Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Bought from Target. 
Publisher: Crown Archetype 
Published: November 2011
Amazon - Goodreads

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka. 

I seriously love Mindy Kaling's sense of humor. I've loved her work on The Office and The Mindy Project so I definitely knew I needed to read this. After I saw Juju from Tales of Whimsy's review, I was even more excited to read Kaling's book. 

I loved getting a glimpse into Mindy's life, both past and present. She talks about her childhood, college, working on The Office and fun things like guys, movies and other randomly clever things too. 

A problem I have with a lot of memoirs is how slow moving they can be, but this book was fast paced and honestly difficult to put down. Some chapters have fun lists like 'My Favorite Eleven Moments in Comedy' and musings like 'Why Do Men Put on Their Shoes So Slowly? which really help with the quick pace of the book.

Mindy Kaling's memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is full of her quick wit, sarcasm and one-of-a-kind 'Mindy-ness'. So many times while reading I couldn't help but bust out laughing. This book wasn't only funny, it was easy to relate to too. If you're looking for a fast-paced, light and funny memoir then I definitely recommend this book.
I totally need to check out the audiobook version too; I'd love to hear Mindy narrate it!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Shut Up and Listen

So, you don’t leave the house. 
How do you have a job? 
Can you even go to the grocery store?

You’re really missing out…

I think there’s a certain level of fighting that everyone is willing to do for themselves. 
A level that someone is willing to hit in order to defend themselves in attempts to make another understand their world a bit better. But, I think everyone has their limits and uncertainties about when to push back against being misunderstood, about being unheard. 

It’s frustrating when people push you over those set limits and make you question if you’re fighting enough for yourself.

It’s so defeating to hope that someone is going to understand; or even to wish that someone wants to understand. Especially when some people honestly just don’t care. And you know, that’s fine. Whatever. People don’t have to understand everything about you or even one thing, but when someone else’s ignorance is preventing you from completing your goals, that’s when there’s a problem. 

How do you get them to listen when instead of two ears on the side of their head they have two extra mouths which seem to be taking up crucial listening (and brain) space?

It’s like if someone says ‘I’m trying to understand” or “wait, you just said… isn’t that contradicting to this…” it makes their ignorance excusable. 

But hey, life is full of contradictions and quite possibly my head even more so. So when I’m trying to explain something that doesn’t seem to make sense, I know it doesn’t. Hell, if it  made sense, I might have actually understood it myself by now. 
I’m not lying. I’m not trying to get attention and I’m certainly not enjoying having to fight twice as hard as everyone else to be treated the same way. 
I just want fairness, understanding and in the words of Lilly Moscovitz, sometimes I just want people to “Shut up and listen.”

I got a phone call today. Leaving me quite a wreck and my closet organization project to take a backseat. Old clothes clutter my floor and a pile of mismatched socks cover half of my desk where I sit typing. 

I feel like that’s when struggles always hit you, when it’s seriously the last moment you’d think they’d come. When you’re just trying to find some normalcy after a difficult couple of days. When you’re chill, listening to country music on the radio and suddenly the phone rings. Suddenly your world is brought in for close inspection from someone you’ve never even met. When that person on the other end doesn’t even have the ears to listen, doesn’t have the heart to even attempt to understand. 

It’s not that I hate all the questions, I understand it’s difficult to wrap the mind around. 
What I do hate is when I’m explaining it to someone and they refuse to listen. 
When they already have their mind made up before they even come to me with the questions. 
When they refuse to leave their world for just a second in order to get a better glimpse into mine. 
I don’t care how illogical it sounds or how much you just “don’t understand it.” It’s my life. It’s how I need to go about living, go about surviving. And for someone to diminish my journey is just totally unnecessary and really, really pathetic.

Do you ever get tired of fighting for yourself? For trying, so hard, to prove that you know you best and that you deserve to be trusted with the decisions you make for yourself. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Twenty One

This past week was Spring Break which was mostly spent watching obscene amounts of Netflix and thinking. Way too much thinking.
Most of the thinking came up with questions I had no idea the answers too, but I there was one question, that with a little bit of exploring, I came to find the answer to.

I turn twenty one in two hours.

The only things that really change are that I can now legally drink and that I can have a horizontal driver’s license. Nothing too major, but that drinking bit? Yeah, that used to be a big deal to me, but after all that thinking I’ve come to realize what exactly I was excited about.

The choice to make a decision for myself.
The ability to legally drink.
The opportunity.

Now that I have the choice, I don’t really want to drink. It just doesn’t really interest me. It’s not that I have a problem with drinking or with people who drink, but I don’t think it’s something that’s for me.

It’s just nice getting to a point in life where it’s like someone says “Okay, you have enough experience to make this important decision by yourself. Have at it!”

And maybe that’s what being an adult is;
Having all these opportunities available to you, but needing to make the right decision, the adult decision, of what’s best for you. Of what you can identify with and maybe of what helps define you.

Maybe part of this whole ‘growing-up’ thing’ is realizing that the decisions made hold importance; even the little ones. Maybe in the end it’s less about the actual opportunities that come with adulthood and more about the decisions. The decisions that seemed impossible to make, but by being ‘adult’ enough you somehow ended up making them. I think maybe that’s where the true journey lies, in the decisions and what those decisions will lead you to in the end.

