Adventure Friday!

Today’s Happy Note: Grocery shopping!   Never fails to make me happy.  And I had some pretty good finds too, like TJ’s mini peanut butter cups and sole fillets on sale at Whole Foods.

Hello friends!  Happy Friday evening.  I had a very exciting day filled with adventures galore!  At the office this morning someone referred to “going on an adventure” and my ears perked right up.  Immediately, I pictured pirates and princesses and dragons and giants.  Actually, the adventure only involved picking up huge boxes from the mail room. But an adventure is an adventure and I like them all.  Seriously, you could probably tell me that the most boring analytical political paper ever (which I will be writing this weekend) was an adventure and I’d probably enjoy it.  Note to self: said paper is an adventure.

Guess what?  I have an apartment for the summer!!!!!!! Perfect location, price, etc.   It’s huge and in a beautiful old building on the UWS with a doorman.  And the woman who owns it doesn’t actually live there!  She works there some afternoons/evenings, and it’s been in her family for over 50 years.  Basically I will have the space to myself some of the time!  It’s pretty fabulous (and beautifully decorated).  The bedroom alone is about twice the size of my current dorm room, and cheaper.  I’m excited!

Exercise: 30 minutes of arm weights and 30 minutes HIIT on elliptical this morning.  When I do this combo I think of it as a power hour.  And it is!  I had to lug around multiple (heavy) bags of groceries later on in the day and I felt really strong doing it.  And I can definitely see more definition in my arms.  I never seem to see much ab definition though.  I can have rock solid arms and legs and the abs will just be, well…there.  Anybody else have this problem?

I also walked at least another 4 miles throughout the day (mostly on my adventure).

Lunch was yummy and Caribbean-inspired!

Romaine base topped with carrots, plantains, coconut rice, and pinto beans.  This tasted surprisingly yummy all mixed up!

I wasn’t in the mood for a cookie for Cookie Friday, but did want a treat.  I found just what I was looking for at the WF bakery…

Rocky Road Brownie! This was so perfectly rich and delicious.  I had a spoonful of my newfound maranatha dark chocolate almond “spread” (no idea why it is a “spread” and not a “butter”) on the side.  Pure chocolatey heaven.  I hope there is chocolate in heaven.

Adventure Friday:

Recap of Adventure Friday #1

Recap of Adventure Friday #2

I was planning on going to the Cloisters but didn’t have enough time because of visiting the apartment.  I needed something to do in a two hour block of time.  Enter…

The Central Park Conservatory Garden:

It was a most beautiful day and walking to the gardens and back was lovely!  A wee bit warm, but the piercing blue of the sky and the lazy, dragging leaves made up for it.  You guys know I like my plants, and today was a day for plants indeed. I saw many of my favorites — lilacs, lilies of the valley, honeysuckle, bluebell.  I also saw a ton of willows.  I think willows might be my favorite tree.  Either that or Japanese maple or white pine.  Hmmmm…

Do you have a favorite flowering plant?  Tree?

My sister became obsessed with edible wildlife when we were kids.  Someone gave her a book about what you can and can’t eat in the great outdoors and she latched onto it for years; if we went to a park or a lake or a botanical garden (what?  you didn’t go on trips to botanical gardens as a kid?), the book went too.  I quickly learned which berries could and could not be eaten, how to properly suck on honeysuckles, and that pine needles are edible.  I have forgotten most of the specifics, but the two of us used to take great joy in rambling around the woods looking for things to eat.  Today reminded me of that!  I started thinking of all the things in the gardens that could be edible…

Alright, I have just admitted one of the major quirks of my childhood.  Now you have to share.

This was a very pleasant little Adventure Friday!  I highly recommend the gardens; it’s nice to find spots of greenery and natural beauty in the city.

I have a monster headache and am off to steam myself and drink gallons of water!  I want to do a long run this weekend, but I know that it might not be the best plan given that I still feel sick and now sound like I have whooping cough…or tuberculosis…or something.  Blech.

Anyone doing anything fun for the weekend? I will be writing three papers!  Yay  Hope everyone else has a fun few days filled with outdoor activities (i.e., not sitting in the library looking like a vampire)!

Food, Mothers, Families

Today’s Happy Note: Honey-Lemon-Echinacea cough drops.  They’re special.

