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Things Keeping Me From Getting My House On The Market

Okay – full disclosure. I spend about an hour a day doing nothing but vegging out on something. At least an hour. So if you hear me bitch about not having enough time to get my house ready? Then blame any of the things I’m enjoying during that hour. THEY ARE ALL LISTED BELOW.

(But don’t bother because I’m not giving them up. I run to counter balance the natural couch potato tendencies, NOT TO ERASE THEM ALL TOGETHER.)

PODCASTS

  • TANIS – Fictional investigative drama surrounding the mystery of TANIS, is it a place? A mental state? An alternate dimension? I DO NOT KNOW.
  • Limetown – Fictional investigative drama surrounding the events years past at a research town called Limetown. Everyone disappeared without a trace. OR DID THEY?
  • Black Tapes Podcast – Fictional investigative drama surrounding a series of stories related to the supernatural. ARE THEY ALL CONNECTED?
  • Nerdist – Chris Hardwick is an amazing interviewer and him dropping his show to once a week broke my heart. I would say just look up people you find interesting because he’s done SO MANY INTERVIEWS but some of my favorite interviews were people I had never heard of.
  • Pete Holmes: You Made It Weird – He’s a good interviewer too and often discusses spirituality BUT – he also likes to talk about sex so it can get a little weird at times (hence the podcast) but still, he’s a great interviewer and gets people to open up in interesting ways.

TV SHOWS

  • Flash
  • Arrow
  • Legends of Tomorrow – So far, so good.
  • The 100: I am only 3/4 way through season 2 and OH MY GOD THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD. I see why everyone told me to stick with it. I guess 4 episodes into season 2 it started shifting and it’s AMAZING. It’s also a good testament to women being great leads/badasses and also ADULTS ARE OFTEN TERRIBLE LEADERS.
  • Brooklyn 99
  • Modern Family

Books

  • God is not Good – This book is abrasive and I would not recommend it to any of my believer friends. But, I get really sick of the constant notion that non-believers don’t have an ability to be spiritual or the motivation to be good so the book is enlightening by showing that believers aren’t always the best at being spiritual or good either.
  • All The Light We Cannot See – As good as everyone said it was, THANK GOD. It’s been recommended so many times I was worried. It was a little slower of a read for me than some because the Point of View changes chapter to chapter so I found it easier to put down, but it was still riveting and beautiful.
  • The Danish Girl – The book was such an easy read. I read it in like 2 days. I’m worried about seeing the movie now because I loved the book so much, when originally that was why I read the book – the movie looked so good!
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Curating My Own To Read List

810uAJ8BZzLI was never great about logging books in Goodreads. I’d go through phases where I’d enter books and notes and then I’d forget for 6 months and couldn’t remember what I had read. Twice I checked out books at the library that I realized I had already read because I never marked it as “read” in my Goodreads account. But I sure did keep the “books to read” shelf up to date. It was my way to keep track of recommendations, THAT list was one I spent a lot of time with.

Until it got so overwhelming I stopped looking at it anymore.

Awhile ago…maybe ay year? – or maybe longer? – I was trying to decide what to read and I pulled up that list and I couldn’t even remember why I put half of the books on there. Did someone recommend them? Were they in a “Must Read!” list? Were they part of a book club I stopped going to? I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I WANT TO READ THAT BOOK. And there were just SO MANY.

So I didn’t read anything because I couldn’t decide.

Then I saw the preview for The Martian and saw it was based on a book and over time I heard several people express excitement because they had loved the book and I thought Well…I’m just going to read that one.

It never even made it on my To Read shelf. It was kind of an impulse. I read it. I loved it. And it was the moment I decided I couldn’t use my Goodreads shelf anymore because I need to start over.

But the problem was, I quickly figured out why my To Read shelf got so full to begin with. PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS RECOMMENDING BOOKS. Friends, YouTubers, HuffPo, every day there’s a new book I felt like I needed to read. But the new Cormoran Strike novel came out and I love those books and I love JK Rowling (obv) and so I read that one instead. Again. No recommendations, just read it because I wanted to.

