Mall Survival Tip: Give No Fucks

Today my sister and I had a mall adventure. I went to buy a new bra for the curtain fabric monstrosity that I must wear for Ursula’s wretched wedding, and my sister needed to get a magnetic tag removed that a salesclerk had forgotten. You may think this sounds like a bad idea four days before Christmas, but we are brave and foolhardy people.

I acquired two pairs of black leggings, because as a white girl it is actually impossible for me to own too many pairs of black leggings. I was lucky enough to ind a halter bra which was a wondrous experience, as anyone who has ever worn a strapless bra knows. If you haven’t ever worn a strapless bra, just picture a cat sitting on your lower back trying to claw down your bra and dress all day and you keep yanking it back up and trying to be subtle about it, but everyone knows you are rummaging around under your dress.

Is she touching herself? A few wonder. Does she have prizes under there? Can I have one?

But anyway. Bra acquired. We also went to Delia’s (RIP) and I picked out some shirts and then as the saleslady was ringing them up I spotted more things and I said “oh wait I need to look at these” and my sister goes “Do you really need that?” And without even looking at her I said “Do I really need anything?” prompting the saleslady to start laughing as I bought two more sweaters.

The affair ended with lunch and frozen yogurt (I could wax poetic about Cinnabon frozen yogurt for another two hundred words, but if you try it it speaks for itself). It was a good day! The kind of day that sisters and shopping are for.

To: Dear Readers, From: Snow

O Christmas time, when the very air makes you work for each chilled breath, the family members begin their yearly panic, and work gets overwhelming. Festive stuff.

Christmas cards have started coming in, much to my glee! I have been a bad elf this winter and haven’t sent out any Christmas cards. I got a charming one from Aphrodite, whom I met at Minerva’s wedding, and one from Minerva and her cupcake of a husband. Liebling and I also received a zany one today from his old roommate and friend that says “Merry Crimmus” and has the word swag written all over it. I have hung them all on my bulletin board with stockings and old Christmas gift bags.

Last Saturday I picked up my sister and dragged her to my apartment to help me wrap gifts, a task at which I am woefully inadequate. She labored at helping me learn the fine craft, but I shamelessly admit she did most of the work. I may have made her wrap her own presents from me. I am not a very good older sister.

The most fun part of wrapping turned out to be an accident. They didn’t have Christmas wrapping paper at the store I went to, so I ended up buying red paper and silver Sharpies. The idea was to draw snowmen and snowflakes and cute little to/from messages. But then I remembered I am not artistic or cutesy and so all of my packages are covered in text that says things like “To my Father Christmas, a gift that I hope brings you as much joy as I do. Which is to say none at all, only a slight headache. Well. Anyway. I love you dad! Merry Christmas.” And one for my sister that is vaguely circular that says “Is this a cupcake? No one knows. Schrodinger’s cupcake.” The present for my mom has dinosaur stickers on it.

I think it’s going to be a good Christmas.

Waiting for “I Don’t Wanna” To Be Socially Acceptable

Today was my company’s Christmas party. I didn’t go because I didn’t feel like it. What I felt like was staying home and drinking in my sweatpants and playing Dragon Age Inquisition.

Then I got invited out to a local music joint / bar. I claimed I was at the company Christmas party. It was a bit like being a kid again and insisting my mom wouldn’t let me out of the house when really I just didn’t feel like leaving and/or having someone else in my space.

But I have to say, I am having an absolute blast killing dragons and relaxing and quietly appreciating my little Christmas tree all on my lonesome. I think social interaction on weekends is overrated. If you invite me out on a Tuesday, I’m there. Chances are I’ll be the one inviting you out. But on a Friday? No way.

I look forward to a more relaxed world in which I can just say no with no qualifiers. Until then I’m going to keep lying, probably, whenever I don’t want to leave my house. My friends are always welcome to visit, but whatever they do, my butt is staying here.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my video game party needs me a little more than my company’s.

Why I Write A Book Blog (An Apology to My Sister)

Book blogging, to me, consists mostly of my putting books in people’s hands (metaphorically, on the internet) and saying “read this one please” and then “also read this one” “but read this one first because it will make that one better” and then yanking other books out of their hands and saying “not that one are you even listening”.

I started a book blog for two reasons. One, I was tired of reading book reviews that were as long as the books themselves. If you can’t tell me what you thought of the book in a paragraph, I don’t care what you thought of the book. And two, I was already writing short reviews for my library school courses, so I thought it seemed like a good idea to put them on the internet.

Then I bullied my delightful and creative sister into joining me on this project so that I could see what she thought of the books she was reading, and then we started a tumblr blog where each post is a silly gif and a five sentence or less review of whatever book we happened to have read.

