I win!  I finished the 50,000 words, plus an extra one hundred words.  Yay me!  I wrote about a librarian who survives the end of the world.  I was pretty pleased with the way the characters in the story turned out, even though I am very aware that the writing sucks more than a Pleco.  The plot went in directions I didn’t see it going from the beginning, which I always think is quite a magical thing.  Though I’d have to rewrite the entire thing if I ever chose to use it as a novel, I have a lot of material to work with.  I am pleased.

Now that this is done, I can finally take a deep breath, relax and do things I have been greatly neglecting such as: Clean my room, make paper, and write letters.  Oh wait, I forgot to include “edit” on my list.  Awesome.  Well, I can already see how December is going to go!

PS:  This is my 100th post!

Sandman: Brief Lives (Volume Seven)

Sandman: Brief Lives (Volume Seven)

Neil Gaiman

Now here’s the volume I was waiting for!  I was hoping we’d finally get to see more of Delirium (mostly because a friend of a friend dressed up like her for Halloween one year and I wanted to know why she chose her) as well as their long-lost brother Destruction.  It took me until the second appearance of the hunky ponytail guy with the talking dog to realize that was him.  My, he’s quite good looking.  I hope the ending isn’t final–I’d certainly like to see him again.

I also really enjoyed having Dream and Delirium paired up for this adventure, especially when it comes to driving.  Her happy face was brilliant.  I think the issues did a good job balancing the seriousness of many things we learn about the family and their roles in the lives of humans with the comedy of events such as Delirium’s driving, and Barnabas back-talking.

I enjoy the idea that some people we know and interact with may be Gods or Goddesses that no longer have anyone praying to them, or beings from a time long ago.  Of these, I especially liked Ishtar’s story.  And speaking of death: Poor Dream!  I was rather sad when I read the bit with him and Orpheus.  I saw it coming, but I didn’t think it would make me so sad.  On an unrelated note, I think Dream and Lucien need to just go on a date.  They’d make an adorable couple.

I was going to take a short break from the series to start Fables, but the questions that are swirling around my head regarding new information that’s been revealed caused me to immediately pick up volume eight.  For example, how did the first Despair die?  And where did Destruction go?  What is the next change for Delirium?  The list continues forever.  More than any other volume, this one made me wish I owned the series so I could go back and reread certain issues once more.  I guess I know what I’ll be asking for during the Christmas season!

Work Windows

At work one of my many responsibilities is painting the windows inside for whatever occasion there is.  It all started when they installed new offices on the young adult side.  The walls were glass, and the head of the department didn’t want everyone watching her eat all the time.  I covered one wall with:

After that, I started painting the windows on a regular basis.  Last summer, the theme for the summer reading club was “Be Creative @ Your Library.”  I painted it (sorry for the crappy quality):

Be Creative @ Your Library!

In the winter I changed it, but I didn’t capture that on a camera.  It was a cute winter scene with snow and a snowman that looked like it would eat children.  I learned my lesson, no more lime-green button eyes for the snowmen.  In the spring, I changed the window to:

Thanks Erin, for taking the picture!

I know, I know, the picnic blanket is floating in the air.  Sue me.  I was an English major.  Then in the summer I changed it again.  The theme this year was “Make a Splash @ Your Library.”  I painted:

Sorry for the glare!

Two days ago, Erin and I started cleaning the window to prepare for the winter.  Sadly, Erin nearly lost a finger on the glass, but then the girl started melting, which I thought was cool:

I should be done with the new window within the next week or so.  I’ll make sure to provide photos!


I think it’s about time to introduce the new puppy to my readers.  His name is Simon (I swear I had nothing to do with the name, it was mom’s idea–I wanted to name him either Charlie or Cuddlebutts).  He’s a black miniature Schnauzer.  Here’s a picture!

He may look cute, but he's just looking for the best place to nom.

