Silver screen and snail smooches.

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The libraries have extended hours for the end of term, so work today was a bit more strenuous than usual. Tensions are high and so I instructed my coworkers to deploy cute pictures of baby animals as needed. One provided me with Ukrainian photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko’s macro photography of snails. It sets a high bar for cute.

While shelving DVDs, it suddenly occurred to me that I could start today’s portion of my routine reboot right there at work! I mentioned in March that one of my goals for 2014 is to watch 50 films. Since setting that goal, I have made zero progress on it. So I picked up a copy of “Mean Girls”, a silly film I keep meaning to watch. (Did you know that you can check films out from libraries? Because I’ve worked in libraries for almost two decades and I keep forgetting this.)

Unfortunately, by the time I got home from work I was too fried to figure out why the DVD wouldn’t stream over AirPlay without crashing every appliance in the flat, so I ended up with Netflix. A desultory glance through the available titles led me to “Frances Ha” and “Friends with Kids”, neither of which I recommend but were entertaining in their own ways. Mostly they gave me an excuse to do absolutely nothing while providing Torgi a warm sleeping place.

Now it is time to cleanse my palate with Helene Wecker’s “The Golem and the Djinni” which I am reading so slowly because I never want the world she has created to end.

Photo credit: Vyacheslav Mishchenko.

No, doze.

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Torgi spent last night jumping up on the bed, poking my face and shoulder with his paw, trying to get situated, and then jumping down again. Sometimes he’d root around in the litter box like he’d lost a cufflink in a pile of dirty laundry, scrape scrape, scuffle scuffle.

Zen, on the other hand, was mostly quiet, until she woke up at 06:00 with a mighty siren-whoop. I was coherent enough to gingerly scoot her off the bed before she yarfed.

Today I’ve spent in that soft sleep-deprived sqwudge of reality, not quite dangerous but nowhere near a good place to be making any solid decisions.

And, of course, the cats are fast asleep, as they’ve been since I got home.

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If I were a vengeful sort, I’d scruffle them awake. Instead I’ll just make today’s contribution to the Routine Reboot: going to bed when I’m tired.

Meals for one.

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Meals for one.

For the month of May, I’m back to meals for one.

I’ve been lamenting FunkyPlaid’s departure since it was decided, but I am determined to make the month count. My goal is a total routine reboot, starting with my eating habits. The meals for one pictured here are my fallback options in case I am too tired or busy to cook so that I don’t substitute a few snacks for a meal or skip a meal entirely.

For the rest of my routine reboot, I am collecting links for inspiration. Feel free to add yours in the comments.

Writers’ Bloc at the Science Festival.

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Writers’ Bloc at the Science Festival

Writers’ Bloc returns to the Edinburgh International Science Festival for The Culture Collider, an exploration of weird science and stranger arts. The show starts at 8pm on Sunday the 13th of April in the Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall.

I will be reading a new story. Hope to see you there.

[more info · tickets · more of my fiction]

Haze and howl.

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Smacked down with a jagged little head-cold. Some bits from my phone, remnants of my desultory search for spring …

A mark on a lamppost.

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A squadron of daffodils besieging the links.

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A shrubbery unconvinced by spring’s opening argument.

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Book Review: The Happiness Project

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happinessprojectThe Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I appreciated the tone of Rubin’s writing, the depth of her research on the topic of happiness, and the overall organisation of the project, I found the read itself to be a slog. This is likely because I was already familiar with (and a little tired of) the premise through undertaking my own self-improvement projects. My friend Mako’s review of the book was so glowing that I wanted to read the book to find my excitement for self-improvement again. The truth is that whereas Rubin’s book would have been an exciting, inspiring read a year ago, I’m now the wrong audience for it. And I’m okay with that.

One quote did resonate with me: “All this thinking about fun made me realize that I had to make time for it. Too often, I’d give up fun in order to work….In fact, though, turning from one chore to another just made me feel trapped and drained….Fun is energizing.” It sure is.

View all my reviews