À la Super Eggplant, currently, I am…

Watching: I just finished a rewatch/watch of One Tree Hill (I had only seen some of the first few seasons) and now I’m rewatching Firefly, which as you may know will hardly take any time at all. 🙁 I can’t figure out what I’ll watch next!

Reading: I’m about a third of the way through “Theft” by Peter Carey, which is definitely fun so far. I read quite a bit of Peter Carey back (BACK) in the day.

Listening to: Completely bingeing on Maggie Rogers “Heard It in a Past Life”, but also really obsessed with J.S. Ondara‘s “Tales of America.” It’s so good!

Writing: Sexy daydream poems on the bus, in the duplex form created by Jericho Brown (whose poems I’m obsessed with!).

Eating: Suddenly finding myself in sammy mode, I’ve been making nice big fat ones with ham, turkey, provolone, pickle slabs, roasted red peppers, giardinera, tomato, spinach and a little mayo. Oh yum they’re so good.

Drinking: So much lemonade I think it might be giving me acid reflux. Ha!

Knitting: Ah, nope. 🙁

Quilting: Also nope.

Sewing: Just made another tunic! And two more cut out. Let’s keep that momentum going…

Focusing on: Not spending any unnecessary money. Not bringing work home. Not staying at work beyond the hours I get paid for.

What’s up with you? 🙂

À la Super Eggplant, currently in March, I amwas…

Hey, here’s a post I drafted March 31 and never finished… Enjoy! HA!

Watching: In February, I watched (some re-, some fresh) all of Revenge. I figured out that I had only seen about 2.5 seasons originally. It got a little ridiculous (as those kind of shows do, especially once they start killing off characters) but I’ve been an Emily Van Camp fan since Everwood so I still enjoyed it. Now I’m rewatching White Collar. I mean you’ve got to find something to watch when all the current season shows go on what seems like the world’s most extended holiday break. I’m still loving Brooklyn 99 but, about to share an unpopular opinion warning, I hate (HATE! HATE!) the Doug Judy episodes so every time I see one, I have to take a few weeks break from that show! Chicago Fire has been pretty intense the past few weeks.

Reading: Since I last updated you (and the tournament began), I read another Rooster book “My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite. It was a lot of fun… but it still really surprised me that it wound up winning the whole thing. It was definitely unique, but the characters were all a little flat–no one ever looked at things from more than one side, and the lack of true astonishment over the happenings within was a bit amazing. I guess for Korede this has been going on long enough since before the book started, that any feelings she may have had like that are already gone. I also read a really good middle-grade novel about the war in Iraq (“Sunrise Over Fallujah” by Walter Dean Myers), a good horror book for bookclub that I then forgot to go to (“Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson), a silly but sweet middle grades graphic novel (“Ghostopolis” by Doug TenNapel) and a stand-alone Laurie King novel “Lockdown” passed on by my mom. It had a LOT of interlocking threads but I thought it was really good and not as sick or nasty as some of her stand-alone books are (you may know her from her Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series). I’m currently reading book 3 of Sabaa Tahir’s “Ember in the Ashes” series “A Reaper at the Gates”. It’s been out for a while so I’m not totally sure what’s taken me so long to get to it. I am not loving it as much as I loved books 1 and 2, though. I’m not sure if it’s due to distance in time, or Elias and Laia’s changed roles or what. It feels a tiny bit flat.

À la Super Eggplant, currently, I am…

Watching: All I’ve watched in the past week or so are the latest episodes of Blackish and New Amsterdam, and some NUMB3RS episodes from beloved season 1. Oh, and Yoga with Adrienne, as I’m doing her annual January challenge. I’ve only missed 3 days!

Reading: I finished another Rooster book and a YA sci fi novel (scroll back to previous posts or click on the “reading” category to see some comments) and tomorrow I get to start a new book, woo hoo. I believe it will be “The Italian Teacher” by Tom Rachmann which was the next thing on the Rooster list that I could grab at my library branch this weekend.

Listening to: hmmmm, I really haven’t done that much listening over the past couple of weeks. But I am obsessed with Rosalia and her videos. A mix of hip-hop sensibility and operatic emotion–so intriguing!

Eating: I made an old-favorite chicken tikka masala in the slow cooker (added in okra that had been cooked with onions and some spices) and a caufilower-sausage casserole in the oven (a new recipe), and sour cream chili bake from Cinnamon’s cookbook, so basically anything hot and heavy with tomatoes. 😉

Drinking: So! Much! Water! Yup, I still hate it.

Knitting: Haven’t done any in at least a week. Boo, hiss.

Quilting: Still nothing.

