Archive for March, 2009

March 31, 2009

back in the saddle

My Sunday without internet lent itself to a great deal of thinking.

This must be what it feels like to quit smoking. Only I don’t feel like garbage.

I sure do a lot of cleaning when I don’t have a single thing else to do.

Eulogy is a downright weird movie.

Well, if I can’t sit around and watch Mad Men on my laptop, I can thrust it upon my smaller sister, getting her addicted, and I can sit down and watch for a minute while I read! I’m sooooo smart.

Sally’s Salon! Where have you been all my life??!?!

I don’t even need the internet to know that everyone on Facebook and Twitter are probably freaking the eff out about the snow outside.

Wow, I read a whole book today! And watched that weird movie,  True Life: I’m Giving My Baby Up For Adoption, cleaned my room, made homemade biscuits and a flipping omelet for breakfast, went to the gym…. I’m a rockstar!

And I thought about writing. I thought about how fun it is. And how much I miss having a project on the backburner of my brain.

You know. Something else fun to think about when I’m not blocking out my brain waves with the internet.

Feeling like less and less of an expert as the days pass, I don’t feel like I can really wax poetic about the Novelling Life any longer. When I sat down to write last night, I could feel my lack of practice. Like getting on a bike after ten years. Or trying to run a mile when you’ve barely lifted your butt from the seat for months. Speaking of, guess who ran five consecutive minutes on the treadmill yesterday? THIS GIRL!

Anyway… just like I expected, the blank Word doc last night was scary. I couldn’t think of a damned thing to write about. What DO people write stories about? And why don’t I have any ideas? A lot of writers I know say they have more ideas for stories than hours in the day. I know what that feeling is, I’ve had it before, the bursting creativity, but to me it’s just a Feeling, not a Way of Life. Out of practice, my mind grinds to a halt when I ask it to just focus, focus for an hour… thirty minutes… heck, FIVE minutes and try to think of something that people might like to read.

I wrote something, a few paragraph about a girl who is a chronic loser of best friends. It’s stupid. It’s derivative of everything I’ve ever written, which is a bad thing to be derivative of.

Why don’t I just write something I’ve already written.

From

So, just like I imagined the day before, I was sitting in my new chair, mellow music, a juice-glass half full of cabernet Oh, red wine, how I love that kick in the ass with every sip, writing. Revisiting my most recently completed novel, characters, four sisters I am familiar with, and without ever once referring to their original word document, I rewrote what I could remember, figuring if I couldn’t remember it it wasn’t that important, and I was fiddling with third person again, wondering if it’s something that would add to my story, or detract, but trying it anyway. A few paragraphs, which is nothing, I know, but that’s the nice thing about a fresh start – every small effort feels like I’ve scaled a mountain.

I wrote until I got too sleepy

and when I woke up, I even thought about squeezing in a few minutes before work

Because it might be fun!

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March 28, 2009

good night, computer

I’m concerned with the amount of time I spend in the company of the interwebs.

See:

* Eye strain headaches

* Minutes that turn into hours, even when none of my usual enetertainments are currently entertaining

* Being bored on the computer for the last thirty minutes of work, only to hop into my car, speed home (cruise on 74 mph) so I can come home, take off my work pants (ahhhhh sweet jammies) and then

sit in front of my computer?

Ideally, I’d like to have daily Computer Time – and otherwise disconnect on an average day. But that’s hard for Ms. Part Time Worker with one schedule on M’s and W’s, another on T’s, and another on R’s and F’s. And a hard habit to build for a gal who yes, sits in front of a computer for a goodly portion of her work day.

So my next best choice?

Computer free Sundays.

Ideally, the laptop will stay SHUT, but the following exceptions shall be allowed:

*Modest amount of Sims 2 time (on the *other* computer)

*TV/Music if my activities see fit (see: CLEANING)

*My bedtime episode of Mad Men. I’m not convinced I need to give up that electronic habit.

So goodnight, computer. Not that anyone is reading this because I think Sunday blogging holidays are typical… all the more reason to sit out the last day of the week.

Maybe on Monday about all the wacky things I had to do to entertain myself. Playing video games?? Reading words on paper?!? Making corn husk dolls???!?!?>

March 27, 2009

Wistful Collegiate Memories, Part I

I think enough time has passed that I’m allowed to begin canonizing my college years.

