Tuesday, June 28, 2016

That time I started watching Game of Thrones

I've never watched Game of Thrones. I've had countless folks tell me I should, but given my tendency to get (overly) invested in shows, I've resisted. I'm currently in a hotel with HBO, so when I saw an episode was on, I thought I'd give it a whirl. I should mention it was the finale of season six. ICYMI, I took some notes on what I watched. There's probably spoilers here, but I don't know what they are?

  • This opening theme sequence seems unnecessarily long.
  • Everyone is getting dressed in an elaborate sequence.
  • Why is there no talking? Show's been on for five minutes, and there have been zero words spoken.
  • More shots of people getting dressed.
  • Seriously, where is the talking?
  • This trial is a bummer.
  • *Covering eyes for the blood and sword thing*
  • This show is so dark. . .like as in poor lighting.
  • *Covering eyes for lots of blood and stabbing*
  • It appears as if this guy just found the ozze that made the TMNT and/or some residue from Slimer in some random cave.
  • Court is out. of. control. They need medieval Judge Judy to restore order.
  • Umm, someone might need to call the Ghostbusters because there is a green explosion everywhere.
  • #sipswine
  • #pourswine
  • This woman gives no f-s.
  • Someone else is dying.
  • Now, there is a party.
  • Now, there's some new people. I think they are moving to the town?
  • They're talking about Jon Snow. I think he died, but then he didn't?
  • Jon Snow is here!
  • Now they're talking about some war. I think that is probably important.
  • It's snowing. Jon Snow is standing outside with some woman. It seems like they should go inside where it's warm.
  • Now it's somewhere where it's spring out.
  • Apparently a war is going to happen soon.
  • #drinkswine
  • More people talking about war. The blonde queen lady is going to get married to someone to build alliances. But it's not going to be the dude with the beard. #awkward
  • Peter Dinklage is explaining to the blonde queen she can now get whatever she wants in the game (. . . of thrones?!?!)
  • Grumpy Old Man in the house.
  • Grumpy Old Man just got killed by the Stark girl.
  • The redheaded woman and some guy are talking about the iron throne.
  • Guy went in for the kiss. Redhead wasn't interested.
  • Guy with really pale skin (Uncle Ben) just said peace out to his nephew and niece. They're stuck out in the cold. Also, there is a tree that has bloody eyes, and the kid just touched it.
  • Now, some lady is dying in a bed. Ned is sad.
  • The lady just whispered some stuff to Ned.
  • There's a baby.
  • #jonsnowstare
  • Some dudes are having a meeting about a war.
  • A little girl is calling all the old dudes on their s--t.
  • The little girl is #TeamStark.
  • Now they're talking about Jon Snow and the Red Wedding. I think that was a big deal.
  • A dude is apologizing for being a jerk.
  • House Clover + House Stark = Love
  • The meeting is all about #TeamKingoftheNorth
  • Here comes the short-haired lady.
  • The short-haired lady is the queen now.
  • #sitsonfancythrone
  • There is some dramatic music and people staring at each other and/or at random things.
  • A lot of boats are going somewhere.
  • Some dragons just showed up?!!?!?
  • THE END. . .  
  • Huh?

Friday, June 24, 2016

What's Making Me Happy - 6/24

The first thing making me happy this week is this little crafting project.

A few weeks ago, a sorority sister had posted a project she'd done with her wedding cards, and I was intrigued by the hexagon pattern. She let me know about the punch she used, and I knew I needed one in my life. I also had acquired a well-worn copy of Ramona the Pest awhile back, and I knew I wanted to craft something with it. Finally, I have an excess of frames that I've acquired for projects I want to do. . .someday. I put all three of these things together, and this happened, and I love it. It's in our guest bathroom (which is technically also my bathroom), and I smile every time that I see it.

The next thing making me happy this week is Interlibrary Loans! Yes, that's right, friends, I said Interlibrary Loans. It's no secret that I read a lot. I also frequent the library at least once a week. And while the library has lots of things, it doesn't have all the things. For those who are new to the world of Interlibrary Loans, essentially, you can borrow a book FROM ANY LIBRARY IN THE UNITED STATES. It is contingent on a library agreeing to let your library borrow the book (and/or other materials - I've also borrowed DVDs) for a bit, but if they do (and usually they will), it's just like it's from your library. There is the restriction that you can't renew the item, but that's a small compromise to have all the things available. *And stepping off library soapbox*

And there's more book things. As a result of an ebook settlement, I ended up with a $33 Barnes & Noble credit! Yes, yes, I just bought books, but free money (well, technically, my money given back to me) to buy more books is always a great thing.

