Last week, Feller and I went down to Santa Cruz for a Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers concert. I’ve written a bit before about how much I love seeing my favorites in concert, and this was no exception. RCPM is up there in my top three favorite bands, and I haven’t had a chance to see them perform in years. Roger Clyne consistently gives great, energetic performances, and I always leave the show feeling revved up and revitalized. Feller has started coming with me when there are shows I want to see, and it’s fun to share the music I love with him.

I haven’t listened to RCPM on a regular basis for a few years; I didn’t love two of their recent albums and haven’t even listened to their newest, but this concert took me right back to being 22 on a beach in Mexico hearing them live for the first time. My buddy and I drove down to Rocky Point on a whim, after seeing Cross Canadian Ragweed in Tucson, who announced they were playing in Mexico the following week. We didn’t have a hotel or plan, and we discovered that this concert was a huge fucking event. We found the one room still available around the corner from the concert venue and got down to partying.

CCR was great; they always, always were, which is why I was so heartbroken when they broke up. But RCPM? Oh, god, they were MAGICAL. I knew some of their music because I worked in a sports bar that had The Refreshments on the jukebox, but even the stuff I didn’t know felt familiar and wonderful. I am pretty sure there weren’t any fireworks that night, but that feeling you get when you see fireworks is so strong in my memories that I have to remind myself he was only singing, “The kids are lighting firecrackers/Boom, boom, boom” and that it wasn’t actually happening.

After that night, I was hooked. I saw RCPM anytime they played in Tucson and as many times in Phoenix as I could. I saw them in Rocky Point another three times, always as part of a fun road trip with the same buddy. They were the soundtrack to my life in the first few years after I graduated college; when I didn’t know what was going on or where my life was headed, I turned to Roger who just seemed to GET ME. And the concert last week just took me right back there, reminding me of all the fun I had while listening to this band.

Omg, you guys. Did you know working two part time jobs is exhausting? It is. It’s exhausting. I started a part time job back in December, as I may have mentioned and was juggling it with an on call job up until April, when I started a second part time job. Now, theoretically, I would be working 41 hours, six days a week. This is not totally ideal, but it’s also not that bad. In practice, I work much more than that. This past week, Sunday to Saturday, I worked 51 hours, over the course of seven days. Also, my one day off per week (that I don’t *always* get) is alternating Fridays and Sundays and always works out so that when I have Friday off, I work Saturday and then have Sunday off. So…I’m working a lot, is what I’m saying. Understandably, I haven’t had much time to write nor much to say that isn’t work stuff.

At any rate, besides working lots and lots, I’ve been keeping myself busy in other ways. I reached my Goodreads annual goal already. I purposely set it a little lower than what I did last year, thinking that with all the working I was going to be doing, I wouldn’t have as much time to read. HAHAHAHAHA. I’m not sure where I found the time, but I definitely did, and the average length of book I read this year versus last is less than 40 pages shorter than last year, so it’s not like I’m padding my numbers with picture books or shorty middle grade books.

I will say, though, for those of you who want to incorporate more reading into your life, the two things I do that I think have the most impact on how much read are: 1. Audiobooks for LIFE. and 2. Reading before bed every night. Also, I’m in a book club conglomerate (Bay Area Book Geeks, for the curious), and I try to read as many of the book club books as I’m interested in. And, I am happy to report, I have relaxed a little with the due date anxiety and am actually reading the books that I want to read, no matter when they are due back at the library! And I am making a more conscious effort to read the books that I buy. I still have a lot of books on my “To Be Read” book case (yes, an entire bookcase. It doesn’t even hold all of them.), but I am trying to read through them.

You know what I haven’t had time for recently? Knitting. Or rather, I’ve been feeling very BLAH about knitting lately. I have a feeling part of it relates to the amount of stupid baby knitting I’ve been doing, rather than the fun, for me only knitting. I’ve made some cute af stuffed animals and about a gagillion duck socks, and I think I’m getting a little burnt out on all baby knitting, all the time. Because, seriously, everyone I know is pregnant or recently had a baby.

