Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine | Book Review

Generally speaking, I don’t read comic books.  I’ve flipped through an issue here and there of various series, and I’ve read a couple mangas back in the day, but that’s about it.  Recently, however, I was perusing at Barnes & Noble and was about to leave when I glanced at one of the display tables near the entrance.  The bold cover and word “Bitch” caught my eye.  I instantly knew that if I was ever going to be into a comic book, this would be it, especially with the phrase “Girl gangs…caged and enraged!” on the cover.

Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine

I picked it up, and skimmed the back.  “Are you too fat, too thin… Too whatever-it-is-they’ll-judge-you-for-today?  You just may belong on…Bitch Planet.”  I decided I was definitely going to buy this volume.

Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine (Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro) contains Issues #1-5 of the Bitch Planet series, which takes place in a dystopian future where women who don’t fit into the “ideal” standard that men enforce are labeled non-compliant and sent to a correctional facility on another planet.  Of course, there is nothing particularly wrong with any of the women on Bitch Planet (although in their fight against the patriarchy some of them have committed crimes like assault and murder, but that’s beside the point…).  Some of their infractions include things like obesity, disrespect, and bad mother.  The story follows Kam, a non-compliant who was a former professional athlete, as she puts together a prison team for a televised sports tournament.  It also follows the men on Earth who are putting the tournament together in order to further manipulate the general population.  Of course, this volume is only the first 5 issues, so I can’t pretend that I know exactly what’s going on yet, but I can say that I’m pretty hooked.

The comic is rated M for Mature, which I’m sure means something to those who read comic books regularly.  Basically, cursing and violence and nudity and some sexuality and all that fun stuff.  I normally don’t like overtly violent media, nor unnecessary nudity, but given the context and strong social and political statements this comic is making, it works for me.  Something I enjoy is the fake advertisements at the end of each issue which play into the strongly-patriarchal society portrayed in this series.  They are incredibly sarcastic and sassy and I just adore them.  For example, one such ad is for a parasite that women can ingest to lose weight and the description reads:

“Stop being so fat and gross you big fatty!  OR maybe try not to let other people’s standards of beauty or femininity or your value as a human being dictate your self worth.” 

My favorite part, though, aside from the actual story of course, is the inclusion of a discussion guide at the end of the volume.  It’s very thorough and lengthy so I won’t get into it too much today (maybe in a future blog post?  Let’s be honest probably not), but the guide touches on elements of the story itself (characters, setting, etc.) as well as deeper themes and issues brought up within the story.  My favorite favorite FAVORITE bit is about intersectional feminism.  As a Mexican-passing-for-white feminist with a whole lot of privilege working for me, I always strive to be as inclusive and intersectional in my feminism as possible.  I love that this story a) did not center around a white woman, and b) includes a myriad of diverse women with diverse backgrounds.  The discussion guide even calls out a character in the story for being a typical example of a “white feminist”.  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about and want a real life example of “white feminism” look up the Miley Cyrus/Nicki Minaj beef that happened prior to the 2015 VMAs.  Or just Miley Cyrus in general.)

To be honest, when I first finished this volume I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.  I definitely agree with the message of Bitch Planet (the series, the the prison) and the sarcastic tone of the comic is great.  I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to read the rest.  Maybe I’m just not used to comic books, or something…but after I let it sink in for a couple days I decided that I liked it.  I’m not going to be first in line to buy future issues, but I’m sure I will eventually buy Vol. 2 if/when it appears at a nearby bookshop.

If you are already a fan of comic books, check it out!  And if you’re new to comics…check it out anyway!  If you hate feminists…this is probably not for you, but maybe you should read it anyway.

Too Cool for School

I recently was reminded of those collections of embarrassing moments often found near the end of magazines aimed at pre-teen girls.  I’m not sure what exactly made me think of them, but I remember reading those and a) being relieved that I had never experienced those particular embarrassing moments personally, and b) trying to figure out which embarrassing moment I would submit if I decided to submit one.  Which, of course, I never would…because that would be embarrassing.

