Sunday, October 25, 2009

This Is What I Do:

So I realize when people ask me what I do, and I tell them that I am a Visual Merchandiser for a website, they have absolutely no idea what that means. Basically this means that I am a stylist for a website (which should probably remain nameless).

Here are a few examples of what I have done. Keep in mind that this isn't really necessarily the way I dress, nor the way I would personally style something. It's more like this is my take on my company's styling aesthetic.

I only have 2 days left at this job before the big move. Each time I get off the train in Long Island City and walk to work I think, "Okay, I am only going to do this 2 more times in my whole life." That's a really exciting feeling.

I will definitely miss my job, but I will most definitely not miss my commute. Nor will I miss Queens and all of the concrete I am surrounded by on a daily basis.

Goodbye asphalt and concrete, hello trees and grass.

Books of the Year

The one thing that I think I will really miss about living in Jersey City is my long commutes that allow me to read. I currently commute about an hour to Long Island City for work everyday, and then an hour back home again. My new job (post-move) will be at an Anthropologie store in Natick, and I will have to drive every day. So, there goes my reading time.

My mom and I have a book club, and the most recent member to join is my sister-in-law, Jamie Lyn. My mom and I started the club about 2 years ago, and I am guessing that we have read anywhere from 25-35 books together. Jamie Lyn joined only 2 books ago, and we are currently reading her first pick, "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami.

So far this year I have read 21 books:
  1. Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln - John Stauffer (I am an Abraham Lincoln enthusiast, so I found this pretty interesting. There may have been some reaches here and there to make the parallels come together, but overall it was good. Books like this can read like stereo instructions sometimes, but this one definitely did not.)
  2. Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist and Ebba Segerberg (The writing is fantastic, and the story is wonderfully developed. That being said, I had a really hard time with this book. There are some parts I found so deeply disturbing that I actually had to put the book down for while. My mom and I read this before we knew a movie was being made of it, but when the movie came out I had a hard time watching it because they changed the plot so much from the book. Also because it reminded me of all the really horrible things in the book.)
  3. The Road - Cormac McCarthy (I know people love Cormac McCarthy, and I think he has an interesting writing style, I'm just not so sure I'm buying it. I have a sneaky suspicion that the movie of this book is going to butcher the ambiguity of the story.)
  4. Ishmael - Daniel Quinn (Meh. I started reading this on a plane when I was probably 18 and I forgot it in the seat back in front of me. I found this book absolutely dragged at some points, and I struggled to get through it. That being said, some interesting points were raised - granted, things I have never even considered.)
  5. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer (I loved this book, and I have vowed to read it once a year. So beautiful. I highly recommend it. Reading the back of this book really made me not want to read it because it seemed like such a downer - it's about a small boy whose father was killed in 9-11. The development of the story and the characters is really nothing short of stunning.)
  6. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby (Terrifying and fascinating. This is written by the former editor-in-chief of French Elle magazine after he suffered a massive stroke that left him unable to move or speak. The book was actually written by him dictating letters by blinking his left eye. Pretty unbelievable.)
  7. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak (This was my other favorite book of the year. It is categorized as a young adult novel, but I can't really figure out why. It is certainly a book that anyone at any age could read.)
  8. A Reliable Wife - Robert Goolrick (Amateur-ish writing, but a good little plot twist in the middle.)
  9. A Girl Named Zippy - Haven Kimmel (This book, which is actually a collection of short stories, was given to me by my mother-in-law, Nancy. It's about a little girl growing up in a really small town in Indiana, so naturally it was a good fit. I could see the writing style being compared to David Sedaris - some parts were so funny I was stifling my giggles on the train. That always makes me feel like a crazy person.)
  10. The Help - Kathryn Stockett (This book is about white southern women in the 60's and their black maids. I kept reading it thinking that it was written from a totally different time period because of how antiquated it seemed. There is also a mention of Emilio Pucci that I sort of died for.)
  11. Losing Mum and Pup - Christopher Buckley (I read about this in the NY Times and thought it sounded pretty interesting. And it was.)
  12. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist - Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (I love, love this movie. I was really surprised by how graphic parts of this book were for a young adult novel. I think the movie took a lot of liberties with the book, and thank god for that. The book seemed childish.)
  13. She Got Up Off the Couch - Haven Kimmel (I can't get enough of some short stories about Indiana.)
  14. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane - Katherine Howe (Some more amateur-ish writing. Very "enter adjective here." I did think the history in the book was interesting, and it makes me really want to go to Salem and Marblehead.)
  15. 9 Stories - J.D. Salinger (I have been trying to read this off and on for years. Some stories I loved, others I didn't. There is always this weird underlying melancholy in everything that Salinger writes that I love. It's something to do with the dissolution of the American dream . . . at least that's what I think.)
  16. Mrs. Lincoln - Catherine Clinton (Read like stereo instructions. I struggled with this a lot.)
  17. City of Thieves - David Benioff (Fantastic.)
  18. I'm Down - Mishna Wolff (This book cracked me up, and made me cry. Some parts, or maybe some of the author's perspectives, really frustrated me.)
  19. Zeitoun - Dave Eggers (While I found the writing a little choppy, the story was amazing. It really got me pissed off about Hurricane Katrina, and shed a lot of light on things that I had no idea were happening. I would recommend that everyone read this.)
  20. Young Hearts Crying - Richard Yates (Pretty typical story line for Richard Yates, but the writing is so great. Back to that whole American dream thing . . .)
  21. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami (I'm still not really sure what this book is about.)
So there you have it. I am hoping to squeeze another book or two into the year, but I still have 200 pages left in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

Now accepting recommendations.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

On To The Next One.

Well, it's official.

We're moving again.

As cliche as it is to say I think Dave and I feel like we are officially starting a new chapter in our lives. We have lived all over the United States (Indianapolis, Attleboro, Providence, San Francisco, Boston, Portland, and Jersey City), and we are ready to settle down.

So with new beginnings comes a new blog. I have actually never had one before so I suppose we will see how it goes.

I am notoriously horrible at keeping in touch with people, so maybe this will be a good way for me to communicate with the rest of the world. Chances are I will probably just write about clothes and fashion . . .

Stay tuned.