Regular Rumination

10 Days of #100happydays

Posted by in Life, music

A good friend of mine jumped at the chance for #100happydays early. She’s almost done! And I hesitated for a long time – I didn’t want another project that I was sure to drop, especially when days got hard. Seeing more people join in, though, and seeing all their happy things? I caught the happy bug and now it’s been ten days of happy things. I have to say, there is something wonderful about planning ahead, picking the one thing that represents the things that made you happy that day. The best days are when you can’t pick what to do. There are the days where it’s a struggle, but I’ve been making myself go out and find a happy thing. I think this little project is doing what it’s meant to.

100happydays1. “Take Me to Church” by Hozier – I started #100happydays at about 9PM when the only thing making me happy was curling up into bed and going to sleep. Oh, and listening to this song on repeat.

2. A rose! When I was in college, I often passed by a florist on my way home from studying in a coffee shop. I would buy just one flower for a dollar or two and put it in an Orangina bottle on my desk. We were walking through Queens when I decided I wanted to do that again. Michael bought me this rose and I put it in a Cheerwine bottle and it’s living on our kitchen table.

3. “Pulaski At Night” by Andrew Bird – I used to listen to Andrew Bird all the time, but I didn’t fall in love with his last few albums and he sort of fell off my radar. Until I heard “Pulaski At Night” in the first episode of season 2 of Orange is the New Black. Hearing that song was like coming home. Needless to say, it’s been on repeat since. I’m only allowing myself one music post a week, though, because otherwise it feels like cheating. I’m not REALLY taking a picture of anything, just a screenshot.

4. Homemade Strawberry Popsicles – Last year Michael and I went crazy with our ice cream machine, which was awesome because homemade ice cream is infinitely better than the store stuff, unless you’re getting it at a small-batch ice cream shop (yes, I just got a little ice cream snobby – don’t get me wrong, pretty much all ice cream is good, but some ice cream is better than others). This year, though, we went a little bit lower maintenance and bought a popsicle mold. These were the first ones! And they’re delicious and so easy it’s silly. Just pour lemonade into the mold about 3/4 full, slice up some strawberries, freeze.

5. My best friend and college roommate (remember when we went to Luray Caverns together? #tbt) sent me a postcard with our cute faces on it. I immediately put it on my cube bulletin board of love, filled with post cards, birthday cards, photos of me and Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness, Galentine’s Day cards, and pictures from my calendars that I like enough to stick on the wall. It makes me happy to look at every day.

6. Finally, ice cream from Big Gay Ice Cream, because it was a crappy day and this made it infinitely better. Plus a cameo from spiderman.

Not pictured: Some amazing times with friends (I don’t want to post these pictures without asking! They know the photo is up on Instagram, and that’s one thing, but I’d prefer asking them all before I posted it on the blog) and Thursday night’s #100happydays, which will almost certainly be a picture of The Three, because I can’t put it down at all.



On repeat this week.

Posted by in music, Television

The Family Crest - Beneath the Brine

I discovered the band The Family Crest listening to a radio station and I’m so happy I did because Beneath the Brine has been my go-to album this week. I love the song “Beneath the Brine,” but also “She Knows My Name” and “Love Don’t Go” and “Howl.” Beyond just being a great album, I love the story behind the band of two musicians who wanted something different and something they could be proud of, so they called up all their musician friends that they knew, and all the musician friends they knew and asked everyone to contribute to the album. There are something like 400 musicians who added instrumentation or back up vocals, with recordings done in living rooms, cafes, and churches around the country. You would think that would make the album sound disjointed, but it doesn’t at all. Every song sounds a little bit different, but in the best way.

Kishi Bashi - 151a

Something between Andrew Bird and Final Fantasy/Owen Pallett, with some Sufjan Stevens thrown in there, so you know, those are pretty much magic words to 2008-Lu. This album at once feels fresh and nostalgic, plus he’s from my home town, so I’m excited to support someone local! Like The Family Crest, every song sounds just a little bit different and Kishi Bashi is hard to pin down, hard to define, but that’s how I like it. Unlike The Family Crest, Kishi Bashi is just one guy and I don’t even understand how that’s possible. My favorite song on the album is probably “Wonder Woman, Wonder Me” but I think you’ll all really like “Manchester.” It’s the song that got me hooked on the album. Like Owen Pallett, it’s just so cool to see him in action, layering sounds by himself to make it sound like there’s a huge band behind him when it’s really just him making music on a loop. I’m absurdly excited to see him do this all live in a few weeks!

