Tuesday, March 4, 2014

good news, everyone!

Friends, I'm blogging again! I've also moved. The new space isn't fully finished, but I'm writing there anyway.

You can now find me over at Courtney Nobody.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

breaking blog silence with book survey

Hi friends! I'm momentarily busting out of my blog silence to do a book survey! Both because I like talking about books and because I just felt like posting. So buckle in, this is going to be a long one.

Before I get started on the book stuff, I have to gush for just a minute about my Halloween costume. Tonight I'm going to Theatre Bizarre, pretty much the most wonderful and elaborate adult Halloween party ever concocted (in my experience anyway). Last year at Halloween, I was already dreaming up new costume ideas. The one that I liked the best, and was sad I didn't have time to use then, was vagina dentata: the fear/myth that vaginas have teeth. Is this gross? Yes. I absolutely love it. For the project, I enlisted the help of my extremely talented friend Todd, who is a bona fide special effects expert. He created what I can only describe as a codpiece, that is...well, terrible and wonderful. I've dubbed it the 'Maneater', as in "watch out boys, she'll chew you up". It also plays into my feminist values, since, as we all know, feminists just want to castrate all men. (Obvious sarcasm is obvious.)

I'm dying to share the Maneater on every social media I have, but have resisted since this thing is graphic, disturbing, and definitely NSFW. That said, if anyone is interested in seeing it in all its glory, please e-mail me: courtneynobody(at)gmail(dot)com.

On to book stuff, stolen from Nova.

Author you've read the most books from:
Probably Ray Bradbury. I've also read a fair amount of Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, and Mark Twain. Actually, thinking back to childhood, I may have read the most books by Roald Dahl, or maybe R.L. Stine in my Goosebumps days.

Best Sequel Ever:
There's a lot of series I love, but I would have to say either Lost in a Good Book (second in the Thursday Next series) or The Subtle Knife (second in His Dark Materials trilogy).

Current Reading:
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer. (I'm also on Goodreads, if you want to see more book stuff.)

Drink of choice while reading:
Probably coffee or tea. Occasionally beer or wine.

E-reader or Physical Book:
I always prefer a physical book, although there are definitely times when an e-reader is easier to deal with.

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school:
This is tough, but trying to be realistic and thinking of things I've read recently...maybe someone like Rob from High Fidelity or Nick from Nick & Norah's Endless Playlist. As a teenager, I did date people sort of like both of those guys...
Glad you gave this book a chance:
Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art by Christopher Moore. I had never read his other work, but I picked this up on a whim and enjoyed it.

Hidden gem book:
Hmm...maybe Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. It's an older (published in 1981) coming of age book I read as a kid, and re-read a few years ago. I found it just as enjoyable as an adult. 

Important moment in your reading life:
Not sure. Learning to read? I actually remember that. Or in 5th grade when the teacher said, in front of everyone, that I was the best reader in class. I was embarrassed at the time, but also--if I'm being honest--a bit smug about it. Then there was all the lit courses I took in college, whose discussions further reinforced my love for books. Or the time when I discovered a new friend loved the Anne of Green Gables books as much as I did--a big moment, as I had never met anyone else who was into them. Hell, visiting Prince Edward Island (where the Anne books takes place) was a huge moment in my lit nerd life as well.

Just finished:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It was excellent, highly recommend.

Kind of books you won't read:
At the risk of sounding really snooty, I often steer clear of best sellers. (Lots of exceptions to this, of course.) Have zero interest in books like Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey. Not that I won't read trashy books, I'm just more selective about my trash.

Longest book you've read:
No idea. Anything over 1,000 pages, though there's only been a few of those (and most of them Stephen King).

Major book hangover because of:
Possibly the Harry Potter series. Any time read a book that I can't put down I suffer a bit of the "I don't want it to end" feeling. It's really hard to pick what to read next when you finish something that knocks your socks off.

Number of bookcases you own:
One small, two large.

One book you have read multiple times:
I read Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury every summer.

Preferred place to read:
If it's nice out I love reading outside. Otherwise I like to be buried under a blanket with my cat on my lap.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:
Here's one I love from John Connolly's Book of Lost Things:
“He would talk to them of stories and books, and explain to them how stories wanted to be told and books wanted to be read, and how everything that they ever needed to know about life and the land of which he wrote, or about any land or realm that they could imagine, was contained in books. And some of the children understood, and some did not.” 

