Tag: cinnamon

The Friday [5] – 3/5/10

Cori put together this neat badge over on her book blog to indicate the Friday [5] – a meme where you post 5 things in the land of books and media that you're currently lovin'. Steve and some others have also started doing this, and since I'm still laid up on the couch this week and not feeling all that inspired (being house-bound against your will does put a damper on your creativity), I thought I'd try it out, too.  I'm going to extend it to include "writing" interests, too, since I'm getting interested in doing some writing and/or improving my writing a bit. So without further ado,

Here are five things in the land of books, media, and writing that I’m lovin’:

  1. I've been catching up on episodes of this season's Burn Notice. The title refers to the "burn notices" issued by intelligence agencies to discredit or announce the dismissal of agents or sources who are considered to have become unreliable. When a spy is burned, they are wiped off the grid, without access to cash or influence. Each episode is its own self-contained story, with the "burn notice" story arc running through the background tying them all together. It's an interesting mix of spies, con-men, and trickery. I'm fond of the lead, Jeffrey Donovan, and he and the supporting cast keep the show interesting even after three seasons.
  2. Neil Gaimain posted a link to a short story of his on Twitter. The story, entitled "Cinnamon", has never been published anywhere before.  It's a short read, but a nice gem. Reminds me a lot of Kipling's work, and not just because it involves tigers and parrots!
  3. I got my hands on an ebook copy of The Princess Bride, by William Goldman. Although I expected it to be good, I didn't realize it would be THIS good. I'm really enjoying the "autobiographical" aspects of the text that Goldman includes.  He says in the preface that he adapted this from S. Morganstern's "Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure", but cut all of the boring parts and left only "The Good Parts". If you've seen the film (and who hasn't?) you'll find yourself comparing scenes of the movie to the same chapters of the book, and sometimes find the film comes out on top. But if you can put the film aside for a bit and just read the book in its entirety, I think you'll find it an enjoyable and humorous read.
  4. Not so much media as a media platform, I'm finding I am really digging the Motorola Droid as a video-player. I already have the Creative Zen mp3/media player that I use most of the time, but the only benefit that has over the Droid now is that the Zen can output to the TV.  Otherwise, the Droid kicks butt – I can convert any video to .mp4 format using Handbrake, and the resulting file plays brilliantly on my phone.  Plug in some headphones and I have a beautiful little video player to watch a TV show or movie on while resting on the couch or in bed.
  5. 750words.com has been getting a lot of attention recently, especially from the geek/writing community.  Conceived by Buster Benson, 750 Words is a website that enables you to do a private "brain-dump" on a very simple online word-processor.  750 words is the equivalent of 3 pages, and is the daily goal of participants of the website (originating from the idea of "morning pages" from The Artist's Way).  After you write 750 words about whatever you want (stream-of-consciousness style recommended), the website does a very cool text-analysis and visualization on what you typed.  (Example here, from my entry today)  I find once I start writing, the very activity of writing primes me to write more, so I'm looking forward to using this site not only to provide an outlet for private catharsis, but also to help get me jump-started on the day's writing. 

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Yod Hunt #9 – The Rushed Edition

I was going to skip this contest because of the lack of time I have this weekend to put together some quality photos, but then I thought about those poor monkeys and all the hard work they put into coming up with quality topics.  So I rushed this morning to put together my entry, and hope that the monkeys know that it's the thought that counts, when it comes to the Yod Hunt.  So here's my entry, with no warranties, no guarantees, and all sales are final…

1. Show us a candle that has clearly seen better days.

Somehow these three candles ended up in our sun room as the de facto toys for my daughter and her cousin.  They've used them as rolling pins, blocks, swords, and some sort of imaginary food item.  I'm pretty sure we'll never be using these for decorative purposes again, so I let them just have at them.  It's better than them pulling off all the books off the bookshelves, which is their OTHER favorite past-time in that room!

2. Show us the food item you would eat right now if you were told the world was going to end in five minutes.

The Bestest Cereal in the WorldAll Gone

I'm sorry – I was going to take a picture of the cereal itself, but when I heard the phrase "the world is going to end in five minutes", I finished off the rest of the box.  I don't regret my cereal binge, though…now if I just had a giant bottle of Tums.

3. Take a picture of one of those funny music playing devices that existed before iPods.

As you can see by the dust on this thing, it doesn't get a whole lot of use in my household anymore.  I paired it with the "Essential Jazz" CD collection, which comes in oh-so-deceitful packaging intended to look like a vinyl sleeve, homage to one of those funny music playing devices that existed before portable CD players.

4. Purchase and show us a very cheap generic or knockoff product.

You know when you say, "You get what you pay for"?  (Well, at least, I say this sometimes, not sure about you.)  It is all too true when it comes to envelopes.  See exhibit A below:

Eckerd brand security envelopes: Not secure (you can see through them even with the extra layer), the sticky stuff doesn't stick when you lick 'em, and I tend to tear them whenever I put stuff in them.

CVS brand plain white envelopes: Surprisingly fragile.  Not only does the sticky stuff not stick when you lick it, but the rest of the envelope's seams come unstuck when you try to use it, too.  Plus, the sticky stuff tastes like carpet lint (or what I imagine carpet lint would taste like, if I so inclined to lick one).

Mead brand white envelopes:  FINALLY, a quality envelope!  For the extra $0.50 these cost over the other two boxes, I got an envelope that sticks when you lick/shut it, AND stays together.  Definitely worth the extra four bits for the box, trust me.

5. Show us something you've received as a birthday present.

I couldn't limit myself to just one present here, so this is a random sampling of gifts I've received from various folks over the last 5 years.  People say I'm hard to shop for…but I think they did a fine job…how about you?

(From left to right): Brown coach wallet, folding pocket knife, electric razor, a copy of "Wedding Ring" by Peter Lipman-Wulf, part of a set of giant ceramic coffee mugs w/ asparagus and tomatoes, respectively, all atop a "Legendary" pro boogie board.

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