Fizzy Thoughts

Archive for the ‘blog talk’ Category

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.
  • fizzythoughts.wordpress.com 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

Remembrances of books past: the 2012 edition

with 18 comments

Happy last day of the year!

I did this remembrances of books past last year in the exact same format, so I figure why re-invent the wheel. Or, in this case, blog post. Since my favorites always change with my moods, I find it too hard to come up with actual “Best Books of the Year” lists. So this is more of a random sampling of what I read.

For the counts in the first part of the post, I kept last year’s figures (they’re the first numbers in parentheses and in hard-to-read pale blue) just so I could be depressed. Okay, I’m not really depressed (because, hello…I read some LONG ASS books this year, thank you very much Stephen King), but I am surprised by how many more repeat authors there are on the list. I seem to have had a few reading binges. I also thought I spent more time with audio this year, but maybe it’s (again) because of those King books that I spent WEEKS listening to. As always, it was a good year of reading (with a few exceptions, as mentioned below). So, without further ado, I give you…

chickenresolution

Books read by Softdrink: (112 in 2011) 89 in 2012

    • Female authors: (73) 54
    • Male authors: (42) 37
    • Non-fiction: (22) 18
    • Classics: (18) 9
    • Dystopians: (13) – Reclassified this year as Time Travel and/or Fantasy, since I seem to have changed preferred escapist genres: 16
    • Repeat authors, within this year only: (5) 10 (Patricia Briggs, Kelley Armstrong, Vivian Swift, Stephen King, Laini Taylor, Cassandra Clare, Gillian Flynn, Anne Bishop, Diana Gabaldon, Sarah Vowell)
    • Translations: (5) 2
    • Audio books: (11) 9
    • Re-reads: (4) 0
    • Books set (all or mostly) in other countries: (40) 27
    • And new for 2012: Books featuring werewolves and/or vampires: 13 (14 if you count The Count of Monte Cristo, as some people thought he was a vampire ;-D)

Books read by Hamburger: Still 0 (and still amusing myself with this stat)

Favorite Cover(s): Fingerprints of You and The Song of Achilles

Favorite Whole Book ExperienceIT (Let’s hear it for the crazy clown posse!)

Favorite Book with the Worst Cover: For the second year in a row, Josh Bazell for the win, this time with Wild Thing 

Favorite Non-Fiction Character: Vivian Swift, because I wish I had her artistic talent

Book I Really Wish I Hadn’t ReadWild

Most Disappointing Book: Also Wild

Book that I’m Glad I Finally ReadThe Stand

Book that I’m Not Glad I Finally ReadAmerican Psycho

Book that I’m Glad I Finally Read Again:  Yeah, that didn’t happen this year

Favorite Audio Book Experience11/22/63

Favorite Author: Stephen King

Book 1 2 in a Series I’m Most Looking Forward to ContinuingDays of Blood and Starlight

Favorite “holy crap (s)he did not just do that” Book: Gone Girl

Least favorite “holy crap (s)he did not just do that” BookAmerican Psycho

Most Awesomest Narrator: Craig Wasson (see 11/22/63)

Favorite Book Heavily Influenced by Other BooksThe Flight of Gemma Hardy

And two new categories:

Author I’m most scared to meet in a dark alley: Bret Easton Ellis

Author who most resembles his main character: Glen Duncan (and probably Bret Easton Ellis, too)

Written by softdrink

December 31, 2012 at 6:00 am

Posted in blog talk

This and that

with 15 comments

You’ve probably read some/where by now that I got to meet up with Amy, Florinda, Ti and OJ a few weekends ago.

Amy, Jill (OJ, not this one), Florinda, and Ti

We had great fun talking books while drinking coffee-ish beverages, and then talking books while eating lunch, and then talking books while wandering around B&N. We also admired gold butts:

As always, it was fun to see everyone and talk and talk and talk about books.

********************

I’m generally pretty bad about responding to comments, but I’ve been even worse than lately. Worse, as in not at all. So this is a collective reply to:

1. The general agreement about my thoughts on Gone Girl. If you haven’t read it, you should. Even if you think it might not be your thing. I’m generally not a fan of books like that, but this one was just brilliantly done (at least I thought so…and evidently most of you did, too). Also, there’s going to be a movie. Woo-hoo! I think we all need to meet up for movie night. Wouldn’t that just be the awesome-est? I think Denver is sort of centrally located, and rumor has it the bookstore there opens early.

