Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!!

Happy February 29th! It's weird to think that that the last time we had a leap year, I was 17. After seeing my timehope today, I remembered exactly what I was doing. I had been working at the hospital for just over a month and my friends and I were eating out lunch in the atrium when an old man came and creeped on L! He called her "brown sugar" and it was seriously one of the funniest moments of my life.

It really makes me wonder what I'll be dong on the next leap day when I'm 25 years old. I imagine I'll be finishing up grad school but who knows! We'll just have to wait and see :)

-G-

Monday, February 22, 2016

February Book Review: Elsewhere

I remember the day I read this book. I was 12 and had just had sleepover at Claire's house the night before and that next morning, she gave me this book to borrow, promising I would love it. I brought it with me to E's floor hockey game and began reading it to the sounds of tennis shoes squeaking against the hardwood and hockey sticks smacking a plastic puck. I loved it right away, and I read it in 5 hours.

Here is the premise: The story is from the POV of (almost) 16 year old Elizabeth Hall (Liz) who has just died from a hit and run. At first, on her ocean journey to Elsewhere, she doesn't realize she's dead. When reality sets in, she is crushed and angry that she has to spend the next (almost) 16 years of her death on the island of Elsewhere where she will age backward until she is just an infant and then she'll return to earth. Time goes on and she deals with failure to adjust to her new life, falling in love and learning to accept that she can have a life even though she is dead.

Zevin creates such a nostalgic, vivid picture of Elsewhere and crafts a very real world within it. Of course you shouldn't take her fictional musing of the afterlife as fact. I certainly don't believe in reincarnation as discussed in the book but like I said, it's fiction and incredibly creative.

I didn't realize it when I first read this book, but the writing is so clever and witty! The characters are full of realness and humor. The narration is very interesting, and not something I've seen before as it's third person but is written as more of a storytelling way. Like, we don't get super close to Liz but yet she is still important to us as readers. I think this is a very good decision on the part of Zevin as life is compared to a story a few times throughout. There are even a few breaks where we get a glimpse into other characters heads and their "stories".

I also love the themes that this book explores, beyond the cliches of death and afterlife, it goes a step further looking at the passing of time, the choice to be happy, what it means to actually live, how experience and maturity outweigh age and how we define a meaningful use of time.

My single critique for the book is some of the dialogue. I feel like at points, all of the characters speak in the same intelligent, slightly old fashioned way and I just wish they were more personalized to it as the characters themselves were all very unique.  I used to think that the pacing in the book was off, as a lot of time is spent on the journey to Elsewhere and then the majority of the book is Liz's first year there, after that it moves very quickly until the end of her time. Now I realize that Zevin is making a point about time. I guess I still might have liked a little more about Liz as she ages backward but it's not a huge deal.

Furthermore, I laugh during this book, I cry during it and at the bittersweet end, I simply sit back and take a deep breath. I was worried I wouldn't love this book now as much as I did the first time I read it when I was 12 or even the last time when I was 17. But I do, I really do. And I highly recommend it. Also, if you're an animal lover, this book is for you too because there is a lot about dogs and it's adorably written!

Rating: 9.5

-G-

Sunday, February 21, 2016

One Month

In just one month, I will be on vacation! With pools and sun and Disney and everything. I'm stoked, I can't wait!

This trip has been planned for what seems like a decade, but it's really only been about two years. I think going away during the late winter/early spring is quite wonderful. I've only done it once before when I was 14 and it was pretty great. I think most people who live in a cold/snowy area are down and out by the time March roles around so a break is much needed.

I ordered a bunch of bathing suits from American Eagle, only one worked out of the first three so I sent I returned the others and ordered more. The reason I keep buying online is because that's the only way to get most of them. And they have a great selection this year. I think I have time to do the old buy and return a few more times before we leave, just so I find the perfect one!

-G-

Saturday, February 20, 2016

I Have Confidence That Spring WIll Come Again!

