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Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

I’ll skip the “omg so busy and that is why i haven’t updated in a billion trillion years” part since I’m pretty sure no one is reading this anymore.

Not much has changed since my last update. I am still working hard, still loving most of it and not so much the rest of it.

Things I love –

The kids. They are so cute and so much fun. Even when I’m tired and dreading work, being in class with the kids always perks me up because even if not all of them are on point, at least a few of them are going at life full tilt at any give time. That sentence is terrible, but I don’t feel like fixing it. Plus I feel that it gets my point across anyway.

The teaching. I find the subject matter interesting and I enjoy the process of teaching.

Things I don’t love –

Grading. Uuuuugh. No teacher loves grading. If you know a teacher, you’ve heard them bitch about grading. It is so boring, but it has to be done!

Coworker drama. I haven’t had any direct drama myself, but I’ve witnessed some. There is something specifically ugly about seeing teachers be ugly to each other. Most of my coworkers are lovely, but there are a few who could stand to chill out. People can also be weirdly competitive and insecure about their subject area and how much teaching time they get. It’s exhausting. The kids are fine! They are learning all the subjects just fine! If they like your subject, they’ll pursue it regardless of how many hours they spent on it in elementary school. But what do I know.

Things I hate –

Paperwork. Working in a public school means you have an insane amount of paperwork. As you slog through forms designed to hold you accountable for any small failure you might encounter, you have the odd sensation that you are doing someone else’s job as well as your own. Not to mention the fact that this is yet another in a long list of amazing plans to make each teacher the best teacher ever, and it will soon be followed by a new plan that means you have to recycle all your paperwork and start again. On the upside, I can complain about it. The administrators all have to pretend that they thing it is all an awesome idea. I’m frustrated, and I know that every single one of my fellow teachers is frustrated. We spend twice as much time filling out paperwork and sitting in pointless meetings as we do planning lessons, teaching, and grading.

All in all, I find it hard to believe that I’ll stick it out in public school for my entire career. The pay is much, much better (I’m talking nearly 20,000 a year better). But is it worth the trade off? It doesn’t feel like it right now.

And so I sit, the things that I don’t love and the things that I hate revolving around my mind, making me wince at the idea of going to work tomorrow. But I can find comfort in the fact that my classroom feels like a haven, even when invaded by evaluators, and I like standing in front of that room. It is tiring to think of standing in front of a class for hours tomorrow. In reality, however, I’ll be energized  by the subject and the kids, and too busy to think about being tired or hungry.

But I can’t just talk about teaching all the time, there are other things going on in my life! Just kidding, there really aren’t other things going on in my life. The cats are basically the same. They are cute and fluffy and scratchy and annoying and totally spoiled. SleepyHusband used to pretend that cats were, like, fine, like, I guess. But now he’s totally mushy about them.

I haven’t read anything new lately. Too busy reading stuff I’ll be giving the kids. Things I’ve read before. Soon I’ll be teaching a book that is totally new to me. It should be exciting, but frankly, it is just freaking me out at the moment. I keep feeling like I might snap if I’m given one more challenge, but so far I’ve just kept chugging along. Let’s hope my nervous breakdown is not incoming. And now I’m talking about work again.

I saw my whole immediate family for Thanksgiving, which was something that hasn’t happened in about 5 years. Amazing how time can get away from you like that. It was fun, and it was quite nice to be able to escape to our own house when the festivities were over.

We have a Christmas tree! SleepyHusband dragged me out on a Friday afternoon to pick out a tree and I may have lost my shit a little bit in the Christmas aisle of our local Walmart. But our tree is lovely. There is something soothing and charming about having a Christmas tree in the room.

I won’t end with a promise to post more. This blog is one of the last things I think of when I thing of ways to spend my free time. I’m also willing to admit that the recent release of two sequels in two of my favorite video game series ever has eaten up a decent amount of my lazy weekends. Uncharted 3, which I got through relatively quickly, is the last of a great platformer with fantastic voice acting and engaging plot. I don’t know if I’d say this was my favorite of the three, but the game play was noticeably improved and I was thoroughly entertained. Bethesda has also, FINALLY, released the next in it’s line of Elder Scrolls games, Skyrim. It is truly a game unlike any other. Apparently it is supposed to take 250 hours to finish every available activity in the game. I haven’t gotten even close to that, but I’ve been enjoying the heck out of it when I find the time. I’ll try to write a proper review sometime soon.

