Books, Cats, and Crazy.

After a record-breaking day yesterday (my page views grew by almost 19 times my previous highest record), I was left a little breathless. What do I do now? All these great folks liked my mini-reviews, but I can’t possibly read enough to mini-review everyday, can I? Where do I go from here?

To try and answer these questions, I looked back over my archive. What do I normally write about? I realized my entire blog can be summed up in these three words: books, cats, and crazy. I write about the books I read, the cat I love, and other events in my life, which usually just end up showing how crazy I am. I suppose a few more subscribers isn’t a good reason to fix what ain’t broke, so I’ll stick with my formula for now.

(Dear New Friends,

I’m not sure if I’m always as talented or smooth as my Freshly Pressed post. I hope you’ll still be my friends after I reveal my inner Crazy Cat Lady.

With Hope, Amanda)

Books

I am a comfort eater. There is nothing I want more in the world when I am feeling stressed or sick or frustrated than a plate of, preferably cheesy, pasta, and a big glass of cold milk, followed by something chocolate-y for dessert. It’s bad, I know. I’m working on it. As I inevitably stress about our move, I’ve only had one bag of Milano cookies this week, and no pasta. Go me! Yay for being a grown-up!

As much as I am a comfort eater, I am also a comfort reader. Whenever I’m feeling stressed or sick or frustrated, I want to curl up with a familiar, well-loved book. That book used to be Alice in Wonderland, but that was back when I was classy, and, let’s be honest, a bit of a literary snob. I’m over myself now, and thought I still adore Alice and her crazy gang of Wonder-folk, my go-to comfort books are none other than Mr. Harry Potter himself. I own paper backs of the entire series, and they are all well-loved, having been read at least three times each by myself, and at least once by Tyler. This lovely little dear will probably be my constant companion for the next week as I struggle against claustrophobia while the boxes pile up around us.

What about you? Do you have a security blanket book too? Who are your literary best friends, the books you’ve read a hundred times and still love?

Cat

I have started a trend I should probably stop, mostly because it is upsetting the cat. Also, it’s kind of weird. This is the Crazy-Cat-Lady part. Are you ready?…

I’ve started taking the cat’s name in vain.

“Holy Cambria! That is a lot of boxes!”

“What in the name of Cambria is going on here?”

You called?

You called?

Other similar exclamations have also found their way out of my mouth. I don’t know why. It needs to end for two reasons.

  1. It has, understandably, made her a little jumpy. She mews every time I do it, and I realized she probably thinks I’m mad at her. Or she thinks I’m going to feed her, and then she gets sulky when she finds out there is no turkey involved.
  2. Let’s be honest, it’s really odd. Like the old lady down the road who always murmurs old-fashioned phrases to herself like, “Heavens to Betsy,” or “Oh Lawsy,” except this one is made up and I’m not old.

Crazy

As if you didn’t get enough crazy in the Cat section, here is a little more for you: I have a new-found obsession with hipsters. I don’t particularly admire them as they seem a little vapid, and I don’t want to be one, it’s just that people keep telling me I am one. It doesn’t matter so much, except that if this is going to be a thing in my life I at least want to know what the thing is. Also, it seems to be a negative thing, so if I am to become a social pariah I want to know that too. When this first started last month I didn’t even know what a hipster was, so I started polling friends and reading Urban Dictionary. And you know what I discovered? Everyone has a different idea of what a hipster is, but there is some overlap. This is the apparent consensus:

Check it. They're even glittery. And they're real. Functional AND fashionable. Score!

Thick-rimmed glasses: check.

Vintage or thrift store clothing: check.

Snobby attitude: hopefully not.

Liking of indie music: check. I love me some She& Him. So sue me.

Counter-cultural: Um. Does being a theatre nerd in high school and college count? No? I didn’t think so.

Thank makes the score Hipster Amanda: 3, Normal Amanda 2. The points are stacking up against me a bit. Apparently I am an accidental hipster. Who knew?

What do you consider to be “hipster”? Is it a negative thing in your mind? Should I be afraid? I just don’t know. And thinking about it has stressed me out a little bit, which brings us back around to books. I am going to go read Harry and try not to think about hipsters, or boxes, or the fact that I am crazier than muttering old ladies.

23 Comments

Filed under Books, Cambria, Cats, Odds and Ends

23 responses to “Books, Cats, and Crazy.

  1. Haha your definition of hipsters is pretty straight on. But I think being a theater nerd makes you more of a hipster, not less of one… I used to be a theater nerd too and have many reluctant hipster friends, so it’s okay for me to say that.

    As long as you don’t become a pretentious or dirty hipster, yes there are different classifications of hipster, then it’s fine.

  2. Julia Marshall

    I liked your last post because it featured great, concise book reviews (and I’m a book nerd). But now that I know you are a crazy cat lady too, I’m hooked. Love your writing.

    Also, I don’t think it is possible to be both a crazy cat lady and a hipster, (unless you were being a crazy cat lady in a self-consciously ironic way perhaps), but I think you are safely a non-hipster who just happens to have some hipsterish traits.

    • I’m so glad you share my two greatest loves! I wish I was being ironic, but I am definitely a crazy cat lady, and I’m married to a crazy cat man.

