Currently | 11.29.20
Life in the Age of the Queen
[Explaination of the name in April's Currently.] A little under the wire this month, but honestly each month fades into each other and they all seem to look the same. At the end of October, I took a week off for vacation then worked exhaustively for 3 weeks, and then took the week of Thanksgiving off. Usually, we travel. That begins to sound like a broken record, but I have such fond memories of places like Kyoto for Thanksgiving week or Paris for the same. At least this vacation we were actually able to get out and camp. We went to the Outer Banks for a few days on the beach. The weather was perfect for the off-season. Cold but clear and practically empty. At least where we were: Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke Island (I shared some photos on Instagram).
The past month we spent nearly every weekend weeding, cutting plants for the winter, and laying down close to 200 bags of mulch. That provided plenty of fresh air and exercises, along with a lot of sore muscles.
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We stayed home Thanksgiving day just the 2 of us and Mr. Misadventures made Israeli couscous which we ate with chicken sausage, not exactly your traditional meal, but the carbs were like having a holiday treat!
Now, onto November and what's been going on in the Misadventures world!
Watching | The Crown + More
> We devour series one after the other, hungry for new content. We also revisit old favorites. I was thrilled to learn from my parents that The Crown Season 4 was released early. And while I love the actors and the brilliant character acting, this season was more disturbing for me as unlike previous seasons, I lived through this one. Of course, I was a little girl when Princess Diana and Charles married. I remember watching the wedding, I remember the mini-series about their romance, I remember the Princess Diana beanie babies! It wasn't until years later that I “realized” what a troubled marriage they had, but I had no idea it had actually started long before they married. It was so strange watching The Crown and match up to my little girl memories with the stark reality. It was disturbing. I did love Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher – wow she was good!
We also received and watched the final 2 seasons (7 + 8) of Engrenages (or Spiral in English). We watched the first 6 seasons on Amazon Prime and liked this gritty police series so much that we order the last 2 seasons from France directly. If you speak French then you can do the same, if you need the subtitles you will have to wait. I did not enjoy the last 2 as much as the first 6. By the time the 7th season started 3 main characters were gone and there was something amiss in how each season developed. Nonetheless, I recommend it. You can also easily see how the current demonstrations on police brutality in France protest against a police force that gets away with a lot if you believe event 1/4 of what happens in that series.
We watched another really good French mini-series (just 6 episodes) based on a true event called Dérapages (Inhuman Resources in English [subtitles] on Netflix). We really like the main actor, Eric Cantona, an ex-soccer player turned actor who plays in one of our favorite French films, Le bonheur est dans le pré (Happiness is in the Field). The series the sense of desperation that exists for the millions of unemployed in France, particularly for those over 50, and what that can drive people to do.
We are going to watch The Boys on Amazon next!
Reading | The Wangs vs. The World
> As promised, I began reading my “to-do” reading list that I had been sharing the last few Currently posts. I read 70% of Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty (thank you Kindle for allowing me to be so precise). I rarely stop reading a book before its completion but 70% in I felt like nothing had happened.
There are indeed 9 perfect strangers, but they certainly aren't that interesting (in my opinion) and I can see that this might make a much better series where you can develop the characters a bit more. I have not read Big Little Lies, but I love the series. I have thought about reading the book by Mr. Moriarty but now I think I will pass.
On the other hand, I am enjoying The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang. I am only about a quarter in, but if you like Crazy Rich Asians, this is your cup of tea. Having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for close to 30 years with a ton of Asian co-workers and friends, I find the book very entertaining is reinforced by lots of things that my friends have shared in the past!
- The Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition: I have always wanted to read this book by M.F.K. Fisher (from the same era as Julia Child) and picked it up last week for $2.99!
- The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power by Deirdre Mask. I am fascinated by street names and this looks so interesting!
- 41 Reasons I'm Staying In: A Celebration of Introverts by Hallie Heald, being an introvert myself, I am curious!
- The Cheffe: A Cook's Novel by Marie NDiaye, the (not very easy) life of a female chef in France.
- A Promised Land by Barak Obama
Best Bite | Red Vines Made Simple
> [Gifted] If you string all the Red Vines I have eaten in my life say between the age of 20 and 45 I am sure you would traverse the world a few times! In the past 4 years, I have not eaten a lot of candy. My low-carb lifestyle doesn't allow for too much of that, but from time to time I indulge. Still, when I am indulging I try to eat something as natural as possible.
So, when I heard about the new Red Vines Made Simple, a natural licorice that is low-calorie, fat-free (which is why I ate a lot of the original when I was watching fat grams), and made without artificial flavors or colors. It's great to make something all-natural, but the taste is also important. I have tried a lot of low-calorie candy and they usually aren't great, but the Red Vines Made Simple are delicious, not too sweet, and have a nice berry flavor. My only concern is simply not eating the whole box in one sitting. These make the PERFECT stocking stuffer, trust me! (They come in mini bites too!)
Working On | Getting through the Next 3 Weeks
> Is it weird to feel tired after you have had a week off? I feel like I need another week. Thankfully, there are only 3 weeks of work before my next holiday break. They will be super busy weeks, but nonetheless, there are only 3. I think the weight of 2020 is finally catching up to me. The feeling of being in prison. I have never stayed home this long in my life. And at the moment, given the numbers, it is the most dangerous time to break down. We won't be going anywhere, risky anything, but it doesn't mean I am not going a little stir crazy!
Feeling | Grateful but not Thankful
> Not sure if that makes sense, but it is what it is. 2020 has not been great (yay, I know, the obvious) but I am grateful. We left Phoenix, drove across the country, stayed in a hotel(s) for 4 weeks, and moved into our new home before the pandemic hit full-force. For that I am grateful. I am also grateful to have a good job that seems to be secure and that I work with truly fantastic people. I am thankful for the simple things that are keeping us going, but ‘J'en Ai Marre!' (I'm fed up with) 2020 and ‘Ça Suffit” (that's enough)!
Planning | Holiday Break Planning
> As we won't be traveling anywhere, we are hoping for mild weather and the ability to camp outside during the holiday break in December. I have 11 days straight off and do not want to spend that entire time looking at our own 4 walls. There are millions of birds that migrate through North Carolina spending time at wildlife refuges near the coast so we plan to check them in action with the ability (fingers-crossed) to stay the night in the beach campgrounds in the Outer Banks. I love the beach in the winter and we hope to do some hiking/walking in the dunes.
Loving | Pas grand-chose
> That means “not much” and it is accurate! I do love the fact that the weather has cooled and I can wear clothes that had not seen the light of day while living in Pheonix, but where to wear them to? At least have all-day-everyday Zoom calls that I have to “dress” for (at least on the top!).
My Favorite Photo | “Our Squirrel”
> Who knew these little buggers were so entertaining? And territorial? And sooooo talkative?! We have lots of woods on our property and a family of squirrels that occupy them. They are fun to watch. There is one in particular who is extremely chatty and drives Mr. Misadventures nuts digging in our landscaping.
Published in November
- Holiday Gift Guide 2020 – this year's guide is overflowing!
That’s my month, what’s CURRENTLY going on with you?
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