Month: July 2012

30 Jul 2012

2012: week thirty

July 22 – July 28

On Monday, we drove across the state of Michigan, got a haircut, met the Pastor who will officiate our wedding, had dinner & wine with my best friend/co-maid of honor and her rollicking family, and then came home and played The Hat Game with my own rollicking family.

On Tuesday, I pulled my angsty cat out from under someone’s bed, shoved her into a carrier, and then drove across the country, back to the state of Massachusetts.

On Wednesday, L signed his papers at his Brand! New! Job! We also looked at a steal of an apartment, and took the night to decide which one we wanted.

On Thursday, we got denied BOTH apartments. Other than that, I felt quite ill and didn’t really do much.

On Friday, I cavorted around Roslindale acquiring various forms of identification. Please do not ask me about my MA driver’s license. I look like a hag and my signature is clearly the signature of someone else entirely and not indicative at all of my penmanship.

On Saturday, we did errands and played Skyrim and went out to celebrate a small child’s 21st birthday.

On Sunday, I went to Sorella’s, and then my life was complete.



  • LOST
  • Say Yes to the Dress (studying)
  • Ally McBeal (which I watched 4 seasons of a year ago and just now decided to finish…)
29 Jul 2012

nerds only post

My current favorite Fictional-Pop-Culture-Librarian: this looker, Urag gro-Shub.

First of all, he is an orc. Second of all, he is often found spouting such badassery as

I don’t care if you are the arch-mage of the college, don’t you think about touching my books.

In related news, the boy took apart our broken, borrowed Xbox, overheated its GPU (?) and I can play Skyrim once again.

Goodbye, semblance of productivity! Hello, epic fantasy quests to retrieve rare books from compromising locations across varied and dangerous landscapes.


26 Jul 2012

the true bostonians

This year, I have found myself feeling strangely sentimental about this city where I live. It’s been three years since I arrived, three years to adjust to city living, and although I am not sure I would call myself a fully converted urbanite, the idea of moving away felt sudden, felt not right. We decided fairly quickly in the year that staying in Boston would be one of a few good choices for us, and the one we felt most passionate about. Why leave our friends? Why leave our neighborhood? Why leave our luxury grocery stores and abundant takeout and our little bit of a life that we have forged here?

Since January, I have dreamed up a number of sappy little missives about leaving Boston. An ode to my walking commute, one to my running paths, my library branch, my school. I’ve penciled it into my blog schedule a number of times, but never found the time to do the writing and the photographing it would require.

But now I don’t have to. Friends and readers, I’ve been keeping secrets, and one of them is that after a semester of planning for worst-case scenarios, my best case scenario is coming true: I am staying in Boston. It feels like a big change, to stay, to wrap my mind around my immediate future, but in the end, I will get to keep my friends, my places, and my city.

More details to come, but for now, I must devote myself to hitting “refresh” on Craigslist. Apartment hunting in this city should be avoided at all costs. Everything in my price range and in my neighborhood is… oh wait, there aren’t any apartments in my price range in my neighborhood. Tough, quick decisions are waiting to be made, but come September 1 at least I know I will still be a T ride away from the place and faces I have come to adore.

23 Jul 2012

2012: week twenty-nine

July 15 – July 21

Let’s see how much wedding planning we can do in seven days!

We can look at ceremony venues and reception venues and talk about MONEY and FOOD and a GUEST LIST and oh yes, try on dresses!

Question for all the successfully married or soon-to-be-married ladies: so, this mysterious, magical dress that is “THE ONE” just doesn’t exist, right? I don’t mean that in a Eh-get-married-in-a-Hefty-trash-bag-whatever kind of way; I mean, the idea of this Say Yes to the Dress OMGTearsTearsTears moment is just Hollywood-wedding baloney, right? Or at least, you’ll have That Moment if you want That Moment; if you don’t have one, that doesn’t mean the dress isn’t a great dress.

