• Daily Life

    May 2021 Goals

    So, another big change. I was regretting my new job from basically the beginning. And I kept trying to talk myself into staying or at least staying until I got another opportunity. I hated it and actually think some really unethical stuff is going on (remind me to never work for the government or anything to do with it!). I called my old boss and asked if I could go part time (I had been doing a few hours for them still, so doing a job I hated and working around 50 hours), and I think I have 2nd job lined up. But obviously settling all of that is really the major goal and as my finances are going to take a huge cut (people don’t be dazzled by the money, don’t jump in blind, I don’t really regret this, I feel like it gave me some independence back, but still a learning experience), and I have been too detailed for my erratic personality, I’m going to make this month’s list simple. Oh, and yeah, since we also significantly into May.

    I’ve gone to my parents and this weekend to my grandparents to pick up packages (don’t trust here), do laundry and/or family birthday stuff plus had a vet visit and other errands for almost every single weekend day in addition to working about 4 hours on Saturday. I have something this Saturday and Sunday too, but at least I won’t be working. I’m hoping to get a job balance that is NOT 50 hours. And hopefully no family stuff until, wait there is Memorial weekend. I was going to say the 4th. Nope. I know there are a million people in my family so birthdays are a lot, but we used to combine the ones for April and May like we did the 6 (!) in August. I was trying to find out how often people who are on their own and within driving distance see their family.

    • Figure out the job, finances, and work-life balance situation.
    • Pay off some debt, save, get my net worth back up!!!!!! I’m SO glad I started doing a net worth exercise this year (excluding my teeny, tiny 401k, I have so little for retirement I’d better not do anything stupid to dip into that and pay penalties; I’m just measuring debt, savings, bank accounts). I did March and April together a bit randomly (hello wake up call), stupidly thinking I’d come back up from the dip I knew I took, um, no, I’m in the red. Yeah, really need to stop with so many installment payments. Seems obvious but STOP spending, I don’t have the money right now! And clearly I didn’t earlier either.
    • File state taxes. These would have cost extra that would have taken my tiny state refund away, so I didn’t file state with federal, so I’ve been procrastinating on paper filing. I’m assuming there was an extension this year, but I don’t know how long.
    • Finish organizing my apartment, at least so that it’s not visibly messy. Try to get into better cleaning habits. As I’m able to get more organizing baskets and to more specifically organize, make sure I’m also streamlining my stuff.
    • Sell some stuff (sell rest at apartment yard sale next month).
    • Use up stuff, like beauty items (do I really need three shampoos?) and yarn.
    • Finish a baby blanket as part of using up yarn (we’ve had/will have 4 babies (3 girls thus far) in the extended family, I know I have yarn for two girl blankets and a neutral, but I’d like to NOT buy yarn and use up what I’ve had if possible).
    • Read and then return or giveaway all the books on my nightstand (books I own but haven’t read and may not keep).
    • Start exercising more consistently.
    • Work more consistently on obedience training Bjorn. Work on crate and potty training. Little goober is almost 5 months, he should be able to hold it for longer than the two or less hours he currently is!
    • Try to get better a blogging, get a bit ahead.
    • Start that significant private project.
  • Reading

    What I Read April

    The Foundling by Georgette Heyer. I still have a few Heyers left that I’m going to save.

    Just Patty and When Patty Went to College by Jean Webster. Fluffy, light reads.

    I then went on a Robin McKinley binge.

    The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. Loved this except, and this I notice is a trend with her, the jarring pace and way too convient climax. The pacing of most of this was slow and the mood mysterious and it blended really well. Then in speeds up 0 to 100 and suddenly everything is fixed lickety-split. Well if it was that easy, what was all the agony over? Also, how boring. And then tying up everything at the end in a neat little felt like a long postscript bow also didn’t fit the moody, mysteriousness of the couple. They had their moment, end it there, it fits.

    The Door in the Hedge and Other Stories. This was a fun collection of short fantasy stories.

    Rose Daughter. What. the. heck.

    Chalice. Similar jarring pace ending to The Blue Sword. Everything is paced well and then the climax is absurdly fast and unexplainably easy.

    Spindle’s End. I liked this one as well for part of it but again, weirdness. Except it wasn’t pace so much as went from fantasy to surrealism for a space of time. However it went back to fantasy at the very end.

    And then I tried The Hero and the Crown. Again, really like the beginning. Then it started pacing too fast, hinted at a plot twist that added NOTHING good and that I HATED, AND then dived into surrealism and a way to convenient climax (actually there were a couple). And then delivered on the loathsome plot point. I was reading on my kindle so I couldn’t throw it against the wall. I just skimmed to the end I was so disgusted.

