On Memory & Understanding

I have a terrible memory.

When I was a kid, I received lots of praise for my memory. But this was solely because I memorized “In Flanders Fields” and recited it to my church on Remembrance Day in the second grade. From then on, my family and family friends had it in their heads that my memory was spectacular. Whether or not it was true then, it definitely isn’t true now.

Sure, I can remember basic facts and concepts. I’ve memorized pretty much every intelligible song lyric on KiSS 92.5 (because they’re set to music and repeated fifty times a day). I’ve got close relatives’ birthdays and other important dates in my head. But my long-term memories are spotty at best, and they tend to be visual memories of “scenes” in my head, rather than facts and stories. And when it comes to recalling something I’ve seen, read, heard, or even experienced recently, I’m totally useless.

It takes a lot of effort to move random data from my working memory to my short-term memory. I’m often busy, tired, or indifferent, so many of the things I hear or see don’t make it into short-term. And if they don’t make it to short-term memory, they definitely won’t make it into the long-term. Numbers and equations are awful for this. (Even worse: remembering to remember something — hence my tendency to abandon or lose important items that I need to have with me.)

It’s much easier to store information that has a context or a meaning.

Knowing why something is true helps me to recall what is true in the first place. In my academic life, if I had an understanding of a physics concept, I would be much more likely to remember the equation that models it. Its components and structure would just make sense. And in the worst case scenario, if I forgot the equation altogether, I could use what I do know to figure out what the equation should be.

Between memorization and understanding, I am of the opinion that the latter is much more flexible, helpful, and indicative of intelligence and subject mastery. It’s why I went out of my way to avoid school subjects that required straight memorization, such as biology or history. And given my memory struggles, I believe that grinding doubly hard to memorize is nowhere near as useful for me as developing a thorough understanding of a subject, and working out the “memorizable” facts from there.

Maybe you’re a natural memorizer, and therefore you disagree. More power to you! But I maintain that it’s important for you to have context for the facts and figures you memorize.

The problem, in my opinion, is that a fact recalled is often more revered than a concept understood.

For example, why was it so impressive that I had memorized a poem? Did I understand the poem, its context, and its depth? I highly doubt it. (Though I don’t remember. Hah!) Perhaps people assume that in order to memorize something complex, you must also understand it. But most people who took biology in high school would disagree. There may be a correlation, but it’s definitely not consistent.

I hate when we judge expertise on memory, rather than on understanding. You may have both, but you may also have only one or the other. There are fields and areas of life in which both are mandatory, and that’s understandable. But I’m not likely to focus my time and energy in those fields. I acknowledge the benefits of strengthening and improving your memory, but I also don’t expect myself to be able to recite the Periodic Table (or something relevant to my life now) anytime soon. When it comes to expanding your expertise, I think it’s more important to understand the concepts, then go from there.

“I want to oppose the idea that the school has to teach directly that special knowledge and those accomplishments which one has to use later directly in life. The demands of life are much too manifold to let such a specialized training in school appear possible […] The development of general ability for independent thinking and judgement should always be placed foremost.”
Albert Einstein

For some tips on managing a poor memory at work, check out this post!

How do you balance memory and understanding in your areas of expertise?

Ten Thoughts You Have When You Finish NaNoWriMo

Yesterday I finally — finally — finished the National Novel Writing Month! In a previous post I mentioned that this year’s 50,000-word challenge has been a slog, so I’m pretty glad to be done. Writing (the first draft of) a book in a month is a fun, difficult, and rewarding feat, and you’ll go through all sorts of highs and lows before you finish NaNoWriMo. After completing this challenge seven times now, I’ve found that there are many ways you might feel when you get to the end of the month and cross that glorious finish line. I’ll let you guess which thoughts are true for me this year!

