Friday, January 01, 2010


Favorites of mine in 2009


At Home with Friends, by Joshua Bell, et. al.
If on a Winter's Night, by Sting
Requiem, by Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)


The Language of Bees, by Laurie R. King (King's Mary Russell novels are perennial favorites of mine). Book trailer:

Austenland, by Shannon Hale
Graceling and Fire, both by Kristin Cashore


Glee (Yeah, I know--me and the rest of the world.)

honorable mention: Castle. I've seen the first two episodes, and I think there's some potential. The chemistry between Mal Castle and Beckett is pretty convincing, and it's early days (in my viewing history, anyway).


Homeschooling resources (mine):

For the almost twelve-year-old: Complete-a-Sketch; Life of Fred
For the eight-year-old: Writing with Ease, by Susan Wise Bauer
For the five-year-old: anything involving clothespins or playdough
For all three of them: workboxes

Homeschooling (the kids'):

The Children's Homer, by Padraic Colum
Biographies (Mary Anning, Charles Darwin, and Bindi Irwin come to mind)


Beets and goat cheese. Friends Lynne and Stephen introduced me to these two ingredients fixed together, in the form of crostini, which I then recreated at home. Beets are delicious! I had no idea, since my mother grew up eating them to the point of nausea in WWII-era Virginia, and refused to make them once she was in charge of the kitchen. My crostini had chopped wild arugula instead of the watercress Stephen used (though I think I liked the 'cress better), as the watercress I found didn't look good to begin with, and certainly didn't improve after a few days in the refrigerator.

Chicken with Saffron Rice. I think it's almost time to make this dish again!


myPhone. I'm a cliche. I know it.
Chet Raymo's Science Musings blog

Least favorites of 2009

Music: Benjamin Britten's St. Nicolas. I so wanted to love this cantata, but was bored, bored, bored by it.

Books: Breaking Dawn, by Stephenie Meyer. I truly enjoyed the middle two books of the series, and liked the first one because of the introduction of the characters, but the last book left a bad taste in my brain.

Movies: I don't remember seeing any movies that were horrible. I know there were some that were not memorable, but can't recall their names or what they were about or. . .

Homeschooling resources (I didn't have any least favorites--these are the kids'):

Food : Carmelized Red Onion and Fig Dip. Ugh. DH picked it up at the local foodie haven. I think it's my turn to go there next.

Personal: Turning forty. Not so much the age, but the fact that I didn't recognize the birthday with any pomp and circumstance, which I didn't do because I didn't want to be stressed out planning and running a party in the middle of the summer. Since forty-two is the meaning of life, perhaps I'll celebrate then, instead. ☺

What I'm looking forward to most in 2010

Music: Getting to sing the Duruflé Requiem, along with songs by Eric Whitacre and John Corigliano


The God of the Hive, by Laurie R. King (April)
A River in the Sky, by Elizabeth Peters (April)
The Black Cat, by Martha Grimes (April). I'm hoping the author has regained her sense of fun, which has been sadly lacking from the last several Richard Jury novels.
The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, by Alexander McCall Smith (January)
Aunt Dimity Down Under, by Nancy Atherton (February)
Steamed--a Steampunk Romance, by Katie MacAlister (February)

Also looking forward to reading La's Orchestra Saves the World, by Alexander McCall Smith; The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins; and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson, though all three of these have already been released (and are currently in my house, waiting for me to read them).


The Young Victoria (came out in December but not out locally yet): Emily Blunt
Leap Year (January): Amy Adams (Enchanted, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Julie & Julia)
Letters to Juliet (May): Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia)
Paris (September) : Juliette Binoche

honorable mentions: Valentine's Day, with a huge cast list including Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, Patrick Dempsey, Jennifer Garner, Hector Elizondo, and many, many more; and Beastly, which has only a teaser so far, but I'm a sucker for retold fairy tales, so I have hopes for it.

TV: Joss Whedon directing an episode of Glee? Did I read that right? Could be cool.

Homeschooling resources: Brave Writer's Writer's Jungle. I'm reading it. And even planning to implement it. Wish me all kinds of luck. Please.

New year, new goals:

more yoga
more walking
more (any) strength training
more hanging out with friends
more adventures (and less stressing about them)

How about you, friends (if you've made it all the way down here to the end of what turned out to be a very lo-o-o-ng post)? What were your favorites and least favorites in 2009? What are your goals for 2010?


Lynne said...

What an excellent round-up of last year and introduction to some cool things for the upcoming year. I hope to share some books and movies with you at the very least.

Also, I hope you're planning to keep us up to date on the Writer's Jungle progress. I'm curious.

Maintenance and growth are my two focus words for the new year. That's as far as I've gotten so far.

Suji said...

Lovely post! All the best with The writer's Jungle. I finally caved in a month or two ago and bought it but we are no where near implementing writing than we were a year ago. Perhaps in 2010? (grin) May the force be with you this year!

Fiddler said...

I like your focus words, Lynne. And I'll keep you posted on WJ.

Suji, Happy New Year! Thanks for the positive Jedi thinking sent my way. : )

sheila said...

Boy, I keep running into that Joshua Bell album EVERYWHERE. He was interviewed by the BBC and I heard it the other night at 3am. And he's in this month's Bon Appetit (where he had SUCH cool food choices I developed an instant crush). Maybe I should buy it. It is - gasp - meant to be?

My word verification is sectic. One more letter and I've had been feeling ill.

Fiddler said...

Ooooh, Sheila, I'll look for this month's Bon Appetit. I've had a crush on JB since I was eighteen. I'd say the you and the CD are definitely fated to be together.