Hello everyone! Today, I thought I’d share all the fun and entertaining content I’ve enjoyed this month.
There’s quite a bit of stuff to talk about actually! Here’s what I’ve been up to.
I found March’s bujo pages to be much easier to complete than February’s. I had a ton more ideas! But my puppy niece is visiting and she doesn’t like when I’m in my home office too much, so she was unimpressed by it all.
As always, I’m listing all the books I’ve finished since the previous Lively post below with their star ratings. All thoughts on them are saved for future (or even past!) Mini Book Review posts but those will be linked below if so. I won’t include any books that I didn’t finish although I’ll be sure to add them into the review posts.
This month I read 10 books.
- A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas, 4.5 stars
- The Young Queens by Kendare Blake, 3.25 stars
- The Oracle Queen by Kendare Blake, 3.25 stars
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed, 3.75 stars
- Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, 3.25 stars
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, 4.25 stars
- The Tempest by William Shakespeare, 3.75 stars
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, 4.0 stars
- The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris, 4.5 stars
- Nightbooks by J.A. White, 3.75 stars
I watched the documentary Untouchable on Hulu this month. It centers around the Harvey Weinstein scandal, featuring some of the survivors of Weinstein’s abuse. I thought the documentary was pretty interesting but I didn’t think it fully gave me a sense of how influential Weinstein was. It tried at the start, explaining a bit of the Weinstein brother’s background and rise to fame, but overall I didn’t think I fully understood why he was considered to be someone that people wouldn’t want to anger. Either way, it was good that the survivors got to speak out in the documentary.
I also watched Operation Varsity Blues on Netflix. This documentary followed the university admissions scandal and shared it in a pretty dramatized way. I think that if someone didn’t follow the news too closely about this one it would be informative but it didn’t really present anything new. I will admit it was infuriating though at the end seeing that some of those parents only got like three months in jail? And it didn’t really say anything about the students either. I would assume that the universities would kick them out or take away their degrees somehow but it didn’t say anything about them. Also, the guy that orchestrated the scams didn’t even get jail time or anything at all yet because all the parents and such need to be tried and he has to go last basically, which is also annoying. It was okay I guess, but I think it tried too hard to be dramatic over informative.
I finished Madam Secretary on Netflix recently! I won’t spoil it and save those thoughts for the next “TV shows I’ve been watching” post that I have planned for next month but I loved how it ended. I hadn’t fully expected it was the end though going into it, because for some reason I thought there was another season after that. Once I realized that it was the last season, I didn’t expect that it was a short season! So the end really snuck up on me but I really enjoyed it anyway. I also liked that a lot of the favorite characters who hadn’t been so heavily featured got to come back too. It was a really fun time and I adore the show, even if I took forever to get through it.
I continued watching Younger on Hulu this month. I’m into the second season and Liza finally told her boyfriend that she’s in her 40’s. I was kind of surprised as it seemed so early for Liza to come clean, but maybe the break up soon? Well they kinda did and got back together, but I feel like if the whole idea is that she’s pretending to be young so if she stops pretending to the key characters then what’s the point. I don’t think the show is too long in general so I think that might explain part of why she started to reveal her secret a bit.
I started watching House of Cards on Netflix. I had meant to watch The West Wing because I heard good things about it but it turns out it was removed from Netflix pretty recently. Seriously, why am I paying for Netflix if everything has been removed once I finally decide to watch??? Anyway, I only got about an episode or two in before I felt like giving up on House of Cards because I thought it would be more like Madam Secretary or Designated Survivor but it’s more like a thriller/mystery feel I think. I felt pretty meh about it but I might try to give it another chance.
I continued to watch Designated Survivor on Netflix this month. I figured since I finished one political show I should go back to the other one but that meant that I was back into the pandemic story line that I wanted to avoid. Oh well! It doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem yet, so there’s that. Spoiler alert – I also feel like the feel of the show changed though once the President chose to run for the next Presidential election because the whole idea was that he was a very unsure and reluctant leader, but now he’s willingly doing the job and even actively seeking it out. Anyway, I am on the third and final season, and it is a shorter one so I only have an episode or two left to watch at this point.
