Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

30: Am I Officially Old?

So... know what, let's just ignore that question in the title, haha.

Instead, how about a quick recap? I mean, honestly, there are a bunch of things I haven't done at 30 that I think most people have. But I've also done a lot of things already that plenty of people haven't at 30 or beyond. I guess the moral of that story is: we all go at our own pace?

I've gotten to do some pretty cool stuff. In the last couple years alone, I've played tennis, attempted archery, visited Scotland, helped a client apply for 501(c)(3) status, mediated real court cases, passed two bar exams, clerked for an appellate judge, joined a law firm, lived alone for the first time, read a ton of books, met lots of incredible people (online and in person), participated in #OTSPsecretsister and #TBTBSanta, and proofread a book.

I won't lie. There are days when I feel like I'm behind the curve somehow or get FOMO. Prime example: there are people who went straight from undergrad to law school and have already been practicing for 3-4 years. Some days I wonder where I'd be now if I'd done that. Then I stop, because it's a useless exercise, and because I remember God has a plan and I can't mess it up. So enough looking back at stuff I can't change. Let's see where this train goes.

Lazy Meal Prepping: Rice 7 Ways

Most of the time, I am a lazy cook. Every so often I am filled with energy and creativity and I can't wait to experiment and make something new! And hopefully edible! That's rare. Most days, I do not want to spend more than 5 minutes tops making food. I don't want to stare at it on the stove for 2-3 hours or even (here you see the true depths of my laziness) wait 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to cook it.

How do we deal with this laziness and not starve and/or spend ridiculous amounts of money on take-out? Meal prep. (Plus a few quick-fix recipes and stocking up on freezer meals/Easy Mac bowls when they're on great sale, but that's another post.)

Now I know some of you hear meal prep and think, "You mean eating the same dish five days in a row? No thanks, no way, good bye." I hear you. There are only a few foods I can eat every day and not get sick of them. At least for a week. After that, probably need some variety. BUT--big but--I've found that I can deal with the same foods, the same base components of carb+protein+veg, if I change up the flavor. And now I'm sharing my lazy secrets with you. Partly in the hope that it will help someone else having a lazy week, partly in the hope that I will get more lazy cooking secrets in return. :)

So gather up your spices and condiments, and here we go! One week's worth of lazy lunches.

Kingdom of Exiles: Pokemon for Adults

I was one of those kids who grew up watching Pokemon.  So when I read Maxym M. Martineau's Kingdom of Exiles, an adult paranormal romance book full of magical creatures with special abilities you have to charm/capture and imprison in an alternate dimension to be called upon as needed...

I immediately thought of Pokemon.

Technically there's a whole fantasy world with other elements thrown in and not everything revolves around the magical creatures.  In fact, most things don't, and there are other regular animals.  (Which reminds me, did we ever find out what the hamburgers in Pokemon were made of?)

And there's a little romance here.  Not the most compelling I've ever read, but at least it moved beyond Pokemon's "guy with unrequited feelings" gimmick.

June Recap: BookCon, Big News and Blog Bewilderment

It's been a while again. Where to start?

Big news:  I found a post-clerkship job for September. Very excited to have that covered. Now I just need to find my next apartment and we'll be all set.

Other June stuff:  The whole family got together for a week in Florida. I finally met my new niece in person, took many walks on a lovely beach, and even hit a few tennis balls. I got to a barbecue and a pizza night, and otherwise it's pretty much been work, sleep, and a very little cooking.

Also, my ancient smartphone gave me a scare: the dreaded "question mark" battery power. Yeah. A good night's charge seems to have it back to normal, but it might be nearing time to order a replacement.

Book stuff:  My feet survived a day at BookCon, and I grabbed a few books!

The super cute picture book, How to Make a Monster Smile, went to the niece. I thought Crush was a fantastic middle grade graphic novel!  Kingdom of Exiles was fun, although I wanted a little more detail on the world-building (definite Pokemon vibes here), and I wish the progression of the main relationship had grabbed me a little more. I haven't read the rest yet. So many books, so little time, as always.

