27 March 2017

3 things.

1. For the majority of the year, I am always looking forward to winter.  Or at least, whatever Arizona's version of winter is, however few months it always ends up being.  And somehow I always forget how amazing Arizona's version of spring is (not the mean 90 degree weeks, but the regular 70s-80s range).  It's hard to lament the end of the 60 degree weather season when it's replaced with spring and all its warmth, orange blossom smells, and thriving herb garden attempts.

Last year it seemed to us that spring lasted longer than usual.  All throughout last May we found ourselves saying on multiple weekends, "this is probably going to be the last nice weekend before summer."  I'm hoping we have a repeat of that in 2017 and spring hangs around here as long as possible.

2. I more or less finished Breath of the Wild this week, and... sigh.  It's like when you get to the end of a book or television series, and the ending is good but you're also like "but!  i want to know what's going to happen now!"  It was such a fun game, even if the beginning's difficulty for me was unprecedented as far as Zelda games go.  Like, I've never had so many GAME OVERs happen to me in my life before Breath of the Wild.  I'm already looking forward to a second play-through (whenever that happens), and also all of the things I forgot about from the game when I started weeks ago.

3. The other day I remembered these nightmares I had when I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with Theo.  I would open a closet in the house and discover my baby just sleeping there at the bottom, and then with horror I realized that I hadn't fed my baby in days because I'd completely forgotten (I also had this dream but with a puppy I'd forgotten to feed instead of a baby).  When I woke up from these dreams, I genuinely had this fear and paranoia that somehow that would happen in real life.  Which, I realize now is laughable.  Because babies let you know when they are hungry, but so does your body (if you breast feed) and there will be plenty of screaming and pain to let you know to feed your kid.

Occasionally I find that I forget to feed myself, which seems like it would be impossible given my love of food.  But when I throw myself into books or hobbies (or video games), I find myself putting off food in favor of one more chapter.  One more photo to edit.  One more undiscovered shrine.  And then it's another chapter, another series of pictures to look over for improvements, another area of the map to be explored, and another hour of my angry stomach who probably wishes I'd listen to it the same way I do to a hungry, yelling toddler.

Anyway, I wish I could turn hunger on and off.  And I wish I could stop thinking about how convenient and potentially awesome such an ability would be.

19 March 2017

listening listening listening.

Here's what I've been listening to lately!

1. John Mayer
His newest album is slowly but surely making its way out into the world and it's so good.  (and also about dang time.)  Eventually I'm going to see this guy live, but I don't think this year's tour is going to be it.  Fingers crossed it will produce a live album and that it will be as good as Where the Light Is.

I've actually had my John Mayer playlist in modest rotation for the last year or so.  We listened to Born and Raised all throughout our California visit last July, and it will forever remind me of that state as long as I listen to it.  The song Wildfire from Paradise Valley is the one we chose to play over our video documenting that trip, and Theo is especially fond of it.

John Mayer is also good music for cooking to, as it turns out.  Must be that relaxed tempo.

2. Ludovico Einaudi
I discovered this artist in my quest to find some solid contemporary classical music that heavily features piano.  Admittedly I haven't conducted that deep of a search because I found Einaudi pretty quickly and liked him enough to stop looking for some time.  Lots of piano the way I like, and even Jon (the heavy metal fan) likes a few of the songs.

This music is also good for cooking, but lately I've been preferring it for writing.

3. Moana soundtrack
I'm sorry, have I mentioned our Moana obsession before?  Not a morning goes by where I don't wake up with a song from this movie already in my head.  The score is also pretty good, and I find it difficult not to hum along all throughout the movie.

Sort of related: Jon and I were talking about LMM becoming a household name and we wondered how often that happens to Broadway folk.  We could only think of Andrew Lloyd Webber, but it's difficult to compare the two.  Like, one of those guys is definitely a recognized name in my parents' house, but the other one isn't really.  Maybe it's a generational thing?

3 things.

