Graduated!

22 May

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What have I been up to over the past couple weeks? Oh I don’t know…just becoming a MASTER!

I can hardly believe that it was two years ago that I uprooted my stable LA life and moved half way across the US. It definitely wasn’t easy. Life advice: quitting a job, going through a sad break-up, moving and starting a new school program all at once WILL make you lose your mind for at least three months. You have been warned.

Celebrating my graduation with a short trip to Louisiana and then a weekend with my parents was fantastic, but now it’s time to look to the next steps. I can’t go into details at the moment as everything is still very much in the air, but being at a point in which your life could go in very unexpected ways is terrifying/exciting. Who knows where I’ll be in a month…but at least for the next couple weeks I know that there will be margaritas, swimming and time to read for fun. That sounds pretty nice.

 

Friday Fun Day – 5/9/2014

9 May

 

This pug had way too much Cinco de Mayo.

This pug had way too much Cinco de Mayo.

What I Learned

Links

Aren’t you supposed to be less busy now?

6 May

 

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Is there anything more grad school than a good old poster session? I don’t think so. This poster session was my last official grad school event…and don’t I look happy!

I thought that I’d be free and easy after classes ended. I don’t have a thesis to finish, all my papers are written, and even that last pesky group project was wrapped up today.

But nope! I seem to be up to my neck in work hours, job related meetings, and big life stuff. It doesn’t help that a friend and I decided to take an impromptu road trip to Louisiana this weekend. So, apologies for the light posting. Hopefully things settle into a more consistent pattern soon…fingers crossed!

Friday Fun Day – 5/2/2014

2 May
A very mis-matched dinner I had with a friend of mine the other night.

A very mis-matched dinner I had with a friend of mine the other night.

Grad school is almost over! For reals! I have one more big thing (and two little ones), and then it’s all in the past! Now I just need to figure out the next steps…But before all that, I’m going to enjoy the moment! And some drinks! And a Kanye glow in the dark sing-along! Woooo!

What I Learned

Links

  • I made these double chocolate chip cookies for class this week, and they were a HUGE hit. Honestly, this may be the best cookie recipe in my repertoire now. So easy, and perfectly puffy!
  • Tiny hamsters eating tiny burritos. BECAUSE YES. (Thanks, Becky/Sam!)
  • I have seen the UT quidditch team practice a few times, and I’m always a bit baffled by it. Here’s an inside view from a college student who plays that’ll hopefully help me what’s going on next time.
  • I really need to read BJ Novak’s book.
  • British Pathé put all of their newsreels on YouTube, which is such an amazing timesuck. I love this collection of reels about teenagers. My favorite? The propaganda film for a “harvest holiday,” where teens pick potatoes in Scotland. SO MUCH FUN!
  • Homer? Is that you?
  • “Japanese fans deem the new Godzilla too fat, in continued sizeism toward giant monsters.” I laughed.

Book Review: These is my Words by Nancy E. Tucker

30 Apr

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These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901, Arizona Territories by Nancy E. Turner

Why do I own this book? Did I buy it because I’ve been trying to read more Westerns while living in Texas? Did it get recommended to me? It is currently getting a 4.37 score on Goodreads with more than 36,000 ratings (!!!). Maybe I heard about it there? I have no idea, and yet it’s been sitting on my bookshelves for the past year.

Written as a diary, this book details Sarah’s life as a pioneer in Arizona. Not only does she detail the day-to-day drudgery of the life, but she also matter of factly (sometimes too matter of factly) tells of  Comanche raids, stagecoach robberies, murders and attempted rapes. And, of course, there’s a love story.

I gotta say, I don’t understand the general Goodreads adoration of this book. It’s fine. It goes quickly. There’s always lots of general pioneer-y stuff happening. But does it really grip you? Well, it certainly didn’t with me. I find Sarah to be just a shade too unlikeable to really enjoy being in her head. The love story is aggravating as it seems so unnecessary, but maybe that’s just because I’m a grumpy lady. The diary style gives the author permission to just jump from event to event without ever having to put together a satisfying narrative.

I don’t get it. I think I’m in the wrong here…but meh.

Homer Tuesday – Creeper

29 Apr

 

 

Do you ever feel watched as you sleep?

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Friday Fun Day – 4/25/2014

25 Apr

gramps and girls

This week I remember my sweet Grandpa who passed after an extended illness. He was never one to pass up a laugh with his granddaughters, as shown in this picture (I’m the somber looking one in the yellow overalls). He may no longer be with us, but I’m so glad we had him for as long as we did. Love you, Grandpa!

Links

Book Review: Keeping the House by Ellen Baker

23 Apr

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Keeping the House by Ellen Baker

Dolly moves with her new husband to a small town in the conformist 1950s. As she strives to fit in with the local ladies’ group and please her ungrateful husband, she finds herself getting solace from cleaning a big, old house with a shady history attached to it. Dolly learns the story of the family who owned the old house, which reaches back to the 1890s. And boy. Is it a story! That family had a life that seemed to be awfully full of melodrama, romance and even mistaken identities…just as your best soap opera would be.

This book is nearly 600 pages long. I read it in three days in 100 page gulps.

Now, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. Obviously, I found it pleasant enough to swallow it nearly whole. It was perfectly nice and engaging. The chapters were short, which always makes me read faster since there’s always time for just one more chapter. But will I actually remember anything about this book? I don’t think so. The characters were just too generic, and the story was too silly. This book gets a very strong, “eh, OK” from this reviewer.

Unfortunately, I think I’ll have a few reviews like this over the next few weeks. I am preparing to move at the end of May (to God knows where! LIFE IS TERRIFYING/EXCITING), so I’m trying to read all the books that have somehow ended up on my bookshelves here but I don’t want to take with me. I honestly don’t even know how I have some of these on my shelves…but they must be read!

Homer Tuesday: Lazy.

22 Apr

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I never feel lazy when Homer is around. He can outlazy absolutely anybody.

Friday Fun Day – 4/18/2014

18 Apr

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Happy weekend from beautiful, beautiful Austin! Austin may be way too hot in the summer and pretty dreary in the winter, but it really comes alive in the spring. Everything is so green! I just can’t get over it. This view is on basically the best running trail ever. I will definitely miss this when I leave.

Happy Easter to those who celebrate, and happy egg-shaped candy time to those who don’t! I have a theory that all candy tastes better in when shaped like an egg. It must be some magical ratio or something.

What I learned

  • Those people who have been bugging me to watch True Detective? Yeah. They were all right. It hits so many of my favorite things – fantastic acting, truly great writing and a Southern grotesque literary feel. Um yeah. Into it.
  • A group of cats is called a clowder.  A clowder. I need to use that word more.

Links

  • California Through My Lens gives some great tips about what to see in my home state. I particularly like this list of places to stop on the PCH. Word of advice though: If you go to the beautiful Little Corona Del Mar tidepools in Orange County and touch all the shells and whatnot, your hands may smell like rotting fish so badly that you’ll need to pull over at a McDonalds and wash them. Not that I know this from experience.
  • This longform NY Times article about the completely botched “investigation” in Tallahassee, FL of a rape by a FSU football player made me so angry I could hardly think straight. Consider this a trigger warning though, as this story has some disturbing rape allegations.
  • And on a completely different, frivolous note … Chocolate stout oat cake.
  • It’s bluebonnet season here in Texas, which is a big deal. And beautiful! Though this website is a bit tough to navigate, it does have some tips about places to go to find carpets of the flowers.
  • And if you need something to cheer you up after a long week, here are some squeaking baby sloths.