Inaugural Friday Favorites

When I’m not writing blog posts–that is, when I’m not slaving away in a garret with only a stubby candle to light my laptop and a small mouse for company (A Little Princess style)–I am often reading other blogs.  And what I have noticed over the past few months is that many “other blogs” have a feature called “Friday Favorites.”  Friday Favorites is typically a pictorial-with-captions list of some of the blogger’s favorite products, techniques, memes, recipes, etc. from the week.

I’ve explained before how much I love information in blurb form when it comes to the internet and magazines (funnily enough, since I am a rather long-winded blogger myself), so needless to say, I am a fan of Friday Favorites.  I am also a fan of having a weekly tradition.

Therefore, I have decided to start a kind of Friday Favorites of my own.  I can’t promise anything cute or crafty or delicious, but I can promise you a pictorial representation of my week.

Here goes:

This book

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I’ve been eyeing The Pillars of the Earth for years.  Every time I passed it on the shelf in library or bookstore, I would pause briefly, sometimes pick it up, but always eventually put it back.  For some reason, it never seemed the right time to dive into such a massive volume.  But last week I was finally finally in the mood for a real story.  A story that wouldn’t be over quickly.  Now I’m almost 300 pages in and entirely hooked.  I plan to write a real review once I’ve finished the thing, but if you’re another TPOTE (pronounced tee-p-oh-t) stalker, I advise you to give it a chance now.

This song

Can I like Taylor Swift now?  Now that she’s pop and punk and all grown up?  Because I’ve been listening to this song all week.  What can I say?  I swoon for acoustic duets.

Writing at a desk

Hemingway_at_his_writing_desk.

Yeah yeah, it’s a little presumptuous to choose a picture of That Crazy Genius Bastard Hemingway* to accompany this post.  But to get back to my point, I have only recently begun to write at a desk.  Before, I was in the camp that believes that in order to truly focus on creating, one can’t be distracted with the discomfort a desk chair often provides.  Now, I’m in the camp that believes that in order to truly focus on creating, one needs to get their rear out of bed and into the kind of chair that screams NOW WE’RE GOING TO WORK.  And you know what?  I’ve never been so productive.

This Brand

imagesLike most high quality outdoor outfitting brands, Patagonia is ridiculously expensive.  But they also make the kind of comfy, fleecy, that-girl-could-climb-a-mountain gear that I could quite easily live in.  In fact, Patagonia fits perfectly into this daydream I have about living in the North Woods of Wisconsin and rolling out of bed each morning for flannel, coffee, and writing.

This child

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There were some fiery Facebook posts this week concerning young George Alexander Louis.  Apparently, it’s a terrible sin for people to stop and pay attention to the birth of a baby when there are so many “more important”–and much more sober–things happening in the world.  I say, the world would be a terrible, terrible place if we couldn’t take a break from tracking violence and death and injustice to celebrate something joyful.  I certainly admit that I will likely never actually meet George.  Nor do I live in the country which he will someday preside over as king.  But I think it’s silly to pretend that the small family in the country above doesn’t impact the world at all, or to pretend that the way they live and dress and speak to the public doesn’t say a great deal about the modern times and the modern monarchy.  This is culture happening, and I think it is deserving of our attention.

Road trip planning

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I will not at this time disclose the destination of the road trip, nor the date of departure.  But you’d better believe I’ll document every sweaty, touristy, awe-inspiring bit of it.  For if any family can match the Griswolds, it is surely mine.

*A literature professor called Hemingway this when I was a sophomore.  Since then, I haven’t been able to shake it.

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The Sleep of Reason Produces Bears

It is 9:18 a.m. and I am awake.

This is practically a record, for the summer at least: summer nights are for staying up into the wee hours, and summer days are for sleeping until noon and then deciding upon awakening whether to eat breakfast or lunch.

What happened was that I fell asleep at midnight, and then woke up at 9:18 from a nightmare about a grizzly bear massacring people first in a city, and then a team of scientists in a high school gym.  Just as I was running from it, trying to get to the roof of the school, because somehow that was the only safe place, I woke up.  Or rather, I became aware that I was dreaming, and that if I wanted to wake up, I could.  And believe it or not, I considered staying in the nightmare.  Because I wanted to see how the story ended.

