New Years Resolutions Quarterly Update

Going through and making changes to takes and categories, I found my New Years resolutions for 2015. How am I doing so far?

General

1) Eat better
Definitely an improvement. I eat more fresh veggies and have a smoothie every morning with veggies, fruit, and fiber.

2) Exercise more/be more active
Some progress made. Not with a great deal of consistency but I’ve really stepped it up in the last few weeks so hopefully I can keep it going.

3) Spend less money on frivolous things
Nope. Lots of fail happening on this front. I’m hoping to improve here but we’ll see what happens.

4) Make more recipes
Lots of fail happening here too. My standard system is “What’s in the fridge/freezer? What do I know on how to make it edible?”

5) Pay off credit card
Excuse me, I have to go die laughing at the level of fail happening on this one.

6) Write more
Happening. I’m making solid contributions on the blog and some people actually read them! I’ve started writing more creative fiction which was where I wanted to focus my efforts.

7) Be tidier
Meh. I have less things and am getting a bit better at putting stuff away but I’m lazy AF about it other times. I feel like I’m breaking kind of even here right now.

8) Own less stuff
Definite progress has been made. I’ve added a bunch of things to my ‘sell on Poshmark’ box, I’ve sold several things on Poshmark, and I’ve found even more books to rehome despite my recent cull.

9) Resume using Duolingo to improve my residual college German
I’ve done less here than I did with my credit card.

10) Travel somewhere fun
Nothing thus far since I’ve been both busy and broke AF.

11) Spend less time on iPhone
I’ve made some improvement in recent weeks but I’m still not great. I could be doing a lot better.

12) Make more chain maille jewelry
I have made exactly one thing. It was for a reddit gift exchange. I signed up to be a regifter for the color exchange and made her a necklace in her favorite colors. She’s a hardcore Slytherin so it wasn’t too difficult.

Literary

1) Finish books started in 2015
Progress has been made on a few but nothing has been finished that carried over.

2) Complete 2016 book challenge
Working on it and have totally made progress. I’m somewhat pleased about this one.

3) Read at least one book before seeing the movie
Not yet but most of the adaptations I give a duck’s butt about don’t come out until fall.

4) Only buy 16 books outside of cons/fairs & gifts
So far, so good. 4 of 16 and 5 signed con purchases. There are 2 other big cons that I know I’ll be going to this year. I’ll likely miss the third for the first time in 6 years because some genius decided Labor Day weekend was a good time to have it. At least it will save me money.

5) Get number of books owned back under 700
It’s complicated.

6) Buy at least 1 book at a local indie bookstore
Not yet but I’m biding my time. I’ve only got 16 and I have several I’m really amped to get this summer.

7) Finish the Fables graphic novel series. I have them all. I just haven’t wanted it to be over.
Not yet. I’m trying to get ahead on my books for the year on GoodReads and my Richer Reading Life Challenge. I’m also waiting until I’m in the right head space.

8) See the Deadpool movie in theaters. I am absolute rubbish about seeing things in the theaters but I’m too much of a fan girl to let this one stand.
Check! I greatly enjoyed it. It was lacking in character development in a few areas but was a very fun ride. I am so pumped they’re getting a sequel!

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2016 Books #5

Yes, I bought myself another book. I blame a combination of circumstance and personal weakness.

The Long Version

I signed up to be a regifter in reddit’s Color git exchange. I had several things I wanted to order off amazon for my person. Riff offered to place an amazon order for me through his prime account with my credit card. I brought it up to him 3 times via technology but life happened in between face-to-face meetings. Either way, Riff’s offer was kind of like my current friendship with Magenta, seems nice but lacked substance and sincerity.

I finally give up on him acknowledging he ever made the damn offer and just order the stuff. This involved a lot of fancy footwork since Amazon raised the free shipping minimum (bastards). Hours later I got my match for the sci-fi exchange. Had I waited 4 hours, this might not have happened. Instead, I had to make 2 orders in the same day and do the cart dance of “I’m too stubborn to get prime” to get free shipping. With a $25 order of books to get free shipping, it wasn’t that difficult.

The Short Version

I was buying a reddit gift, the price was good, I’ve been wanting it for a while, I wanted free shipping (which was only $25 for books), and I’m weak.

Either version ends with me getting a feminist speculative fiction anthology.

  1. Illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  2. This Is Why You’re Single by Laura Lane & Angela Spera
  3. Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken & Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
  4. The Green Man by Ellen Datlow
  5. Sisters of the Revolution edited by Ann VanderMeer

Casual Reading Challenge Month 3

Since I spent a lot of time on books that didn’t fit any challenge and Bad Feminist, I don’t have much to check off this month.

For Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, I can only check off the one title.

  • Nonfiction feminist book – Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

2016BRRHC Mar

I had a bit more success with PopSugar’s Reading Challenge checking off 4 titles. One is a retroactive add since I did catch it before but The Bell Jar is definitely a classic.

  • New York Time’s Bestseller – Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  • Finish in a Day – Age of License by Lucy Knisley
  • Published in 2016 – The Never Open Desert Diner by James Anderson
  • 20th Century Classic – The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

2016PSRC Mar

I’ve got some thick books coming up in April so we’ll see how much more I can check off next month. Until then, read on.

