This week in…: Volume 9

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This week in everything that sucks…You know those weeks where everything bad seems to happen all at once? That was this week for me. Not only did I get unexpectedly sick with a cold that came from no where and won’t go away, my husband’s teaching job decided to cut his pay for one class more than we expected due to enrollment, and if you saw this face on Instagram the other day, you know my dog, Barkley, ruptured his ACL on Tuesday chasing after the mail truck. And guess who doesn’t get to see The Breakfast Club in the theater for its 30th anniversary? That’s right. ME. All the rage.

This is the night it happened, right before he got his pain pill. Such a sad face.

This is the night it happened, right before he got his pain pill. Such a sad face.

This week in unexpected blessings…Barkley’s injury was way less serious than it could have been. He didn’t break anything, he doesn’t need surgery, and because he’s so small, once the rupture heals, he can function just fine (with maybe a little limp). Also, my in-laws are watching the dogs this weekend, for free, while we’re in Atlantic City for a cheer competition, we’ve been getting Showtime for free since the beginning of the month and continuing until the end of May, and I created a tasty recipe for iced coffee using the coffee beans I don’t like. No waste FTW!

This week in nostalgia…Better Than Ezra is touring with Uncle Kracker, Eve 6, and Sugar Ray. I got to have lunch with Steph from Life According to Steph (it had been 15 years since the last time we saw each other! Crazy that it had been that long and, for those who don’t know, Steph and I were friends in college. Like, all 4 years of it). I have been listening to my iPod with its vast library of songs I had forgotten about. And also reading this list of the best 80s showsfunniest-memes-quotes-ever-53

This week in reading…I have been reading Jo Nesbo’s The Son for a week now. Ordinarily an eBook takes me only a few days but this book is so long (just shy of 500 pages) and there are a plethora of characters and plotlines that my brain gets dizzy and I have to put it down. That said, it’s an interesting book. Full review coming on 4/7 for the next Show Us Your Books linkup (not 4/14 as previously stated). Not sure what I’ll pick up next as I have 5 books on my nightstand. Probably whichever one has the closest due date.

This week in things I don’t give a shit about…the guy leaving One Direction. I didn’t know which one he was, I had to look it up, and there is no conceivable way I could care less. The X-Files returning to TV. March Madness. 

This week in internet reading…In a similar vein to the Hot Dudes Reading Instagram account, there was this post from Book Riot on 14 Days as a Public Transit Reading Spy. I love the variety in what people choose to read! As someone who spends a good part of each day listening to music, I found this piece on the scientific effect music has on your every day life to be fascinating. And as someone who used to be great about managing her time but currently sucks a fat one at it, I enjoyed this article about the 7 core beliefs of extraordinary time managers

This week in funnyfunny-medal-award-winner-angry ramsay

Have a great weekend! Hope you get to do something fun or relaxing! 

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Conversations with my husband

My husband and I started dating way back in 1996. Yup, we’ve been together that long. We were 19 when we met and for those who are interested, here’s a quick recap of how we met.

We were in the same class in college. Great Crimes with Dr. Kelly. Steph was in our class. She sat behind him and our other friend sat next to him while I, thanks to alphabetical order, sat across the room (our professor was all kinds of crazy and made us sit alphabetically. So much for that college student autonomy we all hoped for). Steph and Ray, being outgoing, social, friendly people chatted it up with him and introduced us as friends often do to new people. We found out we all lived in the Towers and since we all lived in the same one, we’d often walk or take the bus home together or go to the computer lab (anyone else old enough to remember those?) to work on our assignments. Captions, mostly. The husband and I still have nightmares about those. I’m sure Steph does, too. Anyway, we had our first date roughly 6 weeks after we first met although it wasn’t “official” until just before Thanksgiving break, a month after that first date. My sorority hayride, for those who needed and/or wanted that detail.

And that’s that. Nothing exciting. Nothing romantic or interesting and we definitely didn’t have a meet-cute. But it all worked out.

Back then, we worried about what most couples worried about. Are we eating too much pizza? Which date parties/formal are we going to this semester? Should we study or go to the bar? What is the earliest class we can possibly handle? Should we take any classes together this semester? 

