3 Things

Oct. 22nd, 2017 01:44 pm
1. Selling raffle tickets for Poised for Success is going well

2. I had fun playing Scrabble online with Ann, until my cold-related headache flared up. But it was still fun.

3. I love having a new fandom and a new ship. Will I fall down the rabbit hole or take it in stride? I posted the other day that the actor who plays Stamets liked one of my comments on his FB post....and today the actor who plays Culber liked a tweet of mine! So this is fun! Also, I might just be writing some fanfic soon. My first in 6 years. Wow. So that's exciting, if I do it. 

I just miss using LJ to connect with other fans. But there's Tumblr and Reddit and even FB and Twitter. It'll work.

Wow, it’s taken me a long time to finish 5 books! I started reading many duds (not listed here) that I just couldn’t finish, despite trying hard, and these duds slowed me down. At least the below books which I did finish were pretty good overall.


My rating system:

10 – life-changing, an all-time favorite

5 - average for what I read

1 – terrible; why did I finish it?


Un/Masked: Memoirs of a Guerilla Girl on Tour by Donna Kaz – As the subtitle says, this is a memoir by a woman who was and is very active with the Guerrilla Girls. It’s a blend of the personal and political – the sexism that female artists face as well as Kaz’s own personal struggles (abusive relationship with a famous actor and her own confidence issues in her acting and playwriting). It’s a good book, if a bit choppy at times. (Fun fact: I never knew the origins of the gorilla masks that they wear. The author tells us that one of their early members misunderstood “guerilla” as “gorilla”, was charged with going to the store and buying masks, and there you go). Grade: 6


Dear Ijeawele, Or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I wasn’t sure if I should include this or not because it’s only 64 pages long. Sixty-four small pages. But it’s good, so here it is. The author was asked by a friend how to raise her newborn daughter as a feminist. The book includes her fifteen suggestions, and they are excellent. You know, I’ve been a feminist as long as I can remember, but I always can find more to learn. Sometimes it’s good just to get reminders too, and also Adichie’s writing is great. (Paraphrasing, but ‘in our culture, women are encouraged to look sexy but not be sexual’). Grade: 8


Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell – First published in 1960, this book is young adult historical fiction based on a true story. History tells us that a group of Native Americans lived on a small island off of California for a long time before a group of Russians and Aleuts mostly wiped them out circa 1850. Not long afterwards, a group of Christian missionaries came to collect the survivors and bring them to California, but for reasons unknown, one woman was left behind and she lived alone on the island for about 20 years (until another ship of white people came to get her). So this is the author’s attempt to imagine her life during her solo years. I know that the folks at Bitch Media would object to a white dude born in the 1890s trying to write a Native American woman’s story. I liked the book a lot though. I thought it imagined her life well and it really drew me in. At times I wanted a bit more emotional depth to it; a few events happen and I don’t think O’Dell really draws down into his character’s soul enough to explore her feelings. Grade: 6


You Can Buy Happiness (And It’s Cheap) by Tammy Strobel – This was a nice book. For me, it was a good refresher and reminder on many of my already-existing beliefs. Like how possessions don’t make us happy, it’s good to minimize, live not just within your means but under your means, etc. I liked that each chapter ended with “micro actions” you can take. The book was nothing shocking but I did like the stories of other people who have made positive changes in their lives. Grade: 6


Idiot Brain by Dean Burnett – A book about the workings of the brain, with lots of clear examples and written by a guy who dabbles in stand-up comedy – so the book is often funny, too. The brain really is a wonder. As the author tells us, it messes with memories, it jumps at shadows, its screws with our sleeping, it convinces us we’re brilliant when we’re not – and that’s all when it’s working properly. Grade: 6

3 Things

Oct. 20th, 2017 04:42 pm
1. I'm so lucky to have a job that offers paid sick time and the ability to work from home. I've been sick since late Monday. Since then, some days I've come into the office for part of the day - today not at all. I wish everyone had paid sick time and the ability to work from home! (And damn, this cold is crummy! Just crummy). Well, I'm also glad that I was never sick during my sabbatical weeks.

