Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Link up below!

1. I don't understand hand washing your dishes when you have a dishwasher. It turns out a lot of people I know do this. I don't get it. We had to wash and dry our dishes growing up and it was horrible.

2. Last night, for shits and giggles, my husband and I created the plot for a YA novel, based on every cliche we could come up with (illness, unrequited love, guilt, familial issues, trusty sidekick, etc...). I'm fairly confident we could get it published... under pseudonyms, of course.


3. I can't believe Sandra Bullock is fifty. Good for her. I don't want to like her, but I do.

4. My Alama Mater was under water. Poor Pauley Pavillion.


5. I made my to-do list for the next week and a half until we go back to work. One word: shit.

6. Every time I complete a journal (here's a post explaining my life-long habit) I go back to the beginning and see what life was like (usually a year or so in the past). I'd say 90% of the time the worries I had then had completely resolved themselves. A year ago I was worried about not being able to get pregnant, the pressure of getting my IB students through their senior year, and who knows what else. Now, those things are water under the bridge. I hope and pray that the current worries I face are resolved by the time I finish this volume.

7. Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker or someone needs to create individual servings of of brownies and cakes for those of us who don't want to make a huge batch. A little packet you add water and maybe a tablespoon of oil to, pop in a ramekin, and then back for fifteen minutes. It's genius.

8. This video of the obviously very over-tired little girl is both sweet and hilarious:

9. Whoever invented the Summer Sleep Swaddlers deserves a prize. They obviously sprinkled sleeping powder in those things- Sawyer has been putting himself to sleep ever since we started using them and just slept through the doorbell ringing, the dogs barking, and the door alarm beeping in the laundry room where he's napping (it's dark and cool, okay?). He knows he can eventually bust out of it when I just use a blanket, so he works himself up instead of knocking himself out. The day I have to stop using them will be a sad day indeed.

[baby burrito]

10. I have to reread Catcher in the Rye again (for the fourth time in my life). Will there ever be a point where I can just jump into teaching a novel, or will I always reread?

Three Months In

[this is old; multiply the leg chunk by at least two]

It's a baby/mom post. You've been warned. 

Last week marked Sawyer's three month milestone, and I must say, the difference between a brand spankin' newborn baby and a three month old infant is crazy. It's not easy by any means, but it definitely is easier. Every month or so I'm going to do a post like this, just so that when I go back and work on his baby book (I'm going to start... soon) I have the info easily accessible. Plus I like to talk about my kid.

Daily Schedule
I thought I'd be a lot more rigid when it came to his schedule, but I'm not. I've found that if he takes one nap before lunch (forty-five minutes or so) and one longer one after (an hour and a half to two and and half hours), both in his Pack-n-Play, with a few little cat naps sprinkled throughout he's good. He eats every three hours, but if he's hungry earlier I let him eat. The tried and true pattern is generally sleep, eat, play, repeat. He sleeps for about eight or nine hours at night, with the first chunk happening while we're still up, followed by a six, or more, hour stretch. He's a pretty happy kid, so it works.

Big Changes
We made the rookie mistake of letting him sleep at night in his swing starting the third night he was home (desperation and sleep deprivation, people!) and it was MAGICAL! Unfortunately, he was born with a slight tightening in a neck muscle (totally fixable with some stretching exercises) that was just diagnosed, so we've had to transition him to sleeping in his Pack-n-Play at night (he'll go to his crib in his room when it cools down at night- we have a whole house fan and there's no way I'm letting my baby sleep alone in a room with the window open). The first three nights were rough- I woke up one night at four and let out a long string of expletives that would have made a sailor proud (going from sleeping seven hours straight to three is just plain bad). Fast forward a week and he's in the thing for at least six hours straight. Just in time for work!

Speaking of work, that starts a week from Monday. He had a trial run at the daycare last week and it went so much better than expected. I only cried for like ten minutes! Oh, and he was fine too. I love being with him everyday but do miss being around people. Push and pull... I'm having a hard time with the idea of letting someone I don't know very well (she comes highly recommended, is very experienced, my nephews went to her, my mother-in-law has taught her kids, etc...) handle my kid for seven or eight hours a day (although he'll hopefully nap for like half of that), but I know after a few weeks of seeing that he's fine I will be too. If he enjoys a roof over his head and diapers on his butt he'll learn to love it.

