Beanie level: Errand boy

I can’t ever find a reason to use this GIF but i love it SO MUCH.

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Day 14

Once when I was young I wandered into the kitchen, where my mom was cooking. \”Are you hungry?\” she asked, offering me a snack. I remember staring at her for a moment, confused. Was I hungry? I pushed on my stomach; it did not hurt. It was not grumbling, either.

\”How do I know?\” I asked.

\”How do I know?\” I asked my father, nearly twenty years later.

Do you love him? my father had asked, referring to my boyfriend. I cocked my head to the side, then, too. It did not hurt. My stomach was not fluttering. I did not feel faint. Was this love? How would I know?

I held onto that question long after the boy and I broke up. How would I know? How would I know love if I found it? You just know, my mom liked to say; she is not as complicated as I am. My father doesn\’t say things like that. He understands being complicated, but he is like my mom, in that \”just knows\” things.

Now, years later, when I think back on all that and think about what love is and means, I think this: Love is, to me, the thing that stays. It is many other things, too–passion, warmth, comfort, safety, and deep deep joy. It is small moments and big adventures; long coats and hot drinks. It\’s furry faces, soft words, and open doors. A hand on a hand, a hand on a heart. It\’s a detective, determined to find us when we are lost in the darkest corner. A team to cheer us on in this race, this long race that sometimes seems unwinnable. A plate of favorite food, warm and ready. A salute, a cheer, a wordless embrace. It a thing we give and take and give again. But when everything is spinning around and away, there is love. Love is the thing that stays. And that\’s how I (finally) knew.

Love,
February ❤️

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Beanies, please help me out: Do I want to be “a woodalchi,” “in woodalchi,” or just “woodalchi”? or something else? it is really bugging me.

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Day 12 FOR REAL

My previous post should have been Day 11, I realize now. You think it\’d be easier to keep track of the dates, since February is already numbered and everything, but somehow I got confused. So here I am, on Day 12 again.

I\’m out of words today, so this is just a stream-of-consciousness list of 12 things I love (12 things because it\’s Day 12). I\’m going to exclude people. This is just things–the first 12 things that come to mind.

1. em-dashes
2. lemonade
3. super loose baggy oversized linen dresses.
4. ramen
5. mac n cheese (all of it. every kind. the super faincy stuff and kraft too. i never met a mac n cheese i didn\’t like.)
6. snail mail. (there is nothing quite like real mail. i love it so much.)
7. books that are worn in the right places, so that they fit in your hand and make you forget they are there.
8. chairs that i fit into just right
9. hugs. (oh that reminds me–i know i post a lot of comments with \”hugs\” and i\’ve been feeling bad and just want to say that i hope i\’m not making the non-huggers uncomfortable. i had a roommate once who hated hugs and never let me hug her. it was totally ok; we laughed about it a lot actually. but then when we graduated, my present from her was a 15-second side-hug. yup! she let me hold her shoulder and stand close to her for 15 seconds. this is the truth, and i love her so much to this day for that. but personal space is important to me. so the hugs i send you are to be interpreted in whatever way makes you feel loved and supported. even if you like to stay ten feet back. <3 it just occured to me that HUG can be an abbreviation for Here U Go — so know that i am sending you love when i say hug. Here u go. Here is some love. H.U.G. <3)
10. dramas. well, stories, really… books, movies, etc — but these days, its basically just dramas. 😀
11. good socks. (i am very picky about this, and my feet are FROZEN right now)
12. when you\’re about to laugh and you realize IT IS NOT AN APPROPRIATE MOMENT for laughter and you have to hold it in, but just then you catch a friend\’s eye and for a split second there is this feeling of WE ARE BOTH GOING TO LOSE IT. i love that feeling.

Love,
February

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Day 12

I missed a few days; the weekends are kind of hectic for me. But I\’ve caught up on everyone\’s posts now, and I just want to say that I admire you all so much. The more I read you, the more impressed I am. I\’m thankful for your honesty and genuineness. <3

Anyway, that\'s unrelated to my post. Which is:

I was outnumbered by the time I was 6, and the odds never went back to my favor. Three brothers. No sisters. When my youngest brother was born and my parents announced that they\'d had a boy, I said \"are you sure?\" and I distinctly remember that. I was flabbergasted. It seemed impossible to me that God would give a girl (me) three brothers and no sisters. These numbers were not right. Hadn\'t God invented math? I was very concerned. But my parents were sure. Three brothers it was.

Then when I found out my firstborn child was a boy, I was stunned again. I had literally forgotten that a boy baby was an option. I had just assumed I would have a girl. I did not. I have two sons. No daughters. I could keep trying, but I know my luck when I see it. Forever outnumbered.

Loved (very loved), but still outnumbered.

Love,
February

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Ok, YES!!, i would love a book that was marketed in this way and would definitely buy as a “gift to myself” love love love 😍 #RBB

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The Bechdel test, only it’s my test, and the two women have to talk about books.
RBB is *killing* it.

