101 in 1001: 340 days remaining

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

I’ll be checking in sporadically to share any progress or successes with my Day Zero Project. You can see my full list here on the blog, or at the Day Zero Project website.

So it has been a truly ridiculous amont of time since I updated (or let’s be honest, even looked at) this – over 18 months. Since then there has been all kinds of changes so I figure it’s time for an update!

Goals completed

18. Go to the theatre

We went to see Harry Potter & The Cursed Child in early 2018, and it was awesome. I will say though I think having read the screenplay before seeing the show was a mistake: working with books all day I didn’t dare put off reading it because I’d definitely have got spoilered at work, but I think my husband got more out of it by not knowing where the story was going.

22. Go to a spa

We actually ticked this off twice – we booked a cheap spa break Winter 2017 and then also had a massage on our honeymoon.

25. Get engaged & 26. Get married & 27. Open a joint account & 28. Buy a house

This is why my blogging mojo went out the window! We had a very busy year of doing some fun romantic things (wedding, honeymoon, house) and some responsible adulting things (budgeting, joint account).

39. Watch all 3 Lord of the Rings Films

We watched these over the winter when it was cold and miserable outside and we wanted to curl up with some popcorn.

62. Put a scratch map on the wall

Now that we’re in our own place this got moved up on the priority list! This was a nice easy one to tick off and I love daydreaming about where we’re going to scratch off (though it’ll probably be a while before we get to scratch off anywhere new after the expenses of 2018!)

63. Buy new bedding & 67. Put a photo of us up somewhere at home

We got vouchers as wedding presents so we spent some of them on photo frames and nice bedding.

68. Get a promotion or a new job

I got a promotion in my old job right at the beginning of 2018.

76. Make a decision about PhDs/teaching

In Autumn 2018 I bit the bullet and started my teacher training. It’s exhausting and the hardest thing I’ve ever done, with a crazy workload that takes me more hours than I seem to have right now but it has lots of good moments and it’ll be worth it in the end!

80. Get a tattoo

This was a birthday present to myself. I’d kept putting it off because I wanted to wait until I was at my ‘goal weight’ but I decided enough was enough – I’ve been struggling with my weight and I was fed up of putting life on hold!

87. Redesign the blog

That cute little porcupine/elephant/girl header have been around a while now but they were put in after the list started (and even though they aren’t new they make me happy everytime I see them).

Goals changed

84. Paint my nails at least once a month for a year

So as I’ve got less than a year left and haven’t thought about this one, I’m taking it off. I’ve replaced it with ‘Complete teacher training’. That might seem like an arbitrary goal, because if I’ve started it, of course I’ll finish right? Except that the drop out rate is very high and I can 100% see why! I’m determined to stick it out though.

Goals I’ve made progress on

14. Visit 5 cities

I’m only counting new-to-me cities, but so far I’m on 4 out of 5, mostly thanks to holidays since the list began. Prague, Galle (Sri Lanka), Singapore and Ubud (Bali)

Goals I need to track better…

Honestly, there are a few that I’ve definitely made progress on (if not completed!) but not tracked well enough. I’ll be properly counting these again from now on and will add on any I know for sure!

  • 33. 5 day/evening out dates
  • 35. Watch 5 documentaries
  • 36. Watch 101 movies
  • 39. Finish 3 TV series
  • 58. Try 10 new recipes
  • 60. Try 5 new wines
  • 61. Try 5 new restaurants
  • 63. Get rid of 100 things
  • 88. Review 100 books
  • 90. Read 200 books
  • 96. Finish/catch up on 24 book series

Current project stats

Will I ever get this finished? Will I get even half finished? Who knows, but I’m going to keep trying!

Days elapsed: 661 (66%)
Days remaining: 340 (34%)
Goals completed: 18 (17.8%)
Goals in progress: 21 (20.7%)
Goals not yet started: 62 (61.4%)

I’ve still got 5 more goals to create – any suggestions for me? What would you put on your 101 list?

Binge Watching: February 2019

 

So since my last update in October I’ve apparently watched about 4 days worth of TV & films…. And yet on my progress page I’m at exactly the same percentage and 24 hours extra watch time left because I added more stuff to my watchlist. I think I might be doing this wrong? Haha.

What I’ve Been Watching

The Dragon Prince
In six words or less: animated show about last dragon egg

Why I’m watching it: This is written by one of the writers of Avatar (which we loved) so we started watching it after finishing Legends of Korra. I’d just finished Season 1 as of the last update.

Where I’ve got to so far: Since it came out just after Valentine’s Day we’ve watched the first six episodes, just a few more left!

High School Otis GIF by NETFLIX - Find & Share on GIPHY

Sex Education
In six words or less: Teen offers sex therapy at school

Why I’m watching it: I had an unexciting afternoon of tidying and washing up and wanted something I could stick on in the background. It needed to be something I wouldn’t get totally confused by if I ran some laundry upstairs but also ideally something a bit lighthearted and fun. I saw loads of people talking on Twitter so decided to give it a go.

