Back in the saddle again! I finished a piece at the beginning of the month, and just signed on for an additional two articles due at the end of February and the end of March. My goal for 2023 is to stay creatively engaged and working consistently without taking on so much that I feel overwhelmed...
I read Someone We Know by Shari Lapena this month. This whodunnit mystery started off strong, which I greatly appreciated as so often it takes me until around page 100 to feel invested and intrigued. The pace slowed for a bit midway through, but the end was twisty and turny as should be the case in every mystery.
I cruised through two very different series in January: Kaleidoscope (Hulu) and Echoes (Netflix).
Kaleidoscope is a heist mystery, each episode of which takes place at a different point in time before, during, or after the heist and is designed to stand alone. The episode order is shuffled for every viewer, so while I might watch Pink, then Green, then Yellow, etc. until I reach White (which is the actual heist and was created as the series finale), you might watch Yellow, then Orange, then Red, etc. until you reach White. We would experience the show differently, because we gained information about the characters and the heist at different points in our viewing journey. The heist itself isn't quite on par with, say, the heist in Ocean's Eleven (my standard when it comes to this genre), but the show is engaging and I loved the concept.
Echoes is a dark and twisted drama about adult twin sisters and what unfolds when one of them goes missing. The concept for this series was a good one, but the complete storyline was either not adequately laid out or I wasn't paying close enough attention. (I admit that the latter could easily be the case - I often have the television on while I'm lifting weights, stretching, etc. and I frequently miss important details.) I felt somewhat confused in the beginning, then grateful when some of my questions were answered midway through, and then somewhat confused - and troubled (like I said, it's dark) - again in the end. I might watch it a second time, just to see if I can catch a few more of the details.
Tom and I watched Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery and LOVED it. Each episode of this comedic murder mystery series invites a guest star to play the role of a rookie detective who is assigned to work with a senior detective, played by Will Arnett. A script exists, but the guest star isn't given a copy so they're forced to improvise their way through the episode. Jason Bateman, Maya Rudolph, and Pete Davidson all appear and are hysterical to watch.
Tom, Will, and I watched Glass Onion, the stand-alone sequel to the mystery Knives Out. It wasn't quite as good as the "original," but it was still intriguing.
Hallie and I watched Ticket to Paradise, which starred two of my favorites: George Clooney and Julia Roberts. The film was cute, but - unsurprisingly - not either of their best work.
I usually listen to a lot of silence in January. I'm not a fan of podcasts (and media in general) that promote a "new year, new you" mentality, and since this topic is the foundation on which much what rolls out at this time of year is built (and because December is generally pretty noisy), I like to keep things a little quieter post-holidays. I have a new podcast I'm looking forward to trying in February though!
Kind of along the lines of not listening to much of anything in January, I'm not following much of anything in January either. Instead, I'm unfollowing people and pages - a cleanse of sorts. To me, it feels good to declutter Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter just like it feels good to declutter my kitchen pantry, bathroom cabinets, and linen closet. New "follows" to come next month!
In January (and in February and March) I wear the exact same thing on Tuesdays and Fridays, because those are Lads game days and the weather is ALWAYS some combination of cold, rainy, and/or windy.
For those who might be wondering how this Wisconsinite bundles up for games... Starting at the bottom and working upwards, I wear one pair of Smartwool socks, toe warmers, and either my rain or winter boots. I wear long underwear under my jeans, or if it's REALLY cold, long underwear under leggings under my ski/snow pants. On top I wear a tank top, one or two Cuddlduds undershirts, and my Tiger sweatshirt. Depending on the temperature, I wear my long vest under either my Texas winter coat or my Wisconsin winter coat. I also wear a hat, a fluffy scarf, and wool mittens with hand warmers in the hand warmer pockets and hand warmers inside the body of the mittens. Oh, and I always wear my Tiger Lads bracelets, even though no one can see them underneath all of my layers.
I didn't do any shopping for myself in January, but Hallie and I have a couple of shopping trips planned for the near future so hopefully I'll have something fun to share next month!
I swapped out my Native deodorant, which I've used for a couple of years and been happy with, for something even better. I waited a couple of months to report in (I wanted to give it a fair shake first), but I could have shared within a day or two what I'm sharing now - Lume is amazing. It smells wonderful and does the job better than anything else I've tried in the last six or seven years (which is how long I've used aluminum-free deodorants). Clean Tangerine is my favorite scent thus far, but I plan to try them all, especially now that Lume is available at Target.
I couldn't bring myself to buy this for my car - it felt frivolous - so I put it on my Christmas list and received it as a gift...and I LOVE it. It secures into the cupholder so the weight of additional beverages (it can hold up to four) won't tip it over, and the top level is adjustable so it's perfect for my Juice It Up bowls. I think this is the exact one I have, but there are lots of similar designs.
Speaking of my car, I also received this car air freshener as a gift. It's the Anthropologie "Volcano" scent, and it smells lovely (and does a decent job of masking the odor of soccer cleats and pointe shoes).
Last but not least, I continue to adore my Loopy phone cases. Hallie bought me this one for Christmas, and it's been the perfect cover for winter.
I had three recipes to share in this post...but then Will logged me out of my computer, and when I logged back in, the computer forced a Chrome update of Chrome that erased all of my bookmarks. I spent an entire day trying to recover them, but I was never successful; I finally gave up when my Google searches basically told me - and others who had been in the same boat - that I wouldn't be able to get them back.
Feeling Good About
Hope you had a good January, and that February is treating you well!