The Adulting AP Test

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Remember those things that got us out of taking certain college courses if we got a decent score? Anyway, this is more of a discussion on Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown.

First, I highly recommend this book unless you have 100% of your shit together which I highly doubt is possible. Even if you have a good 80% of shit together, it still makes for a funny and entertaining read.

On with my thoughts on the book.

While some of the stuff is pretty common sense stuff and some things I’m just too lazy to care to do, it was still an amusing read. I love her financial zoo, which is a helpful section. I enjoyed the fact that she’s a hip hop fan and found lyrics for every occasion (that’s not to say there are hip hop lyrics on every page, but when they pop up, it makes me happy to be reading the book).

It’s entertaining and easy to read. Adulting made easy. Take it with you where ever you go, but I recommend reading this book at home because it is a good motivator. All I wanted to do was adult all day as I read this book.

I think I started with a decent score before starting this book, but I am older than twenty three, the age of which this book seems to assume the reader is. Here are things that make one an adult (according to the book) that I already do:

  • I budget and am financially aware despite still being as poor as I was when I first got out of college.
  • I maintain my car okay.
  • I don’t drink and party like an under-aged teenager.
  • I can cook enough to survive, but don’t ask me to cook for you; you’ll find it bland or over-salted (I never seem to get it right).

Since I wasn’t reading this book fresh out of college, some of it felt like, “Geeze, Mom, I know, I know!” Nonetheless, she’s a funny writer, and I quite enjoyed reading her words.

Not so fun fact: She was a twenty seven year old journalist when she wrote the book, and I was a twenty seven year old news production assistant when I read this book. Ahh! What am I doing with my life? 

There was one good piece of advice that I question. Does anyone ever get to check the apartment that they will actually be moving into before signing a lease for a complex? In my experience, I was never guaranteed the apartment they had me look at, and I didn’t get to see my apartment until I signed the lease. Then I would turn in the inventory sheet that tells them everything that’s wrong with the place, but I would still be legally stuck living in it. But if you can see the apartment beforehand, it is sound advice.

Besides the financial zoo, I enjoyed the “circle of concern vs. circle of action,” so I made my own. Basically, try not to stress too much about what you can’t control (circle of concern), and take action when it comes to things you can control (action).

Concern vs Action

The book is full of wise words like these, and I think everyone should read it. I learned a lot, and I feel more motivated to be an adult.

Some discussion questions she provided (quoted exactly) and my answers:

  • What is your biggest adult failure to date? Be honest. Did it involve coconut-flavored rum? It did, didn’t it? Oh, coconut rum.
    • A lot of failures involved alcohol, but no, I think even worse than any of that was not knowing at all what to do when one gets in a car accident regarding the person who hit me and the insurance companies. Minor detail now, but man was I so stupid then (does this count because I was still in college, but I was also pretending I was capable of adulthood?).
  • If you had a pet zebra, what would you name him? Here’s a few to get you started: Edwin Brewster, Senor Stripes, Karen, Pickles, Trotters.
    • ZZ Stripes
    • Striper Z
  • Name one thing you overlooked before you signed a lease for an apartment that you really, really wish you hadn’t?
    • It’s not so bad, but I tend to overestimate how big a square foot is, so this little studio space is a lot less than I thought.
  • Name some other things crazy people do, then write a one-act play that includes all of them.
    • I cannot think of anything currently, but I definitely want to get to this in another blog post.
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Submergence by J.M. Ledgard

20170315_110806.jpgThis one is a Literary Disco read, and I’m writing my review before I listen to the podcast. There will be some note comparisons throughout this post.

I jumped in without having read any summary of it, but here’s mine: Submergence is a narrative of a man in British intelligence and a European woman scientist both thousands of miles apart and remembering their chance encounter with each other while contemplating many mysteries of the universe and life itself.

I was submerged (see what I did there?).

While I like a story where the characters have a goal, and there are actions toward that goal, this narrative was still a good, thought-provoking read, and I could not put it down. It’s plot-less said Todd from Literary Disco, that’s it. Reflective facts are all over this book, but there is no moving plot.

Its flash backs and flash forwards between each character’s respective locations reminded me of the TV shows Once Upon a Time and Lost, and I love those. I didn’t love this book, but liked reading it.

The matter-of-fact sentences regarding their actions reminded me of The Stranger. “He did this.”

“She moved here and did this.” Also reminded me of my own dull writing (not to self: fix it!).

However, that is not how the whole book reads. The words were descriptive in their imagery, and Ledgard made such good use of sensory words. I could smell and see the gross conditions of the prison a character is trapped in; I would not eat and read this novel at the same time. While it was more of a reflection rather than an action filled story with a clear goal, I was still immersed in the world of these characters as they reflected on their lives and the lives beyond their’s.

I enjoyed James’ narrative as a prisoner of war because it gave me some insights on extremism and the environment of a war zone in third world countries.

I enjoyed that Danny was a strong and self-confident female character, but she was a snob, and she admits it, and I’ll be honest, that annoyed me. She went on about her work to James, but when he talked about something, she didn’t even pretend to care about his subject.