  1. Yes! My fifty thousand words are complete! It’s party time!
    When You Finish NaNoWriMo: Party Time
  2. Whew, I need a nap. A long nap. And maybe some coffee.
  3. Actually, scratch the coffee. I’ve had enough of that already this month.
  4. This is so awesome. I wrote a book. A book! An actual, 50,000 word book!
  5. Wow, think of all the fun things I have time for now that I’m done this book…
  6. Oh gosh, this writing is awful. My plot is full of holes, my characters are one dimensional, and the grammar… Ugh! I have so much editing to do. How did I ignore all of this?
    When You Finish NaNoWriMo: Ignoring My Novel's Problems
  7. I don’t need to edit yet — editing is for December! Time to decorate the house for the holidays, snuggle up under a blanket, and maybe think about editing. Just maybe.
  8. Oo, winner goodies! Should I buy a winner t-shirt? Stickers? Posters? Should I donate (again)?
  9. Wow, NaNoWriMo really knocked the wind out of me. Going to sleep now. Never writing again.
    When You Finish NaNoWriMo: Sleeping Forever
  10. Hmm… What am I going to write next year?

As we head into the last few days of November, what thoughts are running through your head? Comment below when you finish NaNoWriMo, no matter what your word count might be!

(a.k.a. “Do As I Say, Not As I Do: The NaNoWriMo Edition”)

Hello, friends. This post is going to be short and sweet because, well, I’m supposed to be writing.

If you’re not the writerly sort, then I hope your November is going well. But if you’re participating in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) with me and have just wrapped up the dreaded Week 2, then I salute you.

My novel-writing experience is not going well this year, and it’s partly because I haven’t been taking my own advice, which I shared with you all in this post on the first day of NaNo. I have been taking days off, not planning ahead at all, and have yet to attend a write-in hosted by my local region. As of this moment, I’m 5000 words behind. My motivation level to catch up is basically zero.

One of the toughest things about keeping on task this year is that I’m writing my novel on a Chromebook. I purchased it for myself for my birthday back in September. It’s small and portable, and perfect for writing — or so I thought. The problem is that my only option for word processing, essentially, is Google Drive. That means that my Chrome browser is open all the time. So the second my mind wanders from my novel, suddenly everything is open: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Bloglovin’… the works. It’s bad, guys. I might have to reevaluate my writing strategy.

However! I had an epiphany this afternoon that came to me in a dream while napping. I finally have some sense about how my book is going to end, and how I’m going to get my characters there. Here’s hoping this new direction will help me to stay focused and get this done.

Now I need to go write. Thanks for stopping by!

Whether or not you’re in the NaNoWriMo trenches with me, how’s your November going?

How I Won NaNoWriMo Six Times

Welcome to November – the first day of the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I hope you thoroughly enjoyed your Hallowe’en, because that’s the last chance you’ll have to experience joy and happiness for the next thirty days.

Just kidding!

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo six times over the past eight years. And each of those times, I’ve “won” the challenge, meaning I successfully wrote the first draft of a 50,000-word novel in the month of November. (Check out this post for more info on NaNo and why you should join me this year.) This is not an easy thing to do, but it is a fun thing to do, and it’s a really neat experience to be able to truthfully call yourself a novelist (at least in progress).

Many people have had false starts and failed years when participating in the writing marathon, which is totally normal. So how did I manage to win each and every time I signed up to write? Here’s my advice for current and future Wrimos hoping to knock it out of the park this year.

Start with a Winning Mindset

I’ve heard lots of people, in person and on the NaNoWriMo forums, saying things like this:

  • “I’m going to try NaNoWriMo this year.”
  • “I have a huge problem with procrastination, but we’ll see how it goes.”
  • “My cousin’s wedding is mid-November, so I probably won’t finish.”
  • “I’ve never won before, and this year likely won’t be any different.”
  • Or my personal favourite: “I missed the first day. Maybe I’ll try again next year.”

STOP. Right now. If you head into this challenge with the mindset of failure, or even potential failure, you are so much more likely to give up all motivation and sell yourself short.

I went into my first NaNoWriMo thinking that I was going to write a book in a month. I wasn’t going to try to do it, I wasn’t going to hope I could do it – I was just going to do it. This year is the busiest and most stressful of my life so far, and I’m still not thinking about whether I might fail. (Though I am thinking about whether this is the craziest idea ever…!)

I’m not just promoting a motivational technique here. From what I’ve seen, many people use the excuse, “I always knew I wouldn’t be able to do it” to drop out of the challenge long before they needed to or should have. Give yourself a fair chance. Consider it something you’re going to do for sure.

