In Which I Update! Eek!

Wow, I can’t believe that I haven’t posted on this blog for twenty days. I guess that’s just a sign of how crazy busy my life has seemed to be in the past few weeks. It’s hard leaving, starting, and getting used to jobs. Band camp is hard, too. So, as it turns out, is “intern teaching” – whatever that’s supposed to mean.

The worst thing is, I have very little to say…

I have the most awful blisters. Yesterday I tried to wear some cute new shoes to school – little orange leather slide-mules. Unfortunately, they made my feet sweat like nobody’s business, and I quickly found I couldn’t walk without stopping every few hundred yards to mop out the inside of the shoes with a paper towel. (Ew.) I guess that probably loosened up my skin just in time for me to put on heels for pregame; half an hour later, I was hurting pretty bad, and knew that blisters were starting. I wasn’t sure what to do, because I knew the orange shoes wouldn’t do much good, either. That’s about the point when I discovered Meredith’s flipflops under my desk and decided that they’d be an improvement. They were, too – all except for the tighter-than-anticipated toe strap, which rubbed oozing bleeding blisters between my toes. By the time I got home, I had silver-dollar-sized, teardrop-shaped blisters on the balls of each foot, and open sores between the big and second toes of each foot to boot. Today, I’m limping around in my plush slippers that – fortunately – actually look like normal shoes at first glance. I’m supposed to go camping tomorrow, and I’m really not sure what I’m going to be able to do other than sit in a camp  and whine. I definitely have to get some better shoes – there’s just no getting around it. No more Payless shoes for me.

You’d think I would have already learned that.

Yesterday was our season opener against Weber State. I’m afraid we beat them pretty badly, and broke one of their players in the process. Well, broke his leg, anyway, which isn’t as bad as it could have been. Unfortunately, the broken-legged football player was apparently scheduled to get married today, so that’s got to really suck. The band looked really good – and really big. Hooray, big band!


I’m not getting any reading, writing, crafting, cleaning, or anything else done.

That’s all for now. Got to go back to work. Smooches!


I just wanted to let everyone out there in blogland know that I wasn’t dead – rather, I’ve got a new job, and it’s doing some very funny things to my available blogging time. I’m so behind on my feedburner that it’s not even funny, and I haven’t read so much as a chapter in two weeks. Plus, my computer has yet to arrive, and the other computer has caught a bad case of the Civilization IVs, so I haven’t had a lot of keyboard time at home, either.

I will try to find some time to come up with something to say and say it, but in the meantime I encourage you to click on the “Links” tab up there and check out some of the other fine book-bloggers out there. Whether your preference is reading, book arts, or writing, I think you’ll find something good to read up there while you’re waiting for me to manage my time. 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

Breath Deeply

Thanks to Kapachino for posting this extremely telling and true quotation by Mr. C.S. Lewis (emphasis mine):

Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realise the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realise it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented….

[I]n reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.

Uncommonly Good Shopping

It’s been a while since I did a “cool stuff you can buy online” post, and since Jessica directed me to an awesome eStore, I felt it was high time. 🙂

I, for one, would never have imagined that old newspaper was good for much other than lining bird cages and starting campfires. The Uncommon Goods shop, however, offers a tote bag made entirely out of woven newspaper – and it’s beautiful. (There’s a clutch, too.)

These tables are designed for kids, but wouldn’t they be amazing for the particularly right-brained dreamer? Chalk/whiteboard tables… 🙂

“For anyone who can’t keep his or her pen shut.” How many times have you (after the fact) wished you had one of these?


Ever wish you could have a great author sitting at your desk, helping you fight your way through your plot? How about Twain, Hemingway, or even Shakespeare? These tiny marble figures even open up so you can stash away your writerly secrets within.

You’ll find it much easier and more stylish to keep your favorite brew close at hand with this classy coffee tote.

I’ve seen these optical illusion book “shelves” a few times recently, and in fact came across one at Borders the other day. They’re brilliantly simple: you screw the bracket to the wall, slip a sturdy book over the perpendicular plane, and then stack books atop that one. Presto! Books, apparently suspended in midair against the wall!

Let loose a flood of inspiration with this sculpture in your study or living room! 


“Smart women thirst for knowledge” – and good tea, sipped from these adorable mugs.

It’s hard to tell what this would feel, fold, and glue like, but I’m fascinated with the idea of making books out of this paper. You could read the book, and when you were done, plant it – and flowers would bloom!

 You simply have to click, view, and read about this nifty writing utensil.

Readers, actors, teachers, and savvy students will all find entertainment and enrichment in Uncommon Good’s “The Play’s the Thing” Shakespeare board game.


