pinsday (aka pinterest wednesday)

Here are my favorite finds from Pinterest this week:

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Click on each image for source.

my favorite rereads

Who doesn’t love reading the same favorites over and over? Here are my favorite books with spines cracked from excessive page-turning:

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

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I swear this trilogy gets better every time I read it. And a certain scene in The Amber Spyglass makes me cry every. Single. Time.

All-American Girl by Meg Cabot

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I’m not as crazy about Meg Cabot’s books now as I was in high school, but I still feel sentimental about this one, which was my favorite book for a good chunk of my teenage years.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

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Another sentimental read; it’s like my childhood in paperback.

Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison

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Another teenage favorite with the double whammy of being hilarious and British.

Oy, Joy! by Lucy Frank

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I discovered this little gem of a YA book in middle school and I’ve been in love with it ever since. And it takes place in New York City, so win!

What are your favorite books to reread?

random goings-on

I saw two guys (friends? boyfriends?) on the subway. One fell asleep, and the other moved to his other side so he could lay his head on his shoulder. Then he fell asleep too. Sweetest. Thing. Ever.

A dad walking down the street was carrying his daughter’s Hello Kitty backpack for her. Also. Sweetest. Thing. Ever.

When I worked for my school’s literary/art magazine I used to complain about about all the photos of flowers we would get. Now I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to pictures of flowers. (Don’t tell my former co-editors.)

I think it’s a sign of adulthood that my two biggest daydreams currently are going grocery shopping without a list or worrying about cost/carrying everything home, and owning a robot vacuum.

Why do so many movies/TV shows show women going to bed with full makeup on? (That’s bad for your skin, yo.)

People think New Yorkers are rude and aloof, but strangers will say “bless you” to people who sneeze on the train.

this girl decides to quit her job and head to new york city*

Empire State

Disclaimer: this is not an advice post. There are lots of articles out there about whether or not you should quit your job to pursue something else and advice on how to do so, but this is not one of those articles. I was inspired by Sophie’s post on how she quit her day job to tell my own story (although our reasons for leaving our jobs are quite different), but you should probably not follow my example. Because I did some kind of stupid things and I’m just lucky it happened to work out. So without further ado:

How I Quit My Job and Moved to New York City

The year was 2013. I was fresh out of college and desperately seeking full-time employment. After two months and over 30 job applications (I kept count), I took the first (and only) job I was offered, a proofreading position in Western Nebraska.

Even though I made great friends out there and the job was in my field of study, I was unhappy. I thought I had been doing the right thing for me working in my field and saving money, but before I graduated college I had turned down an opportunity to go to grad school in New York City and I was full of doubts. I couldn’t shake the feeling I should be somewhere else. I was depressed, drinking more than usual and gaining weight.

So after some thought and several tear-filled conversations with my mother, I decided to finally go for my dream and move to New York City. In April 2014 I gave my boss a month’s notice without a place to live or another job lined up. (This is why this is not an advice post.)

Luckily my mom let me move back in with her while I made arrangements to move to NYC. The original plan was only to stay there a couple of weeks; drop my stuff off, make living arrangements, pack and go. Instead I ended up staying there all summer. (Sorry, Mom.) I got a part-time retail job to save some more money. Because the funny thing about quitting your job is, even when your income stops you still have bills to pay. Yikes.

Finally, I buckled down and found a sublet on Craigslist. I spoke to the subletter over phone and email and saw pictures of the place, but living halfway across the country obviously I wasn’t able to see the place and meet the roommates before I sent in my rent. (Another reason this is not an advice post.) Even though I was in communication with the subletter and roommates up until my arrival, there was still that slight fear that once I got there they would be all, “Psych!” and I would be on the streets of New York homeless and 700 dollars poorer. (That didn’t happen, and my temporary roommates were delightful.)

I was able to transfer my retail job from the store in Omaha to the store in New York, so I had some employment. That also could have gone wrong–the store manager in New York could have rejected my transfer request. (Did I mention this is definitely not an advice post?)

Turns out it’s impossible to live in one of the most expensive cities on the planet with just a part-time job. I lost all of my depression weight and then some because I was living on peanut butter. (Also, no car equals a lot more walking.) It was hard to find a permanent place to live without a full-time job and a guarantor, but somehow I managed to do that, once again through Craigslist.

I had thought I might try to get some freelance work for extra income, but my new landlord, worried about me getting by on a part-time salary, offered to pass along my resume to the office where she used to work. And that is how I got my current day job. (Which I will not be quitting anytime soon, because I like it and I plan on living in New York for a while longer yet.)

So that’s the story of how I stupidly quit my job and stupidly moved to New York to live with strangers. And I’m pretty happy about it. But please, don’t try this at home.

 

*The title of this post is, as anyone who listens to top 40 probably realized, inspired by a line in this song.

lately on netflix

I would probably be so much more productive and intellectual if I didn’t have Netflix. But I do, so here’s what I’ve been spending all my free time watching:

Derek

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I think this is one of those shows people either really like or really hate. And I really like it! It’s sweet and strange and funny and sad all at the same time.

How I Met Your Mother

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I had seen all of the first five seasons on TV reruns and most of seasons 6 and 7, but I never saw the last two seasons before now. Although, I already spoiled the ending for myself when Facebook blew up with angry fans after the series finale. (I couldn’t resist–I just had to know why everyone was so upset. I feel you guys.)

