Thursday, June 22, 2017

The One Where I Update You On My Life

Could this be considered an Ishness post? I've never done one before, so I'm not exactly sure of the protocol. Let me know in the comments! 
For the uninitiated, "Ishness" is hosted by Deborah O'Carroll. She and other participating bloggers talk about what they've been doing lately... I want to talk about what I've been doing lately. So. Let'sa go-o.

I got a job! After several stressful weeks of searching, a local hardware store hired me as a cashier. If you ever happen to visit... first of all, how did you find out where I work?? Second of all, do not ask me to direct you to the ladders because I do not know where we keep the ladders. We carry everything from paint to propane to potting soil, from things that kill bugs to things that kill moss (I live in the Pacific Northwest where moss is a Big Problem), from whitewood-that-is-actually-gray to hula hoops. I don't know where any of these things are.

I don't know who made this gif, but I want to give them all the credit because Totoro hula hooping is just too cute. Also, I'd like to thank them for making a hula hoop gif that doesn't feature a half-naked woman. 
I've never cashiered before, so this is a good learning experience for several reasons. 1) With cashiering skills, I can now get a job at any store. 2) I'm forced out my cozy eggshell in order to politely and happily interact with strangers for long periods of time.
My (far more) introverted (than I thought) soul did not, initially, like interacting with strangers for long periods of time, but now that I am getting used to it and have worked on changing my attitude, I don't mind it as much.
Plus, it's a great opportunity to people watch! There are many, many, many different types of people who peruse hardware stores.
Here are some of the most interesting people that have come through my line:

-The old woman who bought $600 worth of soaker hoses. I asked her, "Do you have a big yard?" and she said, "No, but I have a lot of plants." Her plan was to hook up all the hoses and snake them through the yard so that she wouldn't have to use a sprinkler to water her plants.
-The man with the Star Wars t-shirt and the Chihuahua named Yoda.
-The old, deaf couple who told me "Thank you" with their hands, their eyes, and their smiles.
-The woman who wore her blue tape as a bracelet and looked far more regal than royalty.
-The man whose money made the cash register smell like cigarette smoke every time I opened it.
-The man who yelled at me for double checking that I got a price right.
-The talkative woman who went on and on about how easy it is to hide the true nature of things. Even people can put up a facade and you would never know until you marry them. (That story went from very philosophical to very sad in a very short amount of time).
-The woman who said she was having a s*** day (quite literally) because her husband had stepped in dog poop.
-The lady trying to discourage her elderly father from buying Mountain Dew.
-Oh, yes, and the two teenage girls trying to beat up their friend who had taken refuge behind the service counter. That was an interesting morning.

I also got an Instagram account where I post pictures of books with (what I hope are) witty captions.

My goal since finishing the fourth draft of my novel has been to write a short story a week. So far, I've written two and edited down the VBS skits to an acceptable length.
My first story is about a musician whose mother always sits in the front row of his concerts. The second story recounts the Terror of having to evacuate one's dorm at 3:30 AM because someone on the boy's floor burned orange chicken and set off the fire alarm (based on a True Story).

Somehow, I've managed to read seven books so far this month. I read Rosie the Riveter, which is about women in World War II. This is research for my next novel, which I will talk about in another blog post. What did I learn from this book? Mainly that if women in the 1940s could leave their homes and children to do hard, physical labor and raise the production of planes from 60 a month to 360 a month (and all while maintaining their waved hair and makeup-ed faces) so that their men could win the war overseas, then I can be a part-time cashier without bemoaning my life.

Contrary to popular belief, THIS is Rosie the Riveter, not the lady with her sleeve rolled up saying, "We can do it."
I also read The Magicians of Caprona and Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones (the third and fourth books in the Chrestomanci series). I enjoyed them immensely. I liked The Magicians of Caprona better, though, because of the parts with Punch and Judy. Also because of Benvenuto the Cat.

I dunno about you, but I drool over these editions of Diana Wynne Jones' books.
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, however, took up most of my reading time this month. Several people whose bookish opinions I trust raved about this series. I tried reading it a year or two ago and couldn't get into it because of the clairvoyancy. This time, however, I pushed passed the first two chapters and read the entire series in two weeks. There is SO much in The Raven Cycle to talk about. I'd like to re-read the series and do a full review on it sometime in the near future. What I'd like to say now, however, is that, yes, Maggie Stiefvater's writing style is just as beautiful as people have said, her characters are flawed and real and wonderful, and her plot is unique and wacky. Also, yes, this series does have "questionable" content if you are a Christian. I say "questionable" in quotation marks because I have a lot of thoughts about this content. I would like to address this in a separate blog post, but, as I said, I'd like to re-read the series before I talk about it more on my blog. For now, I will say that I enjoyed the series a lot, but if I were to recommend it, it would be with extreme caution (at least until I can explain my thoughts about it). 

One thing I can say without re-reading the series is that THESE COVERS ARE SO GORGEOUS.
Now, I'm reading The Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve in preparation for the movie that Peter Jackson is making. I'd forgotten how much I like Philip Reeve's prose! I also plan to start the fifth Chrestomanci book soon. 

