Friday, December 18, 2009

Books Over the Channel

I picked up "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" as a freebie at a book expo while I was still with Borders. For one who loves reading and used to live in the U.K., it was a no-brainer. I finally got around to reading it a few weeks and found it to be a quick, enjoyable read.

The novel sets its scene through a series of letters written to or from Miss Juliet Ashton, a writer made famous for witty and humorous columns intended to distract London's citizens during World War II. It's 1946 and the war is now over, leaving Juliet at a loss of what to do and write about.

She receives a letter from a member of Gurensey's Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Through his letters and letters of other members of the society, you learn of Guernsey's fate during the war while it was occupied by German soldiers.

Written by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, this is a great book to read while on vacation or traveling.

Random sidenote: I've never been in a typical book club. I've been in "long-distance" online book chats, where friends from school have read the same books and then discussed them in e-mail or on Facebook and the like, but I've never been in a stereotypical, monthly bookclub. I've never really been interested in most of the reading selections of the ones I've seen, but maybe I should try again ... Not only would it help my broaden my horizons a bit, but maybe I would read more than graphic novels and YA, then too!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bill Willingham

He's written Elementals, Ironwood, Fables. Pantheon, Propsition Players, Shadowpact. And now, his first Fables' novel "Peter & Max."

Of all of his comics, the only ones I've read so far are Fables, Ironwood and Jack of Fables. Because of those three, I want to read everything Willingham I can get my hands on. Fables is by far my favorite series I've read. I'll admit: I have not read nearly as many comics as most I know who get into them. I have a hard time with the straight-up superhero stuff, but I like some of the Vertigo/fantasy stuff out there. And Fables is the best of what's out there.

Willingham's latest spin-off from the popular series is the novel "Peter & Max," which tells the tell of Peter Piper and his brother, Max. Darker than most of the graphic novels the book is based on, it was as engrossing and entertaining as any other piece in the series.

Highly recommend it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Teen Fantasy ... my Ultimate Guilty Pleasure

I can't get enough of teen fantasy, no matter how bad the writing is, how cliched the vampire world is, or how predictable the characters are.

In the last week or so, I've read:
  • Melissa Da La Cruz's latest in the Blue Bloods series, "The Van Allen Legacy"
  • The entire Mortal Instruments series (thus far) from Cassandra Clare -- City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass
  • Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
And I still have to catch up on the latest House of Night novel from P.C. Cast.
I know I'm not the only one, but I still have to force myself to admit that I read them, sometimes... particularly when people at work ask me what I'm reading. People in the health care profession think I am odd just for reading as much as I do, let alone the fact that more than half of what I read is young adult, and the rest mostly sci fi or fantasy.

A lot of them, I only read for the cheesy predictable plots. I like vampire romances. =P But Melissa Marr's writing actually has some depth and is more enjoyable. Her world of Fairie has some serious mythological allusions in it -- from Bananach to the rules and traditions of the four courts.

 My copy of "Fragile Eternity" is a miscut first edition. The first 26 pages or so were all stuck together at the top of the pages. I had never seen it before. Kind of cool.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Not necessarily one of my favorite authors, although I actually liked having to read this short stories in various English classes throughout school.

In one of my first blog spots from years ago, I quoted "The House of Seven Gables:"

"The effervescence of youth and passion, and the fresh gloss of the intellect and imagination, endow them with a false brilliancy, which makes fools of themselves and other people. Like certain chintzes, calicoes, and ginghams, they show finely in their first newness, but cannot stand the sun and rain, and assume a very sober aspect after washing day."

I think it is worth repeating.

Since this is basically a journal, I made a real blog that is just about what I've been reading and listening to lately.

It's at

Check it out, if I haven't bored you enough on this swollen excuse for a blog.

When Winter Comes, We'll Leave Behind Us...

I'm wondering if wanting a thing too much ruins it. If somehow the yearning gives it away. Suddenly you're found out, so the situation, the thing, loses its luster. People can see you in your eyes, that you want it too badly, and it either scares them or disgusts them. Either way, it's gone.

I am torn constantly between a fear of settling for what I have ... of it not being good enough, and the worry that I am ruining a good thing because I don't know how good I have it.

