Sunday, November 23, 2014


Let me tell you a story: 

It begins on a normal Saturday afternoon, with a quiet, semi-adult, not-a-girl-yet-does-not-feel-like-a-real-woman determined to rearrange her backroom after thinking about possible spatial arrangements all week. So she begins to do so, moving books and the like. As she does so, she happens to faintly notice a bit of a strange smell, but it is not so overpowering that she doesn't think much of it. As she reaches for some books that were previously arranged on the floor, she happens to peer into a corner where a few years ago a mouse trap had been set. To her abject horror she finds that said trap is now occupied - for how long, she knows not - for really it does not matter the length of time that it has been occupied - it is the fact that there is now a deceased mouse in it. And it is huge. Gigantic mouse proportions huge. 

This semi-adult woman screams at the top of her lungs and gags at the sight. Distraught she calls her father. No answer. Not that she was really expecting one, for she knows that he is most likely in a tree stand, but was hoping against all hope that perhaps he would come dispose of the dead creature. No such luck - he instead texts her, telling her to put on some gloves and deal with it. She tries to follow her father's advice - truly. But the sight of this huge dead mouse keeps causing her to gag and almost throw up. She then texts her best friend for moral support, who is admirable in her advice and encouragement. Yet, this semi-adult woman just can't do it. Out of options, after calling her mother and brother with no luck, she phones her dear friends the Griffins, who come to her rescue and get the creature and dispose of it. All can finally return to "normal", and the girl returns to rearranging and winterizing her broken window, stuffing & duct taping & plasticing off cracks in case that is how the mouse somehow got in.

As she enjoys the new room arrangement and watches a few movies, time passes into the dead of night. Since she is a semi-adult, she stays up to watch a movie (plus, she wasn't that tired and was having trouble breathing so couldn't sleep anyway). Fast forward to 1:30-1:45am, and she starts to move towards her bedroom, when all of the sudden to her utter disbelief and horror SHE SEES ANOTHER HUGE MOUSE WITH A HUGE LONG TAIL SCURRY ACROSS THE FLOOR IN HER FRONT LIVING ROOM!!!!!!!!!!! Involuntarily letting out a scream, she watches as the mouse quickly does an about-face and DISAPPEARS!

What does she do???? What can she do??? She can't call her parents because it's now 2am. She can't go to her parents house, because it's 2am and her father would probably mistake her for an intruder and shoot her. She certainly can't go to sleep with the knowledge that there is a mouse on the loose with no traps to catch him! So the most logical thing to do is to go to Walgreens, which is open 24/7 and pray to Jesus that they have mousetraps. 

In the dead of night, off she goes, zooming down the road to Walgreens, thankful no one can hear the words coming out of her mouth in almost a mantra. The woman on the register is a bit surprised to see someone dash into the store at that hour. Frantically searching the aisles, the semi-adult woman cannot see a mousetrap anywhere, so consumed by fear that her eyes can't work. She finally has to go get the staff person to help her find some, and this kind staff person calmly points them out to her. After checking out, with a good luck from the Walgreens lady, the semi-adult woman makes her way back fearfully into her apartment. She shakingly sets the traps, prays to God the mouse is caught, and climbs into bed, unable to fall asleep because of fear and a bad stuffy nose. Fretfully she turns on her fan and noise machine app so that she won't be woken by the sound of a trap snapping in the night, turns out the light and tries to sleep, which somehow she does. Yet when she wakes in the morning, she is now afraid to get out of bed because what if the mouse was caught?? Worse, what if it still wasn't?!?

She finally musters her courage and gets out of bed, stomping her feet and banging the walls to make loud noises to scare any mice away. She goes outside to grab her shovel just in case there is either a dead body to dispose of or a live one to dispatch. She peers down the hallway where the traps were set, and they are all empty!! This is not a relief because while there is not a dead body to dispose of, it also means there is still a live body somewhere. 

And so now she must go through the day, poking piles of laundry and clothes on the floor (because she is a semi-adult), with a broom, praying to sweet Jesus above that the next time the mouse is sighted, it will be dead. Right now, there exists a detente in the former peaceful hobbit hole with the semi-adult woman contemplating how she can construct a Maginot Line/WWI trench like warfare in her apartment to defend against this intruder. 