Get in the Habit

All it takes to win NaNoWriMo is 1667 words per day. Not perfect words, but simply words. I can usually bang that out in 30-45 minutes. Maybe it takes you a little longer, but that’s okay.

Now, if you wait for five days (because you’re so busy with work, school, or anything else to spare 30-45 minutes), you’ve now got a backlog of 8333 words (or so). And because we’re all human and not robots, it’s not simply a matter of multiplying 30-45 minutes by 5. You’ll need to add time for rest, food, interruptions, bathroom breaks, procrastination… and suddenly, you’ve spent an entire Saturday trying to catch up. Overwhelming to say the least. I’ve done it, and it’s definitely not the ideal case.

The trick is to get into a habit of writing every day, or almost every day. Find the free time in your day at which you’re most productive, and use that time for a writing routine. For me, it’s usually around 9pm, but I’ll squeeze it in whenever I can – as long as I’m writing every day.

So what happens when you do fall behind? Try the next two tips:

Get Out of the House

When I’m in a writing rut, I find it’s so important to get a change of scenery, especially if the new locale has a certain buzzing, writerly energy about it. The typical spots are coffee shops and libraries, but anywhere will do.

It’s also often better with other writers! Take your Wrimo friends along, or join a local Write-In organized by your city’s Municipal Liaison.

SPRINT!

Sometimes, you just don’t have the time or energy to generate well-crafted, thoughtful prose to hit your daily wordcount. Besides, the focus of NaNoWriMo is quantity over quality – editing is where the quality comes in, and that can wait until December. I often use “word sprints” to boost my wordcount without taking up hours of precious time.

Word sprints are simply periods over which you write really, really fast, without really stopping to think or edit. You can either write for a defined length of time, or you can try to hit a particular word goal as fast as possible. NaNoWriMo runs “official” word sprints on Twitter so that you can race against your fellow Wrimos. But for writing on your own terms, you can definitely race against the clock instead.

It also helps to have some sprinting tools in your back pocket. My two favourite websites for this are Written? Kitten! and Write or Die (I use the free version). Check them both out for two very different varieties of motivation.

Tell Everyone You’re Doing NaNoWriMo

If I hadn’t blogged about it and talked about it with basically everyone I know, I probably wouldn’t be doing it this year.  For me, this is probably the most effective method for making sure I don’t back out. So here we are.


Well, folks, that about covers the entirety of my plan to write a novel in a month for the seventh (eek!) time. I am starting off today with a single idea and literally no other details prepared. I’m definitely pantsing it this year!

Are you joining me for NaNoWriMo 2016? What tips do you have for aspiring novelists-in-a-month?

Goal Check-In for 2016

I don’t mean to scare you, but there are only 70 days left in 2016! Boy, does time fly!

This year has been jam-packed for me so far, and I’ve undergone quite a bit of change. When I first started blogging last December, I had no idea whether I would be able to stick it out for longer than a couple of weeks. But hey — here we are!

One of the first posts I wrote back in January was a list of goals I wanted to achieve this year. I’ll be honest: I had forgotten almost all of them before starting to write this post. In the interest of transparency, let’s take a look back at the goals I decided were so important at the beginning of this year, and see where they stand so far.

1. More Steps per Day on my Fitbit

I have a confession to make. I lost the charger for my Fitbit back in August…and I haven’t used it since.

Yes, I know, it’s awful. I fully intended to buy a new charger and get back into it, but I got so used to life without it. Plus, having a more demanding work schedule was making it much more challenging to stick to step-count goals. Still, though, I should probably go buy a new charger.

However, the intention behind this goal was to focus on a healthy lifestyle. I’ve been practicing yoga fairly regularly, which is a step in the right direction, at least.

2. 8 Hours of Sleep

This goal is still a priority for me, though I haven’t been very successful with it. Heading to bed as early as is necessary for 8 hours of sleep (i.e. 10pm) is a huge transition. I think I’ve made improvements — but I guess I don’t really know without my Fitbit tracking my sleep. Hm.

3. Read More

I’ve read a bit more this year than last year, I would say. I’m currently in the middle of three non-fiction books, and bouncing between them depending on what I’m in the mood for. I haven’t found time for fiction recently, though, thanks to a little friend called Netflix…

4. Knit a Pair of Socks

In January, I was really into knitting. Like, a lot. But almost immediately after writing my list of goals, I basically stopped knitting altogether and moved onto something else. I daresay it has joined the Hobby Graveyard. I think I would be amenable to retiring this goal altogether for this year. Maybe some other time!

