Listy #29- Home Essentials

Like most of you, I lived with my parents for years.  Actually, I lived with my parents until I was 24, moved in with my then-fiance for about 5 months, and then moved back in with my parents for another year and a half before finally moving into my own house.  This created a strange sense of limbo.  When I lived with my ex, I picked up some of his habits and took on some of his expectations.  At least when I moved back in with my parents they were super cool and let me have my own way about things.

But when I was actually on my own (kind of), I started to develop my own ideas about what is essential to making my house a home.  Not so long ago, I was laying in bed, reading Weetzie Bat, thinking wistfully about the kind of house that book always makes me want.  Pink, filled with glitter and feathers and laughter and love.  I realized that my house isn’t that far off, filled with books and records and games and cats and laughter and love.

Anyway.

Home Essentials

  1. The food: Bacon, cheese, and chip dip.  My mother and I are pretty much chip dip fiends and also chronic dieters.  There would be dip in the house once in a while and I would eat that shit with a spoon if I could.  When I moved into my house, I decided that I would always have bacon, dip, and cheese because those things are awesome and make me happy.
  2. Cats.  Because I am that kind of person.
  3. Blankies.  You may not know this about me, but I am a huge fan of the blanket.  It started when I moved back home.  I was heartbroken and for the first week I didn’t have my own bedding or anything.  I used this purple fleece throw that was given to my mom as a gift.  I still have that blanket and I still use it.  One of my cats is pretty sure that blanket is her mommy.  There is nothing like curling up on the couch with a blankey after a long day or when you’re sick or if you’re cold.
  4. Books.  The room in my house that makes me the happiest is my office with it’s shelves of books.  Sometimes I like to just look at them.  Of course, they are too full and there are more books stashed everywhere but that makes me happy.
  5. A spot.  I firmly believe that everyone should have a spot in their house that they cannot wait to get to at night.  That’s a tricky one in my house because my spot is my spot on the couch and it’s not always accessible.  Sometimes Hubby falls asleep on the couch or sometimes the television is too much for me.  In those cases, I retire to my room where I hang out on the bed.
  6. An awesome bedspace.  Mine is a waterbed, because I am vintage a.f.  It has a bedrest pillow on it for sitting up and a couple of throws at the foot and maybe some stuffed unicorns I don’t know and usually at least one cat.  It’s great for sleeping, napping, and the occasional camp out when the couch is occupied.
  7. Comfort objects.  Maybe it’s a picture.  Maybe it’s a blanket.  Maybe it’s just a bag of Doritos.  Or maybe it’s fleece pajamas and a robe and a nice pair of slippers.  Anyway, you should always have something at home that is going to make you feel better no matter what.
  8. Knives.  Okay.  Funny story.  When I first met Hubby he told me how important it is to have knives and so I ordered myself a nice set of knives with a gift cert I had.  Knives are important, okay, and now that I have good ones, I have no idea what I would do without them.
  9. Places for things.  For me there are two essential ones: nail clippers and scissors.  There are places where these things belong and if they are not there I get downright pissed.

Sigh.  Now I want to go home, you guys, and I have to work for another five hours.  Plus that drive home.  But doesn’t it sound nice, especially on a chilly, rainy fall day like today?  Home, with a book and a cat and a blankey and a book.  Double sigh.

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Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

*WARNING, WARNING WARNING* SPOILERS AFOOT!

That being said, let’s jump right into this.

What the f*ck?  No, seriously.  Basically, I stumbled across a review that listed the preferable relationships for Sookie and then ended with a big WTF.  Absolutely correct, dear reviewer.  WTF.

I wouldn’t call these books romances but they do incorporate romance and while each book brings about a new danger for Sookie to overcome, the whole thing kind of has you wondering who the hell she’ll end up with anyway.  And the answer, you guys, is Sam.  It’s freaking Sam.  Now, I like Sam a lot.  He’s a good guy and all that.  BUT he’s boring and he doesn’t have a very good sense of humor and, frankly, I felt no sparks between him and Sookie.  Every other match up in these books made me a giggling mess of girl but every scene with Sookie and Sam in this final book was like, “Eh.  Whatever.  She gave up.  She settled.  Sam is the reacher, Sookie is the settler.  Guess she’ll get married and have babies now and run a business with her husband and live in her grandma’s house.”

This is actually an ideal ending for me, right?  I’m all about happily ever afters.  Hell, I want to be the kind of person who is married with kids and has a nice house and stability.  And I’m like 75% there.  (Married, pregnant, stable.  Own a house.  Attempting to make it a nice one.)  What Sookie wants out of life is exactly what I want out of life except that she chose boring old Sam.  He’ll love her forever.  He’ll be perfectly devoted to her.  He’ll give her everything she wants.  All while being boring.  A shifter who changes into a nice, loyal dog.

