Saturday, December 29, 2018

Peace Out, 2018!

It's that time again...where I list all my accomplishments and successes and brag about my beautiful children and doting husband....
Oh wait...that's not me.
It's where I round up all the screw ups and the highs and lows and present them to you in a lovely bow made of sarcasm and hyperbole.

The way 2017 ended and 2018 began, I was worried.  My mother had just left the hospital and was recovering from a near-death experience and I was still recovering from her near-death experience.
Because I took on a large portion of her care, my social life took a big hit.  Thankfully, MOST of my friends understood and instead of turning their backs on me, they continued to check on me and even bullied me into lunch and shopping dates to make sure I did things for myself.  I am eternally grateful to them for their love, understanding and care.

2018 found me questioning other friendships and wondering how much energy one should put into a one-sided relationship.  How long do you keep trying?  I'm not a perfect friend, I screw up a lot but I'm hoping 2019 will offer me answers!

I had another amazing birthday party.  I am always overwhelmed by the people who take the time to come out and celebrate with me.  Even though the first place we went to was so hot we all had a massive case of swamp ass, everyone still seemed to have a great time.  We did move to a larger, cooler venue where I seem to remember singing karaoke and for that I sincerely apologize.  I blame vodka!

2018 brought me a lot of things, good and bad.  A Bad Thing was adult chicken pox.  Yes, friends, I had chicken pox! I don't know if I can accurately describe how traumatic and miserable it is to have the pox as an adult.  If you've never had chicken pox as a child, GET THE VACCINE.  Stop reading this and call your doctor right now.  I'll wait...

But yes, it was horrific and I was sick for weeks that included 2 trips to the ER in one week.
In the middle of all of this, I met a boy and I had to cancel our first date due to chicken pox which sounded like a giant sitcom-style lie to him until I sent him a picture of my ravaged face.  Shockingly he still wanted to see me and that leads me to a Good Thing...
We eventually had our first date and during my extended convalescence, he brought me chicken sandwiches to eat in bed and settled for Netflix and LITERAL chill for a while until I was strong enough for real dates!
5 months later, we celebrated our first Christmas together so the chicken pox didn't ruin everything...and maybe it helped to lift that fear of letting someone in.  I'm stopping short of being grateful for it though because it was definitely a Bad Thing.

So, my Astros didn't win a second World Series but that's ok with me.  I'm that weird person who just loves baseball, win or lose.  It doesn't change my life either way.  However, I am sad to lose Marwin and CFM...that might kill me!  Also, winning a World Series is great and all but Damn! It's hard to get to Minute Maid Park these days and I miss having my summer home all to myself!

After a scary 2017, I lived in a state of fear of losing my mother but we got to throw her a huge 80th birthday party full of family and friends and she and I were able to continue our Christmas Eve traditions and that was something I thought was over.  I am truly grateful for this.

I began a reading challenge on Twitter that I am so proud of. (#RootRootRead...check it out)  A lot of people are enthusiastically participating which makes me so happy!  Who knew people still read books?
I reached my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal and honestly, I'm surprised because I feel like I never have time to read anymore.
For 2019, I'm challenging myself to only read books I own.  I have stacks and stacks of book all over my house and if I don't start putting a dent in them, I fear one day soon, they'll find my body buried under a stack of Proust and Maugham.

I really hate talking about it but it happened and I need to acknowledge it.  There was a horrible school shooting this year.  I knew many who died, including one who was close to me.  I also knew the shooter and I'm haunted by it still.  I don't know what the answer is.  I don't know how to stop it and I don't know why it keeps happening.  I just know there are parents who lost their children, friends who lost friends and communities who are recovering and somehow we still keep going.

Every year I choose a word instead of a resolution to focus on through the year.  Usually it comes right to me but I'm still trying to figure it out.  I'm thinking of choosing the word "Peace" because in a world of constant communication, mass killings, instant news, orange presidents, overwhelming drama and political instability, I feel like we could all use a little peace.

If 2018 wasn't perfect, it at least gave me a lot;  childhood diseases, another year with my mother, true friendship and love.
I'll take it.

Except for the diseases...I'll leave that behind.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Just a Drop in the Bucket

I created a Classic Novel Bucket List for myself a while back.  You're only assigned a handful of books in school and for some people that's all they need in the way of classic novels...or even books as a whole.
But, for me, I wanted to expand my mind a little and find out what makes a classic a classic.
After I made my list, I decided to share it with patrons at work so I added other classic novels that I had read as well as the ones I wanted to read and I made bookmarks for people to take with them to check off the books they've read and check off the books as they read them.

I've mentioned it on twitter a time or two and people have expressed some interest so I'm sharing it here; my own private Classic Novel Bucket List!

Faust:  First Part by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke
Siddartha by Hermann Hesse
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Stranger by Albert Camus
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
The Illiad by Homer
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
Hunger by Knut Hamsun
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Catch -22 by Joseph Heller
Dubliners by James Joyce
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Collector by John Fowles
The Master and the Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
A Passage to India by EM Forster
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne DuMaurier
A Room With a View by EM Forster
My Antonia by Willa Cather
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
The Forsythe Saga by John Galsworthy
3 by Flannery O'Connor
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duffy
Cousin Bette by Honore Balzac
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Sophie's Choice by Richard Styron
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust