Oscar Bait

I had such virtuous plans for my weekend: I was gonna clean the house, do more decluttering, do some private journalling, and begin building some reading momentum.

Instead, I spent most of yesterday in an exhausted blue funk. Not sure how much of that was just the build-up from a long week of work—both work work and my new side gig. Some piece of the exhaustion was just that, for damn sure. And the blue unmotivated feeling may have been as simple as my system reacting to a stretch of efforting and saying

I don’t care how virtuous and self-caring your Saturday goals are, we want a goddamn day off!

So mostly what I did with my Saturday was cuddled the dog, caught up on some DVR’ed stuff, and watched a couple of movies.

Including BlackKKlansman.

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Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Well this book was less of a tome than my previous two, so I was able to finish it more quickly than my last read. It was also a bit breezier in content and tone. Don’t get me wrong: my snooty ex-academic cred is still maintained insofar as the book was tagged as a “must read of the week” by good old NPR.

This is yet another one of my impulse discount e-book purchases, but this one from long enough ago that I actually have it as a iBook rather than a Kindle file.(1) It’s a cinematic novel about cinema and Hollywood, but its opening—and most thematically important—setting of a fictional Cinque Terre village in Italy allows me to check off the latter criterion for this challenge category.

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Flights of Whimsy

Sometimes, my old habits towards isolationism—nurtured over many school years of feeling generally misfit and outcast—give me the sense of moving through my life with as much of an observational, anthropological perspective as a fully engaged one.(1)

I am particularly aware of this tendency as regards the different cultures and traditions of different lived communities. During my childhood, we bounced from the west coast to New England, to South America, the U.S. midwest and then New Jersey. Then, after college, I shifted between urban life—the heart of Philly—and our current suburban Massachusetts home.

With all those different places and lived environments, I now and again find myself surprised when I finally see some phenomenon I’ve heard about with my own eyes.

Such as this fortnight’s plastic flamingos.

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Close-up on the book cover of The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

So although it’s a day later than initially planned, I did finish the big tome I’ve been working through for the last month. And, of course, this post is a day later still.(1)

Considering how far off-schedule I am for these reading challenges, it almost seems futile to list what categories different books cover. Almost.

I’m not gonna beat myself up for how far off the mark I end up being come December 31, and I’m not gonna try crazy book bingo stuff to check off more categories. Despite that new “lazy gal’s” approach to reading challenges, I still want to be able to go back at the end of the year and see which categories I covered and which I didn’t.

So, in that spirit:

  • Around the Year #14: Title, cover, or subtitle related to an astronomical term.
  • PopSugar #33: With a zodiac sign or astrology term in the title.

I’m also amused to note that this is the second Booker prize-winner I’ve read in a row. Aren’t I so very cultured?

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Beyonce performing as part of her Formation Tour in 2016.

Flawless and Womanist

My plans for today were relatively unambitious.

  • Follow through on my intention to dump out and purge another dresser drawer while the dog was at daycare (check).
  • Get a very small, chipping-away-at-it, start on cleaning up the clutter room in the basement (check check).
  • Finally finish the tome I’ve been working on since late March (record scratch).

Two out of three ain’t bad. You see, what I didn’t plan on today was watching Beyonce’s Homecoming.

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From the Hat: Spring Fever

This may become a perennial complaint, but I am really not feeling the love for the journal/blogging prompts I have collected in ye olde “hatbox.” Clearly, there was a point where I liked them enough that I spent however-many hours cutting up little squares of colored card stock and painstakingly copying out dozens of these things. But now, when I try to draw a card from the “hat,” I—at least 9 times out of 10—read it and curl my lip in a flood of “eh”…

But, I’m still grooving on the concept of using these random topics to stretch my writing muscles, and so I’m going to try and do at least one of these “From the Hat” posts each week. (Given the fact that I’m in such a dry spell around finishing books and watching new movies, I might actually benefit from pulling topics out of the hat more often.)

So, tonight’s pull is……

How will you be “mad” this spring?

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Our Lady in Flames

I did finish my “goddess room project” during today’s day off from work. And I was all stoked to post my before-and-after pics in a celebratory post tonight.

But that celebration will have to wait, because I am one among the throngs of humanity heart-broken over today’s catastrophic fire at Notre Dame de Paris.

I was just finishing up my cleaning when the news alert came through on my phone, and then I spent about 45 minutes glued to the livestream as the spire fell, as the flames continued to build and billow int he wind. Finally, I turned off my video feed, heartsick, and tried to distract myself with other things.

Now that I’m back some hours later, I am relieved to see the news that much of the stonework has survived, including the two emblematic stone towers and the interior vaulting of the cathedral. Still, I’m gutted to think about how much has been destroyed, and how this has occurred at the start of Holy Week for most Catholics and Protestants.

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