Tag Archives: reading

Hot Man Reading Things

It’s Sir Sean Connery’s 85th Birthday today!

As I speed toward library school starting in a hot second (next week), I think these images of the man, the myth, the legend–in various stances and states of undress and usage of reading materials–is just the right way to celebrate.

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night terrors

Things To Not Do
Read “The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm” as a bed time story. Doom-boom, doom-boom. It induces the opposite of fuzzy sleepy feelings. Doom, doom.

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A Reader’s Digest

I am going off to school in roughly three months. Three months. That’s both a long time and no time at all. It’s plenty of time for me to tackle my before-leaving TDL, and plenty of time for me to hang with all my friends here, but not enough time to tackle the stack of books I’ve had growing in my room this year. A lot of these are books I’ve convinced myself I need to read before grad school. The others are ones I want to read because I won’t have time once I’m there. And if the stack is already this big, how big can we anticipate it to be in two years? Ah!

A Study in Scarlet, Doyle
The Sign of Four, Doyle
The Hound of the Baskervilles, Doyle
The Valley of Fear, Doyle
Bar Book, Sheehan
Esther Waters, Moore
David Copperfield,  Dickens
Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Hardy
Middlemarch, Eliot
The Mill on the Floss, Eliot
Vanity Fair, Thackery *
Bleak House, Dickens
The Woman in White, Collins
The Lazy Tour of Two Apprentices, Dickens + Collins
Armadale, Collins
Villette, Bronte
Don Juan, Byron *
Paradise Lost, Milton
Little Dorrit, Dickens
Persuasion, Austen
Mansfield Park, Austen
The Crimson Petal and the White, Faber
Rabbit Heart, Hitchcock
My Sister’s Keeper, Picoult
Olive Kitteridge, Strout
The Shadow of the Wind, Zafon
Water for Elephants, Gruen
The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien
Blind Side, Coulter
Tipping the Velvet, Waters
Affinity, Waters
Dubliners, Joyce
Three Novels, Beckett
The Law of Dreams, Behrens
Odyssey, Homer
The Reverend Guppy’s Aquarium, Dodd
The Wild Irish, Maxwell
Retribution, Hoffman
We All Went to Paris, Longstreet
The Mysteries of Udolpho *

I have this dreams of being able to cross out all of these before school starts. However, realism is my default, so I’m basically posting ambitions that will only be partially realized. Eh, oh well. Publicly using strikethrough will hopefully bully me into making it through most of the list. Edit: 1. An asterisk means I need to read the book for next semester, too. Bonus! 2. Strikethrough won’t work! I’ve tried a million times. So, I’m now using bold to highlight my finished reads.

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M-M-M-Motivation

I have none. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

I don’t know what I’ve done with my life this week (month?). I’ve watched some Netflix, but not that much. I’ve worked, but I HAVE to do that. I’ve played maybe 20 minutes of Playstation. I’ve only read one book on the before-grad-school reading list. I’ve blogged about nothing of substance. I haven’t even burned the CDs that I need to send to a couple friends.

I think I need more structure in my life. I think I’m ready for homework. I think I’m ready for a life that isn’t conducive to sleeping in and taking naps. I know I should be reveling in the freedom of college applications and test studying. I should be scrapbooking the shit out of my Drake years. Creating my own website. Learning ten ways to cook asparagus. Maybe working out, writing more, or at least seriously considering housing in Lubbock. But I’m not.

So, unless you have some magical motivation elixir, I’m just going to go take my laundry out of the dryer, not fold it for a couple days, and start watching Bond films in preparation for my last Bond post. And in a month, when I get that done, I’ll have at least accomplished something.

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Lubbock, A Retraction

I feel the need to reconcile Lubbock Day 1.

Going on this visit opened a few personal English daemons. I’ve had a rather untraditional literature experience at Drake. Because of that, I haven’t read ‘classics’ like Paradise Lost, Leaves of Grass… seriously I could go on for days but I don’t know WHAT I haven’t read. That’s also the problem. Not to mention I don’t know jack about theory or time periods. Basically, I took four classes that centered around British Lit, and I loved them so I decided to keep going with school. But that makes it really hard to feel up-to-par with students who’ve read poetry and know authors by names and periods. Edwardian period? Who even was Edward?

It was rough. Tough. Frustrating, but by the end of the trip I loved it. All of it. Sure, I’m not thrilled about Texas. I curse too much, drink too much, and glare too much to be there. But it’s not THAT bad. The campus is gorgeous, it has a lazy river, and the town isn’t hopeless. Besides, I’ll be studying.

As for the academic part, Texas Tech has some absofuckinglutelyamazing things in store for their English department. They are digitizing all of Dickens’ Household Words and All The Year Round. Do you know what this means? An entirely searchable database for people who are doing research in that period. Okay, if you still don’t get it–it’s awesome. A lifesaver. SO fucking cool (yes, this is where my geek shows). Plus, the university itself is hella supportive of the English department, and the program has professional development curriculum that is second-to-none.

And then there are the people. I interacted with people who turned me off, yes. But there were lots of people I really, truly enjoyed. They’re intelligent, nice, funny, and supportive of everyone’s interests and goals. We had a lot of fun together, and that helped make TTU real. I can see myself with these other MA applicants that I’ll be working side-by-side with. And I can see myself with the faculty who are amazingly supportive of us and all of their students.

The director of graduate studies, who specializes in my field, sat down with me for an hour to discuss my concerns and my ambitions. So, it doesn’t matter that I haven’t read Matthew Arnold. There’s plenty of time for me to brush up. He even told me what editions of books to buy (Norton Critical, Oxford World Classic, or Penguin. Yep, still a nerd). I got a reading list that goes on for months, and I even consulted with my peers about what theory books can help an uninformed girl crash-course before grad school. This is awesome.

