Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Day in the Life #39: In which Elizabeth laughs at her dreams of posting regularly

Things I have managed to do regularly (if with varying success):
1. Work out every Sunday for the past three weeks
2. Practice every day/make reeds every day for the past week even when I was so tired I fell asleep mid-reed making session (hence the...varying success part of this equation)

Things I have not managed to do regularly:
1. Be on time to ANY of my jobs.  In my defense, I also wasn't more than 5 minutes late, but I'd been doing so well! Why am I so bad at convincing myself that I do NOT in fact have 5 more minutes to lie in bed?
2. Write more than one blog post a week
3.  Read every day.  Or even every other day. Or even every other other day.

I mean...on the upside my priorities are actually on point with this one? (Although I should proooobably get to work on time.)  But it would be NICE if I was able to do all of the above.  I am pretty proud of myself about the practicing and working out.  I have a hard time motivating myself when I don't actually have anything to practice for. BUT I have an audition I'm applying for in September and another one in October, so I can't let myself slack on practicing.  (Although I may allow myself Mondays off...falling asleep in the middle of a reed making session is probably a good indicator that 12 hour work days on your feet + concentration on oboe stuff is just...not compatible haha.  I might see if I can make that a score study day though...)  

And the working out is actually also important for auditions, and it just happens to be fortuitous that I started this before I knew about the auditions.  It might not be an apparent connection, but when you're a wind player, cardio is kind of an important part of the job.  I'd gotten away with not working out for it for a number of years because I was on swim team and then I worked in a restaurant with four floors so I didn't need it...but it's become apparent over the past few years that my breath support is not nearly what it was, and I can't afford to have that become a problem for me.  So now I just need to convince myself to get cardio in at least TWICE a week (baby steps here!).  It's hard because I feel suuuuuper self conscious working out when there are people around.  That's part of the reason I can work out on Sundays - I work at the gym so I can work out before or after close.  But weekdays we open super early in the morning and close super late at night so....that's not going to fly.  So I'm going to have to get over this somehow.

Honestly, that's all my past couple weeks have been - working, working out, and practicing.  And it's likely all my next two months are going to be too, just add in a few melt downs (that will exponentially get more frequent the closer I get to the audition dates).  I would say hey, remember what I was like when I was prepping for my recital? And then I remembered - OH WAIT.  You stopped posting!  So don't be surprised if I drop off the face of the earth for a few months.  I'm hoping I won't need to - if all I'm doing is working and practicing, I might burn out and I can't afford to do that.  I need to be fresh for the auditions, so I'm going to need something to help me chill out.  If only blogging weren't so bloody time consuming!  It's probably my most priceless commodity at the moment!  So...we'll see.

Blogger Discussions

Christina has Reflections, or, WHOOOOO IS THIS GIRL I SEEEE?
Annie talks about feeling her age in the blogging community.

Bookish Discussions

Amy asks can you separate the author from their book?
Yash has some suggestions for reluctant readers: TV SHOW SUPPLEMENTS AND COMPLEMENTS.  (These selections - of which there are many, are AWESOME. SO AWESOME.  Like there are even things in here I never would have thought of combining and they're so perfect and now I just want to watch and read all fo these things at the same time.)
Cuddlebuggerys Buzz Worthy News from July 6th is particularly buzz worthy.
Kelley is creating a tarot deck with YA characters. Up first?  Tarot of YA Lit | 1: The Magician