    You know, people like magic because it’s you know, magical and mysterious, not boringly used to inexplicably end things super fast (also if it was that easy why did the complicated circumstances exist in the first place?)

    Sense and Sensibility. I read this along with Hamlette’s readalong. I know The Enchanted Bookclub’s June pick is Emma, so I want to see if I can find a read-a-long to go with each Jane Austen novel now, it helps me think more deeply when reading. I’ve rewatched Elinor and Marianne Take Barton and I want to rewatch the two films this week (I think those are our least watched films, well maybe next to Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey). I’m hoping to go through all the JA books and then categorize the men into hero or villain or buffoon or loveable rogue or whatever categories I think I find. Maybe the women too, but I don’t think those are as many because they are the heroines and more likely to at least not be bad? Also, just less interesting to categorize like that, it’s more often a “who am I most like or unlike” (not usually flattering to moi) sort of category which I might do as well. We’ll see.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    More Humor

    Anything Friends. This is a hilarious reproduction of a classic scene.

    If People Did Everything in a Rush. I sent this to my family and named one sister. The 2 sec relaxing, looking at the view, playing . . . yeah that’s her. When we went to the San Diego zoo, she zoomed through everything. Meanwhile, I had us go to see the meerkat exhibit 3 times. They had babies, just about the cutest thing you could imagine.

    When You Can’t Put a Book Down. The end, I’m dying!

    16 Personalities Getting Triggered. I said I was the ISTJ and ISTP, actually I’ve been saying what the ISTP was saying quite often the last year. And that sister was the INFJ.

    16 Personalities Getting Revenge. I think I’m ENTP. It’s not that I don’t plan revenge or want revenge. I’m usually the aggressive confrontational one in the familial situations . . . who ends up losing, so I tend to give up. If I tried to take revenge, I’d once again lose.

    I love cross-over memes like this.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Fickle, Faddish Beauty Standards

     

    This is going to be rather rambling.

    I for one, appreciate that have bigger bums and thighs are more in, no, my bum and thighs are not the Kardashian fake perfect. But back when I was growing up, I had more of a “mom” figure and needed “mom” jeans (a style that is coming back, but which was derided then, which wasn’t a style, it was out of style). The 00’s had those absurdly low cut jeans that didn’t taper to the waist at all and wouldn’t even fully cover my bum. So I definitely feel more normal now even though I’m now more overweight. I think part of this is people are repudiating somewhat the stick thin standards, something I also never was. HOWEVER,

    For all the body positivity schtick going on, I still don’t really see average healthy looking women represented. Hugely overweight apple shapes are the unhealthiest. I am an overweight pear, I’m not healthy. I don’t appreciate even worse being promoted. I think being around larger people actually makes me too unconcerned.

    I think also there are different global standards of beauty and different regional standards of beauty. We are in a more overweight area of the country and my mom has always been fit despite having 6 children. When we went to the Grand Canyon, she said she felt large next to all the non-American tourists. She wasn’t, she was just used to feeling small.

    The fake blonde look lasted longer around here it felt like. I think the trend is dead for now, I think brunette is in. I’ve never wanted to bleach my hair nor to feel like I was frumpy when I didn’t. And when blonde is in, its not in in a way that everyone is doing it, but its done more uniquely and not just everyone doing it.

    I do feel like the country pixie girl look is rather pervasive. For all our family has been here forever, we don’t have that look (some of my sisters have more of the pixie look, but it’s not this basic Southern look). I feel like there are just some Southern girls that you KNOW you’d never see in other states. Now, I don’t want to look so obviously, well, regional, but it ties in with just having that more dainty look that seems to be preferred, at least around here.

    In the same vein, since I’ve always loved historical fashion, and since I followed a lot of people who were into vintage and vintage inspired fashion when I was trying to be more stylish, I’ve never been fashionable here, sometimes it’s been frumpy, sometimes just nerdy. Now, I do struggle with having actual style as well as trendiness, but now I think that there are more people who aren’t following mainstream trends, who are stylish in different ways (like Cottagecore and Light Academia kind of things which is trendy in some spheres 0nline). Now I think its easier to find people who know how to be both stylish and not following mainstream fashion, but still following a trend, but not in a mindless way. I’ve loved to see things that are more my style becoming more popular online, so I don’t feel strange. I’d kind of fallen into being as basic as it’s possible for me to me, and its just boring. I’m not wearing anything crazy unique now, but it is still back to more of my frilly roots with some more unique, at least for around here things.