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I haven’t written a book review for awhile, so I thought I’d share a little bit about what I’m reading these days.

I should start by saying that I finally took the time to step into a weird little shop down the road from me. The window is packed full of records, so I never really took the time to look more closely. Records are interesting and all, but not a hobby of mine. It wasn’t until I spotted the name of the shop, Diskovery (another reason I thought it was just music) on mysecretBoston.com that I came to learn that it was a used bookstore as well. I have been complaining lately about the lack of bookstores in my area, so I was a touch chagrined to learn that there has been one only a few blocks away for almost two years without me realizing it.

The place is delightful and odd. First of all, there are cats draped about the place. As in real, live cats. They are quite friendly as far as I can tell. Another interesting feature is the almost total lack of organization. This is not the place to go if you have your heart set on one particular book. Aside from being loosely arranged by genre (and a loose definition of the word genre) there is no alphabetizing whatsoever.

There is, for example, a section devoted to books that have been made into movies (I snagged a few photos with my phone while I was browsing today) –

This is what I mean by a loose definition of genre. It was in this section that I snagged a copy of Jane Austen’s Emma. I don’t own my own copies of any Austen books since I’d read them after taking them out of libraries. But while I found Emma in the “books that became movies” section, I found P&P, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility in a different section entirely (one which I guess could be loosely termed “classics”?). Those books have been made into movies as well, but… Well you see what I’m saying. Chaos!

The other interesting quirk of this place is that the books are layered. Meaning that most shelves have two rows of books. If you are feeling determined, you have to move the front stack in order to see what is behind it. Sometimes you will catch a glimpse of something interesting (The Spy Who Hated Fudge? What is that all about) and then you have to decide if it is worth possibly meeting your death under a pile of old books while you play Jenga in an attempt to investigate. Visual aid –

Incidentally, I kept pulling my phone out of my purse to take pictures, and I was a little worried the proprietor would think I was slipping books into my bag. But she seemed unconcerned about what I was doing rustling around in the stacks. It would be incredibly easy to steal from this place, there are no security measures whatsoever. But one would have to be an asshole of epic proportions since a) the lady who runs it is so darn nice and b) you can buy 8 books for 12 bucks, which I did today.

Another picture, to demonstrate the vibe of the place –

I took this last one sitting on the floor in the crime section. Mystery seems to be vaguely divided between the more traditional mystery novels, Agatha Christie and the like, and other kinds of crime like spy novels and noir. I spent my time there today chilling among the more traditional mysteries, where earlier in the week I’d come across an old favorite, Shroud for a Nightengale by P.D. James. I also found another novel by James, The Murder Room, and decided to give it a try.

P.D. James, who is a British writer, is around 90 years old at the moment. She is quite famous, perhaps a bit more so in England than here, for her detective novels featuring Adam Dalgliesh. She’s written 14 novels about that particular police officer, as well as a few others with different protagonists. Though her books are more modern, it would be fair to say that she is influenced a bit by Agatha Christie and a great deal by Dorothy Sayers, a favorite of mine and apparently hers. She also wrote the book The Children of Men, which many people probably remember as a film that came out a few years ago starring Clive Owen.

The Murder Room is over 100 pages in before the first murder even happens. This is fairly typical of James, who is rarely sparing with character development. It does get a bit tiring at times, especially with recurring characters like Kate Miskin. While James clearly wants to keep Dalgliesh a bit more mysterious and thus reveals a bit less about what he is thinking, we are frequently treated to Kate’s innermost thoughts and feelings. At a certain point, you kind of want to tell her to join match.com and stop obsessing about everything. Even though Kate isn’t overused in this particular novel, her inner monologue can still be an overshare.

Once the murders begin, things don’t exactly get off to a rollicking start. There are a plethora of suspects and not much to narrow them down. There is one character in particular whom I dearly loved, the serene, 60 year old Tally. James is quite good at making you feel what her characters are feeling and really understand them, which may also be why it can be hard to listen to Kate’s darker, sadder thoughts.

It isn’t until another death, many, many pages later that things get going a little more quickly. The novel is very, very slow paced. Did we really have to go along with two of the detectives to question the man who serviced the victim’s car? Yes, not because it furthered the plot but because it further unpacked the relationship between those two detectives. P.D. James will include these moments because they fit into the larger story of the relationships between recurring characters over 14 novels. It might not mean much to someone who is reading James for the first and last time, but even so, it isn’t boring.