Rider from Literary Disco makes a good point, and I agree that the characters are difficult to relate to because they are wealthy people, so I didn’t really care what happened to them. I was reading more for the oceanographic insights.

Good intellectual book, but don’t expect a conclusive ending. According to Todd on Literary Disco, someone died, and I must have completely missed something which will tell you more than this written review can I guess. I was submerged, but apparently I did not even care enough about the characters to realize someone died.

I am fascinated by the ocean, so if you’re like me, it’s not a bad read. Some of the facts about the ocean and the environment read more like a textbook which could be bad or good depending who you are. Like I said, I am fascinated by the ocean, so it did not bother me much.

It bothered me a little that there were no chapters, and that’s just a personal preference. I like my stopping points to be on new pages. There are stopping points; just separated by squiggly lines in the middle of the page. It gets a little confusing keeping track of the narratives, especially when I spread out my reading across a few days.

I did enjoy this little comment on Americans, and I myself am guilty of being proud of some of my accomplishments and parading a “badge” of my profession (mainly free t-shirts).

“The Americans were more congratulatory… There was a pressure on American boats to purchase ugly expedition T-shirts… as if a badge was needed to prove that you had touched the ocean and partaken in your own profession” (139).

And I leave you here with that. Next read, next project, I don’t know. Until next time.

 

 

Unfortunately Fortunate

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I have finally completely finished A Series of Unfortunate Events: a feat I have attempted many times since I fell in love with the very first book as a child. Such misery and darkness, it was great!  A feat the first time because it was a book on my teacher’s shelf that I could not take home with me. A feat the second because I still did not have the books and was borrowing them from the library one at a time, and then I got distracted.

I still can’t believe they are children’s books, but that they are, which made it easy to read on the job. If you’re looking for something that can easily be read while surrounded by distractions like on a bus or in a meeting, this is the series for you. Even if you’re not surrounded by distractions, read the series. But as the author warns you throughout the pages, it is full of misery, and he is right. I nearly cried, so be prepared when jumping into these books. It’s not all sad though, there’s humor in it, and I love it! Yes, the author talks to you sometimes, so take that into consideration. I like a lot of books where either the narrator or the character talks to the reader.

As you can see from the photo above, I do not have the complete collection, and I didn’t when I started re-re-reading it. My boyfriend has a… Kindle, and I… began the re-reading on that. I know, it hurts me, but you think I could afford to buy all thirteen books? I even tried to get the books on the cheap at Half Price Books (as you can tell). We scoured Half Price Books all over the city, and they seem to only go up to the tenth book (conspiracy! or it’s gained popularity because of Netflix). I read what I found, and the rest, I begrudgingly read on the Kindle.

An unfortunate event happened on my travels that led to something fortunate. While I packed physical books on my trip, one day, I only took the Kindle out with me with the intention of reading The Series of Unfortunate Events on the bus. But it was not there. I don’t know what happened. I fell asleep watching Netflix on it; maybe I accidentally deleted it all in my sleep. I still don’t know what happened, but I knew then that I was right to begrudgingly succumb to the technology.

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Despite my grudge against the Kindle erasing the books I wanted to read, I did fortunately, find something else to read that did not get deleted: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which was funny but something I would much rather read in book form in a quiet space. I found out later that it is only book one of a series (I seem to get myself trapped in series a lot). I finished the first book, and it definitely is not a stand-alone, but it made me laugh and distracted me from the fact that my reading of Unfortunate Series was interrupted again. Once I finish the Hitchhiker’s series, that will need its own post.

Final thoughts on the Kindle:

Pros (UGH!):

  • Travel (even though I still pack physical books)
  • Readable in low light like when you’re on a plane and don’t want to disturb your sleeping neighbor or when the lights at work suck
  • It’s easy to disguise the fact that I am reading on the job because I don’t have to hold it, and I can easily tell corporate that whatever is on the screen is for work

Cons:

  • Technology is finicky: Like when the Unfortunate Series disappeared from the system
  • Staring at the screen even when it’s unlit hurts my eyes
  • It is not a book!
  • And I cannot count the pages left in a chapter

Since I’ve decided to put more commitment into this blog, I made stickers! My Treats and Sweets Fundraiser for Pet Partners is still going on, so click here and donate at least five bucks, and I will send you one of these bad boys! It’s got a dog on it; everyone loves dogs! Help me help therapy animals!

Blog Stickers

Speaking of Commitment, My Current Projects:

  • I’ve been submersed in books written by other people because my own writing is such a mess that I don’t even know how to turn it into a coherent story. Do you ever let your place just get so messy because you’re working 24 hour shifts, and when you finally have a second to look at it, you don’t want to, and by the time you decide you should clean it, it’s already time to go back to work? That’s how I feel about my writing right now.
  • I finally thought to search the public library to get a hold of Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps. I can’t say for sure, but my current plan is to write about that in my next post which will delve into my personal life a bit which includes my writing.

Comment below to let me know if anyone is out there reading my stuff. Tell me (nicely) what you dislike about how and what I write or what I am doing right here. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but I want this blog to be something.

Help me blog better!