Holiday Reminders You Don't Usually Think Of: When Will They Pick Up My Garbage?

There are checklists for gifts, for meals, for trips, but the one we rarely remember until the bins are full and the tree has more needles on the floor than on the branches is the exciting and much-anticipated Solid Waste Holiday Checklist from the City of Ann Arbor.

Makes you all warm and fuzzy just reading the title. And this year there is something to really knock the socks off the mantle: Single-family Ann Arbor residents can get rewards for holiday recycling by signing up with Recyclebank.

Trash and recycling will not be picked up on Monday, December 26, 2011, or Monday, January 2, 2012, due to holiday observances. Solid waste collections will be delayed one day both weeks and occur Tuesday through Saturday. Undecorated holiday trees may be dropped off—free and 24/7—in the parking lot adjacent to the Drop-Off Station at 2950 E. Ellsworth starting December 15 through January 31, 2012.

Happy Holidays and let's re-use, recycle, and re-gift all year.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #302

Just about now - as the days get shorter and the temperature dips below freezing, my reading drifts toward the upbeat and heartwarming, and I am glad to have found Angelina's Bachelors : a novel, with food *.

Angelina D'Angelo's Frangelico Chocolate Dream Cake (recipe included) is to die for and unfortunately her husband Frank did just that. Grieving and listless, she turns to her one passion - cooking. To make ends meet, she gathers the hungry bachelors in the neighborhood and offers to feed them. Apart from the out-of-this-world meals she painstakingly prepared daily, each of them comes to find community and riches far beyond his/her expectations.

Angelina marks the fiction debut for cookbook author and TV cooking-show producer Brian O'Reilly whose "keen ear for the neighborhood (South Philly) swells lends a charming, timeless quality to the tale."

And the recipes by Virginia O'Reilly... they are fabulous. The O'Reillys are no strangers when it comes to food and cooking. Between them, they have published two cookbooks (Mission: Cook!: My Life, My Recipes, and Making the Impossible Easy, and Impossible to Easy: 111 Delicious Recipes to Help You Put Great Meals on the Table Every Day), with Robert Irvine, the star of the Foodnetwork television program they produced, called Dinner Impossible.

Unlike recipes in other novels, these are neither cute nor cheeky. They are gourmand-serious and kitchen-tested. I have ordered my own copy of the book so I could try out the Stracotto (Italian Pot Roast) this holiday season.

* = starred review

Small Dishes With Chef Brendan McCall of Mani Osteria

Join Chef Brendan McCall of Ann Arbor's Mani Osteria on Thursday, December 8, 2011, 7:00 pm ~ 8:30 pm at the Traverwood Branch and learn the secrets of small dishes that pack big flavor and flair. Whether you're preparing for a holiday crowd or an intimate dinner, Chef Brendan's recipes are designed to make cooking fun and flexible with local, seasonal ingredients. Some of the restaurant's most popular dishes are sure to be showcased.

Mani Osteria is independently owned and family friendly, specializing in artisanal pizzas and other creative Italian dishes prepared in wood-burning ovens. The restaurant shares a passion for keeping things simple...using high quality, often locally sourced ingredients.

The name MANI, means 'hands' or 'hand-made' in Italian. An Osteria is an Italian eatery much like a tavern that emphasizes local ingredients, small production wines, and hospitality.

This event is presented in conjunction with Ann Arbor Cooks (cooks.aadl.org) Ann Arbor District Library's online collection of heirloom recipes and cookbooks from Ann Arbor area organizations.

November's Books to Film (You KNOW! the season is upon us)

Brian Selznick's charming Caldecott Medal winner The Invention of Hugo Cabret : a novel in words and pictures (2007) is one for the whole family to hit the big screen on November 23rd. In this moving and entertaining film adaptation, an orphaned boy secretly lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station and looks after the clocks. He gets caught up in a mystery adventure when he attempts to repair a mechanical man. Martin Scorsese directs a star-studded cast of Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Johnny Depp, and Jude Law.

Based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is the highly anticipated next chapter of the blockbuster The Twilight Saga. The new-found married bliss of Bella Swan and vampire Edward Cullen is cut short when a series of betrayals and misfortunes threatens to destroy their world. Wide release on the 18th, savvy fans know the drill.

The gritty noir novel London Boulevard (2001) by Ken Bruen has been adapted into a feature film starring Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone. An ex-con hired to look after a reclusive young actress finds himself falling in love, which puts him in direct confrontation with one of London's most vicious gangsters.

In A Dangerous Method, adapted from the book by John Kerr, on the eve of World War I, Zurich and Vienna are the setting for a dark tale of sexual and intellectual discovery. Drawn from true-life events, it explores the turbulent relationships between fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung, his mentor Sigmund Freud and Sabina Spielrein, the beautiful but disturbed young woman who comes between them. Starring Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, and Viggo Mortensen.

George Clooney, Judy Greer, and Matthew Lillard star in The Descendants, adapted from the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings. Wealthy Hawaiian landowner Matt King has his life upended when his wife, Joanie, is involved in a boating accident. King struggles to reconnect with his two daughters as the three of them take a journey to deliver the news of Joanie's imminent death to the man with whom she was having an affair.