And that’s how I’ve decided to proceed. I just don’t have a lot of time to read anymore. I hope to get more time once I’m not spending so much time on my house, but until then? I have to be really particular about what I pick up. I’m not even necessarily picking up book club books, honestly. I do have my next one on hold at the library – but I really wanted to read The Danish Girl and it came in first. So that’s what I’m currently reading.

I’m taking recommendations still – my sister-in-law actually recommended The Danish Girl – but I’m weighing it with a lot of other factors. I’m also trying to read one non-fiction a month too so I’m limiting my fictions. I’m keeping a VERY short To Read list in my bullet journal with only those books that I’m actually putting on Hold at the library because I’ve really thought long and hard about reading them. Things I want to read for MANY reasons. Because they’re the basis for a good movie, because they’ve been recommended by SEVERAL people, because it’s a topic I find interesting.

Gone are the days where I try to read everything everyone else is reading. AND THAT IS SO HARD BECAUSE I LOVE TO READ. I want to read what you’re reading! And your neighbor! And my kid’s teacher! And my coach! But I can’t. Not now anyway. Some day I’ll have more time and then I’ll check out that Goodreads shelf again, but until then? It’s just one really, really deliberately chosen book at a time.

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Perspective.

There’s a dead bug on the floor of my office for a week now. I just can’t muster up the energy/desire to get the broom out to sweep it up. He just sits there, on his back, feet in the air, taunting me. He had the gall to be killed (because I’m sure my cats killed him) under the lamp in the corner so he’s well lit…making him much harder to ignore. YET STILL…I ignore him. Because…why does it matter? It’s my office…I don’t care, why should anyone else?

I tell you this so that when I brag about my two recent accomplishments, you’ll maintain perspective on my life.

I also didn’t shower or change my shirt yesterday. I changed everything from the waist down, but I’m wearing the same shirt that I was wearing Sunday night when I went to bed.

Again…PERSPECTIVE.

I ran a small 10K with the kids on Saturday. We ran this last year and it’s small enough that our chances are REALLY GOOD to win prizes. And that’s how we choose races! It was a self-timed race which meant that you filled out your own time card and dropped it in your age group box when you crossed the finish line. There were at least TWO cards already in my box and I thought there might have been three but I didn’t take the time to count because I had to go hunt down Nikki and her friend on the course and help them finish. But I knew I saw 2 so I was pretty sure I didn’t win anything.

BUT! Those two won OVERALL awards (I guess! Or maybe they were in the wrong box?) because when they were calling out my age group awards they said, “Kim Holmes – FIRST PLACE. And I died! There were cards in my box! HOW DID I WIN FIRST PLACE?) But look! FIRST PLACE! That will NEVER happen again!

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Also…I made this.

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It took almost a week of planning/strategizing/accumulating books of different sizes from around the house…but I did it! It’s about 3 1/2 feet tall and I’m pretty sure it’s stable enough that it won’t fall. The top few books are a tiny bit wobbly but the rest seems good. It took WAY more of my left brain than I thought it would. But I love it SO VERY MUCH. I don’t ever do this kind of stuff but my friend posted a picture of hers on Facebook and it seemed easy (it was not) and I have the PERFECT spot for it in my office…low traffic but in sight. I had to do it! And I’m glad I did but I’m wondering if I can leave it up forever now because I love it so much.

So! Two awesome things to counterbalance dead bugs and dirty clothes!

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I Did Not Put This Book Down Until It Was Done.

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I picked up this book at 8pm the other night, got sick and couldn’t sleep, and finished it around midnight. IT WAS THAT GOOD. If I hadn’t been sick I might have put it down to sleep a bit, but I’m certain I would have not started my day the next day until it was done.

Now, you have to have a tolerance for a kinda-angsty teen girl narrator, which I have no problem with. But! A guy friend found it irritating and I didn’t recommend this to my husband for that very reason. If it had been told from the point of view of a teen boy, (I’m thinking like in The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) then it would probably be more relatable because it would be experiences he might be more familiar with. Now, I read the Sherman Alexie book and I’m a girl, so obviously genders can read other perspectives, but I just know my husband’s tolerance and I think he wouldn’t be able to get past the teen girl voice telling the story.

BUT IT IS SO GOOD.