Stromae - Racine carré

I’m so thankful for tumblr for introducing me to Stromae and his crazy cool videos, but also his infectious songs. Sometimes it feels like it’s so hard to discover awesome international music, Stromae is Belgian and his songs are all in French, and this is a good reminder that I just need to try harder. I’m constantly looking for translations of Stromae’s songs when I listen, because he’s so good at communicating what’s going on in his videos and I feel like he has such interesting things to say. Plus it sounds pretty good, too.

Jamestown Revival – The California EP

“California (Cast Iron Soul)” has lovely lyrics with perfect harmonies and a great sound. And honestly that’s all you really need to know.

The season finale of Once Upon A Time

Okay, I know this isn’t a song. But I just wanted to talk about for a second how incredible I thought the 2-hour season finale was. If you haven’t watched it yet, spoilers below! You’ve been warned!

First – TIME TRAVEL. Have I mentioned how much I love time travel stories? No? Well I do. I really liked X-Men First Class, it got me into the X-Men stories in a way I’ve never cared about, but I’m absurdly excited for Days of Future Past because, obviously, TIME TRAVEL!!! I mean, obviously someone had to go back in time after every character except Zelena pretty much said that it was impossible, but I was so glad it was Hook & Emma. It was light-hearted, even among the changing-the-past drama, which was really needed, especially for Emma’s character. Plus, I’m pretty happy with Hook & Emma hanging out.

I’m also super into Regina & Robin Hood. I’m not a big shipper, I’ve just never gotten seriously invested in a couple, but I like Good Regina (though I sorely miss Evil Regina’s outfits) and I think Robin is just so wonderful, and I like them together. I knew that something horrible was going to happen at the end of this finale and I there is a moment 3/4 of the way through when everyone is happy. Robin & Regina are hanging out, Regina is getting to know Roland. Marian, as in Robin Hood and Maid Marian, is back!  I also had a hard time believing that Robin would have ever forgiven Regina for executing Marian, unless they’re going with he just didn’t know that that’s how she died, but I have a hard time believing that as well. This was my least favorite part of the episode because that just didn’t add up for me. It makes no sense! (Okay, after I wrote this up, I read that Robin DID NOT know that Regina executed Marian. So, all is well for continuity and logic etc.) I am, however, very happy that Roland has his mom back and Robin Hood his first true love. And I am kind of interested to see where this leads Regina, but at the same time… man, I am going to miss Happy Regina. The show runners are promising that this isn’t a return to evil Regina. That she’s grown and we’re going to get to see how she reacts to this as a new person.

Then that ending! I love that Once Upon A Time has so much story to play with. I think it’s interesting that they’re bringing in a character that’s so recent and I cannot wait to see where they go with it.

What’s on repeat for you this week?


What I’ve Been Reading…

Posted by in Books

I didn’t read too much in April, since I was traveling so much, but I did manage to finish a few books and this week I had a personal little readathon.

books collage

The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead – My sister has been long telling me to read this series, claiming it was one of her favorites, but I was unconvinced. It sounded like a bad mashup of Twilight and Harry Potter. But my little sister reads every book I give her and she gave the first book for Christmas, so of course I read it. And, well, I thought it was just okay. It lingered on my desk for a while, when a coworker picked it up and read it. Then another. They moved onto the second book without me and assured me: it gets really good with the second book. So we started a little Vampire Academy book club, reading all the books in the series over the course of February and March. My sister was right! I’m sorry I ever doubted her. No, these books aren’t the most well-written books in the world, but they’re a ton of fun. The romance is steamy, the vampire lore is different enough to be interesting, and the heroine, Rose, is kick-ass but in a very real way. She can wield a stake with confidence and likes make-up and doing girly things with her best friend and is a little bit cocky and a little bit insecure.

