I took a weekend trip to see the West Coast (so lovely, by the way), and did some reading for entertainment. (Along with making my mother see some of Doctor Who. I am nothing without priorities.) Here are my Goodreads reviews from that.

Shade's ChildrenShade’s Children by Garth Nix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading two post-apocalypse books at the same time and having neither of them explain about why the world was the way it was frustrated me. (Time to read more Susan Beth Pfeffer books!) Still, Shade’s Children was gripping. The technology! The ridiculousness of something else harvesting human organs to create their own monsters which then go after the children that run away because… why? Some kind of battle. Okay, so we really didn’t get into the other side of the story. Whatever. That’s fine.

There were still really compelling conflicts of children who did not grow up with adults and therefore do not know how to reason like an adult. And Shade itself! The most fascinating take of this book is what happens when you let something like him run loose. Is it okay? Are the children being raised in a fair environment where they know all they need to know? Do they learn compassion in addition to Sex Ed I, II, and Basic Contraception? (Oh man the fact that those existed cracked me up.)

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Fever Crumb (Fever Crumb, #1)Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would say that this book is almost-but-not-quite steampunk, since many of the characters are trying to resurrect and understand technology from our time. (As with the last book I reviewed, what happened to make this change? So curious!) It was fascinating to see this girl, who was raised with the point of view that irrationality is wrong, struggle with her feelings as she learns that her entire history was a lie. I was quite pleased at the ending, as she realizes that she needs space to think away from the people who want to use her, and she takes it. That was quite a strength, to go from a childlike “scientist” who follows where the older men direct to realizing what she needs and taking it. The best part of this book was absolutely watching Fever mature, when I almost expected her to stay this childlike doll for the entire book, pushed from one thing to another by the plot.

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Hard to believe.

If you’ve been around me at all recently, you may have noticed me gazing at my nails more often than usual. I’m in awe at them. Never before have I had such long and healthy-looking nails. They’ve always been strong, yes, but I’m actually trying to see how long I can get them and if they’ll stay just as pretty.

long healthy nails
look at those nails! still working on getting the strength back from The Job That Won’t Be Named but getting there.

I did mention discovering Accio Lacquer, did I not? I went from her Nails 101 down the rabbit hole of a few “how I care for my nails” blog posts and worked out what would help me.

The thing is, the media would have you believe that beauty is effortless, when no, upkeep and making sure your nails are strong and healthy and moisturized, it all takes time. Moisturizing your cuticles all the time, using a cuticle oil at night, it takes time and effort. But for long and strong nails having well-moisturized cuticles apparently does something.

Can I just say how much in awe I am of my right thumb?

right thumbnail
long and strong!

My left thumbnail still breaks from time to time and has to be filed down, but my right somehow avoided disasters. I mean, my nails in general aren’t perfect; the dry environment in The Job That Won’t Be Named really messed with my whole body and most of it is still recovering. So just the fact that one nail is pretty great is exciting to me.

Other things: filing [dry nails] seems to be better than clipping them, and I grew up clipping my nails (wet). They are definitely retaining their shape better with filing rather than clipping and I’m never in that situation where I clipped a nail TOO short. I’m trying to stop picking at them so much, too.

I’m not sure why this seems like a fun goal to be working on right now (I mean, really? long pretty nails? that’s a goal??), but, y’know, to each their own. They’ll be a great base for nail art, and maybe that’s the point: to me, playing with standards of beauty means being able to create my own image, and in that creativity there is freedom.

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Hello, World.

spring nails
need some spring in my step

This morning, when I woke up and logged online, a friend wanted to show me her makeup from the weekend. This led to squealing over makeup and beauty and suddenly the question—can we please have a makeup blog together??

I’ve become an avid follower of Makeup and Beauty Blog and Accio Lacquer, and I’ve been using makeup lately as a creative outlet (can’t knit, the clowns will eat me um, I mean, tendinitis). So the rest of today has been consumed with brainstorming, finding themes, starting write-ups.

It’s been a good day.

I’m off to Zumba with a dear friend and starting the rest of my life today. Retail work was hard and it was taking away from who I am. All the people who care about me supported my decision to leave and take care of myself and so, here I am.

Hello, World. Did you miss me?

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A timeless story.

Once upon a time, personal web sites were places to showcase your creative works. The online version of my paper ideas journal. These days, seems like they’re all blogs about showing off how creative you can be. (Can I be? We’ll see.)

I need a place to let thoughts marinate, to explore the world and take up space in it.

(Aside: Women are taught not to take up space.

It is time for me to stop creeping, stop tip-toeing unseen from place to place, to be unabashedly.)

Who is this woman? What does she know about herself? What does she have to live for, and will she leave any footprints behind her?

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Anything on a stick

My annual visit to the Minnesota State Fair took place yesterday and as usual it was a delight. My Flickr State Fair set has twenty-two photos from the awesome time I had at the fair, but I thought I might share some highlights here.

The seed art, aka art made from seeds, actual seeds, was a treat as usual, and this “VOTE NO” art made me laugh out loud:

Seed art - VOTE NO

Before heading to the fair, we looked up where to get cheap fun snacks, and found s’mores on a stick – 50ยข or three for $1.25.

S'more on a stick

Also, this is the place where you can get anything on a stick:

quilt on a stick

As for this, I think I need to enter this contest next year:






I was really impressed by the knitting this year. I only saw a couple of things that I felt like I could do easily, which is an improvement over last year. Go knitters!

My new favorite State Fair memory is heading to the exit at the end of the day and passing by the French Fries booth, where the employees were all doing some type of flash mob dance to “Jump On It”. I will continue to randomly sing “JUMP ON IT! JUMP ON IT!” whenever the notion occurs to me now.


Dear State Fair, you’re a great experience and one of the many things I love about where I live.

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