eight things celebrated in april

April 30, 2017

number one.
number two.
one. april second. children's book day. donate two young adult hardback books to a junior high school library. the newer the school, the better because they're most likely in need of the donations. a friend and i hit barnes and noble's, where i picked up the book jumper and caraval, and then after we had lunch, i took them to the junior high school named for a doctor who cared for many of the players on the high school's football team and served on the district's board for many years during my father's tenure as superintendent. he was also our family doctor.

two. april sixth. national tartan day. put on a plaid shirt and wear it with pride.

number three.
three. april seventh. national beer day. if you're single, go to your favorite bar and buy a guy or gal whom you think might be awesome a beer. take the time to find out if you should've picked someone else. if you're hitched, take your better half to his or her favorite bar and buy yourselves a couple. so my favorite bar is pappadeaux's bar, but excluding today, in the times i was there i did not spot a man who interested me. today, there was a guy, and i was able to make myself sit next to the dude rather than in my usual spot, but i couldn't even make eye contact with the boy. i could, however, bitch about my plight to the bar staff and servers. apparently, in the midst of that bitching when one of them showed me a picture of himself dressed up as a heavy metal rocker (damned if i can recall who that was) and i'd commented that the pic looked more like weird al yankovic posing as said rocker, i'd made the boy laugh. had i known this, had i not run my mouth already about how annoyed i was that i had to do the thing, i might've found the courage to buy the damned beer. but alas... so the day... i went to bakers street then to bar louie, both of which were dead, then to deaux's where i ranted, then to woodson's near my house and finally to tailgator's (a place i don't like to go because that's the bar the douchebag i'd dated favored). i was sitting at the bar, and these four dudes sitting at the table behind me seemed like they were having a fine enough time. so i got my ass up, marched over, told them of my predicament (by this time it was about nine p.m., and i was ready to go home because i'm a loser who has no life and gets to bed early nowadays) and asked which of them would let me buy him a drink. the one on the right, the one that kind of reminded me of woody harrelson. he let me buy him a dos equis, no salt with a lime (just like i like it), and he shared it with his friend. the other two... one was from england, and the other, like the two pictured, was from texas. i think what had drawn me to the table was the accent i'd heard. i was kind of hoping he'd say australia. and yes, i know, i shouldn't confuse the two. whatever.

four. april thirteenth. national scrabble day. play a game. not ONLINE. no going to pogo and playing their idea of scrabble. no words with friends through facebook. an ACTUAL game with the board and tiles. with THREE others. i played with my friend rebecca, her husband and their older daughter. the younger daughter "helped" her mama. the older was helped by her daddy. it was so sweet.

five. april seventeenth. national haiku day. it was poetry month, yall. write your own haiku (three lines: five syllables on the first and third, seven on the second). share one written by another that you favor.

every sadness
is a bead, strung on a thread
from earth to pluto

my mama's
morning phone alarm
do you have a son named jon
from earth he's escaped

number six.
six. april twentieth. national high five day. give high fives to twenty strangers. this was actually MUCH easier than i thought it'd be. i did it while walking from the parking lot to the grounds of the woodlands waterway arts festival.

number eight.
seven. april twenty-sixth. hug an australian day. just for you, erin and kristen. too bad yall aren't in texas. i don't know any australians here. this didn't happen. probably because i didn't try hard enough. oh well.

eight. april twenty-seventh. babe ruth day. go watch a baseball game. NOT on television. drive your butt to the nearest park and sit there for nine innings (or however long it is) and watch those boys bat the ball around. it doesn't have to be a pro game. if you've a child who plays or have a friend whose child plays, watching that game counts. i watched the astros play the angels. i got to see a home run in person. i don't remember seeing one of those in person. i'm sure it's happened, but i can't recall it. so it was kind of neat to watch.

the jealous kind

why i wanted to read it: because a gal in my book club chose it and because it fit the story set in your city/state category in erin's book challenge (today's the last day for this round, but she'll do another in a couple of months. i hope yall join in). also my mom's read some of burke's stories and liked them.

what i liked: "you don't threaten a man. if he comes at you, you put him out of business. an evil man is not scared by threats. he's scared when you don't speak" (page 77).

for anyone else, a paper route was just a paper route. for saber, it was similar to charlemagne fighting his way up the canyons of ronceveaux pass. after he rolled 115 newspapers with string, he packed them like artillery rounds into the passenger and backseat of his heap, and set out on the route, heaving a paper over the roof through a sprinkler onto a porch when he easily could have dropped into a dry spot on the walk; smacking a leashed bulldog that attacked him while he was collecting; nailing a flowerpot of someone who was in arrears; parking just long enough to run through an entire apartment building with his canvas bag on his shoulder, stomping up and down the stairways, dropping papers in front of doorways, crashing out the back door like a deep-sea diver emerging into light (page 79).

"i think you're scared, mr. krauser."

"scared?" his forehead was strung with tiny knots. he pulled up his jersey and pointed. "that's where an ss lieutenant cut me open. i took his knife away from him and sliced off his nose. then i put a bullet through his brain. that's his helmet on my desk, his knife on the blotter. i woudn't wipe my ass with you, broussard."

it was classic krauser: the self-laudatory rhetoric, followed by the attack on the sensibilities. this time i was ready for him. i stepped closer to him, holding my breath so i wouldn't have to breathe his fog of testosterone and bo and halitosis. involuntarily, he stepped backward, as though unsure of his footing.

"you're cruel because you wake up scared every day of your life, mr. krauser. i know this because i used to be like you. now i'm not. so i owe you a debt. you're the model for what none of us ever want to become" (page86).

"don't talk stupid. people don't change," she said. "they grow into what they've always been. they just stop pretending, that's all... 

some people are the jealous kind," she said. "they don't love themselves, so they can't love or trust anyone else. there's no way to fix them (page 90).

"worry robs us of happiness and gives power to the forces of darkness."

"you learned that in a log-house church in san angelo. i'd leave it there."

"i learned it in 1931, picking cotton from cain't-see to cain't-see. if you have enough to eat for the day, the next day will take care of itself."

my mother's prison was her mind, and she took its dark potential with her wherever she went (page 91).

"every word you utter to an evil man either degrades you or empowers him. evil men fear solitude because they have to hear their own thoughts (page 119).

"what were you fixing to say to mr. bledsoe?"

"that his conduct is dishonorable."

"why didn't you?"

