I don't fit in. My boss is controlling, undermining and underestimates me. The management here lack the progressiveness needed to really make positiveI don't fit in. My boss is controlling, undermining and underestimates me. The management here lack the progressiveness needed to really make positive change. Everyone here is so much older than I; they don't get me or my approach to work -the generational gap is irreparable. This place makes decisions that move like molasses, which leaves us so far behind. The people aren't being heard as loudly and as clearly as they can. It's lacking the excitement and connectedness that it can have.
These are the excuses I've made, and that's just with where I work.
Don't get me wrong, these excuses can be bedded in real truth. I'm most certain I can provide great proof that they are. But what is that going to get me? A waste of real fucking time is what. More importantly, the excuses that we make, while true, are still bullshit. We are literally bullshitting ourselves to going into mental circles resulting in little, if any, actual outcome. We end up living the mediocre zombie like lives that so many are and we say 'we're not them' but we're kidding ourselves, when we could be living the thriving kick-assery of a life that we know - deep down, pushing aside all that bullshit we tell ourselves- we can. This is what I was reminded of with You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.
While I've heard many of the truisms in this book time and again, it's the delivery that stuck. Much like a story told again and again, it's the storyteller that makes it resonate. And it's no wonder Jen is a life coach, for her delivery is on point to make you make change in your life.
I've read so many 'self-help' books and I scream that loud and proud because still, even know, there is this dismal fog of being a person who gives such a fuck about changing yourself for the better that you 'succumb' to reading....oh god...a self-help book. And among all the books I've read, be it self-help books, business books, autobiographies of people whose success I admire, stories of shakers and makers, (all of which I've loved and needed in some way), this book is the first to have me going from thinking differently to doing differently and not in a small way but as if a switch in my mind were on and I very easily, very deliberately shut it off and turned on another. One swift motion and I shut off the spewing and did the doing. And something I realized is that nearly every damn thing we think of, particularly when we begin questioning things, is an excuse. Hell, look at that first paragraph?! That was just work related excuses (and only some of them). Can you imagine the useless thoughts that were filling my head before? Thoughts that told me why I should have that candy instead of kale, organize one more thing instead of writing the story I want to, watching a youtube video instead of testing the recipes I want to see in the restaurant of my dreams, playing a mobile game on my tablet instead of going out and building my photography skills so I can improve my visual storytelling as well. Fuck?! Imagine what my life could be now had I not. No, don't imagine! Because here we go again as humans, wallowing in the past, thinking in fear and not doing shit here and now.
So that's what I've done this week - since I started this book on Monday, I flipped the bullshit switch. I looked at all of those above excuses and flipped the script on them.
I started saying the things I held back saying because I was afraid of what people might think - be it something as simple as a joke that they might not get (so I wouldn't say it out of fear of not being understood).
I took the control back from my boss, for the only way she had that control was for me to give it to her, even if giving it to her happened as a result of my doing nothing, especially because of that! When I talk to her and she talks down to me or talks to me as if I don't understand, I don't 'okay' the situation away, I show her how I do understand that and more- so that she can't question me again in that way but instead believe in me (which is to her advantage, to believe in her employees).
I joined the labor management team - to have a concern I have addressed and not taking no for an answer but instead taking it to the next level, to speak for the voices not really heard or afraid of speaking up, and to push management to move their asses and make more proactive a place than reactive. I read our whole employee handbook, new employee manual and our union's collective bargaining agreement - so this way not only can I not bullshit myself with excuses of not knowing but I can't be bullshitted in others thinking I don't know. I signed up for our 'Funtastics' Team because damn it, I have some brilliant fucking ideas that can make where I work more fun, collaborative, team building and just a place everyone looks forward to coming to.
I speak with conviction and belief in myself at work. I hold my head and shoulders high. In the moments when I begin to feel exhausted I take a mental break, go to the bathroom, do a literal shake of my body to wake myself the fuck up and head back to work.
