"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Monday, January 30, 2012

Everything's Coming to Em

Things have been a bit of a roller coaster these past few days, but I think I can safely say that as of today, I'm starting to see a break in the metaphorical clouds.  I'm not promising anything is going to happen; or if something does, that its going to happen the way that I had pictured things happening, but I have a good feeling about life right now.

Okay, so this story goes back to last semester.  There was a guy in my class.  He was real quiet.  Not shy, but quiet.  And when he would finally talk in class, I couldn't help but sit up and take notice.  I felt like most of the other people in that class didn't have much to say, but this guy...this guy made a ton of sense.  I'd always get excited when he would raise his hand, because it was always something interesting and thought-provoking.  This guy was good.

I've had a crush on him since that point.  And this semester, I had two classes with him instead of one, making it harder to just forget about him; to just not think about him.  More often than not, I just ignore those feelings, because when I like someone, I act like a complete and utter fool.  And I don't want to further embarrass myself and scare everyone off (the only ones who seem to be okay with my jittery affection are those who are more socially awkward than me).

I've had good feelings about my life this semester.  Not concerning this guy.  Just good feelings in general.  And when I saw that I had two more classes with him (meaning I'd see him every day), I thought perhaps there might be a chance.  Well, that was until I saw how he only ever seemed to talk to one of my friends.  I mean, I know that they had a class together, but I always got the feeling that he thought she was cute and that he kinda liked her.  And this feeling gnawed at me for the longest time.  In fact, today in class, I saw them talking...animatedly (and this guy almost never shows that kind of excitement), and I decided my chances were over.

My next class was cancelled, so I was wandering around the English department when I ran into him again.  Now, my original intention was to have my friends buy me coffee while I whined and complained about how frustratingly dead my dating life was.  But, instead, I decided to go and say "hi".  I've been rejected by men multiple times, so being turned down is nothing new.  And besides, I reasoned that there is nothing wrong with small talk, and if I didn't make a move when I actually had an opportunity to talk with him, I'd regret it forever, even if talking to him didn't change a damn thing.

So...I went up to him, started a little bit of small talk, and soon, we were involved in a lengthy discussion about books, literary styles, authors, interests, and God only knows what else.  He made a comment about coffee, so I suggested we go and get some (he had over an hour before his next class, and besides, I had been intending on getting coffee before work anyway).  So, we did.  We got coffee....we talked some more.  He went out for a smoking break, showing me a secret little area where he liked to go.  We talked some more.

He told me so much about himself....where he was from, his frustrations and motivations, things that he said he wished he could tell everyone; things that he said I probably wouldn't believe.  I can't remember the last time someone told me their life's story so quickly like that.  I can't remember the last time someone spilled all these details to me without even thinking about it.  Like it was just natural for him to talk about it and for me to listen.

However, I think the most amazing part were the silences.  When I'm with someone I don't know very well, I hate the silences.  It's uncomfortable.  It makes me nervous.  With this guy, however, it was different.  The silences were okay.  I felt calm, comfortable, and relaxed.  It was natural.  Silence with him was not dead space, but a calm break for a few seconds...or a few minutes.  It just worked.

I don't know what to think about this, so I'm not going to try.  I'll rant about it to friends tonight, and then I'll tuck it in the back of my mind and let it go.  He says he loves a challenge, and so, if I even want to consider wanting him, I'm going to make it a challenge.  Not that I'm going to be aloof or distant.  I'm just not going to revert to my old habits of throwing myself at the other person like I'm a small dog or a child screaming "Look at me!  Love me!  Love me!"

Regardless of what happens, I have a good feeling about this. Friendship would be fine.  This guy is unlike anyone I've ever met, and I want to discover a bit more about him.  He fascinates me.  And regardless of all this, I can safely say that I have a real good feeling about this semester in general.  Finally: everything's coming to Em. ;)

Age of Innocence

I finished Age of Innocence!  For those of you reading along, how far are you?  Let me know when you finish, and we can talk about it :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Well, That Was Odd...