2. The weekend is here. I canceled my Saturday plans because of being sick, and will have to just see about Sunday. But hey it's still a weekend! And who knows, maybe by Sunday I'll feel better. 

3. Fangirling is going well. Definitely shipping Stamets/Culber on Star Trek. So that's fun. The actor who plays Stamets posted something cool on a FB fan page, and he liked my comment on his post! The actor who plays Culber also looks to be very accessible online (since he's even less of a big star or anything like that). Been checking our various Tumblr posts and people's fanfic. Let's hope I can have my fangirl fun while not getting obsessed.

3 things

Oct. 19th, 2017 06:51 pm
1. The latest episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine was awesome! It contained a total squee moment.

2. There's been some car jackings in my area, but it looks like the main culprit has been caught. Also - too long to go into detail on, but an activist teacher had been suspended due to some trumped up charges, but he has now been reinstated. Community outrage does seem to be the reason he was reinstated. 

3. I think I am falling into shipping Stamets/Culber on Star Trek. A new ship! A new fandom! There's lots of stuff on them on Tumblr. I'm happy. 'Bout time I had a new ship.

3 Things

Oct. 18th, 2017 03:06 pm
1. It's great to get to work from home one day a week. Because....

2. Yesterday ADT came over and then our friend Chris came to fix a pipe issue. All done. Whew! Home ownership is hard.

3. I love Star Trek Discovery. I really do. I may very well ship Lt. Stamets and his partner Dr Culber. I need to be careful though....I don't know what the writers have planned, Culber might be hardly ever on the show, for all I know he might get killed off next episode or they might break them up. I guess we will see. 

3 Things

Oct. 16th, 2017 05:50 pm
Grateful for having had a lovely weekend, for starting the traditional workweek with a job that I love, and for my health.

And let's hope Doris gets home from work soon so we can watch the latest ep of Star Trek Discoverer! 

3 Things

Oct. 15th, 2017 07:30 am
1. Yesterday it rained cats and dogs for like nearly 24 hours. Doris and I did the food rescue for the food pantry that we had signed up for - and got totally drenched. After that, we went home, put on warm clothes, and got caught up on all the shows (Star Trek Discoverer, Supergirl, Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Brooklyn Nine Nine; we even watched a few more eps of Gotham though we're still in Season 1 and I'm still not at all in love with this show). And we cooked. So it was kinda a perfect day.

2. My weight again was way on the low end of my range

3. And I didn't mention that Doris enjoyed the LGBT potluck on Friday and agreed to go to the group's gala banquet next month. Although we both agreed that half the fun of the potluck is seeing someone else's house. 

3 Things

Oct. 14th, 2017 05:17 am
1. The results of my mom's biopsy were fine! (She had a breast issue and the doctor wanted her to get a biopsy just to make sure she's ok)

2. I love the new socks I got from Fair Indigo, and also the new shirt I bought Thursday when I had some time to kill

3. Vegan nutella exists and it is awesome. I'm not much of a baker and not much of a dessert-maker (hey, that rhymes!) but I have an idea for a dessert involving it and a vegan pie crust. 

3 Things

Oct. 13th, 2017 07:36 am
1. I get to work from home today. That's awesome because I really feel like I need it. I had an errand after work Wednesday and then a fundraiser thing after work yesterday. It's just nice to have a day at home. (Which might sound crazy after just having had 9 weeks off....)

2. The LGBT group has its potluck tonight and Doris is coming with me!!

3. Weekend is almost here. No huge plans for us but several small, good things.

3 Things

Oct. 11th, 2017 08:03 pm
My car situation was ironed out, Doris is awesome (picked up the CSA yesterday when I couldn't, offered to prep something on Thursday morning for Friday's potluck), and lunch with my team at work was good.

