There's A Mouse In My House

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Or rather, there was a mouse in my house. My apartment rather. My apartment that's the size of a shoebox and surely not big enough for the both of us. So... there was a mouse in my shoebox. (But that doesn't rhyme!) And as I'm not too keen on sharing my shoebox, he had to go. I know, I know. Love every living creature. God created us all. Yeah, sure. You say that now, but when the little mother... darling is scampering in your space and crawling all over your furniture, I dare you to repeat that mantra.

Now, this is a story all about how, my apartment got flipped-turned upside down. I'd like to take minute, just sit right there. I'll tell you how I caught a mouse by the name of Astaire. (Bonus points if you can place that theme song) Yes, I named the damn thing - I like to name my victims.

He looked nothing like Ratatouille. Loved that movie. Ratatouille can stay (maybe?) 
It all began about a week ago. You know when you're tinkering on the computer or flipping through channels, but you're not really giving it you're full attention. That's what I was doing the first time I saw Astaire - we shall call him Astaire for his dancing abilities around my shoebox - just half-heartedly surfing the internet when my heart nearly leaped out of my chest. A gray blur darted, I mean darted like bullet, from beneath my dining table/desk to my oven, tucking itself beneath it. Now, I'm not the type to freak out and launch myself onto furniture when things like this happen, but I instantly froze with my hands hovering over the keyboard, eyes glued to the oven. My first though was Holy shit, was that a mouse?. My second thought: Gross. And, well, my third thought: I'm gonna get this mother... again, censoring myself.


So I plotted. I investigated and I plotted some more. I noticed that dear Astaire only risked a run when the shoebox was utterly silent, and I used this to my advantage. Whenever I saw him rear his ugly little head from beneath the oven, I'd clap and scream at him, and he'd run back in. I'd watch him run along the perimeter of the shoebox and duck into a hole at the base of the molding surround my bathroom door. Astaire started getting bold. He popped out at 6pm when he knew I'd be around and could care less whether it was silent or not. He avoided the "humane" traps I laid out for him, literally tip-toeing around them (hence his name). I'd board myself up in my bedroom at night, and wake up to a trap slightly pushed to the left or without the bait but not triggered. Once, he even ran under my sofa right between my feet! And then, then I did scream and curl up on the seat of my sofa. When he slipped between the door frame of my bedroom, I screamed like someone was attacking me until he ran back out. The little.... was taunting me! Flouting the rules right in front of my face!

Just when I thought I'd have to scare him to death, or worse scream myself hoarse, I decided to abandon all humane treatment after resorting to throwing a heavy book in his direction, not caring if he splattered all over my wall (gross I know, but this was day 3 of Astaire's reign, lunacy was setting in!). I laid down those snap traps along Astaire's usual path, all that recon paid off. Sometime early the following morning, I heard a "snaaapppp!" from the safety of my bed.

Ding-dong, the wicked mouse was dead. I don't even know if he was all that wicked. He could've been really nice for all I know, mouse of the month. But I didn't care. I said a few words, tossed him out, plugged up every hole I could find with steel wool and spent the weekend deep cleaning every bit of my shoebox, vacuuming and sponge-cleansing surfaces and corners I never knew existed. It may be a shoebox, but it's my shoebox, damn it.

Goodness, the things I blog about.        

A Girl Who Reads: We Were Liars

Friday, August 22, 2014


Title: We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart

Publication: 2013


I usually go on and on about a book, whether I liked it or not simply because I am, admittedly, long-winded. This will be different. There's no "main plot" or "main characters" listed above. That's because it's best to go into this novel with as little of all the normal descriptions as possible. No expectations equals no regrets.

