Listy #16: Things That Make Me Happy

You thought that I forgot!  You totally did, didn’t you!  I did not forget.  I have just been working away pretty hard tonight.  I thought I could post this when I got home but, let’s be honest.  I’m going home, making some tea, and watching Kingdom Hospital. While Hubby is away, with the television Wifey plays!

5 Things That Make Me Happy(In No Particular Order)

  1. Being able to pay my bills.  It may seem silly to list it first, but it really is a big thing for me.  Once upon a time I was really broke and I was dependent on another person.  Sometimes that other person made me feel terrible about it.  That other person made it seem like a huge favor and then used it to lord over me.  Now, I make enough money to pay my bills and fill my belly and clothe my butt and have some fun and I know that I am truly blessed to be able to do so.  I’ve been thinking about that today and I feel really grateful for it right now.
  2. Hubby.  Duh.  Once I thought that I had the best guy for me and I was WRONG.  Boy, was I wrong.  But, in all fairness, I didn’t know that Hubby was out there somewhere.  I didn’t know that there was a man who was so absolutely right for me that I would never have a question or a doubt.  Hubby is that man.  And I cannot even tell you why I love him, just that I feel ridiculously happy about getting to spend my whole life with him.
  3. Kitties.  Because, come the fuck on.  They’re great.  Even when they wake you up at 4 in the morning every morning and demand attention with their teeth.  You have to earn their affection and every time a cat sits on my lap I’m pretty sure that the universe could be broken by my happiness.
  4. Family.  I have a big family because my family is more than just blood.  There’s my mother, of course, who is my best friend and just super awesome and there’s my brother who is like ridiculously great, but there are also these friends who are so close that I call them family and who will be there for me in a heartbeat.
  5. Books.  What? Did you think they wouldn’t make the list?  Books are my favorite.  I love them.  I want to read them all and I want to read all of the time.  I can’t help it.  Compulsion.

50 Ways to Yay by Alexi Panos

If there is one thing that I love, it’s a good self-help book.  Give me a book on happiness!  Tell me how to grow toward the life I want!  Give me some motivation!

Alexi Panos’s 50 Ways to Yay was an excellent little book.  I wish that I had more time to read it because I would have loved to spread it out over 50 days and actually do one assignment a day.  As it were, I completely forgot that I asked for this netgalley and then when I got it I was having a serious relationship with some Stephen King.  Once I finally dove in I regretted not doing so sooner.

Panos presents 50 quick lessons on how to live a happier, more fulfilling life.  After a short chapter on the lesson, there is a mission and some reflection.  It’s kind of nice how she takes concepts and talks about how they apply to her own life and then lays out how to apply them to your own.

I took a lot out of this little book.  One of my favorites was the chapter about how nothing happens to you, it happens for you.  Just thinking of things that way allowed me to reframe how I was feeling about some things.  There were a lot of lessons aimed at helping you reframe and put a new spin on things, which I believe to be very important to a happy life.

This was an excellent little book that was packed full of great advice and I have already suggested it to a friend.

Tally Monday- June 27, 2016

Checked Out

  1. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
  2. Left Behind by Tim LaHaye




  1. Is it evil not to be sure? by Lena Dunham
  2. SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
  3. From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
  4. End of Watch by Stephen King

TBR: 23

I’ve noticed a trend at work this summer.  Starting Thursday afternoon, I get a streak of calls from people looking for books on audio.  They are always specific books and the patron always needs them right away for a road trip.  Nothing else will do and they can’t wait for one to come in from another library.  I actually started to feel about peeved about it.

And then I did it myself.

Thursday morning I decided that I should try to get my hands on Angels and Demons for our trip to Ohio.  I wanted this specific book because I knew that Hubby had already read it and wouldn’t be upset if he couldn’t finish listening to it and also because he started reading it to me in the car one day last summer and I kind of wanted to get into it.  I checked for digital copies at both the library I work at and my local library.  No dice.  Then I looked for physical copies.  There was one checked in at the local library and I left early for work that day to pick it up.  We didn’t listen on the way down, instead we talked and listened to the radio.  On the way home, slightly hung over and very tired, Hubby asked me to put it in.  And the first disc was The DaVinci Code and the second disc started on chapter 11 and we swore some.

