I love the Internet

Spotify Wrapped 2022

December 3, 2022

Last year I started paying for Spotify again because I enjoy listening to its AI-generated playlists for me. I checked out my Spotify Wrapped summary for 2022 and it told me right off that bat that I listen to a lot of genres and a lot of artists. Here’s the best it could do.

Spotify wrapped top artists: Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, Fleetwood Mac, Dave Matthews Band, Ella Fitzgerald. Top songs: As it was, Hey ya! Soak up the Sun, Island in the Sun, Walking on Sunshine
I’m sorry, Ms Ella.

I have a little quibble with #1, because I listened to Harry Styles’s new album exactly once this summer, but As It Was was on every stinking Spotify-generated playlist that I listened to. Summer hits, Summer chill, Summer Pop, Workout jams for old people, Happy office music, Chill office music, Lonely in your Home Office music, Happy sounds, Upbeat sounds, Please stop crying, Beach life, Songs to get you out of existential despair, etc. Harry’s management team really was on the ball. You’d think Jimmy Buffet would be on there, but I get my Jimmy fix (this is dirty, right?) from Radio Margaritaville on Sirius XM. Another music service I pay for.

What I like best about Spotify is the new music lists that it makes for me every Friday. Pop music is fantastic these days, and if it’s a genre you think you grew out of, I really suggest giving some of the newer artists a listen. Even Harry Styles.

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Life, Pets, Work

Catching up

November 27, 2022

Hey Kim! What’s been going on?

Personally:

In July I joined a gym, which announced its closing 6 weeks later. Then I joined another gym, which is still open. I go in 2-3 times a week and do a mix of cardio and strength training. It’s very humbling. However, I can very reluctantly admit that walking almost every day since March and working out even occasionally is improving how I feel. I’m not in this to lose weight, but to build strength and stamina for the long haul.

In September I turned fifty. IN WALT DISNEY WORLD! The trip was amazing and perfect in almost every way. (The heat index was over 100 degrees every day, which was a lot, even for this lover of summer.)

kim cheesing it up at walt disney world next to a sign that says 50
Both Walt Disney World and I are 50!

Two weeks ago, Murphy was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, which means his body is attacking its own red blood cells. IMHA is scary and quite often fatal. He was VERY lethargic with pale gums when we took him to the vet. His red blood cell count was at 18%. After a week on steroids, that number popped up to 30% and his doctor is very pleased. If his next blood test also shows improvement, they’ll try to wean him off of the steroid. He’s also on aspirin because IMHA can cause blood clots. This is terrible and stressful and we’re in “give him the meds and pretend everything is fine” mode. It’s possible that it can be reversed, but it’s also possible that it can’t be.

murphy in the vet office again
Keep him in your thoughts, please. He’s only 5.

“FUN” FACT #1: in the last 18 months, Murphy has seen all six of the vets on staff at our clinic.
“FUN” FACT #2: Please know that we love Murphy to pieces, but Murphy on steroids is difficult to like sometimes.

I haven’t been able to read a book since summer. I also haven’t been able to craft in months, either. I miss doing both, but I can’t force it.

Gaming: I played Strange Horticulture (intriguing but short), Slay the Spire (still obsessed), Disney Dreamlight Valley (cute, but light on content), and Valheim (bleak survival game, can only play a little at a time).

Professionally:

In August, I attended the ASAE Annual conference in Nashville and was recognized as a new CAE. In September, I was elected to be part of the MetaFilter inaugural 12-member Steering Committee. For a volunteer position, it’s much more work than any of us thought it would be, but it’s good work and much needed work. I’m also nominated for a second 2-year MASAE board term.

I’m still working from home and probably will be for the long haul. TNP has us going in 1x/month, but I try to go in 1x/week just to get out of the house. To cheer up my side of the home office a bit, I painted a Spaceship Earth pattern on a 2′ wooden round. I was inspired by a TikTok video. It’s now up on my office wall with some new shelves. I’m still not thrilled with working from home, but things are never going back to how they were, and it’s time for me to deal with it. To that end, I removed almost all of my personal items from our office building.

kim's home office wall
I like!

And that’s about it. I have missed writing here.

