27 June 2013

Belonging vs. Fitting In

A while back I read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. It was a pretty good book, though not as life changing as Susan Cain's Quiet. Nevertheless Brown made some interesting points. One thing inparticular that I liked where the responses (p. 232) that a bunch of 8th graders gave her to the difference between belonging and fitting in:

"Belonging is being somewhere where you want to be, and they want you. Fitting in is being somewhere where you really want to be, but they don't care one way or the other."

"Belonging is being accepted for you. Fitting in is being accepted for being like everyone else."

"I get to be me if I belong. I have to be like you to fit in."

I think they got it right. Do you belong or do you fit in?

24 June 2013

National Book Festival

Welcome to part two of our "series." This a post from when I went to the National Book Festival back in 2011:

I went into the District on Saturday and headed the National Book Festival--2 days where the nation (or the DC Metro area at least) celebrates books. When I heard about the festival I thought to myself , "I like festivals, I love books, this seems like the perfect way to spend an afternoon." It was amazing. And I got a cool earth friendly bag. I can't wait to go again next year.

19 June 2013

We'll call it a "series"

Posting in "series" seems to be all the rage these days in the blogosphere. So, it seems appropriate that I join the trend in my sometimes I post and sometimes I don't sort of way. And truly, my series is more of a series of re-posts than anything.

A number of years ago I started a wordpress blog because I'd heard that wordpress was pretty cool and I felt the need to have separate blogs for food and for books and for everything else. I still think that wordpress is pretty cool, but I've realized that one blog is really almost more than I handle.

Last year for one of my classes I took my wordpress blog and completely redid it so that it now functions as an online portfolio. Feel free to visit it and check out the cool things I do (or not, whatever). When I revamped that blog I kept all the blog posts that I had posted in their own neat little tab. All the posts were book related and were pretty interesting. I've since decided that they don't really go with the rest of the content of my website, but since they are interesting and kind of cool I've decided to repost them here so that you all can enjoy them.

As a disclaimer. When it seems like super old news, that's because it is.

To kick this series off I present to you:

A reference desk made entirely out of used books!
And there are even more photos of this desk here.

18 June 2013

Book dominos

I watched this video today and thought it was pretty awesome. I will admit though that I watched it on a computer without sound, so I have no idea what kind of explanation/audio the video has. I'm sure something informative. But it's still a cool movie. Way to go Seattle!

17 June 2013

More Gardening Tales

I commited the number one gardening crime this weekend. I pulled my tomato plants up by their roots to see if they were growing. Now you all can gasp and sputter and wonder why I would commite such a heinous (and obviously stupid) crime. Well, I had some (questionably) good reasons for digging up my plants.

My tomato plants were grown from seed by someone else. And they had been grown in some kind of peat-y thing that had a sort of fabric-y thing surrounding the roots (which made them super easy to transport) and I'm sure is the best way to grow seedlings. For whatever reason it didn't occur to me that the fabric-y thing would be a problem for the roots, so when I planted them, I just planted them as they were.

A week or so after I planted my tomatoes I was attempting to repot a couple of my indoor plants and one I was trying to split one of them into two pots I discovered, among other things, that it was planted in styrofoam (this is a story for another day). While I was trying in vain to split the two halves of the plant I broke up the roots and generally gave the plant a good shock. I figured I'd killed it. But it sprang back better than ever in less than a day. I've never seen that plant look so good--which was fabulous when I gave it to a friend for a house warming gift. (Apparently I've become one of those people who has plants and gives them as gifts and stuff--this caught me by surprise. Almost as much as when I discovered that I'm one of those people who actually really likes vegetables.)

And then not long ago I was reading a blog post about planting/designing pots for your front porch and it talked about the importance of making sure you break the roots up and such when you repot things. This seemed to jive with my experience with repotting my own plants. And seemed like a good explanation for why my tomatoes after having been in my garden for a couple weeks are no bigger than they were when I planted and if anything looked worse.

So, I decided the only thing to do was to pull them up and take off that fabric-y stuff I should have taken off originally. And I did (and you know, pretty much none of them had any roots that had poked through the fabric-y stuff). Sadly, I can't say that they've since grown amazingly or even look any better. But maybe when the sun comes out they'll grow?

05 June 2013

Tomato plants

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently became the owner of four little tomato seedlings. Last weekend (when it was stiflingly hot outside) I planted my little plants in my garden. And then today I put tomato stakes in too.

Getting the tomato stakes was quite the ordeal. I have a friend who had offered them to me a while back and for a number of reasons I hadn't picked them up yet. Yesterday this friend moved out of state and told me to just go behind his house and get them out of his garden. So I did. I wasn't prepared for what I found. I had figured they'd be a couple feet tall (like the ones my parents have) and so riding my bike there on my way to work in a dress and heels would be fine. Nope. These tomato stakes are about four feet tall and were still tied to the remnants of last years tomatoes. I quickly realized that there was no way I could get these stakes home on my bike after work. Some quick thinking though found me a solution. I called up my roommate and arranged to drop them by her work on my way and she'd bring them home with her. I'm pretty sure I looked a sight riding across the JFK St. bridge on my bike, in my dress, wearing heels, and hauling three large pointy tomato stakes. One other biker did compliment me on my self-defense-resourcefulness. No one was going to mess with me...He had a point.

Tomato Stakes almost as big as my bike
Moral of the story: Don't try to haul tomato stakes on a bicycle. Get someone with a car to pick them up.

But at least now with my giant stakes my tomato plants can grow to be huge.

Heels anybody?