"he's an uneducated and poor man. we won't make him a better one by criticizing him" (page 121).

he was the butt of everyone's jokes, homely and awkward and gullible if someone showed him a teaspoon of kindness (page 169).

i could see the confusion and fear in krauser's eyes. but something else was at work in his psyche or metabolism that was far worse. i was too young to understand how mortality can steal away without apparent cause into the life of a man who should have been in his prime. his skin was gray and beginning to sag; hair grew from his ears and nose; he had buttoned his shirt crookedly. he looked like he had gone through the long night of the soul (page 173).

"what's an idealogue?"

"someone who brings religious passion to political abstraction only cretins could think up," he said. "when you meet one, flee his presence at all costs. he'll incinerate half the planet to save the other half and never understand his own motivations" (page 206).

"i can smell a killer. men kill other men but that doesn't make them killers. a killer comes out of the womb with a stink on him that never goes away" (page 211).

i had to remind myself of all these things about the private world of saber; otherwise, i would forget the vulnerable and innocent boy who had been my best friend since elementary school. even though he was hanging with bad guys, i knew saber would eat a bayonet for me. when you have a friend like that, you never let go of him, no matter what he does (page 214).

the cavalier expression left his face. for just a second i saw the old saber looking at me, the false exterior pared away (page 215).

no one had to convince me about the reality of hell. it wasn't a fiery pit. it lived and thrived in the human breast and consumed its host from night to morning (page 221).

in the darwinian world of american high school culture, i had learned only one lesson: the lights of love and pity often died early, and many friendships were based on necessity and emotional dependency and nothing else (page 232).

"if we ignore other people's faults, we don't have to be defensive about our own" (page 243).

my mother's greatest fear was that someone would look at her and see an impoverished little girl standing barefoot by herself in front of a house that was hardly more than a shack (page 307).

what sucked: oh my god, reading this was like pulling teeth without dental instruments. i was BORED. OUT. OF. MY. MIND.

having said that: it's not a bad story. it's really not. and as shown above, there's parts that are fairly well-crafted. but the voice... the way the story's told... it's a tale of teenagers plagued by the mafia in fifties' era houston and galveston. it should be RIVETING. i wanted the kid to be telling me the story, not the kid as a grown man recounting the tale as though he's talking to news reporters. it'd probably make for a good television movie. there's good conflict that gets watered down in CRAPPY narration.

cross to bear

April 27, 2017

right now i'm sitting on my bed with my mac on my lap. it's been a long day and not really a pleasant one, which bums me a bit because it was gorgeous outside and while traveling to and fro, i've been listening to jenna lamia read the secret life of bees by sue monk kidd to me (which i'm loving, by the way. this is one of the best narrated books i've heard). i've had good company today.

but certain events in the day have caused me to think of the mild case of cerebral palsy doctors diagnosed at my birth, of how that's affected me. of how my thoughts rush out of my mouth too quickly, of how clumsy with my thoughts and actions i can be, of how i'm too quick to anger, too easily wounded. of how my body aches. all the time.

i was seeing a chiropractor once a week to try to alleviate the pain in my back, but you know what that did? you lessen the pain in one place, and you're too aware of the pain you have in others, of how great that pain is. i don't want to know what hurts and where. i'd rather go through my days thinking it's just my neck and shoulders, or just my knees and ankles. or just the right side of my face. because if you lessen the pain in those places, if you give them some relief, it somehow calls attention to pain in other places, pain i hadn't realized was there. like the middle of my back. granted i only saw him a half a dozen times, but in those times, he could never crack the middle of my back. my neck? i'd hear that thing pop seven different ways. my lower back, too. my muscles are so tense in my body, so contracted, so bent out of shape that the middle of my back, my spine can't be put back to normal.

but you know what? that pain's the easiest with which to cope. i've gotten so used to it i don't even feel it anymore. at least not unless you make that shift, bring that relief. so i stopped going.  i'd rather not think of how the pain in my knees and ankles is making my legs and thighs hurt, too. or how the pain in my back's probably the reason why there's pain in my neck. it doesn't do me any good to think about that, anyway. it's probably better that i don't, actually.

i've gotten used to it.

just like i've gotten used to people being unkind to me. it pisses me off when it happens, yes. but that's the normal for me. i'm not like the others, and so i don't expect to be treated like them. i've gotten so tired of being too sensitive that i do my damnedest to ignore it, to carry on despite it. we are all equally incapable of kindness and unkindness. i've resigned myself to the notion that i'll see more unkindness than not. so be it. i don't look like my body is broken, but my limitations make my behavior odd, and the words that come out of my mouth sometimes are so bizarre that... people have treated me like i'm a freak since i was in grade school. i've come to expect it. so. be. it.

i try to be respectful of others. but i fall short. all the time.

i've had to suck up so much in my life that it bothers me when others can't.

people get so upset by so many things these days. i can't help but think that if sue monk kidd tried to get that beautiful story published today, she'd have a hard time. if harper lee tried to get to kill a mockingbird published she wouldn't be able to do so because so many would be up in arms over the language, the story. same with twain's the adventures of tom sawyer and huckleberry finn.

maybe it's just that people are getting so fed up with having to suck this shit up that they can't stomach it anymore. and some of these people who are crying out, they're not in pain themselves. they're bitching because they're incensed by what they see on tv, by the stories others have told them. sometimes, sometimes i just want to scream because all this seems so stupid to me.

i'm in pain right now. i'll be in pain an hour from now, a day, a week, a month, a year... but that's my life. this is never gonna go away. ever. in fact, even though cerebral palsy's not a degenerative disability, i think my body will just become more and more tired and in more and more pain because of it.

we all have our crosses to bear. this is mine. it's not in my nature to bitch to my friends when i'm hurting. in fact, i hardly ever do it. i'll tell my parents when my head hurts, but even that's infrequent because they can't understand the pain. their answer is to ask whether i took some pain reliever for it. sometimes i don't want to have to take the stuff. sometimes having to take the stuff makes me angry. sometimes i just want to be normal. and i've been living with this shit for four decades and then some. i have to remind myself that this is normal. it's my normal.

i'm in a bible study on the gospel of john, and one of the things we keep marveling at is how jesus acted with such grace. that he suffered in silence, and how we should strive to do the same.

