Major hitch in the plan…

My job interview went really well!!

Until she asked if I had my background check, which unfortunately I do not. And I didn’t realize how long they take to get.

Shit. Shitsticks. Shitty mcshitterson.

I haven’t lost faith– I’m going tomorrow for fingerprinting and mailing the application, hopefully rush mail will work in my favor. The possibility of being so close and having it ripped out of my hands is just not something I’m willing to accept quite yet. But goddammit, this really sucks.

I’m taking faith that this is also what happened when I went to Italy– my passport took forever to come in, so long that I thought it wasn’t *going* to come in, and that I’d be waiting around looking at pictures on Facebook while all of my classmates were seeing the Duomo. That came through, squeaking by at the very last second. Hopefully that’s a good sign.

I know, they have nothing to do with each other. I’m literally just thinking *ANYTHING* to make myself feel better.

ughhhhhhhhhhhhh ahhhhhhhhhhh blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

wish me luck

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Helicopter Rides in the Woods

Helicopter Rides in the Woods.

A blog looking into the real life of the South in a way that transcends the regular ‘Southern writing’ in a way that shows the real personal life of someone born and raised in the South. This is not a Flannery O’Connor knockoff, this is the new voice of the South- real, hard-edged, laser-focused memoir, and excellent. So excited for the rest of the series.

Life Lately… Insta Update

Instagram wrap-up posts are a thing, right? Here’s what I’ve been up to lately!

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This is Baby Beatrice, one of the necklaces I made recently. I’m really obsessed with plants, ok? Stay tuned for a post with details and the other jewelry I’ve made!

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I went to Indie Craft Experience in Atlanta with my friend Chelsea and this is my amazing haul! Full post coming soon. It was so hard to stop from buying literally everything there.

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This is the only picture I took at Indie Craft Experience because I’m a terrible blogger and was wayyyyy too visually stimulated.

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Since I’m bouncing between houses at the moment (not a fun situation, tbh…) I’ve been missing a lot of the weird cute things I’ve collected, including these Dalek and Tardis ice cube molds from my best friend Xander. Margarita night just got REAL. Real nerdy.

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Lumberjanes. Omg Lumberjanes. Maybe the best book I’ve read all year. (Kidding. But it is absolutely amazing.)

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My best friend from high school had a baby named Charlie! I’m a tiny bit still stunned about this fact, how is she a mother? How? HOW THOUGH? Charlie’s cute, but his mom is even cuter and I’m so psyched ;)

May Wrap-Up

So May was the month that I really really stepped it up, reading-wise. I’m halfway through my 52 Books Challenge for 2015, and I finally feel like I’m really in the zone as far as reading regularly goes. May was still pretty audiobook-heavy, because of the commuting and spending my free time learning how to teach English and generally being a layabout. I haven’t decided exactly how I feel about audiobooks yet. I mean, I feel like I still get the stories and the experiences, I still learn things, but compared to physically reading a book, audiobooks feel a little detached to me. I feel like I’m much more likely to give a book a chance based on story alone when I’m reading, whereas with an audiobook the narrator can absolutely make or break it for me. Maybe I’ll write a post about this. Or MAYBE I WON’T. I am, as the TEFL professor Ron Somethingsomething was very fond of saying over and over until the words became meaningless, the Benevolent Dictator of this class blog.

Books

At time of writing, I’ve read 24/52 books of my challenge, not including the two I stayed up wayyyyy too late last night (the first days of June) to finish. That’s 3 books ahead of schedule, a fact I am quite pleased about. I am nothing if not easily motivated by arbitrary goals. Thank you, Book It and AR, for making me see reading as a competition like everything else!* I’ll post reviews later of most of these, but I wanted to round them up here:

