4 Books to Read Before the Movie

As much as I know and understand the movie adaptions are their own entity and they don’t always follow the books they’re based on, I enjoy reading and like to come up with my own ideas of what characters are like before seeing the movie versions of them. I also find that knowing the story beforehand helps me to get excited about a movie.

It will come as no surprise that I am, and have always been, a read-the-book-before-seeing-the-movie girl. Probably always will be. There’s a reason I haven’t gotten into Game of Thrones yet. So here are 4 books (and a bonus) that I want to read before the movie comes out.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Book HERE | Trailer HERE
I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time, and with the movie coming out soon, it feels less like and eventuality and more like a high-pressure need. I love adventure stories. I love the feeling of being on my own. I love stories about other women who have gone on adventures alone. I know I’m going to like this book.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Book HERE | Trailer HERE
I saw the trailer for this movie when I went to see The Fault in Our Stars on opening weekend. I cried my way through the trailer, as I cry my way through many things. I seem to like things that will make me cry, so this should be a good exercise.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Book HERE | Trailer HERE
Another instance of seeing the trailer and wanting to read the book first. Also, since a friend of mine found out I haven’t read this, she’s been telling to. Highly recommended. Admittedly, this one isn’t as high on the priority list as the other two, but I want to give it a shot.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Book HERE | Trailer HERE
This book has been critically acclaimed and has been on my radar for a little while, but it wasn’t until I saw the trailer that it moved onto my to-read list. Mystery, suspense, you’ve got me hooked. Besides, it’s about time I start reading “grown-up” books. I guess.

The Giver by Lois Lowrey
Book HERE | Trailer HERE
Okay, so this one is more of a re-read than a to-read. I read this book as assigned reading in middle school and loved it. In many ways, this book is the precursor to many, many YA dystopian novels. The Giver is a book that I imagine changes and grows with you and I’m looking forward to reading it again with new eyes. In regards to the movie: I’m nervous, but curious.

The DONE List

Currently, I am unemployed and am making up my own schedule. Because I’m doing a lot of the same thing every day, it’s sometimes frustrating to get to the end of the day and not be sure how much I’ve actually accomplished.

With the start of the new year I’ve added a new ritual to my nightly routine. In the evenings before I go to bed I make a list of all the things I’ve accomplished during the day. Sometimes it’s a series of small victories. Things like doing the dishes that have been in the sink for a few days or catching up on the new season of Downton Abbey. Sometimes I’m listing big accomplishments like going for a job interview or meeting all the fitness goals on my new fitbit.

Big and small, all the day’s accomplishments are ranked equally on The DONE List. And yes, I write DONE in all caps when I write the list out in my journal underneath the morning’s entry. The list itself is a small thing, but I’ve found it to be extremely helpful to my sense of productivity.

It’s also a great record of what got done on what day. If I forget to make a not otherwise of when I sent in that application or weather I remembered to call my mom, I can check back and be reminded of when things got done. Speaking of, I should probably call my mom sometime today… Then I’ll get to put it on the list tonight.

How Old Am I?

In September I turned 22. It’s starting to be about time that I “act my age”, but in all honesty, I’m never sure what that is exactly. Biologically or mentally? And if the later than by what set of actions are we measuring my mental age? My schedule? Financial stability? Hobbies and interests? Because I’m still not sure how to answer that question.

I have the imagination of a six year old, always wandering off and drifting to make-believe lands where I fight off pretend beasts and strange foes. Sometimes it’s just this world, but instead of being me I’m the size of a mouse and I’m sneaking around like in The Borrowers. Sometimes I run away to Hogwarts.

My taste in computer games hasn’t aged since I was about 11. My sister and I used to play Nancy Drew games together, but now she plays too quickly for me. When I try to catch up I play for hours, forgetting to eat and staying up until the wee hours.

