Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Been hangin' around...

I've just been sitting around, not getting much accomplished today and I refuse to feel guilty that I haven't blogged in weeks because I have needed a break from thinking so much about everything! I'm exhausted from worrying about money and graduate school and how I am going to manage to go and see my siblings in the next several months and oh, let's not forget, how much I NEED to get out of Chicago and go see my siblings on their opposite coasts or else I may go mad. I need to see people who I miss and I need a change of surroundings, a break from the daily grind (read: rut) of my life so that I can clear out the cobwebs in my mind and figure out what I could do next.

One thing I have decided is that I'd like to have the final edit of Turn To You completed before the end of the year, so that I can offer it as an eBook and/or paperback to my readers. I haven't posted this month's installment, yet – I'm behind schedule on that – but once this month's chaos is over, I'll be back on track. Promise! Meanwhile, tune in this weekend for Part Twelve.

Other stuff: I have some ideas for relationship and self-help/positivity articles that I want to write and I really need to structure myself some time to work on these, as well as working on proposals to the magazines that I hope will consider including them. I have come to see myself as someone with some insights that are valued, even if I don't always have a handle on my own shit. Might as well put this and my current obsession with self-help books to some good use!

I'd also like to get back to reviewing films. It's been awhile since I sat down and watched an entire movie from beginning to end. These days, I've just been binge-watching How I Met Your Mother, Orange Is The New Black, The Fosters and Faking It (yep, that's a lot of TV-binging!) and I can't even remember the last movie I saw that I hadn't seen before. Once upon a time, I had this lofty idea that I might watch ALL of the AFI top 100 and write about them...but that fizzled after I watched all of Lawrence of Arabia and afterward, felt depleted and kinda thirsty. But maybe I will try something else soon. I have always liked writing about movies – when I was in college, I wanted to be the next Roger Ebert, I loved it so much. Oh, the ambitions of the young!

This has been, I suppose, a post full of things that I intend to do but haven't yet done. Kind of reminder to myself. Alright, Louise...it's your move. Time to put some plans in action.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

