2016, Rest in Pieces

So it’s pretty safe to say that 2016 was not a great year for most people, at least in terms of celebrity deaths and political/world events. I’m not particularly hopeful about the likelihood of 2017 bringing us anything except more of the same, given that Trump will officially be our president for realsies and celebrities are only getting older and we’re only creating more and more of them as our standards for fame sink lower and social media creates a false sense of closeness and a constant buzz about anyone who’s ever been considered “someone” for more than 15 seconds, let alone 15 minutes, and all of time is a man-made construct, but who knows. I’ve been wrong before. I’d be very happy to be wrong now.

Anyway, I figured rather than continuing to wallow in the muck and mire that this year brought in, I’d review it all through my various social media posts and see what stood out as actually good (or bad, but with silver linings).

Personal Revelations from 2016

  • I think this is the first year that I really, truly saw the ugliness that’s around me and which pervades my life more than I realized. Call it “woke,” call it “aware,” call it whatever you like, but holy shit there’s a lot wrong, from wage discrepancies based on gender and ethnicity (even in my field, which I was somehow blissfully ignorant to prior to a few months ago) to everyday bigotry to woefully inept information literacy rates as the result of abhorrently impractical digital literacy methods, apart from policy brutality and health care issues and student debt and the displacement of senior citizens and the abuse and neglect of animals and the deforestation of basically everywhere. There’s a lot to be done, but there’s also a lot of people interested in doing at least some of it, so that gives me a tiny glimmer of hope.
  • In a related field, I realized that deleting friends off Facebook just creates more of an echo chamber for you and while it’s undoubtedly more pleasant to not have to deal with whatever spiteful insanity someone is spouting off, it’s also potentially hazardous
  • Bernie is still bae, and will be forever
  • I enjoy library policy creation and interior design more than I realized
  • Health wise – I can’t drink alcohol or eat any nuts anymore, and migraines are a thing for me
  • I like my body even when it’s Pie Season and I haven’t exercised in months, but I also feel much better when it’s not Pie Season and I have been exercising somewhat regularly

Personal Highlights of 2016

  • Went to the Newport Folk Festival – St. Paul and the Broken Bones stole the show as far as I’m concerned, but seeing Flight of the Conchords perform live was amazing, too (and bonus points for me because attending this was on my list of Resolutions for 2016!)
  • Finally visited Disney World, thanks to my handsome husband! (This was also on the aforementioned list, as was attending a paint night, which I also did! Huzzah!)

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  • Spent a week in Hawaii with my love
  • Mostly conquered my fear of babies, but they’re still not my favorite
  • Dyed my hair purple and discovering Overtone Conditioner
  • Figured out how to actually wing my eyeliner
  • My previously indefinable “look” is called Toddler Grandma Style
  • I discovered the glory of adult-sized onesies and now own 3 of them
  • Ran my most successful Haunted House at my library
  • Participated in the Handmade Valentine Exchange Project

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  • Was featured in Librarian Wardrobe a few times
  • Saw  Bo Burnham perform Make Happy live
  • I re-read and reviewed my old Livejournal posts and came to somewhat better terms with my teenage self
  • Chelsea and I had a featured article published in PLA Magazine and I moderated an author’s panel for SLJ
  • The revival of Lisa Frank everything, everywhere, even the Dollar Tree!

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Favorite Shows Binged in 2016, in no particular order

  • Better Off Ted
  • America’s Next Top Model
  • The Office (UK)
  • Seinfeld
  • The Bachelor, the Bachelorette, Bachelor In Paradise, and Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?
  • Unreal (but really only the first season and a half – I hope they pull it together for 3)
  • Broad City
  • Nashville
  • Scream Queens
  • Drunk History
  • My So Called Life (if you want to watch or re-watch it, here’s a drinking game to go along with it, similar to the Dawson’s Creek Rewatch Project I’m also currently doing)
  • Stranger Things

Favorite Books Read in 2016, in no particular order but all linked to their Goodreads pages for your convenience

Personal Resolutions for 2017

  • Pay off my car and tackle my student debt
  • Replenish my savings account
  • Find a side hustle to stick with
  • Track my migraines
  • Be better about taking vitamins and supplements and using mouth wash because I guess I’m an adult now
  • Be social…? But probably not. I think Liz Lemon’s “saying yes to staying in more” mantra may have taken hold in me for good.

