Category Archives: Uncategorized

Getting ready for my teaching debut

I’ve spent a majority of the last two days sprawled out on my living room floor and standing at my ironing board surrounded by so many four-pointed orange scraps from the 120 circles of fabric I’ve been cutting out for my craft class. I may have watched more TV in the past few days than I have in a long time. I didn’t even go outside today. Hopefully all of my cutting, ironing, pinning, and packing will pay off on Thursday when I teach a group of forty adults how to make fabric pumpkins as part of the Tustin Library Craft Guild’s free craft program. I’m super nervous. On top of that, CLA ’11 is fast approaching and I will need to save some energy for that. So last night, I tried to de-stress. I put on some Lucero and made my new favorite meal, Chickpea Picatta from Post Punk Kitchen. Tonight, I inexplicably watched a 19 Kids and Counting marathon. And that is that.

For something so beige, it was sure flavorful.

Friday Reads: A longish list

I am long overdue for one of these.

What I have read since my last post:

 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Since a few people in my book club hadn’t read it yet (and by a few people I mostly mean me), we decided to revisit it. I loved it. It was hilarious, it made me think, and has redeeming messages about the way we access information today. I’m glad I revisited it later in live, because I could only get through about 30 pages when I was 11 before getting bored to tears.

 

Mercury by Hope Larson. My friend Viet recommended this to me when we were hanging out at the public library. It’s a graphic novel about a girl named Tara who inherits a locket that once belonged to her ancestor, Josey. In the novel, Larson intertwines the mysteries and complications of Tara and Josey’s lives until Tara makes a very important discovery about her family’s past. Go read it. It was great. And it has magical realism.

 Catching Fire [The Hunger Games #2] by Suzanne Collins. My friend Ryan’s reaction to the first installment of the series was a big ol’ “meh.” But when he heard me describe the second book to my cousin in the car one day, his ears perked up. Collins amped up the intensity in just about every aspect of this novel: violence, betrayal, rumors, uprisings, punishments. So if you weren’t sold after the first novel, give the second one a try.

After Dark by Haruki Murakami. This was my first library book on my Kindle. I became intrigued after I gathered from the description of this book that Murakami feels the way I do about the hours between midnight and 6AM: there is probably something weird going on. This is a short novel about such weirdness.

 

 

What I’m reading now:

  • Heartsick by Chelsea Cain
  • Mockingjay [The Hunger Games #3] by Suzanne Collins
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (do I even need to give that much detail? Sometimes I wonder if I could just type “HP5”)
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Compassionate Diet by Arran Stephens and Eliot Jay Rosen
Links!
Author Name Pronunciation Guide with audio (you might be surprised)!
You’ve heard of Feminist Ryan Gosling, right?
If you love Maus, you’ll probably love this.

Troy Davis

On September 21, 2011, Troy Davis is scheduled to die, even though much doubt remains about whether he killed a Savannah, Georgia police officer in 1989.

Image via the Atlanta Post

I am staunchly opposed to the death penalty. For one thing, two wrongs make one more wrong than is necessary. It is stooping to their level in a barbaric manner. Secondly, the risk of innocent people falling through the cracks is too great. That is a mistake I’d wish on nobody.

Davis’ final clemency hearing is scheduled for September 16 (my stomach is already churning). In the meantime, you can sign a petition here.

Ryan Adams – New York, New York

Where I was 10 years ago

I was a freshman at Foothill High School in Tustin, California. During the exact moments it was happening, I was getting ready for my second day of school. I wasn’t watching TV or listening to the news at all. Neither was my mom, whose morning routine consisted of an hour of stressful running around and grabbing things while trying to apply her mascara. When I found out about what happened, I was walking into my painting class. My teacher was Mr. Gillette. Both of the ancient TVs were on with their usual terrible picture quality, but instead of showing the daily announcements, they were on a news channel showing footage of the towers falling.

