Perks of Being a Wallflower

Perks of Being a Wallflower

Stephen Chbosky

This book has been built up so much and has such a cult following that I was very reluctant to read it.  But I did.  And I thought it was great.  I completely understand now why it has the following that it does.  Charlie has a very unique voice, and sometimes I found myself wanting to read his words out loud to others.

The book covers a great deal of “teen topics” such as sex, drugs, suicide, molestation and so on.  Though I’ve heard from a few others that they thought the book just crammed in as many sensational moments as possible, I think it reflects how much teens have to deal with on a daily basis.  If they don’t have to personally deal with drugs, they know someone who does.

All in all, I really liked reading Charlie’s letters (he writes about his life in letters to an anonymous reader).  I liked the way he sees the world, his friends and his family.  I recommend you check it out.

Late Night Librarying

Russia sends the coolest cards!  Check out these two library frequenters.  Does anyone speak Russian and feel like telling me what the top of the card says?  I’d love to know.  The picture kind of reminds me of Vassar during study time.  What does it remind you of?

Dear New York City,

I know it’s hard.  Believe me, I know.  I live a life filled with difficult personalities and people void of all compassion and kindness.  I know what it feels like the dread waking up, to want to crawl into yourself and turn off what hurting you on the inside and outside.  To those of you who are hurting, I’m there with you.  You’re worth more than the universe is giving you.  You have to believe this.

I have to believe this.

One day we’ll be in a place where we can look back at those who have wronged us and forgive them.  Do not harm yourself.  Do not harm others.

Find your happiness and hold on as tightly as possible.  This darkness will pass and as long as you can find one reason to smile, those determined to spread their misery can never truly finish you off.


The chick writing this blog

Maine: The First State

My goal in life is to visit every state in the United States and spend some time there.  My first stop?  Maine, the state filled with lobsters!  I dragged my friends alone for the ride, and we decided to spend four days in a beautiful campsite by the beach.  Granted, the campsite was filled with yellow jackets and three quarters of our campsite fun was spent dodging wasps trying to kill us for our sausages, but it was a great time!  By the third day, we had enough and decided to wage war on them.  Christian wins.

Here’s what I learned about Maine:  The wildlife there is absolutely gorgeous.  I did about 6 hours of hiking and it was just amazing.  It smelled good, it was beautiful to look at, and I didn’t fall even once.  However, no one in Maine ever says hi back to you.  Every time we saw someone, we smiled pleasantly and greeted them.  Not a single person said hi back, until Jimmy and I were coming down a trail and I said hi to a person’s dog.  The woman responded.  So weird.

Also, another fun fact about Maine: It’s a state where their express lanes move slower than their regular lanes.  We got stuck at a store in the express lane while a woman confused the clerk and they had a philosophical discussion regarding the location of the barcode.  We must have looked thoroughly annoyed because as we were leaving, the woman behind us said to the clerk, “where are THEY from?”  New York, lady.  Where twelve items or less means twelve minutes or less.

Anyway, here’s some pictures and stories:

Day One: TO MAINE!

Nick and Jimmy picked me up quite early from my apartment, and we promptly started our ride up to the lobster state (it’s actually called something else, but I forget what it is).  We stopped at a farmer’s market in Massachusetts where a strange man sold us a dozen peaches and thirteen ears of corn.  Seven of those ears are in my kitchen right now.  At some point, I ate a banana in the car.  Nick insisted I throw it out the sunroof, so I did.  We rode with a banana on the car for the rest of the trip.

After we got to the campgrounds, we set up Nick’s tent (which is huuuge).  The zippers on the doors didn’t work, and it smelled a bit like mold, and the roof was questionable, but it was awesome.  And could fit five people inside it!

We bonded a lot that first night.  We told stories and really listened to one another’s life story.

Day Two: Hiking, Bars, and Fire

On the second day of camping, my true love gave to me: A new way of opening oatmeal and questionable looking egg whites!  Christian (Nick’s brother) boiled egg whites in a ziplock bag.  It worked, but the eggs ended up looking like a blob of butter.  It was gross.  Sadly, no evidence remains in picture format, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Nick decided there was only one possible way of opening a box of oatmeal, so he committed 100% and opened the box like a man.

After breakfast we went out for a hike.  It was a great outing–we climbed up some rocks.  And when I say “we,” I mean everyone but me.  Also, Nick.  He had to come with me up the side trail so I wouldn’t explode due to fear of falling.  When we got to the top, I was too terrified to step up onto the top of the summit, so I took a picture from where I was standing on the trail.

Seriously.  I couldn’t move.  I was filled with pure terror. Here I am in my safety spot.

