Thursday, July 16, 2020

It's July, and we're still mostly at home

Pandemic update! We are staying home most of the time, and that's fine with me. I will acknowledge that I spent a little bit of time knitting in my car in the library parking lot this week, but mostly I wanted to finish my row. Side note, I was thrilled when the library opened for drive-thru service. Apparently all I needed to get my reading mojo back was an infusion of new library books. 

I wanted to share that my primary issue with being married in the time of quarantine has been resolved: my husband now has his own coffee maker. The other day he said that he expected me to tell him that sharing my coffee really wasn't so bad. No. 

We still have to work on interruptions, as today I was spinning through a poetry class. 60 minutes, 55 of which I was being talked at, 5 in a breakout session when participation was required. He spent 57 minutes of the hour in the basement, but came upstairs and started talking to me during the small group bit. Thankfully I'd muted myself because spinning wheels are not silent, but his timing is still bad. Speaking of which, I need to grab a tiara because one of the eight things I am doing at this very moment is working. He'd asked for some sort of visible signal of when I was working, so I'm taking a cue from Mary Robinette Kowal. Also, she looks a lot like my sister in-law in that photo. 

What else? Since we don't leave the house, there's not much laundry other than underwear and pajamas, and we seem to run out around the same time. So that issue is mostly resolved. I can't say that we've given up on cleaning entirely, but we've found other distractions. Like spinning. Even though the Tour de France has been postponed, the Tour de Fleece is still happening, and I am spinning lots and lots of yarn. This is from the first week:



It's several hours after I started this, and I should probably get back to a book.  

Next day update: A laundry issue! Apparently he's brewing today and has particular underwear he likes to wear while brewing, and it's not clean. Shame on me. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Marital difficulties in the days of working from home...

...aren't all that different from pre-COVID times.

1. Coffee: I don't like sharing my coffee. My coffeepot makes the amount of coffee that I want to drink every day, and I don't like that my husband insists on drinking a cup every day. (It was bad enough when he only demanded coffee on Fridays and weekends.) Clearly this means that he should give up caffeine and leave it all for me, not that I should get over myself and just make more coffee. Duh.

2. Distraction: He has terrible timing. My focus isn't the greatest at the best of times, and it seems like every time I can concentrate for more than 30 seconds he comes upstairs and distracts me. Doesn't he know that I'm trying to do about eight different work tasks while also making a grocery list, deleting/filing personal emails, browsing Ravelry forums, and doing something else that's slipped my mind due to my lack of focus? Oh, yeah, swearing at the local idiots on nextdoor. Keep your cats inside, people!

3. Laundry: Inevitably, the day after I've done laundry, he will announce that something, often the shirt he is currently wearing, needs washed. It's not like we're going much of anywhere, so it's not usually as urgent as in the days before social distancing, but since I'm whining I might as well whine, right? Pass me the cheese, please.

4. Cleaning: Since we've been stuck at home, he's been cleaning and organizing the basement. This sounds like a good thing, right? No. Why? Because he found boxes of my stuff, and is forcing me to go through the piles of WTF from high school. So far I've found a bunch of random notes written during classes, many reminders of our inexplicable love for Mötley Crüe, two suicide notes from the same person (one ending with the statement that her decision was final but we'd talk about it during lunch; facebook informs me that she's still alive and well and hopefully less of a drama queen), and this beautiful piece of found art:


Perhaps someone will recognize this and tell me what it was in reference to.

So yeah. Waaaah. All in all, things aren't so bad. They could be a lot worse. I feel like I've made at least a few good life choices.

In other news, various music is bringing on ALL OF THE FEELS lately. I don't know if anyone cares, but I might ramble on about that in another post.


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

I am a squirrel on speed.

Hi there! I keep meaning to document these Interesting Times on this page, but distractions (sourdough quilting cleaning sashiko books feline high-fives) abound. BRB, going to sew for a while. Whee, finally finished the stack of coasters that have been ready to assemble for months now.

Okay. Left you alone for a while while I baked my sourdough and knitted through a virtual happy hour. And then I don't even know. See above re: squirrel on speed. Spent some time today in the Forbidden Room, and found that Zoey missed me so much she curled up against the door to wait for me to come out. Poor lonely kitty. Anyway, the wire shelving I'd used for yarn years ago is now in the closet, and I have space for a glass cabinet that a friend is giving me.

