Sunday, March 22, 2009

What I Learned at Book Club This Month: vol.4

I've always considered myself to be technologically advanced.

It started back in 1983 when I went to my friends house to watch a movie on her cutting-edge, new VCR. It was amazing to watch a movie RIGHT IN YOUR OWN HOUSE!! and her whole family gathered around to watch a James Bond flick (you know the one, where the bad guy plots an evil scheme to rule the world while James meets the girl with the questionable morals and ends up making out with her right before she tries to kill him with her stiletto heel?) Well anyway, I found it extremely difficult to follow the plot because I was so distracted by the flashing "12:00" on the VCR's screen. It seems that no one in the family could figure out how to enter the real time, and I vowed right then and there that if I was ever lucky enough to own my own "Entertainment Wonder of the Future", I would learn how to set the darn clock.

Subsequently, I've done my best to keep up with all the technology that has occurred in the last 25 years. I'm the geek that reads owner's manuals cover to cover to ensure I know how the machine works, and I'm always pining over some new toy I can plug in. Heck, Lauri and I were one of the first people I know to try out the internet. I think the big sell was that you could see movie premieres RIGHT ON YOUR OWN COMPUTER!! and we sat patiently in front of the library's computer monitor while it sang its special dial-up song and tried so hard to bring up a home page for the next 15 minutes. I don't think we ever did see any movie premieres that day, but we both promptly got internet in our own homes whereupon no one could ever call us again because our phone lines were busy all day.

So in all this effort to be hi-tech savvy, you can understand my dismay when I Learned at Book Club This Month that I was the only person in the room without a Facebook account.

Sure, I had heard Facebook rumblings among my friends. There were side conversations about "friending" and "wall posting." But to realize that I was the only one without it? It felt like I might as well go fashion myself some stone tires, ditch my car engine in favor of feet propulsion and call up Fred Flinstone on my shell phone, because I had just richocheted myself into the stone age.

So, after some extensive research on the matter, I've come up with a short Should-Jennifer-Get-a-Facebook-Account pro/con list.

Pro: I can keep up with friends' day-to-day lives.
Con: Apparently, my friends' day-to-day lives consist of nothing more than "What Your Shoe Size Says about You" quizzes.

Pro: I can reconnect with old high school buddies.
Con: I don't remember many of my high school buddies, and I'll be opening myself to ackward moments of "I'm sorry. We met at a football game? We made out under the bleachers? Was I really that big of a floozy?"

Pro: I can stalk my kids.
Con: My kids will think I'm a stalker.

Pro: I can post a profile picture of myself that tells the world what I'm all about.
Con: My profile picture will most likely tell that world that lately I'm all about donuts and french fries.

Pro: I'll always have somewhere to go when I want to waste time on the computer.
Con: I'll always have somewhere to go when I want to waste time on the computer.

Looks like the jury's still out.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March Book Pick

"Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard. "
I love this book. I think its a great escape and the characters are interesting and charismatic. It is science fiction so if you "just can't picture it" in your mind, you probably won't like it. Its approaching one of my favorites. It is the debut novel for Mr. Rothfuss and I get conflicting information on the break of the second book. Enjoy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

We are also a recipe club....ok, not really

Super Moist Chocolate Bundt Cake

1 devils food cake mix
1 -4 serving instant chocolate pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
½ cup warm water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Place all ingredients except chocolate chips, in a large mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer 1 minute.
Stir down sides. Continue to mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.
Bake 45-50 minutes at 350. (I had to cook almost an hour.) Cool 20 minutes. Invert onto serving platter.

8 Tbsp butter (not margarine)
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 cup evaporated milk (I used 1%-it worked great)
4 cups sifted powdered sugar (I didn't sift mine, and there were some lumps)
Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk in cocoa and milk. Bring mixture just to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Beat in powdered sugar until thickened and smooth. Pour warm frosting over warm cake. This recipe makes a lot of frosting. (Almost too much, but how do you cut back).

Pretend this is a picture of the cake I made. It's a picture from another website.