Alphabet Soup: Z is for Zero Chill

This segment titled Alphabet Soup: The alphabet according to someone with very little shame and a lot of time on her hands was inspired by blogger Mandy Wallace and the Writers of Kern A to Z challenge. Enjoy!

Happy Friday, readers!

We’ve made it through yet another week and I for one am very proud of us all. It’s been a particularly eventful week for me. I had my grad school admission interview yesterday. I think it went fairly well, I didn’t say anything too obviously crazy so there’s a good chance they thought I was a well adapted member of society. After the interview I came home to find my admission test results – 692 out of 800, in case you’re interested. There was zero chill in my life yesterday.

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And why should there be? I felt like things were finally taking shape, like the horizon was just a bit closer and the Sun almost within my reach. It’s a pretty amazing feeling, that almost bursting, can’t stay still feeling of a job well done. It’s deeply satisfying to look back and find that the path finally makes sense. Hindsight is always 20/20.

This post marks the last installment of the Alphabet Soup series and I for one am very pleased. When I started it I had a completely different idea of what I wanted it to be, but I’ve really enjoyed what it became. I’m happy with the work I did and I hope you guys had an equally pleasing reading experience.

I went out last night to celebrate, so I’m tired and feeling slow. But my heart is still a Zero Chill zone. I’m happy you guys, a kind of soul filling happiness. It’s nice. I hope you guys are happy too, whatever you may be doing.

Until next time, readers. Stay golden!

Rangent: “The Body is a Temple”

If the body is a temple, are we the unseen gods that stalk its halls? Wandering around polished, tiled floors unable to speak or touch or feel. Insulated by our own Grace. If the body is a temple, why does it fall apart as soon as we leave it? Can sacred things rot? Our purity is a lie perpetuated by perfumes and embalming fluid.

I think the body is more like a forcefully assigned mobile tiny house. Color scheme and all. Through the years rooms get added. Walls break, get rebuilt. The roof leaks, the paint chips. Sometimes the tiny house gets so big it can’t be moved from place to place anymore. Sometimes it’s nothing but paper thin walls and a roof.

And sometimes it’s nothing, feels like less. Until all you want to do is leave that stupid house behind. The broken things that can never be fixed, the good and the ok things too. Because you’ve worked on it, but nothing is ever quite where it should be. And you wonder if you’ll get assigned a new house once you’re gone. And you hope that it will be better.

But you can’t leave a house that has no doors. Not unless you obliterate it.

I don’t feel like a temple. My house feels like the roof is leaking. Cracks on the wall starting to look like windows they’re so big. Like if they get wide enough my house will be consumed. An assured eviction. There’s a part of me that wants to pack, to leave. Find a new house, occupy someone else’s. Scrap this whole weird project called myself because it stopped making sense a long time ago.

But there are days, like today, when I look around and feel a surge of fondness for this place I inhabit. Sunlight on the windows. Gentle breeze coming in through the doors. And I can’t help but think all it needs is a few nails and some different furniture. Brand new and ok. It’ll all be ok.

Until next time, readers.

Probably not dead

Hello, beautiful (and hopefully forgiving) readers!

I promise I’m not dead. In case I am just remember I’m haunting my computer just to write this post for you. Because I love you. I said the “L word” prematurely. I hope this doesn’t cause awkwardness between us, ultimately ending what was meant to be a beautiful, long lasting, and life affirming relationship….

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Did that make it even more awkward?

The last few weeks have been pretty great. I went to London and had a blast watching shows and shopping. Then followed that with a week in Spain, where I learned to make fire, discovered that I’m a talented Boggle player, and tried calamari for the first time. Generally enjoying life, as it were.

However, my beautiful Spain retreat meant I was in a very rustic house with solar powered electricity in a week that was all fog. The flashlights got A LOT of use, is what I’m saying. Also, because it’s a small solar powered battery, the house doesn’t have wifi or a way to plug my computer.

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It was an interesting week of being mostly disconnected from the world. A week where I picked up Margaret Atwood’s Bind Assassin from a little shelf in the house, which I consequently stole and am now calling my own. #ThugLife, you guys.

I’m now in Massachusetts visiting family for a few days, then heading off to New York City for a night. And, after that, home, where I promise to get back in the swing of things with books and pictures of my trip.

Oh gods and goddesses of blogging (that’s you, readers), please accept this humble post offering in the mean time. I promise to make it up to you. For realsies.

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Until then, know I miss you and think you’re pretty cool for putting up with the craziness. Have a good one!

Getting there

Hello everyone! 

My apologies for leaving you hanging on Wednesday! These past few days have been pretty crazy. One of my best friends got home after months of traveling, I’ve been spending time with family and friends before the trip, and don’t get me started on all the errands! 

My mo12139745_164446200567810_1189307091_nrning started out like any other…. That’s a lie. I woke up anxious at 3:42am, feeling slightly queasy and possibly congested. I had a last minute technology Q&A with my mother about what happens when phones don’t have data. I feel like I was very informative. Perhaps a future in explaining things to people should be in the cards.

At the airport everything was fine, until that terrible moment when you have to say goodbye to people. My mother always starts sobbing, which makes leaving hard because I hate having to walk away from her like that. Everything was made infinitely more amusing by the fact that after swiftly moving through the TSA screening I, just as swiftly, had to run back when I realized I’d left my computer behind.

In this back and forth I met a cowboy comedian. We kept crossing paths as he tried to find a Starbucks and I tried to find my gate. The airport was under construction, I’d like to think Cowbow Comedian and I are not as clueless as we sound.

As it stands, I’m currently writing this from an airport in Toronto as I wait for my third flight of the day to board. I look like a crazy person carrying around an unnecessary amount of bags which just accentuates how not smooth I am. With anything.

Before leaving Puerto Rico, I asked a guy if he was hungover and he replied that he’d just come from his grandfather’s funeral. Just a small example of my lack of finesse. We then proceeded to talk about The Walking Dead, so I’m guessing he wasn’t terribly put off. In the end we went our separate ways, but I’ll never forget that one guy I said inappropriate things to at the airport.

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I’ve left Canada on what is to be the final leg of my journey. All I can say is, so long and thanks for all the hot men at the airport. You’re doing good things on that front, Canada.

I fell asleep as soon as the plane started moving on the tarmac and woke up to find a WHOLE hour had passed. I’m trying to make it seem more thrilling than it actually was. So, armed with delicious cookies and entirely nondescript tea, I’ve decided to be productive and write this long overdue post.

I decided to put the Around the World Challenge on hold as I actually visit bits of the world. I’ve been feeling like reading very particular things, so I’m taking this time to satisfy that literary craving. I will however, finish Colorado before I put it on hold. So, look for that post sometime next week!

I’ve brought with me Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics, a collection of 34 short stories that combine science and myths (origin stories?). I’ve read the first two so far and they’ve been amazing. Not what I expected at all and so much better than anything I could’ve predicted. The stories are funny, clever, and really inventive, so I’m looking forward to reading the rest.

The other book I brought with me is the Accidental Universe by Alan Lightman. This one is a collection of essays, rather than stories. Lightman writes about science and the universe from a more human perspective. He creates a marriage of the objective and factual with the beauty and wonder that is being a human part of the cosmos. At least, that’s my understanding of the text. I haven’t started reading it properly yet.

The rest of the books I read will come as I gleefully buy them during my travels. I’m going to try to post as often as possible, rather than on a set schedule in order to share as much as I can of this trip with you. Remember to check out today’s Alphabet Soup, as well!

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I’m now in Scotland, but with a limited internet connection so bear with me folks!

When in doubt, travel.

