pop quiz

  • What the heck have you been up to lately?
    Man, I don’t even have any idea. In February I had LASIK surgery, which was amazing and super cool and if you’re thinking about doing it you should go do it right now, what are you waiting for. In March I was devoured by tax season, in April I was still being chewed up by tax season, and now work has slowed down to a crawl that reminds me how frustrating I find having a job that goes from 0 to 60 to 0 in less than a three week span.
  • What have you been buying lately?
    Lipstick. So much lipstick. I have too many lipsticks and I want to buy more. Someone, give me more money so I can buy another purple or black lipstick.
  • What did you do this weekend?
    This weekend I went to my parent’s house and cleaned out the remainders of my childhood bedroom, attempting to create some space for the books and trinkets I’ll be leaving behind when I move. And then I came home and cleaned my apartment. I think tonight warrants my fourth closet cleanout in as many weeks. Yeah, I’m going kind of slow, but right now I have a little time to shed excess in slow motion.
  • Are you REALLY moving to Texas?
    YES YES YES I AM MOVING TO TEXAS I AM QUITTING MY JOB AND I AM MOVING OUT OF MY APARTMENT IN JULY AND AAAAHHHHH
  • When are you moving to Texas?
    Oh man I have no idea, don’t ask me D: D:
  • What have you been reading? I just finished reading Jeff Smith’s Bone graphic novels and those were wonderful! I’m still slowly working through my Harry Potter re-read, currently about 1/3 of the way through book number 5. I took a break to read the first two books in Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive and hoooly cow those are epic and awesome and they almost never end. Can’t wait for the rest of the series, even though I have at least another year to wait for book 3. Not sure what’s next, though I have many many suggestions.
  • Anything else?
    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh no, nothing really to share. Hopefully now that I’m bored at work 89% of the time I’ll update a little bit more.
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well I guess I should update.

GUYS

I GOT INTO GRAD SCHOOL
crazy-dance

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aahh3

aah1

But that means I have to move to Texas.

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scurr

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IN the meantime, I have housing to find, an apartment to downsize, jobs to get, and life to live. I’m excited to leave the Pacific Northwest but also terrified of moving and living in a new place, even though I’m also reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally looking forward to it.

It’s all terrifying and awesome! Work has been crazy lately and I just haven’t had much to talk about. Well, I have, but every blogger knows the blank slate feeling.

2013 book challenge finale!

Hey all, it’s no longer 2013!!

And I finished my 100 book challenge for 2013, ending up with a grand total of 101 books. (Way easier to explain than Dalmatians, for sure).

The first half of my 101 book list is here!

56. The Curse of the Thirteenth Fey by Jane Yolen
57. The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro (dnf)
58. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
59. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
60. Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
61. Beyonders by Brandon Mull (dnf)
62. Johnny Wander Vol 1: Don’t Burn The House Down by Yuko Ota & Ananth Panagariya
62. Johnny Wander Vol 2: Escape to New York by Yuko Ota & Ananth Panagariya
63. Johnny Wander Vol 3: Ballad of Laundry Cat by Yuko Ota & Ananth Panagariya
64. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
65. Sweet Silver Blues by Glen Cook
66. Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper
67. Pirate King by Laurie R. King
68. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (dnf)
69. Queen of Sorcery by David Eddigns
70. War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
71. The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
72. The Pirates! Versus the Scientists by Gideon Defoe
73. The Child Thief by Brom (dnf)
74. The Shattering by Karen Healey
75. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
76. Aegypt by John Crowley (dnf)
77. The Game by Diana Wynne Jones
78. The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
79. The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus (dnf)
80. The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones
81. Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory
82. Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
83. Before They are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie
84. Six-Gun Snow White by Cathrynne Valente
85. The Serialist by David Gordon
86. Winds of Fate by Mercedes Lackey
87. Eve by Anna Carey
88. Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King
89. Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs
90. Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan
91. Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore
92. House of Many Ways by Mercedes Lackey
93. The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
94. League of Somebodies by Samuel Sattin (dnf)
95. Steadfast by Mercedes Lackey
96. River Marked by Patricia Briggs
97. Winds of Change by Mercedes Lackey
98. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
99. Winds of Fury by Mercedes Lackey
100. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James (dnf)
101. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

My Top Recommended for this year:

The Seance by John Harwood
Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory
Six-Gun Snow White by Cathrynne Valente

I’m actually kind of surprised I made it to 100 books! I barely made it. Once I moved and lost my daily 2 hour commute, my reading time has gone seriously downhill. Right now I am running through the entirety of the Harry Potter Series, I’m about to re-read book 3, and I’m loving this re-read.