Zoey was very happy that I hadn't been eaten by the Forbidden Room

And now it's several days (weeks? Weeks. Oops.) later, and I'm still scattered. The glass cabinet is in the no-longer-Forbidden Room and is nearly full of spinning fiber. I've made bagels, cookies, pita bread, and many round loaves with Cxaxukluth, my sourdough starter. More dough is rising, and I have starter set aside for peanut butter cookies. Oh, and I have blueberries for a blueberry pie. I've learned how to use the TV as a computer monitor (yay, wifi!), and really need to clean my glasses.

I've read a bit but not enough, and I definitely haven't been knitting or sewing or spinning enough. Found a crate of cross stitch projects that have been sitting around nearly-finished for something like a decade.

How is everyone dealing with everything being shut down? I miss the library, but am otherwise mostly doing fine. Lack of focus is a thing. Which means I should probably publish just because otherwise it will never happen. Also I need to knead some dough!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Flash Book Review: Burn It Down, edited by Lilly Dancyger

I never considered myself an angry person, but apparently I am. I've been exploring that a bit in the nonfiction class I'm taking. Compared to the essays in this book, I'm whiny and petty and definitely a mediocre writer. Recommend.

Since I last checked in, I've seen Kiran Bhat, the Seratones, Lisa Gardner, Sherrod Brown and Connie Schultz, Jeffrey Blount, Robin D'Angelo and Jennifer Eberhardt, 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Flash Book Review: Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, the author describes the initial snowstorm as dumping four feet of snow on the area. Four feet. 48" That's a lot of snow. It could absolutely knock out power and shut down roads. But it would also make walking around very difficult. I can suspend disbelief for a lot of things: Protagonist is a witch, fine. Mysterious, magical, malevolent woods, sure. Boy survives for two weeks in the enchanted forest after a severe winter storm, okay. Characters wander around from location to location despite more than four feet of snow? Nope.

In other news, started a class on balancing exposition and reflection in nonfiction writing, spent an afternoon learning how to grow oyster mushrooms, saw author Colleen Oakley.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Books Read in 2019

Not a bad list!

