Author: Autumn
•4/23/2011 11:41:00 PM
If you do not already know about them, you should take a look at Better World Books. They are a great organization, and they have been having a great Earth Day sale online this weekend.

Now I have followed their blog for a year or so, but have never bought anything online. I love online shopping, but I am a little wary about buying used books online because I am picky about condition. But I did buy a few on their site this weekend. And when I got the typical email letting me know my things had shipped, it was somewhat different from what I expected. It was created with the premise that my newly purchased books were writing to me, and I thought it was adorable and clever and fun. So here is what my new books had to say:

Hello Autumn,

(Your book(s) asked to write you a personal note - it seemed unusual, but who are we to say no?)
Holy canasta! It's me... it's me! I can't believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I've got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can't believe I'm leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already - the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge - so many memories. I don't have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it's time to see the world!

I can't wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen) and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol' brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?

I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close calls I've had, I'm ready for anything (besides, some of my best friends are suspense novels). Just five months ago, I thought I was a goner. My owner was moving and couldn't take me with her. I was sure I was landfill bait until I ended up in a Better World Books book drive bin. Thanks to your socially conscious book shopping, I've found a new home. Even better, your book buying dollars are helping kids read from Brazil to Botswana.

Eagerly awaiting our meeting,
(signed by the specific titles I had purchased)
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Author: Autumn
•4/22/2011 10:54:00 PM
I do not use Twitter as much as I used to. I follow 163 twitter accounts, and I probably pay attention to less than 10 of those. The ones I really care about are my friends and family, but sometimes I will take a look at the others in my feed, so I keep them. Here are a few I enjoy:

@DailyShowtune - This is one of my favorites. They post lyrics a few times a week from Broadway shows, and invite all their followers to guess what show they are from. It is fun. I do not know them every time, but I do most!

@FakeAPStylebook - As a former newspaper copy editor, the AP Stylebook was my bible. I still refer to it and keep to it when I can. I kept my resume in line with AP style. These are more spoofs on that, but they can be quite funny sometimes.

Most of the random twitter feeds I follow are Broadway shows, Broadway actors, librarians and YA authors. Here are a couple randomly selected samples:
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Author: Autumn
•4/21/2011 07:25:00 PM
  • TWO WEEKS until I am back East with my EEB. I. Can. Not. Wait.
  •  While I am in PA with my EEB, we are taking a day trip to Washington D.C. I just found out that the ONE DAY I will be there coincides with when my grandfather will be there. He lives in Los Angeles, and I have not seen him for over a year. I still have to work out details with him, but best timing ever!
  • Monday night pizza tradition with my mom - lots of pineapple, so delicious
  • Season 4 of 30 Rock on DVD from Target for $15
  • The 30 Rock marathon I have embarked on, even before I found that DVD, ignoring the movies I have checked out from the library that are due back soon.
  • I talked with my other best friend (I am fortunate enough to have two) for well over an hour this weekend, and we are planning a get together this fall. Somewhere.
  • One of my two classes is over, so now I only have one to worry about for the next two weeks.
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Author: Autumn
•4/20/2011 07:47:00 PM
Now why on earth is a single lady who has often stated her lack of interest in marriage writing about how to get married? Good question. I do not know how to get myself married. I do not want to know. However, I am well versed in getting other people married.

First, let me be clear that just because it does not interest me especially does not mean I have anything against marriage as a concept. I think it is great for other people; I am very happy for all of my friends and family who have gotten married. I would love it if everyone were allowed to get married.

Now then, do you want to know how to get married? Get ready. All you have to do is move in with me. It is that simple. I guarantee that within 3-6 months you will be engaged.

I am sure you are skeptical, so let us take a look at my success rate. It is at 100% when I live with just one other person. In college I had five roommates at a time, so it lessened my powers, but I would say 60% of them got engaged while living with me. Many followed shortly after, and they all followed eventually. I am pretty sure that at this point, EVERY SINGLE PERSON I HAVE EVER LIVED WITH HAS GOTTEN MARRIED (family excluded).

I call it my curse, though the others involved might see it otherwise. I did not pay it any attention in college. When you go to a Mormon university, having a semester pass without at least one person in your apartment getting engaged would be strange indeed. It was after I graduated and it kept happening that I realized I was the common denominator.

