On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


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Today: Borrow a book.

Is there such thing as too many books?  Yes, possibly.  Case in point: our shelves have a tendency to overflow and books occasionally come raining from the heavens.  Or, more accurately, from the top shelf.  And sometimes, when I fear approaching the shelf and jeopardizing my safety, I stash errant books under the bed.  But they peek out.

I’ve made a rule for myself, which I will do my best to obey. No more monkeys jumping on the bed.  And also, No more books.  Until I finish reading the ones I have.  I’m sure there are far worse additions to be… addicted to, but I should probably make an effort never the less.  And as soon as I’ve finished the unread stack I have on hand, perhaps I could delay my next book purchase even longer.  How, you might ask (but probably didn’t)?

One of our fellow condo dwellers set up this ingenious take one, leave one system in our mail room:

It’s amazing.  There are books I’d actually like to read here!  And some I wouldn’t like to read, but would instead like to giggle about.  I especially like the posted notice.  And I, for one, like and respect the library.

Isn’t this a lovely alternative to giving more of my hard-earned money to Mr. Barnes and Ms. Noble?  I like sharing.  And borrowing.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Check out the brilliant Gretchen Rubin’s twelve tips for reading more
  • Set up an appointment at Healthworks
  • Supposedly it’ll be snowing by the time we wake up tomorrow… I’ll believe it when I slip and fall on it

What’s in your stack of books to read?  Do you buy, borrow or steal your books?


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Today: Eat by the rules.

I picked up Michael Pollan’s Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual because I love food and I love rules.  I also love manuals.  I was not disappointed.  Michael Pollan has written a number of celebrated books on the topic of food, including The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which was named one of the top ten books of the year by The New York Times and The Washington Post.  Since I am more of a picky-vore than an omnivore, I suppose I am not afflicted by the dilemma… but I haven’t finished that book yet, so I can’t be sure.

...and the cover matches my ladybug kitchen timer (very important).

I did, however, start and finish Food Rules in just a night.  It’s short and too the point, and the point is grounded in common sense.  Remember The Rules?  This is nothing like that (and that’s a good thing).  Pollan’s rules can be collapsed into this:

Eat food.  Mostly plants.  Not too much.

I don’t want to spoil any more for those of you who haven’t read the book (and I presume there are copyright laws that prevent me from sharing all 64 rules), but I will share just a few:

  • Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
  • Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce
  • Eat sweet foods as you find them in nature
  • Eat all the junk food you want, as long as you can cook it yourself
  • Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it

And…

Now that’s a rule I can abide by.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Follow this lovely chart for eating seasonal food
  • Take Clark for a walk around Castle Island (it might reach 50 degrees today!)
  • Get my nails did

Have you read any good books or booklets lately?


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Today: Call the waambulance.

Remember Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?  Do you think Atheneum is looking for a sequel about a twenty-something miss who had a crappy Wednesday? That’s how I’d pitch it to the publisher.  Very evocative, no? No? Welp, now you know why there is no book about me.  Yet.

I woke up very much on the right side of the bed, got to work earlier than planned, and managed to not spill a single ounce of my smoothie.  I have a cute outfit on, didn’t get a speeding ticket, and still have both front teeth.  Everything else, however, seems to have gone awry.

I won’t bore you with the work-related details.  Suffice it to say, the day was a doozy.  I have no idea where all these colloquialisms are coming from.  Besides my brain.

Just when I thought my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day was turning around, I noticed a community of mold growing on a grape in the fruit salad I had just picked up downstairs.  Did I mention that I had already eaten six or seven grapes?  I hope I am not poisoned.

Granted things could be about 9.2 million times worse, but I just having one of those days.  Don’t you hate being surrounded by dingbats?  I kid.  We all make mistakes.  And tomorrow’s a new day… and will probably be plain ol’ normal rather than plain ol’ terrible.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Snap out of it.
  • Make some enchiladas!  Ole’!
  • Avoid all news of Tiger Woods.  TMI.

How do you snap out of a rude mood?


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Today: Read on Memory Lane

MeatballsWe are compiling a list at work, featuring our “must read” books for kids, inspired by our own literary childhoods.  With Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (one of my all-time favorites) and Where the Wild Things Are hitting the theatres, now’s a great time to get nostalgic.

Here are a few picks from my list:

Anne of Green Gables collection, L.M. Montgomery: I wanted to be a red-headed orphan on PEI, with a kindred spirit living nearby and a dying adopted father whose last name sounded like custard.  Except for the orphan/dying parent part.  Actually, I didn’t really want red hair either. I devoured these books, one after another.  My sister and I watched the movies on PBS more times than I should admit.

Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein: I will not go to school today, said little Peggy Ann McKay.  I have the measles and the mumps, a gash, a rash, and purple bumps.  Memorized that bad larry in fourth grade.  Some things just stick.  My bank account number? Can’t remember it because that corner of my brain is occupied by various S.Silverstein poems.

Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe, Vera B. Williams: I took LeVar Burton’s word for it and checked this book out of the Boyden Library the week it was featured on Reading Rainbow.  The illustrations are perfect.

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg: I still daydream of being locked in the Met or the furniture collection at the MFA overnight, thanks to this awesome chapter book.

The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams: I remember this book sending me into a spiraling six year old frenzy, worried that my having strep throat would result in all of our toys being burned in the back yard, only for them to come to life.  I think the coming to life part scared me more than the burning.  Regardless, TVR contains one of my most favorite exchanges of all time:

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

The Frog and Toad collection, Arnold Lobel:  Our maternal grandfather was short and had round cheeks.  His older brother was, and is, much taller, with a lean face.  Both looked good in earth tones.  These books, especially Frog and Toad Together, reminded me of Grandpa and Uncle Mac.  I still think they’d probably like sitting on a log, talking about the season, or swimming, or a lost button.

Frog_and_toad_cover[Frog and Toad photo via wikipedia.org]

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Dr. Seuss; and Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McClosky: My dad had this awesome leather chair.  We’d still in his lap, while he read to us–these titles in particular, possibly hundreds of times–in the old house.  I’m very lucky my parents read to us as much as they did.

You can check them all out at your local library, or at Amazon.com by clicking here.  Happy Reading!  I’m off to pick up my first BPL card at our local branch.  Man/woman, I love this city.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Go for a run, but avoid that creepy street I mistakenly ran down last week
  • Make some soup!

What were your favorite books growing up?  And for those of you who, like me, loved Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, what’s up with the 3D animation?  I wish the movie looked more like the book… sigh.  OK.  Bye!