“What’s going on?” I asked a junior named Erica who had been friendly to me on my first day even though I was wearing a heinously dorky outfit (which was kind of awesome in retrospect). “The World Trade Center just fell,” she said, kind of nonchalantly. I don’t think she meant to sound so nonchalant. Amid the din of the classroom and the chaos of what had just happened I think we were all having a hard time piecing it all together. “What do you mean, ‘fell?'” I asked. “I don’t know,” she replied, kind of nervously. Mr. Gillette looked kind of angry, or so I thought at the time. On the first day of school, I accidentally walked in on one of his classes because I had my schedule confused and he kind of grumped out at me. OK, I thought. Keep your head down. And I did until I got home later that day and watched the news. In those hours between, I faintly remember thinking the city was demolishing the building systematically (for construction purposes). None of my teachers mentioned it, probably with the intent to stay on track and remain in control. I didn’t really have friends to talk to about it at that point, having come from a tiny private school and probably also because of my proclivity for wearing overalls with holes in the knees. I was isolated. This was before the time of smart phones. Even flip phones.

Needless to say, I experienced a delayed reaction, which has always been disconcerting to me. Maybe it’s guilt, or feeling like once again I failed to connect with my classmates over something, especially something this big. But one thing’s for sure, that feeling is nothing compared to those felt by the people who were directly affected by what happened.

I’ve been listening to stories about kids who lost their parent(s) in kindergarten, who are 15 years old today. I can only imagine having to spend all those very formative years with that event looming over you so closely.

I’m back

I’m back. I’ve been back for about a week but in hiding. More on that later. While I was in Seattle, I:

  • turned 24. I still feel like I’m 18. Except when I feel like I’m 35.
  • went wine tasting
  • went to Redhook Ale Brewery (lots of sipping on this trip)
  • got a Kindle for my birthday (yeah!)
  • ate lots of fruit from the farmer’s market in Yakima
  • was caught by surprise every time somebody called coke/soda “pop”*
  • went fabric shopping with my quilter-extraordinaire Aunt Ginger
  • hung out with a rooster
  • taught Aunt Ginger how to crochet
  • cut out the fabric for an apron

When I returned, I caught a cold. I decided to go out with friends to the Orange International Street Fair anyway. Then I went to book club to discuss Howl’s Moving Castle. Then my cold got worse. I’ve been trying to take it easy and somehow blogging slipped away from me. But I’m back!

HELLO

*I say “coke” 80% of the time (I lived in Texas as kid). Unless I’m getting a Dr. Pepper, y’all.

Bad to Good

This weekend started off pretty terribly. I was in a funk on Thursday and couldn’t get myself out. On Friday, things seemed to be improving only slightly. But after eating some Jalapenos potato tacos with a friend and shrimp louis salad with my grandma (I did a lot of eating this weekend), my world was right-side-up again.

It also helped that these guys came in the mail:

On Saturday morning I drove down to Corona Del Mar for a bonfire. I got there at 10 only to find that all of the firepits were taken. So I read my Bill Bryson book for an hour while I waited for Ryan to show up and also to see if a pit would miraculously open up for us. Nothing. We gave up, drove back to Tustin, and went to Tustin Brewing Co. before meeting with more friends for a BBQ to take place of the bonfire. I dined on sausageless Italian sausage from Trader Joe’s and tried many beers that we all got at Total Wine before the BBQ:

After all of that excitement, I needed to relax on Sunday. Instead, I went to the gym in the morning, cleaned my bathroom, and helped my mom pick out a new pair of glasses. THEN I relaxed: read lots of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, watched the sunset from my porch, and listened to music. Super perfect Sunday evening.

Improvising

Today didn’t go exactly as planned. Let’s examine, 500 Days of Summer style.

Another photo from Saturday since today was uneventful. My friend Young would make such a good blogger. He took photos of everything he ate. I did not.

Expectation: Arrive at work early. Sit at desk, plug in earbuds, watch Lynda.com tutorials for the software I’m learning for my internship. Get inspired. Write.

Reality: Arrive at work early. Notice other interns have nabbed all computers available. Employees stare at me, probably wondering what I’m doing standing in the hallway. Engineer leads me to an empty cubicle. Decide to leave and work from home/somewhere with free wifi.

Expectation: Arrive at home and get super productive!

Reality: Let’s just say that I am surprised I ever got my degree through a distance education program by working from home. Next time, library.

Expectation: Go to dentist appointment at 4 PM. Come home, traumatized, nauseous, zone out in front of a screen of some type.