3 Things

Oct. 10th, 2017 06:29 pm
Back to work! The day has been a good one but it ended with some car trouble. (After work, my key broke out of the key fob. I couldn't get it into the ignition far enough and couldn't turn it. I left my car at the office and took Lyft home. I have a spare set of keys that I have to hope work tomorrow). Also, instead of coming home early as she usually does on Tuesdays, Doris is having dinner with her mom since she can't see her on Friday. Selfish confession: I wish she were home with me. 

But here's the good stuff.

1. My coworkers were great. They held down the fort. We had meetings today, work is being transitioned back to me. So far, so good. Nothing too bad or too heavy right now.

2. Also it sounds definite that my coworker Diane will go on sabbatical July-early Sept of next year. This is good because I need more work to do and I want to learn her job. It's a good opportunity for me. 

3. I was just trying to think of a non-work one and....Doris unexpectedly came home!! YAY!!!
Last day of sabbatical! I think after this I will go back to doing my daily gratitude lists, since that format worked well for me. 

How nice that I got to end my sabbatical on a day with beautiful weather. So what did I do today? I decided to nix the trip to Andersonville since I'll be going into the city later in the day for the gun control rally. Instead I took the el to downtown Oak Park, got my nails done, browsed at our indie bookstore, walked around. Then I went home and cooked. I did boot up my computer and knock out some emails. Tomorrow I have catch up meetings with coworkers from 9-11am, then a lunch with managers, and then the rest of the day is free. I'm glad that as far as I can tell, there's nothing urgent. 

Fandom stuff:

- Still love the new Star Trek, yay that one of the characters is gay!

- Still love The Expanse and need new episodes to start soon! I heard they began filming season 3 in July

- Even though I'm not the crazy Alaska fangirl I was 3 years ago, I realized that I still really love seeing him perform, still really love the times I am (briefly!) around him. It's cool.

Game night yesterday was awesome! Except I need to stick to my self-imposed limit of 2 drinks - I just get too tired when I have more. But it was a blast!

And my weight yesterday was way on the low end of my range.

Today's Sunday, Doris and I are watching the last few episodes of The Expanse. (Re-watching for me). Our whole day is fairly open though we need a new oven and might go get one.

Tomorrow is my last day of sabbatical. Despite my boss's wishes, I'll likely crank up the computer and start going through emails. My other plans are: a gun control protest in the evening, get a manicure, and maybe go to the indie bookstore in Andersonville. 

I'm totally ready to go back to work, but one thing I will miss. On my days off, my routine in the morning is to drink tea and play Scrabble, then later on have breakfast, workout, and shower. On work days I go back to working out, then showering, then Scrabble if I have time. I'll miss the more leisurely start!
Yesterday's Alaska show was awesome! Just the highlights. Of course, Eric and I were very sad that Pam couldn't make it, but we were determined to have a good time anyway. We went to the venue with two worries: one, we hoped there'd be no issues with Alaska's upgrading us to VIP, and two Eric had asked in advance for seating and they said it would be no problem - but the venue is basically a mosh pit so we didn't know what we'd encounter.

Well, soon after we both get there, Alaska is right there in the hallway! He ensures we get the right wristbands, guides us to the extra-good lighting and gets photos with us. He didn't have much time to chat (Eric and I kinda had the time mixed up and we'd arrived after the meet n greet) but was super-nice as always. And there are plenty of chairs along the side of the room, up a step so we are able to sit and have a decent view of the stage. The concert itself was awesome. Great music, great singing and dancing. And because of the wristbands Alaska got us, Eric and I were among only 8 people who get to go on stage at one point (it's during a song the queens have about meet n greets)! I texted Alaska afterwards to thank him for everything and tell him what a great job he did, and he texted me back. 

One interesting (to me) note is that the venue last night was in Logan Square. Logan Square is also the Chicago neighborhood that I explored on my first day of sabbatical. So I came full circle. The venue was just a few doors down from City Lit Books.

As for today, I didn't have any plans since Pam was supposed to have been here all day. Rain has been expected all day (but has held off), but maybe because of the impending rain and my late night last night, I am feeling like I really want an "at home" day. So after my workout, I haven't done much other than cook lunch and am now binging GLOW. 

