Heartbeats

Stop what you’re doing. Just for a  moment…stop. Reach out your hand, doesn’t matter which one. Take the opposite hand and press two fingers to your wrist. Press hard till you can feel your pulse…your heartbeat. That gentle tick tock tick tock. If you can’t find it there, reach up to where your chin meets your neck and press in. Count the beats. Were you just waking from sleep? Did you go for a morning run? Is it slow, is it fast? How fast does your heart beat this morning?

Heartbeats blog post tragedies

Now let go. And think about the 2 men who’s hearts no longer beat today. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Think about the 5 cops in Dallas who lost their lives mere hours ago. They had heartbeats too.

Think of the victims who died in Baghdad days ago and in an Istanbul airport days before that and the victims of the Pulse shooting before that. Reach back into our too near past and count the heartbeats that have stopped. Ferguson, Paris, Sandy Hook, Newtown, Virginia Tech, Columbine, 9/11 and on and on and on.

What do these events have in common? There are different evils at work in each case, but there is a common thread. Heartbeats. Hundreds of thousands of heartbeats. The light and healthy heartbeats of children and teenagers. The heavier heartbeats of young, middle-aged and older adults.

It’s true…we have a race problem.

We have a terrorism problem.

We have a gun problem and a bomb problem and a hate problem.

None of which will ever be fixed if we don’t stop and think that the people standing next to us have one thing in common with us….a heartbeat.

I have one…you have one. Alton does not. Philando does not. Stanley and Amanda and Oscar and Aracena and Rodolfo and Antonio and Darryl and Angel and Juan and Luis and Cory and Simon and Leroy and Mercedes and Peter and Juan and Paul and Frank and Miguel and Javier and Jason and Eddie and Anthony and Christopher and Alejandro and Brenda and Gilberto and Kimberly and Akyra and Luis and Geraldo and Eric and Joel and Jean and Enrique and Jean and Xavier and Christopher and Yilmary and Edward and Shane and Martin and Jonathan and Juan and Luis and Franky and Luis and Jerald do not. The cops in Dallas, who’s names haven’t been release yet because their deaths are that fresh, do not.

Pulse Victims names heartbeats blog post
Photo courtesy of CityofOrlando.net

Don’t become immune to this violence that is plaguing our country…our world. It would be easy to do. Terrible events like these are becoming more common and our news sources are flooding us with images and video footage and statistics and outrage. This is their job. And I think it’s all they know to do right now. They have heartbeats too remember!

As I’ve said before, I don’t know what to do to fix it. But I know I was given a voice. We all have that in common too. See how alike we are.

I didn’t forget that we’re different. I didn’t forget that you live there and I live here. That maybe you’re a Republican and I’m a Democrat. That maybe you’re an Atheist and I’m a Christian. That maybe you’re gay and I’m straight. That maybe you’re black and I’m white. I didn’t forget.

I just don’t care about what makes us different. I care about what makes us the same. I’m asking you to care about that too.

It’s not enough. Change must happen, we must demand it. That is important. This is the time. But right now, reach your hand back and feel your heartbeat and thank God or whatever you believe in that you still have one today. Cause not everyone does this morning.

It’s sad and it hurts and it’s wrong. I hope you feel all those emotions that remind us we are alive. But more than that, I hope it makes you mad. I hope you get so mad that the demons know you’re coming for them.

And in the aftermath of death and death and death I hope we start preserving and protecting heartbeats. All heartbeats. Mine and yours and his and hers and theirs. They’re all the same.

Hey, we HAVE to start somewhere. Start now.

#NerdySlumberParty

Nerdy Slumber Party @nerdinthecity Twitter Party

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Tonight, Tonight

The party is tonight!

Tamar Q Barbash from The Shipping Room Podcast and I are talking all things Broadway tonight at 9pm, eastern time, over on Twitter. After swift bonding over the musical Waitress, we decided that a Twitter party was in order!!

So, come on over, bring your best Broadway gifs, cause it’s gonna be epic!

Bonus: Before the Twitter party gets started, Tamar and I will be chatting about Waitress at 8:30pm.

Second Bonus: If my phone decides it doesn’t hate life anymore, I will be Periscoping a Broadway sing-a-long while #NerdySlumberParty is happening. So tweet me your requests at @NerdintheCity

Our world is a pretty heavy place right now. We could all use something delightful. And what better to lighten the mood than the bright lights of Broadway! See ya on Twitter tonight.