If I have a complaint about James, it is her endings. In this particular novel, despite our villain having several excellent motives (along with many other people), James feels compelled to throw another one in there. A wrong from many, many years ago that is casually mentioned during a confessional moment at the end and never really elucidated upon. It doesn’t hurt the story, but it is completely unnecessary. In two of her other novels, James gives intricate secret Nazi backstories to characters that end up being the impetus behind the crimes (though these secret Nazis aren’t necessarily the murderers themselves). Granted, the idea seems to be that we get information at generally the same time Dalgliesh gets it, which is a very valid way of telling the story. My complaint is that in some of her books it can be overly clever and not always necessary. And if you are going to come up with these crazy backstories, why not let it come up somehow in the investigation or even hinted at? In this case, we are flat out told by the killer at the end. One could argue that there is some pretty heavy foreshadowing which adds some depth, but not quite enough for me.

Spoiler ahead. It doesn’t give away the killer at all, but it does give away a victim (who is easy to guess early in the novel anyway) and the silly extra reason the killer did it.  Highlight the white text to see it  –

The first victim, a psychiatrist, failed to hurry to see a patient 12 years ago and that patient committed suicide. That person was dearly loved by the killer, so the killer decided to wait over a decade and then brutally murder the guy, partially driven by the collection of other perfectly good motives that have popped up since then. So not necessary to throw in a 3 sentence add-on about a 12 year old suicide! 

So P.D. has a bit of a weakness for overdoing it. Overall, this is not her best Dalgliesh novel by a long shot. It was definitely not a “can’t put it down” book, in fact I put it down a few times when I found I just wasn’t getting sucked in. That said, I did enjoy it. The whole series is really very good and I plan to read all 14 of the books featuring Dalgliesh. I believe I’ve read about 5 now, with Death in Holy Orders being by far my favorite. Death in Holy Orders very much echoes Dorothy Sayers novel, Gaudy Night, which is one of my favorite novels.

If I were to randomly invent a star system for my book reviews, this one would get a 3 1/2 out of 5.

Edit: I just realized that my post title kind of makes it look like the bookstore is called The Murder Room. Which would be a fun, if confusing, name for a bookstore.

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There is so much to love about summer in Boston. At least before it gets gross hot later in the summer. Just some things I’ve been enjoying so far this summer, despite not enough Rhode Island time.

Patios – I love eating on restaurant patios. They aren’t as plentiful as they are in warmer cities. It isn’t really worth paying rent on the space when it is too cold to eat outside most of the year. Right now we are living right down the street from a nice place that has a huge new patio, so I drag SleepyHusband there on pretty much any nice evening when he isn’t working (which is far too infrequent these days). There are fairy lights and plants and good food. They also make a decent sangria, which is always a plus. And goat cheese pizza. Ok, I have to stop now. Hungry!

Summer drinks – Like a hot cup of good coffee on a winter morning, there are many drinks that just seem to taste better in the summertime. Last night we opened a bottle of prosecco and drank it out on the steps of our apartment, waiting for the food we ordered to arrive. Tonight we plan to break into a bottle of Rose (I don’t know how to do the fancy e). Other happy summer drinks include sangria, margaritas, and much other brightly colored fun.

Ice cream cones – I don’t eat much ice cream. I’m not much of a sweets person and I rarely eat dessert (except flan, I freaking love flan) But an ice cream cone on a hot day is perfect. Hilariously, SleepyHusband has no idea how to eat an ice cream cone. No, seriously. Like it melts all over his hand and then he gets annoyed and throws it away. Ha! It is amazing to watch. I’ve tried to explain that you have to frequently lick around the bottom to keep it from dripping down the cone, but he can’t get the hang of it! It cracks me up.

Rhode Island – Heading down to RI when we can is brilliant stress relief. Some if you may be familiar with my family’s house there from attending my wedding, it is really lovely down there. Hanging out on the beach, playing with the various dogs and cats running around the place, grilling fresh fish from the shack down the road (fisherman come right up and and sell them freshly caught fish off the boat). It is nice to go down at any time of year, but summer is special.

Right now it is perfect out. Blue skies, warm temps, a light breeze. In fact, I think I might leave my computer alone for awhile go out and enjoy the rest of the sunshine.

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I’ve started and abandoned a few blog posts in the last month or so. Somehow, I just couldn’t get focused enough to finish any of them. They are lurking about as drafts, maybe I’ll finish and post some of them eventually.

