If Only They Paid Me To Do This

29 May

And speaking of “Moving Forward,” it’s been two weeks since I graduated with my master’s (yay!) and two weeks since reality hit me like a ton of bricks (the pain …). I’m in that wonderful little world right now where I’m trying to get the career that I want, but some steps still lay ahead. I want to get my teaching license and take some certifying classes so I can become a literacy specialist, but that’s still a little way off. Right now I’m trying not to think about the nitty gritty too much, otherwise I’ll just start randomly screaming. What I’m trying to think about is all the awesome things I can do now that I don’t have to read things I don’t particularly want to read, and write stuff that is, I’m sorry to say, mostly pointless.

One thing I’ve been reminded of is how much I like having projects, and how much my constant homework load was preventing me from doing many of the things I enjoy. One project I finished just today is for my future nephew (due September 8th! -that’s JTT’s birthday . . . and the Virgin Mary’s, purportedly). His name is going to be Nolan, and I was curious as to whether the name had any cool meanings. It turns out the name means “noble” or “noble one,” and I wanted to somehow incorporate that into a homemade gift. I wanted to use the book Where the Wild Things Are too, since it’s obviously the greatest, and there is also a picture in the book that fits well with the “noble” theme. Observe:

Nolan: Noble One

Nolan: Noble One

I know. Freaking cute, right? I bought a used copy of the book and took out some pictures, and I plan to give a new copy of the book as part of the gift. Here are the rest of the photos I did, and one grouping of them all. I think they would look the best hanging up, but they look cute in a cluster too.

Beginning the rumpus

“and the walls became the world all around”




Just right for a surely adventurous boy

Just right for a boy who will surely be adventurous

I hope that these will be a mainstay in his room for a while. Amazing what a little bargain hunting for frames, spray paint, and determination can do.

Something Kenz and I may have mentioned in this little blog is our hobby of reading/making fun of/parodying romance novels. This began several summers ago (it would make me feel too old to say how many) when Kenz and I were living in Chicago for a summer during college. The train station in the suburb where my parents lived had a “Take a Book, Leave a Book” shelf that was mostly populated with cheap smut, so we naturally took the opportunity to give ourselves a good laugh. And laugh we did –maybe too much for the liking of other train passengers, but thus, a tradition was born. We ended up reading at least four of these “novels” that summer (cut us some slack –we were poor college kids looking for entertainment). At one point we even got the idea to write one for ourselves, because really, how hard could it be? Sadly, we only got so far as to name the characters (obviously over-wrought, non-real people names), pick the setting (the Australian outback!), and decide on a body part to fetishize (seriously, this is something that these books always seem to do). One way the tradition has continued is by Kenz sending me these amazing postcards that feature the covers of romance novels, which can often be the best part of the book, if you ask me. Here are some of the postcards I’ve received so far:

Speech Bubble No. 1: "I stare because I have no thoughts." No. 2: "Wake up, you iiiideot!" No. 3: "I stop cats with my hand!"

Speech Bubble No. 1: “I stare because I have no thoughts.” No. 2: “Wake up, you iiiideot!” No. 3: “I stop cats with my hand!”

The Classic Overswoon -He's just kissing your cheek, for God's sake

The Classic Overswoon -He’s just kissing your cheek, for God’s sake

You might not see it, but there is totally a voyeuristic posse of creeps on the ridge behind them

You might not see it, but there is totally a voyeuristic posse of creeps on the ridge behind them

Romance cover, or PSA for avoiding electrocution?

Romance cover, or PSA for avoiding electrocution?

The bangs. Dear Lord, the bangs!

The bangs. Dear Lord, the bangs!

I of course treasure these postcards with all my heart. Our hobby has become well-known to many of our friends, who think we’re insane, but love us anyway. One of them must have given me a romance novel as a joke at some point, because as I was cleaning out my overcrowded bookshelves, I came across this:

Wow. What a "deep" title.

Wow. What a “deep” title.

I don’t remember who had the fabulous idea to give this to me, but I’m thrilled that they did, because it has provided me the opportunity to take the hobby further. After reading literary theory for the last two years, this book has been a welcome reprieve, but I haven’t stopped my habit of writing in the margins. However, this tendency has made this book one of the most fun projects I’ve had in some time. I write commentary about the characters and the horrendous writing, correct grammar errors, play Mad Libs with the most erotic scenes, and generally just make the book approximately 110% better. The book centers on the characters Rhea and Gustavo (*snicker*) who meet on a plane to Brazil. Gustavo is from Rio, and Rhea is a photographer for a swanky magazine -something you cannot tell from the cover, since the models look like PDA-loving parents at a high school football game in Anywhere, USA. Once I am finished with it I will send it to Kenz, who mayhaps will write a review of the whole experience of reading it? Perchance? šŸ™‚

By far the best thing so far about being done with school is being able to go up to my boyfriend’s cabin in Northern Colorado and not having to read one thing (except, of course, when I would sit in the rocking chair on the porch and giggle while making notes in Everlasting Moments). This past weekend was the first time I’d experienced that area during the summer, and it was wonderfully picturesque.


The reason the bf decided to build a cabin there was to have access to the many private lakes. He loves to fish, and I really like it too, so it was pretty amazing when we got to devote an entire day to just fishing, napping, and attending some Memorial Day parties. He started to teach me how to fly fish, which I’m not terrible at, but I am a whiz at getting basically any fishing pole to tangle horrifically at least once before an hour of use. Luckily, he’s very patient.

Adorable fisherman

Adorable fisherman

We ended up catching quite a few. Unfortunately, we didn’t think ahead very well for taking the fish back that we kept, so we ended up transporting one of the fish I caught, Todd, back to the cabin via plastic packaging for some air filters, and another one, Ted, via the top of a (new, clean) garbage can that sat on my lap. The bf loves to fish, but sadly, doesn’t particularly like eating the fishies, so we’ve been trying to come up with ways to make them more palatable. We hadn’t thought to bring up any of the makings of a good fish batter, so we ended up eating them straight off the grill. More accurately, I ate about 3/4 of them, and the bf tried valiantly to eat a few bites before switching to sweet corn as most of his meal. We’ll do better next time.



The next several months are going to be weird, interesting, and probably a bit of a roller coaster as I try to successfully move forward with being a post-school adult, but I am ecstatic about having time to write, read, take photos, and generally have my goofy hobbies again. Sweet freedom!


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