If you’re going to be a writer, or if you spend money you shouldn’t on books, you know the importance of “saving for a rainy day.” This beautiful little bowl appeals to me, not only because of the words imprinted in it, but because I’ve always had a thing for old-fashioned umbrellas. The pricetag is only slightly ironic. 🙂 On that same note: you have to keep from becoming discouraged if you want to make it as a writer. This paperweight/figurine is a beautiful reminder that opportunity is always just around the corner.

Jewelry inspired by Oscar Wilde, art supplies, Martin Luther King, Scrabble, old and new writing equipment, William E. Henley, changing vision, braille, Gandhi, and fairy tales. Whoo, that’s a lot of links!

Reading journals rarely do much for me – they always have sections I’ll never use, or are missing the things I need. This one looks pretty cool, though. I love the three-ring binding – very convenient!


Those of us who grew up with Winnie the Pooh know how amazing Milne’s philosophy really was, and will doubly appreciate it on this heartwarming pillow.

Another cute “reading man” lamp – this one rather more expensive than the one I shared some weeks ago.

If you love murder mysteries, you might want to decorate with this [dramatic? funny? kitschy?] ceramic flower vase. Lovers of chic lit might prefer these, and those of you whose favorite writing tool is liquid and comes in a brown paper bag might like these. 


Finally, this has nothing to do with reading or writing, other than the fact that I – a reader and writer – want to learn how to juggle and think this is a pretty set. Anyone out there juggle? Can a klutz like me learn?

Ahh, Sloth

On the one hand, this “book holder” I read about on Book Patrol is pretty ingenious. It holds the book for you at the perfect angle for relaxed, comfortable reading. There’s just one problem – exactly how slow of a reader are you, that it isn’t more inconvenient to unstrap the book and turn the page than it is to just hold the book?

The funny thing is, a similar invention got turned in for Kimbooktu’s book gadget contest, only that one was a clear glass table you put your book on and then laid underneath. That seems really impractical to me – like many inventions, brilliant, but only up to a point! 🙂

Review: Tales of a Female Nomad

nom1.jpgI’ve always identified with the more romanticized versions of nomads and vagabonds: gypsies, pirates, river rats, camel caravaners. Wanderlust is as much a part of my genes as my hair color; in me it has been dilluted a bit from the previous generation, but it is still there, still very much a driving force in my personality. To help satisfy my wanderlust on a limited time- and money-budget, I often read books that transport me around the world. Stories of women striking it out on their own especially intrigue me – probably the result of long hours spent daydreaming about where Agatha Christie spent those ten days.

A year or so back, I fell in love with a collection of personal essays by women who had traveled the globe. It was called A Woman Alone: Travel Tales from Around the Globe, and my only complaint with it was that I couldn’t follow each of these women beyond their brief chapters.

From that book, I came to Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World, a book that let me do just that. It is the story, thus far, of Rita Golden Gelman, a children’s book author who divorced herself from a “normal” life and became a citizen of the world. Her journey starts in Mexico, where she lives among rural villagers and learns how to assimilate into the culture. From there she goes to Guatemala, and then to Nicaragua. She spends six weeks in Israel, where she learns things she never suspected about her heritage, then heads to the other side of the world to the Galapagos Islands.

From there, Gelman travels to Indonesia, ends up in Bali, and there finds a place where her restless heels feel at home. When she first arrives, she has no idea that she will spend the next four years there, and that she will return there again for years to come. In Bali, Gelman finds her spiritual center as well as her center as a storyteller. Her Bali chapters completely transport the reader to the island, and when she leaves you feel as though you, too, have spent the most important part of your life there. Next she moves to Seattle, then New Zealand, and finally to Thailand, where her descriptions of the food are so delectable that you can practically taste it.

Her adult children don’t understand. Her friends think that her money might be better spent on therapy. Meanwhile, she is becoming the sort of human that we are meant to be but which is repressed under a heavy cloak of the American “dream”. Traveling like this gives her true freedom:

I’ve discovered a new way to live. My life is endlessly fascinating, filled with learning, adventure, interesting people, new and enlightening experiences. I laugh, sing, and dance more than I ever ahve. I am becoming the person inside me…. I’m existing on less than $10,000 a year, including airfares. I’m embracing life….

Tales of a Female Nomad is one of those rare travel books that keeps you engaged and enthralled from beginning to end. Written in the first person present, it has a feeling of motion and immediacy that seduces the imagination and truly gives the sense of being there oneself. Gelman is a real woman, not a superheroine – she offers up all of her fears, fitness issues, and critics in an honest depiction of what it is like to give up everything you have known in exchange for an entirely new way to live.

Gelman’s journey begins when she is 48 years old, and has not yet ended. The closest thing she has to a permanent residence is her website, which is updated blog-style. As of her most recent post, she is in Seattle, working on a cookbook. Last October she spent time in Tanzania, Kenya, and Nairobi. What an extraordinary life… and an exceptional book.