[[Turn To You: A Novella]] -- PART ELEVEN

Rhonda was standing on the other side of the street now and she looked chilly as the wind picked up, blowing through the trees and litter swirled around her. I felt awful and I turned the engine off, poised to get out and chase her down the street if I had to. But as soon as I was standing outside the car and getting ready to cross, she looked both ways and marched toward me instead. Her face was still red and pinched and I could tell she'd been crying. Here I was thinking about some other girl who probably would never want me - or anyone else without a trust fund - and I'd made Rhonda, who actually liked me, cry and ruin her makeup. I felt like the real asshole extraordinaire of the evening. Todd Rossi had nothing on me.
"Rhonda, I'm a jerk," I said, throwing up my hands. "You're completely and totally right and I have no right to judge you. Self-preservation is a pretty important instinct. No matter what age you're at."
She sniffled. "Can you just take me home?"
"Sure. Of course." What else could I say? She had started to shiver so I handed her my jacket, but she just shrugged away from me and headed to the car. She slammed the door shut and I did the same. She was staring out the window, not looking at me, as I drove her back to Brambleton Street and Asha's family's place. Once we got there, she leaped out and I turned off the ignition. She already had her key out but was fumbling with the lock when I came up beside her.
"Damn door. Stupid light never comes on when it's supposed to. How the hell am I supposed to get the key in the door if I can't see?" She continued mumbling under her breath, a stream of obscenities. I put my hand on hers to get her attention and she jumped away from me, then looked me straight in the eye.
"I don't get it," she said. "Why are you being nice to me now?"
"What?" I said. "Because, I don't want you to hate me. Because I apologized and I want you to know I meant it."
She nodded.
"You figure," she said, "that you might as well like me now that it seems my cousin couldn't possibly be interested in you."
"It's not that," I said. "I don't know what I want, but I know that I do think you're cool and honestly, my lashing out at you had very little to do with you. I'm ashamed of myself. I never meant to hurt your feelings. None of what I said is true about you - at least I don't really think so. If it's true about anyone, it's true about me."
She sniffled and put her hand on her face and I thought she might cry again, but then she gave a half-hearted smile.
"You know," she said, "thank you. That may be the nicest apology I've ever heard."
I nodded slowly, wondering if this was going anywhere.
"To be honest with you, I want you to know that I most likely would have made out with you - or more even - tonight...and it would have been incredibly wrong."
"Uh..." I said. I was speechless at this revelation. "You're going to elaborate, right?"
"Yes," she said and laughed a weak laugh. "It would be wrong because, while you're really sweet and definitely hot, both of us are in love with someone else. I recently ended a relationship with a woman named Rebecca. I really loved her - and it was my first time for that sort of thing. Because, while I wasn't exactly out in high school, I certainly had my share of...extracurricular activities then. And after graduation. But in my second year at college, I was in between friends-with-benefits and I met someone I thought was special. And I guess I am still hung up on her."
"Right," I said. "That's perfectly understandable. I-"
"You -" she said, "are also dealing with your feelings for someone else. Someone you're in love with."
I nodded.
"Yes," I admitted. "Callie broke up with me earlier this month and I spend a lot of time feeling very alone and..."
"That's not who I meant," she said. I stared at her. "You're in love with someone else, I think. Really, actually in love."
"I-I don't know. What? What do you mean? I...I was just dumped. Callie dumped me," I said.
"Yeah," she said. "That may be so, but I think the person you're most tied up in now is my cousin. And if you want to know what I think...well, I think she likes you, too."
"But there's that whole issue of status," I reminded her.
"Screw that," she said.
Slowly, I began to smile and then, we both started laughing. And then, before I knew what was happening, Rhonda kissed me.
"Whoa, whoa - um," I said once we had parted. "What was that?"
"Can't blame a girl for trying," she said. Then, with a wink, she pushed her way inside. "Goodnight, Betsy." The door closed and I was alone on the porch steps.
"Goodnight Rhonda," I said quietly to no one. With a baffled laugh, I headed back to my car.
I was so glad to be home at ten. I'd been pretty tired, you know. Like, tired of Todd trying to grope me every time some scream-happy cheerleader or whoever got knifed in what turned out to be a really crappy sequel. I was happy to be soundly in my own driveway, walking up to my own home to change and crawl into my own bed.
Todd had been an incredible jerk, whining about why did I pay money to go to a movie if we weren't going to do something in the car? If it weren't for the fact that I really wanted to go to prom, I might have given up on the whole relationship thing. He probably still expected that I would sleep with him on the big night, despite the fact that I had no intention of doing so and had told him numerous times that it wasn't what I wanted. I planned to be in love before I did that - that part I hadn't said because I was afraid he would take offense and wonder why I didn't love him. It was something I wasn't entirely sure of - he had been a really sweet guy (or seemed like he was) when I first met him. I had no idea why I'd never fallen for that charm. Maybe deep down I knew that it was probably phony. Wait, what am I thinking? Todd means well...he just wants to be like the other guys.
I sighed and pulled my shoes off, placing them quietly on the rug, trying not to wake Rhonda. I was standing in my dark bedroom. I could hear Rhonda's light breathing on the other side of the bed and I found myself wondering what she and Betsy had been up to. I could see no sign that Betsy had come up to the room, but I wasn't sure. I pulled on my pajamas and left my clothes there on the floor next to the nightstand. I was just too tired. When I climbed into bed, the cool sheets against my hot skin felt nice and relaxing. I stretched out and waited for darkness to settle under my eyelids. In minutes, I was fast asleep.
I had another dream that I could only somewhat remember. I was in my gauzy prom dress with my hair feathered and adorned with tiny flowers and I was lost in a fog. I knew Betsy was there and I was trying to find her, but I kept running into things - trees, a barbed wire fence. And then there was something about the creepy monster man in the movie I'd seen with Todd and I was riding a flying camel or something strange like that. It dropped me into a river and I woke up with a start. Rhonda was standing over me with a cup of coffee.
"Wakey, wakey," she said. "Your parents left for the morning and they want me and you to watch Gio. I hope it's okay that I said we would. If you have plans, I'm sure I can deal on my own."
"Sure," I said. "It's not a problem." I sat up, taking the cup of coffee she offfered to me.
"I heard you making noise in your sleep. Bad dream?"
"It was weird, but I don't remember all of it," I said and shrugged. I picked up the brush from the nightstand and ran it through my hair. I could feel her eyes on me - or was that my imagination.
"You, um, said Betsy's name a few times," she said, with amusement in her tone. I whipped around.
"I did not!" I said.                         