Reading

Show Us Your Books June 2022

June 14, 2022

Edited this morning to add: I just found out that today is the last Show Us Your Books. Many thanks to Steph and Jana for an amazing 8 years of one of the last great blog link parties out there. It’s the end of an era and I’m sad to see it go but happy it lasted so long. I’ll keep writing about books but you know how consistent I am when not being held accountable. 😉

Look, Ma! I’m reading! Thanks to the 2022 version of Covid-19 I spent a lot of time in May flattened with no desire to do anything that couldn’t be accomplished from my sofa or hammock. Enter … reading! SIX entire books.

Onto the books! I use the Goodreads rating system, which is:

  • One star: did not like it
  • Two stars: it was ok
  • Three stars: liked it
  • Four stars: really liked it
  • Five stars: it was amazing
show us your books image

Lords and Ladies – Terry Pratchett
This is book 14 in the bajillion books of Pratchett’s Discworld series. I started reading the novels in 2016, savoring a few a year so I don’t burn out on them. This is a Witch book and the Witches along with Death are my favorite characters. (I have a soft spot for The Luggage, too.) In this edition, Magrat prepares to give up witchery to marry King Verence II while Elves try to invade Lancre, and Granny Weatherwax saves the day by being herself. I am always impressed when Pratchett manages to bring so many disparate characters from previous books into the same place at the same time. I laughed, I choked up, five stars for a comforting escape read.

Float Plan – Trish Dollar
Crushed by the suicide of her fiancé Ben, Anna decides to solo the sailing trip that they had planned to take together. But she’s not very experienced and after a bad night she hires Keane, a hunky Irish sailor, to help out. This is a very adult book, not for the wink-wink reasons (although there are wink-wink scenes) but because it’s about two imperfect people grieving a previous incarnation of their life. They heal and grow together without many of the childish scenes and misunderstandings we usually see in chick-lit books. It’s a great book to kick off the summer. Content warning for suicide, obviously. Four stars.

Tell Me More: Stories About the Twelve Hardest Things I’m Trying to Say: Kelly Corrigan
This memoir is about loss, life, love, parenting, and how hard it is to keep the plates spinning sometimes. The stories are grouped by phrases like, “I’m sorry” and “No” and “I love you.” For me it was middle-aged-white-lady catnip. Three stars.

Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change – Maggie Smith
Another middle-aged-white-lady memoir, but this is one is centered around the end of Smith’s marriage and the change that came from it.. It’s comprised of stories and inspirational quotes about keeping moving. Ironically, I spent my time reading this book while completely stationary. Three stars – I read this on a Kindle but the layout is probably much better in print.

Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village – Maureen Johnson
It’s a cute, humorous, short book about the perils of staying alive in a fictional small English village. I love Maureen Johnson on Twitter, but this book is just ok. It is probably more pleasing in print than on Kindle. The illustrations remind me of Edward Gorey. Two stars. Which mean it’s ok!

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music – Dave Grohl
In his own words, Dave Grohl writes about his journey from a suburban stoner kid to one of rock music’s biggest names. And he does it with a lot of heart and emotion. In a day where you hear a lot of “I deserve this!” it’s refreshing to read about how a famous musician grappled with “why do they want ME for this?” and “holy shit is this really happening?” through his career. It’s not a comprehensive autobiography, because I suspect there are personal things he wants to keep to himself. I never realized how quickly Nirvana came and went. I checked this out simply because it was available from the library, and let this be a lesson to all of us to branch out from the TBR once in a while! Five stars and I’ve started listening to the Foo Fighters.

Currently reading: Grit by Angela Duckworth. I’m 30% in and the loan ends today so I don’t think I’ll have the grit to finish it before then.

All of my book lists and reviews are on Goodreads.

This a part of the Show us Your Books linkup from Jana Says and Life According to Steph. If you want to read more bloggers gush about the books they’ve read this month, click the button below and have fun!