Developmental Junk
- Holds his head up well, despite the neck thing
- Fascinated by hands- constantly in his mouth
- Starting to grab for things
- Baffled by the existence of his feet
- Rolled over twice now, from front to back, but still a little confused about how to move his upper body and lower body at the same time
- Starting to jabber nonstop! The day after daycare he "talked" the entire way home, presumably telling me about his time, of course. He also has become a bit of a complainer, which is so much cuter than smiling
- I try to read to him every day. We (okay me) love Skippy John Jones Goes to Spice, Dragons Love Tacos, and Boy + Bot
- He loves me, of course, but he has really taking a liking to his dad lately, which is pretty damn cute
- Fiftieth percentile in weight, ninetieth in height (he gained two pounds in less than three weeks!)
- He's starting to laugh which is basically the cutest thing ever
- He has gone from hating bath time to tolerating it to loving it. He pretty much thinks being naked is the best thing ever- exhibitionist! 

- I feel this intense, unnecessary, need to decide if I'm going to have another baby. We're in fact not deciding now, but I think about it constantly, especially as I'm boxing up clothes he's outgrown.
- I'm very thankful that my body was completely ruined by this little guy but am frustrated with the fact that I'm going to have to start working a tiny bit harder to lose these last pounds. The summer makes me want to not exercise and eat ice cream- not a good combo.
- I really, really want a few drinks (I do! I've been sober for almost a year!) but that means I'd waste precious breastmilk and am too stingy to do so. I'm tentatively planning on doing this until he's a year, which means nine more months! Augh! That also makes it so that I'm basically not allowed to sleep in until then- double augh!
- I've tried to get out a lot lately and it's been good for us both- he likes to see new places and things. We've also had his grandma watch him so we could go out alone, and my husband has been watching him sometimes so I can escape to fun places... like Target. 
- I'm so looking forward to the holidays this year- Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Time off! Cooler weather! Dressing up my kid in a ridiculous costume of my choice! Buying him a little red wagon (yes, I already know what I'm getting him for Christmas)! Taking him to see lights! 
- I really, really love this kid. It's corny and the pre-baby me would have said it's bullshit, but it really is a different sort of love than you have for everyone else (yes, including my fur-children). I totally get how moms have lifted cars off their kids before (although I don't get why cars were on their kids in the first place...). It's insane how happy his fat little smiling face makes me. 

Extra Credit Reading List

One of the best things about being an English teacher (besides grading all the papers and hearing all the complaints about reading assignments) is being able to influence their reading. Here's the extra credit outside reading list I'll be giving my incoming class of IB juniors, in case anyone wants to submit suggestions for next semester:

[hello, there spell check!]

Top Ten Tuesday- Repeat Offenders

[flashback... shelves from the apartment (now we have more)]

The Broke and the Bookish ask us to list the top ten authors we own the books by this week. A few were obvious, but I had to sit down in front of my shelves and do a little bit of counting. Some, likes Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, are in huge anthologies, so I thought that that was a slightly grey area. Here's what I came up with, based purely on physical copies:

1. JK Rowling: 8 (Potter series plus the disappointing The Casual Vacancy)

2. Thomas Hardy: 7 (took a seminar on him in college)

3. Nick Hornby: 7 (love him!)

4.  Michael Chabon: 6 (half are my husband's, but I intend to read them all)

5. Ian McEwan: 5

6. Margaret Atwood: 5 (reading The Year of the Flood right now) 

7. Jonathan Safran Foer: 4

8. Richard Russo: 3

9. Gary Shtenygart: 3

10. Zadie Smith: 3

There are many others that I own three of, I just cut it down to the ones that made me seemed the most literate and cultrally aware. 

Outside Reading- Help Wanted!


One of my favorite, and least favorite, things is making my students complete their outside reading requirements. Each semester they have to read a certain amount of pages (800 for my juniors this upcoming year) and complete some sort of accountability piece. I love playing Literary God: "yes, you may read Michael Chabon and Nick Hornby" and "no you may absolutely not read Stephanie Myers and no way is The Hunger Games going to work!" I also enjoy hearing them admit at the end of the year that they've found new authors to love and are finally getting the hang of determining what makes a book literary. I hate the grading part. With a passion.

