* This week, I have had extra fun email in the form of photos and brief trip updates from my Mom and Dad. They are visiting my sister, brother-in-law, and new little nephew! It looks like they are having so much fun. It is really making me look forward to my trip in April.
* In my text messages, I received a picture from SMS showing off his hotel room that he’ll be staying in when he travels to France for business. Le boo! I wish I was going! Unfortunately, my schedule is booked about 3 months in advance and this trip was planned in the last 2-3 weeks.
* I read Glynnis MacNichol’s No One Tells You This. A highly distilled description is this is a memoir of a woman during her 40th year. It was pretty good. My biggest takeaway is that I really want to go to a Dude Ranch in Wyoming now. This chapter was actually a small part of the story but the descriptions were really beautiful.
* I liked this article regarding the dictum, “Travel like a local.” The author argues that this is ridiculous since locals are caught up in the mundane details of everyday life. While, yes, locals may know of inside spots that aren’t in the guidebooks, it is ok to “travel like a tourist” and take in the sights and wonders of a new place. I completely agree with this perspective. I love checking out the tourist-y spots where I live because they are attractions for a reason! When I travel, I try to stay away from tourist traps when it comes to restaurants but when it comes to landmarks and museums, count me in!
* You guys! Never one to be ahead of the TV binge watching power curve, I have to tell you that, if you haven’t you must watchBodyguard! Ok, ok, the first episode is a little boring but then the second episode picks up so much speed that I marveled that all the events happened in one episode without seeming rushed or contrived. There are only six episodes for the season and it is SO good! 5 stars! Get past the first episode (it took me two tries) and you won’t regret it! Also, do not read anything about it! There are a few key plot events that were much better as surprises so no reading reviews! It’s been out for awhile so it would be very easy to uncover a spoiler.
* Recent books I’ve finished include The Perfect Nanny: A Novel by Leila Slimani (3 stars) and Atomic Habits by James Clear (4.5 stars with the caveat that personal improvement books seem especially…personal (?) as to whether they apply or not). Next up: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottesssa Moshfegh and possibly Flights by Olga Tokarczuk if I can get to it before it expires in my Kindle queue.
* Things I am tempted to buy (aka, probably will): Blue Light Screeners/Glasses. They’re pretty inexpensive and why not try them, especially on clinic days?
* I am starting to have more regrets about deactivating Facebook. I miss out on social event notices and a few of my friends are posting baby pictures exclusively there. Whhyyyyy? It is an information raking, advertising company driven that uses its users data in sneaky third party ways. I always knew that the “cost” of using a free platform was its monetization of my (and many, many others) data but they way they are so sneaky to the point of total disregard for privacy…my motivation is back! Stay off! I will, in an effort to be transparent, “share” with you that I am on Instagram. I know it’s owned by Facebook. And I’m *this close* to getting off IG too but the ability to search pictures for ideas (hair, exercise, gossip) in addition to friend updates is pretty nice.
No, Martha!!! Cease and desist all efforts to make this happen.
I’m going to Japan to visit my sister in mid-April. I’m so excited! I’ve been reading a few articles about “The Tokyo Fixer,” a very expensive foodie guide and while I’m not planning on hiring him, the food descriptions are making me hungry! I plan on buying a JR pass but this trip will be a little less planned than others since my main priority is hanging out with my sister, brother-in-law, and their baby!
Theparakeetofficial is growing like gangbusters. The birds now have more followers than me. The account, and followers, shows that there’s a niche for everyone.
I hosted a successful party last week. Everything went perfectly and it was so easy. I catered the event from Handsome Biscuit, a Southern Sweet Potato biscuit place that made incredible sliders. People loved the food. Most importantly, the two guests of honor for the farewell party had a great time with a strong turnout from all of their work friends. I was a tiny bit stressed earlier in the day because it was an OR day, which is not the best day to plan afterwork events but it all worked out. I was done exactly on time and it was actually a really good day in the OR.