Exercise: I felt really icky this morning but felt better as the day went on.  I made a little pharmacy run for cough drops, ibuprofen, and kleenex and just felt like I had to run afterwards!  I did my favorite route along the Hudson River, 3 miles down and 3 back with 20 minutes of abs in the middle.  I did 30 reps of 16 different exercises and my tummy was burning. Some of my favorites include boat pose and crunches with legs at 90 degrees in the air.  Averie did a great post about abs — her favorite exercises, how to get good definition (hint: you need to do a few things besides crunches),  etc. I recommend it, it is very informative and inspiring; I love the attitude she takes that when we want something for ourselves we have to get out there and go for it!  Something I want?  A date.  Or two.  I do not think this is greedy.  I don’t yet have a plan for getting said dates, though.  Any ideas?

What’s something you want?  And what’s your plan of attack for getting it?  I say go for it!

I managed to forget to take pictures of everything today so I thought I would talk a little about food and my childhood (in conjunction with one another).  These are topics that I have definitely talked about before, but not really together.

Feeling Confined: Food, Mothers, Families

My parents, as you well know by now, are both doctors.  Good doctors (my dad was recently ranked second best doctor in the county!  Go papa!).  Both of my parents were very (and are) informed about health,  and their jobs allowed us economic and social access to a variety of healthy experiences.  I was a gymnast for ten years, a swimmer, a soccer player (briefly), runner, diver, scooter-rider, park-going, bike-riding, playground-loving kid.  My parents knew about the importance of fresh fruits and veggies.  They knew that kids don’t need to be pumped full of juice or candy or highly processed junk.  Other kids were bringing sandwiches on white bread to lunch; I had multigrain bread sandwiches with sides of carrots and apples.

I am extraordinarily grateful for the healthy childhood my parents gave me, in so many ways.

Last night I was talking on the phone with my dad and he mentioned that he absolutely had to buy a box of cocoa crispies.  His rationale?  He still felt the need to defy my mother’s “food rules.”  All this time I had thought I was the only one who was traumatized by them!  Don’t get me wrong; my mom always had the best of intentions, but sometimes food could become a stressful experience within our already chaotic household.

Sample “rules” (most unspoken):

-no cereal with more than 7-8 grams of sugar

-no white bread

-dinner isn’t dinner without about five servings of produce

-fake food is not food (ex: processed cheese stuff)

-pop and candy are useless calories

-you don’t need dessert everyday

-fast food is a once a year kind of thing.  If you do eat it, you should not enjoy it.

I think that for the most part these are quite good principles to live by.  And for the most part, I live by them today. For example, I have no interest in most highly processed foods, outside of th occasional oreo, and I quite dislike fast food. But there was something constraining about the relationship with food that I experienced.  I think that my mother was right to be concerned about what she put in her own body and the bodies of her children and husband, but is there a way to remain concerned without becoming obsessive?

When I was 16 I came to NYC on a trip with my poetry team.  One day, we all ate lunch in Harlem at a fried chicken place.  I had a milkshake.  I was terrified of the fried chicken because I had always been taught (and believed) it to be somehow evil.  Food is not evil.  It does not possess any inherent goodness or badness.  It is food.  In a single moment, much of my understanding of the world unraveled: it became clear to me that not everyone did or could eat the way my family and I did.  I had been “food privileged.”  And at the same time, I experienced a disordered relationship with food in much the same way that many very unhealthy people do.  How could these two worlds exist simultaneously within me?

In a way, they still coexist.  I find myself wondering if my actions with food are “correct.”  What if I eat a sandwich for lunch and there is too much bread?  What does “too much bread” even mean?  I don’t know what, precisely, is a proper relationship to have with food.  How I should interact with it on a day to day basis.  I know one important thing: there is a major difference between real food and processed food.  But other than that, I don’t know a whole lot.

I think one other thing I understand is this: maybe I don’t need to know all the answers.  Maybe I only need to live and breathe and be.  Maybe the answer does not lie in the precise outlining of a relationship with food.  Maybe there is no perfect program, but rather, I will find answers and comforts in not following any rules at all — neither restrictive rules nor wildly unrestrictive ones.

I am picturing my eight year old self lying sprawled on an asphalt driveway, a friend outlining my giddy body in pink chalk.  I think this is the rule; remember what it feels like to color yourself in with chalk; remember that outline, how it was sometimes blurry and jagged.  This is what food is.  It is not black and white; my relationship with it may be jagged and this is okay — maybe even beautiful.  Little pink chalk body outlines, surrounded by happy blue stars and yellow suns: this is beautiful.  This is happy.  Food can make me happy too.  A million things can make happy, and I do not have to participate in any relationship in which I feel constrained.  I want that girl back — the one playing with the bucket of colored chalk.  That girl.

