Sunday, June 9, 2013

Misc.

A number of random pieces of information on my life, because a book blog that posts about books only, I mean, that's got to get boring, right?

So, I was traveling, about a few days ago, tired of seeing the world and ready to come back to Santa Clara, California, a city that's so green the stores here no longer give you plastic bags with your purchase, as mandated by law, forcing you to either carry your bananas and bread and eggs and milk jug in your arms all the way back to the car, like a balancing-juggling clown, or try not to forget the thousands of reusable bags you have at home, which you've bought when you were in the very same situation last time, since you forgot your other reusable bags last time. Of course, you can just buy a new reusable bag every time you go, and not worry about forgetting anything. Instead, you'll be worrying about your bank statement. Back to being tired of seeing the world. Anyway, we had to get to the Heathrew airport, but instead, we were stuck in the traffic. There was a huge crash on the M4, and so the entire highway was closed down. As in closed down, closed down. People got out of their cars, chatted with random strangers, ya know, the works. Now see, the actual airport was about 15 minutes by car from where we stopped in the traffic. Kind of like hearing your first name at the Olympics, only to hear it followed by a last name that isn't yours. We saw our plane take off. 15 minutes away from the airport, we saw our royal Boeing glide off into the sky, beginning it's 11 hour flight from England, over the Atlantic, to California. Personally, I didn't see it - I hung my jacket on the window, so I could read without the glare from the sunlight, and so I was in the part where Samantha dies for the fourth time in Before I Fall when our plane supposedly took off. For three hours, we waited in the traffic. Our plane took off a 11:45. Gates closed at 11:00. We got to the airport at 1:30. M4 closed down on us at 8:45. Yeah, from 8:45 to 1:15 AM, stuck in a stuffy car, sweltering in the heat. Thankfully, they put us on another flight, because about half the people coming to the airport were delayed at M4, so due to uncontrollable circumstances we were refunded the plane tickets. The flight we were put on would depart at 2:00, so we hurried to the plane, buckled up, and waited. And waited. And waited. The plane's cargo door was broken. Damaged, they said. So we had to wait, another THREE hours ON the plane, buckled in, until the cargo door was fixed. I watched Jack the Giant Slayer (I was debating between that and Great Gatsby, but giants won) - before the plane took off. Not the best way to watch a movie, since the plane TVs are the size of a book, and mounted onto the seat in front of you, but the deaths in Before I Fall were giving me bad vibes. She dies nine times. Nine times. Die, die, die, die, and it's still not over. Also, I'd like to mention that the flight from Heathrew to San Fransisco was 11 hours. Straight. Sitting down. Anyway, I arrived home smelling of totally new fragrance - part sweat, part dribble from sleeping, part spilled coke, part spicy Doritos smell, part perfume - although the perfume was starting to smell kind of rancid - and part mushroom gravy, with an undercurrent of floral deodorant. Also part puke smell, but that was totally the papaya. Papaya smells like puke. I refuse to comment on my travels.

As for reading, I read a few books on the plane, but everything that happened on the plane sort of mushed and mixed together, mixed with all the fatigue and sore muscles and lack of area to stretch, and the lack of snacks (Going off on a tangent, but the story behind the lack of snacks is that when they were fixing the cargo door, all the hungry people went to the back and asked for snacks, and instead of taking only one bag like civilized people and leaving some for the rest of us, each person coming back from the back of the plane would pass by with an armload of small snack bags. Needless to say, they finished them before the plane even took off.) made for a truly immemorable trip. But since school is over and I no longer have to study and stress, I visited my local library. I haven't visited it in more than a few months, and whatever book I needed to read, I read on my kindle. I came up with a huge load from the library. To read in two weeks - four weeks if I want to renew. Look:



Right now, that how the bottom of my bookshelf looks. Notice how almost all of them are new arrivals (with the red sticker). I just walked up to the first bookshelf, which happens to be the new arrivals, and started choosing books. Also, I must have looked really stupid holding that pile, because it was over my head. Literally. Anyway, since it's summer and I don't really have anything to do, so reading it is. Also, see if you can get your hands on the book Freaks Like Us (the book with the dark red cover on my shelf, on the left of 172 Hours). It's so much better than Before I Fall.

I also visited Barnes and Nobles, drooled a little over their selection of YA new releases, figured that spending all my money on books wouldn't be the smartest moved, and told my brother to physically remove me from the store, because I simply couldn't bring myself to do it. He dragged me out. 

And finally, a little complaining. Attention all prospect CA residents, or prospect vacationers: you don't really want to come to California. First of all there's the sun. Unless you live in London, it's almost summer, so be content with the sun you have. And even England was looking bright a few days ago (literally. I sweltered in the traffic, remember.) But CA sun/heat is extreme - it's abnormal. Take today. We went out early, around dawn, and came back around 9:30 AM. So, you know, it's not like there was supposed to be a lot of sun. There was. And it was hot and stuffy and there were those fuzzy blurry heat waves everywhere. We also slathered on a LOT of sunscreen. We looked like those Chinese brides, with our ghostly-white faces from the sunscreen, and since it was so hot, we even had those red cheek circles, except it was blood instead of blush. The sunscreen was SPF 100. We put on sunglasses and hats. We re-applied the sunscreen every 80 minutes, even though it said minimum every two hours. And we came back looking like blue peeling people. I'm not even kidding. The sun burns and makes you peel. My entire family tans in the sun - we've lived in Massachusetts and the sun there is not so bad, so it's not like the skin is uber sensitive to sunlight or anything. But today, we came back burnt - like blackish blue burnt, I'm not even kidding, and just in case you're wondering, we're white, so it's not like there was an original tint to work off of. It's not the first time this has happened, since every summer here is the same hot-hot-hot stuff. Anyway, just skip CA is you want to minimize your risk of getting skin cancer and go to the Bahamas. Or Hawaii. Florida. Or just drag a kiddie pool into your backyard, close your eyes, imagine the little pebbles and stick digging into you through the pool's thin plastic are actually shiny, smooth, colorful rocks on the shore, the shrieks of the children as the squawks of an exotic bird high up in the palm trees, the hot wind from that fan that blows over you actually the ocean breeze, warm with a tinge of saltiness (The salt is actually from the sweat that drips from you upper lip into your mouth, but imagine it's the ocean salt), and that smell that just might be dog poop - well, that's just dog poop.