Tag Archives: nerd

pinch me;

as i mentioned in my last post, homegirl over here has been churning out some blog posts and tweets at my internship. oh hey, that’s my name on a big-girl website. oh hey, i might be having heart palpitations. oh hey, i might be humming that song from the lizzie mcguire movie. what is shame? i don’t know where i put mine.

maybe you’d like to take a gander? here are some photos i took as a photographer for boston’s fashion week (with my bright red point-and-shoot. haters with dslrs to the left). and a book review i did.

maybe you’d like to pinch me, because i think i might be dreaming?

i like to think that the universe has provided me with a completely awkward  life in exchange for a really neat internship that i adore a whole lot. everything is balanced. hey, i might have to go on dates with guys who come with painted nails (true story), but i get to blog about halloween playlists and tweet about bamboo toothbrushes. it evens out.

i’ll be accepting pinches until december 18, 2012. just an fyi.

a tour of the nest;



guys, i am absolutely obsessed with my new little nest. i keep having these visions of baking pumpkin bread, and my “misfits thanksgiving” menu for this year (apple stuffing, a tofurky, pumpkin cranberry cake with maple frosting), and the fact that the best trader joe’s in all of boston is right down the road. okay, so the latter point is the most important. so, welcome to my new nest. this is an open invitation for any and all of you to come and visit me. i have plenty of  sweet potato tortilla chips (yes, this exist…yes, i cried when i found them) and iced tea. welcome to the nest, ya’ll. 

yes, we have a painting of the new world on our wall. yes, i demanded that no one paint over it before we moved in. yes, i am/was very proud of my home state being repped on my hallway wall. swampland uber alles. 4 ever.

even millie and my books have been feeling quite at home. 

our living room and dining room still look kind of janky, but the next room totally makes up for it and has bewitched me heart and soul. 
my kitchen and my breakfast nook=  the mr. darcy of my life right now. it’s whatever. i regret nothing.

some very achievable roommate goals. yes, there is an entire festival for the celebration of fluff. i’m basically never, ever moving out of massachusetts because such a thing exists.

so

behold, my pride and joy. i have the teeniest room in the house, but in a way i find it to be the homiest little hobbit hole of my dreams.  all i hear in my room= crickets and my elderly asian neighbor who has literally been singing from 1-5pm each afternoon for the last four days. in short, i love my charming nest. 
yes, i think i’ll be staying put here for quite a while.

dancing around in your underoos, a playlist;

{click image for playlist!}

so, this is pretty self-explanatory; i spend a lot of time prancing around my apartment serenading my pillows with a crochet hook as a microphone. a lot of imagining that i am stevie nicks or one of the ronettes happens. i somehow, miraculously, have a captive audience that is not stuffed with cotton. i somehow have a lot of feathered hair extensions or a bouffant. it happens.

now this isn’t your typical “dance party” mix. i guess i should preface that the kind of dancing i prefer to do is of the interpretive, white-girl, awkward sort. lots of hand motions and prancing and leaping and so on and so forth (sorry, new roommates). and even if you’re the more modest type the following are totally acceptable things to do when it comes to (hopefully) enjoying this playlist: dancing in borrowed boxers from your brother, baking banana bread, painting your nails a lovely shade of forest green, putting on one of those sinister-looking greenface masks, writing a letter to your grandmother (just not when “BMFA” comes on), or dramatically looking out your window when you’re on a bus, in a car, in your room, or on a plane.

underoos optional. twirling to noah and the whale is not.

{image source}

musings on the blogosphere;

{world’s end. hingham, massachusetts}

it may or may not be evident, but i’ve been having some, well, perturbed feelings about the world of blogging. warning: please note that the point of this is not to call out anyone, but to call attention to a theme i’ve noticed. after reading this post and having a good skype chat with one of my favorite bloggers, i knew i wasn’t alone in noticing this theme.

i sometimes wonder if i’m missing the point of it. and sometimes i wonder if others are missing the point.

let’s start with the former, shall we?

i get frustrated sometimes, er, a lot of  the time lately. blogging, for me, has been the origin of some of my good friendships. it was a place i could share what i’ve written, experienced, and a good place to mark how much things have changed. i’ve been accompanied to concerts in san francisco. stayed with friends in d.c.eaten soy froyo with one of my favorite boston bloggers. eaten vegan brunches with people that make me feel like i’ve known them for ages. and this is all amazing and, if it weren’t for this little spot of mine on the internet, that i treat almost as if it’s my child of sorts, i would not have had the pleasure of any of the above. and i’ve read some amazing blogs; blogs where they let you into your world and don’t expect anything in return (commenters, followers, sponsorships, etc.) and these are the blogs i respect so much and comment on as much as possible, and make efforts to get to know better, because i appreciate the sacrifice they put in their blogs.