I Like (Free) Food.

Today’s Happy Note: Naps.  Cuddling with my stuffed duck Herbert.  Watching TV curled up in my bed.  Drinking tea with honey.  Ah, the joys of being sick and not going to class!

Exercise: Went for a 40 minute walk today; climbed lots of stairs.  Still no “official” exercise, and guess what?  I’m perfectly fine!  I am, however, getting a bit restless and will need more movement time tomorrow.  I also am missing strength training!  I can’t wait to lift some arm weights and do core work.  Sometimes it’s not the process of exercise (i.e., burning calories, seeing results, etc.) but the act: it clears my head and just doing it makes me feel strong.

Eats: Sicky foods.  I’ll let the pictures talk.

Okay wait.  I want to talk.  Who doesn’t buy their dark chocolate by the pound (or pound plus, perhaps).  And anyone who doesn’t consume dark chocolate when they’re sick is a zombie.

And who doesn’t eat frozen yogurt daily?  Is that not allowed?

Eats Part II: Free food. Who doesn’t like free food?  I’ve been encountering LOTS of free food lately.  It tends to be rather ubiquitous at the end of the semester and my thoughts about it can be summed up in three words: I love it. I haven’t spent money on dinner in three days.  This is amazing.  I try to keep things real on this blog, and this is definitely one very “real” aspect of my life.  While I’ll never skimp on food, I can’t always afford Whole Foods produce or organic products or unlimited servings of fresh veggies.  I do what I can — and I probably do better than most college students.  But sometimes, payday is still three days away.   In the meantime, bring on the (free) food (preferably healthy; but when you’re a student free is free).  I don’t discriminate amongst things without price stickers.

Free dinner last night:

I snagged a seat at a little dinner hour with the provost and had a most lovely meal, including un-pictured chocolate covered strawberries.  My school is insanely rich and has the most amazing catering services.

Items pictured include: grilled chicken, salmon, rare steak, roasted cauliflower, some sort of bacon potato salad (DIVINE), broccolini, greek salad, mango and cucumber salad.

Tonight’s free dinner:

That last plate is stolen free food.  Perhaps snagged is a better way of describing it.  Plus, it was leftover at the end of an event, so I’m pretty sure it was up for grabs anyways.  This meal involved jerk chicken, a tiny bit of rice and beans (I’m not a huge rice fan), lamb kebab, Indian samosa patty thing, plantains, plain salad, fruit, and, of course, pretty cupcakes.  Look at that frosting!  So blue.  It reminds me of pictures of the ocean off of Greek islands.  Random, but am I right?

These cupcakes were from Buttercup Bakery (I saw the boxes) and the frosting was hands down the best I have ever had in the city.  Creamy and rich and sweet but not overpowering or cloying.  A perfect balance.

I’ve only gone to two classes so far this week.  Hey, I don’t want to infect anybody else right before finals!  Seriously, people on this campus would be having some major panic attacks if they got sick right now.  I;m only doing my duty to my fellow students.  BUT this wonderful little not-going-to-class-streak must end, sadly.  I am feeling a bit better and really need to go to both my classes and work tomorrow.  Hopefully I won’t be too tired!

Goodnight friends!  And happy Thursday!

Therapy Monday

Today’s Happy Note: Baking cookies!  I made chocolate chunk cookies for the students who I teach an SAT class on Monday nights.  Today was the last day so I wanted them to have a little reward.  Baking is definitely relaxing!

I started feeling a teeny bit sick yesterday and am full-blown sick today.  Icky.  Sore threat, headache, body ache, etc.  I hope it’ll go away soon since I have so much work to get done this week and I can never concentrate when I’m sick and I just want to take a nap!

I didn’t want to overdo it by exercising too much, so I just did a twenty minute yogadownload video this morning and walked about 2-3 miles throughout the day.  The yoga felt nice and relaxing.

When I’m sick I tend to panic about not exercising for a few days at a time.  I dislike taking rest days more than one day in a row, and if I’m sick for 3 or 4 days and don’t workout at all, well, that scares me.  I have an irrational fear of becoming instantaneously fat.  And then if I do workout I just feel run down which stresses me out and probably just ends up exacerbating the illness!  So, my mini goal here is this: respect my body, give it the rest and love and attention that it needs; if I feel up for a little movement, fine, but if not, I will listen to my body (and my mind) and I won’t stress about my decisions either way!

What do I like to eat when I’m sick?