I case you didn’t notice, I am not the person who wants That Moment. I am not the person who attributes some magical talisman-like powers to a piece of clothing, I am a person who has been broke so long I’ve forgotten how to shop for clothing besides the occasional white undershirt, and I think I am still operating under a certain level of disbelief regarding most aspects of my life.

Including my status as an engaged person and any related decisions.

This post brought to you by The Confused Bride, who may possibly be married in a Hefty Bag.


Listening to:

  • Lots of Beatles
  • Lots of old mix CDs
  • Lots of Michigan’s 94.1 – I will be kind of sad to leave this radio station behind in a few days
22 Jul 2012

lessons from five-year-olds

Earlier this week, I was eating lunch with my youngest sister and entertaining myself by engaging her in conversations about whatever I found riveting in my mother’s latest issue of Publisher’s Weekly.

After reading her the summaries of many ridiculous self-published books and forcing her to laugh with me, I chanced upon the Top 20 Children’s Bestsellers of the Week.

The list was about 30% classic children’s lit, 30% Hunger Games, and 30% Ninjago.

I am a person who spends a lot of time reading books for kids, at libraries, at bookstores, and I had absolutely no idea what a Ninjago was.

Luckily I had my five-year-old soon-to-be nephew set me straight today.

Ninja+Lego = Nijago. Ahhh.. I am a near lifelong fan of Lego, and the anthropomorphizing of bricks reminds me a bit of another early childhood favorite of mine – Gumby. I am still, uneasy, of whatever spinjitzu is.

I was also told by others that the five-year-old in question was likely wearing Ninjago underwear, but he is of modest demeanor and did not show them off to me.

Ladies and gents, behold: the future of children’s liteature what the kiddies are watching, playing, and yes, reading.

20 Jul 2012

what my family is reading

I am nosy, so I ask everyone what they are reading. Also, at my parents’ house, you are apt to spot people reading “in the wild” of the living room or bedroom, or books found dog-eared or bookmarked on the kitchen table or in purses. It is easy to be a snoop.

My almost-17-year-old sister just finished…

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, which she was speed-reading so she could also finish up…

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein so she could give me her copy.

She is obviously the most trendy reader in the household, and the sweetest.

My almost-nineteen-year-old-sister who is home from college is reading…

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. Silly.

My twenty-four-year-old wannabe actuary sister is reading

Divergent by Veronica Roth. Again. After reading Insurgent. Because it’s the only book she has to read on her Kindle right now…

My librarian mama is reading

The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather, because she will be a visiting author for a community library program.

My historically ambitious papa has been reading biographies of the Presidents for an eon or so now. He has made it up to…

Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior and President by Ari Hoogenboom. Which, I think, could be one of the better author’s names I have ever come across…

My future husband, aka, that boy I live with, finally finished

Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout. I may now return it to the library and never again pay a fine related to this particular title that has been checked out from various libraries since January of this year.

There are also seven or eight dogs & cats living in this house, currently.

None of them are reading. Nearly all of them are hissing.



16 Jul 2012

2012: week twenty-eight

July 8 – July 14

After six months of writing these silly little monthly posts, I can see patterns in my life that I didn’t really know existed. First of all, apparently I am no longer quite the homebody I’ve always known myself to be. Some weeks, this means that I was far, far too busy and suffered for the lack of personal time. Some weeks, things were just normal. In retrospect? Just boring.

I am changing. Life is changing.

I’ve been busy and I’ve been busy and I’ve been busy, but this week took the cake. All sorts of crazy, big-decision stuff going on, general work/life, saying goodbye to friends, impromptu picnics, and culminating with a drive to Michigan.

(That took 18 hours and 2 new tires. And I forgot my wallet.)

This week, though, will certainly amount to a boring report. Michigan without the threat of homework or impending school is the type of lazy I’d forgotten about. Video games in your pajamas lazy. Too lazy to eat a proper meal. Didn’t leave the house to even buy a cup of coffee lazy. Being stupid with my sisters. Should be riveting. Stay tuned.