i wrote that post this morning, and part of the reason i think i did so is because i'm tired of people calling attention to other people's crosses. that's what body shaming is to me. i'm tired of people preaching to others that they should be more respectful; my asking that people stop wasn't the intent of that post. i just want people to worry about themselves, their own lives. i want them to be the best possible versions of themselves. you're not gonna get someone to behave more graciously by belittling or berating them. but if you set an example, if you lead rather than lecture, then maybe you can make that change. you don't have to be a crusader for those who don't have a voice or are unwilling to use theirs. it took me decades to raise my voice. i don't think i really used mine until about ten years ago; it wasn't because people said i should but because i saw what could happen if i didn't. you don't have to get on twitter and facebook and preach to the public about the good you've done or that others should do. words can be meaningless and forgettable. it's true that people don't remember what you tell them, but they remember how you make them feel. when i encounter those from my childhood who were incredibly cruel to me, showing kindness is a great challenge for me, one i cannot always meet. when i can't, i almost always regret it later. that goes with the cross i bear. be an encouragement, not an adversary. the best way to encourage someone to be better is to show them how, not tell.

i'm in pain right now. but we all are. we all have something that hurts. and crying out about it, calling attention to it, telling someone to basically take a pain reliever isn't necessarily going to make the pain go away. i want us to be stronger. i want us to be able to take the hits, to live with the pain. i've been doing it my whole life. and my disability? god knows there are people who have it a hundred times worse, whose pain is a thousandfold mine. god knows their crosses damned near break them. i knew a boy who had cerebral palsy. he went to my church. his case crippled him so much he couldn't walk or talk. the muscles in his hands and fingers were so spastic, so bent that he could not straighten them. the pain he was in must've been horrid. but oh my god, his smile was miraculous. i always marveled at its brightness and beauty. always. and his eyes... they had such light. as he got older, that light diminished and the smile all but disappeared. he's gone now. the good lord finally gave him peace. but the memory of that smile he bestowed upon us in his youth, it lives in my heart, and there it will stay. i know another man who's confined to a wheelchair. i've never once heard him complain. and his smile's gorgeous, too. he shares it so frequently, so easily. he's a wonder to me.

that's how we should be.

you need a radio, takes the pressure off everyone feeling they have to talk so much

in the past twenty-four hours, i've seen in my twitter and facebook feeds people posting pictures of heavyset women wearing unflattering clothing and videos poking fun of others having difficulty at atm machines. this morning i read an article about pepsi's failed attempt to create an advertisement encouraging cultural diversity and how heineken created one that succeeded.

stop telling others how they should live, goddammit. YOU DO YOU.

of course, saying this puts me in the same category, and i know how incendiary that is, but please, yall. that woman put that clothing on because she liked it. she LIKED IT. who gives a shit if it doesn't make her look good? she felt good wearing it. but you're gonna post the picture to your twitter account with your snark so you can feel good? how does that make you feel good? how? it didn't make me feel good seeing that in my feed. and a friend of mine did that. i was ashamed to see it, ashamed that she'd done it. and what the fuck does it matter what she's wearing? WHAT? do you know how many times i've looked back on pictures and wondered what made me think that was okay? (there's some really good examples in this post.) but AT THE TIME, i liked that clothing. plus, my mama picked it out for me.

if someone's having trouble with something, don't fucking record a video and post it to your facebook wall so others can laugh at that person's ineptitude. get out of your car, walk over and ask, can i help you? if the person's rude to you then, so be it. but maybe they'd appreciate the kindness? if you can't be kind enough to ask, then at least be considerate enough to shut up and keep your camera in your bag.

all this does is make someone's day uglier. and maybe their day was already ugly to begin with. no, they can't see your twitter and your facebook, but if you think they don't know that people are mocking them, you're STUPID.

put some music on. think on different things. SHUT UP.

(by the way... because it's no longer sitting well with me... that mismatch post on monday is the last of the batch.)

tuesday topics: six. poems

April 25, 2017

so april is national poetry month, don't you know. april seventeenth was national haiku day. i'm supposed to write one of those for this month's scavenger hunt. that's not happened yet.

one of the things i liked about that book everything everything that i was reluctant to include in the post because i didn't want to include spoilers there (but i'm going to do so here because it's my bloggy and i can if i want to) is that when maddy chooses to shut herself off from the world, olly knows her well enough to attempt to sway her back in it by using poetry. he likes limericks. she likes haiku. so the first poems he sends are limericks, but his last effort, his final attempt is a haiku, a very simple one:

five syllables here
and now here are seven more
i love you maddy
(page 260).

my parents have books all over the house. my father made a wall-length, floor-to-ceiling bookcase of cedar and glass. there must be thousands of books on it. there are books in every room of this house. this is what happens when you're raised by english teachers and choose to major in the subject yourself. our house is like a library.

so for this particular edition of tuesday topics, i made a quick study of those cedar shelves and the trunk of children's books in the den and will choose poems from my findings.

from brian wildsmith's mother goose: a collection of nursery rhymes. i want to say this is one of the books we had in my childhood, but my mother's the sort of woman to give things away once we'd outgrown them, so i can't be sure. it looks old, the pages have separated from the spine, and memory recognizes it, though, so maybe.

ride a cock-horse to banbury cross,
to see a fine lady upon a white horse;
with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
she shall have music wherever she goes
(page 8).

from the random house book of poetry for children: a treasury of 572 poems for today's child selected by jack prelutsky and illustrated by arnold lobel. i want to say this is one i bought -- er, had mom buy for me -- in a book fair during fifth or sixth grade, maybe. yep. just i just opened the page, and there on the cover is my notations for my "library".

mountain brook
because of the steepness,
the streamlet runs white,
narrow and broken
as lightning by night.

because of the rocks,
it leaps this way and that,
fresh as a flower,
quick as a cat
(elizabeth coatsworth, page 28).

from whitman's leaves of grass. my mother's, i'm sure. those cedar and glass shelves my father built? there's another set that rises on either side of their bed and meets high near the ceiling over it. bookcase and nightstands combined. i pulled this one off the shelves on her side. she's marked a couple of pages. i'll share one of those. there are two on this particular page. one is called to a pupil. i was inclined to share that one, but i'm liking this other one better...

