Wednesday, September 29

For those of you bibliophiles

Here's a new blog I follow. The author, Leah, went to my college and graduated a couple of years ago. Now she's an English teacher, and she's made it her goal to knock through 52 must-read books–one a week for the next year.

From her blog:
I'm looking for 52 books that I feel I MUST read. I'm going through lists of classics, I'm going through suggestions from friends and family, I'm going on Amazon for the top reads. Contemporary, Children's or Classic, I'm picking 52 to read over the course of one year (that's one book a week; bear with me, I work full time and take graduate classes!).
 Although I've been following her blog for the past couple weeks, I decided to share it with you guys now because she's starting her project Friday! Her first book is One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry. I personally know nothing about this book other than what I just googled, but I look forward to hearing Leah's thoughts on it. 

fall inspiration

Monday, September 27

Recent Food-Makings

Guys! Guys guys guys! I just made dinner! It doesn't look that great, but it was delicious!

I made pizza chicken (or that's what my family calls it at least), which is like spaghetti with chicken and pepperonis. Noms.
Yummers! And much less exciting, here's what I had for dinner yesterday. Taquitos and chips and salsa. It's not really interesting enough to warrant mention, although I did have a situation when I had to execute Operation Rescue Lost Chip!

PS. The book accompanying today's dinner is The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. Yesterday's was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick.
AND! Since I went apple picking last weekend, I've had a ton of apples to use up. Saturday I made baked apples, but (because I'm an idiot) I only remembered to take a before picture. So here are some apples covered in brown sugar and cinnamon and stuff. I also made scones but (you guessed it!) forgot to take pictures.
And last but not least, some pictures of my kitchen. Because I felt like it. I'll see about taking more of the apartment in the next week or so, but I really need to clean first.
We're probably the only college students with a tea kettle. Yeah, we're just that cool.

Also on NPR: Sufjan Stevens

Listen to his new album, The Age of Adz!

Jim Haynes: Coolest Dude Ever!

I just read this article for one of my classes, and I found it so interesting I just had to share it with you guys!

This guy, Jim Haynes, lives in Paris and every Sunday hosts a dinner for the first fifty or so people that RSVP. Some of them friends, some complete strangers.

From the article:
"People from all corners of the world come to break bread together, to meet, to talk, connect and often become friends. All ages, nationalities, races, professions gather here, and since there is no organized seating, the opportunity for mingling couldn't be better. I love the randomness."

How cool is that?

OK, I have to interrupt the typing of this post to inform you that my roommate just hardcore burnt some popcorn and how our apartment smells turrrrrible! She was about to put it in the freezer, but I was like, "NOOOOOO!!!!" so she took it outside and ate the non-burnt parts.

Ok, back to Jim Haynes: How cool is that? If I ever found myself in Paris (wishful thinking, much?) I'd definitely go to one of his dinners.

Here's the article I read from NPR, and here's a link to where you can make a reservation for dinner.

PS. It's raining cats and dogs here in Maryland, and my poor roommate has to go to cross country practice in half an hour.

Thursday, September 23

I'm a Quitter

I've decided to discontinue writing these letters to people. A lot of the daily prompts just don't interest me at all. I'll probably continue writing them when they interest me, but don't expect daily letters from me.

If you'd like to read some letters, my good friend Alex of Real Life, Maybe just started the project. She's a much better writer than I am anyway. Plus, her first letter is addressed to me!

In unrelated news, I just made a formspring account. Ask me stuff, if you like.

More unrelated news: I slept through my 8 am class this morning. Woo!

Tuesday, September 21

Day 12: Someone who's caused you a lot of pain

I'm not writing a letter to someone who's caused me a lot of pain and here's why:

Pain is NOT something I want to dwell on. I spend a lot of time worrying about useless stuff, and I don't want to worry about more stuff on here. Moreover, there is no one in my life right now that has caused me enough pain that I'm constantly thinking about it. No one that haunts my dreams so that writing a letter to them and posting it on the internet would alleviate my pain.

And if there were, I wouldn't be telling you guys about it.

I really enjoy sharing my life/thoughts with you guys, but I don't feel that this blog is an appropriate place to air my grievances to the world. I mean, if I shared some sob story with you I'm sure you'd be sympathetic while reading it, but then what? Am I going to change your life by griping about mine?

And that's not to say that writing a letter to someone who's wronged you isn't a great, cathartic way to ease your pain. I'm just saying that A) I don't have anyone to write that letter to and B) It's something I would keep to myself, not wave about for everyone to read.

Monday, September 20

Day 11: A Deceased Person

Hey Yo! Baby! I got some yogurt over here!

I giggled so hard when I saw this in Weis today.

