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There are probably better ways to use my time.

You guys. I have a lot of lame hobbies. Among these, there’s looking at calendars online (not shopping for them, not printing them out and USING them.. just looking at them in awe), e-stalking this person, freaking out when I recognize actors that play secondary characters across different shows*


In my last post I posted a clip of Glee where Sandy Ryerson yells at someone for not knowing who Josh Groban is. Last weekend, I watched Groundhog Day with Ernesto and was super excited to see a young, less pastel-covered Sandy (whose name is Stephen Toboloswky IRL) hanging out with Bill Murray.


While I was looking for relevant pictures to put on this blog, I found THIS ONE..

.. and then it took like 20 seconds to find Stephen Tobolowsky’s AMA and his podcast. Which I am listening to right now. He’s talking about yogurt and heart surgery and being a terrible bowler. (!!!!)
Okay, so that unprecedented detour does a pretty good job of depicting how I spend an alarming amount of my free time. It’s an even more alarming amount now that I’m in this awkward space before school and work start again. Since Ernesto already has a life, I spend most of the day alone in our apartment trying to ignore the 3 boxes that have been halfway unpacked for the past 3 weeks and dividing my time between the hobbies previously discussed and watching old episodes of Project Runway.
At first, I was like, “Why is this the first time I’m watching this show? I should’ve listened to Person From High School Who Recommended It. This show is incredible. Omg Tim Gunn.” And thennn I realized that what I love about this show is that it’s exactly like watching episodes of people working on art projects at Carleton until 4 in the morning, had those episodes ever been filmed. It took 3 years of being in Boliou the night before (or morning of) a deadline, running on no sleep and being surrounded by 11-15 people who are freaking out, followed by a 2-hour critique where everyone tells you all the different ways they hate your piece and one part they liked about it to appreciate what goes on in Project Runway. Granted, Michael Kors is a little bit more creative with the insults he hands out, but you get the picture. So yeah, I’ve felt sort of like a veteran who can’t stop watching war movies.
In an attempt to feel less gross about myself after finishing Season 8, I started looking for new books for my Kindle. Ernesto got me The Firm and well.. okay, I thought I’d lost all respect for John Grisham when I learned he was responsible for Christmas with the Kranks. WRONG. It turns out that I still had a light at the end of my John Grisham tunnel, and that light disappeared with The Firm. I don’t think I’m even ready to talk about this yet. I’m definitely not one against trashy novels (remember sophomore fall term at Carleton, when I read like 4 Princess Diary Books AND the entire Queen of Babble series AND both of the Bridget Jones’ Diary books? If it sounds super lonely and pitiful, it’s cause it was. But at least it was enjoyable), but The Firm made me want to sue John Grisham for allowing himself to accept a spot on the bestseller list.

After that debacle, I was browsing r/kindlefreebies and THIS IS WHERE IT GETS GOOD I found this website that has a hundred free e-books.. Oh man. Oh. Man. I don’t even have the words to convey how terrible/awesome it was, so I’ve picked out a few of the most memorable titles (accompanied by the original cover art and a brief description by the author):

My favorite cover is definitely Plankton We Have Heard on High, but it’s tough to choose. Part of me sort of wants to download some of these and see if the inside is as entertaining as the outside, but I don’t want to spoil the illusion.

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22B422 Pt. 19: Things Currently On My Coffee Table

– A thing of nail polish in “Spring Fling,” which looks peach-colored in the bottle but gold and tacky on my fingernails.

– A milkglass vase with flowers from last summer’s wedding

– A Swingline stapler

– One green mug with a sad little puddle of Coke Zero at the bottom

– One compostable plastic cup 1/3 filled with trail mix I took from the junior art show opening

– One unwrapped box of chocolate-covered macadamias

– Ernesto’s unused Lagniappe

– One Glade candle that smells like “Clean Linen” or “Fresh Cotton” or something similar to give the illusion that any laundry ever gets done in this apartment

– Half of a chocolate chip cookie from Sayles

– One Energizer battery charger

– One new copy of “A Century of Revolution” by Grendin & Joseph

– One used copy of “Keep it Real” by Lee Gutkind

– One used and battered copy of “The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager” by Thomas Hine

– A teal-colored ceramic Sun/Moon that I haven’t found a nail for

– A framed print of Paws/Pause

– One used copy of “The Motorcycle Diaries”

– The Spring/Summer Northfield community ed catalog

– A Victoria’s Secret catalog

– One copy of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” that is property of John Marshall High School

– One sealed envelope addressed to the Mayo Scholarship Plan

– One printout of a reddit IAMA thread titled, “I transport exotic and unusual shipments for FedEx. AMA”

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22B422 pt. 9: Books J.K. Rowling Should Write

J.K. Rowling recently announced her new novel, The Casual Vacancy. According to Rowling, the “blackly comic” book will be a departure from the Potter series, focusing on the events of a small idyllic town. While this is a perfectly reasonable narrative for an author to pursue, I think J.K. Rowling isn’t doing this right. The past decade of fame and fortune following the UNPARALLELED WONDER that is Harry Potter allows her the freedom to write absolutely anything she wants for this next book. No matter what, people are going to read this first non-Potta book, because they’ll want to see what non-magical things she has to offer.