unfolded out of the folds
unfolded out of the folds of the woman man comes unfolded,
and is always to come unfolded,
unfolded only out of the superbest woman of the earth
is to come the superbest man of the earth,
unfolded out of the friendliest woman is to come the friendliest man,
unfolded only out of the perfect body of a woman
can a man be form'd of perfect body,
unfolded only out of the inimitable poems of woman can come
the poems of man, (only thence have my poems come;)
unfolded out of the strong and arrogant woman i love,
only thence can appear the strong and arrogant man i love,
unfolded by brawny embraces from the well-muscled woman i love,
only thence comes the brawny embraces of the man,
unfolded out of the folds of the woman's brain come all the folds
of the man's brain, duly obedient,
unfolded out of the justice of the woman all justice is unfolded,
unfolded out of the sympathy of the woman is all sympathy;
a man is a great thing upon the earth and through eternity,
but every jot of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman;
first the man is shaped in the woman, he can then be shaped in himself
(page 307).

from an anthology of old english poetry translated by charles w. kennedy. also from my mother's side of the shelves.

the voyage of life
now is it most like as if on an ocean
across cold water we sail in our keels,
over the wide sea in our ocean-steeds,
faring on in our flood-wood. fearful the stream,
the tumult of waters, whereon we toss
in this feeble world. fierce are the surges
on the ocean-lanes. hard was our life
before we made harbor over the foaming seas.
then help was vouchsafed when god's spirit-son
guided us to the harbor of salvation and granted us grace
that we may understand over the ship's side
where to moor our sea-steeds, our ocean-stallions,
fast at anchor. let us fix our hope
upon that haven which the lord of heaven,
in holiness on high, has opened his ascension
(page 35).

from cleaning the well: poems old and new by paul ruffin. from my bookcase, by my professor at sam houston.

old woman in winter
it is because she does not
see me watching that she stops
and lifts some curious object
and holds it before her face,
this old woman on the street.
whatever worth she was does not show,
covered by a heavy coat
like some ancient deadly sin.
even the sun seems to refuse
to shine for her, lost in clouds
and cold wind. she pockets her prize,
turns her beaked face toward me,
then scuttles off to where she
doubtless was not going,
the coat snagging on a claw-like shrub
at the edge of the park,
where she disappears,
her humped form blending
in the cold woods and coming dark
(page 7).

what are some of your favorites? share them with me!

mismatch monday

April 24, 2017

things found while perusing the profiles on match this week:

i have no children of my own but have been a father and love it... if i like your pic or fav ya or something it means cv i'm interested. .. i'm more likely to do that and if you don't like mine back what's the point in writing ya?

the word laidback (or its alterego easy-going) is in EVERY other profile, by the way. the last guy i dated described himself as thus, and i can guarandamntee you, that's the LAST word i'd use to describe him. so when i see things like:

i'm very laidback but very driven...

i'm all of COURSE you are. and then i click next...

to round this out i'm looking for my partner in crime. someone kind, compassionate, intelligent, witty, wonderful, giving, generous, self-assured, modest, humble, outgoing.

raise your hands if you can see the synonyms.

also, there's a guy who's lied about his age, claiming he's forty-four so he can show up in certain search results, but really he's forty-six. it's two years, yall. it's not that i give a shit about two years. it's that seriously? you're gonna lie about that? what other stories can you tell?

what's bugging me the most, though, is that i'm looking at the profiles of dudes in their fifties and trying to talk myself into the notion that fifty's not so bad.

the fuck it is. i don't give a shit if it's only six years away. THE FUCK IT IS.

i don't use plenty of fish, by the way. that site's the WORST. 

book challenge by erin: bonus round

April 23, 2017

i might've made a bonus round list for erin's book challenge before -- more for kicks, though, than anything else because i've never finished the regular round, but that happened today, so i'm going to post my bonus list here. it was one of my new year's resolutions... heh (i made a couple of amendments to that list of resolve, by the way... so much for sticktoitiveness). anyway... bonus round: same categories.

five points: freebie – read a book that is at least 200 pages. a man called ove by fredrik backman.
ten points: read a book that starts with the letter w. wait for me by caroline leech.
ten points: read a book with six words in the title. diary of a teenage fairy godmother by kathleen baldwin.
fifteen points: read a book that has a (mostly) green cover. the bookshop on the corner by jenny colgan.
twenty points: read a book with a homonym in the title. little beach street bakery by jenny colgan.
twenty points: read a book by your favorite author. the obsession by nora roberts.
twenty-five points: read a book set in the city/town/state where you live. let's pretend this never happened by jenny lawson.
thirty points: read a rory gilmore book. the secret life of bees by sue monk kidd.
thirty points: read a book from a genre you’ve never or rarely read. the princess bride by william goldman.
thirty-five points: read a book with time travel. just one damned thing after another by jodi taylor.

the divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood

why i wanted to read it: because i love the movie and it was on buzzfeed's list of books read by rory on the gilmore girls, one of the categories for erin's book challenge (i just typed categorie's... so all you people who think i write well, please know my typing is shit). i did the audio on this one, too, so i can't mark specific pages, but...

what i liked: the author reads this one, which i love, and she reads it well. having seen the movie first and because the actors accents and tone are similar to the way wells reads it, i could picture the performers, which i loved. it's a VERY well-cast film, by the way; i'd always thought so, but listening to wells read it really drives that idea home. it's been so long since i've seen the movie that i couldn't recall whether a particular scene was included in the screenplay; i don't it was, and i felt it was crucial to the plot: not long after her sixteenth birthday, vivi is enrolled in a catholic school, which results in some traumatic experiences for her (i won't say what). i loved knowing this part of her history, and my heart, which broke for her in the film, cracked even more because of this bit of plot. there's also a spot that includes letters sidda wrote vivi in her childhood. i loved knowing of them, and i don't remember them being in the film.

what sucked: there's a sex scene that i didn't think was necessary. and, having seen the film first, there are parts that differ, and the difference makes the film much better than the book. it doesn't pack quite the punch in the more dire moments that the film does, and i really wanted those conflicts to be as crucial in the book as they were in the film.

having said that: watch the movie, yall. it's really, really good. the book's alright.

by the way...

this has NEVER happened,
and i'm SO, SO stoked that i knocked this fucker out. YEE!!

on to the bonus round, which i WON'T finish come month's end, but i AM going to read all the books i picked for it.

everything everything

April 21, 2017

why i wanted to read it: because i'd just finished reading crap like life after life and the shack. i wanted something easy. also i've friends who refuse to read it, which only made me curiouser and curiouser.

what i liked: i keep thinking about the summer i turned eight. i spent so many days with my forehead pressed against my glass window, bruising myself with my futile wanting. at first i just wanted to look out the window. but then i wanted to go outside. and then i wanted to play with the neighborhood kids, to play with all the kids everywhere, to be normal for just an afternoon, a day, a lifetime...

wanting just leads to more wanting (page 83).