My favorite part is always when the author finds my reviews. Romina Russell saw my review of her book, Zodiac, and tweeted at me thanking me for the review. This ended in my waving my hands delightedly and leaping up to tell Liebling about it. (Her book is amazing, if you didn’t get that part, go read it.) V. E. Schwab reblogged my review of her book Vicious, another amazing book of 2014. I tweeted something silly at Maggie Stiefvater about goats and the Raven Boys that prompted amused responses from both her and Jackson Pearce.

Even if no one is reading our blog I would still write it. But it’s nice to hear back from readers and authors who are appreciative of anyone who took the time to think carefully about the work that they have created. And I think that’s a good way to approach anything in life.

Like Trying to Burn a Bridge Made of Metal

Back in college we had a “friend” who I’m going to call GK. (Because of that one Scooby movie where they had to race and the vampire brought out Genghis Khan and everybody screamed not GK. I scream like that when he calls me.) Sometimes I would walk down eleven flights of stairs to avoid the elevator if I knew he was leaving for class at the same time I was. Once we invented an elaborate story about how Liebling was banned from a nearby mall just to avoid going to that mall with him. Yeah, yeah, I’m not a nice person. This isn’t news.

But I made a classic English major mistake our freshman year. He asked me to read the movie script he was writing. Considering I thought he was a pretty terrible human, I took this as an opportunity to assuage my conscience and flex my honesty claws. I read it and told him exactly what I thought. In other words, I was honest and cruel. Then of course I got roped into helping him rewrite the entire script and making the entire movie with him. OK, so I am not nice and I don’t learn from my mistakes. Everyone has their thing.

So when GK got married and moved to the other side of the country, I breathed an enormous sigh of relief and never looked back. We began to play fun, long-distance games like the one where he calls me every day for a week and I pretend I didn’t hear my phone ring or get the notification, or he would text me to tell me about how working at a movie theatre was pretty much the same as being an award-winning director right and I would reply “K” five to seven business days later.

GK, however, is still asking me three years after his big move if I will help him write movies. I told him I was too busy, so he has now begun pestering his wife, who I am friends with, to ask me to write for him. I told her no, too. I know that he won’t accept no, and I am trying to find a subtle way to tell him that paying me five hundred dollars for a full length movie script is not an acceptable wage to a young professional who spends that much on liquor in a month and even if he paid my rent for a year it would still not be worth talking to him. Actually, maybe I’ll just send him the link to this post.

Cataloging

As any good library school graduate with a Virgo father who has an outrageous movie and record collection, I am in love with statistics and cataloging and owning obscene numbers of things. My sister was harassing me the other day because my Goodreads account shows a total number of books read that is out of control because it includes short stories and picture books as well as actual books.

So I humored her by going through my list of books read this year, and counted up 186 full length books that I’ve read so far since January. She was suitably appalled, while I was disappointed that the number wasn’t higher. I read everything: adult novels, young adult novels, graphic novels, audiobooks. My apartment is overflowing with books, much to the dismay of Liebling, who has more of a Spartan aesthetic while mine leans more toward spoiled King in France during the Renaissance. (Cataloging my owned books on Goodreads is the next project.)

Due to the recent release of Dragon Age: Inquisition, it is unlikely I will hit 200 books by the end of the year, but I will give it my all. At least now I know what my New Year’s Resolution is going to be: read an even more obscene number of books.

Karma Is A Bitch

Today I became an official bridesmaid of Ursula. You may remember Ursula, as she is the one I was quite convinced would break up with her fiance during the planning stage. Unfortunately my high hopes have been thwarted, as I have been compelled to be her bridesmaid and buy a dress.

Why, you may ask, would a girl choose to accept the heinous mission of being a bridesmaid for someone whom she has literally nicknamed Ursula because like the Little Mermaid I once went to her for help and she has ever since tried to take my place (trying to date Liebling, moving into my apartment complex, attending all the parties I go to, getting a job where I work, and so on)?

I asked myself the same question. But my oldest friend (who has dubbed herself Minerva for blogging purposes) and LIebling are both part of the wedding, and I do work with her so it would make my working life hell to put up with her if I had said no. Also I am friends with the groom and he asked her to ask me. Still, I am a glutton for punishment.

The dress buying was painful and we all ended up in a short dress with some form of lace detailing of the sort that when I sent my mother the picture she told us we looked like old ladies attending a tea party while wearing old drapes. I gritted my teeth and reminded myself that I have to work with Ursula, and she is soon to be the daughter in law of the CEO of the company I work for. But going forward I will definitely be more cautious of my extensive vitriol. If hating someone violently ends in being one of their bridesmaids, I should probably make the effort to get on karma’s good side before I make a remark about the cold weather and a literal fireball lands on my building.