I love my Kindle but…

Yesterday was a long day. I was busy all day at work with training, meetings, evaluations, and projects. I came home in one of those moods that just left me wanting to through my hands up and scoff. Not scoff and explain myself or complain, just keep raising my arms and scoffing, as if to tell the day to get up off my grill.

I put on sweatpants, poured a glass of wine, and joined my roommate to watch a mediocre romantic comedy before retreating to my bed around nine. I wanted to read and thought about continuing The Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance I had started over the weekend, but I decided against because it was on my Kindle.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle, but I just couldn’t deal with it. All I needed printed words. A few years ago when I got my first e-reader (the Kindle 3G keyboard), I looked forward to reading on it, because it was truly an escape. In the middle of a Toni Morrison novel, it ceased to be an electronic device and became a book.

Then in October when I got my Kindle Fire HD, that sort of stopped. Instead, it became a tool to more effectively look at pictures like this on Pinterest:

Great

Ryan Gosling

 

Payday

 

Stefon

 

Key change

Owning a Kindle went from being an intense and passionate literary experience to a disturbingly efficient pinning obsession. (If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that My “Lolz” board is the most well-developed. It doesn’t take much to entertain me, apparently.)

But last night I didn’t want cat memes. I didn’t want 27 ways to rethink my bed. I didn’t even want a recipe for peanut butter caramel ice cream bars. I just wanted a book. Turning to my stack, I realized how wonderful it was to have so few choices. Instead of having dozens of books, apps, and websites to choose from, I just had three books. And since I just wanted to remember the beauty of words, I reached for Joyce Carol Oates.

Books

For about an hour, I remembered what it was like to read before I owned a Kindle: Smelling the air that escapes from the crack of the spine’s glue, appreciating the thickness of a roughly-cut page as it’s turned, finding the most comfortable way to hold the book (One hand? Two hands? Resting on a pillow?) While deciding whether to reach for a pencil to mark a passage or just dog-ear the lower corner,  I told myself I need to do this more often.

I love the portability of my slow-growing Kindle library, but nothing will replace the satisfaction I get from holding a book.

Joyce

I also don’t think I’ll ever lose that thrill I get from marking anything in a book – a holdover from being forbidden from writing in library books. 

Thanks to Jennifer for the idea for this post! If there’s something you’d like me to write about let me know by stopping by the Everything is Blooming Facebook page, writing me a message, posting on the wall, and checking out some of my previous posts. And don’t worry, you’ll get a shout out if I end up using your idea.

This morning, Everything is Blooming hit 10,000 views. Thank you for reading! I love you! 

Lookit! Lookit! New things!

A few Saturdays ago, I woke up feeling sort of bored. My options were pretty wide: sit in my bed and read or write, go to the last farmer’s market of the year, grab coffee somewhere and pretend I was some artistic genius struggling to write a poem in a spiral bound notebook, or give myself a new hairstyle. I decided to give myself a new hairstyle. Since I’ve been watching a lot of New Girl (and like every other twenty-something girl, I have a bit of a girl crush on her), I decided to give myself bangs.

While in Milwaukee a few years back, I tried to rock bangs (my Feist obsession was at an all-time high), but I ended up getting feeling uncomfortable with them, so I pinned them back and let them grow out. That time I took a scissors and cut straight across my forehead about 40 minutes before an orchestra concert. That could have ended disastrously. I’m incredibly brilliant sometimes.

This time, I took the 30 seconds to google how to cut my own bangs, and they ended up looking pretty good. I think they make me look a lot younger than what I had before then.

Exhibit A: Summer 2012, tanned and blonde so I could feel like a bombshell while my soul died in a cubicle.

Exhibit B: Autumn 2012, pale and brunette so I can feel artsy and slightly superior when I wear leggings and boots

Good god. I look like a completely different person.

Anyway, I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on my bangs. Many of my coworkers (including some who have never talked to me previously) say that it fits me. Some days, I feel really confident about it, while other days I miss my forehead being cool. I’m sure it sounds silly, but it’s a bit tiring to adjust to such a different style.

Other new things: my job. I LOVE it. I know I’ve talked about it before, but I’m really enjoying my new position. This week I have my first client visit. Really looking forward to one of my first interactions as a professional.

Last week, I got a Kindle Fire HD. I’ve spent plenty of time playing around on it: listening to music, reading books, reading magazines, watching youtube, Netflix, and Prime videos, browsing the web – it’s just awesome. I haven’t been disappointed yet. I thought I might not enjoy reading on the back-lit screen (that was my biggest hesitation when switching from my classic Kindle to the tablet), but it’s really quite nice. It’s been especially easy to switch between Infinite Jest and Elegant Complexity (the excellent reader’s guide). I may tire of it, but I figure if I do, I can always just get the basic Kindle for my serious reading sessions. Or you know, I guess I could pick up an actual book.

The latest thing to always be in my purse

I’m going to sit down and write a good post tomorrow, so please excuse this ditzy “oh mah gawd, lookit me n mah stuff!” post. You know I’m better than this.

Seriously though, I’ve got to go fix my bangs and take pictures of myself in flannel with my new gadget. Ciao!

This is me in my flannel pajamas being a dork while I try out the HD camera on my new Kindle.

My Favorite Thing

Thinking of my favorite thing is difficult. My no-brainer response is my violin. I’ve had it since my sophomore year of high school. I spent many nights and weekends were spent at McDonalds with my pores getting clogged with french fry grease and my patience growing thin with the trainees who couldn’t grasp the POS system.I can’t remember the exact cost, but I do know that I could have bought a fairly decent used car for the same price.

It’s been through a lot with me – a concerto competition, chair auditions, music festivals, youth symphony concerts, college auditions, college symphony concerts, quartet gigs, and lessons. But while I like my violin, I don’t always love it. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass, but it’s more the operator’s fault than the instrument’s. My vibrato isn’t as loose as I’d like. I lost my bowhold four years ago and have been struggling to get it back ever since.

My second response might be my Kindle. That seems like a strange response because I’ve only had it for about 2 years now. I feel like an object that gets the title of My Favorite Thing needs to be owned for a significant amount of time. I got it for Valentine’s Day from my boyfriend at the time, Bill. He bought it the same day he gave it to me. I know because he asked to borrow my car. When he returned, he had a gift and a card. I sat on my bed and opened the gift. “Omigod, Bill! You got me a Kindle!”

“Yeah, it’s the one with the 3g access, so you’re able to get books without an internet connection.”

“Omigod. Thank you!” And I gave him a big hug. And a kiss. Lots of kisses too, I’m sure. I was thrilled. I was amazed how the screen looked like something I was supposed to peel off before using. When we went to bed that night, I crawled in next to him and read a Toni Morrison book by from the light of the street because I didn’t want to disturb him, though he told me I could turn a light on if my eyes were strained.

I’ve since used the thing to read a ton of books. I love that when I travel, it’s just one book instead of the three or four I’m usually reading at a time. It is always with me in case I find myself with an extra 10 or 15 minutes with which to read. I fall asleep reading and often wake up with it nestled under my pillow or tangled in my duvet, like an adoring mate. I love it.

There are other objects I could name, but there’s always an issue. My journal (Which one? I currently have two). The pearls Bill gave me for Christmas last year (I haven’t worn them in months and I have mixed feelings about clasping them around my neck). My copy of Lolita (It’s not the original – I lent that to a friend who lost it, then replaced it with an Everyman’s Library edition). My bed (how cliche). My wine glasses (I’ve only had them for a few months). My ipod (again, not my original. That was stolen and I inherited Bill’s. And it’s on its last leg now).

Many of the objects I think of have strong ties to other people. All of the things from Bill are pretty obvious. But even my copy of Lolita reminds me of another boyfriend. I bought it at a bookstore in Milwaukee because the cover intrigued me. I read it while we were fighting one week and it was able to completely transport me. My journals aren’t permanent things since over the last 8 years I’ve decided to get a new one every time something significant happens (a move, a breakup, a sudden realization that the $40 one at Barnes & Noble is prettier than the one I’m currently writing in).

Which brings me to the last thing I could think to name – a small gold necklace. My Aunt Laurie gave it to me my freshman year of college. She was cleaning out her jewelry box and asked if I would like anything. I don’t wear much jewelry – usually nothing other than earrings, and even those are usually just cubic zirconia studs. But the necklace stuck out to me. It was simple and delicate – very subtle. You might not even notice it unless you looked for it. That’s what I liked about it.

It’s like a little secret I carry with me, and only those closest to me get to see it. I’ve been wearing it on dates over a spritz of Chanel no.5, beneath a silky shirt and near my camisole. I’d like to think that men are interested in it. Why, I’m not sure. I imagine a man wants to kiss my collarbone where the minuscule chain rests. But it’s probably just a dumb curiosity: “What’s that shiny thing by her boobs?”

But other than attracting men to my neck, I just like the necklace. It came into my possession as a throwaway, but I still thank my aunt for giving it to me. It’s become mine in a way I hadn’t anticipated when I first got it. I’d never lend it to a friend. I take it off every night and hang it so the chain doesn’t tangle.

Unlike the other objects, it’s subtly me. My pearls make me feel like a Kennedy. My violin steals the show. My Kindle reflects nothing other than the fact that I love to read. My journals are often crass and full of things I don’t want to share with other people. And while Lolita has some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever read, I will never write like Nabokov.

I guess for me, at least, My Favorite Thing isn’t so much about pointing to some object and saying “I really, really love that thing”. It’s more about something that makes me feel like myself unadorned, even if it is a piece of jewelry.