Good Reads Goal Met!?

Whaaaattttt?! That’s right people! I have read 52 books this year and it’s only September.

That feels lovely. I feel like I’ve read some pretty great books thus far as well.

Since I have met my goal for 2017 as far as how many books I was looking to complete, I am starting on a whole new goal.

I still haven’t completed the reading challenges I had set up for myself to aid in reading 52 books and I’m not sure that I will, however, I am looking to diversify my reading more so there is that.

Ultimately though, I have been itching to rearrange my room but that is impossible with the number of books I have covering various surfaces. So! new goal is to focus my reading on the books stacked up allllll over this room of mine.

I have already purged any books I was no longer interested in and reorganized all these piles accordingly. I figure I can share a TBR as I hit each surface because HOLY CRAP there are a lot of books surrounding me.

This isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually quite nice but! I am constantly staring at the books wishing I could just read them all now so boom! I am. First surface stack we shall attack is the one on top of my totes of books. Oh yes, that’s right. I have so many books that I haven’t read kicking around my room that I had to fill totes with them and stack those because my bookshelves are over stuffed. SO! The books we are starting this adventure with are as follows:

  • I Love You, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz- Logsted currently reading
  • A String of Pearls
  • The trial by Franz Kafka
  • H is for Hawk by Hele Macdonald
  • Magonia re-read
  • Aerie sequel to Magonia
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes
  • The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley
  • A Hero’s Throne by Ross Lawhead
  • The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead
  • American Street
  • Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling pseudo re-read since I’ve read HP as a whole but not this version
  • When Dimple Met Rishi
  • Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  • Seduction of a Proper Gentleman by Victoria Alexander
  • Prince Caspian by CS Lewis
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis
  • The silver Chair by CS Lewis
  • The Last Battle by CS Lewis
  • Healing Back Pain
  • Creating Health by Deepak Chopra
  • A Reliable Wife
  • Household Tips and Handy Hints
  • Stranger on the Train

Yup. Those are all the books stacked in just one little part of my room. Oh! Add to this the three graphic novels I have kicking around on my computer from NetGalley and the Once Upon a Book Club box I have had for frikkin months just sitting on my floor. Not a clue how long it will take me to get through these but! I do have a readathon to help me get started.

The #ISATRAT readathon starts up tomorrow for the week. The goals are super attainable. My favorite are to read 20 minutes every day and 10 pages a day. I should get through at least one book this way and that is a lovely thing.

BTW I have a big ole list of reviews to get posted too and I’m thinking I’ll try to do one a week going forward at least to catch up.

See you then!

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TV: Big Little Lies

I read Big Little Lies at least a year ago and absolutely devoured it. It was just so well done and well written and I loved every single page, every word. So good! I was pumped when I heard it was being turned into a tv show. And then it said HBO and I was bummed because we have never subscribed to the channel but it keeps getting so many fun shows!

So when my cable company changed and thus the lineup of channels changed–I decided I was an adult that pays her bills and why not splurge on some super fast internet and channels I’d love to have. THUS- I have access to HBO. WHAT? I know.

So, this weekend I declared a binge weekend. Movies, tv, books. Relaxation happy Erika central.

I have only watched one episode as of right now, and the casting is ON POINT. I love it. and it feels like the book. It’s what I saw when I was reading it. I’m alllllll over it. Here’s hoping it continues in this fashion.

Now I am getting myself a bowl of ice cream and curling up to continue my binging because I can. 😉

Don’t forget to do you whenever possible. Because it is the best thing for you.

Good with Words

I have been a writer my whole life.

I know, that sounds like something you say. “Oh! of course, I’ve allllllways been a writer. Comes naturally!” ((Note: I totally said this in one of those put on wannabe British accents in my head))
Really though, I have been a writer my whole life.

When I was young, I would make up stories about my stuffed animals or the posters on my sister’s wall.
As part of a project at school when I was maybe 8 or 9, my Dad took me to a couple of cemeteries and I wrote stories about what happened to some of the people there based solely on their headstone or plaque. I enjoyed it so much, it became one of our things.
In school, I always loved the assignments that included essays or get creative in them.

On my own, I filled books with my daily journals. Another book was for my random pieces of stories, a lot of them based on dreams I’d had. Yet another was for my poetry.

