Fri-day, Fri-yay: November 30th, 2018

& (1)I made it!  I don’t talk much about work, but I went through a substantial change at work this past week that I was not negative, bus was (as I said) a big change and, subsequently, incredibly stressful.  I’m immensely glad for the weekend, and for celebrating Bear’s 4th birthday tomorrow with some friends and family.

Things carrying me along this week:

I just discovered Sugar Rush on Netflix and I’m so upset that it’s only eight episodes!  It doesn’t have quite the same level of drama as some of the other cooking shows I watch, but I think that’s because unlike some shows (Cutthroat Kitchen, Chopped) there’s no “bizarre” ingredients they need to add or outrageous challenges they need to overcome, and unlike others (Worst Cooks in America, Nailed It), the contestants are professionals.  The biggest obstacle is the time limit, but still — the cakes they make!  Ahhh!  I’ve been a Cutthroat and Chopped fan for a while, but I’m seriously grooving hard on baking shows lately.  Well done cakes are just so damn aesthetically pleasing.

Also – speaking of Netflix – if you have kids, you should think about checking out Brain Child and The Who Was? Show Both of them are ostensibly “too old” for my son, but he asked me to put them on,, and he’s watched them both a dozen times now.  He can now talk quite authoritatively about germs, human cells, and the sleep cycle, so that’s cool.  I find them genuinely funny and charming, too, which is again, icing on the cake (I’ll tolerate a lot if my son likes a show and I can see educational value it it, but some of them are grating as hell.  These aren’t (I mean, your mileage may vary, but I sincerely like them)).

Guys, I don’t even like eggnog, but I tried Winterhaven Farms Eggnog at Friendsgiving on Saturday and it is chock full of holiday goodness; “holiday goodness” here meaning rum, whiskey, and brandy.  It legit made my ears burn.  It’s not something I would recommend drinking a lot of, but I could see having a holiday party and pouring out a round or two for friends.  Given the price, I might have to buy some for myself, and I’d wager my father and brother might appreciate it as well.

I’ve got some work to do on this blog this weekend, and I’m happy with what I’ve got to share — I have updated checklists for daily life, holiday checklists and organizers, lists for kids, planner reviews and suggestions, new mail art/exchanges, and a menu options to find and read my creative writing.  I’ll go more into all that later, but I’m happy to make this a more comprehensive compendium of my life and interests.

That’s all for this week.  What’s keeping you motivated?

Friday, Fri-yay: November 23rd, 2018

& (1)I’m trying so, so hard to stay positive about some changes going on right now, guys, I really am.  I never react well to change – I adjust, of course, and I’ve learned to conceal the emotional turmoil, but while there are a few situations in which I enjoy being sort of surprised, I internally freak out and hand-wring bout disruptions in my routines and expectations.  So while I know that I will be fine, I’m a little on edge.

Here are things that are keeping me cheery and distracting me from my anxiety for a while.

I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody last weekend, and I loved it.  I know there is a significant disparity between the critic’s rating on Rotten Tomatoes (62%) versus the audience rating (92%), but I just loved seeing my boys up on the big screen.  Queen were an essential, formative part of my life growing up; I can’t explain exactly why I loved them with the intensity that I did, but Freddie and his story were a big, big part.  I could easily have sat in the theatre and nit-picked – besides owning and knowing by heart the entire Queen catalogue (including several solo albums, all the music videos, and numerous officially released and bootleg concerts), I’ve also watched four separate documentaries and read five books written about the band.  The movie is not wholly accurate, but it’s just so, so good to see “Freddie” humanized on screen.  Rami Malek is amazing, and seeing so many new fans flooding the fandom is invigorating and beautiful.  Tomorrow marks twenty-seven years since Freddie died.  If I had the budget to see the movie again tomorrow, I would.

Tomorrow we are celebrating Friendsgiving at our friend Raeanne’s house, followed by game night, which it feels like forever since we’ve done.  It’s been a pretty regular monthly occurrence for – wow – almost four years now, plus we’ve done lots of other parties and celebrations in the intervening weeks, and then more recently we ht a patch where people were busy, I guess, and so it’s been a while since we’ve gone to one.  I’m excited to hang out with Raeanne and company, and have a last culinary hurrah before I start calorie counting again (yes… that’ll be another post, but yes).

