Month: August 2012

29 Aug 2012

here’s something

I am moving.

So, my apartment is full of so much crap and boxes I keep running into things and getting bruised.

So, I have to bring half of my library books back without being read.

So, I am crying and angry most of the time because moving sucks.

I have moved eight times. The first time, I was a small, small baby. My parents moved from a one bed to a two bed in the same apartment complex. The last time I moved, I was comatose for a week or so, but I recovered and have so many lovely memories of this place. Many, many hours playing Super Smash Brothers. Lots of nights with friends playing games. Futon sleepovers, making Mexican food, birthdays, hangovers, scrambled eggs, TV marathons, laying on the floor and listening to the neighbors fight.

I would stay, but they built a Whole Foods two blocks away, which both improved my daily life and raised my rent by 200 dollars a month.

If I’m a bad blogger in the near future, I am either packing, unpacking, or weeping.

28 Aug 2012

to my sister dear

Dear C-Rollin,
Happy Birthday!

I hope you have a happy day and a good year at college. I will get you a present, but I am moving in like 3 days so I don’t know what it will be yet. Do you like books? Or t-shirts? Or both?

I have these predictions for your 19th year: you will become an excellent vegetarian chef, you will get all A’s but one B+, you will get a part-time job, you will make two nice friends, and you will fall in love.

Many happy things will happen to you because you are one of the best people. Smart and special you are. Let everyone know it.

Love to you,



27 Aug 2012

2012: week thirty-four

August 19 – August 25

These weeks have been a bit of limbo – settling into a new routine, schedule, job, but also getting ready to disrupt said schedule and routine with a Move and a New Address. Things just won’t be until after September 1.

In an absence of a permanent location and entirely settled routine, I am trying to focus on good habits. Getting up early. Consistent (mostly sugar/carb free) sustenance. Running for consecutive days. Writing. Etc. Good habits will follow you anywhere, and if habits are already in place, when you arrive you’ll say “Oh! I must set up my blah-di-blah so I can blah-di-blah immediately!” instead of being a lazy lout and never unpacking a single box.

Speaking of lazy louts, I slept in yesterday and today and my neck and head paid for my sins. There are days that I am tense and headachey to the point of misery, and those are the days I delay caffeine and sleep past 9 a.m. I think that means that I am old, old woman. Or I need a new pillow.


Listening To:

  • Thanks to Ashley, I discovered like 7 new podcasts this week. Favorites included Professor Blastoff and JV Club. And the Josh Radnor episode of Making It? A dream. Ted Mosby + Zen meditation + euchre. Lust.


  • That boy I live with finally went out for the night on Thursday and left me at home alone. “What are you going to do tonight?” he asked. “Pack,” I answered. And then I watched Twilight. World’s most awkward movie.


25 Aug 2012

all the things

My apartment is half empty, half wrecked. Boxes everywhere, full, half-full, empty. I don’t know what to do with all these library books – these library books! Who packs up books that belong to a library and puts them into a U-Haul?

Moving is a great excuse to start clean. New place, new mindset.

But first, you must confront everything in your head, your life, your apartment. Maybe I have been watching a few too many episodes of the last season of LOST, but this feels like a reckoning. Is this object going to have a place in my new life? Is it useful or beautiful? Do I have time to think this hard about every object I put into a cardboard box?

I’m hoping that moving won’t knock me out to the extent it did last time I moved. The 1st falls on a weekend, not a workday. I will have an entire 48 hours to move in, unpack, and recover.

However, I have the next six days to reckon with this: my emptying apartment and all the memories it holds, the fresh life I might find in my new place, and, oh yeah, all of my shit.

24 Aug 2012


Although the manic pixie dream girl is a fictional phenomenon usually found in film (see this helpful video), she is also often found frequenting the pages of the realistic YA novel.

See: Sam in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Dub in Rats Saw God, and of course, Alaska.

Some people find this particular character trope problematic, on a feminist level. Some people find ALL character tropes to be lazy on from a literary standpoint – a embrace of a certain level of stereotype, of cliche – and therefore problematic.

Some people? Embrace that crazy girl for all she’s worth.

I’m going to assume that the title is an act of publishing/marketing and not an artistic choice. It’s one thing to useĀ  fiction to dive into problematic stereotypes or common depictions of certain minority groups. It’s quite another to name your book after said stereotype, complete with a teen-glam cover such as this.

Though… if you are asking whether I will read this book when it comes out in April 2013?

Wel… maybe.

I also just put My Teenage Dream Ended on hold at the library, so perhaps you should reconsider your evaluation of my tastes/recommendations.

22 Aug 2012

NetGalley: a tale of obsession

Dear Friends,

How do you NOT download 10,000 galleys from NetGalley?

I’ve been avoiding signing up for a number of reasons… apparently good ones. After two weeks, my eReader runneth over.

Add this to the problem that is Visiting A Library Every Day Because I Work There and Checking Out Books Every Damn Day…

I am in need of the world’s nerdiest intervention.



21 Aug 2012

books in the home

I almost didn’t pick up Deborah Needleman’s Perfectly Imperfect Home.

First of all, I couldn’t navigate my own library’s nonfiction section well enough to find the home decorating books. But that is neither here nor there.

I was also skeptical about a decorating book with no photographs. What is the point? Illustrations are lovely, but these rooms are not REAL, they are imaginary. Of course they look cute.

Then I remembered that… uh… illustrations are lovely. Especially Virginia Johnson’s.

And then I started to love the emphasis on form+function… not designers, not mid-century-modern-clean-lines-vintage-blah-di-blah. This book introduced the verb “cozify” into my life, as in “to make cozy,” which I like.

