Winter Break | 2015-16 Edition

I’ve recapped my winter break before, in 2014-15, so I thought it would be fun to do that this year! I’m not back at school yet – I head back on Sunday – but it’s close enough to the end of break that I thought I’d post this today anyway.

I don’t feel like I accomplished much this time around, but that’s OK. I enjoyed the peace and quiet of being at home, with no homework and no loud dorm neighbors. SO. HERE IS WHAT I DID.

1. Was sick

Just a bad cough and cold – not serious enough to stop me from reading or writing, which is good, because that would make me sad – but it made me SO GRUMPY for the first few days at home, because I couldn’t believe I was sick during winter break. That always sucks, doesn’t it?! Being sick on vacation?

And then I realized that at least I’d somehow, miraculously, managed not to get sick during the fall semester. I mean, I already feel like “I DON’T WANT TO WRITE THIS ESSAY but I have to” when I’m healthy, so being sick during school would be horrible: “I DON’T WANT TO WRITE THIS ESSAY but I have to BUT I’M SICK but you still have to, Engie. It’s the rule.”

2. Slept a lot

Probably more than I should have, considered how much I wanted to get done and, well, didn’t do, but OH WELL. Being sick made me tired, and it’s soooo quiet here at home in comparison to the dorms. Some days I didn’t get up until noon! It was glorious.

3. Celebrated Christmas

We spent Christmas Eve at my aunt and uncle’s house, as has been our tradition for years. Then on Christmas Day, we stayed home! We made a bunch of yummy food, opened presents, et cetera. My mom bought Cards Against Humanity for us all to share, and we played that for HOURS. We went through all the cards in the original deck AND one expansion pack, and we only finally stopped playing when my dad pointed out that we still needed to put dinner in the oven.

4. Celebrated the new year

Every New Year’s Eve, my family and I make a whole bunch of finger foods and munch on them throughout the evening! It’s one of my favorite holiday traditions. We ended up sitting around playing Cards Against Humanity again, and I read nine books that day because I’m a weird person with no self-control when it comes to comics.

5. Read twenty-one books

Not as many as I’d like, but I keep reminding myself that A) a lot of people would consider reading twenty-one books in an entire YEAR to be a pretty spectacular achievement and B) I don’t need to read everything in sight. I always feel as if I’m not being productive unless I’m spending all my spare time reading, but… I don’t need to feel that way.

Here is what I read:

  • Poop-Di-Doop! by Stephanie Blake
  • Princeless, Vol. 1: Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley
  • Princeless, Vol. 2: Get Over Yourself by Jeremy Whitley
  • Princeless, Vol. 3: The Pirate Princess by Jeremy Whitley
  • Captain Marvel, Vol. 2: Stay Fly by Kelly Sue DeConnick
  • Star Wars: Shattered Empire by Greg Rucka
  • Black Widow, Vol. 3: Last Days by Nathan Edmondson
  • Mad Max: Fury Road by George Miller
  • Lumberjanes, Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson
  • Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson
  • Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction
  • Hawkeye, Vol. 2: Little Hits by Matt Fraction
  • Superior Iron Man, Vol. 1: Infamous by Tom Taylor
  • Amazing Spider-Man: Edge of Spider-Verse by David Hine
  • Polo: The Runaway Book by Regis Faller
  • Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe
  • Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth by Kurtis J. Wiebe
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North
  • Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
  • Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus by Rachelle Lee Smith

YES YES YOU ARE TOTALLY ALLOWED TO LAUGH AT ME FOR READING SOMETHING TITLED POOP-DI-DOOP. It was a picture book that looked cute but it ended up being the most pointless thing I’ve ever read.

Mostly, I read a lot of comic books and graphic novels. My favorite books I read during break include Black WidowHawkeyePrincelessRat Queens, and Wonderstruck.

4. Watched some movies and TV shows

I finally saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie! I mean, it’s about time – I’ve been listening to the film score for a few years now, without ever having seen it. I think I’ll watch the others… eventually.

I watched the Doctor Who Christmas special, and it was pretty good. Not my favorite, but enjoyable nevertheless. I like River & Twelve so much more than I liked River & Eleven! Also: I realize I still haven’t posted a review of that episode, or of episode twelve from series nine. I will, though… eventually.

I watched Carol and let me just say: WOW. I rarely read or watch stories that are solely about romance – most of the time it is, at most, a subplot in the media I consume – so I’m glad I decided to watch this movie and read the book. It was BEAUTIFUL, and raised my expectations for all other romance stories to an impossible height. I’m going to see it again with some of my friends the day I get back to Iowa because the first time I saw it, I watched a blurry leaked version. I CAN’T WAIT TO HAVE A GAY OLD TIME IN THE MOVIE THEATER.

