Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

It’s the middle of the year so what better time for this book tag?


1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017

Night Music by John Connolly. It has a bit of everything he does and he does it all very well.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017

I’ve only read one sequel so this was pretty easy: Split the Party by Drew Hayes. It deepened the characters, story, and world. Two very big thumbs up.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

How to Be Married by Jo Piazza. A little advice can’t hurt.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

The upcoming Welcome to Night Vale book It Devours.

5. Biggest disappointment

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer. I didn’t have high hopes going in but oh my god. The bitch couldn’t even be bothered to google critical information.

6. Biggest surprise

NPCs by Drew Hayes. I expected to be underwhelmed but instead I was completely charmed.

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Drew Hayes. I’ve only read some of his NPC series but his other works sound like just as much fun.

8. Newest fictional crush

I don’t really have these so N/A

9. Newest favorite character

Probably Duane from My Fairy God Mother Is a Drag Queen. He’s incredibly fun and sassy without being a token sidekick. I’d love to hear more about his story.

10. Book that made you cry

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. It was, I imagine, a very true to life portrait of slavery and the brutality of that time.

11. Book that made you happy

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. I laughed out loud at her dog stories. And the goose attack? Hysterical!

12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year

It’s a comic series so I’m counting it: Wonder Woman. It was incredibly well done and I hope it’s just the beginning for female hero movies.

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year

Probably the one I did for The Creators, Vol. 1 by Michael S. Bracco. I am acquainted with him and he’s a really cool guy. His book is also amazing so go read it.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

My Signature Shakespeare copy of Romeo and Juliet with laser cut paper designs. It’s a souvenir from my trip to NYC and I love it.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Accessing the Future edited by Djibril Al-Ayad and Kathryn Allan
  • In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero
  • Neither Wolf Nor Dog by Kent Nerburn
  • The United States of Africa by Abdourahman A. Waberi
  • Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  • Brimstone Angels by Erin M. Evans
  • The Suicide Forest by Jeremy Bates

Categories with several options are

  • An adventure memoir
  • A celebrity memoir
  • A Translation
  • A non-Western fairy tale
  • A book from a TV show


Music Monday: All Hail the Queen

It wouldn’t be a true pride celebration without some royalty.

Supermodel by Rupaul
Chow Down by Willam (this still cracks me up)
Hello, I Love You by Adore Delano
Dressed to Kill by Sharon Needles
Bettie by Violet Chachki
Purse First by Bob the Drag Queen
Your Makeup Is Terrible by Alaska Thunderfuck
Supersonic by Detox
To Russia with Love by Courtney Act
Ovahness by Mainla Luzon
You Think You’re a Man by Divine

Minimalism for Most of Us

The Financial Diet post a blog about trying minimalism without getting rid of everything. I really liked it because it highlights key points of minimalism but reframes them for most people.

A great point the author made is that minimalism offers a lot of ‘one size fits all’ recommendations. But with so many different people in the world, with different needs, the same things can’t work for everyone.

My friend had/has acne from hell including pitting. She needs major face coverage to feel comfortable being out in the world every day. She keeps her eyes and lips simple. I own a fraction of the face products she has because I don’t need them and routinely sweat them off. However, I love bold eye shadows and lipsticks. Our versions of minimizing our makeup would look totally different.

Know what you like and what you need. I don’t need the white button down every capsule wardrobe blogger says you do. You may not need the comfy sneakers or little black dress. Figure out what applies to you and if you like the overall message. Customize a ‘one size fits all’ message and tailor it for your life.

“I think it is important to just make sure you have a place for all of your stuff”
Yaaass! I have a bunch of plushies that I don’t like having out in the open. I was brainstorming ideas for how to put them away. We figured out that a hollow bench I liked might not work with the furniture we have now. Instead, we’ll move a bookshelf and get me a proper nightstand. The plushies will go in a basket on the bookshelf. We’ll create a place for the stuff we have and not have to get rid of anything.

Other times you must get rid of your bridesmaid/prom dress to make room for a good winter coat. Or avoid bringing anything in if you can say exactly where you’d put it. Part of taking care of your things is to have a place to put them.

Get rid of trash is a very crucial point so many people forget. I have a couple of boxes of loose junk, old mail, etc. that I need to go through. I just got rid of some shopping bags out of the bedroom and it feels like our floor space increased dramatically. Our countertops are a disaster but it’s mostly junk mail. Before you decide to gut your closet again, see if you just don’t need to get rid of actual rubbish.

I will second the author on “you’re not going to find God because you cleaned your closet” if you’re a normal person. However, living in a tidy space and buying intentionally can improve your quality of life. It can make you more aware of what you really want for your home, your money, and even your life. You need to do some introspection to have lasting change to stop impulse shopping or ignoring the pile of junk even though it’s bringing you stress.