Glee

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I was obsessed with this show in its original run for the first three seasons. Obsessed. I may have even had a Glee calendar at one point. But I stopped watching it halfway through season four, and now that I’m at that point in my rewatch I remember why. Was anyone else super pissed about how insensitive they were about Marley’s eating disorder? “Wahh, she ruined sectionals for us when she passed out on stage!” OH MY GOD SHE HAS A MENTAL ILLNESS AND NEEDS MEDICAL HELP. WHO CARES ABOUT SECTIONALS??

Man, I hope season 5 is better.

What have you been watching lately? Thoughts on the above shows?

this (three-day) weekend

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Happy Easter to those who celebrate it, happy Passover to those who celebrate that, and happy just-a-regular-weekend to those who celebrate neither.

My weekend was in the latter category, but it was a day longer than usual thanks to my office being closed on Good Friday (good indeed)! So I got some chores done (laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning the bathroom floor–fun), went to my roller derby lesson on Saturday (we’re doing assessments and it kicked my ass), made spaghetti and turkey meatballs (delicious), and watched a crap-ton of Netflix (so much it’s getting its own post in the near future).

And, it’s finally warm enough to sleep with the windows open! I have them thrown wide open right now and it’s glorious. Hashtag spring fever, guys.

How was your weekend?

pinsday (aka pinterest wednesday)

Here are my favorite finds from Pinterest this week:

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Click on each image for source.

library haul

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It took me way too long to get my new library card after moving. (Queens and Brooklyn have different library systems.) But I finally made it to the BPL (Brooklyn Public Library) and here’s what I walked away with:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman: “In an instant, Mia’s whole world is shattered, leaving her with only questions. What will happen if she leaves? If she loves? If she stays?” (book jacket)

I’m probably one of the last people in the world to read this, but the premise has me intrigued and I’ve only heard good things, so it was high on my to-read list.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai: “When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.” (book jacket)

It makes me incredibly sad that in some places, girls don’t even have the basic right of going to school. (And some people say we don’t need feminism anymore–psha.) I’ve only heard a bit of Malala’s story in news headlines and magazines, and I’m interested to learn more about her journey and her activism.

 The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June by Robin Benway: “When they move to a new town after their parents’ separation, sisters April, May and June recover special powers from childhood–powers that come in handy when dealing with the living nightmare that is high school.” (book jacket)

Magic! I couldn’t resist.

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff: “This is a story of two people who do not belong in each other’s lives, who find each other at a time when they desperately need someone who doesn’t belong in their lives. A story of those moments when we act like people we aren’t in order to figure out who we are.” (book jacket)

I just love those “two people unlikely to be friends come into each other’s lives and everyone learns a valuable lesson” stories. And this sounds kind of adorable.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson: “Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, at sixteen, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways…” (book jacket)

I probably would have checked this out even if we weren’t reading it in my book club, because I’ve read really good reviews of it. And what’s not to love about sibling drama?

What are you reading right now?

home decor spree

You know how when you file a change of address at the post office, they give you a packet of coupons? When I did this in Nebraska, most of the coupons I got were for things I wasn’t ever going to use, so with a couple of exceptions they mostly got thrown out. But you guys, the coupons I got in New York are so much better than the ones I got in Nebraska! Pier 1 Imports! Crate & Barrel! Pottery Barn! OMG TARGET!

Now, I know the title of this post says “spree,” but in truth I actually only bought two items. As much as I’d like to go crazy buying things for my new room and restocking the kitchen, that’s not exactly fiscally responsible of me so I just stuck with things I needed for now. Like curtains.

target curtains

This is the first time in my life I’ve ever bought curtains. I also purchased furniture for the first time ever a few months ago (my bed frame). It makes me feel oh so grown up. Although, are real grown-ups always thinking about how things make them feel like grown-ups?

I also got this handy basket for extra blanket storage.

target basket

As you can see, Target’s website is where I found the stuff I needed, but then it turned out the coupon was for in store only! So the only post office coupon I’ve used so far was from Lowe’s, where I got rods for my new curtains. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to save the other coupons for things I want instead of things I need.

brooklyn, baby!

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I’m not going to start this post with the typical “I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in so long!” type thing. Because the truth is, I’m not sorry. I needed the break. A lot has been going on in Beth-land (some of it not very creativity-inducing), not the least of which was that I moved to Brooklyn!

So today, the first lazy Sunday in a long time where I’ve felt truly relaxed to just be staying in bed all day watching How I Met Your Mother and cutting up old magazines while I drink homemade cocoa, I decided a little catch-up on the blog was in order. My first week post-move was hectic (and had some truly terrible weather), so this (sunny!) day of laziness feels quite deserved. I’m enjoying watching the snow fall off the roofs across the street. Work is busy, as usual. I’m thinking of making cake batter fudge later. And most importantly of all, I’ve taken up roller derby lessons! (I won’t be playing any actual bouts anytime soon, but hopefully I am working my way towards that.) This is my impulse buy of the month:

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Damn it Target, you make it so hard to stay on budget!

So how have you all been? Is winter refusing to leave your neck of the woods as well? I hope you’re all having an equally lazy and relaxing Sunday. I can’t promise I’ll start posting more regularly now, but hopefully with new surroundings and the winter doldrums passing my creativity will kick back into gear soon. I’d rather give you all a few posts that I’m proud of rather than a bunch of so-so, obligatory posts.

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