crush month - day 2

i love good storytelling and snap judgment is some of the best storytelling around. don't tell this american life but i think i might even like it better. this is my favorite episode but really, they're all good. a few saturdays ago i was listening and laughing so hard i was crying. it turns out those stories were a part of a snap judgment movie, which you can watch right here:

some stories are hysterically funny, some are heartbreakingly sad and one, by l. ron hubbard's great grandson, is downright fascinating. 

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things i love tuesday


deadline by mira grant came out last week. i didn't have much of a chance to read until yesterday's plane ride. now, i don't want to put it down. nor does my mother or any of my friends reading it. its amazing so far. i'm going to go read more right now...

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it's national poetry month. and i'm sick again. so, here's one of my favorite poems from when i was wee.

“I cannot go to school today,”
Said little Peggy Ann McKay,
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash, and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more—that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue—
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke—
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is—what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is—Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”

- Shel Silverstein

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when i get a little money

i buy books. not quite as many as i used to but its still my most favorite thing to shop for. i have had a long running love affair with bookstores. 

i remember going down the staircase at kroch's & brentano's at randhurst when i was wee. i knew my way around that store as well as any of the employees - some of whom i would later work with at borders. oh borders - i spent 5 really great years there. and with all the news about borders, i've been thinking about bookstores a lot.

i now live in a city with one of the greatest bookstores i've ever been to. powell's is amazing. i've probably gone to powell's once a week since we moved. and honestly, the presence of powell's was a huge point in portland's favor when thinking about moving here. 

but as much as i love books and bookstores, i have been thinking about a kindle for a long time. even my mom, who is a devoted book lover, has one now. as much as she loves books, she is enviromentally and fiscally minded - and the kindle is appealing for those reasons.

but i love books. i love the weight in your hands, the smell when you first open it. i love the act of turning the page. i often use the receipt from buying the book as a bookmark but i also really love dogearing pages. and still, i get why the kindle is a good idea.

i know i'm not the only book lover who feels that way because bookstores are hurting. even powell's had to lay off 31 employees recently. so i have this ongoing argument with myself over it. my emotional attachement to books and bookstores vs. the practical. and since i haven't yet given in to the practical, i go to powell's for my fix.

when we made the decision to move to portland, i remembered that an author i really enjoy, chelsea cain, lives here. she writes dark, twisty thrillers featuring an absolutely terrifying female serial killer. i got really excited because i knew she does events at powell's so i decided i'd go when her new book came out. 

the night season came out on tuesday and she was doing a signing at powell's that night. i don't think i've been to a signing since i actually worked at a bookstore. i was reminded of all the reasons why bookstores are magic. i knew that this was an experience that i could never have buying a book online. now i know that chelsea cain is funny. and super nice. she told me she liked my hair - when has amazon EVER done that? and if i had a kindle, i wouldn't have this...


a book with a hilarious inscription (possibly not to everyone but my mom and those close to me will understand) and a bedazzled safety whistle. yeah. i'm sticking with books and bookstores for the time being.

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wordless wednesday


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crush month - day 10


i finished last night and i'm not ashamed to admit that feed made me cry. it also made wish next may was here already so book 2 in the trilogy would be out.

the characters are well drawn and likable - except for those that really are not supposed to be. the story was fast moving and compelling, propelling me through the almost 600 pages in a just a few days.

these are not zombies who rise from the dead for no good reason. there is a virus, a virus that began as the cure for the common cold. things went awry. most metropolitan areas were saved after many casualties but wide swaths of land were lost to the infected. no more road trips, no more alaska. no more beef, pork, ponies or dogs over 40 pounds (sorry monkey.) areas are classified by their hazard level and traveling through those area requires licenses and blood tests. lots and lots of blood tests. all these details seemed entirely plausible. these details and more made this book terrifying.

i know i'm not saying much about the plot. there are 2 reasons for that - i want you to read it yourself. i can't think about the plot too much or i may cry. again.

yeah. it was that good. so good i'm talking about it two days in a row.

may seems a long way off. but my crush induced googling of mira grant on sunday led me to discover that her name is actually seanan mcguire and she has a another series of scifi/fantasy books. more books to add to the pile. yay. 

time to invest in a machete.

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summer book report


my greatest adventures by the light fantastic

just read:

delicate edible birds and other stories by lauren groff

starting out in the evening by brian morton

the girl who played with fire and the girl who kicked the hornet's nest by stieg larsson

twin study by stacy richter

important artifacts and personal property from the collection of lenore doolan and harold morris, including books, street fashion, and jewelry by leanne shapton

murder, suicide, whatever by gwen freeman

a truth universally acknowledged by susannah carson

that's it so far. and the pile on my nightstand (which in truth has become a bookshelf - someone was going to get hurt) isn't shrinking AT ALL.

