Resurrecting the Friday Five (or More)

I have a confession to make: I miss the Friday Five.

For those of you relatively new to this space–I used to post a round-up of five interesting things I’d come across that week. It was fun to share links to articles, books I’d read, and cool sites. I stopped the Friday Five about a year ago because I wanted to be able to write about things that didn’t fit into the format.

But I realized how much I enjoy and look forward to these kinds of posts from other bloggers like Nina’s Do Listen Read post, and Tammy Strobel’s Happy Links, and Let It Be Sunday from Joy. I always find a gem or two I never would have come across in the deep, dark crevasses of the Internet.

So I’m bringing back the Friday Five! (Is that applause or crickets I hear through the Interwebz?)  I think I’ll keep monthly  so I can keep posting longer pieces on specific topics and there might be more five. So…I’m not sure what to call it — the Monthly Few? The Every-So-Often Half-Dozen? I’m open to suggestions.

Without further ado…

Deconstructing the cookie. I don’t bake often, mostly because my results look and taste like frisbees. So I loved Tessa’s scientific study of the perfect chocolate chip cookie comparing things like granulated sugar to brown sugar, adding flour, and melting the butter. (I assume the same theories apply to most other flour-based cookie recipes.)  She also has a troubleshooting guide, which clearly I need.

Kimmy.  The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been my guilty pleasure this week. Someone in my office recommended this show (a Netflix original program), which I’ll admit, sounded a bit kooky at first:

From “30 Rock” executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock comes this hilarious comedy series starring Ellie Kemper (“The Office,” “Bridesmaids”) as a woman who is rescued from a doomsday cult and starts life over as a nanny for a socialite (Jane Krakowski from “30 Rock”) in New York City. Armed with just a backpack, light-up sneakers and a couple of past-due library books, she takes on a world she didn’t think even existed anymore.

But if Tina Fey is involved, I’ll give it a chance. This show is like eating a bag of potato chips. It’s fun and charming and cliche, and, similar to eating potato chips, I feel a bit guilty in the morning.

The Last Ice Merchant of Ecuador. Cultural change and adaptation often occurs over generations, but this short documentary (about 15 minutes) is a fantastic glimpse into traditions lost to progress.

From the New York Times article:

For over half a century, Baltazar Ushca has hiked up the slopes of Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador’s tallest mountain, to harvest the glacial ice that covers this dormant volcano. In the past, up to 40 ice merchants made the journey up the mountain at a time; today, however, Baltazar works alone.

Fanesca for the Soul. Now that I’ve got you thinking about Ecuador and since last week was Easter, I want to share this wonderful essay by master writer Calvin Trillin. Here, he takes us along on his quest for fanesca, a soup that is only made in Cuenca, Ecuador, during Holy Week. I love how he makes the mundane laugh-out-loud funny. And since I’m speaking of Cuenca, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you in the direction of Kathy’s blog. Kathy and Sara are Americans in Cuenca and having the time of their lives. (Hi, Kathy, we miss you!)

Thank you, Patti, for posting this link that explains the Theory of Relativity in a way that I can understand, i.e. an infographic.  I feel like I finally have a grasp on it. Sort of.

Are you at AWP? Like, right now? How is it going? I really wanted to go this year, but the reason I’m not leads me to a teaser for next week.  Coming next week: a quiz, a vote, and a donation to a worthy cause. 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone! 



  1. I love your Friday Five (and have always been secretly envious, wanting to do one myself)… so I’m very glad it’s back. The deconstruction of the cookie was very cool and very helpful. I’ve been trying to perfect my chocolate chip cookie recipe to my exact liking (chewy and soft but not puffy, haha). (AND I think I’ll try one or two Friday Five type posts 🙂 if I can think of a catchy blog title!)


  2. Hi Jackie. Wow. I made it into the Friday Five! Thanks, Jackie. You made my day. I love the idea and may do it myself. (With links and attribution to your post, of course!) Have a great weekend…Patti

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The daffodil and tulip shoots are half-way out, but there aren’t any flowers yet. And I’m still wearing gloves. Ugh. Another week, maybe?? Hope you can take a walk in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens for me!–Patti

        Liked by 1 person

  3. How nice to see the Friday Five again (now known as What I Feel Like, When I Feel Like It.)

    I’ve never been to a writer’s conference – I’d be rather intimidated. What have your experiences been?


    1. I should have come to you a few days ago, Peg. You have a knack for writing great titles. 🙂

      I was at a writing conference several years ago. The focus was on finding agents for your manuscript. That was definitely intimidating. It helps if you’re an outgoing and extroverted person (which is not me). AWP has a much broader appeal, I think. I’d like to go someday.


  4. Cool. I like your Friday Five and the longer pieces as well.
    After a few disasters, I started chilling the chocolate chip cookie dough and it made a big difference. No more flat cookies.
    Have also heard good things about Kimmie Schmidt. I’m watching a Danish series about a high school teacher called Rita and it is wild.


    1. The hard, flat chocolate chip cookies have been the bane of my baking existence for years! I’ll try chilling the dough next time.

      If the Danish show is on Netflix, I’ll give it a look. Thanks for the recommendation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Did you like The Vacationers? I think my favorite character is Sylvia. 🙂

        Better Off Ted! I remember that show when it was on TV. I thought it was great. Wish they’d not taken it off air.


  5. Here it is Tuesday (sorry life got in the way) and I finally get around to reading your Friday Five – suggested name change: Five for Friday. Too banal? Wow, this post is jam packed! I trust your endorsements and will make an effort to watch Kimmy.


      1. Milton’s pretty bulletproof, or maybe I should say “Kimmy-proof”. But I will try to tune in! Milton’s quite a TV hound. Maybe he watches her, but he’s VERY vocal about shows that he likes. Hm …


  6. I love these posts and glad they’re back. Had not heard of Kimmy! When I renew Netflix for Orange is the New Black I will watch this one, too. Sounds right up my alley. I like chips.

    So, AWP . . . I went and . . . it was not really for me. I think that 4 years ago when I was much more into writing fiction and submitting to lit mags I would have enjoyed it more. At this point some of the class descriptions and just, well, the people, almost had a Saturday Night Life quality to me . . . like they were caricatures of a literary scene. Saw lots of bushy beards. And heard the word “space” used more times than I can count. Protect your writing space. Honor your writing space. Online space. You get the idea.


    1. I’ve never been to AWP, but I’ve heard your sentiments echoed by other writers. It seemed like there were so many people and booths that it was overwhelming. (BEA is like that.) I hope you got some valuable contacts by the end of the conference. Some interested in non-fiction, I hope?


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