In the interest of giving some sort of synopsis, I've typed what's on the back cover below:
We are Sinclairs.
No one is needy.
No one is wrong.
We live, at least in the summertime, on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts.
Perhaps that is all you need to know.
Except that some of us are liars. 
I read this book back in May as it was hyped beyond all belief. Everyone on BookTube was talking about it as if it was going to blow my mind. And so I needed to read it - I wanted my mind metaphorically blown too, duh. Was it? Blown? No. I wasn't blown away by this novel. But I was very much entertained. A big entertaining factor had nothing to do with what everyone was raving about. Part of what made the novel so enjoyable was E. Lockhart's writing style. The novel is only 225 pages, but it feels like a much longer novel and not in a bad, "when's this gonna end" kind of way. Lockhart's prose is short and clipped, much like the speech of a teenager from whose point of view the story is told. This writing style jam packs so much story into only a few sentences, and after reading only a few pages, you feel as though you've read a few chapters. It was an adjustment for me, as I usually prefer the descriptive prose of classic novels, and it took a few pages to get into, but it made it an addicting read. Also, Lockhart's descriptions were vivid even without the description that I'm use to, as she splices her clipped prose with more dramatic visuals. For instance, five pages in we learn that our narrator has a flair for the dramatic: "Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound [...] My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout." It's a jarring passage as are many in the novel. I think it was the writing style that really made this book for me. Pick this novel up. I don't think you'll regret it.

Also, in other bookish news, I have a new tab up there in my navigation bar and I've finally added a list of my recent reads. I'm thinking of eventually adding my ratings next to each title, but for now, check it out if you're interested in finding a new read.

Have you read We Were Liars? Without spoiling anything, tell me what you thought of it in the comments below.

Music Playlist: "Dominatrix, Supermodel, Beauty Queen"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Considering the heaviness of my last post, a music playlist full of all my teenage memories of less complicated times is in order. I've been listening to a lot of music and added many playlists to my Spotify account, but this one, it takes me back! (Check out this Boy Band Ballad Bracket for a trip down memory lane.) I was a tween in 1998 which was right in the middle of the boy band era. And I desperately wanted to be "a girl who's a mix of Destiny's Child, just a lil bit of Madonna's wild style with Janet Jackson's smile." If you were born in the 80s and didn't like a boy band or two or ten, you're lying to yourself. Each and every one of us loved some prepubescent boy in some subpar band with hit songs that we're more funky beats than talented vocals. Excluding *NSYNC of course; *NSYNC was legit. But even as a die-hard *NSYNC (JC Chasez) fan, I secretly listened to Backstreet Boys CDs in my silver and purple Discman. Fraternizing with the enemy, if you will.


Of course, I'd turn to those familiar tracks to sing-along to while cleaning, exercising, even while blogging. The songs on this playlist aren't necessarily each boy band's biggest hits (although there are a few on here), but more focused on the tracks I loved and still love to blast and scream along with. Warning: most of them have some long-ish note held towards the end of the song by JC Chasez or AJ McClean that we all tried and failed to hold out. You will not be able to resist attempting it anyway. I feel for your neighbors.

By the way, I'm not a complete creep - the title of the playlist (as well as the quote above) is from the song Liquid Dreams by O-Town.





What your favorite boy band? Only *NSYNC fans need comment. (Just kidding!)

Oh, & don't forget to enter the giveaway! It closes tonight at midnight!

Who Cares If He Had A "Bright Future"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I've probably spent the past few days mulling over the the topic of this post, trying to put some cohesive thought together (Hence, the lack of a post since Thursday). For the most part, I keep it relatively light here on the blog. Not necessarily because I'm trying to hide the messy bits but quite frankly, not many messy bits have come up lately (aside from general "what am I doing with my life" and the occasional sad moment). I do try to be as authentic as possible, because, really, can't we always tell as readers when someone isn't being real and isn't it damn frustrating? But this is authentic, and messy, and real.

