Sunday, January 2

Let's try this again, shall we?

Christmas and birthday books for the win! Technically, I've already read/listened to the Broken Horses audiobook (and I loved it, earning the "only audiobook Jen likes" award), but I enjoyed it so much I wanted the actual book ... and I'm glad I asked for it, since there are photos, etc., that obviously didn't make it to the audio version. It makes for a nice contrast to the Obama/Springsteen book, which I believe is essentially a transcription of their podcast.

Here's hoping I'm more successful at this to-do list this year than I was last year.

Friday, December 31

But who's counting?

So, there were some good things that happened this year. I managed to meet my walking goal of at least 10,000 steps every day this year (365 days, bitches!). I am by no measure in shape now, but I'm in slightly better shape than I was.

Unless I finish the book I'm currently reading before midnight (not planning to), I have read 406 books this year (to be fair, some of that number were short stories/novellas), but also, I read a lot. Did I mention the anxiety reading? It hasn't stopped.

My workload this year about doubled from 2020, which was good for my bank account but not always good for my sanity.

My sister and my two nephews moved back to Massachusetts, which has been wonderful.

I'm hoping for more good things in 2022, but I'm not necessarily counting on it.

Friday, December 17

That didn't go quite as planned

So, I didn't read those books. To be fair, I read other books, just not those. I continued to anxiety-read my way through 2021, but no regrets. I managed to not lose my shit completely, which with the state of the world, was a pretty big accomplishment. There was a brief two- to three-week period where I had some optimism post-vaccine, but then ... yeah. I'm in general awe of those people who have managed to keep a running journal of the pandemic, because I can barely compose two posts in a year. One of which was primarily a photo. If I had done other posts, they probably would have looked like this: photo of one of my dogs; photo of all of my dogs; another photo of my dogs; photo of just two of my dogs with guilt for not including the third. 

In other year-end wrap-up news, I managed to see one movie in theaters this year (Black Widow in that brief window mentioned earlier); I haven't really embarked on new shows, though I did go through the Marvel shows on Disney+ once Sam successfully wore me down; I read a bunch of romance novels (see first paragraph); and weirdly enough, work picked up for me in the second-half of the year, which was good but also really, really tiring. I'm eager for the new year and a little down time to ... hang out with my dogs some more?

Saturday, January 30

Cautious optimism

 

Perhaps I'll be able to finish this to-do list this year.

Tuesday, June 23

After the boys of summer have gone

So, apparently, I miss baseball. This shouldn't surprise anyone, even though my Sox love will never be as strong and ever-present as in 2003-2004. Bygones. The point is this: Last night, I dreamed that the Sox needed me. They needed me to play. Apparently, in my fantastical dreamland, I am a catcher, but when they told me I was getting in the game, I panicked. Because I had forgotten all the signs. So I had to talk frantically with the pitcher, trying to decide if one finger down means the fastball or two fingers. And then I woke up, because that was some stressful shit.

Tuesday, May 26

Listen up

Making playlists is one of my favorite things to do, so when my friend Carrie posted about the One Song a Year challenge on the Facebooks, there was no way I could resist.

Many years were a struggle for me (how do you pick between Blood on the Tracks and Born to Run?!?), and some years I felt like I had to dig deep (2009 & 2013, I’m looking at you), but I think I could re-make this list every year and come up with different decisions. I almost made an alternates playlist, but there were a few years where I didn't have a second choice (mainly because my first pick was so solid, I didn't even go looking further. I mean, if I wanted to, I'm sure I could come up with more songs). There are some artists and entire genres missing (my early 2000s love of Eminem and hard rock is glossed over in favor of my enduring love for singer/songwriters), but decisions like that are what make this a really fucking difficult challenge. It took me the better part of a weekend to craft it, but what else do you have to do? Take it at your own risk.

