Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

[seriously the biggest bunch of flowers I have ever received in my life]

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1. Tomorrow my seniors, whom I have had for two (some three) years are checking out for the school year. I was already really, really sad about this, and then today they went and threw me a surprise thank-you celebration sort of thing that was so incredibly generous and thoughtful that now I want them to stay forever. It was so unexpected and sweet- one of the nicest gestures anyone has ever made in my direction. I am having a rough time with this and hope to get the excessive crying over with either before or after I see them tomorrow because I really don't want to do it in public. I am such an ugly crier, which, truth be told, I am actually doing right now because I am a sappy ball of mush who cannot keep her shit together. Last time this happened, when my previous group left, I was like a month post-partum so I blamed it on the hormones, but apparently this is JUST WHO I AM. OH MY GOD.  

2. I feel like people who have have the foresight to use sun shades in their car when they park really have their shit together.

3. Yes! There will be a summer reading suggestions post. Very soon.

4. I really want a pair of wooden sunglasses but am having a hard time finding a pair I like online. This is the sort of thing I get in my head that I really want and then become determined to make happen, though. I can tell already.

5. Yesterday I dropped my effing phone face down on the concrete and smashed the screen to pieces. Because I have a co-dependent relationship with a piece of technology I basically threw my child into the car and begged the repair place to stay open. And they did and we all lived happily ever after.

6. I have started bring my son to eat dinner when he is being picky by refusing to read another page of what I'm reading him that night. It works, but I know it won't for long so I'll enjoy it lasts.

7. The friend that I'm traveling up north with in a few weeks texted me the other day asking me what sort snacks I wanted. This will obviously work.

8. If you want to throw yourself a pity party invite these

We're cutting things short tonight. Things to do and whatnot. Have a great rest of the week! 

Don DeLillo Reading- 5 Reasons it Was Great

Nearly two weeks ago I went to the Don DeLillo reading in Beverly Hills, put on by the awesome Writer Bloc. I read Underworld a few years ago and have loved/hated him ever since. Recently I read Point Omega and found it much more accessible and *gasp* enjoyable. Here's why this little outing was so great:

1. When I mentioned it my husband he immediately was like "Go! We will make it work!" I've had to sadly stop going to readings since having Sawyer, since they require me to leave for LA by like 4:30 and Scott doesn't get home until 7:30. This time he left super early, got stuck in traffic, but called his mom to cover as a backup. It was just nice that he knew that it was important and wanted me to go. 

2. I went with my good friend from work, who had a baby the same time as I did and has a million things on her plate as well. It was definitely a flashback to a few years ago when we went much  more often. 

3. The reading was moderated my Rachel Kushner, whose book The Flamethrowers has been on my shelf forever (she also wrote Telex from Cuba, which was pretty solid). She was great and I'll definitely read her novel this summer. They seemed to be friends, or at least friendly, so their interactions were enjoyable to observe. 

4. DeLillo talked about his writing process, which I always love to hear authors do. He still writes on a typewriter! Endearing, but my God! Neither efficient or practical, but the guy is pretty old and it obviously has brought him a lot of success. But still. And at some point he writes a paragraph per page for the revision process- that's a lot of paper. 

5. Andrea Grossman, the founder, started off the night by telling us that the night had turned into a "who's who" of the LA literary scene and if the building blew up we'd be screwed. I spotted a few of my older professors from UCLA and I know there were some people from the LA Times, but it was driving us crazy who else was there. Just the idea that there were so many creative, intelligent people in the same vicinity was cool. I remember that feeling when I was in college, of knowing I was at the bottom of the intellectual totem pole. It's actually pretty great. 

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

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1. Hey! Guess what? I'm a shitty blogger this month. Hey! Guess what? No one is paying me to do this nor am I offering life-or-death information, so in the whole scheme of things it probably doesn't really matter. But maybe it does, to me, a tiny bit. 

2. I had my annual check up the other day and the night before I had a nightmare I was pregnant. I am not, at all, not even a tiny bit, but for those first five minutes when I woke up I was pretty upset --> how I know that I should not consider having another child at this point. It's good to have the occasional reality check. 

3. The same day I went to this neat little coffee shop by my doctor's (they work with a homeless rescue mission to employ some of their students) to kill time after hemming and hawing because it's housed at a mega-church, particularly one that I do not agree with the messaging behind (let's talk about religion on another day). I felt seriously awkward about even driving into the parking lot, but I was pleased that they didn't make me feel uncomfortable and that I didn't burn alive. And the coffee was decent. 