I’ve been reading the same type of YA books since I was allowed to go to the YA section of the library at around 13. I love the new releases and can’t wait for the movie versions of The Fault in Our Stars and Divergent. I eat these books for breakfast, quickly devouring entire novels in a day. Nearly every night is stay-up-as-long-as-you-want-as-long-as-you’re-reading day (a sometimes tradition from my childhood).

Perhaps because of these late nights my reaction to my alarm clock has been the same since 16. “Oh please, no, just 10 more minutes.” Which inevitably turns to 30.

One thing that’s probably just about on par is my style (or possibly lack thereof). Half my wardrobe is nice clothes my parents bought me and the other half is full of random items from Target, Goodwill, and online deals that has the distinct possibility of falling apart sooner rather than later.

When I go to a party I’m in my mid-thirties. There are shots and dancing and staying up until 5am all around me. I drink wine and fall asleep on the couch at 1. My friends jokingly say that the party doesn’t start until I fall asleep on the couch. They’re right and they have the pictures to prove it. Parties are fun for a while, but they mess up my routine of waking up (30 minutes after my alarm) and getting things done. There are errands to run and schoolwork to be done, why should I mess with that routine?

A friend of mine tells me that my taste in television is in line with a middle aged woman. I can’t disagree. I watch CSI, The Mentalist, and The Good Wife, all of which I can discuss with my mom. In my deference I also watch Awkward and Adventure Time, but most of my favorites skew towards an older audience.

Similarly I never really did find my own taste in music. As a kid, my parents introduced me to Joe Jackson, Miles Davis, and Van Morrison. I’ve pretty much stuck with that. Other things in my music library include LOTS of showtunes and a smattering of worship music, but overall I would have more to talk about music-wise with a 52-year-old than I do with most 22-year-olds.

At night I am starting to go to bed earlier and earlier. Last week I started to fade out at 8:30. Most nights I make it to 10 or 10:30, but in a dream world I would probably go to bed at 9. I’m not sure exactly, but I think that’s around the time my grandma goes to bed, so I don’t know what that makes me.

This Has Been: August 2013

I can’t remember the last time I was so productive during the month of August. Really. It’s been a long time. Usually August is just a throwaway month, but this year it’s been fantastic. And hot, but like I said the other day, I’m dealing with it. A few favorites from this month:

The beginning of the apartment tour
I got and lost a kitten
I talked about how second screening is awesome
A summary of summer
My TV list for the summer

Now, to tackle my crazy long to do list for August. I’m glad to say that I did pretty much all get everything done, and then some. Besides the planned things, I also got a fantastic new haircut, hosted my sister and one of my best friends, and started to keep much better track of my finances then I ever have before.

The big two, the ones that really needed doing were getting myself a mode of transportation and an internship, both of which I now have. I got a scooter mid-way through the month, and as of Monday this week it’s registered in my name. I’m going to hold off on information about my internship, but I do have one and will be starting next week when the school semester officially begins. I also have a lead on a second, but I’m still waiting to see how that pans out.

I got started on all the things I wanted to this month, some of them wont fully pan out until next month. For example, the writers group I started is full of people who went out of town for the last week or so. We met a few times, but we’ll kick off once everyone gets back with a writer’s lock-in. I set up a facebook group for a camping trip and in talking to people who want to go we decided to wait until it’s a bit cooler in September. I also attended all the sessions to become a member of the church I’ve been attending, but wont be confirmed until next month.

I’m going to call both networking and yoga studio finding a draw. I went to a few networking events, but not a ton. I mostly networked and grew friendships that already exist. I kept my eyes peeled for yoga studios and found a few that I wanted to try, but didn’t get the chance to actually try them. Not a complete failure, but not quite what I had in mind.

Overall I’m really happy with how things went this month, and I’m even more excited to get started on next month, but that’s a post I’ll leave till next week.

How was your August?  Anything exciting happen?

Right Now…

Santa Monica

Shifting my life around to fit better in LA. A little nudge in that direction, a little tug here, trying to find the best way that my life fits here.

Planning out my schedule. This fall will be at least one, possibly two internships and 9 credit hours of online course work.

