#29. Reading Challenge – almost there!

I have a lot of books that I have not read. This year, along with my shopping ban, I was on a book ban as well. So not only could I not buy books, I couldn’t check them out of the library as well. Even if a book was free for the kindle, I couldn’t download it. Part of the problem was that I get easily distracted by books. So many new books come out that I want to read them, but as soon as I buy them or check them out from the library or download them, something newer comes along.

So no new books until August 23, 2017 (I do, however, accept them as gifts. Which is why my wish list on amazon has a lot of books).

I had the books. Now I needed a plan to read them.

I started this challenge late; I discovered this challenge in August, and should have started it in January.  You can find the challenge here, from the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s website.*

Here are the 12 books:

  1. A book published this year
  2. A book you can finish in a day
  3. A book you’ve been meaning to read
  4. A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller
  5. A book you should have read in school
  6. A book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF
  7. A book published before you were born
  8. A book that was banned at some point
  9. A book you previously abandoned
  10. A book you own, but have never read
  11. A book that intimidates you
  12. A book you’ve already read once.

I added a few more rules to this challenge.

  • It had to be a book I already owned.
    • no library books
    • no downloading books, even if they were free
  • Audiobooks are ok.
  • Digital books are ok.

Here are the books (minus 3 in this photo) I read or currently reading:


  1. A book published this year:  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, based on a story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany.  It’s the script of the play performed in London.  I thought it was wonderful, even though it really wasn’t written by J.K. Rowling.
  2. A book you can finish in a day: Antman by various Marvel talent.  A good introduction to the character, and each story stood on its own. But it didn’t want me to read more, which is a bummer.
  3. A book you’ve been meaning to read: The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua. Nominated for a 2016 Eisner, this book tells the story of the first computer programmer Ada Lovelace and inventor Charles Babbage in a wildly inventive and fantastical situations.  More info can be found here.
  4. **A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller: The libraries in the County of San Diego participate in a program called One Book, One San Diego.  This year it’s Waiting for Snow in Havana by Charles Eire. It’s all the more appropriate that we are reading this book, given the current situation in Cuba.
  5. A book you should have read in school. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.  I hate-read this book.  I would have abandoned it if not for this challenge. Even taken it in the historical context it was written, and knowing it’s a satire, I disliked Tom with a passion. OMG what a jerk.
  6. A book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF: My BFF gave me the book Chew by John Layman and Robert Guillory. Tony Chu is a cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions of what he eats.  So when someone is killed, he’ll have an idea of what happened if he eats part of the body. Gross, but a very engaging story. Find more info here.
  7. A book published before you were born: Gentleman’s Agreement by Laura Z. Hobson. I haven’t watched the movie (which is surprising, because I heart Gregory Peck), and I want to watch it even more so after reading this book. Given the rhetoric that has been heard during this election cycle, the ideas behind this book are still relevant.
  8. A book that was banned at some point: Huckleberry Finn, by Tom Sawyer. Given my dislike for Tom Sawyer, why would I subject myself to the sequel? Remember my rules – they had to be books I already owned. I checked all the books I had, and this was the one that fit the criteria decisively. Thank goodness this one had a much more likable title character. And then Tom showed up in the end, just to remind you that he’s still a jerk.
  9. A book you previously abandoned: W by Sue Grafton. I don’t know what happened that caused me to abandon this book. It was such an enjoyable read!
  10. A book you own, but have never read: Girl Genius by Phil and Kaja Foglio. This wasn’t my favorite story. I thought I would like steampunk, graphic novels, and a female protagonist…but it just didn’t spark for me. I do have a novelization of this work…perhaps it will be better.
  11. **A book that intimidates you: Lake Wobegone Days by Garrison Keillor. This book intimidates me. It’s probably the amount of pages, the small print, and the fact that it’s not a book I can blast though (very little dialogue). I have to read it slowly and savor it. Which is difficult for me. And that’s intimidating.
  12. A book you’ve already read once: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I read this as a teenager – loved it. I read it in my early thirties – loved it. I read it this year – loathed it. Ok, maybe that’s unfair. I didn’t loathe it. I loved Jane. My opinion of Rochester has changed. No longer is he the brooding, intelligent, misunderstood hero. He’s a manipulative, commanding (spoiler alert) bigamist. Jane could have done much better.

*She has a great podcast, too! You can find the podcast here, or search for “What Should I Read Next.” I subscribe to it, but I feel it’s the gateway for me to buy more books….

