It’s Monday and I’m exhausted

The end of semester fatigue is real, and I am not sure when it’s going to end. Like, it has just been a lot and all I want to do is sleep. I was thinking something was wrong with me, but I had a psychiatrist appointment last week, and she pointed out that I’m coming down from all the adrenaline of the semester and moving my daughter back into town so of course I’m exhausted. And then I talked to a few colleagues who said they are feeling the same way. So I’ve decided to stop fighting it and just lean into the exhaustion. Hopefully, it’ll be over before the week is out, and I’ll feel more like a full human before the week is up. Hopefully.

So, here are the books I’ve read since my last post:

Continue reading “It’s Monday and I’m exhausted”

It’s the end of the month as we know it so here are some book reviews

Okay, technically, I am writing this post on April 30, but it will post on May 1, so you know what that means.

Too much has happened since my last post to do any of it justice, so the most important things to note are that:

  1. The LA Times Festival of Books was last weekend! It’s always a good time to meet authors and listen to them talk about their books. And, of course, to get up to shenanigans with my friends.
  2. It’s finals week.

So I’m just going to do a round up of the rest of the books I’ve finished this past month since there is so much to do–especially since I am basically leaving town the day finals end.

Continue reading “It’s the end of the month as we know it so here are some book reviews”

It’s Monday and the only zombie I like is Jesus

And maybe Lazarus? Or that little girl who was “sleeping”? Happy day after Easter is my point. As well as Chag Sameach for Passover, which. I went to my first Seder on Friday. It was very unconventional but a super good time, so my friend said she still owes me a traditional one. Still! I can now officially say I have been to a Passover Seder, something I had not been able to say before.

In other news, I am on the hiring committee at work, and we did interviews for three days straight on Zoom last week. My brain is absolutely fried from reading applications and doing interviews while also trying to keep up with teaching my classes. Surprising no one, I am behind on everything and the most I can handle TV-wise is rewatching Psych (I’m currently making my way through the rest of season 3).

On Saturday, during tap class, the teacher told us that Dorrance Dance was in town, so I went to that, and it was phenomenal. I am always impressed by tappers (I am a low intermediate at best), but I was especially impressed by the one guy who tapped while turning. I am terrible at turning and cannot do it without getting dizzy, so the fact that this dude could do both at the same time blew my mind.

Also, not for nothing, but the artistic directer Michelle Dorrance won a MacArthur Genius Award.

They did not do this routine in the show, but this gives you a sense of how bananas talented and impressive these people and the show are:

Continue reading “It’s Monday and the only zombie I like is Jesus”

It’s Monday & I saw two plays this past weekend

Or a musical and a play, if you’re being pedantic.

But, yes! I finally got to see the touring production of The Lion King, and I went to see Kiss of the Spider Woman, the play I assigned to my students this semester.

Continue reading “It’s Monday & I saw two plays this past weekend”

It’s Monday & a lot has happened since my last post

My last post was on Feb. 27 and since then the following has happened:

1. Spring break! I was on spring break from March 5-11, and I spent the week with a friend at a resort on Playa Bayahibe in the Dominican Republic. The weather was perfect, the beach was perfect, the water was perfect, the company was perfect–everything was perfect. It was so good to get away and be warm and near/in beautiful water and to do nothing but sleep, eat, read, and get in the water.

I was going to post while I was there, but I decided to unplug from all social media and just be present. Here’s a pic that encapsulates what my week was like:

a pic of me wearing sunglasses on the beach
rough life, I know

Heaven.

2. Then, I had to fly home. On the first flight, there was no wi-fi and no in-flight entertainment, which would have been fine except I finished my book with about an hour or so left in the flight and needed a break before starting my next book. On top of that–and I have no one to blame but myself–I didn’t/forgot to add movies or TV shows to my phone before the trip. I had to just stare into space for a little while because I wasn’t ready to jump into a new book and I, you know, had nothing else to do.

My second flight got delayed by about an hour or so for a mechanical issue (the inside of the plane wasn’t cooling off), which sucked but was also great because that gave me time to add stuff to ye olde cell phone. I mean, I had already added a couple things because of the layover, but the extra time meant extra time. So, of course, I didn’t watch anything at all on that flight.

By the time I landed and got to my ride, it was about 1:45 a.m. and the driver gleefully announced that it would take a half hour to get to my place, which meant I would get home after 3 a.m. because of the time change. I had forgotten about the time change but was glad he told me so I could change the time on my oven when I got home.

I got to bed–finally–at 4 a.m., which would have been fine except the next day…

3. I went to the Oscars party at the Academy Museum. My friend is a member and wanted to go, so go she and I and another friend went.

