H is for Holes #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

Holes came up in a Twitter discussion sparked by my Ella Enchanted post, and in that moment, I realized how absolutely perfectly it fits my theme.

I realize when I say Holes, you may be wondering if I mean the Newbery and National Book Award winning novel written by Louis Sachar or the movie adaptation starring Shia LaBeouf and also written by Louis Sachar.

I know it may come as a shock, but the answer to that is yes. Yes, of course I’m talking about both.

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F is for The Forty-Year-Old Version #AToZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t The Forty-Year-Old Version (Netflix) new? And if it’s new, doesn’t that inherently make it stressful? And the answer to those two questions is yes. Yes, it is new. And yes that means it could be stressful. HOWEVER, I can assure you it’s not because I have already watched it!

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E is for Ella Enchanted #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

Just like with my letter A (Anne of Green Gables) and B (The Baby-Sitters Club) posts, you may be wondering again (again!) if I mean Ella Enchanted the Newbery Award winning book by Gail Carson Levine or Ella Enchanted the movie starring Anne Hathaway.

And, yes, again I am talking about both.

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D is for Disney+ #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

Okay, okay, okay. I know this is cheating, kind of. Can a WHOLE streaming service be a comfort watch?

I think we all know the answer to that is yes.

I mean, it’s DISNEY. All the princess movies are on there, almost all of the Marvel movies and cartoons, almost all of the DCOMs (Disney Channel Original Movies), a bunch of movies you probably forgot that you watched as a kid, and a bunch of Star Wars stuff. Plus, Hamilton! (Also, National Geographic, if you’re into that kind of stuff.)

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C is for Columbo #AotZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

I need justice or joy today.

A friend in a group text, describing her quest to find something to watch on TV

I think my friend’s quote perfectly sums up what many of us need during uncertain and troubling times such as a global pandemic. I tend to lean more toward joy because I want to laugh or at least not be stressed out by what I’m watching. But sometimes when the world is overwhelming, I also need justice. I need to know that the good guys are going to win and the bad guys are going to lose, and during the pandemic, I have found that nothing has filled my need for justice like watching Columbo.

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A is for Anne of Green Gables #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

I could not for the life of me figure out what to write about for this year’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge, though I got some very good suggestions from friends (bucket list, books, pop culture, things you would want on a deserted island). I didn’t want to rehash topics I have done before, but I also couldn’t think of new topics either–or enough things to fill the topic suggestions. Everything just seemed so overwhelming, and I realized that all I wanted to do was NOT and just sit on the couch and watch TV or something and then *boom* my topic was so obvious: comfort watches and reads for these here pandemic times. This topic also seemed like a good fit because last year I did devote one of my blog posts to book recommendations, so this seems like the perfect time to do a blend of books and visual media as well as a deep dive into why I would recommend the things I do.

One of the other struggles I had with the suggested topics was that I couldn’t come up with anything for A. When I was doing some light journaling to figure out what I might write about for comfort watches/reads that would start with A–because SERIOUSLY WHAT ON EARTH STARTS WITH A–my brain literally went “Anne of Green Gables, duh,” and honestly, if it could pull the perfection that is Anne of Green Gables out of the ether, then the rest of the challenge is going to have to be easy breezy, right?

I like to think so.

“Akilah,” you may be thinking, “when you say Anne of Green Gables, are you talking about the fantastic book by L. M. Montgomery or the fantastic movie starring Megan Follows?”

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Going to the Mattresses: Adventures in Bed Buying + Weekly Wrap-Up

My daughter’s shoulder has been giving her a lot of grief. Or rather, she kept complaining about shoulder pain. “This bed,” she would say. “It’s this bed.”

So, finally, after listening to her complain about her bed for almost a year–and more importantly, after she started taking muscle relaxers to deal with the pain in her shoulder–I asked her, “Do you want a new mattress?”

Now, I know a year is a long time to wait to ask that, but part of that is because (1) it seemed to be off and on, especially after she came back from the monastery where she was sleeping on the floor; (2) the mattress isn’t that old–only about three years; (3) everybody else who has slept on the mattress loves it; (4) my daughter is leaving to go back to Florida in a week. I think both of us kept thinking about the mattress problem as temporary, especially with her going back to school. In fact, after my daughter said no to the mattress because she was leaving for school in (then) three weeks, I had to point out that was true but also, she would be back here for breaks and the problem would still exist. She resisted a little while longer, arguing that she was fine as long as she did yoga every day, but, finally, after about three more days or so of trying to thug it out, she finally relented and agreed, so off to the mattress store we went.

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Pools, Bees, Good Talk, and The Forty-Year-Old Version

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.

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It’s Monday & I’m doing a reading deprivation

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.

What I posted:

2020 End of Year Book Survey

What I read:

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It’s Monday & I hope this posts before midnight

I am writing this at 10:55 p.m. WILL I MAKE THE DEADLINE? I hope so. (The answer, btw, is yes. Hitting post on this at 11:15.)

I won’t be participating in Month of Faves this week because I never post my fave books before December 31 as I may read one of my favorite books of the year between now and then. So, here’s a recap of all my Month of Faves posts from the past week instead:

I also read some books and watched some movies:

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