He adores nothing more than that snap his teeth onto the tender, tender flesh of areas such as, but not limited to: thighs, toes, boobs, forearms and necks.  He and I like to play this game called, “Ow, oh God that hurts, let go.”  It’s a game in which he noms on my hands, and I try not to roundhouse kick him out the window.  He’s got “sit” under his belt, and now we’re focusing on “fetch.”  Most times I throw the toy, he runs like a mad woman to it, then remains like this until I come to get it from him:

The picture is blurry because I suck at taking photos.  In any case, I’m hoping he’ll learn that to continue  playing catch, he has to bring the toy back.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  Finally, Simon’s greatest skill is the art of the second-hand-pee-on-foot.  It’s a very difficult maneuver he has managed to master in a short bit of time.  It goes as follows: First, he pees.  Then, right after, and sometimes while still peeing, he decided he wants to cuddle with me, and plops his belly down on my feet.  It’s absolutely the most incredibly cute thing you have ever seen, until I realize my socks are mysteriously wet.  Then I’m mostly sad.

In another month he’ll be old enough to go outside, which will be super fun and exciting because then I can throw his toys more than 2 feet away from him.  Also, I can’t wait until he tries to nom another, bigger dog.  Expect more of Simon in the future!  Also, doesn’t his collar make him look handsome?  I picked it out.

Week Twenty-Six

This week I lost 2.4 pounds, bringing me at a grand total of 39.8–so close!  Just a little more and I’ll be able to drop my sixth baby.  Or, happily, two infants.  Officially, I have gone down another size in pants, which makes me two sizes smaller than when I started.  I had to give away three pairs of pants recently because they have been falling off my body at random points, and I don’t like wearing belts.  I see a shopping trip coming up some time in the future.

In any case, I am massively excited about losing this week because I let myself enjoy Thanksgiving without worrying too much about food.  I think the good habits I’ve been trying so desperately to adopt have stuck, or at least some of them have!  I’ve been in the mood to cook something up, so I might try my hand at another modified recipe.  Hopefully I’ll have something to share with you later this week.

That’s all for now–have a wonderfully delightful week!


Oh hello there, good looking.  It’s been quite a while since we last spoke.  To be honest, I have been busy trying to catch up with my writing (is it December yet?) and watching Lost.  Stupid show–it’s like cocaine!  In any case, let’s catch up a little.

I hope you all had a brilliant Thanksgiving!  Mine was very quiet and mostly perfect.  My family enjoyed turkey, many thanks to my mother for the cooking and my brother for the lifting.  I made a green bean and mushroom thing.  I haven’t decided what to call it yet.  Any ideas?  Here’s the recipe in a nutshell: I mixed 3/4 cup of panko bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of onion flakes (sorry Margo) and 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan.  I kept that going until the crumbs were toasty.

Then I put the toasty crumbs in a dish, and cooked up green beans and mushrooms in a pan until they were happily toasted as well.  I like my green beans crunchy, so I didn’t cook them too long.  I mixed in another tablespoon of butter at the end, stirred it about, then put the vegetables in a bowl.  I sprinkled the bread crumbs on top mixed some in and served it.  Here is a picture of it before it hit the table:


My only suggestion is: Cut the green beans in half, at least.  I decided to be lazy and keep them whole.  It was a pain in the rear end to get them onto everyone’s plate.  Next time I make this I am going to toss in some fresh garlic.  I imagine it would only improve the recipe.

Beyond dinner, I sat around the house, wrote, played with Simon (who will be featured in a post tomorrow) and read.  It was a great day off.  How was your Thanksgiving?

Sandman: Fables and Reflections (Volume Six)

Sandman: Fables and Reflections (Volume Six)

Neil Gaiman

Margo requested I review each issue–and because I love and adore her, I will review each issue.  I will warn you that since I am reviewing individual chapters, I may give away some details–proceed with caution if you fear spoilers.

Fear of Falling – The art of this issue was very different from most of the art in the previous issues.  For some reason, it really bothered me (I think I just have trouble with change).  It was an interesting opening to the volume, and when I went back to it in order to write down the titles of the issues, I looked more kindly upon the artwork.  Mostly, I just think Dream looks adorable any way he’s drawn.  The ending message was a comforting one, and I think college students should be given this volume (especially for this issue and a few that follow) so they aren’t afraid to climb.

Three Septembers and a January – Oh the power of Dream.  I really enjoyed this issue!  I thought it gave a sort of human quality to the siblings, and also showed us a bit of the kinds of relationships between Dream and his brothers and sisters (and brother/sister).  Also, I think one of the best moments in the entire world was when Death shows up at the end and asks to wear the Emperor’s hat.  She’s so cool.  I wish I could be her friend.

Thermidor – This issues made me really excited because we got to learn about Orpheus and his relationship with his father.  My only complaint about it was that there were several points when the font was different–it was a diary entry, so it went from print to script.  Since I was reading it while walking at the gym, I had a super hard time reading the print.  It was frustrating.  Even after I stopped moving, I found the font too small to read easily.

The Hunt – This was my favorite issue out of the whole volume.  I loved the grandfather’s story, and I adored the way it was told.   I liked that it was never specifically stated that the young man in the story was a werewolf.  When I figured it out, I actually went back and read the whole story again.  I loved this one.  Oh, and Lucien is the coolest librarian in the world.  His relationship with Dream is adorable.  I’d love to visit him and just touch some of the books in his library.  He has the best job ever.

August – Here’s another month issue.  There were a lot of those in this volume.  I wonder if I missed something important in the titles of the chapters?  In any case, I thought this issue was tolerable up until the end when Dream enters.  Then it started to get a bit more interesting.  I liked the way this issue painted the Emperor of Rome as a human man with burdens and troubles of his own, but when compared to the other issues, I thought it was boring.

Soft Places – This issue made me kind of feel dumb, haha.  I figured out Marco Polo pretty quickly, but I had no idea who the other two guests were.  I had to look up our Italian romance writer as soon as they gave away his name (which I forgot already) because I wanted to know who he was.  However, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out who the last man was.  I ended up thinking it was Teddy Roosevelt, which I realized was wrong when he mentioned the late 20th century.  Finally, I gave up and looked him up as well and nearly cried when I saw I had forgotten Gilbert!  Oh awesome, green, Gilbert.  Forgive me for not recognizing you immediately.  In any case, I liked the sort of time-travel-like feel this issue had.  And I could tell the characters liked it as well, since they all seemed excited to get to meet Marco Polo.  The ending also looped back to the first and second (and third?) issue, which I thought was a very nice touch.  As I stated before, it feeds into my pride at recalling previous details.

Orpheus – I was hoping to see Orpheus again, and my wish came true!  Here we get to see the familiar story of Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as more of my favorite bunch of siblings.  Even better–we finally see the missing sibling!  He looks rather fluffy.  I couldn’t quite figure out his name–though I knew it would start with a “D.”  I ended up looking that up as well.  The ending of this issue was quite sad because I already knew how the myth ended, and having read the issue set in the time of the French Revolution, I knew how the relationship between Dream and Orpheus would end.  The best part though, was when I flipped the page and saw a whole bunch of naked women ripping Orpheus apart.  As did everyone around me.  Especially the older woman to my right, who made a noise at the pictures.  Whoops.  Smooth move Dionysus.  You’re causing trouble even now.  Second best part?  When we get to see Death’s house.  Goldfish and teddy!

The Parliament of Rooks – Is it really called a parliament of rooks?  I looked that up (yes, I spent more time on google than I did between the covers of this volume) and it said something different.  Can someone find out?  I am confused and would very much adore for it to be a parliament.  Is it acceptable for me to just claim ignorance and call it that anyway?  Anyhoozle, this issue was my second favorite.  I guess I just really love storytelling?  I thought Eve’s story was perfectly done, and Abel–little Dream and little Death were the cutest things I have ever seen!  I am going to find a way to hang them on my wall.  So cute!  Of course Daniel and Goldie were completely precious as well.  This issue was just a bundle of aww (ignoring the part when Abel gets up close and personal with the fireplace, of course).  And Matthew!  I love Matthew.  I don’t think living as a raven in Dream’s realm would be such a horrible thing in place of death.  I’m going to look  into it.