**currently reading with less than 21 days to go!




#24. done. 

Deleted all the games off my iPhone, including that blasted Township app (Except for Neko Atsume).

[I will weed out more apps, especially the shopping ones.]

44 for 45

I am now 45.

This time, however, on my 44 for 45 list, I am setting more doable goals. Some of the things I have on this list will be a repeat of last year’s list. (I am DETERMINED to do a year-long shopping ban, for instance.)

Here it is:

  1. Shopping ban. Probably an adapted version of this.
  2. One box or bag a day: either empty a box to put things away, or throw/donate a box (using konmari method).
  3. Weed out digital photos.
  4. Complete virtual pace series.
  5. Complete at least one cycle of the following: ChaLEAN/PiYo/cize. (No, I am not a beachbody coach. But I like their exercise dvds.)
  6. Be able to hook my hands behind my back and touch my palms to the floor. (This is an odd to-do, but it would be really nice to scratch the hard to reach places on my back.)
  7. Make room to exercise. Literally and figuratively. I need to add it to my planner and clear a space to do it.
  8. Go plant-based. Did a blood test last month, and the numbers are really concerning. I can still reverse them, and part of that is exercising and the other part is diet. Going to do this.
  9. No more soda.  I have been drinking a lot of soda and my teeth are paying for it. Diet soda has its benefits (no calories), but the studies against drinking that stuff is concerning.
  10. Eating out only for social events.
  11. Run a 5k.
  12. Lose 50 pounds.
  13. 21 day fix. Another Beachbody product, but you can follow the eating plan pretty cheaply, using the containers found on Amazon.
  14. Rehab master bathroom. It needs new paint, new shelves, new outlets, new mirror. Other than the electrics, most of the stuff I can do myself (or enlist Mr. Jasperitis).
  15. Fill in the photos of the frames in the house. I have lots of photos, and collage frames that don’t have those photos in them.
  16. Install photo holders in the garage.
  17. Landscape backyard.
  18. Get everyone’s birthday and send cards.
  19. Train Wilbur to loose leash walk.
  20. Sophie’s surgery. Sophie needs leg surgery.
  21. Eliza needs to learn to be calm (WIlbur, Eliza, and Sophie are the dogs of the Jasperitis household.)
  22. Volunteer somewhere. Either here or here (if either will take me).
  23. social media – limit.
  24. Delete all games from phone, except for Neko Atsume (because Tubbs).
  25. Digital Detox. Really, screen time needs to be limited. The Bored and Brilliant Challenge is just the ticket.
  26. Screen time is over at 10 pm.
  27. Blog at least once of week.
  28. Take lunch breaks.
  29. Complete the Book Challenge.
  30. Sew one article of clothing.
  31. Finish Lego Dimensions. Yes, this goes against my screen time challenge, but I hate the feeling of leaving things undone.
  32. Enter a photo contest.
  33. Shoot photos in manual mode.
  34. 104 photo project.
  35. Use my camera at least 2 weekends a month.
  36. Finish watching Arrested Develpment/Facts of Life/Frasier (again, more screen time, but see #30).
  37. Visit to Philippines (this WILL happen)
  38. Project Life the last few years.
  39. Put together Lego Doctor Who kit. I’m surprised I haven’t done this.
  40. Have a zero cc balance. My balance isn’t as bad as it has been in the past, but I want to nip it in the bud before it gets too crazy.
  41. Update resume
  42. Save 5 months salary.
  43. Find a (paying) side hustle that I can do on my own time.
  44. Understand my retirement accounts.

43 for 44 – how far did I get?

I turn 44 tomorrow.

This blog was originally meant to document my progress of my 43 for 44 list (the 43 things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 44), but I ended using this for sharing my thoughts on other things like my favorite the local baseball team, brushing up on my photography skills, and sharing photos of my dogs.

Of the 43 things I wanted before my birthday, I completed 11 of them. I made progress on some of those I didn’t complete, and others I totally went the other way.

Starting with what I didn’t accomplish:

1.Shopping Ban. I did ok for 5 weeks, then I fell into the trap of subscription boxes. My gateway to buy new things.

3. Remember birthdays, anniversaries, etc.: Nope, did horribly on this.

6. Save $10,000. I am $6,000 short.

7. Complete Chalean, Piyo, or Cize. I’d get two workouts in, and then didn’t do much after this.

8. Get rid of at least 100 items. I got rid of lot of items, but nothing significant.

9. Complete C25K,. See #7.

10. Create and exercise space.  I did, and then it got filled with stuff because I was unable to do numbers 1 or 8.

11. Get to drivers license weight. Because I didn’t do 7, 8, or 10.

17. Fix bike. Still sitting in our sunroom. Still gathering dust.

18-20. Project Life 2014-15; Project 52 for 2016. Nope, not even close.