5. Improve my Technical Skillset

My progress in regards to this goal has gone in an entirely different direction than I had anticipated. While I didn’t end up taking a course in programming, which was the original idea, my transition to a new department at my company has led to the development of some bomb Excel skills. Plus, I wrote the book on using our database interface for standard queries. (Literally — I made a training guide. It’s only 30 pages, but still.) So while it’s a little off-track compared to the January intent, I’d say this goal could be counted as a success.

6. Keep Blogging

I’ve made it this far. Only 70 days to go! Obviously my post frequency has decreased a tad, but that’s just a product of a busy life and blogging authenticity.

7. Identify my Dream Job?

The real purpose of this goal was to do some soul-searching and try out some new things. I made a change to my career path this year, and it was definitely a valuable decision. Beyond that is still a work in progress.

8. Track and Plan my Goals

I was pretty good about this early in the year, but I fell off the wagon over the summer. Honestly, I think that’s okay at this stage in the game. I have some vague targets and I’m not letting everything in my life go wild, but I don’t think the rigid goal structure I’d originally conceived would be very helpful for me right now. Keeping track of these goals (or what’s left of them) for the next 70 days should be good enough for 2016!


What goals did you set for 2016 — and how will you achieve them in the next 70 days?

NaNoPrep - How to Prepare to Write a Novel in a Month

We are just over two weeks away from the first of November. For those of us ingrained in writing culture, that means we’re right in the middle of NaNoPrep season. For everyone else, allow me to explain what the heck I’m talking about.

November is the National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. Each year, thousands of writers around the world embark on a quest to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. It’s a self-regulated marathon for anyone who has always wanted to write a book, but simply hasn’t found the motivation — the “kick in the pants”, if you will — to get around to it. Keep in mind that the goal is to produce a very rough first draft. The editing process comes afterward, once you have a manuscript to play with. Writing that first draft is the largest single hurdle anyway, so the internal and external motivation of this challenge is perfect for getting it done.

The NaNoWriMo website contains a myraid of resources, plus a comprehensive forum to connect its global participants. And if you live in a decently populated area, there may even be local writing sessions, or “write-ins”, scheduled nearby during the month for you to attend.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about NaNoWriMo, you’re probably thinking one of three things:

  • That sounds awful! Why would anyone do that?
  • That sounds awesome. Sign me up!
  • I’m sure that would be really fun, but I simply don’t have time to write a novel in a month! That sounds far too ambitious for me.

If you fall into the second or third camp, then I would encourage you to read on. With the right attitude and support, you may surprise yourself in your ability to conquer the challenge.

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo six times now — and I’ve won each and every time. I’ll talk about how I accomplished that in a future post. But for now, let’s make the most of NaNoPrep season. Here’s how I prepare in October to write a novel in November!

Sign up.

For first-timers, the first step is to hop on over to the NaNoWriMo site and sign up. You’ll have a chance to input a bit of a bio and your geographical location, which will allow you to connect with the local writerly community (if you so choose).

Declare your intention to participate.

I would encourage you to take a digital and traditional approach to your declaration. Tell your friends and family that you’ll be writing a novel in November. Then post some NaNoWriMo flair on social media to spread the word to your larger circle.

Decide what you’ll write about (or don’t).

Whether you’re a planner or a pantser (i.e. “flying by the seat of your pants-er”), you’ll want to create your novel on the NaNoWriMo site in order to track your word count progress. From there, it’s up to you. In the past, I’ve taken extensive notes, drawn maps, made character profile sheets, the works… and in other years, I’ve literally started with a title, a one-liner plot synopsis, and a blank Word doc. So get planning — or not!

Rally the troops.

Writing a novel is fun, but writing a novel alongside friends and family is even better! Find people in your live with a love for writing and encourage them to join you in your journey. You can even NaNoPrep together (whatever that means for you)!

Commit to attending a local event (where applicable).

