Daily Blog 1- 4/29

  • Got up kinda late (10am. College Weatherly is laughing in my face.) Dicked around for a little bit until finally settling into work.
  • Wrote a lesson plan for my job based around spray paint galaxy art (thanks Jamie Jo) 😉 If it gets approved, I’ll post my exemplar project on the blog
  • Did a little bit of doodling (I miss drawing every day) (character design for MeowMeow Kiturami)
  • Grumped a lot about how much painting I have to finish by tomorrow for my class (class details to follow)
  • Settled in to watch a lot of youtube videos while embroidering my egg hat, due tomorrow as 1/3 of Assignment #1
  • Changed over to watching Casting JonBenet, which is all kinds of fucked up. I can’t wait for My Favorite Murder to livetweet their watch. I don’t particularly find the case interesting, except that JonBenet was only a few months older than me, and I remember my mom and aunt being semi-obsessed with it when I was 5/6.
  • Speaking of parents, mine are in town this weekend for the soccer game, so I’m going to my sister’s house tonight for family dinner. Slash we’re probably going out to dinner because my sister is kind of a kitchen nightmare (sorry whitney)

 

Just felt like giving a little update. Hopefully I’ll have some work time tomorrow, so I’ll be able to post my finished Assignment #1 and possibly the curriculum I wrote for this class.

W

I am from Alabama. I went to public school in Alabama. My mom works for public school in Alabama. I pay tax to Alabama. My license is from Alabama. I vote in Alabama. Jeff Sessions does not represent me.

The first week of the year of Fuck It 1/52

So. Hey, this is me breaking one of my new year’s resolution already, that way I begin the year in the same way I will continue it: always playing catchup. This the year of Fuck It- the world is probably ending soon, we should probably all just throw ourselves onto whatever train we’re most interested in and hold on until our fingers break or they open the doors and chuck us out.

So here are my New Year’s Resolutions. Or Goals.

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My nails are bitten to nothing, I’ve read 0 books, and I missed the first week of vlog/blogging, but I wrote a new short script (featuring a dancing mop!) and watched a few movies:

  1. Exit Through the Gift Shop
  2. The Shining
  3. Amadeus
  4. The 13th

This is the third time I’ve watched Amadeus since I first saw it in December. I need to stop watching it, but it truly is the best movie I’ve seen in SO FUCKING LONG. Every time I watch it I fall more in love. It’s so long, but every minute keeps my attention. It’s just. It’s made for me.

The Shining is also beautiful, but I knew it was going to be because I watched the documentary about it (Room… insert the famous room number here. 204?)

The 13th was incredible, though I think I should watch it again because I was drinking a Walker-made drink and therefore don’t think I really took it in at the level it deserves.

These weekly blogs are probably all going to be like this- disjointed, a little hard to read, and mostly just for me.

W

Foods I Miss

Roast beef rice and gravy

Chicken broccoli casserole

Ham and potato salad

White queso dip

Real Mexican food

Thick cheeseburgers with cheddar cheese

Cheese, full stop

Homemade pizza

Olives

Hummus

Tomato pie

Velveeta and beef queso

Easy salads with pumpernickel croutons

 

 

 

This has been a completely useless blog post, born out of there being an insane amount of food I miss from America.

T-minus 73 days until my flight leaves, how would you rate my blogging in Korea? 0/10? Negatives? “Is this a blog I thought it was an aggregator of useless shit”? Let me know in the comments!

 

-W

I’ve read 93 books…

of my 52 books challenge.

At least, it was supposed to be a 52 books challenge. 52 Books in the year of 2015, and one I would have finished neatly the week I arrived in Korea. Upon finishing and realizing that without the deadlined reading minimum set by an imaginary internet challenge I would never read another book, I upped the goal to 75 books. Then to 100 books. Because fuck having a social life, I need to be as competitive against myself as possible. That’s where real joy comes from.

And now I only have 7 to go to win.

 

I’m pretty pleased with myself.

I’ve come to realize (not recently, this is one of the only things I’ve been sure about myself from pretty much day 1 of language memory) that I do not respond to outside motivation. I mean that in maybe the opposite of the intro to psychology way, I’m not sure, it’s been several years since I took that class and let’s be real– I was never going to last as a Psych major. (Did you know that as a psychologist you have to actually talk to actual people? Eww.)

