Tag: the sunday currently

The Sunday Currently Vol. 08

For several months I’ve been wanting to write more online, without really knowing what to say or how to say it. Not because I felt pressured to Build My Platform(TM), but because I missed sharing a part of myself, seeking to connect with others, in the way that others have shared part of themselves, seeking to connect with readers like me.

I still don’t know how to get back into it in a way that feels right, but The Sunday Currently, even a selective version of it, is always a good place to start.


Down. Late last night three terrorists in a white van drove into the crowd at London Bridge, then went on a stabbing spree in Borough Market, killing 7. It’s a place I walk through six times a week, but pointing that association out doesn’t really matter because a) it’s one of the busiest areas in London, millions pass through every week and b) these days it could be any one of us, anywhere, at any time.  Matt & I consumed but didn’t share the details, raw and unverified, pouring into our feeds. We checked in with friends and family and fell asleep to the sound of helicopters–and the loud, slightly slurred chatter right outside the Italian restaurant below us, from people who, if they’d heard the news, carried on, as those who could, did.

This morning, the helicopters are still in the skies. On my way to the library, both buses I was on abruptly diverted from their routes, and traffic halted as several unmarked police cars rushed past, sirens blaring. I checked Twitter, and assumed it was part of the raids and arrests carried out in Barking. I’m trying not to check Twitter too often, because the hateful comments, misinformed hot takes, MUST READ THREADS, and people acting like spokespeople of their country/race are bubbling at the top, like the floating scum that you have to skim off whenever you boil potatoes. And because I have a rough draft of my dissertation due Tuesday. I am alive, unharmed, grateful and mournful, but I am also really, really behind.


The aforementioned dissertation. This probably deserves a post of its own, but let’s just say that this book and I are not friends right now. A good chunk of time and money has gone into this book, and I will finish it. But I also feel that I’m working in a genre that is out of my depth, on a topic which taunts the limits of my understanding, and whose subject matter compels me to look at how the horrifying events of seventy-five years ago parallel our world today.

Which sounds exactly like what a dissertation is supposed to do. But wow do I miss YA fantasy, because I’m realizing belatedly–or this is delirium caused by dissertation stress, by being so deep in a book I can’t see the way out?–that that’s all I ever really wanted to write.


The best book I’ve read this year is The Bees by Laline Paull, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Bailey’s Prize. It’s about a worker bee named Flora 717, who is born into the lowest caste of a beehive ruled by a Queen with a secret. Abnormally large and armed with gifts that others of her kin don’t have, Flora devotes her life to the good of the hive, until her own secret–and a growing suspicion that the biggest danger to the hive comes from within–forces her to make devastating decisions.

I finished it late into the night and wept, overcome by the book’s portrayal of love and sacrifice. Then spent hours on Youtube looking up bees. Paull’s worldbuilding is fantastic, and meticulously researched.


Matt is insisting we get into the Glastonbury mood by listening to some of its headliners. Which is fine, but his playlist consists heavily of what I call “bloopy” music, replete with baby-voiced women. After fifteen minutes of this I’ll slip Carly Rae Jepsen’s new song “Cut to the Feeling” into the Sonos queue. I have an even deeper appreciation for it after reading Spin’s review, in which Jordan Sargent compares the transition to chorus to “the newer versions of Mario Kart, in which the rainbow-slicked ramps launch you even more theatrically into the beautiful blue sky.” Um, yes.


My KeepCup, featured at the top of the post, which I bought when I went down a madcap ‘zero waste lifestyle’ k-hole. I became convinced that if I never used a paper cup again, I was basically Jesus. Despite not being Jesus, I love it. I got the 8 oz ultra-hipster model with glass body and cork band, otherwise known as the monochramatic Cafe Series in Filter. Every coffeeshop I’ve been to has been more than happy to accommodate it, it looks elegant, and even drinking out of it feels nice.

