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sleepless night [13 Sep 2008|02:00am]
[ mood | terrified ]

I have to say, I have never, ever been more filled with a sense of complete dread about an election...

When McCain first announced his running mate, my first reaction was shock, but in kind of a good way. Well, the election will be historic either way, now! I thought. I was the tiniest bit excited, and I was also thinking verrryyyy sneaky, McCain. Of course you pick a woman, to appeal to Hillary voters. Of course!" It seemed so obvious, after the fact, that the second after he announced it I was like, how could he have not done that?

Very quickly, however, my happy surprise turned to dismay and now, dread. This woman was the governor of a state whose entire population equals that of Boston. She was mayor of a town the size of Topsfield. Topsfield!! For those of you not familiar with Topsfield, it's the town where I work, and it's perfectly nice, but a tiny town. It's about a fifth of the size of the suburb where I grew up. I mean, this is like my boss, the Topsfield Library director, becoming president. Or my dad. Or the postman. Y'know. Perfectly nice people...but do I want them to be president of the country?? Hell no!
For me, the most damning thing about Palin is that she got her first passport last year. LAST. YEAR. For the first forty-three years of her life, this woman had never visited another country. The second most damning thing is that she tried to get books banned at her library (and then tried to get the librarian fired for not banning them). Both of these things point to a certain closemindedness that's exactly like Bush. The whole campaign is billing her as "change!" and "a maverick!" and "shaking up the party!" I do think that Palin is smarter, and more ambitious, than Bush. But she thinks just like him.
And then the Charlie Gibson interview...I didn't watch it when it wsa on, but just watched parts of it on YouTube. And I wanted to cry. I mean, I had no idea what the Bush Doctrine was either. BUT I'M NOT RUNNING FOR VICE PRESIDENT!

Oh my god, just...why did it have to be this woman. Why. I'm going to go sob myself to sleep now...

However, I will also say....

I don't think the number of kids she has, or whether she has kids at all, or whether her kids are pregnant or not, has anything to do with whether or not she is ready to be vice president. People are gasping, "Five kids?!? Hockey mom?? But how will she do it all??" Um...last time I checked...SHE HAS A HUSBAND! People would NEVER say about a man running for vice president,"Five kids?!? How does he do it all??" Geez. Attack her because she's ignorant, but not because she has kids. Because, um.....ALL THE CANDIDATES HAVE KIDS.

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Good question, Shannon [14 Feb 2008|09:21pm]
What fictional character would you love to meet?

Lee Fiora from Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. Basically just to tell her, HI, YOU'RE ME.

(I cannot begin to describe how much I love this book. I recently re-read it [and I'm not much for re-reading unless a loooot of time has gone by] and I was more in love with it the second time around. Like, I wanted to sleep with it under my pillow. I have never met a fictional character who thinks more like me, like, ever.)
5 comments|post comment

[01 Aug 2007|10:46pm]
One of the least true statements in the entire lexicon has got to be "There is no such thing as a stupid question."
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BEA [03 Jun 2007|06:01pm]
So I just got back from 3 days in NYC attending BEA, or Book Expo America. It's the largest conference/trade show in the book industry and everyone goes to it. Thursday was full of seminars at the hotel (in Brooklyn, right next to the Brooklyn Bridge), and Friday and part of Saturday I spent at the trade show in Manhattan. So much free food, free alcohol and of course free BOOKS! Among other things, I got a signed copy of A Thousand Splendid Suns (2nd book by the guy who wrote The Kite Runner), a signed copy of The Secret (not that I'll ever read it), a signed copy The invention of Hugo Cabret (looks like an amazing kids book), I got Jonathan Safran Foer (who I LOVE) to sign TWO copies of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close for me, I came back with 2 more huge bags than I went down with (stuffed to the brim with books), IT WAS INSANE, and overwhelming, and I really liked it. I saw Julianne Moore and went to a breakfast panal hosted by Stephan Colbert and here's an interesting non-book thing, I got to hold the Oscar that Rain Man won for Best Picture in 1988. Some guy (I think the producer of the movie) was walking around with it.
Oh, and I started AND finished an entire book in the car ride down, so the weekend (to me) was already a smashing success before I even got to the city. I can't remember the last time I read a book that fast. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan, I think it comes out on Tuesday, it was very good. The whole story takes place over the course of a few hours, it's about a virginal young British couple about to have sex on their wedding night. The writing was virginal and British and old-fashioned and I thought, hey, the story is appropriate at least (ha).
I also got to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge (which I'd never done) and go to the Ground Zero site (which I'd never done). Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge there was this cool three-piece jazz band playing, and if I hadn't already sent the check to our musicians for our wedding I would have stopped and ask those guys if they'd like to play a wedding in Massachusetts in three weeks. I mean, the guy had a red trumpet. Come on, AWESOME. See this is why I say "planning in advance is for sissies!"