I've been mulling it over in my head for several days now.  What does it mean when a random guy, who was in one of my classes last semester--and never really spoke to me--comes up to me, starts making smalltalk, and finally gives me gentle reminder that its raining outside, so I should be sure to put my coat on when I make the trek back to my dorm? It struck me as strange since not only have I never really exchanged more than two words with him, but he was with a group of his friends and didn't need someone to talk to.  I'm sure it was nothing at all, but I was curious to get your opinions.  It's not very often that this sort of thing happens.  I'm a usually shy and quiet person, so people tend to leave me alone, or at most just smile and nod in my general direction.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Inked up Librarian

I saw this online and I just HAD to post it!  Now, of course we all know that being a librarian is super-cool and bad-ass (exactly why I want to be one, just kidding), but I don't think that getting a tattoo of the word "LIBRARIAN" across your stomach automatically makes you a super bad-ass kinda guy.  Maybe it does.  I don't know :P

Strictly 4 My C.A.R.D. C.A.T.A.L.O.G.Z.

Wilde Wednesdays #4

One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.

~Oscar Wilde

Monday, January 23, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Read-Along Apologies

I'm really sorry I haven't posted anything about the read-along.  I've just been getting hit with more and more reading assignments than I really know what to do with.  For example, for my current English readings, I'm supposed to have up to Chapter 17 of The French Lieutenant's Woman finished by Tuesday, all of Age of Innocence by Monday, and the first 100 pages or so of Moll Flanders by Monday.  Gaah!

Still, if anyone DOES want to discuss the books, let me know.  And if you have any ideas of HOW we can discuss the books, please tell me.  I guess we could always just comment on it as we go?  If you want to do it via email, that works, too.  Just leave your email in the comments, and since I have to approve comments before they post, I'll see your email, but it won't get posted on the site.  I could also just make a quick post and let everyone ramble about what they read?  Too busy to think of suggestions right now.  This semester just might eat me alive.  I'd appreciate any help I could get, haha.

On a side note, I found a nice little tome which I'm hoping to use as an incentive to finish my actual reading.  It's called Pamela, and it's told entirely in letters.  My professor told us that it's a story of a very virtuous girl who is being seduced by the mysterious Squire B, whom she works for.  She sends letters to her poor parents, telling them of what has been happening to her.  It sounded good, and so that and Heineken are my rewards for getting all my homework done.  I just picked up a six-pack yesterday :)  (And don't worry; that's going to last me for a couple of weeks!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

English Updates

For those of you participating in my literature class read-alongs, I'm also going to be reading Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence.  On Friday, I'll be able to post the title of my third book (one for each of my three English classes).

In class, I'll have to have finished Age of Innocence by Monday (and we're going to discuss it for the next few class periods after that).  So, for my personal schedule, I'm attempting to have the first half of the book finished by Friday.  I'm sure that most of you won't have time to obtain a copy AND read that far ahead, but if you want to try and keep up with me, that would be great.  (Halfway through the book comes to about 17 chapters).  I'll try not to post any spoilers in the discussions next week.  Still, I'm aiming for a small discussion on Friday about the first few chapters.

And don't forget about The French Lieutenant's Woman (Chapters 1-5) on Thursday!

Wilde Wednesdays #3

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.

~Oscar Wilde

Sunday, January 15, 2012

English Class Read-A-Long (A Quick Update)

Just a quick update.  According to my syllabus, I'm supposed to have the first five chapters of The French Lieutenant's Woman finished by Thursday.  So, for all of you reading along, I'll not post anything past that point in the reading, and I'd like to ask that you all do the same (so I can avoid spoilers, too!)  There might be some slight spoilers in my posts, but hopefully nothing more than I've done in the past.  If I'm posting about something REALLY juicy, I'll make sure to mark the post as a spoiler alert, so that you don't have anything ruined.  Feel free to add anything you want to say in the comments, or if you feel so inclined, follow along with posts on your own blog.  Either way would work splendidly :)

I've finished Chapter One already (these chapters are real short), but, out of courtesy, I'll try not to post anything until Thursday or Friday.  Also, my two other books will be posted online as soon as I find out the titles (which should be on Wednesday and Friday).