This, incidentally, is what unemployment does to me. I suddenly can’t focus, can’t finish anything I start. And look, I’ve been working for three days and I’ve already cleaned the apartment and now I’m writing a blog post. I have no idea why this is. I can do only nothing when I am doing nothing.

I now have a three-week gig teaching a group of Japanese teenagers. They are giggly and spacey and always speaking Japanese to each other. Typical ESL class when it comes to teens. But I’m having a great time, and I’m already getting rather attached to them.

It is amazing how quickly you can suss out someone’s personality in a classroom. W, who will always at least try to answer my questions, even if he isn’t sure. S, who will never answer my questions, even when she knows exactly what the answer is. I, who is whip smart and has a fashion sense that is bizarre and fun and somehow temporarily blurs the line between overalls being a terrible idea and a great idea. K, who always greets me with a huge grin when I catch him messing around instead of working. J, a genuinely nice kid whose name I must be butchering because the other students giggle every time I say it. The list goes on.

I am also volunteering at a local animal shelter. So far I’ve been on kitten duty, which, as you can imagine, is terribly difficult. I pop over for an hour or two a few times a week and let tiny kittens crawl on me and pounce on my feet so they will get used to people and be good pets. I don’t know how I soldier through, but somehow I manage…

I applied to my dream job the other day. I heard back from them a couple of days later when they informed me that they had selected someone else. The job search over the last two years (wow, have we really been back for two years?) has been, in a word, heartbreaking. If I could have back every minute I’ve spent applying to jobs that I didn’t get I could probably learn how to play the goddamn piano.

I’ve had moments when I’ve thought about quitting teaching altogether. I love teaching, but I am tired of being on the periphery of what I really want to do. Sometimes I think I should just look for a new thing that I really want to do. Law school was always a thought in the back of my head, I bet I would enjoy publishing, I’ve already written one crappy book and maybe the next one will be better… And so on.

Two saving graces at a time when I thought I might give up altogether –

1. My college reunion. I knew this would be a weekend of old friends, reminiscing, drinking, and so on. What I didn’t realize is that it would also be a weekend full of 27 year olds who, for the most part, are as lost and frustrated as I am. If not more so. I read somewhere recently that we are a new Lost Generation. We were set adrift just in time to see the economy fall apart. But what I think is that to be a 20 something after college is to be a member of a lost decade, no matter the generation.

My Mom likes to cheer me up with stories of her own 20 something years, when she lived on a friend’s unheated porch and worked as a cocktail waitress. Not to mention the 20 something years of her friends. At 25 one of her best friends (and still a best friend today) was working at fast food joint that specialized in salads. She had to wear a special salad themed hat. The place was run by evangelical Christians who hired mostly other evangelical Christians. So she spent her workdays surrounded by salad and colleagues who were hyper-focused on spreading the good word. Once, when a successful woman whom she had never liked in college walked into the place, she stuck herself head first and waist deep into a bin full of lettuce and stayed there until the woman left. The happy ending here is that this woman now has a fun husband, three great kids, a convertible, and a house here and there. Not that houses are everything, but if she went from salad ostrich to that, I can go from ESL to English lit.

2. I read a blog post a friend of mine wrote. Like my college reunion, it reminded me that I am not the only one who is adrift. It also reminded me that platitudes like “it could be worse” or “you are still young” can get really stale, but you will still find yourself thinking them when your friends have the same issues you do. The entry is here – http://andrewivers.typepad.com/theblog/2011/06/methods.html

I recommend reading it, it is good stuff. Andrew can turn a phrase.

As it stands, I’ll try not to let the job search break my spirit. I also promise to come back and read this entry in ten years and laugh at myself for being dramatic enough to use the phrase “break my spirit” in my blog.

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Weekend

The husband and I spent the weekend at his parents’ house in Missouri. I had a job interview at a school there. It would be a great opportunity and looks to be a great job… But Missouri? I find myself changing my mind from minute to minute about whether or not I could really move there.

It isn’t that I don’t like the city, I do. We spent a summer there after I graduated from college and I’ve always maintained that it is a really nice place to visit… But I wouldn’t want to live there. Leaving behind my family and friends and the city I love so much would be really hard, but there are so many advantages. It would be a big step towards the career I really want and an opportunity for us to save a lot of money.

Up until now we’ve treated the decision as a “don’t count your chickens until they hatch” sort of thing. There was no reason to obsess about the pros and cons before I’d even interviewed. But now the offer or lack thereof is coming within a week, and decisions have to be made.