But yes, the only thing I was sad about concerning the trip to NYC was that I wish I could have seen some of my friends in the city while I was down there, but there just wasn't enough time, I was overbooked already (so to speak).

...and today I went to Maine and got TWO tattoos :) So excited about that! And tomorrow I have off! Yessssssssssss.
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Newburyport Lit Fest [11 Apr 2007|10:08am]
I would like to take this opportunity to shamelessly plug Newburyport's townwide Literary Festival on Saturday, April 28th. Well, technically it's Fri April 27th-Sun Apri 29th, but most everything is happening on Saturday the 28th. It's the 2nd annual festival, and they're expecting thousands of people. The special honoree this year is music critic Peter Guralnick. Other authors to be appearing are Andre Dubus III, Anita Diamant, Jennifer Haigh, Claire Messud, Tom Perotta (along with Todd Field, the director of Little Children), and lots more. Here is the schedule of authors appearing at my book store, The Book Rack....

10:00am - Claire Messud reads from The Emperor's Children

11:30am - Archer Mayor reads from The Second Mouse

1:00pm - Aine Greaney reads from The Sheep Breeders Dance

2:30pm - Peter Nichols reads from Maybe, Baby

For full schedule of events click here

If you can, I would love you to come!!! Come spend a day in Beautiful Downtown Newburyport! :)

thank you.

/shameless plug
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wedding help [02 Feb 2007|09:27am]
ok, so.

I am looking for a band to play for our wedding reception.

I want jazz/ragtime/oldtime.

I know many of you either play music, or know a lot more people who do, so....help! I am asking for help! :)

does anyone have any resources? any suggestions?
4 comments|post comment

I have an STD!!!! YAY!! :) :) [08 Dec 2006|11:21pm]
[ mood | bridal ]

...a SAVE THE DATE, that is! What did you THINK I meant? Hahahaha adolescent humor, you just can't beat it. Oh, I kill me.

anyway, the date is

SUNDAY, JUNE 24TH 2007 at one o'clock in the afternoon, at the Whistler House Museum in downtown Lowell. Ceremony will be outside in the lovely courtyard, reception will be in the museum, which is a large old historic house. It will be a cocktail party with a ragtime band. ;)

5 comments|post comment

gold star for me [08 Nov 2006|11:52pm]
Yay! I voted, and the guy I voted for won! And it was because of my vote. MY VOTE, I tell you! ;)
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Yo. [07 Nov 2006|09:19pm]
I apologize (to myself included) if I've been cancelling all my plans and blowing people off and basically not doing anything when I'm not at work except sleeping. Work is taking up ALL my time! But I knew that the first couple months, basically up through Christmas, would be tough. Don't expect to see me for a while.
But I'll promise I'll be more fun soon!\

Ironically, I haven't had the chance to read ANYTHING since I've started working in Newburyport!
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Paint it Black by Janet Fitch [16 Oct 2006|10:32pm]
Oohh, I know I was all "this will be a BOOK journal and I'm going to post all INTELLECTUAL posts about what I'm READING and it will be so SMART, yada yada!" Yeah, uh...sorry about that.