I started with hate, and ended with love. I think that means I like it. About this time next month, I just might be a Raider.

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Unrepentant Inclinations

“My guilty pleasures have been outweighing my good health.” – Robin Thicke

Inspired by this lyric from the incredibly sexy album Sex Therapy: The Session, I’ve pondered my own delinquent delights. In no particular order…

1. Falling asleep while reading.
Virtue: Waking up refreshed. Vice: Not reading.
2. Texting
Virtue: Good texting. Vice: Bad texting.
3. Spontaneous Car Rides and/or Road Trips
Virtue: Cheap pizza at 3 am. Vice: Gas money.
4. Processing at PB
Virtue: Visible progress. Vice: Impossible to accomplish.
5. Quick Trip (QT)
Virtue: Endless drink dispensers. Vice: It’s a gas station.
6. Sex
Virtue: Everything. Vice: Everything.
7. Netflix

Virtue: On my computer. Vice: Will watch at any hour of the day.
8. Playstation 2
Virtue: Single player entertainment. Vice: Back pain.
9. Baking/Cooking Magazines/Books
Virtue: Recipes. Vice: Recipes I can’t make.
10. Writing Utensils
Virtue: Useful. Vice: Always have too many.
11. Donuts and Processed Cheese
Virtue: Delicious. Vice: Socially unacceptable to like them as much as I do.

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Take Ten

It’s the day. The day after New Year’s Day. The day when people actually start their resolutions. Lose 20 pounds. Run every day. Go to church. Drink less. Drink more. Save the whales. Find Elvis.

So, I too, plan to join the millions who attempt to start the year right.

  1. Go mall-walking, three mornings a week.
  2. Eat fruits and vegetables.
  3. Stop tanning.
  4. Pack lunch and dinner for work.
  5. Avoid the food court at all costs.
  6. Enjoy only one caffeinated beverage per day.
  7. Bake only once per month, or for special occasions.
  8. Read and write more with the English blog.
  9. Keep in touch with my friends better.
  10. Get freelance work in, on time.

All right 2010, let’s show this old girl what’s up.

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WAGW: Careers

This is maybe the toughest question I have to answer, and it can’t be done today.

I am going to grad school for two reasons: I love literature, and there are no job prospects for me. I think it’s more of the latter than the former. See, if I had to choose between a magazine job and going to grad school, I would most likely pick the job. Despite my position as bitch-work-for-hire in the magazine world, I really like it. I enjoy keeping up with the PR for our mag, going on photo shoots, and of course, writing. If I could get a salary and benefits to do it? There’d be no stopping me.

But I’m not getting those jobs, and I’m not going to just sit on my ass and hope that things will change. Instead, I’m going back to the one constant in my life: school. Grad school will get me a current address outside Iowa, and force me to really live on my own for the first time in my life–which is reason enough to get my application on. But the question always is: what then? After one or two years in a master’s program, what do you want to do?

The answer: I don’t know. And damn it, I don’t have to, either! When I’m done, all I will be out is a large sum of money. But what I’m hoping to have, in return, is an idea of how to answer the question. Will I want to teach? Will I want to get a Ph.D? Will I go running back to magazines? Will I find myself at a literary journal (the best of both worlds)? Will I be selling Rosetta Stone at the mall?

I guess I’m answering a question with more questions, but I’ll have the answers eventually. For now, I’m hoping grad school will give me a little bit more of a glimpse into my future–and I’ll be crossing my fingers that, in the meantime, the freelance writing doesn’t have to end with a geographic relocation.

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It’s Only Monday

Today feels like Friday. Mondays are such a fucking tease.

This particular Monday was a big amalgamation of things, I guess. I slept in, which was great. But when I woke up the apartment was 60 degrees and I did NOT want to get up. However, this did mean I grabbed another blanket in the night, so it’s officially my favorite weather.

French class, I managed to stay alert (thank you Starbucks). I also secretly won twice at French Food Bingo, but I hate all the all-eyes-on-me aspect of shouting out “lotto!” so I pretended that I never had du lait or le biftek. ::le sigh::

Après la classe française, je suis allée à la banque. Well, that turned into an endeavor. A very nice man (who told me to visit India) updated my account which hadn’t been touched since I got my debit card in high school. Say hello to a new Platinum debit card holder. I also set up automatic bill pay for my monthly rent–take that you Signature Place bastards! Never again can you miraculously lose my check. Woohee.

Then came the big event, also known as checking the mail. All last week I had been checking for my GRE scores, but today I forgot. Until I pulled the ETS envelope out of my mailbox. Dundundunnn.

Verbal: 640 (92%)
Quantitative: 560 (39%)
Analytical: 4.5 (63%)

I should be elated. Doing better than 92% of the 1,421,856 people who took the verbal section is impressive. And it would feel awesome, if I hadn’t earned a 4.5 on my Analytical. I was hoping for at least a 5. I thought I nailed the questions (well enough, at least). Ah, well.

16,000 pages

16,000 pages

Basically that means I just need to get focused. Study. HA. Just look at what I have to “read” in a little over a month. Norton Critical this, and Norton Critial that. At least after Edmund Spenser I am 1/16 of the way there!

Other things of note include: A.) Discovering I was de-friended by a person who previously friended me, de-friended me, re-friended me, and has now ended our friendship again–this time terminally. Funny, because I know exactly why. B.) Reuniting with the WDM PL for the first time in over a month. C.) Telling a dear friend of mine to have sex in an empty bar. Never doubt my questionable fortitude.

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