We’re all just trying our best, 2017: A Year in Review

The tone of this post was going to be really different than what it turned out to be. Don’t get me wrong, 2017 was a really good year for me, despite, y’know, [gestures to the entire United States]. Work was good, school was good, social life was good, living situation was good! Good times all around!

So why is this post still going to be so down in the mouth?



GET WRECKED, 2016: A Year in Review

Man, what a dumpster fire of a year. The most jarring thing about how awful 2016 was, globally speaking, is the contrast with my individual life in 2016, which was actually pretty great? It’s made it very difficult to be excited about good things happening in my life, because they seem very small in comparison. 2017 is shaping up to be more of the same, unfortunately, but that’s a post for a different day.

At any rate, here’s what I was up to in 2016, with the usual Instagram annotations. (Eventually I will use this blog for something that isn’t year-in-review posts. Eventually.)


2015 was a thing that happened

Yes, my New Year’s resolutions post is happening in March. Don’t @ me.

I did a year-in-review/New Year’s resolutions post last year, and I’ve actually revisited it several times since posting. My specific brand of brain weirdness means that I focus way too much on negative things that have happened and ignore the positive, so it was really helpful to have a list of good things that happened in 2014. That post also helped to remind me of my resolutions, which were… well, you’ll see. (more…)

Book Review: Carry On (Rowell), The Scorpio Races (Stiefvater)

The theme of this post is “books by authors I have met recently!” Which is not so much a theme as it is the only thing these books have in common, but okay. No, wait! They have one more thing in common: I am in total, head-over-heels, frothing-at-the-mouth in love with them.

Rainbow Rowell came to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in October as part of the Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures series. Here’s how that week played out: Tuesday, Carry On arrived at my doorstep. I read it in its 522-page entirety on Wednesday instead of studying for the GRE, which I took on Thursday afternoon, mere hours before Rowell’s lecture. Clearly my priorities are in order. I told Rowell that I had no regrets for my abysmal time management and she signed my book to that effect, which was pretty great. Rowell is exactly as charming and delightful as a person named Rainbow ought to be.

A few weeks later Maggie Stiefvater spoke at Carnegie Mellon University as part of PARSEC’s YA lecture series. Stiefvater has been for a while now one of my “problematic faves,” as the kids say, and she was so irreverently hilarious in person that I no longer feel any qualms about having her on my “people I want to be when I grow up” list. (Although she should, perhaps, step away from Twitter every now and again.)


An UnBEARably Fun Story Time

My library internship continues apace, and I ran my first solo story time this week! I’ve been helping the librarians with story times pretty frequently over the past few months, but this is the first time I’ve done one by myself start to finish. The librarian who usually does the three- and four-year-old story times on Wednesdays couldn’t do it this week, so I subbed in for her. I was a bit nervous — not because of the kids, but because their parents stay for this program, and I always feel like parents are judging me — but it went really well! I had a good time, and a few very kind parents told me that I did a nice job, so: success!

While I was preparing for this story time I came across this great blog by a children’s librarian, which inspired me to start keeping track of my own library projects. So, in the interest of posterity, here’s what I did: (more…)

Three Conferences for the Price of One

…one YEAR off my LIFE, probably.

The semester is over! I emerge relatively unscathed from the maelstrom that was my last two months of college! And good god, I want to collapse. March and April were hands-down the busiest and most exhausting months of my entire life, and I’m glad they’re over. Three conferences in two weeks is a good way to run yourself straight into the ground, as I found out the hard way.

The conferences were amazing, though, so I wanted to do a quick rundown of what happened, for posterity! Also to brag a bit, because I presented three times and did not embarrass myself even a little.

[n.b. this post is so, so late; forgive me, blog gods.]


“Avengers: Age of Ultron”: Joss Whedon, Please Try Harder

Shannon and I saw Avengers: Age of Ultron opening weekend, and hoo boy. I was not impressed with Joss Whedon’s take on the Avengers in his first go-round, and I had heard enough mixed reviews of AOU (from those lucky sods across the pond who got to see it a week early) to lower my expectations even more, so I was not anticipating a masterpiece here. I was hoping for passable, and expecting mediocre, and I got… well. I certainly got something.

I think it’s easiest to break this down into a few positives and negatives, and then look at everything. The SPOILER WARNING should go without saying. (more…)