"Yeah," she said. "Ya did. You have been known to talk in your sleep before, though. I remember when we were ten and you kept talking about Mickey Mouse and the sinking boat in your sleep. What was that about?" She chuckled, but I was blushing.
"What else did I say?" I said.
"About Mickey Mouse?" she said, but I knew she knew what I meant. I looked at her sideways and put my hands on my hips.
"Rhon, you know what I mean!"
"Yeah yeah. That's all you said, though. Just her name a couple of times. I assumed you had too many nachos at the show."
"Funny," I said with mock annoyance. I was still feeling embarrassed, though. I wasn't sure why - I mean, what could I have said? But I still felt really exposed and the need to pull the covers back over my head was hard to ignore. I sipped my coffee instead.
"Better get a move on," she said. "I made breakfast!" She sounded proud of herself, the way a child might if she had done something she saw as particularly "grown-up."
I got dressed quickly, then joined her and Gio at the kitchen table. There were pancakes and syrup on the table, next to a carafe of orange juice. Gio had a cocoa with teeming marshmallows and was eating his pancakes like he was a giant monster attacking a city.
"Garrrr," he growled, plunging his fork into his breakfast. I smiled and mussed his hair, but he didn't even look up, so engrossed he was in his little world.
"This is a pretty sweet breakfast," I told Rhonda. "He's going to be hyper the rest of the day and you signed us up with baby-sitting duty."
"He'll be fine," she said. "He has an insane amount of energy as it is. I doubt this will change that much. We should take him to the park, though. It will be good for him to run around some."
"Sure, that'll be nice. For us, too. It's looking like it's going to be a sunny day," I said, glancing out the window at the cloudless blue sky.
"Maybe we can play Frisbee or something," she said. She turned to Gio. "Would that be fun, kiddo?"
He nodded, his mouth crammed full of pancake. I sat next to him and placed two of the pancakes on my plate. I poured myself some juice.
"How was your night?" Rhonda asked, sitting in the chair with her knees propped up.
"Good," I said, though it was hardly true. I wasn't ready to talk about everything going on in my head at that moment. "Yours?"
She smiled mischievously and my stomach rolled.
"It was great," she said.
"Oh," I said. My mind went completely blank for a second and then I got up the courage to ask, "Did anything happen?"
She glanced over at Gio and shrugged. I sighed and got up, pulling her elbow toward the other side of the kitchen and out of my little brother's earshot.
"Ok, spill it," I said.
"She kissed me," she said. My smile was permanently plastered to my face, but I was pretty sure my eyes gave away my dismay. I couldn't explain it, but I felt...well, jealous.
"Or, actually...I guess I kissed her," she said, noting my look. "But now I'm wondering."
"Wondering what?" I asked her, barely able to look at her.
"Wondering if perhaps she was thinking of you when she kissed me back."
That got my attention. I looked at her squarely now.
"What do you mean?"
"Don't tell me you're that oblivious, Ash," she said. "That girl is crazy about you. You haven't noticed? I'm positive it wasn't just the fact that he actually was being an asshole that Betsy commented on Todd's behavior. She seemed to be a little...protective, shall we say?"
"Betsy said something about Todd?" I said.
"She said he was a jerk and didn't understand why you were with him."
"Really?" I said. It was all I could manage to say.
"And what did you tell her?"
"I said that you had seen something in Todd at some point that you liked," she said. In her voice, I detected a note of uncertainty. "That's true, right?"
"Yes, of course it is. There was something I liked...about Todd. Initially," I said.
"Initially?" she laughed. "So his status as most popular jerk-off is no longer as appealing as it used to be?"
"Please tell me that's not what you told her, Rhon!"
"Um, sort of."
"You didn't!"
"Well, isn't that why you're with him? Because I gotta tell you, Ash - I see no other redeeming qualities. If it isn't popularity, I don't know what it is."
I groaned, fell back against the sink and buried my face in my hands.
"She must think I'm an idiot...and just the most horrible person," I cried.
