The Best and Worst of Life

I’m a very complex person. Or so I’ve been told (by me). In one moment I can be bitter and cynical, shaking my fists at the metaphorical kids walking on my lawn and in the next, I am a fairy princess riding a unicorn throwing rainbow sprinkles at everyone. So I can’t compile a list of things I hate without making a list of things I love. Here’s my current list of Best and Worst of Life:

The Worst

1. Betty Draper. I’ve been watching a lot of Mad Men lately. I am way behind- only on season five- and I am still waiting to discover some sort of redeeming quality in Betty Draper/Francis. And I am one of the most sympathetic people ever. I can relate to the plight of an old shoe but I can’t seem to find anything relatable in Betty Draper. Can you? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

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2. When people or news outlets post photos of snakes on Facebook. If you post a photo of a snake on Facebook, you are dead to me.

3. Winter runners. They’re going to slip on the ice and die. Is it called irony when someone dies from trying to be healthy? Please just stay home, eat Cheetos, and watch Golden Girls re-runs like the rest of us.

4. Good looking people. It’s like Ok we get it, you’re good looking. Move along.

5. People who don’t hold doors open for you in your building when you’re right behind them. And your hands are full of cat food and frozen pizzas and they just ignore you and keep walking and the doors slam in your face and shit flies everywhere when you try to get your keys out. As if dying an old spinster isn’t hard enough.

The Best

1. Peggy Olson. My favourite character on Mad Men. She’s basically the reason I watch the show. Also, Joan. And Don Draper but only when he’s wearing a suit and a fedora and isn’t being an asshole so like when he isn’t talking.

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2. Lavender. My favourite smell. I sometimes imagine myself living in a beautiful old house on the ocean in PEI and I wear white cotton dresses and big floppy sun hats and smell like lavender all the time and I have a wrap around porch with whicker furniture and I have a string of paramours, all with different personas like one is really rugged so he comes and fixes all the things in my house that needs fixing and another who is a poet and reads with me on my porch and another who works in the city and needs an escape from the grind and can do my taxes. So yeah, lavender.

3. The Wicked soundtrack. Nothing beats screaming “Defying Gravity” at the top of your lungs in your car. Nothing.

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4. Books about King Arthur. Keep your Game of Thrones. I will take books like Mists of Avalon or The Once and Future King any day. Arthur stories have political intrigue, incest, adultery, magic, executions, love, war… what does Game of Thrones have?!

5. Sangria. Amiright?

Anyway, that’s this week’s lists. I feel like the negativity of the Worst list is cancelled out by the Best list. Sort of like eating carrots right after you eat 4 donuts.

Confessions of a D&D Nerd

Hello, my name is Lyndsey and I have recently started playing Dungeons and Dragons. (Hello, Lyndsey.) It’s been 3 days since I last played and I already miss it.

I never ever thought I would be a Dungeons & Dragons player. Growing up, D&D felt like the final frontier of Nerdom and I wasn’t a nerd in the stereotypical sense of the word (a theatre nerd and a bookworm, yes but not of the Sheldon variety).

But then in my teens I discovered Star Wars and fantasy novels. Han Solo rocked my adolescent world and my favourite thing to do was get lost in a magical literary universe. But I had a handle on it. I mean, everyone loves Star Wars, right? And a little fantasy never hurt anyone.

In my twenties, I started experimenting with shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. I loved how I felt when I watched them. The escape. And the way that fantasy and sci-fi worlds can illuminate human nature and focus your moral compass by forcing you to ask yourself questions like “If I were to become a vampire, would I kill and suck dry the blood of all my family and friends?”

Eventually, this lead to an intake of Star Trek. I didn’t binge watch it, just a few episodes a week. And it was the Next Generation so it’s not like I was die-hard. This is what I told myself.

It was a slow transition into the World of Nerd and I didn’t really see it coming. I mean, I came from a normal home. Parents still together, average grades, family vacations, favourite movie was A League of Their Own, etc. My mom and dad often talked about the oddity of shows like Star Trek and I understood the ramifications but Buffy seemed harmless so how could Star Trek really do any damage?

Last year is when things started getting out of control. I started reading science-fiction novels and I even attended a Comic Con. Yes, a Comic Con. I saw Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion and Levar Barton and they all just made it seem so cool, you know? And it just felt so good, so right.