And guess what, I've had a badass day ever since and hell, it's only been a week and that's only talking work related! I've been the best version of myself I could be Every. Damn. Day. Don't get me wrong, it's really fucking exhausting. My mind isn't used to not wasting time thinking and instead doing, doing, doing. I almost feel like I signed up for a marathon and ran a little too fast in the beginning but I see that finish line and I'm not stopping. I am unstoppable. I am a badass....more
Imagine if Sunnydale High was on another planet, Principal Flutie was still in charge and there was no all powerful slayer but a gang of sidekicks, thImagine if Sunnydale High was on another planet, Principal Flutie was still in charge and there was no all powerful slayer but a gang of sidekicks, the scoobies - that's what The Woods feels like to me, and I'm diggin' it. Looking forward to seeing what SyFy does with the rights to this series.
Also...can there be a stuffed animal of Doctor Robot?! He's just the cutest!
Why it took me so long to read this book, I do not know. Written by Whedon, Fray tells the story of a future slayer. Different setting, different charWhy it took me so long to read this book, I do not know. Written by Whedon, Fray tells the story of a future slayer. Different setting, different characters, same mission -- slay. I wasn't sure how open I would be to the idea of another slayer, because Buffy (and all the scoobies) has such a special place in my heart, that it's hard to let anything else close to that. Yet Whedon does it again, all the way down to his forward. He brings that heart. Each character adding color to the story (Loo, I'm looking at you), his infamously witty dialogue, a kick ass leading lady and, I mean...that hair! What I wouldn't do to be able to pull of multi-colored hair like that, scythe at my side. #jossisboss...more
Another solid work by Gaiman, accompanied by the gorgeous art of Riddell. While meant for children, it contains layers for the more aged to peel backAnother solid work by Gaiman, accompanied by the gorgeous art of Riddell. While meant for children, it contains layers for the more aged to peel back and take a peek. A delightful little tale....more
After finding out that Mr. Cranston was coming to Powell's, our local independent bookstore, to promote his new memoir, I used my privilege of workingAfter finding out that Mr. Cranston was coming to Powell's, our local independent bookstore, to promote his new memoir, I used my privilege of working at a library to get the book processed quickly and in my hands ASAP. I wanted to know what it was that made him write this book, what stories did he have to tell that involved such a commitment. I have had a great amount of respect for his craft, that I wanted to know what was behind it - who is this person, really? What made him who he is now? What led him to this path? What is his story?
Upon finishing the last 20 pages, and after hearing him speak earlier today, I understand why he had to share. This man is filled with stories and boy does he know how to tell them. He gives you the perfect amount of sound bites, beats of his life, moments that made him who he is, from his family - chosen and unchosen, his childhood, the various jobs he's had, the expanse of weird experiences I didn't know was possible for one human to have, the lows, the highs, the hard work and the life lessons. It left me the way the last episode of Breaking Bad left me, wanting more, surprised at its finality - but satiated nonetheless, filled with more than I expected to get from it.
I really love knowing what makes successful people tick. And by successful I'm not by any means referring to rich. It's the people that say that is what I want to do with my life and damn it, they do it. There are more talkers in this world than doers, more takers than makers, because the latter involves work...hard work. Dreams, as Bryan pointed out, are incredibly important to have. We need more dreamers, more people aspiring to be but the work has to be there as well. Otherwise, the dream is empty, unfulfilled, not much different from not having a dream. The dream is important because its the spark but the work is the fire.