The Letter:

Dear Art,

Your death was the first one I ever experienced that took me by surprise. I mean, when my great-grandmother died, she was so old we knew it would come sometime or another. But no one expected you to die. Who dies in a freak canoeing accident, really? It remains a mystery.


PS. I'm writing this post in the middle of baking some cookies! My friend is volunteering for RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) and they're having a bake sale on Thursday!

Sunday, September 19

To Do Lists: I need your advice!

I'm thinking about switching from Teux Deux to Toodledo for my online list-keeping needs.

I like Teux Deux, but I've been looking at Toodledo for a few minutes and it has all sorts of nifty features. You can tag your tasks, and sort them in all sorts of ways. And you can print out a foldable booklet with your top 100 or so tasks. How cool is that?

The thing is, I'm not sure I really need that much customization. It'd be easy to get bogged down with all those options. Teux Deux is nice, pretty, easy, and has never steered me wrong before.

What do you guys think? How do you keep your to-do lists organized? (Or do you keep them at all?)

Day 10: Someone You Don't Talk To As Much As You'd Like

Guys, I am seriously so busy I'm skipping class tomorrow just so I have time to eat lunch. And since we take a short quiz every day on what we read, and since I need every point I can get, I just went to my professor's office at 9 at night, took the quiz that was taped to her door, and pushed it back under her door to be graded tomorrow.

Crazy Busy.

Anyway, the letter:


Sup? I just saw you today and it was totally awesome. We're cousins, we're both juniors in college, why don't we talk more?


Saturday, September 18

Day 9: Someone You Wish You Could Meet

Whoops, so I forgot to write a letter yesterday too. I think I may skip day 8 altogether, though. The letter was supposed to be to my favorite internet friend. What? I don't have any friends that are strictly "internet." They're all friends in real life, too. Hrrum.

I'm writing today's letter to someone from the internet, so that can count for both days.

Dear Sonya (of Fishnets & Hip Checks),

Of all the blogs I follow, yours is definitely one of my favorites. I think you're really cool and we have a lot in common. English Majors unite!

Plus I think you're adorable.

If you're ever in Maryland (or DC) we should totes hang out.

Hugs and Kisses,

Thursday, September 16

Day 6: A Stranger, Plus! A Bonus Letter!

Whoops, I definitely forgot to do this yesterday!

Dear Other Lauren in my Am Lit Class,

On principle, I hate other people named Lauren. People are always talking to you, but I think it's me so I look anyway. And then look back down to whatever I was doing because obviously you weren't talking to me, why would you be talking to me?

But I love you.

Two reasons. First, I'm top Lauren in that class, the class of three Laurens. Not to brag or anything but... My professor loves me. Everyone loves me. I'm on top of the world!

And second, you're a freshman! How cool is that? It's rad that you're a freshman in a upper-level English class.

Lauren Power! Laurens Unite!


ALSO! Not part of the letter, BUT! I'm officially a tour guide here at school! I'm on the schedule for Tuesday mornings as an alternate, which means I may do a tour, but I may not. And I have a couple Saturdays that I'm definitely giving a tour.

And since I'm on a roll, I guess I'll also write the letter I was supposed to write for today. Day 7: Your Ex

Dear Matt,

Now let's not get confused - this letter isn't to the Matt I'm dating now. This letter is to the one I dated for a week in Europe. But you're not getting any more explanation than that. Imma start over.

Dear Matt,

How's it going? I feel like I'm trying really hard not to make this letter awkward. I don't have any awkward memories of you! They're all super fond. You were my first kiss (in the basement of an Austrian hostel), the first guy who told me he loved me (during a game of rummy), the guy I got in trouble with for canoodling too much while I was supposed to be learning about Europe and stuff.

I often wonder how your life is going. Whether I'd recognize you if I ran into you, whether you'd recognize me. How that conversation could possibly go.

That's all for now, I suppose. I'm going to go facebook stalk you now.


Tuesday, September 14

Day 5: Your Dreams

Dear My Dreams,

You guys are tricky little buggers to catch hold of and remember. It's always the same routine - I wake up and all I can remember is a vague notion that I've recently been somewhere in my brain involving a wax museum and sunflowers. I try and set traps for you, to jolt myself out of slumber and force you to show your cowardly faces.

Who do you think you are, flitting about my nighttime brain and disappearing in the morning, leaving only a trace of yourselves behind? It's my brain you're inhabiting; I think I have a right to know what bizarre thought-experiments you're conducting in my head. I never consented to be used for these purposes.

Indignant as I am to be victim of your nighttime dances, I am sane enough to realize I'll never be able to catch you and give you the talking-to you deserve.

All I ask is this: treat me nice. I like waking up with the warm fuzzy feeling of a good dream, not the sick to my stomach but I don't know why feeling of an unsettling one.

Or: How do I cultivate you? I so desperately want to be privy to your doings; to wake up for once remembering last night's dream.

I'll be going to sleep shortly. If you love me, send me kittens and rainbows.


Monday, September 13

Day 4: Your Sibling

Notes on today's letter:
1. For those of you who don't know (aka everyone in the entire world) my sister and I once made up a language in which every word was cheese. It relied heavily on intonation and wild gesturing.
2. Our mother once made a your mom joke in which she insulted herself. She says she did it on purpose but I'm not quite sure.
3. The OO! It's watching you! It's too hard to explain, so I'll leave it at that.

Dear Kristin,

I am not that short! Five feet, four and a half inches tall is a perfectly respectable height for a lady. It's not my fault you're a giant. You're like the BFG, except you're not friendly. You're the BAG: Big Angry Giant!

Cheese cheese cheese cheese, cheese cheese! Cheese cheese cheese cheese? Cheese! OO

Your mom's hairy and gross!


Sunday, September 12

Day 3: Your Parents

Guess what, guys? I cooked a proper meal for dinner for the second time ever! It was, shall we say, a learning experience. I made some wild rice, pretty much impossible to mess up, carrots and chicken. The carrots were delicious, if I do say so myself. And my boyfriend, who generally doesn't like carrots, told me they were pretty good. But the chicken... Well, I guess it wasn't that bad. My piece was fine, but Matt's was a bit undercooked where it was thickest, and after that neither of us really felt like eating more of the chicken. Plus, I cooked it in golden mushroom soup, which I probably won't do again. The smell reminds me of something rather unpleasant. On the plus side, though, I have some yummy leftover rice and carrots to eat tomorrow!

On to today's letter. Two letters, actually.

Dear Mom,

I wish you were more okay with the medicine I take. It really does make a difference. I'd rather not just "suck it up" when there are easier ways for me to be happy.

Also, as I've been getting closer to being a true-life, for-realsies grownup, I'm discovering that we're really similar. This fact is a constant source of hilarity for me. Some things are not so great: teeth clenching headaches and heartburn spring to mind. But some things are just awesome. The first time the thought that we were really similar crossed my mind was a year or so ago when we were at Nana's house and you jumped on to the ottoman and said "Wheeeeeee!" And I was like, "Oh, awesome! That's going to be me in 25 years!" Not in a sarcastic way, in a truly excited way.

So yeah. My biggest life goal is to be as awesome of a mom as you are.

Love, Lauren


Dear Dad,

I wish we talked more. I don't feel as close to you as I do to Mom and it makes me sad. But I guess I'm just still waiting for my "I'm just like my parents" moment to come with you.

Thanks for teaching me to parallel park. You're much more patient with my driving than Mom is.


Saturday, September 11

Day 2: Your Crush


We've been together now for almost a year and a half and yep, I'm still crushin' on you.

It's an odd thing, really, writing a letter to you that a whole bunch of other people will read. On the one hand, I don't know what to tell you that I haven't already. I'm so used to telling you everything that's going on in my life. Case in point: as I'm writing this letter I'm texting you about the concert you're at right now. Vampire Weekend.

And on the other hand, it feels like what I'm writing here isn't really to you. Sure, it's directed to you, but it isn't really for you, since you probably won't read it. Maybe you will. This letter is more a projection of myself, in the form of a letter to my beau, but it's really for my blog readers.

Sigh, this is going nowhere. I'm going to try this again.


We've been dating for almost a year and a half now, but even so, you are my crush. I think about you all the time. Right now I'm thinking about how I'm going to snuggle my nose into your neck when I see you tomorrow.

You make everything I love better. Sleeping? Best when my shape fits neatly into yours. Movies are so much better with you because when the screen goes black for a split second we make faces at each other, every single time.

I'm going to sleep shortly, so I'm going to sign off now.
Let's dream about each other, mmkay?
Hugs and Kisses,


New iPod touch! Version 4! With camera! Can't think in full sentences!

Friday, September 10

Stuck in a rut. In a rut.

Blargh. I've been stuck in a blogging rut lately. Ever since school started back up, really.

So I've decided to try and impose some structure on myself. I don't remember where I first ran across it, but copied down this 30 Day Letter Project from somewhere on the internet. It's something I meant to do at some point. So, now that I can't seem to get motivated to write about anything else, I'll follow these prompts until the creativity flows.

So here goes. Day 1: Your Best Friend

Side note - Today is my mom's birthday!

Dear Alex,

You're my best friend. I know whenever people ask you who your best friend is, you always say you like all your friends equally, but I secretly hope you like me the best.

