What’s on my mind, September megapost

Yeahhhhh this type of post I usually do on Fridays, but the past three weeks have been so discombobulated, I’m tired of sitting on this as a draft. So, here we go! :

  • I LOVE the idea of this cake and this tutorial.

    But seriously, who is going to be patient enough to do this and not just eat the frosting?!

  • Such a great quote:

    “If you require any evidence that femininity can be more fierce and dangerous than masculinity, all you need to do is ask the average man to hold your handbag or a bouquet of flowers for a minute, and watch how far away he holds it from his body. Or tell him that you would like to put your lipstick on him and watch how fast he runs off in the other direction.”

    Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman On Sexism And The Scapegoating of Femininity

    This quote really speaks to me. I sometimes struggle with being ashamed of how feminine I can be. It’s true though, femininity is incredibly powerful!

  • Look at the Blonds Spring 2014 collection:

    models

    SO FUTURISTIC! SO SPACEY! SO AWESOME!!
    I love all of it. They remind me of my favorite Barbie growing up, 80’s space Barbie. SO COOOOOLLLLLL. There are way more pics of this collection here. I love all of them. Okay, maybe not the Tweety dress.

  • I am currently reading through this post about Men’s Rights and it is very interesting and well-written. I plan on using it as a resource should I ever come across a MRA in the wild.
  • I really really really want to make myself a Bat Wing shrug:

    I mean really. ADORABLE.

  • This week I am reading Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan. It is really dark, and reminds me a lot of Robin McKinley’s Deerskin. I wasn’t planning on finishing it… until Margo replied to me on twitter and now I feel kind of OBLIGATED. It IS super well-written and that part is enjoyable. We’ll see how I make it through.

    Next up for me is Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie and I am SO EXCITED to read it. Though, I need to study for the GRE first… I am going to try and put off starting this book until Sunday… but knowing me, I’ll crack it open tonight in lieu of reviewing multiple choice questions.

  • You guys realize that my goal is that my house looks somewhat like this, right?

  • Sometimes I wish I had infinite money because, oh man, you guys, the deer figurines I could buy. But I also would totally invest in this kickstarter, because it looks super cool and Victoria Gannan’s art is beautiful. I might need to find an extra $30 in my budget to get a copy of this beautiful deck!
  • My blog/image source of the week is The Vintage Cowboy over on tumblr.

    These illustrations are all so cool and awesome! I’d love to have a print of one of them. I miss old book illustrations.

That’s it for this week!

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What’s on my mind, 3rd week of August

  • This week has alternated between very slow and very crazy. I’ve been distracted by re-reading comics and my favorite trashy fantasy series so I haven’t been incredibly interesting, or productive! Refocusing on things I know pretty well has been helping my stress levels a little bit, though, so that is nice.
  • SPEAKING OF SPACE! This is a super cute video of astronaut Tom Mashburn having a fight with Earth’s gravity:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVxaL8CAO4M
  • Fong Qi Wei’s photography series “The Passage of Time” is breathtaking and fantastic.

    I would love to buy a print of one of these photographs, which are layered time-lapse photography. Brilliant and beautiful.
  • Need an interesting read? Today I have been surfing through traditional Saints and terms associated with saints. I find the depictions and the symbolology of them very fascinating! Did you know that there is a patron saint of the Internet? He is often depicted as surrounded by a swarm of bees. That’s eerily accurate.
  • Ever have a song come on the radio and it is just perfect?
    Death Cab for Cutie’s “Bixby Canyon Bridge” is pretty much always perfect for me:

    I guess this is where I apologise that my taste in music is so mainstream, but man, this song is just so great.

