Regular Rumination

This week in…

Posted by in Blogging, Books, Crafts, Life

blogging.

I made two manageable goals at the beginning of the year: record a quote from every book I read and post at least once a week. So far I’ve kept that up! I’ve been posting very general thoughts about books, random things that occur to me when I am reading or when I begin writing the post. I’ve been calling these posts “Quotes & Notes” and so far, I’ve published ones on Things I’ve Learned from Dying by David R. DowThe Reconstructionist by Nick Arvin, and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Next week, you can look forward to reading about Tandem by Ann Jarzab, On Such A Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee and probably Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.

reading. 

I’ve decided on a very basic reading schedule for 2014 based on what has worked well in January:

  • one book in translation
  • one book from work that is publishing in Fall 2014. I want to read the whole Fall fiction list, something I haven’t done in the almost 2.5 years I’ve been at this job.
  • one 2014 release (not from work)
  • at least one comic a week
  • the rest from my TBR in 2014 list

I feel like the reason I always fail at reading my TBR is because of all the new shiny books out there! This gives me two books that I’m allowed to buy a month, plus a third new book from work. All the excitement from Comics February has made me remember the days when I used to read one comic a week. It might not happen every week, but it’s good to have the goal. At my standard reading pace, this help me get pretty darn close to finishing off my 2014 list, while still not feeling bored by having my reading planned out for the year. ALSO I’m perfectly happy DNFing a book from my TBR list. I’ve already sent one out the door that I just couldn’t stand.

I’m not expecting every week to be perfect, but it helps to know what I want my 2014 reading year to look like (which I already talked about here and here) and actually applying that to a month’s worth of reading!

crafting.

I’m working on a “scrap” blanket, in an effort to use up ALL THE YARN. For a while, I was just buying any pretty yarn I saw, and then never finished any projects with it. Fortunately, all the colors I own compliment each other pretty well, because it’s coming together nicely.

scrap blanket

As for what I’ll do when this is finished and I have no yarn… I have been thinking of trying out one of two new hobbies: bookbinding and hand quilting. I’ve been following Trish’s progress on her hex quilt and I really want to make my own! I even picked out the fabric I would use. I am also obsessed with this bookbinding tumblr and I watched a ton of bookbinding howtos from Sea Lemon this morning. Both of these hobbies are going to take a little investment, so I have to decide! I have dabbled in bookbinding and sewing in the past, but not seriously. I’m looking forward to learning something new!

loving.

  • Andi’s post “15 Topics for your Blogging Blues” – I shall keep this post in my pocket for all the rainy blogging days.
  • Sasha’s post “Into Whatever Crazy Beauty Awaits” – The last paragraph of this gives me  chills. It’s so so beautiful and such a wonderful way to anticipate the new year. I’m trying to hold onto all the New Year enthusiasm as long as I can. When is it no longer acceptable to say Happy New Year?
  • Jason’s post “Comfort Food” – “I love [pb&j]. Like, the actual emotion. Like, I have an intense, fraught, passionate relationship with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” Yup.
  • Linda Holmes’s post “Chris Christie and Pulling the Red Handle” via Clare @ The Literary Omnivore – Amen is all I really have to say about that.

looking ahead.

This week, I’ll be reading If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino (my monthly translation!), Someone by Alice McDermott (book club read), and The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. Plus anxiously anticipating Comics February!!!

What did you do this past week? What are you looking forward to next week?

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How I Read

Posted by in Blogging, Books, Life

In 2008, I read almost exclusively books from the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die list. I read a lot of important books. I also didn’t enjoy myself very much.

When I began blogging, I read books to fulfill challenges, books recommended by other bloggers, and, as I got on a few publishing and book tour lists, galleys.

This past year, I read whatever I wanted, when I wanted.

