Posts Tagged ‘hilarity!’

12th September
2011
written by Steph
Along with not being a very good book blogger of late, I've also not been a very good food blogger for even longer. I'd hate for you guys to think that part of why I've not been updating often is because I've stopped eating and have wasted away into a husk of my former self. So not the case! While my cooking has backslid a bit due to the combination of stress and exhaustion related to school and life, I do still try to cook a few big meals each week. You guys know that I tend to eschew recipes, so as much as I loved sharing what I was making here on S&TI! it was always a pain for me to write my meals up like recipe posts. Instead, I'd much rather just snap a picture to document a meal well-made and share links to recipes that inspired the dish and maybe jot down a few notes about things I did to make the food my own. So, I've started up a Tumblr food site where I'm going to document my culinary adventures without the pressure of being useful to anyone but myself! However, the pictures are pretty (thanks Tony!) and as much as I'm doing this to create a little visual compendium of things I should remember to cook more than once, I'm hoping other cooks and eaters out there will find it inspiring and maybe even a little helpful. To me cooking isn't about rules or following the leader, so I'm hoping this more free-form approach will be a better fit for me. Anyway, continuing our trend of starting blogs inspired by things that are said on The Office (trivia time: the UK version inspired the name of this blog!), you can now check out what Tony and I have been stuffing our faces with over at You Should Put Your Mouth On This. It's still a bit anemic and I have no idea about how to comments work over on Tumblr, but I suspect these things will develop in time. [Edited to add that I decided to stop being lazy and figured out how to use Disqus to enable comments over at YSPYMOT. So now you can comment on individual meals should you so choose! Let us all bow down to my mad blogging skillz! 😉 ] Image of Put your mouth on that
13th May
2011
written by Steph
Yesterday, I stumbled across this hilarious post over at Vol 1. Brooklyn, which analyzes what your book bag says about you. For those interested, my preferred book bag is a Strand book tote... In my defense, it's not the same model as the standard beige bag/red logo version as showcased on Vol 1. Brooklyn, but I doubt that matters. *Gulp* Also, it doesn't mean I didn't get a good chuckle from the list! Have a happy Friday and enjoy!
9th February
2011
written by Steph

Way back in 2010, I read a rave review of Orion You Came And You Took All My Marbles over at Hungry Like the Woolf. Better yet, Kerry was hosting a giveaway and I was lucky enough to win! Don’t you just love it when that happens? From Kerry’s review, I knew I was in for a wild and crazy ride, but this is the kind of book that defies description. The only way to understand what it is is to get up close and personal your very self. It’s the only way you have half a chance of appreciating the absurd, befuddling world that first-time author Kira Henehan has created. With books this good, simply hearing from someone else how good they are is a bit like having salt rubbed in a wound. I mean, I’d hate to steal all the fun of it from you. Talking to you about this book is almost like taking a picture of something amazing, like the Eiffel Tower, and expecting you to feel like you were standing at its base. Or perhaps even worse, it might be more like taking a picture of a picture of the Eiffel Tower, diluting its power even further. (more…)
31st January
2011
written by Steph

"Oh my God!"

If The Catcher in the Rye is considered required reading for teens in high school, then I definitely think that A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole should be required reading for those at college and university. It’s not that Dunces’ central character (and some (where some = me) might argue, the titular character as well) is what Holden Caulfield would be at age 30, because truthfully there is only one Ignatius J. Reilly (and that’s a good thing)! But as I read through Dunces, I kept thinking that for all of its absurd twists and outlandish moments, there is a part of it that very much deals with being out in the real world and figuring out what to do with your time and yourself, and just making it through all of the bizarre curve balls life (or, as Ignatius would claim, Fortuna) has a way of throwing at you. (more…)
8th September
2010
written by Steph