Specific Books and Authors

Why you won't find Katie on social media - Whatever you might think about Katie's book Hello, I Love You, it doesn't excuse what happened this past week.  I would also like to say that I've been following Katie's blog for at least a year now, maybe longer and I don't for a second think that the views of the MC in her books mirror her own views.  I haven't read the book, but I get the idea that her MC is very intolerant.  Katie loves K-pop and K-dramas, so I know she doesn't look down on them or consider them lesser things. Just sayin.  I actually started following her because of her love for said things.  So I'm very sad that I won't be seeing her presence on the internet anymore.  And do we really need to say that attacking an author on a public forum en mass is not cool?  If you have a problem with the author's writing, I'm not saying stay silent - just keep it in your own space.  Write a review on Goodreads or your blog, or post a review on Amazon/Barnes and Nobles.  And if you think it's important that the author sees why it's problematic, by all means contact them - maybe you'll even be able to write differently in their next book (or if it's not published yet to change it in that book)!  Just do it privately. And preferably constructively.  
Author Brewer Announces Gender Transition - I recently went to check and see of Zac's book was out yet (I knew it was coming out at some point in 2015) and I was pleasantly surprised to see his name was already changed on his books and that his author name all his books linked to was listed as Zac!  (Sadly, no the book I'm waiting for is not out yet)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Unpopular Opinions Tag

Created by: TheBookArcher

I was tagged by LaLa in what turns out to be perfect timing as I haven't done a tag and AGES (and you know how much I love tags!) and I've been posting pretty infrequently. (Guys I don't think I've had a discussion post since like...April. This needs to change!) So in an effort to get back to at least a regular posting schedule, here is my unpopular opinions tag!

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)
Definitely Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.  I wanted to like it since I definitely have more than a few blogger friends who loved it...but it definitely wasn't for me. (Especially after I googled the series to see how it ended. Just because I have no intention of finishing it, doesn't mean I don't want to know what happened!)


The Coldest Girl in ColdtownThe Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)

Oh man I had to go browse my Goodreads shelves to find something that fit this - I'm usually a black sheep on the opposite side of things!  Both of these have really mixed reviews so I'm not sure if they truly fit the bill.  But I'd say my Goodreads friends are a mix of 1/3 liking 2/3 disliking on both and I'm pretty sure both made my top ten books for last year (or if they didn't they were definite contenders)


Hmm..I tend to like the winning ship in books, very luckily for me.  Not so in tv shows though - I totally shipped the wrong couple in You're Beautiful!
(I will go down with this ship...I won't put my hands up, and surrender. There will be no white flag above my head...I'm in love, and always will be)


Contemporary, although I really couldn't tell you why.  Mark that double for any adult book that's won a super prestigious award (unless it's a sci-fi one).


Warner.  Admittedly I only read the first book, but still.  *SPOILERS* This almost qualifies for the above category but 1. I only read the first book so I technically haven't read the book where they get together, and 2. I thought Adam was super boring so between the two options...I didn't even have a toy sailboat's worth of ship launching. *END SPOILERS*


Anne Rice.  I tried SO HARD. I even read a non-vampire book by her!  (The only book of hers I actually finished - and for me to not finish a book is really saying something)


Honestly, I'm pretty tired of The Chosen One. I don't mind it being a thing if it's not a foretold destiny, it doesn't involve super powers that are so much harder/better/faster/stronger than any other super powers, it involves the main character just magically being amazing at things. (Celaena is a badass and she's great at her job - but she's also been training at it since she was a child.  Harry is a powerful wizard, but he's not the smartest/best either - Hermione is. this one's tenuous, but hey I read it before I got annoyed by this trope)  Obviously it's something I end up reading a lot since I primarily read fantasy, but I appreciate it so much more when the trope is subverted - very much how I feel about my historical romance novels actually.


Matched (Matched, #1)

I honestly can't remember what put it on my very smalldon't-do-it bookshelf, but well...that's why I have that shelf.  I've too often accidentally read a book I had forgotten I knew I wasn't going to like. (Well that was a complicated sentence...)


Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

Guys, I don't know why I thought THE ENTIRE book community was wrong...but I did. I only read this under duress and was convinced I would hate it because...well vampires and I don't have a great history.  In fact other than Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (any Holly Black gets all exceptions because she is the greatest), I actually can't think of another series about vampires that I've enjoyed.  (But then I haven't tried very hard, I think I've only read Interview with a Vampire and the Twilight series haha)


I'm convinced this film is like...the greatest film of all time.  Yes, even better than The Mummy. (Shut up guys, that's a GREAT FILM TOO.)

