A Bit of Festive Cheer

I think my real problem with Christmas is just that I hate the carols.

Merry Christmas!

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of the holidays with the year fast approaching its end.  I’ve been in an introspective mood for a lot of the more recent blogs, and that’s coming to a head as the decade winds itself down.  It’s been a long and strange year for me, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.  In some ways 2019 was really good to me, and in others it was the worst, so I can’t say I’m sad to see it go.  In general, I’m looking forward to what 2020 will bring, but I’ll save that looking forward for a couple blogs from now, after we close out December.

I could spend a while looking back over how far I’ve come in Spanish this year, but that’s coming pretty hot on the heels of two other big retrospective blogs, plus some musings about learning post-Discworld, so it seems a little muddled at this point.  Not a lot more has happened since those lookbacks, you know?  Conversely, I could focus on the other things going on this season as I fit in study time around time spent with family for the holidays, but I’ve covered that topic before, too.  I could just discuss or enjoy the holidays, but then again, I kinda hate Christmas, so that doesn’t seem genuine, either.  I’m sort of at a loss here.  And the thing is, I could talk some about this very thing, and how sometimes there isn’t a good topic for a blog, but I’ve talked about that already, too.  Maybe I should just take a break and enjoy the holidays.

Before I just do that and jump ahead to the number section, in the spirit of the annoyingly cheery season, I feel like expressing my contentment with this blog.  I’ve had a very good time maintaining it this last year and a half or so.  It’s kept me on-track and working on learning Spanish and has added an interesting bit of structure to my week.  I know it’s just a tiny, sleepy corner of the internet without a ton of visitors, but it’s my tiny, sleepy corner of the internet without a ton of visitors.  I’ve published over 90 blogs totaling more than 180k words since starting, and I still have a ways to go before I hit my goals.  I’m looking forward to keeping this place well-oiled and tidy over 2020 as well, regardless of how many people out there end up joining me.  For the group of people who do read these, hope your holidays bring you as much joy as these blogs have brought me.

All right, enough candy cane sap, let’s look at the numbers for the week.

Tuesday 12/17

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 3% of Cien Años de Soledad, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Radio Ambulante, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Wednesday 12/18

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 3% of Cien Años de Soledad, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Radio Ambulante, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Thursday 12/19

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 3% of Cien Años de Soledad, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Radio Ambulante, 1 episode of La Zona Cero, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Friday 12/20

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: .5 cases in Ghosts of Miami, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Arte Divierte, 1 episode of Carmen Sandiego, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Saturday 12/21

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: .5 cases in Ghosts of Miami, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Carole & Tuesday, 2 episodes of Carmen Sandiego, ~90 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Sunday 12/22

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 5% of Cien Años de Soledad, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 2 episodes of Miraculous, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Monday 12/23

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 3% of Cien Años de Soledad, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Gargoyles, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes
  • Total Duolingo: 140 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total reading: 1/15 book and 1 video game case, 450 minutes
  • Total watching/listening: 9 YouTube episodes, 4 podcasts, and 7 tv episodes, 450 minutes
  • Total speaking: reading out loud, 210 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 hours 0 minutes

So a normal week overall.  For anyone who is all that familiar with PC gaming, I don’t need to say that the Steam Winter Sale is going on, and I picked up some stuff that was on sale, including Ghosts of Miami, a private detective visual novel that has a full Spanish dialogue track.  It’s broken up into “cases,” of which the first one took about two hours to finish over the course of two days, so that worked out pretty well on Friday and Saturday in between working my way through Cien Años de Soledad.  Of which, I’m not hating it by any means, but it hasn’t been my favorite book that I’ve read in a while, and I’m looking forward to finishing it and moving on.

Which might be happening faster than the current rate pretty soon here.  I’m out of the extended training period at my new job and settling into the main role, of which it appears that there will be frequent “down periods” throughout the day where I’m allowed to fill in the time with a book.  Coupling that with a permanent desk that I can set up the way I want, and my options for studying have opened up a lot.  For a while, I’ve been using my commute to get through 30-40 minutes of listening and my breaks and lunch to get through 40-60 minutes of reading, but this Monday I changed that up a bit.

I still read during my breaks, but got in the full hour between other things at work, and during lunch I popped on some headphones and watched an episode of Gargoyles on the Disney+ app while eating.  The whole set-up compacted and streamlined the process, so by the time I got home, I was all set with my daily goal.  This might result in me increasing my goal back up to 2.5 hours a day, especially if I can consistently hit 90 minutes of reading while at work as I settle further into the job, but it also might get me back on track with writing, if after I get home from work that’s the only thing I have left on my plate.  I don’t know, we’ll see how it goes in the coming weeks, especially after my schedule changes to the late shift in a month.  Finishing up this blog didn’t feel harried at all, which is a good sign.

That all aside, I finished another part of my Netflix backlog by finishing the season of Carmen Sandiego, which continues to be a great show.  In addition to Gargoyles, I also returned to Miraculous, which I’m pretty sure has gotten another whole season in the time since I last wandered away from it.  There is too much good tv to watch, I swear.  Maybe my ‘working lunches’ will be able to put a serious dent in all of it.

Anyway, I ought to get back to work, gotta squeeze in my Spanish time around my family.  TTFN.

2 thoughts on “A Bit of Festive Cheer

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