Also, am I wrong in remembering Eric telling Sookie to go to Sam if anything happened to him a couple of books ago?  Eric was weak in this book and felt kind of out of character.

Ugh.  End rant.

Anyway, as with the ending of any series, this book does a good job of pulling it all together.  Arlene finally gets what is coming to her for meddling in hate and ends up dead.  The problem is that she ends up dead in the dumpster behind the bar with Sookie’s scarf around her neck.  Sookie is arrested for the murder but is released on bail when most of the town shows up for her hearing.  When Sookie looks around the courtroom, she sees all of her friends and all of the people she’s helped out through the years.  It’s heart warming.  Once she’s out, she ends up with a houseful of visitors: Mr. C, Diantha, Amelia, Bob, and Barry.  I loved this.  I loved seeing all of these people pull together for Sookie and try to work things out.

The thing is that along with all of those friends, Sookie has a lot of enemies.  The cluviel dor is gone but it’s still causing her problems.  Amelia’s father is angry that it’s been used and wants revenge on Sookie.  Reverend Newland is hanging around.  Plus, there seems to be a fairy still out in the woods who may just be a rogue.

It was good.  I enjoyed it in spite of the romantic let down and I think that says something.

Goodbye, Bon Temps.  I’m going to miss you.

The Kind of Pre-Mom I Am

  • The kind who just decided “pre-mom” is a great way to say pregnant woman.
  • The kind who, on top of growing a human, is also working full time, keeping house, attempting home improvements that began months ago, reading (98 books so far this year, sucka!), writing a novel, editing a novel, and querying agents.
  • Basically, not defined by pregnancy.  Basically, whole person unto self.
  • A wife, kitty mama, daughter, sister, friend, librarian, bad ass fighter on Dragon Age and in D&D.
  • The kind who calls the baby The Thing and makes jokes about making offerings and sacrifices to it.
  • The kind who may have looked down at her overactive womb this morning and thought, “Pipe the fuck down.”
  • The kind who had a dream last weekend about birthing Satan’s child and was more upset that the bacon in her dream went bad.  I’m not going to birth Satan’s child but bacon WILL go bad.  This is a point of practicality.
  • The kind who isn’t going to call the freaking doctor for every little thing.
  • Maybe it makes me selfish, but the kind who doesn’t just serve The Thing.  I have to be happy and I have to take care of myself.  Those are things that serve The Thing in the long run.
  • The kind who will threaten to leave flaming diapers on your front porch.

What I am saying here is that I have noticed a very disturbing trend in my life and that trend is people who think that 100% of my life is revolving around The Thing.  It’s just not possible, you guys, and, honestly, I think it would get a little boring.  I am still me and I still want to be me.  Actually, I want to be me more than ever.  I still go to work and love my cats and sweat a lot and make crude jokes like a 12 year old boy.  And that’s okay.

You do you.  I’ll do me.

Tally Monday- September 26, 2016

Checked Out

  1. On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  2. Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond
  3. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Bought

None!

Read

  1. Hark!  A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
  2. The Terrors of the Night by Thomas Nashe

TBR 22

You may not realize this, but I keep track of my Tally Monday stuff on paper all week before I write and entry.  I make a sheet in my notebook with the three categories on it and record things as I go.  That was I am less likely to forget that, say, I checked out an e-book for while waiting for my other e-book or that I checked out a new audiobook when I started the last Sookie Stackhouse book on Monday.  I forget these things.  I forget that I am in the middle of something like a dozen books.

Usually my paper is divided relatively equally into thirds.  For the last couple of weeks, though, I have been giving myself more room in the “Read” category.  Wishful thinking.  Or maybe it’s positive thinking.  I hope that I can fill the space.

I am still in a reading slump.  Like I said, that’s fine.  It happens.  usually I get upset and force my way through some books but right now I am just riding the wave.  It was only last night that I began to wonder if I was using this slump as an excuse to pick up some bad habits.  I’ve spent a lot of time looking at my phone.  A lot.  I only noticed because I have a migraine right now and my phone screen seems to irritate it more than, say, a television screen or a computer screen.  Don’t ask me why.  The light?  The size?  Anyway, I probably picked my phone up and put it back down approximately 50 times last night, all while Hubby and I were playing games and kind of watching TV.