Ramadan – Finally, the last story.  My beef with this issue also has to do with the font.  I read half of it on the treadmill and half of it sitting down.  I had just as much trouble reading while walking as I did sitting still.  Also, this volume was very text-heavy, so I feel like they should have found a bigger/clearer text.  However, I will say that the face Dream makes when King Haroun offers him Baghdad made up for the fact that it took me a hour to read through the whole story.  I think it’s his eyes and his hair.  Dream just has the coolest eyes and hair.  So sexy.  Oh, but back to the story–I especially liked the ending and how it wrapped the volume up.  While it annoyed me that each issue was a separate, seemingly unrelated (though a lot of information about Dream and his family were revealed) story, I liked them.  I look forward to reading the next one.

My rating: 4/5

Week Twenty-Five

I know, I know, I forgot to post last week.  I didn’t go to a meeting, so there wasn’t any news to tell.  However, after a week of hard work and a weekend of pancakes and risotto: I lost 4 pounds!  My grand total is now 37.6–bringing me at a little more than five babies lost.  FIVE!  If you couldn’t tell, I am a tad bit excited about this.  I’ve decided to have a party when I lose 50 pounds.  I expect you all to be there.  All of you.  Yes, you too.  Don’t look at me like that, I mean it.  This is important. I’ll give you the details when I figure something out.

In other news, I kind of really enjoy the gym.  However long I spend there is time spent reading with minor interruptions.  It’s when I get all my Sandmaning done.  Sometimes I worry about people next to me thinking I’m weird because I am walking/running/cycling to pictures of bloody, naked people, but then I realize I don’t actually care too much.

NaNoWriMo is pwning me life all sorts of hardcore.  The meter is filling up, but I am still running behind after my weekend away and I am having trouble catching up.  One of my days off needs to be spent in a library typing instead of watching Lost.  Stupid show.  So addicting.  Speak of the devil!  I completely forgot to publish this post because I suddenly started watching Lost!  Ugh!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One

Oh my stars.  I can’t sleep at the moment, so I think the best thing to do is use my energy for something more productive than watching yet another episode of Lost.  In any case, tonight I went to the midnight release of Harry Potter–I have managed to go to all of them, and I am excited to say I made it to this one!

A friend and I got there two hours early thinking there would be a crazy line, but in the end there was no line.  They let us in immediately and we ended up having to wait about for two hours.  I worked on my hat and bothered Vito endlessly.  The good news is we got really awesome seats.  The movie itself didn’t disappoint me in the least.  When it comes to movies like this, I tend to judge it on how well it does as a movie in addition to how well it brings the book to life.  I won’t lie, my adoration for Harry Potter caused me to only want it to be a good portrait of the contents of the book.  I am a fan of the first two movies, even though they are rigid and stiff.  They stuck to the books and I enjoyed that.

Though the movie ended on a sad note, I think they were wise to end it there.  I think the movie was as faithful to the book as possible, and I loved the little jokes scattered about the movie to balance the dark parts.  I was aware at the end of the movie that at this point in the book I could no longer control my weeping, and I am proud to say I held it together in the movie theater.

As I left the theater, I couldn’t help but notice the absolute sorrow inside my chest.  It stems not so much from the deaths that occurred in the movie, or the deaths that will come to pass in the second part–it is there because I am vaguely aware that this will soon end.  Most of the tears that fell at the end of the seventh book were not for those that died, but because there was no more.  The complete bliss of holding a new book would be over, and soon the giddy excitement of seeing Severus Snape a new Harry Potter book brought to life will end as well.  I will admit that I was so excited for this film that my hands shook for the first several minutes of the movie to the point where they were distracting.  I love me some Harry Potter.