If you’re lucky enough to live in a region with a local group, make the effort to attend at least one event. I find these events are highly motivating for upping your word count. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet other writers in your area, and to thank your Municipal Liaison (or ML, the local organizers for NaNoWriMo) for their efforts in the writing community. (Okay, I’m a little biased… I served as the ML for Kingston, Ontario in 2013-14!)


If you’re joining the marathon this year (or at least still thinking about it), let’s be buddies! Click here for my NaNoWriMo profile.

What are you doing to NaNoPrep this year?

Thanksgiving 2016: Thankful Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends! It’s a sunny and beautiful, albeit chilly, day here in the GTA. Once this post is complete, I’ll be heading out with Joe to a local conservation area for a hike and some fall colour sightseeing. But I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the things I’m thankful for this weekend. There’s so much to celebrate!

I’m thankful for the basics: the things we tend to take for granted.

It’s easy to jump right into the luxuries when considering the best parts of our lives. I know it’s important, though, to acknowledge and be grateful for those simple things that not everyone in this world may have. I’m explicitly thankful today that I have food, shelter, safety, the ability to use my body and my mind, and the freedom to express my opinions and strive for my goals. Obviously that doesn’t nearly cover it, but I want to ensure that I take time to ponder these today.

I’m thankful for my current living situation.

I’m very lucky at this time of my life to have an affordable, sufficient, and convenient living space; a supportive, intelligent, and loving partner; a playful and adorable fur baby; and a challenging and engaging start to my career. I don’t know what the next year will bring, but I’m hoping that all of these things will still be true next Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful that the Blue Jays defeated Texas and are moving on to the ALCS!

Yes, I’ve hopped on the Blue Jay Bandwagon. I’m not a sports person, and I’m especially not a baseball person. It’s slow and boring and kind of confusing! But I love how the current success of the Toronto Blue Jays is bringing people together. There is a distinct positive energy in the air at work when my office livestreams the post-season games. And last night, at Thanksgiving dinner, freaking out with my parents and my aunts and uncles at every good play (in their matching team jerseys, no less) was an awesome bonding experience. Here’s hoping they dominate the next round!

I’m thankful for this blog.

Being able to express my opinions and share my experiences by taking advantage of the technology available to us these days is a pretty extraordinary gift. Thanks for joining me on the journey!


What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Totally Ridiculous Makeup Trends

A couple of weeks ago, I received my September ipsy Glam Bag in the mail. It’s taken a couple of weeks to get around to trying all five of my makeup products this month. But now that I’ve tested them all, I have to share that one of these products has brought about a serious revelation: some people are going too far in the name of beauty.

 Totally Ridiculous Makeup Trends: Makeup as Art

Of course, there are crazy makeup trends out there that aren’t intended to be an everyday look. That will always be true, and I don’t want to go messing with art. Here, though, I’m talking about the trends and tips people are following on a daily basis. These are the kinds of things that can actually be harmful, in one way or another. Let me give you a couple of examples.

Lip Plumping Serum

This is the product that caused my epiphany. My Glam Bag came with a sampler size of this product:

Makeup: Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme

Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme.

Now, I’m super naive when it comes to makeup. I automatically assumed that this was simply a lip gloss. A clear shimmer would make your lips look more plump, right? Well, not quite. This is actually a “serum” that basically causes your lips to have a stinging reaction of some sort, which makes your lips look plumper (as a side effect). I wiped it off the second it started burning. Then began the Googling.

And I found positive reviews of this product all over the place! People enjoy the sensation of their lips burning, apparently. Either that, or they enjoy the look of their fuller lips enough to warrant the pain of this product. In fact, I saw one YouTube review that used this serum as a way of talking down people who would otherwise partake in the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge. Um, no thanks.

Tightlining & Waterlining

I’ve heard on more than one occasion that your eye makeup isn’t done until you’ve tightlined and waterlined.

 Totally Ridiculous Makeup Trends: Tightlining

But as someone who has experienced the agony of styes in my eye, especially when working at a computer all day, I will personally say: It’s not worth it!

Full Makeup Coverage on Acne-Prone Skin

I know, I know, we all do this. But it makes me very sad for all of us that we feel the need to cover up our pores and blemishes with layers of makeup. It’s a vicious cycle, too, because clogging pores with makeup only makes skin conditions worse! And while it’s great to see some celebrities going without makeup, I know many of us — myself included — are a long way from taking that step, for the sake of our skin.


