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….

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

See you Monday, readers!

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Rangent: The Fear of Missing Out

Welcome to Wednesday, you guys! The Sun is out and the sky is blue. Everything is beautiful and so are you. Paraphrasing The Beatles is more satisfying than it should be.

Our generation is constantly afraid of missing out. The term is Fear of missing out or FOMO, as it’s affectionately called. We consume information at an astonishing speed – current events, music, movies, books. We’re so scared of missing out, like being out of the loop will leave us stranded in empty space. We all vibrate with a need to be everywhere, a subconscious desire to separate our particles and scatter them to every corner of the world.

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Hopefully the split would look more elegant and glamorous than this…

I’m one of those people. I feel the need to be everywhere at once, especially when I travel. The months before my trip I spent them combing the internet looking for events. The thought of being somewhere new and missing out on things, not out of disinterest, but because I didn’t know about them was pretty awful. But, the thing I felt I was missing out on the most, was my best friend.

We were traveling at the same time, but in entirely different places. I felt like I was missing out on her experiences, just as she felt she was missing out on mine. It’s a very particular feeling that fear of missing out on someone else’s experiences. Although, I suppose that’s the essence of missing out, isn’t it? Someone else is experiencing things you wish you could be a part of. You feel adrift, instead of feeling anchored to shared moments with someone else.

That’s life, though, right? We can’t be everywhere at once, so we’re destined to miss out on things once in a while. It’s impossible to have it any other way, but that’s ok. Because life isn’t about being at every party, reading every book, watching every movie. It’s about going the parties that matter, reading the books that make us feel something, watching the movies that give us a new perspective or make us laugh.

And for that, there’s a whole host of things you can do! Let’s all breathe a collective sigh of thankfulness for that. Things like social media and newsletter subscriptions are invaluable for that. Two years ago, during my internship in D.C., I found out about Eventbrite and it became my go to for events. In a city that was constantly in motion, bristling with conferences and book readings, Eventbrite gave me access to more events than I knew what to do with. Which meant I ended up going to the events that truly interested me, rather than random events that didn’t make me happy.

I don’t think this generalized anxiety of ours is necessary. We shouldn’t be afraid of missing out on everything, rather we should be afraid of missing out on the things that matter. So, let’s all make the most of Facebook, Twitter, Eventbrite, and as many newsletters as we can get our hands on. Instead of suffering from FOMO, let’s make the most of GOMO! Fight the fear of missing out by making sure you’re always where you want to be.

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Be as happy as Rapunzel going out for the first time.

Let me know how you keep up with events! Have a good one, readers!

Alphabet Soup: P is for Paris

Hello, readers! I hope this Friday finds you full of energy for the coming weekend. I know I’m feeling primed and ready to go. For some reason though, I ended up feeling nostalgic and thinking about that time, so many moons ago, when I was in Paris.

When I was in my third year of college an opportunity arose to visit Paris on a study/travel trip. Basically, we’d take a few classes at the university, then head off to Paris to see it all firsthand. At the time I was saving up for a car, but I decided to do the trip instead. Which, in hindsight, is when I started putting travel above anything else.

I remember being scared, but also incredibly excited. I’d never done anything like it and I didn’t know anyone on the trip, at least not well enough for them to be a safety net. I ended up rooming with the person I sort of knew, which turned out to be a disaster. But despite that, the trip was excellent. I ended up meeting people who are among my best friends today, like Nelson and Denise.

Traveling to Paris, although I didn’t quite know it at the time, marked the beginning of a new chapter in my life. A time of new friends who would push my boundaries. Of trying new things and breaking out of my shell and feeling the world change beneath my feet.

I don’t think they know it, but they’ve been such a huge part of shaping who I am today. We’ve traveled together, laughed and cried together. In the years I’ve known them they’ve become two of my favorite people.