And so, like I always do, I will give this movie a rating.  On of a scale of moldy milk to dragon, I give it a flying, fire-breathing, rainbow unicorn pony that shoots lasers out of its eyes.  And poops happiness and ice cream (technically the same thing, I suppose).  It might be too dark for younger audiences, but for all others, I completely and absolutely recommend it.

Who’s coming with me next year to the midnight release?  I warn you: I’m dressing up!

Dancing Through An Epic Weekend

Oh.  My.  God.  This weekend has been amazing.  I kid you not, I haven’t had a weekend like this in a very, very long time.  It was filled with dancing and dining and, well, I suppose I should just start from the beginning and tell you what I did.


Friday afternoon I drove from Long Island to New Haven to meet up with one of my great friends, Poptart (that’s her real nickname, promise).  The drive up was beautiful–colorful trees and water beside the highway.  I had plenty of time to see all the beautiful birds and houses because I was stuck in traffic for the last hour of my trip.  Thanks Connecticut.  No really, thanks a lot.

Anyway, when I finally reached Poptart’s house (which is pink and adorable), we left to have dinner in a very fancy restaurant.  How do I know it was fancy?  Everyone called me “ma’am” and there were roses on each table.  I ate a dish of chicken and risotto that was so good, it nearly caused my brain to fall out of my face.  Even better, we shared dessert, which was basically this solid piece of chocolate.  De-li-cious.  Don’t believe me about the rose?  I’ll show you a photo of Poptart pausing her meal for me!

Afterwords, Poptart and I headed over to a swing dancing event hosted by Yale.  I got to take a beginners lesson so I could figure out how to lead.  If anyone is wondering: Yes, I still am horrible at being a lead.  At least now I can turn my partner!  I had a pleasant surprise after my lesson.  My pen pal (I signed up for one while I was at school) came to meet me.  I let him know I was going to be at Yale and being the awesome fellow he is, came to swing dancing to say hello.  I had sent him an e-mail the night before regarding how he might tell it was me if he were to come.  I couldn’t think of any qualities that would ensure he could tell who I was.  Out of pure desperation, I mentioned that my nails were painted orange.  Guess what clued him in to who I was!

He arrived in a bow-tie!  Be still my heart–I had no idea my pen pal was so incredibly good looking!  Also, he had very nice hair.  But I digress.  Where was I?  Oh yes!  I taught the handsome pen pal how to swing dance, and thank God he was a very fast learner.  Though he left early, I think he was my second favorite partner of the night.  I danced with a few really great people during throughout the evening, and even joined them all at someone’s house for a blues dancing after-party.  At first it was a tad awkward because I didn’t know anyone, but then guys started asking me to dance and it got much better.  Plus, they had pizza.

Blues dancing is very intimate, and not much like the fast-paced swing dancing I am used to.  It took me a while to relax while being smooshed up against someone’s torso.  Eventually though, I learned how to read their body so I could dance easily with them.  And to be completely honest, there is a kind of serenity that comes from allowing someone to hold you intimately while calming music plays in the background.  Your first concern is connecting with their body.  Feeling them around you, trying to connect with you as well was wonderful.  I loved it.  I can’t remember a time when I felt more safe and at ease than when I was dancing to blues.  But enough of that, let’s move on to:


I woke up bathed in sunlight–the room Poptart let me have had this huge window that got the morning sun.  It was perfect.  After I showered off a night of dancing from my skin, the two of us headed over to this cute little cafe for breakfast.  The sun was coming in through the window–it felt like summer!  We took off out coats and enjoyed the warmth for a few minutes before leaving.  Poptart took me through the different streets of Hew Haven and Hamden.  The houses were interesting!  They were all different colors and one even had a–a something.  I don’t know what they’re called.  Hold on, let me ask Bubbles.  Okay, he says it’s the inside dial of a chronograph.  God, this is why I’ve missed him so much!  He just radiates awesome.  Anyway, the house had those on the outside, but I’ll show you a photo of that later.