Those are three very different ways to read. I probably read more translations and classics the year of the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list than any other year – I’m not sure I’ve ever been more well-read, in terms of what society and the canon consider to be important reads. But that list can’t sustain me. I need fun; I crave it.  I need balance between the important because someone else said so and the important because I said so.

I also didn’t read a lot of recent releases. Receiving galleys of books not even published yet really made me feel up-to-date with what is being published now. I read books that ended up on year-end lists! This year I’ve hardly read any. As nice as it was to feel like my reading was current, I didn’t like feeling like I was reading on someone else’s schedule.

This year, for the most part, I read whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and in a lot of ways it was pure bliss. I bought a lot of books and read them immediately – when was the last time I did that? Instead of letting them sit on my shelf waiting for “the perfect moment,” that moment was the day or week they landed in my mailbox. But I found that I only read one translation, not nearly enough books by people of color, or books set in different places around the world.

This is a long way of introducing how I want to read things in 2014. I really only have one goal for next year: I want to learn things. I want to practice things. I want to get things right. There’s not really a wrong way to read, but this year I want to find that sweet spot between new releases, difficult, important reads, and books that I want to read. I want to read more books by women and I want to read more translations and I want to be a lot more well-informed when it comes to what is showing up on year-end lists.

I want to write down at least one quote from every book I read. I used to start out every review this way and I miss having a record of the piece of the book I loved the very most. I want to read more purposefully, but at the same time, not feel trapped by my purpose.

I don’t want to set myself up for failure. I don’t want to say I’m going to read one translation a month or read 30 books from around the world. I just want to be aware of what I want, of the kind of reading year I want to have. I want to keep up with the themed reading months. Comics in February, gardening in March, horror and thrillers in October, Nonfiction November. Those months were amazing and focusing so closely on one topic made me feel like I was really learning something about a genre or a topic or a form. I’m not sure what my themed months will be, but I know I’m already looking forward to them.

2014 is going to be the year of learning, the year of practice makes perfect, the year of balance. Or at least the year of trying for all three.

22

ABCs of Thankfulness

Posted by in Life

abcs of thankfulness

My favorite holiday blogging tradition is here! Happy Thanksgiving (or Thursday, if today is not a holiday where you are!). Originally started by Trish way way back in the day.

Andes Mints. When I was little, my amazing, wonderful, missed grandmother kept a box of Andes Mints in her dining room. I remember spending most of Thanksgiving sneaking Andes mints before dinner started and trying to stay out of the way. I thought it was a memory all my own, something that no one else really remembered. Then, when my family and I got together for an early Thanksgiving a few weeks ago, my aunt pulled a HUGE box of Andes Mints out of her purse. I realized then that the memory wasn’t only mine, it was shared with everyone, and that made it all the more special.

Blog. Okay, so I haven’t been the most consistent at this blogging thing this year, but I’m thankful that Regular Rumination is always here for me when I need a place to write down my thoughts.

Crochet. There are a lot of reasons I’m thankful for crochet, but my number one reason is because it is the only thing that will really calm me down when I am in an airplane. I’m a nervous flyer, but the repetition and focus required for crocheting keeps my heart rate down.

Dear Michael, You are someone I am forever grateful for. 

Evenings. The day is winding down, I don’t have to worry about work, dinner has been cooked, there’s just a book to read or a tv show to watch or some sleep to be had.

Feasts. How many times a year do you get to have a feast?

Ghost stories. I’m realizing that these might be some of my favorite kinds of stories. Why did I ever stop reading them?

Health. I am, for the most part, pretty healthy and I am always grateful for that.

Ice cream. So, Michael and I got our own ice cream maker about a year ago and it’s amazing! I love making ice cream at home. I’m thankful for the ice cream, but also for trying out new recipes.

Jam! This year, in addition to making our own ice cream, Michael and I have experimented making our own bread and our own peanut butter. Next on the list? I think it should be jam. So I’m thankful that I still have some homemade goodies to try out and learn how to make, but also because PB&J is just so so good.

