photo (2)

Look! It’s my turn! The awe-inspiring, multi-talented and fellow Pacific U MFA-er Maisha Z. Johnson asked me to join her in a round of Blog Hop, where I have to answer simple questions about my writing.

Here’s the thing: with a now-omg-she’s-already-seven-weeks-old baby in my life, I could easily argue that writing has been put on the back burner–even further back (possibly now stored in the deep freezer) than when I was dealing with being pregnant (and the subsequent early 30′s identity crisis). Except that this would have been a huge lie, a big excuse, another procrastination, and another step towards denial.

Not to say that I’ve been doing the complete opposite, but it’s been a rough several months in terms of creativity and motivation, and I should just get straight to the Q&A.

What am I working on?

So I have a confession to make. When I found out I was pregnant, every incentive to be creative and continue what I left off after graduating from school completely dried up. The combination of feeling totally sick, a lot of shock, the gradual coming-to-terms with what was going on with my body and what was going to happen in my life, was just so completely overwhelming that the last thing I wanted to do was write.

Read the rest of this entry »

cake

My dad is really weird, and that includes his inability to handle small children. Or maybe just children related to him? (See picture above.) It’s all good now that I’m in my thirties and B is around (who he gets along really well with, especially when it comes to cooking food and asking for help on all of his new Apple products/high speed Internet connection/office set-up). Except that when I found out we were going to have a baby, he managed to break every etiquette rule in the book.

While my mom would share her excitement about the new addition to the family, he’d simply look at me and say one of the following:

“Your stomach is getting big.”

“It looks a lot lower now.”

“Did you give birth yet?” (This was over the phone when I called to talk to my mom when I was 7 months along.)

“You look like you have worms.”

And now, since the baby is here, he just asked:

“How is breastfeeding going?”

Like, YUCK. It’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, DAD. LEAVE ME ALONE.

UPDATE! I saw my dad yesterday and the following happened:

Dad: Are you doing the breastfeeding?

Me: Yes.

Dad: …Is stuff coming out?

Me: REALLY?

Dad: What?

Attenberg

Remember when I reviewed all of B’s weird movies that I walked in on or sat through? Well, he hasn’t stopped watching them and I haven’t stopped walking in on them, so I thought I should compile a new list, just for posterity’s sake.

What hasn’t helped is that we’ve both been mopey and sick lately (for different reasons), so we’ve been finding solace hanging out in the living room. The result is that we’re both in the same room at the same time. In fact, I can’t even believe how many movies B can consume in one sitting. I mean, I’m all for reading a single book in one setting but movie after movie after movie? I’m surprised his skin hasn’t grown into the sofa cushions.

For example, he became feverish one Saturday after we came home from brunch. How convenient. Instead of taking some medicine and curling up in bed (like any normal person), he refused any medicine and curled up on the sofa to watch movies for the next 12 hours. I’m not even exaggerating.

In case you wondered, B’s taste in movies hasn’t gotten better (AKA more mainstream), so I was able to experience a slew of movies that a) I didn’t even know existed and b) apparently had enough of a target demographic to be produced in the first place.

Marwencol: This is a documentary about a guy who got into an accident and then started taking pictures of his Barbie dolls, or something like that. I think you were supposed to feel sorry for him but I just felt funny.

Videodrome: I know this is a cult classic but this is the one movie that B told me he absolutely loved when we first met. (Mine was and is Spirited Away.) We finally watched it and like, WTF. All I remember is James Wood having a VCR-vagina on his stomach. Oh, and Debbie Harry.

Naked Lunch: Like WTF. David Cronenberg is really weird and I am beginning to hate his movies. Listen, I read parts of William S. Burroughs’ book but this was even grosser. Cockroach typewriters and the guy from RoboCop? I don’t get it.

Searching For Sugarman: A documentary about this musician who was like homeless or something? But he had this cult following in South Africa so he goes to perform for them and everyone is happy. I think this won an Oscar so I feel bad for not really getting into it.

The Marriage Of Maria Braun: A German lady speaking German in Germany after World War II. Super boring.

Cure for Pain: The Mark Sandman Story: A documentary about a lead singer from a band I’ve never heard of. It was really boring, mostly because I think it was in black and white. I don’t really remember.

Lady Snowblood: Another one of those Japanese movies that B likes to watch as a reminder that I’m really not in touch with my ethnic culture, but like whatever.

The Insect Woman: Yet another one of those movies that B enjoyed while I sat there with a cultural identity crisis. Like WTF is going on. Why is this woman so weird? Why can’t she get it together? Did she really just breast feed her own dad? Like, gross? I think that’s what happened. Not sure.

Attenberg: What I thought was a rip-off of that super weird Dogtooth movie because it has the same girl in it doing the same weird dance. Also, I think they spoke Greek.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare: I accidentally called this Wes Craven’s Last Christmas and then asked when Jason was going to pop up and then fell asleep before the big climatic scene and B still won’t tell me why Robert Englund was playing himself, why Wes Craven was playing himself and what the hell was going on.