Here’s the thing: I could never think of a moment worthy of being published in J-14 (or whatever magazine I happened to be obsessing over that particular afternoon).  Of course, who is to say that those moments weren’t completely fabricated for the sake of the magazine, but that’s not the point.  Even now, at 26 years old, I really can’t say that I have any really embarrassing stories.  The stories I do have that still sting of embarrassment really aren’t that bad in reality.  It’s just residual embarrassment from 5th grade or whenever.  Something mildly embarrassing happened to me yesterday, but I had completely forgotten about it until this very moment, and I’m sure I’ll forget what I’m referring to in a few days.

Oddly enough, I kinda feel bad about not having embarrassing stories…?  Is that completely bizarre?  It almost makes me feel like I haven’t really lived.  I mean the 5th grade embarrassing moment just me being caught completely zoning out on camera and making a slightly derpy face.  Yesterday I recognized someone from high school at my place of work, and he didn’t recognize me right away.  I think he was more embarrassed than I was.

Not that any really great embarrassing stories come out of great adventures or anything.  Usually it’s something silly like “I accidentally misspoke in front of my crush!!!” or “My mom totally found a poem I wrote about a BOY!” or something stupid.  Even as adults, embarrassing moments are never that grandiose.  “I accidentally said a bad word during a presentation!”  The big disastrous embarrassments tend to come from elements beyond one’s control.  So why am I embarrassed from not being embarrassed?

I’ve always remembered being a child as being terrified of too much attention, while simultaneously wanting all the attention.  (I think that’s called being an extroverted introvert or something.)  I was shy and cautious.  I assumed I was invisible and moments that were embarrassing to me either reminded me that I wasn’t invisible or reaffirmed that I totally was.  So maybe I felt left out of some sort of cultural happening since I wasn’t experiencing huge moments of clumsy awkwardness.  Maybe I was too scared to go out and get attention on my own that I wished some sort of embarrassment on myself so that I would be noticed.

Then again, I did get asked out by a boy in 8th grade in front of the entire school and everyone cheered and applauded and while I’m sure I must have been a little embarrassed (because I was an 8th girl and those are always embarrassed) I actually don’t remember feeling weird about it.

I started writing this post to commit to putting myself out there more, since obviously if I have no embarrassing stories I must not be putting myself “out there”, right?  But maybe it just means I have a secret self-assurance that I never really noticed before.  Maybe I’m actually as cool as a cucumber.  Maybe…  Or maybe this was an excuse to tell the internet that in 8th grade a boy liked me so much that he wore a suit to school and asked me out in front of everyone during lunch.  The world will never know.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up | Impressions of a Book

Hello there!  Today I thought I’d offer something a little different from my usual moaning and talk about a book I bought less than 24 hours ago.

I first heard about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Marie Kondo) from vlogger Grace Helbig and mostly forgot about it until I was perusing Barnes & Noble last night and saw the book in person.  First of all, it’s a miracle that I remembered the title of it at all.  I think it was the word “magic” or perhaps “life-changing” that did the trick.  Anyway, it was already pretty cheap and it was 30% off so after skimming the introduction I decided to bring this little nugget home.

Now, obviously, this isn’t a full-on review.  I bought it last night.  Granted, it is short enough that, had I not worked today, I could probably have read through it already, but as it stands I am on page 42.  This is a first impression of a book.  I know “first impression” type reviews are typically saved for beauty products but I am honestly already feeling pretty pumped about this book so I want to write something about it NOW.  My blog, my rules.