Oatmeal!  Specifically, oats in a jar!

My row of nut butter jars is growing growing growing!  I have no idea why I’m saving them, I just think they’re cute!

I  also like cold, creamy smoothies (consumed in a bowl with some kashi for crunchiness!):

And soothing, hot tea:

And easy peasy leftover bowls: this dish (ground beef, stir-fried asparagus/spinach, TJ’s coconut lime rice) took three minutes to heat in the microwave!  And voila, done.

I also like hot cocoa and anything sweet/carby.  What do you like to eat or drink when you’re sick?

Therapy Monday:

Today was really complicated; lots of tears, but I came away with one simple and concise point: be compassionate towards others, but begin by being compassionate towards yourself and your family.  It would take me about ten years to explain how we got to this point so I won’t.  But it was a lovely, spectacular little realization, really.  Because it’s so true.

On an unrelated note, I was telling my therapist about what I did when I was little and I was sick.  I used to go to my parent’s offices  (they’re both doctors) and it was such a blast!  My sister and I would play with the stethoscopes, microscopes, and rolling stools, draw endless pictures, and be entertained by the nurses.  Great little memory!   When I was older and could stay home during the day by myself, I became an absolute master at either pretending I was sick when I wasn’t or convincing my mom that I just needed a day off and she should call school and say I was sick.  I have always been pretty good at manipulating people, but this was my specialty.  She always felt so bad (and was really gullible), and I took a ton of sick days when I wasn’t remotely sick!

Did anyone else do this or was it just me?  Do you have any really fun childhood memories like this one?

A third note: my therapist went way above and beyond the call of duty today.  I don’t really want to explain how, but wow.  Just wow.  I was floored by her compassion, generosity, and kindness.  I am so incredibly, incredibly lucky.  If anyone lives in New York and wants a therapist, email me and I would HIGHLY recommend her.

Alright, time for me to munch on chocolate, do the crossword puzzle from the paper, and go to sleep!  Goodnight 🙂

Today’s Happy Note: Hard to pick one thing!  I’m going to have to go with walking/running through two parks today that were stunningly, verdantly green!  There was yellow and lime and forest and bright jade and chartreuse and pear and bud green and a million other tones.  It had just rained and everything simply felt so wonderfully alive!

Oh happy Sunday!  Most wonderful day full of most wonderful things.  I want to make a list since it was all so refreshing:

1. Brunch with my contemporary civilization class (there’s only 8 of us) at my professor’s apartment!  I have never dined with a professor before and thought it might be intimidating, but it was actually really relaxing!  She had the most adorable two year old son and cats.  I played with both, of course! 🙂  Her son was obsessed with lox, it was so cute.  It was a very New York brunch with bagels, cream cheese, lox, frittata, and banana nut muffins.  I didn’t take any pictures, but I have good news: I wasn’t afriad of any of the food!  I told myself, “this is a fun event with a professor that doesn’t happen everyday, with delicious (free) food; just relax.”  And I did!  And had fun! I snagged a leftover  muffin and had half with pb as an afternoon snack:

2. Movies with friends: It’s nice to see B-grade comedy movies sometimes and just laugh and smile.  I really do feel healthier after laughing; I think there is soemthing healing about it.  That reminds me.  My steaz cap today:

I munched on my own trail mix at the movie.  I don’t believe in exhorbitant movie theater prices and the options generally aren’t the healthiest.  This baggie had cashews, dried cherries, and kashi goLean crunch honey almond flax cereal.

A good cap for the day, I think!  After brunch there was plenty of relaxing, reading (school) books in bed, and just generally having a nice indoor-afternoon on a rainy day.

4. Run!  I got my friend Jonathon to go with me again today!  I was planning on doing five miles with him and then adding another two or three on at the end.  But we saw an awesome playground in the middle and he wanted to stop.  At first I was like “No way!  I can’t interrupt my run!” but I eventually conceded and I am SO glad I did!  We played on the swings, climbed the jungle gyms, did push-ups on the benches (even though I am push-up challenged), jumped around and went on the see-saw!  It was honestly the most fun with a friend I have had in a while, and I really needed that.  I needed to restore confidence in my human relationships and my ability to just let go and have fun and this adventure did that.  It is amazing what one little afternoon of feeling free can do for your spirit.  Thanks Jonathon 🙂

5. Evening: Dinner/homework time (blech — to the homework, not the dinner).

My stomach was feeling a wee bit off before eating this, but now it’s hurting a lot!  I have two hypotheses: too much fiber (that is one giant salad with romaine, spinach, asparagus, and cucumbers) or the animal protein.  Every once in a while meat seems to make my tummy a little crampy.  It only happens once in a while though, so I’m not sure what that means.  I don’t plan on ever being a vegetarian or even vegan though.  I just need to do a better job on balancing my meat/fish/dairy consumption, I think…

I guess it was a pretty spectacular day, looking back.  Sometimes it just takes one really nice day with friends to get me out of a funk, ya know?

