short-lived adventures in blogging

Last year I kept wondering what it would be like to blog, and this space has given me the opportunity to know. But this coming year is going to be immensely busy, and while there are tons of very busy people who excel at blogging, I do not anticipate being one of them. I don’t want this to turn into a source of guilt, so I’m signing off to resume my former life as blog-reader only. Thanks for reading!


“I don’t watch much TV”

Glee by Matt Baconanonymous’ and eonflux’s request

Or, that’s usually what I tell people. It’s true that for most of my post-high school life I have lived without cable. It’s also pretty typical for me to be ridiculously behind on whatever is most popular on television at the moment. That being said, I am a chronic re-watcher of all my favorite shows. There is not a line from Gilmore Girls I do not know. I re-watch the West Wing like it’s nobody’s business. I’m a pretty huge dork, and I’m ok with you knowing that.

I’m good at not watching tv, but once I see a show I like, I get hooked. Thankfully Gretchen Rubin wrote about this abstainer v. moderator thing, and made me feel like at least I wasn’t crazy. However that has led to my obsessions with The Office (admittedly 2 years after everyone else caught on), Big Bang Theory, and lately, Glee and Modern Family.

This is how it came to pass that the girl who says she doesn’t watch tv suddenly has a planner scattered with dates for homework assignments, midterms, masters project presentations, and seasons premieres.

So what are you watching this season?

picture source: Matt Bacon, here


gay marriage did not kill the dinosaurs

I have a conflicted relationship with Jezebel. Sometimes I love them for their sass, and sometimes I can’t stand them for their snark (among other things). But this week at least I am on good terms with them thanks to this article, sent to me by a friend (thanks, R!). Even though I live in North Carolina and worked somewhat closely with the legislature this summer, I’m often oblivious to state news. Gay marriage wasn’t an issue during session this summer, and I assumed that was mainly because there’s already a state law defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

But apparently these past few weeks, it has gotten worse. Or as Margaret Hartmann wrote in the Jezebel article “…North Carolina Republicans are concerned that they still aren’t oppressing homosexuals enough, as they’re currently the only state in the South that doesn’t have a same-sex marriage ban in its constitution.” So now, on the next ballot voters will be asked whether NC should remedy that problem and add a ban to the state constitution.

It’s sad, and infuriating, and a million other things.  Like blatantly political. Nothing says “get out the vote” in a presidential election year like playing on the belief that allowing gay people to marry will somehow effect the sanctity of heterosexual marriages. It’s depressing to me that we’re asking people whether they think it’s ok to sanction discrimination. I want to believe that this a great opportunity for the people of NC to send a resounding “absolutely not” back to the state legislature, but sadly, I don’t think that’s coming.

I consider myself to be interested in politics, but try to avoid writing or talking about it too much, mainly because I find it so disheartening. I’m bringing this up today because 1) it makes me livid and 2) I sometimes get so absorbed by events like Yay! New York that I forget that the fight continues. (Side note: I thought this post on APW, “Not Equal Enough“, was an excellent reminder of that).

So all of this is pretty depressing, yes? I do not like ending on a sad note so here’s something happier. The NC Pride Parade is coming to town in a few weeks, and the church I attend (a reconciling congregation, which is just one of the reasons I love them) participates every year. I’m hoping to be there, to cheer on the people who live this fight every day. I’m also hoping that someday in the (not too distant) future we can celebrate Yay! North Carolina.

pie chart source: Good, via Prose Before Hos

my future brother-in-law has skills

or skillz, if you prefer.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t be like “hey here’s a video of me, you should check it out” but that’s totally what I’m about to do. Because it’s not for me, it’s for the very talented producer of the video, my future brother-in-law, Cody.

Awhile back he mentioned to Damin and I that he had been looking at engagement videos and thought maybe he’d like to try making one. Ordinarily he does photography and videography of wildlife and sports, so this was a departure from his usual line of work. The idea of being in front of a video camera normally makes me feel really weird, but Cody said we could do the video in Charlottesville. Given that Charlottesville is pretty much my favorite place in the entire world, I forgot my apprehension.

The result was the video above, which is pretty awesome and even more so given that it’s his first try.


This post is a little more serious than I usually am, because that’s where I am today.

This morning I went to the doctor to hear results from MRIs. The news was good; there’s nothing there that shouldn’t be. I’ve always heard that expression people use, about feeling like the weight of bricks had just been lifted off of them. I thought that I knew what it meant, but I didn’t, not really, until this morning. I knew I had been internalizing that stress, but I didn’t know exactly the extent of it, until I felt it melt away.

