April has been a very long month for me this year and I enter May feeling really exhausted and a little wary of what is to come in this final week of the semester as I turn in my final projects, give my final presentations, and move out of my apartment. I’m honestly taking each day as it comes right now.
I tried and failed at both VEDA and Camp NaNoWriMo this month, but I don’t feel too bad about either. I came to some grand realizations about both with I will share in future posts. But I did want to make sure I captured this past month in a post like this. Normally I would try and do some variation of a monthly wrap up, but I’ve decided to call this month’s wrap up my April Notes. I realize now that it’s very long and probably won’t be of interest to anyone but me. So I promise not to be offended if you skip this one.
Without any further ado…
What I Read
This April I only read three books. The last one I technically finished on May 1st, but I’m including it here just so that I have more to talk about! Also it’s fresh in my mind and I want to talk about it somewhere before I do a “proper” review. The books I read were: The Wrath and the Dawn (★★★★), The Winner’s Crime (★★★★★), and The Winner’s Kiss (★★★).
I started off the month reading The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh which turned out to be an unexpected pleasure to read. I even wrote a book review for it this month before I became overwhelmed with schoolwork! I’m not sure I’m motivated to read the next book (which came out this April) because I did not love the ending and somehow don’t feel too invested in anything that could happen next, but if I see it in the on-campus library next fall I’ll probably pick it up.
It took me a long time to finish my rereading of The Winner’s Crime. This is the primary reason I didn’t read much else this month. I knew what would end up happening and I was still so scared to face it again. I don’t know what it is, but I really love Kestrel and Arin and I hate to see them in pain! But once I finally got myself to take the time to re-immerse myself in the world, it was lovely. After having earlier today finishing the final book in the trilogy, I can confidently say this book is my favorite in the trilogy. It’s the most beautifully done.
The final book I’m calling an April read was The Winner’s Kiss, the final book in The Winner’s Trilogy. It was just under 500 pages and a little too long in my opinion. I struggled with how to rate this book because I wish I loved it more. But ultimately, while I like how it wrapped up, I think it was too long (far longer than it needed to be) and I have issues with one particular story choice made. I don’t know if I’m going to do a full series review or a separate one specifically for this book. I just know I really want to talk spoilers! So it’s not going to be for general audiences (i.e. people who have not read the book).
What I Watched
This month I ended up watching a lot of new stuff, just because I was so stressed and I find Netflix is a great stress-reliever. I ended up watching season two of both Girl Meets World and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I’m conflicted about how I feel about Girl Meets World. I was a big fan of Boy Meets World growing up, and that’s the only reason I’ve been watching the new show centered on Cory and Topanga’s daughter Riley. So I realize I’m not the core demographic for the show, and didn’t go into watching this show with high expectations. In some ways I think they’ve done a nice job teaching new lessons for kids in this modern day and integrating old characters (I absolutely loved the return of Eric!). But I hate the love triangle situation going on and the heavy romance focus in general.
There’s a few episodes set in Texas which were excruciating to watch (speaking as someone who actually lives in Texas). Also there’s this arc where Riley’s best friend (who is in middle school) is in love with her college-age uncle, and it’s indulged by the show writers. That’s too big an age gap I think and makes the girl look really…silly. In general I just don’t like anything they’ve done with the best friend character. I am interested to see where this show goes. I’ve heard there’s a petition to move the show to Freeform (the new ABC Family) which would allow them to get grittier as the characters move to high school. I think it’s a good idea, but I doubt it will happen.
I was less conflicted about how I felt about the second season of Kimmy Schmidt. This season’s major arcs include Ms. White (formerly Mrs. Voorhees) trying the fact she received “peanuts” from her divorce and taking pride in her Native American heritage. Then there’s Kimmy who realizes she needs therapy (from a somewhat bipolar Tina Fey!) and we see Titus have his first healthy relationship (hilariously with the construction worker from season one!). This season ends on a bit of cliffhanger (courtesy of the Reverend), so I have few questions and don’t currently know what to expect from season three.
One last thing I saw this week was Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story documentary by Todd Haynes. I had to watch this for my Digital Textuality class and it has actually kind of stayed with me so I decided to mention it in my April Notes. The quality of the video I linked above is not great, but the “bootleg aesthetic” was part of the class discussion. We viewed this documentary for our Moving Image unit and talked about it in conjunction with our readings about montage and quality discourse.
As it’s only 43 minutes, I highly recommend watching it. Haynes tells the story of Karen Carpenter (of music duo The Carpenters), her rise to fame in the 1970s, and her demise due to anorexia. It’s very heartbreaking and uses Barbie dolls and The Carpenters’ music to craft a very damning narrative of the things the director assumed led to her anorexia. I was inspired to learn more about Karen Carpenter after watching this documentary and it was really interesting to watch interviews with her during a time when no one quite knew what anorexia was or how to deal with it. I was also surprised to learn more about the life behind these songs that I’ve grown up hearing but never thought much else of.
This week’s major thing is a a group presentation of our app that will happen on Wednesday. My major task before then is to finish our app’s “commercial” which we shot on Saturday. I promise that there will be a some form of writing post on Wednesday explaining my current situation with my story. I’m not currently doing any writing or story work and I really want to explain why. It’s just been hard to find the time to think about how I want to explain what I’m feeling and what’s going on it my head.
I’ll be visiting my parents for four days this upcoming weekend to house-sit. So I’ll have at least a couple of days to myself to work on blog posts, but also on one last paper. But hopefully by mid-May I’ll be officially back to blogging with full-force. As I’ve stated before, I do have some posts in the works, I just want to make sure I’m happy with them before I release them into the ether. Hopefully I’ll have one up on Friday.
I really want to enjoy blogging again and I’ve really enjoyed writing this post. I think one should blog primarily for oneself and I forget that sometimes. Thank you to everyone who has followed this blog and read this post. I hope to be back in top blogging form soon! Lots of love.
[Photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Snow_shower_on_Dartmoor.jpg]