[I]t’s okay to be neurotic about books, and it’s okay to be embarrassed by them sometimes, for whatever irrational or not reason you happen to be. Are you an adult and embarrassed by your fervent and ongoing love of Young Adult fiction? I wish you weren’t, but I wish I weren’t too. I understand. You can be embarrassed.
Just…don’t let anyone else do it to you. If anyone else tries to laugh at you or embarrass you, I invite you to whack them with the book they’re sneering at you over, then gather up all your toys and go find other friends and other yards, because these assholes are no good for you.
|Posted on July 5 with 366 notes via bookporn||Reblog|
To give you some background, I’m currently riding backwards at approximately 300 kilometers per hour on a train to Stuttgart. Out of all of the things I’m most excited about for this trip, this ride is on my top three. The night train home is number two.
I’ve learned that there is something oddly relaxing about a solitary ride across European countryside. Or even a US plane ride to Florida. Either way, I like travelling alone. There are some downsides. My bags feel heavier than I remember packing them and there’s an anxiety knowing my girlfriend has to get herself from the train station we just parted at to Toronto and then to Buffalo by herself, but the time to watch greens and browns pass by accompanied by a gentle rocking is truly relaxing.
Perhaps it’s because this rocking is something I’m slightly used to. When I was a baby my parents had to bounce me up and down to get me to sleep and even now the sometimes gentle rocking of a boat will put me into automatic nap mode; or perhaps it’s the fact that you can’t do anything but think on a train. I don’t have internet access, my phone won’t let me make calls, and my bags are currently behind me. When you’re up in the air there’s nothing but thinking and I’ve already gotten through all the worry. There are plenty of things that can go wrong. I know because I thought about it the night before. But here, on the train, there is nothing but possibility and whatever way the track turns will be where I must follow (but I know I booked the right ticket, so I’m not really concerned).
There is something I’ve learned from my week in Paris. It’s not something new, but it’s something I need to constantly be reminded of. Things go wrong. Our luggage gets heavier, our headphones break, the painting you want to see in the Louvre is in a closed wing, the shoes you spent way too much money on because they were supposed to be made by the same company as famous sneakers give you blisters so you end up spending more money on sneakers because Parisians wear sneakers and they’re Converse so it’s acceptable. These things happen and there is no physical human way to avoid them.
The only thing we can decide is how these things affect us. We can worry, we can toss and turn because the picture perfect plan that we have in our heads did not go as picture perfectly as we wanted or we can embrace it. There is no such thing as a perfect vacation and I am confident that something will go wrong while in Germany. It’s a still ongoing process to turn this worry and knowledge that something will go wrong into a positive outlook. Where we go wrong can be just as much of a learning experience as what goes right, sometimes more so. The question is: are we going to learn from what we are given or are we going to focus on that picture perfect version in the wing we can’t get to?
|Posted on July 5 with 3 notes||Reblog|
On a seven plus hour plane ride, two things are abundantly clear: soundtracks are practically made for long rides and my legs are certainly not. Neither of these facts are new to me. I discovered the fact about the soundtrack this February when I flew down to Disney to meet my family. The music was selections from Saving Mr. Banks, which was certainly Disney without being too Disney. The fact about my legs has been something I’ve known my whole life being unfortunately tall.
This is not the first time I have been to Europe, my first experience was a semester abroad in Manchester almost three years ago. I was bitten by the wanderlust bug, going back again last summer, and deciding last minute to apply for this Germany for Educators program.
But let me be clear, this trip almost didn’t happen. I am a type A person, an honors student plagued by the mindset wanting perfection and a bit of a “mom” syndrome that translates to me taking care of all of my friends seeing that I have no kids of my own. This all led to me trying to do too much. Get a 4.0, participate in this trip, move out of my parents’ house, plan a road trip with my friends; I am a woman plagued by over-ambition who consistently bites off more than she can chew. But in life we have to make choices. We can delay supposed adulthood to see the world. We can step in a country in a language we don’t speak in the hopes to enrich our knowledge or we can try to achieve perfection that no one will even consider anyway. I chose to take the step in Germany, in case you couldn’t guess.
It was a rushed decision. I essentially figured out if I don’t do this now, I may never do it. Promising myself the possibility to travel like this in the future is not only boring, it’s unreliable. Who knows what will happen in my master’s degree? Where I’ll be in the next few years. Life is supposed to be short and unpredictable. My twenties are supposed to be wild and unpredictable, or perhaps I just listen to the media too much.
There is another fact that has become very clear as I prepared for this trip: I hate shoes.
