Currently | Kicking Off 2014 Right

by Kim on January 5, 2014 · 35 comments

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Time // 11:15 a.m.

Place // My desk in my updated office, which now includes an Expedit shelf and Alex chest of drawers from IKEA. A week from now it will also have a new wireless printer that I got for Christmas.

Eating // Fruit snacks! I’m mostly biding my time until I can eat lunch, homemade chili.

Drinking // A new tea blend, Republic of Tea’s holiday spice blend, Comfort and Joy.

Reading // I kicked off the new year with a great week of reading. I finished three books: I Don’t Know by Lean Hager Cohen, Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr., and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. This morning I started another book, Trapped Under the Sea by Neil Swidey (February 18 from Crown). They’ve all been great so far, which I hope means good things for my reading in 2014.

Watching // As a result of the holiday hiatus, I finished watching the final, six-episode season of Nikita and started watching Arrow, a CW superhero show that my sister recommended. I didn’t love the way Nikita had to wrap up so quickly, but I’m glad the characters got a thoughtful send off. Arrow is ok so far, but I am excited that my favorite shows are coming back. The boyfriend and I really liked the new episodes of Community, and I’m looking forward to Parks and Recreation, New Girl, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Sleepy Hollow.

Listening // I’m in love with the playlists for every mood that Spotify recently added. The Mood Booster list is perfect for staying upbeat when doing boring things like washing dishes.

Blogging // Last week was very heavy on posts about blogging, including a look back at my reading stats for 2013 and a look forward to my plans for 2014, tackling my unread books. This week, I’m hoping to get a couple of reviews posted — depends how much I can get written today!

Promoting // Yesterday I posted about another year-long workshop I joined, One Little Word by Ali Edwards. Choosing a word — curate — and working on the prompts for January have really helped solidify the direction I want to go in 2014. I’m really excited about this project.

Hating // I’ll give you one guess… if you guessed “the weather” you are correct! It’s so cold in Minnesota that the governor cancelled school state-wide for tomorrow. That hasn’t happened since 1997. Le sigh.

Loving // I organized my shelf of review copies this week and I am so happy to have that project done. I’d let it slide a bit in the end of 2013, but this year I pledge to be more organized!

Avoiding // I need to do the dishes… and I don’t want to.

Anticipating // This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year, Youth in Government! YIG is a program I’ve been involved with since I was a high school student. Every year in January about 1,500 kids gather in the Twin Cities to put on a mock legislative session. I work with the students in the Youth Secretary of State’s Office, and we have a great crew this year. I leave for YIG on Wednesday night and will get back home, exhausted, sometime on Sunday night. It’s a ton of work, but so rewarding to give back to a program that gave me so much when I was a teenager.

I could gush about YIG all day… but I won’t. Happy Sunday, everyone. What are you reading today?

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Kailana January 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm

I don’t think school here is ever cancelled for the wind chill. I bet the kids here are very upset with the kids down there. :) Unless we get a storm, they have to go back to school tomorrow. Sounds like your 2014 is off to a good start!

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:29 pm

The last time I remember school being called state-wide for weather was like 1997. It was called locally for cold/wind a few times last year, but that’s because we’re on the prairie and windy days can really mess with country roads.

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Jenny @ Reading the End January 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Keep me posted on how Arrow turns out pls! I am watching Nikita now — it’s a good show to watch while I’m cross-stitching — and I want to have something in mind to watch when Nikita is done. Arrow is on my list. I hear it starts slow and then becomes good.

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Arrow is a lot like Nikita — bit bad conspiracies, an emotionally contained main character and at least one major shoot out per episode. I’m about eight episodes in and, so far, it’s improved with each episode. I think it’s a good show to half watch, which is a lot of how I watched Nikita.

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Bryan G. Robinson January 5, 2014 at 2:36 pm

I think our schools might be cancelled here for wind chill on Tuesday too. It’s going to be very cold in this part of Pennsylvania too, not as cold as up where you are, but still for us, not looking good. I know you might be used to weather that cold up there, but I can’t remember the last winter it was this cold. AND I don’t want to remember this one either. :)

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm

We’re used to cold, but I honestly can’t remember a winter where it has been this cold for this long. It really been frigid almost constantly since December. Usually we wait until late January for it to get this bad. Ugh.

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Wendy @ Wensend January 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Woah, yuo got so much reading done already! Are you a fast reader? I’ve already finished reading one book this year and I’m now reading my second, but it isn’t going as fast as I’d hoped..

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm

I am a pretty fast reader. The pace is a little deceptive — I Don’t Know is only about 120 pages or so and I read a chunk of Empty Mansions in 2013 — but I’m still happy to be reading regularly after a slump-ish end to 2013.

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Florinda January 5, 2014 at 4:22 pm

I LOVE Arrow–it’s so much fun, and it gets progressively better (in that CW way, that is). I’m glad your sister got you going on it! And yay for the return of Parks and Rec, which we are finally up-to-date with.

I really liked I don’t know when I read it back in the fall–it’s kind of odd, but both thoughtful and thought-provoking, and I really appreciated its perspective.