April-May Catching Up

First things first: in case you didn't see, I passed the Pennsylvania bar exam! Whoo! Super happy!

In other news, I hate to say it, but it's a little hard to get back into the habit of blogging after taking a couple of months off. It's not entirely surprising. About 99% of my daily energy goes to work and job hunting, and I haven't read many books this year that have wowed me (or that I've hated with enough of a passion to rant, haha). So I'm sitting in this awkward middle ground where I don't feel like I have a lot to say, but I want to reengage and get back in the blogging habit...

Book News:
I'm coming up on the end of a Kindle Unlimited trial. It has some good reads, but I haven't seen enough of them to warrant the $10/month price tag, so it'll probably be good-bye after this.

And I am going to one day of BookCon in June!

I don't have a schedule planned yet, but I'm trying to keep it fun and loosey-goosey. If you want to say hi or hang out or need an emergency food/coffee drop while you're waiting in a ridiculously long line (I am making an empanada run at some point), let me know!

Oh, and I randomly started messing with my Goodreads ratings, which I will probably come to regret. But I had all these 3-stars from this year, and they ranged from "really liked it and just a few things brought it down" to "I only liked half of it" to "it just barely made it out of meh territory." That seemed useless, so I bumped a few up to 4 stars. Now I'm debating whether I need to go back and make similar fixes with all my past ratings. Which would be a lot of work. I probably won't. I mean, a 3-star rating hasn't kept me from rereading or recommending something I liked, and sometimes I find myself rereading things I didn't love the first time around and not rereading things I loved on the first read. All that to say, I make no sense. Anyone else have similar experiences?

When a Mood Makes You Put a Book Down

I'm back to blogging! Quick recap: the Pennsylvania bar exam is over--just waiting on results. My clerkship ends in August, so I'm in job-hunting mode. Otherwise, it's the usual: work, reading, a little TV, a little exercise (need to work on that), and messing around with a story idea. And now blogging again, too!

Today, I want to chat about how sometimes a story doesn't work for me because I'm in a particular mood or headspace. It's a weird place to be because I'm still interested in the story, but I just can't deal with how it's playing out? Which makes me sound like a mess (which I probably am, haha), but basically I reach a tipping point where frustration outweighs enjoyment, and I want to enjoy what I'm reading for fun. Or at least not want to throw things. ;)

Merry Christmas to All

Hi guys! So, I've kind of checked out of blog-land for a bit. I'm still reading (just hit 60 books for the year!) and doing OTSP secret sister and TBTBSanta gift exchanges and stuff, but between work and bar prep (mostly bar prep), I'm not feeling super inspired to blog? Or I guess, more accurately, I have a bunch of post ideas, but no energy to write them, lol?

So this is an "I'm still alive and will see you again more regularly after the February Pennsylvania bar exam" post. I really, really pray I pass because I would love NEVER to take another bar exam. Ever. But I have a lot of post ideas, some of them bookish, some of them life-ish, and some of them lazy cooking/adulting related. I'm looking forward to getting back to chatting with people in this medium again. Twitter and Instragram are great for some things, but blogging definitely does some things better.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all of you! I hope you have a great holiday season and lots of fun and good books in the new year. I'll be back in March. Until then, happy reading!

Book Roundup: Romance, Magic and Superhero Babies

Good news: I passed the New Jersey bar exam! Whoo! Bad news: bar prep 2.0 is in full swing for the Pennsylvania February exam. Pity the fool? I am that fool. :)

Before I return to the Batcave of Studying, here's a quick roundup of my recent reads. Skipping over the books that were just okay, because life's short.

Wildfire -- I finished the Hidden Legacy trilogy and liked all three! I'm a little sad to see Nevada's story end, but it looks like we're getting more novels in this world focused on her sisters. Which I shall read.