Flippin’ Floppin’ & Flounderin’

After a four month hiatus, I think that it is about time that I dedicate some effort to my writing, my blog.  I am particularly glad that approximately six months ago, I did not buy stock in the idea that 2019 is the year of me.  However, if I did make that purchase and just do not remember doing so, then I am pleased that I did not take the notion too seriously because . . . Wellllllllllll . . . I. AM. FLOUNDERING!  My current spirit animal is a freshly caught fish, floppin’ on the boatdeck.

Truth be told, it is comforting that flying fish exist.  Flopping now shall equal soaring later, amiright!?

So, what have I been up to since March, you wonder?  I have already indicated what I have been up to . . . floundering!  Gosssshhhhhh, pay attention, dear reader!

Before I outline what has been troubling me, let me share with you the one task that I have been absolutely slaying since January: the tackling of my GR reading goal!  I set my Goodreads goal at 67 books for 2019, mainly so I can finish and close out my Day Zero Project goal of reading 100 books.  I am currently working on books 38 and 39, which means, my fellow math whizzes, I have completed 37.  That translates to, “I’m 55% of the way there!”  Admittedly, I have been slacking as far as writing book reviews goes; add that to my list of slackage.

Slackage List

  • running
  • blogging
  • letter writing
  • swap-botting

and just added:

  • book reviewing

Running

It should be noted that my current interpretation of slacking re: running is that I am not at the level that I once was, but my use of “slacking” in this regard is not to imply that I have not been doing it . . .  as of late.  (Keywords: as. of. late.).  Since my NYC run in October, I did indeed stop running for several months, but I picked it back up when my first 5K of the year drew near.  I do believe the date of that was April 28th.  The Dash for Dogs 5k went well in that I ran the entire 5k, my only break being at the one water station.  I tend not to run with my cup of water because I splash and slosh.  Between April 28th and my second 5k on June 1st, I hardly ran, and I was utterly mind blown at the traction I had lost in merely a month.  Desiree’s gentle reminder, “You’ll be mad at yourself!” when it looked like I was about to walk, rang true; I finished the 5k (and with several PRs, according to Strava).  During the Law Enforcement Torch Run on June 5th, I was miserable.  I have been dwelling on how just one year ago, I was so proud of myself after the LETR, and this year?  This year, I let myself down.  I allowed myself one evening to wallow, and then I worked my way through my muddled headspace.  I have since gotten back to using the gym located at work, using my own (home) gym, or hitting the pavement.  My heart has just not been in it, and I cannot place a finger on why (or why not), but I think I am getting closer to those answers.  With that being said, when I am on the road or on the treadmill, I am happy and proud and I feel great, and I need to start clinging to those feelings, especially since I have big goals ahead!  This upcoming weekend is the Dennis Sampson Memorial 5k.  In July, I have the Moxie 5k, (maybe) a 4th of July 5k,  and the David Payne Memorial Run.  In August,  I am scheduled to run the Beach to Beacon and the Eugene Cole Memorial Half Marathon.  In September, I have the Dempsey Challenge on my to do.  Finally, in October, I am running the Maine Half Marathon.  I have also decided that I will be finding a way to run the 2020 NYC marathon (I infer “finding a way” because my entry will depend on winning a spot via the lottery OR raising at least $2,620).  So, I have not lost my love for running, nor my heart; I’ve just . . . temporarily lost my way.  (Pictures from Dash for Dogs, Safe Voices, and the Law Enforcement Torch Run forthcoming).

Blogging

My last entry was in March.  Since March, I have had copious thoughts and perspectives, but my gumption to write has been lackluster at best.  Writing this entry is my attempt at locating that luster that I have lacked.  I must admit, I have indeed missed sharing my blather.

Letter Writing

I have written no more than five letters in the last year.  I surmise that my lack of composing correspondence is due to my overwhelmed state when I look at my bucket of mail that awaits a response.  I need to sit down, go through the bucket, and determine who I want to continue writing with and who I do not.  My fear of hurting feelings or causing offense is what prevents me from completing this particular task, but I do need to widdle my list down to a manageable number, thus making the hobby enjoyable once more.

