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On the fly: "The Double-Daring Book For Girls"

Read this book! Go ahead: I double-dare you.
Read this book! Go ahead: I double-dare you.

As 2010 looms near, the visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads start to make way for that yearly ritual known as New Year's resolutions. As for myself, I've got plenty: learn Italian, master my digital SLR, pay off that pesky credit card debt...the list goes on and on!

And of course, new adventures are always high on that ever-growing list, so I was thrilled to come across The Double-Daring Guide for Girls by Andi Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. Though in theory this how-to tome is geared at young girls, I believe getaway girls of all ages will fall in love with this font of 411—full of secrets on everything from winning the Nobel Prize to running a magazine to beating your boyfriend at dominoes.

That said, I've amassed some of the book's advice and infused it with a girl getaway spin for adventurous Angelenos:

Joining the circus (p. 121): Ever wondered how to spin plates, juggle like a pro, or walk on stilts? Aspiring Ringling Brothers (and sistas!) will find all the info they need right here.
Get away, girl: Cirque sensation Kooza hits Irvine on January 8th. Get your tickets here and enjoy the ringside fun. 

Dancing the Cotton-Eyed Joe (p. 192): Though this catchy tune has been around since the Civil War, I didn't have the "privilege" of hearing it until the clubby version came out in 1994. If you're like me and haven't been able to get it out of your head since, you'll love these steps for learning the line dance that goes with it.
Get away, girl: Mosey on down to Temecula's Stampede, where bull-riding, line dancing, and cute cowboys are all in a night's fun.

Holding a Japanese Tea Ceremony (p. 84): Do this time-honored tradition justice by learning about proper tea-sharing practices and terms like "hiroma" (a type of room design) and "kokore ire" (the spirit in which the tea is served).
Get away, girl: Witness a true tea ceremony at the Nisei Week Japanese Festival, held every August in Little Tokyo.

Okay, enough writing for me. I'm off to dye my hair with some Kool-Aid, per Andi's and Miriam's instructions. Now make this book part of your required reading for 2010! Go ahead: I double-dare you.

For more info: Buy The Double-Daring Book for Girls on Amazon.