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Currently | The Slide into Summer

Around Here | Life continues to be pretty chill, what with the not having a job thing. I’m starting to gear up my job search a little more, which I think is good since the whole process takes such a long time anyway. I’m focusing on public sector or nonprofit communications jobs in the Twin Cities metro area, which is a decent-sized pool to work with, it seems.

Reading | I got a lot of reading done over my Fourth of July holiday at the cabin, but things have been pretty slow since then. I blame random surfing on the Internet — I am not good at just putting my phone away to read without distraction, but it’s a thing I want to work on. Anyway, over the holiday I read Chemistry by Weike Wang (a “coming-of-age novel about a young female scientist who must recalibrate her life when her academic career goes off track”) and Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld (a novel about twin sisters who may or may not be psychic, and what happens after one makes terrifying public prediction).

Since then, I’ve been very slowly working through Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (a novel about African immigrants trying to make it in America in the shadow of the 2008 economic collapse) and The Power of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith (nonfiction about finding meaning and purpose in our everyday lives).

Watching | The most recent season of iZombie finally made it to Netflix! I binged the 13 episodes in a single day, and I can’t bring myself to feel sorry about that. Rose McIver, who plays the main character, Liv Moore, is just a treasure, and so funny in every episode. I am also really digging two family comedies — Fresh Off the Boat and Speechless.

Listening | New podcast alert! Sam Sanders, formerly of the NPR Politics team, is hosting a new podcast called It’s Been a Minute. On Tuesdays he does a deep dive interview or exploration of a single topic, and on Fridays it’s more of a conversation with guests about the news and culture of the week. I’ve only listened to the Friday episodes so far, but I like them!

Drinking | For my birthday last weekend we had two champagne cocktails, a Peach-Orange Bellini and a French 75. Both were super tasty, and also really boozy.

Obsessing | For like the last month I’ve been falling down many strange rabbit holes related to my bullet journal. A basic bullet journal is just a notebook with different types of lists — future plans, monthly and daily to dos, collections — that you just keep all in one notebook. But there are a ton of people who do more than that — really elaborate spreads, stamps, journaling, photos, etc., making their bullet journals into a productive and creative space. I am not artsy, but I’ve been really into looking at art journaling supplies, brush lettering classes, stamps and stickers… I’m falling in deep.

Loving/Hating | Minnesota is moving into the hot, humid weather that characterizes the middle/end of summer. It’s making it harder to be outside, but I’m trying to get some sun and enjoy our patio on the slightly cooler days and evenings.

Enjoying | The Fourth of July fireworks display on the lake at our cabin was pretty epic this year. We were really, really close, and I ended up getting a lot of great pictures — not typical for a fireworks display!

Feeling | Times around events, holidays, or anniversaries are so strange for me. There’s this weird dread/anticipation leading up to the event (currently, my birthday) where I think about Nate a lot, and how things would be different if he were here, and how every time something changes it takes me further away from him and our life together. I haven’t figure out what to do with those feelings, other than feel them and be open to people near me about why I am acting so strange. Grief is hard.

Anticipating | For my birthday, my sister signed us up for a cooking class where we are going to learn to make donuts. Donuts! Could there be anything more exciting? I don’t think so.

What are you reading, watching and listening to this fine summer season? I’d love to hear in the comments!

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Sarah's Book Shelves July 13, 2017, 6:34 am

    Oooh – donut class sounds so fun! Will be interested to hear what you end up thinking of Behold the Dreamers. I read it last year and liked it fine, but didn’t really get the level of hype it received.

    • Kim July 17, 2017, 4:30 pm

      I’m about 2/3rds through and I am not sure what I think of it. It’s mostly bumming me out, which I guess is the point? I want to finish now that I’m so far in, but I’m perplexed.

  • Beth July 13, 2017, 6:47 am

    The one and only time I made donuts (with my grandmother), we almost burned her kitchen down. Be careful out there. 🙂

    • Kim July 17, 2017, 4:30 pm

      Will do! It’s with a local kitchen supply store, so hopefully they can keep us safe 🙂

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) July 13, 2017, 7:34 am

    I have a good friend who can leave her phone for hours on end and I so admire that. I’m like you – pick mine up constantly – and I’m not sure what I think I’m going to miss. Good luck with the job search!

    • Kim July 17, 2017, 4:31 pm

      I feel like I’m attached at the hip, ugh!

  • Christine July 13, 2017, 9:27 am

    I’ve always wanted to take some cooking classes, but I don’t want to take one that teaches something I already have the skills to make- a donut class would be perfect!

    • Kim July 17, 2017, 4:32 pm

      We looked at a lot of them and came to the same conclusion — it’ll be fun to learn something we have no idea how to do 🙂

  • Drew July 13, 2017, 11:34 am

    Grief IS hard, and slippery and dodgy and heartbreaking — but when the light moves just so and the day tilts just a bit, it can also break you open.

    • Kim July 17, 2017, 4:33 pm

      That’s really true, it’s complicated.

  • Michelle July 14, 2017, 9:14 am

    Grief is a process, as I’m sure you know. The first year is particularly hard as you experience all of those big dates and anniversaries without your loved one for the first time. I don’t know if it gets easier after that or if you better know what to expect. It just gets different after that year. The key is to remain gentle with yourself and be open to all of your feelings. Remember the love and support you have and take it one day at a time.

    On the positive side, a donut class? That sounds like SO much fun!! And your vacation at the lake sounds perfect. I will say that our summer has been pretty delightful temperature-wise lately. We have had a few brutal days but more cool and rainy than anything else. I am not complaining. Like you, I know all too well how miserably humid and hot summers in the Midwest can get!

    • Kim July 17, 2017, 4:33 pm

      Thanks Michelle 🙂

  • Stephanie July 14, 2017, 9:15 pm

    A belated Happy Birthday! *hugs* 💜

  • Jenny @ Reading the End July 15, 2017, 12:52 pm

    Many hugs to you, Kim. I hope that you are surrounded by loving people to support you. It’s really hard to navigate, and you are managing a terrible situation with grace and courage.

    French 75s, also, are magical. I love them. The only reason I don’t make them all the time is that I get tired of squeezing lemons for the lemon juice, and the lemon juice you get in a little plastic jug is sweetened so it makes the French 75 less delicious. SOB.

    • Kim July 17, 2017, 4:34 pm

      We just used the little plastic jug lemon juice, I didn’t even think of the extra sugar. We may have to try again, on a smaller scale, with fresh lemons… so good.

  • Julie Merilatt July 16, 2017, 5:37 pm

    I luuurv French 75s!

  • Tina Culbertson July 19, 2017, 3:05 pm

    Holy cow, a French 75? Count me in! Sounds like you had some great books lined up, some are also on my list.
    Happy birthday (belated). I wish you much luck with the job search and I hope you land one that challenges you.
    Bullet journaling is great but I don’t use stickers. I do have lots of colored pens,

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