I'm not much for logic. This is readily apparent to anyone who has known me for longer than five minutes. The things I value, my personal moral system, if you will, is what drives me. I know what is it important to me, even if I'm terrible at math, systematic reasoning, what have you.

I struggle to compromise on these things of importance to me. Perhaps I don't want to compromise. I don't think I am a terribly black and white person, but there are certain things you simply don't do if you really care about a person and there are certain ways to show that you really do care.

But I don't want this to be it. There should be more than this. I don't care if it's naive, or too idealistic.

I want it all, and I'll be damned if I don't at least try.

Your feelings can't be that dulled, you can't be numb to it all.

I know it won't always be the first, it can't always be the first, or all new for you. But it should be the best, the World Series kind of thing... whether you say it is or not.

I'll keep trying, I have to. Otherwise, it's really not enough.

Monday, October 26, 2009

William Gibson's Pattern Recognition

Best known for the classic "Necromancer," William Gibson's works top any avid sci fi reader's list. I have no idea why it took me so long to get around to reading something of his. All I can say now is, I'm glad I finally did.

"Pattern Recognition," from 2003, tells the story of Cayce Pollard, a New Yorker who travels the world telling companies what the next "it" thing will be due to her sixth sense for trends. Cayce knows what products are going to catch on before they really break into mainstream culture. Brands and logos truly effect her -- Prada, Tommy Hilfinger, Disney ... they all make her ill. She has to cut the labels out of her own clothing so that she can actually put them on.

Engrossing, fascinating look at advertising and marketing and its affects on society.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Books at the Huffington Post: "Why a book section now?"

Why books won't stay banned or ever really go away, no matter how virtual our society gets:

"So when Arianna asked me to think about a Books section for The Huffington Post, I thought, why a new books section, why Huffington Post, wjavascript:void(0)hy now?

Because there's never been a better time or place. People who think books are dying don't understand the power of ideas to inspire. And people who think books will die at the hands of the Internet, don't understand the power of what happens when an engaged reader -- of both web and print content -- discovers new ideas, new thoughts, new thinkers, or remembers the impact of a classic. Word spreads faster than ever, and the ensuing debate helps refine ideas for the future."

Read more at:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lev Grossman's The Magicians

When I first heard about Lev Grossman's new novel, "The Magicians," from NPR about two months ago, I was a bit skeptical. Grossman and the NPR correspondent Tom Vitale called the book an "adult Harry Potter," set in a modern-day Brooklyn. The book centers on Quentin Coldwater, a dissatisfied high school senior who escapes life and reality by continually re-reading a fantasy series from his childhood, which takes place in the magical land of Fillory.

Toward the end of his senior year, Quentin is interviewing with ivy league schools and listlessly preparing to carry on his lackadaisical life at Princeton. While chasing a dropped paper through a community garden in New York, he finds himself never reaching the back of the garden. Eventually, he walks far enough into it for it to become the grounds of Brakebills College, a school of Magical Pedagogy. From there, Quentin's world is altered irrevocably as he discovers both magic and his beloved Fillory are real.

"The Magicians" draws heavily both on Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" and on J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series. Grossman admits that Fillory and its gods are more or less Narnia and Aslan. But this is no children's book. The characters and plot are far more complex and far less black and white than anything Lewis or Rowling have created. The majority of the novel takes place in our own world, where the harshness of reality plays more of a role in the characters' lives than many of the fantasy or science fiction novels I've read.

And therein lies the works' real strength.

Grossman refuses to ignore reality, regardless of what world or plane of existence its characters are in, no matter how fantastic the setting or creature. Quentin deals with real-world issues that many in college students and post-grads would face. The book is less about who is good or evil and more about what magic is for, what life is for, and Quentin struggles with the questions just as much as the rest of us. He screws up, and he actually has to pay for his mistakes. There is no Dumbledore there to make sure Quentin isn't expelled for breaking the rules. There is no "happily ever after." Grossman's fantasy worlds are just as harsh as our own world. The characters are sympathetic, believable and fallible, and well worth seeing through to the end.

