Misc Monday ~ in which I try a new BuJo layout

As you have read in prior blogs, I am into Bullet Journaling. I really love it; for me, this is one great way to keep on track. I can record all of my plans and goals in one place, and know that it’s all where I need to see it.

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I recently moved from a Rhodia webnotebook into a Scribbles that Matter journal. I love them both for different reasons, but one thing I love about both of them over much of the competition is that the paper is fountain pen friendly. (The Rhodia has better paper than the STM, but both are better than other journals I’ve tried so far.) I can use my fountain pens on both, with no bleed-through and minimal ghosting. I can even use regular ink stamps in them without difficulties.

(For comparison, I’ve tried Moleskeine journals, and while I love their wide range of covers, if I want to use my fountain pens AT ALL I can’t use these journals for anything where I want to write on both sides of the page. I’ve also tried Leuchtturm 1917 and while they are much better, I still have to be careful with my broad nib fountain pens and I have to use a chalk stamp pad instead of the ink pads I prefer.)

In any case, when I changed notebooks (because I ran out of pages in the Rhodia), I tried transferring my spreads directly over to the STM journal. Only to find out that the number of squares per page is slightly different. If I remember correctly, they have the same number across the page, but the vertical count is different. Not a huge deal, but it did mean I wanted to vary my layouts a bit.

And then I realized that my weekly spread wasn’t really doing it for me anymore. There was too much duplication between my weekly and daily spreads. So I’m now testing out a new weekly layout, and here’s the basic premise of it for anyone who has a BuJo and wants to test it out for themselves:

Weekly BuJo

This coming week will be my first using this spread, so we’ll see how I like it. (I drew it in Excel for the week following, so that I could see how the spread worked across months.) I’ll be using stamps for the hydration tracker, the weather, and my moods… and possibly my cleaning tracker, if I have stamps that work.

I like the way it looks so far, but I’m not positive how useful it will be. That is one thing I like about the Bullet Journal system, though: you can use whatever helps you at the moment, and change it up when it’s no longer helpful.

Have a great week!

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I haven’t used them in a while, but the links to Amazon are affiliate links. There’s no extra charge to you if you decide to purchase anything using the link.

Misc Monday ~ in which my weekend was derailed

Well. Life happens sometimes, you know? And accidents happen.

This weekend’s accident involved broken china, deep cuts, and three stitches. I’m not going to go into more detail that that, since the accident is Mr. Wyrm’s story to tell more than mine. (He’s fine now. Otherwise I would be taking care of him instead of writing a blog post.) However, it did mean that instead of spending my weekend being productive like I was supposed to be, I spent several hours of it sweeping up broken china and waiting at the urgent care clinic.

That did mean that I had some good knitting time. But it also meant that I didn’t have the focus to work on anything super detailed, and so I followed the urge to cast on a brand-new project.

Reyna start

This is Reyna (here’s the Ravelry pattern page) and I’m using Queensland Collection Uluru yarn to make it. So far I love it. It has enough of a pattern that I was able to stay interested in it, but is simple enough that worry didn’t cause me to mess anything up.

Reyna start

I have gotten significantly further than this, but haven’t taken any more recent photos yet. That will have to wait for a WIP Weds post sometime later.

Anyway, I hope your weekend was less interesting and more fun than mine. Have a great week!

Misc Monday ~ in which we play Desert Island Discs Tag

Jay at This Is My Truth Now tagged me last week to play in a blog tag. (He’s got some great book reviews, and if you’re interested in reviews you should check them out. He also posts non-review stuff too, but the reviews are what first got me visiting his blog.) This one is the Desert Island Discs Blog Tag. It sounded like fun, so here goes!


The Rules:

  • Link back to BookBum’s original post, so she can see all your answers! (Remember to do this via pingback, she won’t get a notification if not!)
  • Thank the person who tagged you… show some love!
  • Come up with your answers
  • Then tag others to keep the tag going!

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The Premise:

You are cast away onto a remote desert island:

  • You can bring 5 albums – what are they?
  • You can bring one book – which is it? You are provided with a Bible/ other religious text if you want it, as well as the Complete Works of Shakespeare. No series!
  • You can have one luxury item (it has to be inanimate and can’t help you escape the island) – what is it?