"That's what I'm trying to tell you, Asha!" she said. "She doesn't! Betsy thinks you're about the greatest thing since toasters and The Clash. Seriously." She pulled my hands away from my face and showed me how sincere she was being. "Seriously."
I looked down at my shoes. I was so confused about why I cared so much, why just the thought of Betsy liking me so much made me giddy and like I wanted to pirouette all the way down to her house.
"Then I have to talk to her," I said.
"Yes. But today, you need to give her some time. Because I think she's coming to the realization of her feelings, too. And I say 'too' as in 'in addition to Asha's,' I hope you know. A blind person could see how you feel."
I just nodded. I needed to deal with my own revelations.
It was around noon that Rhonda, Gio and I got to the park. Rhonda was on a swing, smoking a cigarette as irritated mothers gawked at her and shuffled their kids away. I hung back and watched as Gio was dangling on the monkey bars and I snorted at the way parents ogled at Rhonda, while she didn't even seem to notice. I took a slow stroll around the bike path and nearby softball field. Watching a couple play with their dog, chasing him back and forth, I thought about what being a couple meant for me and Todd, as opposed to what it probably felt like for other people. Happier people I thought. People who were together for the right reasons.
But it had started out like that. Todd had been very nice when we'd first met. It was at a soccer match between our competing schools. We'd talked awhile about the game, made some jokes about the horrible players on both sides. He'd invited me out for pizza with his family. Though not exactly swooning, I was charmed. I thought he was funny and there was no denying he was attractive. Over time, we had seen more and more of each other with and without other friends around. Tennis on Saturdays at the country club where his parents belonged or just hanging out and watching TV at his place. We'd listen to records and play card games in his basement until my parents expected me home. It had been nice, we had been friends and it was all very PG-13. But somewhere along the line, he'd gained more attention at school or from friends. Was that what had happened? I wasn't sure. But he'd grown distant for awhile. And then, he'd gotten downright mean. Some days he would act like his old self...but only for a short time before being whiny, telling me he was bored with me and all the while, pressuring me about getting more physical. I was more and more fed up and last night had certainly felt like the last straw...but then, in the morning light, I was wondering what life at school would be like for me without him. There were no other options anymore. Mom couldn't afford private school anymore. None of us could.
That was another thing about Todd. He had been there when my mom had had the affair. When she lost her job and when we lost so much of the footing in the community that we'd once had. Even when we had to move and there was all this talk - he had stuck around. He knew about it all. Betsy didn't.
Betsy? I thought. Am I really thinking about her in the same way as Todd? I knew the answer to that. It had been as clear as daylight the day we met. No, I didn't feel the same about her as I did about Todd. Because what I felt for Betsy was much, much more. The question was, how would she feel about me when she found out more about my family and our past?
I knew that I had to talk to her, of course. But I needed time. I needed a chance to practice what I would say. I was afraid, though. I could no longer imagine my life without her in it and I was terrified I might lose her with the truth.
Lost in thought, I didn't hear Rhonda or Gio calling me until they were right up behind me. Gio smacked my arm as he ran by me and yelled, "Tag! You're it, Asha!"
Rhonda was laughing and she tagged me, too. She yelled to Gio that she was "it" now and I watched as he chased her and caught her, then she chased him. When she caught him, she started tickling him. I laughed as I watched him try to wriggle away. I glanced at my watch and realized we'd been there for two hours.
"We should get home," I called to them. When they came closer, I said, "I should get some lunch and Gio here needs a bath. He's filthy."
"Nooo," Gio groaned in complaint.               