1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Several of these books make me want to start their reviews off with “this is my favorite book of the month…” and then I remember all of the other amazing books I read and I have to temper my enthusiasm, but this… this really may have been my favorite book of the month. It is SO. GOOD. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world after a SARS-like epidemic kills off 99.9% of the population. There are several stories woven together, but the most prominent is one of the Travelling Symphony, a patchwork band of musicians and actors who have assembled (now 15ish years after the fall) to travel between the settlements of leftover humans and entertain in an old-world style, performing Shakespeare and classical music. The book also flashes back into the character’s lives pre-fall of civilization. Weirdly, though I picked the book up for the post-apoconightmare and Shakespeare, these flashbacks were my absolute favorite part. Nothing really important happened, I just felt so drawn to the characters, so interested in everything they were doing, that the “actual” plot of the book became secondary to finding out exactly what made each character make the decisions they make. Honestly, read this. I know, every review is going to say this probably, but really– do it.

2. Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest

I’m not a regular reader of poetry, but this book CHANGED ME. It’s so beautifully written, and Tempest uses the myth of Tiresius to discuss gender roles, isolation, social structures, and SO many more topics. I’m planning on a re-read later this summer, and it’s also inspired me to read more poetry. READ IT!

3. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Review here.

4. The Future for Curious People by Gregory Sherl. Review here.

5. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

I LOVED this book. Loved it. I’m not a runner (yet… though this is my ‘get healthy’ month just like every other month has been my ‘don’t give a fuck quite yet’ month, so maybe soon), but I found this book had so many interesting things to say about meditation and self discipline that I was absorbed. Murakami also draws parallels between running and writing, and the idea of living a healthy lifestyle so he can continue to write for the rest of his life. I highly recommend this, I gave it 5 stars and I’m DEFINITELY going to read more Murakami (this was my first! Cherry popped)

6. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

I’ll write a review of this later but holy moly it was difficult to get through. I can understand why it won the Pulitzer– it was an extremely in-depth, well-researched, and realistic view of life in North Korea under the rule of Kim Jon Il. I went into it with a good basis of knowledge on the subject (took an independent study in the subject), but this book really helped flesh out the idea of North Korea and made me think about the people there as… well… real people. When you read enough histories, the masses tends to gain more importance than the individual, and Johnson’s book is definitely not guilty of that. However… I’ll say it again… jesus it was hard to read. SO. LONG.

7. The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian was a pretty huge departure from my normal book tastes. When I do sci-fi, I usually gravitate to classics (think Brave New World or Ender’s Game), or ridiculous crazy sci-fi (Hitchhiker’s Guide). This was more like… speculative fiction with a huge heaping of science lesson on top. The concept: an astronaut on a Mars mission is presumed dead and abandoned alone on Mars. That’s it. From there, the story plays out in what seems to be exactly what would happen if it were real life. There are so many spaceship details, flight path explanations, botany and chemistry jargon, so much research that went into it, that when I was done I felt like I could immediately go to Mars and survive alone. Seriously, someone send me up there. Just kidding, NASA, I would totally die. Four stars, it was pretty involved and at times tedious, but it was a satisfying read.

Seven books! I’m pretty proud of that number, especially because so many of these books turned out to be SO GOOD. Several of them will probably make it into my top books of the year (I say, halfway through the year…) and I’m hoping to get reviews up for all of them soon.

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Life Events

-Moved out of my apartment. It’s a couch-surf life for us.

-Finished my TEFL course. Also found out Marley, who went through the course at the same time, is applying through the same recruiter, so it’s possible I’ll know someone when I get over. Again, this doesn’t feel real, but it is, in fact, real. When I look back through these posts I feel like I’ll be doing a lot of “*shakes fist at sky* Weatherly your life is real come back to it you numbskull and say something else” but at the moment, the reigning emotion in my life is shellshock.

-Subscribed to Scribd through Scribd.com/bookriot and my life has already taken a turn for the even-more-bookish.

-Acquired luggage and extra soap (the necessities) for Korea, and really started to begin to understand the fact that I am, in fact, going. At least I hope (still no job, of course. Who needs that kind of certainty in their life? psh)

Quotes

Don’t rush me, I haven’t yet finished becoming. -A letter to myself, Weatherly Richardson.