Swap-Botting

I have not been utilizing swap-bot.  My desire to swap was quelled by a member who caused me some distress.  However, that is neither here nor there.  I know that my love for swapping will trump my hesitancy to do so, especially since I do have a reliable group of people with whom I can swap.  In fact, as of today, I have four swaps that I have signed up for.  Now, whether I stay in said swaps or drop them before partners are assigned . . .   On the bright side, my lack of swap-botting has allowed me to re-engage with Postcrossing.

This entry is mainly about what I have not done / been doing, but I am brainstorming a follow up featuring what I have done / been doing.  I will get back to being 100% Amy, one step at a time.  Luckily, I took some hefty strides today.  Maybe today is the day I turn it all around.

So, when I do work my way out of my slump, will I be floundering at floundering?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: Ripley’s Believe It or Not

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Ripley’s Believe It or Not

*This review may contain spoilers pertaining to some content found in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, though it is minimal spoilage*

I am thus far finding Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the graphic novel, intriguing. It is different than other novels, of the graphic variety, that I have followed because it contains more than one story within its pages. I am one of the lucky NetGalley members who was approved to read this book pre-publication, and therefore, it was a free / no cost to me read. However, if I were to have purchased this, the multitude of stories has a more bang for the buck feel to it.

I think that the text is appropriate for most ages; profanity is implied with symbols @$! However, I would not give this to a small child but mid – late teens would be an appropriate audience, I think. (Keep in mind, I don’t have my own children. So, for all I know, I just became the bad aunt for giving someone’s kid a book they shouldn’t be reading). Some of the images are graphic (heeyyyooooo). For example, in the second story, the main character, Phineas Gage, gets a railroad spike through the left side his brain and face due to an explosion gone awry. Though the image is not what I would consider gory, it may still be disturbing to a young audience.

One of my favorite aspects of this novel is the use of color. In particular, I think that the illustrator did a wonderful job giving each story its own color scheme.

Overall, I most enjoyed the tidbits of history I learned from reading this entertaining piece of work, most of which I was entirely unaware. I rate this one a 3.5 – 4. Ripley’s Believe It or Not was colorful, interesting, and enlightening.

Book Review: Girl Logic

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Girl Logic

Not a solid 2 from me, more like a 2.5ISH.

Ehhhhh, I have a mixed bag of thoughts on this one.

I “read” the Audible version of Girl Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity so it was entertaining as can be. Shlesinger is one heck of a narrator, and her narration is similar, if not identical to, her stand up delivery.

This book is probably best for those who are single, dating, trying to date, etc. Also, the most appropriate audience would be young women in their 20s who are looking for themselves, developing who they are, and tend to overthink and overanalyze because they are still growing and developing.

The above thoughts are all that I can share, all the while remaining impartial and in keeping with Iliza’s book, as the rest of my insight would be delving into my own opinions, feelings, and ideas that are not entirely applicable to Girl Logic.

Was I entertained? Yes.
Would I tell a fellow book nerd that they just HAVE to read this? No.
Was I disappointed? Highly.

Book Review: Dracula

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Dracula

As per usual, I am seemingly in the minority re: my thoughts and opinions. It would seem that the books that are overall the most beloved, those are the ones I myself do not love. I am so disappointed because I wanted so much to adore Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and I just . . . don’t.

My hang ups:
-For a book titled Dracula, there is very little about Dracula.
-The narration
-Miss Lucy, what makes you so delightful that three men are chasing after you, huh?

Granted, perhaps some of my dislike for this title can be attributed to the narration. I did partake in the Audible version, and I more than likely should have read this one to myself. I find that unless it’s a memoir being read by the author, I tend to loathe female narration. I know that the Audible version has been touted as having an “all star cast,” but I found the characters of Lucy and Mina to be just absolutely over the top.

