Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Monthly Medley: April 2023


No articles this month, but my fingers certainly weren't idle: I spent a lot of time writing - "about us" blurbs, mission and vision statements, position descriptions, etc. - for the two Boards on which I'm currently serving. It's been fun to flex the (writing) muscles I used at the Red Cross more than a decade ago but haven't worked all that much in recent years. 


This month I read How to be Eaten by Maria Adelmann. The novel, about five women who gather in a support group-like setting to share their traumas, was much different than what I usually read....which is probably good, given that I mostly read true crime and murder mysteries. The story gives off dark fairytale vibes, with each of the characters taking a turn as protagonist and waves of intrigue weaving their edgy, twisted stories together. 


Hallie and I added Leap Year and Look Both Ways to our Corona RomCom list. I hadn't updated this list in quite a while, so it was fun to go back and look at all we made our way through during the pandemic. I'd seen Leap Year many years ago and didn't quite remember the ending; Hallie, on the other hand, watched seven minutes of the movie before she called the ending perfectly. I think she has the romantic comedy formula figured out. (We still watched and enjoyed the ever-so-predictable movie.) Look Both Ways, which essentially tells two parallel stories - stemming from one moment on the night the main character graduates from college - simultaneously, didn't follow the typical romantic comedy formula. I made quite a few predictions as we watched, and I wasn't right...which made the movie even more fun. 

Tom, Hallie, and I finished the second season of The Mysterious Benedict Society, and were then crushed when we read that Disney decided not to film a third season. 

I watched The Night Agent and Who Were We Running From, both on Netflix, by myself. The Night Agent was tough to get into - I think mainly because I initially didn't like either of the main characters - but it and they grew on me as the episodes played on. I'm glad to hear a second season is coming. Who Were We Running From - about a nameless woman and her daughter, Bambi, who live a glamorous but fugitive-esque lifestyle - was one of the strangest shows I've watched in a long time. I honestly don't know what to say about it other than even though I wouldn't consider it a good show, I couldn't stop watching it.  

Listening To

I recently circled back around to Serial, listening to both seasons eight and nine. Season eight, We Were Three, is a three-part series about how COVID affected one family, the members of which - one woman, her father, and her brother - held vastly different beliefs about the virus and the vaccine. Season nine, The Coldest Case in Laramie, is about unsolved murder that took place while the host was in high school nearly 40 years ago in Laramie, Wyoming. Both were interesting and engaging, certainly in different ways, but each lived up to the Serial name and reputation with regard to reporting and podcasting.


A couple of weeks ago a friend posted a link to this video: a musical-worthy, song-and-dance birthday tribute by Ryan Reynolds for friend Rob McElhenney of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame. (Disclaimer: the video contains a couple of swear words.) I've watched it multiple times since that day, mostly because it makes me smile and it's the kind of video that if I had lots of time and even more money, I'd spend both making. I've since followed Reynolds on his @vancityreynolds Instagram page (he and McElhenney co-own Wrexham Football Club) and I'm looking forward to watching Welcome to Wrexham, a documentary about the purchase and stewardship of the club by Reynolds and McElhenney.


I recently picked up these jeans from Target. They're not particularly high quality, but I wanted to determine if I could wear this style (I'm trying to at least occasionally break away from my usual skinny jeans) - at a lower price point - before purchasing a higher quality pair. I'm reasonably satisfied with them, especially for $32! 

Also from Target, I picked up a couple of these tanks. Young people might wear them as actual shirts; I, however, will wear them as layering tanks. (Remember how we used to wear incredibly long layering tanks? I still have quite a few of those but it's time to start cleaning those out of my closet.)


Both of these purchases are kind of boring unless you really like organization, but since I do like organization, I'm sharing them. 

I picked up a set of these bins to help reorganize my kitchen drawers. These pictures are not of these bins exclusively, but one set of these bins helped me move things around and get all four of these drawers in order. I will definitely buy these again!

I also swapped out my kitchen paper towel holder - this one was sleek and simple, and very easy to install. (It attached with just a sticky back, but it also came with screws in case your family is really rough with your paper towel holder.) 


I made this Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake - using the strawberry syrup Hallie and I made after our spring break strawberry picking adventure - for Hallie's birthday. If I were making it a second time, I would swirl the strawberry sauce less, and I would cook the cheesecake exactly according to the recommended amount of time. (I didn't think the cheesecake looked done, so I left it in for an extra five minutes...which was a mistake.)

I made a second birthday cake for Hallie's birthday sleepover with her besties. She requested chocolate, and gave me carte blanche...so I used this Chocolate Explosion Cake as my guide and created this:

It was a hit. 

Feeling Good About

On to May, friends! 

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