Saga Vol. 2 & 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples - This comic series is so good. If you haven’t started reading it please get to a comic store or bookstore and pick it up ASAP! The art is amazing, the story is perfect. I can’t get over how great it is at every turn. Please read!

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki - I adored Skim when I read it a few years ago and I practically jumped for joy when I got my copy of This One Summer. This comic is lovely about that summer when you’re between the grown-up world and the kid world and how it can all seem so confusing. Do you want to build sand castles? Or talk to boys in the convenience store? It was all so perfectly rendered, I was immediately transported back to my own confusing summers. I loved Rose & Windy and their very flawed parents. Also highly recommended: this piece “Where Are All the Fat Girls in Literature?” by Mariko Tamaki.

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson - I’m still not sure how I felt about this book, weeks later, but I think I really liked it. I found it to be occasionally slow, but I liked the narrative structure of it and I think that Jodi Lynn Anderson is a beautiful writer. It was an interesting variation on Peter Pan, but I do think ultimately it’s going to be pretty forgettable.

Various work books - I don’t often blog about my job, but BEA is coming up soon and I decided to try and read all the novels we’re publishing this fall before the show. I don’t sell a ton of fiction in my market segment (we’re more into very specific books, practical how-tos, and gifty impulse books), but I was so in love with the way everything was described at sales conference this year. I have to say, I’ve loved everything I’ve read so far! I have a few more I’d like to read in the next two weeks before BEA, but overall I think this is just a really strong fiction list and I’m eager to see all the wonderful things it does. I’ve read three books from Fall 2014 and one from Spring and none of them have disappointed.

What have you been reading?


This past month…

Posted by in Blogging, Life

2014-05-03 14.19.04 - Copy

I feel like so many things have happened and I don’t even know where to begin. The days all jumble together until I can’t tell one week apart from the other. I’ve traveled a lot – to Philadelphia, Virginia, North Carolina, Indianapolis. That picture up there is from my plane and that’s Cincinnati. Did you know that the Cincinnati airport is actually in Kentucky? I’ve worked. I made up for only reading one book the entire month of April (to be fair, it was A Feast of Crows) by reading 5 books this weekend (four comics, one novel). I’ve enjoyed good weather and bad. I’ve had wonderful news and horrible news and all the ups and downs that come with it. I’ve learned things about myself and feel like time has passed both too slowly and too quickly. All in all, I’m incredibly grateful that I got to just sit on my couch this weekend.

There have been times this past month when I didn’t miss blogging. A few afternoons when I thought I could give this up, probably. But there have been other days when my fingers have itched to write and I tried to let them write without a purpose, in a journal, in a google doc, and I missed this. What I really missed was you. I have felt a little bereft not knowing what’s going on in your lives. I’ve spent the past few days catching up – I’m sorry if I didn’t comment, but know that I read it and I want to know more! What has happened to you this month? What have you been reading? Tell me everything.


National Poetry Month Tour – Reach for the Horizon

Posted by in Poetry

I have been traveling a lot lately, the past four weekends to be exact and I’ll be traveling again this weekend. (Hence the lateness of this post! When I signed up, I was expecting to be home on Sunday night, but we decided to come home a day later.) I have seen thousands of miles of road and I’m craving a quiet weekend at home. Only one more weekend! Fortunately, there’s a poem for everything, so I thought I’d share this lovely one by Charles Tomlinson that expresses my feelings exactly. I wonder if there is some ambiguity at the end, about longing for travel while at the same time savoring in being home? I feel that, too. Against Travel by Charles Tomlinson

These days are best when one goes nowhere,
The house a reservoir of quiet change,
The creak of furniture, the window panes
Brushed by the half-rhymes of activities
That do not quite declare what thing it was
Gave rise to them outside. The colours, even,
Accord with the tenor of the day—yes, ‘grey’
You will hear reported of the weather,
But what a grey, in which the tinges hover,
About to catch, although they still hold back
The blaze that’s in them should the sun appear,
And yet it does not. Then the window pane
With a tremor of glass acknowledges
The distant boom of a departing plane.
Click here to read more of the posts in this month’s National Poetry Month blog tour hosted by the lovely Serena at Savvy Verse & Wit. 