Also, my size 4 cable needles met a somewhat tragic demise (surprisingly, shoes + knitting on the floor is not a good mix), and I haven’t had a chance to replace them, which I probably need to do before I can do some actual, super fun knitting. I’ve got some gorgeous mustard yellow yarn that I want to make a shawlette out of, something like this or this. I like the second one the best, but with more of the lace all over. Oh! And it doesn’t require size 4 needles! Maybe this is just what the doctor ordered to cure some knitting ennui.

First of all, National Readathon Day is on Saturday!! I’m over halfway to my goal, and I would LOVE your support! Because who doesn’t love books and literacy? Please make a donation over here. I’ll love you forever.

Feller and I are on the second leg of our Portland-Seattle-Portland vacation, and so far it’s been great. We spent the past few days hanging out in Beaverton, Oregon and not doing much. We discovered a Fred Meyer down the street from our hotel, which is sort of like an even BETTER version of Target, if you can believe it. Needless to say, we engaged in some light retail therapy and grocery shopping, since our room had a teeny tiny kitchen. We also discovered the 24 hour delights of WinCo, and their crazy huge bulk section. These two stores are certainly making a good case for Oregon being a pretty decent place to live.

I also discovered that I wasn’t quite as prepared for the amount of rain we were going to be doing with as I thought as I was. I brought my umbrella from home, but then I misplaced it somewhere between home and the hotel. Turns out, I had just put it in a different bag and forgot. But not before I bought a new one! And a raincoat! (My first raincoat ever. It’s like one more step to being a Real Adult.)

Actually Important Portland Purchases: rain gear. #vacation #Portland #raining

A photo posted by @amysaysread on Jan 18, 2015 at 2:21pm PST

Turns out the raincoat came in real handy when we hiked up Multnomah Falls. It wasn’t raining most of the day, but it started to as we came back down the mountain, and it was certainly nice to have the protection when we were walking by the falls.

That was the only Big Thing we’ve done since we arrived, but I think we both needed some time to relax and recharge and recover from Life. Life’s been exhausting recently, and we were ready for a break. We have, however, reached the point where we have to start making the most of our days and Doing Things. We were gonna try to go to Ecola State Park yesterday, but after the ass kicking the Falls gave us the day before, we decided to take it easy. (Also, we got up kind of late, surprising exactly no one who knows us.) So it was to Seattle we came, and we got here just in time for me to get in a nice run in the neighborhood around our hotel.

Guess where I got to run tonight #vacation #Seattle #SpaceNeedle #running #writeandrun31

A photo posted by @amysaysread on Jan 19, 2015 at 5:42pm PST

Not a bad way to greet a new city. Also, it seems the #writeandrun31 is turning me into one of those weirdos who looks forward to working out. Except for one Fuck It Day and a few days where I was sick, I’ve been sticking with my goals, even on days when I was really not feeling it or thinking that it’d be okay if I skipped. Like today. I was not going to go for a run, but we got checked into our hotel a couple blocks from the Space Needle right before sunset, and off I went.

Anyways, we’ve got a lot of stuff we want to do and see in the next couple of days. We’re only in Seattle until sometime on the 22nd, and there’s a lot to do! I, in particular, want to see the library.

YOU GUYS. Penguin Random House, Goodreads, Mashable and the National Book Foundation are starting a NATIONAL READATHON DAY. I cannot even begin to describe to you the amount of joy with which this fills my heart. A whole day. For READING. (Or, as I like to call it, Tuesday.)

So I’ve actually heard of libraries organizing readathons before, and I always thought it was a cool idea, and maybe a good way to promote reading for pleasure. And the other day, as I was tootling about the internet, I came across the link to a national readathon! How exciting! I immediately decided that I would be dragging Feller along with me because he likes to read, too, and what better way could we possibly spend an afternoon together?