For 2014 I’m setting a goal of 50 books, instead of 100. I’m curious as to how long it will take me to get to 50, as well as looking forward to accomplishing this goal relatively early on in the year.

I also intend to finish all of the series I have started:
The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
The Belgariad by David Eddings
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks

And continuing to enjoy reading at a breakneck speed!

My oh My

What an insane last four weeks. I am almost unsure how I came out of them. Or if I even did? Am I even here?

I completed and turned in my grad school applications almost a full week ago. Two weeks before that, I actually visited the campus of the University of Texas, basked in the 70 degree heat and ate about three gallons of Amy’s ice cream.

Austin is a beautiful city, and my vacation there over Thanksgiving weekend gave me a fantastic break and escape from the daily grind.


Me and Darcy, who lives in Austin and that’s not fair, it’s too far away

It’s a total relief to be done and done and done with graduate applications for now. Hopefully I’ll find out soon if I’m staying in Portland, or packing up and somehow moving into the middle of the country.

For now, it’s nice to just relax, and do whatever I want.

stuff and things.

It’s getting colder in Portland.

Thankfully we haven’t hit our wet season yet: the cold is dry and not quite as soaking-into-your-bones-mildewing-your-spirit as they tend to get mid February.

But it IS very cold.

This week I had the tiniest housewarming party ever, in which I got drunk, played Cards against Humanity with some of my closest friends, and took zero photos.

This week I had the world’s best hot dog at Kenny and Zuke’s.

This week I got an electric blanket and took stupid selfies with my giant stuffed lion.

It’s a pretty good week so far.

currently: November

I’m copying RubyBastille and doing her meme thing.
Because I’m busy and crazy and had a bad weekend and can’t talk coherently about one thing for long.

Current Book(s):The Lions of Al-Rassan” by Guy Gavriel Kay. It is good but super long! I keep kind of losing track of the political threads in it, but man, it is super engrossing.
[Most recently read] “House of Many Ways” by Diana Wynne Jones & “Dead Things” by Stephen Blackmoore.

Current Playlist: Studio Killers (usually “Ode to the Bouncer”), Skillex, or lately I’ve been somewhat re-hooked on “Can’t Stop” by Infected Mushroom.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Eating dollops of nutella straight from the jar.

mee

Current Color: goldenrod mustard yellow, like the sweater I bought last week!

Current Drink: hot toddies with extra bourbon.

Current Food: Tacos. All day, all the time. Tacos.

Current Favorite Show: OMG So I am totally a stupid hipster when it comes to shows, like it has to be a really bizarre mix “zero suspense” and “tacky design” and “super predictable storylines” to get me into a show. I don’t really understand my bizarre anxiety when it comes to film and TV, but man, I just started watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix and I am HOOKED. The character’s Australian accents are charming, the design is art deco, and the characters are adorable and sweet and I want to hug all of them.

Current Wishlist: A graduate program in the field of my choosing that doesn’t require a thesis that is also offered in Oregon.

Current Needs: Can’t say I need anything right now.

Current Triumphs: Not feeling this one, either.

Current Bane(s) of my Existence: Feelings, uncertainty, spoons of nutella straight from the jar.

Current Indulgence: Being snuggled up in bed with my new stuffed lion, drinking hot toddies with the space heater on.

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Current #1 Blessing: i had a terrible, awful, bad, no-good stinky weekend, and two of my awesome friends came over on Monday and brought me dinner and cookie dough and roses and held me while I cried. I’m so thankful for them (and all of my friends) and that I have such a great support group.

