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Currently | Lots of Linking and Blog Building

currently march 1 2015

Briefly | I spent a good chunk of time yesterday doing some behind the scenes blog work, upgrading my current theme, then trying to make the blog do and act like I want it too. This is still a major work in progress, so I hope you’ll forgive the mess for the next few weeks while I keep tweaking.

Time and Place | 7:30 a.m. at my desk, trying to enjoy my fourth weekend bundled up at a home.

Eating and Drinking | My second Whole30 is officially done on Wednesday and I’m really ready to be done. I’m glad I tackled this eating challenge a second time (read about my first here), since it reminded me it’s possible to eat well if you put some effort into it, but I’m just kind of over it at this point.

Reading | I just finished one book this week, The Lost Boys Symphony by Mark Andrew Ferguson (March 24 from Little, Brown). It was delightful and weird and heartfelt, although a little hard to follow because of some of the genre elements that popped up. Overall though, I loved it. Since finishing I’ve been dipping in any out of some nonfiction — The Monopolists by Mary Pilon (secret history of Monopoly!) and Water and What We Know by Karen Babine (essays on water and the ethic of place). I got no reading done yesterday — thanks blog updates — so I’m hoping to settle in for a bit later today.

Watching | The series finale of Parks and Recreation was this week, and while I didn’t love the finale, I am so delighted with the series as a whole (and especially the final season). To drown my sorrows at the ending, I spent most of this week reading Parks and Recreation think pieces: What Parks and Recreation taught me about life (Washington Post), How Parks and Recreation managed to survive for 7 seasons (Vulture), 16 Parks and Recreation moments that will stand the test of time (EOnline), and Everything we need to know in life we learned from Parks and Recreation (Head Over Feels). I also highly, highly recommend the series of interviews and pieces collected over at HitFix — they’re remarkably interesting.

Making | I wish that I were making the incredible new bookshelves that Kerry (Etymology of a Bookworm) shared this week. They’re beautiful.

Blogging | This week I reviewed Americanah and Girl on the Train, and shared the books that arrived in my mailbox in February.

Promoting | There were a couple of great posts from bloggers about the idea of being superwomen — Getting Real: We’re Not Wonderwomen by Andi (Estella’s Revenge) and Principles, Plagiarism, and Pressure: Or, Superwoman is Not a Book Blogger (and Vice Versa) by Florinda (The 3R’s Blog). If you are a blogger, read these!

Hating | Doing behind the scenes blog work comes with the territory of being self-hosted but ugh, do I hate doing it. That’s why my blog framework and design hadn’t changed in forever (I think at least four years). I’d much rather spend time reading, writing and commenting… three things I haven’t done any of this weekend.

Loving | On the other hand, I’m so glad that doing these updates means my blog functions appropriately on a mobile site. That’s been a thorn in my side for awhile.

Avoiding | I need to go grocery shopping and do some cooking today. But I want to read!

Anticipating | I got some great book mail this week — a couple books I requested, a couple I bought during HarperCollins’ Black History Month sale, and one that I wasn’t expecting. I think the first of the new books I get to read will be How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston.

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  • Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader March 1, 2015, 8:53 am

    Thanks for sharing all of those Parks & Rec pieces. I’m not ready to say goodbye to that show yet! 😀

    Good luck with all of the tweaking here. It’s not the most fun but it’ll be great in the end.

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:18 pm

      I spent a lot of time on Thursday reading about Parks and Rec so I wouldn’t have to face the ending. I’ll miss it. Thank goodness for Netflix!

  • BermudaOnion(Kathy) March 1, 2015, 8:55 am

    Yeah, I haven’t updated anything on my blog in forever either. Just thinking about it makes me groan. Stay warm this week!

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:19 pm

      I’m glad to have just spent a weekend working on it — hopefully have to do anything else for the next four or five years!

  • Teresa March 1, 2015, 9:52 am

    The lack of desire to do behind-the-scenes blog work is why I’ve avoided going self-hosted. I know myself well enough that I’d sink hours into the various options because I’d want it to be just so, which would take time away from what I really care about. I do love seeing the ways people individualize their blogs, but I don’t have it in me to spend the time.

    I’m glad to hear a good report on The Lost Boys Symphony. I got a copy in the mail months ago–a rare unsolicited review copy for me–and it looked promising enough that I’ve hung onto it.

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:20 pm

      I’ll definitely be recommending The Lost Boys Symphony to people, especially those who love books that are a little weird. I thought it was wonderfully odd.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading March 1, 2015, 10:10 am

    The blog is looking great! Tweaks can be such a pain, but the work usually ends up being worth it. Your book stack is gorgeous – I’ve heard great things about God Loves Haiti and A Little Life is my favorite book of the year so far.

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:20 pm

      I’m excited about A Little Life, but I want to start it on a weekend when I have time to settle in for a bit.

