Tag Archives: haruki murakami

On Taking a Week Off…

Right after I write a post about how well I’m doing on this habit stuff…I go ahead and let it lapse for a week.

And that’s ok! Because I did some pretty nice and productive things during that week! Here’s a little bit of what went down.

The dude was out of town on a work trip last week and I made it a point to make the house as clean as possible for his return. Over the course of three days, I took on two rooms a day and made them as spotless as I could. It gave me one extra day to do little fix ups here and there as necessary. If you know me, you know that I have this problem where I hate to clean but I also hate feeling cluttered, so though I had to drag myself to actually get the cleaning done, there was a nice sigh of relief after it was finished. My goal is to keep this level of cleanliness going for the next three weeks before my parents come to visit. We shall see how that goes!

I also found some great Netflix fare to reward myself for being an awesome girlfriend that cleans an entire apartment all on my own. I finally watched Chef, which was recommended to me at least a month ago, and if you’re a food lover I highly recommend it to you too. I think anyone could make a movie that includes gorgeous shots of delicious food, but Jon Favreau did so much more in adding in a heart warming story. Without giving too much away, it’s a story to which I can relate – it encourages people to follow what makes them happy, even if that thing isn’t the coolest, sexiest, most raved about thing in the world. You can be miserable in a job that you think you’re supposed to have and that sounds good when you brag about it, or you can go for something that might not be what people expect, but makes you inexplicably happier, and in turn probably makes you a better person. As my loyal readers know, I went through that recently and the latter is definitely worth it. Chef also brings on the “awws” and some may say it’s not realistic in all its portrayals of human relationships, but honestly with all the fairly depressing stuff that I love to watch (Six Feet Under, Mad Men, House of Cards) it was nice to watch something that I could sit back and enjoy and not expect someone to die.

I’ve also started rewatching Parenthood – an NBC show that actually just ended. I started watching this show back when it first premiered and I enjoyed it, but I was in college and real life things got in the way of me following it and I didn’t have a DVR or Netflix at the time so I basically let it go. I’ve caught episodes here and there since then and always wanted to jump back into it. After a visit home where my aunts were talking about how great it was, I decided it was time to re-acquaint myself with the Braverman family. And I’m so happy that I did. It’s an incredible show that, yes, is at times a little cheesy and predictable, but it addresses real issues too. And it has a way of bringing tears to my eyes on a regular basis and reminds me that I do still have a soul. Oh, and the music choices in it are on point – I’m a sucker for a good use of “It’s Tricky” by Run DMC.

This past weekend I finished Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and I really loved it. Much more Wind Up Bird and less Norwegian Wood for those familiar with Murakami. It made me want to read more of his works, which I plan to do in the future. As far as where that puts me for the 26 book challenge for 2015, I’m counting it as #11: A book you started but never finished. Other contenders for this would have been Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (a book that made me SO NERVOUS that something awful was going to happen that I had to stop reading it because it gave me anxiety) and Scoop by Evelyn Waugh (a book that put me to sleep more than once). I just started reading my next book last night: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (the author is my aunt’s cousin!). This one will count as #4: A book your friend loves. It was lent to me by my best friend from college – whose wedding I also happen to be in this summer – and just a few pages in I’m already hooked!

Other fun and important things that have happened since my last update: I discovered that I can make potato pancakes out of leftover mashed potatoes and the dude has figured out how to make the most PERFECT fried eggs. We take our breakfast foods very seriously here so this is a breakthrough for us.

Anyhow, that’s it for my update! Stayed tuned for more posts this week, and as always, thanks for dropping by 🙂

On What I’m Reading and Other Curiosities…

One of the habits I’m trying to incorporate into my everyday life is reading for an hour a day. When I lived in New York City, I devoured books by reading them on the train to and from work. It made the commutes so much better – I would create my own little world with my headphones on while reading a book. Now having to drive to work (which is great, don’t get me wrong), my reading time isn’t as obvious, and so I’ve carved out time before bed to live through some new worlds and characters. Reading before bed was supposed to help relax my mind and prevent me from looking at my phone until I fall asleep…but I definitely still look at my phone nearly every night. Looks like I’ll be adding another “bad habit” to my app.

Anyhow, a book I started reading back in NYC, oh so long ago, is Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. It was a lovely distraction while commuting between Queens and Manhattan, and then it got away from me when I moved up north. I picked it up again this week and it’s just as good as I remember.

If you haven’t read Murakami and love surreal situations and settings, then please, PLEASE, procure a copy of one of his works at your earliest convenience. So far I’ve read The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood, and I loved the first and wasn’t crazy about the second. HBW has given me so much more of that first book that I loved, but I can’t predict where it’s going based on my previous experiences with Murakami.

This book is also the first in a challenge I’ve accepted via Pinterest (yes, I know I’m really basic). It’s a “26 Books to read in 2015” challenge that was posted by another blog, Bringing Up Burns. I haven’t checked out their original post about it yet, but I intend to do so.

This challenge was appealing to me especially since I went from reading dozens of books a year to not picking them up for months. To some, 26 books is easy, and it might be to me with this hour before bed set aside for reading. If I can get through at least 26 books this year, I can no longer say things like, “I love reading, I just don’t have any time for it.”

And then perhaps I’ll stop using that excuse for other things that I love to do but “don’t have time for.” Most of us think we’re too busy for things, but I believe it’s because we’re too lazy to make the time for it. I’m incredibly guilty of this. For example, I love to run but I’ve hardly done it at all since Thanksgiving. A lot of this is due to my stubbornness when it comes to running in sub-freezing weather and not wanting to pull a muscle or have burning lungs all day, but until recently I didn’t even make time for workouts that would help me run even better when I was ready to hit the pavement again. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you take the time to schedule these things out.

Hey, maybe you’ll even revive your blog and write in it for three consecutive days! I hope you all take some time in your days to do something good for you, and something that you love.