Tag Archives: Adriana Trigiani

What a Difference…

Only a few weeks left in 2012.

Tonight I was looking back in my computer to see if I wrote any kind of “end of year wrap up” for 2011 and found nothing but revisions of resumes and cover letters dated 2011.  I guess that’s where my mind was last year at this time!  What a difference a year makes.

It was fun to go back and read my December 2011 and January 2012 blogs – the books and movies that I indulged in during unemployment and my blogs about what I will and won’t miss about unemployment.  Ah.

Pretty good stuff.  I think I was the most creative during that time!  Blogs in early 2012 were pretty ‘meh.”  I guess brain power was going elsewhere for a while… rightly so!

Anyway, found this list again:

US passport
US passport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12 Things to Get Done in 2012

  1. See Garrison Keillor at the Fitzgerald Theatre
  2. Visit the Four Daughters Vineyard in Spring Valley (maybe more than once!). Doesn’t it look lovely?
  3. Get my passport – so I’m ready!  This was on my list of 40 Things and it didn’t happen.  It will happen – soon.
  4. Write – at least weekly blogs
  5. Write – more letters. It’s so fun to get mail.
  6. Eat healthy and REAL food
  7. Watch for and attend more Table Trivia Nights
  8. Seek out author and book events, especially for authors and books I love!
  9. Go to New York City to see “Once – the Musical” – you see that, Troy
  10. While in NYC maybe go on a Greenwich Village walking tour with Adriana Trigiani (love her!)
  11. Read at least one GOOD book per month.  Easily achievable.
  12. Try new recipes and cook for myself (or invite others!)
Garrison Keillor
Garrison Keillor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Still no passport (eeek!) and no Garrison yet, but NYC twice in a year?  A dream come true.

Seeing “Once” twice?  Amazing.

Even on Facebook in January 2011 I was posting links for the musical and dreaming of getting there.

Fun to start my dream list for 2013!  What do I want to come true this coming year???

I have to review my birthday list of 11 Things to do in the Fall, as the Winter Solstice is coming up soon and it’ll be time for a new list!  Yikes!

More later on that!

And I’m Ready to Go!

I’m excited for the adventures to come this week!

First Ave Danceteria

Adventures begin Saturday with Kieran’s Irish Pub and First Ave for Glen Hansard!  I’m excited to see him in concert for the second time!  Someone was tweeting during a concert in Washington DC last week and they were amazed so I am prepared to be amazed.

My bags are packed!

Thankfully I am packing slightly lighter than this – but only slightly!  🙂  How many clothes does one need for four days and nights in NYC?? And how many pairs of shoes to go with those clothes?  And how many purses to wear with those outfits?

Goodness.

I know that I overpacked, I always do, but I will have choices.  I haven’t even checked the 10 day forecast yet, so I packed for most eventualities.  Most.  I am not ready for cold or snow.  That won’t happen this week, although they are talking about some of that crazy weather for MN next weekend!

Things on the agenda for this NYC trip:

  • The movie “Pitch Perfect” – looks like a fun movie for music-loving people!
  • Depending on the weather, maybe a trip to the top of the Empire State Building (I haven’t been during the day) or a walk over the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge!
  • A walking foodie tour of Greenwich Village with Adriana Trigiani‘s tour group!
  • Central Park in the Fall!
  • The High Line in the Fall!
  • Avenue Q off-Broadway!
  • The Strand book store!
  • Forbidden Broadway!
  • Once – for the second time!
  • Bring It On!
  • Any other adventures that may come my way on my birthday week in New York City!

Sounds like I will need lots of energy for the City that Never Sleeps – So I’d best be getting sleep now – if I can!  I’m so excited to be on my way…

print by Mae Chevrette – She does beautiful work and I want them all! http://www.etsy.com/listing/110518539/limited-edition-14-x-11-paper-print-the

 

A Little Bookish Post

I haven’t written about books for a while, mostly because I haven’t been a rock star in the book-reading department lately!  I spent a lot of my August reading time catching up on my magazine reading.  There is no way I will meet my already-modified reading goal for 2012, but I’m ok with that.  I’ve enjoyed the books that I’ve read this summer, choosing fluff, classics, and good old recommended fiction.