2. Your hilarious (and poignant) (and also sometimes slightly disturbing) stories on running away from home. Thank you for sharing. I got a kick out of all of them.

3. The pucker post, which I followed up with this post on tumblr for #photoadayjuly (the prompt was open). Evidently, you all worry when I make too many weird faces. Trust me, I’m no weirder than usual. I just usually hide it better.

********************

Tomorrow I’m going to post my last song for The Stand Standalong. It doesn’t really give anything away, but it does allude to what happens later in the book. Fair warning.

********************

I’m having way too much fun with Instagram.

********************

In two weeks I’ll be on vacation in Oregon. Yay! Even if it’ll be too far from Powell’s. <insert frownie face here> I was going to save Shadow of Night for vacation reading, but then I re-thought that decision (I have a small problem with waiting). So now I’m considering what books to take with me (luckily we’re driving, so space is NOT an issue). I’m pretty sure Language of Flowers will go along for the ride…too bad The Twelve isn’t out yet, though! Any suggestions?

Written by softdrink

July 18, 2012 at 6:00 am

Posted in blog talk

I’ll Tumblr 4 Ya

with 9 comments

No, I’m not doing a parody…but I am on tumblr. As Tiny Bubbles. Get it? Fizzy Thoughts—>Tiny Bubbles? No? Well, it made sense in my head. Probably for the same reason why every time I think of tumblr I think of Culture Club singing “I Tumble 4 Ya” (Hey, I was a child of the ’80s. I listened to Flock of Seagulls, too (but not Devo). And I pegged my jeans.)

Sorry. I might’ve gotten a little sidetracked on youtube looking at ’80s New Wave bands. If you ever need a good laugh, I’d highly recommend it.

Back to tumblr and the reason why I now have two blogs. I’d been wondering what the heck to use my tumblr account for (it’s been sitting there neglected for quite the while), and when I decided to do Fat Mum Slim’s Photo a Day June I realized that was the perfect spot for my lame ass pictures! So now I don’t have to clutter up this blog with photos that are nothing more than a glimpse into what happens when you give my stream of consciousness thinking a photo prompt.

Also, there’s a video clip that’ll show you what happens when I try to vlog. That’s probably your one chance to see me on video. Don’t worry, it’s very short…just like my vlogging career.

Written by softdrink

June 8, 2012 at 6:00 am

Posted in blog talk

You asked, I answer (part 2)

with 11 comments

For the first post in this series, and a wee bit of background, check out this post.

Why is Justin Bieber popular when he clearly sucks so very bad? (Trisha)

For the same inexplicable reason that people care about Paris Hilton and the Kardashians.

What is the question to the ultimate answer of 42? (Trisha and Stephanie)

See the next question.

What do you think is the most important thing to living a good life? (Trisha)

Laughter.

Which celebrity do you wish would just vanish without a trace and why? (Allie)

All country music singers and their work.

Oh, I’m sorry…is that cheating? If so, then I’ll go for Ashton Kutcher (because he CANNOT act, and I’m tired of seeing his face everywhere).

This was hard, actually. Because I also considered Brett Favre, believe it or not, because I’m sick of his “I’m retired, but for the right price I’ll play” attitude. And Oprah Winfrey, because she needs to just stop. Also, I was going to say Tom Cruise, but he seems to have already disappeared, so that would’ve been a wasted wish.

Favorite music group or singer? (Allie)

Dave Matthews Band. Although I prefer their older stuff.

Favorite triangular-shaped kind of dessert? (Allie)

Pretty much anything made by my mom that can be cut into a triangle. Earlier this year she made red velvet cheesecake brownies and they were amazing. Even if they were squares. But if she ever makes them again I’ll cut them into triangles! And I’ll invite you all over.

I would like to ask how you got started on this song parody kick?  Is it something you’ve been doing since you were young (I know a girl in my high school that did this kind of thing all the time), or were you recently inspired?  What is your favorite parody that you have written? (Sandy)

That’s a good question. I’ve only ever done it for this blog (and don’t you all feel special). But I forget how it started or when inspiration struck. It might’ve been when we did Game On a few years ago. Or, maybe it was when, as a college freshman, I got a tour of the restroom stall where Weird Al Yankovich composed his first song (yes, we went to the same college), and his influence has been lurking in my mind ever since. 😀

Joyce Spews might be my favorite, if only because it’s the only one I’ve ever put to music (although I still refused to sing).