Goodbye twenty.
Hello twenty one.

Friday, March 7, 2014

How to Adult

You know how when you were younger and you had this idea of what an adult was in your head? Mine was of someone who carried a huge purse, had a job, a boyfriend, drove a car, dropped big words in everyday conversation, drank coffee and carried themselves with just the right amount of confidence. It's weird how in society I'm deemed an 'adult', yet I feel so far away from that title most days.

And that random list of traits I had when I was younger, yeah I only have three of those: a huge purse, can drive and drink coffee, lots and lots of coffee. So far I haven't gotten my adult card revoked for not having the other things on my eight-year-old-self's list, so maybe what my current, twenty-year-old-self thinks an adult should be might be like my younger self's version in a few years, kind of irrelevant and based on out-there ideas I have on what makes someone 'mature'.

I bought the Rainbow Loom a week or so ago and whenever I create on it, I feel stupid. Like, stupid in the sense that I'm almost twenty-one, it's a Friday night and I'm at home, working on this kid's toy while watching Ghost Adventures. Then my mind goes off in one of its what am I doing with my life?! tangents. Then I actually started to think about the answer to that question, 'Honestly, Katie. What are you doing right now with your life?' I came back with the answer of 'just trying to hang on'. 

And right now I'm okay with that. I'm on one of my steps backward and if doing this Rainbow Loom thing helps me relax and stops me from heading in a full sprint backward, then I'm not going to knock it! (Okay, well maybe a little, but in a fully lovingly frustrated, 'This stupid pattern won't work' and 'who comes up with these weird bracelet names?' sort of way.)

This one's called a Hexafish.
See what I mean? Weird names, right?!

It's funny what can make you feel like an adult. What seemingly silly things give you the sense of being more grown up, more mature. Yet so quickly that feeling can fade and you're left looking around for your mom to come out of nowhere to rescue you; to tell you everything will be okay.

Even as you grow older, maybe that feeling of needing someone to rescue you never really leaves. Maybe over the years it just slowly changes; morphs into you trying to figure out the situation for yourself first, then just going to your mom for the bigger issues or just to talk about how you overcame that obstacle you thought was impossible to past. Maybe at one point you learn that you can handle this situation and even other challenges that may be thrown your way as you grow. Maybe a sign of being more "adult" is not always looking for your mom to rescue you, maybe instead that person you look to rescue you becomes yourself.

Happy Friday!

I was looking through the photos on my phone and found this adorable (and blurry) picture of Max and I! He's at the beauty parlor (or as normal people call it, the Groomer's) today. I'm missing my little guy so randomly finding this photo made me smile! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February Book Haul

I did pretty well this month with not going overboard on buying books. I did find some pretty awesome deals, so taking that into account, I think I did pretty well! My 21st birthday is next month, but I'm already trying not to have a huge-crazy haul so I can stick to reading more of the books I already own. Although, there is a trip to a my local indie bookstore that I'm planning for March, so I might have a bit of an issue sticking to only getting two books while I'm there. It's seriously a book lover's paradise!

-The Taste of Apple Seeds by Katharina Hagena
-Spellcaster (Spellcaster 1) by Claudia Gray
-Steadfast (Spellcaster 2) by Claudia Gray (Release Date: March 4, 2014)
-The Here and Now by Ann Brashares (Release Date: April 8, 2014)

A huge thank you to William Morrow-HarperCollins, HarperTeen and Delacorte Press / NetGalley for providing me with these awesome books to review this month!

The Taste of Apple Seeds was originally written in German and has been translated to English. It's an international bestseller, but I hadn't heard of it until I was contacted by the publisher to review it. I'm so grateful that this book was brought to my attention. It sounds like an amazing story that's filled with meaningful life lessons.

Spellcaster and Steadfast will be the first books I'll be reading by Claudia Gray. I've heard so many positive things about Gray's writing style and her other series, Evernight, so I can't wait to dive into this brand new world!

I read the first book in Ann Brashares' The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when I was younger, but didn't really connect with it. I'm hoping that I'll enjoy The Here and Now more than my previous reading experience. Honestly, the summary sounds like something I'm going to love and I'm eager to try out another one of Brashares' books that's outside of the Traveling Pants universe! (Book/egalley not pictured above.)

-Emma by Jane Austen
-The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
-Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
-Cress (The Lunar Chronicles 3) by Marissa Meyer
-The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The clearance section at my Half Price Books has been getting stocked with new books weekly, it's awesome!! I found Wuthering Heights and The Help in hardcovers for only one dollar a piece! Yeah, Wuthering Heights doesn't have a dust jacket, but I'm totally not complaining, it's in great shape otherwise.

There's a new store opening somewhere up north so they were having awesome sales going on last weekend. I used my fifty percent off coupon on my purchase of Emma and The Handmaid's Tale so the grand total ended up being under five dollars for both books! Woo!

About a year ago the Barnes & Noble down the street closed and since then Half Price started carrying some brand new releases. This week they had Cress on display and I knew I wouldn't be leaving the store without a copy! I seriously can't wait to read this one, the first two books in Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles are incredible so I know I'm going to absolutely adore the third installment!


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