I was sad to have to say goodbye to Poptart, but I had an appointment with the handsome devil of a pen pal and some coffee.  We spoke for a long time, and I greatly enjoyed our time together.  I think whoever matched our letters together and made us pen pals was on to something.  Had we gone to the same school, I think we might have been friends.  I would very much like to spend time with him again, though I wonder if that will ever be a possibility.  Who knows?  The future is open to every possibility!  Part of the fun with writing letters to him is that he’s a mystery to me.  Here’s to keeping it that way!

We tried (and failed) at taking photos together.  No really, we did.  Look:

Fail #1

Then we hugged, parted ways and I got into my car, ready to revisit the place I spent the last four years.  Memories flooded my head as I drove through Connecticut and New York: how much I miss upstate landscape during the fall, the slight excitement that builds inside while one is on his or her way to Vassar, how much I wish the Taconic would explode into a million pieces.  I reached Vassar in no time, and was happily greeted by Bubbles.  At this point in my day, I think I was so happy, I might have run the risk of possibly just floating away.  I was seeing all the people I really liked, and they were all giving me hugs!  I didn’t realize until that point just how much I missed him.  It was almost like the first day of Spring.  I was warm and happy and I just didn’t want it to end.  Phew–that was extra corny.  Sorry about that!

Anyway, Bubbles and I caught up on all the stuff we’ve been missing, then we went to Twisted Soul, which is one of my favorite places to go.  They have delicious empanadas.  I spent most of my time dropping things in my shirt while Bubbles spent most of his time throwing food around.  And then we saw an adorable kitty in the parking lot!  When we got home, Bubbles decided to get some work done–at which time I bothered him senseless because I couldn’t log onto the internet.  Yep, Vassar hasn’t changed at all.  Bubbles was very patient and refrained from using my laptop to beat me to death.

And then it was time for the Harvest Ball!  We looked very pretty.  Don’t we look very pretty?

I think we look very pretty.  In any case, there was lots of swing dancing and bumping into people (literally, there were sloppy people everywhere) and getting stepped on.  It was everything I missed.  I played the “look for a guy you don’t know and ask him to dance” game.  I did fine at first, but it got increasingly harder to find friendly looking men as the night went on.  After dancing, we waddled our sore bodies home and we made snickerdoodles.  And by “we made,” I really mean “Bubbles and his very cool friend Andrea made.”  I mostly put the butter in the microwave, mixed the dry stuff and then sat back and watched.  Margo will recognize this high level of participation from me during the times she spent making brownies and scones.  I’m mostly afraid of baking.  I will say that they tasted a little bit like dreams though.  It must have been the expert way I nuked the butter.

I slept on their futon under a blanket that really does feel like a giant puppy, which brings me to…


I woke up and 8:30 in the morning and wrote most of this post while enjoying the very nice view from the living room windows.  It’s sunny outside and I can see trees.  At the moment I am currently watching Bubbles wash dishes.  I will continue this post when I get home.

At home: Bubbles and Andrea made pancakes from scratch, and I opened a pomegranate.  They were perfect pancakes.  Don’t believe me?  I’ll prove it!

They were delicious!

Bubbles is an expert at being some kind of mix of Betty Crocker and a unicorn made out of rainbows.  I was very sad to leave him and my Vassar, though I was mostly sad because of him.  On the way home I realized that the only reason Vassar holds as much importance to me now as a graduate is because he is still there.  This weekend was only further proof that it is the people that make places perfect.  I had a lot of time to think about it as I death-gripped my steering wheel and prayed on the Taconic for some kind of miracle.  I can’t even remember half of the trip home.  I think my brain makes me forget to ease the trauma.  Did I mention I hate that highway?  May it burn in Hell for all of eternity.

Finally, I came home only to find that after a twenty-year plea, my parents bought a dog while I was away.  His name is Simon and he is adorable.  Expect a lot of photos in a later post.  I think this one is long enough as it is.  Best weekend ever?  Definitely.