This is Grossman's first step into Science Fiction/Fantasy, and I hope he doesn't stop here. Though a standalone, I almost wish it was the start of a series or a trilogy. Yes, it's really that good.

Ellen Hopkins is my Hero

Last Wednesday, I went to see Ellen Hopkins at Borders in Ann Arbor. She is one of the coolest authors I've seen in a while... inspiring to her readers, a huge supporter of literary rights and Banned Book Week,  and an amazing writer to boot. She is one of few authors in the Young Adult genre who writes in verse. Encouraging poetry in teens is no small feat. While it may scare off some, Hopkins told her audience Wednesday that most of her readers are teens who do not typically read. Poetry on suicide, child prostitution, drugs, sex, addiction ... typically when I start one of her books, I can't put it down.

"Torch every book.
Burn every page.
Char every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear."

If you ever get the opportunity to go to one of her readings or meet Ellen Hopkins, I encourage you to do so. She will not disappoint.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Blog? Maaaybe.

Some recent conversations of the past few weeks on Facebook, Twitter, Chat and elsewhere have given me a new idea for a blog.

I never update this thing and am in the process of building my own Web site - long overdue, but finally at least purchased the URL - and I want to have a more "hobby-based" blog to post with it. So, I think I am going to kill this one and make a new one that focuses strictly on books and music. Facebook mostly keeps track of those things for me, but I would be able to brand this one myself.

We'll see how it goes, or if I ever actually get around to doing it. Still, I am more excited about this attempt at blogging than I have been about the medium in a while.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall is coming up too fast

Wow. Summer goes by much too quickly when you move three times, then spend two more weeks moving other people's stuff after all of your stuff is moved in.

How is it already the middle of September?

Six weeks after moving, life is slowly, slowly starting to get back to a steady routine. For the past six weeks, we have had tons of visitors and house updates: Neil's parents coming up to help paint and clean and move, friends coming up to see the new house, installing air conditioning, a new furnace, new carpet, painting three rooms upstairs, de-wallpapering rooms, etc. It has been a blur of changes and non-stop work.

But things are inevitably slowing down. And fall is here. Neil and I bought our first pumpkin over the weekend. Can't wait for baked pumpkin seeds again, easily one of my favorite things about fall.

Busy weekends have meant slower weekdays, and I have finally started to catch up on reading. And television, like BSG (which I am completely addicted to), Burn Notice and Glee, my three latest obsessions.

So now, instead of spending all of my time moving and painting and organizing and unpacking... I spend all of my time reading and watching television. Really, I think it is a shift for the best. heh.

Monday, August 17, 2009


And the ones that can know you so well are the ones that can swallow you whole.

Dar Williams is amazing. One of these years, I am going to go see her at her annual trip to the Ark.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Books turned movie... it's inevitable

Ok, honestly people. I think we're past the point of being surprised or indignant when a book we love is adapted for the big screen. It's going to happen eventually.

Yes, you can be upset and angsty about. It ruins the book. It changes X detail and leaves out a huge side plot. The people who portray Edward or Ginny or the Mad Hatter are NEVER going to live up your expectations. That's because they're imagined. And our imaginations are ALWAYS better than the real thing (or the real pretend thing, in this case).

As avid readers, we all should have owned up to it long ago: real life is never as good as the book. Isn't that why we turned to reading in the first place? It could just be me. Reading is always better than the reality. But that's my life philosophy and I'm sticking to it. =P

Once you accept the following:
a) Real life is not as good as it is in the stories.
b) The stories are always better than the movie.
b.2) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is the ONLY exception to the rule.
c) Movies will always change side plots, details and sometimes major pieces of the book. Expect it to happen.

Then, then you can learn to enjoy the film adaptations for that they are: sometimes decent movies -- if you can consider them on their own as a MOVIE. More often than not, they're not very good. (Ahem, Eragon). But sometimes, if you let it, Hollywood really can still surprise you.

I finally learned to accept this sometime between high school and now. As such, I was in for a surprise with the latest Warner Bros. offering of HP: I REALLY enjoyed Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I went in with very few expectations, given how Order of the Phoenix turned out, and actually loved it.

