Five Friday F[th]oughts 12/18

B L O G M A S  D A Y 18

  1. My coworker has been playing The Sims 4, and he has been updating me on his family (he’s been playing Mortimer and Bella Goth). It is truly my FAVORITE thing ever to listen to, and I have been spending far too much head space on his fictitious family.
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  3. Last night (Thursday) I ended up getting sidetracked talking to the guy that runs the fitness center in my apartment complex. He almost seems like a character from a book or movie because he is so passionate about his job. What qualifies a person to be a character in a book/movie and what doesn’t qualify them? Just the amount of time I think about them and spend time figuring out which book they relate to the most?
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  5. How do you know which situation calls for the bravery to say something or the bravery to stay bite back certain words? Is it whichever is harder?
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  7. I want to start a tradition of baking a certain cookie or thing every year at Christmas (or maybe a different time of year), so in 50 years I can say I’ve been making this one recipe for 50 years. It’s a lot of pressure to commit to a recipe though… I feel like it should connect with my history, so I should make pizelles but I kind of traumatized myself with that one… I had some trouble following my grandma’s recipe and it was the great pizelle disaster of 2012. Maybe I will try again. Or maybe I will try a cookie a month, and whichever one I enjoy the most I’ll stick with for that month for the rest of my life. 🙂
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  9. I’m having a hard time having the concentration to fall back into a book, so I’ve been between books this week. I might be starting Loving Day or A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. Oh, I don’t know!

That’s all for today – thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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Falling in Love With My Book Collection

B L O G M A S   D A Y   9

Sometimes you get ideas.

And then sometimes this happens:

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Here is my idea.

Move one of my bookshelves into the living room for communal book shelving display purposes (which would then have a nice ripple effect with a different piece of furniture) and then I’ll have more nice, minimalism space in my bedroom area.

 

There are more ripple effects I could go into that involve desks and closets, but my point is as a result of trying to condense my shelving in my room I have been thinking obsessively about personal book collections and my relationship with mine.

 

I’m starting to transition from being a book hoarder, to a non-book hoarder I think. I say this and I have filled my bookshelf up in my bedroom, my books have bled into the living room, I currently have a nice-sized book tree as a decoration, and I still have piles of books hidden throughout my bedroom. BUT. Due to moving last year and my own desire for less stuff, I have been chiseling away at my collection and as a result, it is a LOT smaller than it used to be.

It’s been a process that has taken a lot of time for me, taking away a box of books one month and then taking away another box 6 months later. There are many reasons I have for bringing a book into my collection, and it takes a lot to let one leave. I’m not a fan of regrets, especially when it’s something that seems pretty easy to protect yourself from (basically, keep ALL the books! ;]).

But here’s the thing. Since I’ve been doing this over a long period of time and because I’m an utter nerd, I have started to fall in love with my collection in a new unexpected way.

When I had triple the amount of books I currently own, I definitely loved it. I loved how the shelves looked– I loved just having that presence. I loved that I had all of these books to read and all of these books I read recently and all of these books I collected through the years and it was just the best thing ever. Books! Books! Books!

I still love that. I’m not discounting that by any means. I love big collections of books dearly. Among many things, they are inspiring and beautiful.

But I also love what I am doing right now. I’m going to say a thing and it’s going to sound weird… but I feel like I’m building this intimate relationship with my book collection right now.

Every book has a purpose and a reason to be there. The reasons are different for each book. Some I’m keeping merely for sentimental reasons (Teen Idol by Meg Cabot) others because they have carved a place in my heart (The Onion Girl by Charles DeLint). Some books I’m keeping for a possible future child (The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce) and others because they just look so dang pretty (The Complete Works of Isaac Babel, anyone? Some light weekend reading?).

By no means am I done chiseling. There are a LOT of titles I know I will most definitely remove within the next 5 years. Heck, I could probably pass them along right now– but something is holding me back. I still have that connection with that book and maybe it wouldn’t be a terrible thing to remove, but I’m just not ready.

And that’s okay. I will never be done refining and growing, and as a result neither will my book collection. I am turning this collection into a living, breathing thing and as time goes on, the books that have been shaking loose will eventually fall loose allowing for new ones to stick.

I like knowing that as I ride these reading roller coasters– whether it involves obsessively falling in love with a series or deciding I need every contemporary YA novel published– the most important piece will stick with me. I like being able to get in there, pull out some of the extraneous leaves, and see what has taken root.

So today I have learned not only have I completely changed my personal book collection methods recently, BUT I am also a little lot more… obsessive with it than I ever realized.

How about you?

Do you have your own methods behind what books you end up getting and keeping?

