Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Read These

Slowly but surely I am making my way through all of the books I bought when I had no time to read them (which is roughly a third of the books I own). I thought I'd take the time to share two recent reads that I really enjoyed and one old favorite.

Fairyland by Alysia Abbott was assigned for my History of Sexuality class in Fall 2013. I love memoirs, so I was very excited to see this on the reading list, but never got the chance to finish it that semester. It was one of the first books I picked up again after graduating, and I'm so glad I did. (Shout out to Julie Willett for assigning such a great book.)

Abbott writes about growing up with her openly gay father in San Francisco during the 1970s and '80s, and after when she must return home to care for him when he is diagnosed with AIDS. Abbott uses her memories, her father's many journals, letters and writings, and interviews with friends and family members to craft this beautiful tribute to her father and their life together. It is wonderfully and lovingly written, full of little details and facts about life in San Francisco (and elsewhere) during the AIDS epidemic. Of the memoirs I have read so far (which is a fair few), it is definitely a favorite.


Johnathan Tropper has a way of writing that makes it impossible to stop reading. When I read his first novel Plan B, I literally could not put the book down (which led to me somehow managing to make a grilled cheese entirely with one hand). One Last Thing Before I Go was much the same. I kept thinking, "One more chapter, then I'll go make dinner... Okay, really one more chapter."

Although Plan B still remains my favorite of Tropper's books (that I've read so far), One Last Thing Before I Go was great. It follows Drew Silver, whose life is not going how he expected. He had his five minutes of fame as drummer for a one-hit wonder rock band, and is now reduced to playing at weddings and bar mitzvahs. His ex-wife is about to get remarried. His teenage daughter is pregnant, and only told him because she cares least about disappointing him. So is it really that surprising, when he finds out he must have a life-saving heart surgery, that he refuses the operation?


Since the first two books are a little heavy, I wanted to end on a lighthearted, hilarious read from Meg Cabot. (You can always count on Meg to be hilarious. Princess Diaries, anyone?) Boy Meets Girl is one of my favorite Meg Cabot books, and probably one of my favorite books period. It's told entirely through e-mails, journals, IMs (hello, 2004!), transcripts, to-do lists, and the like, which makes it a super quick "beach read." I've read it four or five times.

The story starts with Kate Mackenzie, an employee for human resources at the New York Journal. She is forced by her terrible boss to fire the most popular lady in the staff dining room. She is then sued for wrongful termination, which leads to her meeting the opposing (and attractive) lawyer, Mitch. Hilarity ensues and, eventually, love.

I hope you take the time to pick up one (or all, whatever) of these books! As for me, I'll continue making my way through my bookcase. Right now I'm reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and really enjoying it. What have you been reading?

-Maggie

P.S. Another of Jonathan Tropper's books, This Is Where I Leave You, has been made into a movie starring Tina Fey and Jason Bateman. It comes out September 19th, and I can't wait. Check out the trailer here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Shake It Off



Everybody, take a break from your Monday and dance to Taylor Swift's awesome new single, "Shake It Off." (I may have listened to it five times in a row while dancing around my room in my favorite high heels.)

-Maggie

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Colorful Colorado

It's weird how things work out sometimes.

For example: Earlier this year, I devised a grand plan to sneak Dillon and Natalie into Shelby and Sam's wedding. The way I imagined it, Shelby and Sam wouldn't have known they were there until they walked down the aisle and looked into the crowd. It would have been the best surprise, but that didn't work out in our favor. I had accepted I would only get to see Shelby at her wedding this summer, and that I wouldn't get to see anyone else until the next meet-up.

Then Dillon, who is from Seattle and goes to school in upstate New York (a.k.a. Very Far Away), got an internship in Colorado (a.k.a. Way Closer Than Seattle and New York). Just like that, Shelby and I had planned to each make the drive to Colorado Springs to hang out for the weekend.

Dillon provided scones and coffee each morning, of course. We spent our two days driving to cities nearby for shopping, eating, and general wandering. Food and drink standouts include Snooze in Boulder and the Parked Pierogi in Palmer Lake, if you're ever in the area.

We also spent a lot of time talking about plans for Portland, future meet-ups, possible collaborations–you know, the family business. I'm so happy that we all met, and that we're all able to take these trips to see each other. I can't wait for Portland next summer and everything that comes after.

-Maggie

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Monthly Mix: July 2014

"Rest stops have always made him strangely happy. He couldn't say why. Just the idea of everyone on their way somewhere, united by wanderlust, no one belonging more than anyone else."


  1. Trembling Hands – The Temper Trap
  2. God Made Man – Young the Giant
  3. Sahara Mahala – The Jezabels
  4. I Wait for You – Right Away, Great Captain!
  5. Petardu – Delorentos
  6. Colour – Wild Cub
  7. Houdini – Foster the People
  8. Breezeblocks – alt-J
  9. What You Want – Bombay Bicycle Club
  10. Somebody – Hannah Georgas
  11. So Much Trouble – Matt Pond PA
  12. Bloom – The Paper Kites
  13. Bloodflood – alt-J
  14. Young Blood – The Naked and Famous
  15. Fools – The Temper Trap
  16. Satan Is a Vampire – Fierce Creatures
  17. Atlas Hands – Benjamin Francis Leftwich
  18. This Must Be the Place (Live) – Talking Heads
The quote above is from Jonathan Tropper's One Last Thing Before I Go, which I finished reading while at home a week or so ago. As someone who has taken her fair share of long drives (here's looking at you, six-hour drive to Austin), these lines made me smile. There is a weird sort of camaraderie among people on the highway, isn't there? Maybe that's just me.

Anyway, this particular mix was largely inspired by that quote and my impending seven-hour drive to Colorado Springs next weekend to see Dillon and Shelby. I suppose us bloggers are united by wanderlust, too.

-Maggie

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Focus? What?


While still in school, I started a mental list of all the things I wanted to do once I had some free time. The list was pretty long. By the first of June, I was completely finished with school and back in Lubbock after two weeks of traveling. I had a lot of free time in June. How many things did I cross off my list? One.

This doesn't mean I haven't done anything else. I just haven't finished anything else. There are just so many things that I want to accomplish, am really excited to accomplish that I want them all done right now. I've found it incredibly difficult to focus on one thing at a time because I want to be doing all of the other things too.

It doesn't help that several of these projects need to be finished as soon as possible–like my résumé and job applications. Then there are the things that I just want finished as soon as possible–like working through Blog Life (which I'm really enjoying, by the way) and redesigning my blog. Then there is everything else.

I'm working on my focus though. I have to. I'm not ever going to get anything done if I can't make myself do one thing at a time. Wish me luck, guys!

-Maggie
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