I just finished this book by Janet Fitch. It's her second novel (her first was White Oleander) and since I loooved her first, I couldn't wait to read this. My coworker was enough to unearth the arc (advanced reader copy) that the store had received so that I could finish the book I was sneaking down to the bassement during lunch breaks. Well, when after I started it I wasn't sure if I could finish it, because, man. Was it depressing. And I'm not usually one to shy away from depressing books. Bring it on, I say. I usually can't stand it when people claim a book or movie "wasn't good" just because it had depressing themes. There's beauty in that. Learn to deal with it, I say. And this book was beautiful. I love her writing style. It's intense, it's, I don't know...earthy, for lack of a better word. She seems to have hit on two main themes, writing about women and writing about the city of LA. This book was also set in 1980, and the protagonist Josie was supposed to be a "denizen of the LA punkrock scene" so it was cool in that respect as well. But the reason I didn't think I would be able to finish it is because at the heart of the book there is a suicide, and the first chapters--actually the whole book, but especially the first chapters--deal with the suicide's (Michael, early 20's, a brillient Harvard dropout) girlfriend's (Josie, age 20, art model and aforementioned "denizen")anguish at first finding out and subsequently dealing with his suicide (and eventually becoming involved in a twisted codependent relationship with his mother out of grief). I mean, she is absolutely ripped apart, and it is all over every page. And that is the worst thing I can possibly think of happening, so I personally had trouble reading it. It was like I sympathized so much with her, I almost thought I was her. Man, that's good writing.
But if I haven't scared you away (heh) definitely give this book a try, especially if you liked White Oleander. And reading about women. And can handle "mature themes."
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A little bookish, a bit overbooked. [17 Sep 2006|04:40pm]
So, 75% of the events on my social calendar for the month decided to fall on this past weekend, specifically Saturday. I went to work in the morning, then had an a cappella audition in Arlington in the afternoon. Pete drove me to my audition, and then we got dinner at Fire + Ice in Harvard Square. Then we laid down in the park for a while, digesting the shitload of food we ate (damn you Fire + Ice...damn you). After a while we got up and got Herrell's for dessert (apparently, we just hadn't eaten enough...).

Then it was off to the Lizard Lounge to catch Arielle's show. Ran into Sarah P and Andy there too. It was good times. We caught the opening act but then had to leave in the middle of Arielle's set to go down the street to the Phoenix Landing for Manda's bday outing, since it was getting late. Well, we left the Lizard Lounge at a little before midnight, and in the car on the way to the Phoenix I got a call from my coworker Karen, the one I was supposed to go to NEBA with assfuckingearly the next morning. See, I had this whole plan to crash at Manda's whenever we got home and then have Karen pick me up in the city at 7am so we could be in Providence by 8. But Karen calls me at midnight, and she has the stomach flu. Bummer. So I was like, ooohhhh kayyyy, my plans are changing. It was either go out to the Phoenix and don't go to NEBA, or go to NEBA and don't go to the Phoenix. And as much as I wanted to go out with Manda I picked NEBA because, uh, people had paid for me to be there and were expecting me to attend. Luckily Pete didn't need the car the next day so I would be able to drive myself down there. So Pete and I went home and crashed, and then I got up at 5:30 the next morning so I could leave at 6 and have plenty of time. Yeah, I was NOT pleasant. I think I may have left some nasty MySpace messages, heh. And then it only took me an hour anyway, so I got to Providence at 7 and was like, shit, I have nothing to do now. I ended up wandering aimlessly over to the Brown campus.