Sewing: Keep meaning to cut out a few things. Keep not doing it. At least with the Monday holiday, I’ll actually have a two-day weekend. Big plans, people, big plans!!

Focusing on: Not spending any money (I’m seriously tracking my no-spend days!), coming home from work RIGHT AWAY, and doing actual random adult things when I get home. No schoolwork on unpaid hours in 2019! Of course that’ll never happen–even our weekly lesson planning is on unpaid hours since we do it after school–but I’m trying to come out a bit better on my life-work balance this year as us old ladies just can’t hang with the insane work weeks.

What’s up with you? 🙂

À la Super Eggplant, currently, I am…

Watching: Right around Christmas, I saw someone post a list of all The Office (US) Christmas episodes and needed to watch them. But watching one of them made me want to watch the next (in that season) episode so eventually I just went back to the beginning and started an entire rewatch. But I got to mid-season 6 and all of a sudden there are a million things I’m not loving in this season. So I think I may be done with that. I did borrow the first two seasons of Game of Thrones from my dad so I’m going to start that tomorrow probably. (I watched some of the first season when it first happened. I had (ages ago) read the first four books.)

Reading: I’m reading A Terrible Country, by Keith Gessen (as I told you about in Rooster update #1) and tonight I started All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders for bookclub. It’s pretty charming so far! I’ve missed the last two meetings of the club, which sucks because it is one of the few things that consistently brought me joy in 2018, so I have GOT to get back there!!

Listening to: all the new albums I bought myself for Christmas! Loving the latest albums from Janelle Monae (it’s basically a Prince album), Kasey Musgraves (I didn’t like it for the first two listens, but then it stuck its little cheery claws in me), and boygenius which is just an EP so you can listen to it a million times in a row over and over and still only use up like an hour of your time! 🙂 I am also listening to a lot of podcasts since apparently me being home a lot = me doing the dishes a lot. I am still loving West Wing Weekly the most, with Armchair Expert probably a close second (although I like it a lot better when Dax isn’t super friends with the guest, those episodes aren’t as good). I tried Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend this week, but I don’t love it.

Eating: I am currently obsessed with this roasted carrot salad from the Chrissy Teigen Cravings 2: Hungry for More cookbook I can’t stop talking about. I used baby spinach instead of baby lettuce and left out the lime zest (but included the juice–because I never have limes although my fridge is never without RealLime, and RealLemon for that matter). It’s got avocado and sunflowers seeds and it’s just really, really good.

Drinking: my weight in hot drinks. Oregon Chai, hot chocolate, apple cider… I feel like I’m putting the teapot on every seven seconds trying to keep myself warmly hydrated over here. I am going to be one dehydrated mess when school starts again next week and I can’t drink anything because I have numerous hours between bathroom breaks.

Knitting: I started a Winston sweater, Jane Richmond’s latest, in on-50%-off-sale Wool-Ease thick and quick. I’m hoping that will be a zip zip quickity finish and then I can get back to the sweater I’ve been knitting, or rather thinking about knitting and mostly ignoring, for most of 2018.

Quilting: Nothing as of right now.

Sewing: I am planning to make another sweatshirt-y version of the Lou Box Dress 1 this weekend out of this awesome bubblegum fleece that Silvia bought me for my birthday last year. I need to make at least three or four more winter-specific dresses (I have plenty of fabric in the closet that should work for this!) as wearing the sleeve-less dresses I made for this summer with a cardigan over them isn’t really winter-level warmth!

Focusing on: Letting myself soak up this rest time (only three days left and I work on Saturday so really only two!). I have slept 11-12 hours multiple times over this break. I can tell I really needed it!

What’s up with you? 🙂

À la Super Eggplant, currently, I am…

…posting to my blog for the first time in over a year, WHUT. There’s a few technical things I’ve been vaguely waiting to fix behind the scenes, and then there’s LIFE and all that, and… yeah. HI. ‘Sup?

Watching: OK, I was rewatching all of the original Charmed, but I got to around when SOMEONE becomes a SOMETHING (no spoilers)…and I just sorta stopped. I did miss those goofy witches. I watched the first couple episodes of the new Charmed (which is really what sent me back) but it really annoys me that they got such a cool cast of girls and then put this doofy white dude in charge of them a la Giles from Buffy and so yeah I haven’t watched it after the first three. In current TV, I still adore Blackish and Chicago Fire. New TV wise, I am liking A Million Little Lies, even though it 100% has party-of-five syndrome (too many issues in one small group of people), and New Amsterdam, which makes me break down almost every week. But it’s good. Best hospital show in absolutely years. I started watching The Patriot (TV show not the dumb old movie) on Amazon–but I can only watch it when I stay late at work on that laptop b/c neither my personal laptop nor my home desktop are updated enough to currently watch shows on Prime, yes I’m pathetic, and now that I’ve made a personal vow to leave with the kids every night, well, I haven’t been able to watch anymore of it. But it’s SUPER cool and SO quirky. Oh, but the best, best, BEST thing I’ve seen in absolute years is Killing Eve, which I completely inhaled a weekend or so ago and cannot stop thinking about ever since. So good! So so so sadly I have not been to a movie in at least a few months… I’m having a hard time even remembering what I saw last! OMG THAT’s SO HORRIFYING. 🙁 I’ll come back and talk movies in another post if it comes to me.

