N is for Necessary Endings #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

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.

Continue reading “N is for Necessary Endings #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet”

Five Random Things, Two Random Books

I didn’t post last week because I didn’t finish any books and then about halfway through the week I was like, “Okay, but that has literally never stopped you before???” And I seriously don’t know what I was thinking but it was so ridiculous that I had to tell you all.

I mean, it’s certainly not like other stuff didn’t happen. So here’s a list because honestly my brain is kind of mush.

1. I finally got DDR–yes, Dance Dance Revolution–for my Xbox, so have been playing it almost every day. The thing about DDR is that the songs are the most important and the Xbox has the worst options for songs, I swear. They only have one DDR game with a good tracklist. All of the other ones have weird Japanese songs with NO BEAT. My daughter was watching me play, and I kept missing the arrows and she asked me “Does the pad not work?” and I was like, “No, these dumb songs have no beat.” The proof is that I did just fine on both “Dancing Machine” and “Conga.” So anyway, I need a PlayStation to get a version of the game with a better tracklist.

I did, of course, buy the version with the good tracklist and have been crushing those songs, thank you very much. But only on basic because that’s just who I am.

2. My daughter went back to campus for spring semester. She’s doing well.

Continue reading “Five Random Things, Two Random Books”

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.

Continue reading “Pools, Bees, Good Talk, and The Forty-Year-Old Version”

#AMonthofFaves 2020: Popular Books Worth the Hype

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.

Continue reading “#AMonthofFaves 2020: Popular Books Worth the Hype”

We’re Going to Need More Books #IMWAYR

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.

hello universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Over the past month, I read the following:

Continue reading “We’re Going to Need More Books #IMWAYR”

Plays and Marie Kondo

School starts today, and I am about 75% ready. More importantly, though, I’m requiring one of my classes to blog every week, so I figured I better get back into it myself post haste.

Here’s what happened since my last update:

1. I won the lottery to see the touring production of Frozen, which means I got to see it for $29 (once the fees were added in). My seat was to the side of the stage so some of the action was cut off, but for $25, I have so few complaints. It was a lot of fun, and it was interesting to see how they changed the production to make it work on stage (rearranging scenes, adding scenes, more songs, different ways of getting the characters in the same room, etc.). The biggest change was that they made Elsa and Anna’s dad less terrible than he is in the movie, though he’s still not great. Oh, and Elsa’s motivations and fears are just a little bit clearer.

The best part was probably the young woman behind me who LOST HER MIND when “Let It Go” started. The gasp of joy she let out when those first few notes started was just such a highlight. (It also helped me forgive her for singing along with the other songs prior to that–just a little.)

Continue reading “Plays and Marie Kondo”

My New Normal

1. I didn’t post an update last week because I told myself I hadn’t really done anything, which was insane because my friend and I were seatfillers at the Creative Emmys. I mean, that is literally a thing I did, and I was all Kanye shrug about it. I don’t even understand HOW when I sat directly behind Amy Sherman-Palladino (she offered to scrunch down in her seat so her hat wouldn’t block my view), Phylicia Rashad basically walked right by me (okay, okay, she was like three rows away, but OH MY GOD, I almost passed out from the proximity), and Sterling K. Brown came by to say hello to someone in our section. Just, you know, stopped by for a chat.

Also, ASP and her husband brought their Emmys back to their seats, and those things are beautiful and massive and can definitely be used as weapons. So, you know, that is also a thing that I can now say: I saw an Emmy up close and personal. Also, a Wayans brother. (It was Shawn.)

2. I posted a couple of things:

3. My friend and I also went to a taping of Kelly Clarkson’s show, which was quite delightful. I mean, it’s Kelly. She is adorable. It was a lot of fun, though it was FUH-REEZING in the studio. In fact, the set photographer was wearing an actual winter coat, and I may have, very classily, put on my leggings under my dress as soon as we got in the studio.

My friend was all, “Seriously, you couldn’t do that all those times you went to the bathroom?”

To which I could only reply, “It wasn’t cold then!”

So anyway, if you want to see me in the audience of Kelly’s show, it’s the episode with Mike Colter that will be airing this Tuesday, Oct. 1. It’s syndicated! Or you can watch it here.

4. I also went to see a stage production August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, which I was not familiar with at all. It was awesome. I really need to read more of his stuff. More plays in 2020, perhaps?

5. And, of course, I read some books:

EducatedEducated by Tara Westover

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very well-written memoir and super engaging. I listened to the audio (my first Julia Whelan, which is surprising because she is pretty prolific, and fantastic), and was immediately hooked.

This is also VERY triggering, which I was not prepared for. I was just so not prepared. But I did feel compelled to finish the whole thing, which just goes back to how engaging the story is. So, there’s also that.

View all my reviews

The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, #1)The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had, surprisingly, never read this book before so was shocked that Bess, George, and Ned weren’t in it. What madness is this???

I liked that, though! I mean, it’s a little slow to start, but Nancy is truly On Her Own, so that is really appealing. I mean, my girl legit saves herself from every single scrape she is in while finessing an entire community including the dad of the girls who hate her, so queens gonna queen, basically.

View all my reviews

IMWAYR: Strictly a Reading Update

I’ve finished four books since mid-June. I was going to say that can’t be right, but also the summer slump is real, so.

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (Sal and Gabi, #1)Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 stars, rounding up

I really liked the characters in this book, and I think it has a great narrative voice. I just feel like it took me so long t read and finish it, so there was something that kept me from engaging with it completely. Part of it, I think, is that there’s A LOT going on in the book and it’s not always clear how all the threads go together or Hernandez spends a lot of time on one thing and takes too long to get back to the other. So, pacing, basically.

View all my reviews

Continue reading “IMWAYR: Strictly a Reading Update”

I love Dulé Hill. That is all.

Hello, I am doing a reading deprivation again. It’s only the first full 24 hours. It sucks. The only reading I am doing is the reading I have to do for my online class. Also, my daughter is applying to study abroad programs, so I am reading her essays. Since classes start next week, I have put very clear boundaries around how long I can work on course prep since, yes, most of what I’m reading for that is my own notes but also some of it is the course texts. I won’t complain (much) since no one is forcing me to do this, but also: boo.

Besides finishing some books, the most important thing that happened this past week is that I went to see Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole, which was just…whew.

Continue reading “I love Dulé Hill. That is all.”

The Teacher Becomes the Student Who Be Clubbin’: January Wrap-Up

1. I went to a club with my friend last week because it was 90s’ night. First of all, the start time for the event was 10 p.m. AT NIGHT. And yes, I said that like the old person that I am.

Her: Did you nap?

Me: Of course! I have to take a nap just to make it to bedtime.

Anyway, we had fun, but the music was not great. We found at when we got there that it was a mix of 90s/00s, and at the end of the night, we both thought of songs that should have been played.

Continue reading “The Teacher Becomes the Student Who Be Clubbin’: January Wrap-Up”