Organizing my finances. Because apparently I’m almost an adult now. Whatever that means.

Trying to get back into the groove of blogging, but I keep running into chronic lateness.

Spending days at a time without leaving the apartment, writing, tooling around on social media, and watching Fringe. A few other summer shows, but mostly Fringe.

Hanging out with one of my best friends who is visiting on her way back to Seattle.  Which involves…

Swimming in the ocean.  Not something I would have done on my own, but a lot of fun all the same.

Printing pictures for the first time on the photo printer I’ve had for over a year. Including some underwater pictures we took at the beach.

Yearning to get back into yoga, and getting excited whenever I see a studio relatively near me.

Wearing shorts and tank tops around the apartment, because it’s too damn hot for anything else.

Hating the heat. My body does not respond well to heat (sunburn, heat rash). I know I chose this, and I’m dealing with it, but I was clearly made for temperate zones.

Eating simple foods to keep the burners and oven off.

Loving my new shorty haircut.  I cut it all off to donate to Children with Hair Loss, following along in the #hairfohazel and #itgrowsback campaign that is happening around the new The Fault in Our Stars movie.

Riding my scooter new around town when I leave the apartment.

Going to fancy LA premiere parties. Like you do.

Describing delicious food as a “good life decision”. In and Out. Watermelon.

Spending less by eating in as much as possible and going to free things. Like sitcom tapings and parties with friends.

Age Differences and Small Groups: How To Make Outsiders Feel Welcome

I have always enjoyed making friends with people who are older or younger than me. With a handful of exceptions, most of my friends are either a little bit older or a little bit younger than me. I am friends with people who were sophomores when I was a senior, people who were seniors when I was a junior. I’m friends with single ladies, married ladies, and 13-year-olds, and I love the diversity in my friend group.

Lately, I’ve been interacting with my parents community group from church. My parents are on the young side for the group, with the majority of members being couples who’ve been married ~40 years and have grown children, some of whom have their own children. 40 years! They have been married nearly twice as long as I’ve been alive!* This is a small group of the few conservatives in San Francisco, and it’s been fascinating to interact with them.

What probably amazes me the most from this group is how extraordinarily welcome I feel. Making people feel comfortable is the best way to grow your friends group, and these guys have it down. A few things I learned from hanging out with a different crowd.

  • Ask questions about them. What have you been up to? Read any good books lately? People love talking about themselves.  Someone is always sure to engage in conversation, which as the odd one out is always nice. I espeically appreciated when some of the earlier arrivals would talk with me as others came in. It allowed other members of the group to join in our conversation instead of me awkwardly joining their conversations.
  • Include them in the go-round. Invariably in medium-sized groups their winds up being a moment of everyone taking turns answering the same question. As always, but especially with new people, it’s great if other members of the group are able to pull them in by treating them the same as everyone else. What is everybody doing this summer? Everyone takes a turn and even a new person is included.
  • Have no pressure to them. If you bring up a topic that you can see as not being their favorite, let them know immediately that they don’t have to answer that. Either open up more the a larger group asking a related question or let them re-direct the conversation.
  • Let them go when they feel like it. Similar to the last one, this is just more with ending a conversation when it needs to be ended. Not everyone is comfortable pulling away from a conversation themselves, so it’s best to allow them more natural moments to leave. “Okay, we’re transitioning to {blank},” from a group leader. “Well, I’ll let you go.” You don’t need to give an excuse for leaving them either. I promise. In fact, it will be less awkward for both of you if you don’t.

So just like that, a handful of welcoming tips from a very welcoming group. How do you make newcomers feel welcome? What are some of your favorite conversation starters?

*I just need to stress that this is an explanation point of congratulations, not of shock.

6 Things I Think I Would Be Good At

Have you ever seen something and thought to yourself “I could do that… and I bet I’d be pretty good at it too.”  I think that sometimes.  For a while I was reading a ton of blogs and thinking to myself exactly that.  So I did it.  Am I good at it?  Well, I’m certainly not terrible.  They haven’t laughed me off the internet yet.