Quotes & Notes: Lexicon by Max Barry

Posted by in Books, Quotes & Notes




“That’s bullshit! I loved Cecilia!”
“If you say so.”
“I’m being lectured about love by a robot! I’m broken? You’re broken! Tell me what you think love is! I seriously want to know!”
“Okay,” Eliot said. “It’s defining yourself through the eyes of another. It’s coming to know a human being on a level so intimate that you lose any meaningful distinction between you, and you carry the knowledge that you are insufficient without her every day for twenty years, until she drives an animal transport at you, and you shoot her. It’s that.”
Wil watched the road awhile.
“I”m sorry I called you broken,” Eliot said.
“Forget it.”
“Everyone’s broken,” Eliot said, “one way or another.”


Reading the descriptions of Lexicon, and there have been a lot of them because this book was everywhere a few months ago, I thought it would be the kind of book that would be difficult to get into. I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t, not even a little bit. It grabs you and speeds along from page one as you slowly piece together this strange world where words have an almost magical power.

And that’s part of the fun – piecing together the story and how it will fit together in the end, so I won’t tell you too much. There is a mysterious school and a sinister organization run by “poets,” people who take on the names of famous poets throughout history who wield the power of words. Poets must control every aspect of their personality so they can’t be controlled or “compromised” by their words. Showing emotions, desires, wants reveals your inner thoughts and feelings. There is a poet named Eliot who is on the run along with Wil, a man who can’t be controlled by the words, which makes him dangerous to the poets. Finally there is Emily, a drifter and con artist who has nothing to lose and so attends the school, even though she thinks it must be too good to be true, but who does the worst thing you can possibly do there: she falls in love.

Lexicon feels fresh and different, it feels like a smart book that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I think if I had any complaints about the story it’s that sometimes the world-building felt a little bit on the weaker side, especially if you’re used to reading more complex science fiction and fantasy. I really wanted to know more about the intricate structures of the organization, how the words worked, and what other sinister acts the organization was getting up to. Max Barry is an author I can’t wait to read more from, though. It sounds like his other books, like Jennifer Government and Machine Man, have that same combination of plot-driven satire with sci-fi elements. I certainly wouldn’t complain if he decided to write another book set in the world of Lexicon. Just throwing that thought out into the world!


Quotes & Notes: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Posted by in Books, Quotes & Notes




The real world, already a distant thing – just a crackle of fireworks at horizon’s edge – faded away entirely. A high, sweet thrill sang through Madrigal as if she were a lute string. Akiva took off his gloves and dropped them, and when he touched her, fingertips trailing up her arms and neck, it was with his bare hands. He reached behind her head, untied her mask, and lifted it away. Her vision, which had been narrowed all night to what she could see through its small apertures, opened, and Akiva filled her sight, still wearing his comical mask. She heard his soft exhalation and murmur of “so beautiful,” and she reached up and took off his disguise.

“Hello,” she whispered, as she had when they had come together in the Emberlin and happiness had bloomed in her. That happiness was like a spark to a firework, compared with what filled her now.


I am smitten. I read this book on planes and trains and buses and, yes, sometimes this story was enough to distract me from beautiful rolling hills and glorious mountain countrysides. It’s the kind of book that benefits from having no knowledge going into it. All you really need to know is that it’s a magical, tragic story about an artist in Prague with blue hair and mysterious tattoos.

Laini Taylor’s writing style is so evocative and has poetic flourishes that I just devoured. I am sad that it took me this long to read – I kept confusing it with Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which I liked, but oh, I loved this one so much more. I’m in awe of Taylor’s imagination and the world she created in Daughter of Smoke & Bone. My heart was Taylor’s puppet: it sang when she wanted it to and broke on command.

I never wanted it to end. I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley, I suppose so they could hook a new reader in advance of the publication of the third book, and I just wanted everyone at Netgalley and Little, Brown to know: your scheme worked. I have already purchased the second book, I’ll be purchasing the first to have in my physical collection, and I’m sure the third will not be far behind.


