Summer in the Trenches

Perhaps you’ve asked yourself, “Self, where has lyseofllyr been this summer? She hasn’t posted anything.” So glad you asked!
Black Balsam
That’s where I spent the summer. Well, not literally at Black Balsam Knob, but in the Blue Ridge mountains. I was counseling at a Christian camp for 10 of the most fantastic weeks of my life. Continue reading

Limbo (Also: I might be crazy)

After 1 entire week of no job or classes, I am back at school. I came early for work training, but that’s all over today. Classes don’t start until Wednesday. Work doesn’t start until Monday. It’s just me, alone in my dorm room, with nothing to do.

That’s not quite true. I have books I could read, paperwork I could fill out, organizing I could do, and naps I could take. But I have nothing I must do. And it feels so weird….

I forget how to function when I don’t have a demanding schedule. When my mind is not full of a never-ending task list. I can’t sleep at night, because I’m not exhausted. I could read…but without looming deadlines to make that recreational reading seem precious, I have no desire. It has been like this since I left my full-time job at home a week ago. I didn’t even pack until the day before I left, because there was no urgency.

I am ready for school to start. I want schedules, syllabi, textbooks, an agenda. I thrive on meeting deadlines and completing assignments. I am crazy.

Bright moments

Instead of talking about something deep and emotional, I just want to share a few things that I love right now. With any luck, some of you will reinforce my good taste with your comments about how much you LOVE these things too. 😉 And you might be introduced to something new!

#1. Firefly. I just finished watching all 14 episodes. Anything good you’ve ever heard anyone say about Firefly, it’s true. I am hooked on the characters, dialogue, world…basically, I’m completely hooked on everything about it. I have a feeling I will be watching all 14 episodes a few more times this summer. (For the uninitiated, Firefly is an incomplete TV show by the geek god Joss Whedon (also director of Avengers). Firefly is a bit like cowboys meets space, but that’s putting it entirely too simply. Seriously, just watch an episode for yourself.)

#2. The Fault In Our Stars. I’m re(re)(re)reading this masterpiece by John Green. It’s been almost a year since the last time I read it, which is entirely too long. From the first page, I remembered why I love TFIOS so much – every word is perfect. The characters and dialogue and story grab you and will not let go. I was already a huge fan of John Green and everything he is involved in, but this book is his best work so far, without a doubt. There is a movie in the works too – I’m very mixed in my opinion on this news. On one hand, it’s super cool that this book is getting recognition and being made into film. It will probably also be good for John Green’s career, which is neat! However, so much of the magic of the book comes from the writing. Hazel and Gus are such developed characters that I’m not sure actors will really be able to be them. I will see the movie, of course, but like I said, mixed about it.

#2b. Check out Hank and John Green’s Youtube channel vlogbrothers! Basically, they are two super cool people and representatives of geeky, intelligent people. Also, they are hilarious. And John and his wife just had a baby! Yay!!!

#3. While I’m on the topic of Youtube….let’s talk about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Readers, wonderful readers, if you have not watched the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I direct you here. Also, be prepared to lose several hours of your life. Basically, this is a web series adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. It is hysterical and real and heartstrings tugging. They do justice to the masterpiece that is Miss Austen’s novel and simultaneously nod to the movie adaptations, both BBC and the recent Keira Knightley version (my favorite…no throwing tomatoes at me!) I finished the videos soon after my return from school and I loved it. Granted, it starts out a little slow, but by the time you hit the middle, things really pick up! And the ending is amazing.

#4. In the book and movie category, I give you Anne of Green Gables! I recently watched a youtube compilation of the movie clips covering Anne and Gilbert’s relationship, which was a fun (heartbreaking) ride. It also brought back a lot of memories. I read the entire Anne series as a young girl and really identified with it. Anne’s character is very real – quirky, funny, smart, confident, but insecure. Her (fictional) life journey is compelling and unforgettable. The first film adaptation (with Megan Follows) is also really good, although the sequels are not nearly as accurate to the books.

I wish I could put more books on this list, but I’ve been so busy with work, school, and life-sucking TV shows (looking at you, Firefly) that I haven’t done much reading. Hopefully later in the summer I will have some good book reviews!

So tell me, did I introduce you to anything new? Do you already love these? Please tell me! And don’t hate me if I give you a new time-sucking addiction. 😉

Sound of Summer in the South

In the south, you can hear and see the heat. Every summer, the ceaseless background noise is the humming of cicadas. As a kid, I actually did think the noise was the sound of heat. There are lots of cicadas where I live, and they have this undulating buzz….a constant up and down, like the way heat looks over pavement. The heat is all-encompassing – hits you like a wet wall when you walk outside, you can see and hear it in waves. I love it – it is invigorating to soak up the sun. It can also be exhausting….it’s impossible to keep from getting sweaty…that can happen in the time it takes to walk from the door to my car.

The cicadas have been a staple of my childhood. They leave these awesome shells, completely intact, around the trees. My sister and I had fun finding and collecting them. The actual cicadas though, we don’t see very often. They stay up in the trees. I did see one though….on a trip to camp. 😀 I was in a cabin with 7 other girls, sharing two showers. When I shook out my towel one morning, a cicada fell out. They look pretty scary, especially to a junior high girl….this big black bug. I knew what it was though, so it didn’t bother me. But I did purposely leave it in the shower when I got out. The following scream was quite satisfying. 😀 In the end, I was the one who took it outside, because I was the only one that knew it was harmless. My final comment about cicadas is that they may be ugly, but they have really pretty iridescent wings. Note: there are many species of cicada all over the world, so everything I’ve mentioned is simply my experience with the cicadas in my area. If you’re curious, I suggest you check out the Wikipedia article I linked earlier. There are great pictures, recordings, even a video of a molting cicada.

This is just one aspect of Southern summer that I love. People complain about the heat here…constantly wish it would be cooler. But I love it. I soak up the heat….wouldn’t trade it for anything. I could never survive up north. I’m a southern girl raised on the summer song of the cicada.

What’s your favorite thing about summer in your area?