Monthly Archives: February 2018

Currently | February 2018

February 7, 2018

Anne at In Residence hosts a linkup on the first Wednesday of every month and invites readers to share a few things they’re up to currently, so I’m joining in!

finishing | marathon training. or starting to finish it, really. The marathon is March 18 so we’re really at the tail end of the training plan. I wish I’d kept a weekly or even monthly log of training recaps on the blog, though I guess it’s never too late to start now. I sprained my ankle 2 weeks ago so that’s thrown a wrench into things, but that’s a whole other story.

subscribing | to all the podcasts! I tend to listen in binges. Favorites right now are Happier in Hollywood, By the Book, and The Popcast.

wishlisting | this tote (in the black and white geo pattern) that I am hoping to buy one of these days. Budgeting is hard (but worth it).

watching | The Good Place! I’m thinking of starting This is Us but I’ve never watched it so I’d need to start from the beginning and I’m not sure I’m ready for that kind of commitment right now.

hearting | that (non-filtered) view above from this morning’s workout. Love it so much.

2017 in Review

February 5, 2018

Overall, 2017 was a really great year for me. I turned 24, moved across the country, and started a whole new life. It was the defining kind of year that I’m sure I’ll remember for years to come. Here’s a quick-fire, bullet point look back at the year for me.


January 2017

  • celebrated New Year’s in Vermont with my cousin
  • started my first round of Whole 30
  • met my puppy, Gracie
  • went to Washington DC with my mom, sister, and our exchange student

February 2017

  • the Patriots won the Super Bowl!
  • went to the Patriots parade and then got a terrible cold
  • started a short-term weekend job in the birth certificate department of a hospital
  • it snowed a lot
  • read a lot of books
  • continued to work on my novel in my writing class

March 2017

  • turned 24!
  • my friends threw me a surprise birthday party
  • officially bought my one way ticket to LA!
  • worked at a film festival
  • kept reading lots of books
  • saw Bastille in concert!

April 2017

  • moved to LA!
  • signed a lease for my very first apartment
  • went furniture shopping and spent a lot of money getting settled
  • explored a lot on my own
  • felt lonely at times and let it be okay
  • interviewed for 3 jobs and spent a lot of time on job applications
  • went to the LA Times Festival of Books

May 2017

  • joined November Project LAX!
  • went to a Dodgers game
  • got a California drivers’ license and bought a car
  • started my first real adult job!!!
  • went running a lot, spent lots of time outdoors

June 2017

  • went to Tijuana, Mexico with my coworker!
  • kept going to November Project and started to feel a bit more at home there
  • kept exploring LA
  • went to the beach a few times

July 2017

  • celebrated the 4th of July with an outdoor showing of Jurassic Park
  • got probably the worst sunburn of my entire life at the beach
  • got tickets to a pre-release screening of Dunkirk, which made me feel very Los Angeles
  • started reading more books again
  • went to Harry Potter World (twice!!)
  • went to a workout at the Hollywood Bowl

August 2017

  • did a second round of Whole 30
  • saw Bebe Rexha in concert
  • started hanging out more with people from November Project!
  • went to my coworker’s wedding
  • went to Disneyland!
  • saw David Cook in concert at the Troubadour

September 2017

  • went to San Francisco to visit my friend Mallory!
  • Ran a 10k, went to Disneyland, and went to a Dodgers game – all in one day
  • The very next day, ran a 5k and then went BACK to Disneyland
  • Saw Arizona at the Troubadour
  • went on an overnight running/camping adventure in Joshua Tree
  • fell and rolled my ankle during said overnight adventure
  • saw Niall Horan in concert at the Palladium
  • saw Harry Styles in concert at the Greek
  • went to Las Vegas spur of the moment to the iHeart Radio Music Festival
  • saw Bleachers in concert at the Fonda
  • read a lot of books

October 2017

  • had my first weekend work event
  • got a tattoo for the first time!
  • went to Phoenix, AZ for a Harry Styles concert
  • saw MUNA in concert at the Fonda
  • saw HAIM in concert at the Greek
  • went to We Can Survive at the Hollywood Bowl, where I saw Niall Horan and Harry Styles again
  • went to bed at 2 am that night and woke up at 5 am to go run a 5k with my friend Bri and people from November Project
  • went home to Boston
  • my best friend got married! A bunch of us stayed at the hotel that night and it was the most fun ever
  • flew back to LA on Halloween afternoon

November 2017

  • hibernated a lot – didn’t go too many places or do too much after the whirlwind of the last two months
  • ran a 10k and got a personal best
  • adventured with new friends
  • celebrated thanksgiving at my friend Liz’s house
  • wore a different outfit every day of the month for No Repeat November – and then never wrote a blog post on it! Whoops

December 2017

  • got a half marathon PR!
  • saw John Mulaney and laughed so hard my stomach hurt
  • saw Lady Bird, one of my favorite films of 2017
  • went to Disneyland with people from work
  • saw Cam in concert at the Troubadour
  • got sick 🙁
  • my family came to visit!
  • went to Harry Potter World, Warner Bros Studio Tour (super super cool), Santa Barbara, San Diego, and a lot more
  • spent Christmas in Santa Monica riding bikes on the beach
  • ended the year in an AirBnb in San Diego, asleep before midnight

So there it is: 2017 in 108 boxes. Between the palm trees and sunset pictures, there’s been a lot of heartache and worry and anxiety. There’s also been a lot of joy and discovery and independence. It was a good year.