What made your day special?  What makes you happy?

Smooth(ie) Saturday

Today’s Happy Note: Emailing with a blog friend and helping her out.  It made me feel useful or valuable!  And in a way, blogging, for me, is all about trying to help both myself and others with their health — mental, physical, spiritual, whatever.  I have truly come to adore the blogging community; when I need help, others are there for me; when someone else is struggling, I do what I can.  It’s a nice little world to have!

Thanks everybody for the tips from yesterday!  So thoughtful.  Unfortunately, I forgot to mention one minor detail: I lack significant freezer space.  I have a mini fridge and the freezer is about the size of a peanut butter jar.  I can fit one item in at a time; usually I freeze fruit for smoothies, although maybe I’ll alternate frozen fruit with veggies for the next few weeks.  Thanks!

Exercise: I woke up this morning knowing that there would be a group run for the running club at eleven, but had no idea how far I wanted to go.  I honestly couldn’t decide if it was a four mile day or a fourteen mile day!  Normally I am more sure before I set out, but it was nice to have a little flexibility.  I ran a few miles with some girls from the club and then they split off to do a shorter run and I decided on  medium-long run.  It was the perfect compromise!   Smooth, Caronae.  Smooth.  (BTW, that is such a weird word!)  I ended up doing nine miles through Central Park.  It was a lovely day, but it was quite crowded.  Meh.  It wasn’t that hot at all (the little electronic billboard at Columbus Circle said 60 degrees) but I was sweating buckets and dying of thirst — my lips and throat were getting so dry that I just had to keep swallowing my own spit.  It was disgusting.  I stopped for water at drinking fountains at least three times, but it never seemed to make a dent in my thirst.  Very weird, no? Does this ever happen to anybody else? Normally I can go quite far without water when it isn’t boiling; I’m like a little camel.  Only I don’t have humps.  Duh.

Eats: This weather has been making me want nothing but smoothies.  Seriously, I could eat them for every single meal and every single snack right now.  My blender is such a life-saver.  It is going to be so useful on those dripping hot NYC summer days when all I want to do is pass out (literally) in a giant, cool puddle.  But I won’t have to do that because I have a blender and I can make delicious icy smoothies!  With frozen berries or peaches or bananas and all sorts of yummy things!  I consumed two today.  SIAB style, of course!

What other veggies can easily be added to smoothies besides spinach? I saw Kath do lettuce once and Heather do cucumbers, but I’m a bit afraid!  Does it taste good?

I’m so excited to experiment with summer salads once I’m free from school and living in an apartment with a (hopefully) better kitchen and (hopefully) more free time.  Eggplant, basil, carrots, asparagus, peaches, berries, wheat pasta, beans, lentils — there are so many delicious ingredients to be experimented with!  Anybody have a favorite summer-y salad recipe?

There is one warm thing I don’t stop craving just because it’s hot: oatmeal! I just had some oats in a pb jar for a little snack, actually!  It’s just a perfect breakfast, all year long, although I may rotate in cereal once in a while. 🙂  Maybe.  And it’s smooth.

Social life: I went to a “party” with the running club last night.  It was decently fun, but a bit boring.  I am such a geek though, I can never seem to stay out much past midnight.  11:30 rolls around and I’m ready to go have a snack, read, and turn off the lights!  At least I still find some ways to get in quality social interaction.  I am clearly so socially smooth. Tonight I went to a concert on campus and then a play in the student center that my best friend was in.  Definitely enough friend-time for one day!  I also managed to get a small amount of reading done, although not much.  I was reading outside on a lawn since it was so sunny and I was sitting next to a group of sorority girls who were having the most idiotic discussion ever.  It was so totally distracting!  They just talked about parties, painting their nails, other girls, and clothes the whole time.  These things are fine, but somehow, they made it sound really, really stupid.  Score one for the boys.  At least they’re upfront about the idiocy of their conversations.

Adventure Friday

Today’s Happy Note:  I got housing for next year!  Yay!  I wasn’t guaranteed housing because I took a semester off so this was very good news.