Many moons ago, Jenny over at Shelf Love wrote a review of Jincy Willett’s The Writing Class that really intrigued me. I had heard of Willett before – heck we actually have another one of her novels AND a short story collection by her – but it was Jenny’s review that really got me excited to give Willett a shot. I mean, a novel that is both a satire AND a mystery novel all rolled up in one and focuses on the art (or lack thereof) of writing? What could be better than that? So in case you haven’t clicked over and read Jenny’s review already (which you absolutely should because it is brilliant), the idea behind The Writing Class is this: Amy Gallup is burned out author who peaked when she was young and precocious and who now makes her living by teaching continuing education writing classes at the local community college (as well stringing together mad-lib style author biographies that just barely count as writing). Through Amy, we meet new set of students at the start of her Fall course, and the narrative largely starts off focusing on the class and the various writing exercises (along with their results) that the students are asked to complete as they hone their craft. We also dip into Amy’s life outside of the class, gradually gaining insight into her rather limited and hollow existence, and we see how the class slowly starts to merge into a family unit, enriching not only each other’s writing but also each other’s lives. Unfortunately, a disgruntled and mysterious misfit in the group soon makes his/her presence known, attempting to disrupt and damage the group dynamic and growing bonds. What starts off as poison pen letters eventually spiral into increasingly sinister pranks that place lives at stake… (more…)
4th January
2010
written by Steph
No greyzone here - I loved this book!

No greyzone here - I loved this book!

My review of the first book in Jasper Fforde's newest series, Shades of Grey, is now up on the BookPage website and can be found in the January issue.  I'm posting this under "books read in 2009", since that's when I read it, and it was technically launched here in the U.S. before 2010 was rung in. What can I say about Jasper Fforde here that I have not already said?  I think he's brilliant and Shades of Grey definitely does not disappoint. This one was a bit of a slow boil for me as the first half of the book can be overwhelming since Fforde is trying out something completely new here and there's a lot of worldbuilding and backstory that needs to happen.  Those who have any experience with Fforde's fiction know that his writing and speculative leaps can sometimes be discombobulating, even to those who have been initiated and where their Fforde fan badges with pride.  I promise that the disorientation passes and your efforts at the beginning will be richly rewarded.  I'll always be a Thursday girl, and I know that for many fellow book lovers, that series is beloved for a reason, but I really admire the risk Fforde has taken here; whether he intended to or not, he explores new depths both in terms of content and as a writer.  For someone who characterizes his own books as silly and whimsical, there is a lot of intellectual and emotional heft in Shades of Grey that may not necessarily surprise his readers, but will certainly satisfy them.  I went from being uncertain about this series to being completely ravenous for the next installment!  I hope that fellow fans feel the same way, and suggest that those who were not unequivocally won over by The Eyre Affair may want to try this on for size and see if it's a better fit.  Make no mistake, it's still a Jasper Fforde novel, but it is different from the Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series. If I were reading and reviewing it on this site, I would have given the book a 4.5 out of 5. [And yes, I received my review copy for free, but y'all know that something being free doesn't change how I feel about things!] Also, if all goes according to plan, my interview with Jasper should be going up sometime in the next week or so.  I'll keep you posted!
18th December
2009
written by Steph
Thanks, but no thanks...

Thanks, but no thanks...