Reading: I’ve instituted a new system where I read a YA or middle grades book in the morning, on the way to work, and an adult book on the way home. It’s been working great until I get stuck in a book I don’t want to read and then the system sorta breaks down and I listen to tunes instead, HA. Anyway, since I haven’t posted here all year, I haven’t made a book list (I KNOW, DID YOU JUST DIE OF SHOCK!), but I do have goodreads COMPLETELY updated (it’s got an app, it’s easier…) so you can check there. Some recent reads I would recommend are: 

Adult:

  • Friday Black, by Nan Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, a short story collection, the first and last stories of which are just mindblowingly good.
  • Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik, a slow (slow) burn but it really pays off in the end, a modern fantasy fairytale.
  • Graphic novel series Saga by Brian K. Vaughn (I’m caught up to Volume 9) and Monstress by Marjori M. Liu (there are three volumes out, GO START!), I love them both so much.
  • Muse of Nightmares, by Laini Taylor, the sequel to Strange the Dreamer, both of which are amazeballoons.

YA/Middle Grades: 

  • Kendare Blake‘s sister queen series “Three Dark Crowns“, ALL of those books were fabulous.
  • Endling: The Last, by Katherine Applegate, the beginning of a new high fantasy series by the author of Ivan!!
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill, a good kid book alternative to Spinning Silver mentioned above.
  • And anything by Jason Reynolds or Kwame Alexander, two of the hottest young authors out there. And by hot I mean happening and in the news, as I have now had to clarify to numerous groups of silly students!

Listening to: I have bought sadly so very little music this year. It’s actually really stressing me out. The three albums I have listened to the most this year are Kylie Minogue “Golden”, Meg Myers “Take Me to the Disco”, and Matt Nathanson “Sings His Sad Heart” (wow, what a step up in quality!!), and I’ve been dipping into Cat Power “Wanderer” in the past few weeks. I do have a list of four albums I think I want from various top-10 lists out there (the latest from Kasey Musgraves, Janelle Monae, Mitski and Lucy Dacus) and I want the boygenius EP (the boygenius that Lucy Dacus is a part of, not any of the various boygenius things that come up when I search iTunes) but not sure it’s out yet? I also want to check out No Name, a female rapper.

Eating: Cooking all my breakfasts and lunches every week, as I generally do during the school year, and particularly obsessed with Chrissy Teigens’ Cravings 2: Hungry for More book. Everything I make out of it has been delicious.

Drinking: Coke, coke and more Coke. Oh, Coke, why can’t I quit you?

Knitting, quilting, sewing: I’ve done a TON of sewing throughout 2018 (9 dresses maybe? tunic/dress types) and I’ve still got quite a bit of fabric and new patterns to try. I made two new ones from the Lou Box Dress pattern just last month–a knit dress version that is perfection (OK, maybe a little wide in the neck but perfection, srsly), and a woven tunic version that is basically a wearable muslin. I haven’t got the fit right in the woven for a dress yet. I’m knitting a brioche scarf, and I have a sweater I have sort of gotten back to that I believe I started in January (oops). I want to make that my Christmas break project… we’ll see. 🙂 No quilting has happened recently though. 

Focusing on: Separating home life and work life. Trying to leave with the kids or as close to it as possible. Not bringing any grading or work home AT ALL. I get it done at school, or I don’t get it done. I’m not going to get into an argument with people about the insanely overworked, underpaid status of teachers these days but let’s just say I’m done letting myself be a victim of a sick system that gets millions of hours of free work from its primarily female workforce. It’s sexist bullshit frankly and were the majority of teachers men there would have been a government-sanctioned revolt a million years ago. But then again, would we even still have public education these days, if it wasn’t primarily women doing all the work???? 

So, that’s me. How about you? Leave me a note and let me know what you’re reading!

