It has been a very long 2017. I’m not 100% sure where it’s gone because I know I’ve been very busy. I mean this is my first recap of the year and it’s APRIL!! The good part is we took a trip to the Dominican Republic earlier this month and it was a much-needed vacation from the craziness that is work and life.
I read five books while I was there and that’s 1/3 of what I’ve read this entire year! We were in one of those all-inclusive resorts and it was EXACTLY what we needed. We went to a couple of the restaurants but didn’t do any excursions and spent two days in a beach hut (bottom middle photo) reading even in the rain we didn’t have to leave to go be dry.
Another month gone. I’ve been at my new job for about a month and a half and it feels like I’m still brand new, but also like I’ve been here forever. I’m, of course, still enjoying it and learning more each day about refugees and immigrants and about my own skills.
The other thing I’ve been trying to work on is exercising. I’ve been REALLY lazy over the last 12-18 months. I don’t know if it’s passing the two-year mark in my relationship (look at the pretty flowers at the end) or if it’s just me getting old and lazy, but I know I have to get better about it fast. So I’ve been trying to walk more in the mornings. That photo above was on a random street in South Boston and my friend Mal on Facebook summed it up perfectly: “Boston As F&ck.” (If you can’t tell it’s a Sam Adams tap.)
When I requested a copy of this upcoming book (released March 8, 2016) from Random House*, I was really hoping for a repeat of Duhigg’s 2012 The Power of Habit. Unfortunately, there was something missing from this one. I can’t quite figure out what it is, but I think it has to do with the first book being much easier to apply and this one overall being more theoretical.
That being said, this was incredibly readable and had a lot of great case studies that I’ve encountered in numerous settings and other books I’ve read recently about work productivity and managing up. Duhigg’s writing style is incredibly easy to read and he seamlessly ties together disparate examples to elucidate his points. Off the top of my head a few are: the development of Disney’s Frozen, General Electric (I feel like I’m an expert after Badowski’s excellent Managing Up), aviation near-crashes, the writing and staging of West Side Story, Google, Cincinnati school reform, debt collection and many others! Needless to say you will easily find at least one example that you really identify with.
If I thought last month was Cultural, this month was an explosion. Seriously I started the day after I posted the February Culture Corner and haven’t stopped. From Oscar movies and video games to live theater and seeing podcasts live, you name it and it feels like I did it! At the very least look at the pictures and if you see something cool read that paragraph, sorry the post is so long! I’m still exhausted from the month.
I’m not sure why I didn’t include my visit to the movies to see August: Osage County in last months’ blog post, perhaps because I was momentarily obsessed with Frozen? Either way it worked out as I saw The Dallas Buyers Club the weekend after that posted. And what do they all have in common? The Oscars! I so rarely see Oscar nominated films, but these three I knew I wanted to see and I’m so glad I did. Both August: Osage County and The Dallas Buyers Club left me emotionally drained, but they are definitely worth seeing. I still can’t get over how much weight Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey lost for the films! And what was the most interesting part of the film is that it shows a part of the AIDS epidemic that isn’t often highlighted.
As promised I have a lot to talk about this month and I’m still excited about next month’s culture corner knowing what’s coming! This past month has been a busy month culturally speaking from an awesome winery tour and tasting to another theater production and a book talk to a sing-a-long movie I did so much. So onward!
To start the month off (not really), but culturally speaking, I went to the Wheelock Family Theatre production of Hairspray and it was fantastic! I usually go opening night as I work for the school and get free/discounted tickets. From the opening number to the closing the entire show kept the audience (me) completely engaged. Even though I felt that Jenna Lea Scott did a great job as Tracy Turnblad, I felt that Jennifer Beth Glick, as Penny Pingleton upstaged her and everyone else in the production. From the way she chewed her gum to the interactions with Seaweed I couldn’t take my eyes off her, she is one of those actors that acts the entire time they’re on stage even when they’re in the background (similar to Celie from The Color Purple in last month’s Culture Corner).
Where to start with this!? Like with my Work Out Wednesdays and Classics Club memes, I haven’t done a Culture Corner since October. Now this doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything cultural, it just means I needed a break and so took one. However, I am DEFINITELY ready to start writing about my myriad Cultural experiences!
The only real thing you missed over those months was I went to see an awesome exhibit, Fired Earth, Woven Bamboo, at the MFA. The way modern artists use these traditional materials was fascinating and stunningly beautiful. The basket is a woven bamboo basket and I definitely encourage you to click the earlier link to look at a few of the other beautiful bamboo and stone works.