Ahhhh, those were the days of my life.

Okay, so maybe not exactly, but I’m starting to crave some of those delicious pasttimes only allowed to those degree-seekers between the ages of 18 and 22.

Today I woke up before the sun decided to rise, drove to work half asleep, sat through a 2 hour staff meeting and for some reason I am physically unable to sit in a staff meeting and mind my own business. I cause trouble. I ask hard questions and have a tendency to debate. I also leave staff meetings feeling like nobody should ever invite me in because I just make everyone miserable and stress myself out in the process.

The kind of morning that makes you want to round up your friends, locate a small inflatable raft for your cooler, and spend the afternoon in an inner tube.

Photo cred: photine

Good company.

Maybe a tan, if you are so inclined.

Games of the personality revealing type.

(Never Have I Ever, Ten Fingers, Would You Rather, etc)

And a hefty dose of a local cocktail,

one I like to call

PBRiverWater.


I’ll let you figure out how to mix that one up.

And when you reach the end of the trip, you’ve completely obliterated your obligations for the rest of the evening

because nothing can beat the intense relaxation

that accompanies a 4:00-in-the-afternoon-sun-soaked-beer-buzz.

March 26, 2009

slow reading

It’s a slow book month this March.

Other than In Defense of Food, nothing’s really grabbing me and insisting that I pay attention. At best, I’ll read while I eat, or at the gym, or while I’m waiting for something. At worst, I’m forcing myself to flip pages.

Humph.

I read Prom for probably the 3rd or 4th time, trying to read for interesting writerly bits. I think I enjoy this book more on audio – it just reads well aloud with a good voice actress. Also – trying to read LHA for writerly expertise is like studying a wall to figure out how it stands up. It just DOES. And it’s such a great wall, you don’t want to start pulling bricks out just to figure out how they fit together!

Speaking of Better On Audio – The Princess Diaries as read by one of my many girl-crushes, Anne Hathaway? Yes, yes YES. This book is a lot more charming than I recalled. Definitely worth a second try.

My boss has been pushing this book since I first arrived at this lovely library, so I really felt it my obligation, as her faithful employee, to give it a shot. I assumed it was going to Knock Me Out Of My Socks. It did not. But I found it a pleasant read, if not awe inspiring. It’s my opinion that a lot of Adult Type People like it because of the English teacher, who is this archetypal Tough-As-Nails-But-Really-Loves-Education kind of character… but I found her to be… um… undesirable. FYI, in my book, a teacher that forces you to read and therefore eventually appreciate Shakespeare is not your friend.

Last month’s Graphic Novel that I forgot to read in February. Features comic shorts from lots of different artists, all featuring a slice-of-life story from the dreaded Middle School. The first time I’ve read a Graphic Short Story and it was a little off-putting – like 90% of short stories, the endings just ENDED, leaving you to tie together the strings of the story. I wished the art was a little more visually pleasing, but other than that, it’s worth a read.

Got this book for Christmas a few years back. Thought it was going to be a great match – I am a person who loves books AND a person who wants to write them! Of course I would like to know how to Read Like A Writer, especially since I am trying to cultivate a Book Study Habit.

That being said, the title is somewhat misleading. Or maybe I just don’t want to be led in Ms. Prose’s particular direction.

If I were to name this book, it would be How To Do Close Reading, as is useful for Writing English Papers in College.

I’m sure reading classics and such will indeed help your writing. But this is not a How To book – this is a Let’s Read Some Excerpts of Books That Do A Good Job Of Certain Things.

Fun, but D-E-N-S-E, and not precisely what I’d call helpful for my particular needs.

A creepy fairy tale. Not sure whether I liked Book or Movie more. What do you think?

Typical Jodi Picoult – twisty plots, multiple narrators,legal drama, medical maladies, and characters SO realistic and off-type they are almost unrealistic. This one is about a death row prisoner who is performing miracles behind bars, the young Catholic priest who serves as his spiritual adviser (who also just happened to cast the last vote in a hung jury that sentenced his advisee to death), the mother of the prisoner’s victims, whose surviving daughter is going to die from a congenital heart defect unless she gets a transplant, and the ACLU lawyer who is challenging the prisoner’s lethal injection so he can die and donate his heart to said child.

