The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits

September 19th, 2013 · Books

If you are a psychic, do you lose a part of yourself because of your connection to others?

Can you always trust your intuition?


Julavits explores how a psychic intuition can leave one feeling isolated. Julia, the protagonist, has suffered a psychic attack that leaves her sick and without purpose. An avant-garde scholar offers her a job to look for a mysterious woman who has ties to her dead mother’s past.

The story positions Julia to be a relatable narrator despite her psychic abilities. She explains her attempt to “psychometrize” objects, which she defines as “mastering the hostile object.” She learns “how a flow of electrons moves between people and the things they touch, creating an electromagnetic imprint, a greasy emotional coating you could read like a piece of microfiche.”



She meets her mother’s friend and travels back in time, you know, run of the mill psychic stuff.

Yet, toward the end of the book, the reader learns that Julia may not be a victim after all…

In a twist of horror, people in Julia’s world have begun to alter themselves surgically  to look like those who have passed. Art for death’s sake. Julia is constantly searching for her mother’s face – ever elusive – even with her psychic talents.

Isolation, betrayal and the fragility of female relationships are the stuff of this modern gothic novel.

I enjoyed this book, though at times it is extremely dark and disturbing. If you enjoy (or perhaps appreciate, is the better word here) Sylvia Plath, you’ll “get” The Vanishers. I think I just heard a mass exodus of chic lit readers…lol.

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Paper Airplanes Never Get Old

September 17th, 2013 · Random, Ruminations

I am not a huge Twitter user (@guera78704), so I have not tried out the Vines video option. But, I recently saw this collaboration of various Vines videos put together and love, love, love the end result.

So, if you have 4 1/2 minutes to spare, watch some lovely paper airplanes and love making origami:




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War inside and out

September 13th, 2013 · Ruminations

Sometimes I feel at war within. And no, it’s not about whether I want Mexican or Thai for dinner- haha. But the kind of internal struggles that leave me feeling exhausted. If we collectively feel this way at one time or another, how is there any room for peace?

One of my favorite songs is “Why We Fight” by The Decemberists. Towards the end of the video- in an homage to Piggy and his glasses from Lord of the Flies, the boy breaks his glasses. But he breaks them himself of his own volition. So whether he was far sighted or near sighted, at that point it didn’t matter, he wanted his view to be real and unfiltered. Then, change could happen.


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Five DisLikes VII

May 22nd, 2013 · Random, Ruminations

Overuse of the word”organic”

The word organic has crept its way into the American vernacular to basically describe the development of the creative process. “The work evolved in an organic way” or “I just let it organically flow from my center.” While one of the applicable definitions is: developing in the manner of living organisms, I just think it’s just thrown around to sound artsy fartsy.


PT Cruisers

Let me preface that if you own this car, we can still be friends, HOWEVER, I will not be carpooling with you! I don’t know what is worse, the fact that it looks like a hearse or is a mish-mash of old and new styling, the PT Cruiser is, to me, aesthetically displeasing. Add some spinning wheels and a purple paint job and we’ve got a crazy Plymouth package.


Revolving Doors

These doors are like the the roulette table, the odds are stacked against you. I have terrible visions of getting stuck in there with someone and having to make awkward small talk while the handymen try to fix the hinges. Or, I am afraid that somehow my clothing will catch and I’ll be catapulted forward and around. And even sillier, I sometimes think I won’t make my exit and that going around one more time might somehow brand me as incompetent in all areas of life!


Vera Bradley

Sorority sisters at UT Austin love this shit. Not sure why. To me, it looks like the scraps at the fabric store, repurposed to look like a diaper bag. The quilted stitching and the nauseating patterns are enough to make me gag. I guess if you are still into Laura Ashley, then Vera Bradley is the way to go.


Dudes in Tank Tops

 Hey, I like eye candy like every other straight girl, but guys, keep the gun show at the gym. It seems that tank tops have made inroads into male everyday dress. I guess it’s the metrosexual or hipster thing to do, baring those arms. But seriously, even if they are built, I just can’t stand it. I guess it’s probably my fear that they will raise their arms – the horror.


Just a little snark for a Wednesday.
Luv ya, mean it,

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A Long Journey: Graduation 2013 University of Texas

May 20th, 2013 · Austin, Family, Personal Story

I am the first woman on both sides of my family to graduate from college!

It took me a loooong time to finally finish. False starts, chronic pain, working full time, having a family, these all contributed to a longer than usual journey to graduation. But, I never seem to take the conventional path. If given the option, I often choose the “road less traveled.” As a super, super, super senior, I feel like I learned a lot more than I would have had I been in my twenties.

I was so proud to have my family cheering me on, as I crossed one of my “bucket list” items off my list. I couldn’t have done it without all of their support. Maybe one day my girls will decide to go to UT; I hope they do, so they will stay close:) But wherever they decide to go, I will support their journey, however meandering it might be.

 UT Grad


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Thrift Shopping is…wait for it…AWESOME

April 3rd, 2013 · Fashion, Random, Ruminations

Song worm- a song that embeds itself into your brain

Man, I’ve got one here by Macklemore &Ryan Lewis (lyrics offensive to some):

I love to thrift shop. The thrill of the hunt is addicting, when you find something worthwhile. My go-to’s are Savers and Goodwill, but I’ve heard good things about Thrift Town on the south side of Austin.

They be like ”Oh! That Gucci, that’s hella tight.”,I’m like ”Yo! That’s fifty dollars for a t-shirt.”Limited edition, let’s do some simple addition,Fifty dollars for a t-shirt, that’s just some ignorant *&&% #!@@,I call that getting swindled and pimped, *%^$ I call that getting tricked by a business,That shirt’s hella’ dough,And having the same one as six other people in the club is a hella’ don’t


The New York Times recently addressed thrift shopping in an advice column:

Roommate’s Old Clothes

My roommate and I get along great, with one exception: she loves to buy clothes from secondhand stores, which I find disgusting. I’ve tried to be sensitive in explaining the risks to our shared home of bedbug infestation, but I haven’t gotten through to her. She just replies that she loves bargains and looking unique. Any advice?

Cyndi, New Haven

Cue the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ode to thrift shopping, which is funny and profane (and whose bass line will be pounding in my head for the rest of the day): “Passing up on those moccasins that someone else been walking in.”

Communicating sensitively does not lead to automatic agreement; it increases our odds of getting there. It sounds as if you and roomie are doomed to disagree. Focus on eliminating contamination risks. Washing clothes in hot water and drying at high heat works. There is also a cold solution. Learn more at the Centers for Disease Control at

So I guess some people will disagree, but to each his/her own. I’ll rock your granny’s coat, for sure!

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