Marie Kondo promotes ideas about tidying up that go against most conventional wisdom I’ve heard in my life, either from my mom or other media outlets (magazines and the like).  Tidying up, in this case, doesn’t mean slowly cleaning small areas of your home, but doing one big overhaul of your space all at once (and at once, in Kondo’s terms, means about six months of focused and purposeful tidying).  She has some simple~ steps, the first being to discard items that do not spark joy.  But even BEFORE that, you are meant to fully envision why you are wanting to tidy, and then examine the “why” behind that, and so on…  Basically, look at your life and look your choices!  (That was a reference to an internet video.  I might be writing a post about an organizational book but I mean, that doesn’t make me mature.)

Anyway, that’s where I left off.  I take these things seriously and I’m gonna examine the hell out of my life and choices.  I’m gonna envision what I want and then I’m gonna get started on discarding items that do not bring me joy.  (From what I’ve heard, she starts with clothes.)

My impressions so far?  Well, like I said, I’m already feeling pretty pumped.  I think it’s her straightforward method of communicating that I’m responding to.  Plus I’ve been reading so much hype about this book tonight on other blogs that I’m itching to get started and, well, experience that life-changing magic I keep hearing about.  Also, this might seem silly, but the cover is very calming to me.

What I’m not in love with is the structure of this book.  It’s broken up into chapters, which are then broken up into smaller sections, which is fine… But they way information is divided up doesn’t seem very organic to me.  Maybe it’ll make more sense later one once the actual tidying gets under way.

Anyway, I look forward to progressing into this book and sharing the results here, whenever I finish tidying the current hell-hole I live in!  (I’m not exaggerating, by the way… there’s a hole in our wall that leads straight to Hell.)

(okay maybe I am exaggerating a little)

How Loving My Hair Helped Me Love Myself

I’ve been a little obsessed with my hair lately.  (By lately I mean for my entire life…)

I used to really hate my hair.  I was one of the many girls who felt the need to heat-style her hair every day in high school.  I wanted to highlight the hell out of it.  I definitely wished it was straight.  I abused the shit out of my hair as a result.  Before high school I decided I wanted really curly hair, and my mom actually let me get a perm in middle school.  I hope she was trying to teach me some sort of lesson because it certainly worked.  (The lesson was: never get a perm again.)  In elementary school I wanted to be blonde.  I’m not really sure why.

By the time I got to college my hair was damaged as all get out.  I stuck with my hair straightener during those days until I just got too lazy to give a shit.  I did get it cut quite often out of boredom and the desire to be “quirky”.  I also bleached a chunk of my hair and would die that chunk different colors from time to time.  I was never satisfied with my hair.

These days I feel a little differently.  Heat rarely touches my precious strands.  I treasure my hair and protect it like a prized possession of immense value.  When I can afford it, I buy only the best and purest hair products.  I oil my hair regularly.  I am obsessed with keeping my hair as long as healthy as possible, and I love it in its natural state.

It started in 2010, I think.  I couldn’t die my hair fun colors anymore, so to stave off boredom I would cut it all the time.  Of course, this resulted in my hair getting really short.  My hair is pretty fine and lightweight (but there’s quite a bit of it) so when it’s short it just…floats around in a halo of frizz.  So I made a pledge to myself.  One solid year without a haircut.  No trims, no nothing.  Once my hair got long I got really attached to it, and I realized that my hair’s unruly texture actually worked when it was longer.  Now I’m afraid to get it cut.  I’ve become that girl.

Gratuitous selfie of my glorious locks.

I don’t know when the massive self-love came along.  I just woke up one day and looked at my hair and realized I had the hair I’ve wanted all along.  I just had to take care of it.  The lack of heat-styling due to laziness helped my hair stay healthy and beautiful.  I started researching how to grow hair longer/faster/healthier and making lifestyle adjustments.  I’m not the healthiest person in the world, but the healthy habits that I do have are motivated purely by keeping my hair healthy.  I don’t know if that’s sad or if I should just take whatever motivation I can get.  Those hair-motivated healthy choices result in the rest of my body looking and feeling good…and then I just…feel…good?  About…myself?  It’s a strange and new feeling for me so I’m still adjusting.