Upon further inspection, I discovered that the readathon, in the true fashion of all -athons everywhere, is meant not just for sheer joy of reading all afternoon, but to promote and raise funds for the National Book Foundation, who bring us the National Book Award and a variety of programs designed to promote literacy in the US and help instill a love of reading in people. And who can’t get behind a group that brings attention to authors such as Jacqueline Woodson (winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Young Adult) and Ursula K. Le Guin (recipient of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution and who gave a kick ass acceptance speech).

So, if you feel like supporting our readathon, and we would LOVE to have it!, click on the logo down below, which will take you to our donation page. I’ve set our goal as $100, but it would also be great to surpass that!

national readathon day

And if you’re interested in participating in the readathon yourself, there are venues hosting readathons all over the country, but you can also read from the comfort of your favorite reading spot. Just read along with us on January 24th, from noon-4pm!

Well, hello, you. It’s been awhile. It’s all my fault, I know. I’ve been terrible at keeping in touch. Life has been, well, LIFE, and it was easy for me to put all this on the back burner (or, you know, take it off the stove entirely and stick it in the random cupboard that you never open). But for 2015 and, more importantly, my 30th year, I want to get back in the habits of regular chats with y’all.

In the past year, my life has gone through some pretty major and mostly awesome changes: I finished school (FINALLY!), and I started working in my chosen field (fucking FINALLY [not that I spent a lot of time looking for a job or anything; I found a paying gig within 3 months of graduating, but I’ve known what I wanted to do since I was 16, and nearly half my life is a long time to wait]). I recently turned 30, which is way more exciting than distressing. And have we talked since I ran my first (four) half marathon(s)? And I realized that I don’t like running for that long? I still enjoy running for shorter periods of time, and though 2014 was all about slacking off when it came to running, I want to make it more of a priority in 2015, especially now as I’m starting to establish a routine with work.

I’m also trying, as you can tell, trying to write more often. Primarily, that it going to take place on my book review blog: Amy Says Read This, and, ps, all my social media happenings have migrated over to @amysaysREAD as well (Instagram [be prepared for a LOT of cat pictures] and Twitter). I’ve got almost two months of posts scheduled over there, which sounds pretty impressive, but is really just drafts that I had written AAAAAGES ago but never cleaned up and posted. My goal is to post 1-2 book reviews a week, and to help keep me on track, I’ve signed up for the Cannonball Read 7, which is like an online “race” to read and review 52 books this year. Hopefully, this will help me get into a regular review writing habit and just generally exercise my writing muscles.

I’ve also signed up for #writeandrun31, the purpose of which, as the name implies, is to write and run for 31 consecutive days. My 31 days started on 5th, and my daily goals for writing and running are pretty small: spend a minimum of 20 minutes a day working on my blogs and run a minimum of one mile or 20 minutes of other activity at home, if I’m not feeling up to a run. I realized after making this commitment to myself that I’m going on vacation for two weeks later this month, so this is going to be more challenging than it might normally be, but if I can do it then, I have no excuses for the rest of the year. And I’m signed up for a 5 mile race in March, so I really gotta get to it.

My only other big resolution for this year is to be a bit more discriminating with my reading. I get in this cycle of feeling like I need to EVERYTHING, so I check out everything from the library and then I, surprise, surprise, don’t have enough time to actually read everything, and I have spent so much time the past year or two thinking about what I’m going to read next and how I’m going to juggle all the books I have checked out from the library and just feeling a general anxiety about this obsessive need to read everything ever, omg. And this year, I am releasing myself from that. I’m going to force myself to just effing RELAX about the library books. I don’t know if I can stop myself from checking out so many of them, but I am going to make an effort to not have so many out at any given time. And I’m going to focus more on reading the ones I want to read rather than the ones that are next due at the library, which gives me permission to re-read old favorites and, oh yeah, the entire bookshelf full of books I have purchased and never read because I always have library due dates looming.

At any rate, dear friends, I’m hoping to post over here more often in the coming year.


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