Oh, hello, there, friends. I know it seems like FOREVER since my last Random Stuff List. Probably because it has been FOREVER. I don’t even know how you’ve survived not knowing what I’m doing/eating/reading/watching. It’s probably been super tough for you.
But, that’s all about to be remedied because here I am back with another Random Stuff List for your reading pleasure.
1. Last weekend, I went on another training hike for my big solo backpacking trip next month. I did a six-mile hike with a full pack on in Brighton State Park, near Ann Arbor. Which was surprisingly delightful and naturey despite its close proximity to the city.
During my previous solo backpacking trip, the six-mile mark was exactly the time that I decided death by wild coyote attack would be preferable to walking another mile.
I’m happy to report that last weekend’s trip went much better than the previous one. I didn’t once want to die. I’d like to think this is because I’m in much better shape now thanks to all the lunges I’ve been doing at the gym. Even though I have to Google search “lunge” on my phone every time before I do them just so I can remember what to do.
It probably also had to do with the fact that the hiking trail I was on didn’t allow bikers — unlike the last two hiking trails I’ve been on. It’s amazing how much more pleasant and peaceful hiking can be when you don’t have to jump off the path and into a pile of poison ivy every two minutes in an effort to avoid being squashed by a Mountain Biker of Doom.
2. Speaking of hiking and backpacking, I just bought two books on hiking and backpacking in Michigan (this one and this one). It feels a bit quaint and old-school for me to actually own real-live paper books. (I know, I know. I’m the worst former English major ever, but Kindle and Audible are my LIFE.)
I’ve found these books to be a lot more helpful and detailed than the websites I had been using. Which will hopefully help me avoid death (by wild coyote or otherwise) in the long-run. Even if I don’t entirely understand all the vocabulary, like spur and topo and kilometer. (Haha, just kidding; these books are written in American, so they all use miles.)
3. Speaking of books, I just downloaded the audiobook of Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West to listen to while walking, and, OMIGOD, you guys, I’ve never laughed out loud so much while walking in public and then had to remind myself that I’m walking in public and probably shouldn’t be laughing out loud like a maniac-person.
4. Speaking of walking, I lost my Fitbit yesterday while shopping somewhere between eating a mall-pretzel and discovering that jeans with rhinestones on their butts are not for me. (How are you supposed to even sit down with all that junk on your junk, if you know what I mean?)
I will probably have to stop walking all together now that I can’t count my steps because what is even the point?
I’m trying to decide if I should buy a new one. On the one hand, I love being able to compare my steps with my friends’ steps, especially when I’ve walked a billion miles and they haven’t.
On the other hand, I tend to be a lot more motivated to exercise by end goals — not daily step goals. Like, right now, I’m training for my hike next month and competing in a summer workout challenge with my coworker, and I’m totally CRUSHING it. (Sorry, coworker! But you’re going DOWN!). If I don’t have any tangible end goals, I’ll just sit on my couch binge-watching Netflix, no matter how disappointed my Fitbit is with me.
Or, instead of buying another Fitbit, maybe I should opt for something different? Like the LEAF, which is so freaking CUTE, but I will probably lose it instantly because I can’t have nice things.
5. In other not-particularly-exciting-news-of-my-life-but-I’m-going-to-tell-you-anyway, I just got back from a two-day teaching seminar. Which meant that, yes, I had to talk about work on a Saturday. And, yes, I should probably take next week off from work to recover.
But, I got recognized by someone who’d seen my presentation at TESOL earlier this year. You guys, I’m nerd-famous! And one of the presenters was tall and spoke with a cute Dutch accent and looked like Prince Harry and he actually talked to me for five seconds, so that was fun.
And, I got to discover a new-to-me town in Michigan, Big Rapids, which is neither particularly big nor rapid (in the fast-sense of the word). But it was pretty freaking adorable.
And as I always do when I visit adorable small towns, I wonder to myself, “What would my life be like if I lived here? Would it be exactly like an episode of Gilmore Girls or what?”
In answer to that: I suspect my life would involve a lot more pie.
Probably I should move there.
6. Let’s talk movies, shall we? It’s been AGES since I’ve seen a movie in a cinema and I’m starting to go a bit bananas because, basically, watching movies in cinemas is my form of meditation. What can I say? Eating huge buckets of popcorn is just how I align my chakras, okay?
I’m ashamed to say I have yet to see the new Ghostbusters movie. Have you seen it? Is it EVERYTHING?
Also, I’m ridiculously excited about the fact that they made The Light Between Oceans into a movie. Even though I have to wait until September to see it. That book has totally made me into a lighthouse-addict — to the point of driving a billion bumpy miles in my old lady car on a rutted, dirt road just to see one.
7. I visited Cell Block 7, Michigan’s prison museum, which is located in an actual working prison, last year. I was totally going to write a blog post about it, but then I never did because you’re not allowed to take pictures unless you get special permission beforehand, which I didn’t do. And, basically, if I can’t take pictures, I can’t write a blog post, because, WHAT, am I supposed to just remember stuff? Like from MY HEAD?
Luckily, Jennifer from Wading in Big Shoes, is a much better blogger than me. Not only did she write about her trip to the museum, she also got permission to take photos, so you should check out her post.
8. What are you eating right now?
I’ve got some zucchinis in my fridge that have this fritter recipe written all over them.
And I just made these coconut pancakes for breakfast, which made sitting in my ninety-degree kitchen feel more like a tropical beach vacay than torture.
9. To be filed under “There’s Hope for Me Yet”: How one girl got married to the book-nerd of her dreams thanks to Twitter.
Excuse me while I go dust off my Twitter account.
10. And in case you like hot guys and/or cats.
Okay your turn! What have you been doing/eating/reading/watching?
Disclosure: Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I can earn a small commission for purchases made at no extra cost to you. Which means more Trader Joe’s pancake mix for me! Yay!