Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Read This: The Art of Fielding



For those who don't know: 1) Round Rock is a suburb just north of Austin, 2) Round Rock is home to the Round Rock Express, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Texas Rangers, and 3) I love baseball. I've always wanted to go to a game, but never made it out there until Saturday. The Express were playing the Sacramento River Cats, who are affiliated with my beloved San Francisco Giants, so I bought a ticket and drove the forty minutes to Might As Well Be Canada to watch some baseball.

I spent nearly thirty dollars on food and sat in direct, blazing sunlight for most of the game, but it was so worth it. Sacramento won, I got to see Hunter Pence (!!!) play, and the fans were let onto the outfield for a Bob Schneider concert after the game. It was all very #summer. If you're in the area and like baseball even a little bit, you should definitely catch a game this summer.

A day of baseball had me thinking back to The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, the second book we read for the book club I host at West Elm Austin and my favorite choice so far. I had heard the buzz surrounding the novel when it was released a few years ago, but brushed it off as a "sports book" and that wasn't really my jam. But it totally is my jam, guys.

The story takes place at fictional Westish College and centers around Henry Skrimshander, a prodigy for all intents and purposes, who seems to be headed straight for the big leagues until a routine play goes horribly wrong. Westish's president Guert Affenlight falls in love despite himself, while his daughter returns home after leaving her husband. Mike Schwartz, Henry's mentor, struggles with the idea of life after college, and his and Henry's teammate Owen Dunne enters into a risky affair. So, as you can tell, it's a book about baseball that's not really about baseball.

One of the most pleasing aspects of this book was the seemingly effortless transitions. Harbach moves from viewpoint to viewpoint, often several times within one chapter, but he does so so skillfully that you never stumble while reading. Each character has a distinct voice, and you find yourself rooting for all of them, which makes it that much harder to put down once you pick it up.

-Maggie

P.S. The Voyage Out Book Club at BookPeople will be meeting to discuss The Art of Fielding on July 31st at 5 PM! I'll be there!

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Few Things



I had one of those weekends that make Monday mornings especially hard. It was full, but full of relaxing and reenergizing things like brunch with friends, live theatre, and writing in coffee shops. I'm hoping I can carry the good vibes through the week with me, and that you can too! Just in case–here are a few things to distract you from those Monday morning blues.

→ I've probably thought about this once a week since it first aired. Leslie Jones is the best.

→ There are a lot of weird, unsettling things happening in the world lately, and as nice as it would be to just ignore them, we can't. More recently, we had the Brexit issue, but what does that even mean and why does it matter?

→ Some interesting woman facts you may not know.

→ I spent most of Saturday afternoon listening to The Temper Trap's new album Thick As Thieves, and it's phenomenal, guys. Grab a copy and a ticket to the tour (I'll be seeing them at Emo's in October!). You won't regret it.

→ Andrea of hula seventy is one of my all-time favorite bloggers, and you should follow her if you don't already. Her summer manifesto is perfect.

→ One of my favorite babes Charlene Kaye is releasing a new EP soon. Read all about it and listen to the single here!

Important words and a beautiful comic in tribute to those we lost in Orlando two weeks ago. We remember you.

Happy Monday, all!

-Maggie

Monday, June 13, 2016

June Goals



I'm a little late (again), but I'm here with my goals for June! Since we're pretty much halfway through June and I kind of fell off the wagon with May's goals (oops!), I've chosen two goals to really focus on this month. Quality over quantity, right? But before we get into that, let's recap May's goals!

01. ORGANIZE MY CLOSET | Done! It's always so cathartic to purge your closet of clothes that don't fit properly or aren't worn anymore.
02. NO FAST FOOD I failed big time on this one.
03. WORKOUT TWICE A WEEK (AT LEAST) I was able to do this all but one week when I simply and honestly could not make it to a workout. My schedule just didn't allow it! But every other week I DID work out at least twice, so I'm counting this one as a success.
04. TRY OUT ONE RECIPE A WEEK | I tried one or two new things with the help of my roommates, but not once a week like I'd hoped. Better luck next time!

2/4 isn't great, but it's not bad. At least it's something! It would help if I could remember all the goals I made–I mostly forgot about trying out recipes! I'll have to make sure to post these somewhere I'll see them every day. Onto June now!

