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Droughtlander Book Club: Let’s do this

Drunk Austen

We are in a drought. Right now the state of Californis is slurping up its last dregs of water. More importantly, we are in the terrible waiting period between seasons of Outlander.

What are we to do? How are we to cope?!
By reading! Duh!

We’ll be reading the series together, tweeting about our progress and doing online meet ups. I suggest we do one book a month.

imageAugust – Outlander

September – Dragonfly in Amber

October – Voyager

November – Drums of Autumn

December – The Fiery Cross

January – Breath of Snow and Ashes

February – An Echo in the Bone

March – Written in My Own Heart’s Blood

The benefit of doing online posts as we go is that you can start at anytime (and leave off at anytime).

I’ll be making Facebook events over on Drunk Austen, so stay updated there for hangouts. Let me know…

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Familial obligations: On an aging parent

My grandmother raised me, so that means I’ve always faced certain obstacles sooner than my peers. My parental figure retired when I graduated high school. Anytime she’s in the hospital it’s a big deal. She constantly reminds me about her will and death policies.

While everyone eventually faces a moment of true concern for their parent, it isn’t usually when you’re in your 20s. It isn’t when you aren’t financially able to support the person you raised you (let alone yourself). Yes, a lot of people have it a lot worse than I do, but I was recently a witness to some concerning developments in her life.

I knew from living with her after college that she had developed some bad clutter habits. Living with her meant I could clean up behind her as much as possible and throw out spoiled food. Moving away was hard on us both, but it feels like it’s hit her hardest. Harder even then seeing me go off to college.

She finally admitted to me she’s been talking to a doctor about her depression. Which is good, but still makes me feel awful. It’s not easy to come and see her often, and when I do stay she doesn’t want to leave the house. She only goes out to get groceries or go to the library, or when I make her go for walks (disguised as shopping ventures). I’m worried about her lack of human contact and exercise. Neither of those things can be helping her depression.

My most recent trip raised an even bigger red flag about something amiss. Her fridge is bursting with food. More food than a single person could really eat. Upon further inspection I found that most of the half eaten produce was rotten. She also seems to have forgotten what she already had in stock, resulting in multiple repeats. 

Maybe I’m a wimp, but I almost cried when I saw five empty pickle jars in the fridge. Just sitting there, taking up space. I asked her why they were there and she vaguely mentioned maybe using the liquid to pickle more things. I showed her the labels, most of them were well past their use by date. 

I’m worried and I don’t know what to do, and I really have no one to turn to for assistance. I’m the relation living closest to her and expected to take the reigns when she needs care. I just feel like I can’t take care of her when I only see her for two days once a month or so. 

#ATXPrep: The Fosters

With only four weeks until the ATX Festival in Austin, Texas, I’m getting all kinds of pumped. I’ve decided to marathon as many shows as possible that will be featured at the fest, mostly the ones that have been on my to-watch list for far too long or that sounded interesting.

First off: The Fosters

*spoilers ahead*

I just finished it today and I had a lot of pre-conceived notions going into it. I actually didn’t think I’d like it at all. It’s definitely a high-drama after-school kind of show, but I liked that it pushes a lot of social issues for what is considered a “family” show. 

We get plopped into multiple story lines surrounding the people in the Foster home, which doubles as an actual foster-home for orphans. I like that there’s a lot of discussion around the adoption process and foster-system. They don’t hold back on taking jabs at the convoluted nature of government entities and how they sometimes do a diservice to the children. Also great, the storyline about cultural heritage in a foster-home we see Mariana address at her quinceanera and later at the Mexican streetfair.

Stef/Lena – The moms. They do a great job of trying to do what’s right for their kids, but, for the sake of plot, the kids are constantly doing something crazy. One of Stef’s storylines deals with familial/religious conflicts around her sexuality. 

Callie – Main character really. Has been bounced around the system for years. Slightly in love with her foster-brother.

Jude – Callie’s little half-brother who faces interesting plot lines around the development of sexual identity at a young age.

Brandon – Stef’s biological son who is a piano genius/golden boy. We all know he and Callie will probably end up doing the dirty at some point in the future.

Mariana – Drama queen of the show, but she actually has interesting experiences if you can get past how annoying she is. Loved when she joined STEM club!

Jesus – Mariana’s twin brother. Poor think. His storyline was more interesting when they focused on his ADD issues and not his lady probs.

Overall, it’s a captivating show for the genre and audience it’s meant for. I will probably make every attempt to see the new episodes as they air.

Drunk Austen comes to Austin

Drunk Austen

Hello lovely followers!

Admin B (hey, that’s me!) will be in Austin, Texas the first weekend in June for the Gilmore Girls reunion at the ATX Festival.

While I’m there I was thinking of organizing a Drunk Austen cocktail hour meet up if there’s enough interest.

If you are down to drink and talk about Darcy let me know! Comment on this post, like it on Facebook and message us on Twitter. Look out for an official event on the Facebook page.

– Admin B

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I’m going to the ATX Television Festival to see the Gilmore Girls reunion.

So I’m adding a countdown to my WordPress homepage. Let’s get excited!

Valentine’s Day for spinsters

darcyI love Valentine’s Day. If you know me, then you know I adore Jane Austen, worship Nora Ephron and have pinup tendencies that are not to be ignored.


