Sunday, December 7, 2014

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The Sunday Currently #3

I am currently...

READING this and that. I'm working on Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida because I recently read Mourning Diary (which I'd obsessively tracked after a reading of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking). I'm sampling Levels of Life by Julian Barnes because I just finished The Sense of an Ending. I'd attempted the latter early this year but had fallen into that post-holiday slump and gave up. I picked it up again following an enthusiastic recommendation from a young friend. It turned out to be quite the ruminative experience.

LISTENING to somebody's door chimes tinkling in the wind. There's a reason it's called The Calm Before the Storm. It's unnaturally quiet and our primal senses are tingling. We are unnerved because we sense the menace beneath the stillness.

WATCHING How to Get Away with Murder. I just did catch-upsies this afternoon. HOARY SHIT. I'm loving The Flash (Barry is golden; Iris has to go) but during the crossovers this week, I found myself on Ollie's team. And, as always, Supernatural. When I watch it these days, I imagine a seasoned veteran doing their thing, just going with what works. Which is pretty much what Sam and Dean are doing. I started watching this show in 2006 and have stayed loyal even through brunette Ruby and, ugh, the leviathans. It's been a few weeks, but Episode 200 was a nostalgic mo-fo, a love-letter to the fans. It really got me in the soft spots. In response, I watched the pilot and a few other favorites to get some real reminiscing on. Behold, "A Single Man Tear"!

WRITING stuff for work. What of the thesis, you say? It's nearly there. After all the urgency the past few months, I've puttered out a little. I suppose I could have pushed harder. That's all I'll say on the matter because I'm pretending I don't have any crippling issues about not making it this semester. Something about trying not to feel like a failure so I can function.

THINKING about doing some laundry.

SMELLING lemon juice and cilantro.

LOVING my brother. I was home to visit him recently - we ate veggies and tacos, talked about our folks (ha-ha), watched Guardians of the Galaxy on DVD, and basically had a smashing good time. Recent logistical arrangements have been challenging but he's just been taking it on the chin. I could learn something from him.

HOPING everyone is safe.

WANTING to finish school.

WISHING my soul was a little lighter and brighter.

WEARING a shirt with a bunch of cheeky owls printed on.

FEELING like I could use a joke.

The Sunday Currently is a weekly series hosted by Lauren at siddathornton. Write your own post (because lists are therapeutic) and link back at siddathornton to keep the love flowing. Have a fantastic week, wombats.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

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The Sunday Currently #2

I am currently...

READING One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I was telling my friend Joyce that Gabo's writing has been especially appealing while I've been writing my thesis. It may be some left-over feelings from reading Love in the Time of Cholera, which was such a pleasant surprise. For years, I'd been under the impression that it was sad and I usually put off sad things. And then Gabo died. So I read it and found that it was funny and loving and epic (but not in an exhausting way). I've also taken Jane Eyre down from its place on my shelf because I keep being led back to it. So, this and that while I climb my mountain.

LISTENING to Casualties of Cool by Casualties of Cool. It's making me feel things. I'll get back to you when I figure out what they are. Also, some Pharrell Williams and Iggy Azalea. There's also been a lot of The Drums in my ears because Jonny Pierce at Wanderland 2014.

WATCHING Showtime's Penny Dreadful. I'm compelled to watch anything featuring Eva Green even if she's just too powerful and unsettling a performer that, sometimes, I want to gouge out my eyes (Episode 2, I'm looking at you). The show itself is breathtaking: gorgeous shots, wonderful actors, jaw-dropping reveals. Plus, all that sex and gore. You can't go wrong. I finished the first season of CW's Reign a couple of weeks ago. I watched it mostly for Adelaide Kane whom I wished there was more of on Teen Wolf. The background history is also very interesting, but that's out the window in this 16th century Gossip Girl. There was one episode in which an instrumental version of Royals by Lorde was playing during a ball. Yes, I know, it obviously needed to be done. Let us be comforted by their small nods to actual historical events (e.g. the wooden splinter fatally lodged in King Henry's eye).

