Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hump Day Hunk: Benedict Cumberbatch Channels Mr. Darcy

Benedict Cumberbatch is making Mr. Darcy enthusiasts word-wide collectively swoon with his photo channeling Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice leading man.

The best part, aside from the fact that he is making forget that anyone else ever looked sexy as the Pride and Prejudice character, is that he posed for charity. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Give Up Clothes For Good campaign, TK Maxx and Cancer Research UK are hosting an exhibition of works by world famous photographer Jason Bell, featuring archive images of celebs including this one of Benedict.

For more information or to donate, visit

Does anyone else think its time for another Pride and Prejudice film adaptation?

Photo by Jason Bell

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Czech It Out

It's Tuesday again, which means I'm letting my geek flag wave proudly. This week in my class we are studying morphology. Our exercise this week comes in the form of picking out a foreign language and attempting to complete the linguistic puzzle for it. There was a long list, but Czech caught my eye immediately - probably because Prague is on my bucket list and because my great-grandparents were both born in Czechoslovakia. Disclaimer - I know not a word of Czech. I know a few words like beer, house, bottom, and red-headed devil in Slavic, but I didn't imagine that would help me with the time of day in Czech.

If you'd like to try your hand at this puzzle, click here.
If you'd like to take yourself to task with some other languages, click here.

Here's how I came up with my answers(spoiler alert - don't look if you want to take the test yourself):

For this assignment, I selected the Czech linguistic puzzle, which requires the participant to try their hand at two sentences in Czech regarding time. The user is given several examples of how time should be written in Czech.

My rational in solving the puzzle was to look first for words that look similar to English words. From this I opted to presume that minut in Czech is equivalent to the noun minute or minutes in English. It also seemed to me that čtvrt could possibly translate to quarter. The rest of the words needed to translate the two sentences I was given, I guessed at based on the information provided in the mini telling time lesson above the problems. The following are what I guessed the words to be:

·         Osm – Eight

·         Půl – Half, as in half past.

·         Devate – Nine

·         Šeste – Six

·         Sedm – Seven

·         Deset - Ten

·         Na – To

·         Za – It’s

 The two phrases in English I had to translate into Czech were:

·         23 minutes after five

·         10 minutes after nine

To solve these, I relied on phrases from the mini lesson that were similar in nature and changed out the numbers to the appropriate ones. It seemed from the two examples with after in the time phrase that the convention was to explain the difference from the quarter to the next hour or half to the next hour. So 23 minutes after five would translate into Its seven minutes from half to six and 10 minutes after nine would be Its five minutes from quarter to ten.



Monday, September 15, 2014

I'm Giving You a Night Call

Binge-watching me was back at it again last night, watching the two-parter season finale of Reckless, when this song popped up during the final scenes. I've been unable to get the scenes or the song out of my head since. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dictionaries are Adorkable

I am entering into the second week of my first Master's class in English and Creative Writing and thought it might be fun to share some of the discussions in class. This week we are talking about the value dictionaries hold, and how specialized dictionaries provide us with unique perspectives on our ever-evolving language. An online dictionary that offer not only traditional words, but also words in popular culture is the perfect choice for this geek girl. Here's my offering on the discussion:

I chose to explore Wordnik (, which operates in both a conventional and unconventional manner when providing information about words. Wordnik offers definitions from multiple sources, so you can see as many different takes on a word's meaning as possible. It showcases a word’s etymology if available as well, so the user can get a sense of the word’s evolution. Wordnik presents examples of how the word is used including examples from major news media and from books.

This online dictionary also presents information about word relationships. It presents synonyms, but in this dictionary you will also find hypernyms (words that are more generic or abstract than the given word) and hyponyms (words that are more specific). Wordnik also functions as a community. Registered users can create lists of words, discuss words with others, and leave comments on word definitions. Users can also find audio files of pronunciations, visual representations of word meanings, and for fun how many points the word is worth in Scrabble.

This dictionary can be an invaluable tool for me as I write some of my new-adult or young adult contemporary romances in a variety of ways.  It offers me alternative words for the word I am thinking of using, but that doesn’t quite fit the situation. For example, if I am writing a sentence where I want to use the word “kerfuffle” but it doesn’t sound like something my character would say, I can use the Wordnik to find similar words like “racket”, which might fit better in the context of the sentence I am using and the character who is speaking.

