Saturday, October 08, 2016

Currently: Hurricane Matthew Edition

I'm home today, hunkering down for yet another hurricane. In Nacogdoches, we were visited by Rita and Ike, while in Wilmington we've danced with Irene and a few tropical storms. Matthew isn't anything new, except that now Nathan is on the swiftwater rescue team, which means he has to work the storm and I have to weather it on my own. 

So far the electricity hasn't gone out, which means I have a pot of hot coffee, a steady Twitter stream (perfect to follow the outrage over Trump's latest meltdown), and the ability to make progress on a few different projects. If/when we do lose power, I have four bottles of wine and two brand new library books. Hurricane prep at its finest. 

Since I finally have some free time and haven't blogged in a while (how does that keep happening?) I figured I'd break the ice with my usual I'm-totally-going-to-blog-more-often-so-let's-real-quick-catch-up post. Here's what I've been up to these last few weeks: 

Watching: Everything! Peak TV is no joke. In recent weeks, I tore through The Mindy Project (including the season five premiere, which hit Hulu on Tuesday). We're halfway through season 6 of The Walking Dead, which is really fun and scary, despite the nightmares. I still love Jane the Virgin (season 2 is on Netflix, in case you didn't know). And we watched the Amanda Knox documentary on Netflix, which was a fascinating look at a case I only half followed as it unfolded. Oh, and we're also watching Quantico, which is awful but in a really good way.

Reading: Thanks to all my television watching, I haven't been reading as much as I like. I've also been a bit inundated with some extra projects (freelance and creative) which is eating up my reading-for-pleasure time. That said, recent reads include Homegoing (one of the best books I've read this year - required reading for the whole wide world), The Nest (in which rich white people struggle with not being as rich as they'd like - it was okay), and Leave Me (great premise - I have a thing for mothers who run away - but the execution was a bit shallow and predictable). 

Writing: More like revising. I'm making good headway on the fourth draft of New Novel. Lots of big changes, moving things around, and painfully cutting thousands of words. I keep making promises to myself about when I'll be done with this draft, and I think I've finally learned that there's no point; this book keeps its own schedule. On the bright side, I mostly like what I'm writing and every time I work on it, I feel like it gets a tiny bit better. Right now the hardest part is maintaining momentum, especially when I overwhelm myself with other obligations. (Guilty as charged.) 

Eating: A few weeks ago I went to the very best bachelorette party for my friend Lucy. It took place in her parents' South Carolina retirement community, and was basically a big sleepover - perfect. When I arrived, I told Lucy that I had started eating cheese again, and she was so happy she hugged me. Which is a longwinded way of saying, yes, I am eating cheese again! It started in Vermont and hasn't really stopped. I'm not eating a ton of it, and not every day, and I still get scared that something terrible will happen if I eat too much, but overall it's been a nice addition to my diet. I'm sure you were all waiting with bated breath for this very important news.

Budgeting: We're still going strong with YNAB and the few minutes I spent with the app each day have made a huge difference in how we think about and deal with our money. We're planning ahead. We're (mostly) sticking to our goals. And we paid off one of our credit cards, which is amazing and wonderful and such a great feeling. Full disclosure: the balance was around $5,000 in May when I started using YNAB. The reason we were able to find an extra $5,000 to send to it is due to planning, budgeting, and extra income from my freelance gigs. Still, if I wasn't budgeting and staring at that balance and thinking about our goals every day, I'm sure that freelance money would have gone to something else (as it has in the past). So I definitely consider this a YNAB win. We have one more credit card balance to pay off and I'm hoping we can do that by the end of the year. Fingers crossed! And sign up for YNAB now! 

Planning: There are a lot of fun things coming up in the next few months. A big wedding/MFA reunion at the end of the month, a shower for Baby B, a trip to Rhode Island, a Thanksgiving feast, a trip to New York for Christmas, a few races (more about that in my next post), and all the usual things that take up my days and nights and weekends. Which means I'll have plenty to write about, and no excuses to let this space lie fallow. 

More soon. In the meantime, if you're in the path of Hurricane Matthew, stay safe! And if you're a US Citizen, dear god, please make sure you're registered to vote.