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Well… let’s see. I kinda think it might be stretching it to call some box sets “albums” even though you have to buy the whole thing at once. But when something like Weird Al’s “Squeeze Box” includes all 14 of his regular albums (and even more) or the Musical History of Disneyland has 6 discs with over 7.5 hours of run time, I think that’s stretching the definition a little. So we’ll say an album can include 2 discs, because that’s a lot more common. We’ll stop at 2, though.

  1. First album on my list right now would be the Moana soundtrack. I would need a combination of vocal and instrumental music to stay sane while stranded, and this album has both. It also might inspire me to try my hand at sailing… which could either be a good thing or a bad thing.
  2. The second album would be the Eurovision 2015 album. For those who don’t know, Eurovision is kinda like what you would get if the Olympics was for music. Or maybe if you made something like a European version of “American Idol” happen over the course of a few hours instead of a few months. It’s flashy, it’s energetic, it’s fun – and the 2015 songs were, in my opinion, the overall best batch in the past few years. Seriously, though, if you don’t know about Eurovision, go to YouTube and check it out. (This is a good place to start, or this or this or this. Or for Australia’s first Eurovision entry (yes, I know; it’s complicated) go here.)
  3. For my third album I really wish I hadn’t said only albums of 1-2 discs. I would love to include my Complete Beethoven Symphonies album set here (5 discs). Instead I’ll assume there’s a Best of Beethoven on 2 discs which includes the 5th, 6th, and 9th symphonies.
  4. My fourth album would need to be The Beatles’ “One”. Because it’s got most of their best songs on it, and I need another vocal album to balance out the Beethoven.
  5. And for my fifth album, let’s go with Weird Al’s “Mandatory Fun”. Mostly because talking about the 15 disc Squeeze Box got me thinking about Weird Al, but also because this is my favorite of his albums and his music has at least a bit of crazy in it. Stuck on a desert island I’m bound to go at least a little crazy, so the music I listen to might as well reflect that.

The book is harder. Jay had the great idea of bringing a blank book so that he could write in it, but I’m afraid that if I picked that now I’d just be copying him instead of being clever myself. I also am not going to do the “how to survive on a desert island” kind of book, because that would be too sensible and this kind of game isn’t supposed to make sense.

Instead, let’s say I’d bring Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey’s first Pern novel. I won’t say it’s my favorite book in the world – I don’t think I have one. My tastes change too much based on my mood. But this is one of my favorite books, and it’s one that I could (and have) read over and over again.

And the luxury item… again, I’m making some assumptions here. I’m assuming, for example, that a means of playing the music albums I brought is provided for. (Otherwise the obvious luxury item would be a CD player with speakers and a massive pile of batteries.)

Which means, my luxury item would be knitting. Hopefully with sufficient yarn to last until I’d get rescued, and patterns to knit. But in a pinch I could just re-knit the same yarn over and over until it died, and I also know how to spin yarn so I could find some plant (or animal?) fibers on this island and make more yarn if necessary. But knitting helps keep me sane, and if I was along on a desert island, staying sane would become super important.

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And now I’m supposed to tag people! I’m not going to do that, though. Instead, if you’re reading this and think it sounds fun, then consider yourself tagged. I enjoyed playing along, and I hope you do too!

(You can also leave your choices in the comments, if you prefer. Go ahead. Be a rebel.)

Misc Monday ~ in which we discuss reading preferences

Let’s talk books today. But not book reviews; let’s go with something more general. Specifically, genre. Do you have a favorite genre? How about a hated genre?

One of the items on my 101 in 1001 Challenge is to read a book in each of six genres (hard sci-fi, western, mystery, biography (non-memior), memoir, and science non-fiction). This is largely because, without any suggestions, reminders, or prompts to do otherwise, I would limit nearly all of my reading to fantasy (including its sub-genres) with the occasional foray into a cozy mystery.

Lately, though, I’ve discovered that I enjoy a well-written memoir. Notable recent memoirs which I have enjoyed include Carrie Fisher’s The Princess Diarist and Wishful Drinking; Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography; Felicia Day’s You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost); and Jenny Lawson’s (aka The Bloggess) Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. It helps that, unlike many biographies, memoirs are written in a more human style. They’re more likely to include humor, and to be something the reader can relate to.

Realizing that I enjoy memoirs has made me wonder what other readings tastes have changed since I was young and developed my default genre preferences. I’ve tried reading “classics” with mixed success, so at least I know that my reading tastes haven’t COMPLETELY changed as I’ve aged. But in the specifics? I tend to think of my sci-fi preferences to be more science-fantasy than hard core science-fiction, but is that still true? And I’ve never read a western. Would I like it? We’ll have to see.