Remember, this is not my first time abroad. This is my first time to Germany, but not the first time I have visited Paris where I’m making a quick stop before (you know, following the whole “I may die tomorrow and I want to see Europe” thing). This is the first time, however, that I have been told wearing sneakers makes you an obvious tourist. I had never noticed. My travels have been primarily solitary and, with a family that has a streak of paranoia, I didn’t spend much time chatting to people when I was out. But three trips does not an expert make and when in Rome you’re supposed to do like the Romans. Or something. The Romans didn’t last too long so maybe they’re not the best example to follow.
Anyway, shoes. I went looking for comfortable shoes that I could walk around in that were not sneakers (I’m still not sure what those look like) and I have found the search nearly impossible. Being unfortunately tall has some unfortunate benefits. Like big feet. Have you tried finding an ample selection of shoes in a size twelve where you can try them on before buying them? Try it. Because I have and it’s not easy. Especially if you are trying to stray away from the whole old lady shoe thing because as a twenty-something-soon-to-be-teacher-but-still-working-retail I would like to buy shoes I will wear again. I went through eight pairs and made a sizable dent in my budget (but I don’t like to think about it so I don’t have an exact number).
At one point I came upon the question: Does it really matter? What would happen if I didn’t find shoes? Would Germans burn me as a witch if I wore sneakers? Or would I merely just scream tourist when I wasn’t at the school I’d be staying at? Could I live with being the obvious tourist? I could deal with being a tourist. I’m already planning on taking tons of architecture pictures and, as I’ve said, I don’t speak Germany so I’m 99.8% positive that the Germans will figure out that I’m not one of their own.
But the question that surfaces with that: Does it matter? Why do we automatically assume that tourist are a bad thing? When my parents heard about the trip the first response was “it must be nice to have that kind of money.” Sure, this is not a budget friendly trip and if I didn’t go on it I could be moved out of my house by now. But why should negativity be the first reaction to travel? Shouldn’t we, as a culture, foster a spirit of tourism, of adventure?
I have a few goals for this trip but they can really be summed up in two ways. I want to explore another part of the world I haven’t before and I want to add more tools to my teaching tool box. If I can do those two things I will consider every penny of it worth it. And no, I won’t be wearing sneakers.
|Posted on July 5 with 2 notes||Reblog|
Rami Kadi III
these are dresses for a wicked stepmother, which is not something i wanted to be until i realized they had a uniform like this.
How many people do I have to murder to get one of these
How many people do I have to murder to get all of these
|Posted on June 8 with 26,039 notes via goodshipgoodwood||Reblog|
Reclaimed bubbles: A lovely late afternoon spend on one of the man made islands off the coast of Tokyo. Just because this land is no longer sea, doesn’t mean there’s no bubbles!
|Posted on June 8 with 4,181 notes via enjoyablesquares||Reblog|
|Posted on June 8 with 272,145 notes via goodshipgoodwood||Reblog|
|Posted on June 8 with 189,863 notes via oh-hai-its-khai||Reblog|
Carrie Mae Weems: The Kitchen Table Series (1990)
*for the other kind of valentines day
I’ve always loved this series by Weems.
|Posted on June 8 with 7,177 notes via jadeyoh||Reblog|
HIGHLIGHT OF MY LIFE.
|Posted on June 7 with 265,832 notes via fishingboatproceeds||Reblog|
He recognized her before she recognized him. It was obvious that she hadn’t seen him yet, or if she had she didn’t recognize him. Why should she? It had been years, over a decade, since they had seen one another; they had been young and unattached. He was doing what he could to live on his own, kicked out of his father’s house and she - she was the light of the Lester household, the only daughter of a wealthy couple.
They had gone their separate ways. He moved onto a different house, a different job, away from what he knew wouldn’t work. The puppy dog crush sounded pathetic, but he wanted to be away from what he thought were flirtations.
What she did after, he had no idea. They were teenagers then, good friends, but he didn’t have a permanent address for her to even bother sending things to.
But there she was, dressed in black and wearing a veil of morning that fell in front of her face. A brief moment of panic, bright hot hit him. Who died? Was it her parents who had practically raised him as their own? But his panic and worry was overshadowed by an overall feeling - happiness. There she was, walking right towards him.
"Excuse me," she said softly as the door opened. She stopped and he could see the thought behind the veil which she quickly moved up from her face. Black eyebrows were knit together, "Tristan?"
"Hi," he was a man of simple words, unsure of what else to say. "How are you?"
Lips pursed, he realized it may not have been the best thing to say, “I’ve been better. Do you work here?”
"Work and own," he answered, standing up from his spot. He hated the deskwork portion, but there wasn’t too much to do right now, it was a slow season. Everybody else was excited about it, but he would have liked the business. "What happened?"