One joy of sabbatical - I kinda need more groceries and I could go to the library since a few holds have come in. But I don't have to, since I could also do those errands tomorrow or the next day. I'll see how I feel, just kinda enjoying being inside now. It is a luxury to be able to put off errands when not in the mood! 

Game night tomorrow! 
Well, my plans for today and tomorrow got altered. Long story short, Pam was supposed to fly from Erie to Detroit and then Detroit to Chicago today, to make it in time for Alaska's show tonight. Her first flight kept getting delayed, until finally they delayed it to 2:30pm - it was originally supposed to take off at 6:30am! At that point, there were no connecting flights from Detroit to Chicago that she could've made. And Erie had only 1 more direct flight to Chicago today and it was already booked - so she's not coming. She, Eric, and I are all sad. 

In any case, I set about figuring out what to do today since my day has opened up. I decided to have lunch at Upton's Breakroom. It's a great restaurant. I haven't been there at all since sabbatical - in fact, I'd say it's been at least 3 months. The downsides are that it's in a not-great neighborhood and you have to drive through some even sketchier neighborhoods to get there, and it has very limited seating. (So I always worry the trip will be for naught if I can't get a seat). But the food is amazing and it's all vegan. I'm glad I went.

Then I drove to the place in the western 'burbs that has chair massages, and from there went to Oldfield Oaks, a lovely forest preserve that I haven't been to in at least 2 years. I walked in it for nearly an hour. I am very glad that I got one last day of gorgeous weather to enjoy a forest preserve. 

Also did some cooking earlier today.

Back home now. Eric and I are still going to go to tonight's show, though needless to say it'll be way less fun without Pam! Alaska did confirm that he upgraded Eric and me to VIP, so that was sweet.

I need to figure out what to do tomorrow since i had planned on hanging with Pam all day. The weather forecast is lousy but maybe I'll go to Women and Children First, if it's not too bad out. Otherwise, maybe I'll find a new show to binge or go to the movie theater and see The Mountain Between Us. Or do a bunch of cooking.

Today was mostly running errands. Went to the gynecologist (for like the first time in 5 years). She's an awesome person, thank goodness. She's the same as ever. 

Cashed in a lottery ticket I won. It was $25. This is the second time I ever won something from a lottery ticket; once before I got a whopping $5. I don't make a habit of buying them, but the joke at my company is that when you're on sabbatical, you will play a lot of Lotto because you want to continue to live this way! I probably have been buying 1 or 2 a week, nothing I can't afford. 

I then went to Whole Foods to get the low sodium frozen meals that Doris likes.

And then I ran errands to get ready for Pam's visit (tomorrow! And early, her flight is supposed to land at 8:23am). Got my car detailed, but I'm not sure if it makes sense to get the exterior washed since it was rainy today and looks to be rainy the next few days. Went to Bruegger's to get some bagels since Pam eats them. 

After this, I'll go to the library and then the local Dems are seeking help in stuffing bags for something. I should be able to do that and get home before Doris. 

Oh, and Season 5 of Brooklyn Nine Nine is awesome!! I am so glad it was renewed. 

My boss is still the coolest for giving me Monday off, and winning $25 is still awesome. As is getting to see Alaska, Pam, and Eric tomorrow. And I actually even look forward to Saturday's game night still more than seeing Alaska. But please don't ever doubt that my heart is breaking for Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Mexican earthquake victims, the twilight of our democracy, etc etc. 
Something very cool happened today. My boss texted me to say that on Monday - which was to be my first day back after 9 weeks - none of the rest of our team will be in the office. So she "ordered" me to stay home and use it as one more day off! How cool! Now I gotta take one more look through my sabbatical lists....or just stew on it for a while...and figure out what I want to do with the gift of one more day. Nothing is jumping out at me right now. I did everything I wanted to during the past 9 weeks, and nothing is calling on me for a repeat visit. Hmmm. 

As for today, I had a hair appointment to get it dyed again, and I got my eyebrows waxed. I revisited the restaurant Native Foods and loved it as always. Lush is near there so I got some toothy tabs from Lush. 