She asks for your kind thoughts. She knows on a scale of 0-10 of the troubles of this world and the current real things her forever friends are dealing with, this might be a 0.005, but when fears of fleas and ticks and furry bodies crawling on you in the dead of night with their mouse fangs are real possibilities, it jumps to at least a 5 in the amygdala portion of her brain. She dreads the moment of the mouse being caught as much as it not being a caught - a classic Catch-22, lose/lose situation.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Book Review: Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table, with RecipesBread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table, with Recipes by Shauna Niequist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first Shauna Niequist book that I have read. I came across a recommendation from a blogging friend (Annie B. Jones) who enjoyed it and decided that I too wanted to read this book. Part of what was compelling was the fact that there were recipes included throughout the book and the promise that they were fairly simple to make - something that I am constantly looking for.

And I wish I could put a finger on it about what is so compelling about this book, but the proper words elude me. Maybe it is it's sweet simplicity - great vignettes throughout with great recipes. Maybe it is the joy that Niequist is wonderful at conveying about the act of creating a meal and then sharing it with loved ones. Whatever it is, it has inspired me immensely and gotten me in the kitchen, actually cooking for myself. That sounds like it shouldn't be that big of a deal - after all, cooking isn't that new of a thing or some great novelty. But for me, a single woman who comes home most nights, after solving problems or navigating stressful waters with clients or coworkers all day and only a few hours to go before falling asleep, somehow cramming in time with friends or high school girls - cooking has remained something just out of my grasp. It's not that I can't cook or follow a recipe - it's that it is the last thing I want to try to do and wait to eat until 9pm after a long day at the office (and also why all working mothers have my utmost admiration).

Anyway, this book has been very inspiring and gotten me in the kitchen, creating meals - and I love it. It's gotten me thinking more about actually planning meals and stocking my kitchen so that there are things to eat. I have felt more adventurous about trying new things and being ok if they don't turn out great - it's all part of the process. Which is exactly what I think Shauna herself would say.

It's a great book about love and cooking and has some really great recipes. Honestly what more does one need?

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Book Review: Quiet

Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop TalkingQuiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I strongly believe that this is an important book for people to read. I was pretty hesitant myself before picking it up - I had seen Susan Cain's TED talk, which was interesting, but I wasn't sure if it would be interesting enough to hold my attention through an entire book. I was very wrong though.

Through research and interviews that Cain compiles, she makes a compelling case for introverts everywhere and provides a voice to people who the world thinks are just "different" or "shy". And because (especially in America) we are conditioned to hear the loudest voice in the room, these people are unconsciously written off because of their personality. Introverts are cast as "anti-social" and not liking to be around people, which is one of the many myths that Cain dispels about this segment of our population - which, according to which research you believe makes up either a third or half of our population.

Part of what the book so interesting to me was the many different approaches and topics that were addressed in the book: Introverts in the workplace & space - how can they survive in the new "open" work environments (something that I myself have struggled much with); Introverts in modern-day evangelical churches - Are churches set up in a way that only allows for extroverts to worship; Introverts and biology - can you tell whether a child will be an introvert or extrovert soon after they are born?; Introverts and personal relationships - how to navigate different personalities in relationships; and Introverted children and how they do (or don't) succeed in school and how parents can help them.

If there's any complaint that I would have about the book, it would be the style with which it is written - it read like a Malcolm Gladwell book to me - lots of overarching statements with some compelling antecedent research. However, when flipping through the appendix, you do find that this book was well-researched and thoroughly thought out.

Again, I think this is an important book for people to read because of the understanding of different personalities it will provide you - which will help you in relations with coworkers, parents, children, friends, and spouses. And if you are an introvert or are not sure, you'll learn more about what makes an introvert and what makes an extrovert from this book.

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Friday, July 12, 2013


This is an incredible speech by a beautiful girl. It is well worth the time to listen.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Review: Life of Pi

Life of PiLife of Pi by Yann Martel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


If I had to sum up this book in one word, that is the word I would use. A week later, and every time I think about it, a gamut of emotions is conjured - confusion, awe, wonder, disbelief. This book marries beautiful writing with an incredible story, that sweeps you up in the end and leaves you feeling a bit breathless, because you can't quite believe what you have just read.

The author, as I said, has a way with words. His ability to craft together words and string sentences piece by piece into a beautifully woven tale allows you, the reader, to simultaneously enjoy and reject the journey that he is taking you on. You reject it because it is so horrific what the main character, Pi, experiences - and the art lies in the fact that you never quite understand the stark horror he lives in until the closing of the book, because of the way the story is told. It is a remarkable and impressive feat to capture this boy's journey is such a masterful way.

And if anyone can help me to understand the line, "And so it goes with God", I will be very grateful. Highly recommend this book.

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