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Day 8

Some of the people I love are real, but some are imaginary. So if it’s all right with you, today I’ll tell you about some characters of mine that I love, characters who have been waiting for me to write them a story for nearly a decade. (I am hugely self-conscious about doing this, but…here goes.)

There are the princes: Even, Bright, Good and Wise (the twins), and V. Even is in charge, though he may be dying; Bright is a little taller, funnier, and more handsome than the rest; Good is a warrior; Wise is a widower, holed up in a seaside hermitage, grieving; V is trouble, and everyone knows it.

Pilar is a merchant’s daughter, or so she thinks. Belen can sail the skies, though she does not know it. Margot is a warrior and the secret head of a band of highwaymen, who are helping her keep a secret. Madame Pianu is a fairy seamstress; she is tiny, but her skill is unmatched. Alice and Gracie are elderly nannies who know too much. (Any story I think of seems to start with Gracie dying.) Old Didius and Count Warm are the royal advisors–they are older than anyone else but seem never to age past a certain point; Old Didius is round and hotheaded, Count Warm is slender and reserved; they are the best of friends. Hahn is mysterious—in disguise and still not certain if he’s a good guy or a villain. (I am certain, though.) Ibby is a princess in search of a fairy godmother. There are others, of course; enemies, accomplices, and so on. But these are the ones I love. These are the ones never far from my mind.

A writer once told me to start with motivation, to ask what motivates each character. And you would think that after so long, I would know these characters better. I would know what they want, what they are after. But they are still mysterious to me. What motivates them? I think once I can answer that, the story itself will unfold. For now though, we all just wait.

Love,
February

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Is DB being weird for anyone else this morning? it\’s logging me out randomly and also i had to refresh to every time i wanted to post any comments (if anyone gets double posts from me that\’s why).

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Day 7
The smiles I love in dramas. (So…I wanted to do this so much more justice–I had BIG PLANS–buuuut I ran out of time. Apparently, I am *not* being paid to look at kdrama gifs all day. *eyeroll emoji* hehe. But still, here\’s a few. Feel free to add your own ;).





Love, February

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TCC Beanies help pls! So I stopped watching TCC after Ep 2, because I was so excited about it; I wanted to save up a bunch of eps and binge it. But then I saw all the posts about the ending of Ep8 and now i\’m really conflicted. Has it been as good since then? Is it still worth watching?

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On a less serious note: what’s with all the spam fan posts lately? It is spam, right? Those new accounts that just post a random URL? Did bots find us?

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    You really haven’t been around huh? They’ve been around for a while. They go through cycles. Post a lot, then very little, then post a lot again.

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Day 6

Dear,

Thank you for putting up with me. I know I\’m not the sunniest, not the most exciting right now. I know I\’m dull and grey and cold and there\’s too much rain always pouring down my face. Having babies is hard. Postpartum is hard. I\’m sorry I keep the sunshine away. I\’m sorry for all the fog. Thank you for sticking with me, though. Thank you for hanging pink hearts from the grey clouds. I can\’t promise too much—I can\’t see too far ahead right now–but I know that I come at the beginning of the year. That things get brighter, warmer, sweeter soon. Thank you for knowing that, too. Thank you for hanging on.

Love,
February

@kimbapnoona @justme @greenfields @leetennant @sicarius @egads @wishfultoki @raonah @ally-le @moana @anothernicole @snarkyjellyfish @khalessymd
@hotcocoagirl @katakwasabi @oppafangirl @bammsie @natzillagorilla @mindy @acacia @sweetiepie54 @yuyuu @waterhyacinth @isthatacorner @fatcat007

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MOOD

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Day 5

Just some love for beanies today–for inspiring me and touching my heart in these past days with these excellent posts. I accidentally cleared my notifications, so I think I missed a few early posts today and I’m sorry about that!) I don’t know if we’ll make it for the full 14 days, but these first few have filled my heart so much. To beanies! To us!

Love,
February

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@sicarius @greenfields @ally-le @-anyone-else-who-wants-to-weigh-in-:) I\’ve been thinking about the beanie level thing, and I keep wishing we had like a database of all the levels and examples of them. Anyway, I got to thinking — what if we (I) made a beanie profile called \”Beanie Levels\” and put a fan wall post for each level — then beanies could (a) easily find the list, (b) see and add examples easily. Is that too much? Am I obsessing over nothing? (Also, does that violate some kind of integrity of the fan wall or DB itself? To create profile that isn\’t actually a beanie?) Your thoughts are most welcome. xo

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Day 4
(Maybe too vague, and I apologize for that <3)

To All the Cities I Loved Before

Athens as a child, running around the Parthenon, tousled with dust and dirt and the specks of history—democracy\’s and my mother\’s—in that most giant playground of rocks.