And finally, there was this piece in Lenny Letter this week by J. Courtney Sullivan about The Babysitters Club that I just loved - A Mary Anne with Kristy Rising: On the Enduring Legacy of the Baby-Sitters Club Books. #BSCforever

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

2016 Reads - #73 - 76

Somehow I ended up reading four really intense books for this round which I did not totally plan and definitely would not recommend. However, spaced out and tempered appropriately, these are all worth checking out

The Last Good Girl was focused on a detective investigating a missing girl on a college campus who is the daughter of the university president. Through her research and video blogs of the victim you come to find out the missing girl was sexually assaulted by a perpetrator wrapped in a lot of power and privilege. Admittedly, I guessed the twist in the story pretty quick. However, this was a really well done fiction story of the reall life obstacles and issues survivors face. 

Goat was a memoir, and I hate reviewing memoirs because I feel like I end up saying, "I wish their life was more exciting, and this had happened." This one focuses on hazing, as well as post-traumatic stress. They've also made this into a movie starring Nick Jonas, and I have a hunch they'll drama up some of the scenes in this, and I'm looking forward to seeing it (both for content and Nick Jonas).

Columbine was powerful. I was in high school when Columbine happened, and I remember that day vividly. This was an incredible and emotional overview of the before, the during and the after that cultivated so many emotions in me even after all these years. It's heavy, but I read it over a day and a half because it was so compelling.

We Are Called to Rise was the first book from my book sale haul. I actually opened this up and realized I had a signed copy! The story has three story arcs - a woman struggling in her marriage, a veteran struggling with PTSD and an eight year old son of an immigrant trying to find his way. As the book goes on, their stories start to intersect and overlap. It was a really captivating read, and another one with a twist I didn't anticipate. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday Menagerie - 6/20

  • New chapter in my yet to be released memoir - Why Do I Have A Voicemail, and Can We Just Solve What You Needed Over Text or Email? 
  • Said chapter is mostly inspired by the random voicemail I got responding to an inquiry I'm quite sure I did not make.
  • I'm into season six of Gilmore Girls. I've been watching at a crazy rate because I need this Rory and Lorelai estrangement to be over.
  • Speaking of Gilmore Girls, I'm not a fan of Logan Huntzberger.
  • If there were a game show called, "Name That House," I would win. I would especially dominate the "I can tell you details about this house in this many rooms" round. The joys of house hunting. . . 
  • Can I just wake up and have a house?
  • Would it be premature to start packing now? Does that bring good vibes to this process?
  • Ecto Cooler was just as wonderful as I hoped it would be. I think I'm going to buy another case or seven. I hope it never goes away again.

Friday, June 17, 2016

What's Making Me Happy - 6/17

I'd be remiss to write this week and not say that this week has been full of tears and sadness and really terrible things. However, amidst that, there has also been hope and heroes and love. 

And in my little corner of the world, here's what's making me happy this week.

I have quested after a charm bracelet for years, y'all - YEARS. I recently purchased the bracelet from Stella & Dot, then switched a few things from a necklace to charms, as well as added in some old Theta and Royals things. When I won the Mystery Hostess party, I added in a few more charms, and here's the completed product. I still have a few more things I will probably add on/rotate in, but right now, it is just what I dreamed.

This week, I happened upon this letter.

I love this letter for a lot of reasons, but mostly it's because of the timing. That first year as a full-time professional was hard. I was far, far away from home and struggling to find my way as a new professional. I was not prepared for what this transition was going to be like, and in many regards, I didn't feel like I was making much of a difference. And then, I received a copy of this letter. It's hard to think it's been nine years since I started working full-time in higher education, but at the same time, that first year feels light years away. Regardless of the time, I am as thankful for these words from Frank today, as I am for them all those years ago. 

And finally, Dustin and I actually looked at houses this week! We've been online hunting for awhile, but this is the week we went into full House Hunters mode and stepped into properties with our realtor. It was much more fun than I expected, and it's exciting to start thinking about having an actual home to call our own. We're going out again tomorrow, so stay tuned for more developments there!

2016 Reads - #69 - 72

I'm a little behind on getting these blogged. Finished these last week before the influx of new reads. 

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up was one I wanted to read after seeing Marie Kondu on Rachel Ray a few weeks back. I'd heard the buzz/seen this everywhere, but that was the first time I'd ever been pushed to actually check this out. I liked it. I was excited to see some of the things I'd already started doing with organizing and decluttering were strategies she used, and I learned a few new ones. More than anything, it was a motivational read and encouraged me to keep doing what I'm doing.

Y the Last Man - Ring of Truth was good. This series has been good so far. Although each book doesn't give me a whole bunch to comment upon. I've temporarily put this on hold as I have a whole bunch of other "stuff" to get through.