OR. Have you innocently gone to move some furniture around only to have it turn into a complete self-examination?! I never knew organization could be that powerful ;).

 

Christmas Decorations

B L O G M A S   D A Y    5

So I’m still working on decorating for Christmas with my roommate, but I wanted to show some of what we have so far. She has done some more art on the walls, but since she’s not around at the moment for me to ask her if it’s okay to share it, I’m limiting myself to the vase she did and then just sharing some of what I put off.

To start off- this vase!

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We have it on our kitchen table and I love it. Instructions:

Materials: empty paper towel cardboard tube, coffee beans, a clear vase and fake flowers.

All you do is cut the paper towel cardboard tube to the height you want it to be so it doesn’t stick out on the top, put the flower stems in the tube, place it in the vase, and then put the coffee beans in around it. You could also put the coffee beans in first if you wanted to and just force the tube and flowers in the center.

It’s super easy and a cute idea! For Halloween my roommate got different fake flowers and put candy corn in the vase instead. She’s crafty. 🙂

Okay, so these are some tiny little snowmen I got from my mom. I wanted you to see the perspective of how tiny they are. They’re adorable!

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And a close up…

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Look at those happy smiling faces!!! And the super tiny one is so cute with the humongous mittens. Unfortunately I have no idea where she got them from to be of help.

Next is also from my mom. My mom always used to build these elaborate villages when I was younger, which I LOVED. I always would make up little stories and just be a pest and play with them. She no longer does them, so she let my sister and I take some. I ended up just taking a few odds and ends–

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I took one of the houses and then a little shop. Because I love the people, I ended up taking more of them then I needed– a mother and daughter walking, a newspaper boy, a snowball thrower, a man bringing home a tree, a person on a bench, and the two sledding people.

The downside is I’m using my record player as the little plot of land for this town, so no Jerry Vale for the month, but the good news is it’s just darling.

Finally… the tree!

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It’s a hand-me-down tree and my roommate will probably be adding more decorations on it, but it’s at least bloggable. Right now I’m using a table cloth as a temporary tree skirt until we buy a new one. Then the table skirt is going to more to the table next to it where I have like a mantle set up to my sister’s cat for some reason- haha. It’s just a framed picture of her (we cat sat previously for her) and a candle.

There are more odds and ends I want to do– I keep meaning to put up a string of lights in my room, so maybe that will happen later on too.

I tried my hardest to build a book tree, but it most definitely did not work. Fun fact. I learned I have 47 green books. Wow. haha

December 2nd Rambles

B L O G M A S    D A Y   2

Insert cheery music here.

Today I am bringing you a very ramble-y entry, which I tend to not do here.

I’ve started like a billion blog posts (I’m exaggerating- only 1), but I’m having trouble getting the words out.

I was thinking today about seasons. Not seasons of weather, but instead seasons of life. How June-August was a season of patching and scribbling and movement and how September and October and November was a season of pushing and now it’s December and I’m in the season of reading Sounds Like Me in the bath because December is also the season of HIVES.

Which is new.

December is such a weird time in the beginning of the month, because there is no escaping how dark it gets so early and then you exist in this weird state of time where the evening feels extraordinarily long, since it seems like it should be midnight by the time it’s 7, and also extraordinarily short because you think you have more time than you actually do.

But today’s 2nd of December has brought snow covered trees and the possibility that the hives might finally be going away and the realization of how fun tomorrow is going to be and also the realization that I am SUPER on track of completing my informal goal of reading 100 books this year and also the last realization that I just had that I have no idea what I did between the hours of 7-9pm today because of the weird time warp thing I described above.

So December is pretty okay so far.

and

I hope December is going pretty okay for you too.

A parting song:

 

See you tomorrow-

 

Remember that one time…

…when I said I was going to blog every day in December?

Ha.

Well the good news is I blogged a ton more than I did in December than I have any other month.

Am I going to  be blogging regularly again? I have no clue. BUT I feel like I owe some sort of explanation.

I moved!

Which was exciting and thrilling and a ton of work. And then I lived off the internet and cable grid for a while

BUT.

I now have internet. And cable. And am completely moved in. And am feeling settled enough to actually start doing things in my free time other than clean, watch Friends, write lists (lots and lots of lists), and use a heck of a lot of phone data up on Pinterest.

So hurray!

What is happening in my content consumption life?

The best thing that cable has brought me is The Great British Bake Off. A while ago I stumbled on this show called The Great American Bake Off and it was the best thing ever. I just loved every bit of it for some reason. This weekend I was at my parents and guess what I stumbled on?! The Great British Bake Off!!! And guess who gets that channel?!?! ME. I am a happy happy soul.

