Category: GFM

January Reading List

The last few years, I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I’d like to. I’d had lofty goals on my Goodreads profile to read 20 books a year. Maybe ever 30!

That didn’t happen.

This year, I set out to read different kinds of books. Books I may not normally pick up. And with that, I set a really sad, but hopefully attainable goal. I was going to read 6 books in 2017. That’s a book every two months. Surely I could manage that.

Apparently, I need to set my bar very, very low in order to achieve success. Because in the month of January, I read 4 books.

They were (with brief, spoiler-free reviews and out of 5 star ratings):

The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

It seems like my friends were either reading this book or had read it. I was super curious, so I picked it up. This was easily the best book I’ve read in a long time. I couldn’t put it down. Nicola Yoon creates diverse, beautiful characters, with an amazing story. Everything about this book was gorgeous.

I rated it 5 stars on Goodreads.

 

Scrappy Little Nobody By Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick is the next in a long line of actors to write a memoir/autobiography. Anna Kendrick is funny on Twitter and I have enjoyed her as an actor, but there’s a loss in translation from funny actor and tweeter to author. Some of her insights were funny and interesting, but other times the book really dragged. Scrappy Little Nobody was fine. I rated it 3 stars.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

I’ve had this book sitting on my shelves for a long time. I tried it and just couldn’t get into it. I loaned it out for a while. Then it went back to sitting on my shelf. I was desperate for something to read, so I picked it back up again. This time, it was a completely different story. I read it quickly and ended up really enjoying it. It definitely falls into the chic lit genre. The twists and turns were pretty predictable. At times, it felt like Lauren’s main character was an alternate-universe Lorelai Gilmore. But it was enjoyable enough. I rated it 4 stars.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

After reading The Sun is Also A Star, and loving it so much, I decided to pick up her other book. Everything, Everything is Nicola Yoon’s first novel. It was a fast read and again, full of interesting and diverse characters. The relationship between the two main characters was quick and predictable, but cute. While this book didn’t grab me the same way The Sun Is Also A Star did, it was still a really good read.

I rated this book 4 stars.

Currently: January 2017

Currently

watching: A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix

I read the books and was a fan, but never watched the movie adaptation. I had zero interest in the film adaptation, probably due to the casting of Count Olaf: Jim Carrey. He’s ruined so many of my favourite things by starring in film adaptations: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol. So I chose to skip A Series of Unfortunate Events.

However, when I heard Netflix was doing an adaptation, and that Neil Patrick Harris was starring in it as Count Olaf, I was really excited for it. And it’s been decent so far, and I have zero casting complaints.

We’re recapping it over on Snark Squad, so if you’re a fan or just checking out Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events for the first time, join us.

 

reading: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

 

This is the fifth book I’ve read so far this year. It’s something I borrowed and is not something I’d pick up normally, but I’m working on broadening my reading choices.

I’m also reading Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer. It is the fourth and final book in the terrible, horrible, dumpster fire of a book series the Twilight Saga. Why? Because we’re recapping it on Snark Squad. I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to be finishing these books.

listening: Fire in my Soul – Walk Off The Earth


The latest single from Walk Off The Earth. I may have mentioned that I’m a fan of all their work? Covers, original songs, it’s all good. So when I saw on Twitter that they were going to be releasing a new single, I couldn’t wait. I like the feel of this tune.

 

making: Labels

For Christmas, my mother gave me a label maker. And that might seem like an odd thing to be excited about, but I was super excited for it. I’ve been using it to organize all of the important papers, contracts, manuals, warrantees, and other documents in the house. It’s a system I’ve been using at work to keep track of templates and master copies of things and it translated really well into a system to use at home. Nerdy and OCD enough for you yet?

 

feeling: Cold

Winter is my least favourite season. I’m just not here for these long nights or freezing, sunless days. And I have the worst time keeping warm. I layer on the clothes, the blankets, I even own and make use of a Snuggie.  But I just can’t seem to get comfortable in the winter, temperature-wise. Is it spring yet?

planning: A retirement party

Not mine! (If only). My mum is retiring this year and we’re working on planning her a bash to celebrate.

