This week in…:Volume 18

this week

This week in reading…Finished True Story: Murder, Memoir and Mea Culpa and Saving Francesca. Working on The Storied Life of AJ Firky and What Alice Forgot. Picked up Forever, Interrupted, Wonder, Big Little Lies, and The Long Home. Full recap of everything during the next Show Us Your Books linkup on June 9.

This week in disappointment…If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that we rescued 3 baby birds living in my daughter’s bathroom vent. We tried as hard as we could but all 3 babies died. And the mother attacked my husband while he was trying to get her out of the attic. So there was that.

This week in dumbassery…I locked myself out of my own blog because I clearly can’t type in my password properly. Then I almost forgot to unlock myself before I wrote Thursday’s post and had to stop at the library because free wifi and I had books on hold anyway.

This week in being social…Despite my general malaise over everything life, I managed to out on pants and engage with people three times this week. And I had a conversation with 2 of my neighbors. Not bad for a hermit with depression.

This week in things that are delicious…My homemade brownies, thanks to this amazing recipe from Hershey’s (note: I don’t use Hershey’s products when I make them. Still full of chocolatey goodness). I do halve the recipe and forgo the walnuts. I’ve also never made the frosting because honestly, the brownies are phenomenal and addictive enough on their own.

This week in listening…I don’t know what I was listening to that made it play, but I heard this song, “You Are My Las Vegas” by Red Wanting Blue, and it’s an adorable song with an even more adorable video. Watch now.

This week in how the hell did I get so old…May 26 marks 25 years since my bat mitzvah. TWENTY FIVE FREAKING YEARS. What the hell? Perhaps I should have saved this for next week’s edition but I’m old and will probably forget so I have to say it now. While I remember. #oldpeopleproblems

This week in talking to my husband…He was pontificating about something space related because he’s reading a book written by an astronaut and I tuned him out because that shit bores me but whatever he said made this happen–

 Me: You know that book is not a passport, right?

Husband: Yes it is. It’s a passport to knowledge.

This week in my cat’s body count…She’s killed at least 2 bunnies. Not sure what else. I don’t think I want to know. I don’t know how something so cute can be such a vicious murderer. I think people said the same thing about Ted Bundy. 

This week in funnies…

Top-40-Funniest-Humor-Quotes-Funny-Funnies-550x550 Top-40-Funniest-Humor-Quotes-Humor-Images Top-40-Funniest-Humor-Quotes-Humor-Image not paying attention

Have a great weekend, y’all! I have yet to be determined plans and I’ll be back on either Monday or Tuesday, depending on how the weekend goes. 

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I hadn’t planned on writing this post today but after my conversation during a 2+ hour lunch with Steph yesterday, I decided it’s necessary. It might get convoluted and circular, and I apologize in advance for that.

I am not okay.

In fact, I am the exact opposite of okay. I’m a disaster. A mess. 

I have unpaid bills. My house is decidedly less than clean. I have errands to run, emails to answer, calls to make, jobs to apply for, a gray streak in my hair I need to dye, blogs I need to catch up on, and plans that I desperately want to cancel yet I do none of it. I want to smile and mean it, laugh and feel better, and understand that it is okay to ask for help. But it takes all my strength to get out of bed and brush my teeth each morning and there’s not much left over for anything else. I sleep like shit when I actually do fall asleep. I have no motivation to do anything except sit on the couch and play endless games of Rummikub on my iPad or read books. I’m still grieving my miscarriage. I’m still unemployed. My depression is at an all time high (low?).

I feel like an epic failure.

I tell you all this not for sympathy or pity or anything other than I want to share the fact that, despite the humor you might read in a post or a cute picture you might see on Instagram, there’s more going on behind the scenes. My life is not a beautiful, staged on a white background array of sunshine and rainbows. My life, at times, is ugly and awful and not at all enviable. And I tell you that because I know that someone, somewhere, feels like she (or he) is the only one with ugliness in her life. And I want that person to know she’s not. 

We all have darkness. We all have moments when everything feels like it’s falling apart and will never be put back together. We all have moments of shame and sadness and messiness and absolute wretchedness.

Bloggers don’t often do a good job of conveying that, although some are spectacular at it (think The Bloggess, Allie Brosh, and a couple of others I follow with quasi-regularity). But there’s more who hide the ugly than share. And I think that needs to stop. Bloggers have a reach that other people don’t, and you never know how your words can affect someone. Which is why, bloggers (and nonbloggers), I’m encouraging you to share your ugly. Whether it’s a picture or post or tweet or whatever, share something with your readers that isn’t shiny and perfect. I’m not talking a picture of you sweaty after a 10 mile run or epic leg day at the gym. No one looks good after that. I’m talking about showing about a failure in the kitchen. A stain on the rug that you hide with a piece of furniture. A huge zit you cover up with makeup. Something, anything that strips away, even for one small minute, any delusions of perfection your readers and followers may see. 