Where I’ve got to so far: I watched the first half of the season on that tidying day and the rest over the next few days – I’m all up to date!

Russian Doll
In six words or less: NY woman keeps dying on repeat.

Why I’m watching it: So much Twitter hype!

Where I’ve got to so far: We watched the whole season in 24 hours over half-term.

Riverdale
In six words or less: Small town, big secrets, teen detectives.

Why I’m watching it: I re-watched Season 1 and 2 with my husband (who hadn’t seen it before) and remembered how much I loved it, so we’ve been eagerly awaiting each new episode.

Where I’ve got to so far: Up to date and awaiting the next episode impatiently.

Titans
In six words or less: superpowered teens caught up in prophecy

Why I’m watching it: Basically because I can’t resist a super hero show. The first few episodes were enjoyable enough but I haven’t fallen head over heels for it.

Where I’ve got to so far: Finished season 1 and up to date!

Binge-stats:

 

Total watch time so far:

TV: 92 days, 19 hours, 3 minutes
Film: 4 days, 7 hours, 14 minutes

Watch list Percentage: 70%

Remaining watch list time: 15 days, 18 hours, 51 minutes

 

What’s up next?

I’m watching Riverdale and The Grand Tour with my husband, and Grey’s and How to Get Away with Murder on my own. None of those have many episodes to watch though so I could do with adding some more shows into the mix and not sure what to pick!

Would love your thoughts on the following or any alternative suggestions:

  • Peaky Blinders (but I’m squeamish?)
  • Vikings
  • Supernatural (but there’s so much!)
  • The Umbrella Academy
  • Dirty John
  • You
  • 13 reasons why
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

January Wrap-Up

Reading

Skyward | Shadow of the fox | In an Absent Dream | Paper Girls #5 | Salt to the Sea | The History of Bees | The People in the Trees

Books read: 7
Pages read: 1867
Average pages per day: 60
Average book length: 267
Favourite: Skyward & Shadow of the Fox

Blogging

January Goals

  • Being healthier
    • Track my food everyday -My MFP streak is at 32 days though some days I think I logged in without tracking so…. SORT OF
    • Come within +/- 100 calories of my calorie count goal on at least 25 days – FAIL
    • Exercise 10 times – SUCCESS
    • Lose 4 lbs –  FAIL!
  • Work/Life Balance
    • Plan summer 2019 holiday – IN PROGRESS
    • Submit assignment at least 24 hours before deadline – SUCCESS
  • Blogging
    • Post 8 blog posts – 7 of 8, SO CLOSE!
    • Schedule 3 posts for February – FAIL
  • Finance
    • See 2 films at the cinema – FAIL
    • Start an emergency fund – FAIL
    • Pay off my credit card – SUCCESS

February TBR

Carried over from January
Trials of Apollo – The Dark Prophecy (432) | Library
Polgara the Sorceress (816) | Scribd
Muse of Nightmares (528) | Borrowed

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (388) | Scribd

Target pages = 2162

February Goals

  • Being healthier
    • Keep MFP streak up throughout February
    • Exercise 8 times
    • Lose 4 lbs –  Trying again…
  • Work/Life Balance
    • Book flights for summer holiday – we’re making progress on the planning part, now I just want to get it booked!
    • Submit assignment at least 24 hours before deadline
    • See 2 films at the cinema (How to Train Your Dragon 3 & Battle Angel Alita maybe?)
  • Blogging
    • Post 8 blog post
    • Schedule 3 posts for March
  • Finance
    • Get budget organised and set up direct debits for joint account

How was your January?

The Hidden Oracle (Rick Riordan)

The Hidden Oracle (Rick Riordan)The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mythology
Pages: 376
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go... an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

Plot: ★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Readability: ★★★★

My sister is a big fan of Rick Riordan, so every now and again I get the urge to read a few more and understand a little more of her obsession.  I read the original Percy Jackson books years ago, then started the Heroes of Olympus back in 2016, finishing those and then the Kane Chronicles in 2018.  I then hit a bit of a standstill – do I read Magnus Chase yet? Trials of Apollo? Does anyone really know?! Finally I bit the bullet and decided to start with The Hidden Oracle, mostly because it was available through the library.

The Hidden Oracle is the first Trials of Apollo book, and funnily enough it follows Apollo himself, who has recently been turned into a mortal following the events of Blood of Olympus.  Stuck as an unattractive, unskilled mortal isn’t a huge amount of fun for Apollo, who’s used to be being adored and firmly believing he deserves nothing less.  Now, he’s desperately trying to regain Zeus’ favour and stuck helping Meg McCaffrey; a demigod who’s not in the slightest in awe of him, through all the usual chaos and disasters we expect from a Riordan book.