When I finished this book my husband asked me what I thought of it. I told him I loved it, greatly, but it surprised me. I realized, unexpectedly, I was reading this book not just to know what made him write it but also to find out why I wanted to read it. After picking up this book I not only gained to learn more about the history of him but the present of me. For that I am grateful and enriched thus the more for reading it....more
I am what psychology refers to as an HSP, a highly sensitive person. For science the name is pretty darn straight forward (and this article does a greI am what psychology refers to as an HSP, a highly sensitive person. For science the name is pretty darn straight forward (and this article does a great job of hitting the nail directly on the head: http://huff.to/NzpiTm) but one of the aspects of a 'highly sensitive person' is being constantly hyper aware of the environment around me. That all sounds very cool-super-agent-y of me (and, I promise, it's really really not) but what it does boil down to (or just one small aspect of being a highly sensitive person) is because my mind is in so many places, looking at so many things, taking everything in, I'm easily distractible. As a result, it takes more for me to focus on something. When I do, I really do, but still it takes more work for me to focus. While my husband doesn't notice the guy kicking my chair at the theater, or the person on the bottom row checking the time on his smartphone, or the one eating her popcorn rather loudly, I do and so, in that moment, I'm taken out of the movie completely while he's still glued to the screen. While it has it's moments of helpfulness, this aspect can downright suck when trying to enjoy something. On the flip side, if I find myself enjoying something and forgetting all else it's a great indication of what I feel about the quality of that 'something.'
So when I found myself on the train this afternoon, on the way home from work, suddenly feeling like the train has taken longer than normal getting home, looking up and realizing I passed my stop because I was reading this book, I knew...this is a damn good book. Since, in that short time, I forgot the people talking around me, the conductor's announcement, the gum smacking, shuffling on and off, sound of the handicap ramp going down, the train's horn, you know, the usual business of public transit... but to instead be wholly immersed in this story. In that moment, that's all that was happening, this story. To me, that's the best darn review I can give a book. It's like when I'm watching a good movie or show and look down to realize there is suddenly a cat sound asleep on my lap and yet because it's sound asleep it clearly wasn't suddenly and so I must have been lost in the story to forget all else going on.
The second best review I can give this book is that it is 'genre bending,' or more neglecting genre altogether and just telling the best story he knew how to. If I wanted I could try and force it into the thriller genre, the sci-fi genre but still, because it's much more than that, it would be pushing it (almost literally) to try and fit it into a category. And I like when books break the rules while still following others (in the case of the science).
Lastly, this book made me walk away thinking 'damn, this would make for such a fantastic movie' (in the right hands, of course). And I realize I only say that for things that put me in a place to truly visualize everything going on, as if I'm watching a film as I read it. It's a wild ride but also with many wonderful takeaways and life lessons. It also sort of left me with this feeling that few stories leave me with (The Matrix being at the top) where I wonder, could this be possible in this reality? Does the red pill (or in this case, (view spoiler)[the box (hide spoiler)]) really exist? It's what I love about stories that take science (considered this very hard and defined thing) and showing you just how many possibilities science presents and making you wonder what is real and what isn't, what is possible and what isn't?
Needless to say, I highly recommend and very much look forward to the eventual film adaptation and hopefully reliving this cleverly crafted story....more
The fact that I'm considering going to sleep soon- which, as I write this it's only 7:15pm- and having thoughts that I cannot, for the life of me, seeThe fact that I'm considering going to sleep soon- which, as I write this it's only 7:15pm- and having thoughts that I cannot, for the life of me, seem to string together in a cohesive manner, is a pretty good sign that I shouldn't write a review. I should just slap some stars on it and hit the sack because my brain is absolute mush (funny, considering the context of this story) but I can't. It's too beautiful a story to say nothing; so let me try.
Let's get straight to the elephant in the room. Zombies. This book has zombies in it. Yup, zombies. I said it. That was how I was recommended this book by a fellow co-worker, that 'it's a good zombie book.' And as much as he and I seem to have similar reading tastes, little did he know I don't get all that jazzed up about zombies. In fact, that was the worst thing he could have said. That or 'hey, I read this great western or YA romance.' Say those and I'm out like kraut (which is ironic because I currently have homemade sauerkraut fermenting on my kitchen counter...love that shit!). However, since this was the first time he made a recommendation I hadn't read and because I work at a library, I ran upstairs, grabbed it off the shelf, and gave it a good gander. And... while it really could use a better cover, it had me at one single blurb. That blub was from Joss Whedon. Drop the mic. Enough said.
