Fizzy Thoughts


with 17 comments


  • Is the first day of 2014. But then you all know that. It seemed like a fine time to stop by ye olde blogge. Something about the new year got me thinking about blogging again*. Still not sure if I really want to, but I thought I’d at least write this one post. There’s a good chance it’ll be the only post I write this year.
  • I started the day by running** 3 miles***. This was the view when we started. Not bad, eh?


  • My running buddies and I then went out for coffee and I had a (non-fat, at least) Mexican Mocha. Totally defeats the purpose, but hey, you gotta ring in the New Year somehow, right?
  • There was also mention of a half-marathon in my future. Eep (also – see end of post).
  • HB and I took the beach cruiser bikes for a spin. We were going to go to Taco Temple for lunch (home of the best carrot cake in the entire universe…just ask OJ and she’ll confirm) but the wait there was ridiculous (isn’t everyone supposed to be starting diets or something??)**** so we ended up getting sandwiches at the local market instead. And we sat outside in the beautiful weather to eat them.
  • We also stopped by the pond to say howdy to the ducks. I know…life is so exciting. How has the blogging world survived my absence?
  • I have yet to pick up a book. I could work on finishing Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, but I’m at the point where he took the log out of the store, and I’m experiencing some anxiety over him being found out. And I don’t like it when books make me anxious. It usually results in me skipping to the end to make sure nothing really bad happens.

*Also, because I have NO record of what I read this year, other than the beginnings of a paper journal. Which means I have no memory of what I read this year. Although that Bernadette book was funny. And I really liked that book where the boy is bit by a snake. Fin & Lady was a bit of a let down, but I can only say that because I just read it last week.  (See?? THIS is why I need to blog.) Oh, oh…and Dr. Sleep was fucking***** AWESOME. You should totally read it. If you haven’t already.

**Our running coach insists we are runners. Even though my runs currently consist of 2 minutes of running followed by a minute of walking. So, you know, I ran even though it was more of a run/walk. I’m all about full disclosure.

***So, yeah…running. Hard to believe, but I took a class called…wait for it…I Hate to Run. Is that not the best name ever?!? Doesn’t it just make you want to run? No? Well, it worked for me. The class is over, though, so we’ll see how it goes without Coach Debbie around to entertain us through the torture. Umm, I meant fun.

****And guess who still loves her parentheses?

*****And also still has a potty mouth.

And just so this post isn’t all me, me, me, I’ll end with wishing you all a fantabulous 2014!


Written by softdrink

January 2, 2014 at 1:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Fancy meeting you here

with 37 comments

Why is my blog in a new place? And why does it look different?? And why does the name have to be even longer???

Well, it’s like this:

  • I don’t want to pay the self-hosting fees anymore, and they’re due in August, so it’s now or never. But I also didn’t want my blog to disappear completely, because it’s got all of my reading history for most of the past 5-6 years on it. Plus a few entertaining songs. Entertaining to me at least.
  • I really don’t have the energy or inclination to put the bubbles up. Although I will miss them.
  • wasn’t available. Probably because I used it at some point and it makes my brain hurt to try to figure that all out.

I did end up deleting some posts (some being almost 500) because I was having some export/import issues, but they were old posts about nothing, or memes, or things that I won’t miss. And I know that once the self-hosted site shuts down every single frickin’ link is going to break. And that some of the formatting within posts may have gone wonky in the move. Oh well. It’s better than not having any record at all. Right?

However. This doesn’t mean that I plan to start posting again. It just means I didn’t want to shell out the money to keep a blog I don’t use, but I didn’t want to completely disappear into the ether.

Which brings me to why I’ve pretty much quit blogging, in case anyone was wondering (if anyone is even still around):

Work: I’ve worked at Social Services for 16 years. For the first 8 I was a case manager, which involved a mix of paperwork, computer entries, interviews, and handling drop-ins. For the past 8, I’ve worked in Staff Development. For the first 7 of those years, I wrote and revised procedural guides, attended (a hell of a lot of) meetings, and generally supported Social Workers. Then last year I moved to Information Reporting. Compared to the past 15 years, this last year has been fabulous and I absolutely love what I’m doing, but I spend all damn day in front of a computer. And since I work 4 ten-hour days, that’s a lot of staring at a computer screen over the course of a day. All this to say when I’m not working I find myself increasingly shying away from the computer. Which makes blogging kinda hard.

Play: I’ve been trying to spend more time out of the house. Going on long walks (6 miles on my days off) and reading at the coffee shop. This also keeps me off of the computer. But I am trying to keep a paper journal. Which is hard, people…so hard.