There is one upside to all of this. I have something to be happy about no matter what the school decides. I’m either going to get a great job and we’ll start an interesting new chapter in out lives, or I don’t get the job and get to stay in Boston. So no matter what happens, I’ll try to focus on the positive side.

The weekend was a lot of fun. We flew in Thursday night, and one of the husband’s friends came over and we all had some steak and conversation. After the parents headed to bed the three of us jumped in the hot tub (along with a neighbor who came over when he heard our mini party going on) and hung out there until I headed to bed. When we got up the next morning the H made me some eggs and bacon and I had a little downtime. The interview was in the afternoon. The people who interviewed me were really nice, and I think it went pretty well.

After the interview I talked to my mom about how it had gone, and spent some time relaxing. The whole process and knowing that I’d have to wait a week to find out about the job left me wound up, so we pretty much hung around watching TV (Star Wars 4, 5, and 6 marathon). In the early evening we went over to another one of H’s friend’s apartments. We ordered Jimmy Johns which, if you are not familiar, makes bliss inducing subs. Seriously, that sandwich was everything I remembered and hoped for. I don’t even know how they do it, but the Beach Club is spectacular. This friend lives with his girlfriend and their insanely adorable little dog. Normally I prefer bigger dogs, but this little girl has so much personality and is so darn sweet (and she really thinks she can beat us at tug of war, mostly because we let her win all the time).

That night we went out and bought passes to a music… festival I guess you’d call it? Basically you paid $20 for a bracelet that let you into a few different bars that all had several musical performances. I wasn’t familiar with any of the bands, but some of them were pretty good. We got home relatively early and hopped back into the hot tub (gotta take advantage of that thing when we have access).

Saturday we went for another one of our favorite meals in the city, Winstead’s. Purveyors of what they call the steak burger, this place is the most delicious, unhealthy food pretty much ever. You can order a burger by how many layers you want, from one to three. They are basically shredded steak pressed into a flat burger. Then you can add tons of toppings like mayo, mustard, pickles, onions, grilled onions, cheese… Not that I got all of these things on my two layer burger. Ahem. Afterwards we stopped by the lacrosse game H’s dad was coaching. Since it was incredibly hot and they were winning by a lot, we only stayed about 15 minutes before heading back home for some air-conditioning.

Saturday night was really relaxed. A few of H’s friends came over and we went out to buy steak, salad, and wine and grilled on the porch. A long, pleasant evening ensued, partially due to the fact that the hot day had led to a perfect temperature when the sun went down. I bought a few bottles of my favorite recent discovery, a Malbec called Gascon. Good conversation, good food, good drink, good fun. Later we moved to the basement for pool and ping pong. I finally had to bail a little earlier than everyone else. It was a good time, but after a long weekend of good times I wanted some good sleep before getting on the plane today.

We were happy to be home. It was nice to get in at around 6 pm, since it left us the evening to relax. Coincidentally, my brother was dropping my dad off for his flight back to the UK just as we were getting in, so we got a ride in return for a couch for my brother and his friend for the night.

I’ll end with a picture of my mother in law’s cats, who came to check out the mysterious new stuff that came into town with us. One is easy to see, the other is behind the suitcase blending in with the rug –

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Having a cat…

I sometimes think that having a cat is a little like having kids. They spend the day chewing on and destroying things, making a lot of noise, and generally being super annoying. Then they close strong, falling asleep on your lap so adorably that you forget that you wanted to mail them to Alaska a few hours ago.

So Grim peed on a towel in our bedroom, ate one of the shoelaces on my hiking boots, chased Dulcie around, and then –

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I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit lately, so today I decided to get organized. I added some tags, catagorized everything, and reinstated my blogroll. Way back when I changed my blog’s address, I never redid my blogroll, so here it is, along with a brief explanation of why I read the blogs I do for each one. You’ll notice a lot of expat blogs, which I’ll explain here instead of repeating it for each one. When I was abroad I found a great message board full of expat women who live all over. They are a fun, intelligent, informed group and I still head to the board to see what they are up to. I also read many of their blogs, as you will see.

Alli McBally

How she describes her blog –

I’m 21 years old now living in Zürich, Switzerland with my husband Chris. We use to be long distance and it was really rough so it’s nice to be together again. I’m originally from the states (Wisconsin). I love nail polish and I enjoy a bit of makeup. My other hobbies include amateur photography and watching movies.

How I describe her blog –

I rarely wear nail polish, but I love this blog. I like the way it is organized, I like the bright colors, I like the shininess. I’m basically a crow.