*Actually not sarcasm, for once. I loved the Accelerated Reader program, though it wasn’t for everyone. A competition of something I’m actually good at, in the midst of all of those doomed Kickball and Perfect Attendance contests where I was *the* most competitive loser? Yes plz.

Things I Should Already Know, Vol. 1

Do you ever get that feeling that maybe that reading the “1001 Things Everyone Should Know” book from the Scholastic Book Fair shouldn’t have been the last life lesson you ever retained?

Oh. Yeah. Me neither. Psh. What.

Every day I come across things I think “wow, yeah, that’s something I should already know. Why don’t I know that already? Thanks SOCIETY. Thanks AMERICA. Thanks BRAIN, you useless organ…” Generally, I forget about them shortly after and that’s the end of my intellectual crisis, but everyyyyy now and then I write them down in a vain attempt to pretend I knew these things from birth. I know, I’m a gentleman AND a scholar.

But for all of you NON scholars out there who DIDN’T know this stuff until, I dunno, May 2015 or something, *cough n00bs cough*, here’s some of the things I learned… ahem, mean uhh rediscovered of course… in the month of May. Cheers.

May 2015 Things I Learned:

No rest for the wetted. (Not going to apologize for this terrible title. Just not gonna do it.)

It’s a common myth that your period stops flowing when you’re underwater. I saw it first in this video and thought it sounded completely wrongo batshit so I did a little research… and lo and behold, wrongo batshit it is. This is complete hooey ballloey mcphooey (wrong). It may have started because people expect a woman on her period to be surrounded by a massive seething pool of blood when in the water, a la Jaws.  Buuuut since the flow of blood during menstruation is really slow, (and is actually just the blood vessels that are detached when the mucous layer of the vagina sheds during menstruation instead of like, an open wound or something)… The pool/shower doesn’t end up looking like a B-movie crime scene. No, Aunt Flo still flows. and flows. And flows. Cue happy period commercial and sounds of wimpy men puking in the background. Yay menses!

The French are Glad to Die for Love, but Chocolate is Forever.

When your chocolate gets that weird powdery brown or whitish coating? That’s called Fat Bloom, and it’s totally safe to eat. (And really, it’s going to take wayyyyyy more than that to stop me…) Fat bloom can happen in many different ways, including: warm storage conditions, poorly prepared chocolate, and cocoa butter separating from the other ingredients and rising to the surface. So yes, that old halloween candy is perfectly ok to eat for lunch. and dinner. and stuff-your-feelings-down-the-hatch o’clock.

That’s it for May. I think I’ll probably do another one of these next month and see how it goes! I know, it looks like I didn’t learn a lot this month. But I did read a lot, so perhaps my lessons came from a less direct place. Ahhh yes, that’s a good pretentious note to end on.

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April Wrap-up

Yes, I know, it’s the end of May. But these last few (years?) have been busy and stressful, and blog-free, and I feel like I’m not getting credit for titles I read in the slightly more distant past, so for imaginary internet points, this is my April Wrap-Up.

Books

I’ve been on an audiobook kick lately, because they’re so easy to fit into daily life. Commute? Oh, did you mean ‘hour long story time?’ that’s what I thought. I usually have several audiobooks going on at once, to break up the monotony of one narrator’s voice. Actually, I find myself continuing listening to audiobooks after I get out of my car, too. I am going to make a concerted effort to read more traditional books, but the lure of getting cleaning and reading done at the same time is vair vair strong. I think that sentence may signal the death of my childhood.

I Finished:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed (audiobook) – Review coming soon, but I really enjoyed this book. I don’t usually read (or listen to) memoirs, because I really like plot and foreshadowing and literary devices and when talking about a real life these things so often take a backseat to… you know… life. But I read this one at a really good time, I think, as I’m preparing to leave on my own adventure (though not anywhere near as harrowing as hiking the PCT because come on, I’m having a hard time motivating myself to run a mile…) Strayed’s writing is really refreshing, too. I listened to her on Dear Sugar Radio this month too, and she seems to have a feet-on-the-ground, steady-as-she-goes personality that I can only imagine was greatly influenced by this hike. Yes, i am aware of the Reese Witherspoon movie but no, I probably won’t watch it because literally all that happens is that she hikes. A lot. And meets other people who are… you know… hiking. A lot. I guess I just don’t like Reese Witherspoon enough to endure that.

