An early Friday Faves + some history

It’s been a while, and I’ve missed giving my opinion to the masses maybe three people who read my posts? Two? It could be more, but I’m convinced my WordPress analytic is broken and giving me very low reads, depriving me of knowing my true fan count.

Ha.

This week I did a every bad thing. This bad thing was going to the library, which triggered the gaping hole in my psyche that convinces me to read at the expense of absolutely everything else in my life. I’m not lying when I say that I may be addicted to reading, and I won’t lie and say that I don’t have a problem with consuming books. I’ve been a voracious reader ever since I had the ability to put letters together to make words and as far back as I can remember, it’s been a torturous existence.

Reading takes over my free time and my non-free time. Throughout middle school and high school I developed weird reading habits at home, like reading in the closet or extended bathroom trips where my activity was to read. If I heard my mom or dad coming up the stairs or any movement headed toward my direction, I would make sure to hide whatever book I was reading and pretend to do homework. I was actually a super-dweeb.

Once my mom got so mad on seeing I was reading that she actually ripped whatever book that was (just kidding, I totally remember what it was. That event has been seared into my brain tissue) in half.

In half.

She was that mad.

She would actually complain to my teachers that I would read too much, although their reactions weren’t quite what she hoped.

FullSizeRender
Oops!

But throughout college, where I had less free time – actually more, but not enough time to devote to mindless, debilitating reading – somehow it didn’t even crack the top five things to do. Which is literally unimaginable for me, considering I went to the library the other day on a whim and took out three books, because why not? It could be the post-grad blues plus the abundance of time in my evenings, or it could be that I can’t help myself. In the past week I’ve gone back to the library multiple times and taken out some more books.
I. Can’t. Stop. Even now, just thinking about it, I want to head back and look through the stacks.

Long story short: I visited the library this week and checked out these three gems.

california
source: edanlepucki.com

California by Edan Lepucki

This dystopian, futuristic (not in the traditional robot way), post-apocalyptic novel was gripping. I literally couldn’t put it down and carried it with me all day until I finished it. I read snippets of it wherever I could, from the hospital waiting room, to the
train station, to late at night when I read the last, goosebumps inducing sentence. The buildup was perfect, but I could have more of the end, since it felt a bit rushed. I give it 3.5 shivers out of 5.

Flirting with French: How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me, and Nearly Broke my Heart by William Alexander

flirting with french
source: amazon books, unfortunately

I love anything French, so the punchy cover page immediately drew me in, but the book consistently held my interest. Alexander writes so honestly about the struggles of learning a language past the “accepted” age that I desperately needed to know if he was successful in his endeavor. He cites real research throughout the chapters which mixed up the narrative in a great way. Like a good salmon, not too dry and not too juicy, this was a great memoir on learning a language and keeping your mind young. Four ouais out of cinq.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

ABG
source: amazon.com, unfortunately

Stop the presses. I was laughing out loud (literally lol-ing) at  every chapter. Rae writes so well about her life, family, memories from her childhood that continue to haunt her, that I felt every wince, grimace, and post-traumatic embarrassment with her. She struck so many chords with me that I couldn’t help stop the embarrassing moments  from cropping up into my mind. Thanks a lot Jo-Issa! No, seriously, thanks for writing such a great collection of memories from your life so far. Four facepalms out of five.

The takeaway: go to the library! You enrich your life and you keep a venerable institution going for as long as we, as a functioning society, can!

Friday Favorites

Ok, I’ll admit I got the idea for Friday favorites from Lauren Conrad’s blog. It’s fun, and also…alliteration! Whats better than some fun with words?

Nothing.

Anyways, these are some sites that I enjoy going on and enriching my life.

1) NPR: National Public Radio

So much yes. I listen to this while I do dishes. I listen to this while I eat food. I listen to this while I am running late to class. The sheer amount of listening I can do is actually overwhelming. There are music programs in All Songs Considered like the Tiny Desk Concerts. 

Their newscasts are always on point, and they cover stories that range from breaking news to features. So many cool things! So. Many.