I still sometimes want to chop all my hair off, and I really would like some highlights because then my braids would look nicer, and my dream hair is still rainbow colored, but it’s really nice and refreshing to really not give a shit if my hair is a little wonky one day because I love it regardless.  I love it when it’s being frizzy and stupid.  I love it when it’s being shiny and smooth.  I love it piled into a rat’s nest on the top of my head.

I think it says a lot that just focusing on one body part or feature and taking care of it can lead to overall self-love.  Since falling back in love with my hair I’ve also fallen back in love with my eyebrows (I used to think they were too thick, too dark, etc.).  I’ve also gained enough confidence to leave the house in a tank top without freshly shaved underarms because who gives a fuck?  My hair looks awesome, no matter where it’s growing from!  I’ve even slowly started to get over my crooked nose!  It’s insane.

So to those of you who are struggling with body positivity and would like a tip: Just focus on one feature and take care of it.  That doesn’t mean changing it, necessarily.  I haven’t used so much as a blow dryer on my hair in months, and it hasn’t been chemical treated in at least 6 years now.  But just by taking care of it, my hair was able to thrive.  So what are you insecure about?  Look into how to naturally keep that area healthy.  If you are insecure about your teeth, for example, try oil pulling or other holistic treatments to aid in oral health and I’m sure you’ll feel better.  Don’t abuse your body, pamper it.  Your body will thank you and you will feel better, both mentally and physically.  I promise.

Residual Feelings About Different Feelings

On Saturday the third, J and I went to an Idina Menzel concert at the Hollywood Bowl.  I hardly took any photos and I already feel like I’ve forgotten most of it.  Funny how the mind works.

What I haven’t forgotten is the weird feeling it left me with.  Idina Menzel represents everything I wanted to be in 2006.  She’s an impossibly talented belter with the spunk and attitude that every 90s girl power preaching kid aspires to have when she grows up.  Idina freakin’ Menzel!  She was the original Maureen from RENT.  The original Elphaba in Wicked.  The original green girl, as her merchandise proudly proclaims.   She went to NYU, which was my dream school once upon a time.  She has what used to be my dream career as a performer.  And there I was, in Hollywood (another town for dreamers) watching my former idol performing on stage.  In person!

There was a moment (a long moment, actually) during the concert when Idina ventured out into the audience and sang Take Me or Leave Me with some lucky fans.  One girl was probably about 16.  And she sang directly to Idina.  And she reminded me of myself nearly a decade (ugh) ago.  That girl wants to be a star.  I wanted to be a star.  We all wanted to be a star at some point, right?

What would 16 year old me think of 25 year old me sitting there in that crowd, enjoying herself but also stressing out about how she’s supposed to survive the next few days with no money.  Thinking about how dumb it was that we were at the Hollywood Bowl with no money in our bank accounts.  Obviously the tickets had been paid for with past money and shit had happened between then and now, but 16 year old me doesn’t know that.  18 year old me gave up music so that I wouldn’t have to be a starving artist with a shitty job.  A lot of good that did me.  Ha.  Now I’m just a starving talentless slob.

I have to keep believing that things will get better.  But when I’m sitting at the Hollywood Bowl watching Idina Menzel perform and the tears on my cheeks aren’t entirely tears of joy it’s hard to believe that life is gonna turn around.  When a fun event that you’ve been looking forward to for months turns into an evening of self-loathing and disappointment…  I dunno.

I don’t know what the point of this was.  I went to a concert.  I didn’t take any pictures.  The concert is over and I’ve had this weird feeling ever since.

I need to get back to work.  Too much time off and I start to come unraveled.

The Passion Conundrum

Every once and awhile I like to torture myself by falling into the trap of Googling “how to blog” hoping that I’ll click a magical link that will transport me to an alternate reality, in which I post regularly, have a real computer and a nice camera, and my blog has so many readers that I’m getting offered book deals or being invited to Good Morning America to talk about some nonsense that only tangentially has to do with me.  Alas, the search results are all the same… A series of lists telling you what you need to start blogging.  And often times the first item (maybe the second) on every list is “Blog about what you are passionate about!” or “Find a niche and focus on it!” or some similar crap.

