What I Read in April

Saturday, May 1, 2021

This month was a lotta murder... & then I slow down & branched out a little to other topics: mommy playgroups, celebrity alcoholism, teen angst, & the Cleveland mafia. Listen, I'm a woman with many interests.

With this month's seven books, I've read 21 out of my goal of 55 books for the year, which puts me a little bit ahead of schedule. (Yes, I intentionally undershot my goal in the hopes of being able to meet it, & no, I am not ashamed of that.)

I currently have a billion books on my TBR list & literally a dozen of them downloaded from the Libby app & about six recently purchased audiobooks... & at this rate, I will never read any of them. But at least the ones I'm reading are good, right? Onward!

5 Things I Learned from My First Distance Riding Challenge

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

I first learned of PeloFondo from Lara, a social media friend & host of the podcast Will You Accept This Podcast? PeloFondo describes itself as "a community event for Peloton Riders, focused on long distance mileage." You sign up, you commit to a certain amount of mileage, & you have a whole weekend to achieve it. 

I participated in my first PeloFondo April 17-18, just a month after recovering from COVID. I hadn't been riding much because my body was still just too fatigued, & I didn't want to push myself. About a week before PeloFondo, though, I started feeling better, started feeling well enough to ride again, & I did a few classes before jumping all the way in with my commitment of 35 miles.

Here's what I learned.

Why I Can't Yet Get Vaccinated

Monday, April 26, 2021

Nobody uses the term "FOMO" anymore, but right now, it's the only phrase that seems to fit my situation, Because ugh, I have such bad FOMO.

Now that every adult in the U.S. is eligible for the COVID vaccine, we who believe in the power of science should all be celebrating, right? And I am! Just... not for myself. Not yet.

In mid-March, the day after I turned the corner in terms of a few days of brutal COVID symptoms (including tachycardia, sweating, body aches, & more), I went to a nearby Cleveland Clinic* location to receive a monoclonal antibody infusion, a COVID treatment recommended for elderly & obese individuals who have asthma. My BMI just barely qualified me, but I was thrilled to be able to be shot up with antibody therapies that made me feel better within hours and made it safe for me to return to the world once I tested negative.

Here's the catch: After you've received a monoclonal antibody infusion, you can't get the COVID vaccine for 90 days.  

How I'm Trying to Find My Chill Amid the Stress of Starting a New Job

Friday, April 23, 2021

I told you last week that I was gearing up to start a new job after 13.5 years at the old one. The truth is that I did start a new job in between, way back in 2010, but it wasn't the right fit... so I ended up going back to the job I'd had before it! I'm not planning to do that this time, but the fact remains that starting a new job – even the right one – is incredibly exhausting.

Simply put, it takes a lot of brain power to do new things, even things that are technically simple. Switching from Zoom to Slack & from Basecamp to Trello & even from one laptop to another can be surprisingly taxing, creating new mental pathways that identify my "new normal." And that's on top of learning the ins & outs of the job itself & interacting with a whole slew of brand new people. 

In short, it's stressful to be the person who doesn't know anything. So I'm trying my best to stay calm & cool & collected (lol, yes, so in keeping with my personality) by feeling in control of other areas of my life. Here's how.

On Moving Forward, Making Friends, and Finding Myself

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

I've been thinking a lot about the last post I ever wrote on my old Xanga site. Remember Xanga? Man, I loved that place. I wrote there all throughout college.

My last post was on July 4, 2007, just over a month before my graduation from Kent State University. The day after commencement, my mom, aunt, & I loaded up two cars with all my belongings & drove me to Washington, D.C., where just two days later, I started my first post-college job as a legislative assistant at a Jewish nonprofit. I expected to work there for a year & move home, but instead... well, I never left.

Until now. 

Oh, the Places You Won't Go: 12 Places I've Eaten Amid the Pandemic

Monday, April 12, 2021

Things are starting to feel a little bit more normal here, especially after Mike & I both recovered from COVID. With antibodies coursing through our veins like superpowers, we've been feeling more & more comfortable heading out into the world even going so far as to eat inside restaurants a couple of times. 

Before we contracted COVID, though, we did our best to keep supporting restaurants new & old, from places we'd long loved to new spots we hoped would succeed. Here are 12 of the best places we've eaten from lately – mostly takeout & delivery – throughout the last few months of this pandemic.

What I Read in February & March

Friday, April 2, 2021

I kept thinking I hadn't been reading enough to do a roundup, but... oops, I did it again. Yes, I'm still operating on a much slower pace than in years past, but I've definitely recovered quite a bit from my peak-COVID reading pause. 

This round of reads includes a little bit if everything: nonfiction history & science, a memoir about disability, a fictional royal love story, a short-story thriller, & a YA fantasy series. And everything was pretty darn good! Here goes:

25 Things about Me as a Reader

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The last year has changed so much about our lives, including, for me, how much reading I do; it's like I just can't focus on a book anymore. Still, I'm finally back in the swing of things, if not at the same volume as before, & I'm really relieved to be able to rediscover my love of reading along the way.

Awhile back, Stephany of Stephany Writes wrote a post titled "25 Things About Me as a Reader," & I am straight-up stealing that idea today. I don't know if this will be interesting to anyone but me, but it seemed like a fun list for me to think of.

Here's a bit about me, my books, & my lifelong love of reading. 

Outdoor Fun, Even During a Pandemic... in the Winter

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Yep, that's me under there, bundled up beneath layers & layers so that as little of my skin as possible is exposed to the very, very cold elements. It's in the 70s as I write this, so this much snow & cold feels fairly distant, thankfully, but even in frigid temps, my friends & I were doing our best to, well, make the best of things, pandemic be damned. 

Here are just a few of the outdoorsy events we enjoyed at near- or below-freezing temps before things started to warm up. 

What It's Felt Like to Have COVID-19

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

I’m eight days out from my COVID diagnosis, & I’ve come a long way. Those first few days were absolutely miserable — “mild,” technically, but miserable nonetheless. 

I first went to the ER with a rapid heartbeat that, at one point, surpassed 140 BPM. I didn't have any other symptoms of illness yet, but I was jittery & panicked, too afraid to move much for fear of overwhelming my heart. That, it turned out, was likely the result of thyroiditis, which the endocrinologist says sometimes happen in cases of illness — your thyroid freaks out & dumps all of its thyroid hormone, which can cause an array of issues.

My other symptoms, which kicked in slightly later, were debilitating. 

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