Yes, they didn't show nearly enough of the memories Dumbledore shared with Harry of Voldemort. Yes, they left the rest of the Hogwarts kids out of the final Snape/Dumbledore battle scene. Yes, Ginny isn't nearly as fiery and cool as she is in the book. We didn't get to see Mr. Weasley in the hospital and thus learn more about Neville and his parents.

BUT, the dialogue was better than ever. Ron, Harry and Hermoine actually had funny moments. Luna was still great. Slughorn was great, Snape was awesome as usual. It was a suspenseful, good, well-shot action movie.

And now, for the first time in years, I'm excited for the next HP movie. I was a bit irritated over it being split into two films (Come on, Warner Bros: If New Line can manage to keep RotK to a 3+ hour film, you can keep HP 7 as one movie. But let's be honest: they have to milk the franchise for everything it's worth, because what else have they got going for them?)... but, at least now I am hoping it will be an ending the series deserves, just like Rowling delivered (which Stephenie Meyer did not. But I'll save the Twilight rant for next time).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I like music too much?

Ok, this is by far my favorite survey ever, so forgive me, but I'm totally doing it again:

My Life According to Snow Patrol

Are you a male or female?
Velocity Girl

Describe yourself:
If I’d Found the Right Words to Say

How do you feel:

Describe where you currently live:
An Olive Grove Facing the Sea

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
Finish Line

Your favorite form of transportation:

Your best friend is:
Last Lone Gunman/Favourite Friend

Your favorite color is:
Black and Blue/The Golden Floor

What's the weather like:
Warmer Climate

Favorite time of day:

If your life was a tv show, what would it be called:
Grazed Knees

What is life to you:
One Night Is Not Enough

Your relationships:

Your fear:
Making Enemies

What is the best advice you have to give:
Make Up

If you could change your name, you would change it to:

Thought for the Day:
It’s Beginning to Get to Me

How I would like to die:
The Last Shot Ringing in my Ears

My soul's present condition:
Perfect Little Secret

My motto:
If There’s a Rocket, Tie Me To It

I know, I know... I have too much time on my hands. Working to remedy this, promise.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Finding That Balance Again

Ok, after complaining, I am making a conscious effort to be happy about life. So, good things in life at the moment:

• I am not homeless, even if I have to push the closing date on my house back because gifts and loans are stupid (at least official ones).
• A TON of awesome amazing concerts, including... Pete Yorn
• The Decemberists
• Snow Patrol
• Ingrid Michaelson
• Paper Route and/or Regina Spektor (possibly)
• Fixing up and painting said house, once it is actually bought, with Neil
• Having a job, even if I work in the basement and share an office with my boss. heh.
• I have a tomato plant, and have successfully kept it alive for four months now. So far, it has even given me TWO tomatoes. Ahhhhmazing.
• I also have a BBMF that comes to see me at work and drop off Pop Tarts. It's pretty awesome, really.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Are Mondays Falling on a 13th Supposed to be Cursed, too?

No, really... 'cause everything that could possibly go wrong yesterday, pretty much did -- from insurance companies denying prescriptions that they have been filling for the first half of 2009 to catching pizza on fire in the oven to Chewy deciding he hates children.

Yeah, Chewy hates little people. Neil and I took the dogs for a walk yesterday, and there were these two little girls selling lemonade for .20 cents a glass. I am all for supporting the sale of lemonade, so we went over to them to buy a glass, and when one of the girls came over to hand me my glass, Chewy went nuts -- barking and growling and lunging at her... and coming VERY close to biting her.

I'm a bit devastated. Chewy has never been aggressive, really. Stupid, absolutely, aggressive, no. And I have no idea what to do to make sure he doesn't do it again, aside from making sure he isn't ever around kids. Thinking back, he has not really been around kids at all before -- but why would be stupidly friendly with adults and insanely aggressive and nervous around children?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

If you're into graphic novels...

You should check out Ultra: Seven Days. It's not exactly philosophical or uber deep or anything, but a tres enjoyable read:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Can you be maudlin and emo at the same time?

If so, that about sums out how I'm feeling at the moment.

Attempting to buy a house is stressful. Especially when you have no idea what you're doing.

