Lyse Links: Secrets, Sharapova, and Slam Poetry


How’s your weekend going? Maybe it will be better with the perfect mix of funny, informative, and intriguing long reads. Here’s the best of what I’ve read recently.

The Age of Attention-Deficits — This is a great look at how technology is designed to create addictions. Mixing humor and science, the author lays out the distracted patterns of our tech obsession. Follow up with her article about living better and actually TRY some her recommendations. It’s surprisingly difficult to moderate or break a notification addiction.

Continue reading

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Book Review: Committed


Committed_Book_CoverTitle: Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Page Count: 279
Genre: Memoir/Non-Fiction

I’ve been on a bit of an Elizabeth Gilbert kick since reading Eat, Pray, Love (see here and here), so my next two reviews are also Gilbert books. It is too simple to say that I’m reading more of her work because I like her. She has an interesting voice. I’m fascinated with the leap she made as an author and with the spiritual peace she has found. She puzzles me more than I like her. And she is a good writer — her stories are compelling and her prose is thoughtful and precise.

So, Committed. It’s basically a follow-up to EPL, Continue reading

An anecdotal birthday present


My father’s birthday was this week. I missed it, because I’m at college. If I were home, I would have given him a hug. I’m not a daddy’s girl, but I do miss those sometimes. But since I am here, I am going to write instead.

I never considered my parents to have much to do with my reading, particularly my taste in books. Looking back now, obviously I see a lot more of it, but it is true that for the most part, I chose a lot of the things I read. However, in the last year or two, I have realized that my dad affected my taste in reading quite a bit. As a kid, one of the only things I knew how to talk about was books. So I was constantly talking about what I was reading, and then regularly pestering my parents for any suggestions of books to read. On one such occasion, my dad suggested Lloyd Alexander’s books. I took his suggestion, and as my title evidences, they became favorites of mine. I have read everything of Alexander’s that I can get my hands on (well over half his writings) and loved every moment. Somewhere in the train of my adolescent history, I forgot that my dad lit that spark. When I remembered, it became something precious, a point of connection that we seldom make, and certainly never vocalize.

My father also started me on sci-fi. He suggested Fahrenheit 451 and Isaac Asimov. I read and loved both. From there, I continued to read science fiction. He also suggested Brave New World, which I still remember and will still read at some point.

If you asked me today what my favorite genre was, my answer would likely be either fantasy, or fantasy/sci-fi, since sometimes they blend together inseparably in my mind. In either case, I have to acknowledge that my father probably started me on the path to loving both genres. That is something for which I am unspeakably grateful – small moments that have shaped me in innumerable ways.

Chances are, he doesn’t even realize the impact his book suggestions had on me. He may not even remember suggesting them. But I do. For that, I thank him very much.

Romance vs. Reality: Facebook


Do you ever wish you could give people a reality check? Really high on my list of said people would be Facebook couples. You know the ones I’m talking about. So, things I would tell them, if I could.

1. Literally no one cares about the 67 billion nearly identical and/or “cool” couple photos you post. Except maybe your mother/grandmother.

2. Nobody wants to read daily mushy statuses. We get it. You’re “happy”. You have a girlfriend/boyfriend. Now please shut up and stop telling us.

3. Private messages. Text messages. Email. Phone calls. There are a million other ways to tell them any of those things you posted on your significant other’s wall. Ways that will not trigger my vomit reflex.

4. Speaking of posts on walls – if you insist on posting about your separation anxiety (for the 50 minutes your bf/gf is in class), I will judge you. Not sorry.

5. If you insist on posting about your separation anxiety over the summer, I will laugh scornfully at your pain and refer you to my friends whose spouses are on duty overseas.

There it is. 5 things I would tell Facebook couples if I could. In case you’re wondering, this is not single bitterness either – I am happy in a relationship and I choose not to sicken my Facebook friends with it. And yes, I realize that I can hide/unfriend them and I do take those steps. But don’t you ever just want to tell people how it is???

/End rant. What do you guys think about relationships and social media? I barely scratched the surface here!

Romance and Reality


Let’s talk about love. I’ve avoided this subject on my blog for a few reasons. 1. I am happy in a committed relationship and I don’t want to flood you all with my gushing about that. 2. I am still very young to offer any kind of authoritative opinion on love. Let’s be honest – I might think I know what love is about, but I’m still in college. I really am just now learning. However, I do want to toss out some of my observations, both from my relationships and other people’s.

First, read closer than you think. That short post describes a major concept to me. Romance and love are not the same thing. I’ve seen too many girls wishing for a guy who will bring them flowers every day and sweep them off their feet with romantic gestures. Romantic films perpetuate this unrealistic desire. Romance is defined as: A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. Not love. Feelings related to love. Too much emphasis on the excitement and mystery undermines the foundation of a relationship.

I would not say that I’ve ever dated a guy who is overly romantic. I’m like any girl – I love being surprised and swept off my feet. But I also appreciate love. Without the mystery. And that’s what I want to talk about here.

I’ve found that the moments I appreciate most are the simple ones. The ones when I know that it’s not the excitement or mystery driving his actions. I know that it is love, unforced and rational (as it can be, at least). It’s there when he asks about the things I care about. When he thinks I’m beautiful, even though I’m sweaty and just downright nasty from exercising. When he is patient with my ridiculous moods. When he knows to just hold me. When he never complains about me being distracted by school. Or that I was too busy to call him for three days. He doesn’t complain that I spent an evening with my friends. He shares what he loves with me. He never holds back. He always tells me the truth. He doesn’t complain that I moved 400 miles away for the next 4 years to pursue my education.

That is all so much more important to me than flowers or chocolate (nice as they are). That is what will last for another 50 years, even if his gorgeous hair and addicting smile don’t. Hollywood movies: stop giving us expectations about all the romantic things our guy has to do. None of our relationships are going to look like that one. Let us appreciate the ones we love for who they are and the way they love us, even if that doesn’t always include flowers and chocolate.

(Next in my series on relationships: couples and facebook. Come prepared for a rant.)