Monday, October 26, 2009


Hello blogging world, it's time for a major update! I have been suffering from a back injury, what is thought to be a bulging or herniated disc, for well over a month and a half. For the most part, I've been able to function despite the pain which pinches my sciatic nerve running down my left buttock and leg, but about a week ago things took a major downward spiral and since last Sunday I've been flat on my back 24/7. I have visited several doctors, including a physical therapist, my family doctor, and even a rolfer, yet I have found little relief. Today I'm going to see someone about an MRI and the possibility of epidural injections in my spine, which seems to be the next logical step and hopefully it will get me back on my feet. Needless to say, I'm going crazy just lying here. I've watched just about every episode of Law & Order ever aired, and every other crappy thing on TV. I can't sit up, so I haven't eaten a meal at a table in over a week, let alone do something productive like read, draw, or knit - it's even been difficult for me to use my computer because the position is so uncomfortable (which explains the lack of blogging). I'm anxious to get back to work, seeing as all of my positions are fairly recent and this feels like a terrible reflection of my dedication to call in "sick" so frequently. I have my Romeo and an ice pack by my side for comfort, but my patience is running very thin and apparently my only option is wait for this thing to run its course and heal itself. I hope you're all doing well, and for anyone who has ever experienced this before, I feel your pain (quite literally).

Wish me luck in my recovery and in the meantime, check out this awesome faux Polaroid program, Poladroid, and admire the handsomeness that is my Romeo!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Baby Bliss

I was searching for some knitting patterns today when I stumbled across Lillebarn's Etsy shop where I found the most amazingly adorable knits for babies. Now I just need to find a baby to make one of these hats for! Try to resist this deliciousness!:

Lilliebarn also has a blog! Check it out to find out how you can get your hands on some of these precious knits.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fall Frenzy

Fall is in the air and I'm officially feeling swept away! There's the excitement of baseball and Halloween and winter clothes on the horizon, and I'm in love with it all. I'm going to make yummy fall treats tonight and kick back with some warm cider, even though it's not exactly cold here in Arizona! Here are some deliciously wonderful fall pictures that are guaranteed to get you in the spirit of the season!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I have very good reason to believe that the Apple Store near me (Scottsdale Quarter) is magic. I went in there on Friday with my ipod, which wouldn't sync or charge when plugged in to my computer, and when I brought it to the counter at the Apple store, it miraculously worked! Sure, it might have just been my computer or maybe the USB port I was using, but all the same, it didn't work before I entered the store, and it worked perfectly once I walked inside... And then my computer wouldn't work. Since Saturday, my screen has been black and I was convinced that my logic board had died (again!) and I had to wait until Monday night to see a Genius at the Apple store. Well, what do you know?! - When i brought it to the counter, it turned on without a hitch and was running flawlessly! I mean, one time could have been a coincidence, but twice in 3 days? Please, I know magic when I see it! This little story also explains why I haven't updated in a few days, but now that all of my electronics are working properly again, I can resume with my daily (or weekly) updates.

Today is a very exciting day for me. It's officially my first day at Anthropologie! I had a training session on Sunday where I met some of my new co-workers and learned the rules and ideals of the company, but today I actually get to work the sales floor! On Sunday my trainer summarized working at Anthro as mostly playing dress up with adults. I get to help women find outfits that not only look good but also make them feel good... and the clothes are awesome. I'll still be doing freelance work on the side, but it is comforting to know that I'll also be getting regular paychecks.

Tomorrow I have my first real day at the Children's Museum of Phoenix, as well. I'm starting an internship there in the Development department where I'll be learning all about the inner workings of a non-profit organization, as well as learning how to budget and write grants. I went on an in-depth tour of the museum yesterday and I was completely blown away. The museum is housed in the old Monroe Elementary School Building, originally built in 1913, where Jackson Pollock was once a student. The building is now a historical landmark, so the museum needs to abide by very strict rules when installing exhibits and restoring the building. There are at least a dozen spacious rooms that are still unused because they are not up to code yet, but there are plans and ideas for new exhibits once the rooms are ready. The museum has only been open for a little over a year, so it is in a constant state of renovation and reinvention, but none of that is noticeable because the active exhibits are so incredible. There is a "marketplace" that puts Easy-Bake Ovens and Fisher Price Kitchen Sets to shame. Kids can shop for foods (all fake, of course) in the market, go through the grocery check out, and then move into the next room where they can prepare meals on a variety of play ovens, including a brick stove! There's also a Noodle Forest with over 4,000 hanging foam noodles (like the ones for the pool), a Grand Ball Room with ramps and traps to watch chain reactions, and they're building a 3-story Climber from recycled materials! I can't wait to start working in this playful and energetic environment!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Book Reviews and Book Club