In the end, this post isn’t about Paris, but about the people I met there. The ones I still talk to and the ones who were there and gone. Because they were all part of it. Part of the strange magic and odd convergence that was Paris. This post is about the friends I made and how my life wouldn’t be the same without them.

Have a good one, readers! Enjoy your weekend!

In the Break Room: Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin

Hello, hello readers! Happy Monday!

Today feels like a proper December day, cool and cozy. I want nothing more than to curl up with a book or a movie or a new video game. To be honest, I will probably do all three. With some baking thrown in because, why not? There were so many days like this when I was in Spain, slow, languid days by the fire. Cold days spent curled up in bed with a book and a lovely man. Reading as much as we could during the day because reading by candle light is harder than anyone gives the Middle Ages credit for.

By the time I arrived in Spain, I’d amassed a decent amount of books. Nonetheless, being the greedy little bookworm I am, I decided to start reading one from the lending shelves at the house. A book which I promptly stole and carried with me all the way home, reading bits and pieces when I had the time and the desire. The languor that infused my stay in Spain, stuck to its pages like honey. I read it slowly, without hurry, letting the honey drip over my fingers, my hands sticky with memories.

The book became its own world, beyond the world in its pages. It was “the stolen book”, even though it was freely given. In Spain, it traveled side by side with his book. Also big, less stolen because the house is his. They traveled side by side, the way we read them. Side by side in chairs, side by side in bed. Side by side in the car while we waited for a tow truck to come bail us out. Always carry a book with you, you never know when you might need it.

I marked my place in it with paper torn from a random notebook. A page, one of many, used to keep track of the words we found while playing Boggle. Filled with three letter words and scratches, it was one of his. We played Boggle in the in betweens – after sex, before bed, after fighting, having just woken up. When I picked up the book I reached for the first thing I could find to mark my spot, an Ace of Spades. That became problematic when we wanted to play later, the second thing I reached for turned out to be one of his Boggle papers.

The story, two sisters and their lives, becomes almost inconsequential. There’s a book within a book. There are things that happened which I didn’t expect. It was good, but it didn’t blow my mind. What I’ll remember when I look at the book will be everything else. Knowing as soon as I picked it up that I wouldn’t finish it in time, that I’d take it with me. His knowing smile, his little thief. Bringing his book along with mine, just in case. Saying I told you so. Feeling relieved it was thick as a brick during an 8 hour layover in London. Hating it for being thick as a brick when my back hurt the next morning. Reading it in Spain, in London, in Massachusetts, in New York.

We hardly ever think about it, but sometimes books matter to us because they’ve been imbued with the essence of a particular time, rather than the story they tell. Like a particular scent, some books call up memories, not of reading, but of the world around us as we read. How it changed, how it grew, how time flew by while we existed in two worlds. Worlds that have become one and we can revisit as we please.

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The Blind Assassin, Boggle, candles, beer. This is pretty much Spain in one picture.

Do you have a book like that, readers? One that’s tangled up in memories?

Have a good one!

Alphabet Soup: M is for Misplaced

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!

Afternoon, readers! It’s finally Friday and I bet you’re all as excited as I am! Regardless of what you’re doing with your life, Fridays always seem to carry with them an air of joy and freedom that’s hard to deny. It’s a day for doing new things, going on adventures, and getting misplaced.

M is for Misplaced

The weekend I hung out with Liverpool Guy (yes, he’s in this one as well. Don’t judge me!), we spent a lot of time getting misplaced. We weren’t lost exactly, but we also weren’t entirely sure where we were going most of the time. It became a thing for me to ask him if he knew where we were going. He’d say that he knew, it was just that the way there was a bit unclear. In any case, we were headed in the right general direction.

Being misplaced gave us things to talk about and, since we weren’t purposefully heading anywhere, it gave us the time to talk about them. Weird things mind you, like the one creepy street we passed and decided it was clearly where all the serial killers lived. It was something about the lights or lack thereof, I can’t remember. We talked about having no filter, about buildings and advertisements. We moved in a constant state of conversation.