 

loving: Spending time with my niece

I haven’t actually talked about this on my blog too much, which is surprising because it’s been such a huge change in my family life, but my brother and sister-in-law had a baby this summer. I am so in love with my little niece and am really enjoying being an aunt. It’s also been really cool to see my other brothers embrace their new role as uncle. It’s been awesome and I’m so lucky to be living close to them and her. I don’t know my other niece and nephew very well, and spending all this time with baby Squish is something I’m really loving.

 

What are you guys up to lately? Let me know!

 

And then it was 2017

It’s 2017! Somehow we managed to survive the dumpster fire that was 2016. As per usual for me, I attempted Nablopomo in November. My goal for Nablopomo 2016 wasn’t to blog every day in November, but to blog a few times a week, every week in November. I felt pretty good about this goal.

And then the American Presidential Election happened and I sort of lost my will to live.

Okay. I’m being a little melodramatic, but honestly. What the fuck happened there, America? You guys okay?

For me, I was sort of at the end of my rope with coverage of the Human Cheeto. And it was depressing to me that so many people looked at this dude that was dumb, hateful, misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, bigoted blowhole and say ‘He’s the better choice.’

So after his election, the realization that he wasn’t going away any time soon, left me feeling really overwhelmed. It was depressing. Disheartening. Anxiety-inducing. It was triggering to see a man that bragged about sexual assault, spewing such hate and bullshit being given such a large stage to continue to bully and harass people. And this guy wasn’t even going to be my president.

I was worried to see the trickle down effect he was having. Hate crimes were being committed in my country in his name.

I ended up having to take a bit of a media break. I avoided watching the 24-hour news stations. I switched the TV or radio off if there was coverage of this dude. I ignored the click-bait articles.

In place of those things, I spent a lot of time doing other things. Reading. Working with my hands. Visiting with my family and friends. Spending time with my newborn niece. It’s amazing how newborn baby smell and cuddles can lessen anxiety symptoms.

My media diet definitely helped me feel less overwhelmed, less disgusted and less anxious. It’s not realistic to ignore the news. I actually believe it’s important to stay aware of what’s going on in the world around us. But like everything else, it’s important to keep a balance about media consumption.

Have you ever had to take a break from the news media, or social media to keep your sanity? I want to hear all about it.

 

It’s not easy being the Other

In case you’ve never seen my bio, met me IRL, or read my Twitter feed… I’m a Toronto Raptors fan. I’m one of those long-standing, loud and proud fans that fell in love with this team long before they started winning. Before Vince Carter was a household name, and here I am long after Chris Bosh took his talents to South Beach. Still a huge fan.

If you’re familiar at all with the NBA, you probably know that the Raptors have been a bit of a joke among the league. That they’re terrible. That they don’t ‘have it’.

Shut up, Pierce.

ESPN even had a poll on their website, once the Final Four was decide, asking who was going to win the championship.

The Warriors.
OKC.
The Cavs.
Or… Other.

Seems like everyone outside of Canada was counting the Raptors out.

But on Friday night, as I watched my team loose in game six of the Eastern Conference finals, I felt so proud of my team.

Well, okay, if I’m completely honest, if they’d gone on to the finals and won it all, yeah, I could probably muster up some more of those feelings.

But yeah. I’m pretty damn proud. This was a hard fought, amazing ride of a season. Many records were broken and everyone kept saying the Raptors couldn’t do it. They were going to be swept by Indiana. We were never going to beat the Heat. Even after a few years of some terrible post-season runs, the fans were getting nervous.

We went from worrying about having to face Chicago in the first round of the playoffs to being two wins away from the finals. Two wins away. From the Finals.

As a long time fan, it was awesome to see the fanbase grow as new people started to get onboard, started to discover this team. To see what a great franchise the Raptors are. To see what it’s like to have a group of likeable players. To see what it’s like to have a team that actually wins. (Sorry, Leafs fans. Couldn’t resist it).

And finally, after spending so much time having to defend and justify myself for being a Raptors fan, the rest of the world is finally starting to notice the Northern uprising. We’re no longer just the other team. We were one of the final four. We’re earning respect. I mean, even the self-appointed basketball King is taking notice:

We’ve built a good thing here.

And you can probably still hear us, the fans, still chanting, even two days after the end of one of the most exciting seasons in franchise history came to a close.

So don’t count us out. We the North. And we’re just warming up.

 

Hello, it’s me.