I want the process to be over, already... and I still have six weeks to go. Bah.

I think going it alone just makes it that much harder. Still, I know it is the right decision. Roommate or no roommate, the responsibility of the thing is entirely on me. It's kind of scary. But, regardless of what happens, I am going to try to stick it out here for at least a few years, so I might as well stop renting. Plus, painting is fun? ...

Sometimes I wish I weren't so inconsistent about oh, everything in life. It would be nice. Sometimes. I am too emotional and easily affected by the moods of others around me. It's annoying as hell.

I just had one of the best father's day experiences that I can remember... and now I am being emo. For basically no reason. I'm pretty sure this makes me a complete pain in the ass.

And so it goes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

So... I bought a house

Yeah, I am actually investing in Michigan when everyone else is leaving and losing jobs. Well.

I've decided since I, once again, am having trouble updating this thing on a consistent basis, that I would try to use it to post house/decorating ideas. The four people I know of that read this thing are all much more knowledgeable about this sort of thing than I am, and can also match things. Both big pluses when giving a house a makeover.

And the house I bought is definitely in need of a makeover. It is entirely livable, but nearly every room is covered in horrible 1970's floral print wallpaper. The hardwood floors in one of the bedrooms is covered with ugly carpet. The kitchen and bathroom share a vinyl floor that probably wasn't a good choice even in the '60s. So, before I move in, I want to at least paint the bedrooms and get rid of the carpet.

So... as I come up with anything that comes remotely close to a design/idea possibility, I'm throwing it up.

Up first: I have this cherry oak sort of dresser, but it's normal and boring and I want to spruce it up a bit. Ignoring the price, do you like any of these knobs?[]=tags&includes[]=title[]=tags&includes[]=title

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Single Women: the Happies and the Crappies

I came across this article on CNN. While I agreed with most of it, I didn't get anything close to satisfaction for having others reaffirm the attitudes of some people. It just makes me sad.

I know too many people like this, both male and female -- most single but a few in some unhappy relationships.

You cannot expect a happy, functioning relationship to just fall in your lap. I'm sorry, it won't happen. To paraphrase one of my favorite shows ever: This isn't Disney; it's life. Contrary to popular belief, most things in life really are work. When you get married or enter a truly committed relationship, that isn't your happily ever after. There is no such thing as happily ever after because this is no "ever after." You can be happy, and I hope you are. But, it is never lasting. Relationships are never stagnant; they are fluid, constantly changing, practically every minute.

I fully believe that people can absolutely be happy on their own. But, in today's society with so many expectations for monogamy and a life partner, I think it is more challenging to be -- there are expectations to get married and find your soul mate, "the one," etc. But there is no such thing as the perfect relationship or the perfect person for you, and the sooner people accept that, the more open they are to others, the easier it becomes to find someone you are compatible with.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We have one chance to get everything right

Through Rock Band and an introduction from a friend about a year, I have really gotten into Modest Mouse. If you don't know them, check out "Little Motel" and "One Chance." I think they are pretty awesome, and have subsequently been listening to about three songs of theirs on repeat that really fit with my life right now.

The past few weeks have been crazy. Really. Moving, buying a house, lots of projects at work... always moving.

We have one chance, one little chance, to get everything right...

A long time ago, I would have really taken that line to heart. Now, I have a little more faith in second chances.

Regardless, I'm really digging Modest Mouse.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Surveys: Music

So, Neil posted this note on Facebook about 25 songs he couldn't live without. Naturally, it being Facebook and involving music, I started going through my iTunes music and picking songs to put in my top 25 songs that I could listen to over and over again... and my first pass through my collection *(only 4,000 songs, which is nothing compared to a lot of people I know), I selected 73.

And then of course I was like, wellll... the 25 I would have picked in high school would be very different than the ones I picked now, and I could pick 25 classics that I could listen to over and over again, 25 from pre 90's, another 25 from 90's on and 25 favorites for personal meaning, and 25 guilty pleasures I could listen to over and over again and.....

Favorite music is hard, for me. When I really get into something, I listen to it.... obsessively. One song from an album will stick with me, and I will listen to it on repeat for awhile before the neighboring songs are added to it and before long it is the whole album that won't come out of my car for a week or so and then I move onto the next one, and so on and so forth.