1. If this month continues on as it has happened, then March 2017 will forever be known as Breath of the Wild Month for me.  This game, people.  It has consumed me.  Let me start from the beginning.

It all began with that teaser video from E3 in June of 2014...

...Okay, I won't start from the beginning and do the whole thing.

But basically, three weeks ago I was agonizing over how in the world I was going to get my hands on a Nintendo Switch so I could play this game -- my anticipation for which has only been building for years.  Midnight lineups were a non option for me since Jon was out of town that week, and I wasn't going to chance going to jail for leaving my child alone at home because of a video game.  Because not even Zelda would be worth that, right?

This is the part where I tell you that I have the best mother in the world, because she woke up at 4:30 in the morning to go to her town's Walmart on launch day on the chance she might get one of the consoles there for me.  Tragically she was unsuccessful, and when I got her text saying so I knew it was all up to me.

I put all of my eggs into the Toys R Us basket, because hardly anyone was reporting that they'd have stock on launch day (and I clicked on every single "Where to find a Switch on March 3rd" article I saw in the week leading up).  So I pulled up to our Toys R Us two hours before the 10:00 am opening with Theo, fully prepared for a huge line and disappointment.

And would you believe it, we were first in line.

So there I was in line with my toddler, either being the greatest mom or the worst mom in the world.  We had lots of blankets and water and Froot Loops and charged iPhones with The Lego Movie queued and portable chargers.  We were probably ready for way longer than a two hour wait, but you know what Scar says!

(Anyway, if you're still trying to get a Nintendo Switch, go to Toys R Us, because when the doors opened at ours, there were still 5 unclaimed.)

So then I started playing and it turns out the game truly is amazing and beautiful and lived up to my hopes and dreams.  And I haven't stopped playing, and I've ignored my child, and it turns out that's why I was arrested for child neglect.  Whomp whomp!

2. It is time for me to make my annual declaration, which I swear comes earlier and earlier every year, and that is this: it is too damn soon to be looking for the shadiest spot in the parking lot.

It's been all 90s for the last week, which isn't quite uncomfortable yet, but 50s-80s is where my preferred temperature range is, and I'm not ready to say goodbye to the nice season here.  Last Monday was our first 90 degree day, and towards the end of the day I was feeling pretty good about I was coping.   Then I discovered that Jon had turned on the A/C and so I wasn't as tough as I thought I was being.

I don't think I've ever kept track before, but maybe it's time to start: March 13th marks our first A/C day of 2017.

Summer is coming.
(Am I allowed to say that even though I'm not a Game of Thrones watcher?)
(Whatever, I just did.)

3. Continuing my "Hilarious Kindle Ads" series, I offer this:

The Code Thief: Hacker Dylan Charles finds himself entrapped by CIA Cyber Chief, John McGovern.  Hacking in was hard.  Hacking out was even harder.

27 February 2017

3 things.

1. We don't habitually buy movies blind, but when it comes to the latest Disney movie we feel pretty confident that what we are about to buy won't be a regret.  I think my only partial regret purchase was Inside Out, which is indeed, a fantastic movie.  But I also find it to be deeply and intensely sad, especially as a parent.  Like, it hit me not too long ago that all of Theo's memories with us right now will end up in The Dump soon enough, and it was such a depressing realization.

Anyway!  We bought Moana last week, which I was dying to see for so long.  Now I have each of its songs on rotation going through my brain every single day (I AM MOANAAAAAAAAA!!!), and I can't stop thinking about how beautiful the movie is.  The water!  The hair!  It is a stunning movie, both visually and aurally.  Not since we got Mad Max: Fury Road have I wished we had a newer television with which to fully appreciate movies like this (related: the coconut army scene was a little Fury Road-esque, no??).  Moana also made me want to go back to Hawaii immediately and to learn how to sail.