In the past I've had my students complete a dialectical journal- one quote, with analysis, for every ten pages they've read. My rationale has been that it was the only way I could easily check to see if they've read- spacing out the quotes makes it harder to go online and just pull work off the internet. Unfortunately, this is incredibly tedious, both for the students to complete and for me to grade. This year I'm trying something new that will hopefully making grading easier for me- I'm going to provide the students with a list of thirty questions (when we go back in August) that they should be able to answer for each of the books they've read that semester. At the end of the term I'm going to take a few days and ask each student approximately five questions on the books they've read, in front of the class. Their grade on outside reading will be based on how well they've BSed answered and convinced me that they've read. I'm also giving them a "hot list"- a list of thirty books (I'll share those later after I've written my syllabus and can just copy and paste) that they will receive five extra credit points for choosing to read.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help me come up with challenging questions to give to my students that apply to either fictional and nonfictional texts (although mostly fiction). Nothing easy! No "If you could be one of the characters which one would you be and why?" nonsense. I'm talking more like "Choose an important symbol from the text and talk about how it contributed to a character's development" or "What were some unique aspects of the author's writing style? How did that impact your reading of the text?" 

Please and thank you. Extra credit for those questions that are used. Get down with your inner teacher. 

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Link up below!

1. Wouldn't it be fun to just dedicate a Pinterest board to really inappropriate pins to freak people out? Maybe one on tantric sex (or go the opposite and put one for coping with a cheating spouse). Or some sort of disgusting foot fungus. Maybe another one on the best way to rob a bank. One, when I first joined Facebook I wrote "Does anyone know a good divorce lawyer?" as my status and my husband and I made a bet on who would anxiously respond first. It was fun.

2. This is my new favorite quote and has pretty much been the story of my summer/life:

3. I really have no business spending more money on kids books right now, but I couldn't resist this adorable custom made book Lostmy.Name book for Sawyer. I scoured the internet for a code and ended up getting it, with shipping, for like $22. It's from England, so it's extra fancy (although I'm worried they're going to "misspell" words like "colour" and I'm going to have to explain to him when he's older not to do it).

4. Hilary needs to make up her mind. 2016 is basically around the corner and I need to know whether or not to start making posters.

5. I had lunch with a student the other day and it was so nice to see a member of my most favorite class. She had just gone to Europe and made me want to travel so badly! I'm already sad about starting the school year soon and not having "my" kids there.

6. I'm starting to worry that registering for the half marathon in February was a mistake. I've been running three days a week for about a half an hour, but I know once school starts I'm going to be so short on time between my job, family, household stuff, and having some shred of a social life. It's non-refundable, but I could sell my bib on Craig's List when the time gets closer. I know it's far away and I probably could buckle down and train in ten weeks- I have like 28. Things are overwhelming right now and I'm not going to make any dramatic decisions yet.

7. I'm pretty sure Fight Club 2 is a mistake. 

8. I'm leaving Sawyer for a few hours at the daycare provider's house on Friday morning in order to prepare them for the real thing on August 11 (I plan on doing it another morning well). Actually, let's be honest. It's for me. I can barely even think about leaving him every day without crying. Ugh. I enjoy my job and really, really miss being around people all day, but I've gotten very used to being with him. I know everything about the kid and the day care lady will not- she won't know his cries, how he likes to be jiggled around when he's falling asleep, or that he loves to look at himself in the mirror. I mean I guess I could tell her those things, but still. Or what if he's a pain the ass and she hates him? He's a fairly easy baby, but still, he may act differently with her and a new place. What is she doesn't change him enough? What if she doesn't... Sigh. It's a necessary evil, and I know it will get easier as time goes on, but in the meantime my heart will just keeping breaking a little every single day

9. My husband and I have spent some time recently talking about The Goldfinch, since he read it before I did. It's been years since we both read something at the same time, or in close proximity, so I had forgotten how nice it is to have a live-in sort of mini book club. I'm a huge proponent of partners having separate interests, but it is nice when you share a few hobbies. 

