Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Tag Archive: weekly wrap-up

Friday six-pack, 2017, v4: Here we go

Well, we’re one week in and I can’t. I CAN’T because WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS GOING ON? WHAT IS HAPPENING?! As those are mostly rhetorical because I know you’re all probably as befuddled as I am, I’m going to focus (well, mostly) on all the non-political things that happened because I am treading a very thin line between staying informed and having my head explode. I can’t afford to have my head explode.

Reading. Finished The Quickening and Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman. Started Idaho. Picked up A Head Full of Ghosts and Bottomland. Tabled The Lilac Girls because library due dates rule my life. Also reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins along with The Child since we had in the house and she’s reading it in school for their one school/one book thing. 

Watching. A four part documentary series on Netflix about the disappearance of this British woman. I can’t remember the name of it but it’s fascinating. 

Following. All the rogue Twitter accounts, like AltNatParkSer (for the National Park Service), RogueNASA (NASA, obviously), AltUSDA (the USDA. Also obvious) and others because science fucking matters, censorship is bullshit, and this is out of hand. A president was elected, not a dictator and the motherfucker’s blatant disrespect for the Constitution, the citizens, general common sense and decency, and the world is insane. I cannot comprehend this level of hatred and narcissism and insanity and disregard for what’s staring you in the face and I’m even more concerned for those who build him up and assure him that this is how a democratically elected leader behaves. If you can explain it to me, please do. Also, and let me say this and then I’ll stop, I feel like this country is becoming the pot, we’re the frogs, and the administration is in charge of slowly turning up the water. Well, I’ll you what. This frog isn’t getting in the fucking water and I’m going to do my damnedest to protect those who are too vulnerable to know better from getting in the pot. They can turn up the temperature but I refuse to boil. #resist

Losing. Specifically, weight. It’s not something I talk about much here because…well, mostly my own issues but as of today, I’m down 15 pounds and a full pants size. While I feel I still have a long way to go, I’m pleased with my progress, even if it is slower than I’d prefer. 

Buying. Almost nothing. 26 days into the spending freeze and I’ve spent less than $50 unplanned. Each purchase I made in defiance of the freeze was purposeful and mindful which, to me, means it’s working. Full recap next Thursday, along with the next 30 day challenge. 


Have a great weekend! We’ll be celebrating my dad’s 65th birthday and my nephew’s 9th topped off with a Sunday cheer practice (which means she practices and I read and/or nap while she’s there. In other words, a perfect Sunday for me). See you on Tuesday when I’ll be linking up with Lauren and Bre for their new monthly linkup, Add it to My List. 

Eat, Drink, and Be Lauren





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Friday six-pack, 2017, v3: It’s happening

Well, it’s here. Today’s the day. It’s actually happening. I’m pretty sure you all know what I’m talking about but in case you’re a little unsure, it’s inauguration day. I will not be watching but rather spending the day with my kid who, once again, has a day off from school. 

I waffled back and forth between doing this post as my regular weekly wrap-up or my Trump survival guide (or, how I plan to make it through the next 4 years). I wanted to stick to plans as normal but I also can’t let the day go by without acknowledging the gravity of what’s about to go down. I’ve addressed my thoughts on the incoming administration a few times (specifically here and here) but for me, there’s more to it. ix

And, if I’m being completely honest, I’m nervous. I’m scared. I cried the other day after watching DeVos’s confirmation hearing. The fact that people who hate the system and disrespect our government and laws and are unqualified, smug billionaires who have nothing but contempt for the departments they’re being tapped to run has me shaking. I feel helpless and powerless. But I know I’m not. Because there’s still things I can do. 

Read. Books, magazines, the news, blogs, whatever. Stay informed, make informed opinions based on real, vetted, fact-checked news. Ignorance helps nothing. 

Vote. On local referendums, in local elections, and in 2018. It’s the best way to use my voice to express my discontent and it’s my responsibility to do so. Women fought, went to jail, and died so we can have the right to vote and to not do so–especially now–is a slap in their faces. 

Act. By calling my senators and representative (yes, we only have one. #smallstateproblems). By supporting those who protest when I can’t. By protesting when I can. By signing petitions. By getting involved. By speaking up. Sitting idly by while our governmental dumpster fire rages out of control helps nothing and only contributes to the problem. 