001. The Reapers Are the Angels, Alden Bell
002. The Knitting Circle Rapist Annihilation Squad, Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan
003. The Adults, Caroline Hulse
004. The Overstory, Richard Powers
005. Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, Brittney Cooper
006. Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
007. Going Bovine, Libba Bray
008. Sonora, Hannah Lillith Assadi
009. The Water Cure, Sophie Mackintosh
010. An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
011. The Spellman Files, Lisa Lutz
012. Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler
013. Mouthful of Birds, Samanta Schweblin
014. The Field Guide to the North American Teenager, Ben Philippe
015. Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves, Glory Edim, ed.
016. The Clockmaker's Daughter, Kate Morton
017. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Alan Bradley
018. Curse of the Spellmans, Lisa Lutz
019. White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Robin DiAngelo
020. Heavy: An American Memoir, Kiese Laymon
021. Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart, James R. Doty, MD
022. Citizen, Claudia Rankine
023. Given to the Sea, Mindy McGinnis
024. Unnatural Creatures, Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman with Maria Dahvana Headley
025. Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive, Stephanie Land
026. All You Can Ever Know, Nicole Chung
027. Kill the Farm Boy, Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
028. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, Mackenzi Lee
029. The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, Mackenzi Lee
030. Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married, Abby Ellin
031. Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love, Dani Shapiro
032. The Lost Girls of Paris, Pam Jenoff
033. You, Caroline Kepnes
034. Golden Child, Claire Adam
035. How to Love a Jamaican, Alexia Arthurs
036. The Way of Being Lost: A Road Trip to My Truest Self, Victoria Price
037. Uprooted, Naomi Novik
038. Dear Mrs. Bird, AJ Pearce
039. Census, Jesse Ball
040. When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele
041. Any Man, Amber Tamblyn
042. Munmun, Jesse Andrews
043. Red Clocks, Leni Zumas
044. Zero Sum Game, S. L. Huang
045. In Other Lands, Sarah Rees Brennan
046. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Becky Chambers
047. The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert
048. How to Stop Time, Matt Haig
049. Transcription, Kate Atkinson
050. Tell the Wind and Fire, Sarah Rees Brennan
051. The Pisces, Melissa Broder
052. Less, Andrew Sean Greer
053. Girls Burn Brighter, Shobha Rao
054. The Atomic City Girls, Janet Beard
055. The Gospel of Trees, Apricot Irving
056. We Own the Sky, Luke Allnutt
057. The Talented Ribkins, Ladee Hubbard
058. Social Creature, Tara Isabella Burton
059. Westside, W. M. Akers
060. Normal People, Sally Rooney
061. The Hundredth Queen, Emily R. King
062. Good Talk, Mira Jacob
063. Women Talking, Miriam Toews
064. What My Mother And I Don't Talk About, Michele Filgate
065. Valencia and Valentine, Suzy Krause
066. Fisherman's Blues: A West African Community at Sea, Anna Badkhen
067. The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
068. Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story, Jacob Tobia
069. The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, Jemar Tisby
070. Tuesday Nights in 1980, Molly Prentiss
071. Notes From a Young Black Chef, Kwame Onwuachi
072. No Walls and the Recurring Dream, Ani DiFranco
073. The Day I Died, Lori Rader-Day
074. The Lady Doctor, Ian Williams
075. Raw Material: Working Wool in the West, Stephany Wilkes
076. The Beholder, Anna Bright
077. Patsy, Nicole Dennis-Benn
078. Let Me Hear a Rhyme, Tiffany D. Jackson
079. My Life as a Goddess, Guy Branum
080. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, Safiya Umoja Noble
081. 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas, Marie-Helene Bertino
082. Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens, Tanya Boteju
083. Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated, Alison Arngrim
084. Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, Debby Irving
085. The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, Theodora Goss
086. Little Big Love, Katy Regan
087. The Dime, Kathleen Kent
088. Silver in the Wood, Emily Tesh
089. Recursion, Blake Crouch
090. Sandman Slim, Richard Kadrey
091. The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides
092. The Map of True Places, Brunonia Barry
093. The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead
094. Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud, Elizabeth Greenwood
095. Three Things About Elsie, Joanna Cannon
096. One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses, Lucy Corin
097. Marilou Is Everywhere, Sarah Elaine Smith
098. When We Were Animals, Joshua Gaylord
099. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, F. C. Yee
100. Unspoken, Sarah Rees Brennan
101. The Girl in Red, Christina Henry
102. Comics Will Break Your Heart, Faith Erin Hicks
103. Ziggy, Stardust & Me, James Brandon
104. Hollow Kingdom, Kira Jane Buxton
105. The Boys of My Youth, Jo Ann Beard
106. Reticence, Gail Carriger
107. Life and Other Inconveniences, Kristan Higgins
108. Cold Storage, David Koepp
109. Reasons to Stay Alive, Matt Haig
110. When All Is Said, Anne Griffin
111. A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons, Ben Folds
112. This Is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
113. The Child Finder, Rene Denfeld
114. The Butterfly Girl, Rene Denfeld
115. Pet, Akwaeke Emezi
116. Year of the Monkey, Patti Smith
117. The Stone Angel, Margaret Laurence
118. No Judgments, Meg Cabot
119. Ask Again, Yes, Mary Beth Keane
120. Cherry, Nico Walker
121. Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls, Lucy Corin
122. How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, Jenny Odell
123. Orpheus Girl, Brynne Rebele-Henry
124. The Bone Houses, Emily Lloyd-Jones
125. Magic for Liars, Sarah Gailey
126. The Girl the Sea Gave Back, Adrienne Young
127. Thick and Other Essays, Tressie McMillan Cottom
128. The Good Luck Girls, Charlotte Nicole Davis
129. All the Bad Apples, Moira Fowley-Doyle
130. Vanishing Fleece: Adventures in American Wool, Clara Parkes
131. Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson
132. Who Put This Song On?, Morgan Parker
133. Butterfly Yellow, Thanhhà Lai
134. The Twisted Ones, T. Kingfisher
135. Juliet Takes a Breath, Gabby Rivera
136. A Single Thread, Tracy Chevalier
137. This Is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker, Terra Elan McVoy
138. The Beautiful Ones, Prince, Dan Piepenbring, ed.
139. Michigan vs. the Boys, Carrie S. Allen
140. Notes on a Nervous Planet, Matt Haig
141. Travel Light, Naomi Mitchison
142. All-American Muslim Girl, Nadine Jolie Courtney
143. Spare and Found Parts, Sarah Maria Griffin
144. Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color, Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring
145. Other Words for Smoke, Sarah Maria Griffin
146. The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates
147. Sick Kids in Love, Hannah Moskowiitz
148. Act of God, Jill Ciment
149. Fat Girl on a Plane, Kelly deVos
150. Nice Try, Jane Sinner, Lianne Oelke

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Flash Book Review: Who Put This Song On? by Morgan Parker

I think I love Morgan Parker, and I'm not even halfway through her book. This line!

"I wave my hand at the intersection: two churches, a bakery that's always closed, a store called Tuesday Morning that sells who knows what if not orthodontist appointments."

I'm distracted by occasional unnecessary apostrophes but otherwise enjoying the book. Back to it!

Editor needs to learn the difference between breaks and brakes. Among other things.