    I really appreciate when she says “You are not ugly, you are just not in season right now.” I think you could say also say, you aren’t ugly, you just aren’t in vogue HERE.

     

    Oh, and I found her channel via this video when trying to find under all the basic modern design styles a more girly, Victorian, style of room. Interior design has trends too!

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Elinor and Marianne Take Barton

    I finished rereading Sense and Sensibility with Hamlette’s readalong. So I’m going to be rewatching the films and right now, I’m rewatching “Elinor and Marianne Take Barton.” Remember the web series days? What happened? What a really quick trend.

    This one is so adorable, I actually prefer the ones made by non-professionals, they actually feel more accurate and not so staged. The age difference between Marianne and Brandon is normal, so their romance is cute. Elinor and Edward are adorkable. Lucy is as evil as ever. Will is not believable though, he was supposed to be charming rogue, not an obvious louse, that is more a John Thorpe type.

  • Daily Life

    Driving

    I’ve been going through Foil, Arms, and Hog’s Oisín & Parents playlist, and one triggered some memories. Well, lets me real, a lot of them do.

    Parents while driving, clearly this is a universal thing, although I didn’t have to learn on manual, I learned to drive manual later, if you could call it driving, I always left the driveway in a cloud of black smoke. I doubt I could pick it up again.

    It’s been so long, but I forgot, my parents did so well I didn’t get my license until I was almost 20. Actually, I was scared before the yelling. At least most people don’t have to learn sometimes on a 12 seat passenger van with 5 siblings behind them, both parents in the car, Mom yelling from the back when I’m many car spaces away and a little sister crying in fear.

    I also didn’t know that, its actually normal to slow down to turn, you don’t have to magically try to whip into the side road and not wreck. I don’t know why I got yelled at for slowing down, when I also most certainly would have gotten yelled at for spinning off the road.

    My next younger sister got her license before me (I had my permit so long it expired!), and my brother, the next after her, got his permit less than a year after I got my license, and the two of them did most of the driving when we were in college.

     

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Some Laughter

    Back to things Irish, I first learnt of Foil, Arms, and Hog channel via Catherine from When It Does and Based on the Book. They are hilarious (the style is like an Irish studio C, with skits and recurring characters and such), I just watched Last Minute Vaccination Call today, it was a scream. My dad did actually drive around my sister’s vaccination site in January or February before his tier opened because she told him they call people near to use them up, that is how he got his).

    And the checking the vaccine types, that is hilarious, people put any other vaccine, food, whatever in their bodies that certainly have more side effects but are now checking and listening to selective statistics for one vaccine.

    I watched all of the skits for this The McCormack Family, and I’m working through Oisín & Parents currently. Quarantine Maths Class Disaster is hilarious also.

    This regional accent bit is hilarious too even though I’m sure I miss lots of the jokes.

  • Reading

    What I Watched: March and April 2021

    During March I’d started my goal of choosing movies from my list to watch during the weekend. But when life started happening really fast, that changed. I’d also like to get a tv for my apartment to really enjoy the experience. I’d have to finish setting up said apartment first, and its still a wreck. Anyway.

    In March I watched:

    It Was Always You (Hallmark). This was sweet. I feel like the last few years their non-Christmas ones have been better. Maybe because they aren’t trying to churn out so many.

    Finished Wandavision. I think I may have already written about this.

    Started Falcon and Winter Soldier. Eh. I haven’t finished it, I left my Disney+ expire and didn’t feel like signing in my Dad’s (turns out he’d accidentally gotten in for a short period!), I might skim finish it whenever more comes on it, and I get Disney+ again.

    Tried Yellowstone. (I’m so dumb, it’s rated MA, so I don’t know why I was shocked; there is murder and mayhem and branding people (as in literally, like cattle) in the first episode, heck the episode starts with a gruesome horse scene, but I still tried episode two, and between those episodes especially two where it was obvious all this is just going to keep on exponentially and what I was looking up, I couldn’t justify and no longer desired to justify watching it).

    Tried Once (or was that Feb?). Eh. I got bored half-way through the second episode.

    The Lady Eve. Um, so I think you forgot to do an important step lady!!!!!

    It Happened One Night. This was funny, but hey, why couldn’t you show them actually get together?!

     In April I Watched

    Emma 2009 (rewatch). It is just such a happy movie.