Also? Did I already recommend The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry? I think I did already. At least I know I did in other places like Twitter or Facebook, but just in case I didn’t document it here…READ IT! It’s great. It seems like it’s going places and it doesn’t, which I loved. You feel like you’re seeing predictable plot development paths but that’s not where the book goes and I truly appreciated that. It’s a GREAT book club book.

I also finally got around to reading The Cuckoo’s Calling after my friend told me I’d like it. I had been worried that I’d be disappointed since it’s not Harry Potter, but I really enjoyed it. It took me a little while to get into it, but once I did I was pulled in hook, line, and sinker. I even bought The Silkworm because there’s 8 people in line for it at the library and I couldn’t wait that long to read it.

Next on my list: Landline and then The Land Of Stories (Book 3). What are you reading?

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She’s Going To Become Addicted To Book Signings Now, I Can Feel It.

You guys remember when Nikki wanted to enter a fan art contest for the books “The Land of Stories” by Chris Colfer – but I didn’t realize it was for 18 and over? (Read entry here.) Well, last night was the book signing event that we opted to go to as a consolation prize. And it was such a memorable adventure I just had to document it here, even if it’s probably boring to read about some kid meeting her favorite author.

(If you find that boring, you are in the WRONG PLACE. That’s exciting content around here.)

SO! We actually had a busy weekend. We spent Saturday night in Florence, AL because Donnie had a triathlon yesterday morning. We went to bed late and got up early, and then spent all day in the sun. Afterwards, Nikki and I hitched a ride back home with some friends (THANK GOD, or else we would have had to taken two cars to Florence) so that we could hitch ANOTHER ride with some DIFFERENT friends and head to Atlanta, GA for the book signing. (THANK GOD, or else I would have had to drive which would have NOT GONE WELL AT ALL.)

Nikki and her friend were so good on the drive, just playing with the tablet and talking about books and what not. It was so cool and I’m so glad we ended up finding someone to go with because I think her experiencing all of this with another child fan made the difference between a fun day and the kind of Day She Will Remember Forever.

Anyway! The book store that was holding the event evidently does these things regularly and they have a great system in place. When you buy your ticket (basically the cost of the book plus $5) you get a number and that is your number in line. So we didn’t have to stress about getting there early, because we knew what place we’d be. They set it up so that you could take pictures from a table kinda away from the line/signing table (they didn’t want you to take pictures up close, which I can understand, it would feel very unsettling) and you just went in line and he took time to at least say “Hi” to everyone and even answered questions or spoke if spoken too.

The girls were FREAKING OUT. Nikki the most. She kept wanting to “practice” what she was going to say to him. She also kept saying, “I think I’m going to throw up.” It was SO CUTE. She was a ball of excitement/nerves and it was the most wonderful thing in the world to see. WAAAAAAYYYYY better than a fan art contest.

I made her promise me she would at least say something to him, even if it was just, “I love your books.” When she got to the point where she could see him at the table she turned to me and – red faced – said, “OH MY GOD. I CAN SEE HIM.” And that moment was BEAUTIFUL. So cute and pure and fun and I just loved it.

We realized they had stopped the line after us to give him a 10 minute break and I think that worked out GREAT because when Nikki got up there, she froze. Of course. But he talked to her and I wanted to hug him for that. (They would have arrested me. I’m sure.) He asked her name and then he repeated it back (she has a tricky name, so that impressed me) and he asked her favorite character. I think she did finally say, “I love your books,” but it didn’t matter because they had a conversation and he looked at her like he really and TRULY cared about how she was answering.

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Meeting celebrities is something that is NEVER going to be what you hope it will be, but this was the best I could have wished for her. He was kind. It wasn’t too rushed (I think because we were the end of the first batch) we got pictures and she was in front of him long enough to not completely forget from shock.

I got my book signed too (of course) and told him I enjoyed them as well. He was just as kind to me as he was to her. It was just a great experience over all. I’m grateful I was forced to do it to satiate a disappointed daughter, I’m grateful we went with friends who made it even MORE exciting, and I’m grateful Chris Colfer was kind and genuine to some of his youngest fans. Fans who think he’s great on Glee and all, but mainly love him because of Alex and Conner and the world he has built for them.

“Best. Day. Ever.”
– N. Holmes