Tally Monday- October 31, 3016

Checked Out

  1. Teen Witch by Silver Ravenwolf
  2. In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Braughtigan
  3. O, What a Luxury by Garrison Keillor

Bought

None!  Ha!

Read

  1. Giant Days, vol 3 by John Allison

TBR 22

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, MY LITTLE GHOULS!

Today is my favorite day of the year and has been since about forever.  If you had asked me when I was six what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you an author, a witch, or Paula Abdul.  When I was seven the answer would have been an author or an Addams.  I was just that kind of kid.

I have really been feeling the need to get back to my roots lately.  I think it might have something to do with the pregnancy or something.  I want to visit old favorites.  I want to wear black.  I want to become everything that I always thought I would.  Halloween is a great time to feel like this.  It’s the Pagan New Year!  There’s nothing I like more than a chance at a fresh slate.  Here’s to a year of personal growth!  At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

I am still reading along in Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist and I love it.  I just didn’t have a lot of time or energy to sit down and read last week.  This week isn’t looking much better.  Nanowrimo starts tomorrow and this may be the last year I can manage it.  Plus, next weekend is our Halloween party and the house is a fucking disaster.  My goal for this week is to be in bed by 10, reading, every night.  I may not get much more done, but it’s something.

I’m also SO CLOSE to finishing a couple of things.  I’ve been reading Claudia Rankine’s Citizen in little bits and will probably finish it tomorrow morning.  It’s been good, the kind of book that really gets you thinking, the kind of book that really is important and pertains to our current discussion of race.  I don’t often read smart, important books but I am glad when I do.  I am also close (like less than 2 hours) to finishing the audio of By the Shores of Silver Lake.  I’m still enjoying these books but I made the mistake of not taking a Podcast breather in between audiobooks and I’ve definitely slowed down.

I’ve been trying to catch up on all of the random reading shit I have laying around the house.  My pile of magazines.  The two pregnancy books.  The couple of little collections that are half read and stacked on the coffee table.  Then there’s the coloring books and puzzle books, not reading but pretty damn close.  I’ve been getting through two to three magazines each week which is pretty good expect that last week I made it through two and two more came in the mail.  I’ll catch up eventually but wouldn’t it be great to JUST DO IT NOW?!

And, honestly, the most exciting thing about looking ahead to that maternity leave is the piles of books that I own that I’ve been meaning to get around to.  Yes, I know that babies take time and that I’m going to be tired but I really don’t see why I won’t be able to read.  If I’m going to be so tired, I may as well count on that two months being spent caring for Ian, napping, and reading.  Why the hell not?

It’s Halloween.  I’ll keep saying it!  I’m in the mood for some Stephen King.  Then again, when am I not?

I hope you have more treats than tricks tonight!  I can’t wait to see all of the little goblins that come to my door!

P.S.  I am wearing a tail to work.  You should be dressed up too!

Listy #33- Halloween is Grinch Night

It’s almost here!  My favorite holiday!  I am not ready at all.  I’ve bought my costume and I’ve bought my pumpkins but I don’t have the decorations up for our party (which is thankfully always the weekend after Halloween)and I haven’t carved pumpkins and I don’t have candy to hand out.  I’ve even done a piss poor job at watching my favorite Halloween shows!

I HAVE watched Practical Magic, one of the Paranormal Activity movies, and Mr. Jones, which I had never heard of but was pretty good or at least good enough to bother me.  So, here is a list of things I like to watch before Halloween: movies, specials, and shows.

Spooky Tube!

