Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lately


I've lived in Austin for over a month now. There are still empty boxes stacked on our balcony and Melany still hasn't unpacked her room, but our Christmas tree has been up since the third week of November. That's all that really matters anyway.

I started my new job as a teller at a credit union right after I got to Austin, and when I say "right after," I mean I moved on a Friday and started training Monday. So yeah, there wasn't a lot of time for settling in, but it's turned out all right so far. At times I get very frustrated with the learning curve, but this would be the case at any new job. Luckily, my coworkers have been nothing but helpful and patient. Also, we have trivia every Friday morning, and I totally kicked ass last time. (That's what they get for having Harry Potter trivia.)

Lately, I have become very aware of how I spend my time. This probably has something to do with having a full-time job for the first time, which means a set schedule and less free time. In the short time that Melany and I have lived together, we have already managed to fall into a weekday routine. After work, we make dinner, sit in our pink chairs, and watch a few episodes of whatever show we're watching (right now, it's Psych). Sometimes we play cards or work on our computers, but that's usually about it.

There's not anything particularly wrong with this. In fact, I really enjoy it and could happily continue with this routine. It's such a nice way to wind down after work. But the thing is I don't want to wait for Fridays. I don't want to be someone who is living for the weekend, you know? It's so easy to get stuck, and I don't want to get too comfortable. I don't want to become content.

So I'm doing my best to live deliberately and all that. There are so many things I want to do and so many things before me. I'm living in a wonderful city with my wonderful friends, and I hope I never get used to that.

-Maggie

Friday, November 28, 2014

Read These


Dry by Augusten Burroughs
Augusten Burroughs has been one of my favorite authors for years. I was first introduced to his work through the film adaption of his memoir Running With Scissors, which I saw in theaters my freshman year of high school. Since then, I have collected and read most of his books, but I only just recently finished reading his second memoir Dry.

Dry details Burroughs's struggle with alcoholism. His coworkers' "request" that he seek help, his stint in rehab in Minnesota, and afterwards when he returns to live his old life in Manhattan–only this time, without alcohol. The writing is, as always, brutal and hilarious. It's a story of trial and error, of struggle and growth, but also of love. I'd say this is less a novel and more a very long, convoluted love letter to his friend Pighead (as he's affectionately known). It has taken a place among my very favorite books.


Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
If you're like me, Target is a very dangerous place. I always end up leaving with an armful of things I don't really need, but did really want. Tell the Wolves I'm Home was one of those things I didn't need, but I am so glad I picked it up. The story is deeply moving, about love, loss, and the need for understanding.

June Elbus is a fourteen-year-old girl growing up in the late 1980's, obsessed with the Middle Ages, and understood by no one except for her beloved Uncle Finn who is sick with a disease no one likes to talk about. When Finn dies, she can't imagine that anyone misses him as much as she does. That is until she meets Toby, a man her parents blame for Finn's death.


You might have noticed a common theme here (and with two of the last books I blogged about as well). Whenever I'm choosing what book I'm going to read next, the choice is almost always influenced by what I've just finished reading. Sometimes this leads me to read several funny, love stories in a row or a couple of fantasy novels. Or, you know, five books that deal heavily with death and coping with loss (specifically AIDS in three of the five).

I don't ever do this on purpose. It just happens sometimes, but it's always nice when it does. I love to see how different authors handle the same themes, and the differences between memoirs and novels. If this isn't something that you do (knowingly or not), you should give it a try.

-Maggie

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Few Things

I have a few posts in my drafts that I've been working on, but everything is still getting settled here. Between unpacking and starting a new job and the holidays coming up, it's taking a little bit longer than I would like to get into a routine. I'll get it down soon though, and then I will tell you all about it.

Here are a few things that deserve your attention in the meantime.

01. This post about the "rules" of blogging hits the nail on the head. Where did these rules even come from? Who decides these things? Short answer: You. Do you, boo.

02. I'm sure you've seen it. I'm sure everyone and their dog has seen it. But why not see it again? Taylor's Swift's "Blank Space" video is perfection. In fact, 1989 as a whole is damn near perfection. Far and away her best album, so if you haven't already, go ahead and jump on that bandwagon. After all, life is too short to pretend you hate pop music.


03. Quiet Company (one of my favorite Austin-based bands/favorite bands in general) has released their first single in over three years, and it's pretty great. Click here to listen to "Seven Hells" and read a little more on their forthcoming album Transgressor. (Also, buy a ticket to one of their special holiday shows.)

04. And last but certainly not least: Dog With 2 Broken Legs Adorably Adjusts to Vertical Life.

-Maggie

Monday, November 3, 2014

Monthly Mix: October 2014


  1. Through the Dark – Alexi Murdoch
  2. Talking In Code – Margot & The Nuclear So and So's
  3. Swim Club – The Cave Singers
  4. Funny Heartbeat – Kisses
  5. Luna – Bombay Bicycle Club
  6. Georgia – Vance Joy
  7. Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
  8. Lately – The Helio Sequence
  9. Red Eyes – The War On Drugs
  10. Temple – Kings of Leon
  11. Dissolve Me – alt-J
  12. Space Age Love Song – Flock of Seagulls
  13. Agape – Bear's Den
  14. Lump Sum – Bon Iver
  15. These Waters – Ben Howard
  16. Empress of the North – The Moondoggies
  17. Blue Mind – Alexi Murdoch
  18. Warm Foothills – alt-J
My October mix is a little late because all of October was devoted to moving–packing, loading trailers, saying goodbyes, crying, and unpacking. (Also, we don't have Internet set up at our apartment yet, so any down time I've had has been spent watching Will &Grace.) I could have just pretended this was my November mix, but it doesn't have the right feel to it. (Also, I already wrote "October 2014" on all the mixes I still haven't sent out.)

More on being an official Austin resident (!!!) later. For now, enjoy this music and go drink some hot chocolate or something.

-Maggie

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Casual Thursday


Last Thursday, standing in the back office about an hour into my early morning shift at work, I received a life-changing text from my uncle: Forgot that I have ONE ticket to Paul McCartney tonight at 8. If you or you know anyone in our family who wants to go they can have the ticket.

No big deal. Just an extra ticket to see Paul McCartney for the first time in Lubbock, Texas, a.k.a the birthplace of Buddy Holly and the Crickets, a.k.a. the whole reason The Beatles were even called The Beatles in the first place. But, I mean, it's casual.

I had toyed with the idea of buying a ticket when they originally went on sale, but couldn't justify spending the money when I was supposed to be saving for Austin. Now it was the day of the concert and he was offering to just give me a ticket? Uh, hell yeah, I'll go!

The whole experience was very surreal. There was Beatle, in the flesh, right in front of me. (I mean, all I had to do was jump from the balcony, hurdle some barricades, fight off a couple of security guards, scale the side of the stage, and I could have touched him. Sir Paul!) The man is seventy-two years old, and he sang for nearly three hours without a break. I didn't even see him take a sip of water. He is a machine.

It was really, truly amazing. Let me tell you, hearing "Hey Jude" live with an arena full of people singing along is not something I'll soon forget.

-Maggie
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