You know that feeling you get after literally binging on television?  Kind of gross and dazed out?  I get that after about 10 minutes on my phone and I would be lying if I said that I haven’t felt that way a lot lately.  It’s gotten bad, too.  I used to have my phone free time starting at 9:30 when I made my tea.  Now it’s normal for me to play with it in bed at 11:10 when I should be asleep.  I catch myself checking it constantly at work or in the car, even just clicking the home button to see if I have a message.  My charger has always been on the kitchen counter but has recently made its way next to the couch.  I hear phantom vibes.

So, after our games were done and I made myself some tea last night (a ritual I have gladly taken back up now that I know pregnancy is going to make me have to pee like ten times during the night no matter what), I caught myself grabbing my phone and looking at FB for the twentieth time.  I put it down.  Then I caught myself starting a game of Candy Crush.  I put it down.  I realized that I would probably feel a lot better if I was reading and if I am truly in a reading slump that I could at least color.  I am going to put the phone down, you guys.  Back to my Phone Free time.  Back to my charger being in the kitchen.

Something interesting (and fucking annoying, while we’re at it) happens when you’re pregnant.  Everyone has an opinion about your pregnancy.  A handful of moms have advice about EVERYTHING.  And, finally, everything that happens in your life is because of your pregnancy.  If I am tired, someone it bound to say that it’s because I’m pregnant and then suggest that I drink warm milk before bed and sleep on my side even though the real reason I am tired is most likely because I woke up in the middle of the night for two hours.  Plus, I hate milk and I already sleep on my side.  When I fell down the steps last weekend, everyone was very sure that I needed to go to the doctor even though my only my ass hurt.  (My doctor laughed and said that people worry too much and as long as I felt fine it was okay.)  This migraine?  Well, obviously it’s the pregnancy, you guys!  Not that I’ve been getting migraines since puberty.

How does this tie into reading?  Well, I usually really love FB and I love to share things that I find funny and frustrating about my life.  For instance, I thought it was hilarious that I fell down the steps, even though my ass still hurts, because I’ve done it three times in the exact same conditions AND I checked my butt for bruises in a public bathroom mirror. Hahahahaha.  Anyway, I haven’t been saying much lately and I know that no topic is safe.  I am sure that if I mention my reading slump, someone is going to tell me how they couldn’t read at all while they were pregnant, someone else will suggest romance as an escape, and someone else will tell me *wink wink nudge nudge* that I won’t have much time for reading soon!

Well, you know, fuck it.

If you all want to read this week, I hope that works out for you!  As for me, I have a short loan library book to try and a phone to attempt ignoring.  Wish me luck!

 

Listy #28- TBR Stack

Once or twice a year, I record my TBR stack in my paper journal.  Whenever I come across the list in the previous year’s journal, I do it again.  Sometimes there are books that are still in the pile.  Sometimes it’s bigger.  Sometimes it’s smaller.  I have no idea how it compares this year.  I didn’t really look.  But it did come up this week and I wanted to share it with you.

Books in My TBR Stack

  1. Torrents of Spring by Ernest Hemingway
  2. Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Kohrana
  3. In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan
  4. The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash
  5. The Essential X-Men, vol 1
  6. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gaye
  7. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. Need by Joelle Charbonneau
  9. Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
  10. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
  11. Inexcusable by Chris Lynch
  12. Cider House Rules by John Irving
  13. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben
  14. Alive by Chandler Baker
  15. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
  16. Gabi, Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
  17. Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett
  18. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
  19. The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard
  20. Circle the Sun by Paula McLain
  21. Niceville by Carsten Stroud
  22. Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
  23. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
  24. Jem and the Holograms, vol. 3 by Kelly Thompson
  25. Hex by Thomas Olde Huevelt

I think I need to become independently wealthy and stay home and read, you guys.

My Reading Life as a Metaphor for My Real Life

Sunday evening, after a day of doing nothing but icing my butt and staring at the television, I looked at the stack of books on the coffee table and sighed.  Monday morning, sitting down to write in my journal about my eventful weekend (like the giant fight at my neighbor’s house that resulted in two cop cars and an ambulance at 3 AM and also falling on my ass and being rendered immobile), I looked at my TBR stack on the corner of my desk and sighed.

In front of me there are 24 books that I really, really want to read and I have this sense that if I just dedicate myself to it and read the books one by one that I’ll feel better about things.  I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something.  I’ll feel less like I’m spread too thin.  Maybe I’ll feel a bit more at peace.

Monday I made the decision that, yes, I was going to do it.  I was just going to plow through these books.  I picked up one of the books that I had started dabbling in and put it in my bag.  I would read THIS ONE and then I would read the next and the next until it was done.  Monday night, I pulled out my Kindle and looked at my galleys and check outs and unread purchases.  I returned my library ebook (Oh, it sucked so bad.  So.  Bad.)  and pulled up my last egalley.  I would read THIS ONE and not request any more galleys for a while until I felt a bit more stable.

