Tally Monday- July 31, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Inner Circle by Kate Brian
  2. Yoga for Your Mind and Body by Rebecca Rissman

Bought

It’s not here yet!  Ahhhhhh!

Read

  1. Unicorn Crossing by Dana Simpson
  2. The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

Currently Reading: Believe Me by Eddie Izzard in audio, The Long Walk by Stephen King, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstein on Kindle, and Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight

At some point, I realize that things are falling apart.  I realize it but I just kind of stand back and keep saying it’s fine, so fine, so fine that it is awesome.  And I just keep doing that until one day I end up crawling to work, exhausted and a little hung over, aware that I let things go until I did something stupid and upset at myself because, seriously, why the fuck can’t I just get it together already.  Never mind that in my daily life I work full time in a management position, am married and have a four month old and four cats, juggle my finances like balls of fire, and own a home which I keep in working order via cleaning, laundry, and organizing.  Sometimes I cook too.

That’s a lot.  Maybe I do have my shit together.

What all of this is leading up to is that I checked out a yoga book this week.  And there were a number of reasons for doing so.  I do a lot of things to manage my stress and anxiety and meditation and exercise figure pretty high on that list.  Also, part of things falling apart at this moment is that I am larger than I have ever been besides being pregnant.  And, yeah, I know that four months isn’t long but I have gained weight since going to back to work and I feel shitty and refuse to buy new clothes.  But I can’t go out and work my ass off because I had a c-section.  Yes, I can work out but only at low intensity and I know that because when I do anything higher intensity (not even high, just higher) it kind of feels like my uterus is going to knife it’s way out of my scar.  Gross sounding, also not very comfortable.

A couple of weeks ago I tried to do a Denise Austin work out and I hurt for days.  Last Sunday I got up and down too much.  Yesterday I simply finished cleaning the house and ended up tender at the end of the day.  I push myself, this is true.

And so, I basically want to just stretch a bit.  You know?

That was a long ass ramble for that.  But I don’t give a fuck.  Ha!  See?  Because I finished that book!  And, honestly, Knight’s book made me feel a lot better about stuff.  I did not go through the whole process but it has been nice asking myself if I really give a fuck about something before wasting my give a fuck energy on it.  So, I DID give a fuck about cleaning the house this weekend but I did not give a fuck about the Private series by Kate Brian anymore.  Balance.

This morning I started reading The Long Walk in earnest.  You may recall that I am trying to read all of the Stephen King books?  Well, I love King but I have to admit that I have a hard time starting his books.  I will be so excited to start and then when it’s time I’ll let that book sit for days before I crack it.  I don’t know why.  But I’m a solid 30 pages in now and I’ve remembered that I love him.  Also, I’ve been having a hard time trusting the author to tell me what I need to know lately and I can even see that playing out in my own writing where I spend days fleshing out a backstory before I realized that I was telling, not showing.

Plans this week?  The Long Walk, my next journal, and then The Night Circus.  I swear this time! lol

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Podcast Tuesday- July 25, 2017

Podcasts: 1084

I feel like I should be walking around with my hands behind my back, whistling innocently.  Who hasn’t been listening to podcasts?  Not me!  I’m a perfect angel!

Last week at one point I got caught back up on the ones I had fallen behind on again and started in on the next one on my list, On Being with Krista Tippet.  It felt good.  I look forward to knocking out On Being because for some reason it shows up like three times in my “storage use” list and it takes up TONS of space.  If I just catch up, I’d probably free up a lot of room.

But I have two audiobooks out and Hubby and I have been just hanging out around the house and we all know that I don’t listen to podcasts while he’s around because I listen to his podcasts or him.

I had been meaning to take a short break after my current audiobook to play some listening catch-up but then I had apparently already ordered my next audiobook.  Again, library things get out of control with me.

You know what I should do?  When it’s nice out and the baby has gone to bed, I should take my phone and my coloring book outside and just sit at the deck table and color and listen and maybe even have a beer.  Doesn’t that sound divine?

I love this little Tuesday thing I’m doing, making excuses for just not doing something that I really want to do.  It’s real indicative of my life. lol

Tally Monday- July 24, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

Bought

  1. The Well-Read Witch by Carl McColman
  2. Emitown, Best of 2009 by Emi Lenox
  3. Emitown, vol 1 by Emi Lenox

Read

  1. Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
  2. Emitown: The Best of 2009 by Emi Lenox
  3. Journals, October 2002-March 2003

Currently Reading Unicorn Crossing  by Dana Simpson, Believe Me by Eddie Izzard, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

On Friday I gave you my excuses for not keeping up with Graphic Friday very well and I promised that I would do my best to read that 400 page book on my Kindle by this Friday.  I picked at it here and there, read a page or two at work and a couple while I fed LD and some in bed before I napped.  I was really enjoying it!  I was settling in!  I was thinking, “I have pages and pages of this and it’s formatted so that I can’t track my percentage read and I can just go with the flow!”  I laid down last night and picked up my Kindle.  I switched it on and settled in for a little reading before bed.  I read one page, two… and then it was done.