Monday, July 13, 2015

TTT: Last 10 Books That Came Into My Possession

 The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger

The Parasol Protectorate Boxed Set: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless and Timeless 

I knew that I'd been wanting to buy the first book on ebook, and that I'd likely buy the third book online as soon as I finished the second because library didn't have a copy of the third (and it was a Sunday and I'm horribly impatient), so I was really excited when I discovered that the whole box set was only $16! I mean that's practically three dollars a book!  

 Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1)

While I was browsing Amazon for deals, I stumbled across this gem for only $1!  My good friend LaLa recommended it to me a while back, and my library doesn't have any copies of it so how could I NOT buy this?

 The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

The Last Werewolf (The Last Werewolf, #1)

The friend I visited down in South Carolina never fails to send me home with a book to read and this was this trip's choice book!  The last few books have all been Jim Butcher's Dresden Files but he couldn't find the next one I was on in the series so he sent me home with this one.  I credited him with being half the reason I discovered I actually like paranormal fiction - something I utterly disdained until this year - so he was pretty pleased I wasn't going to fight him on it haha!

 The Discworld Graphic Novels by Terry Pratchett

The Discworld Graphic Novels: The Colour of Magic & The Light Fantastic

Ever since I've discovered Terry Pratchett aka the author of my soul, I've been on the lookout for his books.  So when I saw this beautiful thing, I HAD to have it.  The art is so gorgeous!!!

 The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

Clive Barker's The Thief of Always 

Speaking of gorgeous graphic novel adaptations....I had to pick this up because hello it's a Clive Barker story!  I love Clive Barker. I may have mentioned him once. Or twice.  I actually haven't read the original yet (although it is very high on my list of books to get to) so I'm not sure which I'm going to read first - this or the original.

  Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon

Herman and Rosie 

I repeat: It's an alligator playing an oboe.  Plus you know, existential life crisis (a la life after grad school sort of feeling) How could I not buy this?  Best self birthday present ever! WORTH IT.

Terrier by Tamora Pierce

Terrier (Beka Cooper, #1)

Despite my absolutely immense disappointment with the last book in the series, I ran across this in a thrift store and decided this must be my sign to buy the first two books. (And the third book just NEVER. HAPPENED.)  It is after all my goal to own every Tamora Pierce book, and with the exception of the Bloodhound I now own all of the Tortall books (BECAUSE THAT LAST BOOK DOESN'T EXIST)!  I might just try and buy her Emelan books as ebooks because...she has A LOT of books haha!

Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1) 

This is another series I've been wanting to own SO BADLY since I read the series for the first time last year!  Now I can reread at will AND shove them into everyone's faces so they'll read them!


Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers, #1) 

So crazy story, but someone on Goodreads who I've never met and never talked to otherwise randomly commented on one of my reviews and mentioned this series.  Literally the next day I saw it in a thrift store (seriously this thrift store had a surprisingly awesome book selection) know, fate and all.  (Otherwise known as an excellent excuse for buying books you don't need)

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith


LaLa is getting two mentions in this post!  She sent me a copy of this last month because she's THE BEST!!  I'm super excited about it because apparently it doesn't have much in the way of romance and I've seen some pretty stellar reviews (including of course, LaLa's endorcement).  I'm saving it for when I'm in less of a regency era romance mood because I'm in a strange place where all I want to read are fluffy love stories which is fairly unusual, but I'm definitely excited to get to this whenever I get out of this strange phase I'm in hahaha!

And that's it for me!  What were the last 10 book that landed in your possession? If you've written a TTT post leave a link in the comments and I'll stop by!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Day in the Life #38: In which Elizabeth DOES ALL THE THINGS.