Current Slang or Saying: I think I’m straight up still in the “YOU GUYS” phase. Every statement is much better when it’s begun with “YOU GUYS”

Current Outfit: Black pants and leopard print shirt with gold accessories. ALL THE LEOPARD PRINT.

Current Excitement: I leave for Austin in TWO WEEKS!!! I cannot wait to go, it feels so surreal that I’m even going!!

Current Mood: Exhausted and blank, but okay. Good. Productive and focused.

flerus

life lately

Do you ever feel like things have reached a peak of business but also a strange monotone where you don’t have much to say about life other than “it’s good” ?

I’m definitely there right now.

I’ve had enough time to paint my nails often! This week they are my favorite, a sandy nude color. I find this kind of strange, since 99.99% of the time I like rainbow bright neon colors for everything in my life. But the nude is somehow elegant and I really dig that. Being able to paint my nails has been one of the biggest freedoms I have loved about no longer working in the food industry. Painted nails just make me feel really put together.

Halloween came and went and somehow now it’s Winter? Winter with a capital ‘W’, no doubt. I’m freezing cold all the time and trying to double up on sweaters. Last weekend I went to Multnomah Falls and it was SO COLD but also really beautiful once the fog lifted. Now that I’m not there, I wish I had spent a little bit more time wandering around the trails there, but the cold+ arthritic knees + wet doesn’t tend to make for a super adventurous Brittneigh. I’m flying to Austin, TX for the Thanksgiving holiday and I am really looking forward to the change in weather already.


I’ve been cooking for myself a little bit more and I’ve been super enjoying it! I made these cupcakes for a friend’s birthday party, but I’ve also made 2 varieties of soup, stir fry and other meals that I’ve frozen and packaged up for later. I am really liking being in charge of my own kitchen, even if it IS tiny, and trying out new recipes.

Lately it has been incredibly easy to get together with old friends and watch movies together. Last night’s film of choice was the classic Hocus Pocus and I got to eat snow caps and pet a black cat while watching witches fly around on broomsticks. Basically perfect.

So yeah. Life is good, y’know?

In which I talk endlessly about fridges

When I first started looking at studio apartments, I had no idea how important it was to me to have a full sized fridge. The first three places I toured all had itty bitty mini fridges, and I quickly realized that a full-sized fridge was a MUST HAVE for my new place. I didn’t feel like I needed a dishwasher (and I still don’t, as nice as they are), but a full-sized refrigerator was non-negotiable.

So yeah, I was thrilled that my apartment came with a full sized fridge. It is the best and I love it.

Two weeks ago, my fridge looked like this:

And then I saw this post on Delightfully Tacky and knew that I had to get some chalkboard going on in my house.

So I bought 2 rolls of this stuff and a pack of these and got to work.

Putting on the contact paper took forever and was kind of difficult. My fridge has a couple of screws and knobs on the front, and also those big handles that I had to work around, but I managed to get the paper all over the front of the fridge without too much hassle.

And then I had friends over, and we watched Mega Piranha, and this happened:

And then flowers and more flowers

And then my sister visited!

This weekend I did a pattern based on a bandanna:



It doesn’t look that complicated, but my the end of drawing it my wrists were dying so I had to stop. Maybe next week I’ll add in some paisleys… or erase it and start over.

It’s an entirely frivolous way to kill time on a Sunday evening, but having some time to just think about design and art really centers me throughout the week. I also really enjoy having a friend doodle on it and being reminded of them after they’ve left!

My house is hella whimsical and there is nothing you can do about it. Except maybe come over and draw something crude on my fridge, I guess.

What’s in a name; A Rant

If you try to find me through google, chances are, you have to pass by this article:

“Brittney, Brittny and Brittneigh on What’s in a Name” NYTimes.com

I have a weirdly hard time with some of the comments in this article. They are equally disparaging of unusually spelled names, and frustrated with common and typically spelled names. I also have been seeing an increase of memes and comments on places online (coughREDDITcough) that really put down people with unusual or non-traditionally spelled names. This really rubs me the wrong way.

Unique names are not a personal affront, and if you don’t hire or want to talk to someone because their unique name makes you uncomfortable… guess what?

YOU’RE A JERK!