10. I pulled out my writing project from last year and reread it. I like it enough to keep working on it, but I did start noticing some flaws- like some of dialogue (natural dialogue can sometimes be such a challenge). I've left the docs open on my laptop, hoping that every day I'll just add to it. Or at least think about it...


Notes on The Goldfinch

I'm going to preface this post by admitting that this is basically just a hodgepodge of notes on The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt so that I have something to refer back to before book club in a few weeks. Also, I must admit that some of the below points came to fruition after talking about the book with my husband, who definitely knows his shit (none of these are his thoughts, though, just things we both agreed on). Everything that could be interpreted as a spoiler will be in blocks of italics.

- Initially I was a little daunted by the size of the book, at nearly 800 pages. It in fact, it ended up being a fairly "quick" read for me, taking just shy of two weeks (last summer I would have pounded it out in a week). 
- This book almost made the Trifecta of Literary Merit requirements for me- writing, characters, and plot. Here's why:
- Writing: the writing was superb, despite a few overused metaphors here and there. Her attention to detail and ability to describe a scene are impressive and I never felt bored. The dialogue was natural, the transitions flowed, and the text never felt forced.
- Characters: For the most part I thought the characters were developed well. Theo's father was not, but this was because he really wasn't a direct influence in his son's life, therefore the lack of depth mirrored the actual flatness of his presence. Pippa was not either, which really bothered me. I know she was supposed to be this elusive, mysterious little waif, but the fact that Theo was so enthralled with her and didn't seem to have any substantial reasons for being so made the attraction far-fetched. There needed to be more.
- Plot: Tartt's storytelling abilities are amazing- this was what we call "crafted" (it did take her eleven years, after all, so it better appear this way). I did have a problem with some of the coincidences, though. First of all, Theo's dad dying at the point in which he did was just an easy, lazy way out on Tartt's end. Running into Boris towards the end was also just too coincidental- somehow he just manages to bump into him at the moment he needs to in an area he never frequents? The ending was also a tiny bit problematic for me in Amsterdam. Boris appears just as Theo becomes absolutely frantic over his missing passport? Oh, and with a huge chunk of change that Boris can just take back the United States and use to placate everyone he's wronged without any legal repercussions? There was also some discrepancies in terms of timing. The present must be told in the future, because of the mention of iPods and iPhones in the past story segments, which are supposed to be fourteen years old. Those devices are newer than that! 
- I know some people hate the Vegas section (just read the Amazon reviews!), but I thought it read quickly and was necessary to develop the relationship between Theo and Boris and to demonstrate how directionless Theo's adolescence was.
- Hobie reminds me of Hagrid and I love them both
- I'm glad Popper stuck around. 
- I remember looking at the painting of The Goldfinch before I started reading and thinking how uninspiring it was. But, as I read (including, begrudgingly, the ending pages, which I actually thought was a little bit of a sentimental eye-roll inducing brain-dump on Theo and Tartt's part) I had to admit that that's why art is so awesome- it affects everyone differently. The connection one person has with a creative piece, whether a poem, a painting, a sculpture, or a song, is truly personal and subjective. And the question of whether or not it's acceptable to idolize objects is also an interesting thought to ponder.
- I am such a sucker for a literary Bildungsroman.
- This is an interesting article on the critical reception.
- I do think that this is a literary novel that is actually accessible for "the masses." It moves at a steady clip, can be interpreted at different levels, and is entertaining. I think it's also a book that people feel proud of reading- it's long, a Pulitzer winner, and is about the art world. Someone who maybe reads more James Patterson than Jeffrey Eugenides could get through this and feel proud of themselves while discussing it at a cocktail party. I think that's a good thing.

I definitely recommend it! 

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Link up below!

1. Summer is almost over- 25 days. I know that most adults don't get summer, which sucks, but we are all in charge of what career we choose. This year is ESPECIALLY hard for me, since I'll be leaving Sawyer at daycare. I will have been able to spend almost four months with him, which beats the hell out of the standard six week maternity leave, but still. We're pretty attached. Necessary evils suck.

2. Our neighbor abandoned this stuffed gorilla on the sidewalk. I'm concerned for Boris (obviously this name was taken from The Goldfinch). Last night he had to endure the horrible Southern California elements (read: sprinklers) and is starting to look a little ragged. I may need to call animal control.

3. I need fun, fast-paced new running songs. Suggestions? No country, please. And yes, I already downloaded "Fancy."

4. Whenever I post I always have it in the back of my mind that students may be reading. I've also Facebook-friended a few new people from work, so I guess I'm feeling more and more... exposed. Because somehow, despite putting my thoughts and opinions up on the internet, I didn't before? Nothing is really changing, I'm just a tiny bit more guarded.

5. If you have a few minutes and want a good laugh, read the reviews for Unicorn Meat on Amazon.

6. Last Sunday afternoon was amazing. Sawyer went down for a two hour nap, the dogs and I laid by the pool, and I was able to read uninterrupted in the sun. All that was missing was a cocktail... womp, womp, womp. I did this every day last summer and totally took it for granted.

7. So many people tagged me in that Weird Al grammar song yesterday. I'm going to take it as a compliment.

8. I've had some serious cabin fever lately so have made more of an effort to make plans. Yesterday I had brunch with a good friend and her son, and tomorrow I'm headed out to Newport with another friend for Sprinkles (we read the article about the cupcake industry being in jeopardy and thought we'd do our part). Saturday my mother-in-law is babysitting so we can go to dinner alone and next week I have plans with an old student and another friend, and then a quick baby-friendly hike and dinner with our couple friends. Fuck you, cabin fever.

9. Speaking of "couple friends" I was recently read an blog post (I think Brittney, Herself-?) about the importance of couple friends. This is something I must say we're lacking- we have maybe three couples we go out with? It's never been a big deal, but I think the distinction between friends you go out with alone with and couples is interesting. Why don't you go out with the significant others of said friends? It's weird. We were making a great deal of headway brainwashing our cool next-door neighbors to become couple friend number four, but things have come to a standstill (perhaps we should make an actual effort-?).

10. Another "speaking of"- one of the aforementioned couple friends noted in number nine just got engaged. They're both my really good friends, so I'm beyond excited for them. I literally squealed with glee when I got the text, and I am most definitely not a squealer. I don't think they read this, but if they do, they should know I effing squealed for them. And it wasn't even a shock.


Things I Wish I Did Better/Skills I Wish I Had*

Because nobody's perfect.

1. Knitting
2. Hanging floating shelves
3. Making rice krispies without a recipe
4. Walking away from an argument
5. Not worrying to the point of obsession
6. Upside-down French braiding
7. Dog grooming
8. Believing that there is a God
9. Returning essays in a timely manner
10. Running faster
11. Inversions
12. Remembering more of what I read
13. Not gossiping 
14. Not crying when angry
15. Commenting on blogs
16. Using my cookbooks more often
17. Not rolling my eyes as much
18. Ironing
19. Writing neatly
20. Sitting nicely through meetings
21. Laundry
22. Paper correspondance
23. Visiting my grandparents regularly
24. Eye makeup
25. Trying strange foods 
26. Gardening
27. Optimism
28. Figuring out Wordpress
29. Using coupons
30. Going on little sleep
31. Prioritizing writing projects
32. Forget people's mistakes
33. Painting my nails
34. The ability to easily participate in small talk
35. Ignoring the obnoxious neighbors

* Working draft

Top Ten Tuesday- I Read During Commercials

Long time no TTT! This week they're asking us for other types of stories- TV shows! I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but here are those that come to mind:

Warning: my TV taste is quite different from my reading taste. I take my literary endeavors much more seriously.

1. ER- I didn't watch the last few seasons, because the show ran it's course, but still, best medical drama ever. 

2. The Gilmore Girls- Can I live in Stars Hollows? Or at least go stay at the Dragonfly Inn for a weekend?

3. Sex and the City- Confession: whenever I need to create a BS account my fake email is carriebradshaw at aol dot com.

4. The Wonder Years- Winnie + Kevin = love 4ever

5. Pushing Daisies- The Pie Hole and Digby are the bestest.

6. Friends- There are so many reasons to pick on this show, but I don't care. 

7. Breaking Bad- I assume that every chemistry teacher knows how to make meth, now. 
8. Downton Abbey- I was so resistant at first, but I love this show, despite the whole period piece nonsense.

