Not Books, Personal, Video Games

Games I Want to Play in 2019

I was inspired by both Destiny and Avery to do this post. I used to play a lot more video games than I do now. Partly because I had more free time, partly because I read less, and partly because I had a PC in better shape than mine currently is. However!! I now have a Switch and between that and my hit-or-miss laptop, it should be much easier for me to get to games. I’ve already knocked out the main playthrough of Pokemon Let’s Go! but these are the other games I’d like to get to!

While I adored Fallout 3, I never got too far into Fallout 4 or Fallout: New Vegas (both of which I own), so one of my goals is to dedicate some serious time to both of those. Knowing me, I’ll just end up replaying Fallout 3, though.

I only started The Wolf Among Us very recently, so I’d like to finish that. The same goes for Life Is Strange and The Walking Dead!

I just started playing Night in the Woods on the Switch this week and I LOVE IT. This is going to be my current priority.

My friend started raving to me about Hollow Night recently, so I downloaded it to my Switch as well (it was on sale!).

Much like Avery, I have tried and failed to play Stardew Valley on the PC, but I’m thinking the Switch might be the trick! I’ll have to wait until I work through my other games (ha, self control whomst???), but then I’ll let myself give it another shot.


Do y’all have any video games you’re going to try to get to this year? I find them fun and relaxing and am trying to feel less guilt about playing them!

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Not Books, Personal

2019 Non-Bookish Resolutions

I feel a little iffy about New Year’s resolutions, mainly because it feels like they always fizzle out. But there are things about my life I’d like to improve, and now seems like as good a time as any! I’ve made a list of somewhat specific resolutions (things I can actually measure in some way, rather than “work out more” etc.) that I’d like to work toward achieving in the coming months. While the list may seem a little overwhelming, I’ve decided to use the “Monday resolutions” method — I’ll work to implement one of these every week or three and slowly incorporate them into my life.


Journal 4+ days a week

I used to journal religiously every single day, usually 3 full handwritten pages. I don’t know exactly when or how I fell off the bandwagon but I miss it. It helped me to remember things I had been up to, and helped me to organize myself in some ways. I’ve tried to keep telling myself to start up again, but have finally realized it may not be feasible to jump back into journaling every day! Instead, I decided I’d like to journal most days. See how that may be a little easier? This way, I’m less likely to feel like I’ll run out of things to say, and I don’t have to beat myself up if I don’t have the chance to get to it. You’ll see that a lot of my resolutions have been structured similarly.

Exercise 3+ days a week

By exercise, I mean go to the gym for 20-30+ minutes or go running outside. I have a membership to the gym a block from my office so I have no reason not to get back to this one (except for depression and fatigue…). I always feel so much better when I’m actively exercising and if I can do it before work, I don’t have to worry about being too exhausted at the end of the day!

Spend (IRL) time with someone who isn’t my sister 1+ day a week

This is an easier goal than “make more friends” which can feel daunting. But in winter especially, I really need to focus on spending time with others and not self-isolating. I live with my sister so we “hang out” a lot, but I think I would feel more enriched if I made an effort to spend time with others!

Create 1+ days a week

This can be drawing, writing, knitting, etc. I haven’t really been creating in a while and I feel so stale. My friend Marlaina and I have been trying to do drawing challenges but I’ve been terrible about actually doing them. Instead of beating myself up about it, I just want to try to do anything creative at least once a week.

Order takeout and eat out twice or less a week

I’m a takeout fiend, and it is really cutting into my budget! My sister and I recently started doing Peapod, so it should be much easier for me to eat food I already have at home. I started this rule a while ago and fell out of it, but it wasn’t actually too difficult to stick to! I just need to be really conscientious of how much I’m eating out. Usually I’ll try to save it for the weekend and even just cutting out weekdays has helped a lot!

Praise myself more

I’ve always been in the habit of getting down on myself about stuff, so I really want to focus on praising myself more! Anytime I work toward any of the above goals, or do anything good for myself, I’m going to try to praise myself for it. This doesn’t necessarily mean treating myself, or rewarding myself, but just saying some nice things to myself and recognizing any progress I’ve made!


