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1st October 2022

Books read (July-September)

Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal. My last of Chris Colfer’s audiobooks and his first book. Not sure that a journal really was the best format, but I’m going to miss his voice.
The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the Discovery of DNA’s Double Helix. In honor of the 70 year anniversary coming up, I’ve been reading a lot of books on the discovery of DNA. There was some uncomfortable fixation of Rosalind’s sexuality (much like Brenda Maddox books but she came to a completely different conclusion), and I truly loath James Watson now.
Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher. Oooh. A short, dark fairy tale. Highly recommend.
Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo. The last book published (so far) of the Gishaverse. Definitely not a stand alone novel, but overall, a satisfying end to the series and leaving room for more books.
On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi. There really aren’t that many good fictional books about being a doctor, much less about going through medical school. This really captured the stress and drama of med school.
The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrows. Reimagined history, some strong characters (although maybe a wee bit too much of leaning into the maiden, mother, crone archetypes), beautiful story telling.
Of Sound Mind: How Our Brain Constructs a Meaningful Sonic World by Nina Kraus. Audiobook. Fascinating insights into how our ears and brain receive and perceive sound, and how it influences our language and cognitive development, if a bit redundant at times.
Orphan Black: The Next Chapter. Maybe a little bit of a cheat, since it’s a  episodic podcast, but it was on goodreads. I rewatched Orphan Black this spring and was eager to listen. Tatiana’s voices were amazing and I loved the new characters (her male voices were the weakest. 

Heat Wave (The Extraordinaries, #3) by TJ Klune. An excellent conclusion to the trilogy and so much familial love.
What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher. I’m not a big horror person, but I adore T’s writing. A retelling of the Fall of the House of Usher, with some cool biological explanations.
A Middle-Earth Traveller: Sketches from Bag End to Mordor  by John Howe. I loved his work for the Lord of the Rings movies, so I thought this would be a good introduction to my next audio project. Lovely sketches, some lovely behind the scenes insights.
Orphan Black: The Next Chapter (Season 2). This time, Jordan, Kristian, and Evelyn returned to voice their roles. I hope there’s another.
A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall. A fun little regency romp involving a trans heroine. Lots of feelings.
Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall. The story opens with one of my least favorite tropes: lying outrageously and then getting caught and I almost didn’t finish it, but I’m glad I stuck with it, because it really had all of the charm of the Great British Bake Off in a novel.
Husband Material by Alexis Hall. (All of my library books became available at the same time, so I read three of Alexis’s books in a week period). I had been charmed by Boyfriend Material; it wasn’t the best fake dating book that I’ve ever read, but I was invested enough that I looked for the sequel and I liked it even better than the first one. Laugh out loud hysterical, following the plot of Four Weddings and Funeral while still giving it at twist. Looking forward to Father Material.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, read by Andy Serkis. This will be my listening project for the next year probably. Andy Serkis’s voice is amazing – deep and rich in timbre. I haven’t reread this one since early in college, it was much darker than what I remembered.
You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar. Terrible stories, presented in a light-hearted, easy to approach manner. I’m planning on introducing it to my family and friends because it’s a really great way to highlight the pervasiveness of racism.

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin. I really wanted to like this book as it was written by an emergency medicine doctor about a group of medical school friends. And I didn’t. There were parts that truly resonated, such as when one of the main characters loses a patient, but the drama was so over the top.
Ramón and Julieta by Alana Albertson. Just a sweet little Romeo and Juliet retelling. A fluffy, easy to read romance which was just want I was craving.
The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin. I checked out all three of her books at the same time, so I was really hopeful that this one would be better. And it was, but it still felt lacking. It also felt like the author was trying too hard to emphasize that “not all Christians” are homophobic, but there was still homophobic and transphobic views (one character was the definition of sassy gay friend) that belied that conclusion.
East by Edith Pattou. A reread because I found out that a sequel had been written and it had been literal years. Almost as good as I remembered, an excellent retelling of the fairy tale “East of the Sun West of the Moon.
West by Edith Pattou. I’m not sure that East really needed a sequel, but this one was well done and it completed the story.
Felix Silver, Teaspoons & Witches by Harry Cook. My god, did this book need better editors. So many sloppy mistakes.
So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo. I started reading this 2 years ago and got distracted. A practical book, with some great real-time examples, but I’m not sure that it really made it easier to talk about race with some of my white relatives for example.
Doctors and Friends by Kimmery Martin. I almost didn’t read this because I had been so disappointed by her previous books, but I’m so glad that I did because it was the best of the 3. She started writing this book back in 2019, about a pandemic that affected the world, and it was a much deeper, emotional story than the other two (although many of the same characters were in it).
George (Melissa’s Story) by Alex Gore. Picked it up as part of Banned Books Week and you guys, I’m just tired of fake outrage. It was cute.
The Theft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani. Sequel to Thorn, which I read earlier this year. Thorn was good, but this really developed the world. I’m excited for the 3rd book.