  • I found Mikey Burton’s website last week and I am STILL ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the quality of his printing design and the style of his vector art. I think I love everything on hit site! I love looking at current newspaper and printed artist’s illustrations outside of the articles they are featured in.
  • I am a little skeptical of this infographic:

    I mean, seriously, that would make me a Serious Expert in Trashy Fantasy and Hercule Poirot novels. I don’t think that’s quite what they mean by “expert”. Besides that… I really hope it’s not accurate. Please, don’t be accurate, infographic. I like to think that more people take the time to read. Maybe not as much time as I do, but some time, at least!
  • This weekend I’m going to an amusement park, eating cotton candy, buying an accordion, and applying for a new apartment. Wish me luck!

What’s on my mind- 4th week July

  • This article from Forbes discusses the meaning of work-life balance, and finding the right balance for your life with some really awesome life-evaluation questions. I really think that it’s good to take a moment, sometimes, and really think about this sort of thing. I know it helps me out, and I have a super crazy life.
  • I might need this as a tattoo:

    Pet all the Dogs by Nation of Amanda
  • Did I mention that I saw Pacific Rim? AND THAT IT WAS FANTASTIC?! Because it was. Fun, not convoluted, great special effects, good angles, decent acting. The point of the main relationship was to save the world, not to make out, and that was also awesome. Sure, it’s not going to win any Oscars for Best Drama, but you know what? I hate movies that win Oscars for Best Drama. So, uh, yeah, I mean, keep that in mind. However, it is incredibly fun and I suggest you give it a try. I really loved it.
  • Here is Pinky dancing the flamingo flamenco:

    You’re welcome.
  • This article is what the Perfect Women’s Magazine would look like. And you know what? I totally agree.
  • This week I read The Blade Itself and whooooa talk about amazing new fantasy series to read. So much action and intrigue! The fight scenes are written very well and Joe Abercrombie writes morally gray characters with style. I would definitely suggest it to anyone looking for a new fantasy series.
  • I took a photo of a flower basket that I thought was pretty and realized that I am turning into my mother. (which is ok! 🙂 )

See you next week, lovelies!

What’s on my mind – Week three, July

  • I got sucked into the cycle of Buzzfeed earlier this week and am dreaming about my future pipe-legged table and also a cool geometric doghouse because of this article on Home Depot hacks.
  • Last month I bought a set of hot rollers and they are THE BEST. I need to buy a secondary set because I have so much hair, but I have really been enjoying having super curly fancy hair on a regular basis. I am lucky to have super pliable hair that loves to hold curl, so your results may vary, but if you have access to some hot rollers and a bottle of aqua net, they are super duper fun.
    2013-07-04 09.06.28They are like big, bouncy noodles!
  • My featured flickr contact this week is kingqueenknave. Kingqueenknave takes AMAZING photographs of Portland, Oregon. Most of them are landscape photography, but the subjects he chooses flavors Portland with an old-school feel. I love this photo stream, you should check it out!
  • I’ve started reading Forbes.com this week. It adds a nice change to my usual routine of Facebook, Twitter, Google News and Reddit. I keep finding fantastic articles on it, too! This article, “Rethink ‘Brand You’: Find Your Authentic Self” is really worth a read. It is part of an ongoing saga of “self branding” that I have been struggling with since 2001.
  • Me, if I were a cat:
  • Let’s all be honest: My house is totally going to look like this someday.
  • This week I read Edgar Rice Burrough’s A Princess of Mars. It was fantastic and pulpy. I loved it! And because of it’s glorious cover of John Carter holding a pretty-much-naked Dejah Thoris, I’ve been looking at a lot of pulp novel covers lately. This blog is pretty fantastic, you should check it out! I wish there were more novels with pulp-style covers these days.
    bat
    I mean, REALLY!
  • Me, whenever a random guy interrupts my train reading to hit on me.

6 month book challenge check-in

berks

So, there was no “Initial” post on this, but Laura’s latest post over at RubyBastille reminded me that, oh yeah, I’m doing a 100 book challenge, myself. Not a literary, intellectually heavy 100 book challenge, just a challenge to see if I can read 100 books in a year naturally.