It has been a real whirlwind of a week.  Or two now that I'm thinking about it...I'm so tired I can barely think straight haha!  Let's see...the week before this one, I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day but otherwise it's been a pretty good couple weeks, just very busy.  I'm too tired for sentences so I'm going to go into my beloved list form:

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
1. In which Elizabeth discovers she has had a tick on her for two and a half days and had to go to the minute clinic for the preventative antibiotic and her health insurance has been cancelled as of a few weeks ago and she can't find out why because she only has so many hours in a day when she can stay on hold and NEVER GET A HOLD OF THE BLOODY INSURANCE PEOPLE TO TELL HER WHY THEY WON'T TAKE HER FRELLING DOCUMENTS.  Seriously any time your phone dies because you've been on hold 3 hours multiple times is just too bloodydamn long.
2. In which she then discovers that Bank of America has done away with ebanking for all of time and now no longer has any accounts whatsoever that don't require a minimum balance or a minimum monthly direct deposit.  She's a nanny. And a barista. These occupations are done primarily in cash.  And she can't just move to another bank because then she would have like no credit.
3. In which Elizabeth realizes that her speedometer isn't working at all, and when she goes to the dealership to get it fixed they inform her it won't get fixed until the next day (which matters because she was planning on driving to South Carolina that day) AND that they are charging her double the price it should be to fix it.  (I know, I know dealerships, but honestly they've been pretty awesome and usually fair on prices).

BUT.  Other than that spectacularly bad day, the rest of my week has been pretty awesome.  I went down to South Carolina to see my best friend, and even though it was a very, very short trip because I didn't have a working speedometer (I did consider for a split second the merit of just taking the 9 hour drive without a speedometer before realizing that was just dumb) so I only really had one full day, it was totally worth it.  We went whitewater rafting and I got to spend 4th of July with my best friend!  Good times were had :)  And in defense of getting the tick, (which was really not that big of a deal since chances of getting lyme disease are like 1% - it was more inconvenient than anything) I did get it picking wineberries with the kids.  I'd never even heard of wineberries before.  They're DELICIOUS.  They're fairly similar to raspberries, for any of you who also have never heard of them.  So that was fun.  This past week has been crazy busy work wise.  The kids are suddenly on a museum kick, so after standing for 12 hours the previous day, I drove them down to D.C. and we walked around the National Museum of Natural History (which was pretty awesome) and then the next day I took them into Baltimore to look at art at the Walter (which was also awesome).  I mean how often do you get kids who LOVE reading and LOVE going to museums???  These are things I like too and I get paid to do all this!  But I put my foot down the next day and said I absolutely needed to not walk around all day because I was pretty sure my feet were going to fall off and I was going to have to stand all day at work the next day haha!  And my godmother came down to D.C. this weekend so I headed back to D.C. and stayed the night with her and her granddaughter which was a lot of fun!  So I got to travel quite a bit which is always good for alleviating my everpresent travel itch.

And my bloglovin feed is still a scary, scary place.  Although more like a 250 unread posts scary place instead of 630, so that's good.  Buuuut I still haven't made it into my July posts haha!  So here's my link roundup with the disclaimer that a lot of these are pretty old, sorry!

Bookish Discussions

Amy gives us some great tips for combating the dreaded reading slump.
Maya names some smart tropes in sexy books: positive characterization and good romance novels.
Nafiza muses on the separation of the book and its author.

Specific Books and Authors

Melissa Grey gives us five female characters of under-appreciated strength. (Genya allllll the way, and Sansa for sure as well, even if I hadn't liked her very much until Storm of Swords)
Emily brings up an interesting connection between Squibs and people with disabilities in her Order of the Phoenix reread.
Mallory informs us how to cast Jane Eyre (hint, she shouldn't be freaking gorgeous!)

Bookish Fun Stuff

Cait created a quiz where she guesses what style of book covers you love. (And she totally nailed me - 100% The Artist Coneisseur)
Gillian brings us part III of her YA Sorting Hat.
Cait has shares some overlooked (but highly useful) life lessons from books.
Mitchii shares some Filipino words to live by. (She talks about words that English speakers don't have in their vocabulary and I LOVED the words she chose!)


