Monday, July 18, 2011

totally random thoughts in totally random order.

1)  what is up with all the gleeks thinking that the news that some of the cast members will be graduating this season!  the producer said from the beginning that they would graduate in real-time, not tv time.  they were juniors last season.  you do the math.  and quit freaking out.  it's just a tv show.

2)  i'm listening the stan getz and joao gilberto on vinyl right now.  that's right.  be jealous.

3)  i found a new app for my phone that i love: goodreads.  i've been a member of the site for some time, but i just recently downloaded the app. it's amazing.  you can scan the ISBN barcode on a book and it catalogs it for you.  that's right, bitches.  i now have a virtual library (all except for the books on the shelves i can't reach and those that are packed away in boxes, lent to friends, and misplaced). 

4)  i really wish that the largest college i work at could manage to update/upgrade their technologies so that all the computers are capable of performing the same basic functions.  i'm not asking for a miracle.  i'd just like to be able to edit content in my online class without having to redo it eighteen times (not an exaggeration).

5) my desk needs to be cleaned.  what else is new?

6)  i'm now down to three books and am only actively reading one.  i think i'm going to pick up another one soon.  and probably completely abandon the other two.

7)  i'm going to tulsa this weekend.  yay.  woohoo.  can't wait.  {insert sarcasm}

8) i've been having nightmares lately about totally random stuff.  the first consisted of a zombie apocalypse with romero-esque zombies.  i was married to joshua jackson (AKA pacey from dawson's creek) and robert downey, jr. winked at me and gave me the virus.  then, the next night, i dreamed that the state was requiring me to go back to high school to repeat my senior year or take an exam to clep out.  my mom made me go back.  what gives?!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


i have a confession to make:  i'm a whore.  a book whore, that is.

typically, during the summer when my teaching load is light, i read voraciously.  i don't know if it's especially bad this summer because last semester was so grueling, but i have read myself into a bit of a pickle.

i'm right smack dab in the middle of seven books.

now, reading multiple books isn't usually a problem for me.  i think it has to do with the years of majoring in english and being forced to read multiple books for classes at the same time.  i can easily keep track...usually.

i think the problem here is the number.  i've never had quite this many books going all at once.  usually, i try to keep my "active read" column in the three to four range--a number that is completely manageable and allows me to keep track of all the various details and plots being laid out for me.

right now, i'm in the middle of seven.

while i haven't yet reached a point in this bibliomania where i'm losing track of details, i am nearing that point.

and i keep buying books.  and starting to read them.  just friday i bought three more and had to actively force myself not to pick them up.

seven i can apparently handle; eight might be pushing it.

so here's a list of my current reads (note the epic ADD quality to the list) and the reasons:

1)  the maltese falcon by dashiell hammet
why: a dear friend of mine adores hammett and swears by the hard-boiled vintage crime novels (fyi--he does a stellar 1940s private eye voice).  so, in a recent trip to denton's best bookstore, i picked it up.  i have absolutely no experience with this kind of text, so it's something exciting and new for me.  and here's the sick part:  i'm freaking loving it--me!  the girl who has all kinds of trouble with novels.  it's fresh and fun, with a perfect balance of wit, charm, and intrigue.  it probably doesn't hurt that i'm picturing humphrey bogart and hearing my buddy's 1940s voice while reading.  and, i'm almost done with this one...

2)  in the garden of beasts by erik larson
why:  i've read everything larson has ever written.  i find his style to be quite good--he can weave a true story so well that it seems like fiction.  he's one of my faves.  this one, to be frank, has been a bit of a letdown.  i mean,  it's about the freaking nazis--that has to be enthralling, right?!  it's interesting, but not as intriguing as his other works.  i keep waiting for it it pick up...

3) the worst hard time by timothy egan
why: i love narrative nonfiction, and on a random click-fest one evening stumbled upon this book.  i've never been a fan of american history, but this one seemed intriguing and was about an event i don't know much about.  it's good.  there have been moments where i'm a bit bored, but they are quick to go away and seem few and far between.  i'm just now getting to the really juicy part (i think).

