Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wild-Eyed Bibliomaniac

Yesterday, I got an email coupon (say: KOO-pin) that I've been waiting a long time for: 40% off any one item at Borders.

Remember my Twilight obsession? I've been wanting to buy/read Stephenie Meyer's The Host ever since I finished Breaking Dawn (the second time), but ever the cheapskate, I didn't want to buy it at full price.

So I rallied myself (long story short, I had to call in sick for my trip that was supposed yesterday afternoon) and headed out.

My email koopin had also mentioned that all bargain books were buy two, get the third for free. I fully planned on ignoring that sale, as it just reeked of danger. But there were bargain books galore on shelves right in the door vestibule area as soon as I walked in, and obviously, I couldn't just ignore such a blatant display. I ended up with three books that I was super excited about. Sometimes I'll buy a bargain book just because it's a bargain, but these were books that I would have considered even at full price. I grabbed The Host, and I was out of there with four new, hardcover, awesome books for the low low price of $30! And there was much rejoicing.

The Host, Stephenie Meyer (author of Twlight); A Spot of Bother, Mark Haddon (author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, which I loooooved); Flush, Carl Hiaasen (who I've always meant to read); Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathon Safron Foer (author of Everything is Illuminated).


Today, I went to lunch with my sister, and after a meal filled with much coffee and much sugar, I was too hyped up to just go home. We settled on the most dangerous place ever for the two of us: Half Price Books.

I'll save you the story this time and jump straight to the climax: for just $32, I got nine books, a movie, a magazine, and a reusable bag.

Score of scores. I am not allowed to buy another book for at least a month. At least a week, anyway.

While I'm on the subject, I'd like to recommend Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games. It's young adult fiction (my favorite genre), an easy, fast read, and it's fabulous. I read it in a day. Also, Christopher Moore. I love all his books, but I always recommend starting at the beginning and going in order, not because you need to, but because he likes to reuse characters, and it's more fun if you already know them. The beginning is Practical Demonkeeping.

For now, I'll leave you with this, a picture of the reusable bag I got for 98 cents (minus 20%, because it was extra-20%-off-everything day):

Friday, May 22, 2009

My kind of town.

Sometimes, if I think just one good sentence in my head, a whole post will blog itself.

Sometimes, if I just log on and start writing, the screen will suddenly be full.

Sometimes, I stare at a blank, white box for a long, long time.

On Wednesday, I made the split-second decision to go to Duluth for the day. I had been pondering it the night before, but some of my texts didn't send, and I wasn't sure if people would be available. I went to Verizon, I went to Target. It was a nice day, and it felt good to drive. I got back on the highway and decided, yes, I'm going to Duluth. Right now.

I got 45 miles to the gallon. I listened to mypod, spilling music wonderfully through my speakers (in my first car, I had a set of battery-operated speakers that I would hook mypod up to for drives). I almost got blown off the road by the wind.

I went on a walk, I went to Green Mill, I went to the house with the murder room, I went to the house of brews. Er, the Brew House. I was going to leave that night, the better to be back in town to meet my grandma for lunch on Thursday. But I was ginger-peer-pressured and group-voted into getting tossed and staying the night.

So I did.

It was magical. I love Duluth. I love those people. I loved the whole world on my drive back home the next morning. I didn't have even a hint of a hangover (well, maybe a tiny hint, but not for long), I had a McDonald's breakfast burrito digesting away. The wind was gone, so the drive was smooth and easy. Mypod was being cooperative and playing great songs. The trees were varied and gorgeous shades of green. My favorite lake to drive past was looking fresh and vibrant. (I'm unsure what lake it is. Every time I drive by it, I think, "One of these days I'll get off at the next exit, find it, and take pictures." It's at mile-marker 220.)

Remember the seven-touches-a-day thing? These are the people with whom I can be close and connected. These are the people that breathe new life into me when I need it the most.

One asked me when I was moving back. I told her that when I win the lottery, I'll buy a house up there and visit all the time. "Just for the summer? Come stay up here," she tried to coerce me.

