I’m borrowing this post idea from Bevchen. I don’t usually do a lot of meme-inspired posts, but lately I haven’t been posting much at all. So here’s the “What’s New With You” format… here’s what I’ve been up to just lately.
Reading. I haven’t had much time for the Kindle lately, but I did start Jen Bradley‘s novel “Virago,” along with the fascinating “Cleaning Up The Kingdom, which is written by people who are former members of the Disneyland custodial staff. Really interesting stuff here!
Watching. Summer is upon us, which means there’s not as much new television to be seen. I’ve nearly completed a re-watch of Star Trek: Enterprise, which I absolutely despised on the first run. I find it considerably less revolting now, and I’m not sure what changed. I’ve also nearly completed a re-watch of Leverage, which was a delightful and fun show that could easily have run another season without losing steam.
I also watched the first episode of the new Dangermouse, and it’s definitely got flavor of the original ones, even though some of the new voices completely take me out of the show. The new Silas Greenback voice is particularly terrible. I’m rather surprised they didn’t try to get Sir David Jason back… after all, he was the original voice of Dangermouse. (And Count Duckula!) Maybe he wants to retire from acting, since he’s 76 now.
It’s also the summer movie season. I haven’t had time to watch everything I want to see, but I can say that “Finding Dory” was exceptionally adorable, and the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was super entertaining. It was basically a two-hour live-action movie version of an episode of the 90s cartoon.
Fascinated by. This news that the Earth has picked up a second moon. Basically, an asteroid got caught in our gravity about a hundred years ago and it never managed to break free. It’s tiny, about 150 feet by 300 feet, and it has a weird orbit. It’s still technically a moon, though. We have two moons! Next up, Jedi Knights!
Cooking. I’m not much of a cook, but I’ve been using the slow cooker for the occasional moist fall-apart-y chicken breast. (Amelie’s Salsa Chicken recipe: Put a chicken breast in the slow cooker with mild salsa for a bunch of hours, then shred and eat with rice or something. It’s super delicious!)
I’ve also been taking advantage of the meats that they sell which have already been prepped/seasoned/marinated- Target sells a garlic and herb roast that is absolutely amazing after about six hours in the slow cooker. I’ve also been making more easy-prep foods like spaghetti at home. I want to eat out at restaurants less frequently, because I enjoy having money.
Exercising. I’m still probably going to talk about exercise in more detail in another post down the line, but I’ve been trying to go to the gym several times a week. When I lived in Germany, I walked most everywhere, lived upstairs, took the bus to work, and walked all over creation whenever I traveled. My life in Florida is so much more sedentary, and I needed to get up and move. So, the gym. I just use the little gym at my apartment complex, because paying for one that I would never drive to is just a waste of money. I do some of the weight machines, some Couch-to-5K stuff on the treadmill, some time on the bike, and as little time as possible on the Devil’s Elliptical. I hate every second of it, but so far I keep going.
Buying. Since I’ve been doing the gym stuff, I got myself a new Fitbit. The Fitbit Charge HR is a wrist-worn step counter that also checks my heart-rate and tracks my sleep. It’s great for being reassured that I am, in fact, terribly unhealthy and in need of drastic lifestyle change.
I also recently bought an install-it-yourself basic alarm system for my apartment, and the little SD card that activates the maps in my car. The Mazda 3 model that I drive had the GPS built in already, and just needed the maps to activate the navigation. There’s an SD card slot in the console.
Traveling. Not so much lately. I did the Germany/Switzerland trip a little while back, but there’s nothing else on the near horizon, except a planned Disney trip in late August. Orlando is only about a three hour drive from me, so I tend not to think of it as travel.
Thinking about: Speaking of Orlando, I won’t get into the Pulse nightclub shooting very much, except to say: Orlando is my second home city (Regensburg is my third,) and some of the victims were friends of my friends. I love Orlando, and I want to live there again some time in the future. The attack was brutal and insane and it saddens me greatly. It also makes me very angry. I won’t say more about this, because the logical thread here gets into religion and politics, both of which are not topics I can be calm or cheerful about right now.
Listening to. Mostly Pandora at work, but I’ve been working on an upbeat playlist called Jim Rhatt for the iPod while I’m on the aforementioned treadmill or Devil’s Elliptical.
Recent concerts with Amelie have included Florence + The Machine, Panic at the Disco, and Weezer. The Cure is playing Miami early next week, but that’s the last show we’ve got tickets for until October (Sia) and November (the Pet Shop Boys.)
Regretting. That my car has a manual transmission. Almost all of the cars I’ve ever driven have had a stick shift, but this might be the last one before I go automatic. I’ve always enjoyed driving manual because I feel like I have more control. I’ve always preferred cars that were small and quick and maneuverable, like a White Star or the Millennium Falcon. In fact, whenever I downshift in a turn, I feel kind of like Han pulling this lever, which is obviously the Falcon’s shifter:
The problem with driving manual is that I live in South Florida again, and I spend most of my drive time on the highway, especially I-95. This means there’s a lot of stop-and-go driving, and I spend a large percentage of my drive with my foot pushing the clutch all the way down while I coast along at eight or ten miles an hour. It’s very annoying, and I often get out of the car with an ache in my clutch foot.
What’s your preference, automatic or stick?