So I read it ... because Whedon told me so and one does not simply refuse the lord commander of all things storytelling ... and I loved it. But back to the zombies. Note that above I said this is a book with 'zombies in it,' not 'this is a book about zombies.' Two completely different things. Carey clearly understands the downsides of trying to appease a certain audience by writing to fit a genre's criteria or writing for a certain age group. No, he knows that you just write a damn good story and let all else follow. Let marketing do their job after yours is done. He understands that just writing a story without said parameters yields a more original, out of the box story. Whereas writing to a specific audience or genre in mind makes the story more likely to be 'like all the others,' a copy, a 'haven't I heard this before?' because it's trying too hard to fit in somewhere than to just be what it needs to be.
Because he did that it resulted in an altogether chillingly beautiful tale. For a book involving the undead it was filled with so much humanity and heart. Even in the most subtle ways, like how instead of calling them zombies (a rather foreign word that makes them seem very otherworldly and untouchable) he calls them 'hungries' - hitting in on a very human thing we do. We get hungry. It's our nature. Even in that simple choice of word he makes you feel. He brings a realness to the reality these characters are in, shows us what fear can make us feel and especially what love can make us do. It's exquisite, beginning to end and really comes full circle in many ways. Highly recommend!
*If you're at all curious and are too a huge Whedon fan, here is his full blurb for the book: "The story of Melanie and the people around her is so thoughtfully crafted, so heartfelt, remorseless and painfully human, that it takes the potentially tired trope of the zombie apocalypse and makes it as fresh as it is terrifying. The story spirals towards a conclusion so surprising, so warm and yet so chilling, that it takes a moment to realize it's been earned since the first page, and even before. It left me sighing with envious joy, like I'd been simultaneously offered flowers and beaten at chess. A jewel."—Joss Whedon
**Also if you do read it, then, and only then, watch the trailer for the soon to be released British film adaptation of it. It looks awesome!
***After all of that, why not 5 stars? Honestly, I don't know. It could still be my detest for zombies getting in the way of my judgement or the slowness of the midsection of the book (though necessary). I don't know. That's just where I'm at. Really though, those stars are just a guide. The review, the thoughts, are the real telling part of how someone felt.
****Well, it's now 8:15. It took me one hour to write this daggone thing but that's how much I felt something needed to be said about it. Now, off to bed....more
I look to the clipboard on my bedside, filled with scribbles of thoughts, quotes, lessons and feelings taken as I read and I know it to be enough to hI look to the clipboard on my bedside, filled with scribbles of thoughts, quotes, lessons and feelings taken as I read and I know it to be enough to have loved this book deeply. It's not a book in which every story will be one that you love and there were many that I didn't. Some, if I'm honest, I skimmed and even skipped because they felt like work and well, Gaiman said it himself in his speech, 'Make Good Art,' that he 'tended to do anything as long as it felt like an adventure and stop when it felt like work.' So that is what I did, and I loved my adventure.
I mean, imagine if we lived in a way in which we cut out all the parts that just weren't fun but we did them because we felt we needed to. I'm not talking about the things we need to: like pay our bills, feed our families and meet our basic human needs, but the things we feel like we need to...be it because society says so or because our minds trick us into thinking so (or often both). Imagine if we cut that all out. It's much like a well told story. What makes a good story is not what's left in but what's left out.
So even when my mind told myself, you should read more - finish 200 pages today, but my heart wanted to come back another time, I ignored the trickery of my mind and came back to it another day and loved it all that much more because I was ready, more ready then, to take in what I needed to hear, learn, ingest. If that meant taking longer to finish it, then that also meant more time I got to have with it.
