errands and what i wore

rae's days casual outfit

Sometimes you just need to get things done. I am getting ready for another trip and I prioritized function over from with my Mizzou gym shorts and trusty dinosaur sweatshirt from Topshop (thanks polar vortex in July).

I’m so excited to be heading back to Michigan, but right now there’s a pretty big to-do list between me and the pool. Once I get there, though, I’m hoping to keep reading the Preacher and keep practicing drawing (you can follow along on instagram). Alright, gotta get back to it–

rae's days casual outfit

to do lists of the semi-adult: episode 4

to do lists of the semi-adult

We took a break for the Fourth of July, but we are back with episode four of the To Do Lists of the Semi-Adult podcast. In this episode, Jewels and I talk about moments that made us feel like an adult. Jewels talks about canceling a trip so she could be with her husband, and I talk about planning a vacation. We think one of the biggest things that makes us feel like an adult is knowing what we need and how to articulate it. (Captain Awkward has great tips for this.) Plus we talk about smaller moments like a mess-free manicures and eating ice cream for dinner (like a total adult). We’d love to hear about your own milestones–what made you feel like an adult!–in the comments or on Twitter!

In our lightning round, we talked about how I just finished Mr. Mercedes (you can see my thoughts here and here), and I’m currently reading the graphic novel series (comic book series?) The Preacher. Jewels is reading food-related noel Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone.

You can find us on iTunesStitcher, and our feed, and you can always find episodes on my podcast page. Thanks for listening!

what to read next

It’s a little over halfway through the year, and I’ve read 15 books so far (you can see my stats on Goodreads). It’s been a good year for books. I just finished Mr. Mercedes, and this year I also finished the Sandman and read NOS4A2 and Boy, Snow, Bird–and many other wonderful reads.

And now I’m facing the inevitable question: What do I read next? the bat

The Bat by Jo Nesbo (Kindle here) is our new family book club read. It’s a crime novel I’ve heard very good things about for far too long without reading it myself. If you want to read along with us, we are having our discussion in September, so we are all trying to finish reading by the end of August.

I also have about 1,000 comics I want to catch up on. I’m still reading Saga, and the most recent issue was a game changer (but don’t they all seem that way?). I reallllllly want to read The Preacher, and the first volume has been burning a hole in my bookshelf for a while. Plus, I got the very cool complete Frank Miller’s Batman for my birthday.

batman

*And* I want to keep reading Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist histories. The next one on my list is Without a Summer (which is actually the third in the series).

So basically I’m drowning in a sea of riches. I better choose quick.

mr. mercedes: olivia trelawney’s condo

Poor Olivia. In Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes, her car became a horrific weapon in a terrible mass murder, and instead of comfort or pity, she got blame and dislike.

Her money and her fancy condo couldn’t help her in the end–no one could. From the first interview with the police in her parlor she was doomed to rub people the wrong way and seem cold and uncaring after the Mercedes Killer took her car and ran into a crowd, killing men, women, and children in line at a job fair one misty morning.

After Olivia killed herself, her fancy condo by the lake was left to her sister, Janelle. Janey and Olivia likely had very different styles. But since Janey served Detective Hodges coffee in china on a silver tray, I imagine she left the condo much the same at first and was going to add her own touch as time went on. Here’s what I imagine it might look like.

olivias condo from mr. mercedes

I am sure the condo was coordinated. A mix of modern and traditional–Olivia had good, and expensive, taste. And she was always put together. You wouldn’t find this condo messy and wouldn’t find fake gold where it could be real.

I wish Olivia had better days in her condo before she died, and I’m glad Janey brought some smile and cheer into it. I’m sure it was a beautiful place, even with a dark past.

You can see some of my other thoughts on Mr. Mercedes here. (I really liked it!)

new outfit: getting ready for the fourth

20140703-120316-43396945.jpg

Happy almost Fourth of July! After some crazy storms this week it’s been a little cooler here in Chicago so I’m wearing jeans from the Gap, sandals from Target, a bag from H&M, and a top from Liz Claiborne.

There was obviously no podcast this week–we are taking a break for the Fourth. But we’ll be back at it for the next one. I am having friends come into town this weekend, and #fatcat and I couldn’t be more excited. At least, I think he’s excited.

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

mr. mercedes: screennames

mr. mercedes by stephen king

I was talking with Michael recently about what our screennames were, back when everyone used AOL instant messenger. Mine was raendrop316 and I thought it was really clever because my name sounds like rain AND it incorporated my first name and last initial. The numbers were just because I liked the numbers 3 and 16. Nothing clever there.

In Stephen King’s new book, Mr. Mercedes (kindle here), they don’t exactly go back to AOL, but the killer does reach out to a detective using an anonymous messenger service and usernames. And they are just as clever as my 13-year-old self.

The killer uses the merckill. You know, for the Mercedes Killer. The detective’s is kermitfrog19. You know, because his first name is Kermit.

Although the screennames might be a callback to old technology, the rest of the tech in Mr. Mercedes keeps up with the times. Many books eschew technology completely, either by setting the story in a different world or time, or just ignoring its use altogether (much like how on TV shows, everyone shows up at each other’s homes instead of giving them a call). It’s fun to see it used realistically and efficiently in Mr. Mercedes. Someone leaving their phone in their car leads to miscommunication, funeral arrangements can be made on an iPad, and a killer can IM just as easily as leaving an old-school letter for someone to find.

One of my favorite things about King is how his books echo real life. Maybe not in their plots (I hope you aren’t communicating with an anonymous killer, at any rate), but in small events that mirror the small events in your own life. Like getting mad at someone for sleeping through phone calls when you need them, or being embarrassed your hacked emails got sent to your colleagues, or making a screenname based off a nickname and some numbers you like.

I’m about halfway through Mr. Mercedes, and it has been a fantastic summer read. That is, if you like your beach reading about murder mysteries instead of a summer romance (though there’s a little bit of that, too). The boring realities of iPads and work emails don’t seem boring when King tells their story, and the characters are more relatable and realistic because of it. And if the “boring” parts of Mr. Mercedes are this fun, what does that say about the exciting parts?

end of the month review: june

st louis arch(Scenes from on the road to vacation.)

Summer is flying by–but I say that every year, don’t I? June was a blast. I turned 27, went on vacation and practiced figure drawing. July is going to start off with a bang when we have company for the Fourth and I am so excited! The top viewed posts of the month were:

I hope everyone has a great (and hopefully short) week!