Here’s the problem:

I’m not passionate about anything.

Gasp! How can this be possible? you all whisper, horrified by the heartless typer of words on the Internet that is me. How can anyone not be passionate about anything?

Well, maybe I was overstating things a bit.  I certainly feel passion.  I get angry and frustrated and heartbroken about things.  That’s a form of passion, of course.  Sadly, however, most of those things are work related, so I don’t really feel like blogging about my experiences working at a major corporation are wise at this point in my life.  I like being employed.  Also, I’d like to point out that most of my passionate outbursts come from a negative place these days.  While I don’t shy away from negativity, this blog does not need to be filled of rants and whining all the time.  I realize that this blog is primarily rants and whining at the moment…but that’s why I don’t blog as much anymore.  Or ever.  I don’t want to be some emo sob-fest of a website.

So, what do I do now?  I’ll admit, I haven’t yet Googled “how to find a passion” but I’m sure I know what it would say.  Try new things, right?  Well working 50 hours a week and still not being able to pay rent half the time doesn’t leave much room for new hobbies.  Hell, as I type this I have 3 dollars in my bank account and don’t get paid until Thursday.  Yes, there are free things to try, but this is Southern California.  Nothing is truly free, and gas is expensive, and when you only have one day off a week it tends to be spent looking for a second job or doing other chores.  Or sleeping.

So what does a girl blog about when she can’t talk about what she spends most of her time doing (which is working, or stressing about work) and is too poor to go on adventures worth blogging about?  I guess the answer is she whines and moans about her life on the internet.  How original.  What a niche for me to focus on.

Look.  I want to do this.  I want to fill this website with cute stories and life lessons and recipes and Pinterest-y DIY tutorials and book reviews and my un-asked-for opinions.  I want to figure out what I’m doing with my life and then share it with all of you, whoever you are, but when life keeps crapping all over your hopes and dreams it is really hard to even bother trying for them anymore.

This got really depressing, really fast.  It doesn’t help that my birthday is in a few days.  And 25 was a really rough year.  And 26 doesn’t look like it’ll be much better.

I Like Being Alone

I never realized until recent years how much of an introvert I truly am.  I was always loud growing up, and I guess I still am, but I always assumed I was an extrovert.  But damn do I love being by myself.  I guess I have a lot of practice, being an only child.  I thoroughly enjoy just hanging out with me, myself, and I.

Sometimes I feel guilty because I really like when J and I have different days off or work opposite shifts.  Not all the time, obviously.  But once every week or so I really like having the apartment to myself for a solid 8 hours.  Half the time I’m asleep, but I really like sleeping alone too.  Oops.

I like being able to do what I please without worrying if I’m being too noisy, or if someone else wants to change the channel, or if I’ll be interrupted (like when I’m writing or reading or just really want to be left alone).  I wish there was a way to tell people “Hey, just don’t talk to me for like two hours unless it’s an emergency” without coming off like a total dick.  I mean, yeah, people know what an introvert is but feelings are feelings and feelings are easily hurt.  It’s dumb.

It doesn’t help that in order for me to think and be productive I have to spread my shit EVERYWHERE.  Honestly.  I try to be tidy but I’ve always had to lay all my work out in order to focus.  Growing up I would cover the entire kitchen table doing homework for just one class.  (That’s my struggle with work too.  I could take up our whole office space working and yet I have to be considerate of other people’s work space.  Boo.)  Anyway, it’s hard to spread my shit out on the bed when someone else is on the bed…trying to sleep.

I also need noise to work.  Silence is distracting to me because then I can hear every little noise inside and outside.  Again, hard to blast showtunes (or Christmas music, not gonna lie) when someone else is in the room.

