Maturity, man. Sometimes it’s all about aesthetics.

1. School starts next week. I am not ready.

Okay, I am a little ready, but I am mostly not ready. I am especially not ready to live that 7 a.m. class life again.

2. My friend Jasmine’s book came out. You may have heard of it:

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

She did a launch party in LA at The Ripped Bodice, so I got the chance to hang out with her and a bunch of other super cool authors and non-author people, including one of my online friends who I kept trying to meet but our schedules just couldn’t get it together. But! On that day, it worked out! So, that was fun. (It was more than fun.)

Continue reading “Maturity, man. Sometimes it’s all about aesthetics.”

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Processing death, processing grief

I’ve been putting off writing my weekly post because my aunt died last Thursday, and I’m still not sure how to treat it as more than a line item in my week when it is, obviously, so much more than that. If I were on LiveJournal, I would write a friends-locked post about her, but since this is not that space, it’s not an option, and it’s just a weird space I’m in with this blog. I will say that at least I’m talking about it here unlike when my grandmother died and I posted a book review that I had forgotten about and was obligated to post as part of a book tour.

So, yes, my aunt died and it is weird because I knew she was sick, but she was also the same kind of sick last year. But this time, she didn’t make it. And it’s just that thing where I can’t believe she ran out of time and also that I haven’t seen her in years but also where she is no longer here.

Her funeral is going to be two days before the anniversary of my grandmother’s death. So that is also a thing that’s happening.

Anyway, I am back on the East Coast with my family now, which is good. I got to see my cousin (her son) who recently got out of prison and who I haven’t seen since my grandfather’s funeral. My mom is here, and I’m glad I can be here for her. They have both been overwhelmed by trying to sort out my aunt’s estate, which is a weird thing to say about someone who didn’t have any money, but that’s the language of use. So yeah, I’m glad I can be here for both of them and that my friends helped me pay for my travel so I could do so.

And I guess now that I wrote that, I see that it needed to be its own post anyway, which is probably why I kept resisting the line item-style post.

Grief is weird. On Thursday when I heard about my aunt’s death, I felt sad and guilty but also had things to do. So I went and did those things and wound up overdrafting my account because I was in the fog. And then I had a really fun weekend with friends. But on Monday, I was so out of sorts and unable to do much of anything. I called a friend who helped me recognize that I was grieving and reminded me that it was going to keep sneaking up on me. And also I am reminded as I kept avoiding this post that it will come out in many ways, and I just have to go with it.

We are going shopping for my aunt’s dress for her service tomorrow. From what my cousin is planning, it sounds like the repast is going to be epic. He really wants to enjoy spending time with the people who knew and loved her. It will be a great way to honor her memory.

January 2018 in Review

So, along with talking about the books I’ve read for the month, I think I’m also going to discuss the progress I’m making towards my goals and reading challenges.

First up: the books!

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 10.05.31 PM

I read eight books in January:

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Goal: fewer work dates, more play dates

1. A lot has been going on this week. I asked some friends how they were and what was happening, and then I listed two things for myself and thought of a bunch more. But then I remembered I have a blog.

you_have_a_blog
Not really, Willy Wonka, and to be honest, I don’t like your tone. (source)

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Can you show me the way to Santa Fe?

Whew, I have been busy.

1. Last week, I went to Santa Fe, New Mexico for the first time ever. My friend had a work trip there, so she invited me to crash it, and I did.

It was very brown. And cold. But! I got some culture. I went to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture as well as Meow Wolf and the Loretto Chapel to see the miracle stairs. The museum was great because I had an awesome tour from a delightful docent who kept talking about “fiesty lady archaeologists.” (Also, have you heard of archeaoacoustics? I hadn’t until she told us about them.) Plus, because the museum has been largely curated in cooperation with Native groups and is focused on their history and culture, it is way less rage inducing than going to the National Museum of the American Indian.

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I forgot to give this post a title, so now it has one

1. In case you missed it, I welcomed the new year by buying a car, establishing some goals, and just generally being awesome:

2. The non-working part of my vacation is officially over since I spent today doing some course prep/lesson planning. My goal for this semester is to bring back fun assignments so that grading isn’t as much of a chore.

The problem, of course, isn’t finding fun assignments, but fitting them all into the course schedule. My ambitions are so grand, but the semester is always too short for me to do everything I want to do.

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Adventures in Car Buying

Whew, today has been a day.

I have mentioned before that I want to buy a car, so since I’m finally back home, I decided to search in earnest. The whole thing was stressing me out–just everything about it. I stayed up until about 1 a.m. looking for cars and then I woke up at 6:30–in part because, yay circadian rhythm, and in other part because of the stress, probably. Anyway, I decided that what I really needed to do was just go to my credit union to find out what my interest rate would be since that’s really what would dictate how much I can spend on a car.

In an effort to not be sedentary over the break, I have vowed to walk for 30 minutes each day. Plus, I needed to go to the grocery store, so I walked over to the credit union shortly after it opened and got the information I needed. Yay. Then, my guy at the bank told me not to just buy a car to get a car, but to get a good car. Which I was planning to do anyway, but it was a good reminder. (He mostly said that because I kept talking about trying to stay under a certain amount.) (I see the same dude every time because it’s just easier since he knows my whole deal. Fun fact: he thought I’ve been a member longer than I have, and I pointed out that it’s because I’m in there so much, asking a bunch of questions.)

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Goals for 2018

Y’all, I seriously only have two personal goals for this coming year:

1. Deal with my mail as it comes in so it doesn’t pile up and turn into a towering monster that takes me hours to open/sort/deal with at the end of more months than I’m comfortable admitting here.

2. Eat the frog when it comes to grading so I can actually get it done in a timely manner and stop bitching about how much I have done when I’m not doing anything about it.

3. I’m also planning to enter at least one writing contest before the year is out.

4. And to work on my creative writing every day, starting someday this week that isn’t today or yesterday.

5. Oh, and to see Hamilton.

6. Also to eat more vegetables.

Those are my biggies. I also recognize that list has more than two items. But I just wanted you to see my thought process.

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It’s the first Monday of 2018!

Happy new year, everyone! I loved this artist’s cartoon for last year re: flowers, so here’s his latest. Full tweet available so we can see the translation:

So good. My friend did tell me that a more accurate translation is “And if 2018 is a dark year” because it has to do with color.

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2017 End of Year Book Survey

2017-book-survey
via Perpetual Page Turner

Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 66
Number of Audiobooks: 13
Number of Rereads: 1
Number Unfinished/Abandoned: 6

Continue reading “2017 End of Year Book Survey”