2014 Travels

Posted by in travel

When I graduated from high school, my aunt took me on an amazing trip to Spain. I loved it so much, I ended up studying Spanish in college and going back to live for a month five years later. This year, my sister graduated high school, and my aunt took her on a trip to her destination of choice: Ireland. Of course, I hitched along… because how could I not?? That’s why I kind of dropped off the face of the planet for a few weeks. I was so busy at work preparing to leave, then actually leaving for a week, and now it’s taken me a few days to get sorted out and recover from jet lag. I promise I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled programming soon!

I spent 3 days in Ireland, 2 days in Paris, and 1 day in Geneva, then one day traveling back to Ireland to catch my plane back to the States. Everything was amazing! Dublin is a big city that feels like a small town and the Cliffs of Moher are stunning. Plus, I learned a lot about Irish history and came away wishing I knew more about my ancestors who left Ireland and why. Did you know that Ireland still hasn’t recovered population-wise from the Potato Famine? Paris is just like any other big city, and it feels HUGE, but the sites are out of this world. They don’t even look real most of the time. Also… the food. Can we talk about the food? Everything I ate was impossibly good. In Geneva, I got to visit ATLAS at CERN. Did you know that fewer people have seen ATLAS as have climbed Mount Everest? There’s a good fact for you to pull out at parties. I got to see where all the Higgs Boson magic happens. And it was really cool. Mostly I just spent the week in awe of what the world contains and feeling so lucky that I got to see it.


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Quotes & Notes: girlchild by Tupelo Hassman

Posted by in Books, Quotes & Notes



The letters are sitting right here, bound in dirty string so they can’t come open too easily, so they can’t steal my nights as I look for secrets in their creases. Mama developed Grandma’s preference for onionskin paper too, and felt-tip, I wait for this to happen to me, I’m certain it will. The only way to tell the difference between Mama’s letters and Grandma’s at first glance is that Mama’s stay bundled up so tight the string rips into their pages and Grandma’s are loose and open, all over this table. I keep Mama’s letters closed, keep their edges close together like a cut that needs force to heal. I’m all wrapped up in there, jumbled with her, small i‘s and slashes, her story in my story at every turn. (70)


Oh, girlchild. I finished reading this book earlier this afternoon, but I don’t know how I felt about it. Rory Dawn Hendrix has grown up in the Calle, a trailer park in a town north of Reno, and all she wants, all her mother and grandmother want, is to grow up and get out without making the same mistakes that the women in her family have made before her.

On the one hand, it’s hard to believe in Rory’s voice. On the other? The writing in this book is absolutely beautiful, with a lilt that makes the words sing in a way I find so appealing. This is the story of a lot of ugly things. About what it’s like to grow up poor. About what it’s like to be unable to escape the abuse that is rampant in your community. About what it’s like to want. It’s also about the beautiful things that can be found anywhere, even a place like the Calle. A mother’s love for her child. Hope when it seems impossible to do so. A patchwork carpet made from sample tiles from the carpet store, mismatched and lovely for it.

We bring home another stack of carpet pieces, outdated samples and remnants too short to sell, different-colored, different-styled, different-lengthed, and different-piled, and Mama gets down to it. She cuts the squares precise, the colors blending against the mortar and brick under the woodstove, against the frame of the door, and she mumbles through the nails she holds in her lips, murmurs about this green and that yellow while she hammers them in, and never after that does she ask for my help or advice, and I don’t offer anyway, and as the paydays roll past, our wall-to-wall becomes a reality.

Six pay stubs later and our living room is carpeted in the brightest blues, golds, and violets, patterned and deep. As she’s packing up her tools, Mama is all smiles and says, “See if you can pick a favorite, R.D. I bet you can’t.” I don’t think to question this until I walk across it in bare feet, sink into the plush of this square and that. I don’t think to question this until I imagine doing it myself, deciding what goes with which and making it permanent, believing in my choices enough to pound them with a hammer. (196)


Quotes & Notes: While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell

Posted by in Books, Quotes & Notes

while beauty slept



Is it possible that ten years could pass as one? A single afternoon with Marcus could demand an hour’s telling: the feel of the sun on my face, the looks that passed between us, the things he said to make me blush. Yet I can recount the decade after our parting in a few words: My life carried on, unchanged. Within the castle, day followed day, month after month, the rituals of court unaltered by the passing of time. Yet beyond our walls the shadows gathered. The evil we had sought to hold off for so long swirled inexorably closer, spreading suspicion and panic in its wake. (241)


A few of us at work have started a fairy tale/classic literature retellings book club, which sounds very specific, but it was after reading this post and after we all enjoyed While Beauty Slept. I also happened to be reading the Lunar Chronicles, which I’ll post about soon, so it’s turning into something of a themed reading month for me! If you’re interested in following along at home, the next book we’ll be reading for this book club is called Dark Companion by Marta Acosta, a retelling of Jane Eyre.