I may make it to a 100 books this year. *crosses fingers*

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1st July 2022

Books for 2022

I’ve had an unofficial goal to read 52 books this year – a book a week. Last year I read 49. For most of the past 20 years, since entering med school, I’ve read at most 5-10 books a year, so it felt like an ambitious goal.

I just hit 45 books so far. Some of them have been shorter books, but still. Reading had always been my escapism – is it a good thing that it’s becoming so again?

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee (hated the first book due to the protagonist but liked the secondary characters and the overall premise. Much much more enjoyable).
A Marvellous Light (The Last Binding, #1) by Freya Marske (reads exactly like a fanfic with lots of longing and emotions. A favorite.)
A Modest Independence by Mimi Matthews (for a facebook book club). Victorian woman travels to India along with her not-quite-boyfriend. The descriptions were lovely, even if nothing happened the majority of the book.
Thorn (Dauntless Path #1) Intisar Khanani. A Muslim retelling of The Goose Girl. Really original and well told; the sequels are on my list for the year.

The Last Cuentista by Donna Higuera (my friend recommended the day before the Newberry Medal was announced).
Dread Nation and Deathless Divide by Justine Ireland (I am such a squeamish person that the fact that I read a zombie book AND it’s sequel says something). The sequel was not as good as the first book, but it ended satisfactorily.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reed. I didn’t love it quite as much as everybody else has.

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson. A book of prose/almost poetry. Just lovely.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I watched Shadow and Bone on Netflix and really loved it, so I had to find the books. It’s a really enjoyable series, just different enough from the tv series to keep them exciting.
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall (started it in February for Black History Month, finished in March).
A Tale of Magic read by Chris Colfer. A year ago, I started listening to Chris Colfer’s books on the way to and from work. My commute’s only 15 minutes away, so I don’t make a lot of progress. Chris is an excellent voice actor, and while his books aren’t high literature, they are engaging and his characters live.
Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall. I read Boyfriend Material last year which I liked. I didn’t like this one as much, but it ended better than it started.
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. Sequel to Shadow and Bone. Definitely a middle book.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. Conclusion to Shadow and Bone. I didn’t dislike the ending; I also thought that it was weak.
A Tale of Witchcraft read by Chris Colfer. Another middle book. His descriptions of teenage love are so hilariously earnest.
Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox (again started for Women’s History Month in March…). Rosalind Franklin is a bit of an ideal of mine. This book frustratingly focused on answering whether or not she was pretty.
A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher. A random find and what a great one. A baker with a little bit of magic has to defend his city. It’s a younger adult book, but it doesn’t shy from hard topics, such a death and poverty.
The Huntress by Kate Quinn (facebook book club). Hunting down Nazis after the war – told both in flashbacks and current time, with the flashbacks getting closer and closer to current time.
So This Is Ever After by F.T. Lukens. I loved their Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths and Magic, so I couldn’t wait to read other books. This one was so delightfully tropey- happily ever afters, soulmates, misunderstandings. Perfect.
Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher. After A Wizard’s Guide, I had to read others of her books. This was the first book of a trilogy of related books. One of those where I couldn’t put it down from nearly the first page.
In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens. Another charming story.
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn. I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while – an epistolary story where every chapter loses a letter that the townspeople can use. It felt very fitting for this authoritarian world we’re getting into.

A Spindle Splintered by Alix Harrow – I love fractured fairytales and this one was a fun novella.
A Tale of Sorcery read by Chris Colfer (audiobook). The last book of his “Tale Of” series and it was a satisfying tie-up to the series.
Hyperbole and A Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened by Allie Brosh. I loved her blog back in the day and her comics would have me gasping for air. They weren’t quite as funny now, and I’m not sure why.
What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon. I still have complex feelings about this book.
Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Kaz my beloved. Inej my beloved. Nina my beloved. Jesper my beloved.
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Jaigirdar Adiba. Sweet, if not very deep.
Paladin’s Strength by T. Kingfisher. It took me way too long to figure out the twist. But it was worth it.
Paladin’s Hope by T. Kingfisher. Hot. So hot.

