Vegas, baby!

I had last minute stuff to do before leaving on my trip to Las Vegas. My daughter and I went to the pharmacy, nail place, ATM, lunch, and then she took me to the airport. Early. I was a little worried because of horror stories I’d listened to about security lines being so long that people were missing delayed glitches flights. Also, because of storms both in San Francisco and in Vegas, some flights the day before had been delayed four hours. It turned out that I had plenty of time to get through the non-existent security line and sit and relax.

I found a place to sit and relax at the airport. The woman behind me was trying to explain to her parents that her flight was delayed but it would be ok since they had tickets for the movie the next afternoon, not the day she comes in, for mom’s birthday. Her mom was apparently having a fit because they were going to miss the movie because of the delayed flight and was giving a decent guilt trip about how no one wants to spend time with her on her birthday. I was trying hard to not laugh.

I sat there reading for a while until i had to use the restroom. I wandered closer to the gate when I returned. I tried to read some more, but the guy waiting near me was on the phone explaining to someone that he was flying to Vegas to retrieve the car he was too drunk to drive back home last weekend. Must have been a good weekend for him.

I had received a text about the fight being delayed a half hour. That was fine, since I was meeting my friend at Vegas airport and her flight was due to land an hour after my original flight time. The airport staff asked us to gate check carryon because it was a full flight, and it was going to be faster to board if fewer people had to stop to put stuff in the overhead bins. I did, to make things easier on myself, too.

I boarded the plane and found an aisle seat. A woman a little older and a little smaller than me sat in the window seat. Thankfully, a very tiny woman sat between us. The tiny woman pulled out “Cork Dork” and explained to us that she had a two year old so she never had time for her two favorite things, wine and reading. She was using this trip to catch up. She was not going to Vegas, but was changing planes and heading on to a girls weekend in Tucson. The first thing they had planned was time to catch up on sleep. The window seat woman and I both laughed, explaining that as a mom of a two year old that she’snever going to sleep again. “They eventually sleep through the night, right?” I told her that once they drive and turn eighteen, they stay out late and you don’t sleep, wondering where they are. She kept her nose in her book the rest of the flight.

We hit turbulence on descent. One bump was so hard that I would have landed in the aisle if I hadn’t had my seatbelt on.

Baggage claim. Moved from 4 to 2 without announcement

After my baggage claim adventure, I met my friend and discussed the various ways to get to the hotel. We settled on the shuttle.

At the shuttle kiosk, I tried to pay for my $10 ticket with $10 in cash. The cashier looked very confused. She was counting out coins to give me change. I was curious about how much she was going to give me, but the other guy in the kiosk stopped her. She tried to get me to sign my shuttle ticket like a credit card receipt, but again, her kiosk buddy stopped her. So much for entertainment.

We walked over to catch the shuttle. The driver and another driver were discussing that they thought something had happened at our hotel. They thought that the casino at the hotel was closed because of bank robbery earlier in the day and a suspicious package had been left behind. Of course. We decided to go check it out. Adventure!

Over an hour ride on the shuttle with a whole cast of characters. We were having an adventure. We saw a lot of Las Vegas while driving from hotel to hotel. We had stinky people behind us on the shuttle. I thought it was my deodorant failing, but nope. Wasn’t me. Thankfully, they got off at the second stop.

We also shared the shuttle with obtuse people who kept wondering out loud why we can’t all be dropped off first. “There’s our hotel! Why can’t he just drop us off now?” “He passed it, again!” Calm down people. He can’t disobey traffic laws or drive over cement barriers. Unfortunately, they were with us almost the whole ride.

Finally, we got to our hotel and the shuttle could not turn down the street because of construction. He let us off at the Mob Museum. I wanted to go there, but it wasn’t open. Someday. We had to walk across the street and down a half a block. Not awful.

Check in was easy. Uneventful. Unusual for me.

Changed pants and went to dinner in the hotel lobby. We ordered appetizers with our dinner. The appetizer came out first. They brought it to us with no plates. I had breakfast for dinner. The best breakfast potatoes I had ever eaten. I had asked for no toast, so the waitress offered me extra bacon or fruit. I was stunned.

After standing around, deciding what to do, we decided that we should just go to bed.

Our second roommate of the night appeared around midnight, after an uneventful shuttle ride. He went to the casino to gamble a while. At 4:30 am, my roommate climbed into bed with me, so the other roommate could have her bed. I half woke up to scoot over and to use the restroom. I slept until 7:30 ish.

Online book groups

I am in several online book groups. I get many book recommendations from there and a lot of giggles. Many are unintentional giggles.

One woman was asking for recommendations to help her to her goal of 30 books. She wanted to read 12 contemporary and 12 classic books to make her 30. Well, I guess it’s good that she’s a reader and not a math student.

“Where do you get bookmarks? I usually use a drier sheet.” Where do you find books? You can usually get them at the same place. Come to think of it, they generally sell suitable bookmarks where you can buy drier sheets.

I also get and give book recommendations from these groups. They make my to be read list longer and longer, but I’ve read some wonderful things that I normally wouldn’t have picked up without the recommendation.

