THU. | Dec. 26 – #AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals – Reading challenges, personal goals, resolutions – how did you do? Which was your favorite book read (and / or least favorite) for each challenge – or from all of them. Did you make New Years Resolutions? Did you get to all of them? Are you making any for next year … next month … next season?
Will this be the year I finally read The Mistress of Spices??? I hope so because it’s the book that’s been on my TBR the longest. (Proof: I added it to my Goodreads want to read in 2009. It is at the top of that list if I sort by date added. So.)
So, it’s been several months since I’ve done this (JUNE???), so let’s see if I remember how.
Okay, so I mentioned previously that work had been stressful for most of October (hahaha understatement), so I spent most of November recovering from that and realizing that, once again, I was a mess. I had gained weight again, I had new/worsening symptoms for my IBS, and I (re)discovered just how much debt I’m in. (And the latter two happened at the end of the month.)
Anyway, I was lamenting to my mom about my weight gain and how I don’t understand how it keeps happening because I know I need to manage my weight better to help control my IBS, and I know what to do, and I know how to do it, yet I am always surprised that when I don’t track my food or I make it to the gym less often, I gain weight and then have to start all over again. I mean, you honestly would think I have learned by now.
And my mom said simply, “Because it’s not your default to take care of yourself in that way.”
So, a lot has happened this month (I saw Hamilton! Went to the movies! Read very few books!), but most of that has been eclipsed by my stomach issues (STILL) and figuring out what to do about them. But before I get into that, I’ll explain my post title first.
At the end of last semester, I was talking to my office mate about how I have to tell my students stuff a ton before they get it (if they get it). For example, I had my students print out their papers all semester, and I would always tell them to print it out and read it when they were revising or editing.
The day after class (but before they turned in their final papers) a student came to see me to look over her final paper with her printed draft. “Oh!” she said in surprise. “When I print out my paper, I notice stuff about it that I didn’t see when it was on my computer.”
I’m sitting in the laundromat so now seems as good a time as any to update. (Wifi at the laundromat? What a time to be alive!)
A lot has happened since I made my executive decision not to finish my daily blogging challenge for April:
My mom visited for two weeks. We went to Santa Barbara, one of the many (!) overlooks on Mulholland Drive, and met a cousin neither of us had met before. We also had dinner with one of your favorite new authors and mine and pre-gamed for a trivia night. (My mother has no interest in trivia so left after pre-gaming.) It was a great visit.
I went to the LA Times Festival of Books. I met so many wonderful authors for the first time: Gayle Forman, Rick Riordan, Jason Reynolds, Mary H. K. Choi, Aminah Mae Sofi, and some others I can’t remember now. I also saw some of your favorite YA authors and mine on some excellent panels and added soooo many books to my TBR. Everybody I talked to kept calling the event Bookchella, and it was accurate. It was reader nerd bliss.
The elimination diet is going along, slowly. I lost about two weeks of reintroduction time because I ate something that disagreed with me and had no idea what it was. (I did not prepare adequately for the Festival of Books, basically.) Anyway, I have learned that I am definitely, 100% lactose intolerant and that I can tolerate avocado (and like foods) in small amounts. Same with cauliflower (and like foods), though less of them than avocado.
I have spent the past two weeks nesting because my daughter will be here for the summer. After being on my own for nine months, I’ve had to do some things to make my apartment hospitable to two people instead of one.
I still have spring breakitis, I think. (Part of it is that at this time last year, I was completely done with teaching for the year. What a difference a change in school makes.) This is my way of saying I’m way behind on grading. Still, my post on selfish teaching holds. Grading has been a lot easier since I’m doing assignments that I want to read.
I signed up for TSA Pre✅. I am sure this is the best decision I have made so far this year.
I have very strong feelings about the Jane the Virgin season finale (SO STRONG), so I hope that writing this blog post will kick off some blogging mojo so I can talk about it here. Because I do want to.
I really hope Kevin (Probably) Saves the World doesn’t get canceled.
So a thing I have been doing lately is watching old episodes of Chopped via Hulu while I cook. The show requires very little concentration and, somehow, the four–usually professional–chefs running around in a panic soothes me as I very slowly try to figure out what I’m doing in my own kitchen.
Anyway, this has led to me saying things like “This needs some crunch, a bit of texture” and then adding pumpkin seeds to a pasta dish. Surprise! That little bit of crunch made the dish better.
So, I wasn’t going to participate in the Slice of Life Challenge this year, but when I turned the page of my Steal Like an Artist calendar to March this morning (a minor miracle in itself since I usually don’t remember to change the calendar until several days–if not weeks–in), it only had this text in all caps:
PRACTICE PRODUCTIVE PROCRASTINATION
This was especially meaningful because (a) I have some writing projects I want to get done, and (b) I know from doing these month-long daily blogging challenges (last year I did three) that they help me in other areas of my writing life.
So here I am. I filled out the participation form today.