Sunday Confessional

These are my confessions.

Confession #1:

I love my parents and sister*, but I can only endure so much family time before I need to check out. Thankfully, I don’t live with them, so I have the luxury of leaving and going back home when I’ve had my fill. Today was one of those days.

Confession #2 (related to #1):

*I actually have two sisters, but I rarely talk to one of them. We don’t get along very well or have much in common other than DNA. She lives in a different state, so it’s been a long time since I’ve seen her.

Confession #3:

It’s such a relief to quit reading a book I’m not enjoying. For the most part, I’m not one of those readers who feels compelled to finish reading something just because I’ve started it. If I’m not enjoying it, I abandon it and move on. I quit three books in the past week or so–separate post about those coming soon.

FO: Hedwig Socks

Hedwig Socks
It took me a while to knit these, but I finished these socks recently. I made them as a surprise for my coworker who has been having some serious health issues the past few months.

If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time I’ve made socks for someone other than myself (with the exception of baby socks). I didn’t know her shoe size, so I was using a lot of guesswork on this project. I estimated her shoe size to be close to mine and luckily, they fit her.

The yarn is from Opal’s Harry Potter line in the colorway Hedwig. This had been sitting in my stash for years because I wanted to make something really special with it. I’m glad that I used this because my coworker is an HP fan, so she appreciated the reference and loves the socks. 🙂

I didn’t use a pattern for these, but here are a few details for the curious (and for me, when I eventually update my projects page on Ravelry):

  • US 1.5 needles
  • Toe-up, two at a time
  • 3×1 ribbing on foot and cuff
  • 1×1 twisted rib at top of cuffs

Book Review: Broken Resolutions by Olivia Dade

Broken Resolutions by Olivia Dade
Broken Resolutions by Olivia Dade
Rating: 4stars
Amazon :: Barnes & Noble :: Goodreads

Broken Resolutions is a fun novella that kicks off a new series, Lovestruck Librarians. It takes place during New Year’s Eve and introduces an entertaining set of characters. Since I work in a public library, I appreciated all the library references and jokes and sympathized with the characters appropriately.

Penelope (aka Penny) is a librarian in a rural Maryland branch. While her character comes across as a bit cliche at first–she’s the shy, introverted librarian type–the cause of her hesitance in matters of love is soon revealed. Penny has had her heart broken in the past by not just one, but two cheating ex-boyfriends. Needless to say, she’s eager to take a break from men. So she’s made a New Year’s resolution to give up men during the upcoming year.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m not wearing makeup, a tight dress, or uncomfortable heels. I’m not feeling awkward in a crowd. I’m not worrying about what’s going to happen at midnight. I’m not evaluating whether or not to kiss some guy I barely know. Right now I’m sitting on my couch at home, wearing my pajamas. I’m eating my burger and fries in front of the television. This is basically a dream come true for me. Please don’t ruin it.

Penny, you are my spirit animal.

Jack is a successful but reclusive author. He’s also a divorced dad to Casey, his four-year-old daughter. When he and his wife divorced, he wanted to keep his daughter out of the media spotlight, so he shies away from publicity whenever possible.

So when Jack’s widowed mom drags him to a New Year’s Eve dating program at the library, he feels duped and tricked. But he doesn’t have the heart to abandon his mom there, so he stays. His attention is quickly drawn to Penny, who also takes mutual notice of Jack. As the night goes on, the two are thrown together during a series of games and activities that Penny’s coworker created for the event.

I enjoyed this book so much! There’s quite of bit of comedy and I highlighted dozens of lines that made me laugh, like this one:

Looks respectable enough. Then again, so do most serial killers, right before they make you put the lotion in the bucket.

The cast of characters is hilarious, especially Jack’s mom, Brenda, along with Penny’s friend and coworker, Angie. The next book in the series focuses on Angie and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Since this is a novella, the story moves along at a very quick pace and I got a strong sense of insta-love from Jack and Penny. I would have preferred a longer passage of time prior to declarations of love, but overall I didn’t mind the fast pace too much.

There’s some mild drama, but as a whole, this is a lighthearted romance that I recommend. As I mentioned, I plan on reading the next title in the series and I hope it’s just as enjoyable.

Sunday Confessional

These are my confessions.

Confession #1:

I am really bad at keeping this blog updated. Maybe I should go back to using writing prompts because otherwise it’s out of sight, out of mind! I kind of want to start posting book reviews again, even if it’s just a roundup of what I’ve read recently. Hmm.

Confession #2:

If I knit for any lengthy period of time (say, 20 minutes or longer), my hands start to hurt and I have to take a break. It’s worse when I’m using a smaller size needle, so sock knitting becomes pretty painful after awhile. Right now, I’m working on a shawl on larger needles, so it’s not as bad. During the week, I use my hands quite a bit at work–so most nights when I get home, the idea of knitting just doesn’t appeal. It makes me sad that I can’t knit for hours on end anymore, the way I used to.

Confession #3:

I’ve been in a funk the past couple of weeks. I wouldn’t say it’s another bout of depression, but I definitely feel lackluster, both at work and at home. I think it’s temporary, but it’s still not fun at the moment.

Sunday Confessional

These are my confessions. 

Confession #1:
I’ve gone back to the dark side of computers and am now a PC user once again. WHO AM I.

I’ve been a Mac person for almost 15 years, but it recently became clear that my trusty mid-2007 Macbook was at the end of its life cycle. (Battery/charging/overheating issues, etc.) Frankly, I’m not in a position to drop $1,000 on a new computer right now. Apple: I love you, but your shit is SO expensive. I’d already swapped out the battery previously and had still been experiencing issues over the past couple of years. Since I only need a laptop to do a handful of very basic things (that could be done on my phone or iPad, in theory, but are much more efficiently done on a laptop), after some research I decided to defect back to the world of PCs.