Over the past few days, I've seen numerous tweets/ IG posts reading something along the lines of: "There's a riot going on in Ferguson, but ya'll posting about Robin Williams." I understand the underlying point of the statement, but it's such a stupid thing to say. For one, who's allowed to determine which tragedy is more post-worthy? Who can dictate which death another grieves over? (The news of Robin Williams' depression and subsequent suicide saddened me too, in remembrance of the angsty teen I was who discovered and quoted Dead Poet's Society on end.) Secondly, and most importantly in my opinion, that statement contributes absolutely nothing of value. What? Did you think that was clever? All it does is pin one against the other, perpetuating the idea that one life is more important than the other, as if one should be grieved and the other one forgotten. And that is the issue here, that lives are being valued on variable scales. That's the most terrifying part of all.

That's what I felt when I heard about all that has happened in the past week or so. I was scared. Scared for what this means for black people and humanity in general. And quite selfishly I admit, scared of what this meant for me. I was an overprotected child (hell, in some ways I'm an overprotected adult!), but I wasn't sheltered. I was a bookworm who loved learning and absorbed information eagerly like a damp sponge. I had plenty of friends, of course, but I also had a curfew that was earlier than everyone else's throughout high school. My father let me discover my surroundings while simultaneously keeping me as close as possible, although I'm sure he feared for me with every step I took out of his arm's reach. He taught me to care about myself and achieve as much as I could without being too prideful; to not be afraid but be aware that the world could be a danger to me if I let it. But it seems to be that me letting it doesn't have a damn thing to do with it. Something about the most recent events whispered to me: "None of that matters". You can be as smart as you can, as hard-working as you want to be, as peaceful as you should be, as compliant as you're suppose to be, but it doesn't matter. If someone decides that your life isn't valuable, no matter how accomplished you've become or how "bright your future" is, they can take it from you. You may think I'm being dramatic (and I do have a flair for the dramatic, it's true), but whatever I'm being, that thought - it scared that living shit out of me. However fleeting it may have been and although I quickly regained my senses, it still flickered across my mind clearly. Why should I even try?
There's the danger in all of this. That thought up there. With every pull of the trigger on an unarmed black person (or white, or Hispanic for that matter), we perpetuate the question "why should I even try?" when my life is not as valuable as the man aiming at my chest. And what's more, I can surrender with my hands above my head and still get shot fatally as if I were a rabid dog in need of putting down. And when people protest and inquire for answers, their peaceful words and questions will be met with officers dressed in miltary-style gear as if they are the one doing the terrorizing. It makes my stomach churn.

As usual, in situations like these, a multitude of information is being unearthed about the victim. He had a bright future. No wait there was marijuana in his system! But the truth is, I don't care. Whether he was headed to college or robbing a store or both, what's important remains unchanged. The value of a life is not diminished by the things we say, the choices we make or the  manner in which we live our lives along the way. The value resides in the fact that we live, and have a future however brightly or dimly it may shine. A future that should not be extinguished so easily, so mindlessly.

* Disclaimer: All thoughts are purely my opinion as a human being not as a law school graduate/lawyer. I do not mean to offend or insult anyone and I sincerely hope that no one interprets what I've said in that manner.
 

1; 2

Giveaway!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Before jumping into the reason any of you clicked on this post, I'm slipping in a little update regarding books. I'm still trying to complete the Semi-Charmed Reading Challenge and I wish I could say I'm excelling on all fronts but I am most definitely not. I read 3 books towards the challenge last month (90 points in total now), which may seem like something but I've only got one more month to finish up and there are just so many more books to read (#storyofmylife).
  • 5 points for a freebie book: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  • 10 points for a book I couldn't finish the first time around: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  • 15 points for a book on the NY Times Bestsellers List: Saga Vol. 1 (#2 on the Paperback Graphic Books)
I also participated in the Book-Tube-A-Thon, a week-long reading marathon, in the middle of July. It was first time really participating and I finished 3 books during that week - two of the books above (Attachments & Saga) as well as The Great Gatsby, which I had been trying to read forevvveerrrr. I win!

I feel like I've written the word 'book' like eleventy times in the post. Here's eleventy-one. Wanna win a book? We're hosting a giveaway! 