The story was a little lacking, which made me confident in my prediction that Zootopia, which had the better story (social message), would win the Oscar.  But I was secretly pulling for Moana because it was just too beautiful to not root for it.  (PS: Kubo was also a visual feast, but again: made me super sad!)

2. Speaking of the Oscars, ummmmmmmm...

I think this was my first time watching The Oscars all the way through, and I was only looking for a handful of things:

- That Moana somehow miraculously beat out Zootopia for Best Animated Film.  BUST.
- That Suicide Squad could never be able to be known as "Oscar-winning film Suicide Squad."  BUST.
- That How Far I'll Go won Best Original Song.  BUST.
- That Viola Davis won her category.  SUCCESS!

I simultaneously got less and more than I asked for.  But I think my biggest takeaway was that Jimmy Kimmel should never host again (repeatedly making fun of people's names??  what the hell, man?) and that Justin Timberlake should have kept the microphone after his performance and hosted the rest of the show.

3. A funny and weird thing happened the other day over the course of a couple of hours in the afternoon.  I began weeding our lawn, and when I started one of our neighbors drove by with the windows down and a Kid Rock song playing loudly.  And I thought, huh I guess they're still playing that song on the radio.

30 minutes later, I'm still weeding, and the neighbor leaves their house and drives by again.  The song is still playing.  Then I think, huh it wasn't on the radio, they own the song.

One hour later, I'm relaxing in our backyard, and the neighbor comes back home.  And the song is STILL playing.  And then I was like, not only does this person own this terrible song, but they have it playing on repeat!  and they feel totally confident and good about it!!

It was bizarre and hilarious, and I laughed to Jon for a good long while about it (he was present for the 2nd and 3rd drive by).  Thank heavens for strange neighbors with interesting music tastes and an insane amount of self-confidence.  They make the world a truly entertaining place.

19 February 2017

3 things.

1. I recently saw the light and got a Kindle, and I LOVE it.  I'm kicking myself a little for resisting the idea of an e-reader for so long.  I still love actual books, but the Kindle... what a revelation!  I can get a book I want to own, but not necessarily give precious shelf space to.  My life is forever changed.

(My life would be forever changed twice over if Amazon would marry an e-reader and a typewriter so I could do basic word-processing without giving myself screen headaches.  Help me out, Bezos!)

An unexpected joy from owning a Kindle has been their ads.  When you buy a new Kindle you can pay a little extra to remove the ads for e-books or Kindle accessories.  I say to you: leave the ads!  I see the most outrageous books through these ads, and some of them have made me laugh so hard at their ridiculous 3-line tags.  They are so dramatic and corny and hilarious, and I actually look forward to seeing them.

This is a snapshot of one I recently sent to Jon:

Ten Thousand Hours: How do you get from a one-night stand to happily ever after?  Practice, practice, practice.

We couldn't decide if this was a nonfiction guidebook written by a dating expert or an amazing work of fiction where the main character is dead set on proving that a healthy, loving relationship is possible even if it starts out as a one-night stand, even if it means dozens of failed attempts??  I think I'd rather live with this delightful mystery forever than find out what this book is truly about.

2. I've been watching Legion on FX as it has aired (two episodes so far), and it's still too soon for me to tell if it is a show I'll stick with.  But so far I have enough questions I mean to have answered so I'll keep going for now.  Again it seems I have gotten into a show where the main character is highly unreliable (previously: Mr. Robot).  My extreme dislike for unreliable characters is something that was instilled in me in my writing courses (very very VERY rarely executed well, so it's just a mess to read and wrap your head around)(but fun to critique), but I've somehow managed to put it aside for television shows lately.

Besides, this one has ties to the X-Men universe, so I'm in.  Those ties are pretty loose so far, but the potential for some tightening in the future is very exciting.  My understanding is that all mutants aside from David are completely original, which I find exciting.  (I'm not at a point in my X-Men fan-ness where this prospect is blasphemous).  Fingers crossed that the characters I like are actually real and not figments of David's imagination.  Dang unreliable MCs.