How do y’all feel about New Year’s resolutions? Do you have any you’re going to try out in 2019?

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Not Books, Personal

Hamilton: My Broadway in Boston Recap

In mid-September, Hamilton came to Boston for a two month tour. I’ve always assumed I’d have no chance of going — I’m not sure what tickets looked like before, but the most inexpensive seats for this weekend are in the ballpark of $300 each. My aunt clued me in on the lottery, though, so I downloaded the Hamilton app and entered every single day. It became such a routine thing that I had almost forgotten there was anything at stake.

On Wednesday evening, I was headed home from work and had a notification from the app come in on my phone. I assumed it was the routine “better luck next time!” heads up but to my shock, I had won the lottery! I immediately logged in and claimed my ticket, ecstatic. I texted my closest friends (all Hamilton fans) in disbelief, I posted on Facebook, I thanked my aunt profusely for letting me know about the lottery.

Thursday morning I picked myself out a simple, classy black dress, matched with maroon leggings and black wedges. I did a full face of makeup and went into work dressed to impress. When I got out, I headed over to a coffee shop a couple blocks from the theater to read and get something to eat before the show. Around 6:45pm, I stopped by the box office to grab my ticket, grinning ear-to-ear, and made my way inside. I grabbed a Harpoon cider and waited for the doors to open.

Glad to have beaten the rush (I was among the first seated), I let the usher lead me to my seat at just past 7. I had expected a secluded seat near the back and couldn’t believe it wasn’t a dream when they brought me right up to the second row, congratulating me with a smile. I sat back and gazed at the stage in awe until the show started.

I’m disappointed to have missed the original cast, but the group of actors who performed were absurdly talented, of course. Actually getting to see the visuals enhanced the entire story in a way I could not have even comprehended beforehand. The characters truly came to life for me, and it was so fun to see the different spins that the actors were able to put on them. In particular, Austin Scott (the lead man himself) projected certain lines in a completely different manner than Lin-Manuel Miranda had. Although each character was at their core the same, it is fascinating to see how one person can be interpreted and portrayed so differently — even when restricted to the exact same lines.

Overall it was a truly magical experience that felt like it was over just after it had begun. I wish I had more to say about the play itself, but it really feels like something I would need to see multiple times to even begin to explore in depth. There were so many nuances and points of discussion that flashed through my mind as I watched, but there was no way for me to remember most of them while focusing on experiencing the performance in the moment. All I have left to say is that if you can get yourself to a production, I would highly recommend it.

Book Tags, Not Books, Personal

The Sunshine Blogger Award #2

I was nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by Rachel (who also nominated me last time!).

Rachel’s questions:

What’s the worst book you had to read for school?
This is going to sound like a cop out answer, but I don’t know! I can’t remember books that I’ve disliked reading for school, although I’m sure they exist.

Within your own country, where would you most like to visit that you haven’t already been?
San Francisco! It seems like such a nice place and I actually wanted to move there for a while.

What’s the best first line of a book you’ve ever read?
I have a really bad memory for stuff like this. Again, I cannot remember.

Do you have any tattoos and do you want any?
I have four (I keep forgetting and saying I have three, though)! There are definitely more I want, but I’m still deciding. Here are my current ones:

If you watch booktube, who’s your favorite booktuber?  If you don’t watch booktube, what’s your favorite thing to watch on youtube?
I’m an ASMR fiend. I find the videos so relaxing and try to watch them most nights before bed. My favorites are Sophie Michelle and Karuna Satori.

Which classic do you think more people should read?
The Stranger! I’m not big on classics but I enjoyed it, and it’s pretty quick.

What would you consider the most overhyped and the most underhyped book you’ve read in the last year?
Overhyped: Gone GirlUnderhyped: The Pisces, 10000%.

Would you like to work in the publishing industry, or do you prefer to keep books and reading strictly a hobby?
Part of me would like to, but I do think it would have a negative impact on my love of reading.

If you’re a writer, which author’s style do you think is most similar to your own?  If you’re not a writer, which author’s style do you connect with the most as a reader?
I think I really connect with Joe Hill’s style, which is why he’s one of my favorite writers. I just find myself so immersed in his stories.