Our words and images are powerful. We never know who we’re reaching or who’s touched or impacted by what we say. It’s a hard thing, reading blogs and only ever seeing perfection. If that’s what people are using as a basis for comparison, it’s an impossible standard to achieve and can do more harm than good. 

So tell your story.

Divulge your scars.

Discuss your battles. 

Show your ugly. 


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Interview with a bookworm: Steph from Life According to Steph

You guys liked my interview with myself so much that I turned it into a series! Up first, and it’s fitting since we co-host the Show Us Your Books linkup, is Steph from Life According to Steph. interview with a bookworm

Jana: Thanks so much for joining me. Let’s get started with a simple question. Why do you enjoy reading?

Steph: Reading allows me to go to so many places and meet so many people without ever leaving the couch.someplace to go

Jana: How do you decide what to read?
Steph: In a very arbitrary fashion. If I hear of a book I think I might like, I add it to my To Read list on Goodreads. Then I request them from the library and read them as they come
in. I don’t place a lot of weight on what to read because I’m a fast reader and if I don’t like something I will put it down. 
Jana: Who are some of your favorite authors and/or genres?
Steph: I feel like I used to have favorite authors and genres but I don’t anymore. When someone says favorite authors my mind reverts to 12 and shouts out Judy Blume! Christopher Pike! When I do find an author I like, I will systematically go through most of their books. I tend to read more literary fiction and mystery/suspense than anything else, I guess. I read Young Adult if it speaks to me.
Jana: What’s your favorite book or a book you always recommend?
Jana: A resounding second to The Martian and You. I just started Saving Francesca this week. Yesterday, in fact.
Jana: Do you watch movie adaptations of books? What do you think of them?
Steph: Rarely. I’d rather read a book than do anything else entertainment-wise. I seem to watch less andless movies and TV as the years go by. I will say I liked the film versions of
Gone Girl and The Great Gatsby. The only movie I’ve seen that I’ve liked better than the book is Cider House Rules.
Jana: Ebooks, paper books,audiobooks, or a combination? Why?
Steph: Strictly paper books.I don’t enjoy ebooks as much and find them easier to put down and walk away from than an actual book. I haven’t listened to audio books but I don’t really
retain information well that way – my mind wanders and I end up not listening. I recently saw Toni Morrison read from her latest novel and I actually had to get the book out and follow along reading.
Jana: Do you use the library or buy books?
Steph: I use the library.libraries
Jana: Does it offend you when people call you a bookworm or book nerd? Why or why not?
Steph: No. I don’t care what people call me period but I would consider that a compliment anyway.
Jana: How do you find time to read?
Steph: We find time for the things that are important to us. Reading is integral to my life. There is never a day when I don’t find at least 10 minutes for it.
Jana: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to people who say they don’t enjoy reading or don’t have time to read?
Steph: If you don’t enjoy reading, I’m sorry. That’s about all I can say. If you don’t have time to read,I’ll say that it’ s not that important to you and that’s okay.jk rowling
Thanks again to Steph for taking the time to hang out with me today, talking about books. Here’s a little more about her if you’re not already familiar. 
300x250Life According to Steph – telling it like it is live from Philadelphia.
I blog about life in general – recipes, books, my three pugs, things that annoy
me, my card of a husband, and whatever else catches my fancy. Loves: a clean
house, cooking, vacations, lists, framily, coffee, nail polish, creative curse
words, fresh sheets, Dirty Dancing, family, reading real books over e-readers,
being beside the sea, flip flops, laughing raucously, and organizing. Dislikes:
poor grammar, whining, talking on the phone, being patronized, weak people,
heels, entitlement, and tardiness. 

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A not at all complete list of songs that make me happy

It’s no secret that the last month has been particularly hard on me. I’m desperately trying hard not to fall back into depression which is more difficult than it sounds. Some days I’m more successful than others and one thing I’ve learned battling this for so many years, it’s that the busier and more distracted I am, the easier it is to stave off the inevitable. I also use different methods for escape and […] Continue Reading…

This week in…:Volume 17

This week in adulting…I left my full-time job just about 3 years ago. I finally, just this week, got around to calling the pension office to find out my options regarding my contributions. Still no will but one step at a time, amirite?

This week in cooking…I made whole wheat peanut butter bread. YOU GUYS. It is unbelievably delicious and next time, you can bet I’ll be adding handful or more of chocolate chips. It […] Continue Reading…