Musically I have just started listening to the new Punch Brothers CD released today, Phosphorescent Blues. I have not gotten far, but so far so good!

I just started reading this book called Red Rising by Pierce Brown today and I am very much a fan so far. It’s been getting a lot of attention in various things I peek at, and I am enjoying the world building going on. I also tentatively really like the main character Darrow. It’s definitely exactly what I have been wanting!

I am listening to What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. This is technically my second book by him, by first one being the uber short The Strange Library. What I can tell you right now is I just really really like his personality. I am unintentionally falling down a Murakami hole.

Online video wise, I have started to watch a lot of Kate’s videos from The Small Things Blog. I like her candidness with her reaction toward certain products, her hair tutorials, and how she tends to make a lot of videos for everyday makeup/hair.

I think that’s a pretty good sum of what is happening in life. I hope you all are enjoying things!

Book Blogger Blogmas? MAYBE.

D A Y   1

For the past few days I have been thinking about this thing called blogmas. For those of you that don’t know, blogmas is where you blog every day in December starting December 1st-December 31st. I am still not sure if I have decided to do it. BUT. I have decided to pretend that I am and maybe perhaps also do join in?

I am so non-committal in this. Ha!  Winters are routinely messy for me in many ways which is why I’m hesitating, BUT I really have blog business I want to attend to, so I am loosely declaring that I am doing blogmas.

Where is my head at right now?

My chief motivation is the blog business I stated above. I am trying to figure out what I want to do with this blog- whether to continue as I am or sort of adjust the content. For the past four-five months, my strategy of doing this is sort of thinking about it off and on, and waiting for that IDEA to strike. As you all can probably see, that has been working out great in the sense that the blog is becoming a nonexistent blog where I don’t actually blog. (How many times can I say the word blog in this post?)

So instead, I have decided to do the exact opposite and just churn out lots of different content, and see what sticks. The timing of this is wonderful, in that it will pop me right out into the new year, which I am pretty sure is my 5th anniversary for this bugger! (oh my gosh time flies) (at least I think it’s my 5th. It could be my 6th. I am suddenly very aware that in a blink of an eye I am going to be 80 years old.) Plus, I am hoping it will get me into the spirit of holiday things.

Which brings me to my next point/motivation: getting into “the spirit.”

I have no clue what that means really, but this holiday season is the first holiday season where I am not in grad school and/or working retail and/or going through really big things, and I want to see what this is like. I love the idea of the holidays, but truthfully I am usually more of a scrooge at this point.

So here is my maybe attempt.

I am going to end this here, because every time I add another sentence it turns into a sappy mess, so let’s see what happens!

(and whew, I am doing this with 45 minutes to spare before midnight!)

Belated 24in48 Thoughts and Reading Ruts

A friend of mine asked how 24in48 went for me, and it made me realize I never gave an update anywhere with how that went.

For those that don’t know what I am talking about, it was a readathon lasting 11/15/2014-11/16/2014 in which participants read 24 out of the 48 hours. You can read more about it here and also take a look at my original post about it.

I ended up not successfully completing the 24 hours and  only completed 8 hours. Truthfully? I am one-thousand percent fine with that. While in that time I finished a book I’ve been wanting to finish and read a new book I have been wanting to read, what was more important to me was it helped me figure out what the heck has been going on with my reading lately.

I have been having a really hard time trying to figure out what I am in the mood to read, to the point where reading anything had been feeling like work or just something to check off that I’ve read on Goodreads. There are a lot of things I have read recently that I liked alright or maybe even a lot, but it didn’t hit that *SPOT.* You know? There is this moment where a writing style, a plot, a time of your life, and your mood just align and  BAM you have the perfect storm of everything you love about reading. That perfect storm has not been happening for me, and I have been desperately seeking it.

I did not reach that perfect storm that weekend, but giving myself permission to spend a HUGE chunk of my day just reading and allowing myself to start and stop books as I liked helped me figure out more of what exactly I am craving and helped me figure out what I am most definitely NOT wanting to read right now.

As a result, I am in a much much better reading place right now, because I have figured more of what I need out of my books and am able to select titles better suited to that. I am happily enjoying myself in the midst of three different stories and have just finished one this weekend that I have been thinking about constantly (How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran).

So maybe I didn’t achieve the exact goal I had set out to achieve, but what I did achieve was more important: I managed to make my passion for reading burn a little brighter. Best of luck to anyone else that has been experiencing similar difficulties! Getting out of these ruts is different for everyone and different every time, but just remember there is no right way or wrong way to read.