Saturday, January 2, 2021

New Year, New Goals


Happy 2021! Although 2020 was a tumultuous year, I am excited about what 2021 will bring. I stopped creating New Year's resolutions some years ago and instead focus on obtaining goals for each year. Having said this, here are my list of goals to achieve in 2021:

  1. Start each day by completing devotional reading 
  2. Increase my run/walk intervals by 2 minutes (currently doing 4/1 - 4 minutes running and 1 minute walking)
  3. Run three days a week (preferably Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday)
  4. Shift from a junk food vegan diet to a plant based whole food vegan diet
  5. Remove junk food sweets from my diet (and eat fruit instead.)
  6. Break weight loss goals down into 5lbs increments (to prevent being overwhelmed by large to number of weight to lose)
  7. Work on having more date nights with Den
  8. Take time to practice self care daily (by doing something not tech related such as word search puzzles)
  9. End each day by writing in my journal (as a way to decompress from day)
  10. Add strength training to my workout routine.
  11. Write two blog posts a month (aiming for at the start of the month and at the end of the month.)
  12. Support black owned businesses (both physically and online)
  13. Support vegan businesses (both physically and online)
  14. Establish a better work/life balance (aka only do work during work hours)

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

 Each year, I take on different reading challenges as a way to get outside of my reading comfort zone. For 2021, I plan to complete the 2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge which contains a total of 50 books as well as the 52 Book Club Reading Challenge.

Below is a list of reading prompts for the 2021 reading challenge. After I finish each reading prompt, I will update this list. If you want to see more of the books I've read this year, you can check out my Goodreads profile at:

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge:

  1. A book published in 2021:
  2. An Afrofuturist book:
  3. A book that has a heart, diamond, club, or spade on the cover:
  4. A book by an author who shares you zodiac sign:
  5. A dark academia book:
  6. A book with a gem, mineral, or rock in the title:
  7. A book where the main character works at your current or dream job:
  8. A book that has won the Women's Prize For Fiction:
  9. A book with a family tree:
  10. A bestseller from the 1990s:
  11. A book about forgetting:
  12. A book you have seen on someone's bookshelf (in real life, on a Zoom call, in a TV show, etc.:)
  13. A locked-room mystery:
  14. A genre hybrid:
  15. A book set mostly or entirely outdoors:
  16. A book with something broken on the cover:
  17. A book by a Muslim American author:
  18. A book that was published anonymously:
  19. A book with an oxymoron in the title:
  20. A book about do-overs or fresh starts:
  21. A magical realism book:
  22. A book set in multiple countries:
  23. A book set somewhere you'd like to visit in 2021:
  24. A book by a blogger, vlogger, YouTube video creator, or other online personality:
  25. A book whose title starts with "Q," "X," or "Z:" Quirky by Melissa A. Schilling
  26. A book featuring three generations (grandparent, parent, child:)
  27. A book about a social justice issue:
  28. A book set in a restaurant:
  29. A book with a black-and-white cover:
  30. A book by an Indigenous author:
  31. A book that has the same title as a song: Between You and Me by Mary Norris
  32. A book about a subject you are passionate about:
  33. A book that discusses body positivity:
  34. A book found on a Black Lives Matter reading list: The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
  35. A book in a different format than what you normally read (audiobook, ebooks, graphic novels:)
  36. A book that has fewer than 1,000 reviews on Amazon or Goodreads:
  37. A book you think your best friend would like:
  38. An book about art or an artist:
  39. A book everyone seems to have read but you:
  40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge:
  41. The longest book (by pages) on your TBR list:
  42. The shortest book (by pages) on your TBR list: I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel (149 pages)
  43. The book on your TBR list with the prettiest cover:
  44. The book on your TBR list with the ugliest cover:
  45. The book that's been on your TBR list for the longest amount of time:
  46. A book from you TBR list you meant to read last year but didn't:
  47. A book from you TBR list you associate with a favorite person, place, or thing: A Pictorial Guide to Biltmore by Rachel Carley
  48. A book from your TBR list chosen at random: Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly
  49. A DNF book from your TBR list:
  50. A free book from you TBR list (gifted, borrowed, library:)

The 52 Book Club 2021 Reading Challenge

Each year, I take on different reading challenges as a way to get outside of my reading comfort zone. For 2021, I plan to complete the 2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge as well as the 52 Book Club reading challenge which contains a total of 52 books. 

Below is a list of reading prompts for the 2021 reading challenge. After I finish each reading prompt, I will update this list. If you want to see more of the books I've read this year, you can check out my Goodreads profile at:

The 52 Book Club 2021 Reading Challenge:

