Monday, January 18, 2010

I am shamelessly in love …

… with my new Swiffer wet cloths.

I am a slob, but I'm not dirty, and I hate a dirty kitchen or especially bathroom floor. I don't believe that, in either room, there's any getting around a serious scrubbing with a good disinfectant. And I don't believe that can be done with a mop. That's hands-and-knees work.

But between scrubbings, on those days when wiping away a spot with a damp cloth leaves me feeling like the job hasn't really been done, I will now turn to my Swiffer Sweeper with the wet cloth attached.

Easier than handscrubbing, cheaper than the Swiffer Wet Jet, this is the new love of my life.

UNICEF Update on the Children of Haiti

Text of an email I received directly from UNICEF:

"Rescues Beat Dimming Odds in Haiti"1: this morning's NY Times headline confirms what we reported to you this weekend. Despite overwhelming challenges, UNICEF is saving children in Haiti.

This mobilization would not have been as swift or forceful without the millions of dollars you donated within days of the earthquake.

Children are smaller, weaker and more vulnerable and almost half of Haiti's population is under the age of 18. The 2 million children impacted need clean water, medical care and protection from trafficking and sexual exploitation. UNICEF knows children and knows how to save them. Your support is making this possible.

This weekend, UNICEF was also charged with leading all water, sanitation and hygiene efforts. On Saturday, 40 water tanks delivered drinkable water, enough for 60,000 people in 19 sites. Yesterday, an additional 82 trucks delivered water for 80,000 people. These supplies are critical in order to prevent disease that is all too common in the aftermath of any crisis.

Tonight, UNICEF will be featured on a special two-hour edition of Larry King Live on CNN. The show airs from 8 pm ET to 10 pm ET (US). Special guests will join Larry King on the set and via satellite, including Colin Powell, Ashley Judd, Pete Wentz, Ringo Starr and many others. I hope you'll be able to watch and please spread the word!

Thanks to you, UNICEF is there today, and with your support, will be there long after the news crews leave.

Alisa Aydin
Managing Director, Interactive Marketing
U.S. Fund for UNICEF

P.S. UNICEF has been in Haiti since 1949 and for over 60 years has been responding to disasters to save children. Remind friends and others who want to help that 100% of every dollar donated to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF will go directly to fund relief efforts in Haiti. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is absorbing all administrative fees associated with handling donations.


GAL'S PERSONAL NOTE: Please give what you can, but I hope you'll remember to support the charities in our own backyards, too. The economic downturn here in the States has been brutal for many of the local organizations that support children and animals. Thanks!

Reading as a sport

The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts, has estimated that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. (Swiped from Boliyou and Kwizgiver)

My total is 24. How did you do?

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens (I read this against my will in high school, so I can't, in good conscience, include it)
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (many, not all)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
7 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown Oh, really! I hated this book! Poorly written. Bleh!
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 The BFG - Roald Dahl
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Black Beauty - Anne Sewell
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville (See Great Expectations note above)
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince- Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Monday Movie Meme -- Appreciation

Here are films that we have found a greater appreciation for the more times we've viewed them. Share on your blog those movies that get better the more you see them and link back here at The Bumbles.

The Sting (1973). It's hard not to be distracted by the coolest guys who ever lived. But dive into that sea of blue eyes and wallow in their preternatural hipness, get it over with, and then pay attention to the story. The intricate plot is not only rebellious fun, it's very wise about motivations and human nature.

Dressed to Kill (1980). This homage to Hitchcock's Psycho is an exceptionally well made film. Every clue is there. No spoiler here, but let me say that if you watch closely ... really closely ... you can see whodunnit every step of the way.