Modus Animali: Okay, so like, there’s this Asian guy hiding around in a house? And runs around the woods? And someone dies on a fence? And then he has a syringe? And he yells a lot but I have no idea what is going on. Really weird.

Livide: This is a French horror movie with horrible translations about two guys and a girl who break into a haunted house (I think) but then get terrorized by weird ballerina corpses? And then there’s this long flashback sequence where you realize the ballerina teacher and her ballerina daughter were like vampires or something weird like that. It was pretty bad.

On a happier note, B has been super patient and nice by sitting through the Vanderpump Rules and Shahs of Sunset episodes without complaint. Today he even asked why Mike was so mad at Reza (“the mustache guy”) at the reunion!!

record

I slipped into a swirling vortex of old YouTube videos, Spotify playlists and memories today when I challenged myself (and two others) to tracking down songs from our youth that incorporated the record scratching fad. Remember when almost every rock song featured some kind of turntable in the late 1990′s to early 2000′s? It was either from some rock band that wanted to go super pop or dance-y, some white/non-black rapper who wanted to sound a little more authentic or some nu metal band who wanted to…Actually, I don’t even know what nu metal bands were trying to do.

So here’s the list of songs we came up with for your listening pleasure, from sugar pop to WTF-did-I-used-to-listen-to. Feel free to share any songs I might have missed. (The only criteria is that it can’t actually be a hip hop song.)

Better Than Ezra – “Extraordinary”

Sublime – “What I Got”

Sugar Ray – “Fly Featuring Super Cat”

Citizen King – “Better Days”

Read the rest of this entry »

books2013

Happy last day of 2013! I’m calling myself a big failure when it came to reading this year, because unlike 2012 or 2011, when I tried to read as much as possible throughout the weeks (and the semester reading requirements for grad school totally helped), this time, I fell short at only 31 books. By the time July rolled around, reading a book a week was the last thing on my to-do list since I was spending most of my time either barfing, lying down because getting up made me feel like barfing, crying because all I could do was barf, thinking about barfing, learning that even when your body has nothing to barf up, it will still find something to barf up, sleeping in between the moments of not barfing–and when I was finally able to get up and function (somewhat) as a normal human being, I was still barfing enough on my free time to make me abhor anything that wasn’t sleeping, trying to eat, going to work, having a conversation with other humans and watching movies.

Anyway, enough of that. It was odd enough to hate the idea of reading for once, but I’ve managed to slip back into the habit, all thanks to the Game of Thrones books. And speaking of which, those THREE books done (and therefore, the entire series so far, which means I totally know what’s going to happen on the next season gaahhh) amounted to about 2, 713 pages, which is like totally worth at least 10 books. Right?

I mean, think about it. That means this year, I’ve read 11,726 pages which is way more than the 9,194 pages of 40 books that I read in 2012, and KINDA CLOSE to the 16,924 pages (of 50 books) that I conquered in 2012. So congratulations, brain, you did it! You (kinda sorta but not really) read 40 books this year! Just kidding. I won’t lie to myself.

Here’s the pitiful list of books from this year, with my favorites in bold:

  1. Emma – Austen, Jane
  2. Pride and Prejudice – Austen, Jane
  3. Sense and Sensibility – Austen, Jane
  4. Collected Stories – Bellow, Saul
  5. The Girl in the Flammable Skirt – Bender, Aimee
  6. Stories – Boyle, T.C.
  7. Mockingjay – Collins, Suzanne
  8. Catching Fire – Collins, Suzanne
  9. Passion and Affect – Colwin, Laurie
  10. In The Gloaming – Dark, Alice Elliott
  11. This Is How You Lose Her – Díaz, Junot
  12. The Great Gatsby – Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Had to re-read this after the godawful movie!)
  13. The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel – Hempel, Amy
  14. Dubliners – Joyce, James
  15. Burning Fence: A Western Memoir of Fatherhood – Lesley, Craig
  16. A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5) – Martin, George R.R.
  17. A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4) – Martin, George R.R.
  18. A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3) – Martin, George R.R.
  19. A Parisian Affair and Other Stories – Maupassant, Guy de
  20. Explorers of the New Century – Mills, Magnus
  21. Self-Help – Moore, Lorrie
  22. Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose – O’Connor, Flannery
  23. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere – Packer, Z.Z.
  24. Enormous Changes at the Last Minute: Stories – Paley, Grace
  25. The Shipping News – Proulx, Annie
  26. Tenth of December – Saunders, George
  27. Shakespeare’s Kitchen – Segal, Lore
  28. The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White – Sloan, Aisha Sabatini
  29. Honored Guest – Williams, Joy
  30. The Collected Stories – Welty, Eudora
  31. The Collected Stories – Yates, Richard

Anyway, here’s to more reading in 2014. And less barfing. Or at least, less barfing from me but probably lots of barfing from this creature that’s currently growing inside of my uterus.

To avoid any sort of awkward silences with B over dinner, I like to challenge his knowledge of modern music with various questions, like “How many songs are there about sweaters?” (We only came up with two.) What song defines each decade? Which songs feature children singing? Last night, we came up with a list of songs where singers reference other famous singers. You know. Songception.