For well over month now, I’ve been struggling to reclaim my reading groove.  I’ve just felt completely listless when it comes to picking my next read, and then worse yet, sticking with it.  With the weather getting increasingly cold and grisly outside, now is the perfect time of year to curl up with a good read.  Just my luck that good reads seem impossible to find right now.  My last few books have been too grim for my tastes, and seem only to increase my winter blahs.  I decided I needed something light and whimsical, so I turned to one of the Jeeves & Wooster novels that I picked up on our trip to New York.  You’ll all recall that I adored my first dalliance with Wodehouse a few months back, so I was certain this would be just the ticket to cure me of my reading malaise.  So, you can imagine my extreme disappointment in discovering that whatever kind of magician Wodehouse might normally be, I did not love Thank You, Jeeves and it was not the panacea to my biblio blues. Now, in saying that I did not love Thank You, Jeeves, I do not want you to think that this means I did not like the book.  Far from it.  It was very funny, very Wodehouse, very English… but it failed to charm me the way that Jeeves in the Morning did.  I have several guesses for why this is, but before I get into it, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the basic premise of the novel:  After being evicted from his London apartment due to his incessant strumming of the banjo, Bertie decides to embark for the country where he can play his instrument in peace.  Alas, Jeeves cannot abide the instrument and the two decide to part company.  A chance encounter with an old friend Chuffy has Bertie heading to an old cottage in the township of Chuffnell Regis where his banjo will bother no one.  But as is the way with Bertie and his rotten bad luck, his visit happens to coincide with that of an old flame, Pauline Stoker, not to mention her overbearing father, and one of Bertie’s old nemeses, Sir Roderick Glossop.  Hijinks ensue as Bertie tries to help Pauline & Chuffy find true love with one another, but as Jeeves would helpfully remind him (were he still in his employ), the course of true love never did run smooth, least of all for Bertie… (more…)
11th September
2009
written by Steph
Three things I feel compelled to post on a Friday: 1) First, a question to all of you diners out there (by which I mean restaurant patrons, rather than greasy-spoon dining establishments.  The difference is subtle, but important, I think.).  Two nights ago, Tony and I went to a newish Mexican restaurant, since our old standby switched management and we can no longer go there because the food is no longer any good (RIP El Palenque).  So we go to this new place and it's fairly busy for a Wednesday night, but keep in mind it is your run-of -the-mill Mexican place so none of the entrees require much finesse or time (read: most of it is probably pre-cooked anyway).  We wound up waiting for OVER AN HOUR for our food, and it became clear that either our waiter had neglected to turn in our order, OR the kitchen had overlooked it.  People who had been seated after us had eaten and left before we saw anything more than chips and salsa at our table.  After many apologies (and about 75 minutes after sitting down) we finally got our food.  In such a case would you expect your meal to be comped, or at the very least, for a free dessert to be sent out?  Is this not pretty much the universal way that it is understood any sit-down restaurant deals with snafus that are clearly their fault?  I wound up asking if I could speak to the manager, but he never showed... and we wound up paying for everything.  Needless to say, we won't be going back!  Sorry, Nacho's!  Your guac may be good, but your service was muy abysmal.

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8th September
2009
written by Steph
For people who own a television but who don’t have cable (or even rabbit ears), Tony and I do pretty well when it comes to keeping current with must-see tv.  Just to be clear, we don’t eschew cable because we’re those snotty folk who turn up their noses at television; far from it!  Mostly we don’t have cable (or as we refer to it, “don’t have tv”) for two reasons: 1) the local cable provider here is SUPER expensive (in Toronto, I recall not having to pay more than $60/month for cable AND internet; here a comparable package would set us back some thing like $100… I am not willing to pay that kind of money for tv... or really any monthly service); 2) it is probably for the best we can’t just watch tv whenever we want, because we would literally watch it all the time.  Buh bye reading time.  Say hello to the glazed look that I inevitably take on after having watched 5 hours of HGTV or Animal Planet straight. (Seriously, so little is my self-restraint when it comes to watching the idiot box, I will watch hours worth of “When Animals Attack”, which pretty much no one should watch.)  Essentially, it’s in our best interest to have our tv watching limited to what we can rent through Netflix, or watch online (and with Netflix’s “Watch It Now”, Hulu, and all of the major networks streaming their stuff, we’re not doing too bad!). Anyhoodle, normally Tony and I take the summer to purge bad shows from our repertoire that we no longer enjoy, and to seek out potential replacements.  Often times this involves us cottoning on to shows that are long since done, but that’s what DVD is for, right?  This summer found us watching: (more…)
14th August
2009
written by Steph
AKA "Joy in the Morning" (to our UK readers)... and what a joy it is!

AKA "Joy in the Morning" (to our UK readers)... and what a joy it is!

How come no one told me how amazing Jeeves & Wooster are? OK, not entirely true, since pretty much everyone I know who has ever read these books has told me that they are smart and funny and that I would love them. So, my bad, I guess for not having read any of these until now. But don’t let yourself fall into the same trap, because Jeeves & Wooster? Hilarious!

After the slow death that was Amsterdam I needed a book that would thrill me and whisk me away. It didn’t have to be funny, but I’m never one to turn down a few chuckles. Enter Jeeves in the Morning (or if we’re being true to the novel itself, it would probably be more appropriate to say the book shimmered in… Jeeves does a lot of shimmering when he enters and exits a room.), which was just the ticket.

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