And then when I fall in love with the whole album, it is impossible to pick a favorite song that I could listen to on repeat because virtually the whole album is that way. And there are some artists where I really cannot pick between a few songs for the absolute favorite and then there are other artists where a few of the songs have such individual meaning to me I couldn't only pick one (The Beatles, Snow Patrol, John Williams, etc. etc.).

I think I would have a harder time picking top 25 songs than I would top 25 books -- too many layers to sift through in music. Books, as usual, are far less complicated and more reliable (probably because they are less often shared with others), but hey.

All right. I am sorry I don't know how to actually keep a real blog and I just ramble about stupid stuff relating too much to other people and the Internet. I will work on that. Maybe.

Friday, March 6, 2009

And I'm finally onboard with Twitter, too

OK, I'll admit it: I am on way too many social media Web sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, MyRagan, MySpace (totally joined for a work project, honest...but stayed of my own volition), Blogspot, and now Twitter.

I've made Wikis and podcasts and have fought to implement them in the workplace in a couple of positions I've had.

However, I appreciate the delicacy of the issue. I get into debates about social media in personal and professional capacities (mainly at work and with my mother), and I know that I typically argue in favor of all the different ways to "socialize" online, but I know they have their downsides, too.

I absolutely think and have seen firsthand how the use of all of these tools can improve employee engagement, involvement and connectivity at the workplace. Employees who have never seen their CEO now have the option of commenting on his or her blog, or listening a podcast from a top executive, or submitting questions that they will probably answer online... People can see their coworkers in a different, more personal light by connecting with one another on Facebook and LinkedIn and realize that the woman who always sounds so crabby and whiny in her cube across the hall has children, or something personal in her life that might just give you pause before becoming completely fed up with her again.

You get my point (I hope).

And now, with Twitter: talk about real-time news. I follow the likes of Mashable, the New York Times and NPR on TweetDeck. Suddenly, the most popular, up-do-date news is only a click away. I don't have to go to a ton of different Web sites to get different perspectives; they are all streamlined and saved right on my computer, for whenever I feel like looking it. Each Tweet includes a link to whatever article its headlining at the moment, in case I want to take a closer look.

Call it convenience, laziness or vanity, but people are responding to it. Now, I check it several times a day for news, instead of looking on the NYT's Web site and BBC.

And yes, I know there are serious downsides to being able to get literally all the information, news and culture you could ever possibly want by sitting in front of a computer screen. Kids "these days" are worse communicators. My mother complains about it constantly -- having to break up fights and shouting matches over what was posted last night on Facebook and what so and so said about whatshisface on thefatone's status. She is constantly telling me that they don't know how to socialize face-to-face anymore.

It is getting easier and easier to speak out hiding behind a virtual identity or Avatar... while we have a hard time looking each other in the eye's or standing up for ourselves in person. People have entire separate lives online. Instead of staying up reading in bed, they sit with their laptops propped on their laps, chatting with someone a floor below them.

I have mentioned this story a lot, but it is one that really resonates with me. I was an RA in college and my boss was an RD for about 13 years before I started working for her. When the school shootings at Virginia Tech happened, everyone was floored. People were glued to their TV sets, or more likely, their computers. The halls were quieter than we had heard them to be all year. No one was around, with only the muffled voices of news announcers coming through the doors.

My RD was amazed at the difference in response from 9/11 to the Virginia Tech massacre. She said that when the Twin Towers were hit, the common room of her dorm was packed. People were crowded around the TV watching together, taking comfort in one another and watching the events unfold together. Only a few years later and everyone was isolated. People were watching and paying attention, but in a completely singular, independent response. People weren't talking about it. If they were communicating about it at all, they were typing about it. There was no emotional response in roommates and hallmates. Just a bunch of people individually facing their own screens.

The onslaught of technology that computers and the Internet have brought was truly unstoppable. If you didn't jump on the speeding train, you could easily get left behind.

But it will certainly be interesting (and probably a little sad) to see what the next generation brings to the workforce. What will it be like when kids start working that have had information at their fingertips since infancy?