Surprisingly, I don’t hate Windows as much as I used to. Granted, by necessity I use Windows every day at work, but at home I’m using Windows 10 and it…isn’t that bad, actually. There are a zillion settings and notifications that I turned off/disabled, but once I tweaked things to my liking, so far it’s been just fine.

I’m keeping my Macbook since technically, it still runs and I don’t intend on transferring any files over since I like the idea of starting fresh. Also, maybe I’m not exactly ready to let go of it. All this being said, I am still 100% an iPhone person and you will pry it out of my cold, dead hands. But for now, I’m okay with enjoying both worlds (bi-computeral?).

Confession #2:
For the past month or so, I’ve been working on getting my health back in order. I think that blogging about my New Year’s resolutions kept some really important things in the forefront of my mind these past several weeks. So, I started tracking my meals again (ugh) and working out again (UGH).

Also recently, my employer launched a new wellness program that has been really helpful in motivating me to be healthier. There’s a monetary incentive to it, which apparently is very inspirational for me, haha. But also, I’m at a point where I just hated feeling crappy all the time and as much as I hate, hate, hate working out and tracking meals, I hate being unhealthy even more, I guess.

Anyway, since last month, I’m down several pounds and I only have 8 more pounds to lose before I’m back at my goal weight. (Hopefully, this time I’ll stay there.) Right now, my workout routine involves walking on the treadmill while listening to an audiobook. And I’ve plowed through quite a few audiobooks in the past month, which is an unintended bonus to this whole regimen. I’m eating healthier too, but trying to manage my cravings for junk food is still a big challenge for me. I don’t want to jinx myself or sabotage my plans, but I want to be optimistic while still remaining realistic, if that makes sense.

* * *

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and I have no intention of watching the big game, but every intention of watching both the Puppy Bowl and Kitten Bowl. Also, I will be reading a football romance in honor of the game, but that’s as far as my participation in Super Bowl Sunday goes. 🙂

Little Rituals

Just Another Day

Today’s prompt is from The Daily Post.

Our days our organized around numerous small actions we repeat over and over. What’s your favorite daily ritual?

Lately, my favorite ritual is listening to an audiobook first thing in the morning. I used to watch the news or morning shows as I got ready for work, but I’ve quit doing that. It just put me in a really somber mood before I went to work.

Maybe I’m burying my head in the sand by avoiding the news now, but I kind of like it that way. I still read news online or sometimes catch the evening news on TV, but I no longer immerse myself in those shows the way that I used to.

And on the bright side, I’ve managed to get a ton of reading done in recent weeks, thanks to my audiobook ritual.

Get Busy Living

Quote Me

Today’s prompt is from The Daily Post.

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

One of my favorite quotes is from the movie The Shawshank Redemption, which is probably one of my top 10 favorite movies ever.

Get busy living, or get busy dying.

It moves me because it’s such a sparse, simple statement, but it really packs a punch with meaning. Especially when combined with Tim Robbins’s amazing line delivery.

Whenever I stop and think about what the quote is really saying, it makes me feel hopeful.

The Bucket List

Kick It
Today’s prompt is from The Daily Post.

What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?

Many years ago, I used to have a list on my old blog called Things I Want To Do Before I Die. I’m pretty sure this was before people started calling them bucket lists. A lot of the things on my list were whimsical, while others were things just not likely to happen anytime soon–things like, “visit Scotland,” “learn to spin yarn,” and “ride a horse.” By the way, those are things I still haven’t done. It’s not that they’re impossible–they’re just not possible at the moment (travel) or not prudent to pursue right now (spinning) or just something I haven’t gotten around to (horseback riding).

I guess these are all things that would be nice, but obviously if I truly wanted to do them, I probably would have by now. So, this is a roundabout way of saying that I don’t have a true bucket list anymore–more like a Things I’d Like To Do Someday (But It’s Ok If I Don’t) List. Blame it on the procrastinator in me.

Master of Anything

I Got Skills

Today’s prompt is from 365 Days of Writing Prompts.

If you could choose to be a master (or mistress) of any skill in the world, which skill would you pick?

The noble answer would be “brain surgery” or something, but if I’m being purely selfish, I always wanted to master guitar. But to master something, you have to actually be somewhat competent at it, which I’m not. I briefly took guitar lessons for less than a year–this was over a decade ago–but I just didn’t get the hang of it. I didn’t have a natural knack for the instrument, so I got frustrated and gave up.

I think if I tried it again now, I might have a little more success, but it’s one of those bucket list things that has been shelved for the time being.

Entertain Us

Yawn

Today’s prompt is from The Daily Post.

What bores you?

Such a broad question! Since one of my main hobbies is reading and I spend several hours a day doing it, I’m going to tell you what bores me in a book.

I read primarily romance and a ton of it. There’s a handful of things that will cause me to abandon a book without finishing:

  • Flat characters who aren’t likable or relatable.
  • Ridiculous plot lines that could never actually happen in life.*
  • Unbelievable relationship between the main characters (insta-love with no other contributing factors, that kind of thing).

There are some cases when I’ll stick with a book and try to finish, but if it falls into one of the above categories, chances are it’ll lose my attention.

*There have been instances when the writing was so good that the story held my attention regardless of my usual qualms, but that’s a rarity.

I have a pretty short attention span in general and that definitely shows in my reading habits. I have no problem putting a book down and moving on if it bores me.