American Teacher –

How she describes her blog –

My adventures in teaching, at home and abroad.

How I describe her blog –

Mrs. M used to be in Abu Dhabi, but she’s back in the Boston area. She blogs about teaching and her life.

Black Cat Rescue

How they describes their blog –

Black Cat Rescue is a no-kill cat rescue organization in Boston, MA. Our all-volunteer network of foster homes in the Greater Boston area is dedicated to saving the lives of homeless black cats and kittens by providing quality foster care while actively seeking loving, permanent adoptive homes.

How I describe their blog –

Black Cat Rescue has a very special place in my heart, because they saved our two cats, Grim and Dulcie. When I started looking to adopt a cat, I was sad to discover (through this rescue) that black cats get adopted half as much as other colors. I think black kitties are adorable, so I contacted them and soon met Grim! A few months later, we decided to get another cat and Dulcie was available. She isn’t black, but Black Cat Rescue sometimes finds themselves in a position to get a batch of cats, with other colors among them. If you are ever looking to adopt a cat, check out this rescue. They rely on volunteer foster families and are really nice people who really get to know each cat. They are really careful about matching the right cat to the right home, as we can attest!

Brooklynguist

How she describes her blog –

I’m from Brooklyn, but I’m not actually a linguist. I’m just fond of portmanteaux. Although using the word portmanteau in my blog must qualify me as some kind of linguist. Right? Right.

How I describe her blog –

As you can see from M’s blog description, she is just great. A good friend of mine from college, we actually met when we ended up as roommates in Dublin while studying abroad. We had to cross an ocean to meet, but we managed it. One of the funniest people, and writers, I know. Read her blog if you need a laugh!

Catalog Living

How they describes their blog –

A look into the exciting lives of the people who live in your catalogs.

How I describe their blog –

Basically they have invented people who actually live in the weird pictures you find in catalogs. Want to know who would actually take white, fake apples and put them under a glass bowl next to a huge pile of beige books? Read this tumblr.

Felicia Day

How she describes her blog –

Way too long to post

How I describe her blog –

If you know who Felicia Day is, you will likely enjoy this blog. If you don’t know who she is… Well you still might enjoy this blog if you go and find out. Do you like hot, nerdy redheads? Do you like comic books? Do you like hilarious web series like The Guild? Do you like gaming? Do you like Dr. Horrible? (related, do you like Neil Patrick Harris, Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion? If you do, see Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog). If you like any or all of those things, you might like Felicia Day.

Go Fug Yourself

How they describes their blog –

Couldn’t find one…

How I describe their blog –

Basically two women take the strange and wonderful things celebs wear and critique it. It is very funny, and enjoyable if you like fashion on any level.

Hyperbole and a Half

How she describes her blog –

Do you like velociraptors, pirates, sharks and boats? Then you will probably like my blog!

I have never written about the previously listed things, per se, but I like them… and you like them… so we obviously have something in common.

How I describe her blog –

I’m guessing most people have already heard of this one. Seriously one of the funniest blogs I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. One of the few blogs I will go back and reread on a regular basis. I wish she would update a little more, but the stuff she does post is generally so high quality I really can’t complain. If you haven’t already, please, please read Sneaky Hate Spiral, The Alot, This Is Why I’ll Never Be an Adult, and Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving.

It Be Liz

How she describes her blog –

The John McEnroe of driving.

How I describe her blog –

Liz is an expat in Dublin, and she is really, really funny. She is one of those people who makes being funny seem natural and easy. Then I think, “I could be funnier! I should write funny things in my blog!” Then I read what I wrote and delete it, because… yea. Not that funny.

Katie not in Prague

How she describes her blog –

Didn’t see a description

How I describe her blog –

I started reading Katie’s blog when we were both in Prague, and now she is in Geneva. I enjoy it because she posts great photos of her travels and does lots of fun, unusual things in the places she goes. Where my blog will be full of average, boring touristy stuff when I travel, she often finds the weird and entertaining things to do in her home countries and visits.

Lindsey and Eli in Cambodia

How they describes their blog –

We’re just trying to conquer the world. No biggie.

How I describe their blog –

An expat in, you guessed it, Cambodia. I’m pretty new to this blog, but I’m already addicted. From what I can tell, Lindsey and Eli love adventure and will try just about anything (as evidenced by their most recent post about eating SPIDERS. bleh). The blog is thoughtful, fun, and full of photos.