50 down, 12 to go!

I got sidetracked this week. Between upcoming finals and being sick with a headache, I didn’t get as much reading done as I hoped. But, I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 12 left. And several books that are started.

I need to buckle down this week and finish 51, 52, and 53. It should be doable. I keep getting “short book suggestions to help you meet your goal” from goodreads. I guess that’s a hint?

What a big book you’re reading

I am reading Spinning Silver for sci fi/fantasy bookclub on Sunday.  My mom saw me reading it and commented that the book was huge (466 pages).  She usually sees me reading on my Kindle, and it seems that she doesn’t realize that there are many many more pages in the Kindle than in a paper book.  She just can’t see them, since they are digital.

I tend to read the Kindle in bed, so I don’t have to turn lights on and fully wake up.  Even with the reading light, the paper books are more likely to keep me awake or to keep me from falling back asleep.

I also am supposed to finish We’re going to need more wine for a Goodreads group challenge by Thursday.

The Swing of Things is what I’m reading on my Kindle right now, while I am in bed or on the treadmill.  It’s just for me.

Skinwalker is due for sci fi/fantasy bookclub on Sunday, too, as an alternate book.  I don’t think I’m going to get to it, though.  It’s a library book, so it might be headed back before I get to it.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows is on the list for Vegas bookclub, but it’s not due until the week before Christmas.

I already read the book for tomorrow’s book club.  I am glad, since it wasn’t a favorite book, and I don’t have to read it again.

Curse of the Lord of Darkness needs to be read and reviewed soon.

Neverending Story is for a buddy read with a very patient online friend/reading buddy.  I carry the book with me, but I tend to grab my Kindle when I am out and about.  I need to pick up the paper books more.

Bookclub 11/23

I had my online bookclub today. I had problems with my laptop microphone, so I ended up leaving the house and heading toward the gym to get a head start. We discussed digging in.

We all liked it. Discussed and moved on. We chatted about everything buy books and chose the next book and the general date for discussion.

I was glad that the chosen book was erotic stories for Punjabi widows. I already own the book, and it’s part of the stack of paper books. One small problem… it was on the bottom of the stack. I decided that I’d deal with it when I got home.

I started a challenge with an online friend. Thirty minutes of exercise daily. So I headed to the gym.

I had made it out the door, into the car, through the book discussion, to the ATM, got coffee, and went to the gym. I left the gym after my workout and went to the grocery store since we’re having a second Thanksgiving dinner for leftovers tomorrow. As I was pushing the cart, I felt something weird inside my tshirt. In the middle of the grocery store, I reached in and pulled out a sock. At least it reminded me that I needed drier sheets?

I got home, unpacked the groceries, and decided that I should unbury the book while I was thinking about it, and while I had energy. I managed to wiggle it free from the stack with only moving it and two other books. Nothing toppled into my head. Thankfully. I opened the book to find that its print is so tiny that I may need a magnifying glass.

I started the book for sci fi bookclub that’s due on the 2nd. I am on track to finish it on time.

I am staying in pjs today

Because of the air quality, school was cancelled. With school being cancelled, my field trip today was cancelled, too. I am disappointed, but that’s going to give me a lazy day. I especially need it because I work Sunday this week.

I decided that I needed to read the book for tomorrow’s bookclub. It was in my bag. So, I went to pull it out and decided that I had too much stuff in my bag. I cleaned out my bag. I also started looking through The Book of Books. I bookmarked the books I’ve read, and the books I own but haven’t read, and the books that I still need to get my hands on. I stalled on the fifty shades of grey series, because I am not planning on picking them up again. I decided to not mark them at all.

I managed to get brunch into me. And emptied and loaded the dishwasher. And read part of tomorrow’s bookclub book. And got several things watched and deleted from the DVR.

I was a cat bed when I finished my book for bookclub tomorrow, and wrote its review. I was reminded about the Vegas bookclub book which is due Friday, and asked to catch up on my buddy read. The book for bookclub was a paper book, so I made arrangements to pass it on to a friend after bookclub is over.

I will be making progress on the Vegas bookclub today, and then I’ll cook some dinner. That’s as productive as I am getting today.

Setting goals

Every year, I set goals.  Health goals, reading challenges, financial goals, personal goals, etc.  The ones that actually work are the ones that are reasonable and not too easy.

I have already started thinking about next year.  I don’t wait for a new year’s resolution.  Why start tomorrow when you can start today?

Financial goal is to save more money.   That goal is always what I set.  It’s vague, but if I set a particular dollar amount, I will make myself crazy.  With my work schedule all over the place, I can’t do a particular amount.  Something is better than nothing.

Personal goals for next year.  Cruise in February.  Vegas trip in January.  Have something to look forward to each month.  Continue classes at the community colleges.  Meet with friends more often.  Look for the humor in everything.

Reading goals for next year.  75 books.  Get the book stack down to shorter than me.  Read more paper books.  Keep up the book reviews.  Get to the library more.

Health goals.  Bay swim again.  Vegas half marathon.  10,000 steps a day, every day.  Watch what I eat.  Get outdoors more.  Walk the dogs more.

