5 Good Things: January


1. Not watching Netflix.

Somewhere around mid-November, maybe, our Netflix watching petered off. I thought it was an end-of-semester thing, and we’d pick back up with Gilmore Girls during Christmas break. But we didn’t.

And I haven’t missed it. At all. There are lots of good shows out there that I want to watch at some point–the second season of The Crown, for one–but not right now. I’m enjoying more books and perhaps my productivity has even increased a bit. Either way,

2. Writing my dissertation.


Jules got me this book for my birthday, and in the 4 days since then I have been more productive than the previous two weeks. I also got enormously helpful feedback from two colleagues, who gave me clear and direct instructions as to how to go about cleaning up the mess I made. I’m so thankful for amazingly generous colleagues and friends, and I’m loving this book. (And for those who are wondering, you start with 15 minutes and then increase).

3. This water glass.


This water glass makes me happy for four reasons: It is teal. It is glass. It has a straw. It is only $8 on Amazon. And that combination DELIGHTS me to a degree that is absolutely disproportional.  Sometimes I fill it with sparkling water and a little pomegranate juice and admire the way the pink bubbly water glints in the light and enjoy my sparkly fizzy healthy drink in my beautiful glass portable drinking container because this glass deserves an absurd number of adjectives. This is the best damn water bottle on the market, and you are so welcome. You heard it here first. Go buy yourself one and thank me profusely later.

4. This song.

I love this Breton take on Manau’s “La tribu de dana” — it’s everything adventurous and magical and a little bit ancient and I’ve been playing it nonstop for two months now. Nolwenn Leroy also does a lot of Celtic stuff and sings in Irish. Check out the rest of this album, especially “Siuil a Ruin.”

5. The Player of Games by Iain Banks.


Okay, I know I claimed not to be a fantasy person in the December post, but I am really not a science fiction person. At all. Call me regressive, but the focus on technological progress has always bored me, and I never found the characters sympathetic. But I read this over the holiday break and I was hooked. Banks creates a fascinatingly sophisticated world, but the novel is still plot and character driven. For me, it’s one of those books you can’t get out of your head, the kind that stays with you for weeks and months. Even if you think you don’t like science fiction, give this a try.











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