The Rules: • A song from each year you have been alive • The song has to be from the year it was released • An artist can only appear once • It has to be a really good song • It doesn’t have to be the first song you found from the artist • It doesn’t have to be your favorite song from the artist, but it has to be an artist/song that has your love forever

Of course, I made it into an actual playlist, so you can listen to my list on Spotify here.

Wednesday, March 18

Strange days, indeed

Okay, so we are living through some weird shit right now, people. And there's not much that we can do but hunker down and wash our hands a lot. So I'm reading a bunch (mostly happily-ever-after romance stuff, because I don't need anymore reality, thanks), and I'm creating playlists on Spotify. Also, petting my dogs a lot, because they are gorgeous and sweet and have no idea what the hell a virus is.

Thursday, February 6

It takes more than whiskey to make that flower bloom

Now, as much as I'd like to be the cool chick who drinks whiskey on the regular, I think we all know that's not me. Sure, in my head I'm some variation on Marlene Dietrich (with better eyebrows) who is far too jaded and eyebrow-arching to drink anything other than whiskey (neat), but in reality, I'm more a Mountain Dew and margaritas woman. We can't all be smoky, dammit. Bygones. My point is this: I recently discovered Chris Stapleton. (Yes, I know, I'm about five years late to the party. Shut it.) And many (many!) of his songs are either about whiskey or feature it prominently. Sure, this seems like rampant alcoholism, but it's damn good music. And it has inspired my latest attempt at the perfect playlist, the Whiskey Mix. Sure, it's got Stapleton's version of Tennessee Whiskey (so good) and Whiskey and You (even better), and the Doors' Alabama Song. And a few others so far that evoke the right mood (Thin Line … because whiskey, and because always HoneyHoney. Always). I'll keep working on this list, because with the way the world is going, I really, really need a stiff drink. And this may be as good as it gets for me.

Update: Spotify playlist, bitches!

Friday, January 31

I'm gonna go to west Memphis and look for my joy

When the world gets to me a little too hard, there are a few things I can do to make myself feel better: Re-read a good romance novel. Or Anne of Green Gables. Watch Dirty Dancing for the 8,000th time. But when it comes to "no, for serious, I fucking need to smile right now or I will either cut a bitch or dissolve into a pool of anxious goo," my go-to for the last several years has been Jensen Ackles lip-sycing to "Eye of the Tiger." Because I cannot watch that video without 1. smiling like an idiot and 2. feeling better. I mean, even if you're not a Supernatural fan, that shit is funny as hell. And Jensen is stupid hot. Bygones. My point is this: There's a new contender in town, and that is the Boston-themed Hyandai ad. Chris Evans! John Krasinski! Rachel Dratch! Big Papi! (His Bigness, if you please.) It cracks me up every time I watch it. The over-the-top accents. The combined hotness. It's fucking perfect. (And when John calls Chris "kid," it slays me. I don't know why.) Hopefully, these two YouTube clips will get me through the rest of what is guaranteed to be a truly epic shitshow of a year.

Wednesday, January 22

Jen's deadliest sins

In the world according to me, burning your sister's book is apparently a sin far worse than say … shivving your father with a lightsaber. Okay, not really, but I have to admit, I came close to almost forgiving Kylo Ren by the end of The Rise of Skywalker. I'm not sure why, since I'm generally not a fan of Adam Driver (it's been hard to take him seriously as a villain since I saw him first in Girls). Maybe it was because Rey believed in him? Maybe it was just because Amy is so much worse. She would have never betrayed the Dark Side!

Episode IX was pretty decent, on the whole. There could have been a bit more judicious editing, but they took the story where it needed to go, plus lots of fun bonus crying for every scene with Carrie Fisher. Actually, to be brutally honest, I started crying as soon as the scroll started. I've been watching these movies my whole life, and it's weird finally getting to the end. I mean, sure, there will likely be more movies, because Disney never met a franchise it didn't like, but it won't be the same. And, unlike Little Women, I still like these stories, even as an adult.