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Friday Fun! (February: DC Trip and Winter Activities)

February 28, 2014 Leave a comment
Walking in just one of the many lovely snow-covered parks in Boston.

Walking in just one of the many lovely snow-covered parks in Boston.

Hello my lovely readers!

It was quite the busy month for me.  Early in the month, I went on a business trip to Washington, D.C.  I was sent with a friend and co-worker to go to a training at the National Library of Medicine.  We just barely managed to take off in the middle of one of the many storms that hit Boston this month.  We flew right out of the storm and into a chilly, but snow-free DC.  In the limited free time we had, we saw the Smithsonian’s American Indian Museum and the Botanical Garden.  I had never been to DC before.  My impressions were that everyone is quite friendly and talkative.  The city is surprisingly empty with things spread further out than I was anticipating.  The architecture was interesting, and I enjoyed the museums (and the fact that they’re free!).  I’d like to go back to visit in warmer weather when the plants are in bloom.  Perhaps more as a stop-over on my way someplace else, though.  I can’t imagine spending an entire vacation there!

In the middle of the month, I of course opened my new Etsy shop.  I’m so excited to have another creative venue!  I’m still doing some stitching and art just for fun and for friends and family too, though.

Baking a loaf of bread every weekend is now a thing.  I also made an apple pie to try to beat back the winter doldrums.  I started doing more yoga as a home practice, since it gets me moving but I don’t have to brave the cold to do it.  I also did my taxes, and I’m pleased to say I’m getting a refund!  I finally completed the first step toward getting my driver’s license in Massachusetts as well.  I went to the Social Security office and filed for a replacement card.  Bafflingly, in MA, you have to have your social security card in addition to a photo id to get your learner’s permit.  You aren’t allowed to even just give them your social security number.  So, although I know my number, I still had to file for a replacement card.  But that step is done!

I’m pleased to say my reading pace has been going well.  I’m actually ahead of the one book a week goal I set for myself.  I’ve also so far read 2 books for the Mental Illness Advocacy Reading Challenge, as well as 2 of the 12 review copies I accepted for review here this year.  There is a giveaway still running for the second one, the horror book The House of Azareal, if you are interested in entering.

I must admit, February can be a bit of a depressing month for me.  I’ve noticed that pattern over the last couple of years.  But my partner has been very supportive, for which I am truly grateful, and that along with yoga, books, and snuggling our cat has helped make the month pass.

Happy reading!

Friday Fun! (September: Pie and Racing and Fall Colors and Did I Mention Pie?)

My first ever lemon meringue pie 100% from scratch.

My first ever lemon meringue pie 100% from scratch.

Hello my lovely readers!

September just flew right by, didn’t it?  I managed to sneak in two mini weekend getaways this month.  One to watch my man race at the track, and the other to ride through the stunning Vermont and New Hampshire fall colors up to visit my dad (very briefly, we arrived and left in less than 24 hours).  I love how much more often I’m able to get out of the city now, thanks to my bf’s willingness to drive and/or motorcycle. The track was just as much fun as last time, albeit colder! We really had to layer up in our tent, but at least we had body heat.  🙂  My bf placed third in one of his competitions, and I was really happy to get to see it!  Our first long 2up ride (when you have two people on one motorcycle) was just as much fun, although I wound up much sorer than from simply observing a race! We rode 281 miles in under 24 hours (3 hours the first day, 4 hours the second).  I loved going on the long ride together, although my hands did turn blue from the cold (in spite of wearing gloves).  But that just makes the story more awesome!

September also heralds a LOT of birthdays. I had three birthday parties to attend! I love how varied they were. One involved watching an indie superhero movie while eating Mexican food. Another involved froyo cake and geeky conversation.  The third included spinning vinyl, drinking cider, and playing Cards Against Humanity.  One of the birthday folks was my bf, and he requested a birthday pie instead of cake.  His favorite pie, naturally, is lemon meringue (aka one of the harder pies to make).  It took me 5 hours, but I think I succeeded pretty well!

In writing news, I’m still plugging away at the new cyberpunk scifi world I’m hoping to set the next novel in.  I’m pleased to report a new review of Waiting For Daybreak came in over at Zephyr Book Reviews.  For the complete listing of reviews, check out Waiting For Daybreak‘s publicity page.

