16 Books Every Woman Needs to Read plus a few extra

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16 Books Every Woman Needs to Read from Bustle.

Plus, the books that I’ve read this year that I would recommend, either about women or by women or both:

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Mary Harnett and Wendy W. Williams

The Jet Sex: Airline Stewardesses and the Making of an American Icon by Victoria Vantoch

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love, and So Much More by Janet Mock

Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (fictional)

The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman

Game of Queens: The Women Who Made Sixteenth Century Europe by Sarah Gristwood

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Fandom Friday – Out-of-Context Quotes from Supernatural

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​I’m sure our house isn’t very different from other families. We have our own idiosyncrasies and short hand for expressing ourselves. For me, my go-to for commentary is almost always one of three places: Seinfeld, Supernatural, and Hamilton. Even my kids, who have never seen Seinfeld, are familiar with several of the pop culture vernacular: yada, yada, yada. not that there’s anything wrong with that. Newman. TWIIIIIX. Low talkers, close talkers, anti-dentites, big salads, baby eating dingoes, and why we don’t lick envelopes.

When I’m told to take a break, I will invariably start singing, “let’s go upstate.”

My name is…is followed either by Alexander Hamilton or Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.

Supernatural is one of those wonderful shows where the actors love to go to work. It’s evident, and after twelve completed seasons, they often harken back to previous seasons and episodes and call out fanon, continuity, plot holes, and just plain fun call backs. For fans who love the meta, and I am one of them, it is a laugh, a private moment between actor and fan, an inside joke. My sister just binged and completed the series, and she’ll make a comment to me, and I’ll smile because I know something she doesn’t, mainly because I’m on tumblr and read many of the convention accounts, and participate in the Supernatural family and social media.

Here are a few of those out-of-context quotes that might or might not make sense to you, but for the SPN family, trust me, they are hilarious. In no particular order:

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Thursday Travels – Trip Tips

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​A few years ago I published a travel organizer. It did pretty well for awhile, but over the years since, I’ve realized that it’s not really what would be helpful for people traveling today. It’s hard to believe that so much has changed in so little time.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks creating a do-it-yourself trip planner. I had the thought to sell the download, the buyer would print it themselves on sticker paper and fill in their own journal book/notebook of their choice to use as a planner. It worked great for me, but the look of it really isn’t marketable. I will continue to work on it though; maybe something will come of it in the future.

In the meantime, as I was putting that together, I compiled a list of trip tips, which I will share here for anyone traveling this summer and/or fall.

Safe travels.

[Note: This is not geared towards very young children. If you are interested in that age group, drop me a line, and I can put something together. As at the time, I had young children, my original travel organizer had some great advice and an entire section devoted to children.]

1. Most important tip is to avoid putting personal information on things that can be easily lost. Do not put dates of travel on throwaway items. Do not put your home address on these items as well. That can be the perfect blueprint for thieves who check the garbage at travel sites like airports and train stations.

2. Keep your passport on your person. A document holder is a good organizational tool, especially if you’re responsible for your whole family’s or group’s important papers.

3. TSA – 3-1-1 – Even if you’re not flying, this is a good habit to get into. It saves space, and forces you to decide on what’s truly necessary. I would also recommend separating liquid toiletries from dry. For example, put your toothpaste in one pouch, and your toothbrush in another. This is especially helpful for airport security.

4. If you’re flying, keep liquids and laptops separate and easily accessible. If you’re checking a bag, try and put your liquids in there. Check the applicable websites – there have been recent changes to laptops traveling.

5. Print out a copy of the airport terminal map. This is so helpful for finding your gate, knowing in advance what restaurants and food is available, how close the restrooms are to where you’ll need to be, and how to get from point A to point B on layovers. In the last ten years, I’ve had layovers for all of my flights except the last one and the one that’s upcoming.

6. After deplaning and getting your luggage, use the bathroom before going through customs. Sometimes, the line can be quite long, and those drinks on the plane really do add up.

7. Dress in layers – works for airplane, museums, bus tours, beaches, and restaurants, etc. It will always be warmer than you expect outside, and colder inside.

8. Keep prescriptions in original, unexpired containers – do not check them; put them in your carry on. Pay attention to time zones so you can be sure you take your medications on time or near enough to not have any adverse reactions.

9. Same for packing your jewelry. Put it in your carry on.

10. Have some dry, non-perishable snacks for a long flight. It’s much cheaper than stopping at a convenience store or in the airport terminal. Avoid messy foods, like cheese puffs and nacho chips. The orange dust gets on everything.

11. Bring a pack of gum, and be sure to chew it before take-off and landing. It really does help your ears with the air pressure.

12. Packing tip – pack in a smaller bag. Then transfer everything to a larger case. This leaves you room to bring things back without an extra bag or bagging charge. Packing cubes are also great for organizing and keeping things separate (I like Eagle Creek).

13. Plan your outfits so you can match them to each other. This will give you more clothes options without bringing too much. Scarves and pins are two good ways to add some pizazz to an outfit and change it up a bit.

14. Pack in reverse order for clothes so you don’t mess up your bag searching for “today’s” outfit.

15. In the very front pocket of your suitcase, the larger accessory one on the outside, put everything you’ll need for the first night’s sleep. This will save you tearing apart your suitcase when youj’re exhausted from arriving at your destination. All in the front, sleep well, and begin the next day fresh. If there’s space in that front pocket, maybe put in your first day’s clothes also.

16. Some hotels offer breakfast. Continental or full at some places. Factor this into your price when estimating how much you’re willing to spend on a hotel stay. It may not be as expensive as it initially sounds when food is included.

