Friday, February 22, 2013

Recent Reads...

Today I will share with you some of the books I've been reading recently.

*cue applause*

I just finished two graphic memoirs.  I have a love-hate relationship with graphic novels - not the least of which is what do you call graphic non-fiction?  When the Japanese manga books first started to rise in popularity at the library, I HATED them.  Still do.  I hate the art, and pretty much everything else about them.  I used to say that manga was the way that the Japanese were going to take over America.  They would dumb down the populace with books devoid of words, and the next thing you know...
But then there started to be more and more in the way of non-manga graphic novels.  Not comic books - they're not to be confused with the Marvel superheroes or the classic comic books one can get.  And a lot of them are non-fiction, thus my issue with the term "graphic novel."  I've read graphics about science, true crime, memoirs... and fiction.  They're smart, funny, and often very touching.  Most recently I've read two memoirs.

 Drinking at the Movies

"Drinking at the Movies" is the story of comic artist Julia Wertz's first years living in New York after moving there from San Francisco.  Crappy jobs, crappy apartments, and a bit too much drinking fill her not so happy time as she tries to find her place in the Big Apple. I liked all of it, but particularly the tales of her runaway wallet...  You'll just have to read the book to find out what happens - does she find her bliss?


Next up we have "Marbles" by Ellen Forney, another comic artist who happens to live in Seattle (I liked the local touch, especially her little map of traveling to Doe Bay and the commentary about how long it took!  Haha).  This book is the story of Ellen's diagnosis with Bipolar disorder, and the years it took to both come to grips with it and find a workable combination of medication to bring her life into uneasy harmony.  I personally have very little experience with anybody suffering from bipolar disorder, so I found it to be quite fascinating and educational.  I say I have very little experience, but reading Ellen's book I realized that I probably deal with many bipolar people at the library.  It's just not something one advertises about themselves.  I felt that the graphic format worked especially well to convey her experience - the weeks spent wrapped in blankets, barely unable to get out of bed, or the manic periods when the world was her oyster and nothing, NOTHING was impossible!  I hope if nothing else Ellen's book helps break the stigma of mental disorders and helps people have understanding and compassion.  I also deduced that Ellen and I share the same birthday, though I'm three years older!

Should you read these books?  Hell yes.

I'm reading something completely different now, a teen novel.  I need to finish it before I write about it.  But I have plenty of thoughts already...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beach stuff!

How many people do you know that found a drawer on the beach? Not many I bet. None, except for me. I found it. It's mine.  I carried it back to the car.  It's mine.  MINE!!!!

I found this drawer on the beach!

I'll be planting flowers in it and moving it here and there in the garden. This may seem like a mundane thing, but I must say I'm quite excited about the things I might find on the beach these days!  I was hoping for a float, but this was quite a spectacular find!  Much better than a mere float.  But I still want floats! Last year  we saw these floats from a distance - unattainable!  Drats.  Way far below us...

Dammit!  These floats were a good couple hundred feet below and I couldn't get to them

And good ones, those.  Oh well.  I'll have to stick closer to home to find things for our garden.  But I do hope to end up with something like this someday!

Float tree

It will take time, patience, and many hours on the beach!  I'm not sure we' ll never accomplish this (seeing as we don't live directly on the coast)

Beachcomber House

Oh well... a girl can dream.

Monday, February 18, 2013

My time off...

Just waiting now to hear about the job!  Hopefully news will come soon this week...  many of my coworkers are pulling for me!
In the meantime, I enjoyed my time off, though most of it was full of rather mundane activities.
  1. Monday - Michael to the doctor
  2. Tuesday - Me to the dentist
  3. Wednesday - job interview, Syd to the vet
  4. Thursday - Me back to the dentist, a bit of fun poking around downtown in the antique shops
  5. Friday - FUN AT LAST!!!  Driving off island for lunch!
I can't really complain, it was really nice to have the time off.  I enjoyed poking around downtown, and managed to get some good photos of clowns and dolls.  What more do I need, right? On Thursday afternoon I headed "downtown" to see what was up in the shops.  My first stop was the jesus thrift store, which is worth checking into now and then despite the despicable music one has to endure.  I found one of my favorite sweaters there, and also these great ceramic mushrooms.  Nothing particularly great on this visit, other than the charming little cross stitch kit below.  I declined to purchase it, however.

I'm a sewer at heart!

I saw this flyer on the window of several businesses, and it both frightened and disgusted me at the same time.  There is just so much going on here that is WRONG.  For instance, why is this taking place in a public school facility?  Are they open to any and all groups?  It seems a bit dodgy to me.  Not to mention TOTAL WANK!

Why is this taking place at the school district administration building?

Then I headed over to the Trading Post to look at overly expensive antiques.   They had a set of four clown pictures that were a bit intriguing, but had not price tags.  I figured I'd ask, and it turned into a big rigmarole with the young kid working calling the owner.  There was a long conversation about them being "on hold" for some guy, but if I really wanted them they could call the guy and see if he still wanted them and BLAH BLAH BLAH.  The original price was $125 but they would let me have them for $75 BLAH BLAH BLAH.  Well of course that was way more than I was willing to part with (and I knew they'd be too expensive), but it was an interesting exercise.  Especially when I got home and told Michael about it, and then he explained how this is a standard sales technique!  Here's one of the charming clowns I passed up ~

Like my duck?  She has a hat!

They also had this very special "vintage" ashtray (collective groan, we are all older than VINTAGE now) - it looks like a second grader made it!  In fact, I was in second grade about that time...

Waaaaaah!  I'm older than vintage!

Wow.  I haven't even gotten to the dolls yet!  They were in the antique shop, which is full of dolls.  I love that when you walk to the back of the store, they are EVERYWHERE... Here are my favorites from this visit.  The dollie with spider legs for eyelashes, and the bag of arms and a head.  The way she's fondling her own arm - my goodness!

Will somebody please get these spider legs away from my eyes?!!
Someday I will be one again...

Okay.  This post is getting a bit long.  I haven't even gotten to our trip off island yet!  I'll tackle that one next time!