Enough said.

Out of all the aforementioned books, I think I liked this one the most.

Even though it broke my heart juuuuust a little.

March 24, 2009

motivation. inspiration. appreciation.

Still deciding if this malaise of mine is

A) Physical does this tickle in my throat mean something viral this way comes?

B) Mental stress – motivation = sad panda

or

C) Chemical switching certain medications has been known to induce a bout of the crazies, ya know

Yesterday I thought for sure I was getting sick. This morning I woke up perky and just… bored, so I thought mental. But on my way to work, I felt like a a truck ran over me – sickkkkk. BUT THEN, I scrounged around my desk space and found enough change to buy a Rockstar, and a few hours later I surprised myself to see that I was alert and alive! All in my head?

Or C)?

In regards to a comment made in my previous entry…

I don’t get excited by a lot of things lately. Everything is so tinged with worry that even the fun stuff turns into a burden. I’m going on some fun trips, but I’m already strapped for cash. I was geeked for grad school, but now I’m anxious about accruing debt and living far from home. I’m more than ready to move in with my main man, but I’m worried about cohabitation without marriage. I look forward to starting my career with a REAL job, but it’s not what I dream of. I don’t fall asleep at night dreaming of the day I have a librarian’s job. Don’t get me wrong – I’m quite passionate about my chosen profession – but I’m also passionate about things that don’t happen between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m, and am worried about how I will fit it all together. If I can physically craft the future I want, and if I can’t, should I really be investing 50 grand into this degree?

Do I want to be the Career Girl?

The Ambitious, Pulled Together Girl?

The Laid Back, Friendly Girl?

The Stay at Home Mommy Girl?

Doubts. Worries. Confusion.

So often, I look to the internet for guidance. For solace. And often, when the troubles of my day become so much my eyes start to cross, I look to NieNie.

Her blog affects me. Always has.

It shows that even in the worst of situations, good can grow.

And inspires me to glean the best of my life instead of dwelling on the worst.

hilariously retro halloween costumes

those perfect sentences, the ones that stick in your head for years…

simple dreams coming true

dave matthews

the best of your childhood

the power to change your world, or just your walls

And that’s just one month.

Dipping into the Nielson’s world just makes me feel better.

Makes me feel like whatever kind of girl I decide to be, I will always live in a beautiful world.

March 23, 2009

some things about me

This morning, I sat in the McDonalds in Lapeer with an Egg McMuffin and Lance. We watched the last episode of the fourth season of LOST.

I wish I was still doing that.

I think the following statement is probably true: “If you are 16, you probably either like Miley Cyrus, self-mutilation, or John Green.” – Mark Bazer

I’d rather like to write for those teens in the last group.

Wintergirls is out and I don’t have a copy because I chose to be frugal and let the library buy me a copy for my birthday.

I’m kind of okay with that. Books about eating disorders stir up some rough stuff inside my head.

I’ll tell you the rest of the cool stuff I ate today:

Diet Coke

Vermont Cheddar Wheat Thins

Chips and french onion dip

Homemade Brownies

Naan

Breakfast for Supper

It’s possible I could be getting sick. Although impending illness and laziness are easily confused.

Another day has passed and I still have not heard from my top two schools.

I am excited for this:

But I am still worried about the $$$$.

As well as the rest of my life.

I guess I just don’t know what kind of girl I want to be.

March 19, 2009

friday five. oh wait, it’s thursday

one.

I finally got around to updating my Latest Obsessions. Check ’em on out. I mean, I’m fairly obsessed, so they’ve got to be pretty good, right?

two.

I am reading a book, that I won’t go out and NAME…. but it may have recently won a major young adult award, and I am decidedly not liking it. In fact, the only reason I am hanging on to it is because it won said award, and therefore something amazing is surely going to jump out and impress me. Right? As of yet, though, I have little emotional attachment to the characters – I can’t even tell which ones are which really – the premise is weird (a turf war? huh?) and… well… I’m just not loving it.

Normally I don’t blog about books I don’t like, but this has to be said:

Frankie, you got robbed.

And also, I hope they make a movie out of you.

Just sayin’.

three.

Boyfriend: Are you going to bed now, too?

Me: Eh, I’m not too tired.

Boyfriend: Then what will you do?

