Half a year in the life of Arestelle, part ii

I feel like I’ve been going nonstop since January, and last weekend, when I took an extra day off to have a four-day weekend, was the first I’ve stopped for air since New Year’s. It’s not just the conflict with the employer and the Coursera classes and the grad school application, either, though I lost plenty of sleep to those, too.

I’ve been reading, for one thing. So far, I’ve read a novel and its prequel, Blue and Until Again, by Lou Aronica; Dance for Two, essays by Alan Lightman which I reviewed here; The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, by Edward Tufte, which I cannot recommend highly enough; The Once and Future King; The Hunger Games; Terry Pratchett’s Colour of Magic; H. G. Wells’s Time Machine; The Omnivore’s Dilemma; Quiet, by Susan Cain (please read this!); a novella by Bradley Beaulieu, called Strata; Aristotle’s Poetics; and Strunk & White’s classic grammar guide, The Elements of Style. I am currently in the middle of the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry; Charles Darwin’s Descent of Man; Beaulieu’s second novel of Anuskaya, The Straits of Galahesh; and a math text, Calculus: A Liberal Art.

I follow several television shows online: Psych, Castle, Bones, White Collar, House (fare thee well), Glee (shut it), Ringer (and I wanted to see what comes next!), Grimm, Once Upon a Time, The Voice, and now Touch. And I’ll probably follow a couple others during the summer, like Burn Notice. In spite of all these shows, which I quite like, the one — the only one — I truly care about is the Sing-Off, which, sadly, has been cancelled. (The petition to save it has over 24,000 signatures, though; check it out.)

I’ve also…

  • taken some pictures here and there (but have yet to edit or post many of them);
  • discovered that the Highline Canal trail south of Denver is gorgeous for biking;
  • replaced my laptop’s old, dying hard drive;
  • spent some time with each of my parents when they visited;
  • given my adorable niece a stuffed owl for her first birthday – a sentimental connection to my grandpa – and am told she rather took to it (which I suppose means something like “she tried to eat Owl’s beak”);
  • had a little adventure in new-glasses-buying that ended with my old optometrist refusing to take responsibility for giving me a bad prescription;
  • nerded out a bit on notebooks & paper (O Clairefontaine!) after buying a set of colorful fineliners and discovering that ordinary paper is no match for a felt-tip pen;
  • battled a non-functional clothes dryer for about two months (it ran but didn’t heat the air);
  • bid good riddance to an alcoholic roommate who believed that grinding coffee beans falls under the category of Things It Is Appropriate to Do While Trying to Be Quiet at Five O’Clock in the Morning; and
  • finally got new windows at my house! (okay, I didn’t do that myself, but it needed done and I’m well pleased now it is.)

I also picked up some music that I found on sale or otherwise needed to have: the Amélie soundtrack, Robyn, A Fine Frenzy, Carla Bruni, Jo Dee Messina, Sara Evans, Keith Urban, Sara Bareilles, Norah Jones, KT Tunstall, First Aid Kit, Keane, Lauryn Hill, Andy McKee, Scott Joplin/Joshua Rifkin, JS Bach/Jian Wang (cello suites), Beethoven/András Schiff (piano sonatas). I love all the albums I’ve gotten, but especially Tunstall’s “Tiger Suit,” Bareilles’s “Kaleidoscope Heart,” and AFF’s “One Cell in the Sea.” The new Norah Jones is really interesting, too, and on one track (“She’s 22”), Jones & the tune sound exactly like Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley, if you don’t know her as a solo act). I would never have seen that coming; Norah’s always been so smiley, and Jenny is, well, not that.

So, um, I’m a bit tired. I can haz more 4-day weekend?

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