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Your Life as a Bento Box, Part 1

7 Jul

The Bento fruit salad: both an art and a timeless pursuit

I have a friend (who also created the layered pillars of fruit pictured above) who I may or may not have accused of having a life like a bento box.  What I mean to say by that is – uniformly portioned; aesthetically pleasing; and segregated by color! I don’t mean colors found on people duh, more like on blouses and foods!

And though I’m not always the most orderly person, sometimes there’s harmony in a system… Case in point, my own latest foray into the Bento Box lifestyle.

Rows: red, thru violet

Recently, I found myself in the unique position of having: (one) freshly moved-away boyfriend and (one) awesome New-to-Me bookshelf that got left behind during the moving process. Not exactly tit for tat.

But to make the whole installation and shifting of stuff more exciting, my art-oriented sister decided to color organize my books.  She had a burning desire for rainbow book that was, so burning, it could only be quenched by rainbow book! rainbow book!

rainbow book!

So she color arranged (almost) my entire collection, and added a shoe, and it looks great!  A veritable reading rainbow.  Sometimes, a little aesthetic appeal goes a long way towards making things feel special :]

other fun ways to arrange your books (other than by subject) –

  • stack them on their sides to make pyramids/geometric shapes
  • use sparkly shoes or other decorative objects to act as bookends
  • rig a lazy susan or other rotating device to hold your books

New Inspiration home design

  • utilize open space!  especially if you have tall books and narrow shelves
  • if you’re a monochromatic control freak, cover all of your books in matching scrapbook paper!
Organization is more than kind of a sport, I’m coming to realize.
photo credit 1

photo credit 2,3 personal
photo credit 4 here


Light Summer Reading, To Your Satisfaction

24 Jun

mornings done right

For me, reading is ritual. I like to get my hands on a good hardcover book. Paperback is less expensive, but something about the way I hold the book when I read curls the covers in a way that drives me crazy. I borrowed a book of Peter Gizzi poetry from my boyfriend and bent the front cover so bad that I threw it under a heavy dictionary for a week (trying to recover the damage), with no success!

These first couple weeks of summer, I’ve been reading like a banshee for plenty of reasons, but mostly because the more I read, the more I write, and that’s always a good thing.  This is what I’ve had my hands on lately:


1.) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Have to finish the re-read before the 2nd movie comes out, of course.  Beyond that, I’m starting my studies for an M.A. in Children’s Lit. in about 6 weeks, so I’ve been very into all things Young Adult/Adolescent lately.  Harry Potter is just, a thing, for me; I can’t explain why I love it so much, but there’s substance there!

A very meta-literary 'whodunnit'

2. El Móvil by Javier Cercas

El Móvil (which means, “the motive,” in Spanish) is the story of a young author struggling to pen his first novel about a pair of young newlyweds who murder their elderly neighbor.  Meanwhile, the author himself lives in an apartment complex with a pair of young newlyweds and, you guessed it, a seriously unsafe elderly neighbor.  And the walls are thin.

The detective-esque genre in Latin American literature is always an appealing one to me.  It’s especially close to my heart right now because I’ve been preparing to do a little Columbo work myself.  My (sadly) ailing grandfather has set one last charge to me – research a 60-year old murder case in the San Bernardino microfiche archives.  It’s going to be a strange journey, but I can’t wait to see what I find.  And this book definitely puts me in the mood for sleuthing, murder, mystery, and intrigue.

3. The Green Tea Book by Lester Mitscher & Victoria Toews

I picked up this book in a bargain bin at the UCSD bookstore for $1.99, and it’s given me enough tea trivia to last a lifetime!  Did you know that green tea’s active polyphenols cause carbohydrates to digest more slowly and help regulate blood sugar?  Or that green tea provides flouride for strong, healthy teeth while simultaneously inhibiting the primary bacterial cause (S. mutans) of cavities?  Well, I didn’t, but I do now!  And many more weird facts about the health benefits of green tea.


Have you read any summer-worthy page turners lately?


photo credit 1