Monday, January 31, 2022

A Month in the Life: January 2022


I'm not even pretending with the new-year-new-me stuff in 2022, y'all. The world is still in the depths of a pandemic that has so profoundly disrupted our lives that the "normal" I once imagined getting back to feels strange. I'm going to have a baby in the next few weeks here at some point. I have no idea what my life is going to look like three months from now, much less at the end of the year. I'm just here to keep on keepin' on.

In Books...

  • Beyond The Pale: This was an impulse Kindle sale purchase, written by a folklorist about having a child with albinism. I thought it was going to take a more academic view of the condition, but it's a pretty standard "sick kid" memoir about coming to terms with the diagnosis and exploring her own family history to discover where it might have come from. I found it pretty boring.
  • A Long Way Down: Another Nick Hornby I found disappointing. This one tells the story of four strangers who meet on a rooftop that they've all come to jump from, and the subsequent tensions between them after they decide not too. The problem is that those conflicts don't really grow or change, just repeat, and virtually none of his characters is actually compelling. Dialogue, as always, is a high point but it's about the only one.
  • Tender Is The Night: I wish this classic, which I read for book club, was a straight-up depiction of the extremely complicated relationship between F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda instead of a thinly-veiled one. It's good, honestly, but not nearly as good as Gatsby.  
  • Olga Dies Dreaming: This started so well, with the story of two 40-something siblings of Puerto Rican descent living in New York living outwardly successful lives while continuing to reckon with the pain of their mother's abandonment when they were teens to pursue revolution catching me almost immediately with wit and well-drawn characters. It lets its storytelling fall by the wayside for a bit in the middle in favor of info dumps, but the ending was pretty strong. 
  • Feminist Theory, From Margin to Center: I'd never read bell hooks before, or taken any sort of gender studies course. This is an excellent book, which meaningfully conveys the major issues feminism as a movement was confronting at the time it was written (1984) in a way that's both rigorous and accessible. It was also kind of infuriating to realize how much these issues still plague the women's movement, nearly 40 years later.  
  • Northanger Abbey: This was my last unread Austen! It's interesting that it's one she apparently wrote when she was younger, though it wasn't published until after she died. Its humor is less sophisticated, broader, but honestly in many ways just as if not more actually enjoyable for all that. And I think Henry Tilney might be my favorite of the Austen men.

In Life...

  • Last full month before parenthood: It's hard to believe that by the end of next month, I'll have a baby! I can imagine few things less pleasant than going into labor while Covid-positive, so I've been kind of a hermit lately and go few places other than to the store.

One Thing:

Being extremely pregnant is extremely uncomfortable! A surprising number of my pre-pregnancy tops still fit, but bottoms are another story. My beloved Old Navy leggings are still going strong for daytime wear, but at night...leaving the waistband untied is not really cutting it anymore in the late months. I'm not sure how long they'll hold up, but these Amazon Essentials lounge pants have been my lifesaver for just hanging out being cozy at home. They are not thick or luxurious, but they're comfortable and have pockets and to be honest that's enough right now.

Gratuitous Pug Picture:


  1. Congrats on the soon-to-arrive bundle of joy! And best of luck with the last month of pregnancy. <3

  2. Congrats and good luck with the baby! My baby is turning 3 this month, and they really do change everything about your life.