Have you noticed any of your reading preferences which have changed as you grew up? I know that some of my friends and I have discussed how our tolerances (for bad writing, for certain story tropes, etc) have changed, and we now have a hard time reading, much less enjoying, some of our favorite stories from childhood. But is that just that we’ve gotten more discerning as we gained experience, or have our genre preferences changed?

I don’t have any of the answers. But I do know that something is different, in the same way that I now sometimes choose to listen to news radio instead of music (on purpose!!) when I never made that choice as a younger person.

Misc Monday ~ in which Seanan McGuire is awesome

I wasn’t going to post anything today, since yesterday was Father’s Day and so I didn’t make the time in yesterday’s schedule to write a Misc Monday post the day before like I usually do. (Holidays and such will throw wrenches in blog posting schedules. You know.)

And then I visited some of my blogroll this morning, and saw that Chris posted this link to an AMAZING Twitter thread by Seanan McGuire. And I HAD to repost it.

(If you would rather see it directly on Twitter, you can do that here.)

Anyway. Any Tweet thread that include mention of a Moana protest sing-along and German (and Japanese) translations is well worth reading in my book.

Happy Monday!

Misc Monday ~ in which I watch a Disney documentary

So I don’t know about you, but I am a fan of the Disney company. (Those of you who have been following along will already know this. Newer readers might not, as I haven’t talked about it much lately.) And one of the things I love is Disney animation. They do, and have done, some amazing things with animated movies and shorts. I love the classics, and I love the newer movies too. (We were late to the party with watching “Moana,” but I LOVED it.) Some of my favorite movies are Disney animated features.

However, there was a period of time when Disney animation almost died.

Well, maybe that’s me being dramatic, but I just watched “Waking Sleeping Beauty,” and that documentary sure made it sound like animated features were an endangered species for Disney back in the 80’s. Do any of you remember the “Black Cauldron” movie that Disney made back then? I vaguely do, because I loved the books. (Still do.) But at the time, it was too dark, and too ambitious, and from what I can tell it nearly spelled the end of animation at the Walt Disney studios.

In any case, if you’re interested in the history behind the Disney Animation Renaissance, then you should watch this movie. It goes into what happened in the Disney company as a whole, and animation specifically, that led to movies like “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast” being able to breathe new life into the animation department. It goes into the difficult decisions management made (decisions that sometimes don’t sound all that favorable) which either helped or hindered the animators. And it goes into the personalities behind those decisions.

It also mentions things I didn’t know. For instance, I didn’t know that “Beauty and the Beast” was the first animated film to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar (and this was when only 5 movies were nominated per year). And I believe “Beauty” was only the 3rd Best Picture nomination received by a Disney film – the other two being “Mary Poppins” and “Dead Poets Society” (released officially by Touchstone, which I did know was a Disney label).

I also didn’t know that “An American Tail” was made by a former Disney animator who left the company, taking a bunch of his fellow animators with him. I knew there was politics in any company, but it can be rough to hear about the hard times a company you love has gone through in the past. It’s hard to understand why there was a time when people didn’t believe in something that, now, is doing so well. But this documentary does a great job of showing how things happened, and why, and what happened to change them.

If you’re interested in all things Disney (like I am), or in movie history, or in these specific Disney animated films specifically, you owe it to yourself to watch this documentary. They’re enjoyable movies to watch regardless, but knowing the climate in which they were made somehow makes them more powerful, more important.

Misc Monday ~ in which I miss spring

I don’t know about the weather where you are, but it seems we in Northern California have kinda skipped the bulk of spring. Well, our spring, anyway. We got someone else’s spring.

A California spring usually involves sunny-but-not-too-hot days and cool nights. Perfect for evening walks. And very little rain. Some, yes. But our usual spring rain is the shower variety.

This year? This year has been wet and gloomy and not very California-like at all.

I know, I know, we need the rain. (Actually, we can be done for this year. We’ll need more next year, but it can wait until winter, right? Please?) (Oh, okay, I guess a warm summer thunderstorm could be fun. But that can still wait for another couple months.) But this has been way wetter than usual. I don’t know which ones, but I know we broke records.

And I am so ready for my normal California spring. Last week was almost summer. (I am really not ready for summer.) But it looks like hopefully this week will be something approaching a California spring. One can hope, anyway.