Interesting. Or something like it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Since I'm Super Lame and All

So, I think everyone who actually reads this thing has said it before: We don't actually like all the people we're friends with on Facebook, so I decided to transfer one of those uber-dorky note things onto my blog and respond to it on here. One, I haven't posted to it in a long time and it needs to be updated. And two, I like all of you, so here goes:


1.Who Was Your High school Prom date?
Umm. Is it bad that I am having a hard time remembering who I went to prom with over homecoming? I think I went with Kenny senior year and Mr. Caleb's nephew junior year. No, I'm not joking, sadly.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?
Sort of. Sometimes. Not really.

3. What was your FIRST job?
Papa John's pizza. Oh yes.

4. What was your FIRST car?
The beautiful 1992 VW Cabriolet, aka the Death Box. Technically, my first car was a super cute 1992 white Honda Civic that had automatic locks and EVERYTHING... but it blew up before I even got my license, I think.

5. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?
Brigit, I think.

6. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning?
Probably Oscar, as he was sleeping on me. After that, Neil, as he was next to me. =)

7. Who was your FIRST grade teacher?
Mrs. Singleton

8. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?

9. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk?
Tarin Lewis and I haven't talked to her since I went to her wedding in 2005, sadly.

10. Where was your FIRST sleep over?
Geesh. At my house, I would imagine.

11. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?

12. Whose wedding were you in for the FIRST time?
Umm. I think Mark and Lori's.

13. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?
Turned on the heater in my bathroom.

14. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to?
The Beach Boys, in the fourth grade. Really.

15. FIRST tattoo

16. FIRST piercing?

17. FIRST foreign country you've been to?

18. FIRST movie you remember seeing?
The Land Before Time... I cried at the end because I didn't want it to be over.

19. When was your FIRST detention?
My first and only detention was in 9th grade when I was late to math class because I was in a conversation with my Western Civ teacher... and the only reason I got detention was because like nine people were late and the VP happened to notice.

20. What was the FIRST state you lived in?

21. Who was your FIRST roommate?
My freshman year roommate, Amanda.

22. If you had one wish, what would it be?
For everyone to be self aware. I think it would eliminate a LOT of life's problems.

23. What is something you would learn if you had the chance?
German, for real. I want to be bilingual so badly and just cannot stick with a language long enough to actually be able to speak it fluently.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The February Thaw

February already. I have been at my job for for almost seven months now, and for the first time ever, I actually had a good day at work.

My boss was not at work, as she works from home now.

My boss is no longer my boss, but a part-time graphic designer.

I went out to lunch with co-workers and we vented about my boss who is not my boss for an hour and a half.

It was beautiful.

Then I came back to the office where I worked on a project I wanted to work on, not that someone made me do... while listening to Uh Huh Her and U2.

Uh, yeah.

Why yes Bono, it is a beautiful day (and I totally just said that even though it is 5 degrees outside and supposed to get down to -4 tonight).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it

I am going to ramble about houses and architecture. After Kat and Laura responded to my last post about how they thought my house looked nice, I thought maybe I wasn't the only one who geeked out about 100-year-old buildings and the like.

I love old houses. Really. I totally get this from my mom, but there is something really satisfying to me in living in a place that is old and has a personality and you can fix up and make you own because it needs the work. It helps to feel like you have taken ownership of a place when you have put your sweat and muscle into it.

So, I get teased a lot by my Ann Arbor friends about living in "Ypsitucky." It is the poorer city, the city that everyone goes to who can't afford Ann Arbor. It has crappier schools and the downtown is worse and it can't keep a business the way A2 can... you get the point. But I love it. So... most people don't feel safe walking around alone at night, but Ypsi has a lot to offer. There are quite a few local businesses and good restaurants here as well, they just might not look as nice. Heh.

But, anyway, I like that Ypsi is usually pretty empty and you never have to wait to eat anywhere downtown or really hunt for a parking spot. I like that there is one house between me, the library and my favorite coffee shop in the area. And I also like that the police station is a block away and the post office is only two houses away.

