Defragmenting my brain.

October 18, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Posted in day to day | 2 Comments
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I used to love reading. My mother and father read aloud to my sister and I – I remember distinctly lying on the floor in my parents’ bedroom listening in horror as my father read the beginning chapters of Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire, my imagination following his every word, conjuring the image of an evil pet snake slithering on the floor next to the Dark Lord.

In the sixth grade when my parents separated I began my quest to check out the most books of any student from the school library (I was under the impression that should I accomplish this feat I might be rewarded with a certificate). I spent lunch hours on the grass in front of my classroom instead of joining the customary handball games on the playground. My teacher – probably tipped off by my mother about my middle class adolescent turmoil – called me inside. If you want to talk…

7th grade. A new school. Fresh divorce. New library.

I wrapped myself in Tamora Pierce. I wanted to live in Tortall. I wanted Kel, George, and Alana to be my friends. But they stayed in my head, as I knew they had to.

8th grade. During one of my frequent wanderings through Barnes and Noble, I spot nearly an entire bookcase ruled by one author. Nora Roberts. I’m drawn to her awesome proliferation. I prick my finger on that first book, inundate the local libraries with holds on every Roberts book they had or could have shipped to them.

9th grade. I perched on the concrete wall outside the school, engrossed in Stephen King’s IT, as my classmates and I waited for the bus to take us to retreat.

And then I went to college and characters were shelved for Headings, clinical analysis, required fact finding.

My love for scripted television was one I could nourish between classes or research papers. A hallmate got me a few books for my birthday, which I lumbered through dutifully – even with a little remembered pleasure for the pasttime.

But it wasn’t until I left college – 2 years early, no degree – and moored myself with no bearings in a summer where I was expected to map my Way Back to a future – that I started reading again. Really reading.

In a new town. No friends. No school. No job. No schedule. I spent my time in the local libraries under the guise of being productive. In the past I preferred Barnes and Noble’s current stock to a library’s outdated, limited shelves. I also had Birthday and Christmas gift cards to feed my desire to own books.

With no disposable income and no storage for clothing let alone books, I found my reacquaintance with libraries to be less jarring than I’d expected. I put popular books on hold (current position 40 of 175 for The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest; 70 of 190 for The Hunger Games) and judged books by their covers – picking those off the shelves who were most successful at peacocking.

I also found my relationship with reading to have changed.

I used to escape into books. Now I use them to unknot my brain. Defragment. I sit in my car, recline my seat, and power through Sarah Addison Allen’s The Sugar Queen in one sitting. I’m draining my car battery – door open to keep the lights on  – so I can finish the last chapter as the sunlight is whisked away with my afternoon.

But I feel good. Just what the chiropractor ordered. Brain massage.

And when I close the cover on the last words, I feel righted.


Note: recent books finished

Fried Green Tomatoes and the Whistle Stop Cafe by Frannie Flagg (f)
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (f)
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger (nf)
Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy by Donald b. Kraybill (nf)
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (f)
I’m a Believer by Jessica Adams (f)
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy (f)
The Profiler by Pat Brown (nf)


Hobbies include: sitting on babies, impersonating Xena, & breathing.

August 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm | Posted in day to day | Leave a comment
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I’m still here. Haven’t been abducted by the aliens yet. That’s for another day.

I spent the last week on writing hiatus mostly due to sitting on babies for 7 dollars an hour.

1. Babysat an 11 month old for 3 hours every day (9am-12pm) for a week which takes a lot out of you. Especially waking up at 8am on a summer sleep schedule.

2. On Friday I babysat the 11 month old and my sister babysat a 2 1/2 year old. We were at the same place so we sat on our charges together. It was like real life nanny bonding. Chatting at the park while watching our respective charges amongst the other outsourced babysitters and young mothers (and the rare father), I felt like a bonafide Nanny. Only I wasn’t from another country and the money I made was for my plane ticket for Thanksgiving not a motel and food for the week. Continue Reading Hobbies include: sitting on babies, impersonating Xena, & breathing….

My grandmother has more beanie babies than you.

August 4, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Posted in day to day | Leave a comment
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We went to grandmother’s last Thursday and Friday. She’s moving to a condo and needs help sifting through the heaps and heaps of things – some of which are 20, 30, 40 years old – in her house and garage. My grandmother lives in an upper class LA neighborhood where the houses are alternately ugly and humongous or quaint expensive one story abodes. Apparently, my grandmother and Dustin Hoffman frequent the same Starbucks. This led to my sister’s “Was that Dustin Hoffman?” after every car that sped by. Continue Reading My grandmother has more beanie babies than you….

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog

July 18, 2008 at 1:35 pm | Posted in day to day | Leave a comment
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I have never seen Firefly, but I’ve heard a lot about the “best show to ever to be so prematurely canceled”. I plan on buying the DVD. I never saw an entire season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the cult favorite. Both are Whedon brother creations.

I have seen How I Met Your Mother with supporting actor Neil Patrick Harris as an AWE – wait for it wait for it – SOME character. Continue Reading Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog…

i am not having sex with my car. stop staring.

