April Wrap-up

Yes, I know, it’s the end of May. But these last few (years?) have been busy and stressful, and blog-free, and I feel like I’m not getting credit for titles I read in the slightly more distant past, so for imaginary internet points, this is my April Wrap-Up.

Books

I’ve been on an audiobook kick lately, because they’re so easy to fit into daily life. Commute? Oh, did you mean ‘hour long story time?’ that’s what I thought. I usually have several audiobooks going on at once, to break up the monotony of one narrator’s voice. Actually, I find myself continuing listening to audiobooks after I get out of my car, too. I am going to make a concerted effort to read more traditional books, but the lure of getting cleaning and reading done at the same time is vair vair strong. I think that sentence may signal the death of my childhood.

I Finished:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed (audiobook) – Review coming soon, but I really enjoyed this book. I don’t usually read (or listen to) memoirs, because I really like plot and foreshadowing and literary devices and when talking about a real life these things so often take a backseat to… you know… life. But I read this one at a really good time, I think, as I’m preparing to leave on my own adventure (though not anywhere near as harrowing as hiking the PCT because come on, I’m having a hard time motivating myself to run a mile…) Strayed’s writing is really refreshing, too. I listened to her on Dear Sugar Radio this month too, and she seems to have a feet-on-the-ground, steady-as-she-goes personality that I can only imagine was greatly influenced by this hike. Yes, i am aware of the Reese Witherspoon movie but no, I probably won’t watch it because literally all that happens is that she hikes. A lot. And meets other people who are… you know… hiking. A lot. I guess I just don’t like Reese Witherspoon enough to endure that.

Men Explain Things to Me (audiobook) A review of this should be coming out soon(ish) but I will say, I was kind of disappointed. It’s a series of collected snippets/essays based around equality and feminism, which I am 100% for, but after the first rousing piece, which I believe was the one the book was named after but it’s been a minute so I’ll have to check, it kind of fell flat for me. It did spark a renewed interest in some real feminist texts, though, which I plan to explore in the coming months. Girl Power! Etc.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Kindle) – This book took me all of three hours to finish, and I cried through maybe 1.5 of those hours. I am pretty critical of YA books, especially because I expect them to hold to the same readability standards as adult books (and I’ve read so many terrible ones…) and this book did not disappoint. A wonderful LGBT-friendly YA that is sweet without being gouge-my-eyes-with-a-wire-hanger sweet. Highly recommended. Review coming soon, of course.

What I can’t finish:

-American Gods. I started this book in… February? March? I can’t even remember. I’m probably going to have to re-listen to everything but I just HATE IT. I cannot get into Gaiman’s writing style, and I cannot get into the story. It just seems forced to me. Ok, I get it, Americans worship the TV and are shallow blah blah tell me something that hasn’t been five thousand Fox News headlines already. This is now the third Gaiman book I’ve started and put down, and I’m starting to think that though Coraline is one of my favorite movies of all time, I would rather have buttons sewn into my eyes than have to finish a Gaiman book.

Man, I’m being kind of harsh today.

WHATEVER LIFE IS HARSH.

Media

What I finished:

Big Hero 6. I watched this with Canon on the day I picked him up from school early and I had to excuse myself several times because there was ‘something in my eye’ aka there was a river of sadness gushing out of my eyes. WHO said this movie was for children? WHO??? Children who are looking to incur massive emotional trauma, maybe. Baymax is now on the level of Totoro in my cuddly-giants category of characters, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to watch this again because THE FEELS ARE REAL.

Not sure exactly why there’s cross symbolism on this poster, as Scientology is a basically-secular religion, especially at its lower levels, and has zero to do with christianity but OK HBO YOU DO YOU.

Going Clear. This is a documentary about scientology based on the book of the same name, which I read last year. I am, it must be said, completely obsessed with scientology and the people who practice it. It is so cult-like, but so “modern”, it is like a religion in a sci-fi book. This documentary was excellent, and took a lot of things word for word from the book, so I highly recommend both/either of them. You will never look at Tom Cruise the same again. (Unless you already look at him like perhaps there’s a probe in his brain controlling his frontal lobe like a robot soldier. Then your perception will stay pretty much the same.)

What I want to finish:

-Mad Men (especially after reading THIS article on the possible link between Don Draper and an infamous unsolved case… You know I love those unsolved mysteries. #nancydrewwannabe). I’m now on the second season and I’ve taken a break (it’s so monotonous in its seriousness) but I’m really loving it so far. The costumes and set decoration alone are worth watching. And Joan Holloway x Peggy Olson is the best female   duo I’ve seen on tv in a while. Strong women and whiskey in the daytime? Count me in.

Quotes/Thoughts:

Chains around your wrist confine you but also keep you from collapse. This is how power is kept.

Life Events:

-My BIL Craig went to the hospital for reasons-still-hazy this month, so I spent a day with Canon, my nephew. This is not so uncommon now, in June, that I’m spending many days with Canon in my homeless state, but it was slightly out of the norm when I wrote this post draft so I figured I’d leave it in. FOR POSTERITY’S SAKE.

-Paid for my TEFL class, which I ended up completing in May. I still have to complete my TEFL online portion but getting that chunk of lost weekends out of the way was a true joy. Korea looms closer every day and I’m trying not to barf with excitement.

-Applying to recruiter (Alistair. Joy of all joys, who has ended up being vair helpful even if he did make me change my immaculate application video into something more resembling an adult human.)

-Dreaming about South Korea (see “SK Bucket List“)

-Working my ass off for my schoolwork HERE and HERE

-Visit to Floralis to see where my brother gardens every day… Post coming soon!

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