I’m So Not Over You by Kosoko Jackson. A great idea (exboyfriends fake-dating) and so poorly executed.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. A direct continuation of Six of Crows – so many twists I did not see coming.
Stranger Than Fanfiction read by Chris Colfer (audiobook). It’s not Shakespeare, but man, do I love hearing him make his characters come to life. I still have thoughts about the ending.
Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher. I love these stories about ordinary people with just a touch of magic.  
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo. Nina my beloved.
The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer. I read this in a day – really absorbing while reading it, falls apart if you spend too long thinking about the premise.
Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher. I love this world. I love these complex, world-weary, broken women and men who come together to try to save their world.
Swordheart by T. Kingfisher. I had to wait for the Wonder Engine to be available from the library. I need the sequels now.
A Mirror Mended by Alix Harrow. A Spindle Splintered didn’t need a sequel and I’m not sure that this was the sequel that should have been written.
The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher. An excellent finish to the series.
Here’s To Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. I really didn’t like What If It’s Us that much – the characters were too young and differentiating between their first person perspectives was iffy. This was much better. I still would have made them a touch older, but it works.
One Last Stop by Casy McQuiston. I liked Red, White, and Royal Blue better and I wasn’t expecting a time-travel story. Still there was a lot of atmosphere and sweetness to the story.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. I really liked this although I still have so many questions. But this captured the feel of the outer Sunset district of San Francisco and made me homesick.

Midyear book review:

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2nd December 2008

100 Things

Felt like wasting time. I have to go to bed now, because I’m on call yet again tomorrow, and am still feeling sleep deprived and we’re rounding early. (As an aside, it is supposed to snow all day tomorrow, meaning I have to dig myself out again post-call before I can sleep. And more head traumas as people slide on slick roads which translates to more 4 am consults from neurosurgery when they decide that they don’t want to operate after all with means less sleep. Am somewhat bitter at Mother Nature who is not doing a great job of nurturing right now.)

1. Started your own blog (I have several right now. Most are just mirrors of my original livejournal, but I do have my own that will be revealed officially to the public as soon as WP 2.7 is released and working properly).
2. Slept under the stars (Several times)
3. Played in a band (I jammed with my 8th grade guitar class but I don’t think we ever made a band)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
Read more

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16th September 2007

Anne girl

2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables. 100 years, can you believe it? Wow. Prince Edward Island, in continuing their traditions of pandering to the tourists, is celebrating the occasion with year long festivities. There’s a big part of me, that pesky, sentimental tourist (I do realize that I’m a hypocrite, but not so much that I can embrace the idea of “meeting” Anne and Diana in the streets), that really, really wants to be in PEI for the festivities

Of course, equally verbal in the inner dialogue is the frugal, money-panicked me who is trying to calculate airfare, lodging and transportation costs and wondering how I can possibly save up the money plus get the snow blower that I so need to make this winter more bearable.

Choices, choices.

Anybody inclined to tag along?

Today was my day off; 16 days without any time off is a very, very long time to survive. I was getting a wee bit punchy by the end. I only accomplished one thing today… I slept in until 11, which was exactly what I wanted to do. 🙂 I got up in time to prepare my lesson for church (on marriage, which everybody groaned when I mentioned the topic, but I think I pulled it off well–got a few laughs and some good discussion until the end where it veered off into pointless tangents), went to church and then have spent the rest of the afternoon and evening on the couch, doing absolutely nothing. It’s been great. Unfortunately, I’m on call tomorrow, so the reprieve was very short. Hopefully, this call will go a little nicer than the last, and I can actually get a few minutes or even better a couple of hours of sleep. Last one, I came home so exhausted that I went straight to bed and woke up around 3 in the morning. Hence the reason for no posts recently.

I take Step 3 of my boards in 12 days. I’m starting to get nervous now, because I really have had little time to study. And I still can’t tell my dermatologic diseases apart. All of this schooling and training and I still don’t know half of what I really ought to know.

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21st July 2007

deathly hallows

I am the proud owner of The Book.

Which is currently in the front seat of my car, locked, so that I’m not tempted to stay up all night and read. I have to be at the hospital in the morning, and even though I have no patients, I have to be alert enough that if one came in, I wouldn’t kill them.

Went to the local bookstore with some of the other neuro residents and one of my attendings, met up with his family. So much fun oohing over the kids and their costumes and how excited they were. Of course, the first thing they all did when they got the book was open it up and read the last word. I succeeded in not listening to carefully, so I’m still not spoiled. 🙂

Kinda sad that it’s all over now.

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13th June 2007

This blog has been negative for long enough.

Found at bookish

Re: Ella Enchanted

The movie is one of my favorite movies ever! I actually wore out the DVD watching it…

The book is good as well, but it’s so very different from the movie. It’s much darker, and the plot is quite different. It’s still a really good book, but if you go into it thinking it’s going to be like the movie, you will be disappointed.

Ah yep. *sigh* The only good thing about that movie was that it only cost me a dollar and was truly one of the best mock fests that Liz and I have had. “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” probably squeezes by a hair, but otherwise… My friend Brooke put it best in her blog, when she was talking about her ten favorite children’s books that ought be made into movies, with Ella as her first choice: “Yeah. And let’s get it right this time.”

Question. Name me one movie that you liked better than the book. I’m really curious, because I can’t come up with much.

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20th June 2006


I forgot…

Packing up my computer means that it is impossible to write a “final post” (my favorite!).

So this is a day late.

But I am moved. My apartment was packed and sorted and stuffed into a Uhaul trailer, a Jeep and the back of my little car. Surprisingly, there’s still room if we wanted to fit more. I did have to leave behind all five boxes of my books…my parents have promised faithfully that they will mail them soon. They’d better!

Right now, we’re crossing the great and spacious state of Wyoming. We had left last night and went to my hometown for a regrouping and final goodbye before heading out today…Got an hour down the road and realized that we (I) had left the insurance information for the trailer on the table. So we turned around. I have a strange feeling of deja ve… I wondder why. But we finally got everything and are stopped for the night a hundred miles from Nebraska. Here’s hoping we make it on time for my closing on Friday.

I’m tired, so that’s it. I’ll be without internet for some time as I set up house, so don’t let anything important happen!

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28th November 2005

Book Meme

Snagged from angel_grace

Bold those you’ve read. Italicize those you haven’t finished/have only read excerpts. Underline those you own. And then add a few of your own 🙂

The books

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12th November 2005

Literature Abuse

Literature Abuse: America’s Hidden Problem Self-Test For Literature Abusers

For Your Own Good, Take It Immediately!

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12th April 2005

Those pesky memes ;)

Well, since I keep getting asked to do this!

Book Meme!

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29th September 2004


Just popping in to say I’m alive and well.

I changed rotations, finished with Internal Medicine last week. I was so sad to see it go, because I had such a great time. It’s definitely on the list of career possibilities–however, I have another 6 weeks of it next spring, so I’ll hold off until then to make my decision. It has everything that I like–the patient interaction, getting to see neat cases (I saw a guy with mercury poisoning… it was so cool!) that I’ve only read about in textbooks, making medical decisions, the integration of all different fields…

So, now I’m radiology…. and I miss Internal Medicine even more. I decided to postpone my surgery rotation because of the problems with my shoulder and so I’m doing a 4th year elective. I’m the only third year–and because of that, I have the residents convinced that I’m a gunner and going into radiology. One resident practically told me that I HAD to get honors. I don’t like having that kind of pressure. I like to do a good job, I’m trying to do a good job, but please don’t expect me to blow you away!

It’s been *interesting* so far. Everyday, I go to work, where I sit in a darkened room and stare at a computer screen trying to differentiate between grey blobs. I have 4 hours of lecture of day, where I sit in a darkened room staring at a Power Point presentation, trying to differentiate between grey blobs. I have fallen asleep at every noon lecture. And I was 45 minutes late today, because I could not make myself care enough to get there in time to just fall asleep, when I could be having much better sleep in my own bed.

No, it’s going better than the first day (I seriously thought I was going to die), and it certainly is more enjoyable now that I can identify a few more grey blobs (I’m getting good at the pancreas!), so we’ll see. Maybe I’ll be singing it’s praises by the end. 🙂

I’ve just been taking it easy for the last few days… I went to the library and got fiction books for the first time since at least May (stayed up way too late last night reading Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede… maybe that’s why I’m tired?), and Ellie shirerain and I spent a couple of days playing around with my layout journal, which I lovelovelove. All of the pretty colors is because of her. The painting is by James C Christensen, who is one of my favorite artists of all times. All of his paintings are whimsical and breathtaking and for a moment, convince me that I do believe in magic. And he puts flying fish in half of his art too, can you get any cooler?


Pssst…. If any of you have not checked out teh_music, may I suggest that you hie there immediately? I’ve gotten such great music that I have not been able to get my hands on… *contented sigh*

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30th March 2004

More A Room With A View quotes

I was browsing through my copy of A Room With A View looking for quotes for my story. I love the book. And the movie. But the book is so under-appreciated and just filled with little gems. Like these:

George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment, he contemplated her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy in her face, he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. The bushes above them closed. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her.