"Yes, you need a bath Gio. But if you're good and don't argue with me, we can watch cartoons or maybe Kids, Incorporated. And I'll make pizza."
"Spaghetti," he bartered.                          
"Okay, spaghetti," I said.
"Yay!" he said and jumped up and down. I had to hand it to the kid. He was easy to please. What's more, he was a happy kid and a really great one at that. He linked arms with me on one side and Rhonda on the other. Like that, we walked to the car doing the Monkees' walk like Rhonda and I had taught him when he was younger. If I could have kept my kid brother younger and free of the problems I was having forever, I would have. It made me sad that it wasn't possible, but I was just glad I could enjoy Gio this way for now. I'd make the most of it.
Back home, I checked the answering machine and found three messages from Betsy. Each said something along the lines of "I hope you enjoyed last night. It was good to hang out with you all. Maybe we can hang out again soon" or "Hey, just calling to see what you're up to this week. My band may be playing a gig at this coffee shop, so maybe you can come." I thought of calling her back but wasn't ready. Instead, I spent the evening with my brother and my cousin- but the whole time, my mind was with Betsy.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Procrastination Ramblings

I have SO much writing to do today, dear blog readers, and I am thinking this will have to be short. Because, because, because...I have THERAPY LETTERS! I need to write these letters that I have been putting off writing so that I can get all this gunk out of the cobwebby inner-regions of my brain and share them with my therapist, who will, I suppose, help me to weed out what really needs to be said, what could go without saying and who will then give me the obligatory pat-on-the-back because I said anything at all. All this therapeutic writing will then, I hope, make way for all the editing work and last chapter rewriting I need to do on my novella (which I just KNOW you are all anxious to read the next installment of next week, right?! RIGHT!). And then, I guess, it will then be bedtime and I will be able to relax with some reading, maybe. Anyway, there are only so many hours in a day and only so much writing I can do in that time. This is a start -- call this my "morning pages," although it's nearly noon now and by the time I finish this, it should be well after. Let's get on with it, shall we?

I've been reading a graphic novel this week, because it's all I've had the attention-span for between work and Netflix (I am all caught up on Mad Men now, though, except for what has aired of the last season). This particular graphic novel is by Liz Prince, whose website and links you should check out (and for Chicago peeps, you can see her at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo in May!). It's called Alone Forever, and it's a really funny, cute collection of comics about dating, being single, crushing on people from afar and being kind of an awkward dork about it. Which is why I love it -- I relate SO much!!! Heh.

There is this one strip where Liz is hanging out with her platonic male friend and wondering why she never meets anyone, then realizes it's because everyone thinks they're together. It's so perfectly true, which is why I am only going to bars with smooching couples in their honeymoon phase and/or flamboyant gay men from now on. Just kidding. Sort of.

I also love that Prince is really self-deprecating and sarcastically funny, making fun of herself for her overuse of Facebook and other social media sites. She admits to using OkCupid as a way to meet people in the winter, but says she doesn't really want to meet someone online because "nothing beats the thrill of meeting someone's eye and finding out about them through interactions, not because of a list of adjectives they put on a website." That's a strong case she makes and it's seriously making me reconsider my methods of meeting folks.

Anyway, it's available at your local library or independent bookseller, so go reserve it, check it out or order and buy it. I'm sure it's available through chain bookstores and Amazon, too, but you know I like to support my indies. You should, too.

Time for me to go shower and procrastinate in other ways. Enjoy your day, my friends.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Re-reading The Diary of Anne Frank in Adulthood (& Other Musings)...

I didn't post last week, I know. Let's just pretend the last ten days didn't happen, then. Now we'll start anew.

I adore this picture of Anne. She looks so happy and alive,
the way I wish she'd had more of a chance to be.

I re-read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank recently, for the first time since I was 16. I knew I'd liked it back then, but for some reason, except for the basics, the only thing I could really remember about it was something about the families in the "secret annex" (Anne's name for their attic hideaway) cooking sausage. My brain is on weird terms with reality, I think. 