I mean that outside motivation– of the “this is the job I should have by now, this is the salary you should be making, this is the goal you should be striving towards” type– just doesn’t work for me long-term. Sure, I feel guilty, and a little like a failure, when I compare lives to my peers and realize they’ve just won the Pulitzer while I’ve just opened a $9 bottle of wine with a pair of scissors and stained my face and half my kitchen purple.* But the guilt doesn’t make me want to do better, it just makes me feel guilty. And like I need different friends. And like I need a shower (ok, that’s just the wine. I’m sorry, but who designed wine bottles that you need an extra tool to open? Shouldn’t such a commonly-drunk drink be stored in self-sufficient packaging? You, with the powers, go back in time and have that obviously-always-prepared, never-without-a-corkscrew, inventor flayed for uselessness and lack of forethought.)

I’m also not one of those people that when told “you can’t do that” thinks “you know what! Yes I can!” And proceeds to go out and become the next woman president, or whatever the naysayers are naysaying at these days. Usually, when people tell me I can’t do something, I don’t listen to them. Because I feel like they’re wrong? Nah, it’s just because they’re dicks. And I try not to listen to talking dicks, because then where would we be? Talking Dick World, where we get all of our advice from phallic-y jerks who are constantly naysaying about random non dick-related queries?

 

What am I even saying? Oh. Right. My locus of motivation or something. I hope I don’t publish this. Ok. Here’s the thing: I am really only motivated to do stuff I have decided is important. This seems obvious, until you see upon closer inspection that apparently I have decided things like shaving my legs, or paying my bills, or writing research papers that are 50% of my grade, or finishing college in a timely manner (whoooo, got that one out of the way two years late!), or getting my car fixed before it explodes, or… well. You get it. That stuff does not get my Bunsen(s?) burning.

Random goals I set that have no way of affecting my future prosperity like, say, reading 100 books in the year 2015? Those I will work at until my eyes bleed from the staring strain, and the neural pathways in my brain misfire due to the overload of information being shoved in at the last minute, just to get that shiny purple 100/100 achievement badge on Goodreads.

 

Basically what I’m saying is… *licks finger and sizzles* I’m doing great.

Not sure when the next time you’ll hear from me will be, but when you do, you can be pretty certain it will be about books. Or maybe the yawning abyss of dread and self-doubt that made up my last post.

Prolly books tho.

 

W

*the funny thing is, I’m not drinking wine at this moment, even though it sounds like it, but I did experience this exact catastrophe two weeks ago and now there are purple splashes on my kitchen wallpaper. I think of it as a little personal touch, to give it that sought-after *lived-in* feel.

Today was one of those days (or- Hi, It’s been a while.)

Today was a day that made me wish I could go home early.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m currently on contract teaching English in Geumsan, South Korea: land of kimchi, and staring at the redhead of the town as if maybe she has kimchi sprouting out of her ears. And today I feel like dipping out of that contract 9 months early and running with my tail between my legs (first I have kimchi ear growth, now I have a tail, the side effects of moving across the globe are not to be trifled with…)

It’s not like anything unusual happened today. I had to teach my 5th and 6th graders for two periods of Afterschool instead of one, and although they were rowdy they weren’t horrible. All of my classes went fine (even my 1st and 2nd graders, aka the Demon Spawn Collective). And I took the bus home, rather than my usual carpool because the carpool guy is out of town. All of that was fine. I got home and finished the audiobook for Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones, which I only realized maybe 80% of the way through was not actually a reread for me– I’ve seen the movie maybe 10 times a year since I was in middle school, but never read the book. I am very partial to the movie, but the book was hilarious in its own way. (Much less Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy fighting in ponds, and much more Bridget’s mom running off with a Portuguese fraudmongerer.)

6976782f80b4569315627f86be2b29e0(I cannot for the life of me think of a word for ‘sells fake timeshares’ than ‘fraudmongerer’ please let me know what it is, a few minutes of Google searching just proved to me how little I know about fraud mongering. )

Afterwards, I started reading Terry Pratchett’s Guards, Guards!, my first Discworld book (I’m loving it so far.) I was so exhausted, and reading in bed, so I set my alarm for a 30 minute nap, after which I basically just gave up and slept until 11:30. And now here we are.