My brother and I saw Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens a few days after it was released, and I have since regressed back into my ten-year-0ld nerd self. I mean, I have a nerd self NOW, obviously (!), but I’d kind of forgotten how much I love Star Wars.

AND THE MUSIC. OH MY GOD. I’ve spent the past few weeks enjoying the film score, as well as fanmade version such as this:


5. Worked on my study abroad application

The online application doesn’t close until March second, so I have plenty of time, but… it needs to open in the first place! I’m mildly distressed because for some reason I thought it would be available at the start of the new year, but apparently not.

I’ve gone so far as to make an appointment with the staff at the study abroad office to find out when it will be open, because I need some of my past professors to fill out part of the application, but I don’t even know what sort of information they’ll be asked to provide because I can’t access the application! I feel really bad about it because I’d hoped to ask them to do that during break, when things were less busy, and now I suppose it’ll have to be done during the spring semester.

(ICYMI: I’m applying to study abroad in Dublin this summer as part of my school’s Irish Writing Program! You can find out more about my writerly plans for this summer – if I’m accepted, that is – here, if you’re interested.)

6. Blogged

OF COURSE. As I am doing today. I love talking to all of you here, and I loved doing all those year-in-review / goals-for-the-new-year posts! They’ve come to an end now, though. I even managed to put up a review! Now I’ll just have to finish the kazillion gazillion others that still need work…


How did you spend your break? Did you enjoy the holidays? Most importantly, DID YOU READ ANYTHING AWESOME? I need to know.

About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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6 Responses to Winter Break | 2015-16 Edition

  1. F says:

    21 books? It would take me around 6 months to read that much! 😛

    My break was fairly similar to yours; a lot of reading, sleeping and eating. As for books, I read one called Flick by Geraldine Meade that might interest you. It’s an LGBT YA book set in Ireland. I had mixed opinions on it (I talked about in my most recent post if you want to know more about it), but it’s such a novelty read that I can’t help but recommend it to everyone.

    WOW, you might be going to Dublin? MY HOUSEMATE IS FROM THERE (small world, I know). Don’t worry about the applications not being open, everything is always down at the last possible second in Irish universities. The incoming students won’t even find out if they were accepted until mid-August. We had a series of lectures in September/October and weren’t given the essay titles until this week (yes, it took them almost three months to come up with a title, and we get one month to write it), and no one acts like this is strange. We weren’t emailed the venues of a lecture until 5 minutes after it was supposed to start, and one of our modules hasn’t started up at all because no one’s sure who’s coordinating it. As we say here, ‘it’ll be grand’ (everything will work out).

    If you go to Dublin, go the Leprechaun Museum or the Little Museum of Dublin. I haven’t been to either of them (yet) but I’ve heard a lot of good things about them! Also remember to go outside of Dublin, even my housemate who is from there admits it’s doesn’t represent ‘The Old Ireland’ (Dublin has a rep for being very ‘West Brit’ in the past, and now it’s become more commercial and distant from the rest of the country/traditional culture) and the other cities have very distinct ‘characters’ 😛

    Good luck with your application and new semester 🙂

  2. Sounds like a pretty good winter break. 😀 I am dying to see Carol, but haven’t been able to yet.
    Studying abroad sounds fun! I hope you get to do that.

    • nevillegirl says:

      It was sooo good! Can’t wait to see it again tomorrow. 😀 Is there a theater near you that’s showing it? It had a limited release and actually only just arrived at the theater I’m going to see it at tomorrow, despite having been officially released back in November.

  3. Erin says:

    Ahhhh Ireland is AMAZING. I spent a week and a half over there during the summer. Dublin is great – there’s a lot to do – but if you’re able to, I strongly suggest traveling as much as you can around the country! Some of the smaller towns are incredibly quaint and charming, and the landscape is absolutely stunning. I’d love to go back and visit again someday. I really hope the study abroad thing works out for you! If it does, be prepared to eat lots of potatoes. 😉

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yeah, the whole group of students has an overnight trip to either Belfast or western Ireland, so I’m hoping to see more of the country than just Dublin! And ohhhh my god, the photography opportunities! 😀

      Ehehe, that’s OK – I love potatoes. 😛

  4. moosha23 says:

    “It was a picture book that looked cute but it ended up being the most pointless thing I’ve ever read.” BEST LINE EVER. Like you don’t say Engie, gosh who’d have ever thought a book called Poop di Poop wouldn’t be meaningful? XD
    Still though, pointless picture books are the bombe.
    AH IRELAND. The land of ire. Oh my gosh I just realised that. Whoa. Dublin is gorgeous (apparently, I only speak of TV screens) and it would be so flippin’ awesome if you got into the writing programme (although knowing you you probably will).
    I LOVED THE XMAS EPISODE. It was all the plot goals. Okay fine, most of the plot goals. And it reminded me of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s series sooo much with The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. (End being in terms of the end of the universe’s timeline).

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