Wednesday, March 27, 2013

For the Love of Libraries

I discovered the library this semester.

I mean, it's not like it was hidden. It's a fairly large building. It sort of takes up a lot of room. And I've spent a lot of anxiety-filled, breathless moments in there, trying to print something out a few minutes before it was due.

But this semester I discovered the library. (Kind of like how I discovered YouTube when I was thirteen. Speaking of YouTube, do you know about the Vlog Brothers? I'm going to be John Green if I grow up.)

I didn't use libraries growing up. My family doesn't excel at due dates, and my mom's running theory was that it was less expensive to buy books than to pay the late fees--and I actually think it was most of the time. Which meant I grew up in a house full of books, which was fantastic, especially because the libraries around my house are not impressive.

I don't know that the library here is impressive--I don't have a good point of comparison. But I love my library. (I actually have a shirt that says that. And, just after I typed that sentence, I looked down and found I was wearing the shirt that I have that actually says that.) On the fifth floor in the back corner there are rows and rows of literature.

I'm pretty sure that's what heaven looks like.

Anyway, I've been reading a lot of books this semester--a lot considering that I'm going to school full time and attempting to have a life. I mostly don't read great books. I read a lot of those for class, and as much as I love it does sort of numb my brain.

(Although? I fell in love with Ralph Waldo Emerson after I read: "In your metaphysics you have denied personality to the Deity: yet when the devout motions of the soul come, yield to them heart and life, though they should clothe God with shape and color. Leave your theory, as Joseph his coat in the hand of the harlot, and flee.")

I don't seek out great literature on my library trips; I'm just looking for a good read. I thought I'd give you three I've enjoyed.

The Rook: I don't know how to tell you about this book without making it sound extremely weird. Truth being, it's an extremely weird book.

So I'm going to skip the plot summary (google it, if you'd like) and skip to the stuff I like.

I like the plot. It's a bit bizarre, which makes it a bit unpredictable, which is awesome. I also really, really like the humor here. It's dry, understated, and sarcastic. If I knew boys who had this books sense of humor, I would be a lot more upset about not having a boyfriend. It's also a fairly quick and easy read, though by quick I don't mean short so much as I mean fast-paced.

Stuff I don't like? Some plot holes, some swearing. Not pervasive swearing, but when it's there the words are colorful.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks: This is such a girl book. I don't mean that in the usual way--it's not boy-meets-girl-fall-in-love-break-up and there is absolutely no bodice ripping. That's a thing, right? Bodice ripping?

It's a girl book because it's about a girl trying to figure some things out and because there's a fair amount of girl-power in it.

Things I loved? The girl power, the somewhat random (but totally awesome) factual side stories, and, again the humor. I read this out loud with my roommate and didn't do my homework very much that week.

Things I didn't love? The ending. By the middle of the book it was the only ending that made sense, but I didn't love it.

The Fault in Our Stars: Apparently everyone knew about this book and didn't tell me. I'm actually sort of annoyed about it. Why have you all been holding back?

This book was written by John Green, who is the newest addition to my hero list (others being Emma Thompson, Kim Yu Na, and my mother). I'm afraid if I tell you about this book you won't read it.

Please read it.

This is not the best book I've ever read, but dang it, I am so attached to it. It's funny, smart, sad at parts, but hopeful too. I love the characters in it. I love that the main character adores her parents, that she watches really bad television, and that she can complain without being in a perpetual state of sorry-for-myself. Also? If Augustus Waters was a real boy I would marry him, misused big words and all.

Basically, this book provided me with a new life plan: become John Green, marry Augustus Waters, and learn to talk awesomely.

It's a work in progress plan.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Post About Photos With A Surprising Lack of Photos

I'm sitting on the floor in my bedroom. (I read, recently, that doing things other than actually sleeping in bed makes it hard to actually sleep in bed. Thus the floor.) My hair is wet and I'm listening to Mumford & Sons, which is my favorite band tonight. My window is open. Praises be for open windows.

I believe it's spring here, but, not being very practiced in seasons, it's difficult for me to be sure. In any case, I have plans on riding my bike to school some day soon and possibly playing soccer. Except probably not the soccer thing.

Today I went and got pictures developed off a disposable camera that I bought on impulse a month and a half ago. Also on impulse, and possibly in consequence of the first impulse, my friends and I started a photoblog.

I've never been a photographer, friends. As in, never. I am a reader, writer, biker, cooker, sister, and many other kinds of -ers, but I've never been a photographer. In spite of this I now have a photoblog.

Here's why: Most of my friends are leaving. And when I say most, I mean mostly all. They're all leaving on missions--to Spain, Germany, Japan, New Jersey, and many other awesome places.

I'm staying in Utah, and I'm preemptively lonely. Not so much this week. Last week was pretty bad, but this week my loneliness has been relocated and is regulated to an obscure part of my heart. In any case, my impulse when battling negative emotions is to curl up on my bed (which I'm not even allowed to do anymore, otherwise insomnia), which is actually a really bad idea. So instead I made a photoblog.

In my head, this makes sense.

You see, I have friends that are going to cities all over the world. The thought is, maybe they can take pictures of it and send it back to me and I can put it on the blog. The advantage here is threefold: (1) I stay in contact with my friends. (2) When they get back they'll have a record of their missions. (3) I don't spend a lot of time curled up on my bed and not sleeping. At least in theory.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I Beat Up a Ninja

You believe me, right? You believe I beat up a ninja?

No? Fine, then.

So last Monday I went in to donate blood.

I'd never done it before. I tried last semester, but they said I sounded like I had a cold and was too short. I was a little scared because the night before my roommate entertained me with horror stories about passing out, and somehow reading Romantic (capital "R," folks) Literature has not instilled me with a desire to faint.

Anyway, I got there and it was fine. I answered the questions, they took my blood. As a side note, I suspect that donating blood is as close as I'll ever come to alien abduction. Check it out next time you go in. If you close your eyes the whole time, you could totally be in a sci-fi movie.

About ten minutes after they were done and I'd consumed a bag of pretzels I looked down and noticed my arm was strangely swollen. Significantly so. I knew because it looked like I'm toned, and I'm not. The nice blood-bank people gave me an ice pack and handed me a sticker that said "I MAKE A DIFFERENCE."

(Does anyone else find the sticker's caps excessive? Like that Chinese restaurant that feel the need to declare that they serve "delicious" Chinese food. You know, in case you weren't sure. It's delicious and I MAKE A DIFFERENCE.)

Now, it's officially been a week and a day. The excessive sticker is pinned to my dresser drawer and guess what, guys? My arm is still swollen. And really sore. On the bright side, it came with some really impressive bruises that make it look like I won a fight with a ninja. On the dark side, these bruises encourage people to ask me if my boyfriend has a temper.

I've been unable to convince anyone I beat up a ninja.