Listen. To what’s being said by our politicians and leaders. To myself. To people who have different beliefs than I. Listening, not just hearing, helps foster an understanding and respect we desperately need to heal this country.

Believe. That there’s enough of us who are appalled and discouraged. That’s there enough of us who will speak up against what’s wrong and for what’s right. That there’s enough Congressional watchdogs who will sit on Trump and Pence and his Cabinet and make sure that all the progress we’ve made doesn’t disappear. That all of my darkest fears won’t come true and that in 4 years, we’ll come out fine on the other side. 

Enjoy. All the good things that are going to happen despite the situation in Washington. Yes, the laws and budget and orders will affect me and my family, but laughter will not cease. Happy memories will be made, accomplishments will be had, milestones will be reached, celebrations will happen. We will still support the arts and education and everything else he’s shown  disdain for. Life will go on. 

I wish I had some inspiring quote or song lyric to end this post with. But I’m not good at that stuff. So, instead, I’ll just say that we’ll get through this, all of us, together. And to my ladies who are marching tomorrow, please know that I stand with you even though I can’t be there. Thank you for going, thank you for standing up, and please, be safe. 

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Friday six-pack: 2017, v2

What a week. Good news: my child was invited apply for the National Elementary School Honor Society (didn’t know this was a thing but I am incredibly proud of her). Bad news: Barack and Michelle are leaving the White House. I can’t even think about it anymore. Did you see that speech? My god, are they amazing (check out Ali’s post on them because I echo her sentiments). Other nonimportant news is what follows:

Reading. Finished Kissing in America and But What if We’re Wrong? Picked up Bowling Alone and Idaho and some NetGalley books including the new Graeme Simsion. Thanks to everyone who participated in Show Us Your Books and, completely apropos of all the book love, the next one is on 2/14. This might be the only year I celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Watching. The OA. I knew absolutely nothing about this show before I started watching other than people could not stop raving about it. I gave it a shot. I get why they raved. 

Listening. I was completely stoked to hear that Halestorm had a new album of covers so of course I had to listen to it the day it was released. The one stand out, for me, was their version of “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” (original by Sophie B. Hawkins). I love when Lzzy actually sings and shows how good she really is and makes a song her own. The rest? Meh. 

Ranting. I’m not going to launch into another political but please, read Steph’s post for all the reasons I’m pissed and you should be, too. In the Gettysburg address, Lincoln said that this is a government by the people, of the people, for the people. What a beautiful, eloquent sentiment that is completely being shit on by the people elected to carry out that ideal. What’s happening now is a government of vendettas, agendas, and gaslighting. I’m frustrated and angry and I want to cry, daily, because I cannot comprehend WHY they’re not listening. I can’t understand WHY getting revenge is more important than protecting our country and our citizens. I can’t fathom WHY they hate the way they do. I know that trying to understand the why is futile and I never will but I figure if I can, it might help me get through the next four years with my sanity in tact. And let’s not even go into that Utah high school assignment. It is Friday, after all. 

Anticipating. April 4th. Because that is the official date for the return of Prison Break! If you’ve read here for any amount of time, you know my love of Wentworth Miller runs deep and knowing that he, and that show, are coming back to TV makes me insanely happy. 


Have a great weekend! I’ll be in Atlantic City with the child for a cheerleading competition. Wish her and her squad luck as they’re competing for a bid to a huge national competition in Disney World. I’ll be sharing some pictures over on Instagram if you want to follow along (can’t post videos, though, until the end of the season). If not, I’ll see you on Tuesday!


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Friday six-pack: The first of 2017

Reading. Finished Today Will be Different and Salvage the Bones. Started But What if We’re Wrong? and Private Citizens (I’m trying to only read one book at a time but But What if We’re Wrong is way too intense and thought-provoking to read before bed). Picked up Blood Men, Imagine Me Gone, and Nearly Gone. Show Us Your Books is this Tuesday! Our first one in 2017! 