Kickstarter. I’m thankful for Kickstarter, among many other things online, to remind me that there are amazing, creative people out there doing new things every day. I’m also really excited for the Veronica Mars movie and for this hot sauce. 

Love. I try to choose different things every year, but I can’t help but give love a special shout out every year. I’m so thankful for all the people in my life whom I love and who love me in return.

Mail order catalogs. I haven’t talked about this much here, but my job in publishing is as a sales rep to mail order catalogs. So, for keeping me gainfully employed, I’m very thankful to mail order catalogs!

November. You are just such a great month.

Oatmeal. Breakfast of champions! I can’t wait to make my first big batch of oatmeal for the season.

Pho. My favorite cold-weather food, not feeling great food, who-am-I-kidding-every-day food.

Quilts. Nothing better than curling up on the couch with a big, warm quilt someone made with love.

Raven Boys, The. This was such a fun book for me this year, but it really represents any book I can get lost in. I’m so thankful for those books that make my commute melt away into nothing.

Siblings. You guys don’t even know how much you mean to me. I love you and I’m so thankful for you!

Too Cute! Guys, have you seen this show? It’s amazing. I can’t have a puppy in my real life, so I’m thankful for Too Cute! to give me my puppy fix.

Unexpected, The. I’m thankful for the times when life throws me something unexpected, whether it’s a new friend when I wasn’t expecting it, a book I didn’t think I was going to love but do, or when something totally surpasses all my expectations.

Variety. I’m thankful for the fact that I relish in variety: I’ll read any genre, try any food, watch any TV show once, etc. etc.

Winter. I’ve always thought I loved every season except winter, but every year I like winter a little bit more. It’s just so nice sometimes to sit in a warm room while the snow is falling outside and you have a hot drink in your hand. Bonus points if there is a fireplace involved.

Nan Xiang Dumpling House. One of the best places to eat in NYC. I’m thankful for you!

YOU. If you’re reading this blog, I’m thankful for you!

Zillions of books. No matter how much I read, I’m always thankful that there’s another book on the shelf waiting for me!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May it be full of family, food, warmth, happiness, and, of course, a good book.

What I was thankful for in 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009.

5

9. ACTUALLY RUNNING WHEN I SAY I’M GOING TO RUN

Posted by in Life

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It was gray. It was cold. My knees hurt. But hey! There’s the Statue of Liberty and there was a peewee football team practicing out on one of the piers. I listened to The Woman in Black on audio (perfect book for the weather) and generally felt accomplished, even with my slow slow speed. I feel like it doesn’t really matter how slow you go, though, if your heart is racing and your muscles hurt. Eventually I’ll go faster.

I hate cardio machines and I love my weight lifting and pilates classes, but I need a way to get more cardio in my life. Hence, the running. I’ve been talking about it for a long time, so it felt good today to finally just do something.

 

3

8. New Projects

Posted by in Food, Life

If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m addicted to starting things. Projects that get me excited about blogging again, about cooking again, about reading. It all just depends on what I’m “missing.”  Well, I’m about to start something new! And I’m telling all of you so I actually have to commit to it. Today, I finally got in the mail my copy of Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

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I have never been much of a baker, but I do really enjoy baking my own bread. I’d like to learn more, so I’ve been looking through blogs and finding new recipes. While doing that, I came across Tuesdays with Dorie on a few of the blogs I was checking out. Essentially, this is a group of bloggers who are working their way through every recipe in a book by Dorie Greenspan. They’ve already finished one and they have been working on this one since February of last year. Obviously, the project is well underway, but I thought it would be a good way to make myself bake if I had someone telling me what to bake, when. I’m actually really excited for the recipe for next Tuesday and I can’t wait to share photos! I’m not promising I will get to this for every scheduled Tuesday, but it seems like a really great place to learn how to bake. Some of the recipes seem a little bit challenging, so I know that I’m kind of diving in here. I expect lots of failures! Hopefully they are the kind of failures that still taste good and also teach me something.