  1. Ghost Hunters because I just love it.  Also, the live Halloween specials were soooooo much fun!
  2. Paranormal Witness.  I got into this a couple of years ago when I had cable and they are kind of cheesy and great.
  3. The Addams Family, the movie.  Because I saw it when it was in theaters and I was like 7 and ever since then I’ve wanted to be an Addams.
  4. The Craft because witches are my fav and the 90’s were the best!
  5. The Worst Witch.  Mildred Hubble!  Boy, do I LOVE this movie.  Plus, Tim Curry, you guys!  Tim Curry!
  6. Witch’s Night Out.  I was talking about this 1978 cartoon with my mother the other day and we pretty much just call it “That Special with the Shape People.”  About a witch whose mansion is going to be used for a party and she kind of takes over and turns two little kids into monsters and they go around scaring people.
  7. The Witch who Turned Pink.  This is a great little one with horrible animation that is virtually impossible to find anymore.  A witch with a spectacular garden wakes up PINK!  The culprits?  Some jack-o-lanterns who don’t like anything green and do a great musical number about it, which gets stuck in my head every year.
  8. The Halloween that Almost Wasn’t.  Okay, guys, this is my FAVORITE.  A live action special about a witch who refuses to fly over the moon until her list of demands is bet.  She wants a share in all of the posters and t-shirts, as well as for Dracula to take her disco dancing every night.  It’s great.  Very feminist.  I LOVE IT!
  9. I always almost forget this one: Rockula. This one can be found on YouTube.  It’s about a vampire who has a rock band and his true love in repeatedly reincarnated and will be until he manages to save her from a one eyed pirate.  It’s ridiculous and funny and I may just put it on tonight.

I have no idea where my parents got this shit but we had VHS tapes of the old specials and I would watch them religiously every Halloween.  A couple of years ago I discovered that other people are freaks too and a lot of that old stuff can be found online.  I try to squeeze it in every year, at least while I carve pumpkins.  I need to get on it, y’all.

What do you like to watch during this spooktacular season??

Tally Monday- October 24, 2016

Checked Out

  1. Expecting Better by Emily Oster
  2. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Bought

  1. Llewellyn’s 2017 Magical Almanac
  2. Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Armin
  3. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Armin
  4. The Pastor’s Wife by Elizabeth von Armin
  5. The Break-Out Principle by Herbert Benson
  6. Best American Short Stories 2016
  7. Best American Essays 2016

Read

  1. “Where the Bees are Going” by Andy Holt
  2. The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home, vol 2 by Konami Kanata
  3. “Staff Picks” by George Singleton
  4. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
  5. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe (Little Black Classic)
  6. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

TBR 22

Now, that’s what a week should look like!  Let’s get right down to it!

It was an interesting week in that I pretty much forced myself to read.  My schedule was all kinds of messed up.  I had a lock-in at work on Friday which had me working late but also hot be out early a couple of days and that time at home before Hubby got home was quiet and very conducive to reading.  I also read a lot of short stuff and I don’t mind at all because it was all really good and it made me feel less stuck.  When I picked up my next book, Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist, I wasn’t worried about the length and how long it would take.  I opened it and started reading and was excited to be finally getting to it.  (It’s one that I’ve had out for an embarrassing amount of time.)

I’m sure that I’ve mentioned it something like 50 times by now but my goal is to be through all of my library books by the time the baby comes.  I will be off for two months and the library I work at is about 45-50 minutes away from home.  I don’t want to be responsible for books during that time.  Instead, I intend to read nothing but books I own and Kindle books.  So, I’ve been trying to keep my check outs to a minimum.  This week I only took out the next audiobook (still Little House Books) and a pregnancy book.

**EDIT!  Just as a side note, I asked Hubby this morning how many books he thinks we own and his answer was, “IDK.  I don’t even know how to guess.”  That’s pretty accurate.  I’d say easily 1000, probably more.  I’ve maybe read 10% of them.**

One would suspect that I would be elbow deep in pregnancy books right now.  I mean, I am the person who thinks that there must be a book to answer every question.  However,  I’ve been treating it a lot like I treated wedding planning.  When you work in a library, you see it all of the time.  Someone gets engaged and they check out thirty books on wedding planning and on building a solid marriage.  Someone gets pregnant and they check out thirty books on pregnancy and parenting.  It’s not that I don’t have questions and it’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I know how rare it is for every book to agree and I know how easy it is to get sucked into a tornado of differing advice and opinions.  That’s pretty much what pregnancy has been like for me so far anyway.

I can across an article early in my pregnancy by Oster from the Wallstreet Journal.  At the time I was bombarded with people who felt like my pregnancy was the same as their pregnancy, like I was the same kind of person they were, like I was only a womb until the baby is born and then I become a mom.  That’s how it felt.  Sometimes that’s still how it feels.  Sometimes, the advice is useful and it makes me feel better.  (Old Navy has great maternity jeans. Jolly Ranchers help with nausea.)  Other times it was ridiculously obvious.  (Eat your vegetables.  Take a prenatal vitamin.)  Once in a while, it wasn’t applicable at all.  (Once, a coworker insisted that I give up pop, which I don’t normally drink, and told me she drank fruit flavored water to help her give pop up and insisted on bringing me some.  I also HATE flavored water.)  Then there were the times when I didn’t agree and had done some research to back it up.