Think of the possibilities, J.K.
The possibilities are endless, J.K.
J.K., but seriously. (geddit x3)

Books J.K. Rowling Should Publish Instead of “The Casual Vacancy
Sixty-One Different Ways to Fold A Sock, the story of a half-Japanese adolescent girl who reconciles her heritage with her individuality by repurposing lost socks into origami figures. 
My Favorite Crayola Colors in Reverse Alphabetical Order, Wisteria, Wild Blue Yonder, Unmellow Yellow… what comes next? Read to find out.

No Pain, No Gain: Reforming Education One Spank at a Time, one woman’s take on Education reform.

Even Eva Excitedly Electrocuted Erin’s Excellent Essay, a collection of 26 short stories, each dedicated to one letter of the  English alphabet.

Who, Who, Who?, where the author expands on several theories about who let the dogs out.

When Everyday Is Hobo Day, the heartbreaking account of a girl whose old, tattered sweatpants chemically merged with her skin.

Where The Wild Things Aren’t, including but not limited to: Thursdays on First, Mai Fete, under the bed, in the passenger’s seat, and so on.

Standing Ovations That Weren’t Deserved, recounting the author’s long history of being too generous with her applause, and the disastrous results that followed. 

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22B422 Pt. 8: My Half-Blood Prince

Do you remember when Harry Potta got all A’s in Potions because he was lucky enough to get the Half-Blood Prince’s old copy of Advanced Potion Making? And he used the annotations scribbled on the margins of each dusty page to learn a bunch of secret spells that were really good at hurting people? Well, I’m going through basically the same experience with my used copy of Freaks, Geeks and Cool Kids, one of the books for my ed studies class. The main difference is that the annotations in my book are totally irrelevant and very, very entertaining.

The Half-Blood Prince’s copy of Freaks, Geeks and Cool Kids.  It even looks old-timey and full of secret secrets! Also, check out my cute potholder in the corner.
Feast your eyes on these notes from page 19.
Doesn’t that look promising? Clearly, the Half-Blood Prince (HBP) of Educational Studies doesn’t give a crap about Cindy Tiedeman’s 20% Underline rule. 
It’s gonna be hard to put this person’s notes in context, but we’ll give this a shot. 
“this is the underlined part in textbook” this is the HBP’s annotation
My Favorite HBP Notes From Chapter 1:
“My goal is not to portray the full complexity of high school.” I like that she outright says this for H.S. is very traumatizing for some

“A long line of research … argues that family background is a strong determinant of educational attainment than most other things.” I agree my mother did not care but my stepdad made me work my ass off so I could succeed

authoritative parenting” best type

“… the relatively weak effect of parents is seen in the children of immigrants” But is it because they are trying to fit in “Grandma”

“Benjamin Spock” best baby book!

Perhaps what is wrong with young people is simply a reflection of the class structure of society…” LOL Dew is an idiot 

I reject this assumption.” SO DO I

… expelling students requires complicated and time-consuming processes.” and most times is wanted

“Schooling becomes another form of consumption.” There is so much to do how do students do hw

“… horrific school shootings like those at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, have contributed to the perception that our schools are not only ineffective, but unsafe.” Social hatred u cant do this horrible act these kids need help

“youngsters” who uses this

(at the top of one page) There is a lot of info that she says but does not matter
While some of the notes are fairly straightforward, and echo many of the sentiments that one might feel during readings, most of the mysterious HBP’s notes are like weird, lopsided holes in a chainlink fence that are big enough for me to know that the stuff on the other side might be interesting, but not big enough for me to squeeze through and see what the heck this person is talking about. Who’s “Grandma”? Is it like, HBP’s grandma, or is HBP referring to the author as Grandma? (Throughout the entire first chapter,  HBP keeps referring to the male author as “she.” It spices up the reading.) Who is Dew and why is Dew an idiot? How is expulsion ‘wanted’? Does HBP love his stepdad more than his mom? 

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22B422 Pt. 2: Quotes I Wish I’d Said

It was just General Conference weekend, which meant that I got to go home and enjoy my favorite family tradition: the Lopez-Ledesma family crepe (approx 30000 calories of nutella-strawberry-banana-raspberry-whipped-cream goodness, with bottomless 1% milk to wash it down). I also got to cheer every time Dieter F. Uchtdorf was on screen, because he’s my favorite member of the presidency (are we allowed to have favorites? too late) and he can’t see me not being reverent.