But then, NEBA. Was AWESOME. (NEBA = New England Booksellers Association, a big book convention / trade show for New England area independent bookstores.) I went to an author breakfast first with Susan Cheever, Barry Lopez, and Christopher Moore. They were interesting, especially Cheever whose book she loosely described as something like Desperate Housewives meets the Concord Transendentalist set of the 1860's. Dishy. I used to have this dogeared biography of Louisa May Alcott that I read over and over again when I was little, so I already was familar with a lot of what she was talking about, but I enjoyed hearing her nonetheless. And then I went to the trade show part. I got soooo many free books! Check out my spoils:

Outlaw Culture, bell hooks
We All Want to Change the World, John Jackson
The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke, Suze Orman
The 150 Best American Recipes,, Rick Bayless
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (nice new reissue paperback edition)
Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen, Anna Lappe
The History of Love, Nicole Krauss

and a couple more advanced copies that I can't remember right now. Each publisher has a table, see, with a selection of the books that they publish, and you just walk around and get free books! And not all advanced copies, either, but the nice actual hardcover or paperback editions. There are signs everywhere not to take books without asking, but if you ask 9 times out of ten the person manning the booth will be like "yeah, sure." The only time I got shot down was when I asked for the beautiful new hardcover 35th-anniversary edition of The Joy of Cooking and the guy was like, "Uh, actually....no." ReJECTed. But I just went around like "Can I have this book? Can I have this book?" and soon my arms were full and I had to drop my first load off in my car. But, yeah. I'm glad I went!

So then I was walking back to the car and I stubbed my big to on a raised tile in the sidewalk (I was wearing sandals). It hurt but I didn't think much of it, until I looked down a minute later and saw that my toe was GUSHING blood. Like, seriously. And my toe looked like it had been split in half because a fold of skin was jutting out. I was like OMG I need to wrap this in something or my toe is going to fall off. And I remembered something I always have in my purse that's usually good at soaking up blood. So yes, I did drive home with my big toe wrapped in a maxi pad. I was also about to fall asleep due to only sleeping a couple hours the night before. I made it home, collapsed in bed, and luckily I washed my toe off and it wasn't as bad as it first looked, apparently the pad had done its job admirably. And that was my weekend.
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oohh, the in-ter-net [28 Aug 2006|09:34am]
[ mood | caffinated ]

I'm at the Jave Room using wireless internet on my brand new laptop! It's pretty! :) (Unfortunately the wireless doesn't work in our apartment yet, but we're fixing that...) My old laptop, Juanita Slutbag, was a good, good laptop, considering I got her used at a computer show over 3 years ago. I took her with me to Denmark and to Argentina, arranged a cappella songs on her, and there's a lot of writing and saved emails on her, including my thesis. However, considering Juanita's battery's shot, the sound is shot, the diskette drive is broken (not that computers really use diskette drives any more...), there's a thin, bright green line down the middle of the screen, and she never had a DVD player, it's time to retire her. She was probably 2-3 years old at the time I got her, and at the time I thought I got her at an insanely good price, but I actually got this laptop for pretty much the same price. Welcome Juanita Dos! ;)

Today is Pete's first day back to school for staff training, and I have the day off, as usual on Mondays.

I'll promise I'll write more about books soon! ;)

2 comments|post comment

Book in progress [26 Jul 2006|02:15pm]
Just a quick note to say, I am reading Sigrid Nunez's The Last of Her Kind right now, and it is very, very good. Amanda, if you're looking for a book to read right now, I think you would especially like this one. It's the story of two female college roommates at Barnard in the late sixties. It's one of those nice, hearty stories where you really feel like you get inside the characters and their various relationships. It's also the kind of story that I like because it follows the main character even after she drops out of college, wherever her life takes her, brings back old characters from her past, etc. The author also does an excellent job of capturing the sixties (like I know what I'm talking about...like I was there, haha). But yeah. I look forward to my lunch hour every day just so I can read more!
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Go ask Alice [21 Jul 2006|11:30am]
So, I've kinda given up on reading 'serious' literature for the time being (the time being, like, the past 2 weeks and an indefinite number of subsequent weeks). When people come in to the bookstore to ask for suggestions for summer reading , I've taken to suggesting YA books to them (especially women...but then, it always seems that women are looking more for "mindless" books then men...not to hate on my gender, but that's just what I see). So I've been reading the Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Honestly, I don't know how I've gone this long without reading any of the books before. This woman has been writing this series for the past 20 years, but her heroine, Alice, has only aged 8 years (from 8 to 16). Anyway, I plowed through the first, like, 10 books since the beginning of the month. And they're good! I've noticed that these books are on a ton of "banned books" lists, basically because they talk about sex in an honest and open way. Of course. Any book that tells pre-teens that -GASP!- it might not be the end of the world if they actually want to have sex before marriage is automatically BAD FOR KIDS. So that made me want to read them all the more, of course.