Maybe I’ll make a sign for the bedroom door that says “Alissa is trying to focus and/or decompress.  Please only enter the room if you need to pee or are in need of immediate medical assistance.”  Too rude?  Yeah, probably.

One day when I’m rich (ha) I’m gonna have a guest house and just hide there when I get in these moods.  This is another reason why I shouldn’t have kids.  They bug their parents too much.

This post didn’t make much sense, did it?  Oh well.  Deal with it.

Characters You’d Like to Check-In With | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday

Another Tuesday, another Top Ten.  As if you didn’t already know, this is part of a weekly meme put out by The Broke and The Bookish.  Once you’ve perused my list, head over to the original post and check out the lists of other participants.  Heck, you can even write your own list and add your link to the linky!  Hot diggity dog!  This week’s theme: Top Ten Characters You’d Like to Check-In With (meaning the book is over, but you’d like to check up on this character to see what’s going on in his/her life once the events of the story are resolved). *Spoilers ahead!  Read at your own risk!

  1. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series) — I tried to avoid just listing all the characters from Harry Potter, because I want to check in with everyone, but I couldn’t resist listing my girl Hermione.  First, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, I absolutely NEED to know what happened regarding her parents.  I also want to know all about her professional life at the ministry.  AND I want to know what kind of mother she is (I know she’d be great, but I’m just curious.)  I just.  Need.  To know!  I can’t handle life without Hermione, guys.  I love her.
  2. Montague & Capulet (Romeo and Juliet) — Yeah, this is two-in-one, but really what is the point of checking in with just one family?  Here’s my theory: these families are not going to stay peaceful.  Think about it, they’ve been rivals for so long that neither house even really remembers why they’re fighting.  Now both of their children are dead.  Eventually all that sadness is going to turn into anger.  Even if the two heads of the household were able to put aside their differences, do you think everyone in each family/house is going to just forget everything that’s happened over the years?  Think of Tybalt.  Yes, he’s dead, but there have to be one or two of his cohorts that also hated the opposing house with his level of passion.  Same goes for Mercutio’s buddies.  I mean, the first scene in the play is a group of servants trying to start shit in broad daylight for NO REASON.  That’s not gonna stop overnight.  I’ve rambled long enough about this.  I just want Bill Shakespeare to return from the grave and write a sequel.  I bet you I’m right though.
  3. Survivors from The Lord of the Flies — A bunch of pre-teen boys who were stranded on an island and killed each other?  Yeah, those are some therapy sessions I want to sit on.  Just sayin’.
  4. Elizabeth and William Darcy (Pride and Prejudice) — A classic.  There is a lot of media out in the world (sequels, movies, web series, etc.) about this story and what might happen after these two finally get together, but I’d like to know what really happens behind closed doors at Pemberley.  Again, let’s resurrect Jane Austen and force her to write a sequel.  No?  Fine.
  5. Scarlet O’Hara (Gone with the Wind) — In reality, I just want to follow Scarlet’s life from where the book leaves off to her death bed.  I’m sure she still has some antics up her sleeve.  How many more husbands will she have?  How many dead bodies will she leave along her way?  The world may never know…
  6. Katniss and Peeta (The Hunger Games series) — I still don’t believe that Katniss really cares for Peeta (at least not enough to marry and procreate with him) so I just wanna know what their life is like.  It must be so awkward in that house.
  7. Lydia Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) — Speaking of awkward households… Her marriage and home life must be so strained.  Will she ever truly know what she put her family through?  Will she see Wickham’s true colors?  When will Lydia grow the heck up already?
  8. Liesel Meminger (The Book Thief) — We do get a bit of an epilogue about dear little Liesel at the end of this book, but I wanna meet her new family and see her life after the war.
  9. Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter series) — Nothing specific really that I want to know about Luna’s life after The Battle of Hogwarts, but I could read about Luna forever.  More books!
  10. Hazel Grace Lancaster (The Fault in Our Stars) — I got into a bit of a debate with J about this.  I asked him for input on this list because I was stumped for a bit and he said “Hazel’s parents.”  I calmly reminded him that Hazel is not dead at the end of the book, so clearly he meant that  he’d like to check-in with Hazel.  Then he goes on to say that he’s pretty sure that she dies shortly after the events of the novel.  *crickets* …WHAT.  So then we got into a spirited debate about that.  For the record, I acknowledge the reality of her health and whatnot, but I think she’s got at least a few more years left.  And I want to see them.  And then, sure, we can check-in with her parents too.

