Friday, June 20, 2008

Save me from myself

Natalie Dee

I set goals for myself. When I look at that new swim equipment (bathing suit, goggles, ear plugs, swim cap, gym bag, lock for locker) and think of the TWO TIMES I have made it to the pool and the $100 (at least) that I spent on all that junk--it just makes me sick, frankly.

Why can't I just suck it up and take the plunge? (Corny pun. Sorry.)

At the beginning of the year, I set some very concrete goals for myself. Not my usual "eat healthier" or "be more cultured." No. These were four very black and white goals that at the end of the year I can either say "HOT DAMN! I DID IT!" or sadly, the more likely "Whatever. I knew I wouldn't do it anyhow." It's almost July, people! July! That's half of the year, gone. I'm starting to feel the pressure. Since I managed to neglect my blog for most of 2008, let me bring you all up to speed.

Amanda's resolutions for 2008:

Get a poem published
Read 50 books
Save $300 a month
Sell a crocheted item online or at a fair

Now a little mid-year reflection:

I know I could easily get a poem published in any old crappy webzine. Sorry if that sounds snobby, but I think the few polished poems I have under my belt are actually good. Like, good enough to get me into an MFA program if I had the will to punish myself for three years in grad school and then continue making absolutely no money. I want to get a poem published in a respected poetry publication. I just don't know where to start.

The reading... oh... the reading. I set this goal because I am ashamed at how poorly read I am for someone whose best subject in high school was AP English. It's really embarrassing how little "great literature" I've actually read. I am panicking because I have only just finished reading my 19th book of the year. That's only a handful behind schedule. I just need a little help from you lovelies to catch up. What are some awesome quick reads (plays, poetry collections, novellas, short story collections) that could help me get back on track? Bonus points for anything less than 200 pages! For a little clue on kind of stuff I enjoy and what I've already read, here's where I am so far:

50 books in 2008:

1. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (David Sedaris)
2. Holidays on Ice (David Sedaris)
3. The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls)
4. The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Mitch Albom)
5. Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris)
6. Your Blues Ain't Like Mine (Bebe Moore Campbell)
7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
8. Then, Suddenly (Lynn Emanuel)
9. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat And Other Clinical Tales (Oliver Sacks)
10. Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov)
11. The Little Book of Plagiarism (Richard Posner)
12. A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams)
13. Fire Wheel (Sharmila Voorakkara)
14. I Like You (Amy Sedaris)
15. Tuesdays With Morrie (Mitch Albom)
16. Naked (David Sedaris)
17. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Tennessee Williams)
18. Happy Birthday, Wanda June (Kurt Vonnegut)
19. The Rum Diary (Hunter S. Thompson)

As for the last two items on the list... I save what I can and sometimes it's more than $300... but sometimes it's less. $300 is not a lot of money. I realize that. But is anyone else noticing how friggen expensive it is being an adult? I'm being bled dry.

Did someone say crochet? La, la, la... what?

(Ok, ok... it's in a bag in the back of my closet. My unfinished afghan will not being seeing daylight any time soon...)


Anonymous said...

The Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller
A Raisin in the Sun - Lorraine Hansberry
The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde
Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut

The first three are plays, and the third is sci-fi. The plays are under two-hundred pages and Sirens of Titans shouldn't be more than three. I have a ton more short and classic suggestions but I'll have to go look at my bookshelves because I can't think of them right this second. :)

Mermanda said...

Thanks, Deanna! I read The Death of a Salesman and the Importance of Being Earnest in high school--but I just requested "A Raisin in the Sun" from the library... and I'll be sure to borrow Sirens from my boyfriend! :)

Matt said...

I've read the perks of being a wallflower!!!

Honestly, I was just happy to have read one.

Saw a couple of the movies the books were made into...does that count?

I didnt think so either.

Anonymous said...

I try so hard to save money, but I swear something always comes up (like real life situations, not a new pair of jean) and I can't save anything. It is so frustrating. Don't wanna be an adult :P LOL

Anonymous said...

hairstyles of the damned (i think that's what it's called)

the awakening - kate chopin

lovely bones

eat, pray, love

also check the book list for the org i run:

i'll check my bookcase when i get home and see if i can come up with anything else.

Andrew said...

You're a mess. A hot tranny mess.

Bayjb said...

You can never go wrong with chick lit. That might be more than 200 pages in some but damn you can tear through them like a magazine. You could clear one a day over a weekend if you're dedicated. Highly recommend "can you keep a secret" by sophie kinsella. LIke Bridget jones.

Mermanda said...

Thanks everyone! I'll keep your suggestions in mind as I keep reaching for 50.

Matt, I think it might count... I haven't seen a lot of classic films either. Maybe that can be 2009...

Maria, I hear you loud and clear, dollface.

Sarah, I know the premise behind Lovely Bones and for fear of inducing depression, I'll stay far away from that (and the Bell Jar) but I've been wanting to read eat, pray, love for a while. Hairstyles of the damned sounds pretty interesting, I'll check it out. (Literally, like from the library.)

Andrew, you are fierce!

Jess, I haven't read any chicklit in a while. It might be time for a little guilty pleasure. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

For plays, I would suggest anything by Christopher Durang. They are funny, easy reads.

Here's a short story online by F. Scott Fitzgerald:
There's a movie coming out with Brad Pitt based on that. It'll definitely take less than an hour to read, and it is excellent.

Also, Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore. I would suggest anything by him, but I wasn't really fond of A Dirty Job.

Anonymous said...

YOu have great taste in books! I recommend Geek Love by Katharine Dunn.