Now one could argue that I just make bad decisions about whom to live with by picking women who are in relationships, but I do not care to argue that point. I am cursed, and that is that. If you want to take advantage of it, just give me a call. Maybe I should start charging ...
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Author: Autumn
•4/18/2011 09:30:00 AM
Yes, this is going to be about music again. It comes up a lot here does it not? I decided to share with you my top 10 most listened to songs according to iTunes. Now I have not actually looked to see what they are yet, though I have a few guesses. I am hoping they will not all be from musicals, if only to prove to you that I listen to normal people music too. Because I do! It just ... does not cling to my soul and resonate in my blood the same way many musicals do. Yeah, it is that strong. So with no further ado I will let iTunes take over:
  1. Next to Normal (2009 Original Broadway cast recording) by Tom Kitt & Brian Yorkey
  2. "Falling Slowly" (Once soundtrack) by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
  3. Sort Of" (Everybody) by Ingrid Michaelson
  4. "Creep" (Radiohead cover, Live Sessions] by Ingrid Michaelson
  5. "The Fear You Won't Fall" (Unclear Sky EP) by Joshua Radin
  6. "Gravity" (Little Voice) by Sara Bareilles
  7. "Someone Else's Story (Chess in Concert 2009 live London cast recording) by Kerry Ellis
  8. "Lies" (Once soundtrack) by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
  9. "Poker Face" (Lady Gag cover, Glee: The Music, Volume 3) by Lea Michele & Idina Menzel
  10. "I Wanna Get Married" (Build a Bridge) by Audra McDonald
I am stopping myself from making comments on each song. I will let them speak for themselves without explanations or excuses. I will say that I did the entire Next to Normal album as one because otherwise that would be my entire top 10 list, as there are 37 tracks on that album. That would not make a very interesting top 10 list. The song I listen to most from that album though is "Superboy and the Invisible Girl," at over a 100 times. That is right. It is that awesome.
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Author: Autumn
•4/17/2011 11:20:00 PM
I think I have too many songs in my head. Do you want to know why? Because everything reminds of a song. EVERYTHING. Give me pretty much any phrase, any sentence, any word even and I will be reminded of a song title or lyric. I waited tables on and off for about 10 years. And EVERY SINGLE TIME someone ordered a Bloody Mary, the song "Bloody Mary" from South Pacific would run through my mind. Every time. For 10 years. Yeah.

I was talking to my coworker about this today because the problem keeps popping up when I read. I am in a readers' advisory class right now, so I have had to set aside all my YA to-be-read books and force myself back onto a diet of more adult fare. Blurgh. Every week is a different genre, and I am very ready for it to be over.

For historical fiction I read a book called Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg. The song, "Dream (When You're Feeling Blue)" or just "Dream" was stuck in my head all stinkin' week. I sang it constantly, pretty much anytime I thought about the book, mentioned the book or opened the book. It was not a completely horrible week because I really like the song, written in 1944 by Johnny Mercer. The only version I own is sung by Michael Bublé, and he does a good job with it. But I could not get it out of my head for the life of me.

For horror I read a book called Jane Slayre by Sherri Browning Erwin (and Charlotte Brontë). Which yes, takes the classic story of Jane Eyre and throws in vampires, zombies and a werewolf. You thought Rochester's wife was crazy before, just imagine how she is with more fur and sharper teeth. The main story is still the same, and all week long I had little desire to listen to anything else beside the Jane Eyre original Broadway cast recording from 2000. Which conveniently has my vocal soul mate singing Rochester. I love this musical a lot, and it was actually my first introduction to the story. I listened to at least part of the soundtrack every day while I read the book.

For nonfiction next week I just started reading Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell (thanks Becky!). Vowell goes around the country researching the assassinations of Lincoln, McKinley and Garfield. Part of that, is seeing the musical Assassins by Stephen Sondheim. A musical I already love. I own the 1991 original off-Broadway cast album AND the 2004 Broadway revival. The songs were running through my head all day at work as I started the book. I know I won't be able to listen to much else this week. In fact, I am listening to "Something Just Broke" from the revival as I write this. Great song. It might be a strange topic for a musical, but those are the ones I love the most.

This is my curse. I know too many songs; I have too impressionable a brain. Is this just me? Are there other people who share any of my neuroses? Anyone? Bueller?
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Author: Autumn
•4/16/2011 08:47:00 PM
OK, I didn't post yesterday--my first missed day (and hopefully my only one). I don't follow anyone on YouTube, so you weren't missing anything. I had a very full day of working two jobs, doing homework, finishing my book and having a much-needed, well-over-an-hour phone call with one of my best friends. So there, I do not feel guilty.