Oster’s article was a great relief and a great help.  I understand that being pregnant is a lifestyle change but I also think maybe I’m not doing too poorly.  I usually exercise and eat pretty well, and I still do.  I’m down from a pack and a half of cigarettes per week to two cigarettes per week.  I knew that in other countries it’s acceptable for a woman to drink lightly during pregnancy and so I went from my pre-preggo amount (which I did not realize was so damn much but it totally was), to one drink a week.  I cut down from three cups of coffee/day to 1.5/day.  I’m doing fine and I LOVE that this book breaks down the numbers for me so that I can make my own rational decisions.  (Like, you can have my feta when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.)

My buying got a little, ahem, out of hand this week.  In all fairness, three out of the seven were free e-books.  Two out of the seven were ordered two weeks ago when I realized I had spending money left and it was almost payday.  The last two, the best essays and short stories, are books that I just want to buy myself every year and came to less than $20 total.  I regret nothing.  Actually, I’m pretty happy with all of my purchases.

Finally, the reading.  Whew, you guys.  For a while there, I felt like an Olympic hero.  Maybe I read a graphic novel and a children’s book and five short stories and a children’s book on audio, but it really felt like I was knocking them down.  And I enjoyed ALL OF IT!  I laughed, I cried, I chewed my nails.  It was great.

What I’m finding really surprising is how much I’m enjoying the Little House books.  They’re pretty cool.  When I was a kid, I thought they were just prissy girl stories and avoided them.  But they’re totally not.  I will read these to Ian.  They’re exciting and they’re quaint and they have butt loads of information in them.  It’s kind of like when I realized people could MAKE pecan pie.  I mean, I suspected that someone could but never actually believed it.  That’s what it’s like listening to how Pa builds a house.  Like, people just did that.  It’s amazing.

Have a rambled enough?  Almost!  Just one more thing.  Concerning my goal to have my library books done before maternity leave:  While my TBR list is at 22, my checked out books (not including audios) is at 12!  Totally doable, don’t you think?

Happy reading!  Knock ’em down, tiger!

Listy #32- Things That Always Make Me Happy

And so we continue with my super upbeat posts!  Actually, I am feeling really good today.  This week I did THREE things that sent my anxiety through the roof and I did them all way better than expected.  I, like, called people and got shots and stuff.  GOLD STARS!  There’s also part of a deck built at my house and my new sliding glass door is great.  The food has been good and my sleep game is tight.  All in all, it’s going well.

Still, those icky feelings have been hanging around so I thought that I would talk about 5 things that always make me happy, in the sense that they make me at least smile and hopefully laugh.

Happy Smile Laugh List

  1. Bad jokes.  All of the way.  Tell me a bad joke and I will instantly tell it to someone else and possibly laugh until my stomach hurts.  What kind of phone does a pirate have?  An aye-Phone.  See?  I’m laughing right now.
  2. That video of New Zealand’s Prime Minister being hit with a… phallic toy.  This is best as the John Oliver bit because it’s damn hilarious.
  3. People of Tumblr.  Now, I have a Tumblr but I never use it.  What I prefer is to look at the People of Tumblr page on Facebook.  I scroll and laugh and read them out loud to Hubby who probably finds it very annoying.
  4. Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half.  When I’m really down, I can just flip to one of the stories in this little gem and die laughing.
  5. Friends.  It’s kind of stupid and I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but this show always makes me laugh.  I can watch one episode and feel better.

What cheers you up?

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

I’ll spoiler alert this right now.

Stone Fox ended up on my TBR many years ago when I was just a sweet 18 year old who was super duper board at work.  It was the end of the year and the library was ridiculously dead.  There were no books to shelf and I had read every single one of my assigned shelves within the previous two weeks.  I took up the task of making a list of all of the children’s books that I never got around to reading.