I’m fairly certain that poetry itself saved my life.

I was not a happy teenager. I laughed a lot and I loved to have fun but I was not happy. Not even slightly. I was ashamed of my own coping methods. I was afraid of being abandoned by my friends (a common theme in my chosen group of friends). I was not a good student so I was constantly stressed that I was letting my parents and their notion that I was a smart kid down. I was not a happy teenager.
So I wrote. I wrote all the time. In classes, on the bus, at the dinner table, in bed. All the time.

It was my way out. Writing has always helped me organize my thoughts. It’s why I loved the notion of blogs. (I started my first at 15 on Diaryland). You get to organize your thoughts and let out whatever you want to and HEY! you may connect with someone else too.

So when I say I have been a writer my whole life, it is sincere.

I used to dream about writing books or being paid to actual share my poetry.

For a good decade I was actively working on a book about my dating experiences.

I am good with words. Sometimes, I feel that I am better in writing. I mean, seriously, if you’ve had a conversation with me you’d totally get that.

I’m not caught up in the dream anymore and I’ve recently been thinking about pulling out the old binders and the slew of spiral notebooks and just reading them again. Seeing what’s there.

I feel like it could be an adventure. There are things I’ve written that I read back and can’t place in a time line at all. Things I read and I go, hold up, who wrote that?

I’m sure the adventure of going through my writing means I’ll be sharing because I never did have a problem with sharing it.

I have always been a writer so why not write and come by it honestly.

 

 

Amazon Lover

I love lists.

Love them.

I make them all the time. I have a planner I refer to as my “life” that lists my work schedule, my goals for each day, appointments, etc. etc.
I have a notebook that lists each “pay day” and whatever finances I hope to take care of or need to get to with that particular income.
I have a notebook that keeps track of my reading challenge lists-just because I like having something physical to look at sometimes.
and I have a massive Amazon wish list.

I have been shopping on Amazon since I was 18. The first thing I purchased was Eminem’s Marshall Mathers lyric book. I started a wish list then. Just adding things I’d like to buy eventually all willy nilly.

A few years back I realized my wish list had grown to insanely long and how would anyone that actually wanted to shop for me be able to figure it out. So I organized.

I separated everything into their own little categories.

When I am feeling particularly unfocused or restless I’ll go and sift through my lists and remove things I may have purchased else where (like a book sale where I acquired 20 new books, perhaps).

This past year, I have really been utilizing my library A LOT. Because of that, I made myself a whole new pretty list and moved the books from my well established Bookworm list to a private Borrow Me! list.

Because though I want very much to purchase allllllll the books, I can’t swing that all the time and currently, I am officially out of space to house books until I clear some of these shelves! So I borrow. I support my lovely local library. I borrow and borrow some more. And you know what, my state has some fannnntastic stacks! Thank God for Interlibrary Loans!

And moving around the lists gives me something to focus on that isn’t causing me more stress. It’s a focus that has no time constraint. That wont cost me money. That isn’t impending deadlines. It’s just something fun for me.

Whatever works, right? 😉

On the Amazon Lover front–today! I successfully purchased an upgrade for myself. I am DVD collector. I love movies. I love TV. I love stand up. I love live shows. I love the fact that you can purchase your favorites and just watch them to death. Which means, I love the Netlix annnnd Amazon Prime Video. So, since my well loved DVD player died a horrible death due to a power outage this week; I have upgraded to a BluRay player WITH streaming capability which makes me sublimely happy.

I feel it is important to find ways to treat yourself even if you live paycheck to paycheck.

Today, I spent some time playing with my lists because I needed to do something for me that calmed me. Then I did some finances and I ordered Mom some lovely new clothes she’s been eyeing. I went ahead and ordered myself that upgraded player so I can enjoy my TV time the way I love too. I even picked up the shampoo Mom prefers and a pretty new stand so my TV and new player and cable box can all live in harmony and actually fill the space they’re in.

Lists are calming for me. Shopping is incredibly fun for me. And knowing that I saved a ton of money getting things that will make us smile and feel good; that is certainly a step to less worry.

 

My People Are The Best People

I use that phrase a lot when I talk about my friends. “My people are the best people.” A simple phrase that means everything.