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But man, I’m down. I don’t even know why, though I suspect it may be my fast-approaching PMS or possibly just general malaise.

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I think I will start this blog up again because A) it’s absurd that I haven’t been blogging until now, and B) I want to move back home in September, and I have to figure out what exactly I’m going to *do* when I go home. The job prospects look just as bleak as when I left, only now I will have a year of living abroad on my resume, which I’ve been told is impressive but doesn’t make up for experience.

Yep, you heard that (B) right. All of that “maybe I’ll stay here for years, maybe I’ll never go home” joy lasted all of 4 months. My contract has 9 more months in it. Perhaps I’ll change my mind in the time it takes to incubate a baby, but I doubt it.

That’s only a reference to it being 9 months, believe me I’d have to have some semblance of a sex life to be in danger of any literal baby incubating, thank god. (Well, thank god for no baby, but– oh whatever, you know what I mean.)

I really want to start a Youtube channel. Have I said that before? Yes, I have, maybe 1000 times, give or take 1 million. The only thing stopping me at the moment is the lack of storage space on my phone, which renders my phone basically useless for recording video.

That, and my crushing sense of self-doubt. Just those two things.

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Ahh well. This was a cheerful post! Good job me! Keep it up!

All the Bright Places: A review in Goodreads blurbs.

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Let me just say right off that I did not like this book. At all. In fact, I would have put it down after the first 30% (note I say percent, because I listened to it– always a bad move when it comes to YA for me, I get so annoyed when I can’t speedread through the bad parts… and a LOT of this was bad parts.) BUT I am nothing if not aggressively competitive with my Goodreads numbers and persistent with finishing even the most annoying of books, so I finished it.

After a long, long time. Seriously, this took me over a month to listen to, and for a short little book like this that’s bogus. It was just not good. The characters (cough I mean personifications of mental illnesses and paper thin stock people), the plot (cough I mean basically Paper Towns but with even less sense and a shit ending), just everything was a no for me.

Here are my thoughts as recorded while reading, in the small amount of characters allowed by Goodreads status updates. Enjoy the bitterness.

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Rating: The one that made my eyes roll so hard they fell out of my head and I didn’t even bother putting them back. 1 star. Zero stars? I don’t even remember what stars are. giphy

 

W

In JFK

My trip so far:

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.48.11 AMHad to leave my ukulele (who I’ve recently named Eulah) at home because of a stuffed backpack and the fear of it being crushed. It was a tearful goodbye 😦 But hopefully my mom will send it along when I get my address. I have to learn to sing more 4-chord songs off-key somehow!

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This is the ceiling at the Hartsfield-Jackson waiting area that my goodbye crew dawdled under while wondering when exactly to say goodbye. I really expected to cry, but I think I was too tired/too focused on the whole Airporting thing to get choked up. I felt a little bit of a sob coming up when I finally walked away but I am an ADULT and I REPRESSED IT like ADULTS DO. SO THERE.

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I can’t help but take tons of airport window pictures. This flight was actually air conditioned, unlike my flight to DC, so I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out and die at every bump. It’s the little things.

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Farewell, Atlanta. I’ve been in you for six years and you’re gonna miss me.

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One reason this flight was so bomb is the complete lack of people. Like, everyone had their own bench. EVERYONE. Also one of those muscular dudes right there helped me lift my ungodly heavy carryon, so I think this nap was his karmic reward.

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And nooowwwwww I’m in New York. My ears hurt like HELL on the descent, but I just fought through like the survivor I am. One day they’ll write a biography about me and mention this pain as something heroic I braved. People will quote from it on Tumblr, and you can say ‘I knew her when that was happening.’ You’re welcome.

Chilling at my gate now, cannot WAIT to sleep on this plane. CAN’T WAIT I SAY. I hope they have chargers and a tv, too. And delicious food. And some servants to bring high tea. You know, just the basic amenities would be nice.

Ok, next time I write here I’ll be in Korea, unless something goes horribly wrong. Then, for the love of god, destroy this website and say it was really beautiful and inspirational.

W

T-Minus 9 Hours.