"My husband," she answered softly, her pale fingers twirling around a pale handkerchief. "The fever."
"Well, then, you’re lucky to be alive." He paused for a long moment, not liking how the words hung in the air, "I’m sorry Beth."
She must have been dying. The sun was beating down, a record heat wave for July and there she was, tied up in black with only a parasol to shield her from the sun. Still, tight lipped and strong back she waited after everyone had left the funeral. She watched him work, still standing in the grass. It was serene, a calm over the graveyard. “I never took you for a digger.”
He laughed, shoveling more dirt over the coffin. “Really? I think it’s pretty perfect. Mostly just talk to the minister, work in the dark, get to get dirty.”
Tired and strained, she laughed back. “That is very true.”
They stood in almost silence, birds and wind making as much noise as his shovel and the dirt. She was the one who spoke next, softly. He almost missed it, “I would like to repay you in some way.”
He was confused. There was a velvet purse holding quite a nice amount of gold sitting on his workbench. “You did.”
"No, something more than that. Money is so…impersonal. You’ve made this whole process so seamless and you were so comforting. I…I would like to be able to do something for you."
She had already paid him more than he had asked for in gratitude. He would have done it for free, but she had insisted. Of course she insisted. “I don’t want to put anythin’ on you. Feel like I should be doin’ somethin’ for you.”
Elizabeth shook her head, “No, Tristan. Can I cook for you? I’d like to do something.” There was a pause and even with his social ineptitude, he could tell there was something else she wanted to say. “I missed you.”
It seemed odd to have a warm and fuzzy feeling while covering her husband’s grave, but that was the only way to describe the feeling that ran up his spine and on his cheeks. “I missed you too. If it ain’t a lot of trouble name the time and place and I’ll stop by.”
Her husband had been rich, that was obvious as he walked up to and into the house. Marble and gold leaf decorated the whole interior of the brick mansion. And yet, when he entered there was nobody but her, still dressed in black.
"Hello," she smiled softly at him, her hands clasped in front of her.
"Hiya," Tristan gave her the same cheeky grin he always had. "Nice place."
Her body stiffened and he wasn’t sure why. “Thank you.” She led him into the dining room, just as lavish as everything else, though there wasn’t food there yet.
Elizabeth’s eyes glanced down to his hands, “Oh, Tristan, we need to get you cleaned off first.”
He never felt self-conscious of his skin until someone brought it up. Even then he generally didn’t care, but now that she had pointed it out he wanted to hide his hands away. They were dirty, grimy, years of working with the earth staining them. He didn’t even bother trying to clean them too much. He had at first, but it seemed to be hopeless. ”I ain’t gonna dirty up your house, it’s just caked on.”
Lips pursed, he realized it was a habit she had grown into, “No, no. You can get sick that way. Come on, I think I have something.”
There was steam rising from the bowl she brought to him, bubbles on top and almost frothing over the side. Gingerly, she sat it down on his lap, “It may sting a little, but there are new studies about why warm water is so important to getting rid of germs.” His hands were placed in the water, slowly, as if they were made of glass. She was kneeling by his feet, making sure they were completely soaked.
It felt too intimate, that he was taking advantage of her in her time of need. She was the widow, he was just the one burying her husband. “You really don’t have to do this.”
"No," it came out slowly, airy, hypothetically. "Perhaps not, but it’s nice to care for someone. They wouldn’t let me near him, with the fever, it will be nice to be useful, to care for someone."
That still made him slightly prickly. He didn’t want her to take care of him, did need her to feel like he needed her care. He liked it, but Tris was an individual; he was a grown man who could take care of himself. Still, if this was what made her feel better he’d let her. So he sank into silence. Wincing wasn’t manly and he did his best not to twitch even the corner of his mouth when his hands were placed in the water. It was hot, scalding.
Her hands were right in there with him and he watched as her eyes prickled softly. He could feel a cloth against his skin, rubbing slow and small circles against the flesh. Every so often she would pick up a hand and look at it, her eyebrows knitting together as she studied it. Not finding it satisfactory, she would put it back in the water and scrub more. Finally, his hands were nice, red, and to her satisfaction. She didn’t seem to notice that he knees cracked when she stood up to pick up the water bowl so he pretended that he didn’t either. She was getting old, which meant that he was getting older. What a terrifying thought.
The towel she wrapped his hands in was soft and she pressed it softly to him. “It’s silly, but I always wish I would have had this opportunity. People always expect you to be so uptight, so wrapped up and proper. It’s nice to be able to take care of someone for once.”
He looked at his hands, years of dirt now in the water bowl. He couldn’t think of anything to say. So he didn’t. He just kissed her forehead.
|Posted on May 20||Reblog|