Men Explain Things to Me (audiobook) A review of this should be coming out soon(ish) but I will say, I was kind of disappointed. It’s a series of collected snippets/essays based around equality and feminism, which I am 100% for, but after the first rousing piece, which I believe was the one the book was named after but it’s been a minute so I’ll have to check, it kind of fell flat for me. It did spark a renewed interest in some real feminist texts, though, which I plan to explore in the coming months. Girl Power! Etc.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Kindle) – This book took me all of three hours to finish, and I cried through maybe 1.5 of those hours. I am pretty critical of YA books, especially because I expect them to hold to the same readability standards as adult books (and I’ve read so many terrible ones…) and this book did not disappoint. A wonderful LGBT-friendly YA that is sweet without being gouge-my-eyes-with-a-wire-hanger sweet. Highly recommended. Review coming soon, of course.

What I can’t finish:

-American Gods. I started this book in… February? March? I can’t even remember. I’m probably going to have to re-listen to everything but I just HATE IT. I cannot get into Gaiman’s writing style, and I cannot get into the story. It just seems forced to me. Ok, I get it, Americans worship the TV and are shallow blah blah tell me something that hasn’t been five thousand Fox News headlines already. This is now the third Gaiman book I’ve started and put down, and I’m starting to think that though Coraline is one of my favorite movies of all time, I would rather have buttons sewn into my eyes than have to finish a Gaiman book.

Man, I’m being kind of harsh today.

WHATEVER LIFE IS HARSH.

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What I finished:

Big Hero 6. I watched this with Canon on the day I picked him up from school early and I had to excuse myself several times because there was ‘something in my eye’ aka there was a river of sadness gushing out of my eyes. WHO said this movie was for children? WHO??? Children who are looking to incur massive emotional trauma, maybe. Baymax is now on the level of Totoro in my cuddly-giants category of characters, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to watch this again because THE FEELS ARE REAL.

Not sure exactly why there’s cross symbolism on this poster, as Scientology is a basically-secular religion, especially at its lower levels, and has zero to do with christianity but OK HBO YOU DO YOU.

Going Clear. This is a documentary about scientology based on the book of the same name, which I read last year. I am, it must be said, completely obsessed with scientology and the people who practice it. It is so cult-like, but so “modern”, it is like a religion in a sci-fi book. This documentary was excellent, and took a lot of things word for word from the book, so I highly recommend both/either of them. You will never look at Tom Cruise the same again. (Unless you already look at him like perhaps there’s a probe in his brain controlling his frontal lobe like a robot soldier. Then your perception will stay pretty much the same.)

What I want to finish:

-Mad Men (especially after reading THIS article on the possible link between Don Draper and an infamous unsolved case… You know I love those unsolved mysteries. #nancydrewwannabe). I’m now on the second season and I’ve taken a break (it’s so monotonous in its seriousness) but I’m really loving it so far. The costumes and set decoration alone are worth watching. And Joan Holloway x Peggy Olson is the best female   duo I’ve seen on tv in a while. Strong women and whiskey in the daytime? Count me in.

Quotes/Thoughts:

Chains around your wrist confine you but also keep you from collapse. This is how power is kept.

Life Events:

-My BIL Craig went to the hospital for reasons-still-hazy this month, so I spent a day with Canon, my nephew. This is not so uncommon now, in June, that I’m spending many days with Canon in my homeless state, but it was slightly out of the norm when I wrote this post draft so I figured I’d leave it in. FOR POSTERITY’S SAKE.

-Paid for my TEFL class, which I ended up completing in May. I still have to complete my TEFL online portion but getting that chunk of lost weekends out of the way was a true joy. Korea looms closer every day and I’m trying not to barf with excitement.

-Applying to recruiter (Alistair. Joy of all joys, who has ended up being vair helpful even if he did make me change my immaculate application video into something more resembling an adult human.)