9. Gossip Girl- Guilty pleasure! Don't hate.

10. Friday Night Lights- While I could watch Tim Riggins stare at the ceiling, the show is so damn great. Augh. And Coach ain't so bad to look at either, for an old guy. And Connie Britton's hair! And Landry (who shouldn't have played a bad guy in Breaking Bad).

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

As always, link your post up below!

1. Sometimes it's easier to just shut the hell up and be nice. Some people are who they are.

[can I put this up in my classroom? source]

2. I'm reading The Goldfinch for book club and am really enjoying it so far. The only problem is that it's a pretty large book, and hard back, so reading it while I feed Sawyer has proven to be a bit of a balancing act.

3. Is it just me or is terminating a texting conversation sometimes difficult? A few of my friends and I have sort of a code- when someone just responds with :) we know it's over. Others, especially older people, like to officially end it. Then there are others, where you just don't know. You don't want them to think you're rude for just not responding, but you don't necessarily want it to drag on, and on, and on either. 

4. This video of this two-year-old's first steps is pretty sweet:

5. I received the IB and AP scores for my students this week and was incredibly surprised and pleased. We teach the AP Language course to sophomores, while most schools do it at the junior or senior level- it's tough. I wasn't sure how many of mine would pass, if any, but I had eight! 77% of my IB seniors passed their exam, while I was hoping for 60-65%, so that was another victory. These results are two-pronged: they validate my work (sorry, but as teachers we don't always get a lot of feedback) and they show what our students are capable of.

6. I finally, after talking about it for a year, ordered my external hard drive. What the hell is a terabyte? I can't even wrap my head around that much data! My husband glanced at my computer the other day and saw my non-existent organizational system for pictures and murdered me in my head. There's something about Macs that just don't work for me- on Windows, both on my old computer and mine at work, everything just fits in little folders. I guess they do on Apples too, but I've just managed to make a mess. 

7. Are you lucky enough to have an Earl of Sandwich near you? I've been once in Vegas and then a few weeks ago to the one in Downtown Disney and I'm still fantasizing about The Holiday Turkey Sandwich. Like to the point where I'm ready to drive back just for the food. 


8. Speaking of theme parks, we have decided that Sawyer won't go to Disneyland until he's four or five. I am excited to take him to LEGOland, though, despite everyone I know saying it sucks. I don't understand how that's possible! A whole entire park dedicated to the beloved colorful interlocking blocks? No way.

9. David Mitchell is doing a reading at UCLA in September. I had pretty much accepted that I wouldn't be going to any events for the rest of the year, but my husband and I are big fans so we're considering hitting up a babysitter. 

10. I canceled my Audible membership today after cashing in my credits (Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl, which I've read, Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw, and A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson). I haven't been listening to them since having the baby (my walks are generally with my husband now, so I don't wear headphones) and I could buy an actual book for $15 a month. 

Shocker: I Watched Movies

I've made it no secret that I'm not a huge fan of movie watching. They're long, I don't feel productive while sitting in one spot for 90-180 minutes, and I frequently (although less so now) need to use the facilities. Or get some water. Or switch over laundry. Or check something on my computer. Or- you get the picture. But some miracle happened this past holiday weekend and I watched FOUR movies. Yes, four. I'm not a movie reviewer by any means, but I thought I'd share my thoughts since I can't think of anything else to blog about right now since my husband, the movie buff, won't write posts for me. And now to impress you with my non-existent movie reviewing skills. 

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Netflix added it this month and my very excited husband put it on Friday morning. Interested to see if it was what I remembered from my youth I decided to watch the first few minutes, which turned into the whole thing (while playing with and feeding the kid, anyway). It's so eighties and campy and fun. If you haven't seen it, it's about this guy who shrinks his kids. And calls his wife "honey." The four kids must battle the backyard lawn and everything that comes with it, including insects, sprinklers, and birds. And then they must unshrink them. It was great. 

My husband had some gift cards so he bought this and the next movie, both from last year. I really liked Her, directed by Spike Jonze (please tell me I'm not the only person that gets him confused with Spike Lee) and starring Joaquin Phoenix and his awesome 'stache. Oh, and Amy Adams and Scarlett Johnasson are also in it. Phoenix's character is feeling pretty depressed after his divorce and ends up becoming incredible attached to his IOS's persona (spoiler alert: they have human/computer phone sex), all the while becoming better friends with Adams' character. It's a tad depressing, but also sweet and optimistic. 