"so you told him not to write to you and then he didn't write to you. is that what you're telling me?"

"well, i didn't say don't write in big, bold letters or anything. i just said i was busy." i think she's going to make fun of me, but she doesn't.

"why didn't you write to him?"

"because of what we talked about. i like him, carla. a lot. too much."

the look on her face says is that all? "do you really want to lose the only friend you've ever had over a little bit of heartache?"

i've read many, many books involving heartache. not one has ever described it as little. soul-shattering and world-destroying, yes. little, no (page 86).

i want to say something, not just something but the perfect thing to comfort him, to make him forget his family for a few minutes, but i can't think of it. this is why people touch. sometimes words are just not enough (page 105).

if my life were a book and you read it backward, nothing would change. today is the same as yesterday. in the book of maddy, all the chapters would be the same (page 162).

ever since olly came into my life there've been two maddys: the one who lives through books and doesn't want to die, and the one who lives and suspects that death will be a small price to pay for it. the second maddy... she's like a god -- impervious to cold, famine, disease, natural and man-made disasters. she's impervious to heartbreak. 

the second maddy knows that this pale half life is not really living (page 167).

you're not living if you're not regretting (page 186).

hope spreads through me like a virus (page 186).

what sucked: the writing's not remarkable. it's not. there are a number of instances where the conflict, the characters' reactions and emotions could've been really heightened but aren't.

having said all that: the writing's not awful, either. it's another fast read, which i love, and the ending's unexpected, which really impressed me. i like maddy and olly. they're pretty cool kids.

we are okay

why i read it: i was surveying the teen fiction section looking for a title that began with the letter w for erin's book challenge. this was after i'd gone through and properly merchandised one of walls of bays because the staff at that particular store have no idea how to nor interest in selling books, apparently... and the obsessive-compulsive gal who once worked as the merchandising supervisor in a bookstore can't stand to see a poorly-shelved section. seriously. it irks the bejesus out of me. anyway. after i'd gone through and fixed the books, i picked out half a dozen or so that started with w and settled on this one, and i am so glad i did.

what i liked: i wonder if there's a secret current that connects people who have lost something. not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn't yours anymore (page 68).

she leans over our table and turns the sign in the window so that it says closed on the outside. but on our side, perfectly positioned between mabel's place and mine, it says open. if this were a short story it would mean something (page 71).

next door to me, a woman started howling and didn't stop... i heard something break. it's possible that some of the rooms were occupied by regular people, down on their luck, but my wing was full of the broken, and i was at home among them (page 182). 

i wish her everything good. a friendly cab driver and short lines through security. a flight with no turbulence and an empty seat next to her. a beautiful christmas. i wish her more happiness than can fit in a person. i wish her the kind of happiness that spills over (page 192).

what sucked: not a damned thing.

having said all that: this was one of those books i read in a couple of hours. the writing is gorgeous. the way lacour tells the story is pretty near masterful, at least to me. it's complex. it's tragic. but there's goodness and love, and it ends well. i thought it was beautiful. and i don't say that about many books.

life after life

why i wanted to read it: because for erin's book challenge, i had to read something that dealt with time travel, and i didn't want to reread the time traveler's wife (even though i love that book). i remembered this one got rave reviews and thought i'd give it a shot. i listened to the audio book on cd. was cramming because the challenge is almost over and i'm determined to finish the fucker.

what i liked: since i listened to the thing rather than reading it i didn't get to mark pages. i figured if something really struck me or if enough things piqued my interest, i'd buy the book for my library and find the things.

i liked the premise of the story... of all the ways a life could play out. how one small thing -- walking on a road at a certain time, for example -- can cause huge ripples of change.

i was most interested in the story at the last of the fifth disc and the beginning of the sixth. that part of the plot (and i don't want to mention specifics because it's the ONLY part of the plot that i can recommend, the only time the author succeeds in engaging me, the only time she establishes great conflict and makes me feel for the character) is REALLY good. the rest of it...

what sucked: overall, the book is boring as hell. like seriously boring. like i found myself screaming at my stereo good god, just die already. the main character never knows happiness for too long any ANY of the lives she's given. and the end... UGH. pissed me off. a friend suggested that she's not really the main character, that a sibling is, and that pissed me off even more.

having said that: bollocks! don't read it. just don't.

the shack

why i wanted to read it: i used to work as a merchandising supervisor at a bookstore. this thing was on the bestseller bays FOREVER. i remember people talking about it and thinking it sounded stupid. so i'd never wanted to read it, but then they made that movie of it with sam worthington (LOVE him) and octavia spencer (LOVE her) which tempted me to check it out. and then at a friend's birthday party a few weeks ago, a friend of the friend encouraged me to read it. since reading the death and life of zebulon finch before april thirtieth was becoming less and less likely and since i don't typically read religious books, i figured i could switch titles for my genre of book you never/rarely read category in erin's book challenge.


what sucked: this is the worst-written, most absurd story i've ever read. in. my. life. how this thing became so successful is MIRACULOUS, terrifyingly so.

having said that: you wanna know god? join a bible study. dig into the scriptures. don't read stupid, STUPID stories like this one. i was googling to get the image for this post and saw that, i guess on google, some thirty-four hundred folks have given this book five stars. what. the. fuck. WHY? won't see the movie, by the way, no matter how much i might love sam worthington and octavia spencer.

ten things at which i suck

April 19, 2017

one. driving. i knew this was going to be the case, which is why i put off getting my driver's license until after i graduated from high school. i rode the bus all four years of high school, yall. i was not ashamed. do you know why? because it made sense to ride it. someone escorted me to and fro, someone with what i'm sure is a much better driving record than mine turned out to be. someone who didn't charge me for the service. someone employed, ultimately, by my father. and if his people thought that driver was good enough, then by golly, i did, too. i didn't have to spend money on gas. i didn't have to spend money (or more to the point, my parents' money) on wheels and all the costs that went with ensuring they rolled smoothly.

so i got my license and since then, i've wrecked six cars, most of them on multiple occasions...

the first car i drove was the chevrolet corsica my parents bought from a relative. that one is the only one to which i did not cause bodily injury. my younger brother totaled that one.