January 2018 Books

February 3, 2018

I read 7 books in January! Not as many as I would’ve liked, but it was a hectic month. There are Amazon links to the books in this post, but they’re not affiliate links because I don’t know how to do that.


White Fur by Jardine Libaire

rating: 4 stars | amazon

The plot:
When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn’t graduate from high school; Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. Nevertheless, the attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore.

My thoughts:
I liked this book a lot but not as much as I wanted to. The cover is gorgeous (one of those ones that feels really nice under your fingers, too) and I loved the mysterious, almost mythical elements that the summary had, but ultimately this book just didn’t live up to the (self-created) hype for me. The imagery was really beautiful and I loved that not everything was spelled out, but I didn’t like the ending. I think I’m really tired of 1980s novels set in Manhattan where there’s a manic pixie dream girl-ish character.


Sing Unburied Sing by Jesamyn Ward

rating: 4 stars | amazon

The plot:
Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager. His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances. When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

My thoughts:
I’ll be honest. I didn’t feel like I initially got this book when I read it. It didn’t make a ton of sense to me. But then I read more online (sometimes I feel like reading others’ opinions helps clarify my own) and I grew to appreciate it a bit more.

This book is so well written. It’s heartbreaking and sad and gritty and raw and it’s not a fun read, but it felt important.


All the Lives I Want by Alana Massey

rating: 2 stars | amazon

The plot:

Mixing Didion’s affected cool with moments of giddy celebrity worship, Massey examines the lives of the women who reflect our greatest aspirations and darkest fears back onto us. These essays are personal without being confessional and clever in a way that invites readers into the joke. A cultural critique and a finely wrought fan letter, interwoven with stories that are achingly personal, ALL THE LIVES I WANT is also an exploration of mental illness, the sex industry, and the dangers of loving too hard. But it is, above all, a paean to the celebrities who have shaped a generation of women–from Scarlett Johansson to Amber Rose, Lil’ Kim, Anjelica Huston, Lana Del Rey, Anna Nicole Smith and many more. These reflections aim to reimagine these women’s legacies, and in the process, teach us new ways of forgiving ourselves.

My thoughts:
I did not like this book. A few of the essays were good, but overall it was not a book for me. I appreciated most of her thoughts about celebrities and our relationships to them. Celebrity culture is super weird – we basically idolize these versions of people that are sold to us, with no real regard for whether that’s their actual persona or not. I wish she talked about this a bit more. I will admit I did skip some of the essays about people I didn’t care much for so she may have done that in those. Also, I misunderstood the title; I thought it was going to be about her actual famous friends. That’s totally on me though.



A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

rating: 5 stars | amazon

The plot:
A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

My thoughts:
Somehow I made it to age 24 without ever reading this book! I liked it a lot and I’m excited to see the movie. A quick, easy read and my first L’Engle novel.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

rating: 5 stars | amazon

The plot:
Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.

My thoughts:
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read this book. I’m committed this year to reading the Harry Potter series all the way through (I’ve said this a million summers now and never done it, but this year I really intend to) and this was obviously the first step!


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

rating: 5 stars | amazon

The plot:
Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

My thoughts:
I loved that this book was a letter to Coates’ adolescent son. I read it one sitting and I found it an important commentary on what it’s like to inhabit a black body in America. I absolutely recommend it, especially if that’s not your situation.


One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

rating: 4 stars | amazon

The plot:
You want less. You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what’s the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller paychecks, fewer promotions–and lots of stress. And you want more. You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends. NOW YOU CAN HAVE BOTH–LESS AND MORE.

My thoughts:
I’ve been struggling a lot with focusing on one task at a time and a friend recommended this book, so I borrowed it from her. I don’t think I got as much value out of it as she did (a lot of it has to do with the business word or creating your own venture) but I still took a few good things away from it. My favorite was the chapter about setting up your ideal day. I’d love to read it again in a few months and see if I get anything else out of it.


In total this month:

Total number of books: seven
Number of fiction books: four
Number of nonfiction books: three
Books by people who are not white dudes: six
Total number of books this year: seven