Life

Musings on life, work, health, and emotions.

1
Christmas Roundup!
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Show us your books — December 2018
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Holy crap I’ve been Gutenberged

Christmas Roundup!

December was a sugar-coated whirlwind of activities that didn’t let up until the 26th, which begins WM and I lovingly call … Sloth Week. Schools are closed and TNP is closed until January 2. That leaves us here in the House on Literary Lane with NO OBLIGATIONS! (other than dog care, housekeeping, hygiene, the usual.)

The family was great to me as usual. I got both a drone and a guitar, making me 100% more annoying than usual.

Family, light, coffee, Ollie being amazing and Murphy trying to eat a bow.

This year I baked fewer cookies than ever and it still looks like I’m going to end up throwing a bunch out.

This year I baked:

Cookies! Cookies! Cookie Swap! Dog wanting cookies!

Oh, and I ran the cookie swap at TNP, so I baked the vanilla/chocolate version of the dark chocolate candy cane cookies for that. But that’s it! No snickerdoodles, no royal frosting, no pizzelles. Maybe we just have too many cookie-conscious adults and not enough gluttonous children these days.

Back to Sloth Week. On the 26th we did NOTHING. On the 27th we entered the sunshine and went to PJ Whelihan’s for wings and beer. Today WM replaced the door going to our garage and I finally went to a hair salon.

SLOTH WEEK 2018.

I stopped coloring my hair in July of 2017, planning on letting my gray come in and being a natural aging hippie crone. (Un)fortunately I only have 8 gray hairs. Today I had some dark put into the roots and some toner put on the ends to turn them from brassy to ashy.

ok it looks the same here. fml. and why am I growing a giant WC Fields nose?

I think the rest of this time off includes a lasagna, a trip to Home Depot, and a new lipstick. What’s coming in 2019? A no-spend and dry January, for starters.

Show us your books — December 2018

And just like that, the end of the year is upon us. And just like that, the month flew by and I only read 2 books. Reach the goal and slack off, that’s how I roll. No biggie! (except for drop cap abuse)

For the last time this calendar year, onto the books! I use the Goodreads system to rate books, 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

Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants — Herb Freed

I saw this on other SYUB links last month – it was available free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a series of (fictional) short stories about Rabbi Ben Zelig. In the first story, we meet Ben as a rabbinical student. In the last one, he is a middle-aged man. Each story touches on love and loss and how Ben’s faith informs his feelings and decisions. The author is a rabbi and I appreciated learning more about the Jewish religion, which often gets obscured in media by Jewish culture. Most of the stories hit home, a few didn’t grab me.

Three stars and I will keep the phrase “A dollar’s worth of grace for a nickel’s worth of faith” with me.

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope — Anne Lamott

A brand new book by Anne Lamott which was on my Christmas list for a hot second until I saw a signed copy at Barnes & Noble on Black Friday! And now it’s mine.

Still life: book, blanket, boneheads. iPhone 6s, 2018

Let’s be honest, I will always like Lamott’s writing. She hits my middle-aged, Christian-ish sweet spot. This book is about how to pull hope back into your life when life seems … hopeless.  And hey! Things are pretty bleak, right?

She writes this book under the guise of trying to write down everything she knows for the younger people in her life. She touches on the usual topics: faith, love, addiction, loss, and her dead friends & relatives. It’s pretty much an Anne Lamott trope at this point that if she tells a story about a person, there’s a 85% chance they’ll die of a horrible disease by the end of it.

Four stars. If you hate Anne Lamott books, you’ll hate this one too.  If you’re me, you’ll sigh and reread it under blankets every year.

I did not finish You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. Maybe I’ll come back to it another time.

Currently Reading: Eric (Discworld #9) — Terry Pratchett. I’m halfway through and hope to finish tonight because the eBook loan expires on Thursday and tomorrow is TNP’s holiday party.

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!

Life According to Steph

What are you reading?

Previously:
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November

Holy crap I’ve been Gutenberged

It’s been a while. I know. I’m popping in here tonight to give an update on what’s been going on as well as to try WordPress 5.0, which changed up its whole writing experience with an editor called Gutenberg.  I could install a plugin that restores the old editor but what’s the point? Change happens. (I’m also trying to postpone handling the vats of clean laundry upstairs that needs to be folded.)

New Phone! (okay bolding on the fly is pretty neat)

After a literal 8 months of hemming and hawing (during which WM got 2 tattoos and a new Apple Watch) I upgraded my iPhone from the 6s to the XR. Why? Because Apple is never going to bring back TouchID or the headphone jack so may as well jump into the change rather than fight it. The camera is pretty nifty and because I bought it on 12/1, I snagged it in the Product(Red) red color. Which I promptly covered up with a case.  My old phone was 16GB and I kept running out of space. This beauty is 128GB and I haven’t put anything new on it because I enjoy seeing that gigantic free space bar.

That night we went out to dinner to celebrate my brother’s 39th birthday.

Touristing!

Our good friend C was in town for the Pax Unlimited Unplugged show in Philadelphia. He extended his stay and on Monday and Tuesday we did the tourist thing! Now how do I add a photo?

(clockwise from upper left) Dressing up as Vikings at the Franklin Institute | THE BELL | Dressing up at the Museum of the American Revolution | a teen’s answer to “What did Hamilton learn from his time in Philadelphia”

(that wasn’t bad.) This is my favorite photo of the trip:

I’m classy.

Professionalism!

On Wednesday and Thursday I was in Atlantic City for the MASAE annual meeting. It’s the local chapter of the association for association executives. I guess that’s me. It was a good meeting.

It freaking SNOWED, so I had to console myself with a beachy drink.

The meeting was at Harrah’s Marina. I’d probably go back just so I could sit by their gorgeous indoor pool all day. And I lost $60 on stupid craps. (Just kidding. I love craps.) C’s mom came into town because she’d never been to Philadelphia, so WM and I met them for dinner.

On Friday I attended a management training session, which was pretty good. I’m not currently supervising staff (TNP is not a very vertical organization) but the tactics were good nonetheless. Friday night WM and I took C & mom to Iron Hill Brewery in Maple Shade. They have a beer called Reindeer’s Revenge that I love.  It’s 9% ABV, so boozeiat emptor.

By the way, I’m kimberussell on Untappd. A beer drinking app seems odd but it’s helping me narrow down the beers that like. Also, this new editor won’t let me handcode HTML. It’s all WYSIWYG.

Every time I hit return to start a new paragraph it gives me a new “block” on the page. Weird. The drop cap is cool but kind of unnecessary. Because of that I can see myself abusing the hell out of it. The last thing this blog needs is drop-cap pomposity.

Saturday morning we went out for breakfast with C&Mom and then WM dropped them off at the airport. If you’re keeping track, I ate out Friday 11/30, then again on 12/1, 12/2, 12/3, 12/4, 12/5, 12/6, 12/7, and 12/8. Most of those meals included wine or beer.

(self-portrait, December 2018)

Tomorrow is the monthly Show Us Your Books linkup! And this is the hair color I think I want.

That was an excuse to test how I embed things.

Maybe this update isn’t so bad after all?

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