My First Reading Assignment (Spring 2012)

Hey, guys!  I just received my first syllabus, and finally know what my first reading assignment of the semester is going to be!  Now, I won't need to have anything read until Thursday...but I thought I'd give you guys a heads up in case anyone wants to read along with me.  (I know Steven suggested doing this, but I wasn't sure if anyone else was interested).

Now, I have three classes, so that means I'll be balancing three books at a time.  You guys don't have to read all of them if that's too much, or one doesn't really interest you.  But, just in case, my first book is The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles.  I'm not sure if I'll start reading now, or wait until Tuesday, but I'll see what I can do.

Looking forward to this!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Vermin Supreme

Every time I turn on the news, I hear something about the primaries for the presidential election.  I'll be honest, I'm getting sick of it.  I don't like politics.  I think it gets too cut-throat, you know?  And everyone lies.  Jasper Fforde created a character who was the world's only honest politician-- and therein lies the joke.

Honestly, that's why I find New Hampshire primary candidate Vermin Supreme to be so refreshing.  He just says it like it is.  He's honest, he's forward.  He admits that all politicians are rats, and he is the biggest one of all of them.  Still, there is NO WAY I would actually vote for him.  He seems a bit too..extreme for my tastes.  Still, I found him to be very amusing, and I think he is a very gifted grammarian.  Just listen to his word choice; it's beautiful.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Spring 2012 Booklist....

This is for Robby, who asked what books I was reading for classes this semester.  For some freak reason, Blogger is not letting me comment on my own blog, even though everyone else can....So, instead of posting in the comments, I decided to just make this its own blog post :)

  • The History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters (Barnes)
  • Midnight's Children (Rushdie)
  • Wise Children (Carter)
  • French Lieutenant's Woman (Fowles)
  • Oranges are Not the Only Fruit (Winterson)
  • Farewell to Arms (Hemingway)
  • Tender is the Night (Fitzgerald)
  • The Sound and the Fury (Faulkner)
  • A Good Man is Hard to Find (O'Connor)
  • Lolita (Nabokov)
  • Beloved (Morrison)
  • Age of Innocence (Wharton)
  • Moll Flanders (Defoe)
  • The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (Fielding)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Austen)
  • The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Sterne)
  • Humphry Clinker (Smollett)
Looks like I'm in for an exciting semester :)

Wilde Wednesdays #2

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.

~Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Spring Semester 2012....Almost

I return to campus in less than a week....and I'm so excited.  It's bittersweet, of course, because I've been having such a great time at home with my family and friends, but I can't help but look forward to a whole new semester of exciting classes, work, and my new internship.  And of course, the Roomie is returning from France and will be living right next door to me and Italia :)

I'm totally drooling over my book list for this semester; there has to be about 20 books, and out of all of them, there's ONE that I was SUPPOSED to read in high school, but totally didn't. (yikes!)  That means I'm going to be hit with thousands of pages of untold stories over the course of the next fourteen weeks.  I can't wait! :)

This semester is--without a doubt--going to be the busiest I've had yet.  I'm really looking forward to it, though.  I see it as an exciting challenge.


First semester of English classes without anthologies....this is my life.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wilde Wednesdays #5

Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.

~Oscar Wilde

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Name of the Star (Maureen Johnson)

I just finished reading Maureen Johnson's novel The Name of the Star, and I'm still living off the small high that a fast-paced, dramatic book produces.  While I'll admit this wasn't the greatest book I've ever read, I was (for the most part) pleased with it.

