Here’s the thing about January

What a great start to 2015! I rang in the New Year in New York, came back to the DR to house sit with my new favorite dog and two new cat friends, sent out draft 1 of part 1 of The Nation to reader-friends, paid my deposit for my Peru trip, and already managed to squeeze in one trip to Jarabacoa! Life is nice in 2015.

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BLOG POSTS & ARTICLES //

100 Notable Books of 2014 at The New York Times – Gotta love a good list of books!

When Her Good News Makes You Feel Bad at momastery“The thing is, when someone is bragging to you about money or accomplishments or yadda yadda, what she is really doing is asking  you to see and love her. Maybe she’s not going about it the best way because she hasn’t learned yet that if we want love, it’s best to lead with vulnerability. She’ll get there eventually. For now, she’s just got this part of her that she believes is lovable in her hands and she’s holding it out to you and she’s saying:  Will you see me? Will you love me?”

21 Books To Read Before They Hit The Big Screen In 2015 at BuzzFeed – Another list of books!

Stocking the Pond by Shauna Niequist“The first part of writing is noticing.”

What church planters can learn from Target’s failure in Canada by Sarah Bessey“The leaders often didn’t consult the area churches, leaders, or believers. They simply showed up and started without a thought for other believers already labouring in that field.”

If Hermione Were The Main Character In ‘Harry Potter’ at BuzzFeed – Golden.

36 Times Jess Mariano Completely Melted Your Heart On ‘Gilmore Girls’ at BuzzFeed – In my heart and in my mind Rory finally wised up and realized she and Jess belonged together and they’re living somewhere wonderful writing and encouraging each other onward in wisdom and knowledge and art.

The True Cost of Teach For America’s Impact on Urban Schools at The American Prospect – I have always taken it (perhaps too) personally that TFA can give someone a summer’s worth of training and call it good, sending them into a classroom, when I studied and worked for five years for the privilege to stand in front of a classroom of students. Anyway, that’s a selfish reason to have concerns about TFA, but The American Prospect offers some more legit reasons.

MOST POPULAR POST //

Here’s the thing about living alone “Anything goes wardrobe-wise when nobody’s around to see you.”

MOVIES & TV SHOWS //

Troop Beverly Hills on Netflix – What a classic. I remember watching this one with my brother when I was younger. It’s just the tale of a Beverly Hills mom with a desire to prove herself. So she becomes the leader of her daughter’s previously pitied Girl Scout troop. Of course the sell the most cookies and win the big event in the end, looking stylish throughout.

Annie in theaters – So fun! I did not approve of Cameron Diaz as Mrs Hannigan. After all these years acting, I still feel like Cammie D overdoes it sometimes, but Quvenzhané was adorable. The whole thing just made me want to move back to the States and be a foster mom. I might just do that one of these days!

Stardust on Netflix – I was staying with a friend around New Years and he recommended this one. I loved it. It’s about a magical world, a star who falls from the sky, a prince determined to be king, a wicked witch, and of course, true love. I was not surprised to discover it was based on a book written by Neil Gaiman. He knows a thing or two about story telling.

Kon Tiki on Netflix – After a Sunday sermon about thirst (which was full of shipwreck stories) the aforementioned friend and I watched Kon Tiki, which is based on a true story about a Norweigan explorer and writer who sailed on a raft from South American to the Polynesian Islands. More importantly, it’s a story about very attractive blonde guys getting tanner and beard-ier as the movie progresses.

The Good Lie on Delta Airlines – This movie was playing on the airplane and I thought I’d give it a whirl. Well, in college I watched a documentary about The Lost Boys (I think it focused on the same three, actually) and that documentary was better than this movie. But also much sadder. I won’t pretend I wasn’t relieved at the very brief background. The Lost Boys and Girls’ story is horrific and terrifying and heart-breaking. The earlier story, anyway. I hope that now their stories at redemptive and beautiful and brutiful, too.

Moonrise Kingdom on Netflix – I was looking for a good movie to watch while working on my puzzle and this was just the ticket. I think it’s one of my new favorite movies, actually, and not just because the main gal is named Suzie. It’s just a story about a straight forward, daring kind of love and friendship.

Good Will Hunting on Netflix – I’m sure I was the last person in the world to see this movie, but I’m glad I finally did. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Matt Damon is a treasure.

Happy Endings on Netflix – Netflix (atleast Dominican Netflix) no longer has Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, or Scrubs, so I was getting kinda desperate. Well, Happy Endings did the trick. I watched all three seasons this month and am happy to say it got better as it went along. At first I thought it was just a poor man’s New Girl, but it’s actually just a fun little show about people who talk to each other and admit their mistakes and make fun of each other and forgive each other. I’m sad it’s over.

MUSIC & VIDEOS //

Sam Hunt Radio on Spotify – I heart Spotify and also the men of country.

Guy Hilariously Narrates Random People’s Lives in Public Places at Tastefully Offensive – I’m sad it took me till 2015 to learn about Thomas Sanders, but he’s a hoot. A nice, clean hoot. “Story time!”

Let It Go – Frozen – Alex Boye (Africanized Tribal Cover) Ft. One Voice Children’s Choir on YouTube – I know, I know, it’s been a year and we’re still hearing versions of this song. But this version is sung by children!

BOOKS //

The Ender Quintet by Orson Scott Card – I ate this series up, man. I read Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind, and Ender in Exile. There are more in the series that I’ll probably go back and read. I’ve been wanting to get into more Sci Fi and this was a very successful start.

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper – I really want to see the movie because of Jason Bateman and Tina Fey but that is not yet an option, so I read the book! There was a lot of sex, but I liked it anyway.

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais – I think I made it half-way through this one. If I had been reading it, I probably would’ve powered through, but I was listening to the audio book and it was just too boring so I moved on.

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli – This is an audiobook I did finish and enjoy. I just never get sick of those World War II tales. What I really appreciated about this one was the point of view. The narrator is a young orphan – we never learn about his early years, but we follow him through life, a large part of that life being lived in a Jewish ghetto. I appreciated his innocence and ignorance, how the war was filtered through his life-lens.

I am 8% done with my goal of 100 books for the year. I’m right on track!

// HAPPY FEBRUARY!

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