When you start out as a child making friends, you don’t realize how much it will mean in 10 years that they still know your name. If they’re still nice to you when you reach high school, you’ve hit the jackpot.

I also identified as the “weird” kid. I read a lot at a young age and before a lot of my peers. I have always been loud when excited and quiet when I’m getting the lay of the land. I am social and also reclusive. I am individual to a fault (if that’s even possible). I have always been super inquisitive which has been mistrued as annoying, plying, and even insubordinate n my life.

I moved at age 8 and then again at age 14. So I dealt with the fun that changing schools and neighborhoods brings. In high school, I chose to surround myself with some, well for lack of a better word, assholes.

In the end, there is a pretty large group of people I went to high school with that as an adult I am friendly with. But there are only two that were my friends then, knew me then, and are still kicking around now (they count in the “my people” group.)

I purposely went to school away from home. I only applied to one school in my state because my advisors begged me too. I quickly accepted the offer to go to a tiny little Catholic college just one state away and moved in just shy of three months after graduation.

The first person I met was my RA. And somehow, we became friends.

It started because she had a photo of herself with Joey McIntyre and I am a Blockhead for life. We figured out that she lived super close to me, went to the same high school as my Dad, and it seemed insane that we hadn’t crossed paths before.

She was my savior more than once during the two years I spent at that school.

I left the same year she graduated and we kept in touch.

I saw her a couple times and then I lost her number.

About a year later, I ran into her at my crappy retail gig and we started hanging out.

And that’s it. I met her 16 years ago and we are still friends. And I mean real, true, friends.

Now, I am not negating that I have friends that I’ve known longer or that they are important to me, but I was compelled to gush about this particular person because she did something amazingly thoughtful and I am still all shocked and super excited about it.

Somehow, she seems to always know what I need. I believe that I have a similar trait. I’ve always prided myself on being a good friend.

We are travel buddies because we 100% get how the other one operates.

we have had few arguments and all of them ended in a real conversation that is since chuckled about.

I remember her showing up at a party years ago and escorting me out. I didn’t ask her to. I had my car with me and I was at a friend’s home I would’ve stayed in if needed. But there was some drama brewing and when she sent me a random “whatcha doing?” text, my response made her drive over and steal me.

She has taken me drunk shopping so I could sober up before I went home.

There have been many occasions of us just aimlessly riding around to take a break from life.

We talk so often that when we go a couple of days without saying hello, it feels insane.

I have had an emotional year. In fact, I’ve had an emotional couple of years. Emotions are not something I am 100% comfortable expressing, even at 34.

She has gone through her own emotional years. Her own craziness.

We attempted to take a real break from life in March and treated ourselves to a vacation. We were so exhausted halfway through, it’s a wonder we even made it. And then we had the trip home from hell. Not to mention, we were kinnnnd of broke.

We’ve been talking about taking a day trip to one of our closer to home favorite places. We already determined we’re spending her birthday next month at the beach (weather had better cooperate with that). So when she texted me with a list of dates a few weeks back, I figured we were probably planning a day to go play in our old college town.

I am caretaker to my Mom. She is in no way as bad off as she was a couple of years back but in true Mom fashion, she was curious about what we were doing next weekend on our little adventure. I told her that I didn’t really ask I just knew that it was a day trip. She wanted a more definitive time line to ease her own anxiety so I asked my friend what was up.

She replied that she really felt I needed a break from life so we would be heading to Boston in the afternoon and we’d be home late that evening because we have tickets to see Wicked.

I really do need a break. In a whole mess of ways. That’s part of why I love to read so much: the escape. The fact that she knew that and planned something like this, just speaks to why I say my people are the best people.

Because they are.

I am a musical nerd and haven’t seen Wicked yet. I’m so pumped about it and also shocked about it. I didn’t expect such a gesture.

I don’t know why though.  This is the same friend that’s helped me take a break throughout 16 years. Saved me from drunk disasters. Acted as my GPS before you could actually afford GPS.

She was the friend that came to the hospital the night my Dad passed away. She sat in a waiting room alone in a hospital I know she hates to be in for the same reasons I do and refused to leave until we were ready to leave.

Really that whole experience solidified the my people are the best people thing. The fact that my friends came out and helped in the ways they did meant a lot. It was nice to keep shocking my family. They apparently didn’t realize my friends were quite so awesome.