The Shoemaker's Wife

The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Isn’t that a beautiful cover?  I wouldn’t mind a poster of it in my “library” upstairs.  The orange would totally clash with my cherry-colored walls, but that would be cool, too.  I love books by Trigiani.  I am looking forward to a walking food tour of Greenwich Village with her tour group!  I’m going to TRY to re-read one of her books before I go!
Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk by Freya North

This was one of those little fluffy books that I read for some mindlessness.  It was “meh,” according to my Goodreads review. 🙂  Just a little too long.

 

Thanks For The Memories

Thanks For The Memories by Cecelia Ahern

Another mindless book which I picked up cheaply at B&N a while ago.  It had an “intriguing premise and surreal plot,” according to my Goodreads review.  Deja Vu 🙂

 

The Importance of Being ErnestView the full version of this book online

The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde

I listened to this on audio (soooooooo delightful!) and read it free on Kindle (sooooooooooooo witty!) and participated meagerly in Wallace’s 3 week readalong.  And then I watched the movie.  Such good stuff!  Why did I wait so long to read some Wilde?

The Art of Mindful Living

Mindfulness for Beginners

Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Two audio books read by their authors who are “gurus” in this area.  I am feeling a little scattered this summer, so it was good to listen to these and I hope that I can continue to think about them and put mindfulness into practice!

The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - CityView a preview of this book online

The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City by David Lebovitz

How fun! This was a fast read, because it was filled with recipes that I’ll never make or already have a good enough recipe for thanks to other great books filled with recipes.  But he is a hoot.  I think that if I go to Paris, I will try to look him up and make him buy me lunch.  I would have to prove myself a worthy dinner companion, but I think he would do it!

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

And then I bought this for Ferragosto.  Set in a small village in Italy in the 60s and jumping forward to Hollywood today, it was a gem of a story – “Beautiful and unpredictable – just how I like ’em” is how I put it on Goodreads.

And now… The Chaperone

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

I am enjoying this a lot!  Only about 1/3 through (I think – dang iPad), but a nice and engaging story.

FC book club is setting up a date, and we are supposed to have read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” which I’ve heard is not too engaging.  I’ll skim it and then we’ll move on.  Book club is mostly about connecting with those women, right?  🙂

I think I’ll try to participate in the Book Club that the Emergency Department has going.  I’ve read almost all of the books they’re reading, but that’s ok.  Again, it’s about connecting, right?

And speaking of connecting, very excited to start Year Three of the Cosmo Girls tomorrow night!  Ready to dive in and organize the year!  Yay!

Well, off to read!  Haven’t said that for a while, but I mean it!  🙂

If you’ve made it to the end and have any ideas for other BOOKISH things to do while I’m in NYC, please let me know!  I plan to do that book/walking/food tour in Greenwich Village and to find The Strand bookstore.  Anything else that will be easy and fun?

Yay!

Lists

Goals for 2012

I love lists, as I believe I’ve said before.  The above is a list that I made in January of this year of things that I want to accomplish in 2012.  Not big lofty goals, not life-changing goals, really, but a list of things that I want to work on being able to do.