À la Super Eggplant, currently, I am…

Watching: Grey’s Anatomy. I always need a show I’ve either seen before OR don’t really care too much about paying attention to, to watch while I’m doing school stuff (planning, grading, etc.). So I restarted Grey’s from the beginning. Turns out I had stopped watching mid-season 3. I’m in season 11 now and finding something to cry about almost every episode. HA.

Reading: Like a maniac. I’ve been very focused on devoting my 45-min each way bus rides to books so I’ve been flying through a lot of YA/middle grades stuff lately (I was roadtesting books to use with my class). And now I’m deep into “The Half-Drowned King” by Linnea Hartsuyker and loving it.

Listening to: The new National “Sleep Well Beast.” Oh my oh my do I love this album. The music is, as per the National’s usual, dark and deep and sometimes turgid. The lyrics are fraught with tension and anxiety and longing. It’s beautiful.
I’ve been talking about you to myself
‘Cause there’s nobody else
And I want what I want
And I want everything
I want everything

You are in this too
Can’t you find a way?

Eating: Finishing off the summer with Elote from around the corner every other note (OMG it’s good). Lots of ham, egg and cheese sandwiches on a toasted onion roll (because these rolls are basically challah or egg bread and my grocery store never seems to have egg bread anymore, sigh). Either that or pumpkin-spice Cheerios (they aren’t great, the pumpkin definitely tastes artificial, but they’ll do.)

Drinking: Obsessed with the Molokai Coconut Bai. I gave up soda, kindof, in the hopes of dropping some weight. Nope, not an ounce. Oh well, this stuff is still pretty delicious. And since dropping soda made no difference at all, I am letting myself get a frozen Coke one morning a week.

Knitting, quilting, sewing: Woops. Haven’t done a single stitch since school started. Maybe the Columbus Day weekend will let me get back into it? (Remember, I work Saturdays at the Salon, so my weekends are only one day.)

Focusing on: My PT exercises for my messed up foot and half-broken back. Foot is getting a LOT better…but I still look like a cripple for the first few minutes/steps I walk after I get up (from any sitting/lying down). Back is a mess, but working really hard on “neutral spine” is definitely helping those deep background muscles to engage so…maybe I’ll see some progress soon. Haven’t been in the pool because maintaining my teal hair is a higher priority right now HA.

À la Super Eggplant, currently, I am…

Reading: Lots and lots of romance novels. Hey, I am only FOUR days, yes 1-2-3-4, into my summer and I just really needed a quick escape right now. I have Delicious Foods waiting in the wings–I’ve actually started it twice but then not done any reading immediately after that (heh). I’ll probably (re)start it next week.

Watching: For some reason I started rewatching The Office (US) last week. It’s amazing how fast one can burn through a series one has watched before. I mean each episode is only 20 minutes long, you can easily sit down to open your mail and hello three hours just went by.

Listening to: Kick-ass girls: the latest albums from Taylor Swift, Kate Tempest, SOAK, Madonna. Also some really sad stuff like Sufjan’s Carrie & Lowell, my god people don’t listen to that without a fresh supply of kleenex. I also spent some time yesterday listening to Obama’s speech in SC and wishing he had been that president all 8 years.

Eating: Still on a major egg kick, as I have been all year. Fried, scrambled, omeletted, hard-boiled. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. When is an egg not what I want? Almost never.

Drinking: Really happy to have Ruby Redbird back for the summer. Also liking Stealin’ Time.

Knitting: I actually got back to knitting over spring break but it’s gone by the wayside once again. I have a looooong February Scarf in progress and a pair of socks…and I’m hoping I get motivated to knit again soon.

Quilting: So many plans.

Sewing: And many plans here as well. Hopefully soon!

Things I Love Right Now

I love this post about young women’s power of linguistic change. (Thanks, Peter!)

I love this print on Anna Maria Horner’s new linen fabric.

I love this Lumineers cover from Nashville, it brought tears to my eyes. #sap

I love this book I am reading. Only four stories in and they’ve all been fantastic. (Also that is a great article with the authors.) (And here is the web site where they generated those stories [and more].)

I love this $190 scarf that comes in 1,557 tartans. I WOULD LIKE THEM ALL PLEASE.

I love SOME of these white ink tattoos. (Especially #1 on the arm altho I hear inner arm hurts like a mother and #2 on the back shoulders.)

(Yes this is totes an imitation of Bliss‘ “I heart” posts. Kudos. And also inspired by Maggie’s WONDERFUL “I Made This For You” posts that I look forward to every week.)

À la Super Eggplant, currently, I am…

Teaching: Sixth-grade language arts! It’s just a maternity leave position and I 100% acquired it via nepotism…but hey I am getting paid to be a teacher for roughly seven weeks (only 2 left) and that’s better than if I hadn’t gotten any teaching this semester at all, which is what is really looked like was going to be the case.