Everyone’s a picking a word for 2014…except me, up till now. I think I’m about to be swayed, but I want to give it a little more thought.

Stay warm! (Or come visit me in Southern California–it’s sunny and in the 70s out here!)

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm

I do think Arrow is getting better. I’m enjoying it more now that I’m eight episodes in than I was in the first few. I hope the upward trajectory continues!

I hope you are serious about a visit to SoCal! One of my goals for the year is to take a long weekend trip somewhere warm in February or March as a way to preserve my sanity. SoCal would be perfect.

I’m also curious if you choose a word, and what the word is. Keep me posted!

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Florinda January 7, 2014 at 3:52 pm

I am COMPLETELY serious. We even have a proper guest room in the new house :). (And, of course, WiFi and Netflix.) You know how to find me when you’re ready…

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Amanda January 5, 2014 at 5:47 pm

I did Girl’s State in high school, which I think is really similar to YIG. As a huge poli sci nerd, I love programs like that!

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Yes, Girl’s State is a lot like YIG! I never did that one, but I’ve heard the comparison before.

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bermudaonion (Kathy) January 5, 2014 at 6:14 pm

I feel bad for whining about the cold weather here when I know it’s so much worse in most of the country but I just can’t help it. I am tired of winter!

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm

We’re all tired of winter. I’m ok with a collective whining about it :)

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Words for Worms January 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Every time I feel like complaining about the weather in Illinois, I remember that I could be in Minnesota and shut my mouth. Stay warm!

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Thanks! Feel free to complain. I don’t really begrudge anyone (except people who complain about it being too warm ;) )

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Esme January 5, 2014 at 8:15 pm

I do not envy you the weather. I was in Canada for Christmas and am done with the cold and snow. It is hot here in So. Cal. I do miss snow days.

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm

If I could convince my family to move to somewhere warm, I’d be there in a minute.

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Belle Wong January 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm

We are expecting a lot of snow here, too. I like the word of the year idea – I did it last year but haven’t thought about it yet this year. Curate is a good word. I just started The Rosie Project, and will be reading The Ghost Map in nonfiction.Empty Mansions is on my to-read list, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm

The Ghost Map is a fun book. I enjoyed that one.

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Kelly January 5, 2014 at 8:36 pm

3 books in one week – what a great start to your year!

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm

It was a great start! I’m sure the pace is not sustainable, but I’ll take it for now!

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Steph January 6, 2014 at 2:12 am

I just recently got a copy of the Fowler, so I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it so much. I know most people didn’t think much of her other popular book, The Jane Austen Book Club, but I actually enjoyed that one too and have always wanted to read more by her. When this one started to get so many great reviews I mentally flagged it, but it’s always nice when someone I trust says a book deserves its accolades!

Please keep us posted about Arrow. I have heard people say that the second season is better than the first, but I’ve only caught a snippet of it on tv and, suffice to say, was not encouraged to keep watching. Now that we’ve slowed our traveling down and are basing ourselves in Ho Chi Minh City for a few months, however, I’m looking for some new shows to watch (in addition to catching up on ones I already love).

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm

I picked this one up because Jenny (Reading the End) had it on a best of list and I was intrigued. I thought it was great, really interesting.

I’m midway through S1 of Arrow and it does get better as it goes. I’m hoping it keeps improving. It does have that CW action show problem where EVERY episode needs to have some sort of fight scene, but I’m trying to let that one go.

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Ciska @ Ciska's Book Chest January 6, 2014 at 4:28 am

Hope the weather will turn for the better soon. Enjoy YIG!!

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Thanks, me too!

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Sandy January 6, 2014 at 6:10 am

I’m down here bitching about the heat! It IS wrong, you have to agree, to sweat in January. I think we are getting a “cold blast” (its all relevant) tonight though, so yay for jeans and jackets. My husband told me that there hasn’t been a deep freeze like this in Minnesota for 20 years…my sister lives in Minneapolis so we are hearing her stories. Stay warm and keep reading those great books!

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Fair enough, sweating in January is a problem, although it’s a problem I wish I had :) I hope some of this cold weather comes your way soon!

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Vasilly January 6, 2014 at 9:16 am

Which Nikita show did you watch? The CW had a new remade version. I can’t wait to read your thoughts on I Don’t Know. Stay warm in this crazy weather.

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm

I watched the new CW version. I’ve never watched the original. It got a little off the rails near the end, but I think they wrapped things up pretty well.

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susan January 6, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Sounds like a good reading start in 2014 for you! Our weather is always cold, ha. What I hate is all the gear you have to put on & put off all the time, bah. It drives me nuts, as a Californian lost in Canada. Best wishes in 2014. http://www.thecuecard.com/

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Kim January 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Yeah, cold weather gear is a pain. They key is still layers… it’s just a lot to tote around!

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Jeanne January 10, 2014 at 8:25 am

I loved We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and keep wanting more people to read it so we can talk about it.
My whole family likes Community. We sometimes play “theme bananagrams” where we have to make at least one word related to a theme. The last one we tried was Community, and I got to make the word “Deantastic.”

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Kim January 14, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Deantastic! That is awesome. The first few episodes of this new season have been so, so funny. I’m really enjoying it again.

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