my parents replaced it with a dodge shadow. i know i'd wrecked it more than once, but the only time i can recall was a summer day during the first year of ownership. in the back of the neighborhood in which i reside, there's a dip, and one of the gals i knew from school showed me that if you travel fast enough, you can jump it. i did so a few times. the last time, on this particular summer day, there was a nail in one of my tires. it popped the tire upon impact, and i did a number of three-sixties before smashing the car into some trees.

i kept that one alive for about four years and put nearly two hundred thousand miles on it before the transmission bought it, followed by a mechanic's announcement that the car had a cracked head gasket.

we won't talk about the number of speeding tickets i got in that thing. it was raspberry red, and i have a lead foot.

the next car was a green ford mustang. it was the first car i picked out for myself. my parents bought it for me. i wrecked it a bunch. the instances that come to mind are the time an old man in a white pickup cut across a parking lot, hit the front left bumper and then fucked up the entire driver's side of the car and, since both airbags deployed, the entirety of the dash, too. the second accident i can recall happened within weeks, it seemed, of getting it out of the shop from that accident. the exchange of loop six ten and interstate ten, near memorial and the galleria in houston, sucks ASS. i rear-ended someone... because people like to change lanes at the last possible second, which makes people slam on their brakes because they're following too closely, and i made the mistake of not paying attention. i make that mistake a lot. third one... i was driving one of the back roads late at night after the rain... too quickly. hydroplaned a bunch, landed in a ditch. i had the windows rolled down and got mud all inside the car. fourth... and this one put him down for the count... i was driving home from houston; it'd been raining and since hydroplaning scares the shit out me, i avoided the freeways whenever possible, which means i drove through the woodlands and took magnolia parkway (which was, at the time, a quiet little two-lane road with walls of pine trees on either side of it) to the frontage road of interstate forty-five. i'd passed my parents' neighborhood (the one in which i'd wrecked the shadow... the one in which i now reside... but at the time i'd been living in an apartment not far from them). i crossed crighton road (my light was green). the driver of a white oldsmobile ran his red light, broadsided me and sent my car careening into a telephone pole. split the engine in half. i've a six-inch scar on my right arm from the airbag... from putting my hands up so as not to see the wreckage occur.

i got even more speeding tickets in that one.

next... a pontiac firebird. i was blinded by the setting sun as i left work and turned left into someone's sport utility vehicle. that car died. i don't even think i had it for a year. i don't think i wrecked it any other times. but apparently, once is enough.

i replaced that one with a ford explorer sport track. i only remember one accident. i was asleep. a drunk driver hit it and four other cars. he knocked the bumpers off the others. i'd had that truck for six months. he knocked the bed off the frame, damaged every inch of the thing from the driver's side passenger door all the way around to where the bed met the rear passenger's door. it was in the shop for three months.

and then there's the acura rsx. my favorite. i managed to keep that one alive for almost a decade. miraculously. i'd managed to not get into an accident for eighteen months before the first one. i was turning left from a right lane, which i could do. the woman in the left lane went straight. it took several months to get him fixed because she'd been drinking, my phone was dead and she wouldn't call the cops to report the accident, so i had to wait for her insurance company to assign fault, and that took a VERY long time. within a few months of getting it back, i failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign late at night and drove into someone's sedan. i'd hydroplaned in it a couple of times, once on the interstate and amazingly enough i didn't hit anyone. i did hit the guardrail, which sent me back out onto the highway. it bought it on a sunny day in october three years ago. the southbound freeway was closed, so everyone was having to use magnolia parkway (which is now a four-lane, congested piece of shit). the guy in front of me slammed on his brakes, i slammed on mine, and the bitch in the toyota minivan shoved me into his car.

then there's the nissan altima, which as of about three p.m. today, has been parked in the recently-constructed median on a major highway not far from my home. i forgot it was there and was turning left (do you see a pattern here?). drove right over the curb separating the concrete from the tall, swampy, newly-planted grass. i'm pretty sure that car's dead. i can tell you with certainty the rear bumper's no longer attached.

interestingly enough, i've not gotten a speeding ticket since october of two thousand four. that last one... i was traveling sixty-five miles per hour in a forty-five. i've since discovered cruise control.

also i've become much more careful about keeping safe following distances. yall should, too. now if i could just get the hang of turning left.

two. dating. speaking to attractive men, in general. those horror stories are generally not nearly as entertaining. i'll spare you their details. well except for one:

there was this guy who was studying for his mcat. he'd spend hours in the cafe at the bookstore where i worked. after he took it we didn't see him as much. he came in during the christmas season; he'd not been wearing his usual attire of a baseball cap and polo. i'd been talking with a customer as we rode the escalator to the second floor. he got on after us and said hi to me. i didn't recognize him at first, but then just before we reached the top, it clicked. i managed to say hi back. i'd forgotten the name of the book the customer wanted. she was an older woman. i grinned at her and apologized, saying how cute boys distract me. she laughed.

if you wanna read about the kind of guys with whom i have tangled, there's this.

three. taking care of my things

four. taking care of myself

five. karaoke. it sounds like a good idea in theory because i've a really good voice, but...

six. cooking. something that takes my mother twenty minutes to make takes me two hours.

seven. sounding like a texan. i don't have a twang. i'm not even sure i could fake a good one. i'd be interviewing people for work, and they'd ask me where i'm from. here, i'd say. born in texas city. can't get much more texan than that... unless it was lukenbach, maybe.

eight. dieting. yall'd say this goes with taking care of myself, probably. but... i'm sitting here munching on string cheese and sipping my third soda of the day (it's canada dry ginger ale, though... so at least it's not caffeinated).

nine. email correspondence. have you left a comment on a pickypost? i love you for it. i read it. i will respond to it... eventually. (of the things, this is the one that makes me feel most like a despicable person.)

ten. following through with things. like finishing the fucking novel i started two decades ago. (this is the one that should make me feel like a despicable person, but oddly enough doesn't. i'll get around to it... eventually.)

check out michael's list and kristen's.

tuesday topics: seven. budget tips

April 18, 2017

i've to preclude this one with the confession that i am not debt free, nor am i any good at denying myself. but...

one. fuck credit cards. kill those bitches dead as quick as you can, and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER succumb to the sweet spiel sales associates lay on you. trust me on this one. i know the sweet spiel. i suckered hordes of mommies into opening new veins of credit. i was VERY, VERY good at it. there was glee in my heart every time someone was approved. be strong. DENY, DENY, DENY. i don't care what they try to sell you. fuck'm.