  1. Set in a school:
  2. Featuring the legal profession:
  3. A dual timeline:
  4. An author who is deceased: Naughtier Than by Eric Jerome Dickey (July 7, 1961 - January 3, 2021)
  5. Published by Penguin: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  6. An character with the same name as a male family member:
  7. An author with only 1 published book: 
  8. A book in the 900's of the Dewey Decimal System:
  9. Set in a Mediterranean country:
  10. Related to the word "fire:"
  11. Book with discussion questions inside:
  12. Title starting with the letter "D:"
  13. Includes an exotic animal:
  14. Written by an author over 65 (when published:)
  15. A book mentioned in another book: The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (mentioned in "I'd Rather Be Reading By Anne Bogel") 
  16. Set before the 17th Century:
  17. A character "on the run:"
  18. Author with a 9-letter last name:
  19. Book with a deckled edge:
  20. Made into a TV series:
  21. Book by Kristin Hannah: Between Sisters by Kristen Hannah
  22. A family saga:
  23. An ending that surprises you:
  24. A book you think they should read in schools:
  25. A book with multiple character POV:
  26. An author of color: Reckless by Selena Montgomery
  27. First chapter ends on an odd page number:
  28. Includes a historical event you know little about:
  29. Featuring the environment:
  30. Watch out for dragons!:
  31. Shares a similar title to another book:
  32. A selfish character:
  33. Featuring adoption:
  34. A book you'd rate 5 stars:
  35. Set in a country that starts with the letter "S:"
  36. A nameless narrator:
  37. An educational read:
  38. Recommended on BookBub:
  39. An alternate history novel: River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey
  40. Found via #bookstagram:
  41. An endorsement by a famous author on the cover:
  42. An epistolary:
  43. An character with a pet cat:
  44. Includes a garden:
  45. A coming of age novel:
  46. Winner of the National Book Award - any year:
  47. A character with a disability:
  48. A cover with a woman who is facing away:
  49. A flavour in the title:
  50. A shoe on the cover:
  51. Published in 2021:
  52. Re-do one of the previous 51 categories from this 2021 challenge:

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Election Poll Worker Chronicles: Day 4 (Election Day)

Day four of election poll work was long but rewarding. My day started at 6:30am and before the polls officially opened at 7am, we set up tables outside the lobby area so that voter can have an area to complete voter registration paperwork. The lines quickly developed and stayed steady throughout the day. We stayed busy until after 8pm and the last voter left around 8:30pm. After the final voter left, we locked up the polling location so the inspector and all the election clerks could count the paper, electronic, and vote by mail ballots received that day. After the ballots were all counted, then we took down all the voting equipment before leaving for the evening. I finished the day happy to have helped so many people successfully vote, receive a pin for being a poll worker and hit my step goal of over 10,000 steps a day.   


Election Poll Work Chronicles: Day 3

 Day 3 of election work went well and flew by fast. We helped a variety of people on the last day of early voting and we were able to finish up before 7pm. Before we left for the night, the election inspector discussed with us a game plan since Tuesday is election day. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Election Poll Worker Chronicles: Day 2

Day two of working at the election polls went well. We began the day by saying the poll workers oath followed by setting up signs outside of the poll location. I am stationed at the exit table and my job is to make sure all ballots are placed in the correct boxes as well as giving voters their I voted stickers if they want one. 

Scenes from day 2 of election poll work

One interesting thing from day 2 of election poll work were how many older people were registering to vote for the first time. I remember at least two people who told me and my table co-worker that they were voting for the first time at age 60.In addition, it was interesting to see the increased flow of traffic before and after yesterday's football games. Since Monday is the last day of early voting, I'm anticipating a larger more steady voter turn out. 

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Election Poll Worker Chronicles: Background and Day 1

In order to follow in the footsteps of my parents who have both served this country through by being in the army, I decided to serve this country by signing up to work as a election poll worker. 

As someone who has voted in Kings County before, I thought that election poll workers jobs are easier since everything seemed so effortless whenever me and Den go to vote. I was so wrong and I was totally blown away by the amount of information poll workers have to learn prior to election day. 

Before committing to be a poll worker for this election, I had to be available to work a total of 4 days in order to meet the needs of those doing early voting before election day on November 3rd. Earlier this month, I had to attend a mandatory training and at this training, I was given a 91 page handbook full of information on the different types of voting, how the various election machines work as well as how to open and close the election polls. 

Poll Worker Handbook 

In preparation for working at the election polls, I purchased a mask with a message meant to inspire voters who come to my polling location.
Me wearing inspiring voting facemask

Today was the first day of working the election polls and I will admit, I didn't know what to expect. Would my fellow poll workers be friendly? We we get along well? Would voters be respectful? Before  arriving at the polling location, I said a prayer and hoped for the best, viewing this as a learning opportunity and planning be a good team member.
Day 1 Working the Election Polls

Poll workers are also referred to as a election board and consists of one election inspector and eleven election clerks. The election inspector is responsible for making sure that everything runs smoothly at the polling location. Luckily for us, for the first two days, we have an employees from the elections department to assist with any complicated questions or situations that occur.

All poll workers are required to arrive at the polling location thirty minutes before the polls officially open to the public. During this time, we turn the electronic (aka touchscreen) voting machines on, turn the on the ballot by demand (aka paper option) laptop and printer, and set up signs inside and outside the polling location so the public knows where to vote. After this process is complete, the clerks what area they want to work at: the registration entry table, the print by demand table, the voting direction area or the exit table.

Polling Location Set Up

Polls officially opened to the public at 9am and for the first day, we had a steady stream of people coming in the vote. It was encouraging to see so many people coming out to vote as well as the amount of people who thanks us poll workers for being there working.  

New Year, New Goals

  Happy 2021! Although 2020 was a tumultuous year, I am excited about what 2021 will bring. I stopped creating New Year's resolutions so...