Richer Reading Life Book #3

Checking off a book written by a person of color. I finally finished Bad Feminist. It took longer than I thought because of limited time, library books, and a lot of content.

Some of her personal stories made me laugh, like competing in competitive Scrabble tournaments or being Team Peeta. Some of her more analytical pieces struck my feminist chord like when she talks about eating disorders, sexual violence, and rape culture, or the still on-going battle to preserve our reproductive rights. I wanted to nod vigorously and shout “All the yes!” when I read her essays about Chris Brown, Robin Thicke and FSOG.

Gay also opened my eyes to the scarcity of black stories being told by black voices in modern media. It made me truly rethink my feelings about The Help and made me want to revisit with fresh eyes. I need to integrate more literature, both feminist and not, about people of color into my reading. It made me appreciate how insulated I’ve become since more to a more affluent suburb surrounded by white people and “good” minorities. I’ll never be able to understand it but my world will be better for hearing about it. 4 out of 5 stars.

Putting a number on how many challenge books I’ve is making me appreciate how far little I’ve done. Several activities require reading books as well so it looks like I’ve got to step up my game and pick up the pace.

March Library Haul Review

I was able to burn through my library haul fairly quickly. What did I think?

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I’m about 15 years too old for this book but I needed a palette cleanser/literary cotton candy. Lara Jean lives a comfortable sheltered life until the letters she wrote to all her crushes get mailed (I totally called how it happened BTW). Now shenanigans ensue as Lara Jean lives with the consequences.

It was exactly what I expected it to be. Light, fluffy fun that doesn’t hit too hard or make you think. There is no existential crisis of the world ending or someone’s world view getting rewritten with a hard truth or someone dying. Lara Jean is very sweet and a bit like myself when I was her age. Her biggest concerns are what her peers think about her and taking care of her family, although I would have handled certain situations a bit differently.

If you like the sound of it, you’ll probably like the book. I set my expectations at face value that they were met. 3 out of 5 stars. If I was the target market or had this book 15 years ago, I might have loved it then. Now, it’s good for what it is.

Age of License by Lucy Knisley

Lucy Knisley was in her early 20s when she had a European adventure. I really enjoyed her art style. I was never confused by the structure. Despite not looking like ‘traditional’ comics, Knisley did a great job of creating the comic in a way that the eye naturally follows.

I was impressed with how honest she was about what she was thinking and feeling as she had this adventure. Not everyone is so confessional with their storytelling. It created a closeness with the reader and Knisley. I liked the mix of color and B&W. The sketches she made while living it would be B&W but she was able to give us full color glimpses of her adventure.

I really enjoyed the message that you should go out and have adventures, make mistakes, find new experiences, and discover yourself. I’m beyond that place in my life for the most part but I can see what several folks on BookTube were very excited about this. 4 out of 5 stars.

Displacement by Lucy Knisley

I loved this one because it gives a younger audience a better idea of what it’s like dealing with ailing loved ones. My mom was in charge of my grandfather’s care at the end of this life. While I didn’t have to get my hands as dirty as Lucy Knisley did, it gave me a better picture of the harsh realities.

I thought what she did was incredibly kind and gave her lovely memories of her grandparents while she still had them. My grandfather lost his ability to walk, wasn’t much of a joiner, and had no desire to go anywhere. When he first came to live near us, he was the same weight Taft was when he got stuck in the tub and his mind was fading fast. I wish I could have known my grandmother better. I’m told she was a battleaxe but adored me. I wonder how she and I would have gotten along as I got older.

While I appreciate how exhausting and difficult it was, I’m envious that Lucy got to take this trip. A must-read for anyone in their 20s and 30s to get a preview of coming attractions. 5 out of 5 stars.

Music Monday: A Little Country

A much maligned genre of music, today we’re branching out and going to crank some country tunes. It’s a genre with heart, attitude, and a lotta whiskey.

Baggage Claim by Miranda Lambert
Spitfire by LeAnn Rimes
Perfect Storm by Brad Paisley
Two Black Cadillacs by Carrie Underwood
Cowboys Like Us by George Strait
Like a Rose by Ashley Monroe
Over by Blake Shelton
Turn on Your Radio by Reba McEntire
That’s My Kind of Night by Luke Bryan
Feel That Fire by Dierks Bently
Hell on Heels by Pistol Annies
On the Road Again by Willie Nelson
Jesus and Gravity by Dolly Parton
Best Days of Your Life by Kellie Pickler
Don’t Think I Don’t Think about It by Darius Rucker

 

Marching Orders 27-38

I love having access to podcasts and YouTube videos reminding me of the less is more lifestyle. Since I have that hanging out in my ear, I am going big at the end of the month.

  Three sets of arm warmers I never wear, a cami I’ve stopped wearing, a scarf I didn’t use at all this past winter, a purse I haven’t used in over a year, two tees I don’t wear and a tee I’ll be adding to a pile I want to have made into a quilt.

Three pairs of socks I never wear. It is always too hot in July for socks, the mustaches are getting worn out, and the pattern on the third pair hurts my feet since it’s on 100% of the sock. Sayonara!