After a semester of reading all day every day, I feel like my reading has seriously slowed down since coming home. However, I’m out of ideas for a blog post today (I was sick with the stomach flu this week) so I figure now is as good as ever to post about the books I’m slowlyyyyyy reading. There are only three this time: Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzie Lee, Stain by A.G. Howard, and Sweethearts Unmet by Berta Ruck.
Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World by Mackenzie Lee
This book names 52 lesser known but pretty awesome women from history. It ranges from Hatshepsut (female Pharaoh of Egypt circa 1508-1458 BC) to Sybil Ludington (the female Paul Revere and a personal favorite of high school Amy) to Rukmini Devi Arundale (1904-1986 Indian dancer). I love the idea of this book but the author’s reliance on pithy, “hip” language undermines the awesomeness of these women and leaves the book already feeling pretty dated.
Stain by A.G. Howard
Stain is the newest Princess and the Pea retelling and I was super excited to read it. Unfortunately, it is super long and super boring. Not sure I’ll make it through all 500+ pages…at least, not this time through.
Sweethearts Unmet by Berta Ruck.
Berta Ruck wrote women’s novels before, during, and after World War I. Sweethearts Unmet begins with a fairly standard Berta Ruck plot: regular, “nice” girl meets regular, “nice” boy. This particular novel examines romance post-war where all the usual nuances of wooing no longer exist.
Thought I was done talking about Thailand? Me too.
But guess what Thammasat University finally produced this morning? The final I never received.
As in, the final due June 15 that they never sent out? Yeah, it is now due July 15.
Good thing I didn’t get around to throwing out my notes yet. (That was actually what I planned to do this weekend because who expects a final at the end of June when school has been out over a month?)
To quote my Mom, it is like I’m back being homeschooled. School never ends. You just do it all summer.
In theory, living with my parents comes with several perks. I get to see my family every day, not worry about paying rent, eat cooked meals. What’s not to love?
My daily commute, that is what.
Since my drive falls during rush hour, I am on the road anywhere from 3 to 4 hours on any given day getting to and from work.
It was much worse before I got glasses. I’d squint into the darkening sky and feel tired and cranky. Then I got glasses and everything got better. (No, seriously, lack of eye strain is the BEST. #Iloveglasses)
The other perk of my job is that my boss doesn’t have me come when he is on vacation. And as he is mostly retired, he goes on vacation a lot. I have yet to go more than 3 days driving in at a time.
Anyway, I’m apartment hunting and plotting my return to Madison. Until then, I’m grateful for:
- vehicles that run
- an awesome job
- retired bosses
Today marks one year since the Wisconsin Supreme Court released their decision in Tetra Tech v. DOR and forever changed administrative deference standards in Wisconsin. That might seem like a weird anniversary to celebrate, but I’ve spent the last year discussing, writing, and debating the implications of the case. I could probably quote most of it by this point.
Since it is the anniversary, this feels like a good time to make an announcement I somehow never got around to making: The Wisconsin Law Review is publishing my student Note on administrative deference in Tetra Tech v. DOR.
It is a huge honor. I’ve known for a few months now but I still want to give myself a little pinch.
Though called a Note, my paper spans 33 pages with 237 footnotes. I love the subject, but I won’t lie, it was one of the most miserable things I’ve ever written. It took multiple drafts and honest advice I did not always want to hear. In fact, I’m still editing it for its publication this coming Fall. But I am grateful for the experience. I can see how it impacted my writing. I am a better writer and thinker because of the experience.
And if you ever want to know about administrative deference standards…I’m your girl.
One of the first things I did upon returning to the U.S…I got glasses!
Well, actually, I’ve had glasses for a year. I got them last year but didn’t like wearing them because they made it very hard to look at anything up close. (I’m naturally nearsighted. Probably from all the books I read.)
I went to a professional eye-doctor this time and not a Wal Mart guy. Turns out, I had a completely wrong prescription! (Who is surprised? Not me.)
I was told I would only need to wear my new glasses when doing far-sighted stuff (like driving) but I’ve started wearing them all the time. It is so wonderful to see. Like, really see.
I don’t have any pictures of just me yet to show them off but let it be known…I’m a huge fan.
And so the plane touched down and I arrived back in the United States after five months away. My Mom and sister met me at the airport. I was so happy to be back I almost kissed the ground.
And then I remembered, I was in Chicago.
My last day, I met up with a friend for a quick lunch before heading to the airport. My flight left at 6 pm. Or so I thought.
Turns out, in my eagerness to leave Bangkok, I somehow confused the times. I didn’t leave till 6 am the next day.
Which left me a whole night with no place to go and three huge suitcases.
Thankfully, I made this discovery at lunch and my friend kindly offered to let me crash at her apartment. Thailand, as per usual, was not going to let me go without a traffic jam. We hailed a taxi for the 40 minute trip to her apartment…
And arrived 3 hours later.
It ended up working out, however. My friend helped me repack my suitcases and we watched movies and walked around her local mall. She was flying out a week later also to move back home to the U.S. so it was a day of goodbyes for both of us.
I made it to the airport by 2 am and managed to stay awake till I boarded my flight.
It all feels very symbolic, in a way. I showed up too early. A friend reached out her hand and helped pull me out of my confusion and anxiety. Traffic made things messy. It all worked out in the end.
And that it did. It all worked out in the end.
I spent my final [official] night in Thailand at Rainforest Guest House & Café. I highly recommend the place if you find yourself in Bangkok. Though called a hostel, it comes with your own room, bathroom, and a complimentary breakfast…all for under $20!
It is the sort of place you feel like should be the background for a movie. It is cute in a vintage, start-of-an-inconvenient-adventure sort of way.
In fact, that’s exactly what I told my sister when I first arrived:
“I am in a romantic comedy right now. First, my hostel comes with a really narrow stairwell which you have to drag your suitcase up to get to your room, which totally feels like what the heroine from a rom com would have to do. And second, I’m wearing a hat and I never wear hats. It is totally something the heroine from a rom com would do.”
Well, nothing romantic happened during my stay and most of the comedy involved me laughing at myself, but I still recommend the place!
(Look at that hat. Totally belongs in a romantic comedy)
My final days in Thailand left me feeling very loved by my church family.
It wasn’t necessarily anything specific…
Shopping, laughter, extra messages asking when I’m leaving or what my last days looked like.
But they made me feel loved and seen. I even got a shout out in church.
And though there isn’t a lot I would say I miss about Thailand, my church there is definitely one thing.
I cannot imagine the last few months without them. They became my family. ❤