The most memorable time for me happened on Thursday, our first night out. We’d driven to the restaurant and parked in a huge multi-story garage. When it came time to leave we kept driving around in circles because the arrows kept pointing us in weird directions. It doesn’t sound funny, but it was probably one of the funniest moments of my entire trip. We joked about touring the car park and about how scenic it was. How we couldn’t remember what it was like outside the car park. He grumbled about how it was the car park and not his fault, I told him the car park was mocking him. We eventually made it out, teary eyed from laughter and happy to finally be free.

We’re used to fighting the idea of being lost, that feeling of not knowing quite where you are, of being out of your element. We fight the uncomfortable sensation of having failed somewhat, of being aware you’re meant to know where you’re going, of leading people astray. For me, there are times when getting lost has proven better than getting somewhere without incidents or without turning the wrong way. With Liverpool Guy it meant getting to different places in our conversation. With my ex, who I spent time with in Scotland and Spain, it meant seeing beautiful scenery and watching him drive, which I enjoy.

Sometimes, getting lost can be the best thing that can happen. When you finally reach your destination, you reach it with your hands full of memories. You just need to take care to make them good ones.

Let yourselves get misplaced once in a while, readers. You might enjoy it!

Have a good one!

Photo Post: Spain & Boston

Hello, hello readers!

I write to you from the comfort of my bed where I’m recovering from last night. I was working at an event and, as always, the next day I wake up like I tried to fight a bulldozer. Alright, that was dramatic, but you get the point! At one point a spoon fell from my tray and, as I was bending to pick it up, two boys ran at me to pick it up for me. Not gonna lie, it was a pretty sweet moment. And that’s what this post is about, little moments from my trip.

Spain

I had such a good time in Spain! I was even warm for most of it, which was pretty exciting in and of itself. Both the mountains and the coast were beautiful, the food was delicious, and we had a really nice time at the house. It’s up in the mountains, so it draws power from a solar powered battery. Since it was foggy as hell, we were actually sans electricity for most of our stay, which sounds bad but wasn’t. Come night time the candles would go on, the fire would be lit, and the house would glow softly separating us from the world. It was a little bit magical.

Boston

My cousin has lived in MA for decades and I’d never been up there to visit him. I figured, no time like the present and stopped there on my way home. It was awesome because I got to see where he grew up, where he went to school, where he hung out. I think it’s the longest time we’ve spent together, ever, so I’m really glad I did it. Plus, not gonna lie, I’m pretty excited about Dance at the Bougival!

After Boston I spent a night in New York, but I realized I took literally no pictures in New York. So, pictures of 6’7? Nonexistent. I have no idea why I carry a camera around with me. Anyway, I’m happy to have the pictures I did manage to take. It’s been nice reliving the memories they carry.

I’ll be posting Day 3 of the Literary Advent Calendar, so don’t miss it.

Have a good one, readers!

Alphabet Soup: L is for List

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!

You’re halfway through the week and I’m right there with you, telling you stuff you don’t need to know, but that will hopefully amuse you! I live to make you guys happy. And in the distance I’m a Slave for you plays softly, Britney’s ethereal voice encasing the moment in perfect memory. I’m clearly a poet. (In case you’re of the Sheldon variety, that was sarcasm.)

Moving on…

I don’t know about you guys, but I love lists. Crossing things off them makes me happy and making them makes me feel like I’m getting shit done. But there’s a whole thing about lists, people use them in poetry, in art. They’ve become a something beyond what’s practical, fearlessly entering into the realm of the abstract and the conceptual. They’re interesting stuff, lists are. So, in honor of my love for lists and my post travel funk I’ve decided to list some things for you.

L is for List

5 Things I Did For The First Time During This Trip

1.