Fairest: Clamour for Glamour was my absolute favorite of the series. In Fables, I always loved the story of the characters on "The Farm" best, and that's what this one focused on. It had some really great humor and a good plot pushing it forward.

Fairest In All the Land was the conclusion to the series. Given how much I loved #5, I didn't find that some love here. It was still a fitting conclusion and affirmed how much I dig this series.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday Menagerie - 6/13

  • I'm adding a new chapter to my as of yet released memoir. It will be titled, "What is on this flash drive? And how do I have so darn many of these things?"
  • We are getting ready to start house hunting officially. I wish House Hunters had a spinoff called "House Hunters - Stressed The Heck Out Because It's A Seller's Market, And There Are LIterally No Houses Left On Our List To See."

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

JoCo Book Sale Recap

Friends Preview Sale Finds

Return Visit Finds

This morning was my favorite day of summer - JoCo Book Sale Day!! I spent about two hours at the Friends preview, and I'm excited to have some many great reads to add to my library.

For this year, here's what I found (Note: This now includes return visit finds!):
  • Catalyst - Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Neighbors - Thomas Berger
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka Brunt
  • The Bear - Claire Cameron
  • A Dog's Purpose - W. Bruce Cameron
  • Play Dead - Harlan Coben
  • Suddenly - Barbara Delinsky
  • The Boston Girl - Anita Diamant
  • The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky - Ken Dornstein
  • In the Woods - Tana French
  • Still Alice - Lisa Genova
  • Someday, Someday, Maybe - Lauren Graham
  • Family Pictures - Jane Green
  • Pompeii - Robert Harris
  • Someone Else's Love Story - Joshilyn Jackson
  • The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd
  • Prodigal Summer - Barbara Kingsolver
  • Finding Audrey - Sophie Kinsella
  • Go Set A Watchmen - Harper Lee
  • We Are Called to Rise - Laura McBride
  • The Paris Wife - Paula McLain
  • The Hypnotist's Love Story - Liane Moriarty
  • The Distant Hours - Kate Morton
  • The Secret Keeper - Kate Morton
  • The Girl You Left Behind - Jojo Moyes
  • The Bees - Laline Paull
  • Julie & Julia - Julie Powell
  • Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake - Anna Quindlen
  • Still Life With Bread Crumbs - Anna Quindlen
  • Brady, Brady, Brady - Sherwood Schwartz & Lloyd J. Schwartz
  • Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen - Alix Kates Shulman
  • The Last Girls - Lee Smith
  • What I know Know: Letters to My Younger Self - Edited by Ellen Spragins
  • The Bookseller - Cynthia Swanson
  • We Are Not Ourselves - Matthew Thomas
  • Back When We Were Grownups - Anne Tyler
  • Saint Maybe - Anne Tyler
  • The Next Best Thing - Jennifer Weiner
  • The Interestings - Meg Wolitzer
I also found six books I've read before, but now own copies:
  • Quitter - Jon Acuff
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
  • Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay
  • More Book Lust - Nancy Pearl
  • Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
  • Queen Bees & Wannabees - Rosalind Wiseman 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

On Who I Thought I'd Be

I've been doing a massive cleaning of my apartment in preparation for an upcoming garage sale and just because I need to in general. One of today's smaller tasks was cleaning out some binders where I keep magazine articles that I think I might want to reference someday. As I made some edits, it was an interesting trip back. I've had these binders since my mid-twenties, and I learned some things about past/current/future me:

  • I apparently thought my social life was going to be way more exciting than it really is at this point in life. There were a lot of articles on entertaining.
  • I saved a lot of articles on cleaning. I should probably spend less time saving these and more time, well, cleaning.
  • I guess I have long aspired to have some sort of beauty routine. At this point, it's not happening.
  • Same with a fancy exercise routine.
  • I saved lots of articles for skills I already have, namely writing notes.
  • I had every of the articles with listing of online sites I've never once gone to.
  • Reader's Digest has the most helpful content I've saved.
  • My taste in decor is pretty unwavering and timeless. I like my style.
  • The travelling and packing articles I saved are actually now going to come in handy.
  • Same with the articles on house hunting and other adulting things. Good work, Past Me.

Monday Menagerie - 6/7

(I remembered this morning that I totally forgot to finish this post yesterday. So, here are the three random things that were on my mind yesterday.)