This brings us to the present. Recently, me and a few fellow nerds decided to try D&D. We were careful about it. We got the books and spent the first little while just building our characters. But then next thing you know, I am spending an entire Sunday writing a backstory for my character (whose name is Ravastine Loreweaver, a bard and a seer) and buying my own set of game dice. I don’t even know who I am anymore. Am I Ravastine or am I Lyndsey? And if I decide to get an Arcane Familiar in the form of an owl, should I name it Merlin? These sorts of questions have taken over my rational mind and have forced me to take a good long look at who I really am.

When I’m not playing D&D, I’m just as normal as the next Normal Josephine. I like to read trashy articles about Lindsay Lohan and watch YouTube videos of people falling off things. I like Drew Barrymore movies and I even own a juicer. But when I’m not juicing and watching Never Been Kissed, I’m someone else. I’m Ravastine Loreweaver, a spirited and charismatic minstrel who inspires my allies in battle, is good with a short sword, and enjoys a cup of ale at the local dwarf tavern. Perhaps I need to accept that this is just who I am. I’m too old for it to be a foolish youthful fancy. Maybe I can be Lyndsey and Ravastine Loreweaver. Maybe I can hold down a corporate job and get back the magical box that the evil necromancer stole.

So go ahead and judge me, world, for the D&D junkie that I am. Because if being Ravastine is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Body Image and Batman

This post is about my latest struggles in losing weight. I am not going to wax profound on body image in this post. Maybe another time. Who am I kidding, I always say that I will write something profound but I never do because I would much rather write about Batman or something. Um, speaking of Batman, how good was Dark Knight Rises? I know I am way late on this but I just watched it for the first time a few months ago. Which is ridiculous because I saw the first Dark Knight in the theatres opening night due to my dedication and love of Batman but this time around, I dunno, I guess I was at home watching all the TV shows ever. But yeah, Dark Knight Rises: twist ending, crazy Bane with the voice, and Christian Bale with a cane! Um, speaking of Christian Bale is it true that that was his last time playing Batman? Like is Ben Afflek really taking over? I am sure I could Google this stuff but I feel like if I put the questions out into the Universe, the Universe will answer (aka please comment and tell me what’s going on cause I am too lazy to Google). But if Afflek takes over, what’s going to happen? Aka what’s going to happen to Joseph Gordon Levitt who’s gonna be Robin? Is he gonna be Afflek’s Robin? This is all very stressful. I’ve had a love of Christian Bale since he was Laurie on Little Women. Don’t even get me STARTED on Little Women! I don’t care what ANYONE says, Laurie and Jo were meant to be together and Amy and the Professor can go stuff it as far as I am concerned. Amy can be the Professor’s trophy wife and like she’ll drive him crazy but the sex is good so he’ll stay and she’ll embarrass him at all his Professory events so he starts drinking more and more just to tolerate her and where he gets this money for the booze, god only knows but now Amy is basically living in a hovel with a drunken pretentious husband because THAT’S. WHAT. SHE. DESERVES. So the moral is Christian Bale IS. BATMAN. and I think him and JGL would have amazeballs chemistry. With me. In the bedroom. Hey-o!

Mother, may I?

Mother, may I?

Also, I’m trying to lose weight. Gotta start exercising, yadda, yadda, yadda. Will keep you updated. Blah blah blah.

Peace!

Update-palooza

Whoa, 7 months since I’ve written a blog post! For shame! For shame! But let’s not dwell on past mistakes. Let’s hold hands and look into the sunrise of a new day… poetry, bitches.

Anyway, despite the fact that I have not been blogging, I have been reading! Boy, have I been reading. Where am I in the 50 Book Pledge you may ask? Drum roll please….

bumbumbubmbumbubmubmbbraaaaaaaaaa (that’s a drum roll)

I have read 59 books! I know! I am incredible, no need to tell me. Now I am aiming for 75! What a ride it’s been, my friends. I’ve read some incredible books! I’m not going to pontificate on all these books right now; I’m thinking I’ll do a big post at the end of the year and list them all, discuss my favourites, etc. If you want to see what I’ve read so far, check out my 50 Book Pledge bookshelf: http://www.50bookpledge.ca/bookshelf/119101809k

My favourites so far, though, have been: The Mistress of Nothing, Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go, The Red Tent, Great Expectations, and The Orenda. I highly recommend all of these.