Writing. If you guys don’t know, I currently have a books column over at my friends’ site, Adulting. This week I introduced my Adulting reading challenge. If you wouldn’t mind, please go check it out, share it as you see fit, and if you’d like, join the challenge (it’s pretty low stress, averages to one book per month, and I’m allowing doubling up on categories. Like, I’m reading My Antonia for classic book and one written before 1950). Since I created the challenge, I’m participating in it so we can work through it together (I’m also doing one with my library and Erin peer pressured me into the Aussie Authors one, too. I’m only aiming for 3 books in that one, though. And two are authors I planned to read anyway).

Watching. On a whim, I started River on Netflix. It’s this weird British crime drama about a detective named River who is basically going crazy, hearing voices and being followed around by dead people while he’s still trying to function in reality. The main guy is the guy who was Professor Lambeau in Good Will Hunting and one of the brothers from Ray Donovan is in it, too. It’s only 6 episodes, I’m halfway through, and I really like it. Of course I do. 

Not joining. One of the moms at the child’s cheer gym invited me to join her DietBet. I’m politely ignoring declining. It’s not that I don’t like the idea, and the thought of earning money for continuing to do something I’m doing anyway is appealing, but I’m so uncompetitive that I don’t want to be bothered. Also, I don’t want to take selfies of myself in tight clothing and post it for people to see and I can’t understand why people are actually okay with doing that. I don’t even like taking selfies when I’m in regular clothing. 

Listening. No new podcasts to speak of as I’m still trying to catch up from not listening to anything over the 10 or so days the family was on vacation but I have been compulsively listening to Spotify. Specifically, Shinedown radio. For some reason, when I pick this station, Spotify insists I like Nickelback (I don’t) and Daughtry (I do) by putting dozens of their songs in the queue (thank god for the remove from playlist option). When that happens, I sometimes get to hear songs I’ve never heard before including this one from Daughtry that I *might* put on repeat. (I’ve also been listening to a lot of Phil Collins because, you know, balance)



That’s all for this first (back to school and work) week of 2017. Preparing for relatively low-key weekend with lots of cold weather (or, as I call it, the perfect reason to not leave the house). Hope you all have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Tuesday for Show Us Your Books!

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Friday Six-Pack: The last of 2016

This is the last recap of 2016 because next week, with the child and the husband both on vacation, I will be spending (even more) time away from my laptop to hang with them. Of course I’ll be around on Tuesday for our second Show Us Your Books this month, recapping our favorites from the year but other than that, I’ll be (even more) absent. I’m looking forward to coming back here in January with renew purpose and presence. Well, that’s the plan anyway. We’ll see what actually happens. 

Reading. Darktown by Thomas Muller. Picked up Hillbilly Elegy and Today Will Be Different. Was strong armed persuaded by my favorite librarian into doing a reading challenge she created. Also created a reading challenge which I’ll share with you guys when it’s all ready to go (it’s for the site I write for rather than this one). 

Listening. No new podcasts to share with you guys this week and as far as music, I’ve been sticking to my standards and my Spotify most played in 2016 with a splash of nontraditional Christmas music thrown in. It’s been an uneventful week.

Watching. Home Alone x45 million. It’s the child’s favorite and she doesn’t have HBO or a DVD player in her room so we all have to suffer. Also Singles. I fucking love that movie.

Giving. Since Giving Tuesday, we’ve also donated to a scholarship established by the husband’s fraternity alumni, BuildOn, and, thanks to Instagram, I learned about a new local charity that gives Christmas gifts to kids in foster care who are too old for Toys for Tots. We picked a 17 year old girl in an out of state placement because those kids have a special place in my heart, and we went all out for her. She deserves it, and I’m grateful we were able to afford it this year. 

Celebrating. Most of y’all know how disappointed and angry and frustrated I am at our government. It’s revolting what’s happening. However, this week, my school district just passed a referendum that will build 3 new schools and do capital improvements on 2 of them. Where I live is exploding, population-wise, and we desperately need the new schools to accommodate all the kids. Overcrowding presents a host of problems, and these kids deserve quality education that overcrowding will prevent. It thrills me to no end that others agree with me and that this passed by a wide margin. It gives me hope that, despite what’s going on at a national level, on a local level, people are practical and invested and make good choices. 


That’s it. I hope you guys have an awesome holiday, whatever you do or don’t celebrate, and that you have a fun (or uneventful and boring) New Year’s, and I’ll see you in January!


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