22. Landscape backyard. The backyard is still all dirt.

23-24. Train the dogs to be calm; walk them more often. I am a horrible dog owner.

25. See Frances Ruffelle in Washington, D.C. Missed it.

26. 10,000 step habit. Barely made it to 3,000 on some days.

29. Electronics off by 10 pm. I am writing this post at 11 pm.

30. Visit the Philippines. I really regret not doing this.

32. Pack/Unpack 7 boxes a week. I started and now my “exercise space” is filled with half-filled boxes and things spread around.

33. Lose 10% of weight. I actually gained 10%.

34. Sew again. My sewing machine is covered with items to fulfill numbers 18-20.

36. Quit Sunday job. I took a month off, but I can’t quit it. I like the people I work with too much.

37. Do a 10k. Whoops. I forgot about this one.

38. Fix the window screens in the house. The dogs keep poking their nose through it.

40. Apply to one job. There was one, but I chickened out.

41. Update resume. Still need to do this.

Sort of did.

12. Weed out photos.  I am 1/10 the way through. Still have a ways to go.

14. Learn something new every day. I did, but didn’t document it.

15. Do something nice for my husband everyday. Almost every day I did this, but that doesn’t count. And then I didn’t document it.

21. Fix toilet seats. Replaced one of them. Mr. Jasperitis replace the other one.

27. Play games, music, books I own; use what I have.* Mostly did this, but bought new music with gift cards/credit.


2. Dog Beds. Yes, did that! But unfortunately, the legs broke and

4. 5 5ks.  Actually I did more than that, because I found out about virtual races.

5. No more pinning on Pinterest; use what I pinned.  I don’t pin anymore. In fact, I deleted the app from my phone and tablet.

13. Back up photos in hard drive. I found Amazon Prime members have unlimited photo storage.

31. Buy a mac mini. I did! And didn’t charge it on a credit card.

28. Limit to 5 subscription boxes. I had a peak of 15+ subscriptions at one time, now I am down to one, and that will be done in September.

5. No more pinning on Pinterest. I did one better. I deleted the app from my phone and ipad.

39. Start blogging. You’re reading this.  I wasn’t as prolific as I thought I would be, but it’s a start

16. 52 books read, including S. and The Money Class. Done. Done. Done. (I actually read 55 books.)

35. Photography again. Yup. Did that. And I am rusty!

42. Organize paperwork. Took a two days, but I got it squared away.

43. Household binder  I put one together, similar to this. (Now actually using it, that’s another story.)

I didn’t accomplish everything, but I didn’t expect to, really. Lots of things were dependent on one another, but the fact of the matter was that I was easily distracted by other things.  I found myself staring at a screen, whether it be my phone, tablet or computer. Sometimes it was productive (blogging, backing up photos, or weeding out said photos), but most of the time I’ve been distracted by social media (Twitter is my Waterloo), and games. Like this one. Or this one. Or anyone of those slot machines games.

What happens tomorrow? Work, as usual, and another list.





Baseball (part 2)

(For now, I am putting all grumbling and #grumpyfan aside, and doing my best to enjoy the game of baseball.)

I’ve been working on my photography skills. I’ve done nature shots (dogs, flowers and bees). now it’s time for sports.

The photos are from June 28, 2016 (Orioles vs. Padres). Mr. Jasperitis and I sit in right field (though for the first 17 years we sat in left), so some of the at-bat photos are a little blurry. All photos — though they need it — have not been retouched or cropped.  They definitely need it.


The Friar channeling Fernando? (We will miss him, though.)


They must be talking about facial hair, right?


In case you didn’t know, San Diego is hosting the All-Star Game.


Is Matt Kemp looking at me? Naah, he’s just acknowledging The Right Field Mission.  


The first out of a double play.


The second out of a double play.

Unfortunately, I was unable to capture Melvin Upton, Jr.’s spectacular home run robbing play (I have a bad angle), but Kemp made a nice play.


And I’ll dump a few more right here.


Unfortunately, we had to leave early. (Mr. Jasperitis goes to work really, really early and it was late for him.) We’ll be back tonight (Saturday) to see the Padres play the Yankees.