And then today a book that I have been dying to read came in for me on a short loan period and all of that careful planning EXPLODED.  Yes, I’ll finish what I’m reading now but then I’ll have to read the short loan.  It’s a little bump but it was enough to make me feel discouraged.

And that kind of sums up my daily life, too.  Lately it feels like everything I do, every plan I make, just kind of turns to shit, you know?  Sunday night, around the time I was deciding that I had to do something about these stacks of books, I was also deciding that my To Do list was out of control and needed to be managed.  So I decided to pick one thing and do it.  I chose the pool.  We bought a new filter after an accident put ours out of commission.  We bought an adapter for the new filter.  Last night we put everything together and promptly realized that we didn’t have the right adapter.  That’s just how it goes for me.

I know that I am lucky and blessed, that my life is abundant.  (I have piles of books to read!  I have a great husband and family and friends and cats and a job and a beautiful car!)  But it feels like things constantly go wrong no matter what I do and in very Rachael ways.  For instance, my car doesn’t just break down.  No, it reprograms its keys and its own computer to the extent that the Ford dealership thinks I put a new computer module in and can’t legally fix it.  That’s my luck.

I don’t want to whine.  The truth is that it’s kind of funny.  Right?  And all you can do is laugh, sometimes maniacally as you check out another book.

Tally Monday- September 19, 2016

Checked Out

None!

Bought

  1. The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
  2. The Case of the Weird Sisters by Charlotte Armstrong

Read

  1. Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
  2. Monster, vol 4 by Naoki Urasawa

TBR 23, but I suspect that’s a lie.

Have you seen that gif?  The one of the fairy godmother from Sleeping Beauty putting the candles back on the cake over and over again?  It’s usually captioned with, “Just me, trying to put my life back together.”  This one:

giphy

Yeah, that kind of feels like me as of late.  I don’t want to be that blogger who talks about pregnancy all of the time but I have to admit that the whole damn thing is exhausting right now.  A couple of weeks ago I was like, “I’m so tired!”  Now I wish that I had that energy.  When I get home from work I am pretty much capable of staring.  Friday rolled around and I had no idea where my week went.  I don’t even think I watched TV or played games like I had been.  I think I just stared.  Obviously, when Friday rolled around I have Big Plans for the weekend, Big Plans that would make me feel like I accomplished something.

And then I promptly fell down my front deck stairs Saturday morning and pretty much broke my ass.

Have you ever hurt yourself and then got pissed off because there wasn’t a visible mark to make the pain seem more valid?  Totally that.  I actually checked my ass out in the mirror in Trader Joe’s bathroom on Saturday because I like to keep it classy.  (They are single bathrooms, ok?)  I do have bruises on the back of my calves where they hit the steps but nothing on my butt.  I muscled through Saturday, even had company at night, but yesterday I pretty much could not move.  Getting off the couch was an ordeal so I just laid there all day.  The problem is that I have to pee more than usual and I have to eat smaller, more frequent meals so I had to get up more than I wanted but whatever.  I’m at work today.  And it hurts but I can bend over so I’ll call it a win.

Honestly, I just haven’t really felt like reading.  Sometimes that happens.  Everyone gets reading slumps.  I wish that I wanted to read, that I could tear through my pile a bit.  When I put aside a book this weekend because I just didn’t want to read it, I could’t trust my judgement.  Was it a boring book or was it just my slump?  Is it the kind of book that I’ll go back to?  I’m not sure.

Today I started Dead Ever After on audio, the last Sookie Stackhouse book.  And, you know what?  Freaking Goodreads.   I know better than to scroll and look at Gifs!  I know better!  But I think it was just spoiled for me…  I really enjoy listening to series on audio so I started at the top of my Series TBR to find one that I could get on audio.  My next one?  The Little House books.  I started these in book form a couple of years ag0, having never read them as a child, and it will be nice to cross the last ones off my list…

But then I wondered:  Should I wait to read children’s books?  I mean, I’ll be reading them soon enough, right?  I imagine it’s like this for all book nerds.  I cannot wait to read to my child.  In fact, my copy of Matilda is already sitting in the future nursery.  When do I start Harry Potter???  Hubby thinks The Thing should be raised on Tolkien, who I have never been able to push through.  Maybe it’s all a gooey ideal but I can’t help myself.  When I asked Hubby what my favorite thing to do is, he looked at me as said, “Books.”

Maybe I’ll actually read this week!  I hope you enjoy whatever you do, even if it is just staring.