More good news? Fifteen page paper #1 is done!  More on that under “Adventure Friday” section (trust me, it was quite the adventure).

Exercise: I did 7.5 easy miles yesterday morning and 5 tonight.  I have never tried doing HIIT for an outdoor run before, but it worked pretty well!  I did a mile warm-up then about two miles with 10 x 1 minute all out sprinkled in.  I then ran another two miles to the gym for weights.  I pretty much just did a full body workout today.  I have gotten a lot better at dips (on the assist machine) and can now do twice as many as when I started buckling down on strength after the NYC half-marathon.

Funny story: It turns out that the mega-strong guys who seem to be able to effortlessly lift hundreds of pounds are actually quite sweet!  I have noticed that they are always very respectful of me in the weight room, which I would estimate is usually about 95-98% male.  They always offer to let me work in with them and they don’t stare at me.  Today, I was doing this one arm exercise thingy (wow, I am really knowledgeable about weight lifting terminology) with a 15 pound dumbbell.  This is pretty much the heaviest dumbbell I am ever capable of using.  There were a bunch of un-racked weights on the floor around me, including a set of 30 pounders, which I clearly wasn’t using.  But this very strong looking guy came up and politely asked me if I was using them or if he could use them!  It was kind of sexy actually, I won’t lie.  I mean what could be wrong with men who are simultaneously strong and powerful and sweet and kind?  Nothing, me thinks.

Eats: Finals time means easily eatable eats!  I am finding simple ways of getting in lots of produce, like veg/fruit bowls, pre-made salads from the cafe (expensive, but worth it for the moment), smoothies, and stir-fries.  Anyone have any awesome tips for getting in plenty of produce on a super tight schedule (and a budget)?

Couldn’t forget cookie Friday 🙂  See this post from Tina for some lovely cookies, including mine from last week!

I heart smoothie froth!  I’m debating whether or not I should buy a box of cereal or two for the upcoming week.  I tend to go overboard with cereal so I don’t usually keep it around, but I know that between studying, paper writing, regular activities, etc. I’m going to be very pressed for time and cereal is an easy, decent meal solution. I can add fruit and nuts to increase the nutritionals or make an on-the-go trail mix.  Cereal is such an easy food, but I don’t want my diet to be, well, cereal for the next two weeks.  Decision, decisions…

Fun Caronae Fact: I am one of the most indecisive people the world has ever seen.  I could never ever run a company or teach a class.  I can’t even decide what to order in restaurants.

Adventure Friday!

Today’s (and yesterday’s) adventure may not have involved leaving the room, but it was quite interesting!  I am taking a class on the Arabian Nights (aka One Thousand and One Nights) and Islam and had to write a 15 page final paper on anything that had to do with those two things.  I absolutely adore books — I consider them to be one of my best friends.  Give me a giant pile of books to dive into and I will be one happy clam.  But don’t make me eat the clam because I’m allergic.  And the Arabian Nights are absolutely fascinating!  The real version is not the picture book version you heard as a child.  The stories are full of scandal, beauty, imagery, sex, thievery, transgressions, passion, and food.  They are, quite simply, a delight.  While we have been reading various stories and interpretations all semester, I really got into yesterday and today.  Not to be cheesy, but it felt like I had my own little magic carpet taking me all around the world!

Book pile:

Sticky notes=easy quote finding!  Paper is all done:

I could go on and on about books and words.  They’re such good friends, in a very real way, I think.  They absolutely constitute an adventure for me.  I love libraries, archives (I work in one!), bookstores, journals, old pages, letters, inky pens.  I love it all.  Sometimes when I’m lonely I start reading a book and the moments in that book, whether happy or sad, bright or gloomy, take me to a different place and remind me that there are different times in life: sometimes I will experience love, sometimes loss.  Ultimately, I will find other humans with whom to connect, on the page at the very least.  I’m currently reading Alice Walker’s In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens and The Arabs: A History (for class but quite spectacular).

Some of the books that have changed my life:

Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon

Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Pablo Neruda’s Selected Poems

Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God

Harry Potter series (no, I’m not joking)

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime And Punishment

Shel Silverstein’s The Missing Piece

What are some of your favorite books?  Do you feel the same way about them as I do or am I just a total weirdo?

Happy happy weekend!

PS — wordpress changed their main dashboard, it seems, and I am VERY confused.  Can’t figure out how to add tags or how to publish, although I suppose that by the time you’re reading this I’ll probably have figured that one out…

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