01. STICK TO MY FOOD BUDGET
This is another take on the "no fast food" goal from last month. Cutting back on fast food is good for my body and can be good for my wallet, but I've noticed something about myself... Even when I do stop going to P. Terry's for lunch every day, I end up spending way more by eating out at nice restaurants more frequently! I'm very fortunate that I don't have to stick to a strict budget, but I spend WAY too much on food. I've got to find a good balance!

02. GET MY HAIR COLORED
I dyed my hair very blonde a few years ago and, while I loved it, upkeep was tough on my wallet and my hair. With the help of lowlights, I was able to let it grow out gradually (and get a lot of compliments on my "ombré" in the process). The blonde is almost completely out of my hair now, but I've decided I don't want it to go!

Well, that's it for this month! Getting my hair colored is only a matter of scheduling an appointment, but watching my spending is going to take a lot of focus and will power. Wish me luck!

How are you doing with your June goals so far? Don't forget to link-up with Nicole at writes like a girl!

-Maggie

Saturday, May 7, 2016

May Goals


I'm a little late for the wonderful Nicole's (of writes like a girl fame) monthly small goals link-up, but better late than never, right? (Let's hope so because I'm always late.) I've been wanting to join this link-up for months now and decided May would finally be the month! Let's get started!

01. ORGANIZE MY CLOSET
When we moved into our new apartment back in August, I quickly unpacked and decorated the living room and kitchen (since about 95% of what is in our apartment is mine anyway), but by the time I got to my room I was exhausted and it sat half finished for months. Now all I have left is my closet, and I keep putting it off. Carrie Bradshaw would be so disappointed in me.

02. NO FAST FOOD
Fast food makes my lunch breaks so easy and thoughtless, but it's SO TERRIBLE. Not to mention expensive! My apartment is just close enough that I can drive home for lunch; I really need to take advantage of that and save my money for groceries and good food.

03. WORKOUT TWICE A WEEK (AT LEAST)
In a perfect world, I would get up early and exercise before work, but for now I'll settle for any time as long as I actually do it.

04. TRY OUT ONE RECIPE A WEEK
I don't really ever cook anything. It's not that I don't like to or that I have been bad at it when I've tried, I just... don't do it. I want to find a few recipes that I really like and that are easy to whip up really quickly after work or on a Sunday night.

So there we are! That's where I'm at for May. What are your goals for the month? Make sure you link-up on Nicole's blog, too!

-Maggie

Monday, May 2, 2016

Monthly Mix: May 2016

Here we are at the beginning of another month, wondering again how we got here already. Is it just me, or does it feel like the first half of the year goes by so much faster than the second? I'm sure I've said the same thing in reverse before, but I swear it was just New Years!

The weather has been amazing lately and all of Austin has been taking advantage of it, including me. I'm hoping to take a long walk around Lady Bird Lake and go kayaking again in the next few weeks, before it gets too hot (because, unfortunately, that's coming soon). I have been spending many weekends and evenings reading or blogging, listening to music, and sipping cold drinks on various patios around Austin. Here's a mix to help keep the weekend vibes going into Monday.


Saturday Night Kind of Pink from marvelousmaggie on 8tracks Radio.

  1. Water – Ra Ra Riot & Rostam
  2. Taro – alt-J
  3. Someday Soon – KT Tunstall
  4. Bros – Wolf Alice
  5. Look What I Made – Last Good Tooth
  6. Simple Song – The Shins
  7. Lunar Sea – Camera Obscura
  8. Don't Just Sit There – Lucius
  9. Brazil – Declan McKenna
  10. Crawl – Bear Lake
  11. Sedona – Houndmouth
  12. My Only Swerving – El Ten Eleven
  13. Jackrabbit – San Fermin
  14. Coffee – Sylvan Esso
  15. Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse – Minus the Bear
  16. Vagabond – Wolfmother
  17. Tenuousness – Andrew Bird
  18. River – Leon Bridges
I just checked and I haven't posted a mix since about a week after I moved to Austin. (So not only has it been a year and a half since I've posted a mix, but I've lived in Austin for a year and a half, which is NUTS, but I digress.) Despite the name, my mixes have never been "monthly," but even I will admit it's getting a little out of hand at this point. I'll get the hang of this eventually.

Have a good week, all!

-Maggie
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