I watched Sherlock Season Four and it was So. Good. The middle episode was my favorite (mostly because of Mrs. Hudson). I had to pause the last episode several times to say "WHAT??!" I didn't like season three or the Christmas episode, so I was glad to enjoy Sherlock again! If Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat were to end the series here, I would be happy because they wrapped up the storylines and character arcs fantastically.

And now it's time for a confession:



I love sitcoms, and I have been watching quite a bit of Friends and Cheers since getting home from school. I started watching Friends at school, and I started watching Cheers again because I wanted a show where I could take a break from all my worries (sure would help a lot). Y'know, sometimes I want to go where everybody knows my name, and they're always glad I came. Cheers is a great show to make you feel that way.

I've been listening to my usual variety of contradictions. Jazz followed by '70s rock followed by classical music followed by Christian rock from the '80s followed by the Hamilton or La La Land soundtrack followed by heavy medal Middle Earth music.
The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band had its 50th anniversary a few weeks ago, so I've been listening to that a lot. In fact, I had to force myself to stop listening to it so that I wouldn't get tired of it. It's an incredible album, though. I watched a documentary on how the Beatles made it, and they pioneered several techniques and sounds with this album. They were a truly legendary band (but perhaps that's another blog post, too).

Let me know what you've been up to recently! What have you been reading? What have you been listening to? I love getting comments, so don't be shy. 


  1. I may have just found my new favorite gif... XD

    Ooh, you liked The Raven Cycle books? I tried reading them too, but was turned off by the clairvoyancy. I'd love to see a review from you!

    Friends is hilarious! I also remember when I was younger and it was still on air, watching Happy Days with my mom. That was always fun. ^_^

    1. Haha, it's great, isn't it??
      I did like them! A lot, actually. I think I need to re-read them and review them this summer because I have a lot lot lot of thoughts that just can't wait until a few months from now. Plus, I'm suffering from a series hangover.
      I never watched Happy Days, but I've heard good things!

  2. Haha, since Isness was never intended to become a "thing", I'd say the rules are whatever you want them to be! XD I just made it up to do updates of my own, bu tI'm super honored to have you and Jenelle joining in! :D If there were rules, they'd probably be to talk about what's up with your life in various categories and maybe share the pic I made. XD *is flattered anybody decided to do an Ishness awww* To answer your question: YES, this can be considered an Ishness post! :D

    *dies laughing over the ladder thing and the moss and all the other funny things* Congrats on your job! I'm... also introverted, so cashiering sounds hard. o.o I'm so glad you're surviving, despite some of the weird people--yikes! o.o

    Short stories, yay! I've been writing those lately too, for lack of focusing on longer stories. XD (*rubs chin and wonders about this Terror-ish True Story*)

    AAAAH Magicians of Caprona and Witch Week!! :D I love those covers too. O_O I wish I could find them... *pouts because England gets all the cool covers* Ohhhh, you will LOVE Conrad's Fate!!! It's so good! :D

    I've been meaing to read The Raven Boys for absolute ages... I actually have the first book... Just need to get around to it. :P So much to read! Despite the "content" I've heard a lot about, I'm very curious about 'em. :)

    I actually loved Sherlock Season 3, but 4 was great too--my fave was the middle as well, and the last one was slightly too creepy for me! O_O But yes, I liked the wrapup-feeling tooo! ^_^

    I'm now curious about this Middle-Earth heavy metal. XDDD

    Sorry for the long comment! I really enjoyed this look at what you've been up to! Thanks for sharing! ^_^

    1. Haha, I wasn't sure, but I figured that I better give credit where credit is due because I wanted to talk about all the things that you talk about in your Ishness posts! It's a great way to do updates.

      XD It can be... very interesting sometimes! But it's a good experience. And good fodder for character studies. After serving a hundred people in a row, you start to see similarities in worldviews and outlooks on life and it's really cool!

      It's nice to focus on short stories, isn't it? I like not having to focus on a huge story arc and not having to keep track of side plots. Hee hee, maybe I'll have to post that True Story. It's quite the adventure.

      England DOES have all the cool covers. Why, America, why?? It seems like (at last) the book industry here has realized that nice covers sell books and have been making an effort to make pretty books.

      They're really really good... One reason that I liked them so much is because I learned so much about writing from reading them. Stiefvater's characters are lifelike. Her plots are well-developed. Her prose is gorgeous. The series is a course in good writing, even if it does have content issues.

      I think I need to re-watch season 3 because the first time around, I was too disappointed that we didn't get to find out how Sherlock survived the fall that I didn't pay attention to much else. I felt like it was a filler season while the writers tried to figure out what to do next. Maybe if I watched it now, I would like it better! Maybe I should just re-watch the whole show... ;)

      The heavy medal Middle-earth CD is called Nightfall in Middle-earth and it is by a band called Blind Guardian. All of the songs are based on the Silmarillion! My three favorites are Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill), Mirror Mirror, and Nightfall.

      I enjoyed reading your comment! Thanks for coming by :)