I don’t think I’ll ever be a true minimalist like the folks who make a living off of it but I aspire to minimize and declutter my life. The folks who have gone to the extreme have valuable knowledge and insight on how to declutter your life. Even if you don’t go whole hog, you should still see how you can apply certain pieces to your life.

It’s Getting Hot in Here

Today, it is 95 degrees Fahrenheit and feels like 97. Tomorrow the high is 96 and will feel like 100. The humidity is only at around 40% but there’s still an air quality advisory. Tomorrow should be more humid until the inevitable thunderstorm. My friend and I were whinging about the weather.

Pal: And the mofos that are our congressmen get to go home for the summer. Luck bastards.

Me: TBF, some of them are going back to places that are even hotter than here. And no, I don’t mean hell.

Pal: Darn.

Music Monday: Pride Party!

Now that we’re done having some feelings, it’s time to have some fun music to celebrate pride!

I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross
Born This Way by Lady Gaga
Rebel Grrrl by Bikini Kill
YMCA by The Village People
We R Who We R by Kesha
Song for the Lonely by Cher
Closer by Tegan and Sara
It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls
Losing My Mind by Liza Minelli
Take Me or Leave Me from Rent

If you want to slow things down and have some feels:
True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
Midnight Radio from Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland

Reading the Rainbow: Green

I’ve had Leaving Megalopolis by Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore on my TBR for literal years. I snagged cheap at Baltimore Comic Con a couple of years ago. I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read it. 

I love the idea of the heroes we put our faith and security in turning on us. How do we react? How do we handle that? 

There are a lot of stories about humans hunting each other. This takes it to another level. What would happen if someone had a psychotic break or serial killer behavior with meta-human powers?

The heroes don’t want to be bad but are you a hero when your powers force responsibility on you? What if you think people are beyond saving? This makes you think about tough questions about what it means to be heroic.

What really got me were the dogs. Seeing the poor dead puppet on the street and watching poor Mina’s heart break when she sees the dog she didn’t want to care about hurt her. I just wanted to find one of my dog friends and hug them. 

I loved how the raccoon became this beautiful metaphor. As an animal person, this all resonated with me. Lots of feelings were had.
One bonus of waiting so long to read it? Surviving Megalopolis is already on shelves! (No, I’m not buying it yet but that’s happening before the year is out.) Go read this now. 5/5

Closet Declutter

Despite trying the KonMari method, I seem to work best when I mull over what I really need in my life. Since there’s a major change on the horizon, I won’t need as many office clothes as before.

Skirts – I don’t have many skirts by American standards. An asymmetric black mini skirt (with pockets), a reversible purple and orange silk skirt, a hi-lo skirt with classic movie monsters, and I’m waiting on a gorgeous rainbow cloud skirt from Elhoffer Designs. I’m waiting on a red skirt from Gaia Conceptions for my Velma costume.

I had two knee length full skirts from ModCloth, a navy one with pastel sharks and a blue one with a bright octopus. I love the shark skirt because sharks are one of my favorite animals. The octopus skirt has a big waist that my chubby belly likes to squish down. I realized that I will never wear them to go out and be social and if I’m leaving my office life behind, there is no reason to keep them. I listed them on Poshmark and they sold in about 2 hours.

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Camis – I have a lot of tanks from Jordan Dene and sleeveless rayon tops. One of the main reasons I wore camis was because they worked so well with all of my skirts. All of them also show a sliver of bra in the back so I’m getting rid of all of my camis except my black one.

Leggings – I don’t need to look office appropriate as much so I’m gravitation more toward my bold leggings. This means that I can phase out at least one pair of my plain colored leggings.

Cardigans – I know I’m not going to wear a lot of my cardigans to hang out or go out so I can narrow this down by quite a bit. Some of the snaps on by Eddie Bauer 7 Ways cardigan don’t hold well and I’m accepting I’m probably more Slytherin than Gryffindor. I also got a cute black and white cardigan from ModCloth hoping it would be a great basic and I just don’t love it.

I like my 4th Doctor cardigan but I don’t wear it very much so I’m on the fence about it. I have a purple bolero sweater with half sleeves I’m also on the fence about. I’d use it with anything with thin straps for the office but I also have it in cream. I’m not sure if I still have a use for it but I’m not sure if I should get rid of it yet.

Tops – I have a plain tank top from ModCloth and I reach for one of my graphic tanks every time so it doesn’t make sense to keep it.

Unfortunately, selling these clothes is more of an exercise in minimizing and contrbuting to my side hustle since I had to replace a part on my car that the mechanic called “the most expensive part to replace.” I got this news just after I found out a doggy daycare near me might be hiring. Looks like I’ll have to put off my career change for a little while longer.