Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

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1. I just spent way too long trying to figure out what filter to buy for our fridge. I hate those sort of necessary time-sucks that I feel like I should be able to do faster. 

2. They replaced the Coke machine at work with a water machine. If I wasn't so scared of the district powers-that-be I'd write a strongly worded letter in protest. It's not like I buy one every day or anything, since I bring my own, but the fact that it was there was very reassuring. I understand not letting the kids have them, but I'm a grown-ass adult and if I want to pour chemicals into my body that is my choice.

3. It has taken me thirty-two years, but I think I've finally learned to deal with the people who just don't understand me and how my life works sometimes. I am not a complainer by any means, but we all have our days or the things in our lives that just get to us. For example, I have one friend, whom I am not interested in abandoning, but this person is the type who will always, always remind others that "it could be worse" when they share a problem. While this is true, sometimes it's just not the right time. So, after years and years of trying to get this person to get it, I've simple stopped trying and am more strategic about what I talk about with the friend. Or I have another friend who sort of adds to my anxiety and I walk away from divulging my stresses feeling even more worried. Again, strategic discussions. And so on and so forth, depending on the person. You can't make people understand things that they simply cannot or won't, and at that point you have to accept it on whatever level is comfortable for you. THE END. 

4. Ohhhhhhh the Feelin' Good Spotify Playlist is the best. I also discovered their running playlists that match you step counts. So cool.

5. I started Donna Tartt's book, The Little Friend, and can already tell fifteen pages in that it's good. I want to be her when I grow up. 

6. I saw this cookie recipe today and have built it up so much in my head that I will surely be disappointed when I make it (hopefully) this weekend.

7. Yesterday was the seventh day of the school year, the fourth day with students, and the first that I finally felt like I wasn't going to lose my shit when I got home. My students are great, but I have a modified schedule this year that requires I stay very late on Mondays to teach a special class (my mother-in-law has been kind enough to get my son after school and watch him, since she is a teacher too). There have been some other behind-the-scene little issues at work and at home that I've been hammering out too, but I finally feel like I will maybe not die this school year. There is hope, guys. 

8. Sawyer likes to make his little stuffed pig and stuffed Santa do naughty things and then put them on time out. I have a future evil mastermind on my hands. 

Have a great week! 

Five Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

1. I disliked reading a Harry Potter story as a play. I don't mind reading plays, but after the previous books my mind is trained to digest Potter stories through the novel form.

2. There was a lack of depth in terms of the characters both new and old. I didn't feel connected to anyone and the things I loved about the characters before was absent. 

3. Part one was better than part two; the second installment was incredibly rushed, contrived, and mediocre. I thought the idea of time travel and simply dipping back in to scenes from the other books was a little cheap. 

4. The normal charm and whimsy was absent. My heart was not warmed and my mind was not intrigued. 

5. I had low and realistic expectations, though, so I don't feel angry. I knew going into the story that it was a play and that it was the result of a collaborative writing process, so I was hesitant to have high hopes. It wasn't horrible or a mess, it just simply was not good. Rowling set the bar high with her other books, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child simply did not rise to the occasion. I do have a sneaking suspicion that the play would be a lot of fun to see, though, since the actors and set will probably add a great deal to what is lacking here. 

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

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1. I've been back at work since Monday, and students start tomorrow. If I could just hang out with them all day and talk about books and write, then it would be okay. Unfortunately, despite the general public thinking the profession is just one big summer vacation, there's a crap-ton more to it that drives me to the brink of exhaustion and insanity. 

2. Speaking of that, this is the last night I won't be behind at home and work for the next ten months. Oh, the anticipation. I cannot wait to feel like a partial-to-full failure all day every day! I promise, I'm not as cranky as it appears. At least not on the outside. 

3. I've partially jumped on Snapchat-lite aka Instastories. It's fun but a lot less intimidating and confusing.

4. I've started the new Harry Potter and I'm having trouble with the play format. It's simply not the same, and while I knew that going into it I'm still having trouble adjusting.

5. I'm late to the party like normal, but I finally listened to the Chainsmokers album and am a fan.

6. We don't have cable or satellite, so it takes more of an effort to watch The Olympics, so I simple am not even trying. These next few months between missing the games and all the political debates I will be missing it a little. 

7. Last weekend we took the train to San Juan Capistrano and had lunch and went to this sort of petting zoo on steroids. See cow above. 

Summer Break Reading Survey

This summer was probably one of the best ones to date. I saw pretty much all my local friends, visited with family, took Sawyer on many fun outings, spent time out of town on multiple occasions, went out with just my husband, and also had the opportunity to have some mornings to myself. I was also able to read a lot. I went back and took a look at my reading habits during the summer and sort of summarized the highlights.

Amount of books read: 16 (I was aiming for 14), reviews for June here, July here, and then the remaining two will be included in August, eventually 

Pages read: 4,733

Averages pages read a day: 72.8

Favorite reading spot: Lake Tahoe (I was there without my family for work, so it was QUIET), floating around my pool on my little raft, and while getting pedicures

Most common reading spot: The couch, when Sawyer was asleep or on the floor when he played with his cars

Favorite book read: This is hard; three-way tie between The Girls, Imagine Me Gone, and When Breath Becomes Air

Nonfiction:Fiction Ratio: 4:10

Male Writers:Female Writers Ratio: 7:7

Classics Read: 0 (I meant to reread Hamlet, but it didn't happen)

Books Bought: 7 for Sawyer, 1 for me  (I started the summer with 80+ physical copies to read, though, so I was on an unofficial book-buying ban)

Biggest Surprise: I liked Purity a lot more than I thought I was going to. I've heard things about Franzen and his writing, but I'll be ordering another one of his books soon. I also thought Lily and the Octopus had more to it than I anticipated. 

Audiobooks Situation: I listened to the Royal We for Brie's book club, and have started both AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller and After You by Jojo Moyes. My husband just signed me up for his Spotify account, though, so I've been listening to much more music than reading lately.

Biggest Disappointment: I thought Ways to Disappear fell flat.

Up Next: Speaking of disappointment, it's time for some Harry Potter. 

Harry Potter Cross Stitch

I started cross stitching when I was maybe nine or so and have done it intermittently since then. I like the fact that I'm actually producing something (part of my problem with coloring and puzzles... no offense if that's your thing), but that I can still watch something with my husband (I can't just sit and watch TV). I worked on this over the summer and thought I'd share since pretty much everyone is at least slightly fond of Harry Potter (and now that it's delivered to it's new owner):

This pattern is available here on Etsy and took... a long time to do. But, I did it over the spread of ten or so weeks, so it never felt overwhelming. Plus since it's comprised of forty or so symbols, you quickly see progress, which is rewarding. I have another Star Wars Christmas one that I've been working on here and there for months, so once that is done and I start a new pattern I might post some sort of tutorial on here. What a thought. A crafty post from me. Ew.