And then I stumbled across an entire section devoted to my favorite household decoration:

Books are physical manifestations of our histories, our interests, and our passions. They are also beautiful creations of design and typography that evoke their era. There are plenty of anachronistic things that are essential for a comfortable home: we certainly don’t need candlelight or blazing fires or antique mirrors but we love them for how they make us feel. Our books allow us to be surrounded by things we love and admire, and allow others to share in our interests without even having to mention them. Books make a room feel like a room.”

And to that, I say, amen.

20 Aug 2012

2012: week thirty-three

August 12 – August 18

I know we aren’t yet married, but the boy and I have been dating for almost 9 years and have been living together for 3.

Plenty long enough to finally merge our music collections.

100 GB of pure love. As you can see from this screen cap, a large percentage consists of retro pop and children’s easy listening.

Some other couple-y activities of this week included extensive apartment cleaning, co-hosting a final in-this-apartment evening get-together, and running daily miles diligently around the little pond.

If you grow weary of all this lovey-dovey nonsense, never fear. Next week, the boy returns to work so I am losing my summertime house-husband. In related news, I need to keep better track of my house keys, remember how to cook, and start having my packages delivered to work.

And although our mp3s are stored safely on our new external harddrive, I am glad that after spending 30 minutes on The Great Music Merge I took this screenshot and emailed it to myself, because this morning, someone decided to system restore his computer. For the fifth time this year. Add to couple-y activities: discussing payment plans for updated technology. This week, looking forward to fun couple-y activities such as debating what percentage of a honeymoon a new computer is worth.

Ain’t love grand?



  • Oh my, so much LOST, so much LOST…. getting so very, very close to the end! What will we watch next? We are flirting with Breaking Bad.


16 Aug 2012

Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet

Let me tell you this about my grad school experience… early in 2009, I was putting concerted effort into “reading widely across genres.” I gave myself 10 “slots” for books each month, and tried to fill in the first five with different genres – YA Fiction, Juvenile Nonfiction, Adult Fiction, etc. By April, I had set my academic course (aka wrote some deposit checks) on a path towards a children’s literature degree. By April, I’d also become weary of “reading widely.” It was hard. Uncomfortable. I would rather just read and re-read my favorite books and authors, ya know?

So one of the things I found exciting about a children’s lit degree was the prospect of a Syllabus! I longed for someone to tell me what to read (see also: Marriage). And although I watched new releases pass me by for three years, and every semester I reached a point where all I wanted was to read ANYTHING that wasn’t 19th century/realism/taking place on Mars, I discovered so many genres and authors that I never would have given a second chance otherwise.

See: Historical Fiction. If you had asked me in 2009 if I would like to read a book about teenagers in Scotland in 1952 (that starts with 50 or so pages detailing THEIR parents’ and grandparents’ heritage and history), and that can also legitimately classified as a book ABOUT the Cuban Missile Crisis? I would have certainly laughed mightily, either in my mind or later after you left the room. Perhaps I would discredit your future book recommendations completely. Who knows, it was 2009, I was ruthless back then.

However, it is 2012, and I just read Mal Peet’s Life: An Exploded Diagram and I loved it I loved it I loved it so much. It is everything I described above, yes, but don’t be afraid. The family heritage bit is actually pretty brief, and mostly humorous. The historical retelling of the Cuban Missile Crisis is actually interesting, especially for me, who felt suddenly shamed to realize that even after XX years of history courses, I knew NOTHING about this incredible moment in US history. The narrator is a likeable, knowledgeable, and cheeky guide through this all.

But what wraps it all up in a delicious package is The LOVE STORY. Oh, there is a love story, a first love story, that is so evocative, so touching, and at times, downright steamy. Peet knows what he is doing when he alternates chapters here, teasing you into being interested in JFK because you know there’s another chapter of romance when you finish.

And the ending. Agh, the ending! This is a terrible review, I realize, but after you read this ending, you will think that every other novel’s conclusion was more of a lame fizzle, a drag-out, a ramble on. Peet? He has written here an Ending, capital-E-, practically Hollywood worthy, throw your book down and gasp-worthy.

Gush gush gush glow glow glow, please drop what you are doing and pretend like you are desperate to learn more about JFK’s early presidency so you will not waste another moment of your life not reading this book! Consider it your syllabus for the month.

15 Aug 2012

my brain on the internet: workflowy

So I just discovered the best website a few weeks ago and I need to share it with you, post haste.

Y’all are list-makers, right? Organizers, note-takers, chart-makers… the whole lot of you. I can tell.

I am always trying to find the best place to corral my tasks, my goals, and my random thoughts. Actual paper notebooks are great, but they are easily tucked into the wrong purse, too quickly filled up, it’s difficult to keep multiple “sections” of a notebook without mass confusion, and writing out elaborate schedules and plans involves ripped out pages, scribbled out sections, and other atrocities that waste time.

I’ve been looking for a web tool to “take notes” with. I’ve tried emailing myself, but I never open the messages. I’ve tried Google Docs, but I accidentally had to shoot myself because I Just Can’t Stand Google Docs. I’ve tried Word docs in my Dropbox, but the formatting gets so wonky so fast that I can’t keep up any consistent habit.

Then I discovered WorkFlowy:

It’s just a document that you can add bullets to. You can make sections for whatever you like and then add things however you’d like. Huge, nested lists are easy as pie because the tabs function in a way that MS Word could only hope to ever achieve. You can expand any bullet point to a new document, so you can hone in on one category. You can jot down your ideas, your to-dos, your Next Actions throughout the day and then sort them out later. You can cross things off your lists. You can drag items around.

The best part is the website is just so slim – no ads, no bells and whistles, loads so very quickly.

Just go ahead and make it your new homepage, fellow Type A friends. Thank me later.