I live in the historic district of Ypsi. It IS a really interesting area because there is so much difference in the quality of homes from one block to the next. There are these huge, beautiful old homes from 1845 and up, followed by these squat little houses that are falling apart. It is shady and hickish and beautiful. See, and we thought New Richmond was terrible. Not so different, really. Minus the river and nicer weather.

Here are some pictures of some of my favorite houses around my neighborhood:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Winter: Snow and Dusk

Some photos of pretty things I took in an attempt to enjoy winter and the snow. It almost kind-of worked, but if nothing else, you Ohioans and others can see what my house looks like. =P Someday, I really would like to take a photography class or something so that I can actually take better photos. Or attempt to, as I have no idea what the flip I'm doing now. But anyway, here goes.

My house:

Chewy enjoying the snow:

And Lillie:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

OK, come on.

Maybe it is a bit stereotypical for me to have never given football the time of day, but in recent years, I really did try a bit harder to learn to appreciate the game. It's just not happening.

Dave managed to talk me into going to OU's football games, and I actually did enjoy myself. But not for the game (110, of course). It was because OU has an amazing marching band, I got talk and not get yelled at by someone who is trying so hard to concentrate on the big screen in front of him (honestly - you really don't have to listen to the damn commentary. If you miss it the first time around, they generally repeat themselves about three times so what is the big deal if you miss it once?), it was social and had a fun atmosphere. Someone explain to me exactly what is so fun about a game that huddles for a minute, actually does something with the ball for about four seconds, before play is stopped because someone got tackled or run out of bounds or whatever, then there is a timeout, they huddle again, and repeat the process? How is that remotely exciting?

And, the life expectancy of pro players with all of their concussions and injuries is rather depressing. How could it possibly be worth all of the abuse they put themselves through? It, unsurprisingly, has the highest injury and death rate of any sport in America. According to the Career Journal, an average professional's career lasts just under four years, not to mention long-term disability after they retire. It seems utterly senseless to me.

Maybe if I actually watched an entire game with someone who was willing to be patient with me and answer questions and with an absence of people screaming at the television every time someone actually moves the ball...

But probably not.

Friday, January 16, 2009


My car had a lot of trouble starting this morning when it was -16 outside.

I am tired of winter already. All I want to do is curl up in bed, drink tea and hot chocolate and sleep... lots.

On the bright side, I am catching up on a lot of good books, like the Thursday Next series (finally) and Slammerkin and classics that normal people read in high school, but not in New Richmond. I started reading the Historian - not very far along but it comes highly recommended and I am really liking it so far. What's not to like about Vlad the Impaler?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Marriage and Children: just like going to college

I was talking to a friend online today about serious relationships -- having to change for the other person, getting married, having children... so on. And she said, "I think girls are conditioned to expect to get married. I have always just thought of getting married and having kids as a life activity, just like going to college or having to get a job."

It really struck me. It would be interesting to see how many people in our society think that way; I think it would be a surprising many. Or maybe not surprising, but disturbing, nonetheless -- how many women out there really just assume they have to get married and want kids because that is what is expected of them?

When asked why they want to get married and have kids, the majority of my friends (that know they do, anyway) have a difficulty explaining why they want to. But so many are so certain that they do. It is certainly understandable in some aspects -- I think for a lot of women, it is a societal expectation that most never think to question because it surrounds them as an ideal from childhood. It is an expectation many parents place upon their children (in the same category of organized religion and completing your homework on time, for some). I'm not sure I would ever feel confident enough in the rightness of my decision to be able to have kids. There are too many whats ifs and worries that go along with it and my feelings on the subject change pretty frequently... but it has never been something I have always expected and it is definitely not something I have ever been sure of. To me, marriage and children aren't something that is essential or a must in any situation. It depends so much on who you are with -- who you want to build your life with -- that it would change depending on who I am in a relationship with (or has so far, anyway. eesh). Lifestyles change depending on the people you are surrounded by; how could something so lasting like having children be an absolute?

I guess I won't ever cease to be surprised at some of the things people accept unquestioningly. Maybe that is just me projecting my problems on the world, though, as I can't get through a conversation without questioning everything...

This has to be one of my more incoherent posts; I apologize. I hope some of this makes sense.