A peaceful moment from my trip to New Orleans last week.
I don’t know what it is lately. It could be the move back to Texas. It could be the oppressive heat that follows me everywhere, including my central air-less apartment. Maybe it’s the stress of putting together a new apartment, dealing with utility set-up (I STILL don’t have gas after living here for two weeks. Whyyyy.), or trying to scratch and claw my way into the classes I need this year.
Whatever the reason, I have been feeling 100% uninspired. Instead of reading and doing interesting things, I’ve been staring at ceiling fans and drinking ungodly amounts of diet soda. And, believe it or not, I don’t really feel like writing about that for this blog.
So what is one to do? I debated whether I should force myself to write something, anything, to keep it going, but then found that too tiring. I can’t say goodbye to this space forever, as I still do enjoy writing, and goodness knows I need a hobby that has nothing to do with school or work. And I’ve loved getting to know so many of you! This blog has brought so much good, that shutting it down feels too dramatic and sad.
I’m going to slow it down. I’m not sure how slow yet. I’m going to do what feels right, when it feels right. Hopefully this translates into a couple posts a week, but I’m going to have to feel that out.
Thank you for your patience with me right now. Things are a bit goofy and blah right now, but give me a chance and I’ll do my best to bounce back.
This is the awesome clipboard my mom bought me as a going back to school present. Thanks, Mom! You get me!
This is very short and sweet, as I haven’t had much time to be around the Internet this week. Instead, I’ve been in New Orleans at a conference. I should be networking, but instead I spend most of my time stuffing my face with gumbo, po boys, and biscuits. Yep.
I also spend a lot of time meeting New Orleanians and their dogs. This is a super friendly city, with the pups to match!
Hope you are all enjoying your week as much as I am!
What I learned:
I already kind of knew this, but hearing people in New Orleans speak with a weird Brooklyn-ish accent blows my mind. It’s called Yat, coming from “Where you at?” which is a greeting…not a rude, pushy question. The wiki page is fascinating, and is a great demonstration of how diverse New Orleans is.
Blueberry almond French toast casserole?! um yes.
As I have just finished most of my very long summer road trip (still have to drive back to Austin from New Orleans, but that’s nothing compared to the rest of it!), I figured I’d share some of my favorite driving jams. There’s really nothing like screaming out the words to a great song after you’ve been driving through West Texas hour…after hour…after hour.
Still on an Edward Sharpe high after the concert. Although pretty much any of their songs are perfect road trip songs, this one is my current favorite:
Because every road trip needs a bit of Dolly:
Graceland…the ultimate road trip album. It’s hard to pick just one track, but I think the title track is perfect:
A song from Kacey Musgraves, my obsession of the year. And it’s about RVing! What is more road trippy than that?!
And because I promise I don’t only listen to country, a bit of old school hip hop:
LET ME CLEAR MY THROAT
Now all the ladies in the place
If you got real hair, real fingernails
If you got a job, you going to school
And y’all need nobody to help you handle your business
Make some noise!!!!!!
And because my destination was Louisiana, how about some bouncy, ridiculous Dirty South music from True Blood? Yesssssss.
What are your favorite road trip songs? Anything that melds the world of hip hop and country together? That would be THE BEST!
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
After the last Newbery Medal book I read almost killed me, I figured I needed to take it easy by reading a much more recent winner. Dead End in Norvelt won the medal in 2012, so I figured I was safe.
The book is autobiographical, telling the story of Jack Gantos when he was a kid in Norvelt, a town that is being slowly dismantled in the 1950′s. After getting in trouble for shooting his dad’s rifle, Jack is grounded for the summer, though he is let out to help his elderly neighbor lady write surprisingly political obituaries for all the old folks…who seem to be dropping like flies.
This book is part murder mystery, part historical fiction, part classic adventure, part comedy. More than anything else, it’s a reminder to not let the past completely fade away.
To me, the book felt a bit all over the place, but it was quick moving and certainly enjoyable. The narrator has a very true voice (and a very BOY voice. I have a feeling this book does really well with young male readers). I don’t know if I would choose it as the best of the year (though I didn’t read the other nominees, so that’s a statement without any real grounding), but it’s definitely fun.
Time to head back to Texas! WHAT HOW DID THE SUMMER GO SO QUICKLY?!
I have no idea.
I’m actually driving all the way to New Orleans for an archivists conference. I mean, it totally makes senese to have an archivists conference in a massive party city. Archivists are crazy party animals! We just party differently than the rest of you…quietly and without meeting each other’s eyes (JK, archivists, JK).
So, it’s time once again to load up my phone with podcasts, stuff the back of the car with all my belongings and buy healthy snacks that I will undoubtedly ignore and eat gas station food instead.
To answer all the questions I’ve been asked about this over the past couple weeks:
Yes, I’m doing this alone. Really. No, I’m not worried. No, I won’t be lonely. It’s really not a big deal. Really.
Anyway, goodbye to cool, perfect weather, ridiculously golden evening light and beautiful mountains. Hello to non-stop heat and horribly dull, flat landscapes, but also hello to Texan accents, breakfast tacos and very pretty lakes. And, of course, hello to my insane school/work/not having much of a life schedule.
You guys ready for grad school year 2?! LET’S DO THIS!
My internship is over, so it’s now time to wrap up all the loose ends here in California before heading back to Texas. I’m soaking in the cool weather, the mountains and the friends before starting the never ending drive through the desert. Siiiiigh. Hope you all have fantastic weekend plans!
What I Learned
- One of the reasons Hollywood became Hollywood was the variety of landscapes in California. I knew that, but I had no idea that Paramount Studios actually drew a California map showing which regions of California could stand in for other places. Apparently, I grew up in the Africa area of California. Would never have guessed.
- You can now buy H&M’s home goods online! They have some very cute, very cheap duvet covers that I have my eye on…
- There is a fantastic tool, Rentometer, where you can see if you’re paying a reasonable rent for your neighborhood. So helpful for renters like me! Apparently, I was getting the deal of a lifetime in my old LA neighborhood. I guess that’s what happens when you live in a falling down building in an awesome neighborhood.
- I am obsessively stalking the Austin Craigslist, trying to find cheap, cute furniture for my new apartment…even though I’m not there yet to pick up the pieces. Yeah. Pointless. But this blog post has some great Craigslist tips for anyone else who is hoping to use it to buy furniture.
- I would love to have a fiddle leaf fig in my new apartment, but I’m not sure I’ll have enough light to keep one alive. So beautiful, though!
- Minimalist Macintosh computer illustrations for Mac nerds like myself. My family had an awful lot of those through the years…
- Brittany had sex every day for a year to get over her body issues, and then wrote about it. Damn. Lady is brave!
- And, some of the best advice on how to be a good partner I’ve ever read. My favorite? “Don’t be a dick.” So simple, so true. And also, I think I follow most of these…and I’m single. Gentlemen…..?
- Apparently a bunch of now celebs auditioned for roles on The Office back in 2003 . Eric Stonestreet as Kevin? I buy it.
- I’m obsessed with Matilda, the smush faced cat. Look at her funny face! Just look!
- Toasted coconut popcorn? YES YES YES YES YES.
- Help Ink sells adorable t-shirts and prints, and some of the proceeds go to charity. Awesome all around.