Listening to:

  • Got to listen to the last few discs of Daughter of Smoke and Bone with Lance… what a great re-read!
  • WTF interview with Molly Shannon was so good. I love listening to smart, successful, hard-working women share their lives.
14 Jul 2012

roadtrip reading

This is not a list of books featuring road trips. If that is what you are looking for, direct yourself to Stacked’s almost annoyingly comprehensive list here.

This is a list of books that I am going to bring with me on the road. Tomorrow we leave for Michigan – just a day’s drive, and then a drive back.


On the Way There: See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles, so I can leave it in Michigan when I am done.

While Lounging Around at My Parent’s House: The Art of Fielding by Chad Horbach, because it is supposedly very good and I probably can’t keep it out from the library for much longer.

On the Way Home: Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace, because I asked L to put on a Netflix documentary a few weeks ago and he chose this movie and I had to go “AHHH THIS IS NOT A DOCUMENTARY!” and I really just need to read this book and watch the movie already.

All three are from my Summer Reading List. I will try not to get distracted by the random books lying about my parents’ house and finish these so I can feel satisfied for crossing things off lists, as I have yet to check off a single title.


12 Jul 2012

one last push

I have been visited by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and their names are:

1. Apartment Hunting

A painful dance, balancing what luxuries you’ve grown accustomed to, where you can live to accommodate your commute, what kind of lifestyle you believe you deserve, and oh, what you can afford.

Apartment hunting makes me want to live in a shoebox on the side of the road.

2. Moving

… and then there’s the whole “moving’ aspect of finding a new place. I hate moving. I consider myself to be a resilient person, not afraid to do a little manual labor. But I still shudder to remember how my last move sucked the life out of me. Many exhaustingly minute details, followed by weeks of putting your belongings in boxes and fretting over your consumerism, culminating with a few days of hard labor and then an apartment that is new, but also filled with garbage, reliably dirty, and devoid of food and other life comforts.

3. Taking a Vacation

I am one of those annoying Type A folks who have trouble enjoying time off because the logistics put me on edge. We are going to Michigan for a week and a few days. Going HOME. This should be easy, right? No, no, no. Never. Who will go where and who will we see and who will see who and who will drive where and as;lkejr;oij234arsdaklsf.

I just want to play Mario Party and drink Diet Coke and sleep until noon, okay?

4. Planning a Wedding

May I please be married in a shoebox on the side of the road?

So bear with me as I try to figure out my life from now until September 1st, after which I will have finished 1, 2, 3 and made progress on 4.

Life after grad school? Not particularly glamorous.

P.S. I pretty much wrote this post already, 2 years ago. I even tried to give it the same subject. My life.


11 Jul 2012

50 Shades of Who Knows

Friends and readers,

I read Fifty Shades of Grey.

And I enjoyed it.

Don’t get me wrong; the writing was deplorable. I’m sure there are better sexy-books out there, for sure. There was rampant phrase repetition, sentences that made no grammatical sense, and the description was simply over the top. Basically, the book was a case in point for the questionable nature of self-publishing and the power of a decent editor.

But I liked it. During last week’s bad mood, I put the second one on hold to cheer me up.

This is a blog about children’s and YA lit, mostly, so am I allowed to talk about this? Is it okay if a book exists for reasons that are not “literary”? Are people who champion “great” literature, literature for children, also allowed to admit to liking books that are poorly written and exist for uh… non-literary reasons?

I have no idea, but I do know that right now, I have an insatiable taste for books that are heavy on the tension, light on the complex-sentence-structure. I like my pages to fly by like there aren’t any words there at all. Plots that are so unsubstantial, the only reason you keep reading is because you’ve already read 200+ pages (because they flew by) and the subject matter is so sensational that you feel like you have no idea what will happen, so you have to finish, even though it doesn’t really matter what happens.

If you catch me reading Eclipse on the subway, have mercy on me. It’s been a hell of a year – my brain needs a break.

If you catch me reading Fifty Shades Darker  on the subway, kick me in the face. I retain the tiniest bit of modesty, thankssomuch.