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and place because you’ll never be this way ever again.” -Azar Nafisi

Well internet, this is it. It’s actually happening. I’ve stressed (and cried) over transcripts, I’ve stressed (and cried) over classes and degrees, I’ve stressed (and cried) over visas, postponed flights, interviews, last minute mixups, money problems, scheduling conflicts, look, what I’m saying is I’ve stressed (and cried and cried and cried, ok I cry a lot when I’m stressed it’s just what I do, ok, get over it, because I obviously cannot.)

But finally, it’s actually happening. 9 Hours from now I’ll be getting on a flight headed to JFK, then to Korea. I’ve put everything I will own for the next year into three suitcases and a jam-packed backpack (excepting the abundance of Korean kitsch I will no doubt be powerless to acquiring…) I’ve got a passport and a visa, two plane tickets, and about 15 tiny pictures of my face to hand out to various government offices and passing admirers. I’ve got my Ned beside me for the last time for a year. It’s just. It’s totally real.

Boy howdy.

I’ve noticed in times of stress and anticipation that my head voice starts speaking like maybe Pixar is thinking about making a film adaptation of my life. Boy howdy. Buckaroo. Yippee kay yay, mothernufflers. Etc.

Anyways, because it’s my last full day in the states and with my family and in this life I’ve been living for the last xxx number of years, I figured I’d update the old bloggaroo (see? I literally can’t stop with the voice, I may be having an excitement-induced stroke, please don’t call the paramedics though because I have a pretty important plane to catch in 9 (8:45) hours.) My goals I put up in a recent post went… ok. I didn’t start my book tube channel. I think we all saw that coming, so we can move right along…

I did, however, finish my 52 books goal so PARTY OVER HERE, PARTY OVER THERE etc. I slid into finish by completing several issues of the Bravest Warriors comic series, and though at first I thought that was kind of cheating (since they’re both short and hecka adorable, quick reads), I don’t honestly care anymore. As I was explaining the cheating idea to my dad I realized that I’m worried about cheating in a contest with myself over how many books I can read. So. Imma dial back the nerd a little bit and call that a resounding win. I think I’m going to shoot for 75 by the end of the year, because that’s a nice round number and I can’t just read for fun without it being some fight to the death. Competition is in my bones, matey. Argghhhh books. I don’t know where I’m going with this, I told you, my inner monologue really honestly may need to seek medical attention after all this is through.

I’m going to put up a post tomorrow that I’m writing tonight about things I’m expecting, and things other people are expecting, about Korea. Because I feel like there are a lot of confused ideas about me moving there. Like, you know, what my motivation is, and whether I mean I’m moving to South Korea, or I’m looking into a happy residence in North Korea, an authoritarian state that is almost 100% cut off from the outside world and allows no passive entrance of U.S. citizens. Things like that are such a pickle for people.

Ok. That’s enough of that.

Goodnight. I’ll be up and at ’em at my 4 AM WAKEUP CALL FROM HELL. The joys.

W

June/July Book Haul

I figured I would document all the books I acquired this month and last month. You know, for posterity or history, or brotherhood or something. Most of these books for June and July are bought with my Audible credits or on Kindle Unlimited. This is a fascinating blog post already, I can understand why you can’t get enough of this. Really. It’s impressive. Prepare for a wild ride.

The Bees by Laline Paull

Recommended by: the podcast All the Books by Book Riot, which is my new favorite books-related podcast.

The story follows Flora 717, a bee living in a hive during a time of change. That’s about all I know about it, to be honest. I bought the audiobook with one of my Audible credits, and the narrator has a beautiful voice, but I have very little idea of where the story is going at the moment, (I’m about 15 minutes in). I’ve heard it compared to The Handmaid’s Tale, so I’m assuming dystopian themes abound, and the descriptions of bee life are really interesting so far. I’m having trouble keeping super invested, because they’re… you know… bees. But I am excited for any twists and turns that come up. Who knows, maybe one of them is a wasp in disguise! The stakes, they are high.

Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer

Recommended by: Kristina Horner on YouTube.

