Sweet Baby June

ivy-juneAlthough I mentioned it in passing on my last post, I will formally interrupt this silence to tell you that my husband, two sons, and I welcomed a baby girl into our family on November 15. Her name is Ivy June (we call her both Ivy and June – one month in and we are undecided whether she’s an Ivy or a June) and she is very sweet and mellow. It was, generally speaking, an uneventful labor and delivery. The only complications were expected and brilliantly handled by the hospital staff (I was very grateful). Until I get into some sort of routine, I’m sure I will pop in and out of this space. I do miss talking about books with other bookish adults, but I love newborns as well. Until then, I will go about my day as if I’m not ruled by three tiny dictators of my own making. I am in control. Completely.

Happy reading and happy holidays to all.


Six Degrees of Separation // Revolutionary Road


The idea behind this exercise is to connect books in any way that’s meaningful to use, from the profound to the inane. Although Kevin Bacon is typically behind the six degrees game, books are just a bit more fun.

I will keep this quick, as I have a tiny, fussy baby calling my name as best she can – I just miss this space and thinking and talking about books.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates – this month’s starting point – is great, but terribly, terribly depressing. You know what else qualifies for this distinction? Wuthering Heights, but I loathe that book. Interestingly enough, I enjoyed Sabin Willett’s retelling Abide With Me. Abide With Me features a summer romance, which naturally I relate to the ‘80s.

This brings me to The Body by Stephen King, which spawned the quintessential ’80s movie Stand by Me (which relates nicely to the title Abide with Me, which I just now realized. One of the lovely things about Stand By Me/The Body is the idea of childhood friends. This, along with it being a love letter to small towns, is one of the more lovely aspects to Nickolas Butler’s Shotgun Lovesongs.

Speaking of an ode to small towns, Empire Falls very much qualifies. In fact, most of what Richard Russo writes brings declining small towns to life. This particular novel is excellent and, in my opinion, very much deserved to win the Pulitzer Prize – as did Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (though it’s not his best work, in my opinion). I should have one more link, but I loved the symmetry of beginning with Revolutionary Road and ending with The Road too much to add another one.

It has absolutely nothing to do with lack of inspiration or time or exhaustion. Nothing at all. If you’d like to participate, please do!


The Cinematic Glory of my Teenage Years

kat-stratfordI, like any good, angsty teenager of the ’90s, loved Daria and My So-Called Life, but my taste in movies was (occasionally) less than stellar. Does that mean I love these movies any less? Nope. 10 Things I Hate About You FOREVER.

The theme this week is movies. Action, Romance, Thriller, etc. I will call this list “if you grew up in the later ’90s and had a rather unworldly outlook on life” teen movies. Did I like other movies outside of this made up genre? Yes, yes I did.

In no particular order:

Bonus: Blue Crush. Hawaii and surfing and fabulous abs…
10. Save the Last Dance.
Who didn’t want to secretly be a fabulous dancer?!
09. Center Stage. See above. Or was it just me?
08. Now and Then. This one is just plain great, right?
07. She’s All That. Because what teenage girl doesn’t appreciate the message that a haircut and contacts will be all that’s needed to make Freddie Prinze Jr. fall in love with her? There may be a bit of sarcasm here.
06. I Know What You Did Last Summer. My early foray into horror. No wonder I am scarred for life. But Lois Duncan!
05. Sweet Home Alabama. Really, when I think about it now, Melanie is the worst.
04. The Breakfast Club. All the angst. And Molly Ringwald.
03. Ever After. Cinderella + Drew Barrymore = Everything.
02. Clueless. As if…I wouldn’t include this on my list.
01. 10 Things I Hate About You. I wanted to be (and probably was) a less cool version of Kat.

How perfect is this image in tying together current events and top ten Tuesday? I, again, am mostly being sarcastic, but also…not so much. Because this could explain a lot. This brilliant illustration is available for purchase on etsy.

For more movie lists, go here.


Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

acadia01. I’m still pregnant. I’ll spare you the whining, but know that it’s there. And given how small this little peanut is predicted to be, going overdue may be a good thing. Still, there is something about the due date passing by that’s deflating.

02. Like short stories? Patrick Somerville’s The Universe in Miniature in Miniature is a great collection and it’s available through Featherproof Books at 20% off – and 100% of all sales will go directly to Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, Equality Illinois, and the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights until November 17.

03. Hillbilly Elegy was very much on my to read list, but the results of the elections bumped it up. I understand why people voted against him, but I do have trouble understanding why anyone would vote FOR him –  this book is supposed to help.

04. I just picked up my hold for Outlander (television show) at the library. I’m looking forward to watching it while I am on maternity leave. Clearly, I have BIG plans for my productivity.

05. In my last post I mentioned choosing between Acadia National Park (in Maine) and Olympic National Park (in Washington). I’m still thinking on it, but the above photo is Acadia (found here).

06. Rest in peace Leonard Cohen. This will never not be an amazing song.



Olympic National Park

Option A: Olympic National Park

: Oh, am I still expected to cook?
Drinking: Water, water, water, and occasionally watered down tea.
Reading: Inherit the Bones by Emily Littlejohn. So far, so good!
Organizing: A little of everything. Cleaning here and there.
Coveting: A Forestbound bag. Gorgeous and interesting, right?
ListeningGod’s Gonna Cut You Down // Johnny Cash
Watching: NOT ALIAS. I was extremely sad that Netflix pulled this show just as I was halfway through season three.
Smelling: Breakfast potatoes. Not mine, sadly.
Wishing: To both go into labor and not go into labor. Is it too much to ask to HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL over every aspect of the process? I think not.
Loving: Pizza. As one does.
Adoring: Halloween. I love this season, weather permitting.
Needing: Sleep! I am so exhausted with no hope of it getting any better.
Feeling: Sore. But it comes with the territory and I’m okay with it (most days).
Wearing: Stretchy stuff, because when you don’t think you can get any bigger, you can. Which, given how small my baby is predicted to be, just seems unfair.
Wanting: Birkenstocks. Still. I blame this on the ridiculously hot and prolonged summer Denver is having (I refuse to call this 80+ shit fall. Where’s the snow? Where’s the rain?) and my swollen feet.
Wondering: About that delicate, impossible work life balance. It’s strange to talk to people about leave time. People who don’t have babies think 10-12 weeks is an incredibly generous amount of time off. Those who have had one recently know how messy and emotional things still are after only two months postpartum. I do have to return to work, I don’t have a choice, and I do want to, but if I had 4-5 months off (rather than 2.5), I’d be both a better employee and parent.
Thinking: About this post from Andi, so good! Because I am too old for this.
Hiking: Ha. Hahaha. I do walk. A little. But I am, VERY TENTATIVELY, planning a vacation next year. The question is… Acadia National Park or Olympic National Park?

Photo found here, from what looks like a defunct Instagram account (sad!).

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