My Week With Marilyn, is based on Colin Clark’s (played by Eddie Redmayne) controversial memoir. The film centers on the tense relationship between Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) and Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) during production of The Prince and the Showgirl. In the early summer of 1956, 23-year-old Colin Clark, just down from Oxford and determined to make his way in the film business, worked as a lowly assistant on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. In his diary, one week was missing, and this is the story of that week when Colin introduced Marilyn to some of the pleasures of British life.

Heavy D, charming rapper, has died

Heavy D, rapper, TV star, and mostly recently, actor in the just-released Tower Heist, died suddenly yesterday.

Heavy D was known for his charming, smooth-dancing, less edgy rapping which nicely meshed hip hop with R&B. He led the group Heavy D & the Boyz, whose most popular song was the hit, Now that We Found Love.

The self-described "overweight lover M.C." had recurring roles in several TV shows, including Boston Public and The Tracy Morgan Show.

His last acting role was in the Tower Heist. He played the role of a courthouse guard.

The cause of death for Heavy D, who was just 44, will take weeks to determine, according to the L.A. County Coroner's office.

Election Results for Washtenaw County

Election Results for communities throughout Washtenaw County are available on the Washtenaw County Clerk's website. CitiTV Channel 19 also has results.

Boxing legend, Smokin' Joe Frazier, has died

Joe Frazier, boxing legend who knocked out the untouchable Muhammad Ali forty years ago, has died.

Frazier, the youngest of twelve children, turned pro in 1965 at the age of 21. Three years later he had a 21-0 record.

The bitter word battle between Frazier and the also unbeaten Muhammad Ali (formerly Cassius Clay) came to a head in March of 1971 when the ferocious competitors battered each other for 15 rounds. It was a celebrity-drenched spectacle. Frank Sinatra took photos for Life magazine. Vice President Hubert Humphrey sat near Irish firebrand Bernadette Devlin. In a unanimous decision, Frazier became the heavyweight champ after knocking Ali down.

The rivalry remained heated for many years, fueled by Ali's racially-charged taunts. But as Ali grew ever frailer with Parkinson's and the 30th anniversary of the Bout of the Century approached, both fighters mellowed.

Frazier, who was just 67, learned he had liver cancer just a month ago.

Andy Rooney, America's lovable Mr. CrankyPants, has died

Andy Rooney, longstanding CBS mainstay, died November 4, just five weeks after signing off from his long stint on 60 Minutes.

Rooney's broadcasting career began shortly after WW II ended, penning for well-known entertainers, such as Victor Borge and Arthur Godfrey. In the early 60s, he wrote the Everyman essays that the late Harry Reasoner delivered for CBS.

And then, in 1978, Rooney found his niche with the popular newsmagazine, 60 Minutes. In his A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney, he was given free reign to crab about everything from New Year's Eve to Ernest Hemingway to road maps.

Rooney, who was 92, was one to keep his word. He once confided to Mika Brzezinski co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, that he would die when he stopped working.

City General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011

Tuesday, Nov. 8 is the City General Election and the ballot this year includes:
- City Council candidates in all five wards
- Renewal of the Streets Repair and Resurfacing Millage proposal
- Sidewalk Repair Millage proposal
- Amendment to restructure the Ann Arbor City Employees Retirement Board of Trustees.

Polling place locations, candidates and millage information is available on the city’s Election website.To find out your exact polling location, visit the Michigan Votes online voter information center.

Voter Tips
• Don’t forget to bring your photo ID to vote. Voters who do not have acceptable photo ID will be required to sign an affidavit in order to vote.
• Polling place hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
• The City Clerk’s Office is still accepting applications for absentee ballots. The office is open to the public for absentee ballot requests on Saturday, November 5, 2011 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. In-person requests for absentee ballots will be accepted at the City Clerk’s Office, 2nd floor of City Hall, until Monday, November 7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Ann Arbor Public Schools are closed on Election Day. Polling places located within schools are open . Signs will be posted at all polling locations to assist voters.
• Washtenaw County election results are televised on Community Television Network’s CitiTV Channel 19 beginning at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011—after the polls close—and will continue throughout the night.

Pumpkins and Prizes and More - Oh, My!

There are two fun Halloween events this Saturday, Oct. 29, in Ann Arbor:

- The Third Annual Halloween Pumpkin Fest at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.

- The Halloween Skate at the Veterans Memorial Park Ice Arena.

The Main Street Halloween Treat Parade on Halloween from 11 a.m. ~ 5 p.m. is a favorite with AADL since we get to see the kids all along Main Street and when they come the Halloween Party at the Downtown Library before the Parade at 10:30 a.m. for stories and treats.

The City's Safety Tips will help you keep your Trick-or-Treaters safe on Monday, Oct. 31st. Halloweening will rule in the neighborhoods from 5 p.m. ~ 8 p.m. so be on the lookout for ghosts, goblins and Neutrinos.

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