So Valentine’s Day is a holiday I naturally embrace, despite being perpetually single.

I try to send Valentine’s cards to people every year, and really, I’m more fond of this tradition than I am of sending Christmas cards.

This year I bought blank, recycled cards and made my own, unique cards for each person. It was a great excuse to have craft nights.

I also (finally) had enough income to have a sweet treat delivered to people I appreciate. I have cupcakes delivered from Cako to two of the offices I worked in last year. It was my way of saying thanks and just knowing that it was a surprise for people made my day. Sure, I’d love to horde the cupcakes for myself, but knowing that others had a pick-me-up made me happy.

So yes, I am cheesy about at least one holiday. I’m shameless about my affection for heart-shaped anythings, and I’m happy to share that with other people during this time of year.

Don’t let Valentine’s Day become a thing that makes you feel bad about being single, or stresses you out about gift-giving. Own it as a day to celebrate love in all its abstract forms, not just romantic.

Also, dream of Mr. Darcy.

Career Shower!

When I landed my adult job that successfully put me on my career path I threw myself a Career Shower.


What is that? It’s just like a Wedding Shower or Baby Shower, but for my career. It’s a way to supply my home and home office with the necessities I needed when I moved away.

It really just consisted of me registering at Target (wedding registry, because Target doesn’t yet have a category for celebrating my own success) and having a farewell dinner.

I made the decisions a long while ago to not have babies or get married. (I’ve had people argue that I may get married one day, but since I’ve prioritized my career I won’t be getting married soon. I feel even more validated in having a shower now, when I’m starting off and trying to get settled, than when I’m older and will probably have enough money to provide my home with simple things like lamps and plates.)

My career is my baby. Think of it that way if it helps.

I’ve given my career YEARS of love, money and mostly tears. I think I’ve spent more time on my career than most people do planning a wedding or a family.

(Cue sounds of a gauntlet being thrown.)

I’ve had numerous people argue this, but the fact remains that the society I live in still doesn’t accept the life-choices of young career-driven ladies as easily as it does men.

I want Career Showers to become the norm. I want society to celebrate female success that doesn’t involve a baby or a spouse.

I’ve been told that Sex and the City tackles the career-woman issue in much the same way. Carrie has a friend with a baby that just doesn’t respect her life decisions in the same way she respects that woman’s family planning choices. It’s sad that not much has changed since the episode aired in 2003.

And I totally took note of the people who didn’t contribute to my shower. Those people aren’t getting shit for their weddings or babies.

Career Tip #2: Don’t give up.

That was my last tip in the previous post, and it’s true.

Real-talk: I was working holiday retail with a master’s degree from a well-known university months after graduating. And I applied for every job I could. I never stopped trying.

“But applying for jobs is HARD!” I hear you say….

Yes, it is.


In fact, applying for jobs is a FULL-TIME JOB! (Cliche as it is, it’s true.)

Until I had slightly more solid employment I had the same routine:

  • Wake up. Make coffee.
  • Finish applications I didn’t get to the previous night and search job sites for new listings. (There weren’t usually a lot of new jobs listed in the mornings, I assume because HR people haven’t gotten in to post them yet.)
  • Go to work/internship.
  • Start looking through job listings on way home (via handy apps) and send self links that I can open and respond to on my laptop.
  • Get home. Eat. Pop on a DVD or Netflix and finish going through my regular sites until I had every single job I qualified for in my queue.
  • Apply for as many as I can before sleep takes over.

Really. That was my daily life. Weekends were grand because there weren’t usually new listings so I actually got to go outside and enjoy sunlight.

Everyone has a different method, but here are my favorite sites:

  • Indeed: You should get the app. Login to save your searches, create alerts and have resumes on hand for instant applications.
  • Craigslist: Not as great as Indeed for jobs, but I found a pretty groovy internship through it, so give it a try. Also has an app.
  • MediaBistro: Great for media jobs. Great variety for the industry (art, photo, etc.).
  • Journalism Jobs: Same. Good media jobs, mostly papers and broadcast.
  • Idealist: Mostly non-profit, do-good jobs. Random communications jobs sneak their way in.

I also went directly to the source. When I was living in Los Angeles I was searching directly on the Disney Careers site and network sites (like CBS, NBC and Fox). A lot of sites will let you subscribe to a mailing list that will notify you when new listings come up.

Pro tip: Have multiple resumes and cover letters saved on your desktop. I had sets made up for a variety of jobs I was applying for. My production assistant resume was very different from my sustainability assistant resume. My general cover letters were reserved for jobs that didn’t require a cover letter, but accepted them. I always had a general template for different industries and inserted company names, position details and highlighted different qualifications as needed.

Don’t reinvent the wheel every time you apply for something. If you’re applying for 30+ positions a day, you just don’t have time for it. (But make sure you proofread. That’s essential.)


Yes, this all gets overwhelming and there will be times that you can’t believe you’re applying for some jobs (HOLIDAY RETAIL!), but if you need to make rent, you won’t question it. No job is below you because, like Drake, you can sing about how you started from the bottom one day.

*This is mostly helpful for media-centered jobs. Don’t ask me about teaching or science jobs. I’m out of my element with those.*

The sweetest thing anyone said to me all day


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