It reminds me of a co-worker of mine who is a fellow lover of the 'Game of Thrones' show. He told me a secret of his. He fast forwards through the moments when they 'talk too much' because he finds those parts boring. The naivety in me stands aghast at the notion because those are some of the parts I find best and most powerful. However, he is not me, and yet we both end at the same place...we both love the show. He just cuts out the parts that feel like work to him and is left only with the things he finds adventurous.
It's much like those in our lives whom we love. We love them despite the things we don't love about them and still, we love them wholly. Something that doesn't seem very possible or logical but love is never logical but it is always possible.
This book...I loved it wholly, despite the parts I didn't but, more importantly, because of the parts I did....more
Honestly, even as a fan of Gaiman's gifted mind, I didn't expect to like this book. It is the melding of two classical tales - Sleeping Beauty and SnoHonestly, even as a fan of Gaiman's gifted mind, I didn't expect to like this book. It is the melding of two classical tales - Sleeping Beauty and Snow White - and yet an original and, albeit, rather spell-binding take; it swept me away, turing the last page and thinking, 'what a wonderful thing it would be for children to have more stories like these.' Even having predicted a part of the 'big twist' at the end, the perfect combination of Chris Riddell's art and Gaiman's storytelling abilities gave me all I needed to further my desire to read everything he's ever written.
While I do have some qualms with this final installment, a slow beginning, much in the way of predictability and somewhat repetitive circumst3.5 Stars
While I do have some qualms with this final installment, a slow beginning, much in the way of predictability and somewhat repetitive circumstances, and a rather rushed wrap up, I still then found myself enjoying it. Though I came to read the book less often and with less excitement, as I got towards the middle I found myself, despite seeing some of it coming, wanting to know the end, both of the story and the lives of the characters. So I think that says something positive of the trilogy as a whole....more
It's tough, really tough to find a trilogy where the second book doesn't just feel like a bridge from the first to the third, a mere connection and paIt's tough, really tough to find a trilogy where the second book doesn't just feel like a bridge from the first to the third, a mere connection and passage of time. Maybe that's why I love Aliens so much, because it was that rare situation where the second was just as incredible as the first in the series or because, hey, James Cameron. Granted, some of his best work was in his earlier days. One exception being Avatar, but 5 Avatars? Really? I mean, I loved Avatar, fantastic message on environmentalist but wasn't the one perfect enough to stand on its own? What happened to knowing when to quit? Haven't we seen one too many tv shows self sabotage themselves in going past their due date, leaving us with that unsavory feeling of writing gone sour? But, I digress.
What I'm trying to say is, second books have a bit of a bigger hill to climb to meet the standards of the former and later in said series. And while this one didn't have the 'wow factor' of the first, and had moments where things were a bit too convenient and smooth sailing, I still really enjoyed it enough to look forward to the third. ...more
Hot damn! If it weren't for having Game of Thrones to watch tonight, I'd be deep into the second installment of this trilogy, without a moments pauseHot damn! If it weren't for having Game of Thrones to watch tonight, I'd be deep into the second installment of this trilogy, without a moments pause to even write this review.
I haven't been this excited about a book, let alone one in a series, in quite some time. I am so excited! After quite a lull in reading, a book here, a book there, I feel this might be just the trilogy to bring me fully back to such fantastic places and temporarily away from a mind of mine that could use just that.
I first heard of this book from a YouTuber's husband who loved it. Granted, with technology at our fingertips, everyone now feels the need to voice their opinion. I didn't know this guy from Adam, but I did know one thing. He was a devout lover of all things Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson. That, my friends, is a reader akin to my own taste. So I had to give this trilogy a shot, given all he had to say about it and damn it to hell am I glad I did. Even having then looked at the reviews, and not having seen such highly consistent reviews of a trilogy on Goodreads in a while, I'm now not at all surprised by the praise it's gotten.
It was quick, smoothly paced and clever. Characters I would love to know and hate, I could be a fly on the wall of this story time and again.
Damn, what am I doing writing this? I ought to get to watching GoT so I can dive into book two and stay up sleepless hours before a new week of work. Fuck ya, I'm in!