Basically it's just a coming-of-age series with this girl who lives outside of DC. Her mom died when she was young, she lives with her father and older brother, and she's obsessed with getting her father to marry her 7th grade English teacher. The books touch on things like homosexuality, masturbation etc. without shying away at all. Kinda like Judy Blume for this generation (or what generation? It’s weird how the protagonist of the series has grown at a snail’s pace compared to real time, spanning definitely more than one generation), or kinda like Lois Lowry. While at first I loved the books for their openness and acceptance of all kinds of things, (and I still do), they do seem a bit treacly to me at times. A bit too....I don’t know, innocent for today’s readers (lots of mentions of sex, but barely any mentions of drinking or drugs, for example). A bit too...dare I say it? ;) Unitarian. (Actually, I think they really are supposed to be Unitarian in the books because the next book I’m about to read has Alice going into Our Whole Lives, and that’s a Unitarian program.)

But still. In a sea of Gossip Girls, Clique, A-List et al. (a lot of you may not be familiar with these series but they’re just some of the trash being fed to teenage girls today), this series is a much needed beacon of normalcy. The covers look kind of cutesy and young (they don’t really fit the contents of the books in my opinion...although the last few ones have been better), but I’ve been pushing them at the bookstore to parents of girls aged 8 or 9 to high school age. So yes. Go read them!
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Science Fiction Double Feature Picture Show [11 Jul 2006|07:55am]
It's come to my attention that I have been reading a lot of science fiction lately. Not only that, but enjoying it! Me, the girl who's spent almost her whole life insisting she can't stand sci fi. What I don't like is fantasy. I've always lumped the two together before, but I appreciate sci fi's realism, the feeling that it actually could happen someday, whereas I'm just not down with elves and fairies.

What I've been really into lately is dystopian novels. I read about 5 in a row...Brave New World (loved), Feed, M. T. Anderson (awesome satire), Never Let Me Go, Ishiguru (could not put it down...had to sit in Barnes and Noble for an hour finishing it before I went on a trip), Oryx and Crake, Atwood (love Margaret Atwood...but extremely depressing)...and...what else...well now I'm reading Eva, by Peter Dickenson (thanks Gail, for lending it to me :) ). Interesting idea...girl is in massive car wreck, gets turned into chimp to save her life. Like, her brain, memories, etc. get installed into a female chimp's body. It didn't quite grab me as much as I thought it would. But I'm only about 1/3 of the way through so far. So we'll see.
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Gordy [11 Jul 2006|01:07am]
[ mood | bleary-eyed ]

Here is a picture of our cat. We think he's gay. He totally hangs with Pete much more than me. But I love him anyway.
I so sexy

4 comments|post comment

Big-ass update. [04 Jul 2006|12:59am]
So, I turn around, and it looks like I haven't updated this thing in a month. Yeah. So, if you couldn't tell by my snazzy new look, I'm thinking about turning this thing into more of a book journal. Due to the nature of my work, I'm averaging about a book a week, so I wanted to turn this into a place where I can endlessly pontificate. See, I'm going to start using big words now. Big, literary words. BIG ASS WORDS.