5

6. Fall Festival

Posted by in Life

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We ate grilled corn with cajun seasoning and butter!

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I made some new alpaca friends.

IMG_20131006_132317Two alpaca friends!

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There were chickens.

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And just generally enjoying feeling like I’m in the middle of the country instead of the middle of the city. Now, I think I’ll go drink my half gallon of cider I brought home.

 

 

 

 

3

3. This Mug.

Posted by in Life

2013-10-03 21.22.14

October is one of my favorite month’s of the year. Pumpkins! Fall! Hocus Pocus! Baked goods! Scarves! Apple picking! Festivals! It’s a month full of things I love, so to honor my favorite month, each day I will post about something that is currently making me happy.

Like this mug from David’s Tea. When you put hot water in it, the leaves change color from black to orange and yellow. I love it so much that I bought myself a second one today so I have one at the office and one at home. Sometimes you have to surround yourself by the simple things and this is the perfect example.

 

3

1. The xx

Posted by in Life, music

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How impossible is it to describe a concert experience? I’ll never be able to write down exactly how I felt when I saw The xx live at Radio City Music Hall on September 24. I remember hearing The xx for the first time on the radio back in 2009 and feeling like the song was “nice.” And, invariably, when I play an xx song for people, trying to get them to understand, their first reaction is often well, that was pleasant. I don’t know enough about music to tell you why it’s so much more than pleasant, but I’d like to sit everyone down to listen to one of The xx’s songs on repeat  until they hear what I hear.

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The first thing I noticed about The xx was the combination of voices. Oliver Sim and Romy Madley-Croft’s voices are perfect together. Her voice is clear and his is gravely and as much as I love the songs they sing alone, their chemistry is really what makes it all work for me. Then there is the actual sound. It’s deceptively quiet music. It’s music that doesn’t really seem to take up a lot of room at first. And, then, I don’t know, suddenly it’s bigger. I enjoyed watching Jamie xx on stage as much as I did Madley-Croft and Sim and it really made me appreciate his role in the trio.

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I enjoy their first album, but I really fell in love with The xx with Coexist. Last October, when I first got my new phone, it was the only album I bothered to download. Every subway ride was nothing but The xx. I guess, you get it, I really love The xx. This was going to be a great concert no matter what. How do you talk about music without sounding like I am a better fan than youI listened to Coexist more times than you? How do you talk about music at all? Music is something of a mystery to me. I can play very basic stuff on the piano and read very basic music, but I always had a hard time hearing what my music teacher was trying to explain. When I am listening to music, I know what I like, but I rarely know why. That’s why this isn’t a review and why it could never be a review. This is just a love letter.

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I guess if you twisted my arm and I had to give one criticism it would be the lights. They were intense. And while it produced amazing pictures like this one, it was also a bit blinding. But this is another credit to how amazing the show was: I stopped caring that I was blinded by a spotlight and just listened. And danced. And sang along. I was amazed at how they played with tempo and also fascinated by Sim’s weird, almost slow motion dance moves. When they came out for their encore and began playing “Intro” was the moment of the whole concert and the moment I didn’t want it to all end. I knew that, soon, we would all be leaving Radio City and I had no idea what I would do when it was over.

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I feel a kind of sadness now that it is over. I will see The xx again (though not anytime soon, since they aren’t touring in the US anymore this year), but it will never again be this particular concert. Which seems so obvious now that I’ve typed it out, but I’d like to go back and experience it all again if only I could. There is something amazing about being in a huge room full of thousands of people who are scream-at-the-top-of-their-lungs in love with the same thing you are. Everything, from the ice cream we got before the concert to the halal truck after, to every single beat in between, was perfect. There are only so many times in life when the thing you are looking forward to far surpasses all of your expectations.