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  • Continue weeding out beauty and personal care items that are not cruelty free and finding suitable alternatives
  • Expand my Spanish for Librarians cheat sheet to include more words and phrases
  • Back up my photos and print some for framing and scrap-booking purposes
  • Keep up with my blog/photo blog projects
  • Learn to play the ukulele
  • Learn to knit
  • Bike? The question mark is because this has been one of my resolutions for literal years, so I’ll be surprised if 2017 is the year it finally happens. But it should still be on here.
  • Get into a few Podcasts
  • Try this 52 Week Gratitude Challenge in my private, paper journal because otherwise I think whoever finds it posthumously will think I’m a suicidal piece of human garbage who spends all her time whining and stressing and crying when in reality, that’s only true like half the time.

So that’s it. That was my year. Not as good as Leo’s, what with him finally winning his Oscar and also presumably still being able to consume alcohol, but strictly speaking, it wasn’t a bad year for me. We’ll see what happens next.

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Cheers!

Two-Thousand and Sixteen – and Beyond

So, since there’s only a few more hours left until 2016 begins, I decided to whip up a quick retrospective on the past year, including some of my favorite pieces of literature and entertainment. If you’re interested, scroll on! If you’re not interested, then I’m not even sure how you ended up on this post in the first place.

2015 lessons and discoveries

  • Don’t follow unnecessary trends and just dress in a way that feels equal parts authentic and comfortable and fun; accept the fact that you can love how someone else looks and not have it either work for your particular face or body, or maybe you just don’t have the time/interest/energy/inclination to replicate it (ie: all those damned beautiful hair styles I see on all y’all and will never actually do myself).
  • I’m truly horrible at remembering names and need to work on it
  • Social anxiety is a totally real and potentially totally crippling thing, and is also something I need to take care of
  • My political views align more with Bernie than Hillary; if you aren’t sure who you’re voting for, check out this quiz, but then make sure to do your own reading and research and stay current after that; people and things can change rapidly and drastically)
  • I know many, many more racist (or at least racially insensitive) people than I expected – same for people who don’t fully grasp the concept of gender equality, the direct impact of lax gun laws on gun violence, and the problematic distribution of wealth and lack of decent healthcare in the US.
  • I have been exceptionally blessed with remarkable and strong women mentors and male friends
  • The second year of marriage is better than the first ❤

2015 favorite shows (that I watched this year, obviously not only those that came out this year)

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  • Hart of Dixie
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • The West Wing
  • Garfunkel and Oates
  • Friday Night Lights
  • A Young Doctor’s Notebook
  • Psych
  • Comedy Bang Bang
  • Scream Queens

2015 favorite books (mostly grouped together in the categories of Memoirs, Young Adult, Non Fiction, and Thrillers/Mysteries):

  1. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, by B.J. Novak
  2. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, by Jenny Lawson
  3. Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny, by Holly Madison
  4. Why Not Me?, by Mindy Kaling
  5. Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, by Neil Patrick Harris
  6. My Life in France, by Julia Child, Alex Prud’Homme
  7. Yes Please, by Amy Poehler
  8. Girl Last Seen, by Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown
  9. Complicit, by Stephanie Kuehn
  10. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, #1), by Jenny Han
  11. Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library, by Don Borcher
  12. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan
  13. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
  14. Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids, by Meghan Daum (Editor)
  15. Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
  16. Before I Go to Sleep, by S.J. Watson
  17. Room, by Emma Donoghue
  18. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
  19. The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1), by Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym for J.K. Rowling)

And of course, I couldn’t call myself a real millennial with a blog if I didn’t also share my requisite list of my goals for the upcoming new year (and well beyond it, in some cases, cause ain’t nobody got time to go to Disney World AND wine country and buy a home and play laser tag all in one year! At least, not me!). So here they are! What are yours?

  • Go hiking and camping
  • Take a cooking class
  • Take dancing lessons
  • Attend a paint night
  • Visit wine country
  • Finally visit to Disney World
  • Go white water rafting
  • Play laser tag
  • Play paint ball – if you are part of a team and have room for two more, or if you would like to create a team with Joseph and me, please let me know because there’s this amazing looking adventure park in Mystic but their minimum is 8 people in a group.
  • Zip line (either at Fields of Fire listed above, and/or someplace more exotic)
  • Visit a gun range
  • Attend a talk show (preferably Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, but the Daily Show would also be rad, or Ellen if we were out that way)
  • Become an extra in a TV show or movie at least once
  • Participate in a themed half-marathon (zombies and/or mud, or the Color Run? If you have any recommendations, holler!)
  • Go to the Newport Folk Festival (if you’re going, too, let me know!)
  • Learn more about home ownership and continue down that path
  • Buy locally as frequently as we can afford
  • Volunteer more of my time and donate more to charity

Happy New Year to all y’all, biotches!