While Beauty Slept takes the story of Sleeping Beauty and puts it into a plausible historical context. It begins with Elise as an old woman, overhearing her great-granddaughter telling a story about a witch who casts a spell over a castle, filling it with sleeping sickness, until the princess is woken up by true love’s kiss. Elise, though, knows the true story, the real story of what happened and it has nothing to do with magic.

One of the best things about While Beauty Slept is seeing a fairy tale you know well in a new way. The book can drag on in parts, but it’s worth it to see how the tragedy of Rose, the beautiful princess, and her lady-in-waiting Elise plays out. I also loved that Elise is truly the main character, not just a witness to the “heroine’s” story. Elise herself is the heroine, a woman born of humble means, who uses her intelligence and honesty to become someone important to the queen and her daughter.


The Great TV Re-Watch of 2014

Posted by in Television

I woke up this morning in a bad mood. Don’t worry, there’s nothing seriously wrong, but let’s just say there have been more than enough mornings when I’ve woken up feeling entirely too cranky. Plus, it’s going to snow a lot tonight. I just don’t have time for that. Every time the bus drives by and I hear their snow tires, my eye twitches.

After reading Ana’s amazing post about Friday Night Lights, I started thinking about all the wonderful shows I’ve watched and how much they mean to me, but I don’t make time for rewatches. And about how nice it would be to just spend some time with the shows I love. So today, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to rewatch my favorite episodes from my favorite shows and just get lost in the story lines and characters again.

I don’t often talk about television here, something I’d really like to change! So I’ll be updating this post throughout the day with my thoughts on my favorite episodes and favorite shows, so I hope you’ll check in. I’m going to start with FNL, just because Ana’s post started this and it’s the show I’ve been thinking about the most. Here’s to not letting a cranky mood rule your day.

Friday Night Lights S1, E10 – “It’s Different For Girls” 

I decided to rewatch this episode because I wanted something from the latter half of season 1, and Ana brought it up in her post. Plus, it made its way on a few “Best of FNL” lists. I forgot how wonderful this show is at bringing levity to an episode that otherwise might have just been heartbreaking. I found myself laughing out loud at Coach Taylor and Tami when Coach was getting a little worked up about Matt dating Julie, including the idea of the “Matt Chat” where he decides to talk to Matt about what is happening, but instead just gives him hours of football games to watch on Saturday. This episode is really about Lyla and how she deals with the fallout when everyone finds out that she cheated on Jason with Tim and it’s brilliant. Friday Night Lights was also so great at doing episodes that grappled with a huge issue like double standards this while making it human and so far from preachy. There wasn’t nearly enough Tyra for me, or, strangely, enough football, but other than this was a perfect pick.

Friday Night Lights S2, E14 – “Leave No One Behind” 

I only cried three times while watching this episode! I didn’t love this episode as much as “It’s Different for Girls.” As much as I love Tyra, I really don’t like the Landry/Tyra story line. The best stories in this episode were Matt and Smash. Matt is having an all around bad time. Carlotta leaves him to return to Guatemala, Smash is suspended for the rest of the regular season and the entire team is counting on Matt, he is always worried about his grandmother, especially now that Carlotta has left. Matt acting out with Tim and his screaming match with Coach Taylor are the reason to watch this episode. Oh, Matt. You are always so sad. It makes me so happy to think that Matt has a happy, beautiful life ahead of him after the show ends. Then Smash encouraging his team and breaking down after they leave to play – excuse me while I go sob into my coffee.