 

1

Things I Have Loved Recently

Posted by in Blogging, Life, music

For a few reasons, the past month has been one that has felt like a roller coaster. Good things happen and then bad and in between, a whole lot of smooth and steady. I blog mostly on the weekends, so being out of town a lot makes it difficult, but I’m trying to be more organized. (When am I not trying to be more organized?) I thought I might tell you about a few things that I have loved recently, things that are making my days brighter and better, just because they exist. We all need a few of those, right?

Music

Concerts - I am going to see The xx in September. I am not sure I have listened to any other band or musician as much as The xx in the past few years. I think they are perfect and I haven’t been this excited for a show in a long time. I’ve heard they are amazing live.

Songs – “The Mother We Share” by CHVRCHES, “Pompeii” by Bastille, “Lightning Bolt” and “Note To Self” by Jake Bugg, “Believer” by American Authors, “Breezeblocks” by Alt J, “Faithful Heights” by NIght Beds, “Synesthesia” by Andrew MacMahon

Albums – Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend

Movies

So, a few years ago, Michael and I were looking for something to do. How to Train Your Dragon was playing at our local $1 movie theater, so we took my little sister, thinking it would be a fun afternoon. Except I’m pretty sure I loved the movie more than my sister did. I’ve seen it a few times since then and every time I love it even more. It’s funny and beautifully drawn and heartwarming. Anyway, the trailer for How to Train Your Dragon 2 was released this week and I just keep watching it again and again. It’s everything I hoped it would be and more. Just so perfect!

ParaNorman - Did you tell me to watch this? Because if you did, I’m so sorry I ignored you. You haven’t seen ParaNorman yet? What are you waiting for?! I have a predisposition to love ghost stories, and awesome sidekicks who steal the show, and siblings, and autumn, and John Goodman, but honestly. If you like any of those things, or just a few of them, ParaNorman is on Netflix Instant and you are missing out by not watching this.

Television

Gravity Falls - After I watched ParaNorman and stalked the tumblr tags, I noticed a lot of comparisons to Gravity Falls. Michael and I have watched a few episodes now and it is hilarious. Mabel is the 12-year-old I wish I was. See all of the above things that I love (except for John Goodman) and you also have Gravity Falls.

I’m definitely missing the shows that I watched during the winter, especially Supernatural and Nashville. I also finished my first watch of Buffy and Game of Thrones S2, so I don’t really have a show that I’m watching whenever I have a spare 50 minutes. Do you have any suggestions? I prefer something that is available on Netflix Instant or Hulu+!

Books

Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo - I listened to this on audio and I loved it. I can’t wait to read the sequel! It always feels so good to get completely lost in a fantasy world that you buy into entirely and that’s how I felt about Shadow & Bone.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – One of my favorite listens this year was The Raven Boys and this book was my most-coveted galley at BEA. Thanks to the amazing Memory, I was able to get a copy. I’m reading it now and it is living up to everything, though I certainly miss having Will Patton read it to me. I will be downloading the audiobook as soon as it is available.

Tumblr

It’s true, I’ve been neglecting most other corners of the internet for tumblr, and I’ve been thinking a lot about why. I suppose there might be a whole post in here, but tumblr gives me a space to just love things. I do not need to comment on it, though I can if I want to. It’s just a space that is full of the things I love. Lately, that’s been exactly what I need. I don’t think it could ever sustain me as my only way of blogging or staying connected, it’s too specific for that, but as a tool to share the things I love and discover new things (like Gravity Falls, for example!), it’s just what the doctor ordered.

What have you loved lately?

9

The New York Public Library’s Most Active Patron*

Posted by in Books, Life

currently readingMy co-worker dubbed me so, this past week, when I walked to the library in the pouring rain because I had books due and books to pick up. Looking back at all of the books I’ve read this year, this has been one of my best reading years in a long time and it’s only April. I think it is because I’m getting rid of some old bad habits, namely buying books and letting them sit on my shelf for years and years.

