Blackout With A Book Out

Hello, readers.

Today is Thursday. Day two of an island wide blackout. There was a fire at one of the power stations and they shut the entire grid down. That happened yesterday, around 2pm. While some towns have gotten their power turned back on, most of us are still without electricity. So, what can we do? Read. That’s what.

I hadn’t read a book since the end of summer. So, you can imagine how excited I am to finally have an excuse to drop everything and read. I decided to pick up Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix. And man am I glad I did! The book is nothing like what I expected. Somehow I thought it would be all parody and social commentary, and there’s some of that, but mostly it’s just gore and oozing all over self-assembled furniture.horrorstor_final_300dpi

The book follows Amy, an employee at Orsk – a furniture store much like Ikea. She’s 24, broke, and probably about to be fired. Except she’s not. Instead, her boss asks her and another employee to pull a graveyard shift so they can monitor the store and figure out who’s been defiling the furniture and breaking all the merchandise on display. What starts as an easy way to make money, turns into a giant shit show. There are ghosts, people get tortured, they nearly drown.

Suddenly you realized that the bright lights and the pre-designed shopping experience have turned into a darkness that’s crawling with bodies intent on murdering you. Holy. Shit. You guys. It’s unexpectedly horrible, unexpectedly engaging. My only disappointment has been having finished it. It leaves you wanting so much more. The book got a lot of buzz when it first came out and I can really see why.

On a day where the heat and humidity have made everything sticky. Where it seems like the entire island is on pause. Where there really is very little to do but read and drink (that comes later). I’m thrilled to have picked up a book that effectively made me forget my surroundings. It’s still early though, so now the question remains. What will I read next?

Until next time, readers.

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Minutes past

Hello, readers.

Ten minutes to eleven. It’s been over a month since I’ve written anything. It’s been over a month that I’ve read anything that doesn’t talk about Biostatistics or healthy public policies. Life has become a whirlwind that seems to stand still. Like going for surgery, disconnecting from the world only to wake up and find that the world has gone on without you. It has changed and so have you. And it’s not one of those emotional improvement changes, it’s a visceral/physical change.

Two minutes to eleven. Grad school is everything and nothing like I expected. Everything and nothing. I’m happy. My hands digging into the doughy bits, there’s no mold just the shapes your hands can make. And it’s liberating to feel that control, to grasp it firmly in your fist in a show of victory.

A minute past eleven pm. I miss my friends. Life has gone on without me, as it should. And in a few short weeks we’ve reorganized ourselves into new dynamics. It’s an exercise in anxiety management, these worn paths of friendship suddenly diverging. We’ve become many small roads, instead of a four lane highway.

Four past eleven, time flies. I miss the quiet moments. The not doing anything with someone else. I miss my wife, passionately and profoundly. Like I carved out my heart to make space for new knowledge. Like I was put under and someone scooped it out without my consent.

I close my eyes and panic a little because I didn’t know this would happen. I panic because I should’ve known. This heartache of missing people that are there, feeling whole in their embrace and shattered in the knowledge that you’re the one that’s unavailable.

Eleven past eleven. Make a wish. I wish you were here. Not so quietly playing The Sims, while that annoying Kim K soundtrack plays on your tablet.

Thirteen past eleven. I wish I could take you for granted again.

Getting Back on the Horse

Hello, hello readers!

It’s been a while since I’ve written something for you guys. Still love you though. That’s good, right? Something about love in the distance and the heart growing fonder and tandem suicides. Wait, what? That escalated quickly. Getting back on track now…..

As always, even when I disappear it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped reading. Actually, I’ve been insanely productive with my reading, I’m up to seven books this month alone. Part of it is that I found a really comfortable reading that pulled me along, but really I’m just cramming books in before I start grad school and lose my soul. I’ll make a post for everything I’ve read, novels and graphic novels.

My next post will be Florida, but after that I’m going to be scaling down on the Destination posts to focus on other books. I’ve a TBR that will not be denied and I’m constantly finding new books to read. They usually don’t fit in with the challenge, but I’d still like to share them with you guys (RE: I love you). So, I’m changing up the format, posting books as I read them and posting a Destination per month or posting them out of order in response to the books I’m picking up. I still haven’t decided, you guys are definitely welcome to comment and/or make suggestion.

In other news, I’m going to England for a week in November! I’m excited to be going back, even if it’s just for a little bit. I had such a great time when I was there last year. I’ll be heading to Brighton this time. Again, if you have any suggestions of things to do while I’m there (especially bookish things!) don’t hesitate to send them my way. I’m still figuring out the details, but so far it’s looking pretty promising!

As far as blogging goes….

what-do-we-do-when-we-fall-off-the-horse-o

Riding something has never felt so good. What? *Shrugs* I couldn’t help myself.

See you Monday, readers!

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.

Alphabet Soup Graphic

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 “Real Woman” Issue

As a person who spends an unseemly amount of time online, I keep coming across the phrase “real woman” . Men say they want to be in a relationship with real women, women say that “sluts” and “airheads” tarnish the name of real women who respect themselves. Like having casual sex or multiple partners, cancels out your womanhood. Like only monogamous, alluring, supremely confident females have the right to call themselves women.