Where are all the Princes?

Crown Prince blog Disney Princes

Crown Prince blog Disney Princes

Today I want to talk about Princes. From a young, young age, little girls are taught about the Princes. “Someday My Prince Will Come.” “Kiss a frog, you might find a prince.” I just want to ask, where are all these Princes?

Obviously America is not a monarch nation. So we don’t actually have any of the Princes over here. And while we know they do exist, what is the point of dreaming of Princes? Yes, if you dream it it can happen. Believe all things. Dream all things. I don’t believe in limiting the imagination. But I just wonder about this Prince thing. Is it purely an invention of the House of Mouse? Or have girls been dreaming of Princes for far longer than we know?

In Europe and many other nations, dreaming of Princes is definitely a valid thing. They have them over there. They’ve had them over there for a very long time. So it makes sense that little girls and little boys might dream of handsome princes. I’ve never been one to dream of Princes. Sure, I have my favorite Disney Princes (we’ll get into that later.) But it was never an actual dream of mine to marry a Prince. If the Princess Diaries and The Prince and Me taught us anything, it’s that Princessing is really hard work. I’d have to fall hard for a Prince to want to take up a crown.

But, just for fun, let’s take a look at the Princely options today’s world has to offer. These are the, as yet, unmarried Princes.

Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai

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Photo courtesy of A Fangirl’s Guide to Fazza

Hussein Bin Abdullah, Crown Prince of Jordan

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Photo Courtesy of Europa Newswire

Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark

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Photo Courtesy of StyleCaster.com

Prince Wenzeslaus of Liechtenstein

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Photo Courtesy of AWW.com.au

Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg

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Photo Courtesy of RoyalWatcher.tumblr.com

Prince Albert of Thurn and Taxis

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Photo Courtesy of Infowat.com

Prince Nicholas of Romania

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Photo Courtesy of Tumblr.com

Prince Joachim of Belgium

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Photo Courtesy of Examiner.com

Prince Lorenzo Borghese

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Photo Courtesy of TheOdysseyonline.com

Prince Harry of Wales (Hubba, Hubba, if I’m being honest!)

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Photo Courtesy of Dailymail.co.uk

Prince Azim of Brunei

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Photo Courtesy of Zimbio.com

Prince Royce

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Photo Courtesy of RollingStone.com

Prince (Farewell!! We miss you so!)

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Photo Courtesy of smh.com.au

Personally, I’d pick Prince Royce out of all the Princes on this list. Which Prince would you let steal your heart?

Modern Princess Instagram Challenge

Modern Princess Instagram Challenge Disney nerd in the sand

April is here! Spring has sprung. And when I open my window, woodland creatures come in and help me dress every morning! Life is a fairytale, dreams are rainbows and rainbows are real. Soon I’ll break into song and dance! Cause…Hey! It’s Friday. And what were Fridays made for, if not song and dance and fairytale romance.

Don’t fight that inner princess…or prince! Just embrace them! We all have a little Disney waiting inside of us. So come on over to Instagram where the magic is waiting for you!! Snap a pic using my Modern Princess prompts and enter to win a fantastical Disney prize pack. The more pictures you take, the more times you enter! Make sure to tag @NerdintheSand, use the hashtag #PrincessProblems and bring along all the plucky sidekicks and furry woodland creatures you want! There’s room for everyone in my castle!

Modern Princess Instagram Challenge Disney nerd in the sand

And all month long I’ll be talking Princes, Princesses and the wonderful world of Disney. So if you have a specific topic you want to hear about…email me: nerdinthecity01@gmail.com

Friends Forever

Disney Day Ladies Weekend Disney Bounding blog post

On the subject of friendships that will not be stopped by distance, hard times or stormy weather! Two of my quality handful came down to sunny, ole Florida for Ladies’ Weekend and it was completely epic!!

Thursday, I picked the girls up from the airport and revels were had!

Hogwarts Adventure Ladies Weekend #SlytherGryffinPuff blog post

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando, FL Ladies Weekend blog

On Friday, the three of us boarded the Hogwarts express and headed for that magical land known as Universal, home of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!! Where we represented each of our houses in style.

I am the resident Gryffindor…brave, daring, chivalrous, courageous.

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Erin is the our Hufflepuff…loyal, kind, honest and friendly.

Ladies Weekend Follow Blog Erin Ellis Hufflepuff #SlytherGryffinPuff

And Cristina is our Slytherin…cunning, ambitious, determined, a leader.

