Friday — Floods & Chopsticks

It’s been two weeks since my last general update post about #ohgradschool, ballet, reading, life… and the like. Let’s start with last week, shall we?

I’m not sure how many of you remember this from my tweeting or how many of you may have heard from weather reports, but a week ago Friday there was a humongous storm in my town. By “humongous” I’m referring to the massive flooding and the tornado. I don’t have any pictures of the tornado (which is a thankfully!), but here is a snapshot of the flooding on Saturday morning down by the river:

This is normally a field: a dry, grassy field.

I was driving down by the river on Saturday (the above picture is still about a half mile away from the actual river) because I was heading down/over/towards Austin to catch a plane back to Albquerque. You see, Saturday was my Dad’s 50th birthday and we all thought it’d be great if I just popped into town over night for the big party in his honor.  So, here are some pictures from that:

 It was a fantastic party, it was great to spend a quick weekend trip with family & friends celebrating my Dad. Cheesy moment: he’s really a great Dad, and honestly, I don’t think I’d be able to do every day math if it weren’t for him. (He’s an engineer.)

The "Milestone Cake" made by my Dad's super talented secretary.


The big ol' card (poster) we all signed.


The decorations on the ceiling in the great room. Very festive!

So that leads into this week…

which has actually been very uneventful, or rather, ordinary, in the realms of #ohgradschool and work. I have finally gotten my routine down for this semester, which means I am being more productive and I’m not feeling completely overwhelmed as I head into the first big assignments. I will be spending basically my entire weekend prepping for next week and working on two huge workloads (one for my rhetoric class, the other for my directed study), but I’m not feeling nervous, or anxious, or particularly stressed out by it. It’s nice to feel like I’ve adjusted, somewhat, to #ohgradschool. Even though Imposter Syndrome still has firm grips on me. (Not sure what Imposter Syndrome is? I make a significant mention of it here, in this post about CVs and digital scholarship.)

But in other realms of life, things are very great.

Last night, Bf and I went out to dinner and celebrated Valentine’s Day early because he is going to be out of town all next week for work. Dinner was fantastic, I loved my gift & he loved his (we picked them out ourselves because we’re creative like that), and the box of chocolates he bought me this year is, so far, superb. The box of chocolates is my only real demand every Valentine’s Day; I’m a sucker for filled chocolate and those velveteen heart-shaped boxes — which I use the rest of the year to store mementos from things we did together, like trips or museum outings or movie tickets.

This week I also stumbled upon this book by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral in Barnes & Noble:

If you don’t know who Rodrigo Corral is, he has done the magnificent cover designs for books such as The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Decoded  by Jay Z, and The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. Admittedly, from this list I’ve only read The Fault in Our Stars, and it’s the striking cover of TFiOS that made me look up Rodrigo Corral online, but further investigation into his website has already made me a true admirer of his work. (In fact, right now the first few items that appear on his website are from/about Chopsticks.) So when I saw his name on the spine of Chopsticks, I grabbed it off the shelf.

Opening it’s pages, however, is what sealed the purchase. This is a YA novel not told through words, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters, but rather through pictures, collages, moments in time–whether that moment is a snapshot of two teenagers or a postcard or an IM exchange late at night or a newspaper clipping. This is a novel where the narration comes from within the reader’s own mind, creating and understanding the story as told by images on a page. Each time this book is picked up, the story is going to be different. Each time this book is shared between friends (and I’ve got two people asking to borrow my copy), they are going to experience a different story, and the conversation is going to morph that story even more.

To say that I am excited about this novel is a true understatement. I’m really in a tizzy. This is the sort of novel I’ve been dying to read as an adult (does anyone remember Tuesday from their childhood? because that was my favorite), and I’m so thankful that Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral have created this piece of art. I only hope that more authors and designers will come together to write & create more of these sorts of novels, both in the YA field and beyond.



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