I would also like to know one thing about you that would shock us.  Something you have never told your adoring public! (Sandy)

The only love letter I have ever received I threw away without reading past the first page (it was painfully earnest and poorly written (his handwriting looked like a second grader’s and his spelling was atrocious) and I just couldn’t bear to read it and I lied and told the guy I never received it and then I dumped him soon after).

Obviously, I’m lacking a romantic streak.

I know about your books but what about favorite movies? music? (Jenners)

See Saturday’s post for my opinions on movies and above for my favorite band. In college, I loved U2. In the mid-90s, it was grunge rock, like Pearl Jam. One of my current favorites is Adele. If I listen to the radio, it’s always tuned the station that plays obnoxious rock music.

And unlike my aversion to reruns, I can listen to the same album over and over again. I’ve hit the repeat button on Adele many, many times.

Do you have any hobbies? (Jenners)

Umm, reading? Giving Hamburger pep talks? Words With Friends (I promise I don’t play on airplanes, though). Travel, but that’s expensive, so it doesn’t happen as often as I would like, which makes it hard to be a hobby. I just bought myself a nice camera, so I’m hoping photography becomes a hobby. I’m pretty boring, really. No skydiving or marathons or cooking of gourmet meals happening around here.

What is the meaning of life? (Jenners)

42.

Just how many draft posts do you have lingering around back there hiding from us? (Literate Housewife)

Only 6 (5 after this baby is done). But in my world, that’s oodles.

Describe your idea of a perfect weekend? (Diane)

My perfect weekend would consist of the absence of many things: chores, obligations, wind, cold weather, bills, home repairs, a sore Hamburger in need of attention. This would leave me free to do whatever I felt like (which would likely include walking, reading, blogging, shopping) and stay in a happy, relaxed mood for the entire weekend.

What wonderful book would you recommend I read in the coming year? (Bonnie Jacobs)

Camp Nine, by Vivienne Schiffer

Who designed the picture in the header? It looks like you (or you look like it). Can I have one like that for me? (I mean a cartoon that looks like me not your picture.) (Aths)

Do you know hard it is to find images of blondes with short hair?!? After what seemed liked an eternity of searching, I finally found this image on dreamstime:

I paid a buck or so for the image, cropped it, and used Irfan View (a program I had on my old computer) to add some white space and text and create the header. And other than the fact that at the moment I’m not quite that blonde and my hair is spikier and I have blue eyes and I don’t wear red lipstick, it’s not that bad of a likeness.

Your preference: Songs that end with a single chord, or songs that fade out? (Bybee)

Single chord, most definitely. Otherwise, it’s not an ending, it’s just a fizzling out.

Written by softdrink

December 19, 2011 at 6:00 am

Posted in blog talk

You asked, I answer (part 1)

with 29 comments

Yesterday I invited you all to ask me anything. And geez, you guys got creative! You made me laugh, and you made me think. And you made me type. And type. I’m still typing, but in the meantime here are some answers. I’m still working on the rest, so there’s still time to hop over here and ask away.

What is your favorite movie of all time? The one you curl up with and see repeatedly. You know the one. (Ti)

I actually never intentionally choose to re-watch a movie. Just the thought makes me antsy to do something else. However, Hamburger will watch the same movie over and over and over. And over and over. In fact, just the other night he watched that Marky Mark movie where he takes over as a singer in a famous band for the 10,000th time. But there are three movies that I can think of that I don’t mind watching again if he happens to tune in to them: Shawshank RedemptionNapoleon Dynamite (although I’m approaching my limit on this one, even if it is wonderfully quotable), and Little Miss Sunshine.

What is your biggest pet peeve these days? (Ti)

These days? People who only want to talk about their medical problems (I’m a bad, bad girlfriend). But historically, my answer to this question has always been people who click or tap pens repeatedly (repetitive noises drive me crazy, because as a teacher I was trained to ignore them). Now that I no longer teach, I no longer ignore.