Roswell S2, E5 – “The End of the World” 

Time travel! Max from the future! I remember loving this episode because of Future Max and present-day Liz and their conversations throughout the episode about the future and their romance. I also love the clothing that Future Max and Future Liz wear. Apparently we wear a lot of leather in 2014. This is also the episode that launched a thousand fanfics, I’m sure. Roswell is one of those shows where I desperately want to know what happened after it ended. If you could get all these actors together and do a show about being a 31-year-old alien I would totally watch it. Does the war happen? Do Max et al ever get back to their home planet? Is their race restored? Or do they create a new one of alien human hybrids? NBC is bringing back Heroes anything can happen. This was a good episode to watch randomly, because ALL THE FEELS. UPDATE: There are novels about what happens after the show ends. I must track them down.

Supernatural S3, E11 – “The Mystery Spot” 

This episode is always on tumblr because it has to do with Tuesdays, so naturally Supernatural fans regularly reblog it on Tuesdays. I had forgotten how just generally upsetting this episode is. It’s funny, sort of, in a devastating, awful kind of way. I guess that’s the show in one sentence?

I took a break to file my taxes.

Veronica Mars, S1 – The last three episodes

I knew it was going to be hard to watch just one Veronica Mars episode. I’ve been meaning to rewatch the whole series before the movie comes out on the 14th, so I might just continue with Season 2 right now.

I think this great re-watch of 2014 was a success. I wasn’t nearly as cranky for the rest of the day as I could have been. I hope you had a lovely, grump-free Sunday, too!


Quotes & Notes: The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin

Posted by in Books, Quotes & Notes

the orchardist



Riding in the herd, the sound like one constant, endless sigh; some horses frantic and others calm, some remembering some wrong done to them while others wanted only to sleep, and each struggling with hunger and thirst; some horses pregnant, others desperate to copulate; and all moved forward as one body amid the heat and the dust. The men and Della spaced out and caught among among them like ornaments in a blanket; like disparate thoughts fretting to cohere. The feeling that this would never end, being caught in the herd, heading east or north, west or south, moving for some purpose though that purpose was for the moment lost; the horses – the herd- carried the men at times more than the men guided them. The men were bound by time – they must reach the auction that evening, or the next day – and yet the riding among the horses through the landscape was endless and timeless, distanceless. It made some men – not the ones who were riding, but others, who lived elsewhere, employed in different occupations – desperate; it made Della sink down under the pressing weight of all that time, all that distance – for it was not deficit but surplus experienced between two destinations – and though she felt at times she could not move, because of the pressing weight, she also felt placed. Ensconced. Safe.


The Orchardist is the kind of historical, lyrical novel that is appealing to me at the moment. It is a book that is executed beautifully, with lovely language that reflects the chaos of the horse herds and the quiet of the orchards in the same book. Talmadge, who lives alone at the apple and apricot orchard until sisters Della and Jane upend his life and leave him with a child, Angelene, is a quiet, stoic man, upended by the mysterious disappearance of his sister when they were teenagers. Later he is driven to do unthinkable things in the name of saving Della and leaving Angelene with something of a family, but most of the novel is spent in quiet contemplation of what to do with the life you are given.

Della, still damaged from her life before she escaped the unthinkable with Jane, leaves Angelene and Talmadge after Jane’s death, unable to cope with a life without movement. She travels from one job to the next, trying to blend into the world of men, trying to prove herself to be as strong, physical, daring as a man. Talmadge waits for her return, desperate for Della to want the life of the orchardist, bound by the seasons and by ties to the land and blood relations. Angelene, though, has written Della off, she is a memory. Angelene can’t understand why Talmadge would want to bother with Della and bringing her back, Talmadge can’t understand why Angelene wouldn’t want Della back in her life.

As much as I liked the majority of this novel, when the drama finally comes to a head and Talmadge attempts to rescue Della from the life she has chosen, I felt weary by the story and by Talmadge. He is blind to the women around him, only thinking instead of the women who have left him. I guess no novel can sit quietly in the happy parts of the story and I can’t help but wonder if this complaint reflects my current state of mind more than an actual technical weakness in the story, but I just wanted Talmadge to recognize what he had in the orchard. I wanted Della to be able to live the life she wanted without another man interfering. I wanted happiness for them both. But that doesn’t necessarily make a good story.