Reading: A very very LOT of things. Thank you, full-hour morning commute and sometimes-longer afternoon one. I’m just about to start Bitterblue, book three in Kristin Cashore’s series (books 1 and 2 were wonderful) and I can’t wait!

Watching: I just did an epic rewatch of all four seasons of Everwood in just a couple of weeks. I had forgotten how whiny whiny OMG SO WHINY the first season is but it does get so very good after that and it’s really worth watching S1 so you have the entire Amy/Ephram story at your fingertips. The Bright/Hannah stuff from S3 to S4 is still oh so very awesome as well. I still have a couple episodes of Awake and Once Upon a Time to finish out from the past season waiting in my Hulu queue. And I really want to watch Tiny Furniture (on Netflix) now that Girls is getting such buzzity buzz. (Not that I’ll be able to watch that. Did I mention I finally got all the way rid of my cable some months back when it became clear I would not have a teaching job? [I had gotten rid of all the awesome channels back when I quit my job to go back for MA #2.])

Listening to: Kishi Bashi “151A”!!!. NPR’s Stephen Thompson just kept recommending it over and over on what seems like every podcast I listen to and although he is not my favorite person on any of those podcasts I finally gave it a chance and holy toledo it is just beautiful. So beautiful! Dang, I guess I might like you after all, Stephen Thompson.

Eating: A metric tonne of berries. Blue, black, straw, rasp… I am berrying it up over here.

Drinking: Magic Hat Elderberry, Magic Hat Pistil, Shiner Ruby Redbird, Lefthand Good JuJu (probably my very favorite these days), Fat Tire Shift… There’s more in the fridge but I am too lazy to go look. Suffice it to say, the options seem to be particularly plentiful and yummy these days. Hopefully for you as well. 🙂

Knitting: Technically I am testing a design for someone but it took me forever to even get started so I bet all the other testknitters will be done before I’m even halfway through. There are a couple other things on the needles but I haven’t looked at any of them in ages and by ages I do really mean many months.

Quilting: Just finished a doozy. Have three baby tops ready and waiting to be quilted. Hopefully I’ll get to those right quick so I can make another one for ME ME ME.

Sewing: About to make a second Renfrew (short sleeved and V-necked this time) and then going to do some ‘muslins’ of skirts (but not out of muslin!) and see how that goes.

Getting: Not much sleep. 5:40 a.m. wakeup call means I have to really try hard to curb my nightowl tendencies and sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Speaking of…it’s 12:45 and I’m getting picked up at 8:45 tomorrow to drag some stuff to Goodwill. So I’d best be on my way to bed right quick now. Laters, yo. 🙂

À la Super Eggplant, currently, I am…

Attempting: To study for tomorrow’s Chemistry final. It would be really hard for me NOT to get an A in the class at this point (technically I think I could even get a B based on points alone without taking the final, if the professor were to allow that), but I have this secret desire to get 100 and beat my score from exam 2 (98). It probably won’t happen as I always make at least one silly mistake, but we’ll see!

Making: Not much.

Reading: I have done almost no non-school reading (I mean, seriously) but I did JUST read “Divergent” by Veronica Roth and it was fantastic!

Watching: Oh, summer TV. Such a frustrating season, when I have the time to watch and yet nothing is on. I am liking Haven again this summer, tolerating The Glades and In Plain Sight*, and not really liking White Collar AT ALL right now (sigh. so sad! it’s one of my favorite shows normally!). But this summer’s [White Collar] plots have all felt super rushed and sloppy to me and I’m not thrilled with how they’ve handled almost anything! Boo. I guess I am also watching Burn Notice but it’s not really pulling me in this season either. 🙁

*I find I can watch mediocre shows with mediocre expectations and not get pissed unlike say The Killing for which there were SUPER HIGH expectations, some created by itself, and then it SUCKED so bad that it wasn’t even mediocre. And thus became unwatchable.

I HAVE seen a bunch of movies this summer though so I just threw up a post with quickie reviews. I mean, why are you here if you don’t want to know what I thought? 🙂 Heh.

Listening to: STILL obsessed with the new Bon Iver which I LOVELOVELOVE. (Especially after we went to Milwaukee to see him/them in concert the other weekend. Blew the roof off.) Not listening to much else, just an occasional spin through The Weeknd (that link lets you download their album, BTW). Oh and also the new Beyonce. I’ve been doing a lot of bus-commute iPod listening but mostly to super old playlists of my own (Airplane Alphabet Soup 2007 anyone?). Don’t know why but those are the songs I’ve been wanting lately.

Failing at: Losing weight.