    • Julia Marshall

      Ooh, and I nearly forgot. You asked if readers had book/s they come re-read when they need a comfort read. When I am ill I often comfort myself by re-reading books by Dianna Wynne Jones, most often her classic: “Howl’s Moving Castle”.

  3. sarahplowman

    Found your blog via FP this week. I love the reading challenge! I’ve been doing those for the past few years. I thought I was the only reading nerd out there like that! 🙂

    As to comfort reads, I have 3 favorites that I read on an annual basis:
    – The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
    – The Chosen by Chaim Potok
    – Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt

    Coincidentally, all 3 have sequels that are also very good, but not as lovely as these first ones. If you haven’t read any and are looking for good reads, I highly recommend them!

  4. I’m glad to know there’s another reading nerd out there too! I haven’t read The Bead Trees of The Chosen. I did read both Homecoming and Dicey’s Song in college, however, and both probably deserve a re-read now that I’m not a harried English student trying to make it through my flobity-jillion hours of required reading!

  5. shall be looking out for more such posts!

  6. Haha yes, I’m hooked too. I ❤ cats, even though I'm currently living with two dogs. My cats are living the good life at my parents' house. 🙂

    I think my comfort books are definitely Harry Potter – specifically the third, fourth, and sixth ones (is it sad that I know that? Yikes.) and…. okay, I'll say it…. Twilight. Gah! The horror! But here's my defense: I read them all in a week (spring break to be exact) and I take them for what they are: brain candy. But the third one, Eclipse, is one I have found myself going back to in order to escape reality when life gets stressful. I don't know, something about having two superhero-esque guys fight over yoou… doesn't sound so bad does it?!

    Please don't judge me.

  7. Haha yes, I’m hooked too. I ❤ cats, even though I'm currently living with two dogs. My cats are living the good life at my parents' house. 🙂

    I think my comfort books are definitely Harry Potter – specifically the third, fourth, and sixth ones (is it sad that I know that? Yikes.) and…. okay, I'll say it…. Twilight. Gah! The horror! But here's my defense: I read them all in a week (spring break to be exact) and I take them for what they are: brain candy. But the third one, Eclipse, is one I have found myself going back to in order to escape reality when life gets stressful. I don't know, something about having two superhero-esque guys fight over you… doesn't sound so bad does it?!

    Please don't judge me.

    • I grew up with dogs. I hope to have one of those some day too!

      No judgement here! I read all four twilight books in four days. What can I say, brain candy is good! The first is my favorite, though, and the only one I’ve re-read. I would have re-read the others, but I loaned them out and never got them back. 😦

  8. Oops. So you can delete the first comment. I found a typo and tried to fix it and then there were two comments. Sorry!

  9. The hp series is one of those books i could read over and over again and not get bored. I guess i’m just the same as you.

  10. Maria Tatham

    Amanda, as one of the little old ladies down the road, who exclaims, “Great Scot!”, I enjoyed your post. But I have to admit that I wonder how your parents made it through raising you — so much energy!
    An aside, I don’t know what a hipster is. Is it someone who has joint pain in that region?
    Books to go back to: Wilkie Collins’s WOMAN IN WHITE. Films to revisit for the comfort of living for a while in a civil, saner, smarter world, which actually believes in God and His Son: Jane Austen adaptations, especially A&E’s Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth.
    Best wishes to you in your move!
    Maria

    • Great Scott, Maria, you made me laugh! I’m not entirely certain my parents know how they managed to raised me either. I’m sure I was a handful.
      A hipster is one of those era-specific social designations, like a flapper or a beatnik or a hippie, only somewhat more ambiguous, because, as far as I can tell, they enjoy the ambiguity. But since these things are entirely made-up by someone, I’m not sure why we couldn’t redefine it to mean people with hip-region pain or discomfort. It sounds much simpler.
      I love the Collin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice- none of this Keira Knightly nonsense for me!
      Thank you for your wonderful comment- you truly brightened my morning 🙂

  11. i was just getting tired of people thinking i’m crazy because i read so much. u r way crazier and that is a totally awesome! 🙂 i’m looking forward to reading some of your recommendations soon.
    as for comfort books, harry works but i think i first go to LOTR.
    PS: i came here through FP and i think u hav a gr8 blog! 🙂

  12. Love your post. I’m so glad I found your blog via FP. Growing up with British books, my comfort books are almost always 1.Pride and Prejudice ( and I adore Colin Firth).
    2.Harry Potter ( like you, I have read them at least 10 times, my 8 yr old is now reading them and we have such great discussions) and 3. for the American in me, I have discovered John Shors – I just read Cross Currents – his newest and loved it.

  13. Jeff Miller

    What with your being a hipster and all, I thought you would like this t shirt design for sell at http://shirt.woot.com/friends.aspx?k=21324

  14. I’m a bit late to the party, but I live in hipster hell (aka Seattle). Around here, a hipster is someone who wears skinny pants and Toms, and hangs out almost exclusively at dive bars, constantly flipping their hair out of their eyes. Oh, and they get into serious discussions regarding the Head and the Heart.

    For comfort reading, I pick up A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. If you had a few hours, I could give you a blow by blow account of the whole book, I’ve read it so many times.

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