I continued to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Hulu as well. I still don’t really get the hype on this show since the acting and dialogue just seems… bad? I’m still on season one and that’s always a bit of a miss though I think while everyone gets into the swing of things, so I’ll keep watching.
Of course, I continued watching The Great British Baking Show. I’m loving this season because everyone is just so funny! It’s season 2 on Netflix, but I’m not completely sure what it is in actual seasons.
My sister introduced me to a show called QI which is another British show. It’s a sort of trivia game show of sorts but the points system is super crazy and I think they just get points willy nilly since hardly anyone gets the right answer ever. It’s super funny though and I’ve learned a lot of random information from it!
As if that wasn’t enough, I also started Quantico on Netflix. It seems a little too overdramatic honestly, but I’ve only watched a few episodes so far, so maybe it’s just to hook people in. I’m not sure, but it was just so weird how crazy the story lines were right off the bat. Also, it’s already falling into the “main character can do NO wrong and is a genius” thing because the main character, Alex, is just given praise like crazy during her training at Quantico. There was an episode early on where the trainees were put into groups to solve a mystery basically, and then they had to pick one of three scenarios to prioritize. Nearly everyone picked one and Alex was trying to desperately shout about how they were all wrong, and none of them were the right answer. Of course, she ended up being right and when she proved it she was told she was the only one to ever “pass” the test. But I was sitting there thinking… how? She failed to convince any of her peers to listen to her and consider her idea! If she can’t show leadership in this scenario, how did she “pass” the test? I’m sure it’s because the show is trying to show she’s the best of the group and all but it was still enough for me to roll my eyes at the obvious convenience of it all.
Oh, and then I gave in and watched a few episodes of Marriage or Mortgage on Netflix. I, along with everyone else, know going into it that the couples should automatically pick mortgage, but when I heard that couples were mostly picking to have a fancy wedding, I figured I might as well see what was going on with these people. I’ll admit, the weddings they plan look cool, but I would never pay $30,000 for a freaking wedding???? Over a down payment for a house???? I think it is the instant gratification of it all where the couples see the wedding in the immediate future and it can be fancy and all they wanted with a bunch of free stuff thrown in but… they could have a HOUSE. Of course, the show does admit it was all filmed right before the pandemic so the couples didn’t know their weddings would be majorly downsized and changed but the couples still try to play it off and claim that they loved their wedding and didn’t regret their decision. I can’t stop judging them though. Sorry not sorry.
Lastly, I started watching Firefly on Hulu. I watched this years ago and I had an idea for a new novel that I wanted to write that was partially inspired by this show, in the sense that it’ll follow a main character that joined a space ship crew. I figured I should rewatch the show because I wanted to refresh my memory on it and also make sure it’s not too similar to what I’m thinking up. I do have mixed feelings because the creator is one of the guys that was outed as a creep and abuser in the #MeToo movement though, so that’s also something I’m working through.
I have a few new favorites of Taylor Swift’s folklore and Evermore albums! I have a newfound appreciation of the song “seven”. I feel like the song didn’t really speak to me until recently and even then I can’t explain why. I also started to really enjoy the song “Cowboy like me” and the song “Coney Island”, which thrills me because I listen to Evermore so much less than folklore. Evermore is such a great album but I feel like my love for folklore just overshadows the newer Evermore in a way, and has been a bit of a block for me to enjoy the sister albums together.
I have a few YouTube favorites! My sister and I recently remembered the series Shane Dawson did with Jeffree Star when they did the Conspiracy palette together. We watched three of the episodes from the series together and then I finished it on my own. I loved watching it all over again and I am so thankful that series exists because it was just so well done.
The Animal Crossing New Horizons island tours have recaptured my interest. I sort of got tired of the game for a bit and wasn’t really playing it too much but now I’ve picked it up again. The island tours are great for getting new ideas! I’ve really been gravitating more towards the natural forest/cottage core sort of islands.
I also have been watching the White House Press Briefings. I used to watch them during the Obama administration and the Biden team has restarted the daily press briefings. I really enjoy watching them and the channel has a lot of other cool videos such as swearing in for new cabinet members or other addresses.