July 18, 2008 at 12:08 am | Posted in day to day | Leave a comment
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Toyota has some weird safety precautions.

Case: In my car the steering wheel locks (and the key won’t turn) as an apparent anti-theft maneuver. I have no idea what triggers the wheel to lock – only that it locks 1 in every 10 times I get into the car and I’m still not exactly clear which of the many things I end up doing is the magic act to release the thing. What seems to work is turning the wheel as far as possible left or right until the key turns.

Basically, this culminates in many scenes in which I’m stuck in a parking lot or a garage or a driveway rocking side to side over my wheel, grunting and perhaps growling interspersed with some cursing, sweating like a madwoman and in general looking like A) I am making wild cross breed love to a steering wheel  B) trying to steal my own car or C) the crazy person people go home to tell their friends about*. Continue Reading i am not having sex with my car. stop staring….

Old enough to pee in a cup.?

July 14, 2008 at 2:33 pm | Posted in day to day, health | 5 Comments
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I’ve been putting off scheduling a physical all summer. Partly because I didn’t want to hear that I was in too high a percentile which in doctor terms means “I was trying to say this lightly, but…you need to lose weight….fatty.” Something like that. I’m one of those folks that doesn’t like to be poked and prodded, ergo I don’t like doctor visits. MD stands for “I dedicated an insane chunk of my life to learning where to poke and prod your body and exactly how often (too often)”.

I am also still seeing my pediatritian. A man (*selfconsiouscringe*) and a family friend (*selfconsciouscringe*). Not to mention that I am conspicuously the only patient in the waiting room anymore that doesn’t have a parent signing me in and out. I would say I’m the only patient that can see over the front desk but that’s a bit of a stetch even for imagery augmentation. Continue Reading Old enough to pee in a cup.?…

Bookworm, yes. But the fluffy kind.

July 12, 2008 at 9:05 pm | Posted in day to day | 5 Comments

stolen from Tender Lumpling.

This is a list of the 100 most printed books by Big Read. They theorize that the average adult has only read 6 of the books on the list. Compare the 100 most printed Big Read novels to the 100 best-loved novels. Winner, Lord of the Rings. Shakespeare, who dat?

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Bracket books you have started but not finished.
5) Strike books you will never read, barring school or Judgement Day requirements.

*Note: I could indicate that I intend to read ALL of these books. Which would be partly true. I’ve intended to read every book ever published since my seventh grade pact with myself that I would read the entire school library’s fiction collection before I graduated (never happened, though I devoured a few shelves). And while this may tag me as a BAD PERSON, I like to read fluff. I am quite attracted to it. I’m partial to big fluffy romance and action novels. Jane Eyre may write a masterpiece but she’s certainly not a quickie. Continue Reading Bookworm, yes. But the fluffy kind….

Banjo’s surgery & wedding cake makery

July 11, 2008 at 11:37 am | Posted in day to day | 4 Comments
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The vet called my mum’s cell phone on Wednesday at 10am. “We can do Banjo’s surgery now.”

Mom (at work): “Umok? He ate breakfast already, is that ok?” Vet: “Yeah, yeah just bring him in. You can pick him up at 7am tomorrow.” Mom: “Ummmok?”

Mom (calling me frantically): “wakeupyouhavetotakebanjotothevet.” Me: “umok?”

We didn’t even get to spoil the puppy before he got ripped into by the humans in masks. Continue Reading Banjo’s surgery & wedding cake makery…

Garage Sale + packrat compulsions = badbadbad

June 23, 2008 at 11:08 pm | Posted in day to day | 1 Comment

I’ve always loved garage sale surfing. People accumulate all kinds of random shit in a lifetime. On display for sale in our garage yesterday morning and a few things I’ve seen over my years of garage sale hopping: Ice cube shapers (to freeze ice in different shapes), suitcases dating back to grandpapa’s stop at Ellis Island, workout videos, craft scissors, a shelf’s worth of eyeglass cases, a ski case and no skis, whiffle golf balls, karate sparring gear, mouthguard (unopened). Continue Reading Garage Sale + packrat compulsions = badbadbad…

There is a bug in my house and I will FREAK OUT if I want to.

June 22, 2008 at 10:56 pm | Posted in day to day | 4 Comments

And this bug is huge. The “I lived at a nuclear plant and was bombarded with radiation which leads us to today where i am obscenely large, scary, leggy, and crawling on your walls” huge.

I have admitted before that shame shame everybody knows my name I am a girl and spiders creep me out. From a recent diary entry:

There is a spider in the downstairs bathtub. It is a quarter and a dime sized. It hasn’t moved in three days. I stare at it every time I go in that bathroom to pee. I have this thing about animals in bathrooms. Ever since I heard (saw?) that story about a woman that sat down on the toilet to pee and didn’t realize that a snake had crawled up through the sewer system and it was now staring at her ass. I am now paranoid about checking the toilet for all sorts of unexpected surprises. I also have this thing about spiders, but that is one of many pathetic qualities (this perhaps the most female of them) that I have woven into my character development. Continue Reading There is a bug in my house and I will FREAK OUT if I want to….

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