Apollo is, to start with at least, intensely arrogant, whiny and unlikable. Honestly, I had to re-write that sentence more than once to make it family friendly, I found him pretty much unbearable at first.  His ego is like a small planet (anyone else’s brain just go off on a minor Guardians of the Galaxy 2 detour?), and he seems to have nothing to justify that – sure he’s lost his godly powers now and they would have been something to admire, but his personality hasn’t changed and that is distinctly unpleasant.  Having said that, he does grow throughout the book, becoming both less self-obsessed and more funny.  His growth is a bit predictable and borderline-saccharine at times, but then, this is a children’s book after all, and I’m sure if I’d read it when I was younger I wouldn’t notice so much.  The supporting characters, as I’ve noted more than once with Riordan’s books, are almost of more interest to me.  While Meg is interesting, I don’t feel any particular attachment to her yet, but I was thrilled to see some characters from earlier books reappear – Nico DiAngelo, Will Solace, someone-else-I-can’t-mention-because-they-don’t-appear-until-the-end, Chiron, Harley….

The Hidden Oracle feels slightly younger than the Heroes of Olympus books did, which is a little disappointing because the slightly older feel was one of my favourite things about the Heroes of Olympus series. It’s still a very enjoyable, quick read though, and I’ve already reserved the second book, The Burning Prophecy, at the library.  I look forward to getting to know more about the new characters and getting more attached in the next book, as has so far happened with every Riordan series I’ve read!

Buy it? This is one I’d be happy enough to buy and add to my shelves permanently.
In a nutshell: Light, fun read with new characters I’m not yet attached to but sure I will be, and featuring returning characters I love!

 

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Spider-Gwen V1: Greater Power (Jason Latour)

Spider-Gwen V1: Greater Power (Jason Latour)Spider-Gwen, Vol. 1: Greater Power by Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, Tom Taylor, Chris Visions, Rico Renzi, Marcio Takara, Various
Published by Marvel on May 24th 2016
Genres: Comics and Graphic Novels
Pages: 151
Format: ebook
Source: Prime Reading
Amazon
Goodreads

GWEN STACY IS BACK IN THE WEBS AND HAS AN ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT MYSTERY TO SOLVE!

THE SPIDER-WOMAN of Earth-65 was convinced that the Lizard's threat died in her arms along with Peter Parker. But a new reptilian rampage leaves her with doubts not only about Peter's life, but also his death. While her father, Captain George Stacy, struggles with Gwen's double life, troubles mount as the Osborns make their debut — and Gwen finds herself on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most-wanted list! Perhaps Jessica Drew, the Spider-Woman of Earth-616, can offer some wise lessons about power and responsibility that might come in handy when Gwen battles the Goblins! Plus: Discover who wields the shield as Earth-65's Captain America joins the fray — but will she be on Gwen's side?

COLLECTING: SPIDER-GWEN (2015B) #1-6.

Plot: ★★
Characters: ★★
Readability: ★★★★

I’ve recently discovered the Kindle Prime Reading feature, and have been pleasantly surprised to find it has quite a lot of options for comics and graphic novels. I’ve no shortage of books I want to read on my shelves, but I never buy comics or graphic novels, although I am curious about them.  When I was working as a bookseller Spider-Gwen was always a reasonably popular title so when I saw this was on Prime Reading I decided to give it a go.

In this parallel universe storyline Gwen Stacey was bitten by a radioactive spider and became Spider-Gwen, while Peter Parker is dead.

So the first and probably most important thing to realise is that although this is volume 1, it isn’t actually the best starting place for Spider-Gwen.  Turns out there’s a Volume 0 (Most Wanted), which I didn’t realise.  As a result, I found the storyline a little disjointed and complicated at times, which I’m sure could have been avoided if I’d actually started in the right place!  I didn’t find it too bad though; when something came along I didn’t know about I basically just accepted it and moved on – I didn’t have to go googling backstory or anything to keep up.

Probably my favourite thing about Spider-Gwen v1 is the artwork; more than anything I loved the vibrant colours and Gwen’s costume which is so different.  What let the book down, for me, was the character depth; Gwen has plenty of guilt (from events in v0!) but not a huge amount else going for her. She tries to be funny but while some of it was amusing some of it fell really flat, and aside from her interactions with her Dad her connections with other characters were a bit underwhelming. Ultimately, at this stage, I want Gwen to succeed more so that her dad doesn’t get hurt than because I actually care about Gwen herself.  I wanted to see more of her as a person – we get almost nothing in terms of her as a friend, as a person with any kind of hobbies or life outside of being a superhero.  Obviously I realise this is a comic about superheroes, but no one cares about a hero they don’t like or who seems completely two-dimensional.

I’m intrigued by the concept, and if Volume 2 appeared on Prime Reading or at the library I’d give it a go, but I won’t be rushing out to buy it.  In the meantime, I may well go back and read volume 0 and see if that gives me more reasons to emotionally connect with Gwen!

Buy it? This is one that I’d probably borrow personally.
In a nutshell: It was interesting, the artwork is beautiful, and it almost certainly makes more sense if you start with volume 0!