If you’re unfamiliar, a reading deprivation occurs in week four of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. During a reading deprivation, you give up reading for a week. I started mine on January 1 so that means I’m currently on day four. Just like last time, I have basically given up all media that uses words, including social media. I also gave up Bejeweled (except–TMI alert–when I’m in the bathroom) because I definitely use it as a form of distraction and admit that about myself. Unlike last time, I am a little less crazed–probably because I knew what to expect this time and also, maybe, because I have grown as a person in the last four and a half years.
As a result of the no words thing, I am VERY into the Pop Goes Classical playlist/station on Spotify. It is getting me through. Current faves include “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Queenz of Piano and “Lose Yourself” by David Garrett.
The holidays were nice and low-key. Jólabókaflóð (Yule Book Flood) was a success this year. I received The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (reviewed below) and milk and honey by Rupi Kaur (started but, obviously, on hold until the end of the week). I gave The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas to my daughter’s friend who said she wanted to read more classics, and I gave my daughter The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo because she said she wanted to read more about minimalism. We exchanged books, drank hot cocoa, and read together for about an hour or so. It was a delight. Christmas was also a lot of fun with us hanging out, opening presents, watching movies, and eating some food.
I did make a post last week, and I did read some books and watch some movies that I didn’t post about here before the end of the new year.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right: A Month of Faves is back, hosted by Tanya and Kim over at Girlxoxo. As of this writing, the official post isn’t up on the website yet, but the prompts are posted on Kim’s Instagram.
I’m finally home after my five-week (!) Eastern time zone adventures. There may be a lot to say about that some other day, but I have read some books and watched some TV & movies, so let’s get into that first. Also, if anyone is on Letterboxd, give me a shout so we can follow each other. (Or, you know, sign up and then we can follow each other. Either works for me.) My username over there is englishist.
Okay, I’m going to get into the ashy eye story in a minute, but also I just want you to know that I got a COVID test after flying across the country, and it is negative. So…whew.
But, yes, I have an ashy eye.
So I discovered this ashy eye issue the day I was packing/prepping to fly across the country. My eye had been bothering me since Thursday. It kept watering for no reason, which honestly happens to me quite a bit, but I thought it was just allergies. You know, a fire was raging, and debris was flying through the air, so it seemed logical. But that night I couldn’t sleep with my eye mask on because it felt like something was stabbing me in the eye.
Then, on Friday, my eye was still bothering me. It was still with the leaking and all, but I could smell smoke in my house, so, again, I just banked on allergies. Also, my daughter told me I looked like I had gotten punched in the eye because my eye was swollen. “Yes,” I told her. “It’s the allergies.”
Look, The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a well-written book with beautiful language, but my rating/review is probably (mostly?) more about WHEN I am reading it than the book itself.
The truth is this is a book club pick and if it were up to me, it is not what I would be reading. I have also read a lot (A LOT) of slave narratives and books about slavery. If I were new to the books about the slave experience game, I might feel differently about it.
I think I have too many books to read. No, I know I have too many books to read. And by read, I mean have finished by a deadline because I am in two book clubs and also clearly hate myself. I mean, obviously, I want to be in these book clubs and want to be reading the books but also, like, why do I do these things? I do not know.
I have gotten a couple of text messages from friends–white friends–asking me how I’m doing or how I’m holding up, and the answer is the same for all.
I’m angry and I’m weary. I’m angry and I’m weary and I’m tired of talking about being angry and weary. If you want to know the depths of my anger and weariness, I’ve found that the following three Instagram posts pretty well encapsulate where I am. The first one is a short video (three minutes) and a transcription has been helpfully provided here. The other two speak for themselves.
I did make lasagna, though. I can’t remember the last time I did. Between the IBS and the lactose intolerance and the no wheat thing, it seemed like a pipe dream, but a friend of mine posted a picture of her lasagna, and I remembered seeing gluten-free no-boil lasagna noodles at the store (and I’m stocked up on Lactaid), so I thought, “Eh, why not?” and so a lasagna was born.
I almost burnt it, but that’s neither here nor there.
You know what’s sad? How poorly I do without external motivation. The A to Z Challenge is over, so I haven’t posted anything since last Monday, but ALSO I had to force myself to post this today, so I wouldn’t go one more day without not posting it. I mean, it’s fine because I do this for me, but I had stuff to talk about on Monday! I just didn’t.
Living queen emoji Meg Cabot has decided to bless us with Corona Princess Diaries. That’s right: completely free updates of The Princess Diaries in which Meg Cabot shows us how Princess Mia is handling the global pandemic.
If you have never read The Princess Diaries before, this is an excellent introduction, though it does spoil the (obvious) ending of the book series and also has mild spoilers for the Middle School Princess series. You can read this to get a sense of Cabot’s writing style and humor and why I love her with my whole heart. (Also, of course, you can get a sense of just how different the book series is from the movies.)
Here’s an excerpt from Day 3, which made me laugh out loud:
My last post about prepping for courses to start in mid-February is like a time capsule into another world. Live theater? Flights? I mean, one of those things is still happening but the other most certainly isn’t–at least not where I live. Although I am course-prepping again because our school switched to remote instruction a week and a half ago, so I guess some things don’t change.
I am going to ease back into blogging by doing a reading update because I have a lot to say but am not quite sure where to start. So I’m going to start where I always start: books. I mean, I have two stacks of library books that will go back to the library…someday? I’m not even sure when because all of our local libraries are closed. On the plus side, I definitely checked out some books I have been meaning to read–a couple of them graphic novels–so I am going to make those my priority after I finish the book I’m currently reading (and that I assigned to my children’s literature class): Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly.