Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Link up below! It's the one-year anniversary of Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts- thank you for playing along.

1. My phone started auto-finishing the word "clusterfuck" today. That is all. 

(I'll be back with some viable content super soon, pinky promise)

Bookish (and no so Bookish) Thoughts

Link up below!

1. So, we live in a nice area in a not so nice region, if that makes sense (for those that are SoCal natives, we're in South Corona). Anyway, that being said, there is crime, as there is anywhere. Last Saturday, while my husband and I were out to dinner with friends and his parents were watching the baby, there was a motorcycle gang shooting on the freeway two miles away from our house. We were stuck in traffic (like baaaaad traffic) and I started googling, and low and behold, the Mongols and Hell's Angels had a shoot out on the freeway and there was a death and a few injuries. I know, violence and death are bad things. BUT, I love motorcycle gangs. I just do, I can't help it. I don't even watch Sons of Anarchy (yet)! The level of euphoria that I experienced directing my husband through side streets off the freeway (including unlit dirt roads) was something I haven't felt in a long time- legit motorcycle gangs were going at it in my neck of the woods! I spent a great deal of time reading up on the two groups that night (they have websites!), so now I'm basically an expert. 

2. The Fleetwood Mac station on Apple (or is it iTunes?) Radio is pretty excellent stuff.

3. Sawyer has always been a mellow, happy baby, but the last week or so he has been down right ecstatic. If he was a teenager I'd accuse him of doing drugs. The kid will lay in the middle of the floor and laugh at nothing. And when you make an effort to really get him to laugh he gets even more giggly. It's pretty much the best. And it makes it a million times harder to leave him at daycare in the morning.

4. A neighboring school district has decided to ban The Fault in Our Stars from middle school libraries. I'm not a fan of the book, at all, but I think this is an incredibly archaic move. I opened it up to my students for discussion and they assured me that middle schoolers no so much more about sex than that book describes. What a relief.

5. I've been drinking way, way too much Diet Coke since school started (less than six hours of shitty sleep a night will do that to you) so I decided to cave in and become a coffee drinker (again). Today was day three of iced coffee in the morning (I make a big pitcher at home) and I must say, my quality of life has improved dramatically. I'm just so much happier now.

6. I have severe picture-deleting anxiety syndrome. I have over 1600 pictures saved on my phone and I often get the "out of space" message. I've backed up my phone onto my computer and have backed that up onto an external hard drive. A lot of my pictures are on Facebook or Instagram, and I've also done photobooks. It's just so traumatic. When my dogs die I'll want all the pictures I have of them. When I'm sitting in my living room in sweats on a Saturday night I'll want to relive my nights of going out with a full face of makeup. And so on and so forth. I'm trying to do a few a day and have decided I'll leave all the ones from 2014, for now. 

7. My students started a petition for me to join Snapchat on this site called edmodo (it's like Facebook, but for classrooms). The thread ended up with over 400 comments, most of which were quotes from Mean Girls, by the end. I'm so relieved they're weird. I was worried there for a few weeks! How was I going to get through two years with a group of normal kids? It turns out this group is much funnier and witty than I thought. They're growing on me.

8. I just reread "Master Harold"... and the boys by Athol Fugard and I forgot how powerful it is. And irritating to punctuate as a title.

9. I'm obsessed with replicating this hair style:


10. I'm really looking forward to this weekend- Friday night Homecoming game with my brother and Sawyer at work, a trip to what's supposed to be a cool park Saturday morning to walk, and then lunch with one of my oldest friends that afternoon.

Up Coming

It's Saturday. It's not even 7 am (edited to add: our internet is being a lazy bastard, so who knows when this will really get posted). It's a perfect gloomy, stay-in-bed and doze kind of weather. Alas, I have a five-month-old who awoke at his regular wake up time, 5:45. He then waved his metaphorical chubby middle finger in the air and conked back out after he had a full belly and I was completely awake. He's too little to call a douchebag, right?

Nonetheless, I'm up, thinking about some upcoming things that I'd like to work on. I'm sure this morning's inability to "nap" will bite me in the ass in a few hours, but what can you do?

First of all, I'd like to start using this book for personal writing, of which I'd like to post on here, occasionally:

I use it in my classroom every once in awhile, and am always a little jealous of the kids while I'm grading papers or doing something boring like that. I think it would be a fun way sharpen the writing chops and to provide a different sort of content than I usually do.

