2016 in Numbers

I’m late in doing this but here goes. 

10 Movies: LaLa Land, Star Wars: Rogue One, Arrival, The Girl on the Train, The Purge: Election Year, Independence Day: Resurgence, Captain America: Civil War, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Macbeth, The Big Short

20 Books: The One and Only (Emily Giffin), Griftopia (Matt Taibbi), Revenge Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger), On Writing Well (William Zinsser), American Psycho (Bret Easton Ellis), Your Brain At Work (David Rock), The Woman I Wanted to Be (Diane von Furstenberg), Wherever You Go, There You Are (Jon Kabat-Zinn), The Nest (Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney), The Girls (Emma Cline), The Universe Has Your Back (Gabrielle Bernstein), The Couple Next Door (Shari Lapena), First Comes Love (Emily Giffin), Good As Gone (Amy Gentry), Behold the Dreamers (Imbolo Mbue), The Confidence Effect (Grace Killelea), The Woman in Cabin 10 (Ruth Ware), The Joy of Less (Francine Jay), Night (Elie Wiesel), Born For This (Chris Guillebeau)

29 Shows: The Encounter (2x), The Illusionists, The Cherry Orchard, Heisenberg, Beautiful, An American in Paris, American Psycho (2x), Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Waitress, The Color Purple, Blackbird, School of Rock, Eclipsed, Our Mother’s Brief Affair, Noises Off, Snow White, Marie and Rosetta, Small Mouth Sounds, Oh Hello, She Loves Me, Avenue Q, Tuck Everlasting, The Woodsman, Vietgone, Seen By Everyone, Fiddler on the Roof, The Crucible (There are probably a couple that I’m forgetting.)

I need to see more theatre this year. 

Tiny Wins

Today was most people’s first day back to work after a most likely stupidly long break for the holidays and such. I still have a week until yoga teacher training starts though, so I slept stupidly late today (for me, which is 9:40am) because Playbill wouldn’t stop meowing around 7am. Anyways, I had a series of small wins today and I wanted to log them here and hope it inspires you guys to log your own tiny wins:

AM Pilates Session: Last week I used Perkville points to book a 30 minute private pilates session and today was the day. It was my first time using pilates equipment and it was pretty interesting. I still like yoga better but I think I need to incorporate pilates at least once a week into my regimen. 

Sushi Lunch: Is sushi healthy? I caught up with an old work friend that I hadn’t seen in a month or more. We’re not super close, but it was good to see her. We went to Sushi Yusaka on 72nd street and it was really good. You know it’s going to be good when they haven’t opened the doors yet and there are already 20 people outside waiting to get in. I didn’t get any tempura rolls, so that’s a win for healthy eating right there.

To Do Lists: I combined my two different to-do list apps into one. And added a bunch of additional things “to do.”

Dairy Free: Another day dairy free! Note: I was not meat-free. Just giving myself a week off from consuming dairy. Second note: I’ve been way less bloated since Sunday!

Meditated Twice: Morning meditations are easy. I get up, I pee, I meditate. It’s the afternoon ones that I’ve been struggling to remember to do (mostly because it was the holidays, but whatever), but today I managed to sit for a second time.

Cooked: I made some kind of risotto and I’m about to make a big bowl of tabouli. I’ll also spiralize a bunch of vegetables to have on hand.  

Cleaned Up: I went through a couple of boxes that’ve been hiding under my bed and filed or threw away a big pile of papers. #declutteringFTW

Emails: In a moment of What’s Next panic last night, I sent a bunch of emails to a few recruiters that I know and a few contacts in the entertainment industry about any possible jobs. I received responses from all of my entertainment industry peeps and that made me feel really good. I made a couple of appointments with two recruiters this week, just so I’m at a good place when training is over, should I decide to take on a FT role again (as opposed to working several different part-time gigs, etc.).

Reading: I finished Breaking Vegan after only 2 days. It’s super inspiring and I truly believe that Jordan Younger is an actually fantastic person (this is just an assumption as I’ve not met her in person!). I’m not vegan, and never plan on being vegan, but this was a great read regardless. Next up: Better Than Before, by Gretchen Rubin. I’ve read her other two books so I’m looking forward to reading this one, too.

I’ve been trying to read more fiction recently. If you’re my friend on GoodReads, you’ll probably notice that my reading list is very non-fiction heavy. I love non-fiction but I’m finding a lot of books, even about things I find interesting, are harder to get through. So, I decided to rectify that with signing up for a 3-month subscription to Book of the Month Club and Kristen and I are trading books. (Spoiler alert: I quickly became overwhelmed with the frequency of the book’s arrivals so I canceled my account a couple of weeks ago.) I’m currently reading The Woman in Cabin 10, which is a fantastic and gripping thriller so far, but before that, I read Kristen’s copies of The Girls, by Emma Cline, and The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.

I was immediately captivated by The Nest and loved learning about the semi-atrocious characters and what they’d been up to until that point in their lives. It’s always great to see how a family acts when money is involved. Spoiled and entitled does not begin to describe these siblings. I finished this in, like, two weeks. (Which is fast for me. #slowreader)

Next was The Girls. I’d been a little skeptical when Kristen had informed me that this was about a cult and that it took a little while to get into. She was correct on both accounts, but once I was into it, I was hooked. It takes a look at the girls who probably would’ve been part of the Manson Family. The book takes place in present day (where the main character, Evie, is an adult and she is confronted with her past when two teenagers ask her about the aforementioned cult) and her teenage self in 1969. It’s easy to see why teenagers could get swept up in this. This one was a quick read, too. A+.

That’s my book update for now. Let me know what your current favorite fiction reads are! I have so many unread books right now but maybe I’ll get to them eventually! I’m currently restraining myself from buying Emily Giffin and Lauren Weisberger’s new books, too. I love ChickLit though! I’ll buy them in paperback. 

