I mean, seriously, where? I ended my last post by saying I hoped to update more often and then somehow did not. I guess I just got in the weeds at work and busy re-acclimating to being back home and then just wound up not posting. I also hate starting posts by talking about how I meant to post but dropped the ball, but I really did keep meaning to post and somehow…didn’t.
Anyway, so here we are. A list to catch up (sort of):
1. I do have a voting story, which I plan to share one day. The short of it is “do not forward your mail if you leave town in the month before an election.” The long of it is a blog post I hope to write someday. I hope I can remember all the details.
2. So, yeah, how about that election, huh? Whew.
3. Also, as mentioned in my previous post, my daughter’s friend is staying with us now and will probably be doing so at least through the new year. My daughter is thrilled because she has always wanted a sibling and now the house isn’t so lonely during the pandemic. I affectionately refer to both of them as “The Twins” since they’re the same age (e.g., The twins went to the boba shop or The twins are watching a movie).
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.”
No joke. I submitted grades on Saturday for the end of our spring semester. I was doing prep for my summer class that starts Wednesday, and I could not figure out what I had done in the class before. Or what I was planning to do. What are assignments? How does one organize a class? Part of it is that I’m teaching the class online for the first time. But the other part was that my brain was seriously just like, “I don’t know, man. You tell me.”
I said to my daughter OUT LOUD, “I am a terrible teacher who doesn’t know how to teach.”
That’s right: It’s a hybrid post. What I thought was motion sickness today was really just a migraine set up, so I don’t have it in me to write two separate posts. If you’re just here for the A to Z stuff, it’s at the end, so you can scroll scroll scroll.
Last week was spring break, praise the Lord. I took the entire week off from work: no grading, no emails, no course prep, nothing. It was nice. I spent two days doing some deep reading–in part because I had to limit my screen time, but also because I just wanted to read. The motion sickness/migraine madness meant I unfortunately couldn’t catch up on blogs like I wanted to. However, I did manage to watch Parasite, which broke my brain, and I also started a rewatch of The Bernie Mac Show (both are on Hulu), which is bringing me so much joy. I mean, honestly, there are not enough BMS gifs out there and my heart, it weeps.
I was still in the throes of wrapping up my semester Monday and then I spent all day today traveling, so I’m coming to this one a little late. It’s a combo Month of Faves / It’s Monday (Tuesday)! What Are You Reading? post.
Mon. | Dec 16 – #AMonthofFaves Winter Reading – Your fave reads from last Winter, or seasonal reads you love, or books on this year’s winter reading list.
I’m going to focus on the books I plan to read over winter break (the next two weeks!). There are three of them, though I may, of course, finish more.
I have talked up her Colors of Madeleine trilogy (read it!) and Feeling Sorry for Celia (read it!), but she published two (two!) books in the past year (okay, fine, one was last October, but I read it in December, so close enough), and they are both woefully underrated.
Great book. Well-drawn and sympathetic characters…even when I didn’t want them to be.
3/31/16: I got to pick for book club (finally!) and picked this one. I feel the exact same way about the book that I did the first time, so yay for that. These characters break my heart. View all my reviews
It is really, really, REALLY hard for books or movies or TV shows to surprise me, and this book did. Also, Princess Ko is the absolute best. I 100% love her, and she has entered the pantheon of my favorite female characters, the likes of which include Ella from Ella Enchanted.
This past month I finished seven books, two of which were rereads and two that fulfilled categories in the Read Harder challenge (book about religion, historical fiction). I’m at 12 books out of 31 for Diversity on the Shelf, which means I still haven’t achieved 50% of the books I’ve read being by or about people of color. I definitely need to do better there. Oh, and Goodreads tells me I am three books ahead of schedule for their reading challenge.
Last week, I posted:
I signed up for the A to Z reading challenge, which means there’s quite a bit of activity here for the next month. Here are the posts I’ve made for the challenge so far:
[wrap-up-posts week=”13″ year=”2016″ category=”Blogging A to Z” listtype=”ul”]
As of today, I’m reading:
Yep, I’m still making my way through Necessary Endings. I started The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks (it started as a webcomic) on the suggestion of a coworker. We were having a prof dev session on building a web presence, and I showed him this blog. Apparently, we read a lot of the same things, so he thought I might like ASG. It’s pretty cute so far, so he wasn’t wrong.
I was traveling this weekend and checked out The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin for my Kindle. I’m only about five or so pages in, so I have no idea how I feel about it quite yet. We’ll see how it goes the rest of the week.
Jaclyn Moriarty is a genius. This book. THIS BOOK. Love. Love, love, love.
Also, I have a deeper appreciation for the first book, which I obviously need to reread now.
3/27/16: Okay, I love this book EVEN MORE now than the first time. Of course because I picked up things I didn’t pick up on the first time but also because I fell super in love with the characters in a way I didn’t the first go around. I knew Princess Ko was pretty amazing, yes. And, oh, my heart aches for Jupiter so much (SO MUCH). But also Samuel is pretty great and Keira, too. Plus everything with Belle.
So, basically, this book is pretty great, and I still 100% recommend it and the first one in the series. I am suuuuuuper excited for the final book in the trilogy.
I’ll be blogging about fannish pursuits (aka things I’m a fan of or have strong feelings about). You can read my sign up post here.
As of today, I’m reading:
I’m still plugging away at Silver Sparrow and Necessary Endings. I’m actually almost done with the former. We’ll see how long it takes me to get through the latter. I hope to be finished this week, though.
My hold for The Magicians by Lev Grossman finally came in, which is terrible timing because (a) it’s an e-book, which means that I only have 21 days to read it, and (b) my copy of Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty (the final book in The Colors of Madeleine trilogy) should be here tomorrow (!!!). Obviously, after the above review, you can see which book will take precedence. Also, The Magicians hasn’t really grabbed me yet and it’s kind of bleak so far, which may not be what I’m in the mood for. So, we shall see how it goes for that one.
In other book news:
Our department sent out the call for our fall textbook orders today, and I went into a bit of a panic because I still haven’t decided which novels I want to use for my ENC 1102 (research writing) class. The deadline is April 7. And it’s a hard deadline, too. So I kind of had a mini-freakout, basically.
Right now I’m thinking Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Gareth Hind’s Romeo & Juliet, and possibly Cinder or The Hunger Games. It’s those two possibles that have me on edge. WHAT IF I MAKE THE WRONG CHOICE? WHAT IF I THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE BETTER? Etc.
For my creative writing class, I’m 99.9% sure I’m going to use Stephen King’s On Writing. Oh, and I need to pick a textbook for my LIT 1000 (Lit Appreciation) class.
So I’m not at all prepared for that very, very close deadline is what I’m saying. And I am also open to suggestions. The general theme I’m working with for the research class is protest art or art activism. Or at least that’s what I want the last paper to be about. Which means I am also considering something like Fahrenheit 451 or 1984. Catch-22 might also be good. You can see how those last two novels become ever more important then and why it’s also so hard for me to choose, right? Right.