You're one of the few things I truly miss about high school. Yeah, it was fun and all, but college is better in every way except that you're not around. I want to have another moviefest. And I am supremely disappointed that Mr. Wilson never sent me a letter back. I put a lot of thought into that letter and now I'll never know if it even reached him.

Sigh. Crunchberries and craic. That time you told Tom Lamaster you didn't like him. Kind Hearts and Coronets! So many fond memories. My college friends are so boring compared to you and the rest of the gang.

So that's my way of saying let's not ever drift apart. I fully expect our children to be best friends.


PS. Here's the whole list of days, in case anyone wants to play along.

  • Day 1 — Your Best Friend
  • Day 2 — Your Crush
  • Day 3 — Your parents
  • Day 4 — Your sibling (or closest relative)
  • Day 5 — Your dreams
  • Day 6 — A stranger
  • Day 7 — Your Ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/love/crush
  • Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend
  • Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet
  • Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to
  • Day 11 — A Deceased person you wish you could talk to
  • Day 12 — The person you hate most/caused you a lot of pain
  • Day 13 — Someone you wish could forgive you
  • Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from
  • Day 15 — The person you miss the most
  • Day 16 — Someone that’s not in your state/country
  • Day 17 — Someone from your childhood
  • Day 18 — The person that you wish you could be
  • Day 19 — Someone that pesters your mind—good or bad
  • Day 20 — The one that broke your heart the hardest
  • Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression
  • Day 22 — Someone you want to give a second chance to
  • Day 23 — The last person you kissed
  • Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory
  • Day 25 — The person you know that is going through the worst of times
  • Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to
  • Day 27 — The friendliest person you knew for only one day
  • Day 28 — Someone that changed your life
  • Day 29 — The person that you want tell everything to, but too afraid to
  • Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror

Tuesday, September 7


I'm going to go make scrambled eggs for dinner. And toast. With jelly.

God, I wish I had some bacon.

Monday, September 6

Mawage is what bwings us togever today.

ACK! Two of my friends, they've been dating for six years, got engaged on Saturday! And I was just on Facebook and saw that two other people I go to school with are engaged! And this guy who lives in my boyfriend's apartment is engaged!

What the heck, people! I am excited out of my mind about these engagements, but it's truly terrifying to me to imagine being married at this young age. I'm a junior in college, for goodness sakes!

But. My two friends that just got engaged? The cutest couple ever. He has this condition called retinitis pigmentosa, which basically means he's going blind, and to see her leading him around in the dark is really heartwarming. It always kind of chokes me up to think that eventually he won't be able to see her at all, but. He's very cool about it. Which, I guess, you have to be.

Le sigh. Love is a wonderful thing. I just got back from my boyfriend's house. His parents went out of town for the day, so we had to go walk and feed their dogs. And I had Qdoba for the first time ever. Delicioso!

And! Last exciting bit of news! In between writing this post, I scheduled my mock tour to become a tour guide at my school! Awesomesauce!

Sunday, September 5

Graphic Novels I Read This Summer: And You Should Too!

Note: The links to these books are from this nifty website I found called Because why link to Amazon when you should really be patronizing your local libraries? Let me know what you think of the site, if you don't mind.

Ok, on to the post! I was at my library over the summer, and while I was browsing around for books and when I turned to my right at the end of an aisle I found the Graphic Novel section! Needless to say, I checked several out. Here's what I read!

1. Watchmen - This is definitely the most well-known of all the Graphic Novels I read over the summer. And for good reason! It was wonderful! I saw and enjoyed the movie when it came out, but I have to say that the book was better. It's a very interesting take on the comic book as a genre.

2. From Hell: Being a Melodrama in Sixteen Parts - This one and Watchmen are both by Alan Moore, and both are fantastic. It's a tale of (his interpretation of) the Jack the Ripper story. While much of it is fictionalized, the book has an extensive appendix detailing research into Jack the Ripper. From Hell and Watchmen are both very bleak stories, but are told much differently.

3. Johnny Cash: I See A Darkness - This one, like From Hell, is in black and white. This is a must-read if you're interested in Cash at all. The biographical bits about his life were really compelling, and even cooler than that, there are mini-stories that graphically render some of his songs.

4. Mother, Come Home - This one is way, way different from the other three. It's much more "artsy" and "indie" and SO INCREDIBLY SAD! It's a really short read, and the whole time I just wanted to give the entire book a hug! That being said, it's really good. It's the story of a mother's death through the eyes of her child.

So go forth and read, children! I highly recommend all four of these books.

Also - I noticed that when I was searching worldcat for the books, they didn't always show up as being in my local library. However, I did in fact check them all out from my library. So don't get discouraged if your library doesn't show up, I guess.