and i put a lot of effort into this little space. i spend hours on this space. i pore over different things i can write about, making sure nothing has been written about before, nothing has become too cliche in the 20-something blogging world (and there are lots of those), and nothing comes out that isn’t in my authentic voice. non-fiction is my absolute favorite form. it’s sacrificial, it’s awkward sometimes, and it’s often absurdly personal. and if you take a non-fiction class with me in college you will quickly wonder if i am ever going to run out of bizarre stories to write about (subjects: a man-friend who was “allergic to me”, my eating disorder, and a foray into public indecency, shhhhh).   and i hope that each post on whatever,gatsby can get to that point. maybe not the public indecency part, but i think you get my point.

the crux of my frustration is where the latter point comes in. i read a lot of blogs. a. lot. and have for years. cycling blogs, food blogs, healthy living, fashion, personal, crafting, animal… i’ve read it. and something i’ve noticed is a rampant case of “the samesies”. yes, the samesies. which seems impossible, don’t you think? we’re all these different, delightful little pockets of stories and experiences and memories, so why do we all sound the same?

{boston bloggers event with some of my favorite bloggers. anna. jenna. me. emily}

in some ways i find some of these blogs, like people, to be safe. they tread lightly, hoping to not rock the boat so much. i continue reading, hoping that i might learn something different; i might not have to sift through largely unoriginal material, i might not have to read (or not read) dumps of instagrammed photos without a narrative of any sort, i might not have to see blogs started four months ago with huge sponsorships and millions of followers when they spend multiple posts talking about minutiae (new wrinkles on their faces, what they ate for each meal that weekend, gratuitous pictures of their pugs). i stumble on these blogs because i hope they might have something to teach me, but quality shouldn’t be inferred by clicking on their link after seeing an overdone “ooh, cute!” comment on a favorite blog, but anyways. back at the ranch.

it bums me out sometimes. i don’t agree with it all the time. because i’ve never been a fan of safe things.  and while i know that not everyone wants to get suuuuuuper personal on their blogs, i can’t fathom being able to blog truthfully without exposing when things aren’t always perfect and in a walden filter and always at the most flattering angle and always with a perfect tan after a perfect summer beach day in your new target swimsuit and sunhat and oh-hey-someone-brought-sangria-oh-wow.

because i wonder if these people have been able to foster some great friendships from their blogs, and actual genuine interaction with people. just like in life, what’s the point of talking or living or breathing or writing if nothing that comes out is actually of your own design or intention? and while i can’t control the blogs themselves, i can control two things: whether i follow them and the content i choose to put up here.

{this is arguably my best look. playing a vengeful, dead ex-wife for my friend’s horror film}

i hope that whatever, gatsby never gets into the samesies category, which is why i can assure you, dear reader, that never will i ever:

-put up schmoopy couple photos in some sort of field (where are they finding all of these fields?!)
-post self-taken, non-ironic, glamour shots.
-post an “oooh! cute!” comment on your blog.
-posts with only pinterest pictures in them. no words. nothing.
-hold back a bizarro story to the best of my ability.
-gratuitous photos of just me. pouting. with red lipstick on.
-posts with only instagrammed photos (sans words and stories).
-not talk about andrew garfield’s inherent dreaminess (this is a reading check. still here?)

things i will do?
-talk about my love of wearing old spice deodorant (guys, it’s the bomb).
-web cam photos of when i played a vengeful dead ex-wife for my friend’s horror film (see above).
-some hopefully interesting posts on durham + charleston (soon!), life, the universe, and everything. in an untimely manner, because that’s authentic.
-get even more personal with you all in the next few months. because what’s the point of censoring myself on my own internet space?
-put up schmoopy photos of me kissing my dogs. naturally.
-more texts from my mother.
-borderline-unflattering photos of myself jumping.
-more poetry. because my love of it rivals that of men’s deodorant, and writing things that would make most people cringe (i.e) like white girl raps.

think of this as your reader’s bill of rights of sorts.

so with that being said, i’m going to go sit in a field somewhere (in a zooey deschanel-style dress, naturally) and talk about my “perfect” weekends. let’s hope someone captures the moment with a dslr and puts it on tumblr or pinterest.

it’s been a while, future man-friend;

Pinned Image

oh, hey there.
it’s been a while, i know.

i’ve been busy. and am only getting busier. buuuuuuuut. 
(just a quick note because i’m supposed to be busy, right?)

even after all of these years of seeing boys on the T bring home flowers to some lady at the end of their trip, and candle-lit dinners, and moments seemingly cut neatly out of a rom-com with ryan gosling, i still think  late-night chess would be a superior date. 

thatisall. okaybye!

sincerely,

future lady friend, who thinks you might need to watch your back at the chessboard.

that time i cried at the library of congress;



i’m not a very emotional person. no, really. i only cry in animal movies that require animals to perform feats of strength and courage. don’t ever ask me to watch “homeward bound”  with you. and  all fifty-six “land before time” movies caused major trauma for me as a child. so you can imagine my surprise when something besides a brave pterodactyl/ golden retriever brought me to lady-tears the last time i was in d.c.

it was innocent enough. for months i had had friends tell me i wouldn’t be able to see the fabled reading room portion of the library of congress. you’d need a pass. or to be a genius. any non-geniuses who strolled in would be met by a guard who would escort you out and deport you from the country after measuring the size of your brain. okay, so maybe not the last part, but my friends were being major buzz kills, for sure.

so i stumbled into the library of congress innocently enough. i thought i’d buy a tame, little water bottle to note my visit and maybe see a rotunda or two. no hyperventilating between stacks of book would happen. i could be just a normal person for the day, not a girl who has visited 20+ ornate libraries over the course of three years. a simple goal, if you will.

and if you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that what i expect to happen almost never does (in the best ways possible).

i saw a huge swarm of people gather together like a cattle call up a nondescript flight of stairs. i assumed there was free food involved, mostly because i was shocked any large group of people was bum-rushing any part of a library, in general.

i followed them. and then i saw it. the reading room. and i cried. i actually cried. i wondered for a split second whether or not i had watched “air bud” in my dreams the night before and it was just playing out of my subconscious. but no, it was a bunch of hustling scholars and a fiiiiiiiine rotunda (if i do say so myself, homegirl has a lovely rotunda) that brought me to animal-movie-level tears.

to save face, i decided to silently back out of the observation room (it was a silencing, glass box that overlooked the reading room) and went to one of the exhibits that looked tame enough. 100+ books that changed america. it only took a whiff of the room to realize that these books were all first editions (have i lost you yet?) catcher in the rye. a tree grows in brooklyn. goodnight moon. all in their old, musty glory. the tears started again. i just couldn’t handle the fact that i was seeing all these books in exactly the state that the authors had decided they would look. and how they’d sound. and how they would be perceived by the books’ first readers. no movie-edition covers. no abridged versions. it was almost as if i could see all those famous authors’ hand-prints on each copy i passed by.

pure magic, guys. absolutely magical.

i work in lists, part the second;

for my previous list, click here. 

things that peeve me:

-really breathy, french female singers. get a room. with yourself.

-people that eat tuna salad sandwiches behind me on the bus. please get a room as well.

-cat butts and how they seem to be backed into your face whenever you are just trying to relax. i’m flattered, cats of the world, but no thank you.

-the ubiquity of tomatoes. i don’t like them, but feel i have to because those suckers are all over my food. when did i realize this? april of my 21st year, naturally.

-when partially fluent (usually never past 1st or 2nd year) girls speak poor french whenever we encounter a french term in a non-french class (for instance, my theater history class last semester had two girls that sat behind me, kicked my seat, and also spoke really basic french to each other whenever a french term came up. it was torture.) words and their use, whatever language they are in, are of high importance to me. it was sacrilege, guys. i’m glad i sat in front of them, because then they couldn’t see me wince the whole time.

favorite literary hotties:

-eugene onegin.

-rosencrantz and guildenstern. packaged set.

-the chairman from memoirs of a geisha.

-henry de tamble.

-hamlet.

-nick carraway, after he dates jordan and realizes she’s a wench.

-oliver wood.

 facts:

-my freshman year, i took a shakespeare course and my professor told me i had written “the crassest paper [she] had ever read”. it was on lavinia from titus andronicus and i’m pretty sure i made fun of the fact that lavinia probably had no chance of a  career in puppetry (she has both arms + her tongue cut off in the play). am i proud of this? hells yes.

-if you are ever interested in googling me (i just cringed), the fourth search result reads “after mackenzie filson left, quidditch sort of died.” am i also proud of this? i think you know the answer.

-the other day the girl who sublets my room (super nice, sane, lithuanian, harvard student) and i gchatted. she started off the chat saying “i dont know if you’ve heard, but the gates of hell have opened on the east coast and they don’t know exactly where.” i actually freaked out, told my mom, and had her talk me down and tell me it was probably a joke. i watch too many twilight zone episodes. way, way too many. and one of my favorite book series is about the gates of hell opening, so i should just really steer clear of sci-fi. because  she was only talking about the weather and how hot it was in my apartment. homegirl got duped.

-this past may i biked with a group from a bike shop to castle island. there was one girl who brought speakers, motown tapes, and a tape-player and blasted music the whole way for us, speakers nestled in her backpack. from then on i wanted to be that girl, tunes blasting from my backpack. i’m 87% sure it will cut down how rude people can be to bikers on the road and provide a 60% increase in my usage of cat eye-liner and growing my hair into a bouffant.

things that can kindly keep on happening:

-texts asking whether i get home safely.

-the gradual growth of both avett brothers’ beards.

-the indestructibility of the bright orange nail polish on my toes.

-puppies that sleep in the crook of my arm.

-finding post-it notes in my room (i was gifted over 3000 post-it notes two christmases ago. schwing.)

-swimming in my leaf-covered community pool. the leaves are for added intrigue (i don’t know if i’ve said this, but i’m a mermaid, ya’ll. i swear), i like to think, and not because i am the only one that uses the pool or cares about it.

 the woman i want to be:

-when told she has food on her face, in her teeth, on her blouse, simply shrugs it off and says, “eh, whatever. it’ll find its way out” and continues whatever she was saying or whatever she was eating.

-giggles whenever she finds a good grad school program for linguistics and english. swoon.

-wears black, brown, and navy at the same time and does not give any hoots. no hoots whatsoever.

-goes dutch, whether she likes the guy or not.

-knows how to talk to eight year olds and eighty-eight year olds.

-always remembers her ear plugs for concerts. and flosses. and knows how to pluck her eyebrows.

-is not book-prejudiced. a book is a book and someone out there put a lot of effort into it and cried about deadlines and picked apart the third sentence in chapter seven for three days. that means reading books that get scoffed at a lot, i.e. fifty shades, twilight, harlequin romance novels with bare-chested fabios, and books with talking dragons. all of them. no complaints.

genre love;

{true story: i moved to boston with two books. as of june 2012 i had over 100. whoops.}

probably the first question i get asked when people find out i am a writing+literature+ publishing major is “oh, what’s your favorite book?!” and each time it makes me a different kind of clammy. my palms start to sweat and i start to mentally picture all of my bookshelves in hopes that one little novel will have a heavenly glow around it and that’ll be my answer.

people usually assume my favorite book is the great gatsby because of my blog name.
i can assure you now that it’s not.  that has a longish story from a high school inside joke attached to it.
people usually assume my favorite book is one of the harry potter books because i have a tattoo of the dewey decimal number for the seventh book on the left hand side of my ribcage.
i can assure you it’s not. but i can say that the date of the seventh book’s release in 2007 was a pretty important date for me.

instead, i usually respond with another question that arguably puts me in the category of “d-bag lit majors you should avoid”: “hmm, depends. what genre?”

what it boils down to is that i can pick a favorite book as easily as you can pick a favorite song or a favorite sentence of a favorite letter sent by your great-grandmother or a favorite moment in a movie or a favorite pet.
and maybe you can do these things. and be able to sleep at night knowing all of the non-favorites are staring at you out of distaste of your choice. or something like that.
but i can’t.

…which is why i am about to be a d-bag lit major and break up my favorite books by genre.

historical fiction (or takes place during ww2, i am an addict):
helen of troy by margaret george
the kitchen boy by robert alexander
the madonnas of leningrad by debra dean
suite française by irene nemirovsky

plain good non-fiction (most likely linguistics-related):
the mother tongue by bill bryson
talk talk talk by jay ingram
word myths by david wilton
live from new york: an uncensored history of saturday night live by tom shales
battle hymn of the tiger mother by amy chua (take with grain of salt)
bonk: the curious coupling of science and sex by mary roach (bought this one when i was in nyc, and even then it got me some stares)
stiff: the curious lives of human cadavers by mary roach

science fiction/fantasy:
stardust by neil gaiman
the salmon of doubt by douglas adams
the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy series by douglas adams
the silent gondoliers by william goldman
the gates by john connolly

poetry:
she walks in beauty compiled by caroline kennedy
the collected poetry of frank o’hara
100 selected poems by ee cummings
the book of love: poems of ecstasy and longing by rumi
selected poems by anna akhmatova

memoirs:
the new york regional mormon singles halloween dance by elna baker
a heartbreaking work of staggering genius by dave eggers
my boyfriend wrote a book about me by hilary winston
born standing up: a comic’s life by steve martin
naked by david sedaris

classics:
love in the time of cholera by gabriel garcia marquez
anna karenina by leo tolstoy
zorba the greek by nikos kazantzakis
lolita by vladimir nabokov
pygmalion by george bernard shaw
mayor of casterbridge by thomas hardy

children’s:
the seven silly eaters
the velveteen rabbit
the invention of hugo cabaret by brian selznick
i want my hat back by jon klassen
grandpa green by lane smith
from the mixed-up files of mrs. basil e. frankweiler
matilda by roald dahl
when hitler stole pink rabbit
hatchet by gary paulsen

teen:
the entire princess diaries series by meg cabot (just do it. you won’t regret it)
the entire georgia nicolson series by louise rennison
the book thief by marcus zusak
why we broke up by daniel handler and maira kalman
vegan virgin valentine by carolyn mackler
the future of us by jay asher and carolyn mackler

mindless summertime reads:
memoirs of a geisha by arthur golding
practical magic by alice hoffman
juliet, naked by nick hornby
starter for ten by david nicholls
big fish by daniel handler
the art of racing in the rain by garth stein

love-ly:
a history of love by nicole krauss
the time-traveler’s wife by audrey niffenegger
the paris wife by paula mclain
one day by david nicholls
the romance of tristan and iseult by joseph bedier
the princess bride by william goldman

travel:
neither here nor there: travels in europe by bill bryson
the geography of bliss by eric weiner
la bella figura: a field guide to the italian mind by beppe severgnini

eye-opening (non-fiction + fiction):
the girl’s guide to hunting and fishing by melissa bank
a room of one’s own by virginia woolf
the awakening by kate chopin
the dud avocado by elaine dungy
breakfast at tiffany’s by truman capote
the good body by eve ensler
blue like jazz: nonreligious thoughts on christian spirituality by donald miller

what are your favorites?

i’m ready for you, autumn, a playlist;


{click above for playlist!}

perhaps this is one of those “too soon?” things, but for me autumn could come a bit more quickly. autumn is one of those bundled, little collection of months that seems like it was wrapped up just for me. everything feels possible when you’re baking pumpkin into things (i love how borderline absurd the things pumpkin is baked into in the fall-times. i’m pulling out for a pumpkin pizza. or perhaps a vegan pumpkin mac & cheese) on darkening afternoons.

thoughts of biking on beacon street and through the esplanade with a canopy of fiery trees makes my heart go pitter-patter. hot cider donuts in an apple orchard are enough to make me jump for joy in my knee socks and the bright cobalt blue knee-high boots i bought for breaking in this fall’s leaf-jumping season.

and of course, i am excited to vote for president for the first time. is my nerd flag showing? no, scratch that. i’m flying that thing proudly.

and of course, i am too excited for words for the autumn movie release of anna karenina i feel sorry for anyone that come to see it with me the people in the theater, because i am likely going to see it solo, and will spend the entirety of the movie sobbing and saying,“it’s just…it’s just so beautiful….” over and over (although vronsky’s pedo-stache freaks me out).

but yes, back to baked goods, and the spirit of autumn. i can’t wait to see you, autumn. i will welcome you with open arms, and possibly a few extra pounds due to pumpkin pizza taste-testing.

i think autumn and i will get along just fine. just fine, indeed.

{image source}

cross country, a playlist;

{click for playlist!}

two bags are your constant companions. minus that leather backpack you picked up for free from a stoop sale in brooklyn, that you then stuffed with free books. yes, we can forget that one. and the subsequent back pain and chiropractor appointment.

the beauty of traveling by yourself is that you can listen to the same songs over and over and no one can even say anything. you can also watch “like crazy” over and over and no one can say anything. except the old women on the train that snicker loudly when they peer over your shoulder when the, uh, rather saucy scenes come on.

sure, mastering the art of asking nice-seeming couples to take your picture in front of the washington monument comes with practice (and noticing their desperation to get a new facebook profile picture-worthy picture from other strangers in the 102 degree weather). and yes, cupcakes are best eaten with company.

but you can eat the same salad every day. and you can go to duke chapel over and over again. and eat the salad again. and almond cookies when no one is looking don’t count. and hey, james mercer and george harrison are totally, definitely, actually singing to just you. just you.

an audience of one is pretty nice sometimes, you’d say.