Emily talks about how The Lion King was a heartwarming but very unlikely success story.
Sara analyzes movie soundtracks (the stuff that heroes are made of).
Natalies asks which type of artificial intelligence would you rather see in our future?
Emily tells us there's more to life than being happy.  Stephanie @ Don't Be Afraid of the Dork shared this gem and it's well worth reading - it gives a very different perspective on life.
John shares what it's like inside the mind of a black Baltimore cop.
Leah asks if biology needs to be destiny in the works of Joss Whedon?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tell Me Tuesday #6 - In which Elizabeth realizes she hasn't read a single new YA novel in the past couple weeks

Things have been very exciting for me book wise lately!  Which is great since I'd been in somewhat of an exhausted slump before.

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search, Part 1 (The Search, #1)Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search, Part 2  (The Search, #2)Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search, Part 3  (The Search, #3)

My friend lent me these books, and they are everything I wanted after the AtLA finale.  Namely, lots of Zuko and getting answers on what on EARTH happened to his mom!!  Aang looks a little different than in the show, and it bothers me that I can't exactly pinpoint what that difference is (his head shape? Is he older looking? But what about him makes him look older exactly?).  But really I was quite satisfied with how these books turned out!

The kids have also introduced me to a new series that I totally would have dismissed offhand otherwise:  
The Hidden World of FairiesBeck and the Great Berry Battle (Tales of Pixie Hollow, #3) 

The kids have both built their own "libraries" and have practically been BEGGING anyone and everyone to check books out from them haha!  It's super adorable actually, and at their recommendations I checked out these (they thought it would pair well.  Oh these kids. So cute!!) and you really is a fun series.  The first book is more of a...well if fairies were nonfiction haha.  It's done as Wendy's diary and is more about cataloguing the different types of fairies.  The series itself is surprisingly delightful.  Iridessa, Lost at Sea was actually my first of the series (it was a reading-during-dinner pick) and remains my favourite.  It's got a diverse set of fairies - both temperamentally, in skills, and racially.  

Speaking of new favourites...

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1)Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #4)

Oh my god.  I LOVE THIS AUTHOR!!!  I read Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake and immediately checked out what was the only available ebook by Sarah MacLean.  NRtBWRaR is still my reigning favourite (and honestly it was so good I'm not sure that's going to be changed, even by another of Sarah MacLean's books) but Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover was phenomenal as well.  I do wish I hadn't read it first - I have a feeling there was a HUGE reveal that I of course now know for the previous three books haha.  But god - the women here (AND men) are extremely feminist and Sarah MacLean has a fresh way of making that work in a historical setting - particularly in the latter book.  They were fun, thrilling, totally swoony (which I actually don't feel for most romantic men), and of course there were good sexy times to be had.  If you like historical romance novels at all or if you are willing to try a romance novel, I'd definitely recommend these as a great starting place!



I'm reading a nonfiction book!!

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail 

Well ok, a memoir, but it's been very well researched and is as much about the AT itself as it is about the author's trip.  A gym member loaned it to me and I've finally gotten to it.  He's right - I really am enjoying it both because Bryson is both informative (and clearly did loads of research) and because it's hilarious.  Also because Bryson is an insane person and started this trek without having any experience with hiking.  Which...guys the AT is like....a BIG deal.  In any case I have been thoroughly enjoying it so far and I'm proud because I have this vague sense that I've already read my one nonfiction (my standards of nonfiction are a bit looser than others.  Memoirs totally count!!) book this year. And even if I haven't...I'm happily and willingly reading a nonfiction book!

I'm also waffling between picking up the next book in the Dresden Files (book 5 for me I'm pretty sure), I've checked out Gail Carriger's second book in the Parasol Protectorate, and I gave the 8 year old my copies of Anne of Green Gables since I've got them on ebook, I'm trying to only have hardbacks now since most of my paperbacks are barely hanging on now, and I'm missing books 3 and 5 as it is anyway.  He's really enjoying the first book so far and it's making me want to reread the series (plus I have them on VHS!  Oh Gilbert, be still my heart!)  OR there's this book an author sent me MONTHS ago that I've been meaning to read and review and keeping forgetting to do.  Yeah that'll probably be bumped to the top.  So that's what I've been reading, and what I will be reading - what have you guys been up to?