Well, everyone, it’s official – I booked my trip to Europe! I’ve been slowly convincing myself to take this trip for the past few weeks and I finally decided to buy the plane tickets. The plan so far is to land in Scotland and from there head out to different countries. Not gonna lie, I’m insanely excited! It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Europe and I’ve never been there longer than a month. So, this trip is going to be a whole new experience in more than one way. I’m already looking for places to go, what I need to survive the winter months, where I can find the cheapest beer (let’s be honest, this is the most important one!). Continue reading

Fun in the Sun(day)

Hello readers! Welcome to another Fun in the Sun(day)! IMG_2670

Today we were celebrating my grandmother’s 68th birthday, so we spent the day doing stuff she likes. First, we treated her to breakfast at this amazing place in Old San Juan called Caficultura. I’d never been, but everyone gave it rave reviews so we tried it out. Best. Idea. EVER.

This isn’t a food blog, but bear with me.
Since we wanted to try a few things, we decided to share a plate of French toast    which they make with coconut milk and top with home made pineapple compote, shredded coconut, and sugar. It’s what I imagine heaven would taste like. That was followed with a spinach and four cheese casserole with eggs on top for them and eggs benedict for me. Everything was absolutely delicious! I also had a cup of their caramel vanilla coffee. Amazing. Mind you, I don’t drink coffee, but that cup blew me away. IMG_2671

And so, well fed, we had a bit of a wander through the streets of Old San Juan. It always makes me happy to look at the old buildings and feel the blue cobblestones under my feet. It reminds me that, even though it’s all boutiques and new stores, the city is actually quite old and full of history. We walked as the food settled, talked, enjoyed the breeze, and then headed off to the movies.

Strange as it may seem, my grandmother loves Sci-fi and Fantasy. She has a thing for movies like Lord of the Rings, loved the Merlin series. The original Jurassic Park movies are among her favorites, so, obviously, we had to take her to see the new one. She loved it. She loved the dinIMG_2689osaurs. She loved Chris Pratt. A birthday isn’t complete without cake though, so after dinner we brought out cupcakes and candles to sing Happy Birthday with. All in all, a huge success.

Sometimes Sundays can be truly wonderful. It had been a while since I’d spent such a lovely day with my mother and grandmother.At the risk of getting sappy, I’m grateful for days like these because they remind me of how wonderful the women in my life are. End of sappiness. IMG_2665

I’ve had a lovely weekend, full of great people. Unfortunately, this has left precious little time to read, which means I haven’t finished St. Urbain’s Horseman as I’d hoped would happen. However, I finally see the satire in it! I’d read in a few places that it was satirical in nature, but I hadn’t really found the satire until I read a chapter where he’s narrating a baseball game between men in show business – directors, actors, producers, etc. Or rather, for me the satirical aspect of it had seemed like a bit of a stretch, until that scene.

If I didn’t have my final tomorrow, I’d settle in for a night of reading. As it stands, I might be able to finish it tomorrow. Oh woe is me! I’m kidding, I love having stuff to do, even if not having as much time to read saddens me. If only I could have a second life just to read!

Here’s to wishful thinking, readers! Hope your weekend was as lovely as mine.

Pop goes the weasel or, in this case, a whole other narrative

When I started reading Mordecai Richler’s St. Urbain’s Horseman, I wasn’t necessarily aware of what I was getting into. I’d seen the novel recommended in a few places and I had a vague idea of what it was about, but I never could’ve foreseen that it so many things happening in it.

Richler offers a narrative that has an inherent speed to it; sometimes it’s hard to stop reading because the narrative is moving too fast to stop. It’d be like getting out of a car as it speeds down the highway. A big part of this is the fact that the work relies heavily on historical references. The narrative is constantly throwing out names, events, places and daring the reader to keep up with it. Sometimes I’m there, sometimes I’m not, which makes it all the more interesting. It’s honestly satisfying to read a book that surprises you and keeps on doing so because it demands you go beyond reading it, to seek out all these references.

There is an underlying narrative that focuses on antisemitism in Canada. Cousin Joey, the Horseman, is always said to be searching for Mengele. He’s shown getting men together in order to fight those who insult and threaten other Jews. Because I didn’t read articles or posts about St. Urbain’s Horseman, I didn’t expect this whole other narrative to happen, but I’m enjoying it immensely.

It’s still early days in the novel, so who knows what else is in store! I almost want to pair the novel with essays about the Holocaust and it’s effects in Canada, if I can find them.

Stay classy, readers!