Most of the population doesn’t choose their own name, they simply roll with what name their parents picked out. And honestly, parents typically don’t pick out names to personally affect YOU. So shut up. Be considerate of someone else and stop rolling your eyes at their name. That five year old kid has ZERO CONTROL over whether his Mama named him “Chase”, “Chayce”, or “Chaise”, and don’t you dare take it out on him. It’s rough enough internalizing the constant misspellings and weird looks you get when you habitually spell your name instead of simply saying it at every function you attend without dealing with people getting annoyed by something that PROBABLY affects them for less than five minutes of their day.

That being said, I have a non-traditional name and sometimes I really hate it.

The top 10 reasons why I dislike my non-traditionally spelled name:

1) There were four other girls with “Brittany” variated names in my classes growing up, none of us spelled them the same.
2) I have to spell out my name completely, emphasizing the last three letters to prevent billing errors, every single time I go anywhere or sign up for anything. This is frustrating when the person in line in front of you is named “Bob Johnson”.
3) 9 out of 10 professors I had never spelled my name correctly in correspondence even when my full name was in the email, subject header, and signature of the email.
4) Strangers will occasionally insist on pronouncing the “A” in BrittAny when they address me. There is no “A” in my name.
5) I got called “Britney Spears” from 6th grade to 8th grade, which was kind of horrifying to a super awkward, conservative and chubby kid.
6) I hated having a common name and sharing it with 5-6 other people growing up. Now I don’t know any other Brittany’s! It is STRANGE.
7) Sometimes I short my name into “Britt” to avoid dealing with spelling it out and the frustrations that always follow that, which means that people THEN proceed to call me “Britt-Britt” which is the stupidest nickname in the history of ever PS never call me that I WILL END YOU.

Uhhh so I can’t come up with 10 reasons. SO I CAN’T HATE IT THAT MUCH.
I have also passed on the idea of changing it. I daydreamed about that for a long time, and when a good time for it came, I passed.

Having a non-traditionally spelled name is a pain in the rear. I get frustrated by it sometimes, but because of my name, I learned how to take ownership of it and turn it into an identity I can love and be proud of, something I’m not sure that everyone has to or gets to do, at least as early as I did.

…Even though I don’t really identify with my name and even disliked being called by that. I typically much prefer a “hey-you” to my actual name.
…Even though I typically go by BrittKnee, BrittNeigh, BrittNooooooo. That’s simply because they are way easier to remember than my legal spelling.

And really, BrittNeigh has been my name for over ten years. It’s pretty much here to stay.

When it comes to the babies I will someday have, I will probably go with a traditional spelling. I will probably look at record books and try to not pick the #1 baby name of that year. But when it comes down to it? I have no say in how students will make fun of my child’s name, how people will misspell it because of some new celebrity that hasn’t reached their peak yet, or how it will be a super common and annoying name in ten years. And it certainly won’t be my kid’s fault. Just like it’s totally not mine.

In conclusion: let’s all just accept everyone’s names and identity for what they are. Theirs. I feel like our society is way too opinionated about other people’s choices. Let’s just let it go, realize that identity is none of your freaking business, and move on.

braindead; batdead

Hey, what’s up?
I’ve been struggling with anything to say since I took the GRE. I’ve been kind of brain dead, fried, busier at work, and basically kind of just focused on stupid things, like the idea of a cute Batman.

blush bat

No, not like how dreamy Christian Bale is, or how totally adorbs Adam West was in his prime. No, like, CUTE BATMAN.

Like, what if Batman became Batman not because he fell into a pit and was terrified by bats, but because he thought they were sweet and adorable and misunderstood?

What if Batman was a misunderstood orphan boy who wore footie pajamas and ate fruit and saved bats that needed to be nursed back to health?

I mean, LOOK AT THAT FACE.

Cute batman in a fleece sweater, running around at night, looking for bats with broken wings.

Busy Baby Bat Clinic was barometer for bad weather in Queensland, Brisbane, Australia - 18 Dec 2010

Cute batman, educating the world about how freakin’ adorable bats can be.

bat4

bat2Hog Nosed Bat

TL;DR: I am braindead and bats are cute.