Oh, and I watched the 3rd ep of the new Star Trek and...I guess that's it that's been released so far? Dang, I gotta wait. Oh, isn't there a new mutant show out??

Now back to thinking about what to do with my bonus day off! 
We got back from Wisconsin yesterday. Doris and I agreed that this place in Wisconsin, like the rest of the trips we've taken this year, we enjoyed and had a good time but don't really have any desire to go back there. 

We didn't do anything too exciting once we got home, just watched more of The Expanse. I'm so glad Doris is loving this show as I am.

Today was my one day volunteering at the Dems' office. They had a couple hours worth of work for me to do. I also did some much-needed grocery shopping. As for the rest of today, I watched the second episode of Star Trek Discoverer, and I plan to do some cooking.

Doris and I arrived at the eco B&B in Wisconsin yesterday and we leave tomorrow. It's lovely. The hosts are veg-friendly and made an amazing vegan breakfast for us today.

They gave us a tour of their lands yesterday. As for today, Doris and I did a lot. We drove to a place called Paradise Cove and drank from an artesian well. We visited a tiny museum in the town (Winslow, IL). Then we went to Monroe WI and visited their farmers' market (I got a great chair massage), walked on the Badger State Trail, visited the museum in town (Green County Museum, I think), then we drove to New Glarus to check out their gorgeous state park. 

The downtown of Monroe WI looks a lot like the downtown of Fairfield, Iowa where we were in August. Fairfield is bigger and is more diverse, but both downtowns are built around a town square and have several cute shops around it. I really like that layout. 

And guess what? I succeeded at being a vegan - in a very small, un-diverse, cheese-lovin' place. There's a restaurant in town that has a veggie burger with avocado (I needed to tell them to hold the mayo), and we also ate at a great Chinese place in town. No vegan desserts anywhere that I was aware of, but I brought my own and I think that's just what I'll do. (And, needless to say, I try to not do dessert every day, anyway). "If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere!"
Another day of great weather - YES!

Watched the first episode of Star Trek Discovery and I do indeed think I will love it. Decided to shell out the 6 bucks/month to CBS so I can see it. I hate that I already pay for Netflix and Amazon Prime, but then again I haven't had cable for years so maybe it balances out. 

I walked to the new Oak Park River Forrest Museum. It was nice. (I don't think I'm capable of getting too excited over a museum, but it was nice). Then I took the el to Munch, the vegetarian (and vegan-friendly) restaurant in Oak Park. I had their vegan lasagna and it was excellent. I'm really jazzed about changing over to vegan, and this reinforces for me that I CAN do it. I also picked up my ring (which the jeweler was cleaning and straightening the sapphire), and walked around a bit.

I got home and my Stitch Fix had arrived. Here's what I got:

1. A nice burgundy top. It looks good and I decided to keep it

2. A big pair of earrings. They were ok but I didn't love them and they looked heavy too, so they went back. Spoiler alert, so does everything else except the above.

3. A pair of pants. They were what I'd call "skinny" fitting, almost legging-like. I am of the firm belief that if you are top-heavy/apple shaped like me, you don't wear this type of pants since they make your top look all that much bigger. I much prefer boot-cut jeans since they kinda balance you out. I mean, I got no butt and no hips so why would I want to emphasize that? My Stitch Fix profile even has that I prefer boot-cut jeans, and I've even googled to see if fashionistas agree with the above and generally they do. The pants were ok but there just was no reason to keep them.

4 and 5. Two other tops. Both were nice, both had interesting patterns. But one had cut outs on the top which would mean that in order to keep my bra from peeking out, I'd either need to wear it with a cami or a scarf. Meh. The other had great colors and a decent shape, but a horizontal pattern which doesn't look good on me. (I think I need to yell at Stitch Fix "Hide my mid-section and do NOT make it look worse please!!") So they went back too.

Two hours till I take the bus to meet Chris for dinner. I might walk to the library and/or the post office box to return my Fix. I still need to meditate today too. That's it for now.  



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