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6 Things I’m Reading, Watching, Eating This Week

What has my attention this week?

6 Things I'm Reading, Watching, Eating This Week

Book: Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham

I began this behemoth with some trepidation. Seven hundred-plus pages of a book with such a dreary title sounds a little like self-torture. But it’s on my list of classics, so with a deep breath, I dove in–and was pleasantly surprised. 

This is yet another of those first-half-of-the-20th-century tales about a restless young man too poor to be happy (but somehow not so poor he can’t romp around Paris unemployed for two years). But unlike some of Fitzgerald’s early protagonists, Maugham’s young Philip is a likable and sympathetic chap. The prose is delicate, well-chosen, and comprehensible. I’m only halfway through and am just getting to the doomed loved affair at the story’s center, but so far, it’s engaging enough to sustain its size.

book

Miniseries: Wives & Daughters

This adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic novel came out in 1999, right about when the BBC was moving away from the trend of staging its TV miniseries like plays. In my mind, it’s the moment that signals the beginning of their best productions. This one isn’t their best, but it’s a lovingly crafted adaptation of a good story. Justine Waddell, in the lead, brings spunk and sympathy to a character who, in the book, was a bit of a mouse. Francesca Annis is brilliant as the insufferably shallow and selfish–but still comic–stepmother.

movie

Music: Awakening by Jackie Evancho

The first time I heard Jackie Evancho–as an eleven-year-old, I think–on a YouTube snippet from America’s Got Talent, I literally wanted to weep for the beauty of her singing. Now she’s all grown up, and her voice has matured accordingly. There are some really nice selections on this recent album, including a great turn on Within Temptation’s “Memories” and the best cover I’ve ever heard of “With or Without You.”

music

Food: Goat

Yep, you read right: goat. A goat farmer offered some roasts and hamburger as a gift. I was a little tentative. Goat meat always makes me think of that scene in Jurassic Park (you know the one). But who knew? It’s delicious. Very similar to beef, but with a mild, savory flavor all its own. The hamburger, in particular, is amazing. Just a little bit of salt and pepper and it tastes like sausage.

smiling-goat-1462931

Picture credit to FreeImages.com

Software: Quicken Personal Finance & Budgeting Software

Just the word “accounting” makes my eyes cross. I usually do my budgeting in Excel, but I like automating things whenever I can, so I bought this accounting software, touted to be the most popular option for the everyday jill. I think it will be great, but it’s turning out to have a learning curve as steep as Scrivener’s, and I just haven’t had the time to figure it out as yet.

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Cute Animal I Want This Week

6 Things I'm Reading, Watching, Eating This Week

Picture taken by Kate Gore

Let’s chat! How do you organize your budget? By hand? Fancy software? Any tips for me? Tell me in the comments!

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20 Comments

  1. ON EXCEL. The thought of an accounting package makes me shudder.

    I once had a part-time job touting one of these packages, I was really bad at it and the package wasn’t that great anyway., Now when Accounting comes up it makes me want to cross two-fingers in front of me to ward off the evil spirits..

  2. I shuddered at these words. Organization and budget. Yikes, an instant horror flick. As you can imagine, I don’t do much of either. Budgeting takes place in my head on the fly. Don’t use software, unless you include a calculator. I’ve had quicken many moons ago and it was ok. In the process of reworking or organizing the finances too. Definitely not my superpower. ??

  3. I use an excel spreadsheet for my accounting. I have set it up with all my bills already listed and their expected amount and then a twelve month table to show all the payments that were made. I automate as many of the bills as I can on my Amazon Rewards card and then pay that bill off once a month. Then, I reward myself, with lots of free books every month!!
    I tried quicken, thinking I could just download all my checking accounts automatically and sort the categories but I just never felt I got a quick clear picture in a glance like I do with a spreadsheet. And yes, learning curve and just too much in the program I will never use. For spending expenses I just use my Amazon rewards card. I set up the categories there and use that card for EVERYTHING… and earn more free books! Of course, you can use your Amazon rewards points for more than books. The Amazon card will attach spending categories however you want so there you have it. Expensed as you shop, free Amazon stuff, and one card, no interest if you pay it off every month.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I like the idea of free books as a reward! Kind of disappointing to hear your experience with Quicken didn’t work out. I was really hoping someone would tell me it was easy and awesome and I was just missing something. :p

    • That does sound pretty cool. A little award doesn’t hurt anybody.

  4. Lorna G. Poston says:

    I haven’t had goat meat since I was in high school back in the early 80s. I don’t remember what it tastes like. But goat *milk* is awesome!

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      We used to get goat milk all the time when I was young, but I never really liked it. It was always too “goaty” for me, even when it was fresh.

      • Lorna G. Poston says:

        I think it only tastes “goaty” if they’ve been around a male goat. Then the milk tastes like the male goat smells—which could knock out an elephant. Of if they’ve eaten green onions. Homemade ice cream with goat milk is good too.

        • K.M. Weiland says:

          I kinda think my tastebuds got skewed after having the “goaty” version once or twice. Now all goat milk tasted goaty to me whether or it is or not. 😕

  5. Never had goat meat. But if it tastes anything like sausage, I’m in. Just add a little BBQ sauce and we’re in business. I’d be willing to try goats milk if it agrees with me. Being lactose intolerant I would hate to disgrace myself.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I will say, I had it again today, and it wasn’t quite as good. But I think it was how it was cooked. It came out a lot “wetter” this time around.

    • Lorna G. Poston says:

      Benjamin, people who are lactose intolerant actually have great success with raw goat’s milk. I’ve known at least two people who could not tolerate cow’s milk but could drink goat’s milk.

      As far as sausage, I’ve never been a fan. Bacon, however, that’s a different story. 😀

  6. We watched Wives and Daughters three weeks ago when I was flat-out sick, and it was such fun! I think that was my fourth time through. Andrew Davies did a great job with the script, and Molly and Cynthia are fascinating character studies.

    Goat meat sounds cool. I love your willingness to try new things and see how they turn out! 🙂

    ~Schuyler

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Yes, the characterization is especially good in that one. And Michael Gambon is brilliant.

      • I used Quicken Books for non-profit account and it worked great, plus for our family finances. It was a great way to see where spending goes. Now though, cash is best. No spreadsheets, paperwork, etc. Or use debit. I have set monthly bills, so to me, unless you have a lot of financial responsibility (daily expenses for multiple people and multiple accounts or accounts you are managing that are not yours), daily emails from bank to see balance, online scheduled bill pay and calendaring due dates work far better for me as an empty-nester/single person. Return it. And amen to Scrivener comment LOL.

        • K.M. Weiland says:

          Ah, that’s good to know. Glad to hear it works well for someone! (And I gotta add a qualifier to my Scrivener comment, since I’m a total Scrivener fan: it *is* worth the learning curve. 😉 )

  7. Excellent Blog!

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