Reading Regret:
Pride & Prejudice. I went into it thinking I would be one of those people who goes ga-ga for Jane Austen, but I couldn't stand the book. At all. When I finished I literally threw it across the room because I found it so frustrating.

Series you started and need to finish:
I need to finish re-reading the Harry Potter series, which I started re-reading last year. Also the Chronicles of Narnia which I was re-reading but didn't get all the way through the second time. The third book in the Divergent series is coming out very soon, so I plan to read that as well.

Three of your all time favorite books:
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman (I'm counting it as one)  and Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. I'm sure if you ask me some other time the answers could change, though Dandelion Wine will always be at the top of the list.

Unapologetic fangirl for:
Ray Bradbury. And Anne of Green Gables, in case you hadn't already noticed.

Very excited for this release more than all others:
I'm excited to read Doctor Sleep by Stephen King which came out recently, also the third book in the Divergent series. (They're not the best or anything, but I quickly got sucked in and am curious how the series will end.)

Worst book habit:
Finishing almost everything I read. Even when I want to give up on a book, I feel this weird guilt about it and usually just slog through to the bitter end.
X marks the spot: start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Since I'm not near my bookshelf I'm going to take a (very) educated guess based on my LibraryThing account and my over the top organizational system, which gives us...Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. 

Your latest book purchase:
Hmm...I don't buy many books these days, but I did recently buy the Mac & Cheese Cookbook, which is amazing. (Not sure if that counts or not, but it is the last book I bought.)

Last book that kept you up too late:
Ready Player One--so good!

Ok, ok, that's all I got. Hope everyone's well out there. Maybe I'll pop in again sometime...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

back to school

I have no idea.

Hey gang! Long time no see. I had such a great summer, I still can't believe it's basically over. (Sad face until next year.)
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how much like learning new things and how I sort of, almost, sometimes, miss being in school. For awhile, I even considered stealing an education, by showing up to lecture hall classes at a nearby university, boosting a syllabus, and then showing up for the lectures that interested me. This would be wrong, and I don't know if I could actually pull it off.
Instead, I've just devised an easy syllabus for myself instead. To that end, this school year I'm hoping to: read one non-fiction book per month, and watch one documentary per month. Instant learning! I love it.
In addition, I think I'm finally going to start the Home Ec e-course. I purchased this course awhile back, and just haven't found the time to dig into it. Lame, right? So I'm hoping to finally hop to it, and actually learn how to use the sewing machine that's hiding in the back of my closet. (I got the machine for free, but have no idea how to use it.)
A quick housekeeping note: I'm also in the midst of creating not one, but two new blogs! Say what? I don't know if it will help motivate me to blog more or not, but starting over with a new blog is immensely appealing to me right now. I'm also hoping to make it ever-so-slightly more focused (hopefully anyway--niche blogger I am not). The second new blog will just be a side project I'm starting with the help of my good pal Rich. We haven't gotten it going yet, but I'll be sure to blab all about it once we do.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

july in review

Hi guys! I'm not dead, I promise. Still in a blogging funk, but my brother's been hassling me to post so I thought I'd share what I've been up to on this side of the screen. Also, I'm considering a blog move, but we'll see about that. Sometimes when you get in a funk you just want to burn it all to the ground and start fresh, y'know? Blog doldrums aside, July has been an absolute blast. Here's some highlights:

 My first attempt at homemade cinnamon rolls were a success.
1. My 3rd Annual Fourth of July breakfast. My town's Fourth of July parade runs right in front of my house, so I always watch it from my front porch. For the last few years, I've had people over to join me. I tend to make a ton of food, but this year I scaled it back a bit--making just two quiches, a batch of these chai spiced cinnamon rolls, and sangria.
2. Mini-vacation. I ended up taking two days off around the Fourth, which gave me five days in a row free from work. Such luxury! I didn't do much with that time, but I thoroughly enjoyed being lazy.
3. Seeing A Wilhelm Scream. Easily one of my favorite bands, I hadn't seen them in about five years. But! I finally saw them and they were just as good as I remember. Such a fun show.
 All quiet in the early morning hours at camp.
4. Volunteering at a bereavement camp. Something I never thought I would do, but that I thoroughly enjoyed. What's a bereavement camp, you ask? Basically, it's a camp for kids who have lost a loved one. Activities at the camp alternate between normal fun camp stuff and remembering activities designed to help the kids open up and better understand/cope with what they're going through. I mostly worked behind the scenes setting stuff up, but it was still a really cool experience. (If you're curious about the camp, the Detroit News covered it here.)
5. My cousin's graduation party. I can't believe my little cousin just graduated high school (and that my sister will be doing so next year). Sometimes getting older can be a bit surreal. Anyway, I had a great time eating and drinking with family, and just generally catching up with some of my relatives I don't get to see too often.
6. My family reunion. Literally the day after my cousin's graduation, but with the other side of the family. Typically a pretty big event, with around a hundred people in attendance (I don't know the majority of them, but I'm sure they're all related somehow). More eating, drinking, and catching up. I also won $3.25 at bingo, so there's that.
7. Vacation! I took a week long vacation to do nothing, more or less. Usually when I take vacation I'm going somewhere, but this time I spent most of it at home. I thought I'd get a lot done, but really I just hung around the apartment or went out with my boyfriend.
8. Summer movies. I saw This is the End, World War Z, and Despicable Me 2, all of which were a lot of fun.
A lot to love in this little collage. Also, they were doing Christmas in July at the ballpark and Santa was there!
9. Toledo day! On one of the days of my vacation, my boyfriend and I had ventured to Toledo, Ohio. Not exactly a vacation destination, but we managed to have a fun & food-filled day anyway. We went to unexciting chain restaurants we don't have by us; Waffle House for me, Chick-Fil-A for him. Why is it that anything you don't have nearby seems so much better than it actually is? I don't know, but I love Waffle House all the same. We also spent the afternoon at the zoo, and then the evening at a Mud Hens game (Toledo's minor league baseball team). The game was excellent--all the perks of a major league game at half the cost.
10. Couch to 5k. I know I mentioned this last month, but I'm pleased to report that I'm still sticking with it. The other day I ran two miles, which is something I never, ever believed I could do.
July went by incredibly fast, but I'm so, so happy I managed to pack so much into this month. How's your summer going?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

all quiet

 A picture of Royal for no reason.
It's strange that I always think taking time off will lead me to be more productive, when the opposite usually proves to be true.
Last week I had a blissfully long holiday weekend. (Can it still be called a "weekend" if you have five days off? Probably not, but I'm sticking with it.) Before this mini-vacation, I dreamed of tackling all of those little "someday" projects that forever pester the back of your mind, but that you never seem to get around to. Most of them were not terribly time-consuming, just things that needed done around the apartment, or half finished craft projects that aspire to being completed craft projects.
Of course, none of these things actually got done. Instead, I mostly put my feet up, watched old movies, and ate an embarrassing amount of junk food. Really, it wasn't a bad way to spend a vacation and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I also kept telling myself that, now that I had some time on my hands, I should crank out a couple half-decent blog posts. Of course, that never happened either. Instead, I left the computer turned off for a few days in a row. Really, it wasn't a bad way to spend a vacation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus, I could still check my social media from my phone.
My Internet habits may, in fact, be changing. I don't know this for certain. However, since Google Reader's demise (RIP, old friend) I haven't found myself getting those obsessive-compulsive urges to follow all the blogs. In a way, it's almost freeing. I've still been keeping up with some, and I'm sure I always will (blog friends forever you guys), but I can already see that there are many that may fall by the wayside. (I've been trying to get used to Blog Lovin, and I experimented with Feedly a bit as well. Both have pros and cons.)
On the other hand, it may just be that it's summer. I tend to steer clear of spending too much time on the computer during the warmer months, and I may return to my compulsory Internet reading when winter has me in its icy embrace.
For now, I just wanted to drop in so that I can keep up some semblance of blog maintenance and wish for health and wealth among my readers. What can I say? Summer puts me in a spirit of goodwill. I promise I'm just as sarcastic as ever underneath.

Friday, June 28, 2013

june in review

“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June …” Anne of Green Gables
If June was any indicator, this summer's going to be fantastic and I intend to relish every minute of it. Sure, June isn't quite over yet, but that's no reason I can't reflect on some of the highlights, right? Right. 