My husband and I celebrated our engagement anniversary (yes, we occassionally celebrate it, still – he calls it “Ring-a-versary”) at a place called Yujo, which is actually a really good sushi joint.  Our first date and his proposal both took place at the same sushi restaurant that has since closed down, and we had yet to really find another one we liked as much.  This one was really good, and had the strongest drinks I’ve ever had in my life.  I had one (I swear!) Long Island Iced Tea, and I was smashed.  You certainly get your money’s worth.

That’s about it for this week.  What’s been making you happy?

Friday, Fri-yay: October 19th, 2018

& (1)This has been a hell of a month, creativity-wise; despite occasionally falling behind on my OctPoWriMo or Inktober prompts, I’ve none-the-less been getting them all done (just, you know, occasionally a day or two late).  I’m currently searching for a other creative prompts/marathon/sprints/challenges to complete in the upcoming year (and if I find some good ones, I’ll put up a page/calendar for them to share with you all) because I’ve been so happy with my output this month.

Also carrying me along this week:

First, some of my favorite vloggers have started uploading Christmas haul and Christmas decor DIYs.  I’m super happy, because Christmas is by and far my favorite holiday, and the one I try to go all out for, so I’m psyched to get some early decor ideas to plan for and start in on.  Bargain Bethany, unsurprisingly, has one of my early faves in this Dollar Tree Christmas DIY video.

My brother had more beer than he needed, I guess?  So he gave me some?  Free beer, hey, I’m not going to complain.  Beer is not at the top of my list of preferred alcohols, but my brother and I at least drink the same kinds (mostly Sam Adams and Blue Moon), so if he’s giving it away, it’s worth it to take a few.  I grabbed four bottles, and enjoyed one with my dinner of homemade chili tonight.

Dependent on how we feel, but Lesley University is hosting MICE, the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo tomorrow and Sunday, and it’s family-friendly, free, and Abby Howard is going to be there, so that might be a pretty cool thing to do if we have nothing else going on (or you, if you are in the Cambridge/Boston area).

Also, I’m going to recommend the British-Canadian Netflix original Hilda to you all, because it is super cute and quirky and as much as I love/as nostalgic as I am for the cartoons of my childhood, I am getting positively sick of the way people insist on how much “better” cartoons used to be.  There are so, so, so many amazing animated shows on the air/available, people!  Just, go friggin’ watch some!

Anyway, that’s it for me.  I’ behind again on OctPoWriMo (surprise, surprise) and am going to trying to bang out a few words before bed.  At least there’s the weekend, right?

How have things been going for you all?

Friday, Fri-yay: October 12th, 2018

& (1)Hey yo, it’s Friday!

I’ve been having an uncharacteristically productive week, creatively, and hope to have a good balance of work/pleasure this weekend, the highlight of which will be my cousin’s wedding tomorrow evening.  All in all, things seem to be moving along pretty smoothly, but I’ve gotta say, it’s still pretty great to hit the weekend.  So, Bear is in bed, I’m sitting here, munching on some homemade empanadas, sipping on some Grand Mariner, and enjoying the quiet.

This week:

Last week I mentioned that The Good Place was back, but did I mention Forking Bullshirt was back, and have I ever mentioned the official The Good Place podcast I love Bullshirt because I love the geeky fan discussion (from the perspective of geeky fans!), and I love the official podcast for the behind the scenes insight and how lovely and adorable the cast and crew all are.  If you are at all interested in the show, you might want to check out the podcasts.

NaNoWriMo prep is starting full-force, and I’m so excited to give it a go this year.  I’m trying my hand at… I guess it would be categorized as magical realism, and I’m kind of nervous but also really psyched to try something different from my usual lit!fic attempt.  I’ve been reading the forums the last few nights and need to find time to incorporate NaNo prep work and NaNo socialization into my schedule.

Did anyone else grow up watching a lot of magic on TV?  Because I recently found a few  old David Copperfield specials on YouTube.  Ahhhh, I don’t have a lot to say about this, except, maaaan I remember these so vividly, and I remember those nights those specials aired on TV being like, a big deal in my house, when we all settled in together to watch them.

I got a lovely compliment at work today from one of our SLPs, who had been talking to one of the school psychologists who had done an observation in one of my classrooms, and was apparently very impressed with how good I am with the kids and how well I work with all of them.  I don’t want to sound snotty – I know that I’m good at my job – but it’s so, so nice to hear someone appreciate my efforts.

I think that’s all for this week.  What’s been carrying you all alone lately?

