Good things

It’s been a busy month or so, and I haven’t made much time for blogging. I’ve been going through some changes at work, and saying goodbye to friends. It’s been mentally tiring, emotionally whack, and that has resulted in me being physically lazy – not getting up for taekwondo class as often as I should and sleeping too late.

But, things have been getting a little bit more normalized, volunteering at the soup kitchen continually reminds me how lucky I am to be employed and to stop feeling sorry for myself, and a few good things have happened.

I did manage to learn my taekwondo form, Choong Jung 1, and go to enough classes to earn my next belt, brown-recommended.

Another good thing is I have been using the MyFitnessPal app and website to track my calories and exercise for about 3 weeks now. After about 2 weeks I had lost 3 pounds, and I’m paying more attention to what I’m eating and how much.

The third cool thing is I got to attend a lecture by Dr. Jane Goodall, which was awesome. She talked about her early life and the beginning of her studies of chimpanzees, and about conservation work. And, after standing in a realllllyyyyyy long line, I got to meet her for about 25 seconds and she signed one of my books! Check it out:

Also I recently listened in on a free call with SARK. She was promoting her Write It Now workshops, and while I did not sign up for the paid program, I did enjoy the free call. It was inspirational and got me to thinking about and doing a little more personal writing.

Another fun thing I’ve been doing is decorating  for fall. I’m going to post about that on Monday, in conjunction with BLOGtober Fest.

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Banned Books Week

It’s  Banned Books Week in the U.S. It is time to remember to celebrate our freedom to read (and write) whatever we choose. Whether it’s (GASP!) sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, inequality, witches and wizards, vampires, mental illness, science, cultures, politics, drugs, or just fun fiction, don’t let someone else decide what you are allowed to explore through books.

Here are just a few of my most beloved challenged books:

Which banned books do you love?

100 Top Banned/Challenged Books 2000-2009

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books 1990-2000

 

LHTs and underwear-ironing

In a week that has really needed some, here are my latest Little Happy Things :

  • Charles Finch’s Charles Lenox mystery novels. Stumbled upon the first one, A Beautiful Blue Death, and quickly got lost in 1860s upper-crust England. As the series’s debut novel, I found a few things that bugged me, but nothing that kept me from enjoying it. This is not the murder-every-chapter type of mystery. It’s more a hot-tea-in-front-of-the-fire whodunit. An easy read and good characters to get caught up in. If you are missing your fix of lords and ladies with proper manners and servant-managed estates, this might help tide you over until the next season of Downton Abbey (sadly not showing in the U.S. until January). Yesterday I started reading the second one, The September Society.
  • Green Tea. My allergies seem to be acting up. Something about green tea really helps when I have the sniffles. It’s like a magical nostril-stopper-upper. Delightful, eh.
  • Pyramid Apricot Ale. Deliciousness from the Pacific Northwest.
  • New underwear. Pretty panties make everyone feel good, right? (This brings to mind a quote by the character Warrick Brown on an old CSI episode: “there’s something so heartbreaking about a woman with raggedy drawers.” Indeed, Warrick.) However, one pair did make me laugh, and then, after some thought, caused me to knit my brows. Checking the washing instructions, I noticed the tag advised “Warm iron if desired.” Haha, right? But, OK, wait, does this mean there is someone out there who IRONS THEIR UNDERWEAR? Frankly, I don’t see why anyone would “desire” to do that, but particularly on a pair that is red and sheer (…have I said too much?…), as though your significant other might get distracted by wrinkles? Really?! Have I missed something? Fess up, ladies. If you are ironing your sexy panties, please tell me why. I really need to know.

Random roundup

What’s up lately? Let’s do bullet points!

  • Got a tattoo above my ankle a few weeks ago. It says “blessed” in my handwriting. No, it didn’t really hurt much. Yes, I have a high pain tolerance. If you don’t, I don’t recommend an ankle tattoo. 🙂 I like the tattoo, and I’m thinking I may get some decoration added around it sometime. It’s been about 10 years since my last tattoo, so I was due.
  • Just got back from the annual MLB trip with Honey Bear. Great time, and our team won. Twice. 🙂
  • Thanks to generic Effe.xor I am feeling much better.
  • Foster-to-adopt paperwork notebook is still lying in the floor…
  • I’ve been reading “Sex with the Queen: Nine Hundred Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics” by Eleanor Herman. It’s nonfiction, and I recommend it if you like history without the boring shit.
  • Swimming! Yay for summer.
  • Got my purple belt in taekwondo  last week. Woot.
  • Nothing doing in TTC land. I meant to start taking that Metformin again but keep forgetting. Which probably really means I’m not committed to starting all that again…
  • I’ve been enjoying all those little things that I wasn’t doing whilst TTC, including coloring my hair, getting tattoos, and drinking beer and pinot noir. Lovely.

Book Nerd

I love to read, but sometimes I struggle to complete a book, or I don’t start reading anything at all. I’ll get really into a book, and then abandon it partway through for no reason that I can explain. Sometimes it is hard for me to read with other noises in the room or even the background, especially the TV. I haven’t made myself a comfortable reading nook that has the silence I need, so I tend to just wait until I am alone in the house to read.

Anyway, as my friend Alli said, “Stella’s got her reading groove back.” I’ve torn through 2 books in no time at all, and I’m halfway through a third. I found Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by happy accident at the library and finished reading it within a day. It was written by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo. I recommend it if you like art, art history or true crime. It really is amazing the depth of the con. And it raises questions about how we value art.

The second book that I essentially ate in the last week is Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. I stayed up until 5 a.m. to finish this book in a total of about 6 hours. It is a fictionalized account of a young maid in the house of the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and how she came to be the model for his famous painting. A good read.

I’m in the middle of Bossypants by Tina Fey. She is funny as always. I’ve gotten to the part where she is writing about performing with The Second City. However, if you are hoping for details on her facial scar, you’re not going to get any.