1. Animal Crossing! As I devoted an entire post to it, it's obvious that I'm a bit addicted to this silly game. Playing the new version has been making me happy, and I'm pleased to report I haven't binged too heavily on it. (Yet.)
 Gorgeous paper flower bouquet made by the bride.
2. My good friends' wedding. I've mentioned my friend Rich on the blog before, and earlier this month he and my friend Rachel got hitched! While the wedding passed by in a blur, I can't remember having more fun at someone's nuptials. Not to get overly sentimental, but I was also part of the wedding party and being able to stand up there with my good friends while they got married was truly wonderful.
Man Man at Founder's Fest
3. Founder's Fest. A beer/music festival in the lovely Grand Rapids, MI. This was my first time in Grand Rapids, and I really enjoyed it for the brief time I was there. It's so strange to me that I can live in Michigan for most of my life and there's still so many place I haven't been. I guess that's true of anywhere, you tend to get stuck in your little bubble. We stayed in a swanky hotel, drank a lot of excellent beer, saw Man Man, and ate too much. Before leaving the city, we went to an excellent restaurant called The Electric Cheetah. Their menu was insane, everything was delicious, and they had a root beer list with about thirty different varieties on it. It's probably for the best that Grand Rapids is a couple hours away, or I'd just want to eat there every day.
4. Divergent & Insurgent, by Veronica Roth. I devoured these books, and am eagerly awaiting the third. They're nothing earth-shattering, but they move quickly and are tough to put down. Plus I don't know that I've met a dystopian YA novel I didn't like. (These books are often compared to The Hunger Games.)
5. The Mad Men season finale. I'm not going to give anything away, but I really loved this season. For next season? I'd like more Peggy, less Megan. (Actually, I wish I could retroactively bestow that on previous seasons as well.) Jezebel has a thoughtful analysis of the finale, if you're into that kind of thing.
6. Restarting the Couch to 5k program. Will I ever run a 5k? I have no idea. But even a little bit of running is probably better for me than none at all. I've always envied runners, but never thought I had the stamina to be one. Last summer, I used Couch to 5k but got sidelined by minor injuries and didn't get too far into the program. Still, it felt good to get outside and sweat a little, so I'm eager to see if I can do better with it this year.
Little loves: iced tea, berry pie, sleeping with a fan on, listening to my favorite summer playlist, wearing all my summer clothes, making plans, spending time at my favorite park, barbecues, summer beer, and reading like crazy.
How's your summer shaping up so far?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

things i love thursday

Greetings, dear readers. It's been a busy week on this side of the screen (hence just now responding to week-old comments), trying my best to squeeze in time outdoors in between the rainstorms we've been getting. The long holiday weekend next week can't come soon enough. Really looking forward to some time off...and while I daydream about downtime, here's some links for ya.
I am really loving this Twitter campaign to get Jesse & The Rippers to play Riot Fest.
Hi, I'm a Mac. And I'm a PC. And I'm a beaver.

It's always moving to see photos and videos of soldiers being reunited with their families. Here's a video of soldiers being reunited with their dogs.

The Bloggess talks about lessons she learned from horror movies.

I've always admired Heidi Kenney's many knick-knacks. Here's a tour of her dining area. (Seriously--that pez collection! Those Santas! Love it.)

Important life advice. I really like the author's commentary on each of these.

Elizabeth talks about bloggers' "perfect" lives.

Barbara Ehrenreich's predictions for the future of sex, written in 1987.

Here's a cool flowchart to figure out what type of music you should listen to on the job.

This bird made out of typewriter parts is pretty damn cool.

Five questions to ask yourself if you're not where you thought you'd be.

Love these pictures Sarah posted of her aerialist photoshoot.


How junk food can end obesity. This article's really long, but really interesting. I think some of the author's demonizing of the whole food movement is a bit unwarranted, but at the same time I like that he acknowledges that solving obesity issues isn't as easy as providing people with fresh vegetables. I also love that he examines the class issues that often go hand in hand with obesity.

Your cat knows you exist, says science.

When worlds collide: I always link to Lindy West articles around these parts because she's terrific. This week she wrote about a news story that happened within a mile of my house. Of course, it couldn't be anything cool, it had to be the horrible story of a man cutting his penis off while on drugs. Wonderful! Here's some irony for ya--also within a mile of my house is the most phallic building in the world. I couldn't make this shit up.