I ate venison, mussels, lamb, and langostines. I had a variety of candies from the UK for the first time, like Crunchies and tea cakes and tablet. Seriously, going grocery shopping was kind of an adventure. There was also Millionaire Shortbread and Sticky Toffee Pudding. The stuff I tried, foodwise, was amazing! I kept thinking back to people saying that food in the UK was bland and uninteresting. What a lie! I had a cheese and tomato risotto that I still dream about to this day. Of course, I had fish and chips dinners – some good, some less so. Also, who knew beans for breakfast could be so good? The Brits, that’s who.

2.

In keeping with the stuff I put in my mouth for the first time theme (go on, chuckle, you know you want to), I discovered Zubrowka. It’s a type of vodka flavored with what I’ve seen described as “pungent” Bison grass. I hung out with a guy in London who offered to buy me a drink and bought me this. Now I’ve never been into vodka, but he was nice and he paid, so why not? HOLY SNACK BALLS! I was wildly unprepared for it to taste that good! It was mixed with apple juice and pretty much just tasted like apples and cinnamon, without the tinny flavor I’ve come to associate with vodka.

Needless to say, I was hooked and bought a bottle without hesitating. Interestingly enough, it’s actually illegal in the States. The Bison grass has a chemical called coumarin which is prohibited by the FDA because it thins the blood and is, therefore, potentially toxic. The people who make Zubrowka have come up with a new blend that’s been scrubbed of the chemical, specifically for the American public. It’s called (or going to be called) Zu. I’m excited to try it and see if it holds up to the original!

3.

Speaking of drinking, I did the drunk peeing outside thing for the first time. Behind a tree, while Liverpool guy held my purse. It was more motivated by the fact that I’d never done it before, than it was by the need to pee. Although, not gonna lie, I really had to pee. Let’s just say it was a multipurpose affair. Good times. Especially since nothing bit me in weird places and no one caught me with my pants down. #Success

4.

This trip was the first time I’d had to take more than two trips to get somewhere. On my way to Scotland, I took four planes. I spent over 20 hours in transit. It was the same thing getting down to England, I took four different trains to get to Liverpool. Thinking about it, it was the same on the way back. I took 3 planes to get to Boston, which was beautifully offset by an 8 hour layover in London. (Where I bought my Zubrowka bottle and finished my souvenir shopping, so I guess I can’t complain that much).

5.

While I was in New York I had sex with two different people in less than 12 hours. That was new, also kind of unexpected. It was great though! 6’7 made another appearance (you can VERY briefly read about his first appearance here). This is a guy who was vacationing here in the island with some friends, my best friend and I got to talking with him and one of his friends at a bar, and the rest is history. By history I mean we most definitely hooked up and since we’re destined to repeat history, I hooked up with him again when I was in New York. It was really nice, afterwards we talked for hours. He’s funny and sweet and so very talented with his hands.

When I woke up on Monday, I was meant to go have breakfast with a friend. However, I also needed to pack and check out. He, being the wise man that he is, offered to deliver breakfast instead so that I could pack and generally be more relaxed about life. Who turns down food delivery? My first thought was, “Hell yeah, I don’t have to put real pants on! Sweatpants for the win!”.

By the time he came over, bearing more food than was necessary so that I’d have snacks and stuff while at the airport, I was already done packing. We ate, talked, napped because neither one of us had gotten much sleep the night before. Then the sex happened and WHOA, talk about the biggest dick I’ve ever had in my life. I had no idea what to do with myself. Seriously. The phrase “fuller than I’ve ever been before” suddenly made sense. He was also very talented with his hands. We finished with just enough time for me to take a quick shower, pick up the last bits and pieces I had strewn about, and make it for my 1pm check out. Because he called the hotel and got them to push it back an hour.

Yep. That happened.

As lists go, maybe it stretches the concept. However, there are still numbers involved, so I’m calling it a list. Come at me, bro!

Share some lists with me, guys. Let’s get the list ball rolling. I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday and if you’re not, just remember the week is almost over. Stay cool, readers!