Little Willy’s grandfather is sick.  He can’t get out of bed and he can’t talk.  When the doctor tells Willy that sometimes sadness and worry makes people sick, Willy decides that he will take care of the potato crop for his grandfather and that will make him better.  He works the farm, takes care of his grandfather, and goes to school with only the comfort and friendship of his dog, Searchlight.  Willy manages to harvest and sell the crop but his grandfather doesn’t get any better.  That’s when Willy learns that they owe $500 in back taxes.  Willy doesn’t know how to get the money but when he sees an advertisement for a sled race, he uses his college money to enter with only Searchlight to pull his sled.  He’s sure that he’ll win but everyone else is betting on Stone Fox, a big Native American who has never lost.

My adult reaction to this one:  I was sucked in immediately.  I was really, really enjoying it.  Almost to the end I actually thought to myself, “Wow.  I am really enjoying this!  This is a good book!”  And then, you guys, the dog dies.  On, like, the second to last page.  I sobbed.  I sobbed and had to find my most difficult cat to snuggle.

Why does the dog always die??

Chi’s Complete Sweet Home 2 by Kanata Konami

I debated whether I should review this one or not but decided that I would and that I would keep it short and sweet.

In July I read the first volume of Chi’s Complete Sweet Home and I loved it.  I loved this one too.

Chi’s family has found a new apartment that will allow them to have pets.  First, Chi gets to experience a move, when all of her stuff is there but it still doesn’t smell right.  She meets some of the neighbors: a parakeet, a long haired cat, and a barks.  Chi’s new home is great.  She gets to play outside and she doesn’t have to hide all of the time.  She begins to explore the neighborhood and meet other cats, like Auntie Calico and a spunky little kitten who is determined to keep his turf.  Chi is always fun, though, and loves her human family so much.

Again, these are just adorable.  They make me have the feels and need to hug my cats.

Tally Monday- October 17, 2016

Checked Out

None!

Bought

None! (Okay, I did order some but they haven’t arrived yet.  Sh.)

Read

  1. On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  2. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

TBR 24

A lot of classics have become “problematic” through the years.  Times change and things become outdated.  I will be the first to admit that I err on the side of classics, though.  To me, we can’t discount a book that uses outdated language because it’s giving us a window into how the times were.  The books I see argues about this way most frequently are Twain’s because of the use of the “n” word.  I can understand that it makes people uncomfortable and why it makes them uncomfortable, but I also think that it opens up a discussion.  How have things changed?  Why is it important?  What can we learn from this?

And, so, my Laura Ingalls Wilder trip continues.  I started Little House on the Prairie this morning, after apparently just skipping it completely.  I think that I will probably try reading these books to my child.  Why?  Because they’re calm and exciting and interesting.  I see an opportunity for education through fiction.  Also, unrelated, Ma is still a bad ass bitch.  For sure.

I fought really hard to get more reading done last week.  I was feeling like I needed to fight the good fight against this slump.  In my possession at the time was the new Harry Potter again, which I, again, did not get around to.  I’m still not sure if I want to read it or not so I feel okay about returning it unread this morning.

Where am I now?  Well, if you’ve been following this exciting slump news you know that I have a shit ton of books to read.  A shit ton.  Plus, I have two One Story editions waiting to be read.  I started in on one last night, then I’ll read a quick graphic novel, another One Story, and then we’re back on my plan to know shit out of the park.  I would love to get a lot of these books done before the new year and definitely before the baby comes, when I plan on surviving on books I own only.

I have been making slow but steady progress on my magazine stack.  Once that’s gone I plan on digging into my Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby and then some spiritual literature, which I will not review here but will include in my list on Tally Mondays.

Sometimes I worry about where my reading life is going.  People keep warning me that I won’t have time for books anymore once Ian is here.  On the other hand, there are people out there who say they read just as much, if not more, after giving birth.  I’m worried about maternity leave.  I’m worried bot that two months is not long enough and I won’t be ready to go back and that two months is way too long and I am going to be bored.  I’ve worked since I was 16 and the most time I took off was two weeks when my father died at the end of a vacation week and I got ridiculously bored.  I don’t know what to expect but I know that nobody can tell me because I am not them and I honestly don’t know if people realize how fucking crazy I am.  I’m pretty damn crazy and make myself do way more than a normal person.

Ah, fall.  I’ve probably been saying it for weeks.  Once the Halloween push is over, I plan to really get down to reading.  Chills in the air, tea in the kettle, and kitties and blankets on my lap.  Like it’s supposed to be.

May your reading be whatever you need it to be this week.