Here’s what we came up with. (Also, rap songs don’t count because otherwise, this post would be a billion miles long.)

David Bowie – A Song For Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan – A Song For Woody

The Replacements – Alex Chilton

Lynrd Skynrd – Sweet Home Alabama

311 – Come Original

Avril Lavigne – Here’s To Never Growing Up (Obviously I was the one who knew this song. I hate myself.)

New Radicals – You Get What You Give

Regina Spektor – On The Radio

Help

tumblr_mlnpjiidOU1rmyhd2o1_400

Somebody. Please. Something is wrong with me. I’m alone in the house, I’m eating cookies, I’m ignoring the books on my shelves, I feel funny inside, my estrogen levels are skyrocketing, it’s like my vagina is taking over everything, uggh my brain is so disappointed in myself because…

I

tumblr_m1so62Q7Me1roz52fo1_400

CAN’T

tumblr_mgji4fselb1rlqb55o1_500

STOP

tumblr_mayaoxQWRA1rrghlso1_500

WATCHING

tumblr_mjvt38IRjF1s4fxz9o1_r1_400

THIS

tumblr_miwsogKThO1ry6iu9o1_500

MOVIE.

tumblr_mbfmrdoykY1qg4gkko1_500

Thank god for movie rental streaming.

tumblr_m0vhpv2eKF1qzlsp2o1_250

Also, story of my life:

awkward

Remember the Marshmallow Test? My friend Genevieve tried it with her 2.5 year old daughter, and it was adorable! Now it’s my nephew’s turn!

(Yes, we understand that he’s still too young for the test, but the result was still hilarious.)

(And yes, that’s a stuffed banana he’s pretending to eat.)

Let’s be real. That to-do list I made was a complete fantasy. Like I was actually going to get stuff done while alone in the house and in my life? Please. This is what I did instead.

1. Watched this movie.

2. Then I watched this movie. (OMG the same guy from the previous movie was in this movie!)

3. And I totally watched this movie again since I had to buy it for $10 because Netflix’s streaming options totally blow but now I’ve got this movie FOREVER in my Amazon cloud thingy, which means I can watch it as many times as I want and I think I will do that right now, right this very second, BRB.

4. Started this game. But then I stopped because see #3.

lastofus

5. Read all about Movie #3 because seriously, you guys, I think I’m obsessed.

Sense & Sensibility_98

I mean, I watched the film in the theater but the second viewing just proved to me how great it is. It’s funny, beautifully shot, Hugh Grant is in it, Hugh Laurie is in it, DOLORES UMBRIDGE is in it, Kate Winslet is in it, Tom Wilkinson is in it and YOU GUYS, it’s ALAN RICKMAN being all ROMANTIC.

Oh, and Emma Thompson not only wrote the screenplay, but she won an Oscar for it? And the cast may have worked together again as part of the Hogwarts faculty, but how fun was it for these folks to reunite on the Love Actually set? Speaking of which, how great is that movie?

Wait, did I mention that Emma Thompson also met and MARRIED the guy who played Willoughboy (who jilted Kate Winslet’s character) and they both adopted a boy from Rwanda?

And I’m not even a Jane Austen fan! I’ve never read any of her books! What’s wrong with me!?!?

I should finish this list.

6. Made a promise to myself to stop talking about movie #3.

tumblr_lrjtpiWV2Q1r1k6vvo1_500

7. Broke that promise.

tumblr_lygss2k1Eu1qgvdf9o1_500

8. Googled “would people look at me funny if I started wearing Regency-styled dresses?”

tumblr_ldlrgkUNHx1qc01jno1_500

9. Closed the browser window before viewing the above search results.

tumblr_m7q9vpQBhM1rbz11jo1_500

10. Laundry

tumblr_lqwwwrduRE1qjq6xpo1_500

DSC_0043

My BFF is spending quality time in Japan, which means that I have about a week of being completely on my own. Not only that, but since I graduated last week, I have zero “official” things to occupy myself with–like homework, reading, more homework and writing about reading. Oh, and writing, but whatever.

But the possibilities of all the stuff that I am now free to do are overwhelming! My brain is like WHAAAT, and a little like AHHHHH with a touch of OMGGGGG and HUH?? so I basically end up sitting on the sofa in my pajamas while thinking about turning on the TV most of the time. Seriously, though, I’ve got a To-Do List that has been waiting to be completed since like, forever. Like…

1. Start and finish this book.

got

2. Finally play this game.

lastofus

3. Read all of these books.

books

4. Maybe finish this book.

paradise

5. Order another Stitch Fix box!

stitch

6. Perhaps try this on Insane but TBD.

GEARS

7. Go outside.

hike

8. Definitely finish this on Hard because I want that achievement. 

Photo Jul 06, 5 06 42 PM

9. Play with this little girl!!

Photo on 7-6-13 at 8.42 AM #2     
10. Find a new excuse to not hang out with people because mostly everyone knows that I don’t have homework anymore. Any suggestions?

tumblr_mczk6gXtIa1rt479bo1_500

« Older entries