How have I read this many books, you may ask? Well, it’s a combination of having no life, eating a lot of fast food, and being so very alone. (cue manic laughing that turns into tears)

But seriously folks, it’s been a good year for book-loving! Here are some exciting book-related facts/thoughts I want to share:

  • It’s currently literary prize season and I am an unashamed literary prize whore! Reading finalists for the Giller and Man Booker Prize is my crack-cocaine.
  • The Kingston WritersFest just happened a few weeks ago and I got a lot of great books signed, including one of my all time favourites, “Colony of Unrequited Dreams.”
  • I won all 13 books on the Giller Prize Longlist through their Twitter contest! The contest involved writing a 13 word description of one of the books on the list. Haven’t received the books yet but when I do, I am going to put them on the floor and dive into them like Scrooge McDuck! 
  • Alice Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature today and this makes me extremely happy. I even cried a little when I read about it. I also like the fact that she didn’t publish her first book until she was 37. This makes me feel like I still have a chance to turn my life around (aka stop spending my time watching Gilmore Girls and planning out pointless stand-up routines), and actually sit down and start writing.

I think I might throw myself an Alice Munro party: Get some wine, some chocolate, put on the YouTube fireplace, and sink into one of her books I haven’t read yet. Mmm sexy.

Signing off now for sexy times.

Cheerio,
Library Lyndsey

A #50BookPledge Moral Dilemma

I am the type of person who stops reading if I don’t like a book. I think that life is too short to force yourself to read something you’re not into. There are too many other great books!

So hypothetical scenario re: the #50BookPledge. If you start to read something– and you announce publicly that you are reading it– do you have to finish it? What if you’re more than half way through, and what if the book you’re reading is recommended to you by multiple friends and family members who are REALLY into it and then what if you hate it so badly but are too scared to tell people because you’re afraid they will burn your hair when you’re sleeping or something. What’s a reader to do?

I think you can guess by now that this hypothetical person is none other than yours truly. And the book I am referring to: Book #11: “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon. I liked it at first: time travel, Scotland in the 19th century, politics, intrigue and Scottish bandits. But then it turned into 50 Shades of Grey meets the Scotland highlanders. (Although I have never read 50 Shades, I know enough about it to comfortably make this comparison.)

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I am about 60% finished the book and perhaps things calm down– perhaps the male protagonist stops beating his wife and being a misogynistic, controlling dick and perhaps the female protagonist stops being a pathetic pinheaded dolt– but I just don’t want to spend the time to find out.

Truthfully, I did try. For 2 weeks, I wouldn’t let myself read anything (not even the AMAZING new history of SNL book I bought) until I was done Outlander. But I just ended up not reading at all and watching Saved by the Bell on Netflix instead.

I need to get reading again… So I’m calling it: 8:22pm, Thursday, March 21. Rest in peace, Outlander.

Sorry to the people who adore this series. Please don’t hate me. Please don’t make a voodoo doll in my likeness or put arsenic in my soup. I will not judge you if you do not judge me.

Now on to bigger and better things (and re-doing Book #11 since I only want to count it if I’ve read the whole thing): “Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live.” Now that’s more like it.

Peace and love,
LibraryLyndsey

Books 5-10: One line reviews

Wow. It’s been some time since my last post. Time flies when you’re bogged down by stress, anxiety and drinking until you can’t feel feelings anymore.

But I have been reading, so do not worry. It seems to be one of the best cures for my anxiety. Well that and meat lover’s pizza.

I haven’t been reading as fast as I did at the beginning of the challenge but I’m certainly not behind! What I haven’t been doing though, naughty LibraryLyndsey, is keeping up my reviews on this lil ol bloggy. So I thought I’d catch up by doing one line reviews for books 5-10.

Here we go, folks.

Book 5: “Charlotte and Emily: A Novel of the Brontes” by Jude Morgan
5 out of 5 stars
Review: The Brontes are unable to reconcile their imagination and literary desires with the harshness of the realities of the outside world… Relatable.

Book 6: “Moral Disorder” by Margaret Atwood
4 out of 5 stars
Review: Margaret Atwood is such a good writer that she makes me want to give up any literary aspirations I may have and sell straw hats on the highway instead.

Book 7: “The Reinvention of Love” by Helen Humphreys
2 out of 5 stars
Review: Whiney French journalist has affair with Victor Hugo’s wife and then gets old.

Book 8: “Small Island” by Andrea Levy
5 out of 5 stars
Review: A mind-blowingly fantastic novel about a Jamaican couple who are disillusioned when they move to England after WW2 and realize the British aren’t as cool beans as they thought they were… but at least they’re better than the Americans!