I finished reading Revenge Wears Prada, the sequel to The Devil Wears Prada, late last week. I was skeptical and it took me a couple of chapters to get into it, but once I did I was off and reading non-stop. It’s great chick lit. 

Andy Sachs has a fairytale life: we meet her again ten years after she quits Runway on the morning of her wedding to the most eligible bachelor in New York City. She edits and owns a successful upscale bridal magazine with none other than her former arch nemesis Emily Charlton. All is well until Elias-Clark and Miranda Priestly herself approaches them to buy their magazine.

I thought the ending was kind of cheesy, but overall I really enjoyed the novel and I hope they turn it into a movie. 

My 2015 Reading List

I managed to read 24 books in 2015. I’m currently reading Emily Giffin’s The One and Only and I’m going to try and finish it before January 1st, but for now my number is 24. I’d aimed to read 30 books this year so I missed by… let’s say 5. 

Which books did I love? The Happiness of Pursuit (Chris Guillebeau). Waking Up (Sam Harris). Big Magic (Elizabeth Gilbert). The Art of Asking (Amanda Palmer). Daring Greatly (Brene Brown). 

The only book on this list that could be described as bad would be, you guessed it, Grey. I had fun reading it but it was horribly cheesy and as poorly written as the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. 

What books do I plan to read in 2016? I’m going to finish The One and Only (if I don’t finish it before Friday), followed by possibly finishing A Town Called Alice (a book that my dad recommended that I had a really hard time getting in to).

In the spirit of de-cluttering (thanks, Marie Kondo), I didn’t ask for many books for the holidays this year. Besides The One and Only, I received Griftopia (Matt Taibbi), Revenge Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger), and Columbine (Dave Cullen). 

My attempt to not gather and hoard books anymore I believe will be proven futile after walking through Strand Books tonight. I saw so many books that I wanted to buy and read. Books like St. Mark’s is Dead, One of Us, Just Kids, The Opposite of Loneliness, and 10:04. I also have a ton more nonfiction novels on my floating book case in my apartment.

So many choices. So many books. So little time. I’m setting a goal of reading 25 books in 2016. I should be able to easily.

So, I’m reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and all of the hype is true. I’m even up to the part about discarding books, and I don’t want to discard them yet – yay. 

Although I’m not ready to pile every single article of clothing on my bed and pick each one up and ask “does this bring me joy?”, I did decide to finally do that thing where you turn around the hangers in your closet and after 6 months you can get rid of what you haven’t worn yet (which would be obvious by the wrong-hanging hanger). 

So, last night I changed all of my hangers and set a 6-month alert on my Google calendar. 

In the meantime, I might go through my things and see if there’s anything I could discard. I’m sick of having a ton of clothes. I rarely go shopping nowadays and if I do, it’s to buy a pair of leggings or a sweater in a specific color. 

If you’re a pack rat or a hoarder, or you sometimes have trouble finding room in your closets or on your bookshelves, buy this book now. I can’t wait to see what I haven’t worn in 6 months.

I spent most of Friday evening finishing off Lucy Sykes’ and Joe Piazza’s novel The Knockoff. I couldn’t put it down. It’s such fluff, such chicklit. But it was enthralling. I think this book got a lot of press over the summer, but as per usual, I’m a few months late to the game, but better late then never. 

I loved this book and would recommend it to any lady who needs some entertaining, brainless fun to read. 

Now onto ”The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” which I’m told will 100% make me want to get rid of 90% of my books. Hopefully not!

A Break (Sort Of)

A few weeks ago some of my family members were basically having a discussion in the comments section of one of my posts on Facebook. They were both in the same place at that time so between twenty to fifty feet away from each other. They were home and choosing to debate something on my Wall. instead of in person. Back and forth, back and forth. 

That’s it. I need to disconnect, I thought. Even if it was just in the tiniest way possible.

Live and let live, I suppose, just not on my wall, please. I decided that night that I did not want to do this. My dude is, luckily, not on Facebook, or any social media. He loves not knowing what people are up to unless he actually talks to them. i think that idea sounds astonishingly neat. And such a simple thing to obtain! I have this blog, and an Instagram account (and Twitter, which I really never use anymore), so it’s not as though I wouldn’t have an outlet at all. For the most part I simply wouldn’t be giving people an outlet to speak their minds under my name (on my Wall).

I was also, in part, impressed by that chick Essena O’Neil, who said she was breaking her addiction to social media after earning quite a good living while modeling from it. I’m a tad bit confused about how she’s going about quitting social media because isn’t a blog sort-of social media? But that’s another conversation.

I realized I was getting a little too into how many likes my link posts and political ramblings were getting. They were often critical, and even more often knee-jerk reactions. I think that passion would be better redirected to this spot. At the very least it would at least have to be more thorough and thought out. 

So, on my train back to the city, I finally took one little step towards disconnecting and I deleted the Facebook app off my iPhone. For the rest of the train ride, I couldn’t mindlessly scroll through my feed and I read my book (The Knockoff, loving it!). 

I just want to experience that thrill of sitting down with a friend and having them tell me what’s going on in their life and not already knowing all of it because we’re Facebook friends and I checked their feed on the way to brunch. And it’s also a major time suck. 

My “Wall” will never, ever be a primary form of communication with family, or friends, or anyone. It’s not as though I deactivated my Facebook, but this was one little tiny step towards disconnecting and it felt good. 

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

I read this book in a little under two weeks. It’s really a quick, easy, and joyful read. This is a totally different book from Eat Pray Love or Committed. I think she was trying to inspire people to create cool shit not, even if it never makes you any money. And I think that’s awesome.