Love Letters to the Library

How she describes her blog –

Currently, I’m a 28 year old adjunct professor trying to find my way into the academic world. I have a few degrees in something called “English,” a subject I quite enjoy sharing with the masses at every opportunity. I also have a vast and extremely random knowledge of pop culture, a fact which makes me deadly at Trivial Pursuit.

How I describe her blog –

Kim has only just started this blog, so there aren’t many posts. Putting it on my list was a no brainer, however, because I know Kim and I know it’ll be a great read. As you can tell from the title, it will focus on books and libraries. Kim loves Regency and Victorian era authors, so expect to see a lot of Jane Austen and the like. But as any lover of libraries could guess, the library never lets her stick to just one or two genres. I like to include book reviews in my blog, and I love reading them in other people’s blogs. I can’t wait to see how things develop!

Mo in Oz

How she describes her blog –

G’Day – I am a Minnesotan who has moved to Sydney, Australia after 6 years in London & a year and a half traveling with my Australian husband! Looking forward to the adventures ahead!

How I describe her blog –

Mo posts about her adventures in Oz and her little one, Genevieve. I don’t have kids and I’m in NO rush, but holy moly is this a cute, cute, cute baby. Mo often writes to Genna and I like to think of how nice it will be for Genna to grow up and read all about her childhood. This blog has tons of photos and talk about life in Oz!

Movement

How she describes her blog –

I’m a (just) 30-something year old woman who moved to London for a job.  I joined a hockey club, acquired a husband and am still exploring this new place I’m living in. I love field hockey, cricket, Arsenal & Food!

How I describe her blog –

Otherwise known as UKYankee, this is one seriously intelligent, cool lady. She works in a school as a psychologist I believe, and often posts about things like body issues and sports. I love reading her perspective on these things, as well as her posts about her dog Barney and her recent efforts to get healthy and fit. If you are a teacher or work with kids, I recommend this blog. UK really has great insights.

Not Always Right

How they describes their blog –

We’ve all heard the popular phrase, “The customer is always right,” but is it true? Can the customer always be right? Not Always Right is a website that tells the other side of the story by collecting memorable and often hilarious tales from employees that prove, “The customer is not always right.”

How I describe their blog –

A hilarious collection of awful stories from the service industry. As anyone who has had a job even remotely in the service industry can attest, people can really suck. One story my sister likes to tell from her days working at a coffee shop –

Man: I’d like a hot chocolate, extra extra hot please!

Sister: Not a problem! *makes drink, makes sure it is really hot*

Man: *takes drink to table, doesn’t touch it for 20 minutes while he is reading the paper. Takes a sip and makes a face. Storms up to counter* Seriously? This drink is cold. I don’t think I could have been more clear, I wanted it really hot.

Sister: Uh…huh… I’ll just heat that up for you.

Man: Don’t bother, I’ll go somewhere they can make it right. *storms out, slamming screen door of the shop behind him*

This blog collects stories like that, and they never fail to entertain!

Sifting Through

How she describes her blog –

Sometimes writer. Sometimes Texan. Sometimes runner. Sometimes lazy. Sometimes driven. Sifting through it all and finding I am always doubtful, always loved and always a girl from Brooklyn (who happens to be living in London).

How I describe her blog –

An expat in London. She writes often about cooking and expat life. I love her food blogging (it makes me hungry!) and when she talks about expat life I always find myself nodding along.

Smart, Pretty, and Awkward

How she describes her blog –

I started this blog because I had one little tip that I thought was genius–using clean, unused toilet seat covers as facial blotting tissues (which, I promptly forgot about, and didn’t blog about until five months in). The next thing I knew, I had a domain name, and the blog had found a life of its own.

How I describe her blog –

In each entry Molly writes one tip to get smarter, one tip to get prettier, and one tip to get less awkward! It is a cute idea and I enjoy reading her snippets. The smarter tips are generally about feeling good about yourself and taking advantage of life. The prettier tips are often a link to a purse, dress, or random beauty tip. To be honest, her fashion taste is not my taste at all, but I like some of the things she posts. Awkward is usually pretty random. Sometimes it is actual advice on being less awkward, sometimes it is a funny link, all sorts of things.

STFU Parents

How she describes her blog –

You used to be fun. Now you have a baby. If you’re being driven crazy by your friends’ baby updates every time you check your status feed, please feel free to contribute to this blog.

