Archive | February, 2013

My dirty little secret

21 Feb

Seriously, I get it–We’re all trying to be green these days. My personal efforts include, among other things, washing my hair approximately twice a week and clothing approximately twice a year (kidding about that last one). But true confession time: there’s one bad thing that feels oh-so-good.

I love throwing things away.

Look, here’s something that’s not a secret. I’m a mess. My house is never, ever, going to be neat and tidy. I’m not one of those [amazeballs] ladies who looks around and finds there’s nothing left to do but light an Airwick. That moment is not going to happen for me. I wish I could blame it on the fact that I have a full time job, a toddler, and three animals, but the sad truth is that my messiness predates all that.

The only reason I’m not a featurette on an episode of Hoarders yet is because of my love of the trash. Throwing things in it, that is.

The only reason I’m not a featurette on an episode of Hoarders yet is because of my love of the trash. Throwing things in it, that is.

As untidy as I am, there comes a point every two to three weeks or so where I hit a wall (sometimes literally, after stumbling over random ish on the floor). Those are the times when I become a hurricane force of trash-throwing. It’s so therapeutic to be like, you know what? Chuck you. TRASH ALL THE THINGS. Don’t need it, won’t miss it, can’t even handle it. Does it get me into trouble sometimes? Sure. Particularly if it’s something P was saving for later (unlike me, he doesn’t hit the periodic wall—or at least not before I do). But you guys. It is SO. SATISFYING.

Here are some of my especially guilty pleasures—things that should be cleaned or put away, but instead….well, you know.

Plastic Tupperware containers when the food inside them goes bad
Cards that people have actually written notes in
Things that T “made” at school (in my defense, I usually give it a good month on the fridge first).
Perfectly good wrapping paper or gift bags.
Underwear and bras that ride up and give me wedgies, and sometimes even clothes that make me feel fat (these are really fun).
Little junkies like paper clips, pen caps, and even pennies. That’s right folks, I’ve thrown out actual money.
Assorted and sundry things that should probably be disposed of in a more responsible way, recent examples of which include a hair dryer and an old toaster oven.

I always start out with the best intentions, holding on to these items until I get the chance to find their forever homes. But the chance never seems to come, and then my house starts to look like an actual trash can because of all the junk I’ve been wanting to properly dispose of.

My worst confession I have saved for the last. I’m starting to get the itch again—with the recycling itself. Before you go all righteous on me, keep in mind that our curbside bin lives outside in a big ol’ hole of Georgia clay. So the recyclables “gather” on the floor under our hall table, only to be pulled out and dragged all over the house by the one-year-old. I’m talking pizza boxes, milk jugs, and cardboard inserts in the bathroom, by the front door, and under the couch. The only exception is a small wastebasket used for junk mail that gets to overflowing in like, two days and lives on top of the dryer–right at eye level, people—again, so T won’t get into it. I’ve tried the “shuttle” box (you know, an intermediary box to fill and then empty into the outdoor bin). T just turns it into a literal shuttle, pushing it around the house, taking a few things out in every room as he goes like some kind of demented stock boy.  What would you do?

But the world continues to punish me with its repudiating glares. First there’s my dad, who has literally taken trash from my house to his house for the express purpose of recycling it (he can’t help it, he worked for the EPA for 30 years). Then, there’s things like this:

Aren’t we being a little passive-aggressive, Whole Foods?

Aren’t we being a little passive-aggressive, Whole Foods?

Green guilt: it’s a thing. So now you know.

Three for three: 3 books with 3 stars

5 Feb

The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I borrowed this book from my mom who borrowed it from my aunt, and in my opinion that’s the way to go–borrowing, not buying. The premise of the book sounds promising. A game, really more like a battle, between the protegés of two magicians and by extension, two forms of magic, comes to a head in a phantasmagorical circus. A wrench is thrown into the works when the naive sorcerer’s apprentices – SHOCKER – fall in love with each other.

Trouble is, the connection between the protagonists felt forced. You may think chemistry only applies to actual people–not so, I discovered. The spark between the two young never-aging lovers was more like a fizzle.

Lack of chemistry overall was truly this book’s downfall. From the red-scarved groupies who follow the circus from continent to continent, to the vitriol between the two aged magicians, to the young boy who gave up his whole life to operate the circus in perpetuity, the passion never left the page.

I give it three stars instead of two as a nod to the descriptions of the circus exhibitions. Neat and obviously well-thought out. In fact, I have the distinct impression that the author thought up the entire circus as a central motif, and then threw in a story around it as an afterthought (ringing true for my current read too, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: review coming soon.)

I was dying for this book to be good, but it just wasn’t quite. In fact, the last few magical realism books I’ve read have all fallen flat for me. Maybe it’s time to accept that I’m just not into this genre?

The NamesakeThe Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I listened to this book in the car, and while I was definitely interested, I wasn’t entirely engrossed. Any peek into another culture (and how people of dual nationality sit astride the divide) holds a certain fascination for me, and this book had that in spades. Lahiri has a knack for writing extremely realistic characters too, my personal fave being the centenarian lady in whose home the father stays when he first comes to America. But (there’s always a but, right?), realistic characters have the unfortunate tendency to be boring. There wasn’t a lot of going against the grain, swimming upstream, personal heroics that really grab me as a reader. Granted, I don’t think the author intended this book to be such. Would I read it again? Probably not. But if you asked me, is it worth reading, I would say definitely!

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If anyone has been considering whether or not to start this series–I’m talking about people who, like me, are lukewarm at best towards the fantasy genre as a whole, but recognize there has to be something worthwhile to anything that’s made into a premium channel series–I have only this to say: Better be ready for violence, sex, and sex in your violence (hat tip, Bush). I’m not sure whether it’s just me as a first time madre or all parents world-wide, but I find the gory death of babies and children, if not intolerable, then veryvery close. There’s a lot of that in this series, more as the story progresses into the sequels (hello, three-year-old smashed in the face with a mace).

If you can get past all that (or to be honest, even if you can’t hardly), this is a captivating read. The world Martin has created is just close enough to the known one (as in, ours) to be familiar and just foreign enough (as in, Middle Earth) to be accepting of the violent demise of fictional infants and other innocents in whom you are invested. Once you pick it up, the likelihood of your putting it down again is slim.

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