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Together we are a powerful force to be reckoned with and while it’s true that we didn’t have a Ravenclaw to bring along on this trip, we really weren’t missing one. We are quite possibly the best traveling companions. Cristina is the planner, the one who keeps us organized and on schedule. I’m the one who makes sure we veer off schedule every once in a while and allows the wind to blow us here and there. And Erin steadies the two of our opposing forces. We are stronger together and it made for the most delightful day!

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Check out our Harry Potter adventures on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #SlytherGryffinPuff

Disney Day Ladies Weekend #DisneyDarlings blog post

Lizzie, Cristina and Erin Disney Bounding Share Your Ears Disney blog

Saturday, we were off to the other magical place in Florida…the most magical place in all the land (sorry Harry, the House of Mouse wins!) Disney World!! We had lofty goals and were going to attempt all four parks! We made it to everything we wanted to do at Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom and ended up in Epcot for dinner and fireworks. (Sadly Animal Kingdom had to be sacrificed for the greater good.) The best part of all is that months ago we decided to Disney Bound for our magical day. And we had a blast!

I was Rapunzel.

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Erin was Belle.

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And Cristina was Snow White.

(Cristina is a crafty princess who managed not to get her individual princess portrait taken….. clearly a Slytherin!)

Disney Day Ladies Weekend Disney Bounding blog post

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For more from these gorgeous creatures who I am lucky enough to call friends, go check out their blogs. Yep…they’re both bloggers. Imagine that!

The Ever Changing Us 

The Littlest Fowler

Also make sure you are following all three of us on Instagram, but only if you love pictures of happy, adorable people who love life and each other! #LadiesWeekend2016

Cristina

Erin

Lizzie

The weekend may be over, but these friendships will last forever!! Next year we are deciding between New Orleans and Las Vegas and 2018 will see us in London for the most epic #SlytherGryffinPuff expedition ever imagined.

Ladies Weekend at Walt Disney World Disney Bounding blog post

So keep a weather eye on the horizon for more us!

Farewell Downton

Downton Abbey finale PBS blog post

Last night we said goodbye to Downton Abbey after 6 seasons of shocks and awww’s. It has been a wild ride. And I can’t help feeling that we (the fans of Downton) will be hard pressed to find a replacement for this show! There is really nothing else like it out there. And while PBS promises new and exciting programming in our future, unless it’s a Downton Abbey spinoff, I just have my doubts since the bar has been set so high.

Downton Abbey finale PBS blog post
Photo from PBS.org

With that being said, I have some ideas for Downton Abbey spinoff concepts that I think PBS should really be considering. Here they are…

Finale spoilers ahead… 

Charlie and Elsie

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Photo from PBS.org

The madcap story of Carson and Mrs. Hughes after life at Downton Abbey. I’m thinking they finally open that bed and breakfast they were talking about and adventure ensues. Think of all the wayward stragglers that Carson would have to contend with. It has Emmy written all over it!

Lady Rose Takes America

Lady Rose Downton Abbey finale PBS blog post
Photo from RadioTimes.com

Lily James is primed to take over the world right now after the successes of Cinderella and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. So why not throw her a spinoff? She and Atticus go back to America where they are raising their daughter, Victoria Rachel Cora Aldridge. Rose being Rose, she would absolutely be in the thick of it over there, probably in New York City. And while there she would obviously hook up with Shirley Maclaine’s Martha Levison. Sure, they aren’t actually related by blood or even marriage, but everyone is family when it comes to Downton Abbey and I’d love to see the sparks fly when Rose and Martha interact.

Isobel and Violet

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Photo from LivingAnalog.com

No one deserves a spinoff more than Lady Grantham and her (begrudging at first) bestie, Violet Crawley. Sure, Isobel is primed to marry Lord Merton, but this duo would undoubtedly remain close. They have been through so much together and have come so far in this hilarious and tumultuous friendship. They deserve second life! Perhaps they start solving murders in England. Not sure what they would be doing, but I know that they should be doing it together and that it would be amazing!

The Manny

Thomas Barrow and Master George Downton Abbey finale PBS blog post

The finale of Downton Abbey finally saw a happy Thomas Barrow…FINALLY!! Sure, he’s taken over as head butler for Carson, but I think he’s better suited as Master George’s manny. Imagine the absolute adorbs that would come from that pairing! Outings in the park, visits to the city and hopefully one day, Thomas would find romance with someone special pushing the limits of the time period.