What’s your least favorite book cover?
I don’t even know how to begin to answer this. Since I recently read The Woman in Black and had to deal with the very bad movie cover, I’ll have to say most movie tie-in covers.

Who’s your favorite actor/celebrity?
My fav celebrity is Griffin McElroy, he’s an angel and he and his wife are honestly relationship goals.

My questions:

  1. Do you listen to any podcasts? If so, what are your favorites?
  2. Do you genre hop when you read or do you tend to stick to the same genres?
  3. What’s the best movie you’ve watched so far this year?
  4. Earbuds or over-ear headphones?
  5. What’s your favorite way to treat yourself?
  6. Do you have a hobby that not a lot of people know about?
  7. Tea, coffee, or hot chocolate?
  8. What’s your favorite kind of weather?
  9. What’s your favorite mythical creature?
  10. What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
  11. Are you a pumpkin person?

I’m tagging: Destiny, Anna, Jenna, Fran, and whoever else would like to participate!

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Not Books, Personal

Podcasts Pt. 2

Last year, I shared some of my favorite podcasts. This year, I’d like to share a few more! Let me know if you listen to any of these, and share any of your own favorites that I’ve yet to include. 🙂

BRUNCH

BRUNCH with DJ Bean and Pete Blackburn

Neurotic pop culture from the original bad boys of podcasting.

Love You Like a Sister: The Podcast

Love You Like a Sister with Sam and Mindy

Do you miss the 90s and 2000s? Do you miss listening to Savage Garden on your DiscMan on the school bus while sipping the sugary goodness of Fruitopia? Do you remember expressing the agony of a heartbreak through a very passive aggressive burned CD shoved in your ex’s locker? Did you murder a million Tamagotchis? Just Sam? Cool cool cool. 

We miss it. So. Much. We want it back. Until we can convince soda companies to produce nothing but Surge, we’re fighting the good fight on our weekly podcast, Love You Like a Sister. 

Wonderful! with Griffin McElroy and Rachel McElroy

Wonderful! is a podcast for joyful and enthusiastic people that like hearing about the passions, big and small, of other people. Each week Rachel and Griffin McElroy will talk about things they love and invite listeners to write in with their treasured items of enthusiasm. Topics may include movies, television, sports, books, drinks, eats, animals, methods of transportation, cooking implements, types of clothing, places in the world, imaginary places, fictional characters, and fonts, to name a few.

Multiamory

Multiamory with Emily, Dedeker, and Jase

We offer new ideas and advice for multiple forms of love: everything from conscious monogamy to ethical polyamory and radical relationship anarchy. We combine the knowledge from our years of personal experience with the best information available and present it in a way that’s entertaining, thought-provoking, and easy to apply to your relationships.

Section 10 Podcast

Section 10 with Jared Carrabis, Steve Perrault, and Coley Mick

Their About section is empty (typical), so I’ll just say that this is an absurdly funny Red Sox podcast presented by Barstool Sports. I’ve met all the hosts at least once (Jared several times) and they’re all awesome dudes IRL. I highly recommend this podcast for all Sox fans!

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(All photos courtesy of the respective podcasts.)

Bookworm Blogging, Not Books, Personal

200 Follower Giveaway!

200follows

I’m incredulous at the fact that I’ve finally hit 200 followers! I am so grateful to be part of this community and am so glad you’ve all chosen to join me on my blogging journey. To celebrate, I’ve decided to do a book giveaway! The prize will be any one book less than $20 on Book Depository. The giveaway is international, but only includes countries that Book Depository will ship to. In order to receive the prize, you have to be comfortable providing me with a shipping address.

There are several ways to enter! To earn entries you can follow me on twitter, tweet about the giveaway, and/or comment on this post. In order to officially enter, please use the rafflecopter information provided below. Good luck to everyone, and thank you again for your support! 🙂

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Not Books, Personal

Unique Blogger Award 1 & 2

I was tagged for the Unique Blogger Award by both Steph and Rachel. 🙂 Thank you both so much!!

The Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you
  • Answer the questions
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award
  • Ask them 3 questions

Steph’s Questions:

What is the lock screen and home screen on your phone? (I’m just curious)

Lock screen is my roommate’s cat and home screen is… my roommate’s cat. Different pictures. I just love this cat a lot, okay??

What’s something you were really into/obsessed with when you were a kid?

HORSES. I was THE horse girl. Also books, obviously. 😉

What was the best birthday you’ve had?

Last year! I threw a party at my apartment and most of my favorite people were there and there was pizza and drinks and youtube karaoke and lots of laughs. I’ll cherish that party forever. 🙂

Rachel’s Questions:

Where’s the farthest place from home that you’ve traveled to?

Mexico! I went for a few hours once while we were staying in San Diego visiting family.

What is your favorite fictional relationship?  Either romantic or platonic.

Potential spoilers for Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom and The Raven Cycle ahead???

I am currently OBSESSED with Jesper and Wylan right now. And Blue/Gansey also destroys me.

What is one food that your town/state/country is known for, and do you like it?

My general region is known for maple syrup, and I love it! My dad had a sap house set up when I was a kid and we made our own from the trees in our backyard (we lived in the woods).

I tag:

Avery @ Red Rocket Panda
Ashley Rae @ Thrifty Bibliophile
Wendy @ What the log had to say
Destiny @ Howling Libraries
Danielle @ The Introverted Book Nerd
And anyone else who would like to do it. 🙂

My questions:

  • If you could have ANY (non-fictional) animal as a pet, which animal would it be? In this hypothetical scenario, there are no legal limitations and you are able to give them the best care possible.
  • What and where is your ideal vacation?
  • What is one thing you love about yourself?

Please let me know if you do this so I can see your answers!

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Not Books, Personal

Boskone 55 Day 1

Hey everyone, I went to my first SF/F convention last weekend! It was a pretty spontaneous decision. A few weeks ago I was looking at Tamora Pierce’s events page and noticed that she was slated to be at an event right here in Boston! I took a look at the schedule of events and between the awesome panels and Tammy being there all three days, I decided to get tickets.

I ended up going alone, which I didn’t mind at all. That way, I got to go to all the panels I wanted to go to and could take breaks whenever I felt like it. It was really nice! There was so much going on that I decided one blog post would not be enough. SO, for the next couple weeks, I’ll be doing a post a week about the convention! This post will cover my first day.

I left work a few minutes early so I could make it over to sit in on an interview with none other than Tamora Pierce herself. She was hilarious and had a lot of interesting things to say. She talked about why having publishers is helpful (“If I had to do all that stuff, how would I write?”), said that she is pro-fanfic (but doesn’t read them because she doesn’t want to accidentally steal fans’ ideas), and revealed how she creates such dynamic characters (bases them off of real people!).

Directly afterward, I went to a panel called Exploring Gender in Speculative Fiction. The speakers were Stacey Berg, Suzanne Palmer Julie Holderman, Stephen P. Kelner Jr., and Inanna Arthen. They discussed a lot of different pieces of media where the idea of gender, or a gender binary, is played with in some way. One of the ideas mentioned was that SF/F may be a safe place to explore things that could otherwise be considered strange or scary by some. Julie also said one thing that I particularly related to: “It takes an incredible amount of emotional energy to educate people about yourself all the time.”

I took a couple hours for dinner and relaxation before going to Evolution and Alien Psychology, featuring Stephen P. Kelner Jr. again. This was one of the most fascinating events I attended the entire weekend. Most of the discussion was based around evolutionary psychology and the potential impact of certain environments upon species. It was a lot of speculation, which I really enjoyed. There’s a lot to take into consideration for authors who are writing fictional species.

By then it was 10pm and waay past my usual bedtime, so I headed home to get a good night’s rest for the next day. I was already unbelievably excited, since the first day had been so much fun already! Next week I’ll be publishing my Boskone Day 2 post, so keep your eyes peeled. 🙂

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Not Books, Personal

One Lovely Blog Award [tag]

I was tagged for the One Lovely Blog Award by the One Lovely Wendy (see what I did there? 😉 ) @ What the log had to say.

