fancy stuff

I had a weird drifting-off-to-sleep thought last night. You know that time, when you’re not yet asleep but your brain is kind of heading into dreamland so your thoughts start out normal and then take a sharp left. Well the thought was “It would be horrible if books were made of sand”. I was actually halfway dreaming that I had a book made of sand and every time I tried to turn a page, it just, you know, acted like sand and kind of sifted through my fingers and it was unbelievably frustrating.

I think the reason I was thinking about books and reading is that I made an uncharacteristically vague New Year’s resolution for myself, which is basically “read more”. But I always like to set goals which are quite firm and definitive and that was a bit too wishy washy for me so I ended up downloading the Goodreads app and am now tracking all the books I’m reading; to give the whole thing more structure. I read two books in the first 6 days of the year, which felt like a good start. It isn’t really an accurate picture of how much & how quickly I read, though, because the bulk of that reading took place while we were at the cabin this weekend for two days. I parked it in front of the woodstove with m&ms and donuts and a pile of books. I read Ann Rule’s Heart Full of Lies which was extremely meh. I am usually a true-crime fan, and I have liked the majority of Ann Rule’s stuff that I’ve read, but this one had a few glaring mistakes that were hard to overlook. It was interesting, though, because the crime took place in my home state and I found out that the criminal has actually been released from prison and is living not far from me. Huh.

The other book I read was My Life In France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’Homme which I cannot recommend highly enough. I have never cooked a Julia Child recipe and though I do remember watching her show a few times as a kid, most of what I know about her comes from Meryl Streep’s (lovely) portrayal of her in Julie and Julia. Being 6 feet tall myself, I’m always infatuated with really tall women and I had been meaning for a while to learn more about her. This book was fascinating and I really enjoyed her photographs and words about Paris in the 1950s. Right up my alley. I’m going to get my hands on some of her cookbooks and try a few French recipes, though they sound VERY complicated and detail-oriented compared to my typical style (aka no style) in the kitchen.

I think overall I’d like to read 52 books in the year, which is one per week (duh) and so far, so good. I think that might be a little on the high side and I might end up in a mad scramble at the end of the year, but I guess we’ll see.

I got an iPhone 5s in gold which is the nicest electronic I think I’ve ever owned. I’ve always had different Android phones and have been disappointed time and time again, so when my mom’s phone broke and she decided that she wanted to change plans, we moved to AT&T together and both got iPhones. She got the 6, fancy lady. I’m really excited about the phone in general, but specifically, the camera is so great and I’ve been taking a lot of photos! Also, apps! And texting is great! Especially iMessage. ALSO I got to FaceTime with my little sissies overseas. iPhone: A+.

Here are the other goals I have for the next year:

-Visit the mortgage consultant with husband and get the ball rolling on buying a house. This will take place within the first six months of the year.
-Take at least one fun trip, most likely domestic and not international (but don’t say no to an international trip if it comes up…). I am thinking of visiting the East Coast, maybe Boston? I was born there & lived there as a wee babe, and have been back one time for a crazy day trip where we did SO MANY THINGS in 12 hours, but I’d like to go back for another, less rushed, visit. Especially with husband, as he’s never been. Other options; Washington DC? (Husband’s been, I haven’t.) NYC? (Neither of us have been, this might be far too overwhelming.) San Francisco? (Husband and I have both  been, but not together.)

Husband was 100% on board with the trip, particularly domestic. We have traveled internationally together multiple times and he really, really doesn’t like long plane trips. The older I get, the more I dislike them. Being 6 feet tall at 18 was fine because I could just fold up like an umbrella and hang out on a plane for 24 hours. But my knees and back are starting to rebel so I don’t enjoy plane rides like I used to. (That said, there are plenty of international trips we could take that call for shorter plane rides so we might revisit that point.) He also said he feels a little silly traveling to other countries when there are parts of the US that we’ve never seen. Point taken.

He also wants to spend more time exploring our area and getting away from the city. In particular, he wants to go to the cabin with me more often. And we managed to go in the first week of the new year! If we’re smart about it, we might even be able to go once a month or something. The most exciting part of going to the cabin this week is that we TOOK OUR CAT WITH US. I had to ask for that for a whole week leading up to it. Husband thought it was a really weird idea because we always take our dogs to the cabin but taking a cat seemed silly, but I told him about the cat that my family had when I was a teenager and how we used to take her to the family cabin with us, and he finally relented and we took her with us.

catcabin

And here she is, helping us unpack our food and beer.

Other stuff, in a list:
1. I’ve been listening to a TON of podcasts for the first time in my life. My favorites: No Such Thing As Fish (from the writers of British quiz show QI); Sound Opinions (music opinions & reviews, interviews, playlists, etc.etc.); CRIMINAL (short episodes, 15 mins each, crime topics); The Moth (people tell stories about their experiences in front of live audiences); Radio Lab; This American Life; and SERIAL!!! Which is the podcast that got me into this whole podcast thing. A true crime story–FASCINATING and a must-listen.
2. The No Such Thing As Fish podcast made me want to watch QI which is what I’m doing as I type this. I think an unofficial resolution for the year is to take in better media in general. More reading, more podcasts, more well-made television. Less vegging out in front of hours and hours while watching reality television.
3. That said, I am in no way prepared to defend my choice of books. Books are good no matter what, right? Even if I’m reading cheesy chick lit or true crime garbage? Right????

Alright, I think that’s enough for now!

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