(Wanted: a podcast that delves into the X-Men universe geared towards people like me who like it enough to want to be well-versed in it, but don't want to go through the trouble to reading a million comics.)

3. I was shocked to learn recently that the man who plays David in Legion is also Beast in Beauty and the Beast.  (He also had a role on Downton Abbey, according to my mother.   Though I confess I'm not one for period dramas and have never seen it.  But my favorite reference to the show EVER is when Donna of Parks and Recreation says that Downton Abbey is her favorite book.)

Three loud WOOTs for how excited I am to see the new Beauty and the Beast.

If Theo was old enough, I think I would take him to see it with me.  He has been LOVING the original movie and we watch it fairly frequently.  Mimicry is something we are seeing more and more with Theo as he watches various shows, but never does he react more than when he's watching Beauty and the Beast.  Especially Gaston, which is hilarious to watch... but it's not lost on me that my toddler takes most to the awful, womanizing pig of everyone on the show.  (Albeit, with the best speaking and singing voice - it's hard for me to say no to a baritone with impeccable enunciation!)

13 February 2017

3 things.

1.  Last week I finally arrived to the Stranger Things party.  Jon already watched it back in the summer, but he rewatched it with me because I don't do scary stuff unless I'm not alone and the lights are on and my arms and hands are free to cover eyes or ears.  It actually wasn't too bad, horror-wise.  But it was excellent program!  I get it now.  Not just the crazy obsession with the show, but also the torment that grew after that commercial for season two showed that it isn't coming until Halloween.

2.  Theo wore his first shorts of the year this week.

We live in a truly weird place.  Shorts weather in February?  Even Jon, who is not bothered by Phoenix's climate even when it is obscene said it was too soon for it to be this warm.  And it really is.

3.  SNL has been giving me quite a bit of happiness lately, and if you haven't seen Melissa McCarthy as her "Spicey" character, get thee to Youtube immediately.

I'm finding that my preferred method for consuming current events lately is via late night comedy shows.  During the day it's all news updates, but after the depression has set in I go to the shows that talk politics and admit how insane things are while also managing to make jokes and laugh.  My preferred outlets are Stephen Colbert's monologues, Seth Meyers's A Closer Look series, Saturday Night Live, and Last Week Tonight, which just came back last night and thank heavens because I've missed John Oliver greatly.

By no means am I recommending that you inform yourself of current events via these comedy shows, but they offer much needed supplemental laughs in a time of unrest.  So have at it, and enjoy a laugh or two.

06 February 2017

reading reading reading.

Earlier in January I stumbled upon a book when I was looking for something entertaining and fast to read.  Then I fell in love with the series and its author, and this last week found myself devouring a separate series by the same author.  I also read a third series, which was entertaining enough.  Here are the series I've read, in order of when I read them:

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses (book #1) and A Court of Mist and Fury (book #2), by Sarah J. Maas
For the life of me I cannot remember how I came across this series or what made me decide to try it, but whatever it nudged me in its direction.  I do remember that I read the first book fully expecting not to be interested enough to read the second book, and it almost ended up that way.  I finished the ACOTAR and was perfectly satisfied.  I didn't feel like my time was particularly wasted, but I also would have been content to just leave it there and not continue with the second.  But thank the high heavens I did, because ACOMAF was amazing.  #2 was better than #1, but #2 also made #1 a better story, if that makes any sense at all.

I started the series expecting to be entertained without having to commit a lot of time, and ended up becoming fully obsessed.  I forced Jon to read the books in my desperation to talk to someone about the story.  I've already pre-ordered a copy of the third installment which comes in May and I cannot wait.

From a critical standpoint: The character development is excellent.  The pacing is even and natural, though at a point in ACOTAR it feels quite slow.  But I prefer slow and thorough development to quickly progressing through to action.  There is some repetition as far as word choice or minor descriptions that seem super obvious once you notice them.  But the story, characters, and immersion is great.