My host sent me an email in early January to remind me that my domain for this blog was expiring. It was a nice reminder that I had a blog, but it was also a reminder that I had a blog and wasn’t actually… blogging.

awkward

I honestly spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not to renew this domain. I haven’t posted regularly in a few years. I hadn’t written at all in 2016 yet. And people keep telling me blogging is dead. That no one blogs anymore and even if they do blog, no one is reading them. So why bother?

Good question. But I’ve always liked the idea of having an easy way to self-publish and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to ditch the posts I’ve collected here.

Clearly I decided to renew after all, because you’re reading this (All two of you! Hi, Mom!). I’m going to get back into this blogging business slowly. So I’m starting off with a currently to catch you up!

Currently…

watching:

Lots of basketball. A little bit of baseball. And Big Brother Canada. Yes, it’s awful. Oh, well.

reading:

New Moon. Wait, stop. It’s for a good cause, I promise. My friends and I didn’t suffer enough when we recapped Twilight back in October… Someone thought it would be a good idea to recap New Moon, so… welcome to my hell. Or better yet, check out 31 Days of New Moon over one the Snark Squad website.

I’ve also been reading the Black Widow graphic novels by Edmondson and Noto. They are excellent.

listening:

Basically this song by Walk Off The Earth on repeat:

making:

A lot of my spare time lately has been spent developing two new websites. And a few other projects for a returning client. It’s been all work and no fun. But I genuinely enjoy building these things. I’m getting nothing but sexual harassment from my day job, so I’m delving deep into the things that are restorative to my mental health and that’s building and designing.

feeling:

I’m feeling okay. My day job is just not what I want to be doing with my life, so I’m trying to squeeze every last second out of my time spent away from work. I am tired of winter. I am tired of my job. I’m tired of a bunch of things that I can’t really control. It seems like the closer to being done with all of this, the slower time is going. I’m trying to stay focused on the light at the end of this long, long tunnel. We’re getting there.

planning:

What I’m going to do once my contract at work is up. It is going to be so good, you guys.

loving:

Reading and BookTube. I’ve been watching a lot of my amazing friends creating some awesome content. Their videos are making me want to read more, which is something I’ve not been doing a lot of lately.

What have you been up to lately?

Sometimes, I write things elsewhere

I think one of the reasons why I’ve kept a blog of some form or another for the last eighteen years is because I like to write. It’s a pretty selfish endeavour. When I studied journalism at school, I always toyed with the idea of making a career out of writing.

But then life happened, and writing became more of a tool I stuck in my toolbox along with my ability to develop strategic media plans and wrestle vendors.

I do still enjoy writing. I like to use it as a creative outlet. A lot of the stuff I write never sees the light of day. A lot of it is rubbish. Most of it is self-indulgent.

Snark Squad!

But then, sometimes, I get asked to recap a horrible teen drama from my youth. And I jump at the chance. So go see my writing published elsewhere. This week, I’m recapping an episode of the OC over on the Snark Squad site. Check it out.

 

Monday, Currently.

Oh, hey, remember that I used to blog? I just did. Gearing up for another week, I figured I’d take a few moments to record what’s current in my life right now (see also: a quick update on the world of GFM).

Currently

watching:

Just finished watching my beloved Raptors getting swept in the first round of playoffs last night, so I can tell you what I won’t be watching. Otherwise, it’s Agents of SHIELD and Blacklist, all the way.

reading:

The Saga Series. Fantastic artwork, captivating story. I highly recommend it.

listening:

Walk Off The Earth has a new album coming out soon and I’m obsessed with their new single ‘Rule the World’.

Hozier’s Take Me To Church, because, well… I just feel it in my bones.

And Riptide by Vance Joy, still. Always.

making:

I’m not, actually. I’m feeling a bit creativity-starved. I need to figure out what to be getting my hands dirty with. Not a euphemism.

feeling:

Pretty good, actually. After being so sick through the winter, I’m feeling better and getting stronger everyday. It’s an awesome feeling.

planning:

A birthday brunch for next weekend. Have fallen down the Pinterest rabbit hole a few times with that one. I’m also pumped for spring cleaning and getting some projects done around the house. We’re coming up on six years of being in this house… So it’s about time to get some home renos on again.

loving:

Work right now, it makes such a difference having great bosses. The hope of spring weather on the horizon. Feeling better. …Would it be too cheesy to say ‘life in general’? Cuz, yeah, that.

What’s current in your life right now?