Taipei, too, in my childhood. The flea markets and fan dancers. Chiang Kai-shek memorial park. Satiny coats and pink chopsticks and all the shoes I kicked off in taxis, lost.

Austin, later. Much later. University. Friends. Late nights with both. So this is me, I learn.

London. Tea rooms and trains and museums and gaps. Minding them all, savoring them.

Boston. Frolicking in history again. The incredible energy. I hold on for dear life. And come out alive.

Love,
February

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Day 3

This wasn’t supposed to be my Day 3 post, but the first three episodes of Romance is a Bonus Book showed so many things that I love, that my write-up started to feel like a tribute to love, so I just went with it. (I haven’t read any other beanie posts or criticism on the show yet, so if I accidentally highlight something others are angry about, please forgive my narrowsightedness.)

Bookshelves. So far every shot of a bookstore, the publishing house, and libraries has been incredible and I am swooning at just that. What is it about bookshelves, anyway? Not just books but shelves and shelves and shelves of them. The beauty of it. I\\’m reminded of how hard we all fell during Chicago Typewriter when we saw the author’s home and study. I have fallen hard again. If this show did nothing else but just showed more bookshelves, I would be hooked.

But it is—doing more, I mean. I find it hard to convey just how much I love our heroine. I haven’t had nearly as traumatic of a life as Dan-i seems to have had, but I have hit low enough to understand a little. I know the feeling of having to tell yourself that you have cried enough, of realizing its time to rebuild, and knowing that nothing is built on tears. I love that although Dan-i seems to be following the Candy archetype, she is actually defying it. I love that she is trying to make a comeback, that she’s accomplished—not the floundering, somewhat helpless, a little ignorant heroine we’re often asked to sympathize with. She’s a woman who was someone in the world’s eyes, made sacrifices she believed needed to be made, and paid the price for that. But she’s also not backing down. She’s grateful for others’ help, but she also gently reminds them that she can do this on her own, that she doesn’t need to be saved. Cha Eun-ho is helpful at work, but not essential to her success. I love that she is living in his home unbeknownst to him at first—not being saved by him. He didn’t find her on the street and take her in; she snuck in and made herself at home. I love it. Ji Seo-joon’s actions are equally sweet without being required.

Dan-i’s initiative, ferociousness, pride, and calm determination really speak to me. I love that she is 37. I love that she has known love and seen it fail and still believes in it. I love that she is toughened but not hardened. I love her, can you tell?

I wasn’t actually sobbing through these episodes, but I felt like my heart was crying out in relief. It was like being heard. When Dani tells Song Hae-rin (in the elevator, end of Ep3) that she just wanted someone to say they sympathized and understood and felt her pain, that’s what I feel like this show is saying to me. I hear you, I see you. These feelings of yours are so valid, but they are not final. They are not the end.

Obviously my expectations for this show are now sky-high and, honestly, I assume I’ll be disappointed soon. But for now, for these first three episodes, there is so much of what I
Love,
February

PS Also I love that the ”makeover” scene is at the beginning of this show. New clothes, fine, it’s a fun part of a romantic comedy (a personal favorite of mine, if I’m being honest), but let’s get that over with, the show seems to tell us. It’s fun and cute, but it’s not going to be a pivotal plot point. (ALSO THOSE CLOTHES WERE SO SO SO CUTE GIVE ME THEM ALL)

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Day 2 brings me to my favorite poem regarding love: \”Not Love Perhaps\” by Arthur Seymour John Tessimond. I love that the love described in this poem (and despite the title, i think it surely is love) can be applied to so many kinds of love—lovers, family, friends, math, medicine, words—you get the idea 😉 To me this love is more real than the kind of love often seen in films and just as lovely.

\”Not Love Perhaps\” by Arthur Seymour John Tessimond.

This is not Love, perhaps,
Love that lays down its life,
that many waters cannot quench,
nor the floods drown,
But something written in lighter ink,
said in a lower tone, something, perhaps, especially our own.

A need, at times, to be together and talk,
And then the finding we can walk
More firmly through dark narrow places,
And meet more easily nightmare faces;
A need to reach out, sometimes, hand to hand,
And then find Earth less like an alien land;
A need for alliance to defeat
The whisperers at the corner of the street.

A need for inns on roads, islands in seas,
Halts for discoveries to be shared,
Maps checked, notes compared;
A need, at times, of each for each,
Direct as the need of throat and tongue for speech.

Then as a postscript, a poem in response to many of the posts yesterday. This is a poem about lost love—a lost friend. I love the softness of this poem, the sadness it captures. There are sometimes not enough words for a feeling so deep.

\”Poem\” by Langston Hughes

I loved my friend.
He went away from me.
There’s nothing more to say.
The poem ends,
Soft as it began—
I loved my friend.

Love, February

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I can listen to this on repeat for a long (long) time.

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