Other SUYB posts:

2022:
April | May

2021:
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October
2020:
February | March | Spring/Summer | September | October | November | Year-end review
2019
January | February | March |April | June | July | August | December
2018
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December


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I love the Internet

Friday 5: Double Stuf

May 27, 2022

Happy Friday! I am off from work today and feeling peppy (for now) so let’s give the Friday 5 a quick whirl, shall we? This week’s theme is Double Stuf. While I enjoy Double Stuf Oreo, my preferred Oreo is the classic Oreo. Oreo Thins are as weak as a strongly worded Democratic Party Tweet. (The Democrats get my money and work for me, so I can complain.)

Friday, May 27
  1. What do you have two of because while you knew you had one, you couldn’t find it so you bought a new one?
    A push broom for sweeping up grass clippings and other outdoor detritus. I *thought* I had one but couldn’t find it in the garage so I ended up purchasing the exact same one. Turns out the first one had fallen on the ground on its side behind the beach chairs. Oops. Now we can tandem sweep I guess.
  2. What do you own none of because it’s convenient to borrow it from someone else?
    A Cricut machine. My mom has one so I take my ideas over to her place.
  3. What do you own an old version of because it still works fine even though it’s very old?
    I own two Bliss “zero-gravity” chairs. The frames and seats are always fine, it’s just the elastic that gives out. I purchase replacement elastic online and restring them when I need to.
  4. What do you own identical versions of because you like to have one in different places?
    Thanks to Zenni, I now own 3 pair of glasses in my current prescription and 2 pair in my prior one. I have glasses everywhere now and never again will I have to tear through the house looking for my one pair of glasses so I can see the TV or drive somewhere. The frames are different though.
  5. What are you most likely to upgrade when an upgrade is available, even if you’re happy with the one you’ve got?
    I have a Disney MagicBand from January that is perfectly fine and will work for a while to get me into the hotel room, onto rides, into the parks, and charges onto my credit card. It is Disney snack themed. But … but! They are beta-ing a new version that will interact with items in the park (if you’re a longer-term parks person, think about Pal Mickey’s interactivity) and I really want it for our September trip.

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Life

Sick and tired of being sick and tired

May 26, 2022

I have been a grown-ass adult for decades now and I cannot remember a time where so many terrible events were happening in such rapid succession. There is no respite. It’s all so heavy.

Current events are terrible and I am sick about the mass murders of Black shoppers in Buffalo and schoolchildren in Texas. I have no coherent words to share, except for a very insightful idea from a TikTok that instead of using the term “Gun Control” we should be using “Gun Responsibility” and force politicians to come out against responsibility. I’ll find the creator and credit her.

murphy dozing on the sofa
Current mood

And now here’s the part where I whine about still being sick. With everything going on, my issues are trivial, but this is the only diary I have so here we go.

I finally tested negative yesterday and my lizard brain was convinced that a negative test meant I had crossed the finish line. But the fatigue remains. I’ll have a good day and then be wiped out the next day. Today was a wiped out day. I feel like I’m wearing sandbags. I had planned on going into the office but when the alarm went off, the body said NOPE. I dragged downstairs 3 minutes before I was to log in for the day. I shortened my lunchtime walk with Murphy. By 3pm I was on the sofa with my laptop. My day ended at 4:30 and I was asleep by 4:45. I slept until 6:15 and I could have slept all night long.

Here’s a funny story: I do think my sense of smell was mostly gone. A few days ago I was in my hammock out back and was being bothered by a bunch of flies. Where were the flies coming from? A fresh pile of dog poop next to my hammock (thanks, Murphy) which went completely unnoticed by me because I couldn’t smell it.

WM’s recovery is slow. He visited the doctor because his cough won’t quit. He’s on an inhaler now and if the cough doesn’t go away by the weekend, the doc wants to send him for lung x-rays to look for pneumonia. Yay. He was home all last week and most of this week.

My MIL is unscathed. I credit that to her extra booster and our split-level house. While we were sick we stayed downstairs coming down early in the morning and going up to bed after she went to bed. She stayed upstairs.

Nephews A and B have it, too. Keep that household in your thoughts, please. B is too young to be vaccinated. Ugh, my nerves.

Tomorrow is my first Summer Friday. Normally I’d head to the beach or boardwalk but the weather isn’t going to be great and I don’t want to exhaust myself and end up flopped on a bench for the afternoon.

I’m tired of being patient.


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