This has been a supremely strange couple of months. Partially because it's odd for Tim and I to both be fully employed (one or both of us has been in school or working part time for the past five years), and partially because we work in the same place. It sort of like being in college again. We have totally different and separate jobs, but we commute together in the morning, we eat lunch together, we work out in the same gym, and our work happy-hours are all at the same places. There's also just as much gossip as there was at the TKE house, but with more... you know... saving the world.
The keyword for me lately has been, "perspective." Which is another way of saying I've become moderately obsessed with North Korea. Basically, I've been reading lots of books and articles, and watching terrifying documentaries about it, causing me to think, with everything that happens in my life: "At least I don't live in North Korea."
Don't feel like cooking dinner? At least you don't live in North Korea.
Had a bad day at work? At least you don't live in North Korea.
Credit card bills? North Korea.
Allergies? North. Korea.
|Totally non-sequitur picture of Mexico.|
There is one thing I've been sad about that's hard to put into perspective: this weekend is mom's 50th birthday (Happy birthday, Mama!), and I realize that not only will I have missed BOTH of my parents' 50th birthdays, I've missed more of their birthdays than I've spent with them. And I don't think I've spent a single mother's or father's day with them since I was about 8 years old. So, while this is still better than living in North Korea, I have these daily moments where I think, "I have two wonderful parents and it is insane for me to spend so much time so far away from them." I'm glad they taught me to be independent, but this probably isn't what they had in mind.
Anyway, needless to say I've read a lot of books since the last time I posted. Rather than attempting to write a book review at this time of night/morning here is a list of excellent books for getting some perspective and learning to appreciate life, especially when you think it's crappy, but it's probably not.
- The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck: This is a no-brainer. I feel bad about gaining like 15 pounds since the wedding... but at least I'm not a tenant farmer. During the dust bowl.
- She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb: I hated the main character times a million, which is why I'm glad every day that nothing in my life resembles anything that happens in this book.
- The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Johnson: This is what I'm currently reading. It's about... North Korea.
- Carrie, by Stephen King: I can almost guarantee that your mom is way better than Carrie's mom and no one every poured blood all over you.
- The Giver, by Lois Lowry: see also Brave New World, V for Vendetta, The Handmaid's Tale, and 1984, etc.
- Zodiac, by Robert Graysmith: because, serial killers.
- My Lobotomy, by Howard Dully: because, lobotomies.
- Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton: because, apartheid.
- Brother, I'm Dying, by Edwidge Danticat: A totally eye-opening memoir about Haiti and the US by one of the best living writers, makes you realize how being born in the US--or not--changes everything.
- Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, by Jon Krakauer: Jaw-dropping non-fiction makes you realize that even people born in the US can get screwed by their country.
And since perspective can be nice, but also sometimes super depressing, here are some books by women who are smart, beautiful, and funny all at once. These perspectives involve a lot more fart jokes.
- The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee, by Sarah Silverman
- Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me?, by Mindy Kaling
- Bossypants, by Tina Fey
- Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, by Jenny Lawson (AKA The Bloggess)
- Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, by Chuck Klosterman (ok, technically this book is by a man, but it's 4:30 in the morning and birds are singing... what do you want from me?)
Now go have some pancakes and catch a matinee.