Travel: I’m also trying to get back in the travel groove. Seattle earlier this year, Denver later this year. Some long weekend trips around California. In fact, I’ve got 3 of those planned over the summer. And next year there will be a 2 week trip to Washington D.C. So lots of adventures and planning of adventures!

Reading: The more I blog, the less I read. And vice versa. I’m sure you can all relate to THAT. But lately, I have been a reading fool.

Google: Seriously. The end of Google Reader pissed me off and I just couldn’t find an alternative that felt as easy. And I did try. But then I was even more pissed about the time I was spending trying to find something that worked and I pretty much gave up. Sometimes I just wish there was one big blog, and we all wrote a post every few weeks, and in between posting you could read what everyone else was up to, and it was JUST ONE SITE. And don’t you dare mention Facebook, because that’s a whole ‘nother animal that has pissed me off in the past.

13 years: Yes, I’ve had a blog of some sort for 13 years. Not Fizzy Thoughts, but still. A lot of blogging has happened and I think I’ve hit the wall.

I’m not completely ruling out an eventual return, but if it does happen, it’s not going to be anytime soon. This not blogging business is kinda fun. 😉

I can still be found (occasionally) on Instagram. And a bit too often on Words With Friends. And Care and I are doing our part to keep the USPS in business. So I haven’t disappeared completely!

I hope you all are doing well and enjoying life (and blogging)!

Written by softdrink

June 15, 2013 at 2:23 am

Posted in blog talk

My Bookstore

with 22 comments

Do you like to read books about bookish things? Well then, have I got a book for you:

my bookstore

(I am absolutely in love with the cover of this baby.)

While I’ve only been to a handful of the stores featured, it was still fascinating to read about them all. Because I’m a dork like that.

And while many of the authors interjected quite a bit of me, me, me into the essays (you know, the whole “When I was writing my first award-winning, best selling, it went platinum novel, the first of thousands of award winners, blah, blah, blah”) there are a few that just shine.

I am particularly fond of Pico Iyer’s (Pico Iyer!) piece on Chaucer’s in Santa Barbara, which is the closest-to-me store that appears in the book. Although I have yet to experience the friendliness of the booksellers (they’ve always been borderline rude when I’ve been in there), I still love what Iyer has to say.

Another favorite is the Powell’s essay by Chuck Pahlniuk. Possibly because Powell’s is my favorite bookstore EVER.

If you’re interested, here is the complete list. Do you recognize your bookstore in the list?

  • Rick Bragg—Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham, AL
  • Fannie Flagg—Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
  • John Grisham—That Bookstore in Blytheville, Blytheville, AR
  • Ron Carlson—Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
  • Ann Packer—Capitola Book Café, Capitola, CA
  • Isabel Allende—Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
  • Brian Selznick—Warwick’s, LaJolla, CA
  • Mahbod Seraji—Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA
  • Lisa See—Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA
  • Meg Waite Clayton—Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown—The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA
  • Dave Eggers—Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
  • Pico Iyer—Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Laurie R. King—Bookshop, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Scott Lasser—Explore Booksellers, Aspen, CO
  • Stephen White—Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
  • Kate Niles—Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO
  • Ann Haywood Leal—Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
  • Florence and Wendell Minor—The Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT
  • Rick Atkinson—Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
  • Les Standiford—Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
  • Robert Macomber—The Muse Book Shop, Deland, FL
  • David Fulmer—Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, GA
  • Abraham Verghese—Prairie Lights, Iowa City, IA
  • Charlie Brandt—Chapter One Bookstore, Ketchum, ID
  • Luis Alberto Urrea—Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, IL
  • Mike Leonard—The Book Stall Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL
  • Albert Goldbarth—Watermark Books, Wichita, KS
  • Wendell Berry—Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY
  • Michael Tisserand—Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA
  • Edith Pearlman—Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA
  • Mameve Medwed—Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr.—Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
  • Simon Winchester—The Bookloft, Great Barrington, MA
  • Nancy Thayer—Mitchell’s Book Corner, Nantucket, MA
  • Elin Hilderbrand—Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, MA
  • Jeanne Birdsall—Broadside Bookshop, Northampton, MA
  • Martha Ackmann—Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
  • Ward Just—Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA
  • Ron Currie, Jr.—Longfellow Books, Portland, ME
  • Nancy Shaw—Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Katrina Kittle—Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
  • Ann Patchett—Mclean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI
  • Louise Erdrich—Magers and Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN
  • Peter Geye—Micawber’s Books, St. Paul, MN
  • Kathleen Finneran—Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO
  • Barry Moser—Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS
  • Jack Pendarvis—Square Books, Oxford, MS
  • Jill McCorkle—Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Carrie Ryan—Park Road Books, Charlotte NC
  • Laurent Dubois—The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, NC
  • Lee Smith—Purple Crow Books, Hillsborough, NC
  • Angela Davis-Gardner—Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC
  • Ron Rash—City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC
  • Ian Frazier—Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, NJ
  • Audrey Vernick—Booktowne, Manasquan, NJ
  • Joan Wickersham—The Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH
  • Carmela Ciuraru—Community Bookstore, Brooklyn NY
  • Matt Weiland—Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
  • Kate Christensen—Word, Brooklyn, NY
  • Mick Cochrane—Talking Leaves Books, Buffalo, NY
  • Caroline Leavitt—McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY
  • Arthur Nersesian—St. Mark’s Bookshop, New York, NY
  • Francine Prose—Strand Bookstore, New York, NY
  • Pete Hamill—Strand Bookstore, New York, NY
  • Jeff Smith—Book Loft German Village, Columbus, OH
  • Chuck Palahniuk—Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
  • Larry Kane—Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA
  • Ann Hood—Island Books, Middletown, RI
  • Mindy Friddle—Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
  • Adam Ross—Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN
  • Douglas Brinkley—Book People, Austin, TX
  • Terry Tempest Williams—The King’s English Book Shop, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Howard Frank Mosher—Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT
  • Jon Clinch—Northshire Bookstore, Manchester, VT
  • Jonathan Evison—Eagle Harbor Book Co., Bainbridge Island, WA
  • Tom Robbins—Village Books, Bellingham, WA
  • Stephanie Kallos—Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
  • Timothy Egan—Elliot Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
  • Ivan Doig—University Book Store, Seattle, WA
  • Lesley Kagen—Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
  • Liam Callanan—Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Written by softdrink