The city itself makes me happy, feels like home. It feels familiar (though still annoying) to drive up and down the pothole-infested roads. It's natural to drive downtown, park at Fitgers, and walk past the store with window manikins that always make me drool. The air revitalizes me with every breath. I don't know how I live without that lake in my backyard at home. As soon as I turn that corner on the highway (if you've ever driven there, you know the one), I feel calm, happy, home.

I'd give my right arm to live up there again, just for the summer. Or just for ever.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I remember hearing somewhere once that a person should get seven touches a day. Hugs, handshakes, pats on the back, whatever, as long as it's physical contact. I don't recall what the exact reasoning was, but I don't think that's important, because the concept makes sense to me. I start to feel detached if I don't have some sort of physical contact with people, like I'm not actually connected to the world around me, but just floating about in it, somehow.

When I lived with my fiance, the seven touches a day thing was no problem. There were hugs and kisses and holding hands and hands on knees in cars and a whole realm of physicality between us. I didn't have to worry. I always felt connected. Grounded. Present.

It helped that I lived in the same town as all of my friends, and a lot of us are very touchy-feely people anyway, with hugs abounding. (Abounding? Is that even a word?)

Now, however. Now I have none of that. No live-in man who is required to touch me at least occasionally. No hug-happy friends nearby at all times. Some days I force my cuddling upon Jess, who tolerates me. Some days I shake hands with pilots. Some days I get hugs from people at church, and often from my parents. But it doesn't seem the same. It doesn't seem like enough. How can it be, when it sends a shock through me when a nice old man squeezes my arm as he leaves the plane? How can I be getting enough contact with the world when it startles me when my knee brushes a passenger's as I walk down the aisle of my plane? Clearly, it's just not. It's not enough.

Last night, I hung out with a very friendly group of people, half of which I barely even know. We all got a little bit tipsy, and after five hours of chatting and laughing and drinking, the night ended with hugs everywhere, between everyone. People I had just met hugged me. People I've known since seventh grade hugged the breath right out of me. And this after a night of casual contact, hands on arms during a story, arms around shoulders, hands on knees to make a point. Last night, with a large group of fairly random people, I felt grounded, connected, wonderful.

Why doesn't the world hug more? I think I would be a much happier person if my world involved constant hugging.

I want to feel like that all the time again.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I wish I had a tidbit.

What might one find at the Bosnian Supermarket?

Sometimes, I just really dislike driving with certain people. I think they are not good drivers, and I would rather be in my own car. My mother, for example, is not my favorite person to be a passenger with.

Since neither of us will be home on Mother's Day, I took my mom to see a movie tonight. "Ghost of Girlfriends Past." It was pretty good. I probably would have laughed at more parts had my mother not been the person sitting next to me, but I'm glad we went. She probably needs to get out more.

Today started out as a very bad hair day. It ended up pretty damn good, though. I've been loving my hair lately.

I'm much more productive when my sister has stolen my laptop and I haven't made the trek to go reclaim it. I cleaned my room hardcore yesterday. It needed it more than words can tell you. I've been doing laundry all day today. I'm still not even done, with both the laundry and the room-cleaning. My underwear drawer has never looked better, though.

When Circuit City was going out of business, I bought the most recent Hush Sound cd. Why I didn't purchase it sooner is beyond me; I love The Hush Sound a lot. Why I didn't even open the cd until is yesterday is even more baffling. I absolutely love it.

People keep trying to add me as a friend on facebook. Nice people, people that I know. People that don't need to see the kinds of pictures I have on facebook. So do I add them, and limit what they can see? Ignore their requests and keep my friends strictly college-only, as facebook was originally intended? Do I delete the incriminating pictures that are not classy but are, nevertheless, part of my history and evolvement? Or do I just blog about the conundrum and make up words like evolvement?

Flight attendants have to deal with a surprising amount of paperwork. Where do they expect me to keep it all? I don't have an empty file cabinet laying around, begging to be filled with green papers.

Who the hell gets colds in May anyway? It feels like it's on its way out. I sure hope it is. I have to work tomorrow, and passengers don't like a snotty flight attendant.

Oh, the layers!