Let’s give it a go!: Tweet-pandering



Why?  We enjoy Twenty/20, and at the games they have a jumbo screen that includes showing tweets from people in the audience.  Twenty/20 is much more compelling than test cricket, but, still, there’s enough dead time for the eyes and mind to wander.  We made a couple half-hearted efforts to get on the jumbo screen last time, but Beckie and I: we like to go ALL IN.  We didn’t want to drive away all our Twitter followers, though, so instead we made a dedicated Twitter account so we could engage in totally shameless and unrelenting pandering to try and get up there.

How’d it go?  After the first tweet appears, we didn’t know if they’d go allow repeat-tweeters, but we kept giving it a go because Beckie didn’t get a photo the first time.  We ended up with four different tweets being featured, which was certainly more than anybody else.  We even had the team start following us!  It did distract a bit from watching the game, but on the whole it certainly enhanced the experience and was a Twitter triumph.

Will you do it again?  Maybe!

Favourite Books: 2013

  1. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  2. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (42-word book review)
  3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  4. Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
  5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  6. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
  7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  8. Touching Earth Lightly by Margo Flanagan
  9. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
  10. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
How many books did you read this year? Only 84 88 91 (I finished 4 between queuing this post and December 31st, and then realised I hadn’t added another 3 on goodreads). Reading on an ipad has its downside… Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to get to ten favourite books. I did have to think for a while about the last two.




Vernacular Spectacular: a clarification of criterion

In the “Vernacular Spectacular” blog feature, I compare the American and Australian way of saying something, and offer my winner.  The “Australian” way may be a more broadly “Commonwealthian” way, or more uniquely Australian way, but regardless it’s not how we do things in the United States.

I’m not sure if I’ll keep going or not.  Downside is that it might have been a more amusing idea in the abstract than in practice.  Upside is that the differences are bountiful and having opinions about them is irresistible, so these posts are easy to knock out.  We have a goal of trying to have something from one or the other of us between Beckie’s daily photos, because the death of this blog could go one of two ways: Beckie stops posting her daily photo, or all there is on the blog is one happy “Daily Photo” after another, which would be beautiful but sad.

Anyway, doing them makes it clearer to me that I should have some standard for what makes something the “winner.”  Am I just saying it’s what I prefer, or think sounds coolest, or something else?

So, I’ve decided on a criterion that I will here make explicit: Imagine that globalization leads to the elimination of local ways of saying things, and one of the two variants in questions is the one that survives to be used both in American and in Australia.  Which would I pick?

Favourite Books: 2012

I’ve been recording the books I read on goodreads and making a top-ten(ish) list since 2006, so in anticipation of publishing my 2013 top ten on December 31st, I’ll be posting my older lists here. The numbering is only an approximate order.

  1. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
  2. Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
  3. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  4. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
  5. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
  6. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
  7. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  8. Land of the Blind by Jess Walter
  9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  10. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
How many books did you read this year? 110.

How have these books stood the test of time? I actually just made this list now, so I’m not sure if I would’ve picked different books last year.



Let’s give it a go!: Advent calendar

advent calendar photo

Why?  Beckie had advent calendars every year as a girl.  Me, I remember somebody explaining the concept of an advent calendar to me in graduate school because, to my knowledge, I’d never heard of one before.  I don’t think there’s any larger generalization about America to be drawn from this, as opposed to the Freese family being sort-of holiday minimalists.  We’ve never gotten around to having one together before, but Beckie saw one a little candy one in a store here and we thought we’d give it a go.

How did it go?  We were gone for ten days on a trip to New Zealand, so we never really got into a window-opening ritual.  We also had some issues with the chocolates melting, and so the calendar spend the last part of its lead-up to Xmas in our refrigerator.  But, you know, it’s chocolate, so hard to go wrong.  More importantly, the joy on Beckie’s face when we opened Window #10 and saw it was a smiling little lamb more than made it all worthwhile.

Would you do it again?  Sure!

Favourite Books: 2011

I’ve been recording the books I read on goodreads and making a top-ten(ish) list since 2006, so in anticipation of publishing my 2013 top ten on December 31st, I’ll be posting my older lists here. The numbering is only an approximate order.

1. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
4. The Magician King by Lev Grossman
5. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
6. How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu
7. The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
8. The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
9. The Zero by Jess Walter
10. Mr Peanut by Adam Ross

How many books did you read this year? 121.

How have these books stood the test of time? There were other books I loved, but this is a pretty good list. Except, I realised as I posted my 2012 books that I left Wolf Hall off this list! Mr Peanut would probably go to make room for it.