ร€ 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. ๐Ÿ™ 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:ย 

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. Vaughnย (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:ย 

  • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ No quilting has happened recently though.ย 

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????ย 

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

ร€ 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.

ร€ 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 socksโ€ฆand 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.)

ร€ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

ร€ 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. ๐Ÿ™

*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? ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

ร€ la Super Eggplant, currently, I am…

Attempting: To drink only water. If you know how I feel about water, you know how horrifying this is.

Making: Lots and lots of quilt blocks. Would like to finish another quilt for ME ME ME and then two more baby cousins. Plus I have some other things percolating. Knitting has fallen off the radar for now.

Reading: I’m almost finished with One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick, which I am reading after reading Generation Kill by Evan Wright, after rewatching that HBO series (so fantastic). I am Oorahing around my apartment for every tiny accomplishment and berating myself for my lack of physical fitness. This is what reading about Marines will do to you.

Watching: I have rewatched a TON of stuff during vacation: all four seasons of BSG, the three (so far) seasons of SOA (Sons of Anarchy), the only one brilliant season of Standoff, Generation Kill, Life. I am really excited that White Collar returns on Tuesday because current TV offerings are definitely in the doldrums.

Listening to: The new Bon Iver which I LOVELOVELOVE. The new Death Cab which is good but pales in comparison to the Bon Iver. The new Submarines which is so! much! fun!
Failing at: Losing weight.

ร€ la Super Eggplant, currently, I am…

Eating: Mostly drinking. Black Cherry Soda. Yummers.
Making: Gaaah, have fallen off the wagon on all craft projects but will hopefully finish up an overdue baby quilt this weekend. Send me some motivation, puh-lease.
Reading: Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. Ah, yes, the BIG ‘UN of our challenge books this year. It’s actually going pretty fast when I actually read it…but have been doing a lot of El train crossword-ing so I haven’t quite devoted myself to it yet. But I like it more than I expected to!
Watching: Finally finished Band of HottiesBrothers. Sigh. So Good. Warehouse 13 just started; I liked the first one! At least enough to keep watching.
Listening to: Pete Yorn “Back and Fourth”. Empy Orchestra “Here Lies Empty Orchestra”. Fuel/Friends latest mix. Eminem.
Failing at: Not freaking out.

ร€ la Super Eggplant, currently, I am…

Eating: Today: nothing. Tomorrow: a cake like this one, I hope.

Making: Good week for dreaming of projects a-plenty. Bad week for actual crafting.

Reading: Just started this month’s challenge book: “Motherless Brooklyn” by Jonathan Lethem. Loving all the Tourettes’ word experiments.

Watching: New season of Burn Notice, yippee. Also about to start in on the Band of Brothers DVDs. For real this time.

Listening to: “Orange Sky” and “All of My Days” (Alexi Murdoch, both) back to back to back. Thanks to seeing “Away We Go” last night (a: it was AWESOME and b: Murdoch was basically the entire soundtrack), I just can’t listen to anything else.

Failing at: Focus. Control. Willpower. The usual.