What has been happening is I will buy a book and then want to treasure it. You see, I paid money for that book, so I have to make it worthwhile. So I put off reading it. Because if I buy a book and read it right away… somewhere in my mind that’s akin to buying a bag of chips and eating it all in one sitting. Logically that doesn’t even really make sense, but there it is. I’ve realized that the books sit and languish on the shelf and then I don’t read them and I forget why I ever wanted to in the first place.

So I’ve been reading books as soon as I buy them. Or I’ve been getting from the library instead and reading those right away. The longer I have a book out from the library, the less likely it is that I’ll read it. I obviously do want to read the books on my shelves, but only when I want to. I’m not going to force myself to read them, but I’m also going to be more careful about the books I buy. Is this a book I want to read right now? If not, then I’ll wait and put it on my wish list. It’s living in the moment when it comes to what I want to read.

It’s admittedly not a reading style that lends itself to tours or review copies, so I imagine those will be even fewer and farther between, though I don’t really accept many review copies now, it will truly only be the ones that are screaming: READ ME NOW.

Sometimes, though, there are too many books at once that are screaming the same thing. I’ve been feeling almost overwhelmed by the amount of books that just sound too good to pass up. I’m currently listening to The Great Gatsby, which I got from Audible, read by Tim Robbins. It has just gotten very intense and I will probably finish it tomorrow on my subway ride. I do really love it, even though I didn’t think I would at first. I started Indiscretion by Charles Dubow, a book I received to review, but that is also what my co-worker and I are reading for our book club-of-two. From the library I have The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord, which Iris reviewed and sounds so thought-provoking and interesting. Though the US cover is hideous compared to the UK cover! Also A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, which I do need to read soon, because I’m sure someone else has requested it. Thank you to Vasilly for making that one sound irresistible. If I could get most of those read this week so I can start reading A Clash of Kings by the pool this weekend in Florida, I’ll be a happy camper. Nothing screams pool-side reading like a battle for Westeros.

*Not a statistically accurate fact.

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This week in…

Posted by in Blogging, Books, comic, Life

reading.

You know what I needed after finally finishing Game of Thrones? Graphic Novels/Comics February! There is nothing like reading comics to boost your numbers self-esteem. It’s also just nice to give into the medium. I’ve two very long, involved fantasy novels the last two months and comics are the perfect change of pace. It’s also hard not to devour them. I try to savor each panel and make sure that I’m really paying attention. So far, my favorite comic has been Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks and Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

Fair warning: don’t read Saga on a crowded subway train. People always read over your shoulder when you read comics, and occasionally remark on said comics, and that would have been an interesting conversation. I am going to do a full review of Saga, but I really loved it. I can’t wait until July for the next full installment. Anyone know where I can buy the monthly installments?

television


Starting sometime in the middle of 2012, I decided to start watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I didn’t really get into it, but would watch an episode here and there. Then something happened about halfway through season one (just like you said it would) and suddenly I was head-over-heels in love. Now I am halfway through season four and still so happy with the show. I just watched one of the best episodes, and possibly one of my favorite hours of television, ”Hush” (S4, E10). The episode is almost completely silent, except for some excellent, atmospheric music, because the monster of the week has taken everyone’s voices. It’s perfect and funny and genuinely creepy. It’s an episode that I can see myself rewatching.

food.

It’s the superbowl! But not I’m not even sure I could tell you who is playing. (The Ravens? Right? But I couldn’t tell you who the other team is. I looked it up on Wikipedia and promptly forgot.) Superbowl Sunday is, for me, an eating holiday. I don’t watch the game and right now don’t host or attend any parties, but Michael and I cook yummy finger foods to snack on all day. On the menu for tomorrow? Homemade chex mix, which made our apartment smell like Christmas all day, How Sweet Eats blue cheese potato skins, and spinach artichoke dip.

family.