The Grand Budapest Hotel
I actually really wanted to see this movie, directed by my favorite director Wes Anderson (by the way, this is the only real director I have an opinion about- I've seen all his movie except one). Starring Ralph Fiennes, this movie is about his concierge character and the lobby boy, Zero's, adventure. Fiennes is quite the womanizer and finds himself in jail after one of his little affairs have gone wrong, leading to his need to escape both the slammer and the woman's son. Quirky, hilarious, and just awesome to look at. Oh, and there are these little pastries that pop up several times during it and one of the extras on the Blu-Ray is the recipe and directions. How cool is that?

What About Bob?
This is another old movie that my husband put on and I said I'd watch just a few minutes of (I'd never seen it). This turned into the whole thing, thanks to Sawyer's incredibly long nap... on me. Oops. Anyway, Bob, played by Bill Murray is a hypochondriac in desperate need of some therapy. After meeting with a psychologist for the first time he learns the doctor is headed out on vacation, which Bob track hims down on. He befriends his family, angers the doctor, and eventually teaches everyone lessons about themselves and their familial relationship. And he wears his goldfish on a jar around his neck, which is awesome. 

Based on the fact that I like these four movies, what should I add to my queue?

Wish List- Kid's Books Edition

I've been trying to read to Sawyer every day, despite the fact that he has no idea what I'm saying and most of the time only looks at the pages on accident. Nonetheless, I try. Right now we're reading Jack Prelutsky's collection of poems, A Pizza the Size of the Sun, which is often easier than reading a whole book. We've read every book he has at least once, so of course I'm already jonesing to start buying him more. Here are a few that I've put on his wish-list:

The New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

The Incredibly Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry 

Andy Warhol's Colors by Susan Goldman Rubin

Cozy Classics: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Jack and Holman Wang

No, David! by David Shannon

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara

 I don't generally buy used books, but I'm thinking I might start going that route for him. On Amazon you can get one basically brand new for less than a dollar, plus the cost of shipping. Can't beat that! Especially when he starts "reading" them as a toddler- nothing is safe.

We are What We Google

I don't know how many times I've silently thanked whomever that my Google searches are relatively private, minus the government, the people at Google, and whatever internet fairies put the banner ads on the sides of websites. Good God, if people only knew some of the stuff I look up they'd be disgusted, horrified, and probably really amused. And that would just be on one day (although not everyday).

What one Googles is quite reflective of their life- where they're at at that moment. For example, the girl that Googles "morning after pill" obviously had a lapse in responsibility the night before (and hopefully doesn't work for Hobby Lobby). The student who desperately searches for essay help the night before a paper is due shows some issues with procrastination. The wife or mother who frantically tries to find "quick recipes with chicken" is probably feeling rushed and over-extended. The man who frantically types in his current medical symptoms is obviously not feeling well, and may possibly be a hypochondriac. We can learn about a person's interests, desires, questions, and fears. We are what we Google, I guess. 

I frequently try to recall a time where we didn't have such a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips and had to actually work at acquiring the answers to our questions. As a young girl I had to find things in the encyclopedia, ask my parents, or search the library when I had a question. Sometimes I simply didn't land on an answer, either. I don't know when the last time I had a question that I couldn't find answers to on the internet. I'm thankful for the plethora of information, but I can't help to feel guilty for the un-worked for abundance. I wonder if this ridiculous level of access makes us cocky or whether it makes us smarter. Or both.  

So what have I Googled lately? What does it mean?

How much Tylenol to give two month old before shots? Sawyer got his vaccines on Wednesday, so I was trying to be proactive. I couldn't figure it out because of the new concentration and whatnot so I didn't do it. Big mistake...

Sub 2:15 half marathon plans- I'm delusional (but motivated?).

Chateau Lake Louise- Banff Canada-I showed my husband and told him that it would take twenty-four hours to drive there. He surprised me with actually being interested. Some day!

Extra bone in foot pain- Along with running comes the pain in my right ankle. There's really no fix, except surgery.

Muppet yourself- A student and I were talking about what we'd look like as Muppets. We thought there'd be an app- there's not.