If you could be any character from a book, who would you be? (Ti)

She’s a real person, not a character, so I might be cheating an eensy weensy bit. Alice Steinbach traveled to different places and did fun things and then she wrote about it and got paid and then they paid her to do it again. I want to be her. Kind of like Frances Mayes, only less “let’s move to Italy! let’s make a movie!” famous.

What was the most horrible book that you have ever read? The book that you would rather throw in the trash than have another reader exposed to. (Zibilee)

Too Much Tuscan Sun. I won’t even link to it. It’s full of obnoxious stereotypes and the author thinks he’s the best thing around (he’s an Italian tour guide). I bet you thought I’d say Moby Dick, but since I never actually finished that book, it doesn’t count.

Does anyone call you Soda Pop in real life? (Kathy)

Soda Pop, no. Softdrink, yes. Hamburger calls me that all the time. As did his 4 roommates at the time we first started dating. They’re the ones who gave me the nickname. Why? Because they already called him Hamburger.

What’s the one place you’ve never been that you’re dying to visit? (Kathy)

Agh! This is hard. I really want to go to Washington D.C. and Ireland, but those would be repeat visits, even though I barely saw them the first time around. And I want to do a road trip across the US, but that’s more than one place. Iceland is a possibility. And New Orleans, although I’m a bit nervous about that one. Montreal. Maine. I’d love to see the Northern Lights, but I don’t know where. St. Petersburg (aka Leningrad and before that Petrograd and before that St. Petersburg). Scandinavia. Amsterdam. Someplace in England that I haven’t been, although I don’t know where exactly, which means I could go through London, which is my favorite place ever.

You see my trouble? Where would you suggest?

I am curious as to why you divorced yourself from the term book blogger. (Sheila)

Because I don’t want to be known as someone who “reviews” books. I want to casually chat about my thoughts, whether those thoughts are on books, travel, or whatever else pops into my mind. I don’t want to take books so seriously and I no longer want to accept books for review. I don’t want to get caught up in debate or drama, whether it’s on accepting/requesting books, or disclosing where I got them.

And I realize I mostly already took that approach and also I can do all that (or not do that…I’m starting to confuse myself) and still be a book blogger, but I think the community has lost its sense of fun and to some degree, community. I’ve been seeing less tolerance and more people taking themselves too seriously and I don’t want to be like that.

Not that you all are like that. You’re not. I was just finding it hard to avoid on twitter and it was affecting my mood so I instituted the divorce to give myself some distance. I removed most references to book blogging from my blog and I quit twitter. Yes, really, I quit twitter. I haven’t missed it a bit.

Secondly, favorite goodie you make for the holidays?  (I need some ideas 🙂 ) (Sheila)

I’m not baking this year, but here’s a good cookie recipe. They don’t look very impressive, but they sure do taste delicious.

Ricotta Cookies

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Icing:
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat sugar and butter until blended. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). At medium speed, beat in ricotta, vanilla and eggs until well combined. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; beat until dough forms.

Drop dough by level tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until cookies are very lightly golden (cookies will be soft). Remove to wire rack to cool. When cookies are cool, prepare icing. Drizzle icing across tops of cookies and immediately sprinkle with sugar crystals or sprinkles. Allow to dry at least 1 hour, preferably longer. Yield: 6 dozen.

Ugly, but tasty

That’s all for now. But stay tuned…I promise to answer them all!
.
.

Written by softdrink

December 17, 2011 at 6:00 am

Posted in blog talk

Why Fizzy Thoughts is more like flat soda this week

with 15 comments

I have spent the past couple of weeks at work glued to my computer, compiling and editing and re-editing and editing some more a report for the state (this is bureaucracy at its most ridiculous) on a topic that is so epically boring (and filled with acronyms and also best described by the Savage Chickens cartoon below) that I won’t bore you with the details. The report is currently at 73 pages, with more still to come. Last Thursday I woke up from a dream in which I was composing yet more boring sentences for said report. I just about screamed, because I can’t even escape the damn thing in my sleep.

I’d much rather be in New York hanging out and chatting books with my bloggy friends. Or even Armchair BEA’ing with the rest of my bloggy friends. But since this report is sucking all words from me and I’m left feeling decidedly FLAT, I’m going to do us all a favor and runaway from my blog for the week.

Written by softdrink

May 23, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Posted in blog talk