The main character's evolution is exciting to follow, but more importantly: believable.  Believability is something I though was important to this story in ways I can't say without giving anything away, but Maas takes on a task in the transformation of her main character that I don't believe many authors would volunteer to do so quickly.

Our public library catalogued it in the teen section, which, generally speaking, is appropriate, but ACOMAF would more accurately be filed in the "New Adult" category.

2. Red Queen and Glass Sword, by Victoria Aveyard
The day after I finished ACOMAF I cracked Red Queen open.  A few paragraphs in, I stopped.  Then a couple of weeks later I willed myself to try it again.  The next day I read its sequel.  The third book (I cannot think of its title at the moment) is due out sometime this week, and I will probably read it, but I am fine being a ways down on the library waiting list for the first available copy.

From a critical standpoint: I stopped that first attempt because I could tell immediately after those first paragraphs that it wasn't as well written as the Maas series I'd read just before.  But after I'd let some time pass in between reading the two series, I decided to give it another try.  I still believe the Red Queen series is not as good as either of Maas's collections.  The story and world Aveyard has created is interesting enough, but I found the pacing to be too fast.  I think I would have liked the books better if the progression was slower and there was more time for character growth and evolution - again, my preference is a slow pace and not feeling rushed through development to the action.  (I later learned that the author's background is in Screenwriting, which I suspect may very well have to do with this issue I have.)

And while the bare bones setup of the story is unique, the second book quickly made things feel a little too X-Men like (and therefore cheapening the originality of the universe that I found appealing in the beginning).  As far as characters go, I found them to have moderately memorable abilities but pretty forgettable personalities.

3. the Throne of Glass series, by Sarah J. Maas
A little backstory: there's a company called Litographs that prints the entire texts of books on t-shirts, tote bags, and posters in very very tiny fonts.  I discovered Litographs some years ago, and I've since purchased one of their posters (and intend to purchase more!), backed one of their Kickstarter campaigns for literary tattoos (so cool!), and followed them on Twitter.  They often retweet photos of customers who share pictures of themselves wearing their literary t-shirts or of their walls with their literary posters.  In the last year or so, I've noticed that a large number of these retweets have featured customers sharing their Throne of Glass purchases.  The book remained an unknown title for me, and I also found myself confused because originally, the books printed by Litographs were nearly all literary classics.  How popular was this new book that it'd be included amongst of selection of titles that included Pride and Prejudice, Les Miserables, and The Odyssey?  Then I read ACOTAR and discovered its author to be the same as this Throne of Glass series.  Since I liked the writing of the ACO series, I decided to give Throne of Glass a shot and see what all the excited retweets are about.

It is with good reason that this series is so popular.  The world Maas creates in Throne of Glass is expansive, the characters are, again, well developed, and the story is both immense, immersive, and full of the right kinds of twists.  Including the prequel novellas, there are six books in the series so far, and I read one a day this week.  I finished the latest book the other day, and I have never (NEVER!) found myself so devastated at the end of book as I have with Empire of Storms.  I have a full-on broken heart on behalf of characters because of what transpired in the last 100 pages, and there is a heaviness in my chest that hasn't been there since Jon broke up with me probably.  And I am FURIOUS that I have to wait until next May (freaking 2018!) to find out how everything ends.

From a critical standpoint:  Honestly, it's overwhelming to think of all of the stories that have been told in six books and to think of where the story began and where it is now.  So much has happened, but the good news is it doesn't feel like the author changed her mind and wanted to keep her characters but put them in a separate story.  Everything flows well from book to book, and the journey of the main character is a thrill to read.

I did find Heir of Fire to be slightly difficult to read with the perspective changes.  These changes happened in the books before, but with the some of the characters physically separated from each other in Heir of Fire, the jumps felt a bit jarring.  But not off-putting enough to throw the series away.

