To Thrive & Feel Guilt

Most of the time I feel like I have too many aspirations for just one life. I want to be a librarian,  write stories, become fluent in german, live in Germany one day, and have a farm house with land where I grow the majority of my food. It just seems like there isn’t enough time.

While thinking about my last dream noted, I want to comment on something: I think one of the worst things about growing up in America now is that in most areas, especially cities, there’s a huge disconnect between humans and their food. Nutrition is a word that dissipates from our lives after we’ve outgrown adolescence, right along with the questionable “reliant” reputation of the food pyramid which was created by and still overseen by people with close ties to major food/drink corporations in America.

I have a kind of romantic wish to live a life with a closer relationship to my food – to severely limit my intake of processed foods, buy fresh from the farmer’s market, and really pay attention to my body’s needs. I’ve always wanted to be this way but convenience, budgets, and laziness eventually take over after a week or so. This time I want to strive to achieve a goal but be realistic about it: it will be hard to afford to eat only organic, or to get buy without any processed foods (pasta being one of the main culprits). With my busy schedule of maybe one day off a week it can also be hard for me to go to the grocery as often as I need to (but then again, this is something I need to change about myself and force myself to think of this as a necessity for a healthy life.) I have been thinking a lot about my complicated relationship with food and I am going to take time to set up a month goal for myself: Perhaps in June to eat vegan with only locally grown vegetables?

Until then, here are two food/farm-related books I love:

little heathens

http://little-heathens.com

I love reading about strong women. This book is like a strong-woman memoir of survival.

eating animals

http://www.eatinganimals.com

I was vegetarian for around three months when I read this book, but if I had read it before then I’d like to think I would have become vegetarian right then and there. From its reviews, this is a typical reaction to someone reading this for the first time. It gets to you. One of my favorite parts is when he goes undercover with a young animal activist to a small factory farm – Foer doesn’t hold back on the hundreds of emotions contradicting themselves during the entire experience.

 

And I didn’t particularly care for this book because the author often talks about how the experience was weighing down on her children, and instead of feeling inspired to try something new with my food/lifestyle choices, it made me feel like I had more excuses NOT to try anything new. I know real stories have to be realistic and not cookie-cutter perfect without human emotions, but talking about how your kids were craving citrus fruits so you got them the sweetest vegetables available at the time is just downright depressing. All in all it was an interesting read but I probably won’t read it again.

animalvegetablemiracle

http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com

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Get Gone, Gone Girl.

I’m writing to you today from my home-away-from-home – the library. I’ve already started making a habit of dropping by on my days off to see if we got any new arrivals in books or DVDs and I think my coworkers are starting to think I am insane for doing this – regardless of the fact that I live a 5 minute walk away.

The theme of today’s post is a cliché but relates to reading – be true to yourself.

I’m not saying you should never try reading something new and out of your comfort zone – I will be doing the same by reading some Sci-Fi books this year. You can discover something you really like if you give it a chance… but if you already know you’ll hate it, don’t bother reading it.

I need to take my own advice.

While I was working the other night a patron brought back a copy of Gone Girl, a book that got phenomenally popular over the last year. While I was getting my MLIS in Pittsburgh I’d be on the bus or walking my dog on any given day and spot at least one person reading this book . Someone at work would always be telling me how good this book was. It was everywhere. I didn’t care.

There was something about it that made me know I’d hate it before I ever picked it up. I have no clue what it was – some kind of an intuition regarding several factors including but not limited to: the title, cover, and popularity.

Despite this, I went against my better judgement and tepidly checked it out. I started it that night and got through 200 pages like a robot, getting no emotion out of the experience at all. I read the next 200 pages the next day and finished it. I hated it and I had to finish it because I hated it.

On the bright side, it didn’t fill me with nearly as much rage as Happier at Home or Under the Tuscan Sun did (which seriously probably wasn’t healthy). But regardless, I get to add that title to my hate list while remaining irked that I went against my intuition and bothered reading it in the first place.

During the experience I was reminded of one of my first shifts at the library when a “floater” came in (an employee who floats from branch to branch and isn’t a permanent employee of my location who I will now refer to as Floater) and immediately started griping about how we have The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) on display. He went on and on about how people only say they liked it because she wrote it and it got horrible reviews before they knew it was her book (which isn’t true). On and on he went about how much he hated it. Then Floater goes on to say that he’s never read and it doesn’t know anyone who’s read it and he hates seeing it on display. It really irked me that he felt that way – that he didn’t even KNOW anyone who had read it and he still hated it. But now I’m a little more understanding – some people in general don’t like to have titles/authors pushed in their faces. Other people rely on this method in order to be able to pick out anything to read, but others cringe at it. I guess I’m a little like Floater and am a cringer sometimes.

So go on, fellow readers, and learn from my mistakes. Take chances but remain true to yourself.

(Unless you like getting book-rage)

xx. ls

Death and Taxes

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted and here’s why:

I got a new place in Cincinnati. I can walk to work! (At least library work, not retail work.)

I took a solid two weeks from the 15th-onward moving the majority of my stuff. I still don’t have my real bed or couch. Turns out after about two weeks your body gives up its fight against the elements and starts to accept its current reality: the air mattress.

And the Big One: I’ve been pretty open about my budget woes and have decided to not get internet/cable. The cheapest deal I could find was $44 for just internet, and I figure this way  I can get rid of my addiction (Netflix account) cold turkey. I’m saving money on both accounts that will go toward my student loans AND I’ll read a lot more than I have the last couple of years. Plus, I still have a small T.V. and DVD player to enjoy. The only setback to this is I’ll have to either go to the library or a cafe of some sort to update this site…

In other news, I did my taxes today and it wasn’t too horrible yes it was. But you know what they say, death and taxes. Death and taxes. Death. Taxes. Deathandtaxes. (I’m a little brain dead in the aftermath.) But shout out to H&R Block who made me not want to kill myself entirely. I might still go into hiding living off the grid in Montana one day, but at least H&R Block gave it a real go in trying to keep my sanity.

Also! I finally met with my book club Stacked via Google Hangout. It was a good time that I’ll talk about in more detail later.

Good night, all. Death and taxes.

xx. ls