We’re so quick to dismiss, to turn our faces when confronted with women who don’t uphold the values of the great, real woman. And I say we because I’ve felt that desire to cut all ties, to say ‘that person saying stupid things does not represent me’. But what gives us the right to define womanhood when we can’t even define ourselves? What makes us think we can label anyone as fake, as less, as non-womanly .

That Real Woman who is poised and affectionate and “values herself too much to sleep around” isn’t real at all. She’s the person we’ve all been taught we should be. The fake idol that keeps us up at night and makes us feel ashamed when we laugh too loudly and snort, when we’ve had more than a socially acceptable number of sexual partners (whatever that means). She’s a body made of gossamer and lies that we’ve tried to make our truth only to find we don’t quite bend that way.

We can’t be her. And we complain about the ones who seem to have become here because who are they to achieve something better than ourselves. Because we can’t see how that isn’t necessarily better through the haze of our self-hatred. Then we turn up our noses at the rest because at least we’re trying and surely that makes us better. Even though we have nothing to define “better” by. And in the end we’re all screwed, hating ourselves and each other in a scramble to uphold ideas we’re not sure we should be believing in anyway.

So, we tell ourselves to be better. We tell ourselves that we’re all real. We stop calling women sluts. We develop strength of character and look for the best in people, rather than the worst. We persevere in our efforts and pinch ourselves every once in a while to make sure we’re not a dream…

 

February Book Haul

Hello, readers!

I’m writing this at an ungodly hour because I couldn’t sleep. Such is life I suppose! About a month ago, almost to the day, I posted a Book Haul of sorts. I figured, why not make it a real thing. Like Pinnochio. Except, you know, not actually real because what would that even look like? Anyway, here are the books for February!

I ended up ordering a bunch of books on Amazon that I’d been meaning to read, but hadn’t quite gotten around to. You know how that is, you put it on your wish list and it stays there forever. Glaring at you because you keep passing it up for a million reasons, even though you still want to read it.

Jagganath: Stories by Karin Tidbeck was like that, it’s a short story anthology that’s been on my wish list for ages, even though I was dying to read it and everyone raved about it when it came out. Same with Horrorstor: A Novel, which I’m indescribably excited to read. Also, it’s unexpectedly pretty – bonus. Ditto with Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloan and The Book of Speculation: A Novel by Erika Swyler.

Evolution Man: Or How I Ate My Father, was actually a book recommended by a book. I found out about it while reading Terry Pratchett’s A Slip of the Keyboard, which I was reading when he died. Weird experience, that was. Anywho, he made it sound so hilarious that I instantly added it to my wish list. In there I also had a few books for the challenge (which is taking forever and a day), among them The Familiar, volume 2: Into the Forest by Mark Z. Danielewski and The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden: a Novel by Jonas Jonasson.

Lastly, I have entire lists with books about gender and sex education because that’s something I enjoy reading about. They’re subjects I’ve kind of neglected for a while, so I figured I’d round things out with a few books on them. The first is Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk by Scott Jacobson, which kept popping up in different places until it wore me down. The other is Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski. I’m always wary of books that make such big claims, especially in the sex ed department because they’re usually more self-help than they are actual science. So, I’m looking forward to finding out whether it’s as good as people say it is. Finally, a bit of a format change, I got Sex Criminals, Vol. 2: Two Worlds, One Cop by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky because who doesn’t want to read a graphic novel about people who stop time when they orgasm?!

That’s it for now, readers! Let me know which books you’ve been reading or have been meaning to read!

Until next time!

 

Alphabet Soup: T is for Truths

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!

Hello, readers! It’s finally Friday and time for another post. Usually I’m upbeat and verbally energetic, but I was in a weird place when I was writing this post. It wasn’t anything bad and it didn’t really have to do with anything, I just didn’t feel like being cheerful. I was thinking about truth.

T is for Truths

We all have our own truths, swimming inside us. The ones we hide from ourselves and the ones that are too bright to ignore. These things that are real and solid, that settle at the bottom of our soul and anchor us to the world. They give us shape and movement, but most of all they give us substance. They become part of our essence, changing our scent and hiding in the waves of our hair. They whisper and scream and laugh and cry. And we let them because they’re us and, try as we might, we can’t help being ourselves. Here are some of mine…

1. I hate being reassured. Being reassured makes me feel like someone is trying to blind me with rose colored glasses. Claustrophobic.

2. I love my best friend more than anyone else, exempting my mother and grandmother.

3. I’m always surprised when people say I’m confident. It feels like a lie when I spend so much time feeling small and afraid.

4. Try as I might the future seems like a made up thing. Until it’s there and I wonder how it could be anything but real.

5. I still cry over the death of my first dog. Sometimes I don’t know how much I need to cry, about him and life, until I can’t stop the tears.

Until next time, readers.