This world is vast, and there are lots of characters, backgrounds, histories, and universe-related elements to get a grasp on.  It's overwhelming, and I found myself a little confused at times, especially when it came to the genealogies for certain characters (I needed a family tree really badly!).  Because of this I prefer Maas's ACO series, which I thought had a world that was just as rich and detailed, but its presentation was much tighter so I didn't find myself confused nearly as much as the Throne of Glass.

So those are the three series I delved into this last month.  Consider me a Maas fangirl now, and go out and read them immediately so we can chat about them!  In the meantime I'll be hunting down the next series to read.  And cleaning up the house that I neglected this week in favor of reading.  Oops!

3 things.

1. An ebook that Jon contributed to for his work became available on Amazon last week.  He worked hard on it and I am super proud of him.  And also... I hate him juuuuuust a little bit.  It's jealousy, of course.  The irony of the Aerospace Engineer-trained person having something out there before the English-trained person is not lost on me.  I gotta get a move on!

2. January is already over!  I spent a good portion of the month devouring a few teen fantasy fiction series (more about them later).  Chalk it up to a desperate need to escape the realities of the new American presidency.  Anyway, this genre isn't one that I explored much growing up.  I read Harry Potter (loved it) and The Hobbit (overwhelmed me) and that was pretty much it.  After my new reads this last month, I'm starting to wonder if I missed out on the offerings of an entire genre, and it's possible I might attempt to make up for that.  In my search for a new series to read, I've found the number of options to be astronomical and overwhelming, so I'd gladly accept your highest recommendations.

3. I've been thinking about a point that was raised yesterday regarding the fact that there is a difference between offering fellowship and offering friendship.  While parsing through their similarities and differences I couldn't help but think of LOTR and the Fellowship.  The diverse group of individuals who share the goal of good defeating evil and support each other in that quest.  The fellowship and group effort are important, and many things can be accomplished for the greater good when people join the fellowship.  But friendship is Sam and Frodo.  It saves individuals and offers a deeper level of trust and support that fellowship cannot.  We'd call ourselves lucky to be part of a fellowship, but having a Sam is priceless and life-saving.

Oh lord, I think I might have answered my question about which fantasy series to read next.

29 January 2017

3 things.

1. Every other month Theo gets a haircut.  When that time comes around, when his hair is spending too much time in his eyes, when I can no longer allow my dread to help me put it off any longer, I brace myself.  Theo's terror during a haircut is a devastating thing to witness, and it's not because his thrashing makes the process take two or three times as long or increases the chances of me nicking him.  It's because he is completely inconsolable.  No amount of M&Ms, his favorite show, verbal reassurance, or constant hugs from his dad give him comfort in the way that they normally do.  There is no taking his fear away, and I never feel more useless as a parent/comfort-giver than during this bi-monthly chore.  If anyone has advice, you have until the end of March or beginning of April before we do it all again.

2. Literally seconds before we were about to click "purchase" on a new mattress to replace our current, comfortable-yet-unbearably-squeaky mattress, Jon suggested, "Let's make sure that the problem is actually our mattress and not the box spring."

And hell's bells, it was the damn box spring.

We immediately moved the box spring to the garage until it's time for the next bulk trash pick-up week, and now our perfectly perfect mattress is temporarily on the floor of our bedroom.  While we've had what is possibly the quietest (and therefore, best) sleep in the last couple of years (YEARS, you guys.  i feel like such an idiot!!), our bedroom has never looked more poor college student/bachelor like.

In the nearly one year that we've lived here, just about every room's appearance has slowly gotten better with the addition of furniture and decor or rearranging.  But our bedroom is going backwards, and if it wasn't a little hilarious to me I'd probably be more embarrassed about it than I am.

3. So an IKEA trip is very likely in our near future, and I get to continue my quest to make our home look somewhat unique and original in spite of the fact that it's basically an IKEA catalog.  From where I currently sit, I spy at least twenty items from IKEA.