If you don't know what song/movie that lyric belongs to, I feel very sorry for you!

But to the point, I was just feeling rather sad this week because it's February and winter and I'm just over it. So I thought of this song and cheered up and then, lo and behold, we were blessed with some unseasonably warm weather!

Today was glorious, we got to take Ruby for a nice long walk and I didn't need a coat or boots or two pairs of socks or anything. Lovely! Goodness, I just miss that so much during the cold months. I am happiest in the sun and outdoors.

Even though it will snow again before the nice weather comes to stay, I'm just thankful for the respite today and the preview of days to come.

Spring will come again indeed!
-G-

PS, the lyric is from The Sound of Music, watch it!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hitting the Slopes

Yesterday, at last, I went skiing. M had gone about 4 years ago and loved it but it's taken us that long to go again so I can try too!

I was really excited to learn a sport but slightly dismayed after I had such difficulty maneuvering around with my skis on, it is not easy going on an incline, let me tell you! We started out on the beginner hill and it went alright. I had some fear about flying downward and not being sure if I could stop but my figure skating background came in handy for something! I was able to hockey stop very effectively.

From the tiny hill we took the life to the next biggest and that was somewhat of a disaster! The first time, we all fell getting off (myself, M and my dad) it must have been quite a funny sight to see three adults tumble onto the snow like rag dolls. The second time, I was so scared to get off that I didn't and they had to stop the lift so a lady could come and help me jump down! The third time it went smoothly.

I was then brave enough to try a bigger hill that my dad had tried out first. And it would have gone fine if Dad hadn't kept telling me to put my skis in a wedge shape, they crossed and came off and then wouldn't go back on and it was just a big ordeal. The second and third time down that hill was a breeze and so much fun! Sadly, I had to go in the lodge with my mom after that because I had stomach pains :(

But I want to go again soon, and hopefully by "soon" I don't mean four more years.
-G-

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Oh the Woes of Poetry

Stupid me.

I took a "studies in poetry" class this semester. Why? Because I knew and liked the professor and I wanted to go a little outside my box. WRONG WRONG WRONG.

I really dislike poetry, I mean severely sometimes. Old stuff is fine and well, I do have some affection for Plath and Frost but I realllllly don't like the modern stuff. And guess what the focus of the class is? Modern stuff! Which I didn't know until the first day. I should have dropped right away but stupidly didn't. Now I'm paying the price. We have our first take home exam due on Wednesday and holy smokes, it's a doosy.

I am so out of my element. You see, we aren't just merely talking about poetry, we're talking about talking about poetry. Does your brain hurt? Mine does. It's so freaking abstract. And I hate abstract. Truly.

So yeah, it sucks. And I'm scared I'll mess up my GPA with it is I'm doing my darndest to excel.

But if only I hadn't been so stupid (getting that yet) as to take this dumb class! I could have just done cannonicity instead. But noooo.

I guess I'm getting what I deserve.
-G-

Ps. why can't all poems be like "Nothing Gold Can Stay"? Because I LOVE that one.

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to greif
And dawn turns into day
Nothing gold can stay

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February is Ok

I wanted to title this post "February is a Headache" but decided to keep positive. However, February is a headache and I've been experiencing them a lot lately. I think because I'm tired and what not. Last night was a loooong one and I felt like I was going to drop right where I was standing at work but I still did my best to remain cheery and productive. Positively folks, it's where it's at.

Soooo there is a lot of snow here right now and as pretty as t is. It really stresses me out! I keep getting nervous about getting to and from school. I miss warm weather so badly. But here's something happy! I ordered 3 bathing suits for our vacation next month and of course, the upcoming summer. I've had my old suit for 3 years so it's time for something new, and with me, it's go big or go home.

Well, tonight I have Bible study, tomorrow I have work, Friday I'm going to see a play or a movie and Saturday will be a day of relaxation and Sunday is Valentines day! I love that holiday, despite being single forever :).

Happy Hump Day!
-G-