I’ve been watching Kristina for a while, and I really like her favorites videos, she is very into nerd culture, especially video games, so when she said she adored this series, I put it on my list to-buy. Then, suddenly, it appeared on my Kindle? Maybe it was available for Kindle Unlimited, or maybe I saw the cheap price and thought ‘what the hell, let’s do it,’ but either way, it’s mine now. The book is about a guy who discovers that the whole world is a computer program, and he has the power to manipulate it? I think? So he uses the power to take him and his friends back to the middle ages and they start living as wizards? I think? Yeah, I don’t remember a whole lot about it what she said, only that she liked it. And living in a computer program is something I’ve been interested in reading about since I saw .Hack Quantum. I LOVED THAT, by the way. It’s about these three rad girl friends who play this WoW-type mmorpg where they use virtual reality to go into the world. But then they get trapped in the world and, well, kick ass and stuff. It’s one of my favorite animes. Anyway, right, the book… should be alright.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 

Recommended by: I found it while researching the Bailey’s prize for fiction, as my current read (The Bees by Laline Paul) is nominated for that.

I got to the Orange Prize and a bunch of others, and found this one, which is apparently about a romantic relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. I’m all for Ancient Greece as a theme in fiction, it has a solid 4 stars on Amazon, and it happened to be $0.99 on Kindle edition so I went ahead and bought it. I’m excited to check it out!

Update: Finished recently, a review coming soon. My heart, it’s broken.


Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee 

Recommended by: Literally. everyone. ever.

I preordered this a long time ago, and it was delivered to my Kindle on July 14th, so I will definitely be reading this soon! I’ll be honest, although I really liked To Kill a Mockingbird, it’s been AGES since I read it, and it wasn’t an ALL TIME FAVORITE or anything like that, so my motivation to read this one is purely so I can ride the literary excitement wave with everyone else.

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

Recommended by: A previous read.

I read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao earlier this year, and although I liked it I wasn’t IN LOVE with it. I did really really love Diaz’s writing, though, and when I saw this one I picked it up (Clicked it up? You know I’m only buying on my Kindle recently, so… yeah.) I’m excited to read this, but I know it’s going to be challenging, because Oscar almost broke my heart.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes 

Recommeded by: This is, if I’m not mistaken, one of my aunt’s favorite books, so it’s been on my classics-to-read list for a while, but I never knew what it was about.

I clicked it up, and I’ve started the first few pages and so far it’s… good? It’s a weird halting structure at the moment, with the diary entries and the dialectic language, but if the voice is going to change slowly as the main character’s IQ raises, bit by bit, I think I’m really going to enjoy that.

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews 

Recommended by: A… blogger? I think? I don’t even remember buying this one, honestly. It must have been on Kindle Unlimited, those are hard to keep track of because they’re FREE (for all intents and purposes).

I have zero idea what this book is about, but the cover is nice. The way I choose my books is quickly becoming all too apparent.

Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe Segal 

Recommended by: mhmmm… not sure. Maybe Sanne from Booksandquills on Youtube. Maybe not.

It’s about what it sounds like, a collection of essays from successful-in-their-field people about what it took to become successful. After each essay, there’s a bite size “Words of Wisdom” type section that summarizes the points, and after reading 5 or 6 I realized that for some of them, (like the investment banker… yawn) I would just rather read the boilerplate. I wish there were more writers featured, but then I guess it would be like every other writing advice book out there.

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan – I bought this book for a friend’s birthday, then realized I should *probably* read a book before giving it as a gift. You know, just to make sure it isn’t total shit. You’ve probably heard of this one because of its immediate publication and rise to fame after the untimely death of its young author, just a week after she graduated from Yale. I haven’t gotten very far into this yet, it’s a collection of essays written during writing classes and alone, but so far it’s… not really my thing. I agree with the intro that the writer has an obvious talent, but it’s not a talent so immense that it knocks me over with the power of it, and the stories are not really amazing so far. Definitely intend to finish it, though, especially as I have still not given the gift yet. *Oops sorry Chelsea*

So that’s the book haul for June/July! I anticipate basically zero books bought in the next month or so, because my Kindle is backlogged and Scribd has an AMAZING SELECTION. Seriously, if you’re looking for ebooks or audiobooks with a pretty cheap monthly fee, this is the one for you. Also Kindle Unlimited. Basically, give me a subscription service for books and I’m all over it.

Ok baaaaiiiiiiii

W