I was skeptical about going to watch a screening of the Oscars in an auditorium, but it turned out to be really fun, and even though we weren’t at the actual ceremony, it felt like we were very close to being in the actual room. Everyone got all dressed up (the invite said to wear “Hollywood glam”) and there was food and fun. We learned a lot of lessons about what to do if we go again, and we also understood fully why celebs have glam squads. Let’s just say boob tape was involved and never speak of it again.

Also, I got a pedicure before I left on my trip because I wouldn’t have time when I got back, and my nail polish chipped on the LAST DAY when I was packing up to get on the plane. I was bereft, especially since I only had open-toed shoes to wear.

4. The next day was back to work, which wasn’t so bad because (a) my sabbatical officially got approved [expected], and (b) I got nominated for a teaching award by my students [unexpected]. So, that was excellent news all around.

And to top it all off, it was light outside when I left work because of Daylight Saving Time. I have been in the best mood all week because of the time change haha.

5. I am officially back to the grind–especially because I am on the hiring committee for my department and we got over 400 applications to screen. My eyeballs are melting out of my head, but I decided to take a break and post this.

6. Also, you know between the spring break and the last time I posted, I read some books:

Continue reading “It’s Monday & a lot has happened since my last post”

It’s Monday & It Snowed in Southern California

In case you missed it, it snowed in California this weekend and, more specifically, it snowed in Southern California. I got several texts asking me if it was snowing where I lived, and my answer to each was no. Because I did not see the snow. I saw the hail, I saw the rain, but I did not see the snow. If it did snow where I lived, it was before I woke up.

My mother called me and asked if I was sure I lived in Southern California because all of her weather sources were telling her snow, but I was not. So, yes, my mother thought I was LYING to her because I wasn’t filming snow from my patio door. (This is mostly a joke.)

Group text was lit, tho.

a picture of a group text exchange

Text from the photo says:

[picture of snowy landscape with a link title “Desert snow: Rare snowfall accumulates in Palm Springs during SoCal storm

Person 1: This is wild.

Me: Welp. It’s the end times

Me: Nice knowing you all

Me: We’ll see which of us gets left behind shortly, I guess

Also, I know it’s feeling real fifth season-y, but it has snowed in Los Angeles before.

So maybe the end is only a little near.

I also read some books since my last post:

Continue reading “It’s Monday & It Snowed in Southern California”

It’s Monday and…well, none for Gretchen Wieners

There’s not a whole lot to report, I don’t think. Since my last post, I was finally able to get into a pretty good groove so I’m not rushing all the time and behind on my life.

I also went to see the touring musical production of Mean Girls.

Picture of mean girls stage
seat didn’t suck

The Plastics were all played by members of the global majority, which seemed to work okay for the musical since that was more about fitting in. The movie, however, is very specifically about the ways White girls bully each other and jockey for power. The book (Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman) is also more about the latter but makes the connection to White womanhood as well. That said, it was–dare I say–so fetch and super fun. The woman who played Karen stole the show with Janis right behind her. They were all phenomenal, though. And I may have bought more than a little merch. Ahem.

I read three books:

The Son of Mr. SulemanThe Son of Mr. Suleman by Eric Jerome Dickey


I give up. This book is too depressing. Not only is the constant talk of racism relentless (and not adding anything new to the conversation), but the main character keeps getting sexually assaulted/threatened with sexual assault. I just can’t. And I tried it in print and audio.

Also, everyone, I promise you that most professors are not that pretentious. Good grief.

View all my reviews
Bloodmarked (Legendborn, #2)Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Whew, child, this book put me through it all while traversing some tropes of African American lit mixed in with the Arthurian legend stuff. Lots of excellent commentary on generational trauma (also sometimes called generational curses in the Black community) as well as politics. Also, I need someone better versed in Arthurian legend to tell me which story/stories she is mainly drawing from so I can teach this book in my class.

Alice is the real MVP. And I knew it was only a matter of time before (view spoiler) would, as the young people say, enter the chat.

Also, it should be noted that there is an extensive and stellar author’s note at the end.

Some quotes:

But grief isn’t a competition. It’s not an identical pain that we all meet one day when death finds us. It’s a monster, personalized by our love and memories to devour us just so. Grief is suffering tailored.

Since when has a man’s title prevented his brutality instead of further emboldening it?

Wanting fiction to be fact and having the power to convince other folks of the same…that’s how power stays put.

None of that puritanical judgment. I’m not “good.” I’m fair.


View all my reviews
Cinderella Is DeadCinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t know what to say about this book. I wanted to like it more than I did, but I think the author did a lot of interesting things in her reimagining of the Grimm Brothers’ Cinderella story. I love the way the three balls are handled, for example, and I liked that magic was a fantasy yet the story kept fantastical elements. And I also really dug the idea of stories being used and manipulated to support the narrative of the ruling class.

I liked the LGBTQ+ elements. However, I didn’t like the instalove plot. Also, as noted in several other reviews, there are a lot of pacing issues.

So, it’s a mixed bag, overall.

I usually use Cinder to teach adaptations, but I am considering using this instead. So I definitely like it enough to teach.

Reread 2/2/23 – I did decide to use this book for my class, so listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Bahni Turpin.

While listening to the audiobook, I wasn’t bothered by/didn’t notice the pacing issues noted in my initial review. The instalove was also less annoying because it played more like fascination and wonder. Sophia was a *lot* more stressful this time around, though, so there is that. I would give the audio four stars, instead of three, so I’m bumping up my rating based on that.

View all my reviews

Have a great week, everyone!

It’s Monday and I have given up

To wit, this exchange I had with a friend on Friday:

Me: I’m trying to get it together over here

Her: I’ve given up hope of ever getting it together

Me: I need to do this. I was almost to the gym before I realized I left my headphones at home which meant I had to do my workout in silence like some kind of animal–a dolphin perhaps? Or a gym rat
Then when I changed out of my swimsuit I discovered I left my bra at home.

text from image

Also, to continue last week’s trend, I got to two places early this past week only to wind up late because of parking. Again. So, yes, I have given up on ever getting ahead this month. You win these first three weeks, January. I’m just keeping my head above water and making a wave when I can here for the rest of the month now.

Still, I managed to finish two books this week:

Continue reading “It’s Monday and I have given up”

It’s Monday and I have been behind for over a week

I’m blaming both the fact that my flight home last Thursday (Jan. 5) was delayed and that my stupid job had our stupid FLEX (professional development) day on January 6. (Can you tell I’m still salty about it?) Ever since I have worked at this school–this is my sixth year–the FLEX day has been in March, after school has already started. March! So when I made my travel plans, it didn’t even register that they had moved it, and I didn’t even realize it was the Friday BEFORE the semester began until the last week of class when they sent out the registration link. I have been teaching a very long time, and I would never (never) book a flight that got in the night before I had to be at work first thing in the morning. UGH.

Anyway, I missed the first session of the day because I was too exhausted to get up, the guy leading the second session went over FIFTEEN MINUTES into LUNCH TIME (like, sir, are you kidding me? I had to raise my hand and let him know because he was gearing up to keep going. I seriously do not believe he would have stopped if I hadn’t called him on it) and then had the absolute audacity to say he was going to start the second session “promptly at 1.” That barely gave us enough time to collect and eat our lunch, so I was late getting back because, of course, I had to use the restroom. Then he went over the end of the session which made me late for the next one. The only reason I didn’t just up and leave both times is that he was doing the EEO (equal employment opportunity) hiring training, so I figured whatever he was saying was important.

I spent all day Sunday rushing to get my classes planned and published (the goal was for the first two weeks for all of them to be up and running in the learning managing system). I was on time to my first class on Monday but the door was locked, and I thought I didn’t have my key (I did) so got started late. The same thing happened on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I got to therapy early but the parking garage was weirdly full so getting parking was a challenge so I wound up being late for that. I then had to rush to get to my class because of the travel time between the therapist’s office and my home and lunch and work. Thursday was fine, but I found out I had to go into work on Saturday (SATURDAY, sigh) for a job fair because I’m on the hiring committee (see above re: EEO training). I was on time to that, but late to church yesterday, so, basically, you know, who has two thumbs and needs a three-day weekend?

Sigh.

Anyway, here’s what I read since my last post:

Continue reading “It’s Monday and I have been behind for over a week”

It’s Monday and I read 50 books last year

Therefore, I have decided to set my Goodreads goal for next year at 52 books. We’ll see how it goes. Also, watch this space for the traditional end of year book survey.

I hope everyone’s new year is off to a stellar start. Mine is not so much because I had an opportunity to swim with the manatees but skipped it because of ~lady problems~ and later had regrets and then I found out that I didn’t get accepted into the Everglades fellowship I wanted, which is a total bummer. Also, I think my daughter is mad at me.

That said, I had a great New Year’s Eve and Day as we took it totally easy. My daughter was able to spend the time with us because she didn’t have to work and because my friend’s mom is here, we partook of some Brazilian NYE traditions like making wishes on grapes, wearing white, and some other stuff I can’t remember right now. We also went and got cookies from Insomnia Cookies (new FL fave? Maybe). And then yesterday we watched My Cousin Vinny, which is always a good time.

So I guess technically my year is off to a good start, but today was a mixed bag.

Onto the weekly wrap-up.

Continue reading “It’s Monday and I read 50 books last year”