Book 9: “Before Green Gables” by Budge Wilson
3 out of 5 stars
Review: A well thought out prequel to the Anne series, this book makes you realize why Montgomery didn’t write a prequel herself: because Anne’s an orphan and it’s bloody depressing!

Book 10: “Matilda” by Roald Dahl
(A childhood favourite, I have allowed at least some of my #50BookPledge books to be re-reads.)
5 out of 5 stars
Review: Matilda, the extraordinary little being she is, is a little hero of mine… so much so that AS I was reading this book, I had her likeness tattooed on my back!

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Yup. ‘Tis true. I had this tattoo done a week and a half ago. My very first! I chose it because how wonderful the sketch is, because of what Matilda means to me, and of course because of the literary-ness of it all. “The Reader of Books” is the title of the first chapter of Matilda.

So now I am a certified badass because of my tattoo although some people tell me that because the tattoo is of a little girl reading a book, it cancels out the badass-ness of it all but I say no! It only makes me MORE of a badass because I don’t care what no one thinks, man! I march to the beat of my own drum!

(Can badasses still have Disney movie marathons on Saturday nights?)

Cheers and love,
Library Lyndsey

 

Bad books and Beautiful blankets (alliteration!!!)

Book #4, “Dust City” by Robert Paul Weston was a disappointment. Good premise, bad writing. If you feel like a modern look at fairy tales, watch Shrek instead. Hell, watch Shrek 2. Even that’s better. I don’t like to be harsh but I was just saddened by the potential of the story and the crappiness of the writing.

But my mother taught me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all so instead of a writing a bad review, I shall write about my other favourite thing besides reading… CRAFTING! (yay!)

I named this blog “Libraries and Lace,” because although it’s mainly a book blog, I wanted the “lace” part to represent my love of crafting, mainly crocheting and knitting. That’s right. Just when you thought I couldn’t get any nerdier!

I won’t drone on about my love of the yarny arts at this point, but I thought I’d share a few pics.

The first 2 are of the blanket I made for my sister and her family for Christmas. It took me 2 months but it was so much fun to make and I loved the way it turned out. I basically crocheted all these squares and then stitched them together. I am very proud and braggy.

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Now, I am working on advancing my knitting skillz (adding a z makes it cooler). I’m knitting a bright pink, wicked cool scarf for moi. See…

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Well, there you have it, my possums. Another layer of Library Lyndsey’s onion has been peeled.

Also, currently reading Book#5: “Charlotte and Emily: A Novel of the Brontes,” by Jude Morgan. AMAZE BALLS  so far!

Cheerio,

Library Lyndsey

Why I shaved my head: Thoughts on Schultz’s “The Blondes”

Whoo! I just breezed right through this one. It was easy to read, quirky, and apocalyptic as hell. Get it? Apocalyptic as HELL. Guffaw!

Written by Canadian author, Emily Schultz, the novel is about a young woman currently living in New York City, Hazel Hayes, who had an affair with her married professor and finds out she’s pregnant. To complicate things even more, all of a sudden blonde women all over the world start randomly and viciously attacking people. It seems that there is an epidemic that only affects blonde women, turning them into rabid killers. As you would expect, it is featured all over the news; people become paranoid– shaving their heads, dying their hair, wearing masks, treating all blonde women and basically most women like they are pariahs. When Hazel tries to escape New York to go back to Toronto, she witnesses some horrifying things and is severely affected by how the world is dealing with the pandemic.

It’s a creative and strange story and written so well that it’s hard to put down. As I was reading it, and even after, I wasn’t able to shake off the apocalyptic world that Schultz created. I found I was checking my Twitter and Facebook feeds and for a brief moment feeling surprised that people weren’t writing about this Blonde plague. I started to feel a little paranoid myself. Maybe it’s because I’ve been cooped up in my apartment for 5 days with a viral infection, but I definitely regret shaving my hair and de-friending all my blonde friends from Facebook. Guffaw!

I’m sure I could say more intelligent things about this; pontificating on theories of beauty and gender, examining disease paranoia… but I’d much rather go play Fruit Ninja on my iPhone. M’kay?

Anyway, give this one a try. You won’t regret it. I also recommend Schultz’s first book, “Heaven is Small,” which is also very unique and quirky. She came to the Kingston Writer’s Fest a few years ago where I saw her read and was captivated.

Happy readings to all!

Love,

Library Lyndsey