Another way this tool can be beneficial is to find words that aren’t necessarily in the more establish dictionaries, but are used frequently in communicating both in person and in situations like social media conversations. A great example of this is the use of the term “adorkable”. Wordnik defines it as “adorable in a socially awkward manner” (Wordnik). Adorkable might not be found in a traditional dictionary, or be a valid Scrabble word, but it is being more often. The examples Wordnik offers of its usage illustrate that as well as the fact that the word is on numerous user lists, and has been looked up 2,468 times.

The English language is ever-changing and growing. I believe Wordnik is a dictionary that mirrors that fluidity by combining conventional elements of word meanings with interactive, community-driven ones.


"Adorkable." N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2014.<>.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

What It Takes...

It took me:
seven months
72 sleepless nights
moving away
Trying to love someone else
74,730 words in an unread manuscript
301 replays of the same playlist
2 bottles of Essie Soul Mate nail polish
7 dozen Tim Horton’s vanilla dipped donuts
Mentally disabling myself
Being tied in knots
Hating you
Mourning you
Emotionally shutting myself down
Punishing my soul
Being consumed by fear

Burning Madame Bovary
Just so that I could figure out, that happiness is not caring if I will ever see you again. Finally after all this time I can let go...

I thought for the longest time that there wouldn't ever come a point where I could just walk away and seriously not care anymore but it has. It's interesting to think that when we love something so hard it will never lose its meaning, it didn't have to. The time spent and memories made will never lose its importance but I think I made you out to be something you weren't....good for me. Thank you for making me work so hard, and hurting me so very deeply because without that I wouldn't have the motivation to never put myself in that position again, and to never lose myself in someone else’s opinion of me.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vanguard Worthy

According to the dictionary, a vanguard is the following:
leading position or people: the leading position of a movement, field, or cultural trend, or the people who are foremost in a movement, field, or cultural trend.

In that light, Beyoncé as the recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award should come as no surprise. She is certainly at the forefront of culture trends and proves so in this week's Music Monday selection.

Her re-imagined version of "Crazy in Love" for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer is nothing short of brilliant. In collaboration with her producer, Boots and violinist Margot, the move has brought new fans to Beyoncé's music.

In a recent Time interview Margot mentions the following about the new track, “Obviously I know how ‘Crazy in Love’ goes, but I knew there was the possibility her vocals would be different. It’s almost more vulnerable and beautiful this way, because you do do crazy things when you fall in love. To hear the mood reversed and flipped makes it even more powerful.”

So even though you probably have Fifty Shades adaptation overload, take another listen to the song, and imagine how vulnerable being in love makes you feel...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Foodie - Sofrito

I love living in the area I'm in. The beauty of the mountains, the serenity of the lake - its always a beautiful day in this area. One thing I am especially thrilled with is the abundance of fresh, local produce. This time of the year little farmer's stands like this one are overflowing with amazing fruit and vegetables. After all, one cannot live on books alone :)

But what to make with all this fresh goodness? I am always on the look out for new recipes to try, so when a friend mentioned Chef Daisy Martinez's Sofrito recipe as her go to, I knew I had to check it out. What a terrific way to harness the wonderful bounty and carry it into the colder months. Use sofrito for a soup, a stew, a bubbly pot of beans, braised chicken, carne guisada, yellow rice, ropa vieja…the possibilities are endless! Running late? I can have a pot of white rice, some pollo guisado, and a fresh steamed vegetable or salad in 45 minutes, after pulling out a bag of frozen sofrito from the freezer! Wholesome, delicious, nutritious food quick, easy, and very healthy! Sofrito RULES!!

Sofrito (Makes About 4 Cups)

2 large Spanish onions, trimmed and cut in large chunks
3 large Cubanelle peppers, trimmed and seeded
1 cup garlic cloves, trimmed
2 large sweet red bell peppers, trimmed and seeded
1 ¼ cup ajicitos dulces, trimmed
2 plum tomatoes, trimmed and cut in large chunks
4 culantro leaves
1 large bunch of cilantro, rinsed, dried, and roughly chopped
1. Place the onion, Cubanelle peppers, and garlic in a food processor, and puree. With the motor running, add the sweet red bell peppers, ajicitos, and plum tomatoes. You make have to remove some of the puree into a bowl if you cannot fit the remaining ingredients into your work bowl.
2. Add the remaining culantro and cilantro and process until smooth. If you have removed some of the sofrito, combine the contents of the workbowl with the rest of the puree and stir to combine. Measure out in 1 cup measures into freezer bags and place in freezer to be used as necessary.