“WTF?!” I exclaimed and I started frantically clicking around and trying to figure out what happened.

What happened:  When I bought the book on Friday, I got onto Amazon and typed in “Emitown, vol 1” and it took me to the glorious “407 pages!” Volume One.  I noticed that the Kindle version was ONE 99 CENTS!  Like, that’s amazing!  So I clicked on the Kindle button, bought it, downloaded it, and got started.  HOWEVER, upon closer inspection this morning, when you click on the Kindle/Comixology button it takes you to the Best of 2009 collection which is only 39 pages long.  In fact, it looks like the 407 page volume doesn’t actually exist in ebook form.  Doh.

Needless to say I purchased a used copy of the paperback this morning.

I’ve done a pretty damn decent job of catching up after my accidental library book explosion.  At present I have two audiobooks, one ebook, and one physical book out.  I am settling back into my rotation and I am excited to do so.  Today I plan on finishing Unicorn Crossing and diving into my next journal.  My next YA book is waiting for me to check out and it is a continuation of a series that I forgot I was reading like a year ago.  This will decide whether or not I continue the series.  After that, Stephen King!  Then back to the Night Circus as my main read, even though I am currently going to be reading it at night.

There is a trail of half read books behind me and I kind of want to clean house.

Also in Rachael Reading World, I should finish my current nonfiction book, The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, on Friday if I don’t do that thing where I just finish it because I am so close.  I cannot decide what to read next.  Hubby bought me a book about authors behaving badly and I want to read it because I want him to know that I really appreciate it.  I also what to read Knight’s Get Your Shit Together, which is something that I have always wanted to do, and The Happiness Project by Gretchin Reuben because I’ve been meaning to forever and also whatever happens to be the first NF book in my never ending list.

Like I’ve said, I’ll never run out of things to read or watch or listen to.

A Note of Graphic Fridays

So, last month I introduced the idea of Graphic Fridays where I would read a graphic novel and write a little review of it.  I did three and now I’m on my third Friday without a graphic review…

This is not the end.

Indeed, it is just life.

Basically, this has been the run of events:  The first Friday I missed, I started reading The Unwritten but I had a migraine that would go one for six days.  I didn’t finish reading it that day and saved it for the following week…  Which was last week when I was in a wedding on Friday and, thus, was not even thinking about books.  Finally, we have today.  I tried to finish The Unwritten but I don’t really like it so I returned it and moved on to my next comic which is… 400 pages long.

Oi.  Maybe next week, kiddies.

Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

I don’t think that there is a book nerd of my age who didn’t, at one point, decide to read the Oprah Book Club books.  Y’all, I worked in a library and had no idea how to navigate the adult fiction section and they just seemed like easy picks.  I didn’t even watch Oprah.  Never in my life have I watched a whole episode of the show.  But I had a printed list of the book club books and I was going to read them.

I read Where the Heart Is when I was in high school and really it was kind of the perfect pick.  I actually read it for an English class where we got to pick the book we wanted to do our report on and when I asked to read Stephen King I was given this instead.  Of course I liked it.  Of course one of my favorite teachers would force me into reading something so not Goth that I would love.  I decided to re-read it earlier this year when I was pregnant because it just seemed like a good book to read during that time.  I mean, at least there was a pretty good chance that I wouldn’t be having my baby in a WalMart.

It’s a good book.  You know how sometimes you try to read something popular and it feels like you are reading something that’s just poorly written?  I didn’t feel that way about Where the Heart Is then and I don’t feel it now.  It has the ability to suck you into this little town where the characters feel real and you can’t help but want to know about their lives.

Where the Heart Is is the story of Novalee Nation who is seventeen and seven months pregnant when we first meet her.  She’s going to California with her boyfriend, Willy Jack, who is going to get work with a rail company only his real plan is to have an accident and collect a settlement, like his cousin who lost a thumb.  When Novalee needs to pee, Willy Jack stops at a Walmart and gives her a little bit of cash for some shoes and then leaves her there.  Novalee takes up residence in the WalMart but by the time the baby is born she has already found her way into the hearts of some new friends.

I really do like this kind of book, this small town quiet story of a life as it snowballs.  Also, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I almost cried at my desk while I finished this one even though it didn’t seem like I should be crying.

Podcast Tuesday- July 18, 2017

Podcasts 1059

A staple in my household is The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor.

Now, my first interaction with anything Keillor was when I was 16 and started working at the library.  There was a book on the shelf called Lake Wobegon Days and between the title and the cover I was pretty sure that it was some classic that I would end up reading sooner or later.  As I aged and went on to college, I felt sure every time that I saw it on the shelf that it was probably like A Lost Lady by Willa Cather meets The Legend of Bagger Vance.  I got all of that from the cover.

I have NEVER read the book.