I was thinking about this more recently and thought up some other things I think I would be good at.

  1. Scrapbooking.  Taking pictures and putting them in an album plus making it look pretty?  Yeah, I think I could manage that.  I’ve been watching a few bloggers work on Project Life and I think it would be fun.  Someday I’ll get to it.
  2. Travel Writing.  Go to far off places and write about it?  That’s been a part of a plan B for a while now.  Travel writing, as in making money from it?  That might be a little bit harder, but I could probably do that.
  3. Parkour.  I already climb on everything, I could probably take it a step further and try my hand at Parkour.  It would be really hard, and it would take a lot of effort, but I could probably learn a few tricks if I had someone to teach me.
  4. Teaching.  I’ve taught Sunday school before and I’ve taught friends how to do things, so I could maybe be a teacher.  I realize that there’s a lot more to teaching than that, and it takes a lot of time and effort to be good at teaching.  I think I would be a good teacher though, at least in theory.  I’m a pretty patient person and I like kids.
  5. Crocheting.  I love making things with my hands.  I already knit and sew, clearly crocheting is next in the handmade department.
  6. Vlogging.  I follow a lot of video bloggers on YouTube.  I could totally do that!  I know how to edit, and I learned a bit about how online video gets popular in school.  I even have a camera that I could shoot video with.  I guess we’ll see how it goes.


All this in part to announce that I’ve started a YouTube channel and will be trying my hand at vlogging.  I have an idea of what I’m doing, but probably don’t really know what I’m getting myself into.  You can check out my first video already, and be sure to subscribe if you have a YouTube account.

I don’t know that I will have a schedule for vlogging quite as strictly as I do for blogging.  Down the line I’d like to upload once a week, but for now I’m trying not to put to much pressure on myself.

What do you think you would be good at if you ever gave it a shot?  Do you vlog?  Let me know what your channel is and I’ll check it out.

5 Things That I Don’t Understand

There are some things that seem to exist and I really don’t understand why or how they came to be.  Allow me a few examples.

  1. Gespatcho.  It’s cold tomato soup.  Why?  Tomato soup is wonderful when it’s hot, why do you want to mess with that and let it go cold?  I honestly don’t understand the appeal.
  2. Lying about your age.  I’m not sure what that gets you.  If you’re pretending to be something you’re not then people will start expecting something that you can’t deliver.  Young and old, every age has it’s advantages, play into those positives instead of focusing on the negatives.
  3. Driving.  On some levels I understand it.  I know how it works and how to do it, but I wonder why.  Biking is healthier.  Busing is cheeper.  Plus all that time searching for parking.
  4. Procrastination.  This one I understand the least, but probably do the most of.  I don’t understand it at all, I can’t seem to stop myself.
  5. Marzipan.  What is it made of?  What is up with that texture?  What does it even taste like?  The world may never know.

9 Things To Do When Unemployed

I’m not sure weather or not I’m technically unemployed.  True, I don’t have a job.  But I’m also still a student and registered for school.  Even though my truncated semester is over, the semester as a whole and general entity is still going on.  So I’m a student.  With nothing to do.  It feels an awful lot like unemployment.  Or at least what I imagine unemployment feels like.

So at the moment I’m “unemployed”.  For me that’s meant a lot of looking for apartments and not quite finding what I’m looking for.  Too expensive or in not-so-nice neighborhoods.  On a too-busy street or too far from where I want to be.  It’s tedious, and I’m working though it.  Here’s how:

  1. Read books.  I’ve finished two books in the past week, and am in the midst of three, maybe four more.  I am reading all sorts of different things at the same time and it’s wonderful.  Granted, I’m not sure I’ll ever finish Infinite Jest.
  2. Watch TV.  I try to find a balance between older shows (a part of my television education) and something new that I haven’t seen yet.  Right now I’m working on Freaks and Geeks, Torchwood, and Roots.
  3. Go to the library.  Partly because you need some sort of source to find the first two.  Both of which can be found at the library.  I currently hold library cards in three cities.  Going to the library also gets you off the couch and interacting with real people.
  4. Yoga.  Any sort of movement will do really, yoga has just been my activity of choice lately.  Super awesome bonus points if you can get others to join in.  Roller blading with an old co-worker and friend?  Yup.  Hiking with a roommate?  Done.
  5. Visit a new neighborhood.  I particularly like the activity Sharon Beasley did with her kids.  It sounds like a lot of fun and who says you need kids to do fun, sometimes slightly silly activities?  Kill-joys, that’s who.
  6. Cook extravagant meals.  Or simple ones.  Now is your chance to prefect the recipes you love so that when you become busy again and need to make things quickly, you’ll be able to do it without thinking.
  7. Re-Organize your… closet/desk/bookshelf/fill-in -the-blank.  Cause you’ve got nothing but time and you might as well fill it with something useful.  That sounded bitter.  It’s not.  I actually really like organizing.
  8. Volunteer.  Still working on this.  I’m trying to find a place where I can do office work so that I get some experience, while also supporting a cause I believe in.  When I was in high school I did volunteer night at the San Francisco Bike Coalition, and it was great.  I met tons of people who were interesting and kind.
  9. Make something.  I don’t know what you make, but just be working on something.  I knit while I watch TV and am debating what kind of spec I want to write next.  While I decide, I’ve got this blog as a way of getting pen to paper.

What do you do when you have longer stretches of down time?  Have you ever been unemployed?  How did you fill your time?

10 Things I Like About Me


This post is partly inspired by Amelia Burger‘s vlog (in turn inspired by Amber’s) and is also in part a return to list making.  I love lists and I want to make them more of a feature of this here blog thing.  So here goes, 10 things I like about me:

  1. How long my hair is.  Seriously long.  I’m considering cutting it a bit, but even then it’d be really long.  Because it’s so long I can have tons of fun putting it up in new ways and twisting it ’round.
  2. My hair color.  Strawberry blonde.  It’s totally unique, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone with hair that comes even close.
  3. My freckles.  I like how my freckles get more obvious in the summer.  It’s as close as I get to a tan.  Because seriously, I don’t tan.  I don’t mind not tanning really, because if I was able to tan I wouldn’t freckle.  You can’t play connect the dots with a tan (true life).
  4. How strong my legs are.  They get me wherever I need to go.  Even if I’m having trouble hanging on or I’m getting out of breath, my legs could usually keep going.  My legs bring me to the next adventure.
  5. My fingernails.  Because.
  6. My feet and how tough they are.  I prefer going barefoot, so my feet are pretty tough.
  7. How my skin bruises.  I think bruises and scars to be awesome.  In fact, I’ve broken 5 bones and I don’t have any real scars to show for it, and that is upsetting.  Bruises and scars are the ways to remember stories and to remind ourselves of why we don’t want to do those things again.
  8. My arms.  Similar to my legs, they’re pretty strong.  They pull me up walls and mountains and stuff which is kind of awesome.  After working really hard, my forearms sort of puff up in protest, which is kind of cool.  It’s my body’s way of telling me to stop.
  9. My ankles.  When I was growing up I was afraid I had fat ankles.  I think I read it in a book once and thought I had them, but that’s so silly!  My ankles are a part of what gets me to where I’m going.
  10. My fingers.  Also strong.  And grippy.  Really, our hands are our best tools to do stuff and we sometimes forget that.  My hands/fingers can knit and sew and cook and bake and braid and fold and I don’t know what I would do without them.
    And I know this is only supposed to be 10, but…
  11. My brain.  Because even though my physical body is kind of rad I’m so glad for my knowledge and creativity.  You know, brain stuff.

So there we have it.  11 things I like about me.  What do you like about you?  Put it in the comments or write your own blog post about it.  Link me to it.

* Pictures taken during What Moves You this summer while I was giving my body a beating.  Took it like a champ!