And this coming weekend, I get to go and have adventure with my peep. I get to know that we’ll have fun and be obnoxious and laugh our asses off because that’s what it’s like when we’re together.

I get to know that I wont have to do anything for anyone else that day.

and I get to see Wicked! With a friend that will totally sing along with me.

I am excited. I am humbled. I am grateful. I am blessed.

My people are the best people.

 

Book Dragon!

I have always associated myself with the term “book worm.” I was a child that always had her nose in a book. I was reading full series at a young age. Example, in Kindergarten, I was one of 5 kiddos that already knew how to read. While the rest of the class was learning how, we had the option of going to our library and picking out books. During that year of school, I read the entire collection of Junior Biographies, all of Dr. Seuss, and the Mercer Meyer books I didn’t have at home.

A few years later, my aunt gifted me the Little House on the Prairie series and I devoured it. Then it was Anne of Green Gables (OMG I still love miss Anne with an E). Then the epic series that is The Baby Sitters Club. Side note: Did you know they are sill writing these? And it’s up in the 100’s now. I’m toying with the idea of starting from the beginning and reading them all again.

I read allllll the Roald Dahl books but somehow never read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. By 13, I was into the creepier reads. I attempted Stephen King (Because Maine) but preferred the movie versions (unheard of, right?)  and then picked up R.L. Stine instead because my cousin was reading them. I read those through a summer and then moved on to some chunky mysteries and suspense horror by the time I was 15.

I also read all of Shakespeare’s works at that time because I was a little obsessed with Othello and Romeo and Juliet at the time. (Cut to college when I had to read them all again TWICE due to having to take Shakespeare twice to get my degree. I haven’t picked up one since).

In high school, I still read a lot. More so in the summer than any other time but I always had a book or five going. Harry Potter came around when I was in high school too.

College, as an English Language and Literature major, to say I read a lot is an understatement. Due to the major, I was reading intensively, everything. Legit, this is what I remember putting down in my first two years at Rivier–ready?

  • 90 % of Shakespeare’s Plays (my teacher loved the tragedy’s so we did allll the Kings)
  • The entirety of Major British Writers Volume II
  • Frankenstein
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Dracula
  • Beowulf
  • Some horribly written Post-Moderninisim themed book about a wine tasting that I’ve blocked out
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • The Alchemist
  • The Book of Genesis (Bible–cause Catholic College)

And that’s just off the top of my head and doesn’t include actual text books or the amount of Chinese I had to study for that class.

On top of that, because my happy place has always been books, I discovered I really liked YA. I read the Angus, Thongs, and Snogging series. The A to Z List series. I read Prep then and loved it.

My next run of college brought along with it Popular Fiction. The class in which I read 10 books in 8 weeks. YUP.

I think the speed in which I had to consume books in college is why I sometimes take my time and spend a month lost in a book.

BUT! This month. This month, I have been more than a little book worm. I have been a book dragon! I feel like I just keep getting into good books and then attack another and another.

With that said, I have reviews to do! Talking books makes me happy. That soul happy, you know. SO! Expect to see reviews in the near future.

Woop Woop! I’m feeling good about it. 🙂 Book Dragon FTW.

Epic Reads Strikes Again!

I am a lover of bookish things, quite obviously. I’m also a chronic subscriber and a lover of giveaways so it should come as no surprise that I get a lot of bookish emails each day. One of my absolute favorite daily emails is the Epic Reads First 5.

If you do not know what Epic Reads is, let’s educate you shall we. Epic Reads is a site that feels like a YA movement. It’s full of lists and entertaining videos, quizzes, and articles about upcoming Young Adult authors or books. Epic Reads is the YA part of Harper Collins and holy crap, do they publish some amazing books.

The First 5 newsletter is literally the first 5 chapters of a book in the Epic Reads/HC family. This was how I used to pass my time at my horribly boring hotel reservation gig. I’d just go through the Epic Reads site and pick out the “read a preview of insert-book-title-here” and read a chapter or five.

This resulted in me racing to my local Books-A-Million after work to grab Queen of Hearts because five chapters was not enough.

I signed up for the newsletter and have been adding books to my TBR rather steadily ever since. I enjoy this newsletter so much because you aren’t just going by a synopsis, you get to actually get into a story and then decide if you want to continue.