THE RULES:

-Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog

-Share 7 things about yourself

-Nominate others (up to 15)

-Include this set of rules

-Inform your nominees

1. I have three tattoos and I really, really, really want some more. My first was a truffula tree from The Lorax, my second was a bundle of lavender, and my most recent was a nautilus. I have three or four more ideas in my head, but I need to find the perfect artists AND save up some money!

2. I have lived in New England (USA) my entire life, but I haaate the cold and the snow. I have absolutely no cold tolerance and often compare myself to a small lizard — I just want to lounge in the sun all day.

3. I got into baseball over the summer and went to around 10 MLB games between May and October. My sister and I are talking about splitting season tickets for next year because we both go so much that it just makes sense.

4. Jurassic Park is my FAVORITE movie. I love the first three with my whole heart and thought Jurassic World was a travesty to the series, but fine as a standalone movie.

5. I loOoOoOove cephalopods so much (note the nautilus tattoo). My apartment is filled with cephalopod paraphernalia and I have an aquarium membership (also split with my sister). People usually give me octopus stuff for gifts and send me pictures of anything tentacle-related they see.

6.  I listen to podcasts whenever I’m walking somewhere and most of the day at work. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I can’t even tell you how much time I spend listening to podcasts.

7. I love snail mail. I love writing letters and sending people things and recently invested in a bunch of stickers to use for letters and cards!

I nominate:

Anna @ reading peaches
Rachel @ pace, amore, libri
Destiny @ Howling Libraries
Rachel @ Rachel Reading
Kathy @ Books & Munches

Bookworm Blogging, Personal

Joe Hill Book Launch [recap]

Good morning, everyone! I’m practically falling over my keyboard after last night’s adventure, I was in such a buzz that it took me forever to fall asleep. Anyway! Onto the exciting stuff.

Last week, I was scrolling through Facebook, when I happened to see an event for Joe Hill’s book launch of Strange Weather. It was taking place at Brookline Booksmith, a local bookstore (probably my new favorite place). I had an appointment beforehand, so I wasn’t sure I would make it over in time–in part because I didn’t know what kind of turnout to expect, and whether I’d make it inside or not. Luckily, I managed to get in and had plenty of time to buy a copy of Strange Weather and to settle into my seat in the back row.


Joe’s introduction was hysterical–the employee told the story of the first time they had met him and then he stepped up to the mic. I could barely see him from where I was seated, but he was such a dynamic, animated speaker. He read an excerpt from the story “Aloft” (a graphic piece that drew some laughter from the crowd) and then spent most of the hour doing a Q&A. He was kind to all of the question askers, and told plenty of funny stories, along with giving serious answers. Some highlights:

  • On reading as an author: “If you’re not consumed with jealousy, you’re not reading the right things.”
  • When asked for writing advice (paraphrased): Don’t sit down to write a novel, sit down to write one good scene. Or one good sentence. Build up from there.
  • When asked about the shared universe theories: “Some people think this means that all these stories take place in the same universe. What it really means is my dad and me both like to fuck around.”
  • A question-asker mentioned that King name-dropped him in Sleeping Beauties: “Did he?! I haven’t read it yet!”


All-in-all it was a great experience! After the reading, everyone lined up for autographs and photos. I told him that I was blown away the first time I opened up Locke & Key because half my family lives in Nahant, MA and he responded, “oh yeah, it’s literally Nahant.” For those of you who don’t know, Locke & Key takes place on the fictional island of Lovecraft, MA and Lovecraft very closely resembles the town my mom grew up in. I’ll put some side-by-side photos below for comparison. You’ll see what I mean, I saw the resemblance as soon as I opened the comic. 

In addition the the aerial shot, inspiration was also drawn from Swallow Cave, and from the old bunkers scattered around the island. I’ll have to get some more comparison shots at some point.


Anyway, this was an incredible experience and I’m so glad I made it. I’m definitely going to keep my eye open for more events at Brookline Booksmith (Mark Z. Danielewski is doing one in a couple weeks and I’m stoked!!!). Have any of you attended a bookish event like this? What was it like? Let me know in the comments!


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