I’m still loving the Ladies & Tangents podcast! It’s just so fun and interesting! The two cousins feel like such great friends and the vibes are immaculate. Plus, there’s always at least one point in the podcast when I just have to laugh uncontrollably. I always watch the video version on YouTube but I want to go back an listen to the 70-some audio only ones soon.
The next podcast I’ve gotten into is You and Me Both, Secretary Hillary Clinton’s podcast on Spotify. I’ve put off listening to it because it’s only on Spotify and I tend to listen to podcasts through Google Podcasts only. Eventually I did make the jump to Spotify for this one. I love the format! The episodes are about an hour long with them broken up into three different guests from what I’ve experienced so far. I really love listening to Secretary Clinton in such a laid-back and super chill format. Oh, one of my favorites is the bonus episode Secretary Clinton did with Vice President Kamala Harris. I’m low-key obsessed with VP Harris honestly!
The other podcast I got into is rooftalk, which is a podcast I found through Sam Pollino, who is an ensemble member of Hamilton. She used to be in the ensemble of the Chicago cast! She hosts the podcast with her friend Mia Gerachis, on Spotify and Apple platforms. Since I was already on Spotify for Secretary Clinton’s pod, I figured I’d finally check out this one too. It’s actually pretty new, and it’s much more low-key vibes than Ladies & Tangents but it’s similar in the sense that it’s like a best friend/older sister vibe.
As I mentioned, I’ve been super into Animal Crossing New Horizons again! I’ve been decorating a bit more and playing a lot more in general. I also finished expanding the third house that I created and it’s fully themed as a hotel! I think I want to make one more house, for a sort of community center with a lecture/school room for Blathers, a museum gift shop, an indoor gym, and maybe move either the theatre or the cafe inside! I just need to save up bells again because I used a ton to upgrade Astra’s house. Oh, I finally got to experience the first birthday in the game! Estrella, my second character, had her birthday this month and that was really cool! I’ve also started to move out some of my villagers, because I’m playing more now. I used to not really play often except maybe for an hour or so for daily tasks. So now that I’m playing a bit more I figured I should villager hunt! I found a cute dog named Bea in my villager hunt and brought her to my island!
I started out so optimistic that I could write some poetry this month but it has been so long since I’ve done so that it was so hard to really get into it quickly! In general my themes are very reflective on the past year in lockdown, with many highs and lows.
I’ve kept up with yoga! I started doing Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge from a few years ago, “Dedicate”. My puppy niece is super confused by yoga and she tried to climb onto my lap a couple times when I was sitting cross legged on the mat. But she’s slowly started to learn that if her Auntie is on the yoga mat she needs to be on her bed or at least sitting quietly. This challenge feels much easier than previous challenges I’ve done though, but maybe that’s because I think it’s the oldest challenge? I’m not sure but it feels too easy. Except for crow’s pose. I can’t do that at all!
With the return of my puppy niece and nice weather, I’ve been walking a lot more! My puppy niece isn’t always into long walks which is kind of sad but we do go out in the morning and evening for her to potty and then take a longer walk around noon. We argue a lot about how many laps around the park we’re going to do and usually she wins.
I finished up the first ballet session back in the studio! I already signed up for the next session, also in person. We have become very chatty in class, I think because some of us really don’t get a chill hangout very often. There are people who go to work into offices but that’s work, and no one really hangs out for fun. During one of those chat sessions, we started talking about high schools and colleges we attended since all of us have been in this area since our school years. I revealed I went to Elmhurst University (then Elmhurst College) for both undergrad and grad school, and a classmate said one of her daughters is planning to go to Elmhurst for grad school too! I gave her my number to pass along to her daughter so that she could ask me questions if she had any, although she’s doing a different program than I did. Still, I thought that was a pretty cool coincidence.
Otherwise, I still love my class. It’s the least ballet-focused adult ballet class I’ve ever taken for sure. It’s more workout based and has gotten even more workout based since I started taking the class from this instructor two years ago but I really like that about the class. I do wish we were still doing the twice a week format though!
So that’s what I’ve been up to this month! Super exciting stuff and I hope you enjoyed reading about it.
Thanks for reading!
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