  • I wish I had the resilience and perseverance of the random, dark stray hairs that reside on my chin. I wish these follicles would take a hint. . .
  • These week is the JoCo Used Book Sale aka the one time a year I buy books. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't considered camping out to ensure I was first in line.
  • I'm into Season Five of Gilmore Girls. I'm totally Team Jess.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

2016 Reads - #65 - 68

Hey, here's some more things I read:

Y the Last Man - One Small Step and Y the Last Man - Safeword were both great reads. Thus far, the series has kept me in suspense as to what might happen next (which is part of the reason I'm breezing through). I'm digging the variety of responses to the loss of men that the series has examined thus far.

Fairest: The Return of the Maharaja was another fairy tale I wasn't familiar with, but I still really enjoyed it, particularly the intersection of Prince Charming. My only complaint was the font was a little tricky to read. . .

Fairest: Of Men and Mice was a unique spin on Cinderella. . . specifically some of the supporting characters in the story. I really liked this one. One of the tricky things about this volume is that it referenced a volume of Fables (which I've already read), so I felt like I was reading out of sequence and like I needed to re-read to really get the full story.

Friday, June 3, 2016

What's Making Me Happy - 6/3

Another week, another round of what's making me happy. . .

First, I got my newest Stitch Fix, and y'all, it's the best one yet. I gasped with excitement when I saw what was inside. I've been yearning for a green military vest and had pinned a zillion on my Stitch Fix board. Well, the stylist took the hint, and she included one. She also put this patterned dress in that goes perfectly. 

I also kept a patterned blouse that fit like a glove (except not - because then it would be a glove, but you know what I mean).

P.S. If you want to check out StitchFix, you can use my referral code here. Full Disclosure - I get $25 if you get a fix, but y'all, it's so, so worth it.)

Next, I had the pleasure of having back-to-back barbecue this week. There's a conference for my field in town this week, and while I'm not actually attending, I got all the perks (aka the food). On Wednesday, I was at Jack Stack for dinner, and then when my co-workers wanted a BBQ place close to their hotel on Thursday, we landed at Jack Stack again. I may or may not be devising a plan to have burnt ends and potato salad again today.

And then, AND THEN, I WAS THE MYSTERY HOSTESS FOR A STELLA & DOT MYSTERY HOSTESS SHOW. I won $327 of free jewelry and half-off four items, and y'all, they have all of the cute things. 

P.S. Another plug - My friend Amanda is the best S&D stylist around. Like her page, and find all the adorable, must-have things here

Finally, last night, Jimmy Kimmel had the spelling bee contestants and Akash (!!) on for his annual Spelling Bee. It was incredible as always.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

2016 Reads - #57 - 64

Here's another round of reads for me. These come especially quickly because most of them are comics which mean I read them at a rapid rate!

Y the Last Man: Unmanned is the first in a series that has been recommended to me a few times. The premise of the story is that all of the male-identified species die off with the exception of this one dude and his monkey. This comic sets the stage for the moments before and the moments right after.

The Saga of the Bloody Benders is a read I happened upon at the library. As a child, my parents commonly stopped at historical markers along our road trips, so we could learn about history. One in particular that we'll always remember is the Bloody Benders. The Benders showed up in a town in Kansas, and they opened up a grocery store. . . And well, then people started disappearing, and well. . . they were kind of involved. I don't want to give all the bloody (literally) details, but you can learn more here. This comic was a really good summation of the story and worth checking out if you know about them and also if you don't.

Fairest #1 - Wide Awake is a spinoff series from Fables which I adore. The spinoff focuses on the female characters of the book. This one focused on the back story of Aurora/Sleeping Beauty, and it did a good job of (re)capturing the Fables magic for me.

Little Fish was a graphic novel I picked up on a whim. Y'all, I loved it. It was about the author's first year away from home at college, and it brought back so many feels. The author was in college back when Live Journal (remember those??!?) was a thing, so her actual thoughts from her blog were integrated with the comic. It was a good trip down memory lane for me, and I highly recommend this one.

Golden State was a book on my "to read" list I picked up because it was available at the library. It's about university bombings, and given today's events, I offer that as a content warning. I struggled with this book because of the framing of mental health, and that hang-up led me to be overall unsettled about this read.

Y the Last Man: Cycles is the second read in the series. It's more of "What happens now?" part of the story. It focuses on how different pockets of women are surviving in the new reality, as well as what's going on with the one dude. It ends on a cliffhanger that has me excited to see what happens next.

Fairest: Hidden Kingdom is the second in the series. This is the first one of these that I've really not loved. I think this was because there was the addition of fairy tale I'm not as familiar with, so I didn't fully "get" the way the plot played out. With more knowledge of these characters, I think I'd appreciate this one more.

Arab of the Future is one I picked up on a whim. It was an intriguing read about the author's childhood in France, Libya and Syria. It was really interesting to read about the history of the countries, as I don't know much. This is the first in a series, and I'll definitely read the next one to learn more.