Hello 2019

It’s a new year.  The time when everyone makes grandiose resolutions.

  • Lose weight. 
  • Get organized. 
  • Travel abroad.
  • Find true love.

Not me.  I like to manage expectations. My resolutions are much more attainable. 

  • Don’t die.
  • Don’t murder anyone.
  • Make some brownies.
  • Eat some brownies.

Seriously though, 2018 was a pretty decent year all-in-all.  I may have started the year in the emergency room but it finished well. My job is awesome. My kids are doing great. Lex has a job she loves and is very, very good at. J is excelling in school and has a plan for College. Mike is as awesome as ever and his kids are happy and doing well.  There were ups and downs, as there always will be. But it was a good year.  My goals for 2019 are to just keep on keeping on. Have another good year.  Yeah, I have a few goals, but nothing crazy and nothing that, if I don’t 100% succeed, will kill my motivation and remove my will to live. 

Goal #1:

Start exercising again.

This goal is vague for a reason. I don’t want to define it too much because any kind of even semi-regular exercise will be more than I did last year.  So even if it is to take a walk a lunch 3 times a week or do some Yoga 4 times a week or something more ambitious like getting back into a regular running schedule … even if it’s a tiny bit of activity, it’s something.  Obviously I’d love to lose the 30-40 pounds I gained back.  But ya know what … I lost that weight primarily because I was super unhappy with my life and now things are great and I’m happy and a little chubbier because of it.  Big whoop.  Fat and happy was my Dad’s favorite way of answering the question “how are you?” So if it worked for him it’ll work for me too.  And if something happens and I drop a few pounds.  Bonus.

Goal #2.

Read more. And read more intentionally.

I’ve recently discovered a fantastic book lover podcast called Reading Glasses.  I found it late in 2018, but just in time to hear them talk about their book goals. Both what that did in 2018 and what they plan for 2019.  They have a Readers Challenge for their Podcast, but one of them mentioned the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge and so I checked that one out too … and I love it!  I love them both actually.  They go way beyond “read 20 books” or “read a science fiction book” and get very specific about what to read. 

The Reading Glasses Challenge has 5 book goals and 5 activity goals.  Book goals like “Read a Translated Book”  or “Read a Non-Fiction Book on a topic you know nothing about” and the challenges are things like “Reserve a book at the library” or “Send your favorite author a tweet.” It’s short and sweet and I hope to check all of the goals off of that one.

The Book Riot Challenge is a larger list (it also has its own Journal, which you don’t NEED to do the challenge, but the journal junkie in me is 100% nerding out over).  Books on this list range from “read a book written by a journalist or about journalism” to “read a book written in prison” and super specific things like “read a book in which an animal or inanimate object is a POV character” and “read a book published prior to January 1 2019 with less than 100 reviews on Goodreads.”

I’m excited about these reading goals.  I tend to aimlessly shuffle from book to book with no real idea what I want to read next.  Now I have some very specific things to find and the research portion of the challenge appeals to me just as much as the actual reading of the books. 

Do you have any fun and interesting resolutions or goals for 2019. Anything beyond the boring old “exercise more” or “lose weight” or “meet Kit Harrington and become Mrs. Jon Snow?”  Let me know in the comments … and Happy 2019! 

Surprise Books

* NaBloPoMo: Day 8 *

A few weeks ago I decided to play along on one of those Facebook games that always make you wonder what you are actually getting yourself into.

This was the body of the post I commented on:

WANTED: Participants for a book-loving social experiment. Comment if you want to participate and I’ll send you details. What do you have to do? Buy your favorite book and send it to a stranger (I’ll send you a name and address.) You will only be sending one book to one person. The number of books you will receive depends on how many participants there are. The books that will show up on your door are the other people’s much loved stories #SaveTheCulture #BookExchange #LongLiveBooks

Now this particular friend is not a weirdo or sketchy or anything, so I thought … what the hell. I love books. Let’s give this a shot and see what happens.

I got a message from my friend and here’s how this “experiment” works. He had commented on someone else’s post, and I was required to send one book to that person. Anyone who commented on my post, was to send a book to my friend. All the folks who commented on my post were instructed to have their commenters send a book to me. Kind of a trickle down book club via Facebook.

Now, as with all things of this nature, there is no policing it, so who knows who really will send a book and who won’t. But … I’m happy to say that I’ve received two books in the past few weeks. Which is two more book than I had before! It’s a sad statement, as an adult, to admit to how excited I get when I come home and there is a random box on my porch. Surprise gifts really are the best thing. One of them even came in a fancy little bag with a card and everything. They don’t lie when they say “it’s the little things,” and clearly I need some more excitement in my life when a little book in a red fabric bag inside an Amazon box gets me all giddy with excitement.

The cool thing about this is that you are instructed to send your “favorite” book to this random person that you most likely don’t know. Being the Queen Of Loving Everything and not being able to ever pick a favorite, that was not an easy task for me. I ultimately decided to send the uncut version of “The Stand” by Stephen King. It’s a book that I have re-read more times than I can count and I love it just as much every time. Hopefully my random person can appreciate my choice.

As far as the books I received? The random people assigned to me are doing a great job. These may very well be the only two books I get, and I’m totally cool with that, because like I said … two free books. They both turn out to be books that I think I will really enjoy. I guess the benefit of loving everything is that …. you love everything.  #CaptianObvious

Book #1: “Bored of The Rings” by The Harvard Lampoon.

It’s a parody of Lord of the Rings and I’ve heard it’s good. I love The Lord of The Rings and I love comedy and parody, so chances are good I’m gonna dig this one.

Book #2: “A Different Kind of Daughter: The Girl Who Hid From the Taliban in Plain Sight” by Maria Toorpakai

This book looks AMAZING to be quite honest. And this, ladies and gentleman, is why social media and crowdsourcing is so fantastic. There is a really good chance that I never would have found this book. Either of them really. And I am fairly sure I will enjoy them both. Just a couple more things to add to the never-ending list of things I love.

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Stephen King is The Man

I love to read. I read books like other people watch TV or play video games, for hours on end, only stopping to take a leak and grab more snacks and an adult beverage every now and then. I love to read.

One of my favorite authors is Stephen King. I firmly believe that those who have not read him, for fear that his stuff is all gross and scary and creepy, are really missing out. The man has a way with words like no other. Today, there was a Facebook post featuring a quote from my favorite King book, “The Stand.”

“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side.

Or you don’t.”

This started me on an interwebs search for Stephen King quotes. And goodness, I myself had underestimated his ability to turn a phrase and speak directly to my soul. So, here are a few of my favorite Stephen King quotes – at least those I’ve found so far:

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it quote 1

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And possibly my most favorite:

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that  cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within, not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”

The man is a fucking genius.