George’s father, Mr. Emerson to Lucy: “But you do,” he went on, not waiting for contradiction. “You love the boy body and soul, plainly, directly, as he loves you, and no other word expresses it. You won’t marry the other man for his sake.”

And: “You must marry, or your life will be wasted. You have gone too far to retreat. I have no time for the tenderness, and the comradeship, and the poetry, and the things that really matter, and for which you marry. I know that, with George, you will find them, and that you love him. Then be his wife. He is already a part of you. Though you fly to Greece, and never see him again, or forget his very name, George will work in your thought till you die. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets were right: love is eternal.”

He carried her to the window, so that she, too, saw all the view. They sank upon their knees, invisible to the road, they hoped, and began to whisper one another’s names. Ah! it was worth while; it was the great joy they had expected, and countless little joys of which they had never dreamt. They were silent.

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3rd December 2003

The dead will arise and speak again…

Wow, do you realize that the last time I posted here was back in August?? I realized that today was December, December 2nd my calendar tells me. I’m not really sure what happened to September and October and November–are you sure we really even had a November?

First of all, updates: Yes, to those few people who know what I’m talking about, I’m still working on my Gilmore Girls story, Like Never Before. Honestly, I swear. I’m working on chapter 8 and have been (bit by painful bit) for the past three months. It’s sixteen pages long now, sixteen pages and I think I hate it. Which is funny, because when I first started thinking about this story a year and a half ago, this was one of the major chapters of why I wanted to put my ideas to paper. But right now, it’s hitting too close to home. I’ve had a hard time writing this fight scene and having such an easy resolution, when I know from hard, personal experience that it never goes this smoothly. Even when you’re trying so hard to communicate, things still get mired and knotted. And yet, to change it, would just lengthen the story out even longer. If it wasn’t necessary to move the “plot” along, I’d just trash it. I have one scene left. One scene that’s probably less than two pages long, but do you think I can write it? NOOOOO! Stupid story.

Update number two: And I’ve been once again hit by the drabble bug, so look for an update to my drabbles, as well as some LOTR ones–I’ve got an inkling to write a Eomer drabble, and I don’t know where that one came from!! As of yet, no one has taken my drabble challenge, although Agent M at ff.net wrote a perfectly delightful one entitled Tana and Kirk. Read it, it’s fabulous.

And speaking of drabbles, I just finished reading The Da Vinci Code and really really enjoyed it. The author did an incredible amount of research to justify every one of his theories and well as add layers and layers of details and symbolism. I feel like I need to read it again, just to understand all of the symbolism. Right after I read it, I stumbled across another of fileg‘s beautiful drabbles that struck me as ironically appropriate: Earth, Water, Fire, Air. Read the Arwen drabble….And then do yourself a favor and go and read the rest of fileg’s stories and see why I love her writing so much.

Update number three: We’re starting to discuss The Hobbit on my Tolkien discussion group. I just posted the first five chapters of musings and thoughts, the next five chapters will be done by this weekend. I hope to get all the way through it before RETURN OF THE KING opens….Can anybody guess how excited I am??? Today, I saw one of the tv trailers for the first time and it induced the “moment-of-silence” followed by “utter-squeal-of-excitement.”

Um, yeah. That’s all the business I guess. School’s been kicking my butt, mostly because I’ve become so apathetic towards it. I cannot wait for Christmas. One of my best friends is flying in and spending almost two weeks with me!! I have two lovely weeks with no classes, no endless hours of studying the disease processes of anemia or the electrical circuits of the heart, no trying to avoid certain people because things have gone so horribly wrong. Nothing but sweet, delightful boredom.

And I had to laugh. Last week, driving home for Thanksgiving dinner, I heard the new Evanescence single, My Immortal, and completely, totally, head over heels fell in love with it. Seriously, it was one of those songs that caused an emotional reaction where I felt the words and music just beating in my veins. I haven’t been able to get enough of the song since then. And what was the quote from GG tonight “And those who bring Evanescence will be severely mocked.” Yeah, I’m ridiculous.

Only 14 more days until ROTK!!!!!!!!! Just wait until the day before, then I’ll be shouting it!

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    • Thoughts that I am processing July 18, 2023
      1) One of my coworkers moved to San Francisco in February. I thought we were pretty good friends – she invited me to her wedding last year. But I haven’t heard a word from her since she moved. I found out that she’s been texting regularly with others and some of them have visited her […]