Me: I guess I have this movie to watch. Well, it’s a low budget Christian propaganda film, starring Kirk Cameron.

Boyfriend: Interesting.

Me: I don’t really know why I want to watch it. It’s about how to save your marriage…. I don’t even have a marriage.

Boyfriend: Well when you do, I bet you’ll be good at it.

four.

I am shamefully addicted to this website. It’s a place mainly where people log their acceptances or rejections to various graduate programs. Even though there are less than a dozen results pertaining to Lib Sci (including my 2), I still like to check it every few hours.

Shut up. Leave me alone.

five.

Remember my whining about not having enough money to pay for crap this week?

My mother pre-paid for my haircut without my knowlege.

Oh, I love my mommy.

And yes, I also got a white-washed facial treatment.

Don’t be jealous.


March 18, 2009

hypothetical architectural structures and me

I am dreaming of a balcony.

It doesn’t have to be grandiose – just big enough for a pair of chairs, some plants, and one of those baby charcoal grills.

In the mornings, I could take my breakfast and my book outside with me. A cup of coffee. Imaginary balcony is so magical, imaginary me actually enjoys drip coffee.

If I’m having a friend or two over, we can grill up hot dogs and hamburgers, or those little minute-steak+carrot+potato meals wrapped up in foil. Make potato salad and drink beer. After the guests leave, we could sit outside on our balcony, toasting marshmallows on forks until it gets too cold and dark and night.

When I need to cook, and the recipe calls for something like “Two handfuls of Fresh Parsley,” instead of dousing my dish with shake after shake of the dried stuff, I’ll just step outside.

I could grow some flowers too, in pots. Something colorful. I could learn how to be a nurturing Plant Mommy instead of the neglectful Plant Killer I am now.

It would be the ideal place to escape, like at a crowded party when you open a door and find yourself outside, gratefully conversing with those who smoke.

Or maybe an outdoor musician.

I could sing on my balcony.

My imaginary cat would also enjoy my imaginary balcony.

March 17, 2009

comfort by numbers

I am worried about money.

In fact, I basically flipped out on my nearest-and-dearest boyfriend about our impending vacation because… well… I might have overbooked myself.

I don’t have a problem overbooking my time. I do it all the time! Busy-ness is always temporary. You push through it and get over it and you’re done.

When you overbook your bank account, you cry while you write check after check and then you’re in debt.

So I cried this weekend about my diminishing financial stability.

But things have their way of occasionally working out in my favor.

Occasionally.

I am worried about paying for our trip to DC/NYC/Generally East Coastin’.

And I find out that my dear friend Frank is opening his apartment unto us for an extra few days, dramatically cutting down on the room and board aspect of our travels.

I am worried about paying for all this stuff – [Haircut. Train ticket to Chicago in May. Plane ticket to San Antonio in June] – before my next paycheck.

And I find out that Uncle Sam is giving me 600 big ones this year, and that they will be deposited into my account on Thursday.

I am worried about depleting my accounts before I have to make The Big Move in August.

And I find out that my dear-darling-boyfriend’s dear-darling-Mother is planning on helping her two grown children move out of her house. Helping by providing a few months rent, and perhaps some moving expenses.

I am worried that every.single.penny. that leaves my wallet will completely bankrupt me.

And I remember that I have savings. I don’t have debt. I’m getting 7 more hours a week starting in May.  I have parents and grandparents who will help me if I truly need it.

And that I might be overbooking myself,

but the money’s going to take me some places that I would really like to go

to spend some quality time with the people I love,

see the ones that I miss so dearly,

and there will be enough left for my future.

All this overbooking? It’s not wasted money at all.

March 14, 2009

miss grumpy pants

The past two days I have been BEYOND grumpy.

Surly? That’s a good word.

Angry.

Frustrated.

Banging my head against the wall.

Putting myself to bed at 11:00 p.m. sharp because I can’t bear to be awake anymore.

These things helped:

1) Getting a free yardstick at the Women’s Expo

2) Using my iTunes card to buy the Rachel Getting Married soundtrack

3) This picture

via Cup of Jo, via Now Voyager

And now I’m off to the gym (Day #5 this week!!!!!!) and then up to EL to use a buy one get one coupon for Ruby Tuesdays and let my boy cheer me up