But I am a librarian and if Hubby wanted an audiobook to drive to, he was getting an audiobook. I pulled out my phone, logged into Overdrive, and we settled on Left Behind.  It was an interesting choice for us.  Really we just wanted something easy to follow and we’ve both heard how poorly written these books were and why the hell not?  It’s not our genre, you know.  Neither one of us would call ourselves Christians.  But it only took about 20 minutes for us both to be completely sucked in.  Now we both want to finish it and maybe even do the whole series.  Maybe.  We’ll see.  I’m not saying that it’s not already problematic.  When a character mentions his previous activity in the church and how he used to be on the church council, then turns right around and says he knows nothing about the Bible, I grow a little suspect.

It always amazes me when I write this up on Monday.  If you had asked me this morning, I would have told you that I didn’t read shit this week.  I spent most of the week pushing through the Stephen King (review below) and cursing myself for getting such a big stack again.  But I read a book on my phone just while I was eating this week and I finished an audiobook.  Then there was the graphic novel I read while working.  It’s been pretty balanced and I’ve done pretty well.

I am still working on reading my stack down.  I have to get it back under control now or it will explode into a multi-stack stack again. lol.  Right now it is too hot to do much of anything here in Michigan, but you know that I’ll try to find a way to do stuff anyway.  We were planning on a trip up north this coming weekend but I think we may have scrapped that idea.  Why drive up to a cottage to sit around and do nothing when we can save time by staying home and doing nothing?  I’m looking forward to a weekend of just us and kitties, books and board games, grilling and fires.  I hope your week sounds just as good.

End of Watch by Stephen King

I finished this book on Friday and have been thinking about how to review it ever since.  I had a hard time with this trilogy.  I didn’t like the first book much and then the second book blew me away.  I don’t generally go in for the detective stories but I couldn’t really tell you why.  They just aren’t something I enjoy reading.  When I read Finders Keepers, I found myself pulled in by the first half of the book and then thrown off at the first part of the second half, when Hodges and Holly came back in.  I realized then that my problem was how wooden the characters felt, how stereotypical.

Then, Stephen King pulled a Stephen King.

I had about 10 pages left at the end of my break on Friday and when I got home I threw myself on the couch and finished it up while Hubby cooked.  When I finished, I shut the book and looked up at him and said, “F*cking Stephen King.”  It’s kind of like a mantra in our house.  We love King, we even love when he rips us apart or messes with our heads.

Yes, your speculations were all true.  The first two books in this trilogy did not feel like Stephen King books.  This WAS a King book.  In the second book, Hodges is still visiting Brady in the hospital and he’s gathering rumors about the spooky happenings around Brady.  Nurses say that strange things happen around him, as if he’s using telekinesis.  Hodges doesn’t buy into these things.  In fact, when shit hits the fan it is Holly who is the first to believe in them and Hodges seems to just get sucked into believing.

When one of the victims from Brady’s Mercedes Massacre ends up dead in an apparent murder/suicide,  something seems really off about it.  Pete, Hodges’s old partner, invites him to the scene and it seems obvious to both Hodges and Holly that something is wrong.  The victim was paralyzed and her elderly mother cared for her.  The more they poke around, the more it seems strange that the mother would take such an action.  They were apparently happy and they had plans for the future.  They weren’t the kind of women to end it all because of a little paralysis.  Then Barbara, Jerome’s little sister who seems to have a knock for getting involved completely by accident, walks in front of a truck.

What ties the two together?  A little hand held game called a Zappit.  Loaded with lots of little games, the one that seems to be the culprit is called Fishin’ Hole.  The demo screen in particular seems to have a hypnotic effect on people.  In fact, the nurses have noticed it having a similar effect on Brady himself.  Wasn’t suicide always Brady’s thing?  How can a man who is pretty well brain-dead continue to hurt people?