Rory Deveaux is a Louisiana native who transfers to a boarding school in London after her professor parents decide to take a sabbatical in Bristol.  While trying to deal with the challenges of attending a new school, far from her friends, family, and even her parents, London is sent into a panic as a series of murders, mimicking the infamous "Jack the Ripper" murders of 1888, are committed not far from her school.  Worse yet, Rory discovers that she knows who the killer is--and she's the only one who can see him.  The Ripper now sets his sights on her, to make sure that no one discovers his identity.

For the most part, this was an interesting book.  I've always had a bit of an interest in the macabre, and Jack the Ripper would comfortably under that topic.  Although, I'll admit that I've never actually read much about Jack the Ripper.  In fact, the historical tidbits mentioned in the novel encompass most of what I know about him.  When it comes to historical serial killers, I've been more interested in the fact and lore surrounding the historical Sweeney Todd.  Still, I'm a bit curious now to read a bit more about Jack since I read this novel.

I loved the premise of The Name of the Star.  I mean, Jack the Ripper murders, ghosts...it just sounds so deliciously interesting.  However, I was a bit put off by how "teen" this novel was.  I mean, the whole beginning dealt with how Rory was such an average teenager with so many social issues, and blah blah blah.  I've read enough teen novels when I was a teen to find myself bogged down in every character's struggle to find herself.  I feel bad saying that, but it's true.  Furthermore, I found some aspects of the story to be highly unbelievable-- and I'm not talking about Jack the Ripper ghosts.

Despite its flaws, this was an interesting read, and one that I would prolly recommend.  Also, since it's a part of a series, I'm really tempted to look up the other books, once they're published.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wilde Wednesdays #1

Following in the vein of Weekly Wodehouse, today marks the first installment of Wilde Wednesdays; a collection of Oscar Wilde quotes....

I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.

~Oscar Wilde

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!  I can't believe another year has already come and gone.  Still, there's something wonderful and exciting about a new year, full of possibilities.  Every year, I write down my new year's resolutions in my journal, and read over the resolutions of the year before, in order to see if I've met them, or if I need to renew them again for the next year.  I usually give myself about five; one two or three are usually met by the end of the year.  While 50% isn't perfect, it's not too bad either.

This year, among other things, I hope to read 100 books.  I've tried this for several years, and I never quite meet the goal.  Still, I'm not quite ready to give up on it yet.  Once Goodreads updates their website for the new year, I'll be able to post the yearly reading challenge widget on my blog's sidebar for 2012.  So far, my last book of 2011 is still my first book of 2012.  It's a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories that I bought at Borders a few years back, and never had the chance to read.  It feels real nostalgic to read it, especially since Borders recently closed.  I have so many memories from that bookstore; it's real tragic.

Maybe I should go for 50 books?  I don't know.  I'll decide when Goodreads updates everything.

Also, the results of my survey came in.  While I was disappointed to only receive three votes, I did get enough of a response to avoid a tie.  Weekly Chesteron received a fat ZERO votes (which could have been because people just haven't heard of Chesterton, or else because there was no alliteration in the title--which I was VERY concerned about--haha).  Weekly Wodehouse received one vote, and the other two went to our winner: Wilde Wednesdays.  So, starting on January 4th, we'll have our first installment of Wilde Wednesdays!  And for those of you who follow Cinema Sweetheart, the first post of 2012 will come that Thursday, January 5th.

I have a real good feeling about 2012.  I'm working, have an amazing internship in the works, and there is so much that I want to do.  I want to learn to crochet, knit on double pointed needles, and read a ton of books (especially Chesterton).  What do you all have planned for the New Year?  What opportunities do you foresee for yourself?  In February, Ramblings of a Devoted Bookworm turns two years old.  I can't believe how fast this time has gone by!  Speaking of which, I promise to make my blog more of a priority in the next year, with interesting posts, not just random drivel or pointless posts.  I want to really connect with everyone once again.

Have an AMAZING year, don't party too hard, and stay safe!  Love you all!