Do you ever feel like that about nightmares?  That while they’re terrifying and often torturous, they’re also fascinating?  It’s amazing what our brains can come up with as we sleep.

The other point I want to make is that I dream about bloodthirsty bears an awful lot.  Or rather, I don’t have nightmares an awful lot, but when I do, they’re often about bloodthirsty bears.  Even when I was little.  For whatever deeply buried, subconscious reason, bears are my bogeyman.

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The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, by Francisco Goya

When I woke up from this lapse of reason, my nightstand lamp was on.  I distinctly remember turning if off before I fell asleep, so I like to think that when things got particularly grim in the nightmare, I half woke up and turned it on.  Just for the comfort that a bit of light provides.  Either that, or some passing ghost took pity on me.

Two Colins

My dream from last night is hazy except for the part where I was back in kindergarten and meeting one of my childhood chums for the first time.  I say “chums,” because everyone is generally friends in kindergarten, although I distinctly remember disliking this boy at first because he was loud and rough and I was shy.  So shy, as a matter of fact, that while my September birthday might have qualified me to head to school early, my parents decided to keep me back another year for fear that I would be too timid to make friends.

Anyway, in the dream, the boy told me that his name was Colin.

I was delighted.  “Colin? I love that name!  One of my favorite literary characters is named Colin.  That’s in a book called The Secret Garden.  Everyone else likes Dickon because he talks to animals and isn’t so cranky in the beginning, but Colin is the best at the end.”

Kindergarten Colin gave me an incredulous look.

So much for being too timid to make friends.

Id’s About Time

Would you believe that since I’ve stopped running (not abruptly or purposefully: it was more of a gradual dwindling away) I’ve been having recurring running dreams?

Well, I can take a hint.  I’m leaving for the gym right now, although it’s going to be scary to find out just how out of shape I am.

Didja catch the pun?

Wild Dogs

There was a party last night.  It was a birthday party/LSAT completion party.  It would be, I knew, filled to the brim with philosophy majors and English majors wearing velvet jackets and hoods (the theme was Lord of the Rings).  The house would be clean underneath, for these men knew, as their mothers and fathers had known, that to throw a party is to tidy the house first.  On the surface, however, at least by the time I arrived, there were empty cans and bottles strewn about.  Plastic sheathes that had once held neat rows of Chips Ahoy and Oreo were empty, littered with only crumbs.  There were spills, too.  Splattered on Travis’ shirt and on the couch cushions.  A game of Never Have I Ever was going on; wobbling twenty-somethings sat around a table holding up varying numbers of fingers.  After each question, a large groan would ring out, and cups would raise to lips and fingers would be subtracted, sometimes with drunken sheepishness.

I hate parties like this, when I’m surrounded by people I know, sometimes very well, but I don’t recognize any of them.  That’s the worst thing drinking does to people, I think; it turns  them into strangers.  There’s maybe a small bit of that person buried beneath sips of Red Dog, but when it tries to form a coherent sentence, the result is alien, although draped with an earnestness that is almost piteous.

I left after an hour, having had only about a quarter of a drink, and went home, where I read until I felt like myself again.  And then I fell asleep and dreamed that a family was swimming in one of those natural spring pools out west, and suddenly looked up to find the pool surrounded by wild dogs, who were gnashing their teeth and growling.

Waterlogged

I keep having water dreams.  And yes, I do go to the bathroom before bed.  It’s not that.

Last week, I had a dream that my bookshelf full of books was sitting in the middle of the lake.  Books kept falling off of it, and I would dive down after them and set them back on the shelf.  It was so frustrating, because my very best editions were getting ruined.

This morning (before the alarm went off), I dreamed that I was at the bottom of the ocean looking for something important.  I can’t remember what it is now, but it was vital.

Even looking back, I can remember dozens of water dreams I’ve had.  Walking through a forest looking down into ponds (Narnia style), the bathroom flooding at school, etc.

Those dreams where you’re naked in front of the whole class?  Never had one.

Just waterlogged dreams for me.