two. dave ramsey is your best friend. seriously. he would be mine for sure if i weren't born under the sign of the ram and had any kind of willpower whatsoever. alas i get bored easily; sticktoitiveness ain't my thing. but yall... that financial peace shit's pretty amazing.

three. the library is your friend. i say this, but please understand that i understand how difficult it is to maintain that relationship because bookstores with their tidy shelves and their NEW books that have hardly been pawed at have a song similar to a siren's. also, if you've got a friend who's got an audible account, get better acquainted.

four. wanna watch a movie? early bird matinees and half-priced tuesdays are the thing. this i can tell you... i don't go to movies at night any more. okay, well hardly ever. if by some freak of nature it is at night, it's generally on a tuesday, when time doesn't matter.

five. the other day i discovered you could watch an astros game for eighteen bucks: ticket, twenty-ounce coca-cola, popcorn and a hot dog. and the seats, they ain't so bad. they're not near the dugout, but fuck paying seventy-eight bucks for admission only to watch the stros play the angels. eighteen bucks with food? take me out the ball game. 

six. some of the best days i've had with friends haven't required spending any money whatsoever. get out your board games, get round a table and play. chances are you'll find that's better than any night on the town.

seven. this one's by far the most difficult for me: quit giving your money to places like pappadeaux's.

that said, yall... i never budget. mostly, i picked this topic because this week's tax week, and i need you people to help me out with being better on my wallet. how do you keep your cash stashed? share your ideas with me!

mismatch monday

April 17, 2017

i got bored with the cupid. the folks who sign up on that site aren't quite as amusing... so i subscribed to match again the other day. and today... this is the profile text of one of the twelve "matches" the site found for me:

i am a good person  who else treat ugly very good, i enjoy movies, nature, traveling to dffernt countries and music, i am very sincere and loyal and i know how to treat so lady.

that one's currently separated, and his profile pic's a scan of a photo that looks as though it's got some kind of glue streaked across the dude's forehead. i almost felt sorry for the poor bastard. except i got this eerie feeling looking at the photo that was somehow made more prevalent when i noticed that he's photoshopped the thing.

tuesday topics: eight. quotes from scripture

April 10, 2017

thirteen reasons why

April 9, 2017

why i wanted to read it: a friend encouraged me to read it.

what i liked: "it's nothing. a school project."

my go-to answer for anything. staying out late? school project. need extra money? school project. and now, the tapes of a girl. a girl who, two weeks ago, swallowed a handful of pills.

school project (clay, page 8).

why not just pop the tape out of the stereo and throw the entire box of them in the trash?

i swallow hard. tears sting the corner of my eyes.

because it's hannah's voice. a voice i thought i'd never hear again. i can't throw that away (clay, page 16).

so tell me, jessica, which did you mean to do? punch me or scratch me? because it felt like a little bit of both. like you couldn't really decide... that tiny scar you've all seen above my eyebrow, that's the shape of jessica's fingernail... which i plucked out myself.

i noticed that scar a few weeks ago. at the party. a tiny flaw on a pretty face. and i told her how cute it was (hannah then clay, page 67).

the next day at school i asked so many people the exact same question, where were you last night? some said they were at home or at a friend's house. or at the movies. none of your business. but you, tyler, you had the most defensive -- and interesting -- response of all.

"what, me? nowhere."

and for some reason, telling me you were nowhere made your eyes twitch and your forehead break into a sweat... hey, at least you're original. but your presence, tyler, that never left. 

after your visits, i twisted my blinds shut every night. i locked out the stars and i never saw lightning again...

why didn't you leave me alone, tyler? my house. my bedroom. they were supposed to be safe for me (hannah, pages 88-89).

this time, for the first time, i saw the possibilities in giving up. i even found hope in it (hannah, page 126).

i'm listening to someone give up. someone i knew. someone i liked (clay, page 146).

after feeling more and more like an outcast, peer communications was my safe haven at school. whenever i walked into that room, i felt like throwing open my arms and shouting, "olly-olly-oxen-free!"

... for one period each day, you were not allowed to touch me or snicker behind my back no matter what the latest rumor (hannah, pages 153-154).

let me guess. you told your friends to watch while you put the moves on me... and then i hardly responded... when i broke out of my daze, and before i left, i listened in on you and your friends. they were teasing you for not getting that date you assured them was in the bag... you must have a slow boil... taking it more and more personally... and you chose to get back at me in the most childish of ways.

you stole my paper bag notes of encouragement... what tipped me off? it's simple really. everyone else was getting notes. everyone! and for the most insignificant of things... after my haircut, i waited a week.

then two weeks.

then three weeks.

nothing... it was time to find out what was going on. so i wrote myself a note... to avoid the major embarrassment of getting caught leaving myself a note, i also wrote a note for the bag next to mine... and the next day? nothing in my bag. the note was gone. 

maybe it didn't seem like a big deal to you... my world was collapsing. i needed those notes. i needed any hope those notes might have offered.

and you? you took that hope away. you decided i didn't deserve to have it (hannah, pages 162-165).

everything they said -- everything! -- came tinged with annoyance.

then one of the girls... said what everyone else was thinking. "it's like whoever wrote this note just wants attention. if they were serious, they would have told us who they were."

... in the past, mrs. bradley had notes dropped in her bag suggesting group discussion on abortion, family violence, cheating -- on boyfriends, girlfriends, on tests. no one insisted on knowing who wrote those topics. but for some reason, they refused to have a discussion on suicide without specifics (hannah, pages 171-172).

and that's why, right at this moment, i feel so much hate. toward myself. i deserve to be on this list. because if i hadn't been so afraid of everyone else, i might have told hannah that someone cared. and hannah might still be alive (clay, page 181).

i'm not even sure how much of the real clay jensen i got to know over the years. most of what i knew was second-hand information. and that's why i wanted to know him better. because everything i heard -- and i mean everything! -- was good.

it was one of those things where, once i noticed it, it couldn't stop noticing it...

my ears perked up whenever i heard his name. i guess i wanted to hear something -- anything -- juicy. not because i wanted to spread gossip. i just couldn't believe someone could be that good.. it became a personal game of mine. how long could i go on hearing nothing but good things about clay jensen? 

... clay, honey, your name does not belong on this list... but you need to be here if i'm going to tell my story. to tell it more completely (hannah, pages 198-200).

the air was warm for that type of night, too. my absolute favorite type of weather... pure magic... walking by the houses on my way to the party, it felt like life held so many possibilities. limitless possibilities. and for the first time in a long time, i felt hope (hannah, page 204).

when she first arrived, when she walked through the front door, she caught me off guard. and like a freak, i turned around, ran through the kitchen, and straight out the back.

it was too soon, i told myself. i went to the party telling myself that if hannah baker showed up, i was going to talk to her. it was time. i didn't care who was there, i was going to keep my eyes focused on her and we were going to talk. 

but then she walked in and i freaked out (clay, page 208).

i couldn't believe it. out of the blue, there you were (hannah, page 208).

no, not out of the blue. first i paced around the backyard, cursing myself for being such a scared little boy. then i let myself out through the gate, fully intent on walking home.

but on the sidewalk, i beat myself up some more. then i walked back to the front door. the drunk people greeted me again, and i went straight for you.

it was anything but out of the blue (clay, page 208).

"i don't know you why," you said, "but i think we need to talk."

... and i agreed, with probably the dumbest smile plastered on my face (hannah, page 208).

no. the most beautiful (clay, page 209).

what sucked: not a damned thing.

having said that: it's good. every adolescent in america, every parent of every adolescent needs to read this book.

what's up, weekend

April 8, 2017

i can't tell you what i did this week. i can tell you that right now, my head is killing me and my face hurts. that i've lost my patience with political parties and the media who seem more concerned with crucifying our current president and immortalizing the previous one. i think they both suck. but i'm not inside that great white house, sitting at that glorious resolute desk. i'm not in the eye of that storm, and so i can't see all the debris swirling within it. i don't presume to think i know better than government officials, and what i'm seeing on the news is journalists who think they are smarter. it's driving me nuts, but then i'm just a small-town girl from southeast texas. this isn't to say i've no concern for the well-being of this country as well as that of our allies. i do. but i'm reminded of scripture... get your own house in order... cast not the first stone. anyway, this post is supposed to be about gratitude.

i'm grateful for air conditioning. hot water. dove pink soap. pureology volumizing shampoo. colgate total. oral b toothbrushes and those floss picks that dentists detest (you want me to floss... this is really the only way that's going to happen). my twelfth man cup featuring mike evans, von miller and dat nguyen. ice water. cotton nightshirts. flannel star wars sheets. ceiling fans. the roses and goldenrod painting by julia gilmore on the wall opposite the foot of my bed... the first thing i see when i awake and the last thing before i turn off the light before sleep.

for my uncles who served in the army and navy, my older brother's best friend who served in the air force, my cousins who served in the army and marines, for the one who continues to serve in the department of homeland security.

for the mute and off buttons on the remote, for the unfollow button on facebook for those times i can no longer stomach the political vitriol friends spew. one of them is a devout democrat who likes to compare this president to the previous one at every available opportunity. i scroll past those status updates fast as i can. i resist the urge to engage. when her mother died a year or so ago, i drove to livingston on valentine's day for the memorial. we will never see eye to eye when it comes to politics, but i've known her for thirty years. i'm not gonna shuck a friendship because her beliefs clash with mine.

i'm grateful that twitter has so many folks on it, so when i'm on someone's page and the tweets are more vitriol, i can simply click over to someone else's page. it's twitter, for crying out loud. TWITTER, people.

for spell check because apparently i spelled vitriol incorrectly. twice.

clonazepam... i really like that stuff. i've probably taken it more than i should lately, but my mom broke both her feet the day before my birthday so for about a week, i've been a lot more anxious than normal.

i'm grateful for this is us and hawaii five-o and blue bloods. for the films patriots day and rogue one: a star wars story. 

for rebecca and ann and margaret and bill.

for the floral department at heb. for collin at wal-mart who helped me nab that front row parking place.

but mostly, mostly i'm grateful that the day is done.

check out lindsay's, chrissy's and charlotte's posts.

what's new

April 6, 2017

What's New With You

march tenth. spring of 'fifteen i was involved with a douchebag from whom i contracted hpv, only i didn't learn that's what it was until september of 'sixteen. i spent two years thinking i'd fucked up my life for no good reason. april: gynecologist said i had zits (i've never had zits. in. my. life), failed to provide results from well woman exam; may: general practitioner said it was herpes, prescribed meds but failed to test; july: clinic tested me for hiv and two other sti's, the results of which were negative, and suggested additional testing at another clinic for two other sti's, one being herpes... both of which were negative; january: the second clinic said i had contact dermatitis; october: well woman at first clinic, hpv diagnosis; march: second well woman exam on the sixth; ALL FUCKING CLEAR given march tenth. i'd never been so scared in my life, yall. it wasn't all the clinics... it was that during all of this, i was livid with myself for letting that asshat matter this much and feeling powerless to stop it. i'm positive that's more than yall want to read on a what's new post, but that all clear... yall, that's better than ANY orgasm. sorry, but it is.

march fifteenth. i got a note in the mail from a GORGEOUS woman i'd interviewed for an article i'd written last july. what she wrote is as beautiful to me as she is.

march sixteenth through twenty-third. fairly uneventful in the grand scheme of things but a fine, fine week in my life nonetheless.

and then this happened...

march twenty-fourth. i learned the monastery at which my great uncle has resided for sixty some odd years is closing. i am heartbroken.

march twenty-eighth. the first of tuesday topics posts, a series i began hosting solo. it was once hosted by lauren and another blogger, and then lauren and i did a batch. and then she gave me the blessing to run with it on my own. i'm a little nervous. yall can still sign on for that topic, if you'd like. or if you'd rather, this week's topic is stories about baseball.

march twenty-ninth. my birthday. forty-fucking-four. ugh. (all the crap from the first of this post... i felt like a damned teenager writing it, which is another reason why i was so mad at myself... my parents raised me to be smarter than that.) i wrote this letter to myself. i wish i'd thought of the idea, but i stole it from lecy.

march thirtieth. this month's book club meeting doubled as a birthday party for me. we read and discussed the language of flowers, a book i'd suggested. i reread it so i could refresh my memory, and i'm so glad i did. i liked it a lot the first time i'd read it. i LOVE it now.

march thirty-first. i almost completed the entirety of the month's scavenger hunt... i put it off to the last minute, like i've done with basically everything in my life. i'm bummed that i didn't get it all done, but that's what i get for procrastinating. i've already got one of the tasks done for this month's hunt.

check out what's new with kristen and gretchen.