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me with new hair and new glasses for 2019
I got fresh hair and new glasses for 2019.

New Year, New Goals, Same Problems

New Years and I go back-and-forth. I like the energy of being excited about possibility and hope for a better tomorrow. Thanks, Star Trek. But we also don't waltz into the New Year without our problems, our baggage, and whatever else good and bad we've taken on our journey.

On the evening itself, I had a handful of friends over, including saying goodbye to my dear friend Kevin, who's now onto adventures living in Japan. I then sat in my overcrowded living room watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, only pausing to get the doorbell as yet another Amazon delivery showed up. (Okay, who am I kidding, the Amazon people never ring the doorbell!) I konmari'd my comics and books, and now I have some boxes for a book swap I want to do in February. Plus, an endless supply for when my little library — which suffered a leak this winter — is back up and running.

Every year, I lament not being creative enough the previous year. So this year, I'm challenging myself to do 15 days of a different creative outlet a month. For January, I'm baking as 'tis the month when running the oven works in my favor and I don't have any trips planned.

If you want to follow me — you can support my Patreon, even at the $1/month level (where you'll get to see everything), or follow me on Instagram and keeping reading this newsletter for select bits.

Bookworm corner

Check, Please! Year One by Ngozi Ukazu 4/5 stars
The delightful story of Bitty, a freshman and baker, who slowly becomes the heart of his college hockey team. There's a sweetness to this story I don't think we get in a lot of stories about male friendships and experiences.

Girl Town by Carolyn Nowak 5/5 stars
A collection of shorts, Nowak's comics dive into female friendships, queer love, and a zillion little ways to be a messy young woman.

From Ink Lake: Canadian Stories Selected by Michael Ondaatje 4/5 stars
This collection from 1990 covers a myriad of Canadian experiences from frontier tales to meditations on a lake to a brilliant speech about the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 12: Jackalope Springs Eternal by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, and Ayme Sotuyo 4/5 stars
The girls go on a hunt for a jackalope and find a new friend. Lumberjanes is always cute and consistent.

Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples 4/5 stars
The space family drama of running from the law continues, and this series seems to be coming to a close.

Sex Criminals, Vol. 5: Five Fingered Discount by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
Also a book coming to an end, our characters make some unlikely alliances, and yes, a house gets burned down due to a fire caused by a fucking machine.

Skelebunnies: Complete Collection by Tommy Kovac 2/5 stars
Rude, irreverent dead bunnies wreck chaos on the forest and on Satan's plans, probably would've liked this more when I was 13.

The Wild Storm, Vol. 2 by Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt 4/5 stars
Do I have a leg up as I've read past WildStorm comics? Or does it just make it all the more confusing? I still love some of these characters, plus Ellis and Davis-Hunt are an all-star team.

The Witching Hour by Robin Hoelzemann 4/5 stars
A fairy tale trip through the forest at night with some gorgeous art and universal lessons.

Things I wrote recently

On my blog:

Books I Read in 2018 & Think You Should Read in 2019

In 2018, I hit 100 books read, just under the wire. I opened and ended the year reading trade paperbacks of Saga, volumes 8 and 9 respectively.

A Menagerie of Three Stars: Mini Reviews

Ah, the three star, right in the middle. Some three stars books are there because they’re slightly disappointing. Others get three stars because they’re interesting and decent, but not quite great. They may even be the start of a series I will enjoy greatly, but they’re by first time novelists or finding their footing.

On Patron:

Reviews on my comics blog:

Green thumb update

Mealybugs, slugs, and fungus gnats are currently driving me batty.

I have the gnats mostly under control, thanks to some gnat nix, neem/dish soap/water spray, yellow sticky traps, and the ever vigilance of Hermione the cat.

The mealybugs, unfortunately, spread from my hobbit jade (crassula ovata) — which came infected from the store — to my flaming sword bromeliad (vriesea splendens). I cut off the dying flower they'd set up camp in, and knock on wood, they seem to not have gotten further into the plant. The bromeliad's water cup seems to deter them from moving into the plant, though I'm worried about the four pups it has on it.

The slugs are, thankfully, outside, but have done a good bit of damage to my stella d'oro daylilies and my spearmint. When it's growing season, they will destroy the greens, but since it's winter, they will attack the lilies' bulbs. It's too wet to put out slug bait. So I went out in the dark, with my cellphone as flashlight in one hand and picked off slugs with my other. Also scooped up some slug eggs. Always make sure to wear gloves when slug picking as they can carry rat lungworms.

Herb growing with urbz pots on the window
Propogation with spider plants & succulents
Left: Herbs — cilantro, oregano, catnip, & basil — in my new urbz window pots.
Right: Propagation station of spider plants and succulents.

Other things

[THIS IS AMERICA] I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America. by Lauren Hough

[BEAUTY] The Best Skin-Care Trick Is Being Rich by Amanda Mull. With my cystic acne on full attack right now, I'm feeling this. No, I don't have the cash to do expensive treatments, and am lucky/privileged enough that all the lifestyle things I already do.

Hope your 2019 is going right!


Erica McGillivray

Copyright © 2019 Erica McGillivray, All rights reserved.

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