4. I realized that the eighteenth anniversary of my dad's death is approaching in the next few days (I wrote about it a little here, several years ago). Eighteen years! It honestly hadn't occurred to me that it had been that long, but I guess after a certain point you stop counting the years. I know this sounds completely and utterly horrible, but the whole thing doesn't really make me sad. It's unfortunate, for sure, and I wish the circumstances of the last few years of his life had been different, but... I am a soulless monster who is practical to a fault and good at compartmentalizing? Who knows, maybe I will have a nervous breakdown in ten years and the psychologist entrusted with my care will determine it all comes back to this. Anyway, the whole point of this is just to show how FAST life can move, not to garner sympathy. 

5. Pro Tip: if you are having people over and your house isn't really, shall we say... clean, just shut the shades. This has been my go-to cleaning tip for the last few weeks and is working wonders. Suck on that, Pinterest.

6. I went to the Don DeLillo reading last week and it was great. I sort of meant to post about it and then forgot and just remembered again right now. Soon, soon.

7. I am reading The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzalez and it has failed me as a quick read. Or maybe my life as failed to let it be a quick read, due to the grading and and end-of-the-year madness. I think my problem has been the short chapters, which typically would ensure a speedy reading experience. I'm not getting super invested in any one character, since the narrative jumps around so much. I'm therefore not compelled to read quite as often, which results in my taking way too long to get through it. 

8. I just finished listening to Trespassing Across America by Ken Ilgunas (interesting take on someone walking the Keystone Pipeline) and am now onto Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath. Everything so far has been things I pretty much already know, but since I listen to it for part of the way home in the afternoon it's a good reminder to not eat my body weight in cookies for my snack. 

9. I ordered this from this cool Etsy shop in Poland ages ago and it finally came. I love it.

10. I find it amusing when people say that they "hate good byes." Who really likes to say good bye? I guess if you're saying good bye to someone you don't like that's one thing, but how often do we really get that opportunity? Obviously I am sadly anticipating the departure of my seniors next week...

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

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1. I'm off to the Don DeLillo reading tonight at The Writer's Guild Theater in Beverly Hills (I think? I need to check that) with a friend. Just like old times.

2. The idea of being on autopilot when you're driving it so disturbing. I was on my way to pick up Sawyer from daycare today and all the sudden I looked around and was surprised that I was already as far down the street as I was. 

3. Next Tuesday is the Staff vs Senior Softball Game and I plan on working really hard to not humiliate myself. Last year I did fairly decent (ie no dropped fly balls or strike outs), so hopefully I can continue to not suck.

4. I'm generally sort of stingy when it comes to being affectionate (I blame my parents), but I've come to the realization that at sometimes my son will want me to not randomly kiss him in places like the grocery store or Starbucks and that is so very sad.

5. I can't stop listening to this song. It has a little bit of country-ish undertones to it, which I generally despise, but I can't help it. 

6. I don't have any real strong feelings towards Beyonce one way or the other, but a friend posted this "syllabus" in regards to Lemonade and I love the idea of combining so many mediums and making the whole thing so culturally educating. 

7. I think we're going to take Sawyer to see a movie for the first time in the theater this weekend and I'm curious to see how he will do. His attention span is obviously very limited, and we don't spend a lot of time watching TV or movies at home. I am hopeful he enjoys it and sits through most of it so that my husband can start taking him to all the lame kids ones and I can stay home alone. 

8. While I don't have a strong desire to go to BEA for whatever reason, I am a little jealous of the people who got ARCs of Jonathan Safran Foer's new book that doesn't come out until September. He hasn't had a novel come out in several years, so I'm looking forward to it.

Weekend Update

Oh man, the Sunday night blues are legit. The weekend was good and the work week seems long. In reality, soon it will be Thursday night and I'll be wondering where the time went and why I didn't get enough done. 

Yesterday my friend and I went to Downtown LA and spent so much money at Bottega Louie that I'm not sure whether or not to be amused or embarrassed. We had to wait for a table for lunch and just started buying boxes of macaroons, tarts, and beignets from the counter. Then we had cocktails, food, and dessert. When the bill for our meal came we just laughed. The place is just so cute and we don't together nearly often enough, so we figured it all averaged out. After we walked back to Grand Park to check out this little book festival, which was right across the street from the Walt Disney Music Hall. We also went by the new art museum The Broad, which had a line down the street for same day tickets- I plan to go back this summer and will definitely reserve in advance. We hadn't seen each other since February, so it was so great to catch up without having to corral kids while doing so.

Today, Mother's Day, has been pretty low key. Sawyer and I went to get coffee and grocery shop, and this afternoon we played some soccer (I use that term very loosely) at the park and then to walk around the duck pond near by. My not-so-secret hope is that he is exhausted and sleeps until I wake him in the morning, which hasn't been happening as often as I'd prefer lately. The last few weeks I've been dragging big time. 

On a side note, we've finally stared the last season of Mad Man and I hate the clothes so much. The seventies were ugly. I've also been reading The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales and while it's way out of my normal reading ballpark, it's been a fun, quick read that will probably be on my beach reads list here in the next few weeks (note to self: write this post). 

Have a good week, folks!