Posts From May 2013

This book, WTF?!

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
by Cheryl Strayed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was reluctant to read this book at first--a book club selection. I'm not really an advice columnist kind of girl. Well, as it turns out I'm not a typical advice columnist kind of girl (I say this having grown up reading Dear Abby and Ann Landers) and Cheryl Strayed is certainly not your typical advice columnist.

Part memoir, part advice column, the questions and answers here are universal yet unique (my favorite question in this book was the short letter that simply implored, 'Dear Sugar, WTF? Can you just tell me WTF?!) and Strayed answers are heartfelt and profound--sometimes simple, sometimes complex. Always thought-provoking.

I am an admitted sap so perhaps I'm not the best critic for this book--it had me crying more times than I can count at this point. It had many of my much more chill, not-so-sappy friends crying too, however. So there's that.

If you don't read this book at least go online and Google "The Human Scale" and read that particular question and answer (all columns here are culled from the Dear Sugar column from the Rumpus). Please just do that for me.

Oh, and she also references one of my favorite Lisa Germano songs in such a way that I felt as though she'd crawled inside my 25-year-old head so even if I'd hated the rest of the book, I probably still would've given it 5 stars just for that.

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Around the world in 80 payments

Ever wonder if you're at a crossroad or just a meandering set of x's? That's how I've felt lately--like there are choices to be made but I'm not quite sure what the choices are or, even if I did, which direction to go. To that extent, I'm feeling very nostalgic about last year's visit to Texas--I want so badly to board another train and spend it crushed up against strangers as gorgeous Southwestern scenery whips by. Really. But that's not in the cards. What is, however, is our upcoming trip to Europe. So. Damn. Excited. And expensive. By my calculations we'll be paying this off for about the next year-and-a-half --which puts off saving for a house. Which is mostly OK. I don't mind being a renter--I do mind watching housing prices go up again. Still, it's nice to call someone else when the water heater or air conditioner go out. And, too, not owning a house and thus dealing with all the costs that go into it means we do, finally, have some money to travel (well, theoretically: see payback "plan" above). After Europe (Glasgow, London, Brussels, Bruge, Antwerp), we'll fly to Seattle for my brother's wedding. Next year I'd like to either visit my aunt and grandmother in Austin (South by Southwest!) or maybe Nashville, just because. Because I need new perspectives and faces and people and places. I need change and sometimes that means not uprooting home but rather changing the way you get back there. Crossroads?