March 19, 2013 at 6:00 am

Little Women

with 19 comments

little women

Little Women
Louis May Alcott
first published 1868

***WARNING: I will be discussing why some people consider this a freezer book.***

So going into my re-read of this classic, I only remembered two things from my first experience (and I can’t even remember when that first experience was): Beth dies, and Jo marries the wrong man. At least that was my childish recollection of things.

Boy, things sure can change when you re-read things as an adult.

My thoughts after the re-read have been revised to something like this:

  • Why did it take so long for Beth to die?? Pardon the expression, but I felt she needed to either shit, or get off of the pot. In other words, choose to live, or die already, you wishy-washy spineless little miss. Perhaps it was because I knew it was coming, or perhaps it was because I didn’t like her this go-around, but I was relieved to finally hit the Valley of the Shadows chapter. No need for the freezer for me! In fact, I might have uttered a little yippee.
  • Marmee. Holy hell lady, you need to shove a sock in it. I soon got tired of all of her Marmee-isms. I have a fairly clean house, but I’m sure that paragon of cleanliness would just die of apoplexy should she see it. Along with me sitting around reading instead of cleaning. Or that Hamburger is often left to find his own dinner (something that he is most capable of) should I not feel like cooking dinner. Sorry Marmee, but I am all about the downtime.
  • Also, you gave away your daughters’ breakfast to the poor? That’s nice, but they were hungry, too! I could so call CWS on you, bitch
  • I was actually glad that Jo didn’t marry Laurie (aka the mopey little shit). I actually like Amy and Laurie as a couple, even if I was a little worried for Amy as the rebound girl. And then I was a little worried for their little girl. You know, with a name like Beth. Do you want the poor child to be a sickly little girl that only wants to die?!?
  • It’s a good thing this was written before Teddy Bears hit the market, because Jo and Professor Bhaer named their child Teddy. That’s right. Teddy Bhaer. Swear to god, that was the funniest thing in the whole book, and it wasn’t even menat to be.
  • Mr. March is so forgettable I was actually surprised to see that he was even in the book!

And okay, I know I’m being particularly harsh and judging this book on by my modern standards, but the focus on being all motherly and housewifey made me cringe. Often and frequently. And as I’m sure you guessed, I found it overly preachy. With the emphasis on being a home-maker and wanting to die, I’m not really sure why this book is still around. I’m tempted to say it was the Twilight of the time, only you know…better written.

Go ahead…string me up for bashing such a beloved book.

Written by softdrink

March 18, 2013 at 1:00 am

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

with 8 comments

Today would’ve been my dad’s 71st birthday (wow, that sounds weird, since he is forever frozen at 53 in my memory). So since he was born on the greenest of holidays, AND because his nickname was Sam, AND because my mom and I once made him this for breakfast on his birthday (with a side of green grits):

green eggs and hamSay!

I like green eggs and ham!
I do!! I like them, Sam-I-am!
And I would eat them #inaboat!
And I would eat them with a goat… (this makes Billy happy)
And I will eat them in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
They are so good so good you see!

So I will eat them in a box.
And I will eat them with a fox.
And I will eat them in a house.
And I will eat them with a mouse.
And I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE!

