Shit MFD Said Vol 16, Shit MFD Said Vol 17

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Easy breezy dinner

I made this up this weekend and it's quite easy to throw together to have for dinner after work. Since the salad needs to be refrigerated for two hours, you'd have to make the salad in the morning or the night before if you won't have the time that evening.

The main: pork
The sides: ramen salad and steamed green beans

7 lb pork (I've used bone-in picnic, no bone shoulder, etc)
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1C soy sauce
1C orange marmalade
3TBS ketchup
kosher salt

Trim visible fat from the pork. Cut holes in each side of the pork.Sprinkle kosher salt all over.

In a bowl, whisk soy sauce, orange marmalade, 3 tablespoons of garlic, and ketchup. Brush all over the meat. Place a table of garlic in the crock pot and spread it around. Place meat in crock and pour the remaining mixture over it. Cook on low for 8 hours. Let cool and cut into chunks.

Ramen Salad:
14 oz cole slaw mix
2 packets of ramen noodles, crushed and uncooked
5 stalks of green onion, sliced - or more to your taste (I always add more)
1 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 packets of ramen mix (optional)

Put cole slaw, ramen, green onion, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Whisk oil, vinegar, sugar, and mix if using. Pour over assembled ingredients and stir well. Refrigerate covered for at least two hours.

Green beans
Steam or saute.

And that's that. Easy breezy.

Would you rather talk about books? I'm over at Jana Says today for Interview with a Bookworm, a new series she's doing. Check that out here.

Ramen, after college...
Who would have thought, right?
Some sort of rebirth.

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Martinis & Bikinis

Monday, May 18, 2015

TWTW - the one before Memorial Day

Last week was a bear. Friday night I broke in the too puffy dog bed for the dogs, spending an hour or so laying on the new bed while the ungrateful bastards laid on the old one or the floor. I got some new stuff at ULTA and went to bed early.
The Far Northeast Farmers' Market had its grand opening on Saturday morning in its new spot in Somerton. It was great! I got some asparagus and mushrooms and the dogs got woofles. Local friends, follow the market on facebook and check it out!
I did weights since I skipped them Friday night, washed both couches, got groceries delivered, put my Memorial Day gear out, and went to Old Navy to replace my beloved, oft-worn seven year old pajama pants that finally gave out in the ass. RIP old friends.
My little friend Quinn turned 2 Saturday so I went to his party and ran into my littlest girlfriend Eva the Diva.
Saturday evening was Philly Gay Bingo benefitting the AIDs Fund with friends. The theme was West Beverly Prom. Could you die? Thanks so much to HAP for securing the table and inviting me along with some of my peeps.
I cut out a little early and hopped it on over to Johnny Brenda's to meet MFD to see Mark's band Mercury Radio Theater play.
Sunday was humid and gross. I hate having the house shut up but the air conditioner went on for the first time this year. Geege just can't breathe in the humidity and he's too old for that noise. I did the usual: change sheets, lay out clothes for the week, pick up, laundry, food prep, etc.

Weekly food prep: hard boiled eggs (that I make in the oven), for breakfast along with cottage cheese and berries; peanut butter bread that I ate with nutella and preserves like a fat ass (thanks Jana for the recipe); lunches and dinners are asian-inspired crocked pork and ramen salad and whole wheat pasta with shitake and oyster mushrooms cooked down with some garlic, shallots, and balsamic vinegar and greek yogurt and parmesan to make it a little creamy. I also made iced coffee in bulk.
Once all of my chores were finished, I glued my ass to the couch to do some blogging, lounging, magazine reading, and Mad Men bingeing. I can't believe it's over.

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Can you believe we're rolling into Memorial Day week? How did that happen?

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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

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