Eventually Nick convinced (helped) me to scale the four inches to the top of the summit.  Was it worth it?  …Yes.  It was really pretty.  After we climbed down, we stuffed ourselves with hamburgers, and drove to a bar.  I got to drink diet coke for free and had to drive the boys back to the campsite.  Nick’s car is made for giants and I felt like a shorty in it.  Dislike.

Once back, we made a fire and roasted marshmallows and made smores.  I don’t have any pictures of the food because I ate it too quickly.  But here’s the fire!

Day Three: Beaches, man.

Day three started like day two only Christian made pancakes instead of butter eggs.  They were delicious because he put bananas in them.  Again, I’d have pictures but I ate those suckers too fast.  After that we went on this insane hike through the woods.  It was a lot of fun–there was even this little stream that we had to cross.  After two hours on that trail, we decided to go on another hike back up to the death summit from the day before.  Nick stayed behind, so I had to scale this one alone.  I found a new trail, made friends with a tree, and somehow climbed (on my hands and knees) to the top of the summit.

Jimmy and I decided we’d take a different trail back to the car, and the moron let me lead the way, so of course we got lost.  It was a nice walk though.  We saw puppies!

After that, we hit up the beach that was beside our campsite.  It was low tide, but we climbed around the rocks and explored anyway.  Yes, Nick helped me.  Yes, I sat down and scooted myself down the big rocks.  Whatever.  I’m honest about my fears.  Here’s a group of photos taken mostly by Nick at the beach.

It was such a beautiful place.  It was calming, and it made you want to just stand there and watch the absence of water.  Looking across the water you realized how magnificent nature really is–how powerful and seductive it can be.  And then I started getting photogenic.

There were some moments when I had to pause the fun to pull up my pants because of so much butt sliding and climbing.

When I finally reached the rocks, I really just couldn’t do more than just observe.  Nature knows how it’s done.

There were little pockets of water everywhere, so I went to one and tried to spot the fish that Nick swore were in there.  I didn’t see any, so I started demanding that they come closer to me.

Notice the unrelenting grip on the rock?  Terror.  Rocks scare me.  My courage was rewarded though!  I found a snail.  I dared to hold my iPhone over the water to snap a picture of it.  That’s right.  Rebel.

After the beach, we played some volleyball.  And when I say “played,” I really don’t mean we were good.  We were terrible.  The ball was embarrassed to be seen with us.  I had fun regardless.  I haven’t slapped a ball over a net since high school.  I don’t have any photos of that because we were really just that terrible at it.

Afterwords, we went on an adventure to the great desert of Maine.  It’s a giant desert smack in the middle of the state.  And it costs money to see it.  So we looked at some postcards, used our imagination and hopped back in the car.  Instead, we went out to eat some lobster at a wharf.  I got a lobster roll and some fries.  It was okay.

The best part was the ice cream.  I don’t have enough words to express how absolutely delicious it was.  In Maine, when you tell them you want two scoops, they really believe you.

So I ate that whole thing by myself, and I enjoyed every lick of it.  We returned to the campsite, which was dark and pleasant.  We returned to the beach, but I was too scared to go very far, so I sat on a rock and cradled the flashlight like a loser.

We made another fire upon our return.  I almost ruined a bag of popcorn, then we threw chemicals into the fire, and watched it burn like a rainbow.  It was nifty.

Day Four: Going Home

At this point in the trip, none of us had showered at all, so we all pretty much smelled like teenagers.  It was gross, and yet somehow fascinating.  We woke up on the fourth day ready to pack up, go home, and shower into oblivion.  Of course, I wanted to smell ripe for the long ride, so I went for a quick run around the roads, bought a soda, and then helped throw things in the car.  The tent was cleaned and disposed off (RIP), and we were on our way home.

We made a quick stop at the wharf so we could pick up some lobsters for Nick’s mom.  I’m still waiting for updates on how delicious they were.  We also stopped somewhere in Massachusetts to eat roast beef sandwiches because I had a craving and Nick is kind to me.  It was the most delicious sandwich I have ever had in my entire life.  Perfection between two slices of bread.  I kind of want to go back to that place.

I slept in the car because I was so pooped.  We made it home in one piece, Nick made me take all the corn and I stole a watermelon.  Then, before I knew it, I was back in my apartment, returned to the world of stress and e-mails and other silly annoyances.

Final verdict?  Maine people are weird, but I like their hiking trails and beaches.  It’s very beautiful.  Their desert is only worth the money if you didn’t grow up on an island.  Their lobster is awesome too.  You can just go and grab one for around eight bucks.  They literally just grab it out of a cage and hand it to you.  The ice costs extra.

To be honest though, I probably won’t ever visit Maine again.  I bought a pin from a store.  I’m set for life.

The Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

The Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

I went into this film already excited to see it.  The previews made it look spectacular.  First of all–the actress who played Hushpuppy was amazing beyond imagination.  I can’t even express how so very great she is.  There were about three moments during the film when she’s just reflecting on the world and her place in the universe and I couldn’t catch my breath.  Hearing a little girl say these things I am on the verge of discovering on my own, with such adult insight, is mind-blowing.

Do I recommend this movie?  Absolutely.  I think the beasts weren’t even needed in the film.  The story of Hushpuppy and her father is strong enough to be a great film alone.  The ending was perfect–everything about this film was amazing.  Go see it as soon as you can!

Subway Stories

I’ve been told by my roommate that it’s weird (and dangerous) that I talk to so many strangers.  It happens often and when they talk to me, I usually engage them.  I sincerely think people are harboring important stories and it’s our job as fellow humans to listen to these stories.  That’s why whenever someone is ready to talk, I’ll always listen.

Recently, I was on the uptown six train coming home from school.  I was reading the beginning of a new young adult novel, and I wasn’t quite sure I liked it yet.  I must have looked very confused, because a man got up from his seat across the subway car, sat next to me, and asked me what kind of book would engage me to thoroughly.  I told him a little bit about the book, and then we got into a deep conversation about writing and reading, and listening to others.  By the end of the ride, we had introduced ourselves formally to one another and promised to look out for books written by people with our names.

This man will probably forget about me, and maybe one day I’ll forget about him too.  However, for the time that we were talking, I felt better about the world, and I felt that there was someone who sincerely thought I could publish my novel and succeed.  I felt important, and I felt cared about.  All he did was talk to me.

I think that if we listen to one another more often, and we exhibit compassion and understanding on a regular basis, we might be able to undo a tiny bit of the negativity that’s wrapped itself around others.  We should worry less about figuring out ways to deal with bad situations and actually start dealing with bad situations.  Smile at the homeless, help someone complete a difficult task, ask questions–I think these things have more power than we realize.  We need to stop being afraid of one another, and start accepting that we’re all in the same boat, and we all are important.  Talk to each other.  Listen.  Be kind.

And for God’s sake, stop immediately expecting the worst in people.

Week One Hundred Seventeen

Even after hiking for close to seven hours, running three times during the week and doing other activities (like walking seven miles in a day), I still gained almost five pounds.  To say I am upset and disappointed is an understatement.  I thought I had broken through the weight wall I was hitting, but in one day I am literally back to where I was in May.  This is completely stupid.

So far, with the exception of my trip to Maine, I’m having a very terrible week.  If you have a moment, allow me to borrow some karma points, or perhaps give me a hug?  I’d greatly appreciate it.

Tomorrow is my first 5k.  I’m hovering on the border of terror and excitement.  I picked up my package, I have my number–I’m ready to go!  Now it’s time for the moment of truth.  I wish you all more joy than you can handle this week.


These roses come from the Netherlands.  Sometimes it’s just nice to receive flowers from someone who loves you–roses especially smell lovely until the end.  Sometimes I buy myself flowers just to remind myself that the universe is full of colors and smells and life and I shouldn’t forget to experience them.

Week One Hundred Sixteen

Sorry I missed last week!  My trip to Montauk kind of took over my weekend.  Good news this week: I finally broke my plateau!  I lost .8 this week, bringing my grand total to a (finally) new low of 84.2 pounds.  I’m 49.2 pounds away from reaching my goal weight–I hope by next winter to be there.  It’s unbelievable.

In other news, I’m a week away from my 5k.  I’m very nervous about it, though at the same time I can’t help feeling this overwhelming relief.  I never in a million years thought I’d ever sign up for a 5k, let alone actually go through with it.  This week I have to go pick up my material packet, and then it’s time for the run!  Just thinking about it makes me want to cry a bit.  It’s incredible.  Expect a boatload of pictures after it happens!

This week I ran three miles one night (in 43 minutes) and then yesterday I ran two miles (in 28 minutes).  It’s coming along!  I’m most excited to keep working at it after the race.  My next goal is to run a complete 5k without stopping.  Oh–and funny story:  After I finished running yesterday, I started walking towards the sidewalk and somehow fell over a pothole.  I scared the living daylights out of some girl who was sitting on a bench reading, and I couldn’t stop laughing afterwards.  I haven’t fallen like that for quite some time.  The left side of my body is killing me today–oof, I’m old.

Finally, expect some awesome stories about my upcoming trip to Maine.  I’m forcing Nick to go running with me.  And he promised me hiking!  It’s going to be fantastic–especially if he still wants to be friends when we get back!  Have a week made of the very best things!