Speaking of writing (yes, I know this is a segue I use often, but it's just so... easy), I need to go back through and read all of the New York Times' "Bookends" column, which I recently discovered. Each week they have two writers debate a topic like "does where you live make a difference in how and what you write?" or "the demands of book promotion: frivolous or necessary?" They're incredibly fascinating, and I think I could do something here, and at work, with them.

I've started the bookish project of creating Sawyer's baby book, an undertaking I've been both excitedly anticipating and slightly dreading. They yearbook adviser in me is of course going to go all out on this, naturally. I'm using Mixbook, which gives you the most amount of control, while still being user friendly. My goal right now is to do one spread a day until I catch up- I'm anticipating this book to be really long, and really expensive. I'm still trying to decide what narrative perspective to use- I posed the question on Facebook the other day and got mixed advice. First person or third?

I'd also like to make this pumpkin:


or this, for my fireplace, but with fall colors:
[source- via Pinterest via some spammy site]

I'm not a crafty person, and I think a lot of homemade decor projects (ala Pinterest) delve into the tacky category quickly (and a lot don't, if we're being fair). I do hate paying a ton of money for things I could possibly make, though, but decorating the house does fall into the "fake it til you  make it" philosophy that I'm currently channeling.

Chances of all this happening: slim to none.

A girl can dream...

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts)

Link up below.

1. It's crazy how moods are so contagious. For good and bad.

[orrrrr just the opposite | source]

2. Sawyer is finally growing some hair, I think. He was born with some downy fuzz, but in the last few weeks it appears to have grown a millimeter or two. Maybe by his first birthday it'll be style-able. 

3. I made this strange sounding one-pot dish the other night, despite the fact that I hate sausage. It was pretty darn good.

4. I pass by a house that has a pretty legit-looking teepee in the front yard every day and am very intrigued by what exactly it's used for. Are they Native American? Is it for their kids or grandkids? Do they sell drugs in it? Can I go in it?

5. One of the stupidest things you can do as a high school teacher is leave your room during passing period. So many teenagers talking loudly, making out, and spitting. And they're always walking in the opposite direction. Always. 

6. Despite my theories that the health living blogging community (HLBers) is fizzling out, I do read a few still. It seems like most of them are really starting to phone it in lately with their posts, and yet they still are sponsored, still claim blogging is their full time job, and still show up in my reader once or twice a day each. I just don't get it.

7. This quote is totally my life philosophy:


8. It's fire season in Southern California and there is a big one in Yosemite and one in Bass Lake (and even a small one near my house last weekend). It's so sad to see nature on fire, and then charred, but it's important to remember that it's quite necessary for regrowth and vegetation control. It's not cool when it's started by a humans, though, or when firefighters are injured. And the fact that we're using a ton of water, during a terrible drought, is unfortunate (and that's not the only way to fight fire). But, anyway, my point is that people need to remember that while inconvenient and sad, fire is natural and important.

[the view from down the street; we were never in danger!]

9. I really love that the lady who runs Sawyer's daycare has three boys, ranged from middle school to early college. They all live at home and interact with the kids all the time- it's so nice to see good kids being good role models.

10. I have a couple of review copies that are a bit overdue for reviews right now. I feel guilty. I know I'm not the only one that gets behind, but I still feel douchey.

Top Ten Tuesday- Gimme More!

This week The Broke and the Bookish ask us what authors we've only read one book from but need to read more of. I may stretch this to two- I know, such a rule breaker.

1. Colum McCann- I've only read two of his books, but he has several more. Let the Great World Spin is one of my favorites, too, so it's a bit pathetic. 

2. Fydor Dostoyevsky- Crime and Punishment is also one of my favorites, but I've neglected the rest of his catalogue. 

3. Richard Russo- I've read two, Empire Falls and Mohawk (Rory, don't kill me). It's embarrassing. 

4. Meg Wolitzer- I read The Interestings last year and loved it. I need more of her. Soon.

5. F. Scott Fitzgerald- I've only read The Great Gatsby, and while it's not my favorite, I do consider him important to the American cannon. As an English teacher, I feel obligated. 

6. Dave Eggars- I read The Circle last year, and a few other essays, but that's it. And I pride myself in reading quality contemporary authors.

7. TC Boyle- I'm really ashamed about this one. I've only read two of his books, and consider Tortilla Curtain one of the most timely, important books of the last twenty years. 

8. Don Dellilo- I read Underworld a few years ago, after working on it for nearly a decade. I need to tackle one of his smaller works. 

9. Haruki Murakami- I only read his running memoir, which barely counts. 

10. Salman Rushdie- I read Midnight's Children and absolutely adored it. I have one or two other books of his and have seen him speak, but still, just one.

What about you?