One of the first things that struck me in this re-read was how imperfect Anne is. I realize that this seems like a given -- she was a person, after all, and also, a teenager. But the thing about a tragic death is that we tend to put the dead on a pedestal, and with Anne Frank, that's no different. She was and is one of the most well-known voices of the Holocaust. But Anne was very much a 14 year old girl. She could be bratty, arrogant, but also insightful and funny. She tried to be good, but often talked about hating her mother. She could be full of herself in such a humorous way, giving details of all the books she was reading and all the languages she was learning, as well as flippantly remarking that so many of the boys in her pre-hideaway class were in love with her, so much so that: "I have strings of boy friends, anxious to catch a glimpse of me and who, failing that, peep at me through mirrors in class."

The other thing that struck me about Anne is that she wasn't always strong. She held it together well, adapting to the new reality of being stuck in this attic with people who she hadn't originally known very well -- and I include her own family in that observation - but she goes through some pretty intense bouts of depression. The lack of light and freedom sometimes gets to her so much and she writes about feeling like a coward because of it: "I'm currently in the middle of a depression. I couldn't really tell you what set it off, but I think it stems from my cowardice, which confronts me at every turn." I don't agree with her that she was a coward -- not at all -- but I think it's such an accurate look at being depressed: we don't always think the most rational thoughts, thoughts based on evidence, when we're feeling especially melancholy and down on ourselves. I also think that most would agree that Anne's depression was understandable, more than likely situation-related, and that it made her all the more heroic for facing those moments. Because, while I would never say that Anne was a perfect person, the way we often see people that we might describe as martyrs, she was heroic: She awoke daily and kept going. She kept writing and she observed everyone and everything as much as she could. She worked really hard in the editing process of her diary, actually hoping that someday it might be published. And she kept on seeing beauty in the world, even when she couldn't be an active part of that world. 


Now I am re-reading C.S. Lewis's The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, another book I haven't read in YEARS and it's kind of strange to be reading it now, just as the weather is turning warmer. Narnia is, after all, so cold and snowy. I often think, on winter nights when there is a full moon and it shimmers off new snow, that it feels like Narnia -- especially on holidays, when the streets are semi-abandoned because everyone seems to be at home with their families. I forgot how magical this book is, and maybe it's re-reading all these stories that I read as a young child or as an adolescent, but I keep finding myself longing for the green fields of North Carolina and the quiet and nature, the dogwood and magnolia trees and the early warmth of spring. Chicago is finally turning, and I'm turning with it, though to what, I'm still not sure. I'm juggling a lot of thoughts and changes right now -- declining friendships, learning to move on from much of what's happened in the years since I've been back in Chicago, learning to re-focus and motivate myself. I've been fairly obsessed with self-help literature and working on me between therapy sessions, and I find that I like talking about that. I'm opening up. Blossoming somewhat, which may sound a bit hokey, but feels accurate. Next week is my birthday, it's spring and this is only the beginning. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

[[Turn To You: A Novella]] -- PART TEN

"So," I said, trying to break the ice, "a movie, then?"  

"Sure," Todd said. "There's that freaky new horror movie - the sequel to the one with the knife-fingered guy. What's that called?"
"Nightmare On Elm Street?" I said. "You know I'll have nightmares. Plus I've heard the sequel kind of sucked." 
"You're scared of everything," he said. "C'mon. It'll be fun. You can even bury your face in my shoulder if things get too scary."
I sighed and tried to smile. He was trying to be nice at least. 
"Sure, why not?" I said, shrugging. "I don't need to sleep right away, anyhow. I can probably watch something lame on television until I'm too tired to care about Freddy What's-His-Name coming to get me." 
"That's my girl," he said, putting one hand on my knee while keeping the other on the steering wheel. I almost flinched but once I realized what he was doing, it seemed a nice enough gesture. I let him hold my hand while until we pulled up to the theater.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Procrastination nation...

I missed posting the last couple of Thursdays - illness, social obligations, work obligations and the like kept me busy and the time that I did have online was spent wasting it on Hulu, Tumblr and Facebook, my usual distractions. This past Thursday was the first of the month, so now I'm behind on Turn To You installments as well. Readers (all two of you, haha) can expect that later tonight. For now, I thought I'd post something that I wrote as part of a free expression exercise in one of my writing groups earlier this week.