-Dreaming about South Korea (see “SK Bucket List“)

-Working my ass off for my schoolwork HERE and HERE

-Visit to Floralis to see where my brother gardens every day… Post coming soon!

Update on Korea

Be warned: This post is headed to Ramblecity, Rambletown, Ramblesylvania. Choo choo. 

So now that I’ve spent the better part of the last four months telling my friends, my family, my job, and my apartment (cough brother’s couch cough) that I’ll be moving to Korea in August, I guess I should probably confess something… I don’t actually know for sure if I’m moving to Korea.

I mean, ok. I do know for sure. Ish. I am sure that if I do not get a job then I will move myself over there and live in a hostel before I work another desk job. But I am kind of counting on, you know, not doing that.

I’ve applied with Korean Horizons, a recruitment agency based in Korea. I’m working with a recruiter (Alistair) who is something of an adorable character… but he’s been very helpful.

I think.

That’s the thing, I don’t actually have any job offers yet, I just have the vague notion of job offers on the horizon, and the complete confidence of a fool. And I’m babbling on in this post because neither of these things offers much security, and it’s left me feeling a little off-balance the last few weeks. Well, that and the whole homeless* thing.

Anyways, last weekend I visited my mom and my puppkins. ned1

It was a rushed visit, two days of mostly lounging and running errands, but after a month of TEFL weekends, it was a Ruby Relaxer**. It was also the first weekend where going to Korea seemed… kind of real? I feel like I’m going to roll my eyes reading this later, but I have sort of been operating under the notion that I’m going to Korea without actually believing it was going to happen. I mean, I ended my lease, I moved out of my apartment, I sent my dog to mom-away camp, but it’s all felt like preparation for some hypothetical, distant-future situation of which I may theoretically take part eventually.

But my mom bought me*** luggage this weekend and helped me pack most of my possessions into it, and all of the sudden I find myself staring into the face of a real af**** Korea, and it’s… humbling? Exhilarating? Terrifying? Yes, all of those things.

I also finished my application video FINALLY and sent it in to my Korea recruiter… and it got rejected.

Sort of. That’s a little dramatic. This is the video:

And basically my recruiter (named Alistair, a name fit for a Death Eater or a recruiter who crushes the dreams of girls who just wanna be HAPPY) told me it was perfect, minus the entire part where I play a ukulele and am generally adorable and v. teacher-like. I know. Rude.

Just kidding*****, he’s probably right about it not being as professional as they’re looking for but laaaaawddyyyyyyyyyyy the other parts are boring. Just like the example videos.

Here I was going to go on and on about not fitting the mold and my special snowflake being rained out but I actually lost my train of thought thinking about how hungry I am… and this post is getting looonger and longer so let it be said that I handled this situation with grace and poise, as my legacy has rendered obvious.

Toodle loo

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Footnotes

*As someone who has fairly-regular access to both a shower and wifi, I realize that I am not, in fact, homeless. I’m just being socially irresponsible for the sake of atmosphere. Carry on.

**Ruby Relaxer is my mom’s favorite (alcoholic) drink from Ruby Tuesdays. No, I don’t expect you to know this without a footnote, yes I included it purely for my own amusement. MY BLOG, MY RULES, MY RUBY RELAXER.

***Yes, my mom bought my luggage. Yes, I’m 24 years old. Yes, I’m aware at the #spoiled#blessed#nevergrowup aspects of my life and I’m COOL WITH IT OK

****”Af” meaning here “as fuck” because I haven’t decided yet whether or not I’m going to curse on this blog, but I have also not made the executive decision to write these in any style other than stream of consciousness. One day, little blog. One day. 

*****Not really kidding, but I want to appear affable and friendly and not like I worked really hard on a video only to have it snubbed by Alistair. Also, Alistair don’t read this. Or do, but don’t tell me. Your call. 

******This number of stars doesn’t correspond to anything, I just realized I was getting footnote-happy and decided to throw caution to the wind. That’s how it is around here, you know? Always one step away from the

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