Readathon

So in March I found out about All the Short Ones Readathon. The reading challenge involved reading books from your pile that are 300 pages or less. Also you had the whole Month of March to read as much as you could. When it comes to books of that length, my best bet is to look at my manga collection. So I decided to read all of the issues of Library Wars. I had read the first few and kind of stopped along the way. So I decided to go back to the start and finish all of the volumes.

Library Wars manga

And I was successful. Granted with how busy my life was, I ended up having to finish reading 3 volumes on the last day, but I managed it. I was glad to participate in my first reading challenge, even in an official way. (And I loved the manga series. I’m glad I was finally able to finish it.)

I also tried the Tome Topple Readathon which took place from April 7th – April 20th. This challenge involved reading books over 500 pages long. I picked out the book American Gods from Neil Gaiman.

This one I wasn’t successful with. The major problem being the collapse of a portion of I-85 in Georgia. It affected my commute indirectly. Basically traffic has been forced to take alternate routes, and my workplace is near some major alternative roads and highways. So now I have to get up at 4:30 am and get out the door by 5:20 am to avoid even worse traffic later. It makes me really tired when I get home, so I’ve been too tired to read. I’m still reading the book, but obviously I wasn’t able to finish in time for the challenge. I will probably have to avoid future reading challenges until this whole mess resolves and I have enough time and energy to dedicate serious time to reading again.

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Bullet Journal Maybe?

An opened lined journal

So I decided to try to give Bullet Journaling a try. I ordered the official Bullet Journal off their website since it talks about how to use the system in the beginning of the journal. This was after hours of researching what kind of journal I should use. I was basically seeing what brand of journal would be the best. In the end I was deciding between Rhodia (thicker paper, fewer pagers) and Leuchtturm1917 (fan favorite). I figured go with the official to start, and I can always upgrade to Rhodia down the line. (Leuchtturm apparently has an issue with ghosting, I’ll see how it goes.)

I had heard about Bullet Journal before, but the video talking about the system didn’t really grab my attention. Instead what finally got my attention was seeing pictures and videos of how other people used this system to create their own journal. Even now I’m still trying to look at different ideas people have used and different layout designs.

For the past couple of years I have used, or tried to use, the Passion Planner. While I love it, and would still recommend it to some people, it isn’t quite the perfect fit for me. For one, an hourly breakdown of my weekday is pointless for me. Pretty much half of every weekday is taken up by work. (Getting up, getting ready, driving, working, driving back, decompressing.) If I had more events I had to attend or things to do based on hours of the day every week, it may have been more useful. I needed something a bit more general to write down appointments, meetings, etc. I also needed something to write down my accomplishments so I can reflect back on a week and feel like I did something and be proud of it.

A bullet journal is a way to get everything I want to remember, write it down, and track it all in one place. I am already starting a list of things that I can use the new journal for. My journal is shipping via media mail, so it’ll be a while before I can get started officially. (Update: It’ll arrive on Saturday April 22nd. Today! Wednesday April 19th!) I know I have the problem of being a perfectionist, and I worry about messing up a new journal. Apparently that’s a problem some others have felt in the Bullet Journal community. 😛 So this will be a practice of embracing imperfections a bit more. I’m going to try to start slow, neat, and practical. Then as time progresses I’ll probably figure out more and more how I want to set up my journal. Hopefully this will be the answer to get everything I need and want jotted down in one place.

So it’ll be something new and interesting to try. Fingers crossed this will both work and be fun to do. Until then, I’ll be looking up various layouts and ideas other people have done.

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Teas I Love

Tea pots, cups, and other ceramics

I figured I’d make a post about (hot) teas that I love. Some people I talk to call me a tea connoisseur. I tend to brush these comments off as I’m still learning.

For hardware I recommend an infuser with a very fine mesh. It should also have plenty of room for the tea leaves to spread out as they brew. My favorite is the Hook Handle Tea Infuser & Dish Set from Forlife. The dish works as a resting spot for the infuser so you don’t have to worry about spills from the infuser.

Also keep in mind that different teas needs different temperatures to brew. If you use too high of a temperature for brewing, you will burn the leaves and make the tea bitter. Black and Herbal can take boiling water temps (208-212 degrees Fahrenheit). Oolong is a medium boil (180-190 degrees Fahrenheit). White and green teas have to be hot but not boiling (170-185 degrees Fahrenheit).

I’m caffeine sensitive, so for the most part I only go as far as green teas. I used to drink a bit of black tea, but sometimes lately it’s just too much for me.

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