There is a lot going on in this book and I don’t want to give any of it away which is kind of funny because it was definitely straight forward a pretty predictable.  That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t good.  Sometimes you can know exactly where the story is taking you and still enjoy the ride.  I knew the end was coming and I knew what had to happen.  That doesn’t mean it didn’t gut me like a fish.  I had to sit for a few minutes to get my bearings even after cursing Mr. King.  However, that’s exactly what I expect when I read one of his books.

From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

I’m still going!  I almost can’t believe that I am.  Remember when I started working my way through these how doubtful I was?  Remember how I had tried once before and just could not even because Sookie was “just so dumb” and her word of the day calendar drove me batshit?  Well, now I can’t wait to hear about that calendar.  It’s like a thing that I actually wait for.

It’s been a couple of years since I stuck through a series and I remember now what it is that I LOVE about it.  When you start a series, we’ll use this one as an example, you start with one simple idea:  Sookie, a waitress, is a telepath and there are vampires.  No biggie.  You can stomach that.  When you get this far in, it’s like things have been added along the way and there are now vampires, werewolves, shifters, goblins, faeries, angels, werepanthers, weretigers, witches and so on.  And when something crazy happens the world building is such that you just kind of shrug and move on.

I also spend every single book being like, “Nope.  Hate Bill.  Hate Bill.”  I just do not like him and I’m glad Sookie is sticking with me on this one.

This is a story of wars.  It’s not the usual Stackhouse book, full of mystery and Sookie getting beat up.  Instead, it’s about how Sookie can get taken by surprise.  Really, how anyone can get taken by surprise.  And there’s a lot of betrayal too.

I’ve seen a lot of people mention that it felt like a lot of mini stories shoved into one book and it kind of does.  Actually, that makes me excited for the next one.  I feel like we’re in a transitional phase.  Everything is about to change even as everything is changing.  I also find it pretty curious how Sookie is stacking up the favors.  I bet they’re about to come in handy…

Listy #15- Places You Want to Go

  1. Savannah.  Maybe that is a cop out because I’ve been there but I would love to go back.
  2. The Grand Canyon.  I’ve never been and it just feels like somewhere you should go. Right?
  3. Ireland.  Hubby and I even talked about planning this trip earlier this year.  A couple of our best friends went for their honeymoon and we were super jealous!
  4. Italy.  I fell in love with Italy after watching Under the Tuscan Sun right around the time that I read A Room with a View.
  5. Maine.  I spent some time in New England a few years ago but we never made it the Maine and that’s a shame.
  6. New Orleans.  I’ve always wanted to.  I feel kind of like that’s a cliche, the gothy girl wanting to go to New Orleans, but I care not.  The food.  The music.  The architecture.  The cemeteries.
  7. The Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame.  I went a long time ago and I’m pretty sure that it was lost on me.  Now I could truly appreciate it.
  8. Memphis.  The music.  The food.  lol.
  9. Australia.  When I was growing up, one of my friends was obsessed with Australia and I always blew it off but recently I realized that it’s a really damn cool place that I’d love to check out.
  10. Egypt.  There’s my childhood obsession for you.

Where would you guys like to go?

SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Timaki

I had heard a lot of good things about this collection of comic strips but the thing that got it shoved into my hands by a (completely correct) coworker was that the characters play D&D.  They do.  And they play it absolutely correctly which means it’s hilarious.

SuperMutant Magic Academy is kind of like a statement on all of those Harry Potter, X-Men, Gothem Academy type stories.  It’s about a collection kids at a boarding school for magic.  Some are mutants (like Wendy who appears to be half cat and half human), others are super (like Everlasting Boy), and then there are the high school stereotypes (like Cheddar, the jock, and Frances, the artist).  There’s that One Guy Who Everyone Hates, who just happens to be a cat in clothing who never speaks.  And, really, it’s just a lot of fun!

While these are definitely comic strips and some are completely out of the blue, I would say that the thread that ties them together is Marsha’s love for Wendy.  Even that only seems to come into play toward the end even though it’s acknowledged early on.

I read this it bits and pieces, one strip at a time, over the course of a few months and it was a lot of fun.  The D&D bits were honestly my favorite but Everlasting Boy was pretty amusing too.  If you like weird, dark, and lightly inappropriate with a classic style of drawing, this may be the one for you.