Month: June 2013

26 Jun 2013

conference, ahoy

Remember this conference I couldn’t decide about? I decided to go.

Have I ever written about Yes-Life here? No? Well, when I was in grad school I kept accidentally acquiring fabulous new ways to spend my time. Okay, fine, they weren’t all fabulous, but some of them were lucrative. Okay FINE 12 dollars an hour isn’t lucrative, but whatever. Opportunities for jobs and internships and classes came my way, and every semester or so I had a big freak-out about whether I should turn down said opportunity because I just Didn’t Have The Time.

Pro and con lists were made. Anxious discussions were foisted upon friends, family, and that poor, poor boy of mine. Tears were shed. Decisions were made, then backtracked, then made again. More tears. More lists.

One semester, I had another internship opportunity that I was too busy for. I started to make the lists and the spreadsheets and do my usually mucking around in indecision, but after a few days I got sick of myself. I decided to just say yes. Yes. That’s it. Yes. The rest will work itself out. And it did.

I won’t say I’ve taken this on as a life philosophy or anything, but anytime I find myself wallowing in a decision for more than a few days, I remind myself that it’s easier to say yes. The anxiety is in the deciding, not in the doing.

So I just-said-yes to ALA, and tomorrow I leave for Chicago. All things go, all things go. My strategy is to have fun, to make the trip feel professionally worthwhile, spend as much time as I can with my favorite people, and come home with zero free books. Because I’m moving. And I figure I’ll come home with at least four or five more books than I aim to, so if I aim for zero, I’ll minimize the damage.

Plane reading, you ask?

  • Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando (it’s good to have friends in high places. and by high places I mean, who went to BEA)


23 Jun 2013


Life is crazy, crazy, crazy right now, but it’s time to fess up: I am the luckiest girl.

I have a job that I adore. It’s Sunday night, and I’m not dreading Monday morning. Even though I’m busier than busy, I remain indifferent about Monday mornings. That’s nice. Nicer than nice.

I have a fantabulous family that is helping me plan this wedding and dealing with my flakiness and forgetfulness and general I-don’t-want-t0-be-excited-about-this-wedding-so-please-be-excited-for-me-ness.

I am going to Chicago to a super-fun librarian’s conference on Thursday, where I get to pal around with some of my nearest and dearest. Including some of that aforementioned fantabulous family. And also my Long! Lost! Roommate!

I am moving to a new apartment in a safer area, with LAUNDRY and a DISHWASHER and a BACK PORCH.

In twenty days, I am getting married to a boy I have loved for nearly ten years.

And let’s be real. Even when I am busier than busy, I am still spending a significant percentage of each and every day ingesting Game of Thrones in various media formats.

My life is blessed, I am a lucky girl, the end, the end, the end.

18 Jun 2013

fever pitch

On Sunday The Boy and I walked home from the train station feeling mutually lifeless. Drowsy. Spent. A fun-weekend-with-houseguests-and-friends hangover – happy feelings tempered by exhaustion, a looming dread related to the amount of dishes, laundry, and grocery shopping you haven’t been doing. Maybe a touch of an actual hangover?

The topic of “alright what do we have to do today” came up quickly. The dishes. The laundry. The grocery shopping.

“Will life be simpler,” he asked me, “once we move to a smaller apartment?”

I laughed, for a dozen reasons. “When we move to a smaller apartment” is also once we are married and home from our honeymoon. It is also when we no longer have to deal with our questionable landlord, when we get our annual raises, and when we will have… well, moved. Past tense.

Yes, our “smaller apartment” will have a dishwasher, it will have laundry, and we will have fewer belongings and a little more cash. But we still have to do the work to get there, and once we arrive I’m sure that the first words we utter will not be “man, life is so SIMPLE NOW!” We will probably say something like “Man, wouldn’t life be SIMPLER if I had a place to put my cat’s litter box? Or if my couch would fit in my living room?”

Less than a month until the wedding and I think “fever pitch” is the best term for where we are at. It’s like I want to have a point in time I can look out for when things will feel back to normal, but there’s really not a normal to go back to. I’m busier than I can comprehend, busy, yet again, hurtling myself into a brand new situation. Will life be simpler? Will life be better? Will I have more time to do the things I like? Will all of those good dreams come true, but then I won’t be able to make myself happy enough to enjoy any of it? It’s exhausting, it’s dreadful, it’s hard to maintain energy/hope/sanity with this lifestyle, but I must get something out of it otherwise I wouldn’t keep choosing it.

Or more accurately, we keep choosing it. I am so so thankful I have this weird other person in my life, my partner, my mate, my boy. We probably shouldn’t keep encouraging the other person that moving is a good idea, that moving into a tiny apartment is a wise choice at this juncture in our lives, that living in Boston continues to be worth the sacrifice. One of us should be mature. Logical. Etc. No luck. We are just two fools, cramming our lives full of whatever we can get and of each other. We are getting married in a month and then taking off across the ocean and coming back and moving across town and then doing the laundry, the shopping, the dishes.

Maybe we’ll have so much fun, we’ll move again next year.

10 Jun 2013

a mighty weekend


  • Invented some questionable vanilla-cornmeal cupcakes with a lime buttercream frosting after work.
  • Accidentally watched a hockey game at a friend’s place. I sure accidentally watch a lot of sports in this here romantic relationship.
  • Forgot to bring invented cupcakes with me. Of course.