My sister is in town for the Fun. concert. I’m pretty jealous! We are getting lunch today before she heads home and I’m pretty excited about that! We’re trying a new restaurant near my office, which will hopefully be a possible new lunch place.

misc.

I feel like this week was really busy, but I can’t remember what I did. I worked for 6 days straight, but other than that, I can’t really remember what I did in the evenings. I guess it wasn’t very memorable! I have had a bad flair up of migraines lately, so I think I did a lot of going to bed early and relaxing, waiting for them to pass. I get aura migraines, which make it hard to see much of anything. They’re very inconvenient.

I’m excited to get home this afternoon and relax with a comic, a beer, and some delicious Superbowl food. It’s going to be a perfect afternoon, I can feel it. Enjoy your Sunday!

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January 26 – Oh, my God! It’s January 26!

Posted by in Blogging, Books, Life

I’m not exactly sure how six days passed between my bookshelf post and this post, but do know that I was working on blog posts, just not ones that I wanted to publish immediately. I wanted them to sit. And that feels in the spirit of this project, so I am moving on. And I promise to never ever promise to write every day, because all I do is apologize a lot.

Until next month when I promise to write a review of a comic a day!

So, I thought I’d catch you up on what I’ve been doing this week.

1) I went to the Macy’s on 34th St. Holy crap that place is big. I asked a friend to go with me and she said, “No, that place is huge and people walk slow.” And I pffed a little bit and said suuuuuure, but yes, it is huge and people walk really slow. It’s bright and overwhelming, but also kind of pretty to look at. I don’t know that I would want to spend more than an hour there, which is what I did, but I looked for some shoes, picked something up for Michael, and went on home. If you’re ever at the Macy’s on 34th St and you need something to eat, Koreatown is literally right around the corner and there are some great, cheap Korean places that you should check out.

2) I want flat black slouchy ankle boots, but they aren’t in style anymore. I have looked everywhere. It used to be that you couldn’t go into a shoe store without seeing a dozen pairs of the same black slouchy flat boot, but apparently they aren’t in style anymore. If I had known this would happen, I would have bought a dozen pair. I had a pair and wore them out, then I bought another, but they are pretty much unwearable at this point too. I found a pair from Target that are somewhat similar, but they have a heel and they are fake leather. So, hopefully they work. I have to walk a mile to work (in the snow! uphill both ways!) and about half the time I have to stand on the subway for 40 minutes. So my shoes have to be comfortable and work appropriate, because I am the laziest and I don’t like walking to work in one pair of shoes and wearing another pair once I get there. This is why I wore my snow boots around the office every day this week. It was cold.

3) I read Game of ThronesI have been slowly plugging through this. I like reading long books, but I have to take breaks and read other books, which makes it go even slower. I just like to feel accomplished. I really like Game of Thrones and I am excited to start watching the show. I think I’ll be done before January is over at which point I’ll start reading comics!

4) I picked up a lot of comics at the library and I have more coming in on Monday! Ah! I’m so excited about this. I don’t know if I am going to be able to wait until February to start reading. I’ve started picking my way through Hark! A Vagrant, which is much larger than I thought it would be. I’m also ridiculously excited about Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

5) I discovered that I’m really interested in neo-noir as a genre. I’ve always known that I enjoyed it, but while I was writing up my review for The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters (coming on Monday!), I realized just how much I want to go deeper into the genre. Anything that even has the tiniest of noir sensibilities is something that I am immediately drawn to. I mean, I grew up watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit – the genre has been part of my cultural landscape since I was a kid. This idea of a hardboiled detective, with his femme fatale, his cynicism and shady city streets has been familiar to me all along. An idea for a project is forming. I want to know more about the genre, I want to know more about the origins of the genre. I have to come up with a more detailed plan, but I want to be a noir expert.

6) I have one audiobook credit before I cancel my Audible membership. Suggestions??? I am horribly indecisive when it comes to this thing.

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