What would I look like as the opposite sex- This came from the above conversation... But seriously. What would the masculine version of someone with the exact same DNA look like?

Exersaucer vs jumpers- There's a big debate. I'm trying to give a shit.

The LEGO Movie Sea Cow set- Depending on how much we are able to spend on each other this year, I really want to get this for my husband (who supposedly doesn't read this).

Better to water grass in morning or at night?- In the morning, since apparently certain fungi can grow at night. 

Fourth of July Pie Recipes- I'm trying to be a tiny bit festive.

Orange is the New Black Cast- I was talking about it with a friend and couldn't remember how to spell Poussey (who is gorgeous, don't you think?).

Allergic to white gold after pregnancy- My finger under my wedding rings has developed this horrible dermatitis since having the baby. I'm not wearing them right now and hoping once it clears up I can start wearing them again and just being super careful about drying my hands better. I know dipping them in platinum is an option, but it's not in the budget and I really don't want to.

Bedrock City, Arizona- My husband told me about this super sad Flinstones amusement park that I had to check out (only $5 to get in!). If I was in the area I would most definitely stop by.

Does Gatorade help lactation?- Um, yeah. And no, probably not, in case you were wondering.

Name of guy buying my spin bike from Craig's List- Just in case he was an escaped convict or something. He was actually a very nice fire fighter. 

I'm weird and maybe a little boring. 

So what have you searched recently? What does it say about you? Are we becoming lazy or smarter?

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Link up below! (If you can- it's being wonky)

1. What are you doing for the Fourth? We're doing jack crap, like always, but I'm thinking this might be the last year we can get away with it. Next year Sawyer will be a little over a year and I'll probably feel obligated to feed him something barbequed and keep up past his bedtime for fireworks.

2. I'm sorry I'm not sorry for not caring about the World Cup. Although that guy, Tim Howard, should be commended on his dedication... to ab work. 


3. I've come to the conclusion lately that there are people I actually like more than I thought I did, I just let their inept internet communication skills cloud my judgement. I'm 99% positive people feel that way about me, too. 

4. I love this little doodad- it's so true.

5. This article hit home on so many things I've felt the last few months since having the baby. Now that he's getting in a 5-6+ stretch of sleep at night and we're getting into a bit of a routine I feel a million times better about life, and him, but the first two weeks were tough.

6. I want to make these from Joy the Baker asap. Bananas, chocolate and peanut butter are probably the best combo ever.

7. I posted for the first time (my spin bike, which I don't use since I have a treadmill and regular bike) on Craig's List and was so excited to get a buyer (actually two!). Now I want to sell EVERYTHING!

8. Is it just me or does cold pizza seem healthier than when hot?

June Reviews

I'm typing this one-handed- please forgive errors and be impressed with my dedication [pats self on back].

This month I read three whole books- not bad, considering the first part of the month was consumed with grading and I've had family in town twice. And the whole having an infant thing.

The Selected Works of TS Spivet by Reif Larson 
400 pages
I've raved about this book many times before, but in case you missed it it's about a young cartographer that travels cross country alone to accept an award at the Smithsonian (they don't know he's a kid). Along the way he works on accepting his family and past, and also reads one of his mother's notebooks where she has sort of re-transcribed an old family history. The margin is full of sketches and blurbs, adding to the richness of the story. 

Verdict- I suggested this for book club and was relieved that everyone seemed to enjoy it!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
576 pages
I'm pretty sure everyone has read this but me, so I'll spare you the synopsis (see one-handed comment above).

Verdict- I thought this was somewhat decent, but lacked the depth it could have had (which is a problem I've had with other YA books I've read). The idea of having death as the narrator is unique, but Zusak just fell a little short of accomplishing greatness.

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
240 pages
This self-help styled novel "instructs" our nameless main character on how to rise up from poverty and make it big in "rising Asia." We follow the man from childhood until death, watching as he falls in love with a "pretty girl" and is then separated from her, all the while working hard to make something of himself. Their later reconnection is sweet, while a little expected.

Verdict- I really enjoyed this novel- the humor was tongue-in-cheek, the structure was different from what I've been reading recently, and I appreciated reading about someone's complete life.

1216 pages