With only two hours left until this book can be officially ticked off my to-read list, I am confident that my rating will remain at a firm 3-stars. In reading others’ reviews, thoughts, and questions, I stumbled upon this, “Am I the only one who thought the ending of this book was the literary form of coitus interruptus? I thought the book was wonderful until the end and then it lost me.” User’s name is Rachel, but I’m not sure if I can link her profile or questions here. So, Rachel, if you’re reading this, I’m quoting you; credit has been given where it is due (:

Anyways, back to my point. My reasoning for sharing Rachel’s pertinent, Dracula related question is . . . I obviously have nothing to look forward to in the end. I am basically finishing Dracula because I’m 13.5 hours in, and there is just no turning back.

Book Review: The Escape Room

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The Escape Room

I like to leave some feedback midway through a reading of a book, and I do so for a variety of reasons. The first reason being to let the author know that I am indeed reading their work as I tend to be a slow reader. Second, I like to gauge where I myself am at as far as liking or disliking a book; this allows me to decipher when a book either goes south or takes a turn for the better. Finally, it allows me to make my notes and share my thoughts without forgetting them.

So far, I like The Escape Room. Manhattan is my favorite place to travel to, and I find myself intrigued by the stereotypical Wall Street types. This story has allowed me to live inside their world, if only briefly and with a stretch of the imagination. I do not know the validity or extent of corporate greed in NYC so I do not know if the facts and figures tossed around in this book are accurate, but what is unfolding now, midway through the book, is the moral conflict and dilemma of one of the main characters.

I have found a few typographical errors, mainly extra letters or missing spaces, within the text. For example, “off” instead of “of.” Ultimately, very minor mistakes that have no true influence on the story itself.

This is the first of Goldin’s books that I have read, and at this point, at the time of this writing, I would consider reading her other work. This story has a wonderful back and forth between what is currently happening, during the firm’s escape room exercise, and the groundwork which is established by a visit to a previous time. The alternating of past and present is obvious, and there has been zero confusion between the then and now, which, in many tales, becomes muddled between current tense and flashback scenes. Goldin has written The Escape Room in a way that makes it nearly impossible to put the book down; I find myself wanting to read ‘just one more’ chapter to get closer to the moment when the past and present merge.

In summary, so far, SO very good!

01/08 – I have finished the book, and my review has not changed. It’s a clever work, and I found myself completely and utterly absorbed in The Escape Room, longing to know what’s going to happen next. Again, some minor typographical errors that have little impact on the story itself.

Book Review: Unicornucopia: The Little Book of Unicorns

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Unicornucopia: The Little Book of Unicorns

I’m giving this book 3 stars because I “liked it.” This book can be summarized as cute, borderline adorable. I learned a lot of interesting tidbits that, though I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable regarding unicorns, I did not know. The art is bright and happy. The section(s) with unicorn crafts and unicorn recipes may be useful in my craft and swapping endeavors. What I did not love about this book was the section on unicorn worship. I think that an altar for the sake of the worship of a unicorn for wealth, health, and / or happiness is a bit excessive. Will I re-read this book? Probably. Did I enjoy it? Yes, I sure did. However, I didn’t love it enough to give it a 4 or 5 star rating. Again, it’s cute, educational, but some aspects are a bit over the top.

Book Review: Norse Mythology

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Book Review: Norse Mythology

I bought this book, and shortly after reading the first few pages, I knew it was going to be in my best interest to invest in the Audible version. I was quite fortunate that Neil Gaiman narrates his own work – what a treat! I will be perusing what other works he narrates because his narration is nothing short of phenomenal. I generally listen to Audible during my commute to and from work, about forty-five minutes each way, but that just wasn’t enough some days. I couldn’t get enough of Gaiman’s narration!

The reason I went from the physical book to the narrated version was because I was spending a lot of time looking up proper pronunciation of names and places. When I need to consistently divert my attention from my reading, I lose part of the enjoyment. I much prefer to crack open a book and lose myself in it. If you already have familiarity with mythology or have no trouble with deciphering the correct names of people and locations, then by all means, you will likely enjoy the printed book.

I have never been one to engage in much reading revolving around mythology. Honestly, the only reason I picked up Norse Mythology is because it was written by Neil Gaiman. With that being said, even though mythology is not my favorite topic, I thoroughly enjoyed this work.