BUT when I met my husband, he was really into NPR and I was like, “Lame.  So lame.  Talk radio?  Why aren’t you listening to the rock station?”  (I listen to the WRIF out of Detroit these days.  The closer rock station is a bit too fucking chauvinistic for me.)  Hubby would turn it on while we were in the car and I would listen politely.  Then one day I realized that I wasn’t listening politely.  I was listening.  Then the radio in my office (read: storage closet with no windows, but with a door and radio) quit picking up anything except the adult contemporary station.  (I’m sorry…  “Yesterday and today’s greatest hits and nights with Delilah.”)  I turned on NPR and listened.

So, two things ended up happening.  First, I just kind of heard Prairie Home Companion while we were out and about and naturally took to it (Though, after I saw the movie?  IDK.  What is my life?).  Second, I was told about these things called Podcasts.  There was even an app on my shiny new iPhone to listen to them on.  The first thing that I did was search for “writing” because I always need inspiration and the first podcast that popped up was The Writers Almanac.  And I was sold.

Every day one of these five minute casts shows up on my phone.  It starts with interesting tidbits, a “today in history” kind of thing that features author birthdays or inventions or anniversaries or background info on whatever holiday it is.  Then there is a poem.  That’s it!  Just that little bit!  Only five minutes!  But I listen to it every morning.  It’s the first podcast I listen to in the morning.  I listen to it while I’m feeding the baby or when I take a shower.  (Fun fact: When I listen to it while showering, it always ends when I am in the middle of shaving my right (first) leg.  Always.)  It gives a kind of rhythm to my morning, gets me going the same way coffee does.

And we all need coffee and rhythms and inspiration, don’t we?

Tally Monday- July 17, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts (e-book)
  2. Unicorn Crossing by Dana Simpson
  3. Believe Me by Eddie Izzard (audio)
  4. The Unwritten: Inside Man by Mike Carey

Bought

  1. Pines by Blake Crouch (e)
  2. Wayward by Blake Crouch (e)
  3. The Last Town by Blake Crouch (e)
  4. Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel (e)

Read

  1. Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (a)

Currently Reading: The Night CircusFat is the New 30Where the Heart Is

When I looked at the list above, my brain started singing a song from The Wizard of Oz.  Seriously…  “What happened was just this.  The wind began to switch the house to pitch.  And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch.”  Why?  Because what happened in my life and reading life over the last week was like a fucking tornado.

We’ll start with a little insight into the last week.  I had a migraine for six days.  On the fifth day I finally gave up on work and went home early to nap.  Ahead of me?  A big event that I was super excited about and I didn’t want to have a migraine through!  Needless to say, a six day migraine slows you right the fuck down.  On top of that, I was short at least two hours of sleep Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights.  I was pretty much brain dead.

And Friday TWO PEOPLE I ABSOLUTELY LOVE GOT MARRIED!  And the wedding was gorgeous and so much fun!  My MOL kept LD and I got to have a night of drinking and dancing irresponsibly with some of my favorite people in the world.  Because my friends are the shit.  They are smart and fun and they deal with me and I seriously could not as for more.

Then I spent Saturday and Sunday recovering and giving myself a break.  I colored a lot and I day drank yesterday.  I watched something like eight episode of The X-Files.  And I don’t regret a thing about it!  I needed a break!

But, let’s talk about reading, shall we?

I have no fucking clue what I was thinking checking out all of those books.  Okay, I ordered the second The Unwritten while I was reading the first one and thought that it would be done the day that I was reading it.  I got the Eddie Izzard because I love him and I had heard that he goes off on funny tangents in the audiobook.  I figured it was worth it to take a quick break from the Anne books.  I totally didn’t even know that there was another Phoebe and Her Unicorn book until Thursday and I grabbed it off the shelf right away.  Finally, I’ve been like half through Where the Heart Is all year and thought I’d like to finish it.  (It’s good for the numbers!)

Then I was like, “Fuck it.  I can’t read my journals right now.  I have a problem again.”

It’s hard because I actually really like how I have been doing things since the baby was born.  I LOVE just choosing my next book and rolling with it.  I LOVE the wiggle room.  I feel like my reading life is much richer and like I will get around to reading a lot more stuff that I actually want to read.  But old habits die hard.

I don’t want things to keep piling up.

Obviously, the way to solve this is to buy a shit ton of e-books because they don’t take up space.  I hope you can feel my eye roll from all the way over here.  Also, I bought those books because of my birthday money.  This year I got $150 for my birthday and I was so super excited!  I was like, “Hell, this will almost pay off one of my baby bills.”  But Hubby told me not to use it to pay bills but to buy myself fun stuff.  Instead of paying bills with it, I pissed it away a little at a time.  Not on fun stuff either.  I mean, I bought beer with it once and I think some Taco Bell.  Instead it went to… formula and cat food mostly.

I was feeling a bit bitter about all of this so I bought a ton of e-books this week because I didn’t get to use my cash for used books.  Adulting is shit.  I’m pretty much over it. lol.

This week, let’s read.  Ok?  Ok.