A Brief Update

Hi thinkers!

I thought you would be interested to know that I have been asked to contribute to another blog! It belongs to the book club I’m a member of on Goodreads. It’s called Classics Without All the Class — the blog is dedicated to making reading more accessible to everyone as well as sharing our love of books. They’ve asked me to share my thoughts on graphic novels. I’m also providing them with a roundup of fun, book-related events each week. This is the first time I’ve ever been asked to contribute to another blog and I couldn’t be more excited! Please check out some of the links below to learn more about the book club and my involvement.

Do not fear! I will still be updating here regularly. You didn’t think I would leave you hanging, did you?

Thanks for reading!

Links:

From There to Here: Law School Open House

The day of the law school open house was initially a bit nerve wrecking. As my husband dropped me off at the law school, it felt like an awkward first day of school complete with a wave and that split second where you nearly run after the car, arms flailing while screaming “Wait! Don’t leave me!”

The nervousness vanished when I turned around and was greeted warmly by one of the school’s staff. In fact, everyone I met that day from the school was helpful and eager to answer questions.

The day went something like this:

  • introductions by department (admissions, financial aid, career center)
  • brief faculty introductions on clinics, externships, and what to expect your      first year
  • a guided tour by current students
  • lunch in the cafeteria
  • mock class
  • Q & A with current students
  • speech by dean and farewell
  • also: lots of colorful brochures, folders, and other school-themed stuff to       take home

The mock class I participated in was on property law. When I think about becoming a lawyer, I must admit that property law isn’t the first thing I think of. But keeping an open mind that day led to big rewards because the professor leading the class was also an authority on the subject. And a very engaging teacher. He passed out a piece of paper with two scenarios on it, gave us time to partner up and review as well as brainstorm. He proceeded to ask questions about the scenarios outlined in the handout as he had attendees act them out — complete with oversized props (think: huge, silly ring with a colorful plastic “stone”). The result was hysterical. I will never think of property law the same way again.

It wasn’t the brochures or the bragging, the quiet, clean campus, or the newly renovated library that made it feel like the right “fit.” It was three things in particular: the friendliness of the students and staff, the focus on experiential learning, and the dean’s speech.

Come back to see why those things are so important to me!

Link

Like most of you, I’ve known about Kickstarter for some time. For those of you that might not be familiar with the site, it is dedicated to funding projects through crowdsourcing. If you’re curious about the details of Kickstarter and how it words, check out their FAQs.

I hadn’t backed a project until last week when I discovered that someone was trying to get funding to publish an annotated version of Moby Dick. While the novel itself can be found for free on the Internet, the annotations have already been written and are available on online through Power Moby Dick, the project came about when the creator decided to combine both into a printed book. As a bibliophile and lover of squeezing every ounce of knowledge from anything I read, finding this was a dream come true. Unfortunately, it fell just short of raising enough money in the 30 day time period. I’m holding out hope that someone, somewhere, someday soon, will pick up where the creator left off and achieve successful funding.

A few days after discovering A Beautiful Annotated Edition of Moby Dick, I received an email from a friend about the Kickstarter she created from her work connecting startups to capital. Anna is trying to get funding in order to publish a book from the infographics she has created on business and technology. The book is called Becoming an Entrepreneur and I really hope it is successful. I really believe a lot of people would benefit from the knowledge shared in this book.

And as one novel begets another, I found Beetle Days: A Novel. The book explores human behavior through the life of a dung beetle. The author is looking for funding in order to have the novel proofread and to purchase the appropriate licenses to publish it. It’s interesting and quirky and I’m looking forward to it succeeding.

Today I discovered the Kickstarter I wished I would have known about sooner: To Be or Not To Be, That is the Adventure. The creator is Ryan North, a comic book writer. Holy beans is this project was amazing! North has combined the fun of a choose-your-own-adventure book with awesomeness of Hamlet. Take away the Shakespearean language, add in North’s funny-filled writing, add splashes of art from well-known artists, and you have this book! This project was one of the most successful the site has ever had with almost 3,000% of the original amount funded. The good news for non-backers like myself interested in To Be or Not To Be, is that North is planning on printing copies of the book and they will be distributed and sold through the regular literary channels.

Now, I just have to keep myself away from Kickstarter’s Publishing page …

Last, but by no means least, the Kickstarter I’m looking forward to will be coming from    Wrought Iron Games in their quest to fund Edgar: an alternate history game involving Victorian England, Edgar Allen Poe, Jack the Ripper, and others. It was just last weekend that my husband and I were brainstorming the number of videogames that are rooted in literature or lit-themed. We could come up with only three. It was the very next day that I discovered Edgar. Their site says that they will be creating a Kickstarter to fund the game when they are finished with the majority of the game. Until then, I will be keeping an eye out!