Kay and I are really, really excited about our August book of the month, Big Little Lies by Liana Moriarty, and what better way to share the excitement than to give it away. Enter below!

Giveaway Hosts:

The Kari Diaries
The Kay Times


What have you been reading recently?

Holy Guacamole!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I definitely stole that from Jared Leto (he performs in a "holy guacamole" shirt sometimes and it shows up as a caption under one of his IG photos at least once a week), but I dare say it applies 50x more for this post than under his photo of his biceps.

I made guacamole this weekend. Nevermind that I've bought the "guacamole kit" from Trader Joe's about 14 times and tossed it into the trash 14 times after I let it spoil in the depths of my fridge. Yet, my shopping trip on Friday resulted in my dropping multiple avocados and jalapeƱos into my cart. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised on Sunday night, staring down at a bowl of green, creamy goodness.

Now, I'm no guac-connoisseur - I've only attempted making the good stuff a handful of times - but I found, or rather the boyfriend found, this recipe based on the guacamole from one of our favorite restaurants, Rosa Mexicana. It's the easiest recipe I've ever tried. Here's documentation my most recent, and yummy might I add, attempt.      












Oh, and I quick funny that popped up on my IG feed earlier today. 100% Relevant.


The end :)

Got any guac tricks up your sleeve? Give me some pointers for my next attempt!

Scandalous Reads and Drool-worthy Recipes

Friday, August 8, 2014

... these are a few of my favorite things!

Back in January of this year, specifically this resolutions post, I decided not to do friday favorites posts every friday. I only planned to blog 3 times per week and wanted to focus on creating good content instead of just pumping out post after post. Having one of those posts be a friday favorites felt like cheating, so I vowed to make such posts sporadic. Well, I just checked - I haven't talked about my favorites since that post in January (yay, for keeping at least a part of that resolution! Can't say the same for the 3/wk part but I'm working on it!), and Kay's post inspired me, so here we are!

FAVORITE BOOK

I'm so obsessed with this book. I've tweeted about it to Rainbow Rowell herself like 52937 times, telling her how much I loved it, and she favorited my tweet! I win. And this book wins. And if you've read it, you win. And if not, don't you wanna be #winning?! Go pick up this book right meowww.

Speaking of books, this novel can't be my favorite because I haven't read it, but it looks so scandalous. And I, I like me a scandal or two. It's our book club's book of the month (Go, run, join!). Not convinced yet? Here's a quick synopsis, selected from Goodreads, cut and pasted by yours truly. Your welcome.  
A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?  What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.   But who did what? [...] Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.  

FAVORITE MUSIC

I find a new song to love on this album, Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams by 30 Seconds to Mars all the time. Yesterday it was Do or Die; today it's Bright Lights; tomorrow it will be Up In The Air (again). Just go jam to the whole thing on Spotify, you won't regret it :)

Also, I've been working out to Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj recently. It just feels like a girl's anthem and I can't help but run/elliptical to the beat. It's such a fun song.

FAVORITE CELEBRITY

KoKo can do no wrong in my eyes. Except for the fact that she's probably dating French Montana and let's be real, she could do so much better. But every time I tune in to KUWTK, I'm always checking for what Khloe's wearing (loved this one piece she wore in Thailand), agreeing with her point of view or laughing hysterically at what she says ("the bigger the hoop, the bigger the ho!").


FAVORITE SHOW 

The fact that I missed this week's episode of Teen Wolf really does a crap job at convincing you it's my favorite. But it really is right now. Followed closely by Pretty Little Liars and Master of Sex. Yes, two of those are teeny bopper shows. Haven't we already established this?

FAVORITE RECIPE

This will be made on Sunday night, because this looks delicious. Drool. Check out the recipe and make it yourself!

FAVORITE CANDLE

I've been lighting this candle every chance I get. It smells like summer and the frozen ices you get from the pizza shop on the corner.

FAVORITE RANDOM

The Florkens revamped their blog and it's gorgeous. I love it almost as much as I do them.

What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!