I also did not plan ahead well enough to have a guest blogger. But what I have decided counts is to have past Autumn blog for me. She's a guest in my eyes. As usually only present Autumn is ever allowed to blog here. Though I have issued a standing invitation for future Autumn to guest post on here should she ever choose to visit. So, there's that. I went back in my blog archive to one of my first posts, before BEDA existed and before I met my dear BEDA buddies. I am not going to let myself edit any of the writing. This is strictly a copy and paste job. Take it away past Autumn, and thanks for the day off.

POST TITLE: Having the good grace to laugh?
ORIGINAL POST DATE: 17 February 2008, 9:48 PM CDT

I was driving home from work the other day, and somehow my thoughts strayed to laughter. I love to laugh, whatever the occasion, laughing is just fun. But more than laughing what I love is making others laugh. There is a natural high involved in hearing a sincere laugh from someone as a direct result of something I said or did.

On that note, I wouldn't really say I am a funny person — I am no comedian. The times when I try to be funny are the times I most definitely fail. I had to recognize that a big part of the reason I make people laugh is because I'm such a klutz.

I have always been an extremely awkward person. I have many good qualities and abilities and all that, but grace is one thing I have never been blessed with. It has always seemed that, physically, things that seem to come naturally to everyone else never quite do for me. Things like, well walking, playing any sport and most especially dancing. I love to watch old movie musicals with the likes of Fred Astaire, along with newer shows like "So You Think You Can Dance", and part of the reason is that I have an immense respect (and envy) for how those people seem so at ease with their own bodies.

But going back to my earlier point, this extreme lack of grace leads me into a large number of interesting situations. Not a day goes by that I don't trip on nothing, run into everything and everyone, and have something I touch fall down three or four times in a row as I try to stabilize it.

If the only laughter I elicited was from people who were laughing directly at me because of something foolish I'd done, I doubt I would feel such euphoria. But I think the fact that I have grown past the point of embarrassment and reached a place of acceptance makes all the difference.

I know I'm accident prone, and even I think it's funny. When I manage to get poked in the eye by the lid of someone's baseball cap at work, I laugh as hard as anyone else because it is funny. I mean, what are the odds?!
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Author: Autumn
•4/14/2011 05:48:00 PM
This is the easiest day of the week for blogging. Let's see, what did I love this week?
  • Packages in the mail - I got a great care package from Becky (thank you!) this week, with a few little lip glosses and other awesome stuff. I also got some new books in the mail this week. I had to pre-order City of Fallen Angels, and to get the free shipping I got three other books too, including MJ's Scarlett Fever in paperback, to match my paperback copy of Suite Scarlett.
  • I have not had as much time to read my own stuff lately because I have to get through a book a week for my readers' advisory class. But for this week I got mine finished in three days. So I am squeezing in a YA novel before the weekend, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, which is pretty great so far.
  • Both Les Misérables and Wicked are coming to Omaha in the next month or so, so I am in the process of finding theater buddies and buying tickets.
  • I am going out East in THREE WEEKS to see my EEB! It has been a year and a half since last we laid eyes on each other, which is too long. She is already planning some amazing things for while I am there. Including a day in D.C. with her and my old roommate Audrey. The three Birthday Bitches back together again!
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 DVD will be waiting for me in the mail when I get home from work tonight according to USPS, even though it doesn't get released until tomorrow.
  • Having yummy leftovers this week from the dinner I cooked Monday.
  • Honorable mentions: fun new patterned and colored tights, pigtail braids, compliments at work, 30 Rock from the beginning, blog comments (giving and getting)
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Author: Autumn
•4/13/2011 11:56:00 PM
Brain crack ideas eh? I have one to share right now. I know I have had others, but I am just too exhausted right now. The other problem is if I don't write them down or share them, they are often gone forever. Here is the one that I can remember:

There needs to be a database online for book summaries, including spoilers. Here is why: There are a lot of books that are part of a series these days. Trilogies and sagas abound. But they come out so stinkin' far apart from each other. I read a lot of books, and my long-term memory is not at its best. By the time the next book comes out I don't remember the details of what happened in the previous books. Then I end up putting them off until I have time to reread the previous ones, which doesn't always happen. I would love to be able to go to this database and bone up on the first books so that I can jump right into the newest one without feeling lost.

So, who is ready to take up the mantle of this massive project and get started? I would suggest starting with the City of Bones series by Cassandra Clare. PLEASE! I am looking forward to rereading the first three in that series, but there are going to be six books total, and I just can't do it every time.
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