  • Ate a cupcake for breakfast.
  • Accidentally went to the Pride Parade.
  • Looked at three apartments
  • Left money and an application on one. Like all adventures in Boston real estate, crossing fingers it works out, but also hoping that maybe it doesn’t and we have to keep looking.
  • Made a domestic arrangement with The Boy – he would do all the laundry and buy all the groceries, I would make him a highly-detailed grocery-list and stay home and clean. It takes about 2-3 hours to do laundry, so that was a lot of cleaning. Good thing I had every single dish in the entire apartment to wash.
  • Did I mention that potential-new-apartment has a dishwasher? And free laundry in the building?
  • Made a broccoli salad. It was good, and I don’t even like broccoli salad.
  • Did a significant amount of wedding planning.
  • Watched the Season One finale of Game of Thrones.


  • Made waffles. Second weekend in a row. I was fitted for my wedding dress two weeks ago and had it taken in a smidge. Watch me have to get it taken right back out in a month.
  • Made salted caramel brownies.  A month or so ago, I made this recipe three times in two days with no issue whatsoever. This time, I burned the caramel TWICE, sending noxious smoke into the apartment while The Boy taught a trumpet lesson in the front room. Ahem.
  • Ran 2.69 miles. Got really sweaty and exhausted.
  • Flat-ironed my hair into an oblivion and trucked out to the end of the orange line for a barbecue with some of The Boy’s teacher friends. Ate two meals, three desserts, and drank what appeared to be an entire bottle of wine. Natch.
  • Force-read the last 50 pages of a book before passing the heck out at 9 p.m.

05 Jun 2013

dessen day

These kind of days don’t come around very often, once a year or two, when an author will put out a book that compels me to run out and buy the hardcover on pub day. The pool of authors is small, rarely added to, sometimes removed. It’s a personal choice. This book has to live in MY apartment on MY shelves, and I move a lot, so this is all to say, these kind of days don’t come around very often. It’s like a very-highly-specific-almost-age-inappropriate-somewhat-nerdy holiday that you can celebrate with only your closest of friends… friends who you have also indoctrinated into the cult of that particular author.

It might not be “the best” of her work, stand up to my favorites, or have a intrinsic value greater than any other book I should be reading (or have any intrinsic value at all), but it has value to me; the ritual, the feeling of supporting artists I love, the way a shiny-new-hardback can turn an hour of infuriating “waiting around” into something pleasurable to enjoy alongside an afternoon snack.

I hope you have some books and authors like this in your life, friends.

02 Jun 2013

summer reading list 2013

Full disclosure: of all the lists of books I make for myself, this is the list I never follow. Let’s look at last year why don’t we? I wanted to read ten books. I read one – See You at Harry’s. I read 3 more before the end of 2012, but that is a rare and unusual feat.

In the interest of giving-myself-a-break, can you please look at my summer life lately?

2009 – Jumped from 24 hrs/wk to 32 hrs/wk + Summer Reading Program + Preparing to Move to Boston + Moving to Boston

2010 – One intense summer class + Working 20 hrs/wk + Internship across the river 16 hrs/wk + Moving to a new apartment

2011 – Two intense summer classes + Working 20+ hrs/wk

2012 – Working retail + Applying for jobs and job interviews + No place to live come September + New job + Moving

2013 – Planning a wedding + Getting married + Taking a long international trip for the first time + Moving

I would like to pat myself on the back for merely surviving FIVE YEARS of RIDICULOUS SUMMERS. However, I would like to mention that come hell, high water, exhaustion, stress, or Boston real estate… I still read plenty of books. Why I eschew my selected summer reading titles, I do not know.

I do not suspect that this summer will be any different. Not only am I doing all of the above tasks, I also have an impressive stack of review books on my docket for the next months. If I want to retain any hope of meeting my deadlines, I must attack those titles before addressing any arbitrary reading list.

But will that stop me from creating an arbitrary reading list?

No. Of course not.

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Alright, I am GOING TO READ THIS ONE THIS SUMMER. In fact, I have the audio completely downloaded and ready to listen to. You see, since last year’s post, I have gained the power to select and purchase children’s and teen audio books. Such kismet.

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

A freebie. I’ll take it!

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

The hold list for this one is 10 miles long, but it’s a summer camp book. I LOVE summer camp books. A hyped up summer camp book with a rainbow cover? Sign me up. Immediately.

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

You guys, I am having a problem. Regarding fantasy. And me. And how I might like it. Give me a few months, I need to process my thoughts. Also, while I am usually a staunch “Read the book before you see the movie/show” practitioner, I am thinking that watching the appropriate series and then reading the appropriate book(s) will probably be enjoyable in this case? There is so much going on in each episode that I can imagine there is tons more that just couldn’t be squeezed into the show…

The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I love this series even though it scares the absolute CRAP out of me. I’ve blogged about it before since I consider it to be one of my favorite dystopias, even though it’s not really a dystopia… I had no idea a 4th book was in the works, and it comes out in August!

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

I like Curtis Sittenfeld in a way that I usually reserve for YA authors: although I haven’t liked all of her books equally and there’s nothing about her writing that particularly impresses me, I just like what she does. If she writes a book, I will give it a go. Also: Sister Story

Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run by Kristin Armstrong

I feel like my list is missing some nonfiction. I haven’t read a running book since last summer, and I do like me some running books. I started this one a few times and I did like it, so I should finish it. The end. Also, I should be running right now but I decided to dye my hair instead. Lazy slacker.

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

I feel like my life is missing some new YA. Everyone’s chatting about this one and it seems like the type of silly romp I could read in one sitting on a Saturday afternoon. One Saturday afternoon this summer, maybe?

We will see. My Saturdays are filling up fast, I might need to start a reading-waiting list. I don’t even know what that is, but it sounds awful. Or like another list of books I will never read. Heaven help me.