How I describe her blog –

Pretty self explanatory. People contribute the weird, icky, and just plain revolting things some parents think are appropriate to share on social networking sites. I should probably say, in the site’s early days sometime I know was featured, and I didn’t think she deserved to be made fun of for a fairly straightforward “being pregnant can suck” comment. That said, some of the submissions here are beyond funny and it is just crazy the things people will put online! Be warned, poop, poop stories, placenta pictures and placenta RECIPES YES RECIPES that people post are sometimes featured. I don’t want to come off as a smug childless person here, all the parents I know are normal, reasonable people!

Television Without Pity

How they describes their blog –

Spare the snark, spoil the networks

How I describe their blog –

This doesn’t really qualify as a blog I suppose. But if you like TV, and laughing, you’ll like this site. It mostly funny, biting recaps of popular TV shows, with some other fun stuff thrown in… Hard to describe, check it out for yourself and find their assessment of your favorite (or least favorite) show! You’ll find they often see right into your mind.

The Docket

How he describes his blog –

Welcome to the online existence of Andrew Ivers, World Affairs managing editor, St. Louis native, poli sci bachelor, English master, DC resident, and blogging since 2006 about news, politics, world affairs, ideas, history, books, movies, art, culture, society … all of the important stuff.

How I describe his blog –

Andrew is a seriously smart and interesting guy I went to grad school with. As you can see from his description above, his blog is eclectic and a great insight into current events. Recently he’s posted a lot of insightful things about the terrible shooting in Arizona.

The Pioneer Woman

How she describes her blog –

I’m a desperate housewife. I live in the country. I channel Lucille Ball, Vivien Leigh, and Ethel Merman. Welcome to my frontier!

How I describe her blog –

How to describe Ree… This is another blog many people have heard of, Ree is downright famous! She writes about live on the ranch, her kids, cooking, photography, and homeschooling. I don’t click on the homeschooling tab often, but her other stuff is great. She’s a funny, talented lady. I love her recipes (though they are crammed with butter, cream, and other unhealthy deliciousness). She grew up in a small town, escaped to LA, accidentally fell in love with a cowboy, and now she gets up at 4 am (with many protestations) to help out on his enormous farm with her four kids.

The Zany Adventures of a Fairfield Girl in Germany

How she describes her blog –

Hi, I´m Allison! I grew up in Connecticut, and never thought I would wander too far from the tri-state area. I went to school in Maryland, where I met some amazing friends and studied Speech Pathology. In 2000, I spent a semester abroad in Ireland, which was definately one of the most amazing times of my life. While abroad, I met my husband Joern through family friends. Joern is German, and grew up in Baden-Wuertemberg Germany. Joern is the most wonderful guy. He loves traveling, food, and cars. In June 2001, we got married in CT. Our wedding was small but very beautiful. I moved to Germany in December 2001, and have lived here ever since. We live near Stuttgart, the home of Daimler-Chrysler and Porsche. Joern and I enjoy taking long drives, trying new things, and of course, discovering new places.

How I describe her blog –

One of my favorite people that I’ve never met! Allison is a sweet, brave, awesome person. I admire her a lot, and I love her blog about life in Germany.

Tiny A** Kitchen

How she describes her blog –

Ms. B. is an angry lesbian from New England who enjoys eating, cooking, and eating what she cooks. When she’s not making pie, eating pie, or thinking about pie, she’s either teaching high school English or hanging out with the wifelet.

How I describe her blog –

Another blogger I know from grad school. A food blog that makes me laugh out loud, Ms. B is funny as hell. Take her post on saffron, titled, “SWF Seeks Unusually Long Stigma.”

Transatlantic Blonde

How she describes her blog –

I’m an American girl living in Glasgow since 2004. I went to university in Washington DC and claim everything on the Metro line as my own. I won’t take this blog seriously and I don’t expect y’all to either. I love sushi, hate oranges and I’m as punk rock as a sorority girl gets.

How I describe her blog –

Feminist, Mom, blonde, expat and great blogger. I love this blog for the variety and the many wonderful photos! This blogger also has a cute as heck baby, and I really enjoy her take on feminism.

Vegemite Wife

How she describes her blog –

Welcome to the upside down world of an Australian in country England.
Names have been changed to protect the innocent, prudish and clinically insane.

How I describe her blog –

Another wildly funny expat blogger, an Aussie that lives in the UK. One of my favorite things she does is, “things that shit me.”

Whew, ok, there is my blogroll. If you read this through, congrats! I hope you find something you like.

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