Many people wear makeup not to hide, but to enhance their beauty and have fun with the process. That’s great! Let’s just do our best to look and feel beautiful, without causing ourselves unnecessary harm in the process.

What daily beauty trends do you think are totally ridiculous?

thoughts-on-last-nights-debate

I don’t usually follow politics very closely. I’ll do a bit of research right before an election, I’ll vote, and that’s about it. But even as a Canadian, it’s been impossible to miss the headlines surrounding Donald Trump in the past few months. I had a hard time believing some of the things I was hearing. It was easy to assume that most of the stories were sensationalized in the tabloids. It all came to a head last night in the first 2016 Presidential Debate. And dear lord, it was all true.

In some circles, my Canadian political views automatically make me a bleeding-heart liberal. In Canada, that’s not entirely accurate. My opinions are liberal in some ways and conservative (by Canadian standards) in others. But I’ve realized that prior to this past year, I was under the misguided impression that the kind of people that would back someone like Donald Trump couldn’t possibly exist. So imagine my shock as the polls shifted more and more toward The Donald in the past few weeks.

Watching last night’s Debate made it abundantly clear to me that if the US elects Donald Trump, the consequences could be devastating. His complete disregard for facts, logic, respect, and self-control was laughable. Except that millions and millions of people are actually going to vote for him. Are you kidding me?

Now, about Hillary Clinton. For starters, I am so thrilled that America finally has a female Presidential Candidate. Is she the best-ever choice for US President? Maybe, maybe not. (Though her choice in first names is impeccable…) But in my opinion, any logical person should be looking at the two options, and the best choice should be extremely obvious. Yes, even for Republicans. I simply can’t believe that someone’s standing political allegiances can be so absolute that they should blind them to what’s going on in the world around them.

Anyway, those are my two cents on the matter. I want to encourage everyone to do their homework and make an informed decision. The world as we know it may depend on it.

Time for an Upgrade: My New Google Nexus 6P

I’ve had my good old Samsung Galaxy S III for three years now. For me, having the same device for three years or more is pretty standard, especially when it comes to phones. In fact, my Galaxy was my first-ever smartphone, so that gives you some indication of how slow I am to catch up to the mobile trends. If I could, I would probably stick with the same device forever. But with all of the apps and processes I’m running all the time, my battery life was terrible and the phone was so slow. Time for an upgrade. Yesterday, I picked up a brand new phone: a Nexus 6P!

Looking into phones for the first time in three years was pretty rattling. They’re so darn expensive now! My first thought was to look into the Galaxy S7 as a natural step up, but the price tag wasn’t very attractive. Instead, I started doing my research into which Android phones out there were the best bang for your buck.

First of all, I’ll mention that I’m not an Apple person. At all. So the allure of the new iPhone 7 was completely non-existent in this search. Plus, my entire life is integrated into Google apps at the moment, so it makes sense to keep everything accessible.

My major concerns when looking for a phone were processing power and battery life. Camera quality was more of a cherry on top than a deal-breaker, considering the not-so-great quality of my current phone camera. But beyond all of that was the price, to be honest. I wanted to be relatively caught up in terms of technology without breaking the bank. And while the successor to my current phone was pretty much top-of-the-line, I couldn’t justify the monthly plans and/or the up-front fees with any provider I came across.

Luckily, as a long-time Rogers customer (because I never change phones, hah), I was offered an extra 3G of data for free. It’s a similar plan to my current one, with $50 down for the Nexus 6P. Totally reasonable for my purposes, and it met my criteria as well. Score!

Now that I have my Nexus 6P, I’m excited to start using and customizing it. All of my apps were copied directly from my old phone to the new one, thanks to Google. (Yes, even Neko Atsume, haha!) I will say that the size increase from the S III is a bit extreme, especially with my tiny hands, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it!

Honestly, because of all the software updates needed, I haven’t had much time to play around with my Nexus since I picked it up. If I develop any strong opinions on this phone, positive or negative, I’ll be sure to review in a follow-up post. But for now, I just want to say that I’m so glad to finally have a new phone. (And hey, now I can download Pokémon Go for real! Not that anyone is playing it anymore…)

What’s your smartphone of choice for 2016?