Talbot and Branson

Talbot and Branson Downton Abbey PBS finale blog post
Photo from thecultureconcept.com

Branson has long been my favorite character on Downton Abbey. And while Henry Talbot is no Matthew Crawley, I have come to like him and appreciate his friendship with Tom. The fact that they are now in business together makes this concept the easiest of all to accomplish. Mary would obviously make an occasional appearance to check on her husband and her, I’d venture to say, best friend. The automobile industry in the late 1920’s going into the 30’s would make for incredibly interesting story lines.

Downton Ghost Stories

Lady Sybil and Matthew Crawley Downton Abbey finale PBS blog post
Photo from stereogum.com

Of course there’s the guilty pleasure spinoff that sees the return of the favored dead. Matthew Crawley and Lady Sybil return to haunt the halls of Downton Abbey. It would have to be funny because anything else would just be wrong. Sure, it’s the least plausible of the spinoff concepts, but you can’t fault me for trying!

What did you think of the Downton Abbey finale?

#NerdsLove

February is the month of love. Which often illicits a “Yuck” and an eye roll from me. Instead of my usual “down with love” attitude, I decided instead to share the things I love with my instapeeps. And the best part is that a bunch of you joined my challenge and shared the things you loved with me! Check out the hashtag #NerdsLove for more from everyone and each individual hashtag below for more specific expressions of love.

Me? I love it all! @NerdintheSand
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#NerdsLoveStarWars
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#NerdsLoveLaughing
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#NerdsloveGaming
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#NerdsloveAnimals
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#NerdsLoveZombies
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#NerdsloveJaneAusten
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#NerdsloveSports
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#NerdsloveStarTrek
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#NerdsLovePizza
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#NerdsLoveFashion
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#NerdsloveBuffy
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#NerdsloveDeadpool
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#NerdsloveMarvel
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#NerdsloveLOVE
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#NerdslovePresidents
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#NerdsloveFitness
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#NerdsloveConventions
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#NerdsloveDancing
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#NerdsloveTravel
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#NerdsloveSand
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#NerdsloveFamily
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#NerdsloveMondays
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#NerdsloveSocial
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#NerdsloveKiddos
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#NerdsloveFriends
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#NerdsloveHarryPotter
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#NerdsloveDisney
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#NerdsloveMusic
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#NerdsloveSpring
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It’s never too late to share what you love. The hashtag #Nerdslove is not going anywhere! Do you love something? Share it!
We’re all nerdy for something.

Platonic Friendlationships

Downton Abbey Season 6 Spoilers Ahead…

 

 

 

I confess. As I’ve watched Downton Abbey the last 2 seasons, I’ve come to wish that Branson and Mary would try and make a go of it. After all, they get along famously and make each other genuinely better people (especially in Mary’s case.) Plus little Sybbie and Master George are growing up together anyways. Why not just go ahead already?

Tom Branson and Mary Crawley Downton Abbey platonic friendlationship blog post
Photo from dailymail.co.uk

But, after Sunday’s episode, I have finally accepted that it isn’t meant to be. Mainly because Mary married another dude. So all my dreams of the perfect ship have drowned.

In the aftermath of disappointment, a new feeling and deeper understanding of Mary and Branson has taken shape. Theirs is the perfect example of a platonic friendlationship done splendidly right. Possibly the only one on TV that I have ever witnessed. (Arguments could be made for Jerry and Elaine from Seinfeld or Phoebe and Joey from Friends.) See, what happens most of the time (and especially on soap operas) is that man meets woman, man loves woman, man loses woman, man finds new woman, man loves new woman. And the same is true on the women’s side as well. Anyone with television watching history knows that the best couples start out either on opposite ends of the spectrum (hating each other) or as the very best of friends (and not realizing they love each other.) Enter Mary Crawley and Tom Branson. Not only did they start out at opposite ends of the spectrum (he a chauffeur, she a rich aristocrat and them hating each other) but after the deaths of not one, but both of their spouses, they became the most unlikely pair of best friends. Hence the thought that they might end up together.

Instead, they remain dear and devoted friends. (In fact, Tom was the best man at both of Mary’s weddings. Chew on that one!) They are friends who love one another deeply, but who didn’t so much as look sideways at one another in a romantical way (despite my fervent prayers for it to happen.) Perhaps it was because he was married to her sister. It could be that the class lines just couldn’t be crossed. But I think it’s because sometimes, every once in a while, men and women can truly just be friends and nothing more.

