Life is good… life is good… life is good

29th September 2010

This is my new mantra. Ok, it’s not all bad. Life IS good. Natalie, my friend over at Coffee and a Book Chick awarded me the Life is Good blogger award. Thank you, Natalie. The day I received this was sort of a low one for me, and I perked up right away. And I feel absolutely awful because I’ve been such a bad blogger lately. I apologize for my sporadic posts. I have been reading posts, but time has been short the last few weeks. I started a new job, both teaching and advising. My schedule is split, and it’s taking me some time to get used to my new routine. Plus, my new boss had no on lined up to train me, yet expects me to know the ins and outs of the job without anyone telling me. Nothing like trying to discern what you don’t know you don’t know. Anyway, I have reviews in the works but can’t seem to finish a single one. I’ll work on it.

What I love about blogging – beyond the simple pleasure of sitting down and discussing books I love and hate – are the people I’ve met. Iliana at bookgirl’s nightstand first encouraged me to start a blog, and I’m thrilled I was able to do the same for Natalie. If you haven’t checked out her blog, do so. She’s also got a readalong on right now for The Historian, one of my favorite academic thrillers. Consider joining her.

The award below requires I answer some questions and then pass the award on. Here goes:

1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?

I don’t wish for anonymity in this space, but I have realized that many readers/bloggers only know me as picky girl. I am certainly that, but my name is Jennifer. All my close friends and family call me Jenn. Of course, many times people who know me will introduce me as Jenn, which is fine, but it’s sort of disconcerting when I meet someone new or speak with someone on the telephone who calls me Jenn, and I don’t know them. You guys, though, are welcome to call me Jenn. I teach writing and literature at a local university and also just hired on full time (after doing adjunct work for a year) as a faculty advisor. I love what I do, which is partially why I am sometimes absent from the blog. The prep work and grading can be daunting.

2.Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side.

I wear sunglasses when I drive – even when it’s overcast – so I can give “angry eyes” to bad drivers without risk of confrontation. I may also sit in between two merging lanes so people cannot cut in front of me. I have a teensy weensy bit of road rage… Ok, a lot of road rage, but inconsiderate drivers really get my back up.

3.What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

I see a one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater, one-eyed, one-horned flying …. oh, seriously? Even though I’m nearing 30 (gah!), I just see a young woman. I don’t think I’ll ever feel my age – at least I hope I don’t.

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?

Gin and tonic with extra lime. It’s the perfect drink for the hot Texas summer. And recently, Bud Light with Lime or Miller Chill. I am soooo not a beer girl, but this summer has been brutal.

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

I tuck into bed in something comfortable, reading or watching a movie – usually reading. Or I go to Marshall’s to perform what I call catch and release. I walk around with something and then, having decided it’s not a necessity, I put it back – and no, for those of you who have worked retail, I don’t set it just anywhere. I put it back where it belongs. My momma taught me well.

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?

Hm. I’m really happy where I am right now. I’ve tossed the idea of a Ph.D back and forth, but I don’t feel as though I am missing something without it. I would much prefer to spend my life and my money traveling. In addition to reading, it’s my absolute favorite use of time. I’d like to visit many more countries than I already have, and I’d like to have the financial stability to do that.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever , the shy person, or always ditching?

I have always, always been an overachiever (even though I procrastinate). If you could sign up for it in high school, I did. One-Act Play, UIL, journalism, yearbook, band, twirling, choir, youth group, honors classes. Oddly enough, though, I wasn’t a sit-in-the-front-row sort of student. I am funny about space and always sat in the back of the class if possible.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?

My first trip to Italy. I was 23, fresh out of college, had never been on a plane, and had worked and saved for that trip as a graduation present to myself. The very first church I walked into in Rome was like nothing I had ever seen and blew me away, particularly since it didn’t look like something special from the outside. I remember laughing uncontrollably because I couldn’t in my life have ever imagined anything so beautiful and enormous. I’ll admit a few tears followed the laughter. People told me travel would change my life, and in that moment, I knew it was true.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

I think my true self comes through. I’m not a funny person, though sometimes humor comes out in my writing. I am what I am – passionate about what I love, not afraid to speak my mind. Sometimes I think blogging makes me more myself because I am writing and feel really free, sort of like sitting next to a stranger on a plane – except I would never talk to a stranger on a plane.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?

I can’t stand talking on the phone! It doesn’t mean I don’t ever because of course I do, but I would rather sit down and read. I am usually so tired after a full day; more talking is the last thing on my mind. My friends know sometimes I don’t talk to them for a while because I feel so guilty I haven’t answered when they call. It’s a vicious cycle.

As for passing this award on to six others, a few of my favorites have already received it, and I know a few others don’t really do the whole award thing, so… I’ll list six of my favorite blogs, six whose material is always interesting, thought-provoking, humorous, and just plain fun. Check them out, show them some love. Comment! If you’re lurking, introduce yourself; same goes here. I’d love to have more people to talk with about the books I review, whether you’ve read them or not.

A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook – I actually cannot remember if I stumbled across Matt’s blog first or Iliana’s. I love them both. Matt’s blog is quiet, thoughtful, and spot on. Plus, he loved East of Eden, so we can get along.

bookgirl’s nightstand – Iliana has been such an encouraging voice, and I’m so excited to meet her at the Texas Book Festival. Iliana has great short reviews and also includes info and photos of the beautiful journals she creates. It’s always a treat to see her posts in my feed.

with extra pulp – Elena is an Australian book blogger and again, one of the first I found. She’s edgy, fun, and posts about all sorts of fiction. Plus, I love her perspective from halfway across the world.

books i done read – Hilarious. Irreverent. Smart. Just read her.

dead white guys – Ditto the above.

Dolce Belleza – Quiet and thoughtful. Those two words best describe DB’s site. Quiet – not in the literal sense. I always feel her posts are so well thought out. You won’t regret visiting.

nonsuch book – Yes, I know I cheated and that this makes number 7. I couldn’t help it. Frances’ blog is one of my favorites purely for book design. Of course, she also has incredibly well-crafted reviews, but it’s not often I find bloggers as enamored of book design as I am. She’s always posting books I have to flag and put on a wish list.

Thanks again, Natalie! And congratulations on receiving the award from two bloggers.

Happy reading –

jenn aka picky girl

  • I still loved when I first came across your blog about Kostova’s work and the painting I was trying to find, and then I came across your other posts about Italy! A kindred spirit! And yes, if only to be able to read and travel…sigh. Pure heaven.

    And how exciting to hear about your new role! (Boo on just being expected to know what to do, though) — I’m wicked jealous on you woking in that environment — I’m still trying to figure out how to somehow get out of my current corporate job and doing something in the university world. One day!

    Lovely getting to know you — I’m familiar with a few of the blogs, but there are some new ones on here that I’m excited to jump over to!

    • Yeah – even with the insanity, I like it. I am just naturally a bit of a workaholic, and I want everything the way I want it … NOW! I need to chill out a bit, but I can’t seem to.

      I hope you enjoy them. I have so many I finally bit the bullet and configured Google Reader. It’s awesome!

      • Too funny — I just started falling in love with Google Reader this week as well! Who knew?!

        • It’s so awesome. I get so excited checking it every day. I’ve starred a lot lately to go back to, which is another nice feature.

          Sent from my iPhone

  • Congrats on your award and you know I’m a big fan of your blog. I’m so happy you decided to blog and honestly I feel like I’ve known you a long time now. and, that’s a good thing 🙂 Thank you for passing on the blog love. I know some of these guys (they do rock!) but I think I need to visit with some others!

    I am looking forward to meeting you at the Book Festival. I think we are all going to have a blast!