Friday, Fri-yay: August 24th, 2018

& (1)It’s my last Friday before they, like, actually start meaning something again.  Honestly.  I meet the end and the beginning of the school year with equally mixed feelings – on the one hand, I feel better with a schedule and a routine, and I kinda sorta have to have one foisted on to me, because I suck at self-regulating.  But at the same time, I miss late nights to myself, staying up late reading fanfic, or doodling, or Facebook messaging stupid memes to my sister.  I miss pool parties and beach days and not having to cart a 30lb. coat everywhere, and not taking an hour to get all Bear’s snow gear on in the morning.

But – fall is pumpkin spice and apple-picking and cinnamon scented candles and taking Bear trick-or-treating and having weekend crafternoons where I serve finger foods and hot apple cider, you know?  And on top of that, I get a routine.  So, yeah.  Sad to see summer go, but I am pretty ready for fall.

And so much is happening!  I literally already have myself booked through September, and we still have a week of August left.  No clue how that happened.

Anyway, this week:

I guess the first big “yay” is just having such a busy schedule the next few weeks – getting back into the routine and the daily grind is always easier when I know I have non-work fun stuff to look forward too.  This includes a festival and a party tomorrow, a local feast/street festival next Friday, a trip to Connecticut next Sat., a pool party next Sunday, and a birthday party on Labor Day proper.  Throw a few more events in there throughout the month, and then cap the month off with both Welcome to Night Vale Live and Hamilton.  September will be busy.

Second, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back on August 28th.  Yeah, roll your eyes ;it’s over-hyped, it’s so cliche, yada yada yada.  I’m too old to either feign ironic interest in things I genuinely enjoy or pretend to be somehow “above” stuff that I like.  I love lattes, and I love pumpkin spice.  Call me basic.  I’ll be over here sipping my delicious damn drink (also, for further exploration into how you’re not better than me – and almost certainly have your own PSL – see Jim Gaffigan’s McDonalds bit).

Third, Barefoot wine has a sweet red blend that has been the jewel of my evenings this past week.  It’s been a while since I branched out from reisling or moscato, and it was worth it.

Anyway, it’s later on Friday than I’d wanted to get this out, but I got it out – ha ha ha!  Take that, crappy executive functioning!  What’s been good in your week?

Friday, Fri-yay: August 10th, 2018

& (1)So, while last week was technically our vacation – spent in Florida, with family and at a variety of parks – this is officially the wind-down (or as close to it as a parent ever gets).  Bear was well-behaved (for the most part) during the trip, but between wrangling him, losing my state ID, and the over-all stress of travel, I think we arrived back in Massachusetts more exhausted then when we left.

Nonetheless, it wasn’t all bad:

 

First, Florida.  Andy’s Aunt Becky was gracious enough to arrange to meet us at Magic Kingdom to sort of show us the ropes; she’s got an annual pass, and lives about ten minutes from the parks, and she gets her money’s worth.  We got a ton of professional photos done – many of which haven’t come in yet – and Bear got to meet a lot of his favorite characters:

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(I’m still waiting on Chip and Dale, Goofy, Merida, Aladdin and Jasmine, Daisy, and Donald.  But Bear really got around this week – the best ones will find their way to my Insta in fits and starts later this week).

Bear was thrilled to meet all the characters – he didn’t get super shy like I saw some of the other little kids getting, but he was definitely a little star-struck.  My favorite of his interactions was with Merida, in which he tried to convince her to shoot an arrow into her target, and then proceeded to show he a “new” way to shoot an arrow.  She spent a comparatively long time with him – we’ve got a total of 21 shots from that photo op, though I sadly don’t have access to them at the moment.  Definitely keep an eye on my Instagram over the next week or so if you want to see the best shots.

As Florida consumed most of the last week, the only other (non-Florida related thing I can think of to “yay” about is that, two years after hearing him debut the song on the Night Vale Live tour (and falling in love with it), Danny Schmidt finally released his song “Standard Deviation” as the Weather on the latest WTNV:

Oh, and I guess this counts, even though I definitely mentioned it in the Fri-yay post immediately after I bought the ticket, but FanExpo Boston is tomorrow, and my major goals are, 1.) get into the Jeff Goldblum Q & A, and 2.) get into the Steven Universe cast panel.  I’ll let you all know how that goes, but it should be a good time regardless.

How has your week been?  If you’ve got kiddos, are they still on summer vacay, or are they back at school?  I’m off until the 27th now, and my students will be back the 29th.

Until next time, guys.