Posted in in the craft room, in the reading room, on the screen, these days

these days…

When I perused today’s to-do list earlier this morning, I found that I’d put “blog post” on there for today. I think I’d hoped to be ready to write an RIP post, but while I’ve watched several things I haven’t yet finished another RIP book. So as I was throwing together the ingredients for a second loaf of bread for tonight’s supper, I was debating with myself whether I should just skip blogging for today. Trouble was I was so busy arguing with myself that I forgot to pay attention to how many cups of flour I was putting in the bread machine pan. *sigh* If I had to say, I’m guessing there’s about a 50/50 chance this loaf will come out edible. Seems that after possibly bungling up tonight’s grilled cheese due to my scatterbrainedness and lack of simple decision-making skills, I really ought to just blog and have something to show for it.

So, what’s been going on in my mundane little life…

*Reading.

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I’m still working on The Secret History. Since I’ve been reading it for a couple weeks now, it might seem that I’m not terribly enthralled by it, but I assure you that’s not the case. It’s just that 1.) I’ve been reading other books for homeschooling, 2.) it’s a slow, meandering sort of read, 3.) it’s a fairly long book, and 4.) I’m just a pathetically slow reader.

In the meantime, I finished a reread of one non-fiction comic and read two novels. Economix: How Our Economy Works (And Doesn’t Work) in Words and Pictures by Michael Goodwin and Dan E. Burr is chock-full of so much excellent information that I just knew that I wanted to use it as our introductory book for our economics class. It was every bit as good the second time around, and I wholeheartedly recommend it, whether you’re interested in economics or not.

Next up was The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen. We’re using a sci-fi course from The Great Courses for our English requirement this year, and thus far (only a few lectures in), I’m pleased with it. The lectures are more broad than deep, but that works quite well for us, as I tend to love for us to go off exploring on our own. While the number of works the lecturer talks about are still skewed towards white male authors, I worried it would be far worse than it is. In the last lecture I listened to, he spoke of works by Connie Willis, Octavia Butler, Nicola Griffith, and Jane Yolen. And it was obvious that he spoke of works he truly enjoyed, and wasn’t just doing so to avoid criticism. I loved the way he also matter-of-factly included a children’s book in the lecture. Hmmm…seems like I’ve gone on a bit about this course, but I can’t tell you how relieved I’ve been as sci-fi seems to include so many sexist fans in its ranks. Let’s just hope the rest of the lecture series doesn’t let me down. And back to The Devil’s Arithmetic, well I’ll suffice it to say that I thought this middle grade novel about the Holocaust was excellent.

But the book that I most loved was Octavia Butler’s Kindred. Passionately loved. As in it’s moved to my list of all-time favorite books. To me it shines as an example of how fiction can make us feel and understand things in a way non-fiction often can’t. And this is not a criticism of non-fiction, of course. I adore non-fiction. But the way Octavia Butler made the reality of slavery so very palpable was just extraordinary. This is simply one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read.

*Making.

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I’ve worked a bit here and there on a number of projects the past couple of weeks, but the one I’ve focused most on is a sweater for Annie. And I’m happy to say that I’m close enough to finished that I feel confident in saying that it will make it under the Christmas tree this very year. 😉  I just have to finish the second sleeve (and if there’s enough yarn left, I may add a few rows on the body).

*Watching.

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Actually watched quite a lot lately. It goes along with Christmas gift making, after all. 😊 And I suppose they all qualify as RIP-appropriate. After reading Natalie’s review of Don’t Bother to Knock, I knew I just had to watch it. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I seldom watch older movies, not because I don’t like them, but more because I just don’t know which to watch. So I was happy to have read Natalie’s review, and instead of saying anything more, I’ll just suggest you read her post.

Finished up Quantico, which I watched because Max told me I might like it. And I sort of did, but I didn’t love it. I sincerely doubt I’ll watch season 2. There were things I enjoyed a lot, such as the diverse female cast (though diversity among the male cast was more lacking) and the exploration of how people deal with feelings of personal guilt (though I would have loved for this to have been explored deeper). But there were also things that I didn’t enjoy so much, but I don’t want to be spoiler-y so I’ll just leave it at that.

Rich and I watched the first season of Between, and started the second season…but then we both sort of simultaneously voiced our opinions that life is far to short to watch TV shows we’re not enjoying. It’s sort of Lord of the Flies meets Under the Dome, with not-so-great acting (though I honestly know nothing about acting, so take my comment for what it’s worth) and plot points that are so unbelievable that they’re downright laughable. On the surface, it sounded like a show I would have loved…but well, you can’t win them all, can you?

And lastly (I think anyway), I watched Marcella. I really loved this show. I found Marcella a completely fascinating character. Her complexity in some ways reminded me of Annalise Keating from How to Get Away with Murder. Not that Marcella and Annalise have a ton in common, but more just the fact that we’re getting to see these characters as full-fledged human beings who don’t always fit that constricted little box that women are nearly always banished to if they want to found “likable.”

Okay, well, I thought I might talk about what was going on in my kitchen lately (not all that much exciting really) and in the organizing realm, but I feel like I’ve blathered on for long enough. More than long enough to check this off today’s to-do list.

(Edited: The bread? Completely inedible.)

Posted in in the reading room, list-mania, these days

these days…

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*Panicking a bit over how fast the new school year is approaching, and how ill-prepared I am for the start of a new homeschool year. And btw, how the hell can he be in 11th grade?!!

 

*Reading, or I should say rereading, The Gunslinger. It’s been so long (30+ years) since I first read it. I read the first three in The Dark Tower series as they came out, but then gave up. Not because I didn’t like the books themselves, but because I hated the long wait between each. I have to admit though, that I’m having a hard time getting into The Gunslinger this time around. Not quite sure if it’s the book itself or just a matter of having so much else on my mind these days. Going to try to stick with it a bit longer though, and hopefully get through a couple more of them before the film comes out in February. There are aren’t many people I’d brave an actual movie theater to see, but Idris Elba is definitely one of the few. (Edited: I decided to just bag it. I’m too old to spend my time on books that aren’t doing it for me.)

Also rereading Economix by Michael Goodwin. Because this is the year we tackle economics as a course for Gray’s homeschooling, and this book is just so very excellent that I decided to use it as our introduction to the subject. But as I am trying to make a few handouts and assignments to go along with it, and because it is just so damn chock-full to the gills with important information, it’s taking me longer to get through this reread than I would have imagined.

Reading The City of Mirrors (the final book in Justin Cronin’s trilogy) aloud with Rich. But it’s very slow going. There are still two people ahead of us on the holds list for the audio book at the library, but maybe when we get it, we’ll be able to make better progress. To be honest, I’m not sure if I like where it feels like this book is headed. But it’s way too soon to judge, I suppose.

 

*Despising fibro, and IBS, and endometriosis. But bad stretches are eventually replaced by good stretches…so hooray for that!

 

*Missing friends. Both near and far. Note to self: Have Eva over very soon.

 

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*Worrying about Max starting high school. I know I shouldn’t be. But I am.  A lot.

 

*Rejoicing for my dear mother-in-law. As this is public, and not my story to share, I can’t really explain. But suffice it to say that I am just so deeply, profoundly happy for the turn of events that has happened in my extended family over the last few weeks.

 

*Stressing over jury duty. Go to a completely unfamiliar place, be with lots of people you don’t know, have to talk and possibly even vocally disagree with other people…yeah, it’s a dream-come-true for someone with severe social anxiety. /sarcasm  Now if only I could end the nausea and shaking with a simple /.

 

*Baking a chocolate zucchini cake later this morning. And canning another batch of rhubarb jam. Thank you garden!

 

*Planning what to make as gifts for Christmas. But not making much progress on said plans. It’s already feeling like a burden instead of a joy…and that makes me sadder than I can say. Must make this the year I cut down on the overwhelming preparations! (And yes, I say that every year.)

 

*Needing to focus more on the good. Because really my life is full of so much good.

 

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