Running, Writing, and Pictures of My Cat

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I’ve gotten into this habit of only taking pictures of my cat, which sometimes makes it difficult to recollect what I’ve done over the week. Beyond that, it’s difficult because so much of my life right now is centered on minute, daily tasks.

It’s me staring at a screen trying to write. It’s me knitting, or reading, or painting. It’s me applying to jobs, and knowing I won’t hear back for a few weeks, if at all. So what do I have to show for the last 10 days? Pictures of my cat, or flowers I’ve seen while walking, or the occasional screen grab of something magical I discovered.

Having this kind of schedule also makes it difficult to ~blog about my happenings during the week~ because so much of it I can’t really share in detail. I’m not posting my writings or some of my paintings because I’m working to get them published! But those are some of the goals I’m working hardest on right now.

Hmm. How to find this balance.

I will say that GOD, writing is difficult. Or just mustering the energy and/or mind space to write. I sit down and look at a screen and know what I want to write, sort of, but it’s like untangling the gnarled knot of creativity in my mind – I can focus on it but sometimes, there’s just no going forward.

So I take a break and walk around and focus on something else, and when I come back, I might have some clarity. But it’s a slow process for sure. I’m eternally fascinated by people who can churn out ideas – I know everything takes effort (even when people make it look like it doesn’t), but I wish I could better harness the drive to push through the difficult moments. It’s like exercising, and I’m just struggling to push past the tire in my aching mind.

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Speaking of exercising! I’m making a concentrated effort to get back into running. For too long, I’ve let the whole Rhabdomyolysis Saga of Early 2019 dictate my motivation towards running / exercising. I want to put an end to that!

I ran 2 miles yesterday and can definitely tell I’ve lost some of what I built up before I stopped. That said, I’m still pretty proud of two miles!! Two years ago, I couldn’t even manage 1 without stopping for breath. It helps, now, knowing that I CAN do it. Even when my lungs hurt, and I’m wheezing, and feeling like I just WANT to stop, I know I’ve run the distance before, and I trust myself to not push past my own limits (again, lol). HOLDING MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE IN THESE BLOG POSTS. 3x a week baybee. Getting back into it.

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In an unintentional turn of events this week, I went to two different pubs – one homey and comfortable, the other trendy and posh. The first was the Buchanan Arms in Burbank, which is sadly going out of business in just a few days! It felt local and familiar, in all the right ways (almost Cheers-esque), and I went there with friends I’ve known since college. Very nostalgic feeling, even though it was my first/only time going!

The second was Macallan’s – an Irish-inspired whiskey bar in downtown Brea. They have a WILDLY extensive list of different whiskeys to try, but I am weak and not actually a huge fan, so I stuck with mixed drinks (one had candied ginger in it – my FAVORITE). The ambience is actually very nice – it was trendier than the BA, but not in a pretentious way. I was glad to go to both places and try them out!

That’s about all for this week. Again – I feel like I don’t have much to say, but I’m trying to give myself grace with that. There will be exciting weeks and also ordinary weeks. Life’s about embracing them all.

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I’ll finish off with a review of the book I finished this week, a fun, indulgent read – It Happened One Autumn, the 2nd book in Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series. Here’s my review from goodreads:

Back at it again with the Wallflower series – these books never fail to be pure fun.

I imagine it’s wildly fun to be Lisa Kleypas, and to write these stories. She’s so good at it! She knows her genre and owns it – including all the fun and sex and tropes and longing glances and late night garden meetings and fancy balls and light humor you could want from romance novels.

It Happened One Autumn had all of this and more, and I feel it redeemed the series for me after Secrets of a Summer Night, which I didn’t love (see my review for it, but I just felt Simon was to toxically masculine to root for).

Lillian is loud and sarcastic and doesn’t want to be controlled. Westcliff is pompous and always thinks he’s right and lives his life strictly within the confines of the rigid society he was brought up in. You could say…. there… is some pride…. and prejudice… on both sides. (Fun!)

Pros:
– Lillian remained her rambunctious self the whole time. In the end, it’s not like she tamed down to be more fit for a man.
– Westcliff is stuck up but like… not as problematic as Simon Hunt was to me. Also, on multiple occasions he totally gets Lillian off and doesn’t demand anything in return! IN. TO. THAT. So often romance stories are like “and then the bro did bro sex and the girl loved it and totally came from bro sex alone because she’s Hot” and there’s no focus on female pleasure or aftercare or anything. Not so in this story! Thank you, Lisa.
– Always here for the positive female friendships. Yay.

Cons:
– The jump from “we hate each other” to “we love each other” was a little rushed. It didn’t really feel like there were reasons for the change, other than that they were hiding their true feelings the whole time, and were totally hot for each other. If we’re going for the Pride and Prejudice thing, I think it’s important to recognize that hate doesn’t turn to love from nothing. (Like… Darcy does all this actual Good Guy shit and Lizzie realizes she judged him too quickly blah blah, but there’s this whole transition from hate to love that makes it feel believable).
– Okay so St. Vincent is like a totally rape-y asshole. And I know he’s going to get with Evie in the next novel…. and I’m just not sure how that’s going to work. Like… is he redeemable? We’ll see.

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This has been a post!

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