Well! I’m catching up on my emails today, as is a usual Sunday event as of late, and the first five is fannnnntastic! This time its Dividing Eden and I am hooked. This one is about twins in a kingdom where their Father is the King. Their brother is next in line for the throne but apparently something is going to happen to him. And there are secrets and intrigue. IIIIIII like it. So much so that at the top of Chapter 3, I went and searched for it on my library’s website and requested it.

Good on you, Epic Reads! You win again!

Sober

I absolutely love Buzzfeed. Most of the workouts that I do I find on You Tube. Both Tone It Up and Blogilates have You Tube pages, so when I finish up my routine, I’ll just pop through my subscriptions for a little break to bring my heart rate back down.

Today, I stumbled on My First 30 Days Sober and it was 100% relatable. Sometimes, Buzzfeed just hits the nail on the head, so to speak, and this was certainly one of those times.

Almost 3 years ago now, I did what this man did. I was stressed out and emotional and I was using alcohol to get me through it. I am also someone that due to stress, has vertigo and IBS. Both of these ailments increase with alcohol consumption (Note: if you get super dizzy and unbalanced when you drink–chances are you also have vertigo. Yay!).

I always enjoyed drinking. I rarely declined a drink when out with friends. It was my crutch to get through social situations. I spent most of my twenties drunk. Like really drunk. My tolerance was always pretty high (Mom says she was the same way) so I could drink 3 drinks and have a little bit of a buzz or I could have 6 and be what I deemed, “tipsy fantastic.”

First of all, at the time that I was drinking I made decent money but I have never been affluent. Drinking is friggin’ expensive if you actually know what you like. Me. I love top shelf tequila, whiskey, and Belvedere. And when I drank, if I was getting a refill, I tended to get the more expensive drinks after my first three were gone.

I am a dramatic drunk. I’m also a super funny drunk. That dramatic drunk. That one always bothered me.

Sober, I hate drama. I mean hate it. Have I caused it before? Of course I have. That doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable.

Drunk, I seemed to thrive on it. Especially if I was in a more emotional state than I cared to share before I started drinking.

Watching this video brought me right back. About three years ago, I went out to a restaurant with a friend to bitch about work. And about boys. And life in general. I drink 5 margaritas because the waitress loved us and just kept refilling. I got in my car and remember sitting there for more than 10 minutes because I suddenly remembered that I was an adult.

A living breathing adult who knows better than to drive right now.

So I sat until I felt less like I was tipsy. I rolled my windows down and took a deep breath. I dug out the Dramamine from my purse because my vertigo was kicking in. I felt my eyes well up when my stomach clenched. Just letting me know tomorrow was going to suck.

I drank half a bottle of water and then I drove the 10 minutes to my house from the restaurant. In that 10 minutes I decided that I needed to take a break.

Drinking wasn’t fun anymore. It made me feel worse and not better. I was trying to be healthier in general and hangovers impeded workouts. Not to mention, there is no nutritional value to hard liquor-my alcoholic beverage of choice.

The next day I was dizzy, cramping, and exhausted.

I spent my twenties drunk. Did I really need to spend my thirties that way too?

So I stopped. The next time I went out, I didn’t drink. The entire table stared. “WHAT?” That moment where his friends boo’d. I know what that feels like. When suddenly everyone stares at you like you’re insane because you don’t want a drink? Yup.

I went on vacation to see one of my best friends. When she went to the liquor store to pick up supplies for the party, I had to tell her that I wasn’t drinking anymore. It had been six weeks and I liked the clarity. That party was a testament to how incredibly awkward I am socially. But I did it. I was uncomfortable. I had no clue what to do with myself. And this was a group that knew me as someone that partied. But I did it.

Even now, when it comes up, people are still a little shocked that I don’t drink.

A lot ask me why and I simplify it by saying that is just wasn’t fun anymore.

That video. Those reasons he gave are 100% it.

Waking up doesn’t suck as much.

My face isn’t flush or puffy.

My body can show the definition of muscle when I’m working out.

I can work out longer (sometimes).

My vertigo is less constant.

I am less stressed.

I am able to process my emotions fully.

I feel better.

I’ll say that again.