I'm sitting in a coffeehouse, half-asleep, looking at the moon, but wishing for a comet. I feel alien to this place and this experience: the experience of writing, much more so than I used to. I used to squat in halls of English departments, journaling like a madwoman, like my hand was on fire and words were the only thing that would extinguish the flame. Waiting for professors or fellow classmates to come by or congregate. I used to TALK about writing, but also, live and breathe writing, which is probably what nourished me in all those years that I was kept alive by caffeine and ramen. Not that it's that different now; I'm still the starving artist, minus the artist. And now, I'm looking through the keyhole from this life into my old life and wondering, "Where did the time go?" and "What's next?"

I've had a lot going on with me lately; you know I'm not going to elaborate on the personal stuff, but at work, we're short on manpower and that's overwhelming. I constantly feel like I'm not getting enough done. We need more shelvers and more volunteers, too, I think. Then there's the whole graduate school application process. Because application fees, plus the fees for all post-high school transcripts (meaning my community college transcripts and my university transcripts, both) are not cheap, I'm having to stagger my applications. That wasn't something that had occurred to me before I started the actual process. I do feel a bit jaded with things in my life right now, which is totally my own fault, I think. It's I who needs to harness my energy and figure out what to do about the weight of all these things...

Anyway, stay tuned. I'll post the next installment of Turn To You tonight.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Linky Dinks: The monthly Blog Roll post!

It's been a rough week. I've been struck down with some sort of illness that I can't name: a tenacious migraine that won't go away, aches in my neck and back, occasional chills, coughing, sore throat, dizziness and fatigue. I have probably slept about 19 hours between yesterday and today and I am finally feeling slightly more human. I still have this incredibly annoying ache in my ear and up into the left side of my head. I have done enough research online to become a full-fledged hypochondriac and I probably should go to a doctor if this continues. But for now, I am hoping I am on the mend and with that in mind, I am trying to get a jump on all these things I need to do. Like my weekly blog post! THIS week, I am directing you to some of my favorite posts on other blogs from this past month. As always, if you have or know of a blog you think I should be following, do let me know in the comments below! I love meeting new people, online and offline, so getting to know someone via their blog is always exciting for me.

Look! No more snow!

@Jaythenerdkid/Aaminah Khan wrote this thought-provoking post about quoting versus stealing someone's words on the Internet. It's a very important piece, I think, and something that I'm sure a lot of regular bloggers worry about. Once you're done reading it, check out her other posts.

Over at Queertiques, cinephile Roger reviewed the Israeli film "Cupcakes,"  which, unfortunately, hasn't been  widely released in the states yet, but looks like loads of fun!

You should also check out Yuri Hobart's lovely blog, Bookswept, which I recently stumbled on and am so glad I did! It's a pretty simple blog -- Hobart occasionally writes short bits about herself, but usually just keeps track of the books she is reading with a nice little quote from each one. She just celebrated her 25th birthday on the 13th of March (Louise's note: the same day as my nephew's birthday, but he doesn't celebrate for religious reasons and I'm not allowed to send him a card; therefore, I must spread joy to others instead), so if you happen by, wish her a belated "happy birthday!" I like Bookswept because of how many of the books featured I have loved -- and that suggests that I might really like the others that I haven't read. :)

I'm really into root vegetables right now, though it feels like such a fall/winter thing and we really are approaching spring right now (though it may seem like it is taking forever!). So I might have to try to make this recipe from Little Dinner Party before I am craving more warm weather foods (like pasta salads & picnics). Which reminds me: I really need to do some grocery shopping!

And finally, last but not least, Ora Uzel wrote an extraordinarily thoughtful piece over at Geek Melange that considers how transgender persons are portrayed in the media, touching on everything from film to comics. It's a good read, so get on over and check it out.

Now it's time for me to attend to priorities, like my growling tummy. As always, leave your comments below!