2) Storify

Ok, I know. I know I’ve already talked about Storify, so I don’t have to tell you about it again. But it’s awesome! What a cool aggregate of stories! I love it! I also enjoy creating stories, even though no one else seems to be viewing mine. But, that is the price of what I do. It’s a thankless existence.

3) Sports Illustrated.com

Right. I have a post coming up about what I feel about sports (I really do love them, so it’s not about that).

For some reason I’m really into following whats going on in college football. It could be because my school’s team isn’t quite up to par, even though we moved up a division (yippie!). I don’t really understand many of the stats, but I’m absolutely fascinated by the amount of analyzing that goes into the college-age players. Also, yes, I am aware that this level of analyzing goes into every sport, but I really enjoy reading about players and a sport I just can’t wrap my mind around.

Until next time,

A

Friday Favorites: Songs (Again)

I just love listening to music, so you’ll have to forgive me posting back to back Friday faves about songs.

Because I’m on a weird country music kick (that I’ll have to explain in a later post since I’ve actually started to understand my weird brain), I’m apologizing for the space they’ll take on my list.

1) “Year of the Cat” by Al Stewart. Oh MAN how could I not have mentioned this last week. I have a hard time not mentioning this to every human I talk to. It’s like some uncontrollable need of mine to mention that this, this GENIUS song is one of my all time favorites to anyone with a pulse. It is poetry to music, it is a symphony set to lyrical brilliance. And that saxophone. THAT SAXOPHONE.

2)  I have a country music crush, and it is Luke Bryan, who I am sure is everyone’s country music celebrity crush. But I am speaking from the perspective that I am the general consensus (I am), so there’s that conundrum. So really anything by Luke Bryan, but I am a huge fan of “That’s My Kind of Night,” because I just want that wonderful man specimen to call my “little hot self over” there. I will follow him like he is the Messiah. So yeah, I can’t stop listening to this song because feelings. No other reason.

Wow just watch him do things in his video.

3) “Can’t Stand Me Now” by The Libertines.

Can't Stand Me Now
Can’t Stand Me Now

From that very subtle cowbell in the beginning to the catchy punk pop guitar stuff going on, this song is just so head boppy and cool in that British way. Pete Doherty at an upbeat swing being sensitive to this girl who seems like she’s kind of annoying only makes me love this song more. While 90% of the song is the band telling this girl what she already knows (that she can’t stand him, probably for the reason that he keeps affirming her dislike of him), it’s still quite lovely. Take a lesson from him and just be cool, but also maybe date someone who likes you? Just a thought. Still can’t stop, won’t stop, listening to this song.

x

Araz

Five Friday Favorites: Songs

Songs of the week I just keep replaying and replaying and replaying and replaying….

1) Any version of “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac I can find on YouTube. I really do mean ANY version, because if you were able to look at my video history it looks like I’m a bit obsessive. I am. But what is really great is that each version, from show to show, year to year, has the ability to mean something else each time. That’s what makes it a classic.

This video is especially my favorite out of the bunch. It’s from 1976. After that, listen to this one and then tell me they are not two entirely different songs.

2) I’m on a country kick -which is strange to everyone in my family and my friends, because they know I was anti-country music since I was a wee fetus – and I can’t stop listening to Zac Brown Band. Specifically “Got Whatever It Is“. He may be beardy, but you’re lying if you wouldn’t want to hear someone say you’ve “got a smile that can knock a grown man to his knees.” That means you have a GREAT SMILE. Congrats! It’s also a really nice jam, so. There’s that.

3) On the topic of country and different versions of songs, Johnny Cash’s rendition of the Eagles’  “Desperado” is wonderful. I can’t link a video here because of copyrights on YouTube, but go, right now, and find someone who has the album and listen to it. The emotion in “Desperado” is as wide as the prairie sky (hah) (but it really is), and you will weep while washing your dishes, or whatever you do in your free time. Just maybe wait for the perfect non-sunny day/evening to listen to this song…

What songs do you have a hard time not listening to? Let me know so I can listen to them too!

x

A