(You know when you're new in a group of some sort and they ask you to introduce yourself?  They usually ask for your name, where you're from, and an interesting fact... my interesting fact is that I'm an expert IKEA furniture builder.)

And I might also be more embarrassed about the IKEAness of our house, but I can't ignore the friendly prices, the sturdiness of the big pieces, or the aesthetic of some of the smaller pieces.  And I certainly am not in a position to say no to washable slipcovers. Because what are the odds that I'm able to keep a sofa clean and looking new while also raising a toddler?  Not great.  So living in a catalog it is!

22 January 2017

3 things.

1. Yesterday on The Washington Post's website I spotted an article with the following title:

"At the Women's March, it's the men who mattered most.  Here's why."

And you know what my response was?  WHAT THE FRESH HELL.
Today when I was back on the website I saw that the title had been changed.

"At the Women's March, the men mattered, too."

Frankly I don't see it as much of an improvement, and what I'm most tired of in all of the coverage of yesterday's historic events are the reminders that there were men there, too.

Don't forget all of the men there!
Wow, there were lots of men in attendance!
Way to go to the men who showed up!


Stop giving men special head pats and applause for doing something that they should have done anyway.  THEY ARE NOT THE ONES HERE WHO ARE SPECIAL.  We don't need to be worried that they feel included.  They can go one damn day without it being about them in any single way.

2. I suppose I should say that I did not march yesterday.  I know, hypocrite much?  I do believe that the Women's March was a good thing.  And I did want to go to Phoenix's march yesterday, but also a little part of me didn't want to.  There were lots of reasons to go, and lots of reasons not to go.

I suspect it's possible there might be a day in the future where I will have to atone for my physical absence at a protest yesterday.  I'm not sure which reason I'll give.

I had to choose between bringing my toddler or going by myself and I couldn't make that choice?
The overall goals of the March were a little confusing?
Large crowds sometimes kick my claustrophobia into high gear and I didn't want to have a panic attack in front of thousands?
I find the underlying issue of white women forgetting/ignoring women of color to be extremely grating and this protest reminded me of that?
It's less scary to own my feminist views in private than in public?
It could be any or all of those.

I didn't march yesterday, but this morning I stood before an incredible group of women and led a discussion on feelings of inadequacy and how to overcome them.  We talked about being "good enough," if being good enough is actually good enough, and what to do when we don't feel good enough.  I didn't mention to them that I wondered yesterday if I was a good enough feminist.  Because right before I was about to, someone offered the comment that it often appears women somehow know how to feel inadequate in a way that men just don't seem to.

I got to close that discussion by telling all of those women that they are indeed good enough, that they are never alone, and that they are capable of accomplishing truly amazing things.  Instead of joining women yesterday who already know they are good enough and deserve basic rights, I did what I could today to help women in those moments when they don't know those things.  I hope it made a difference.

3. If I recall correctly, I started this blog (or a blog??  i'm too scared to look back to confirm, haha) to become more comfortable with writing publicly.  I think at a certain point I became too comfortable, then I retreated, and now I'm doing my best to build back the habit while also maintaining some sense of dignity.

I used to read a handful of blogs, and most of them I can't even remember what they were about or if they were particularly inspiring.  But I remembered one this last week and the author's habit of writing 5 things weekly about whatever suited her fancy.  I've decided to try to work on such a habit, but allowing myself to stress a little less by only doing 3 things.  (I hope for little ranting, but for today I just really needed to get #1 off my chest.)

Writing in general somehow became very difficult for me to do a little while back.  Not just here, but elsewhere, too.  At the beginning of 2016 I was sure that I wanted to get familiar with writing again and set a simple goal: write just one story this year.

And I failed!  I few ideas, phrases, and images popped up here and there and I recorded them, but a story never emerged in writing.  I write short stories, you guys, and I couldn't even come up with one.  So for 2017 I recycled that goal.  Write just one story this year.

I'm hoping that this weekly exercise will somehow help.  Fingers crossed.