WRITING my thesis. It occupies most of my time these days. Contrary to prevailing belief, I have a desired endpoint in mind. However, things aren't going as smoothly or as quickly as I want and/ or need. It was disconcerting to wake up this morning and realize it's already June when I originally imagined myself defending in May. I guess I'm blogging now out of nowhere to try and calm down and reassure myself that I can write a decent sentence.

THINKING about my thesis. There's a corner of my brain permanently devoted to my unfinished manuscript.

SMELLING chocolate. I just obliterated a bar of hazelnut milk schokolade. I am reminded of the scene in X-Men: First Class where Kevin Bacon's Sebastian Shaw offers some to the young Erik Lehnsherr before threatening to shoot his mother. (Hey, have you seen Days of Future Past? More McFassy, I say. Also, was it really about Mystique? Or JLaw? Haha.)

WISHING I wasn't so distractible.

WANTING to finish my thesis. To write faster. To take more photos. To save more. To read more.

HOPING I get through June without buying a book. I'm on a book-buying moratorium (again) this month to minimize expenses. It's evolved into a sort of bet with friends at work. If I cave, I have to buy them grilled burgers for lunch. If I manage to control myself for a month, they buy me, well, a book. I don't know how this is going to work, you guys. Instant Gratification is my middle name.

LOVING iOS photography apps. I recently rejoined Instagram, mostly to take pictures of books and Dog, but I've been having a blast with camera and post-editing apps. I also inherited a sweet little Lumix so we'll see how that goes. These beautiful things have been soothing in this generally trying time.

WEARING my headset. Trying to cultivate peace in my otherwise unstable headspace.

NEEDING to get my shit together.

FEELING good about this week.

The Sunday Currently is a weekly series hosted by Lauren at siddathornton. Write your own post (because lists are therapeutic) and link back at siddathornton to keep the love flowing. Have a fantastic week, wombats.


Friday, January 10, 2014

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My 2013 in reading

I spent a lot of 2013 working and trying to get my thesis off the ground. There were months when things got so tight, it was a wonder I got any reading done at all. I would read a chapter or two before falling asleep or immediately upon waking up; I would read on jeeps, in airplanes, or in line to pay the bills; basically during any stolen quiet moment. I turned in some serious reading while waiting at the airport. On a field trip to Bantayan Island in Cebu, I took a chunk off the tome that is The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Now, I associate travel to the island with certain chapters of that book.

This year, I stopped worrying about the number of books I could finish. I took on books that challenged me (in terms of both scope and scale) and was rewarded for it.

Read the rest of my year-end review on The Exchange, which has been resurrected over at Wordpress. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

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Reading Goals 2014

Happy New Year, multiverse! In an attempt to bring some semblance of control over my life (*cough, thesis*), I've decided to sign up for a couple of reading challenges this year.

A random photo of one of my shelves, which I organized last summer, also as an attempt to regain some control in the academic chaos.

My reading habits aren't generally very stiff - I read whatever I'm in the mood for. But the motivation for this year's rigor is to keep my obsessive book hoarding (a major obstacle to a financial happy-ever-after) in check, and to put a dent in the ridiculous to-read pile (I'm slightly ashamed of how many books I amassed last year).

The 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge hosted by Bookish is the umbrella challenge for which I shall strive to focus my energy on books acquired in 2013 or earlier. I've committed to reading 31-40 books (36 at the moment). A few of the titles may change depending on where my reading takes me, but I'll make sure to only replace them with books that have similarly been gathering dust on my shelves.

The books in the TBR Challenge overlap with most of my books for the 2014 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge, which is hosted over at Escape with Dollycas; and those for the New Author Challenge at Literary Escapism, in which I'll be trying for 15 new authors.

On Goodreads (add me up!), I've challenged myself to the standard 52 (one book for each week of the year), so the 35 or so titles covered in my three reading challenges should fit in nicely. It also leaves me some room to read outside of my TBR pile. Guys, come on. We all know I'll eventually find my way to a bookstore. Baby steps.

If you're doing your own reading challenges this year, let me know in Comments!
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