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.
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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.
What does everyone think of the little prompts that WordPress has been so generously giving when you open the editor to write a new blog post? Today’s for me is “What’s your favorite cartoon?”
I had a good weekend which made this a good week. On Friday, I went to a for your consideration screening of Abbott Elementary with a friend of mine that included a Q&A with the cast and crew and that was followed up by a reception that turned into a dance party. On Saturday, I won the lottery so got two $25 tickets to see the touring production of The Book of Mormon, which was amazing. I didn’t know much about the show so didn’t know what to expect (except that it would include irreverent humor), and I loved it so much. Lots of great social commentary and it made fun of systems without making fun of people, if that makes any sense.
Anywheedle, as the blog post title says, it is Monday and instead of what I read last week, I’m telling you about what I read this past month since, you know, I only read three books and also posted the review of the book I finished this week in the underrated books post.
I cannot believe I have not updated my blog since February. FEBRUARY. I thought for sure the last time had been in April. Clearly, I was very, very wrong. Also: this has been the longest year ever. I know because when prepping to write this post I came across a book I read in April of this year, and I could have sworn I read it last year. That’s all I’m saying.
A brief overview of things that happened since February:
I went to a taping of Ellen’s show (guest host)
I went to Mexico
I went to the LA Times Festival of Books
I went to Florida
I met one of my cousins for the first time
My daughter graduated from college
My daughter’s friend gave us COVID (mild cases; everyone was fine)
I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Akilah, seriously, a self-help book about ending things? How on earth could that be a comfort read?” And you’re right, mostly, but think of it this way: The pandemic has made a lot of things clear to us and sometimes those things are things (relationships, jobs, etc) we need to let go of but for some reason, we just can’t seem to. In Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud, he walks you through some steps and activities to help you figure out if you really need to let go of that thing or maybe stick in there just a little longer.
As I was looking through my Goodreads to find inspiration for N and landed on this title, it clicked that I should write about it. I was also inspired because I recently recommended the book to two friends of mine in two separate industries who were thinking of quitting their jobs but weren’t sure about it.
My last four books have been for grown ups and I have read only two YA books so far this year (out of ten total books). Who have I become? I don’t even recognize myself anymore.
There’s not much to report around these here parts. I’ve been working and watching TV and that’s about it. I did finish Judas and the Black Messiah this weekend. Oh, and Schitt’s Creek finally but other than that…I got nothing. Okay, that isn’t entirely true, but I am trying this new thing where I don’t cram everything into one blog post a week.
Anyway, here are the two books I read since my last update:
Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
I think what I’m trying to describe is loneliness.
I have taken advantage of the current heat wave to get in the pool the past two days. It has been glorious to do my regular workout before being restricted to not having a workout.
Yeah, I’m working on that.
Anyway, the pool was great! I also learned a lot. For one, I learned that the wireless headphones I got do not like when I get in the pool. They kept crapping out during my workout on Saturday, which is beyond frustrating because I use the music to keep time for my workout. Without the music, I wouldn’t know when to start or stop various parts of my workout and–more importantly–I would get bored and cut my workout short. So, the headphones not working is actually a super not great thing and not just because music is fun. The good news is that my headphones worked better on Sunday, and I honestly do not know what changed. I changed the placement of my phone, but I had done that on Saturday with no luck so, sigh. The headphones are a fickle beast. I’ll have to investigate better headphones for when the weather actually breaks because I cannot live this way.
You know, I was beating myself because I hadn’t posted yet this week, and I realized it’s because I have been struggling with how to (and whether or not I wanted to) address current events. All I’ll say is this: Living in this country is exhausting.
My reading deprivation is officially over, so I watched some TV and read some books. More specifically, I finally finished Living Single (Hulu), which is super fun because the characters really do feel like they’re my friends. I was trying to decide on my next throwback comfort watch and remembered that when I was watching The Bernie Mac Show, I started X-Men: The Animated Series (Disney+), so I think I need to go ahead and get back to that. Not to mention, seeing the good guys win over and over again might just be what I need to feed my soul right now.
A note on the wrap-up: I’m going to try something new with my book reviews this week since WordPress has stepped up its game with these blocks. I’ll see if I have the patience for it in the coming weeks.
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.