  • Garrison Keillor at the Fitz: I would love to see Garrison Keillor in his home territory of the Fitzgerald Theatre before he retires.  If I can’t do that, I want to get to a stage show of The Wits at the Fitz sometime soon.  I have been a John Moe fan for years – since his podcast Weekend America (which has been off the air since 2009) – and his stage/radio show sounds delightfully fun.
  • Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery: A new winery opened up in our area and it looks beautiful.  Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery has a beautiful building with what appears to be delicious food and wonderful local wine. I need to get there!
  • NYC: “Once” Musical: This is an item that can be crossed off the list this week!  I fly out early tomorrow and have tickets for this show on Tuesday!  If you’ve talked to me at all lately, you know that I’m over-the-moon excited about the entire trip, so I won’t go on and on… but it’s happening, and all because I wrote it on a list in January!  🙂
  • Maybe: You can see off to the side that I also wrote “Maybe a Greenwich Village walking tour with Adriana.”  I love all things Adriana Trigiani and so I checked into this.  No weekday tour groups but they would do a private walking tour – with or without food – for $95-$130.  Well, I can walk around and see a lot and eat a lot of food for that money.  So, not this time.  But I subscribed to the newsletter about her tours in NYC and in Italy… so it’ll continue to be something I look out for!
  • Passport: I still haven’t gotten a passport.  Must do that next!  No trips out of the country planned, but they are not possible until I have the passport!  🙂  Must. Be. Ready.
  • Write, at least weekly:  I haven’t been blogging weekly but feel pretty good about the amount that I am doing right now.  Starting the new job required mucho brain power and I am finally feeling like I can use a little for other things, like reading a novel.  🙂  So I’ll still aspire to weekly writing.
  • Write letters: I don’t do too badly at this.  I can do better, for sure.  But it is something I enjoy doing – writing and getting letters in return.  So fun.
  • Eat healthy and real food: The continual quest.  I thought that getting sleep would be the hardest thing about the crazy shift schedule we work in the Emergency Department, but it turns out that eating meals has been harder.  Working 12 hour shifts is easy when you’re there – it flies by – but so does the 12 hours you’re off!  I don’t cook meals for myself, aside from a cold meat sandwich, and have been eating out a LOT!  I try to make good choices while out.  A few weeks ago I realized that every time I went out I ate a delicious burger and my rationale was that I never make burgers for myself at home; but the truth is, i never make anything for myself at home, so I started making different choices!  That night I ordered Indian carryout and was blissfully happy about that.  I’ll have to keep working on this…
  • Trivia night: I had so much fun at Trivia Night in November with Kristine that I must find other venues for this.  Marissa found a bar in LaCrosse that has trivia on Monday nights and she has gone with a group and kicked butt – 1st place last week! – but I think it would dampen her image if her mom came along. 🙂  So I’ll keep looking!
  • Seek out author/book events: I scoured the web looking for author events while I’m in NYC next week, as I’ll have a few days to myself to wander, but was unsuccessful in finding anything that jumped out at me (by anyone I knew).  I went to B&N today and saw that tomorrow Jesse Ventura is going to be here for a reading and book signing.  I wondered if I would go, if I wasn’t winging it to NYC tomorrow.  🙂  I’ll keep my eyes open for fun opportunities.

What about you?  What’s on your list of things to do in 2012?  Or this summer?  Holler if you want to help me check off anything else on my list!

Things to Do in 2012

Now that I have some ‘certainty’ in my life, I have been able to think about the things that I would like to do in 2012.  Not really New Year’s Resolutions, but more of a To Do list. I’m sure I’ll add to it, but right now I have:

Garrison Keillor
Image via Wikipedia
  1. See Garrison Keillor at the Fitzgerald Theatre
  2. Visit the Four Daughters Vineyard in Spring Valley (maybe more than once!). Doesn’t it look lovely?
  3. Get my passport – so I’m ready!  This was on my list of 40 Things and it didn’t happen.  It will happen – soon.
  4. Write – at least weekly blogs
  5. Write – more letters. It’s so fun to get mail.
  6. Eat healthy and REAL food
  7. Watch for and attend more Table Trivia Nights
  8. Seek out author and book events, especially for authors and books I love!
  9. Go to New York City to see “Once – the Musical” – you see that, Troy?

    New York City
    Image by kaysha via Flickr
  10. While in NYC maybe go on a Greenwich Village walking tour with Adriana Trigiani (love her!)
  11. Read at least one GOOD book per month.  Easily achievable.
  12. Try new recipes and cook for myself (or invite others!)

That’s all for now!  If I think of more, I’ll add on… but a Dozen Things to do in Twenty-Twelve List suits me fine, too!

Off to read!

 

Books: a two-fer

Vaclav and Lena: A Novel

Vaclav and Lena: A Novel

I listened to this story on audio and I really think that it added to the experience. There were two narrators (although mostly one) and there were accents (done well) and there was a lot of emotions put into the reading.