In blog news, alas, I only managed to write three reviews this month, although I read four books and had one (and my first ever) did not finish (DNF).  I don’t intend to review DNF on the blog, but you can check out my DNF shelf at GoodReads if you like, where I briefly explain why I gave up on the book in question.

In more exciting blog news, I’ve decided on a new Review Policy.  The short of it is, I have decided to annually open up for review requests every November/December.  I will then select the books I will accept and commit to reading and reviewing them within the next year.  So books accepted at the end of this November/December will be read and reviewed by the end of December 2014.  Please check out my Review Policies/Contact page for the full policies.  I have also updated what genres and formats I accept.  Please note that I am very open to requests from indie authors/publishers.  And mark your calendars to start submitting to me in November!

I hope you all had lovely Septembers!

Friday Fun! (Welcome, Fall!)

October 5, 2012 2 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  It is finally fall in lovely New England. If I was forced to pick, I’d choose fall as my favorite season, although winter would come in a very close second.  I might not feel this way in other areas of the US where there is no leaf changing or crisp autumnal weather or orchard season.  But here all of these awesome things exist, so yayyyy!

Things I love about Fall, in no particular order:

  • Cooler weather, which means I don’t immediately look like I ran a 5k when I step out my door
  • Fall fashion, particularly knee high socks! And denim jackets! And getting to wear my hair down periodically!
  • Also my hair no longer looks like I stuck my finger in a light socket.
  • Pumpkins!
  • Pumpkin. Spice. Latte. (with soy)
  • Pie
  • Fall leaves
  • Kicking fall leaves
  • Hiking in the woods
  • Hot chocolate
  • Spiked hot chocolate
  • Giant pots of tea
  • The perfect weather for snorgling
  • Gourds
  • Pie
  • Did I mention pie?
  • Squash dishes
  • Slow cooker season!
  • Long hot baths
  • Halloween!
  • Related: horror everywhere. Oh how I love horror.
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg in everything
  • CIDER for the love of fsm, I almost forgot cider.

I had a long weekend this weekend, which was partially a reward to myself for making it through what I have been told are the toughest two months in medical academic libraries’ calendar year and also partially to spend some time with my bf who just got back from a two week trip abroad.  🙂  Many things on this list were covered, including pumpkin spice latte and pie.  We made an apple pie together with apples we got from the orchard ourselves, and it was amazingly delicious.  Special thanks to my daddy for sharing his pie crust secrets.

As for the blog, you may have noticed that my most recent read was actually four books in one, and you really should check it out particularly if you are a scifi or 1950s American culture fan.  That slowed the reviews down a bit, but I have this new rule where I won’t kick myself over my book numbers being lower because I read a long book (or two. or three!).  Big books shouldn’t be left on the sidelines purely for being big. 😉

Happy weekends and happy fall, all!

Friday Fun! (Happy Birthday To Me! Ok, Ok, and America)

Hello my lovely readers!

This was a very busy week for me because: a) I turned 26 b) 4th of July (aka America Fuck Yeah) c) I had a 4 day weekend d) I road tripped with my bestie to New Hampshire/Vermont to visit the fam.

Whew! I’m exhausted just typing that!

I’m like super old now at the ripe age of 26. (I tease. I had my quarter life crisis last year. 😉 ) My daddy made me birthday pie (strawberry-rhubarb, my favorite), because I prefer pie to cake. PIE TOTALLY WINS SHUSH.  I also got (from family and friends): cooking gear, a window-mount birdfeeder to provide cat tv, cat toys, photoshop, and an itunes gift card. You guys are the bestest! I feel so loved. 😀

I, unfortunately, caught some sort of stomach bug so I spent most of my holiday weekend sick. Epic. Sad. Face. I have an intense love for Independence Day, so that was a bummer.  I did discover, however, that I can see most of the Boston fireworks from my couch, which is awesome.  Also, I had already set off fireworks in NH so admittedly I’d already had some crash bang.

Luckily I was better in time for work, so I didn’t miss any of that.  I did miss the gym whilst I was sick though. I’ll be returning tonight.

Happy belated 4th! Happy weekends!