It is 5/6 of the way through the year – that is 83% !
I have been reporting my progress on:
- Going to concerts and movies
- Reading books and watching DVDs
- Going to restaurants
- Making Real Food at home
- Planned expenses
- Organizing projects
Here’s how I did in October.
Easy one! Rom and I bought wristbands to the Halifax Pop Explosion…in which 150 bands play in 18 venues over 5 nights. We attended 3 nights and saw 12 bands at 4 venues. The “name” bands we saw were Of Montreal and The Pack A.D., but the whole point is to hear new and unknown bands. Of course, for every band you see, you are missing another across town, so we had to miss Purity Ring and Zola Jesus. We both really liked This Sound Will Save You (synth pop). We used to attend HPX only one night each year. It’s a great festival and we will definitely keep getting wristbands in the future!
In November, we are going to see The Sheepdogs!
Movies / DVDs
I saw only one DVD, French Immersion, a comedy/spoof on bilingualism in Canada. The residents of a small village in Quebec take in visitors from across Canada who want to experience Quebecois culture while learning French. Of course the hosts are putting on an act and they have ulterior motives. Cute!
- Goal: 52 movies or DVDs this year
- Total seen to date: 28
- Probability of reaching movie goal by December 31: 0
I read two novels this month and, as usual, a stack of browsing books.
The browsing books were:
The Complete Book of Retro Crafts – by Suzie Millions
This was a beautifully designed book with advice on how to collect, display and make kitschy crafts from the past (especially 1950s to 1970s). There is no chance I will collect, display, or make any of these, but it was fun to look at the projects – some of which my grandmother, mother or myself would have made in past decades!
The Paper Crafter’s Bible – by Elizabeth Moad
Now we’re talking. I sorted and pared down all my old craft supplies this month, and realized I like paper crafts best. I am looking for new techniques to try on late Fall nights after dinner when it’s dark and cozy. I want to try some 3D/pop-up cards, and finally cut a scherenschnitte pattern!
100 Contemporary Houses, Volume 1 – by Philip Jodidio
This is a 2-volume set, so I have only seen 50 of the contemporary houses so far. I love modern architecture and minimalism. So unlike my real life 🙂
The novels were:
The Correspondence Artist – by Barbara Browning
This experimental first novel combined mock autobiography, social media and erotica. A forty-something woman has a famous artist as a lover. She gives us 4 “scenarios” of who it might be, and tells us how their relationship unfolded – 4 different ways. Their story happens through a combination of email, video calls, and in-person visits, which are highly sexually charged. The narrator travels in sophisticated circles, but I found her emails quite naive…I liked that, because the impression you want to make on a distant lover, and the way you actually communicate day-to-day, can be entirely at odds with each other!
The Age of Miracles – by Karen Thompson Walker
I am definitely on a dystopian fiction bender this year. This one was a smooth merger of a coming-of-age tale and a sci-fi End Times story. It’s hard enough to be 12 without the Earth’s rotation slowing down, the days and nights getting mixed up, and society as we know it coming to a halt. Throw in the scorn of your former best friend and the boy at the bus stop who doesn’t notice you – until he does – and you see where this book is going.
OK, that is just a smirky summary of the book. I know it was supposed to show that fragile hope can emerge in the worst circumstances, but to be honest, I found it unrelentingly bleak – except for when it wasn’t.
Verdict: Recommended for the world-building and for the growing-up story, but this book is certainly not full of sunshine (and when it is, it burns you)
- Goal: 52
- Books Read This Month: 5
- Total to Date: 46
- Probability of reaching goal by Dec. 31: 100%
This was a good month for food! Rom and I make a monthly meal plan, and this is one of the first months that we made every recipe, and have none to carry over into November. A couple of the recipes I made were Peanut Butter Vegetable Stew, and Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese, both of which were fun to try. Although, incidentally, you can’t really taste pumpkin in macaroni and cheese! I like to make soup to bring to work for lunches, and this month I tried one made from green peas and quinoa.
I roasted and pureed a pumpkin, which was also used to make two dozen pumpkin muffins, and I have 3 cups of pumpkin left in the freezer for future recipes. I turned a bag of apples into applesauce. I had an old bread machine from a yard sale which was sitting around for 5 years. I finally tried it and it worked, although I wasn’t thrilled with the recipe, so I will try many more.
I received a panini press for my birthday and we made paninis twice: once with mushrooms, cheese and a chopped olive mix; and once with bananas and Nutella. Both were delicious!
We had two restaurant meals, both at places we’d visited before. A treat was attending a dinner party for 12 with a multi-course vegetarian meal. I enjoyed eating with and talking with veggie folks about food!
After all that food, I bought a couple of fitness thingies this month: a mini-trampoline to replace one which was completely sprung, and a cheap pedometer. My dad bought himself an Abs Rocker and is finding it really works! If anyone could get results out of it, he could – he is exercise obsessed. I am tempted to buy one but then I’d have to commit to actually using it. I think I will stop by and use his instead!
I spent at least 16 hours this month going through every item in the Computer Room, deciding what to keep and what to donate. I am still not finished, but I am happy with my progress. To keep my morale up, I also cleaned out the linen closet, which was a simple one-afternoon job, and gave me a sense of achievement.
The organizing job I’m most pleased about is tagging my digital photos. My photos have been all digital since 2004 (after a 3-year transition from film) and they were all tagged up to 2010. I used to use Microsoft Digital Image Library. It has been discontinued, but they added the same tagging and captioning features to Windows Photo Gallery, and they are backwards-compatible with MS Digital Image. The project will shortly be complete. I find it less time-consuming than changing the file names of the photos to reflect the contents, or typing in captions.I can now enter a tag such as “Beach” or “Cats” or a person’s name, and bring up every photo I have of them. Cool, eh?