Which projects are you backing?

Kickstarters mentioned in this post:

Christmas DIY Disaster

Welcome back! I see you are curious to see how the snow globes project went.

  • Snow globes: F-. What the fuck?

But really, make snow globes? Where would I get such a preposterous idea?

Pinterest + Martha Stewart. (The most lethal combination, I assure you.)

Occasionally I like to cruise around on Pinterest. It’s kind of rabbit/K-hole for DIY folks. And it’s easy to see something and say to yourself, “Oh, I could do that!”

This was one of those such times.

Then add a dash of Martha Stewart.

Outcome? DISASTER!

Hindsight is always 20/20. Looking back, I should have known. The Martha Stewart website should have been my first clue. MarthaStewart. This woman can make something from nothing and make it look as easy as — I don’t know — smiling or brushing your teeth. Or breathing. And, in Martha fashion, she made making snow globes look easy. No, no. Not making snow globes — creating winter wonderland in a jar.

Doesn’t that sound magical? (And how was that not a second red flag?)

I mean, listen to this shit:

The shimmering magic of snowfall is always transfixing, whether it’s outside your window or inside this classic toy. Homemade globes let you create a wintry scene straight out of your own imagination.

(How was that not a third red flag?)

Like a big, bug-eyed sucker, I fell for it. I was at Home DepotBeverley’s, and Cost Plus before I knew it.

I’m not quite sure what my first mistake was — I’m going to guess somewhere around starting this project — but there were many mishaps along the way. The first I can remember was purchasing the wrong kind of paint. I bought oil-based paint, not oil-based enamel paint. Since I’m no connoisseur of paint, I don’t know exactly what the difference is but I do know that they are not the same. But, Martha failed to mention that oil-based paints take a very long time to dry. A very, very long time. She also failed to mention that painting lids of any kind is a pain in the ass — logistically speaking.

In an effort to dry the paint before the world ended, I went out and bought shellac. I put several coats on all sides of each of two lids I painted. And it kind of worked. But since the painting didn’t work out so well, I decided to forego painting the third lid altogether.

I found a small thing of epoxy at Home Depot. But if you’ve ever been to the Home Depot epoxy section, and you’re not an expert, choosing the right one is a crap shoot. I asked one of the employees which one would be the best for my project but he didn’t even let me get to the part about the epoxy being submersed in water. He showed me where they were and I just started reading the labels. I ended up choosing a marine epoxy — the figurines and epoxy were going to be in water all the time so it made the most sense — and left unsure. I didn’t choose a clear-drying epoxy because I thought a white/off-white would make it look more festive. This could be another place where I went astray. But, I’ll never know because I’m never trying this again. Ever.

Epoxy is a mess. Make sure you have the surface that you’re working on totally covered with newspaper. Luckily, I did. The epoxy is stringy and gets everywhere. And sticks — like it’s supposed to. Trying to mix the epoxy was a bit difficult but I thought I managed okay until the next day when I went to put the snow globes together and the epoxy was still a bit wet. Even though the box said the set up time was 24 hours, I think 48 hours would have been a much better bet. But again, hard to know since I won’t be doing this again. Ever. Did I mention that already?

It was hard to know how much glitter and glycerin to use because Martha says you need only “a pinch” and “a dash.” Really?

And some of the lids wouldn’t close all the way and water started to leak out.

I have to mention that this project took me about two weeks from start to finish. I started with painting the lids and trying to get them to dry … and hope. And finished with a complete mess and a bit on the verge of my own sanity.

But most of all, I was just disappointed.

I wanted to make something fun and personal for my nephews — something they would enjoy and think of us when they saw.

Instead, I scrapped the project altogether.

I really hope they liked the cookies!

<Thanks to pixabay for making the image available for reuse.>

Cutting the Ribbon!

… so to speak. Welcome to my blog and my first post!

I’m writing this blog as an exercise in improving my writing and analytical skills by chronicling adventures, sharing opinions, and exchanging ideas. I’m interested in so many things — photography, anthropology, hiking, traveling, cooking, music — but am truly passionate about volunteering, reading, politics, and my family. I live by the motto “learn something new every day” and look forward to sharing those tidbits, too!

I truly hope you will enjoy this blog as much as I do!