Graham Norton Show:


I’ve long had a fantasy of living in London, which I’ve told you about frequently enough. It involves working at the British Museum, having a flat near Kensington Palace, eating pasties every day, and exploring the massive city. Another part of my daydream is sitting in front of my fireplace and watching The Graham Norton Show each Friday night with a gin and tonic. It’s broadcast on BBC America here, so I can fulfill this aspect of my revery well enough in America, but it’s not quite the same as being in London while watching. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it is the finest chat show of all time. I’ve talked about it before. It’s perfect — but only when the combination of guests relax and have a good time. It’s absolutely irreverent and a delight each time I watch. Graham, the host, is a great comedic talent and has an effortless talent in bringing the humor out of his guests. There is fabulous singing and almost always a British comedian at the end of the couch to lighten the mood. You have to love the dry British sense of humor to enjoy the show, but that’s my favorite kind!

Set your DVRs, readers, you shan’t regret it. I cackle wildly each weekend.


duolingo-bannerI’ve had this app on my phone for probably a year, but I never bothered to open it up. I do this with a lot of apps — I don’t really use a great number of them. I’m not sure why I ignored it for so long since I love language learning and am curious about all ways to enhance my abilities with foreign tongues. Ever since the snow began to fall, I’ve started looking into places to move that are warm. California and Florida are a tad expensive, but Puerto Rico looks lovely. It’s a United States territory, so I’m pretty sure I can just pick up and move there. I’ll have to do a bit more research on this first. Anyway, my Spanish is very rudimentary. I can read it all right and I can get my point across, but I’m not so good when I’m hearing it spoken. So, I need to enhance my grasp of the language. The app is really quite fun to use, and it teaches you all sorts of aspects of the language, from reading, to listening, and speaking, too. I think that is much more effective than my current favorite method, the Radiolingua series of podcasts. Both have their place, clearly, but the app is fun because you can do a few minutes whenever you have a moment. I do a little Spanish before bed, and I’ve already learned a few new words, so I’m satisfied. It’s free, so I recommend giving it a try.

Heated Blankets:


Edwin is DEEPLY in love with my/his heated blanket.

There are many discussions about the greatest innovations in the past century. We talk about the Internet and computers and cell phones and mixers, but to me, the pinnacle of modernity is the heated blanket. I am absolutely obsessed with mine, even though my cat, Edwin, seems to think it belongs to him and gets rather annoyed when I move him. I went for so much of my life without one, and being a person who is almost always chilled to the bone — I find this strange. Finally, though, I was given one for Christmas, and my life was changed. It has burned me, yes, but I’ve forgiven it. How can I stay mad at something that treats me so kindly? I look forward to hopping into bed each night as if my blankets are a preheated oven. Speaking of ovens, I’ve even used the blanket to help rise dough. I think we should have more heated things in our world. We should certainly have heated coats and heated shoes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a jacket that’s slightly warm so that when you go out into the chilly tundra that is America right now, you won’t instantly freeze to death? Is this patented? If not, don’t you dare steal my idea. Get on Amazon, dear reader, and order a heated blanket all your own.

Flinders Petrie – A Life In Archaeology:


You all know that I have a burning passion for all things Egyptological. If you don’t, you’re clearly new to this place. The land of the pharaohs is always on my mind. I’m constantly thinking of different theories and studies and information about that ancient world. I regularly reminisce about the happy two weeks I spent there this summer, walking through tombs, temples, and pyramids. I love Egypt so much that it is ridiculous, it’s becoming a mania. Another thing I love is studying the history of Egyptology. I could read accounts by Belzoni, Amelia Edwards, Howard Carter, and Champollion for the rest of my life and never fatigue of hearing about the discovery of new tombs and the great delight of translating ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs for the first time. I finally managed to get a copy of a biography of Flinders Petrie, the father of modern day archaeology, and I was ever so glad. It was rather hard to come by for some reason, which I thought was strange. How many people are after this book? Certainly not more than a handful at any one time. It has taken me a little while to get into it, but now that I’m halfway through the book, I’m having the time of my life. It’s so great to learn about this man that I have heard about all my life. He was a bit crazy, but I have really enjoyed learning more about her personality and social life. It’s been so informative, and my next novel is coming along swimmingly because of this newfound knowledge. If you have any interest in ancient Egypt or matters of archaeology, go get a copy!

“Nick Jonas” by Nick Jonas:


For a person who loves all things pop culture, you would think I would have known more about the Jonas Brothers. I don’t though, they came along at a time when I wasn’t paying attention. I recall that I was at the Mall of America years ago, and there was loads of screaming coming from the rotunda. Turns out the brothers were there putting on a show. I didn’t bother to watch, but I heard them sing a bit. Over the years, I forgot about them. I did follow Joe on Instagram because he is quite involved with the fashion and I adore fashion. He’s also irreverent. Then all of a sudden we all knew about Nick because of that photoshoot he did where he was grabbing himself. That was excellent advertising. I wouldn’t have even known he was releasing a new album if he hadn’t been half naked all over the Internet. When this new music popped up on Spotify, I decided to give it a try, and I am quite glad that I did. The music on his new album is fun and he uses a falsetto regularly, which is something I greatly approve of. Give it a listen, reader.