And it went on and on like that. It was fun and pointless and now that we’re old and have been together for 18+ years (married for almost 11 of them), we have much more important discussions. 


The great peanut butter debate

Him: Can you please buy crunchy peanut butter?

Me: No. It’s disgusting. And you put it in the fridge and that makes it worse. Creamy peanut butter is the only acceptable kind and it belongs in the pantry.

Him: Can’t we just have two different kinds?

Me: No. I mean, technically we could, but I’m not buying crunchy peanut butter. It’s terrible.

Him: But the child likes it, too.

Me: Way to play into my mommy guilt. Touché.

When we run into people he knows but I don’t

Me: You didn’t introduce me. You don’t remember his/her name, do you?

Him: Nope.

All about that toast

Me: Did you just toast bread and then put it in the freezer?

Him: Yes.

Me: Why?

Him: Because I want the crunch and texture of toast without the bread being hot.

Me: Of course you do.

Watching TV

Me: Are you watching Fight Club?

Him: I can’t talk about Fight Club.

Deciding where to eat

Him: What do you want for dinner?

Me: I don’t care, what do you want?

Him: Okay, how about we get burgers?

Me: No, I don’t want those. 

Pretty much anytime of day, particularly in the car on long drives

Him:Did you fart?

Me: No, I did not fart. If it were me, you would have heard it. 

Trying to find the dog 

Me: Is Barkley in the closet? 

Him: No, he’s comfortable in his own skin. 


Note the fact that these were on different days, yet at similar times. Also, do you love the “no service” message despite the fact that my phone is on my couch? Verizon, we need to talk. Although we probably can’t because I CAN’T GET SERVICE IN MY DAMN HOUSE!!

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Note my Kate Middleton sarcasm and his complete glossing over of it.


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If this isn’t proof that romance is still alive, I don’t know what is.

If you want more, you can read some of our other conversations here, here, and here.

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Interview with a bookworm

If you’ve spent any time on the blog, even if you’re a new reader (as in, this is your first visit), you know I love books. Like, a lot. Among the people I know in real life, how much I love books and reading kind of makes me weird and different and maybe moderately freakish. I’m okay with that, though, because if being a voracious reader is the worst thing people have to say about me, I can live with it. 

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Because of how much I enjoy reading, I get asked lots and lots of questions. So I decided that I’d answer some of them. In an interview. With myself. Enjoy.

So, Jana, you like to read. Can you explain why?

You realize this a ridiculous question, right? How can you not enjoy reading? It’s basically the best thing ever. It’s free entertainment, and there’s so many books, you’ll never run out of choices. You’re never bored with a book by your side. Not only that, reading increases your vocabulary and expands your imagination and makes you a better thinker and also, if you’re socially awkward like me, having a book means you have a reason to avoid eye contact and people in general. reading quote 2

Okay, that all makes sense. But how do you find books to read?

All over the place. I’ll browse best seller lists, list posts from Book Riot and Buzzfeed Books, I check out Amazon recommendations, and I use Goodreads to see what my friends are reading. Social media like Twitter and Facebook are great places to learn about books. I talk to my mom and sister, who read completely different genres than I do.  I also host a monthly books linkup where I get dozens of good recommendations. Having friends who are readers is amazing. And of course I have my standby authors who I can rely on for a new book every year or two.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

It’s hard to say that I have a favorite more than standby ones, as I mentioned. For instance, Jodi Picoult. She had a slump but seems to be coming back to quality books with her last two. I’m a big Nelson Demille fan, although he hasn’t published anything new in awhile. I am also a major fan of John Green which might also have something to do with his Mental Floss videos and YouTube channel as much as it does his books. And some new ones that I’ve been binging on or plan on binging on are Jojo Moyes and Lisa Genova, and then there are a bunch of first time authors who I fell in love with and I will read their new books once they’re published. This is a hard question. 

Sorry about that. Let’s make it easier for you. What’s your favorite book?