  • Sheila (Book Journey) March 1, 2015, 10:29 am

    I just read Florinda’s post. Wow. I am completely out of the loop and had not heard a thing about that. I like the changes you are working on for the blog… I get itchy about this time of year too for a make over on the blog.

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:21 pm

      You do blog updates all the time, and I love seeing them! I just don’t have the patience for it myself.

  • Leah @ Books Speak Volumes March 1, 2015, 12:40 pm

    Good luck with the blog updates! That kind of thing seems so overwhelming. I’m lucky that my boyfriend is my web designer, so I only need to bat my eyelashes to get things tweaked.

    I’m so sad Parks & Rec is over! I found the finale to be really satisfying (except for a few minor quibbles). Thanks for sharing those articles!

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:21 pm

      I could use a good web designer in my life — lucky girl!

  • Sarah's Book Shelves March 1, 2015, 1:13 pm

    I feel your pain on the theme updates! I just updated mine and am working through formatting issues with my old posts.
    I see A Little Life sitting on your desk – I’m knee deep in that one right now and love it!

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:22 pm

      I don’t even want to think about all of the weird formatting on old posts at this point. That’ll be a large, large project.

  • Justice @ manuscripts & marginalia March 1, 2015, 2:09 pm

    This must be the week for blog updates – I just finished some over on my blog, too! Good luck. The process is always more painful than I remember…

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:23 pm

      It is! There’s always something that goes awry and takes me down a rabbit hole.

  • Kailana March 1, 2015, 2:40 pm

    hm. The person that used to do my blog themes for me has dropped off the face of the planet. Does my blog work okay on mobile? I really like it still and don’t want to change it… These are not things I think about…

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:24 pm

      I wasn’t thinking about mobile until the web developers at my day job started showing our traffic from desktops versus mobile — it’s shifting pretty rapidly towards mobile.

  • Athira March 1, 2015, 5:21 pm

    Love the new streamlined look of your blog! I love doing blog updates but once I have a concrete idea of what I am going for – that’s usually where I get stuff most of the time. I hope the weather warms up for you and me soon!

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:24 pm

      Thanks! I still want a new banner and a better background, but for now I think it’s in a decent place.

  • Christina March 1, 2015, 6:04 pm

    I changed my theme four or five times over the last week. I just can’t find a free one on Wordpress that meets all my needs. I know I need to sit down and construction fiddle with the coding until I make something I want, but like you I’d much rather spend the time reading.

    I hope you’re managing to make the best of being stuck inside. February was a terribly snowy month for me; I worked from home for five days so I’m itching to get outside and enjoy better weather soon.

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:25 pm

      I’m so glad that we haven’t had snow days. Even when it’s freezing, it’s good to get out of the house during the day. We are supposed to have a blizzard tomorrow, so maybe it’ll be a snow day!

  • Jennine G. March 2, 2015, 8:40 am

    The Marijuana Nation book would come in handy for some of my students right now. They are writing research papers and a couple are using the topic of legalization of marijuana.

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:25 pm

      It might! I can’t remember the publication date, but it’s from Basic Books.

  • Trisha March 2, 2015, 9:53 pm

    I clearly need to watch Parks and Rec. Perhaps it will be my next binge.

  • Belle Wong March 2, 2015, 11:21 pm

    I hate all the behind-the-scenes blog work. Every time I roll up my sleeves and dive in to do *one little thing*, it’s almost guaranteed that, five hours later, I’ll still be tinkering away, trying to make things work. I’ve actually even thought about moving my domain name over to Wordpress.com! But you don’t get as much flexibility when it comes to plugins, and I’m so used to the flexibility of trying out different plugins.

    • Kim Ukura March 3, 2015, 8:39 pm

      That’s what happened to me too. Lots of things about the update went smoothly, but the things that went awry took forever to figure out. I’ve got some small projects left, but I’m getting close to being content with where it’s at for another long period of time.

  • Kerry M March 3, 2015, 6:53 pm

    In no particular order:

    Love the new theme (I need to do this, but I have NO patience for it… same reason I haven’t switched to self-hosted yet)

    Thanks for sharing the link to my shelves! I’m still in awe that they exist in my house.

    Congrats on a second Whole 30! I’m contemplating trying again but I just can’t give up milk in my coffee. Of all things.

    I am bookmarking all of those Parks & Recs links to revisit when I finish the series. I’m still in Season 3 and now I’m trying to savor them all so I don’t get to the end.

    • Kim Ukura March 3, 2015, 8:40 pm

      I had a hard time with sugar in tea. Something about the water at my office makes all tea taste bitter… so it’s gross without sugar. At home, no problem, but at work, ugh. I’ll be glad to be done with that.

      I am rewatching Parks and Rec and trying to savor it, but it’s so great. I just adore the show.