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,

Written by softdrink

March 17, 2013 at 6:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

My Cousin Rachel

with 12 comments

my cousin rachel

My Cousin Rachel
Daphne du Maurier
narrated by Jonathan Pryce
first published 1951
11 hours, 55 minutes

Oh Philip. Philip, Philip, Philip. WHAT are we going to do with you, boy? You are, by turns, sweet, annoying, naive, and a total pain in the ass. Wait, that’s not quite true. You just need to get you head OUT of your ass.

While I couldn’t resist picking on poor Philip, I refuse to talk about the actual plot of this novel because I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it (unlike Little Women, which I will spoil the HELL out of later this month) because if you haven’t read this (or better yet, listened to it), you must. Right now. I insist.

And when you do read or listen to it, pay particular attention to both the beginning and end of the book. I am convinced that du Maurier had a particular genius for beginnings and endings. Of course, I’ve only read two of her books (this one and Rebecca) but I’m a total fan girl and have plans for Jamaica Inn sometime soonish.

Written by softdrink

March 15, 2013 at 6:00 am


with 21 comments

So I opened up my Google Reader last night only to read the message that it’s going away in July.




Not to mention:

the scream

Doesn’t Google realize that I don’t like to deal with pesky changes like that? I’m already crap about keeping up with comments…now I’m going to have to find another option so I can continue to be crap at commenting.

Thanks, Google. Thanks a lot.

Written by softdrink

March 14, 2013 at 6:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Foreign Correspondence

with 9 comments

foreign correspondence
Foreign Correspondence
Geraldine Brooks
240 pages

Overview filched from B&N:

Born on Bland Street in a working-class neighborhood of Sydney, Australia, Geraldine Brooks longs to discover the vivid places where history happens and culture comes from. She enlists pen pals who offer her a window on the hazards of adolescence in the Middle East, Europe, and America. With the aid of their letters, Brooks turns her bedroom into the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, the barricades of Parisian student protests, the swampy fields of an embattled kibbutz. Twenty years later – and worlds away from her sheltered girlhood – Brooks is an award-winning foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, reporting on wars and famines in the Middle East, Bosnia, and Africa. But she never forgets her earlier foreign correspondence. Traveling full circle to attend her dying father, Brooks stumbles on the old letters in her parents’ basement. She embarks on a human treasure hunt to find her pen friends, and to retrieve her own lost memories of the shy Sydney girl who wrote to them. One by one, she finds men and women whose lives have been shaped by war and hatred, by fame and notoriety, and by the ravages of a mysterious and tragic mental illness. It is only from the distance of foreign lands and against the background of alien lives that Brooks finally sees her homeplace clearly. This intimate, moving, and often humorous memoir of growing up Down Under speaks to the unquiet heart of every girl who has ever yearned to become a woman of the world.

Did you know that Geraldine Brooks was Australian? Me, either! Also…did you know she was married to Tony Horwitz? Again…me, either!

And obviously, there is way more to the book than that (in fact, Tony only appears briefly at the end…I only mention it because having read both authors I just didn’t put them together). This is both a memoir of an Australian childhood with a mysterious father, and an investigation of “whatever happened to those childhood pen pals?”

I remain a fan.

Written by softdrink

March 13, 2013 at 6:00 am

Posted in bookish thoughts

Tiny Thoughts on The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories 2

with 8 comments

tiny stories 2

Not as good as the first one. Although this first one got my hopes up:

tiny stories story 1

I found the bulk of the stories to be all emo drama (is that redundant?).

Written by softdrink

March 12, 2013 at 6:00 am

Posted in bookish thoughts

The Principles of Uncertainty

with 13 comments

principles of uncertainty

The Principles of Uncertainty
Maira Kalman
336 illustrated pages

I wish I could draw. I also wish I could just drop everything and gallivant off to Paris on a whim. You know, call up my (non-existent) sister and say, “Hey, let’s go to Paris!”

And okay, I also wish I wasn’t so envious, because maybe if I wasn’t (so envious) then I would’ve liked this book a bit more.

Jealousy can be an ugly thing.

To be honest, though, this is usually the kind of book that I love. Pictures, travel, journally thoughts. And filled with off-the-wall facts that I never knew. But it just didn’t resonate with me…I found the author to be a bit weird (and hey, I LIKE weird) and pack-ratty, and disjointed (pot, meet kettle), and kind of name droppy in a way that really isn’t dropping names.

Maybe I should’ve gone with the George Washington book* instead?

Also…I read this in January, which was filled with some pretty kick-ass books. It might be suffering from a bad case of comparison to those other books that I adored with all of my heart.

*And The Pursuit of Happiness…thank you google.

Written by softdrink

March 11, 2013 at 9:27 am

Posted in bookish thoughts