Two children, best friends at 9 years old, living in Brooklyn with Russian parents, and then the separation. And the mystery. Years and years. And then they meet again.

Good story. 🙂

The Wisdom of My Grandmothers by Adriana Trigiani
The Wisdom of My Grandmothers
by Adriana Trigiani

4 of 5 stars
Read from October 29 to November 01, 2011
I’ve loved Adriana’s books for years. I won a copy of this book and then listened to Book Club Girl’s blog radio interview with Adriana tonight.

Adriana was blessed with strong grandmothers who lived into her 30s. They were born in 1895 and 1907 and both were hard-working career women who found the love of their lives. It is easy to see the influence these women had on the fictional characters you find in Trigiani’s novels.

I especially loved the passage where she says, “Looking back, now, I realize that you only ever need one person who lights up that way when you enter a room. One person is all it takes to give a kid confidence.” Yes.

Good stuff.

Sense of Self: Don’t Sing at the Table

Adriana Trigiani is one of my favorite authors.  I have read almost all of her books and enjoyed every one.  I’m currently reading her latest in paperback, “Don’t Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from my Grandmothers.”  It’s an easy read and an enjoyable little book.  She had powerful grandmothers.  They were business owners.  They were hard workers. They were sensible and taught many lessons, through their actions.

And the lessons are still applicable to today’s world.

I’ve maybe mentioned before that I don’t care for books where people set out to experience something in order that they may write a book about it (ala The Happiness Project or Eat, Pray, Love or Julie & Julia (which I’ve never read)), but books which are a summation of what has been learned through life experiences are more interesting to me (ala The Satellite Sisters Uncommon Senses or The Girls from Ames or Don’t Sing at the Table).

Someone asked me last weekend, “Can you write?”  I didn’t hesitate too long before I said, “Yes.”  I have a good grasp on grammar and vocabulary, I can put ideas down in an interesting way, I enjoy blogging more and more all the time, I write a pretty good letter or year-end summary.  Does that mean I can write?  If I were to make a list of things that I AM, I don’t think I AM A WRITER would be in my top ten.

Not to say that I wouldn’t love to be a writer.  I read a lot of blogs about books but I also read some blogs about the writing process.  I am fascinated by the way authors work and think and prepare and plan.  I would love to be able to write a book, and it something that I may put on a list to do.  I’m not sure what kind of book – fiction or non, children’s or memoir – but it’s something that I am exploring.

What about you?  If you made a list of I AMs what would you include?

Off to read!

And once again… subscribe if you want to continue reading… I’m not going to link to facebook after this week. 🙂

TBR Pile Minus One

Reading in bed
Reading in Bed Image via Wikipedia

Well, I didn’t exactly have a marathon of reading over the weekend, because I think that means that you spend more time reading than doing anything else.  I did have some marathon mornings – staying in bed on Saturday and Sunday and reading – but that was about it.  I finished the book I started – ‘The Summer We Read Gatsby” – and I really enjoyed it.  It was a nice summery read for a cold February weekend.

It seems I have a hard time making a dent in my TBR pile – or more accurately,  my TBR shelf!  That durn library always impels me to pick up new books every time I’m there!  So yesterday I picked up a quick paperback, then I’ll read “Plain Truth.”  If “One Day” comes up in my reserve list at the library, I’ll mosey on to that one.

So many books.

I have been enjoying the audiobooks in the car, since my iPod died.  I’m listening to a Super Sad one right now, and it kind of leaves a pall over me when I get out of the car.  Very sad.  I don’t like to recommend very sad books, because I don’t think it’s fun to feel this way, but it is called “Every Last One” by Anna Quindlan (sp).  I like that Hope Davis is the narrator, because that is fun, but that’s the only fun thing about the book.  I can only hope for a happy ending.  I’m about 2/3 through and then I’m going to listen to “Brava, Valentine!” by Adriana Trigiani, a favorite of mine.  Yeah!

Well, off to read!  What are you reading?