Adults Wanting To Be Children:


Almost every day I hear or read about an adult wishing that they could be a child again. I don’t recall much of my youth, but I have no desire to ever go back there again. I adore being an adult! You can do anything you want. When I was a child and even a teenager, I had no money or ability to go anywhere or do anything without permission. All of my food was purchased for me with very little of my input. I had to go to school. I couldn’t decorate as I desired. I only went on family trips. Life is so much better now that I’m a grownup. I went to Africa this summer by myself just because I wanted to. I can cook whatever I want. I eat ice cream regularly. I can hang anything on the walls. I am looked upon with respect in the community. I have all the freedoms that I choose to take hold of. I would never go back to being a child. I don’t understand the people who say this. What could they possibly want? You can still eat candy. You can still play in the snow if you’re of a mind to. I just don’t get it.

List Of Things You Should Do/Know Before 25/50/104:


I keep seeing posts like this on Facebook and Twitter of all the things that you should know or that you should accomplish before you reach a certain age. They all infuriate me. You shouldn’t do anything besides be yourself. If you don’t want to go on a road trip before you’re 20, you certainly don’t have to, and it certainly doesn’t make you less of a person. If you don’t want to go to concerts, by all means it won’t hurt you in the end. Do whatever makes you happy and fulfilled as a person. I get the feeling that these articles are written for anxious people who are unsure of their place in the world. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand that sentiment? You see a lot of bad things on the news and everybody is always talking money and politics, but you know what? Nothing is really that bad. The world isn’t that awful. Everything is just fine. Maybe if the authors of these articles would share that knowledge, I wouldn’t take such umbrage with them. It’s just ridiculous, and too many of them support wearing sweatpants as actual fashion. I’m still violently opposed to this, and it could well be where my main irritation lies. I effing hate sweatpants. WEAR ACTUAL PANTS, READER.



This is a term I discovered the other night and one that I immediately identified with. It’s not an actual condition, so I cannot go to rehab for it, but it does seem to exist. This is a condition — perhaps a mental one — that makes you constantly want water. Now, all people want water, I suppose, since it is one of the requirements for life, but we aquaholics want even more. The recommended intake of water is about two liters, but I routinely drink at least five, sometimes more. This has become very ingrained in me, so I don’t feel like a walking swimming pool at most times. I’m constantly refilling my water bottle and chugging it down. I’m constantly sipping and drinking and refilling. It’s not a burden, really, and I know that it isn’t unhealthy, which is comforting. But, you can die if you drink too much. I know that five liters won’t do me in, so I must make sure to not up my daily dosage. Wouldn’t it be awful to die from too much water? Anyway, I don’t hate this really, I just hate the idea of dying in such a silly way. I want my death to be something quite memorable, not because I exploded on a cellular level. I guess that would be quite a story, though.

Lackluster Facial Hair:


This is the best that I can do. Weep for me. Send prayers.

Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a gloriously masculine beard to swaddle my jowls and raise my allure! I think it would complete me in a way no amount of clothes or money ever could — and that’s saying a great deal! I am sick of seeing everybody on Tumblr posting their scruffy selfies for No-Shave-November. I’d happily participate, but I can’t grow a beard. I can grow a decent neck beard, but that is not a look I’m willing to cultivate. I have a suspicion that I could grow a mustache, but I’ve never let it go long enough to see for certain. Maybe I will do that this summer, just let it go for a month and see what happens. I’ll be sure to update you. I think it’s a genetic trait, my tragic inability to have a dashing scruff. Nobody in my family has a decent beard. Nobody that I know of. My father has the same hideous facial hair as I do, but at least mine isn’t red like his. I don’t get that. He doesn’t have red hair. I have GREY in my beard area, reader. I’m ancient. I’m so old. I can’t even grow sideburns, but I have grey hair. This is the end. Maybe I can get some kind of hair transplant on my face. Do they do that? I’m sure they do.

Unending Sickness:


Readers, I have been feeling poorly for about two weeks now, and it’s not fun anymore because I can’t pretend it’s Ebola. I had a grand time with that joke. I was in Western Africa during the buildup of all the media attention, so I delighted in telling people that I certainly could have Ebola. I never did come down with the disease, though, which is certainly a positive. I would have enjoyed it for the fame, though. I would have gotten a few interviews on the news. I would have had the time of my life. Instead, I seem to have just developed the world’s most persistent cough. I have been hacking my lungs up since last Tuesday. It’s finally calming down, for which I’m thankful, since I think my insides are all bruised. I can’t wait to be healthy again. I’m so tired of coughing. It’s not elegant.

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