I'm so sorry for the week+ blogging hiatus! I wish I had some elaborate story to excuse my absence, but unfortunately it was just laziness and a lack of motivation that kept me away from the keyboard. But no worries, I'm back on track now, and ready to implement a few new things to the blog, starting with a book review. As many of you may know, I'm an avid reader and I love sharing my reading experiences with friends, so I've decided to include regular book reviews of what I'm reading, be it fiction, non-fiction, classic, contemporary, adult, children's... you get the idea.

I've just finished two books in the last few weeks and they'll be my first two reviews: Ayn Rand's classic The Fountainhead and The View from Mount Joy by Lorna Landvik.

I was never assigned The Fountainhead in any of my high school or college English classes, so I recently decided to pick it up on my own and see what all the fuss was about. It was immediately obvious that this book is not for light readers, both because of its bulk (750+ pages) and its author, Ayn Rand, who is known for her complex philosophical writing. The Fountainhead, originally published in 1943, follows the careers of four men: Peter Keating, Ellsworth Toohey, Gail Wynand and Howard Roark and their various experiences and perceptions of "success."

It took me a while (probably a few hundred pages) to really get into the text, and initially I found all of the characters utterly unlikable. Rand writes with a heavy philosophical hand, and the text and characters are very elitist, to the extent that the reader feels alienated and often insulted by the book's attitude about "the masses," aka non-socialites. However, as I continued reading, I could not help but admire Rand for her obvious brilliance and ability to break down the complexity of Objectivism and make it accessible to the layman. Ultimately, I found myself being drawn into this world that I couldn't quite identify with, and was unsure I wanted to identify with, and yet I was still intrigued to learn more about it. Perhaps that's what makes this book really remarkable. Most great novels are "great" because they allow the reader to connect with the characters and subject matter, thus aligning the reader with a particular character in hopes for his/her success (or failure, depending on the character). The Fountainhead encouraged me to read on despite my own beliefs and to open my mind to other theories about the ego, altruism, selfishness, and power. I most certainly don't agree with all of the philosophy The Fountainhead preaches, yet I can honestly say that it has made an indelible impact and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for some deep thinking and lots of reading.

After finishing The Fountainhead, I desperately needed to read something less intellectual and more fun, so I picked up Lorna Landvik's The View from Mount Joy and found it more than satisfactory. In a nutshell, Mount Joy is about how life doesn't always turn out as planned, but it can be pretty great anyway. Joe Andreson, the main character, is one of the most genuinely likable (and real!) characters I've read in a long time. A star athlete in high school, Joe has aspirations of playing pro hockey and dating the head cheerleader, Kristi Casey, yet when more than a few curveballs are thrown his way, he learns to deal with the unexpected (and sometimes tragic) with grace and dignity. Kristi, meanwhile, is a character we've all seen before - the manipulative pretty girl who knows how to get what she wants (think Reese Witherspoon in Election, or, more current, Quinn Fabray from TV's Glee). And yet, though we know her well, she is still surprising and entertaining, proving that Landvik can make even the most unlikable characters in this book of lovable people kind of, well, likable. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a light, enjoyable read. You'll laugh, you'll cry (I did), and you'll leave feeling satisfied.

I'm currently reading One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus, and if anyone would like to read along, I'd love to hear your comments and opinions! It can be like an unofficial book club, and I can include your comments in my review, or you can post them after I write the review. I'll even tag each post (at the bottom) with the title "book club" so that you can search for all relevant posts. Also, if you have any suggestions on books you'd like to read/think I should read/review, I'd love to know about them!

Alright, I think this post is lengthy enough. I'll continue with the updates tomorrow!