17. What will you use for an alarm clock? I use my cell phone.

18. On that note, make sure your electronic devices will work where you’re going, and that you’re on a plan to cover your use of 4G or calling and texting. If you’re traveling internationally, get an adapter plug.

19. A mini surge protector is a great tool that I’ve been using for several years now. You can get a reliable one from Belkin.

20. I always use a list and I always forget something. I woke up in the middle of the night yesterday realizing that I forgot to put a laundry bag on my packing list. I haven’t seen it in awhile; it’s probably lost somewhere in the basement, hiding with my missing socks.

Fandom Friday – San Diego Comic Con

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​Comic Con is upon us.

For those of us who can’t attend for a variety of reasons, up to and including financial, especially financial, we rely on the Internet to get us through this weekend with only a modicum of spoilers. For the most part, there are no real surprises, and all spoilers are the ones TPTB want to get out their to foment interest in the coming season, which seems to start later and later.

Many of my favorite shows are an important commodity to SDCC as well as various specialty conventions throughout the year – Creation ConsWalker StalkerHeroes/Villains Fan FestToronto Comic ConFan ExpoNY Comic ConEmerald CityJIBCon, etc.

The fandom world makes it so that when you lose a character, they don’t disappear from your world like in the old days. We have entertainment magazines, podcasts, apps, teasers, fan sites, and much, much more to get us through the hiatus.

In at least two of my shows, “everyone” died at the end, and for one show, they either died or were trapped in another dimension. How will they resolve it? To be honest, we won’t know until the end of next season, and then they’ll give us another cliffhanger to speculate on for that next hiatus.

Today, the expectations to come out of Comic Con are the Season 8 trailer for The Walking Dead, Season 12 Gag Reel for Supernatural, panels for both as well as panels for Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War and Black Panther, DC’s Justice League, related Lego, videogames, and lots and lots of cosplayers showing off their talents.

Conan O’Brien is even hosting his show from San Diego with guests from the convention.

The best place to get information on the weekend’s events is the Comic Con Front Page

What are you most looking forward to hearing about and seeing?

Travel Thursday – Anxiety

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​As much as I love the idea of traveling, and the actual visiting places, the anxiety associated with the anticipation of planning is one of the most debilitating and horrible things to deal with. It’s something that needs to get done, or the trip itself is a no-go, but starting the planning…

And it isn’t even the actual planning. I love the listmaking, and the reading the tour books, researching what i want to do when I get there. It’s the starting. The monumental decision of putting the money into non-refundable tickets. Hitting that send or buy or submit button takes three times as long as filling out the information on the forms.

In the case of our Ireland trip this summer, it isn’t just buying plane tickets; it’s renting a car. There’s the anxiety of finalizing the search with a credit card number, but there is also the shortness of breath and shaking hands just thinking about driving in the UK again.

After eight years back, I thought I was ready. The memory a cry in the distance, but the closer it gets to reserving a car and planning a route from the airport to the cousins and the cities, and the ferry to Wales, my stomach jumps up into my throat and I feel a choking sensation. I can’t imagine what it will be like to get on the plane with this feeling gnawing at me.

It’s almost unbearable, and there is no earthly reason to feel this way at this moment, weeks in advance of actually having to do it.

My kids are coming, so compiled in all of that stress is the stress of pretending that there is nothing to be anxious about to soothe their own normal, rational fears, so I must hide my own, some irrational fears, but fears all the same.

I feel quite sick writing about it right now.

I vividly remember the white knuckles, the terror of every intersection, every roundabout, reminding myself to breathe, the post-it note on the dashboard telling me to turn into the left lane, always the left lane, thanking G-d at every church passed, the slight sound of scraping as I inched too close to the town wall.

It’s all coming back to me.

Not the feelings a few years later that maybe I could do it again; I got through it once, and it wasn’t that bad, but the anxious screaming IT WAS THAT BAD, PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME!!!

But as with all things, it will be okay.

Between that time and now, I have received many tools to get me through this one little hitch that seems so overwhelming, but I can get through it; I know it.

One of those is a diagnosis and treatment for the elevated anxiety that falls into the not quite normal range of emotion and brain chemistry as well as the same for depression, not entirely unrelated, but the destination will assist in alleviating any extra. I have a therapy session planned for a week prior as well as reconciliation with my priest. Not for anything specific, but you know…anxiety and such.

Another thing was something I heard at one of my first masses, actually it was at my first healing mass, the anointing of the sick. My entire life, no matter how severe, no  matter how stressful, no matter how bad, I would tell myself that it would be okay. I didn’t necessarily believe it, but just saying it to myself did have a calming affect.

At that first anointing, my priest quoted St. Julian of Norwich, subseequently a new found favorite of mine.

All will be well.

All will be well.

In all manner of things,

all will be well.

How perfect, and how needed, then and now.

Yes, I’m still anxious, and som of it will be debilitating, but all will be well.

Diet Coke vs. Coca-Cola Zero: What’s The Difference? | HuffPost

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Article
As I’m drinking Coke Zero, I thought I’d throw my two cents in. First, I only drink Coke Zero when Diet Coke is not an option. That should give you an indication of how much better Diet Coke is: it’s the one that runs out.

Yes, I can taste the difference.
I would put Coke Zero as closer to Diet Pepsi, although it’s better than Pepsi. (Yes, I can taste the difference. So much so that I won’t order Diet Pepsi anymore. I’d rather drink water for free. Sorry Pepsi fans.)
I will drink Coke Zero if it’s my only soda option, especially today when I have to go for bloodwork and can’t get a McD sweet tea (which I drink about once a year).
So, there you have my unscientific analysis.