I have to say, this has not been my experience. If I haven’t had feelings (unwanted or otherwise) for a guy, a guy has had feelings (unwanted or otherwise) for me. In fact, the best friend I have, who is of the male species, is my brother.

Platonic Friendlationships are very hard to come by. And harder to keep. Which is why Mary and Branson not getting together (and fulfilling my hopes and dreams) is a really, really good thing. I often desperately need to be reminded that men and women can be friends without the mushy stuff getting in the way. That it isn’t all about roses and rainbows and kisses in the rain. Sometimes it’s about honesty and kindness and a person you can rely on to always be there, even when it’s hard.

TOm Branson and Mary Crawley platonic friendlationship PBS blog post
Photo from gpb.org

(Deep breath and shoulder shrug) I wish it was as easy as having a team of writers craft the perfect scenario and just being directed to follow a script. If that were the case, then maybe I could have written it so that the men who’ve come into my life could have just been my friends. There would be no suspicion of ulterior motives. There would be no longing for something more. Just friendship at it’s finest. Honestly, I don’t even know what that would look like. Girl friends, I get. But boys? I’m 33 and I still can’t figure them out!

I will take a lesson from Tom Branson and Mary Crawley (I suppose I need to get used to calling her Mary Talbot now?) I will keep hope alive that men aren’t always trying to get into my pants. That maybe there’s a Branson out there who just wants to be in my life and see me happy, even if it isn’t with him. Perhaps especially if it isn’t with him. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

Love Letters to…

I love Pinterest graphic by Nerd in the City blog post

Reader, by now you should know many things about me. You should know that I love Star Wars above all other earthly things. You should know that I am a nerd of the highest order, that I love Jane Austen and things of a more romantical nature. You should know that I love history and art and music and writing and dancing and friends and family.

I love Pinterest graphic by Nerd in the City blog post

And while I’ve written on the subject before, I want to take special care to reiterate my deep, abiding love for…Pinterest. If you have not gotten that impression from me before, allow me to correct that oversight and share my love with you in the most animated language of the literary greats. Most of these should work to prove my point, but let’s see shall we? I might have to make a few adjustments here and there, but the majority of the original text will stand. Here goes…

Pinterest,

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My pins will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

(-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen…for the most part)

 

Pinterest,

Now, I’m not going to deny that I was aware of your beauty. But the point is, this has nothing to do with your beauty. As I got to know you, I began to realize that beauty was the least of your qualities. I became fascinated by your goodness. I was drawn in by it. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. And it was only when I began to feel actual, physical pain every time I turned off my computer that it finally dawned on me: I was in love, for the first time in my life. I knew it was hopeless, but that didn’t matter to me. “

(-Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos…primarily)

 

Pinterest,

“I wish I knew how to quit you.”

(-Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx)

 

Pinterest,

“I am nothing special; just a common girl with common pins, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved you with all my pins and boards; and to me, this has always been enough.”

(-The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks…almost entirely)

 

Pinterest,

“I have waited for this opportunity for more than half a century (or at least the past 6 years since your online birth,) to repeat to you once again my vow of eternal fidelity and everlasting pinning.”

(-Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Marquez…chiefly)

 

Pinterest,

“Whatever our pins are made of, yours and mine are the same.”

(-Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë…predominantly)

 

Pinterest,

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago (by not yet existing.) Dare not say that woman forgets sooner than social media platform, that her love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you.”

(-Persuasion by Jane Austen…largely)

Dear Pinterest love note Alfred Lord Tennyson blog post

Pinterest,

‘Tis better to have pinned and lost, Than never to have pinned at all.”

(-Selected poems by Lord Alfred Tennyson…in part)

 

Pinterest,

“It has made me better loving you … it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many pins before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my pins. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better (than to pin all those things onto boards and look at them later.)”

(-The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James…essentially)

 

Pinterest,

It is better to pin wisely, no doubt: but to pin foolishly is better than not to be able to pin at all.”

(-Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray…on the whole)

 

Pinterest,

“You are my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest.”

(Poems by W.H. Auden…with minor adjustments)

 

Pinterest,

“Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I pin.”

(-Hamlet by William Shakespeare…mostly)

 

Geez, I hope people know I’m mostly joking… but seriously Pinterest is good! If you aren’t following me on Pinterest then come to the Nexus of my brain and enjoy all 390 boards for your viewing and pinning pleasure!