I’m just at halfway through. Here is my list so far:
(As a disclaimer, probably 1/3 of these are re-reads on my part, and also there are a few I did not finish.)

1. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott & Erik Singer
2. Melusine by Sarah Monette
3. The Virtu by Sarah Monette
4. The Mirador by Sarah Monette
5. Corambis by Sarah Monette
6. The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey
7. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
8. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
9. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
10. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
11. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
12. Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter
13. The Godmother by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
14. Spellwright by Blake Charlton
15. Forests of the Heart by Charles de Lint
16. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
17. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
18. Incident at Badamaya by Dorothy Gilman
19. Caravan by Dorothy Gilman
20. Unleashed by Nancy Holder (dnf)
21. By The Sword by Mercedes Lackey
22. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
23. Dark Lover by JR Ward (dnf)
24. Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones
25. Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski (dnf)
26. Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey
27. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
28. The Seance by John Harwood
29. Wolfbreed by S.A. Swann
30. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (dnf)
31. Magic’s Promise by Mercedes Lackey
32. Magic’s Price by Mercedes Lackey
33. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson (dnf)
34. Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin (dnf)
35. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
36. Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
37. Cast In Shadow by Michelle Sagara
38. Lord of Light by Roger Zelzany (dnf)
39. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
40. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (dnf)
41. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
42. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
43. Cart & Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones
44. Foundation & Empire by Isaac Asimov
45. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (dnf)
46. Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
47. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
48. Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov
49. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
50. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
51. The Death Cure by James Dashner
52. The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech
53. Home from the Sea by Mercedes Lackey
54. Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery
55. The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox (dnf)

Now, I’m a pretty fast reader. I’m averaging about a book a week. But this 100 challenge is absolutely keeping me on my toes. It took me an extra long time to get through The Historian (even though it was AMAZING and I loved it) and that made me pretty nervous in terms of keeping on top of the challenge. The downside (or upside) of this challenge allows me to read a lot of quick, YA and pulpy novels that keep my numbers up. I’m having a lot of fun making myself read and read and read and read (I mean seriously, it IS one of my favorite things to do!) and actually getting through my 85-book-deep “to read” list on goodreads.

The best of the best so far:
The Seance by John Harwood – I actually started to read this book, gave up on it, and came back a month later. I’m so glad I did. It was creepy, scientific, strange and awesome.
The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner – AAAH THESE BOOKS I loved them and didn’t want them to end. Fun, easy, fast-paced and pretty scary reads.
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides – a beautiful, heartbreaking, depressing classic. I can’t say it’s my new favorite book, but I’m super glad to have read it.

The worst:
Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara – NO PLOT OMG I’m so upset I stuck it through a plotless, descriptionless book. I wish I had quit reading halfway through. But it had so much potential!

But most likely any of the books I didn’t finish, I would put on the “worst” list.* All for different reasons. Some were too violently awful, some were just terribly boring, some just didn’t interest me after 2 weeks of sitting on my bookshelf. I try to give books second chances, but most of the time I’d just rather read something else instead of keep trying to pay attention.

*Minus “The Neverending Story”. It was SO GOOD, you guys. But it never ended. So I died.

I guess I have some more to go!

You can keep track of my progress, and start a challenge of your own, if you like, here!

clutter

Today I re-arranged my bookshelves, which turned into re-arranging the tops of my bookshelves, which turned into going through my papers and then consolidating my sketchbook and then organizing my financial records and then looking through pages of handwritten notes from high school and ended with my room covered in paper.

I’m still not done.

The thing I have realized, as I consolidated my bookshelves so that I can actually find my books, is that I have too many books. I think I own a pile of at least 10 books that I’d like to read or re-read, and then I have 2 bags of books lent to me, and then on top of that I have another 12 books out at the library.

On top of that, studying for the GRE. Huzzah! I guess I am not that bored with my life right now, as spirally and unproductive I feel, sometimes.