"I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
Am I the only one that has a hard time deciding what books to pack for vacation? For me, choosing which books to pack can take almost as much effort as planning the entire trip!
My general method is to browse the “to read” stacks which totter precariously in several locations around the house and pull out some options from a variety of genres and weigh the pros and cons of each.
Do I take one thick tome or several smaller ones to have options to choose from? What am I going to be in the mood for in between dozing in the sun and another round of mango daiquiris? Thriller? Another post apocalyptic / dystopian? Something from "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die", by Peter Boxall? The selections for vacation reading can be just like sandals… why bring one (the only one you will undoubtedly end up wearing the entire time) when four will do and make your luggage heavier ?
Will this trip be the opportunity for me to finally devote the proper mental energy to Condoleeza Rice’s 784 pg memoir, "No Higher Honor" that I’ve been meaning to get to for the past 18 months? Although it has been a contender, it hasn’t made the cut for the past three trips I’ve taken. The potential upside? Receiving unspoken intellectual resort-cred from random passerby that I secretly crave.”Oh, look at what she’s reading! She must be so smart!”
At the same time, "11/22/63" by Stephen King generated the most conversation from strangers that I’ve ever encountered while reading a book in public. Folks would stop frequently to ask “how is it?” or say “it’s great, I just finished it”. I even got into a 20 minute conversation with a lady from Canada (the friendly and chatty ones are always Canadian, aren’t they?) about Stephen King’s published works versus the movie and television adaptions. (For the record: “Under the Dome”, the book? Infinitely better than this summer series of the same name on CBS.)
I know some people might think, why doesn’t she just get an e-reader? I do have an iPad and that was supposed help me schlep heavy books across the miles, but, when I carry it, two things happen — I get worried about it getting damaged or stolen. Moreover, I am still a fan of owning and expanding my physical library, besides, there’s still nothing like curling up with an actual book. And if everything goes according to plan, I will take my iPod and find a cabana at the hotel located conveniently near the adult pool, beach, bathroom and bar? Perfection!
In the end, it all my worrying about reading material becomes a toss-up and I toss three books in and hope that they’re gratifying and worthy of the voyage.
Then of course, I have to leave space for the inevitable books that I will purchase and bring back with me as I meander through bookstores and airport newsstands in foreign lands. Is there no rest for a weary bibliophile? In an intervention in order?
How do you select books to take with you on vacation?
"Star light, star bright, The first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight." — Late 19th century nursery rhyme
I can’t tell how many times I’ve said the words above hoping for one wish or another to come true.
However, I’ve never given much credence to astrology, I know that I’m a Sagittarius and that it’s a Fire sign, but beyond that? I don’t know about Mercury rising and Jupiter setting, solar arcs or retrograde planets, but I do know how to recognize a trend. Especially trends in my dating life since I have spent considerable time thinking (…analyzing, lamenting, obsessing, dissecting, reviewing) it.
Is there something “in the stars” that actually compels us towards another person?
Although I don’t know why, I know that I gravitate towards those who end up in one or more of the following categories:
Named* XXXX, XXXX or XXXX (redacted to protect the guilty / there was a distinct lack of naming originality the year I was born);
Employed in a creative field or Education;
A member of a particular fraternity (*cue George Clinton’s "Atomic Dog" *);
From Los Angeles, Chicago or Brooklyn;
And those whose astrological signs are Taurus, Gemini or Libra.
Of the last three serious (on my end) relationships that I’ve had in the last 10 years, they were all Geminis. And all ended in very dramatic fashion. I can own my faults, but since the other common denominator besides me is that they were all Geminis, let’s just go ahead and blame the craziness of the Twins. Geminis to me are the equivalent of having pizza and grape soda for breakfast. You know it’s bad for you and too much of it will put you in an early grave, but you can’t stop.
Maybe my first question before “what’s your name?” should be “when’s your birthday?” — if I knew that right away, it might save me from getting caught up in a bad situation.
Would I ignore that exciting feeling from the rush of butterflies when you meet someone new and your interest level is soaring on all levels — mentally, spiritually and physically?
Would I ignore the pretty smile and dimple (why is there always a dimple involved?)?
Would I skip the engaging first conversation (one was discussion around urban economic empowerment zones, the other was about Michael Steele’s role as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, the last was mutual lament of the state of the Knicks)?
Would I absolutely make sure that it wasn’t raining for the first kiss (yes, the soft misty movie rain first kiss happened twice.)?
Sure, we’d have fun and everything would be intense, cerebral and energetic. However, if I asked the birthdate first, I would know that there was a high probability that he was selfish with his time, charming multiple women simultaneously and despite what he said, was absolutely not ready for a serious commitment. And that I would ultimately end up in tears. A lot.
So, basically… who I am attracted to is also who I should stay the hell away from.
I’ve also been able to notice that guys who treated me well, were devoted, honest, sweet, considerate and stable were Libras. And I’m ashamed to say, I treated horribly. But karma is indeed a bitch and the universe has paid me back. If Geminis, were pizza for breakfast, my past Libra loves were oatmeal without cinnamon. Great guys, but no “ooomph” or that thing that summons all the butterflies.
So looking at the stars? What’s a girl to do? I’m still trying to figure that out. Leaving Geminis and Libras (both Air signs) alone might be a good place to start. Maybe, I’ll just settle down with a nice Earth sign. Hey Taurus, how you doin’?
Have you noticed an astrological trend in your dating life?
Rachel Jeantel doesn’t deserve slander. No one does. But this blog post is not only about her.
Some of the people now pounding the #SupportRachel drum are inconsistent with their actions. Some of these bloggers and social media celebrities with large fanbases make fun of “normal people” as a part of their regular repertoire. For every “like” or retweet that you give these pictures without “calling out” the insensitivity of the poster or “unfollowing”/”unliking” the page, you are part of the problem.
For every time that you’ve been somewhere in public and snapped a picture on your phone and then uploaded to a social media site and invited negative comments, you’re also part of the problem.
Then, you take the memes of Chris Bosh bashing his looks or questioning his sexuality… for all of you who have laughed about it, you’re part of the problem.At worst, there are serious homophobic attitudes on display with some of those memes — and then, how is that different from what some people are mad at Paula Deen about?
All of these things help perpetuate mean girl/mean boy culture and becomes an even bigger problem under the glare of an important public case/event such as the Zimmerman trial. Are you now suspending your usual plus-size slander and/or class bias because you really care about Rachel or is it only because you want to see George Zimmerman convicted? Is this sudden kumbayah-we-should-love-people movement going to last and extend towards everyone? Let’s be consistent in our thoughts and actions towards all Rachels.
Our relationship had been over for a long time, but we did love one another once upon a time and here I was finding out this news after everyone else. Why was I finding out this way? Why hadn’t anyone thought to tell me? Was I not supposed to care, because we’d dated so long ago? Would it have been easier to process this information if we weren’t friends or if we had a bad break-up?