Note that there isn’t a weight loss goal, only activity goals.  I learned that I make myself crazy when I fixate on the scale.

Anyone interested in joining me in goal setting?  In challenging me on fitbit?  Some other motivation?  Leave a message in the comment or through the contact page.



Is that your real stack of books?

I was chatting with a friend who was reading Bookwormatthegym for the first time. She saw the photo of my books while browsing and I was telling her that I am not buying new books.  She didn’t understand about why I would limit my book purchases until she saw the photo.  Yes.  That’s really the stack.  Yes.  It was taken a couple of weeks ago, so the stack is bigger now.  I have a problem.  I am working on it.  This is one of my goals for 2019.  To have my stack of unread books shorter than I am.

Going on a cruise

I have been invited to go on a cruise in February.  I have never been on a cruise before, so there are a lot of things to think about and to prepare for.  Right after I agreed to go, I worked the Big Book Sale.  The friend who I am traveling with told me to make sure I bought enough books to keep me busy on the cruise.  My friend has apparently never seen the stack of books that keeps growing.  When I described it, the response was, “you probably shouldn’t bring all of those with you, you might be over the boat’s weight limit.  Read on your kindle or in the ship’s library.”  There’s a ship library?  I was planning on sitting by the pool with my book and just relaxing on the sea days.  But, there’s a library, too?

I am bringing my kindle.  I’ll bring the charger for it, and a paper book or two with my book light.  I am debating getting a pair of tinted reading glasses so I can read on paper by the pool.  I got the WiFi package, but it’s only social media, so I can’t update the Kindle while I’m on board.  I need to fill it up ahead of time.

We have three days of excursions, and I am hoping for tours, rather than sitting around.  No private beach for us.  Go, go, go!  I am not doing the zip line that my travel companion will do in Puerto Vallarta, but I’ll find something to do while avoiding the zip line.  I don’t think I can even watch it.  We aren’t booking the excursions until next month, I think.

I plan on getting the spa pass to use the hot tub, sauna and steam room.  I’ll be using the fitness room, since I hope to be back at it by then.  I will have to pack both tinted and non tinted goggles for swimming different times of the day.  I look forward to the movies by the pool at night.

I have looked at the food options and decided to get the soda package since I don’t drink enough to make the alcoholic beverage package worth it for me.  Plus, I don’t want to try to drink enough to make the package worthwhile, since I want to remember the trip.

I still have to research the packing list, but I know I have a little shopping to do.  Two dressy dresses.  Multiple swimsuits.  Toiletries.  All the stuff I usually forget, too.   This list will be made up early.  I can’t start packing now, since I have a trip to Vegas in January, and I’ll need the suitcase.

One bite at a time

I am still behind on my book challenge. Eleven books behind schedule. I will know that I’ll make the challenge. It doesn’t help me to hear things like, “you set the challenge yourself. Nothing’s going to happen if you don’t make it.” This is true, but I’ll be disappointed if I don’t. I also know that I have reading time coming up, since the things that I have on my weekend schedule don’t require a lot of time. Plus, extra days off for the holidays, somewhat. We are working a couple of weekend mornings in order to take off Black Friday, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve. Also, most of the bookclub groups are taking December off, so I’m more able to read my own choices instead of the chosen books.

As I am thinking of how to get the last 21 books in, the old joke “how do you eat an elephant?” comes to mind. One bite at a time.

I have a few books that still have deadlines, but the rest just need to be finished by December 31. Just under two months to go.

1. Black beauty – reading with a friend, a chapter at a time, just to push me through it. It’s a very easy read, but I just need to do it. We will definitely finish by December 31, but we are both busy so we are reading in chunks. 12% done

2. Night – due for classics bookbub on December 2. I have been assured that it’s a quick read. Not started

3. The never-ending story – reading one chapter at a time with a group of 4 of us. All of us are either working multiple jobs or are in school after work, so it’s slow going. It’s possible that we won’t finish by December 31. First chapter is completed.

4. A second chance – third book in a series I have been enjoying, so I’m reading this for myself. I hope to finish it this week. 10% done

5. America for beginners – January’s local book club selection. I am almost finished with it. I started it because I couldn’t get the November book yet and I didn’t want to fall way behind. 80% done

6. She’s not there – October’s local book club selection, which I didn’t finish yet. I am reading a chapter here and there to get through it. 68% done

7. Winnie the pooh – library book that must be returned soon. 50% done

8. Summer wives – a larger sized book in the paper book pile. Haven’t started it yet. It’s hardback, so it probably won’t travel much with me. 0% done

9. Digging in – due black Friday for my bookclub with my friends. Another easy read. 15% done

10. Vodka and Chocolate Drops – due November 8 for a goodreads group challenge. 3% done

11. Curse of the Lord of darkness – I was given this book to read and, in exchange for the freebie,I am supposed to write an Amazon review. 3% done

There’s more than half of the books that I have left. All planned out. Now I just have to do it. Most of them are at least partially read, so I just have to finish. Wish me luck!