Reality: Go to dentist. Get along super well with hygienist. Come home, put on gym clothes. Go to gym. Come back home, sign up for Lynda.com, write this blog post.

Things I loved today:

+ my outfit + finishing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets + getting a compliment on my nail color + taking a nap + a grilled ham and cheese sandwich + sunshine + Buddy Holly – “Rave On” + feeling productive RIGHT NOW. See ya!

Happy

This has been on my mind the past couple of weeks: when I was a sophomore in college, my Interpersonal Communication professor veered from his lecture to teach our class a simple and powerful life lesson that has stuck with me for years: “Other people can’t make you happy. Only you can make you happy.”

Take this to heart. Make your own happiness, or it will be much harder to turn your life around when you are unhappy.

Today I loved:

+ waking up early again + reassuring discussions with my internship supervisor + sprouted wheat and raisin rolls with cream cheese + extra coffee (now I know why IT people love it so much) + reading and eavesdropping at my favorite coffee place + pear ginger iced tea + almost being done with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets + summer nights on my patio with wine + “Wreckage” – Jolie Holland + rose colored fingernails

What’s really happening

Good to see you again. I’m popping in here, hoping that writing this blog post will get my brain juices flowing so I can finish a proposal for my internship supervisor. Someday I hope to stop just “popping in” here. I really want to get into the habit of writing about things as they happen. Meantime, here are some updates.

1. I switched from LibraryThing to Goodreads. I feel kinda bad about it. It seems that LibraryThing is a bigger advocate of actual libraries, and I liked that the site had an organic, home-grown feel to it. But more of my friends are on Goodreads, and I really enjoy seeing what my friends are reading. So if you’re on Goodreads, don’t be a stranger!

2. I went to my first ever book club meeting. This book club is comprised of librarians and library school students in Orange County. Each month we vote on a different genre and book. August’s genre is biography and we’re reading The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington by Jennet Conant. Apparently Roald Dahl was kind of a mischievous bastard. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m having a hard time getting into this one, though.

3. I finished The Hunger Games (book #1). I wasn’t totally obsessed with it, but I really enjoyed it and I’m eager to read Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Also, my new mantra is “what would Katniss do?” Before I read the next two, though, I’m trying to read through the Harry Potter series. I only read the first four books as they came out…that was a long time ago. I don’t understand many Harry Potter references as I haven’t seen the movies either (well, that’s not true. I’ve seen #1 once, a long time ago). So with all this hype about HP7.2 I’m extra tired of being left out!

Peach cobbler

4. My peach cobbler recipe is up at The League of Evil Baking Librarians.

5. I joined Spotify. I’m making a monstrous summer-themed playlist and subscribing to my friends’ awesome playlists. This is the only cloud-based music player I’ve used so I don’t have much to which I can compare, but so far I really like it. Sharing music with friends (especially if you link your account to Facebook) is super easy, and that seems to be making up for the lack of discovery-related features.

6. I went on a short trip to Lone Pine, CA for Father’s day with my mom and dad. Lone Pine is this little town off the 395 that everybody passes through coming from SoCal to Mammoth. I’d never stayed there longer than a few hours, so it was interesting to see what goes on there throughout the course of the day. We ate breakfast at Alabama Hills Cafe, played 9 holes of golf at Mt. Whitney Golf Club, drank beers and read in the shade next to a creek, drove around the Alabama Hills (of which I am still astonished), ate Chinese food and called it a night (I get my earlybirdedness from my parents). Unfortunately, I was kind of in a funk through the whole trip. Going up to Mammoth/anywhere in between tends to get me really down for some reason. I’m trying to correct that…I hope to make GOOD memories there again someday.

7. I sewed a skirt.

8. Some SJSU SLIS friends and I did the Munchathon in Oak Canyon Park out by Irvine Lake. We walked the 5k course and ate at some gourmet food trucks afterward.

9. I made the tough decision to quit volunteering at the Orange County Public Libraries Irvine Heritage Park branch. I have fond memories of that place. They were my foot-in-the-door to the library world, and for that I am incredibly grateful. I just felt that it was time to move on to new adventures. So here’s to letting go and moving forward…

I think that should cover it…see you again soon!