I. Feel. Better.

I believe that I spent enough of my life drinking so I still don’t. I don’t intend to. It’s much like when I quit smoking. I’m just over it.

Good on Buzzfeed for capturing the clarity that making a decision to be sober, even just for 30 days, can give you.

Some actual genius needs to steal my ideas

I spend a lot of time in my car. I love her. Her name is Bea. She’s kind of a princess. She is a 2008 Mercury Milan.

If you don’t know, they no longer make the Milan. Actually, they stopped making Mercury’s all together the year I got her.

I call her a princess because her wiper blades are weird, her oil filter baffles Walmart mechanics, and her battery is the only one AAA doesn’t carry on their truck.

She is also a techie car. She has power windows and mirrors. Air bags every where. Folding seats. That awesome little I’m-locked-in-my-trunk pull latch. The side mirrors defrost. The rear mirror dims when it senses a bright light behind it. Oh, and I talk to her.

She’s Bluetooth enabled so you can control your phone, the stereo, and all that by talking to her. When she understands me its pretty fantastic. When she doesn’t, I get aggravated. The car also constantly checks on itself. Like right now, it’s determined my left headlight needs to be replaced.

Now, that is a car that is almost 10 years old.

More recent cars have those amazing back up cams, built in GPS systems, that really interesting park assist feature.

But! With alllllll these advancements someone tell me why no one has added the features I want most yet? I mean, they made a feature so a car can put on its own brakes. An alert for when you drift lanes! So cool and useful.

So why do I still have to turn on my own headlights when it rains? Why isn’t there a feature yet that when you turn on your wipers, the headlights automatically come on?

That is 100% serious. My car has those auto lights and sometimes when it’s raining, I don’t even think to be sure the lights are on. I happen to live in a state that requires by law for your headlights to be on if you are using your wipers.

So again I say, why hasn’t someone created lights that come on the moment you turn on your wipers? Get on that!

Another amazing idea I have but have no idea how to make it regards grocery shopping.

I do a lot of grocery shopping. I am the only driver in my home and my mom isn’t huge on going to the grocery store due to her anxiety. Thus, I go once for the grocery list and usually another time in the week to grab little things. Like creamer or if Mom is craving a treat, ice cream or something from the bakery.

So here’s my idea. A feature in the trunk to keep your groceries cold on the drive home. Right!? How great would that be!? My thought is you hit a little button and it activates an air conditioner type thing in the trunk and boom! Ice cream isn’t melting on your way home.

I think it would be especially helpful for people that don’t live a hop away from their store. Personally, I’m super close but! One of the stores I work in happens to be a grocery store and if I chose to do my shopping there it’s 30 minutes home and on a hot day, I worry about my ice cream, milk, yogurt, etc. Some kind of function to allow my groceries to remain cold would be amazing!

I have one more car related idea. I’ve had it for years. I love taking drives. You know, the aimless adventure kinds? I love those. I love the scenic route. I love road trips.

I live in New England and scenic routes are boundless. The other day, the sky was gorgeous. Big giant clouds on the left and then these layers and layers of stripey clouds on the right. There’s been a ton of rain so all of the trees are vibrant green and flowers are popping up everywhere.

I want someone to invent a camera that is built in to the car. A view camera. So that you can photograph what you are seeing when you drive. I want this to be an easy push button. For safety’s sake, you wouldn’t be able to look at the pictures taken until your car is in park and off. Perhaps, connected to an app or an easy jump drive.

It would be set up so it can see what you as the driver can see out of your windshield. The gorgeous skies I have seen when I’m driving up or down the coast at sunrise, OH how I would love to have a photo of them.

The last time I drove to South Carolina, I drove WITH a hurricane. She and I were steps apart from each other. The clouds, the rain, the fallen trees. All of it was crazy pants. BUT the sky the moment the hurricane passed was this gorgeous purple and the clouds were electric. That-that would have been a gorgeous photo.

Alas, I don’t find pulling over on the highway to be particularly safe. Or on mountain roads. Or really much of any road. So getting photos like this is damn near impossible unless you want to try while driving which is completely unsafe and in my state, considered distracted driving and therefore an offense that equals a hefty fine.

IIIIIII think these are fantastic ideas. I want a car with these functions so bad. So someone steal my ideas and get to making them a reality.

Go on, go be a genius.