I tried to make my way through several of this year’s Newbery and Printz honor books this month, none of which I’ve liked as much as the Newbery winner, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo. (Currently in the middle of the Printz winner. Not sure how I feel about it yet. I’m kind of mad in advance at anything that could beat my beloved Eleanor and Park.) Anyway …
- Paperboy by Vince Vawter ~ Cute.
- The Doll Bones by Holly Black ~ I thought I would really love this, but I lost interest.
- Hollow City by Ransom Riggs ~ The second book in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series. Ransom Riggs is a really good writer. I still really like this series, and the found photos are GREAT, and I’m looking forward to the next one even though I got kind of lost before all was said and done.
- Maggot Moon ~ Good and scary in a real world kind of a way. I think if I read this book as a child that I would be terrified, much like I was when I first learned what a nuclear bomb was and would lie in the back of my mother’s 1978 Chevy Caprice station wagon while paralyzed in fear that one was going to fall on us at any moment.
- 20 Feet from Stardom ~ Very good Oscar-nominated documentary about back-up singers. So entertaining and kind of fascinating on a lot of levels.
- Camp Takota ~ Cute. Of Hannah Hart, Grace Helbig, and Mamrie Hart, I knew the least about Mamrie going in and ended up liking her performance the best.
Favorite things on Internet:
- I enjoyed the Reality Bites retrospectives like this oral history, power rankings then and now, and this ode to Vickie Miner. My roommates and I watched either this or A League of Their Own or VHS tapes of My So-Called Life reruns that aired on MTV every day the summer of ’95, when I lived and loved in beautiful Boulder, and I think I will be fond of it always because of the way it was always on that swell summer.
- Life in the Nineties ~ Beautiful.
- Titanic was not a great musical, but it has some beautiful music, including this duet between Brian d’Arcy James and Martin Moran that still makes my sister and me boo hoo to this day. OH, HOW I LOVE A BROADWAY REUNION.
- “Let It Go” — one diva, many divas. Amazing.
- Bill Simmons & Lena Dunham – she is simply one of the most likable humans. I don’t understand how everyone does not know and accept this.
- I just really love the way that Will Leitch writes about sports.
I didn’t leave the state in February, but I did high tail it to New Orleans a few times, and I always love a sidewalk brass band and a crazy sunset on the drive home.
Best Food Eaten:
As usual, the best food was eaten during various trips to New Orleans. Such as this sandwich and iced coffee at Cafe Pagoda.
And this bread pudding at the Bon Ton.
Pets Still Alive:
Both. This damn animal is sort of the bane of my existence but also a great love of my life. CATS.
Best Live Music:
Shovels and Rope and Hurray for the Riff Raff put on a great, packed show. This was the latest I’d stayed out in months and months but it was totally worth it to hear some good music and reconnect with an old friend.
Flowers, Plants, and Trees:
My neighbor’s Taiwan cherry tree takes my breath away every time I walk underneath it.
My beloved tree that Herpreet gave me when Daisy died, thus known as the Daisy Tree, has gone from dead sticks to buds to blooms this month, and it is truly thrilling to me.
Also, it smells like heaven.
I went to the office every work day in February. Even though not full-time, this was by far the most I’ve worked since September, and when I wasn’t at work in February, I was at yoga. At the beginning of the month, I got good scan results and good bloodwork results and was told I don’t need to go back to the oncologist for three months which was obviously all good news but apparently cancer can make you kind of crazy because I didn’t feel happy or relieved about any of it. I felt sad and scared and numb and mad all at the same time. And I wasn’t sure what to do, so I decided to throw myself into yoga and went to more classes in the month of February than I have in any month in the history of my life, and it changed everything. Basically, it seems like yoga is standing between me and the dark side, and I feel better there than I do anywhere else lately. I am so grateful to these teachers who have changed my life in ways they will never know.
Please yell at me loudly if I ever express a negative sentiment about a birthday ever again. May we all have dozens more birthdays and the gift of growing a year older with with cupcakes and love galore.
I made my way outside as much as I could this month, and I just keep falling in love all over again with our lakes, again and again and again, forever and ever, amen.
One friend picked out the cuff, one friend picked out the lyrics, and another friend made it just for me. It makes me feel like one of the Wonder Twins or like Wonder Woman. The live oak branches etched on the outside make me happy and remind me of a poem that I’ve loved since ninth grade when I chose it for a project and that I love now more than ever.
I Saw in Louisiana A Live-Oak Growing
I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green,
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
But I wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without its friend near, for I knew I could not,
And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it, and twined around it a little moss,
And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,
It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,
(For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,)
Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;
For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana solitary in a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
I know very well I could not.