But first...an update on my life. Pete and I just got a baby. A kitty! His name is Frank "Gordito" Sinatra (because he's such a cool cat ;). We call him Gordy, G-Man, or G-Love. Unfortunately, he was vomiting yesterday, so that was a little too much "Special sauce" for us. Ew.

But he's adooorable! I'll post more info / pictures soon, on my final post WITHOUT BIG WORDS. Actually, we're going to DC for a few days, and tomorrow's the 4th, so it may be a little while longer. But hopefully not a month.

In other news....YesIgotone...shut up! Or add me as a friend.
2 comments|post comment

[23 May 2006|02:49am]
[ mood | feliz ]

I turned 24 today. Well, technically yesterday, I guess.

That means I only have 6 years to do everything I want to do before I turn 30! Scary.

When I picked Pete up today at his work he was like, "come around the back. We have a baby deer." I was like, wtf? So we went around back and, sure enough, there was a tiny baby deer lying about 15 feet from where we were standing. Not only didn't it run away, but it actually walked up to us (slowly, because it was frail) and let us pat it. It was incredibly cute, but Pete pointed out that something was probably wrong with it because it because, naturally, it should have a healthy fear of humans. We think it got separated from its mother, and we got concerned. :/ Pete did say that one of his coworkers was going to come back in the evening to check on it so hopefully it gets taken care of somehow...

And then on the way out of his work we saw a turtle crossing the road! Veerrrryyy slowly, of course. ;)

I absolutely love seeing any kind of unusual animal in the wild (by "unusual" I mean not squirrels, chipmonks, or most birds). And I got to pet a baby deer in the wild! I feel like mother nature gave me a birthday gift. :-P

The rest of the day was nice. I got myself a pedicure in the morning, went for a run in the afternoon, and Pete took me out to a movie and dinner at Mario's, my absolute favorite restaurant in the whole world, at night. I love that place because my family's been going there for over 30 years and absolutely nothing has changed, not the decor, not the menus, not even the prices, really. I mean, a plate of their spaghetti and meatballs might have gone up 50 cents in the last 15 years, but that's it. Literally, the only thing that has changed is the waitstaff. It makes me happy that places like that exist. :)

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[14 May 2006|01:03am]
[ mood | party ]



I just checked the forecast again. After raining for like, 6, 987 days, it's supposed to be....SUNNY on my bday! yay, I hope that's true.

Quick poll:

Should I have a birthday party?

Would you come?

Is my apartment way, way too small to host a party?

please to reply.

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About That Wedding; or, Stuff I Know So Far [21 Apr 2006|01:09pm]
[ mood | planning ]

1. Date: most likely Sunday, May 6, 2007.

2. Location: a couple of different scenarios.
a.) Ceremony at Cathedral in the Pines; reception elsewhere-to-be-determined.
b.) Ceremony at North Parish in Andover; reception downstairs.
c.) Ceremony on the beach; reception elsewhere-to-be-determined.

3. My bridesmaids are weezercrazed, bluearth, and Debbi (no lj! horrors!), and my maid of honor is my sister :)

4. We will have several different wedding cakes made entirely of cupcakes! One will look like a traditional wedding cake, another will be all chocolate, another will be, I don't know, raspberry, and so on. These cute little cake toppers that Manda found will probably go on one of the cakes. :)

5. I want not an acutal wedding wedding dress but instead a nice white dress that I can wear again. Right now my dream vision is: a kind of softly stretchy, jersey-ish material, with long flowing sleeves, knee-length or a little above, with a deep v-neck, a little form-fitting but not, y'know, tight. Soft, like I said. And I definitely want a veil. That's very important.

7. In lieu of gifts (don't feel like doing traditional registries, and we have most of that "stuff" you traditionally get as wedding gifts already anyway), we're going to ask people to contribute to a travel fund...

8. ...which we will use towards our honeymoon to eastern Europe!

9. Floral arrangements are so totally not important.

10. And my wedding mantra is definitely, There is no "fun" in FUNCTION-Y!

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