What I’m Into: November 2016


Main Events:

Somehow, we all survived November. I know I’m not alone in feeling like I’ve aged a year since November 8. I haven’t written about the election because my thoughts would be irrelevant; those who share them don’t need another log on the fire, and those who don’t share them will not be moved. Like many Americans, I’m still cocooning, remaining attentive, and figuring out how best to conduct myself and defend myself and others heading into the next few years. And that’s all I want to say about that. On with the countdown.


The highlight of my November was finding out I passed the certified paralegal exam I took in September! I worry that I’m talking about it too much or seem boastful, but here’s the deal: This test was hard. Many people go to school for years before taking it. Most of the content was totally new to me. My employer wanted me to wait until 2017 to take the exam, but I wasn’t having that (don’t tell me what I can’t do!). I taught myself the material in two months with one textbook, a pile of flashcards, endless Quizzle matching games, Law & Order and How to Get Away with Murder, determination, and prayer. Passing it all on the first try is one of the proudest accomplishments of my life to date. I was sure I’d be taking at least a couple of sections again, so when I opened the envelope and saw my certificate, I was so shocked and relieved I cried for ten minutes. All my adult life, I’ve wished for irrefutable paper proof that I Am Qualified to Do a Thing, and here it is. Wherever my life is going, this certification is something I will be thankful to have.


I’ve been in the thick of training for the St. Jude half-marathon on December 3. It’ll be my first St. Jude and second half. After a rough start, I’ve felt good and gained speed and strength the last couple of weeks, but yesterday something weird happened to my hip on my final 3-mile run. It doesn’t seem serious, but I’m a little freaked out. Praying I can stretch it out and have a good race.




Rebecca Traister’s All The Single Ladies has been on my TBR list since before it came out. The first few chapters enlightened and empowered me, the middle section bogged me down with depressing statistics about the many difficulties single women face, but by the end I felt cautiously hopeful again. This is an important book for anyone interested in how and why the balance of our society is changing, and it’s even more relevant now.

My only other book this month was Clinton Kelly’s new memoir, I Hate Everyone, Except You, via Netgalley. It was a fun read and I liked hearing about his family and the many turns his career has taken.




I watched all of Pitch, a fantastic all-star sports drama about the first female pitcher in major league baseball. It is SO, SO GOOD. Ginny’s workouts and general badassery have inspired me to push harder on many a training run. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I indulged in the whole Gilmore Girls revival. I’m only a middling fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed these four episodes, and Emily Gilmore was my MVP. I mean: “It’s in an envelope labeled ‘Body Shipping Cash.'”

PS: This Is Us is still the best show on television.



My general running playlist has about 300 songs on it, but I created a shorter second one for MY JAMS. Feel free to borrow if you need tunes for a 5K or 10K.



Around Town:

November brings my favorite arts event of the year, New Ballet Ensemble‘s Nut Remix. It’s a reimagined Nutcracker set in Memphis and incorporating blues, jazz, and other types of dancing. This was my fifth (?) year, and I was psyched that Lil Buck was back!

The Voice of the Heart is So Hot Right Now at my church. I still haven’t read it, but one Friday night this month, we had a seminar on related topics with two counselors from Chip Dodd’s counseling firm. I always appreciate church-sponsored events focused on real spiritual and emotional health instead of, like, holiness formulas. This event happened to be the day after I found out I’d passed my paralegal exam, and my friends’ heartfelt hugs and congratulations gave me so much joy. I think it was the first time in my life I felt truly celebrated by an official group of Christian women for something unrelated to my relationship status. Christ City: We’re not perfect, but we’re still kind of rocking it.

I went to my first You Look Like a Comedy Show, where local comedians roast each other in five-minute increments. Thankfully, they only take one audience volunteer per show, and there are usually plenty of those for some reason.

In local craft beer activities, we had a Supper Club at High Cotton catered by Sushi Jimmi, and I went to a “Pre-Black Friday Black IPA” class at Wiseacre.


Tiger basketball season has begun, and after some initial misgivings after his hire, I am on board the Tubby Train. I like his relaxed vibe and the renewed energy I see in the players, and even though we’re basically playing high-school teams, 5-1 isn’t a bad start for a brand-new coach. I think it’s going to be a fun season! We also closed out football by beating top-20 Houston. I came back early from Nashville to be there and it was a great game. FYI, this is the first time all three major Memphis sports teams (Grizzlies, Tiger football, and Tiger basketball) have had new coaches at the same time.



I went to our new pedestrian bridge with Ashley, Becky, and Brandi (who wouldn’t get in the picture :)). I look forward to exploring it more on whatever warmish days we get in the coming months!



At Home:

After visiting my soon-to-be SIL and her carefully curated home, I decided to take the plunge and make my second bedroom into a space I can really use and enjoy. I sold my large guest bed and bought this comfy, well-structured sofa sleeper (which the delivery men got upstairs in one try, God bless them). The rest of the updates should happen in December!




I went to Nashville twice: once for a high school band reunion that got canceled (long story), and once for Thanksgiving. On the earlier weekend, the Opryland Hotel had just put up their Christmas lights, so Debra and I went with my BIL and nieces to see them! I’m generally opposed to any Christmas before Thanksgiving, but I love the Opryland lights and knew it would be a madhouse if we waited for the appropriate time.


Your Monthly Rufus:



Pinterest Quote of the Month:

Someone tweeted this passage from the Episcopal Liturgy for Social Justice, and I still want to letter it for my inspiration wall.



On The Blog:

I participated in Hollywood Housewife’s annual One Day! I have many actual posts I want to write in December. Fingers crossed for adequate time and a non-burned-out brain.


Good Reads:

♥ Sara Benincasa: What David S. Pumpkins Taught Me About Life

♥ Heather Caliri: You Can Be Weirdly Whole in the Worst Relationships

♥ Jody Casella: The Day Had Started Out Lovely

♥ This challenged me in the best way: Yeah Charleston: Safety pins, symbolism, and why I was like “naw, Son”.

♥ Felicia Horowitz: An Unlikely Meeting of Hope

♥ From our local paper, a Geoff Calkins piece about a great former Tiger: Will Coleman trades dunking for doughnuts


What I'm Into

About Brenda W.

Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister's iced tea. View all posts by Brenda W. →
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2 Responses to What I’m Into: November 2016

  1. reb says:

    I agree with you 100% about the election. It’s hard to say something and it’s hard not to say something. I hope it ends up being better than we think. I’ll have to give Pitch a shot…we haven’t tried it yet. :) (came here via Leigh Kramer!)

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