Really, you think that’s easier? It’s definitely not. I’ve talked about my favorite celebrity memoirs, 10 books that changed my life, and awhile ago, I wrote my (for now) ideal bookshelf so those are probably good starting points but to pick just one is virtually impossible. However, since you’re asking and if you don’t want to read my other lists (which I totally understand), I’ll say that some of my favorites are Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain, S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park, and Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much is True. Recent favorites are You by Caroline Kepnes, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nevin, and Stephen Elliott’s The Adderall Diaries.reading quote 5

That’s a pretty eclectic mix. Do you typically read a variety or do you stick to one genre?

While I’m drawn to memoirs and emotional, character driven novels, I do love a good chick lit book or mystery or anything that just seems interesting. I try to keep an open mind when it comes to picking books. In fact, I recently read a sci-fi book (The Martian) at the insistence of a friend and, despite my general loathing of that genre, I liked the book. I’ve read a few westerns and enjoyed them, too (if you want a recommendation, check out Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers). If you close yourself off to a particular genre, you don’t know what you might miss. 

Do you watch movie adaptation of books? If you do, what do you think of them? 

That’s a loaded question. For the most part, movie adaptations of books are, in my opinion, horrible. They change the plots, leave out important details, and the characters almost never look or sound like what I picture in my head and it ruins it for me. In fact, there are a number of books I’ve loved that have been adapted into movies and I refuse to watch them. That said, recently, there have been a slew of books made into movies and the adaptations have been fantastic. I don’t know if it has to do with the novel writer being more involved with the movie or better casting or directing or something else. I still consider those exceptions to the rule, though. reading quote 3

Does that include 50 Shades of Gray?

Don’t talk to me about that blight on the face of books. Sorry about that. Okay, let’s get into the quick answer round. 

Go for it.

Does it offend you when people call you a bookworm?

Absolutely not. That’s like me getting offended at someone telling me I have brown eyes. It’s part of who I am.reading quote 4

What do you say to people who state that they don’t have time to read?

I don’t normally say anything. I just smile and silently judge them. I’m sure they do have time. They just choose to use it for other things. Which is fine if that’s their choice. It’s just not a choice I make. 

How do you find time to read?

I make time. It’s important to me and it’s something I’ve been doing literally as long as I can remember. Reading is big priority to me, like exercising is to other people so I make sure to fit it in to my day, even if it’s only a few pages. 

Do you enjoy the company of books more than the company of people? 

Most days.

Have you ever lost sleep from reading?

Of course. 

Has a book ever made you cry?

Yes. In fact, I’ve cried at the end of more books than I have movies. 

Paper books, eBooks, or audiobooks?

While I’m partial to real paper books, I’ve been known to read eBooks, too. I haven’t yet gotten into audiobooks.

Buy books or use the library?

Either. I prefer the library but I do buy books on occasion, particularly when I want to read a book my library doesn’t have.reading quote 6

Do you keep old books?

How can you not?

Any parting words? 

Hmm. I guess I’d say this–never, ever feel ashamed of what you read. Don’t worry about being a perfect reader because there’s no such thing. Just read whatever makes you happy without stressing if someone is judging you for it. Screw them if they do. Because reading–all reading–is magic.


Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.

Thanks for having me!

Now it’s your turn. Do you guys have any questions for me about my reading habits?


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This week in…: Volume 7

First, thank you all for your comments, feedback, and general awesomeness on Wednesday’s post. It showed everything that’s awesome about the blogger community and why I love it so much. Because even when you feel like you’re alone, you’re really not. 

That said, let’s move on to this week’s recap.

This week in frugaling…I’ve recently started drinking coffee on a few days a week basis and because I’m cheap, I usually make it at home. I […] Continue Reading…

I spend a lot of time in my head and this is what comes out

I often spend time thinking about ways I can improve myself. Not just intellectually but as a person overall. Someone who’s more compassionate, more tolerant of things like stupidity and drama and bad grammar, volunteers more and works harder to accomplish my goals and spends less time binge watching Netflix, thinking of ways to eat peanut butter, or obsessing over what book to read next.

The danger with thinking, though, is that the more time I […] Continue Reading…