I also had two book clubs last week. It was a very social week. The book club I host read There, There, which we all really liked. Most of us felt we never would have picked it up if it hadn’t been for book club. Second book club discussed Little Fires Everywhere, which I had read last year and really liked. I don’t like most of the books second book club picks (next month is Eleanor Oliphant…, blergh), but I really like the people so I will suck it up!
Well, looks like this will be an every two week type of thing. But who knows where my 2019 resolutions will take me? Ok, things to talk about.
*@theparakeetofficial on IG. Oh yeah. The parakeets have their own IG account. I’m not sure what niche these bad “boys” will fill but so far, they’ve increased their followers by 400%!!! (0 –> 4, that’s 400%, right?)
*I have read 72 books this year so far, although if I count my Harry Potter 1-7 re-read as one book, I would actually be at 66. I’m gearing up for a year in review. Currently, I’m thinking about/trying to read a Halloween-themed book (great choice in December) for my other book club but it’s a genre I don’t love (magical mystery) and it’s 400 pages. My motivation is low, can’t you tell? I did read The Atomic City Girls for my book club I’m hosting at the apartment on Tuesday and even though I didn’t love it, I did finish it.
*I’m on a running streak. It definitely fits in with my all-or-nothing mentality. I’m keeping it up until Christmas vacation, bonus points if I make it to the New Year. Then, maybe I’ll continue it! I aim for 3.1 miles a day. I have a couple of 4-5 mile days and one 1 mile day but otherwise, 3.1! I also have a new bike and an indoor trainer for some ambitious Winter training and Spring event plans.
*I’m moving to San Diego next Summer! I am so excited. I already have my route mapped out. I am going to the Grand Canyon for the first time and, in a clear nod to my new foster pet obsession (if the IG wasn’t enough), I booked two days at an in-park lodge so that the birds can hang out in a climate-controlled environment while I go hiking. I am such a sucker for those little birds.
*My apartment is decorated for Christmas. It is cute. It’s nice to feel a little festive for the season although I’m looking forward to my vacation with SMS and family- Feliz Navidad!
A new feature to serve as a round-up for thoughts and lessons of the week. Since a soliloquy is the “act of talking to oneself,” it’s the perfect word for my low-readership blog!
Culinary lesson of the week: Shred your own cheese! A friend of a friend who’s a former chef said that he always sheds his own cheese. I thought it was because of the dryness with more exposed surface area but he said he dislikes the additives used to prevent clumping (dextrose). Now that I’ve learned that, I can’t untaste the powder in my current bags of cheese.
Swedish Death Cleaning. After disparaging/mocking the KonMari method to my sister last night, I think this method might be better. My main issue with the KonMari method is that it’s hard to only focus on joy when decluttering. One, I don’t love the chore of organizing and two, there are a lot more emotions tied up with belongings than joy/not-joy. Swedish Death Cleaning can also apply to moving and since I’m hoping to move next Summer, I think this will be helpful. Now, all of my adult possessions fit into a one-bedroom apartment so I don’t think I’m too much of a hoarder, but my wardrobe and trip souvenir detritus could use a little pruning.
Blog Goals: I really want to focus on itineraries for places. I feel like I plan trips really well and maybe I can show that you really can fit a lot in without being super-stressed. I don’t feel stressed on my trips- I love them! I’m taking a fiction writing class and I had a “fictional” itinerary that received the feedback that obviously it was overly ambitious and that would be a good plot point to create conflict when the itinerary didn’t happen. Well, false! It totally can. Although for my fiction writing, I think the feedback actually has merit for creating an interesting story.
Online Shopping High/Low: So, I bought a grill pan from Williams-Sonoma (discount!) and I grilled a perfect steak with instructions from my meat CSA (no, I’m not kidding about the existence of a meat CSA). So, it was awesome except grilling inside produces about as much smoke as grilling outside so my apartment becomes quite smoky. The birds don’t seem to mind though- probably because I’m not cooking chicken?
Do YOU want instructions on perfect indoor grilling? Below is a screenshot from the CSA newsletter (although I recommend a 3 minute sear on each side instead of 90 seconds because it was ahi tuna-style raw initially and had to go back into the oven).