I’m a huge Uchtdorf fan (seriously, that man does not disappoint), and I, like everyone else watching, enjoyed when he quoted the well-known bumper sticker, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you,” in one of his talks. What I’m not a fan of is the way that LDS bloggers/tumblrs/pinteresters/facebookers/tweeters everywhere are now attributing that bumper sticker quote to Pres. Uchtdorf himself. Please, let’s give credit where credit is due, and credit is due to an anonymous bumper sticker Pres. Uchtdorf saw on some beat-up old Chevy (OR A PRETTY LITTLE SOUPED UP FOUR WHEEL DRIVE) (never gets old).

That said, if people are willing to say that reading something is the same thing as coming up with it on one’s own, let me offer some suggestions for quotes I wouldn’t mind being incorrectly attributed to me:

1. “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win.” -Paulina Lopez (not Stephen King)

2. “I tried to pay attention, but attention paid me.” -Paulina Lopez (not Lil’ Wayne)

3. “Regretaphor.” -Paulina Lopez (not Todd Anderson)

4. “When I walk out of the shop, this is what I see/ Katniss Everdeen is a-lookin at me/ I got a loaf in my hand and I ain’t afraid to throw it throw it throw it/ I’m Peeta and you know it.” -Paulina Lopez (not  from Pinterest)

5. “Rice is great when you’re hungry and want 2,000 of something.” -Paulina Lopez, (not Mitch Hedberg)

6. “It was enough for me this morning just to write; with Spring coming in through the open windows and my good Canadian quill in my hand, I could have copied out a directory. That is the real pleasure of writing.” -Paulina Lopez (not A. A. Milne)

7. “I hope the dogs don’t bark tonight. I alway’s think it’s mine.” – Paulina Lopez (not Albert Camus).

8. “Frisbee people won’t let it go. My theory is that this is because there’s a huge overlap between people who are good at frisbee and people who do Teach For America.” – Paulina Lopez (not Mindy Kaling)

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Try Again

A year ago on this very day, my dad dropped me off at the DMV so I could try for a third time to pass my driving test. The first time, I hadn’t turned on what was allegedly a turn-only lane. The second time, I had knocked a cone coming out of my perfectly executed parallel park. On the morning of the third attempt, the roads were covered in three inches of cold mush and I decided that if I made it out alive to see the DMV guy circle the FAIL on my sheet, I would spend the rest of the day wallowing in the safety of my self-pity while watching the O.C.

And then by some seasonally appropriate miracle, I passed! I don’t remember actually driving during the test, I just remember getting into the car and then parking at the end and hearing the guy next to me say “Well, you passed,” before listing all the things I did wrong. It’s likely that everyone at the DMV could tell I was shocked about passing, considering that I looked like a deer in headlights when I got my picture taken.
So, happy birthday, Driver’s License!
Another notable accomplishment that required several attempts is getting through a Stephen King novel, which instantly became a priority starting in 9th grade when I learned that he was a Red Sox fan. Deciding to finish a novel by the nation’s most celebrated horror book writer was a big deal, considering how I was too scared to keep my eyes open during this scene from The Princess Bride until I turned 13.
And so:
Cujo, 9th grade, stopped reading after the 5th page
The Stand, 9th grade, stopped reading after the first person died
Insomnia, 11th grade, stopped reading after second chapter
The Shining, last summer, fearlessly finished entire book! (It may have helped that I’d seen the movie 10 years ago and sort of knew how things ended. But still.)
Moral of the story: Dreams really do come true! All it takes is a lot of nagging from your parents about how you’re the only person left in high school/college who doesn’t drive, or consistent teasing from your best friend for not wanting to watch The Ring 2.
So, take that, world! I’ve read a scary book and I get to drive myself back to Northfield in two weeks, what up?

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How to Go to New York for Free


  • The Hours (worth it)
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (not worth it)
  • The Princess Diaries (worth it )
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (so worth it)
  • The Great Gatsby (worth it)
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (extra worth it)
  • The Cather in the Rye (not worth it)
  • The School Story (so worth it)
  • The Stand (worth it)


  • The Devil Wears Prada
  • Ghostbusters
  • Along Came Polly
  • You’ve Got Mail
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • A Troll in Central Park
  • Annie
  • We’re Back
  • August Rush
  • Big Daddy
  • Elf
  • Three Men and a Baby
  • Home Alone 2
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Men in Black
  • West Side Story
  • King Kong
  • Tootsie

and so on.

Listen to:

  • Breakfast At Tiffany’s
  • Crazy for this Girl
  • Maria, Maria
  • Spin Me Round (like a record)
  • No Hay Marcha en Nueva York
  • Killer Queen
  • Lovestoned