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Productivity and the Spring

How is it already Spring semester?

I feel like the break just flew by, and to be honest, I didn't even really do that much!

I volunteered a couple of times. I had my book club meet. I read ten books or so. I watched a lot of movies. I watched an entire season of Scandal, and Cousins on Call. (I watch an honestly embarrassing amount of television shows.)

But I didn't really do that much.

I have the hardest time compelling myself to do things if I'm not busy. If I have a whole bunch of things happening, I manage to get a whole lot of things done. But if I'm completely free all day--I do absolutely nothing. Well, I don't stare at the wall. I read stuff online. I spend a lot of time on Tumblr or twitter. I watch a lot of TV.  But I feel like once the semester starts again, I'm more productive. Of course, there's always the initial confusion of trying to get back into the swing of things, but once the first week or two passes, I feel so much better about life.

I know that people typically do resolutions at the turn of the year, but I think it's vital to constantly be thinking about ways in which I can be a better person. Thus, one of the things I'm trying to be better at is being productive outside the bounds of school. For me, because I'm mostly interested in YA and children's books, this means reading a lot of that genre. It means keeping a different blog where I can talk about the books I read and the reasons I love YA books so much. It means doing more than just hanging out.

I don't want to be a workaholic, but I kind of think I might just have that type of personality.

What do you do when you have free time? Is it as important to you to stay busy as it is to me?

Either way, welcome back to another semester.

All the best--


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Holiday in Summary and a Return to Boston

This year was my first Christmas at my family's home in Florida while in library school. Holidays are about more than gifts, but I am going to talk about them anyway, because I was surprised by how many were book-themed. There were book ornaments, books drawn on PJs, book-print socks, a mug with lines from famous books, actual books (of course), and more.

It's strange having this new identity, which I don't mind, but it's definitely odd. I'm the same person I've always been. I've always loved books. No one gave me anything book-related when I majored in English literature for my undergraduate degree, and that actually had a lot more to do with books. I guess people are always happy to find another way to relate to someone as a way of showing love and support, and libraries and books are something everyone understands and has experienced. Beyond being slightly puzzled, I'm grateful that my family seems genuinely happy to see me start a new part of my life and cares enough to bond with me by finding out more about how I spend my time.

On another note, I got some pretty unintentionally funny gifts. My mom got me pepper spray and a Taser. And two aunts and my grandparents got me hand-warmers (which is all the more amusing because someone else in the family sent me two boxes of two hundred warmers earlier in the year). Clearly, Boston is a dangerous and cold place. Seriously though, I'm lucky my Florida folks look out for me. I miss them already, and it's only been a week since I returned to Massachusetts. I guess I'll have to rope some of them into going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with me when I graduate later this year, so we can be reunited over butter beer and fictional characters. I don't think the beer is alcoholic though, but my family doesn't read this blog, and I won't tell them if you won't.

I'd like to add that I'm still waiting for other books to be made into theme park lands or rides, but I don't think anyone else really understands my vision of, say, The Depressing World of Jane Eyre (complete with a creepy Thornfield Hall) or Anne of Green Gables's Village of Avonlea (serving raspberry cordial, of course). A girl can dream.

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2015 Reading Challenge

2015 reading challenge.png

It's a brand new year! And while a lot of people enjoy making new year's resolutions, I'm not really one of them. I try to always keep certain resolutions in mind (eat healthy, exercise as much as I can, love myself more), but one of the few resolutions which I love and keep up with is reading challenges. Last year, I wanted to read 100 books in a year, and I made it to 140. This year, I'm aiming for 150 books, and I stumbled across this challenge which will be a great way to make a dent. There's 50 categories here which will end up with 52 books (one challenge is to read a trilogy). I'd love to hear if anyone is going to attempt this challenge too! I am so excited for this challenge, and I will be keeping track of this book on my goodreads account under my popsugar challenge tag.

Happy 2015!


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Movie Time

For today, I wanted to do something a little bit different. Now that the semester is over, I have time to pursue some of my other interests, and if you've looked at my profile, you know that one of the things I've been trying to do for the last few years is watch through Empire Magazine's 500 Greatest Films. So here's my own take on the handful of films I've watched since the semester finished.

312. Suspiria 1977

            Terrible. Truly. The music that accompanied this film gave both me and my roommate a headache within the first five minutes. I think if it hadn't been for the terrible sound-editing, it may have been an okay movie. However, even the special effect sounds were obnoxious. I literally wanted to sit in absolute silence after this movie was over so my ears could recover.

142. Almost Famous 2000

            I had no idea how many well-known actors were in this! Also it starts with the Chipmunk's Christmas song and a discussion of To Kill a Mockingbird, so we're off to a good start. This movie was so good! It was a movie about music, but unlike some other movies about music, it didn't make you feel like a failure for liking "mainstream" music. It was about the ups and downs of being in a band and starting to get famous. I think it's probably still really applicable to bands today even though it is set in the 1970s.

157. True Romance 1993

            I'm tempted to like it right away because Quentin Tarantino wrote it, and I love Tarantino. But he didn't direct it, so we'll see. Oh gosh, remember when Christian Slater was like the hottest actor? So I'm a huge feminist, and when I first heard of the Bechdel test, I was like, this is too easy. Every movie must pass this. For those of you who don't know, the Bechdel test is used to guage representation of women in media. It consists of three parts. 1. There have to be at least two women in the movie. 2. They both have to have names. 3. They have to talk to each other about something other than men. True Romance fails the Bechdel test. In fact, the only female character gets "rescued" from being a call girl. Then gets beaten up later (when she's half-naked for really no reason). I did quite like the ending though, so overall, I'd give it a shot, if you want.

98. North by Northwest 1959

            Not as good as Rear Window. It has a pretty slow start, but the climax is exciting. Over all, I thought it was going to be more adventurous.

410. A Hard Day's Night 1964

            I was mildly ambivalent about The Beatles (themselves not their music), but after watching A Hard Day's Night, I'll consider myself a fan. I spent half the movie laughing my bum off. They're hilarious. And their music added a nice background to the film. I would say that the screaming fans got sort of annoying, but then I started to wonder if they hired actors or actually just told fans where they were filming.

So there we go! 5 films in 6 days. Not too shabby. What about you? How many of the 500 "greatest" films have you watched? What do you think should be on there that isn't?

All the Best - Hayley


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Free Time

This week was blissfully uneventful. Mostly, I stuck to my routine. I had class (for the last time this year), volunteered in the library at the Boston Arts Academy, and finished my internship. Things happened that were outside of my routine too. I interviewed for jobs and internships for the new year, which was both stressful and exciting. (I won't tell you which ones, because I don't want to jinx it.) I also went to a holiday party at my friend Meaghan's apartment and went to the movies and out for dinner with my roommate to celebrate the end of the school year.

On a more productive note, with all my newfound free time, I ran dozens of errands I've been procrastinating, so my eyebrows now don't resemble Frida Kahlo's and my wardrobe is newly expanded with clothes I finally got dry-cleaned. On top of that, I checked out a lot of books from Beatley Library (Simmons College Library) to read over the break. Currently, I'm in the middle of The Night Circus, a fantasy novel by Erin Morgenstern. I love a plot involving competition and rivalry! It's really exciting.

On Wednesday I leave to visit my family in Miami, Florida. I haven't been home for the holidays in six years, so I'm happy to have the opportunity to go. I'm going to be staying in my family's house for two whole weeks. That seems like a long time, so I'm a little nervous. I'll let you know how it goes. It's around 70 degrees there right now, and my dad keeps talking about how cold it is, which makes me laugh, because it's literally freezing right now in Boston.


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