The only thing I hate is how difficult it is to pop the lid off. I don’t care if each lid has been hand-fitted to each individual glass body, which according to the website it literally has. If there’s still any liquid inside when you try to remove it, woe betide any surfaces in the immediate vicinity, including yourself.

stay classy never trashy


My go-to library outfit, which is cropped pants, a T-shirt, a baggy grey cardigan bought on a whim in Baguio, and my orthopedic-style white Skechers. I’m really channeling the 80s grandpa style. Whenever I wear it, I dance around Matt saying, “Oppa grandpa style!” He loves it when I do that, he thinks it’s very charming.


Like trash. Cooking delicious and nutritious meals is at the very bottom of my to-do list these days. Dinner is whatever we can put straight in the oven with minimal mixing or fuss. Besides, Kewpie mayonnaise disguises all culinary sins.


A mechanical keyboard. I know the feeling will pass, because it’s my brain’s feeble effort at distraction. If you really want to be a writer, it will say, You need a mechanical keyboard. Fortunately I’m too busy panicking over my dissertation to pay any heed to looking up keyboards (though the Cherry Mx Blue keys do sound nice…).


*checks time* To get back to writing. Like now.

The Sunday Currently is a series originated by Lauren. To learn more, click here.

The Sunday Currently Vol. 07

I’m counting this Sunday Currently as #7 because the six previous entries can be found in my other blog. I’ve decided against updating two blogs for now.


I’m in between books. Every other week we’re assigned two nonfiction books to analyze, and this week we just wrapped up Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and Philip Hoare’s Leviathan. I had to deliver a presentation on Leviathan, which took up considerably more of my time than it should have. Leviathan is essentially Hoare’s 450-page love letter to whales, but it also manages to touch upon every other subject under the sun. You have to be utterly obsessed with a subject to write about it the way Hoare writes about whales.

My report kicked up a bit of a debate as to whether Leviathan actually counts as a convincing narrative work, or if it’s just some guy writing down everything he knows about whales and then whipping up an arbitrary structure around those facts. I’ll spare you the details of that discussion (not that it was anything riveting). After those books, I am in need of some good plain fiction that can be enjoyed without any overthinking.


It’s Day 1 of NaNoWriMo! I’ve written 1305 words today, which means I’ll have to play catch up tomorrow, but not as much as if I hadn’t written anything at all. More on my NaNo project here.


I haven’t cooked anything of note in the last few days, but last week I made a conscious effort to start eating healthier. I make green juice with green apples, celery, kale, carrots, cucumber and a bit of ginger. I stocked my fridge with plenty of vegetables and throw them into whatever meal I’m preparing. I also eat smaller meals more frequently, and opt for quinoa instead of rice and pasta. Still waiting for all that extra energy to kick in, but I feel a lot less bloated from just a few weeks ago which makes it all worth it.


A productivity system that works. I think I’m doomed to be one of those people who is just constantly searching for the one system to rule them all. A cure for being a waste of space. For awhile I was doing OK with bullet journaling, but it became overwhelming once the tasks began to build up. Maybe this week I will try a timeboxing method–either the Pomodoro Technique or the 20/10 Timer from Unfuck Your Habitat. 

I also read somewhere that some people write the 3 most important things they have to do in a day on an index card, and focus solely on those tasks. I might combine this technique with one of the timeboxing methods above.


To stop looking at stationery, washi tape, stickers, stamps and Hobonichi/Traveler’s Notebook layouts. It’s becoming a problem.

Also, a job.


Like another bout of the funk is on its way.


I can begin a workout program in earnest this week. I started a circuit training program on Tuesday and broke myself after one workout. I could barely walk during the week, let alone manage the stairs. It’s only today that I’ve been able to bend my knees enough to see inside the fridge, and lower myself onto the toilet without mewling pitifully.

But I’ve learned my lesson, and will start with the gentler pre-training guides before trying the main program again!

The Sunday Currently comes from here.