    Failure to Launch. This is one I’d seen the preview for awhile ago, maybe on tv because this movie was older than I thought. It was also less funny than the preview and premise promised. I ended up skimming a lot of the second half until the end.

    Instant Family. My youngest sister convinced my mom and I to watch this, since we watched all the movies we own over and over and couldn’t think of what to try on Disney+ and Amazon until my sister convinced us on this which she’d seen. It’s sweet and funny, and for a movie, surprisingly realistic about some of the challenges of adoption. It’s cheesy with some lazy cliché characters too, but the good far out weighs the bad. I was (and I’m not a crier) almost teary in parts. However, it’s one of those one and done movies I think for me. Or at least not a rewatch regularly favorite.

    As Luck Would Have It. I’d seen a bit of the previews for this, and I though, oh they are SO copying Leap Year. But it wasn’t. I actually thought it was one of the more unique (for a Hallmark and a rom-com, let’s not raise expectations too high here). I really, really enjoyed it. For any Downton Abbey fans (not moi), Allen Leech is the lead(!).

    I’m sure there are tons of Irish myths and stereotypes as apparently there are in Leap Year. But none of these are negative stereotypes, actually a lot are flattering. It’s not like its the old American view of Irish immigrants and old British view of the Irish.

    Anyway, if you like fluffy rom-com’s in beautiful locations, I’d recommend. Hallmark didn’t put in any of their horrid plot-ploy misunderstandins/petty fights either to mar the peacefulness. Definitely watch again.

    Breakup Bootcamp (Hallmark). I found this one enjoyable too. Did skip the silly fight part. People please come up with a better plot point than the secret then fight one.

  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesdays: Animals from Books

    Since I’m reading Harry Potter currently as I look over the future prompts, this one seemed especially apt and fun, definitely going to have a few from the HP world here. Unlike Hagrid, however, I prefer the cute or beautiful ones, no dragons for me!

    1. Pygmy puff (soft purple)
    2. Tiny owl like Pigwidgeon
    3. Unicorn (white with a silver horn)
    4. Pegasus (jet black)
    5. Phoenix (the Harry Potter version, not sure what the traditional myth version is like!)
    6. Cat like Crookshanks
    7. Another cat
    8. Another cat
    9. Another cat (I’m one of those born cat people, sorry, not sorry)
    10. Ok, probably a dog, maybe. Lots of loyal dog companions in books like in the Sutcliff novels.

    Quick edit to add . . . I scheduled this post maybe a month before putting a deposit down on a puppy . . . whose name is Bjorn from a Rosemary Sutcliff book!

  • Reading

    Classics Club Spin

    I’m joining in the Classics Club spin #26, I put The Idiot on again, maybe if it gets picked this time I will finish since I’m at least 1/3 through.

    1. A Thomas Hardy novel
    2. Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
    3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    4. Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
    5. Cymbelline
    6. Henry VI, Part 1
    7. Henry VI, Part 2
    8. Henry VI, Part 3
    9. House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
    10. Macbeth
    11. Mill on the Floss by George Elliot
    12. O’ Pioneers and/or Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
    13. 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea or another novel by Jules Verne
    14. Richard III
    15. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    16. The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
    17. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
    18. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
    19. The Three Musketeers Alexander Dumas
    20. Walden by Henry Thoreau
  • Reading

    Lately

    So, I moved last Friday, and I just got internet today.

    This past week has been my last full week at my job, I got a full-time long-term temp position that pays about 30% more (!) and after two weeks of training will be from home (!). The training starts next week.

    All of this happened very quickly, and I’m still in a whirlwind. I didn’t finish all my March wrap up and April planning posts yet.

    I think my family has hoarding tendencies, actually I think an extended family member or two are legitimate hoarders, I have shopaholic and hoarding tendencies, which I’m working on. I thought I was working on it better, but I think I counted oh, around 8 car/truck/suv loads of stuff plus I still have a couch coming from my brother.

    Today I joined in a yard sale. I made some money, but I also took enough stuff to Goodwill to fill about 2 of their bins plus there is stuff I decided I’d keep and stuff I’d like to sell on Facebook marketplace. And of course the best way is what I’m going to try to do here on out: avoid spending money on too much stuff and avoid accepting gifts and given away items, that saves more money and waste anyway. Stuff, stuff, stuff.

    And I still think I kept too much. Anyway, I’ve got some more things like trash bins and an iron and such to buy and then I think I might institute a more strict one in, one out rule and maybe some requirements of using yarn and craft items and skincare up before I move out of this place.