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things i love tuesday (or things i'd like to tell my 15 year old self)

last week, i picked into the wild nerd yonder. in the craziness of my last week of work i wasn't able to finish it. until yesterday.

its about a 15 year old girl, jessie. she sews skirts out of the wackiest novelty and holiday themed fabric she can find at the fabric store. she wants a different one for each day of the school year. she's unapologetically smart. she loves math, her older brother and audiobooks. the book begins during the summer before her sophomore year of high school. her best friends, char & bizza, are changing. everything seems to be changing and when jessie looks in the mirror she wonders why she isn't too. but really she is. she's growing up and realizing her friends suck a little and that possibly she deserves better. and so what if better is the band geeks who welcome her at their lunch table or the d & d nerd she sits next to in study hall.

i LOVED this book. i am not going to lie though. it made me a little sad for my 15 year old self. and then it made me think of andrea's magnificent list. and here we are...


thing things i'd like to tell my 15 year old self:

  1. she may seem fun. and so much cooler than you. and you will be awash with the glow of new friend crush for most of the school year but when it turns you won't know what hit you. and it will take years to recover. i'm not kidding.
  2. but sleepover at her house a few times. you could miss out on that magical kiss with her older brother otherwise.
  3. stay friends with sue though. she was awesome in every possible way.
  4. when your parents tell you that possibly you should wait another summer before getting a job, listen.
  5. go with shawn to lollapalooza. it was a great show and he shouldn't have missed it because of your dumb summer crush.
  6. speaking of that crush, he'll break your heart. but go ahead anyway. it was totally worth it.
  7. don't let shawn do all your math homework. its a bad plan and will cause years of anxiety dreams about having to retake algebra.
  8. on that note, don't do his english homework. reading huck finn never killed anyone.
  9. don't quit marching band. don't. you had fun. and you'll realize later in life that those are your people.
  10. also, don't stop doing tech for drama club. those are your people too.
  11. and just because you decided you didn't want to take honors everything anymore doesn't mean the other honors students aren't still your friends. they are. you'll realize it again in a couple of years but you missed out on some fun. i'm sure of it. and again, see 9 & 10.
  12. don't dye your hair black. purple, pink, green, blue - absolutely! black, NO.
  13. wear more pink. it'll make your mom happy.
  14. check in with your parents when you're going to be late. you worry them otherwise.
  15. your parents are a lot more awesome than you think.
  16. start calling dom dad. it'll make everyone happy.
  17. you're not fooling anyone with that whole "i'm going to the library" routine.
  18. also, possibly, cut school a little bit less. yes, you get good grades but still.
  19. step away from the bad boy. he may smell good, have extra long eyelashes and you know he kisses great but THEY ARE A HARD HABIT TO BREAK.
  20. when you get your learner's permit, just have grandpa take you out. he
    was the toughest of your driving teachers but learning to drive
    stick is important.
  21. pay more attention whenever lucy wants to show you how to do something. seriously.
  22. otherwise don't change a thing about your relationship with wally & lucy. you'll realize soon enough that you won the grandparent lottery.
  23. keep those sassy magazines.
  24. don't loan out that vintage dress. you'll never see it again. it was a dollar, perfect in every way and you'll long for it regularly.
  25. don't let those green chucks out of your sight. mom hates them and they will disappear one day.
  26. don't stop dancing.
  27. don't ever play dumb. boys who don't like smart girls are not the boys for you.
  28. shawn likes smart girls. i'm just sayin'.
  29. and you are most definitely not fat.
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things i love tuesday


books upon books by squidart

here's a list of favorites, which is by no means complete:

of love and other demons by gabriel garcia marquez
portrait of a lady
by henry james
the rachel papers by martin amis
20 poems of love
and a song of despair by pablo neruda
barrel fever by david sedaris
by grand central station i sat down and wept by elizabeth smart
by vladimir nabakov
the master and margarita by mikhail bulgakov
dylanist by bryan morton
like a hole in the head by jen banbury
idiot girls action adventure club by laurie notaro
first comes love by marion winik
through the looking glass by lewis
the moviegoer by walker percy
confederacy of dunces by
john kennedy toole
a wrinkle in time by madeline l'engle
the end
of the affair by graham greene
darconville's cat by alexander theroux
bloodsucking fiends by
christopher moore
in the land of dreamy dreams by ellen gilchrist
foster by kaye gibbons
emma who saved my life by wilton barnhardt
high the roofbeams by j.d. salinger
neverwhere by neil gaiman
harriet the spy by louise fitzhugh
locked room by paul auster
a prayer for owen meany by john irving
by mary gaitskill
sixteen pleasures by jeffrey hellenga
a room
with a view by e.m. forster
the things we talk about when we talk about love by raymond carver
suicides by jeffrey eugenides
pride and prejudice by jane austen
the sidewalk ends by shel silverstein
wonder boys by michael chabon
the adventures of cavalier and clay by michael chabon
the screwtape
letters by c.s. lewis
from the mixed up files of mrs. basil e.
frankweiler by e.l. konigsburg
love medicine by louise erdrich
year of magical thinking by joan didion
midnight's children by salman rushdie

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neil, himself


via the lovely and oh so clever donovan beeson

last night we went to see neil gaiman read at a cbldf event. it was wonderful. he read a number of new pieces and things i've never read, including a hilarious magazine piece on the effects of alcohol on the creative writing process, as well as my favorite story, chivalry. he also read the poem "the day the saucers came" - i'm pretty sure every single person was crushing on him by the end of the poem.


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