4)  the psychopath test by jon ronson
why: ronson is always hit or miss with me, so when my sister told me he had a new book out i was cautiously optimistic.  i'm enjoying reading this one, though i don't think i quite get it.  i don't feel like i know where he's going or what, beyond the definition of psychopaths, he's getting at.  we'll see...

5)  the devil and sherlock holmes by david grann
why:  first, let me say something shocking:  the lost city of z sucked.  i know.  i'm alone on an iceberg in this opinion.  this book, though, is fun.  i find grann's style to be a bit stilted, so i don't enjoy reading him over a long period, so this book, comprised of many small investigations into various murder, mayhem, and mystery, is right up my alley.  i get my fill of interesting story, and when i'm reaching that point where i'm bored with his prose, the investigation comes to an end.  it's the perfect marriage of my attention span and grann's investigative skills.

6) la increible y triste historia de la candida erendira y de su abuela desalmada by gabriel garcia marquez
why:  i'm a huge marquez fan, and i am "technically" fluent in spanish, but i've never tried reading marquez in spanish.  it would be like speaking farsi from birth, moving to england and reading milton the second you learn english--HARD.  but, through some encouragement from a friend and bravery on my part, i'm accomplishing it.  and IT IS GOOD.  marquez is amazing in english, but man, in spanish--i have no words.  incredible.

7) love and intrigue by frederick schiller
why: my bestie and i were watching graham norton one night and one of the interviewees (alex kingston) mentioned this play (she's currently in a production in london).  i had never heard of the guy but am teaching world lit 2 next semester and thought it might be something to look into.  she described him as the german shakespeare but better because the play starts in the middle of the action.  it's like romeo and juliet without all the wooing at the beginning.  dark, sad, and deliciously good.  goethe will be taking a vacation from my class this semester...

so there you have it.  a not so brief look at my book-whorish ways.

i'm off to finish the maltese falcon (so i can start raymond chandler's the big sleep).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

day the last.

day thirty:  your favorite song at this time last year: "red wine, mistakes, mythology" by jack johnson

why: because it's jack johnson, and no one is better.  well, few are better.  his latest album had just come out and was on permanent repeat on my ipod.  i'm a bit obsessed.  don't believe me?  see this post.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

day twenty-nine.

day twenty-nine: a song from your childhood:  "fraggle rock theme"

why: the fraggles are f-in awesome!

Monday, July 4, 2011

day twenty-eight.

day twenty-eight: a song that makes you feel guilty: "thinking it over" by dana glover

why: it reminds me of a dark time when things were up in the air, and i struggled to make the best decisions i could.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

day twenty-seven.

day twenty-seven: a song you wish you could play: "hiroshima (b-b-b-benny hits his head)" by ben folds.

why: the man is a piano god.  he snaps strings while playing.  truthfully, the answer here should be absolutely anything by ben folds, but that's cheating, so i just picked one.  his music intimidates me--i shudder to look at the sheet music.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

day twenty-six.

day twenty-six: a song you can play on an instrument: "rainbow connection" by kermit the frog

why:  i'm a child of the 80s who worshipped jim henson.  when i started taking piano lessons in third grade, this became part of my repertoire.  for some reason, the song remains stuck in my memory bank amidst about a jillion classical pieces.

Friday, July 1, 2011

day twenty-five.

day twenty-five: a song that makes you laugh: "boyz-n-the-hood" by dynamite hack.

why: it's freaking ridiculous.  it reminds me of high school, sitting in the auditorium during theater, chatting with my buds.  plus, you have to laugh at any song with the following lyrics:

"Pulled to the house, get her out of the pad
And the bitch said somethin' to make me mad
She said somethin' that I couldn't believe
So I grabbed the stupid bitch by her nappy-ass weave

She started talkin' shit, wouldn't cha know
I reached back like a pimp and I slapped the ho
And her father stood up and he started to shout
So I threw a right cross and knocked his old-ass out"