Honorable mentions: (I know, how much more can I blather on?)  After J and I were done arguing about Hazel, he mentioned a couple other characters that I had forgotten so I thought I’d just give them a quick mention here.  First is the Baudelaire children from A Series of Unfortunate Events.  I don’t think they require too much explanation.  Second is Rain from Out of Oz, which is the last book of the Wicked series.  I think the second and third books of that series were a little…meh, but Out of Oz brought it back (for me) and wrapped things up pretty well.  Unfortunately, it ends with a bit of a cliffhanger and I wanna know what happens!

I didn’t realize how much I had to say about this list, but I hope you enjoyed it!  Don’t forget to write your own and share it via the original post’s link-up!  Happy reading!

Books Recently Added to my TBR List | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday (courtesy of The Broke and the Bookish) is all about what future reads we’re eyeing… So without further ado, Ten Five Books I’ve recently added to my To Be Read list.  (These books were all added during a leisurely browse at the bookstore.  If a book looked interesting to me I just took a picture of it.  This is how I discover most of my TBR books.)  Once you’ve read my list be sure to write your own, then head over to the original post and add your list to the linky!

  1. Still Life with Bread Crumbs — Anna Quindlen
  2. I’ll Have What She’s Having — Rebecca Harrington
  3. Love by the Book — Melissa Pimentel
  4. That Part was True — Deborah McKinlay
  5. The Miniaturist — Jessie Burton

Those are five books that caught my eye recently!  Happy reading!

How to Avoid Writing a New Post

Sometimes you fall off the writing wagon.  Inevitably, the guilt of looking at your sad abandoned blog will eat away at your soul.  You’ll throw yourself into work so that your mind doesn’t turn into total mush, but eventually you’ll run out of things to do on your days off, and your brain will start nagging at you to write.  But…you don’t wanna!  Who knows why… You might be embarrassed to start randomly posting again when you’ve been absent so long… You might have no inspiration; maybe all you can think of are negative topics (and you’ve whined enough on your blog…)  Or maybe you just really can’t be bothered.  Here are some tips I’ve found to distract yourself just long enough that your day is wasted and there’s not enough time to write.

  1. Look at your favorited videos on Youtube and become re-obsessed with videos you loved in 2008.
  2. Paint your nails and wait 2 hours before you touch anything to make super sure they’re dry.
  3. Look for a new apartment online even though you don’t need to move and don’t have the means to move right now.
  4. Watch episodes of The Golden Girls that you’ve straight up memorized already.

    “I have too many earrings…” will be on my grave.
  5. Put your hair in a bun.  Decide that it’s too tight and it’s giving you a headache.  Take it down and put it in a side braid.  Get irritated by a loose hair tickling your ear.  Repeat forever.
  6. Look for something to snack on even though you aren’t hungry.  After 20 minutes, determine that you have no food.
  7. Read an article on a feminist website and feel empowered.
  8. Raise your blood pressure by reading the comments on that article.  Resist the urge to murder the world.
  9. Read someone else’s perfect blog about their perfect life and feel really shitty about yourself for about a week.
  10. Finally sit down to write a blog post and spend half an hour deciding which Spotify playlist to listen to.

There you have it!  How to avoid writing a new post for your sad, lonely, little blog.  Remember that these tips can be applied to just about any project you’re avoiding.  They are 100% guaranteed to work…trust me, I’m an expert.  And be sure to look for my second list of tips, coming…uh…later.