The waiting could’ve been much worse. It was only spread over the last couple of months, and I’m lucky because I have an incredible network of support around me. Regardless, it was a like a dark cloud that lingered. In New York, at the beach, at my cousin’s wedding. Every great day was tainted with the “what if” that sat in the back of my mind.

I wanted to be one of those people who handles it so well, determined not to let worry overshadow all the amazing things about my life. Sometimes I was able to be that person, but it was usually only in small increments, and then I would resume fighting the mental battle inside my head.

I wanted to talk about it, and then I didn’t. I didn’t want to scare anyone by admitting to them how scared I really was. I fluctuated between believing people when they assured me it would be fine, and wanting to challenge them. How did they know? How could they be sure? Weren’t they just saying that to make me feel better?

I am a person of faith so that was another part of the equation for me. Can you pray that nothing bad shows up on your MRI? (I did). Would it change anything if I didn’t? I prayed more as a source of comfort than anything, forced to acknowledge that everywhere, all over the world today there are people who prayed the same and won’t receive the good news that I did. I have always thought that you shouldn’t have beliefs unless they stand up to weathering. These past couple of months have been that for me.

I also thought long and hard about healthcare. I’m fortunate enough to be on my mom’s health insurance. But what would someone do in the same position if they didn’t have that kind of privilege? Would they have the same access to world-class healthcare that I did? I doubt it. What if I wasn’t on her insurance, and I didn’t have a job? This is just another scenario that merited the “there’s no use worrying over what-ifs” speech I’ve given myself a thousand times since the spring.

I still don’t have answers to all the questions these couple of months have raised for me. But today, I really don’t care. I’m so grateful, and excited, and relieved.

Today is a day for celebrating, which means my favorite pizza for lunch. And probably ice cream later.

It’s a good day.

picture source: via French by Design here

regression and dragons (this is not about math)

I tried really hard. When we went to the beach, I borrowed books from my sister instead of choosing from my own shelf, ensuring there was no way I would wind up taking nonfiction on vacation. But then I had trade credit from my favorite bookstore and I remembered I’d been wanting to read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” since I read about it’s release in the NYTimes over a year ago. The Ben Franklin biography has been ongoing for many months; it’s great, just slow going and I only pick it up here and there. Then I got “The Healing of America“, which had been on my paperbackswap wishlist for a long time, and at the same time I was reading “The Greater Journey” because I like history and Paris…and you can see where this is going. Nonfiction has once again started consuming my life.

I keep rationalizing this slip, telling myself that it’s just a few, etc. etc. but the truth is 1) they’re really good books and 2) I’m totally going to compensate for it this fall when these books are released. Because the truth is I’m a huge nerd and I have been waiting for the next book (and in one case, the last book) in these series for a long time.

The last time one of the books in the Inheritance series was released, my sister and I were a few of the only attendees at a sparsely attended and pretty lame midnight release party. By “sparsely attended”, I mean it was us and a 10 year old kid who was accompanied by his mother. It was pretty great.

We’re planning on calling the Barnes & Noble where said release party took place to see if they’ll be hosting another one this time. Despite it’s lameness, I’m hoping they say yes. This is mainly because nothing is better about a midnight release than being the first people to get your book (yes, we definitely beat that 10 year old to the register). While it will never match the experience of the Harry Potter midnight release variety (unless that kid dresses up as a dragon this time, and I’m really hoping he does) it’s still pretty exciting.

In the mean time I will bury myself in nonfiction, hoping to have a fully geeked out experience in November. Fingers crossed on the midnight release.

hello september!

August was a busy month. It was checking out neighborhoods in Brooklyn where my sister could potentially live next year, moving apartments, and the West Virginia state fair. On the wedding front it was engagement pictures, changing venues, and moving the date up a week (!). It was also my cousin’s wedding in Indiana (awesome), a trip to the beach (yay), and almost 2000 miles in the car with Damin (which we handled very well, exceeding all my expectations – I have never spent that amount of time in a car with someone without wanting to kill them at some point). August was dinner on an inlet with goats, our first piano bar, and only one (very small) jellyfish. August was good.

August was also my last first day of school, ever. I thought I would feel at least some sort of emotion tied to this day but I didn’t. Maybe this time next year when I realize I’m not actually going back to school? We’ll see.

August was also the first time I’ve ever attended a significant family event (see: cousin’s wedding) without my sister. I thought this necessitated her portrait on a napkin so she could travel with us and still be in family pictures. You probably don’t know her in real life, but this picture is pretty accurate.